2.10.2016

lichen cowl


I was recently given the fun opportunity to try out a skein of Big Squeeze by Ancient Arts Yarn, a bulky weight 3-ply superwash merino whose name fits it to a t: squishy soft and squeezable from skein to fabric. The yarn is available in many beautiful hand-dyed colors. It also held up extremely well to my repeated swatching and frogging as I was obsessed with finding the perfect stitch pattern to highlight this beautiful Inuit Art colorway. After settling on the wild oats pattern, it was just a matter of time before I was sporting my new cowl. Isn't knitting with bulky yarn super fast and fun? The colors in this skein totally reflect the island that I call home, especially in wintertime. Moody greys & blues of the Chesapeake Bay interplay with the greens, browns, golds & purples of the wetland plants & flowers. I will be joyfully wearing this cowl on my winter hikes on the cross island trail.


To knit your own lichen cowl, you will need:

*1 skein of Big Squeeze
*16 inch circular needle size 10.5 (6.5mm) or size required to obtain gauge
*Cable needle
*Gauge in stockinette stitch = 4 stitches per inch
*Finished dimensions = 20 inch circumference x 8.5 inches tall

3x1 ribbing: *knit 3, purl 1*

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Wild Oats pattern stitch: (multiple of 4 stitches)
rounds 1 & 2: *k2, slip 1 stitch purlwise with yarn in back, k1*
round 3: *slip 2 stitches onto cable needle & hold in back, k1, k2 from cable needle, k1*
round 4: knit to end of round, remove marker, knit 1 stitch, replace marker.
rounds 5 & 6: *k1, slip 1 stitch purlwise with yarn in back, k2*
round 7: *k1, slip 1 stitch onto cable needle & hold in front, k2, k1 from cable needle*
round 8: knit to 1 stitch before end of round, slip stitch purlwise to right needle, remove marker, move slipped stitch back to left needle, replace marker.

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Cast on 80 stitches, place marker, join to work in the round.

Knit 3x1 ribbing for a total of 3/4 inch from cast on (4 rounds).

Switch to Wild Oats pattern stitch and knit a total of 5 pattern repeats. Then knit rounds 1 to 3 of Wild Oats pattern stitch, ending after round 3.

Knit 3x1 ribbing for a total of 3 rounds.

Bind off in 3x1 ribbing. Wear with a smile :)

1.31.2016

cables & flannels

Happy last day of January! I went through my WIP basket Monday night and discovered that there were not one or even two but five unfinished cowls waiting for attention. It's a good thing that I like to wear cowls with my flannels during wintertime because there will be lots of them coming off the needles in February. First one to be completed is the reversible braided cowl knitted with Plymouth Baby Alpaca Grande yarn.


Yes, the yarn is as soft, warm and cozy as it sounds. This pattern is definitely a contender for Christmas gift knitting since it is so fast and easy to make. And who doesn't love squishy cables?


What kinds of projects are multiplying in your basket? The temptation to cast on for another pair of socks is pretty hard to resist (especially when I keep splurging on new sock yarns, patterns & books ... need to stop my bad habit of midnight window shopping ... sometimes I hit the buy button when I'm half asleep LOL) but so far I've been sticking to my finishing goals: knitting on one project at a time until it's done & reserving the evening hours for sock knitting. We'll see how long that lasts! Next up is a new design using just one skein of this luscious yarn:


And in other happy news, my husband & I just celebrated our 20 year anniversary. Feeling so blessed to share my life with such a wonderful partner in crime. We met out of the blue in college (although he has since insisted that he planned the meeting all along) and now I can't imagine my life without his oddball sense of humor and aggravating little quirks. On our first anniversary, he gave me a hickory farms cheese set. And on our 20th I got this:


It's nice to see that he's gotten wiser with age!

1.25.2016

blizzard knitting

I am so happy to be home after a weekend spent in a hotel away from my two guys. I had a twelve hour shift on Friday and by the time it was over, the roads were too unsafe to attempt the hour drive home. So the whole weekend was spent watching tv, eating junk food from the hotel snack bar since every place in town was closed, checking in on my guys (who were also eating junk food) and knitting of course. Lots of *skyp*ing was accomplished:

cosmic skyp socks

And here is the beautiful winter wonderland that greeted me when I finally made it home:

our resident bunnies were having fun in the backyard

Norm the Penguin is finally in his element

I hope that those of you who were in the path of Jonas made it through safely. We were lucky to not have any major damage from the storm. Just sore backs and arms from all of the digging out that had to be done. Now to cozy up with some hot cocoa and knitting. I think I'll be boycotting junk food for a while though!

1.13.2016

sugarplum skyp socks



So happy that the first project off the needles in 2016 is a pair of colorful skyp socks! Still very much enchanted with both the pattern and the stripey fun felici yarn that pairs up nicely with it. I have a feeling that 2016 will be the year that I finally get hooked on sock knitting. In fact, I recently purchased an Artbin Super Satchel with removable plastic dividers to store future finished socks in. A bit optimistic of me but it's hard not to get excited with the possibility that this....


....might someday be filled with these:


One down, many more to go!

1.06.2016

sweater daydreams

I hope that everyone is gently easing back into their post-holiday routines. This week has been spent trying to finish up some WIP's left over from last year. My current strategy is to knit on one project at a time until it's finished, then go onto the next. So hopefully there will be a steady parade of FO's in the next few weeks if all goes well.


The temperatures have dropped and now that winter is finally approaching, thoughts of sweater knitting are happily dancing around in my head. But what sweater should it be? We are so lucky as knitters to have a treasure trove of patterns readily available with just a click of the mouse away. But sometimes all of that wealth can be overwhelming. Plus, I would love to choose a sweater project from one of the many books that I own or a downloaded pattern already in my Ravelry library. So after a fun few days of sweater daydreaming, I managed to come up with a list of possible contenders for this year's sweater projects:

Several standouts from Swoon maine, the stunningly beautiful new book by Carrie Bostick Hoge: Shore Cardigan & Lighthouse Pullover. Both of these sweaters would fit seamlessly into my everyday wardrobe.

I would love to use up some of my lettlopi that has been stashed away from when I first started knitting sweaters. These four sweaters from Knitting with Icelandic Wool would make for some dreamy wintertime knitting: Riddari, Kross, Aftur, Dalur.

When I found my way back to knitting after college (pre-Ravelry & before knitting blogs came into existence. In other words, the Prehistoric Knitting Age) my main sources of inspiration were the always gorgeously styled projects from Rowan knitting magazines. I would drool over every page but can you believe, I have never attempted to knit a single Rowan pattern? So it's long overdue. I love the interesting stitch detail that is the highlight of Laide. It also looks less intimidating in the finishing department than other Rowan patterns that I've recently come across.

This next one is a long shot since I am still trying to make heads or tails of the pattern. It's by the prolific Japanese designer Michiyo: Tight Fit Aran Pullover. The name just rolls off the tongue, right?  I might have to bribe my Hubby with some hand knitted socks in order to get his help translating the Japanese kanji. But it would be well worth the effort.

Lastly, I couldn't resist clicking on the buy now button when I saw the Reindeer cardigan designed by the talented Alina from The Gift of Knitting blog. She hit it out of the ballpark with her first sweater design. There is so much to love about this cardigan: beautiful cables, interesting textured stitch details, open & easy fit. I love the longer length and predict that the finished cardigan must feel like being wrapped in a cozy wooly hug when worn. The hardest part is deciding on the color. Kinda crushing on this lovely version.

Whew, sorry for the loooong drawn out post. At least now there's a bit of a plan. Of course, nothing is set in stone and there's always the rogue impulsive mustcastonnow sweater projects that manage to sneak their ways onto the needles. What kinds of projects are you daydreaming about in the new year?

But before I can cast on for any of the above beauties, there's some socks to finish. Here's a little video clip of me knitting away on them. (A bunch of knitters are posting videos on Instagram showing how they knit using hashtag #loop2loop and #howiknit. So much fun to watch if you get a chance!)