Patterns

Blue Star Beanie Pattern

Today was the pinnacle of Fall. After a walk to the coffee shop under trees ablaze in orange and yellow, there was football and knitting. Acorn squash and apple cider are on the menu for dinner. Politicians are slipping flyers in the door. I might make an apple crisp real quick just to make sure that maximum autumn saturation has been obtained.

Quick! Add pumpkin to something!
Quick! Add pumpkin to something!

The 50 degree weather was the perfect opportunity for the fella to take his new hat on it's maiden journey. It's knit with just under half a skein of fingering weight yarn, which makes it just warm enough for these days when it's just a bit too cold to go hatless, but too warm for the winter hats.

Not feminine yet not boring to make. What more could you ask for in a dude's hat?
Not feminine yet not boring to make. What more could you ask for in a dude's hat?

Named for the restaurant where my knitting group meets, Blue Star is comprised of twisted stitches. It is deceptively stretchy for the amount of texture  going on. The twisted stitches are also quick to work if you get the hang of cabling without a cable needle.

He's cute.
He's cute.

Bold Colors

DSC_04851.jpg

The most exciting time of the year for any nerdy kid is the week before school starts. They spend the days unloading their backpack, loving looking at all school supplies, and reorganizing their crayon box. They reflect on the big questions - Dolphin folders are clearly the best for Science, but should rainbow unicorns be for Math or Social Studies? Oh, kids don't do that? No one else gets that excited about organizing? Angry Birds is ruining our youth.

One of the best things was the brand new packs of crayons and markers. The school supply list only required the basic marker set, but with enough whining  Mom could be swayed to get a second set of markers. Bold colors. The best freaking colors on the planet - raspberry, emerald, azure, goldenrod. You had better recognize, kids who picked on me. There's a new pack of markers in town.

BOLD COLORS!

(at this point, you might have picked up on a few of the factors that contributed to the teasing)

I didn't realize until halfway through this quilt that I had borrowed my 8-year old self's favorite color pallet. I'm sure the next niece, Izzabella, will also love it, because the kids want to be just like yours truly.

Bold Colors Quilt

When it's done, the quilt looks like this.

Finished size: 46″ square

Materials

  • 1.75 yards white background fabric (44" quilters cotton)
  •  1/3 yard each of four different color fabrics (44" quilters cotton)
  • 50" piece of batting
  • 1.5 yards 56" wide backing fabric
  • 3/8 yard binding fabric
  • Sewing thread and other notions

Making the Hourglass Blocks

This tutorial shows you how to make these as fast and easily as possible.

Cut

  • From each of the colored fabrics cut seven 5.5" squares (one strip 5.5" x width of fabric, cut to seven 5.5" squares)
  • From the white, cut twenty-eight 5.5" squares (four strips 5.5" x width of fabric, each cut to seven 5.5" squares)

Follow the linked tutorial to make 56 hourglass blocks. This is 2 more than you will ultimately need. Be sure to square them up to 4.5". This will cut out a lot of bulk and help your corners match up better.

Center square

From the white, cut one 7" square (A), one 4" square (B), and sixteen 5" squares (C). Cut each square in half on the angle.

Layout your central block starting with the hourglass blocks, making sure to turn them so that colored edges touch white edges. The blocks are placed on an angle with the white triangles filling in the edges to make it square.

There are nine rows of hourglass blocks. Starting in the lower left, the rows are:

  • 2 blocks
  • 4 blocks
  • 6 blocks
  • 8 blocks
  • 10 blocks
  • 8 blocks
  • 6 blocks
  • 4 blocks
  • 2 blocks

Triangles A go in the lower left and upper right. Triangles B in the upper left and lower right. Triangles C fill in the sides.

Sew each column of blocks together. Press the seams, and then sew the strips together to create the square. I recommend leaving the blocks laying out on the floor as you do this, because it can be easy to get a triangle rotated incorrectly.

Press the seams like crazy.

Add a white border

From the white, cut two 3.5" x 32" strips and two 3.5" x 38" strips.

Sew the shorter strips to the top and bottom. Press seams.

Sew the longer strips to the sides.

Press seams.

1" squares border

This is where you risk becoming a crazy person. A bunch of 1" blocks sounds like it wouldn't be that bad, but you might go nuts halfway through. Fair warning.

This angle make the border look like it goes on forever? What a coincidence.

Cut 1.5" x length of the fabric

  • 12 from the white fabric
  • 3 from each of the colored fabrics

Sew a white strip to each of the colored strips. Press the seams toward the color.

Sew each of these strips lengthwise to another one, so that you have six pieces of fabric that are striped color - white - different color - white.

Press them very well.

Cut the strips down to 1.5" x 5" rectangles.

Sewing along the 5" side, join 38 of these into a long strip. Do your best to line up seams. Be sure that the blocks always alternate white - color - white - color. Repeat until you have four total border pieces.

Sew an hourglass block to each end of two of these border pieces. Press the borders like crazy.

Pin the borders without the hourglass ends to the top and bottom of the quilt. Sew them on and press. Sew the remaining borders to the other side.

Press the whole quilt top well.

Back, bind and quilt.

I quilted the hourglasses like this.

 

Izmir hat pattern

A buttonless hat.
A buttonless hat.

This hat gets its name from the gorgeous blues of the tiles produced in Izmir, Turkey. The 8,000 year old city was a huge producer of striking Turkish tiles for centuries during the Ottoman Empire.

Or so I was told when I visited Turkey. The internet will only confirm with questionable resources. What I can reliably say is that Turkey remains a huge textile producer. Check your textiles - odds are pretty good they were either Hecho en Mexico or Made in Turkey.

Supplies

  •  36 grams (140 yards) 100% wool heavy fingering weight yarn (440 yards to 113 grams). Mine was knit using Sappho II in Salt Under the Sea.
  • US size 6 (4 mm) double pointed needles
  • Tapestry needle
  • Markers

Notes

  • K - Knit
  • P - Purl
  • PM - Place marker
  • M1 - Make one, using your preferred method (here are some options). I did the raised increase.

Size

23-24" head circumference (average adult female)

Gauge

24 sts per 4 inches (10 cm) in stockinette stitch knit in the round. Row gauge is not critical.

Note: this hat does not have much stretch so stitch gauge is important.

Setup

Cast on 8 sts and join to work in the round.

Next round: M1 in all sts (16 sts total)

Next round: *K2, pm*. Repeat from * to * to end of round.

Crown shaping

  • Round 1: *K to marker, M1, slip marker*. Repeat from * to * to end of round.
  • Round 2: Knit all sts, slipping markers as you come to them

Repeat rounds 1 and 2 until you have 120 sts on your needle (15 sts between each marker). Pro tip: if you don't want to check your gauge (who does?) you can put the hat on a long circ or scrap yarn and try it on. Once it's the size you need, continue on, even if  your stitch count does not match 120.

Knit all sts until work measures 6" from the crown, removing markers as you come to them.

psst. your mullet is showing..
psst. your mullet is showing..

Brim

Note: if you want a clear indicator of where to wrap the yarn later, you can tie a scrap piece of yarn to the first stitch of the round. 

Work the following twice:

  • Purl all sts for 5 rounds
  • Knit all sts for 3 rounds

Purl all sts for 5 more rounds (3 ttl purl ridges).

Knit one round.

Bind off knit wise.

Break yarn leaving a long (~18") tail. Thread the tail onto a needle and wrap the yarn around the purl ridges. If you chose to place the scrap yarn, you will be threading the tail through the stitch marked and then around the bottom of the hat. Wrap about 10-15 times. If you want to add a button or decorative element, use the tail to attach it. If you have a marker, cut it out.

Sew closed the hole from the cast on, and weave in ends. Look like a princess in here most beautiful hat.

Pull tight when wrapping the knot.
Pull tight when wrapping the knot.

Diverging

Many moons ago, I designed these socks to process through a parting of ways. They were my first published pattern. I was really excited. See! I'm dusting them off again. The pattern has been reworked, retested, and reformatted to mark a new divergence in my life - the fella and I are in the process of packing up our lives to follow the American itch to head out West.

A poem, "two roads diverged in the woods.. and I took the road less traveled.." And it hurt, man! Really bad! Rocks! Thorns! and Glass! my… broke! waahh! Not cool, Robert Frost! -Kid President

Why would two people leave all the good they've created for themselves to show up tired and unwanted on the doorstep of Seattle? Well.... we can. And maybe it'll lead to our Space Jam?

That's really the best answer I have. But while I'm selling my life on Craigslist at get-it-now rates, I am offering this pattern for free. Once I make it out West, it will be $3.99. As with all my life at the moment, the specific timing is TBD, so grab it now.

Outside
Outside
Inside
Inside

Finished Size

Women’s medium [Women’s large/Men’s small, Men’s large]

  • Women’s medium: Shoe sizes 6-9; 10” foot
  • Women’s large: Shoe sizes 8-12; 11” foot
  • Men’s small (same size as women’s medium): Shoe sizes 10.5-12; 11” foot
  • Men’s large: Shoe sizes 12.5-14; 11.5” foot

Supplies

  • 100 grams, 420 yards (3.5 oz, 368 m) of finger weight sock yarn of your choice, such as Plymouth Yarn Happy Feet or Blue Fiber Arts Socks that Rock
  • US #1 (2.25 mm) double pointed needles or size needed for gauge
  • US #0 (2 mm) double pointed needles or one size smaller than needed for gauge
  • Cable needle
  • Stitch markers
  • Darning needles

Gauge

16 sts x 24 rows = 2 inches (5 cm) in Stockinette Stitch worked in the round

Rainbow Brite Socks

I had no delusions that caring for a 4 year old and a 6 month old would be a week of snuggles and hugs. I was not prepared to dedicate a full day to discovering all the different ways you can get covered in bodily fluids (I stopped counting at 8. What creativity they have!). Children should have a warning label. Warning: Disgusting - cuddle at your own risk. Foolishly, I thought I would have time to indoctrinate the next generation with the greatest things of the '80s - My Little Ponies, Rainbow Brite, Lisa Frank. Sparkly, rainbow colored awesomeness. Step one: Rainbow Brite inspired socks for each kiddo. Step two: well... step two got de-prioritized real quick.

My plans to get action shots dissolved pretty quickly, too. I didn't even get a not-on-kid shot of the larger pair and the even the completely immobile child wouldn't sit still.

So, you want me to flail about as much as possible and fuss, right?

But, whatever, these socks are awesome.

Not on a baby.

Rainbow Brite socks

Size

Ages 1-3, 5.5” foot (Ages 4-7, 7.5” foot)

Supplies

  • 55 (65) total grams of Cephalopod Yarns Bugga! [70% Merino, 20% Cashmere, 10% Nylon; 380 yds/ 347 m per 113 g/ 4 ounces] - Sample shown uses the Rainbow 2 mini-skein palettes
  • 5 (6) gr for each stripe, heel and toe
  • 15 (20) gr for foot color
  • Size 1 double pointed needles (dpns)

Pro-tip: If you’re a faster knitter than purler, you can work the leg inside out (specifically, knit 7 rounds for each ridge, instead of purling). Before working the heel, flip the work right side out and work heel as written. This may affect your gauge. Otherwise, just work as written.

Gauge

15 sts x 20 rows in 2”/5 cm square in stockinette

Instructions

Cast on 44 (52) sts using your favorite stretchy cast on. I used the long-tail cast-on.

Evenly distribute the sts across the four dpns (11(13) sts on each needle), and join to knit in the round being sure not to twist the sts. Work 2 rounds of k1,p1 ribbing and proceed to work your first ridge.

Ridge

  • Work 3 rounds of k1,p1 ribbing
  • Purl all sts for seven rounds
  • Break yarn

Join next color and repeat ridge until six ridges have been worked.

Work 3 rounds of k1, p1 ribbing. Break yarn.

Short row heel

Heel is worked across two needles (22(26) sts).

Join color for the heel. Row 1: Knit 21 (25) sts, wrap next st, turn. Row 2: Sl st purlwise, p20 (24) sts, wrap next st, turn.

Repeat the next two rows until 10 sts remain unworked.

  • Sl st knitwise, k to st before wrapped st, wrap next st, turn.
  • Sl st purlwise, p to st before wrapped st, wrap next st, turn.

Repeat next two rows until all sts have been worked

  • Sl st, knit to wrapped st, pick up wrap and knit together with next st, turn
  • Sl st, purl to wrapped st, pick up wrap and purl together with next st, turn

Knit to end of row and break heel yarn.

Foot

Join foot color. Work in stockinette st until work measures 2.25” (4.25”) from the heel color change, or the full length of the foot is 1.25” (1.5”) inches less than the total length required, ending after needle 4.

Toe

Alternate the following two rounds until 20 sts remain:

  • K1, k2tog, k to 3 sts before the end of needle 2, ssk, k2, k2tog, k to 3 sts before the end of needle 4, ssk, k1
  • Knit all sts

Break yarn with an 8" tail, and use kitchener stitch to close the toe. Weave in all ends.

Make the second sock.

Block with the socks standing upright to allow the ridges to get a good shape.

Let the socks dry standing like this to give the ridges shape.