Thursday, March 29, 2007

fun on a rainy afternoon

Yarn: Rondo, Sandnes Garn
Colour: 173, Looks like Eggplant
Content: 70% Acrylic, 30% Wool
Amount: 74 m / 100 gm (10 balls)
Needles: 9 mm (US 13)
Tension: 9 sts = 10 cm (4”)
Care: Machine wash at low temp, lay flat to dry
Plan: Any thoughts?

Yarn: Kroy (Patons), Preface (Phildar), Watercolours (Estelle)
Colours: Kroy 54002 (2), 54006 (2), 54008 (2), 54012 (2); Preface 036 (2), 043 (2); Watercolours 21 (1), 81 (1)
Care: Machine Wash, Dry at low heat
Plan: Socks?

Yarn: Denim Style, Bernat
Colour: 3117 Stonewash
Content: 70% Acrylic, 30% Cotton
Amount: 179 m / 100 gm (9 +)
Needles: 5 mm (US 8)
Tension: 18 sts / 24 rows = 10 cm (4”)
Care: Machine wash & dry
Plan: Perhaps Jolene Treace's River Forest Gansey

Yarn: LuLu (12) & Satin (1), Bernat
Colour: 36005 Snowball (1), 36320 Loopy Lilac (3), 36510 Peachy Keen (2), 36509 Fancy Dandy (2), 36717 Lemon Lime (2), 36128 Bunny Blue (2)
Content: 100% Nylon
Care: Machine wash & Dry
Plan: Makes lovely soft baby blankets

Yarn: Gramercy, Lily Chin & Zara, Filatura Di Crosa
Colour: LC 5001 (1), LC 7543 (2), FDC 1389 (2), FDC 1401 (1)
Content: 100% Wool
Care: Hand wash, dry flat
Plan: A variation of Anne Featonby's Chullo Hat - Crosscountry

Yarn: Mohair Art, Jaeger
Colour: 608, Inkwell
Content: 50% Mohair, 50% Nylon
Amount: 150 m / 50 gm (1)
Needles: 4mm/8UK/6US
Tension: 21-23 sts / 28-31 rows = 10 cm (4”)
Care: Machine wash
Plan: What to do with a single ball?

Yarn: Van Dyck, Needful Yarns
Colour: 114, Looks medium grey-blue
Content: 46% wool, 39% acrylic, 15% alpaca
Amount: 117 yds / 100 gm (1 balls)
Needles: 7-8 mm (US 10-11)
Tension: 11 sts = 10 cm (4”)
Care: Hand wash, dry flat
Plan: What to do with a single ball?

Yarn: Shetland Chunky, Patons
Colour: 03031, Earthy Brown (1), 03032 Canyon Variegated (1)
Content: 75% Acrylic, 25% Wool
Amount: 136 m / 100 gm
Needles: 9 mm (US 13)
Tension: 15 sts / 20 rows = 4" (10 cm)Care: Machine washable, dry flat
Plan: I was planning on making another Pick-Up Diamond Helmet (Gerdine Strong, in Knitter's Magazine, Winter 2004, page 46) But I haven't been too happy with the sizing.

Yarn: Handcrafter Cotton, Bernat
Colour: 00022, Demins
Content: 100% Cotton
Amount: 655 m / 400 gm (1.5 balls)
Needles: 4.50 mm, (US 7)
Tension: 20 sts / 26 rows = 4" (10 cm)
Care: Machine washable, dry at low temperature
Plan: More cotton bath mitts?

It was a rainy afternoon, so I organized my stash. I don't really have clear plans for these yarns. Your thoughts are welcome. I'll keep you posted. That was fun.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

thank you canada post

The sweaters arrived! And don't the brothers look smart wearing these Cowichan type sweaters! The youngest was very happy to get the sweater & hat. The older brother thinks the sweater is okay. At nearly 7 years of age clothes don't make a very exciting gift. It's a good thing I included chocolate!

Initial Post: tag-a-long

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

learning new tricks

I want to learn German style knitting (a.k.a., Continental) and I've done a little searching and a little practicing.

The best resource I have found is from the blog with Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood.

She has a video of German style knitting on this page. This same video is also found on YouTube. See it below.
The one problem with this video is that it misrepresents English style knitting; it too can be fairly efficient. When I knit, my right hand does not leave the needle to "throw" the yarn. Anyway, the video is good for what it does do, i.e., show German knitting well.

I'll keep you posted on my progress.

Monday, March 26, 2007

it can be done

A reversible cable scarf! One side (above), Other side (below)

The pattern is very easy and can be adjusted for different yarn types, tensions, etc.

Here I am using Luxury Alpaca Peru in 201 Ecru (on sale at my local yarn shop). I love this yarn! It is wonderful to work with and is so soft!

The pattern is a 10 row repeat (cable height is 10 rows)
Row 1 K6, P6 (will make two cable columns)
Row 2 P6, K6
Repeat row 1 and 2 again
Row 5 Slip 3 onto cable needle, K3, K3 from cable needle, P6
Row 6 P6, K6
Row 7 K6, P6
Repeat row 6 and 7 again.
Row 10 P6, Slip 3 onto cable needle, K3, K3 from cable needle
Repeat for desired length.

You can alter the pattern by:
  1. Changing the cable height (Rows = 2 x R, Here R = 5)
  2. Changing the cable width (Stitches = 2 x S, Here S = 3)
  3. Changing the width of the project (the above pattern only has two cable columns)
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My project is 78 stitches wide. The selvage is made with 3 knit stitches to form a garter stitch edge. The scarf has 12 cable columns with 6 cables across on each side of the garment. It is a lot of fun to knit!

Addendum: I found a note on Esther S. Bozak's website that Lily Chin explains how to do reversible cables in the Winter 1989 issue of Knitter's. Wouldn't it be lovely to have a copy of this article.

You may be interested in Julie Theaker's pattern for her WATERY LLAMA SCARF (a reversible ribbed cable scarf) here. Thanks for sharing Julie!

long overdue

I am working on an afghan for my brother and sister-in-law. I had started working on an afghan before their marriage (it was to be a wedding present) but only got 1/4 completed before I saw that my tension had changed as I had progressed. The beautiful jewel tone afghan was lopsided. I gave up. In my non-craft period I gave away all of the beautiful yarn (wool mohair blend) along with the lopsided "throw."

They have been together for 2 decades and I thought I would finally make them an afghan. This one is not as ambitious as my first attempt. It crocheted in squares so it is very easy to take with me. The pattern is very basic - Easy Granny Quilt Afghan. The squares are 19 cm, and oriented on the diagonal. The finished squares are very soft and rich looking - I think this will turn out well.
Pattern: Easy Granny Quilt Afghan. Page 11
Book: Homespun 6 Crocheted Quilt Afghans, by Lion Brand
ISBN: 023032799025
The yarn is Homespun a Bouclé by Lion Brand (not my favourite to work with, too squeaky)
Amount: 169 m /170 gm balls
Content: 98% acrylic, 2% polyester
Care: Machine wash and dry; do not bleach or iron
Colour A (373 Ebony) - 8/8 Squares, 6/6 Half Squares, 4 /4 Corners
Colour B (312 Edwardian) - 1/6 Squares, 4/4 Half Squares
Colour C (320 Regency) - 2/8 Squares
Colour D (302 Colonial) - 1/17 Squares, 6/6 Half Squares

Follow-up post(s): squares are done, memories of colour, slow going

saving energy

Something I will wear as we save energy by turning our thermostat down.

Pattern: Autumn Afternoons Cardigan, Lion Brand

Yarn: San Bernardino, Needful Yarns
Color: 4011 (Beige,Gray,Cream)
Content: 60% Wool, 40% Acrylic
Care: Hand wash, dry flat

I am absolutely in love with this yarn. It is so soft, easy to work with and I love these natural colours of the 4011.

CO - Back completed, Right front almost done.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

something my love will wear

Hunter V-neck Sweater

I have already made this sweater in Linen Drape (discontinued, I got my stash from Yarn Xpress) but the result was not roomy enough and too short. Interestingly, the colour above and below are the same! Splash! And, my picture is not turquoise enough either! The stripe is in Linen Drape Sand. In the front the stripe is too close to the v-neck and therefore is not straight. Next time I put a stripe in a v-neck sweater I will know better.

I am currently working this sweater in Cotton Classic by Tahki Royal Blue 3870. The back is just underway.

Related Post(s): one step forward

a hug from far away

I plan to knit a shawl neck cable zippered jacket for my father. The Vogue Knitting Winter 2006/2007 above inspires me.
I have purchased this yarn in Nettle 8573.
Content: 100% Extra Fine Merino Wool
Amount: 85 m / 50 gm ball
CARE: This yarn is shrink resistant. Turn sweater inside out and machine wash on gentle cycle in cold water. Do not bleach. Lay flat in shade to dry.

softly feminine

Another sweater for me!
Source: The Cashmere Collection
Pattern: Shawl collar cardigan
Needles: 4.5mm, 5mm & two short 4mm dpns
Tension: -will post-
Yarn: Cashmerino Aran (have not yet received)
Content: Merino wool 55%, Microfibre 33%, Cashmere 12%
Amount: 90 m / 50gm ball
Care: Wash: 30°C gentle wool cycle
Colour: Wine 013
CO date: ?

time for tea

A sweater for me!
Source: Rowan Plaid Collection
By: Kim Hargreaves
Pattern: Flood
Needles: US 10.5, US 11
Tension: -will post-

Yarn: Denim Ultra - Sirdar
Content: Acrylic 60%, Cotton 25%, Wool 15%
Weight: Super Bulky
Amount: 82 yards/100 gram ball
Care: Machine Wash / Dry flat
Colour: Wine 622

CO date: ?

baby boy blue

Source: Nursery Knits, by Zoe Mellor
Pattern: A Boy's Own Jacket, pg. 115

Needles: 5 mm

Tension: 21 st per 10 cm, 30 rows per 10 cm in stocking stitch

Yarn: Shine - Knit Picks (purchased, has not yet arrived)
Content: 60% Pima Cotton, 40% Modal
Weight: Sport Weight
Amount: 110 yards/50 gram ball
Care: Machine Washable/Tumble Dry Low
Colour: Sky & River
For May 19, 2007 Birthday

Related Post(s): one step forward

Tuesday, March 20, 2007


I am so excited! I have just finished a project for my nephews & I am getting ready to ship the result to them. My wonderful nephews are 6 years, 10 months and 2 years, 2 months old. The older brother is a wonderfully loving guy and the younger brother wants to be just like him! They are quite a sweet pair. I don't get to see them enough.

That's where this project fits in; Matching Cowichan Style Jackets & Matching Hats!

Matching Jackets
Source: From the North (White Buffalo 102) Featuring Designs from the Canadian Sweater Company Ltd. Since 1977

ISBN: 1-894411-52-8

Pattern: Snowflake Jacket, Size 4 (3 cakes main, 1 cake contrast) & 8 (4 cakes main, 1 cake contrast) page 17

Yarn: White Buffalo, Unspun, 6 strands, 100% Wool (unfortunately discontinued - a similar yarn may be found at Custom Woolen Mills Bulky 6 strand. ), 1 cake = 227 gm / 8 oz

Tension: 11 sts and 15 rows = 10 cm in stocking stitch with 6.5 mm needles

Wraps Per Inch (WPI): 10/3"

Front - Reindeer, back - snowflake

And, here is where I really went all out -they are lined!

I remember a beautiful pink fluffy sweater I had when I was a tot - I loved that sweater. I tried to wear it - but it was too itchy. I could not tolerate it for long. This memory prompted me to line these jackets with satin. It will make the jackets slide more easily over shirt sleeves too.

Matching Hats

Source: Handknit Holidays (Knitting Year-Round for Christmas, Hanukkah, and Winter Solstice)

Author: Melanie Falick

ISBN: 1-58479-454-2

Pattern: Elf Caps - Earflap, Designer Michelle Heyman, Size Small (19") and Medium (21"), made with left overs from the jackets, page 166

Yarn: White Buffalo, Unspun, 6 strands, 100% Wool (unfortunately discontinued - a similar yarn may be found at Custom Woolen Mills Bulky 6 strand. ), 1 cake = 227 gm / 8 oz

Tension: 8 sts and 11 rows = 10 cm in stocking stitch with 10 mm DPN
Wraps Per Inch (WPI): 10/3"

Lined with fleece.

Ties: 4-strand Braid Ties (page 169)

I really enjoyed working with this yarn. It is very soft and knits up well. The Yarn Harlot comments on White Buffalo here on her blog. Another review of this yarn is found on the Knitter's Review.
I like that there are no joins between balls. When you start a new ball of the same colour, you splice the two ends by breaking off half the strands about 6 inches from the end of each ball and overlapping the remaining strands. Just continue knitting as you normally would!
I'll write more when my nephews get the sweaters. This is going to be a big surprise!

To see authentic Cowichan Sweaters you can click this link.

Followup post: thank you canada post

Sunday, March 18, 2007

the kindness of knitters

I found this lovely posting about Jo Chandler's Catnip Mice on the Two Sock Knitters Blog.

I had to have this pattern - the finished work looks like a mouse and appears sturdy enough for cat damage! But, the link has been removed and the pattern is no where to be found.

I also found
Karen's blog Karagana's Knit Notes where these mice were also shown. Karen has kindly sent me the pattern. This knitter's kindness is a wonderfully sweet gift! (I think that being from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada might also be a factor too. Manitobians are known for being a friendly bunch).

And now I will share her gift with you.

Jo Chandler's Catnip Mouse (originally found on


For the body, Brown Sheep Nature Spun or any all wool non-super wash sport weight.
Small amount of embroidery floss, pearl cotton or matte embroidery cotton for eyes and whiskers (Optional as these are for cats to chew on).
Stuffing: unspun wool and catnip. I may make a little cloth bag for the catnip.
Needles: #6 (American).

Pattern Stitches:

M: Make one by putting a backward loop on the needle which is purled on the next row.

Bobble: These are the ears.
K in the front and back and front and back of the next st. (4 sts) Turn.
P4, turn.
K4, turn.
P4, turn.
SSK, K2tog, slip SSK over the K2tog st. We're now back to 1 st.


Cast on 2 sts with cable cast on, leaving at least an 8 inch tail for sewing.

Row 1: K in front and back of each st.

Row 2 and all even rows except for the last even row: Purl

Row 3: K1, M1, K2, M1, K1 (6 sts)

Row 5: K1, M1, K1, M1, K2, M1, K1, M1, K1 (10 sts.)

Row 7: K2, M1, K2, M1, K2, M1, K2, M1, K2 (14 sts.)

Row 9: K2, M1, K3, M1, K4, M1, K3, M1, K2 (18 sts.)

Row 11: K2, M1, K4, make bobble, K4, make bobble, K4, M1, K2 (20 sts.)

Row 13: K2, M1, K5, M1, K6, M1, K5, M1, K2 (24 sts.)

Work even on 24 sts (K a row, P a row) for 2.5 inches after the last increase.

Decrease for bottom: *K1, K2 tog, repeat from * to end (16 sts.)

Next row: *P2 tog, repeat from * to end

Next row: *K2tog*, repeat from * to end (4 sts.)

Slide the 4 sts to the other end of the needles and knit (I-cord).

Continue in I-cord for about 2 inches, decease 1 st and continue on 3st I-cord for another 2 inches (or a little longer; tail should be as long as the mouse).

To end I-cord, sl1, K2tog, pass sl st over. Cut yarn leaving at leave 8 or 10 inches and finish off last st.

Thread end on tapestry needle and carefully work through tail back to body and sew up about an inch. At the nose end, thread the end on a tapestry needle and sew up about an inch. Sew up the rest with cotton yarn or embroidery floss so it call be pulled out later.

With hot or warm water and natural soap if possible, wash the mouse with as much agitation as possible, as if you were trying to scrub out a really nasty stain. Keep this up until if felts.

Rinse well and allow to dry. Remove cotton stitching.

With embroidery floss, pearl cotton or matte embroidery cotton, make a couple French knots for eyes and make whiskers. Stuff and sew up with wool.

Notes from Karen, the kind knitter:
By the way, you can knit this mouse with anything; you don't have to felt it. I've made about 50 of them so far and distribute them to cat people all over the place. I will admit though, that my cats' favourites are the felted ones. I tend to use up my Red Heart knitting worsted leftovers for mice. I also differ from Jo Chandler in the stuffing department. I chop a cheapo pantyhose-type knee high in 3 pieces, and fill each piece with catnip and tie a knot in the end(s). That goes into the mouse's stomach and the rest of the body is filled up with polyester fibrefill. I can get about 6 "stomachs" from one pair of knee highs. I usually buy the "10 prs in a box" from Walmart.

This is the best catnip mouse pattern I have come across. There's a minimum of sewing and It LOOKS like a mouse. The tail is nice and strong and the ears stay on (unless your cat is a very determined chewer.)

Acknowledgements: (a.k.a., kind knitters) Pattern by Jo Chandler, pictures posted by the Two Sock Knitters, and Karen's Karagana's Knit Notes.