Calorimetry time, again

A chill hits the air and I often start thinking of knitting headbands. And Kathryn Schoendorf’s Calorimetry, a free pattern available on Knitty, including via Ravelry, is definitely my favorite knit of this sort. These two are knit in Plymouth Yarn Boku. I know, off the head they look a little lip-like. Just ignore that because when worn they’re just cute. One 99-yard skein of Boku, a few hours of knitting, a foray into your old-button stash and you’ve got a great gift–for you or for others.

Here’s how Calorimetry looks buttoned up minus glasshead.

 I had some Queensland Collection Brisbane left after knitting up a Colonel Talbot scarf. Brisbane is a definite Aran weight, so this Calorimetry is almost a beanie. It would be great for the messy-bun or pony-tail crowd.

I think it’s nifty the way the colors worked out. It reminds me of photos of far away galaxies.

Sometimes I do think that I knit mostly to keep my eyeballs entertained. Very lively colorways often capture my attention. So I decided to try a Calorimetry in a very tame color. Here it is knit in the WEBS housebrand Valley Yarn Amherst. The yarn was on sale. 100% merino. I bought one 99 yard skein to take it for a test drive. Very nice yarn. Great little pattern!

Baby’s bed buddy

Evelyn came to visit her grandmother. Grandmother Me. Evelyn is two. Evelyn’s parents were comfortable with her still sleeping in her Guava. Well, she doesn’t sleep in an actual guava. She sleeps in a Lotus when she visits. OK. She sleeps in a Guava Family Lotus. It’s a…a…fancy Pack ‘n Play. It seemed sturdier to me, when I purchased it for her brother. It has served well for visits.

Anyway, Evelyn’s favorite stuffie is not something handmade. It’s a doll. Sort of an odd doll, actually. She goes by the name of “Baby” or “Baby Doll” or sometimes “Doll Baby.” Whatever you do, do not even think of separating Evelyn from Baby.

The Guava Lotus looked a little empty for a just-turned two year old. I thought Baby might like a pillow and a blanket. So I knit them. The blanket is actually Dishcloth Diva Deb  Buckingham’s pattern, Neutrals. Baby’s Neutrals is hot pink though. It suits her better. And the pillow is just a two motif, folded-in-half Neutrals.

I had a little extra time waiting for the young ones and their parents to arrive, so I added a teddy bear for Baby to sleep with. This one is a teeny version of Lesley Anne Price’s fine pattern, “The Bears.” I knit him with leftover sock yarn, Quaere Fibre‘s sportweight, in the Spring Flowers colorway. You just never know when those little bits of leftovers can come in handy. I knitted Teeny on size one needles. One leg is the width of a U.S. dime. So, very very teeny.

Baby only seems to have eyes for Evelyn. Baby ignored her new bedding and toy. But Evelyn was quite taken with this little set. She mostly kept them in her Guava Lotus. During Evelyn and her family’s week-long visit, I regularly found Teeny tucked under his blankie. Teeny couldn’t quite get the hang of the pillow thing, but all told this grandmother declares her knitting effort a success.

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.