My current work in progress:

Moth Cardigan, designed byAmy Christoffers, knit from Rowan SoftYak DK in the Plain colorway, using U.S. size 3 and 5 needles.

Obsessive Knitting

The winner of the giveaway for a copy of Cast Iron, Cast On, Cooking and Knitting Through the Seasons by Calley Hastings and Becky Herrick is Beverley, who has been emailed.  Thanks to all who entered the giveaway! I’ll have another review on Wednesday, with another giveaway, so please check back then.

Thanks also for your nice comments about Dottie and Inga’s new dresses. I knit them each a new dress for every month in 2015, so now I think I am done. Their December dresses were knit from Madelinetosh Tosh Sock. So for 2016, I’ll have to think of something else to do obsessively. I have some ideas . . .

Speaking of obsession, I am back to working on something I’ve been obsessing about a lot: a colorwork cowl. I really love cowls, or infinity scarves, as they are sometimes called. Of all the things I have knit lately, cowls are the things I get the most use from in winter months. I started a new one this past week:

Cowl120615 134x240 Obsessive Knitting

This is my own design, and it consists of all smaller pattern motifs, or border patterns. They are all based on traditional Nordic designs, and no two patterns will repeat.

The yarn I am using is wonderful: Dragonfly Fibers Djinni Sock (merino/cashmere/nylon) fingering weight yarn, in the Silver Fox and Heliotrope colorways. I have been a fan of Dragonfly Fibers deep rich colors for years, and this cashmere blend yarn is a dream to knit.

I have a feeling that Loki would enjoy sinking his little claws into this yarn, but he will not get the chance to do so if I can help it!

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“Who, me?”

Cast Iron Cast On

I have another fun book to review for you.

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This is Cast Iron, Cast On, Cooking and Knitting Through the Seasons by Calley Hastings and Becky Herrick. It is available in both eBook and paperback formats.

As you have probably ascertained from the title, this is a book of both knitting patterns and recipes. As is stated in the introduction, many knitters are not just knitters, but are makers. I know this is true for me: I’ve dabbled in many different crafts and enjoy cooking, as I imagine many of you do as well.

The patterns and recipes are organized by month, starting with December and the holiday season. Both the patterns and the recipes are appropriate for the months they represent. The authors encourage you to source your materials and ingredients locally, if possible. The book uses materials from the authors’ location, New England, but the patterns and recipes of course have a universal appeal.

Some of my favorite patterns:

This is Oleracea:

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It is a stranded colorwork hat made from Harrisville Shetland fingering weight wool. I love the circular motifs used in the design and I also love the colors used.

And Lactuca:

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This is an adorable skirt knit from sportweight wool. Definitely not something I could even remotely pull off wearing, but that does not keep me from loving it.

And this is Sola:

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Sola is a lace-edged blanket/tablecloth knit from dk weight cotton and it has matching napkins.

There is a total of 16 patterns, and you can see them all on Ravelry, here.

I have not tried any of the recipes, but they look interesting and definitely worth a try!

The publisher has authorized me to give away a copy of the eBook to one of my readers. Who’d like it?

To be entered in the drawing for a copy of Cast Iron, Cast Onplease leave a comment on this blog post by 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time, Sunday, December 6, 2015. The random number generator will select a winner.

Meanwhile, Dottie and Inga are ready for the holidays in their new dresses:

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And Loki is doing what he does best:

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Claremont

Another blog silence, though this one was not due to fun, rather, to flu. But I am alive and for the most part recovered!

The winner of a copy of the eBook of Amazing Lace, by Sharon Mooney and Cheryl Potter is Rosane, who has been emailed. Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway. I have another cool book to review, with another eBook giveaway, so check back on Wednesday.

And guess what? I finished Claremont! This is knit from SilverSpun fingering weight yarn, and it is wonderfully soft!

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Here is a photo of it being worn. Be gentle — I took this while I was recovering from my bout with the flu.

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(Do you like my stylin’ pigtails?)

I used mother of pearl buttons that match the yarn color very well:

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And here is a close-up of the front band.

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And here is the Little Prince, worn out from play!

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Amazing Lace

As promised, here is a review of another great book I received.

BookCover111815 185x240 Amazing Lace

This is Amazing Lace, by Sharon Mooney and Cheryl Potter, and it is available in both paperback (Amazon link) and eBook (Ravelry link) format. This is a collection of 13 lace patterns. The patterns are designed by Sharon Mooney and are knit in yarn dyed by Cheryl Potter.

This is not just a pattern book: there is a huge amount of great information included for beginner and more experienced lace knitters alike. Each project contains extras: comments from the dyer, swatches knit in different colorways (for example, variegated versus solid) and on different needle sizes, a detailed step-by-step tutorial for working short rows, unblocked versus blocked pieces, etc. A lot 0f the “logic” of lace is explained, and I think this is hugely helpful for a knitter who is just beginning to delve into lace knitting.

The patterns themselves are lovely and include large clear charts. My favorites:

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This is “Entre Nous” and I think this is the first entrelac piece I can honestly say I love. I love the combination of solid plus variegated colorways.

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This is “Feeling Groovy.” It’s a rectangular wrap that is pretty easy to knit and is done in several colors. It would be really fun to come up with your own color combinations!

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And this is Hankie Panky, a handkerchief knit from lace weight yarn and lightly beaded. Wouldn’t this make a great wedding handkerchief? So many possibilities using different colors and beads!

The publisher has authorized me to give away a copy of the eBook to one of my readers. Who’d like it?

To be entered in the drawing for a copy of Amazing Laceplease leave a comment on this blog post by 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time, Sunday, November 22, 2015. The random number generator will select a winner.

Meanwhile, here is an overhead shot of the Little Prince:

Loki111815 179x240 Amazing Lace

Still Here

You may have noticed that I took a bit of a blog break. I had a friend come to stay with me for a week so was too busy having fun to remember to post to the blog! But life is back to normal now.

First things first, the winner of a copy of the Spilly Jane Knits Mittens ebook is Claudia, who has been emailed. Thanks to everyone who left a comment to be entered in the giveaway. I have lots of books to review and lots of giveaways in the coming weeks, so be sure to stop by again for a chance to win one!

I am still knitting along on my Claremont cardi. While it is not dramatically exciting knitting, being miles of stockinette in natural-colored yarn, it is very satisfying because the yarn is so soft and lovely. I finished the body to the armholes, and am almost to the armhole on the second sleeve.

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At this point you insert the sleeves and knit upwards, doing raglan and v-neck decreases as you knit. But I think I’m going to go back and add a bit more length to the body after I finish the second sleeve. I think this cardi will become a favorite, so I want it to be as perfect as possible!

Loki is standing by (well, lying by) and is ready to help me!

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