Pairings

Sometimes one thing fits so nicely with another thing that a knitter just can’t resist. This was a gift for a newborn and a gift for his sib. Levi got the Milo vest, by Georgie Nicolson. It’s knit in HiKoo Simplicity Solid, an easy-care DK weight spun in 55% merino, 28% acrylic, and 17% nylon. And for the sib? My Sunrise Side Bear, a Ravelry freebie, dressed in Nicholson’s Dolly Milo.

This is one time that matchy-matchy is no shame. I kind of think it’s baby-present perfect.

Here’s a closer look at this iteration of Sunrise Side Bear, knit in Berroco Comfort Print. Comfort is a very soft yarn so I knit this fellow at a very tight gauge, on US size 3 needles. That’s because it wouldn’t do to have stuffing showing through because Bear would be very emBEARassed.

I decided to knit Judith Durant’s freebie Watch Cap with the rest of the Comfort skein. I was surprised and pleased by how precisely the striping worked out.

And just look at the sweet bullseye-patterned crown decrease.

This Watch Cap is a classic unisex pattern. Easy peasy is sometimes just what a knitter needs and just what a wearer wants. Pair it with a cute stuffy for a great holiday present. Knit it in playful striped yarn to brighten up a dreary wintry day. Or knit it in somber tones for all your dearly beloved stick-in-the-muds who wouldn’t be caught dead in a hat as cheerful as this one.

Stuffies a/k/a lovies

You know I couldn’t resist this one: “Grandma, I don’t have even one unicorn lovie. Can you knit a unicorn for me?”  The child is knitworthy with a capital “T.”  When she opens a package containing a newly knit lovie, she smiles broadly and immediately expresses her gratitude without prompting from her parents. Then she sets to playing with her new lovie. Her mom sends me photos of my granddaughter’s bed with a tumble of lovies and there’s my granddaughter sleeping among them.

So, this is Helena Keighley’s, soon-to-be-Evelyn’s, sensibly named Unicorn or Winged Horse. It’s knit all in Novita’s 7 Veljesta Solids. I discovered this yarn fairly recently. It’s a reasonably priced 75% wool 25% nylon yarn that works up as a worsted weight for me. I really appreciate that it comes in a wide choice of colors, including many kid-friendly saturated ones. I’ve not even encountered any knots. This is a wonderful easy-care yarn and is both machine washable and machine dryable.

This critter’s entire body (except for the wings and ears) is knit flat in one piece. That really cuts down on the sewing-up time. The mane and tail sections are added individually which is a bit of a pain. And since I super-sized Uni by using worsted rather than DK weight, and worked on size 4 needles rather than 2.5s, I added 2 sections to each size of the mane and tail dangles.

I stuffed Uni with polyester stuffing, being sure that its hind quarters and legs were firmly stuff. Uni stands without any internal aids.

I asked my granddaughter if unicorns had wings. She emphatically told me yes and that her unicorn needed wings. So wings it is. Technically I believe that makes this critter a pegasus instead of a unicorn, but no matter.

Supposedly toy sales show that unicorns aren’t the trendiest sought-after-stuffie anymore. Unicorns have been unseated in recent years by llamas. Llamas. Really? Upon hearing that, Uni spat at me and turned away in a huff.

This you-don’t-know-anything retort shows the wonderful shaping that helps give Uni an endearing sense of gesture.

And now for something completely different. Susan B. Anderson’s Mother Hen. I like to knit my critters all in the same yarn. It helps assure that parts and clothes fit together proportionally so I bought Anderson’s kit with Barrett Wool Home Worsted Weight. The kit had enough yarn, but just barely. I had only 3 yards of gray left. I’d have preferred if I didn’t have to play yarn chicken with this hen kit. But mother hen is super cute. If you haven’t figured it out yet, that’s a chick and an egg in her sweater pocket.

Here’s mother hen naked and outraged.

And here’s her accessories.

Don’t tell Evelyn–she reads but not my blog–Mother Hen will be joining Uni in the package to be sent out soon. I told this irascible hen that there will be hell to pay if she pecks at Uni on the way. I’ll know.

The blues, again

It’s time to sing the blues again as in 2020. First up in this blues redux is Benjamin Matthews’ conveniently named Art Deco Redux. I worked mine in Malabrigo Rios in the Teal Feathers colorway. Rios is right up there among my favorite yarns for knitting worsted weight hats. And Teal Feathers is a beautiful vibrant deep blue.

Some don’t like purling in the round. That’s not a problem for me. The reverse stockinette sets off the gradually increasing height of the rib section very nicely. The simple architectural design ends at the crown with some excellent swirling decreases,

Next up is Vanessa Ewing’s Dodging Raindrops Cowl. I knit mine in MCN Fingering, by Sun Valley Fibers. It’s 80% Merino,10% nylon, and 10% cashmere goat. I’ve been enjoying fingering weight cowls these days.They can take the chill out of air conditioning or take the chill out of winter. Very versatile.

It’s easy to see the falling raindrops in this pattern. I wasn’t sure if raindrops would be closer together at higher or at lower altitudes. I’ve been known to wonder about things like that. But this is the way the designer’s project page features the cowl, so I’m sticking to that.

It’s a fun knit. And this cashmere-content Sun Valley yarn has wonderful drape and feels great next to the skin.

You’ve seen Joji Locatell’s fingering weight Bobble Cowl once before on this blog. This time I bobbled away using Anzula’s Domino. Domino is an unusual mix of 80% merino, 17% acrylic, and 3% polyester. Honestly, the merino doesn’t shine through as much as I’d like. But what a great cowl.

Here’s a closer look at how the short rows and bobbles create the interesting design.

Though I miss the softness of the merino, Domino folds over onto itself very nicely and drapes well.

Back to hats. This is Ellissa Gilbert’s Hazelnut Hat.

The yarn is Jagger Spun of Springvale Maine’s “Super Lamb.” Gilbert’s pattern includes directions for DK  and worsted weight versions. I wanted a hat for a big noggin so I worked the 104 stitch DK version even though I used a worsted. I didn’t think that an 88 stitch hat would work for my bigheads, especially because of the twisted ribbing. The pattern directs you to twist the knit and the purl stitches. I dutifully twisted both and had the very sore hands to prove it. It is a nice effect though.

Pouffy slouchies are a thing these days. Uncuffed, Hazelnut poufs. And cuffing tames its pouf quite nicely.

A solid good hat pattern.

That’s all for today’s blues.

Happy Halloween

Halloween was a big deal during my 1960’s childhood. The candy was a draw for sure. Getting dressed up in costumes and walking around at night was special. We didn’t wear our costumes around the house or at any time except Halloween. And we did not otherwise often walk the neighborhood at night. It was a safe neighborhood. It just wasn’t something we did. The rule was “be home when the street lights come on.”

This year Halloween on my blog is all dishcloths. In fact, they are all cloths by Amy Marie Vold, the talented mosaic stitch designer whose work I frequently knit. She calls this design Along Came a Spider.

I knit my spider set in Knitpicks Dishie. Dishie’s vibrant colors and not-too-rustic 100% cotton yarn both work well for mosaic work. “Creepy, crawly, creepy, crawly, creepy-creepy, crawly-crawly.” So say Bori the spiders.

This next creepy cloth is Clean to the Bone. I knit it in Paintbox Cotton Aran. Skull and crossbows dude is fine with a more rustic kitchen cotton. More down to earth.

I was raised on the East Side of Detroit. East Side kids came to your door on Halloween and yelled “Help the poor.” Just “Help the poor.” That’s what (and all) we yelled. I was an adult, and living on the West Side, before I heard kids yell the rest: “Help the poor, my pants are tore, gimme some money and I’ll buy s’more.” I was shocked to learn the rest of the chant. We kids on the East Side were in a hurry for the candy. Standing out in the cold shouting more than just a few words was so not going to happen.

And this last cloth? It’s Bone Dry Bar Mop knit in Paintbox Yarns Cotton DK. I knit almost all cloths in worsted weight kitchen cotton. But this larger pattern needs more “presentation” space. A DK weight works well too. It may even sop up a little better than worsted after a few washes because it seems to resist shrinkage a little better.

East Side kids also did not ever yell “trick or treat.” It has the benefit of being quick to say, like “help the poor.” But “trick or treat” was for the ill-mannered (just kidding) West Side kids. We Eastsiders presented as waifs not bullies.