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.

Stash Knit Down

Late last year I found my fade.  Such a beautiful shawl, in seven coordinating (and expensive) skeins of fingering weight.

Having invested in all that beautiful yarn, I set the task for myself to use up the remnants. What I call my Faded Ursula Sockhead Hat worked out well.

This is a total mashup, that doesn’t bear much resemblance to Wendy Ellis’s After Ursula. But it was the inspiration for my hat. I cast on the Ursula number of stitches.  After 5 inches of ribbing in Madelintosh Merino Light in the “gilded” colorway, I worked 4 rounds of gilded in stockinette, followed by pairs of that shade, faded in with a second color from the shawl.  I worked the fade section over 12 rounds. Then I knit 8 rounds of color 2. Next came a fade section, alternating pairs of rounds in color 3 with color 2 over 12 rounds, followed by 8 rounds of color 3. And so on. I worked almost 8 inches of stockinette, after the ribbing, and then started the decreases.

I used the decreases from Kelly McClure’s Sockhead Slouch Hat–decreasing 18 stitches every 3 rounds. So, this is a mash up of Sockhead Hat, Find your Fade and a bit of After Ursula. And I used 6 of my 7 colors from my Find Your Fade shawl.

But there was still a ton of yarn left.The remaining color with the most yardage was Malabrigo Mechita in the Sabiduria colorway. I decided to knit tincanknits light version of their much-loved “Barley.” Here’s my child-sized Barley Light.

Glasshead wanted to model it, but I didn’t want it all stretched out.

Hmm. What to do with short yardage? I decided to knit for baby feet even though I don’t presently have many babies in my world. These are Vauvan Sukka (roughly, train socks, in Finnish), knit in Alexandra’s Craft’s Diamond Lake and a bit of Bad Amy yellow-gold.

I like to make these socks in interesting and sometimes arresting color combinations.

The Train Socks story has been retold a good bit, including on my blog.  The pattern is attributed on Ravelry to Kerttu Latvala, and is posted by her daughter Terttu Latvala as a free pattern. The story of Vauvan Sukka is explained by Terttu, as translated into English at Teakat Translation, where the free pattern is also available. In 1939, with World War II already underway in Europe, mother and child were evacuating.There were delays because sections of railroad track had been bombed. Terttu was an infant. An infant with no socks. While they waited, a fellow passenger unraveled yarn from her white hand-knit sweater and knit Terttu a pair of socks. To pay forward that passenger’s kindness, first Kerttu and then Terttu have gifted hundreds of pairs of these baby socks to newborns.

I gifted my pair to Cecelia, who has lots of socks but now has one more pair. A pair with a story.

With one set of warm baby feet, I sort of couldn’t stop myself.

This is Frankie Brown’s free pattern, Baby Boots. One piece, worked flat, on size one needles. That Number 2 pencil eraser (remember pencils, people used to use them to write stuff) is included to show you the tiny scale of these booties.

Totally sweet, in Hedgehog Fibers Sock, in the Truffles colorway. I don’t associate gold and rose with truffles, but maybe. And it’s wonderful yarn. These were the only booties Isaac didn’t kick off.

Emboldened, it was time for a booties and hat set for the baby I’ve not yet met. This next knit is an old favorite. I’ve knit it many times.The pattern is from Homespun, Handknit, edited by Linda Ligon. It’s a wonderful Interweave Press book published in 1988 filled with patterns for hats, scarves, socks, mittens and gloves.

This is Bouncing Baby Set, by Jean Scorgie, minus its thumbless mittens. Babies look super cute in this head-hugger hat. And the kneesocks. Well they stay on a baby’s feet, unlike so much other stuff that we knitters knit for the wee ones’ feet.

There was still a bit more yarn left. So I knit a pair of my very own bears, Sunrise Side Bear. But instead of using worsted weight and size 5 US needles, I knit this set in fingering weight Malabrigo Mechita on size 1 needles.

These Sunrise Side Bears stand 5 and 1/2 inches tall, with a fist-to-fist span of 3 and 1/2 inches. To appreciate the scale, that mouse in the middle is holding a US penny.

They were bare. I had a little yarn left. It was enough for a vest for Boy Bear and a dress for Girl Bear. And with the last bits, came their tiny scarves.

I am feel quite proud of completing my de-stash challenge.

Sunrise Side Bear

“Sunrise Side” is the nickname for the northeast section of Michigan’s lower peninsula, the Lake Huron side. That’s where this bear originated: in Montmorency County where there are real bears aplenty. I’ve never seen one, actually. But I did hear one on a dark summer night when we’d left some bird seed out. Montmorency County bears don’t wear cute mistake rib scarves, though again not having seen one yet I suppose I don’t know that for sure. For sure they like to raid bird feeders though.

Sunrise Side Bear is an easy knit. I (ahem) designed it and it’s available for download free on Ravelry. It’s suitable for a beginner knitter including because the directions for the four short row sections are set out in detail. It’s easy to knit and easy to sew up.

Sunrise Side Bear needs to be knit on needles 2-3 sizes smaller than typical for the yarn weight because this bear is shy about having his stuffing show. Knit to gauge, with Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Worsted, and stuffed firmly, the bear is about 9 inches tall and 6 inches from arm-to-arm.

Sunrise Side Bear is knit flat. All you need to know is set out in the pattern including how to work the short rows and pick up the wraps to avoid holes in the bear’s skin. Here’s a look at the gang of five, fully knit and waiting for sewing.

Here’s the same gang folded in half ready for sewing up.

The sewing is very easy because the front and the back sections match up exactly. These bears are sewn and waiting for their stuffing.

Here’s the bears fully stuffed and wondering when they’ll get their eyeballs, noses, and mouths.

And as my granddaughter Evelyn says when she’s finished with something and feeling kind of proud: “Ta da!”

I like this colorful gang quite a bit. But natural-colored Sunrise Side Bear work out well too. I wasn’t going to give this one a scarf, but he begged for one.

All the bears so far were knit with worsted weight on size 5 needles. But this next guy is knit with fingering weight Yarn Hollow Squish that I had left over from some bedsocks I finished recently. I used size 1.5 (US) needles. The bear turned out to be 6 inches tall and 4.5 inches across the arms.

I knit this next pair on size 1 needles using leftover fingering weight Malabrigo Mechita. They turned out even smaller than the Squish Sunrise Side Bear. The Mechita pair is 5.5 inches tall and 3.5 inches across the arms. I had some other fingering weight leftovers, MadTosh Light and Rhichard Devrieze Peppino. The pair looked so bare naked, that I knitted them some duds.

If you decide to knit Sunrise Side Bear, I’d love to see how they turn out. I’ll find them if you post a photo on your Ravelry project page and link to the pattern. And feel free to post here or on Ravelry if you have any questions as you knit the pattern.