Baby It’s Cold Outside: Guest Post & Free Patterns by Donna Druchunas

Posted by on Nov 22, 2011 in Knitting | Comments


Baby It’s Cold Outside

I really can’t stay – Baby it’s cold outside
I’ve got to go away – Baby it’s cold outside
This evening has been – Been hoping that you’d drop in
So very nice – I’ll hold your hands, they’re just like ice
Baby, it’s cold outside.

–words and music by Frank Loesser

Winter
Winter by lcecco, on Flickr

On a cold winter night, there’s nothing quite as cozy as sitting on the couch, wrapped in a favorite hand-knit shawl, watching an old movie or listening to holiday music. A fire crackling in the wood stove. A glass of dry red wine or cup of rich hot cocoa in arm’s reach. Perhaps the only thing that might improve the situation is to be knitting a new favorite shawl, with a pile of luxurious yarn in your lap and a pair of polished wooden knitting needles in your hands.

I don’t have a big stash—my personal yarn fits into a single cedar chest—and I rarely buy yarn without having a specific project in mind. In fact, buying yarn for no particular reason stresses me out. I’m an impulsive knitter but not an impulsive shopper. When I buy something yummy, I want to knit it. NOW! Of course the fact that I usually have twenty-odd projects for publication on the needles, with several others in the planning, pattern writing, or tech editing stages, may play into my preference to make fast, rewarding projects to give as gifts.

If I buy yarn and don’t start a project tonight, who knows when I’ll find the time to fondle my newly purchased fiber? If I cast on and don’t finish today, who knows when I’ll have a chance to pick up the same needles and project again? So I dive in with my favorite fibers and knit like a whirlwind whenever I have the chance to play hooky for a day or a weekend, whenever I need a break from the more complex projects I’m working on for publication.

Swadeshi Joy Space ... natural yarn, handloom fabric and redymade soft toys, bags and eco-friendly garments in Saligao, Goa

By fredericknoronha on Flickr

Combining textures and fibers in a single garment reminds me of the way we combine various herbs and spices, vegetables, broths, and sauces to make Thanksgiving dinner. Juxtaposing different textures, even more than combining colors, gives an extra element of depth and flavor to a knitting project. I love seeing the same colors reflect  light differently on different fibers. The luster of silk playing off the flat texture of linen, the halo of mohair against the smooth wool. The way different fibers absorb the same dyes in different ways is a never ending fascination to me. And so any time I stumble on a chance to use different yarns that have been dyed in the same colorway, I’m ready to cast on.

I love gift knitting.

Truth be told, I love all kinds of knitting but there’s nothing quite as satisfying as choosing just the right yarn, color, and pattern to make something special for a friend or loved one. And the last couple of months of the year—when, Baby, it’s cold outside!—are the year are prime time for gift knitting.

This holiday season I’m working on a cashmere hat for a close friend, beaded fingerless gloves for my niece, and matching hats and booties for two new babies. Plus this week, I’m finishing up the sample socks for two new Craftsy classes I’ll be recording just after Thanksgiving.

What are you working on?

If you haven’t decided yet, here’s a pattern for an easy cable scarf and hat set that I designed a few years back. It’s a quick knit and all you’ll need to do is change the yarn to something in your recipient’s favorite color.


Baby It’s Cold Outside Hat & Scarf Set

Usually I make hats in the round but I knit this one back and forth for those of you who don’t like circular and double-pointed needles. It knits up quickly in chunky yarn on size 10 needles.

HAT

Size: Adult, fits heads up to 22″ (56cm) in circumference. 16″ (41cm) circumference, unstretched

Gauge: One 11-st repeat of Cable & Rib patt = 2 1/2″ (6.35cm) wide unstretched, cap stretches a lot as shown in the photos

Materials:
Yarn: 123 yards (112m) of chunky weight yarn. I used 1 ball of Plymouth Galway Chunky (100% wool, 100 grams = 123 yards per ball). For a machine washable hat, Plymouth Encore Chunky or Lion Brand Wool-Ease Chunky would work well.

Knitting needles: Size 10 (6mm) needles

Notions: Cable needle and tapestry needle

Cable & Rib Pattern (multiple of 11+1)
Rows 1 and 5 (RS): *P1, k4, (p1, k1) 3 times; rep from * to last st, p last st.
Rows 2, 4 and 6: Work in patt as est, knitting the knits and purling the purls.
Row 3: *P1, sl 2 sts to cable needle and hold to back, k2, k2 from cable needle, (p1, k1) 3 times; rep from * to last st, p last st.
Repeat rows 1 – 6 for patt.

Hat Instructions
Hat Body

CO 67 sts.
Work in Cable & Rib patt until cap measures approx 6 3/4″ (17cm) long, end after working row 6 of Cable & Rib patt.

Hat Crown
Next row (RS): *P1, k1, k2tog, k1, p1, k1, slip 2 kw, k1, p2sso, k1; rep from * to last st, p last st.
Work 3 rows in patt as est (k3, p1 ribbing).
Next row (RS): *P1, slip 2 kw, k1, p2sso; rep from * to last st, p last st.
Work 3 rows in patt as est (k1, p1 ribbing).
Next row (RS): K2tog across to last st, k1.

Finishing
Cut yarn leaving a 6″ (15cm) tail. Run tail through rem sts and pull tight to draw the top of the hat together.
Sew side seam. Weave in ends.
If desired, make pom-pom and sew to top of hat.

SCARF
Size: Approx 6″ (15 cm) wide by 64″ (162 cm) long, without fringe

Gauge: 27 sts = approx 5″ unstretched and unblocked in Cable Rib patt

Materials
Yarn: 369 yards (326m) of chunky weight yarn. I used 3 balls of Plymouth Galway Chunky (100% wool, 100 grams = 123 yards per ball), 1 ball each in MC (turquoise), A (green) and B (hot pink). For a machine washable scarf, Plymouth Encore Chunky or Lion Brand Wool-Ease Chunky would work well.

Knitting needles: Size 10 (6mm) needles
Cable needle and tapestry needle

Scarf Instructions
Scarf Body
With MC, CO 27 sts.
Rows 1 and 5 (RS): *(K1, p1) 3 times; k4 for cable, p1, (k1, p1) 3 times, k4 for cable, (p1, k1) 3 times.
Rows 2, 4 and 6: Work in patt as est, knitting the knits and purling the purls.
Row 3: (K1, p1) 3 times, sl 2 sts to cable needle and hold to back, k2, k2 from cable needle, p1, (k1, p1) 3 times, sl 2 sts to cable needle and hold to back, k2, k2 from cable needle, (p1, k1) 3 times.
Repeat rows 1 – 6 another 4 times with MC.
Change to A. Rep rows 1 – 6 another 5 times.
Change to B. Rep rows 1 – 6 another 5 times.
Rep stripe pattern, working 5 repeats of Cable Rib patt with MC, A, and B another 2 times, then work 5 repeats of Cable Rib patt with MC.
BO all sts.


Finishing

Weave in ends.
Use remaining yarn to attach fringe to ends of scarf.
Wash and dry flat, stretching scarf to measure 6-7″ (15-18 cm) wide, and pinning in place to open up ribbing if desired.

To learn more about Donna Druchunas, check out her Craftsy profile, her Sheep to Shawl blog, and join (or gift!) her online Knit Sock Workshop course for just $29.99.

Comments

  1. Dorothy Atkinson says:

    I hope your original class will still be up Donna. I’m still working away at the socks from your class. I have had more things go wrong with my project. Not the teacher’s fault. My needles broke, the next ones I got didn’t have sharp enough needles and I kept on splitting the wool.
    They are so slippery, to much so for me. Anyway, I am waiting for needles and will still be pluggng along. I am not discouraged because I have learned so much.
    I’m anxious to see what you are going to do in your next sock class. Best Wishes Donna, Dorothy

  2. Donna says:

    Enjoy! And Happy Thanksgiving (even if you’re not in the USA)!

  3. Viv says:

    Gorgeous hat and scarf

  4. DAWN GRACE says:

    Hi Donna – I am still working diligently to finish knitting for Christmas. I have a hat to finish for a co-worker and a pair of gauntlet mittens for my great nephew – Nicholas. I also agreed to knit a Gap-tastic cowl for another co-worker but she will pay me for this one. Once these
    are finished, I will start on some things for myself. I signed up for your online sock class late this past fall. I am going to try to get to it early in the New Year. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy New Year from your friends in the North. Canada – that is!!
    Actually, we have had great weather so far, hoping for it to continue throughout the winter.
    I hate snow!!!
    Dawn

  5. colleen kelly ginter says:

    I just found you and it made me feel welcome and happy to read this blog. I love to knit, not very good at reading directions so I make stuff up. Trying to lear how to understand what the instructions say. I have a grand dictionary for knitting, but when the stitches are written sometimes I’m not sure what goes where.
    Anyway, thank you for sharing.

  6. Lee Jolliffe says:

    Thanks for sharing your patterns, as I scrolled down the brightly coloured cable scarf put a smile on my face!