Archive for the ‘magic loop’ Category

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Shawl Baby Sweater and Garter Ear Flap Hat

November 14, 2016

garter-ear-flap-hat-shawl-sweater

I had to interrupt my Capella shawl knitting for something really important – a baby gift for a little boy!  I knitted a little shawl sweater and a little hat with ear flaps. These were two new patterns that I had never knitted before and I thoroughly enjoyed both of them and can highly recommend them.  And an added bonus:  they are both free patterns!

shawl-sweater-detail

The baby sweater is a pattern called Baby Sophisticate by Linden Heflin. I especially loved the construction of this sweater because there are no seams to sew up!  You knit in the round (my favorite) for the yoke, place stitches for the sleeves on holders, knit the body, bind off and then just place the sleeve stitches on your needles and knit those in the round.  You then pick up stitches for the shawl collar and button placket.   I knitted this sweater using my favorite Magic Loop method on circular methods.  You can find a tutorial for it here.

The pattern page is here but if you would like to see some of the more than 8,000 sweaters that people on Ravelry have knitted from this pattern, you can see them here.  I like to check out a project’s Ravelry page before I begin a project, so I can see how other people knitted the pattern, check out different color options and read notes and tips that people write about that pattern.  If you are not a member of Ravelry, join now!  It’s free, too.

The buttonholes were easy to do – just one YO and that’s it.

For the yarn, I inexplicably used an acrylic yarn.  It was an impulse buy.  I never buy acrylic yarn, but the colorway just jumped out at me.  I used Vanna’s Choice Lions Brand yarn in Grey Marble.  After I blocked the sweater, the yarn softened up a little.  But I didn’t like knitting with it much – it doesn’t have any give, like wool.

Pattern:  Baby Sophisticate Shawl Collar Sweater
Yarn:  Vanna’s Choice Lions Brand Acrylic in Grey marble
Needles:  size #9 Addi Lace circular needles
Ravelry Page

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THE HAT:

garter-ear-flap-hat

The little hat is so adorable – it’s a pattern called Garter Ear Flap Hat from Purl Soho.  If you don’t know about Purl Soho, it’s a wonderful yarn shop in New York City.  They have a fabulous web site.  If you have never been on it, you will be amazed at the projects, tutorials, tips, patterns and ideas.  And so many of the  patterns are free!

garter-ear-flap-hat-tassel

I love the hat because the design is just a little different – a little whimsical.  It’s a very easy, fast pattern.  After casting on, you knit the two ear flaps in the round, using short rows, which I love to do.  Then you continue on knitting the hat, shaping the crown in garter stitch.  Easy peasy!  I used my beloved Magic Loop method on circular needles.

garter-ear-flap-hat-3

I love the cute little tassel on the top – how sweet is that?  Only takes a minute to make it. If you’d like to check out all the different versions of this little hat on Ravelry, the page is here. 

garter-ear-flap-hat-detail

Pattern:  Garter Ear Flap Hat from Purl Soho
Yarn:  Vanna’s Choice Lions Brand acrylic in Marbled Grey
Needles:  #8 circular Addi Lace
Size:  I made the small size, but on #8 needles
Ravelry Page

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Magic Loop Tutorial

January 23, 2016

paperdoll gloves magic loop

I have had several requests lately for help in using the Magic Loop method for knitting in the round.  It can be a little daunting to learn.  Since I use Magic Loop so much, I want to help spread the love!  So I made a video (at bottom of post). I hope this video explains things in a way that makes it easier for you to understand, if you are struggling with it.

After you have knit with the method for a while, it becomes super easy.  Some people think Magic Loop involves a lot of fiddling with pulling the needles, etc., but I can knit very fast this way and it becomes second nature.

chinook on magic loop

With Magic Loop, you can try your work on for size!  Try doing that with DPNs – doesn’t work so well

 

There are some reasons I love Magic Loop so much for knitting things in the round:

  1. No DPN (double point needle) tips sticking out! I hate working around those.
  2. Your work isn’t in danger of falling off when you have it on the circular cable (shown on video).  When I put my knitting down, I just slip the work from the needles onto the cable and it’s safe as can be.
  3. If you’re knitting something like a mitten in the round, you can actually slip your work from the needles onto the cable and try the mitten on for size! A big plus.
  4. Makes it super simple to knit something tiny like a thumb or finger.  If you use DPNs, you have to get teeny tiny DPNs to do this and it’s a hassle.
  5. Even if I have a very long circular needle, I can knit a variety of sizes on it, because the cable part just dangles.

 

 

chinookfinger

In this video, I’m using 32″ circular needles, which is a great average size for a variety of different projects.  My favorite circular needles are always Addi Lace. They are super smooth and super sharp, resulting in work that just glides along and needle points that are inserting easily for knitting.

One thing I failed to mention in the video (sorry!) is a helpful little tip:  After you get your project going, the dangling tail yarn becomes your “marker” for the beginning of your work and to tell you where the right side of the work is. This is helpful in case you forget if you have knit half of the round or all of the round – if the tail yarn is dangling on the right, you have completed a round.  Sometimes if you are knitting a project that is just a single solid color, you can get mixed up.

tail end on the left:  you are in the middle of a row.
tail end on the right:   you are at the beginning of a row.

 

If you have any questions, feel free to ask in the comment section or email me. Good luck and enjoy Magic Loop!

Elaine

 

 

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Knit Stars

November 23, 2012

I’m knitting these cute stars for Christmas and they are so much fun.  They are a free downloadable pattern from Webs.  I can see making these in all kinds of colors. The pattern calls for sport weight yarn, but I knitted them in worsted.  It doesn’t really matter for these – it just depends on how big you want them.

These stars use a really interesting construction.  You cast on 5 stitches and join in the round. You increase stitches as you go around and then start knitting the points by using turns and decreasing stitches.  After a few stars, I had the pattern memorized.

the ends are used as stuffing, so no weaving in!

One thing I liked about knitting these was there was no ends to weave in!  I hate weaving in ends.  You use the ends as stuffing.  So if you want the stars to be plumper, leave longer ends.

sewing the two halves together is so easy

I knit these using Magic Loop, which made it so easy.   No DPN tips to mess around with.  These were pretty fast to knit, also – one star from start to finish takes about an hour and a half.

I gave the stars a little soak after I knit them and laid them flat on a towel to block. Then I sewed the two halves together, stuffing the ends in as I went.  I crocheted a little loop at the top so I could hang them.

Wouldn’t these be cute in pinks and reds for Valentine’s Day?  I could even see knitting a bunch of them in a room’s colors and throwing them in a big bowl on a coffee table.  So many possibilities.

Pattern:  Knit Stars
needles:  US #6 circular
yarn:   Worsted Wool
Ravelry Page

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Chinook Fingerless Gloves

October 1, 2012

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Can you stand another Jared Flood pattern?  I can’t believe what a roll I’m on with his designs.  What can I say  –  I love this guy’s stuff. I’ve knitted a lot of fingerless mittens but I wanted to do gloves this time, with individual fingers, but without the tips so I can still use my phone.  So when I saw his Chinook gloves, I knew this was it.

I just did one modification to the pattern –  I did not rib the fingers.   I just don’t like that K1, P1 rib for the fingers, so I did a plain stockinette stitch and knit them until I liked the length.  I did them a bit long because really, all you need is the very tip of your fingers to stick out to use your phone.  The next pair I knit may even have full pinky fingers.  I don’t care for the K1 P1 ribbing on the cuff and I may do a K2P2 ribbing on the next pair, like I did with these.

Also, I put the live stitches on stitch holders for the second glove because picking them up from waste yarn was too hard. The stitch holders were easier.  I also knit the entire glove using Magic Loop, which I love and allows me to try on the glove as I go, which you cannot do with DPNs.  I even did the individual fingers with Magic Loop – so much easier than trying to manipulate DPNs around a little finger. Using Addi Lace Turbo needles makes working with the fingering weight yarn super easy.

I did a little stash busting by using Dale of Norway Baby Ull, although it is not one of my favorite yarns. There is just something about that yarn that I don’t like – it doesn’t have enough structure or something.  I’m not buying any more of it, for sure.

As soon as I got finished with these gloves, although they were intended for me, my 16-year-old son wanted them.  What could I say – I love anyone appreciating my knitting, so off he went with them.  I would still like a pair so you’re going to see another set up here in the near future.  I’m trying to get some Quince Chickadee for my pair, but they are still having production problems.  It is a yarn so worth waiting for, though.  I love all the Quince yarns.

Pattern:  Chinook Fingerless Gloves
Needles:  US#0 and US#2 circular Addi Lace Turbos
Yarn: Baby Ull in black, white and charcoal
Ravelry Page

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Slouchy Mitts

January 22, 2012

I saw some mitts earlier this year in the Sundance catalog and clipped them out.  I thought, “gee, I could really make those so easily”.  The only thing I feared was the stripes – I have a loathing of weaving in ends. That’s why I don’t knit stripey things – I do mostly two color stranded work. And since I am knitting my Granny Stripes Blanket at the same time, I have really put myself to the test.  That blanket has some serious ends to weave in.

Sundance Catalog Mitts

I probably didn’t even need a pattern but thought I would look on Ravelry to see if there was anything similar.  Sure enough, there was – “The Ultimate Fingerless Mitts” by Erica Lueder.  I used the pattern as a guide and kind of did my own thing with it.

I looked through my fingering weight stash and came up with some similar colors, mostly in Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine. I liked the greens because I thought they would go with my Stockholm Scarf.

First of all, the pattern calls for casting on 60 stitches.  I did that but it soon became apparent that was going to be a little too big, so I decreased right down to 50 stitches.  This is what I cast on for the second mitten and it was just right.  Of course, I knit them using Magic Loop instead of DPNs.  Those days are over.

Also, the mittens in the catalog used 1×1 ribbing for the entire length of the forearm.  I debated about doing that and decided to just do pure stockinette stitch.  I would still be interested in knitting a pair and using the ribbing and see if I liked that any better.

I really like these mittens.  I like the rolled stockinette ends a lot.  Since they are knit in a fingering weight and without any stranded colorwork, they are a light mitten and will be for milder weather.

Pattern:  The Ultimate Fingerless Mitts
Needle:  #2 Addi Lace 32″ Circular
Yarn:  Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine in Black, Pea Soup, Salt & Pepper, Peat Mix
and Yarn Hollow Bitty in Jade
Ravelry Page 

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The Incredible Northman Mitten

December 12, 2011

This may be my favorite mitten of all time.  After I finished all my Christmas gifts for my family, I felt I had the time to knit one last pair of mittens for another friend. She loves the lined mittens I make so much that I figured she deserved a pair.

This design is by David Schulz, who runs Southern Cross Fibre in Australia.  The pattern is just about perfect – it has a braided edge, which I love, rather than a ribbed cuff.  The thumbs have gussets, which are more comfortable to wear and the pattern is so well written.  The pattern includes charts for two kinds of mittens – dark/light or light/dark.  Most patterns don’t do this and it is SO helpful.  Thanks, David!

I used one of my all time favorite yarns, Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light.  50% wool, 50% alpaca.  So toasty warm.  The lining is of luscious Brushed Suri by Blue Sky Alpacas.  Brushed Suri is the most incredible yarn to use in the lining of a mitten – so lofty and soft. The color I chose is called “Snow Cone” and I thought it complimented the colors of the mitten so well.

The pattern calls for a braided edge done in one color, which I think kind of loses the purpose of doing a braided edge.  So I did the edge in two colors.  If you do a two color edge, make sure to do a two color cast on or it won’t come out right.  The two color cast on will be your set up row for the braid.

I even do the thumbs using Magic Loop

If you’ve never knitted lined mittens before, you should give it a try.  They are so special and warm to wear.  You can have all kinds of fun with the colors.

Pattern:  Northman Mitten
Yarn:  Berroco Ultra Alpaca Light and Brushed Suri
Needle:  #4 circular, using Magic Loop
Ravelry Page 

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Radio Frequency Mittens Christmas FO

November 17, 2011

Almost there. I am seriously almost through with my Christmas knitting that I started in March.   I have made 17 projects for people in my family.  I just need to put a couple of linings in hats that I have completed and I’m done.  I’m going to make it for Christmas.  Whew!

This project is actually a second pair of mittens that I’m knitting for a friend of mine who loves purple. This pattern is by Mandy Powers – I love her designs.  I knitted her Radio Frequency hat for one of my nephews, and I love that. Check out her designs.  These mittens were fun to make and had just enough variety to keep you interested but the pattern was simple enough that you could knit and watch T.V.  Very important.

I knitted these up in super soft Frog Tree 100% Alpaca.  What a yummy yarn.  I did make a modification to the pattern.  For the beginning purl braid, I did a two-color cast on as a set up row for the braid.  I think that’s very importnat and made the braid nicer  – you don’t have the purl bumps that you would otherwise and I think the braid shows up more distinctly.  And a two-color cast on is easy to do.  As always, I used Magic Loop to make these.

Pattern:  Radio Frequency Mittens
Needles:  #3 US Addi Lace Turbo Circular
Yarn:  Frog Tree 100% Alpaca in Purple & Light Purple
Ravelry Page 

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