Headband Doubles

I’ve been in a bit of a knitting stutter lately. I knit one and then I knit another. And sometimes I knit even more anothers.

This is Knitwise Design’s Triple Crowner Headband. Mine are knit in one skein of Berroco Artisan, an 80% merino wool, 20% silk worsted weight. At 123 yards per skein, my two orphan skeins hung out in my stash for quite awhile before I came up with the perfect project. Ninety yards is all it took to work up one of these beauties.

Here’s a closer look at this excellent unisex pattern:

There are two rows of the cabling that require using two cable hooks. But the pattern explains exactly how to manage it and it’s great fun!

The Heads were in a keen competition for who got to wear which headband. They were under the impression that the reference to “crown” in the pattern name suggested something about royalty and both wanted to wear the gold one. I explained that “Triple Crowners” are hikers who have thru-hiked all three of America’s long distance trails: the Appalachian, the Pacific Crest, and the Continental Divide. The heads were humbled at the thought of walking nearly 8000 miles and piped down.

My stashdown continued, this time with another fun Knitwise Design pattern: Earbuds. I knit these in Valley Yarns Berkshire Bulky and am very pleased with the results:

You might say I got a bit carried away with these. But considering that I now have only one pair left, I guess it wasn’t too many pairs to knit.

Earbuds fit easily in a coat pocket and really come in handy on a chilly day. Just be prepared when the thin ones among us look at them in a puzzled way because only the thin would see them as bikini tops.

So, what more can I say about the great freebie pattern, Calorimetry, that I haven’t said before? More than 19,000 of these headbands have been knit and posted as projects on Ravelry. That puts it among the most-knit patterns on Rav.

This is the first time I’ve knit this headband in Noro Kureyon. I like the way the short rows make the color pool in such an interesting way.

Recently, a friend pointed out that in a pinch Calorimetry serves quite nicely as a cowl.  I’d not thought of that. This pair is my 22nd and 23rd Calorimetry, but I’ve not had time to experiment with one. My tradition is to let family and friends choose holiday gifts from my stash of accessories and Calorimetries always get picked. I believe I will keep one of these for me.

The stashdown continues!

Doubles

A major stash-down is underway. That means getting reintroduced to lots of fun wonderful yarn that’s been lolling about in my stash. It also means deleting all those wonderful yarnie emails I get–without even opening them. Ok, that’s a bit militant. But I’m going to attend a few knitting events in the next several months and my plan is to be sure there are major holes in my stash by the time I get to the marketplaces. So, I’m not feeling one bit deprived. Well, maybe one bit. Still, stash-downing is turning out to be fun.

I’m tending to knit small projects and patterns that I’ve knit before.

These first two hats are Jo Klim’s Totalee Slouchee, knit in Merino Extrafine Color 120 by Schlachenmayr. That’s a DK-weight superwash merino. Here’s a closer look:

I know. Not everyone’s cup ‘o tea. But what one set of eyeballs sees as garish another sees as daring and colorful. These are my 4th and 5th knits of this pattern, in this yarn. And my friends and family chose all three original knits as holiday gifts. In fact, the one with the orange highlights already walked out my door as a birthday present for a friend’s head.

I enjoy that the crowns of these hats, in this yarn, create that flower or bulls-eye. I suppose that what you see might depend on whether your head prefers shooting or gardening. I don’t like either. But I do like this hat.

I had three skeins of each colorway and used up the remaining yarn with a simple freebie pattern that showcased this yarn to good effect. These next hats are Janet D. Russell’s Child’s Self-Striping Hat. The pattern name throws you a bit of a curve on the sizing. Russell’s pattern includes from an extra small to an extra large. I knit the large, figuring it would work well even for the young ones and used just under 180 yards, DK-weight.

Here’s glass head looking all cheerful, as if it hadn’t just recently reached twenty-five below at our water’s-edge weather station. And that’s real degrees, none of that wimpy wind-chill stuff.

 

Again, this yarn rewards knitters with an excellent crown. Children are the likely recipients of these hats. I decided to add a pompom to both. Yep, I know that even grown-ups can stick pompoms on the top of their heads if they want to. The pompoms ended up ringed by that nice splash of color.

Such fun.

This week, what with February 14th coming up, is a good time to show off a pair of Knitwise Design’s Young at Heart Hats.

Rather than work with traditional heart motif colors, and consistent with the stash-down underway, I knit these in pastels of Plymouth Yarn’s Worsted Merino Superwash. It works. Good yarn. Great pattern. Those slip stitch hearts are the best.

Well, maybe the little dangling heart toppers are the best.

How would we smile our way through the long cold winters without knitting?

Every little bit counts

My 2019 resolution was to try hard to knit all usable quantities of a colorway before I proceed to a new yarn for a new project. Kind of “finish your peas before you eat dessert” thing. Well, except that Schoppel-Woole Zauberball and Cascade Yarns Superwash Sport are hardly the peas of the yarn world. Apologies, to you pea lovers, but peas taste terrible and I bet somewhere deep down you know that too.

So, first I used a smidge of the Daffodil colorway to knit my Annita Wilschut Vera bear a rain hat.

Perfect. That was in the summer of 2014.

My Daffodil languished. Next, in the fall of 2018 I knit Wolkig in my black/gray/white Zauberball.

I broke into the  Daffodil for the cuffs of my adult moc-o-socs.

Such a great pattern by Rebekah Berkompas.

Then, with most of the leftover Zauberball and a dainty amount of the Cascade 220 sport Daffodil, I knit Justyna Losorska’s freebie beanie, Fasolka. I followed her instructions exactly, except that I went my own way on the color combination.

I see this sportweight hat as a great success. It even has an excellent crown, with no hint of the dreaded pointy beanie syndrome.

The Zauberball colorway worked out so excellently, I will be indulgent and give you another view.

What next to knit. I’d been eager to give Cecelia Compochiaro’s “sequence” knitting a try. My first attempt was her Swirl Hat, using her spiral sequence method.

If case you haven’t heard about or tried sequence knitting yet, let me intrigue you. All the patterning on this hat repeats the same 10-stitch sequence. Yep, the diagonal slices, separated by a few rows of stockinette, are several rounds of the same sequence worked over and over again, ignoring the end-of-round marker. The shift in the direction of the slice happens magically (or so it seems to me) by a minor adjustment to the number of stitches in the round that happens in the stockinette section.

There was even enough Zauberball left for a right-sized pompom.

My Cascade 220 superwash sport hadn’t run out yet, so I couldn’t quit on it. This next hat is Susan Villas Lewis’s Vitruvian Man.

The Vitruvian Man, at least the one who isn’t a hat, is DaVinci’s drawing of a man stretched out in a circle, with his arms stuffed into the top of a square and his legs stuffed in the bottom of a circle. You know, this guy:

It’s a fun motif to knit. The entire hat is very cleverly designed.

Check out the great crown.

I have a big gumball sized ball of Zauberball left. And what’s left of my Cascade 220 sport isn’t quite a golf-ball sized ball. Every useful bit is used up.

More for your neck

This pretty is Betangled Cowl by Jennifer Weissman. It’s designed for an Aran weight yarn. But I decided to knit it in Stonehedge Fiber Shepherd’s wool, a worsted. It was mid-December during a dreary stretch of days. I succumbed to the lemon yellow colorway. And that luxurious 24-stitch cable. Yep. 24-stitch. I was finally able to use a gigantic j-hook cable needle that I’ve never used before to hold those 12 stitches.

I obviously knew that I was under gauge. This wool, in these stitches, wasn’t happy until I moved down to a size 8 (and 7) US-sized needle. Since it was going to be lemon yellow come hell or high water, I decided I’d accept a narrower version and just add some pattern repeats. My gauge was 20 stitches to 4 inches (not the 17 the pattern calls for) and 34 rows to 4 inches (not 26).  I knit the medium size and ended up knitting 10 pattern repeats (rather than the 8 that the pattern called for). Mine is 9.5 inches tall and 36.5 inches edge-to-edge.

I like this one. A lot. The pattern is available for purchase here on Ravelry.

I thought I’d sworn off buttoned cowls. Generally, even lightweight buttons add more weight to a cowl than I prefer. And then the cowl sags along the button-band line. But Betangled bewitched me. If I make this again, I believe I’ll do a provisional cast-on, ditch the buttons, and graft the ends together. I’m not sure how I’d manage the ribbing sections though.

This looks and wears much better on my glass head than it does on me. It seems to take more precise wearing skills than I possess. But I’ve been advised “Just put it on and ignore it because it’s beautiful.”

I sewed a button on both sides of the top buttonhole so that when the cowl flips forward, there will be a button.

This is Ann Budd’s Crimson Leaves Cowl. Mine is knit in Sun Valley Farms MCN fingering weight. The yarn is a great mix of 80% merino, 10% cashmere goat, and 10% nylon,

This cowl was a lot of work. 252 stitches and size 2 US needles. There are no resting rows in the 4-round, 18-stitch repeat lace pattern. But the pattern is not complicated. To the awake and alert, anyway. I am not a skilled lace knitter and I was able to manage it without lifelines, just using stitch markers to frame the pattern repeats.

I’ve not knit many fingering weight cowls. Glass head is able to keep it from flopping over at the neck and showing its reverse side. I’m not so successful with that because, well, because I move. Despite it’s floppiness I like this cowl and have already gotten a good deal of wear out of it.

I used Elizabeth Zimmerman’s sewn bind-off, as the pattern suggests. It’s very elastic, which assures that the bind-off won’t bind. And it does leave the fabric somewhat wavy. But it’s not much of an echo of the waviness of the cast-on edge. Sort of the nature of the beast, I guess. This cowl needed a rather stern wet block to open up the pattern. I wasn’t successful, though, in matching the bind-off edge to the handsome cast-on edge.

This next pattern is Martina Behm’s great freebie, Wolkig. It’s another fingering-weight cowl. But this one-row pattern (that’s not a misprint) is incredibly easy to knit.

Behm explains: “The Wolkig cowl is twisted and has extra volume due to strategically worked decreases and increases, so it can be stretched a little to fit comfortably over your head when putting it on. Stretched in the other direction (lengthwise), it will fit snugly around your neck without leaving any gaps where the cold wind might sneak in.” Here’s a look at it off-neck.

Wolkig, which means “cloud” in German, is even interesting on its non-public side, as this next photo shows. That’s especially true worked in a variegated yarn like my Zauberball by Schoppel-Wolle. Zauberball is a sportweight, though maybe a lightweight sportweight. It still worked out well.

This is my fourth Wolkig. You might want to check out the rest. I measure the success of this pattern partly by the fact that every Wolkig I’ve knit is sprucing up somebody else’s neck. My knitworthy folks like this pattern a lot. I really should knit one for me.

For your neck

Felt Head is wearing Diamond in the Rough, a Baah Yarn scarf. Baah set the price at $6 and it’s available (for that price) on Ravelry. The local yarn shop where I bought my skein of La Jolla, a 100% merino fingering weight, said the pattern was free and gave me a copy. They are, excuse me were, a reputable shop that I assume had Baah’s permission to distribute the pattern for free with a purchase. I don’t whine about pattern prices on this blog or in the real world either. But I make an exception for $6 for a three-stitch repeat across every row of the scarf. C’mon–I’m definitely going to bleat to Baah about that!

This planned pooling pattern is supposed to work well with Baah Yarn’s “dipped and dappled” La Jolla. I used the Tequila Sunset colorway.

I’ve knit this pattern, twice, in Baah’s Savannah. The planned pooling worked out great.

The pattern says it’s designed for both Savannah and LaJolla. It’s also supposed to work itself into a plaid (sort of) in LaJolla. This time it didn’t work as well as I’d have liked. In the center part of the scarf the pooling worked perfectly. I have a rough but fairly distinct plaid. But on both ends? The patterning is dramatically off. I thought maybe the first part of the skein was dyed incorrectly. The end section is “off” in a similar way.

It’s still pretty. Well, except for the sections that look like long drips of blood. So, not what I expected or hoped for.

I have one more skein of LaJolla in my stash. I may give Diamond in the Rough one more try sometime soon.

LaJolla is fairly expensive yarn, in the $30 range for 400 yards. Noro Transitions is competitive with LaJolla price-wise per 130-yard skein. Actually, was competitive. It’s been discontinued. But I found a few skeins at a deep discount. Transitions is 51% Wool/ 14% Silk/ 7% Cashmere/ 7% Angora/ 7% Alpaca/ 7% Mohair/ 7%Camel. Yep. You can’t make that up!

I used Purl Soho’s free mistake rib scarf pattern. Mistake rib works with any multiple of 4, plus 3 stitches. I cast on 23 stitches, which turned out to be about six inches wide, using size 11 US needles. I knitted until both my skeins were exhausted. This kind of knitting goes so very, very quickly that there’s no chance the knitter will be exhausted by the effort. I ended up with a 60-inch scarf.

You’re wondering what Wool/Silk/Cashmere/Angora/Alpaca/Mohair/Camel yarn feels like? As the skein progresses, through (apparently) a series of blends of fiber, one fiber or the other dominates. I could distinguish the wool, the angora and definitely the silky sections. The other fibers are less familiar to me so I didn’t recognize the feel–except, different. It’s a fun super bulky and if you can find any skeins I recommend it for a quick knit.