Easy Guernsey knitted hat

After completing my Guernsey Wrap, I had enough yarn left for a hat. Luckily there’s already a pattern for an easy Guernsey hat!

The pattern called for size US8 double pointed needles, which I don’t have so I used size 10 instead. This wasn’t an awesome plan because the hat was too loose and floppy. A run through the washer and dryer helped tighten it up a bit, and I think it will be a cute addition to my cool-weather wardrobe.

The rest of the project details can be found in my Ravelry projects.

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Guernsey Wrap detail

Knitted Guernsey Wrap

dark grey Brooklyn Tweed Guernsey Wrap

I started this Guernsey Wrap from Brooklyn Tweed in July while on vacation back home in Iowa. I’d been looking for something to knit that would be a good challenge but not too complicated since it had been awhile since I’d knitted anything.  Shawls kept coming up during my search, but they seemed too delicate or feminine for my taste. I wanted something practical like a shawl, but with a more timeless design.

I like the way the designers at Brooklyn Tweed create projects that merge traditional with modern. And this particular pattern was just knit and purl stitches. Nothing complicated, but the pleasing panels of varied stitch patterns add texture and interest. It also has a graphic pattern which I prefer over more organic designs.

In order to properly block this wrap, lace blocking wires are required. Which means I had to buy a kit of lace blocking wires…hopefully I’ll make something again in the future that needs them so they’re not a one-use purchase.

I’m really happy with the wrap and I think I’ll get a lot of use out of it since it’s a neutral color. The worsted yarn is Berroco Ultra Alpaca in Salt & Pepper, and it’s so soft and snuggly — I love it. Specs for this project can be found on my Ravelry page.

Zippered knitting project bag

Zippered Knitting Project Bag

Full immersion into sewing made me forget about knitting for a spell. And recently I was re-inspired to pick my needles up again, which is a good excuse for…a sewing project! Specifically, a zippered bag to hold my current knitting project, the Guernsey Wrap from Brooklyn Tweed.

Guernsey Wrap in progress in zippered knitting bag
The interior patch pocket holds the yarn labels and needle package

Process Notes

Materials:

  • 15 in. nylon zipper
  • exterior: Robert Kaufman Chambray Union Light; Country Classics quilting cotton in Teal Blue; Kona Cotton in Charcoal; heavy cotton denim
  • lining and strap: linen blend in natural; Robert Kaufman Chambray Union Light
  • Pellon SF101 fusible woven interfacing on exterior pieces; sew-in fleece interfacing on lining pieces
  • light grey top stitching thread for top stitching the denim panel

Equipment:

  • 75/11 sharp needle for piecing the exterior panels
  • 100/16 jeans needle for the denim portions
  • 90/14 sharp needle for construction and top stitching

For the exterior panels, I cut strips 15 in. wide, with pieced height totaling 13 in. I cut lining to 15 x 13 in., with some trimming to square it up after piecing.

For construction, I basically followed the Open Wide Zippered Pouch tutorial on noodle-head.com, adding an interior patch pocket and exterior strap.

Results

It was really fun putting some nice fabric scraps to good use on this bag. I went with denim on the bottom section because it’s sturdy, and the lining is a light color so it’s easy to see what’s inside. I love the color combo, especially the way the natural linen coordinates with the blues.

Zippered knitting project bag

Zippered knitting project bag

The zipper tab isn’t awesome — it’s great on the top side, but on the bottom side the folded edges are poking out. It was a bear to get on straight, so I didn’t feel like ripping it out and trying again.

On the strap, the accent fabric with topstitching worked really well. But it would have been better to rotate the strap 180° so the edge with the folds was facing down and the clean edge was facing up. I was so focused on remembering to insert it in the right place that I forgot to check the orientation of it.

When drafting the size to make this bag, it seemed plenty large, and maybe even too large. But the final bag, at 13 1/2 in. wide x 9 1/2 in. tall x 4 in. deep, is definitely not too large. Stuffing it with yarn somehow shrank it! It remains to be seen whether the Guernsey Wrap will still fit as it grows.

If I were to do it over, I’d increase the height by a couple of inches and skip the fleece interfacing on the lining. But all in all I really like this bag, and it’s good to have a home for my knitting project.

fair isle zippered pouch closed

Fair Isle zipper pouch

This knitted zipper pouch is a little different format from my previous two (argyle and chevron) pouches. It has a flat bottom so it can stand up on its own, making it good for traveling.

To make this one open all the way so it’s easy to see what’s inside, I adapted the tutorial for Open Wide Zippered Pouch for sewing with a knitted exterior rather than a fabric one. I also changed the zipper tab up a bit so it’s a pocket that the zipper slides into before stitching it down, rather than the folded-over style from the tutorial.

fair isle zippered pouch open

inside the fair isle zippered pouch

I designed the pouch using a variety of stitch patterns from Alice Starmore’s Book of Fair Isle Knitting, after creating a gauge swatch and determining which stitch patterns would work for my stitch count. I wanted it to be more organic with some plant references rather than modern and geometric in style.

To make this pouch approximately 5 1/2 in. wide x 4 in. high x 2 1/2 in. deep, I started by casting on 46 stitches on size US 3 DPNs and worked a linen stitch, alternating the three yarn colors. I worked this back and forth for 38 rows to form the bottom of the pouch. Then I picked up the stitches around the edge to form the sides of the pouch, placing 41 stitches on each of the long side needles and 19 stitches on each of the short side needles.

After blocking, I sewed the interior (using interface-supported natural cotton canvas), added the zipper, and finished by hand-stitched the exterior to the lining. For this stand-up style pouch, I really like the way the zipper extends past the end and opens all the way up. I’m really happy with how this one turned out.

fair isle zippered pouch in chevron pattern

Chevron Fair Isle zipper pouch

A friend and I were recently chatting about how much we like little zippered pouches. What is it about them that makes them so appealing?? Anyway, we love them. Luckily, we had this conversation after I had finished knitting her Christmas gift: a little zippered pouch.

I’d describe her style as clean, modern, and casual, so I chose a Fair Isle stitch pattern that fits this style. The color scheme is based on her affinity for greys and peacock blue.

inside the chevron fair isle zippered pouch
Surprise! There’s a bright peacock blue lining hiding in this otherwise muted and mellow pouch

The piece was worked in the round on double pointed needles: size US 2 for the stockinette stitches and US 3 for the pattern rows. I cast on 128 stitches and divided them equally onto 4 DPNs (32 stitches each). The chevron pattern is an 8-stitch repeat, 4 rows high. This resulted in 16 total repeats of the pattern around the piece and 46 total rows: 6 rows in stone; 25 rows of blue/stone chevron pattern; 4 rows blue/grey chevron pattern; 10 rows of grey. The final size is 9 in. wide x 5 in. high.

 

knitted space invaders kindle cozy

Space Invaders Fair Isle Kindle Cozy

A friend recently asked me if I’d like to make a cover for his new Kindle. Um, yes! He liked the green houndstooth Fair Isle sleeve I’d made for my husband, and likes red and black. Other than that, he was pretty open. So I suggested a few directions, including a video game theme because he’s a big gamer, and he selected a Space Invaders theme. I would have enjoyed making any of the ideas, but I was particularly excited to do something unconventional like Space Invaders.

This project was a great learning experience. The first yarn I bought was way too thick to accommodate the stitch pattern given the dimensions of the Kindle. The thinner yarn I replaced it with worked better, but it was still a challenge. I used size 0 needles, which seems to have affected the stretch and give in the finished piece because it’s not very stretchy. I might have fared better going down even more in yarn weight and using a size 5 needle.

After settling on my yarn and needles, I tested the fitting every so often and found that despite making a gauge swatch and customizing the stitch pattern for my specs, it was too tight. This required starting over a few times to get it back on track. My experience has pretty consistently been that my gauge swatch is looser than my final knitted piece for some reason.

fair isle space invaders kindle cozy
On one side I worked in a zap and exploding invader

Once I got the sizing right, things rolled along very well and it was completed in about a (big) day’s work. After blocking it, the Space Invaders Kindle Cozy was off to its new home.

divided basket with wool and canvas

Divided fabric basket for knitting supplies

I sewed this divided basket to keep in-progress knitting projects tidy and portable. It’s a natural cotton canvas body with a herringbone wool pocket and cotton liner. I’m so happy with this neutral and classic combination of colors and textures.

divided basket with knitting supplies

divided basket for knitting supplies

I wish I had lined the pocket in front — the knitting needles poke through the wool pretty easily. And next time, I’ll adjust the pattern to make the lining a bit taller, while making the divider a bit shorter.

For the interfacing, I used the heaviest one I could find (Pelon 71F Single-Sided Fusible Ultra Firm Stabilizer) but discovered I really don’t like sewing with it. At least, not with this pattern. It’s so stiff to work with, and isn’t flexible enough for the curves in this project. Next time I’ll try the Pelon 808 interfacing + 987F fusible fleece as recommended in the pattern instructions.

knitted zippered pouch with argyle stitch

Argyle Fair Isle zipper pouch

This zippered pouch is for my knitting needles and little knitting tools. I used a 12-inch zipper and my stash of leftover sock yarns, making a color combination that I didn’t care for at first but has really grown on me.

The stitch pattern is an argyle pattern from Alice Starmore’s Book of Fair Isle Knitting. It’s a 12-stitch repeat, 10-row pattern.

fair isle argyle stitch pattern pouch
Fair Isle argyle stitch pattern
zipper tab
I included these little zipper tabs to make the finish cleaner

I lined it with a zippered fabric pouch liner and attached the knitted piece to the zipper, using this zipper lining tutorial. It has a heavy interfacing, making it hold a solid rectangular shape.

Also pictured in the main photo is a little zippered pouch I made following the Craftsy.com course Bag-Making Basics (one of the free courses). I’m so in love with Craftsy.com these days.

cabled kindle cozy

Cabled Kindle cozy

After knitting a Kindle cozy for my husband I wanted one for myself. I love the way cabled knitting looks, so for mine I used some yarn from my stash and settled on the Celtic Cable stitch pattern from Super Stitches Knitting for this cozy, adapting it for circular knitting.

This is such a luxurious, cozy piece it really made me want to knit a big soft cabled sweater. And the Malabrigo is ultra decadent.

I managed to get the purl stitches right on my kitchener stitch for this piece, but the knit stitches are twisted and weird. I finally went to my local yarn shop where they helped me understand better what to look for with this stitch. Since then, I’ve been able to get it working right. I also consulted the Craftsy.com course Ins & Outs of Grafting, which was helpful.

houndstooth kindle cozy

Green argyle Fair Isle Kindle cozy

This is basically a sock for a Kindle, and is my first Fair Isle project. The houndstooth stitch pattern is from Super Stitches Knitting. It was a really good stitch pattern to start with because it’s a simple one at just 4 stitches.

I love this houndstooth pattern, and will probably make something else with it at this point.

houndstooth kindle cozy in progress
Top down Kindle cozy, just like the top of a sock

The yarn is Cascade Yarns Ultra Pima, which is 100% cotton. I learned that cotton is tricky with Fair Isle because it doesn’t have the stretch and give that a wool yarn has. While it technically fits around the Kindle, it’s not stretchy enough to make it easy to use.