Happy Leap Day! Waving goodbye to February is always a cause for celebration since it is my least favorite month of the year. Today was beautiful with temps in the mid-50's and the sun shining brightly. I can almost feel the approach of Spring and have been daydreaming of what will be growing in the garden this coming season. Also spent a happy hour looking over the new spring issue of PomPom Quarterly and browsing the shawl patterns on Ravelry. I want to reward myself with some new projects now that February Finish is coming to a close. And what better way to end it than by wearing a brand new pair of skyp socks. I had a lot of fun pairing up the knitpicks Hawthorne Speckles yarn with a coordinating Stroll Brights blue for the cuffs, heels & toes. These socks were my winter comfort knitting and will always bring to mind blizzards, snow days & Bowie on repeat. Now onwards to March!
2 weeks from cast on to bind off! Talk about fast. And totally unplanned for. The fun idea to #BangOutASweater was the brainchild of Kay & Ann from the always witty Mason-Dixon Knitting blog. The beautifully written pattern is from the ever stylish Mary Jane Mucklestone. I mainly posted about my progress on Instagram, where you can also see lots of inspiring Stopovers-in-progress as well as #bangfinishers (gosh how did we ever live without hashtags?!?). The yarn is lettlopi & all three of the main colors (oatmeal, brown & rose) are from deep stash. It has been many years since I have knitted with lettlopi. I had forgotten how beautiful and unusual a yarn it is. Rustic but blooms like a flower after blocking. Warm but light as air. This was my first time knitting a lopapeysa and I highly recommend Stopover for Icelandic sweater newbies like me. Very clear instructions and easy colorwork. I also love how Mary Jane included waist shaping so that the sweater has a very modern look to it. She also went rogue with the gauge which she explains here. I can't wait to try this same easy gauge technique on Dalur. Another 2 week sweater perhaps? I could easily get addicted to that!
|I couldn't decide on a single pop color so I used three!|
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
*Gauge in stockinette stitch = 4 stitches per inch
*Finished dimensions = 20 inch circumference x 8.5 inches tall
3x1 ribbing: *knit 3, purl 1*
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.
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 :)