Part One: Holiday Cabled Wreath

After about a week of tweaking and trying to make sure I give good (or at least reasonably clear) instructions, I’m happy to post Part One of the The Holiday Cabled Wreath.

The Holiday Cabled Wreath is a great and relatively quick knitting project. I think I spent a total of about twelve hours knitting both the cabled piece and the poinsettia leaves and maybe  two hours sewing and putting the project together. Enjoy!

Holiday Cabled Wreath

Holiday Cabled Wreath

First thing’s first, here’s your shopping list for the project:

  • Wreath frame (I used a 16″ Floracraft frame)
  • 200 yards of yarn for a 16″ wreath. I used Lion Brand Woolease in Fisherman.
  • US 8 needles
  • Locking stitch markers or safety pins
  • Cable needle
  • Yarn needle
  • Scissors

If you plan to do the poinsettia, you’ll also need:

  • 75 yards of red (or yellow/white – whatever color poinsettia leaves you’d like). I used Woolease in Cranberry.
  • 30 yards of green for the contrasting leaves. I used Woolease in Forest Heather.
  • 1 yard of yellow (not pictured – I used some scrap red heart super saver).
The yarn and wreath frame.

The yarn and wreath frame.

The first thing I did when starting this project was to knit a swatch. I was worried about having enough of the fisherman woolease, so I used the green. The swatch was actually slightly too large so I reduced some of the stitches to cast-on for the actual wreath.

Swatch

Swatch

My frame is a 16″ Floracraft wreath that has an 8″ circumference. My knitted piece to cover the wreath frame is 8″ stretched out, but really just about 6″ wide laying flat. The green swatch above was closer to that 8″ mark and it was just too loose around the frame. It’s important to knit a piece that is going to have to stretch and fit tightly around your frame so it doesn’t shift around the frame. This is also one of those fun times you get to use geometry in knitting. Knowing that my wreath frame has a 16″ diameter, I used my old friend pi to calculate the circumference. The circumference of my wreath is 50.25″ but the fabric is going to be stretched really tightly around the wreath so I knit 2″ longer than the circumference.

Laid flat, my knitted piece was 6″ x 52″. I highly recommend doing a swatch to make sure your knitted piece will wrap tightly around the wreath frame.

Although I think you could use almost any pattern to make a gorgeous wreath cover to wrap around your frame, here’s the pattern I used:

Stitch Explanations:

  • LT: Left twist: slip next stitch off needle, hold to front. Knit the next stitch. Knit the held stitch
  • 6 st LC:  6 Stitch Left Cable:

Pattern:

  • CO 26 stitches
  • Begin six row repeat:
    • Rows 1, 3, 5: (WS): p6, k1, p2, k1, p6, k1, p2, k1, p6
    • Rows 2, 4 (RS): k6, p1, LT, p1, k6, p1, LT, p1, k6
    • Row 6 (RS): k6, p1, LT, p1, 6 st LC, p1, LT, p1, k6
  • Knit to desired length ending with RS row 4. Wrap it around the frame before binding off to make sure you’ve got an inch or two longer than the frame itself.
  • BO of on the wrong side, knitwise
The finished wreath frame cover

The finished wreath frame cover

After I finished knitting the cabled piece, I bound it off and gathered all the locking stitch markers I had as well as some safety pins (just in case I didn’t have enough locking stitch markers). I ended up not needing safety pins but, if you don’t have locking stitch markers, safety pins will work just as well. I really recommend you don’t try to sew your knitting around the frame without pinning it in place ahead of time.

Wrapping the knitted piece around the frame is probably the trickiest part of the project. It’s really important to make sure you’re pinning the project so that as you sew, the two sides come together neatly and the front of your wreath doesn’t pull funny.

Start at one end and use the stitch markers to hold the material together as you go.

Start with one end of the fabric and use a locking stitch marker to pull the fabric around the frame securely. I put my stitch markers every 3″.  You can see how the fabric really stretched to reach around the frame.

The knitted piece once wrapped around the entire frame is pulled taut.

The knitted piece wrapped around the entire frame is pulled taut.

From the front, you can see the big cable is centered. The great thing about knitted fabric is that it’s flexible and you can pull it however you want. Once I had wrapped the knitting around the frame, it was already tight and not shifting around much at all (my biggest concern was if I knit the piece to big, it would shift around and I’d end up with a drunken cable – in which case I would have had to name this the over-eggnogged wreath).

Once you’ve got the fabric pinned, seam the fabric together using a mattress stitch.

The mattress stitch in progress.

The mattress stitch in progress.

I went ahead and did seam the two ends of the knitted piece together after I’d finished sewing up the back. Even though I sewed as neatly as possible, you could still see the seam so that also happens to be the place I attached the poinsettia.

Next up will be Part two of the Holiday Cabled Wreath project: Knitting the poinsettia.

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