Sunday, January 20, 2008

Herringbone Hat à la May

This pattern is written for the finished crown circumference of 24” (for a person with head circumference of 23”) only. For a smaller size, adjustments are required. When you find errors, please let me know.

What you need:
- Classic Elite Beatrice, 4 balls (actually 3 balls and a few more yards). Yarn spec of Beatrice is 63 yards/ 50 gm ball, gauge 4 stitches = 1" on #10 1/2 needles, and heavy worsted weight. For a smaller size, 3 balls are enough.
- Knitting needles in size 5.5mm.
- Tapestry needle for seaming.

Herringbone pattern:
- Row 1 (WS): Repeat [purl 2 stitches together, before taking stitches off of the left needle, purl the first stitch again] until one stitch left on the left needle, purl 1.
- Row 2 (RS): Repeat [slip 1 stitch knit-wise, knit 1, pick up the slipped stitch with the left needle and knit it] until one stitch left on the left needle, knit 1.

Gauge: In herringbone pattern, 24 stitches by 20 rows for a 4” square.

For finished crown circumference of 24” (for a person with head circumference of 23”)
Side crown: Lace cast on 145 stitches. Repeat row 1 and row 2 9 times, with the total of 18 rows.

Top of the crown:
Row 19 (WS) - Repeat [pattern 6 stitches, p2tog twice] until 5 stitches remain, pattern 4 stitch, p1. 117 stitches remain. Notice, p2tog must be repeated in a row so as not to disturb the herringbone pattern.
Row 20 and all the even numbered rows for the top of the crown - knit as Row 2.
Row 21 - Repeat [pattern 14 stitches, p2tog twice, pattern 16 stitches, p2tog twice] three times, pattern 2 stitches, p1. 105 stitches remain.
Row 23 - Repeat [pattern 12 stitches, p2tog twice, pattern 14 stitches, p2tog twice] three times, pattern 2 stitches, p1. 93 stitches remain.
Row 25 - Repeat [pattern 10 stitches, p2tog twice, pattern 12 stitches, p2tog twice] three times, pattern 2 stitches, p1. 81 stitches remain.
Row 27 - Repeat [pattern 8 stitches, p2tog twice, pattern 10 stitches, p2tog twice] three times, pattern 2 stitches, p1. 69 stitches remain.
Row 29 - Repeat [pattern 6 stitches, p2tog twice, pattern 8 stitches, p2tog twice] three times, pattern 2 stitches, p1. 57 stitches remain.
Row 31 - Repeat [pattern 4 stitches, p2tog twice, pattern 6 stitches, p2tog twice] three times, pattern 2 stitches, p1. 45 stitches remain.
Row 33 - Repeat [pattern 2 stitches, p2tog twice, pattern 4 stitches, p2tog twice] three times, pattern 2 stitches, p1. 33 stitches remain.
Row 34 - K2tog until the last stitch, k1. 17 stitches remain.
Cut the yarn, leaving about 20” hanging for seaming.
Pull the yarn through the remaining 17 stitches and tighten. At this point, you can start seaming and check the size, but do not cut the remaining yarn. Before start knitting the brim, you will need to undo seaming for about 1 to 2 inches so that the brim can be knitted flat. When seaming, pick up the vertexes of herringbone pattern, abutting the sides together.

Pick up 145 stitches from the bottom of the crown with right side facing.
Knit as Row 1 (WS) - Purl patterned stitches.
Row 2 (RS) - Repeat [pattern 20 stitches as Row 2 of the crown, yo] 7 times, pattern 5 stitches (152 stitches)
Row 3 (WS) and all the WS rows - Repeat [purl patterned stitches to yo, add one stitch by picking up a bar of the previous row] until the last yo, add one stitch by picking up a bar of the previous row, purl patterned stitches to the end. Notice that two stitches are added at yo in order to maintain the herringbone pattern. 159 stitches on the needle.
Row 4 - Purl pattern 10 stitches, yo, repeat [pattern 22 stitches, yo] 6 times, pattern 17 stitches (166 stitches)
Row 5 - Repeat Row 3 (173 stitches)
Row 6 - Repeat [purl pattern 20 stitches, yo] 8 times, pattern 13 stitches. (181 stitches)
Row 7 - Repeat Row 3 (189 stitches)
Cast off - Facing RS, ssk, repeat [ssk, cast off] until one stitch remain, cast off the last stitch together with the stitch on the right needle.

Seam the hat.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Circular Shawl by Shida Hitomi

A friend of mine has asked me to translate texts on a pattern by Shida Hitomi. It is an almost circular shawl from Ms. Shida's recent book "Couture Knits vol. 12".

Yarn spec (It is available on page 34 of the book. It is the fifth one from the top): Extra fine merino 50%, nylon 50%, about 200 m per 40 g ball, recommended needle size 5 to 6 (in Japanese sizing), gauge is 22-24 stitches by 33-35 rows.

Yarn requirement: 4 balls (about 800 m)

Needles: Japanese size 7 knitting needles and size 4/0 crochet hook.

Finished diameter: 53.5 cm

Knitting instructions:
- Make a circle and pick up 15 stitches by repeating knit 1, yarn over.
- Follow the chart on page 60 and knit 28 rows. There will be 74 stitches on the needles. Note that the blank squares indicate no stitches (in other instructions, they are for purl stitches).
- Next, follow the bottom chart on page 61 and knit 42 rows. On Row 1, the number of stitches are increased to 170, and on Row 42, 195 stitches should be on the needles.
- Follow the middle chart for 16 rows. There are no increases.
- Follow the top chart for 62 rows. On Row 1, the number of stitches are increased to 387, and on Row 62, 531 stitches should be on the needles.
- Using crochet hook, single crochet over the first 6 stitches, and repeat [6 chain stitches, single crochet over the next 5 stitches] all around the shawl. Over the straight edges, pick up yarns one stitch inside of the edge and repeat the pattern for 24.5 times. For the second row, single crochet all the way.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Little Things

Over the holiday we made a few little things, I mean my DD1 and I. She whipped up two knitted ornament sweaters from Berroco’s Minutia pattern, and gave them out to her friend and a friend of DD2. She was so fast in wrapping them up that I had time to take photos of one of them only. The other one was in green and also had some cables in the front. This was her first cable experience and she loved it. She did a great job!

I did this knitted bunny from Heart String Fiber Arts website for my DD2 who loves bunnies. She's been asking for a stuffed bunny for quite some time and I had some leftover angora yarn in pale pink. Just a perfect last minute gift for her. The yarn is 100% angora, btw.

Lastly, a cloth doll I made for DD2’s birthday several weeks ago. It is from one of the craft books we bought in Japan. We walked into a craft chain store called Hobbyra-Hobbyre in Nagoya and saw Nina dolls. Of course, DDs fell in love and we bought the book and a few fabrics, including Liberty of London prints. Can you see what Nina is knitting?

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Hat Crazy

Happy New Year to you all!

I've been knitting hats since my last major project was completed. Two scrappy hats were the first ones, followed by herringbone cloche/hat, cabled hats, and just completed berets. I have not established a habit of blogging regularly and just kept on knitting. So, this post will be rather long, I am afraid.

The herringbone cloche in Vogue Knitting Caps and Hats Two is something I wanted to knit for a few years. Its shape and stitch pattern appealed to me. It uses this neat stitch which is also used in My So-called Scarf and I knitted it last January. I thought it would be nice to have a matching hat. The only issue was that the pattern is written for size 20" only while my head is 23" plus. Besides, I hate snug hats. Also, the original pattern calls for Koigu Kersti in DK weight while I wanted to use Manos del Uruguay which is heavy worsted weight.

I started a test version with leftover Classic Elite Beatrice which happens to be heavy worsted weight. I followed the pattern with some gauge adjustments using 5.5 mm needles and aimed for 24" circumference. I did three sections for the crown as directed. Seaming these sections required thinking however. In the photo of the book, you see a vertical line along the seam which definitely does not belong to the herringbone pattern. As you can see below, in my cloche, it is less visible. It was achieved by just picking up the vertexes.

The Beatrice yarn was so bouncy and I loved the firmness of the finished hat. I wore it just about everyday, until I lost it on a cab. How stupid could I be? I just left it on the seat. I was so sad and was lamenting about it for a few days, wondering how I could recover from the loss. Well, I just bought more of the same yarn in different colors.

In the meantime, I’ve knitted another herringbone hat with Manos. This time, I knitted the crown as one flat piece. I love this version much better than the first. So, when Beatrice yarns arrive, I will be knitting the second version.

By the way, I found out that I don’t like the matching hat and scarf set, at least not with multi colored Manos.

Next hats are designed by a fellow Knitsmith, Thea. The pattern is available for free here.

When I saw her first baby version, I fell in love with the style. In a short while, she did adult versions, Woven and Cabled! I thought the patterns could work for my head and face shape which require a brim. I made it a bit larger than Thea’s original pattern and it really turned out nice, so nice that my DD1 decided it has to be hers. To be honest, she looks better in it than I. Big sister’s new hat leads to her little sister’s new hat usually. So, here they are in new hats. BTW, I used gold Roman coin buttons from my button collection.

The last project of 2007 was Rowan free pattern, Gemma Beret, for DDs. Have you felt Brushed Suri from Blue Sky Alpaca? If you have not, go to your LYS and touch it. It is heavenly, just as soft as clouds look in autumn sky. It looks like a regular mohair yarn which might feel scratchy to some people. The look is really deceiving. This is probably the softest yarn I’ve ever felt. I needed less than one skein for the beret which was knitted with the specified needles but with fewer numbers of stitches cast on. My DDs are very pleased with it.