Free cowl pattern: The Uber Cowl

This hardly qualifies as a pattern. But given that I needed a two-class project for beginners-of-discriminating-taste, I went big. Big needles. Big yarn. Big impact. Big challenges wrangling big needles for the newbies. But they did smashingly well. And are well on their way to knitting what I hope will be their first neckwarmer of many. Pattern below.

FINISHED MEASUREMENTS

To fit head 21 in circumference.

YARN AND SUPPLIES

1 skein Cascade Magnum, 100% wool, 123 yds (112m)/8.8 oz. (250g)

Tapestry needle

NEEDLES

Circular or straight needles size 19 US (15mm)

GAUGE

1.75 stitches to the inch in stockinette stitch

COWL

Cast on 17 stitches.

Rows 1: Purl across to end of row.

Row 2: Knit across to end of row.

Repeat rows 1-2 until piece measures 19 inches. (Knit extra inches for a drapey look.)

Bind off loosely.

FINISHING

Using tapestry needle seam cast on edge to bind off edge using mattress stitch. Weave in ends.

Free knitting pattern: Zip-It Clutch

These Clare Vivier Foldover Clutches have been all over the fashion blogs. She must have one munificent publicity budget, is all I can say. That, and, would that yours truly was on the list. (I know, the leopard one, so cute, pass the smelling salts so we can get back to work.)

Back in the day, I carried a handsome leather envelope (no doubt stuffed into a backpack with a Norton anthology or two, a Russian dictionary, and three or four early 20th century American novels), thinking it was the height of chic. Still do, as a matter of fact, which is why I got busy using that good old Nake-id can-do spunk to knit up some cute right here at home.

And, because Polyvore is like playing with paper dolls (but a lot more work), we styled it using items normal ladies can afford. (OK, the bracelet is aspirational. But stunning, no?)


Zip-It Clutch

(Here's the scoop on the stuff: 1969 Destructed Sexy Boyfriend Jeans, Silver Bass Weejuns (similar here), Grey Silk Scarf, Women's Ultimate V Tee (on clearance!), Zoya Nail Polish in Blyss and that fabulous bracelet!)

Zip It Clutch

Transform one long stockinette rectangle into a classic clutch that will carry you from day to night. Play with color or add all-over fringe to amp up the coolness.
 

Size: One 
Yarn: Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted; 2 skeins of Charcoal Heather
Needles: Size US 13
Notions: Tapestry needle, 12-inch zipper, 2 size 10 Dritz Sew-On Snaps
  
Directions:
 
CO 60, loosely, double-stranded.

Knit straight in stockinette stitch until piece measures 22 inches.

BO.

Finishing:

Fold piece lengthwise in two. Sew both side seams.

Weave in all ends.

Felt.

Insert zipper. (I used this tutorial here.)

Sew in snaps being sure to match “innies” with “outies”.


Free knitting pattern: Egg cozy

For a little background: I was looking for an image that would say food and knitting, since these are the things I natter on about, and was delighted to find the above image from istockphoto.com.

Not that there's been a hue and cry--definitely more hue than cry--but there have been requests for the stocking cap pattern in my banner.

Eggs + watch cap--Get it food and knitting?

In my mind, though, the most successful image combining yarn and a meal was Karin's March 2009 cover for Yarn Market News. Scroll down to see the spaghetti and meatballs. Makes you want to tuck right in.  And Berroco's fabulous knit beet is enough to inspire a summer's worth of roasted root salads.

But here we have our huevos. So when a request came in for the hat pattern, well, it was high time to design one. (Incidentally, an egg cozy--or cosy--is used to keep boiled eggs warm until one is ready to dine.)

 

Nake-id Stocking Cap Egg Cozy

Yarn: Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted, 1 skein, Blue Blood Red 

Needles: Size 8 US, 32" circular or size 8 DPNs

Gauge: 20 sts in k1,p1 pattern = 4"

Instructions:

CO 20. Join in the round being careful not to twist stitches. Place marker.

Row 1 and all subsequent rows: K1, p1.

Repeat pattern until hat is 3.5" long.

Decrease row 1: K2tog around--10 sts.

Decrease row 2: K2tog around--5 sts.

Finishing: Cut yarn leaving 8-inch tail. Thread tapestry needle through tail then pick up live stitches with tapestry needle and cinch closed. Weave in ends. Make and attach pom-pom.

Boil eggs. Enjoy!

 

 

Alpaca lace scarf--finished object

Alpaca lace scarf on the rack

Alpaca lace scarf being subjected to really poor art direction

Would that our photography skills were better. But above you'll find a sumptuous Royal Baby Alpaca scarf made from one skein of Goosebump's natural black. The blocking wires served their purpose, though for this piece I might've been just as well served by smooshing, patting and cajoling. The instruction to "simply slip the wire through the edges of your lace project" took about 30 minutes of weaving and eyestrain, but it's done and soft like a kitten's belly.

Want the pattern? I used Babs' Track of the Turtle, version I from the Second Treasury.

Needles: US size 10

CO 23 stitches.

Knit six rows.

Start lace pattern below:

Row 1: (WS) K7, p9, k7.

Row 2: (RS) K4, p3, yo, k4, ssk, k3, p3, k4.

Row 3: Repeat row 1 for all odd numbered rows.

Row 4: K4, p3, k1, yo, k4, ssk, k2, p3, k4.

Row 6: K4, p3, k2, yo, k4, ssk, k1, p3, k4.

Row 8: K4, p3, k3, yo, k4, ssk, p3, k4.

Row 10: K4, p3, k3, k2tog, k4, yo, p3, k4.

Row 12: K4, p3, k2, k2tog, k4, yo, k1, p3, k4.

Row 14: K4, p3, k1, k2tog, k4, yo, k2, p3, k4.

Row 16: K4, p3, k2tog, k4, yo, k3, p3, k4.

Repeat rows 1-16 until you almost run out of yarn.

Knit 6 rows.

BO.

Block with care. But maybe not as much care as shown above.

Free Pattern Thursday: The Coolest Un-Poncho You Totally Will Wear

It's a poncho, wrap, capelet, scarf-cum-schmata

Ponchos are so 2004, but I reach for this little garment again and again. Though it began life as a poncho, it "reads" as a wrap. Bunch it around your neck as a dramatic scarf or cover your shoulders when the early fall air begins to chill.

The Un-Poncho

Yarn: Fiesta Yarns Rayon Boucle in Onyx

Amount: 2 skeins

Needles: Size 9 US

Instructions:

CO loosely 56 sts.

Proceed in k3, p1 ribbing for 34 ins.

BO loosely.

Finishing:

Weave in ends. Bring short end of rectangle over to meet top of long side of rectangle and seam. (If your neck edge seems floppy, pick up stitches around neckline and bind off loosely for a more finished, tighter look.)

Wear with flair and an air of mystery.

***

To customize your garment, follow this formula:

Measure from your neckline to your wrist. That's the width of your rectangle. To figure the length, divide the width by 4. Multiply that result by 9.
Example: you want the neck to wrist measurement to be 15". Divide that by 4 (3.75"). Multiply that by 9 (33.75") Make 1 rectangle 15"X34".
Plug in your stitch gauge and your row gauge.
 
With the Un-Poncho, the beautiful Fiesta Yarn does all the work!

Free Pattern Wednesday: Auntie Mitts

If you are "afeared" of lace, these sexy mitts are a great starter project. Knit flat using the simple two-row "Stripe with Twisted Bars" pattern from Barbara Walker's second treasury, they whip up in a flash and look great peeking from underneath a simple cardigan or leather jacket.

Yarn: Sport weight (I used my own wonky handspun)

Amount: 100 yds

Needles: Size 6 US

Instructions:

Lace stitch is a multiple of 6 sts plus1.

Cast on 37 sts very loosely.

Row 1 (right side): K1, *yo, k1, k3 tog, k1, yo, k1; rep from *.

Row 2: P1, *k5, p1; rep from *.

Repeat rows 1 and 2 for 6.5 ins or until you reach desired length. BO loosely.

Finishing:

From CO edge using mattress st., seam mitt (about 4 ins.), leaving a 1.5-inch opening to accommodate thumb, continue seaming to BO edge.

Weave in ends. Add buttons to embellish. Wear with leather. And attitude.

Free pattern Wednesday: Audrey's Bag

In the continuing battle to update my Ravelry pages (nakeidknits), I'm going to offer free patterns on Wednesdays. (Wanna bet how long this'll last?)

Below you'll find a little bag I designed a few years ago. It may be a bit blingy in the post-novelty yarn era, but it's a jiff to knit and draws its share of compliments.

Herewith Audrey's Bag:

Yarn: Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted in Black; Trendsetter Aura in Charcoal

Amount: 1 skein each

Needles: Size 11 US

Instructions:

Cast on 40 sts.

Knit for 1 inch.

Self handle:

K15, bind off 10, K15.

(Knit both sides simultaneously) K15, attach second ball of yarn, K15. Repeat for four rows.

K15, cast on 15 using knitted cast on, K15.

Body:

Knit each row until you get double the depth of the bag you want. (Remember to account for the depth of the self handle on both sidesand for felting.)

Self handle: 

K15, bind off 10, K15.

(Knit both sides simultaneously) K15, attach second ball of yarn, K15. Repeat for four rows.

K15, cast on 15 using knitted cast on, K15.

Knit for 1 inch.

Bind off loosely.

Finishing:

Fold in half and seam sides. Felt lightly. (I slipped a slim dowel rod into the bottom of the bag to stiffen it. And trimmed the bag with a satin ribbon.)

Carry with aplomb.

Pattern redux: Audrey

This is a top I designed a few years back. Of course, I called it "Audrey," how could I not?

When I wore it last night I was reminded of its beautiful drape and forgiving silhouette. It's an easy, if not a quick knit, with waist shaping, a picot hem and boat neck dotted with eyelets. If you're feeling that Lilly Pulitzer vibe, swap out the organza ribbon for hot pink satin. Or a bright plaid.

I'm dredging it out to update my Ravelry pages.

Yarn: Nomotta/Schachenmayr-Catania, 100 percent Egyptian cotton in black
Amount: Six skeins  
Level of difficulty: Not too bad
Needles: #4 US, #6 US (I used 24” circs)                             
 
GAUGE DATA:
Gauge (stocking stitch over 4 in = 10 cm): 24.0 sts by 32.0 rows.
Body knit by hand on # 4 US needles
     
FINISHED DIMENSIONS: (ins): ... with Moderate fit.
Finished Chest: 39.5                  Body Length: 22.5                               
 
BACK AND FRONT: Work 2 pieces the same.
1. Use an open cast on with 99 sts on size 6 needles. Change to size 4 needles. Work in stocking stitch or hem pattern of choice for 2.5 ins. I worked a picot row (K1, * YO, K2TOG * repeat K1) at the 1.25” mark. To complete the hem, graft the cast-on sts to the last row worked.
2. Change to size 4 needles and stocking stitch. Work even for two rows excluding hem. 
3. Waist Shaping. Dec 1 st at each end of next row, then every following 11th row twice to 93 sts. Work even for 0.8 ins (6 rows). Inc 1 st at each end of next row, then every following 6th row 8 times to 111 sts. Work even for 2.0 ins (16 rows) to total 12.3 ins, excluding hem. 
4. Armhole shaping. Cast off 8 sts at beginning of next 2 rows. Dec 1 st at each end of every alternate row for 20 rows until 75 sts remaining. 
5. Knit even until armhole measures 6.5 ins.
6. Boat neck. Right side purl 1 row. Continue in stocking stitch for 5 rows. On sixth row (right side) *K4, YO twice, K2TOG* repeat between * until end of row, K 5. Continue in stocking stitch for three rows. On fourth row (right side) purl one row. Continue in stocking stitch for 4 rows. Cast off loosely.
 
SHOULDER SEAMS:
1. Leave center 10 ins open for neck. Sew front to back along castoff edges of both shoulder seams. 
 
ARMHOLE:
1.        With right side of work facing, pick up and knit 108 sts along armhole edges.
2.        Cast off.
 
NECKLINE:
1.         Pick up 110 stitches around boat neck.
2.         Cast off.
   
FINISHING:
1.        Sew side seams using invisible seam. Sew any remaining seams.
2.        Darn/weave/sew in all loose ends.
3.        Weave ribbon of choice between large eyelets on boat neck. I used 1.5” organza ribbon. Hot pink or lime green satin would be nice choices too!*
 
*Designed with assistance from Knitware Sweater Design software.
 

 

 

Free pattern: Really Fierce Dishcloth

Ruffles are for scrubbing. And just because.

Fiercedishcloth

Really Fierce Dishcloth

With apologies to Christian Siriano

 Materials:

1 ball each Lily Sugar ‘n Cream Warm Brown and Robin’s Egg Blue

2 pairs US size 6 needles

Size F crochet hook

Tapestry needle

Gauge: 4 sts/in-ish

 Ruffle:

CO 140 with color B.

Row 1: *K2, pass first stitch over second; repeat from asterisk.

Row 2. P2tog to end of row.

You will have 35 live stitches on needle.

 Dishcloth:

CO 35 stitches.

 

Work seven rows in stockinette (color A) ending with a wrong side row.

Place needle with ruffle on top of dishcloth needle with right sides facing toward you. Knit first ruffle stitch simultaneously with first dishcloth stitch (ala three-needle bind-off); continue to end of row.

 

Repeat the above instructions four more times.

 

Work seven rows in stockinette and BO loosely.

 Loop:

CO 3 and work four inches in I-cord. BO.

 

Finishing:

Attach loop. Weave in all ends. Work optional single crochet border around all edges of dishcloth.

           

Cable Girl Mitts: Free Pattern

Cablegirlmitts

Yarn: Cascade Yarns Dolce, color 974, 2 skeins

Needles: US 7 dpns or two circulars

Cable Girl Mitts

 

CO 36 sts. Divide over 4 needles or two or one, however you prefer to knit small things in the round, and do remember to join without twisting.

 

Knit six rows of k2, p2 ribbing.

 Cable pattern:

Row 1: K1, begin cable pattern, then knit to end of round.

 

Continue in this manner until you have completed roughly 2.5 braids or 42 rows of the cable pattern. If you want shorter mitts, begin your thumb earlier, if you want longer ones, start later. 

 Begin left thumb:

Row 1: K1, continue cable pattern, through 17 stitches, K2, then knit seven stitches onto scrap yarn. Return those stitches to left needle and knit again with working yarn. Knit to end of round.

 

Continue as before until you reach desired length of mitt, about 18 rows.

BO loosely.

 Thumb:

Row 1: Carefully remove yarn from live thumb stitches and place them on two double pointed needles or two circs. Seven stitches will sit below the gap; six will sit above. Start with the needle holding the lower stitches and pick up two additional stitches in the corner. Knit across six top stitches and pick up another two stitches at the side of gap and knit to end of round.

 

Knit desired thumb length, 9 or 10 rounds.

BO.

 

For right mitt thumb: K1, continue cable pattern, k9, place thumb, k2.

 Finishing:

Weave in ends.

Wet or steam block.

 

Cable Pattern: Four-Rib Braid from Barbara Walker’s Second Treasury

 

Front Cross (FC): sl 2 sts to cable needle and hold in front, p1, then k2 from cable needle.

Back Cross (BC): sl 1 st to cable needle and hold in back, k2, the purl stitch from cable needle.

 

Cable panel is 17 stitches

 

Row 1: (P2, k2) twice, k1, (k2, p2) twice.

Row 2: P2, k2, p2, sl next 3 stitches to cable needles and hold in back, k2, sl the purl st from cable needle back to left-hand needle and purl it, then k2 from cable needle; p2, k2, p2.

Row 3: Repeat row 1.

Row 4: P2, FC, BC, p2, FC, BC, p2.

Row 5: (P3, k4) twice, p3

Row 6: P3, sl next 2 sts to cable needle and hold in back, k2, then k2 from cable needle; p3, sl next 2 sts to cable needle and hold in front, k2, then k2 from cable needle; p2.

Row 7: Repeat row 5.

Row 8: P2, BC, FC, p1, BC, FC, p2.

Row 9: Repeat row 1.

Row 10: P2, k2, p2, sl next 3 sts to cable needle and hold in front, k2, then sl the purl st from cable needle back to left-hand needle and purl it, then k2 from cable needle; p2, k2, p2.

Rows 11-16: Repeat rows 3 through 8.

Repeat rows 1-16.