Monday, January 9, 2017

Free Pattern: Curly Top Crochet Hat

This is basically an easy beginner crochet pattern that I first got when I joined Binky Patrol back in the day.  I just added a few twists, literally:  the twisty top curlicue.

The yarn pictured is good old Plymouth Encore, one of my favorite go-to yarns for baby things.

We start with directions for a preemie weighing about 4 to 5 pounds.  Directions for how to make it bigger or even smaller follow.

around 50 yards worsted weight yarn
H hook or size to get gauge

GAUGE:  4 dc = 1 inch, 2 rows = 1 inch

beg = beginning
ch = chain
dc = double crochet
rep = repeat
rnd = round
sc = single crochet
sl st = slip stitch

Rnd 1:  Ch 4, 11 dc in first ch, join with sl st to top of beg ch 4.  Do not turn, now and throughout.
Rnd 2:  Ch 3, dc in same st, 2 dc in each dc around, join with sl st to top of first ch 3.
Rnd 3:  Ch 3, 2 dc in next st, *dc in next st, 2 dc in next st, rep from * around.  Join with sl st to top of first ch 3.
Rnds 4—8:  Ch 3, *dc in next dc, rep from * around, join with sl st to top of first ch 3.
Rnd 9 (crab st, a.k.a., reverse sc): ch 1, sc in same st, working backwards, *sc in st behind first sc, rep from * around, join with sl st to first sc.
Finish off and weave in ends.

After rnd 3, insert an extra rnd as follows:  Ch 3, dc in next st, 2 dc in next st, *1 dc in each of next 2 sts, 2 dc in next st, rep from * around.  Join with sl st to top of first ch 3.
Then do rnds 4 through 9 as for the preemie size.
After rnd 3, insert two extra rnds as follows:
Rnd 3A:  Ch 3, dc in next st, 2 dc in next st, *1 dc in each of next 2 sts, 2 dc in next st, rep from * around.  Join with sl st to top of first ch 3.
Rnd 3B:  Ch 3, 1 dc in each of next 2 sts, 2 dc in next st, *1 dc in each of next 3 sts, 2 dc in next st, rep from * around.  Join with sl st to top of first ch 3.
Then do rnds 4 through 9 as for the preemie size.
Leave out rnd 3 in first set of directions.  This would be for a very tiny preemie.  Some do weigh less than 2 pounds.

Ch 10.
2 sc in 2nd ch from hook, *3 sc in next ch, 2 sc in next ch, rep from * to end of ch.  Finish off, leaving a long enough tail to pull through top of hat.  Weave in ends to secure.

© 2017 Reyna Thera Lorele

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Free Pattern: Rib-It! January Block of the Month

Ah, the wonderful rib!  Be it 2 x 2, 3 x 2, 3 x 3—well, you catch the drift.

Handsomely handy for sweater cuffs and hems, sweetly stretchy, especially for hat bands, especially when you don’t have a chance to measure someone’s head before making them the perfect hat.

Piqué Rib--this month's freebie; directions below
But there are so many fabulous variations on ribs!  Barbecue, Teriyaki...okay, now I’m getting hungry.

Back to knitted ribs:  they are delightfully squishy.  They make nifty, nubbly textures.  They are classic, and in a class by themselves.

I thought a collection of rib patterns would make a great sampler blanket, and I've been scouting and testing variations off and on for a long time.  At last, I have thirty or so to get us started.  (Do you think that will be enough?!)

Rib-It! A Knit Sampler Throw will be arriving in several parts.  The patterns range in skill level from easy to advanced, and I plan to publish them in groups according to skill level.

Steep Diagonal Rib
There'll be a free pattern here on the blog each month in 2017, and the chance to buy a collection including more block patterns at the same skill level.  Be sure to join our free knit-along (KAL) group on Ravelry:  click here.

The pictures included here show the ones that are in the first collection, which I consider the easiest.

I can just hear people getting annoyed with me and saying, "Easy for you!"  But I promise, you only need to know how to cast on, knit, purl, and bind off.  The pattern variations are in how you combine the knits and purls.

Zigzag Rib
Broken Diagonal Rib

Seeded Rib

Beaded Rib

Click here to buy all the patterns in Rib-It! A Sampler Throw, Part One. 

© 2017 Reyna Thera Lorele

I think January's freebie is quite attractive and I hope you like it too.  For the faint of heart, please note, row 3 is the same as row 1, and row 4 is simply knit.  Do not be alarmed at how good it looks!

Piqué Rib
Materials needed:
About 100 yds. worsted weight yarn per square
#7 knitting needles
Optional:  stitch markers
4.5 sts per inch in stockinette

Directions are for knitting an 8” square, however, this stitch pattern is a multiple of 10 + 3.  To make a larger or smaller square, CO more or fewer sts in multiples of 10.

CO 39 sts.
Knit 4 rows.
Row 1 (RS):  k3, pm, k3, *p3, k1, p3, k3, rep from * to last 3 sts, pm, k3.
Row 2:  k3, sm, p3, *k3, p1, k3, p3, rep from * to last 3 sts, sm, k3.
Row 3:  rep row 1.
Row 4:  k
Rep these 4 rows, slipping markers as needed, 10 more times.
Knit 4 rows.
BO.  Cut yarn, fasten off.  Weave in ends.

Ribbed patterns tend to pull edges inward.  I lightly block my squares before joining them.  I say “lightly block” because it’s nice to leave some of the ribbed texture.

beg = beginning
BO = bind off
CO = cast on
k = knit
p = purl
pm = place marker
rep = repeat
RS = right side
sl st = slip stitch
sm = slip marker
st, sts = stitch, stitches
WS = wrong side

Once again, you can click here to buy all the patterns in Rib-It! A Knit Sampler Throw, Part 1.  (The Piqué Rib is included as well, so you'll have the complete set of at your fingertips.  Instant PDF download, instant gratification!)  You can also buy it on Ravelry;  click here.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Starburst Quilt

I meant to make a bunch of bright stars for this charity quilt out of cheerful donated fabrics.  But after I made a few star-like things, I sorta wanted to mix things up.

Here are a couple of pics of the planning stages.

I found drawing out a plan on graph paper to be immensely helpful in figuring out where to place what, and how much sashing I would need in between.

Every square represented 2 inches finished.  I added a 1/2 inch for the two 1/4 inch seam allowances on each edge of a given block.

I just did a little (or a lot!) of that four-letter word that so many of us cringe upon hearing:  math.

That black and white checkerboard is a cheater:  the squares are already in the fabric.

I also experimented with the actual quilting and I learned a lot about what I like and what I don't really like, even though I thought I would.

My next soon-to-be-finished quilt has much more minimalist quilting on it.  But this one was a ton of fun.  And it's already out the door, on its way to the hospital.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Gateway and Beyond

One more Gateway Infinity Scarf for the road--in fact, I think Hearthside Fibers is taking it on the road, to various shows, including the big one for The National NeedleArts Association (TNNA).

Since Larry and Lael at Hearthside are putting kits together, they wanted me to make another sample using the variegated Ty-Dy.

I really am making other things, I promise, but the Gateway is pretty addictive.

I am planning a Block of the Month pattern giveaway for next year on this blog, so, stay tuned, and in the meantime, Happy Holidays to all!

Friday, December 2, 2016

One More for the Road

Another quilt done, very similar to another one I did earlier this year.  Soon it will go out the door, probably to a local charity that helps families with domestic violence issues.

Quilted it on my home sewing machine--yippee!

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Metro Sweater Joy

Well, I finally made a sweater that not only fits me but feels good to wear--and you, too, can make one!  It's the Metro Sweater.

It is perfect for the weather here, with 3/4 length sleeves, and an open front.

The pattern is well-written and is just complex enough to be interesting to me without causing mental conniptions.

The only changes I made were when I picked up stitches for the arms.  I could see partway through the first arm that it just wasn't going to be big enough for my big old wobbly upper arms.  So I frogged back and picked up a few extra stitches instead of the number given; there was plenty of room to do so on the armholes themselves.

Then I knit a few extra rounds here and there as I went along to give myself plenty of arm-room.

And it worked!  I've even had a chance to wear it a few times already.  So happy.  Plus, the yarn has been sitting in my stash for a long time, Garnstudio's Angora-Tweed, 70% merino wool and 30% angora.  Feels great to use up most of it.

And it basically looks like faded blue jeans, one of my favorite colors.  It speaks of comfort!

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Yet Another Cupcake

Who could ever get tired of making these Cupcake Beanies?  Not me, obviously.  Go to Debby Ware's website and look for the Cupcake Beanie pattern.