f.o. | astrantia

33317285446_307670e580_c

Here is my finished Astrantia Cowl, which is featured in the beautiful collection Maine Knits by Beatrice Perron Dahlen. 

This was such a quick and satisying knit; I used two and then just a few yards of the third skein of Quince and Co.’s puffin in the chanterelle colorway.

I love the lace and bobbles–its just enough detail to keep you interested, but not a difficult pattern to follow for some mindless knitting.

I’ll definitely be making a few other things from Maine Knits. If you haven’t seen the collection, what are you waiting for?

Here are my project notes.

gray street.

23529633374_bc58e94dbb_c

This is the Gray Street cowl I gifted my mum this Christmas. I used three skeins of Quince and Co. Puffin in sabine, kittywake, and iceland.

I love how it came out and it’s a really quick knit on account of the bulky yarn and large needles. I can see endless color options, too. I chose these colors because they were almost all featured in the original pattern and match the black down jacket my mum wears most in winter.

See my project notes here. Check out more snaps here.

This time last year, I made Avery for mum.

two-tone.

By far, one of my favorite knits of the year. I made this gorgeous Two Tone Cowl by Annie Claire for my sister this Christmas. Using Brooklyn Tweed Shelter in the wool socks and barn owl colorways (I wasn’t lying when I said I am all about knitting everything in Brooklyn Tweed this winter), I’m more than pleased with the finished result, which came just a bit after this above photo was snapped.

And of course, it was immediately gifted out before I got a finished snap. I’ll ask my sister to show it off so you can see the final result.

Please, by all means, go grab this free pattern now. It’s just interesting enough so that you don’t get bored, but really easy to memorize and quick to finish. I did the second, or medium, size.

Happy knitting.

Scenes from my stash…

I don’t think there’s a standard worsted weight yarn I adore more than Malabrigo Merino. The slight color changes in the solids are incredible, adding an element of detail so subtle yet striking I can’t imagine knitting with anything else when the pattern calls.

Snips of Malabrigo dot my desk at home; Frank Ochre and Sauterne are two of my favorites, though some of the blues and oranges are to die for, too. These snips are remnants of yarn balling for the Yellow on Yellow by Anne Weaver. Its gorgeous and I’m nearly three quarters done (the project is part of my Rav-Olympics). I’ve ravelled the project here if you want to check in on my progress.

“To be thoroughly conversant with a man’s heart, is to take our final lesson in the iron-clasped volume of despair.”

I have finally gotten around, after many many months, taken to getting shots of a cowl vest I created sometime last spring whilst there was still  a bit of a nip in the air.

Crocheted up with a honkin’ large hook and some super bulky wool, this wearable is called the Voluminous Vest and I’m still working on writing a sufficient pattern (one size fits all? small? medium? and large?) and have some of my hooker friends (haa. cheap joke.) test it out and find any errors. Or maybe I’ll just sell the finished product in my shop.

The Voluminous Vest is meant to be worn oversized; the gigantic cowl at the top adds a little more crazy to the shape of the entire thing. I can’t decide if I’d actually wear this around or if it will end up more as a show piece. Can it be pulled off?

The entire vest was created as two separate pieces for front and back before being joined by single crochets at the top of the shoulders. The cowl was worked up in a series of single and double crochets–added after by working it into the completed front and back of the vest. Next time, I’d love to put a front pocket on the vest or some other kind of detailing. I think I’d also make it a little less bulky in front and back, but make the arm holes longer to add size and volume to the entire piece.

Of course, as always, you can see the Voluminous Vest in all its glory at its Flickr set.

Would Elvis approve of these bold stripes? If Priscilla is the benchmark, uh oh.

Just last week, I mentioned I’d be releasing a whole bunch of goodies on the Kraftworkin’ Kitsch readers. Welp, I’m still working on pattern writing for a few of them (…and with loads of holiday knitting on my plate I don’t foresee getting them done in the nearest of futures), but at least I’ve finally got snaps of finished projects.

Some of you might remember my Rugby Cowl from last year. Welp, I’ve taken to reinventing it for 2009, and I’m quite pleased with the results. This latest striped cowl features an orange colorway and an even less bulky style than its blue and yellow counterpart of yore.

I love that with this cowl, there are no rules. Stripes are uneven and completey random, aiming to allow each of these sections of color to pop in their own way.

It’s a really simple knit; done up on large needles, it takes to quick knitting. All you need is a bunch of bulky yarn in various colors, any size needle betwixt 13 and 17, and the ability to knit using mutiple colors. Finito! Done! Woo!

As always, you can check out more shots of the Uneven Ruby Rugby Cowl at its Flickr Set.

The mountain would “cow(l)-er” in my presence. Rawr!

DSCN2389

Might I suggest that you, too, can strike a pose if you buy a deliciously over-sized recycled sweater cowl from Mountain Girl, a brilliant crafter out of Peterborough, N.H. who sells her lovely eco-friendly wares on etsy.

Last week I gushed over a recycled gray sweater cowl, that I scooped it up for a mere $3o-ish dollars, and it was well worth every penny.

Of course, it blocked a pretty descent New Englang wind the other day when my friend MacKenzie and I went apple picking at Lookout Farm in Natick. Holding on to the hope of Indian Summer, I stupidly wore shorts. And flip flops.

But at least I had flannel and Mountain Girl wearables.

So scoop some up. Now.

And you, too, can strike a pose poking fun at all those people who like to pose for shots of them jumping. Because they are so carefree. You know, of course, we had to.

DSCN2392

Full-Coverage Cowl….you’ll “cowl” into a corner if you can’t own one of these.

photo-82

Can I please, please, please gush on how absolutely beyond satisfied I am of this extra chunky cowl I recently designed and knitted up?

Not only is the brilliant yellow-green color phenomenal in person, it is so g.d. warm. I’ve warn it a couple of times since I completed it last week, and I have to say I couldn’t be warmer. The best part is you can wrap it around your neck a couple of times for added bulk, and while  most cowls are simply decorative, this is merely warmth. Delish.

I like that I don’t have to fuss with the end of a scarf and try and keep it wrapped. This puppy never shifts out of place and not a single gust of wind gets up under it. I used a mock brioche rib stitch since I am currently too obsessed with this stitch pattern to use anything else…though I think this type of cowl would take to any kind of ribbed stitch.

Plus, you can wear this baby a whole bunch of ways.

p10108471

Case in point?

p1010848

Last weekend there was a brilliant high tide thanks to the former full moon and while it wasn’t nearly cold like it is this week, the sea breeze was a whippersnapper and there wasn’t a bit of beach in sight thanks to flowing waters. Some great shots of the cowl were achieved in the wind, with the crazy green sea water in the background. I think these photos will be saved until I get my Etsy up and running and start selling these babies…

So unitl then…start thinking about what color you want custom knit because they’ll eventually be available in my shop!

Cowl under this one….too!

photo-75

Last weekend, while giving my friend Sarah her first knitting lesson (to which she picked it up incredibly fast, managed to keep at it all week, and has had zero questions since day one! impressive!), I decided to cast on and knit up a really quick super thick n’ bulky cowl, and I have to say the results are so yummy I couldn’t be more pleased.

Using an extra thick extra thin in places yarn with an incredibly bold grape colorway that I randomly found three skeins of at some knitting store on clearance, I knit this puppy up on Size 35 needles using a simple garter stitch the whole way (it’s my latest addiction, this chunky garter stitch!) and seamed up the side.

photo-69

It can be worn like a necklace, too, only a giant chunky yarn necklace, or double wrapped into a tight neckwarmer leaving the possibilities and decisions about how to rock it innumerable, but its so cool nonetheless and when I wore it out to Sully’s Tap last Saturday night, compliments abounded. I have since decided to call it “The Great Grape Ape”, and I think the name suits.

Expect to see me out and about in this neckpiece many a time this winter. I am hoping to find a similar yarn to this grape ape certainly, but apparently its a discontinued yarn and so I can’t get the exact one in different colors. Boo! But fear not. I will find an excellent substitute and be sure to knit up plenty of them for my friends–I know Sarah coveted one of these woolie wonders, and so, she gets top billing.

photo-70

File Under: Everyone else, take a number.

Wild oats will get sown some time?

Last night I decided to hibernate and get cracking on a bunch of knitting I have already cast on needles and needing serious attention. While I did a ton of work on the Poonan Cabled Baby Sweater I need to have done for a baby shower at the end of the month, I needed to change it up and finally finished this “Outrageous Oatmeal Cowl”, which is one of my new favorite cowl designs, featured about a week back in the color “Pumpkin”.

The “Outrageous Oatmeal” has been adapted a bit, so that it’s tighter, longer, and skinnier, after I decided a week’s worth of wearing the “Pumpkin Mock Brioche” meant it got all stretched out and not nearly as warm as a result. Therefore, the new one is so snug there’s not a chance in heck you’ll feel the cold air betwixt knit and neck, for sure, and there’s room for some stretch.

I have to say the final result–which still needs its ends to be worked in so I’ll have to post a photo of it later–is incredible and will go in the random stack of knitted items to be gifted out for Christmas, though I have no particular person in mind yet for this one. I’m sure it will come to me. I intend to make up a few more of these today, and get back to working the cabled front and sleeves of that baby sweater.

And since I was on an “Oatmeal” kick, I decided to whip up two more loaves of that Maple Oat Bread I did awhile back, just to help me along. There’s nothing like working with oatmeal chunky yarn, and eating oatmeal bread, at the same time. I think these loaves came out even better this time around because I sprinkled the loaf tops with rolled oats. Mmmm.

File Under: This Maple Syrup Oatmeal Bread would be Delicious Betwixt some Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato thanks to that hint of syrupy delight. It would also taste just as sweet while wearing that Outrageous Oatmeal Cowl. Yum!

Malabri-n-go Me This!

I finally got my hands on some delicious Malabrigo yarn! Drools! While these two kettle dyed and handspun in Uruguay skeins really made my credit card sweat, let me just say, it.was.worth.it.

Malabrigo yarn is smooth and soft as butter; a pure Merino worsted weight yarn well worth the $12 a hank; and might I add, I’ll even go for broke and sit and ball it much to my dismay because its that tasty (for those in the know, I get quite frustrated when I have to ball my hanks of yarn–once, breaking down in tears to my sister as I fought a gigantic hank of Israeli hand-dyed cotton that was far too impressionable to the great big, honkin KNOT!).

What’s more, Malabrigo works with generations of cattle ranchers in Uruguay to deliver the wool for their Merinos and laces; similarly, their Angoras are handspun by Native Americans in Argentina. It’s good to see my fellow Natives producing some of the most gorgeous yarns I’ve ever seen.

I’m not sure what I’ll do with the yarn yet–its got hues of purple and grey in it, and I love that its color palette is slightly uneven. It may end up a gift for someone at Christmas, but I’m quite drooling to make myself a giant chunky cowl of some sort. I’m vacillating betwixt that and something a bit more dainty. What do you think?

I adore the feather and fan cowl that I first spotted at one of my favorite blogs Knitology via Stay Fancy Free, which I definitely plan on knitting up regardless of whether I use the Malabrigo. But then there’s the giant chunky cowl over at CopyCat.

File Under: I need to buy this same yarn in the Cadmium color. Covet. Covet. Covet. Oh, and I need to decide on a project.