Tag Archives: in the round

Tutorial: Reading a Chart in the Round

Last week, I talked about the basics of reading a chart.  Today, I’m going to talk about reading a chart while knitting in the round.

*Gasp* What?!  Charts!?  And circular needles?! That’s just too much!  I can’t even!  (Sorry… I’m feeling a little dramatic this morning)

No, it’s not difficult!  It’s actually pretty simple.

So remember this chart from last week?  This is a chart that’s been written so that you can work it flat (ie, back and forth).laura-chart-c-plainI’ve modified it to now be read in the round.  Can you spot the differences (It’s like a sad, grown-up version of the puzzles in the back of Highlights magazine)?laura-chart-c-in-the-roundThe first big difference (that I’m sure you spotted), is that all the row numbers are lined up along the right side of the chart.  laura-chart-c-in-the-round-detailsThat’s because when you knit in the round, you’re always traveling in the same direction (from right to left).  When you knit flat, you knit back and forth, so the row numbers are arranged on alternate sides.  But, the same rule applies no matter how you’re knitting- you start knitting from the side of the row with the number, and work away.laura-chart-c-in-the-round-knitting-directionThe second big difference is in they key:laura-chart-c-in-the-round-details-2It looks like there’s a whole bunch of information missing, when you compare this chart to the “knit flat” chart.  But, in fact, you’re not missing any information!  This is because when you knit in the round, every row is a RS row!  So, it’s just implied that (in this case) a white square is a knit stitch on the RS and a gray square is a purl.

Simple!

What’s your favorite kind of pattern?

Christmas Post-Mortem: A hat

Christmas is done!  Hope you had a nice weekend.  We played lots of board games, and ate lots of cookies.  A pretty great time, if I say so myself.

But here’s the fun part!  Now I get to show off the gifts I’ve been working on over the last few months!

Let’s start with this cool hat I made for my brother-in-law!img_4099I knit with a very cool “intarsia in the round” technique that I learned at this year’s Knit Fit.  Basically, you cast on and do the brim just like normal (in the round).  Then, as you knit the top (multi-colored) part of the hat, you use really long short rows and wrap-and-turns to work the intarsia without messing up the order of your yarn.  So, you’re effectively knitting back and forth at the same time you are creating a tube that looks like it was knit in the round.  Super clever!

And, it’s got this cool top (which looks better when it’s worn):img_4102It’s dead simple to make.  You knit all the way to the top of the hat without any shaping (making it extra-long), then you seam the top to make the whole thing flat, then take the corners and sew them together.

Cool, right?

What did you make for Christmas?

Bear With Me

I forgot how fun these bears are!

They’re quick and easy, with just enough challenge to keep me interested. (Perfect for  marathoning intense TV shows.  This one was mostly knit while catching up on The Night Of, which is very good, but not a “fun” watch.)

I tried something a little different on this bear.  The official knit-in-the-round pattern has you leave arm holes in the body by working the chest/back back and forth.  Then, when the body is done, you go back and pick up stitches around the armholes to make thearms.  That way, the bear ends up being a single piece of knitting.

But sometimes you don’t want to bother with picking up and knitting.  (Or at least I don’t.) So I didn’t.  I knit the body straight through, from the top of the head to the bottom of the toes, not an arm hole to be seen.  Then I cast on for the arms and worked those separately.

Then, I stuffed the body, formed the ears and the neck.  I stuffed the arms and sewed them in place.  And wouldn’t you know it- it looks super cute, and felt much simpler (at least to me) to knit up.

IMG_3145I’m very pleased with this little dude.  I’ll probably wait to get out my felt and embroidery floss to add the face to a bunch of bears at once, assembly-line style.

I’ll definitely be making more of these guys!  Maybe I’ll try to send in another big box o’ bears  this Christmas.

Anyone want to join me?

Pattern: Christmas Scallops Stocking

I love Christmas. I love the family, I love the gifts, I love the food, and I love the decorations. But, I’m not super-traditional when it comes to decking my halls. Red and green are a little passé, and Rudolph (and his red nose) are old hat. I’m a fan of sparkly tinsel and multicolor blinking lights.

This stocking is just what I look for in a Christmas decoration. It’s festive, but not boring. Traditional…ish. I’ve picked a deep winey red and a pale seafoam green to my delightfully chubby stocking. Experiment with the colors to make one perfect for every member of your family!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Christmas Scallops Stocking is a simple, fast knit that you can work up in a weekend. It is knit from the top down, in the round, at a largish gauge. A few easy rows of Fair Isle creates the decorative colorwork at cuff and toe. The heel is formed by a simple series of short rows in an easily memorized pattern.  You’ll have plenty of time to finish these stockings before Santa arrives on Christmas Eve.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGet the pattern for free here:

Christmas Scallops Stocking

Stellar’s Jay Sweater-Shoulders

Indulge me in a little “do as I say, not as I do.”  The first time I made an EPS sweater, I ignored a step in the shoulders.  It was a vague little instruction where Elizabeth Zimmerman said to “work a few short rows across the shoulders”.  I was so close to being finished, and anyway, I didn’t know what “short rows” were, so they couldn’t be that important.

I ended up with a perfectly fitting sweater, except that if felt like it was trying to choke me.  Constantly.  With Icelandic Wool.

Ha!  That showed me.  I’ve never skipped the short rows on a sweater again.

So, where do short rows come into play for a bottom-up (or a top-down) sweater knit in the round?

It turns out, that, if you look at your neck from the side, it actually points a little forward, instead of pointing straight up.  (It points even further forward if you’re a sloucher, like me.)  See?

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????So, if you make a sweater without any short rows, the neckline will sit parallel to the floor.  This will pull uncomfortably on your throat and make you want to burn your sweater.  Also, it looks kind of dumb.

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????What you want, to be comfortable, is a sweater that is higher (by an inch or two) at the back of the neck than the front.  Like this:

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????Looks better, right?  So how do you do it?  Usually three or four short rows in the last couple inches of the shoulders are enough to raise the back of the neck enough to make it comfortable.  I am a big fan of doing a simple wrap and turn.

I like to make my first short row go all the way to the points of my shoulders (or a little past).  Then, each short row after the first gets progressively shorter by 8 or so stitches.  It requires a tiny bit of math, but it works out pretty well.

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????All I know is, I will never leave out the short rows on a sweater like this again!

Merry Christmas!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI hope you’re having a fantastic Christmas, and I hope that Santa brought you everything that was on your Christmas list.

I’ve got one more extra-special present just for you, dear readers! A little bitty knit doll of your very own.  And, she comes with a little bitty storybook of her very own.   She has long flowing hair and a removable dress, and she is just as ready to play house as she is to go adventuring with her friends.

The Little Knit Doll’s construction is very simple.  She is knit in the round with minimal sewing.  All shaping is done with simple increases and decreases, except for the feet, which are worked like tiny socks.  Her luxurious long hair is applied with a crochet hook, just like adding fringe to a scarf.  She is totally safe for children of all ages, with her embroidered face.  And, her adorable green dress is knit in the round with virtually no finishing.

The Little Knit Doll is now available through Ravelry for $5.00.

Get the pattern here

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’m posting The Little Knit Doll here exclusively for about a week.  But starting next week, the pattern will be available through Ravelry for $5, so download it now, if you want it for free.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHo Ho Ho! Merry Christmas!

Lazy Susan Beanie

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I love knitting stripes.  Changing colors back and forth keeps my interest, even when making a super simple project like this beanie.  But, as you know, I am utterly lazy.  I absolutely detest stopping my flow of knitting to attach and reattach new balls of yarn.  And weaving in all those thousands of tiny ends at the end of a project is pretty much the worst.    The Lazy Susan Beanie avoids both of these issues by working both colors at the same time, knitting them in a spiral pattern that ends up looking like perfect one-row stripes (get it?  Lazy Susan?  Because it spins and is for lazy people… like me).

Also, this pattern is a great way to experiment with color and dying your own yarn.  I knit the sample with a turquoise variegated yarn and a dark purple/black semi-solid which I dyed using food coloring.  (You can read my posts for more information about dying yarn with food coloring.)  Try using different color combos for different results!

You can get the Lazy Susan Beanie pattern here:

Lazy Susan Beanie

You spin me right ’round

I love stripes, and I adore knitting stripes especially.  The whole “knitting with two colors at the same time” is pretty much the best.  But I do not love weaving in all the ends at the end of a project.  It’s like the world’s worst knitting practical joke.  “Oh, you think your sweater’s done?  HAHA NO!  You get to spend the next six hours weaving in ends. Sucker!”  Not fun.

So, here’s a trick that I like to use when I want to make something in the round with itty bitty stripes.  Essentially, I’m working both colors at the same time, spiraling them together.  This way, it looks like I have perfect jogless stripes, AND I don’t have to worry about a million little ends to weave in at the end.  (Also, despite my poor description, it’s actually quite easy.)

Please forgive the messy drawings… I’m still figuring out the whole “graphics” thing.

1.  Cast on with your first color, and join in the round using a set of 5 dpns (4 to hold your knitting, and one to use).  Knit a few rows (it can get too fiddly if you don’t have a good solid base before adding the second color).

Swirl 12. At the beginning of the round, start knitting with the second color, but don’t cut the first color.  Knit needles 1, 2, and 3 with the second color.

Swirl 23. Stop knitting with the second color, but don’t cut the yarn.  Pick up the first color and start knitting where you left off.  This time, only knit two needles (needles 1 and 2).

Swirl 3

4.  Pick up the second color again, and knit two needles (in this case, needles 4 and 1)

Swirl 45.  Keep going in pattern, picking up the first color and knitting two needles (needles 3 and 4).

Swirl 56. See how the pattern is going?  You knit two needles of the first color, then two needles of the second color.  This way you keep building up a spiral of stripes, until you end up with a great big long spirally/striped scarf/hat/mitten etc.

Swirl 6When your project gets long enough, knit until your secondary color is back at the beginning of the row, then cut it.  Do a couple more rows in the first color, and bind of as usual.

Easy!

Pattern: Shiny Jammer

When I’m not being an obsessive TV-watching, tea-drinking knitter I like to let out my aggression by playing roller derby. It’s super fun. I play with a local banked track league (Tilted Thunder), and it’s probably one of the most satisfying things that I’ve ever done. (And definitely the most fun I’ve ever had playing a sport, although that’s not saying much.)

Actually, since I’m usually pretty polite and quiet soft-spoken in real life, and I don’t have any tattoos, sometimes people don’t believe me when I tell them I play derby. So, here’s proof:

1044944_10151760344398223_1844534174_nI’m the one in green with the black helmet.  I love this picture because I look kind of terrifying.  Usually in derby photos I just look scared and awkward.

In this picture, I’m giving my jammer (the girl in front of me who wears stars on her helmet) a push to make her go faster.  The jammer is the one that scores points by lapping skaters on the other team.  (I’m a blocker, whose job it is to help our jammer go faster, and stop the other jammer.)  If you are interested in the rules, this is a good overview.

Anyway, a friend of mine, who also plays derby, asked me to make her a jammer hat  for her birthday, and who am I to say no?  I looked through some of the available patterns, and I didn’t care for them, so I made my own pattern.

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Now you, too can channel your inner badass with this roller derby-inspired hat.  It’s knit in the round with a simple ribbed cuff and decreases on the crown.  The stars are added using the duplicate stitch after the hat is knit up.  Knit this super simple hat in the colors of your favorite roller derby team to show your spirit.  And don’t forget: skate fast, turn left, and hit hard!

Get the pattern here:

Shiny Jammer

Slouchy Hipster Hat

Freaking hipsters.  Here in Seattle, they’re everywhere.  With their smug attitudes and their fixed-gear bicycles, and their super skinny jeans.  And suddenly, it’s cool to have gigantic glasses?  For real.  The poor kids who have perfect vision are actually wearing glasses frames without lenses because they think they look cool.  How weird is that?

Admittedly, if I really wanted to get away from hipsters, I could a.) not live in Seattle, b.) not play roller derby, c.) not hang out in brew-pubs and independent coffee shops or, or d.) all of the above.  But I like doing all of those things.

Actually… I think I might be a hipster.  Oh shit!

I like eating from food trucks, and think “organic” is pretty swell.  I wear cardigans and scarves, and my idea of a nice afternoon is one spent blogging from my local coffee shop.

God, that’s depressing.

But, I suppose, if you have to do a thing, you might as well go all-in.

So, fine! I give in!  Here’s a slouchy, hipster hat.  It’s knit with pretty fine yarn on largeish needles to give it a plenty of floppiness.  Deal with it.

(I even tried to make instagram-ish photos for this pattern, because why not.  Don’t laugh too hard.)

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Materials:

1 skein sock or fingering weight yarn.  (I’m using Dale of Norway’s Baby Ull in color 9436)

Size 5  16″ circular needle (or size to get gauge)

Size 7 16″ circular needle (or size to get gauge)

Size 7 double-pointed needles (or size to get gauge)

Scissors and Tapestry needle

Gauge:

Size 5: 6.5 stitches/inch in stockinet stitch

Size 7: 5.5 stitches/inch in stockinet stitch

Size:

Women’s Small(Women’s Large)

Shown in size Large

Instructions:

  • Using your size 5 circular needle, cast on 120(136) stitches.  Mark the beginning of your row.  Work in the round, in a k2p2 rib for 2 inches.
  • Change to size 7 circular needle, and knit in stockinet stitch (knit all rows), until the piece measures 7(7.5) inches from the edge.
  • Work crown decreases as follows:

1.  [k6, k2tog] around
2. & 3. Knit
4. [k5, k2tog] around
5. Knit
6.[k4, k2tog] around
7. Knit
8. [k3, k2tog] around
9. Knit
10. [k2, k2tog] around
11. [k1, k2tog] around
12. [k2tog] around

  • Cut yarn, leaving a longish tail.  Draw the yarn through the loops at the crown of the hat to close up.  Sew in ends.
  • Put on hat and jump on your fixie to go down to the coffee shop for a nice organic matcha green tea latte with soy and a vegan cupcake.

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