Two of my favorite patterns, now as kits!

Double Basketweave Cowl free knitting pattern

It’s been long enough since I published a knitting pattern here, and there are so many more people reading now than there were then, that likely a lot of you don’t even know I’ve published patterns! There are two I’m extremely fond of and have always regretted their having gotten short shrift in the photo department, plus they were never tech edited. So I’ve had them both photographed by the amazing Kathy Cadigan (modeled by Anna!) and tech edited by Ruth Garcia-Alcantud, have formatted both into neatly designed patterns, and today I’m pretty damn pleased to be re-releasing them — as knit kits! They are the Double Basketweave Cowl knit kit (above) and the Wabi Mitts knit kit (below). The cowl features Sincere Sheep’s naturally dyed Luminous wool-silk blend, and the mitts feature Habu’s beautifully slubby N-68 wool-linen blend. Both are pleasurably simple knits that yield finished items you’ll love and wear for years. And both are amazing yarns that aren’t necessarily that easy to come by, all of which is why I wanted to make them available to you as kits.

The kits themselves make marvelous gifts for knitters, of course, but these are quick enough projects there’s also still plenty of time for you to knit them up and give the finished cowl and/or mitts for the holidays, if you can stand not to keep them for yourself.

The original blog-post versions of the patterns have also been updated to match these revised editions: Double Basketweave Cowl and Wabi Mitts. And you can also find both patterns on Ravelry.

Wabi Mitts free knitting pattern

Whichaway Mitts

Whichaway Mitts free knitting pattern from Fringe Association

OK let’s face it, there are (at least) two things I can’t get enough of: this Anna yarn and tubes with thumb slits. What can I say? I mentioned when I posted the Stadium Mitts and Stadium Hat patterns that I had enough yarn left to knit another pair of the mitts. But when I picked that yarn back up, something else came off my needles.

I’ve had this very simple idea in my head for a long time, and the ebony and ivory Anna seemed like the perfect yarn to finally make it with: a pair of knitted tubes with the thumb slit placed dead center, colorblocked half and half. So there’s no top or bottom — you can pull them on thisaway, thataway or one of each. I couldn’t be happier with how they turned out, and I still have 50 yards of the natural left to play with! (It’s like the fishes and the loaves, this yarn.)

Although it’s just a few simple mods from the other mitts, I’ve written out the pattern details below for the benefit of beginners or anyone who just wants to cast on and go!

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Whichaway Mitts pattern

For these mitts (and the coordinating Stadium Hat and Stadium Mitts) you can use two skeins of Anna in any color combination. You could also use four different colors, or omit the colorblocking and knit them solid, or whatever your heart desires. The beauty of a project this simple is how easy it is to make it your own!

Construction notes:
The thumbhole portion of these mitts is worked in flat rows (with two stitches of garter at each end), treating the three needles holding live stitches as if they’re a single left-hand needle, and turning the work with each row, before rejoining in the round at the top of the thumb opening. In order to be able to wear the mitts either direction, as pictured, it’s critical that the cast-on and bind-off edges both be stretchy. I’ve used the long-tail cast-on and Elizabeth Zimmermann’s sewn bind-off, but you may use whatever stretchy cast-on and bind-off you like. Directions for EZ’s sewn bind-off follow the pattern.

Materials:

  • approx 60 yards (30 yards each of two colors) of Anna or other aran-weight yarn
  • double-pointed needles in size US8/5mm, or size needed to obtain a fabric you like — the stretchy ribbing will fit a wide range of hands regardless of precise gauge
  • tapestry needle

Measurements (after wet blocking):

  • Gauge is 5 stitches and 6.25 rows per inch in rib stitch
  • Circumference (unstretched) is approx 6 inches; length is 5.75 inches

DIRECTIONS

With color A and a US8 needle, and using the long-tail or other stretchy cast-on method, CO 32 stitches, then divide onto 3 DPNs (12, 8 and 12 sts). Make sure stitches are not twisted around needles, and join for working in the round. Use your tail (or pin a marker) to keep track of needle 1.

Knit in the round
Rounds 1–12:  *k2, p2; repeat from * to end of round

Create thumbhole
(For this worked-flat portion, all odd-numbered rows are WS rows, and all even-numbered rows are RS rows)
Row 13: turn work (WS); *k2, p2; repeat from * to last 4 sts; k4
Row 14: turn work (RS); *k2, p2; repeat from * to last 4 sts; k4
Rows 15–17: continue alternating WS and RS rows as above
Row 18 (RS): Switching to color B, knit all stitches
Row 19–22: resume alternating WS and RS rows in pattern as established in 13 and 14

Rejoin and finish knitting
Round 23: rejoin in the round; *k2, p2; repeat from * to end of round
Rounds 22–34: *k2, p2; repeat from * to end of round
Bind off using Elizabeth Zimmermann’s sewn bind-off (below) or other stretchy bind-off.

Weave in ends. Repeat from beginning for second mitt.

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How to work Elizabeth Zimmermann’s sewn bind-off:
Wrap the working yarn loosely four times around the mitt, add a few inches for a tail to weave in, and break the yarn. Thread this long tail through a tapestry needle. Step 1: Pass the needle purlwise through the first two stitches on the needle and pull the tail through, leaving the stitches on the needle. Step 2: Pass the needle back through the first stitch knitwise, dropping that stitch off the needle, and pull the tail through. Repeat these two steps until one stitch remains on the needle. At this point, my method when binding off in the round is to pass the needle purlwise through that last stitch plus the front leg of the first bound-off stitch, neatly closing up the round. Then pass it knitwise back through the last stitch, drop the needle, and weave in the end.

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ABBREVIATIONS
CO = cast on
k = knit
p = purl
sts = stitches
WS = wrong side
RS = right side

Stadium Hat

Stadium Hat free knitting pattern at Fringe Association

As promised yesterday, here’s the Stadium Hat pattern to go with the Stadium Mitts, using the light, lovely and oh-so-charming Anna yarn (available in the shop). Being a classic beanie shape with a simple, timeless stripe, it’s pretty much trend-proof, as well as unisex. And it’s an easy, fun knit. Also available for queueing at Ravelry!

Stadium Hat pattern

For this hat and the coordinating Stadium Mitts you can use two skeins of Anna in any color combination, reversing the MC and CC from the mitts to the hat as shown. You could also knit more stripes, no stripes, or whatever your heart desires. The yarn will tolerate a smaller needle, so if you want a smaller hat, try simply going down a needle size.

Construction notes:
The decreases for this hat are staggered around the crown, leaving no visible decrease “seams” — the ribs simply narrow toward each other until meeting in the middle. The decrease section accounts for 2 inches of the hat’s height; adjust the pre-decrease portion to your liking for desired finished height. During the stripe portion, carry the non-working yarn up through the rows by laying it over the working yarn on the wrong side of the fabric at the beginning of each round. Note that each first round of a color change is a plain knit round — if omitting the stripes, rib every round instead.

Materials:

  • 100 yards main-color and 10 yards contrast-color Anna or other aran-weight yarn
  • 16-inch circular and double-pointed needles in size US8/5mm, or size needed to obtain a fabric and finished measurement you like (dividing the cast-on count, 84, by your stitch gauge will give you the finished circumference)
  • stitch marker
  • tapestry needle

Measurements (after wet blocking):

  • Gauge is 4.75 stitches and 5 rows per inch in rib stitch
  • Circumference (unstretched) is approx 17.5 inches at the brim; height is 8 inches

DIRECTIONS

Using main color (MC) and US8 circular needle, CO 84 stitches. Make sure stitches are not twisted around needles, place a marker, and join for working in the round.

Begin knitting
Rounds 1–6: (MC) *k2, p2; repeat from * to end of round
Round 7: (CC) knit all stitches
Rounds 8–9: (CC) *k2, p2; repeat from * to end of round
Round 10: (MC) knit all stitches
Round 11: (MC) *k2, p2; repeat from * to end of round
Repeat last round until piece measures 6 inches (or desired pre-decrease height — see note above).

Shape crown (switch to DPNs when hat no longer stretches easily around circular)
Decrease round: *k2, p2tog, k2, p2; repeat from * to last 4 sts; k2, p2tog (73 sts)
Next 2 rounds: *k2, p1, k2, p2; repeat from * to last 3 sts; k2, p1
Dec round: *k2, p1, k2, p2tog; repeat from * to last 3 sts; k2, p1 (63 sts)
Next 2 rounds: *k2, p1; repeat from * to end of round
Dec round: *k2tog, p1, k2, p1; repeat from * to last 3 sts; k2tog, p1 (52 sts)
Next round: *k1, p1, k2, p1; repeat from * to last 2 sts; k1, p1
Dec round: *k1, p1, k2tog, p1; repeat from * to last 2 sts; k2tog (41 sts)
Dec round: *p2tog, k2tog; repeat from * to last stitch; p2tog w/1st stitch on needle 1 (20 sts)
Dec round: *k2tog, p2tog; repeat from * to end of round (10 sts)
Break yarn and thread tail through remaining stitches; cinch closed and weave in ends on the wrong side.

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ABBREVIATIONS
CO = cast on
MC = main color
CC = contrast color
k = knit
p = purl
k2tog = knit two stitches together
p2tog = purl two stitches together
sts = stitches

Stadium Mitts

Stadium Mitts free knitting pattern at Fringe Association

The moment I laid eyes on Anna, from Imperial Yarn, I knew I had to have it for the shop. So charming and down to earth, my favorite weight to knit with, great colors, multi-seasonal cotton-and-wool blend, and marled! Once I actually had it in my hands and could knit with it, my mind immediately went to comfort knitting — which for me means fingerless mitts. I love to knit them; I love to wear them. And of all the pairs I’ve knit or own, the ones I wear most are my Super Simple Mitts. I can fold in my fingers, as with any mitts, but thanks to the simple slit thumb opening, I can also pull my thumb in against my palm on a long cold walk without an empty thumb gusset flapping around. And I can even slide them down onto my wrists and out of my way, rather than taking them off. So I decided to revisit and revise my Marl Mitts from last season, and write it out this time.

The end result is cozy and fun, and a little bit sporty. They make me think of evenings at a football game or late-season cookout, and although I knit them in black and natural, I can picture them in all kinds of team colors, making them great gifts as well. As you can see from the photos, I had enough yarn to knit a hat to go with (I’ll post the pattern for that tomorrow) and I still have enough yarn left over for a second pair of mitts or another small project! The full pattern is below, and I hope if you like it you’ll also Like it at Ravelry.

UPDATE: Here’s the beanie pattern: Stadium Hat.

Stadium Mitts detail

Stadium Mitts pattern

For these mitts and the coordinating Stadium Hat you can use two skeins of Anna in any color combination, reversing the MC and CC from the mitts to the hat as shown. You could also omit the stripes, knit them narrower or wider, or whatever your heart desires. The beauty of a project this simple is how easy it is to make it your own!

Construction notes:
The thumbhole portion of these mitts is worked in flat rows (with two stitches of garter at each end), treating the three needles holding live stitches as if they’re a single left-hand needle, and turning the work with each row, before rejoining in the round at the top of the thumb opening. During the stripe portion, carry the non-working yarn up through the rows by laying it over the working yarn on the wrong side of the fabric at the beginning of each round. Note that each first round of a color change is a plain knit round — if omitting the stripes, rib every round instead.

Materials:

  • 60 yards main-color and 20 yards contrast-color Anna or other aran-weight yarn
  • double-pointed needles in size US8/5mm, or size needed to obtain a fabric you like — the stretchy ribbing will fit a wide range of hands regardless of precise gauge
  • tapestry needle

Measurements (after wet blocking):

  • Gauge is 5 stitches and 6.25 rows per inch in rib stitch
  • Circumference (unstretched) is approx 6 inches; length is 7 inches

DIRECTIONS

Using main color (MC) and a US8 needle, CO 32 stitches, then divide onto 3 DPNs (12, 8 and 12 sts). Make sure stitches are not twisted around needles, and join for working in the round. Use your tail (or pin a marker) to keep track of needle 1.

Begin knitting
Rounds 1–6: (MC) *k2, p2; repeat from * to end of round
Round 7: (CC) knit all stitches
Round 8: (CC) *k2, p2; repeat from * to end of round
Round 9: (MC) knit all stitches
Rounds 10–11: (MC) *k2, p2; repeat from * to end of round
Round 12: (CC) knit all stitches
Rounds 13–16: (CC) *k2, p2; repeat from * to end of round (cut CC, leaving a tail to be woven in)
Round 17: (MC) knit all stitches
Rounds 18–28: (MC) *k2, p2; repeat from * to end of round
Piece should now measure approx 4.5 inches, or knit to your liking.

Create thumbhole (continuing with MC)
Row 29: turn work (WS); *k2, p2; repeat from * to last 4 sts; k4
Row 30: turn work (RS); *k2, p2; repeat from * to last 4 sts; k4
Rows 31–36: continue alternating previous two rows
Piece should now measure approx 6 inches, or knit to your liking, ending on a RS row.

Rejoin and finish knitting
Round 37: (MC) rejoin in the round; *k2, p2; repeat from * to end of round
Rounds 38–41: (MC) *k2, p2; repeat from * to end of round
Round 42: (CC) knit all stitches
Round 43: (CC) *k2, p2; repeat from * to end of round (cut CC, leaving a tail to be woven in)
Round 44: (MC) knit all stitches
Rounds 45–46: (MC) *k2, p2; repeat from * to end of round
Bind off loosely in pattern.

Weave in ends. Repeat from beginning for second mitt.

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ABBREVIATIONS
CO = cast on
MC = main color
CC = contrast color
k = knit
p = purl
sts = stitches
WS = wrong side
RS = right side

Wabi Mitts

DECEMBER 2, 2014—
I’m so pleased to be re-releasing this pattern today, which has been updated with all-new photos and some revisions to the text. The details of the knitting are unchanged from the previous version — the edits are only for current Fringe Association styles and wording. And the best part: The pattern is now available in print form with the Wabi Mitts knit kit at Fringe Supply Co. Happy knitting!
—kt

Wabi Mitts free knitting pattern

At Stitches Midwest, when we could not keep away from the Habu booth, one of my favorite purchases was some N-68, a nubby, rustic, linen/wool yarn in dark charcoal. I knew right away that I wanted to knit a pair of very simple mitts out of it — something austere and Japanese-ish that would show off the softness and rusticity — and a picture developed in my mind. But as any form of design tends to do, the idea morphed on its way from my brain to my fingers. The result is definitely simple, but deceptively so: Out of the stockinette hand emerges an abbreviated reverse-stockinette thumb, which is crisply outlined all the way around. (Wow, practically slipped into International Art English there.) There’s a small rolled edge at the bottom of the cuff , with clean edges at the top of the hand and thumb.

They’re minimalist, for sure, but of the wabi-sabi school — poetically spare, with details that require you to slow down to notice them. Those details also slow down the knitting a tiny bit, but these are a still a very quick and satisfying project. At a ball and a half per pair, you only need one extra ball of the N-68 to net a second pair. Which is good, because I’m still trying to figure out how to make the first idea work. A companion pattern may follow …

Meanwhile, the full Wabi pattern is below, and you can also add it to your queue or favorites at Ravelry.

Wabi Mitts free knitting pattern

Wabi Mitts pattern

These mitts were inspired by Habu N-68 linen-wool roving — a slubby, rustic, fingering-weight yarn that’s alternately held single and double over the course of the pattern to achieve a dense mitt with refined edges. (Substituting a single strand of heavier yarn will create heftier top edges, altering the look of the mitts.) Without a lot of stretch, and at 7″ around, these fit a medium-large woman’s hand, but the gauge is slightly loose. To make them smaller, go down a needle size, or eliminate 1 stitch from the thumb and 2 or 3 from the hand.

Materials:

  • 2 balls Habu N-68 linen-wool roving (109 yards each; pictured in Color 1/charcoal), or approximately 150 yards fingering-weight yarn
  • double-pointed needles in size US4/3.5mm and US7/4.5mm, or size needed to obtain gauge (or use your preferred method to work small-circumference in the round)
  • stitch markers
  • waste yarn (smooth cotton or dental floss)
  • tapestry needle for weaving in ends

Measurements:

  • Gauge: 4.75 sts and 6.5 rounds = 1″ in stockinette
  • Size: 7″ circumference (measured above thumb); 6″ long

DIRECTIONS

With smaller needles and yarn held double, CO 35 sts and divide between needles. Join in the round, making sure sts are not twisted around needle, and pin a marker for beginning of round (or use yarn tail to denote this).

Knit 3 rounds.

Change to larger needles—
Setup round: k28, pm, p3, pm, k4.
Slip round: k to 1 st before m, slip 1 knitwise wyib, sm, p3, sm, slip 1 purlwise wyib, k to end.
Straight round: k to m, sm, p to m, sm, k to end
Repeat last two rounds until piece measures 2 inches from rolled edge (do not unroll to measure), ending with a Slip round.

Create thumb gusset
Increase round: k to m, sm, pfb, p to 1 st before m, pfb, sm, k to end. (2 sts increased)
Slip round: k to 1 st before m, slip 1 knitwise wyib, sm, p to m, sm, slip 1 purlwise wyib, k to end.
Repeat last two rounds 4 more times (total of 10 rounds), ending with a Slip round. (13 sts between markers)
Next round: k28, sm, p13, sm, k4

Separate thumb and finish hand
Next round: k to m; drop marker. Place next 13 sts on waste yarn; drop second marker. Using backwards loop method, CO 2 stitches on right-hand needle; k to end. (34 sts)
Next 10 rounds: Knit.
Drop and cut one strand of yarn, leaving a 6-inch tail.
Change to smaller needles—
Next 3 rounds: Knit. (Avoid working tightly.)
BO loosely.

Finish thumb
Place 13 held sts on needles. Join yarn held double; pick up and p 2 sts, coinciding with the extra cast-on sts. (I.e., with yarn in front, insert needle purlwise under both legs of one stitch, wrap yarn over needle tip and pull through for a purl stitch.) Join to work in the round.
Next round: Purl.

With smaller needle, BO as follows: k1, *p1, pass previous st over, k1, pass previous st over; rep from * to end.

Block as desired. Weave in ends, using yarn tails to close up any gaps around the thumb, if needed.

Repeat from beginning for second mitt.

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ABBREVIATIONS

BO = bind off
CO = cast on
k = knit
m = marker
p = purl
pfb = purl through front and then back of the stitch before slipping off left needle (1 st increased)
pm = place marker
sm = slip marker
st(s) = stitch(es)
wyib = with yarn in back

Knit the Look: Lindsey Wixson’s easy oatmeal cowl

how to knit lindsey wixson's infinity scarf

I’m pretty sure this photo of model Lindsey Wixson in her fur hat and oatmeal cowl is the one that planted the seed for Knit the Look. I remember seeing it on Vanessa’s blog and thinking geez! This is literally Knitting 101 — cast on, knit, bind off. Then seam the ends together to form a loop. If you know the knit stitch — even if you only know the knit stitch — you can make this in no time.

So simulating this one doesn’t require tracking down a similar pattern, and it could be made from any chunky yarn you like. But the key to getting it to look like Lindsey’s is that marl effect, which you could easily achieve by holding three strands of yarn together, such as Cascade Eco Alpaca in Natural, Straw and Silver. To start, calculate what you want the circumference of your cowl to be: Drape a piece of yarn around your neck, estimating how you want the scarf to lay, then measure that length. (For this look, probably something in the range of 36–40 inches.) Cast on 30 stitches on US11/8mm or larger needles. Work back and forth in garter stitch (i.e., knit all stitches), until you have a rectangle whose length equals your desired circumference. Bind off loosely, then use your yarn and tapestry needle to seam the two ends together. Et voilà.

See Vanessa’s recommendations for the hat to go with!

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Street style photo © Vanessa Jackman; used with permission

Double Basketweave Cowl

DECEMBER 2, 2014—
I’m so pleased to be re-releasing this pattern today, which has been updated with all-new photos and some revisions to the text. The details of the knitting are unchanged from the previous version — the edits are only for current Fringe Association styles and wording, and abbreviations have been added. And the best part: The pattern is now available in print form with the Double Basketweave Cowl knit kit at Fringe Supply Co. Happy knitting!
—kt

Double Basketweave Cowl free knitting pattern

Ever since I knitted that Jumbo Basketweave Cowl, I’ve been wanting to do another version — at a thinner gauge and long enough to wrap twice around my neck. And from the moment I first laid my hands on Sincere Sheep’s indigo-dyed Luminous wool/silk yarn, I knew I had to knit with it, and that I wanted it piled up around my neck. So the two urges merged into this Double Basketweave Cowl. Double because it loops twice, because it’s knitted with two strands of yarn, and because it uses almost exactly two skeins of the Luminous. I also love it doubly as much as the original. It’s the knitwear equivalent of that most beloved and worn pair of blue jeans.* You can now get it as a kit!

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DOUBLE BASKETWEAVE COWL PATTERN | download PDF

This is a super simple, easy to memorize knits-and-purls stitch pattern, knitted in a cozy wool-silk blend, held double. Comfort knitting, in other words, and suitable for newer knitters. Feel free to knit more or fewer rows of the basketweave pattern for a wider or narrower cowl, but that will change yardage requirements. If adjusting for the circumference, multiply your stitch gauge by whatever you want your circumference to be, then round to the nearest number that is divisible by both 4 (for the ribbing) and 6 (for the basketweave pattern).

Materials:

  • 2 skeins Sincere Sheep Luminous (330 yards each; pictured in Anja*), or approximately 640 yards DK/light-worsted yarn, held double throughout
  • US10.5/6.5mm circular needle (32″ recommended)
  • stitch marker
  • tapestry needle for weaving in ends

Measurements: (after blocking)

  • Gauge: 4 sts and 5.25 rounds = 1″ in basketweave
  • Size: 48″ circumference, 9″ tall

DIRECTIONS

With yarn held double, CO 192 sts. Place marker and join in the round, making sure sts are not twisted around needle.
Ribbing round: [k2, p2] to end.
Repeat ribbing round 3 more times.
Next round: Knit.
Begin 10-round basketweave pattern (below); work it 4 times in full.
Repeat ribbing round 4 more times.
BO loosely in pattern.
Block as desired. Weave in ends.

Basketweave pattern:

Rounds 1–4: [k2, p4] to end.
Round 5: Knit.
Rounds 6–9: p3, k2, [p4, k2] to last st, p1
Round 10: Knit.

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ABBREVIATIONS

BO = bind off
CO = cast on
k = knit
p = purl
st(s) = stitch(es)

[ERRATUM: There was an error in the original version of this pattern, in the instructions for Rows 6-9 — the repeat was indicated in the wrong spot. It was corrected here on December 15, 2013. If you saved or printed the pattern before that date, please be sure you’re working from a more recent version.]

*Note that when using indigo-dyed yarn, as with a new pair of blue jeans, there will be some color transfer. Expect your hands to turn slightly blue while knitting (it washes right off) and for the soak water to turn blue when blocking the finished piece. After that, the dye should be set.

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Photos by Kathy Cadigan for Fringe Association