Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Manly-Man Scarf

There are times when you have to knit a plain scarf for someone with a conservative sense of style.  But "plain" does not have to equal "boring!"  Pick the right yarn, like the subtly-fuzzy Aran weight Concept by Katia Cotton-Merino (which comes in several neutral colors and a few with subtle stripes) and you'll be done in no time and enjoy the process, too!  Look how happy I am to be working on it ... and how cute those stripes look when they're knit up!

2 balls Concept by Katia Cotton-Merino in color 205
US size 10 knitting needles (straight or circular, your choice)

Cast on 28 stitches.
(Knit 1, purl 1) across.

Pattern row: Slip first stitch of row as if to knit with yarn in back, purl 1, then (knit 1, purl 1) across.

Repeat pattern row until you have a few yards of yarn left, then bind off LOOSELY in pattern.

Friday, September 02, 2016

VVVVVery Quick V-Stitch Cowl

Sometimes you have a skein of fingering-weight yarn that doesn't want to be socks, either because it's too delicate to care for or too special to relegate to something you're just going to stick inside shoes anyway.  Single-ply yarns, cashmere blends, hand-dyed souvenir yarns from trips to far-flung yarn stores ... all of these can be showcased beautifully in this V-stitch crochet cowl.  The pattern is simple and easy to start and stop, making this the perfect on-the-go project, especially as gift-giving season approaches.

  • 4.0 mm crochet hook (US size G)
  • 4.5 mm crochet hook (US size 7)
  • about 60 gm fingering weight yarn (I used Hedgehog Fibers' Skinny Singles from River Colors Studio in color Opalite)
SC - single crochet                ch - chain
DC - double crochet              sl st - slip stitch

  1. Using the 4.5 mm hook, chain 84.  Join with a sl st, being careful not to twist.
  2. Using the 4.0 mm hook, chain 4.  DC in same chain as sl st.  [Skip chain, (DC, chain 1, DC) in next chain] around.  End round with sl st in 3rd chain of beginning of round, then sl st in the resulting ch-1 space to the left of where you just joined.
  3. Chain 4. DC in same ch-1 space as sl st.  [DC, chain 1, DC) in next ch-1 space] around.  End with a sl st in 3rd chain of beginning of round, and sl st in the resulting ch-1 space to the left of where you just joined.
  4. Repeat step 3 until cowl is desired length or you are not quite out of yarn (sample repeated the round 27 times).
  5. Using the 4.5 mm hook, chain 2.  [SC loosely in space between next 2 DC stitches] around.  End with a sl st in second stitch of beginning of round.  Fasten off and weave in ends.
There's no reason this pattern has to be confined to fingering weight yarns. Just adjust the hook sizes to match your yarn choice (when in doubt, go bigger than you think you need, because you want the stitches to be flexible and soft).  Chain an even number of stitches that's big enough to slip over your head once it's joined into a circle, and get going!  For reference, I used 62 stitches with aran/chunky yarn (super fast project!) and 100 chains with heavy lace weight yarn (much slower going, but a totally awesome way to use the qiviut yarn I bought in Alaska).