The Daily Skein

All the craft that’s fit to make.

Lunaria December 7, 2010

Filed under: patterns — Cailyn @ 10:23 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

I love designing, but sometimes I get stuck in an item rut.  You know, sock after sock pattern or just too many mittens in a row.  I love it when people give me ideas of items to design, especially if it’s a type of item that I’ve never made before, like leg warmers or a shawl.  Last Thanksgiving, my aunt was admiring my Snowflake Gloves and Wintergreen Gloves, which I had given to my sister.  My aunt said that she loved fingerless gloves for walking the dog but what she really needed was a hooded scarf, maybe with pockets to put the gloves in.  I jumped at the idea- a matching pair of fingerless gloves and a hooded scarf.


And it only took me one year to complete!


I finished the design for the gloves fairly quickly; per request, the colors were rich purples and cheery pinks.  The actual execution of the design took a lot longer.  Deadlines kept popping up and the gloves got pushed aside time and again.  I got one finished but then didn’t finish the second until two months later!  The scarf design went slower.  I wanted the same color work pattern from the gloves, but I detest knitting back and forth with two yarns.  I knew I’d never get it done if I did it that way.  On the other hand, I didn’t want to knit the entire scarf in fingering yarn in the round- that could take forever!  I eventually settled on working the color work in the round for the pockets and keeping the rest of the scarf in a solid color with a cushy stitch pattern.  What resulted is a hooded, pocketed scarf with no sewing or flat stranded knitting required.  So, exactly one year after I took on the glove and scarf project, I finished and presented them to my (very patient) aunt.  She loved them!


Lunaria is now up for sale at Knit Picks as a combined pattern set.  Both use seven colors of Palette yarn.  The scarf is worked with a double strand of yarn throughout, so it works up faster.




The hooded scarf has two color work pockets and a dense slip stitch rib pattern for the main body. The slip stitch pattern is completely reversible, as are the pockets. The whole scarf, including the pockets, is worked with the yarn held doubled. The two halves of the scarf are made, then the hood is cast on between them and the whole hood is worked together with the scarf halves to the end. A three-needle bind off neatly avoids having to sew the hood together.




The gloves are worked with a single strand.  They feature a long ribbed cuff, accented with a few stripes, and a traditional side thumb gusset, increased every third row.


110_5279   000_0098


The pair of projects is named after the flower the Annual Honesty , or Lunaria annua, which has four petals ranging from white to deep purple when in bloom. The seeds are papery, translucent sliver discs in the winter, giving it its other common name in America, “Silver Dollars.”





Who’s Really Sane? November 1, 2010

Filed under: Knitting Projects,Musings — Cailyn @ 4:06 pm
Tags: , , ,

Early Saturday morning, Lowell and I headed downtown.  We grabbed some coffee and piroshkies from Pike Place Market.  Then, wrapped up against the rain and cold, we stood around for a half an hour at West Lake Center.


Why?  Because we’re very punctual (read: “unreasonably worried about parking”) people.  We wanted to get a good spot at the Seattle satellite Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear.  We did indeed get a good spot.  The weather even started out nice enough for me to think that the long underwear had been overkill.  (I was soon glad I had it.)  I had come prepared to the rally- no signs, no flag pin, but I did have a bag full of yarn!




It wasn’t too cold- until the rain started.  As the first comedian performing, David Crowe, said, “A rally at 9 am, outside, in Seattle, in October?  What’s sane about that?”  That’s when the long underwear seemed like a really good idea.  I put on my Snowflake Gloves  and continued to knit.  I was pretty surprised that I didn’t see anyone else with some knitting… but it was pretty cold and wet, so maybe that weeded out the mostly-sane among us.


IMAG0186 - Copy 

(Of course, I can’t actually show you what I was working on.  You know the drill.  Meet my new scarf design- I call it Blurple.)


Things got more interesting when we were interviewed by one of the local TV stations, Q13.  Now, usually I have a pretty good “I’m friendly, but not really interested in conversation” vibe going on when I’m out and about.  I’m a shy person most of the time.  But that morning I had a mini American flag stuck in my ponytail, I was grooving to the music, and I was knitting in the middle of the rain.  What’s sane about that?  The reporter pointed the camera and mike at me first, so I babbled something then threw the next question over to Lowell, who is normally better at these sorts of things.  Apparently I speak more in soundbites, though, because she quickly thrust the camera back at me and asked me more questions.  Luckily, after the first discombobulated answer, I was at least somewhat more composed for the follow-ups.  You can’t see it in the video, but I was knitting the whole time I was being interviewed.  Lowell is pretty sure that it was the knitting that made her come over, even though she didn’t ask about it, because later on, she snuck up behind me and filmed me knitting over my shoulder for about four minutes.  Lowell nicely informed me of that when she was done.  Sadly, none of the knitting made it into the final footage (then again, neither did my babbling), but I feel like I’ve tied this bit of fame back to the fiber arts enough to put it on the blog.,0,2684804.story

You can hear my silly soundbite at 0:36, but I appear in a crowd pan around the 20 second mark too. (I have to apologize, the video embed isn’t working from the Q13 website, so you’ll have to click on the link to see my stupidity! –edited 11/2)


Giant head of Cailyn says, “Vote!”

Giant head of Cailyn says, “Vote!”


The funny part was that after the Q13 interview, we were approached by the “man on the street” interviewer.  That one was live on the jumbo-tron.  Lowell answered more than I did that time, but I did get to say something on the jumbo-tron.  I’m not sure that it’s an achievement.  Good thing that one hasn’t made it onto the internet yet!  I think the knitting caught his eye too.  Apparently the lesson is, if you don’t want to be interviewed on TV or for the jumbo-tron, knit discreetly.


Ok, enough embarrassment.  For now.


Logi January 7, 2010

Filed under: patterns — Cailyn @ 10:14 pm
Tags: , , , ,



"When Loki and Thor traveled to Utgard, the citadel of the giants, they were told by the giant king that no one could stay in the citadel without proving themselves superior at a skill or craft.

Loki was the first to demonstrate his skill, saying that he could eat faster than anyone in the hall. He started at one end of the table and his challenger, the giant Logi, started at the other, eating towards the center. Loki ate everything, leaving only the bones behind. But Logi ate the bones and even the wooden trencher!

In the morning, the giant king revealed that he had tricked them. Logi, he told them, was fire itself and no one could consume faster than fire. Utgard vanished, along with the giants, and Thor and Loki returned home."

That is an extremely abridged version of one of my favorite Norse myths, where Thor and Loki go to fight some giants and end up humiliated by a clever king and some magic. The cable on this scarf was inspired by the interlocking designs on Viking armor and jewelry which is surrounded by double moss stitch borders. The cable starts and ends in a pair of points, like the tips of a flame. To do this, fewer stitches are cast on and then increases are worked to make the points.




This scarf was designed for my brother-in-law, and if you’d ever seen him and my husband eat a pile of barbeque, you’ll know the other reason this scarf is named Logi.  This is a great pattern to knit for guys, especially when you tell them that the cable is Viking-related!


Using one skein (200 or so yards) of Malabrigo will produce a short but still respectable length scarf. In order to make the scarf wider and/or longer, add a second skein. To easily make this scarf wider, add pairs of stitches to each edge and work them in double moss stitch. For example, the first row for a wider scarf might read "Sl 1, *p1, k1* twice x3 , p12, *k1, p1* twice x3, k1, turn." This adds two stitches to each the right and left side.


The scarf will have a tendency to flip inwards around the cable as it’s worked. This is because of the two columns of purl stitches on either side of the cable. When the scarf is finished, steam block the scarf aggressively to relax the fibers and minimize the flipping. Wet blocking will work but steam blocking is more effective for combating the flip.  Learn more about steam blocking versus wet blocking at TechKnitting, Knitty, and KnitSimple.


Edit 2/23/10: Renamed the increases so that the names in the instructions and the names in the key match.


102_4863   102_4870


Download the PDF: Logi

  • Needles: One pair size 9 (5.5mm) straight needles or size needed to obtain gauge
  • Yarn: Malabrigo Worsted [100% merino wool] 216 yds/3.5oz Color: Loro Barranquero; 1 skein
  • Yardage: 200-250 yards (180-225m)
  • Gauge: 26 sts x 21 rows = 4”(10cm) in pattern
  • Finished Size: 4.5” x 52” (11.5cm x 132cm)
  • Notions: Cable needle, tapestry needle


Special Stitches

LRinc: Insert right needle into the right leg of the knit stitch or the top of the purl stitch below the next stitch. Knit this new stitch.

LLinc: Insert left needle into the left leg of the knit stitch or the top of the purl stitch two rows below the stitch just worked. Knit this new stitch.

K2tog: Knit 2 together

SSK: Slip next 2 sts purlwise. Insert left needle into the front loops of the slipped stitches and knit them together.

P2tog: Purl 2 together

SSP: Slip next 2 sts knitwise. Return sts to left needle and p2tog through the back loops.

C4F: Slip next 2 sts to cable needle and hold to the front. K2 from left needle, then k2 from cable needle.

C4B: Slip next 2 sts to cable needle and hold to the back. K2 from left needle, then k2 from cable needle.

T4F: Slip next 2 sts to cable needle and hold to the front. P2 from left needle, then k2 from cable needle.

T4B: Slip next 2 sts to cable needle and hold to the back. K2 from left needle, then p2 from cable needle.




CO 22 sts.

Row 1 (RS): Sl 1, *p1, k1* twice, p12, *k1, p1* twice, k1, turn.

Row 2 (WS): Sl 1, work stitches as presented (knit the knits and purl the purls,) turn.

Row 3 (RS): Sl 1, *k1, p1* twice, p12, *p1, k1* twice, p1, turn.

Row 4 (WS): Sl 1, work stitches as presented (knit the knits and purl the purls,) turn.


Work Chart A for 8 rows. On WS rows, work stitches as presented or read the chart from left to right. 8 sts increased. 30 sts


Work Chart B until scarf is 2.5 inches less than desired length, ending on Row 16. On WS rows, work stitches as presented or read the chart from left to right.


Work Chart C for 10 rows. On WS rows, work stitches as presented or read the chart from left to right. 8 sts decreased. 22 sts


Row 1 (RS): Sl 1, *k1, p1* twice, p12, *p1, k1* twice, p1, turn.

Row 2 (WS): Sl 1, work stitches as presented (knit the knits and purl the purls,) turn.

Row 3 (RS): Sl 1, *p1, k1* twice, p12, *k1, p1* twice, k1, turn.

Row 4 (WS): Bind off all sts knitwise.


Finishing: Weave in ends. Steam block to relax the fiber’s tendency to flip inwards at the edge of the cable. Steam blocking will lessen the flip more than wet blocking.


Click on charts for bigger image, or download the PDF above.


Chart B

 Chart C

Chart D




Please Note: I post my patterns as soon as I’ve completed them because I’m excited to share them with you. They have not been fully tested, but they are free. I’ve made every effort to make sure that the instructions are clear and error-free. There may be typos or pattern mistakes and if you find them or have any questions, please let me know by posting a comment or emailing me,


Creative Commons License
This work by Cailyn Meyer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.


Intarsia Multi-Directional Scarf July 10, 2009

Filed under: knitting tutorials,Tutorials — Cailyn @ 4:47 pm
Tags: , , ,

It took me forever to write up this tutorial.  It’s kind of hard to explain, but once you get the hang of it, it seems really simple.  This scarf looks great in handpainted yarns, but if you want solid colors this is a great way to go.  So, I hope that I’ve written the instructions clear enough so that you can experiment on your own.  It will be helpful to have a read the directions of the Multi-Directional scarf, since I haven’t rewritten the instructions, just made them confusing! 


The Multi-Directional Scarf is basically made of triangles that are formed with short rows.  The triangles start at the bottom as essentially one stitch and increase from there, with a decrease eating up the stitches from the previous triangle.  A typical multidirectional scarf looks like this, with the arrows showing the direction of the knitting:


To knit the scarf with intarsia blocks, the essential construction is the same except that at a certain point in the triangle, a new color is added.  This is done by adding the new color at the beginning of the row as part of the increase instructions.  The old color becomes a stripe and the new color is a little triangle inside the overall bigger triangle.  The color changes are the dotted lines on the line drawing.

Untitled2   Untitled3


Start the Multi-Directional scarf according to the directions with your first color.  When you’re sick of that color and before you reach the desired width, change to the next color.  At the beginning of a row, work the increase with the new color.  Bring the old color’s working yarn up from under the new color (to prevent holes) and continue the row with the old color.  The side that has the yarn wrap showing is now the WS.  On the next row, work the old color until you reach the new color; bring the new yarn up from under the old yarn on the WS (you’ll have to bring the working yarn to the front to do this on alternate rows) and work the remaining stitches with the new yarn.  Continue this way until your triangle is as wide as you want.

102_4578   102_4582

Wrong side:


Right side:


Now, you’ve got your base triangle.  Mine looks all wrong because I forgot to increase every row.  But the principle is the same!

Main Triangles

Choose a new color.  This is the stripe part of the larger triangle.  It won’t look like a stripe yet, because of the short rows.  The key is to add the new color when the side of the triangle is as tall as you’d like the stripe.  It can be as short as two rows or as tall as twenty-five, it’s up to you.  Work the instructions in this color until the side is as tall as you’d like, then make the next set of increases in a new color.  Bring the old yarn up from under the new on the WS to prevent holes and continue the row (including decrease) in the old yarn.  Work back with the old yarn until the first stitch of the new yarn, bring the new yarn up from under the old on the WS and continue the row.  Work this way until the triangle is completed.



If you want, you can use more than two colors per triangle.  It can get a little dicey, because every new color in a triangle means another ball of yarn hanging from the back, but if you can handle the tangle, go right ahead!  The principle is the same, work the increases in the new color and switch yarns as you reach them.


Just remember to always twist your yarns on the same side of the scarf for neatness.  And good luck weaving in all those ends… that was not fun!


Multidirectional Scarf June 12, 2009

Filed under: Knitting Projects — Cailyn @ 9:53 pm
Tags: , , ,

I’ve decided that cleaning and knitting make a very dangerous combination.


My father-in-law asked me to make him a scarf.  Since I have cats and he’s allergic to said cats, I worked on the scarf only in the guest room, which is cat-free.  It would be impossible to get cat hair out of that yarn! (It’s already developed a nice halo.)  My in-laws are arriving tonight for a visit and I, logically, wanted to have the scarf finished by the time he got here (saves me the trouble of shipping it!)


In between scrubbing,  vacuuming, and laundry, I worked on the scarf.  I sat on the guest bed while I knit, since that’s really the only place to sit that’s not the folding chair for the sewing machine and I left the scarf on the bed when I wasn’t working on it.  I had about a foot left to knit and then the finishing.  I figured it wouldn’t take very long, since the scarf is pretty simple.  I didn’t really factor in the enormous task of weaving in all the ends.  It took me almost an hour!  Oy.  But I finished it!  After I finished the scarf, I stripped the bed to wash the sheets.


Then I went downstairs for dinner.  After dinner, I went back upstairs to block the scarf.  I looked at the bed.  There was no scarf, because I had thrown the sheets in the washer.  I panicked.  I said a very bad word, picturing all that work being felted in the washer as I stood there.  I swear my heart stopped… then started up again going very fast.


I went to go sit down, since my legs were a bit shaky.  Then I saw the scarf, safe and sound, where I had put it on the table next to the blocking supplies.


Apparently I’m smarter than I thought.  But that was too close.  I think I lost four years off my life.


Here is the scarf in all it’s blocking glory (with my stash underneath):



Nice, right?  Mirasol Sulka in Snow White, Juniper, and Paprika.  It’s about four feet long, since my father-in-law wanted a short scarf (which meant two feet that I didn’t have to knit!).  Two skeins of White and Juniper, one of Paprika.


It’s super squooshy and, like I said before, possessed of a nice halo.  The pattern is the Multidirectional Scarf using intarsia instead of a variegated yarn for the color changes.  And each block of color meant two ends I had to weave in… Oh, that was a nightmare.  But I really love this yarn.


Next week, we’re all going to Coeur d’Alene for some outdoor activities.  Biking, maybe some kayaking, etc.  There’s two yarn stores I’ve already marked on the map!  Hopefully I’ll have some time to post something while I’m there.  Now that the scarf is finished, it’s time to go figure out what knitting I’m taking with me!