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.

Winding Trail 2 Central Ave

This is a new pattern from Linda Courtney of Knitwise Design: Winding Trail Headband. Courtney writes that “The trail is rarely straight – and neither is this headband!” I knit mine in a long-ago discontinued yarn: Classic Elite Tapestry. It’s a 75% wool, 25% mohair, beefy worsted.

The pattern calls for Malabrigo Merino worsted, but any worsted or Aran weight should work well. Just be sure to keep a sharp eye on the row gauge. Or, if you’re off on the row gauge, adjust the number of pattern repeats. This headband is a one evening project.

Here’s a look, off-head:

The winding trail starts with a provisional cast-on and ends with a three-needle bind-off. A knitter could chose to do garter stitch grafting. I find that a bit of a bear though, and the three-needle bind-off worked well. There’s a tiny extra ridge at the bind-off. Only if wearers suffer from serious cases of “Princess and the Pea Syndrome” will they be able to feel the ridge.

I cast off and soon cast on for a second.

This one is knit in Harrisville Design’s Orchidville Cashmere. It’s a 70% wool, 25% goat mohair, 5% goat cashmere, Aran weight. I’d provide a link but the agedness of my stash strikes again. It’s discontinued too. Orchidville Cashmere, like Tapestry, was a very good yarn.

Here’s another look, off-head:

Headbands are such sensible headgear, since ears are what mostly get cold on many people. And headbands are ponytail-friendly. You can keep one in the pocket of every coat, for the days you didn’t think you’d need a hat.

Recently, while reorganizing my stash, I was reacquainted with two wonderful skeins of worsted. Colorbug and Quaere Fiber:

 

I’d been saving these two beauties for something special. Aimee Alexander’s Central Ave has turned into a bit of an obsession for this knitter so I decided to break out the good stuff. My first two Central Aves (scroll to the end of the post) were very well received by my nieces. So I decided to cast on:

And cast on again:

There are a number of hat patterns, some of them free, that look a lot like this one. But Alexander’s version has a few design sensibilities that I feel the others lack.

And it even has a nicely behaved crown decrease.

I sometimes test knit for Alexander and for Knitwise Design. And I look forward to it every time. Even in the testing stages their patterns are clearly written, without errors.

Knit on!

Happy Holidays!

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It’s April 22nd and this is getting a bit old. The dock is in the water. The pontoon boat is too. The paddleboat is bobbing around staked to a pole in its usual spot. And its snowing. Snowing.

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Steve bundled up and took a spin around the lake anyway.

So, this wintry weather is a good excuse to feature some nice, warm, knitted hats and earwarmers. Here’s Molly, a great free pattern on Ravelry by Erin Ruth. More than 3000 Mollies have been knit and posted on Ravelry project pages.

Molly

Great texture. Great slouch. My only modification was to try a folded cast-on edge instead of straight 1-by-1 ribbing. It worked out well, but the extra effort wasn’t really needed.

The crown decreases are nicely organized.

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My Molly is knit in one of the truly great discontinued luxury yarns: Classic Elite’s Princess. It’s 40% wool, 28% rayon, 15% nylon, 10% cashmere, 7% angora. Yipes! It’s wonderful and if you can find any, buy even a colorway you would otherwise spurn–it’s that nice to work with.

I had a bit of Princess left in this leaf colorway. I also had one skein of Princess in “regal teal” and a hankering to try Andi Satterlund‘s “Cabot.” Now, Cabot’s supposed to be all one color. But it’s a yarn eater and I my one skein wasn’t going to quite be enough.

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So, I tried a two-toned Cabot. I have to say I’d have liked the finished hat much better if I hadn’t gone my own way on this one. It’s an excellent pattern and my version doesn’t do it justice.

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Also while we are thinking of snow even though it’s almost May, I’ve been busy knitting more Calorimetries, that great free Knitty pattern by Kathryn Schoendorf. This is Calorimetry #17,464 on Ravelry,

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It’s knit in Plymouth Yarns Boku. One skein, almost no leftovers. Great earwarmer.

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Here’s #17,578, in another Boku colorway:

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And, in between is Rav’s Calorimetry #17,467, worked up in a yarn I’ve not used before, Simpliworsted by HiKoo by skacel. Excellent yarn. I don’t know what’s up with the double “by” but it’s a great worsted. I was very much drawn to the olive green colorway:

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Here’s another view that conjures up a tropical leaf:

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While we’re not thinking summer, or even spring, I’ve also been busy with a few Earbuds by Knitwise Design:

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Bulky-earbuds

The yarn is from my stash and is so totally unavailable anymore there’s really no sense in identifying it for you. But here’s a better view of just how cute and useful Earbuds are. They are knit in two shakes of a lamb’s tail. And they’re useful in the pocket of every winter coat you have.

EArbuds

BulkyBud

Rib-it Frog Hat

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Here’s a sweet thing. Both the wide-eyed little one and her Rib-it Frog Hat from Knitwise Design. The frog is formed of traveling cables and its eyes, of course, are nice big bobbles. This is Linda’s pattern photo, knit up in Plymouth Encore in the green gremlin colorway.

Here’s my version, knit in Berroco Vintage:

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The hat  is all one-by-one ribbing, except for the stockinette rectangle that frames Kermie. This is an incredibly quick knit. My version, the small, used only 43 grams of worsted weight yarn (and 9 grams for the oversized pompom).

The ribbing is nicely maintained through the crown decreases.

ribbit_topIf you’ve a budding herpetologist in your clan, or even a fully grown one (the pattern includes an adult medium size), this should be just the ticket.

Tidal Cove Scarf

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This is Knitwise Design’s cleverly constructed Tidal Cove Scarf, available for download on Ravelry. And clever is no insult. This is “clever” as in Merriam-Webster’s “marked by wit and ingenuity.” What this photo shows as a series of folded-over triangles is actually a most interesting piece of knitting invention. I won’t spoil the surprise of how this pattern is constructed, but check out Linda’s model wearing Tidal Cove Scarf to see the full effect.

I purchased the decorative beads from one of the beading vendors at Hillman’s Brush Creek Mill during the Apple Days fall festival. And the yarn is Holiday Yarns’ Super Sheep, in their Hera’s Peacock colorway. It’s a Merino DK weight that Dorinda, of Alpena’s Yarns to Go, recommended. I’d not seen the yarn before and I am impressed. The blues and greens definitely evoke the tidal cove that the scarf’s design is meant to suggest.

It’s a bunch ‘o fun to knit!

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