NobleKnits Knitting Blog

Zona Cowl Free Knitting Pattern

free cowl patternsNancy QueenComment

Zona is a quick knit cowl/infinity scarf knitting pattern. This fun to make project is knitted in the round and uses a combination of knit and purl rounds to create textured ridges. We uses light and lofty Tahki Zona yarn. The yarn itself consists of two shades twisted together to provide interest and stitch definition. It may be worn long and loose or doubled around the neck.

Skill Level: Easy

Completed Cowl Measures: 6" wide x 50" circumference

You will need:

Pattern

  • Cast on 160 stitches. Place marker and join in round being careful not to twist stitches
  • Rounds 1-3: Knit
  • Round 4: Purl
  • Rounds: 5-10 Knit
  • Round 11: Purl
  • Repeat Rounds 1-11, two more times
  • Knit 3 rounds and bind off loosely.
  • Weave in yarn ends and block lightly.

Happy knitting!

 

Knitting: Weaving in Yarn Ends

knitting tipsNancy QueenComment
Knit finishing

Knit finishing

Now that you have completed your knitting project, you should have a few yarn tails hanging around. Don't just clip them off or you will end up with holes and your knitting will unravel. You need to weave in the yarn ends. It only takes a moment or two, here's how to properly weave in yarn ends.

Step 1:  Thread a yarn needle or finishing needle with the yarn tail to be woven in.
Step 2:  Flip your work to the wrong side and insert needle from bottom to top in the closest stitch to the yarn tail.

Step 3:  Insert needle from top to bottom in the next stitch over.  Continue to alternate from bottom to top and the from top to bottom until you have woven about 5 stitches.
Step 4:  After the yarn has been woven through a couple of stitches, give it a tug to slightly gather your work and cut the yarn.  Giving the yarn a tug will help the tail to spring back under the stitches and disappear.
 

Knitting: How-to Join Seams with Mattress Stitch

knitting tipsNancy QueenComment

When it's time to sew seams on your knitted project, knowing a few simple seaming techniques  can make your finished garment look polished and professional. The mattress stitch is a very easy (and satisfying) join. Also know as an Invisible Seam, it joins the knitted pieces without showing a seam on the front of the work. Here's how it's done in just a few steps.

Start by making a firm join at the lower edge:
Step 1:  Thread the needle with the yarn you are using to seam (if you leave yourself a long enough tail when casting-on you can use that strand).
Step 2:  Place pieces to be seamed side by side - right sides up.   Using a flat surface to support your pieces works best.

Step 3:  Locate the stitch 1 in from the edge stitch (your edge stitch will curl toward the inside).  The 1 stitch in is where your seaming will be done.
Step 4:  Insert the needle from back to front into the corner stitch (1 stitch in) of the piece without the tail.

Step 5:  Insert the needle from back to front into the stitch with the cast-on tail. Pull yarn gently to pull edges together.
Step 6:  Now from back to front, insert the needle into the stitch on the piece without the tail (right back where you started).  Again pull yarn gently to draw the edges together and lock the 1st stitch. 

Step 7:  Your yarn will now be on the right side.  Locate your stitch 1 in from the edge (the stitch will look like a V)  and locate the bar at the bottom of the V.  Now insert your needle just as in the image above and draw the yarn through.
Step 8:  Move to the corresponding stitch on the opposite piece and locate that bar.  Draw your yarn through.
Step 9:  Continue alternating sides until you reach the top of the piece, then fasten off.  
As you progress through the seaming, occasionally stretch your piece to make sure your seaming is not too tight which will cause your project to pucker.

This is how your seaming will look from the front and the back.
 

Knitting: How-to Knit

knitting tipsNancy QueenComment

This tutorial will show you how to make the knit stitch.

Step 1:  Place the needle holding the cast-on stitches in your left hand, ensuring the yarn tail is at the bottom, and the working yarn (the yarn attached to the ball) is at the top near the needle tip.
Step 2:  Holding the second needle in your right hand, insert the tip of this needle into the stitch (or loop) closest to the tip of the left hand needle.  Looking at the image above, the needles form an X  (left hand needle in front, right hand needle behind and working yarn in back).

Step 3:  With your right hand, move the working yarn from the back, forward between the needle tips (towards your body). 

Step 4:  With the right hand needle tip swoop downward and catch the yarn that you just moved forward drawing it through the loop.
Step 5:  With right hand needle, slide the loop just made off the left hand needle. One knit stitch made.

Repeat these steps across the row. When you reach the end of the row, place the needle with the knitted stitches back in your left hand and continue knitting. When you knit every row, that is also known as the Garter Stitch.

When you are ready to take the stitches off the needle, that is known as binding off. Learn how to Bind Off >

 

Knitting: How to Bind Off

knitting tipsNancy QueenComment
Now it's time to take the knitting off the needles. It's called binding off. Here's how it's done in a few simple steps.

Now it's time to take the knitting off the needles. It's called binding off. Here's how it's done in a few simple steps.

As shown in photos above:

Step 1:  Knit the first stitch as usual.

Step 2:  Knit the second stitch.

Step 3:  Insert the tip of the left hand needle (from left to right) into the first stitch that you just knit on this row.

Step 4:  Lift this stitch over the second stitch (this is the stitch closest to the right hand needle tip), and off the needle.

Step 5: Continue to knit a stitch and lift a stitch over and off the needle (as above). until only 1 loop remains. Your bound-off row will start to look like this (see photo above, center)

Step 6:  Cut yarn and draw through last loop. Bind off completed!

Knitting Tip:  Bind-off loosely! If your bind off is too tight, try going up a needle size or two.

Knitting: How-To Cast On

knitting tipsNancy QueenComment
IMG_0412.JPG

This is a good cast on method to use if you are just learning to knit and want to get going as quickly as possible. This basic cast-on is also known as the loop cast-on or backward loop cast-on. 

As shown in photos above:

Step 1:  Create a slipknot and place it on the left hand needle leaving a 4 to 5" tail to weave in later.

Step 2:  Loop the yarn over the middle and index finger of your right hand from back to front (yarn comes up behind your middle finger and over your index finger), and grip the tail lightly with your thumb.

 

Step 3:  Using the tip of your left hand needle, enter the loop on your right hand from right to left.

Step 4:  Tighten the stitch by lightly pulling on the working yarn at the top.


Step 5:  Continue Steps 2 - 4 until all stitches are cast-on. Your completed cast on should look like this.

Step 5:  Continue Steps 2 - 4 until all stitches are cast-on. Your completed cast on should look like this.

 

 

3 Reasons to Love Berroco Boboli Lace Yarn

Nancy QueenComment

Boboli Lace is one of our favorite variegated yarns. It has a lovely silky sheen that makes the colors pop when it hits the light. Three new shades of this colorful fiber have arrived for fall. Boboli Lace in Morning Glory, Tree Swing, and Venice.  Browse all colors of Berroco Boboli Lace Yarn >

Here are the stats on Boboli Lace Yarn

  • 42% Wool, 35% Acrylic, 23% Rayon/Viscose
  • 100 gram ball, approximately 350 yards
  • Gauge: 24 sts and 30 rows to 4" on US 6 needle, dk weight yarn
  • Care: Hand wash cool water, lay flat to dry

What to Knit with Boboli Lace

Bal Bullier Wrap Free Knitting Pattern

free shawl patternsNancy QueenComment

Get wrapped up in an interesting to knit project! Bal Bullier is an easy wrap knitting pattern worked entirely in garter stitch. If features quick-knit Berroco Ultra Alpaca Chunky yarn. Choose your two favorite colors and start knitting!

Skill Level: Easy

Completed Wrap Measures: 50" long x 18" wide

You will need:

Gauge: 14 sts to 4" in garter stitch

Happy knitting!

Berroco Abode Yarn now in Watercolors!

Nancy QueenComment

You fell in love last fall with Berroco Abode Yarn. This gorgeous yarn begins in it's raw natural shade, then color is printed over it to create rich color depth and dimension. This year, Berroco introduces an Abode Watercolor series! Everything you love about Abode yarn now in enchanting Monet inspired shades. The four new color ways include: Watermelon, Bonfire, Camouflage, and Berry Pie. Abode is also now available in a Natural unpainted shade. It's great to knit alone, or combine with one of the other shades.

With watercolor shades comes the arrival of new knitting patterns as well! Melbourne Fingerless Gloves and Tweedsmuir Pullover work beautifully with any of the Abode yarns.

Berroco Abode Yarn Stats:

  • 100% Wool
  • 50 gram hank, approximately 98 yards
  • Gauge: 4.5 stitches per inch on US 8 needles, worsted weight
  • Care: Hand wash in cool water, lay flat to dry
  • Available in 12 shades

Shop Berroco Abode Yarn >

Colette Capelet Knit Along Day 2

Nancy Queen1 Comment

 

Welcome back to the Colette Capelet Knit Along. Today is the second and final day of creating our caplet. We'll also be learning and working our faux cables, shaping the neckline, and before you know it, Colette will be ready to wear!

IMG_0337.jpg

Now that we have 8" on the needles, we can move on to working the yoke.

Knitting the Yoke
This is where we are going to get ready to do the set-up for our faux cables. So, let's work those purl rows to underscore the transition from the traditional ribbing to our new stitch motif.

Knitting Doctor TipWhen transitioning from one stitch pattern to another I like to "frame" or offset each pattern. I'll do this with a purl row or two. Doing this allows your stitch patterns to pop and stand on their on instead of just flowing from one to another (that can be effective, but often not).

Next we are going to work Rounds 3 - 6 and yep, we're ribbing again.


Here's what mine looks like. How about yours?

Here's what mine looks like. How about yours?

Now we've built the cable foundation, ribbed a couple of rows, it's time for a little trick with a "knit 2 together and a knit".

Let's talk about the Faux Cable 
You are about to learn a stitch pattern that gives you maximum impact for minimal effort.  I love those kind of stitches and I'm betting you do, too!  I especially love this little faux cable and here's why:

  •   No cable needle required  - ideal for travel projects
  •   Stitch pattern is reversible - presents as cable on the right side,  rib on the wrong side
  •   Good choice for adding texture
  •   Uniform stitches
  •   No think TV knitting
  •   Quick, easy to learn and remember
  •   Transforms a simple project into an elegant classic
  •   Works well with self-striping yarns, hand paints, tweeds, and solids

How To Make a Faux Cable 

You'll see the abbreviation for this stitch is shown in patterns as K2togk which stands for knit 2 together knit. It's just that simple. Let's go through the process together.

1.  Knit 2 together and do not remove from left hand needle.  The loop you have drawn out does stay on the right hand needle.

2.  Insert the tip of right hand needle into the top stitch of the 2 you have knit together (still sitting on the left hand needle). Wrap your yarn and draw through a loop, as usual, then slide the stitch off the left hand needle. The second or bottom stitch drops off the needle.  This second stitch that drops off the needle is the step that creates the cross over and cable appearance.

This is how the stitches look after you have completed Round 7. Can you see the little V-shapes created by the K2togk?

This is how the stitches look after you have completed Round 7. Can you see the little V-shapes created by the K2togk?

Now, let's go ahead and work Rounds 8-21. When we've completed those rounds we'll have 3 cable twists and be ready to move on to the neckline.

Did you think they would turn out like this? Is this a great stitch or what?!

Did you think they would turn out like this? Is this a great stitch or what?!

Other Uses for the Faux Cable
There are lots of ways to use this stitch. It would look great in any of these projects: 

  • Baby blankets
  • Sweaters
  • Throws
  • Scarves
  • Hats
  • Mittens


Neckline Shaping
We really are on Easy Street now and ready for final rounds. 
But first we found a technical error.

OOPS! Please correct Rounds: 3 - 5 to read: * K2, p2*, p from * to * around

Now that we're all squared away, lets work this neckline!
We'll start by working Rounds 1 and 2.

Here I am purling my Round 1, offsetting my stitch patterns and decreasing at the same time. Round 2 is just a simple purl round.

Here I am purling my Round 1, offsetting my stitch patterns and decreasing at the same time. Round 2 is just a simple purl round.

Now we'll re-establish our ribbing by completing Rounds 3-5. Rounds 6 and 7 are our last decrease rounds.

Here we are at the ending and with plenty of yarn to bind off.

Here we are at the ending and with plenty of yarn to bind off.

Round 8 is our finish. Bind-off with a loose hand (very much as in the cast-on). If you do, your edge will look something like this.

Round 8 is our finish. Bind-off with a loose hand (very much as in the cast-on). If you do, your edge will look something like this.

Knitting Doctor Tip: Bind-offs typically appear smaller than the cast-on edge. To get around this you want to make sure your bind-off is loose and if that still doesn't work for you, try your bind-off with the next needle size up.

Only one task left to complete. Weave in those ends and congratulate yourself on another job well done!
As always, thank you so much for sharing this knitting journey with me!

Happy Knitting and may the perfect project always be on your sticks,

- KnitDoc Donna

How Do I Follow Along?

All of the posts will be on the here on the NobleKnits Blog. Add a bookmark! Join the KAL group on Ravelry. Be sure to follow nobleknits on InstagramTwitterTumblr, and Facebook. Use the hashtag #ColetteKAL to follow the knit along or post pictures of your progress

Let's Be Franca Cowl Free Knitting Pattern

free cowl patternsNancy QueenComment

Designed by Linda Henderson, Let's Be Franca is a quick and easy cowl knitting pattern. This project is knitted in the round and uses just knit an purl stitches. Perfect for a no-think, relaxing TV knitting evening or for a beginner looking for a simple, fun to make project. 

Lets Be Franca uses just one skein of kettle dyed superbulky yarn, Manos Franca, and works up in just 11 rounds!

Skill Level: Easy!

You will need:

  • 1 skein Manos Franca Yarn, shown in #23 Velvet
  • Size US 19 circular 24" needles
  • Jumbo stitch marker

Completed Cowl Measures: 6" high x 50" circumference

Instructions:

Cast on 85 stitches. 

Place stitch marker and join in the round, being careful not to twist stitches

Round 1: Knit

Rounds 2-3: Purl

Rounds 4-8: Knit

Rounds 9-10: Purl

Round 11: Knit

Bind off and weave in yarn ends.

Happy knitting!

Colette Capelet Knit Along: Day 1

Donna PelzarComment
Hello Knitters - It's KnitDocDonna here. Welcome to Day 1 of the Colette Knitalong! I am so happy that you have joined us, and I promise a fun and productive day with plenty of knitting tips scattered throughout.

Are you ready?  Good, then it's time to gather our tools, find a comfy spot and settle in for some knitting fun.
You're going to just love Colette. It's warm, colorful, easy to knit, and best of all, will be ready to wear in a flash. Let's get started!

Here's what we'll learn today
  1. Cable cast-on
  2. How-to join for knitting in the round
  3. How to repair rib stitch mistakes
  4. How-to join yarn with wet splicing
Casting-On
First up...time to build our foundation, and we want a good solid one. We also want a cast-on that's elastic, looks good with ribbing, and produces a nice bottom border.  It doesn't hurt to find one that is fairly easy to learn and execute, too! The Cable cast-on fits the bill for each of these points, so our choice is easy - Cable cast-on it is!

How-To Cable Cast On

1. Begin by making the usual slip knot (leaving a 4-5" tail to weave in later) and cast-on 1 more stitch using any cast-on method.
2. Insert the tip of the right hand needle between your slip knot stitch and your first cast-on stitch.
3. Wrap the working yarn between the needles (as if to knit). Draw out a loop between these 2 stitches and place it back on the left hand needle.
Continue building your cast-on by drawing your loop between the last 2 stitches on the needle, as pictured above, until you have cast-on the number of stitches indicated in our pattern. 
As your cast-on grows the last stitch will appear slanted. This is how it should look and this slant is what creates our braided edge.
Knitting Doctor Tip: The secret to this cast-on is to do it a little loosely so you maximize the elasticity of this cast-on and your first row moves easily off the needles.  

Can't quite loosen up? Try this trick! Try thinking of a phrase that reminds you of something light and gentle. Here's the phrase (or visual picture) I use while I'm casting-on. As I pull out each loop and get ready to place this loop back on the needle, I think about "a butterfly (or a bird) landing with sore feet". You're going to be amazed how well that little visual works!

All cast-on? Nice and loose? Excellent! Your cast-on edge should look something like this!
How-to Join Yarn to Knit in the Round 
Now that we have the perfect cast-on for this project, we are going to want a proper join with all of our stitches perfectly lined up and no twisted stitches.

So, how do I know I'm not twisting my stitches? Did I do this right? L
et's take a look at the steps and tips below.
1. After you've cast-on your last stitch, lay your work on a flat surface (needle tip with the working yarn on the right hand side).
2. Now we're going to make sure our stitches haven't twirled around on the cable. As you can see from the image, this time they have.
3. Straighten the bottom edges of the cast-on so they are all facing toward the middle with no twists and turns.
Time to take one last look, and then it's time to move on to the last step.
4. Place the marker onto the right hand needle, insert the right hand needle into the first stitch on the left needle from bottom to top and knit as usual. Joined! Very easy, right?

Knitting Doctor Tip: When working a project where the bottom edge of the cast-on is hard to see and you're not sure your join isn't going to be twisted, knit one or two rows straight then join. Those couple of rows will make a difference and allow you to readily see if you've joined correctly.
This is also very useful when working a small circumference project and your cast-on will not quite meet at the needle tips. Knitting a row or two straight will bulk out your width up to 30%, then you can comfortably join and knit away.

Working the Body
Rib Set-up
We'll need to refer to our pattern for the instructions for the rib set-up. Just follow the directions under the "Body" section: Round 1 and repeat it until you have 8" on your circulars!
Knitting Doctor Tip: As we're building length on those needles, it's a good opportunity to double check that there are no twists in your work. Just set the work on it's base and take a good look. It will just take a minute and if you must re-do that join, it's easier at the beginning than well into the project.

How-to Repair Rib Stitch
Funny thing about ribbing - it's both the easiest and hardest stitch pattern around! Ok, you probably get the easy, its just a easy repeating pattern.  AHA!  That's also where the hard comes in...because it is so easy, you may find yourself drifting into that serene knitting space, veering off -track and knitting where you should purling and purling where you should knitting. You probably won't even notice until several rows or inches later that your ribbing is out of whack.

Knitting Doctor Tip:  There is such thing as Knitters Intuition. Learn to trust it! If it doesn't feel right, it probably isn't. Checking your work from time to time will save time and tears.

Let's fix that mistake together! Take a look at the images below to see what I did! Look where the needle tips are pointing.

I got off-track in a purl and a knit section. Does this mean I'll have to rip back all of those rows? Absolutely not! There's an easy way to fix these wayward stitches (both knit and purl stitches) and I'm going to show you how.
1. Locate the point where you first went off track. Place a split ring marker there. In this case, I have been purling when I should have been knitting. Now count down how many rows to the marker. Here it is 4 rows, so I'll be going down 4 rows to fix the mistake.
2. Work up to the stitch above where the mistake(s) occurred. Now, drop the stitch and let it ladder down the number of rows to the marker. If your fiber adheres to itself, give it a little help with your right hand needle tip or use your fingers and gently pry it loose.
Repairing with Fix A Stitch or Crochet Hook
You can use a tool like Fix A Stitch which will snag that loop and bring it back up the ladder. You can also use a crochet hook or just use your needle tip. In the images below, I'm using Fix A Stitch.
3. Locate the 4 ladders (or horizontal bars) that our stitch descended through, and make sure they are behind the loop.
4.  Insert the hooked end of the tool into the loop. Hook the 1st ladder and pull it through the loop. Now you have a new loop. Grab the next ladder and pull it through.
5.  Repeat step 4 until you are back to the top of the needle. Re-seat the new fixed stitch on the left hand needle and work the stitch.
Can't see the repair can you?! That's the idea! Even better, it doesn't take long to do and wasn't it easy?

Repairing With A Needle Tip
Don't have a tool or a crochet hook handy? Well, you can get the same result with just your needle tips.

Steps 1 through 3 are the same as above.

4. Insert the tip of the left hand needle into the loop and make sure it is in front of the ladders. Now using the same tip, lift that ladder onto the left hand tip (lift from front to back). You'll now have 2 strands on the left hand needle.
5.  With the right hand needle tip, lift the loop over that ladder strand and off the needle tip. Stitch repaired! 
Knitting Doctor Tip: You can also use this stitch repair to correct any loose or misshapen stitches.Try it and i'll bet you'll be surprised how beautifully it evens out stitches.

Stitch repair is always done from the knit side, so if your error is in a purl section, execute the repair technique from 
the reverse side. 

Wet Splice - The invisible Join
Everybody has a least favorite knitting task and for me it's joining yarn. That's why whenever I can, I use the join I'm about to share with you. It's called Wet Splice and it will give you a strong and invisible weld! How to Join Yarn with Wet Splicing

The only requirement for this join is that you have wool or a wool blend that is not superwash. Cottons and acrylic won't work either, but Plymouth Gina Chunky yarn sure will.  

Knitting Doctor Tip: When you get to a section of yarn that is not spun as tightly as the rest you can wet your hands and rub (just like in the splice process) and this section will look just like the rest of the yarn.

Whew! We've done a lot today and our session has come to an end. I hope you've had as much fun as I've had and learned a thing or two.

Your assignment until next week is to continue to add inches to your Colette Capelet.
We'll meet here next Thursday.  That's when we'll work the faux cable magic, shape the neckline, bind-off and wear!

Until then, thank you for sharing the knit along journey with me today!

Happy Knitting,
KnitDocDonna

How Do I Follow Along?
All of the posts will be on the here on the NobleKnits BlogAdd a bookmark! 
Join the KAL group on RavelryBe sure to follow nobleknits on InstagramTwitterTumblr, and Facebook
Use the hashtag #ColetteKAL to follow the knit along or post pictures of your progress.

Introducing: Colette Capelet Knit Along!

knitalongsDonna Pelzar6 Comments

Fall is almost here and it's time to introduce a new knit along! The Colette Capelet is my new favorite seasonal piece and a fave of the NobleKnits Yarngirls, too! Wear it over a suit for the work week, then pivot to your favorite jeans or khakis for weekend style and comfort.  Think fall leaves, hot mulled cider, and apple strudel.

A Little About This Knit Along

This is a quick knit project constructed with simple vertical ribs and faux cable stitches. Colette will expand to your individual shilouette, and the direction of the ribs will counter balance the subtle horizontal striping making this a slimming piece. Simply put, figure flattering fun!

Colette Capelet is one size fits all. Measuring in at a 44" circumference (at rest), it can expand up to  an amazing 82.5" (fully stretched). Length measures 14" and reaches almost to the elbow.

Knitting Doctor Tip: You can also choose to make Colette longer, just purchase an extra ball.

The Right Yarn

This KAL features Plymouth Gina Chunky yarn. It's a lofty, slightly thick and thin, roving yarn (100% hand washable wool).  Not only are the color combos unique and intruiging, they also meld together beautifully. An added surprise is although the fiber is rustic in appearance, it softens as worked and produces a beautiful halo. What's not to like?

Which Plymouth Gina Chunky yarn shade will you choose?

Which Plymouth Gina Chunky yarn shade will you choose?

 

What Materials Will I Need?

What Will I Learn?

Knit Along Day 1 

  • Cable cast-on
  • Joing for knitting in the round
  • Rib set-up and knit
  • Wet splice invisible yarn join

Knit Along Day 2 

  • Faux Cable stitch
  • Rib neckline decreases
  • Bind-off

What Skill Level?

Beginner and above.  As always, this is a "no-think" knitting project. Just have fun and enjoy the knitting process, I'll help you through all the tricky parts! We'll include lots of images and tips you'll use often to make your projects enjoyable and a success!

How Do I Follow Along?

All of the posts will be on the here on the  NobleKnits Blog. Add a bookmark! Join the KAL group on Ravelry. Be sure to follow nobleknits on InstagramTwitterTumblr, and Facebook. Use the hashtag #ColetteKAL to follow the knit along or post pictures of your progress.

Berroco Andean Mist Squelette Shawl Free Knitting Pattern

free shawl patternsNancy QueenComment

Just right for taking you into fall - knit this large, lacy triangle shawl. It uses light and airy (yet very warm) Berroco Andean Mist yarn. The shawl itself has an allover lace pattern accented by a lace leaf border.

Completed Shawl Measures: 

40" wide x 24" long at widest point

You will need: 

Happy knitting!

Berroco Brio Woolsey Wrap Free Crochet Pattern

free crochet patternsNancy QueenComment

Make an ultra-quick wrap using colorful

Berroco Brio yarn

.  

This crochet pattern uses an easy to memorize repetative stitch pattern. In addition, check out the new shades for Fall below.

Completed Wrap Measures: 14" x 46"

You will need: 

New!

Berroco Brio Yarn

shades for Fall 2014: Spring, Leap, Surge, and Soar

Happy knitting!

Top 10 Reasons to Knit with Blue Sky Worsted Cotton Yarn

Donna Pelzar1 Comment
Every once in a while I run across a yarn that stands out from the crowd. Of course, when that happens I want to tell every knitter who will listen!


Blue Sky Worsted Cotton Yarn is one of those fibers. I'll confess, I looked at it several times here at NobleKnits but for some reason I never used it in a project...until now.

If you had a chance to see our recent Commuter Cowl Knit Along, you'll see this was the fiber I selected and I'm glad I did! I'm certainly going to use it again and here's what makes Worsted Cotton special.

My Top 10 List!
  1. No pilling - Usually when knitting with a 100% cotton, before I come to the end of my project, those little pills start showing up - not with this yarn no matter how many times I frogged back (and I frog plenty)
  2. Very soft next to the skin as expected 
  3. Glides on your needles and fingers like marshmallow without the sticky, but has surprising body and heft without sacrificing drape. No limp noodle yarn here! 
  4. Fabulous colors - clear, bright, modern shades
  5. good stitch definition
  6. True worsted weight - surprisingly, it's difficult to find a well made cotton that knits up at a worsted weight
  7. Good yardage - The palate is also nice with clear modern colors and the yardage is good at 150 yards per skein
  8. Good value for your dollar - the price point is reasonable and if you look at how long your project is likely to hold up and stay nice it makes the pricing even more attractive
  9. Hand washable
  10. 100% certified organic cotton - uses low impact dyes or naturally grown colors with no dyes

Have you had a chance to knit with this yarn? If so, tell us what you think! Post your thoughts in the comments below.

Happy knitting!

Easy! Gracie Cowl Free Knitting Pattern

free cowl patternsNancy QueenComment

What to do with 2 hours and one skein of yarn? Whip up Gracie, a quick knit cowl featuring Be Sweet's Grace + Style yarn. It's a lace weight mohair/bamboo blend yarn with just a hint of metallic.

Skill Level: Easy!

You will need:

Completed Cowl Measures: 9" high x 28" circumference

Pattern

Cast on 82 stitches, place marker and join in round being careful not to twist stitches

Every Round: Knit

Bind off and weave in yarn ends.

Happy (quick + easy) knitting!

Day 2: Commuter Cowl Knit Along

Donna PelzarComment
Welcome Knitters! It's KnitDocDonna back again for Day 2, the final day, of the Commuter Cowl Knit Along!


During Day 1, we learned all about how Moebius' work; the actual cast-on and knitting the reversible stitches. The only task that remained was to get 6" of fabric on our sticks.


Everybody at 6 inches? Great!  

Oh, wait! Let's check our work to make sure our measurements are correct.
Knitting Doctor Tip:  The Moebius needle set-up can sometimes make measuring a little challenging.  Because of the curl of the cable, your work may be curved and you may feel your measuring isn't dead on. When that happens give a few inches of your work some support. I'm using a small box to raise just a portion so I can measure accurately. A paperback book works just fine, too.

Important:  Stretch your work a bit when you are measuring. The sides tend to draw in toward the middle, so we'll want to make sure we aren't over 6 inches. That way, we'll have plenty of fiber to complete our i-cord, with some to spare.


I'm at 6 inches, and here's how much yarn I have remaining. It's about the size of a baseball, and I'll use about 1/2 (or more) of the ball for the i-cord.

Now that we're properly measured, and not over 6 inches, let's get started by checking out today's agenda!

What We'll Learn Today
  • I-cord bind-off
  • I-cord join
I-Cord
Knitters, this will be one of the most versatile tools in your knitters bag of tricks. It can be used alone as a cord from which can hang many a shiny thing, add a tailored (a la Chanel) edging on a sweater, hat or neck piece, as well as worked as an embellishment on almost anything (aka applied i-cord).  I-cord itself is nothing more than a few stitches that when pulled together by our working yarn, forms a tube, but as you've just seen, it can do so many things.

How-to do an i-cord bind off

This is another really simple technique, once you know the steps. 
Step 1: Removing the marker, cast on 3 stitches (again the knitted cast-on method) using the first stitch of the round.
Step 2. Knit 2 stitches, then k2tbl (knit 2 together through the back loop). The image shows how we knit through the back loop. It's a little different than what you would expect.  Insert the right hand needle tip into the next two stitches from top to bottom (the opposite of how you usually knit a stitch).
Wrap the yarn exactly as you would for a knit stitch, and complete the stitch as usual
Here's how it should look:
Take a look at the location of my thumb. It's lifting the start of the i-cord so you can see it. Doesn't it look like a little tab?

Step 3.  Return the 3 stitches just worked (i.e. k2, k2tbl) back to the left hand needle.
Step 4.  Repeat Steps 2 & 3 until the last 3 stitches:


See how this is working? Looking at the images you'll see that when you place those 3 stitches back on the left hand needle the working yarn is actually at the 3rd stitch from the tip, or the bottom of those 3 stitches. Now as you work through the steps above that working yarn will draw your stitches into a cord, and with each repeat of the steps you will not only be building the cord but  binding-off one stitch as well.

Whew! Will this take a long time? And will I use a lot of yarn? Well, yes and yes, but wait until you see the end result! I think you'll agree it's well worth the effort and will add a dressmaker touch to your finished piece!

Here's how your edging will start to look!
That's all there is too it! All that's left to do is follow the steps, work across all of those stitches until 3 remain. Then it's time to join...

Joining

Now for an amazingly neat and tidy finish follow the easy steps and images below.
Step 1.  Keeping our last 3 stitches worked on the right needle, locate the 1st stitch of our i-cord cast on (remember the knitted cast-on stitches). 



Step 2. Insert the right needle tip into that stitch and draw through a loop and place it on the right hand needle.




Step 3. Pass the 3 stitches over the loop you have just placed, one by one, starting with the 2nd stitch in from the needle tip.  Essentially, you are working a standard bind-off.
Now you have one stitch.  Cut your yarn, draw through the loop and weave in your end as usual and don't forget the tail at our center cast-on.

How about that! Commuter is ready to wear! Now that you know the techniques you can tackle a Moebius project with total confidence. Hmmm...how about a different length and fiber?


Check out your pattern for Commuter's "Long Ride" version!  Here's a peek!


Congratulations on a job well done and knitting along with me!

Don't forget to post your finished project and share your thoughts on 
the KAL group on RavelryBe sure to follow nobleknits on InstagramTwitterTumblr, and Facebook
Use the hashtag #CommuterKAL to follow the knit along or post pictures of your progress.
Until our next Knitting Adventure!

May the perfect project always be on your sticks,

- KnitDocDonna

Autumn Stripe Cowl Free Knitting Pattern

free cowl patternsNancy QueenComment

Easy knitting pattern!

I love a quick knit project, especially when I'm in the midst of several larger and more difficult ones. This easy cowl knitting project fit the bill. It's ideal for a beginner knitter

and also interesting enough to keep a more advanced knitter interested when some mindless/tv knitting is needed. I made it in just one evening. I love watching the way

Plymouth Pasea yarn

stripes up and added purl ridges so to make it interesting on either side.

Completed Cowl Measures: 7.5" high x 32" circumference

You will need:

Cast on 104 stitches. Place marker and join in round being careful not to twist stitches

Round 1: *Knit 7, purl 1.* Repeat from * to * around.

Repeat Round 1 until only a few yards of yarn remains. Bind off in established pattern.

Weave in yarn ends.

Happy knitting!

Day 1: Commuter Cowl Knit Along

Donna Pelzar3 Comments

Hello Knitters! It's KnitDocDonna here! Today's the day I get to share one of my favorite knitting projects and techniques with you, the moebius cast-on! You'll be amazed by how easy the moebius cast-on really is and after you see how it's done you may just love this technique as much as I do.

What We'll Learn Today
  • Moebius cast-on
  • Moebius join
  • Broken rib pattern stitch
  • Reversibility and mirrored pattern stitch
What is A Moebius?
A Moebius (aka Infinity) project is nothing more than a rectangular piece joined with a twist. This twist allows you to see half of the right side and half of the wrong side as well as adding interest to the shape. You could, of course, just craft a rectangle, give it a twirl and sew the 2 ends together, but what would be the fun of that?!  Our version is much more intriguing, as well as easy and...best of all, no ends to sew together!  Just round and round fun!  

There are several ways to create a Moebius Cast-On, but I'm going to show you the way I like best!

Building the Foundation 
Referring to the pattern, cast-on the number of stitches specified for "Short Ride". Today we'll be using the knitted cast-on.

Here’s how:
Start with a slipknot as usual. Insert your right hand needle into the slipknot as if to begin the knit stitch.

Knitting Doctor Tip: When you make your slipknot leave about a 4 to 5” tail so when it's time you'll have enough to weave in.  


Wrap the yarn as if to knit and draw through your loop, but do not slide the stitch off the needle. Take the loop that you have drawn out and pop it back onto the left hand needle and voila! You have made a stitch.  

Knitting Doctor Tips:  Giving that loop a little half twist before popping it back on the left needle will further emphasize the cast-on's braided look.

When setting up your Moebius cast-on you will want to maintain a loose hand as you cast-on your initial stitches. Doing so will make knitting that 1st row much easier, and we want easy!


All cast-on and ready for the next step? Excellent! The magical part of the Moebius construction is coming right up!


The Layout
This image is just a layout of the cast-on stitches. Notice where the working yarn is here.
Now I'm just going to flip my work upside down. Notice where my working yarn is now. It's at the upper right of my work.
The braided edge where my fingers are pointing is what is referred to as "the base" in our pattern.  Hold that thought as we continue on.
So now that we know which end is up (literally) we can go ahead and follow the steps below.  Let's work through these steps one by one and begin to  demystify this Moebius cast-on!

The Steps
Step 1:  Positioning your work with the base at the top, and the working yarn at the upper right, lightly pinch the base with your thumb and forefinger. As you do, take a look at the stitches. I like to think of them as doorways. The stitches on either side are the posts and the horizontal base is the lintel. Why is this important? As we move on to Step 2, you'll see.

Step 2:  Now using our right hand needle, we will insert the tip into our 1st "doorway" from front to back, wrap our yarn and draw out a loop. This loop will stay on the right hand needle.


Step 3:  Continue working across the row, pulling up a loop between each doorway, loading it onto the right hand needle, counting as we go. Our stitch count by the time we are finished picking up will be 1 less than our cast-on number. You'll see why a little later on.

Knitting Doctor Tips:  After working the second doorway or so, pull  the tip of the left hand needle to the right and let it drop.  Now it won't be in your way and it is much easier to draw up the loops.
If you find it difficult to find the doorways (and your door looks more like a porthole), pull upward a bit on the base .  That will expose the doorway. Take a look at the image below.


If you needle tips are a bit too rounded to grab that loop, it's ok to use a crochet hook to draw it through. And, no it's not cheating!

Completing the cast-on and joining the round
As we continue to work to pick up those stitches in the base, our work will start to look something like this.
If you look at the shiny spots near my middle fingers you'll see that they are actually the cables and the stitches are lining up on each of these two cables.
Picked up all the stitches? Check your pattern and have the right number? Excellent! Time to join.

Closing the Gap and Joining
All of my stitches are loaded, but it doesn't look like the stitches are going to meet.
Look at it now. Where did the cable go? How did I do that? Well, it's very easy. Just slide the stitches on each needle up towards the points and watch that gap close! We're now ready to work the  join!
We'll join our Moebius by placing a marker and then knitting the 1st stitch on the left hand needle. 
Look closely and you can see that stitch sits at a slant. Is it going to feel awkward? Sure is and it's supposed to. Are you one step ahead of me and figured out why that is? Is it because joining that first stitch is where the twist occurs? If that's what you're thinking, you're right!

Now that we've successfully joined and our twist has been made, let's move on and complete the first round.  Remember, it's also time to add that extra stitch that we couldn't pick up during the cast-on. We're just going to do this once (i.e. this row only).  Add it by a KFB (knit front and back) in the second stitch. Take a look below to see how it's done.


How to knit front and back
Knit into the front of the next stitch as normal, but do not slide it off the needle.
Now place the tip of the right hand needle into the back of the stitch that is still on the left hand needle, wrap your yarn, draw through your loop and slide it off the needle as usual.  One stitch created!

Knitting Doctor Tip:  When you pick up stitches with this type of cast-on you will always be one stitch short of the original cast-on number.  That is because with this particular technique you are picking up the loops between the stitches, and not into the actual stitch so you will always be starting one stitch in.  I usually add that orphan stitch on the first round after the join.

Go ahead and work the 1st round as indicated in the pattern.

As you are working this round, the stitches may feel very tight but will loosen up after you reach the twist at the half-way point.  If your cast-on was loose that will help!  After the half -way point it's smooth sailing to the end of the round and actually for the remainder of the project.

Next we'll review actual pattern stitches.

Knitting the Broken Rib
This is a very simple pattern that looks great on both sides and is only a 2 round repeat.

How it's done
Round 1:  K1, P1, to end of round ending with a P1.
Round 2:  P the round

Knitting Doctor Tip: To make sure you are actually at the end of the round pay attention to the location of your marker. I'll show you two images. The 1st is not the end of the round, and the 2nd is.
Not the end of the round
End of the round!
Let's do a couple of repeats of Round 1 and 2, until there's about 3" on the needles and don't be dismayed (or yikes, rip back) if the work looks different on one side. Trust me on this one!

Do we have 3" or so?  Good!  Now there a few things I want you to take a look at!

Starting Point
Take a look at the image below.  See the strand of yarn I'm holding? That's the start of our project. Also notice the central ridge.
                          
Now just for fun, run your finger around the cable (either clockwise or counter clockwise). . . feel how it spirals and twists?

Understanding the Construction
So, what we're doing is working outward from the center. Every round we're completing is building inches on each side of this center ridge, and to top it off half way through the round our piece twists...totally different construction from the bottom up or top down constructions you may be used to! 
 
Mirrored Images
As you're working the rounds and building inches you are probably starting to notice that your work is looking different on either side of that center ridge.  That where the mirrored images come in.
Think about it this way. As you're working up to the 121 stitch (half of our stitch count), the stitch pattern will be showing the right side. On stitch 122, you are at the twist in the work, and your stitch pattern switches from displaying the right side to the wrong side. Mirrored Images!

See how effective this technique can be!

Knitting Doctor Tip: This switch will work to your advantage, and add interest to your project.  Think of the possibilities! The only requirement is selecting a stitch pattern that looks attractive on both sides!

Heading Down Today's Homestretch
Congratulations, and well done! Together, we've made it through the Moebius cast-on, construction and creating the reversible stitch pattern. Our Commuters are shaping up nicely!

Our homework for this week is to continue working the broken rib pattern until you reach 6 inches. It will go quickly, I promise!

Be sure to join me for Day 2, on Thursday, September 11th, where we will bind-off with the crisp i-cord edging and our Commuter will be ready to wear!

How Do I Follow Along?
All of the posts will be on the here on the NobleKnits BlogAdd a bookmark! 
Join the KAL group on RavelryBe sure to follow nobleknits on InstagramTwitterTumblr, and Facebook
Use the hashtag #CommuterKAL to follow the knit along or post pictures of your progress.

Many many thanks for knitting along with me today! We've made a lot of progress and I hope you had fun! I know I did!

Until next Thursday, Happy Knitting!
KnitDocDonna