My current work in progress:

Seaforth designed by Alice Starmore, knit in British Breeds 5-ply Guernsey Wool on US 3 needles.


Archives for February 2014

Mythic Mitts and a Book Review

The pattern for my dragon mitts is now available for sale on Ravelry, here.


As I did for the Leftovers Cowl, I’m kicking it off with a sale: it is 40% off the regular price of $5.00, which makes it $3.00, through the end of February.

The patterns calls for fingering weight wool — approximately 125 yards each of two colors. My mitts are knit from Shibui Sock in the Abyss and Roppongi colorways on a U.S. size 3 needle. I knit the size medium, and I am betting that I could also manage to knit a pair in size small with what yarn I have left over. It would be close, but I think it is safe to say that I could definitely have gotten 2 pairs of size small out of those 2 skeins.

So I’ve rounded up a bit on the yardage requirements. I always do to account for yardage differences in skeins of yarn — sometimes I have a skein that is definitely over the yardage reported on the label. Also, everyone knits a little differently, so yarn usage will vary from person to person. Bottom line: Your mileage may vary!

Lovely Knitted Lace

I have here a review copy of a new book: Lovely Knitted Lace: A Geometric Approach to Gorgeous Wearables by Brooke Nico.


The book contains 16 designs created from four basic shapes (triangle, circle, square, and rectangle). The book’s publication date is not until next week, but the patterns are listed on Ravelry here, complete with photos.

One of the things I like about this book is that the patterns are not just for shawls — there are some shawls, but there is also a cute beret, a couple of jackets with very clever shaping, an easy shirt made from two rectangles, a bolero and a shrug, a lovely tunic that I may have to knit, a gorgeous cape with dolman sleeves (the cover design), and a button-front cape that can also be worn as a skirt.

There is a detailed section in the front of the book with a lot of useful information about knitting lace, as well as step-by-step illustrated instructions for some techniques used.

The projects use a wide variety of yarns, from laceweight to worsted.

The Triangle Tulip Shawl is knit from worsted weight yarn, making it a great choice for new lace knitters:


If you are new to lace, you will find it much easier to knit with heavier yarn and bigger needles.

I really love the Floral Tunic, knit from fingering weight yarn:


The pattern calls for Fyberspates Scrumptious 4ply, which is a wool/silk blend but I think it would be great for Spring/Summer in a 100% silk yarn.

For a more immediate gratification project, how about this lovely beret, knit in a heavy lacewieght 100% mink yarn?


The publisher has generously offered to, once again, give a copy to one of my readers. Who’d like to win it?

To be entered in the drawing to win a copy of this lovely book, please leave a comment on this blog post by 11:00 am Eastern Time, Sunday, March 2, 2014. At that time a comment will be chosen at random.

Loki Sez:


“Please close the drapes — I’m trying to sleep here!”


I am totally amazed at the response I’ve seen after posting my Leftovers Cowl pattern on Ravelry. You just never know what is going to strike a chord with a lot of people and it looks like this one has struck a chord with a number of people!


A very big thank you to everyone who has purchased a copy, favorited it, queued it, pinned it, posted about it, and started knitting it. I am so looking forward to seeing your projects as you knit them. There are countless things a knitter can do to make this pattern his/her own, and it is going to be so much fun to see the varieties of colors and mods you guys dream up.

I’m going to keep the discount price for another day — I’ve edited it on the pattern page in Ravelry, so if you wanted the pattern but did not see it until now, you have another 24 hours (til noon Monday, February 24) to get it for $3.00 — 40% off the regular price.

Since completing the cowl a week ago, I have been fiddling with a new design that’s given me fits — not the design itself but the yarn I was using. I have just restarted it for the third time and hopefully the third time is the charm. More on that in the next blog post.

But I also finished these:


Fingerless mitts with a dragon motif. I drew the dragon chart myself so I am pleased to see that it actually resembles a dragon, once knit. 😉


The pair took two 50-gram skeins of fingering weight wool: one skein each of Shibui Knits Sock, a fingering weight 100% superwash merino wool, in the Abyss, and Roppongi colorways.

I need to finalize the pattern and send it for tech editing, but it will soon be available for sale.

Now I shall go spend some quality time with Loki, who is waiting patiently.


Leftovers Cowl

It is done!


I finished this baby Sunday night.


The specs:

It weighs 647 grams. Round that up to 650 grams and estimate 400 yards per 100 grams, that’s approximately 2600 yards of fingering weight yarn.


The cowl is 13.5″ across and 83″ in circumference, but can easily be resized.

It’s unisex: it can be worn by either a woman or a man.




(A big thank-you to my coworkers EllenJayne and Lemiel for being such good sports and modeling the cowl!)

There is nothing terribly difficult in this pattern. You are only ever using 2 colors at the most per row and the motifs are, at the widest, 12-stitch repeats.  So the only techniques you need to know to be able to knit this are:

  • provisional cast-on
  • stranded knitting in the round (which is actually easier than working it flat)
  • grafting live stitches together.

If it is something you think you’d like to knit but you have no experience with stranded knitting, my advice is to try a small project first, like a pair of stranded wrist warmers. There are a bunch of free patterns for those on Ravelry.


There were a lot of questions in the comments about my use of colors (and thank you for all the nice comments about my color sense): did I plan out what colors I was using in advance? Not really — I just made sure that I was varying colors and that I had a nice mix of panels with dark background/light foreground and light background/dark foreground. Most of the yarns I used were semi-solids and heathers, with some variegated colorways as well. The variegated yarns I used were pretty subtle and I tried to make a point of pairing those with strong solids that showed a good contrast.


I’ve done a whole page of notes as part of the pattern: choosing colors, choosing yarns, and resizing the piece. You could knit this using just two colors, or you could use one color for the background and various colors for the foreground. There are a million different things you could do!


The pattern is available for sale on Ravelry, and for a limited time it is 40% off: for the next few days it will be $3.00 instead of $5.00. At noon on Sunday the price will go up to $5.00. The pattern includes detailed notes on resizing the cowl and also on choosing yarns and colors.


This is the most enjoyable project I’ve made in a very long time. It was such fun to knit, because I never got sick of it. I was changing colors every few rows so it was always fun and new.

And Loki thinks it makes a great pillow.


The End is Near

Courtesy of a snow day when my office was closed, I’ve made more progress than I expected on my Leftovers Cowl.


I have 30 rounds left to knit, then a marathon of Kitchener Stitch, wherein I shall graft the two ends together. I’m hoping to be able to do that tomorrow.


Meanwhile, Loki is inspecting my work.


Off the Cuff

My commuter project does not get much attention as I find I have very little time for knitting during the day. But I have made it past the cuff:


I have just a wee bit of the hand completed. You really can’t tell what it is going to be at this point so I’ll tell you: it’s a dragon. Or it will be when finished.

The palm of the hand has an all-over pattern.


And I am of course still working on my Leftovers Cowl. It is getting long!


I want it good and long so I will be able to wrap it around my neck twice. There was a question in the comments about whether or not I’m afraid it will be too warm. I’m not — it will end up being approximately the same size and weight as my Britta Cowl and I think that’s possibly my favorite item of clothing I have ever knit. I’ve worn it a number of times and a lot of women in my office are lusting after it.

We are expecting a snowstorm tonight and tomorrow — one that will dump what for this area is a significant amount of snow. I am hoping for a knitting day at home tomorrow.

I think Loki is hoping for the same thing.

Speaking of Loki, here is a photo that shows you how incredibly floofy he is.


He looks rather portly, doesn’t he? He’s not — that’s a whole lot of fur! He is a stocky, sturdy little guy, but there’s not an ounce of fat on him. He currently weighs close to 13 pounds, and it is all muscle, fur, and purrs!