Multnomah Scarf

This is Multnomah, knitted of 4-ply Opal fingering weight sock yarn, by Zweger Garn. The yarn has been in my stash for ages. I planned to knit a pair of socks with it, but this scarf, small shawl, shawlette got knit instead. I am well-satisfied with the pattern and the result.

Multnomah is designed by Kate Elsa.  This is her free pattern. True to my curiosity about pattern names, here’s the scoop on Multnomah. It is named after a county near Portland, Oregon, that is so lush and green it reminded Kate about the beautiful green shades colorway she was working with as she designed the pattern.

I knit all the increases and all the feathers and fans out of a 372 yard skein and had what I estimate was about 30 yards left. This pattern has been knit and posted on Ravelry 4442 times. There are zero mistakes in the pattern–what a treat!

Here’s why Multnomah is my personal small triumph. In more than 50 years of  knitting I’ve never tried feather and fan.  Who knew it was so easy? What is true of many knits is that once you know the basics, if you want it pretty much you can knit it.

Well, pretty much.  I can’t knit with beads. I stink at “real” lace. Lucy Neatby’s Camelot Socks have defeated me. Twice, actually. Beverly Royce’s Stuffed Pony, from her book “Notes on Double Knitting” is knitted all in double-knit and has never been able to happen for me. Oh, add two-color brioche to what I can’t seem to master. Speaking of master, that would be Nancy Marchant, briocher on Rav, with her wonderful book and website, that still can’t get through to me. Hmm. Well. Apparently, mostly what I decide to knit I can make happen. But feather and fan? Don’t be daunted by feather and fan. Piece ‘o cake!

Morel Mushrooms

A Morel. To be exact (I think), a Yellow Morel of the deliciosa type.  In Michael Kuo’s book, 100 Edible Mushrooms, he calls this mushroom an “icon of fungal fanaticism.” If you know where they grow, a lot of the diehard ‘shroomers keep it secret. We found this one and two others under the third white pine from the water’s edge, over by the rowboat. Steve spotted them.

We consulted Kuo’s book and were 99% sure it was a Morel. One had tipped over and you could see it had a hollow stem.  Great hiding place for little critters–though it looked pretty clean.  The key distinction between a Morel and a false Morel (which could possibly send you looking for a liver transplant–but mostly it just makes you wish you were dying) is that the real deal has its elongated pitted top attached directly to the stem, with no overhang.

It could have been quite tasty. We were tempted. But being the cautious sort we called our young neighbor Neil over to check them out. He identified them as Morels straight away and pinched them off at their base. He generously offered them to us, but we took a pass. Neil sprinkled a few stem crumbs around, telling us this would encourage more to grow. Maybe. Maybe so. I like that idea.

Kuo’s advice for finding them?  “Go find a bunch of trees.”

Interesting tidbit? Morels are members of the phylum Ascomycota. This means they release their spores from tiny structures called “asci.” Scientists don’t understand why, but all the Morel asci release their spores at the same time. And they sometimes release them just as they are plucked from their position on the ground. So if you see a Morel looking like it’s smoking, it’s just releasing its bazillions of spores.

Flooding “up north”

Jared Flooding, that is. Though Michigan’s “up north” has also been deluged with rain this spring. This scarf is knit of Noro Silk Garden 309 and 244. There don’t seem to be any two colorways that you can’t combine and still come up with a cool look. These two skeins had places where the colors were a bit too close to one another, but it still looks good.

Periodically, knitters need the mindless knit. For me, it’s when I’m a passenger on a long drive. Anything the least bit complex doesn’t work for me then. This is my 4th version of the scarf. And there may yet be a 5th.

As always, looking at the skeins gives me almost no clues about how the finished scarf will look. Here’s the pattern, free on Flood’s website.


Ravelry Blog Swap

This week I participated in the Ravelry Blog Group’s yarn swap. The “rules?”  Simple. Choose a skein of yarn from your stash and mail it to your swap partner at the appointed time. It might be a very special skein. It might be something left over from a project. It might be something that’s been in your stash for years because Aunt Ethyl wanted you to have it but it’s so ugly you’ve never been able to figure out what to do with it. NessaMcTastic on Rav, who blogs at was my partner.

I lucked out! No “vintage” wintuk acrylic 100% nonallergic orange-green-tan mix. Instead Vanessa sent me a lovely denim-colored skein of Patons SWS (Soy Wool Stripes). The yarn is an Aran weight, with subtle color gradations.

The yardage is 110, so whatever I chose to make it needed to be dainty, size-wise.  I thought about knitting fingerless mitts. That would have worked. And I like to knit teddy bears in colors that do not appear in nature, so that thought competed for my attention too.

I decided to use the yarn search on Ravelry to inspire me on a one-skein project choice. There are currently 9627 projects posted on Rav knitted or crocheted with Patons SWS. The yarn is stashed 5438 times. Even in the first several screens of projects, one kept catching my eye. A cool, quick-knit, headband/headscarf, from Knitty’s winter 2006 edition: Calorimetry. It looked like it would show off the color changes in an interesting way and the yardage looked about right.

My Calorimetry definitely captures the color changes. I was short a bit on the yardage, but was able to modify the end of the pattern to complete the increases in fewer rows. My version is very close to the original. I am well satisfied.

I always have an interest in how patterns pick up their goofy names these days. Calorimetry is a scientific term for the measurement of heat lost or gained. So, I guess this headband is supposed to be a way to, to, to reduce heat loss or or or something like that.

Thanks Vanessa a/k/a NessaMcTastic!

Stained Glass Window Mesi Hat

This is Mesi Hat, designed by Finland’s Suvi Simola. It is available as a free download on Ravelry and on Suvi’s website. Just scroll down Suvi’s pattern listing on the right side of her site until you reach her stunning wine and pink version of this hat.

Mine is knit in sport weight Blackberry Ridge yarn. I thought this pattern would be just the thing to tame the variegated beast, their Kaleidoscope in a discontinued bright colorway.

The body of the hat is a simple slip stitch pattern. As you reach the decrease portion at the top, you change to stranding.  The hat ends up looking quite small. But I have a major pumpkin head and the very stretchy slip stitch opens up quite nicely and fits well.   Thanks, Suvi!