Archive for January, 2014

Blizzard Socks

Saturday, January 25th, 2014

What can we do when that massive swirl of teeth-chattering cold weather known as the Polar Vortex, continues to drop in on us unannounced?  For starters, put on the kettle, make a pot of tea, and wait it out with a cosy pair of hand knit socks, the thicker the better.  This season, the knitting world has seen a remarkable shift towards bulky weight yarns, and no wonder, with this winter being one of the coldest in recent history.  Sirdar has hit a home run with a little fifty gram ball of awesomeness called KIKO, a bulky yarn scoring high points with an incredibly soft twist, and a pleasing palette of eight smudgy-printed colours.

 

Blizzard Socks

Blizzard Socks

These socks will rock your winter, as slippers to pull on when you come in the front door or a thermal layer to wear inside heavy boots to keep your feet extra warm while shoveling snow.  They are quick to knit, and an ideal project for first-time sock knitters.

 

Blizzard Socks in Sirdar Kiko

Blizzard Socks in Sirdar Kiko

 

BLIZZARD SOCKS
Size:  Women’s Medium
Yarn:  4 balls Sirdar KIKO (col no. 416)
Needles:  8.00 mm double point set
Tension:  10 sts and 14 rows = 10 cm/4 ins

Cast on 20 sts loosely, divide sts evenly onto 3 needles.
Join in round, place a marker on first st.
Work 6 rounds of K1/P1 ribbing.
Knit 20 rounds.
Heel Flap:
K 5, turn, P 10 = Heel Flap
Leave rem 10 sts on 2 spare needles.
Work back and forth on Heel Flap sts as follows-
Row 1- [Slip 1 knitways, k1] rep [to]
Row 2- Slip 1 purlways, p to end
Rep these 2 rows until heel flap meas 6 cm/ 2 1/2 ins ending with a Row 2.
Shape Heel:
Row 1- K3, k2tog tbl (through back loop), k5
Row 2- P3, p2tog, p2, turn
Row 3- K1, k2tog tbl, k1, turn
Row 4- P1, p2tog, p2, turn
Row 5- K2, k2tog tbl, k2, do not turn.
Pick up and k 8 sts along side of heel, place a marker, k 10 sts from spare needles onto 1 needle, place a marker, pick up and k 8 sts along opposite side of heel, k 3 sts from top of heel onto same needle (this will now be start of each round), slip next 2 sts onto 1st needle = 31 sts.
Rnd 1- K until 3 sts from 1st marker, k2tog, k1, k to next marker, k1, sl1, k1, psso, k to end
Rnd 2- Knit
Rep these 2 rnds until 19 sts remain.
Continue in Knit rounds until work meas 17.5 cm/ 7 ins from pick up row.
K 1 rnd, dec 1 st at centre of 2nd needle = 18 sts.
Shape Toe:
Rnd 1- K until 2 sts before 1st marker, [k2tog, k2tog tbl], k until 2 sts before next marker, rep [to], k to end
Rnd 2- Knit
Rep these 2 rnds until 10 sts remain.
Cut yarn and graft toe sts together.
Sew in ends.

Blossom Rope Cowl

Saturday, January 18th, 2014

Never say never………… just when you thought the ruffle yarn craze was fading away, out pops a clever new idea.  This time ruffle yarn is re-invented into a colourful neck accessory, the Rope Cowl.  It’s fun, simple and takes no more than thirty minutes to create your own instant wardrobe brightener.  Make a few for your friends, or better yet, host a diy evening and show them how to make their own.  Pass it on to fellow crafters, it will catch on like wildfire at craft sales and charity auctions.  If the kids are at home on a snow day, this may be the craft that keeps tiny fingers occupied while the end result makes a special gift for a teacher, grandmother, or favorite aunt.

Blossom Rope Cowl-

Diamond Luxury Blossom col #235

Diamond Luxury Blossom col #235

No needles or hooks required!  The Blossom Rope Cowl is made entirely with your own two hands, using the classic finger crochet method.  One continuous chain is created in no time at all.

Blossom Chainette Cowl

Blossom Rope Cowl

Wear it instead of jewelry to brighten up a basic outfit.  Adorn it with a special broach or try adding in a secondary strand, e.g, ribbon yarn, or ladder yarn to create even more pizazz.

 

BLOSSOM ROPE COWL

Finished Length

89 cm/ 35 ins circumference (easily adjustable)

Materials

100g ball BLOSSOM by Diamond Luxury Collection (col #235 shown above)

Two water bottles (filled)

Large darning needle

Begin with a slip knot, place this loop on right index finger, while holding yarn from ball around left index finger as if to crochet.  Now you are ready to make a chain.  Position right thumb together with right index finger in loop, use a pinching method to reach and pull yarn from left finger through loop and onto right index finger.  Tighten each stitch just enough to make it snug.  Left thumb and fingers are used to anchor the tail end of chain, this helps with the tension when tightening.  Work until a 35.5 cm/ 14 ins length of yarn remains at the end of the ball.  This will complete a chain measuring approx. 600 cm/ 236 ins.  Fasten off.

Finishing:

Place two water bottles on a table or counter approx. 33 cm/ 13 ins apart (outer measurement).  Wind length of chain loosely around water bottles six or seven times to form an approx. 89 cm/ 35 ins loop.  Remove water bottles and pull gently to even out loop lengths.

Sew cast on tail to cast off end of chain and back through to beginning end of chain.  Sew cast off tail to cast on end of chain and back through to end of chain.  Now firmly wrap cast off tail around all seven chain layers to cover the joined section.  Repeat seven times if possible to cover a width of 5 cm/ 2 ins.  This will hide the join and also keep the chain lengths from shifting.  Secure the tail end by sewing under the wrapped section.

Chill Chasers

Saturday, January 4th, 2014

Deep winter may be in the forecast but there are more than a few ways to chase away the biting cold, sitting by a roaring fire with a cup of hot cocoa, flipping through pictures of last year’s tropical vacation or twenty minutes of jumping jacks should do the trick.  To look warm and stylish at the same time you might want to try one of these hot-hued chill chasers that are as much fun to knit as they are to wear.

Book 5 In Soho from Malabrigo features fifteen dazzling designs to cover your neck and shoulders in the silky soft luxury of merino wool-

 

Baxter

Baxter

A clever mix of textured stitch work and embedded pockets combine to make Baxter a truly unique scarf project.  Knit up in Mecha, a bulky superwash merino in a parade of almost forty colourways.  Designed by Annabelle Speer.  Borrajas (shown above).

 

Sullivan

Sullivan

Much more than just a stunning work of art, Sullivan translates the majestic beauty of a wintry landscape into a warm wearable double layer cowl knit with three shades of Arroyo, a sport weight merino.  Designed by Ashley Rao.  Regatta Blue, Natural, and Black (shown above).

 

Kenmare

Kenmare

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, and Kenmare has sprinkles of them detailed in delicate lacework on this crescent-shaped shawl knit in Malabrigo Sock, available in more than thirty choices.  Designed by Lynette Meek.  Rayon Vert (shown above).

 

Crosby

Crosby

As relaxing to knit as a Sunday drive down a winding country lane, Crosby harmoniously merges ribbing and cables together in a cosy scarf design knit in Mecha.  Designed by Annabelle Speer.  Azul Fresco (shown above).

 

Lafayette

Lafayette

This fiery shade of passion will undoubtedly raise the thermometer a few notches.  Lafayette is a semi-circular shawl worked with short row shaping and balanced at the top with a scalloped lace border.  Knit in Finito, a laceweight merino.  Designed by Zabeth Loisel-Weiner.  Cereza (shown above).

 

Broome

Broome

Filling the void between neck and chin, Broome is a bulky weight circular cowl knit with two skeins of Rasta and comes fully loaded with cables that swing left and then right.  Designed by Vanessa Putt.   Lettuce (shown above).