Super-quick Rasta knits

rastahat_flat_web

I had such fun designing and knitting my 30-Round Rasta Hat with Malabrigo’s super-chunky Rasta yarn—and you all have responded so enthusiastically to my quick-knit pattern—that I thought I’d share a few other great designs worked in this chubby, squishy merino.


Ovate by Tori Gurbisz manages to finagle an elegant shawl out of a super-bulky yarn. And it’s now on sale during the Indie Design Gift-A-Long!

6244997444_d2aea1f0be_b


Four skeins of Rasta will yield this piece of cozy loveliness, the Sentiment shawl by Andrea Rangel.

Sentiment1


I adore this new, romantic hat design from Larissa Brown, the Frost Bonnet. The hat is tied to her remarkable time-travel / Viking fantasy novel, Beautiful Wreck.

shield_198_-_Shine_from_Dress__4_


If you need a quick pair of mittens, check out Kate Oates’ Warmest Mittens pattern, which includes sizes from toddler through men’s.

8436007852_217b47fc57_b


You can find many other options using Ravelry’s advanced search page. Have fun whipping up some quick knits using super-bulky yarns!

Men’s and boys’ knitting roundup: special Gift-A-Long edition

GAL14_728x90_Joinusf

With the Indie Design Gift-A-Long (GAL) starting on Ravelry tonight (at 8pm EST), I thought I’d show you some of my favorites of the men’s and boys’ patterns that are eligible for the GAL’s generous 25% discount.

There are 293 designers participating in the GAL, each person putting between 4 and 20 patterns on sale, so wading through everything can take a while. There is, of course, a great pleasure to be had in this browsing—a pleasure I’ve been indulging in last night and this morning—but if you’re looking specifically for men’s and boys’ knits, the search could get a little tedious.

Never fear! I’ve pulled together a substantial catalog of my favorites from the men’s and boys’ patterns that are part of this year’s GAL. This is by no means a complete list of what’s available in the GAL for men and boys—these are just some of my faves.

Also bear in mind that some of these designers have multiple patterns up for boys and men, so if you see something you like, click on the designer’s name on the Ravelry pattern page, and see what else they’ve got in their Gift-A-Long bundle!


MEN’S PATTERNS

Chum’s Pullover by Kate Bostwick
Such a great neckline. Perfect for men who are either slim or very muscular.

Full_Frontal

Cashmere Cosy by Loraine Birchall
It is entirely possible that I am being influenced by what is—erm—not the hat in this photo.

TIM_3820

Saturnalia Infinity Scarf by Elizabeth Elliott
Modern look and a great way to make a neutral yarn fun to knit.

web_circle6-T

Dawson by Elizabeth Green Musselman (that’s me!)
Shawl collars are perfect for the cold, and the texture keeps the knitting interesting.

4857231461_dfd4fb66f5_z

Askance by Rich Ensor
Rich has tons of great men’s socks available in the GAL.

Askance_WEB_medium

Bilateral Beanie by Karin Wilmoth
I’ve included two photos here to show you how cool this reversible, double-knit hat is.

Rayguns by Annie Watts
For the sci-fi fan, it doesn’t get any cooler than these gloves. Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!

IMG_0099

Johannes by Suvi Simola
Excellent use of texture—and three cheers for the non-standard issue model.

_01S7181

Pigment by Lee Meredith
For the man who loves color, this scarf is where it’s at.

10866284653_7cd271deba_b

Black Slant by Anneh Fletcher
Anneh’s socks are modeled by women, but most are perfect for men and all have interesting construction.

IMG_2637_sm


BOYS’ PATTERNS

There are a number of great designs for baby and toddler boys in the GAL, but here I’m focusing on boys aged 4–18.

Umberto by Sarah Ronchetti
Great classic knit, in both sweater and vest version, sized 3mos to 12 years.

mommato8_medium

Little Fox Mittens by Birch Hollow Cottage
Birch Hollow has a whole range of woodland creature mittens in the GAL.

IMG_3821

Lighthouse Keeper by Andrea Sanchez
This adorable, quick, bulky knit comes in sizes 6mos to 12 years.

image

Japhy by Elizabeth Sullivan
Will wonders never cease? A sweater pattern written just for teen boys!

Japhy_Sweater_1

Texo Pullover by Anjali M
Who doesn’t love pockets? Just enough texture, too. Sized for toddlers to tweens.

IMG_1668

Mt. Hood Snow Cap by Star Athena
This hat is sized for children and adults, but looks especially dashing on this little guy.

6798529873_6b24d3bf28_b

Langstroth by Elizabeth Green Musselman (yup, me again)
One of my first designs and still one of my favorites—just knits, purls and slip stitches.

langstroth-sm

Limepop Sweater by Terri Kruse
Another classic use of texture and raglan shaping, sized 12 mos to 8 years.

YSAweb5


Have fun! And don’t forget to join the knitalongs that go along with the GAL.

Gift-along with me

Just in time for holiday knitting and sudden cold snaps, I’ve just released a new pattern: the 30-Round Rasta Hat.

rastahat_dianne_web

(Podcast fans: you may recognize the gorgeous Dianne from the Suburban Stitcher podcast, who so kindly agreed to model the hat for me at Rhinebeck!)

Yup, not kidding: it really takes only 30 rounds to knit this hat, thanks to the squish-i-lumpcious Malabrigo Rasta yarn. It was really fun for me to see what happened when I scaled this delicate leaf lace pattern up to super-chunk size.

rastahat_flat_web

All you need is 65 yards of a super-bulky wool, and you’ll have a hat in an evening. Perfect for that last-minute gift or that night—like last night here—when the temperature suddenly drops 20 degrees and you’re left wondering why you haven’t knit yourself any new hats yet….

The pattern has been fully test knit and tech edited and includes a link to a dedicated video tutorial that explains how to work the “make 3 below” stitch called for in the pattern. (It’s the kind of thing that’s much easier to show than to describe in words!)

* * *

If you’re gearing up for full-on gift knitting, you should know that there’s a mondo pattern sale and knit-/crochet-along that’s about to begin on Ravelry. About 300 indie designers are each offering up to 20 patterns for 25% discount between 8pm EST on November 13 (this Thursday!) and midnight on November 21.

It’s the second annual Indie Designer Gift-A-Long (GAL), and it’s both a great way to pick up a bunch of patterns for gift knitting/crocheting at a great price, and also a fun make-along with tons of prizes and games. Participating designers are listed here, and each of us has our eligible patterns in a Gift-A-Long bundle. My bundle of 20 patterns includes designs for boys and men (my stock-in-trade), as well as a bunch of great accessory patterns for women as well.

The 30-Round Rasta Hat and the hunting gloves I’ll be releasing in a couple of weeks are unfortunately a little late to join the 2014 GAL party, but I hope you find them useful as you plan your gift knitting nonetheless!

Men’s knitting roundup #4

Since the holidays are rapidly approaching, today’s men’s knitting pattern roundup will focus on accessories – that is, quick gifts that can still be accomplished between now and possibly even Hannukah, though that comes quite early this year!

ImageFirst up: some beautifully designed socks by Jennifer Beever, a relatively new designer based in Calgary. The pattern, called Josh, has some fine features, including a false rib pattern down the back of the leg that merges seamlessly into the heel flap. It’s a great, classic sock that even men with the most conservative clothing tastes could appreciate. Josh can be yours for $5 Canadian on Ravelry (that’s just a little less than $5 US).

Jennifer also recently published a pair of garter-stitch mittens that would be perfect for men living in cold climates.

_____________

Image

ImageThis next duo of patterns, the Tolt Hat and Mitts by Andrea Rangel (available together for $8 on Ravelry), would make a perfect gift set and would appeal particularly to younger men, I suspect. If you are new to stranded colorwork, this would make a great pattern to cut your teeth on, as the stitch pattern is fairly simple, quick, and satisfying at a worsted-weight gauge.

When choosing colors for your own project, just make sure to select two colors that have some significant difference in light value. (That is, choose one color that’s relatively light and another that’s rather dark.) Otherwise, all your hard-won colorwork will be difficult to see.

_______________

ImageAnother design that’s likely to appeal to younger men (and boys!) is Elizabeth Murphy’s Goblin Hat. I love the clever construction on these: if you’ve ever been baffled by how to wear a slouchy hat, you will love how this buttoned-down version makes the wearing of a slouchy hat simple. And what a great stash-buster for leftover bits of worsted-weight yarn. Plus, the pattern is free!

______________

Image

If you need a super-quick knit, try the Courage fingerless mitts (also free) by another new designer, Elizabeth Davis. This pattern includes instructions for three sizes and two lengths (short length shown here), so you can whip up several pairs for people on your list.

New hat pattern! or, another way to cable without a cable needle

There are some great tutorials out there about how to make knitted cables without using a cable needle. The hat above represents a completely different way of thinking beyond the cable needle: use colorwork to create a faux cable. The next photo shows the effect even more clearly:

See how the sage green sections look like cables crossing over each other? I think it would be lovely on socks, too. If you have Luise Roberts’ wonderful little colorwork stitch dictionary called 1000 Great Knitting Motifs, you will find this stitch pattern on p. 105.

I just made this hat pattern available on Ravelry, and it will soon be up on the KnitPicks web site as well. It’s a quick knit, so if you’re looking for something last-minute for the holidays, this might just be the ticket.

On an unrelated note, I would just like to note that we here in the Land of the Large Eyebrows do not believe in trimming our eyebrow hair. No, we do not.

Basket of honor

You see this?

I want to wear this around my neck all day long. Why? Well, who wouldn’t want to wear yarn around their neck like a feed bag? You could just bend your head down and nuzzle it whenever you wanted.

But that’s not the real reason. No, this yarn is special because a former student gave it to me as a thank you for the teaching and mentoring I’ve given to her over the past four years. This student, Caitlin, crochets herself, but more importantly she knows how much the yarn crafts mean to me. And so here is this basket filled with bright, soft lace-weights; lovely undyed organic cottons; and two sets of wooden needles, including a set of those 9″ circular needles that I have been wanting to try.

It’s incredibly touching, isn’t it? Even more amazing to me is that this is the second time a student has thanked me with the glorious gift of yarn. In fact, with the yarn from that first student (Amanda), I crocheted an afghan for this latest student (Caitlin). Isn’t it just like fiber to create that soft web between us?