Sale: Bamboo and Merino Beaded Bandana in Lavender

Patterns available on Ravelry
Accessories available on Etsy

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BUDS and FLOWERS: PRICE REDUCED!

Easy to care for and versatile in its use, this hand knit reversible heart shaped bandana/shawlette is one of my original – and most popular – designs.

The yarn is a hand-dyed exquisite blend of 20% bamboo, 70% super wash merino wool, and 10% nylon. The colorway is called Lavande (lavender), and there is a row of 6mm jadeite beads incorporated into the flower pattern.

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Wear with the point in front or in back, tie the ends, or add a vintage pin. This is an accessory that’s suitable for casual as well as evening wear.

The accessory measures:
20 inches (50.5 cm) from the center of the top to the bottom point
45 inches (114 cm) across at the widest point
53 inches (134.5 cm) measured across the top edge

Note that the first photo is the closest to the actual color.

PATTERN AVAILABLE

If you’d like to knit this shawl, the pattern is also available in my Ravelry shop.  Refer to the first variation on the Ravelry pattern page to knit this with beads.

Happy Knitting!
MikeH

Colorful Cotton Summer Scarf: Free Pattern

Patterns available on Ravelry
Accessories available on Etsy

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58×7.5 inches (147.25x19cm)
Sideways Knit Summer Scarf

I saw this cotton yarn in a department store in Zaragoza, Spain, and couldn’t resist the colors, even though I had no idea what I would make with it!

By the time I returned home I envisioned a top-down/sideways knit summer scarf that featured a garter section with feather and fan border – in 2 colorways.

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This is a very easy knit – with the only real challenge being tension consistency, as cotton isn’t all that forgiving!

You’ll need 1 50-gram ball each of 2 different colorways – in this case, Colorin by Rosas Crafts, 526 and 522. If you like the example in the photos, you’d start out with 522.

I’ve made this pattern free on Ravelry. Find it at:
http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/sideways-knit-summer-scarf

Happy Knitting!
MikeH

Top-Down Summer Scarf: Work in Progress

Patterns available on Ravelry
Accessories available on Etsy

Cotton scarf

Here’s my progress so far on this top-down/sideways-knit cotton summer scarf. It might not look like I’ve gotten very far, but I’ve been busy preparing a couple of new designs to submit to an upcoming collection of scarves and shawls.

Hopefully one of the designs will be chosen, but regardless, at some point you’ll get to see them both!

The beginning section of this scarf was knit in garter stitch, and I continued until I used up the first ball of cotton variegated yarn. I then switched to another variegated color (containing some of the same colors as the first) and changed the stitch pattern to a simple feather-and-fan lace.

You’ll notice that there are some wavy lines forming, and that was the purpose of incorporating the feather-and-fan stitch pattern. When it’s completed, blocked, and photographed (next week) you’ll see the interesting shape this gives to the overall scarf.

I’ll also make the pattern available next week – so I guess I’d better get back to work on it!

Happy Knitting!
MikeH

Cable Cast On and a Top-Down Summer Scarf

Patterns available on Ravelry
Accessories available on Etsy

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I’m working on a design for a summer scarf that’s knit from the top down – or as some might say, sideways.

The process involves casting on enough stitches for the length of the scarf, as opposed to the width. I prefer the Cable Cast On for this type of accessory, as it’s strong, and just flexible enough to allow for some stretching. You wouldn’t want the length of the scarf to be worked too tightly.

See how neat the cast-on edge of the scarf is, in the photo above. The Cable Cast On also leaves you set up to start with a knit row (which is particularly useful if your pattern is in stockinette stitch).

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After casting on, the first half of the scarf width will be knit in garter stitch, and the second half will be knit in a feather and fan lace stitch pattern.

I have patterns available for two scarves that have a similar construction, if you’d like to see what they look like:
Garter and Lace: Fruitcake; and
Garter and Lace: Silky Wool

Be sure to check in next week to see progress on this new design.

Happy Knitting!
MikeH

Colorful Reversible Garter and Eyelet Knit Bandana

Patterns available on Ravelry
Accessories available on Etsy

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Add a blast (or a few blasts) of color to your look with this reversible hand knit bandana. Knit in lace weight, pure merino wool the accessory is light enough to wear even in the warmer months.

The bandana features a few rows of knit eyelets and a frilly bottom picot edge.

It measures 43×14 inches (109×35.5cm).

This is based on one of my original patterns, and was hand knit by me. It’s available for purchase on Etsy.

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I had an extra ball of self-striping La Doro 2-ply superwash merino (50g; 328 yards/300 meters) and thought that might be a good choice to make a lighter-weight version of my Silk Garden Bandana.

Other than the yarn weight and needle size the only other real change was that I finished with a picot bind-off instead of the row of beads.

The bandana is a variation on a pattern available on Ravelry.

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Happy Knitting!
MikeH

A Break from the Heat

Patterns available on Ravelry
Accessories available on Etsy

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I just got back from an enjoyable 12-day break in Europe. It’s the hottest time of the year here in Thailand and it was a pleasure to trade the 38C/100+F heat and humidity for the cool spring weather in northeastern Spain and southwestern France.

As you can see from the photos above, spring was definitely in the air and the leaves were just beginning to appear on the trees.

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Montserrat (Spain) selfie

I was quite restrained and only went yarn shopping twice, buying enough for a couple of projects (as yet to be decided).
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Both of these purchases were made in Zaragoza, Spain: one at the popular El Corte Ingles department store, which has quite an extensive selection of yarns and knitting supplies and equipment; and the other at a small boutique called El Sindrome Lanar.

More next week.

Happy Knitting!
MikeH

Cables and Lace Triangular Shawlette; Did You Know…?

Patterns available on Ravelry
Accessories available on Etsy

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This is the first time I’ve designed a shawl using cables and wanted to combine this traditional element with lace stitches. In this Cables and Lace Shawlette pattern you’ll find 5 cable columns surrounded by an openwork design of lace stitches – on each half of the shawlette.

It’s a relatively simple pattern to follow and shouldn’t present any problems to knitters who have learned how to knit cables and have learned the basics of lace: yarn overs and decreases.

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I used a bit less than 1 full skein of this fingering weight merino yarn and it yielded an accessory that measures 47×22 inches/119×55.75 cm) after blocking.

You’ll find that wet blocking is essential to open up the lace and even out the shape.

Did you know…?

The bind off you choose for a lace stitch pattern is important. You want to be able to stretch the piece to open up the lace pattern when blocking, allowing the beauty of the design to appear.

One of my favorite bind off techniques to accomplish this is a variation of the Russian bind off. Here’s a link to  the instructions for this, that works from the right side of your work, but using purl stitches.

Happy Knitting!
MikeH

Garden at Nighttime with Larger Needles; Did You Know…?

Patterns available on Ravelry
Accessories available on Etsy

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This light-as-air, soft-as-silk Garden at Nighttime scarf is an original design hand knit by me. The inky blue yarn is a washable blend of silk, extra-fine merino wool, and kid mohair. The color is a deep, vibrant blue, and it measures 9.5×56 inches (24×142.25 cm).

On a recent trip to England I stayed at a country hotel that was surrounded by traditional gardens of flowers, vines and shrubbery. Fortunately jet lag woke me up in the middle of the night and I spent some time looking out into the garden after dark and was inspired by the outlines of blossoms and tracings of vines and branches.

This design attempts to incorporate some of what I remember.

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The scarf pictured here, which is available on Etsy, is a bit of a variation on the original pattern in that I used needles one size larger (US3/3.25mm instead of US2.5/3mm) as I wanted the lace pattern to be more open and prominent.

“Did You Know…?”

Using a larger-sized knitting needle in a lace pattern can mean using less yarn to achieve the finished size and also knitting fewer pattern repeats. For example, in the scarf pictured above, only 21 pattern repeats were required with the larger sized needles rather than 27 repeats.

You might want to consider this in rectangular shawls and wraps if you’d like the design to be even lacier than pictured in the original pattern. Be sure to use the weight of yarn called for if you want to achieve this.

Happy Knitting!
MikeH

Country Chic Variation; Did You Know…? (Open Increases in Knitting)

Patterns available on Ravelry
Accessories available on Etsy

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This is a variation on my Country Chic Semicircular Shawlette pattern.

Head into spring in style with this heathery tweed combination of silk and fine merino wool.

I knit this shawlette/scarf with 2 strands of lace weight yarn. One yarn is a semi-solid charcoal grey (silk/merino bend) and for the upper part the other yarn is a blue-green variegated colorway (100% merino).

For the lower part of the shawlette, I combined the charcoal grey with a lighter blue-green colorway.

You’ll find rows of quatrefoil eyelets at regularly-spaced intervals, and at the bottom of the shawl, a knit-on edging with a single eyelet in each row.

The dimensions are:
43 x 19 inches (109 x 48.5 cm)

Pattern on Ravelry. Accessory available on Etsy.

Did you know…?

You may already know how to work increases in your knitting, but did you know that in knitting a semicircular shawl you can separate the 3 sections (or wedges) with increases that resemble a column of eyelets?
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This is done with a combination of M1R and M1O stitches.

Immediately before the increase stitch separating the wedges/sections of your shawl, do the following:

  • in the horizontal bar between the stitch on your right needle and the stitch on your left needle, insert the left needle under the horizontal bar from the back to the front, placing that bar on the left needle (being careful to stretch it as little as possible). Knit the stitch from the front. This is an M1R increase, and is nearly invisible;
  • knit the next stitch; and then
  • in the horizontal bar between the stitch on your right needle and the stitch on your left needle, insert the left needle under the horizontal bar from the front to the back, placing that bar on the left needle.  Knit the stitch from the front. This is an M1O increase, and leaves an eyelet opening.

I’ll look at other types of increases next week.

Happy Knitting!
MikeH

On the Needles; Did You Know (More on Stitch Tension)

Patterns available on Ravelry
Accessories available on Etsy

I have a variation on one of my earlier patterns on the needles. It’s a semi-circular shawl called Country Chic, and this time I’m knitting it with two strands of lace-weight yarn.

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There’s one strand of a semi-solid charcoal grey (merino and silk) and one strand of a variegated blue-to-green colorway (merino). The color’s about to change as I’m moving on to a lighter blue-to-green colorway with a strand of the grey, for the bottom and border of the shawl.

I’ve also introduced a different increase method along the two internal increase points and will explain that in detail when I show you the finished product!

Now,  for the tips of the week!

Did you know…? Stitch tension:

  1. Stockinette stitch tension
    Uneven stitches on either the front or reverse of stockinette knitting (or both) is a result of uneven tension.

    Some experts say that this can improved with practice, practice, practice, and that the stitches will likely become more even over the years. This may not be such an appealing remedy if you’d like your work to look better now, however!

    The situation may be improved by addressing the purl side of the stitch pattern. Consider the fact that most knitters purl more loosely than they knit, and that more yarn is required for a purl stitch, leading to an uneven overall pattern.

    You can try to tighten up on the yarn when making purl stitches by holding the yarn a bit more snugly and giving a bit of a tug on the yarn before working the purl stitch.

    If this doesn’t help, another possibility is to change the type of knitting needles you are using, as tension can be uneven if the yarn slips or sticks to the needle material.

  2. Seed stitch pattern tension
    Working in seed stitch should produce fabric that is tightly woven, without holes in between the knit and purl stitches.

    If you’re finding that you’re getting spaces or holes between the knit and purl stitches, this can be quite easily corrected by bringing the yarn forward more tightly between a knit and purl stitch.

Happy Knitting!
MikeH

Lace knitting tips, patterns, tutorials, photos and more.