New KAL Coming Soon!

October KAL - Namesake

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Join me October 2nd for a fabulous cowl featuring the luxurious yarn, Simplinatural. The exquisite softness and superior stitch definition of this yarn is perfect to showcase the unique design. I’m excited to share techniques new to the series including a brand new bind off that I created! The cowl is available in three sizes and the circumference may be adjusted to suit your style.

There is no registration and the knit along is FREE!  Simply return here at 9am EDT on October 2nd for the first portion of our mystery pattern.  Prizes are generously provided by our sponsor, Skacel Collection.

KPHtemplate_size

Small: 1 skein = cowl up to 20″ circumference.

Medium: 2 skeins = cowl up to 40″ circumference.

Large: 3 skeins = cowl up to 60″ circumference.

KPHtemplate_materials

  • Simplinatural by HiKoo, 40% baby alpaca/40% fine merino wool/20% mulberry silk, 183 yds/100g. 1 (2, 3) skeins.
  • US #8 (5mm) circular needle 16 (24-40)” or size needed to obtain gauge.
  • Cable needle
  • Markers

KPHtemplate_gauge Approx. 18 sts = 4″ in stockinette.

 

Posted in KAL News, Uncategorized | 6 Responses

Corkscrew Hat – Part 4

KPHtemplate_header

The last remaining step to the hat is the Buttonhole Band that will close the brim.  The buttoned closure provides a stylish finish and can also serve to tighten the lowered edge if desired.  This adjustable edge is especially helpful in accommodating the growing heads of children. For the Buttonhole Band, pick up stitches along one short end of the Band.  Excluding edge stitches, there are 15 (19, 19) stitches along this edge.  Pick up and knit one stitch for each of these stitches along the horizontal edge.  See the Pick Up and Knit Video for a review of of this technique. Continue to work in the k1, p1 rib as directed until the Buttonhole row.  I have included my favorite Buttonhole which provides a firm and neat opening for the button.  See Buttonhole Video.

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Lastly, overlap the Buttonhole Band on top of the opposite end to mark the button placement.  I prefer to sew my button with sewing thread.  This thread is much stronger than yarn and helps to keep the button in place.  If you prefer to use yarn to sew on the button, I recommend a dot of Fray-Check (found at craft stores) to keep the yarn from fraying.

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As always, it is my privilege to lead these knit alongs!  I hope you had fun and learned something along the way.  Please remember to enter your hat in the Skacel prize drawing by August 15 and you could be knitting with a new set of addi Clicks for our next KAL in October.  Speaking of October, I hope to have you back knitting with me then as the Progressive Needles KAL continues.  For more details, see below.

Until next time, happy knitting! Michelle

corkscrewhattrio

Part Four

Click here to download printable version

KPHtemplate_abbreviations

Buttonhole – Sl 1 wyif, (sl 1 wyib, psso) 3 times, return the last bind off stitch to left hand needle, turn. Using Cable Cast On, cast on 4 stitches, turn. Sl 1 wyib from left hand needle, pass last cast on stitch over this stitch and off the needle.  See Buttonhole Video

k2tog – knit two together. See K2tog Video

p2tog – purl two together. See p2tog Video

ssk – slip next stitch as if to knit, slip next stitch as if to knit, insert left needle into the front of these two slipped stitches from left to right and knit together.  See SSK Video

KPHtemplate_instructions

Button Band

Using US #4 needle with RS facing and MC, pick up and knit 15 (19, 19) sts along one short end of Band.  See Pick Up and Knit Video

Row 1. (WS) *P1, k1; repeat from * to last st, p1.

Row 2. (RS) *K1, p1; repeat from * to last st, k1.

Row 3. Same as Row 1.

Row 4. Same as Row 2.

Row 5. Same as Row 1.

Row 6. (k1, p1) 3(4) times, Buttonhole, k1, *p1, k1; repeat from * to end.

Row 7. Same as Row 1.

Row 8. ssk, *k1, p1; repeat from * to last 3 sts, k1, k2tog. 13 (17, 17) sts.

Row 9. P2, *k1, p1; repeat from * to last 3 sts, k1, p2.

Row 10. ssk, *p1, k1; repeat from * to last 3 sts, p1 k2tog. 11(15, 15) sts.

Row 11. P2tog, *p1, k1; repeat from * to last 3 sts, p1, p2tog. 9 (13, 13) sts.

Bind off all sts in pattern.

With Buttonhole end on top, overlap the Band ends and sew button in position on edge that is beneath the buttonhole.

©2014 Michelle Hunter

October KAL – Namesake

media

Join me October 2nd for a fabulous cowl featuring the luxurious yarn, Simplinatural. The exquisite softness and superior stitch definition of this yarn is perfect to showcase the unique design. I’m excited to share techniques new to the series including a brand new bind off that I created! The cowl is available in three sizes and circumference may be adjusted to suit your style.

KPHtemplate_size

Small: 1 skein = cowl up to 20″ circumference. Medium: 2 skeins = cowl up to 40″ circumference. Large: 3 skeins = cowl up to 60″ circumference.

KPHtemplate_materials

  • Simplinatural by HiKoo, 40% baby alpaca/40% fine merino wool/20% mulberry silk, 183 yds/100g. 1 (2, 3) skeins.
  • US #8 (5mm) circular needle 16 (24-40)” or size needed to obtain gauge.
  • Cable needle
  • Markers

KPHtemplate_gauge Approx. 18 sts = 4″ in stockinette.

 

Posted in Corkscrew Hat | 18 Responses

Corkscrew Hat – Part 3

KPHtemplate_header

With the gorgeous cabled Body complete, it is time to decrease for the Crown of the hat.  The decreases will quickly reduce the number of stitches making it impossible for them to stretch the length of the 16″ circular needle.  To continue knitting in the round with so few stitches, it is necessary to move the stitches to double pointed needles (dpns).  Knitting with dpns can seem fiddly at first, but like most new skills, it gets easier with practice.

Dpns come in sets of 4 or 5 needles and allow knitters to work in the round on small circumferences.  I prefer to slip my stitches from the circular needle onto the dpns at the conclusion of a round.  The stitches are generally divided evenly among 3 or 4 needles, reserving one needle to act as the right hand needle.  Some patterns will provide the number of stitches per needle, while others may just state to divide evenly.  When dividing, I like to avoid separating any stitch repeats if possible.  The beginning of the round marker will now just fall off the end of the dpn – try pinning a marker just below the first stitch of the round to mark the beginning. After dividing the stitches onto the dpns, begin knitting the stitches from the first dpn onto the empty right hand needle.  After all of the first dpn’s stitches are on the right hand needle, the left hand needle will be empty.  Use this empty left hand needle as the new right hand needle and begin knitting the stitches on the second needle.  Continue in this manner, emptying one needle and moving to the next until the round is complete.  Watch my Changing to Double Pointed Needles Video for a complete tutorial.

An alternative to knitting with double pointed needles, is to use the Magic Loop method.  Instead of dpns, divide the stitches evenly onto the needle tips of a 32″ circular needle and knit with this slick method as the stitch count shrinks.  See my Magic Loop Video.

I have chosen to add a discriminating touch to the top of the hat by decreasing in pattern. When working two stitches of a different color together in a decrease, it is important to be aware of which color will end up on top and which direction the decrease will slant. A K2tog will slant to the right with the second stitch on top.  An Ssk will slant to the left with the first stitch on top. In the photo below, both decreases were worked over pairs of stitches where brown was the first stitch and pink was the second stitch.  Notice that in the left-slanting ssk, the brown stitch is on top and the pink stitch is hidden.  In the right-slanting k2tog, the pink stitch is on top and the brown stitch is hidden.  Selecting the correct decrease to maintain the color sequence provides minimal pattern interruption.  Rounds 3 and 5 of the Crown utilize this strategy because the decreases are comprised of two colors.  Rounds 1 and 6 are simple k2tog decreases since the decrease uses pairs of like-colored stitches.

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After the short decrease rounds, thread a tapestry needle through the remaining stitches and cinch the top tightly to close.  Weave in the ends expertly after watching the Weave in Ends Video.

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Next week’s clue finishes the hat with the closure of the bottom band.  Consider using the extra time to knit a second hat or a pair of matching mittens!

Happy knitting,

Michelle

Part Three

Click here to download printable version

KPHtemplate_abbreviations

k2tog – knit two together. See K2tog Video

ssk – slip next stitch as if to knit, slip next stitch as if to knit, insert left needle into the front of these two slipped stitches from left to right and knit together.  See SSK Video

KPHtemplate_instructions

Crown

Change to double point needles or Magic Loop method. See Changing to Double Pointed Needles or Magic Loop Video

 

Round 1. *K2tog in MC, k2tog in CC; repeat from * to end of round. 64 (80, 88) sts.

Round 2. *K1 in MC, k1 in CC; repeat from * to end of round.

Round 3. *ssk in MC, k2tog in CC; repeat from * to end of round. 32 (40, 44) sts.

Round 4. *K1 in MC, k1 in CC; repeat from * to end of round.

Round 5. *ssk in MC, k2tog in CC; repeat from * to end of round. 16 (20, 22) sts. Break MC yarn leaving 8″ tail.

Round 6. *K2tog in CC; repeat from * to end of round. 8 (10, 11) sts.

 

Break CC yarn leaving an 8” tail and thread through tapestry needle. Thread tapestry needle through remaining stitches and cinch tightly to close. Pull tail to inside of hat. Weave in ends. See Weave in Ends Video

Posted in Corkscrew Hat | 4 Responses

Corkscrew Hat – Part 2

KPHtemplate_header

corkscrew

Drum roll, please … I’m happy to reveal that we are knitting the Corkscrew Hat to accompany my popular pattern, Corkscrew Mittens!  (Available in the Pattern Store or Ravelry)  Fans of the two-color cable mittens have been requesting a matching hat for years and I’m delighted to bring it to our KAL.  The dizzy cables are deceivingly easy to knit and very addicting.

A note on gauge and needle selection for the Body of the hat.  My completed Adult size Band measured approximately 2 1/4″ wide using US #4 needles.  (See below)  Note that the purl stitches are hidden making the rib stitches a bit tricky to count.  Perhaps you needed to go up or down needle sizes to achieve the rib gauge.  If you adjusted the needle size for the rib, then the needle size for the Body must be adjusted as well.  For example, if a#3 was used for the rib, then use a #7 for the Body.  I have heard from some knitters who needed to go down three and four needle sizes for the ribbing.  While getting gauge on rib may have been difficult for them, it may not be necessary to make that drastic of a change in needles for the cables.  To help calm any lingering doubts, I knit a flat stockinette swatch on US #8 needles and achieved a gauge of approximately 19 stitches = 4″.  See which needle size give you this gauge and you will be fine.

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The cables are extremely tight and need the larger stitches that the bigger needle will produce.  The good news is that the hat is very forgiving and will stretch and hug most heads.  If you are unsure as to which needle size to use, work the cable pattern for a repeat and evaluate the stitches for their gauge and appearance.  I have provided a picture of my hat (below) for your comparison showing a gauge of approximately 36 stitches = 4″.  As you can see, the intricate cables make it very difficult to count stitches with crossed stitches hidden.  If your work is close to this gauge and the stitches look even – knit on!

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The mittens have a standard cuff with a vertical rib, but the Band of the Corkscrew Hat has the rib running horizontally for a stylish topper.  To begin the Body of the hat, stitches are picked up and knit along one long, horizontal edge of the Band.  When picking up a large number of stitches along an edge, I find it best to place markers to aid in picking up the correct number of stitches that are also evenly spaced.  First fold the strip in half and place a marker at this midpoint.  Next, fold each of the halves in half and place a marker at its midpoint to create four equal sections. (See photo below)  One-fourth of the required stitches should be picked up in each section.

corkscrewhat1

When picking up and knitting, work from right to left with Right Side facing.  (That marker pinned to the RS in Part 1 will guide you.)  With US #8 16″ needle (yep, it’s snug) and Main Color (MC), insert needle tip from front to back between the edge stitch and the second stitch.  (See photo below)

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Wrap the yarn around the needle tip as if to knit and draw through a loop to the Right Side – one stitch has been picked up and knit.  Continue working in this manner picking up approximately 1/4 of the total number of stitches in each marked section.  Four stitches have been picked up and knit in the photo below.

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Because there may be more rows in the Band than the number of stitches that need to picked up, you will need to skip a row every now and again as you are picking up to achieve the correct number of stitches.  For example, if there are 120 rows in the Band, and 112 stitches must be picked up – skip a row 8 times over the course of the edge to create the correct number of evenly spaced stitches.  The good news is that there is no need to count rows since we have our handy markers sectioning the Band into quarters.  Simply pick up 1/4 of the needed stitches in each section skipping a row as needed to space as evenly as possible.  In the photo below, there are 28 stitches in each quartered section.

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The standard procedure when picking up stitches along a horizontal edge is to pick up three stitches for every four rows.  However, in our pattern we need a huge number of stitches to accommodate the cable so this usual ratio is abandoned.  If you are new to picking up stitches, I recommend watching my Pick Up and Knit Video.  Remember, you will pick up and knit as demonstrated in the video for a horizontal edge except you will not pick up 3 stitches for every 4 rows.  Instead, pick up the number of stitches indicated in the pattern.  After picking up the stitches, consider placing a lifeline in this row to safeguard the hard-earned work.

With the stitches in place along the Band, they will now be joined in the round to form the Body of the hat.  When joining in the round, be sure that the Right Side is facing before placing a marker to denote the beginning of the round.  Please don’t worry about the opening in the Band – we will take care of that in a future clue.

A Set Up Round is required to increase the stitch count to further accommodate the upcoming cables and to establish the color sequence.  With the working yarn that is attached to the last picked up stitch along the Band, begin the Set Up Round into the first pick up stitch along the Band.  A *Kfb is worked first in MC and followed by k2 in Contrasting Color (CC), k2 in MC, k2 in CC.  Repeat from the *.  There are now 16 stitches to the left of the beginning of the round marker.  (See photo below.)  I recommend placing a marker after every 16 stitches to section off each repeat of the upcoming cable pattern.  To avoid confusion, these markers should be a different color than the beginning of the round marker.  See Corkscrew Hat – Part 2 Video

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Continue working the Set Up Round to the beginning of the round marker.  Note that the round is comprised of k2 in MC, k2 in CC – this color sequence will remain in tact for the entire Body of the hat.  In other words, all MC stitches will remain in MC and all CC stitches will remain in CC.  Never knit a stitch in the opposite color!

If you are new to stranded color knitting, as used here, there is lot of fun in store for you!  The most basic way to knit with two colors is to place one skein to your left and one to your right.  Use the first specified yarn color and knit the indicated number of stitches, dropping the yarn back to the side where its skein is located when finished.  Use the second color of yarn and knit its specified number of stitches, dropping the yarn back to the side where its skein is located.  This procedure guarantees that your strands will be neat and evenly tensioned on the wrong side of the work.

Constantly dropping and changing yarns can be quite time consuming which is why color knitting is most easily worked holding one yarn in each hand.  The right hand will throw the yarn (Western/English style) while the left hand knits Continental style.  With two-handed/two-color knitting, the strands are evenly spaced and speed is increased.  Watch my Two Handed/Two Color Knitting Video and you will be knitting like a pro!

The intricate cable design is actually simple to execute.  The eight-stitch cables are worked in the usual cable manner with the only difference being that the eight stitches in the cable are worked as k2 in MC, k2 in CC, k2 in MC, k2 in CC.  Remember, the stitches in the cables will always be knit in their established color.  When knitting the cables, take care that the stitches on the cable needle are held to the correct position (front or back) to create the dizzy spirals.

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Work the Cable Pattern to the specified length, measuring from the lowest edge of the Band (not where the stitches were picked up).  It is important to end the pattern after Round 1 or 5 for a beautiful finish to the Crown.

This week’s clue is the largest amount of knitting in the hat.  The remaining two clues are very short, so take your time with Part 2 and work carefully.  As always, I’m here to help and answer questions.  Happy knitting!

Part Two

Click here to download printable version

KPHtemplate_abbreviations

C8B – slip 4 stitches to cable needle and hold in back. From left hand needle, k2 in MC, k2 in CC. From cable needle, k2 in MC, k2 in CC. (8 stitch cable)  See Cables Video

C8F – slip 4 stitches to cable needle and hold in front. From left hand needle, k2 in MC, k2 in CC. From cable needle, k2 in MC, k2 in CC. (8 stitch cable)  See Cables Video

kfb – knit into front and back of stitch. See Kfb Video

KPHtemplate_instructions

Body

Using US #8 16″ circ needle with RS facing and MC, pick up and knit 112 (140, 154) sts along long end of Band. See Pick Up and Knit Video

Place marker and join in the round taking care not to twist sts.

Set Up Round

*Kfb in MC, k2 in CC, k2 in MC, k2 in CC; repeat from * to end of round.

128 (160, 176) sts. See Corkscrew Hat – Part 2 Video

 

Corkscrew Cable Pattern (mult. of 16 sts)

Round 1. *K2 in MC, k2 in CC; repeat from * to end of round.

Round 2. Same as Round 1.

Round 3. Same as Round 1.

Round 4. *C8F, k2 in MC, k2 in CC, k2 in MC, k2 in CC; repeat from * to end of round.

Round 5. Same as Round 1.

Round 6. Same as Round 1.

Round 7. Same as Round 1.

Round 8. *K2 in MC, k2 in CC, k2 in MC, k2 in CC, C8B; repeat from * to end of round.

 

Work above Corkscrew Cable Pattern until piece measures 4 1/2, (6, 7 1/4)” from lower edge of Band ending after Round 1 or 5.

For a two-color knitting tutorial, see Two-Handed/Two-Color Knitting Video

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Corkscrew Hat | 20 Responses

Corkscrew Hat – Part 1

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Welcome to the July 2014 installment of the Progressive Needles Knit Along sponsored by Skacel Collection.  This summer project is a beautiful, two-color hat pattern brimming with great techniques to expand your knitting skills.  The mystery hat is a quick and fun knit that fits perfectly into your knitting bag AND your busy warm weather schedule.  It’s also a great opportunity to get a jump on your Holiday knitting.  And just to keep the KAL extra mysterious, I will not reveal its name until next week’s clue!

Before we begin, here’s a quick overview of how the KAL works:

  • A portion of the pattern is revealed here every Thursday in July.  The complete pattern, video resources and lots of helpful tips are included in each post.  An abbreviated, pattern-only version is included to download.
  • All techniques are supported with video instruction at knitpurlhunter.com
  • All questions and comments are monitored daily both here and in the Knit Purl Hunter group on Ravelry.  It’s like having  your own private knitting tutor!
  • Projects completed by August 15 are eligible for the monthly prize drawing – first prize is a set of addi Clicks!  See skacelknitting.com for all the info.

Part One brings the instructions for the Band (brim) of the hat which is knit in the Main Color (MC).  The brim is a simple strip comprised of a k1, p1 rib worked to the specified length for each size.  The length of the strip will be the circumference of the hat – much like a headband.  The pattern states that the recommended gauge for this rib is 10 stitches = 1″, unstretched.  Ribbed fabric sometimes makes it difficult to count stitches accurately.  Because it is the length of the strip that determines the circumference of the hat, a stitch count fairly close to the stated gauge will be just fine.  If this sounds a bit wacky, have no fear, it will all make sense with next week’s clue!

While merrily knitting the simple rib, please pin a marker to the Right Side of the strip to aid with next week’s knitting.  At the Band’s conclusion, finish the strip with a professional edge as you Bind Off in Pattern.

Part Two requires a US #8 needle 16″ circular needle,  cable needle and markers.  If you adjusted the needle size for the ribbed Band, then the needle size for the Body of the hat should be adjusted as well.  For example, if  a US #3 was used for the Band, then a US #7  should be used for the Body.  I will not provide a gauge for the Body.  My dozens of test knitters can confirm that this calculation works well!

Part One

Click here to download printable version

KPHtemplate_size

Baby (Child, Adult) – 16 (19, 21)” circumference

KPHtemplate_materials

  • Simplicity by HiKoo – 1 (2, 2) skeins Main Color (MC) 1 (1, 1) skein Contrasting Color (CC)
  • US #4 (3.5mm) needle – straight or circ
  • US #8 (5mm) 16″ circ
  • US #8 (5mm) dpns or 32″ circ for Magic Loop method (for crown decreases)
  • Cable needle
  • One 3/4″ button

KPHtemplate_gauge

With #4 needles, approx. 10 sts = 1″ in k1, p1 rib, unstretched.

KPHtemplate_instructions

Band

Using US #4 needle and MC, cast on 17 (21, 21) sts.

Row 1. (RS) K2, *p1, k1; repeat from * to last st, k1.

Row 2. P2, *k1, p1; repeat from * to last st, p1.

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 until band measures 16 (19, 21)” from CO edge ending after WS row.

Bind off all sts in pattern. See Bind Off in Pattern Video

 

See you next week for some dizzy two-color knitting!

Posted in KAL News | 24 Responses