Saturday, December 8, 2012

DIY knitted balaclava

 winter is in full swing!

Woke up today with nothing but white all around!

Gear up for winter by knitting a balaclava... 
it's oh, so fashion 
(but most of all: it's oh, so warm!)

inspired by MM6 and Rick Ovens (past seasons) balaclavas.

MM6 - Rick Ovens - collage by moi

I wanted my balaclava to be open in a nice, round shape (most of the balaclavas on the market are high over the mouth and I don't like that).

So the knitting process was a bit of making and unravelling, until I found the shape that worked the best for me.
I don't have step-by-step pictures, because I made this over three years ago, while just moved to NYC and found myself into a snow-blizzard, and having to run errands and walk my dog Lucky.

supplies needed:

I used two skeins of 8 ply cashmere from Purl Soho which is really expensive, but I'm really itchy and wanted something that would last: and this yarn is worth every penny.
I used size 4mm circular and straight needles, making the stitches tighter than it's supposed to be, but with the result that I have full protection on my head and ears from the gusty winds.
A hold needle.

the how-to / tutorial:

* cast on 96 stitches  (I used the tubular method)

* work with circular needle for 43 rows in 3:3 rib

* put on hold the central 11 stitches and from now on, the work will be on straight needles

* work the next 16 rows by decreasing a stitch every 2 rows on the sides of the stitches on hold (to give the rounded shape) - total of 8 stitches on each side -

* work for 44 rows (always in 3:3 rib)

* at this point there are two choices: either bind off 24 stitches on each side, or working like a sock heel. I believed I sort of figure out how to do the sock heel, but binding off would be much, much easier.

* so: bind off (or put them on hold) 24 stitches on each side and keep working the remanent 21 stitches in 3:3 rib for 23 rows, then, again, put the 21 stitches on hold or bind off.

detail on the top

* sew the two sides with the 24 stitches together with the middle part of 21 stitches.

* pick up with the circular needle the stitches all around the opening, making sure that you end up with a number of stitches divided by 6.
I picked up 102 stitches, worked in 3:3 rib for 10 rows, and bind off.

"Enjoy" the cold weather, ya'll... I'm off to shovel the garage ramp!!!

xox, d.

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