I don’t wear lace, so I was hoping for a thin headscarf that I could wear without looking too girly. This one will tie on pretty securely. (Also, it’s something to do with cord from an i-cord maker!)

Size 3 circulars, at least 16″
i-cord maker (knitting spool or “Embellish-Knit” brand cranked model)
tapestry needle
150-200 yards of sock yarn

First, thread your sock yarn into your i-cord maker and make about a yard and a half of i-cord. This will be the front of the scarf and go round your head with enough slack to tie in the back, so if you like longer ties, make it longer than that. Be sure to bind off the raw end when done knitting it.

Next, take your cord and tie it with a bow round your head– at the level where you’d wear a scarf, and about as tightly as you’d tie it when wearing it. Slip it off your head. Your scarf will be knitted from stitches picked up from that head-sized loop.

Pick up stitches, one stitch per stitch, all along the loop. When you reach the end, count and make sure you have an even number; pick up one more if you need to. Once this is done, you can untie the i-cord bow.

Knitting the scarf:
All right side rows: K2, K2tog, K to 4 stitches from end; SSK, K2.

All wrong side rows: K2, purl to 2 stitches from end, K2.

This will decrease 2 stitches every right side row. Since we started with an even number, this means we will have an even number of stitches on each row.

Continue until 8 stitches remain as follows:

Right side row: K2, K2tog, K2, SSK, K2 (total 8 stitches)
Wrong side row: Purl (total 8 stitches)

Now to knit the loop at the bottom. Working on just 4 of the stitches and ignoring the other 4, knit the right side and purl the wrong side. Work about 10 rows. Graft the two sets of 4 stitches together (the 4 you’ve been knitting on and the 4 you ignored) to create the loop.

Weave in ends and block. When you wear it, thread one of the ties through the back loop and keep it from flipping up in the back.

I’ve always had trouble finding shirts long enough for my torso (I am 6′ tall). The other day, though, I was trying on one of my fitted shirts, and noticed that when I raise my arms, I show some skin around the waist– more than I would expect from just being tall. I turned to the side and discovered the culprit: my tummy. 

So, since I am knitting a new vest with allowances to cover my “new” feature, I thought I would share my test calculations and a chart for the rest of the world who may have more to cover than the pattern allows for. (I’ll be posting later this week similarly about short rows for the bust area.)

WHAT YOU NEED:  a) Your desired knitting pattern. b) For “measuring,” some item of clothing for your upper body, preferably a semi-tight shirt, and a good eye.

Put on the shirt. Make sure it is the correct length in the back. Stand in front of a mirror that shows you at least down to the waist. Stretch with your hands over your head and then put one hand down and HOLD your shirt just exactly at the place it rides up to.

Now take a good critical eye at it, turn to the side if you like, look at how much longer the shirt is in the back than in the front, and say “This shirt would be perfectly flattering if it were ___ inches longer.”

IF YOU LIKE MATH METHOD: Multiply the number of inches in your statement above by the ROW gauge of your knitting. The answer is the number of rows you should add. If the number is odd, add one to get the number of markers you should place; if even, don’t add one. Divide the number of stitches in the FRONT of your garment by the number of markers to get the number of stitches between markers. Fudge the numbers until you get a whole number of stitches in each division (one or two either way won’t matter). Place markers in front of sweater and then knit to the last marker, wrap-and-turn (removing the marker), knit to the first marker, wrap-and-turn (removing the marker), and repeat until all the markers are gone, then continue knitting around.


Use the following table for a rough estimate of number of rows to add:

Inches to add 1 2 3 4 5
gauge: 4 rows/inch 4 9 14 14 19
5 rows/inch 4 9 14 19 24
6 rows/inch 4 9 19 24 24
7 rows/inch 9 14 19 29 34
8 rows/inch 9 14 24 29 39

The next thing you’ll need is the number of stitches in the FRONT of your sweater. If you’re knitting in the round, divide the total number of stitches by 2. (For instance, if your pattern says “cast on 200 stitches and join in the round” then the front of your sweater is 100 stitches.)

I’m only writing out the numbers for multiples of 10 stitches, so if you have a number like 104, or 108, simply work with the middle 100 stitches and skip 2 (or 4) on each side.  You can move the markers to accommodate these stitches later, too. (I’ll note this when we get to it.)

How to place the markers:

First, KNIT THE BOTTOM of your sweater– the hem, or ribbing, or however your sweater starts. The short rows go just above that bit.

Start by putting a different color marker in the MIDDLE of the front, with half the stitches on each side. (If it’s an odd number, there will be one left over, and that’s okay.) If you are doing an even number of short rows, you need exactly as many markers as you’re doing short rows. If you are doing an odd number of short rows, you’ll need one fewer marker.

Consult the chart below to know how many stitches to leave between markers. Work outwards from the middle stitch and place markers at the interval given. If there is a * next to the number, that means that once you have placed all your markers, there will be some stitches left over at the end. You can either move your markers out a stitch or two to “even it out” or just leave it, it won’t hurt anything to have a few extra stitches at the side seams. (This is also where you can move the markers for those leftover stitches if you like.)

Number of stitches To add 4 rows 9 rows 14 rows 19 rows 24 rows 29 rows 34 rows 39 rows
90 18 9 6 4* 3* 3 2* 2*
100 20 10 6* 5 4 3* 2* 2*
110 22 11 7* 5* 4* 3* 3* 2*
120 24 12 8 6 4* 4 3* 3
130 26 13 8* 6* 5* 4* 3* 3*
140 28 14 9* 7 5* 4* 4 3*
150 30 15 10 7* 6 5 4* 3*

Easy example of placing markers (one that comes out even):

Easy example of how to place markers:
I am working a sweater with 180 total stitches. I need to add 9 rows of short rows.
I will need 8 markers plus one different color for the middle marker.
There are 90 stitches in the front of the sweater, so I place the middle marker (MM) with 45 stitches on each side.

I consult the chart to see that I need to place markers every 9 stitches, so I start counting out from the middle marker and placing markers every 9 stitches. There’s no star, so when I’m finished, there will be 9 stitches remaining on each side.

Another example (that doesn’t come out even):

I am working a sweater with 200 total stitches and need 14 rows of short rows.
I will need 14 markers plus one different color for the middle marker.
There are 100 stitches in the front of the sweater, so I place the MM with 50 stitches on each side.
The chart says to place markers every 6 stitches, so I start doing that– after I have placed all 14 markers, I have 11 stitches remaining. If I think it looks odd, I can move the last two pairs of markers out 1 or 2 stitches each (so instead of 6, 6, 11 at the end I’d have 7, 7, 9). It’s all a matter of personal taste and judgement and what looks nice.

OK, the markers are placed, NOW WHAT:

Take out the middle marker.

Knit your sweater in pattern (meaning, according to the directions) until you reach the very last marker.

When you get to the stitch before the marker, wrap and turn, and remove the marker.

Continue knitting in pattern back along the reverse side until you come to the very first marker, then wrap and turn and remove that marker.

Keep knitting back and forth, knitting to the first/last remaining marker, and removing each marker as you wrap and turn at that marker. When no markers remain, your short rows are complete, and you can continue knitting the remainder of your sweater.

At least, up to just below the bust line, if you’re doing short rows there…

So after some further thought, I decided I didn’t want those lovely ribs just on my feet, I wanted to make a vest. This picture is the bottom 3″ of ribbing, with the middle cable panel. The cable panel has some artfully hidden decreases so that it goes from 58 stitches at the hem to 30 stitches when I get to the top, for waist shaping. Then I’ll have bust increases, short rows with decreases, and whatever I decide to do for the neckline.

the bottom few inches of my vest.

the bottom few inches of my vest.

So, yesterday the Christmas tree went up. The star we have is too heavy for the wee spindly thing, so for right now there’s a giant red bow. However, I am in the middle of knitting a little white robe for a handmade doll (about 10″ tall but very light) and will craft her some wings and a halo once that’s done, and get her up on the tree. Hopefully by Monday… right?


And here are her feet and the robe hem.


Blue hat cables

Blue hat cables

I’ve started the decreases today. Here’s the increase portion of the hat, with some 2-stitch cables at the bottom, every other one of which increases to a 6-stitch cable at the top.

Here’s a day’s progress on the beret. I’ve decided to go with cables, and increase every other cable one stitch at a time to make the beret increases. The beginning pattern is K2 P2 K2 P2 (with the K2 stitches twisted every 4 rows) and the ending pattern right before beginning the top decreases will be K2 P2 K6 P2. 


The first 3" of my hat

The first 3 inches

This is probably going to be a hat for my cousin, once I get it knitted up. It’s exactly 100g of merino yarn in a sky blue heather color.

sky blue recycled yarn

sky blue recycled yarn