Our last few Knit Alongs have been mostly garments. I know a lot of people are short on time at the holidays so I wanted to have a shorter KAL and have it focus more on learning newer techniques that you might not know.

With that in mind, I’m focusing on cozies. They’re perfect for quick knit gifts, and because they’re so fast you can give them to nearly everyone, whether it’s a teacher or a friend. My favorite gift is a mug wrapped in a cozy with some hot chocolate and candy canes inside. If you want to include a gift card, there’s even a little pocket! They’re also really great for stashbusting so you don’t have to go out and buy yarn unless you want to.

Vote on your favorite cozy and the techniques you definitely want to learn by clicking here.

In my Ravelry store, all cozies are 50% until the 8th of December, including Cozy Gifts, if you’re interested in buying a bundle. Just add one or more to your cart for the discount to automatically apply.

Finally my obsession with sweater dresses and wiggle dresses and knitting collide!

I’m so happy to introduce to you the Cozy Vintage Dress, published in the December issue of I Like Knitting.

 

It’s fitted, it’s a modified rib, it has a zipper – I’m pretty sure it’s perfect! 😉 Check out my video where I gush all about my inspiration and then explain sizes and materials:

Size: Finished Bust Size 32 (36, 40, 44, 48)” to fit bust 34 (38, 42, 46, 50)”

2” negative ease recommended.
Shown in size 36”

Materials

Yarn: Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick and Quick (82% Acrylic, 10% Wool, 8% Rayon; 106 yards 97 meters/170 grams): 156 Grey Marble, 5 (5, 6, 6, 7) balls.
Needles: US size 13 (9 mm): 24” circular
Notions: Markers; stitch holders; tapestry needle; 24” #5 Brass Zipper

If you’re thinking the name of this pattern sounds a bit familiar – you’re right!

While I was knitting the Adirondack Basket Hat for the last Knit Along, I kept thinking it needed matching accessories. I haven’t come up with gloves just yet, but I am happy to report that I found time for a matching scarf!

 

Adirondack Basket Scarf

 

Just like the hat, the scarf is knit with super bulky yarn so it’s a very quick knit. The pattern is great for people just learning to cable. (And check out my video here if you’re new to cabling!)

And for the next week, until November 16th, if you buy one, you’ll get the other pattern free on ravelry! Add the hat and the scarf to your basket for the discount to apply.

Supplies
Pattern
2 skeins of Lion’s Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick Yarn
US size 13 DPN needles (9.0 mm)
Stitch marker(s)
Tapestry Needle
Scissors

I was contemplating a serious problem earlier this year: how can I make a proper winter sweater with no lace, no cotton, no nothing that I tend to favor?

As I was browsing through books and most of the internet for ideas, I was struck by an amazing idea: Of course, I can make it with chevrons!

(I know, I know, what a surprise…)

But stick with me because this sweater is all about texture.

Knit with a Malabrigo’s worsted weight wool, the textured focus means slipped stitches to create a beautiful chevron wave. It means overlapped ribbing at the shoulder. I even added little buttons!

Check out my video, I chat all about it. Don’t forget to add it to your faves and queue on ravelry here.

This sweater is published in Cast On’s fall 2016 issue. You can find more information about the issue and, if you prefer, purchase a digital copy here.

It’s (almost) time for the fall Knit Along!

This KAL’s voting was actually the closest I’ve ever seen it, but the Adirondack Basket Hat came out ahead by just a few votes!

Adirondack Basket Hat

So let’s check it out:

It does have cables, so if you’re new to cable knitting, get excited and ready to learn, but I especially love these cables because they’re not traditional. They’re really more of a basketweave pattern (hence the name), and so I think it’s a bit more fun to knit.

The pattern is broken up by simply columns that connect at the top so it would be perfect for a pom pom on top. We can make our own with matching yarn or you get one of those nifty fur balls that are all the rage.

Adirondack Basket Hat Knitting Pattern

Adirondack Basket Hat Knitting Pattern

Also, the hat is fitted and it’s one size fits most. If you’re a bit worried about that or you’re looking for a bit more relaxed fit, leave a comment and let me know and we’ll figure it out!

Supplies
Pattern
1 skein of Lion’s Brand Wool-Ease Thick & Quick Yarn
US size 13 DPN needles (9.0 mm)
US size 11 DPN needles (for ribbing)
Stitch marker(s)
Tapestry Needle
Scissors

Start Date
We’re starting September 12, 2016. If you voted you’re already signed up, but if not, sign up here if you want to be included. All communication is done either via email or the facebook group.

Want to see this in video form?!

Sale!!
All of the patterns that were listed on the KAL voting are 50% off until September 12th! Go grab them in ravelry – add them to your cart for the discount to apply. You can check out my link here, and the sale patterns are:

Adirondack Basket Hat
Daisy Slouchy Lace Hat
Chutes and Ladders Hat
Bramble Hat
Arosa Slouchy Hat
Slipped Chevron Cozy
XO Cable Cozy
Honeycomb Cozy
Octopus Cozy
Latice Lacy Cozy

As you may have noticed, I am a huge fan of making garments. It’s wonderful to have total control over the clothing I’m wearing, from the materials to the fit.

Some people want to take the plunge and make garments, but I always hear hesitations like:

1. I’m afraid it won’t fit.
2. I’m don’t want to waste money if it doesn’t work out.
3. I don’t know what I’m doing.

Now, only you can determine what projects are at your skill level (and there are definitely simple sweaters versus incredibly complex sweaters), but I want to help sort out some information on sizing so your time and money shouldn’t go to waste.

Check out the video below. Sizing can be complicated, especially if you’re new to creating garments, but hopefully I’ll demystify it a bit. (I might also make your head swim a bit, but give it a few minutes (or a few days) before coming back!) And remember: the best way to figure something out is to do it and learn along the way.

So watch the video, figure out your size/ease and jump on in!

00:00 – Intro
01:14 – Why Sizes Don’t Matter (aka you are not a S/M/L or a size 6)
06:47 – Measurements
09:26 – Ease
14:45 – Body Shape (as a guide, not a rule!)
21:43 – Tailoring
26:22 – Adjustments in Knitting
28:28 – Adjustments in Sewing
31:08 – Resources

Since it’s nearing that weird time of the year where I feel like it’s too late to start another summer top, but it’s too early to focus on fall and winter knit pieces, I’ve been thinking a lot about home decor.

I know some people go a little overboard and knit everything, like cozies for their apples and eggs (seriously, WHY?!), but I tried to keep my knitting wish list a bit more practical!

As usual, there’s a mixture of free and not so free patterns, the pictures link to the ravelry pattern, and please share your favorite home decor item if I left it off the list!

  1. Table Runner – How gorgeous is this? It’s the perfect table decoration for summer, and I’ve always been a sucker for dandelions.

    Dandelion Table Runner

  2. Flowerpot/Vase/Mason Jar Cozies – Okay, cozies had to make the list, but these can sit out as decoration for a much longer period of time, so I had to add them.

    Flowerpot Decoration

  3. Magnetic Raindrops – Guys, this is so cute, and it has a function! I need to make a bunch of them. And maybe a cloud.

    Magnetic Raindrops

  4. Poufs – There are quite a few of these if you search ravelry. I love the idea of having a footstool or floor cushion handy.

    Knitted Baby Pouf

  5. Clock – Remember when making your own clocks was all the rage on pinterest? (No? Was that just me?) Since I actually have knitting skills, this one might actually get done!

    Timeless Chic

  6. Wall Art (Silhouettes and Bunnies!) – I’ve been thinking about knitting some wall art for quite some time now. I’m a huge fan of both of these collections.

    Some Bunny Loves You

    Madam and Sir Silhouettes

  7. Hot Water Bottle Cover – This seems like one of those useless knit items, unless you regularly use your hot water bottle. Then I’d say it’s pretty essential. And so cute, too!

    Dr. Owl

  8. Pillows (Sheep and Cable edition) – Throw pillows are essential to any properly decorated home (or so I hear) so I had to include these lovelies. The cablework in the first one is just stunning, and if I can combine functional and adorable, like in the Bobble Sheep, I all over it.

    See What Love Can Do

    Bobble Sheep Pillow

If you’re a beginner knitter, most of your focus is on making sure you complete your knit or purl stitches, but fairly quickly, you’ll wonder why your knitting is so uneven, lopsided, and doesn’t look like knitting in a lot of pictures on the internet.

If you’re not sure what tension is, or how to achieve a “proper” tension, check out my video here. (And a bonus: Franklin makes an appearance to play with some yarn demonstrate how not to tension your yarn.)

Looking over a knitting pattern for the first time can be intimidating or even scary, especially if you’re looking at abbreviations for lifting stitches, cabling, or making bobbles. Sometimes though, even writing out knitting abbreviations like k3, p2, c4b, p2, k3 is too much work, and that’s where knitting charts come in.

I don’t know anyone that likes charts and is eager to learn how to read them right away, but they are useful and if it’s a complicated piece of lacework, I do find myself preferring charts to written instructions.  That said, reading charts is a learned skill so I have a few tips for you to help you interpret these not-so-frightening boxes that seem to invade the more advanced knitting patterns.

  1. Always consult the legend first. Occasionally it happens that a legend doesn’t exist, but most of the time, there is a key somewhere, and you should make sure you understand what the symbols mean before you begin. Don’t assume that everyone uses universal knitting symbols because that doesn’t exist! (That said, there are industry standards, and you can find a US based list of symbols here.)
  2. Know if you’re knitting in the round or if you’re knitting flat. This affects how you’ll read the chart. More on that in a second.
  3. Start at the bottom right hand corner of the chart. You’ll read the chart from right to left for the first row. start here
  4. If you’re knitting flat, the wrong side is sometimes omitted from the chart. If the wrong side is on the chart, you’ll read the wrong side rows from left to right – and reverse the symbols. Notice that the even rows, aka the wrong side rows, are numbered on the left – it’s to remind you to start from the left and work your way right. Also notice the legend; the stitches are reversed so even though it looks like the knit symbol, because it’s the WS row, you’re purling. flat chart
  5. If you’re knitting in the round, each line chart will be read from right to left, as you’re not knitting on a wrong side, and thus, there’s no need to “knit back” or reverse stitches. Check out the way the chart is numbered for knitting in the round. Also notice the difference in the legend for this chart.round chart
  6. Double check with the written instructions if anything is unclear or looks wrong. Everyone makes mistakes, including designers and tech editors, so sometimes there’s an incorrect instruction. If something looks wrong, find the same row in the written instructions and cross check.
  7. While you can use a highlighter or pen to mark off your work, I prefer using a post-it note or slip of paper to keep track of which row I’m on. It also means I can reuse the pattern!

Do you have any great tips for reading and understanding knitting charts? Share them below!

Are you ready for another Knit Along? Because it’s time!!

IMG_5735m

Voting happened over the last week and a half or so, and with 63% of the vote, the Rockaway Cardigan beat out the rest of the options.

Great news: whether you voted for the Rockaway Cardigan or not, all of the options up for vote are 50% off in Ravelry until the 1st of June – just add it to your cart and the discount automatically applies.

More good news: Previously the Rockaway Cardigan only had written instructions. I am creating a chart that will be available before the KAL start. Whether you join the KAL or not, if you’ve previously purchased the pattern, I’ll send out an email letting you know when the updated pattern with chart is ready, which will be before the start of the KAL.

Check out the video where I chat a bit about the cardigan and why it’s one of my favorites, along with the supplies you’ll need.

Important Info:

Rockaway Cardigan Pattern
Get on the list for the KAL – if you voted, you’re already on the list!
Join the KAL group
Wool and the Gang yarn*
#weallknithere
#wakhkal

*Affiliate link – sign up and get 15% off your first order