The Perfect Start for a Circular Knitting Project

Patterns available on Ravelry
Accessories available on Etsy

I’ve just finished a knit doily sample and wanted to share the cast-on method I used in case anyone plans to tackle this type of project in the round. It’s certainly suitable for circular shawls as well!

The technique creates a really smooth, neat, round center as you can see in the photo above of this piece being blocked.

Here’s one of the best tutorials I found on the the Magic Ring Cast-On:

Emily Ocker’s Circular Cast-On (Magic Ring Cast-On)

Hope you find it useful.

Happy Knitting!
MikeH

Traditional Fair Isle Fisherman’s Kep – Finished, Blocked and Tasseled

Patterns available on Ravelry
Accessories available on Etsy

Here’s a photo of my first kep finished, blocked and tasseled.

Here’s a photo of the same kep being worn in the wilds of coastal Thailand!

I joined a knit-a-long on Facebook because I wanted to build my stranded colorwork skills and thought an online group would be a good way to do this.

It’s been a great experience, and in the process, buying the pattern has helped support the museum on Fair Isle – a very worthy cause indeed.

If you’re interested in knitting one of these hats, you can visit The Fair Isle Fisherman’s Kep Page on Facebook and ask to become a member.

The pattern you purchase gives a lot of helpful guidelines and allows you to choose from a selection of Fair Isle designs to create a masterpiece of your own, also choosing colors that interest you.

For my kep I used a range of colors from Jamiesons of Shetland, in their Spindrift range: ginger, cinammon, buttercup, flax and mermaid.

Happy Knitting!
MikeH

Knitting a Fair Isle Fisherman’s Kep

Patterns available on Ravelry
Accessories available on Etsy

I’ve been learning more about Fair Isle knitting recently and wanted to  try a pattern that used this color-stranded knitting technique before embarking on a larger project for my Master Hand Knitting course.

I found a group on Facebook that offered a paid pattern by an expert in the technique, with proceeds going to support the museum on Fair Isle.

It’s a closed group, but if you’re interested in joining a knit-a-long and meet knitters from around the world, it’s worth going to the site and asking to be added as a member:

The Fair Isle Fisherman’s Kep Page

The photo above shows my progress on the kep (cap) – one more small pattern repeat and I’ll be ready to start the decreases, add a tassel and then block the cap.

I hope to wear it when I visit Fair Isle in July.  It’s not really suitable for the climate here in Thailand.

Happy Knitting!
MikeH

Boyfriend Bandana 1: Pattern Published

Patterns available on Ravelry
Accessories available on Etsy

Variation A

This is the first in a series of bandanas designed for the boyfriend in your life that may be a reluctant wearer of traditional accessories.

There will be 4 basic designs, of which this is the first. Each of the designs will have two variations: the first (variation A) will feature the basics of the design, and the second (variation B) will feature the same design, in different colors, and have a pendant embellishment at the tip of the bottom point.

Variation A

You may well find that the appeal extends far beyond the boyfriend, and you may end up knitting one for yourself – or even a girlfriend!

The amount of yarn needed for color C in either variation is small – around 50-75 yards/45-70 meters.

If you want to add the embellishment to variation B you’ll need a small pendant to attach to the bottom point during bindoff. I chose a small gold-plated brass that’s a reproduction of preColombian jewelry I found on a recent visit to Bogota.

Variation B

Variation B

You’ll find the pattern in my Ravelry store at http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/boyfriend-bandana-1

and the accessories, hand knit by me, in my Etsy shop at
https://www.etsy.com/shop/ScarvesShawlsandMore?ref=hdr

Happy Knitting!
MikeH

The Latest on the Boyfriend Bandana Project

Patterns available on Ravelry
Accessories available on Etsy

I’m making some progress on my Boyfriend Bandana project (see previous post).

During a trip to Colombia and Panama recently, I visited a number of local markets and found some pendants or trinkets (los dije in Spanish) that I thought would work as embellishments at the bottom point on some of these accessories.

Obviously there are boyfriends that would not take to this jewelry thing very well, so on an equal number of the variations, they won’t appear!

The photo in the previous post is one of two variations on Boyfriend Bandana 1. The photo below shows a work in progress that is the second of two variations for this first pattern.

This one will have an embellishment at the bottom point, and it’s likely to be the preColombian reproduction in gold-plated brass that you see in the upper left of the first photo above.

Here are a few photos from the trip. It was a wonderful two weeks spent exploring Colombia and visiting Panama City.

For Boyfriend Bandanas 2, 3, and 4 there will also be two variations of each. In the next one I’ll be leaving out the eyelets and lace panel, and introduce a few  stripes in colors that might appeal to the more conservative of the boyfriends out there – but never fear, there will be one variation that boasts some bling.

Boyfriend Bandana 3 is likely to feature a Fair Isle style motif in a band across the accessory – and I’m not sure yet what #4 will bring.

Each set of 2 variations will be available as a pattern, and in the end, all will be available in an e-book.

Keep an eye out on Ravelry and Etsy for the latest offerings!

Happy Knitting – and Happy Holidays,
MikeH

Boyfriend Bandana: A New Series of Bandana Scarves for Men (and Others) in Progress

Patterns available on Ravelry
Accessories available on Etsy

Here are a couple of photos of a new design I’m developing for a series of 4 bandanas – some with a lace panel, some without – that should meet the style needs of any man on your list.

bb2

This first bandana has a jaunty and sporty look.

bb1

Here’s a bit more of the detail – as you can see it’s suitable as an over-the-shoulder throw for the “girfriend” as well!

I’m calling this series the Boyfriend Bandana, and as you’ll soon see, it’s definitely not just for men.

Each of the variations will be available in 2 different colors or combinations of colors and one will include a bit of embellishment at the bottom tip.

Watch this space for the release of the pattern and e-book on Ravelry and for these items available in my Etsy shop.

Happy Knitting!
MikeH

Lace Knit Wraps in Anticipation of Spring: No. 2 – Waiting for Lilacs

Patterns available on Ravelry
Accessories available on Etsy

lilacs1

This is the second in a series of two spring accessories (see also In Due Time) that I’m releasing in the late fall because I’m impatient for spring. Lilacs were always my favorite spring blooms where I grew up in the far reaches of northern New York state.

This heart or bandana-shaped shawlette features a lace stitch pattern near the top line and a different stitch pattern across the bottom edge – buds, blossoms, and branches in all. The rest of the piece is knit in plain stockinette.

lilacs6

I used 2 25-gram balls of DROPS Kid-Silk (75% mohair; 25% silk; 200 meters/218 yards per 25g ball) in color 09 – a light lilac.

This is so light and lovely, and I enjoyed working with this yarn, especially on US 4/3.5mm needles.

Measurements:
57×21.5 inches (145×54.5cm) after blocking

lilacs4

Pattern available in my Ravelry store:
http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/waiting-for-lilacs
Shawl available in my Etsy shop (after 10 December):
https://www.etsy.com/shop/ScarvesShawlsandMore?ref=hdr_shop_menu

Happy Knitting!
MikeH

Lace Knit Wraps in Anticipation of Spring: No. 1 – In Due Time

Patterns available on Ravelry
Accessories available on Etsy

I’ve just completed a couple of new designs in anticipation of spring – although it’s several months away.  There must be some knitters out there that don’t like winter!

The first is called In Due Time, a rectangular lace knit wrap –

idc1

When I was young (many years ago) I was always impatient for spring to arrive – starting in November, when the leaves had finally all fallen off the trees. I was also told that spring would come in due time – and hence the name of this lace knit rectangular wrap design.

The pattern features buds waiting to open surrounded by seed stitch, all indicating the potential of that wonderful season to come – In Due Time!

The yarn I used for this accessory is a blend of baby alpaca, linen, and silk. Although it’s no longer available, any light fingering weight yarn would be suitable, but I do have a preference for blends that contain linen and/or silk.

The pattern includes written instructions and a stitch pattern chart.

Measurements after blocking:
12×61 in (30.5x155cm)

The pattern is available in my Ravelry store:
http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/in-due-time
The accessory is available for purchase in my Etsy shop:
https://www.etsy.com/…/…/lace-knit-rectangular-wrap-in-baby…

idc2

The second of the two patterns is a tribute to my favorite spring flower, and if you come back next week you’ll get to see what that is.

Happy Knitting!
MikeH