Category Archives: neckwarmer

FREEBIE & FINISHED & HACKS Manhattan Cowl

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Manhattan Cowl

I thought this cowl would make a great one-skein gift idea, so I gave it a try and I think it worked out really beautifully! I used one of my favourite bulky weight yarns, Diamond Luxury Baby Alpaca Sport, and the end result is SUPER soft and cozy! I had to make some modifications to make this project come out to it’s fullest potential, so please read the notes below before starting (and maybe print them off and keep them with your pattern instructions).

HACKS & Modifications

I made some changes to the pattern because let’s face it, you often get what you pay for with a free pattern.

  • For the ribbing, I went down to a 5mm/US8 needle for the ribbing. 2×2 rib is normally a looser tension than other stitches, and you need to go down a needle size to mitigate this and prevent the ribbing from fanning out later.
  • For the cable section, I went up to a 6.5mm/US10.5 needle, because the yarn is very fluffy and airy. If you are using a denser yarn with more definition (see suggestions below) you can stick with the prescribed 6mm/US10 needles
  • Because my yarn is big and fluffy, and has a lot of aura (haze), the cable from the original pattern was not showing up or working well, and I had to switch it out for another type of cable that would show better. I went with a simple braided cable that I was already familiar with, Chart A from Lopi Braided Hat & Mitts. It is the same number of stitches as the original cable, so I just did the new cable instead of the old. If you use a yarn with more definition (see options below), you can do either cable.
  • I worked 6 rounds of ribbing at the top and the bottom (to conserve yarn).
  • I worked 4 pattern repeats from Chart A of the Lopi Braided Hat & Mitts, and changed to the ribbing after finishing row 6 of the chart.
  • I don’t usually bother using a cable needle. Making cables without a cable hook is not a skill for the novice, but if you are feeling intrepid and are comfortable with retrieving dropped stitches and are good at ‘reading’ your stitches (recognizing where and what they are), you should definitely it give it a try, it can save you a lot of time and effort: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6DB6WhAKvY
  • If you need to conserve yarn or change the size of the pattern, you can omit the first 4 sts of the pattern (the single rib at the start doesn’t really do much for the design). In *my project* (yours may be different), based on the total number of rounds, each stitch represents about 40 sts in the scheme of the entire pattern. Omitting 4 sts from the cast-on will give you about two extra rounds. Each cable represents 8 stitches, so you can increase or decrease the pattern in a multiple of 8 sts. If you want to modify this for a child you’ll definitely want to omit stitches, it fits an adult comfortably.

 

Materials

 

Other Yarn Options

We chose to use a fluffy, warm alpaca yarn, but you can use something firmer, which will give your cables more definition and your cowl less slouch – just use 6mm/US10 needles.

Diamond Alpaca Sport Manhattan Cowl COMBO BLOG.jpg

first time shoppers 15 PNG

Lava Flow Cowl

 

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Lava Flow Cowl

We finished this cool accessory a few weeks ago, but unfortunately the holiday season always keeps us super busy. The design is so cool, the technique that makes the waves is really interesting, a fun new skill to add to your box of tricks. We used two skeins of Malabrigo Merino Worsted (ON SALE!) and 5.5mm/US9 needles. The the closure is a removable/reusable JUL Designs Leather Pedestal Button (size medium), you can see all our JUL closures HERE. (The grey sweater coat is something cool I picked up at Winners many years ag0 – sorry, there is no pattern available).

Materials

Shop Online Button Turquoise 250w

Easy, Fast Projects for Novices & Gifts


Fall has landed and knitting season is in full gear. Welcome back to all of our established stick-handlers, and a hearty welcome to the newcomers. Gift season is coming up in a few months, and we believe that even the greenest knitter can combine hobby and holiday budgets – you just need a little inspiration and guidance.

To get you started …

  • Your new best friend is a website for knitters & crocheters, Ravelry.com. Ravelry is knitters’ Mecca and most of our links go there.  It is free to join Ravelry, and you don’t have to give them any information you don’t want to. They won’t spam you or sell your e-mail address, but if you are concerned feel free to use a ‘junk’ or spare e-mail address to sign up (ie. gmail, yahoo or hotmail).  
  • There is a TON of free technical support on the internet. Knittinghelp.com is an excellent place for novices to start, and Knitting Daily has an excellent glossary of terms. There are many good videos on Youtube from Knit Picks and BerrocoTechknitting is the place for those more experienced who want a detailed explanation.
  • When seaming use Mattress Stitch for a pretty finish.
  • Leave about 5 to 6 inch tails (ends), to make weaving in easier. 
  • Knitting and crochet patterns are a bit like Recipes. They give you your ingredients first, and then directions, often written with standardized abbreviations. An explanation of the abbreviations used, or glossary, is usually included, or you can look them up on the internet. For more on how to read patterns there are some good instruction via the Craft Yarn Council.
  • Knitting needles come in a variety of sizing systems: Metric is the standard in Canada, Europe, Australia & New Zealand. The US has it’s own system, as do the Japanese. If you have old needles that came from Canada or the UK, they might be sized in the older UK system. See this chart for details. Contemporary patterns will give you a needle size based on the country in which it was published.  Vintage patterns often give sizes in the old UK system. The easiest way to find out what size your needle is to buy an affordable (approx $3.50 to $4) little gadget called a Needle Gauge, which measures the circumference of your needle and tells you what it is in the various sizes.  


  • Skill Level: Beginner (after Scarves)
  • Free from Martha Stewart Living
  • Yarn: 2 skeins Cascade Magnum
  • Needles: 15mm-32″ circular 
  • Skills: knit, purl, cast on, cast off, knit in the round, weave in ends.
  • Notes: knit with a single strand (pattern uses 3 held together)






  • Skill Level: Absolute Beginner!
  • Free from Ravelry
  • Yarn: 1 skein Malabrigo Worsted
  • Needles: 4.5mm straight needles
  • Skills: cast on, cast off, knit, seam, weave in ends. 



  • Skill Level: Beginner (after scarves)
  • Free: from Lionbrand
  • Yarn: 2 to 4 skeins Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran, or 1 to 2 skeins 1 skein Malabrigo Worsted
  • Needles: 5mm needles
  • Skills: cast on, cast off, knit, purl, increase (knit into the front then the back of the stitch), seam, weave in ends.