Sunday, 21 December 2008

Berry Ruff

The bell and berry stitch beanie is finished. It looks a bit warped, probably because of the trouble I had with some of the stitches, and slightly too small, but I'm guessing it'll stretch out with a bit of wear, as most of my other beanies have done.
The instructions tell you to purl 5 together, which sounds easy in principle but is actually a bitch to achieve. The stitches insisted on not cooperating with my hands, so in the other, after a bit of yelling and stomping, I discovered another method of purling 5 together. Basically, you slip 2 stitches onto the right needle, then purl 3 together, which is much easier to achieve, then slip the first 2 stitches over the 3 stitches that have already been purled. Much, much easier, and no histrionics involved.

Anyway, for those interested, here are the instructions for bell and berry stitch, as supplied by Patons'.
1st row - k1, *k1, p1, k1, p1, k1 all into the next stitch, p5tog* repeat * to last stitch, k1 on last stitch
2nd row - k1, p to last stitch, k1
3rd row - k1, *p5tog, k1, p1, k1, p1,k1 all into next stitch, repeat * to last stitch, k1
4th row - k1, p to last stitch, k1
5th row - *k1, (yrn) twice, repeat * to last stitch, k1
6th row - *k1, drop next 2 stitches off left needle, repeat * to last stitch, k1

Note: (yrn) stands for 'yarn round needle' which just means to wind your yarn around the right needle, thus creating a new stitch without actually knitting.

Once you get into the hang of things, it's easy enough to follow the pattern and adapt it as you wish.

This is a horrible photograph of my neon orange neck ruff. I'd been hankering after a Jacobean ruff for ages as a homage to Vince Noir, and finally decided to knit one about a month ago. It's incredibly easy and can be finished while watching one or two episodes of The Mighty Boosh. The ruff is based on the principle of hyperbolic knitting, about which you can read more of in this article.
Basically, to make the ruff, all you need is a set of needles long enough (circular needles work well) and enough yarn in any colour you want. Cast on enough stitches to go around your neck, then knit the first row. In the second row, start increasing by one in every stitch, so that you end up with twice the number of stitches you started out with. Keep increasing in this method and you'll eventually end up with a ruffle. As long as your needles are long enough, you'll be able to make the ruff as big as you want.
If you feel like it, get a nice button and sew it on, so you can button the ruff when you have it on.
I'm starving now, time to feed.

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