Thursday, July 30, 2015

My Basic Cozy Pattern

A number of years ago, I made myself a sewn cup cozy from directions in a magazine. I then sewed two more for friends, but when the requests really started coming in, I knew I had to come up with a knit pattern.

Since then I have made DOZENS of these cozies. They are great fillers between major projects or when my current project is too big or complicated to carry around. The pattern is easily memorized and they use up leftover yarn. (Or they would if I didn't keep going out and buying new yarn!)

I discovered early on that these were not going to be a real good money-maker, so I decided to give them away as random acts of kindness (though it's not really random if  you've asked the recipients in advance what colors they prefer).

The pattern calls for medium-weight yarn as indicated by the number 4 symbol on the yarn wrapper. This symbol, though, encompasses quite a range of actual thicknesses. I usually use Vanna's Choice or Vanna's Choice Baby (which refers to the colors and not the weight). I've substituted Red Heart Soft Yarn or Caron Simply Soft on occasion when I've needed different colors, though both are lighter in weight. Of course, you can hold thin yarns together or use a heavier yarn with fewer stitches and rows.

At any rate, the most important characteristic for the yarn is it should be WASHABLE. It will get spilled on.

Size/Gauge: The cozy is about 4" tall and about 7.5" wide before seaming. This corresponds to 38 rows (including cast-on and bind-off) and 37 sts. Obviously, exact size and gauge are not critical for a project like this but it's based on garter stitch, so when in doubt make it a little snug.

US 5 (3.75 mm) needles (or size needed to achieve gauge)
F-5 (3.75 mm) crochet hook (metric size matches needle metric size) 
About 18 yds. main color (MC) yarn 
About 17 yds. total one or more colors contrast color (CC) yarn
Six stitch markers
Darning needle 

pm: place marker
sm: slip marker
wyib: with yarn in back
wyif: with yarn in front 

I like using a cast-on that matches the bind-off. I call this "chain cast-on", though you'll probably find other names for it. You can find a video that explains it here. I work it very firmly so that the cozy becomes slightly tapered. If you know you're making the cozies for cans rather than cups, you can start out at a more normal tension.

Row 1 (Right Side): With MC, cast 37 sts onto a US 5 (3.75 mm) needle using a size F-5 (3.75 mm) crochet hook.
Row 2: K3, (pm, p1, k5) 5 times, pm, p1, k3.
Row 3: Join CC. K3, sl1 wyib, (sm, k5, sl1 wyib), sm, k3.
Row 4: K3, (sm, sl1 wyif, k5) 5 times, sm, sl1 wyif, k3.
Row 5: With MC, k37.
Row 6: K3, (sm, p1, k5) 5 times, sm, p1, k3.
Rows 7 - 37: Continue in established pattern, changing color at the beginning of every RS row.
Row 38: Bind off in MC in established pattern. (This means that the vertical stripes are bound off in purl and all the other stitches are bound off in knit.) 

Cut yarn with a tail of about 12" of MC to use for seaming.

Until I draw the diagrams for finishing,  I'm going to send you back to the post I wrote for seaming the Jack-o-lantern cup cozy I published in October 2012. While the two seams are a bit different, this will get you started!

 Until next time . . .

Monday, July 20, 2015

A New Published Design

My latest design is in the Summer issue of Knitter's Magazine! It's a lacy counterpane called "Circle the Square". You can see its Ravelry page here.

Any large project is a labor of love, but this one goes more quickly than most. It's in worsted weight yarn (yummy yummy Berroco Ultra Alpaca) on US7 (4.5 mm) needles. Also, the lace pattern has a very clear logic so it's easy to move through. I do hope you'll check it out!

Until next time . . .