flowergirl knits

flowers, cats and knitting

Category: Cowls

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Pattern: Thermis by Kris Knits

Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Merino, colorway “Silver Fox”

Notes: Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Sed porttitor varius erat, vel iaculis nulla imperdiet et. Sed vehicula odio id felis sodales in accumsan augue vulputate. Suspendisse vehicula odio at sapien accumsan rutrum.

Cras pulvinar dignissim similar to Malabrigo tellus ut elementum. Etiam ac sapien at sem viverra ultrices nec nec odio. Cras molestie pulvinar erat id vestibulum. In hendrerit scelerisque very soft mattis. Proin viverra leo sed felis feugiat vel amazing color risus cursus. Proin eu ornare nunc? Morbi gravida turpis ut sem lacinia placerat. Mauris turpis mi, elementum a ullamcorper nec, commodo sit amet velit!

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(In other words, you’ve already heard about this pattern many times from me! More info – in English – on the yarn next post!)

Hope everyone had a lovely holiday!


Scrooge Knits a Christmas Present

I have lately made it a policy to knit mostly for myself. There are some notable exceptions – my Mom, a couple good friends, etc – but mostly I am a hard-core, self-centered, it’s-all-for-me-me-me kind of knitter. Mostly I get away with this but on occasion I’ve been bamboozled into knitting for someone not on my very short list. <sigh>

Pattern: Thermis by Kris Knits

Yarn: Malabrigo worsted, colorway “Buscando Azul”, leftover from my Tang sweater

Notes: Why yes, that’s right – this is the fourth time I’ve knit this pattern and I can tell you right now, it’s not going to be the last (boy, did I get my money’s worth out of that $2.49 pattern!) I think it is a nearly perfect combination of style, sophistication, practicality and fun; the pattern is easy to follow, it knits up in a few days, it looks great on anyone and one-size-fits all (perfect for gift knitting) The Malabrigo yarn ensures that it will be kitten-soft, light and lofty, and glow with incredible color. I also love that it has buttons which can give each cowl it’s own personality – rustic, demure, funky, classic. Plus, half the fun is finding the perfect buttons!

I do have to admit to also being a bit of a Scrooge about the yarn – I did not go out and buy a new and special skein, but instead used up some of the bits and pieces in the stash. But hello?! It’s Malabrigo! Any Malabrigo is glorious and fabulous.

I hope the recipient likes her cowl – I’m pretty sure she will. I just hope she doesn’t think this is going to happen regularly – but I’m pretty sure she will <sigh>

Long Time No See

Hello Blog!

How have you been?

Yes, it’s been awhile, but that doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten about you. You’ve actually been in my thoughts quite a bit.

What’s that? Oh. Yes – I’ve been busy. Very busy.

You see, it’s Gardening Season here and from about mid-April to mid-or-late-June it’s just crazy/insane/frantic out in the yard. I drag myself inside only when darkness or biting bugs force me to. And then I’m often so tired, I just sit and stare into space.

Haha – yes, sitting and staring into space is one of my more finely honed talents. Very funny.

Knitting? Yes, of course I’ve been knitting – you haven’t read about anybody being strangled around here lately, have you? Knitting keeps me (relatively) sane and out of jail.

Sadly, knitting has taken a hit during the Gardening Season too. Currently I’m knitting Sunshine for the June Cookie A Sock Innovation KAL, but I’ve been struggling a bit with yarn and needle choices. I’m on my second yarn choice (Araucania Itata) which is a gorgeous mostly solid dusty pink with the seductive name of #2006 and so far it seems to be ok; I’m a bit gun shy since the previous yarn kept splitting like a mad thing so I’m reserving a final judgement. Whatever the verdict, it sure is pretty.

Having to start over well over a week into the month has put me behind, so I’m concentrating just on the socks. All 20 minutes of my daily knitting time goes exclusively to Sunshine.

As noted in the last post (haha, I’m sure your memory is good enough to remember – it’s not like it was decades or centuries ago!), I finished up the May KAL sock (Kai-Mei) before the end of the month. Since I had some time before I could start the June sock, I quick knitted another Thermis for my friend Carol as a hostess gift. She lives in Wisconsin, so it should come in handy although she wasn’t really sure what it was and I had to demonstrate how it worked. Her enthusiasm seemed a bit tempered – maybe I should stick to gift certificates after this… What do you think?

I also attempted to do some more work on my first toe-up socks but finally had to admit that that Monster of Evil had returned. Yes, that’s right – gauge reared it’s ugly, disagreeable head and laughed at me. Why can’t it just leave me alone – I ask you – what have I ever done to it?

Apparently I’m knitting looser and looser in my old age. The pattern calls for a #0 needle for a 66 stitch sock; my basic sock is a #1 needle on 64 stitches. What? No, of course I didn’t do any math – what a silly thought! I just figured – intuitively – that’d I’d be ok. Of course, thanks to Evil Gauge, it wasn’t ok and I went on a search for teeny tiny needles.

It took quite a bit of searching, but I finally found HiyaHiya needles in #00 and #000 double points. Addi and Inox also have needles this small, but they’re 8 inches long (used by lace knitters); the HiyaHiya’s are 5 inches, much better for sock knitting. Interestingly, I also had to buy a new needle sizer since your regular sizers don’t go smaller than #0. (Well, I thought that was interesting!) Ravelry doesn’t even include needles smaller than #00 on their inventory chart. The needles were very reasonably priced and arrived almost instantly; I’m anxious to take them for a spin but they’ll have to wait their turn.

Well, Blog, it’s been fun catching up, but it’s getting late. Have to go put something on my bug bites and crawl into bed. I promise not to be away so long next time – maybe even bring along a finished knit or two. Until then, be good!

Under the Wire

I managed to finish up one more Malabrigo project before March ended (casting off at 11:25pm on the 31st!) Whew!


Pattern: Birthday Cowl

Yarn: Malabrigo worsted, colorway “Sauterne”

Notes: Bright and cheerful, easy but interesting – if you need to crank out a project in a few hours, this is it. I think the finished lines of the pattern are especially nice. Being the loosey-goosey knitter that I am, I could have cast on for one less repeat (even though I went down a needle size) but it’s not bad – still usable – and maybe a quick trip through the dryer will help. This eye-popping color matches my Breathe Deep mittens nicely, and adds some much needed cheer.

sock goodness

In other news, my copy of the new Cookie A book, Sock Innovations, arrived today. I love each and every pattern in it but — some of them look really hard! Like, one has a stitch that requires two cable needles! (I panicked and stopped reading at that point so I might not be absolutely correct on that) and there are some massive charts. I’ve read two schools of thought on tackling a knitting pattern – read it through thoroughly and determine that you understand each and every stitch or, plunge in. You’ll figure it out when you get to it.

I’m going to subscribe to the second method and not look too closely at those patterns!

Next time: exciting updates from the Members Only KAL!

March Surprises

March is barely five days old and already it’s been eventful. Some of it good (an interesting new project at work), some of it not-so-good (I slipped on the wet floor of the staff kitchen yesterday and fell – hard! – on my keester; nothing worse than a major bruise and some pulled muscles, but it hurt!) and some of it kind of wonderful – I have a Secret Knitting Project!

Me! A Secret Knitting Project (SKP)! I know! I’m as amazed as anyone. “Secret” being what it is, all I’m going to say about it for now is that I’m thrilled and very excited. As soon as I’m able, I’ll fill you in on all the details (probably till you’re sick of them!)

Because of the SKP (which I’ll be working on for the next few weeks), I’m not going to get nearly as many of my March projects knitted as I had planned, but I have finished one – a birthday present for a good friend of mine.

Pattern: Thermis by Kristin Patay

Yarn: Malabrigo Worsted, colorway “Verde Adrianne”

Notes: This is the second time I’m made this pattern and I still love it. I did drop down a needle size which I think was wise (loose knitter that I am) I don’t think there’s a better paring of yarn and pattern out there – the Malabrigo is so soft and the ribbing and thermal patterning make it so cushiony. Perfect for protecting and comforting an otherwise cold, exposed neck and face.

My friend loves dark greens; I was a little worried that this was too much of a “Christmas” green, but now I think it’s fine. The buttons were some I had on hand – I may change them out if I find something better at the store tomorrow, although I do like these leather ones.

Thermal is one of the KALs for Malabrigo March on Ravelry (so I got at least one KAL done!) It also fits in nicely with the current Project Spectrum 4 focus – winter and green – a lovely winter accessory in forest green. A multiple winner.

M is for Malabrigo

Mmmmmm. It’s been All Malabrigo, All the Time around here lately. Can’t beat that with a stick.

Earlier this week I whipped together another Crofter’s Cowl (Rav link) intended for my hairdresser. She had admired my purple one and carefully mentioned (several times) the color of her coat (black). I’ve been going to her for many years and trust her with my hair implicitly (not a small thing when it comes to one’s hair) and was happy to oblige.

This colorway is “Vermillion”; it’s lighter and has a wash of coral-pink variegation that I hadn’t expected (I would have named it “Geranium”) but it’s still lovely. Malabrigo is so perfect for cowls – warm and light, incredibly soft and it looks gorgeous in patterns like this lace. It also holds blocking beautifully – it’s fun to unpin those points after blocking. The pattern is wonderful – quick to knit and so pretty. I did modify this cowl by knitting five repeats of the pattern instead of knitting two pieces and then grafting them together. This makes it even quicker to finish and still looks, IMHO, great.

I’ve also been working away on Tang. This Malabrigo colorway is “Buscando Azul”  (darker and richer than this photo shows)  I call this my Obama Sweater – I knit a big chunk of the body of this sweater while watching the Inauguration and associated activities (such a fun and happy day, full of optimism and hope!) It’s now my tv-that-needs-close-attention (i.e. “Lost”, “Battlestar Galattica”, etc) knitting; the simple stockinette means that it’s easy to stop and start without losing my place. However, that’s also it’s weak point – I’m easily distracted by more complex/fun projects.

The latest to turn my head was this cowl.

Pattern: Thermis by Kristen Patay

Yarn: Malabrigo Worsted, colorway “Scarlett”

Notes: This is a wonderful pattern – beautifully written, clear instructions, clever design (I love the button placket and the way it is integrated into the design) The 1×1 ribbing and the thermal pattern are perfect in Malabrigo making it, if anything, even squishier. And I love that the pattern calls for buttons – it adds some character and a dash of style.

I knit this exactly as written; the finished cowl is quite long (written for elegantly swan-necked dancers perhaps?) It easily comes up over the tip of my nose and the bottoms of my ears which, considering the sub-zero weather we’ve been having lately (today’s high – 7 degrees) is a good thing. But if I make it again (and I probably will) I might make the bottom ribbing a bit shorter.

Once again the Malabrigo color surprised – and delighted – me. I had expected a dark red; this is definitely fushia – dark pink with a wash of red. This is all part of the joy of hand dyed yarns – each batch is different and unique.

There’s lots more Malabrigo in my knitting future since I have a rididulous amount marinating in the stash, including sock and lace weights. Somehow that doesn’t bother me one tiny bit!