"Turn a Square" Hat by Jared Flood FO

Patttern: "Turn a Square" by Jared Flood
Source: Free Ravelry Download
Yarn: Miscellaneious Remnant Worsted Wool
Needles: 4.0, 4.5mm circular, 4.5mm dpns
Start: March 11 Finish: March 11, 2016
Modifications: extended band to 1.5", added 1 row of MC between each CC stripe.

One recent Saturday morning I pulled together this little sack of equal toned remnants with the printed pattern I queued years ago. Ravelry says almost 18,000 of these have already been knit - time to get to it!

As a pattern designed to use up remnant yarn, the necessary quantity of contrast colour yarn is given in weight rather than "balls" which made it easy to switch from the self striping Noro of the pattern to equal toned, separate remnants...

I wanted something a bit softer looking than the original snug design so...
  • Lengthened the ribbed section 'round the bottom 
  • Added another round of black between each coloured stripe.
Having a full day of Saturday "stuff" to do, I then resolved to stitch this little piece whenever I did sit down that day. So by the time I went to sleep that Saturday night I had a new hat!

My slouchier fit lets the "square" hang down the back rather than sitting atop the head all but hidden from sight of my tallest friends...

And the feather lightness doesn't mess with my hair either! This one is all good, now posted and gone from my queue!

"Spring Chick" by Barbara Prime FO

In case anyone's interested...the details on the little knitted chicks from yesterday's post...

Pattern: "Spring Chick" by Barbara Prime
Source: Free Ravelry Download
Yarn: Remnant Worsted
Needles: 4.0mm
Start: March 24 Finish: March 26, 2016
Modifications: None

Fantastic little pattern with clever use of shaping - especially around the chick's head and shoulders. The worsted weight yarn also yields something just the right size too.

My sister's cat "Olive" enjoys the catnip-stuffed "Bunny Nuggets" I knit for her a couple of years ago so I thought I'd knit for her again this Easter...

I only put catnip in one this time so my nephews could play games with her "nose"...

She instantly recognized the "good" one.

Then, turned her back on the whole works and set about "enjoying" the tissue and purple paper ribbon...

This project also reminded me of two things...stuffed animals get most of their personalities from the addition of "eyes"....and there is no such thing as saving a piece of felt that is too small. The little scrapes of orange felt I had stashed among bigger pieces were still much more than I needed to finish these off.

Hey thanks for dropping by!


Good Weekend...

Ours extending through yesterday. Just the three of us, so a bit weird, but we kept ourselves amused.

'Saw a movie - "Eye in the Sky" - really well done.

Accomplished a surprising amount of knitting - among the projects - some fun little Chicks...

'Cannot stand how quick and cute these turned out to be!

'Put in three solid days of cooking/baking.

It was a full on Martha Easter here.  

Her early stuff really is soooo complicated but special efforts for special occasions...this round my hands down favourites...

Hot Cross Buns - Martha Stewart Living 1998 - beyond "yum"!
With Easter weekend behind us, the clocks "sprung" forward, Spring officially underway I'm manic to finish up "winter" knitting around here.

 (Also seriously need to address the backlog of unblogged FO's, some from as far back to last spring?!)



So Sew?

Yup, I've been sewing! ('knitting too of course - more on that later.)

I've been thinking about sewing again for a while after seeing many fantastic home sewn wardrobes - that can really show off the hand knits - there's gobs of them on Instagram and Kollabra.

"Reminds me of the early 2000's when the knitting explosion blew through the internet but today, these "Slow Fashion" enthusiasts are diving in and also sewing stuff to go with their knitted pieces.

They're stitching tops, shirts, skirts, dresses, shorts and even jeans, lined jackets and lingerie. Some make shoes for themselves!

So, so much to be learned from the Millennials I'll tell ya!

Anyway, my own Millennial Darling Daughter recently came home with yardage of soft pink broadcloth for a dress she'll wear in a wedding this summer so I talked her into letting me make the muslin version to nail down fit/size/style before she hands it over to a dressmaker.

(I'm secretly hoping to sew the finished product and save her the hundreds of dollars it will cost to have it professionally made but I won't float that notion until we have success with this phase first!)

She agreed and since the Bride-to-be will be in town over Easter for a dress fitting of her own we're aiming to have something ready to model for her when she's here.

Is sewing something for myself in the cards? Maybe. First I've got a muslin to finish and I'm having great fun diving into a basket of CO-ready knitting "kits" I assembled 10 days ago while avoiding the two sweaters-in-progress I should be attending to.
Finally landed on an edging Darling Daughter is happy with on the little hand stitched lunch sack I made for her birthday. Not super exciting from a stitching point of view but she's happy with it so we'll call this one "done".

I'm hoping the two little knit projects I finished last week/blocked yesterday and the one to be bound off tonight get me back in the mood for some sweater knitting.

I'll let you know how that goes! Thanks so much for dropping by!


"Camp Out Fingerless Mitts" by tante ehm FO

Pattern: "Camp Out" Fingerless Mitts by tante ehm
Source: Free Ravelry Download
Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash
Colour: 1926 Doeskin Heather
Needles: 4mm dpn
Start: February 27 Finish: March 9, 2016
Modifications: See Below

A great little free pattern from Ravelry that produces something comfortable, warm and quick to knit.

It's one of those patterns that'll showcase special yarn or work well with anything to quietly match something else (as I've chosen to do with Flying Geese).

It starts with a provisional cast on of 10 stitches knit into a garter ribbed strip that, once long enough to encircle the fingers, joins in a 3 needle bind off.

The warm garter ridges are stretchy but bounce back to allow freedom of movement without sloppy-looseness or being overly tight. Nice!

The length of that initial strip and so, the number of stitches picked up from its lower edge is then easily modified, which I did - adding a few ridges/stitches to accommodate my light worsted yarn.

Then I knit three rounds before casting on for an enlarged thumb gusset (11 stitches vs. 9 in the pattern) rather than doing so immediately beneath the garter strip. This gives a bit more comfort and space for the thumb.

I also left a couple of stitches at the base of the gusset rather than decreasing them all away for even a bit more room over the wrist just below.

To make a "set" with the Flying Geese Cowl I worked one up with a contrast lining. The result was warmer but too thick. Then I tried one with a corrugated rib cuff which seemed too busy looking.  In the end I went with a simple 1x1 ribbed edge at the cuff.

Bottom line, this pattern is a great go-to hand warmer recipe.

So my next little package to help out newly arrived Syrian families is ready to go. I imagine my donations from last autumn must have been in use by now.

Its occurred to me the "Troll" hat that was among those pieces would work well with these fingerless mitts...both featuring a wide garter band. (Both are also easily modified and suitable for a wide variety of yarns.)

In my rush to send the Troll hat and mittens off I never posted about how pleased I was at the subtle striping I got alternating balls of two colour ways of remnant red yarn for the top of this elfish little hat.

Wow, 'just realized its 3 months and a bunch of FO's since I knit up anything with a colour to it!

Thank you all for the kind comments yesterday on my blocking adventure last weekend!

I'm working on an FO post to put that project to bed as the weather turns unmistakably springlike and I have to acknowledge I'll very soon need to be putting the throw itself away for the summer.

Time can certainly fly when you're knitting! Thanks for taking time out from your needles to drop by here!


The Amazing Stuff that Covers Sheep

I subscribe to the Yarn Harlot's view of blocking - that finishing a piece of knitting demands...

  • Removing dirt and oils the fibre accumulates through handling/selling/storing/knitting.
  • Setting the stitches to look uniform and even.
  • Shaping
  • Stretching to correct size.

This big throw felt deeply cozy, round, and ready to snuggle down on the couch with even before it was off the needles.

The thick-thin-crazy of the yarn and the fact it's a throw meant uniform stitches, exact shaping and sizing weren't an issue but I believed it would be better if it also felt finished. So over the weekend I filled the tub, poured an alarming amount of Eucalan into it (lots of water demands lots of wool wash) and laid the throw onto the surface of the water. I planned to wait for it to sink to the bottom as a sign it was completely saturated.

 2 hours later it was still afloat with some sections still completely dry...

Pressing it down to the bottom of the tub helped - for a few minutes - but 'next time I checked it had bobbed back to the surface again...

The demonstrated power, in that stuff that grows out of sheep, to repel water and retain air was really something to see right there in our bath.

More pressing was required to keep it at the bottom where it sat for a while to really soak. Then almost 4 hours after dropping it in the tub I saw the reverse of wool's ability to stay dry and hold air...its capacity to hold water and be wet...

After lots of pressing to expel excess water before lifting it from the tub...

It took a full laundry basket of bath towels to squeeze the piece into dampness but as I carried it to the blocking board it honestly felt only just the slightest bit damp again - almost as if it had never been thoroughly wet in the first place.

I pinned it out in the breeze of a small fan late Sunday afternoon and by first thing Monday morning it was dry.

As I'd hoped, the drapier, cleaned, truly finished knitting is quite superior to its pre-blocked self...

Blocking has given it softness so it can lie close to the body. Of course its still fantastically textural but luxuriously so rather than purely rustic.

For decades now I've loved working yarn into visually entertaining patterns/textures but stitching this hefty stuff in simple stockinette and seeing it behave through a thorough soaking/drying, I feel newly schooled in wool's amazing properties...


So Did She Make It?

Did Darling Daughter's little baby gift get done in time for the Shower on Sunday? No.

But lets face it, moments where reality has to kick in are sometimes just part of knitting.

She was okay with that she said...

                  ...after all, she'd seen me, many times, miss targets...

      ...she noted I seem to frequently disconnect knitting goals from reality...

                         ...she'd just seen me try to race Number One Son's pullover across the finish line -                              I missed that goal by 3 weeks didn't I?

Funny, in my memory those struggles had almost faded completely away as I've happily undertaken/finished new and lingering projects the last couple of weeks.

Lets face it, moments where reality is quite absent are sometimes just part of kitting! Right?

(And thank goodness for that!!!)




Soooooo little!

Darling Daughter's start on an infant-sized "Trellis" (Knitty, Spring '05).

This is her most challenging knit to date. She had me help her learn to read the chart and oversee working the first set up row across the back.

As she started cabling she was kind of fretting each knit and purl so I encouraged her to think of the cable elements as vertical units and the stuff around them as frames - not as a disconnected line of knits and purls across one row at a time.

In other words, even though working a cable cross might involve two knits and a purl, she should think of it/try to see it as a 2-stitch cable moving right or left in front of the purl stitches in the background. After all that is in fact what the eye sees when you look at cables and its the impression the knitting is trying to convey.

I encouraged her to reference the chart but also practice letting her eyes tell her what is right or more importantly, occasionally wrong on her needle to help her catch and correct errors quickly.

That seems to have done the trick for her because ever since that little talk things seem to be under control.

In fact she feels so confident, this morning as she left for work she explained she stopped knitting last night with just 8 rows of the first front panel to knit as she was too tired to focus and she now knows that 8 rows can quickly become a lot more than that if you are ripping and re-doing them looking for/fixing mistakes.

Smart girl. 'Took me about 20 years of knitting and re-knitting to learn that one!

She also mentioned she plans to have the little cardi finished by tomorrow night - and no, she does not plan to stay in tonight to get a start on that goal.

When that girl sets her sights on something, she can make it happen so I won't be surprised if she actually hits the target. It really is soooooo small and she's already done the biggest piece.

I'll be re-working fingerless mitts as my first order of weekend knitting business. Not nearly so interesting as cables on a seed stitch background bracketed with twisted stitch, faux cable columns.

How fun to have both actual and vicarious knitting right here in the house!

Thanks for dropping by this Friday - have a great weekend!



Around here snow on the ground doesn't always equal winter. Hudson and I were out for 2 sun drenched hours yesterday morning trudging through in a fresh snowfall that made me and apparently everyone we ran into feel like Spring is in the air.

I'm not saying it wasn't cold...I was bundled up in wool and down and wearing windproof pants over my clothes...

Looks like I was going for a Michelin Man look and nailed it! Hudson was of course wearing nothing but his collar. Dogs really are superior creatures in many ways.


The sun was high and strong.

The snow in the shadows was a violet-blue you don't see in winter.

Best of all there was lots of springtime birdsong filling the air. What a treat!

While the change feels hopeful and fresh it's sure not close to warm out so it doesn't make you want to veer away from wearing or knitting warm woolly stuff. Its the stuff of a perfect knitting season.

I've been working on a few things as I try to follow my post op instructions to "take it easy" (2 hour walks over hill and dale were a bit much and I did "pay" for the exertion later. "Lesson learned" as they say but it was too beautiful out to spend the morning inside!)

One of the projects had an almost medicinal affect. (Okay, maybe the drugs I was on brought that feeling to the "party" but I really enjoyed knitting this stuff.)

Lofty-soft, thick and thin worked to the hollow clunking sound of the 15mm wooden needles it demanded and now...

...the unbelievable heft of the pre-blocked piece. I think it could use just the slightest drape to make it feel a bit more refined and finished so I've got a soak in the tub and gentle stretch planned for it.

Thanks for dropping by today!


"Flying Geese" by Peg Blechman FO

Patttern: "Flying Geese" by Peg Blechman
Source: Ravelry - "Scarves etc. 5" by Quince and Co.
Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash
Source: Romni Wools, Toronto
Colour: #1926 "Doeskin Heather", #190A (Unnamed rosy-cream colour)
Needles: 5.5mm, 60 cm circular
Start: February 20 Finish: February 26, 2016
Modifications: None

All done,  blocked and ready to go. A straightforward little colour work project intended to slip over the head scarf of a mom soon arriving in Toronto after escaping from Syria with her husband and 5 sons.

So glad when buying yarn for this I managed to keep my own desire in check for a wooly, graphic version like the one in the pattern. I can't imagine what this woman will have endured prior to arriving here but I know she'll have better things to do than worry about hand washing a cowl as she settles into a whole new life with her family.

The Superwash 220 is soft and drapey post blocking - 'doesn't really even feel like wool compared to the yarns I've been working with in recent months.

Its not ideal for colour work. The yarn is lean and there's no bloom post blocking to fill in little gaps an irregularities. In the beautifully modelled shot below you can see how the small variances in the white lines that run between the "geese" really stand out as a result.

(Hudson's head is HUGE, as are his ears and his neck  - while it looks a bit narrow on him it is a comfortably generous size on a human head!)
('Probably doesn't help that being super wash I had to block it pretty aggressively to ensure it didn't shrink back from its pinned dimensions and stayed true to size.)

This yarn was supposed to match the original 220 in colour and gauge but Cascade has revised the description of the yarn to a "light weight worsted" because the Superwash version consistently knits up smaller than the original.

No wonder I had to use a 5.5mm needle rather than the 4.5mm that should have given me gauge.

I found out the other day the intended recipient and her family will be a couple of weeks later arriving than originally planned.

So with the extra time and remaining yarn I'm fiddling around making a pair of hand warmers with the leftover yarn.

I've got a lined one ready to block. Once its dry I'll see what its like and go from there.

(Right after I figure out how it somehow got to be March when it feels like Christmas was about 3 weeks ago!)