Knit a Clover Family

What is it about the four leaf clover that intrigues us? It’s said that only 1 in every 10,000 clovers has four leaves (as opposed to the more common three-leaved clover). So finding a four leaf clover is considered lucky. The clover has also become a symbol of all things Irish, and upcoming holiday, St Patrick’s day. St Patrick himself is said to have explained the holy trinity of Christianity to the Irish (at that time, Irish pagans) using the three leaf clover as illustration.

Green mini-hanks blog

Holidays can be a nice way to pass the year, regardless of what our beliefs are. Traditions can be soothing and familiar and fun. And in any case, I happen to love the color green, all shades. And I enjoy any excuse to knit cute little frivolous things and entertain the math-geek part of my brain.

Finished clovers 2 blog square

The Clover Family is shown knit in 3 different yarns – Bamboo Pop (small), Uptown Worsted (Medium), and Deluxe Worsted held double (Large).

The 4 identical petals are knit separately. Then the stem is knit, turning into I-Cord at the end.

Dark Green Clover in progress blog

Then the I-Cord is threaded through eyelets along the lower edge of the petals. I used a crochet hook along with my long tail to bring the I-Cord through the eyelets, but you could use a tapestry needle or even your fingers.

Uptown Clover in progress blog

Draw the I-Cord taut, weave in the end, and voila – your very own four leaf clover.

Bamboo Pop Clover with tools blog

You could just as easily make a three leaf clover by leaving off one of the petals, or turn it into the super rare five leaf clover by adding an extra petal.

These clovers are pure whimsy. But I could see these pinned to a bag or a headband, giving them a little functionality. At the very least, we all need something green to wear next week on St Patrick’s day to avoid getting pinched.

Finished clovers 1 blog

 

Bisected Shawl – Starting Out

The last 2 weeks we talked about how to do filet crochet and the Delphi Stole from ebook Contrarian Shawls 2.  Now we’re ready to move onto some knitting with the Bisected Shawl from the same collection.

BisectedShawl_2_hires

BisectedShawl_1_hires

The Bisected Shawl is a really fun knit. It’s worked in several sections, and it’s fun to see the progress as you move along. The bulk of the shawl is worked in a multi color of Whisper Lace, while accents are worked in a solid. The lace pattern on both the shawl body and the border are not too tough. If you’ve done just a little bit of lace before (or even a lot), this would be a great project for you. Over the next few weeks, we’re going to be covering all you need to know about wrapping your head around this shawl project.

Below is the diagram of the shawl construction:

BisectedShawl_diagram

There are 4 main steps to the shawl:

  1. knit the Right Wing
  2. knit the Left Wing
  3. join the Right and Left Wings with a 3 needle bind off & work the Upper Edging
  4. Border

Today, we’re going to talk about steps 1 & 2, which are really the same step, but done twice! The wings are just top-down triangles, which may or may not be a familiar concept for you. Top-down triangles are a common way of knitting triangular shawls, or any triangular-anything, for that matter.

If you take a look at that diagram and the little “direction of knitting” arrow, that is where our Wing begins. And like many top-down triangles, this one begins with a garter tab.

A garter tab is just a small “tab” of knitting that makes for a continuous looking and seamless start. To begin the garter tab for the Right and Left Wings, we cast on 3 stitches and then knit 4 rows. Our tab looks like this:

GarterTab1

Doesn’t look like much, does it?

After this portion is complete, it’s time to pick up stitches for the beginning of the shawl.

First, we knit 3 (simply knit across the live stitches on the needle):

GarterTab2

Next, we rotate the tab 90 degrees clockwise and pick up and knit 2 stitches from the side of the tab (1 stitch in each garter bump):

GarterTab3

And finally, we pick up and knit 3 stitches along the cast-on edge:

GarterTab4

It just looks like a scrunched up mess, right? For an even more seamless start, you can try casting on the 3 stitches for the tab using a provisional method. So instead of having to pick up 3 stitches along the cast-on edge, you can just place live loops on your needle and knit them.

Next step is our set up row which will get us ready to begin the lace patterning. Markers are placed after the first 2 stitches and before the last 2 stitches of the row. Markers are also placed on either side of the 2 center-most stitches.

GarterTab5

As with most top-down triangles, 4 increases are worked on every right side row – 1 after the first 2 stitches, 1 on either side of the center 2 stitches, and 1 before the last 2 stitches. Geometry – it’s like magic!

Here’s how our wing looks after the first  20 rows of the pattern. You can see that I started in the bottom center of the swatch where my cast-on tail is hanging. Yarnovers are increasing the triangle shape in the center and on the sides. I love how the garter stitch tab transitions seamlessly into the garter stitch edge stitches of the piece.

GarterTab6

For reference, this small portion of the shawl is where the highlighted area would be in the diagram:

BisectedShawl_firsttriangle

And on the shawl itself:

BisectedShawl_2_beginningtriangle

Next time we’ll talk about joining the wings together and working our top edging.

Free Pattern Friday – Eyelet and Rib Pullover

It’s Free Pattern Friday!

Amphora Eyelet and Rib Pullover three quarters blog

Today, the Eyelet and Rib Pullover in Amphora.

Amphora Eyelet and Rib Pullover back blogMmm… Amphora.  This mohair/acrylic/alpaca blend has been gaining in popularity with the release of Amy Gunderson’s Turtleneck Pullover in Vogue Knitting Winter 2015-16.  So it’s a delight to see another design from Amy in this yarn – this time, free!

Continue reading Free Pattern Friday – Eyelet and Rib Pullover

Delphi Stole – Edging

Last week we covered the basics of filet crochet, and everything you need to know to make the body of the Delphi Stole from Contrarian Shawls 2.

DelphiStole_1_hires

Detail shot of Delphi Stole edging:

DelphiEdging_detail

Now we’re going to finish off our little swatch with a simple, yet effective picot edging. Though i fastened off my last stitch of the swatch, there is no need to do this in the actual project. After the last row of the stole body is worked, you just continue on with the edging.

The edging is worked in two rounds. First, let’s talk about round 1. We’re going to create our first corner space by working [chain 1, hdc, chain 5, hdc] into the top of the last double crochet (dc) made from the final row of the stole body.

Edging1

Next, we’re going to be working half double crochet (hdc), chain 2, all the way along the side. We will always be working a chain 2, skipping the sides of the double crochets from the body, and then working a hdc into the top of a dc.

Edging2

Here’s how things look after we finish the first side:

Edging3

To make the next corner, we’ll do what we did for that first corner (hdc, ch 5, hdc), but in the bottom of the first double crochet from row 1 of the body:

Edging4

Then, working along the beginning chain edge, we’ll work [ch 2, skip 2 dc/ch, hdc in next dc] all along the lower edge:

Edging5

And so on, until you’ve made your way back to that first hdc. Join with a slip stitch to the top of that hdc.

Edging6

Round 2 is mostly single crochet (sc), with a picot thrown in every third sc. These picots serve two purposes: 1) they add a tiny amount of dense weight that helps the stole to drape and be a bit more “grounded”; 2) the picots serve as perfect little spots to run blocking wires through, allowing you to block your piece with ease.

To begin round 2, ch 1, sc in top of same hdc.

Edging7

Next we’re going to make a picot on top of the sc. The instructions for the picot are [ch 3, sl st in top of sc just made].  Now, the “chain 3” part of the instructions are clear enough. But the “slip stitch in top of single crochet just made” can be tricky. I mean, there are all sorts of ways you could sl st in that sc. You could work through the front loop; you could work through both top loops; you could work through the back loop. I do something a little different when I’m working picots – just a personal preference. I like to work through both the top loop and the front bar of the stitch. I find that this sort of anchors the picot more securely to the work and also forces the picot into a nice rounded shape. The arrow below is pointing to the top front loop of the single crochet, and then that loop just to the left is the front bar.

Edging8_detail

I like to insert my hook through both of these loops. But no matter what your preference is, be consistent with how you do it.

Edging8.5

Here’s what our first corner looks like. I worked [3 sc, picot, 2 sc] into the chain 5 space, then [sc, picot] into the next hdc:

Edging9

And, here it is again with round 2 complete:

Edging_10

As mentioned in the pattern, all that’s left to do is weave in your ends, run blocking wires through your picots, and steam or wet-block.