Re-u-nited and it feels so goooood…

In CategoryAdventures in Decorating, Knitting


Cabinet, purchased at local antique mall: $282.00.

Filled with yarn: ecstatic.

Nailed It or Failed It: The Great Pinterest Challenge

In CategoryKnitting, Nailed It or Failed It


It’s that time again! My Twitter pals and I have chosen a project from Pinterest to blog about.

This month I chose something a little more challenging than the Magic Eraser Toilet Cleaning Experiment or the Homemade Shaving Cream Fiasco.

This month I chose the Honey Cowl.


The Honey Cowl is a free pattern by the amazing yarn manufacturer Madelinetosh. Here’s the Ravelry link, where you can see almost NINE THOUSAND other Honey Cowls.

Here I am feeling like an idiot for taking pictures of myself.

does this smile look fake? it feels fake. this is dumb. how do people DO this? 

Here I am realizing that the cowl is basically inside out and the previous 8 million pictures don’t even show the pattern stitch –

see that line between my eyebrows? I’d botox the crap out of that if Jim would let me

Here I am getting distracted by all the gray stripes in my hair –

yes, I am really that pasty.  

Honey Cowl for the WIN! Totally Nailed It.




Miscellaneous Pattern Notes:

I used Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in Flash Dance held double for the Honey Cowl. I cast on with 32″ size 9s, knit a row, then switched to 8s and continued the pattern. I only knit it about 8 inches wide, because I am not sure how much fabric my mother-in-law will want around her neck. I didn’t block it, because I think it’s perfect the way it is. I love the rolling edges and didn’t see any reason to wrestle with them. At the end, I switched to 9s, knit one row, and cast off using the Stretchy Bind Off.

This pattern was super easy, super pretty, and I think it’s a fun knit as well. Holding the yarn double really added to the depth of the color, and the Tosh Merino Light has a gorgeous sheen to it. It was great tv knitting, and went relatively quickly.


Check out my Twitter pals and see how their projects turned out!

There was a SALE

In CategoryKnitting, Navel Gazing

I have finished most of the Christmas shopping, and am now trying to put the finishing touches on some knitting. Stupid Optimistic Deb thinks she can knit two cowls and six or eight hats in the next month. This stupidity optimism caused me to have an accident at the yarn shop on Saturday –

Jim, move this table over here. No, over here, by this rock. What do you mean, what am I doing? I’m posing my yarn. No, not posing WITH the yarn. Look, just move the table.

What am I going to do with over a thousand yards of laceweight denim-colored yarn, you ask? Well, if you don’t know, I’m not going to tell you. Hopefully the purple will somehow turn into this, so I have a gift for my mother-in-law, should she decide to show up.

I was only going to get those two skeins when I happened by a sign that said 30% off.

People can’t just pass by a sign that says 30% off. Amiright or amiright? And anyway, it’s llama. Llama! How often do you see that? So soft, so cozy, so tweedy. Yum. And it was only $5 a skein! Name one person who wouldn’t buy $5 llama yarn.

Jim. Help me move the table over by this fern. JIM. The table! I want to move it again. Isn’t this fern gorgeous? Yes, I am still taking pictures of yarn.

It’s hard knitting surprises for people when they’re up in your grill asking you to make lunch all the time.

What? No, this isn’t new, I’ve had it for a long time. What do you mean, why did I buy more yarn when I already have yarn? Because I didn’t have THAT kind, OBVIOUSLY. Listen, you don’t need to worry about it. Just hush up and help me move the table again.

The Four-Hour Hat*

In CategoryKnitting

On Tuesday, we planned to go on the Glass-Bottomed-Boat Shipwreck Tour out of Munising, Michigan (more on that later).

When Jim made the reservations, the lady was quite clear that it would be cold, and that we would need to dress warmly.

On Monday evening, Jim relayed this information to me and said, “do we have enough hats for everyone?”

Of course we don’t. And of course I don’t need any notice to rectify the situation.

I have been working on this scarf for a while, wherein a while means a year,

I do, in fact, drive around and pose my knitting on unsuspecting nature-y things

and decided if I had to make a hat on such short notice, I might as well make one that matches.

Plus because my stash is packed and it was either this or another hat-in-progress that’s comprised of fidgety colorwork on smaller yarn, which I could never finish in an evening.

After deciding to knit on slightly smaller needles for warmth, and picking a number out of thin air to cast on, I made this –

*It took me 5 hours, but that is because I made a mistake and it took an hour to fix it. That won’t happen to you.

Yarn: Plymouth Baby Alpaca Grande Tweed in Natural and Charcoal
Needles: US 10.5 straight needles for scarf; 16″ US 10 circular needles and US 10 dpns for hat

Cast on 27 (or other multiple of 3)
Row 1: K2, P1; repeat across row.
Row 2: K2, P1; repeat across row.
Repeat Rows 1 and 2 until the scarf is as long as the recipient is tall, or until you want to stab yourself to alleviate the boredom of knitting a 6 foot long scarf.

Slip the first stitch of each row for a nice edge.

Make random-width stripes by changing colors whenever you get bored. Always change colors on a right side row.

Cast on 72 (or other multiple of 3, depending on the size of the head in question. I used 69 stitches for this hat, which fits me fine, but I think 72 would fit Jim better) and join in the round (well, I join by casting on an extra stitch and knitting the first and last stitches together. So if you do that, cast on 73). Place marker.

K2, P1 for two inches to make ribbing (or however many inches you like. I knit until it looks right)

Change colors and begin stitch pattern:
Row 1: K1, P1, K1; repeat around.
Row 2: K1, P2; repeat around
Continue until hat measures 6-7 inches from cast on edge.

Change colors if desired and begin decreasing. You can decrease however you like. Jim likes a close-fitting hat that comes to the bottom of his ears, so I generally knit to almost the top of his head, then decrease pretty rapidly. I want an almost flat crown. I try it on a lot during decreasing. I also did not try to maintain the pattern stitch for the crown because it was 1 o’clock in the morning, but you could probably do it relatively easily.

Begin crown, switching to dpns when necessary.
Decrease Row 1: K2, K2tog; repeat around
Decrease Row 2: Knit
Decrease Row 3: K1, K2tog; repeat around
Decrease Row 4: Knit
Decrease Row 5: K2tog; repeat around
Decrease Row 6: Knit
Decrease Row 7+: k2tog until 10 or so stitches total remain

Cut yarn, leaving a 12 inch tail, thread a tapestry needle with yarn, slip stitches off dpns with needle, pull tightly to close top of the hat, weave in ends.

I realize these are not awesome crown decrease instructions, and you may decide you need more plain knit rows in between the decrease rows, or to skip Row 6, or you may decide to so a more traditional decrease… whatever. I am the kind of knitter who wings it on everything, so try it on a lot and judge for yourself how the decrease is shaping up.

If it wasn’t 1am when I was doing this, I would have used Jared Floods Turn-a-Square decrease, which I love for men’s hats. To do his decrease on this hat you would place a marker every 18 stitches, so you have 4 markers, then follow his instructions from there (which are basically K2tog immediately after each marker and SSK the 2 stitches immediately before each marker, and knit a plain row in between each decrease row. When there are 8 stitches left between each marker, decrease on every row until there are 8 stitches left total. Cut yarn and close with tapestry needle as usual.)

I love alpaca yarn. It’s so soft and super warm. Everybody but me had a hat; alas that is pretty much the norm for this knitter.