Life with Fiber and Fiber Arts

Intro to Entrelac May 30, 2014

Filed under: fixing,how to,New pattern,Yarn review — Hannah Cuviello @ 10:26 am
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I love striping yarns; they’re exciting, surprising, adventurous. I do, however, frequently find myself struggling to match them to a project because, when it comes down to it…I don’t really like….stripes. all that much. *sighs*

Don’t get me wrong, stripes are great, but I really, really need to be in control of them when I knit them. If I put stripes on something, I generally want to know beforehand exactly where they are going to go, what color they are going to be and how long they are going to last. (Socks are the exception to this, however, there are rare times when I am not in the mood to knit socks, or when all my sock needles have other sock projects on them.)

Note that the two preceding paragraphs present concepts that are largely antithetical. This is not lost on me. I enjoy the sense of spontaneity required in letting go and just allowing the stripes to happen as they will, but when it comes down to it, I am often disappointed with the finished item. The upshot is that I often end up beginning and then ripping out projects with striping yarns several times before just giving up and knitting…Entrelac.

If you are not familiar with it, entrelac is a knitting technique that involves creating a network of squares, rectangles, and/or triangles that are attached to each other. The end fabric looks something like this:

Entrelac in ZauberballThis bit of green loveliness is knit in Zauberball Crazy, of which, we currently have several new colors. Because the fabric is worked in a series of small squares, the striping is broken up, and, as if by magic, wherever the colors land, it generally looks pretty amazing.

Recently, I knit a fantastic entrelac shawl pattern for my LYS (available from Eva Martinsson on Ravelry).


Shawl knit from Eva Martinsson’s Entrelac Shawl with Tassels pattern.

As often happens when a sample is knit for a shop, our customers decided that they really wanted to knit it (of course, that’s the point). What followed was a Summer of, “Um…where am I in this pattern?”, “Which way am I going?”. Now, don’t misunderstand, the pattern is perfectly fine. In fact, I have knit a second one since (the green pick above) and will probably knit another. Entrelac involves interacting with your knitting in a different sort of way than we are used to, and this pattern in particular puts a little bit of a spin on the technique. As a result, people who had not previously knit entrelac, but who wanted to knit that shawl, often found themselves a bit lost. What follows is an introduction to the basic concepts involved in entrelac knitting, as well as some examples of places where you might wonder something like “which way am I going?” and explanations of how to figure that out.

Before we begin, though, I would like to point out some of my favorite yarns for knitting entrelac. First, off, while you can certainly knit entrelac with any yarn, I prefer self-striping yarns. In fingering weight, we have Zauberball and Zauberball Crazy. These are my particular favorites. We also have Noro Silk Garden Sock and just a little bit of Kureyon Sock left. If you want something heavier, we have Noro Kureyon (only a few colors, but a sweater’s worth in some of them) and Cascade Casablanca. For heavier projects still, we have Rowan’s Colourscape Chunky. So many to choose from!

Now, on to entrelac!

Entrelac swatchHere is your basic entrelac swatch. Note: because it is fairly narrow, there is still a fairly robust striping pattern. In a wider project, the stripes will be more broken up, and we will see all sorts of interesting color play happening, as in the shawl above.

The following explanation will consist of:

1. The building blocks of entrelac and how they relate to each other in space.

2. The actual pattern instructions. These are very basic instructions and may differ from other patterns you have encountered in one or two ways (different increases or decreases). The basic idea, however, is the same.

3. The recipe for entrelac. Entrelac is based on a very specific series of steps. We can modify these steps to make our projects different sizes and shapes.

4. “Where am I?” – examples of situations that might give you pause and explanations of how to reason your way out of them.

Now, having worked in yarn stores for about 10 years, I know that people learn different ways which, as I often say, is OK. For some people, reading an overview of structure is not helpful. If this is you, feel free to skip right to #2 and follow the instructions. Then, if you want, you can come back and read the description of what you just did. If you like to know what you are doing before you start, full steam ahead!

1. Building Blocks of Entrelac

We generally think of knitting in terms of rows and stitches. With entrelac, we add two more levels of organization: Rectangles/triangles (which consist of rows and stitches) and tiers (which consist of rectangles/triangles).

The different elements:

Base Triangles: These are the triangles that line to bottom of your work (orange in the picture above). In the swatch above and in the instructions below, the stitches of the base triangles lean to the left. Take a look below to see what I mean.


Tier 1 leans to the left, tier 2 to the right, tier 3 to the left, etc.

Each base triangle begins and ends with a RS row (note that this means there is an odd number of rows). These triangles make up Tier 1.

Left Edge Triangle: You can see this little fellow on, well, the left edge of the picture above. Notice that he leans to the right. Also note that, when I say “left edge”, I mean when you are looking at the RS of your work. (Oh boy…) At the risk of sounding like an Abbot and Costello routine, I do want to point out, that when you are starting your Left Edge Triangle, you will begin with a WS row and to it will actually appear that you are working on the right edge. When in doubt, look at the RS of your work. This is the side with the knit stitches facing.

Right Leaning Rectangles: These rectangles, along with the left and right edge triangles, comprise your Tier 2 and all even numbered tiers. The stitches for these are picked up along the right edge (looking at the RS) of your base triangles (or the rectangles from the previous tier later on). You pick up stitches for these from the wrong side, and knit your first row on the RS. You will always end these rectangles on a WS row. **You don’t have to memorize this rule because the knitting will tell you what you have to do.**

Right Edge Triangle: This is the last blue arrow on the swatch above and the last element of Tier 2. It begins and ends with a RS row.

Left Leaning Rectangles: The stitches for these rectangles are picked up along the left edge of your Tire 2 (or even tier) elements, with the RS facing. The actual rectangle begins with a WS row and ends with a RS row.

Top Triangles: These line the upper edge of the piece, creating a smooth (rather than jagged) top. Sts are picked up on the RS. Each Triangle begins with a WS row and ends with a RS row (more or less)

How they relate to each other:

  I mentioned that the stitches for some elements are picked up from the edge of other elements. Here is what that looks like (sort of).

entre-PickUpAs shown above, the picking up happens from left to right for even numbered tiers. Remember, though that that is from the RS perspective. I mentioned above that we pick up stitches for Right Leaning Rectangles from the WS. Thus, we are actually working from right to left, but looking at the wrong side. Yikes.

Here’s another picture. This shows the direction of knitting within each rectangle and tier.

Entrelac_arrowsDoes that help?

I think that’s enough abstract spatial reasoning for now. Let’s just do some knitting.

2. Basic Entrelac Instructions

Tier 1: Base Triangle

CO a multiple of 8 stitches.

R1: K1, turn.

*It may feel strange to turn while you still have sts on the LH needle, but don’t worry, you’ll get used to it.

R2: P1, turn.

R3: K2, turn.

R4: P2, turn.

R5: K3, turn.

R6: P3, turn.

R7: K4, turn.

R8: P4, turn.

R9: K5, turn.

R10: P5, turn.

R11: K6, turn.

R12: P6, turn.

R13: K7, turn.

R14: P7, turn.

R15: K8, do not turn.

You have now completed one triangle. It looks kind of funny.


There are currently 8 sts on your RH needle. You will now ignore these sts.

Repeat Rows 1-15 once. Note that you are working on the next group of 8 sts. When you are done with the second set, you will have two groups of 8 sts on your RH needle, separated by a gap.


Continue repeating Rows 1-15 until you end up with no sts on your LH needle after Row 15. Tier 1 is complete. This is the point where first time entrelac knitters usually say, “That can’t be right!” and tear it out. Don’t do that!

It should look like this:


Moving on…

Tier 2: Left Edge Triangle, Right Leaning Rectangles, Right edge Triangle

Left Edge Triangle:

R1 (WS): P2, turn.

R2: K2, turn.

R3: Pfb, p2tog, turn. (Note that your ‘p2tog’ consisted of one st from your row and one st from the previous base triangle. On every WS row, you will be “using up” one of the sts from the group of 8 sts immediately to the left of your current sts. There will always be 8 sts in the immediate vicinity of where you are working; some will be from your current group, some will be from the previous tier.)

Two sts on the RH needle are from Pfb; two sts on the left will be purled together.

Two sts on the RH needle are from Pfb; two sts on the left will be purled together.


R4: K3, turn.

R5: Pfb, p1, p2tog, turn.

R6: K4, turn.

R7: Pfb, p2, p2tog, turn.

R8: K5, turn.


The sts of the new section, plus the sts of the closest section from the previous tier should always add up to 8.

R9: Pfb, p3, p2tog, turn.

R10: K6, turn.

R11: Pfb, p4, p2tog, turn.

R12: K7, turn.

R13: Pfb, p5, P2tog, do not turn.

The edge triangle is now complete. There are 8 sts (the sts of the edge triangle) on your right hand needle; ignore them. Place a marker on your RH needle, to mark the boundary between the sts you have just finished with and the next section. You will probably not need this marker after a couple more rows.


Right Leaning Rectangle

With WS facing, pick up and knit 8 sts along the adjacent edge of the triangle from the previous tier.


If you find it easier, you can do this with the RS facing, picking up from left to right (if you find this easier, I’m guessing you are probably left handed).entrelac6


2 sts have just been picked up. Notice that the marker indicates the boundary between the sts of the previous section and the sts that you have just picked up.

Once the stitches are picked up, turn your work so that the RS is facing.

R1: K8, turn. (You have just knit to the marker. Soon, there will be a big gap between the sts of this rectangle and the sts of the edge triangle – which we are ignoring- rendering the marker unnecessary.)

R2: P7, p2tog, turn. (Note: your p2tog consists of one of the picked up sts and a sts from one of the groups of 8 from a previous tier.)

Repeat these two rows a total of 8 times; do not turn after the last rep of R2. At this point, there will be not more sts readily available for your p2tog. This is one way that your knitting can help you figure out what to do. If there are no more sts for your p2tog, it’s time to pick up again.

Repeat the process (from the beginning of the Right Leaning Rectangle section) until all the sts from the previous tier have been used up and there are no sts left on your LH needle after your last p2tog.

Right Edge Triangle

This is the last piece of Tier 2. Pick up 8 sts as before, this time along the last remaining available edge, and turn work so that you are looking at the RS.

R1(RS): K8, turn.

R2 (and all WS rows): Purl to 2 sts before end, p2tog.

R3 (and all RS rows): Knit to end of triangle sts (there will be a big gap before the sts of the previous rectangle), turn.

Repeat Rows 2 and 3 until only one sts remains. This stitch will stay on the RH needle and be the first of your next group of 8 sts.

Tier 2 Complete! Yay!

Tier 3: Left Leaning Rectangles

After all the hullabaloo of Tier 2, Tier 3 is relatively easy.

With RS facing and 1 st already on your RH needle, pick up and knit 7 sts from the adjacent edge.

R1 (WS): P8, turn.

R2: K7, ssk, turn. (Note: the ssk consists of one picked up st and one of the 8 sts from the previous tier’s rectangles).

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 until all sts of previous rectangle have been used up.

Repeat this process (picking up 8 sts along subsequent edges) until all groups of 8 sts have been used up and there are no more sts on the LH needle.

Tier 3 accomplished!

Now, repeat Tiers 2 and 3 until your piece is long enough, ending on Tier 2.

Top Triangles

One st remains on RH needle from last triangle; this counts as first picked up st. Pick up and knit 7 more sts (8 sts total).

R1 (WS): P8, turn.

R2: Ssk, k5, ssk, turn.

R3: P7, turn.

R4: Ssk, k4, ssk, turn.

R5: P6, turn.

R6: Ssk, k3, ssk, turn.

R7: P5, turn.

R8: Ssk, k2, ssk, turn.

R9: P4, turn.

R10: Ssk, k1, ssk, turn.

R11: P3, turn.

R12: Ssk, ssk, turn.

R13: P2, turn.

R14: Sssk, turn.

R15: P1, turn.

R16: Ssk, do not turn.

Repeat from beginning of top triangle section until all sts on LH needles are used up and only one st remains on RH needle. BO remaining st.

3. Recipe for Entrelac

So there we go. You can use these instructions to make a scarf or shawl. Now, you might wonder, how wide can I make this shawl or scarf? What if I want my rectangles to be bigger?

The second question is the easiest to answer. Remember how you cast on a multiple of 8 for the practice swatch? And then, you always started each section with 8 picked up sts? And the number 8 just kept showing up everywhere, like in the very last row of your base triangle instructions? Well, that “8” can be any number you want, all you have to do is continue working in the pattern established in the instructions.

As for the second question, you will adjust your cast on  to get your scarf/shawl/wrap to whatever width you want. You may have to do some swatching to figure out how many more sts to cast on, though.

 4. Where am I?

Earlier in the post, I made certain wild claims that entrelac fabric can actually give you very useful clues about where you are in the pattern.  I have put together some examples of questions people have brought to me in the past and how we talked our way through them.


WhereAmIYou can’t really see it in this picture, but the yarn is coming off the right hand needle, so we know that we are on a WS row, or just getting ready to turn.

How do we know which one it is? Let’s have a look at the RS.

Note: when in doubt, I like to look at the RS, just because I find it a little easier to get my bearings. In general, it is never a bad thing to just pause and take a look at the big picture of your knitting. It is really easy to get lost in the little details, but often, when you take a look at what is surrounding the details, things become a little clearer.

WhereAmI2Once I’ve turned things around, I look at my groups of sts. I have a group of 8 (which is to be expected), a group of 7, and a group of 9. Notice that they all add up to a multiple of 8 (my magic number for this swatch). Any time you have 3 distinct groups of sts in the immediate vicinity of each other, they will consist of the following:

The sts you are currently working on (your current section).

The sts of the section you just finished.

The sts of the adjacent section from the previous tier.

The trick is to figure out which one is which. Well, clearly, the middle section (7 sts, plus one on the other needle) are your current sts. We know this because there are very close to the picked up edge, as opposed to the other groups, which have whole sections attached to them. The sts to the right (the group of 9, although one of those belongs to the current section) are the same color as the current sts. This indicates that these are from the section that you just finished knitting. That means that the group furthest to the left in the picture above are from a previous tier.

So now we know what’s what. How do we know what to do? We know that we have to get that 8th st into the center section. The question is, do we purl on and turn, (remember that we are actually on a WS row), or do we p2tog. We need to figure out if we are working on a right leaning or left leaning rectangle. Look at the 8 sts from the previous tier rectangle; their rectangle is leaning to the right. Just next to it is another rectangle leaning to the right. That is the rectangle that we picked up our current sts from. This means that we are currently working on a left leaning rectangle. Now, look at the instructions for the left leaning rectangle (repeated hear for your convenience):

R1 (WS): P8, turn.

R2: K7, ssk, turn. (Note: the ssk consists of one picked up st and one of the 8 sts from the previous tier’s rectangles).

Well, on the WS rows, we just purl, with not decreases at all, so when we see this:


we know we need to purl one more (to complete the 8) and then turn.

What about this?


What happened?

What happened?

This happens all the time, so if you find yourself in this situation, know that at least you are in good company.

You are working on a left leaning rectangle. See that line of Ssk’s that are eating up the sts of the previous tier? Notice that you have just knit past them. You just got a little carried away and forgot to ssk and turn. To fix this, undo the last 6 knits, ssk and then turn.

And what about this?

What Happened?

What Happened?

This is a little bit more involved. Again, we are on a left leaning rectangle, specifically, at the end of a RS row. Normally, we should be doing a decrease here, but what is this?

Whathap2We appear to have decreases on both sides! Also, the section on the right has only 7 sts.

On the last WS row, I accidentally did a p2tog, then turned. I need to undo this whole row (8 sts, including the decrease), turn and then work the RS row of my rectangle.

There we go! everything is fixable. The important thing, though is to catch mistakes like these as soon as possible. We do this by taking time to stop and look at the project as we go along. Note: this is it’s own reward, since our projects are very pretty.

Do you have an entrelac project that is stuck? Send me a pic and we’ll see if we can get it figured out!

Have fun!


Waffles! February 18, 2014

Filed under: designs,New pattern,Uncategorized — Hannah Cuviello @ 1:03 am

Continuing on the theme of fast things to knit when the weather is chilly, I wanted to share a work in progress. A couple of years ago, I wrote a fun little vest pattern, had it photographed, but never got it to the test knitting stage. I have decided to trot it back out. It still hasn’t gotten to the test knitting phase, but I do like it, so if anyone wants to take the chance, here it is. I knit it a second time, using the instructions I had written (although, I’m generally not one to actually follow instructions). I hope someday to have a nice shiny, edited version of this, but it will probably not happen until I am out of school. When it does, you will be able to download the pattern at my website, http://www.abundantyarn.com. Until then, I hope you enjoy!



by Hannah Cuviello           

This is a delightfully gooshy garment, designed with outdoor adventures in mind. The oversized collar can be worn up (for extra warmth) or down, and ribbing at the back of the collar snugs it close and keeps the chilly breezes off. The modified Waffle Brioche Stitch just begs to be snuggled into on a cold day and the simple construction allows for all sorts of personalization.

photographer: Andrea Parrish Geyer for Hydra Creations (green model) and Jim Lynn for Abundant Ideas (Taupe Model)


To fit Bust: 30[34, 38, 42, 46, 50, 54] inches  (shown in size 34, green and 38, taupe)

With 4-5” ease

Chest: 34.75[38.5, 42, 47, 50.75, 54.25, 58] inches
Length (for long version): 25[25.5, 26, 26, 26.5, 26.5, 27] inches


Cascade Yarns Lana Grande [100% wool; 87yds per 100g skein]; #6022: Cucumber; 6 [6, 7, 8, 8, 9, 10] skeins for long version, 3[3, 4, 5, 5, 6, 7] for cropped version.

1 32-inch US 15/10.0 circular needle or size to obtain gauge

Stitch Markers

2 med (4-6 inch or so) stitch holders

Zipper (I used 24 inch zipper for the long version, but snipped an inch off the top)

Tapestry needle

Sewing needle and thread (for zipper)


8 sts/ 14 rows = 4″ in stockinette stitch on US15/10.0.mm

6.5 sts/ 10.5 rows = 4″ in Waffle Stitch

9 sts/ 16 rows = 4” in 1×1 Ribbing

Note: Row gauge is less important, because all length measurements are given in inches / cm, rather than rows and can be easily adjusted.



The waist shaping in this garment is achieved by changing stitch pattern, without the use of increases or decreases. If you would like more or less definition in the waist, you can go up or down in needle size in the ribbing section.

Special Abbreviations

K3tog             knit 3 together; as part of the Waffle stitch pattern, this refers to a knit and 2 yo’s. If intended otherwise, I will specify.

Slyo                slip the next st as if to purl, at the same time bringing the working yarn from front to back over the needle, creating a paired st and yo.

Sl2yo              slip the next st and its paired yo as if to purl, at the same time creating a 2nd yo, as described above.

Wyif               with yarn in front


Waffle Stitch

Over odd number of sts:

Row 1 (Set up): *Slyo, k1; rep from * to last st, slyo.

Row 2 (Set up): Sl2yo, *k1, sl2yo; rep from * to last st.

Row 3 (WS): *K3tog (2 yo’s and slipped st), slyo; rep from * to last st (a knit and 2 yo’s), k3tog.

Row 4: K1 *Sl2yo, k1; rep from * to end.

Row 5: * Slyo, K3tog; rep from * to last st, slyo.

Row 6: Sl2yo, *K1, sl2yo; rep from * to end.

Repeat Rows 3-6 for pattern.

When you have an even number of sts (in cases where there have been decreases), work instructions w/in * to end.

NOTE on working stitch pattern: There will come a time when, due to decrease, your stitch pattern may shift by one stich (as mentioned in the last sentence above). It will be helpful if you can look at a stitch on your needle and predict from what you see where you are in the pattern. Here are some hints:

  • If you see a stitch with one yo, do a Sl2yo.
  • If you see a stitch with two yo’s, K3tog.
  • If you see a lone knit stitch next to a stitch with one yo, knit the lone stitch.
  • If you see a lone knit stitch next to a stitch with two yo’s, Slyo on the lone stitch.



With US 15/10.0 mm needles, CO 61[67, 73, 81, 87, 93, 99] sts.

If making the Cropped version, skip to Waist Ribbing Section.

R1(WS): K3, work Row 1 of Waffle Stitch to 3 sts before end, sl3 wyif.

R2: K3, work Row 2 of Waffle Stitch to 3 sts before end, sl3 wyif.

Continue as est, repeating rows 3-6 of Waffle Stitch for pattern, and keeping the first and last 3 sts of every row in icord. Work until piece measures roughly 6 inches/15 cm, ending with Row 6.


Next Row (WS): K3, work 2[2, 4, 4, 6, 6, 8], BO 8 loosely, work 10[10, 12, 12, 14, 14, 16], BO 8 loosely, work 2[2, 4, 4, 6, 6, 8], sl3 wyif.

Set body aside (do not cut yarn) and make inner pockets.

Inner Pockets (make 2)

With new ball of yarn CO 12 sts. Work St st until inner pocket measures 5.5 inches / 14 cm. Cut Yarn.

Join Pockets

Next Row (RS – should be Row 4 of Waffle Stitch): Work 1 (1, 3, 3, 5, 5, 7) sts in patt,  YO, sl the next yo, without knitting it, BO the next st over the first st of an inner pocket, slip that first st to RH ndl, k2tog, k6, ssk, k2tog (last inner pocket st and first body st after BO), work to last st before BO, ssk (last body st before BO and first inner pocket st), k2tog, k6, ssk, without knitting it, pass the last inner pocket st over the first body st and off the needle, sl the next yo, yo, work to end.

Continue working in pattern, incorporating the pocket sts (on the next row, you will K1 instead of K3tog on the pocket sts). Work 2 inches / 5 cm more ending with Row 6 of Waffle Stitch.

Waist Ribbing

Row 1 (WS): K3, *p1, k1; rep from *to last 3 sts, sl3 wyif.

Row 2: K3, *k1, p1; rep from *to last 3 sts, sl3 wyif.

Repeat Rows 1-2 for 2 inches / 5 cm.

Row 3: K3, place 3 sts just knit back on the LH ndl, k3, *p1, k1; rep from * to last 3 sts, sl3 wyif.

Row 4: K3, place 3 sts just knit back on the LH ndl, k3, *k1, p1; rep from * to last 3 sts, sl3 wyif.

Continue, repeating Rows 1-2 only for 2 inches / 5 cm more.

Upper Body

Beginning with Row 1 of Waffle Stitch, continue in pattern for 4.5[4.5, 4.5, 4, 4, 3.5, 3.5] inches / 11.5[11.5, 11.5, 10, 10, 9, 9] cm, ending with Row 6 (RS).

Next Row (WS): K3, work 13[15, 16, 20, 21, 23, 25], BO 1[1, 2, 2, 2, 3, 3], work 27[29, 31, 31, 35, 35, 37], BO  1[1, 2, 2, 2, 3, 3], work 13[15, 16, 20, 21, 23, 25], sl3 wyif.


Attach yarn at right edge of back, with RS facing.

Work in Waffle Stitch, slipping the first st and knitting the last st of every row.

At the same time, decrease 1 st at each edge of every RS row 1[1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2] times as follows:

Dec Row: Sl 1, ssk, work to 3 sts before end, k2tog, k1.

Continue working in Waffle Stitch until armhole measures 6.5[7, 7.5, 8, 8.5, 9, 9.5] inches / 16.5[18, 19, 20.5, 21.5, 23, 24] cm, ending with a WS row.

Next Row (RS): Sl1, work 6[6, 7, 7, 8, 8, 8], BO 11[13, 13, 13, 15, 15, 15], work to last st, k1. Do not cut yarn.

Left Shoulder Shaping

Row 1 (WS):  BO 2 sts, work to end.

Row 2(RS): Work to end.

Row 3: BO 2[2, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3], work to end.

Row 4: Work to end.

Row 5: BO rem sts.

Right Shoulder Shaping

With WS facing, attach yarn at neck edge.

Row 1: Work to end.

Row 2: BO 2 sts, work to end.

Row 3: Work to end.

Row 4: BO 2[2, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3], work to end.

Row 5: Work to end.

Row 6: BO rem sts.

Right Front

With RS facing, attach yarn at neck edge. Beginning on Row 4, work in Waffle Stitch, decreasing 1 st at armhole edge every RS row, 1[1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2] time(s). Continue until armhole measures 4.5[5, 5.5, 6, 6.5, 7, 7.5] inches / 11.5[13, 14, 15, 16.5, 18, 19] cm, ending with a RS row. Make note of the last pattern row worked. I’m not kidding.

Next Row (WS): Work to end. Cut yarn and place the last 7[9, 9, 13, 13, 15, 15] sts worked on holder.

With RS facing, reattach yarn at neck edge (to the left of the held sts) and work to end.

Continue in pattern on the Right Shoulder, decreasing 1 st at the neck edge every RS row 1[1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2] times, until the armhole measures 6.5[7, 7.5, 8, 8.5, 9, 9.5] inches / 16.5[18, 19, 20.5, 21.5, 23, 24] cm, ending with a RS row. Make note of the last pattern row worked.

Right Front Shoulder Shaping

Row 1: BO 2 sts, work to end.

Row 2: Work to end.

Row 3: BO 2[2, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3], work to end.

Row 4: Work to end.

Row 5: BO rem sts.

Left Front

Attach yarn at RS armhole edge. Beginning on Row 4, work in Waffle Stitch, decreasing 1 st at armhole edge every RS row, 1[1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2] time(s). Continue until armhole measures 4.5[5, 5.5, 6, 6.5, 7, 7.5] inches / 11.5[13, 14, 15, 16.5, 18, 19] cm, ending with a RS row. Making sure to stop at the same point in the pattern as you did for the Right Front.

Next Row (WS): K3, work 4[6, 6, 10, 10, 12, 12] sts and place the sts just worked on holder, work to end.

Continue in pattern on the Left Shoulder, decreasing 1 st at the neck edge every RS row 1[1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2] times, until the armhole measures 6.5[7, 7.5, 8, 8.5, 9, 9.5] inches / 16.5[18, 19, 20.5, 21.5, 23, 24] cm, ending with a WS row. Stop 1 Row after the point when you stopped on the Right Front Shoulder.

Left Front Shoulder Shaping

Row 1 (RS): BO 2 sts, work to end.

Row 2: Work to end.

Row 3: BO 2[2, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3], work to end.

Row 4: Work to end.

Row 5: BO rem sts.


Sew Shoulder Seams


With RS facing, attach yarn at right front and work across 7[9, 9, 13, 13, 15, 15] held collar sts, working Row 1 of Waffle pattern, and keeping the first 3 sts as i-cord (treat slyo’s from last row worked as a single st). Note: you will have an even number of pattern sts, so work only the instructions in the *. PM, PU 6 sts along the right front neck, pm, PU 11[13, 13, 13, 15, 15, 15] sts along back neck, PM, PU 6 sts along left front neck, pm, work 4[6, 6, 10, 10, 12, 12] held sts of left front collar in pattern, end sl 3 wyif. 37[43, 43, 51, 51, 57, 57] sts.

Next Row: K3, work Row 2 of Waffle Stitch to 2nd marker, *k1, p1; rep from * to next marker, work Row 2 of Waffle Stitch to last 3 sts, sl 3 wyif.

Continue in pattern, repeating Rows 3-6 of Waffle Stitch and working K1,P1 ribbing between the back neck markers, as est, until collar measures 4 inches /10cm. At the same time, work pattern Row 4 as follows when you come to it:

Row 4: K3, work to 1 st before 1st marker, k3tog (meaning the lone stitch, the next group of st and yo’s and the following lone stitch), replace marker to right of st just made, work to next marker, work ribbing, work to 2 sts before last marker, k3tog (as at the last marker), work to 3 sts before end, sl 3 wyif.

Repeat this process the next time you reach a Row 4 (2 times total).

Once collar has reached 4 inches/10cm, work the next two odd numbered rows as follows:

Next Row: Work to 2nd marker, removing markers as you come to them, kfb, work Waffle Stitch to end, removing markers as you come to them.

Continue in Waffle Stitch over all sts, until collar measures 5 inches/13 cm from top of ribbing, ending with an odd numbered pattern row.

Work i-cord BO as follows:
*Knit 3, place 3 sts just knit back on LH ndl; rep from * 2 times more.

Row 1: K2, ssk (one i-cord st and one collar st), place 3 sts just work back on LH ndl.

Row 2: K2, ssk, place 3 sts just work back on LH ndl.

Row 3: K3, place 3 sts just work back on LH ndl.

Repeat Rows 1-3 until all collar sts have been used up and only the 3 i-cord sts from the left edge remain. Work Row 3 once more. Cut yarn, leaving 5 inches /13 cm and graft to edges of i-cord together.


Weave in all ends and block. Sew down sides and bottoms of inner pocket. Prewash zipper, then sew it to the underside of the i-cord edging. I chose to begin the zipper at the bottom edge of the ribbing.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. I will try really hard to get back to you.





Like Magic… February 29, 2012

Filed under: how to,New pattern,Uncategorized — Hannah Cuviello @ 8:06 pm

Lately, I have been spending a little more time than usual crocheting. In part, I was inspired by a particularly fun Crochet Class I had the honor of teaching a couple of weekends ago (8 new crocheters in the world; woohoo!). Also, I happened to have had a ridiculously cute crochet project on my list of 30.

You may be happy to know that the list is now 28. Boo-yah.

Note that I did not design this adorable creature; it is a Ravelry download by Dawn Toussaint.

I have, however, written up a very simple crocheted beanie pattern (I wouldn’t call it “Design”, but I did do the typing, anyway).

I recently discovered that all my husband ever wanted was a crocheted beanie.  The discovery process went like this:

Husband: I would like a hat, please.

Me: I would love to make you a hat!

Husband: Could it be just a plain hat with a plain edge?

Me: (makes stockinette hat with rolled edge)

Husband: I love my hat, but could it have a different kind of edge?

Me: (starts hat with ribbed edge)

Husband: Hmmm…no, just a plain edge. My friend has one I really like; I want one just like his.

*Meet with friend, discover that coveted hat is a crocheted beanie*

He is very happy with it.

Both the hat above and the unicorn are crocheted in spirals. Now, I am generally a discrete rounds kind of girl*, but I discovered through the process of crocheting this hat that spirals are really a wonderful way to show off handpainted yarns, like Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Worsted  (used for the hat above).

*When I refer to spirals vs discrete rounds, it has to do with the process of ending and beginning a round in crochet. When you crochet a spiral, you don’t do anything different at the end of the round; you just keep crocheting on top of the previous round. If you were to crochet stripes using the spiral method, you would get a jog at the end of the round when you switch from one color to another. When you crochet in discrete rounds (at least that’s what I call it), you begin the round with a chain to bring the yarn up to the height of the new round. When you get to the last stitch, you slip stitch in the first crochet of the round to close it off.

Anyway, as I was saying…

Both these patterns also start off with a Magic Ring.*

*Not the kind that makes you invisible.

The Magic Ring, (or “Magic Circle” or “Magic Loop”) is an adjustable ring. into which you make the sts of your first round. It takes the place of instructions like, “Ch5, slst in first chain to form ring”. Now, we just say, “Make Magic Ring”.

Here, in painstaking detail, is what that looks like:

You with me so far?

So here is the big secret: the “Magic Ring” is just a slip knot that you don’t tighten. Why didn’t we just say that in the first place?!

That said, let us continue. So you have this slip knot that you haven’t tightened…

From here, I imagine that most of you can figure your way to the beginning of your crochet project. Just for good measure, though, I will include the next few steps.

The number of single crochets you make in the ring will be determined by your pattern. The number will, however, very frequently be 6 (or 5 or 8). In the picture below, I have done 6 single crochets (the thing at the very end that looks like a 7th st is the chain I made in step 8).

   Since we’re on the subject, I might as well keep going (I’ll have a whole hat by the end of this post…not really).

If you choose to crochet in a spiral, it is quite helpful to keep track of where you round begins and ends. I do this with a piece of yarn.

Now you have all the skills you need to make a simple crocheted beanie.

This tutorial has been brought to you by the letter G:

and by the color “Franklin’s Panopticon”:

I hope you’ve had fun. With any luck, the next time you hear from me I will have only 27 unfinished projects.


In Case You Missed It… January 16, 2012

Filed under: how to,New pattern,Yarn Pics,Yarn review — Hannah Cuviello @ 8:17 pm

About a year ago, I think that I made some foolishly brash comment about blogging more frequently in 2011. I suppose that I should have known better. I have the best intentions…really I do.

I think that this year, I will make no such empty promises. Instead, I will start off the year (or the third week of it anyway) by posting some of the picture tutorials that made it into my newsletters (note that this is a link to where you can sign up to receive said newsletters).  Some of these may exist in a previous blog somewhere, so if there are repeats, I’m very sorry!

What follows is a modest collection of technique tutorials for knitting and crochet.

Crochet Puff Stitch

From the Summer Newsletter, this is a fun little stitch I used in the upper border for my Sun People Market Bag.

The finished product in context looks like this:

Shortly thereafter (several weeks actually, since I send out newsletters only slightly more frequently than I post to my blog), I put together a little how-to for Thrumming (totally fun and ever-so-cozy, if you haven’t tried it before).

Thrumming: The Basics

Step 1 is the preparation of the Thrum.

Step 2 is the inserting of the Thrum into the knitting.

I used this technique in my Thrummed Scraper Mitt, an item for which I have been extremely grateful in the past several weeks (no snow on the ground since October, but plenty of ice encasing my windshield).

Speaking of snow…

In December, I began to have temper tantrums about not having any snow on the ground and put together a little pattern in honor the the snow I did not have. This pattern used…

The Picot Cast On

This was the edging for my Snowflakes that Stay cowl.

Incidentally, I used a lace weight, sequined mohair blend for this cowl and I love it quite a lot. I’m not sure how to feel about that, since I normally avoid sequins if at all possible. It’s just so shiny. So sparkly…

Still on a cowl kick in the middle of December, I proceeded to post this cowl, again using a fun and interesting cast on.

i-Cord Cast On

And here it is in action.

The yarn I used here is Mirasol Sulka, which I love. We had just recently received several new colors, and this pattern was a little celebration in honor of them.  Also, I was very cold. In fact, I don’t know that I have taken that cowl off since then.*

*Actually, I have taken it off. Once or twice.

For the record, we still do not have snow on the ground, and they have been promising it all week. Even Portland has snow. Portland!

I feel like I must be missing some tutorials, so I will be digging around in my computer for more and will post them (some day), when I find them.

  For the immediate future, look forward to a shocking tell-all confessional regarding unfinished and recently started projects, the goal of which will be to shame me encourage me to finish some of them.


Recipes for Happy December 2, 2009

Filed under: designs,New pattern,Yarn Pics,Yarn review — Hannah Cuviello @ 7:57 pm
Tags: , , ,

It’s well into the busy time for fiber enthusiasts. The weather is getting colder, so we knit bits of warmth for ourselves and our loved ones.  The gift giving season is upon us, so we knit for others. This year, I’ve had so many huge projects on my plate that my “for warmth” knitting and my “for gifts” knitting have both lagged frighteningly far behind. It’s so bad that I actually just bought 2 sweaters (Don’t tell Grammy)! I haven’t gotten so hard up as to purchase a scarf or hat yet; I think I would sooner just wrap the yarn around my head (OK, maybe I would do that anyway).

With all I have to do, I have actually gotten very little knitting done (for me).  This is worrisome because I am not only trying to develop several patterns at the moment and trying to fulfill all my knitting obligatoins (as in, I promised someone a garment and have yet to deliver), but mostly because knitting equals sanity, as I’m sure you all know. I have found that the amount of knitting I do on a daily basis is closely linked to my problem solving skills and ability to cope with stressers in my environment.   In the absence of actual knitting, I have had to find other little things to help me maintain my overall optimistic and happy nature and prevent me from prevent me from downward spiralling into new and frightening depths of crazy.  Here are some of the things that have made me particularly happy in the last couple of weeks and for which I am very thankful:

Of course, Ice cream. This, however is not just any ice cream; these are perhaps the two best flavors of ice cream ever. On the right, we have Bone Chunks: Lemon ice cream with chunks of chortbread and white chocolate and chocolate covered sunflower seeds. It’s as bright and happy in your mouth as it is in the bowl.  On the left is Circus. I love this ice cream because it is thematically consitent. Cotton Candy ice cream with Mother’s Circus cookies (the white and pink one with the sprinkles). You might go into a little bit of sugar shock eating it, but it’s well worth it. They come from a local creamery in Spokane (Brain Freeze) and can be purchased, among other places, at The Scoop, my new local ice creamery.

Sloot Prototype

Some of the knitting I did manage to get done turned into a prototype for my new favorite garment, the Sloot – that is, Slipper Boot.  This is a child’s size and I have already cast on for the big one (my size!).  The ripple pattern makes this extra comfy and cushy. Doing the prototype gave me some very useful insight into changes I will have to make for the full sized version.

Sloot Side view- Have to change the increases

For one thing, I will do the calf increases along the center back, rather than on the sides, which will give it a less drastic increase while still being symmestrical. Other than that. I am thrilled.

Not my size.Kitty may be less impressed.
At the risk of seeming like more of a crazy cat lady than I really am, here is something Saffron (aka, kitty) wanted to add to the “Makes me happy” list.

Saffy's recipe for Happy

This consists of a soft place to sleep, a sunbeam, and something lacey to sink the claws into.  Coincidentally, this picture also makes me very happy. I distract her with curtains so she stays away from the knitting.

Lacking much knitting time myself, I was thankful to find a willing knitter to finally finish my second cabled fingerless mitt. While I’ve had this pattern written up for awhile, I have just never gotten around to knitting the second mitt.

If I do say so myself, I am quite pleased with these mitts. They are simple, but have nice little touches, like symetrical, off-center cables.  As of a day or so ago, they also have…

An afterthought thumb gusset.

This makes me soooooo happy. Many people who knit these fingerless mitts when I first printed up the patter didn’t care for how wide the thumb hole is. Admittedly, it is very wide, but I was aiming for maximum maneuverability. Now, everyone is happy. I have revamped the pattern, added directions for the thumb, and put up on the website for free download. I’m hoping people will take advantage of this; they’re really a ridiculously quick knit and perfect for the season (being both warm and good gifts).

Click on the following picture to go to the download page. Enjoy!

Finally, when I don’t have time to knit, the next best thing is to look at pretty yarn. So here we go (with commentary, since all the people in the room with me now are not yarnies and look at me funny when I talk to the pretties, but I have to let it out somehow.)

Meet Mericash.  This yarn is almost at odds with itself; so light and ephemeral it’s hardly there at all, but with colors so vibrant they seem to fill all the space around them.

Look at this.

It’s like “POW” right in the eyes, but the most refreshing, beautiful pow ever and I just keep going back for more.  It makes my hands itch. I’m feeling major cast on urges!

Some yarns, I’m sure you have noticed, have real personalities.

Pearl is a total Diva. Look at her, all dressed up and ready to go out. She’s sultry and elegant, and colors always look better on her. She’s almost a little too perfect.

At the store, we had completely sold out of our Pearl, and I have to admit that I was feeling a bit safer not having that kind of  temptation.Then we got in these new colors.

I just want to scrunch my fingers in them!

"I'm Ready For My Closeup..."

Some people who have spent time with me while I was talking about yarn (hmm, redundant maybe)  may have heard words to the effect of “my favorite yarn” escape my lips. These words, I’m a little ashamed to say, could have referred to any number of yarns of which I was enamoured at the time. Now, I’m not fickle, I just have much love to give. When it comes down to it, though, there is one yarn that I have stashed more often than any other, and from which I have made more items. And…we got in new colors. Please welcome Lorna’s Shepherd Worsted.

Observe it’s suppleness.

Note the delicate transitions from one shade to the next, the colors that evoke serenity and peace.

There are just too many beautiful colors from Lorna’s.  They have to be stopped. It’s not fair to us knitters; how can we possibly knit all the beautiful colors.

OK. I have to go knit now.

Next time …

Scenes from the Lorna’s Shepherd Sock photo shoot! (about 60 colors in stock- I just counted).


Next Up… November 10, 2009

Filed under: designs,New pattern,Uncategorized,Yarn Pics — Hannah Cuviello @ 4:35 am
Tags: , , ,

I have finished a pattern. It’s done. seedling hat

I typed it up, added pictures, made a chart (with much technical help), put it all together and converted it to a pdf. I have now officially exhausted my technical abilities. That’s all I’ve got- it’s guess-work from here on out.

I am going to try uploading it to my blog. Here goes (remember…guess work).


See the empty space? Yeah.

Well, luckily, I have access to someone who has much more computery knowledge than I have. My father has successfully uploaded the pattern to the store website, where it is now available for free download!

seedling side

Click here to go to Download Page

With all this awful computer nonsense accomplished, I think I’ve earned some knitting time! “What’s next?”, you may ask…

Some of you may remember the 5 beautiful, naturally dyed colors that Stevanie at Abundant Yarn (now at Pico Accuardi dyeworks) developed for Cascade.  Cascade colorsWe hosted a color naming contest for these during Sock Summit, and Cascade chose the names a month or so ago.  From left to right, we have Seattle Blues, Sage Honey, Wild Honey, Desert Adobe, and Briar Rose.

I am working on sock patterns for each of these colorways, inspired by the names.

As you can see, I’ve been hard at work.

sock plans

Clearly, I tend towards the technical in my pattern development.

It can’t all be work, work, work, though (go ahead and feel jealous that I call drawing pictures of socks “work”). I actually have some personally fulfilling projects started, the most exciting of which is a new pair of slippers. Now, to understand what this means, you have to realize that slippers are an institution in my family.

Let us start at the beginning, though. I had a knitting Grammy. She was the foundation of all the fiber experiences of my life. Among the many patterns that were her signature creations (well, I don’t know if she really came up with the patterns- they could be everywhere- but she sure knit a lot of them) were a particular pair of slippers.  These slippers were simple and quick to knit, and were among my own first projects.

Grammy slippers

Every year at Christmas, every member of our family would receive a pair of knitted slippers. Such was the voracity of Grammy’s slipper knitting. Pictured above are perhaps the last extant pair of Grammy-knit slippers. I love them, but I want more. Now, of course I could just knit another pair of slippers and have them done in a relative snap. When I say “more”, though, I don’t just mean more pairs of slippers, I mean more slipper in each pair.

I’m going to make Slipper Boots! Sloots! Sloops? sbippers? Whatever.

You see, it is ridiculously cold in Spokane, and I am not used to this. The more of my body is covered with wool, the better. If the wool just happens to be knit in a ridiculous, puffy stitch, well even better still. I’m so excited! I’m knitting them right now, in between letters (is that why my blog posts take so long?).

New slippers

The choice of yarn here was, of course, key. I knew I wanted a worsted weight wool. Working from my stash naturally narrowed the options (OK, so it didn’t actually narrow them that much). I had to choose between Cascade 220 in Green and Gold, Lorna’s Laces Shepherds Worsted (my favorite yarn to knit with- yes, I have a favorite) in some dark variegateds and Imperial Stock Ranch 2Ply in “Black Cherry” and “Heathered Teal”.

When I came down to it, though, the choice really made itself. I already have a couple of projects in Cascade 220 green and gold (one of which happens to be slippers), so that was out.  I have a weird, covety thing about the Lorna’s in my stash (saving it for the perfect sweater), and I just couldn’t let it go, even for such a worthy project.  It came down to the ISR.  Really, this is a perfect wool for the project. It is remarkably light and lofty, while still holding its shape, the colors are lovely, and it come in rather large put-ups. Plus, ISR is an amazing company and I enjoy supporting them.

That said, I have a warm cup of coffee and some knitting waiting for me…

Spokane Cup

Cute novelty cup that I found in Seattle, of all places. It only holds about 4oz of coffee, but it is one of my favorite possessions. Plus extra getting up for refills just means that I work off another slice of pie, right?