Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine Mosaic Coffee Cup Sleeve - free pattern

Happy Valentine's Day - here's my valentine to you - a felted coffee cup sleeve that you can use over and over again.



I made some coffee cup cozy/sleeves when I first came back to knitting and was learning to knit in the round using the magic loop method.  Must have been about 4 years ago. I keep them in my purse, briefcase, coat pocket, wherever.  The felted ones have held up remarkably well.  The otherwise just knit ones, not so much.  So I've decided that felting these sleeves is the way to go.

This design in this sleeve is again made with slipped stitches, using the following 12 stitch repeat mosaic chart.

 Mosaic charts work a little differently than other color work charts - first of all, each row of the chart represents 2 rows of knitting with the same color yarn. Because the cozy is knit in the round, knitting each round will create stockinette fabric.  So just read each row of the chart from right to left, and knit each row of the chart for two rounds. The first square of each row shows when to use main color (pink) or contrast color (white). When knitting a round with main color, knit the stitch represented by the pink squares and slip the stitch represented by the white squares purlwise with yarn in back. When knitting a round with the contrast color, knit the stitch represented by the white square and slip the stitch represented by the pink square purlwise with the yarn in back. There is no need to cut the yarn between rounds of MC and CC. Just carry the MC and CC yarns up the back of the work.

I've had a couple of questions about slipping the stitch purlwise.  This means that instead of knitting the stitch, you just insert the right needle tip into the front leg of stitch on the left needle from back to front (as if you were going to purl that stitch), but don't wrap the yarn around the right needle tip.  Just move that stitch from the left needle to the right needle without working it.  Easy Peasy. - why purlwise, so the stitch orientation stays the same on the needle- no twists.

Felted Mosaic Heart Coffee Cup Sleeve Directions ( a downloadable version of the pattern is available on the right side of the blog in the Complimentary Patterns Section).

Materials:
  • ~20 yds of feltable, worsted weight yarn each in two contrasting colors.  
  • needles 2 sizes larger that what you typically knit worsted weight with.  I used US size 8s - 32" circulars in the magic loop method.  Use whatever method you are comfortable with knitting in the round (double points, magic loop, or two circs).
  • Stitch Marker 
With contrast color yarn, cast on 60 stitches and join to work in the round, being careful not to twist. place a marker to makr the beginning of the round.  Slip this marker from the left needle to the right needle everytime you come to it.
Knit 5 rounds in contrast color.
Join main color and begin knitting round 1 from Mosaic Heart Chart - repeat chart 5 times to complete round (see chart reading notes above.
Work 22 rounds of the chart.
Knit 5 round in contrast color.
Bind off in contrast color.  Cut both yarns leaving a 6-8" tail and weave in ends.

Felt the cozy using your favorite method - I like to felt anything this small by hand using a small amount of water.  I put the item in a 2 cup Pyrex bowl, add enough water to cover and a squirt of dish washing soap, and microwave for about 1 minute.  I let the item soak in the hot water for about 30 minutes.  Then I mike it again for another minute and then I start felting it by rubbing it in my hands.  Note-  the item will be very hot when it comes out of the microwave, so I use tongs to take it out of the water and place it in the sink to cool a bit.  I use rubber gloves to increase the amount of friction.

I slip the sleeve on a cup, check the fit, and let it dry.  If it's a little large, just felt it some more.  A little snug, just stretch it to fit.
 
I've heard that if you show your sleeve at Starbucks before ordering, you get 10 cents off.  Well, there's even more to love about this little sleeve.

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