If you read my last post, you’ll know I was meant to work on my Faded Boxy yesterday. Why I thought making an oversized sweater in fingering weight yarn was a good idea, I’ll never understand, because it’s taking 84 years just to knit the dang body. I started this sweater over four months ago and I’m finally getting to a point where I can imagine splitting for the sleeves.
This is about 16 inches, and I need 19 before I split. That’s just one color section; I can do that. Or can I? Yesterday I did not work on my Faded Boxy. Instead I cast on a new worsted weight cowl, because those are my jam right now.
This is the Diamond Purl Cowl in KnitPicks Preciosa, color Tadpole. This is one of my favorite yarns from KnitPicks. It’s soft and fluffy and I love the subtle variations in the color. The pattern is pretty easy, still a comfort project as I sit with Duncan. Now, the question is: as I watch the coverage of the Australian Open today, will I work on the cowl, or the sweater?
And today is my Dad’s birthday. He would have been 76 today, and he’s been gone almost eight years now. Yes, it’s gotten easier, but I still miss him, and it’s still sharp sometimes.
Not everyone marks these days, the birthdays and death days of people they’ve lost. Maybe they think it prolongs the grieving process. It’s different for everyone but for me, I think of Dad often. I’m going to be sad about it sometimes regardless. And recognizing those days means they’re still important to me, and that Dad’s still a part of our family, even if just in this tiniest of ways. I like having this special day where I remember Dad fondly and with intent, and I allow myself to feel the loss a little bit. So, Happy Birthday, Dad. Wish you were here.
There has been knitting again! I got a full night’s sleep Friday night which felt amazing and restored a lot of energy, both physical & mental/emotional. Long-term sleep deprivation is not fun, and I’m really glad Duncan is almost to the point of being left alone at night without the cone. Anyway, I spent some time hanging with Dunkie yesterday and finished a cowl I haven’t even shown you before.
You know my goal is to work down my stash, so lately I’ve just been poking around and pulling out skeins that call my name, then finding a project for them. This is a skein of Malabrigo Worsted, one of my favorite Malabrigo yarns, in the color Whales Road. (Which I also have in Mecha and the colors look SO different which is weird.) I poked around in Ravelry and settled on the Peyto Lake Cowl, since the water theme kind of went with the blue/purple colors of the yarn. The wavy lace gets a little lost in the color variegations but I don’t mind.
I’m just loving knitting worsted weight cowls again, after so long knitting with fingering weight. I’ve got another one on my needles, but it’s a totally mindless all-stockinette cowl with rolled edges and everything, so I save that for when I don’t want to use any brain cells at all. This yarn is Dark Side of the Moon by Alexandra’s Crafts, in the color Purple Rain. And it’s a merino/SILK blend, yay!
I’ve got a two days left in my three-day weekend, so I anticipate more knitting in my future. Let’s see if I can motivate myself to work on my Purple Faded Boxy, or if I’ll cast on for another worsted weight cowl. I do have the yarn already picked out and the pattern purchased!
What’s today, Tuesday? I think that’s right. I’m still sleeping downstairs with a dog and I do believe it’s killing brain cells every night. But Duncan did well by himself yesterday while we were all gone, mostly thanks to a healthy dose of a sedative. He slept all day and all evening and didn’t perk up until 4 am, unfortunately. He got a slightly smaller dose today and hopefully that will balance things out a bit. Anyway, I’m really here to share the knitting, because I finished a project. I started a Bandana Cowl last week with some Woolfolk LUFT from my stash.
I LOVE this yarn. It’s so soft and lightweight, it’s like wearing a warm cloud. I had a little over a skein and a half so I just kept knitting the top part until the yarn was almost gone. It’s been done for a few days, even washed and blocked, but I never found a good time to take photos, until yesterday, when I wore it for the first time.
It’s perfect, just perfect. I can pull it up to cover part of my face and it’s super warm without being heavy. And I just now looked up the fiber content: it’s 55% merino and 45% Pima cotton. I had no idea there was cotton in there! Well, this is the best yarn I’ve ever used with cotton in it and now I want more. Except not because I’m not adding to my stash right now! Right? Right!
I had projects picked out to work on while I’m home with Duncan; I even cast on a new one this morning. But then I decided I wanted to knit a little sheep, and also I want to crochet a little Eeyore. So I pulled out my baskets of yarn leftovers for those, and stumbled across a shawl I made six years ago that had dropped stitches and was a tangled mess. Like a dog distracted by a squirrel, I decided I really needed to frog that shawl and reclaim the yarn. Guys, it took over two hours.
But hey, I have a ball of purple yarn to add back to my stash! Sadly, it’s weird yarn (Feza Yarns Alp Natural) that’s a mixture of different fibers, including one stretch of velvet/chenille stuff that knits up weird. Plus, each stretch of yarn is joined by a knot, and I don’t love that. I don’t know if I’ll try it again any time soon, but it is a good feeling to at least have it available if I want want, rather than a shawl I couldn’t wear.
I was more focused yesterday, which is how I also have a new FO to share. This is another Flor de Maio cowl, which I’ve made four times now, in Plymouth Yarns Baby Alpaca Grande Glow.
I love knitting with alpaca. I love the thread of sparkle in the Grande Glow. Sadly, I can’t wear it next to my neck, so this one is for a friend at work. And now that this is done, and the yarn untangling is done, maybe I’ll get back to the Bandana cowl I cast on this morning!
Let’s get back to a bit of knitting, shall we? Over my Christmas break I pulled a skein of Magpie Fibers Swanky DK out of my stash and it became a neck tube! I wanted something snug enough that I could feel the cashmere softness against my skin and long enough to snuggle down into when it’s cold. I haven’t gotten to wear it yet but I think it will be wonderfully cozy.
The pattern is Just Try It and I did the slimmest version, which I think they call the “guy version”. It’s so simple and knitting ribbing with a cashmere blend was so much my jam that I wanted to knit until the yarn was gone. Instead, I stopped when the cowl was about 10″ tall and decided to make fingerless mitts with the rest of the skein.
I scoured Ravelry to find a good ribbed pattern for sport weight yarn, since I wanted the mitts to match the neck tube, and I couldn’t find one that looked like I what I wanted. So I decided to improvise my own pattern! I took my favorite fingerless mitt pattern, the 75 Yard Malabrigo Mitts, and cast on fewer stitches with smaller needles and did the same ribbing pattern as in the cowl. The thumb I did the same as the original mitts since I couldn’t figure out how to make it ribbed, and I love how it turned out, growing out of one of the stockinette sections. I made them snug and short, perfect for wearing while I’m doing things like typing or knitting, and they’re officially my favorite new mitts.
These took 95 yards and I had enough left over that I could have made the cuff a bit longer, but I’m pleased with them. You can see the pattern notes here if you’re interested.
Because the holidays aren’t busy enough, I recently agreed to test knit a cowl pattern for Lindalou Anne Holley, and I’m happy to report that the pattern is live now! It’s called A Sea Chanty of Sorts, and it’s a one-skein pattern for either fingering or DK weight, and there are small and large versions of both. I chose to knit the larger DK version so I could knit up my gorgeous Big Sky Yarn Co. Squish DK, in the color Big Sky.
The diamond pattern is made with a slipped stitch/cable motif. Maybe my yarn was slippery, but I did have to use a locking stitch marker to hold the loose stitch so it didn’t get dropped. But it was an easy pattern to follow, and I love the finished piece.
I went down two needle sizes to get closer to the pattern gauge, and I used all but eight grams of my yarn, so I would recommend checking gauge if you’re making the larger DK version just to make sure you have enough yarn on hand. Normally I don’t for cowls; I just make sure I like how it’s knitting up.
It really was a perfect combo of yarn and pattern — they complement each other well and neither one overwhelms the other. This would make a perfect gift if I knew someone who loves blue, but I guess I’ll just keep it for myself!
Here it is, about a week after my last post! So apparently I have a schedule, it’s just not that frequent. But I have finished things to share today. First up are are my gift socks and they’re not exactly the same size but neither are feet, right? So we’re calling them a win. Yarn is Treasure Goddess Yarns Treasured Toes in Everglades Excursion and as nice as it was to knit with, I think the socks are going to feel awesome to wear. At least I hope so!
I also finally finished and blocked and photographed my Diamond Cowl. Once I committed to it, this was a fast and easy pattern, and I just love a diamond lace pattern. The yarn is Ella Rae Lace Merino Aran and it was quite scrumptious. It’s soft and smooth and has a lovely drape. I even had enough yarn to do an extra half-repeat of the lace pattern.
I have more FO’s, if you can believe it, but they’re still in the blocking/photography phases, and plus I don’t want to throw it all in at once. Maybe I’ll manage to get another post out sooner than a week!
I’m excited about knitting right now, which feels good. I’m even still excited about a couple of potential gifts I want to make, if I have time. We’re on track with gift shopping, though we haven’t started wrapping yet, and overall I’m feeling pretty good about Christmas being so close. But it’s also Saturday morning, when I’m happiest and most optimistic because the whole weekend is stretching before me, so we’ll see how I feel in a week or so. Happy weekend, friends!