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Saturday, January 17, 2009

HUGe - Part 1

This is Part 1 in a series on the 2008 HUGe swap.
Click here for Part 2.
Click here for Part 3.
Related post: 08Jan2009 post - 21 Photos - Elann HUGe 2008 Swap, Group 1 box

The Elann HUGe Swap has been going on for some years now. This is my first time participating in it. I never participated before because I didn't have time. This year (2008), I thought I could squeeze in some time to do this, but I found I lacked any creativity to come up with a project for the swap. Thanks to T, I did find something that looked both fun and do-able. And here's the end result:

10 bangles

It's a project based on this Swatch Bangle pattern. I'm clueless. Call me Ms. Unfashionable. I had no idea that bangles are the "in" thing. Vicki told me this when I mentioned the Elann HUGe swap to her back in May. Well ok, I think I can make my own and it sure as heck won't cost me $140 to $180 to make each bangle. I managed to find the bangles for about $6.50 each. Yay!

It all started with these:

20 Bangles

I only needed to make 10 items for the swap. Notice that there are 20 of them in the photo above. I must have felt optimistic when I picked up these bangles! They are black/white, red metallic, red transparent, brown transparent, black, charcoal metallic, and silver.

Bangle #1:

Bangle #1

It all started with this bangle:

Brown bangle

This brown bangle is somewhat transparent. The interior side is smooth, the exterior is faceted. At first I was unsure of how this would work out in the end for this project. Surely smooth interior and exterior sides would make this much easier.

I used Elann Highland Wool in Ruby color and 4.0 mm (US6) needles to knit this one. I thought I would start off with something simple for my first bangle. The stitch pattern is seed stitch. I did not want to knit the width of the bangle and then have to seam both the width AND the bangle circumference. No no no. We could not have that. I am lazy. So I worked this in the round (around the circumference), and knit as many rows as necessary to obtain the width (around the front & back) I needed, then I merely had to seam it once along the circumference.

Seaming up the bangle

Seaming was tricky since I found it difficult to see what I was doing. I think I need better lighting in the family room where I do my knitting.

My personal notes on how I made this bangle:
Elann Highland Wool, Ruby Red.
US 6 (4.0 mm)
Brown bangle.
Circumference = ~11.25 inches (29 cm)
Width (all around) = 3 inches (7.5 cm)

Cast on 52 stitches, join in round.
Round 1: * K1, P1 *
Round 2: * P1, K1 *
Repeat Rounds 1 & 2 until 22 rounds total have been completed.

Cut yarn leaving 35 inches of yarn for seaming. There was 18 inches of yarn left after seaming. So I used 17 inches of yarn for seaming.

ETA: This bangle went to Benne.


Bangle #2:

Bangle #2

This is Bangle #2.

It all started with this bangle above. It's sort of a charcoal grey metallic finish.

This one took me much longer than many of the other bangle because it took me 2 tries before I got the width correct and I had to frog it once due to a glaring mistake. It also didn't help that I was using sock weight yarn and size US2 needles. This meant working a greater number of stitches which made it felt like I would never finish. Then once I got into the rhythm of the cable pattern, I was so carried away with it that I knit the piece much too long! Seaming also seemed to take a while but that was because Miss M was squirming next to me which made it difficult to concentrate. I wasn't too happy with the seaming as it is more obvious than I would like. It's due to having to seam across the width of the bangle since I could not knit this cable pattern in the round (as I did for Bangle #1). Overall, the finished piece didn't come out exactly as I had imagined it would when I saw the cable panel in BW3 (Chain Link Cable). I think this might be due to the cable panel stretching (up/down-wards) when it is placed on the bangle. The knitting (before attaching to bangle) looked better when stretched out laterally left/right.

A few years ago, I imagined learning how to knit socks so I picked up 2 balls of sock yarn with the intention of doing this. Fast forward a few years later. Have I knit any socks? Nope. None at all. So I decided to use some of this sock yarn for the bangle. I started out with US1 (2.25 mm) needles then restarted using US2 (2.75 mm) which looked a little better to me. Since I could not knit this in the round, I ended up having to seam twice.

I love this cable pattern. It has a very interesting look. Despite having to use 2 cable needles to work the pattern, it is not difficult at all.

Personal notes on how I made this bangle:
Sock It To Me, in purple
US 2 (2.75 mm) & 2 cable needles
Charcoal Grey Metallic bangle.
Circumference = ~11.25 inches (29 cm)
Width (all around) = 3 inches (7.5 cm)

Cast on 25 stitches.
Row 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15: K8, P9, K8
Row 2, 4, 6, 10, 12, 14: P8, K9, P8
Row 8: P8. Slip 3 to CN1, hold in Front. Slip 3 to CN2, hold in Back. K3. K3 from CN2, K3 from CN1. P8.
Row 16: P8. Slip 3 to CN1, hold in Front. Slip 3 to CN2, hold in Front. K3. Pass CN1 to the Back. K3 from CN2. K3 from CN1.
Repeat rows 1 to 16 until piece is long enough to fit around bangle (~11 inches).

ETA: This bangle went to Marta.


Bangle #3:

Bangle #3

I really liked how Bangle #3 came out. I'm pretty sure part of it was knitting with my favorite yarn, Elann's Luxury Merino Superwash DK yarn. This yarn is very soft in my hands. Here are two photos of the yarn. I don't think either really captures the true color of Capri Blue.

Elann Luxury Merino Superwash DK, Capri Blue

Elann Luxury Merino Superwash DK, Capri Blue

I chose to knit this in the round in order to avoid seaming twice. I probably would have knit this with 3.75 mm (US5) needles if I found 2 available circulars. Unfortunately I could only find one 3.75 mm circ, so I knit this with two 4.0 mm (US6) needles instead. I'm pretty certain that two of my 3.75 (US5) circular needles are tied up on the toddler mitten last seen in my December 24, 2006 post and December 25, 2006 post! Please don't ask me where the mitten is. It was lost before we moved house, and got further lost (is that possible?) during/since the move. Yes, by the time the mitten resurfaces, it will be too small for Miss M to wear.

Bangle #3 is also made with a charcoal grey metallic colored bangle, like the one above.

Anyhow, I don't think it is any coincidence that I chose the Double Broken Rib pattern for Bangle #3. I definitely like it as it is the second time I have used it. The first time was in my first Cuzco scarf, which I dubbed the Cozy Bathrobe Scarf because this yarn is very soft, however you never would have guessed since since the stitch pattern doesn't show through well on the fluffy Cuzco yarn. Really! If you look at this bangle and then look at the scarf, you'd say, "No way, those two can't be the same stitch pattern!"

My personal notes on how I made this bangle:

Elann Luxury Merino Superwash, Capri Blue
4.0 mm (US6)
Charcoal Grey Metallic bangle.
Circumference = ~11.25 inches (29 cm)
Width (all around) = 3 inches (7.5 cm)

Cast on 56 stitches, join in round.
Round 1 & 2: Knit
Round 3 & 4: * K2, P2 *
Repeat rounds 1 to 4 for 26 rounds total.
ETA: This bangle went to Bets.

How many stitches to cast on?

If you're wondering how I arrived at the number of stitches to cast on for my bangles, it is a factor of trial & error and rough guesstimates.

I'll use Bangle #3 as an example. Here are some known facts:
Bangle circumference is 11.25 inches.
Yarn ball band gauge is 21-22 sts = 4 inches.
Knowing these two facts and assuming I'll be knitting close to ball band gauge, I do the following calculation to figure out how many multiples of 4 inches there are in the circumference of my bangle (11.25"):
11.25" divided by 4" = 2.8125 inches
Now I take the result (2.8125") and multiply that by the ball band number of stitches per 4" (which is 21 to 22 sts):

2.8125 x 21 = 59 stitches
Since my stitch pattern is a multiple of 4, I need to cast on a number that is divisible by 4. Some possible options include:
60 stitches (4 x 15 = 60)
56 stitches (4 x 14 = 56)
I decided to go with the smaller number because I didn't want my knitting to be too large and have my bangle resembling a Shar Pei after seaming.

I don't know how other people determine their number to cast on. Please let me know if you know an easier method.

The calculation is much easier if I were knitting a long skinny strip of knitting instead of knitting in the round. Since it is 3 inches around, all I would need to do is take the ballband sts per 4 inches", divide by 4 to get the sts per 1 inch, and then multiply by 3 to get a balpark value of how many stitches I should cast on.

To be continued... Click here for Part 2.

Copyright © Smariek Knits 2005-2009. All full copyright rights are reserved by Smariek Knits.


8 stitch(es):

junior_goddess said...

Bangle number 3 lives with me. And I like it! I think your project was really fun and inventive, Marie!

Acornbud said...

Wow those are really cute!

pdxknitterati said...

Cute project. I've been known to make multiples of projects, but that was a lot!

Your sidebar pix have disappeared...

Claudia said...

I have been dying to make some of these!!!!! My problem is that I have very large wrists and I cannot find large bangle bracelets to save my life! If you see any in your travels, would you please let me know where they are? thanks!

Yours are gorgeous!!!!!

hakucho said...

Those bangles are beautiful and I bet they are a lot warmer to wear than cold plastic :) Great idea!

Allison said...

Those bangles are fabulous! I'm so impressed. You should sell them.

Aunt Kathy said...

nice work...

Darcys Knotty Knitter said...

How pretty they are and good job;)Hugs Darcy