Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Carrie Handwarmers

Inspired by the Emerald Green Handwarmers by creativeyarn, here are the Carrie handwarmers that were created as a birthday present to our beloved babysitter. The cuffs are done in k1p1 ribbing and the body in moss stitch. So simple, but very cute when worn!

- About 1/4 skein of Malabrigo Worsted Yarn, the color shown in the above
  photo is verde adriana
- Size 6 needles
- Size 7 needles
- Size 8 needle (for cast off only)

Note: the edge salvage stitches are knit in stockinette stitch for easier seaming and a neater edge for the thumb hole. The wrist portion is knit in smaller needles to ensure better fit.

- Using size 6 needles, cast on 34 stitches and begin k1p1 ribbing as follows:
   Row 1 (RS): k1, *k1, p1, repeat from * until the last stitch, k1
   Row 2 (WS): knit the knit stitches and purl the purl stitches
 - Repeat rows 1&2 two more times

- Start moss stitch:
  Row 1 (RS): k1, *k1, p1, repeat from * until the last stitch, k1
  Row 2:  knit the knit stitches and purl the purl stitches
  Row 3:  k1, *p1, k1, repeat from * until the last stitch, k1
  Row 4:  knit the knit stitches and purl the purl stitches
  Repeat rows 1-4 5 more times
  Switch to size 7 needles, repeat pattern 5 times

- Start k1p1 ribbing as per direction above, knit rows 1 & 2 twice (total of 4 rows), then cast off to pattern using size 8 needle.

- Sew up the seams, approximately 1.5" from the top down, allowing 1.75" for the thumb hole, then seam up the rest. Try it on as you sew to ensure better fit.

- I have smallish hands. For larger size try casting on 36 or 38 stitches.

Since I have some leftover yarn in a different color, I made a shorter pair for myself. The body color is applewood. I did 6 rows of ribbing for the bottom cuff, switched to main color and started with rows 3 and 4 of the moss stitch and then continue on to full pattern of rows 1-4.  2 1/2 pattern repeats were knit in size 6 needles, followed by 5 pattern repeats in size 7 needles, then 4 rounds of ribbing again.

The longer pair is 7.25" in length and shorter pair is 6" in length.

You can certainly knit this in the round, just omit the first and last stitches in the ribbing and moss stitch instructions. I chose to knit flat and seam because while I don't mind knitting a few rounds with dpns, I don't enjoy knitting an entire project with dpns. The seaming here is easy and fast since the handwarmers are small.


Saturday, September 4, 2010

Ear Flap Hats 2010

Around this time of the year I like to knit hats for my friends' children. My favorite hat pattern is the Ear Flap Hat from Last-Minute Knitted Gifts. Parents always rave about this hat so this year I've knitted a new crop for the upcoming winter.

The lovely owner from Imagiknit yarn store in SF helped me pick out the new Malabrigo Twist yarn that was recently released. It's my first time knitting it and it won't be my last. I like the Twist better than the regular worsted yarn, and I love the colors I ended up choosing.

I bought 1 skein each of:
Unk (#753)- It's a pretty neutral brown with flecks of grayish lavender woven in. I can't find the color on Malabrigo's website- maybe this is a test color? It's a very sophisticated neutral, muted without being dull.

Damask Rose (#130) - I love this pink. Pretty without being bubble gum.

Green Gray (#411) - I don't think the name accurately describes the color- it looks more like a green-blue to me. Almost teal but not quite so intense.

I used up all three skeins for 2 toddler-sized hats and 2 child-sized hats.

For the ear flaps I slipped the first stitch of every row WYIF for a neater edge. For the last decrease row, instead of K1, K2TOG I did SL 1 WYIF, K2TOG.

For the hat pictured above, I picked up the stitches for the ear flaps on the wrong side of the hat. I thought it looks cleaner this way since the ear flap is a different color from the brim of the hat. I looked closely at the photo in the LMKG book and it seemed to me that the featured hats were knitted this way too. (But I can't be sure.)

For the hat pictured above I decided to shake things up a bit since it was my 4th straight hat. Instead of garter stitch for the brim and the ear flaps, I alternated 2 knit rows with 2 purl rows. (After I was done with the hat I realized that I only did 1 purl row in the middle of the brim. Oops. I'm going to pretend that it was my design all along.)

For the ear flaps, I continued the pattern but did stockinette stitch for the first and last stitch of each row for a neater edge. (Meaning knit the first and last stitch on the right side and purl the first and last stitch on the wrong side.)

I followed the decreasing instruction per pattern, substituting P2TOG instead of K2TOG when appropriate. I knit a row of the brown yarn in the brim but it's not very obvious. Next time I will try purling the row instead so that the color will pop.

Now it's time to send them off!