Monthly Archives: June 2015

Pattern: One Row Wonder

Weee-Ahhhhh, Weee-Ahhhh!  (That’s the “New Pattern Alarm”… couldn’t you tell?)

I came up with this project on vacation, in the back of a minivan, when I was stuck with a ball of lovely blue gradient hand-spun, a pair of needles, and no pattern.  I wanted to make a shawl, but not a normal shawl.  A shawl that was easy enough to knit in the back of a minivan while sightseeing.  Something with an interesting shape, but virtually no pattern to memorize.

Thus was born the One Row Wonder.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe One Row Wonder Shawl might just be the perfect pattern. With only one row to memorize, you’ll have a brand new shawl with almost no effort! It can be knit at any gauge and with any yarn. It’s a perfect way to use up leftover yarn or that extra-special skein that’s been waiting in your stash (you know the one). The finished shawl has a unique shape, which wears like a scarf, but has the look of a triangle shawl. The One Row Wonder will knit up in no time and quickly become a favorite part of your wardrobe.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI made mine with a lovely, chunky yarn, but now I’m itching to work one up in fingering yarn.  How cute would it be made with stripes of leftover sock yarn?

Get the pattern for free!

One Row Wonder Shawl

EDIT 9/20/2015:  Sorry for the confusion about the “Loop Increase.”  Apparently lots of places have different definitions.  This tutorial from Knit Picks outlines how I do the Loop Increase.

Design Process Series: Turning the Heel

OK, guys.  It’s time.  Time to turn the heel.

I remember my first pair of socks.  I got to the heel, took one look at the instructions, got scared and put it in the bottom of my WIP pile for about a year.

Let’s not do that.  Heels aren’t that scary.  It’s just some little short rows, and then next week, we’ll pick up some stitches.  No biggie.  (If you want a more detailed explanation, feel free to go back to my “Socks by the Numbers” series.)

This heel will be a basic short-row heel with a reinforced slip-stitch heel.  The slipped stitches will make the heel lovely and thick and squishy (which I think will fit well with the whole “warm and cozy” thing).  They’ll be perfect for wearing with your favorite pair of broken-in hiking boots. (Or while sitting on the couch with a cup of cocoa.)

Ready to start?  Great!

So far, we’ve been knitting in the round on 4 needles.  Now, we’ll be using just one needle, working back and forth as we work up the heel flap.

Join your CC and knit the next 24 (26, 28, 30) stitches onto a single needle.  You’ll have an extra needle.  Put this somewhere you won’t loose it.  We’ll need it later.  These 24 (26, 28, 30) stitches are your heel flap stitches, and we’ll only be working with these stitches today.  Turn your sock around and get ready to work back across your heel stitches.

  • Slip 1, then purl across.
  • (Slip 1, knit 1) across.

Repeat these two rows until the heel flap is 24 (26, 28, 30) rows long.  Finish with a purl row.


I couldn’t find a stitch marker, but you should have one right in the middle of the blue section.

Next, we’ll shape the heel cap.  (This is the part of the heel that gets nice and round.)

  • K12 (13, 14, 15) then place marker.  Then, K2, K2tog, K 1, wrap and turn.
  • P to marker, slip marker, P2, P2tog, P1, wrap and turn.


  • K to 1 before the wrap and turn gap, k2tog, k1, wrap and turn.
  • P to 1 before the wrap and turn gap, p2tog, p1, wrap and turn.

Repeat these last two rows until you have worked all heel flap stitches.  (On the last two rows, the math might not quite work out and you might not be able to do the last k1/p1, or the last wrap and turn.  Don’t worry about it!)  End with a purl row.


Break Contrast Color, and get ready to work the foot next week!

Blocking: Gear

A lot of people love shopping.  To them, there’s nothing more exciting than starting a new project and collecting all the gear they’ll need.  They enjoy dropping a couple hundred bucks on top-of-of-the line tools and professional-grade materials.

I am not one of those people.

It’s probably because I was raised in the Midwest, that most pragmatic portion of the country.

I like to get the bare minimum, and, if I can use stuff I already have around the house, all the better.  (After all, the money I save can go to buying more yarn!)

Sure, you can go buy fancy blocking wires, specialty blocking pins and expensive, nice-smelling blocking detergents.  I’m sure they’re all nice to have, but when you’re just beginning to block your knitting, do you really need these things?  No.  (And, frankly, even now, I use these materials for 90% of my projects.)

Here’s what you really need:

(And, FYI, these are all materials for wet-blocking projects.  It’s what I do for almost all my projects, and so far it’s served me well.)

1. Something to put water in.  Do you have a sink, a bowl, a bathtub?  Is it clean?  That’s all you need.  If it can hold warm water, and isn’t gross, you’re good to go.stainless-steel-bowls[1]2.  Pins.  I just use regular sewing pins.  They’re dead cheap, and you probably already have a little box of them squirreled away.  If you don’t, you can get a pack of a couple hundred for a few bucks at your local fabric store.  Some people will tell you that sewing pins will rust and discolor your knitting.  But, I haven’t seen that happen; the amount of time a pin is in contact with moisture is too short for rust to develop.  Of course, I wouldn’t use a rusty pin to block my knitting, but that’s just common sense.sewing-pins-new[1]3.  Something squishy to stick pins in.  For years, I actually used a clean towel, spread out over the Berber carpet in our attic.  The carpet held pins in place nicely, and was free.  But, our new house is unfortunately all wood and tile.  I know some folks block on a spare bed, or the back of a couch, but that’s a pain.  Instead, I went to the kids’ section of Target and got a $20 pack of foam tiles (the kind you’re supposed to put out on the floor so kids don’t crack their head when they fall).  They lock together into whatever shape you need, and work great.  You can get foam tiles that are specifically made for blocking, but they cost a bunch more.

81xrtGJjGNL._SL1500_[1]4. Your knitting.  Obviously.  FYI, wet blocking works best with animal fibers (wool, alpaca, etc.).  I have blocked some cotton things, which works a little, but blocking plant and man-made fibers never has the same amazing results.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANow that we’ve gathered the things you need from around your house (or maybe a quick trip to the store), next week we’ll start with blocking something simple!