Knitting comfort food

I believe it’s true that most long-term knitters have certain patterns they return to over and over. You just know that you’ll be satisfied when you cast off. You know it will fit. You know there aren’t any errors in the pattern. You can put your knitting brain into gear and just cruise.

Wonderful Wallaby by Carol A. Anderson of Cottage Creations is a pattern like that. Comfort food. This pattern is so retro that you won’t find it available for download anywhere. Head to your local yarn shop. Or buy it direct from Cottage Creations and they will m-a-i-l it to you. Yes, mail as in an envelope with a stamp. That still works!

I knit this one in Plymouth Encore. Easy-care works better for the young ones. I’m a big fan of the garter stitch hood. And I love the kangaroo pouch. Everyone can use a sweatshirt. My pattern booklet includes sizes for a two year old to the very portly. It looks like the newer booklets include one for kid sizes 2-12 and another for adults.

Bayfront Cap by Melinda VerMeer is more comfort food for me. I’ve knit at least six in the last few years. This yarn has some issues with thick and thin that didn’t quite do the pattern justice. As you can see, you knit miles of ribbing. And about when you are beginning to think maybe this is a tad too much ribbing,

…you get to this beautiful crown decrease. So pretty. So well thought out. So not suffering from PHS (Pointy Hat Syndrome.) Bayfront Cap is a wonderful knit.

Here’s another knitting recipe that always works up right: Katharina Nopp’s Wurm.

Mine is knit in Stonedge Fiber Mills Crazy. Crazy is basically a DK weight that’s constructed of a number of colorways. No knots, just spun together. No two skeins are the same.

I call this my Earth Wurm. Wurm is a yarn eater.  I always need more than the 175 yards of sportweight the pattern calls for. I guess I like extravagantly slouchy Wurms.

And then there’s what some now apparently call the Dairy Queen Hat. But it’s no Dairy Queen Hat. It’s Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Snail Hat. I’ve knit mine in exactly what the pattern calls for: Sheepsdown, sold by Schoolhouse Press.

I use size 10 needles. And I’ve made several over the years. You need to be very brave (or very cold) to wear the snail hat.

I very much enjoy knitting it. Just because no one eats the jello salad anymore–you know the one, with all the colorful layers–doesn’t mean you don’t make it anyway. (I still sort of like that salad, by the way.)

Wonderful Wallaby

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Cottage Creations’ “Wonderful Wallaby” was described as an “adventure in seamless knitting” when seamless knitting really was a bit of an “adventure.” Most sweaters were still being knit in separate sections and then seamed together. For sure there were others doing seamless knitting, but Carol A. Anderson’s Wallaby was a milestone.

The booklet is chatty, pure Anderson, with sweet illustrations throughout. But the directions are totally clear and totally correct. The booklet includes directions for sizes 2 toddler to adult super-sized. It’s available in many local yarn shops, on-line, and direct (but not downloadable) from Cottage Creations.

Wonderfull Wallaby was copyrighted in 1984 and the booklet has been reprinted 23 times. It’s Anderson’s most popular pattern.

My Wallaby is knit in Plymouth Encore. Just over two skeins, 410 yards, was enough to knit a size two, complete with the garter stitch version of the hood and a full pouch.

And what’s most important? It’s very comfy and my grandson likes to wear it.

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Grabbit

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This is a Grabbit. It’s another interesting Cottage Creations pattern by Carol A. Anderson. Cottage Creations pattern booklets are available in local yarn shops, many on-line retailers, and via Carol’s website. The booklets aren’t (yet) downloadable, but they’re so worth the effort to find them.

A few more views of Grabbit show what makes it a tad idiosyncratic (if knitting can be called that).

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It’s a carry-all. To create a neat bundle of belongings, you just thread the knitted loop through the gigantic buttonholes rimming the edge. But it’s also a nice playmat. It even works as a small blanket.

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Grabbit_blocked5This Grabbit is knit in my seemingly endless supply of Martha Stewart Lion Brand Extra Soft Wool Blend. I believe I purchased a tad more than I needed for LeCirque Baby Playmat, even if the  bunny, the lamb, the lion, the bear, the vest and the Grabbit had all been planned from the outset. Let’s just say, the layette is shaping up. And Grabbit is going to be the packaging for the stuffed buddies.

 

Wonderful Wallaby

This is the Wonderful Wallaby. Carol A. Anderson, of Cottage Creations, designed it and knitters galore have knitted it. The pattern booklet is Cottage Creations W03, not available as a download. It is well worth the effort to locate it at your local yarn shop or favorite internet shop.

Nearly 3000 Ravelers have posted finished projects on their project page. When Ravelers take to patterns in droves, you can trust it’s a keeper.

Mine is knitted in left-overs from another Cottage Creations project: a full sized Rambling Rows afghan. I ran out of oddments and ended up leaving the hood off and knitted a garter stitch collar instead. It’s a cozy sweater, with a built-in handwarmer. When you buy the booklet you will have the pattern for a Wallaby in almost all the sizes people come in, from size 2 Toddler to 48″ chest. Try the Wonderful Wallaby when you have time.  Bet you can’t make just one!