Monthly Archives: February 2011

The M107 Hat (Free Pattern!)

This pattern is now available as a free Ravelry Download for digital readers or a printable hard copy!  It’s also available on this blog, below.

The M107 Hat

Pattern designed by Janelle Wood

I made my husband a pair of fingerless gloves to wear during target practice. I decided he needed a matching hat. The result is this pattern. I just happened to finish knitting the hat on the day he finally got his Barrett M107, so that’s what he decided to name the pattern.

The hat fits a wide range of head sizes. It fits an adult man and a woman’s head size comfortably, thanks to the elasticity the cables provide.

Tools

Size 4 (3.5mm) 16 inch circular needle

Size 6 (4mm) 16 inch circular needle

Size 6 (4mm) DPNs or 40 inch circular

Cable needle

Stitch markers

Yarn

200 yards DK or Sportweight yarn (the example was knit in baby alpaca)

Gauge

23 sts and 32 rows-4 inches stockinet stitch (5.75 sts per inch)

Horseshoe Cable sequence (worked over 12 sts)

 

Rnds 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8: K12

Rnd 3: C6B, C6F (slip 3 sts onto a cable needle and hold in back. K the next 3 sts, K the 3 stitches off the cable needle. Slip next 3 sts onto a cable needle and hold in front. K the next 3 sts, then K the 3 sts off the cable needle)

Instructions

With Long Tail Cast On method and smaller needles, CO 120 sts

Place marker and join, begin working K2P2 ribbing in the round.

Work ribbed brim for 1.5 inches (4 cm) or 12 rounds

Next Round: Switch to larger needles and P6, *K12, P12 repeat from * until last 18 sts, K12, P6

Begin working Horseshoe cable sequence over the knit stitches

Work in established pattern until entire work measures 7 inches (18 cm), or desired length. (The example was knit to 6 inches then began decreases because my husband likes a shorter hat. Make it to your liking).

 

Begin decreases as follows:

Rnd 1: P1, P2tog, *K12, [P1, P2tog 4 times] repeat from * to last 16 sts: K12, [P1, P2tog twice]

Rnd 2: work even in pattern

Rnd 3: P4, *SSK, SSK, K4, K2tog, K2tog, P8 repeat from * to last 16 sts, Ssk, SSK, K4, K2tog, K2tog P4

Rnd 4: Work even in pattern (for me this was a cable round so I did C4B, C4F. Continue to work cable rounds where appropriate)

Rnd 5: (Switch to DPN’s or long circular for magic loop) P2tog twice, *K8, [P2tog twice] repeat from * to last 10 sts, K8, P2tog

Rnd 6: Work even in pattern

Rnd 7: P2, *SSK, SSK, K2tog, K2tog, P4 repeat from * to last 10 sts, Ssk, Ssk, K2tog, K2tog, P2

Rnd 8: Work even in pattern

Rnd 9: Work even in pattern

Rnd 10: P2tog, *K4, [P2tog twice] repeat from * to last 6 sts, K4, P2tog

Rnd 11: P1, *SSK, K2tog, P2 repeat from * to last 5 sts, SSK, K2tog, P1.

Place last P stitch on first needle and continue as follows:

Rnd 12: *P2tog, K2tog, repeat from *

Finishing

Cut yarn, leaving a 12 inch tail. Draw yarn through remaining sts, pulling tight to close. Weave in ends, wash and block as desired.

Pattern Variation

To make this hat in Worsted weight, use size 5 (3.74mm) for the brim and size 7(4.5 mm) for the body of the hat. Cast on 96 sts instead of 120. Work pattern as written.

This pattern was intended for personal use only. Feel free to gift any finished projects made from this pattern. Selling projects made from this pattern is prohibited without the written consent of the designer.

For questions, feel free to leave a comment

or find her as johnsie4 on Ravelry.

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Tips For Magic Loop Knitting

Right now I’m knitting the legs of a pair of longies.  Thanks to the technique of Magic Loop knitting, the legs are being knit two at a time.  I think that’s just the most awesome thing in the world.

Admittedly, I was extremely intimidated by the magic loop method and it took me a long time to attempt it.  My first attempts weren’t great, and a large reason for this was because I was so accustomed to knitting small diameter projects on double pointed needles.  The two methods differ from each other, and I recommend trying both.

When I finally got the hang of knitting small diameter projects in the round with one long circular knitting needle (magic loop), I decided that this technique was for me.

Reasons I like Magic Loop so much:

I can knit items two at a time (socks, gloves, sleeves, pant legs, different toy appendages, ect).  This way both items end up being identical.  This is a huge advantage.

I only need one long circular needle and I no longer have to keep track of all those DPNs.

Ways Magic Loop and knitting with DPN’s differ:

Something I hated when using DPNs was the ladder that always seemed to appear between the stitches that ended and began on each needle.  This does not exist with the magic loop method.  BUT one thing that was hard to get used to was not tightening my yarn when I switched sides whilst magic looping.

Many old school knitters will not accept the idea or try the magic loop method.  They say they hate all that adjusting.  To that, I say WHAT?  I find I adjust way more with DPN’s.  At first I felt oafish when changing sides, but after I found my rhythm, I adjust very little compared to my DPN knitting. 

When I knit with DPN’s, I am very particular with my needle positions.  The needle holding the stitches that are currently being worked must rest above the next needle, and the needle I am knitting the stitches onto must rest on top of the needle before it.  Since I am so particular, this takes much adjusting every time I switch needles. 

I decided I wanted to write down tips that I have found with my magic loop knitting that help it move along smoothly.  

Tips For Smoother Magic Loop Knitting:

1. Relax.  When switching sides, do not pull the yarn tight.  Just keep knitting.  Pulling it tight will make the needle transition difficult and make it hard to allow the stitches to move along the needle.  This was a hard lesson for me to learn.

2. If you are knitting something two at a time with one ball of yarn (one strand coming from the outside, one from the center), it can get tangled easily.  Here’s what works for me: the side of the ball where the strand comes out of the center must be face down at all times.  It still pulls freely, and this way the yarn coming from the outside of the ball can unwind freely as well.  It takes some practice, and soon I got the hang of which way to flip the work when switching sides so the yarn doesn’t get wound around each other.

3. When working two at a time and it’s time to start the next item on the needle (and this happens on each side during each round): let the yarn that you just finished knitting with hang  over the top of the needle, toward the front of the work.   If the yarn falls to the inside, what can happen is when you begin working the next side, the cord from the circular knitting needle can get caught underneath the bar between the stitches.  The cord is easily removed, but the result is that the bar between the stitches on either side will be loose and sloppy.  I hope that made sense.  If you practice knitting on something it will be more clear.

4.  Use a long circular, 32 inches or longer.  I prefer a 40″ circular needle.  If the cable is a bit stiff, boil water in a tea kettle and run the cable through the steam. This will soften the cord and make it more flexible.  This is only necessary (possible, advisable) before casting on.

5.  Check out the video tutorial at Knittinghelp.com under the advanced techniques tab.  It’s a wonderful demonstration.

 Remember that magic loop knitting is simple in principle.  Of course this is true of knitting in general.  Magic loop knitting is simple because you divide the stitches once, and all the live stitches stay on the side they were appointed to.  For some reason I thought all the adjusting old school knitters complained of meant that the live stitches had to be continuously positioned.  They don’t.  They stay where they were put.

Everything takes practice.  It’s good to try all the options and choose your favorite technique for your project.   Knitting should be fun!

Happy knitting everyone!

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WIP Wednesday 2/23

Lately I’ve had a lot of gift knitting going on.  After getting those projects off the needles, I made a new goal.

I’ve been gradually touring my new Local Yarn Shops and collecting a skein or two of random yarns.  My stash has grown considerably, and I think it’s time to declare Yarn Diet.  That means I’m not going to be buying new yarn, but using what I currently have residing in my yarn closet.

My first stash busting project is one that I’ve had in my mental queue for more than a year and a half.  It’s Beer Gloves by Kurt Fausett.  I really like this pattern and they are knitting up quickly.  I think I’ll finish the second glove tonight!  My husband is very excited about them, and I keep catching him wearing the lonely first glove in anticipation for the pair.  I have been too.

 

My only problem with the pattern is the instructions for the thumb.  I read and re-read the instructions.  After a while, it finally dawned on me that it’s an afterthought thumb.  Then again, the Stitch ‘N Bitch patterns are frequently full of errata and poorly worded.  I just think it should have said what it meant and I would have been spared a few minutes of frustration.  Ah, well.  I still love the gloves.

I have included a pic of the thumb stitches being held on waste yarn, just for reference.  I really like afterthought things for many reasons.  I  have been thinking of ways to incorporate this technique into my knitting to prevent seaming.  I’m thinking toys would be much simpler!

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The Devil’s in the Details

I made a pot of chili for a superbowl party this weekend, the recipe having the same name as this post.  I laughed out loud about the Devil being in the details, and it got me thinking.  (Oh yeah, it was super awesome Chili. Thanks Robin Robertson, for another amaaaaazing chili recipe!)

Whether someone believes in the Devil or not, I think everyone can agree that the Devil represents self-indulgence, selfishness, addictions, ect.  The reason I laughed at the phrase is because the details are my self-indulgence and addiction.  What am I talking about?  Well, knitting of course!

I’m addicted to patterns featuring intricate details; cables, lace and colorwork.  I self-indulge in this type of knitting.  It makes me….feel a bit selfish.

Here’s some detail knitting I’ve been doing lately (well, in the past 3 months):

I had fun with this post and I don’t really think knitting is the devil.  🙂

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Year of Sewing: Month 1

I have been very successful in my first month of my year of sewing goal.  I sewed 28 days in January, only taking 3 days off. 

I have been pretty busy with all the stuff I’ve been doing, leaving much less time for blogging and other online stuff.  I have been online shopping quite a bit, but that’s all.

Here are some things I’ve made this month:

The last picture was the project that took most of my month.  It’s fun moving and redecorating, and I am lucky enough to sew new decorations for my home.  The possibilites were endless, so it was really hard to make a decision.  I am so happy with how it turned out and how they look.  The drapes were the biggest project I’ve ever sewed, I think it was over 14 yards of fabric. 

It was a good month!  I’m still very motivated to sew every day.  I have plans for February that may take the entire month.  It’s another big project.  I also have the rest of the windows in my house to put drapes on.

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