Saturday, January 4, 2014

Memento Mori Mittens

Chart now available as a free Ravelry download.

Never mind. Apparently I managed to run afoul of a recent Ravelry rule change which prohibits chart only patterns. (Why no, it was not posted anywhere obvious). Sometime when I'm less irritated I might try to write up "complete" directions (still trying to find out if there are rules about what THOSE are)and post it again.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Another hood question

This isn't a new one, exactly, but it keeps coming up, so maybe it'd be good to put the answer out where people can find it.

Yes, the fronts are asymmetrical.

I designed them that way on purpose, so that when the hood is buttoned and the fronts overlap, the buttons are still centred.

If for some reason you'd rather have the fronts symmetrical, place the markers as follows:

Work 5 moss, place marker, k43, place marker, and then work across as written until you get to the second-to-last marker. Then k4, k2tog, k38, place the last marker, and work 5 moss.

Alternatively, you can cast on an extra 12 stitches and then work as written otherwise, though you will have to adjust your stitch counts throughout.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Hood Mod: Top down

Someone on Ravelry contacted me about doing a top-down version of the hood. She'd decided to do this because she was afraid she was a little short on yarn and better the mantle portion should be short than the hood, right?

Anyway, she wanted my advice about arranging the markers to do increases down from the neck ribbing.

Uh. Err. Augh.

After much hairpulling and pencil-gnawing, I think, if you take your 93 stitches and arrange them thusly:

(5 moss) 21 st-st | 21 st-st | 0 | 20 st-st | 21 st-st (5 moss)

where | = the marker, that should get you set up to do the increases going down in good order. The two middle markers won’t have any stitches between them to start with as that’s the point of the triangle-shaped centre section.

I haven't heard back on how this worked out for her yet; if anyone else tries this, let me know how it comes out.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Modding the Hood

A question came in over Ravelry about modding the hood pattern so that the hood and mantle are one colour and the moss stitch borders another. What's a good way to do this? asked my gentle correspondent.

I suggested knitting the hood without the front border, and then picking up and knitting the border separately. This is the same technique sometimes used in cardi patterns to add the button bands.

To do this, cast on 245 stitches, knit the bottom border, then change colours and knit the hood without the front borders. Slip the first stitch of each row purlwise so you get a chained selvage. This will make picking up stitches easier when you get to the front borders.

When the hood is done, use a crochet hook to pick up the stitches around the front edge and work 5 or 6 rows of moss stitch to make the front border.

You’ll have to decide where you want your buttonholes to be and put them in the right places about the 3rd row of the border. The same basic eyelet buttonhole should work just fine.

Have you modded the hood pattern? If so, what did you do?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Dragonhide Erratum

It's been pointed out that there's a symbol in the chart which is not in the legend. The symbol, a simple vertical line, should be read as 'knit.' I was using new charting software and was still getting used to all the symbol options; I thought I'd cleaned up the chart but that symbol slipped right by me.

I'll try to get a corrected chart into the pattern listing and the download, but in the meantime, that symbol means 'knit.'

I also had a question about the direction of the ssk and k2togs; the correspondent wanted to know if I had misplaced the symbols in the chart. The answer is no; the chart reflects what I actually knitted and what you see in the photo.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Dragonhide Helm

Dragonhide Helm, complete

Equip: Increases frost resistance

This hat uses a modified version of the Dragon Skin stitch pattern from Barbara Walker’s Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns.

Materials: 5 mm double-pointed needles (set of 5), approximately 170 yards of aran-weight yarn. Hat shown was knit with Mission Falls 1824 Wool in ‘Teal’ (30).

Gauge: 4.5 st/inch

Cast on 96 stitches, 24 on each of 4 needles.

Work in 2x2 rib for 1.5 inches Next round: knit Work in 2x2 rib for 1.5 inches more.
Next round: *k6, m1, repeat from * to end (112 stitches, 28 on each needle).

Commence chart. Work 3 repeats of chart (36 rows). Note: The chart only shows the pattern (even-numbered) rows. All odd numbered rows are knit.

Crown decreases:
round 38: *k2tog, k9, ssk, k1, repeat from * to end
round 40: *k2tog, k7, ssk, k1, repeat from * to end
round 42: *k2tog, k5, ssk, k1, repeat from * to end
continue decreases as set until 32 stitches remain.
Next round: k2tog all around
Next round: k
Next round: k2tog all around

Break off yarn, thread through remaining stitches, and draw up tight. Weave in ends. Wash according to yarn band directions and block.

This pattern is available as a free Ravelry download! Click the button for a .pdf:

Thursday, May 1, 2008

A Lady's Fourteenth-Century Style Knitted Hood with Lirripipe

I designed and knit this hood more as an exercise in creativity and pattern-drafting than as a highly authentic garment based on surviving evidence. I had lucked into the yarn, a very nice shaela Shetland wool, and wanted to do something special with it. People definitely were knitting in the fourteenth century, but evidence that they were knitting hoods is hard to come by. I am told that in her book A History of Knitting before Mass Production, Irena Turnau presents some evidence for knitted hoods in eastern Europe during the Middle Ages, but I have been unable to get my hands on the volume to see what that evidence is, and since furthermore the quality of the English translation of her original Polish text is not said to be particularly good, it might be hard to tell if her "hoods" are the same kind of thing as western European ones.

Even if fourteenth-century people in western Europe were knitting hoods, they were probably also fulling them, which I did not do with this one. However, hoods of this style were worn by both men and women, especially in the middle years of the century, and appear frequently in the art of the time. Ladies' hoods are usually shown with buttons down the front, presumably so they could put on or remove the hoods without disarranging their hair.

My hood is worked mainly in stocking stitch although the edges of the shoulder-cape and front of the hood are in moss-stitch (also called seed stitch) to prevent them from curling. I used a 1x1 rib in the neck section to give it a little extra stretch. The buttonholes were worked as I went along, not cut in later, and the shaping in the shoulder section is designed to mimic some of the seam-lines in the Herjolfnes finds. There is only one seam, along the top of the hood. The hood section was shaped at the top back like a U-neckline in a pullover, and after the top seam was sewn I picked up the stitches around the resulting opening to work the lirripipe. If I were going to do it again, I'd probably add a false seam detail to the lirripipe and would work the decreases along that line. The buttons I used are more like some fifteenth-century ones, as filtered through a Victorian screen, but the flat shape is better suited to the knitted buttonholes than the small round metal or cloth buttons used in the fourteenth century. One could also argue that this style of hood remained in use into the sixteenth century and the buttons are appropriate to a fifteenth-century version.

The fit of the hood is very good; due to travels and uncooperative weather I haven't had much chance to wear it to events. The wool is a bit scratchy and I am considering adding a lining to alleviate the itch factor and also to make the hood a bit more wind-tight.

The Pattern:

fits a small- to medium-sized lady


10-12 oz. sport weight wool
1 4mm circular needle
1 pr 4mm needles
1 pr 3.5 mm needles
1 set 4mm dp needles
7 buttons

Gauge: 8r x 6 st = 1" on 4mm needles

MANTLE: Using 4mm circular needle, cast on 255 stitches. WORKING IN ROWS, knit in moss stitch (seed stitch) for 6 rows. Begin shaping as follows: switching to stocking stitch, but maintaining a border of 5 sts in moss-stitch at each end of every row, work as follows:

Work 5 st moss-st, k49,insert marker, k4, k2tog; k45, insert marker, k3, k2tog; k52; insert marker, k50; insert marker, k4, k2tog, k32, work 5 st in moss-st. (252 sts)

Next row: work 5 moss stitch. purl to marker, (*) slip marker, p4 p2tog, p to next marker (*) p3 p2tog, p to next marker (*) sl marker, p to next marker (*), sl marker, p4 p2tog, p to last five stitches, work last 5 in moss stitch.

Next row: Work 5 in moss-st; knit to marker, sl marker, k4, k2 tog, k to next marker, sl marker, k3, k2tog; k to next marker, sl marker, k to next marker, sl marker, k4 k2tog, k to last 5 sts; work last 5 in moss-st.

Repeat these last two rows until 93 stitches remain on needles, working buttonholes in as specified (see below). (about 53 rows)

What you are doing is decreasing after the 1st, 2nd, and 4th markers on each row. This will create saddles over each of the shoulders and a triangular section in back.

Buttonhole rows: right side rows every 1" (2.5cm) (i.e. rows 1, 9, 17, 25, 33 , 41, 49 of st-st): Work 3 st in moss, yrn, yon, work 2 in moss; k2tog and then work across, dec. as set. Next row (wrong side): work as set to last 7 sts (counting the increases); p2tog, k1, p1, k1, p1, k1

NECK: Switch to 3.5mm needles and work 2" (5cm) in 1x1 rib, maintaining moss-st border.

HOOD: Switch to 4 mm needles. Work 5 stitches moss-st, 83 stitches stocking st, 5 stitches moss-st. Maintaining the moss-st border, inc. 1 st at each end of 1st 9 rs rows (111 st). (I recommend working the increases within the moss-st edging so as not to interfere with the pattern). Work until hood measures 7" (18cm) from end of ribbing, ending with a ws row.

Next row: K55; cast off 3; K 54

Work the 54 st. after the cast-off stitches until the section measures 2.5" (6.5cm) from the cast-off sts. Cast off.

With ws facing, rejoin yarn and work remaining 54 stitches on needle to match the other section. Cast off.

Sew up seam at top of hood.

LIRRIPIPE: Using 4mm dp needles, pick up and knit 42 sts evenly around opening at back of hood (14 st on each needle). Work around, decreasing 3 sts per round (1 st per needle) every 2" (5cm) until 6 sts remain. Break off yarn. Thread yarn through remaining sts and draw up tight.

Attach buttons; wash and block.


The moss-st borders and the neck ribbing can both be replaced with garter st -- the borders help prevent curling and the ribbing provides additional elasticity at the neck, but garter st will fulfill both these functions and may be easier for some knitters.

The directions given produce a lirripipe approximately 24" (61cm) long. If you want a longer lirripipe, increase the interval between decrease rounds and allow for more yarn; if you want a shorter one, reduce the space between the decrease rounds.

If you would prefer not to have a lirripipe at all, then continue working straight across the hood section until it measures 9.5" from the end of the ribbed section. Cast off and sew up seam. Then add buttons and wash and block as above.

Updated 17 February 2003

This pattern is available as a free Ravelry download! Click the button for a .pdf: