Pattern: Raid Wrap

This iPhone Cozy is intended for use with Apple portable music devices and/or phones.  Sizes given should fit the iPhone 3, 3S, 4, 4S, and iPod Touch.  Because this piece is intended to stretch tightly around the iPhone, be aware that during the knitting, the piece will appear longer and narrower than the iPhone.  This will ensure a snug fit once the piece is seamed together and in use.

Also, the pattern calls for straight needles and DPNs because that’s how these things are normally done, but there’s no reason the pattern can’t be knit back and forth on two DPNs.

All photos in the pattern show the small version with an iPhone 3S inside.

Yarn: Elsebeth Lavold Baby Llama (100% Llama, 109 yards per 50g skein), 1 skein
Needles & Notions: US Size 2 (2.75mm) straight needles or size needed to get gauge
Two DPNs in same size as straight needle (for working icord)
2 Cable needles
One button
Sizes: S(L).  Small is for the Touch, 3, and 3S models; L is for the 4 and 4S models.
Gauge: 8.5 stitches and 7 rows per inch in k1,p1 ribbing.

Stitches used in pattern (note: all cables occur ONLY on the right side or ONLY on the wrong side):
C2F: RS Only.  Slip 1 st to cable needle and hold in front of work.  K1 from LH needle, k1 from cable needle.
C2B: RS Only.  Slip 1 st to cable needle and hold in back of work.  K1 from LH needle, k1 from cable needle.
C3KP: RS Only.  Slip 1 st to cable needle and hold in front of work.  Slip 1 st to cable needle and hold in back of work.  K1 from LH needle, p1 from cable needle behind work, k1 from cable needle in front of work.
C2FP: WS Only.  Slip 1 st to cable needle and hold in front of work.  P1 from LH needle, k1 from cable needle.
C2BP: WS Only.  Slip 1 st to cable needle and hold in back of work.  K1 from LH needle, p1 from cable needle.

Instructions:
Cast on 17(19) stitches.
Row 1 (RS): k1, p1 across, end k1
Row 2 (WS): p1, k1 across, end p1
Repeat rows 1 and 2 until piece measures 4.5” from cast-on edge, ending with a WS row.
Next Row: k13(15), yo, k2tog, k2 (Note: the YO, k2tog is to create a hole for the earphones.  If the placement of your earphone jack is different, it may be necessary to adjust the placement of this hole.  If an earphone jack is not desired, simply knit across.)

Next Row: purl across
Increase Row:
  Size Small:
kfb 2x, k1, p1, kfb 3x, k1, p1, kfb 3x, k1, p1, kfb2x, k1.  27 sts.
   Size Large: (kfb, k1, p1) 2x, kfb 2x, k1, p1, kfb 2x, (k1, p1, kfb) 2x, k1.  27 sts.
Next Row (WS): p1, k1 across, end p1
Next Row (RS): k1, p1 across, end k1
Repeat previous two rows until piece measures 6” from cast-on edge, ending with a WS row.
Next 25 Rows: work from cable chart.

 

 

 

 

Next Row (WS): p1, k1 across, end p1
Next Row (RS): k1, p1 across, end k1
Repeat previous two rows until piece measures 10” from cast-on edge, ending with WS row.
Next Row (RS): ssk, (k1, p1) to last two stitches, k2tog.
Next Row (WS): p1, (p1, k1) across, end p2.
Next Row (RS): ssk, (k1, p1) to last two stitches, k2tog.
Next Row (WS): p1, k1 across, end p1.
Repeat these four rows until 3 sts remain on needles.  Work icord on these 3 sts for 10 rows or until appropriate length to create a loop that will serve as a buttonhole.  Break yarn, draw through these three sts, and secure to base of icord, creating loop.

Finishing:
Fold piece in half; the two rows of stockinette with the YO and increase are at the bottom.  Sew side seams.  Weave in ends and attach button. 

 Final Note:
This pattern takes its name from its inspiration: it’s a 25-stitch cable that was inspired by 25-man raiding in World of Warcraft, 25 people working together to take out the big bad guys.  This pattern is dedicated to all the great friends I’ve made in the past four years of play.

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The ammonite pattern is done!

Done done done! All written and everything. I have just a few finishing touches to do on my own prototype, then it’s off to find testers!

End of February update

I did a lot of knitting this month, but not a ton of design work.  A doily for Mom for a Christmas present (that was a pain in the rear), a few small projects for Nerd Wars and the like… and the ammonite gloves!  They’ve really started to take shape in the past few days, and a big factor in that was giving up my “knit into a lower stitch” ideas and deciding to simply add details after the fact.  It’ll look nicer in the long run, even though part of me is sad that it won’t all happen at once. The knit into lower stitch loops were just too loose to serve the function I wanted them to serve.

I’ve also finally finished the pattern for the ipod/iphone cover I designed last year, so that should be appearing soon on the blog and on Ravelry.

Progressive/Gradiant Dyeing Part 2: Quick & Easy See What You Get

After my previous dye experiment, I found myself wishing there was a way to get that progressive effect without needing to babysit the yarn all day long.  I found inspiration for this second method in the appearance of my first ball once I’d wound it into a cake:

I know that yarn that is too tightly clumped together won’t absorb dye; that’s why normally when dyeing, you wind the yarn into a loose skein.  The first time I ever dyed yarn, the skein had stripes where I’d tied it too tightly.  But, I reasoned, what if I used that very capacity on purpose to produce a progressively dyed yarn?  Since I still had 1/2 a skein of Patons Classic white left, plus some leftover green dye, I decided to experiment right then and there. 

I wound the remaining Patons into a very tight ball on my ball winder, intentionally tensioning with my fingers to keep it small and tight, because I didn’t want dye to penetrate too quickly.  Also in an effort not to allow too-quick penetration, I didn’t soak the yarn before dyeing.  Finally, because I didn’t want to dye the top and bottom of the ball, I placed the ball on top of an upside-down saucer, and put another saucer on top.  Be careful if you try this yourself–make sure your saucers can handle the heat.  These are Longaberger saucers and are oven-safe, so I figured they’d be fine.   This saucer-wrapped ball was placed in the crock pot and allowed to sit until… well I intended to go until the dye exhausted, but after two days, I was bored.  Green dye takes forever to exhaust.  I pulled it out and removed the saucers, and this is what I found.  The top of the yarn looked like this (the green spot comes from the tail getting trapped there after it had had a bit of dye):

And the bottom looked like this:

Success!  I hope?  Had to wind it into a skein to make sure.  Sure enough, as I skeined off the yarn, the dye went from very dark on the outside to lighter on the inside, and about the middle 40% remained pretty much natural.  However, it’s also speckled, with less dye having been absorbed where two strands crossed each other.  In my desire to wind it tight enough for this to work, I found, I’d actually wound it tighter than necessary!  But it makes a very interesting effect, and now I’ll know that next time, I can try a looser wind.

Overall I’m really pleased with this method, especially the set-it-and-forget-it aspect.  This method would also work great for hand-wound balls, because for that you wouldn’t even need the saucers, although it would also end up being more of a surprise because you wouldn’t be able to remove the saucer and see what was going on inside.

Progressive/Gradiant Dyeing Part 1: Long and Slow Control

In the past few years, one thing I’ve really enjoyed doing is dyeing yarn using food-safe dye in my kitchen.  I mostly use food coloring, though I’ve also done some work with Paas easter egg dye.  Recently, I heard about Fresh from the Cauldron, and learned that the dyer there does some progressive dyes, that is, skeins that transition continuously from one color to another across the length of the skein.  I don’t know how she does it, but I did know that I wanted to try for myself.

The first way I thought of to do it was to dye yarn and then pull out a little bit at a time, similar to the third method detailed in this article on food color dyeing from knitty.com.  I’d done that before and it was pretty simple, but instead of winding a hank and pulling out parts of the hank, I would just pull out parts of the yarn.  I started by coiling my yarn into my crock pot in the hopes that this would prevent tangling, which for the most part, it did.  I got a few small tangles while I was pulling the yarn out, but not many, and they were all basically slip knots that came undone easily.

I decided that I wanted a blue yarn that transitioned to green, so I started out dyeing the yarn blue, and then added yellow.  More yellow, I reasoned, would make the yarn more green.  This turned out to be true, except that when my yellow dye was exhausted (after about 4 hours), I realized that the yarn was about as green as it was going to get.  After that, I simply mixed some green dye so that I could end up with more of a forest green towards the end of the project.

Now, I said before that I started out inspired by that Knitty article, but wanting more gradual transitions between colors, I decided, somewhat arbitrarily, that I was going to pull out 1-2 yards of yarn every 5-10 minutes.  For approximately 100 yards of yarn (50g of Patons Classic Wool), this ended up taking me nearly 8 hours.  In order to prevent tangling and provide the yarn some space to dry, I wound it around my swift as I went.  In the end, I had a ball of yarn that did transition from blue to green quite nicely.

I would do it differently if I did it again, however.  For one, I don’t think it was necessary to move the yarn quite so often.  5-10 yards every 20 minutes would probably get a nice effect and require a lot less babysitting, though it would still require being home all day.  More importantly, I dumped in all my yellow at once, trusting to time to keep it all from turning green, but I underestimated the speed of the transition and the yarn turned green very quickly, within the first half-hour.  To get more blue blue-greens, I’d recommend starting with only a small portion of yellow dye and waiting for it all to be absorbed before adding more.

 

I am happy with how the yarn came out and I will definitely try this again, just hopefully with slightly less babysitting.  I got a lot of cleaning done but not much else.

End of January round-up

First off, on a completely bug-related topic, I simply MUST mention this really awesome caterpillar that mimics a viper when it feels threatened!  So, so cool.  I love nature.

In other news, the past week or so has been a big Finish It Up push chez Bug, as I’ve got big plans for February, including competing in the Nerd Wars competition at Ravelry.  The ammonite glove pattern is finished, and my test knit will be one of my submissions, along with another pair of socks and some other smaller projects.  As a teaser, you can see below the chart for one of the ammonite gloves. 

Chart for Ammonite glove pattern

Pattern: Dream Horizontal

I’ve been knitting away at socks and I’m hard at work on the ammonite glove design.  Got a wrench thrown in the works by my husband, who chose a completely different yarn than I’d planned for, but I think the pattern will be the better for it, in the end. 

In the meantime, this is a pattern for a horizontal scarf that I worked up over Christmas.  While not overtly bug-themed, it’s light and floaty and bright, and reminds me of butterflies.  This pattern is also available from ravelry.com as a PDF download.

And a note–this was knit from stash, and the yarn I used, Knitpicks Suri Dream, is now discontinued.  There are a lot of similar yarns out there, though.  Basically you want something light and mohair-looking, but heavier than a laceweight.  It’s also knit horizontally, which is to say side-to-side, which is a method of scarf construction that I just love.  Especially in bulky yarn, it feels like you’ve accomplished so much after just one row!

Dream Horizontal

Dream Horizontal

Yarn: Knitpicks Suri Dream Solid (74% Alpaca, 22% Wool, 4% Nylon, 143 yards per 50g skein)
                Color A: Natural (1 skein)
                Color B: Mulled Wine (1 skein)
                Color C: Hollyberry (1 skein)

Needles & Notions:
US Size 15 (10mm) circular needles, in a long length (at least 24 inches)
Crochet hook or tapestry needle to make the fringe.

Instructions:
Using Color A, cast on 145 stitches.
Row 1: Knit (Note: if you cast on using the long-tailed method, omit Row 1 for this repeat)
Row 2: K1, [yo, k2tog] across

Note: every color change, leave at least 8 inches of tail to be used to make fringe.

Change to Color B, work Rows 1 and 2.
Change to Color C, work Rows 1 and 2.
Change to Color B, work Rows 1 and 2.
Change to Color A, work Rows 1 and 2.

Cast off knitting every stitch, in a method that gives similar tension to your cast on method.  It is not important that the edges be loose (in fact, tight edges help the lace holes open up), but it is important that both edges have the same tension, or the scarf will not hang straight.

Fringe:
To create fringe, use a crochet hook or tapestry needle to thread 16 inches of matching yarn through the short edge of the scarf, matching color with what was worked.  Tie a knot using all the strands of one color (both added and the tails from color changes).  Each similar knot should end up with 4-5 strands of each color.  Repeat on the side without tails, adding 16-inch lengths as necessary.  End by trimming so all ends are even.