Saturday, December 18, 2010

Snow day

I got up early (early for me for a weekend, anyway) for a driving lesson, but when I looked outside, it looked like this:

So The Limey and I went out for a quick walk instead to play in the snow, me in my Knotty gloves.

I actually finished knitting these ages ago, when the colour of the yarn (herbstfarben) was much more appropriate to the season. But the weaving in of ends and tightening of picked-up stitches defeated me and I continued to wear my old, thin, pilly M&S gloves until I mercifully lost one.

Knotty Gloves
Yarn: Wollmeise Twin "We're different" in herbstfarben, just over half the skein for the pair, I think.
Needles: 2.0mm bamboo dpns
Pattern: Knotty Gloves, by Julia Mueller

Notes: I did these in a tighter gauge than the pattern called for, therefore killing two birds with one stone: I have small hands and I wanted a warm, hard-wearing fabric. This yarn is nearly perfect for gloves. Tightly-spun and many-plied, it should stand up to wear very well- and gloves, of course, take a lot of abuse.

I don't know why it took so long to knit myself a pair of gloves: store-bought gloves are always ill-fitting, with the fingers almost always longer than mine, so there's often a few millimetres of fabric extending beyond my fingers, making movement even more awkward than a gloved hand normally is.

The Knotty gloves are great- just knit 'til the fingers fit! (Having said that, I did get impatient with one and had to frog and re-knit the fingers to be longer.)

I mostly followed the directions, except for a few points:

1. I made the cuff shorter- personal preference.
2. I used short rows to shape the palm before starting the fingers, because my index finger doesn't start on my hand at the same distance from the thumb that my pinky does, if that makes sense. In the picture below, I've drawn black lines to show the wedge made with short rows.

3. I decreased gradually to taper the fingers, rather than wait 'til the very end.

I've been wearing these gloves for a couple of weeks, in the crazy weather we've been having, and they have kept my hands nicely toasty. Amazing. I'm paranoid that I'm going to lose one, though. ('Cause you always loose a glove, don't you?) However, there is more than enough yarn left over to knit another one, if needed.

Saturday, December 04, 2010

The Limey was working in London last week, and it seems ages since I'd last been, so I took Friday off and went straight down after work on Thursday.

As is usual, the visit was filled with food and yarn: had Vietnamese food on Thursday night and Lebanese food on Friday. (We brought back some of the Lebanese desserts...I'm going to be so sad when we finish the little pastries filled with dates, walnuts and figs. I find a lot of middle Eastern desserts to be too sickly sweet, but these are just lovely.)

I also took the opportunity to visit Loop's new premises in Islington. I resisted the urge to buy yarn, and was really mostly interested in books. I was hoping they'd have one of Margaret Stove's lace books, but no.

I did buy the Winter issue of Interweave Knits and ye gods, I am absolutely enamoured of the Thandie Funnel Neck pullover by Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark.

(Photo from Interweave.)

I love everything about it: the colours, the buttoned-up raglan, the funnel/cowl neck, the brioche stitch, the shape, its amazing wearability...

I really want to knit this, but there are so many hurdles before this can be mine, all mine. 1) I have so much other stuff I have to knit; 2) I've never done brioche stitch before; 3) I have no suitable yarns, so would actually have to buy more yarn.

But the main hurdle is that the notes about stretchiness of brioche stitch, the different yarn weights, the gauge measured "slightly stretched" all come together into a possible nightmare of fit issues. I will cry if I don't get this sweater. And I will cry and throw things if I knit the sweater and still don't get it.

What to do? What to do?

Friday, October 29, 2010

Look what landed on my doorstep

A long time in coming, this is Debbie Stoller's latest book in her Stitch 'N Bitch series. This one is packed full of instructions and information about how to further your knitting skills. She talks about cables and lace, about how to design different sleeves, about how to knit something that fits. Basically, as the subtitle says, to go beyond the basics. Way beyond the basics.

And one of those 41 original patterns?
Yep, a lace version of my Pintuck Tee.

I got into knitting around the time the first Stitch 'N Bitch book was published and I taught myself a lot from it, with the help of my first SnB group in Seattle. In addition, I consider that a large part of what makes me me today is that I read Sassy and Bust instead of Tiger Beat and Cosmo during my formative years, so you can imagine the schoolgirl squeeing that ensued when I got an e-mail from Debbie saying she liked my Pintuck Tee and asking if I would contribute something based on it.

Nip/Tuck is knit in Rowan Bamboo Soft, like the original (such a great yarn) but in more dramatic black. I'm really excited about being included in this book and the rest of the patterns are great. My eye was especially caught by a pullover knit in the twisted lace made famous by the Pomatomus socks. I've always thought it would be a great pattern for a top and had thought about designing something, but now it's done for me!

Now, I'm off to read the book more thoroughly.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Knitting weather

The combination of the onset of autumn weather and my acceptance of the fact that we will never unpack all the boxes, or even most of them, has given my knitting a bit of a kick.

Last week I knit a sample of my Tamesis Cowl for Darn It & Stitch, using Fyberspates Scrumptious aran in a wonderfully in-your-face bright magenta. Sadly, I did not take pictures before I handed it to Jo, but hey, you can stop by and see it in person if you're in the area! Also, Jo is starting to stock paper versions of some of my patterns, starting with Tamesis, so definitely check it out.

I also finally finished the knitting of a cardigan from some cashmere/viscose blend thread I bought from Colourmart. I say thread because when it is this thin I refuse to call it yarn. I'm loving this cardigan, but never again will I do a whole sweater on 2mm needles. It's not finished finished because I have no clue what to do about the closure.

I've finished off the front edges in attached i-cord, as directed in the pattern, but didn't want to do the button loops with them. I was going to attach hook-and-eye closures to some pretty ribbon and sew the ribbon onto the sides, but the fabric is so fine that I'm pretty sure any sewing will show on the right side.

The delicacy of the fabric is also why I don't want to sew buttons or anything directly onto the cardi, so I'm kind of stuck. Anybody have any ideas? Please? I definitely want some way of closing the cardigan.

This weekend, I also finally started knitting some gloves. I've been thinking about knitting gloves for myself for ages; store-bought ones are always slightly too big, so I always have a few millimetres of glove extending past the end of my fingers, which is annoying. Also, when we moved, I found one of my Endpaper mitts behind a makeshift wardrobe- and it was all moth-eaten. I nearly cried.

But: every cloud, silver lining, and all that.

This is the first of a pair of Knotty gloves. I think I remember Liz knitting these last winter, and they looked awesome. I'm knitting mine in...Wollmeise! I know, craziness, but dammit, I wanted something hard-wearing, and this sock yarn is almost like cotton, it's so tightly spun and strong. I'm knitting this at quite a clip- this picture is after one and a half days of knitting. Granted, yesterday I did nothing but sit on the sofa and knit, only sparing time every once in a while to push the cat out of the way.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Some work...

...unrelated to moving house has been done.

Meet Daphne. (Here modeled by Liz and Ellen- aren't they cute? Photographed by The Limey.)

Basically a curved piece of garter-based lace, Daphne is my answer to shawls that just don't sit right and aren't long enough to be worn securely. Plus, I realized that, the way I wear my shawls, all that gorgeous, difficult-to-knit, wondrous-to-look-at lace got all scrunched up and just wasn't shown to their advantage.

Thus, Daphne - meant to be worn like a scarf, with the Victorian cockleshell lace fully on display.

The scarf/shawl is crescent shaped using short rows and is knit from end to end.

I've gone to some pains to make this scarf very adjustible and versatile.
  • I've written it in a modular way, so you can do more or fewer of some sections, making Daphne skinnier or wider, straighter or more curved, longer or shorter.
  • The modular technique also means you can knit this in almost any weight of yarn. Using lace weight? Simply do more repeats of certain sections. Using Aran weight? Making it longer but not wider by doing more repeats of the centre section.
  • I've also thrown in one last option: you can omit the faggoting lace between the plain garter section and the cockleshell border.

In these pictures, Liz wears a purple Daphne knit in Fyberspates' Scrumptious 4-ply, without the faggoting lace. Ellen wears a green Daphne knit in The Thylacine's Zeehan, and includes the faggoting lace.

Jenny from Bluestockings also test-knit the pattern in The Thylacine's Heemskirk, a sock yarn.

Pattern now available on Ravelry or better yet, buy from my website.

Monday, September 27, 2010

*Peers above mountain of boxes* the world is continuing to turn and everything? We got the keys to the house five weeks ago...spent three weeks cleaning, re-plastering, sanding, ripping up carpets, painting...moved and have still not unpacked all the boxes, or even most of the boxes.

I haven't been to any knitting at The Royal Oak all these weeks; we haven't done any actual shopping or eaten real food (lots of take-out, ramen and cereal!); haven't done any laundry. In fact, haven't done anything except rush home from work and go to Wickes and Homebase.

I think I can almost see the end, though. If we just pile the boxes in the spare rooms, then the living spaces will seem like we have space!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


The Limey and I have hit upon a wondrous, beautiful thing that I think may eventually get us into boatloads of trouble. See, we have discovered that you can get other people to do stuff you don't want to do by paying them!

Now, we'd always had a faint notion that such a thing was possible, but I think it's getting to be less faint and more concrete for us. For instance, the last couple of times we moved, The Limey's work has paid relocation expenses. So we had people come with trucks and do all the lifting and shifting of boxes and furniture and everything. It was great; I thought to myself, Hey, I could really get used to this. It turns out I did get used to it. This move? With no one paying but ourselves? Yeah, totally paying other people to do it, rather than go the "bribe friends with beer" method.

Also, the carpet in the downstairs area of the new house is hideous, and we want to replace it with nice wood floors, but for various reasons can't do it right now. But it needs to be cleaned. It's hideous as well as dirty. So The Limey went to Homebase to ask about renting a Rug Doctor so we could clean the carpet before we move in. Turns out, before they'll rent you one, they need two days' notice. And your passport. WTF? But then The Limey somehow "found" this dude who will -get this- come to our house with his own machine and then just do it for us! All we have to do is cross his palm with silver! It's like magic!

Tonight, sitting at our old place, surrounded by boxes, a dirty kitchen (we haven't been spending very much time here- oh, who am I kidding? The kitchen's always dirty), cobwebs, etc., we start moaning about having to clean this place to get our deposit back. Then we thought, Hey, couldn't we some to do it? At this point, I put my foot down. No, I said, we cannot. We have to do this ourselves. Dammit, I have principles. (Also, a limited bank balance.)

Ask me later when the boxes and furniture are cleared and I just want the time to set up the new house, though.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Can. Not. Decide.

I don't know what I want. The Limey doesn't know what he wants. We have a dozen tester colour pots. Our walls are starting to look like very promising Rothko paintings. I am seriously ready to just throw a dart at one of these colour charts and to hell with it.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Am I a grown-up now?

I'm not sure how it happened, or how we did it, but...The Limey and I bought a house!

It's a mile from the city centre, and is absolutey hideous inside and out (it was the cheapest house on the block for a reason!). But all it needs is a lick of paint and some care.

I can see we'll be spending a lot of this bank holiday weekend at Wickes.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Darn It & Stitch

Stopped by Darn It & Stitch to chat with Jo yesterday and saw some of my samples on display! That's the Horseshoes Cardi and Draped Lace Shell there- they use the same horseshoes lace pattern and might make a good twin-set, now I've seen them displayed together. Hmmm...may try that since I want new photography for the cardi.

Doesn't the shop itself look great? It's crammed with colourful, pretty, useful objects, but doesn't cross the line into cluttered.

Anyway, it's always nice to see your work get attention. Jo mentioned that many people really like the Pintuck T-Shirt- it's my most popular design and something I like to wear a lot, so I'm glad at least it's being appreciated since I've given it up for display.

The upstairs is apparently open now, but had a workshop on when I stopped by, so haven't seen it yet. Look forward to it!

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Must. Step. Away. From. Internet.

Instead, must:

1. Reformat patterns for printing.
2. Swatch and plan design proposals.
3. Work on Persephone sleeves.
4. Photograph test knit.
5. Plan knitting for VeryGoodFriend's baby.
6. At very least, for the love of fluffy kittens, finish a plain stockinette sleeve.

Meanwhile, calm myself with cute overload by looking at picture of colleague's baby with the Elijah I knit for him. (Lucky thing also got some booties from me a while ago.)

(I love this picture because his hands are held like Mr Burns and his eyes are kinda shifty, so the overall impression is that he's formulating some evil plan.)

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Knit Nation

I spent an hour or so at the Knit Nation marketplace yesterday. (I went because a friend in London was having a barbecue that day, so, you know, since I was gonna be in town anyway...)

It was a small marketplace, but jampacked with lovely stuff. I have no pictures of it because I stupidly forgot the camera. I made a couple of rounds, and talked to Jeni of Fyberspates about printing up patterns.

I also chatted with Robynn of Purlescence, where you can now buy some of my patterns. Robynn sells the loveliest of yarns, with stuff from the ultra-luxurious end and some good value cotton and bamboo in cheerful colours hand-dyed at a South African women's collective.

I also bought some stuff. A huge hank of laceweight from Wollmeise (couldn't pass up the opportunity), which I think I'm going to try to eek a sweater out of:

And, most importantly, bamboo dpns in the correct sizes for the two projects desperately in need of them:

...And then I left and stopped by IKnit for my magazine fix! (My excuse here is that I had to go through Waterloo to get to my friend's barbecue, anyway.)

Monday, July 26, 2010

The longer I knit...

...the pickier I get.

I'm trying various sleeves on Persephone.

This is my top town seamless set-in version, which is the first time I've tried this method. I love it (I just love picking up stitches). But it may not work here for various other reasons. But the main thing is, I tried to do this with magic loop. HATE it. Tried it, as you see here, with two circulars. HATE it. If possible, it's even fiddler than the single loop. Don't get me wrong- it's certainly effective- you get a small circumference tube, but it makes the knitting no longer enjoyable for me. I can think of few things more soothing and happy-making for me than rounds and rounds of plain stockinette, but using magic loop or two circulars takes all the joy out of it. The fiddliness frustrates me and, as a result maybe?, my tension is awful. Completely all over the place. Ick. I have no dpns of appropriate size, so it's sitting there until I can buy some next weekend at Knit Nation.

Even when I do have dpns in the right size...

...apparently they are not of the correct material. These alumin(i)um dpns are squeaky and unpleasant to hold. Plus, they are heavy compared to this fairy-hair thin yarn, so they pull at the knitting and again, my tension is all over the place. And, they are too long for this particular project and the heaviness pulls them down and the points stick in everywhere. This project, also, is sitting around in a drawer until I can get proper wooden or bamboo dpns this weekend.

It seems like I should be getting better work out of my tools as I knit more, but it seems I am just turning more intolerant over any teeny drawbacks or imperfections.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Do my eyes deceive me?

Something that's never made sense to me is absence of any shop in Oxford dedicated to yarn, fabrics and fibre crafts. Broad Canvas is good for some other crafty supplies, and Port Meadow has that small yarny bit at the back, but that's it. You have to go all the way down to Abingdon to get fabrics or a good selection of yarn. For such a well-off town, crammed with students and tourists throughout the year, it made no sense.

Well, apparently it made no sense to someone else as well, because ta-da!

A good old haberdashery-type shop! Lots of great fabrics with a vintagey-feel and a gorgeous assortment of buttons. (Also, I swear I've passed that exact storefront before and remarked to The Limey that it would make a great yarn shop.)

Jo, the lovely woman who runs Darn It & Stitch, has just a bit of yarn in at the moment, but she's getting more and more. Right now, it's all dk-ish weight yarns in lovely summery fibres: cottons, corn and the like. I stopped in a couple of weeks ago and we chatted and it turns out she's been asked for patterns by lots of people. As it happens, a lot of my free patterns are summer designs knit in dk-ish weight yarns, so I've lent her some of my samples. If you're in or around Oxford, stop by!

I've also been thinking about getting my patterns printed so that they could be sold at LYSs and shops such as Darn It & Stitch, in addition to on-line. So far, it seems like to get them printed and still be able to make any profit off them, I'd need to do print runs of thousands! So I'm still researching this- anyone with any ideas, I'm dying to hear them.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Where did it go wrong?

When I moved to Dublin nearly six years ago, the big motivating factor was that I could then easily visit other parts of Europe. I'd go on weekend trips to romantic, no longer far-flung destinations. My holiday weekends would be spent drinking in France, eating in Spain, hiking in Slovenia, sunning in Croatia, boating in Sweden...

As it turns out, I've been out of the country three times this year, all of them to the US! The Limey travels so much for work that on weekends, all we want to do is hang around the house and do ordinary things, like buy groceries.

What happened? How did my plans go pear-shaped?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

We're actually having a summer this year!

It's getting on for 30C this weekend, with no rain in sight. We've been eating outside whenever possible, and since it's light until ten o'clock, this is easy. The past few weekends, The Limey has put the barbecue grill through its paces. Today, it had been warm enough that we couldn't bear to really cook, so dinner was three different salads. Next weekend, though, July 4th barbecue!

Meanwhile, this coming week, I'm in the US for work. Three days, three meetings, three states. In other words, I'm going to be spending a lot of time in airports and on planes. This is bad enough, but the real tragedy is: I have no good plane knitting! I'm looking through my stash and my projects, but nothing appeals. It can't be too complicated; I don't have time to swatch and plan for a new design before I leave; I don't have any other knitting on the go right now. I have one more day to figure it out, though.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Speaking of cultural differences...

The scene: Bloomingdale's in NYC (which, by the way, is miles ahead of Macy's; don't even bother with Macy's). The Limey and I are headed towards a be-suited employee so The Limey can ask the whereabouts of the bathroom. Another couple get to the employee at the same time.

The exchange between The Limey and other guy:
-After you.
-No, you first.
-No, you.
-No, after you

I poke The Limey to go ahead. As he asks, I say to the other guy's companion, "I had to do something. We could have been here forever- he's British." And she points at her dude and goes, "So's he."

Saturday, June 19, 2010

BIG IMPORTANT cultural differences

One difference between the US and the UK which caused a few weeks of utter confusion for me is the attitude to cats and the outdoors.

In the US, many people prefer to keep their cats indoors. When I was a volunteer at the SF SPCA, in fact, we made people sign a form promising to keep their cats indoors only. Cats allowed outdoors have much shorter lives- they get run over by cars; they get into fights with dogs; in certain areas, they are the losers in encounters with coyotes or other wildlife.

In the UK, it is assumed that cats must go outside. When we looked for rental housing, we'd mention the cat, and agents would say, "Oh, but this is a flat" or "There's no garden." Which confused the daylights out of me. I'd be all, "Yes, I know it's a flat..." or "And...this is relevant how?" But of course, they skipped straight from "We have a cat" to "It'll have to go outside".

Whereas Chloe, in her short but peripatetic life, has lived in houses with yards where she was allowed out, to apartments where she was kept in. If outside is available, she goes, but otherwise doesn't really care either way.

These people? Definitely not Britons.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Tons of travel pictures and a huge squee

Whew! Got back from the DC/NY trip a couple of weekends ago, but it's been full speed ahead since then at work, at knitting, and at the dentist's. (Not so excited about that last one, and I've still got one more visit.)

The trip was great fun. It was good to meet up with H and wander around DC and NY together. It turns out I only went to one yarn shop: Purl Soho. It was lovely but I didn't buy any yarn because I'd outsmarted myself and brought the small suitcase. If you want pictures, The Limey's put up a gajillion of them. (He bought more lenses for the camera the very first day and spent the whole trip playing with them.)

Meanwhile, a knitting squee:

Pattern: Saartje's Booties (Fleeglized version)
Yarn: Some leftover 4-ply, probably Paton's Diploma Gold or some such
Needles: dpns, probably 2.5mm

I've wanted to knit these ever since I saw them, and a co-worker's new baby was just the excuse I needed. They are SO CUTE. And who knew they could actually get cuter when you put them on an actual baby?!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

DC and NYC

I'm off to Washington, DC and New York City next week! I haven't been to either in ages and this time, we've managed to blag a tour of the White House. The last time I was in DC (during the reign of King George W), it was for a protest march and it actually took me a little bit of time to realize that I no longer need to carry any resentment about the current occupant of the White House.

No particular plans for New York, except I definitely want to visit The High Line and the Met. I want to spend most of my time wandering around neighbourhoods, really. I've already done the more touristy things, so this time, wandering, getting coffee, pastries, poking into bookshops is the plan, as far as there is a plan. Also, eating lots of good food.

Obviously, I'm making a list of yarn shops. DC and NYC natives: tips, advice?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Random garden pictures

Almost there!

Hoping these will hold out until I'm back from holiday.

Every time I grow pansies, I re-discover their gorgeous scent.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Persephone Shell

Hmm... that name at the top left there looks familiar...

I'm so happy to announce that I have a pattern in this summer's Interweave Knits!

(And it's a great issue- how much do I love the Ambrosia Cardigan? Muchly. I love it muchly.)

More notes on Persephone on my website.

You know, I've been published in print before, but I tell ya, The Journal of Physical Chemistry has nothing on Interweave Knits! I am way more excited about this than any of my science articles!

Sunday, May 09, 2010

This is what happens when you marry a physicist

The Limey figuring out whether we should buy a place/how much we can borrow/how much mortgage is necessary...

...whereas I said, Can't we just talk to the bank?

(He's written the calculations on Igor Pro, if that's the kind of thing that floats your boat.)

Monday, May 03, 2010

Different. Better?

As you may have noticed, I've changed the look of the blog slightly. This is all part of a revamp and launch of the website The Limey built for me. (It was his Christmas/birthday present to me this year!) Please visit and let me know what you think! There will be more and more content put up over the next few weeks, and you can get to this blog from there, although it will stay here on blogspot as well. If you link to me from your website, please link to the new one. You can always get to the website by clicking on the logo at the left here.

Right, on with the knitting. I actually have an FO!

My very own Arachne Cardigan. I seriously loved the sample I knit for Jeni so much I bought more yarn for my own right away. And it's gorgeous yarn, so it was a joy to work with it again.

This was supposedly my Ravelympics project, but the gauge gods intervened, but it's finally finished!

Thanks to Liz for reminding me that Mason's was, if not on my doorstep, then on a neighbouring doorstep. I went on Saturday and bought a bunch of buttons. I ended up using these thin, slightly un-flat shell buttons.

Now, I won't make the mistake Arachne did, and claim divine-like perfection. For starters, the sleeves are slighly longer than ideal (that's what I get for following my own pattern for "standard" sizing) and the buttonhole band could have been knit tighter. But, dudes, I love this cardigan. It fits perfectly (I'm so glad I frogged and re-knit), it's soft and lightweight and airy yet warm and summery. I wore it over jeans to a birthday party in London yesterday, but I'm already planning on wearing it with dresses to work. I really think this is going to be my workhorse cardigan for the next two seasons- better than the plain black store-bought affairs that I've been wearing forever.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Latest Ravelympics project ever?

Nearly there!

But I need buttons! In the past, I have had good luck at John Lewis, but am not near one at the moment. What are your go-to sources for buttons? Bonus points if it's in Oxford and I can mosey along and see them in person, but I'm guessing it'll have to get t'internet.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Easter mystery?

We have a flower box on our front windowsill. It had dead plants in it from last summer for a while, but last month I finally re-planted it with spring flowers. Since it's right there, I check it as I leave in the morning, dead-head the spent flowers, quickly make sure it's not too dry, etc.

Today, I noticed that one part of the planter had soil that seemed to have been stirred up or disturbed. I figure it was birds or maybe the white cat that hangs around- no big deal. One of the young petunias was unearthed, so I dug around to put it back into the dirt. And found something weird and hard just under the top of the soil.

Eh? Scraped around a bit, and uncovered enough to see that it looked like an egg. By this time, I had to rush to catch my train, so I asked The Limey to check it out. It was an egg all right. But what an egg!

I've put it here next to a normal chicken egg. It's huge!

Maybe a goose egg? How'd it get in my planter? Easter egg hunt hijinks? Who'd dig up my petunias to hide it? Is it still good? Can we eat it? Was it fertilized?

We'll never know.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Tamesis Cowl

Okay, this is the latest and last design for a while, I think...I don't have any in the active pipeline, but hopefully will get my act together and change that.

Do you have one skein of that something special? Here's the project for you:

My first non-garment pattern, this is the Tamesis Cowl. Given the River Thames' old name, this pattern twists and turns and has a little of everything. A bit of lace, a bit of cabling, and twisted stitches everywhere. It's knit in the round and is the perfect quick project.

I've written this pattern for two different weights of yarn: chunky/bulky and light Aran/heavy DK. In truth, however, it is easily customisable to be knit with almost any size yarn to almost any finished size, just by doing more or fewer repeats. The pattern is fully charted, as well as written out line-by-line for those who prefer to work one way or the other.

This green one is knit in Fyberspates Scrumptious Chunky, and is beautifully soft, with enough body to stand up for itself when worn.

This pattern was test-knitted by the loverly Helen and Tineke and so I have other versions to show you.

Helen knit hers in Fyberspates Scrumptious as well, but in the Aran weight. The resulting cowl is also butter-soft, but you can see the thinner weight gives the cowl a good drape.

For those who prefer their wool woolly, Tineke knit hers in Blacker Designs' 100% wool Aran. It turns out to have nearly the same dimensions as the Aran-weight Scrumptious, but as you can see, has enough body to keep your ears warm, should you wish:

Tamesis costs £2.50 and is available to buy on Ravelry, or with the "Buy Now" button at the bottom of this post.

Green cowl:
circumference: 38 cm / 15 inches
height: 20.5 cm / 8 inches
Fyberspates Scrumptious Chunky (45% silk / 55% merino, 122m / 100g), 1 skein
US 8/5.0mm dpns or circulars for magic looping

Blue cowl:
circumference: 57cm / 22 inches
height: 23.5cm / 9 inches
yarn: Fyberspates Scrumptious Aran (45% silk / 55% merino, 165m / 100g), 1 skein
needles: US 4 /3.5mm dpns or circulars for magic looping

Pink cowl:
circumference : 54 cm / 21.5 inches
height: 22 cm / 8.5 inches
yarn: Blacker Designs Aran (100% wool, 55m / 50g), 1 skein
needles: US 6/4.0mm dpns or circulars for magic looping

Tension (not super important for a cowl!)
Bulky: 27 sts and 18.5 rnds = 4inches/10cm in twisted cable pattern
Aran: 25 sts and 23 rnds = 4inches/10cm in twisted cable pattern

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Better late than never...right?

A month after the Olympics finished, I've got my Ravelympics project back to the stage it was at during that final hockey game.

Because some hand-dyed yarns naturally have some colour variation between skeins, I'm alternating skeins as I knit. Since I know the Arachne Cardigan in my size will take three skeins of the Fyberspates Scrumptious 4-ply, I'm covering all my bases by alternating between all three skeins.

Alternating between three skeins of yarn is fine when I'm kniting back and forth, but it becomes slightly weird when in the round, which is how the sleeves will be knit. To keep things as simple as possible, I'd love to do them on dpns, but I don't have 3.5mm dpns, so I'll have to wrestle with magic looping them. We'll see. I may very well give up at some point and order the dpns.

It looks all wrinkly and scrunched up, but this yarn blocks beautifully. I can't wait!