Amazing Technicolor Dream Cowl


It started with this. All true yarnies know that this is pretty much irresistable. As long as the bills are getting paid and food’s on the table, Knitted Wit Gumball fingering weight in this kitted-up configuration is going to end up in a knitter’s shopping cart.

Knitted Wit Gumball is the yarn that Shannon Squire recommends for her Amazing Technicolor Dream Cowl. It’s a slip stitch (mosaic) pattern that’s easily mastered. And the result?


The result is a wonderful cowl.

I made a few modifications, more on that in a bit, but have a closer look at the front. That’s if I can pry it off my glass head, because she’s gotten a bit possessive about it.


A raid into my mom’s and my grandmother’s button box found three mismatched buttons that completed the look.

This is knit as a tube. I used circular needles, rather than “magic loop.” I decided not to make this the project where I finally learn Judy’s Magic Cast On. I’ve tried that before, and I hear it’s a great cast-on. But I’ve watched the recommended videos and I still can’t make it work for me. Instead, I did an easy provisional crochet cast-on. (Here’s Lucy Neatby’s great video on that one.) When I was finished, I just “kitchenered” the cast-on together to flatten the tube. Kitchener was already called for at the end section, anyway, soon after the three buttonholes are knit on both halves of the tube. I found that the buttonholes needed to be stitched together to make the cowl easier to button.

Squire provided the same clearly important caution about the order of the colors in different ways. I found the directions confusing. Color A/Color B, AND 2nd color and 1st color, had my head spinning. In case you have the same problem, this is my interpretation of the directions arrived at by studying the pattern sample photos and other cowls posted on Ravelry.

Cast on in whatever color you want to start with, white in my case. The next pair of the gumball pattern (in mine) is skyblue, white, skyblue, white. Next is medium green, skyblue, medium green, skyblue. Next is light gray, medium green, light gray, medium green. Then, brown, light gray, brown, light gray. In other words, each time you start another gumball pattern, you start the pattern so that the color you used first in the previous set of rounds becomes the color you use second in the next set of rounds. Sigh. I’m not sure if that’s any more clear. But once I understood it that way, well, then I understood it.

Here’s a look at the back:


I knit the wider/shorter version, rather than the skinnier/longer version.


A save for sure

rainbow_socksI really liked these Rainbow Socks, designed by Lucy Neatby and knitted in Shelridge Farm yarns. I liked knitting them. And I really liked wearing them. I totally wore them out. OK. It didn’t help that after years of wearing them they inadvertently ended up in the washing machine and the wool sort of dissolved everywhere it was thin.

holey_socksSigh. They were such great socks.

I stared at those wonderful cuffs. They were in good shape. The colors were still vibrant. No holes. So I snipped off the feet and stitched a hem in place. And then:

wristersA great pair of wristers.

Camelot Best Friend Bear


This is Best Friend Bear, another Lion Brand pattern available free, after you sign on to their site. This is an easy, very cute pattern. My only modification was to gather the neck in a bit. It’s shown here in Martha Stewart Crafts Extra Soft Wool Blend. Quite a nice yarn, especially for baby and kid stuff that is going to lead a hopefully hard life. Some day, after this bear is gifted, I hope to encounter Best Friend Bear worn to a frazzle because some special child has adopted this bear as a favorite stuffed buddy.

But, the bear did look very bare.

I got to thinking about a particularly disappointing knit 3-4 years ago. I started working on a Lucy Neatby sock kit, with wonderful Koigu KPM sock yarn. The pattern is Neatby’s Camelot Socks. In fact, the featured sock is exactly the colorway I was working with, but at the time it was kitted with Koigu. I got all the way through the cuff and just beyond turning the heel when I realized I’d goofed up on the instep pattern on one side. I was at a loss to figure what I’d done wrong. I planned to let it rest for a few days and return to it later. It is rare that I put a project into hibernation. This one was too beautiful to abandon. But I did.

So, I slid the bear into my half-a-Camelot sock and realized that I might be able to modify the sock to fit the bear as a hooded dress. The garter stitch cuff could be hemmed to the correct length. I could add sleeves and then, gulp, steek on the inside. The heel could be the hood. I’d just need to do some finishing work to frame the face better.

So, this is my Camelot hooded dress:






OK, I know I’m tooting my own horn here, but this “save” has me totally pleased with myself. The knitting has not gone to waste. Neither has the yarn. And I don’t have to feel the least bit guilty for not finishing a project. In fact, it takes a trained knitting eye to even notice my patterning mistake.

Here’s the whole Lion Brand set, Long-Eared Bunny, Knitted Lion, Cute Cabled Lamb and Best Friend Bear:


More Lucy Neatby Socks


Since I’ve already written about Lucy Neatby in my last post, I’ll just talk about her sock finesse. The checkered socks–well, cute and fun to make. The ruffled cuff is such a nice touch. But the biking socks.  Oh my. The overall pattern is designed to resemble the links on a bike chain. At each of the four ankle positions, is the bike dude guy sitting on his bike. In the background behind him, mountains are knitted in. You can’t see it well in this photo, but the top of the foot is decorated too. One sock has a stylized eagle knitted in. The other has a moose. At my current hourly rate as an attorney, this pair of bike socks would sell for about $45,000. And I’m not a slow knitter or a really pricey attorney. I was so proud of myself for completing these.

Lucy Neatby Socks

img_2925_lowresLucy Neatby is one of my favorite knitting designers.  I tend to the small projects, so her sock patterns have been a favorite over the years.  They can be challenging, but Lucy does a wonderful  job of simplifying instructions for what at first looks very complex.  Best of all–her patterns have no mistakes in them!  I’ve taken one intarsia class from her through my knitting guild several years ago.  Intarsia is  not a favorite technique for me, but Lucy is a great teacher.  Plus it is way cool that a knitting teacher bucks the stereotypes so completely.  Lucy used to do a lot of knitting when she was in the merchant marine.  She taught our class wearing one green shoe and one hot pink one (yes, she had another almost identical pair–the mates–at home).  According to her website photo, her hair is currently bright pink with purple highlights.  Some day I hope to join one of her knitting adventure retreats.  I’m thinking one of her Nova Scotia trips would be excellent.  Never been to Nova Scotia.