Winter’s last gasps

This is Aimie Alexander’s Antonia’s Scarf. In her Polka Dot Sheep Stumptown DK it looks very refined and totally sweet. Check it out here. In my version, knit in Noro Yuzon, it lost its sweet. It turned out definitely more savory. Yuzon is a 56% wool, 34% silk,10% mohair DK. And where that mohair is hidden, I surely don’t know. My version of Antonia’s Scarf is not next-to-skin soft, but I love the color-changing quality of this yarn. Softness can be overrated. I plan to recommend that the wearer keep it on the outside of her coat.

I cast on 35 stitches instead of 29. Without stretching at all, and with a light steaming, mine is 65 inches long. This thing grows on the needles faster than bamboo. The elongated stitch does wonders for the time it takes to knit a scarf.

Here’s another look.

Spring is finally arriving here in Michigan. We’ve got buds on the trees to prove it, though nighttime temps are in the mid-30’s. But I’m still working my way through a nice wintry mix of knitting.

Here’s a pair of Paved boot cuffs, by TinCanKnits.

I even polished my boots to show them off. Actually, I didn’t. These boots hurt my feet so I don’t wear them. They make a nice photo prop for showing off, well, boot cuffs. My cuffs are knit in Brown Sheep Nature Spun worsted.

Over the years I’ve had great success with TinCanKnit patterns. They are well-tested– before, not after– we knitters buy the pattern. The patterns are usually straightforward enough for newer knitters, but with interesting design features to keep more experienced knitters interested too.

I have never worn boot cuffs. To me, they seem an odd accessory. I gave this pair away. But maybe someday I’ll make a pair for me and see if I take a shine to them.

This next knit is Battlements by Karalee Harding. She describes it as a “slightly asymmetrical, virtually reversible, and completely cozy” unisex cowl in a texture combination “reminiscent of the notched parapet of a castle wall.”

I see the slight assymetry. The reversibility is very nice. And knit up in Blue Sky Extra, a 55% Alpaca, 45% merino Aran weight, it definitely is completely cozy. I knit the shorter version. In the longer version, you knit enough to make a double loop or a nice long dangle.

Glasshead isn’t exactly seeing the notched parapet. But no matter, because this is one excellent cowl.

Rusted Roof

This is one of my new pretty things: Rusted Roof Shawl, by Martha Wissing. It’s available for purchase here on Ravelry. Rusted Roof, not to be confused with one of the best bands ever, Rusted Root. The recipe for Rusted Root is a blend of rock, acoustic, world, and heavy percussives. The recipe for Rusted Roof is to take two highly contrasting worsted weight colorways and just set to knitting.

I knit mine in Berroco Ultra Alpaca in carrot and eggplant. Sometimes I do think I choose colors mostly to entertain my eyeballs while I knit, but I’ve actually worn this in public and gotten apparently sincere comments that folks like it.

Here’s another view.

The patterning on the edge is mosaic stitch a/k/a slip stitch. It’s super easy. A lot of bang for your knitting buck. I love the way the interior edge can be curled back to fashion a collar.

Well done Martha!

April 3, 2017, just before ice out

This photo was taken on April 3rd. It had been warm. It had been cold. It had snowed only a few days before. It had rained. Near the shore, the first few feet of water was clear of ice. The ice finally stopped its vocalizing. Everywhere else on the lake that we can see, except close to shore, was still covered with ice.

The ice in the shallow water was frothy. Almost snowy looking. And the ice over deeper water was already showing the color of the water underneath.

A few days later. No ice.

Soon Jeff will be out fishing. The kids will be tubing. And we’ll be checking on Ghost Bay and the Narrows keeping our fingers crossed that the beavers didn’t munch too many birch trees this winter.

Dishcloth Diva: Deb Buckingham

Each of these cloths is from Deb Buckingham’s great book: Dishcloth Diva. She’s already released Dishcloth Diva II–but I didn’t find even her first book until Steve gifted it to me this past holiday.

Let’s see, from top yellow diagonally down to the bottom yellow and back up to the tan, it’s Neutrals, Cutting Edge, Organic, Glamour, Contemporary, Stonework, and Linear. Most of my set is knit in Drops Paris (yellow, green, orange). And the tan ones are KnitPIcks Dishie. Both yarns are great dishcloth cotton. Paris has a little more body to it. Dishie is a bit more refined.

These are obviously all very quick knits. You could knit the entire set of seven in a good solid weekend of knitting.

Here’s a closer look at Neutrals, followed by Stonework:

Each of these is generously sized. So is this next one, the tic-tac-toe board that Buckingham calls Contemporary:

Linear is a tad daintier in size:

Linear has great texture for doing whatever you have your cloths do: wiping away stuff in the sink or wiping away stuff in your spa.

Glamour is a fun knit.

I’m not sure I see the Glamour. But…maybe. There is sort of an Art Deco look to this one.

I can definitely see Organic in a spa setting. I knit mine in Dishie, which isn’t an “organically” grown cotton. But you could take the plunge, pay tons more for the yarn, and surprise a friend with organic sensibilities.

And this last one is Cutting Edge.

I don’t block any of my dishcloths. Not even if I gift them. They are, after all, dishcloths. But if you’re more fussy, all of these will square up nicely with just a bit of blocking.

Winding Trail 2 Central Ave

This is a new pattern from Linda Courtney of Knitwise Design: Winding Trail Headband. Courtney writes that “The trail is rarely straight – and neither is this headband!” I knit mine in a long-ago discontinued yarn: Classic Elite Tapestry. It’s a 75% wool, 25% mohair, beefy worsted.

The pattern calls for Malabrigo Merino worsted, but any worsted or Aran weight should work well. Just be sure to keep a sharp eye on the row gauge. Or, if you’re off on the row gauge, adjust the number of pattern repeats. This headband is a one evening project.

Here’s a look, off-head:

The winding trail starts with a provisional cast-on and ends with a three-needle bind-off. A knitter could chose to do garter stitch grafting. I find that a bit of a bear though, and the three-needle bind-off worked well. There’s a tiny extra ridge at the bind-off. Only if wearers suffer from serious cases of “Princess and the Pea Syndrome” will they be able to feel the ridge.

I cast off and soon cast on for a second.

This one is knit in Harrisville Design’s Orchidville Cashmere. It’s a 70% wool, 25% goat mohair, 5% goat cashmere, Aran weight. I’d provide a link but the agedness of my stash strikes again. It’s discontinued too. Orchidville Cashmere, like Tapestry, was a very good yarn.

Here’s another look, off-head:

Headbands are such sensible headgear, since ears are what mostly get cold on many people. And headbands are ponytail-friendly. You can keep one in the pocket of every coat, for the days you didn’t think you’d need a hat.

Recently, while reorganizing my stash, I was reacquainted with two wonderful skeins of worsted. Colorbug and Quaere Fiber:

 

I’d been saving these two beauties for something special. Aimee Alexander’s Central Ave has turned into a bit of an obsession for this knitter so I decided to break out the good stuff. My first two Central Aves (scroll to the end of the post) were very well received by my nieces. So I decided to cast on:

And cast on again:

There are a number of hat patterns, some of them free, that look a lot like this one. But Alexander’s version has a few design sensibilities that I feel the others lack.

And it even has a nicely behaved crown decrease.

I sometimes test knit for Alexander and for Knitwise Design. And I look forward to it every time. Even in the testing stages their patterns are clearly written, without errors.

Knit on!