Monday, November 17, 2014

My Outlander-inspired Try At Claire's Cowl

Outlander-inspired, Claire's Cowl in Kentucky Blue
Free Knitting Pattern

My version of Claire's cowl from the Outlander TV series
I read the first Outlander book years ago and didn't realize it was a series of books until the Outlander TV series came on this Fall on Starz. I'm loving the story, the clothing, the locations, the actors, and have been taken over by the urge to knit Outlander-based accessories. Hence my University of Kentucky Wildcat blue version of Claire's cowl.

Claire's cowl from Outlander,
Light, squidgy, and warm as toast.
 The pattern is easy, just a garter stitch mobius strip. I used 4 strands of Patons Astra in Electric Blue; cast on 20 stitches on a Size 10.5 knitting needle, then changed to Size 19 needles to knit in garter stitch for 45 ridges, or 90 rows; twisted one end to make a mobius strip and sewed the ends together as I cast off.
Claire's cowl folded in half

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Set of Armstutzerl (muffatees) Are a Hit

Branching Out scarf in Bernat Baby yarn.
It's my firstattempt at the BO pattern
I recently wanted to try the Knitty pattern Branching Out as a three panel repeat on the cuffs of a set of armstutzerl, also known as muffatees or undersleeves. I have done a scarf and a stole in the Branching Out (BO) pattern and loved how it turned out. It's a ten-row repeat, but if you're paying attention the first couple of times you get a feel for what's going on and it's not hard once you know why you're doing what the pattern says.
One change I made in the pattern is changing all double decreases, no matter if they're written as k3tog, sl2-k1-p2sso, or sl1-k2tog-psso, or however you make a 3stitch to 1stitch reduction. All my double decreases are centered double decreases, which I discovered when watching Annie Modesitt on TV explaining why to use them in her corset pattern. I then found out that a lot of lace shawl knitters use them to make the double decrease lace holes more defined.
Stole done in the Branching Out pattern.
So, anytime you see a double decrease in a knitting pattern that I've done, you can bet I'm doing this to those three stitches:
1. Slip the right one as if for knitting
 2. Lift the left stitch over the middle stitch and drop it off the needle to catch on that middle stitch
3. Knit the middle stitch
4. And then slip that slipped stitch over the middle one that you just knitted, dropping it to catch on that middle stitch.
Basically, you're only knitting the middle stitch and dropping both outside stitches over it. With a yarnover on either side, it makes a nice, even lacey hole on either side of the double decrease, which I can't get doing it any other way.

Finished armstutzerl done in No. 10 cotto
So, I was wondering what BO would look like in No. 10 cotton crochet thread. I dug out a couple of cones of purple crochet thread, Size Zero circular knitting needles, did the math for a three-panel repeat with stocking stitch dividers between them. I decided to start at the wrist and knit from the wrist down because of the direction of the lace pattern, bind off at the knuckles then pick back up the cast on wrist stitches and knit up the arm last.
I started from the wrist down with 72 stitches on circular needles. Knit three panels of 21 stitches of garter stitch separated by 3 stocking stitch dividers (21+3+21+3+21+3) for 12 rows for a kind of bracelet effect.
Lace cuff with crochet trim and
wooden beads sewn on to keep
the edge from curling.
On the last row of garter stitch panels, I reduced the garter stitches from 21 to 19, doing a k2tog on either side of the stocking stitch dividers. This should give you a stitch count of 19+3+19+3+19+3 = 66 total stitches to start the BO lace pattern, which goes from wrist to knuckles.
I did two repeats of the 10-row lace pattern, cabling the stocking stitch dividers every ninth row. Then I loosely cast off three stitches at a time with a crochet hook, and added a simple crocheted trim across the knuckles. I had some little wooden beads, so I sewed them on to keep the edge from curling up. Glass or ceramic would have been a little heavier, but I didn't have any. I could alternatively have crocheted more trim on to keep it from curling, but didn't want to take the cuffs past the knuckles.
Jamie's arm in her armstutzerl.
Picking up the cast-on stitches on circulars at the wrist top gave me 72 stitches to knit the sleeve portion upwards. I did a simple K2P2 rib pattern accented with spirals of yarnover-p2togs every three rows up the forearm. Space them however you want them, just be sure to repeat the placement every so often so it looks like you did it on purpose. Or just knit plain ribbing all the way up. Try them on as you go and stop when you're a couple of inches from the elbow.
Knit a K1P1 pattern until it's up to the bend of your elbow - or long enough to suit you - then use a really stretchy cast off. There are some videos on Youtube that show different ones, so pick whichever one you're most comfortable with.

I'm 55 years old and have little occasion for lacy armstutzerl, so I had my niece Jamie, who hand blends and sells specialized makeup, in mind the entire time I was knitting these. I recently surprised her with them in her mailbox and am glad to report that she is delighted. As a matter of fact, the photos on here of the armstutzerl were taken by her after she painted her nails to match. I'm a happy aunt.

For a PDF armstutzerl pattern based on a 16th century Bavarian portrait, click here.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Pattern For a Bearded Cap

Okay, this isn't my own pattern, but it's hilarious and I will definitely want to make several knitted bearded caps. Find the pattern here:

Monday, January 31, 2011

Solar Decathlon in DC Brings Back Memories

I love the idea of the competition for off the grid housing at the Solar Decathlon in Washington, DC ( Last winter we were without power from Dec. 18 - Dec 28, without phone access for much of the time, and because the main pumps work on electricity, we were without water, too. We had no way of knowing where/if/when relief supplies were coming and it wasn't until we had our services back that we watched the news and discovered that water and propane had been delivered several times within two miles of our home. A lot of good it did us!

My son freaked out and proclaimed our imminent demise as the night temperatures dipped well below freezing that first night, and demanded, "What are we going to do? We can't get out of here." My husband and I just smiled and said, "We'll just do what we used to do every winter when we were growing up." And he always teased me for keeping a lot of candles, kerosene lamps, propane, etc., on hand, "just in case!" That old five-gallon bucket in the laundry room saw a lot of use as a water-carrier from the creek to the house to flush the toilet. We managed to keep the living room warm with a propane space heater (make sure a window is cracked a hair if you use open flame for heat) and piled on a lot of covers plus woolly hats at night. My son discovered the joys of reading by kerosene lamp, which incidentally heated the small bedroom he slept in very nicely as long as he dressed in layers during the day and wrapped in a goose-down quilt at night. I was reminded of my childhood every morning, seeing those magical frosted shapes iced onto the insides of the windows by the bed. But you can bet that as soon as we could travel, we went to visit my cousin in the next town and I got a long, hot bath! Those quick, ice-cold, stand-up baths aren't all that pleasant.

But I do miss the days in my youth when we didn't have to worry about depending on faceless corporate culture for our comfort and survival. If the power went out, did we even notice? We heated and cooked with wood and coal. Our water was gravity fed from an artesian well; before that, our wellbox was built into the back porch and covered by its roof; many school mornings we broke the ice to wash and brush our teeth at a little washstand at the edge of the porch. The chlorine-scrubbed toilet was over by the barnyard and we certainly didn't want it in the house! The phone was an 8-party line that we couldn't use most of the time anyway - the other people on the line kept it busy. TV was allotted to an hour after homework was done, if the power was on and the ladder wire to the top of the hill was still in one piece or hadn't been twisted. Things haven't gotten simpler; they've become more complicated since then.

But, it's nice to get up to a warm house, to flip a lever and the lights come on or the john flushes. To "zap" a quick snack in the microwave, to have a special water heater for cups of tea, to know there's food in the fridge and everything doesn't have to be homegrown and canned if you aren't able to do that. If I could have all that and not depend on being hooked into corporations' wires and pipes, well, that would be fantastic independence.

Thanks to all the entrants for what they are doing. I just wish the Appalachian State University's Solar Homestead design didn't look so much like my grandfather's chicken house that just grew by modules into a mismatched group of shapes, wooden storage boxes, and a cookstove under a lean-to attached to a storage shed, that my grandmother used to can on. At first, I thought the design was a gas station, then noticed that it looked more like a conglomeration of second-thought additions onto a storage building.

Maybe they'll work on aesthetics next time.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Fitted Shawl Crochet Pattern

Yarn: Worsted Weight
Crochet Hook: Start with Size I and change to Size K at Row 20

beg = beginning
ch = chain
dc = double crochet
dc cluster = 2dc, ch2, 2dc in same space
Ending dc = dc cluster in last dc cluster, then dc in ch2 at beg of prev row
prev = previous
rep = repeat
sc = single crochet
sk = skip
sp = space
st/sts = stitch/stitches

1. Using Size I hook, Ch 61 (this is a multiple of 6, +1) [I have arthritis in my fingers so I crochet very loosely. If 61 stitches doesn't seem to be enough, increase your beginning chain to 91 or even 121 and try that.]
2. Ch 1, sc in each of previous 61 sts. You can rep Row 2 if you want a wider band for a collar.
3. *Ch 5, skip 2 sts and sc in third st; rep from * continuing all the way across, forming 20 loops.
4. Ch 2, sc in top of first loop. *Ch 4, sc in top of next loop; rep all the way across. After sc in the last loop, dc in base of first ch 5 in previous row.
5. Ch 2, *dc cluster in next loop, ch 1, sk 1 loop; rep from * all the way across. Ending dc.
6. Ch 2, *dc cluster in dc cluster, ch 2; rep from * all the way across. Ending dc.
7. Rep Row 6.
8. Ch 2, *dc cluster in dc cluster, ch 3; rep from * across. Ending dc.
9. Rep Row 8.
10. Ch 2, *dc cluster in dc cluster, ch 2, dc in ch3 sp, ch 2. Rep from * across. Ending dc.
11. Ch 2, *dc cluster in dc cluster, ch 2, 2 dc in dc, ch 2. Rep from * across. Ending dc.
12. Ch 2, *dc cluster in dc cluster, ch 2, [dc, ch1, dc] in single dc, ch 2. Rep from * across. Ending dc.
13. Ch 2, *dc cluster in dc cluster, ch 2 [dc, ch2, dc] in ch1, ch 2. Rep from * across. Encing dc.
14. Ch 2, *dc cluster in dc cluster, ch 2, dc cluster in ch2 between 2dc, ch 2, Rep from * across. Ending dc.
15. Ch 2, *dc cluster in dc cluster, ch 2. Rep from * across. Ending dc.
16. Rep row 15. (This row can be repeated several times if you want to lengthen the shawl at the shoulders.)
17. Ch 2, *dc cluster in dc cluster, ch 3. Rep from * across. Ending dc.
18. Rep Row 17.
19. Rep Row 17.

20. Ch 2, *dc cluster in dc cluster, ch 2, dc in ch 3, ch 2. Rep from * across. Ending dc.
21. Ch 2, *dc cluster in dc cluster, ch 2, dc in dc, ch 2. Rep from * across. Ending dc.
22. Rep Row 21.
23. Rep Row 21.
24. Rep Row 21.
25. Ch 2, *dc cluster in dc cluster, ch 2, 2dc in single dc, ch 2. Rep from * across. Ending dc.
26. Ch 2, *dc cluster in dc cluster, ch 2, [dc, ch 1, dc] in 2dc. Rep from * across. Ending dc.
27. Ch 2, *dc cluster in dc cluster, ch 2, [dc, ch 2, dc] in 2dc, ch 2. Rep from * across. Ending dc.
28. Ch 2, *dc cluster in dc cluster, ch 2, dc cluster in [dc, ch 2, dc] of previous row, ch 2. Rep from * across. Ending dc.
29. Ch 2, *dc cluster in dc cluster, ch 2. Rep from * across. Ending dc.

Repeat Row 29 until within a couple of inches of desired length (remember that blocking will add length).

Last Row – Ch 2, *5dc in dc cluster, sc in ch 2 between dc clusters. Rep from * across; dc in beg ch 2 of prev row. Bind off.

Work in ends at beg and end of shawl then wash and block the shawl.

You can make an I-cord about two and a half feet long from the same or contrasting yarn (or cut a ribbon or cord to length) and thread it around the neck to tie in a bow, if desired.

Pattern by Jennifer C Rose
March 2010

Please contact me with any feedback about this pattern. It probably still has some kinks in it that will need fixing. : )

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

I'm on Facebook

I have a Facebook page at:

so that's where I mostly post. But it's a bit restrictive for posting patterns and stuff like that, so I'm seriously planning to take some photos and post my knitting and crochet patterns on here. Plus, it'll be a good place to group my favorite links. :)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010