Even more doubles

A repeated theme on this blog is knitting doubles. I get a kick out of working up the same pattern in different yarns or by reversing colorways. This first doubles is Justyna Lorkowska’s freebie Scrappy Ski Hat. Lorkowska designed this hat to use up worsted weight oddments. And it is beautifully suited to that. But I knit mine in Mirasol Umina, a 50% merino 50% alpaca worsted that is wonderfully soft.

Check out how nicely the crown decreases work out.

If you like this next hat (I do), you’ll have to work a bit harder than merely clicking over to Ravelry to buy a copy of the pattern. This is Carol A. Anderson’s Anna Hat. You’ll find it in her company’s (Cottage Creations’) “Caps (and more) for the Gals” booklet, #R32, copyright 2010. The pattern is on page 16 and is labeled “A Very Warm Textured Cap and Mitten Set for Rialey and Anna.” The booklet can be ordered here. There are a number of excellent patterns included.

I’d purchased two deeply discounted skeins of Cascade Pacific, a 60% acrylic 40% merino blend, figuring I’d find a use for them. The variegated colorway was a little overwhelming but this pattern stitch worked really well to tame it.

Without those stitches slipped with the yarn in front, which creates that bar of yarn, this colorway would have been hard to take.

I’m now liking this wild colorway and cool hat quite a bit. Here’s the same Anna Hat in a quieter variegated in the same yarn.

Kelbourne Woolens released a free hat pattern every month in 2019. This is a pair of June Hats, designed by Meghan Kelly. I like many of Kelbourne’s Year of Hats and knit quite a few of them. In fact, I’ve knit June before. I think that easy slip stitch chain in the main color is just the cat’s meow.

And my pompoms aren’t too shabby either. These hats are knit in Rowan Pure Wool Superwash Worsted.

It’s yarn leftover from one of my favorite Rambling Rows ever.

“And now, for her next trick…” a triple. A triple Boon Island, by Aimee Alexander. First in Ella Rae Classic Solids, Heathers & Marls, but this is marl:

And the next two Boons are in Plymouth Yarns Encore, a 75% acrylic 25% wool workhorse.

 

Boon Island is very versatile. I much like the rough pebbly non-public side, which makes for a good brim for those who favor brim over slouch.

The crown decreases are handsome and well-behaved.

“Tha…tha…that’s all folks!” If you’d enjoy some more doubles, check out here and here and here.

Acorn Hill Pony (& Unicorn) Revisited

This is a Acorn Hill Pony, a Ravelry freebie offered by…by me. My favorite yarn for knitting the pony is Lamb’s Pride Brown Sheep worsted, as in this strong yellow version.

I only take partial credit for the design because I didn’t originally design it. Acorn Hill Pony is originally a pattern attributed to a knitter associated with the Acorn Hill school. It’s a Waldorf kindergarten and nursery in Silver Spring, Maryland. In May of 2017, the school’s administrator, Janet Johnson, gave written permission for me to publish my modified pattern on Ravelry. I modified the pony some and extensively re-wrote the original pattern to conform to the sensibilities of modern knitters.

The school’s generosity is greatly appreciated. Some good came to the school as well because Johnson told me they’d lost the pattern in the intervening years since it came into my hands around 1990.

My assorted Ravelry project pages on the pony show the 45 versions I’ve knit of this little guy in the past decade.  I knit many many more in the pre-Rav days. I’ve knit these for assorted school bazaars, birthdays, and baby births.

The pattern has now been downloaded 1388 times. And there are 30 Ravelers (not counting me) who’ve knit the pony. A few have knit baskets full of them! It’s been great fun to see how others interpret their ponies. They are finished with more realistic straight manes. They’ve been embroidered, and appliqued. They’ve been posed on logs, on antique china cabinets, in gardens, and with babies holding them. One German knitter changed the pony into a unicorn and, inspired by her, I recently decided to do the same.

I’ve been so pleased that other knitters find this pony fun to knit and fun to modify!

Acorn Hill Pony is approximately 7.5 inches/19 cm long from nose to tail and 6 inches/ 5 cm from hoof to head. It’s knit flat on needles 2-3 sizes smaller than typical for the yarn weight. This is because Acorn Hill Pony is shy about having his stuffing show through his hide.

Here’s a recent set of ponies that are headed to a local fundraising shop.

Deconstructing them will give you a sense of how easy they are to assemble. In fact, if you decide to braid the mane that takes about as long as the knitting and sewing up!

Here’s the pink herd looking a little naked and chilly.

Here’s the herd a tad deflated, in their pre-stuffed phase.

And here’s how the herd looked just after they’d trotted off the needles.

Here’s more on the ponies. And more. And more. And even more. Maybe you’ll want to give them a try the next time you need a quick-knit stuffed buddy for a little one.

More Amy Marie Vold cloths

If you’ve visited here before you probably already know my guilty pleasure: cotton cloths. Especially Amy Marie Vold’s mosaic cloths. I’ve always enjoyed mosaic a/k/a slip stitch work. I enjoy using the cloths. Oh heck, why hide out? Dishcloths. They aren’t just cloths. I don’t use them as facecloths. And calling them spa cloths is just some kind of affectation.

I like to knit dishcloths. Yep, the stuff that lots of knitters see as a total waste of the not-infinite number of lifetime wrist and finger twists we’re entitled to before we end up with carpel tunnel or knitters’ elbow. What also encourages me is that some folks in my neck of the woods who don’t have any interest in small accessories like hats (“I don’t wear hats”), scarves (“I just zip up my coat”), mittens (“I only wear gloves”), fingerless mitts (“doesn’t that just mean cold fingers”) or cowls (“what’s a cowl”), give an enthusiastic “yes” to dishcloths.

These worsted weight star cloths are Amy Marie’s “Washing with the Stars” pattern. I very much enjoyed knitting them. I was surprised that DROPS Paris in strong yellow and dusty rose worked well together. They beat a quick retreat from my door during my holiday pick-your-gift-along.

Not long before the holidays I decided to knit a dishtowel to gift a fellow knitter. I’d had my eye on Amy Marie’s DK weight cotton towel Beeline Towel from her Bee Colony ebook for a few months. While on a knitting retreat I picked up some Ella Rae Phoenix DK. Yellow and black yarn would have been a better contrast, but black yarn and I don’t play nice anymore. Even if I work on light-colored needles and under a bright light I still struggle. So, my Beeline is yellow and gray.

Very sweet.

I’d not worked with Phoenix DK before. It’s probably not going to be a favorite yarn. It’s got a bit of shine to it that I’m not thrilled with. I washed and dried the cloth before gifting it because I didn’t want to give my friend a towel that couldn’t hold up to the washer and the dryer. It developed a few ruffles on the cast on and bind off edge but otherwise did remarkably well.

I had enough yarn left lover to knit up another of Amy Marie’s DK weight cloths: “The Dishscraper That Never Sleeps.”

The city at night is great fun to knit. And you can reverse the colors and knit the daytime city. As you can see, my gray cotton definitely has a bluish tinge to it–though not so much as the night sky pictured here seems to show.

This next set is the Shore Lunch Cloth, knit here in Lily Sugar ‘n Cream worsted:

Shore Lunch is a big fav. I think it’s something about knitting those bones. Plus I do have some fisherpeople in my clan.

This next pair is from Amy Marie’s Balloon Rides pattern. The pattern allows you to pick one of six motifs to knit in the mid-section of the balloon. My set is knit in the dishcloth workhorse, Lily Sugar ‘n Cream. A friend with red countertops in her kitchen was very pleased to receive these.

I usually follow Amy Marie’s directions to use the so-called “Chinese Waitress” cast-on, so named by Cap Sease (author of Cast-On, Bind-Off) who learned it from a friend who learned it from a Chinese waitress. Here’s a link to Cap demonstrating it, in case you haven’t seen that cast-on. It makes for an interesting crochet-like chain start. Until you get the hang of it it’s a bit fiddly. And the perfect match as you end is the double-chain bind-off that Ann Kingstone demonstrates here.

That’s something else about knitting dishcloths. With such a small investment of time and materials, a knitter can try out new techniques with very little risk to purse or ego.

I should have re-watched Cap’s cast-on video before I started these next dishcloths. They are Amy Marie’s Chameleon Snowflake Poinsettia cloths. Chinese Waitress cast-on? My head and my hands know that one. No problem. Hmmm. I should have heeded Han Solo’s “Don’t get cocky, kid” admonition. I knit the cast-on wrong and somehow managed a sort of double-wide version. The cloths were still very festive though. I always keep the mistake-afflicted ones. Don’t feel sorry for me. I also have quite the collection of no-mistake cloths.

Lovey duds

You probably already know what a lovey is. Maybe you and yours call them stuffies. Or stuffed buddies. Or dolls, bears, bunnies…but those aren’t the same because what’s needed is a term that sweeps all into into one overarching category. And just “toys” obviously doesn’t do it. My lamb, with her ceramic face and hooves, doesn’t really qualify as a lovey because she lacks all cuddly characteristics.

So the table is now properly set. I knew that my granddaughter enjoyed dressing her loveys in hand knits. After unwrapping her present, she explained to her mom that her “loveys have been asking for new clothes.”

Lambie is looking smart in her sweater, hat and purse combo. The sweater is a Ravelry freebie, Little Kina by Muriela Agator. I’ve knit it a number of times, in various yarn weights and I’ve always been pleased with the results. This time I used Stonehedge Fibers’ Shepherd’s Wool Worsted. I just winged it on the beanie and purse.

Lambie insists on modeling even the clothes that aren’t properly sized for her. I believe she’s concerned that unless she tucks herself into all the lovey garments she possibly can her modeling days will be over. This Ravelry freebie is Francois Stewart’s Beary Good Dress.

I knit mine in Malabrigo Worsted. The pattern is intended to fit a 10 to 12 inch bear or doll. I downsized it by using a smaller needle (US 5) and adjusted the pattern a bit. I made two “Quaker” rolls (3 rounds purl, 3 rounds knit, 3 rounds purl) at the start. After a few rows, I k6, k2 together around the round. About 2 inches from the cast-on, I k5, k2 together around the round, k1 round, k4 k2 together around the round, k1 round. That left 50 stitches, I separated for the front and back and decreased at the edge(s) by knitting 2 together, to assure that I could k2 at the beginning and end of the ribbing rows. I worked the same edge decreases on the back, to begin and end with k2. That left a nice neat edge at the armholes.

My first attempt at Beary Good Dress was less successful, but still cute.

Lambie insists it fits her. But of course all evidence is to the contrary. I thought I had enough pink yarn to make the entire top ribbing in pink. Not so. Since I was already into the multi-colored world, and because the armholes were looking a bit ragged, I decided to do some applied I-Cord around the armholes. I still think that was an OK idea. But I executed it badly. Using the white yarn would have worked better. One thing about loveys? They are very forgiving if you dress them in garments that aren’t especially fashion-forward.

Lambie’s next dress is actually Dolly Milo, a pint-sized vest by Georgie Nicolson. The pattern calls for DK weight yarn and supplies 4 sizes, for a 5, 7, 9, or 11 inch chest. I knit the 9 inch, in Plymouth Yarn’s DK Merino Superwash. This pattern, along with its child-size Milo, is a quick, fun knit with no assembly required. Off the needles and onto the lovey (or child).

I had to wrestle this next one away from Lambie’s clutches. My Ravatar is modeling Samantha, a sweater by Terry Foust. It’s a pattern that was included in the Holiday, 1996 edition of Cast-on, a magazine then put out by the Knitters Guild of America. I cut it out of the magazine 25 years ago (gasp) and set it aside to knit someday. Someday arrived when Evelyn became interested in dressing her loveys.

The pattern’s meant for an 18 inch doll (American Girl doll size). It includes a beret. My Ravatar is a pumpkin head. The beret would fit better on an 18 inch doll with her properly proportioned head. My Ravatar wanted to keep the sweater and argued she’s been chilly lately and that a sweater would help.

Here’s most of the clothes, to give you a sense of their relative sizes.

This next photo is definitely my favorite. Here’s how some loveys spent the night after Evelyn opened her package. Grandmother proclaims again: This child is knitworthy!

New year: more hats

This is Not Cabled, by Claudia Eisenkolb. You’ve seen it here before.  This time I knit it in Plymouth Yarn Worsted Merino Superwash. This superwash is a favorite yarn of mine especially when stitch definition will really matter. My only modification was to use my regular long-tail cast-on rather than the recommended tubular cast-on. I knit all the rounds the pattern calls for in a large size and my gauge was true.

Here’s GlassHead modeling it:

One reason why I am likely this hat, a lot, is that it puts great texture on a head without squashing whatever hairdo is underneath. Many slouches look like they’d do that but turn out to be more like beanies with a rippled puff on top.

This next Not Cabled is knit in Jones Street Worsted by The Copper Corgi Fiber Studio. It’s 60% merino, 30% alpaca, and 10% silk. Jones Street is a beefy Aran weight, with good stitch definition, and a wonderfully soft feel. It’s another one of those budget-busting yarns that I reserve for special one-skein projects. I was confident Not Cabled would work well.

My stitch gauge was off a bit and my row gauge was off too. I liked the feel of the material at this gauge and, rather than move to a smaller needle, I figured following the pattern would basically work. All I did to modify the pattern was trim 6 rounds from the hat, moving from round 13 to round 20 on the second pattern repeat. To keep the not-cables lined up, I needed to adjust the end of round. I knit more stitches in round 13, beyond the end of row marker, so that the pattern would line up and still start round 20 with a purl 6, knit 2. It was a bit of trial and error–enough so that I can’t tell you exactly what I did– but it got sorted out. This version of Not Cabled has a snood quality to it. I like it!

Here’s a view of the nicely organized crown decreases.

Next up is the Ravelry freebie Koko Bean Hat by JudithMarieknits. I worked it in my trusty fav Plymouth Yarn Worsted Merino Superwash, this time in the Primavera colorway. There are many versions of this hat, copycatting a commercially produced hat that I’m unfamiliar with. This one’s a keeper.

It’s a well-behaved hat with a well-behaved crown decrease.

The next hat is Andi Satterlund’s Cabot. It shares some features of Not Cabed.  It’s another good hat to prevent hat head and avoid bad hair days. I would tend to wear it to hide a bad hair day, though. I knit it back in 2014 in a two-color version, ahem, on account of I didn’t have enough yarn to knit it properly. I always meant to knit it again but it took me 5 years to cycle back around to it.

I’m pleased with the result. It’s best knit as Satterlund intended: one colorway. The textured triangle pattern is quickly mastered and makes for a fun and easy knit.

I worked my Cabot in the excellent worsted by Anzula: For Better or Worsted. It’s 80% merino, 10% cashmere, and 10% nylon: a warm, soft, bouncy yarn. The triangles even find expression in the crown decreases.

I’m thinking that 2020 is likely to be The Year of the Hat for me. Oh, wait. Every year for me turns out to be the year of the hat.

If you record each project on Ravelry and include the yardage used and then filter your project page by the year–2019–your total yardage knit during that year will appear at the bottom of the page. I knit 31,153 yards in 2019.  This past year’s yardage total includes 51 hats. I think I got a bit carried away.