Saturday, September 25, 2010

Northampton neckerchief

This afternoon between stacking wood in the barn and building a raised bed for my garlic crop, I managed to finish knitting my three-color purple scarf. The pattern is from New England Knits and is called the Northampton neckerchief.

I feel ho-hum about it but the pattern was relatively fun to knit. I think the lacey border is my favorite part. I didn't use the fingerweight yarn called for but a DK weight instead and because of that my scarf lacks drape but is really warm. I used three different Debbie Bliss Rialto purples and silver-lined gold beads.

I am actually looking forward to wearing it with my jacket for a little splash of color (my cold weather jackets are black and camel) but today was much too hot for that.

After calling it a "neck brace", I decided to try taking photos myself instead of asking my husband. Consequently, he's definitely not getting cinnamon buns tomorrow...

Monday, September 20, 2010

Irish hiking wristwarmers

Photos by Savannah.

As someone who grew up as a New Englander with more traditional, classic tastes, I just love cables and when I saw this pattern, I knew I had to knit it. The fact that the pattern is offered for free, was the icing on the cake. They are named the Irish Hiking Scarf Armwarmers, because there is a scarf and hat pattern that match, but I find they warm my wrists and hands better than my arms.

I used my new favorite yarn, Debbie Bliss Rialto DK. It is a machine washable, 100% merino wool yarn that is forgiving and has excellent stitch definition. The pattern calls for worsted weight yarn, but knowing how well most cables with ribbing stretch, I was pretty sure I could get away with a DK weight yarn and size 5 needles. This time I was right, it stretches nicely but holds its shape and isn't too bulky.

The camel color is more me and looks nice under my more traditional styled sweaters. I like them enough that I'm considering knitting a pair in black too. I'm finding them useful for the seasons in which the weather is changing, fall and spring when the mornings and evenings are cool but the days are warm. No more ice cold steering wheel, what's not to love?

Saturday, September 11, 2010

William's Toasty Topper

With a small amount of time here and there, I love a good quick knit. William has already outgrown the hat I knit for him last year so when I saw the Toasty Topper pattern by Alexis Riggs, I couldn't resist. I had been thinking of knitting something similar last year for him but wasn't sure how to connect the scarf to the hat. We have days here where the wind blows so cold and hard that any crevice exposed to the weather, usually wrists, ankles and necks, will get so chilled you have to return home.

This hat is the perfect solution to the wind chill/exposed to the weather parts problem since the scarf is attached to the hat and provides total coverage in the back of the neck.

William wore his outside today to play and eat the late raspberries that have come in better than the earlier crop. I knit it with Lion Brand Wool-ease, thick and quick. Admittedly, I didn't look at the pattern, but I followed the picture fairly closely, making my scarf slightly longer than the 24" called for in the pattern because rather than knit it in double ribbing, which is very stretchy, I opted for seed stitch for this one.

If I had to make the hat over again, I would make the scarf connect further around the hat band to better cover his ears. (You'll see that the original pattern does have this feature - I should've followed it!) I may add ear flaps that simply hang down for that purpose to improve this one.

Now Savannah wants one in raspberry or cilantro (William's is in Denim blue), and I can't wait to make her one!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

More fingerless mittens

Savannah wanted a pair of fingerless mittens like her Mommy's. I wanted to follow a different pattern for hers, to see what it's like to knit them from the cuff up.

I used some of the scrap yarn in my stash to knit these. The yarn is Debbie Bliss cashmerino aran in a color that was supposed to be light blue but to my eyes is purely grey. The pattern is Jazz Fingers by Misty Wade, available on Ravelry as a free download. The pattern was easy to follow and a quick knit but I prefer the thumb gusset for the adult pair that I knit for myself.

My husband doesn't get the point of fingerless mittens but fortunately, Savannah does. She uses them in the morning to collect eggs from the chicken coop and around the house in the morning when it's still chilly. I've also caught her wearing them while reading books on the sofa, which is the cutest of all, watching her when she's unaware.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Fingerless mittens

I've been trying out a bunch of different patterns for fingerless mittens and I've come across one pattern that I love. It's knit from the top down to the wrist, making it useful for anyone using up stash sock yarn because you can make the wrist cuff as long or short as you need to. The pattern also has a great thumb gusset.

Here's my first attempt, which I'm quite happy with. The yarn is Mirasol Chirapa from Peru, a hand dyed 100% merino wool, colorway Spearmint candy. My daughter Savannah picked it out for socks, it's not exactly my color, but it does remind me of the colors in Monet's garden.

This pattern is offered for free for anyone who wishes to attempt a pair with leftover sock yarn. Props to Jeanne for sharing the pattern with us.