Fetchings

Recently I had a major knitting stutter. I knitted a series of four Fetchings, Cheryl Niamath’s wonderful free pattern. I used four skeins of Noro Silk Garden in two colorways. I got started during a long drive, continued during a week-long visit to Ann Arbor, and finished the fourth pair once I returned home.

It’s such a satisfying knit. I’d knit the pattern six times before and managed to keep only one of the six for myself. Fetching is a handy mitt to tuck in a coat pocket for those times when there’s just a bit of a chill in the air.

In previous Fetchings I’d used solids–mostly Stonehedge Fiber’s Shepherd’s Wool. They worked up great in that yarn. Check out my first half-dozen. But this time it was those great Noro color changes that kept me trying just one more, just one more.

Four of the mitts are one colorway and four are another. But it’s difficult to tell which sprung from the same colorway.

The current count of posted Fetching projects on Ravelry is 21,138! 6065 Ravelers have Fetching in their queues awaiting the day when they’ll cast on. If you’re one of those 6000, seriously consider knitting Fetching soon. It will not disappoint. And if it’s not in your queue, just skip the queue and cast on straightaway. There’s already a chill in the morning air here in Michigan. And we’ve gotten into the mid-forties at night. Pretty soon you’ll welcome slipping your chilly fingers into a pair of these mitts.

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.

Cowl and Howl

Nice hat. There’d be room for a pony tail to hang free if you loosen the ties. And if you loosen the ties all the way, there’s room for a neck. Hat plus cowl equals Howl.

Howl, by Kimmy Zalec, is a free Ravlery download designed for exactly the yarn I used: Noro Silk Garden. Silk Garden is 45% mohair, 45% silk, 10% wool and charts out as an Aran weight. Two 50-gram skeins will do the trick and leave you with about 16 grams to spare.

Very cozy and very fun to knit. My Howl was gifted almost as soon as it left my needles. Here’s another look.

It needed blocking to make that unusual picot bind-off behave and to tame its curling. I’m planning to knit another of these soon.

Glass head is wearing Bobble Cowl by Joji Locatelli.

It’s an easy, rhythmic knit, filled with every knitter’s first stitch (garter), but with interesting details. The pattern is 48 rows, to be repeated a dozen times. I had to count rows. And a few times I lost count. But fortunately it’s easy to figure out where you are.

I decided not to block the cowl. I’m satisfied with the yarn-overs not opened up wide. I didn’t want to kill the cushiness of the garter stitch. I prefer a closer fitting cowl rather than one that drapes long.

Bobble cowl is knit flat. I used a crochet provisional cast-on and then grafted the beginning to the end. A three-needle bind off would have worked well too.

This is a new yarn to me. I’m a fan: Dark Side of the Moon by Alexandra’s Crafts in the Twilight colorway. It’s 80% Merino and 20% Tussah Silk. Bobble Cowl is a garter-stitch yarn-eater. So this cowl took nearly every yard of the 434 yard skein.

Scarf weather approaches

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Isn’t this just the cat’s meow? It’s a free pattern, Mosaic Tile Scarf, by Gail Tanquary. I bought the kit a few weeks ago at one of Michigan’s very cool northern yarn shops, The Dutch Oven Bakery and Yarn Shop. Being a kit, I ended up using exactly the yarn called for in the pattern. I don’t do that all that often. So, the off-white is Crystal Palace Allegro DK. And the star of the scarf is Crystal Palace Mochi Plus, an Aran weight that’s 80% merino, 20% nylon. Using two weights of yarn really makes the self-striping Mochi Plus patterning pop.

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This is a slipped stitch pattern, so every pair of rows is worked with just one of the colors. The color changes are hidden in that nice I-cord edging. And even when it flips over and knitwits wear it upside down, it won’t look too horrid.

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Here’s yet another Noro Striped Scarf. Jared Flood doesn’t take the credit for this, but since I believe he’s who wrote a pattern alternating between stripes from different skeins of Noro Silk Garden, I’m completely willing to give him full credit.

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Nearly 15,000 Ravelers have knitted this scarf and posted it on their project page. This time my two colorways were 382 and 337. A mostly pink red and a mostly blue green skein. Two skeins of each colorway. I made mine a bit wider than the pattern called for by casting on 45 stitches. I slipped the first and last stitch of the second set of each rows, purlwise, to give it a nice finished edge.

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Any way you fold it, this scarf looks great.

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Four skeins, at this width, ended up at 69 inches. So, plenty for multiple wraps around a neck. Here’s others that I’ve made. And another. The measure of a good pattern? I don’t have any of these anymore. I knit them. Friends and family choose them for their holiday presents.

April in Michigan: scarf weather

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This is an old friend. Well, a new version of an old friend: Lion Brand’s free Rib Sampler Scarf, pattern #70530AD. Wow. I wonder if Lion Brand really has published over 70,000 patterns. You’ll have to join their site to download it. There are 18 Rib Sampler Scarf projects posted on Ravelry and six of them are mine! Here’s another to check out.

katia_scarfThis time I knit my Rib Sampler in Katia’s Tundra, a wonderfully soft 50% wool, 40% acrylic, 10% rayon worsted weight with subtle color changes. I’ve always been partial to pink and brown combinations. I wanted a longer and wider scarf, so I modified the pattern and cast on 44 rather than 28 stitches. I lengthened the eight inch mistake and farrow rib sections to ten inches and the four inch garter stitch sections to five inches. I knit fourteen inches in the one by one rib in the neck section.

There is something totally rhythmic and soothing about knitting this scarf.

Speaking of “old friend” patterns, Jared Flood’s Noro Striped Scarf certainly qualifies. This is how my newest version started out: two skeins each of Noro Silk Garden, colors 349 and 374.

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And the magic of Noro produces this:

Noro_scarf2 Here’s another view:

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One of the benefits of living somewhere that sometimes just cannot get itself to warm is that we can enjoy scarves from September to April. And even though the April 4th forecast is calling for freezing rain in the lower peninsula and massive amounts of snow in the upper peninsula, I am not ready to exchange being a Michigander for someplace else.

Don’t feel deluged by this flood of Jared Flood scarves, but here’s more and more and more and more and more I’ve knit. Every one different. Every one gifted and gratefully received. In fact, I still haven’t made one for myself!