16 January 2008

Snow!


It's sweater weather! This photo was taken about an hour ago, just as I got home from work. Pretty!

14 January 2008

Cuddly Hubby Hat, part trois

The rest of the pattern:
Work 3 plain rounds in pattern.
Work 1 cable round. Pattern established.
Continue up body of hat, working 5 plain rounds in pattern and 1 cable round (i.e. cable every 6th round), eight more times or until hat body is length you like. Allow enough length to fold up brim, if desired. Pause to begin top shaping after the last cable round.

Decrease in pattern for top of head:
Immediately following a cable round, work one round plain in pattern.
1st decrease round: *p2, ssk, k2tog, p2, (k1, p1)4x; repeat from * 6x. 12 sts decreased (2 per pattern multiple), 84 remain (pattern multiple = 14 sts). The outside rib sts consume the inside rib sts. The rib is now only 2 sts wide.
Next row: *p2, k2, p2, (k1, p1)4x; repeat from * 6x. This is essentially a plain pattern round, just with a narrower rib.
2nd decrease round: p2, k2, p2, ribble decrease; repeat from * 6x. 24 sts decreased (4 per pattern multiple), 60 sts remain (pattern multiple = 10 sts).

How to work the ribble decrease:
Think of the eight sts as renamed H-A from left to right on the needle. They need to be reordered to be decreased in pattern. The knits & purls need to be paired off.

Original order of stitches H(p) G(k) F(p) E(k) D(p) C(k) B(p) A(k)
Placement after reordering H(p) F(p) G(k) E(k) D(p) B(p) C(k) A(k)

Using a cn or spare dpn, reorder the stitches. Essentially, you need to switch the locations of the 2nd & 3rd sts, and the 6th & 7th sts. To work the decreases in pattern, ssk A&C, p2tog B&D, k2tog E&G, ssp F&H. (The last pair are slipped knitwise individually and set back on the left needle as for a standard ssk. The backs of both sts now face left instead of right. The right needle should be inserted left to right up through the back of st H, then up through the back of st F, then the yarn pulled through from front to back to purl the two sts tog.)

Plain row in reduced pattern: *p2, k2, p2, (k1, p1)2x; repeat from * 6x. The ribble is now the same apparent width as the rib.
Cable round in reduced pattern: *p2, k2, p2, R2F, p2, k2, p2, R2B; repeat from * 6x. The ribble is worked the same as before, just with fewer sts. Now the cable is only 2x2 sts instead of 4x4.
Repeat plain row in reduced pattern:
*p2, k2, p2, (k1, p1)2x; repeat from * 6x.
3rd decrease round: *ssp, k2, p2tog, (k1 p1)2x; repeat from * 6x. 12 sts decreased (2 per pattern multiple), 48 sts remain (pattern multiple = 8 sts).
Plain row further reduced: *p1, k2, p1 (k1, p1)2x; repeat from * 6x. The purl gap framing the rib is narrower – just one st wide not two.
4th decrease round: sl1, *k2tog, p1, k1, p1, k1, p2tog; repeat from * 6x. The last p2tog will use the p st that was slipped at the beginning of the round. 12 sts decreased (2 per pattern multiple), 36 sts remain (pattern multiple = 6 sts). The 2 k rib sts have been reduced to 1 sts. The purl st that precedes the rib has been reduced away. One way of looking at it, is that the rib section has been reduced to a mere k1, p1, while the ribble section is still (k1, p1)2x. Of course, this means that the entire hat is now nothing but 1x1 ribbing.
Plain row 1x1 ribbing: (k1, p1)18x.
Cable round: *k1, p1, R2F, k1, p1, R2B; repeat from * 3x.
Repeat plain row 1x1 ribbing:
(k1, p1)18x.
5th decrease round: s1, *k2tog, p1, k1, p2tog; repeat from * 6x. The last p2tog will use the k st that was slipped at the beginning of the round. 12 sts have been decreased (2 per pattern multiple), 24 sts remain (pattern multiple = 4 sts). The remainder of the ribbed section has been consumed by the ribbles. The hat is now all 1x1 ribbing, but also can be viewed as a series of six 4-st ribbles.
Technical note: Since the next row (6th decrease round) is easier to work if all the sts are mounted Eastern (facing right) instead of Western, you may wish to wrap the yarn the “wrong” way for all sts on this round in ordered to change their facing.
6th decrease round: ssk 12x. 12 sts remain. The front and back sts of the ribbles are joined together. Once again, you may wish to work this round Eastern mount to set up for the next and final round.
7th decrease round: ssk 6x. 6 sts remain.
Break yarn. Run end through final 6 sts at least twice. Pull closed. Secure loose end somewhere inside the hat.

Gloat!

11 January 2008

Cuddly Hubby Hat, part deux

I just came off working 8 of 9 days in a row. Tuesday was a 14-hour day. Not fun. So, time to get back to fun and back to the knitting.

For the Cuddly Hubby Hat, start the bottom band with a small tubular cast on. Cast on 72 sts provisionally. At this point, the pattern multiple = 12 sts. Join in a circle, being sure not to twist. Knit all sts for 3 rounds (or longer if you like a deeper tube). Place sts from provisional edge on a spare circ. Fold so the knit side faces outward. Line up wales. Working across in pattern: *ptog from both needles 2x, ktog from both needles 4x, ptog from both needles 2x, (k1 from front needle, p1 from back needle)4x, repeat from * 6x. 96 sts total. The pattern multiple now equals 16 sts and there are 6 pattern repeats in a round.

This may be the point where you wonder what was that all about? You'll recall the pattern is a rib and a cable. The first eight sts are the rib -- 2p 4k 2p. They are not worked reversibly. Thus, you simple purled or knit a stitch from each needle in order to form the tubular edge.

The second part of the pattern is a reversible cable. Because it will pull in, you worked those sts individually off the needles. The sts that will form the front side of the cable were knitted off the front needle and the sts that will form the back side of the cable were purled off the back needle.

I'm not 100% happy with this solution. The edge still got a little curly. I'm not sure how much of that is the thick yarn and how much is the mismatch in stretch between the plain rib and reversible cable. Still, this solution preserves the reversibility of the cables from the very start.

01 January 2008

New Year, New Hat

This hat was made for my half-Norwegian husband, Doug. He is rarely cold, even in winter. His hair is thinning, so he does need a little something to cover his head, especially when he is out on the flight line looking at the instrumentation for the next test on the airplane. This hat answers his request for something warm but aerospace-engineering appropriate. For those seeking a little knitting excitement, the hat features Lily Chin ribbles and decreases in pattern all the way to the top.

This is also an excuse for me to play with Manos del Uruguay. The thick & thin yarn reminds me, oddly enough, of Berroco Hip Hop. If you are looking for interesting yarn substitution possibilities, this could be a workable pairing.

I worked the hat mostly on a circular needle. Typically, I'll use the Magic Loop technique. (If you are unfamiliar with the technique, you can see a short video here.) I've acquired the Knit Picks nickel-plated dpns in the range of sizes, and I just couldn't resist using those for the top of the hat. I can definitely recommend these needles. The metal is smooth enough to allow the yarn to slide slickly along, but there is something about the finish that seems to give a hint of traction. It feels a little like static electricity, but I doubt that's it. The needles are pleasantly pointy as well -- not sure the TSA would fully appreciate them. I bought these partly because they come in large sizes. I didn't realize how useful a size 11 dpn would be until I wanted to work an i-cord strap for a felted bag. The sock set of sizes 0-3 in metric is wonderful. If you use small dpns and don't have a nice set, ask Cupid for Valentine's Day.

Hat pattern short & slick version:
Tubular cast-on at band.
Establish pattern, 6 pattern multiples around hat.
Work 8 full pattern row repeats or until length desired.
Decrease in pattern for top.
Cut and weave in ends.

Fits a 24” circumference head
Finished hat size: Hat is about 11” long & about 20” around at brim.

Materials:
1½ skeins Manos del Uruguay (100% wool, 126 m/138 yd to 100 g/3.5 oz)
Size 8 circular or dp needles or size to get gauge
Gauge: 18 sts x 22 rows = 4 inches in stockinette st; One pattern repeat is approx. 2.5”.

Main pattern:
Multiple of 16 stitches
Rounds 1-5 (plain in pattern): *p2, k4, p2, (k1, p1)4x; repeat from * 6x.
Round 6 (cable round): *p2, k4, p2, R4F, p2, k4, p2, R4B; repeat from * 6x.

R4F = Ribble 4 sts front: i.e. a reversible cable worked over 8 sts and crossing left:
Place the group of (k1, p1, k1, p1) on a cable needle and move to front. Work k1, p1, k1, p1 in next 4 sts on the left needle. Work k1, p1, k1, p1 across the 4 stitches on the cable needle.
R4B = Ribble 4 sts back: i.e. a reversible cable worked over 8 sts and crossing right:
Place the group of (k1, p1, k1, p1) on a cable needle and move to back. Work k1, p1, k1, p1 in the next 4 sts on the left needle. Work k1, p1, k1, p1 across the 4 stitches on the cable needle.

I'll post more, including the decreases, another day.