Sunday, May 18, 2014

Free Knitting Pattern: Pinwheel Basket

I love baskets for decorating and organizing things, and this knitted basket pattern is one of my favorites.  I had this pattern on my Hubpages for a while, but I haven't posted a link on this blog until now.  This is a quick, fun knit that uses Zoë Scheffy's free Pinwheel Coasters pattern for the base, then builds up the sides using a lattice pattern in two colors.  All the directions are on my Hubpages.

Just as an FYI - you won't find this pattern in Ravelry.  Since it uses part of Zoë's pattern, I felt uncomfortable posting and taking credit for this pattern there.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Drops Sweater Update 3: Adding Color to the Yoke

Ta-da!  My Drops sweater is done and blocked!  I just need to add buttons (I ordered them and am waiting for them to arrive).

I had planned to do the whole yoke in the hand-dyed yarn from RoseSprings Farms, but then was afraid that I wouldn't have enough to finish the full yoke, so I decided to add in my gray body color throughout the design.  I'm glad I did - some of the detail in the yoke gets lost in the color.  If I had knit the whole yoke in this variegated yarn, I think it would just look like a colorful blob.

So here's how I did it:

First, I'm using diagram M.1 as a sample.  I've numbered the rows from the bottom up, starting with Row 1 (RS) on the very bottom.  I only numbered the right side rows for ease.

Starting with the directions for the yoke, after you attach your sleeves, knit one row with your body color while you do the stitch decrease as instructed.  On the next WS row, attach the yoke detail color, and knit one row.  Then start the yoke diagram as instructed with your detail color.

Complete rows 1 - 11 of the diagram with your detail color.  On Row 12, rejoin your original body color, and follow the stitches and decreases as shown.

Continue with body color through Row 16.  On Row 17, I rejoined my detail color and started doing seed st (instead of the p3tog design laid out in the diagram).  I continued in seed st in my detail color until Row 27.  FYI - the seed st doesn't work out exactly symmetrically, but with all the color in my yoke, no one will notice :)

On Row 27, I rejoined my body color and just knit the row.  Then I purled the next row (Row 28) with my body color.  I continued with my body color and followed the diagram as instructed through Row 31.

Row 32 - switched to detail color for the rest of the yoke diagram.  Then I used my body color again for the collar.  I chose to decrease 1 less st and knit my collar in a k1, p1 rib.

There seems to be a few minor typos in the diagram.  I think on Row 34, you should place the yarn to the back of your work, then slip the st as if to purl, then bring the yarn to the front and purl the next st.

There were a few other places that my stitch count didn't match up to the diagram.  I'm not sure if I screwed up or if the diagram is wrong, but it all worked out in the end.  I'm really happy with how this sweater turned out.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Drops Yoked Sweater Update 2: The Sleeves

Yea!  I've knitted both sleeves for my Drops Yoked Sweater!  There's never anything really interesting to say about knitting sleeves, but since I made them longer than the pattern suggested, I thought I would share my process.

I pretty much followed the directions for a different Drops sweater, with a few modifications. I cast on 52 stitches using #7 dpns.  I planned to use the #7's only for the ribbed cuff, than switch to #8's for the rest of the sleeve.  But I thought the weave was too loose on the #8's, so I ripped the sleeve back to the ribbing and knit the whole sleeve on #7's.

So, cast on 52 sts on #7 dpns.  Then I knit 15 rounds of k1,p1 ribbing for my cuff.

Next round, I switched to stocking stitch, WHILE decreasing 13 sts evenly across the round, leaving me with 39 sts.

Knit in Stst until my sleeve measured 3 1/2 inches, then increased 2 sts.

Continued knitting until my sleeve was 5 inches (roughly 10 rounds), increased 2 sts.

Knit another 10 rounds (6 1/2 inches), increased 2 sts.

Knit 10 more rounds (or 8 inches), increased 2 sts.

I continued increasing 2 sts every 10 rounds or about every 1 1/2 inches until my sleeve was 14 inches long.  Then I began increasing 2 sts every 8 rounds until I reached 57 sts total.

Then I knit straight until my sleeve was 16 inches long (though I wish I had made them 1/2 to an inch longer).

BTW - I had this brilliant idea to join the sleeves to the body using a three-needle bind off.  Don't do it.  Follow the instructions and bind off the stitches as directed, and seam them when you're done.  It's easier.  Trust me :)


Monday, May 5, 2014

Choosing Colors for Your Mosaic Afghan or Baby Blanket

Thanks so much to everyone who has shown interest in my Mosaic Afghan and Baby Blanket knitting pattern (available for FREE on my Hubpage!).  I really appreciate it!

I've had a number of people ask about how I chose my colors for the samples I created.  The mosaic pattern in these blankets are made up of three different colors.  While I think this pattern would look great in any color combination, I used a little color theory to create a soft semi-Impressionist look to my mosaic pattern.

Color Theory is the study of how colors appear when placed against or next to one another.  The color wheel below shows the three primary colors (red, blue, and yellow) and their complementary colors (green, orange and purple).  And there are, of course, a variety of shades of each of these colors that fall somewhere on this wheel.  For instance, peach would fall between orange and yellow, turquoise would be between green and blue, etc.

image from
For my adult-sized afghan, I used two shades of yellow (a pale yellow and a medium warm brown/caramel color) and then a light shade of purple as the complementary color.  Because these two colors (yellow and purple) are across from each other on the color wheel, I knew they would work well together in my pattern.

I did something similar with my baby blanket.  I had some pale yellow and lavender left over from the larger afghan, so I used a darker purple to complete my color combination.  Again, my two purples (lavender and a darker plum color) are across the color wheel from my pale yellow color.

There are an endless number of color combinations to that will work together in the mosaic design using the color wheel.  Here are a few ideas:

two shades of green and a pretty color of coral red
two light to medium shades of blue and a brighter color of orange
two shades of pink and a teal-green color

Another option would be to use two shades of any color, and then use a neutral as your third color.  Neutral colors would include white, off-white, shades of gray, beige, black, and even brown.

I hope this has given you some ideas about colors to consider for all of your knitting patterns.  I look forward to seeing the colors that people use in their mosaic blankets!