Constellate, how can I change my gauge?

We’re having a little KAL for Constellate, and I promised I’d talk about a few ways you can modify the pattern as part of the festivities.  One of the easiest (and I think most fun) ways you could modify this pattern is to tweak your gauge.

Now, the pattern is already written in three gauges (5.5, 6, or 6.5 stitches per inch, which should work for most dk, sport, or fingering weight yarns).  There’s a little chart in the pattern that looks something like this.  It shows you what size head the hat fits at various gauges and cast ons.

So if you wanted to work at 6 stitches per inch, and you have a 20 inch head, you’d cast on 104 stitches.  Of you can go the other way.  Say you have a 21.5 inch head, you can cast on either 104 stitches and work at 5.5 stitches per inch, or 112 stitches and work at 6 stitches per inch, or 120 stitches and work at6.5 stitches per inch.  (Oh, and it’s are stretchy, so don’t worry if your head isn’t exactly the size shown, this is very forgiving, go with the closest size, or if you’re right in between, I’d go with the next bigger size.)

But what if you want to make the hat with a bulky yarn?  Or a really skinny yarn?  You can totally do that, as long as you know your gauge and the size of your head.  So if you have a yarn you’re absolutely set on using, first knit a nice big swatch in the ribbing shown in the pattern, block it, measure your gauge (in stitches per inch), then measure your head (in inches).

Now you have to do a bit of math, but it’s really only a tiny bit.  You need to figure out how many stitches you need to fit around your head.  To do this, multiply the size of your head by 0.85 (that gets you a bit of negative ease so your hat isn’t too loose).  That tells you how big your knitting needs to be in inches.  Now multiply that by your gauge.  That tells you about how many stitches you need to cast on.

 Head size (in inches) x 0.85 x Gauge (in stitches per inch) = How many stitches it takes to get around your head

But, that’s not quite all there is to it.  You also need to make your cast on play nicely with the stitch used in the pattern.  In this case, that means you want your cast on to be divisible by 8.  If the number you got above is divisible by 8, that’s perfect, you totally win, you’re done, that’s your cast on.  If not, find the nearest multiple of 8 and use that.

So let’s work through a few examples.  Say you had a yarn that gave you a beautiful fabric at 4.5 stitches per inch and you have a 20 inch head.

 20 inch head x 0.85 x 4.5 stitches per inch = 76.5 stitches to get around your head
76.5 is not divisible by 8, so look for the closest multiple of 8, which is 80
So, to fit a 20 inch head at 4.5 stitches per inch, cast on 80 stitches

What if you wanted to go the other way.  Say you have a 22 inch head and the personal fortitude to knit this thing at 7.5 stitches per inch.

22 inch head x 0.85 x 7.5 stitches per inch = 140.25 stitches to get around your head
140.25 is not divisible by 8, so look for the closest multiple of 8, which is 144
So to fit a 22 inch head at 7.5 stitches per inch, cast on 144 stitches

For this hat, that’s really all there is to it.  So knit a good swatch (the ones I’m showing here are in no way big enough…you really need them to be at least four inches on a side, five is better), block it, and measure carefully.  Then do just the tiniest bit of math, and you can make this in any gauge you’d like!  I personally think it would be downright adorable in a bulky yarn and hope someone makes one and shows it to me.

 

Constellate KAL

So, enough folks have asked that I think we should do a little knitalong for Constellate!  I’ve got us a thread set up on ravelry right over here.  If this has found its way onto your needles, I’d be delighted if you’d come show it off!

Over the next week or two I’ll show off some swatches of this stitch in other yarn, talk a bit about how you could change up the gauge to make a really bulky hat, and maybe even see if we can’t come up with a few examples of how you could turn this into a cowl.  And if there’s anything else you’d like me to talk about, let me know and I’ll see what I can do.

But in the meantime, come show off your hats, I love seeing what you’ve made!

Argent, Fourth Curls KAL

We’re doing knitalongs for the patterns in Curls, and it’s time for the fourth pattern in the book, Argent.

4 anzula smallI am a firm believer in low-key knitalongs, so there isn’t really too much structure.  All the details for this one are over the KAL thread in my ravelry group.  But the gist is knit this pattern over the next two months, show it off and talk about it in that thread, and some time after the KAL ends I’ll send someone who posted a picture of a finished project something fun in the mail.  Pretty simple really!  We’ve already got folks started, and their projects are amazing.  We’d love to have you join us.

And of course, if you happen to have Gridelin on your needles, the KAL for that is still going on, and you’re welcome to join us for that one, too!

Oh, and for anyone wondering, the word Argent means silver or silvery white.  All the pattern names in Curls are interesting color words.  You can hear the pronunciation over here if you’re wondering how exactly it’s said (and yes, the next book is all easy-to-pronounce pattern names, cross my heart).

Cerise, Second Curls KAL

We’re doing knitalongs for the patterns in Curls, and it’s time for the second pattern in the book, Cerise.

2 fibre company smallNow, I’m also a big fan of relaxed knitalongs.  I am not a fan of stress or hard deadlines, so we’re going to make this easy.  All the details for this one are over the KAL thread in my ravelry group.  But the gist is knit this pattern over the next two months, show it off and talk about it in that thread, and some time after the KAL ends I’ll send someone who posted a picture of a finished project something fun in the mail.  Pretty simple really!  We’ve already got folks started, and their projects are amazing.  We’d love to have you join us!

And of course, if you happen to have Caesious on your needles, the KAL for that is still going on, and you’re welcome to join us for that one, too!

Oh, and for anyone wondering, the word Cerise means a deep, vivid purplish red or pink.  All the pattern names in Curls are interesting color words.  You can hear the pronunciation over here if you’re wondering how exactly it’s said (and yes, the next book is all easy-to-pronounce pattern names, cross my heart).

Caesious, First Curls KAL

So, I think we should do a knitalong for the patterns in Curls, don’t you?  And I’m a fan of doing things in order, so we’ll start with the first pattern in the book, Caesious.

1 swans island smallNow, I’m also a big fan of relaxed knitalongs.  I am not a fan of stress or hard deadlines, so we’re going to make this easy.  All the details for this one are over the KAL thread in my ravelry group.  But the gist is knit this pattern over the next two months, show it off and talk about it in that thread, and some time after the KAL ends I’ll send someone who posted a picture of a finished project something fun in the mail.  Pretty simple really!  We’ve already got folks started, and their projects are amazing.  We’d love to have you join us!

Oh, and for anyone wondering, the word Caesious means having a blue gray color.  All the patterns in Curls are interesting color words.  (It’s also used in botany to mean having a waxy blue gray coating, think the stuff on plums, but I’m in it for the color meaning.)  There are two pronunciations (British and American) and you can hear them over here.  And yes, it does excite my dorky little heart that it has all five vowels in order.

Will it make anyone feel better if I promise that the book coming out later this year has all easy-to-pronounce, easy-to-spell pattern names?  I thought I should try one like that, just for the novelty.

KCC3 Knit along, Planorbis corneus projects

The knit along for the projects based on the Fucus asparagoides print is starting over on ravelry. That’s this super curly shawl, and these lovely socks.

string theory smallI am a huge believer in low-stress knit alongs, so this one is pretty laid back.  Come, knit with us, chat, post pictures…I promise we’re friendly!  Everyone is welcome, you can use whatever yarn you’d like.  At the end of the knit along, I’ll find someone who has posted a picture of a finished project in the thread and send them happy mail.  That’s pretty much all there is to it.  If these are going to find their way onto your needles, I’d love to see you join us!

Oh, and for those who have been asking, these two projects are now available as individual patterns for those who prefer not to have the whole book.  Just click through to the KAL thread for all the links!

KCC3 Knit along, Fucus asparagoides projects

The knit along for the projects based on the Fucus asparagoides print is starting over on ravelry.  That’s this lovely curved shawl (I just love that shape far more than is reasonable, it’s so easy to wear) and these super lacy socks.plucky small for blogI am a huge believer in low-stress knit alongs, so this one is pretty laid back.  Come, knit with us, chat, post pictures…I promise we’re friendly!  At the end of September, I’ll find someone who has posted a picture of a finished project in the thread and send them happy mail.  That’s pretty much all there is to it.  If these are going to find their way onto your needles, I’d love to see them!

Oh, and for those who have been asking, these two projects are now available as individual patterns for those who prefer not to have the whole book.  Just click through to the KAL thread for all the links!

Delias eucharis Knit Along

I’ll be having knit alongs for each of the pattern pairs in The Knitter’s Curiosity Cabinet, Volume II. This month we’re starting the two patterns inspired by the Delias eucharis print.

5To start, we’ve got some delicious cabled socks (I loved them so much they had to go on the cover).

5_de_sock_bAnd if you’re not feeling the sock vibe, this hat is equally enchanting.

5_de_hat_a

These are both made with yarns from the always charming Plucky Knitter, and yes I do happen to have a beautiful skein of her yarn to give away to a lucky winner at the end of the KAL.

If you’d like to join in, swing on by the ravelry thread and get knitting.  This is pretty laid back for a knit along (too many rules make my head hurt).  The general idea is cast on any time now…knit…post a picture showing your finished project by the end of November (each installment of the KAL runs for two months, so you’ve got plenty of time).  And, if you want to chat (pick yarns, ask questions, show off progress pics, whatever), I’d love it.  We’re a friendly bunch!

We’ll be doing a new installment of the knit along every month (and each one will run for two months), and we’ll work our way through the book in order.  The knit along for the Polyommatus corydon patterns is still going strong, and you’re welcome to join that still.

As each pair of patterns comes up for the knit along, the individual patterns will become available to purchase (so if you love one of the patterns but don’t want the whole book, there’s a way for you to get it).  Look for these two patterns later this week.  I hope you’ll join us!

Polyommatus corydon Knit Along

I’ll be having knit alongs for each of the pattern pairs in The Knitter’s Curiosity Cabinet, Volume II.  This month we’re starting the two patterns inspired by the Polyommatus corydon print (as always, you can click on the print to see it bigger, these prints really are marvelous).

string theory copySo of course we have socks…ruffly frilly amazing socks.

332_KCC2 copyAnd just to counter out all that girlishness, a slightly more subdued hat.

283_KCC2 copyIf you’d like to join in, swing on by the ravelry thread and get knitting.  This is pretty laid back for a knit along (too many rules make my head hurt).  The general idea is cast on any time now…knit…post a picture showing your finished project by the end of October (each installment of the KAL runs for two months, so you’ve got plenty of time).  And, if you want to chat (pick yarns, ask questions, show off progress pics, whatever), I’d love it.  We’re a friendly bunch!

We’ll be doing a new installment of the knit along every month (and each one will run for two months), and we’ll work our way through the book in order.  The knit along for the Polyommatus argiolus patterns is still going strong, and you’re welcome to join that still.

As each pair of patterns comes up for the knit along, the individual patterns will become available to purchase (so if you love one of the patterns but don’t want the whole book, there’s a way for you to get it).  Look for these two patterns later this week.  I hope you’ll join us!

Polyommatus argiolus Knit Along

I’ll be having knit alongs for each of the pattern pairs in The Knitter’s Curiosity Cabinet, Volume II.  This month we’re starting the two patterns inspired by the Polyommatus argiolus print (you can click on the print to see it bigger, it really is quite lovely).

That’s these charming socks.

And these clever mitts (they’re so much fun to put together, you really should give them a go).

If you’d like to join in, swing on by the ravelry thread and get knitting.  This is pretty laid back for a knit along (too many rules make my head hurt).  The general idea is cast on any time now…knit…post a picture showing your finished project by the end of September (each installment of the KAL runs for two months, so you’ve got plenty of time).  And, if you want to chat (pick yarns, ask questions, show off progress pics, whatever), I’d love it.  We’re a friendly bunch!

We’ll be doing a new installment of the knit along every month (and each one will run for two months), and we’ll work our way through the book in order.  The knit along for the Lycaena virgaureae patterns is still going strong, and you’re welcome to join that still.

As each pair of patterns comes up for the knit along, the individual patterns will become available to purchase (so if you love one of the patterns but don’t want the whole book, there’s a way for you to get it).  Look for these two patterns later this week.  I hope you’ll join us!