White knits

So far I’ve recently written about my new orange, blue, brown, and red knits. I know. Not really much of a way to organize my presentation. This is the last planned post that plays with just one color. And this time it’s white and sort-of-white.

Didn’t this turn out sweet? It’s Knitwise Design’s Hunting Season Hat. In my version, I’ll have to dub it Snow Season Hat. This is my third time knitting this hat and I’ve yet to knit it in blaze orange. This version is knit in Blue Sky Extra. There’s a bit of story to that. I bought my Extra in New Orleans on a business trip at a wonderful shop in the French Quarter. I knit most of it up in my Minnie. It’s a wonderful Aran weight yarn, in 55% merino 45% alpaca. And the extra must refer to extra soft because it definitely is.

I had extra Extra, so I lengthened my Annie Baker Designs Minnie to an extravagant 69 inches. It’s 11 inches at its widest point.

It was such a pretty thing. “Was” is the operative word. I simply couldn’t figure out how to wear it. I watched some videos on how to wear shawls and scarves. I got advice from friends. I finally decided to wear it once and someone told me it made “a bit of a statement.” Indeed. I frogged it. The yarn had been garter stitched for more than three years when I unravelled it and rolled it into a nice big ball. It was very kinked up but, honestly, I just didn’t feel like going through the effort to wash it and re-skein it. I just knit my hat, kinks and all.

I couldn’t be more pleased with it. Here’s a look at its crown decreases.

Hunting Season Hat barely made a dent in my frogged Extra. So I decided to knit Antonia Shankland’s Hello Cowl. It’s a Ravely freebie.

It knitted up very kinky looking and needed a complete soak to relax into the pattern. The soaking caused the crispness of the patterning to disappear. But I still like it. A lot actually. I cast on 130 stitches rather than 110 to widen the circumference. We’ve had some very chilly pontoon rides on the lake this week. I wore the cowl, some of the time, as Glass Head is modeling it. Sort of a snood.

I know I will get much more use out of this hat and cowl than Minnie. Minnie is a very sweet pattern, though. Don’t shy away from it just because I couldn’t get it to look quite right on me.

Maybe you remember that I totally overbought on my Paintbox Yarns Simply Aran when I knit two Canada Geese for my grandkids?  The pattern said one skein of white. I was making two geese. I bought two 100 gram skeins.  Think about a Canada Goose. Their only white markings are a neckband and their chest. So I had gobs of acrylic Aran weight yarn left to work with. Hats. Knitting hats in warm weather is a thing with me.

This one is Lea Petäjä’s Neulepipo Novita 7 Veljestä. When I put the title into the Google translator it translates as “Knit Hat from Novita 7 Brother.” Novita 7 Veljestä is a yarn from Novitaknits, a Helsinki company. I’m a fan of no-nonsense pattern names so “Knit Hat” suits me.

It’s an excellent combination of meandering cables and nice beefy bobbles. I’ve always enjoyed working a rolled brim when the rolling is tamed by ribbing. And the crown decreases work well too.

My white Paintbox Aran yarn Canada Geese purchase still wasn’t exhausted. This next hat from the goose stash is another Ravelry freebie: Foryla by ArtbyTekora.

Foryla means “whirl” in Cornish. These alternating medallion cables do have a whirl quality to them. They were a boatload of fun to knit. The crown decreases got rather untidy though. But unless someone is filming a drone video above you that doesn’t matter too much. This time, I think that the body of the hat makes up for it. And it’s entirely possible I goofed on following the crown decrease instructions.

For a closing laugh since I know how many of you are not dishcloth knitters, here’s Evelyn A. Clark’s Bathtime Blossoms, a Fiber Trends pattern. I knit mine in sportweight Appalachian Baby Design US organic cotton. Call it a spa cloth if that better suits. This yarn was left over from a baby hat kit I knit up years ago. Such a pretty thing! Using up oddments  is yet another good excuse for dishcloth knitting. If you need any excuses, Dot, now that you’ve begun your journey into dishcloth knitting.

Red knits

Fichu Bleu, by Orlane Sucche, was a very pleasing, soothing knit. That means something even in the best of times. In trying times it means even more. Mine is worked up in Why Not Fibers Spunky, a 100% merino sportweight. Here’s a closer look at the stitch pattern.

This is a free pattern on Ravelry. I continue to be amazed by the generosity of the knitting universe. Fichu Bleu has been in my queue for many years. I don’t often knit in sportweight. I know I could have knit it in worsted weight and ended up with a shawl with more ample coverage. Awhile back, I was gifted 3 skeins of Spunky in the raspberry colorway.  I wanted to find the perfect pattern. I believe I found it!

Since I had enough yarn, I worked one extra section A before beginning the garter stitch final section. After studying the notes of other Ravelers, I decided to follow the lead of those who used an Icelandic bindoff to assure that the bindoff would be somewhat stretchy and a bit decorative. I worked the bindoff from the right (public) side. My shawl, after a light blocking, has 56 inches of wingspan and is 22 inches at the deepest section (in the middle).

This is an excellent, no-nonsense shawl! It been cool lately in northern Michigan and I’ve already gotten some good wear out of this shawl.

It’s probably a goofy way to organize blog posts, but lately I’ve been doing color posts. Orange, blue, brown, and now it’s red’s turn.

This weird thing with the very sweet cable, knit in sport weight yarn, is another Ravelry freebie: Bea John’s Helferlein. I’m guessing you know what it is…unfortunately.

Yep. It’s an Earsaver. The idea is that you put this on the back of your head somewhere and hook your facemask on the buttons. That way your mask bypasses your ears and saves you from ear chafing.

This sounded like an incredibly good idea to me. I wear glasses and bluetooth hearing aids so there’s not a lot of real estate left behind my ears. When I wear a mask, it can get tangled up in my aids when I take my mask off. More than once I’ve had my expensive uglies try to take a flying leap.

I am super impressed with the cable in Helferlein. Someday I’m going to use that cable in something else. But, for me, the earsaver just doesn’t work. If I put it on toward the back of my head, Helferlein falls off once the mask is attached. If I put it on toward the top of my head, my mask doesn’t fit right. Maybe I have an odd-shaped head or unusual masks, because these things are working for others. Very cute fast knit. I just wish it would have worked for me. (Edited to add that Bea John visited this blog and left a comment that “if you wear Helferlein on your neck and leave the elastic bands of your mask below your ears, it fits best.”)

This next is another impressive entry into the mosaic cloth category: Amy Marie Vold’s Cannery Rows. It’s part of her Pickling, Canning, Preserving ebook. I knit the towel sized item.

The pattern allows the knitter to choose from quart, pint, and half-pint motifs. I had a blast knitting it. I knit mine in Cotton Aran by Paintbox Yarns.

While we are on the subject of mosaic cloths and red, this next is Shore Lunch Cloth, from Vold’s Gone Fishing ebook. I enjoy knitting many, in fact almost all, of Vold’s designs. But Shore Lunch is a big favorite. I knit this set in DROPS Paris, another all-cotton Aran-weight.

Graham is next up. I knit this version in Shepherd’s Wool Worsted by Stonehedge Fiber Mill. Souched or cuffed, even worn inside out, this hat is a must-knit.

Graham is a Ravelry freebie that’s been knit 8,511 times as of September, 2020. This one is my 5th. It’s a good, solid, unisex hat that’s easy to knit but not boring.

Red knits is just about finished. But I’m pleased enough with how Fichu Bleu came out that I thought I’d give you another look. I’m planning to knit it sometime again soon. It’s one good knit.

Brown knits

This is my son and grandson. This summer they both have what I call “brush” cuts. Maybe the term in this century, sigh, is “buzz” cuts? One’s beard is natural. The other’s is Claire Slade’s Simple Beard, a Ravelry freebie.

I knit my grandson’s beard in Paintbox Yarn Simply Aran. I’d misunderstood the yardage needed for the pair of Betsy’s Goose that I made for my grandkids awhile back. The result? After finishing the geese, I had 600 extra yards of brown acrylic yarn. (Thank you for asking, Marty. It looks like the geese have finally departed our lake. Soon I will take down my goose defense system. That probably means that they’ll be back.)

Back to beards. This sweet, funny pattern of Slade’s gave the guys a good chuckle. It’s such an easy knit. Everyone needs a good laugh these days and this pattern delivers.

There was still a lot of Paintbox Simply Aran brown left. Excuse me, the color is not brown. The colorway is Coffee Bean. Like I said, brown. Fairfax, designed by Donna Yacino, looked promising.

All my favorite scarf patterns are reversible. Scarves that look good from both sides just make so much sense. Rare’s the person who can put a scarf on and manage to keep the right side out even once it’s tossed over a shoulder or wrapped at the neck. And none of those rare people are men, near as I can tell. Men like to use afghans with the wrong side out. They do that even when a knitter tells them that afghans aren’t as warm if they’re used wrong side out. This scarf will likely end up on a man’s neck so reversible was important.

Fairfax is a combination of simple ribbing and slipped stitch. Mine turned out 66 inches long and 8 inches wide. And still I wasn’t done with coffee bean.

This next knit is Ditto, Anne Gagnon’s very popular Ravelry freebie. What everyone loves about Ditto is the wonderful crown decrease section.

Ditto is one great hat, with great loping cables that end so elegantly at the crown.

Next up is a bit of a cheat in the brown department. Brown, with a bit of gold worked in. It’s Rowlock Cowl, a Ravelry freebie designed by Jennifer Burke.

Rowlock is a slip stitch (a/k/a mosaic) pattern. It’s designed for DK weight. I used the discontinued Ashton, by Bristol Yarn Gallery. Ashton is 50% alpaca, 40% merino, and 10% silk. It was pricey, in its day, but it’s a wonderful yarn with excellent drape.

Rowlock is sitting in my “to be gifted” stash at the moment. But the more I look at it and feel it I think it may end up staying close to home.

Blue knits

This is Heather Zoppetti’s Mirtillo. I used Anzula Squishy. Squishy is a wonderful fingering weight in 80% merino, 10% cashmere goat, and 10% nylon that’s, well, delightfully squishy. I purchased the kit at a deep discount during a shop closeout. The pattern is a mix of garter stitch, simple mosaic work, with that cute picot edge added at the end.

The kit even included a matching shawl pin.

With any kit, my major concern is whether they’ve included enough yarn of each color to handle minor discrepancies in gauge. Not a problem. There was more than enough yarn in each “skeinette.” The only problem was that the pattern included in the kit was printed at a font-size and color that had me scratching my head. It was printed in gray. And the font size was about 6 point! Even young eyes would have been foiled. We were able to scan the pattern and then enlarge it. Otherwise, Mirtillo would not have been.

Take another look at this pretty.

It’s an itty bitty thing, though. The designer puts the dimensions at 19 inches at the wide point by 49 inches from end to end. I blocked mine as sternly as I felt wise and ended up at 17 inches by 47 inches. Either way, this is a small thing. And although I’m short I am not small. As much as I love the colors and pattern, I haven’t made up my mind yet if this one’s for me. It feels like a neckerchief and I’m not sure that’s a good look for me.

Mirtillo is only partly blue, but this next knit gives a full out blue experience in my version. It’s Assia Brill’s Distitch Edge Scarf. Brill says “distitch” is a new knitting concept.

I was skeptical that there was really anything new in the knitting universe that would edge a garter stitch scarf. But after watching this video, I was convinced Brill’s actually on to something new. Not only is it new, it’s super-easy. Check out this closer look at the result.

I declare it simply beautiful. I knit mine in Aran weight Simplinatural by HiKoo. The edge stitch is apparently just the tip of the iceberg for this new technique. Brill released an entire book devoted to it.

Try it, I predict you’ll like it!

And now, for something quite predictable. Dishcloths!  This one is “Maryanne’s” Modified Feather and Fan cloth, available here:

I never met a feather and fan I didn’t think was very cool. So much bang for the buck. Well, the unbuck, actually, because the pattern is free. My cloth is knit in Knit Picks Dishie Multi.

Here’s another Amy Marie Vold set of slip stitch cloths.

They are Snow Two Alike, worked in Paintbox Yarns Cotton Aran. The yarn is fairly new to me. It compares favorably to Drops Paris and is a tad less rustic than Lily’s Sugar ‘n Cream. One of the things I often enjoy about Vold’s cloth is knitting them in sets, reversing the colors. The differences are sometimes striking. And they make a nice set for gifting.

If you’re not a dishcloth fan, and let’s face it knitters fall into two groups in that regard, you’re tuning out by now. People either hate to knit dishcloths, consider them a waste of yarn, and unsanitary to boot. Or they passionately love knitting them, are constantly on the hunt for new patterns, and have a drawer full of them. I am of the latter group.

These three are each knit in Knit Picks Dishie Multie. The top is Jeanne Breckelman’s Easy Columns Washcloth. The one on the bottom right is Linda Smith’s Feather and Fan Dishcloth. And the bottom left is Deb Buckingham’s Marbles & Jacks. The first two are freebies.

Seeing how the variegated performs in different situations is interesting. The columns cloth on steroids would make for a great scarf or wrap. If you haven’t seen the technique before I won’t spill the beans. But the columns are just knits and purls, though you end up with a garter stitch feel to the pattern.

This next DK-weight blue beauty is Lina, by Johanna of Joko Knits. I’ve knit Lina twice before. And I will knit it again. More than 2000 Ravelers have had lively discussions about how this twisted cable NOT brioche pattern works. I knit it, as the pattern is written, except that I needed to work with a cable needle. I’ve written before about how to translate the directions to work with a cable needle. I didn’t invent those directions. They are all over project pages and at my blog entry with my earlier knits. Bottom line? Knitters need to simply trust that the pattern is correct and all will be well.


Some have tried to modify the top. I knit this one just as Johanna directed. I think it works best. It gets a bit disorganized at the very end. But it also retains the loping twisted cables almost to the very end. I’ve never learned brioche knitting. Barking and burping just never proved appetizing even though I’ve drooled over many a brioche design. To me, Lina is brioche-like. Without the extra calories of the original.

Orange stuff

Maybe orange really is the new black.  At least of late I’m not knitting anything black (aging eyes). And orange is popping up repeatedly on my needles.  Not Halloween orange. Not hunter blaze orange. Warmer and rustier oranges.

This DK weight hat is Foliage by Irina Dmitrieva. It’s free on Ravelry. Gobs of knitters have knit it and raved about it. I figured it was time I gave it a try. I had one skein of HiKoo Sueno, 80% superwash merino, 20% rayon from bamboo. I’d never knit with Sueno before this. The yarn proved to have excellent stitch definition. It has a soft next-to-the-skin feel.

Foliage has an OK crown. It gets a bit disorganized at the very end. So if any drones photograph the top of my head maybe I’ll deny I knit it. Overall it’s a beautiful hat and a well-crafted pattern.

Knitting with Sueno set me to wondering about how they manage to get rayon from bamboo. Generally, rayon production of any kind isn’t a pretty picture. It’s all chemically reshaped cellulose. Bamboo will do as well as wood pulp to produce rayon. And since bamboo grows fast it’s likely a more ecologically sensitive choice if you want to end up with rayon. But both processes create carbon disulfide as a byproduct. That’s very nasty stuff. Especially if anyone inhales the fumes. I’m hoping that the workers who have to cook up this stuff are adequately protected.

This next orange hat is Jennifer Myrick’s Skywalk. I knit mine in Plymouth Yarn’s Worsted Merino Superwash.

Such a clever combination of knits and purls. There are no cables here. I love the reverse stockinette droops.

Gatlinburg Tennessee’s SkyBridge inspired the pattern. SkyBridge spans 680 feet and is the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in North America. In the center there are three glass panels that give a better view of what’s 140 feet below.

Oh dear. That figure in the middle is checking out SkyBridge’s glass panels. In June of 2020, some goofball did a baseball slide onto the panels and cracked the glass.

In addition to not wanting children to grow up to be rayon production workers, let’s add glass maintenance workers on pedestrian suspension bridges. That said, it is easy to see how the bridge inspired the hat. Nice crown decreases too.

In case you’ve had enough of hats, let’s move on to another knitting passion of mine.

Yep, dishcloths. This one is Amy Marie Vold’s Blooming Basket, complete with butterflies. These mosaic dishcloths are totally easy and totally addicting. I knit mine in DROPS Garnstudio Paris, a good workhouse kitchen cotton slightly less rustic than Lily Sugar ‘n Cream. It’s already been doing yeoman service in my kitchen.

This next cloth is Scattered Flowers, from Evelyn Clark’s Bathtime Blossoms collection. It’s the rarity in my cloth knitting because it’s knit in sportweight. Somewhere I picked up a skein of Classic Elite Allegoro. Allegoro is, well was, 70% cotton 30% linen/flax. It doesn’t make for a hearty dishcloth. Consider it a spa cloth. I just wanted to try Clark’s pattern again. I’d last knit it many years ago.


Even though I picked up my skein of Sueno from the sale bin, it was still fairly pricey yarn. I didn’t want any to go to waste. This next hat is Aimee Alexander’s cute Sleepy Sunday. It comes in a full range of sizes. But I had only enough yarn for the toddler size, modeled here by my Ravatar.

So sweet!