Stay Put

This is the Staying Put Wrap, an Erica Kempf Broughton pattern available on Ravelry. It first caught my eye because, well, because it did. I thought it was pretty and I liked the idea of a small shawl that would stay put. It didn’t hurt that the color-changing yarn called for by the pattern is Noro Taiyo, an Aran weight. I’d had one skein of this in my stash for a few years and hadn’t found the right pattern for it. It was a single skein relegated to the sale bin. It sort of followed me home.

And the other yarn needed to be a worsted. But which worsted and what color was a difficult choice. I chose an old stand-by: Plymouth Yarns Worsted Merino Superwash Solid. And, as you see, I decided to tone this down a bit so I used an off white. I am very satisfied with the way the yarns played together.

Here’s a look at how nicely this wrap sits on shoulders.

You may notice, from comparing the size of the wrap to the size of the hanger, that this is quite a petite wrap. That’s OK. I am 5 foot 3. I used to be 5 foot 4, but that’s another story. It’s pretty. And it definitely stays on the shoulders. This shape is the reason for its good behavior:

Pretty cool, actually. Pretty thing. And it was also a fun, quick knit.

Imagine Knit

Sometimes yarn surprises. At least I think so. The pattern I knit this up in is Michele, by Sarah Punderson. Free on Ravelry. Looking at the pattern photos, you see a dignified, low key, beautiful DK weight slouchy hat.

A guildmate of mine mentioned that when she saw my yarn choice for our knit-a-long, she thought I must have screws loose. Well, no. She was actually very polite about it and said something like that she’d plan to watch with interest. And, no doubt, much skepticism.

But this is one great hat. Really. It is. I’m tooting my own horn, I know, but this hat makes such a lively statement that its wearer and everyone around will put on their happy face. And how can you not love that bulls-eye crown decrease?

I know. Not everyone’s cup of tea. Our yarns start out life in our stashes like this.

And then they turn into this.

This Mountain Colors Twizzle in the Mardi Gras colorway turned into a great Rikke Hat. Rikke, designed by Sarah Young, has been knit and posted on Ravelry about 9500 times since it debuted in 2010. These yarns will pool, but tamed by the garter stitch, they work out really well. I especially like how the brim pooled differently from the body of the hat.

Sometimes you start out thinking that your wonderful skein of fingering weight Jilly, by Dream in Color, will turn out to be a shawl. And it would have made a really nice one.

But, instead, you find Martina Behm’s great one-line free pattern, Wolkig, and then your Jilly turns into something else entirely. A little silly rather than classy. Behm’s sample is a lovely pale gray. Really beautiful. But I like my version. Glass heads thinks it’s the cat’s meow.

Here’s a closer look. This pattern is worth downloading just for the fun of figuring out how the heck one round, repeated over and over, turns out like this.

I even like my Wolkig, flipped inside out.

Wolkig. It means “cloudy” in German. That is a perfect name for Behm’s gray version. Mine? I might call it something more like “cloudy with a chance of meatballs.”

Colonel Talbot Scarf

This post is another post on the “I wonder how the same stuff looks in different yarns” theme. Glass head is looking cozy in her five-and-one-half foot Colonel Talbot Scarf. Joan Janes designed this easy mostly garter stitch scarf. It includes a few very nice touches to keep a knitter from nodding off. More on that in a bit.

The Michigander in me needs to call this one my Colonel Wolvervine version. It will look great hobnobbing around Ann Arbor on a maize and blue football Saturday when everyone else bought an off-the-rack scarf.

The yarn is Fiesta Yarns Boomerang, an Aran weight, in their college set of colorways. If you’re a fan of that other Michigan football school, Boomerang also comes in a Sparty green and white colorway.

At first I was concerned about how the yarn was pooling on the edges and mixing in the middle. But I came to think the effect was cool. Here’s another view.

Among the sensible touches in this pattern is the fact that the scarf is completely reversible. When the wearer flips it over a shoulder or ties a knot in it, she won’t need to be embarrassed that her back side is showing. The edges are applied I-cord, knit on as you work the rows. Such a nice trim. And, as you’ll see more clearly in the last version in this post, there are 10-row long drips of nicely space stockinette.

Soon after completing my Wolverine version, I decided to knit another, this time it’s dubbed Colonel Brisbane. That’s because it’s knit in Queensland Collection’s Brisbane, another Aran weight. Glass head says it’s going to really keep someone warm.

It’s a tad more difficult to see those drips of stockinette in Brisbane. But again I love the effect of the color-changing yarn.

This colorway combines colors I’d not think would work well together. But they do.

Now for something completely different.

Here’s a nice tame Colonel Talbot. This one was the first time I knit the Colonel. I used String Theory’s Aran Caper. Caper is an 80% merino, 10% cashmere, 10% nylon yarn. It worked up exceptionally nice. And the evenly spaced drips are clearly visible in this version.

It’s often the simplicity of the knitting that keeps me coming back to a pattern.

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.