Friday, 19 December 2014

Head to Toe – Head Things – Rainton

Rainton hat pattern by Katya Frankel
Morning! It's time for another Head to Toe introduction – Rainton.

Rainton is the only hat in Head to Toe that was designed upside down. It starts at the tip of the crown with a mere few stitches that round by round grow into a hat! You can add earflaps with pulls to it if you fancy, or just stop at a beanie shape, it's completely up to you. As a bonus, the knit and purl stitch pattern makes this hat completely reversible, so that it can be put on any-side-out or in, for that matter.

Rainton hat pattern by Katya Frankel

Since the book came out, a number of people have contacted me asking how this hat can be adapted to fit an adult. If you've ever knitted kids hats I am almost certain that you would have noticed that past the age of 3 or 4 their heads are VERY close in circumference to those of adults. It's pretty amazing because kids heads usually look smaller than ours and this is due to the fact that although the circumference might be the same, their depth is often shallower than that of an adult head. Because of this, if the pattern is written out to accommodate a good number of sizes, the only change you'd have to make is make the hat deeper.

Here, for example, the largest size will fit a head of 24 inches / 61.5cm in circumference and the pattern tells you to make it  inches / 12cm deep before moving onto the earflaps. 24 inch head easily falls in the upper end of the adult head sizes as well, but to make the hat fit an adult noggin you'd want to add an inch or two to its depth.

With a top down pattern in particular you can try the hat on as you go and stop at the depth you're happy with, just like that!

Monday, 15 December 2014


Shawgrove mitts pattern by Katya Frankel

I bought a ball of Rowan's Pure Wool Worsted a couple of months ago trying to match the colour to the other two projects in this collection. The mitts were knitted a while ago in a neutral colourway but as photos go the collection was screaming for something brighter to bring the navy blue of the cowl and the rich emerald of the hat together. Luckily for me I had a friend with a really good eye for colour to help me out and this is what I came home with. 

The yarn
Rowan's Pure Wool [Superwash] Worsted is a great solid yarn that was brought onto the market not long ago and I can see it slowly taking over the worsted market in the UK as it knits beautifully and is great for showcasing some texture and cables, as wools go it's soft and not itchy at all, it comes in 56 shades from neutrals to some really vibrant ones. So, yeah, as you can probably tell I really enjoyed working with it and I think it'll wear well because I did work with their Pure Wool DK in the past and the sweaters it creates are near indestructible. 

The pattern
The mitts are worked in the round using an intuitive and easy all-over cable pattern and are really quick to make. The cables grow organically from the ribbing before they wind across the hand and back into the ribbing around the fingers. You'll only need one ball of Worsted weight to make them.
Shawgrove mitts pattern by Katya Frankel

Friday, 12 December 2014

Autumn Essentials 2014: Woodlands

I'm not sure how I failed to mention that Autumn Essentials is already out! It was so much work and I think once the collection was published on Ravelry and Patternfish it kind of seemed DONE and naturally I forgot to mention it here. You will of course recognise Puzzlewood, the up-side down cabled cowl that was released first and I'll pop round to talk about the remaining two patterns in more detail in the following week or two. 

You can buy the collection on Ravelry or Patternfish

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Head to Toe – Head Things – Wylam

Wylam hat pattern from Head to Toe by Katya Frankel
Wylam is a take on a good ol' ribbed beanie with its knit columns flowing out of the ribbing and into the crown pattern and finally merging together at the tip of the crown.

The pattern is written for two different weights of yarn: Worsted and Bulky and each one comes in 5 sizes from 16 inch to 21 3/4. Some of the sizes of course overlap and some differ from one another as is inevitable when designing something with two different weights of yarn, but the hats have their own stitch counts and measurements that are based on those stitch counts rather than the same instructions applying to both. 

Originally we were planning on publishing the hats as two separate patterns but Elizabeth Green Musselman, who was copy editing the book, came up with a clever way to incorporate the instructions into a table to make finding your way between so many sizes easy. 

Wylam hat pattern from Head to Toe by Katya Frankel
The Worsted sample is knitted in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted, Cedar.

Wylam hat pattern from Head to Toe by Katya Frankel
The Bulky sample is knitted in Lorna's Laces Shepherd Bulky, Brick; with each one requiring only one skein of yarn.

Wylam hat pattern from Head to Toe by Katya Frankel

Friday, 5 December 2014

How to: 3 needle bind off

How to: 3-needle bind off

3-needle bind off is an excellent way of joining two pieces of knitting on the horizontal line. You can use it in seamless garments to join shoulders, Thirlwall Hat uses it to join the crown and there are plenty of other places you could use it too. Basically, where ever there are live stitches that need to be bound off and seamed together – 3needle bind off is great for that – all you need is:
  •  to make sure you've the same number of stitches on both pieces of knitting, and
  • a spare needle
How to: 3-needle bind off, step 1

  1. Hold the pieces to be joined with right sides together. 
  2. Insert the 3rd (working) needle knitwise into the first stitch on both needles and knit them together.
  3. Insert the 3rd (working) needle knitwise into the following stitch on both needles and knit them together again. Now you've got two stitches on the working needle.
  4. Using the tip of one of the left needles slip the first stitch on your working needle over the second stitch to bind off.
How to: 3-needle bind off, step 2

 5.  Continue repeating steps 3 and 4 until all the stitches have been worked. You've now one stitch left on your working needle.
 6.  Cut yarn leaving a long tail, insert the tip of the needle into this last stitch and pull until the tail comes out. You're done!

Here's what the finished result looks like on the right and the wrong sides of knitting.
How to: 3-needle bind off
3-needle bind off on the right side of knitting
How to: 3-needle bind off
3-needle bind off on the wrong side of knitting