Joji Locatelli and Madelintosh


This is Joji Locatelli’s Suburban Wrap, knit in Madelintosh Tosh Merino Light. I was gifted three skeins of this yarn. Gulp! I wanted to find a pattern that would do it justice and I believe I succeeded.

This wrap was a little hard to photograph. But it will be very easy to wear.

I thought the lace would be a challenge for me, but it worked out well.

Following the lead of a few others on Ravelry, I  knit the first stitch of each row instead of slipped it–mostly to help neaten the striped section edges. For me, that slip stitch as the yarn colors change ends up looking sloppy. Others manage it just fine. But I must not quite have the knack. Ok. It doesn’t help that occasionally I forget to slip and then you get that galumph on the edge.

As is true of others, I substituted a CDD (slip 2 together knitwise, knit one, pass the slipped stitches over) for the sk2p (slip 1, k2 together, pass slipped stitch over) that the lace section called for.

Thanks so much, good friend. The yarn was a joy to work with. Here’s my yarnie bouquet as it arrived from Jimmy Beans:

The yarn was so lovely to work with that I didn’t want any to languish in my oddments bin. Since I was on a Joji Locatelli roll, I decided to work up the rest of the yarn by knitting her long, tall Three-Color Cashmere Cowl with the remainder. Well, I needed to add one other yarn to get the required length. And Tosh Merino light is obviously not cashmere. So let’s just call this my More-Than-3-Color-Not Cashmere Cowl.

You know from my recent posts that orange and I are having a good run. I think my partial skein of Classic Elite Yuri was just the thing to make this cowl pop.

 

Yep, that does nicely.

Orange are the new cowls

This is Taiga Hilliard’s Alana cowl. It’s a very different knit for me. Way more fashion-forward that I’d usually mess with. This is not going to be a warm cowl and I am typically a utilitarian knitter. Oh, I suppose it could take the edge off office air conditioning. But I left the office behind more than 4 years ago. Even though I like this, it’s just not me and I’ll be gifting it to someone. But I haven’t yet figured out who. This was a quick, fun knit.

Another reason why this knit is different for me is that I knit Alana in Anzula Vera, a sport weight fiber mix I’ve never worked with before. It’s 65% silk with the remaining 35% described as “linen/flax.” I’ve never knit with an Anzula yarn that wasn’t a satisfying experience. Vera was deeply discounted. I gave it a try. My reaction to all silks is that it’s a very dry yarn to work with. Borrowing an expression I heard recently from the young plumber who worked on my water softener system, “dry as a popcorn fart.” That’s not a feel my hands like. As I knit I feel as if the yarn’s sucking out all the moisture from my hands. Still, the yarn was uniform, with no knots.

You may be wondering about this stitch pattern. That was a first for me and it’s what drew me to the pattern. I figured it was a dropped stitch pattern, but I had no idea how it was formed. I won’t spill all the beans. It combines an elongated stitch with a dropped stitch. You knit tightly compacted cables all across the rounds of the cowl. Then, on the last round–as you bind off– comes all the magic. With apologies for the color disconnect, that’s when this:

changes into this:

Next up is yet another Wolkig, this time in Sun Valley Fiber, an 80% merino, 10% cashmere goat, 10% nylon fingering weight.  It’s Martina Behm’s freebie pattern, available on Ravelry. I’ve knit it seven times and only have one Wolkig in my personal collection. When it comes to my holiday-pick-your-gift gathering this year, I’ll wager that this orange one won’t last long.

I am always pleased with the organic look that the super-simple Wolkig pattern produces. Check here for other Wolkigs I’ve knit. 

Orange are the new hats

As the weather heats up again, my knitting thoughts turn to orange. Well, to warm wintry hats also, coincidentally, orange. I know, it’s goofy.

This is yet another Chameleon Hat, Nicky Epstein’s classic pattern. You’ll have to search a bit for books containing the pattern, but it’s worth the search. I knit this version in Berroco Comfort. You can wear it slouchy or you can wear it rolled.

Or you can wear it folded. For more versions, scroll through here and here and here.  It’s such a fine pattern!

And It even passes the tidy crown decrease test.

This little burnt orange beauty is Aimee Alexander’s Sleepy Sunday Hat. It’s available on Ravelry and is sized from infant to adult large. My Ravatar is modelling it here.

I love the look on infants.

Again, it’s a multiple knit for me. This one is knit in Sugar Bush Yarns Crisp, a merino DK weight yarn that I much enjoyed working with.

The orange hat parade just doesn’t want to stop. This is Antelope Slouch Hat, Kelly McClure’s Ravelry freebie with more than 500 project pages. I decided to knit mine with the picot brim. Others decide to rib the hat.

Again, this hat includes a well-behaved crown. I knit this version in Rowan’s Pure Wool Superwash Worsted. Here’s a tri-color and a navy version. Plus one more.

So, when the weather heats up, think cool thoughts and knit warm hats. That’s what I do anyway.

Kittens galore

These little kittens are, well, the cat’s meow? No. I didn’t say that. (They are, though.) You’ve seen Sara Elizabeth Kellner’s freebie Tiny Window Cat once before on my blog. The first one was quite a hit with my little granddaughter. At her mom’s urging (“Did you want to ask grandma if she could knit something for you?”), Evelyn smiled so sweetly and asked if I could knit her kittycat a friend. Oh my. Is that like every crafting grandma’s daydream?

In case you’re thinking tiny might not mean particularly tiny, here’s original kitty cat’s new friends compared to a thimble.

Wild whiskers seemed in order. I have waxed thread in my thread stash and that worked out well.

The baskets are my addition to the pattern. Here’s how I knit them. Cast on 32 stitches, in the round. Knit 9 rounds. Purl 1 round. Knit 9 rounds. Bind off. Fold the basket on the purl ridge and sew the cast on and bound off edges together, wrong sides facing each other. Echoing the construction of the bottom of the cat, pick up 32 stitches along the bottom edge. Work rounds 1 through 5 of Kellner’s pattern for the bottom of the cat, except on rows 1, 3 and 5, work the decreases 8 times around to form the bottom of the basket. Draw together the remaining stitches and your basket is complete.

While on a cat theme. This litter of kitten dishcloths makes a sweet gift for the cat lover in your circle. These are Amy Marie Vold’s PurrPetual Domestic Supervisors cloths. One pattern provides a knitter with four ways to knit the cat.

Mine are knit in Paintbox Yarns Cotton Aran. This set of four used 50 grams of yellow and 50 grams of blue, 30 grams of white, and 14 grams of green. If you haven’t yet tried mosaic (a/k/a slip stitch) knitting, it’s an easy colorwork technique, well-explained in the pattern. You use only one color at a time. Easy peasy and great fun.

New knits for used yarn

Aren’t these vintage bed socks sweet? I was poking around on Abe Books not too long ago, looking for knitting books. Throughout the 70’s and 80’s and, ahem, even earlier, I often knit from patterns in McCall’s Needlework & Crafts. I’d never seen this copyright 1984 hardbound book before. But for $3.50 and free shipping I took a chance that it might have some interesting patterns.

Ta da! Bedsocks!

My new mattress has some sort of air-cooled feature that is chilling my feet down into the sub-zero range. I’ve taken to wearing my wool socks to bed. Truthfully, it’s 93 degrees Fahrenheit in northern Michigan today and this isn’t a problem at present. But bedsocks sounded like just what I needed.

I knit these in Stonehedge Fiber Shepherd’s wool. This worsted weight worked out perfectly. My toes stay cozy and they’re cute to boot.

My bedsocks used to be something else. A Betangled Cowl. I know. The cowl was lovely and it was great fun to knit. But all those buttons weighed it down and I just couldn’t seem to get it to lay correctly or comfortably around my neck. And it suffered mightily from flopsy syndrome. So I unravelled it. And now I have bedsocks, with yarn to spare.

A perfect fit.

These next worsted weight socks are knit in Berroco Vintage. I see it as a worsted though Ravelry ids it as an Aran-weight. Steve likes worsted weight socks, especially when he’s lounging around in his slippers in cold weather. These are Michele Wyman’s Twinkle Toes socks. Maybe you guessed that I didn’t feel I needed to tell my mate the name of his socks. He’s totally unfussy about colors. This apricot suits him just fine. But I might have been pushing it with Twinkle Toes.

Confession time. These used to be something else too. In its former life it was the Square Deal Scarf. I really enjoyed knitting that scarf. But the width was kind of overwhelming and I didn’t think it likely I would wear it or find somewhere to re-home it. So, the yarn has new life in Twinkle Toes. Plus I have gobs of yarn left for something else.

When I reuse yarn, maybe I take the lazy knitter’s route. I don’t wash the yarn. I just unravel the knitting, ball up the yarn as I unravel, and then I start knitting again. After the new knit is complete, as I block the new knit, is time enough for washing the yarn. Working with the yarn for a second time pretty much irons the kinks out anyway.