Thursday, May 17, 2018

Cool for the Summer Wrap

Cool for the Summer Wrap
Cool for the Summer Wrap

Well, there's not much to say for this wrap, other than HELLLOOOO, color! Because, while you could of course work your own project in two colors rather than my four, this lightweight, summery cotton wrap really pops with a multitude of hues. And since my goal for the pattern was to make an easy lace (ladders are used to create a mesh effect that only needs one row of hand manipulation per panel), changing color is also one of the most difficult things you'll need to do in order to finish it! :)

Oh, and one note about weighting: if you're using a cotton yarn like me, it will not need nearly as much weight as a wool. In fact, if your machine is dropping stitches (and it's weighted), it's more likely that it's OVER weighted rather than UNDER, so try to remove weights until things sort out.

Finished Dimensions: 72" x 18", roughly

Cool for the Summer Wrap
Another look.
Yarn: Organic Cotton (100% Cotton; 1695 yards [1550 meters]/250 grams); #08 - Lime Green (color A), #20 - Hot Pink (color B), #17 - Salmon (color C), & #04 - Pink (color D) (In total, I used roughly 125 grams of color A, and 25 grams apiece of colors B - D)

Machine: Standard gauge single bed

Gauge: 36 stitches = 4 inches, 48 rows = 4 inches in stockinette on tension 4

So let's make a wrap! Since I'm working in cotton and it can be fussy to cast on, I recommend a rip cord cast on with waste yarn instead of casting on straightaway with your project yarn - you can see a video of the technique here, or watch any of the other videos I've embedded below for any other part of the process. Using waste yarn, then, and your machine set to tension 6, cast on 162 stitches across needles Left 81 - Right 81 (use a weaving cast on or comb cast on). Knit about ten rows, ending with carriage on left (COL). Set machine to tension 10 and work one row with your ravel cord. Finally, beginning on left and using color A yarn, e-wrap cast on all 162 needles. Set machine to tension 4. Then, knit 16 rows, ending with COR. Clip yarn tail. Pull out your rip cord to separate the finished work from the waste cast on now, or at the end of the project. Then we'll begin our ladder rows with a few set-up rows, as follows. I have also made a video with the general techniques needed for this section of the wrap, which you can watch here. Also, notice that, although we are working short rows (or in other words, with the machine in holding position), you do not need to do any needle wrapping or anything else special in order to prevent holes in your work; the ladders create holes already, and after experimenting both ways, I think it's preferable to do nothing (and if you're a beginner and that went over your head, don't worry! Just follow the instructions below and you'll be fine). Anyway, we'll proceed like so:

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Design-Your-Own Drawstring Cowl

Design-Your-Own Drawstring Cowl
pictured in size Adult Medium/Large

The idea behind this design is simple: I was inspired by the Olympics this year, and especially the snowboarders' awesome buffs. More specifically, I wanted to create a cowl that was long enough to be pulled up over the ears or head. And, since knitting typically stretches more than synthetic technical fibers might, I also went ahead and added a drawstring so you could also cinch it tight.

Oh and finally, I wanted this to be a good beginning machine knitting project, so I also filmed relevant videos for both electronic and punch card patterning to help you make and execute your own design for any child, teen/small adult, or larger adult in your life!

Sizes: Child (Teen/Adult Small; Adult Medium/Large) (the child size is roughly 18" around by 12" high, the next size 21" by 14", and the biggest 24" by 16")

Yarn: Malabrigo Sock (100% Superwash Merino Wool; 440 yards [402 meters]/100 grams); #807 Côte d'Azure - 1 skein (color A) & #851 Turner - 1 skein (color B) (all sizes) - both loosely caked with a ball winder to facilitate machine knitting

Another look
Machine: Standard gauge Japanese-style single bed machine with punchcard or electronic patterning capabilities

Gauge: 32 stitches = 4 inches, 44 rows = 4 inches on tension 5

So let's make a cowl! Since I've designed this as a tutorial for either punch card patterning or electronic patterning, I've separated the directions; you can find electronic patterning directions first, and those for punch cards below. And you can even find hand knitting directions below that, if you're interested! :)

Electronic Patterning:

First, design or choose an electronic pattern. If you've never designed a two-color fair isle pattern before, please see the tutorial below (I have recommended that you cast on a multiple of 24 stitches for each size; therefore, it's best to design a pattern using a multiple of 3, 4, 6, 12, or 24 stitches, although you can always slightly change your cast on number if your pattern has a different repeat). Furthermore, if you'd like to use the same stitch pattern I did, you can download the .stp file here (called "Reflection").