Knit Pattern: Twists & Braids Socks

These highly textured socks use slip-stitch cabling to create flat twists and braids that are mirrored on front and back of the sock from the center. When worn the sock stretches to reveal the beautiful detail of the ribs.

Size: Women’s 5-9.

Pattern repeat: 31 sts and 12 rows.

Needles: US 1.5 (2.5 mm) double pointed needles, set of 4.

Gauge: 15 stitches and 22 rows = 2 inches (5 cm) stockinette worked in the round (unblocked).

Yarn: Sock weight yarn. Approximately 296 yards. Sample knit in a fingering 4-ply – 175yds/50g

Instructions include full written directions, charts and unstretched sock measurements.

Available on Etsy for $3.50
Available on Craftsy for $3.50

Knit Pattern: His Simple Socks

This is a simple ribbed sock pattern knit from the top down and is designed to easily keep count of rows without becoming too monotonous. The ribs have a twisted knit stitch in the middle to help define the line of the ribs in the sock.

Size: Men’s Size 8-10.
Pattern repeat is 5 stitches and can be easily adjusted by increasing or decreasing repeats or rows.

Needles: US 1 (2.25 mm) double pointed needles, set of 4.

Gauge: 8 stitches and 11 rows = 1 inch (2.5 cm) stockinette worked in the round (unblocked).

Yarn: Sock weight yarn. Approximately 325 yards. Sample knit in a fine sock weight – 230yds/50g

Pattern includes written instructions, pattern chart and finished measurements.

Available on Etsy for $3.50

Available on Craftsy for $3.50

Knit Progress: Pillows

Good things come in threes! While my knitting has slowed down, I’ve enjoyed creating some simple double knit pillows that have allowed me to explore combining various yarn from my stash. Using the technique I picked up from a frogged project, I decided to use it to knit both sides of a pillow at the same time to avoid trying to line up color blocking or figure out the proper length and maintain clean seams easily. The only trick is to make sure you don’t miss a stitch and accidentally knit the  opposite faces together in the process.

Using multiple strands of yarn at once increases the chance of picking up part of an adjacent stitch, but the color variation is well worth it! Different strands of yarn come to the surface in each stitch, giving the fabric created extra depth and variety.

Here is my simple pattern for the pillows above (makes a cover for a 16˝ pillow):

I used 3 strands of yarn at any given time: worsted or bulky and sock weight.

US 10 circular needle

Long-tail CO 94 st.

P1, sl 1 for each row.
You will be working half of the stitches in each row, creating one side of a double-sided fabric.

Work in purl double knit until square.
BO 2 inches together
BO active stitches on the side, placing the “sl” stitches on a separate needle to create an opening until 2 inches from end.
Work in p1, sl1 to end of row.
BO 2 inches together and then BO remaining sts on second needle for second side.
Sew in invisible zipper to opening.

Enjoy your pillow!

Gifting Knits: Ladies & Literature Book Club edition

In addition to knitting, reading is one of my hobbies. A few years ago I met a great group of local ladies through a Goodreads group called Ladies & Literature. Since then the group has opened up to international members and numbers in the thousands. I am lucky to be one of five moderators for the group. One of my projects is the Annual Top Reader Competition that challenges our book club members to participate in every single “official” book club discussion for the year. That turns out to be 16 book discussions a year, one each month with a quarterly Classic book on top. This year we had 8 ladies complete the challenge. Of those 8, three win the big prize.

One of the prizes I supply is a custom knit piece. This year I worked with two of the winners to make a custom piece just for them based on my patterns. I love it when two hobbies can come together!

In addition to the prizes, one of our moderators is expecting her first baby, which was recently revealed to be a boy. After looking through patterns and inspiration, I decided to create my own version of a hooded blanket with bear ears. I had some Bernat Baby Blanket yarn on hand and was so pleased with how soft and thick a blanket it makes. You can get the notes for the blanket design here.

Happy Knitting and Reading!

Arts Festival Season: New Knits

After the slow-moving projects of summer, I’m back at top speed preparing for my neighborhood Arts Festival in November. I’m working on some new items that are quick to knit and I think will do well in that affordable “snap decision” price range. I liked the brioche knitting technique that I learned earlier this year and decided that it would be a perfect match for some winter ear warmer headbands – and let me use up the smaller skeins of yarn that I still have left in my stash, even after my summer pinwheel circle stash-busting project. I can make these at a rate of about one a day, so I’ve been able to make a bunch and have fun with the color!

Here’s my pattern:

US4 12 in circular needle / 2 colors worsted or DK weight yarn

Row 1: In color A, cast on 91sts w/ longtail method (make sure it is relaxed so it will have some stretch)
Row 2: k tog first and last stitch to join, p1, k1 to end
Row 3: k1, p1 rib
Row 4a: In color B, start brioche section, working the knit stitches in color B
Row 4b: In color A, continue broiche section, working the purl stitches in color A

Work paired brioche rows a total of 11-14 times depending on desired width of headband.

Note: When working brioche in the round, your row start will creep backward a stitch each pass. You will need to “catch” up the starting point of the row a few times in the process by working the stitches to the starting point of the row and then moving them back to the other needle to work the other half of the brioche row pairing to the row starting point. Make sure you are back the the beginning of your row in the last broiche row pair to finish.

Finish row 1: After the last “b” brioche row  is worked in color A, continue in k1, p1 rib in color A
Finish row 2: k1, p1 rib
BO: Bind of in the Italian method to create a springy edge, be sure to keep it relaxed to match the CO row.

Enjoy!

Knit Progress: July round up + bonus pattern

July has slipped away from me – after vacation, work has gotten busy again and I’ve been drifting along working on pieces for the pinwheel throw to get rid of all of the random bits of yarn in my stash. Last night I finished off the last little ball of yarn, yay! I have made 148 pinwheels total, that will get me about a quarter of the way there, I think.

I’m planning to go to the bookstore today to get some inspiration for my next knit design project, but in the meantime I’m making a pair of these short socks that I’ll use as house socks – Mermaid by BarGie available for free on Ravelry. I’ve already modified them a bit, but overall I really like how they are going. I’m using Austermann Merino Lace, which is a little heavier in a beautiful palette of grays.

Here is the quick and easy pattern for anyone who wants to try the pinwheels (they also make great coasters!):

Garter Stitch Pinwheel

Needles: US6 dpn (4 total)

Cast on 49 st (I used the knitting cast-on method because it will give me a good edge to sew together), leave 16 st on each of 3 needles (17 on the third to start). Join by knitting together the first and last stitch in first round.

Row 1: knit all stitches.
Row 2: Purl all stitches.
Row 3: [K6 stitches, ssk] 6 times.
Row 4: Purl all stitches.
Row 5: [K5 stitches, ssk] 6 times.
Row 6: Purl all stitches.
Row 7: [K4 stitches, ssk] 6 times.
Row 8: Purl all stitches.
Row 9: [K3 stitches, ssk] 6 times.
Row 10: Purl all stitches.
Row 11: [K2 stitches, ssk] 6 times.
Row 12: Purl all stitches.
Row 13: [K1 stitch, ssk] 6 times.
Row 14: Purl all stitches.
Row 15: [ssk] 6 times.
Pull yarn through remaining 6 st and weave in ends.

Enjoy!

Updated Knit Pattern: Herringbone Rib Fingerless Gloves

After may interruptions, I have finally completed the update to the Herringbone Rib fingerless gloves. I did knit them again, but decided to stick to the original photography because the colors show the pattern better than the darker yarn I used this time around, though the finished products are very pretty and perfect for fall. I am excited to have included a full pattern chart for the glove body and gusset increases, which I think help visualize what is happening in a way that is easier to follow than just reading the pattern. I hope you enjoy!

Buy it on Etsy for $3.50
Buy it on Craftsy for $3.50

Bonus: here are some pictures of the new gloves I knit to test the pattern.