I loved how elegant that scarf looked, so I decided to knit one.
My enthusiasm on the project faded quickly. It was a slow and boring knit. The temptation to frog and run away was enormous. I did not quit; it was too cold for running away. Over the next several months, I wore a “product knitter” hat, poured some beers and finished a very long scarf.
My lack of interest was not the pattern’s fault. As a matter of fact, I do not even remember what pattern I worked. No idea! What I do know is that I poorly picked my materials. I do not have the patience for knitting on small needles holding together two thin yarns.
I do love the drape of the finished scarf. This will be a nice winter accessory!
Have you continued a project that you now think should had been frogged? Have you gone blank on a pattern name and spent two hours looking for it on Ravelry? Tell me about it in the comment section…
I wish I remember. Anonymous at the time of publishing this post.
Swans Island Natural Colors Merino Silk in WillowMalabrigo Nube Merino Handspun in Mostaza
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.
Even though I have plenty of projects that could keep me busy for a year or two, I thought it was a great idea to cast on a new one. Blame the North American heat waves for the lack of common sense.
I cannot put this project away! The pattern is easy to follow and the yarn, despite being a cotton blend, does not hurt my hands. There were no warranties that a cropped tank would look good on me. Go figure! Therefore, I am performing sweater surgery now that I am confident that I have enough yarn to complete the tank. I cut the sweater at the ribbing band, pickup stitches and am adding length to the whole thing. Love how is turning out.
The fine print….
Pattern: “Tip Top Tank” designed by Emily Bolduan from Maker Maker. There are plenty of free patterns on the designer’s website.
Yarn: O Wool Balance Worsted Weight (50% Cotton & 50% Merino wool). Color is Butterstone.
Needles:ChiaoGoo US 7 (4.5 mm). Changed needle size to get gauge as pattern is written for Sports weight yarn.
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.
This Kromski Polish Merino wool is part of my 2021 Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair (SAFF) stash. The eight ounce combed top was very reasonably priced. At twenty-seven micron count the wool is not the softest Merino on the market. Yet, the fiber was well prepared and spun nicely into approximately 800 yards of two ply DK weight yarn. The color is “Mossy Green”.
I would definitely buy this fiber again. There is additional fiber information and photos of available colors in Kromski’s website.
We are headed north where my daughter will compete in a tennis tournament. These days, for long drives, I require as much entertainment and snacks as the toddler next door.
I am packing a skein of deep stash Mission Falls yarn, some handspun and notions for a new cast on. The pattern,”Ninth River” by Whole Earth Education (Ravelry link), seems to be simple enough to keep me busy on the road and calmed at the courts. Let’s see if magic happens and they bag content comes back in the shape of two nicely finished mittens.
It promises to be a hot weekend. I am also packaging some Vermouth.
I have to confess that I had never worn any hand knit socks despite owing at least ten pairs. It had been against my nature to use something “treasured”. I am working on changing those feelings. I do not want to be attached to objects. What I really want to treasure is the craftiness and experiences creating the objects.
My husband surprised with a yarn advent calendar back in December 2021. My first ever! It was so fun to open woolly packages on random days.
The worsted weight bundle included seven mini skeins (44 yards each) and one full size skein (220 yards). In total, there are 528 yards for a nice size project. The 100% Peruvian wool was naturally dyed with plants by Anastasia from Eco Yarn Studio.
I would love to support this Canadian shop again in the near future and wanted to showcase it here as I believe any knitter would relish working with this amazing yarn.
There are thousands of Rikke hats in this beautiful and chaotic world. Why is this free pattern so popular? The pattern can be easily adjusted to any yarn weight and looks great in semi-solids, variegated, commercial and/or handspun yarns. Also, the garter stitch makes it for a comfortable and squishy hat.
This is my second handspun Rikke. Doubt it will my last.
Modifications to the pattern:
Handspun yarn wraps per inch = 16. Due to the inconsistency of the handspun, I would it classify as DK weight. Pattern was written for Worsted weight.
Cast on 82 stitches.
Placed marker every 14 stitches for decreases (only 12 stitches following the last marker). Knit two together (K2tog) and knit one after each marker whenever there were sufficient stitches. Started decrease sequence after each marker.
I have been going with the flow lately; starting as many projects as I want. Being inspired by materials and feeling content with all my WIPs.
This week I started the Reyna shawl in my own handspun. I don’t know the exact yardage on hand but my gut tells me it will be enough for a decent size shawl. This free pattern is perfect for variegated yarns. Mine is creating some stripes which I am enjoying while they last. If it starts pooling in a way I dislike, I plan to alternate balls of yarn.
Note: the following are Ravelry links – do not click on them if the website causes any discomfort or sickness.
Pattern: Reyna by Noora Backlund (free on Ravelry)
Yarn: Handspun Merino | Light fingering | Spun in 2014
Back in December 2020, I gifted myself this gorgeous BFL fiber in the color “Dahlia”. It is hand dyed from Gale’s Art, a local artist. I have bought Gale’s spinning fiber on numerous occasions and it never disappoints.
I split the fiber top in half. One half will be spin as is. The other half was further sub divided into thinner strips.
The book, 1 Page at a time, was a Christmas gift from my sister. I like the idea of taking some time each day to answer a prompt from the book. It helps me clear my mind. It forces me be in the moment.
Once again, the stress and sadness have battered me. I cannot make peace with the two mass shootings occurred here in the United States. One of them hit SO close….within 15 miles of my home. Please keep this country and the victims in your thoughts. We are in desperate need of reconciliation, peace, and empathy.
Going back to regular programming: As suspected, I didn’t have enough yarn to finish my Lila pullover. Not winning the yarn chicken game took my knitting mojo away. I have a plan B with a different yarn (used already in the neck) but for now the project is on time out. Or, should I should say, the knitter is on time out?
I have been stitching up a storm on this beautiful geometrical pattern.
This is a beautiful (and free) design by the Espace Tricot team. I used a yarn that I bought at one of my firsts fiber festivals. The one where I also learnt to spin. Memorable!
The cowl is worked fast with a bulky yarn. It looks very nice and provides a good warmth. I would knit it again. Only caution is to bind off loosely so it goes over “big brains” with ease. My cowl “collar” is a bit tight. I have to take a deep breath and pull out the cowl with as much care as possible hoping not to loose an earring or my mask in the process. No worries, the operation is smooth and kid friendly (most of the time).
Yarn: Two skeins of Plymouth Taria. Bulky weight blend of 40% Merino, 30% Llama and 30% Silk in colorway 2767 red. This yarn is discontinued.
It has been a long time since I spun on my beautiful spindle. The “Zebra Yellowheart stripe over Maple” spindle is from Kundert Spindles. Unfortunately, the artisan temporarily closed his shop due to some medical situation. Hope these affordable pieces of art will become available to spinners worldwide again…soon!
What is that fiber, you ask? According to the label this is 8 ounces of 24 icon virgin wool in color Night Sky. The roving is produced by Ferndale Fiber. Find the list of retailers that sell this roving: here.
Looks like the final 2 ply yarn would be a light fingering weight.
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.
This project was completed on November 2018. Back then I didn’t know what eventful months laid ahead. Oh, 2019…never a dull moment. I am taking one day at a time. Going back to activities that bring me joy. Hello again sweet purls. I have missed you dearly. Thanks for waiting until I was ready to come back.
I purchased the Superwash Targhee from Highland Handmade. Sadly, it looks like they are out of business. The fiber was a joy to spin in my Turtle Made spindle.
I created several “singles turtles” (a hundred percent notsure that is a technical term) and offload then into my swift. Then, the singles were transferred into two bobbins and plied on my Louet Julia wheel.
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.
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.
A few weeks ago I learnt about flicking! If you are late to the party just like me, flicking is a variation of the English knitting method. Similar to Continental, flicking facilitates both hands to stay in the needles instead of dropping a needle to throw the yarn as you do with traditional English knitting.
Fascinated by the possibility of reducing hand movements and therefore knitting a bit faster, I’ve watched a good number of YouTube videos to learn the technique. If interested, I recommend you do do a search on “Flicking knitting” in YouTube.
Knitting a cowl with simple knit and purl stitches is providing good practice on this new to me technique. I am a convert, my friends!
There is not much to say now about my WIP as it is just a few rows in. I will blog about the pattern and yarn in a later post.
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.
Still valid is my goal of being mindful about stash enhancements. I am not one to get stressed about any upcoming show update. I don’t have to knit with the hottest yarn in the market. But, if a skein strikes my fancy, I will let it come home without guilt. I am enamored with this Swans Island yarn. Check out their beautiful website: here. Organic Merino | 525 yards | Fingering Weight | Natural Color Collection
The second skein is from Three Irish Girls. Adorn Sock | 430 yards | Fingering Weight | Wendy Darling colorway
Don’t you think the yarns go along well?
For a very practical discussion about stash enhancement, I recommend watching episode three of the “Hand Me My Knitting” podcast around the 22:41 time mark. Link here.