FO: Etched Hat

A while ago, my friend Meghan, a knitwear designer came up with a new cowl pattern she needed test knit, followed closely by a matching mildly slouchy hat.  Seeing how I needed a hat quite badly (I am one of the worst examples of the shoemaker’s kid going barefoot when it comes to hats and mitts) I figured I’d take care of two things at once.  I grabbed a skein of Tanis Yellow label and cast on.

This plan, gentle readers, did not work so well for one main reason,  If you reference my post of earlier this week, hats (beanies especially) and I do not get on.  This hat was the final illustration of that most disappointing truth.

Additionally, I seem to have somewhat of an issue with left and right twists as they pertain to knitting charts, and instead of Meghan’s lovely leaf pattern she designed, my hat has diamonds.  Pretty diamonds, but diamonds nonetheless.  I went out and purchased a set of highlighters for any future chart work.

In the end, I did three repeats instead of two, hoping the slouch would make the hat suit my very round head that much better.  I am sad to say, it did not.  It looks adorable on everyone but me.  Witness my friend, Caryn:

Isn't she cute?

Isn’t she cute?

My friend, Atoy, for whom I have knit two different hat and cowl sets has laid claim to this one, too (it looks pretty nice on her, too!).  I fully expect for her to ask for the matching cowl, but she will have to buy the yarn because this slouchier version took up over 2/3 of the skein!

Pattern: Etched by Meghan Jackson (not yet in Ravelry).

Yarn: Tanis Fiber Arts Yellow Label DK in Garnet.  This colourway is very pretty…lovely red tonal.  In fact, I will likely never buy Poppy again.

Who Was It Made For?  Me originally….but it did not work out.

Were There Changes Made To The Pattern?  One that was intentional (I added a third repeat) and one that was not (the leaves became diamonds).

Did I Learn Anything New?  I learned that I need to pay WAY more attention to charts where twists are concerned, but no new skills.  On the plus side, now that I have picked up the cowl again, languishing in my WIP pile since Christmas, I know I will get it right.

Anything Else?  No.  Moves yet another skein of yarn into the Stashdown2013 pile, which is very happy-making.

Would I Make Another?:  I might, but sadly not for me.

FO: Rhossili Beach Watch Cap

I hate hats.  Let me be more specific…I hate hats on me.  Not the wide-brimmed, “sitting on the front porch with a mint julep, wear to a summer wedding” hats…those actually used to look nice on me.  But rather toques, or what my mom called my whole life, “stockin’ caps”.  Something you wear outside to keep your ears from falling off in 20 below temps.  Worst of all…beanies and the like (ie, hats without a brims) just look god-awful on me.  Make my head look extremely round.

Turns out, Mom and I have the same problem…beanies look atrocious on her, too….something we discovered after I knit her one and she thanked me quite carefully, before my Dad chuckled and said that it was not exactly flattering.

More than a year ago, I ran across the Rhossili Beach Watch Cap in a book and thought, “That a nice change.  Lace and a fold up brim!  This might solve our problem.”

So I knit her one, and before I mailed it off to her, I tried it on.  Huzzah!  Something that actually worked.  She called after it came in the mail and mentioned how much better it looked than the first one.  Success!  And I made a mental note to make one for me someday.

Fast forward to Christmas this year and my friend Val commented that she had started a hat for her but that she had frogged it because it just didn’t work out.  I was still trying to figure out what to make her so I thought, “I have a tonne of sock yarn.  Maybe a nice skein of fingering weight doubled would do the trick.”  I am happy to report that I received no fewer than five emails from Val, raving about how much she loved my gift.  As a knitter, there’s not much more happy-making than that.

But I still did not have one….until now.

Finally, I Get To Rhossili Beach!

Finally, I Get To Rhossili Beach!

Pattern: Rhossili Beach Watch Cap by Wendy D. Johnson

Yarn: indigodragonfly MCN Worsted in “Squid Vicious”.  I cannot say enough about how wonderful this yarn was to knit with and cuddle and pet and squoosh.  LOVE it.  And the colour?  So much more spectacular than it looks here.

Who Was It Made For?  Me, Me, ME!!

Were There Changes Made To The Pattern?  I made a few accidental changes to the length of the two sections, but overall no.

Did I Learn Anything New?  As this was my third time knitting it in just over a year, it’s safe to say no.

Anything Else?  No.  Moves another skein of yarn into the Stashdown2013 pile, which is very happy-making.

Would I Make Another?:  Cannot see why not.  I wish there were more hats along the same lines as this one.  It’s flattering and pretty…and I never get sick of knitting it.  I am likely to make more yet.

FO: Slipped Stitch Cowl

I finished another little project on the weekend.

I made two hats for my friend and work manager, Atoy last year.  Each left me with half a skein of the yarn left which I just left in stash waiting for a new project.

The first half-skein ended up becoming a matching cowl for her Christmas present last year, and the second was supposed to become something for Christmas this year but my Christmas knitting sorta went off the rails.  So I got her something else and the yarn sat.  Last week, she started complaining (in a silly, hint-y sort of way) that she had a cowl to match her brown hat but not her pink one.  So I started designing a lacy cowl for her.  She commented that she really didn’t care if it was fancy; she just wanted something that matched.  Since the original hat I made wasn’t lacy either, something simple would actually be a better match.  I had already cast on 108 stitches and knit four rows of garter, so I figured I’d slip every sixth stitch, a la Malabrigo Neck Thingie and “Bob’s yer uncle!”

Atoy's Slipped Stitch Cowl

Atoy’s Slipped Stitch Cowl

Pattern: Inspired by Malabrigo Neck Thingie by Anne Sahakian

Yarn: Tanis Fiber Arts Yellow Label

Who Was It Made For?  My friend, Atoy

Were There Changes Made To The Pattern?  Since I didn’t follow the pattern exactly, this question is not really applicable.  108 stitch cast on.

Did I Learn Anything New?  No.

Anything Else?  No.  Moves another skein of yarn into the Stashdown2013 pile, which is very happy-making.

Would I Make Another?:  Probably.  It was super easy and the result is remarkably pretty when done in a nicely dyed yarn.  The main thing?  The recipient loves it.

FO: Porthos

On January 1st, with all my Christmas knitting taken care of, and a stashdown of sorts begun for 2013, I decided that it was time to get back into some of the Sock Knitters Anonymous challenges.

January’s challenge (Flora and Fauna) didn’t interest me at all; of course, now that I have seen some of the great patterns that came out of that challenge, I suspect I’ll feel differently next time.  However, one of the featured designers, Caoua Coffee had some nice textured designs that I liked so this seemed like a good place to dive back in.

Strangely enough, right around New Year’s, there was some talk in the KISS group about picking up gusset stitches and I mentioned that I hated it, and there was further discussion about the Criminally Mindless heel.  I filed it away in the back of my mind, promising myself I’d look into it when I had a chance.

While at a party on New Year’s Eve, I checked my email on my phone, and discovered that the lovely designer, Kathleen Baer, had gifted me with a copy of her pattern.  So I thought, “No time like the present to try out this heel!”

I took a look at my wound yarn, and my indigodragonfly club yarn from last June (a lovely merino/silk/bamboo blend called “Bleats, Shoots and Leaves”) jumped out at me as a nice semi-solid that would work well.  So off I went.

The stitch pattern was nothing more than knits and purls, which frankly lulled me into a false sense of security and I made so many stupid mistakes.  The yarn was yummy, but somewhat loosely spun.  I think if I were to acquire another skein, I might use it for something like a shawl or scarf on slight larger needles to avoid splitting.  That being said, it really did make the squooshiest socks.  They feel just wonderful!

The heel construction was an absolute joy to knit.  Increases and short row decreases made for no gussets whatsoever.  It looks a little different than I am used to, but at this point, I am willing to overlook that for the joy of no gusset stitches.  The only think I can’t decide is whether the fit is right, but I think that’s because I knit my toe the slightest bit too short and the heel is being pulled down my foot ever so slightly.  So that would definitely be a shortcoming on my part, pun entirely intended.

Porthos Socks in Baldersquash

Porthos Socks in Baldersquash

I finished them on January 29th, which makes me very happy.  I took a picture that night…which means they are a bit more Day-Glo in the picture than they are in real life (I so cannot wait until my balcony is accessible again!  I miss being able to take nicely lit pictures!)  In real life they are definitely more squash coloured, as the name suggests.

Pattern: Porthos by Caoua Coffee

Yarn: indigodragonfly Bleats, Shoots and Leaves in Baldersquash

Who Was It Made For?  Me

Were There Changes Made To The Pattern?  More like what did I keep?!  I kept the stitch pattern but reduced the cast on from 80 to 64 to fit my smaller foot.  I substituted the Criminally Mindless heel.  And didn’t even look at the toe in the pattern; I just did the standard grafted toe.

Did I Learn Anything New?  The Criminally Mindless heel construction.

Anything Else?  Not really.  Just really thrilled to have finished my first Sock Knitter’s Anonymous socks for 2013, and in under a month.  I will be casting on new ones today for the February Challenge.  (It’s Claire Ellen month – huzzah!)

Would I Make Another?: No.  They were fine to knit…but I made a lot of stupid mistakes because I stopped paying attention.  For me “easy socks” means I don’t have to pay attention at all.  These required just enough attention to be annoying.

FO: Hermione’s Got Rhythm

Wow…three posts in three days…definitely a record.

Late last year, I set myself a goal to knit down some of the yarn I have wound already, as I have heard that it should not be kept in centre pull balls for years on end.  To that end, when the time came for me to cast on a pair of simple socks to knit over the holidays (I can’t knit anything even remotely complex if I have company and my parents were coming to visit for a week), I snagged my wound ball of Tanis Blue Label in a vintage multi called Rhythm.  I came into this ball via my friend, Shireen, when she wanted to trade it for something heavier.

I chose Hermione’s Everyday socks because they were a simple textured pattern with nothing more than knits and purls, and would take very little attention to knit.


As is always the case, the yarn striped….my particular gauge means this happens pretty much every time I knit up a variegated yarn into socks.

This is also my first pair of socks without cashmere and I was pleasantly surprised that they were quite comfy.  I was afraid I had become somewhat spoiled! 😉


Pattern: Hermione’s Everyday Socks by Erica Lueder

Yarn: Tanis Blue Label in Rhythm

Who Was It Made For?  Me

Were There Changes Made To The Pattern?  I really didn’t like the modified eye of partridge heel with the garter edging, so I went to my standard slipped stitch heel flap and gussets.  I also modified the toe and started grafting with 14 stitches on each needle.  I find any fewer and the toe is just too long and too triangular to fit me properly.  Essentially, I just took the stitch pattern and put it into my “go to” sock construction.

Did I Learn Anything New?  No.  This was my 8th pair of top down, fingering weight socks.

Anything Else?  I was very surprised that I really like the texture.  It’s simple but prettier than a plain stockinette or 3×1 rib.

Would I Make Another?: Probably, if only because they were so easy and I like the texture of the finished socks quite a bit.

FO: Bandana Cowl

Presenting my first FO of 2013!

My husband, Chase, has been after me for some time now, to knit him several items, including cowls, fingerless mitts, and hats, so after reviewing “his” yarn stash (yarn either picked out by him or claimed by him once it got into our home) last week, this cowl went to the top of the list.

The yarn, Mirasol Sulka in the ever descriptive colourway “210”, came from the “Magic Bag of Doooom”, a bag of varying yarns and spinning fibres given to me my a friend, Jacqueline, last autumn while she was preparing to move. Her message said it was a bag that she’d leave on her porch for me and it turned out to be a massive trash bag that I could barely lug to the car and that barely fit in my trunk. Once I got it home and opened it, it was like a clown car…one fibre-y surprise after another. To this day, I still regret not documenting if for blog purposes. But I digress.

So on New Year’s Eve, when I was not in the mood for anything else I had on needles, I cast this on for Chase, and by halfway through New Year’s day it was done. And we even went to a party at 9:30….so not exactly a time consuming knit,

Bandana Cowl

Bandana Cowl

I actually love how it turned out. The triangle peak in the front is great for V-necked coats, and the yarn is SO squooshy (a single ply blend of merino, alpaca and silk), it’s makes a very cozy FO, especially after having given it a bath in Soak for an hour or so. I did not love knitting with the yarn as it was somewhat splitty, but the FO was well worth it, and it’s not like it was weeks of torture or anything.

So in summary (with credit to my friend Christina for inspiration on the summary format):

Pattern: Bandana Cowl by Purl Soho

Yarn: Mirasol Sulka in 210 (a lovely neutral taupe-y colour)

Who Was It Made For?  Chase

Were There Changes Made To The Pattern?  One less neck repeat, as it was looking very high and I was running short on yarn, plus since each repeat reduces the number of stitches, I was concerned about it fitting over his head.  Chase is actually glad I shortened it.

Did I Learn Anything New?  No, but I think I got a better handle on short rows.

Anything Else?  The FO is WAY bigger than it looks in the pattern pics.  Not in a bad way, I was just really surprised.

Would I Make Another?: Absolutely!  It was easy and fast, and as I too have a V-necked, pea-coat-style jacket, this would seriously come in handy.  I might try it in some yummy worsted or aran weight yarn (like indigodragonfly MCS Worsted or something) to see if it will work.  Since it uses a US10 needle, that just might do it.