Greta Thunberg

I am seriously tickled about how this worked out. Real-life Greta Tintin Eleonora Ernman Thunberg seems to often look kind of grumpy. Well, why not. She is a very serious young person. She’s trying to raise awareness and prompt actions about the world’s big climate change issues.

I don’t think it trivializes Thunberg’s efforts to knit her. Well, possibly it trivializes those efforts a tad. But this doll will help my granddaughter, who turns 6 soon, to learn more about her work.

I often struggle with faces. But I’m satisfied with how Thunberg’s turned out. I tried to capture the essential character of the original. The eyebrows ended up just angry enough. And not trying to make Thunberg smile was the right choice.

Greta Thunberg is a LoveCrafts freebie, designed by Amanda Berry. She’s part of LoveCrafts’ “Today’s Inspiring Women,” a collection that the company launched on March 8, 2020 for International Women’s Day. I knit Thunberg in Paintbox Yarns Cotton DK and purchased the kit from LoveCrafts. Buying six 50 gram balls of yarn just to have exactly the right colors is a bit obsessive, but DK weight cotton will get used. Watch for some future colorful dishcloth knits.

Read more about Thunberg here.

 

Gray study

Sometimes it’s fun to see what a yarn can do in different patterns. Here’s an experiment in Pebble, a somewhat sophisticated Knit Picks Dishie colorway. The cloth is a Ravelry freebie: Linda Smith’s Feather & Fan cloth. I especially like how the elongated-looking stitches in the feathery part, or maybe it’s the fan part, add a sense of movement to the stitch motif.

This circular cloth is Mielke’s Fiber Arts’ Knitted Round Dishcloth. Forgive the only sewn join in this short row cloth–up there in the top left quadrant. Not sure what happened. To my eye, Pebble looks disorganized in this cloth, but in an interesting organic way.

Here’s Pebble in Cecelia Fameli’s LINES Dishcloth. As the Ravelry pattern page shows, this Dishcloth is a well-behaved cloth when knit in one color. It’s all lines and more lines. But in Pebble it’s lines are obscured by color-pooling. Still, one good cloth.

Here’s a pretty one. It’s Deb Buckingham’s Spring Swatch Cloth later rechristened as the Marbles & Jacks cloth. Personally I do not see marbles or jacks. Not a bit. But I do see shoots of flowers growing from mounds. In this cloth, Pebble really shines. The open lace work creates an interesting effect in the white and shades of gray. And the draping garter stitch works well too.

This next one? This next one is Deb Buckingham’s Bellflower Dishcloth. Bottom line? Try again. Pebble makes it impossible to see what the heck is going on with this cloth. The center section is actually seed stitch, knit one purl one and then, essentially, purl one knit one in the next row. You don’t see it? I don’t either. The variegated yarn totally wierds out the cloth.

I realize that I’m ending this post with a whimper instead of a bang. But here’s another oinker. That is, another aesthetically successful cloth. This is Sammie Carraher’s Reversible Textured Dishcloth.

Not very impressive in Pebble. Check out Carraher’s pattern page and you’ll see that her cloth is quite pleasant to look at in a solid colorway. Not at all barfworthy, as when knit in Pebble.

It’s been a bit of a study in what to knit, and not, in variegated yarn. One good thing about dishcloth knitting is that nothing you knit is or needs to be precious. It’s a lowly dishcloth. Pretty or ugly, it works just the same.

Classic Ravelry freebie hats

This is Kristine Byrnes’s 1898 Hat. I first put this hat into my queue in…in…possibly closer to 1898 than 2021. Byrnes explains that the pattern is inspired by a photo of a hat pictured in a magazine that was published around 1910. Odd details sometimes trouble me about pattern naming. And that leads me to ask why this isn’t the 1910 Hat. But my brain on fiber fumes is an unruly thing.

This is a great pattern. Truly. It’s double garter stitch over the ears. So this is a very warm hat. The pattern calls for worsted weight. That’s what I used. I knit this one in Stonehedge Fiber Shepherd’s Wool in the Aurora colorway.

Here’s a look at the well-behaved crown decreases.

Off-head it looks a tad squat. That’s an illusion. It’s just a deep head-hugger.

The construction is clever. Before I knit the hat, I assumed that was an applied i-Cord edge at the bottom of the hat. It isn’t. Possibly I should just leave it that and entice you to download this freebie and give it a test drive. But Byrnes provides the reveal in her Ravelry pattern page description. The edges of the headband, that is the part that fits around the head and over the ears, are folded together along a slip stitch seam. Then the edges are knit together as you move from the garter stitch section to working in the round for the stockinette section. So what seems to be i-Cord is actually a slip stitch section running through the flat section of the garter stitch.

I finished my first 1898 and immediately started a second one.

This one I knit in a yarn that’s new to me: Novita 7 Veljesta Solid. Before returning to 1898, my apologies to any Finnish speakers I’ve offended. The yarn name has what I know as an umlaut above the “a” in Veljesta. I have no idea how to type an umlaut on my keyboard. So think “:” over that last “a,” but with the dots cozying up to one another, flipped over sideways. I hope leaving off the umlaut hasn’t said something naughty. Veljesta is an interesting 75% wool/25% nylon mix. I highly recommend the yarn. It has the warmth of wool, with nylon for strength, and was great to work with.

Back to 1898. My first one was a tad small for an adult. FeltHead’s head size is smaller than Glassheads. And I wanted to fiddle and flatten the crown decrease just a tad. So this time I added 2 rows to the ear flaps and 4 rows (or thereabouts) to the front. I ended up picking up 93 stitches–a few more than the pattern directs. Basically, you need to pick up a stitch for every furrow in the garter stitch. I reduced the stitches down to 91 in the first round. Then, in the decrease section, I started out with K11, K2tog across the round. I knit 2 rows after the first 3 decreases, and 1 row after the next 2 decreases, and then I decreased each round. The resultant crown turned out a bit more round than in my first version.

If I can just find 2021 heads who like this 1898/1910 look, these hats will be popping off my needles like crazy.

One thing that occured to me (and I’m not the first)? Just stopping after the headband and stitching the edges together makes for a great headband. This past winter…oh, wait, it still seems to be winter in the north country…this winter lots ‘o folks were asking me for headbands.

This next Ravelry classic is really a Purl Soho classic. It’s Garter Earflap Hat. Every newborn I’ve encountered in the last several years has almost gotten one of these hats. I finally knit one.

I had one ancient skein of Nautika, an Aran-weight by Knit One, Crochet Too. The pattern calls for Aran weight. So I was off to the races. More than 11,000 Ravelers have project pages on the site with their version of this cutie. Except for the Pixie top, it’s got a bit of 1898 going. Obviously the earflaps are much less exaggerated.

The pattern is easy, but oddly written–especially in the short row sections. After you set the markers and work the first set of short rows, you are wrapping the stitch after the divide/space in your row. I’m not sure why the directions on that are a bit garbled.

There are also quite a few questions that arise around the double decrease directions. What I did, which worked well, was to put a removable marker at the first double decreases. Then vertical rows of stockinette make it clear where you work the decrease: slip the stitch before the vertical row and the vertical row stitch, knit the next stitch, then pass the two slipped stitches over the knit stitch.

It’s such a sweet thing. And I think the bright topper was a great finish.

Garter Earflap Hat is sized from infant to large adult. If there are large adults out there wearing this hat I don’t think they’ve made their way into Montmorency County, Michigan yet. But babies? Babies pretty much let you put anything on their heads especially if it doesn’t have chin ties. They will look so cute in this one!

Lovie backpacks

The “lovies” are decked out in their backpacks. What a grandmotherly oversight! This knitter had to be asked (and so sweetly) if she could make another backpack. The one made a good bit ago just wasn’t cutting it. Apparently the lovies were squabbling about who got to wear it.

This pair is wearing Jane Peirrepont’s freebie “Dustbag Rucksack.” Personally, I’ve never heard of a dustbag. I looked it up and find it technically means something that’s intended to protect expensive leathergoods from, well, a bunch of stuff including dust. This is sized for a doll called “Dusty” so maybe it’s just a designer pun. But a rucksack I get. It’s a bag with shoulder straps. In my neck of the woods that would be a backpack.

Pierrepont’s pattern is cute and very adaptable. I made the blue one in the DK weight yarn the pattern calls for. Except I used US size 5 instead of size 2 needles. I decided I wanted a larger one, so I knit the orange one in worsted weight. I increased the cast-on to 20 stitches and added some rows to increase the depth of the backpack. The pattern doesn’t mention it, but after studying the pattern photo I decided it was obvious that a knitter was supposed to knit two straps instead of just one long one. Cute pattern.

Reports are that the lovies are squabbling much less now. Here’s a look at Dustbag Rucksack off the lovies’ backs.

I was on a backpack roll and decided I’d knit a few more. These are “Dolls’ Day at School” by Rebecca Venton. It’s another Ravelry freebie. You’ve seen me knit this once before (scroll to the end of the post). It’s the backpack that started the whole lovie scuffle in the first place.

Such a cute pattern. Designed for Aran weight. Sized for an 18″ American Girl sized doll.

Here’s hoping that the unruly lovie crowd has turned ruly.

Botanical dishcloths

This is not a gold Christmas tree. I mean, it could be a gold Christmas tree but this is mid-April, and even though it’s been below freezing at night, this is actually and merely a gold fir tree. It’s Amy Marie Vold’s Fir Sprucing Up cloth. I knit mine in Paintbox Yarn’s Cotton Aran. 18 grams of the main color and 16 of the contrast is all the yarn you need.

Here’s another version, knit in the same yarn. This time it’s a fir tree standing in the sunshine.  Ok. I guess it has some snow on its branches.

Sticking to a botanical theme, here’s Vold’s Sunflower at the Sink. Again, this is knit in Paintbox Cotton Aran. What tickles me most about this cloth is that the sunflower’s petals are irregular. Too many knitted sunflowers suffer from perfectly-uniform-petal syndrome.

In the real world sunflowers are messy whirls of yellow petals. In the real world sunflowers are wild things. Comparing one to another is a bit like comparing snowflake shapes. This is easily seen in Steve’s 2009 photo of a field of sunflowers near us.

Vold’s design captures another feature sometimes missed: the seed pod in the middle is huge and dwarfs the petals. This cloth is such a fun knit. Consider giving it try.

Next up is another design of Vold’s: Sunny Dish Position. This time I knit the pair in Drops Paris, another workhorse “kitchen” cotton:

The pattern is designed for DK weight. But Aran weight and US size 6 needles worked great.

If you haven’t yet dipped your knitting toes into mosaic a/k/a slip stitch knitting, trying out the easy colorwork technique with a dishcloth pattern should tempt. Vold’s patterns are presented both charted and line-by-line. Her patterns are tested. And they are clear. You alternate two rows in one color yarn and two rows in the other color, being sure that your yarn is on the non-public side of the work when you slip stitches. That’s about all there is to remember. Easy peasy.