Lucky Number (Litmus) Cowl

I finished my Lucky Number Cowl, otherwise known as the Litmus Cowl (Ravelry link). I really enjoyed knitting it, and I enjoy wearing it even more. It’s soft. It’s warm. It goes with everything. The colors make me happy. It doesn’t get in my way like bulkier scarves do. Yarn is Moondrake Co 2020 Advent. I have about half of my Advent yarn leftover. I may use it for matching mittens or a hat, or maybe I’ll just save it for a scrap blanket that will happen some day.

The orange and green stripe is my favorite.

It has been a bit of a rough week, but I’m looking forward to participating in The Woolly Thistle’s Colorwork Accessory Knit Along. Tomorrow is the cast on party. And starting March 1 is our Blogville Water Shawl Knit Along, which I’m really excited about.

What are you working on? Are you staying warm? Are you as grateful for warm, wooly knits right now, as I am?

One of these Things

Is not like the others. Are you singing the song? Can you guess which thing is not like the others?

I’m sitting on the fence. Should I frog it and reknit it correctly? Will I notice? It doesn’t matter if others will notice. But if I will, there’s a chance I might not wear it. It’s not even conscious. I will be giving this sweater the side eye.

Or can I embrace it? Can I say, “Yep! I’m not perfect! Look at these misplaced increases!” (Points over shoulder.) “But what a beautiful blue. And it’s so warm and cozy!”

My biggest fear is that I will frog it, and then make some other dumb mistake. Why risk it?

At least I know what happened. I dropped a couple of stitches at the beginning of the round, as one will do, and clearly misplaced the beginning of round marker. I won’t be making that mistake again. No sirree. You won’t catch me doing that twice.

I’m going to call it my 2020 sweater. That explains everything. The year, and the hindsight.

What are you working on?

I signed up for classes at the Knit City Virtual Event today. I’m so excited!

Friday FO: Pockets!

Pattern: Franca (Cocoknits website link)

Yarn: Woolfolk Far in color 24

Size made: Large

Made for: My Mommy

Detail of neckline
Detail of front edging. The S1K1 rolls a little like an icord, but it adds to the effortless appeal of this design.

I’ve had a few requests to talk about the pockets. Cocoknits calls these “kangaroo pockets.” I’ve never knit pockets like this before, but it was really simple. I don’t feel comfortable sharing any proprietary info. I looked for a tutorial but didn’t find one. Instead, here’s a link to my newest favorite knitting podcast by Gaye Glasspie, where she talks a little bit about the Franca pockets, but also does not give away the pattern. If you just want to see the pockets, forward to timestamp 23:55. Ladies and Gents, we have pockets

The pattern calls for whip stitching or “seaming” the pockets closed. I did a mattress stitch because I wanted the pockets to look as good on the inside as the garment looks on the outside. That’s the only change I made to the pattern.

Somehow I got away with ten skeins of yarn instead of the eleven called for. I guess it’s because I’m a loose knitter?

I really enjoyed knitting this and I learned some new tricks. The collar is a little fussy, but it’s the first thing you do, and it’s really elegant. I had to make it twice to get it right. But the second time I watched the Cocoknits YouTube tutorial, and that helped.

Mambo! That’s Fun to Say: A YOP Update

Top 9 from Global Gifts Short North

When I was writing about my happy places, I was remiss not to mention Global Gifts stores. That’s where I work, but I work from my home office now. However, I was a store manager for four years, and the store was my happy place. It smells like incense and coffee when you walk in, there is global music playing, everything is handmade, everyone is happy, and there’s chocolate. Lots of fair trade chocolate. It’s a little different now because of the pandemic. There are masks of course, and no coffee samples. We’re at limited capacity to ensure social distancing. And now when I visit I realize I’m another potential germ carrier. So I make my visits quick, and shop online and pick up. I miss being in store. I can’t wait for COVID to end.

And to make good on my resolution-ish to listen to more music, here’s one that reminds me of Global Gifts.

Year of Projects Update

I’m on Franca sleeve island.
Litmus cowl: purple is coming
I’m ready to start the raglan increasing on my Turtledove.
I may sew some PJ pants today with this flannel.

I may also lay out the wool for a new fiber art piece and dye some brown.

I do have another resolution-ish for 2021, and that’s to knit as much yarn as I purchase, at a minimum. So outgoing has to equal incoming, although ideally outgoing will exceed incoming. Since I’m signed up for two yarn clubs, that means I have to knit 24 skeins minimum. I also may have just stress bought a sweater quantity of Peace Fleece. I’ve wanted to knit a Peace Fleece sweater for several years, so I bit the bullet and did it.

Therefore, I’ve added a couple of things to my list:

Peace Fleece Ronan in Siberian Midnight (Ravelry link)

Malabrigo Brambleberry Rikke Hat – I bought this yarn when I was in OKC. I’m not 100% positive on the colorway name but it is berry-related. Or maybe it’s their Anniversario colorway?

I wear my Christmas Village Rikke Hat all the time, so I’m going to need a new color, and this matches my coat. I love this stretchy German Twist cast on. It’s my new thing. I also learned a new stretchy bind off for Franca.

This has been a Year of Projects Update. You can read my updated list here. You can find out more about the group here.

Today is our Blogville Knitters Virtual Knit at 1PM Eastern. If you are new and would like to join us by Skype, please DM your Skype ID to me on Instagram or Ravelry. So far, it’s been me, Sarah, Marilee, Liz, Kath, Bonny, and Laura. Our group is growing!

PS: JoJo loves Meep. Loves her to death with her murder claws.

Sheepy Finn Yarn Complete with VM

I received my first breed specific yarn of the month from Longway Homestead. It’s soft, but not soft enough for neck wear. I’m thinking mittens or hat. I’m going to wait until I take the Breed Specific Knitting workshop before I decide, though. I think it will have nice drape. Can you smell the lanolin? Mmm… schmeepy. I’ve always wanted to try Finnsheep wool.

Speaking of grown in Canada, after yesterday, Bob was ready to make a run for the border.

Finally, if you’re a Clara Parkes fan, you might enjoy The Daily Respite.

Meep the Christmas Mouse

This was an easy knit, although next time I think I’ll try to knit it in the round. I simplified the fair isle chart (because I didn’t have six colors of DK weight yarn with different values) and stuffed her with wool and catnip. Now JoJo has something in her stocking. Pattern is Fair Isle Mice by Janet McMahon (Ravelry link)

Have you knit any toys or softies? Do you have any patterns to recommend?

I hope you’re having a good holiday so far!

Wednesday WIP

I learned a new thing, Judy’s Magic Cast On. I woke up early and decided to use my freshly caffeinated morning brain to do the new thing so I could get rolling on my Mom’s Franca cardigan. This yarn is so soft. I may need to knit one for myself.

This photo is from Tuesday, and in fact I’m posting this Tuesday and scheduling for Wednesday. Dear Future Alissa, if you don’t know the election results yet, don’t dismay. It may take a few days.

Water Shawl Knit Along

Photo credit: notjustanybeth on Instagram

A friend of mine from back in our Xanga days knit a beautiful Water Shawl by Sylvia McFadden (Ravelry link). She posted it on Instagram and I asked the Blogville Knitters if they would like to do a spring knit along for this pattern in 2021. Marilee and Sarah are in! Would you like to join us?

We are planning to start March 1 and end June 1. If you complete it by June 1, I will send you a handmade project bag by me and a handmade stitch marker, probably made by someone else but I will provide, with the theme of water.

Let me know if you would like to join us. We’ve got 4 months to plan!

Playing Those Mind Games

I got a little too excited about fall this year and bought a few too many gorgeous skeins of autumn and Halloween themed yarn. I clearly didn’t have time to knit all the things.

To prevent myself from ordering a lot more fall and Halloween themed yarn next year, but to still allow myself a yarny good time, I am making myself a fall advent calendar with yarn I’ve already purchased! I’m including an appropriate pattern and each package includes a Halloween or fall stitch marker. My short term memory is so bad, I probably won’t remember what’s in each bag. Hopefully I’ll remember I did this. I know, I’ll put it on my calendar. The best thing about it is I know I will love every one!

finished fall advent bag

I’m a genius! Or I’m crazy! I’m really excited about this either way. I’m allowing myself two weeks in between each advent bag to knit each project.

I do have two outliers. I didn’t include my Celtic Colours Mitts, which I still haven’t cast on. And there’s a skein of Accidental Autumn that I was thinking about knitting into a Barley Light hat. But I’m not 100% on that pairing and I’d kind of like to knit that skein up right away. I’m in love with it.

I will probably finish my Broom Riding Cowl tonight. Just in time! It’s Hocus Pocus night! Are you going to finish all your Halloween projects in time?