New series – designing your own one skein project

Slip stitch scarf in yarn remnants

With a very small baby in the house, my blogging time is limited so I thought let’s go for quality over quantity! Rather than alert you to new patterns, for the rest of the year I will be talking about becoming your own designer.

I’m going to start with some thoughts on designing for small amounts of yarn.

The photo on the right shows a slip stitch scarf I made out of yarn remnants and slip stitch patterns are a great way of combining lots of small amounts of yarn, or of breaking up variegation. Follow the link to purchase the pattern for yourself – I heartily recommend it.

I always think that a fun first project is a bookmark. Very quick to make and if you like the result you can stash it away to use as part of a gift. Taking the idea of the slip stitch scarf to another level, why not design your own slip stitch bookmark in one or more colours.

Here’s a basic recipe to get you started. It works with any gauge of yarn.

1) Choose a slip stitch pattern you like from a stitch dictionary or look through the free patterns on Ravelry for a pattern you can use. I’ve also included a couple at the bottom to help you out…

2) Gather your materials: variegated yarn can be lovely on its own. Or you may have different scraps in the same weight. A mixture of colours can look terrific. You will need needles very slightly larger than the recommended size for your weight of yarn (slip stitch patterns benefit from being knit on larger needles). So for fingering weight yarn use at least 3.5mm needles.

3) Swatch. If I’m honest, a bookmark is so small it could be its own swatch, so you may choose to skip this step. If you do, be prepared to rip out! Cast on 20 – 30 stitches and swatch your chosen pattern for a couple of inches. You can also use your swatch to try out stripe patterns if you’re using different patterns. Or you can try different slip stitch patterns if you’re not sure which one you like best. Make a note of how many stitches you need to work 2 inches in the pattern. This will help you to decide how many to cast on.

4) Once you know how many stitches you get over 2 inches, use this figure to work out how many stitches to cast on. A bookmark will normally be 6 inches, perhaps a little more or less. Figure out your ‘cast on number’. You see, you’re already writing your own pattern!

5) Cast on the number of stitches you’ve decided on and work back and forth in your slip stitch pattern until you’re pleased with the width of your bookmark. Then bind off loosely – use a needle several sizes larger if necessary. Wash and gently block your bookmark.

Right side (top) and wrong side (bottom) visible here

6) Enjoy or gift!

Optional fringe: If you want your bookmark to have a fringe at the bottom you will need to leave a yarn tail of at least two inches at one end of each of your rows. If you’re using one colour you’ll need to leave a 4 – 6 inch loop of yarn at the beginning of every right side row. When you’re finished these can be cut in half and knotted at the knitted edge to form a fringe. If you’re using yarn scraps, you’ll have yarn tails anyway. So make sure they’re long enough and roughly even and just knot them together when you’re finished.

Slip Stitch Patterns

PATTERN ONE (stitch count should be multiple of 2)

Row 1 (RS): *k1, bring yarn forward, sl1*; repeat.

Row 2 (WS): *p1, bring yarn to back, sl1*; repeat.

PATTERN TWO (stitch count should be multiple of 2)

Row 1 (RS): knit.

Row 2 (WS): knit.

Row 3: *knit 1, slip 1 with yarn to ws*; repeat.

Row 4: *slip 1 with yarn to ws, knit 1*; repeat.

Row 5: knit.

Row 6: knit.

Row 7: *slip 1 with yarn to ws, knit 1*; repeat.

Row 8: *knit 1, slip 1 with yarn to ws, *; repeat.

When you are happy with the width of the book mark, finish this with 2 rows of knit stitches.

Summer 4ply Special – holiday knits

Well, the blogging schedule may be all over the place due to gestational issues – but here’s a big update of recently-published free patterns that use 500 yards of 4ply or less….

Kid’s Clothing

Xavi’s Waistcoat by Marshyknits! is as cute as its buttons and uses 250 – 300 yards of 4ply.

Nola Jane is a lovely little top from Petite Purls which can be made in a variety of sizes with less than  500 yards of fingering.

Socks

Rib Socks by Claudia Baumann-Ruegg are simple but oh so effective, with just enough detail to keep you going. Particularly lovely in a self-striping yarn.

Or why not challenge yourself with entrelac socks: Basketcase Socks by Kate Hoffman will keep you on your toes (excuse the pun!)

Gloves

Something Floral is absolutely adorable – colourwork fingerless mitts suitable for 2 small skeins of 200 yards each. Miranda Grant offers you a striking yet romantic small project.

Or why not try Lion Brand’s Fingerless Mitts with cables and twisted stitches – sweet as…

Shawls

Futur Simple by tshep offers striking geometric lace that will beautifully show off your hand-painted yarn.

Mezquita Shawl by Roxanne Yeun knits up to a delicate crescent-shaped shawl/scarf  – lovely in silk and silk mix yarns….

BAD BLOGGER!

So, I have been extremely remiss with my blogging of late.

In mitigation I have been a) growing a small human being and b) working on lots of new designs to be released later this year.

My Clothilde in Posh Yarn Sylvia DK

I’ve finished one or two (non-original) projects in the meantime including a Clothilde which can be made with just one skein of sock yarn or 200g of DK. It’s a lovely pattern – not too hard at all – suitable for an advanced beginner I would say. It’s a paid for pattern but worth every penny – I promise you.

If you’d like to make something similar but can’t afford to buy a pattern at the moment I would recommend the following recently released, one skein shawl patterns:

Happy knitting!

It’s our grand colourwork special

Now, I should be quite, quite honest and admit that there may be some cheating in 2011.

Specifically, I’ve been thinking about colourwork, using up scraps and what to do with two skeins of yarn.

So today we’re going to look at things you can make with two skeins or partial skeins of complementary-coloured yarn.

(All of today’s patterns are free but I will occasionally be talking about pay-for patterns in the year ahead.)

Laceweight

Looking for a way to use up scraps of laceweight yarn? Then check out Ann Sterling’s Star Flower Tam. It’s simply gorgeous and you can experiemnt with mixing and matching laceweights – imagine this in Kidsilk Haze and assorted hand dyed scraps! Requires 400-500 yards in total.

Fingering

Staying with the hat-making theme here’s Ari Whitlow’s Snowflake Tam. It uses up to 250 yards in total and requires 25 grams of the main colour and scraps of 4 others.

 

Intarsia in Rowan Wool Cotton

Sport

These stunning colourwork mittens use two 50g balls of complementary wool: Drop’s Mittens with pattern in “Delight” and “Fabel”. They feature Tudor roses on the back of the hand and a deep wrist circled with vines.

DK

Knitting for a child’s birthday? Then raid your stash for 137 – 273 yards of DK weight yarn and whip up Alison Stewart-Guinee’s Princess Crown! With sizes to fit 6 months to adult small.

Worsted

With just 200 – 300 yards of worsted you can knit up a delightful baby cardigan in jolly stripes. Dove Knits’ Green zebra baby sweater is available in sizes from 3 months to 2 years.

Aran

Dig out your Aran-weight cotton and cast on for Caroline Dlugy-Hegwer’s Mother’s Day Cotton Slippers in two colours. Easy to knit in just a day, they’d make a lovely present or just a little treat for yourself.

 

Fairisle in worsted weight yarn

Bulky

Looking for a mindless knit? Lion Brand’s Lexi Leg Warmers are simple tubes of stripy goodness knit in bulky yarn. They require 230 yards in total and make perfect TV knitting for cold January evenings!

Superbulky

Finally a crochet pattern in superbulky yarn. Susannah Duelfer’s stunning Tree of Life Cowl is crocheted in 130 yards of wool. It’s a slightly challenging pattern but the results are definitely worth it!

Test yourself in the New Year!

Christmas knitting is behind you and it’s time to knit what you want!

Why not test yourself with a challenging one skein project?

Laceweight – strictly not for dummies

Eunny Jang’s Print O’ the Wave Stole will look stunning over a lovely dress come summer. Treat yourself to 800 yards of luxe laceweight and indulge….

Or try Myra Wood’s Crazy Lace Cropped Cardigan which can be made from as little as 320 yards. It’s more a recipe than a pattern and will provide a perfect challenge for those of you looking to start designing in lace.

Fingering – hit that stash!

Be inspired by twisted stitches and Mozartian trills and knit yourself Caoua Coffee’s Pamina Socks. Not one for mellow knitting night but the results will be spectacular!

Or crochet yourself these stunning Opera Sleeves by Shiri Mor available from Lion Brand’s website. Hook these for a party in a  skein of sparkly sock yarn or make yourself a sophisticated accessory in a deep and lovely shade.

Last minute DK delights

Seasonal cliches to you all!

What about a quick gift knit in that old stand-by double knit? You tend to get good yardage per skein/ball with enough weight and warmth to make cozy accessories a possibility.

Recommended today are:

A Noble Cowl by Emily Kausalik – a gorgeous lace confection which is extremely striking. It uses 123 – 200 yards of DK.

Double Double Cloche by Mary Keenan – a chic, vintage0style hat which doubles as a chemo cap. It uses 150 – 200 yards of DK and can showcase a beautiful large button.

And lastly, the adorable Gosai Mitts by Claudia Eisenkolb which use 109 – 142 yards of DK and would work up in a trice.

Happy Knitting!

Lace in a Flash

Want to knit something super-quick but not in a chunky weight yarn? No problem, just take a look at these lightweight lovelies…

The Diamond Lace Bookmark by Heather M Brown uses just 20 yards of laceweight and would knit up in a trice

Jennifer Hansen came up with this wonderful present idea: the Knitted Lace Jewelry Frame and the Crochet Lace Jewelry Frame. Just make a small piece of lace using 75 yards of lovely laceweight, then frame it and use it to display your jewelry or give as a gift.

Or why not whip up Cheryl Niamath’s gossamer scarf Fling in 100 yards of Kidsilk Haze or some equally delectable laceweight…

Some gift ideas… for them or for you

Under £5

Lovely stitch markers from Meadow Yarn

Under £10

A lovely ball of Noro Sekku from Laughing Hens

Under £25

Hand-painted silk by Alchemy from Loop

Under £40

Sunflower Swift from Purlescence

Under £80

Knitpro Symfonie Rose Interchangeable Set from p2tog

Pattern(s) of the Day

An extra-bulky non-knit!

Super Quick pre-Holiday Knits

Are you perhaps a couple of gifts short still. Don’t stress! There are some ultra, ultra quick options – especially lovely in a handspun, hand-dyed or variegated skein…

Stephanie Pearl-McPhee’s Unoriginal Hat really shows off a stunning skein of super-bulky yarn and takes just 80 – 90 yards.

Trish Woodson’s My Kind of Town Cowl is a really smart version of a garter stitch cowl – which would suit those who don’t like their knits too lacy or flowery. At 90 – 100 yards of super bulky it makes a substantial gift with a minimum of stitching time.

Diamond Leaf Mitts

This pattern can also be found on Ravelry where it can be downloaded as a .pdf

Here’s a lovely way to work up a favourite ball of springy worsted. These little mitts are extremely stretchy and though the worsted wool means they’re substantial, the ribbing and cables are designed to give you a snug and comfortable fit.

The mitts have a little bit of everything: ribbing, twisted stitches, cables and a panel of lace. So you shouldn’t get bored knitting them and they make a great quick gift knit.

Materials: 90 – 120 yards of worsted weight yarn; 4mm double pointed needles (or size needed to obtain gauge); stitch markers; cable needle; scrap yarn to hold thumb stitches.

Women’s size: Medium/Large – to fit hand 7½ inches to 9 inches

Gauge: 20st x 26 rows = 10 cm in stocking stitch

How to use the charts: The section in the red box on each chart represents the thumb. I have also included written instructions for working the thumb. These are included as an aid to understanding the pattern and should be used to support the chart. You should not work the written instructions in addition to the chart. Thanks!

Acknowledgments:

Thank you to my wonderful test knitters who did such a beautiful job. Nuiknitting, shedubba, SovereignCrux and walden121 – I salute you!

Thank you to Ysolda Teague who influenced the thumb design with her lovely work on Veyla from Whimsical Little Knits 2.

© Miranda Davies 2010

This pattern is freely provided for personal use only. However, it is the copyright of Miranda Davies and may not be used to make items for commercial purposes. The pattern may not be sold for profit.

LEFT MITT:

Cast on 39 stitches and join for working in round.

Rounds 1 – 20: Work rows 1 – 20 of chart. Chart is worked right to left on every row.

Thumb:
Round 21: K19 stitches from chart, place marker, make 1 stitch, place marker, K20 stitches from chart. (40 stitches)

Round 22: K19 stitches from chart, slip marker, K1, slip marker, K20 stitches from chart.

Round 23: K19 stitches from chart, slip marker, M1, K1, YO, slip marker, K20 stitches from chart. (42 stitches)
Round 24: K19 from chart, slip marker, K3, slip marker, K20 from chart.
Round 25: K19 stitches from chart, slip marker, M1, K3, YO, slip marker, K20 stitches from chart. (44 stitches)

Round 26: K19 from chart, slip marker, K5, slip marker, K20 from chart.
Round 27: K19 stitches from chart, slip marker, M1, K5, YO, slip marker, K20 stitches from chart. (46 stitches)
Round 28: K19 from chart, slip marker, K7, slip marker, K20 from chart.
Round 29: K19 stitches from chart, slip marker, M1, K7, YO, slip marker, K20 stitches from chart. (48 stitches)

Round 30: K19 from chart, slip marker, K9, slip marker, K20 from chart.
Round 31: K19 stitches from chart, slip marker, M1, K9, M1, slip marker, K20 stitches from chart. (50 stitches)
Round 32: K19 from chart, slip marker, K11, slip marker, K20 from chart.
Round 33: K19 stitches from chart, slip marker, M1, K11, slip marker, K20 stitches from chart. (51 stitches)

Round 34: K19 from chart, slip marker, K12, slip marker, K20 from chart.

Round 35: K19 stitches from chart, remove marker, slip next 12 stitches onto waste yarn, remove second marker, cable cast on 2 stitches – rejoining leaf lace section to ribbed palm, K20 stitches from chart. (41 stitches)
Round 36: K19 from chart, K2, K20 from chart.
Round 37: K19 from chart, K1, K20 from chart. (40 stitches)
Round 38: K19 from chart, K1, K20 from chart.

Round 39 – 48: Continue working chart over 39 remaining stitches.

When you have completed Round 48 bind off in pattern.

Finishing the Thumb:
Slip the 12 held stitches back onto dpns. With right side facing rejoin yarn and knit across 12 stitches then pick up 2 stitches from cast on stitches on main body of the glove. Join in the round. (14 stitches)

Work 4 rounds in plain stocking stitch (knit every round). Work 2 rounds in twisted rib.
[Twisted Rib: *P1, K1tbl; repeat from * around]

Bind off in pattern. Weave in all ends.

LEFT MITT CHART:


KEY:

RIGHT MITT:

Cast on 39 stitches and join for working in round.

Rounds 1 – 20: Work rows 1 – 20 of chart. Chart is worked right to left on every row.

Thumb:

Round 21: K20 stitches from chart, place marker, make 1 stitch, place marker, K19 stitches from chart. (40 stitches)

Round 22: K20 stitches from chart, slip marker, K1, slip marker, K19 stitches from chart.

Round 23: K20 stitches from chart, slip marker, YO, K1, M1, slip marker, K19 stitches from chart. (42 stitches)
Round 24: K20 from chart, slip marker, K3, slip marker, K19 from chart.
Round 25: K20 stitches from chart, slip marker, YO, K3, M1, slip marker, K19 stitches from chart. (44 stitches)

Round 26: K20 from chart, slip marker, K5, slip marker, K19 from chart.
Round 27: K20 stitches from chart, slip marker, YO, K5, M1, slip marker, K19 stitches from chart. (46 stitches)
Round 28: K20 from chart, slip marker, K7, slip marker, K19 from chart.
Round 29: K20 stitches from chart, slip marker, YO, K7, M1, slip marker, K19 stitches from chart. (48 stitches)

Round 30: K20 from chart, slip marker, K9, slip marker, K19 from chart.
Round 31: K20 stitches from chart, slip marker, M1, K9, M1, slip marker, K19 stitches from chart. (50 stitches)
Round 32: K20 from chart, slip marker, K11, slip marker, K19 from chart.
Round 33: K20 stitches from chart, slip marker, K11, M1, slip marker, K19 stitches from chart. (51 stitches)

Round 34: K20 from chart, slip marker, K12, slip marker, K19 from chart.

Round 35: K20 stitches from chart, remove marker, slip next 12 stitches onto waste yarn, remove second marker, cable cast on 2 stitches – rejoining leaf lace section to ribbed palm, K19 stitches from chart. (41 stitches)
Round 36: K20 from chart, K2, K19 from chart.
Round 37: K20 from chart, K1, K19 from chart. (40 stitches)
Round 38: K20 from chart, K1, K19 from chart.

Round 39 – 48: Continue working chart over 39 remaining stitches.

When you have completed Round 48 bind off in pattern.

Finishing the Thumb:
Slip the 12 held stitches back onto dpns. With right side facing rejoin yarn and knit across 12 stitches then pick up 2 stitches from cast on stitches on main body of the glove. Join in the round. (14 stitches)

Work 4 rounds in plain stocking stitch (knit every round). Work 2 rounds in twisted rib.
[Twisted Rib: *P1, K1tbl; repeat from * around.]

Bind off in pattern. Weave in all ends.

RIGHT MITT CHART:

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