My current work in progress:

1. Hats!
2. Myriad stealth projects.

Cowls

Tidying up one’s desk has its advantages. You find stuff that accidentally sunk down in the pile. Like this:

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This is 60 Quick Cowls: Luxurious Projects to Knit in Cloud™ and Duo™ Yarns from Cascade Yarns® from Sixth & Spring Books. That’s 60 patterns in one book, people. For cowls. You may have noticed that a have a penchant for cowls.

The patterns are all knit in worsted weight yarns and there are SIXTY of them, from a bunch of designers. They are all nicely entered in Ravelry, here, so you can take a look for yourself. I am having a hard time picking favorites, but I’ll show you a couple here that jumped out at me:

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Pixelation by Matthew Schrank. You could knit this in any color combo, but I love love love this black and white version.

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Zip It Up by Lorna Miser, which has two zippers incorporated into the cowl. Very cool!

I could very easily talk myself into keeping this book, but I’ll be nice and give it away to a reader. Who’d like it?

To be entered in the drawing to win my copy of 60 Quick Cowls: Luxurious Projects to Knit in Cloud™ and Duo™ Yarns from Cascade Yarns®, leave a comment on this post by noon on Wednesday, April 6, 2016.

Fourteen Years

Looking at my calendar I realized that this Friday, April 1, marks 14 years that I have been writing this blog. Wow.

In other news, Loki is still adorable.

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Stained Glass

Here is an update on my WIP:

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This is, you guessed it, another cowl. I am knitting this from two colorways of Wollmeise Pure: Schwarz and Tiefer See.

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I started with a provisional cast-on (that’s the solid light green at the bottom) and am knitting it from the bottom up.

I usually work my fingering weight cowls with a U.S. size 3 (3.25mm) needle, but Wollmeise Pure is on the finer side of fingering, so after knitting a swatch, I felt it would look better worked with a 3mm needle — a size “2.5″ in U.S. terms. So, a dilemma. My beloved Signature Needle Arts circular needles only go down to size 3.25mm. I decided to try a Knitter’s Pride Karbonz:

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I am very pleased with this needle. It has a nice sharp tip and the joins are great. I went ahead and ordered more Karbonz needles in size 2mm. 2.25mm, and 2.75mm. Now I’m covered for all the smaller sizes that I do not have in Signature Needle Arts needles!

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I’ll write up the pattern once this is completed.

In other news, here is “stage four” of my Martin Storey afghan:

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And here is sweet Loki. I got him a new toy this week and he has worn himself out playing with it!

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Booties!

The winner of Masterpiece Knits: The Modern Collection plus a skein of Dragonfly Fibers yarn to make the Picasso Socks is Ruth, who has been contacted. Thanks to everyone who left a comment to be entered in the drawing.

I recently needed to whip out a pair of quick baby booties as a gift for a soon-to-be-born baby boy, so was cruising around Ravelry, looking for a good quick pattern. I decided on Baby Uggs, a free pattern by Autumn Street that is also available via Craftsy. They are DK weight so I figured they’d go quickly, and they did. I made this pair last Friday night — in one evening:

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I used Mrs. Crosby Carpetbag in the “French Chambray” colorway and the suggested size 5 needles. Note that my little helper is sitting behind the booties in the photo, not messing with them in any way. Do not be fooled. This is my first attempt at a photo:

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Ahem. Anyway, if you need a quick pair of adorable booties, check this pattern out. and speaking of adorable booties, check out this book!

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This is Creature Feetures: 30 Crochet Patterns for Baby Booties by Kristi Simpson, published by Lark Books. I think you can get an idea of how cute it is just from the cover.

As the title indicates, there are 30 patterns by a total of 7 designers, including the editor, for baby booties that are so cute it hurts. The patterns are divided into sections by theme: Out of this World, Wild Animals, Cute Creatures, and Good Enough to Eat. They are all so incredibly cute it is hard to choose favorites, so I picked one pattern from each section to show here.

Some of my faves:

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This is “Beepbot Booties” — robot booties! The pattern is written in two sizes: 0 – 6 months and 6 – 12 months.

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How about “Baa Baa Booties?” How cute are those? They are again available in two sizes

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“Foxy Feet” — so adorable! And these look simple enough so that even I could make them.

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“Scrumptious Sushi” — genius, right?

There is a nice illustrated section of crochet basics at the back of the book so you can brush up on your skills if needed.

This is a great book for quick adorable baby gifts, or to make your baby irresistible to one and all.

Who’d like my review copy?

To be entered in the drawing to win my copy of Creature Feetures: 30 Crochet Patterns for Baby Booties, leave a comment on this post by noon on Wednesday, April 6, 2016.

Here is what I am working on now.

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More about this next time!

Loki

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He looks so innocent when he is asleep, doesn’t he? Don’t be fooled.

Another New Book and a Palate Cleanser

First, the winner of my review copy of Ami Ami Kittens: Seriously Cute Crochet! by Mitsuki Hoshi is Elaine, who has been emailed. Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway!

Next, check out this great new book!

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This is Masterpiece Knits: The Modern Collection by Kate Chiocchio and Nancye McGill Bonomo. The book description, shamelessly lifted from Ravelry:

The team at Dragonfly Fibers are inspired by color but that’s not all. For this book, Kate Chiocchio and Nancye Bonomo of Dragonfly started by choosing paintings they loved that represented the full color spectrum of modern art.

Their goal was not an exact match between paintings and yarn; rather, they created colorways that best express what they appreciate about the works used.

Whether it’s bold blocks of color melding together at the edges of a Rothko (and attempting to create a similar effect on Dragonfly yarn) or challenging designers to develop knitwear inspired by particular works of art, Masterpiece Knits will surprise and delight you!

Are you familiar with Dragonfly Fibers? I have long been a fan of their gorgeous saturated colorways and have a fair amount of their yarn in my stash. I designed a cowl recently using their yarn.

I love the idea of this book — designs and colorways inspired by works of art! The designers represented are Toby Roxana Barna, Barbara Benson, Erika Flory, Rosi Garmendia, Tanis Gray, Fatimah Hinds, Danielle Nii, Meg Roke, Andi Smith, and Ann Weaver.

You can view all fifteen designs on Ravelry, here. Some of my faves:

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This is “Morning at the Tate” by Meg Roke and it uses Dragonfly Fibers Pixie fingering weight. The pattern description: This unisex scarf combines the movement of the O’Keeffe painting and the boldness of modernism. The scarf features irregular strips of color stacked together at varying lengths apart. These burst of color are what really give the scarf punch, energy, and an urban feel.

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Here is Rothko Beret by Rosi Garmendia – I love this colorway worked in this pattern! It’s Damsel sportweight.

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And the Picasso Socks, by Fatimah Hinds. The patterning on these unisex socks, knit from Dragon Sock, stems from the lines in Picasso’s Paisaje Mediterraneo.

The book is available in hard copy from Dragonfly Fibers. This comes with a download code for the ebook version. You can buy just the ebook on Ravelry.

Or you can enter to win not only a copy of the ebook, but also the yarn to knit the Picasso Socks, shown above! To be entered in the drawing, leave a comment on this post by noon on Wednesday, March 23, 2016.

And around here, I have a new shawl pattern!

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In between my insane cowl patterns, I wanted to make something quick and easy — immediate gratification. So here is my Palate Cleanser Shawl.

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It takes 800 yards of dk weight wool and is a combination of garter stitch and simple lace. You could use any weight wool to knit it. Choose a needle size that gives you a nice drape: a size or two larger than recommended for the yarn. You can also vary the patterns, working more or fewer rows of the garter and lace patterns.

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You can knit this shawl using a gradient, a solid color, a variegated colorway, or work it in stripes of two or more colors. The pattern is written out: no charts.

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The finished size: approximately 76” wingspan x 36” deep, at deepest point, lightly blocked.

The pattern is available for $3.00 in my Ravelry store.

I teleworked today, and now Loki is exhausted from “helping” me!

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In Between

I am between insane cowl designs, and I thought something relatively quick and easy would be fun. This:

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This is a simple shawl of my own design, knit in a DK weight merino gradient.

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The yarn is Violet Lynx Dyeworks Pearl 250. You can find Violet Lynx Dyeworks on Etsy.

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I love her gradients!

In other news, here is my third set of squares in my Martin Storey Afghan KAK.

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I’m working on the 4th set now.

Loki and I agree:

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We do not like turning the clocks ahead an hour!