Knockout Knits: New Tricks for Scarves, Hats, Jewelry, and Other Accessories

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9780385345781: Knockout Knits: New Tricks for Scarves, Hats, Jewelry, and Other Accessories

An abundance of knitted luxuries--summery lace shawls, warm and wooly hats, a trio of cool knitted bracelets, and stunning beaded gloves--designed to grow your skills.

Who doesn't love to knit accessories? They're fast, often require only a skein or two of yarn, and make amazingly versatile gifts for friends and family. Small knits are also the perfect way to try something new--an unusual stitch pattern, wild multi-colored yarn, or even a touch of sparkle. Laura Nelkin is well-known for designing these fun-to-knit little projects introducing her students and fans to advanced techniques with her signature "You can do it!" enthusiasm. In her first book, she shares her 3 favorite types of knitting using wrapped stitches, lacework, and beads. Each chapter begins with a quick knitted cuff to lay the foundations, then gradually ramps up to more complicated designs. The result is an all-new collection of wearable, feminine knits with a slightly rustic aesthetic. Give them as gifts, stockpile for a chilly day, or dress up a casual outfit--these are knockout projects to enjoy knitting again and again.

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About the Author:

Laura Nelkin, a prolific independent knitwear designer, graduated from Cornell with a degree in Apparel Design. A former design director, Laura sells her knit pattern and kit line to yarn stores worldwide and teaches workshops around the country and online with Craftsy.com. Her patterns have been published through Nelkin Designs, and in The Rhinebeck Sweater, Scarf Style 2, Knitscene, and Knitty. Laura lives near Ithaca, New York. Visit her at www.nelkindesigns.com.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

chapter 1

Wrapped Stitches at Play

My favorite way to design is to play. In this chapter I show you creative techniques I’ve developed by playing with a simple stitch and manipulating it with extra wraps. If you are relatively new to knitting, this is the ideal chapter for us to begin exploring the art of knitting together.

By wrapping the yarn more than once around your needle, you create an elongated stitch, opening up a world of design possibilities. Elongated stitches can travel a longer distance without puckering the fabric, which allows for unexpected cabling and texture techniques. In the Laxo Hat (page 25), for example, the elongated stitches are crossed in a pattern, creating a “faux” cable stitch that works perfectly with ­hand-­dyed yarn. In the Bootsy Boot Toppers (page 29), the elongated stitches are crossed in multiples so that the stitch pattern resembles a woven fabric. The Folly Cloche (page 21) utilizes another trick in which the elongated stitches are twisted 360 degrees on the needle, creating a traveling “cord” of stitches. I stumbled across this possibility when my ­double-­pointed needle got twisted around by mistake!

What a blast playing with this technique is! I think I’ve only scratched the surface of designing with wrapped stitches.

1

Elongating Stitches

To play with wrapped stitches, we first need to create an ­extra-­long, or elongated, stitch. If you wanted your stitch to be longer, you could work it more loosely, but this would make it hard to keep your gauge even. Another way to handle this is to take the yarn and wind it two or even three times around the needle. (Typically, when you work a stitch, you only wrap the yarn around the needle once, right?) When you drop these wraps on the next row, you’ve made a stitch that is twice or even three times the length of a “regular” stitch. Once you have an elongated stitch, there are many possibilities for playing with them.

Wrapping Stitch Twice

Insert the ­right-­hand needle into the next stitch on the ­left-­hand needle, wrap the yarn twice around the ­right-­hand needle, at its widest circumference, and then complete the stitch as usual, either a knit or a purl stitch.

Wrapping Stitch Three Times

Insert the ­right-­hand needle into the next stitch on the ­left-­hand needle, wrap the yarn three times around the ­right-­hand needle, at its widest circumference, and then complete the stitch as usual, either a knit or a purl stitch.

Dropping Extra Wraps

The most elementary way to work with wrapped stitches is to simply knit or purl them on the next row, which creates an open fabric. When you reach the extra wraps created in the previous row, slide the extra wrap(s) off the ­left-­hand needle before working that stitch.

Knit (or Purl) ­Criss-­Cross 4 (6)

This technique, as well as Opposite Purl ­Criss-­Cross 4 (below), reorients multiple elongated stitches’ positions on the needles so that they ­criss-­cross over each other. Slip 1 stitch purlwise (dropping the extra wraps) 4 (6) times onto the ­right-­hand needle. With the ­left-­hand needle pass the first 2 (3) slipped stitches over the last 2 (3) slipped stitches and onto the ­left-­hand needle. Move the remaining 2 (3) slipped stitches onto the ­left-­hand needle. Knit or purl these 4 (6) stitches.

Opposite Purl ­Criss-­Cross 4

Slip 1 stitch purlwise (dropping the extra wraps) 4 times onto the ­right-­hand needle, move all 4 stitches back over to the ­left-­hand needle. With the ­right-­hand needle pass the first 2 slipped stitches over the last 2 slipped stitches, leaving them on the ­left-­hand needle. Purl these 4 stitches.

Across-­6 (4, 3)

Use this technique to cross individual elongated stitches over each other. Drop the first stitch from the ­left-­hand needle, leave it to the front of the work, and slip the next 4 (2, 1) stitches to the ­right-­hand needle. Drop the next stitch, leaving it to the front of the work, and place the first stitch back onto the ­left-­hand needle. Slip the 4 (2, 1) stitches from the ­right-­hand needle back to the ­left-­hand needle. Take the last dropped stitch and place it onto the ­left-­hand needle. Knit these 6 (4, 3) stitches. Don’t worry when dropping these stitches; since they have been elongated, they won’t go anywhere. Just be careful when you pick them back up that the right leg of the stitch is to the front of the needle (i.e., don’t twist it).

Open ­Split-­6 (4)

This technique moves individual elongated stitches away from each other. Slip the next 2 (1) stitches onto the ­right-­hand needle, drop the next stitch and leave to the front of the work, and slip 2 (1) stitches back to the ­left-­hand needle. Pick up the dropped stitch, put it onto the ­left-­hand needle, and knit these 3 (2) stitches. Drop the next stitch, leaving it to the front of the work, and slip the next 2 (1) stitches onto the ­right-­hand needle. Pick up the dropped stitch and place it onto the ­left-­hand needle, then slip 2 (1) stitches back to ­left-­hand needle. Knit these 3 (2) stitches.

A great starter project that introduces wrapped stitches, this funky

cuff also highlights a favorite handmade button. You’ll learn how to

elongate stitches to create the pattern and an integrated buttonhole

at the same time. How easy is that?

I don’t know about you, but I have ­stashes—­there are yarn, bead,

and even button stashes. This project helps me whittle down two out

of those three stashes. I love wearing multiple versions together and

this might be the fastest gift I’ve ever knit. I’d love to see the

combinations that you come up with!

Wave Cuff

Skill Level

Beginner

Materials

12 yd (11m) ­DK-­weight yarn

US size 7 (4.5mm) needles, or size needed to obtain gauge

Tapestry needle

¾" (2cm) oval porcelain button (Melissa Jean Design)

Yarn Used

Lion Brand Cashmere; 100% cashmere; 0.88 oz (25g), 82 yd (75m); 1 skein each in Cruise (106), Sprout (173), and Toffee (124)

Gauge

21 stitches and 32 rows = 4" (10cm) in stockinette stitch, blocked

Size

Small (Medium)

Shown in both sizes

The pattern is written for multiple lengths. Instructions are given for size small, with larger size in parentheses.

Finished Measurements

7 (8)" (18 [20.5]cm) long x 1¾" (4.5cm) wide

To Fit

5½ (6½)" (14 [16.5]cm) wrist circumference

Cuff

Using the ­long-­tail method (page 150), cast on 32 (37) sts.

Row 1: Knit all sts.

Row 2: K8 (13), *k1 wrapping yarn twice, [k1 wrapping yarn 3 times] 3 times, k1 wrapping yarn twice, k3; repeat from * twice more.

Row 3: Knit across, dropping extra wraps when you reach them.

Rows 4 and 5: Knit all sts.

Row 6: K8 (13), k1 wrapping yarn twice, k3, k1 wrapping yarn twice, *[k1 wrapping yarn 3 times] 3 times, k1 wrapping yarn twice, k3, k1 wrapping yarn twice; rep from * once more, k1 wrapping yarn 3 times, k2.

Row 7: Knit all sts, dropping extra wraps when you reach them.

Rows 8 and 9: Knit all sts.

Row 10: Repeat Row 2.

Row 11: Knit all sts, dropping extra wraps when you reach them.

Row 12: Knit all sts.

Bind off loosely. Weave in ends and block (page 152) to measurements.

With right side facing, sew button onto the right edge of the garter stitch tab; see photo.

Wrapping

Tips and Tricks

Work wraps loosely. If you wrap tightly, they will not slide on the needle.

Wrap yarn around the widest circumference of the needle, not around the needle tip.

When you have wrapped stitches on the needle, do not pull down on your work as this will collapse the stitches and prevent them from sliding easily!

Do not count wraps as extra stitches. All the wraps can make it difficult to check your stitch numbers on rows in which elongated stitches are worked. It’s best to count your stitches on the following row, when all the stitches are restored to “normal.”

Prolix Mitts

Take your wrapping skills up a notch by using multiple needle sizes to play with stitch length and density. This creates a ruched fabric. These mitts have a long cuff that can be worn pulled up or slouched down, and an integrated thumb gusset.

As soon as these mitts came off the needles, my teenager began campaigning for a pair of her own (in black, of course). In my world her approval is pretty much the most accurate test of a successful design! Needless to say, we both will get our own version of this ­super-­fast and functional knit.

Prolix Mitts

[ART: 001–022]

Skill Level

Advanced Beginner

Materials

160 (180, 200) yd (146 [166, 183]m) worsted-weight yarn

US size 6 (4mm) ­double-­pointed needles (or 1 long circular needle), or two sizes smaller than needed to obtain gauge

US size 8 (5mm) ­double-­pointed needles (or 1 long circular needle), or size needed to obtain gauge

Stitch markers

Scrap yarn (for stitch holder)

Tapestry needle

Yarn Used

Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Worsted; 100% merino wool; 4 oz (114g), 225 yd (206m); 1 skein in Chino

Gauge

18 stitches and 28 rounds = 4” (10cm) in stockinette stitch on larger needle, blocked

Size

Women’s Small (Medium, Large)

Shown in Small

The pattern is written for multiple sizes. Instructions are given for size small, with larger sizes in parentheses.

Finished Measurements

7 (7½, 8¼)” (18 [19, 21]cm) hand circumference

Cuff

With smaller needles and the ­long-­tail method (page 150), cast on 32 (34, 36) sts. Join for working in the round distributing sts on needles as preferred, being careful not to twist the sts. If desired, mark the beginning of the round with a removable stitch marker or safety pin.

Round 1: Knit all sts.

Round 2: Purl all sts.

Repeat these two rounds once more. Switch to larger needles.

Round 5: Knit all sts.

Round 6: Knit all sts, wrapping yarn twice for each st.

Round 7: Knit all sts, dropping extra wrap when you reach them. Switch to smaller needles.

Round 8: Knit all sts.

Round 9: Purl all sts.

Repeat the last two rounds once more. Switch to larger needles.

Round 12: Knit all sts.

Round 13: Knit all sts, wrapping yarn 3 times for each st.

Round 14: Knit all sts, dropping extra wraps when you reach them. Switch to smaller needles.

Repeat Rounds 1–14 twice more, then repeat Rounds 1–12 once more. Cuff measures approximately 8½” (21.5cm) from ­cast-­on edge.

Final Round: Knit to the last st, ­k1f&b—­33 (35, 37) sts.

Shape Thumb Gusset

Set-­Up Round: K16 (17, 18), place marker, m1R, k1, m1L, place marker, knit to end of ­round—­35 (37, 39) sts.

Knit 2 rounds.

Increase Round: Knit to marker, sl marker, m1R, knit to next marker, m1L, sl marker, knit to end of ­round—­2 sts increased.

Knit 2 rounds.

Repeat these last three rounds 3 (4, 4) times ­more—­11 (13, 13) sts between markers.

Next Round: Knit to marker, remove marker, slip thumb gusset sts onto a length of scrap yarn, remove marker, cast on 1 st over gap left by gusset, and knit to end of ­round—­33 (35, 37) sts.

Knit around until the piece measures 12 (12½, 13)” (30.5 [32, 33]cm) from ­cast-­on edge.

Switch to smaller needles.

Purl 1 round.

Knit 1 round.

Bind off.

Thumb

With larger needles, return held thumb gusset sts to three needles, distributing sts as you prefer. With right side facing, rejoin yarn and pick up and k1 st tbl over gap and join for working in the ­round—­12 (14, 14) sts.

Knit 4 (4, 5) rounds.

Switch to smaller needles

Purl 1 round.

Knit 1 round.

Bind off.

Weave in ends, and use the tail at the base of the thumb to close up gaps at the thumb gusset.

Wet-­block (page 152), and wear!

The band in this cloche is created with a twisted double wrap stitch that I invented to help this ­1920s-­inspired cloche fit properly. The Folly Cloche is worked from the top down in stockinette stitch and finished off with a ­short-­row-­shaped brim.

A ­well-­fitting cloche usually has a band that helps it sit snugly on the head, and I wanted to find an openwork stitch that would serve this purpose. The challenge was that open stitches normally make your gauge looser! I started to explore, twisting my needle all the way around, and realized that would tighten things up a bit.

Folly Cloche

[ART: 506–536]

Skill Level

Intermediate

Materials

145 (165, 185) yd (133 [151, 170]m) superwash ­worsted-­weight yarn

US size 6 (4mm) ­double-­pointed needles (or 1 long circular needle), or size needed to obtain gauge

US size 6 (4mm) 16” (40cm) circular needle, or size needed to obtain gauge

US size 7 (4.5mm) 16” (40cm) circular needle, or one size larger than needed to obtain gauge

Stitch marker

Tapestry needle

Yarn Used

Jill Draper Makes Stuff Hudson; 100% merino wool; 4 oz (113g), 240 yd (219m); 1 skein in Cinnabar

Gauge

21 stitches and 28 rounds = 4” (10cm) in stockinette stitch on smaller needle, blocked

Size

Small (Medium, Large)

Shown in Medium

The pattern is written for multiple sizes. Instructions are given for size small, with larger sizes in parentheses.

Finished Measurements

18¼ (20, 21¼)” (46 [51, 54]cm) around, unstretched

Notes

•This cloche should fit snugly, so choose a size that is approximately 1½” (3.8cm) smaller than your desired head circumference.

•You will have better success with the fit of this hat if you use a superwash yarn, as it is more elastic and will stretch better when you work the twisted stitch in the brim.

Crown

Using the smaller needle, cast on 8 sts with a circular ­cast-­on (page 151).

Slide the sts to the other end of the needle and knit 1 row distributing sts evenly over your needles as preferred. Join for working in the round, being careful not to twist the sts. I...

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