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Bun & Bow: A Knitted Hairstyle

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sock bun with bow

In case I’m not the very last person to fall for the careless convenience of sock buns, here is a cute project you can knit up this evening while watching a film. And if you watch something good, please leave me a recommendation in the comments! :)

sockbun

The tutorials I’ve seen online all recommend cutting off the toe of a sock (hence the name) and rolling it up. I didn’t happen to have an odd sock in the right colour, but I did have some Sirdar Snuggly DK in an almost-edible chocolate brown which has been in my stash for nearly 10 years. So, since toe-less socks are armwarmers by another name, I knit a pair. They have ribbing at one end and eyelets at the other, so they can be worn either way up, and you can thread ribbon through the yarn-overs too. The bows are held on with safety pins and can be positioned anywhere you like.

bow armwarmers

If you put your hair up in a sock bun when it’s wet and sleep in it (not at all uncomfortable, since it’s nice and squishy), you’ll wake up to large, soft curls the next morning. Conversely, it’s also a great solution for bad hair days. I’m going to keep my pair rolled up in my handbag from now on, in case of cold, a wardrobe emergency (requiring safety pins), or an impromptu sleepover. ;)

bow armwarmers

What You Need

Approx. 100m of DK-weight yarn
Small amount of light fingering-weight yarn
3mm DPNs
2mm straight needles
Tapestry needle
2 safety pins
Bobby pins / hairpins

bow & pins

Armwarmer Instructions

With DK-weight yarn and 3mm DPNs, CO 36 sts and join to work in the round.
Work 1×1 rib for 2cm.
Work st st for 12cm.
Next round: (Yo, k2tog) around.
Work st st for 6 rounds.
Bind off. Weave in ends.

Make two.

Bow Instructions

With light fingering-weight yarn & 2mm needles, CO 4 sts.
Knit 30 rows in garter st.
Bind off tightly, cut yarn leaving a tail 15cm long.
Using either cast-on or bind-off tail, sew cast-on edge to bind-off edge. Tie a knot to secure.
Wind yarn tightly around the piece, covering the central seam evenly and hiding the loose end. When the centre looks neat, thread end through tapestry needle, sew the yarn under the centre, secure with a knot if necessary and snip off any excess.

Make two. Attach the bows to the armwarmers with safety pins, or to your bun by sliding them onto bobby pins.

sock bun

How to Make a Sock Bun

There are numerous videos on Youtube on how to achieve a sock bun, but here’s a quick explanation:

  • Roll up your armwarmers into a donut shape. I used both armwarmers, but you may just need one, depending on how long and thick your hair is.
  • Brush your hair neatly into a ponytail, whereever you would like your bun to be, and secure with an elastic. You may want to spray some water or hairspray to smooth your hair, especially if you have layers.
  • Wrap the end of your ponytail around the rolled-up armwarmers, and begin rolling it in on itself. Your hair should get caught up in the “donut”.
  • Keep rolling, spreading your hair evenly around the rolled-up armwarmers, keeping the ponytail as taut as possible until you reach your scalp.
  • Secure the bun with a bobby pin or hairpin.
  • Slide a bow onto a bobby pin and poke it into the base of your bun.
  • Ta-da!

sock bun with bow

A Few Recommendations

  • Use a yarn colour that blends in with your hair colour.
  • Knit to a tighter gauge than your yarn requires.
  • If you’re planning on making a sock bun with damp hair, you may be better off using plant or synthetic fibres, that way your handwarmers won’t felt with use, and you won’t smell “sheepy”.
  • Make lots of itty bitty bows in different colours to coordinate with different outfits.
  • Attach your bows to all kinds of things using pins, string or clips.

bowmark

15th January, 2013  // Arms & Legs, Layers, Style // tags: , , , .

Lilaceous Shawl on Knitty

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Lilaceous ShawlLilaceous Shawl
LILACEOUS SHAWL
VIEW PATTERN IN KNITTY WINTER 2012
QUEUE & FAVOURITE ON RAVELRY

lilaceous adj.
Pronunciation: /laɪˈleɪʃəs/
Etymology: < lilac n. + -eous suffix. Definition: Of or belonging to a lilac colour.

I’m so utterly delighted & honoured to have a pattern in the latest issue of Knitty! Lilaceous is a lacy counterpane shawl, constructed just like the Beeton Shawl, with three triangles knit around a circular-knit square – and yes, the counterpane shawl ebook I’ve been talking about for ages will be available oh so soon! Since lilacs are my thing, I wanted to design a shawl that came as close to capturing their form as I could.

I don’t know whether I was thinking about Seignac’s Virginité (or just spying on the neighbours) when I posed for the photos, but the colours certainly remind me of it. Unfortunately it was still far too cold to shoot outdoors, and when the lilacs did bloom, my photography attempts were foiled by dappled light (the bane of correct exposure).

Guillaume Seignac - Virginite

Knitty, apart from being my favourite knitting publication, also has the distinction of being the magazine I’ve knit most patterns from. I’ve written before about how knitting projects encapsulate memories of the time you were knitting them, and looking at this list of projects I’ve knit from Knitty patterns reminds me of my old dorm room, epic charity shop yarn bargains, past Christmasses, friends I haven’t seen in ages, and, generally, times when knitting was so much more confusing for me than it is now…

Knitty Patterns I’ve Knit

In descending order of quantity:

A handful of Calorimetrys *
3 Mintys **
2 Clapotis
2 Pair Fetching
1 Aibhlinn
1 Bitterroot
1 Wavy
A coaster using Binary
Half an Ivy
Half an RPM
And there are probably others I’ve missed…

I’ve come a long way since my first tentative Clapotis, but lest I’m tempted to rest on my lilacs laurels, Knitty still serves up patterns that mystify me by their elegance and complexity. Thank you Amy, Jillian, and Liz!

Lilaceous Shawl
Lilaceous Shawl
Lilaceous Shawl
Lilaceous Shawl

I also wanted to thank everyone for the overwhelming number of lovely messages I’ve received about Lilaceous; I will do my best to get back to all of you. I ♥ you, knitters!

* I’m about to knit another one for a friend who lost hers.
** Possibly my favourite pattern ever (as I’ve mentioned before). I wear one almost every day, and almost every day I get complimented on it or someone asks me how it’s made.

14th December, 2012  // Downloads, Neckwear // tags: , , , , , .

Lavender & Lace

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knit lavender sachet

LAVENDER & LACE
1-PAGE PDF PATTERN – £0.90
favourite & queue on Ravelry

Here’s a quick, pretty, pretty quick project to use up left-over lace-weight yarn, and an hour or so of your evening. If you use ribbon cut out of clothing, and lavender from your garden, you can feel the added smugness of being terribly thrifty.

A few suggestions, as always:

  • If you’re giving woolly handknits as gifts, wrap a sachet with them to counter any “sheepy” smells.
  • Knit a few sachets for yourself over the winter, so you can use them to pack away with your winter clothes when the weather grows warmer.
  • Slip one or two sachets on hangers and fill them with mothballs, to keep dreaded larvae from snacking on your cashmere. I recommend throwing one or two in with your stash, too.
  • Needless to say, you can put other things in your sachet, like jewelry, sweeties, stitch markers, milk teef, tisanes, nibs, buttons, and other trifles, trinkets, and things.
  • Knit the pattern with thicker yarn and larger needles for a larger pouch, into which you can put even greater things! :)

knit lavender sachet
knit lavender sachet

Materials

  • Small amount (less than 50m / 55 yds) of Rowan Fine Lace or other leftover lace-weight yarn.
  • Set of 2mm (US 0) DPNs,
  • 3mm (US 3) needle for cast-off,
  • tapestry needle for weaving in ends,
  • approx. 20cm / 8in of thin ribbon,
  • and a tablespoon of dried lavender.

Gauge: 35 sts / 40 rounds over 10cm / 4in in stocking stitch in the round.
Finished size after blocking: 5cm / 2in wide and 11cm / 4.25in at the tallest point.

Instructions are charted only.

knit lavender sachet
knit lavender sachet

I will leave you with this lovely poem by Noyes. Until smell-o-vision is invented, the olfactory evocation of poetry must suffice, and although I’m not sure who the hawker is who Noyes exalts, I’d be lying if I said I don’t feel a certain affinity with him. :)

LAVENDER by Alfred Noyes

Lavender, lavender
That makes your linen sweet;
The hawker brings his basket
Down the sooty street:
The dirty doors and pavements
Are simmering in the heat:
He brings a dream to London,
And drags his weary feet.

Lavender, lavender,
From where the bee hums,
To the loud roar of London,
With purple dreams he comes,
From raggèd lanes of wild-flowers
To raggèd London slums,
With a basket full of lavender
And purple dreams he comes.

Is it nought to you that hear him?
With the old strange cry
The weary hawker passes,
And some will come and buy,
And some will let him pass away
And only heave a sigh,
But most will neither heed nor hear
When dreams go by.

Lavender, lavender!
His songs were fair and sweet,
He brought us harvests out of heaven,
Full sheaves of radiant wheat;
He brought us keys to Paradise,
And hawked them thro’ the street;
He brought his dreams to London,
And dragged his weary feet.

Lavender, lavender!
He is gone. The sunset glows;
But through the brain of London
The mystic fragrance flows.
Each foggy cell remembers,
Each raggèd alley knows,
The land he left behind him,
The land to which he goes.

knit lavender sachet
Sniff.

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10th December, 2012  // Downloads, Home // tags: , .
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