Dragged through the muck

I’ve been knitting my mistake rib cowl from the knit-along in a splendid shade shade of pink and ivory. The buttery softness of silk and wool gleaming and and smooth – aaah. So the other day I’m dragging stuff in from the car, my little plastic knitting bag on top of the green washtub of coffee mugs from the shop. I set down the tub and realize that the ball of yarn is still in the bag, but the cowl is not. I see yarn hanging. With the irrepressible urge of a kitten, I pull the yarn. And again. finally I realize that the lovely silk and wool cowl I thought was just in the laundry room had actually fallen out IN THE GARAGE. So by pulling the yarn I had effectively mopped up the dusty garage floor with my silk and wool cowl. What an idiot. I could have just walked my lame butt out there and picked it up, but NOOOO.

I’ve picked out most of the guinea pig shavings and dusted it off, but it still looks kind of grimy.
So, now we’ll have a test on SOAK to see how well it cleans garage dirt and from ribbed silk and wool. Will let you know.

Here’s a copy of the pattern in case you want to make your own. Based on a simple mistake rib pattern from Vogue Knitting Stitchionary #1, it’s small enough to just fit over your head and still stand up like a large turtleneck. Finished circumference is 24″, but you can make it any size you want. Just be sure to use an even number of stitches.

Like the gauntlets, this pattern is perfect for a luxury yarn like cashmere or silk and wool, because it doesn’t take much yarn and it lives right up next to your face where you can enjoy the fabulous color and texture.

Two skeins Alchemy Synchronicity
Size 7 needle

Cast on 120 stitches. Join into a round, taking care that stitches are not twisted.
Work one round knitting every stitch.
Next round, knit one, purl one.

Repeat these two rounds until piece measures 8″ from cast on row, or until it’s as long as you like, or you run out of yarn. It doesn’t get much easier than that.

The Nellie Scarf

Here’s the pattern for the lovely scarves designed by our own Nellie.

Worked with a single strand each of Ultra Alpaca and laceweight kid mohair and silk they are amazingly soft to the touch. The subtle variations in color between the two yarns and within the variegated mohair silk make them absolutely luminous. The green is a variation on a moss stitch, which is very fitting for the color, I think. The brown scarf is a 1×1 mistake rib.

Green Nellie Scarf

Finished size: 5″ x 64″

Materials: 1 skein Berroco Ultra Alpaca, (color 6246)
1 skein Colinette Parisienne (color 114)
Size 11 needles

Cast on 23 stitches (any odd number of stitches will work), and work every row as follows
*Knit 2, purl 2* Repeat between *s to last stitch, purl 1

Brown Nellie Scarf

Finished size: 6 1/2″ x 53″

Materials: 1 skein Berroco Ultra Alpaca, (color 6204)
1 skein Colinette Parisienne (color 128)
Size 11 needles

Cast on 23 stitches (any odd number of stitches will work)
Row 1: Knit all stitches
Row 2: *Knit 1, purl 1* Repeat between *s to end of row.

And here’s a peek at her latest color combination

These patterns will eventually live on the shop website too.

Not a Celebrity Scarf

But it should be…
This is a free pattern from Skacel yarns for a beautiful short row scarf. The It’s much easier than it looks. This scarf looks absolutely fabulous in hand-painted yarns from Ellyn Cooper, Artyarns, and Colinette. So, here it is:

On a size 10 1/2 needles, your scarf will be approximately 5″ wide and 54″ long.
Gauge is about 3 stitches to the inch.
You’ll need about 200 yards of yarn.

Beginning Triangle:
Cast on 1 stitch
Row 1: Increase 1 in this stitch by knitting in the front and back of the stitch (2 stitches)
Row 2: Increase in first stitch; knit to end (3 stitches)
Repeat Row 2 until one side edge triangle measures 5″
Begin short row section:

Short Row Section:
Row 1: Increase 1 in the first stitch, Knit 2 together (k2tog), turn work around
Row 2 and all even numbered rows: Knit
Row 3: Increase 1 in the first stitch, knit 1, k2tog, turn.
Row 5: Increase 1 in the first stitch, knit 2, k2tog, turn.
Row 7: Increase 1 in the first stitch, knit 3, k2tog, turn.

Continue the short row section as established, increasing the number of stitches knit between the increase and k2tog by 1 stitch in every odd-numbered. You will soon find that you don’t need to count, as k2tog is done on the two stitches on either side of the gap in order to close the space. Work until the last two stitches of the row have been knit together. Turn. You should now have all the stitches on the needle in your left hand.

Repeat the short row section until you have about 8 yards of yarn remaining.

Finishing the Corner:
Count the number of stitches on your needle before you begin this section. Work short rows as established until half of the stitches have been worked. (round the number up to the next whole number if needed). Then, knit2tog at the beginning of each odd-numbered row. Work until 2 stitches remain. Knit them together and fasten off.

I’ll try to post a photo of this completed shortly. It’s just lovely.

If you like this pattern, you should definitely check out Iris Schreier’s Artyarns site. Iris is an amazing designer who’s taken this whole modular thing to the next level and beyond. She offers a great free multi-step tutorial that will open up a whole new world of modular knitting for you.

Not your childhood mohair

Aaaah, the lovely Baby Kid mohair…I raved about this stuff in the newsletter. It is so beautiful. We have a sample garment in the shop worked from the fabulous peacock blue. For those of you at coffee this morning, who fell in love with this wrap, here’s a link to the free pattern. Tomorrow I’ll post a photo of the spectacular new hand-made fused glass shawl clasps from Bonnie Maresh. Stunning. And it doesn’t snag the yarn at all.

Lace class follow-on

Lots of you have asked for the pattern that Lynn was using to make the goreous stole at the lace knitting class. It’s a fairly simple pattern, based on the feather and fan, but made reversible with the addition of garter ridges. Here’s the e-mail she sent with the pattern:

Please read through the ENTIRE set of instructions before you begin.

You’ll need something in the neighborhood of 800 to 900 yards of yarn. Anything from laceweight to worsted can look lovely—though the heavier yarns make a snugglier wrap. I worked 17 repeats of the 17-row vertical pattern (instructions A through D, below), and did not add fringe.

The following instructions will produce the shawl I knit. If you want your wrap to be narrower, or wider, or shorter, or longer, you can change the number of 9-stitch horizontal stitch-pattern repeats, and/or the number of 17-row vertical repeats. Feel free to add fringe if you like it. You may need more or less yarn than I did if you make any of these changes.

Cast on 81 stitches. I like the cable cast-on, but use your favorite. Just be sure NOT to cast on TIGHTLY. A LOOSE cast-on is ESPECIALLY crucial for anything lacy that you’re going to block. Remember the tricks of casting on over a larger needle, or over 2 needles held together, if you need help keeping your cast-on edge soft and drapey.

Work 6 rows of garter stitch (knit all stitches, all rows).
As you’re working the sixth row of garter stitch, place a marker every 9 stitches. (Of course, you can put in the stitch markers any time you want. Put them in while you’re casting on, if you like. That would help you keep track of how many stitches you’d cast on, without having to count and recount.)

Row 7 (Pattern Row. This is a right-side row.):
*Knit 2 together, knit 2, yarn over, knit 1, yarn over, knit 2, slip-slip-knit,** repeat from * to ** across the row (9 stitch repeat, 9 times).

Row 8:
Purl all stitches.

Work Rows 7 and 8 four more times, then work Row 7 once more (You’ve worked Row 7 a total of 6 times at this point.)

Work 6 rows of garter stitch.

Instructions A through D = 17 rows.

Repeat instructions A through D 16 more times.

Bind off loosely, weave in ends, and block as desired.

This shawl would be lovely in any of the new variegateds we have in for fall – if you like fine, lace weight yarn, then choose Colinette’s new Parisienne or Alchemy’s Haiku. Nicole did a gorgeous stole in Louisa Harding’s Kimono Angora – soooo soft.

You could also use Artyarn’s DK weight superwash merino. Wouldn’t that be a lovely baby blanket!