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December 2020

Advent Calendar Eve


It's November 30th, and you know what that means ... Advent Calendar Eve! And no, the advent calendar above isn't it. Sorry.

Each day until Christmas I'll feature a picture which, upon clicky-clicking will "open up" to reveal a free pattern from various places around the internet, that I've chosen just for you (well, for everyone that reads my blog)! The patterns are not big, just little gifts that can be made in a few days. Well, except one, unless you are a phenomenally quick knitter. On The Big Day, a.k.a. Christmas, there is not only a little pattern but also an extra surprise!

I hope you enjoy the Advent Calendar. Kick off the season in a joyous way! Merry Christmas!







Image by Please Don't sell My Artwork AS IS from Pixabay

In Which I Try To Use Up Yarn

This is the story of the tan mystery yarn from Nancy.

First, I  knit a shawl to use it up:

Barley water

That left this:

Yarn after barley water

So. I knit a 2 x 2 ribbed scarf to use it up:


After six feet, I stopped knitting. That left this:

Before doily

Crochet has always been touted as a yarn-eater, so I found a crocheted doily for the table and crocheted this:


It's 16 inches across. Sixteen.

I was left with this:

Cone of yarn after Doily

Sigh. So I gave up. The yarn won.

And then on Thanksgiving, I found in my yarn chest in the living room ... another cone of this freaking yarn! Arggghhhh! So the tale continues.

Cozy Knits from the Coast of Maine


Cozy Knits from the Coast of Maine is a new e-book from Stacey Warner of Bullywoolies and Warner Graphics. Its a beautiful publication, which I would expect from Stacey, and a wonderful collection of patterns. There is even a recipe thrown in at the end! Full disclosure: I knit two of the designs for the book, and they were fabulous.

Stacey used Maine hand-dyed wool in her designs, and chose names for them  that visitors and residents to mid-coast Maine will recognize: Mount Battie Cardi, Beech Hill Pullover,  Snow Bowl Hat, and Penobscot Bay Hat, to name a few. In this collection of seven patterns, there are many cables, some color work. Two of the sweater patterns are rated Easy, and the rest of the patterns are rated Intermediate. The patterns are all available on the Bullywoolies website individually for $10, or you can buy the e-book of all seven patterns for just 24.95!

Knitters who love the area around Camden, Rockport, and Rockland will love this e-book. If you are looking for a gift for a friend who knits and you want to give something that reflects Maine, this will fill the bill.

I'm looking forward to Stacey's next e-book!

Train Trip!

I've gotten hooked on train rides from various places around the world via YouTube. Since I am highly unlikely to actually get anywhere in say, Norway, I can just pull up a video on YouTube! Best of all, I can enjoy the snow without actually being cold!

So, I was watching a video from RailCowGirl who does mostly train rides in Norway, and it was a trip called Nordic November Sunrise from Bergen to Voss which I didn't pay much attention to, but it was early morning, the clouds in the mountains were pretty, and there were MANY tunnels. I like the names of the tunnels. One was called Trollkona (Troll's Wife Tunnel) and is 8043m long.


But the best part, and a complete surprise to me, was when Dale was one of the stops on the route! Dale of Norway!



And there was a Dale factory store right next to the train stop!


That's the next best thing to being there in person. Dale of Norway makes wonderful yarns and beautiful sweaters, both of which were sold at Unique One. It made me happy to see them.

Dale of Norway Yarns

Dale of Norway Sweaters

Have fun riding the rails! You'll never know what is around the next bend!

Barley Water and Sweetcake and Socks, Oh My!

I finished a few things recently. It feels good to finish things!

First, in an attempt to work through The Yarn That Won’t Be Gone, a.k.a. the tan mystery yarn from Nancy, I decided to knit a shawl from it. I chose Barley Water by Melanie Rice, since it can be knit on any yarn and any amount of yarn. It says to knit garter stitch until you have about 20% of the yarn left .... hmmm. 

My shawl was getting pretty big, and the yarn was getting less and less, so I decided it was time to end it. The shawl has a very pretty lace pattern at the bottom, and it looks like barley (thus the name). It came out pretty nice.

Problem was, I had a lot of yarn left over. A Lot. So, I am working on a maybe-,maybe-not long scarf in 2 x 2 rib until the cone of mystery yarn is gone. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

 I wish I knew what was in this mystery yarn. It might be an acrylic blend, blended with silk? Linen? Anyway, it feels wonderful.


The next project was also a shawl, that I have been waiting to knit for quite some time. It is the Sweetcake Shawl by Marie Greene. I bought two skeins of Wisdom Yarns Angora Lace, 100g = 462 yards, 60% merino wool, 10% angora, 30% nylon; color 207 Ballerina; and I put it together with a small amount of grey fingering weight 100% cashmere for contrast color (sometimes it pays to keep those little balls of luxury yarn just in case!). As soon as I cast on with this yarn, I fell in love with it. It was so snuggly and warm and so soft, like a kitten. I finished this shawl in record time.


I loved that yarn so much that I bought another skein of it to make myself a pair of socks, which I am wearing right now and they feel so snuggly warm and soft! 
This is color Aloe. There are a lot of self-patterning yarns in various colors and even more in solid colors. The yarn is a superwash merino, but because of the angora, it has to be hand washed, which is weird, but I suspect the reason they used superwash merino is for the softness of it. Still, I wonder how many people read “superwash” and never read that it is hand wash? I hope not to many. The yarn is on close out at WEBS for $9.99 per 100g skein last I checked. I wish I could buy all the skeins!


Stars and Stripes Hat

On September 12, 2001, I designed this Stars and Stripes hat. It was my way of doing something, anything, in the wake of what has come to be called 9/11. The original hat was on display in Unique One until my stroke, and it sold many skeins of Lamb’s Pride worsted. 

I’ll get another one knit so you can see it in color. The hat has a rolled brim which doesn’t show well in the photocopy, but you can easily substitute ribbing or a hemmed edge if you prefer.

Stars and Stripes hat image


Download Stars & Stripes Hat.pdf (856.3K)

Stars & Stripes Hat

Yarn: Lamb’s Pride Worsted, or any American worsted weight yarn in 100 gram skeins; 1 skein each of navy, red, and white

Needles: 16” circular needle, sizes US5/3.75mm and US7/4.50mm; double pointed needles size US7/4.50mm

Gauge: 5 sts per inch

*This pattern makes a size medium hat to fit about a 22” head; to make a smaller size, use needles sizes US4/3.50mm &US6/4.00mm, or use a thinner yarn; to make a larger size, use needles US6/4.00mm & US8./5.00, or use a thicker yarn.

Directions: With navy yarn and smaller circular needles, cast on 100 sts. Join and place marker to show end of round. Knit every round until it measures 1 ¼”. Switch to larger circular needles and continue with navy for 2 rounds. 

Work striped band as follows: knit one round and purl one round with white; with red, knit one round, purl one round, knit one round, and purl one round. With white, knit one round and purl one round. 

With navy, knit two rounds.

Work star pattern as follows: 

Round 1: Knit 7 navy, *knit 1 white, knit 5 navy, knit 1 white, knit 13 navy*, repeat between *’s ending knit 6 navy.

Round 2: Knit 7 navy, *knit 2 white, knit 3 navy, knit 2 white, knit 13 navy*, repeat between *’s around, ending knit 6 navy.

Round 3: Knit 8 navy, *knit 2 white, knit 1 navy, knit 2 white, knit 15 navy*, repeat between *’s around, ending knit 7 navy.

Round 4: Knit 8 navy, *knit 5 white, knit 15 navy*, repeat between *’s around, ending knit 7 navy.

Round 5: Knit 9 navy, *knit 3 white, knit 17 navy*, repeat between *’s around, ending knit 8 navy.

Round 6: Repeat Round 5.

Round 7: Knit 7 navy, *knit 7 white, knit 13 navy*, repeat between *’s around, ending knit 6 navy.

Round 8: Knit 6 navy, *knit 9 white, knit 11 navy*, repeat between *’s around, ending knit 5 navy.

Round 9: Knit 9 navy, *knit 3 white, knit 17 navy*, repeat between *’s around, ending knit 8 navy.

Round 10: Knit 10 navy, *knit 1 white, knit 19 navy*, repeat between *’s around, ending knit 9 navy.

Round 11: Repeat Round 10.

Knit two rounds in navy. Work the striped band again. Knit 7 rounds in navy.

Begin decreases for top as follows, continuing with navy, switching to double pointed needles when there are too few stitches remaining to work comfortably on the circular needle:

Round 1: *Knit 8, knit 2 together*, repeat between *’s around.

Round 2 and all even numbered rounds: Knit around.

Round 3: *Knit 7, knit 2 together*, repeat between *’s around.

Round 5: *Knit 6, knit 2 together*, repeat between *’s around.

Round 7: *Knit 5, knit 2 together*, repeat between *’s around.

Round 9: *Knit 4, knit 2 together*, repeat between *’s around.

Round 11: *Knit 3, knit 2 together*, repeat between *’s around.

Round 13: *Knit 2, knit 2 together*, repeat between *’s around.

Round 15: *Knit 1, knit 2 together*, repeat between *’s around.

Round 17: *Knit 2 together*, repeat between *’s around.

Cut yarn, leaving a 6” tail. Pull yarn through remaining stitches and pull them together. Weave in ends on the inside of the hat.


Download Stars & Stripes Hat.pdf (856.3K)

Photocopy of the original pattern:





Download Stars & Stripes Hat.pdf (856.3K)