Wayfarer Ruana

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When I began drafting this post over a year ago, it was to take notes on my first attempt at some of the beautiful and colorful knit ruanas I had seen floating around online. Unfortunately for me, that first attempt (which took over a year for me to finish!) just didn’t turn out. It happens. The final product was pretty, but just too big to conceivably wear, even after several attempts at damage control. It makes an incredible blanket, however.ย  And since the point was to use up small scraps of leftover yarn, it was indeed effective.

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And yet somehow that bag of scrap yarn remained full for the entirety of the two years I’ve been developing this ๐Ÿ˜›

Maybe it wasn’t so unfortunate. After all, I had an incentive to try to do it again, and this time I had a few additional touches I was excited about trying. So, I started the NEXT one. Good thing too, because if there is one thing I love to have around, it’s a big colorful knitting project that requires zero brainpower.

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My favorite projects do tend to involve recycling and reusing stuff, and this thing has supreme scrapbusting capabilities. Especially on the two skinnier front panels, you can really use up fairly small lengths of leftover yarn with ease, because you don’t have to weave in those ends! At least, not as many ends as you’d think, as long as you change yarns at the end of the row. I mostly hit the mark on this, usually with just a yard or two to spare on whatever tiny yarn ball I was using. Occasionally I gambled on a small length and lost, and had to change mid-row.

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Since the yarn ends on the outside edges of the ruana are left knotted and then blended in with the added fringe, you save a ton of time doing that much-maligned finishing work. But you still have to weave in the ends for the grannies ๐Ÿ˜›

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I hope you enjoy the free tutorial I whipped up for this project – it’s more of a guide than a pattern, since the dimensions/materials/yardages are left somewhat variable and a lot of it is open for (and it fact demands) personal interpretation and creativity! Of course, if you have any questions about how I did mine, don’t hesitate to ask ๐Ÿ™‚ And, if you like it, throw me a favorite on the Ravelry project page.

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Oh, and this thing is COZY. Basically this wrap cocoons you in soothing waves of color and texture and mind-melds you with the universe. Basically.

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Wayfarer Ruana

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Final dimensions: Roughly 65″ x 65″ when laid flat.

Materials:

Part 1 (Knit):

8 mm (US size 11) knitting needles (24″ circular and 40″ circular)
A whole buncha yarn – I used mostly #4 and #5 weight from leftovers. If you’ve got thinner yarn you want to use up, remember you can always double it up with another strand! I used 4 skeins of a silver bulky weight (I Love This Chunky from Hobby Lobby) as my “base” yarn, using a little in the main body and 3 skeins for the trims and collar.

Part 2 (Crochet):
4.50 mm crochet hook
DK weight yarn – I used a variety of colors (20 skeins) from Drops Lima, a wool/alpaca blend, and had plenty left over.

Tapestry Needle
Scissors

Techniques:

Part 1 (Knit):
Cast on (CO)
K (knit)
P (purl)
Stretchy bind off (tutorial video here)
Standard bind off
Picking up stitches from the edge of the row (tutorial video here)
Not absolutely necessary but I found to beย extremely helpful: this tutorial on speed knitting by RJ Knits.

Part 2 (Crochet):
Magic Ring (MR)
Double crochet (dc)
Chain (ch)
Slip stitch (sl st)
Granny square join-as-you-go (great tutorial here)

Part 1 Instructions: The Main Body

Using spare balls of scrap yarn / orphan skeins / leftover yarns

1.CO 50 sts to the 24″ circular knitting needles
2. Turn, K every stitch across
3. Rpt Step 2, changing yarn at the end of the row whenever you think you don’t have enough for another full row (or whenever you feel like it). Tie the old yarn tail and the new yarn tail into a knot. Work until you have 130 rows. Transfer your piece to a stitch holder – this completes the first front panel, one of the two skinny halves of the front.

4. For the second front panel, repeat Steps 1-3 until you have another full 50 st x 130 row piece.

5. Switch to your 40″ circulars and knit your first rectangle onto the new circulars. Cast on 10 extra stitches, then knit your second rectangle on. You now have both of your front panels, plus 10 new stitches in between for the collar, on the 40″ circular needles.

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Close-up of the collar area

6. Turn, knit every stitch across, continuing to change & knot yarn as before. Work 130 total rows.

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5. Bind off. My favorite is the stretchy bind-off, directions for which are in this great video from Knitting with Cheryl Brunette.

Trim:

1. Using the the 40″ circular, pick up sts along the edge of the piece – I used myย  bulky “base” yarn and got about 180 stitches (1 stitch per 2 rows). Here’s a great videoย from the indomitable Purl Soho on picking up stitches from the side of garter stitch rows.

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Picking up stitches from the side of the rows, front side

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Picking up stitches from the side of the rows – view from the back. Notice the ridge formed by the side of the rows on this side – this is where we will attach the extra fringe later.

2. K for 10 rows. Bind off using the standard method – to make the Part 2 joining easier, I would not recommend stretchy bind-off here.

3. Repeat trim on the other side, making sure that you work the second edge with the same side facing, positioning all ends to the back of your work (so that the fringe will be all on the same side).

Collar:

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1.ย  With 40″ circular needles, pick up stitches on the side of the rows beginning on the inside of the front panel up to the collar, then around and down the inside of the of the opposite panel (remember only 1 stitch per 2 rows)

From this row of picked up stitches we’ll work a 4×4 rib. If you are picky about not ending up with partial ribs, you could go to the trouble to make sure the amount of stitches you pick up is divisible by four, but I didn’t – and was divisible by four anyway! Lucky me.

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2. For the 4 x 4 rib, *K 4, P 4* across the entire row. Work 8 total rows in the rib by knitting the knit stitches and purling the purl stitches in every row. Cut yarn and tie off. Weave in any ends from the main body left on this inside edge.

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PART 2 Instructions: Granny Square Trim

4.50 mm crochet hook
Assorted DK weight yarns
Gauge: 1 square = 6″

Next we’ll make TWO separate strips of 11 granny squares (about 6 inches in length each). You can definitely use scrap yarn here too, but I used a set of colors from Drops Lima yarn for a more uniform appearance.

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To begin the granny square, make a magic ring.

Round 1: Ch 3 (counts as first dc), 2 dc into the ring, ch 3. (3 dc into the ring, ch 3) 3 times. Join with a sl st to the first dc of the round. Cut yarn and tie off.

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Rnd 2: Join new yarn to any ch-3 space. Ch 3 (counts as first dc), 2 dc in the same sp, ch 3. 3 dc in the same space, ch 1. (3 dc in the next ch-3 space, ch 3, 3 dc in the same sp, ch 1) 3 times. Join with a sl st to the first dc of the round. Cut yarn and tie off.

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Rnd 3: Join new yarn in any ch-3 space. Ch 3 (counts as first dc) 2 dc in the same sp, Ch 3, 3 dc in the same space, ch 1. 3 dc in the next ch-1 space, ch 1. (3 dc in the next ch-3 space, ch 3, 3 dc in the same space, ch 1. 3 dc in the next ch-1 space, ch 1) 3 times. Join with a sl st to the first dc of the round.. Cut yarn and tie off.

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Round 4: Join new yarn in any ch-3 space. Ch 3 (counts as first dc), 2 dc in the same space, ch 3. 3 dc in the same space, ch 1. (3 dc in the next ch-1 space, ch 1) twice. [3 dc in the next ch-3 space, ch 3, 3 dc in the same space, ch 1. (3 dc in the next ch-1 space, ch 1) twice] 3 times. Join with a slip stitch to the first dc of the round. Do not cut yarn.

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Rnd 5:

If this is your first square for the strip, work as normal. If this is not your first square, connect ONE of the sides to the previous square on the strip by beginning with any chain-3 corner and ending with the next, using this join-as-you-go methodย from Attic 24. If you prefer, you could also make all squares individually and seam them later ๐Ÿ™‚

Sl st in the next 2 dc and in the next ch st so your hook is positioned to begin the next round at the ch-3 corner. Ch 3 (counts as first dc)ย 2 dc in the same space, ch 3. 3 dc in the same space, ch 1. (3 dc in the next ch-1 space, ch 1) 3 times. [3 dc in the next ch-3 space, ch 3, 3 dc in the same space, ch 1. (3 dc in the next ch-1 space, ch 1) 3 times] Repeat [bracketed] instructions 3 times total. Join with a sl st to the first dc of the round. Cut yarn and tie off.

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Joining Seam

Once you have your 2 strips of grannies, check to see if they are roughly the length of the sides of the ruana by laying the strip against the edge of the trim. Ballpark is fine here, you just want to make sure neither piece is overly stretched or scrunched to match. You may end up needing one more or less granny, depending on your gauge and yarn choices.

Weave in all your ends and block if desired. Lay out the main body of the ruana and settle your granny strip up against the trim, the RS of the granny facing the same side as your ridge (where the fringe will be). Thread a tapestry needle with some spare DK weight yarn and use a simple whip stitch to attach the granny squares to the trim of the ruana all the way down across. Repeat on the other side.

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Clean up any ends remaining from your joining seam.

Fringe:

Using a 6″ piece of cardboard, book, or other object to wrap yarn around, cut a bunch of lengths of yarn for your fringe. Fold each length in half, then loop through the ridges made from picking up the stitches along the edge of the main body.

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Catch the leftover ends of knotted yarn in your fringe as you go, repeating across the edges on either side of the ruana. Once you have finished, cut the fringe down to just a little longer than the garter edge trim (you don’t want it covering your pretty grannies too much).

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Hunt down any stray ends that may need weaving in, then sink into the cozy rainbow bliss.

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Kudos to model Daisey Denson for keeping that hat on her head like a champ despite the very GUSTY winds coming off the lake!

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-MF

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Hedge Witch Ruana Coat

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I find that when making things in different colors, my ideas and feelings on the design often change slightly or even ย sometimes completely transform.

Such was the case with this project, a variation on my pattern for the Woodsman’s Wife Ruana. I was excited to make the pattern with the Herb Garden colorway because I love the woodsy tones, but when I was finished I felt that it needed a bit more. Here’s my notes on how I modified this piece to make a robe-style sweater coat!

The original pattern can be found in my Ravelry store or my Etsy Shopย for 5.50 USD. Hope you like!

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Hedge Witch Ruana Mod

(You will need one more skein than what the pattern calls for to make this mod)

The following are the shorthand instructions for seaming up the sides of the Woodsman’s Wife Ruana to close it into a coat. After seaming, a few simple rows are added around the holes left open at the top to make shortish 3/4 sleeves – because who needs long sleeves trailing around and getting in your potions?

For this coat, I followed the main pattern instructions all the way through without deviation. After I was finished with the main pattern, I aligned the front and back so that they were even, then counted 16 stitches down the side from the top of the fold (on the hooded end)

On the 17th stitch, insert hook through BOTH layers of stitching (the front and the back) and attach a new yarn. Flip the garment inside out (so the seam is on the inside of the garment) Slip Stitch loosely 20 stitches down the side through both layers of the coat toward the bottom – you should still have some of the bottom sides left unseamed. Cut yarn and tie off, then repeat on the other side.

For the sleeves, attach new yarn at the 16th stitch from the top fold (working only one layer, RS facing) and work the following sequence around the 32-stitch edge “hole” left open before the seam:
1: (4 sc, 4 hdc, 4 dc, 8 tr, 4 dc, 4 hdc, 4 sc) join with a sl st to the first sc.
2: Rpt 1
3: Ch 2, dc in each stitch around.
4: Rpt 3.

Cut yarn and tie off, repeat for the opposite sleeve.

Next time I will work the side seam from the bottom up so that I can end at the place the sleeve begins and work continuously from there – fewer ends to weave in!

I thought this ruana was cuddly in it’s original form, butย damn! This ruana coat style is basically a portable hug from the most comforting person in the world (possibly David Attenborough).

-MF

Woodsman’s Wife Ruana Pattern

Oh man! Another new pattern from me this month! And I’m totally in love with it. Soft, squishy, chunky Lion Brand Homespun Thick & Quick and a “P” hook makes this project doable in one cozy autumn weekend…

Snag it for 5.50 USD in my Etsy Shop, or on Ravelry.

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The ruana is a traditional style of wrap worn by many cultures including the Celts and the native peoples of the Andes. It consists of one large rectangle with a slit in the front half that allows the wearer to wrap or belt it in a number of different ways. This crocheted version includes a hood as well!

This cuddly ruana feels like a pumpkin spice latte with maple bacon sprinkles, only for your shoulders. The main body is worked flat in one whole piece, while the hood is worked separately in one piece and then seamed together. Made with a super bulky yarn and a โ€œPโ€ hook, this wrap can be finished in one rainy fall weekend (with a hot drink by your side, of course.) Wear it belted, over-the-shoulder, or add buttons or ties for a less open style!

The pattern for this versatile, convertible wrap includes alternate sizing instructions and construction charts, as well as two photo-tutorials for the post stitch and the double chain technique. The Woodsman’s Wife Ruana is a great Easy level pattern for crocheters ready to move on from hats and scarves and includes all the instructions you need to make this fashionable fantasy piece for autumn!

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I just barely managed to squeeze in my homework amidst all the pattern editing. Priorities.

EDIT!:ย  I’ve made a wider version of this pattern with Lion Brand Heartland Thick and Quick and included the notes on how to make it on my Ravelry project page ๐Ÿ™‚

-MF