Casting On – Bent’s Fort Cardigan

Bent’s Fort Cardigan is a bottom-up, one-piece (mostly) swing-style cardigan sweater. It has a stylish design, with honeycomb stitching as a lower border, sleeve cuffs and lapels, and a southwest mosaic design throughout the body. I recommend that you check out the photos at the link – this is really a stunning piece.

Yarn is Knit-Picks Gloss DK in color Black (70% Merino/30% silk) and Lunabud Buddy (75% Superwash Corriedale Wool and 25% Nylon) in color Gleba, knit with two strands at once. Lunabud a fiber artist who spins and dyes yarn. I picked this up in Southern Indiana at one of the few yarn events I’ve attended.

The multi-colored yarn looks completely different in the garment from on the hank.
  • Things I’m learning:
  • (1) Stitch markers are a must to keep track of where I am in the repeat (I drew lines on the chart at 10-stitch intervals to help with counting. – Interweave, are you listening? This would be very helpful for complicated charts.)
  • (2) I need to allow plenty of time to complete a row – at least 20 minutes, one way
  • (3) I need to have plenty of light to see what I’m doing. It’s challenging to knit with black! For Christmas, my husband gave me a rechargable LEDGLE LED lamp that hangs around my neck. I would not be able to knit this without direct lighting.

Stash Busting – Useful items

I have accumulated a collection of “Sugar ‘n Cream” cotton yarn over the years. I have used them for plastic canvas projects, but that’s been several years ago. I realized that I could be using this same yarn for knitting projects, but never really found something that interested me.

While Pinterest-sleuthing, I came across several patterns for “pan protectors.” I am also in the mood for something quick and easy. I have several glass baking dishes, and have both chipped and broken pieces when stacking them. As a measure of protection, I was using dish towels, but this is a much better solution.

An Almost Lost Washcloth, posted by Simply Notable, and available free through Ravelry was a great starting point. Easy to pick up, easy to memorize, quick to finish, and adaptable to different sizes.

One done – one started. Takes less than an evening for each one

Casting On – Suede Desert Poncho

This was the first “kit” I purchased as a new knitter, many years ago.  Lion Brand Suede had just come out (it is now long discontinued), and I really liked the poncho pattern.  I purchased the needles (before I discovered the Addi-Click system) and promptly decided it was too ambitious, so I put the whole thing away.

After completing the Palatki Wrap (see previous posts), I happened upon the yarn while cleaning out my stash. (Sometimes, a fun and relaxing Sunday afternoon activity is pulling out all of my yarn, reorganizing, and dreaming of what I could make – Like Pinterest in real life).  I looked up the pattern and read through it, and it seemed both very easy and somewhat like the Palatki wrap – using a combination of slipped stitches to achieve the pattern.

Yarn is Lion Brand Suede in colors Mocha, Coffee, and Ecru (discontinued).  Lion Brand recommends any yarn with a weight of 5 (bulky) as a substitute.  Needle size is 8.

Pattern is Desert Poncho, free from Lion Brand.

Here I go.  It’s fun and mindless knitting, and in honor of the somewhat throw-back pattern, I have been watching NightMan, a late-90’s, somewhat campy, superhero show (“Musician Johnny Domino gets superpowers after being struck by lightning” WCGW?)

I’m about a third-to-half through the project, and while it’s knitting up fairly nicely (the suede yarn tends to be grabby), I can tell that this could be a fairly heavy poncho.  Also, not sure I’m going to be (1) spending the time or (2) interested in the fringe.

Suede Poncho 2019-04.jpg

Casting On- New Techniques- Palatki Wrap

When I travel, I try to find and visit local yarn shops to see what is being manufactured (or dyed) locally.  On our December trip to Sedona, AZ (one of my favorite spots for hiking!) I visited Sedona Knit Wits and was not disappointed.

The store is typical of most LYS I visit when traveling – a small shop in a strip mall.  Like most, it had a “knitting table” where knitting groups or classes can congregate.  This table was right inside the front door and was full of ladies knitting and chatting.  The store is well stocked and very welcoming, with a knowledgable sales person ready to answer any questions.  If you are ever in Sedona – don’t miss this stop!

The yarn is Desert Bloom Yarn, an Arizona-dyed yarn that is named for the local flora and culture.  The colors are Indian Blanket (the brown with red tones) and Ironwood (the grey).  Unfortunately, the day the picture was taken was dark and cloudy, so the artificial light makes the brown look more orange, and the dark grey looks more brown.  The yarn is fingering and works up to a very soft and drapey fabric.  I look forward to the blocked finished project.

The pattern is Palatki Wrap, by Sandra Butler, available for purchase from Ravelry.  Not only was there a sample in the store which immediately caught my eye, but the designer herself was knitting with the group at the table!  Talk about your local culture!

This wrap is knit in mosaic style, with the pattern color changes made with slipped stitches.  It is a very easy, fast, and enjoyable technique, and this particular pattern is soothing and rhythmic to knit.  I’m enjoying this so much that I  regret not trying this technique earlier.

Palatki Wrap 2019-02-01.jpg

Come to Sedona for the view – stay for the knitting!  Sedona Trail Hiking.jpg

Diagonal Herringbone Scarf

I wanted an easy project, with an easy-to-memorize pattern, that I could pick up and set down without fear of losing my place, and which would be transportable.

While I didn’t find quite what I was looking for in my usual places (my digital library, Ravelry, Pinterest), I did find some things that seemed close.

Meanwhile, I had time for a visit to my favorite LYS, River Knits, where I enjoy spending time between meetings when I am in downtown Lafayette (Indiana).  I picked up two balls of Berroco Millefiori, in color 7891 “Terra.”  This is a nice variegated yarn in a bulky (#4) size.  The color patterns looked nice, but would not show up well in a fussy pattern (lacy or otherwise).  I found a herringbone stitch that I liked, but thought that it would look too plain for the nice yarn.  I decided to make it a diagonal herringbone, and it turned out just like I wanted.

Pattern is easy:  Cast on 35 stitches (or any odd number).

  • Row 1 – Knit through front and back of first two stitches (increase 2), *Slip 1, Knit 1, pass slipped stitch over knitted stitch and knit slipped stitch.  Repeat from * to last 4 stitches, knit 2 together, knit 2 together (decrease 2).
  • Row 2 – Purl 2, Knit 1, *Purl 2 together, then purl through 2nd stitch before dropping off needle.  Repeat from * to end.
  • Repeat Rows 1 & 2 until you have just enough yarn left to bind off.  I used two skeins of the Millefiori, which was perfect for this project.

I think the herringbone stitch and diagonal format worked well with this yarn, and I really enjoyed this project. The resulting fabric is soft but sturdy and will make a nice warm gift.

Latest Brioche Adventure: Champagne Bubbles Brioche Lace Scarf

Champagne Bubbles is another pattern from Nancy Marchant, this time published in Vogue Knitting, Holiday 2014 (available as a digital purchase).

I’ve looked at brioche patterns by other designers, but Nancy Marchant’s pattern format is the easiest to read.  I’ve noted in earlier posts that it seems to take me a while to get the hang of a particular brioche pattern – though it shouldn’t, since for every four knitted rows, there is only one “pattern” row – the rest all are knitted (or purled) in a standard manner.  Other patterns I’ve read have detailed every row as a “row,” rather than 2-sets-of-2 or a set of 4, which (IMHO) makes them far more difficult to read.

In the case of Nancy Marchant’s patterns (at least as far as I’ve knit them), once I get the hang of the major pattern, I can easily memorize the format and knit more quickly and confidently.

That is, “once I get the hang of it.”  As usual, it took me no fewer than 6 attempts to “get the hang” of this pattern.

This is my first attempt (and a rare version of Nancy’s patterns) to incorporate lace.  It took a while to be able to “read” the double-yarn-overs on the 2-of-4 row and knit (or purl, or slip) properly.

Even though Nancy Marchant’s brioche patterns take time to read, understand, and properly execute, they make beautiful projects, and the unique light and fluffy fabric is wonderfully inviting to the touch.

Yarn:  I’m still enjoying my “Shawl in a Ball” binge, this time with color Peaceful Earth.  I’m augmenting the pattern with a second color from Knit Picks Palette in color Camel Heather.

One twist:  I purchased the downloaded pattern via the Vogue Knitting App, and haven’t been inclined to try to figure out how to print out the pattern onto paper, so I’m only using a digital version.  Since the pattern (now that I’ve started over several times) is fairly easy, I’m OK with not having a paper pattern.

Now, if I could just find time to do more than one round of four at a time!


Casting On – Skyp Socks

I’ve made Simple Skyp Socks  (free Ravelry download) several times; it’s an easy pattern that is suitable for males, looks nice, and is adaptable to any foot size.

The current project is for a special male in my life; I hope it warms his toes.

Yarn is On Your Toes by Kertzer in color Camouflage.  The yarn company seems to be out of business, and the yarn is only available through second-party sources (eBay and the like).  Too bad – I like the wide color bands and the yarn is treated with Aloe Vera for additional softness and warmth.  I purchased this skein a few years ago from my favorite LYS:  River Knits.

I only purchased one skein (400 yds), so I hope I have enough for a man’s sock.