FO: Shalom!

With the timely arrival of some rescue yarn, I was able to finish my Shalom cardigan in about 2 weeks.  This was a fast, satisfying knit that should be a perfect transition piece as winter turns to spring.

  • Pattern: Shalom by Meghan McFarlane (free pattern and ravelled here)
  • Yarn: Cascade Covington in color 05, 3 skeins and a few yards of a leftover skein from a friendly knitter on Ravelry
  • Needles: US size 10 1/2, 6.5mm
  • Mods: The big modes: I cast on 77 stitches, giving the extra stitches to the body; made 3 buttonholes. More details on my Rav project page.

Here you can see just how much I changed the sleeves.  By adding stitches to the body and taking them away from the sleeves, I was able to close up the big gap that is shown in the original pattern.  When it was time to separate the sleeves from the body, I put them on waste yarn instead of binding off.  Then I went back and knit garter stitch to match the bottom hem.  This made for a bit more work, but I think it fits better and looks nicely polished..

The yarn, though beautiful, was a bit tough to work with.  It’s not bouncy and stretchy like pure wool, and the fact that I only had bamboo needles in the right size gave me problems.  The yarn stuck to the wood, so I had to push and pull it a lot which hurt my hands.  I thought buying the Addi Clicks last year would save me these needle woes, but the sizes are a bit different in millimeters, and I needed the 6.5 to get a gauge I liked.  Bamboo needles have their place, but knitting a bulky acrylic-blend yarn is not one of them!

And about that 3rd buttonhole: I only had 2 buttons!  This is a set of purple ceramic buttons I bought at Joann’s years ago that happened to match the purple in the yarn beautifully.  When I went back to the store to see if they had more, I was disappointed to see that while they still carry the same style of buttons, they did not have my color.  And so I ask you, dear readers: do you happen to have one of these buttons kicking around in your stash?  I would be willing to make a button trade.  This turns out to be my sweater of need as this is the second time I’ve asked for help finishing it! Humbling, indeed.

Retro Rib Hand Towel: Free Pattern

Retro Rib Hand Towel

What better way to brighten up your kitchen or bathroom than with a colorful hand-knit towel?  Use your imagination to create color combinations that speak to you and get started on this fast and fun knit!

PDF pattern now available: Retro Rib Hand Towel

  • Peaches & Creme 100% cotton yarn, 1 ball for main color and 1/4 ball for contrast color
  • US Size 7 needles
  • 1 button
  • Tapestry needle

Finished Measurements
7 inches wide and 12 ½ inches tall unstretched.  Garter stitch strap measures 2 inches wide and 5 ¼ inches long unstretched

CO—Cast on
MC—Main color
CC—Contrast color
Sl 1—slip 1 stitch as if to knit
WS—wrong side or back of work
RS—right side or front of work
K2tog—knit 2 stitches together
BO—Bind off

Slip the first stitch of every row in pattern to create a neat edge.  Do not slip first stitch when changing colors or decreasing.
Color changes happen on the right side rows until you get to the garter stitch strap where they occur on the wrong side of the fabric.  When changing colors it is helpful to carry the old color up the side of your work every 2 rows during the striped sections.  Less ends to weave in!

CO 60 sts in MC.

Row 1 (RS): Sl 1 * K3, P2 * to last 4 sts, K4
Row 2 (WS): Sl 1 * P3, K2 * to last 4 stitches, P4

Repeat these two rows until piece measures 1 ½ inches from CO edge.
On the next RS row, add CC and work in set pattern for 4 rows.

RS: add MC and work 4 rows in pattern
RS: add CC and work 4 rows in pattern
RS: add MC and continue in rib pattern, slipping the first stitch of every row, until piece measures 11 inches from CO edge.
RS: add CC and work 4 rows in pattern
RS: add MC and work 4 rows in pattern

The following decrease rows are worked in garter stitch:
Row 1 (RS): k2tog across all stitches (30 sts remain)
Row 2 (WS): knit
Row 3: same as row 1 (15 sts remain)
Row 4: same as row 2
Row 5: k2tog twice, k7, k2tog twice (11 sts remain)
Row 6: knit
Row 7: k2tog, k7, k2tog (9 sts remain)

Knit in garter stitch (knit every row) for 5 rows.  You will now change colors on the back of your work.
WS: add CC and knit 4 rows
WS: add MC and knit 4 rows
WS: add CC and knit 4 rows
WS: add MC and knit 5 rows

RS: k3, BO 3. K3
WS: k3, CO 3, k3
Knit 5 rows in garter stitch
WS: add CC and knit 3 rows
BO in CC

Attach button to the center of first MC garter stitch section. Weave in ends.

© Sonia Ruyts 2008

I hope you enjoy this pattern!  As always, please let me know if you find anything to be unclear.

Owl Cowl & Neckwarmer

Introducing 2 free patterns!  And it’s already on Ravelry, so queue it up!

This simple stitch pattern can be worked flat or in the round to create 2 different pieces.  It uses less than one skein of Malabrigo and knits up fast.

grapevine-cowl3 (yarn shown: Naturally Handknit Me by Nashua)

Malabrigo Merino Worsted, 1 skein or 110 yards of any worsted weight yarn
Size 8 needles (16-inch circular for cowl pattern)
1 stitch marker
Tapestry needle
3 buttons no more than 1-inch in diameter for neckwarmer pattern

Finished Measurements:
Neckwarmer:  5 inches wide 26 inches long after blocking
Cowl:  5 ½ inches tall, 24 inch circumference after blocking

CO—Cast on
Yo—yarn over; bring yarn to the front of your work
Sl1—slip one stitch as if to knit
Psso—pass slipped stitch over the knit stitch
BO—bind off

This stitch pattern is a simple 4-row repeat.  You can easily adjust the circumference or height of your piece by adding or subtracting stitches as stated for each pattern.  Similarly, these patterns can be adjusted to work with just about any yarn by changing needle sizes and amount of stitches cast on.  Use your favorite yarn and have fun!

Multiple of 7 + 2 stitches

orange-owl (Malabrigo merino worsted)

Using the Long Tail cast on, CO 135 stitches.

Row 1:  K2 * P5, K2 * repeat from * to last 2 sts, K2
Row 2: P2 * K2tog, yo, K1, yo, sl1, K1, psso, P2 * repeat from * to last 2 sts, P2
Row 3: same as row 1
Row 4: P2 * K5, P2 * repeat from * to last 2 sts, P2

Repeat rows 1 thru 4 until piece measures 4 ½ inches from CO edge, or until desired width, ending with row 4.  Bind off loosely in pattern.  Weave in ends.  Gently block to open up the eyelet details.  Position buttons vertically on the right side of the fabric in the purl fields, every other eyelet hole.  The eyelets will become the buttonholes; place the buttons so the neckwarmer will fit you as snugly or loosely as you care for.


Multiple of 7 stitches

owl-cowl (Valley Yarns Sugarloaf)

Using the Long tail cast on and circular needles, CO 126 stitches.

Join to knit in the round, being careful not to twist your stitches.  Place a stitch marker here to indicate the beginning of the round.

Row 1: P2 * K5, P2 * repeat from * to last 5 stitches, K5
Row 2: same as row 1
Row 3: P2 * K2tog, yo, K1, yo, sl1, K1, psso* rep to marker
Row 4: same as row 1

Repeat rows 1 thru 4 until piece measures 4 inches from CO edge, or until desired width, ending with row 4.  Bind off loosely in pattern.  Weave in ends.  Gently block to open up the eyelet details.


I hope you enjoy these patterns.  As always, please let me know if you come across anything that is unclear and I will correct it as soon as possible.

Ribbed for Your Warmth

I am still hard at work on my collection of neckwarmers, neck socks, cowls, and little scarf thingies for the upcoming craft fair.  Only 10 days to go–yikes!  This is one of my new designs, born out of a desire to knit something simple and quick but with some visual interest.  Inspired by the subtle beauty of this sage green yarn, I cast on a simple rib pattern, staggering the ribs as it grew.

  • Pattern: Ribbed for Your Warmth, now available on Ravelry!

  • Yarn: Malabrigo worsted merino in Vetiver, approx 100 yards

  • Needles: US size 8 16-inch circulars

Ribbed for Your Warmth


Approximately 100 yards of the softest worsted weight yarn you can find.

US Size 8 16-inch circular needles, or size needed to get a cozy gauge.

1 stitch marker & a tapestry needle

  • Cast on 120 stitches.

  • Join stitches to knit in the round, placing a marker to indicate the beginning of the round.

  • K2 P2 to marker.  Repeat for a total of 10 rows in pattern.

  • P2 K2 to marker.  Repeat for a total of 10 rows in pattern.

  • Repeat these 2 instructions twice (for a total of 40 rows) and bind off loosely.

  • Use tapestry needle to weave in ends.

If you want your cowl to be a little larger, repeat pattern until desired length.  I made mine with 50 rows and it is long enough to tuck into your coat and still have plenty of warmth around the neck.  To adjust the circumference, simply add or subtract stitches in multiples of 4.

Knitters love our cats, don’t we?

Garter Stitch Neck Sock

I have been working feverishly on new neck warmer and cowl designs.  A few have turned out great, others have been frogged, and still more are in my head waiting to be knit.  Last week I was frustrated when, after what seemed like endless hours of knitting, I had no finished objects.  So I decided to cast on this instant gratification cowl, er neck sock, to help boost my knitting confidence.

This pattern is easy, satisfying, and a great way to show off the texture and color of this bulky yarn.  What better way to use a single skein of yarn to create a new accessory to help take the chill out of fall?

  • Pattern: Garter Stitch Neck Sock, by me!

  • Yarn: Malabrigo Bulky, in Charruro, 1 skein

  • Needles: US size 9 16-inch circular

  • Notes: This pattern can be adapted to use just about any yarn or needle size.  Simply increase or decrease the number of stitches you cast on.  Mine measures just under 6 inches wide, and 22 inches around before blocking.  It stretches easily over my head and sits away from my neck slightly.  Modify number of cast on stitches if you would like yours closer or farther away from the neck.

Garter Stitch Neck Sock by Peaceful Knitter

Using size 9 16-inch circular needles and a bulky yarn:

Cast on 82 stitches.

Join to work in the round, placing a marker to indicate the beginning of the round.

K2, P2 to marker

P2, K2 to marker

Repeat these 2 rows once more, or until piece measures 1 inch long.

Knit to marker.

Purl to marker.

Repeat these 2 rows until piece measures 4.5 inches from cast on edge.

K2, P2 to marker.

P2, K2 to marker.

Repeat these 2 rows twice more, or for 1 inch (match the first band of double moss stitch)

Bind off loosely.  Weave in ends.  Block if desired.  Wear it to keep warm and stylish!

And, for those of you who have been wondering about my fish babies, here’s an action shot:

They are fast, tiny, and very difficult to photograph.  I am happy to report that I have only had one casualty, and am raising a healthy dozen or so Goldust Mollies.