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Casting On a Cardigan

In my last post, I shared a picture of some tweedy wool-silk blend yarn purchased recently. After studying the swatch I made, I thought that it looked like a vintage yarn. This led me to remember the giant Vogue Knitting retrospective book that I received from my daughter last year. Perhaps I can find a vintage type cardigan there.

I had been wanting to make a pattern from this book but could never settle on any of them. Either the pattern required a massive amount of expensive yarn or the design didn’t suit me and my lifestyle. But I now had 1500 yarns of a classic tweed – more than enough for Vogue Knitting. And after carefully studying several likely patterns I chose this one.

Forestry Cardigan appeared in Vogue’s Fall 2008 magazine – an edition that was dedicated to Canadian designers. What a happy bit of symmetry! Fall 2008 was the very season I was re-introduced to knitting. This pairing was meant to be.

I like the coin shaped cables and the shawl collar on this design. But I don’t quite agree with knitting instructions. Vogue has us knit the two fronts and the back separately, and then seam them together. I much prefer knitting front and back in one piece. Also reviewers of this pattern on Ravelry cautioned about errors.

Ravelry: #11 Forestry (Old Penny Cardigan) pattern by Veronik Avery

With a bit of trepidation, I started on a sleeve.

It’s going brilliantly. I love the quality of the fabric this yarn yields. But! I am ALREADY playing yarn chicken! Only 3/4 finished with one sleeve and my first skein is but a hollow version of its former plump self. I’m flummoxed. I am getting the gauge required by the pattern, and for the size I am making I should have over 200 yards of yarn more than needed.

At this time I’m willing to trust the pattern and carry on. After all, this is a long-haul project. With a gauge of 20 stitches by 28 rows, there are a LOT of stitches to go before the end is near. I expect it will be Autumn by the time I finish. And in the meanwhile, maybe I can source one more skein of yarn

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Local Yarn Shop Week

I’m told that this week is dedicated to recognizing our local yarn shops. While sadly, there are no yarn shops in my town, I recently returned from Wisconsin. While there I visited two very nice shops and scored these yarns:

In Madison, WI, Lynette Tucker opened her shop Sunset Yarns just last November. While only a few months in business she has done a terrific job creating a cozy and friendly atmosphere for yarn crafters.

Madison’s Neighorhood Yarn Store | Sunset Yarn

In addition to the labels typically offered, she carries locally produced yarns. I browsed these, which included Galpaca and Ewetopia. Home | GalPaca Farm

The Wisco Sock yarn by Ewetopia is one I have knit before, so I picked up one skein in colorway Superior. (as in, the Lake.) I love those soft, watery shades. I also got Berroco Remix light, which is made from 100% recycled fibers. The skeins of Vintage DK in a plum color will be used to make heavy-duty socks for my husband. I am hoping that the high percentage of acrylic in the mix will wear better and last longer than the typical wool-nylon mix.

Next stop was the quaint town of Veroqua where I shopped at the Ewetopia company store. All I can say is Wow! It is truly the yarn lover’s heaven.

Our Shop — Ewetopia (

In addition to their own label, other Wisconsin yarns and the standard yarn shop yarns are available. They also carry a selection of fleece, tools for felting and many books.

Since I had already purchased some Ewetopia, I was browsing for something different. In the back of my mind I toyed with the thought of another sweater for myself. When I came across the Cascade Roslyn ON SALE, I couldn’t resist it. Cascade is a company headquartered in Seattle, Washington. The Roslyn is a DK weight made from 65% wool and 35% silk. Its tweedy texture will be perfect to make a light-weight cardigan useful here in the warm climate of Oklahoma. I chose a leaf-green colorway that reminds me of Autumn.

Now to browse patterns and cast on. I foresee many happy hours in my future, with needles in hand.

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Finished Object – Water Shawl

Today is the last day of March. I told myself that I would have this KAL done by today. Despite the difficulties of working on the road, the obstacle of my computer WIFI failure and the minefield of working on Someone Else’s Computer, I am ready. Here you see the blocked shawl hung up against a striped curtain.

My daughter agreed to model for me.

The temperatures here in Wisconsin dipped down into the upper 20th last night. At the time of the photo session, it was still only about 45 F. She professed that the shawl is quite warm.

I’m pretty happy with it. I did run out of the dark yarn and had to improvise a bit at lower edge, just above the lacey bind off. I have plenty of pink left. So I can’t call this a stash buster. But it is a unique and graceful design. I recommend this pattern for intermediate knitters.

You can find this pattern on Ravelry.

Ravelry: Water pattern by Sylvia McFadden

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Cast on Monday – Knit Along

It’s time for another cast on. This time I am working a group knit along project organized for the Blogville Knitters group on Ravelry. Alissa has chosen this shawl by Sylvia McFadden.

Ravelry: Water pattern by Sylvia McFadden

While the designer was going for a watery look, with insets of lovely lace, I have chosen two yarns that give more of a chocolate cake with pink icing sort of feel.

For my main color, I have Wisco sock yarn in colorway Dark Plum by Ewetopia. The contrast color is an alpaca rayon blend by Berroco called Folio in colorway Cardinal.

Here you see the first swirling lace inset. Doesn’t it remind you of waves? There will be six sections like this in between the garter ridges. So far I find that the stitches required to make these waves are a little tricky, and need to be worked at a much slower pace.

The plan is to finish by the end of June March? It’s doable.

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F.O. Friday – Adult Booties

I got started on this project because of a problem I encountered during the recent SuperSnow event. It was SO cold for SO long I found myself wearing my hand knitted wool socks night and day. Don’t get me wrong, I love wearing cozy hand-knitted wool socks. But at the end of the cold snap, I examined both pair and noticed that the soles were thinning out. Unless I got busy with repairs, I would be down at least one pair for the duration. So I decided that I needed warm cozy wool footwear that would hold up to walking many miles on our cold hard tile floors. Hence the dorm boots.

This pattern is offered on Kriskrafter’s blog.

Kriskrafter: Better Dorm Boots – Lace Edition – Free Knitting Pattern! (

It has all the characteristics I needed: Thick soles, fast to knit and used a miniscule amount of yarn. I rummaged through my stash and found some nasty beige acrylic-wool blend in a heavy worsted. The pattern calls for holding yarns double, so I worked from two skeins for the sole. My stash rummage also yielded a sturdy pink wool harvested from a too-itchy scarf and a tweedy, wine-colored Italian wool orphan ball given to me by knitting friend Kathy. I held these two double to work the upper and the cuff.

It was magical how quickly the first boot came together. You could knit the pair in two evenings if you concentrated on your work. I took a more leisurely pace and did this pair over four evenings, including a sit and knit session on Tuesday.

Sadly, I lost track of my rows during the sit and knit. So my booties don’t match.

No matter. They are purposeful items. Good looks come second.

If I were in need of a last minute Christmas gift, this pattern could come to the rescue. Just think, with a bit of focus, I could fancy them up with different colors, stitches and possibly a pompom or two. Wouldn’t that cheer up a loved one, popping out of a Christmas stocking, on a cold and snowy Christmas morning?

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Swatch-on Monday

Members of the Blogville Knitters will recognize the pattern for Water. This pattern, offered by, was selected by Alissa for our group knit-a-long happening in March. I agree with her – it is a beautiful shawl. It features some unique design aspects and challenging sections based on short rows.

So I am game to try.

The lace sections look just like waves of the ocean. But I didn’t choose a water color. I wanted to try something warmer. My Water shawl will look more like a lava flow.

I chose Wisco Sock, from Ewetopia, in colorway Dark Plum for the garter row sections. It didn’t photograph too well in the first picture. So here are my swatches, with a little digital adjustment.

The pink yarn I found at Harps and Thistle yarn store in Cuyahoga Falls, OH. While looking for a silk blend I picked up this Folio yarn by Berroco. It is not silk, but a blend of 60% superfine alpaca and 35% rayon. Never having knit with rayon yarn, I was a little skeptical about the resulting fabric. But store owner Cindy had used this yarn and experienced no issues such as pilling. The colorway is Cardinal, but it certainly doesn’t resemble any cardinal I have ever seen. Maybe it is more the shade of the Roman Catholic cardinals’ robes. Anyway, it is a color I currently do not have in a shawl.

So I am set with pattern, yarn and swatches. If I can trust the two that I worked up on no. 5 needles, both yarns give me the same gauge, in this case, 22 sts. per 4 inch row as called for by the pattern.

If you would like to knit along with us, you can find Water at:

Ravelry: Water pattern by Sylvia McFadden

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Finished Object Friday – Knitting

Gentle Curves shawl is off the needles. Here is my autobiographical photograph of it.

This was a quick and easy knit. To make it more decorative, I added stripes of lacy eyelet stitches spaced up gradually over the body of the shawl.

I still haven’t formed an opinion about whether I like the slanting line that forms a twisted spine on the shawl. It looks better when the shawl is wrapped well around, with the ends hanging down in front.

Yarn fibers include alpaca, wool and silk. The pattern Gentle Curves can be found on Ravelry here:

Ravelry: Gentle Slopes pattern by Quinn Reverendo

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Cast on Monday – Mostly Alpaca

This week-end, I cast on a shawl from yarn that was 1. in my stash and 2. frogged from a UFO. This particular pattern is a top-down triangle design with a twist – literally. By increasing more stitches on one half of the double yarnover section and using short rows, it creates a gentle slope across the back of the garment. The pattern is by Manos del Uruguay and is available free on Ravelry.

Here are the yarns I am using.

The Letitcia is Peruvian yarn blended of wool, alpaca and silk. Gloss is a Knitpicks – super wash merino and silk. The three lace weight yarns are 100% alpaca, in my stash for so long that I no longer have the labels. Just last year I blogged about a UFO with this lighter-than-air yarn, in which I moaned about the way the stitches simply floated off the needle. To solve this problem, I am holding them TRIPLED in this project, and following with the Leticia yarn to LOCK THEM DOWN.

My variation to the pattern is the insertion of the striping row of eyelet lace. This will show up every 16 garter ridges, to break up the plain vanilla and keep things from getting too boring.

I think that the back side is just as pretty as the front side.

I like that this pattern works for mindless knitting. The pattern repeats every four rows that are easily memorized. The only hiccup I foresee is that I am going to need a longer cable very soon.

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Cast on Monday – Last week of the month

Having finished a pair of socks, I am beginning another knitted accessory – a cowl. I have been wanting to make one for myself in this teal color.

The yarn is a mysterious orphan ball given to me by my friend Kathy, who is in the middle of a stash-clearing phase. There’s no label, so I am guessing about the fiber. It is very soft, with a prominent halo, suggestive of alpaca. If you look closely, you will detect a bit of gold glimmer. The total weight is 80 grams, and based on its thickness I am guessing there are about 250 yards of yarn here.

I started off making this lovely cable and lace pattern, from my book “60 Quick Luxury Knits.” But the yarn revealed a structure that did not sit well with complex stitchery – it has a thick and thin composition and a loose twist which suggests to me that it might be hand spun. I started over. After six rows of garter I worked a combination of yarn overs and knit togethers to create the undulation you see.

What I do next is still unclear. The only thing I know is that it must narrow as it rises.

This knitter is open for suggestions.

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F.O. Friday – Knitting

Here you see the pair of socks I knitted for my S-I-L. This was to be a Christmas gift, but it appears that I missed the deadline by about four weeks. I have no regrets – I did what I had to do.

On my feet – a pathetic stand-in model for the giftee.

You can almost make out the 3 by 1 rib I used on the leg and instep sections. This is currently my favorite stitch for socks. I find it more soothing to work than a 2 by 2 rib. Another feature of this sock is that I doubled up the yarn at heel and toe. I am hoping the extra thickness will increase the lifespan of the socks.

Pale blue yarn is a blend of alpaca, wool and acrylic. Dark blue is Cascade Heritage, a superwash merino, reinforced with nylon, and one of my favorite sock yarns.

TGIF, and TGI ready to mail off to the giftee!