i finished sketching up the crochet patterns last week but i was at a loss for description. i have resolved to
steal use the illustrated instructions from my japanese craft books.
the hexagon is crocheted in the round. the double circle you see at the center is the adjustable center ring. as for 'triple cluster,' i don't know if it's the right terminology but the stitch sort of consists of three double crochets.*
unlike the hexagon, the halfagon is crocheted back and forth. chains should all be made the same way even though they are sketched in various sizes. so are the slip stitches (in the hexagon).
i regret that i can't offer a more descriptive step by step pattern. i'm not very well versed with crochet lingo. plus, these patterns are pretty straight forward. there isn't much i can add to make them clearer.
as for joining the hexagons, i have no good method to offer. i joined mine all willy nilly using single crochet. i hope to find a better piecing procedure. if you have suggestions, please share with me.
and if you have questions or comments, please don't hesitate to let me know, especially if you've made a granny 'square' afghan. i would love to see it, square or otherwise.
some stats on the afghan:
yarn: lace weight wool from handpaintedyarn.com
hook: us6 (4mm)
hexagons: 419 (under estimated by 115)
halfagons: 26 (over estimated by 8)
afghan size: 47 x 71 inches (unblocked)
(enough for at least two more afghans)
*more official names: bobble or puff stitch.
|gnome loves northstar
dale asked me where i got the pattern for my northstar hat. it's actually the same pattern as the gnome hat, which i knit years ago. i finally wrote up the pattern this past january. dale's comment motivated me to update it today. not sure if it's any good to you, but this pdf shows exactly how i knit the gnome hat.
gnome vs northstar
the left hat was knit with a super bulky yarn called niebla by katia. it's a wool blend in terra cotta. the right hat was knit with two yarns: the main yarn is pure wool by brunswick called aspen, and the eyelash is a polyamide blend by patons called coast.
the pattern is very easy. it should work for any gauge. cast on a number of stitches that's divisible by three and you're good to go. for instance, the red hat is 45 stitches around. the white, 54.
for the eyelash version, i recommend knitting the hat plain for the first four to six rounds so to keep the rolled brim clean. you could add the eyelash yarn at cast on if you like. i just didn't want anything hanging over my eyes.
gnome loves northstar indeed
i had one difficulty with making the northstar. after i finished the knitting, i had to pull all the lashes on the inside of the hat to the outside. i wonder if there's a way to bypass this step.
anyway, as usual, if you have questions or comments on the pattern, please let me know. and if you knit one, please be sure to show me a picture of you in it.
what jg wears to work today
here's a comment i received from ashley (pertaining to this post):
Hi, I'm trying to make a beanie and when I did the k7, k2tog then knit
a row and the next row k6, k2tog and so on I found it to look weird.
It was seemed like it came together at random places. I love how
you do the 4 double decreases. I haven't seen it so good. I looked it
up but didn't find much, can you please help me?
well, ashley, thanks for the compliment although i don't quite follow what you are doing. i do have a chart for a standard beanie* which might put the decreases into perspective for you. i also have a chart for a cabled beanie* which is very similar to the one shown in the picture above. i hope one of these pdfs answers your question.
also, ashley? when you write to ask a question, you might want to provide your email address. otherwise you'd just get a half a** reply. like this.
* i whipped these up years ago. erin, maura, and holly graciously edited them for me except i can't remember if i implemented their comments or not. charts are meant for non-beginners anyway, so please approach carefully (lest they bite).
cast on edge: transfer stitches to finer size straight needle. the following set
of instructions presumes that you are a right hander.
1. undo the knot to release the 8 inch tails. undo the first chain in the waste
yarn slowly. stop.
2. with your right hand, take one of the two finer knitting needles and slip it
through the first knit stitch.
3. with your left hand, slowly pull the waste yarn tail to release the first knit
stitch from the second chain.
4. slip the next knit stitch onto the needle.
5. pull waste yarn to release it.
6. repeat steps 4 and 5 until all of the knit stitches are released from the
chains except the last two. leave them on the waste yarn.
note: the very last stitch does not look like those previously released. take
care to put it on the needle as you see it. do not untwist it or let it fall off the
needle because it is responsible for making this beanie look perfectly
7. now, slip both stitches onto the needle before releasing the waste yarn
completely. put a point protector on needle. put this edge down.
note: should you stumble and mess up the last stitch, it's okay. the brim will
have a very slight indent after the beanie is grafted because the stitch won't
match the other brim stitches. no one will notice it but you.
end edge: transfer stitches to straight needle of finer size:
1. beginning on the crown side, slip all the live stitches on to the other fine
note: if you used straight needles to knit the beanie, you would have to slip the
stitches twice, meaning you'd have to put them all on another needle brim first
before you could slip them back on the finer needle crown first. this is why
circular needles are recommended.
2. both fine needles should be pointing toward the brim (away from crown)
when you're done transferring the stitches. add point protectors.
3. fold the beanie so that the cast on edge lies next to the end edge. turn on all
the lights in the house and make certain that one edge is on the bumpy
row and the other edge is on the flat row. hills and valleys, respectively.
don't proceed until you have this right.
4. grafting will proceed from brim to crown. turn the beanie so grafting will
be worked from right to left.
grafting: also known as weaving. if you have never done garter stitch grafting
before, you might want to practice before performing it on the beanie.
1. thread 30 inch tail through the darning needle. remove point protectors.
begin grafting by imitating the adjacent brim stitches. the very first stitch
will take some effort.
2. continue grafting. be careful to match the grafting stitches to those on the
adjacent rows. pull on grafting yarn with moderate tension. stop and adjust
stitches after every inch of grafting or so.
3. after the last stitch is grafted, remove all needles. pick up 8 inch crown tail.
pull firmly to gather up the wraps.
4. tie both tails together using a firm double knot. with the darning needle,
thread and weave in the tails one at a time. be careful to hide it well. after
about two inches is weaved in, cut yarn to remove ends.
voila, a seamless zeebee!
i can only hope that it knocks your socks off. if it does, please consider adding a picture of you wearing it to this flickr gallery.
all my gratitude to:
1. my webmaster, my own personal magician;
2. holly, without whom this pattern would not be here;
3. gayle, for having championed this pattern way back when it was but a
sketch and for having given it the dubious distinction of being
"arthritis friendly," and
4. last but not least...
pattern was spurred on by knitting for baby by melanie falick, rejected by knitty.com, and powered by elizabeth zimmermann. please feel free to contact me should have questions and comments. i would love to hear from you.
|a schmeebot fubar
a little less than a month ago, i received this motivating comment from gayle:
Love your beanies! ... Saw your sideways knitted beanie in the
archives-that is exactly what I'm looking to make as an
alternative to knitting in the round. Will you be releasing the
pattern in some form soon? Hope so!
i happened to be almost done knitting one that day so i thought: perfect! time to publish the pattern!
only i couldn't do it. how can something so easy to knit be so difficult to draw up? dear readers, i give you exhibit a:
pretty gruesome, huh? and it's no where near being complete. i gave up because i just couldn't get it to look sensible. i thought about drawing it in 3d but i just don't got the skills. anyway, the more less more less bit is the crown shaping. a lot of wrapping and turning. the straight edge to the right is the brim. finish with one row of weaving. no purling and, of course, seamless.
by the way, this beanie is knitted up and down, or rather back and forth. to say that it's knitted flat is misleading because it takes shape as it is knitted along. it doesn't lie flat with a jagged edge as i have shown it.
there's little more i can add to make it less confusing. i think the best way to convey this pattern is to show step by step pictures along with some very elaborate narrative. hardly worth the effort when it's so easy to knit. it really is!
what do you think? are you confused? crying? swearing?
this post addresses cindy's comment in which she asked about a beanie i made:
"Do you use a pattern? I also like to make beanies [...] can you pass
on some tips?"
unfortunately, no, i don't use a pattern. i have knitted many a beanie and they didn't always turn out to my liking. in the beginning it was all trial and error. i used to knit them flat and, if you can believe this, sewed them up! they were always too big or too small. i must have knitted and ripped seventeen beanies before i got one right.
as for tips, i have these:
1. fit preference: i like them snug. my head is 22.5 inches in circumference. a noggin, i know. an oddly shaped one at that. anyway, i find that the beanies that fit me best measure about 19 inches around unstretched. length wise i prefer my beanies to be just long enough to cover my ears. no specific numbers. i just pull the beanie in progress over my head and check the length as i knit along. easy.
2. knitting gauge: i've knitted enough beanies to know this about my own gauge for very snuggly fit beanies:
a. for us7 needles, cast on 90 stitches.
b. for us8 needles, cast on 85 stitches.
c. for us9 needles, cast on 80 stitches.
seems like all i ever use is worsted weight yarn so those numbers always work for me, particularly for plain stitches like stockinette. for fancy stitches, i add/subtract a few stitches from the cast on template to accommodate pattern repeats. when i knit a beanie with a cable pattern, i cast on another extra five to ten stitches to account for the unstretchy nature of the cables.
3. decreasing for crown: i love the tailored look of the four double decreases every second round, similar to that of a raglan sweater.
unfortunately, this method doesn't look good with ribbing and cable patterns. for those i still employ the eight stitch decrease every second row except i spread them evenly around instead of at four points. i fudge it a little depending on the number of pattern repeats. for instance, if i had nine cable repeats, i'd decrease one stitch from each cable on the decrease round. in other words, i'd decrease nine stitches instead of eight.
4. stitch patterns+designs: i shamelessly copy the ones i like seeing in stores and on people's heads. the nicest ones are always the simplest ones. always.
a. despite believing that beanies are better knitted top down, i almost
always knit them bottom up.
b. when using ribs or cables, aim for a pattern repeat of seven, eight,
or nine, making it easy to adhere to the (around) eight-stitch-every-
other-round decrease principle.
c. unless it's a real clever design, avoid knitting a beanie flat at all costs!
i always have a beanie or two on the needles and about nine on the brain. i find them very satisfying to knit, not to mention portability and "giftability." i hope my notes are helpful. if you have more questions yet, please feel free to ask me.
how about you? what are your tips on knitting beanies? got pictures? don't forget to share!
|schmeebot had a clot
i'm so darn sleepy right now but i must post this entry tonight. it's 10:13 pm tuesday night. don't mind the date on the top right corner; it's texas time. anyway, about half an hour ago i was just sitting there on the bed knitting the poncho i copied from mary. suddenly the wind started howling and i felt something hit me really hard on the side of my head!
i think it was the spirit of ez trying to tell me how to do away with the awkward second yarn. i wish she wouldn't mess with my head like that.
|schmeebot loves colorful drawings
today i'm going to share with you the poncho pattern i fell in love with last thursday. mary from the habitat books knit group, a beginner, made this fabulous poncho. i loved everything about it: the shape, the drape, the simple origami construction. i don't think it could get any simpler or any more elegant.
here's how mary made hers:
easy, huh? knitted back and forth all the way; no purling! wow, i thought, what an excellent design. except... except...
friday night i sat here sketching up this pattern thinking "hm, sew. hm hm hm. why can't this poncho be knitted without that pesky sewing bit?" right then the force of the righteous elizabeth zimmermann whacked me in on the back of my head. after i regained consciousness, i unvented this:
the vertical slit is for the neck opening. it's shown as a gap for visualization. knitted up, the two edges should be touching.
there you have it, two ways of making the same simple hippie beast. while i prefer the seamlessness of the second pattern, it does present some complications.
. length of knitting is twice as long at the original pattern, meaning twice longer
needles and potentially tedious knitting.
. if you use a variegrated yarn, the stripes may appear out of sync changing
from full to half length.
. there's that uncomfortable second yarn.
. not everyone prefers weaving/grafting to sewing.
what do you think? clever or boneheaded? practical or waste of time? i'd love to hear from you. i'm completely obsessed with ponchos right now. if you made one or are making one, please let me know your choice of pattern and yarn. if you happen to be planning on making one, may be i could interest you in a poncho-along? ponchalong, anyone?
at the request of jenn and q, i have drawn up the pattern for the handbag i used in the experimental felting project. for your visualization:
it's a basic tube with strategic slits for handles and a flat base. see how simple the pattern is:
yarn: 1 skein of reynolds lopi
needles: 16" circular us size 13
1. cast on 62 stitches.
2. knit 1x1 ribbing for 4".
3. next round: knit 7, bind off 11, knit 20, bind off 11, knit 13.
4. next round: knit 7, cast on 11, knit 20, cast on 11, knit 13.
5. continue ribbing for until total length is 6".
6. stop ribbing. start knitting stockinette for the next 12".
7. next round: knit 25, bind off 6, knit 25, bind off 6.
8. next row: knit 25, turn.
9. purl 25 back. turn.
10. repeat steps 8+9 three times, creating a flap for the bottom.
11. sew edges and weave live stitches to close up bottom.
12. darn in all loose ends.
this pattern could be knitted bottom up by knitting the bottom flap first. the bags i've seen at the java station are all knitted that way. personally i don't like to pick up stitches so i wrote this pattern top down. jenn commented that my bag looks a lot like the one in stitch-n-bitch. you might want to take a look at that book before using this pattern.
in retrospect, knitting is the easy part. the nail chewing part begins with knowingly putting a diastrously shrinking material into the washer, the hopelessness of which can only be surpassed by pulling out a wrinkled wad of stinky wet wool. this stiff amoebic mass then has to be wrestled into a recognizable shape of a bag. this process should be called traumatizing instead of felting.
overall, it was a good experiment. now i know to:
a. make a swatch and wash it to get a better idea of the shape+size of
the finished bag.
b. knit very loosely to allow yarn to felt. i knitted this one a bit too tightly
for effective felting.
c. expect drastic shrinkage in height.
d. watch for mismatching handle openings as bag felts. shape bag after
each wash to achieve better symmetry.
feel free to send me your questions, comments, and suggestions. good luck.