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Color Affection

July 2

A shawl pattern I’ve long wanted to make is Color Affection by designer Veera Välimäki . I’ve seen it on Ravelry in many gorgeous color combinations, and I love the interesting effect the short rows create.

Color Affection 3

I made mine with Swans Island Natural Colors Merino Fingering. As you can see, I was in the mood for some spring colors! I love the yarn – it’s what I call well-behaved - smooth, not splitty, soft.

I did have a couple of issues which I’ll keep in mind if I make another Color Affection….It ended up much smaller than the pattern’s dimensions call for, worked on US #6 needles. I’ll never disbelieve a gauge swatch again (ha, ha). It told me I should go up a needle size or two to get gauge, but thinking I didn’t want the stitches to get too loose, I ignored it. My shawl blocked out to about 72” x 16”, a far cry from the 94 x 22 in the pattern’s schematic. I probably should have used a size 8.

Nonetheless, this was a lot of fun to knit. It’ll be fine as a little shawlette-type accessory.

Bind-off: I tried going up two needle sizes and using the standard bind-off. It was too tight. I took it out and used Cap Sease’s “Suspended Bind Off Variation” from her book Cast On, Bind Off. It was perfect for the curved edge.

Color Affection 4

I want to thank my dear hubbie, the awesome Steve Ells, for taking these photos. I like the way the arch in the bridge mirrors the curved shape of the shawl!


Color Affection pattern

Veera Välimäki’ designs on Ravelry and her beautiful Rain Knitwear Designs web site

Cast On, Bind Off by Cap Sease – please support your local yarn store and buy it there if they have it.

Swans Island yarn (made in the USA)

posted under Projects, Shawls | 2 Comments »

Reversible Scarves: Stefanie Moebius

May 10

Just the right weight for springtime - I made a version of my Stefanie Moebius pattern from Knit Picks’ Wool of the Andes Sport. I used Woodland Heather and Sapphire Heather. I adore sport-weight yarn, which added to this project’s fun factor. I previously made one from Lorna’s Laces, and high on my to-do list is to make one from Tosh Sport too. All these companies have such great colors to choose from!

If you’d like to make one of these yourself, the pattern is from my book Reversible Scarves: Curing the Wrong Side Blues. There are directions for the tricky-but-fun Moebius cast-on that Cat Bordhi teaches. One of the elements I like about this design is the contrasting edging; it emphasizes the intriguing Moebius shape.

scarf, mobius, reversible

scarf, Moebius, reversible



Reversible Scarves: Curing the Wrong Side Blues

Cat Bordhi’s Moebius Cast-On video

Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Sport

Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sport

Madelinetosh Tosh Sport


Kellie Fingerless Mitts

March 18

My nephew and niece-in-law (I call her our “nice-in-law) are avid photographers. They love catching early morning light, but it can be mighty chilly! Fingerless mitts are just what they need to keep their hands warm, while their fingers are free to move the controls on their cameras.

I adapted my Kellie Fingerless Gloves pattern, replacing the fingers with ribbing at the tops.

Kellie Two

The good thing about having a big stash of sock yarn (well, my husband might call it “justification”) is that I had some great jacquard patterned yarn on hand. My nephew and his wife each picked the color that appealed to them for the hand section, and I chose some solids to match for the ribbing.

Kellie fingerless mitts, free pattern

Kellie fingerless mitts, free pattern


Kellie Fingerless Gloves patttern

Lang Yarn Jawool Aktion Color

Regia 4-Ply solids


Downton Done

March 3

I wasn’t able to block the Downton Abbey Mystery KAL mitts before leaving for Stitches West, but here they are at last.

Downton Abbey KAL

Participating in the knit-a-long was fun!

Downton Abbey Mystery KAL Clue 5

February 7

Another new-to-me technique made its appearance in this week’s mystery KAL clue. I have never done ruching before.  (I hate to admit I didn’t even know how to spell it until I looked it up. )

In addition to starting the second mitt, this week we made an icord for each mitt’s ruching. I found this pretty, contrasting sport weight in my stash:

Downton Mystery KAL

I haven’t cinched down the ruching yet – I’ll wait to block the mitts and try them on first.

Congratulations to designer Kristin Ashbaugh-Helmreich for an astronomic number of projects out there - what a brilliant and well-loved idea this KAL has been!

I always wonder how many projects are out there besides Ravelry.


Jimmy Beans Wool Blog: Downton Abbey MKAL Clue #5


Downton Abbey Mystery KAL Clue 4

February 3

Some of my friends are just now getting around to watching Downton Abbey Season 3. A fun quiz to test your knowledge of the historical context and some of the plot points so far is hosted by NPR in their segment, “Quiz: Are You Down With Downton?”

I just barely got Clue 4 of the Mystery KAL done last night, in time for this morning’s new clue.

What a pretty edging! It’s been a while since I’ve used this technique – I really enjoyed it. I love the way each section of the gauntlet unfolds from week to week – just as the drama in the Downton Abbey series does!


I love how pretty this edging turned out; being a mystery KAL, it was a nice surprise.

Downton Clue 4_detail


Jimmy Beans Wool Blog: Mystery KAL

Downton Abbey Mystery KAL Week 3

January 25

It’s really fun to participate in Jimmy Beans Wool Downton Abbey mystery KAL. It’s a leap of faith to knit something, not knowing what the final pattern will look like! Here’s progress, through Clue #3. The thumb is done and the top of one mitt complete. You can see where the provisional cast-on is waiting for some future detail to be revealed.

Downton Clue 3

For those of you who are also Downton Abbey obsessed, there’ a amusing quiz that you can take here that tells you what character you would be, based on your own character traits. I’m Matthew Crawley! I’d love for you to leave a comment, letting me know what character you would be!

Itty Bitty Hat for Baby

January 22

  I loved making this baby hat from the very popular Poppy pattern, designed by Justine Turner and kindly offered for free on Ravelry. The great thing about this pattern is its versatility. It is written for several weights of yarn, and several sizes. I adore sport weight, so used some of my Lorna’s Laces Sportmate yarn in the Cranberry color. As this was a gift for a baby shower, I picked the 16″ size, figuring the baby will grow into it soon. The pattern was easy, clever, and lots of fun to make!

 baby hat


A little sunflower button was the just-right accent:

Poppy 3_sml



Justine’s blog: Just Jussi

Poppy pattern:

Lorna’s Laces Sportmate:

posted under Hats, Projects | 1 Comment »

Downton Abbey KAL – Backtracking a Bit!

January 16

Sometimes I get carried away looking at knitting sites. This Downton Abbey KAL has me digging for period patterns, and I struck gold when I came across Iva Rose Vinage Reproductions. There is book after book of vintage patterns, and even a way to search them out chronologically. I spent a long, long time wandering through knitting’s history as I browsed these fantastic books.

I admit – I’m re-watching Season 2. Historically, World War I had finally come to a close. I’ll have to start catching up on my vintage pattern-gazing as Season 3 progresses. Still….

This week I was particularly interested in looking at the designs that coincided with the Downton Abbey’s Season 2 time frame. These were in the vintage pattern book called “Columbia Book of Yarns #20 c.1919“. I admired the stylish women’s patterns…..

Downton Abbey KAL, period womens patterns, Iva Rose

Photo courtesy of Iva Rose Vintage Reproductions

Got a chuckle out of how grown up the child in the “Child’s Knitted Sweater looks (I mean really, doesn’t he look like he’s already been shaving for a couple of years?)….

Photo courtesy of Iva Rose Reproductions

And then I came across a reality check that caught me up short. A very sobering reminder of what it might have been like during World War I -  knitted protectors for amputated arms and legs.

World War I patterns, amputation protector, vintage

Photo courtesy of Iva Rose Vintage Reproductions


I love the way Downton Abbey brings history to us. The World War I scenes are so intense. My family has my grandfather’s trunk from World War I, complete with maps of France on waterproof paper. I can’t imagine what it was like, either on the battlefield or at home.

It all reminds me of how blessed I am.



Iva Rose Vintage Designs

Downton Abbey KAL clues on Jimmy Beans Wool blog


Mystery KAL Week 1, Clue #1. (Downton Abbey meets NASA)

January 10

One of the best things about participating in the Downton Abbey Mystery KAL is getting to use a new fiber from an old favorite yarn company, Lorna’s Laces. For the KAL, I’m using the suggested yarn, Sportmate. As I read the ball band, I was a little surprised by the contents: “70% superwash Merino and 30% Outlast viscose.” Never having heard of Outlast, I just had to look it up. As it turns out I’m working on a 1900′s inspired pattern using a fiber developed for NASA! Here’s what the Outlast web site has to say about it: “Outlast® technology, originally developed for NASA, utilizes phase change materials (PCM) that absorb, store and release heat for optimal thermal comfort.” What would Lady Violet have to say about that? Leave a comment with what you think she’d say about a newfangled fiber!

Sportmate is a very well-behave yarn, easy to knit with and creating nice, even stitches. There is a slight halo to it. Here’s the project KAL project so far, through Clue #1.

 Downton Mystery KAL, Jimmy Beans Wool, Lorna's Laces

Downton Abbey Obsessed

January 4

Are you like I am, obsessed with the PBS Masterpiece series Downton Abbey? I love the drama, the characters, the historic setting and costumes, and the amazing script. I thank Julian Fellowes for keeping us mesmerized with complex characters who are, with the exception of a couple of bad apples, kind and civil.

Imagine my delight, then at coming across a KAL (Knit-A-Long) with a Downton Abbey theme. I’ve never participated in an online KAL before, let alone a mystery KAL. The mystery part of the KAL means that the pattern is revealed in small parts over time. In this case, the “clues” will be doled out on Sunday mornings so that they can be worked during the Downton Abbey airing in the evening. By the end of Season 3, we will have been given all the parts to the pattern and have completed some sort of project. Jimmy Beans Wool is hosting this KAL, and all I can say is that they must be really busy with it.  There are some lively threads on the topic in  their Ravelry Group and I see there are already over 1200 project listed for the pattern. Or, more accurately, the not-yet-pattern!

The custom color that was dyed for the KAL is long gone, so I chose the recommended yarn, Lorna’s Laces Sportmate, but in a pretty Cranberry color. I always look forward to trying a yarn that’s new to me, and I love sport weight. Let the swatching begin!

Lorna's Laces Sportmate, Downton Abbey KAL, Jimmy Beans Wool, mystery KAL



December 6

Ysolda Teague, shawl, shawlette, Swans Island, lace

Here’s Ishbel, a lovely shawl pattern by Ysolda Teague. I made the small version, and managed to get it done during two train rides across Pennsylvania, plus another hour or two. It was a quicker knit than I thought it’d be!

Ysolda Teague, shawl, shawlette, Swans Island, lace


I loved using the Swans Island fingering for this – it’s a well-behaved yet soft yarn. This is the Winterberry color, with just the right amount of tone-on-tone variation.

Ysolda Teague, shawl, shawlette, Swans Island, lace


I bought the yarn at Ranch Dog Knitting a while ago

Swans Island Yarn

The Ishbel pattern can be found individually or in Ysolda’s collection Whimsical Little Knits 1

posted under Shawls | 3 Comments »
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Reversible Scarves by Audrey Knight

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