White Wedding Washcloth – Free Pattern + Blooper Photo!

Photo of washcloth with text caption

I have another free pattern for you – the White Wedding Washcloth pattern! I decided to design this because, well, I needed a washcloth to use to clean myself in the shower. Shortly after I learned to knit, I made myself this one called Simple Clean, from the book AwareKnits by Vickie Howell and Adrienne Armstrong. I LOVE this book and pored over it and borrowed it several times from the library because I was a poor student and I hate spending money at the best of times. I made so many things from that book. Maybe I should do a book review on that book – let me know in the comments if you’d like me to!

That old washcloth from that book is the only one I had. I like washcloths more than a bath puff thing because a hand-knitted cotton washcloth is machine washable and lasts a long time, unlike those puffs which you need to replace often. Washcloths also dry well if you wring them out, meaning you’re not washing your body with a bacteria party every time you shower.

So anyway, that washcloth was made back in about 2011, maybe late 2010. After 7+ years of daily use, my washcloth went from looking like this one, to looking like this:

Old tattered washcloth

Yeah it’s not good. So I needed another one. Queue the White Wedding Washcloth. I think the White Wedding Washcloth would also make a beautiful yet impractical decorative handkerchief as a bridal accessory.

White Wedding Washcloth

It is a SUPER simple pattern. It uses the same stitch pattern from my French Rhubarb Fingerless Mittens. I called the pattern the Eyelet Rib Pattern, but it’s not exactly a rib. It’s yarn overs alternating with knit stitches and central double decreases. Very simple, and a good way for beginner knitters to step a tentative foot into the thrilling waters of lace knitting.

White Wedding Washcloth Black background

Why the Name?

The yarn I used is actually left over from my wedding dress! If you’d like to read about how I knitted my wedding dress, I wrote blog posts about it which you can find here, here, here, and here. I bought way too much of this yarn for my dress. I’ve already used heaps of it to make my daughter’s baptism gown and a matching bonnet, and after this washcloth I still have over a ball left over.

The yarn is called Milford Satin and it’s a 2ply mercerised cotton. I used white. It is a beautiful yarn, shiny but doesn’t boast about itself like a Lurex yarn. They have their place, for sure, but not on my wedding gown, Peanut’s baptism gown, or my washcloth. Milford Satin was perfect for it.

Blooper Photo (aka: what happens when you try to take a blog photo with a toddler around)

My little girl Peanut didn’t sleep as long as I wanted her to today (isn’t it always the way when you’ve got something important to do?), so she was with me while I quickly shot some photos of the washcloth for this post. It’s a bathroom washcloth, I thought, so why not add a prop of a nice jar of cotton balls in the frame? That didn’t work out great. As well as being a useful bathroom product, do you know what a jar of cotton balls looks like to a 14 month old? A great toy. Here is Peanut’s arm snatching the jar. I gave up on the jar after a while 🙂

Washcloth with baby hand in shot

The Pattern

Here it is! You can download the PDF here: White Wedding Washcloth

Please make sure you make a project for this pattern on Ravelry so I can see your finished product.

Needles: 3mm straight needles

Yarn: Milford Satin in white

Notions: Scissors, tapestry needle

Tension: 21sts x 28 rows in patt = 10cm2, after blocking. Note: Tension is not critical for this project.

Finished measurements: 21cm x 20 cm

Pattern

Using a long tail cast-on, cast on 47 sts.

Work 4 rows in garter stitch.

Next row: k4, [yo, slip 2tog k-wise, k1, psso tog, yo, k1], k3.

Next row: K3, P41, K3

Repeat these two rows 25 times more, or until the piece is almost square in shape.

Work 3 rows in garter stitch. Cast off k-wise. Weave in ends.

Pin out and steam to block.

I hope you enjoy knitting this washcloth, and that it lasts you at least 7 years!

Peace,

Kat

Please note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means I will receive a commission if you click on the affiliate link and purchase the item.

French Rhubarb Fingerless Mittens – Free Pattern

Close up of fingerless mittens with text

Important Update Jan 25, 2018: I noticed an error in the pattern and have now updated it. Please re-download the pattern if you have already printed it!

It’s warm here in Australia, especially on the mainland where my family and most of my friends are. So, I thought, what better time than now to post a pattern for mittens?! Just jokes, but maybe some of you in the northern hemisphere are looking to make some nice new mittens that will show a little skin as the weather starts to heat up for you.

I was inspired to design these mittens when I was looking through my copy of The Up, Down, All-Around Stitch Dictionary by Wendy Bernard. I love this book. Let me know in the comments below if you’d like me to do a review of it! There is a section where Wendy writes instructions on how to use her stitches to design your own garments, including a pattern for some pleated mittens. As it happened, I didn’t follow her directions and the stitch patterns I used aren’t exactly the same as any stitch pattern in her book, but she switched on my pattern-designing brain.

About the Mittens

The French Rhubarb Fingerless Mittens are simple to knit, with little scallops on the bottom edge and two bit scallop on the top of each mitten. The little scallops aren’t really scallops, but they look like them to me. They’re simply a side-effect of the stitch pattern, but I think they add a lot to the finished product.

Close up of French Rhubarb Fingerless Mittens

These mittens are named in honour of a dear friend of mine, because for some reason they remind me of her. She got married in 2015 and she wore a Georgian-inspired, lacy ivory wedding gown. It suited her and her personal tastes perfectly, and these mittens remind me of her and that gown.

Close up of fingerless mitten

A Note on the Pattern (it’s reversible!)

The main stitch pattern, which I’m calling the Eyelet Rib Pattern, was designed by me (although it’s fairly simple so maybe I’m not the first person to invent it). I think it is gorgeous, most gorgeous worn “purl”-side out, what most would consider wrong side out. So I’m leaving it up to you how you prefer to wear them, but here they are with the “knit”-side out vs the “purl”-side out. The quotation marks, if you’re wondering, are because the mittens are knitted in the round, so very few actual purled stitches are actually worked. The only stitches that you actually purl are in the edging and the casting off.

Compairson of fingerless mittens knit-side-out and purl-side-out

Before we Continue…

It’s timely that I’m posting this pattern which reminds me of my friend, whom I’ll call Rhubarb for the purposes of this post. As I mentioned in my last post, I spent a few days last week enjoying a relaxing stay on beautiful Bruny Island with my husband, baby girl Peanut, two friends who have a little girl a similar age to our Peanut, and Rhubarb and her husband. We had a lovely time despite the mosquitoes (and babies who liked to take shifts in napping so we could never go out all together). We played board games late into the night, cooked for each other, read (or knitted, in my case) on the deck, and laughed at the babies playing. Here are a few photos of Peanut on the beach. It was an unexpected beach visit due to our holiday house not being ready for us, so we wandered down unprepared, only to have Peanut run/stumble/crawl straight into the water while I frantically removed the insert from her cloth nappy before it swelled with seawater. We played this great game where I fish her out of the water, haul her to dry land, then repeat the process as she bolts for the water again. Fun times!

Baby wearing knitted hat at the beach

Yes, Peanut is wearing the last pattern that I shared on this blog, the Wiser Baby Sun Hat. That hat has had a lot of use this summer.

The Pattern!

I’m sure my neighbours must have thought me insane if they happened to look over their fence this afternoon on this hot day, to see me taking pictures of my mittened hands feeling a grape leaf. You’re welcome for the photos!

I hope you enjoy this pattern for the French Rhubarb Fingerless Mittens. I would love it if you could make a project on Ravelry for this pattern if you do make them, so I can see how they turn out!

You can download the PDF here: French Rhubarb Fingerless Mittens

Yarn: Moda Vera Biscay in White

Needles: Four 3.75mm double-pointed needles

Notions: Stitch markers, scrap yarn, tapestry needle

Tension: 22sts x 23 rows = 10cm2 in eyelet rib pattern

Eyelet rib pattern

Round 1: yo, slip 2tog knit-wise, k1, pass slipped stitches over together, yo, k1.

Round 2: P all sts.

Mittens (Make 2 alike)

Cast on 36 stitches. Distribute evenly across 3 dpns and join to work in the round, being careful not to twist stitches.

Work 22 rounds in eyelet rib pattern.

Next round: Work 16 sts in eyelet rib pattern, k4, work a further 16 sts in eyelet rib pattern as set.

Shape thumb gusset:

Work 16 sts in eyelet rib pattern, k2, pm, k2, work 16 sts in eyelet rib pattern as set.

Next round: Work 16 sts in patt, k2, sm, m1, sm, k2, work 16 sts in patt as set.

Work 2 rounds as set without increasing.

Increase round: Work 16 sts in patt, k2, sm, m1, k until next marker, m1, sm, k2, work 16 sts in patt as set. 3 sts between markers.

Work 2 rounds as set without increasing.

Repeat these last 3 rounds until there are 11 sts between markers. Work increase round once more (13 sts between markers).

Next round: Work in patt to first marker, remove marker, transfer next 13 sts onto scrap yarn, CO 1 st using backwards loop, remove second marker, work in patt to end.

Work 4 rounds in eyelet rib pattern for all sts.

Edging

Round 1: P all sts.

Round 2: *[ssk]x3, [k1, yo]x6, [ssk]x3, repeat from * to end.

Round 3: P all sts.

Rounds 4: K all sts.

Repeat rounds 1-4 once more. Cast off purl-wise and weave in ends.

Thumb

Remove scrap yarn and distribute live sts across 3 dpns. Knit 1 round, then pick up and knit one stitch over the gap where the inside of the thumb meets the hand. 14 sts on needles.

Knit 4 more rounds. Cast-off purl-wise. Weave in ends.

These mittens can be worn either side out, so be sure to weave ends in as neatly as you can.

I hope you enjoy this pattern as much as I enjoyed designing it!

Peace,

Kat

Please note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means I will receive a commission if you click on the affiliate link and purchase the item.

Wiser Baby Sun Hat – Free Pattern

Wiser Baby Sun Hat photo with text

Wiser Baby Sun Hat

I’m really excited to share this pattern with you: The Wiser Baby Sun Hat, a hat to fit babies aged around 12 months. Isn’t it cute? It’s similar to the Wise Baby Sun Hat (a newborn-size hat) which I shared earlier, and like it, I designed it for my little girl, Peanut.

Wiser Baby Sun Hat being worn

About The Pattern

This is a simple pattern, knitted flat and seamed, with a row of lazy daisies embroidered around the band (if you’re new to lazy daisies, here is a good tutorial). The hat is sweet and simple: my favourite kind of pattern. It’s knitted in a cotton yarn which is light for the summer but not so light that the sun will get through. I’m also including instructions for optional crochet ties. We need these for Peanut or else she’ll just pull off the hat and leave it who knows where.

Wiser Baby Sun Hat on child with chin ties shown

Peanut is a big girl, with a big head. There was no getting around that: big heads run in both sides of her family. The Wise Baby Sun Hat only fit her for about two weeks. So as her first birthday approached, which was two more (non-handmade) hats later, I started to notice her hat looking way too small. The brim wasn’t extending far enough to cover her face. In Tasmania where we live, once the sun comes out, you want your kids to have good sun protection. Even though it’s colder than a lot of Australia, the ozone layer is thin and the sun is still hot in the summer.

So, for her first birthday, I made her this hat.

Wiser Baby Sun Hat on grass

She opened her handmade present on November 14, her first birthday, at a small picnic in the park attended by us, her paternal grandparents, an aunt, an uncle, and a cousin, before we flew out of Tasmania for Adelaide to attend the wedding of a dear friend of mine.

Peanut got a second, much bigger birthday party, attended by many excited great aunts, extended family, and my godmother’s family and friends. Have I ever mentioned my mum is from the Philippines? This is how parties work when your mum is from the Philippines. It’s amazing that there was no karaoke.

As a wonderful coincidence, my husband’s parents were also in Adelaide at the same time as us, so Peanut got to have all four of her grandparents, much of my family, and my husband’s brother and his family there too! She was a spoiled girl, and my little sometimes-timid Peanut came home from Adelaide with much more confidence to navigate a crowd of admirers.

About the Yarn (+ substitute suggestion)

The yarn I selected is called Gelato, by Moda Vera. It’s the same yarn that is used in the Wise Baby Sun Hat, and I love it. Maybe it’s because eit’s cotton and it slips between your fingers so experty as you knit, like it knows what it’s doing. There’s something delicious about working with cotton. I don’t know, maybe it’s just me. Is it just me? Let me know in the comments if I’m weird.

This yarn is available from Spotlight stores in Australia, but I used Yarnsub to find a substitute which is available in more places. Bergere de France Coton Fifty looks like a great match, and has an average rating of 4.2 stars on Ravelry. Of course, check your gauge before you make this hat, whether or not you’re substituting yarn. Below are the closest matches I could find for colours in the Bergere de France yarn:

Pink: Bengale or Glycine

Red: Ecarlate

Purple: Raisin

The Pattern

Here is the pattern! I hope you enjoy it. If you make it, I would love for you to make a project for it on Ravelry so I can see photos and what you thought of it.

You can download the PDF here: Wiser Baby Sun Hat Pattern

Yarn: Moda Vera Gelato. One 50g ball each in Pink, Red, and Purple

Needles: 2.25mm straight needles

Crochet hook (optional, for ties): 3.50mm

Tension: 28 sts x 40 rows = 10cm2 in stocking stitch

To Fit: 12 months approx. (45-50cm head circumference)

Tip: When changing colours, leave a long tail and do not weave in ends as you go. When working the seam after the hat has been knitted, use these tails to switch to the matching yarn so the seam is less noticeable.

Using red, CO 256 sts. Work in garter stitch for 28 rows.

Next Row: [k2tog] to end. 128 sts. Change to purple.

Starting with a WS row, work in stocking stitch for 15 rows (end on WS row). Change to Pink.

Work a further 22 rows.

Decrease for crown

Row 1: [k6, k2tog] to end. 112 sts.

Rows 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12: P all sts.

Row 3: [k5, k2tog] to end. 96 sts.

Row 5: [k4, k2tog] to end. 80 sts.

Row 7: [k3, k2tog] to end. 64 sts.

Row 9: [k2, k2tog] t end. 48 sts.

Row 11: [k1, k2tog] to end.32 sts.

Row 13: [k2tog to end]. 16 sts.

Row 14 (WS): [p2tog] to end. 8 sts.

Cut yarn, leaving a long tail. Using a tapestry needle, pass tail through 8 remaining live stitches and pull tight. Using mattress stitch, work back seam (see tip at the start of the pattern).

Using pink, work lazy daisy stitch along purple band, beginning on the 6th row. Make each daisy 7 sts wide, and 8 rows high, leaving a space of 10 sts between each daisy (see chart below for guidance).

Crochet ties (optional – make 2)

Please note: The following instructions are written in US crochet instructions. A US single crochet is the same as a UK double crochet.

Using pink and a 3.50mm crochet hook, work a chain until it is 22cm long.

Rows 1 and 2: Work a single crochet into each stitch.

Fasten off. Attach each tie to the underside of the hat where yarn changes from red to purple, such that the ties hang behind the ears of the wearer. Weave in ends.

Knights Hospitaller Hot Water Bottle Cover – Free Pattern

Image of Knights Hospitaller Hot Water Bottle Cover with text

I’ve got a new free pattern for all those cold medieval enthusiasts in your life: The Knights Hospitaller Hot Water Bottle Cover!

Please note this post was updated on January 13, 2018 – I have now added the missing chart! Aaa I can’t believe I forgot about that!

I made this hot water bottle cover on the requ

est of my slightly nerdy husband. He also looks a bit like a crusader (big beard, long hair, wears a cross), and everyone knows crusaders like to be toasty and warm at night. It uses a chunky yarn so it’s quick to knit and will insulate your hot water bottle for longer lasting warmth on those cold nights (we get a lot of those here in Tasmania).

As a side note, the Knights Hospitaller are an order of knights who used to own Malta and offered shelter to pilgrims and crusaders. Some of you might recognise the shape of the cross as being very similar to the St John Ambulance. That’s right, The Knights Hospitaller were the inspiration for the Order of St John in the nineteenth century who started St John Ambulance. I’m not part of St John Ambulance or anything, I just find that interesting.

About the Pattern

This cover is designed to fit a standard 2 litre hot water bottle.

This pattern uses intarsia colourwork techniques, so you might want to brush up on your intarsia if it’s been a while. At a basic level, in intarsia, each block of colour gets its own ball of yarn, and you don’t carry floats behind the work.

Close up of intarsia work on hot water bottle cover

Yarn Used

The yarn I used, Moda Vera Biscay, is available at Spotlight stores in Australia. It is a bulky/12ply weight yarn in 70% acrylic and 30% alpaca. The wool-like halo makes my FO appear kind of old fashioned which fits with the theme. However, if you can’t find this exact yarn, I wouldn’t be shy about experimenting with other yarns of similar tension/gauge. I think this would be a fine pattern to use the inexpensive 100% acrylic yarns you can find everywhere.

The Pattern!

Here it is! You can download the PDF of the pattern here: Knights Hospitaller Hot Water Bottle Cover

Knights Hospitaller Hot Water Bottle Cover

Needles: 4mm straight needles

Yarn: Moda Vera Biscay. 1 x 50g ball each in grey, black, and white.

Tension: 20 sts x 25 rows = 10cm2

Notions: Stitch markers, scissors.

Image of hot water bottle cover

Pattern Instructions

Using grey, cast on 44 stitches.

Row 1 (RS): [k1, kfb] to end. 66 sts.

Row 2: P all sts.

Row 3: *k2, [k2, kfb] six times, k2. Repeat from * two more times. 84 sts.

Work rows 4-14 in stocking stitch, beginning with a P row.

Row 15: K29, pm, work row 1 of Knights Hospitaller Shield Chart, pm, K29.

Continue working in stocking stitch as set (working in grey either side of the markers and following the chart in between markers) until chart is completed, on row 58 (WS). Remove markers on the next row.

Using grey, work in stocking stitch for 12 rows.

Next row: [k2, k2tog] to end. 42 sts.

Next row: P all sts.

Next row: [k6, k2tog] seven times, k6, k3tog, k1. 36 sts.

Work in 1×1 rib for 25 rows.

Cast off using sewn cast off. With WS facing and using mattress stitch, sew back seam. Thurn piece RS out. Keeping the back seam lined up with the centre of the cross, sew bottom seam using a shoulder seam or whip stitch. Weave in ends.

Knights Hospitaller Shield Chart

Knights Hospitaller Intarsia Chart

If you like this pattern, take a look at some of my other free patterns like the Angelfish Beanie and the Wise Baby Sun Hat.

 

Peace,

Kat

 

 

Wise Baby Sun Hat Pattern – PS I had a baby!

Wise Baby Sun Hat Image

Hi friends,

Sorry for the long long gap between posts, but I was busy having a baby. On November 14, 2016, at 9:16pm, I gave birth to a healthy 4.09kg (9lb) baby girl. Let’s call her Peanut. That’s not her name, but let’s call her that. She is now 7 months old, beautiful, chubby, tall, and a delightful handful. When she was five weeks old she was baptised and wore the gown (link) I made her, which thankfully fit, because my goodness that baby grew quickly. I haven’t had a heap of time for knitting or blogging, but I’m hoping to get back into it, and what better way for a new mum to do that than post a new pattern for a baby hat!

Wise Baby Sun Hat image with props

When Peanut was born, we had plenty of beanies that fit her, but no sun hats, and when she was born, summer was just around the corner. So, I designed and made one for her. Before the pattern, a couple of notes:

  • The hat in the photos is the one I made for my daughter. When I had finished it, I decided it was a little too shallow, so in the pattern I added a few extra stocking stitch rows above the butterfly stitch, so when you knit it, it will be a bit deeper in the head than the image.

Without further ado, here it is. I hope you enjoy the Wise Baby Sun Hat!

Wise Baby Sun Hat image

Wise Baby Sun Hat

Download the PDF here: Wise Baby Sun Hat

Yarn: Moda Vera Gelato (or any 4ply smooth cotton yarn), held double (MC=pink, CC=red)

Needles: Size 10 (3.25mm) straight needles.

Tension: 10cm = 18 stitches x 28 rows in stocking stitch.

To fit: 0-3mo approx.

This hat is worked flat and bottom up.

Glossary of Terms

k: knit

P: purl

St/sts: stitch/stitches

K2tog: knit 2 stitches together

Wyif: with yarn in front

Wyib: with yarn in back

Yif: yarn in front

Yib: yarn in back

Make butterfly: With right hand needle, pick up the five floats by inserting the needle under the floats from the bottom up, then knit the next stitch on the left hand needle.

Brim

Using MC, cast on 28sts. Work in garter stitch for 15 rows.

Next row (WS): [K2tog] to end. 64 sts.

Start of band

Work 4 rows in stocking stitch, starting with a P row.

Butterfly stitch panel

Change to CC.

Rows 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, and 13 (WS): P all sts.

Rows 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10: [k1, yip, s5, yib, k2] to last st, k1.

Row 12: [k4, make butterfly, k4] to last st, k1.

End of band

Change to MC. Work 8 rows in stocking stitch.

Decrease for crown

Row 1: [K6, k2tog] to end. 56 sts

Row 2 and all even-numbered rows: P all sts.

Row 3: [K5, k2tog] to end. 48 sts.

Row 5: [K4, K2tog] to end. 40 sts.

Row 7: [K3, K2tog] to end. 32 sts.

Row 9: [K2, k2tog] to end. 24 sts.

Row 11: [K1, K2tog] to end 16 sts.

Row 13: [K2tog} to end. 8 sts.

Cut yarn, leaving a 60cm tail. Thread yarn through the 8 remaining live stitches. Pull tightly. Sew up seam and weave in ends. Block or steam.

Lily Ear Flap Hat

I realise I haven’t posted on this blog all year. And I didn’t specifically plan to, since I’ll be finishing my Masters this year, so, you know, busy busy. But I was writing this design on my iPad anyway, so I thought I’d copy and paste it to my blog.
I whipped up this beanie for my eight year old niece. She loves hats, apparently. The yarn I used is now discontinued. To get a similar effect, I think it’d be cool to use a handspun yarn. I would suggest a 10- or 12-ply weight (Aran or bulky) singles, either plied or core spun with sewing thread.
This hat is pretty stretchy, so will fit most kids. I got it on my larger-than-average-for-a-female adult head, but it’s a little short for a grown up. All you’d have to do to make it fit an adult would be to make the section worked even in stocking stitch continue for longer (maybe about 7 inches instead of 5). While the hat I made used a fancy crimpy yarn, this is a pretty standard pattern and almost any yarn would work.
This pattern uses short rows to create the ear flaps, and it is all knitted in one piece. The ear flaps are in garter stitch, while the rest of the hat is in stocking stitch. Because all the non-short-row bits are knitted in the round, there are no purl stitches in this pattern.
You are welcome to knit this hat for loved ones, and to sell items made using this pattern. Please do not reproduce and sell the pattern itself.
Apologies for the low quality iPad photos.
Download the PDF pattern here: Lily Ear Flap Hat

Lily Ear Flap Hat

 

 

Needles: 4mm dpns
Notions: darning needle, scissors/yarn cutter.
Yarn: two balls of Panda Rhumba.
Tension: 20 stitches per 10cm in stocking stitch.
Pattern:
Co 66 stitches. Join to work in the round, being careful not to twist.
Ear flaps (worked back and forth):
Row 1: k9, turn
Row 2: k3, turn
Row 3: k4, turn
Row 4: k5, turn
Row 5: k6, turn
Row 6: k7, turn
Row 7: k8, turn
Row 8: k9, turn
Row 9: k10, turn
Row 10: k11, turn
Row 11: k12, turn
Row 12: k13, turn
Row 13: k14, turn
Row 14: k15, turn
Row 15: k16, turn
Row 16: k42, turn
Rows 17-30: repeat rows 2-15.
From the next row onwards, you will be knitting in the round in stocking stitch (knit all stitches).
Continue knitting in the round in stocking stitch until the piece measures 13cm (5 inches) not including ear flaps.
Decrease for crown:
Round 1: [k4, k2tog] to end
Rounds 2, 4, 6, and 8: k all stitches
Round 3: [k3, k2tog] to end
Round 5: [k2, k2tog] to end
Round 7: [k1, k2tog] to end
Round 9: [k2tog] to end
Round 10: [k2tog] 5 times, k1. 6 stitches remaining.
Break yarn, leaving a 20cm tail. Thread tail onto darning needle. Pass needle through remaining live stitches and pull tight. Weave in all ends. Ta da!

Knitted Sphere Tutorial

Knitted Sphere Tutorial Image with text

This knitted sphere tutorial was originally posted on October 25, 2012, and updated on December 29, 2017.

So, I finished that ball for my auntie’s dogs today. I used the left over yarn from the scarf in my last post. Being a savvy traveller not wanting to accumulate excess knitting supplies, and being as stingy as I am, I was clever with what I stuffed it with. I went down to Poundland, where everything is £1, and bought some cotton wool, and used that instead instead of regular toy wadding. I also had the option of using bath sponges. The cotton wool made for a heavier ball which should make for a good indoor fetch ball. I  don’t expect this toy to last very long, but I think that maybe the stuffing will compact somewhat, which is a negative. When stuffing shapes like this, I usually go for stuffing them as tightly as practical, I think this looks better. Here is the finished product:

To make this ball, I used my trusty sphere formula. I thought this would be a good chance to share it with you. This is an extremely predictable design, and while I didn’t specifically steal it from anyone, I’m sure lots of people have figured out this method for knitting a sphere. This isn’t really a pattern, but I suppose you could call it a recipe. This tutorial is for a sphere knitted flat. You could easily adapt this into an in-the-round pattern thus: once you have cast on, join for working in the round. There will be no seam to join if you knit in the round, so when you have finished the last round, cut a 20cm tail and pass through the remaining stitches. Do not fasten yet. Thread a tapestry needle with another length of yarn and use it to gather and tighten along the cast-on edge. Stuff the sphere tightly first, then pull tail on cast-off edge to close the hole, fasten off and hide tail in the sphere.
I’ve also used this sphere formula to replace pom poms on the end of this baby hat:
 Download PDF by clicking here: Knitted Sphere Tutorial

Knitted Sphere

NB: you can knit these spheres in stocking stitch or garter stitch. For stocking stitch, knit odd-numbered rows and purl even-numbered rows. For garter stitch, knit every row. If you’re adapting this tutorial to work in the round, work stocking stitch by knitting every round and garter stitch by knitting odd rows and purling even ones.
 
Select your yarn and appropriate needles. I suggest going for slightly smaller needles than recommended, because a dense fabric will contain the stuffing well. 
 
Cast on a small number of stitches (less than 10). Let’s call this starting number of stitches x.
 
Row 1: Increase into every stitch. You will now have twice the number of stitches than what you cast on, and will have increased by x stitches.
 
Row 2 and all alternate rows: Work even (no increases or decreases).
 
Row 3: Increase evenly along row by x stitches.
 
Work rows 2 and 3 until the piece is twice the width of your planned sphere. Work Row 2. If you are using a fine yarn with small needles (and therefore small stitches), work a further 2 rows.
 
Decrease Rows
 
Decease Row 1: Decrease evenly along row by x stitches.
 
Decrease Row 2: Work even.
 
Repeat these two rows until you have x stitches left.
 
Do not cast off. Instead, cut a long tail and pass tail through remaining stitches. Pull
tightly. With right sides of piece facing each other, work mattress stitch to join the sides of the piece together. Stop when you are three quarters of the way through the seam. Turn piece right side out. Stuff tightly. Finish sewing the seam closed. Hide tail inside the sphere. If it is a dog toy, give to dog. Time how many minutes it takes for him to destroy it.

More Spheres!

I experimented with knitting spheres in a few other sizes and yarns. Here’s what they look like:

 

Yellow knitted sphere
This sphere was knitted using an alpaca yarn which I handspun (I believe it is dyed with turmeric FYI). It’s about lace weight. I knitted it with 2.25mm needles and cast on with 9 sts.
Orange knitted sphere
This is a super-bulky yarn (sorry! it has been in my stash so long that I forgot what it’s called!) which I made on 9mm needles, and I cast on 3 sts to make it.
Pink knitted sphere
I knitted this sphere in Patons Inca (a wool, alpaca, and acrylic blend), which is a bulky weight yarn, using 4.5mm needles, casting on with 5 sts.

       

 

Angelfish Beanie Pattern

This is a double-barrelled post.

Barrel 1 — The Inspiration
The other day I splurged and bought the Craftsy course Lace Shawl Design. I should add that it wasn’t expensive at all, and it was actually cheaper than usual as they have a sale on right now ($20 instead of $30), I’m just cheap. I’ve only watched the first lesson, but I’m really inspired by it. The epitome of creativity is designing something original, and since I started knitting, this has been my aim. In fact, it’s a dream of mine to knit my own wedding dress one day. Sorry, Mum, there’s no man in my life right now, but that doesn’t stop me from planning my wedding. I love knitting lace and I’ve done quite a bit of it. I’ve also done a small bit of designing — mostly beanies and simple bags, that kind of thing (and a jumper for my niece which you know about already) — but I can’t for the life of me figure out how to design lace, especially with complicated shaping like in a fitted gown. When I handed up my thesis last year, I bought myself a book about designing and fitting knitted garments which I can see being useful to me later on and is a good general guide, but it didn’t get into the nitty-gritty of complicated things like lace design.

So, I bought this class. Miriam Felton, the teacher, is very inspirational in her enthusiasm for knitting and just getting out there and having a go. As I said, I’ve only watched the first lesson so far, so my wedding dress is a long way off, but I have been encouraged to finally post my first pattern online.

Barrel 2.1 — The Story Behind the Pattern
Last year I made, as a Christmas present, a beanie for a relative. Apart from rectangular projects, this was the first thing I designed myself. My family contains many aquarium enthusiasts and this one (who is not my Dad, but my Dad owns one too) owns an aquarium shop. I’ve grown up with community fish and I like them very much. One of my favourites is the angelfish. Here is a photo of one that I found on a public domain site:

I decided to make this relative a beanie with an angelfish on it. My aim was to make a beanie that reflected his aquarium-shop profession so he could wear it at work but not be so wacky that he wouldn’t want to wear it in public. This is what I ended up with:

I’m pretty proud of it. I especially like the moss/seed stitch (I believe the name of this stitch is controversial but I say go cry a river) edging as it serves the purpose of providing a more rigid bottom of the beanie while also looking like aquarium gravel. I had originally planned to do a blue background (like water) and black stripes on the fish, but I wanted this to be something a grown man would be happy to be seen in (the blue is gorgeous but quite garish, or should I say garfish? No, no I should not.), so I switched the colours.

Barrel 2.2 — Angelfish Beanie Pattern
Here is the pattern for my angelfish beanie. Please feel free to sell finished objects made using this pattern but please do not sell the pattern itself. I’ve only made this once and wrote the pattern down as I went along. If you find any errors or any confusing bits, please let me know so I can improve it!

Techniques
This pattern requires the use of Intarsia colourwork. As a basic principle in Intarsia, each time you change a colour, you start a new ball or strand of yarn. You do not, therefore, carry long lengths of yarn behind the work (these are called floats). This said, if you have just a couple of stitches of one colour, you may want to cheat a bit and carry the yarn at the back for that (I like to weave these floats round the working yarn like with stranded knitting, to make the back look neater) But, at the intersection between colours, it is a good idea to cross the two yarns over each other at the back so there are no holes. For the intricate bits, some people (not me) like to leave them off and fill them in using duplicate stitches once the piece is done. I’m sure this advice is far too vague to be useful, so here is a good tutorial on Intarsia techniques: http://theknitter.themakingspot.com/blog/intarsia-knitting.

This pattern is knit flat (as are most (/all?) Intarsia patterns).

Download the pattern here: Angelfish Beanie Pattern

ERRATUM: 31.12.2017 – A previous version of this pattern had the wrong number of stitches on the first row worked in black. It previously directed to K41, work chart, then K44. The correct directions should say to K41, work chart, then K40.The current pattern has been corrected.

Angelfish Beanie

Materials
Yarn:

  • 100g Black 8ply acrylic yarn (I used Thorobred)
  • 50g Brown 8ply acrylic yarn
  • Small amount Blue 8ply acrylic yarn
  • Small amount White 8ply acrylic yarn
  • Small amount Green 8ply acryic yarn

Needles and notions:

  • 3.75mm straight needles
  • Row counter
  • Stitch markers
  • Tapestry needle
  • Scissors

Tension: 22sts x 28 rows = 10cm

Size: To fit an adult head 50-55cm/20-22in circumference (I can tell you it fit my head which is about 22in and about how big you’d expect a man’s head to be)

Stitches:

  • Moss stitch:
    • Row 1 (RS): [k1, p1] to end
    • Row 2 (WS): [p1, k1] to end
  • Stocking (stockinette) stitch :
    • Row 1 (RS): K all stitches
    • Row 2 (WS): P all stitches

Intarsia Chart:

Pattern
Using brown and a one-needle cast-on (long-tail), cast on 112 stitches. Work in moss stitch for 7 rows.

Next row: Switch to black. K41, pm, work row 1 of Angelfish Beanie Intarsia Chart, pm, K40.

Continue the Angelfish Beanie Intarsia Chart between markers and black on either side of markers in stocking stitch throughout.

After Angelfish Beanie Intarsia Chart is completed, work 11 rows in black (stocking stitch).

Decrease for crown:
Row 1 (RS): [k6, k2tog] to end. 105 sts.
Row 2 and all alternate (WS) rows: P all sts
Row 3: [k5, k2tog] to end. 90 sts.
Row 5: [k4, k2tog] to end. 72 sts.
Row 7: [k3, k2tog] to end. 54 sts.
Row 9: [k2, k2tog] to end. 36 sts.
Row 11: [k1, k2tog] to end. 18 sts.
Row 13: [k2tog] to end. 9 sts.

Cut yarn, leaving a long tail. Thread tail through a tapestry needle. Pass thread through remaining live stitches and tighten. Use mattress stitch to sew together back seam of hat. Weave in ends. Block. Enjoy.

Peace,

Knitkatpaddywhack