Knitting the bicolour hat went quite a bit faster once I transferred it from the DPNs over to a 16″ circular, though my colourwork tension still leaves something to be desired. There’s a little bit of a difference where I switched needles, but blocking helped make it look less obvious. Something to note for next time: even if you’re not using the most ideal needles, stick with them for the rest of the project.

(Did anyone else hate having to change pens in the middle of an essay? I never liked to see half a page written in one shade of blue, and the other half written in another shade.)


This project’s trial and error has taught me a lot about designing colourwork hats, and I will definitely be putting the lessons learned to good effect the next time. The lined brim came out exactly how I had envisioned it, but the ‘seam’ where each round ends and the next begins is not something I’d expected. A solid colour at that junction would have hidden it better. It took me a few attempts to figure out how the crown of the hat should come together, and I’m happy with how it looks – although I think I might need a larger model head! I have my fingers crossed that it will fit Michael’s head perfectly, and I’ll find out in just a few days when I see him at Thanksgiving.


Since I only used about half of each ball of yarn to make this hat, I’m planning to make another in a slightly different pattern. I have lots of other partial balls of Cascade 220 left over from a number of previous hats, and I’m thinking about branching out into something with more than just two colours in the future!

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Well, I didn’t get to go to Rhinebeck after all – but the house is on the market, and the shawl is complete! I’m so pleased with how it came out. The border is just a simple repeat of (sc, ch1), with two sc/ch1 pairs in the gaps between scallops, to keep it from ruffling up too much. Stretching the shawl out dry seemed to flatten out the fabric reasonably well, but I think it would look even better after a bath and firm blocking.


It didn’t take long to memorize the pattern, though I do still have to pay more attention to crochet than to knitting. The shawl was done in just a month of crocheting in my spare time, of which I had less than usual thanks to working on the house. I’d say that’s a pretty quick project! Here’s a closeup of the stitch pattern:


Noro being Noro, I’d expected a few knots. I wasn’t disappointed; there was one in each of the two balls. That led to some interesting colour-swapping and lots of ends to weave in, but the rows were so long by the end that I don’t think it’s noticeable. On the last row, I measured out how much yarn it took to work one of the fan shapes, and then the rest of the yarn, because I wasn’t sure I was going to make it – but there was just enough.


The next question is, how and when do I even wear the thing? I really enjoyed making it, but will I actually wear it? We shall see!

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Although I’m still not sure if I’ll be able to go to Rhinebeck this year, I’m working on the shawl anyway! The rows are getting longer, but as I’m starting to memorize the pattern, I can put on a football game and crochet away. Well, sort of – crochet does seem to take more of my attention than knitting does, since the next stitch could literally go anywhere.


The pattern is easy to get the hang of, though obviously the finished shawl is going to need some firm blocking to really show it off. All lace is wrinkly, but the thick-and-thin Noro is exacerbating the rumpled look here. I love how the colours are playing out, though!

My to-do list for the upcoming three-day weekend is very long, mostly pertaining to getting the house ready for sale, but I’m hoping to get some solid crocheting time in as well. Part of what will determine if I can run off to New York for a weekend is getting through that to-do list…

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The two-colour hat is coming along; I’ve re-knit everything that I had to rip out and then some. This coming weekend I’m going to get my 16″ size 6/4mm circulars back from Mom, and transfer the project over. That should help make it go even faster. I still need to figure out how I’m going to do the decreases, but I’ll worry about that when I get there.

Meanwhile, there’s a possibility that I will make it up to Rhinebeck this year! It’s not that I plan to buy anything, or that I really need new yarn or fibre, but I love going anyway. Being around all the knitters, yarn, and beautiful projects helps replenish my motivation and inspiration!

At MSDW in 2013, I bought two skeins of Noro Silk Garden Sock with the intention of crocheting a shawl that I could wear to events like these. After much deliberation, I settled on Schultertuch/Dreiekstuch, a free pattern from a German Raveler. Noro being Noro, the first colour off the ball was a rather icky shade of yellowish brown. Since this is the centre/top of the shawl and will be up by the nape of my neck, I decided to just work with it and see what happens, rather than lose any yardage by skipping ahead to the nicer black and teal.


It’s been a quick start, so I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to get it all finished and blocked before heading northwards. I can’t imagine using this yarn for actual socks; even though it’s called “Silk Garden Sock” it’s a rough single with slubby spots, generally unsuitable for anything like socks. But for a shawl, I think it will be just perfect!

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You know what would be fun? Making up a colourwork hat pattern by the seat of my pants!

First, I tried a variety of cast-ons to figure out what works best with corrugated ribbing (i.e. doesn’t make it curl up like a pillbug) and discovered a nifty two-colour cast-on that totally works. Then, after the ribbing was done, I decided to line it with the softer KnitPicks Andean Treasure left over from Stef’s armwarmers. Hopefully that doesn’t make the hat too small. If I’d thought of lining it before I started, I would have cast on a few extra stitches to make up for the added thickness.


With the lining folded up and joined in, I got started on the body of the hat. At first I was trying to knit with one strand in each hand, but that was slow and awkward, so I switched to having both strands in my left hand. I even remembered the thing about dominance in stranded colourwork and was super-careful about consistently keeping one yarn to the left and the other to the right. Everything was going so well, and looking so good…


…until I fouled it up, and knit another four rounds before I noticed.


Don’t worry! I can fix this!


But maybe I should use lifelines when I’m knitting things that require me to pay attention?


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I’m very excited to be able to share my latest design, the Carved Lines Armwarmers! This project has been in the works for several months and is finally ready for release.

Inspired by the sinuous shapes that skiers and snowboarders leave in the snow as they carve down the mountain, the Carved Lines Armwarmers are meant to close the gap between your jacket and your gloves, keeping the snow off your wrists and keeping you out on the slopes longer! The slipknot cast-on and sewn bind-off are stretchy without being floppy, giving neat finished edges to your work.

~~~~~~~~ IMPORTANT NOTICE ~~~~~~~~
Through August 2015 the Carved Lines Armwarmers will be available at a discounted price of $1.49.
On September 1, the price will go up to $1.99. Get your copy today!

Check out the Carved Lines pattern page on Ravelry or click the button to purchase the pattern:




YOU WILL NEED: A set of five US 4/3.5mm double-point needles (or the size needed to get gauge for your particular yarn), and a darning needle to weave in ends. Optional: stitch marker to mark the beginning of the round.

FINISHED MEASUREMENTS: The stitch pattern has some stretch to it, and should fit hands 7 to 7.5″ around.

YARN and GAUGE: Approximately 1.5 skeins (160 yards) Jo Sharp Classic Wool DK, or any DK-weight yarn you like, to get a gauge of 26 stitches to 4 inches/10 cm in stockinette. To make a larger size, a light worsted weight such as Cascade 220 and US 6/4mm needles is recommended.

Important Copyright Information: The Carved Lines Armwarmers knitting pattern is © 2015 Knitting Pirate. You may not sell or otherwise distribute copies of this pattern, but you may absolutely sell the armwarmers you make, and Knitting Pirate would very much appreciate it if credit is given for the design. If you have any questions about what you can or can’t do with this pattern, please feel free to contact the Knitting Pirate.

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My dad’s gotten into throwing pottery in the last few years, which is pretty awesome. As with any craft there comes an inevitable surplus of finished objects, so he’s been offering me pieces and told me to pick out anything I want. I’m in minimization mode as I’m getting ready to move at the end of the year, so I didn’t want a purely decorative bowl (although they *are* very pretty). Instead, I asked him if he could make a yarn bowl for me, and sent him descriptions, preferred dimensions, and links to several examples on Etsy and Google Images search.

This is what he’s come up with. It’s lovely!


I’m trying it out with a ball of Cascade 220 Superwash, which is just the right size… and it works perfectly, as you can see in this video (click to play):

Thank you so much, Dad! This is great – I’m sure I’ll get many, many years of use out of it!

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Pictures of bobbin after bobbin of the same gray mystery wool are getting repetitive, so here’s the Rambouillet that I finished chain-plying just before the Tour de Fleece began:


It came out to 268 yards of fingering-weight yarn that’s perfectly coordinated with my wood floor, and once again I have no idea what I’m going to do with it. Maybe it’s time to list some of these handspun skeins for sale, since my collection of them keeps growing.

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My weekend had no plans and nothing scheduled, so I got a lot of spinning done! First, I plied the first four bobbins of light grey onto two jumbo bobbins and skeined off about 350 yards of yarn. Then I finished spinning a second bobbin of medium grey. The fibre is drafting a little more smoothly now as I get towards the centre of the ball of roving, but there’s still a lot of neppiness which is leading to a “rustic” sort of yarn. I’m okay with that!


The jumbo Sonata bobbins aren’t quite large enough to hold all the plied yarn from two S-R bobbins, so I started filling them to only about 90%. These two on the right will be plied together for a marled look, as my ambitious plan for this sweater is to knit a gradient from light at the top to dark around the hem.


I also managed to get out for a bike ride this weekend between the rain storms. It’s been so wet lately that the good mountain bike trails have stayed closed, so I took the road bike out for a twelve mile jaunt through the hills. The next few days are supposed to be very wet; I guess that means my workouts will be indoors until it dries out.

Today is a rest day for the Tour, but I might end up spinning anyway – or I might take the opportunity to catch up on the housework I’ve been neglecting!

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So far I’ve been averaging a bobbin-ful of the gray mystery wool every day! Yesterday I watched Stage Four, the one with the cobblestones, while finishing up the fourth bobbin. I found a little more wool in the same shade of gray, but the roving is much thinner than the first batch and it isn’t drafting well, so I set it aside. If I need it, I’ll spin it up later.


I moved on to the next darkest shade of gray and was immediately annoyed by it. The lighter gray had some vegetable matter and a few lumpy, neppy pieces. This medium gray seems like it’s *all* lumps and neps. I’m hoping that it’s just the outside of the ball of roving with the problem, and that it will even out as I get more towards the inside. If it’s still really bad after two bobbins, I’ll set this colour aside too, and move on.

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