Tag Archive | cowls

A Sea Chanty of Sorts

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.

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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.

img_8645I 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!

Right on schedule

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!

IMG_6324I 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!

Interlude Project

Sometimes when I have several big projects on my needles, I need to cleanse my palate with a smaller project that I can get done in a few days. Sunday I cast on a new Bandana Cowl with yarn from the stash. It got off to a rough start, though, and I was afraid I’d chosen poorly.

First, I was trying to adapt a pattern meant for bulky yarn to aran weight, so I was using notes from another knitter. The first needles were too big, though, so I frogged and started over with a smaller size. I liked it enough, until I got a few rows in and saw a dropped stitch way down at the beginning. I didn’t like it enough to keep going, so I frogged again and cast on with size 8 needles, and this time it worked. Except I did drop a stitch again and had to ladder it up about five rows.

img_4664It wasn’t my favorite yarn; it was a little nubby, and thick & thin in places. It’s Skacel Urban Silk, which is 80/20 silk and cotton. It’s definitely soft, and has the lovely drape of silk, but something about it just didn’t thrill me, so I’m glad I made this with someone else in mind. Now let’s just hope she likes it!

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It’s definitely smaller and more snug than the original was intended, but it fits me well and should be perfect for the recipient. And it got two skeins of yarn out of my stash!

FO: Waverly Weekend Cowl

Okay, so I actually finished this cowl a few days ago, but it needed a bath and desperately needed blocking. Blocking made a huge difference for this one: it evened out the edges, opened up the lace, and made the beautiful wavy edges!

IMG_8327I blocked this one more vertically, since I wanted a taller cowl. I could have easily done it the other way and made a wider cowl, which would have opened up the lace more. Heck, I could do that in the future if I wanted too. But we’ll see how it goes like this. I will say it’s harder to see the lace and waved edge when you’re wearing it.

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But you can’t miss the color, which is my favorite thing about this cowl. Have I mentioned how much I love Malabrigo yarn? They always have such swoon-worthy colors.

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The pattern is Waverly Weekend Cowl and I did seven repeats of the lace pattern, no modifications. The yarn is Malabrigo Rios in Magenta.

Frog and start over

Recently I wrote about a project that was not behaving in an appropriate manner, the Heart Check cowl. There was an error in the written instructions and after knitting the first section twice, I realized I was now holding a grudge against the poor pattern and I didn’t want to knit it again. But I still wanted a cowl in the beautiful magenta Malabrigo, so I went browsing until I found a worthy candidate, the Waverly Weekend Cowl. It says it can be made in a weekend, and maybe it can, but certainly not in a weekend like mine with two family parties, including one at my house that required a bit of tidying up. (Okay. A lot. I have three dogs and I hate housework. And also, in the future, I either need to have leather couches or no dogs. And no dogs is not an option, so leather couches it will be. Vacuuming couches is a terrible thing to have to do.) Anyway! I have at least made some progress and it’s enough to know that the pattern appears to be error-free and I’m liking the lace.

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It’s also enough to know that this vivid pink yarn is next to impossible to photograph well. This was in my backyard, in the shade, late in the day when the sun was on the other side of the house. It’s usually my best light for photos. But this pink, wowzers!

The sixteen rounds on that cowl were pretty much the extent of my knitting for the weekend, but I also got to celebrate the girl’s 19th birthday with our family, plus the brother’s college graduation, plus I went to a local symphony concert with the girl Saturday night.

The dogs all partied pretty well. Jack got a sedative so he wouldn’t bark constantly, and each dog got their own empty peanut butter jar to lick clean. But after a couple of hours socializing, they were pooped and wanted to sack out on the couch. I have to say, I felt the same way! It was a good weekend, but exhausting and I feel like Monday came much too quickly. I need a spring break like my kids!

Escarpment Cowl

Do you know what an “escarpment” is? I had no idea but knitting the Escarpment Cowl made me curious. Apparently it’s a long, steep slope, and now I understand the name!

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It’s shaped like the Bandana Cowl I made recently, but it’s done completely differently, with no short rows at all. It starts out knitted flat, and joined later, and it creates a back with a nice narrow panel, reducing the bulk that has to fit under your hair while still keeping the back of your neck warm. I think it’s quite clever!

fullsizeoutput_1f98And I think the yarn is quite marvelous. It’s Araucania Huasco Worsted in Grapeyard and the stitch definition is superb. The colors aren’t bad, either!

fullsizeoutput_1f94I wasn’t sure how soft it would be when I was petting the skein, but it surprised me when I was knitting with it, feeling gentle and supple, not rough at all. And it washed up beautifully too: no purple in the water, a bit softer, and with a lovely drape.

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This one might get a lot of wear. And it was so fast to knit too; I’m definitely tempted to make more. But not until I finish some other WIPs, I swear.

One last thing: today is Grace’s Gotcha Day! We adopted her four years ago today from a local animal shelter and she might be the neediest, lickiest dog we’ve got, but she’s also the sweetest and the best snuggler. I guess we’ll keep her a while longer!

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Adopt, don’t shop!

New projects!

It’s funny, the way grief can come back and just give you a swift kick in the ass. We’ve been having a long, cold, snowy winter, and I was joking with my husband about how living in the desert would be preferable. And bam, my mind took me back to being in Arizona with my parents after my dad retired, and he was so happy and loved it out there, and I felt the ache of missing him, sharp in a way I haven’t felt in a while. It passed, of course, but it took me by surprise. I wish he was still here, that’s all. And I wish I was in the desert right now!

But I’m not. Instead I’m home in the snowy Midwest, knitting all the time. On the last day of my 4-day weekend, I wanted to cast on something new, so I pulled out three yarns that have been calling my name to ponder, and went with the softest, fuzziest one. It’s acrylic from Joann (I bought four skeins when it was on clearance) but it’s fuchsia and fuzzy and perfect.

I chose the very simple knit COWL pattern and modified it bit, casting on more to make it a bigger, looser cowl. And I do love it, but I kind of want to use the other two skeins to make a snugger version too!

And then, because that was so fast, I went ahead and cast on with my second favorite of the three skeins, a purple Araucania Huasco Worsted. For this one I chose the Escarpment Cowl, which looks really cool. I love the idea of a shawl look with the ease of a cowl. And then I also cast on a new pair of socks, because socks. This yarn is Show Me Yarn Bootheel in the color Butterfly House, and I’m calling them the Granola Socks because I’m doing the 3×2 rib that Mildly Granola recommended.

Yesterday was a little rough because I had to adjust from knitting several hours a day to just knitting during lunch and a little at night. It wasn’t my favorite, to be honest. But hey. Gotta pay for the pups, right? Especially when they break a nail, crack another, and have to go to the vet for a bandage, nail trim, and meds. Sigh.

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He slipped out of his collar in the waiting room, but thankfully he’s a lover so he just ran back to visit the girls behind the counter. He’s also up to 104 pounds, which I recognize is too high and the vet tech told me…TWICE. So he’s on a diet now which he won’t love and I don’t blame him. BUT! He rides so nicely in the car and sits patiently when I open the door to grab the leash, and he hasn’t tried to chew off his bandage at all. Not even overnight, when he was all alone! If I could combine the good traits of all three of my dogs, I’d truly have the perfect dog. Alas, apparently dogs are like people, with good and bad and you have to accept what you can’t change and love them anyway. Or try to, anyway. I’m still working on that.

If you are anywhere that has sunshine and weather above 30 degrees, please enjoy it on my behalf today!