Knitting

Malbec Sock Pattern

Malbec Sock Pattern

 

 

Notes

CL2x2 - Slip 3 sts to cable needle, p1, k1, p1, k1 from left needle, k1, p1, k1 from cable needle.

 

Toe

Figure 8 cast on 20 stitches (10 on needle, 10 on cable)

Alternate increase and even rounds until there are 26 sts on each needle, 52 total.

  • Increase round: K1, m1, knit until one stitch before end of needle, m1, k1. Repeat on second needle.
  • Even round: Knit all stitches

Slip one stitch from needle 2 to needle 1.

Leg

On all rounds, knit all stitches on needle 2.

Needle 1: Right foot

Work 8 rounds: *K1, p1*, repeat from * to * to final stitch, k1.

*K1, p1*, repeat from * to * 7 total times, CL2x2, *p1, k1*, repeat from * to * 4 total times.

Work 10 rounds: *K1, p1*, repeat from * to * to final stitch, k1.

Bunny Hugs Baby Hat

I recently discovered that Canadians call hoodies "bunny hugs". As in, newspapers could read "Roving bands of teenagers, dressed in sagging pants and bunny hugs, broke into the local gas station". O, Canada. I've never met you, but I love you. This hat is uber girly. It's made from 100% alpaca and is a baby pink. Softest yarn and the softest color. So what else could I do than put it on my baby nephew?

Hey girl.
Hey girl.

I think this hat would be super cute in brighter, funner colors. But, maybe the world needs a few more super soft, baby pink hats.

Bunny Hugs

This hat is worked top down.

Supplies

20 grams Blue Sky sport weight 100% baby alpaca (50 g/110 yards) in petal

50 grams Blue Sky sport weight 100% baby alpaca (50 g/110 yards) in natural

Size 4 dpns

Notes

Gauge: 22 sts x 32 rows blocked stocknette stitch = 4 inches (10 cm)

Finished size: 14.5" (16") circumference - smaller size should fit 0-12 months, larger would fit a toddler

K - knit

P - purl

M1 - Make one using the increase of your choice. I knit one in front and back.

SSK - slip slip knit

K2tog - Knit 2 sts together

Crown

With the white yarn, cast on 2 stitches onto each of two of the DPNs (4 total). Join to work in the round.

  • Round 1 and all odd rounds: Knit all stitches.
  • Round 2: M1 in all sts (8 total). Spread the stitches across 4 dpns, so you have two stitches on each needle.
  • Round 4: *K1 M1 Repeat from * (16 total)
  • Round 6: *K2 M1 Repeat from * (24 total)
  • Round 8: *K3 M1 Repeat from * (32 total)
  • Round 10: *K4 M1 Repeat from * (40 total)
  • Round 12: *K5 M1 Repeat from * (48 total)
  • Round 14: *K6 M1 Repeat from * (56 total)
  • Round 16: *K7 M1 Repeat from * (64 total
  • Round 18: *K8 M1 Repeat from * (72 total)
  • Round 20: *K9 M1 Repeat from * (80 total) - For infant size, proceed to knit even stitches
  • For toddler size - Round 22: *K10 M1 Repeat from * (88 ttl)

Knit even until work measures 5" (5.5")  from crown.

Not on a baby
Not on a baby

Ear Flaps

Bind off 20 (24)  stitches. This is the front of the hat.

Work 6 rows of stockinette on the remaining stitches.

Repeat next two rows 3 times -

  • K1, m1, k to final 2 sts, m1, k1
  • Purl

K1, m1, k18, ssk, k1, move the worked stitches onto scrap yarn, BO20 (24), k1, k2tog, k18, m1, k1

Work Ear Flaps

Work 4 times:

  • Purl
  • K1, k2tog, k to end

Repeat 2 times:

  • Purl
  • K1, k2tog, k to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1

Purl to end

Bind off  until 3 sts remain.

Work an i-cord until it is 9 inches long. Break yarn, and weave end through remaining sts.

Transfer the remaining stitches onto the needle for the other ear flap.

Work 4 times:

  • Purl
  • K1, k to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1

Repeat 2 times:

  • Purl
  • K1, k2tog, k to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1

Purl bind off until 3 sts remain

Work an i-cord until it is 9 inches long. Break yarn, and weave end through remaining sts.

Edging

  • Set the body of the hat aside. With contrasting color, create a 9" i-cord.
  • Join to hat next to one of the existing i-cords, and knit on an i-cord along the edge of the hat (tutorial here) until you reach the cord at the end of the opposite flap.
  • Work 9" of loose i-cord. Break yarn, and weave end through remaining sts.

Repeat to create an i-cord edging across the other side of the hat.

Poof.
Poof.

Finishing

Block hat to 7.25" (8") wide and 8.5" (9") from crown to the tip of the earflaps.

Braid i-cords together.

Make two pom-poms (here's a tutorial), and sew one to the end of each i-cord braid, securing the braid together.

Weave in ends.

Real men wear pink
Real men wear pink

Peru, Part Two

vicuna-yarn
vicuna-yarn

In my last post about all the fibery goodness to be found in Peru, I promised to bring home photos of my spoils. And I am indeed quite spoiled.

The little guys in the front are two status of vicunas, a Peruvian wild camelid. It's the wilder and softer cousin of alpacas and llamas, and back in the day, their yarn could exclusively be used by royalty. Since it costs about $1.40 a yard, I don't know if that has actually changed. Ounce for ounce, still cheaper than gold and cocaine though. Obscenely expensive yarn purchase = justified.

The yarn in the back is a variety pack of natural colored llama wool. It's fingering weight, and I think it's going to be turned into many colorwork socks and mittens. I picked the yarn up at the market in Pisac for a song from very nice lady that at least pretended to understand my poorly conjugated, heavily accented Spanish.

peru_yarn
peru_yarn

This is the first yarn I found in Ariquipa. It's super soft baby alpaca (I actually believe the label) and will be a sweater. In Pisac, I also found the below "natural" fiber dyes. This isn't enough to dye much more than a few yards of each color, but I hope to be able to experiment a bit.

peru-dye
peru-dye

Pottery was another craft that was everywhere, much to my delight. I am contemplating taking another pottery class this winter, now that I have enough arm strength to control the clay, instead of the other way around.

peru_pottery
peru_pottery

We picked up this vase for my mom, and I forgot to give it to her at Thanksgiving. Perhaps I will conveniently continue to forget to bring it north.

Weaving is probably the craft where the Andeans have the most street cred. The Andean people could do amazing things by weaving fibers. Not only blankets and belts, but when the Spanish arrived, the natives could weave pretty much anything, including armor and boats.

Dwell on that a second. They wove a boat. And it floated all the way up to central America and back again, full of stuff. I have yet to sail anywhere on something I've knitted.

peru-weaving
peru-weaving

During Incan times, Rainbows were worshipped similar to the Sun, Mother Earth, Lightening, etc. It's symbol of fertility and abundance.  We saw a temple to the Rainbow at the Forever Young ruins, my favorites of the trip, on the last night of the hike. The rainbow flag is the flag of Cusco, which if you're an ignorant American like me, can lead you to think all the bars are gay bars. They are not, you're just slow.

This blanket really isn't a blanket at all. It's an all-purpose transportation device. Peruvian women use these to bundle up pretty much anything from a  baby to a whole bunch of maize and carry in on their back.

peru_embroidery
peru_embroidery

This is a hand embroidered wool table runner. It's gorgeous, and it makes me really disappointed that table runners serve no purpose what-s0-ever. Right now, I just look at it and pet it.

We also scored a bunch of sweet hats, gloves and socks, which all happened to have disappeared while I was photographing today, but fortunately I have an action shot. Our Andean hand-knits kept us very warm along the Inca Trail.

waynawaynu
waynawaynu

If you aren't sick of my trip yet, here it is as experience by our cake toppers. They had a great time.

Peru: The Land of Sweater Envy

If you, like me, think the number one criteria for a honeymoon destination is the quality of their knitwear, tear up your Aruba brochures and check out Peru. Beautiful intarisa hats, sweaters, gloves, socks all made of llama or alpaca, for prices that made me simultaneously squeal with delight and sob at the inhumanity of it all. Fingering weight, hand-knit, baby alpaca gloves for $12? Si, senora. And that's charging you double! And these are just the stacks of goods made for the gringos. The real swoon worthy stuff is being worn by the locals. The wealthy women have beautiful sweaters underneath impecably tailored jackets. The farmers and merchants have equally beautiful sweaters, though a bit more stretched and frayed from years of use. Or as I like to call it, love.

Pisac
Pisac

Below I ramble about the great fiber-full sights me and the fella saw in Peru, and I'll do a later post showing off all the goodies I brought home. Spoiler alert: there will be yarn.

Arequipa

Before we went to Peru, this was the city that I thought was going to be made for me. It has a reputation on the interwebs about being all about the baby alpaca, and true to its reputation, it was busting at the seams with hats, ponchos, little alpaca dolls, and everything else you could possibly want made out of yarn.

It was glorious.

peruvianWeaver
peruvianWeaver
weaving machine
weaving machine

We also found Mundo Alpaca, which was an estate setup to teach about the animals and fiber traditions, all as a precursor to convincing you to buy a $1,000 weaving. And you totally should. I didn't, but you certainly need one.

Peruvian Weaving
Peruvian Weaving

This was the first city we visited where we saw llamas and alpacas just hanging out, and at the time, I thought we'd reach the pinnacle of  Peru's fiber market (commercially, I think it is. For tourists, not so much.) and would have been satisfied, but there was so, so much more as we headed toward Cusco and the Sacred Valley. It got so much better. I feel a little bad for Arequipa.

Llama
Llama

But the food? You might want to bring an extra stomach. We had the best meal of the trip here. It included, uh, a llama steak. They are as delicious as they are soft.

The Sacred Valley

I'd like to believe that the Andean people considered this valley sacred due to the abundance of alpacas, llamas, sheep and the things that are made out of them. I'd be completely wrong in spreading that rumor. It's because the sun, viewed as a god, follows the path of the valley, but where's the fun in that?

Pisac market
Pisac market

This, my friends, is where you go to find the fiber. Specifically, the Sunday market at Pisac is worth a journey of a 1,000 miles. I had great photos of it, but they are on my 3 week old iphone 5 that was lost on a flight between Cusco and Lima. I appreciate your words of comfort through this difficult time.

The markets were piled high with hats, socks, blankets, tapestries, and sweaters of all colors and quality levels, and this was the most inexpensive place we shopped. The market used to be for the locals to trade their goods with merchants who, presumably, bring them to Arequipa and Lima and triple the price.

pisac market
pisac market

In theory, you are able to haggle on prices, but when someone says 8 soles (about $5) for handknit socks, the knitter in my dies a little. Even hastily made and sloppily constructed socks, as these were, are worth more than $5 when your camping in the Andes.

The other beauty of Pisac was that they actually sold yarn. There was a little in Arequipa, but it was more of an after thought. In Pisac, it was piled high in tons of colors, and sold by the bag. It was a good thing I didn't have much carrying space, or things might have gotten out of hand.

pisac market
pisac market

Cusco

This is truly where we must mourn the loss of the cell phone, because there is a street of magic in Cusco, and I have no documentation it ever existed. I could probably find pictures strangers have taken online, but since they don't include me wearing the same clothes for the fifth time, I think everyone would think they were photoshopped.

There is the market of St. Sebastian. What is inside it is wonder - cheap lunch, cow's heads for sale, clothes, juice stands, whatever you're looking for - but outside is shop after shop of fabric, yarn, notions and trim. It was a true fiber district, and it was a little overwhelming without having had my cafe con leche yet.

Also, the fun things about the streets of Peru is that all the vendors are knitting. They stop, sell you Inka Cola (which tastes like liquid pineapple dum dums - gag), and then go back to knitting. Somewhat suspiciously, they seem to always be casting on.

Throughout the region, locals will dress a little extra "authentic" in order to entice you into taking their picture, in exchange for a sole. My personal favorite were the young girls walking around with lambs and baby llamas, though apparently I loved them so much I never took a photo.

andean women
andean women

Animals Everywhere!

Alpacas. Vicunas. Llamas. Sheep. Stray dogs.

Every where.

Love so much.

I am a llama. F yeah, llamas
I am a llama. F yeah, llamas
llama Colca Canyon
llama Colca Canyon
roadblock
roadblock
llama
llama
donkeys
donkeys
Vicunas
Vicunas
lamb
lamb

And, to close, this statue is wearing socks.

statue
statue

No Cold Feet

IMG_2269.jpg

My romantic intelligence is stuck at about the 3rd grade level. Discussions of romance result in a lot of giggling and overwhelming the urge to run away, and occasionally a long "eeeeeewwwwwww".  Romantic getaways, flowers, chocolates and pomp make my entire body kick into defense mode, and here I am planning a wedding. I'm not sure how you plan a wedding and avoid hearts, the word 'love', and public displays of affection, but I'll be damned if I'm not going to give it a shot. (For what it's worth, I'm pretty sure the answer to this riddle, as it is to so very many, is 'food and booze'.) Below is an attempt at squeezing in a tiny bit of romance, which has hopefully been completely killed by sharing this with the internet. Socks for the fella to wear on our wedding day. He won't get cold feet. See what I did there? It's very clever. But wait! There's more.

Toes of pattern

The pattern rows (which are just simple twist stitches) are spaced out 10 rows, then 13 rows, then 12 rows to reflect our October 13, 2012 wedding date. Take that, wedding industry! Customized without a $39.95 surcharge! Victory Point to Shana.

Anyway, here's a pattern. Go knit some socks.

Socks to insure against cold feet

Full view of mens socks

 

Supplies

  • Skinny Bugga! by The Sanguine Gryphon (Fingering / 4 ply, 80% Merino, 10% Cashmere, 10% Nylon, 450 yards / 113 grams) - One ball in Sooty Dancer
  • Yummy Toes - Sock by Miss Babs (Fingering / 4 ply, 100% Merino, 133 yards / 37 grams) - 20 yards in Pewter for the heel and toes (One skein of Skinny Bugga would be enough to do the toes and heels in the main color)
  • 32″ size 1 (2.25 mm) circular needle
  • Cable needle, if needed. You can also do the twists without a cable needle.
  • Tapestry needle

Notes

These socks are knit toe-up, two at a time using the magic loop. This site explains how to do it. If you prefer dpns or knitting one at time, you can still knit the socks, but you may want to use markers to indicate where the magic loop needles would start and end.

I haven't test knit these, so if something seems wrong it probably is. Let me know, and I'll correct it.

m1 – make one

w&t – Wrap and turn

LT- Left Twist - Hold one stitch to the front, knit second stitch, knit first stitch

Directions

Toe

Figure 8 cast on 20 sts (10 on needle, 10 on cable)

Alternate increase and even round until you have 48 sts.

  • Increase round: On first needle, k1, m1, k to final stitch, m1, k1. Repeat on needle 2.
  • Even round: Knit both needles.

Foot

Work the following until knitting measures 10″ from cast-on.

On needle 1: P1, knit until final stitch, p1.

On needle 2:

This is where you turn on the romance. Or something. The spacing of the twist rows represent the wedding date. Work the normal row for all rounds except those that reflect your date. For October 13, 2012, I work the twist row on round 10, again on 13 rows later, and again twelve rows after that. Then repeat.

  • Normal row: P1, *k2, p2* repeat from * to * until last three sts, k2, p1
  • Twist row: P1, *LT, p2* repeat from * to * until last three sts, LT, p1

Heel

This sock has a short row heel. If you're working the socks two at a time, you will do one heel, and then the other.

Join the heel yarn.

  • Sl1, k to last stitch, w&t.
  • Sl1, p21, w&t
  • K to one before wrapped stitch, w&t
  • p to one before wrapped stitch, w&t

Alternate last two rows until 8 stitches remain unworked.

Work until the wrapped stitch, pick up wrap and work stitch, turn.

Repeat until all wrapped stitches have been worked.

Break heel yarn.

Sock heel

Leg

Pick back up the main color and continue working the needle 2 pattern on both needles, so that the ribbing and twist stitches are worked around the whole leg.

Continue until the leg measures 8″ from heel or as close as possible after completing 'year' rows.

Finishing

Bind off using your favorite stretchy bind off. I recommend this bind-off.

Weave in ends, block if you're the type who blocks socks (I am not), give to fella, live happily ever after.