I noticed a new to me yarn, “Cotton Collage” by Premier Yarns, during a recent trip to a big box craft store. I probably had a magnificent excuse for being in the yarn section of said store.
Two details immediately caught my attention: affordability and fiber blend.
I bought a skein of 246 yards (225 meters) for $3.50 USD on sale. Regular price is $4.99 USD. The blend is: 46% cotton, 33% super wash merino wool, 12% polyamide and 9% PBT which stands for “Polybutylene terephthalate”. This engineered material helps with the elasticity of the yarn. Read more: here.
With the help of a stitch dictionary, I came up with my own “sock recipe”. Pattern considerations: it had to be shorties and needed some structure given the yarn composition. Knitted on US size 1 (2.25 mm), I was able to finished a pair of socks and have leftover for a third sock. Two skeins for approximately $10 USD (before taxes) gets three pairs of hand knit shorties in a 79% “natural” material. Not too bad, ha?
The yarn has high twist and it feels nice to knit with, in my opinion. The downside is the limited selection of only five colors. I guess one could over-dye and hope for a happy accident.
PS: I took notes of my sock “recipe” and will share here for free, of course, in the near future!
Soon after casting on, I realized this would be a quick knit. I enjoyed the process so much that had the pullover completed within two weeks. I proudly wore it on my birthday. Hope I can to knit me a birthday gift every year to come!
Chart and written instructions are included for the cabled yoke. I have knit cables on just a few occasions and had no issues with the ones for this project. Short rows are worked to raise the back of the sweater. There is not any waist shaping.
Thanks Emily Bolduan from Maker Maker for designing this cute free pattern. I have made just two modifications: (a) used worsted instead of recommended sports weight yarn and, (b) changed needle size to US 6 (4.5mm). With these changes my gauge was 20 stitches vs 21 stitches in 4 inches as suggested in the pattern with the recommended yarn..
The after blocking measurements aligned for the most part with a Medium size :
Bust circumference=34 in (approx. 86 cm)
Lower body length=18 in (approx. 46 cm) ** longer than suggested **
Upper body length=8 in (approx. 20 cm)
Neck width=9 in (approx. 23 cm)
The cotton & wool blend yarn, O Wool Balance, is lovely to knit with. It has great stitch definition and is very light weight wise. All the project details are also documented in my Ravelrypage.
These mittens traveled across four states over the past weekend. But, despite my good intentions to finished them on the road, the weather was too hot to be working with wool. They were done inside my home with the comfort of air conditioning a drink and a podcast.
The paid pattern is well written and even includes a picture tutorial of the Latvian braid. I also used a YouTube video as additional help (linked below). Unfortunately, the mittens are too snug for me. All my fault as I did not get gauge nor had enough yarn to pick up all the stitches required for the thumbs. I might to re do the thumbs entirely with the contrast color (handspun yarn).
Yarns: Mission Falls 100% SW Merino (discontinued) for main color, Merino/Bamboo handspun blend for contrasting color no. 1 and Alpaca handspun for contrasting color no.2. All Aran weight.
Here is my new skein of handspun yarn. Despite my good intentions to spin all four ounces on my electric wheel, I switched to my trusty Louet Julia half way into the project. I lost way too much fiber due to breakages and tension issues spinning on the e-wheel. Still, I have a decent amount of yarn for perhaps a hat.
Last year, I had to tidy up my craft room often because (a) I kept buying stuff and (b) I was not using my stash. My new goal is to craft from my stash. I want to downsize. I not only need the physical space but the mental as well. I am not trying to preach on this space. What works for me, might not for you. That is what makes this a beautifulworld—we all are different & unique.
Let me show you my most recent sweater FO: Tolmie. The pattern comes from a magazine I bought years ago. The pullover was constructed with yarn from stash. I did not have enough of a single color to knit the project. My work around was to add a second yarn for the neck, sleeves and bottom. Even then, I could not knit long sleeves.
I am pleased with not only the fit but also the colors of this sweater. I also took baby steps toward my downsizing goal. Win-Win!
Two new mittens finally received a well deserved wash and block. Both pairs were finished last year with very special yarns.
Pattern (free):Lambing Mitts by Veronica Jobe. Link here.
Yarn:Cestari Traditional Collection Sock Weight, a Targhee & Columbia blend, in Natural Light. To my surprise, as I washed them, the water quickly turned light brown. I enjoyed knitting with this yarn and would definitely consider it for a larger project.
Pattern: Squad Mitts by Ann Weaver from “Mason-Dixon Knitting Field Guide No. 1”. Ravelry link here
Yarn: Two ply Merino handspun that I dyed blue at home and Brown Sheep Nature Spun Sport in Stone.
What a great feeling it is to have this scarf that I love — after so much time and effort spinning and plying the singles and finally knitting the yarn. I used almost 500 yards on this project. I cannot wait for winter to wear this over and over.
A finished object makes me feel like a Knitter (with capital K). This cowl has seen lots of wear since I finished it. It was my first time knitting with Dream in Color Smooshy and I really enjoyed its rich color and high twist.
The pattern is from the book Scarf Style 2. Totally recommend this book even when it was published back in 2013. It has twenty six patterns from renowned designers like Jarred Flood, Pam Allen, Laura Nelking, Veronica Avery and Romi Hill. Even Brioche made it to the book! I do not regret buying it used at a real bargain and see myself casting on another pattern in the future.
Finished ObjectMy Turkish spindle provided great entertainment for the long drive to and from Washington DC.
This is a Blue Face Swirl in a Limited Edition colorway by Gale’s Art. I spun two ounces in my Turkish spindle and the remaining two in my Kromski wheel. The final yarn is super spongy. Yardage is to be determined — skein looks substantial (how about that?).
New to me magazine
I picked up the third issue of the Making Magazine at Fibre Space. This is a gem and I want to make everything in it. I will not pass on next time Madder open up subscriptions. The magazine is worth every penny, in my opinion!
Family time. Priceless. As crazy and imperfect we all are, magic happens when we get together.
Happy Fourth of July! Hope that everyone is having a spectacular and safe day.
My husband and I have been working on remodeling our master closet. Lot’s of stuff is being donated. The walls are waiting for a fresh coat of paint. The lighting is being upgraded as well as the organization system. All of that translates to hard work, money out of the door and not much knitting or grilling.
I was able to spin a gorgeous Ashland Bay Multi-Colored Merino Top that I bought from The Woolery. Colorway is Rose Quarz.
Two ounces of Fiber, woolen spun, two ply yarn at around fourteen wraps per inch which could pass for sports weight. Yardage still to be determined.
It was all about spinning this past week. My favorite wheel, Julia, is not feeling well. I’ve changed it’s driver band and ball bearings…and still cannot make it spin like in good old days. So while Julia rested I worked with my Kromski wheel on spinning a beautiful Julie Spins’ gradient.
I separated the fibre and spun three different two ply yarns: blue, turquoise and both colors blended with some white Merino I had in stash. I am happy with the results and yardage. There should be enough yarn for a very blue shawl.
This pattern cannot be more simple; endless garter stitches with purl rows here and there. Some might find this very boring. I decided it was a perfect source of relaxation after hectic workdays. Call it garter therapy.
The yarn is the protagonist. Tern is, like other Quince & Co. yarns, a pleasure to knit with. The shawl is light and easy to wear. I think it will transition well into Spring.
I want to knit three pairs of socks this year. Progress is slow but steady. Pair no.1 is “Vanilla Lattes” in reliable Patons Kroy Socks yarn (75% SW wool, %25 nylon). At $2 per skein, on clearance, I can almost ignore how boring the color is. Ravelry project page here.