Mallory finished our Chevron Baby Blanket made with Urth Uneek Worsted and it’s just a beautiful as I thought it would be. Our turned out a bit smaller than expected, but we only used 2 skeins of yarn. I’ve done the math and adjusted the number for larger sizes for you, including suggestions for the yarn required. Urth Uneek Worsted is a really special yarn – it’s a gorgeous, hand-painted, self-striping, machine washable super-soft merino wool, and their colourways absolutely GLOW with life.
The pattern is straightforward (and free), and the yarn is soft and stunning, so I don’t think you can go wrong with this project.
If you are looking for a similar look but can’t handle the price-tag, try using Berroco Comfort Print. It’s soft, machine washable, self-striping, costs a third of the price, and the yardage is the same as the Urth Uneek Worsted. If you go with this option be sure to choose the colours that are labelled ‘stripes’ – it also comes in variegated colours.
I highly suggest you use stitch markers to demark the pattern repeats, it will make so much easier and hep you keep track of where you are in the row.
I also suggest putting in a life-line every now and again, just in case you make a mistake and have to rip a few rows back.
As noted above, our project came out small, so I’ve laid-out the numbers for larger sizes. I also thought it would make a gorgeous and easy wrap, so I included the numbers for that, as well as for a larger throw blanket.
Our blanket came out 24”(61cm) wide by 28.5″(72cm) long after blocking. The pattern is written for one size, but based on our tension I’ve drafted some suggestions for larger sizes, a wrap and a throw blanket.
Baby Blanket – 24”(61cm) wide by 28.5″(72cm) long: cast on 121 sts
Baby Blanket – 28.5”(72cm) wide x 34”(86cm) long: cast on 145 sts
Baby Blanket – 33”(84cm) wide x 39”(99cm) long: cast on 169 sts
Baby Blanket – 37.5”(95cm) wide x 45”(114cm) long: cast on 193 sts
Wrap/Shawl – 19.5”(49.5cm) wide x 60”(152cm) long (or longer): cast on 97 sts
Throw Blanket – 51″(129cm) wide x 60″(152cm) long: cast on 265 sts
Some yarns have so much potential, but people have a hard time visualizing what they can be … that’s ok, I’ve got the vision, it’s my job to show you which caterpillars will become the prettiest butterflies! When I first came across Urth’s line of self-striping yarns my brain said SO MUCH YES, and a year down the line and my virtue is still easy when it comes to them. The only problem is that you can’t see the stripes in the skeins, so the magic is kind of hidden until they’re knitted. Enter store samples ….. the Urth Uneek Worsted is especially suitable for babies and kids – it’s machine washable, crazy soft, colourful, and just the right thickness. That said, we’ve been experimenting with baby blankets ….
Chevron Baby Blanket
I knew the marvellous striping in the Urth Uneek Worsted would be perfect for a chevron pattern – it’s so evocative of Missoni chevron stripe patterns, but without all the work of constantly changing colours or weaving in yucky ends. This pattern is worked in stocking stitch, so the yarn is actually going pretty far and I think it will only need 3 skeins (less knitting, less money, it’s all good).
The pattern is free (rarely a bad thing), and I think the chevrons are suitable for an intermediate-beginner to advanced-beginner skill level. Definitely, use stitch markers to mark out to your pattern repeats, it will make your life SO MUCH EASIER!
This isn’t actually our project, it belongs to my good friend Jo, but I wanted to show you how pretty it is (plus I played cupid pairing up the pattern and yarn, so I figure I get some credit). The stitch pattern is dead easy, but it creates a super impressive prismatic effect. I know Jo’s niece will love anything Jo makes for her, but I doubt she has any idea of the gorgeous baby shower-gift that’s coming her way! In fact, I liked it so much that we’re making one for the store in colour 4010 (that’s the same colourway Rosie was using the make her Adrift Cardigan and we used for our Stripe It Cowl).
The free pattern is worked in garter stitch, which uses up more yarn than stocking stitch, and Jo’s tension tends to run tight, so I think her blanket will require 4 skeins. Liane is making our sample, and her tension tends to be loose so we might be able to get away with 3 skeins. It’s a very simple knit, and definitely beginner friendly (you only need to know how to knit and purl in the same row). If you have a hard time ‘reading’ your stitches you’ll want to use Stitch Markers to separate your knits from your purls.
I want to say THANK YOU SO MUCH! to the many people who send me compliments and thank me. Sometimes I don’t get a chance to reply because the note comes in when I’m babysitting my niece & nephew or re-ordering needles or helping someone with dropped stitches, and then a week has gone by and the nice feeling is still there but my sieve of a mind has lost the memory. Anyway, It’s nice to sell things and pay my bills ‘n stuff, but it means a lot to know that I help people. The validation that my unique view is valued doesn’t hurt, but my own ego and insecurities aside, it’s helping you that makes what I do really, really satisfying and keeps me in this industry. When I grow, you grow … and when you grow, I grow. All relationships run both ways – we’re in it together.
We are OPEN all day on Family Day Monday, February 18th, from 11 am to 6pm!
I’ve always loved these simple socks, and they knit up lickety-split with worsted weight yarn and 3.75mm needles. Rye makes a great first sock for beginners or something quick & easy for more experienced knitters (the designers even have an online sock tutorial for sock newbies). So in honour of Family Day, I say let there be socks!
Women’s socks should require about 1 skein/100g of and of the yarns listed below, for men’s socks I’d get a second skein (or make them shorter). Socks tend to be stretchy, so an Adult small isn’t really all that small and fits my size 8.5 feet.
If you don’t like double pointed needles never fear, you can try using some super short circular needles from Chiaogoo. The 9″ length is good for children’s sizes and average women’s size socks. The 12″ circulars will work with men’s socks, and women’s shoe sizes 10 & up (or if your feet are 12″ in circumference or larger).
Leg (adjustable): 4 (6.5, 8, 9.5, 10.5, 11.5) inches
Cuff: 5 (5.75, 6.5, 7.25, 8.25, 9) inches around
All of these yarns are 100% machine washable. The Manos Alegria Grande is made with merino wool and a bit of nylon, so they will hold up better than a yarn made with 100% wool. If you want to really wear these sock hard, like in winter boots, I suggest you go with a yarn that has a good amount of nylon in it, like Berroco Vintage or Berroco Comfort Print. If they are intended as house socks any of the following suggestions will work.
137(160, 182, 228, 274, 319)m or 150 (175, 200, 250, 300, 350) yds of a machine washable worsted weight yarn (see list above). Women’s socks should require about 1 skein/100g of yarn, for men’s socks I’d get a second (or make them shorter).
Skill level: intermediate beginner (after hats & mitts), Instructor: Liane, 2 session class (4 hours)Whether you’re just up for something different or you would like to learn to make socks for the first time, this class is a great place to begin. Here you will learn how to use double pointed needles, how to make short-row toes and heels, a mitred alternative to the heel-flap of the traditional cuff-down sock, and how to bind off with elasticity. Materials not included, but we sell everything you need and you receive 10% off all materials during your class.
On our Last Date I promised to update you on my yarnsperiments, and I have lots to share! I originally played around with holding 2 strands of Drops Brushed Alpaca and Silk together, and since then I moved on to see how it acted when I held it with a heavier yarn. The concept is to hold a light, airy yarn like a brushed alpaca or mohair with a heavier, more conventional yarn. The heavier yarn stabilizes the fabric, giving it body, and density. The airy yarn gives it a soft, all-over halo (please note: the fabric can only be as soft as the fibre. A downy alpaca will continue to be soft, and itchy mohair will still be scratchy).
And so, I offer up my experiments …. I’ve used the same 2 yarns throughout: Cascade 220 Superwash Sport and Drops Brushed Alpaca and Silk. The Cascade is a sport-weight machine washable merino wool, it is super soft and comes in 50g/125m skeins (perfect for experimenting). The Drops Brushed Alpaca and Silk is a worsted weight brushed alpaca that looks kind of like mohair but feels like happiness. It comes in 25g/140m skeins. Both yarns are 100% natural fibres.
On the C Train
My first foray into this combo was On the C Train, a pattern that was designed to be made with 2 strands of yarn held together. It’s made in a K1P1 rib (which I like to call ‘stupid stitch’, which while tedious to knit, makes for an elastic fabric that fits well. I ran short on my base yarn, the Cascade, so the size is a bit on the small side (slouchy on a 21″ head) – all of my modifications are in Our Ravelry Notes.
The finished fabric almost looks felted, I think because of the colours:
The yarns were a dead-on colour match, there’s just about no distinction between the two when they were knitted up. Of course, dye lots can shift colours around, but this combo on this day for this project were twins.
Both yarns are solid colours. They are not heathered, so there isn’t any differentiation in the colour, it’s flat.
The colour is dark and doesn’t reflect much light. (Yes, yarn can reflect light, and it affects how you perceive the colour. The darker the colour is, the less depth and the flatter it’ll look). The halo of the alpaca also prevents light from being reflected off the merino.
Anyway, it looks really cool! It doesn’t feel remotely felted, it’s soft, extremely comfortable, and has an all-over lightly fuzzy texture. This hat could look really cool in a black on black combo.
Chunkeanie is a pattern we’ve made before, and I’ve always really liked the aesthetic. When I’m knitting it I feel really meh about it, but once it’s done it just looks amazing! It especially looks good on, which is important, since it’s a hat, not a tea cozy. One caveat, I feel like the pattern runs small, their size medium fits my 21″ head. The texture is still soft, and very comfortable. I like this particular yarn combo knitted on the 5mm/US8 needles, it blooms nicely, although I think the brim could be knitted on 4.5mm/US7 needles.
This colour combo with the light greys looks amazeballs! The light grey of the Cascade merino is a bit more of a cool colour, and the alpaca is warmer. They ended up working well together, with the fuzzy alpaca becoming the dominant colour. This is an interesting phenomenon that I hadn’t actually noticed until now. I’m glad I photographed the hats next to their constituent yarns, you can kind of see which colour is more dominant when they are neighbours. Cool! I just learned something new!
The fabric of this hat looks a lot less flat and more fuzzy than felted, probably for a few reasons:
Both of the yarns’ colours are heathered, which give it a bit more depth of colour.
In the purple alpaca yarn the silk and alpaca content are almost indistinguishable, the entire strand looks the same. In the light grey the silk (the carrier yarn or core) took the dye in a different way (silk does this, it’s fickle) and it is lighter than the alpaca (you can see the silk shining through in the picture below). This little hit of colour runs through the stitches, randomly creating little highlights. (One of the advantages of knitting holding 2 strands together is that the colour distribution is completely random. When the yarns are already pre-spun together you lose that added depth of colour.)
The value (the lightness or darkness of a colour) of the colours is much lighter than the purple hat. The dark value of the purple hat added to the flatness of the colour. With this hat, the lightness of the colour creates a greater depth of colour. I can still see details in the yarn, like the stitches and the plies. Even though our mind doesn’t tend to register those little lines, they create micro shadows which in turn creates contrast and adds more depth to the overall colour.
Anyway, this hat-speriment was definitely a win. It looks really good on me, and I think I’m going to have to make myself a second – otherwise I’ll swipe the store sample.
The grey hat worked out so well that I decided to try a different colour and make one for my mom. My mother has a little mini head, so I opted to try a smaller needle size and went down to a 4mm/US6 for the ribbing and 4.5mm/US7 for the crown. The tension was fine, but I definitely feel like the 5mm/US8 was a prettier tension.
The first hat (purple) was a dark colour, the second (grey) was a light colour, and this one was in between. It looks like the fuzzy yarn (the alpaca) is still coming out as the dominant colour in the fabric. The alpaca also seems to look patchier in this hat, which is an optical illusion because it is exactly the same as the other two hats. This is because of the special things going on with this particular colour combo:
The Cascade merino is a heathered colour, so it isn’t as flat as the purple. But the heathering is only one colour, white, and it isn’t as complex or have the depth of colour that is in the light grey, which has black and white in it. (You’ll have to take my word on this, my camera skills haven’t made it this far.)
The Cascade merino is a bit lighter than the alpaca, while in the other combos this was reversed. The base is showing through a lot more than the other hats, which look more uniform. Light colours project and pop out to the eye, while dark colours recede.
Like with the grey hat, the silk hasn’t taken the dye exactly the same as the alpaca and is peeking through, creating some small highlights.
The Chunkeanie pattern calls for an Alternate Cable Cast On, which you do not have to do to make this hat, but I like trying new things, seeing how they work, why the designer chose to use it, etc. The Alternate Cable Cast On is a great way to cast on for a ribbed edge of K1P1 or K2P2 and is a much, much, much easier alternative to a Tubular Cast On. Like, SO MUCH.
So if it’s so much easier, why does it need a hack? Good question. When you do this cast on you’re basically alternating making a knit stitch, then a purl stitch, a simple enough concept – in theory. In theory, my brain should be able to pay attention to knits and purls and knits and purls. In THEORY. In reality, I found myself having a nice little rendez-vous with my learning disabilities. I was constantly screwing up the sequence of the knits and purls and having to rip it out.
How I Mastered this Cast On
Stitch Markers. Get them, use them, they’re your little plastic friends! I placed a stitch marker after every 10 stitches, and before proceeding more than a few stitches past that I went back and checked to make sure the last 10 stitches were correct. Once I confirmed that I was on track, I moved on to the next 10.
Read the Stitches. The other thing I had to do was learn to read what the knit and purl stitches looked like. You can’t check to see if your stitches are correct if you don’t know what they are. The best way is to just practice casting them on and looking closely to see how the knit looks compared to the purl. To my eye, the knit is a long bar that sticks out and the purl is bead or a bump that recedes. I tried taing a picture and labelling it for you, but I don’t know if it’s super helpful – people all conceptualize things in different ways, so it’s best just to study your stitches closely and get familiar with them in your own terms.
Pay Attention to Your Join. This is where reading your stitches again comes in handy. Because the sequence of the stitches is what this cast-on is all about, I joined my stitches by threading the yarn tail on a darning needle and pulling it through the other side. I don’t know why, but I found that once joined my stitches had gotten turned around to the other side, and my round was starting with a purl. At this point I didn’t really care why or how this was happening, I just wanted to get on with it and make a hat, so I adapted and started my ribbing on a purl.
OMG, that was SO. MANY. WORDS. I’m sorry if it’s too many words, too much explanation. Please feel free to take it or leave it, or take some and leave the rest. My conclusions are thus:
The hats look really good!
I like the yarn combination, it worked out well.
The grey hat made me the happiest, but the purple was cool.
I now know more than I did before, and this exploration was definitely a worthwhile use of time and resources.
I’ve already moved on to my next project, I’m knitting a Nuvem with the Drops Brushed Alpaca and Silk as a straight-up single stand. I think it’ll make for a super cosy wrap for spring, and so far it looks great – but more to follow!
We just finished making our FREE Easy Garter Scarfy Wrap with one of the new multi-coloured Handmaiden Casbah 5ply Gradient Wrap Kits – I knew it would come out beautifully! Handmaiden always comes up with interesting colour combinations that I wouldn’t normally think of, and the pop of colour is just what’s needed on dreary winter days.
December is always a good time to try out new patterns for accessories – winter can be long in Canada and I’m always sick of last year’s accessories by the time the fall has ended. I found this neat looking hat on Ravelry and figured it might make a nice new style. The pattern is the Copy Cat C.C. Beanie by Emily Ingrid (a freebie)and we used one skein of Malabrigo Rios.
The hat is designed as a beanie, so if you want something slouchier I would knit an extra pattern repeat. Ours is a smidge shorter than normal, I think we also accidentally left off the last tier of 1×1 rib at the top – oops! It fits a 22″/size medium head, but if you want to make something larger it is an easy pattern to modify, you can just add 8 stitches to the pattern. To make it smaller omit 8 stitches (or knit it on 4mm/US8 needles).
The brim is turned over, but I don’t know if that is a necessary feature, I think you could just knit the ribbing on 3.75mm/US5 needles and do it as a single ply.
I’m so sorry you haven’t heard from me a few days, you guys have been keeping me very busy in the store! I did manage to get a quickie off the needles this week – check out my Mega Rib! I managed to knit up this beanie in a single night – does that make it a one night stand? It;s definitely last-minute-giftable! It was quick & easy, I used one skein of Fleece Artist Merino Stream and 8mm/US11 needles. This yarn was a bit thinner than the one specified in the pattern, but I think it still works. The hat would also look good made according to the pattern’s directions with Cascade Spuntaneous (a super soft, single ply merino wool). Oh, and I forgot, the pattern is a freebie!
I used 8mm/US11 needles and the tension was comfortable a bit loose for a Canadian winter. Use 7mm/US10.75 needles for a denser tension.
I cast on 48 stitches, it fits an Adult medium. For an adult large cast on 51 sts, for a small cast on 45 sts.