0 In Knit & Crochet

Superchunky scarf, beanie and headband

It’s finally done! This winter, I decided to make myself a very cozy and chunky, yet stylish, ensemble! Of course, the first thing that popped in my mind was COLORBLOCK! So I picked two colors that went well together for a modern, clean look! For the whole project, I used Phil Express (see here) in two colors: creme (the lighter) and minerva (the darker), suited for 12mm needles or crochet hook. In total, I used about 4 creme skeins (balls) and 1 minerva skein. For the scarf I used 3 creme skeins and half to 3/4 of the minerva one. I used the fourth creme skein plus the rest of the darker one both for the beanie and the headband. One thing to note is that, although I love the chunky stuff, these skeins are 200 grams apiece, which means that my scarf is nearly 1kg. For a small person like me, it may be a bit heavy at times. So, I love chunky because it knits fast and because, well, it’s chunky (!) but I have to say that after this project I will go back to knitting a bit smaller (e.g., 5mm or so). It takes longer to knit a garment but I realize that I may prefer the feel of finer-knitted garments on my skin 🙂 Personal preference though!

The stitch I used is called seed stitch, which is a very easy technique suitable for beginners, consisting alternated knit and purl stitches (check my seed stitch post, if you need more info!). I did not do video tutorials on the project (I still take ages to do things, so filming longer projects is something I haven’t done yet) but I am preparing some shorter clips to show you the individual techniques that I used, such as how to combine two colors at a very basic level, how to construct a beanie, or how to make a pompom! These tutorials will be coming your way, and I will update this post with the videos too, so stay tuned!

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THE SCARF

(left) measures about 35cm by 150cm (though you can make the scarf as wide and long as you feel like!). For this scarf, I cast on 20 stitches on 12mm needles: 4 stitches using the minerva color, and 16 using the creme color. To achieve this bubbly seed stitch, you only have to alternate knit and purl stitches starting with the knit stitch (k1, p1) in odd rows (e.g., 1, 3, 5) and starting with the purl stitch (p1, k1) in even rows (2, 4, 6…). The second technique you will need is to know is how to knit using two colors, or two different balls of yarn. A project like this one is about the easiest way to slowly get into using colors in your knit. Basically, for this scarf, you will knit the darker with the darker, and the lighter with the lighter -the only thing you must remember is, when you get to the last stitch of color A and must change to color B, you have to take both (A and B) strands and twist them once together before continuing with the other color, in such a way that strand A comes on top of strand B -and then you continue knitting with color B. This way you ensure that you are not knitting two scarves side by side but that you “attach” them together -which is why you need to intertwine the two strands. I will soon prepare a video and either pictures or illustrations, to exemplify this for you in a visual way.

THE BEANIEDSCF7428_edited

took me about an afternoon to do! In this case, what I did was to knit it on the round (although I will explain in the future how you can use easier construction methods). How did I do this? It seems complicated, but it’s super easy: I cast on 33 stitches on my circular needles, for a head circumference of about 55cm. Remember to measure your head and, if you are not sure of how many stitches you need, knit one or two rows, get it off your needles, and try it on -better safe than sorry! Back to the technique, knitting on the round is very easy, it means that once you have cast your stitches on, you introduce the needle with the yarn (so, the last stitch you cast) into the loop of the first stitch you had cast (so, the stitch at the very tail) thereby creating a circle. So, you will be knitting all the time in spiral. When you knit on the round, you don’t turn your work around, therefore the usual patterns need to be adapted. DSCF7427_editedIn seed stitch, you basically purl the knit, and knit the purl, therefore on the round you will have to cast an uneven number of stitches for the pattern to be continuous. After a few rounds of practice you should begin to understand why this is needed. After that I simply knitted 26 rows without any decreases, as I don’t like so much these head-fitting beanies.
The way to finish it off is easier than you will ever imagine: instead of casting off your stitches, just cut the yarn that you use to knit further, leaving some 30cm (to be sure). Then, insert that yarn through all the loops of the stitches using a tapestry or yarn needle or similar, and then remove the circular needles’ cord (it’s easy if you just unscrew it from the needle, and pull it out), and pull from the string that you had introduced through all the loops, and knot to secure! After “binding the hat off”, you will only need the pompom to top it off nicely, but I’ll explain everything about creating and assembling the pompom in a new post!

THE HEADBANDIMG_20151211_182500_edited

is my replacement for the beanie when I don’t feel like getting my hair all squashed and ugly. Basically, I knitted two rectangles, one big in creme color, and one small in minerva. The main headband is 7 stitches wide, so I cast on 7 stitches and continued for some 32 rows (the good thing of knitting it in this way is that you can try to wrap it around your head and calculate how tight you want it). Because the number of stitches is uneven too, I could simply k1 p1 all rounds. After, I cast off my stitches following the pattern (alternating knit and purl stitches) and I sowed both ends together with a yarn needle and more of the creme-colored yarn. To finish it off, I made a smaller rectangle in minerva (about 6 stitches wide, and 14 rows long) which I wrapped around the headband at the exact location where I had united both ends (so that it would disguise the seam, if visible) and sowed both ends together, with the seam on the inner side (the one in contact with your head). I am loving my headband, although I have to admit that it is so overly bumpy that the darker “bow” I added protrudes a bit too much, and I look like a cute miner wearing a helmet with a flashlight 😀 But in somewhat less chunky wool this will never be a problem!

And here is happy me wearing the scarf + beanie for the first time! Much love here! I hope you liked it 🙂

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