The Rachel Beanie

The Rachel Beanie

A step by step guide to knitting the gorgeous Rachel Beanie.  

Ever gotten half way through a project and thought “Hang on, am I even doing this right?”

We have 🙋‍♀️

That’s why we’ve created these step by step overviews to help guide you through the knitting process. At each stage we’ll show you how each section of your piece should look, and at the end, how to sew it all together. Voilà!

YOUR CARDIGANG PATTERN

Learning to knit can feel like learning code. We've stripped away the complicated jargon and tried to keep things really simple. If your head is still spinning a little, here's a handy video to help you better understand the layout of your pattern. 

THE BASICS

If you're a total knitting newbie - WELCOME! 🧶 Before we get started on the pattern it’s a good idea to learn the basic stitches you’ll need to complete your masterpiece. You can use the yarn that came in your kit to practice with, just be gentle with the yarn - it’s super fine so will break if it’s worked too hard or too many times. We’ve put the below video together to cover the basics.  Learn how to cast on, do a knit stitch, a purl stitch and put them together to create a 1x1 rib stitch, lastly we learn casting off. Once you've got these mastered you'll find this pattern is a cinch! 

💭 For more detailed videos of each technique, head down a little further where we've got specific videos for each stitch type.  

🏅🧶 You got this! ⚡️💪

Remember learning a new skill can be a little hard at first and you’re bound to find yourself making some mistakes along the way. But as with learning anything, your brain and your hands slowly start to get the hang of it, muscle memory is created, and soon the thing you found tricky/daunting/scary is like second nature! 

TEST YOUR TENSION

It’s a good idea to check that the tension (how tightly or loosely your knitting is) is in line with what we need. We knit a “tension swatch” to make sure the tension is juuuust right. It's a bit like goldilocks, if the tension is too tight, your jumper will be too small, and if it's too loose it may not hold it's shape and might be too big. 

If done correctly, your 10x10cm knitted swatch should be 7 stitches high and 9 rows wide. To test this, jump on your needles, cast on around 12 stitches, then knit in stockinette stitch (row 1 knit, row 2 purl) for around 10 rows. Then get a measuring tape and measure out 10x10cm and count your stitches and rows to make sure you're knitting at the correct tension. 

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

Your kit comes with everything you need to knit your masterpiece. To knit Rachel you’ll use;

  • 10mm circular needles - we use these for the rib at the bottom
  • 15mm circular needles - these are to knit the body of your beanie
  • 1 ball of our chunky merino wool 
  • Pom Pom maker - pretty obvious what this one's for! 
  • Darning needle - this is used to sew your piece together and weave in loose ends when you finish knitting

THE TECHNIQUES YOU’LL MASTER

CASTING ON

We recommend using the two needle technique. Two needle cast on uses your two needles (surprise!), starting with a slip knot on your left needle, each stitch is knitted to form a new loop and this loop is then added to your left needle. You repeat until you’ve made the desired number of stitches. To see casting on in action watch our "Master The Basics" video above. 

💭 Casting on, like many things in knitting, can be done in a number of ways - our suggestion is a simple technique but you can pick any that’s right for you. 

KNIT STITCH 

This handy little stitch makes up the backbone of most knitting patterns. Each knit stitch looks like a little ‘v’.

PURL STITCH 

The second most common stitch, purl stitches look like little bumps (or purls!). Where you knit a knit stitch with your yarn tail at the back of your work and your needle going into the back of the stitch, the purl is the opposite, so your yarn tail is at the front of your work and your needle goes into the front of the stitch. 

RIB STITCH

1x1 rib stitch is a textured pattern usually used on the cuffs and necks of jumpers. It’s made by alternating knit and purl stitches in the same row, then knitting the same stitch sequence in the next row. When doing your rib stitch it’s important to make sure your yarn is on the correct side of your needles (at the back for knit stitches and at the front for purl stitches). To see rib stitch in action watch our "Master The Basics" video above. 

STOCKINETTE STITCH 

Stockinette Stitch (or stocking stitch) is a basic stitch that most knitting patterns often don't explain! When knitting flat, you create stockinette stitch by knitting one row and purling the next. This means all of your knit stitches (the little Vs) will be on the right side of your jumper. When knitting in the round you create stockinette stitch by knitting all row/loops. 

SEED STITCH

Seed Stitch is a common, easy stitch pattern in knitting. It is made by alternating knit stitches and purl stitches within a row and between rows. It is called seed stitch because the stitches create little bumps that may look like seeds. Seed stitch is identical on both sides and lies flat.

CASTING OFF

To cast off, knit two stitches then slip the first stitch on your right needle back over the second stitch and off the needle. You’ll have one stitch left on your right needle. Knit another stitch so you’ve got two stitches on your right needle and then slip the first stitch off. Continue to the end of the row. When you’ve got the last stitch on your right needle, cut the yarn and thread this through the final stitch to secure. To see casting off in action watch our "Master The Basics" video above. 

OKAY, LET’S KNIT UP A STORM! 

Yep, you’re going to create this beauty! 😎
Rachel loves snuggling up on the couch with a tea and good book. Cozy night in? She's your gal! She rocks a folded rib and a band of seed stitch, topped with a pom pom - of course!
So let’s do this! 

Step 1:

Cast on the required number of stitches using your 10mm circular needles.

Step 2:

Once you've cast on the right number of stitches you move on to the rib. Knit the rib following the instructions in your pattern. Remember to create a rib we knit 1 stitch, then purl the next. Make sure you’re moving your yarn tail from the back to the front of our stitch to ensure the stitch is executed correctly. 

Knit the 15 rows of rib stitch - remember to check off each row on your pattern to help you keep track! 

Step 3:

Next, we move onto using our 15mm needles and into stockinette stitch. To switch to a different size needle we just hold the new needle in our right hand and knit onto it.

In this row we’re going to knit some stitches together as instructed. To knit stitches together you simply pick up two stitches with your right needle (instead of one as you normally would), and knit them like you would a single stitch. 

Step 4: 

Great! Now onto 7 rows of stockinette stitch. 

Step 5:

Next we're going to do some rows of seed stitch. Seed stitch is created by alternating your knit and purl stitch across rows. Follow the pattern instructions to knit 5 bands of seed stitch. 

Step 6:

We're going to do another decrease in this row. At the end of the row you should have 24 stitches on your needle. 

Step 7 - 12: 

We continue knitting in stockinette stitch and decreasing rows as we go. We're creating a taper in the piece up to the top of the beanie. 

Step 13:

Cast off your stitches. The body of your beanie is D.O.N.E! 🥳💪

Sewing your beanie together

The next step is to sew the beanie together. So, grab your darning needle and let's go. 

Fold your beanie in half, long ways, and we will sew the seams together from the bottom (the rib), up to the top. We use the mattress stitch technique to sew together, you can see how that's done in the video below 🚀 skip to the 2.35 minute mark to see the vertical seaming technique. 

💡 It's normal for the wool to get a bit shabby as you go, so we recommend using a few pieces and tying them together underneath as you go! 

SHAKE YOUR POM POM!

Using your handy pom pom maker it's time to make the cherry on top! Your kit comes with a strangle little circular thing - this is your pom pom maker! Grab that and the rest of your yarn and follow these steps: 

Step 1: Open the pom pom maker buy pulling open all 4 'arms' - you'll have a set of two on one side and a set of two on the other. 
Step 2: Wind your yarn around one of the set of arms. Wind evenly, back and forth, until the yarn is even with the straight part of the arms.
Step 3: Close the first set of arms and move your yarn to the other set of arms. Repeat the winding until that side is full too. 
  
Step 4: Close the second set of arms and you're ready to cut! Cut along each half of the pom pom maker so your cutting down the centre of the arms and all the way around in a circle. 
    
Step 5: Cut a pice of yarn around 20cm long. Wrap that piece of yarn around the pom pom maker in the space you just cut around. Wrap twice, the pull tightly and tie a knot.
    
Step 6: Pull the arms open and remove your pom pom! Give it a little trim if there are any long bits. Grab the ends of the yarn you used to tie your pom pom together and use your darning needle to secure the pom pom to the top of your beanie. 

AND YOU ARE DONE! Now rock that beanie in style ✌️ 

We'd LOVE to see how you go! Share your masterpiece with us by tagging @cardigang_knits on Instagram or by sending us an email at hello@cardigang.com.au 

Until next time! 💕🧶

Morgan & Cat xx