Lego Mania

My favorite 5-year old, Isaac, is a Lego Maniac for sure. This late in the life of Legos, there is probably a Lego gene. Like father, like son. So Lego knitting sounded like good birthday-present knitting. This is Amber Allison’s free pattern, Some Assembly Required. It looked like it might be a stretch even for someone experienced in knitting toys. I didn’t want to invest a lot in yarn if the project proved a bust. Plus these Red Heart Super Saver colors were perfect!

Here’s what’s very special.

Yep. Some assembly, indeed.

This was a terrifically fiddly knit. But I still enjoyed making it because with these things you always keep your eye on the prize. The prize is that some little person will like what you knit. My Lego guy is just under 12 inches fully assembled. And Isaac likes him.


Not every Lego maniac is 5 years old. I can see this guy sitting on plenty of adult desks.

Isaac was also a big fan of this part of his Lego birthday package.

These Lego mitts might even turn up as part of Isaac’s Halloween costume. Mix ‘n match works on a chilly night. They are another freebie, this time by Carissa Browning, Lego Man Mitts.

The pattern includes 6 sizes, from baby to large adult.

And the package was all done up in very special wrapping. This is Celia’s Blankie, a wonderful Carol A. Anderson Cottage Creations pattern.

My Lego version of Celia’s blanket is knit in Plymouth Yarns Galway worsted and Paton’s Classic wool. You can read more about my modifications here. It will be a very warm very cozy blanket. I knit it in 2014 and packed it away until it was the right time for gifting.


My knitted Lego package was a big hit. But it is true that this grandmother decided to add to the allure of the gift by including a Lego City heavy cargo transport.

My rows are rambling again

My major knitting since mid-July has been to work up nearly 3300 yards (15 skeins) of Rowan Pure Wool Superwash Worsted into a throw. Well, a blanket really. I’ve knit nine of these guys. Yep. Nine. Rambling Rows Afghan by Cottage Creations’ Carol A. Anderson is my all-time favorite afghan pattern.

Rowan Superwash is quite a lightweight worsted. So I didn’t knit it to gauge, which would have needed a heftier worsted and size 8 or even size 9 needles. I used US size 6 needles and the fabric came out just right. It’s a lightweight blanket. Here it is laying atop a queen-sized mattress. (Forgive the clashing quilt.)

This Rambling Rows will live in a TV-watching/office room decked out in earth tones. I think the grays, gold and orange worked out great and the blanket really pops resting on the back of the sofa.

Did I come up with these colors, Charcoal, Granite, Moonstone, Seville and Gold on my own? No. Never in a million years. I first bought the yarn intending to knit Star-Eyed Julep Throw by Kay Gardiner, Ann Shayne, and Kirsten Kapur. Here’s that throw. It uses these same five Rowen Pure Wool Superwash colorways.

I asked to be gifted the book containing this throw, Drop Dead Easy Knits, specifically so I could knit Star-Eyed Julep. I even worked through the errata supplied on Ravelry and started knitting the first quadrant of the throw. I was not satisfied with the not-crisp edge-turns of what’s basically the Mason-Dixon log cabin technique adapted to create that star. Apparently it takes a better knitter than me to master the technique. After starting the Star-Eyed 3 times I decided I might drop dead before I completed the thing. But oh my those colorways are so perfect together.

So, I acquired the additional yarn I needed (difficult, since the Seville colorway is discontinued) and my new Rambling Rows was hatched.

I couldn’t be more pleased with the project. And I credit the Drop Dead Easy Knits trio with my success because this Rambling Rows is all about their inspired colorway choices.

P.S. Even though I picked up the garter stitch mitered edge the way I always do on my Rambling Rows, this more lightweight yarn picked up a little ruffle. I’ve steamed it a bit since these photos were taken and it’s tamed.

Here’s the rest of my Rambling Rows, if you’d like to see how this blanket works up in different colorways: here, here, here’s four, and another here. I know, that’s not nine. You’ll just have to take my word on that.

Knitting comfort food

I believe it’s true that most long-term knitters have certain patterns they return to over and over. You just know that you’ll be satisfied when you cast off. You know it will fit. You know there aren’t any errors in the pattern. You can put your knitting brain into gear and just cruise.

Wonderful Wallaby by Carol A. Anderson of Cottage Creations is a pattern like that. Comfort food. This pattern is so retro that you won’t find it available for download anywhere. Head to your local yarn shop. Or buy it direct from Cottage Creations and they will m-a-i-l it to you. Yes, mail as in an envelope with a stamp. That still works!

I knit this one in Plymouth Encore. Easy-care works better for the young ones. I’m a big fan of the garter stitch hood. And I love the kangaroo pouch. Everyone can use a sweatshirt. My pattern booklet includes sizes for a two year old to the very portly. It looks like the newer booklets include one for kid sizes 2-12 and another for adults.

Bayfront Cap by Melinda VerMeer is more comfort food for me. I’ve knit at least six in the last few years. This yarn has some issues with thick and thin that didn’t quite do the pattern justice. As you can see, you knit miles of ribbing. And about when you are beginning to think maybe this is a tad too much ribbing,

…you get to this beautiful crown decrease. So pretty. So well thought out. So not suffering from PHS (Pointy Hat Syndrome.) Bayfront Cap is a wonderful knit.

Here’s another knitting recipe that always works up right: Katharina Nopp’s Wurm.

Mine is knit in Stonedge Fiber Mills Crazy. Crazy is basically a DK weight that’s constructed of a number of colorways. No knots, just spun together. No two skeins are the same.

I call this my Earth Wurm. Wurm is a yarn eater.  I always need more than the 175 yards of sportweight the pattern calls for. I guess I like extravagantly slouchy Wurms.

And then there’s what some now apparently call the Dairy Queen Hat. But it’s no Dairy Queen Hat. It’s Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Snail Hat. I’ve knit mine in exactly what the pattern calls for: Sheepsdown, sold by Schoolhouse Press.

I use size 10 needles. And I’ve made several over the years. You need to be very brave (or very cold) to wear the snail hat.

I very much enjoy knitting it. Just because no one eats the jello salad anymore–you know the one, with all the colorful layers–doesn’t mean you don’t make it anyway. (I still sort of like that salad, by the way.)

Wonderful Wallaby

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Cottage Creations’ “Wonderful Wallaby” was described as an “adventure in seamless knitting” when seamless knitting really was a bit of an “adventure.” Most sweaters were still being knit in separate sections and then seamed together. For sure there were others doing seamless knitting, but Carol A. Anderson’s Wallaby was a milestone.

The booklet is chatty, pure Anderson, with sweet illustrations throughout. But the directions are totally clear and totally correct. The booklet includes directions for sizes 2 toddler to adult super-sized. It’s available in many local yarn shops, on-line, and direct (but not downloadable) from Cottage Creations.

Wonderfull Wallaby was copyrighted in 1984 and the booklet has been reprinted 23 times. It’s Anderson’s most popular pattern.

My Wallaby is knit in Plymouth Encore. Just over two skeins, 410 yards, was enough to knit a size two, complete with the garter stitch version of the hood and a full pouch.

And what’s most important? It’s very comfy and my grandson likes to wear it.

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Grabbit

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This is a Grabbit. It’s another interesting Cottage Creations pattern by Carol A. Anderson. Cottage Creations pattern booklets are available in local yarn shops, many on-line retailers, and via Carol’s website. The booklets aren’t (yet) downloadable, but they’re so worth the effort to find them.

A few more views of Grabbit show what makes it a tad idiosyncratic (if knitting can be called that).

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It’s a carry-all. To create a neat bundle of belongings, you just thread the knitted loop through the gigantic buttonholes rimming the edge. But it’s also a nice playmat. It even works as a small blanket.

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Grabbit_blocked5This Grabbit is knit in my seemingly endless supply of Martha Stewart Lion Brand Extra Soft Wool Blend. I believe I purchased a tad more than I needed for LeCirque Baby Playmat, even if the  bunny, the lamb, the lion, the bear, the vest and the Grabbit had all been planned from the outset. Let’s just say, the layette is shaping up. And Grabbit is going to be the packaging for the stuffed buddies.