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Easy and Gorgeous Alpaca Cowl instructions

Local, natural alpaca bliss in a brown like only the best chocolate

A photo posted by Faerwear (Dori) (@faerwear) on

This came from a local alpaca ranch – we actually have several of these within an hour’s radius, and we’ve mostly visited all of them (fun for kids, and alpaca poop is BOMB for your garden, and it doesn’t burn – so you can basically just sprinkle it around whenever you want and your plants and your soil will show almost-instant happiness).

Actually though, i found this one single skein in one of the local thrift shops. I couldn’t believe it, because a thirty dollar skein of yarn came home with me for $6.50, label and all, but so it did. One single skein, which hung out in my yarn stash until recently when I began busting for gifts.

I really only knit small things anymore – hats, small shawls and triangular scarves, fancy washcloths – and I whipped this up as a gift. I of course tried it on, and it’s pretty dang sexy.

SUPER simple instructions here:

You’ll need one 220-yard skein of something luxurious in a heavy fingering/sock weight, or double two laceweights (which is pretty much what this was, handspun two-ply) and some US10 needles (I use a 16″ circular because it’s easy transport for me). You really do need something with a propensity for drape – alpaca, silk blends, etc.

Cast on 84 stitches and join for knitting in the round. Purl a row, and then knit for 12-18 inches (if you want to be able to pull this up over your head and ears, knit at least 18-24 inches). You’ll have some curl (quite a bit at the beginning) because it’s straight stockinette but eventually the weight of the fabric will pull most of it out and the rest of it just looks and feels nice. Cast off in purl and block.

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Christmas Knitting, Gifts and Free Knitting Patterns

free knitting pattern | Evie's Dream Scarf | faerwear

It’s no secret amongst my friends that I’m also an avid knitter, and there’s nothing like finding good free knitting patterns that endure. I’ve paid for plenty of patterns – I can tell you from personal experience that a LOT of work goes into one, even if it’s just formatting it for standards so you can post it on your own blog.

I had a crazy year though, and my knitting time was basically taken up by designing faerwear (that’s fine too – I love to knit and make jewelry, but knitting is one of those things that i do strictly for gifting and enjoyment as I am slow at it) – but it’s now the holiday season, and so I am knitting like crazy).

This is exciting because it offers the periodic excuse to visit a yarn shop (or Webs, or Jimmy Beans Wool, my two favorites for finding deals on commercially-produced yarns), have soft fluffy things in my hands for hours, watch a lot of period pieces (my favorite for knitting) and also because it means I just get to be creative, without worrying about whether something will sell.

Christmas gifts from me are generally hats, dishcloth sets and cowls – they’re all quick, easy, and always useful 🙂

That being said, I actually have several of my own patterns available, some of which are free and found right here on this website! If you’re on Ravelry, you can peruse all of my patterns together right here.

And yes, I do knit a lot of my own hat patterns as gifts – but I wanted to mention, also, two of my other favorite go-tos: the classic Felicity hat pattern, and Graham from Nutty Irishman Knits – both of these slouchy beanies knit up quickly and easily.

Eventually I will tell my very sweet and romantic story (the one that left me single-parenting all year) – but suffice it to say, that part of our lovely modern day love story saga is now over and my Canadian partner was granted a marriage visa this very morning! We will all be together as a family again in just a few short weeks – I’m so excited about the new life we are about to embark on, and all the creativity that is about to pile out of this household.

I have two more craft shows happening before Christmas – one this Friday and one this coming Monday evening (a “sip and shop” – lord help me, because I think that “sip” might mean “wine”, but that’s always a good thing when it comes to shopping). So I’m busy writing, making earrings, knitting, and mothering all at once right now and just reminding myself that January is going to be a big sigh of relief.

Happy Holidays!

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Free hat pattern – Ryan – knitting, one skein

Ryan | free knitting pattern | Ravelry | hat | faerwear

Ravelry to the rescue!

A Ravelry member got in touch with me recently and actually had this pattern printed out from ages ago – so… it’s been restored! Many thanks to this awesome community of yarn addicts and helpful people.

Warning:

I never gauged any of these free hat patterns. They were written when i was getting ready to birth my now seven year old daughter – I was pretty much too big to move much and kind friends were commissioning hats to keep me sane – I named the three free patterns I created after them.

Who was Ryan?

Ryan was a sweet, outdoorsy guy who wore a lot of stuff from Patagonia. He requested a fitted hat in gray and left me to my own devices. Wanting to keep myself interested, I came up with this rib and cable design. He wanted a form-fitting cap, and you can knit the straight rows longer just above the ribbing if you want a brim you can fold up to make it “skullcappy”. This hat is sized to fit an average adult male head of 24″ but because it’s really stretchy, it will fit an average woman’s head size of 22″ as well. As is the case with Shakti and Arrow,  this is a free pattern transcribed from my chicken scratch – however, it was originally written in 2010, and all reported errata has long since been edited into the pattern (the last reported errata was in early 2011). Knit as your own discretion as I cannot offer pattern support, but Ravelry forums are awesome.

Materials:

  • Yarn: The yarn I used originally was Stitch Nation by Debbie Stoller Alpaca Love, 80% Pure New Wool/20% Alpaca; 85g/132 yards; 1 skein (you’ll use about half!) – but it was discontinued! Try Cascade 220 regular or superwash, or Berocco Ultra Alpaca worsted 🙂
  • US8 dpns
  • US8 16″ circular needle (optional)
  • Stitch marker (1)
  • Tapestry needle for weaving in ends

Stitches & Abbreviations:

  • k: knit
  • p: purl
  • k2tog: knit two stitches together
  • yo (increase): yarn over
  • sl1: slip one stitch purlwise from left needle to right
  • psso: pass slipped stitch over
  • C6B: slip three stitches purlwise to cable needle and hold in back; knit three stitches, knit three from cable needle
  • eor: End Of Round

Instructions:

Using the long-tail cast-on method, cast on 78 stitches, join for working in the round and place marker for end of round. Knit 10 rows of “twisted rib” as follows:

*k1-tbl, p1: repeat from * to eor.

When you’ve knit ten rows of twisted rib for the brim, knit five rows straight and begin stitch pattern.

Round 1: knit.
Round 2: *k2tog; repeat from * to eor
Round 3: *k1, p1 in each st; repeat from * to eor.
Round 4: knit.

Repeat above four rows 10 times and begin decreasing for crown:

Round 41: knit
Round 42: *k2tog; repeat from * to eor
Round 43: *k1, p1 in each st; repeat from * to eor
Round 44: *k1, k2tog; repat from * to eor. 52 sts.
Round 45: knit
Round 46: *k2tog; repeat from * to eor
Round 47: *k1, p1 in each st; repeat from * to eor
Round 48: *k1, k2tog; repeat from * to eor. 39 sts.
Round 49: *k1, k2tog; repeat from * to eor. 26 sts.
Round 50: k2, *k2tog; repeat from * to eor. 14 sts.
Round 51: *k2tog; repeat from * to eor. 7 sts.

Cut yarn and with tapestry needle, thread through remaining stitches on the needle. Weave in ends. Block if preferred.

As always, this pattern, as with all content on this weblog, is protected by copyright. If you like this pattern and choose to knit it, I’d really love it if you’d add it to your Ravelry projects.

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Free Dishcloth Pattern – Hip to Be Square

Hip to Be Square, free knitting pattern | dishcloth, washcloth, quilt square, knitting | faerwear

This pattern was previously available as a download on Ravelry.com, but I’m there so infrequently anymore that apparently, I owed them $1.80 for quite a while so they shut down my shop and downloads on the site. Recently I was contacted by someone who wanted to knit this pattern, so I am making it available here instead! You can use the print-friendly button at the bottom of this post to print out a nicely-formatted, print-ready version of it. Try it out!

Free Knitting Pattern – Hip to Be Square washcloth/dishcloth/quilt square

Nice and geometric, this washcloth is designed around two square‐shaped stitches – “waffle” and “lace squares” – all knit together to make a bigger square. With only one basic increase and decrease this is a great pattern for beginning knitters. I’m not much in the way of gauging things when it comes to simple little patterns like this, but if you knit loose, try a US7 needle. You’ll block this to an 8×8 shape in the end (if you care – if you’re making a set, blocking them to the same size is important – if not, block it into a straight square and call it a day. This ain’t a sweater!)

Materials:

  • Yarn: worsted weight, natural and absorbent fiber such as cotton, cotton/linen blend, etc. – approximately 1 oz.
  • US size 7 or 8 needles, 16” circular or straights
  • Tapestry needle for weaving in ends

Stitches & Abbreviations:

  • k: knit
  • sl1: slip one stitch purlwise from left needle to right
  • m1 (increase): “make one” ‐ loop yarn around needle as if to cast on a new stitch (you can also “yo”, but it will make a bigger eyelet hole)
  • p2tog: purl two stitches together

Instructions:

Using the long‐tail cast‐on method, cast on 37 stitches and knit four rows (garter stitch).

Row 1: k3, p1, (k5, p3) 3 times, k5, p1, k3.
Row 2: k2, p7, (k3, p5) 3 times, p2, k2.
Row 3: k3, p1, (k5, p1, m1, p2tog) 3 times, k5, p1, k3.
Row 4: k4, (p5, k3) 3 times, p5, k4.
Row 5: k3, p1, (k5, p3) 3 times, k5, p1, k3.
Row 6: k2, p33, k2.
Row 7: k3, p1, k1, (p3, k5) 3 times, p3, k1, p1, k3.
Row 8: k4, p1, (k3, p5) 3 times, k3, p1, k4.
Row 9: k3, p1, k1, (p1, m1, p2tog, k5) 3 times, p1, m1, p2tog, k1, p1, k3.
Row 10: k2, p3, (k3, p5) 3 times, k3, p3, k2.
Row 11: k3, p1, k1, (p3, k5) 3 times, p3, k1, p1, k3.
Row 12: k4, p29, k4.

Cut yarn and with tapestry needle, thread through remaining stitches on the needle. Weave in ends. Block if preferred.

Repeat pattern rows five times in total, then knit four rows for the top border. Bind off and weave in ends, then wet block carefully, pinning out to an 8” x 8” square. Enjoy!

Hip to Be Square
Free Knitting Pattern by Dori Mondon/faerwear designs
February 2009
http://www.faerwear.com

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