Monday, July 29, 2013

Upwelling Skirt

Upwelling happens here in the ocean this time of the year, when the summer winds from the Northwest push aside surface waters, drawing up cold waters from the depths to replace them. These waters are full of nutrients, which increase plankton and algae growth, creating a very fertile, productive ocean. Though it can make things look a bit murky, upwelling is a vital cycle in the ocean.

I decided to knit a summery skirt in a olive green hemp/cotton, and the wavy hem made me think of summer in the ocean! Here are my notes if you wish to knit one too.

The yarn I used is not commercially available, it is a hemp & cotton blend from Yarnia. It was about 850 yards of DK weight to light worsted, however, so it should be easy enough to replace with another cotton/ hemp/ linen yarn. Elsebeth Lavold Hempathy would probably be a great fit.

My gauge before washing the swatch was 23 sts /32 rows in 4", and after washing it shrunk slightly, to 23.5 sts/ 35 rows. Washing the swatch is not something I normally do, but it's vital with this type of yarn, as it changes quite a bit with machine washing.

I measured my favorite a-line summer skirt to get the measurements, and then cast on extra for a loose waist, knowing I wanted to do a drawstring.

Use your gauge and your measurements to figure out what to cast on for your own waistline (it sits at the low hip). Make sure it is an even number. Place a marker, and join in the round.
For my own skirt I CO 170 on size US 4 needles (3.5mm), giving a 28" waist (which turned out to be much looser than necessary, but it works)

Knit 2 rows of K1, P1 rib.
Knit one row of K1, * YO, K 2 together* The eyelets should be in the purl rows, with the K2togs continuing the ribs.
Do 2 more rows K1, P1 rib.
Switch to size 5 US (3.75 mm) needles.

Because my row gauge gave me 8.75 rows per vertical inch, I did increases on every 9th row, giving a nice, flowing skirt. To do this, on the first row after the ribbing, I placed markers at 85 stitches (halfway) and 127 sts (center back). Be sure the extra pair of "booty" increases are on the back of your skirt!

Knit 4 rows stockinette stitch, and then do your first increase: *Knit to 1 st before marker, make one, knit 1, slip marker, knit 1, make one.* Repeat that at each of the 3 markers.
Doing these 6 increases every 9th row meant I increased an inch in circumference for every inch longer the skirt grew.

Continue knitting in stockinette stitch, doing increases every inch, until skirt reaches 17”, or 4" less than you want your total length. Remove increase markers.

Now it is time to start the lace hem, which takes some number wrangling, as it is an 18 stitch pattern, so you want each half to be divisible by 18, give or take a few.
My last regular increase (at 16”) got me to 244 stitches, so I put a marker at 122, and knit one more row, increasing 4 on each half. Remember, you have some wiggle room with border stitches, if you have to increase a million to get it to a repeat of 18.

Switch to US size 9 (5.5 mm) needles and split for the hem by working on one half at a time. (for me, 128 sts, including the 2 edge stitches).

On the first row of the pattern, I increased 1 stitch at each end to form a single-stitch garter border, which is knit EVERY row, regardless of the pattern row. I found it very helpful to place stitch markers every 18 stitches, to delineate my pattern repeats.

Do 1 repeat of chart 1, one of chart 2, an additional repeat of chart 1, and then knit chart 2 through row 4. Bind off loosely purl-wise (on the right side).
Weave in ends, and chose a cute ribbon or string for your drawstring. I macrame-knotted hemp twine for mine, like a really long necklace.

Here are the charts, both of which are 18 stitch patterns, repeated across the skirt. Remember your garter border stitches on either end!
Chart 1
1.) [k]18
2.) [k]18
3.) [k]18
4.) [k2tog]3x, yo, k, yo, k, yo, k2, yo, k, yo, k, yo, [k2tog]3x
5.) [p]18
6.) [k2tog]2x, yo, k2, yo, k2, yo, k2, yo, k2, yo, k2, yo, [k2tog]2x
7.) [p]20
8.) k2tog, [k]16, k2tog

Chart 2
1.) [k]18
2.) [k2tog]3x, yo, k, yo, k, yo, k2, yo, k, yo, k, yo, [k2tog]3x
3.) [k]18
4.) [k]18
5.) [p]18
6.) [k]18

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Orion Cowl

I know my Sister-in-law admires infinity scarves (thanks to Pinterest, where she called them "Fall Essentials"), so I decided to make her one for Christmas. I admired Gap-Tastic and Marian, but in the end, I knew I wanted to go my own way. Part of the reason to create a new pattern is that I wanted to try real moss stitch (not seed stitch) where there is a 4-row-repeat. It’s nice!

I used sz 15 needles; I wish I had size 13s, but oh well. My gauge is always small anyway.
I knit mine with with 1.75 skeins of Thick & Quick Metallic. Unblocked it’s 8” wide and 26” in diameter. Very snuggly and stretchy with a lot of nice drape.
92 yards got me 4.5”, unblocked, so you can judge how much yardage you'll need.

Super-bulky yarn, about 160 yards. (I used Lion Brand Thick & Quick Metallic in Constellation 140g/ 92 yards each)
Size 13 -15 US needles (9-10mm) depending on your preference and gauge.

Gauge (not super-important): 7.75 sts and 9 rows = 4"

CO 113, then knit 1st & last st together to join. Place marker. Begin pattern:
Row 1) k1, p1
Row 2) k1, p1
Row 3) p1, k1
Row 4) p1, k1

Repeat these 4 rows until it's tall enough (I stopped at 8")
End on row 3.

Bind Off is: k2tog, pass stitch back to L needle, *K2tog TBL, pass back to L needle, P2tog TBL, pass back to L needle* repeat. Nice & stretchy, without a glaring edge.

Block it if you want to, it may stretch out a bit with wear if you don't. I left mine unblocked though, it's just so squishy!

Enjoy your infinity scarf/ giant cowl!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Calyx Cap

The calyx is the ring of leaves behind a flower’s petals. It often is left behind attached to the top of the fruit, as in the case of an eggplant, strawberry, tomato, or persimmon.

We randomly have a lot of royal purple tulle, and so I suggested to DH that he could be an eggplant for Halloween. He loved the idea, but said he needed a stem & leaves, so I knit some.
There weren’t any patterns that were at all what I was looking for, so I made one up.

My original pattern has 4 leaves, and I really wish it had 5, so here’s the pattern re-written for 5 leaves. This (knitted with chunky yarn) fits an average man’s head (not tightly). For someone smaller, use smaller yarn & needles.

CO 8 sts on sz 8 needles.
I-cord 1”
Switch to sz 10 needles, I cord 2 rows.
Join in round, knit one row.
*KF&B* repeat around row.
K 1 row.
*KF&B, K1*.
K 1 row.
*KF&B K2*.
K 1 row.
*KF&B, K4*.
K 1 row.
Make every 4th stitch a purl to delineate the leaves and their veins. Keep these stitches as purls throughout, increasing around them (use stitch markers if necessary).
Continue increase pattern (keeping purl ditches as established) until 80 sts.
Knit 1” (I didn’t do this and really wish I had)

Knit back & forth on the first 16 stitches to make one leaf:
Sl1, K6, P1, K8
Sl1, Purl.
Sl1, K6, p1, K6, K2 tog. (15sts)
Sl1, purl.
Sl1, K1, PSSO, K5, p1, K5, K2 tog (13 sts)
s1, purl.
Sl1, K1, PSSO, K4, p1, K4, K2 tog (11 sts)
s1, purl.
Sl1, K1, PSSO, K3, p1, K3, K2tog. (9 sts)
s1, purl.
Sl1, K1, PSSO, K2, p1, K2, K2tog. (7 sts)
s1, purl.
Sl1, K1, PSSO, K1, p1, K1, K2tog. (5 sts)
s1, purl.
Sl1, K1, PSSO, p1, K2tog. (3 sts)
Last row: sl1, P 1, PSSO, K1, BO 1, tie off last stitch.

Repeat this for the other 4 leaves. Wear & be fruity or vegetable-ey as you please! (Though botanically speaking, they’re all fruits.)

To make this into a strawberry cap, knit the main part of the cap an extra inch or so before splitting off the leaves. Then do the leaves each as 8 sts wide instead of 16.

For a tomato, split the leaves off after an inch, but again make them 8 sts wide, and do extra straight rows between each decrease to make them longer). This gives 10 leaves instead of 5.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Distinguished Gentleman's Wig

Distinguished Gentleman’s wig
This pattern was created for a Pirate-themed birthday party I had a couple years ago. You can’t be a proper British Naval Captain without a powdered wig! It was inspired by Hallowig, but I had to basically make up my own version, so here it is. If anything is confusing, it might help to glance at that pattern though. This wig is knitted in 3 pieces, the two sides (which will roll up to form the curls) and the ponytail, which are later connected in the round when the bangs are cast on.
This pattern hasn’t been tested or tech edited, and it was written up about 2 years after I knitted it, so if you find problems, please let me know! You may note in the photos that my wig is very short (you can see the natural hairline in the back), I adjusted the pattern to make it longer.

Materials: Size 8 US (5mm) circular needles, plus an extra needle (of any sort) about the same size for BO
Lion Brand Fisherman’s Wool (or any worsted-aran weight, off-white wool), 120 yards.
A bit of ribbon.

Gauge: approximately 19 stitches and 24 rows = 4” You don't need to swatch, but it has to fit your person’s head, so check as you go.
Size- Should stretch to fit an average adult

Sides (make 2)
Cast on 18
Row 1) K1, P1, *knit until last 2 stitches* P1, K1. This purl ditch will keep the sides from rolling too much.
2) P1, K1, *purl until last 2 sts*, K1, P1.
Repeat until piece is 3.75” long from beginning.
Then start increases: K1, P1, Kf&b, *knit until last 3 sts* Kf&b, P1, K1. (20 sts)
Work 3 rows in pattern.
Repeat these 4 rows once more. (22 sts)
Repeat increase row. (24 sts)
Work one row in pattern.
Repeat increase row.(26 sts)
Work one row in pattern. (Finish on the Wrong side.)
Cut yarn; put the sides on stitch holders or spare yarn. (Piece should be about 5”)

Cast on 6 sts.
1) K1, p1, K2, p1, K1
2) P1, K1, P2, K1, P1
3) K1, P1, K2 tog, P1, K1 (5 sts)
4) P1, K1, P1, K1, P1
5) K1, P1, K1, P1, K1
6) repeat row 4
7) repeat row 5
8) repeat row 4
9) Start increases: K1, P1, Kf&b, *K until last 3 sts* Kf&b, P1, K1
Work 3 rows in pattern (knit the knits, purl the purls)
Repeat these 4 rows 6 more times. 19 sts. Ponytail should be about 5.5” long. Cut yarn

Connect the sides and back:
Knit across one side (continuing the one purl stitch just inside each edge), then Kf&B across all ponytail stitches, Knit across second side. 90 sts.
Knit back-and-forth in pattern (all stockinette except the 4 edge stitches) for 3 more inches. Sides should measure about 8” total. End on a wrong side.

Knit around the side, back, side, Cast on 15 stitches for bangs and join in the round. P1 (edge stitches of next round), place marker for new beginning of row. 105 sts.
Continue in pattern, including the established ribs at the beginning and end of rows. Continue this K1 P1 pattern through the newly cast-on bang stitches. (Row should K 88, *P1, K1* to end of row, ending with a purl. There should be 17 total ribbed stitches, including the already established edge “ditches”).
Repeat for 2 more rows.
Then knit all stitches except the 2 purl “ditch” rows at the edge of the 2 sides, outlining the bangs. Knit until 1” from ribbing.
Set up for decreases:
*Knit 21 sts, place decrease marker* repeat until bang stitches.
*Knit to 1st marker, slip marker, k1, ssk, K to 3 sts before next marker 2, k2tog, k1, slip marker. * Repeat for other 2 markers. Work the bang stitches as established (knitting all but the 2 purl edges).
Work the decreases every round until 6 sts remain between markers (15 decrease rows). AT THE SAME TIME, Every other row, decrease the bangs as follows: P1, K1, SSK, Knit until last 3 sts, K2tog, P1.
The bangs should measure 3” and be almost all decreased at this point.

Remove st markers, put the first half (between center front and center back)on one side of the circular needle, and second half on the other side of the needle.
Flip inside out, and do a 3-needle BO.

Finishing: Weave in all ends. Turn right-side out. Roll up the bottom 3-4” of the sides and tack down to form the curls. They should be located just at the bottom of your ears. Feel free to make a couple extra 4" squares if you want more curls, just roll up & tack on! Tie a ribbon around the narrow part of the pony tail. If you want to be really fancy you can make a tassel and sew it on the end of the ponytail. The wig may need to be felted slightly to fit, but that will make it more realistically wiggy!

Wear to all important Royal events, or to capture scurvy sea dogs.

Note- if you want it to be more of a novelty hat and less of a costume wig, knit your favorite ear-flap hat pattern as the crown, placing the wig curls and ponytail at the proper spots (either sewn in or knitted on).

Saturday, December 12, 2009

I'm Dreaming of a Great White Christmas

Re-doing my pattern so it’s easier. People keep making snippy comments in their Ravelry Project notes, but never saying anything to me about what might help. I’m NOT a professional designer, and it’s a free pattern I posted because the world needs more cute sharks, so if you have issues, PLEASE talk to me.
I haven't test-knitted this version yet, but it's seamless with less fiddly-ness.
Co 4 stitches with a disappearing Circular Cast on.
K 1 round
*Kf&B *(8 sts)
K 1 round
Increase 3 sts evenly across row (11 sts)
K 1 round
Increase 3 sts evenly across row (14 sts)
K 10 rounds
Decrease 3 sts evenly across row (11 sts)
K 2 rounds
Decrease 3 sts evenly across round (8 sts)
Knit 1 round
K2tog, K1, K2tog, K1, K2tog (5sts)
K 1 round
K2tog, k1, K2tog
K1 round
Switch to flat knitting. K2tog, K1 (2 sts)
K 2 rows.
CO1, k2, CO1
Knit 1 row
Co1, K4, Co1
Knit 1 row
Co1, K6, Co1
K1 row.
BO 4 sts, K 4 sts, CO1
BO last 5 sts.
Use yarn tail to pull center of caudal fin in, creating a shark tail shape.
Make Fins as directed below, either separately and sewn on, or picked up and knitted on. 

Original post:
Hey, I survived the cold, cold weather we had last week (though it was certainly not as cold as Portland & Seattle- there are many benefits to living on the coast!). One of those very cold days we took a walk on the dunes, which the dogs thoroughly loved. It was strange hiking on a frozen trail through the forest though.

We're getting all geared up for Christmas, which for me of course means knitting & crafting various little gifts. One of this year's endeavors was a shark ornament for my good friend ( & co-worker) Steph, who loves sharks.

I actually paid attention & wrote down what I did so I could repeat it, so I may as well post it here so anyone else desiring a shark ornament can make one too! Maybe someday I'll put up my anemone pattern as well. These ornaments do require a ridiculous amount of sewing small, fiddly bits together and weaving in ends, but it's worth it! If you want tips on how to do them more seamlessly, see below.

Great White Christmas Ornament:

I used some leftover Lion Brand Wool Ease in a gray color, probably less than a quarter of a skein for 2 sharks, so less than 50 yards (45m).

US 6 (4mm) double-pointed needles.

Note: If you weave the fin ends in strategically, you can both reinforce the fins AND make the garter stitch look more like moss stich, which looks nicer.
(These instructions are for the smaller of the 2 sharks. To make the bigger one, knit an extra row between each of the tail increase rows, and increase up to 17 stitches.)

CO 2 stitches. Knit flat (garter st) for 2 rows. Then increase 1 stitch, and placce the 3 stitches on 3 double pointed needles.
Knit one round.
K1, M1, K1, M1, K1. (5 st)
Knit 1 round.
Increase 3 st evenly across the row. (8 st)
Knit 1 round.
Increase 3 st evenly across the row. (11 st)
Knit 2 rounds.
Increase 3 st evenly across the row. (14 st)
Knit 10 rounds.
Decrease 3 st evenly across the row. (11 st)
Knit 1 round.
Stuff the shark's body, giving it a nice, streamlined shape.
Decrease 3 st evenly across the row. (8 st)
Knit 1 round.
Decrease 4 st evenly across the row. (4 st)
Cut yarn & draw end through, cinching the nose shut.

Dorsal Fin:
Pick up 4 stitches at center back.
Knit a row.
Knit, K2 tog at head end.
Knit a row.
Knit, K 2 tog at head end.
Cut yarn leaving a long tail, & draw through. Make a hang-loop and weave the end through the dorsal fin (see note).

Pectoral fins (make 2):
CO 1.
Knit into front & back (2 st)
Knit a row.
Knit into front & back, K 2 (3 st)
Knit a row.
Knit into front & back, K 3 (4 st)
Bind off.
Sew onto the lower edge of the body, slightly forward of the dorsal fin. They should stick out to the side. Weave ends in (strategically).

Tail fins (make 2):
CO 1
K1, CO 2 st (3 st)
Knit a row
K3, CO 1. (4 st)
Secure to the center of the tail so that the curved edges are facing out, and then sew the bound off edges together in the center of the tail. Weave in the ends.

If you want, sew a black bead on for eyes. I haven't gotten to that part yet myself, but intend to shortly. :)
Voila- sharkey!

If you made the nose longer & knitted the tail horizontally rather than vertically, you could easily turn this into a dolphin, and by changing the overall color & shape of the dorsal fin, it could become any number of cetaceans!

these notes are from the lovely Lady Sunkist who knit this pattern seamlessly as dolphins for her marine biologist son

To knit nearly seamlessly:
start at the tail- cast on 9 stitches.
Knit one or two rows and then decrease - SSK at the beginning, & a K2tog at the end of the row.
Continued decreases at each end until 3 stitches rem. Then continue with the regular instructions for the body & dorsal fin.
For the pectoral fins, pick up 4 stitches from the body.
Knit several rows, doing decreases until 1 stitch rem. Weave in ends, pulling fins into the proper curved shape.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Ok, so I posted my shark pattern, I might as well put up my notes from the anemones I made a few years ago as well, right? I'd love to see other peoples' versions!

These are just loose notes, not a pattern. The size of the finished creature is entirely up to you, based on how many you cast on, and how tall you knit the base. This pattern is super-easy, if you have basic knitting skills and can use DPNs, you can do this!

My colors were used to mimic the Giant Green Anemone (Anthopleura xanthogrammica) that we see all over our tidepools (since these were designed as presents for my fellow tidepoolologists), but feel free to use any colors that strike your fancy!

These were knit with several leftovers of acrylic worsted/aran yarns. Any yarn will work, and if you don't want to hold yarns doubled, just use bulky weight instead.
The yarns I used were: Caron Wintuk (brown), Lion Brand Wool-Ease worsted (darker green), Lion Brand Jiffy (olive).
For the tentacles, you will need a thin worsted shiny yarn in a contrasting color. I used TLC Cotton Plus.
US 8 (5mm) and US 6 (4mm) double-pointed needles.
Gauge is irrelevant.

Using size 8 needles and one strand brown and one strand olive-green worsted yarns held together, cast on 40 st (or thereabouts). Join in the round, and knit the tube (stockinette) about 4" (or as tall as you want it).

When the stalk is tall enough, wrap one stitch and turn as if to knit a short row. Turn the whole stalk inside out- the reverse stockinette is now the right side (voila- no purling!).

Switch the brown yarn strand for another shade of green, and knit the top of the anemone in stockinette. Use regular decreases, scattered around the row, every other row. Be sure to keep the top flat like a pie crust, rather than curved like a hat crown. A slight bulge is good though, realistic.

Once you have decreased down to about 10 stitches, bind off to form the gullet hole. Anemones have to eat, you know!

Now take your size 6 DPNS and a shiny worsted yarn, and pick up 4 stitches at the top edge (just inside the turning ridge where the stockinette meets the reverse stockinette).
I-cord for about 2.5-3 inches, then decrease 1 stitch to taper the tentacle. Do a few more rows of I-cord and then pull the end of the yarn through the last few stitches and pass it back through the length of the tentacle, tying it to the other end at the base inside the anemone.
Repeat the tentacles all the way around the edge, varying lengths slightly every other tentacle.

Because of the nature of stockinette, this anemone can actually curl in on itself to hide its tentacles, just as real anemones on rocks do when the tide is out!