Cowl for James

I’ve been on a colorwork kick, again. It really is fun to do. I love watching the pattern emerge, row by row.

I decided that my sweetie needed a new cowl. And, since it needed to be thick, I decided to make it a Fair Isle thing. I used Red Heart Super saver for the decorative portion of the cowl.

I used the colorwork chart from the A carreaux pattern. I re-wrote the chart to make it repeatable and made it 80-stitches wide. Using the Alba cowl as a guide, I made the charted portion of the cowl 31 stitches and did 5 rounds of 2×2 rib on the top and bottom.

a-carreaux-1

I wish that I would’ve put a couple of rows of garter stitch between the ribbing and the pattern. Because I didn’t, it looks like the ribbing is infiltrating the Fair Isle. Bah!

In order to make sure that the cowl was super-thick and warm, I decided to make a liner. For this, I used Red Heart Soft yarn. I made the liner 41 rows of gray. It was not tall enough. So, I added a few rounds of black Soft yarn to the top and bottom. I’m not sure what the bind off I did was, but I sewed the liner to the main cowl at the same time.

WordPress is being difficult and won’t let me upload a photo of the liner. That’s okay, it’s just plain stockinette in gray yarn with a little bit of black on the top and bottom. I’m sure your imagination can show you what it looks like.

I cast on a foundation chain of 80 stitches with a 6mm hook. I knit the body of the cowl with a 5mm knook. I also bound off with a 6mm hook.

Because I seem to very much enjoy color knitting, I decided to get a Norwegian Knitting Thimble. I have high hopes that this will make colorwork much easier.

 

Entrelac Cowl

Followed this tutorial to make a swatch and then decided to make a cowl.

I couldn’t figure out how to make it in the round, so I made it flat and then sewed it together.

I followed the instruction from the tutorial, however, I started with 10 triangles. CO 80.

I don’t know what I was expecting, but I didn’t expect this yarn to be so stripey. It is very nearly a self-striping yarn. It looks good in entrelac, I do believe. It reminds me of the Brach’s Neapolitan candy.

I used Red Heart Super Saver in Pink Camo and a 4.5mm knook.

My foundation chain is a bit tight. Next time I’ll cast on with a bigger hook.

It took me about 3 days to finish this, but I wasn’t working on it constantly.

Entrelac Cowl

Hungry for Color…

It took me the entire month of July to knit an eyelet curtain panel for my kitchen window. I had intended to make two. However, once finished, it was discovered that the one panel stretched across the length of the window.

I had used Red Heart Super Saver in white and my size I knook.

The pattern used was this one and I used the five-eyelet chart. I cast on 170 stitches, did 10 rows of garter on the bottom and 5 garter stitches on each side. The rod pocket was created by making 5 rows garter, 5 rows stockinette and another 5 rows garter I then sewed the last garter row to the first.

After hanging the curtain, it doesn’t perfectly fit across the width of the window. But, it’s good enough. I might make another one someday, but probably not for a while. It was a lot of work and pretty boring stuff.

Eyelet Curtain 1

Eyelet Curtain 2

All that white yarn made me want to work with some color. I joined a couple of knit-alongs and crochet-alongs on ravelry.

The first challenge was to make something related to the TV show Outlander. This show is based on some of my favorite books, which were written by Diana Gabaldon.

I decided to modify my MacLean Clan Tartan found here. I made a cowl. This was my first try at knitting with color and my first try using the Intarsia technique (for the vertical stripes). I made yarn butterflies to contain the lengths of yarn. It worked pretty well! I figured that since this was a Scottish clan tartan, it would qualify for the -along.

I cast on 65 stitches and used my size I knook.

MacLean Tartan Cowl Knit 1

Handsome model is my son.

Handsome model is my son.

The next -along that I got into was the August challenge in the Cowls group on ravelry. This month’s challenge: color work. I found what looked like a cute and simple pattern called Alba, by Greta and the Fibers. I believe it would be considered a Fair Isle technique, as you are only doing a few stitches at a time in one color, with two colors per row. Just so you know, the website is in Spanish, it is an unsecured site and they require a LOT of personal information before you can download their free patterns.

It was a simple pattern and I really enjoyed the stranded technique (another first for me) – much more than the Intarsia. I made several mistakes (that I didn’t notice until I was finished). Despite the fact that it is terribly imperfect, I love this cowl. I absolutely adore the colors. I knew from crocheting another cowl that I liked these two colors together. But in this cowl, I like it even better.

The pattern is simple and charted. It’s a 10-stitch repeat. I cast on 80 stitches. I used Red Heart Super Saver in Black and Macaw. I did a seed stitch border, which I’m really not happy with. I think I much prefer the look of garter borders.

Alba Cowl

The next -along I was involved in was on the Red Heart Lovers group on ravelry. It was the August Square of the Month. I followed the crochet pattern. It made a 12-inch afghan block. I used a K hook and Red Heart Super Saver in Shocking Pink, Perfect Pink (I think), Gray Heather and Black. It is the pattern See How They Run, pattern found here.

See How They Run 1

The Alba cowl inspired me to work on another stranded knitting project. I downloaded the Spirit Cat chart a long time ago and had intended to work it up as a filet crochet project. I never got around to doing that. So, I decided to knit it in the same colorway as my Alba cowl. I’m about halfway done, at this point. To be continued…

Another Cowl and Other Things

So, I made another cowl. Big surprise there, eh? I don’t know why I’ve been in such a cowl-making mood…

Avery Cowl

It is crocheted with Red Heart Soft yarn in the Turquoise colorway.

Avery Cowl 4

I just love that yarn. The color is lovely and it is wonderfully soft, if a bit splitty to work with.

Avery Cowl 3

The pattern can be found here. I changed the pattern in that rather than making another chain to work into for the second half of the pattern, I just used the foundation chain. This allowed me to not have a visible line bisecting the main flowers.

I made the small version of this cowl and it is a bit too long for my tastes. But, it is very pretty and I’ll wear it when warmth isn’t the goal.

The kitchen re-do is coming along nicely. My father finished the island shell and it is in the house. Next weekend we will be facing it with the blue and buggy and then it will be on to the top! We found a gas cookstove (as opposed to a range that includes both the cookstove and an oven – this is just the stovetop portion) that we are going to install after we get the tile laid. We decided that we would prefer gas to cook with and are going to get a big propane tank for it. We may need to convert it from gas to propane, but I doubt it. Natural gas is very rare in our area and we got the stove – used – from our local ReStore.

I finally got around to starting to process last spring’s fleeces. Well… I made a mistake and they felted. I was pretty upset. Sweetie told me that next time, I’m sending them out for processing.  *sigh*  At least I tried.

Long Time No See!!!

Sweetie has been doing a small kitchen remodel. He’s taking out the L-shaped wall that separates the kitchen from the living area and replacing it with an island. I joke that the only way he can get rid of the yellow walls (which he truly hates, BTW) is to tear them down. But, half of the kitchen walls are still intact. Haha!

Kitchen Demo

The studs on the left are now gone. My father has the plywood and is building the island’s shell, as I type this. Once we get the shell in – probably next week sometime – we will face it with some blue and buggy that was salvaged from James’ grandparent’s house when it burned down. We are going to use the classic white-and-gray marble floor tiles for the top. And the countertop’s trim will be cobalt-blue ceramic.

After the island is in, we’ll update the floor with vinyl tile. We already bought some for the project, but now I’m rethinking the pattern. We may end up going with something else and using the tiles that we’ve purchased elsewhere.

I still haven’t done the second coat of white paint on everything (or the first coat on the drawers). I should probably get on that…

On the crafting side of things…

I’ve been kind of obsessed with cowls, lately. They are great projects for me… They work up quickly (great for one such as myself who has startitis). They are quite useful in our area. And they don’t use a whole lot of yarn.

Cowl

This was fun to make. I like the front-post stitches. I used Cotton-Ease yarn, which is a mixture of cotton and acrylic. It’s my new favorite yarn. I made simple one out of this yarn for sweetie, but I didn’t take pictures. The pattern for this cowl can be found here. This cowl turned out a bit too long for my taste. It wasn’t long enough to wrap twice and it was too long to do much good. I ended up giving it to my niece.

Granny Stripe Cowl

This was just a simple granny stripes cowl using Red Heart Earth and Sky yarn. No pattern involved. I really like it, but unfortunately I have to pull it on over my head. Since I usually wear my hair up, this can be a bit of an issue. I made one of these in the Red Heart Pink Camo colorway, but it wasn’t tall enough. I gave it to my niece, too.

Cowl Cap

I found the pattern for this button-up cowl to wear when my hair is up and I don’t want to pull something over my head. It’s really cute, but I need to move the buttons; they are too close to the edge and as such gaps are created.

I’ve also made a couple of doilies in the last couple of days:

tOctoberfest Doily

As you can see, I made this one from yarn rather than thread. It is called Octoberfest and the pattern can be found here. I’ve never done a spiral like this before and it was fun to watch it materialize.

Five Point Century Snowflake

I stayed up late last night and made this one for sweetie. I chose it for the cute little hearts. He much prefers doilies made from thread. He’s pretty much the only person for whom I will crochet with thread. I very much prefer tatting with thread rather than crocheting with it. This pattern can be found here.

Still in the works are the kitchen curtains. A few weeks ago I had a very frustrating experience with them and have walked away. Now that there’s no wall to hide the kitchen, I get a daily reminder of how unattractive bath towels hanging over the windows are.

And here are some gratuitous critter pictures:

Excuse Me

Ray and Metal Manger

Dolly and Tank

Gratuitous Hound Photo