My current work in progress:

Merveille Du Jour, designed by Alice Starmore, knit from Virtual Yarns Hebridean 2-ply and 3-ply, using 3.0mm, 3.5mm, and 4.0mm needles.

60 Quick Knits for Beginners

I have a book review for you:

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This is 60 Quick Knits for Beginners: Easy Projects for New Knitters in 220 Superwash® from Cascade Yarns® by Sixth&Spring Books. This is the latest in their Quick Knit series and it is scheduled to be published on Tuesday March 6, 2018.

As the title suggests, it contains patterns for 60 projects, all of which you can view on Ravelry.

In addition to the projects, it contains great how-to information for new knitters, for example, casting on:

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And binding off:

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And there is much more, all presented in steps with clear photos. Everything a beginner knitter might need. And on top of that, the patterns are pretty darn cute! Just a few of my favorites:

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This is the Eyelet Tweed Beanie by Linda Medina, worked in Cascade 220 Worsted.

And this little cutie:

This is the Garden Rows Cardigan by Rosemary Drysdale, worked in Cascade 220 Sportweight
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And this:

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The Purls and Ladders pullover by Judy Hackett is worked from Cascade 220 Worsted.

There is a really wide range of project types — baby knits, adult sweaters, hats, mitts, socks, wraps — so there is a little something for everyone. A great resource for a new knitter, as it has all the how-to info as well as projects to cover a wide range of situations. Need a baby shower gift? You have everything from adorable booties to wee baby sweaters to shawls and afghans.

I’m not doing a giveaway for my review copy this time as I plan to give my copy to my colleague who recently learned to knit. She has been cranking out hats like nobody’s business and I think she’s ready to broaden her knitting horizons.

Loki is perfectly happy with is horizons.

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Strathendrick

After completing my last hat, I cast on for a large project: Strathendrick, an oversized sweater from Kate Davies’ West Highland Way Club, which is ongoing right now. The sweater uses hr new yarn, Milarrochy Tweed:

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Here is my progress so far:

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This is a slow knit — the yarn is a fine fingering weight and the row gauge is 36 rows /4″ so it takes a lot of knitting to see any progress. And I am making the largest size, which is more than 500 stitches around.

I love the pattern and I love the yarn. I think the combination of design + yarn + colors is perfection and it is a joy to knit!

Meanwhile, Loki is in couch potato mode.

Loki021118 500x375 Strathendrick

Of Hats and Pompoms

The four winners of a copy of the Mountain Peak Hat pattern, two copies provided by me and two generously donated by the pattern designer  Sandra C, are:

  • melodyinfl
  • AnimalCrazy
  • momcatb
  • omama

You four have received or will soon receive the pattern as a gift from either me or from Sandra C. Check your Ravelry inboxes. Thanks to everyone who left a comment and to Sandra C for donating patterns!

There was a question in the comments: where does one purchase faux fur pompoms? I have purchased faux fur pompoms from The Loopy Ewe and from various Etsy sellers.

My Alaska Hat pompom came from The Loopy Ewe. My Mountain Peak Hat pompom came from Etsy seller LocalitySD.

It did occur to me that a faux fur pompom would not be too difficult to make. All you need is faux fur fabric, polyester fiberfill, and yarn. Cut the faux fur in a circle. Using a sharp needle threaded with yarn, work a running stitch around the outside edge of the circle. pull it tight to make a hollow ball and stuff with fiberfill before pulling to together completely and securing. Easy, right? The only drawback is finding cheap faux fur fabric for sale. By the yard, good faux fur can be quite expensive. Of course you don’t need much for a pompom — a quarter yard will get you several poms, depending on the width. I’m still on the hunt for remnant pieces for discount prices.

Incidentally, I’ve seen it written as both pompom and pompon. According to the Grammarist:

The term for a decorative tuft of material such as wool or ribbon was originally pompon, which came to English from French in the 19th century, but the misheard form pompom has gradually gained ground. Today, the two are used about equally in English. Two-word spellings such as pom pom and pom pon have never been standard, though they appear in informal contexts, and hyphenated forms such as pom-pom are likewise nonstandard. There’s no reason for the word to have a hyphen.

So technically “pompon” is more correct, but all my life I’ve seen it as “pompom.” Old habits die hard.

I finished another hat, this one pompom-less:

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This is the Hedda Hat, designed by Trin-Annelie, knit in Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock Mediumweight, in limited edition colorways “Lily” and “Greenery,” purchased from The Loopy Ewe.

Next up is a BIG project.

Loki can’t wait!

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Hat Trick

I’ve knit three hats in a row: a hat trick! Here is Hat the Third:

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The pattern is Mountain Peak Hat, by Sandra C, and I knit mine in Dream in Color City yarn, in the Grey Tabby Colorway, on a U.S. size 6 needle.

That’s my colleague Kate modeling the hat.It really looks great with her eyes, but not so great that I am willing to give the hat to her.

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This hat is delightfully warm and cozy and it fits beautifully. The openwork panels give it enough stretch so that it adjusts to different head sizes. It easily accommodates my metric ton of hair.

Since the photo shoot with Kate, I have added a faux fur pompom. Lately I am all about the faux fur pompom.

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Incidentally, Kate is a New Knitter. She went to a weekend “learn to knit” party hosted by a friend and three days later had a finished hat. I am doing my best to enable her and it is working quite well. (Insert maniacal laughter here.)

Speaking of enabling . . .

I really love the Mountain Peaks Hat and want to share the love! If you love the hat too and would like to knit it, leave me a comment and tell me:

  1. what color you would knit it in
  2. what yarn you would use
  3. your Ravelry name

On Sunday February 4, noon-ish, I’ll select a couple of you at random and send you the pattern as a gift in Ravelry. Designer Sandra C has also kindly offered to gift two of you the pattern, so that’s a total of 4 winners. Remember, you must answer all three questions to be eligible to win!

Loki is still a big help!

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Hats!

It’s been hats week here. When I finished my Merveille du Jour poncho, I cast on this:

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This is “Alaska” by Camille Descoteaux. I knit it from the Dream in Color, Dream Club January 2018 Set, which consists of two skeins of Dream in Color Jilly with Cashmere, in the colorways Chesley and Black Plum. I purchased this from The Loopy Ewe. I topped it off with a faux fur pompom, also purchased from The Loopy Ewe.

When I finished the Alaska hat, I went back and knit this:

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This is the matching beret to the Merveille du Jour poncho. I banged this out in a couple of days because it was such fun to knit, I couldn’t put it down.

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Loki helped.

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