Knitting along

This is Linda of Knitwise Design’s “Tidal Cove” Scarf. I worked it up in String Theory Merino DK. That very interesting open work is a hoot to knit. And it’s very simply done. The pattern explains it perfectly. Just when a knitter is thinking the garter stitch might need some breaking up, it’s time to knit the “cove.” I even made one of my infrequent trips to a bead shop to find some appropriate dangles.

I’ve knit this once before. (That is going to be a theme in this post). Here it is in Super-Sheep by Holiday Yarns.

Tidal Cove is a quick knit. My first one sold at a charity auction. My new one will likely make it into my holiday gift basket.

Recently Linda ran a leisurely paced Knit-a-long on Ravelry. OK, she ran a KAL. She invited knitters to knit any of her patterns, participate in her group chat, and offered generous prizes of patterns and yarn. It was great fun to return to some of her patterns I’d knit before. Like Winding Trail Headband.

This magenta beauty is knit in one of my favorite long-ago discontinued yarns: Classic Elite’s Tapestry.

This next one, in Pussy Hat color, is knit in the New Zealand Aran-weight, Wool-Pak 10 ply by Merino Sheepskin Company.

I often stutter in my accessory knitting, working two hats or two cowls in the same pattern in two different yarns or two different colors. “Double your pleasure, Double your fun…” that has nothing to do with Doublemint Gum. And if you can picture these two twins while you read and hear that old stupid jingle, instead of the slicker version from the middle 1980’s, well you might be as vintage an age as I am.

Here’s two other Winding Roads I knit in my first round of enjoying this pattern. The yellow gold is Classic Elite Tapestry and the deep rose is Harrisville Design’s discontinued Orchid with Cashmere.

I urge you, urge is a fine old-fashioned word that mouths don’t say much anymore–urge you to try this pattern. You will enjoy it. It’s knit flat and joined with a three-needle bind-off. You could do a provisional cast on and graft the beginning to the end. But why make more work for yourself?

My next Knitwise Design KAL knit was Earbuds. Earbuds are, basically, another headband. Except this one fastens with a button. And it concentrates just on ear-warming.

I had a left-over ball of Valley Yarns Superwash Bulky. This WEBS house brand is good stuff though I’ll grant you this shade of dullish brown isn’t going to win any prizes. It was supposed to go well with a blanket I made and the rest of the blanket shades looked so pretty I couldn’t bear to dull it down with this brown. But ears? Ears just need to be warm and everyone knows that dull colors are much warmer than bright ones.

This knit was a total stutter. I had one 100 gram ball. I was able to knit two sets of earbuds and even have a bit left over.

These aren’t my first earbuds. Here’s a few more. The green multi-color one is handspun (not mine). The two-toned one is a bulky mohair of long-ago discontinued Abedare Yarn. And that lavendery pink is a super-bulky: Cascade Yarns Lana Grande.

And, yes, I know that the middle guy looks a bit puppy-like.Trust me. It works on a head better than on a striped felted ball.

I couldn’t leave the KAL knitting only stuff I’d knit before, so I knit a pair of worsted weight socks in Brown Sheep’s Superwash Lamb’s Pride Worsted. These are “Cam’s Camping Socks.”

They didn’t photograph well. But they are totally cozy and fit Steve well. I’d have gotten a better photograph if it weren’t for the fact that he got cold feet and wore them before I could get a well-lit shot. Linda has used this diamond pattern in her sock pattern, her “Hunting Season Cap,” and in her most recent sweater pattern “Camp Cardigan.” Just looking at the project photos I felt a bit intimidated by the pattern. But it’s a piece ‘o cake.

Thanks, Linda! Great patterns. Great KAL.

Some old stuff

This is “Knitted Silk Reticula” by Liza Prior Lucy. Actually, these are both “Knitted Silk Reticula.” Or possibly Reticulae. The pattern was published in Piecework back in 1993 and I knit it not too many years after publication.

It’s quite rare that I knit something in exactly the yarn called for. I knit this in the Halcyon Gemstone silk the pattern recommended. It’s a laceweight and I used exactly the colors called for: amber, deep amethyst, garnet and jacinth.

You are probably wondering about the glass pieces. My son was young at the time and played “Magic”–the card game. He kept his game pieces in a silk reticule. Wow. I knit the first one for me. When he asked if he could have it for his gaming, of course I said “yes.” And then I knit another for myself. Recently, I found my son’s Magic bag in my mom stash and returned it to him.

I never found a use for mine. But I still cherish it. Here’s a closer look minus the distracting glass globs.

Sometimes we knitters just need to knit something because we want to. We’ll find a use for it later. Or not. But the knitting is still very satisfying.

This next purse was another special project. Not perfectly executed, though again I increased my odds of making it work by using the exact yarns called for. This is “Rose Reticula” by Nicki Epstein. The pattern was in Knitter Magazine, 37, the 1994 winter edition.

The body of this is knit in an elasticized ribbon: Lacet Lastic, by Tiber. Most of the rest of the yarn was Tiber’s Doreale.  Buying the yarn was a definite stretch. My intarsia work was rather clumsy, but I didn’t (and still don’t) know how to embroider. Clumsy or not, my mom loved it. At least she said she did, even though I never saw her use it. I knit it. She lined it. I gave it to her. When she died, I got it back. It was still in the fancy stationary box that I wrapped it in when I gave it to her: the white padded box, with pink roses all over the top.

We’re done with the reticula now. Odd old word. These are both little fancy pouchy purses.

Now, for a few pillows. Pillow covers, actually. And they didn’t turn out to be usable in that form. In this view, it does look a tad pillow-like:

I remember that this was a Sirdar DK yarn. But the rest of its lineage is lost to the antiquities. My gauge was off and I never could find a pillow form to fit. So it sat. Then I decided to gather it up, pick up stitches for a sort of drawstring and top cuff. In fact, that’s leftover Lacet Lastic from the Rose Reticula (oops, I was supposed to be done with that word) at the top, along with some leftover Lastic navy blue.

Voila! A purse.  An overly colorful purse. I am a dolt in terms of what colors go with what.

This pattern was supposedly an original design from someone who participated at my (now deceased) mother-in-law’s senior center. Vivian gave me a copy of a well-worn, typed out pattern, with no attribution. But I’ve since learned that it is really Harlequin Cushion, by Paton’s UK. So, if you want to have a go at this one, the Paton’s pattern may be available on Ebay. And if you too fail at your cushion, try a purse.

I actually knit two pillow cushions, both out of the Sirdar yarn that I didn’t manage to knit to gauge.

This one, I’ve not turned into a purse. Instead, I use it as a small rug under a doll rocking chair that my Ravatar sits in. It’s a good resting place for her.

 

 

 

 

Architexture and Minnie

Architexture. No, not architecture. It’s archi-texture, as in the smoothness and roughness of a lot of different stitches all coming together to form an arch. No, not an arch. A shawl. A lot of different stitches all coming together to make a shawl. Shawlitexture. Archishawl. Enough. This is Architexture, by Jennifer Weissman.

I bought my Architexture as a Craftsy kit. It’s available now, kitted with the same Cloudborn Highland fingering weight yarn that I used, for $13.75. $13.75. How on earth does Craftsy manage that? Weissman sells her pattern for $5.00 on Ravelry. That leaves Craftsy $8.75 for 988 yards (two skeins, at 100 grams each) of 100% wool. Ok. Weissman must not be getting a lot of her well-earned $5. But, still, these poor sheep can’t possibly be making anything close to a minimum wage. They need to go on strike or something. I knit the largest size and still have 50 grams left.

Here’s another look.

Is Cloudborn Fiber’s Highland the greatest yarn ever? Nope. Not even close, in my opinion. I’d have rather used the Madelintosh Merino Light, or Dream in Color Jilly, or Wollmeise Pure that Weissman’s pattern calls for. But I like getting a bargain and this was (and is) an incredible bargain.

The Cloudborn yarn–unlike the other weights of this company’s yarn I’ve knit with–was very splitty working on size 6 needles. Once I switched to my ChiaoGoo lacepoints the yarn was tamed. Some. But the bottom line is I have an excellent shawl, in a color and shape I like. This pattern looked a bit daunting to me at the outset, but it was actually quite straightforward.

This next small shawl/long neckerchief is a free pattern available on Ravelry: Minnie by Jumper Cables’ Annie Baker.

Mine is knit in the amazing Extra, by Blue Sky Fibers. It’s an Aran weight, 55% alpaca, 45% merino. It is soft, extra soft actually.

I am a huge garter stitch fan, but even for a fan it can get tedious. This pattern has just enough detail to make it interesting, while still being super easy.

Instead of 38 repeats of the pattern, I did 44. And then I started the decreases. My Minnie is 11 inches at the widest point. It’s an extravagant 69 inches from end to end.

This is a wicked good little free pattern. Give it a try. And thanks, Annie Baker, for your generous gift to the knitting community.

Acorn Hill Pony: Free Pattern

I am excited! This is “my” first pattern, offered free on Ravelry. Here’s the explanation for those quote marks around the my.

Acorn Hill Pony is originally a pattern attributed to a knitter associated with the Acorn Hill school, a Waldorf kindergarten and nursery now located in Silver Spring, Maryland. The school’s administrator, Janet Johnson, gave written permission for me to release the pattern. I’ve modified it just a bit. I’ve corrected a few errors in the original. And I’ve extensively re-written the pattern to conform to the sensibilities of modern knitters. So now knitters won’t have to deal with such directions as “increase on the 14th, 16th, 17th and 19th stitch.” I’ve photographed each stage of the pony’s construction and detailed the sewing up, stuffing, and finishing.

The school’s generosity in allowing the pattern to be released is greatly appreciated. They didn’t have a copy of it anymore in their archive–though the administrator remembered it. So it’s been saved for the school too.

Acorn Hill Pony is approximately 7.5 inches/19 cm long from nose to tail and 6 inches/ 5 cm from hoof to head. It is knit flat on needles 2-3 sizes smaller than typical for the yarn weight.  This is because Acorn Hill Pony is shy about having his stuffing show through his hide. All mine are knit with worsted weight, often in Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride worsted. I typically knit mine on a size 5 needle.

The pony is knit flat, in one piece, with easy sewing up. My version of the pattern includes assembly instructions with photos. It is suited even to beginner knitters.

When your pony is bound off, this is how it will look laid flat, with legs splayed out.

Folded along his spinal ridge, pony starts looking more like a pony.

My ponies don’t like to be displayed without their stuffing, but here’s one more view.

This is pony sewed and ready for stuffing.

All right, I know you want to see the pony butt, so here it is.

I made my first Acorn Hill pony when my son was 4 and was attending a Waldorf preschool. The school supplied the pattern and asked us to knit the ponies, stuff them with unspun wool, and donate them to the school fair. Did I knit ponies? I knit herds of ponies.

And over the years, I’ve totally lost count of how many I’ve made. Hundreds. Definitely hundreds.

Here’s one of the originals, knit in about 1990. Still looking good, despite a few trips through the washing machine.

Even the pony tail is still hanging on.

You can read up on more Acorn Hill Ponies here, and here, and here. And, in case you doubt that I’ve knit zillions, here’s glimpses of a few very old ponies–long before my photos improved with Steve’s remedial efforts aimed at me.

I am so grateful that a talented knitter designed this pony. Please consider giving this sweet and simple pattern a try for a young one in your neck of the woods.

Modern Mukluks

It’s finally summer here in Michigan: hot and muggy and what am I knitting? Andrea Mowry’s “Wanderers: Modern Mukluks.” I purchased the pattern as part of a Craftsy kit that included Cloudborn Fibers Highland Worsted. I haven’t been super pleased with this company’s fingering weight, but the worsted was very nice to work with. Well spun, no knots, no thinned spots.

My only modification of the pattern was to add an inch of one-by-one ribbing at the top of each sock. Many of the Ravelry projects suffer from an unpleasant rolled top so many Ravelers before me have made the same modification.

The pattern calls for an afterthought heel. That worked well.

One itsy bitsy problem. Even though I knit mismatched ribbing, this is how much of the main color I had left.

Way too close for comfort.

What’s your strategy when you think you may run out of yarn? Do you knit faster? I’m more likely to not watch. I know it’s going to be close, so I just don’t look. I think I feel that what I can’t see can’t hurt me.