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.


Hats for the polar vortex


This is a great walk-in-the-woods hat for hunting season. It’s Alexis Winslow’s Cabled Dad Hat, a free pattern if you’re OK signing up for her Knit Darling newsletter. She doesn’t stuff my mailbox with a bunch of emails. I’m grateful for that and for this excellent free pattern.

It’s a nice rhythmic knit. I used one of the best blaze orange wools around: Briggs & Little Heritage in their hunter orange colorway. It’s a rustic worsted, so if you’ve got that itch-adverse thing going, you’ll likely want to choose another yarn. But I like the feel of rustic wools. What others think is itchy I just experience as warm.

My brother the hunter is wearing this one. Top priority for me…was the top. I eschew hats that have pointy tops. This one has a bit of extra fluff where the crown decreases start, which a softer wool would probably tame, but check out the top. No point!


I was drawn to the this next one, a design by Miranda Grant of Pokitoknits, because pine trees and I are good buddies. Her hat is called Coniferae.


Coniferae, also known as Pinophyta, is the division of plants that include pines, firs, and other evergreens. You know…conifers…cone-bearing trees. And Coniferae is basically the Latin plural feminine of conifer. Anyway, it’s a really nice hat and deserves more attention than it’s getting on Ravelry so far. I used Stonehedge Fiber Mills Shepherds Wool, a worsted, in their blue spruce colorway.

coniferae_topConiferae has an interesting almost whirligig top and, again, no dreaded pointy top. Grant’s pattern calls for an Aran weight, but my hat worked out nicely in a worsted.

This next hat is Diametric, by Susan Villas Lewis of Stay Toasty and The Thinker hat fame.


And here’s the glass head wearing it and showing off the patterning a bit more. The hat is an enjoyable knit. Just enough going on to keep a knitter from getting bored.

diametric_sideThe crown decreases are worked in pattern, giving the hat a nice swirling effect and…you guessed it, no point.

diametric_topThis is Kraemer Yarns Perfection Tapas, a 23% wool/77% acrylic worsted. I was drawn to the pink and green mix, their arugula colorway, and was prepared to not like the yarn much. No knots. A nice soft but weighty quality to it. It won me over.

The Thinker


No. Not the Thinker you’re thinking of. The Thinker, by Susan Villas Lewis.


Susan designs under the name Stay Toasty and her patterns are available for download on Ravelry. Here’s another look at one of my new favorite hats. And then a view from the front and from the top because this hat is great any which way you look at it.



My Thinker is knit in that new favorite yarn of mine: Plymouth Yarn Worsted Merino Superwash. Every stitch pops!

The Thinker pattern is clearly and intelligently written. I’ve found no errors and see none reported on Ravelry. It’s sized from newborn to adult large. Many knitters write that they found they couldn’t knit just one. And I couldn’t either. This is Isaac’s version, knit in the same yarn.