For your feet

These are Rebekah Berkompas’s a/k/a/ Bekah Knits’ Adult Moc-a-soc. It’s such a clever design. You knit the slipper part flat. Yes. Flat. On straight needles (or circulars used as if they were straights).The pattern is available in a fold-out pamphlet in many yarn shops and by download on Ravelry.

The slipper part is knit in worsted weight and seamed on the bottom and mid-heel. I used Cascade’s 220 Superwash Wave, an almost-gradient. Then stitches are picked up, in the round, on the inside of the slippers. The ribbed sock part is knit in a sport weight on double-points or magic loop.  I used Cascade 220 Superwash Sport. I’ve knit the adult version of these 3 times now. Check here to see an earlier version, along with a baby-sized pair. My recent pair is my favorite. There’s something about looking down at feet and seeing all that sunny color that makes a person smile.

The Moc-a-soc is slipper and socks combined. Sort of. This next bit of footwear at first seems like just half a slipper.

Most knitters who visit yarn shops (always a good idea) will have seen Lorna Miser’s Suede Soled Slippers. Miser’s slipper kit is a slipper sole that ends up as a whole slipper.  I probably knit my first pair twenty years ago. The kit is a slippper-bottom, a small skein of yarn, and a pattern.

Follow the included pattern to knit this:

Yes. Where’s the rest of your slippers? All is as it should be.

I am completely crochet-impaired. If you’re not, you will probably use one of those amazing crochet stitches I know nothing about to attach your knitted slippers into the soles through the holes in the slipper bottoms. For my part, I just sewed them on. I’m also almost completely sewing-impaired, so I just stitched through the sole-holes and into the knitted fabric. Easy peasy.

Miser’s kit knits up in two shakes of a lamb’s tail. Heck, there’s almost nothing to knit!

Next comes a holiday gift I knit for Steve, a man who loves hand knit socks. One of my knitting circle mates says she sees red reindeer running across these socks. I don’t think so. But these socks definitely look festive.

These are cobbled together from a number of patterns, so I’ll just call it my personal sock pattern. It started out life as a sock whose designed heel just didn’t look like it would hold up to feet. So I knit a traditional heel instead, in eye-of-partridge, and simply did a standard toe.

Steve’s socks are knit in Schachenmayr Regia’s, Design Line by Arne & Carlos, a 75% wool, 25% nylon fingering weight. Both the yarn and the heel will be able to stand up to almost anything feet can dish out.

Sticking to the theme of failsafe foot stuff here’s my recent knit of Nola Miller’s Nola’s Slippers. Mine are knit in Harrisville Design’s WATERshed, worsted and doubled (as the pattern calls for). They are knit flat and seamed at mid-bottom and mid-heel. I’ve knit gobs of these over the years. They never disappoint.

Happy holidays to all!

Best wishes for a great holiday season! And thanks so much for visiting my blog. 2019 will be the blog’s ten-year anniversary. Who knew what fun it would be to chronicle my knitting and lake adventures.

These beauties are Amy Marie Vold’s contribution to the holiday spirit. It’s her new pattern, Chameleon Snowflake Poinsettia –another classic from a talented mosaic designer who specializes in the homely art of dishcloths.

Not quite Pantone 7406C and blue

When my grandson asked for a knitted hat in University of Michigan colors, maize and blue, I set out to find the exact right colors. Valley Yarns Valley Superwash looked perfect (to me). I didn’t have to research anything. I’ve lived in Michigan for 66 years. I know what’s what. Little did I know that somehow maize has brightened up a lot over the years.

You probably want to know about that hat you’re staring at. I will get to that. According to the official U of M site, these shades–based on none other than Pantone itself–are the school colors.

The official colors look like yellow and blue to me. Maybe we should just start calling the school colors 7406C and 282C. If questioned by Isaac I will explain that his hat colors are the vintage colors. When maize was still maize, as in CORN, the color of corn.

OK. Back to that cool hat that started me down the rant path. It’s Knitwise Design‘s Spiral Style Hat. The hat is a top down slipped stitch beanie, with a matching pair of mittens if you’re looking for a set. Top down hats can be a bit fiddly for the first few rounds. But here, depending on the size, you start with 9, 10 or 11 stitches. So, not bad at all. And the increases come quickly.

Here’s a look at the top.

The only modification I made was to use an Elizabeth Zimmerman sewn bind-off rather than to bind off with a needle-size larger than that stockinette roll on the bottom. That’s always a good choice when what’s needed is a well-behaved but very stretchy bind-off.

My grandson requested a hat with earflaps and dangling braids. His sister got one for her birthday, yes in the official Pantone colors, and he likes that hat a lot.

I am hoping that Cynthia Spencer’s Cabled Earflap Hat from the book 60 Quick Knits From America’s Yarnshops will fit the bill.

The Sixth & Spring Series of 60 thises and 60 thats have a proven track record of creating a boatload of errata. They didn’t do right by Spencer on this one.

From the Ravelry project page, heed this fairly important errata: “Note that the cable chart has been printed upside down.” Yup. Make a note of that. And then make a copy of the chart and turn it upside down to knit from it. Then you’ll work in the normal fashion, from right to left, beginning with what will be numbered round 23.

Other than the problem the publisher caused, this is an excellent pattern.

Oh. I caused that little trough of stockinette between the cable work and the garter stitch all on my own. So don’t hold it against Spencer. In my defense, it’s not as noticeable in person as it is in a photo. I wanted to create a 2-color hat out of what’s supposed to be a solid color. And I didn’t want any half ‘n half rows. My idea was a good one. It just went a bit awry.

The next entry in the Wolverine tournament is a classic Fiber Trends pattern first publlished in 2002 and still available for download on Ravelry: School Colors Hat AC-53.

The pattern includes three sizes, with instructions for sport, worsted and bulky yarn. Back near the turn of the century, I’m pretty sure that DK weight didn’t exist. At least not in the United States. And also back then designers gave their patterns sensible names like School Colors Hat AC-53 instead of names like Caffeine-Free Fizzledop or Sunshine in the Cow Shed.

Here’s glasshead modeling the side view.

The first time you knit this hat, you’ll be mystified about exactly what’s going to create that clever roll. Some knitters have emailed me to say that the pattern must be wrong. It isn’t wrong. Don’t “trust your feelings, Luke.” Trust this pattern. It will all work out. Here’s the deal: this hat is knit entirely in stockinette, from the bottom up. You cast on with Pantone 282C–the main color.

Oh. Just in case you think I’ve no feelings for that other university in Michigan with that other football team, the Sparty colors have been known to infest my needles.

Small and smaller stuff

Well, well. Doesn’t Lambie look stylish?  She’s partial to pink and purple and told Glasshead that this is her favorite ensemble.

Lambie is wearing Dolly Milo, the doll-sized version of Georgie Nicolson’s popular child-sized DK-weight vest. Her pint-sized version sports a simple cable. I knit the 9 inch version of the pattern, which includes modifications for a 5, 7, and 11 inch doll as well.

For Evelyn’s Milo I knit the 4-yr old size and selected the hugs ‘n kisses cable strip. Nicolson’s pattern is sized from newborn to 6 years. It includes directions for six different cable strips. So, knitters’ choice.

Milo is a very clever construction. It’s knit top down, in one piece. No seams, despite the boxy “yoke.” My set is knit in Debbie Bliss Rialto DK, a superwash.

Now, keep this next bit quiet. Lambie is not much of a reader, and neither is 3-yr old Evelyn, so I think the news is safe here. Evelyn is getting a second Milo as part of her New Year gift package. There wasn’t enough yarn left to knit one for Lambie, so I’ve not blabbed much about it. But for Evelyn? Well, ta da!

Totally cute, methinks. The cable is the horseshoe pattern. The yarn is Done Roving Yarns Frolicking Feet DK gradient. It’s another superwash. I purchased it for socks. But then I realized that not everyone likes their socks unmatched, which is what this gradient would have translated to as socks. Plus 350 yards of DK isn’t always enough for socks. What to do? Milo turned out to be a perfect choice. There was a bit of yarn chicken to the ending though. I shortened the vest some, which will still be fine for Evelyn, and I had about a yard of yarn to spare. The gradient really shines in this pattern.

Ok. Lambie is baaaaa-ing over on the bookcase, demanding she get back into the spotlight.

She’s modeling Keweenaw, a freebie from the Berroco Design Team. In 2013, Berroco’s Team bear, Barrison, traveled to Michigan’s upper peninsula. Barrison’s human lived in the UP for a few years and knew that the UP is jaw-droppingly beautiful. She blogged about the trip here. The Keweenaw peninsula, copper country, juts out into Lake Superior. Anyway, Barrison traveled about very cozy in his hoodie, complete with ear slots.

Lambie’s pottery ears have zero floppiness. So Lambie couldn’t cooperate in showing off the hoodie part of this hoodie. But Evelyn’s bears will do better. I knit my Keweenaw in what the pattern calls for, Berroco Comfort, and even managed to honor copper country by using yarn from the pumpkin colorway.

The next addition to the doll wardrobe is another Ravelry freebie Little Kina, by Muriela.

Little Kina is designed with 12 and 15 inch dolls in mind. The green and pink sweaters are knit in oddments of Stonehedge Fibers Shepherd’s Wool, a worsted. The wine-colored sweater is knitted in a much beefier worsted (more Aran, actually) Harrisville Design’s WATERshed.

These Little Kinas are really getting a work-out. When last I saw the pink one, Evelyn’s Strelka the Valiant was wearing it. Here’s the secret test to figure out if a recipient is knitworthy. Have their hand knits been used so frequently that they’ve developed pills? Yes? “Callooh, Callay.” I chortle in my joy. My granddaughter is among the knitworthy!

New yarn and leftovers

This is a Lux Adorna free pattern, Hillary Cowl, knit in 100% Lux Adorna cashmere goat. Lux Adorna takes care to say “cashmere goat” and since I don’t know much about cashmere, I’ll not edit that out. Some cashmere maybe isn’t from a goat? Ah, wrong. Wikipedia says that cashmere, the fabric, comes from “the neck region of cashmere goats and other goats.” So, some cashmere is from those kind of goats that you meet at petting zoos or my brother’s barn?

Well, Lux Adorna cashmere must have come from the very soft neck fibers of goats who never lived in petting zoos or my brother’s barns. Because this stuff is soft.

And the Hillary cowl is so super cozy and special that I decided I will be selfish. It will stay with me. Just to be sure I’m not tempted to be generous, I’ve already worn it and it is luxurious.

This is what my yarn string of Lux Adorna looked like before I unpacked it.

It’s not possible for a knitter, especially one on a knitting retreat in Door County Wisconsin, to pass up a string of yarn that looks this special.

Now, for leftovers. Every bit of this special stuff needed to be knit. So Evelyn’s dolls now have a new sweater, modeled here by my mother’s Tracey Gallup pottery lamb. (My mom loved that lamb when I gave it to her one mother’s day long ago.)

Lambie is modeling Julie Williams’s free Ballerina Wrap Cardigan. In the original, the cardigan is all pink and all ballerina. My version is more a ballerina who shops at Good Will. But I like it. And so does Evelyn. Her stuffed toys and dolls are doing a lot of “ahhh….” since they’ve not experienced cashmere before. Actually, so am I in my Hillary Cowl because I’ve never worn 100% cashmere either.

While we’re talking about irresistible yarn presentation, this one from ATHC Wools is right up there with my cashmere string,

I found AJHC at a booth at the 2018 Northern Michigan Lamb and Wool festival. I walked away. I came back. I walked away again. Then I walked back, gave in, and bought this sweet bundle. It was displayed knit into Caitlin Hunter’s Cardamom Coffee hat. That looked pretty good to me so I hightailed it home, bought the pattern on Ravelry, and cast on.

Wow.

Glass Head doesn’t want to take it off. It’s a 75% merino, 25% nylon fingering weight. This isn’t going to be a warm hat, but it will be warm enough. You don’t necessarily knit a hat like this for warmth. The pattern works up into a nicely behaved crown.

Here’s one more look and then we’ll get to the leftovers. Because Lambie is very excited to be modeling Evelyn’s new AJHC doll dress.

Here’s another freebie, this time from Debbie Minner: Stripey Doll Dress.

Ok. Evelyn’s version isn’t stripey. But it is everything else: cute, easyon-easyoff, pretty, stylish. Perfect. I had to speak sharply to Lambie to get her out of it. She was pretending to be stiff as a board when I know full well that her front legs bend at the shoulder.

This has been the fall of yarn bundles calling to me. This one is a Classic Elite hat bundle (Ashley) kitted up in Yuri, another 75% merino 25% nylon fingering weight. Here’s the kit unpacked from its stylish net bag.

Ashley, the pattern, is supposed to be knit in distinct stripes and is billed as a rainbow hat. Being kitted with six colors rather than the seven colors of the rainbow bothered me a tad. Plus I’ve been enjoying some fade knitting lately, where one color fades slowly into the next. I decided to do a fade Ashley and I’m very pleased with the result.

Soon my fingering weight Sunrise Side bear was moaning about having a chilly head so one thing led to another.

Evelyn, chapped lips and all, loves her new hat. She immediately rescued Strelka the Valiant from her bed. He was already wearing a pink handknit sweater and it turns out his Ashley hat is a perfect fit too.

Sometimes, just as with Thanksgiving dinners, the leftovers are definitely as good or better than the originals.