Ruffles

I’ve knit ruffles. And bobbles. And worked picot edgings. But I’ve never really fallen in love with them. Until now. 


Maybe it’s the yarn– leftover Drops Alpaca (the white) and Alpaca with a Twist Baby Twist (the orange). Both soft as butter with a subtle halo. Or it could be the weight and glint of the glass beads. Or the drape of the piece. Whatever it is I am completely enchanted by these cuffs. The pattern is Mrs. Beeton. I’ve known about this pattern since it first came out in, but never could find a person to knit them for. They seemed too fussy. Too impractical. Too purely decorative. 
And then I found myself wracking my brain trying to find a gift for my good friend Lynn and I realized that these were perfect for her. Lynn is the kind of person that Dresses. If choosing between looking good and being comfortable, looking good wins each time. She comes from a generation that didn’t wear jeans. Women didn’t wear pants. She loves to dress well and she is a master at it. I knew she would like and appreciate these cuffs. I knew she would actually wear them. And I knew that I had the yarn for them in my stash. 

As I set out to knit them I was worried that the pattern might be hopelessly fiddly. And it is fiddly. But in a completely worth it type of way. Not a fling the project across the room type of way. 

Getting started was the hardest part. The pattern calls for size 11 seed beads on the bottom bell cuff to be threaded on fingering weight yarn. This was impossible. I could not find a beading needle that was small enough to pass through the head but with a large enough eye to thread the yarn through. After trying 4 or 5 different combinations and methods I gave up and threaded the size 8 beads on instead. Once worked the cast in and started on the ruffle I was surprised at how easy the pattern was. This pattern provides a lot of interest for a relatively small effort– it’s not hard, it doesn’t take very much yarn and the hardest part is getting started. 

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How to Use Up All Your Leftover Sock Yarn, Part II

Tiny socks followed by tiny mittens. 

Mitten Pattern:

Using size 2 needles cast on 24 stitches.

Knit 1, purl 1 around for a total of 10 rows. 

Next row: switch to stockinette and at the same time increase 3 stitches evenly. 

Next row: knit 13 stitches, pm, k1, pm, knit to end. The stitch in between the markers is the beginning of the thumb gore. 

Round 1: knit to first marker, slip marker, m1, knit to next marker, m1, slip marker, knit to end.

Round 2: knit, slipping markers as you go

Repeat rounds 1 and 2 until you have 9 thumb stitches. 

Next round: knit to market, place thumb stitches in a holder and remove markers, knit to end.

Next round: knit to space where thumb stitches were, m1, knit to end.

Knit 3 rounds even

Next round (decreasing starts): knit 7, k2tog, around. 

Next round: knit to one stitch before the prior k2tog, k2tog, around

Repeat this round until 3 stitches remain. Break yarn and pull through remaining stitches. 

Thumb:

Pick up held stitches and divide equally between dpn’s. 

Knit 2 rounds in stockinette

Decrease round: k1, k2tog around

Next round: k2tog around

Break yarn and pull through remaining 3 stitches


How to Use Up All Those Tiny Balls of Leftover Sock Yarn

I knit a lot of socks. And I have a lot of leftover sock yarn. Dozens of tiny balls. Too little yarn to knit new socks. But enough, I realized recently,  to make sock and mitten ornaments. 

I have wanted to knit ornaments for a few years now but with all the holiday craziness I never got around to it. Then I was digging through my stash looking for yarn for another small project and lamenting all the tiny balls of leftover sock yarn when I had an idea– I could finally make ornaments! First I went to ravelry and looked at patterns. Then I realized this was ridiculous since I can’t remember the last time I needed to use a pattern to knit a sock or a mittens. I could just make them smaller. And bonus! I only need to knit one instead of a pair each time. 

Soon enough I had knit these


And this

Sock Pattern:

Using size 2 needles (or any size you like, really), cast on 30 stitches. Join for working in the round.

Knit 1, purl 1 around for a total of 10 rounds. 

Switch to stockinette and knit 20 rounds

Next round: knit first 14 stitches. Then turn work. The rest of the heel will be worked over these fourteen stitches. 

Row 1: (slip one, purl one) across

Row 2: slip one, then knit the remainder of the stitches

Repeat these two rows another 5 times. Repeat row 1. 

Then start short row heel: knit 8 stitches, ssk, knit one. Turn work. 

Next row: slip one, purl 3, p2tog, purl 1, turn work

Row 1: slip one, knit to one stitch before the gap, ssk, knit one, turn work

Row 2: slip one, purl to one stitch before the gap, p2tog, purl one, turn work

Repeat rows 1 and 2 until all of the stitches have been worked

Joining round: knit across heel stitches, pick up 7 stitches along the side of the heel flap, knit across top of foot stitches, pick up seven stitches along other side of heel flap. Now divide the heel stitches evenly and distribute them between the two needles and knit to the top of the heel stitches. You should have the top of foot stitches all on one needle, and the heel stitches and heel flap stitches that you picked up should be evenly divided between the other two needles. I should note here that this is how I like to do things. If you have another method that you prefer or if you customarily use 5 needles instead of 4 when using dpn’s then feel free to disregard. Just make sure you know where the beginning of the round is so that you know where to decrease.

Moving the beginning of the round and decreasing: knit across the top of the heel stitches. You have arrived at the new beginning of the round. 

Decrease round: knit one, ssk, knit to 3 stitches before the top of foot stitches, k2tog, knit 1, knit to end. 

Work this round every other round until there are 14 total bottom of foot stitches, keeping the alternate round in stockinette stitch. Then knit another 9 rounds.

Next round: knit to top of foot stitches, knit one, ssk, knit to 3 stitches before end of top of foot stitches, k2tog, knit 1, knit to end of round. 

Decrease round: k1, ssk, knit to 3 stitches before top of foot stitches, k2tog, knit 2, ssk, knit to 3 stitches before the end of round, k2tog, knit 1.

Repeat decrease round until there are 8 stitches left, 4 for the top of foot, and 4 for the bottom. Arrange remaining stitches so that the 4 top of foot stitches are on one needle and the 4 bottom of foot stitches are in one needle then use Kitchener stitch to graft toe stitches together. 

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Each of these knit up quick and easy. I am powering through my stash of mini balls of sock yarn. It’s kind of freeing in a way. And kind of joyful. I can’t wait to put hang mini socks and mittens in my tree in a few weeks. 

Next blog entry will be mittens.