Tuesday, July 24, 2012

My Puffy Recipe (Updated 7/24/12)

Updated 7/24/12 to include clearer directions for the decreases.

Here's my personal hexipuff recipe.  I consider this to be "the perfect puff."

What's a hexipuff?  It's a motif used in making The Beekeeper's Quilt.  There are a series of posts on my blog about adjusting the pattern to make hexipuffs of the same size from all different types of yarn.  These are modifications - you'll still need to buy a copy of the official pattern to make the quilt.

I use 3.25mm needles (instead of the 3.50mm specified in the pattern) because I like the look better.  This makes a 3" puff with a sock yarn of average fingering weight.

This recipe has been tested and works for:
Skinny Bugga! (formerly from the Sanguine Gryphon and now Cephalopod Yarns)
Gnomespun Yarn Phouka
Knit Picks Palette
The Sanguine Gryphon Little Traveller
Zwerger Garn Opal Regenwald
Update 7/24/12: Into the Whirled Ulundi Sock

M1T: make one towards. Make a right-leaning half hitch, with the yarn tail coming out of the front (just as you would cast on a stitch during a backward loop cast-on).
  This is also known as m1R (make one right) by some knitters.
M1A: make one away. Make a left-leaning half hitch, with the yarn tail coming out of the back.  This is also known as m1L (make one left) by some knitters.
ssk: slip the next stitch knitwise, slip the following stitch knitwise, knit these two stitches together through their back loops.
k2tog: knit the next two stitches together as one.

Here's how you do it...

Using the long tail cast on, cast on 22 stitches, alternating between front and back needles. 

Start your first round by knitting into the last stitch cast on. Knit the rest of the round.

Increase Round A: Knit 1, M1T, knit to 1 stitch before end of first needle, M1A, knit 1. Repeat on second needle.

Increase Round B: Knit 1, knit 1 through the back loop, knit to end of first needle. Repeat on second needle. 

Repeat Increase Rounds A & B again (30 stitches total).

Knit one round.

Repeat Increase Rounds A & B three more times (42 stitches total).

Decrease as described in the pattern, but add an extra plain knit row after you have decreased 3 times (when you have 30 stitches total), to mirror the bottom of the puff.  Continue to decrease as described in the pattern, but omit the final knit row.  See more specific instructions below.

Decrease Round A: ssk, knit to 2 stitches before end of first needle, k2tog.  Repeat on second needle.

Decrease Round B: knit all stitches.

Repeat Decrease Rounds A & B  twice more (30 stitches total)

Knit one round.

Repeat Decrease Rounds A & B once more. (26 stitches total)

Repeat Decrease Round A only once more.

Stuff your puff.

Bind off in purl using a crochet three-needle bind off as follows: purl first stitch from the front & back needles together using a crochet hook. Repeat for second stitch. Pull loop from second stitch through loop from first stitch using crochet hook.  One stitch from each needle bound off.

Repeat until 2 stitches remain on each needle. Purl these 4 stitches together as one, and pull that loop through the loop from the previous stitch to complete the bind off.  Break yarn, pull tail through remaining loop.  Use the crochet hook to tuck the tail inside the puff.

Ta-da!  Puff perfection!

Hexipuffs: Bugga!

Being a sport weight yarn, Bugga! requires a slight modification to the regular hexipuff formula.  For a 3" diameter puff, I recommend using My Puffy Recipe, with the following modifications:

  • Cast on 20 stitches.
  • Repeat Increase Rounds A & B five times, then add an extra knit row. (Instead of adding a knit row between the second and third increases.)
  • Repeat Decrease Rounds A & B four times, then Decrease Round A once more.  (Do not add any extra plain knit rows during the decreases.)

(Bugga! was formerly sold by Sanguine Gryphon and is currently offered by both Verdant Gryphon and Cephalopod Yarns.)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Time Traveler Socks - NOW IN FOUR SIZES!

My Time Traveler Socks are now available in four sizes!  Women's medium (8" foot circumference), men's medium/women's large (9" foot circumference), men's large (10" foot circumference), and men's XXL (11" foot circumference).  Of course, the foot length is still 100% adjustable.  The new PDF even includes a chart for the ribbing!

Download the PDF from Ravelry HERE!

Knitting these socks? Create a project on Ravelry!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Hitchhiking on the Bandwagon

Last year, I was able to purchase an amazing skein of Bugga! from the Sanguine Gryphon booth at Maryland Sheep & Wool.  The colorway was called Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz, and it's a beautiful blue-green-grey variegated.

Prostetnic Vogon Jeltz (the yarn version)

Top View
My immediate thought was that it needed to be involved in some kind of Douglas Adams-related pattern, of course.  Careful searching revealed that 6,000 people enjoyed a beautiful shawlette pattern called Hitchhiker, which (when knitted with the correct amount of yarn) has 42 points along the edge.  It was fate! Kismet! The perfect match of squishy soft yarn, squishy soft garter stitch, Douglas Adams -themed yarn and Douglas Adams - themed pattern.

I started the shawlette, but tried to get all fancy by adding a stripe of stockinette every now and then, to show off the amazing colors of the yarn.
This resulted in so much frustration I eventually frogged the whole thing.

But I kept obsessing.  The pattern just kept calling to me - calling for THIS YARN.  So today I started again, without getting fancy, but of course with some modifications.  This is me we're talking about, here.

Since the pattern calls for 150g of Wollmeise (575 yards) to get 42 teeth, and Bugga! has only 412, I knew I'd have to get creative to get the magic number.

So, I've gone up a couple of needle sizes (to a US 4, 3.50mm) to create a less dense fabric.  And, more importantly, I've shortened the pattern repeat by two rows.  Given my larger needle size, this is actually resulting in teeth that are about the same length as their height.

This pattern starts so quickly at first!  It's the first day, and already I've knit 20 teeth.  I think that counts as 50% done, don't you?  Yep, definitely.