Monday, November 14, 2016


Here are four very easy patterns – three for knitting, one for crochet.  (I ended up with the mug cozy photo insisting on being front and center - couldn't get it to budge.  Maybe it didn't want to be last in this post?) The first two use relatively large needles – size 11s.  And if you read this blog and the facebook page for the shop, Graceful Arts Fiber Studio, you might have seen them each before in a slightly different incarnation.

First the scarf.  People frequently ask whether a single skein of yarn is enough for a scarf, and usually, the answer is, I’m sorry, no.  One generally needs about 300 yards for a scarf.  However, this one seems to take not very much yarn and in fact, I did not go through an entire skein.  I’m estimating about 200 yards.  I put this back into the gifts lineup this year because “shawlettes” have become a popular alternative to scarves; and this will definitely keep your shoulders warm.
Cast on 5 stitches and knit one row across.
Pattern row 1: slip the first stitch, YO, knit to within one stitch of the center stitch (which on the first row, means K1), YO, K1, YO, knit to one stitch before the end (which on the first row, still means K1) YO, K!.
Pattern row 2: K every stitch.
Knit 6 rows in pattern, repeat row 2 five more times.  That’s it, for as wide as you want to go, which doesn’t have to be terribly wide.
Finish with a crochet hook – Y CH6, sc 3 stitches from needle together, repeat from Y across.  Cut end and sew in both ends.

Easy kids’ hats – Hats can help prevent ear aches.  Kids need hats, even when they’re running around so fast a mom has to nearly sit on their child’s lap to put one on.  A local agency in my county gives a new hat and a pair of mittens or gloves to every child under 10; I also partner with a knitter and crocheter, each of whom prefers to make mittens (and sometimes provide “magic” gloves to hats.  So I end up making a lot of hats.  The two layers of knitting worsted make them warm, and they’re also nicely stretchy.  The knitting worsted is acrylic, meaning a busy mother can put it in the wash now and then without worry.  I strongly encourage every knitter or crocheter to make a hat or a pair of mittens and give them away.  Because the best gifts are often anonymous, even better might be to give it to an agency that gives it away.  Many houses of worship have a mitten tree or mitten wall where contributors add mittens and hats given away in December.  It took me about an hour to make each hat and I’m not a fast knitter.  In the middle of making stuff to give to people who give us presents back…  end of sermon.

For the one on the left, meant for a smaller child, cast on 40 stitches.  Knit in a k1, P1 rib for 6 inches.  Then begin decreasing: K and p4, K2 together across. 
Rows after decreases follow the K and P pattern of the previous decrease row.
Then, K and p 3, K 2 together
after a row without decreases, K and P 2, K 2 together
after a row without decreases, K 1, K 2 together.
Cut yarns leaving a 6 inch tail, thread the tail through the yarn needle and pull remaining stitches together tightly and secure.  Then sew down the hat until you run out of yarn, fasten off and hide ends.  Using the left-over tail yarn from your cast-on, sew up the hat from the bottom.  Presumably you’ve planned so you can meet in the middle with a little left over.  Fasten off and hide ends.

for the hat on the right, meant for a slightly larger child, cast on 48 stitches.  Knit in a K2 P2 rib for about 2 inches.  Switch to garter stitch and knit until the hat is 7 inches from the beginning.  Keeping in garter stitch, decrease and finish in the same pattern as the previous hat.

Using handspun yarn, you don’t want to begin knitting hats with a cast-on that leaves a bunch of yarn left over, even if it might potentially be useful later.  I don’t want to use up and potentially waste yarn with sewing in ends, so my handspun hats are Crown Down hats. 

  Start by casting on 6 stitches.  Knit off two onto each of 3 dp needles…I’ll use something between a 9 and a 10 ½ for handspun.  Increase one stitch between each stitch for the first round, then knit a round of these 9 stitches.  Increase one stitch between each stitch for the third round, then knit a round of these 15 stitches.  On the fifth round, increase one stitch between each stitch on a needle, increasing to 27 stitches around.  On the seventh round, and the ninth and the 11th,  increase two stitches per needle.  Work even for a few rounds and eyeball your hat.  You should be up to 45 stitches.  Need another round of increases?  Okay, make one more increase round (that’s 51 stitches), then knit every stitch on every needle until you’ve got about 8 inches of hat, from the crown down.   Now you’re at the decision point for how you’ll finish it.  You could simply keep on knitting and bind off when it feels right.  The brim will roll.  You can decrease a stitch to have an even number and K1, P1 around for a couple of inches for a ribbed finish.  Bind off loosely and sew in the end.  You will have a sturdy, distinctive hat.

I coordinate a raffle project to raise money for our local fire company, auxiliary and the local library, an effort that happens during fire company breakfasts.  This means we’ve got to engage our audience with the raffles quickly – and the raffles need to be something people will really want.  In a basket of carefully selected gift items, I was surprised and delighted to see that what attracted the most attention this year were the cup cozies crocheted and donated by a generous gifter.  It was amazing that everyone bypassed the more expensive things and zeroed-in on the mug cozies with glee – and they were what sold the raffle tickets!

These are great for using up small amounts of yarn and interesting buttons.  After experimenting with knitting and crocheting these, I decided crochet was easier.  Ch 8, then crochet in ”moss” stitch            alternating sc and double crochets across, then on the following rows, make a sc above a double of the row below, and a double where there was a single.  Have a mug nearby to try out the fit.  When you’ve crocheted enough that your strip is about 7 inches long, or goes most but not all the way around the cup, crochet the first 3 stitches of the next row, CH 9, fasten back to the base of the last stitch and end off, sewing in the end.  Sew a button on the other end…  and you’re done!  No more scorching your hands on a hot cuppa - or having the condensation on the outside of your glass of iced whatever spoil a table.

1 comment:

Eliz Davis aka Tatknot said...

I do like the cup cozy idea. Thanks for sharing!