Category Archives: pattern

Half-pi sunshine

When Sparkleduck Spirit miniskeins arrived, they got divebombed by eager knitters, elbowing each other aside to get to them, myself no exception!

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They cry out to be turned into something lovely and to me a half-pi shawl in the
orange was going to be a ray of sunshine.  I launched right in, knitting up a storm before stopping to think.  Here is what I did (with thanks to the invaluable Holly Chayes), and what I would do if I had stopped to think before satisfying the cast-on itch!

Yarn:  One Sparkleduck Spirit miniskein set (6 x 20g/85m merino/nylon)
Needles: 4mm, 120cm circular needle. 4mm DPNs are optional but very helpful for icord edging.
Gauge: (Postblocking) stocking stitch: 30st x 36r to 10cm
Finished size: 45 x 17” (could have been bigger if I hadn’t wasted some. Not exactly semicircular due to stretching it more sideways whilst blocking.)

Pattern knitted (with icord border)

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First stitch slipped purlwise on every row.

Changing yarn: when it comes time to end a ball and start a new one, by all
means do so in the middle of a row (either knit a few stitches in a row using
both yarns before dropping the old one, or
 Russian join them together).  I started off changing them just at the edge but ended up wasting a lot of yarn as the shawl grew.  

Using the palest yarn, cast on 7sts.
R1: Sl1, purl to end.
R2: Sl1, K1, [yo, k1] to last 2sts, k2. (10sts)
Stocking stitch 2 rows. Purl the yarnovers through the back of the loop if you want to slightly close up the eyelets (as I did).  Purl them normally if you want big eyelets.  If you want no eyelets, substitute all yo with m1 on the previous row.
R5: Sl1, P1, [yo, p1] to last 2sts, p2. (16sts)
Stocking stitch 4 rows. Knit the yarn overs through the back of the loop if you want to slightly close up the holes (as I did).  Knit them normally if you want big eyelets, or substitute with m1.  
R10: Sl1, K1, [yo, k1] to last 2sts, k2. (28sts)
Stocking stitch 8 rows.
R19: Sl1, P1, [yo, p1] to last 2sts, p2. (52sts)
Stocking stitch 16 rows.
R36: Sl1, K1, [yo, k1] to last 2sts, k2. (100sts)
Stocking stitch 32 rows.
R69: Sl1, P1, [yo, p1] to last 2sts, p2. (196sts)
Stocking stitch 64 rows.
R134: Sl1, K1, [yo, k1] to last 2sts, k2. (388sts)
Stocking stitch until yarn almost runs out, leaving 10g for icord edging.  If you have enough yarn, continue on for 128 rows before the next increase row.  (I stopped at 34 rows after the increase, having knitted just a couple of rows with my last miniskein, but could have done a few more).

To make the shawl even larger – next increase rows will be on purl row 263 (stitch count 772), and knit row 520 (stitch count 1540).

Cast off loosely using the Russian lace cast off (purl two stitches together, move the resulting stitch back onto the left-hand needle, purl two stitches together, continue to end).  Do this on a knit row to make the shawl curl slightly to the front.

The cast off edge after blocking (the points are due to being stretched on blocking pins).

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Applied spaced-out icord edging to the straight edge – cast on four stitches onto a DPN, pick up stitch from the rightmost corner of the shawl, RS facing (5sts).
[Slide stitches to end of DPN, knit 3, k2togtbl (4st).
Slide stitches to end of DPN, knit 4, pick up & knit next stitch of shawl
(working in towards the centre then out the other side) (5st)] repeat almost to
leftmost corner.

About to finish a pick-up row

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The icord will need to be bound off, leaving that right until the last stitch
has been picked up and worked into leads an untidy bulge over the edge of the
shawl so start decreasing a couple of rows before:

…slide stitches to end of DPN, knit 3, k2togtbl (4st).
Slide stitches to end of DPN, k2, k2tog, pick up penultimate stitch of shawl (4st)
Slide stitches to end of DPN, k2tog, k2togtbl (2st).
Slide stitches to end of DPN, k2tog, pick up last stitch of shawl (2st)
Cast off.

Wash & block, weave in ends.

Icord edging – RS view

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Pattern for next time

I’d skip the icord border in favour of a garter stitch border: easier, quicker, neater, lies flat and wastes no yarn: bigger shawl showing more gradient!

Always slip the first stitch, knit the next two. Always knit the last three stitches.

Using the palest yarn, cast on 7sts.
R1: Sl1, k2, p1, k3.
R2: Sl1, k1, [k1, yo] to last 3 sts, k3. (10sts)
Stocking stitch 2 rows. Purl the yarnovers through the back of the loop if you want to slightly close up the eyelets (as I did).  Purl them normally if you want big eyelets.  If you want no eyelets, substitute all yo with m1 on the previous row.
R5: Sl1, k2, [p1, yo] to last 3 sts, k3. (16sts)
Stocking stitch 4 rows. Knit the yarn overs through the back of the loop if you want to slightly close up the holes (as I did).  Knit them normally if you want big eyelets.   If you want no eyelets, substitute all yo with m1 on the previous row.
R10: Sl1, k1, [k1, yo] to last 3 sts, k3. (28sts)
Stocking stitch 8 rows.
R19: Sl1, k2, [p1, yo] to last 3 sts, k3. (52sts)
Stocking stitch 16 rows.
R36: Sl1, k1, [k1, yo] to last 3 sts, k3. (100sts)
Stocking stitch 32 rows.
R69: Sl1, k2, [p1, yo] to last 3 sts, k3. (196sts)
Stocking stitch 64 rows.
R134: Sl1, k1, [k1, yo] to last 3 st, k3. (388sts)
Stocking stitch until yarn almost runs out.  If you have enough yarn, continue on for 128 rows before the next increase row.

To make the shawl even larger – next increase rows will be on purl row 263 (stitch count 772), and knit row 520 (stitch count 1540).

Cast off loosely using the Russian lace cast off (purl two stitches together, put the resulting stitch back onto the left-hand needle, purl two stitches together, continue to end).  Do this on a knit row to make the shawl curl slightly to the front.

Wash and block, weave in ends. Bask in compliments.

Linen stitch neckwarmer

It’s been a long time!  Here’s a new pattern. It’s easy, super-quick to crochet and perfect for gifts or keeping yourself toasty.  Neckwarmers are less work and use less yarn than  scarves, and make for a toasty neck with no need to fling scarf ends about.

Linen stitch makes a beautiful texture, and is especially good for variegated yarns. It’s stretchy enough made in wool that you do not need to make special button holes.  It can be done up with a shawl pin also.  Made longways, the first row takes a bit longer than shortways, but there are many fewer rows so it feels a lot quicker to make than the traditional way.   

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Yarn:  One skein Malabrigo Rasta
(150g/82m superchunky wool)

Hook: 10mm

Fastening: Two large buttons, up to 4cm diameter

Gauge: Preblock: 8.5st x 9r = 4in. Postblock the heavy buttons stretched this a tiny bit to
8st x 9.25r = 4in.

Finished size: 28in by 5.5in. 

Abbreviations:

  • Dc = double crochet (UK)/ single crochet (US)
  • Fdc = foundation double crochet (UK)/ foundation single crochet (US) (this creates the first row of dc without the need to chain then dc into the chain). Cherry Heart has a great fdc tutorial.
  • Ch = chain
  • Ch-sp = chain space

Pattern

Foundation: Make 56 fdc (you can substitute by chaining 57 then making 56 dc, starting in the second stitch from the hook). Turn.

Row 1: Ch2, dc into second dc of row. [Ch, skip a stitch and dc into next st] to end of
row. (You should end up with 28 dc “legs”). Turn.

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Rows 2 – 10: Ch2, dc into first ch-sp.  [Ch, dc into ch-sp to end]. The last dc goes into the ch-sp formed by the ch2 at the start of the previous row. Turn.

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Row 11: Ch1, dc into the top of each stitch (56 dc). Fasten off.

Weave in ends. Block. Wear. Bask in compliments.

 You are welcome to sell items made using this pattern but do not sell the pattern itself. You may freely share it, giving credit to The Sheep Shop.

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Sheep Shop Super Easy Crochet Cowl

Thank you to Joanne Scrace who designed this cowl as a perfect project for a beginner crocheter to practise their skills, and donated it to The Sheep Shop. This pattern is so easy to make. In no time at all you will be wearing something you made!  It also makes a great quick gift.

It comes for free as part of a kit (not available for separate sale), one ball of chunky or superchunky yarn with an appropriate sized hook.  

One ball of James C. Brett Marble Chunky will make two cowls sized 7" x 31" circ.  A kit will cost £8.65 (at time of publication, February 2015).

E’s Mittens by Shirley Warbrick

Shirley is a treasure worthy of Johnny Depp jumping off the Black Pearl to come and claim.  She designed these mittens for E, a delightful one year old boy who tries to squirm out of gloves as soon as they are put on.  These have more staying power.

They look great in variegated yarn such as the rainbow-coloured Araucania Laguna.

They also look great striped, such as these made with Rico Design Essentials Soft Merino Aran.

The mittens use about 40g of aran yarn for the pair.  Shirley has donated the crochet pattern to us, and we’ll email it to you for free with purchases of our aran yarn over £5.     

Ladder to the Sky Gift Bag

Ladder to the Sky gift bag

This little gift bag is knitted flat from the bottom up using Ladder to the Sky ribbing, there’s an eyelet row for the ribbon and a ruffle to finish, then the side seam and bottom seam are sewn up.

Size: Approx 6cm x 15cm or 3” x 6” overall (once ribbon is tied, about 5” of bag and 1” of ruffly top).

Materials: 1 ballDROPS Cotton Viscose (or about 60m sportweight yarn), 3.5mm needles, narrow ribbon 17” long

Gauge: 22st to 10cm across in stocking stitch, or two ladder ribs = 6cm in pattern  

Abbreviations

SKPO = Slip a stitch knitwise, knit next stitch, pass slipped stitch over this stitch

Yrn = take the yarn from front to back over the right-hand needle and continue wrapping anticlockwise until the yarn is in the front again, ready to purl the next stitch

Kfbf =knit into the front, the back then the front of the stitch to make three stitches

Method

Cast on 50 stitches

Row 1 (RS): K1, [P2, K2tog, YO, K2, P2] 6 times, K1

Row 2 (WS): P1, [K2, P4, K2] 6 times, P1

Row 3: K1, [P2, K2, YO, SKPO, P2] 6 times, K1

Row 4: P1, [K2, P4, K2] 6 times, P1

You might find it easier to count stitches as blocks of K4, P4 except at the beginning and end of the rows, instead of K2, P4, K2.

Repeat these pattern rows 10 times more (11 in total).  Work should measure approx 5.5” from cast on edge.

Row 45: Eyelet row: K1, P2 [K2tog, YO, K2, P1, Yrn, P2tog, P1] 5 times, K2tog, YO, K2, Yrn, P2tog, K1

Knit rows 2-4 of pattern, then rows 1-4 again.

Row 53: Increase for ruffle: K1, Kfbf to last st, K1 (146 stitches)

Row 54: Purl to end

Row 55: K1, *K2, slip first stitch over second and off righthand needle, repeat from  * to last stitch, K1 (74 stitches)

Row 56: P1, *P2tog, repeat from * to last st, P1 (38 stitches)

Cast off

Sew up side seam using mattress stitch.  I turned the bag inside out and used backstitch for the bottom seam.  Thread ribbon into eyelets starting closest to the side seam.

Brought to you by The Sheep Shop, http://www.sheepshopcambridge.co.uk

Nipple hat

Sky view boob

Based on the hat recipe pattern.

Size: newborn, baby, toddler, woman, man

Materials: 1 [1:1:2:2] balls Hjertegarn Bommix bamboo in shade cream, oddment of pink yarn, 3.25mm needles, wool needle

Techniques: Cast on, knit, purl, K2tog, mattress stitch

Gauge: 22st to 10cm across in stocking stitch (for this hat, you can be a stitch out and it won’t matter)

Method

Cast on 68 [80: 98: 116: 122] stitches, using any cast on.  Make sure it’s loose, else the hat will be tight.  Casting on over two needles will help make sure it’s loose.

Work 4 [4.5: 5.5: 7: 7.5] inches of stocking stitch (knit every odd row, purl every even row).  The edge will roll up, this measurement is with the brim unrolled.

Then begin decreases:

Row 1: K1,*K4, K2tog*, repeat * to * until the last stitch, K1.   You now have 57 [67: 82: 97: 102] stitches on your needle.

Row 2, 6, 8, 10, 12 & 14: Purl across row.

Row 3: Change to the pink yarn, K1,*K3, K2tog*, K1 across row.

Row 4: Knit across row (this will make the bumpy outer areola).

Row 5: K1,*K2, K2tog* across row, K1. You now have 35 [41: 50: 59: 62] stitches on your needle.

Row 7: K1,*K1, K2tog* across row, K1.

Row 9: K1,*K2tog* across row, K1.  You now have 13 [15: 18: 21: 22] stitches on your needle.     

Row 11 & 13: Knit across row

Row 15: K1,*K2tog* across row, K1 if there is an odd number of stitches, K1

Row 16: Purl across row

Break the yarn, leaving a tail of a few of inches.  With a wool needle, thread this strand of yarn through the remaining loops on the needle, slide the stitches off and pull it tight.  Sew the sides of the hat together, starting from the bottom using the cream yarn.  The neatest way is to use mattress stitch, with the smooth side facing outwards.  Weave in the yarn ends of the yarn on the inside (remember the brim will roll up so the bottom inside will become the outside).

Wash your hat and dry it over a balloon or round icecream tub – it will look even better.

Side view boob

Brought to you by The Sheep Shop, http://www.sheepshopcambridge.co.uk. If you like this pattern, feel free to Digg it!  The post URL is http://sheepshopcambridge.tumblr.com/post/24530908445/nipple-hat

Easy, any-size beginner hat recipe

Beginner hatThere is a dearth on Ravelry of dead easy hat patterns which are knitted flat.  I’ve crunched through the maths to get it clear in my mind proportions for constructing a simple hat, and you are welcome to share what I learnt.

The bottom of this hat will curl up to make a nice rolled brim (and hide any messy cast-ons).  The instructions below give rules of thumb for any size of hat using any weight of yarn.  You start at the bottom of the hat and work your way to the top.  The bottom of the hat is just a rectangle, once it is long enough you decrease several times, then cut your yarn, pull through the stitches left on the needle to secure them, then sew up the sides.  That’s it.

Pick your size, pick your yarn, then look at the tables to find out how much yarn you need, how many stitches to cast on and how long to knit for before beginning your decreases.

Pattern

Cast on your stitches, number given in table 1, loosely – if they are tight, your brim will be very tight on the forehead.  You can cast on over two needles to stop this.  Any cast on method can be used.  Use the knitting needle size recommended on the yarn ballband (you may need to change needle size to match the gauge given in table 1).

Knit in stocking stitch for the number of inches specified in table 2.  Stocking stitch is when you knit every odd row, purl every even row.   The cast on edge will roll up when it’s actually worn – the measurements in the table are with it unrolled.   If possible, wrap it around the intended’s head – the decrease rows quickly narrow down the hat so once it covers to the top of the head it’s long enough.

Beginner hat side view

Begin decreases:

Row 1: K1,*K4, K2tog*, repeat from * to * across row, then K1. The very first and last stitch on all rows are called the selvedge – they are used to sew up the seam neatly and do not contribute to the width of the hat.

All even rows: Purl.

Row 3: K1,*K3, K2tog*, K1 across row.

Row 5: K1,*K2, K2tog*, K1 across row.

Row 7: K1,*K1, K2tog*, K1 across row.

Row 9: K1,*K2tog*, K1 across row.

Row 11: If you have more than 10 stitches left, do an extra row of *K2tog* across row – if there is an odd number, just knit the last stitch (and ignore the two edge stitches).

Break the yarn, leaving a tail about three times longer than the length of your hat.  With a large needle, thread this strand of yarn through the remaining loops on tBeginner hat top viewhe needle, and to stop a hole from forming at the top, thread it round a second time.  Sew the sides of the hat together, starting with the top – the neatest way is to use mattress stitch, with the right side (smooth side) facing outwards.  When you get to the rolled up bit, switch sides and mattress stitch on the inside (as the inside will be the outside when the brim rolls up).  Weave in the ends of the yarn on the inside of the rolled up brim.

Wash your hat and if possible dry it over a balloon or round icecream tub – it will look even better.

Table 2Some of the teen/woman and woman/man sizes have the same number of cast on stitches, but the head size table recommends you knit for different lengths – you basically get the same hat which is longer or shorter.  This is due to choosing to base decreases on a multiple of six stitches for the first decrease row, and when using thicker yarn there’s only so many multiple of six you need to fit a head.  Because the brim rolls, it doesn’t matter much if you decide to make it a bit longer or shorter before starting your decreases.  Table 310% error margin to account for errors in gauge, short balls and allowance for sewing up.

To convert to knitting in the round

Minus two from the cast on number in table 1, as you won’t need to sew a seam.

Instead of purling the even rows, knit them.

If the hat is bigger than 40cm/16”, you can knit the bottom part of the hat on a 40cm circular needle.  You’ll need to switch to double pointed needles for the top of the hat when the stitches have been decreased enough that you can’t stretch the stitches around the circle.

The theory

The hat circumference should be 5-10% smaller than the person’s actual forehead circumference, so the hat is stretched a bit so it clings to the head.

The number of stitches to cast on is figured out by (circumference of head x 0.925 x number of stitches you get in 4”)/4.

Round this figure up or down to get a whole number divisible by 6, then add 2 for the selvedge.

This hat has a smooth spiral pattern at the top when it is sewn up.  If you start your decreases spaced further apart (i.e. begin with K10, K2tog, then do K9, K2tog, etc) you’ll get a long pointy hat.  If you’re making a pointy hat, keep decreasing until you have only a couple of stitches left, for maximum pointiness.  If you start them closer together (K1, K2tog, then do K2tog) you’ll finish the hat sooner and have a gathered-in top.

Brought to you by The Sheep Shop, http://www.sheepshopcambridge.co.uk