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KNITKNIT much

much ...to K, is to .com

Issue 5

* mock cable pattern * turning a cowl into a child's cardi * 7 go - to recipes for successful toe up sock s * how dropped stitch create knitted lace * cocktail cover up to knit for the tropic s * marled & self striping yarn

BIG KNITS & WARM KNITS knit it up quick!


KNITmuch

.com

...to K, is to

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, ART DIRECTOR Carla A. Canonico Carla@KNITmuch.com ADVERTISING SALES John De Fusco John@KNITmuch.com PUBLISHER A Needle Pulling Thread PHOTOGRAPHERS John De Fusco, Carla A. Canonico, Alessia De Fusco BLOGGERS/CONTRIBUTORS Cynthia MacDougall cgknitters.blogspot.com Michelle Nguyen www.stitchesbeslippin.com Charles Voth www.charlesvothdesigns.ca GRAPHIC DESIGN Carla A. Canonico Carla@KNITmuch.com Sondra Armas Sondra@KNITmuch.com SOCIAL MEDIA and WEB Alessia De Fusco Alejandro Araujo WEBSITE / BLOG : KNITmuch.com Like us on Facebook : KNITmuch Follow us on Twitter : @KNITmuchmag WHERE TO GET YOUR COPY KNITmuch is a quarterly eMagazine published by A Needle Pulling Thread. It is available free for personal use online at KNITmuch.com. A limited number of printed copies of KNITmuch are available for purchase at select yarn shops and specialty stores. Ask for it at your local shop. KNITmuch is not available by subscription. YARN SHOPS If you are interested in carrying KNITmuch in your store, please email John@KNITmuch.com.

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EDITORIAL Bloggers, designers and other contributors who would like to be considered for future issues please email Carla@KNITmuch.com with a brief description of your work and your proposed project.

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©2017 A Needle Pulling Thread. All rights reserved. Issue 5. No part of this publication may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. All designs, patterns, and information in this magazine are for private, non-commercial use only, and are copyrighted material owned by their respective creators or owners.

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KNITmuch | issue 5

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KNITmuch 6 8 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 30 32 34 38 40 42 44 46

Knit a cowl with a mock cable pattern 2-skein project: knitted toddler sweater pattern Knitting with Red Heart Boutique Irresistible Yarn The knitty-gritty of Irresistible yarn Casting off and weaving in ends, a tip at your fingertips for jumbo yarn 2 home decor patterns to knit using Red Heart Boutique Irresistible yarn 3 knitwear patterns to make using Red Heart Boutique Irresistible yarn 4 reasons to wear knits made with Creme de la Creme yarn Knitting a layered lace dress that also doubles as a bathing suit cover up Knitting with Prose self-striping sock yarn 7 go-to recipes for successful toe-up socks Things I will and won’t do again in cuff-down knitted socks… How dropped stitches create a knitted lace pattern – surprisingly beautiful What does dropped stitch lace look like? Revive your knitting with marled gradient yarns Don’t get unspun by single-ply yarns! Free pattern roundup for Classic Shades Frenzy yarn Eyes will turn to gaze at your chevron knits with this stitch pattern This portable knitting project starts with a square, ends with a blanket

c o n t e n t s KNITmuch | issue 5

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hooked on books

Monster Hats

Hygge Knits

Big Knit Love

Vanessa Mooncie

Nicki Trench

Linda Zemba Burhance

These hats certainly make a statement and that statement is “Rawwwwwwr!” Not for the fainthearted, these beautifully designed knitted hats will keep you cozy while turning some heads. Hopefully not right round though... Fun and vibrant, these 15 designs for both adults and children are just the thing to get you noticed on a chilly night. Projects include a creepy zombie, an enchanting griffin, an amusing yeti and a stylish demon.

It seems that suddenly everyone wants to be Scandinavian, and to "hygge" (pronounced hueguh) which means "a sublime state of cosiness" felt when you are with friends or loved ones. It can be enhanced by the addition of a log fire, a sweet treat and a cozy knit. So spread the love, and keep things

Big knitting is fast and fashionable! Big.Knit.Love. introduces newbies and experienced knitters to knitting with big needles and bulky, super bulky, and jumbo yarns with 20 patterns for gorgeous wearables. Called one of the most important knitting trends by Lion Brand Yarn, knitting with chunky yarns is less structured than knitting with standard-sized needles and yarns, making it perfect for anyone who wants to make simple yet stylish patterns in no time. In addition, this stunning collection includes a comprehensive, photograph-rich section on tools, materials, and step-by-step techniques, ensuring each pattern knits up perfectly.

146 pages, ISBN 978-1-78494-212-0 The Guild of Master Craftsman thomasallen.ca

cozy, by knitting yourself –or your family –a warm and beautiful sweater, hat, gloves, or socks, with a Scandi feel.

128 pages, ISBN 978-1-78249-478-2 Cico Books thomasallen.ca

160 pages, ISBN 978-1-63186-451-3 Taunton Press thomasallen.ca

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' Tis the season

aster!

editor's letter

Are you almost done with your holiday knitting? I have two items left to knit up, and hopefully I will be done by mid-December. You might remember from the previous issue that I had proclaimed 2017 as the year of the shawls, in which I'm knitting shawl after shawl for dear friends and family. I will post all of them in the next issue. It's a beautiful season of gift giving and knitting something smaller like accessories can really do the trick. Just remember to knit it up in the recipient's favorite color. This issue has many conversations about using jumbo yarns, marled and self striping yarns with many

ideas for patterns and various stitch patterns too. See what self-striping yarn looks like in various stitch patterns, they look complex! I also included cotton yarn in this issue. Usually cotton yarn doesn't spring to mind during the winter season, unless... you have airplane tickets for a tropical island! Check out the elegant Cocktail Cover Up you'll want to make out of cotton yarn. It's ideal for the beach. Knit a second one in a different color, wear it over a matching slip and matching stilettos to attend the resort's evening entertainment. The Cocktail Cover Up is on my 'to knit' list for 2018. It's gonna look stunning in coral!!

Whatever you're going to knit, try new yarns, I know I did when I knit a blanket for my daughter using jumbo yarn. Talk about out of my comfort zone! I prefer dk yarns and worsted at most, so I can safely say I was a good sport to knit my daughter a blanket in jumbo yarn. Or maybe it's because I am a mother that I ventured to please my daughter! Anyway, see the finished blanket in this issue! Let's quicken our rythm and get all our knits finished in time.

Cheerfully,

Share the love of knitting. Own the obsession.

F

to k nit

follow me Have you knit with jumbo yarn? Share your experience and photos on our KNITmuch Facebook page! I'd love to see what you knit up~ 5


Knit a cowl with a mock cable pattern Charles Voth

Here’s an easy to knit cowl with a stitch pattern that imitates or mocks a knit cable pattern. I know that many people say not to knit pattern stitches with multicolored yarn because you won’t be able to see the pattern, but I tend to be a bit rebellious, so I tried using Classic Shades Frenzy and really like the results. While the color repeats aren’t dyed to be extremely long, some of them are long enough to work into wide stripes when worked across just a few stitches. There are 32 stitches to one side of this cowl. Why would I make a 2-sided cowl and seam the sides? Well, the truth will be revealed in the following article, but for now, let’s say that working across 40 stitches on size US10 [6mm] needles produced these lovely 1″ to 2″ wide stripes with a few 1-row stripes in between. I also really like how the mock cable pattern gives the stripes in the fabric a little tilt here and there. Definitely worth being a rebel. For those of you who think that knitting cables is hard, working up a mock cable is a great easy solution.

Knit this easy and quick one skein cowl project with a mock cable pattern

This easy mock cable pattern uses yarn overs and some strategic decreases to create the illusion of a twist.

If you know how to make a yarn over, purl 2 stitches together, and a left-leaning decrease, you can make this pattern.

Garter stitches frame the mock cable pattern to create a real cable look.

Photos by Charles Voth

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Here’s the stitch diagram and instructions for the mock cable. To make this lovely cowl, you’ll only need 1 ball of Classic Shades Frenzy and size US10 [6mm] needles. Make 2 panels and sew them together along the garter stitch ridges.

Text Instructions

Cast on 32 sts and knit the ribbing first as follows:

Row 4: K4, p6, k2tog, p3, yo, p3, k4.

Row 1 (WS): K4, [p2, k2, p2, k2, p2, k4] twice.

Row 5: K8, yo, k3, K2togtw, k9.

Row 2 (RS): Knit. Rows 3 & 4: Rep Rows 1 and 2. Row 5: Rep Row 1 Then work your way across the stitch diagram (or text instructions below) repeating the stitches and rows in the blue box. Work until you have 4 complete repeats of Rows 1-10 (4 mock cables) and then work 1 plain knit row and then rows 1-4 of the ribbing again. Cast off loosely. Next I’ll explain how to take this one-ball project and make it into a 2-ball project.

Row 1: K4, yo, k3, K2togtw, k13. Row 2: K4, p8, k2tog, p3, yo, p1, k4. Row 3: K6, yo, k3, K2togtw, k11.

Row 6: K4, p4, k2tog, p3, yo, p5, k4. Row 7: K10, yo,20 k3, K2togtw, k7. Row 8: K4, p2, 18 k2tog, p3, yo, p7, k4. Row 9: K12, yo, k3, K2togtw, k5. 16 Row 10: K4, k2tog, p3, yo, p9, k4. 14 Rows 11-20: Repeat rows 1-10. 12 Special Abbreviation:

Knit 2 together 10with a twist (K2togtw): Knit 2 together by inserting RH needle in front leg of first st and then in back8 leg of 2nd st, then knit, drawing up loop between strands as usual. 6

We’ll also look more in depth at a new-to-me leftleaning decrease that you may want to try out.

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Stitches RS: k; WS: p WS: k yo WS: P2tog through back loops K2togtw - see explanation below

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1 Stitch Diagram for Mock Cable Pattern Stitches RS: k; WS: p

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2-skein project: knitted toddler sweater pattern I just came back from a fall crafts fair, and I was so disappointed to see that all of the baby and toddler sweaters that were for sale by either knitters or crocheters were all in the same baby pink, peach, seafoam green, or blue that has been around for decades. The baby yarn palette needs an update, or perhaps craft fair knitters need to update their garments. Well, as I said before, I’m a bit of a rebel, so I knitted a toddler’s sweater with just over one ball of chunky yarn in a fall colorway of Classic Shades Frenzy called “Into the Woods”. Gotta love the name! And now there’s a sleeve! Yes, convert the cowl pattern into a toddler sweater.

Wait a minute! Isn’t that the cowl from the previous article? Why yes, it is, here it is as a toddler’s sweater! My sons are now 20 and 19, and, back when they were little, we didn’t dress them in those baby pastels I saw at the craft fair several days ago. And, I didn’t knit baby clothes in those colors. So it’s not a great departure for me to suggest that kids should wear knits in the whole color spectrum, primary colors, jewel tones, muted adult colors / earth tones, and neutrals, too.

With just a little yarn from the second ball, I converted a cowl design into this sweater.

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If you look at the above picture, you can see a lovely sage green, a pale cornflower blue, some vanilla cream, peach, white, and silver. Lovely pastels that are set in the deeper and brighter rusts and browns of this yarn, giving it much more depth, and making it easy to coordinate with other clothes. I’m remembering back to some terra cotta corduroys we used to put on our boys. Looking at the Universal Yarn’s own webpage, you can find the other 9 colorways that also have a lot of interest.


I gave you the pattern to knit an easy and quick cowl with a mock cable. When I finished that cowl, I had just a little bit of yarn left, but it wasn’t enough to convert that cowl into this little sweater you see here: I had to crack open a second skein do the sleeves. Still, it was a fun way to design two different projects in one. To make this sweater which has a 22″ chest, look at the article before this one and follow the instructions for the cowl, but don’t seam the two pieces together yet.

The speckled appearance of the stripes gives Classic Shades Frenzy a lovely tweed effect in stockinette stitch

When you work the 2nd panel, be sure to work some button holes with a yarn-over, knit 2 together sequence. I made 3 on the left side of the Front panel. On the left side, sew across the shoulder seam for about 2″ [5cm], but don’t sew the right shoulder. For each sleeve, measure down 3½” [9cm]. Pick up 16 stitches up to the shoulder, then another 16 stitches down the same depth of the other body part. (32 stitches for sleeve). On the un-seamed side, knit across the gap, which will join the front and back to each other. I joined my 32 stitches and knit the sleeves in the round, but you could knit them flat, then seam them. I worked 4 rows in plain stockinette stitch and then decreased 1 stitch on each side of the sleeve every 5th row 4 times to end up with 24 sts. Then, I changed to size 7 US [4.5mm] needles and worked 6 rounds of 2 x 2 ribbing. These were the only buttons I had lying around that coordinated with the colorway, but with so many colors in the yarn, I think it would be easy to find buttons that would work even better than these. I didn’t sew them on because my wife has claimed them for something she’s making. I’m going to have to figure something else out. One other thing, I did promise that we would look at the left leaning decrease in this mock cable pattern. I call it a knit 2 together with a twist. I didn’t invent it, but I came across it online and promptly forgot to record the source, and whether or not that knitter was using the information she’d found

The 2×2 ribbing and the self-striping yarn makes a cute cuff for this little toddler’s sweater

Left-leaning decrease is worked on both right-side row with a knit 2 together twist and wrong-side row with a purl 2 together through the back loops.

elsewhere. This left-leaning decrease takes out that funny extra loop that forms in the decrease when you SSK (slip, slip, knit 2 tog through the back) or when you slip 1, knit 1, and pass the slipped stitch over, so it really is a nice partner to the rightleaning k2tog. KNITmuch | issue 5

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To work the knit 2 together with a twist, simply insert the right-hand needle in the front leg of the first stitch like you would normally, and then also insert it into the BACK leg of the 2nd stitch, wrap the yarn around the needle to knit and carefully wiggle the RH needle back and forth up with the stitch. When slide the stitches off the LH needle, it helps to slide the first one and give a little tug on the 2nd one to loosen the stitch toward the back of the work and then continue to slide it off the needle on the RH needle. That’s it. You’ve done a really cool leftleaning decrease that’s great for paired decreases, and fabulous for the mock cable pattern in either this toddler’s sweater or the cowl version. There are a few other 1 or 2 ball projects you can knit Charles Voth with Classic Shades Frenzy, and there are some free twitter.com/stitchstud charlesvothdesigns.ca patterns available on the Universal Yarn website.

Get to the Point

Dreaming of Spring

Try this “Get to the Point” cowl, made with 1 ball of Classic Shades Frenzy in the “Urban Transit” colorway

Use 1 skein of Frenzy in “Thrill Ride” colorway to make this free pattern.

cowl pattern

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hat pattern


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Knitting with Red Heart Boutique Irresistible Yarn Carla A. Canonico

My dear daughter has been wishing for a jumbo yarn blanket for several years now, but I hadn’t gotten around to it (I wonder why). Knitting with jumbo yarn isn’t my favorite, but it’s still knitting, so given the opportunity I knew eventually I would come across the right yarn for it. I noticed Red Heart Boutique Irresistible Yarn was on our 2017 KNITmuch schedule, and so I took the opportunity to take on the task of knitting it up. What’s that horrible expression, something about killing two of something so very sweet at once with something very hard…!

Irresistible yarn is a weight category 7, otherwise known as jumbo! So I’m using a whopping size US50 [25mm] knitting needles. The fiber content is 90% acrylic and 10% wool, the texture makes me think of roving, and there are two thick strands twisted together. This twist, I find, gives more texture to the finished knit. Each ball weighs 10oz [283g] with 29yd [26m]. My gauge is 4 sts x 4½ rows = 4” [10cm] on the needles I mentioned above.

Irresistible yarn is really big yarn! Look at my pen! One strand of this twisted yarn is the same size as the pen!

Irresistible yarn in Taupe

Photos by Carla A. Canonico

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I asked for 15 balls of Irresistible yarn to make a 5’ x 6’ blanket in stockinette stitch with a garter stitch trim, of which I used only 14. I’ll tell you what I did with the other ball as you read on. I kept the blanket simple – no pattern, no cables – and used Red Heart’s Cool Comfort’s Knit Throw (free pattern) to gauge how many more stitches to add for a blanket. Red Heart’s throw measures 40″ x 50″ [101 x [127cm]. Later in this feature I’ll highlight some projects that include cables and simple stitch pattern suited for Irresistible yarn.

Photo courtesy of Red Heart

It’s a happy feeling to get a box of yarn delivered at my doorstep!

Cool Comfort Knit Throw is much quicker than my blanket as it has less stitches and rows. Even at that, my size blanket is still a quick knit.

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The knitty-gritty of Irresistible yarn I looked at the fiber content and general appearance of Red Heart Boutique Irresistible yarn. Before I get into the knitty-gritty of Irresistible yarn, I want to go over the several colors you can choose from to suit your mood and decorative needs.

Irresistible yarn in Taupe

You’ll remember I’m knitting this blanket for my daughter, so she got to choose the color that best suits her room. She loves vintage, its colors and collectibles.

Above are most of the colorways for Irresistible Yarn. Getting to the knitty-gritty… imagine finishing up a project in a sock weight yarn, and starting a blanket in a jumbo weight yarn. There’s a big difference in the sensation of your hand movements – I say hand and not fingers, because when knitting with jumbo yarn you’ll need your whole hand to maneuver the needles and yarn. I got the groove very easily, and it was almost a relief from the small hand movements of a sock yarn project, in the sense that my entire hands and wrists were moving. Can you relate? For the first few rows, the knitting moved quite quickly, photo below.

For this blanket I used 52 stitches. It took me 1 hour to knit roughly 4 rows, which equaled 1 ball. From this perspective, one could finish this very big blanket in one day as it would take 14 hours. It would work up more comfortably in 2 days, but really…what’s the rush? I knitted this in August. The knitting becomes a little more tedious towards the end, say the last 3 balls, where this 5’ x 6’ blanket becomes heavy to maneuver in my usual ‘sitting on my couch knitting’ position. So, I knit the last 3 balls while standing, placing the blanket on an ottoman or sitting on the floor with the blanket sprawled. This made it much easier to knit.

Irresistible yarn has a good balance of neutrals, brights and variegated colorways. She chose Taupe, and you’ll see in the next couple of posts, how perfectly it matches her room. Whenever I see a color palette, I let my mind wander with possibilities. If I had to choose, I’d choose the Berry, Burgundy… and the variegated colorway, Enchanted. But this isn’t my blanket.

Enchanted colorway

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Irresistible yarn in Taupe, super quick to knit up. The knitted rows are still manageable and easy to maneuver.


You’re not going to have this issue when knitting a cowl, a throw, or a vest, as these smaller items are still light to hold on to and knit at the same time. I’m knitting a bigger blanket here, and while this sounds cumbersome, it’s still very doable.

Look how huge this basket is! It measures 23” in diameter and 9” high on the side. I placed a lap quilt in it to make sure the yarn wouldn’t get caught. You can also place it in a plastic bin, or simply store it in a spare room.

I love the texture and softness of this blanket! My daughter will be so warm this winter. Look how little the 330ml cup looks together with the ball of Irresistible yarn!

What's the best time of year to knit with Irresistible yarn? Well, that depends. I’m not one to knit according to the weather: I say any time of the year is a great time to knit something up with Irresistible yarn! I knit this blanket in the middle of summer, and the heat didn’t bother me. If it bothers you, then knit it when it’s cooler. You can also take breaks – knit 1 ball every other day, which equals 1 ball per hour – less if you knit faster! Really it’s up to you, but it is a quick knit!

Interesting

Use a very big basket or a bin to store your jumbo knit project in progress…or leave it in a spare room.

When you remove the label from the ball, the yarn takes the shape of a ‘round’ ball! That is so cool, I had to share it…

My daughter’s blanket is very soft and textured at the same time. I placed a cup of 11oz to show you how big the ball of yarn is, and how big the knit is too. The blanket is very soft and textured at the same time.

Storage Another thing to consider is where to store this project while in progress? Lucky for me, I’ve had this basket laying around forever in our storage room that I never gave away. I always had this sensation I would need it one day! If this isn’t serendipity, I don’t know what is!

Care With this all being said about the size and everything, I’m not about to wash it by hand. Smaller items can be washed by hand in a laundry tub/sink. But I’ll send this blanket to the cleaners.

Irresistible yarn in Taupe. When you remove the label the oblong ball takes the shape of a round ball.

This is what the label says about care: hand wash, lay flat to dry, do not iron, do not bleach, dry clean using P solvents. Sounds good to me!

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Casting off and weaving in ends, a tip at your fingertips for jumbo yarn I hope you’ll try at least one project using Red Heart Boutique Irresistible Yarn, a VERY soft and trendy yarn. It’s always a good thing to say, “Yes! I tried it!” So what about joining the yarns, casting off and weaving in ends?

Joining yarn I found that of all the joining methods, the one that seemed to keep this very soft, 90% acrylic yarn together was the butt join. I also left 6” tail for the finishing ball and the new ball. However, before moving to the next stitches, I knotted the 2 strands together to make sure it wouldn’t unravel during the rest of the knitting. GASP! Knotting yarn in knitting is very frowned upon, I know, but when you look at the back, the yarn is so textured, you can hardly see it! Eye-spy with my little eye a knot? No not really, what is slightly visible is the path of the woven ends.

Irresistible yarn has no grip, slides easily if not secured in this case. I could release the knot when the blanket is all done and weave in the ends, but I know this blanket will be well loved, and don’t want the stitch coming undone eventually; so the knot stays. You can see the path I took to weave in the ends, but the knot is hard to find. It’s like knitting eyespy…

Casting off It only took about 4 stitches to figure out that it isn’t necessary to use my left hand needle to move the second last stitch on my right needle over the last stitch when casting off. All I had to do was grab the yarn with the fingers of my left hand. I found this made for a faster cast off. There’s my jumbo tip for casting off jumbo yarn!

Weaving in the ends Weaving in the ends using a cable needle when you don’t have a yarn needle big enough to accommodate jumbo yarn like Red Heart’s Irresistible yarn

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I didn’t have a yarn needle big enough for Irresistible yarn, so ingeniously, I tried using a cable needle to pass the yarn through the back loops of the work. You could also use a short, circular needle in a smaller size.


After a while, I realized I didn’t need the cable needle or any other needle – I just used my fingertips to pass the yarn through the loops. Again, so simple and so fast! Here’s the finished blanket. The color and the jumbo knit are so appropriate for my daughter’s room! Knit up in Taupe, it brings in the feeling of the outdoors. My daughter is a nature and animal lover, if you haven’t guessed by now… About 3 years ago, she spent a few months researching nature photos, as well as messages of inspiration that had a vintage look. She had around 300 of them printed out in 4” x 6” (thank God for Costco…), then made a collage to cover a whole wall in her room. That’s what you see in the backdrop. She found (… long story) a massive painter’s board with a picture of massive tree trunks on it and placed it in the adjoining wall. You get a sense of being in the outdoors. The blanket knit up with Red Heart Boutique Irresistible yarn completes the look.

Ta-Da! Huge blanket, knit up very fast with the very soft Red Heart Irresistible yarn

300 pictures printed out in 4” x 6”, in a collage to cover a whole wall in her room. Bringing the outdoors in.

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2 home decor patterns to knit using Red Heart Boutique Irresistible yarn

I’m very happy with how the over-sized blanket turned out. Have you chosen the colors for your knitting project using Red Heart Boutique Irresistible Yarn? It’s super trendy and quick! Here are some super quick projects that will add punch or comfort to your living space.

The over-sized blanket in a modern setting

Oversized-Cable Pillow

Photo courtesy of Red Heart

Knit up in the rich Burgundy color, using an eyecatching cable. It can be knit up in an afternoon using 4 balls of Irresistible yarn.

Huge blanket, knit up very fast with the very soft Red Heart’s Irresistible yarn for my daughter

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Oversized Cable Pillow in Burgundy


Cool Comforts Knit Throw Revisited This is the throw I introduced a few pages ago, where I used the instructions to gauge my daughter’s jumbo blanket. This is a great basic throw that could be modified in so many ways.

Basketweave Throw Oh yes, looks and IS really snuggly…Knit up in Denim (nothing says comfort and cool like denim, right?) this throw will take about 9 hours to knit up after casting on only 32 stitches! The basketweave stitch is at the same time easy to knit with added interest. It measures 48” x 50”.

• Make it smaller, and use it as a rug for your bedroom or den. It’s thick enough to have a soft and inviting feeling for feet. I would place a thin layer of carpet rubber underneath to avoid slipping and make it extra plush. • Make it as instructed and incorporate the cable from the Oversized-Cabled Pillow I linked to in the previous page. (Buy extra yarn – the cable will gobble it up!) • Make it a rug for your favorite furry family member. You’ll very likely find more patterns on the internet that you can use with Red Heart Boutique Irresistible yarn to make your living space truly irresistible.

Photo courtesy of Red Heart

Keep reading for 3 quick to make knitwear items.

Basketweave Blanket in Denim

Cool Comfort Throw is versatile pattern in which you can use the information in these instructions to work a smaller or larger blanket, as the one featured in this week’s posts.

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3 knitwear patterns to make using Red Heart Boutique Irresistible yarn

Enchanted colorway

So far, we took a look at what sort of projects can be knit up with jumbo yarn to enhance the WOW factor in our living space. Before we wrap up this feature, let's take a look at 3 knitwear patterns that can be knit so quickly you’ll be done with your Holiday Season gifts in very little time using Irresistible yarn. Do you remember? I clocked my knitting time to 1 ball per hour, you can use this to gauge how long it will take on average to knit all the items in this feature. In the back of the label of Irresistible yarn is a pattern for the cowl that’s on the front of it. It took me 1 hour to make it. Worked up in garter stitch in the photo below is what it looks like in Taupe. This is the 15th ball of yarn I decided not to use for the blanket.

The cowl pattern from the back of the Red Heart’s Irresistible yarn label, knit up in Taupe

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I’d prefer this cowl in any of the variegated colorways for more interest. The variegation adds pop with bits of colors here and there. Out of 20 colors, Irresistible comes in 6 variegated colorways, so there’s lots from which to choose.


Speaking of variegated options, here are 2 accessories that use variegated yarn differently. The one in the photo on the right is called Quick to Warm Poncho and, after all I said about Irresistible yarn, we know why it’s called ‘quick’. You’ll need 4 balls for this pattern. First, let me say how much I LOVE this colorway, purples are my thing – there, got it out of my system.

Color Dip Scarf best described as the best of both worlds, using Irresistible yarn’s solid and variegated colors, adding just the right amount of pop to this trendy accessory. And it will keep you warm! Start now, and you’ll be set for winter.

Quick to Warm Poncho knit up in Red Heart’s Irresistible yarn in Enchanted colorway

Photos courtesy of Red Heart

Second, this lacy pattern lets the yarn breath, making this jumbo yarn appear lighter than when it’s knit up into a blanket or throw. Knit up this super, fun and trendy poncho in the color that makes you quake!

This scarf uses 2 balls of Irresistible yarn, using one solid and one variegated color. There have been so many suggestions on the fashion runways on how to wear jumbo yarn knitted items. All you need to do is an image search on the internet to be inspired. Enjoy the creative process using Red Heart Boutique Irresistible yarn. Happy knitting – always.

Carla A. Canonico

Editor-in-chief, KNITmuch.com KNITmuch.com

Color Dip Scarf knit up in Red Heart’s Irresistible yarn in Taupe and Eucalyptus colorway but of course I would knit mine up in Midnight and Enchanted…

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4 reasons to wear knits made with Creme de la Creme yarn

Michelle Nguyen

A couple of garter stitch wash cloths made with Creme de la Creme, in the color French Country Ombre

Red Heart Creme de la Creme is marketed for dish cloths, but throughout this series we’re looking at garments you can make with this durable cotton yarn. Let's start by assessing your own patterns and adapting them to cotton, and see why you should wear cotton in the summer or tropical. The number one reason is… it’s hot in the summer (surprise!). Cotton is a light, breathable fabric that doesn’t trap hot air close to your body. It can be knitted to whatever gauge you choose, dense or lacy. If you want to make a lacy, open weave tank and just wear a light camisole underneath

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it, you’ll have a very breezy shirt. If your gauge is tighter there’ll be less airflow through your garment, which would be perfect to wear in drafty air-conditioned situations. I highly suggest a swatch to see how your knitted fabric is going to look. If you want something very cool, but that you can’t see through, knit a stockinette stitch swatch with needles one or two sizes larger than the one suggested on the ball band (US 7 [4.5mm]). Once blocked, your swatch should be very pliable in your hands, almost as if it's melting.


Cotton makes such a great dish cloth because it absorbs water and dries quickly. A garment made with Creme de la Creme will absorb any sweat or dampness on your skin and also dry quickly. This makes it excellent for a garment like a tank top or bathing suit cover. An interesting factoid for you is that sweat doesn’t smell bad. It only begins to smell when it mixes with bacteria on our skin. Everyone’s natural bacteria is unique. Stress, exertion and other factors create more bacteria. When we wear a garment that wicks the moisture away and dries it, the odors are minimized. Cotton yarn is traditionally dyed in lighter colors. Lighter colors reflect more light and therefore don’t get as hot as darker colors in the summer. Creme de la Creme has a myriad of colors, some of which are dark. This is impressive because cotton is slow to take up dye so it’s difficult to get deep saturated colors. All fibers take dye differently, natural animal fiber (like wool or silk) absorbs dye like a dehydrated plant taking water. However, cotton is a little more resistant. This is why it’s rare to see cotton yarn dyed in navy, black, or dark green.

These are three of my favorite colors of Creme de la Creme. From left to right, Snow Violet Ombre, Wood Violet, and French Country Ombre.

Cotton is the ideal yarn to knit summer-like garments, it can be adapted to almost any pattern with the same weight yarn. Knitting can be seen as a seasonal hobby, but it’s all about adjusting your projects and materials.

Knitting is a very relaxing pastime, so knitting your summer garments will help reduce anxiety.

Photos by Michelle Nguyen KNITmuch | issue 5

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Knitting a layered lace dress that also doubles as a bathing suit cover up Red Heart’s pattern for the Layered Lace Dress is a beautiful addition to the free patterns on their website. This garment can be dressed up or down for any occasion. It’s lace, so you’ll have to wear something underneath it, but that could be anything from a slip to a pair of jeans to a bathing suit! Knitted in black and paired with a black tank dress, this could even be your new LBD! (little black dress) The pattern on the skirt is a variation of the Horseshoe Lace pattern. It’s quite a simple one to memorize. The top section is an eyelet pattern that could be worked in all stockinette stitch for a smoother, closed in look. Both stitch patterns are combinations of yarn overs and decrease stitches, so there’s nothing too fancy.

I love the combination of the two different patterns, though. It adds a bit of texture to your knitting and breaks up the process of only doing one type of stitch. Changing up that kind of stitch in the home stretch of a project is one of my favorite things. It makes it seem like you’re really close to the end.

Here's what the lace looks like in a variegated yarn. Knitting a washcloth in this color (Old Blue Jeans Ombre) would self stripe, but the dress will make the yarn simply look variegated.

For more information about Horseshoe Lace pattern, see the May 2017 posts for the exquisite Horseshoe Wedding Stole pattern on KNITmuch.com.

Photo of the Layered Lace Dress courtesy of Red Heart

A close up of the eyelet patterns. A swatch is an excellent place to examine the differences in the patterns, and how they interact.

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Swatch photos by Michelle Nguyen


The way this pattern is designed, it knits up very quickly. Whenever there’s a lace pattern that is comprised of 4-6 rows, I tend to think of it in chunks – a chunk being the pattern repeat. It isn’t like a regular knitting pattern where you think of it row by row in your mind. It may be a psychological game I’m playing with myself, but to me, these types of patterns seem to flow better that way. What you wear underneath the Layered Lace Dress will determine how fancy you’re going to be. If you wear something underneath with a little bit of sparkle, you’ll be ready for a lavish night out. Putting the Layered Lace Dress under a bathing suit will make for a very casual look, as in the picture in the next page.

Layered Lace Dress by Lorna Miser was originally the Cocktail Cover Up perfect for the beach or pool area. Knit up in Creme de la Creme is ideal.

This pattern was first featured in the Summer 2015 issue of A Needle Pulling Thread Magazine as the Cocktail Cover Up. The pattern works perfectly as a bathing suit cover up, and knit up in the Creme de la Creme yarn, is ideal for the beach or pool. The yarn color choices might also determine its appropriate events. The denim colorway in the photo above will be great over jeans or a denim skirt for casual wear. Done in black, you can add a statement necklace, an under dress, and glitzy shoes and be all set for an elegant dinner party. There are enough colors in Creme de la Creme to make one for every occasion, and, at just around $50 to make this dress, it’s affordable enough that you can make more than one!

Michelle Nguyen

How ideal for the beach, just enough cover and pretty lace pattern.

Photos this page by A Needle Pulling Thread

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Knitting with Prose self-striping sock yarn

Charles Voth

I’ll be knitting with Prose Sock Yarn. It’s a superwash wool yarn that is produced by Wisdom Yarns. You can see the “Foxy” colorway. I really like the blend of warm grays and taupe with the bright stripe of a warm, foxy orange. Prose Sock Yarn is wound in these oblong skeins, but they aren’t official pull-skeins. On my first skein, I had no problem finding the end on the inside so I could pull it out, but with the other one, about ¼ of the yarn came out in a lump, which untangled easily. Prose sock yarn, in this fun colorway called vegetate. reminds me of a backyard garden at fall harvest. There’s eggplant, red cabbage, squash, sunflowers, pumpkin, and sage leaves.

There are a generous 459 yards in each 100g skein, enough to make a pair of men’s socks, not to cover an entire men’s calf, but not an anklet sock either. It comes in 6 colorways (scroll down on the linked paged), and while I know that some guys only wear gray, black, navy and brown socks, my sons and I would happily wear socks in any of these colors. I’m sure that women would like all the colors, too. I just read the above and see that I’ve used the word “skein” a couple of times, and this reminds me of 2 recent discussions I’ve had with friends at my knit-night group. First, when is a ball of yarn a skein, and second, is it pronounced skeen or skayne. So I’ve done a little research. Lisa Shroyer, the editor of Interweave Knits magazine has illustrated and described a comprehensive list of different “put-ups” of yarn and what they’re called and I thought I would share it with you here.

Start knitting now to wear “Foxy” socks with your back-to-school or fall outfits! It’s also perfect to wear with your khaki’s.

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Lisa Shroyer’s helpful infographic showing 12 types of put-ups or formats for yarn.


So in fact, Prose Sock Yarn is a bullet skein. As far as how to say “skein”. The way it is pronounced varies by geographic region. Why a given pronunciation was adopted by different regions is of course a topic that a linguist may enjoy pursuing, but we won’t go into that. For example, why do the British say petrol, but in North America we say gasoline or gas? Why do Canadians and some folks from northern states say “pop” while east and west coast people say “soda” and in the south it’s called “coke,” even if you’re drinking a lemon flavored soft drink? Here’s a link to a linguistic map of soft drink names. Language does vary from region to region…but let’s look at skein.

Need a more subdued colorway to go with corporate or tech-colors in your wardrobe? Use the “Menswear” colorway of Prose sock yarn to fill that void and still have a stylish sock collection. The boxes inserted after the photo was taken highlight “mistakes” that produce intentional flecks in the yarn.

Do you remember this poem? “i” before “e”, except after “c” or if sounded as “ay” as in neighbor and weigh that means that skein pronounced as /skayne/ not /skeen/ Regional differences aside, I haven’t met an English speaker from anywhere that says “welcome to our kneeborhood” or “how much does that bag of potatoes wee?” So I’m going to say it’s safe to say that “skayne” for skein is the more accurate way of saying it. Now that we’ve settled that, I’ll tell you more about Prose sock yarn. You can see I’ve highlighted some specks of different colors that appear within the stripes. Some of the colorways have more of these tweedy spots than others. These “irregularities” give the appearance that this yarn is dyed by hand, rather than on a painting machine. Don’t think that there’s a problem with your skein – it’s only part of the dye job. Prose sock yarn is made of 75% superwash wool and 25% nylon and is a 4-ply sock weight. It can be worked on your preferred size of sock needles or you can play around with it to get the gauge you want. For a project I’ll share with you a little further on in the week, I actually knit it with US 6 [4mm] needles. Here’s what the swatch looks like: --->

Prose is a sturdy workhorse – a 4-ply sock yarn spun out of superwash wool and nylon.

Mystery swatch! Turn the page to see what I’ll do with this cool mix of twisted and not so twisted stitches.

Photos by Charles Voth KNITmuch | issue 5

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7 go-to recipes for successful toe-up socks I delved into Prose’s colorways, structure, and characteristics. Now we’ll look at knitting toe-up socks. I’m working on a pair of cuff-down socks. I keep asking myself why I did this. I mean, I love toe-up socks. I always knit toe-up socks. I haven’t knit cuffdown socks for years. I guess I just wanted to try something different. But I’m going back to toe-up socks next time. I thought I’d be really smart and do some research and increase my knowledge about toe-up socks and have a lot of wisdom to share with you about knitting toe-up socks with our Wisdom yarn Prose. Then I read a lot and took some notes and realized, there’s a thing called a listicle, so instead of reinventing the wheel, I’m sharing a list of 7 great web pages about toe-up socks.

A sneak peek at my cuff-down sock in Foxy Prose!

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I love the width of the stripes in Prose, not too thick, but more than 1 round’s worth.

Wisdom yarns free toe-up sock is a no-nonsense pattern akin to what some knitters call “vanilla socks.”


1. The free pattern that comes with Prose yarn is a no-nonsense, straight forward toe-up sock pattern with no deep analysis or tricky math. 2. Cassy’s anatomy of a toe-up sock heel made with a heel flap is a very in-depth review of how to make a heel fit your foot in the most comfortable way possible, as in the picture below from Knit the Hell Out.

5. Louise Tilbrook shares some ideas and tips as in her photo below on easy and well-fitting toe-up socks with self-striping yarn, perfect for knitting up a pair with Prose.

Stitch markers and good notes go a long way to making successful heel flaps (Photo by Knit the Hell Out)

This heel would look awesome in Prose! I’m going to cast on my next pair soon! (Photo by Louise Tilbrook Designs)

3. To add a little texture to your sock pattern, try Hermoine’s everyday sock recipe by Erica Lueder. It’s a great way to use up small scraps of sock yarn that complement other sock yarn with less yardage.

6. Fleegle really gets into the shaping of gussets in this post.

4. Tanis shares 3 different short row heels that she likes to use with toe-up socks, as in the photo below by Tanis Fiber Arts.

7. Clare studies toe shaping and different cast-ons to make your toes super comfy in their toe-up socks. Keep reading as I’ll share more about my cuffdown socks.

These short-row heels seem to fit just fine! I’m going to try these out! (Photo by Tanis Fiber Arts)

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Things I will and won’t do again in cuff-down knitted socks… I'm knitting cuff-down socks with Wisdom Yarns’ Prose. I summed up 7 great sites with lots of information about toe-up socks. Now let's look at cuff-down socks and blurring the boundaries between stripes.

Then I tried to work a fancy cross over tuck stitch into lace eyelets over garter stitch ridges.

I worked tuck stitches into yarn-over eyelets created several rounds earlier. (light gray stripe)

Prose would work as a wrist warmer or for mittens and gloves as well as for socks. I’m just sparing you from seeing my toes.

I’m wearing this sock on my arm; suffice it to say, I’m not a foot model. In these cuff-down socks, I’m trying to smudge the edges between the stripes with different techniques. The first one was to use purl rounds to create garter stitch ridges right where the yarn changed color. I’m not impressed. You can see the ridges between the first light gray stripe and the dark gray stripe. Just looks like the wrong side of a new color join.

I tried several ways to blend the edges of the stripes. The first was to use purl rounds to create garter stitch ridges.

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This is kind of cute, but the crossed tuck stitches were supposed to be in the orange and cross over the light gray into the eyelets. This didn’t work for me, partially because the light gray stripe was too narrow–one more garter stitch ridge may have done the trick–partially because I started the eyelet row too early. The other reason I didn’t like this approach was that it really leaves a raised bumpy ridge around the sock. These will end up frogged or adopted by my wife Pam, because she likes the textural changes. Finally, the technique that I find works well and is closest to what I’m looking for are the lengthened slip stitches that I stretch over the garter stitch ridge. To do this, I knit stockinette rounds up to the point where I have enough yarn to make only one more round, then I work the following on an even number of stitches: *K1, knit 1 but wrap yarn twice; repeat from * around.

For the next round, I purl each knit stitch and for the double wrapped stitches, I slip them purlwise but with the yarn in back. This happens for two rounds. Then I knit the fourth round. This pulls the slipped double wrapped stitches up across 3 rounds and extends the first color across the ridges of the new color. It’s a fun and easy effect. But when I got to the heel, I decided to stop the blending for two reasons. First, the texture was actually annoying to me. I was that kid who hated storebought socks when they had that ridge of thread right by the toes, if you know what I mean. Second, with the widening of the instep and the short rows, the striping became less predictable.


This is a heel knit with a double series of German short rows.

Things I will and won’t do again in cuffdown socks… I won’t use German short rows for the heel and while I like them because they’re invisible for single ridges of short rows, I don’t like them when you need to have one ridge of short row turns immediately after the first to give the 90-degree change in the orientation of the sock. I’ll read the advice on short row heels from the round-up in the previous article again and try something else next time.

3 of the colors in the stripe sequence are missing because of the heel. There is a solution to this though, winding off a small amount of the same colors that would appear in the heel and use them to knit the heel so that when you resume the rest of the stitches, you still have those colors of stripes on stand-by.

Lastly, I did learn that I like the old Norwegian cast on or the twisted German cast on (it has several other names) for a really stretchy edge to my ribbing that easily gets past my instep and monster heel. So if I EVER knit a cuff-down sock again, I’ll definitely use it. For now, I’ll adopt it for any other item I knit in the round that starts with a band of ribbing. I’ll look at a completely different application for Prose yarn as we leave socks behind and explore dropped stitch lace.

I also have a high instep, so I usually increase a few stitches on the underside of the foot which gives a wider circumference for the gusset but doesn’t interfere with the neat decrease line created by paired gusset decreases; I’ll do this again. I lost 3 colors in the stripe sequence with this monster short-row heel. I recently watched a video podcast by Sockmatician (Episode 42b) and he discussed how he winds off a small amount of yarn to use for the heel so that the stripe sequence from the cuff through the instep and down the gusset and towards the toes is never interrupted. Unfortunately, I saw that episode too late and ended up with this, but I’ll try this next time.

Photos by Charles Voth

Here’s a great tip for socks headed to a wearer with a high instep: hide a few increases under the heel to allow the sock to rise up over the instep. Four or (in this case) six stitches will give the wearer just the right amount of ease to slip that sock on and off without a struggle!

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How dropped stitches create a knitted lace pattern – surprisingly beautiful Dropped stitch lace consists of planning to unravel certain stitches in your knitted fabric ahead of time to create that familiar “ladder” that forms when you drop a stitch and the ones below it slip out of the embrace of the ones above. It’s possible to work dropped stitch lace ladders in short sections that are deliberately placed to create a lace texture in just certain sections of a finished piece or across a whole set of rows, or it’s possible to work the dropped stitch lace all over an entire knit fabric. I know you’d love to see an example of what I’m talking about, but it’s going to be a surprise. This Prose colorway called “Menswear” makes a great men’s sock, but the colors are too exciting to hide inside shoes, so I thought you’d like to see what it looks like knit up in dropped stitch lace.

What you see in this swatch is the precursor to dropped stitch lace. All the stitches are knit and it just looks like regular stockinette. However, I’m sure you can see there are some irregularities in the fabric and if you look closely, you’ll even see that some of the stitches look uneven or twisted. To prevent the whole lot of stitches to simply unravel into a pile of knots and kinked yarn, it’s important to flank either side of the dropped stitch lace stitches with twisted knit stitches on the right side of the fabric and twisted purl stitches on the wrong side.

What looks like regular stockinette stitch actually contains sections of stitches that are waiting in line to be dropped! But fear not! The whole piece will not unravel.

The other irregularities you’re seeing in this swatch are a series of multiple increases and decreases which may look like flattened nupps or bobbles. I'll reveal in the next article what happens when I drop all my stitches. And now the requisite artsy photo of the swatch.

Photos by Charles Voth

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For now, try the following swatch and unravel some dropped stitch lace yourself! Cast on 17 stitches. Knit 4 ridges of garter stitch. Row 5: K1, [yo, k2tog] across–9 sts and 8 yarn overs. Row 6: P1tbl, [p1, p1tbl] across. Row 7: K1tbl, [k1, k1tbl] across. Repeat Rows 6 and 7 to desired length ending with an even row. Next Row: K1tbl, [drop next st off left-hand needle, yo, k1tbl] across. Knit 4 ridges of garter stitch.

The waves and tucks in this swatch will become an important feature of this dropped stitch lace motif.

Cast off. Abbreviations k= knit; p = purl; yo = yarn over; tbl = through back loop; tog = together; st(s) = stitch(es) Now, wrestle with the swatch and force those dropped stitches to ladder right down to the bottom of the swatch! Do you like what you see?

Every other stitch is twisted both on knit and purl rows to provide stability to the untwisted stitches when they are unraveled.

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What does dropped stitch lace look like?

I’ve been writing about knitting socks and dropped stitch lace using Wisdom Yarn's Prose. Now I’ll reveal what the dropped stitch lace looks like after you drop all the stitches. Here’s a before picture.

This is a “before” shot of what dropped stitch lace looks like. Get ready for all to be revealed.

And this is what it looks like when I have dropped every other stitch on this row and made a yarn over in each one’s place.

Unblocked dropped stitch lace isn’t really anything to write home about, but get that knitting onto a blocking board or foam and see everything transform into a new look!

In the above unblocked swatch, there isn’t much that is special there, is there? Well, this is one type of lace fabric that truly does benefit from the magic of blocking.

Photos by Charles Voth

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This is what dropped stitch lace looks like when it’s blocked. To add some interest, I had to add these little leaf-like motifs that disrupt the ladders and create an over all polka-dot-like look to the lace.

Prose yarn was perfect for this lace and for blocking because of the wool content. I know that it would have a great “memory” for its blocking measurements and sure enough, the final piece stayed as it should after removing it from the blocking board.

One important aspect of knitting dropped stitch lace is making sure you count your stitches and that you don’t set the work down mid-row and come back to it later. As you can see, I have a column of stitches that I can’t drop. At the top of the swatch (out of the frame of the photo) I worked the wrong stitches together when I was making a leaf motif and I just couldn’t undo that column of stitches below and it affected the whole works. But I remain optimistic that with this pattern you’ll be able to make a lovely version of this lace as a rectangular stole with some colorful self-striping yarn like Prose. To make this swatch, you need to cast on 27 stitches, but if you’d like to make a cowl or a stole that is a little wider, simply cast on a multiple of 16 stitches, plus an extra 11. Use a long-tailed cast on. Set-up Row 1: K2-tbl, *drop next st off LH needle, yo, ssk; rep from * across, to last st, k1-tbl. (You should now have 15 sts–or a multiple of 8, plus 7) Set-up Row 2: P2-tbl, [p1, p1-tbl] across to last st, p1-tbl.

The cast on edge for knitted lace is a little tricky. My first efforts lacked enough “give”.

If you’ve been following pretty much any of my blog posts on KNITmuch, you’ll know that I like to learn from my swatches, as they are some of the best teachers in the knitting world. As you can see above, my cast on was a bit too tight, despite several tries and experiments with different cast on edges. I finally came up with a solution which will be in the pattern below.

When you make a mistake in dropped stitch lace, there really isn’t an easy fix.

Row 1: K-tbl twice, [k1, k-tbl] 6 times, k-tbl. Row 2: P-tbl twice, [p1, p-tbl] 6 times, p-tbl. Rows 3-4: Repeat rows 1-2. Row 5: K-tbl twice, [k1, (k-tbl, yo, k-tbl) in next st, k1, k-tbl] 3 times, k-tbl. Row 6: P-tbl twice, [p1, p-tbl] 9 times, p-tbl Row 7: K-tbl twice, [k1, k-tbl] 9 times, k-tbl. Row 8: P-tbl twice, [p1, p-tbl] 9 times, p-tbl. Row 9: K-tbl twice, [k1, s2tog-k1-p2sso, k1, k-tbl] 3 times, k-tbl. Row 10: P-tbl twice, [p1, p-tbl] 6 times, p-tbl. Row 11: K-tbl twice, k1, k-tbl, [k1, (k-tbl, yo, k-tbl) in next st, k1, k-tbl] twice, k1, k-tbl twice. Row 12: P-tbl twice, [p1, p-tbl] 8 times, p-tbl. Row 13: K-tbl twice, [k1, k-tbl] 8 times, k-tbl. Row 14: P-tbl twice, [p1, p-tbl] 8 times, p-tbl. Row 15: K-tbl twice, k1, k-tbl, [k1, s2tog-k1-p2sso, k1, k-tbl] twice, k1, k-tbl twice. Row 16: P-tbl twice, [p1, p-tbl] 6 times, p-tbl. Rows 17-28: Repeat rows 5-16. (The number of times you wish to desired length) Row 29: K-tbl twice, [k1, k-tbl] 6 times, k-tbl. Row 30: P-tbl twice, [p1, p-tbl] 6 times, p-tbl. Last Row: Repeat Set-up Row 1. Cast-off loosely purlwise. KNITmuch | issue 5

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Abbreviations k = Knit; k-tbl = Knit through the back loop; p = Purl; p-tbl = Purl through the back loop; s2tog-k1-p2sso = Slip 2 stitches together knitwise, knit 1, then pass slipped stitches over; (k1tbl, yo, k1-tbl) = Knit through back loop, leaving the stitch on the needle, then yarn over, and then knit into the same stitch through back loop. If you’d rather work from a chart, you’ll find one below. The set-up rows are not included, though.

It’s like magic, really, drop stitches in the right places and you get quite the dropped stitch knitted lace.

I hope you’ve enjoyed our foray into using Prose sock yarn for toe-up socks and for dropped stitch lace.

Charles Voth Dropped Stitch Lace CHART

twitter.com/stitchstud charlesvothdesigns.ca

This easy-to-follow chart may be just the incentive you need to give dropped stitch lace a try.

Photos by Charles Voth

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Revive your knitting with marled gradient yarns!

Charles Voth

We’ll be exploring Classic Shades Frenzy by Universal Yarn. This soft bulky yarn is full of color and the way the yarn was spun makes it easy to knit without any of the struggles of some multicolor knitting techniques because it is a marled gradient yarn. I've blogged about Classic Shades Frenzy before, but there are new colors that deserve some limelight, and I’ve thought of some patterns, techniques, and other “yarny” info that will be interesting to many of you. 4 new exciting colors of Class Shades Frenzy, spun with a marled gradient construction, will inspire you to make memorable knits.

We call yarn a “marled yarn” when either fibers of different colors or plies of different colors are twisted together to create a barber pole effect. A gradient yarn is one where one color transitions to another gradually, often with intermediate shades between the two colors. When knit, these yarns bring a tweedy look to the fabric and can create visual surprises when one color moves to the next. Classic Shades Frenzy, is a single ply yarn, usually called a “singles yarn”. We’ll explore that aspect of this yarn. I’d like to introduce you to four new and exciting colors in Frenzy.

Gradients provide beautiful color transitions and a marled twist that incorporates different colors of the fibers gives your knitted fabric a delightful tweedy appearance.

Photos courtesy of Universal Yarns

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First, let’s look at Botanica, which is inspired by a lush English garden filled with blossoms of different hues, intensities, and shades. I can see the colors of yellow and multicolored irises, lavender, foxglove, and pink valerian, the pure white of allysum, and many different greens. There’s a play of light and shadows in the yarn, too. When I look at Quarry, I see a rock face that is catching the last rays of light on a summer’s twilight. The mix of charcoal, black, and silver, with the splashes of violet give me a feeling of strength and calm. Madras contains the colors that are quintessentially the colors of the light plaid cotton fabric from India. While the original Madras fabric was mostly red, charcoal, and off-white, there were many more colors and color combinations once this fabric was adopted by designers in the UK and the US. The blues and warm reds are typical of many Madras plaids.

The warm tones of this blend and the muted contrast with cream and charcoal elicit the beauty of an English cottage garden.

The Fern colorway of Frenzy takes me back to my university years, when I studied at University of British Columbia in Vancouver, BC. The campus is set in the middle of a Pacific rain forest, through which I biked to and from classes. The mosses and ferns and raindrops created a lush, moody environment, which was perfect for stopping to read or to ponder as I pedaled by. Color is important as it can trigger both memory and emotion. It can also inspire us. The way these colors are blended into gradients and marled together really makes this yarn unique. Which colors of Classic Shades Frenzy inspire you to knit?

The fern colorway is the most inspiring to me, and you’ll see it knit up in creative ways in this series of articles.

Many images come to mind from this swatch knitted in the quarry colorway. What about a romantic vampire story with moonlight shining on a cold stone wall of a castle?

The warm, spicy, terracotta reds and cool summer sky and indigo blues create a perfect contrast in the Madras colorway of Classic Shades Frenzy yarn.

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Don’t get unspun by single-ply yarns! There are many yarns that are single-ply yarns (referred to as “singles yarns”) on the market. This means that the combed fibers are aligned neatly and then twisted on themselves tightly enough so that they hold onto each other when pulled. The force of the pull cannot be much more than what a knitter uses when she pulls some yarn off a ball that is rolling away from her on the floor, or the yarn could come apart. However, single-ply yarns are not usually so fragile that you have to worry about them coming apart while you knit – they have been spun so that the garments you make with them will stand up to wear.

Top: Botanica and Madras. Bottom: Quarry and Fern. Great new colorways of Classic Shades Frenzy’s soft, bulky single-ply yarn.

The fibers in almost every processed yarn are carded and/or combed into long rope-like strands which are called sliver. You can see some pictures of sliver on slide 7 of this Slideshare presentation Slideshare.com Conversion of fibre into yarn by E. Raja. Note the fourth and fifth examples (from left to right) that are called drawn sliver. When the mills that make Classic Shades Frenzy prepare the drawn sliver, they add in the different segments of colored combed sliver, with some overlap and then draw them through a machine that is reminiscent of an old-fashion washing machine with rollers.

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All yarns go through the “singles process.” Yarns with multiple plies have 2 or more plies twisted together, usually in the opposite direction to the way the singles were spun. Plying singles together makes an even sturdier yarn. The number of twists and the direction of the twists are what give different yarns their own characteristic looks. These actions also affect their performance.

Yarn mills have sophisticated drawing rollers systems that work on a similar principle to vintage wringer washing machines.


I remember getting my finger caught between those wringers when I was a youngster, and the pinch was unpleasant. Fortunately, fibers don’t protest or get hurt by these machines, but benefit from going through the rollers to be drawn out into thinner and thinner “ropes” which are called roving. I don’t know if the mill that makes Frenzy adds the different colors manually or whether or not the machines are smart enough to dole out the different color segments, then line them up to create both the marled look and the gradual gradations from color to color. I’ve done this by hand on my spinning wheel, but it would be so exciting to see it done on a grand scale. There’s enough variation within a skein of Frenzy and from skein to skein that I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that human hands are involved.

Sturdy single-ply yarn that results from pencil roving.

The roving is then processed through a spinning mill (sometimes referred to as a spinning Jenny) to tighten the twist and set it so that it has elasticity, bounce, and enough strength to be knit by us. I “unspin” a segment of Frenzy, and it’s tougher than I thought. It took a while to get it to untwist and stay untwisted. You can see the segment where the gold fibers and blue fibers were overlapped to appear green while so fluffy and loose, yet look marled (or candy-cane-like) where they're spun tightly. I untwisted a section of Classic Shades Frenzy to show how the roving would have looked before any twist was added to it.

Now that we’ve looked at the construction of Classic Shades Frenzy, we’ll review several free patterns that you can knit.

Photos by Charles Voth KNITmuch | issue 5

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Free pattern roundup for Classic Shades Frenzy yarn One of my favorite Classic Shades yarns, Frenzy, has new colorways, Quarry, Botanica, Madras and Fern. The design team at Universal Yarn appears to be just as inspired by this yarn as they’ve designed many more free patterns.

The Madras colorway of Classic Shades Frenzy will look amazing in any of the free patterns I round up today!

With 3 to 5 balls of Frenzy, you can knit this beautiful “Sprite” vest, a perfect pattern for layering over jeans and a short or long sleeved t-shirt. The pattern comes in 4 sizes up to a 2X. The open peplum has a lovely lace border on it.

Fringe, twisted stitches, and multicolored yarn make this poncho-style vest an updated classic.

This roana wrapvest called the Special Twist vest will be great for a walk in the woods. Shown in the Attic Light colorway, I’d be tempted to knit it in Fern. To achieve this textured fabric, you use 3 different ways to twist a stitch. Turn heads with this feminine vest in any of Classic Shades Frenzy’s 14 colorways.

Photos courtesy of Universal Yarns

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This open-lace of the Dragon Lady shawl almost looks like chains of delicate crochet, but it is knit for sure. The scalloped edges come to dragon-winglike points. I would wear this as a mega scarf knit in Quarry. See it knit up in 3 different colorways. Would you rather wear vertical stripes? This sweater is knit side-to-side. It comes in 6 sizes, up to 3X. To me it’s a unisex sweater and would look great in Fern. I’m adding it to my knit-it-for-myselfeventually list.

Wear “dragon wing” lace to jazz up a casual outfit, or wear it wrapped several times around your neck as a cowl.

In the Stair-step Tunic, the horizontal bands of gradient color interplay with the multi-tiered columns of cables, creating a subtle woven effect. Its classic shawl-collar and V-neck opening offer a more traditional look. I hope you’ve been inspired to knit one of these lovely pieces with Classic Shades Frenzy. Let's continue with 2 other amazing ideas for knitting with this marled gradient singles yarn! Turn the page.

Varying lengths of cables stemming from the hem of the body create movement throughout the sweater.

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Eyes will turn to gaze at your chevron knits with this stitch pattern I want to share with you a technique that suits Classic Shades Frenzy by Universal Yarn, very well because the color gradations are perfect for lots of chevron stitch patterns. One of my favorite things to do with self-striping or gradient yarns is to interrupt the striping effect with a texture. A little more than a year ago we looked at the eyelash stitch. I’m revisiting this technique, but this time, I’ve paired it with chevrons to add directionality to the fabric. I know fashion writers come up with a lot of fluffy words to describe garments and fabric, but “directionality” IS a real word. It describes stitches that run in different directions to the usual vertical. In a chevron pattern, sets of stitches run diagonally towards and away from center points (usually vertical columns) along the fabric.

The eyelash stitch paired with decreases makes a lovely chevron effect in the lush Fern colorway of Classic Shades Frenzy.

In my original article about the eyelash stitch, (KNITmuch Issue 2 page 18) I showed how to make a yarn-over eyelet as the “eye” of the stitch. This time, let's do something different, insert the righthand needle 4 rows below and under a column of horizontal strands between the two center columns of stockinette stitches in each repeat of the 14-stitch-wide pattern.

Paired decreases flank each eyelash stitch, pulling the fabric into a chevron pattern. With its sudden burst of increases, the eyelash stitch returns the stitch count to the original.

This isn’t a difficult stitch to execute, but there are two essential “moves” of which you need to be aware. First, identify the column of horizontal strands that will be the insertion point for the right-hand needle. I mark it with a locking stitch marker so that I don’t have to think and search for it later on.

Photos by Charles Voth

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Second, make sure that when you lift the loop through the fabric that you lengthen it both on the front (right-side or facing side) of the fabric, but also on the back. If you don’t, your rows will compress together. The “lashes” that on either side of the “eye” will be slightly more elongated than the center ones. If you aim to get the loops long enough to match to the height of the current row, you’ll be fine. Here’s the simple pattern. With Classic Shades Frenzy, I would suggest this stitch is ideal for a blanket or a scarf; 2 skeins and 44 or 58 stitches would be perfect for the latter.

Lifting loops from an eyelet in earlier rows creates this eyelash of bright strands against a coordinating color in the background.

Cast on a multiple of 14, plus 2 sts (1 for each edge)

Any of Classic Shades Frenzy’s colorways make an excellent candidate for an eyelash-chevron scarf!

Row 1: Knit. Row 2: Purl. Row 3: K1, [k2tog, k5, place locking stitch marker around horizontal strand between the 2 needles, k5, ssk] across to last st, k1. Row 4: Purl. Row 5: K1, [k2tog, k8, ssk] across to last st, k1. Row 6: Purl. Row 7: K1, *k2tog, m1, [k1, insert RH needle under marked horizontal strand 4 rows below and knit, drawing up a large loop to the height of the current row] 5 times, k1, ssk; rep from * across to last st, k1. Row 8: P1, *p2, [sl 1, p1] 5 times, p2; rep from * across to last st, p1. Repeat Rows 1 – 8 for pattern. Because we’re only adding 5 “lashes” in this stitch, but we are decreasing 3 stitches each side to make the chevron for a total of 6 fewer stitches per repeat, we add one more to make up the difference in Row 7. I hope you try this eyelash stitch pattern. It’s sure to turn eyes and heads your way as you walk past wearing a colorful Classic Shades Frenzy scarf. Keep reading as we’ll try our hand at knitting a square in the round…mind-bending! KNITmuch | issue 5

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This portable knitting project starts with a square, ends with a blanket Charles Voth

twitter.com/stitchstud charlesvothdesigns.ca

We’ve been looking at 4 fabulous new colorways in Classic Shades Frenzy by Universal yarn. If you look at all 14 colorways of this yarn, you’ll see that several of them have colors in common. This makes it really easy to use 1 or 2 balls of more than one color in the same project. I created a fast and portable knitting project – square blocks that you can finish in just over an hour. You won’t have to lug a huge project bag with you, and in several hours here and there, you’ll soon have enough squares to make a blanket. To knit this you need the yarn (I used Classic Shades Frenzy in the Fern and Harbor Lights colorways), and your favorite needle or needles to knit in the round. If you like magic loop, then you can have all the stitches on one needle. If you want to use double points, I’d recommend a set of 5 instead of 4, so you can have each side of the square on its own needle. My preferred method is 2 short circular needles, and I divide the number of stitches in half.

Blocks knit in the round and seamed with locking mattress stitch create this unique look, with dynamic color changes in each square.

The blocks are worked from the outside in. Unlike garter stitch mitered squares, where the almost 1 to 1 tension of stitches to ridges, makes symmetrical decreases the perfect fit for 45° angles at the corners, stockinette stitch, with its ratio of 3 to 4, or 5 to 7 stitches to rows, isn’t quite so forgiving. But I’ve done the hard work for you. While each round of decreases is a little different than the ones before or after, just knit as you read the pattern and you’ll get neat squares that lay flat, especially once they are wet-blocked. By the way, I didn’t aggressively pin these squares when I blocked them and they ended up nice and uncurled.

Paired decreases in each corner bring your stitches from the outside of the square into the center. The rate of decrease is different for each row, so follow the pattern step by step to avoid getting a ruffled block.

I used two size US11 [8mm] circular needles. The gauge is quite loose, but I wanted a blanket with a lot of drape. You can go down in needle size if you wish, but you’ll need to knit more squares to cover the desired surface area.

Photos by Charles Voth

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The Pattern With size US11 [8mm] needle(s), cast on 89 stitches. If extra yarn after a cast-on doesn’t bother you, it’s useful to leave a 16″ to 20″ tail for sewing up seams later. Just don’t forget to knit the first round with the yarn from the ball and not the tail. I used the twisted German or old Norwegian cast on because it’s nice and stretchy. Why 89 stitches, you ask? I like to overlap the join of my cast on edge by slipping the last stitch over the first stitch of the cast on. Here’s how I do it: First, make sure there’s no twist in the cast-on. Then, slip the first stitch on the LH needle purlwise to the RH needle. Pass the 2nd st on the RH needle over the slipped st and then return the slipped st to the LH needle. 88 sts. You’re all set to go. Rnd 1: Knit. Rnd 2: Purl. Rnd 3: [K1, ssk, k17, k2tog] 4 times. 80 sts Rnd 4: [K1, ssk, k17] 4 times. 76 sts Rnd 5: [K1, ssk, k14, k2tog] 4 times. 68 sts Rnd 6: [K15, k2tog] 4 times. 64 sts Rnd 7: [K1, ssk, k13] 4 times. 60 sts Rnd 8: [K1, ssk, k10, k2tog] 4 times. 52 sts Rnd 9: [K11, k2tog] 4 times. 48 sts Rnd 10: [K1, ssk, k7, k2tog] 4 times. 40 sts Rnd 11: [K1, ssk, k7] 4 times. 36 sts Rnd 12: [K7, k2tog] 4 times. 32 sts Rnd 13: [K1, ssk, k3, k2tog] 4 times. 24 sts Rnd 14: [K1, ssk, k3] 4 times. 20 sts Rnd 15: [K1, ssk, k2tog] 4 times. 12 sts Rnd 16: [K1, k2tog] 4 times. 8 sts Cut yarn and thread a 6″ tail into a yarn needle. Insert the needle through all stitches beginning in the next st in the round. Go through the first 2 sts again. Cinch tight and weave in the end on the wrong side.

By sewing in the back strands of each cast off edge stitch with locking mattress stitch, the seam turns out with a lovely braided look.

The yarn needle goes through the strand of the top of the bound off edge facing you on one square, then across the gap and through the corresponding strand on the other square. You then return the yarn needle Using a yarn needle and the locking mattress through the stitch, join the squares securely through only 1 adjacent strand strand of each bound off stitch. on the previous square and back through the original strand on the closer square. Then, you insert the needle under the adjacent strand on the closer square and back through the same strand just used on the far square, and so on. After every 3 or 4 stitches, tighten the yarn gently to close the gap. For a random look, sew the blocks together. Or, take a more coordinated approach by waiting until they’re all done. That way, you can lay out your squares, sew them into strips, and then sew the strips together. To prevent gaps at the corners, I picked up a loop at the adjacent corner of each square with the sewing yarn, and cinched them together. Like I mentioned at the beginning of these articles, Classic Shades is definitely one of my favorite acrylic wool blends. The colors are exciting and the structure of the yarn is sound. It takes blocking well, and is soft and drapey. I do hope you try it soon.

If you run out of yarn to sew with, simply add another length of yarn by travelling through the same strands, but in the opposite direction.

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Standards & Guidelines For Crochet and Knitting • YarnStandards.com Standards & Guidelines For Crochet and Knitting • YarnStandards.com

KNITmuch

Standard Yarn Weight System Standard Yarn Weight System Categories of yarn, gauge ranges, and recommended needle and hook sizes Categories of yarn, gauge ranges, and recommended needle and hook sizes

Yarn Weight Yarn Weight& Symbol Symbol & Category Category Names Names Type of Type of in Yarns Yarns in Category Category Knit Gauge Knit Gaugein Range* Range* in Stockinette Stockinette Stitch to Stitch to 4 inches 4 inches

Sport, Sport,Baby Baby

DK, DK, Light Light Worsted Worsted

Worsted, Worsted, Afghan, Afghan,Aran Aran

Chunky, Chunky,Craft, Craft, Rug Rug

Bulky, Bulky,Roving Roving

Jumbo, Jumbo,Roving Roving

27–32 27–32 sts sts

23–26 23–26 sts sts

21–24 21–24 sts sts

16–20 16–20 sts sts

12–15 12–15 sts sts

7–11 7–11 sts sts

6 sts 6 sts and and fewer fewer

Recommended Recommended Needlein in 1.5–2.25 Needle 1.5–2.25 MetricSize Size Metric mmmm Range Range

2.25–3.25 2.25–3.25 mmmm

3.25–3.75 3.25–3.75 mmmm

3.75–4.5 3.75–4.5 mm mm

4.5–5.5 4.5–5.5 mm mm

5.5–85.5–8 mm mm

12.75 mm 8–12.75 12.75 mm 8–12.75 and and mm mm larger larger

Recommended Recommended NeedleU.S.U.S. Needle 000000 to 1to 1 SizeRange Range Size

1 to13to 3

3 to35to 5

5 to 57 to 7

7 to 97 to 9

9 to 119 to 11

11 to 17 11 to 17

17 17 and and larger larger

Crochet Crochet Gauge*Ranges 32–42 32–42 Gauge*Ranges Single double ininSingle double Crochettoto crochets** Crochet crochets** inch 4 4inch

21–32 21–32 sts sts

16–20 16–20 sts sts

12–17 12–17 sts sts

11–14 11–14 sts sts

8–118–11 sts sts

7–9 7–9 sts sts

6 sts 6 sts and and fewer fewer

Steel*** Steel*** Recommended Recommended 1.6–1.4 mm 1.6–1.4 mm 2.25–3.25 2.25–3.25 Hook Hookin inMetric Metric Regular hook mmmm Regular hook Size Range Size Range 2.25 mmmm 2.25

3.5–4.5 3.5–4.5 mmmm

6.5–96.5–9 4.5–5.5 4.5–5.5 5.5–6.5mm 5.5–6.5mm mm mm mm mm

9–15 9–15 mm mm

15 mm15 mm and and larger larger

Steel*** Steel*** 6, 7,6, 87, 8 Regular Regular hook hook B–1 B–1

E–4E–4 to 7to 7

7 to 7I–9 to I–9

I–9 I–9 to to 1 ⁄2 1⁄2 K–10K–10

M-13 M-13 to Q to Q

Q Q and and larger larger

Recommended Recommended Hook HookU.S.U.S.SizeSize Range Range

Fingering, Sock, Fingering, Sock, 10 count Fingering, 10 countthread Fingering, crochet Baby crochet thread Baby 33–40** 33–40** sts sts

B–1B–1 to E–4 to E–4

1 K–10K–10 ⁄2 1⁄2 to M-13 to M-13

* GUIDELINES ONLY: The above reflect the most commonly used gauges and needle or hook sizes for specific yarn categories. * GUIDELINES ONLY: The above reflect the most commonly used gauges and needle or hook sizes for specific yarn categories. ** Lace weight yarns are usually knitted or crocheted on larger needles and hooks to create lacy, openwork patterns. Accordingly, a ** Lace weight yarns to aredetermine. usually knitted orfollow crocheted on larger needles hooks to create lacy, openwork patterns. Accordingly, a gauge range is difficult Always the gauge stated in yourand pattern. gauge range is difficult to determine. Always follow the gauge stated in your pattern. *** Steel crochet hooks are sized differently from regular hooks--the higher the number, the smaller the hook, which is the reverse Steelhook crochet hooks are sized differently from regular hooks--the higher the number, the smaller the hook, which is the reverse of*** regular sizing. of regular hook sizing. This Standards & Guidelines booklet and downloadable symbol artwork are available at: YarnStandards.com This Standards & Guidelines booklet and downloadable symbol artwork are available at: YarnStandards.com

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...to K, is to

Standard abbreviations & terms alt = alternate approx = approximately beg = begin(ning) BO= bind off CC = contrast color ch = chain cm = centimetre(s) cn = cable needle CO = cast on cont = continue, continuing dc = double crochet dec = decrease(s), decreasing dpn = double-pointed needle(s) foll = following g = gram(s) inc = increase(s), increasing in(s) = inch(es) k = knit kf&b or kfb = knit into front and back of st (increase) ktbl = Knit through the back loop. k2tog = knit 2 sts tog (right-leaning decrease) k3tog = knit 3 sts together (double right-leaning decrease) M = marker m = metre(s) M1 = Make 1 stitch: pick up the horizontal strand between 2 stitches from front to back and knit it tbl (lifted increase) MC = main color mm = millimetre(s) oz = ounce(s) p = purl p2tog = purl 2 sts tog (decrease) patt = pattern pfb = purl into front and back of stitch (increase) ptbl = knit through the back loop. pm = place marker psso = slip 1 stitch together knitwise, knit 1, then pass slipped stitches over p2sso = slip 2 stitches together knitwise, knit 1, then pass slipped stitches over RS = right side rem = remain(ing) rep = repeat rev = reverse rnd = round sc = single crochet sl = slip skp = slip one st, knit next st, pass slipped st over knit st (dec) ssk = slip, slip, knit: slip 2 sts knitwise, 1 at a time, insert left-hand needle into front of both sts and knit them tog (left-leaning decrease) sssk = Slip next three stitches individually, knitwise. Insert tip of left needle from front to back into the fronts of these three stitches and knit them together (double left-leaning decrease) st(s) = stitch(es) St st = stocking stitch tbl = through back loop tog = together tr = treble crochet WS = wrong side yfwd = bringing yarn forward to create a yarn over when working into next st(s) yo = yarn over

KNITmuch | Issue 5  

In this issue, released a few weeks before the holidays, are several yarn reviews for jumbo yarn Red Heart Boutique Irresistible yarn, Class...

KNITmuch | Issue 5  

In this issue, released a few weeks before the holidays, are several yarn reviews for jumbo yarn Red Heart Boutique Irresistible yarn, Class...