silk cowl

I knit most of this silk cowl while I was in Japan. I’d had the yarn for over a year, something I had purchased on eBay, but I never knew what to do with it. But when I saw the Butterfly Moebius pattern in Clara Parkes’ A Knitter’s Book of Yarn, the world of cowls opened up for me. The pattern only took 275 yards of yarn, and I had plenty for this cowl. I brought some of the yarn along on our trip, hoping it would be enough, but I ended up wanting it a little bit wider, so I finished it off after we returned home. I was so happy with it that I decided to make my Mom one as well, as a Mother’s Day gift. I made hers from exactly two skeins of Hempathy (about 300 yards). Unfortunately I forgot to get a picture of that when I finished it, but it turned out so different, and so lovely. The stitch pattern in the book is double seed stitch, but you could substitute other simple knit/purl stitch patterns just as easily. I love this pattern because it really shows off the yarn. Perfect for handspun…I’m sure you will see more of these.

Last night, after letting the idea brew in my head for a few weeks, I finally cast on for some striped socks for my sister. You may remember back at Christmas, when I finished only one mitten as her gift. Well, when I miss a deadline for gift knitting, I tend to lose momentum. I had started the second mitten, but as I got my comfortable with stranded knitting, my tension loosened up, and the second mitten was definitely coming out bigger than the first. I hid it away in the bottom of my knitting basket for awhile, and when I saw my sister at Easter, I asked her if she still even wanted the mittens. She said socks would be more useful to her, and since I was pretty much over those mittens, I happily dismissed them from my mind. After seeing the awesome spiraling stripe socks that Grumperina has been working on, I decided I would use some of the leftover yarn and do socks in this manner. Here are the beginnings:

I think they are coming along fabulously. I would like to finish them in a somewhat timely manner, even though I know she has no use for wool socks in the middle of summer in New York. Hopefully they will not languish for too long, and hopefully I will have enough of the fuschia yarn to knit both socks without having to frog the lone finished mitten. Because even if it’s not useful, it does look quite beautiful, and it would be a shame (and a pain in the ass) to rip it out.

Yesterday we went to check out the new Borders that just opened up in Alameda, and I bought Weekend Knitting with the gift card that was burning a hole in my wallet. There were a few other books I wanted that they didn’t have in stock, but Weekend Knitting has been on my list, and after looking through it again, I decided it was a must have. My most desired pattern in there is the Brioche Stitch Neckwarmer (and hat and scarf), but I realized there are also TWO Veronik Avery patterns, both of which I would like to make, and after I showed James the Backgammon Bag, it was a done deal.

For some reason Ravelry seems to be down right now, which totally sucks, because it’s the weekend and I need to be getting my fix before it’s Monday again and I have to go to work. I guess I’ll just have to keep myself busy with all this knitting I keep starting.

Stripey mitts. Whipped these up a few weeks ago to use up some scraps of superwash wool, and keep my hands warm. I completely made up the pattern as I went and lucky me, they fit perfectly! We’ll see how long I can go before I lose one. (Speaking of losing mitts…I had been missing one of my Delicato mitts for awhile. Then I found it about a month ago…but I couldn’t remember what I did with the one that wasn’t lost. So I stashed the new-found one with some of my knitting stuff…and when I was digging through that spot yesterday, I realized they were both in there. Brilliant.)

Remember NaKniSweMo? Well…it only took 3 months, instead of one…but the Treeline Striped Cardigan is FINISHED. I lost my momentum in November during the long plain stockinette portion of the body. Over xmas (when I couldn’t work on my sister’s mittens because of her presence!) I got through some of it while hanging out with the family. Then, a week ago…something possessed me. I knocked out the last few inches of the plain body section, and once I finished that, nothing could stop me. All day at work I would think about going home to whittle away at those raglan decreases. I waffled about knitting the collar as written, but I went with it.


Yarn: Cascade 220 – 2.5 skeins of navy, with Artfibers Tsuki carried along; just over 2 skeins of periwinkle.

Friday night I picked up the button band (which doesn’t have any buttons…so what do you call a buttonless button-band?). I stayed up until 1:30am doing a new bind off (the double crochet bind off), which was completely worth it. It has just the right amount of stretch, and it gives a slightly bolder line that stands out from the muddle of color from the stripes worked in 1×1 ribbing. It rounds off the corners and connects to the solid-color ribbing at the bottom of the sweater. I was excited to have it done, but that bind off just…MADE it.

My motivation (however fleeting it might be) toward finishing, rather than starting projects has continued over to Mystery Stole 3. I finished chart H and started I last night, and I’m feeling just as excited to continue tonight. I really want to start Muir with the orange Hello Yarn laceweight I got awhile back, but I absolutely refuse to start another big lace project before finishing MS3.

For February, I’ve joined Thing-a-Day. This is it’s second year running, and by signing up, you commit to making something each day – it could be anything – and posting about it on their site. My goal is to broaden my horizons in what I make each day…knitting everyday is a given, but I want to try more digital photography, cooking, and sketching, maybe even some writing. Some days, I’ll no doubt take the easy way out with knitting or spinning. It will also be a challenge for me to post every day about it. I’m thinking of doing weekly recaps on this blog, but if you happen to be interested in my daily updates, you can read them here starting February 1st.