4 Square Cowl

Designing isn’t something I do on the regular, but sometimes and idea hits and I run with it. Meet the 4 Square Cowl now available on Ravelry!

This cowl was created so that all knitters have the chance to incorporate multiple colors into their work without using complicated techniques. If you know how to knit and slip a stitch you are definitely able to make this cowl!

What I love about this design is the endless color combinations to choose from. Love sports? Use your team colors! Holiday coming up? Get festive with your knitwear! Have a skein if gorgeous variegated yarn? No problem! The 4 Square Cowl has endless possibilities.

This pattern is intended for worsted weight yarn and knits up pretty quick. The pattern repeats in a series of five stitches so it is very easy to adjust the circumference of the cowl.

Supporting independent designer is something I try to do often. How can you? Head to Ravelry to purchase the pattern and/or favorite it. Also you can follow me on social media (@knitsbywhitsf) and hit the like button. 😁

Until Next Time,

Leaf Love Dress

I was working on a shawl as we were traveling through Austria only to discover I forgot to pack the second ball of yarn. 😑 Lucky for me the internet saved the day. I found a yarn shop in Innsbruck and a pattern on Ravelry and was good to go.

My little one is acquiring quite the knitted collection. It is so nice to have someone else to knit garments for. I chose the Love Leaf Dress mostly due to the yardage and yarn specifications listed. I didn’t want to get into another yarn chicken situation. This pattern is a top down raglan construction with a lace panel down the front. I made the dress more of a tunic length so the skirt is about 5 inches rather than 8.

Now let me tell you about this yarn. It is from Ferner Wolle (Austrian Brand). Wow is it soft and I really enjoyed working with it. It does not have a tight twist, however, I don’t think that affected the definition of the lace panel that much. Since I didn’t bring extra needles I popped into another craft shop along our journey and purchased a pair of Addi circulars. Wow oh wow! I love Addis! They are pointy, light weight, and the cable is super pliable. I may have to look into purchasing more needles from this brand.

It is starting to look like it will warm up around here so I think baby will not have many more woolly knits. Time to investigate garnments meant for spring.

Until Next Time,

CardiZen Cardigan

I am not a big fan of bulky yarn. I have a hard time knitting for long periods with big yarn and the big needles needed to work it up. Plus it is always tricky to weave in ends so that they stay secure. However, I saw CardiZen by Denise Bayron and knew I had to make it. I loved the motojacket feel of the cardigan.

CardiZen is a super well written pattern! The cardigan is constructed sideways, but Denise walks you through every step. She includes ‘tips’ and relevant schematics for each section. This was super helpful as the construction was new to me.

The tip I did not follow was to use an all natural fiber. My funds did not allow for this. Instead I used Loops and Threads Cozy Wool. Due to the small acrylic content in the yarn I could not just fuse the yarn together with wet splicing. I managed to weave in all the ends pretty well, but we will see what happens as I wear it.

The only modification I made was knitting a full sleeve rather than a 3/4 sleeve. My wrists get cold really easily! Overall, I am really happy with this cardigan. It is so cozy. My husband even made comment that he thought it looked cool (this is saying a lot as he rarely comments on my fashion). My only dilemma now is how to style it!

Until Next Time,

Yarn Shopping: Innsbruck, Austria

Innsbruck is such a charming town I almost have to pinch myself to make sure it is real. Imagine pastel colored buildings seated in front of snowy mountains that follow the curves of a gorgeous river. This is Innsbruck in a nutshell.

Being that the town is set in a snowy place I suspected there was a yarn store. My suspicions were correct. I found this small shop on the outside of the Old Town.

Glattverkehrt is about what the sign advertises… wool. If you are not a wool lover this yarn shop is not for you. Aside from alpaca and a very tiny cotton section, the stock in this shop is all about wool. This disappointed me a little as I was looking for a bit more variety as I live in a super hot climate and wool can be worn maybe 1-2 months per year.

Another warning… this shop is very narrow. I was with my infant and her stroller barely fit in the shop with enough room to walk around. However, the shop keeper was super nice and helped me get the stroller in and out of the shop without destroying anything.

A plus side to Glattverkehrt was that it had decent price points as well as a great stock of sturdy sock yarn. This yarn is the stuff you use when you want socks to last and last. So did I buy anything? I did! I purchased a DK weight Austrian wool. I picture it will be a nice cowl or maybe tunic for the baby.

This shop wasn’t terrible, but it wouldn’t be my go to LYS as I like to knit with a little bit of everything. What kind of fiber do you like stocked in your LYS?

Until Next Time,

Solving the Underarm Gap While Sweater Knitting

Why have I not investigated this earlier? This is the age of technology for heaven sake! All knitting related knowledge is often just a Google or YouTube search away. I like to try to figure out things on my own, but let’s be real that takes up valuable knitting time. Especially if someone has figured it out already.

I had just finished my third Flax Sweater in the family of Flax Sweaters I had been making for Christmas. I got to the armholes and was again frustrated by the gaps that appeared at the underarm. Ugh! Normally I duplicate stitch the holes, but I figured there has to be another way out there.

So I finally took the time (this was after I had finished all of the sweaters) to look up some tips for ‘minding the gap.’ Better late than never right? I plan to try this on my next sweater.

What is your favorite technique for avoiding underarm gaps?

Until Next Time,

-Whit-

Braided Headbands

Natural thick curly hair is generally not compatible with beanies. Especially, when I wear a puff. Thankfully the trend of knitted headbands saves the ears on a cold blustery day!

The Woven Cable Headband was such a gratifying knit. And those cables! I love love the braided look. It appears super complicated, but really it is not. Did I also mention this is an excellent project for the knitter on the go?

The benefit of knitted headbands is that they are an awesome way to use up the extra yarn you have lying around in your stash. I used Yak Wool in White to whip up my first headband. My yarn was on the chunkier side (aran weight) so I went up a needle size and decreased the number of repeats in the pattern.

I also had a wee bit of Malabrigo Worsted in Frank Orchre left from another project so I created another headband with a smaller circumference. I think the Malabrigo yarn showed off the beauty of the cables a wee bit better. I also quite enjoy the depth of the gold/ yellow color.

Either way I am happy with the finished results and plan on making more over the Christmas holiday.

Until Next a Time,

P.S. Check out my self-published pattern for the Crossing Diamonds Headband. This is a great selection for those who want a quick knit or are just embarking on the journey of cable knitting. Headbands make great holiday gifts for friends and family!

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Bearly Bonnet

A quick post for a quick project! The Bearly Bonnet is one of my favorite baby knits. It has a variety of sizes and creates such a cute finished product.

I used a Chinese brand wool/acrylic blend (worsted weight), which lead to me needing to do some math. I ended up with 16 sts over 10 cm using size US 7 needles. So I casted on 56 sts and calculated the rest of the changes based on the cm requirements in the pattern.

I wasn’t in the mood to sew more than I had to so I opted to not make the ears. The great thing about this hat being handmade is that if I change my mind I can always add them on later.

Until Next Time,

The Lake Reed Hat

The cables continue! The Lake Reed Hat is composed of two different cables that keep intermediate to advance knitters on their toes (in a good way 😊). This hat was defiantly not a Netflix and knit project. Let’s just say there was a lot of frogging going on around the crown. It was most certainly knitter error. For some reason I could not read the glossary (abbreviations) directions correctly. Once I figured out what I was supposed to be doing things fell into place.

I used a Chinese brand yarn called Zuodan Nu which is a wool/acrylic blend. This isn’t my favorite yarn yet, I like the color and the stitch definition. This yarn is more on the worsted weight side so the final object is a little dense, which just means better protection from the elements.

One Christmas gift down and 4 more to go!

Until Next Time,

Green Cables

A friend at work will be spending her first “White Christmas” in Japan this year. I was super delayed about giving her a birthday present (it was in September 😳) so I decided a holiday gift that could be used on her trip would be the next best thing. Knowing her, I pictured a beautiful cabled hat with a furry pompom to top it off.

The pattern I used was The Cushy Beanie. The yarn was bulkier than the pattern called for so I only repeated the cable section 3 times rather than 5. This was a pretty straightforward pattern including a chart and written directions.

I used a new to me yarn called Nako Inca Alpaca, which is a wool/ alpaca/ acrylic blend. It was soft to work with, but I could tell it wasn’t pure alpaca. As you can see in the photo it is a “hairy” yarn yet, there was minimal shedding during the knitting and blocking process. The yardage on this yarn was only 53m so I used 2.25 skeins to make this hat. The yarn was super affordable due to a sale, but I don’t think I would use it again as a larger project would get pricey.

Fingers crossed she likes it! 🤞🏾

Until Next Time,

Baby Sophisticate Cardigan

I made this cardigan ages ago. My friend was having a baby and I convinced myself that this sweater was going to be too small for a new baby. So it sat without buttons for over a year. Cut to me just having a baby and I realized how silly I was. Babies are small…duh!

My now two month old is just fitting into this sweater. I made it using a cotton mix so it is perfect for the now cooler temps we are experiencing in the morning. If you follow me on IG (@knitsbywhitsf) I was in a bit of a button pickle. I just couldn’t decide on which buttons to use. The giraffe ones are so cute, but as a follower pointed out they can be a pain to actually use. Considering babies are super squirmy I decided on being 50% practical (hehe).

I swear I have become hooked on making baby items. They are just so quick to make. Good old instant satisfaction! I think making baby sweaters is going to replace my previous love of hat making.

Until Next Time,