Becoming the right stuff

So pretty. Kaloula Yarn. Hand-dyed by “up north” (Michigan’s) own, Karen Bradley. 560 yards of a beefy DK weight. I knit it up, well at first, during Bradley’s Ravelry 2013-2014 mystery knit-a-long. The mystery unfolded to be her Cascading Leaf Shawl. The recipe is still available on Ravelry, clue-by-clue. I blogged about my shawl here. And I kind of wowed myself with how excellent it turned out.  A real showstopper.

But at some point, the showstopper lost its appeal. This yarn is so cool and the pattern is so sweet that might seem like blasphemy. I don’t know exactly why but it just felt too colorful. I think. Or too eye-catching. It turned out I wasn’t wearing my beautiful shawl.

One evening, not long ago, I put the shawl on one last time. I looked at myself wearing it and, per Marie Kondo, I (sort of) thanked it for its service. Then I set to looking for my woven-in end and started unraveling. As I frogged, I wound the yarn back into a ball. Then I wound it onto my swift. I gave the yarn a good steaming, which successfully worked out a lot of the kinks and…have a look.

This might be some kind of ultimate Marie Kondo experience.

I took a long time finding a pattern that I expected would work well with these long runs of color. To my long-ago discontinued yarn I added a long-ago discontinued Classic Elite pattern: Lavish Rib Cable Scarf.

I’d knit the scarf once before and this is how it ended up in Paton’s Decor, a 25% wool 75% acrylic workhorse of a yarn.

I made some modifications to the pattern, described near the end of this post. I thought it a fine scarf, including because of this nifty trick you can do with it. It ended up being a successful charity silent auction item.

I decided my Petite Rayure was just the ticket for this lengthwise knitted scarf. And this time, except for increasing the cast on to lengthen the scarf, I followed the pattern exactly and made one cable twist along the center spine.

Here’s the result.

I cast on 352 stitches instead of 250. That worked out fairly well. I simply centered the two-stitch decrease (and later the two-stitch increase) that frame the central cable row. The ribbing worked out correctly with 352 stitches, both the k2 p2 and the k4 p2 sections. But the number of stitches was off (minus 2) for the cable row to work perfectly. I just left 4 stitches in ribbing at one end. If I’d been a tad smarter, or a tad less knit-lazy, I’d have frogged that cable row and started (and ended) with two “extra” stitches.

I decided to use a somewhat decorative cast on and bind off, thinking that a bit of stiffening to keep the ribbing from bunching at the edges would work well. I used the Chinese Waitress Cast on and the matching Double Chain Cast off.

Once the knitting was complete, I soaked the scarf in a tepid Eucalan bath. That both washed the yarn and took the last of the kinks out.

Sixty-one inches long, 7.25 inches wide. Perfect for 5’2″ me.

I tried, unsuccessfully, to help out all you “please I need this pattern” folks by looking for Classic Elite’s Lavish Rib Cable Scarf pattern on the Wayback Machine. I got close, but sorry no cigar. 682 billion web pages saved on one site defeated me. If you’re Mr. Peabody or Sherman and can locate the pattern via the Wayback Machine, please leave a comment and I’ll add the link to my post.

I am so so liking this scarf!

One yarn, two projects

Isn’t it a beauty? It’s Tonia Barry’s Underhill wrap. I knit mine in the now-discontinued Classic Elite Legend, an 80% merino, 20% silk Aran weight. To me it feels like a worsted weight. The gauge for the project is 18 stitches and 29 rows in garter stitch to 4 inches.

Barry has designed extensively for Classic Elite. She, joined by Susan Mills and Kim Barnette, now release patterns under the umbrella of the Knitting Union. The trio was Classic Elite’s main design team and released more than 1200 patterns for the  company before it shuttered its doors.

“I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened.”―Obi-Wan Kenobi, sensing the destruction of Alderaa.

Classic Elite collapsing was a very big deal. But Knitting Union is now a pretty big deal too. They are hosting a knit-along on Ravelry that started June 15th and won’t end until September 15th if you want to join us. Pick any of their many patterns and just set to knitting and chatting.

Underhill was a fun, quick knit. That very lush spine of cable through the garter stitch background is the best! Here’s another look at Underhill. It’s been such a chilly spring that I’ve already been able to wear it.

And next check out Lalibela from Kino Knits. It’s a cute hat knit in the same Legend chartreuse colorway. It even somewhat echoes Underhill in its cable and garter stitch sections.

It’s apparently meant to be worn cables-forward, But with that little dip in the ribbing caused by the tug of the cables, I rather like letting the garter stitch sections frame the ears.

It even has a cool crown decrease:

Lalibela. I figured the hat’s name was yet another in a series of oddly named patterns. Live and learn. Lalibela is actually a town in the highlands of Ethiopia. It’s a heritage pilgrimage site, primarily for Ethiopian Orthodox Christians. Some of the churches date to the 12th century and many of them feature small arched stone windows that inspired the design of this hat.

So, from the sublime to the mundane. Dishcloths. “Yes, she still knits them but worsted weight cotton kills her hands now.” Both of these next cloths are knit in Knitpicks Dishie, a kitchen cotton that’s a tad less rustic and less hard on the hands than Sugar ‘n Creme, the dishcloth workhorse. This one is Louise Sarrzin’s Sunflower Basket Dishcloth.

Ok. So you don’t like to knit dishcloths and you think they are a waste of yarn and a bacteria haven. (Hint, zap the dishcloth in the microwave while it’s wet to kill any beasties.) But admit it. This basket of sunflowers will put a smile on your face and help you whistle while you work.

This next Dishie cloth, also knit in the Creme Brulee colorway, is Aimee Alexander’s Himalayan Salt.

It’s a very fast knit. And your dishcloth gets to pretend it’s sophisticated because of the simple lace pattern.

Bankhead is Susie Gourlay’s free hat pattern that’s been knit and posted on 6773 (and still counting) Ravelry project pages. You don’t get those kind of numbers without being one good hat. You can knit and wear it slouchy.

Or you can go more traditional and just cuff it.

The top is ruly. That’s not a word but it should be. Think of it as the opposite of unruly.

I knit Bankhead in leftover Paton’s Decor. It was leftover from a scarf I wanted to knit: Classic Elite’s Lavish Rib Cable Scarf.  I needed about 400 yards, 405.2 to be exact, of worsted weight and I was just off my yarn diet and didn’t want to splurge yet. The local yarn shop I went to was very low on stock, waiting for news of how much the new landlord would be raising rent. I liked the shade of navy (“rich country blue”) and figured Decor would work fine. It 25% wool, 75% acrylic and will be easy care.

This scarf is an older Classic Elilte pattern, available for download on Patternfish–until they folded on June 16, 2019. As with Underhill, it was that central cable that intrigued me enough to buy the pattern while Patternfish was doing its last gasp thing.

Obviously, this scarf’s knit lengthwise and that cable is manipulated across the middle row. The only modifications I made were to make it longer by casting on 328 stitches rather than 250. That increased stitch count worked for another Raveler, but my mileage varied. To keep the rib pattern going, I needed to decrease 4 stitches (instead of two) as the pattern changed to 2 by 2 rib to work the cable. So, in the section after the cable, I also increased 4 rather than 2. And I  decided I wanted to try to emphasize the cable row more, so I added 2 rows of 2 by 2 cable, both before and after the cable row.

I like this scarf pattern, a lot, including because of this nifty trick it can do.

About the yarn shop? She lives! Spruce Shadow Farms in Alpena!