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Archive for May, 2009

I thought of making a stretchy lace headband out of Cascade Fixation a while ago… and after gutting our upstairs bathroom for renovation this weekend — with hair hanging in my eyes and sticking to my schvetty face (hair not quite long enough to stay in a ponytail) — I finally sat down to make one on Memorial Day.

I already knew I wanted to use Wendy Knits’ Summer 2008 Sock pattern for the lace. I made the socks last year, and knew the stitch pattern was naturally stretchy. Combine that with a stretchy, cotton/elastic yarn like Cascade Fixation, and you have the makings of a very stretch piece of knitting perfect for a headband.

So the first one knitted up really quick on Memorial Day — afternoon/evening knitting while watching the Bones marathon on TNT. Sadly, though, it turned out a hair (har-dee-har) looser than I wanted it to be. Still functional and not too loose, but I wanted it just a bit more snug. (I even knit a gauge swatch, in the round, but at a mini circumference, to figure out the math. I think the larger size amplified the stretchiness.)

HeadbandTakeOne_XL

This was the first attempt. click to embiggen.

So I did some more math and cast on with 12 fewer stitches, and also knitted one less repeat of the 3-row pattern. BINGO! That did the trick. Just a few hours later, I had Take Two finished and it fits perfectly.

Headband_XLzoomout

Second attempt – much better!

  • Pattern: Summer 2008 Sock by Wendy D. Johnson, Wendy Knits (used 3-row pattern sequence only)
  • Size: Approx. 14.5″ circumference unstretched, 21″ fully stretched out.
  • Yarn: Cascade Fixation, approx. 20 yards.
  • Needles: US size 4 (3.5mm), used magic loop technique on one long circular needle.
  • Started & finished 5/26/09 (just a few hours of knitting).
  • Link to Ravelry project page

General instructions:
Cast on 76 stitches loosely, and/or using a stretchy cast-on (I used long-tail cast-on). Join in a circle, being careful not to twist. Work two rounds of K1 P1 ribbing. Work 3-row Summer 2008 Sock lace pattern 3 times, then work rounds 1 and 2 of lace pattern (11 rounds total of lace pattern). Work two rounds of K1 P1 ribbing. Bind off using your favorite stretchy method (I used Elizabeth Zimmermann’s sewn bind-off). Weave in ends and you’re all set!

Please note: Stitch count given in instructions is based on using Cascade Fixation, which is a VERY stretchy (unbelievably stretchy), DK-weight cotton/elastic yarn. If you are using a different yarn that is finer or thicker, and/or not as stretchy, you may need to adjust your stitch count. Measure around your head snugly with a tape measure, around the part where you will wear the headband. Work up a swatch in the round following the instructions above, but with a 32-stitch cast-on. When finished, flatten the swatch on a firm surface, and measure the length while stretching the swatch as much as you can (really, really stretch it). Multiply that measurement by two (to get the circumference). Do some math: 32 divided by whatever number you got for your circumference. That will be the stitches per inch when stretched. Multiply that number by the snug measurement around your head in inches. That’s the approximate number you need for your cast-on. For your cast-on, you need an even number, preferably one that when divided by two is still an even number — so round your number DOWN to the nearest number that meets those criteria.

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KnottyGloves2_XL

Click photo to embiggen…

  • Pattern: Knotty Gloves by Julia Mueller (Ravelry pattern page is here)
  • Yarn: Cherry Tree Hill/Wool in the Woods superwash sock yarn — Lottery colorway (which is sort of a potluck dinner of all the dye colors from that particular day)
  • Needles: US 1.5 (2.5 mm) 40-inch circular (magic looping from cuff to dividing for fingers); US 1 (2.25 mm) sock DPNs for fingers and thumb
  • Started 1/21/09, finished 5/20/09
  • Link to my Ravelry project page

KnottyGloves3_XLThese were way easier to make than I ever thought they would be. Each finger and the thumb are knitted one at a time, while the remaining stitches hang out on waste yarn (or, in my case, the circular needle I used to knit up from the cuff). The celtic cabling is extremely addictive — I wanted to just keep on knitting “one more row” (which turned into one more, and one more, and one more…).

KnottyGloves_XLNow that we’re (somewhat) settled in our new home in New Hampshire, my hands are prepared for the winter well ahead of time.

I also finished a pair of socks for my cousin Jill… but no pics of those yet until I’ve given them to her. I missed my chance to drop them off in person, so I’ll have to mail them.

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