Knitting pattern · Tutorial · Yarn Reviews

The Strand Blanket · Free Knitting Pattern

Sometimes you’ve just got to stick a dog in a photo, haven’t you? If you’ve been following my antics over on Instagram you’ll have seen that we recently added two puppers to the family – a Golden Retreiver and a GSD cross – and we couldn’t be happier! Obviously I was happy because dogs = extra photo opportunities (joke) but I couldn’t resist grabbing Bob our Golden for a quick pose! Doesn’t she look lovely?

The Strand Blanket.

Designing this blanket alongside the wonderful folks at Marrier Yarns was an absolute joy! They kindly sent me a generous 500g cone of their 4ply acrylic, a couple of balls of their Smooth Touch Cotton Look DK and a colour pack of Midget DK to play about with and design a project with – how cool is that?

I’m a big fan of actylic yarn, but sometimes it’s hard to find decent quality man-made fibres at a good price. I was pleasantly surprised to see that Marriner Yarns are quietly flying the flag of great-value yarn at incredibly small prices. I particularly love the colour selection available, as well as the generous sizes. The 400g cone I used for this blanket is wonderful for large projects and the small 25g balls of Midget are ideal for Amigurimi, granny squares or adding a pop of colour alongisde neutrals – just as I did here with this blanket. I love, love, love these yarns!

Watching the colours change and form stripes as you work is one of those “aahhh”” moments!

The Strand Blanket is a great beginner’s project, ideal for anyone wanting a long-term “pick up, put down” make that is repetitive and calming but also exciting! Watching the colours change as you work is wonderfully satisfying, and the chunkiness means that it’ll work up in no time. You can work as many rows as you like to make any size blanket (my measurements are approximate and my own) so it’s also flexible and versatile. Just cast on more or less stitches as you wish and work for as many rows as you want until you reach your desired size. Easy as pie, no-fuss and pretty, just the way we like it at Emmaknitty. I love the neutral yarn working together with the splashes of bright, punchy shades and of course the squish of garter stitch is always gorgeously cosy. What a dream!

You will need:

  • A cone of Marriner 4ply in a neutral shade (I chose beige);
  • A bumper pack of Midget DK;
  • An 8.00mm circular needle longer than 32″;
  • A wool/yarn needle for weaving in ends and scissors.

You will need to know:

The Long Tail cast on (or other stretchy cast on technique), the knit stitch, slipping stitches purlwise, binding/casting off, weaving in ends.

Notes:

  • For this project you will be using a circular needle but knitting as you would on straight needles (i.e. not joining in the round). This is because the blanket will be quite large, and using circulars for big knits puts less strain on your wrists and arms. We want to be comfy when we knit, right?
  • The blanket is worked fully in garter stitch (knitting evey stitch) using three strands of yarn and we will always slip the first stitch purlwise and knit the last stitch. This leaves a clean edge.

Method:

Firstly we need to separate the cone of yarn into two. Carefully wind two 200g (or as equally sized as you can) balls of yarn from the cone and set aside. Now take your miniature 25g balls of Midget and join them all together, forming one large ball of alternating colours. You can choose how you combine the shades, but sime nice ideas could be attaching all similar colours together, going from bright to more neutral shades or just randomly going in and attaching the different shades randomly as I did.

You should now have three balls (tee hee) and now we’re ready to knit!

Squish factor: Off the scale.
  • Cast on 130 stitches onto your 8.00mm circular needles, holding all three strands together. It’s always a good idea to cast on loosely, especially if you’re a tight knitter.
  • Slip the first stitch purlwise and knit every stitch to the end of the row.
  • Follow the above instructions for all of the project, watching those gorgeous shades pop out when you least expect it and stopping when the blanket is at the right length for you. I stopped knitting when my blanket was approximately 64cm (25″) long which made it a great size for a lap or pet blanket.
  • Cast/bind off loosely, weave in ends and block if desired.

I hope you enjoyed this simple, off-the-cuff pattern! Do check out my other free patterns and turorials and feel free to share your own The Strand Blanket on Instagram by tagging me at @emmaknitty… I’d love to see what you make!

Article

Free Pattern · Chunky Cotton Face Wipes

Want to get back to basics? This simple knitting pattern for sustainable chunky cotton face wipes is a great way of using up scraps of chunky cotton yarn in a flash. Make a stack for yourself or as a gift for a beauty-product loving friend! This pattern is fun for both beginners and more advanced knitters who want a quick afternoon project.

Staying inspired is hard when you’re a creative person. As a crafter, I have weeks where I can’t stop the ideas and inspiration from flooding into my head and sometimes get pretty overwhelmed, but the next week I find it hard to conjour up even the slightest bit of motivation. What hasn’t helped has been the fact that between work and illnesses, finding the time to sit down and think about projects has been nearly impossible, and when I do have time to work on projects (normally at after bedtime when little one is asleep) I am so tired that I simply can’t be arsed to pick any kind of hook or needle! The horror…
In a moment of frustration whilst in bed with gastroenteritis I decided to strip things back.

Why did I start knitting? What is the ethos behind Emmaknitty? Why do I spend so much time knitting and crafting? Sometimes it’s easy to lose track of these things and forget why these things are so important. The main reason why I started knitting was to find a way of relaxing and being creative at the same time. The ethos behind Emmaknitty was and is to create simple, colourful patterns that don’t intimidate beginner knitters. I spend so much time crafting because it makes me happy.

So, I decided to create a small, easy-as-heck pattern designed to represent all those things I believe in as a maker. These chunky cotton wipes are reusable, perfect for removing makeup and look very pretty all stacked up on a dressing table! They also make a beautiful gift and minimise wastage (yay for eco-friendliness) which is something we should all be mindful of.

One ball of DMC Natura XL Cotton (thanks to LoveKnitting for sending me this yarn to try) makes a whole load of these wipes, or you can use any super chunky yarn left over in your stash.

You will need:

  • 100g of DMC Natura XL (I used colours 83 and 41) or another Super Chunky 100% cotton yarn;
  • A pair of 5.5mm knitting needles:
  • Scissors and a yarn/darning needle to weave in ends.

You will need to know how to cast on using the magic loop method, slip stitch, knit and purl stitches, casting/binding off.

Method:

VERSION ONE · SEED STITCH: Cast on 11 stitches using the magic loop method. Slip the first stitch purlwise, then *p1, k1* to end. Repeat this pattern for 13 rows.

VERSION TWO · SAND STITCH: Cast on 11 stitches using the magic loop method as before.
Row 1: Slip the first stitch purlwise, then *p1, k1* to end. Row 2: Knit every stitch across to end. Repeat these two rows for 13 rows.

Bind off all stitches and weave in ends neatly. For cotton yarn weaving in ends can be a pain, So I love using this method by Verypink knits.

Knitting pattern · Tutorial

Knitting Pattern · Cloud Friends Hat

CFH1.png

Ahhh, Nothing gets you longing for Christmas, snow, chilly days and wintry walks like a cosy bobble hat. What’s even better than that is when they’re on everyone’s head, and that’s why I designed this chunky hat for both big and little kids! This adorable pattern is not only ideal for advanced beginners, but super quick to make – if you need a fast gift idea this is the one for you – and looks way more complicated that it actually is!

If you’re new to the world of knitting and are a bit bored of making endless scarves and potholders, this simple hat is perfect for expanding your skill set and exploring techniques such as Fair Isle knitting using a chart. I hope you enjoy working up this satisfying project and experimenting with colour to make your own Cloud Friends Hat!


Cloud Friends Hat

Level: Advanced Beginner

Sizing: Consult this guide for detailed sizing information.

Gauge: 8 stitches, 12 rows to 10cm/4″

You will need:

16″ 10.00mm & 9.00mm (US 14 & 15) circular needles, a stitch marker, scissors, a tapestry needle (ideally one with a collapsible eye), one and a half balls of Millamia Naturally Soft Super Chunky (100g in main colour, 50g in secondary colour), approx 20-50g of scrap chunky yarn for pom-pom (I used Katia Alaska in Off-White), XL pom-pom maker.

Skills:

Long-tail cast on, bind off, joining in the round using the gapless/invisible method, knit stitch, purl stitch, Fair Isle knitting using a chart, K2tog decrease, making a pom pom, seaming, weaving in ends.

Size: Child (4-6 years) Adult – Instructions for the adult size are given in italics and underlined.

Notes:

Worked from bottom to top, we’ll work a few rounds of 1×1 ribbing before continuing wuth a few rounds of stockinette (knitting every stitch) around. Then we shall work our Fair Isle design with colour two, start decreasing, seam and add our big pompom on top. When working Fair Isle, remember to keep your stitches fairly loose. It takes a while to perfect this technique, so if you’re new to it don’t worry if your stitches look less than even. Always remember to err on the side of loose tension, don’t pull too tightly, and use stitch markers to mark the beginning and ends of the chart on your work if it helps to keep tracks of where you are. Are you finding the adult sized hat a bit too snug? You can easily make the size bigger by adding 2+1 extra stitches when you cast on.

Chart (Four round, six stitch repeat):

fairislecloudbubble.png

In this case, pink is my main colour and blue the secondary one. Your colours will be different depending on the shades you choose, so do bear this in mind.

Method:

Cast on 37 (43) stitches onto the 9.00mm/US 14 circular needle and join using the invisible join method (36) (42). Place marker and pull the tail end to tighten.

Knit 1, purl 1* to end for six rounds.

Change to 10.00/US 15 circular needles and work eight rounds in stockinette stitch (knit every stitch).

Now, pick up your secondary colour yarn and start working the colours according to the chart.

TIP! If it helps, from the beginning of the round place a stitch marker every 6th stitch so you can keep track of where you are.

After this, knit in stockinette until the piece measures 7.”/18cm for kids size or 8.25″/21cm for adults.

For the next round, k2tog every stitch.

Knit one round plain.

Bind off all stitches, seam together by weaving the yarn under each stitch and pulling tight. Weave in ends securely.

Make a pom-pom and attach it by sewing both ends through either end of the seamed part of the top of the hat. Thread the yarn upwards up and through the centre of the pom-pom, trimming these ends to match the length of the pom-pom.

You’re done! Don’t forget to tag your projects with #Cloudfriendshat (Yes, I know this hashtags looks a bit dodgy) on Instagram so I can check out your lovely work!


This free pattern is ©emmaknitty 2018. It must not be copied, reproduced or sold. Do not claim it as your own.

Knitting pattern · Tutorial

Bimba Blanket · Free Knitting Pattern

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I know that the month of July isn’t really a good month for knitting blankets – hello sweaty – but I couldn’t wait to share this pattern with you!

As a designer, I’m always on the hunt for the perfect lazy yet satisfying project. To me that means a pattern that is simple enough to make whilst watching TV or relaxing somewhere but interesting enough to still keep your attention – especially important for big, bulky projects like blankets that can take a while to make and could get boring after a while. For me, 90% of the time frogging a project isn’t because of a mistake, but because my knitting ADHD takes over and I get devastatingly bored and want to start something else. Or I just give up and put it in the ‘projects that will remain unfinished forever’ basket up in my studio. Don’t all of us makers have one of those?

The idea behind the Bimba Blanket was to involve ribbing (even though ain’t nobody got time for that), but knowing that ribbing puckers in on itself and could look weird on a blanket, I wanted a stitch that looked like a rib but with something extra. In fact, the pretty, squishy stitch you can see is “sand stitch”, a stitch I’ve been using for years and years not knowing its name – and once convincing myself that I’d invented it like a total loser.

bimbablanket5.png

The best thing about this project is seeing the gorgeous stitches pop out and enjoying the tact as you work. On the right side it’s a rib-like texture wheras the wrong side is a kind of separated moss/seed stitch. It’s chunky, almost rubbery feeling, puffy and one of the most enjoyable stitches to work! I promise you that you’ll spend 50% of your making time actually knitting it and the rest just stroking it.

You can of course choose how big you want this blanket to be, but in this pattern it is measured to be a nap blanket for children, or even a cute stroller blanket if you like.


BIMBA BLANKET

(Measures 35″/89cm – 27″/68cm)

Skill Level: Beginner.

Yarn: 420g (approx) of chunky weight yarn.

I chose a ‘brandless’ 100% acrylic yarn that I fell in love with and was desperate to use, but check out my list below for some yarns that would be awesome to use with this project.

Recommended yarns: Stylecraft Special Chunky, Paintbox Yarns Simply Chunky, Debbie Bliss Rialto Chunky, Drops Big Merino (held double), DMC Natura XL.

Extras: For the pompoms, I used a small amount of Paintbox Yarns Simply Chunky in Neon Orange, Neon Yellow, Pale Lilac and Neon Pink.

Tools: 1 pair 8.00mm/US 11 circular needles, scissors, small-sized pompom maker, wool or tapestry needle.

Skills: Long-tail cast on, slipping stitches purlwise, knit stitch, purl stitch, casting/binding off, weaving in ends, making pompoms.

Gauge: Not important.

NOTES: You will be using the circular needles in the same way as straight needles (working back and forth but not joining). You can substitute the circular needles for straight needles, but be aware that the work will become heavy after a while. Circular needles take the strain of weighty projects like blankets and stop your arms falling off. When making the pompoms, use the same yarn as you used in the project to tie the pompoms off. This means that when you attach them and weave in the ends they will blend into the work and not be noticeable.

METHOD:

Cast on 90 stitches using the long-tail method.

Work sand stitch as follows (remembering to slip the first stitch of every row purlwise to ensure a smooth edge) until the piece measures 27″/68cm (or as long as you like) from the cast on edge;

Row 1 (wrong side): (Slip first stitch purlwise) Knit to end.

Row 2: (Slip first stitch purlwise) *Knit 1, purl 1 until two stitches remain. Knit these last two stitches.

The purl side is the ‘right’ side.

Cast/bind off all stitches and weave in the ends.

Make four pompoms in your chosen colours, attach them to each of the corners and weave in the ends.

You’re done!

Don’t forget to tag your photos on social media with the hashtag #bimbablanket so I can check out your work!


This free pattern is ©emmaknitty 2018. It must not be copied, reproduced or sold. Do not claim it as your own.