Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Cozied up


Over the last few days i've been working on these fun little ornaments, which are really easy, and sort of addictive. Come the end of Christmas, i'm not sure what i'll replace them with for tiny, portable projects.

I made a few at first that looked ok, but I couldn't get them stuffed in a way that I found satisfying....and then I decided to try it with a 2.5" Styrofoam ball. Voila, perfect roundness. I'm sure it would work with a standard 2.5" blank or coloured Christmas ball as well.

Most of mine were done in worsted or sport weight yarn, on size 7 needles.

Cast on 8 stitches, and either work as Icord, or divide on 4 needles. (Two stitches per needle). Be sure to leave a slightly longer than usual cast on tail-we'll use this later.

Join in the round and work in stockinette stitch for about 5 inches. This will be the "hook" for your ornament.

(you can skip the whole icord part, cast on 8 and begin the ornament. You will however need to either crochet a hook later, or tie a piece of yarn to the top to act as a hook.)

Now begin the ornament. If you worked the first stitches as Icord, now divide the stitches onto four needles. Place a marker to mark the beginning of your round.

Increase rounds:

Round 1: kfb all the way around. (you should now have 4 stitches on each needle.)
Round 2: Knit
Round 3: On each needle, kfb, knit to last stitch, kfb.
Round 4: Knit
Repeat round 3 and 4 until you have 12 stitches on each needle, ending on a round 3. (having just done your last increases.) Your increase rounds should leave you with 6 stitches, then 8, then 10, then 12.
Knit for 6 rounds

Decrease Rounds:
Round 1: *SSK, knit to last two stitches, K2tog*all the way around
Round 2: Knit

Repeat rounds 1 and 2 until you have 6 stitches on each needle. Now it's time to pop the styrofoam ball in there. Depending on your tension, it might be a bit tight at this point. That's good though, because it's a lot easier to knit around it from this point on if the knitting holds it in and you don't have to try to hold it in as you knit.
If you put the ball in and it's too loose, wait until the next decrease round and see if it stays put a bit better.
Continue decrease rounds 1 and 2 until you have 4 stitches on each needle.

Last round:  SSK and K2tog on each needle. You should now have 2 stitches on each needle.

If you decided to skip the styrofoam ball, now would be the time to put in some batting to form your ball.

Break yarn, thread it onto a tapestry needle and draw through the remaining stitches and secure.

Now thread your cast on tail onto a tapestry needle, bend your top icord in half and secure the top end to the bottom end (top of the ornament).
For this I tied a few hidden knots, and then ran the needle down the side of the ornament to the base and did one final knot down there.

Voila. Christmasy fun!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Yarn Along ::Catching Up::

I've been utterly terrible lately about posting and keeping updated. I've sort of taken an unintentional mild internet/social media hiatus over the last month, keeping busy with slightly more eventful everyday life.

As a result, I haven't updated my knitting projects on my Ravelry page (or here) at all, so i'm just starting to get them photographed to post.

I can't post any of the many Christmas presents I've finished, but I can post a couple things that have been keeping me busy!

Currently i'm working on a mindless but fun and addictive project, my Candy Land Cowl

I'm using 8 mini skeins that I have leftover from my Little Leaves...but they probably won't last me for as much bare eco wool I'm using along with it, so I'm thinking that I might try using dmc cord for the remaining colours. It seems to be about the same weight as the mini merino. If that doesn't work out, maybe i'll get a few different colours of  sock yarn. 
I'd just go buy some more mini merino skeins but the seller doesn't seem to carry them any longer. Bummer!

I've also just finished the newly released Swift Hat, and let me just say that this yarn was heavenly. Talk about beings spoiled! I've had it in my stash for over a year just waiting for the perfect project.

This was such an pleasant and fast project, I'll probably make more in the near future.

The pattern would look better and more accurate if It were being modeled by an adult, but Lotte stole it from me and won't give it back. She even went to bed wearing it, so I'm out of luck getting a better picture until I can sneak it away from her. I'm continuously amazed by how incredibly territorial a determined toddler can be!

Binding off,