Weekend knitting – gift stashing

My very first knitting project was a knitted scarf made from Lion Homespun and two cheap plastic stick needles.  I don’t know what happened to that scarf.  I think I have the needles, somewhere.

The pattern is very easy and yields terrific results.  The yarn is very nice and lofty, and this becomes my go-to gift scarf (particularly to men) because it is so well-received.  Don’t tell them that it is also the easiest and quickest pattern to knit!


  • One skein Lion Homespun yarn
  • One set of #17 straight needles

Instructions:  This project is worked with two strands held together and knit at the same time – pull from the center and the outside of the skein at the same time.  Cast on 12 stitches using the long-tail cast on.  Knit until you are nearly out of yarn.  Cast off using stretchy cast off method (I use the knit 1, YO backwards, k1, pull YO over last stitch, pull first stitch over last stitch).

I was out of my usual stash of ready-to-give scarves, so picked up three skeins at Michael’s on a recent trip to the city.  This project only takes a few hours – I knit up the three you see here over the weekend.

One year, I gave this scarf to everyone in my family.  One thing I noticed was that every scarf was a different length.  This is true for this set, also.




Gris de Lin Cowl

New project, “new” yarn, but it’s been in my stash for years; I don’t remember where I purchased it.

Yarn is Moonshine Chrystal Palace Yarn in color Deep Seas (511).  I think this particular type of yarn has been discontinued, but the manufacturer has other, similar yarn.  The yarn is variegated, with silver metallic threads running through the ply.

Pattern is Gris de Lin, by  Cailliau Berangere, and available for free on Ravelry, through the link.

As sometimes happens, I started and unraveled this project a few times.  Eventually, I used a larger needle than in the pattern, and enlarged the repeats by 2-3 additional repeats so that the finished cowl would drape a little more.

Once I got onto the pattern, it was easy to memorize, and fun and fast to work up.  I used up every bit of the yarn, and had to add a little neutral yarn to complete the bind off.

Grey Matter Cowl – V1.0

Another pattern from Creative Knitting – this time, the September 2012 edition.   Grey Matter Cowl, by Sandy Prosser, as part of a Grey Matter cardigan project.

Yarn is a nice acrylic blend with sequins that I picked up at River Knits.  Unfortunately, I’ve misplaced the yarn band, so I can’t give you more details than that.  I only bought the one skein to try.  Hopefully, I’ll find the yarn band and can update this information. I really like the yarn, however, so I will probably go back to pick up more for another project.  Light, drapey, and soft, this is pretty easy to knit, but difficult to TINK, because the sequins tend to get caught in the yarn.

Despite the fact that the yarn was the yardage called for in the pattern, and I actually was knitting to gauge, this is not working up as expected and as modeled (unless I’m missing something, which is entirely possible).  For a cowl, it seems to be too wide, and as I neared the end of the skein, I was nowhere near the 31 1/2 inches called for in the pattern.

I took this picture a few days ago, and have since ripped back to the beginning, and am starting over – this time with fewer pattern repeats, which should make it narrower and much longer.


Provisional cast-on.  I don’t use a Provisional Cast-On very often, and I find it awkward, and usually have to do it more than once.  This time was no exception.

Pattern repeats.  This is a simple pattern, easy to memorize, but I mess up the counting as often as not.  Very frustrating.  By the time this picture was taken, I had somewhat gotten the hang of it, but now that I’m starting over, I seem to have lost my grip on the rhythm.

Purple Cowl 03-31-2014 (Large)


Another Ruffled Scarf

Probably the last one of these I’ll knit.  Too fussy for my level of patience.

This is Yarn Bee Chrysalis – not sure of the color (112? – whatever that is – I lost track of the yarn band).  I was not happy with this yarn – it “grabbed” too much – I foresee much getting-caught-on-things its future (apologies to the person it was knit for – you’re gonna get it, anyway).  I thought it was just me – my hands can be on the dry side in the winter – but when I took the picture on the tree, it was a terrible mess to get OFF!

Like before, this is a simple knit scarf – 6 stitches on the needle, knit until done and bind off.  There are some videos to guide you I’ve posted one before, and here’s the link, if you would like to watch:  How to Knit a Ruffled Scarf.

Another Frilly Scarf (Large)

Project Updates

Hermione’s Every Day Socks – I’m loving this pattern and yarn combination.  Note that I’ve modified the pattern slightly for a more “pebble” texture.  The Patton Kroy Sock Yarn in Grey Brown complements that pattern very well.  Definitely going to be a “guy” gift – I think I have made it plenty large enough for a man’s foot.

You can see the texture very well in the morning light.  Note that I’ve managed to match the stripes – not something I can always accomplish.

Hermione Socks WIP 11-20-13 (Large)Next is Norse Neck Warmer – my first adventure in double-knitting.  This project really taxes my attention span.  I find that I make the best progress when I am completely alone, with no music or video to distract me.  I’m slowly getting better.  Fortunately, the pattern is very easy.  Definitely a good first project for someone who wants to explore double-knitting

Norse Neck Warmer WIP 11-20-13 (Large)Photo bomb courtesy of Chess.  She’s a sweet female we adopted this summer when her family moved away and left her behind (they took her kittens, though – she was doubly-bereft).  She’s a terrific hunter – over three consecutive mornings this summer I watched her catch two mice and an unidentified small rodent that might have been a baby bunny.

Chess PhotoBomb 11-20-13 (Large)She’s also a nice lap kitty when I’m reading on the patio.  She’ll sit quietly on my lap and let me read in peace.  I took this picture this morning after I fed her, so she’s being all grateful and wanting pets.

Adventures in Double-Knitting – Norse Neck Warmer

The Norse Neck Warmer appears in the Winter, 2013, issue of Creative Knitting.  I’ve been wanting to try double-knitting, and this project looks very achieveable for a first effort.

I’m getting the hang of it, but this is definitely a pattern that takes a bit of focus (something of a problem for me).  The pattern calls for a long-tail cast on, which worked fine, but was extremely tedious because the two yarn colors kept twisting, and I had to keep track of which yarn was the tail.  I got into something of a rhythm, but I will be checking to see if there are any better ways to cast on nearly 200 stitches.

If you are not familiar with double-knitting, it is exactly what it seems: you are simultaneously (or, perhaps more accurately, “by alternating stitches”) knitting positive and negative images on the front and back of a piece.  It’s time consuming in the sense that you are actually knitting the project twice.  It also requires concentration to follow the pattern and remember that the second stitch of the pair is always the opposite color.

The directions are clear and there are some photos in the accompanying article for the cast on (which, frankly, I did not find helpful and I figured out my own way to cast on)

While I understood the concept, and knew what I was getting into, it still seems like “magic” that the alternating stitches on the needle come off as front and back double-knitting.

Neck Warmer 11-11-13 (Large)By the way, the yarn of unknown origin, handed down from my mother or grandmother.  Just basic worsted-weight yarn that works for the Size 4 circular needles that I am using.

Ruffled Scarf

The last time I visited with my Aunt S, she had been in a groove of knitting these ruffled scarves, and she encouraged me to try.  She said it was very easy, and the effect was frilly and feminine.   I finally decided to give it a try, and purchased a skein of Yarn Bee Chrysalis Metallics in Pipevine Swallowtail.

Yarn Bee Chrysalis Metallics in Pipevine Swallowtail

Yes, it is easy – once you get the hang of it.  It is also extremely tedious because you have to watch that the yarn doesn’t get twisted and you need to constantly expand the netting.  I find that constant attention frustrating, so I probably won’t make many of these.

I admit, the scarf does look lovely when completed, and I can certainly understand the appeal.

If you are interested in trying this technique, I recommend that you take time to watch this video – the author has a number of good ideas, including how to hold and manage the yarn, and some insight as to how the yarn performs.

Instead of the long straight needles, I used size 8 DPNs – you might even go a larger size.  I also recommend that you use needles that aren’t “slick” – this yarn is very slippery, and a wood or plastic needle will help you hang onto the project.  One video recommend using lifelines in case you drop a stitch – it is almost impossible to recover a lost stitch, otherwise.

All-in-all, an interesting project, and (despite the tediousness of it) it only took an evening and a few hours in the next afternoon to complete.