Pseudo Stripes

A light brown, almost white, fingerless mitt with blue/black dashes across it in an almost stripe pattern. Next to the mitt is the cuff of the second mitt on a pair of circular knitting needles.

There are so many different patterns these days for assigned or planned pooling. The first that comes to mind is Pool & Conquer by Martina Behm which manipulates a coveted skein of Rohrspatz & Wollmeise to create vertical stripes, the second is Calico by Dawn Barker with the Rocket Pop Shawl by Stephanie Shiman a close third. No matter the pattern, each calls for a skein of yarn where the color repeats within the skein (this is usually discovered by opening the skein and taking a look at how the yarn was dyed).

Though having worked with several patterns and yarns that would be perfect for pooling, it never occurred to me to manipulate the number of stitches in a pattern to create stripes. Considering I’ve knit socks that have pooled into stripes before, this admission seems a little silly and like I missed something obvious.

Still, I find myself reaching for smaller projects more and more. They’re easier to throw into a diaper bag and to pick up/put down. So perhaps, it’s time to start being more purposeful about how a dyer’s choices are being reflected in my projects. Realistically, I’ll keep knitting and letting the yarn talk to me, with the goal of at least being more purposeful in observing which yarns have what kind of effect.

Want to make one of your own? Use the discount YARNVIP for 15% off your total purchase from Wonderland Yarns (discount not eligible on sale items, with other discounts, or on yarn clubs). Pseudo Stripe Mitts is a free pattern, yarn is March Hare in Your Favorite Tee Shirt, Fresh From The Wash. No kickbacks for me, just discounts for you :]

Serendipitous Garter Ear Flap Hat

One of the silliest children’s movies I’ve seen, and therefore one of my favorites, is Gnomeo and Juliet. I cannot actually articulate specific pieces I enjoy about this movie beyond the fact that it constantly makes fun of itself and doesn’t take itself seriously (which is exactly why critics hated it). Everyone I’ve shown the movie to finds joy in it too, although that may be because I offer companionship and commentary rather than letting them watch it alone on their own time. This isn’t a guilty pleasure, this is a sorry not sorry.

It should not be surprising to anyone when I say one of my favorite houses to run by was covered in garden gnomes. They were everywhere and on everything, it always made me smile to run by and a little sad when winter rolled around because they had to be put away. Despite many best intentions, I myself do not own any garden gnomes and there are limited gnome things around our home. I prefer them out in the wild, or at least I do for now. Perhaps I haven’t discovered the gnome yet.

I have, however, discovered the cutest gnome hat (Garter Ear Flap Hat by Purl Soho) and am in love. I’m not saying all babies will now be gifted this hat from yours truly, I’m just saying maybe they should be. For starters, instead of a classic brim, it has ear flaps. Not big floppy ones that can get stuck in various positions not covering the ears but small ones that should cover just enough to keep things warm. Next, it’s worked up in a squishy garter stitch which is warmer than stockinette because there is more room for air the be trapped. Finally, it works up to a neat little point — like a gnome hat — that is the perfect size for a well-placed pom pom.

For this specific hat, I did not use the suggested smaller needled and opted to work the entire hat using the larger one. It also took me about a day to work it up and required a mere 95 yards, aka perfect for a quick-knit gift. Check, check, check.

Finally, I caved and purchase Marshmallow by tincanknits so that I could make matching fingerless mitts (they’re not done). The set won’t be used until this fall, however, I’m super excited to see my little gnome wandering the forest still having use of her hands to pick up rocks and sticks.

Want to make one of your own? Use the discount YARNVIP for 15% off your total purchase from Wonderland Yarns (discount not eligible on sale items, with other discounts, or on yarn clubs). For this pattern, I used a single skein of Mad Hatter in Serendipitous and worked up the toddler size. A single skein should also be enough for me to work up the mitts.

Thorny Thistle memories

Top down view of a speckled knit sweater laying on a table with one of it's sleeves out of frame and the other in progress. Next to the sweater is a watermelon yarn bowl with a cake of yarn and an off kindle below.

This is not the sweater I originally planned to make with this yarn. I’ve been eyeing Boardwalk from Tincanknits for just over a year now and had originally intended to pair this gorgeous speckled yarn with some knit of snazzy buttons. It’s unclear to me when exactly I found myself listening to the yarn insisting it become something else, but I found myself casting on for an entirely different sweater and I’m so glad I did.

Pink memories by Isabell Kraemer was designed using yarn purchased with friends as a way to remember their trip together. While I didn’t specifically choose the pattern in order to remember something, I do like that there is a nod to fun times behind the pattern’s creation. Plus, there’s nothing not to love about this design. In fact, the only modification I made was to add a pocket to mirror the existing one. I love that the shaping creates a tunic-like fit and the textured front is fun. It’s warm, cozy and I can see myself curling up in it with a hot cup of tea.

The completion of this sweater also came as a garment that marks the transition from one home to the other, so though I did not choose the pattern to have a memory I suppose I have one. Although honestly, it feels like every knit thing I’ve ever created has memories attached to them.

Want to make one of your own? Use the discount YARNVIP for 15% off your total purchase from Wonderland Yarns (discount not eligible on sale items, with other discounts, or on yarn clubs). For this pattern, I used Mad Hatter in Thorny Thistle.

Cherry Petit Four Bumble Sweater

Close up of a light and dark pink knit sweater where the stitch pattern makes it look like there are light pink hearts forming horizontal stripes.

I must confess, I do not currently have a plan when it comes to who will wear all of the things I make for our daughter after she outgrows them. Since clothing is meant to be worn, I struggle with the idea of saving each item as a memento to look back fondly upon. Though we are saving items “just in case” we decide to have a second child (it’s hard to think about because we are so happy with our family as it is), it feels unfair to ignore the fact that that child would deserve their own handmade items. I have friends who are going to have children a year younger than Ophelia, but how would I decide who gets what and ensure them that they can use and abuse the items as they see fit? Do I donate them so that other children can be connected to us (I kinda like this idea)? Dilemma aside, it’s so fun to make little garments and I feel like I need to take advantage of this time to make the things I want to make.

This isn’t to say that our kiddo doesn’t have preferences, she absolutely does. If it has glitter it’s exciting. If it’s pink it’s amazing. Twirly dresses? It’ll be loved. All three of those things at the same time? She’d probably refuse to take it off.

Tincanknits’s Bumble Sweater has been waiting in my library since it came out in 2016 because I felt the need to purchase the entire ebook (zero regrets). Combining this pattern with some leftover skeins of Mary Ann from Wonderland Yarns seemed like a very good way to use up the leftovers for no other reason than I knew the color combination would be a hit.

The sweater itself was a fun knit due to it’s mock brioche stitching, I love the way that the contrast color creates little hearts throughout the sweater. Since I skipped the faux seam stitches, I did have to do some creative knitting in order to maintain the stitch pattern while working on the raglan and neck shaping, something I would probably not want to repeat if I make this pattern again. I also don’t think I would decrease the sleeve stitch count as much, though nicely fitted they are a little hard to get on when you have a shirt underneath.

Want to make one of your own? Use the discount YARNVIP for 15% off your total purchase from Wonderland Yarns (discount not eligible on sale items, with other discounts, or on yarn clubs). For this pattern, I held two strands of Mary Ann double and was very happy with the density. Otherwise, the pattern calls for something closer to March Hare.

Windsday French Cancan

About a year and a half ago, I purchased some yarn from Goosey Fibers intending to make a Birds of a Feather shawl. The yarn was caked, the pattern printed, and yet the days slipped by without the project being cast on. The yarn and I would stare at each other, we both knew that it was beautiful and would be cozy around my neck. At first, I didn’t cast on because I was suffering from morning (all day) sickness. Then I didn’t cast on because I didn’t think I could handle working a pattern that required focus. Finally, I realized that the real reason the project wasn’t happening is that the yarn didn’t want to be a Birds of a Feather.

As someone who typically buys yarn with a specific project in mind, this doesn’t often happen to me. Usually, I’m so excited about the upcoming project that it’s all I can do not to start it right away. With 460 yards of each colorway, I looked at patterns that were holding mohair with another yarn as well as patterns that were using two different yarns to create an airy fabric. I thought about purchasing more of each colorway so that I could take on a larger project. In the end, I found myself reaching for another garter stitch shawl: French Cancan.

Just as the first time I worked this shawl, it was easy to fall into the rhythm of the stitches – both the garter stitch and the cable pattern. It’s also so incredibly warm and cozy, definitely a better choice when considering layering for cold days.

I don’t usually reach for pastel colors, so I’m pleasantly surprised with how well this French Cancan fits into my wardrobe. I’m also super into how the pink from the mohair muted some of the colors in the other strand and pulled other colors more front and center. It definitely has me thinking about other mohair projects!

There are a few other yarns in my stash that may be suffering from the same problem as my Goosey Fibers yarn, right yarn wrong project. Once I figure out what to make with it, I’ll have made a serious dent in my stash. Really serious in fact – I’m almost down to nothing which feels really weird. I really need to do a similar stash down with my fabric, but knitting is so much easier to pick up and put down (and I don’t have to worry about leaving pins where someone might hurt themselves).

If anyone has any favorite indie dyers let me know! Otherwise, I’m doing my best to hold out until I can either do some in-person shopping or attend some festivals.

A young woman in a loose stretch denium sweatshirt style dress wearing a pink garter stitch shawl with a braided cable boarder.