Yet more same yarn, different knits

This is my third in a series of posts on how the same yarn works up in different patterns. Maybe it’s getting old? But I’ll press on anyway.

This is Jared Flood’s Quincy. It’s the fourth time I’ve knit this pattern and this Quincy’s for me. Actually, I kept one prior Quincy but somehow it managed to escape from my hat drawer. It’s a seriously excellent pattern. It feeds my insatiable appetite for cool things to knit in garter stitch. I really enjoy knitting applied I-cord onto garter stitch fabric. And the interesting Robin Hood fold is great fun to knit–with directions that need to be followed closely but are spot on.

I knit this Quincy in Berroco Ultra Alpaca Chunky. In the past I’ve knit this hat mostly in Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Bulky. It looks great in the Brown Sheep. But the Berroco yarn is a better match in terms of yardage. It was close, but I was able to knit it with one 100 gram skein (131 yards). It would have been a knuckle-biter on yardage but I’d purchased two skeins just to be on the safe side.

The alpaca in the Berroco yarn makes this Quincy more drapey than in the more sturdy Brown Sheep. I like it anyway. And this version is super cozy and very warm.

Here’s a look at the beauty of a crown. A simple graceful pinwheel.

So with that extra skein of Ultra Alpaca begging to be knit, I looked for another bulky hat pattern. I’d been meaning to knit Fernhill again. It’s a freebie from Kate Gagnon Osborne included in Kelbourne Woolens Year of the Bulky Hat series. I knit my first version in a color-changing skein of Hayfield Spirit Chunky. It actually worked up quite nicely. (More on my first Fernhill later in this post.) But a more tame version called to me.

The Berroco Ultra Alpaca knit as this gauge doesn’t have great stitch definition. But I’m still pleased with the result. Since it’s already disappeared from my pick-your-gift stash, I declare it a success.

The crown decreases create almost a snowflake look, especially knit in this natural colorway.

Fernhill is a dainty yarn-eater. It used only 80 grams of yarn and left me with a small but still useful amount of Ultra Alpaca. I decided to knit some sheep.

I knit my sheep from the pattern in Bonnie Gosse’s and Jill Allerton’s A First Book of Knitting For Children. It’s a delightful one-piece knit that an experienced knitter can knit in an hour or two. It’s also a great first project for a new knitter. Such a sweet result.

Finally, as promised, here’s my first version of Fernhill knit in Hayfield Spirit Chunky. Somehow I managed to miss posting the project on my blog before this. It’s a completely different look with somewhat better stitch definition.

The crown snowflake still forms though here it’s obscured some by how the color change worked out.

I’ve had great fun knitting “stuff” out of the same yarn. But if you’ve grown tired of my fascination with the subject, I can say now:

Sheep flock and some double-knit

These dainty-sized sheep are a hoot to make. An hour of knitting. Two hours if you fall asleep while you’re knitting. Half an hour of sewing up and stuffing. And you have yourself a sheep.

They make great donations for bazaars and fundraising shops. I confess that mine haven’t exactly jumped off Hillman’s Brush Creek Mill┬áRiver’s Edge gift shop shelf. But a number have sold. And I’m good with that.

This easy sheep pattern is available in two books inspired by the Waldorf Schools: “A First Book of Knitting For Children” by Bonnie Gosse and Jill Allerton and “Toymaking With Children” by Freya Jaffke. There is much to learn about the Waldorf Schools. And they made a long-lasting impact on my family. Knitting (and crochet) are part of the curriculum from the youngest grades. The toys in the books can all be knit by children. On some days that’s just what this adult wants.

Sometimes I knit these sheep and tuck them into a knitted shoulder bag. Depending on the age, sensibilities, or gender of the child, the sheep might be gifted in what I dub an “explorer” bag or “trapper keeper” or purse.

The bag is an easy double-knit rough creation befitting a critter of the barnyard. My apologies that I’ve never worked out a true pattern for them.

I cast on an even number of stitches in the thickest yarn I have on hand, using needles somewhat smaller than typical for the thickness of the yarn. I use the double-knit technique, where you work two layers of fabric at the same time with one pair of needles. If you’ve not tried this fun technique before, it’s basically a combination of knit one stitch, move the yarn forward and slip one stitch, move the yarn back and knit one stitch, across the row. The public sides of each layer face out and the non-public sides face in and what you end up with is a pouch with stockinette on each of the sides. Don’t forget to move the yarn or what you’ll end up with is an almost-pouch sewn together at the point where you goofed. Here’s a great Purl Soho video showing the technique worked in two colors of yarn.

I work double-knit to the depth of pouch I want and then bind off all but 3 stitches on each edge. I work a flap and a buttonhole, back and forth (no double-knitting). Then I put one set of the three stitches on double-point needles and work I-cord to the length strap I want. Repeat for the other strap and just knot the two straps together.

Sometimes these pouches carry a sheep. But not always.

They can be a bit habit-forming for this knitter.

Returning to the sheep I started with, they’ve been known to hang out in some unlikely places. These put in an appearance at a charity auction circa 1990.