Ribbon Weed Throw

This is Kate Bostwick’s Ribbon Weed from her Fundy Tides Collection. I decided to substitute an easy care superbulky yarn, Plymouth Yarns Encore Mega, instead of the wool superbulky Bostick designed it in. My Ribbon Weed is actually a wedding gift Ribbon Weed and I decided that the young couple I made it for would welcome not having to deal with keeping a large, heavy, wool throw clean.

Here’s a closer look at the patterning.

How perfect are these intertwining cables for two people starting down a path together?

I had some difficulties dealing with the many joins required. Encore is only 25% wool and that’s not enough for spit-splicing. I couldn’t hide the knots at the ends or under an edging since the garter stitch edge is knit as part of the overall pattern and because superbulky knots are, well, superbulky.  There were a lot of knots because the throw is knit on size 15 needles and these balls only contain 64 yards.

I ended up using the magic knot join technique. Magic Knot is a good knot for knitters to have in their tool chests. But, honestly for this application, except when I controlled placement by working into a “valley” section of the work, it’s still more visible than is ideal. That is a function of the superbulky yarn. Hopefully the knot will indeed be magical in the sense of it being absolutely firm.

The bride and groom were both sincerely pleased with their gift. I sent it to their home ahead of the wedding. They both took time on their wedding weekend to thank me because “hand-made gifts are the best,” as the bride put it.

Ah, the joys of knitting for the knitworthy!

Cold weather scarves

I’m at it again. Posting about recent scarves I’ve completed when summer is still upon us. This one is an old favorite–Jared Flood’s free pattern, Noro Striped Scarf. It’s more a recipe than a pattern. Select two colorways of a color-changing yarn. Alternate colorways every 2 rows. Slip the first and the last stitch of the second of each set of rows, purlwise. And if you choose Noro Silk Garden, the conventional wisdom is that it’s very difficult to find two colorways that fail to play nice.

I had need of a totally mindless knit. This was definitely it! And the color changing Noro Silk Garden keeps the knitting from becoming tedious. I widened the scarf and cast on 45 stitches. Four skeins of Silk Garden and I ended up with just under 70 inches of scarf.

Such a pretty thing. I’ve been a bit obsessive about knitting this scarf. Here are others I’ve knit since my first one in 2011.

Hmm. As I said, obsessed. In fact, seeing them all again makes me feel like I’d like to cast on for a new one.

Here’s another repeat performer. Antonia’s Scarf, by Aimee Alexander. This is another Noro knit, this time in Yuzen.

Yuzen is a DK weight spun of 56% wool, 34% silk,10% mohair. Honestly, it’s not a yarn with much of a cozy feel. But the colors are rich. And it softened in a Eucalan bath.

I modified the pattern some by casting on 35 stitches. Three skeins of Yuzon is about 350 yards. My scarf ate up that yardage and ended up 7.5 inches wide and 64 inches long.

So far, it’s been all about color. “Now for something completely different…”

This is 100% alpaca. It is soft, light, and will be incredibly warm. It is Jake Canton’s Two-Tone Mistake Rib Scarf, a free pattern offered through Purl Soho. This scarf took me weeks to make. I knit fairly quickly and I knit for many hours every day. I started on New Year’s Eve and didn’t complete this until early April. For sure, I knit a lot of other projects while this scarf was on my needles. I had to. It was almost as boring as knitting Origami, another ribbing purgatory knit. I exacerbated the boredom by using a very light weight sport yarn. To widen the scarf a tad, I cast on 75 (instead of 67) stitches.

But it’s such a classic and will be so comfortable to wear, that the boredom was totally worth it. In fact, I’m petting it at this very minute and I’ve totally forgotten that it was a real slog to complete.

My yarn is YarnDreamer, which is alpaca from Christa Newhouse‘s Michigan flock. Her yarn is beautiful. Her Bois Blanc Insel Haus bed & breakfast is beautiful. And so is Christa.

More mosaic dishcloths

So. I was working on a rather major project. It wasn’t totally holding my attention. I was wooed away from it by Amy Marie Vold’s newest dishcloth pattern: Balloon Rides.  The pattern includes the balloon and six center motifs to decorate the balloon. My red and white set is knit in Sugar ‘n Cream, the workhorse of dishcloth yarn. First, my white balloon. And now my red one.

For me, these are top drawer, the cat’s meow, the creme de la creme of dishcloths. Great fun to knit. And they are cheerful and useful.

I knit two and then immediately decided to knit another pair, this time in Knitpicks’ Dishie. And this time in two different motifs.

Some knitting is downright addictive. Vold’s mosaic cloths are that for me. She comes out with a new design and I “run, don’t walk” to Ravelry to download the pattern. I know that all the worsted weight ones work for me on size six needles (US). No need for gauge swatches. I just choose two contrasting colorways and set to knitting.

This next cloth is another of Vold’s newer ones: tOwl. I also knit this pair in Dishie.

I’ve never seen an owl in the wild. Hopefully that day will come and that will be a thrill. For now, I can knit their likeness.

Once I took my 4 balloon rides, I was ready to tackle that big project again: a wedding present throw. More on that, soon.

Hundred degree hats

This week is not the week to tuck your sweaty head into one of these hats. Weather predictions say that in a few days it will be 101 degrees Fahrenheit in our neck of the woods. And daytime high temps are supposed to be in the nineties for about ten days. We hope the four Eastern Kingbird chicks who haven’t yet fledged from the cupholder in our dock-chair in the full sun will be able to make it through.

For some reason really hot weather always makes me think of the fun of knitting wool hats. So I’m featuring some here that I’ve knit recently that haven’t made it into the blog, including Suvi Simola’s great beanie “Bobbles & Cables Cap.” Mine is knit in Sugar Bush Yarns Rapture, a 50/50 llama/merino worsted weight that is next-to-the-skin soft. This is a product of Canada, Michigan’s (mostly) to the north great neighbor. The company says that “Sugar Bush Yarn is a tribute to a Canadian inclination to embrace its northern temperament.” Right now I’m working to embrace a southern temperament and not doing too well.

This pattern is included in one of the 60 Quick Knit Books whose errata typically span many pages. You won’t get bobbles like mine following the directions in the book. Simola has put out an errata, available on Ravelry as a note on the pattern page. But I decided to knit a still beefier one: knit one, purl one, knit one, purl one into one stitch. Turn and knit four. Turn and purl four. Pass the stitches over the one closest to the tip. This is the first time I’ve used a Sugar Bush yarn and I’m really liking this one.

What? Crochet? Crochet from this notorious non-hookerr?

Nope. It’s Wooly Wormhead’s 100% knitted Waffle Slouch. I was drawn to it partly because, except for the ribbing, it was knit masquerading as crochet. At least that’s what my eyes see.

My Waffle Slouch is worked up in Fibre Company’s Cumbria, 60% merino wool, 30% masham wool, and 10% mohair. I never heard of a Masham sheep and suspected it was somehow a mashup of more than one breed. That’s what it is. A crossbreed between either a Teeswater or Wensleydale ram with a Dalesbred or Swaydale Ewe. The result is a long lustrous fiber.

As always with a Wooly Wormhead beanie or slouch, she manages a disciplined, non-pointy crown.

I had a bit of difficulty with what should have been some pretty simple lacework in this next hat. Totally user error. It’s Tracey Lambert’s free pattern: Pennyroyal. It’s a keeper for sure.

I knitted mine in Anzula’s For Better or Worsted. It’s 80% merino, 10% cashmere goat, and 10% nylon. Great yarn. Great hat. I followed Lambert’s lead and added an extravagant pompom and the light highlights in the yarn really make the pompom pom.

If you try Pennyroyal, and please do, take note of the instructions on how to slip stitches. Slip the stitches knitwise. Ask me how I know that the more common purlwise just didn’t cut it.

This next hat is another Wooly Wormhead pattern: Tebe Slouch. I knit mine in Madelintosh DK in their beautiful nighthawk colorway.

Here’s another look at Tebe:

Great hat pattern and I will make it again. But one design feature doesn’t sit too well with me. You knit the caston together with the live stitches to form the picot edge with a purl row. The ridges just after the join don’t look right to me. I think I’d make the join with a knit row next time.

Liberty Wool

This is Helene Rush’s Bowties Scarf, knit in Classic Elite’s multi-colored Liberty Wool. It’s a superwash worsted. Two skeins of two separate colorways create this interesting piece. In fact, if you knit a third section in another colorway, you’d end up able to mix-and-match for additional looks. That’s what a new knitting friend of mine is planning after meeting my Bowties in person.

This photo explains.

These aren’t knitted centipedes having a rumble. These are the individual halves of the scarf. Here are the halves curled up into flower blooms.

Set out in these photos my guess is that you’ve figured out just how easy a knit this garter stitch cutie is.

Let’s put it back together, matching up each tab in one strip with its twin tab in the other strip. I’ve found that a square knot works best.

Here’s one I made in two different colorways about five years ago. It’s such a good knitting idea, don’t you think? And Liberty Wool really makes it pop. But you could knit it out of any interesting color-changing yarn. Or even out of two (or one) solid colors. Or try a color-changing yarn on one side and a solid on the other. Check out the Ravelry project pages to see what the knitting universe has come up with.

I recently came into a cache of Liberty Wool multi when a favorite shop closed. So unfortunate. But the shop’s owner deeply discounted her yarns and I drank deeply at the well.

Meet Molly.

You’ve met Good Golly Miss Molly on my blog once before. We marveled at how the heck this four-row pattern ends up looking so cool. Some have likely felt a bit miffed at paying six dollars for a four-row pattern. (Actually, I have the Classic Elite booklet that includes Molly so my investment was much less per pattern-row.) But, really, could any of us have figured out how to make this happen out of a piece of what’s basically colorful fat string? Susan Mills is the knitting world genius who figured it out.

I enjoy the way the ruffles can be wound up. In fact, it’s a great way to store Molly.

Molly’s two halves on either side of the center ridges are not the same. One side is squared up near the ridge and the other one is pointy. If the scarf is folded along its top spine, the flopped-over (then-public) side will match the bottom half. It’s hard to explain but very easy to knit. And by the time you’re done with this scarf you will be a short-row wiz.

Here’s my best hint to free yourself from consulting the pattern except for a few repeats. It works as long as you can easily count ridges to be sure you don’t end up with a fat (or skinny) ruffle.  Knit a row 1 if you see two ridges as you start the row. Knit a row 3 if you see 4 ridges. Others have also emphasized that it’s important to mark the “right hand side” of the work. By that, they mean, the right (as you look at your work) rather than the left side. I did that. But it’s not needed if you just count the ridges as you start a row.

We knitters owe so much to Classic Elite for its great yarns and wonderful patterns. I am already mourning that it “will be closing its doors in the very near future.” “Say it ain’t so, Joe.” But it’s so.