I loved, loved, loved making this colorful Sugar Pop wrap from SweetGeorgia Yarns. Designer Lisa K. Ross combined a slip stitch pattern, a yarnover pattern and a lace pattern to form jaunty diagonal stripes against a bias-knit background. The design was perfect for taking on vacation – the knitting was easy enough to work on airplanes and outside under a canopy of trees, while also keeping my interest with fun colors and textures.
I couldn’t help but have fun with the colors of Tough Love Sock yarn that Sugar Pop uses. A set of five mini-skeins in the “Jellybean” colorway pops off the neutral “Birch” background. The design makes use of a garter background, with slip-stitch and yarnover stripes framing a section of lace. FWIW, I used a US #6 needle for most of the project, but #5 for the lace section. That way when I blocked the wrap the lace pattern really opened up.
This is one of my shawl/wrap collection that I wear quite often. I may just make another in one of the other beautiful mini-skein sets!
While enjoying a Texas sunset I finished knitting another Farrand Cowl. I just love it when a project is color-coordinated with the sky!
I made this for my cousin who is suffering through another Ohio winter.
The pattern includes instructions for both a short and a long size. I made the long version so she can double it over. I hope it helps her neck stay warm!
I used Malabrigo Rios in the Sabiduria and Diana colorways. Rios is one of my favorite yarns – it’s a joy to knit with and the colors are amazing.
I spend a lot of time working with wool, yet know woefully little about the critters it comes from. I was intrigued and delighted to read Carole George’s book The Lambs.
Essentially a memoir, the book tells the story of the author’s journey from international lawyer to the owner of a flock of sheep which she added to her farm in Virginia because her father thought “poetry country” calls for sheep. The book unravels the question that “poetry country” might pose. The relationship between her and her father was beautiful and touching. They shared a deep love of poetry and other literature.
I enjoyed Carole George’s highly personal writing style. Her amazing accomplishments as an attorney are told with humility. Giving it all up in order to pursue her dream of having sheep seemed courageous and remarkable to me. One of the things I enjoyed the most about the book is that wonderful photographs of her farm and the sheep illustrate her narrative.
I also liked the way she scattered throughout the book what she learned about the special Karakul sheep. I felt like I was discovering their history right along with her. Common to Asia, where their curly pelts are used for coats, jackets and hats, the sheep have fat tails which help them survive in times of scarcity. I found an online source for Karakul yarn. Solitude Wool describes it as “fabulously feltable, exceptionally insulating and extremely strong, but, it’s quite coarse and has no elasticity. The undyed colors are heathered and beautiful, but it takes dye brilliantly.” It sounds like pretty hardy stuff!
It’s not exactly a spoiler alert to say that sheep do not live forever. As a matter of fact, it was hard to anticipate the life span of the Karakuls, as most sheep do not live out their natural lives, being slaughtered for meat and pelts. Carole George kept her sheep more as pets, but they had their share of veterinary problems as they aged. Even their maladies offered interesting glimpses into sheep physiology.
I highly recommend this sweet book. My favorite quote from it is, “…when the human spirit is in harmony with itself, it is, at the same time, in harmony with the intelligence of nature.” The author crafted a contemplative life for herself, allowing a deep connection with her flock.
The “surprise” in this pattern becomes apparent when you look at the stripes on one side… then turn it over. Magically, the stripes are vertical on one side and horizontal on the other!
Even though this design is structurally a double knit, the pattern is simply written to use only knit, purl and slip stitches, making it easy enough for a less-experienced knitter. At the same time, more advanced knitters find the pattern easy to memorize and a great choice for social knitting.
This pattern lends itself well to experimenting with different yarns for different looks. Try highly contrasting solid colors like to ones shown above for a bold look, tone on tone for a more subtle look (think similar solids, or tweeds, or heathers), a mixture of textures such as mohair and plied, or even gradient or self-striping yarn paired with a solid.
Gradient and Solid (Photo by Colleen Rosenthal)
The lace on one side and cables on the other make it different but pretty on both sides. The part I like the best, if I do say so myself, is the reversible ruffles on each end. They’re so sweet!
This is one of my favorite patterns to knit from Reversible Scarves: Curing the Wrong Side Blues so I made one for myself for fall.
The pattern calls for Karabella Aurora 8 – a yarn I truly adore. This time, though, I used the Allspice color in Knit Picks’ Swish Worsted. It’s just right for fall.