As I mentioned in a previous post, my friend and founder of Noti Yarns, landed her first account in a yarn shop last week. There was celebrating. There was late night strategy sessions for how her yarn company would one day rule the world. There was also a request made to yours truly for a little knitted sample to show off how all her solid colors work up.
“Pinwheel”, I said. “I’ll knit a pinwheel. It will hang on the wall and draw innocent yarn customers from across the room and ensnare them in its colorful embrace.”
So for any knitters who want to
fiendishly trap hapless yarn lovers make a framed knitted pinwheel, here is the pattern (its dead simple) and a photo tutorial.
This post was part of the 39th Blog hop at www.mittenstatesheepandwool.com!
How to Knit a Pinwheel
Pinwheels can be made with any size yarn and worked up to any size. Knitter’s choice. They are worked in the round, so you’ll need either a set of circulars that you can magic loop with or double points.
(Need some help with magic looping? I have a video tutorial for that!)
You’ll also need the embroidery frame and a cardboard box for pinning to.
Of course you can substitute any pinning surface. I use cardboard boxes because I get them free at the grocery store and little bad kitties get to play in the boxes when I’m not sticking pins through them.
kfb – knit into both the front and back loops of the next stitch (an increase)
Cast On 6 sts. Join to work in the round.
Set Up Round: k all
Round 1: *kfb* 6 times (12 sts)
Round 2: :*k1, kfb* 6 times (18 sts)
Round 3: *k2, kfb* 6 times (24 sts)
Round 4: *k3, kfb* 6 times (30 sts)
Round 5: *k4, kfb* 6 times (36 sts)
Round 6: *k5, kfb* 6 times (42 sts)
Round 7: *k6, kfb* 6 times (48 sts)
Round 8: *k7, kfb* 6 times (54 sts)
… and it goes like that. Each new round has one more knit in it per repeat and each round gets bigger by 6 stitches. Pretty simple pattern.
But getting it started can be tricky. Anything you start on such few stitches and work in the round has a certain level of fussiness to it. You can minimize that by using the magic loop method of knitting in the round. But if you don’t want to, if you prefer dpn’s, no worries. I have a method that makes it easier to handle those beginning rounds.
(Btw, if you can crochet, there is a great cheat for starting small projects in the round. Make a magic ring and work 6 single crochets in to the ring. This counts at the “Set Up Round”. Then pick up and knit two stitches from each single crochet using both the front and back loops. This counts as “Round 1”. Then join to work in the round and pick up the pattern above at Round 2.)
Step 1 – Cast On 6 stitches
Step 2 – Put 3 stitches each on 2 needles being careful not to twist the stitches
Step 3 – Knit the Set Up Round (6 stitches)
Step 4 – Spread the stitches across 3 needles, 2 on each and again… be careful not to let anything twist.
Step 5 – Work Round 1: *kfb* 6 times (12 stitches)
Step 6 – Keep going. It should have enough stitches in it now that you don’t have to worry about twisting. Round 2: *k1, kfb* 6 times (18 stitches)
Step 7 – By the 10th or 12th round you’ll notice some puckering and some tension on your stitches.
If its bothersome, or if your pinwheel is going to get big, spread the stitches out onto 6 needles. Place each repeat section on each needle.
Step 8 – If your are knitting to fill an embroidery frame (like me) remember the stretch factor. I worked my pinwheel until it could fill the frame when stretched. Then I bound off.
And it really curls.
Setting the pinwheel in the frame
Step 9 – Place the center circle of the frame on your pinning surface.
Step 10 – Drape the pinwheel over it and pin down the edges
Step 11 – Set the outer circle of the frame and tighten it down. Remove the pins (of course!) then find a nice place to hang you pinwheel.
So, what good are these, other than as wall hangings, if they curl?
- I like to use the pinwheel shape as a bottom on a circular bag. I made this part of my Carry Your Yarns – a bag for yarn!
- Pinwheels are a nice way to work a hat from the top down.
- Some clever sweaters use pinwheels as a design element in the front and/or back. Check out the Pinwheel Drop Shoulder Pullover and the 94-5 Cardigan, both free patterns.
Enjoy your pinwheels. May they memorize you and keep you happily stitching!
"There is no failure. Only feedback." - Robert Allen
12 Comments on "How to Knit a Pinwheel"
could this be used as a circular lace weight shawl?
It certainly could be. I’ve seen that done somewhere…
I’d change the kfb’s to knits with yarn overs to help open up the fabric. You’d also need an extended knit lace edging, maybe even a knitted on border to fight that curl.
It beautiful and it show’s off my yarn beautifully. Thanks for the brilliant idea and taking the time to make it for me. Your are the best. I wouldn’t have been able to do this without you!!
Your yarn is mouthwatering.
Its the yarn that makes it beautiful!
I used a variation of this pinwheel pattern (instead of increasing w/ kfb, it used yo’s) to make a killer lap afghan (gift for good friend) and it turned out awesome. My friend was overjoyed with it. And I wouldn’t hesitate to make another one like that, although starting out was the tricky part and I am very glad for Jen’s suggestions.
Once they get started they go fast. Its a fun shape to knit isn’t it?
Happy to provide the suggestions! And that crochet start is in truth the easiest. When no on is looking over my shoulder… that’s what I do.
I have to master that magic loop and give this a try! Seems like great practice for increasing. I’m DPN challenged, and I think I have to invest in some different circulars. I tried the crochet cast on with DPN’s, still dropped the needles.
You are lucky to have this friend that enables your habit! Noti Yarn is going on my wishlist, and I’m getting that purple for my next splurge. And probably blue. And maybe some green, too. Does she offer financing? 😉
If you’re going for circulars, go for long & soft cords that transition smoothly to the tips. So much of a knitter’s difficulty in magic looping comes from using cruddy circulars!
I am lucky to have her. Not just because she is a talented handdyer but because she is a good friend. I’d hang out with her even if she didn’t feed my yarn addiction, lol. But it is nice to have a yarn dealer on speed dial.
I love the colors! Oh, and we have news! Alexandria was born yesterday at 8:29 am and everyone is very healthy here! (If a little tired)
Go get rest. Go get a foot rub. Go get your favorite ice cream. You deserve all that.