I tamed the Oopado!

PicMonkey Collage

What’s the Oopado? The first question is what’s the Ravelry GAL. The GAL is the Ravelry Indie Design Gift-a-long, an annual event where knitters and crocheters prepare for the holidays as only fiber folks can. With support and encouragement from others on Ravelry, and with a beginning two weeks or so of discounted patterns, the GAL runs from the week before U.S. Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve. There are eight categories of paid patterns to choose from:

  • Hats & other head things
  • Cowls, scarves, & other neck things
  • Shawls & stoles
  • Sweaters & other garments
  • Hand & arm things
  • Kids & baby things (except toys)
  • Foot & leg things
  • Toys, home, & other miscellaneous things

And taming the oopado? It’s when a knitter knits at least one item from each of the 8 categories before the GAL closes.

The smaller items? Piece ‘o cake. But also finishing a shawl and a garment? I wasn’t sure I’d make it. Some forced idleness over the holidays was quite a boon to my knitting and I finished all I’d planned.

Starting with the small stuff, this is Coffee Klatch, by 10 Hours or Less. It’s a fun mosaic dishcloth, knit here in Knitpicks Dishie:


Regular readers know I’m a sucker for mosaic dishcloths and this one is definitely a keeper!  Actually, though, I gave it away. I’m quite sure another is in my near future.

This is Jennifer Boot Cuffs, by Kate Bostick of Cowtown Knits.


You can probably tell from the pristine condition of my boots, that we haven’t had much snow in Michigan yet this year. My cuffs are knit in humble, very serviceable Lion Brand Heartland. Actually, they aren’t my boot cuffs. They are now my niece Melanie’s boot cuffs. Here’s a closer look.


My choice from the hand category is Aimee Alexander’s Farm to Market Mitts. Mine are knit in Stonehedge Fiber Shepherd’s Wool DK, a wonderful yarn that’s been discontinued.


I’ve knit Farm to Market Mitts three times before and haven’t yet kept a pair for me. These are mine. They are tucked in my coat pocket. It’s very odd. I didn’t notice until just this very minute, that I’ve got a major goof on the first cable on the right mitt. That must be why I kept them for me.

My hat choice was another Susan Vilas Lewis (Stay Toasty) interesting knit: Vitruvian Man, again in Shepherd’s Wool DK.


Here’s who inspired the hat’s main motif:


Honestly, I didn’t know his name. But I’ve certainly seen the image many times, the Leonardo da Vinci guy with the extra limbs, with his arms trapped in the square and his legs trapped in the circle. You can read all about Vitruvian Man here. For present purposes, he’s an excellent hat.

Here’s the top of his head.


My neck category selection is Nocturne in M, by Simone Kereit of OwlCat Designs. It’s a one-skein, asymmetrical keyhole scarf. The “M” thing is because Kereit designed it for Malabrigo Rios. Rios is wonderfully soft. It’s one of those I can’t-say-enough-good-things-about-this-yarn yarns. Especially when yarns and necks will be rubbing elbows.


I’m told that the Archangel colorway I used is very popular. I definitely like it. You can clearly see how the shades and colors evolved throughout the skein.

Next, in the baby & kids category, is Georgie Hallam’s Milo. There are 10,144 project pages on Milo. It’s an amazingly versatile little garment, sized from newborn to 6 years. Mine is knit in Debbie Bliss Rialto DK, sized for a nine month old.


When the Masterpiece Theatre production of Jane Eyre came out in late 2007, Ravelry was abuzz with discussion of Jane’s rustic shawl. Carol Sunday came to the rescue and soon developed and released “To Eyre…,” complete with that great garter stitch ruffle.



Keep in mind that what is itch to many people is cozy to me, but a rustic shawl needs a rustic yarn. Harrisville Design’s WATERshed fit the bill. This is the Mallard colorway. I really like this shawl. But as a friend commented, I won’t be mistaken for Kate Middleton when I wear it. To Eyre satisfied the shawl/stole GAL category.

This is my GAL selection in the garment category: another Georgie Hallam (TIKKIknits) design: Summer Carnival. It’s such a sweet and simple thing.


There’s a lovely brooch pattern in the heart position. And another set of three medallions (carnival/ferris wheels) on the right front near the bottom ribbing.


My Summer Carnival is knit in Classic Elite Fresco, a 3-ply sportweight mix of 60% wool, 30% alpaca, 10% angora. The colorway is 5306, which isn’t showing on the current CE product page. They would usually mean it’s been discontinued. I hope not because straw is an interesting vintage shade.

Hallam’s pattern has a 1950’s sensibility to it. I can see Doris Day wearing this.


Thanks to all the Indie Designers who worked so hard to make the third annual Ravelry GAL so much fun. They organized giveaways, gave away lots of encouragement, and gave gobs of discounts. They’re a talented and generous bunch and the knitting universe is fortunate to have them.


Boot Cuffs


Boot cuffs are the new accessory I didn’t even know I needed. Or wanted. They knit up quickly and make great gifts. Plus, they really can make boots look cool–like you’re wearing heavy fancy socks. These are knit in Brown Sheep’s Lamb’s Pride Superwash worsted. I’d never tried the superwash version of this yarn before. I was impressed. The colorway is a newer one–holly green.

This is a Kate Bostwick (Cowtown Knits) pattern: Jennifer’s Boot Cuffs. The pattern is clearly written, with no mistakes. I’ll be making these again.


Well, that was quick. This pair of Jennifer’s Boot Cuffs is knit of Berroco Ultra Alpaca worsted. That’s the yarn that Bostwick recommends. They came out great. And there are a million color choices in this Berroco yarn.

As with all the boot cuffs, you can wear them on your legs, sticking them out of your boots. Or can put them on your leg inside-out and then fold them down over the top of your boots. Quite cozy.

Here’s a closer look:



Some boot cuffs are a bit super-sized. They are best worn tucked into the boot and rolled back and in the larger version might just be worn over the boots to create a nice warm seal against the cold. These little gizmos do actually make boots warmer.

This is Simone Kereit’s (Owl Cat Designs) Hemlock Shade Boot Topper, knit in Orchid with Cashmere by Harrisville Designs. It’s an Aran weight 10 ply, in 70% wool, 25% mohair, 5% cashmere. It isn’t part of the Harrisville line-up any longer.


During the recent Ravelry Gift-Along staged by the Indie designers on the site, I won a choice of one of Kereit’s patterns and this was my pick. It’s an unusual cable and quite fun to work. The narrow looping vertical cables are connected by horizontal bits of garter stitch. What little I know about hemlock has to do with Socrates and corrupting the youth of Athens. But these boot toppers are still quite nice and are probably inspired by the coniferous plant, hemlock, not death by poisoning.


Finally, here’s a freebie in the midst of paid patterns: Codi Hudnell’s (Knit Grit) Hurricane Boot Cuffs. Mine are knit in Stonehedge Fiber‘s Shepherd’s Wool worsted. There’s a teeny hiccup in the pattern. If you just keep knitting 9 and purling 1 thoughout the rounds, as the pattern directs, you’ll not end up with the spiral hurricane look. At the start of each round, just be sure that your first purl is one stitch further along the line of purl bumps, and then the knit 9 works throughout the rest of the round.

bootcuffs I had to polish my boots for these photos, but it was worth it to show them off!