My third time with the Paravel pattern, this time around to use up one last skein of Sundara worsted silky alpaca (70% baby alpaca, 30 % tussah silk) in color Rhythm of the Saints. I had most of an entire skein – approx 330 yards – so I knew I’d need to reduce the pattern, which was fine, since I was going for a scarf, not a wrap.
To give the scarf a little depth of color and a halo, I double-stranded with one skein (325 yds) of Alchemy Haiku (40% silk, 60% mohair), color Azalea Trail. The two colors are so similar – the Alchemy is just a few shades lighter — that it didn’t really change the color in the FO, it just gave it more depth and a halo of mohair softness.
I knit on US 8s and modified as follows:
C/O 45 sts (instead of 77)
Knit Chart B 6 times (instead of 12)
Knit Charts C/B 12 times (instead of 18)
Knit Chart B 6 times (instead of 12)
I love this shawl (or scarf – whichever you want to call it) — with these modified stitch counts it’s the perfect width and length, and the little bit of lace work on the edge and detail in the body of the scarf give it just enough visual interest, without taking away from your appreciation of the yarn color and texture. This is an especially beautiful color for wearing with blacks and greys during the fall and winter seasons.
I wanted to find a way to show off the beautiful natural shades of alpaca yarn in Herriot, one of Juniper Moon Farm’s new yarn lines, but I didn’t want the pattern to be so busy or difficult that it detracted from the colors themselves. I looked in vain on Ravelry and just couldn’t find something that I liked, so I decided to use Rivage, the Brooklyn Tweeds scarf design that I recently used with Loft yarn. The pattern is designed to show off a range of tonal colors, which I thought would be beautiful with the Herriot yarns.
I knit on US 7s as the pattern recommended, and as a result the scarf came out significantly larger than when knit with Loft. I used the inch count (instead of the row count) to determine when to change colors, so that the proportions remained the same. I used Tale (color A), Walnut (color B), and Eucalyptus (color C) and managed to use up just about every bit of each skein (218 yds/ea). The very last five-inch section of the scarf is supposed to be in color A, but I had already run out of Tale, so I finished it off in Walnut, which looks just as good and means that I can say I finished this scarf with just one skein of each of the three colors!
I garter stitched 6 rows on each end, to keep the short edges from curling. When it was all done, I realized it was too wide, and the long edges curled in horribly – maybe could have been fixed by blocking, maybe not. So, I folded the scarf in half lengthwise and mattress seamed up the open long edge and seamed the two short edges closed. I like the final product – it’s a good width for wrapping around my neck, it feels warm and thick, and there’s no front and back, so it looks good no matter how it wraps and twists.
I already have a sweater planned for more Herriot yarn – there’s something about the fine texture and feel of the alpaca fleece, coupled with the tonal shades of natural colors, that really fits me this season. I’m guessing these yarns will feature prominently in the Christmas gifts I’ll be giving this year 🙂
The big draw for knitting this pattern (Rivage) is a chance to use the gradations of colors in Brooklyn Tweed Loft (100% American wool, 275/yds a skein of fingering weight). I chose the colors suggested in the pattern – Fossil (color A), Tent (color B), and Foothills (color C).
I knit the scarf size, which I think I’ll get more use out of than the shawl size. I didn’t buy two skeins of Fossil as the pattern recommended; in the end, I ran short of both Fossil and Foothills by just a couple of rows, but I was able to shorten the scarf by a little bit and use a few more rows of Tent without changing the look at all.
I used the US 6s recommended by the pattern, which resulted in a dense enough knit but still gave the scarf plenty of drape.
I don’t like the scarf edges – they roll too much, even after a complete wet block of the finished scarf. I’d try a different stitch for the vertical and horizontal edges of the scarf if I knit it again.
I’d love to try different color combinations, but this was a huge dedication of time to stockinette stitch – good for knitting in front of the TV, but it got boring very quickly.
This knitting project was an excuse to use Cascade Eco Duo, an amazingly soft yarn that is thick, squishy, and comes in gorgeous natural, undyed colors. The pattern is Smooth Edge Cowl, knit with 2 skeins of Cascade Eco Duo in color Vanilla. I knit it up on US 10 1/2 needles.
It actually took longer than I thought – the herringbone pattern can be time-consuming, and the use of short rows means a lot of counting to keep track of where you are. The cowl is skinnier along one side, but I can’t really understand the purpose; the shape is really awkward, because it’s too long to just loop once around your neck, but it’s really tight when you double-loop it (like in the photo). I mean, it would be great if you were REALLY cold, but otherwise, it’s a little too much to have wrapped around your neck.
In short, I wouldn’t knit this one again (although I would use the yarn again if I found a good pattern for it).
I was thrilled to be asked to test knit this pattern – it so beautifully showcases Tanis’ amazing mulberry silk yarn! I love the lace detail on each end, and the length and fit – perfect for wearing over the shoulders on a summer evening. I would rename it the Peacock Shawl, because that’s the color of Tanis Fiber Arts Silver Label Mulberry Silk I used – just one skein, knit on US 3s – and because the lacework on the ends reminds me of peacock feathers.
This is a beautiful new pattern by Megan Goodacre; I love the long, rectangular shape (which I find easier to wear than triangular shawls), the lace details, and particularly, the excuse to use Sweet Georgia Cashluxe Fine yarn, which has to be one of my favorite yarns in the entire world. It is so soft and squishy, it knits up so beautifully, and the colors are absolutely amazing. You know I must love the pattern and the yarn when I knit it more than once, which is practically unheard of for me!
The first time, I followed the pattern exactly and used two skeins, color Summer Skin. The result was beautiful but very time-consuming, and it really is more the size of a wrap – in other words, very long and very wide.
Megan gives clear directions as to how to alter both the width and length of the pattern, so the second time I tried for something more like a scarf that a wrap. Using the same yarn (this time in color Pistachio), I made the following modifications:
Cast on 45 sts
Chart B (broken rib) 7 times (instead of 12)
Charts C (stockinette) / B (broken rib) 16 times (instead of 18)
Chart B (broken rib) 7 times (instead of 12)
Knitting on US 6s, I used up almost every bit of one skein. As a result, the project took less yarn – and less time – but still has the same beautiful results. I may even knit a third one, using these modifications – maybe in a warm color next?
This scarf has a very unusual construction – it’s knit on the bias, which makes it look awful until it’s blocked (thus the name of the pattern, referring to how it looks “before” being blocked, and “after). I wanted to knit a lightweight, summer scarf in a neutral color that could be paired with pretty much anything to dress it up a little.
I liked the simplicity of the Before & After pattern, and the feel of the lace weight yarn – Anzula Mermaid (60% sea cell, 40% silk) in color Au Natural. I used only one skein, and at 700 yards, I had plenty left over.
I knit on US 5s, which is different than the pattern calls for, but gave the nicest texture and drape when the yarn was knit up. Also, I knit only to 80″ long (instead of the 94″ called for by the pattern, because that was just way too long for the way I wanted to be able to wear the scarf). And, since both the pattern and the yarn were so simple, I opted for a little embellishment on the ends – 6/0 crystal EarthFaire beads.
As the pattern indicated, blocking was important, so I followed the instructions exactly and am very pleased with the results.
Couldn’t resist this one when I saw it on Knit Purl’s newsletter – I suppose because it lets me play with four different colors, which to me is one of the best parts of knitting. The pattern is knit with four different colored skeins of Shibui Silk Cloud (60% kid mohair, 40% silk). It’s knit triple-stranded, so that you can switch colors gradually, but the cool thing about how the pattern is written is that it doesn’t just transition from color one, to color two, to color three, etc – it mixes up how the colors change a little.
I used Suit (A), Storm (B), Ash (C), and Graphite (D). On the pattern, I knit the final five “C”s” in color “B” because I wanted blues to be the primary shade, and I changed up the pattern a little bit at the end because of the amounts of yarn I had left. It’s worth mapping out how your colors are going to go together before you start – for instance, A and C are used more than B or D, so keep that in mind when assigning your colors and deciding what you want the predominant colors to be in the cowl.
Knit on US 9s it actually comes together very quickly – I didn’t bother with the provisional cast-on and the recommended method for seaming together (mostly because I’m so lousy at provisional cast-ons!) but I think I will on the next one I knit, because my seam ended up looking pretty lousy. Not that it matters much, since it’s hidden in the wraps of the cowl, but still…
Sweet Georgia yarns are some of the finest, most beautiful yarns I’ve worked with since I started knitting. I particularly like Merino Silk Fine, a fingering-weight yarn that has the stretch of merino, and the shine of silk. Sweet Georgia’s colors “make” the yarn – here I used Raspberry, Blackberry, Tumbled Stone, and Mist.
The pattern is Creekbed Scarf (although I think of it more as a shawl) from Stephen West, available free in the First Fall 2011 issue of Knitty. I knit it on US 5s, which worked really well. It definitely needed to be blocked, but after blocking the drape is smooth and beautiful.
I’d love to experiment with different colors, but although the pattern is simple, it took long enough that I don’t think I’ll be making another one any time soon.
I had leftovers (since I had to buy one skein of each of the four colors) so I used a broken rib pattern (K1 P1 on one side, K all on the other side) and triple-stranded the Blackberry, Tumbled Stone, and Mist colors together to make this warm, squishy cowl. I knit it lengthwise (as opposed to in the round) so that I could just keep going until I had a length that I liked, then I seamed the two ends together. I can’t remember exactly how many stitches I cast on, I’m guessing approximately 36. I knit on US 10 or 11 needles (I can’t remember which). It is definitely one of the softest, warmest and squishiest cowls I’ve ever made!
Noro does it again! New yarn: Karuta (color is purple/light blue). I needed only two skeins to knit the perfect length scarf. I used US 10s and knit mistake rib (cast on 25 sts, K2 P2 to the end, then K1 – same on every side).
The finished scarf feels light enough to wear almost any day, but squishy and warm enough to add a lot of warmth around my neck. It would be beautiful to knit this scarf in every color that this Noro comes in, and then photograph them all hanging together!
This scarf is my own invention – when I saw the small skeins of Koigu KPM/KPPPM needlepoint yarn at Purl Soho (only 11 yards!) I had to find a way to use the entire spectrum.
Here’s the scoop:
Using US 4 needles, C/O 35 sts w/ MC (I used white – color #0000 – as my MC)
Knit in mistake rib (K2 P2 to last 3 sts, K2 P1) every row
After two rows in MC, change to your first CC – after two rows of CC, change back to MC – after two rows of MC, change back to CC – and so on
After you’ve used up all of your CCs, mistake rib two rows of MC and then bind off in pattern.
My spectrum was pink, mauve, purple, blue, green, yellow, orange, red. It was a little difficult to get the perfect colors when choosing them over the Internet (Purl Soho has over 125 colors!), but I like how they came out – here are the exact Koigu colors I used, in order:
Pattern: 53-row scarf, knit on the recommended US 6 needles – even though this is fingering yarn, I think it’s finer gauge than used in the original pattern, as the result was very loosely knit. However, I like the affect for this particular project, and the result is a nice drape.
After I used this yarn to make the Churchmouse wreath, I wanted to try it for scarves. For the first one (below), I knit it exactly as I did for the wreath, as follows:
C/O 9 sts
Row 1 – purl
Row 2 – Knit into stitch – before pulling it off the left needle, bring yarn forward between needles, loop yarn around pinky or fourth finger of left hand, then bring yarn back between the needles, and knit into back of same stitch – you now have 2 stitches on the right needle – bind off first stich over second stitch.
I used 2 skeins of Fleece Artist Slubby Blue in color Orchid, and knit with yarn doubled on US 15s. The scarf isn’t long enough to tie at the neck (and you wouldn’t want to, it’s so bulky), but it’s perfect if held crossed over at the neck with a pin.
I used 2 skeins of the same yarn (color Blomidon) for the next scarf, but with a different technique. Instead of knitting the yarn doubled, I knit single-strand on US 13s – I cast on 18 sts and knit in a simple K2 P2 rib. I used 1 1/2 skeins and had plenty left over to fringe – I still had some of the second skein left over, and usually I try to use the yarn all up (to avoid adding to my yarn stash!) but this scarf was plenty long, so I thought I’d better stop.
I’m not sure if it even took me an hour to make each one of these! This is a great last-minute gift project inspired by a scarf my friend was wearing – when she told me her mom made it for her, I thought hmmmm…
I cut three corresponding colors of fleece, each 6” wide by 54” long. I stacked them on top of each other and marked a line (drawn and pinned) right down the middle. I stitched down the middle, then using a ruler, cut the strips (cutting close to the stitched middle light but not onto or into it) 1” wide on both sides. Done!
As an experiment, next time I’d try cutting the strips different, random widths; also, if I had the patience, I’d cut each of the three layers’ strips separately, at separate points, so that they didn’t clump together.
Lots of great things about this project:
* minimal material costs
* you can always use leftover fleece for other projects
* the color combinations are endless
* a project that kids can do almost entirely on their own
It was hard for me to stop once I started . . . fleece scarves for everyone on my gift list!
I found the perfect yarn in my stash to match one of my mom’s new outfits, so I knit this for her as a Christmas gift. I only had part of the skein left, so I’m not sure how much I used – I’m not even completely sure what yarn it is, I know it’s Sanguine Gryphon, but I’m not sure which line – Gaia Lace? Skinny Bugga? Not sure. I knit it double-stranded on US 3 needles, and had just enough yarn so that it can be looped through itself around the neck (or you could wear it at a longer length by pinning it together at the throat with a shawl pin). Lovely lace pattern (Aria Delicato), and the yarn feels wonderful to the touch.
Yarn leftover from my splurge at Sock Summit this summer . . . I had enough for two scarves, one wider, with each of three colors equally sized, and shorter (you can tie it in a knot at your neck), and one narrower, with differing widths of colors, but long enough to pull through its own loop.
The shorter scarf is c/o 171 sts, the longer scarf is c/o 240 sts – I knit the entire thing in garter stitch. Long rows to knit, but I like how the stripes run lengthwise.
The yarn is Anzula Cricket – it’s recommended for US 5s, so I knit double-stranded on US 10s on a 47″ circular needle. Between the double-stranded yarn, the garter stitch, and the composition of the yarn (80% superwash merino, 10% nylon, and 10% cashmere), the end result is very springy, squishy, and toasty warm. The colors are Charcoal, Cornflower, and Mulberry.
The Noro scarf was a great quick project – knit by alternating between two skeins every other row using mistake rib and a 23-stitch cast-on. The exact pattern is Child’s Rainbow Scarf in Last Minute Knitted Gifts; I used Noro Kureyon in colors 264 and 95, and US 9 needles. The two skeins are just the perfect amount to make a scarf that can be looped through itself around my neck (like in the photo).
The Wishbone Mittens is a pattern from Swan’s Island yarns to showcase their yarn – the mittens are knit on US 6 dpns, and take up only approx. 1/2 skein of Worsted (color Winterberry). I knit size small because usually mittens end up so loose that they barely stay on my hands – these fit just right if you like them stretchy and pretty close-fitting, or they’d be a good fit for an older child. I would probably try a size medium if I knit them again.
I used one skein of Sweet Georgia Superwash Worsted in color Bison to knit the Midna Hat. I used US 7 16″ circulars and dpns, and knit the brimless version. There aren’t size options, so next time I would probably go down a needle size, because the hat seems a little long (and a little big around) for me.
Finally, I knit one of the new Brooklyn Tweed patterns, the Ashby shawl. Instead of the recommended Shelter yarn, I used four skeins of Sweet Georgia Merino Silk Aran (50% merino wool, 50% silk) in color Cypress. It made for a very soft and squishy shawl, and shows off the intricate stitching pattern nicely, but I’m going to try the pattern again in Shelter, which I think will highlight the cabled and textured stitching better. The lace edging is knit on US 9s, and the body on US 8s.
I ran out of yarn before finishing the middle (you’re supposed to keep going until it makes a triangle) but I was so tired of the project by then, and didn’t want to wait to order another skein. Plus, I think it looks (and wears) well this way. When I try the pattern again in Shelter, I’m going to do fewer repeats of the border, so that there is less of the main scarf to knit. I love Brooklyn Tweed patterns, but they always require a great deal of attention (stitching patterns are pretty complicated) and man, they seem to go on forever! Every Brooklyn Tweed shawl or scarf I’ve knit has far outlasted my patience and interest – even though the final product is usually beautiful and unique.
This was one of those yarn lust purchase where afterward you can only ask, what was I thinking ?! I loved the bright colors so much that I couldn’t resist buying four different skeins of Anzula Inyo – 100% huacaya alpaca yarn in colors Ducky, Persimmon, Cantaloupe and Hyacinth (great names!) The problem? Each skein cost $31.45 – and is only 80 yards!
Ah, well. Once I had them, I wanted to find the best way to show off the bright colors, so I cast on 23 sts with Us 8 needles and knit in mistake rib until I felt like it was long enough (approx. 65″). I changed colors randomly, not wanting any uniformity in my stripe pattern. Then yarn feels wonderful, and the colors are so cheery on a grey winter’s day, but I’m not sure the scarf is worth over $120!
I actually had some yarn left, so I used the rolled brim hat pattern in Last Minute Knitted Gifts and knit the child-size hat (turned out I would have had enough to knit the adult size, but I didn’t want to risk it). With the hat, I wanted to see how the yarn would look if I changed colors every round – it’s always amazing to me how different the effect is if you stripe colors every round, versus every other round, or versus blocks of color. I knit on US 8s instead of the pattern’s recommended US 9s because I didn’t have US 9s in 16″ circulars. The hat is nice-fitting on my nine-year-old, and it feels soft and stretchy, not at all itchy.
Fisherman’s loop cowl, a new free pattern here from Sweet Georgia yarns, showcasing their Superwash DK (256 yards of 100% superwash merino wool). No one does colors like Sweet Georgia . . . this pattern is knit double-stranded, with two different colors, so the trick was to pick colors from the pics on the website that would look good when knit together. I chose one skein each of Boysenberry and Blackberry – beautiful colors alone, and stunning when knitted together!
The cowl is knit on US 11 32″ circulars – I cast on the recommended number of stitches, but I didn’t knit to 7″ wide (mine is approx 5″) because it loops around my neck three times, and 7″ just seemed too bulky.
With the leftovers, I put together a simple hat pattern, knit on US 6 (16″ circulars and dpsn). Here’s the pattern:
Cast on 88 sts in boysenberry
Change immediately to blackberry and work K2 P2 ribbing in the round for as look as it takes to make the ribbed brim a width you like (I went to a little over one inch)
On the next round, switch to boysenberry and knit K8 M1, repeated all the way around
Knit each round, changing colors every two rounds, until the hat is 6″ from cast on
Then decrease as follows:
K8, K2tog, repeat around
Knit 2 rounds even
K 7, K2tog, repeat around
Knit 2 rounds even
K6, K2tog, repeat around
Knit 2 rounds even
K5, K2tog, repeat around
Knit 2 rounds even
K4, K2tog, repeat around
Knit 2 rounds even
K3, K2tog, repeat around
K2, K2tog, repeat around
K1, K2tog, repeat around
K2tog, repeat around
K2tog, repeat around
Then cut the yarn, pull it through the remaining stitches, and weave in ends. I like the subtle striping, with the colors similar yet still distinguishable.