Pave the Way Shawl Pattern

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So, funny story. I had this idea for a shawl stuck in my head. It had been rattling around for a few months, and so, of course, I did the most logical thing and went yarn shopping. I found this beautiful wool from Abundant Earth Fibers, and knew it would be perfect.

I “knew” wrong. Not that the wool was wrong. The wool is beautiful and rustic and sheep-y and everything I love in a yarn. It just wasn’t right for the idea that was stuck in my head. Ah well, I’m not in charge of my creativity. What could I do? I had to let the yarn and the needles do what they want. I could either fight them or go with it.

Because I’m not fan of drama, I decided to go with it.

knit shawl pattern

Pave the Way is the result. The Twisted Purl stitch was entertaining and added an appealing texture.

After the relative complexity of Eira (which is still on sale for a couple of more days!), this shawl is a quick and satisfying project.

Once you complete the garter tab beginning and setup row, the pattern consists of two alternating stitch patterns, one them garter, the other the Purl Twist stitch.

Materials

Size US 7/4.5mm circular needle, at least 36 inches long

750 yards DK weight wool or wool blend. I used Abundant Earth Fiber, Verdant in Dark Grey.

2 stitch markers

Tapestry needle for weaving in ends

yarn wool knitting fiber grey

Abbreviations

K – Knit                                   P – Purl

RS – Right Side                      WS – Wrong Side

YO – Yarn Over

PM – Place Marker     SM – Slip Marker

St(s) – Stitch(es)

Sl1 wyif – Slip 1 with yarn in front

LRinc – Lifted Right Increase. Using your right needle, lift the right leg of the stitch below the next stitch on the left-hand needle onto the left-hand needle and knit it. 1 stitch increased.

LLinc – Lifted Left Increase. Using your left needle, lift the left leg of the stitch 2 rows below the stitch on right-hand needle onto left-hand needle and knit it through the back loop. 1 stitch increased.

April over at WithWool.com has a great tutorial on working the lifted increases in garter stitch.

PT – Purl Twist. Purl 2 stitches together, but don’t remove stitches from left needle. Purl the first stitch again, then slip both stitches off needle.

 

 

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Stitch Patterns

Garter Sections

Row 1 (RS): K2, YO, K to marker, LLinc, SM, K1, SM, LRinc, K to last 2 sts, YO, K2.

Row 2 (WS): K to marker, SM, SL1 wyif, SM, K to end.

Purl Twist Sections

Row 1 (RS): K2, YO, K to marker, LLinc, SM, K1, SM, LRinc, K to last 2 sts, YO, K2.

Row 2 (WS): K3, PT to 1 st before marker, K1, SM, Sl1 wyif, SM, K1, PT to last 3 sts, K3.

knitting yarn wool shawl

Instructions

Using your favorite garter tab cast-on method, cast on a two-stitch wide garter tab with 9 total stitches. My favorite garter tab that uses short rows instead of picking up stitches to create the tab is here. This is the method I use for starting all top-down triangular or crescent shaped shawls.

Setup Row (WS): K4, PM, P1, PM, K4.

Now alternate Garter Sections and Purl Twist Sections however you like. Sample was done as follows:

Garter Section until you have 81 stitches, ending with a WS row.

Purl Twist Section: 10 times.

Garter Section: 5 times.

Purl Twist Section: 9 times.

Garter Section: 5 times.

Purl Twist Section: 8 times.

Garter Section: 5 times.

Purl Twist Section: 7 times.

Garter Section: 5 times.

Purl Twist Section: 6 times.

Garter Section: 2 times.

That’s it! I’m the only one to test this pattern, so if you find any mistakes or have any questions, please feel free to comment or send me a message.

knitting shawl wool yarn

If you prefer a .pdf of the pattern, you can download it here: Pave the Way

As far as that other idea I had floating around my head, it will have to wait until another time. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy Pave the Way and have a beautiful weekend.

The Easiest Garter Tab in the Universe

So it seems like the looming of summer is slowing down my knitting. I’m not complaining. It’s not like there aren’t plenty of other activities that need to be done: gardening, shopping farmers markets, attempting to emotionally recover from Avengers: Endgame.

Speaking of Endgame, I loved it except for one single thing. I won’t spoil it, but it was pretty huge for me.

But I’m over it.

Let’s Talk About Knitting Instead

What do the Avengers have to do with knitting? Nothing, this time. I just needed to vent a little.

Knitting may be slowing, but it’s certainly not stopping. A brand new shawl pattern hot off the blocking table will be released soon. Like within a week.

For now, I’ll share a tiny part of it: my favorite garter tab cast on.

knitting garter tab wool yarn needles

A garter tab is a method used to begin a top-down triangular or crescent shaped shawl because it forms a nice, uninterrupted strip of garter at the top of the shawl. Most instructions call for casting on a few stitches, about 2 or 3 (the width of the garter strip), then working several rows of garter stitch to form a long, skinny strip. Stitches are then picked up along the long side of the strip in the ridges and the main pattern begins.

The method I use does not involve picking up stitches. Instead, the stitches along the long side are added as the garter tab is created. I didn’t invent this method, and there are probably several ways of working it, but I’ll demonstrate my favorite way.

This method works with any width garter tab, but I’m going to demonstrate with a 3-stitch wide one.

Method

Step 1: Using a circular needle and Judy’s Magic Cast On, cast on 3 stitches onto each needle.

There are plenty of videos available on YouTube demonstrating Judy’s Magic Cast-On, so I don’t go into detailed instructions. My favorite is Cat Bordhi’s method:

Step 2 (Swipe below for video): Turn needles so that they are pointing right and the purl side is towards you. Place the yarn tail to the front and left of the working yarn. Hold it with your thumb to anchor it. Once you start knitting, the yarn tail will be held in place. Place the working yarn between and behind the needles and pull the bottom needle out to begin knitting.

 

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Step 3: Knit across the 3 stitches on the left needle, turn the work, yarn over (the yarn will be in front already), knit back across the 3 stitches.

Step 4 (Swipe below for video): Pull the cable through the stitches to get all stitches on one needle.

 

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Step 5: *Knit 3, turn work, yarn over, knit 3. Repeat from * until you have the desired number of stitches. Swipe the video below to see my completed garter tab with 11 stitches.

 

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If your garter tab was 2 or 4 stitches wide, you would knit 2 or 4 respectively before turning the work and adding the yarn over.

What do you think? Have you used this method of creating a garter tab before? What is your favorite method?

Feel free to  contact me with any questions or comments. And Happy Spring.

Crunchy Leaves Socks: A Slipped Stitch Pattern

Howdy, fellow creative persons.

I’ve got a new sock pattern for you just in time for the weekend. I gave them the same name as my Crunchy Leaves Hat Pattern because I used the same stitch pattern. I never said I was creative with naming.

Crunchy leaves knitting socks pattern

The socks contain a two-color slipped stitch pattern with only one color worked per round. Each color is worked for two rounds, then the alternate color is used.

I’ve created the pattern for 4 different sizes, but make these suckers any size you want. Just cast on a multiple of 4, and you’re on your way. Feel free to contact me for different sizing help.

If you’ve made socks before, you’ll have no problem with these. Just use the size of needle you use for all your other sock patterns. I have the most ridiculously tiny feet in the world, so I always use size 0 for my socks.

Just like with needle size, cast on the same number of stitches (multiple of 4) that you cast on for other socks.

Please let me know if you have any questions. I’m happy to help; have a great weekend.

Enjoy!

Sizes and Gauge

Extra small (52 stitches), Small (60 stitches), Medium (68 stitches), Large
(76 stitches)

Gauge: 4 inches = 30 stitches in pattern.

Materials

Size US1.5 (2.5 mm) long circular needle for
Magic Loop OR two circular needles OR set of
double pointed needles, OR size needed to
obtain gauge.

140 (150, 160, 170) yards fingering weight sock
yarn in Main Color. I used Premier Yarns Serenity Sock in Soft White

90 (100, 110, 120) yards fingering weight sock yarn in Contrasting Color. I used Premier Yarns Serenity Sock Weight in Burgundy.

2 stitch markers

Tapestry needle for weaving in ends

Abbreviations

K – Knit

P – Purl

MC – Main Color

CC – Contrasting Color

SSK – Slip, slip, knit

K2tog – Knit 2 together

P2tog – Purl 2 together

Sl1 – Slip 1

St(s) – Stitches

Wyib – With yarn in back

Wyif – With yarn in front

Method

Cuff and leg

Crunchy leaves knitting socks pattern

CO 52 (60, 68, 76) sts. Join for knitting in the round.

K1, P1 to end. Work 1×1 ribbing for ¾ inch or desired cuff length.

Attach CC.

Setup Round: Using CC, K2. *Sl1 wyib, K3. Repeat from * to last 2 sts, Sl1 wyib, K1. Switch to MC.

Round 1 (MC): *Sl1 wyif, K3. Repeat from * to end of round.

Round 2 (MC): *Sl1 wyib, K3. Repeat from * to end of round. Switch to CC.

Round 3 (CC): K2. *Sl1 wyif, K3. Repeat from * to last 2 sts. Sl1 wyif, K1.

Round 4 (CC): K2. *S1 wyib, K3. Repeat from * to last 2 sts. Sl1 wyib, K1. Switch to MC.

Work Rounds 1-4 for 5 inches or desired length, ending with a Round 4.

Continue with MC for Heel Flap and Heel Turn

Heel Flap

Place the next 25 (29, 33, 37) sts on hold for top of foot. The remaining 27 (31, 35, 39) sts will be worked back and forth for the heel flap, beginning with a WS row.

Setup Row (WS): Sl1 pw, P2, *Sl1 wyib, P3. Repeat from * to end.

Row 1 (RS): *Sl1 wyib, K1. Repeat to last stitch, k last st.

Row 2 (WS): Sl1 purlwise wyif, P to end

Repeat rows for 2.25 inches or desired heel flap length, ending with a WS row.

Heel turn

Row 1 (RS): Sl1 wyib, K 15 (17, 19, 21) sts, SSK, K1, turn work.

Row 2 (WS): Sl1 wyif, P6, P2tog, P1, turn work.

Row 3 (RS): Sl1 wyib, K to 1 st before gap, SSK (to close gap), K1, turn work.

Row 4 (WS): Sl1 wyif, P to 1 st before gap, P2tog (to close gap), P1, turn work.

Repeat rows 3 and 4 until all sts have been worked. 17 (19, 21, 23) sts remain.

Resume working in the round.

Shape Gussets and Foot

Crunchy leaves knitting socks pattern

Rnd 1 (MC): Continuing with MC, Sl1 wyib, K to end of heel turn sts. Pick up one st in each slipped st along right edge of heel flap, plus one st between heel flap and top of foot. Place a marker for right side. *Sl1 wyif, K3. Repeat from * to last st of top of foot. Sl1 wyif. Place marker for left side of foot. Pick up one st between top of foot and heel flap, and in each slipped st along left edge of heel flap. K to end of heel flap, then K the picked up sts through the back loops to the right marker for beginning of round.

Rnd 2 (MC): Continuing with MC, *Sl1 wyib, K3. Repeat from * until one st before left marker, Sl1 wyib. K picked up stitches (on left side of heel flap) through the back loops, then K to beginning of round at right marker. Switch to CC.

Rnd 3 (CC): K2. *Sl1 wyif, K3. Repeat from *to 3 sts before left marker. Sl1 wyif, K2. Slip marker, K1, SSk, K to last 3 sts before right marker, K2tog, K1.

Rnd 4 (CC): K2. *Sl1 wyib, K3. Repeat from * to 3 sts before left marker. Sl1 wyib, K2. Slip marker, K to end of round. Switch to MC.

Rnd 5 (MC): *Sl1 wyif, K3. Repeat from * to last st before left marker, Sl1 wyif. Slip marker, K1, SSK, K to 3 sts before marker, K2tog, K1.

Rnd 6 (MC): *Sl1 wyib, K3. Repeat from * to last st before left marker, Sl1 wyib. Slip marker, K to end of round. Switch to CC.

Repeat rounds 3-6 until you are back to your original number of stitches. Continue working in pattern (slip stitch on top of foot and even knitting on bottom) without the gusset decreases until the sock is about 2 inches shorter than desired, ending with a Rnd 4.

Continue with MC.

Toe Decreases

Setup round: *Sl1 wyif, K3. Repeat to last st before left marker, Sl1 wyif. Remove marker, K1, replace marker. K to end of round.

Rnd 1: K to end of round.

Rnd 2: K1, SSK, K to 3 sts before left marker, K2tog, K1, Slip marker, K1, SSK, K to 3 sts before right marker, K2tog, K1.

Repeat Rnds 1 and 2 until toe is desired length, ending with a Rnd 2. Graft sts together.

Crunchy leaves knitting socks pattern

Repeat pattern for second sock. Block if you want; I never block socks. 🙂

Pattern has only been tested  by me. Please let me know of any errors or questions.

Eira Shawl and the Stanton Brioche Stitch

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I started this shawl about a year ago, then gave up on it. I  couldn’t get it to look the way I wanted, so it needed a time-out. A year time-out apparently.

Well, I picked it out of the discard pile recently and got back to work. And I’m pretty happy with the result.

While working on it, I waited for a name to come to me. Then the Universe provided a name by dumping a ridiculously large amount of snow on the Seattle area. Eira is a female name in Wales and means “snow” in the Welsh language.

Eira shawl knitting brioche

Eira shawl incorporates the super-cool reversible 2-color Stanton Brioche stitch created by Nancy Marchant in her Knitting Brioche book. I love this book, and highly recommend being comfortable with regular Brioche before attempting a modified version of the stitch.

knitting eira shawl stanton brioche stitch

The Stanton Brioche stitch is a combination of purls and slipped stitches with the contrasting color; and a combination of slipped stitches and Brioche knit stitches with the main color. The slipped stitches create a slipped stitch that is surrounded by TWO yarn-overs, while the Brioche knit stitches knit together the stitch with its TWO yarn-overs. I think it creates a more lacy look than regular Brioche.

If you’re familiar with regular Brioche, the Stanton stitch won’t be a problem.

I started the shawl with a triangle made from placing yarn-overs at the beginning of each row. The top of the triangle is bound off and the yarn-overs are then picked up and knit to create the rest of the shawl.

Eira shawl brioche knitting stanton stitch

I’m currently finalizing the pattern and plan to have it uploaded to Ravelry soon. If anyone is interested in test-knitting it, please let me know!

The snow is finally starting to melt here in the Seattle area. I hope it’s done for the year. Who else is ready for Spring and farmers markets and road-trips to the ocean?

Eira shawl brioche knitting stanton stitch

Knitting (Or Crocheting) Stuff Your Kids Actually Want to Wear

One day last week, I was browsing the yarn section at Ben Franklin. My daughter, G,  approached me with an armful of bright green and yellow acrylic yarn and asked me to knit her a sweater. I replied with “Who are you, and what have you done with my daughter?”

Knitting for Kids

I think many of us begin knitting because we want to make cute, one-of-a-kind, handmade items for our babies. Adorable booties. Endearing little baby sweaters.

I began knitting long beyond the kids’ baby stages, but I still enjoy creating hand knit items for them. Especially for my tween daughter. The problem is that she doesn’t appreciate wearing these items quite as much as I enjoy making them for her.

I’ve knitted several items for G, like this top and this sweater, only to have them end up at the bottom of the dresser drawer or passed on to a cousin. And forget about having her try them on during the production process. It’s like trying to squeeze a pissed-off cat into a pair of Barbie pants.

Which is why I about fell over from shock when she asked me to knit for her.

Chara

Knit chara sweater for kids

The yarn is Cherub Aran by Cascade Yarns, a soft and squishy blend of nylon and acrylic. The bright neon colors made me wonder if G was trolling me into making an ugly sweater. However, it turns out that she wanted to assume the image of the character Chara from the video game “Undertale.” Yeah, I’d never heard of it either. At any rate, it should make a great cosplay for next year’s ComicCon.

After obtaining the details from my daughter and the internet (wide yellow stripe, set-in-sleeves, rounded neck, etc.) I pondered my construction method. I knew I wanted to knit it top-down.

My first attempt involved Barbara Walker’s top-down simultaneous set-in sleeve method. It was a disaster. (It was me, not the method.) I frogged it. I tried Susie Myers’ Contiguous Sleeve Method next. This worked out much better. I loosely followed Isabell Kraemer’s Driftwood pattern (without the button placket), for sizing and construction.

kids knitting chara sweater
Nothing like knitting on the beach!

Knitting something that kids want

I finished the Chara sweater. G loves it. Now I have a plan to follow when I want to make another item for her.

    1. Let her pick out the project.

I would never have made this sweater. Or picked out this yarn. This was all G’s idea.

2.  Let her pick out the yarn.

Even if it’s neon and bulky and acrylic and not the natural-colored sock weight wool I usually like to work with. Come to think of it,  I suppose I should be thankful that she didn’t pick out a sock weight wool for this project.

3. Let her be involved in the design process.

G gave me all the details on how she wanted it from the sleeve type (set-in) to where exactly the stripe goes. At one point I had to frog back because the stripe was too low.

4. Make it fun.

This wasn’t just any old sweater. And G actually enjoyed trying this on as I was knitting it.

Despite not being something I would normally make, I had fun with this project. The yarn was nice to work with. The pattern was easy to follow. The colors almost burned my eyes out. But G will actually wear this. And the big grin on her face as she helped with it made it all worth it.

I can’t promise I won’t design anything else for her that she has no desire to wear.

At which point, I’ll be back trying to squeeze the aforementioned cat into the tiny doll clothes.