Wake and Whimsy


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Free Pattern: Twisted Turban

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So, I know that most of the time when I post a knitting pattern, it is usually very simple and for beginners. Last winter, I posted one for a knitted turban style headband, where you kind of “faked” a cable knit. It turned out really well, and I still use the pattern today. However, I do want to show you an easy way you can still get that lovely twist in your work, without literally twisting it like in my last pattern. At first glance, it looks complicated for a beginner. But I PROMISE you that it isn’t. It does take concentration and patience, but the end result is totally worth it.

Before I go any further, this is a pattern for straight needles. I wouldn’t have a clue how to do this on circular needles 🙂 But, feel free to use double pointed needles, because this would actually be a great pattern for that!

Pattern:
(Chunky weight yarn and size US 13 needles)

  • Cast on 14 stitches
  • Knit every row until your work measures about 6.5 inches.

 The “Twist”

  • Knit the first 6 stitches, and place them on a holder
  • With 8 stitches left on your needle, cast off 2 stitches, then knit the last 6 stitches.
  • Keep knitting the last 6 stitches until they measure about 4 inches.
  • Now, break your yarn, leaving about a 6 inch tail, and place these stitches on a holder.
    (You will later use this tail to secure your twist)
  • Next, you will pick up your first 6 stitches, and knit until you reach 4 inches, the same length as the last 6 stitches.
  • Now for the twist, take the last 6 stitches and diagonally bring them up in front of the first 6 stitches. Just cross them right over.
  • Your stitches have now switched places. The last 6 stitches will now become the first stitches that you will knit again, and the first 6 stitches will become the last stitches you will knit.
  • Slide your needle through all 12 stitches

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  Finish It

  • With all 12 stitches on your needle, knit the first 5 stitches.
  • When you get to the 6th stitch, increase 1 knit wise.
  • Do the same thing on the following stitch.
    (So, increase 1 each on stitches 6 and 7)
  • Now you should have increase by 2 stitches, which brings you back to a total of 14.
  • Knit for about 6.5 inches, just like the first half, and cast off.
  • Take your yarn tail that you have from breaking the yarn earlier, and gently sew that twist together in the middle. Be cautious of how you place your yarn, or it could potentially be noticeable in the front. Weave in the ends.
  • Turn your work inside out, sew the ends together to create a seam.
  • Turn right side out, and you’re done!

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Free Pattern: Knitted Boot Cuffs//Revised Version

Last winter, I posted a pattern for knitted boot cuffs. While it is still a good pattern, I have decided to post a different way to do them. I think I like this pattern better, because it is easier to get the sizing right, and also allows for more stretch, which means that it can go a little bigger or smaller depending on who is wearing them.

bootcuffs

Pattern:
(Chunky weight yarn and US 13 needles)

  • Cast on 15 stitches
  • Row 1: Knit across
  • Row 2: K3, P9, K3
  • Alternate Row 1 and Row 2 until you reach desired length. Mine measured about 13 inches long,
    and I was able to fit it around mid-calf all the way up to mid-thigh
  • Cast off, turn inside out, and sew ends together to create a seam.
  • Turn right side out to wear

It’s as easy as that! A great stash buster + stocking stuffer, and super quick and easy to knit up. Enjoy!

 

 


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Free Pattern: Pretty Knitted Coffee Sleeve

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If you’re looking for a great stash buster that doubles as a wonderful gift, then this pattern is for you! This adorable knitted coffee cup sweater is cute, functional, and super quick to knit up. So grab some of your favorite scrap yarn, and let’s knit!

What You’ll Need

  • Any worsted weight yarn. I used Red Heart yarn in the color “gold”
  • Size 8, straight knitting needles
  • a yarn needle
  • scissors

Pattern (everything except the bow)

  • Cast on 16 sts
  • Row 1: knit across
  • Row 2: k3, p10, k3
  • Row 3: knit across
  • Row 4: k3, p10, k3
  • Row 5: knit across
  • Row 6: k3, p10, k3
    ETC…
  • Follow this pattern until your work measures about 8 inches long

After you cast off, simply turn your work inside out, and sew the edges together to create a seam. The purl side should not be showing when you do this. After you have sewn it together, weave in the ends, and turn it right side out.

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Now for the bow:

  • With size 9 needles, and the same yarn, cast on 5 sts
  • Knit until your work is about 4 inches long
  • Just like you did with the sleeve, turn it inside out, sew the ends together, then turn right side out.
  • Tie your two yarn tails in a knot, and snip off the shortest one
  • With the one you have left, begin wrapping it around the middle just a few times

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  • Now place your bow on top of the sleeve
  • Continue wrapping yarn around the middle, simultaneously sewing it to the sleeve
  • Keep sewing until it is secure, and weave in what is left of the yarn

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The end.

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Now you have a great way to get rid of that huge stash of yarn, and something cute you can gift out to all of your friends this Christmas.

 


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Pattern: Knitted Beret

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With fall coming up right around the corner, I have been inspired to start knitting lots of hats. Hats are just the perfect accessory for when it’s freezing outside, you’re having a bad hair day, or when you just want to add a little something special to your outfit.

I just finished knitting this gorgeous beret, and I absolutely love the way it fits and feels. It’s extremely comfortable, very soft, and thick enough to provide a lot of warmth. The best part is that it took hardly any time at all to complete. Who doesn’t love a quick project that ends with great results? I hope you enjoy knitting this piece as much as I did!

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What You’ll Need:

  • Any chunky weight will due, but I used Lion Brand’s Hometown USA in “Phoenix Azalea”. One skein measures 64 yards, and I ended up using just a little over one of them.
  • size US13 and size US15 needles (I used straight needles for this pattern)
  • Scissors
  • Darning needle
  • Some good music, hot tea, or a movie 🙂

Pattern:

  • With the size 13 needles, cast on 38 stitches. This will fit a normal sized adult head, but you can adjust accordingly.
  • K1 P1 continuously, for every row,  until you have ribbing about two inches long.
  • Now it is time to increase your stitches and your needle size. Switch your working needle to a size 15. This means your stitches will still be on a size 13, while you’ll be working with a size 15. Start increasing your stitches, just using a knit stitch, until you have a total of 72 stitches. So, you will not increase every stitch, because then you would end up with 76 and that will make it harder when it’s time to decrease. So only increase to 72 stitches.
  • You should now have all your stitches on a size 15 needle, so now you’ll begin working with the other size 15. You have completed the switch from size 13 to size 15, while simultaneously increasing your stitches.
  • Purl the next row, then alternate K and P for every row until your entire hat measures 4 1/2 to 5 inches long.
  • Starting on the wrong side of your work, (the knit side), begin decreasing. You’ll start out with *K6, k2tog* to end of row.
  • Purl the next row
  • *K5, k2tog* to end of row
  • Purl the next row
  • *K4, K2tog* to end of row
  • Purl the next row
  • *K3, k2tog* to end of row
  • Purl the next row
  • *K2, k2tof* to end of row
  • Purl the next row
  • *K1, k2tog* to end of row
  • Purl the next row
  • Continue this pattern until you have 12 stitches left on your needle. (You’ll end up doing *K1, k2tog* for a couple of rows.) Just make sure you are only decreasing on the wrong side of your work.
  • Once you have 12 stitches left, decrease every stitch–this will leave you with 6 stitches.
  • Now, making sure you have enough yarn to sew up the back, cut the yarn from the skein, and put it through your darning needle. Thread the yarn through the last 6 stitches, slip your knitting needle out, and cinch the hat together.
  • Turn the hat inside out, and sew together, creating a seam. Weave the ends back through to secure it.
  • Turn the hat right side out, and you’re finished!

If you prefer your beret to be a little less “slouchy”, follow the same pattern exactly except:

  • Cast on 36 stitches instead of 38, still on size 13 needles
  • When it’s time to increase stitches, increase to 66 stitches instead of 72, and do not increase needle size
  • When it’s time to decrease stitches, start with K4, k2tog instead of starting with K6, k2tog
  • Follow same pattern to the end as written above to complete the hat

I did this with another beret (the yellow one) and here is the size difference:

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It still fits great, just slightly more snug, and it is not quite as slouchy.

Enjoy!


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Knitting With Circular Needles: A Guide For Beginners

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If you have been following my blog, you know that I have only been knitting for a little over a year. I have come a long way in a short time, but have avoided things like circular needles, cable knitting, double pointed needles, and the magic loop (whatever that is!) Straight needles and seams have been my best friends in this journey so far! A lot of people think seams look messy, but I personally have no problem with them. Seams are in everything we wear, so I feel like it’s not a big deal to have them in my knitted items as well. Besides, they are hardly noticeable from the outside.

Well a few nights ago, I was feeling ambitious and decided to try circular needles. I bought a pair of them several months ago in hopes that I would be brave enough to try them one day. Knitting with circulars was a very enlightening experience. I watched several YouTube videos, but only one proved to be helpful. With that being said, I’m going to share with you what I learned my first time around. (get it? ;)) Or in other words, the things that I wish the videos had told me! So if you are still a beginner like I am, and have been putting off knitting in the round with circular needles, here are some things you may want to know when you decide to start.

Let’s start with the good news: Casting on and casting off are the same as with straight needles. Hurray! I was worried it would somehow be more complicated, but it was exactly the same as using straight needles. It doesn’t start to get “weird” until after you cast on. I only saw one video where they told me that the needle you would normally hold in your left hand with straight needles, you hold in your right hand with circular needles. In the picture below is what it looks like working with straight needles. Although your right needle is your working needle, mostly everything is connected to your left needle.

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

When knitting with circular needles you will actually switch your needle (that you used to cast on) to your right hand instead of leaving it in your left hand, and begin working from there. Like I said, only one video told me this, so it makes me wonder if it is absolutely necessary or just a preference. It seems like it would have to be that way for it to work, so that’s what I did and it worked great. You can see in the picture below how everything is connected to the right side.

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

One thing I found to be important are stitch markers. I never really understood the purpose of these before, and I actually didn’t use them for my first circular needle project. I didn’t use them mainly because I do not have any! But, for the project I’m working on now, I am just using a bobby pin. When using these needles, you are working in rounds instead of rows, so it is really easy to lose your place in terms of where the next round begins. This can be a really big issue when you’re trying to follow a pattern, and also knowing where to start binding off. You put the stitch marker on the beginning stitch of each round. When you’re done knitting the round, your marker will be on your left needle. So you just take it off, switch it to the right, and begin again. I got lucky with my first project, and just happened to count it perfectly. It was really confusing though without a stitch marker.

Now, here is something funny about these needles: Knitting = purling. What? I know right? I sat down and just started knitting with my circular needles only to find out that one side of my work ended up looking purled. Apparently, if you want a garter stitch, you have to alternate between knit and purl for every round. If you want a purl stitch, you knit every round. So basically, it is the exact opposite of straight needles! That was a surprise for sure.

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

I turned my first project into a little cowl. I have to say…no seams does look nice.

So although that seems really backwards, some more good news is that ribbing is the same as straight needles. For the project I’m doing now, I wanted ribbing on the bottom. Luckily, you just alternate stitches, knit and purl, continuously — just like straight needles!

Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

Lastly, make sure you really pay attention to what size needles you’re buying, because it is a lot more important than straight needles. With straight needles, you can cast on as little or as many stitches as you want, but with circular needles you have to cast on enough stitches to fit all the way around or it isn’t workable. Straight needles come in a large variety of lengths and widths, so just pay attention to what your pattern calls for.

To sum it up, what I have noticed so far is that straight and circular needles are more similar than I realized. There are only a few slight differences, but nothing too crazy. I’m sure I’ll discover more, the more I use them, and the more complicated my projects get. I’ll be sure to keep you updated with everything I learn along the way!

In other news, I just started making these little guys!
Made with Repix (http://repix.it)Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

Aren’t they just adorable? They are quick and easy to knit up, they’re functional, and have lots of personality. I can’t wait to gift them out this coming holiday season.

Happy Knitting!


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Summer Lovin’

I have to admit that I haven’t quite had the motivation to pick up my knitting needles lately. It must have something to do with all the humidity, bright sun, and 80-90 degree weather. Honestly, I do love summer, but I’m so ready for fall! Fall is my absolute favorite season of the year. Unfortunately, my attempt to make knitting work during this hot, summer season didn’t go over that well:

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So I started a summer long project that I hope to have finished by fall! This will be a color-block infinity scarf knitted with organic cotton by Sprout. I love the texture that the seed stitch provides for this piece, and I find the bright colors to be very pleasing to the eye. Because it is light weight, it will make the perfect transitional scarf from summer to fall, which is a total necessity.

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But besides that, I think I’ll put the needles down and continue working on my latest experiment: summer headbands. My sewing machine has been broken for months, but now that it’s finally fixed, I haven’t been able to stop sewing. I’m so glad she is all better and back in business! I don’t even remember where the headband idea came from. I think originally I just needed something to sew. Either way, I’m glad I started making them, because they’ve been a big hit. Here are just a few:

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The following photos were taken at an adorable new boutique in our downtown area, Plume, that now has my headbands for sell. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I will be able to sell a lot of knitted items as well in the fall and winter. So, if you’re in the area, stop by and support one of our newest (and cutest) local businesses!

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 So that’s what I’ve been up to this summer so far. I’m excited to be blogging again after a long break, and I’m ready to bring you lots of new tutorials and creative inspiration. Keep following Wake&Whimsy!

 

 


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Update//Chevron Stitch Tutorial

Hello, sweet friends! It feels like it’s been forever since I last posted. Life has gotten so busy all of a sudden, and I have to prioritize. I’ve been working on a special knitting project for a friend of mine, and haven’t had a lot of time to do much else. However, I am not complaining. This project has been a new experience for me, and besides, sometimes it’s nice to slow down and work on one project as opposed to the TEN I’m usually trying to do all at once!

So, I don’t have much to offer in this post, but I do have some pictures of what I’ve been up to lately, and also a fun tutorial for a cute chevron stitch that you’ve got to try! Check it out:

 

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Made with Repix (http://repix.it)

***You will need to know how to Knit and Purl***

***Cast on in multiples of 6, plus 5***

***Start on the “wrong” side of your work, or what I would call the “knit” side for this project***

  • Row 1: K5, *P1, K5; Rep from * to end of row
  • Row 2: K1, *P3, K3; Rep from * to last 4 sts, P3, K1
  • Row 3: P2, *K1, P2; Rep from * to end of row
  • Row 4: P1, *K3, P3; Rep from * to last 4 sts, K3, P1
  • Row 5: K2, *P1, K5; Rep from * to last 3 sts, P1, K2
  • Row 6: Purl all stitches

Repeat until you have reached your desired length

…………

In the past month I have:

played "wedding photographer" for a friend's fun St. Patrick's Day wedding

played “wedding photographer” for a friend’s fun St. Patrick’s Day wedding

Ran a 5k with Lorelei in tow; her first race!

Ran a 5k with Lorelei in tow; her first race!

Watch my husband assist the head coach, for our old high school, at one of their first lacrosse games ever

Watch my husband assist the head coach, for our old high school, at one of their first lacrosse games ever

Played photographer again for a sweet girl's first birthday party

Played photographer again for a sweet girl’s first birthday party

Finally got the "O.K." for Lorelei to be helmet free!

Finally got the “O.K.” for Lorelei to be helmet free!

Played lots of Peek-a-Boo

Played lots of Peek-a-Boo

Baked one of my favorite desserts: Apple Pie

Baked one of my favorite desserts: Apple Pie

And so much more!

Stay tuned in the coming weeks for a post about the up and coming trend: arm knitting, more info about the special piece I’ve been working on for my friend, and I’ll also show you a really fun project I’m excited about for the quickly approaching summer season!

XOXO Alicia