Sunday, January 29, 2012

Peter Pan Collars

hmmmm, that looks like a V-neck to me, but what the hell do I know.

As a long time thrifter and lover of mod-fashion many was the day I would while away the hours on ebay using the search term "peter pan collar" in vain hopes of finding a sixties gem.

These days, the Peter Pan collar is back baby, and you can find them all over the place. Which I suppose is good news for those of that like to buy cheap dresses on Modcloth! (though part of my New Year's resolution was no more online clothing shopping--the duty and shipping fees to Canada were killing me)

So with that in mind I decided to spruce up a few collar-less items in my own closet. I hunted around on Ravelry but couldn't really find a pattern that fit the bill so I improvised this wee design in garter stitch. Within a couple of days I had cranked out a few of them in different sizes so I thought I'd post this "recipe" for you too in case you wanted one of your own.

There is nothing fancy here--you basically just wear it like a necklace (or a BIB!). The yarns I've used are heavy enough to keep it from sliding around, but you could always secure it a bit better to your top to keep it from moving at all.

This would be so cute in a super-fuzzy angora!

I hate it when patterns "over-explain" things, but that is exactly what I am about to do here!

Peter Pan Collar

needles: 4.5mm (U.S #7)
yarn: Aran or Worsted weight ---yarns pictured here: Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk (pink), Lang Silk Dream (taupe) and the cream one is Misti Alpaca Worsted. As far as yardage goes, I have no idea, it was all scrap yarn from the stash--definitely less than half to a quarter of a ball of anything.
gauge...not so important. You can petty much make these any size you want, just use a needle size that is appropriate for your yarn. You can adjust the size up and down based on how many stitches you cast on and the length you knit your straps.

N.B: I've knit these in garter stitch, but seed stitch would be nice as well. Basically anything that is the same front/back will lay flat and keep the edges from curling. Stockinette stitch would look fab, but you would definitely need to block it to keep it laying flat. Slipping the first stitch also makes for a nicer edge, but I haven't done that in any of the collars pictured here.

(lapels --you will make 2)
CO 12 sts
Row 1: Knit
Row 2: K1, M1, K to end (13 sts)
Rows 3-11: Repeat row 2 until you have 22 sts
Rows 12-20: Knit

Cut yarn. Leave these stitches live. It is up to you if you want to take them off and place them on a stitch holder or some waste yarn. I just left mine on my needles and pushed them out of the way (I knit on circulars) before knitting the second one. Just make sure when you have to line up your two lapels again for joining that they are both facing the same way.

CO 12 sts again and repeat rows 1-20, but don't cut your yarn this time. You will then have two of these "lapels". Line them up side by side on your needles.

Knit all the way across joining your lapels together as you go.
Next Row: Knit
Next row: K8, BO 32 center sts, K8

You will now work the straps separately.

(right strap)
Next row: Knit
Next row: K1, SL1, K1, PSSO, K to end (You are decreasing 1 stitch at the neck edge on alternate rows)
Repeat these last two rows until 4 sts remain.

Knit 13 rows
Next row: (make button hole) K1, BO 1 st, K2
Next row: K2, CO 1 st, K1
Next row: Knit
BO all sts

Now, I should probably say here that you don't have to put in a button hole if you don't want could leave both straps flat and attach with velcro, or slide in a ribbon so you can tie a pretty bow at the back of your neck, whatever works for you.

ALSO, I have knit my straps quite short because I wanted my collar tight to my neck to wear with high-neck shirts. If you have a specific top or dress you want to wear this with try it on for length to see where the collar will fall, and knit your length accordingly. If you knit it short like mine you may find yourself with a big gap of skin showing before your top starts!

(left strap)
Re-join yarn at the neck edge
Knit 2 rows
Begin neck decreases as per right strap until 4 sts remain
Knit to desired length and bind off (no button hole this side)

Weave in ends, lightly block if desired (all of the collars pictured here are not blocked)
Sew on your button, wear with girlie pride.

Some ideas for yarn modification...

As I said you can pretty much knit this in any size---for example, using a bulky yarn you might want to CO 8 sts instead of 12. You would then do your row 2 increase until you had 18 sts instead of 22. The rest of the pattern would pretty much stay the same, but you would have to adjust the width of your straps accordingly and the number of center stitches you would be binding off. Same goes for a smaller/finer gauge yarn with more stitches being cast on. You would bind off more center stitches and have more stitches in the width of your straps (which would also mean more decreases at the neck edge until you got the strap how you wanted it.

I'll see if I can set up a pattern page for this right on Ravelry--would love to see if anyone else knits this!

xo Cara


Anonymous said...

Really neat idea! I love the look of the mod fashion but I don't have the money to beef up my wardrobe. Yarn seems like the perfect fix

Julia said...

Nice! You sure know how to rock those collars! I'm never sure if I look cool and mod or like an old lady dressing like a little girl. Me thinks I may need to try them out again...

Meg said...

this is so cute! I can't wait to make one.

Jeanne said...

I kinda really want to make one of these! I'll have to go look at my stash to see what would work.

kgirlknits said...

super cute! angora would also be awesome, true

yodafatkitty said...

I love this as well. How cute for a little one??
Oh, the possibilities.

Anonymous said...

Cute! Also, have you seen this?

I used to hate the peter pan collared shirt my mum made me wear when I was 8, but I like to think I've developed an appreciation for them now :)

Yarny Days said...

How cute and how adorable! I want to make a zillion of those in multiple colors and wear them right away!

Becca said...

This is ace!! Next on my knit list! :) x

Sophie said...

I've reached the point where I need to bind off the stitches in the middle, but you say to knit 8, bind off 32 and then knit 8. However, this adds up to 48 stitches, whereas following the pattern up to this point results in 44, or 22 on each lapel. Should I k6, bo 32, k6 or k8, bo 28, k8?

Reckless Glue said...

Hi Sophie,

sometimes bind-offs can be confusing because there is always sort of an "extra" stitch in a way. I mean really in order to have 8 stitches on one end, you will knit 9 and then that 9th stitch becomes the one that is pulled over the following stitch. In this case as long as you have 8 on each end, just bind off whatever's in the center. You can have six on each end if you like as well, just means you will have a more narrow strap, and will have to adjust accordingly.

eta-carinae said...

love it!

Rachel said...

Soo cute!! Can't wait to try it :) I kind of just started knitting but it seems like I can do most of those things so I'm gonna try - but Q - if I use 7 mm needles - should I just half everything? Like instead of starting with 12, CO 6 and then end with 11 (instead of 22)?

Reckless Glue said...

hmmm, you're using 7mm needles and bulky yarn? I guess it just depends how big you want the collar to turn out. You could probably cast on a few less stitches but cutting it in half would probably be too much...

biznobbi said...

love this! I was preparing to try sewing some on existing sweaters...but this idea is better. A quick and awesome idea thanks again

Anonymous said...

Check great collars here!!!

Anonymous said...

Check great collars here!!!

Christina said...

How lovely!! I've been searching for such a tutorial for weeks and you're the only one that has it so nicely done! I made a Word file out of it so that I can print it and have ti by me while I knit! I want to make it more loose on the neck and I'm using #5 needles so I'll just measure and see how many stitches I'm gonna cast on.. Thanks!

Tony said...

I have a quick question. I've reached the strap portion, but I notice that the second row reads k1, sl1, psso, however, there is no stitch to pass the slip stitch over. Am I reading it wrong, or is it supposed to be k1, sl1, k1, psso?

Also, I'm knitting this in seed stitch, and this is definitely not just a "wear it with girlie pride" project. I'm a guy and I can't wait to wear this when it's done. So cute!

Reckless Glue said...

yes, slipped stitches usually get passed over the next stitch you knit... I'll update the type-o.

Anonymous said...

Thank You for this simple yet stunning pattern. Just what I've been searching for! I worked one up today in grey wool and absolutely LOVE it!