Lots ‘o cowls


This skein of Knit Collage “Pixie Dust” was a Christmas gift. I love the colors but have no experience knitting with this type of yarn. Thirty-five yards, 97 percent wool, 2 percent mohair, and I’m thinking that sparkle is the 1 percent “other.” So, clearly this needed to be something very simple to just let those yarn blobs pixie away.



I very much like to wear close-fitting cowls. They are the no-nonsense coziest. So, all I did was cast on 28 stitches on size 19 needles, in the round. Yep, I own a pair of size 19 circulars with fairly short cables. No one will mistake this for “off the rack!” I like the pebble look of this.

The consistent theme for my recently knit cowls has been close-fitting. This is the Augustine Cowl, a free Classic Elite pattern by Susan Mills.


Here’s a better view that shows the construction more clearly, despite my use of this difficult-to-photograph black shade of Berroco Flicker.


Laying flat, my Augustine Cowl somewhat resembles a lampshade. But it’s actually a nice-fitting, well-behaved cowl. The slight bit of easy open work at the top folds back gracefully at the neck. The flared-out bottom fits nicely over the shoulders. Flicker is a chainette yarn, in 87% baby alpaca, 8% acrylic, with the remaining being the sparkly bits.  It is unbelievably soft, with absolutely no scratchiness from the tinsel-like filaments.

The next two cowls are both knit in Dream in Color Classy with Cashmere, a 20% cashmere, 70% merino, 10% nylon concoction. It’s a very soft worsted weight. I liked everything about working with it, except that this Amethyst Ink colorway inked my hands and everything in the vicinity of the work (including rubbery stitch markers) a deep purple. Ick. A Eucalan soak seems to have solved the problem.

This is Purl Soho’s Structured Alpaca Cowl. It is a super-easy free pattern. My only modification was to work eight rather than nine repeats of the pattern. I wasn’t sure I had enough yarn left for the 9th repeat and it seemed to me to be tall enough with eight.


Again, the construction isn’t evident, but check out the Purl Soho link for a look at it in a light-colored yarn. The tab in front is one-by-one rib, knit through the back loop. You cast on stitches to continue working in the round. The front section is stockinette with some interesting decreases at each edge. And the back section continues the same ribbing as worked in the tab. This one is going to be great for chilly mornings in the kayak.

Here’s the same Dream in Color, knit in an easy meandering cable. It’s Angela Hahn’s Serpentine Cowl. The pattern is included in the Craft Tree Collection, “Easy Knitted Accessories,” and was also published in Interweave Knits 2011 Accessories magazine. Again, what I most like is the way the cowl hugs the neck and lays nicely on the shoulders.


More than 1500 Ravelers and many members of my Black Sheep Knitting Guild, have knit Kirsten Kapur’s Chickadee. It’s an easy linen stitch cowl. The pattern’s available free on Ravelry. Mine is knit in Mirasol Maylla, a next-to-the-skin soft yarn of 45% alpaca, 40% wool, 15% bamboo.


False Creek is an interesting quick-knit, worked up here in Cascade Lana Grande on Size 15 needles. The design is by tincanknits’ Emily Wessel and is available as a single pattern or as part of the Pacific Knits ebook.


There’s a lot of “give” in those size 15 stitches. In a pinch, this cowl can do double duty as a head-hugger.


If you’re wondering, those are JUL Designs “pedestal” leather buttons. They screw in place with that center brad.

This next cowl is a return to the close-fitting style: tincanknits’ Alexa Ludeman’s Lions Gate. Like False Creek, the pattern can be purchased individually or as part of the Pacific Knits collection.


I knit the 96-stitch version, shown here in Cascade Yarns’ Alpaca Lana D’Oro.




Yep. He’s a, or she’s a…probably a…maybe a dragon?  Maybe a dinosaur?


This is Joris, a pattern by the Dutch designer, Annita Wilschut. Most of her patterns, and certainly the ones knitters have knit most often, are stuffies of one sort or another. Bears, sheep, the monkey Jacobus, fox, dog, cat, mice. If I could clone myself, I’d knit them all. They are that cute.

Here’s Joris from behind, showing off his head spikes:


Here he is not quite ready for prime time.

joris_unstuffedHonestly, his feet and hands are a fiddly pain to knit. But by then the knitter is so absorbed in how the project is unfolding, fiddly is tolerable.

I knit my Joris in Quaere Fibre‘s sportweight, self-striping, washable merino in the colorway “The Usual Suspects.” I’ve not worked with Quaere Fibre before this project. The colors are deep and saturated. The dyeing was precise. The dye was set and did not bleed out. And there was not a single knot to contend with. A perfect yarn for this cool project.


Ice out? Not yet!


This is Hillman’s Long Lake on the afternoon of April 19, 2014. Nothing you’re looking at is water (though there is about 10 feet of water rimming the lake, at least on the east side). The ice is thin enough that you can see the color changes in the water underneath. And the drop-offs are clearly visible, at least in the beautiful sunshine of this Saturday before Easter.

Last year on this date, we’d been in kayaks for a few weeks already!

The finches are turning in their drab feathers for their nifty yellow ones. The squirrels are running around the lawn in pairs. Deer are browsing in the yard. They seem to be munching on leftovers from the fall acorn crop. A mother fox ran across County Road 459 just beyond Lake Road. She had a kit in her mouth and headed into a culvert pipe. We watch a huge kettle of about 20 turkey vultures stirring things up above Horseshoe Lake. An adolescent bald eagle, distinctive despite the lack of adult plumage, cruised along the west shore headed toward the Narrows. He circled back and landed on the ice, hopping about for a bit in that eagle-typical wide stance.

So, finally, Spring is here–just a month or so late.

Hippity hop hop


All together, now. “Awwhhhh.” This is “Colleen’s Rabbits,” well one of them, from Patricia Ann Ford’s pattern booklet, copyright 1994. I knit bunny around 1995 or thereabouts.

Nieces! Nieces are you reading this? You two twenty-somethings? Your dad found bunny at his house. He says she’s missing a few of her carrots. After all this time she must have gotten powerfully hungry. But I think that’s one stuffed in her left pocket.

My brother found bunny and sent me this photo. How sweet is that? Brothers are the best!

Click here to see six more of my knitted bunnies, including another version of this cutie. Is it a tad strange to have been knitting so long that I’ve knit an entire warren of bunnies?

More Knubbelchen

girl_knubbelchenForgive me. Yes, it’s yet a knuther Knubbelchen. This time a girl. The boy was moping around as if looking for a friend.

Knubbel_pairHe’s falling-down happy to have a companion. In fact, I already spotted them holding hands.


Knubbelchen is a great free pattern from Ravelry’s Pezzi888, available in German, Dutch, Danish and English.