Fall at the lake is hat weather’s start

Long  Lake has been spectacular lately. This was the view one day this week about an hour after sunrise. The weather is crisp. OK, the weather’s pretty cold. It reminds that winter isn’t far away.

Time for hats. This purple one is Claudia Eisenkolb’s Not Cabled. I knit mine in Berrocco Ultra Wool, a worsted weight superwash that is a new favorite of mine. Not Cabled just looks like it uses cables. The illusion is achieved by merely working knit and purl stitches.

In this view you get a better sense that this isn’t cabling.

And, as always with hats I like to knit, the decreases successfully continue enough of the pattern to create an attractive crown.

This sunny hat is Lion Brand’s Seed Rib Hat. The pattern calls for  a DK weight. I used Stonehedge Fiber’s Shepherd’s Wool DK. My sense is that this hat will be a hit in my holiday choose-your-gift basket.

OK. People will likely say “I like the pompom” and overlook that the crown decreases nicely continue (and properly dispose of) the pattern stitch. But as knitters we will be pleased by what’s under the pompom, a series of organized crown decreases.

Given the death of Classic Elite and its yarns, this next hat might be called “Ode to Classic Elite Fresco.” But it’s actually Susan Mills no-nonsense Fresco Simply Slouchy Hat available now, via Ravelry, as a freebie.

Such a sweet and simple thing. And knit up in sportweight Fresco, it’s kitten-soft.

Next up is Joji Locatelli’s free pattern Rafa’s Hat. I decided to knit mine in a skein of Worsted Merino Superwash Hand-dyed, a Plymouth yarn that I’ve had in my stash for a good long while. Speckled yarns don’t entice me much anymore. But I think this pattern works well in this yarn.

A very simple crown decrease. And it works!

And finally, an oldie-goodie, knit in Berroco Comfort to satisfy the wool-adverse.

It’s the delightfully named School Colors Hat AC-53. It’s a Fiber Trends pattern by Betsy Lee McCarthy, available direct from the Fiber Trends website and on Ravelry. This hat has a trick up its sleeve to create the double roll. The trick is all about the rolling and not much about the knitting. I’ve knit many of these and posted about them on my blog. I get questions about how to form the double roll. The answer is to finish knitting and then just do exactly what the pattern says. Exactly. Without any overthinking. The double roll will happen. This pattern was released back in 1492 and, no, you haven’t discovered that the roll doesn’t work.

The crown knits up neatly even though Comfort shows the decreases more than I think ideal.

Lonesome Dove

This is Susan Mills Knits Lonesome Dove, not to be confused with the awesome Larry McMurtry 1985 novel of the same name. I’m often curious why designers name patterns certain names and always welcome their explanations. But the pattern gives no explanation. I don’t see a dove, lonesome or otherwise in this wrap.

But I do see a wrap that drew me to it from the first time I saw it. In fact, I was so enamored of the pattern photos that I decided to work the wrap in exactly the yarn and colorways of the designer’s sample. I don’t do that often. Actually I often goof on colorway choices so maybe I should just be a blind follower more often.

The yarn is Plymouth Yarns’ Hearthstone, a marled sportweight in 80% merino and 20% alpaca.

I don’t work much in sportweight anymore. The yarn was a bit splitty, but that was sufficiently tamed by working with my sharp needles.

Here’s a closer look at a section of Lonesome Dove.

It was mostly a fun knit. A zillion bobbles will test a knitter’s stamina. But you get into a rhythm and then the work moves along quite nicely. With the knitting changing directions and yarns, Lonesome Dove is good for brushing up on your picking-up-stitches skills.

I’m confident that this wrap is going to work well with my wardrobe, which is deep but not wide. My four pairs of jeans are going to look great with it, as will my collection of black, gray and navy blue t-shirts!

Another good-bye to Classic Elite Liberty Wool

All of Classic Elite yarn is discontinued now that the company has folded. I’ve already discussed how much I wish it were not so. I’ve been working through some of my stash of Classic Elite recently, including their workhorse superwash worsted, Liberty Wool. It is, or was I guess, surprising yarn. It could even be a challenge to be sure you got the same colorway when buying multiple variegated balls for a project because, depending on where in the sequence the skein was wound, the balls would look quite different.

These four balls of Colorway 7581 wouldn’t have been my first choice in colors. But choices are very limited these days, if you do happen to find some still available. And 60% off made me more accepting of that St. Patrick’s Day green with the browns.

7581 turned into Molly, by Susan Mills Knits. A friend remarked that this Molly will go with any color coat. True. And folks will see you coming!

Molly’s a big fav of mine. Check out others I’ve knit here and here.

I won’t spill the beans in case you decide to knit Molly. But prepare yourself for a FOUR row pattern. Yep. Four rows, over and over and over. The scarf is reversible. But each side of the ruffle is different. And the sides are flipped along the ribbed spine of the scarf.  There are hints on Ravelry about how to read your knitting on this pattern and most of them involve marking right sides or wrong sides. That didn’t do anything for me. The “trick” to keeping your place in this pattern, which consists of two repeated rows followed by another two repeated rows, is to remember: if the ruffle you’re looking at has 2 ridges, work a row 1. If the ruffle you’re looking at has 4 ridges, work a row 2. And don’t forget that rows 2 and 3  aren’t done until you work across the entire width of the scarf. I know that won’t make any sense until you purchase the pattern and give it a try, but it really does tame Molly’s short rows.

I also still had 2 balls remaining of Colorway 7824, acquired in the same 60% off sale as my Molly yarn.

This colorway interested me more, at least from what I could see on the outside of the balls. Everyone who’s a color persnicketee buying this yarn knows to gently poke around in the center of the ball to see what colors are hiding within. Honestly, I didn’t much care. Let it be a surprise.

And it was:

How’d all that blue and green hide out in that center? I think it livens up the skein quite remarkably.

These mittens are another Susan Mills Knits pattern: Mitered Mittens. They are knit in one piece beginning with the cuff. The seams are sewn along the outside of the hand and around the pointed top and on the inside of the thumb. Either mitten fits either hand because the thumb gusset is worked on the side.

The large size is a perfect fit for me. And if the random variegated Liberty Wool doesn’t strike your fancy, try a self-striping worsted. I didn’t have any in my stash, but some of the striped versions of this mitten look great.

Frogging your knitting

This beautiful yarn is Karen Bradley’s hand-dyed Kaloula Yarn in her Grand Merino worsted weight. I found it once, late in 2012, at Knit Michigan. That’s a cancer benefit smallish yarn meet-up in the Detroit area. My eyeballs were dazzled by this yarn. But later it was hard for me to find a pattern that would suit. Even though these three skeins are all one colorway, the colors aren’t evenly disbursed or even all represented in each skein.

I searched Ravelry’s database and decided I’d knit a rustic shawl with an unusual construction: the Portuguese Fisherwomans shawl. It’s a Vermont Designs by Shelagh pattern. At that point, Shelagh Smith’s pattern was still downloadable from vtyarnco.com. (The pattern isn’t available anymore and, of course, I have no permission to share it or copy it and since I want to keep it in my library I can’t give it to anyone either.)

It’s a pretty thing, hanging there on the hanger. And I feel as if I did the yarn justice with my pattern choice.

The lengths of color worked out nicely.

Knitting that long garter stitch band and sewing it on wasn’t easy for me. I wore the shawl, a bit. Around the house. Where no one could see me in it. Knowing where all the mirrors in my house are located, I could easily avoid them. Steve knew his job was to answer the doorbell while I scampered out of my fisherwoman’s costume. Taking nothing away from Portuguese fisherwomen, they must go for warmth rather than style. Or else their body type isn’t portly (being charitable to myself) or buxom.

In 2018, I decided the shawl needed to be frogged. (“Rip it…rip it.) The yarn was just too special to see light of day so seldom. I ended up with about 1100 yards of yarn. Just for the fun of it, I wound it up all in one ball. It was so big it wouldn’t fit in my yarn bowl. It was as big as a small watermelon.

Then I went shawl/wrap pattern shopping and came up with a new Susan Mills pattern: Licola. You might want to click away to Ravelry now and take a look at Licola as Mills envisioned it. It’s supposed to be knit in 4 colorways of worsted and to end up in alternating striped rows. That would have been lovely. But, well…I had my Kaloula Yarn.

I just couldn’t be happier with how this turned out! Without any planning at all on my part, the bobble bind off even turned out to be mostly in shades that stand out from the rest of the shawl. Some who’ve knit Licola don’t care for the rustic knitted fringe. It’s created by casting on stitches at the start of a row and immediately binding them off. It’s one of my favorite features of this wrap.

Here’s another look at Licola.

I know I will wear this wrap. It used up a bit under 900 yards.

I had enough left to knit a new Sunrise Side Bear. This bear is my freebie donation to the knitting universe. So far ten knitters have posted their projects on Ravelry and about 1200 people have downloaded the pattern. I’m pretty geeked about that. You can read more about my one-seam, knit flat bear pattern here.

This guy is my Kaloula Sunrise Side Bear.

My Ex-Portuguese Fisherwoman’s Shawl was the gift that kept on giving. I even had enough left to complete my 5th pair of Fetching mitts, by Cheryl Niamath.

Ok. So you doubt my decision to frog the Portuguese Fisherwoman’s Shawl? Here’s me wearing it. And since then I’ve gained weight–which wasn’t enhancing the look. The ends of that long garter stitch band criss-cross your back and then pull forward to tie at belly button height. I hid the knot under the top flap.

Licolo works so much better for me. Here’s another view of it