New Stuff!

I got some new stuff in the mail! I ordered a yarn bowl and stitch markers (because you can never have enough stitch markers), and they came today.


The yarn bowl is great for many reasons. First, it is from a small company in Vermont, and I like to support small, local companies. Second, it is lightweight and durable. I've never gotten a yarn bowl because if it was ceramic, I'd break it, and if it was wood, I'd scratch it, so I just didn't get one. But this one is made from PLA plastic, a biodegradable material made from plants! It feels soooo good too. Thirdly, it is 3d printed, which is something I am fascinated by. I think there is a 3D printer in my future.

The stitch markers are great for a couple more reasons. Not only are they 3D printed from the same material from a small company, but the ones on the left are glow in the dark!!!! Yessss!!!!  And the ones on the right were free, but the reasons I love them are a) one is an alien, which is cool, and I visited the alien museum in Roswell, New Mexico years ago, and b) the other one is a black cat like Nicky, and I loved Nicky.

Some of the bowls are glow in the dark too, and who knows, I might just need one ....


Steep Hill Farm in Vermont. Their service is fantastic. Go and see what they have!

End of September

It's the last day of September. The days are getting colder. My shawl continues to make slow but steady progress:


I just finished the 14th week, and there are 37 weeks altogether. At the end of October, I'll be not quite at the half way mark! Woohoo!

Back at the end of August, my grand niece had a birthday, and I gave her this cardigan:


I think those are pre-blocked pictures. It was pretty, and I hope she will stay warm in it!

Have a good October! Stay warm!

County Socks

A long time ago, when I was a young thing up in Aroostook County, men needed warm socks to work in the woods in the wood-cutting business, or on the farm, and to wear hunting. They were knit in Aran weight wool using needles that were much smaller than is usually used, making the socks practically bulletproof. At the least, they would keep out the cold.


(So thick they stand up on their own!)

Fall's arrival  triggered sock knitting among the women, and the yarn they used was worsted wool which actually came from Canada (likely McCausland's Woolen Mills in Prince Edward Island) in natural off white for the foot, with a dyed color, probably red or green, for the leg. The dyed colors would show when worn, and they were more expensive and thus treasured more. The foot, which was hidden in the boot and which wore out more quickly, was knitted in the cheaper natural yarn, and was removed several times over the course of the sock's life as it wore out from wear.

The pattern was memorized and rarely written down. That's how I learned it ... but I wrote down the pattern for a friend many years ago, and it's a good thing too, because I can't remember it now. It's a men's sock pattern, knit very tightly with size four needles and heavy Aran-weight wool to make socks that are nearly bullet proof. I have knit it in one color of Bartlettyarn.



2 4-ounce skeins Bartlettyarn Maine wool worsted weight (210 yards per skein) Medium Sheep Gray

Size US 4/3.5mm double pointed needles (use four needles, not five)

Tapestry needle


22 sts and 40 rows per 4"


Cast on 54 sts (18 sts on 3 needles). Work *k2, p1* ribbing for 10".

Make heel flap:

Divide work so that 32 stitches are on one needle (heel needle), and 11 stitches each are on two needles.

Work double heel as follows:

Row 1: Slip 1, purl to end.

Row 2: Slip 1, *K1, sl1* to last stitch, k1.

Work rows 1 and 2 for 2.25". Repeat Row 1.

Turn heel:

Row 1: K 23 sts, k2tog, turn.

Row 2: P 15, p2tog, turn.

Row 3: K 15, k2tog, turn.

Repeat rows 2 and 3 until 16 stitches are left. End having completed  a purl row (Row 2). Knit one row.

Join work into a round again:

With heel needle, pick up 17 stitches along the edge of the heel flap (needle 1). Work k2, p1 across the instep (needle 2). Pick up 16 sts along the other side of the heel flap and knit 8 stitches from the heel needle (needle 3). (25, 22, 24 stitches on three needles, a total of 71 sts).

Decrease for gusset:

Rnd 1: Knit to last 3 stitches on needle 1, k2tog, k1. Continue working *k2, p1* across needle 2. K1, ssk, knit to end of needle 3.

Rnd 2: Knit across needle 1, work *k2, p1* rib across needle 2, knit across needle 3.

Repeat rounds 1 and 2 until 58 stitches are left. (18, 22, 18 sts on each of the three needles)


Work even (pattern on upper foot and stockinette on the bottom) until sock reaches 8 3/4", or 2" less than desired foot length. The best thing is to measure the wearer's actual foot.

Decrease for toe:

Arrange sts as follows: Needle 1 - 14 sts; needle 2 - 29 sts; needle 3 - 15 sts.

Rnd 1: Needle 1: Knit to last 3 stitches on needle 1, k2tog, k1. Needle 2: K1, ssk, knit to last 3 sts, k2tog, k1. Needle 3: K1, ssk, knit to end of needle.

Rnd 2: Knit around.

Repeat these 2 rounds until 22 stitches remain. Knit sts on needle 1 onto needle 3 (11 sts) and leave remaining sts (11) on needle 2. Graft the stitches together with kitchener stitch. Weave in ends. Make second sock.






Suddenly, It's Fall

Summer slammed the door and suddenly, it's fall. Autumn smells different, sounds different, and feels different (it's colder!). And it tastes different too; pumpkin spice everything!!!!!

Actually I haven't had pumpkin spice anything yet, but I will. Eventually. I am thinking about making pumpkin bread, though.

I knit these charming little mitts and they came out nice:


Aren't they wicked cunnin'? I love them.

The pink lace shawl knitalong is going well, and this is how for I got by the end of August:


It's about 25% done. The nupps are getting easier. I really like how this knitalong is done slowly, two rows a day, for five days a week. People can knit the two rows a day and have the weekend off, or do the ten rows all at once over the weekend. Nifty.

Happy September, and happy back to school if it applies. It's a wonderful time of year.

Shhhhhhhhh ...

I am being vewy, vewy quiet over here in midcoast Maine. The weather has been good, not too hot, not too cold, I have most of my holiday knitting on schedule -- mostly finished, or thereabouts, and I'll have a fairly quiet fall to knit whatever I want. There is always something.


I finished a second Hitchhiker scarf from a wonderful yarn that Lynne gave me for my birthday. It's Heritage Farms fingering in a 50% merino, 50% silk blend that is hand dyed in beautiful blues and pinks. It feels luxurious and warm and to wear around my neck. I believe it is available from the Cashmere Goat in Camden.


I also knit an Ellery Hat with some leftover sock yarn I had on hand. The pattern is by Marie Greene, and I got it from Knit Camp. Knit Camp is awesome! In looking over the pattern again, I noticed it was written for everyone: babies, toddlers, kids, men, and women. This might be my go-to hat pattern! If you're not in Knit Camp, you can get the pattern from Marie's page.

Right now I have four WIPs: two super secret sweaters, the pink shawl that will be done sometime in March 2020, and these fingerless mitts:

Mitts front
Mitts front

The mitts are Rain Shadow Mitts by Daniel Herrera, and the yarn is once again leftover sock yarn. I love to use my leftover sock yarn! It makes me feel so virtuous, especially when the product is fabulous. Using up leftovers is good for the soul.

These mitts are making me think about designing some mitts of my own. Lord knows I have more leftover sock yarn!

Yarndemon Patterns on Blockstack

I've put my patterns on Sigle, which is a Blockstack blogging app. I plan to add a tip jar Bitcoin thing there too. The reason I am doing this is for my own security. If my patterns are on Blockstack, they will always be there and owned by me.

You can get to them HERE or just keep getting them on the regular internet too, right here on My blog isn't changing, and I'll continue to post as usual.


If you want more information about Blockstack, you can find it here:

Arline's Socks

My sister in law sent over another bag of yarn that was my mother in law's; it was two skeins of sock yarn, and one had a pair of socks that she had started to knit, needles and all. I can sort of remember her starting them, but I can't remember clearly ... maybe I was in the hospital? Don't know.

I could have just unraveled the yarn and started over, but I thought it would be better if I used what she had done and finished them. So I did. She had started with 56 stitches and she was using size 2 needles, and had the ribbing all done and about one inch of stockinette. My gauge was much tighter, so I increased up to 60 stitches and kept going. Soon one sock was done.


Pogo, originally owned by Arline, immediately went over, sniffed on it, and settled down for a nap. It must have smelled like Arline and home.

The first sock was soon joined by its mate, and the socks were all done. Somewhere, Arline is smiling.


In other news, my pink shawl is going along very well, two rows a day, five days a week!


I can't wait to see it on the beginning of September!


Too Many UFOs

Unfinished Objects, that is.

Since my stroke, I have had between one and three UFOs (also known as WIPs -- Works In Progress) at a time, and that was fine. Just fine. Before the stroke, 43 WIPs were common, and I hardly ever finished any of them; but since my stroke, I have had more time, and I was able to finish all my WIPs, unless I fell out of love with them and unraveled them.

But lately, I have gotten back into my bad habit ways. I have eight UFOs, yikes!

I have a brown sweater:


And a blue sweater:


And a green sweater:


And a shawl:


Two rows a day til next February! Woohoo! This is the only project that I have that I can't work on, because it is an Estonian Lace KAL hosted by Pattern Duchess, and I am all caught up on clues.

And I have a scarf project and a sock project that I have already put away and didn't get a picture of them.

Actually, I also have a spinning project that I put aside because I needed to find more bobbins, and I never got back to it. It's been about two years. I really should ply some stuff off the bobbins I have and finish it.

Really, all the UFO's will just have to wait, because I just got a super secret assignment to knit which I love, but can't tell you about right now (sorry). I'll share pictures when I can. But I really, really love it!

Also, I signed up for Knit Camp hosted by Marie Green, best decision I have ever made. So much fun! So many knitters! It's great! Registration is closed right now, but it will reopen in October -- I will remind you. It costs $9.95 a month, but the cost is more than worth it. Just the monthly pattern alone is worth $9.95. And Marie's patterns are awesome. I got four patterns right away just for joining Knit Camp!

I already started one of them:


This is the Ellery hat pattern from Marie. Marie assured me that single skein projects don't count toward the pile of UFOs or WIPs, which I was grateful for; according to that rule, I only have 5 UFOs! Woohoo! I am using Swans Island Sterling Collection Fingering in the color Citrine. I love it.

My days will consist of two rows (five days a week) of the shawl, about an hour of the Ellery hat, and the rest of my knitting time on the super secret knitting. I'll do the shawl in the morning and the Knit Camp knitting in the evening, because s'mores. Lovely drinkable s'mores around the virtual campfire:


Recipe Diaries S'Mores Cocktail -- yummmm!!

Have fun knitting!

New Knitting Website


In case anyone is looking for another knitting website, Our Unraveled has started up, having 3000 members in just under a month. I just joined, so I will be finding out what it has to offer as I use it.

This YouTube post from Woolf & Sheep seemed to sum up what I feel in a reasoned, well-stated way:

I love that her dog is named Whitman.

Happy knitting everyone! Just enjoy fiber arts.

My Last Duchess*

I started a knitalong today, not Marie Greene's 4 Day Knitalong which I have decided to eschew this year for various reasons, but an Estonian lace shawl knitalong by Mari-Liis Hirv who is Estonian. I love the internet! Mari-Liis is known as the Pattern Duchess, and her designs are beautiful. The lace shawl we will be working on this year is the Birthday Lace Shawl (pictures are on her web site), and it will take a while. Mari-Liis is giving us two rows per day of the pattern, Monday through Friday ... which I can do! Two rows! I can do it! That is my kind of knitalong.

We started on June 24th, but I didn't get my yarn until day before yesterday. You can start now, if you would like to join me at swearing at the nupps; it's a free pattern, found on Facebook or on her website. We are on Day 8 which is only 16 rows, easy to catch up on.

You can do the shawl using a bead or a purl stitch or a plain knit stitch if you want, but I wanted to make myself use nupps if I could. This pattern has a lot of nupps. Before my stroke, I learned how to knit nupps, but I found them annoyingly hard to make and wrote them off, much the same as I had written off intarsia and brioche. Now that I had my stroke and have loads of time on my hands, I'll try to perfect them if I can. .

What are nupps, you ask? They are truly horrible instruments of torture in my opinion, but they look so pretty when they are done well! They look like little puffs of softness, like little clouds. IF you can do them right. My nupps so far look like little squished up balls of mud, but some -- well, one -- of them came out pretty good.





Slightly less pitiful.

Nupps are fairly easy to make: just knit and do a yarn over in the same stitch until you have 7 stitches, and on the next row (which is purled) you just purl all 7 of the stitches together. It sounds so simple. BUT. There is no way in hell to get the needle into the front of those 7 #@&$%*&#@ stitches so that you can frigging purl them!    

Mari-Liis has a video of how to do the nupps, and it is very good. You should be able to do nupps easily.

The problem is, I had a stroke. My right hand fingers don't work well yet, and I am doing as much as I can to make them work. They will work eventually, probably just before my death due to the nupps. Anyway. I'll get my thumb to do the nupps, and maybe get my finger working at the same time too some day, and the nupps will be defeated!

I'm using KnitPicks Shadow Lace Weight yarn, which is 100% merino, 2 ply, in the color Blossom Heather. It is a bit darker than I wanted, but it's ok. It also is a bit hairy, but that might be fine too, since hairy yarn stays put if the needle becomes pulled out of the stitches, which may have already happened once or twice. 


Knit happy! Happy Fourth of July!

*My Last Duchess is a little bit creepy poem by Robert Browning, but I love it. This may be my last Duchess shawl if the nupps kill me!

New Stuff from Knitters Brewing



On my 60th birthday, I got an email from Wendy Gaal of Knitters Brewing Company that contained a discount code, so of course I had to use it!

Happy Birthday to me:


I got a skein of Confootie (love the name!) in the color of Imperial Barleywine, because you know I need more purple yarn, and also two Needle Wranglers to wrangle my needles and keep the stitches in place, and a lovely little pair of VERY sharp stork scissors. Wendy has a sock pattern coming out in July that maybe I will make.

In other news: I have been slowly picking at three projects, but I can't tell you about them til later ... much, much later.

Marie Greene's 4 Day Kal begins July 4. I have the pattern; it's called the Foxtrot Cardigan, and it's very pretty. I have some vintage stash to use for it too, it's cotton: Classic Elite Provence (now sadly discontinued) in a lovely periwinkle color (purple again!). But I don't know if I will do it. Right now I feel like if I manage to get the three things knit that are ongoing right now, that will be good and I will take a break for a while. Also, a cotton cardigan doesn't thrill me ... maybe because as I type this, I have a wool cowl wrapped three times around my neck because it has been so cold lately. Anyway, maybe it will feel more like summer in a few days. I hope so.

Happy knitting everyone! Stay warm!

Fire in the Soul

When Notre Dame cathedral burned, I was very sad. So much history lost ... it was heartbreaking. A building that has been around for that long has so much human existence in it, as part of it. I found a pattern for the Rose Window hat on Knitty and thought, I will make that.

About a month later, I ordered some yarn from WEBS, a Debbie Bliss yarn called Botany Lace in the color 3012 Ronda which seemed like the colors in the Rose Window at Notre Dame; and I got a skein of Berroco Ultra Wool Fine in the color 5334 Black. I started to pick away at the hat. I worked on it amidst other things, but I finally got it done. Here are pictures of me finishing it, getting a wet blocking soak, and the finished hat.


I used two circular needles to knit it, and I liked that quite a bit. It is not as fiddly at the top as four double pointed needles would have been.


Warm-ish  bath with Jasmine Eucalan; smells wonderful!


Finished project!

As someone who likes history and who has taught it, I was going through a grieving process over the cathedral's burning. Also, my home town of Portage Lake has an abundance of Catholic people in it, so I identified with the horror of it. And my house burned when I was in high school, so that was a bit of the feeling too. Knitting this hat helped me to settle with it, and I was really glad that the rose window was saved. I loved knitting this hat, and I might make another one with the black in Swan's Island yarn.




When my sister in law mentioned that my grand nephew liked penguins, I squeed a squee that would make a squeemaster proud! I love penguins! So I scurried off to find penguin patterns for a small boy, and I discovered some patterns that were already in my favorites for hats, mittens, and other things too. Did I mention that I love penguins??

There were a few penguin pullovers that I found which would be cool to knit up:

Penguin pullovedr

Penguin Pullover by Cathy Pipinich ($6.00) has a charming penguin on it. It uses bulky weight yarn and would be a quick, warm knit.

Penguin pullover

Penguin Pullover by Hélène Rush in her book Maine Woods Woolies has always been appealing to me, and I have the book on my bookshelf too! It is sadly discontinued now, but I bet you can get it through interlibrary loan.

Penguin jumper

Penguin Jumper by Wendy Yarns is in an issue of Knit Now magazine. What better way to use old magazines than this? The two penguins holding flippers is just adorable.

Penguin yoke

Mörgæsir/Penguins by Linda Konráðsdóttir is  Aran weight Icelandic yoke sweater with a ring of penguins! Who wouldn't be happy with all those penguins around! Mörgæsir/Penguins is available for free, in English, on the Istex Lopi website.
Penguin Pullover 3
I am inordinately happy with this Penguin Pullover by Amy Bahrt. It has a pocket! In a penguin! With a bow tie! What is not to love?? This has to be my favorite of all the penguin pullovers, and I just might make all of the penguin pullovers anyway. Be forewarned: there will be a plethora of penguins coming to a house in Appleton. Oh, and this design is free on the Cascade Yarns website too! Direct link on the Ravelry page :)
I am giddy with penguin happiness, flippers at the ready with yarn and needles!



Drachen Is Finished!

And I love it! It is a beautiful sweater, and I just love everything about it. I love the little golden dragons flying around the bottom. They remind me of the gold dragons and the tiny little gold fire lizards in Anne McCaffrey's Pern books.

Drachen complete

Drachen by Heddi Craft; Washable Wool DK yarn by Swans Island

It isn't blocked yet; it is superwash, so I'll put it in the washer and then on my woolly board to dry, and then it will be blocked. Looks like we are going to have chilly weather for awhile, so I'll get to wear it! I can't wait!



French Riviera

Just the name evokes images of Grace Kelley, Cary Grant, and Sean Connery; of turquoise beaches, sunshine, and picturesque sails in the sunset; of people sipping cool, delicious drinks, wearing sunglasses and bikinis,  and having good figures. Ahhhh, the life.

330px-Grace_Kelly_MGM_photo   330px-Grace_Kelly_MGM_photo   330px-Grace_Kelly_MGM_photo

When I ran across this lovely shawl called French Riviera from DROPS Design, it gripped me. So lovely!

French Riviera

I queued it in Ravelry, set it to be knit with some fingering yarn that I had, and left it to stew for a few years.

Then I came back to my queue this year, saw French Riviera and remembered how much I had liked it. But then I saw the yarn requirement was for lace weight yarn. Crap. So I set it aside again.

A little while later, after I had forgotten French Riviera completely, I saw that Knitwhits Freia Fibers was having a sale on OOAK colors and colors that they didn't want to make or didn't work for some reason, and they were such a good deal that I picked up a couple of them. They were beautiful when I caked them up. I looked into what favorite patterns I had, and found French Riviera again! Wooohooo!

On Easter, I cast on, and I knit the whole stockinette section in fits and starts, and started the lace section.This pink to dark pink to dark gray to light gray was perfect for this shawl.


Then I noticed that my yarn was running a tiny bit low, and I checked the yarn requirement: it needed 874 yards of lace weight yarn, and I had but one cake of Freia Gradient Ombré Merino Lace, which didn't have any ball band as it was a OOAK (which I totally knew before I bought it; I was warned!). Ombré Merino Lace had only 712 yards.


Sigh. Well, I thought. I'll just knit as far as I can with this, and then I will decide if I should just bind off when I run out of yarn, or get more lace weight yarn in a light gray that sort of matches. So I kept knitting, and as I knit, I imagined that I had thought there was around 900 yards in the ball. It helped. As I knit, the  dark gray and the light gray seemed to magically slow down. So then I just imagined that it would be fine, just fine, I'd have enough yarn. It would be fine.

And it was!

French Riviera done back
French Riviera done back

And I even had 5 grams left over!

Bits left over

Imagination is a powerful thing. BELIEVE!



Bad Sweater, Bad Knitter. BAD.

Actually the sweater is a lovely, simple sweater and I love it; it's a great design, Drachen by Heddi Craft on Knitty issue 65, Deep Fall 2018.

The problem is there is a small error in the pattern, and I am apparently a fluffy-brained knitter who doesn't know how to read my pattern in time to stop myself from making big mistakes. I have always said (when people talk about me knitting fast) that it just means I can make bigger mistakes faster. I proved it.

I cast  on and zoomed up the body. I am using Swans Island superwash yarn, so I wanted to alternate two strands of yarn to mix the colors better. Everything was going swimmingly, and I split the front from the back at the underarm, read the directions for the next bit which said "Work even in St st for 19[21, 21, 23, 25, 27, 29] rows or until work measures approx. 9.25[9.75, 10.25, 10.25, 10.5, 11.25, 11.5] inches" and proceeded to knit for 10.25 inches.


Astute readers will have seen that 10.25 INCHES of knitting is wayyyyyy more than 23 rows. Way more. But I blew right through that part, because reading is a skill that I HAVE NOT MASTERED YET (despite having a B.S. in English), and I merrily knit along til I reached 10.25 inches. That's when I read the next part.

I realized my mistake when I read "Work even in St st until piece measures 6.75[7.25, 7.5, 8, 8.5, 9, 9.5] inches".

After I got through swearing, I had to figure out how far to rip back, because although I had knit a gauge swatch and got the right number of stitches per inch, my row gauge was off by a good bit, but it didn't really matter because the shaping wasn't row dependent (probably why I ignored the rows earlier).


For my size, D and E add up to 10.25". C is 7". So the amount I should have knit to the neck shaping was actually 3.25", which meant I had to rip out seven frigging inches and there were two damn strands of yarn and it was going to tangle and I  ONLY HAVE ONE HAND.


Sooooooooo I took my trusty miniscule US size 0 needle, and threaded it through the stitches at 3.25".


I unraveled seven inches carefully, as I wanted to avoid tangling everything badly. Then I wound up the two balls, which took some time because there was a lot of moving things in and out every time they snagged. When it was ready to continue knitting forward again, I put the whole damn thing in time out for about a week, maybe more. Every time I looked at it, the dragons looked forlorn.

With a sigh, and after letting it stew for a bit, I started to knit Drachen again, knitting the right front and the left front, and started the back.

Dammit! Right off the bat, the directions say "Work even in St st until piece measures 6.75[7.25, 7.5, 8, 8.5, 9, 9.5] inches". I could have made the back first and then I would not only have had to rip out only 3.25 inches, but I also wouldn't have to knit the whole back over again!  Arghhhhh! WHAT. AN. IDIOT!!!

So what has this taught me?

  1. Sometimes, even in simple patterns, there is a tiny little error.
  2. Read the pattern.

The real reason I was mad is because it was ultimately my own damn fault, not the designer or Knitty. I love the design, and it really is very simple to knit, and it is fun, too. I just am brainless. (Technically only half brainless, but oh well, whatever).


Wish I could take Pogo's advice and hide my head under my tail!

And yes. The back is almost done.





Knitting with the Fishes

Back in February (I think) I got the On the Round Signature Sock club yarn that was called Fish Bowl. I of course did not take a picture of it, but this is what is left:


I love this yarn. It's like a little ball of delight that makes me happy.

First, I made Swedish Socks  by Spillyjane (US $6.00) using On the Round's Fish Bowl and Knitters Brewing Company Sock-aholic's Caribbean Happy Hour. They were fun to knit!

Swedish Fish Socks

Swedish Fish Close Up

Then I found a free hat pattern that I had to try because it was very pretty, and I could use the rest of my Fish Bowl, and it was a FREE PATTERN: Gluma Beanie by Tabitha Jarvis.


Hey, I just found a picture of the hat's beginning that shows the yarn better!


Actually the yarn has just a hint of pale green throughout it that for some reason my iPhone is ignoring. Pffft. But trust me, it is beautiful!

So that is what I've been doing, besides working sort of half-heartedly on the Drachen sweater which I am still mad at .... but that is another story.


Drachen in timeout. Bad sweater, bad.

Pogo is mad at the sweater too.



Cable and Bobble Beanie

A long time ago in a land called Unique One-land, I used to give classes to knitters. Once I gave a class on cables and bobbles, and I needed a pattern that they could use, but nothing was exactly what I needed, so I created a hat pattern with cables and bobbles in it. This is the hat. Originally it was knit in Classic Elite Wool Bamboo (50% wool, 50% bamboo), but of course it has long since been discontinued. Any DK weight will work though!

Cable and Bobble Beanie

◘ 200 yards DK weight yarn
◘ US size 3 (3.25mm) & US size 5 (3.50mm) straight needles (this hat was designed to be knit back and forth on straight needles *only* because I originally was designing it to be used in a cables & bobbles class I was going to teach, and I wanted the students to get the back-and-forth- ness of cable patterns, like they would use in knitting a sweater. Realistically, I would much rather have designed this for circular knitting, avoiding the seaming. You can certainly adapt it to that, if you know how to do it.)
◘ Cable needle
◘ Tapestry needle
Twisted Rib pattern (2 sts + 1):

Row 1: *K 1 through the back loop, P 1*, repeat from * to last stitch, K1 through back loop.
Row 2: *P 1, K 1 through the back loop*, repeat from * to last stitch, P1 through back loop.

Cable and Bobble Pattern Stitch (9 sts):
Row 1: Knit 9.
Row 2: Knit the knit stitches and purl the purl stitches.
Row3: Slip 2 sts to cable needle and hold in back, k2, k2 from cable needle, k1, slip 2 sts to cable needle and hold in front, k2, k2 from cable needle.
Row 5: Knit 4, (k1,p1,k1,p1,k1) all into the next st, turn, p back over these 5 sts, turn, k5, slip the first 4 sts one at a time over the end of the needle, leaving one knit stitch remaining [bobble made], knit 4.
Row 7: K3, make bobble, k1, make bobble, k3.
Row 8: Work as for Row 2.

Right Twist Cable Pattern Stitch (10 sts):

Row 1: P2, k6, p2.
Row 2: Knit the knit stitches and purl the purl stitches.
Row 3: P2, slip 3 sts to cable needle and hold in back, k3, k3 from cable needle, p2. Rows 5 & 7: P2, k6, p2.
Row 8: as for row 2.
Hat Pattern Stitch (133 + 4 sts):
Row 1: P2, (work cable and bobble pattern over 9 stitches, work right cable twist pattern over 10 sts) seven times, p2.
Row 2: Knit the knit stitches and purl the purl stitches.

Directions for knitting:

With smaller needles, cast on 101 sts. Work twisted rib for 8 rows, increasing to 137 sts in last row of ribbing. Change to US size 5 (3.50mm) needles. Work in Hat Pattern for 5 pattern repeats. Decrease as follows:
Row 1:P2, (K2 tog, p2, k2, p2, k2tog, work right cable twist pattern over 10 sts) 7 times, p2.
Row 2 and all even rows: knit the knit stitches and purl the purl stitches.
Row 3: P2, (p2tog, p1, k2, p2tog, p1, work right cable twist pattern over 10 sts) 7 times, p2.
Row 5: P2, (p2tog, k2, p2tog, work right cable twist pattern over 10 sts) 7 times, p2. Row 7: P2, (k2tog two times, work right cable twist pattern over 10 sts) 7 times, p2. Row 9: P1, (p2tog, work right cable twist pattern over 10 sts) 7 times, p2.
Row 11: P1, (p3tog, p1, k6, p1, p3tog, p1) 7 times, p2.
Row 13: (p3, k2tog three times) 7 times, p2.
Row 15: (P1, p2tog, k1, k2tog,) 7 times, p2.
Row 17: (p2 tog, k2tog) 7 times, p2tog.
Work Row 18 as Row 2.
Break yarn and pull it through all stitches. Pull tight to close the top of the hat. Sew up the seam.

Enjoy your hat! I got thinking maybe I would redesign it in fingering weight also, and in the round. It'll be fun!
Still a bit chilly out, Pogo is gonna sleep till it warms up.

Ribbed Leaves Lace Scarf


This lovely pattern was on display at my shop, Unique One in Camden, Maine for years, and it was always very popular. It is a reversible pattern, which made it great for a scarf. It is basically ribbing with some left and right leaning decreases and a few eyelets thrown in to make it look lacy. Because the left and right decreases are done over ribbing, you have to use a cable needle to move the stitches to be next to each other so the ribbing  won't be discomposed.

It was originally knit with 3 skeins of Frogtree Fingering Weight Alpaca (215 yards/skein), now sadly discontinued. Alpaca made it feel luxurious, soft, and drapey, but you could use 645 yards of any type of fingering weight yarn, even bamboo or tencel or silk or cotton!

I have made one change to the original pattern in that I have started it with two rows of ribbing, as the way it was originally written was a little tricky to do on the first row, and I ended it with two rows of ribbing also to make it symmetrical.  Have fun!


Ribbed Leaves Lace Scarf

Materials: 645 yards (589.79 meters) light fingering weight yarn; US size 6 (4.00mm) needles, cable needle, tapestry needle

Finished size: 72 inches (182.88 cm) long X 7.5 inches (19.05 cm) wide


Cast on 66 sts. Work K 1, P 1 ribbing for two rows. Work in Ribbed Leaves pattern as follows:

Rows 1, 3, 5, and 7 (RS): * K 1, P 1, yo twice, [K 1, P 1] twice, K 1, R2dec, [P 1, K 1] 5 times, P 1;  from * to end.

Row 2 and all WS rows: Work in K 1, P 1 rib, working double yo's as 2 stitches (i.e., K1, P1).

Rows 9, 11, 13, & 15: * [K 1, P 1] six times, L2dec, [K 1, P 1] twice, K 1, yo twice, P 1; repeat from * to end.

Row 16: Work as for Row 2.

Repeat these sixteen rows for Ribbed Leaves pattern.

Work in Ribbed Leaves pattern until scarf measures just shy of 72 inches long, or desired length. Work 2 rows K 1, P 1 ribbing. Bind off loosely. Weave in ends. 

Abbreviations used:

K = knit

P = purl

yo twice = yarn over twice (wrap the yarn two times around the needle; treat this as a knit stitch AND a purl stitch in the next row)

R2dec (Right decrease) = with yarn in front, slip the purl stitch to the  right hand needle, slip the knit stitch to the cable needle and hold it in front, slip the next purl stitch to the right hand needle, slip the knit stitch on the cable needle back to the left hand needle (2 knit sts are together now),  slip the 2 purl stitches back to the left hand needle, purl 2 together, knit 2 together

L2dec (Left decrease) = with yarn in back, slip the knit stitch to the right hand needle knitwise, slip the purl stitch to the cable needle and hold in back, slip the next knit stitch to the right hand needle knitwise, slip the purl stitch from the cable needle back to the left hand needle (knit stitches and purl stitches are together now), knit two stitches together through the back loops, purl two stitches together


Simplest Scarf in the World



Basketweave Scarf


4 40g skeins Noro Cashmel (discontinued) or 150 yards of worsted weight soft yarn with a bit of drape. 

Size 7 knitting needles

Tapestry needle & scissors

Gauge: 20 sts and 28 rows = 4”

Finished measurements: 8” X 72”


Cast on 35 stitches.

Rows 1, 3, 5, 7: Knit 5, (purl 5, knit 5) across
Rows 2, 4, 6, 8: Purl 5, (knit 5, purl 5) across
Rows 9, 11, 13, 15: Purl 5, (knit 5, purl 5) across
Rows 10, 12, 14, 16: Knit 5, (purl 5, knit 5) across

Repeat rows 1 - 16 for 72". Bind off loosely. Weave in & trim ends.




It's Finally Spring! Sort of.

Right now the wind is howling around my house and it was freezing when I got up at five, though it is sunny now and promises to be 39° today. But it will be 54° on Saturday! 54° and raining! Oh well, April showers bring May flowers I guess.

I knit a cowl over the weekend with some great speckled yarn from On the Round by Rachel Jones, who is in Rockland. She makes good yarn. The yarn was the sock club yarn for December and is called Festivus. It is always fun to see what her sock club yarn looks like every month! The pattern was Naranj by Hilary Smith Callis; it is on Ravelry and is very lovely.


I also did Knitters Brewing Company Mystery Sock 11 by Wendy Gaal!


I can't believe these Mystery socks have been going on for eleven years. I haven't done all of them, but the ones I have done were wicked fun and challenging, though Wendy has video tutorials to help and everyone is so good at helping in her group also. The pattern for these are Mystery Sock XI: It Goes to Eleven by Wendy Gaal, and the theme this year was Eighties Music. The yarn I chose is Knitters Brewing Company Sock-aholic II in the color Graphite Gueuze.

I have been knitting a simple scarf for my husband since the mice chewed up the one I knit him a few years ago, and it is almost done, five and a half feet out of six feet total length. Or it may be a bit more, but thereabouts. I don't have a picture, but I will write down the very simple drop dead easy pattern, slap the photo on it, and post it on my blog so you can all have it forever. I am using worsted weight cashmere that I purchased back when cashmere was slightly affordable, in the early 2000's or so. But really, if the mice are going to eat it, any worsted weight would do! I hope their little mouse nests are comfy and warm if they are cashmere lined.


(photo courtesy of Clipart Library)

And finally, I have started my beloved dragon sweater that I fell in love with on Knitty when it came out. The pattern is Drachen by Heddi Craft in Issue 65 Deep Fall 2018 of Knitty.


I have always loved dragons since I read Anne McCaffery's Pern books back in the early 1970's, reading about five of them over the years as I recall, and after my stroke, I read the whole series of 22 Pern books. Hey, I couldn't knit much at the time.

Drachen is a simple, boxy style of sweater in a T shape, but I will make it a bit longer than the pattern, maybe 14" to the underarm instead of 11.5". I am using Swans Island Washable Wool DK in the colors of Sangria, Curry and Sunlight (not pictured):



It's a beginning!

My Head's In The Clouds

Well, the stratosphere anyway. And gosh, is it windy up there!


(Image by lisa870 on Pixabay)

I just finished a shawlette called Stratosphere by Claire Slade and I love it very much! The kit was a Christmas gift to me from my sister in law Linda, and it was a really fun knit, not too hard, easy enough to watch TV with,  but interesting in all the right places.

Stratosphere  3

The kit came with Knit Picks Hawthorne Fingering in three beautiful colors of green-blue, dark brown, and light brown.

Stratosphere 1
Stratosphere 1

Hawthorne is hand dyed beautifully and the colors of the greeny blue looks just like the ocean. Thank you Linda!

And the best bit is that St. Patrick's Day (and also  the feast day of Saint Gertrude of Nivelles, the patron saint of cats and the people who love them) is coming up, so green and brown will be appropriate colors to wear!


(Image by OpenClipart-Vectors on Pixabay)

I have been thinking about my Making Nine goals and I think I have found my Hard Thing To Knit. It is the Wild Swan shawl pattern by Anne-Lise Maigaard and Nim Teasdale.


It is supposed to be medium hard to knit, and of COURSE I will do the beads; there are several options: 882 beads, or 1300 beads, or all of the beads, making 2182 beads for the die hards! I might just be a die hard, I don't know.

Or maybe I will just finish the two beaded shawls I started to knit about twenty years ago. Hmmmmm.


Is it Spring Yet? No? OK Then.

February. The shortest month of the year, overwhelmed by the two longest months of the year, January and March, is the sorriest sibling of the months. I'll try to make it better.


I finally finished my Turquoise Zebra Blanket!!!


I started it in December of 2017 and finished it the day after Valentine's Day this year. There were several months of hibernation involved when it had to sleep while I worked on other things. But it is done now!

I knit a sweater for my friend Lynne in eleven days, which kind of surprised me.


Granted, it was a size small in aran weight cotton, but still. It was a fun knit!

I tried to make a mug cake cinnamon roll for breakfast this morning. Mug cakes are when you put ingredients in a mug, stir it up, and voilá, two minutes in the microwave and it turns into a luscious cake. Mine did, and I ate it before could take a picture, but my question is this: why is it that for something that is supposed to be ridiculously simple, it seems to be so hard to make? Maybe I was half asleep, but it felt like it would be just as laborious to make a whole pan of cinnamon rolls and have them easily for a few days than to go through the rigmarole of making one in a mug. Maybe I just need something to bitch about. Anyway, my cinnamon roll mug cake was good. I used this recipe, but I made up my own icing.


Have a good rest of February!

If It Is Cold, It Must Be February


I shouldn't complain; the Midwest of the US and Canada are in a deep freeze so deep that it may be July before they warm up. And, it is going to be much warmer here on the coast of Maine shortly. But right now, I am writing this and it is cold.

I got a few things knit last week.



My scrap sock yarn shawl is done. The pattern is Linus and it is really easy. It was a good palate cleanser after Abayomi.


Lynns socks

I finished Lynne's socks! It was a good way to remember Cape Cod.


I knit the Mayfield Mitts designed by Erica Huesser next, and found that a bird in the hand ...


... is worth two on the back of Pogo! Shhhhh, I took this while she was asleep. Be vewy vewy quiet.

The palm side of the mitt is also beautiful:


These mitts are unblocked, and I am sure they will be even prettier once blocked, but I was too excited to show you.

The yarn is Swans Island Sterling Collection fingering weight in the colors Jasper and Citrine, which made them sort of medieval looking. I love their Sterling Collection yarns, which are available in fingering and worsted weights. The fibers are 85% Certified Organic Merino and 15% Black Alpaca, which feels absolutely lovely. Because the alpaca is black, the colors are of course darker and richer than other yarns; they are really stunning. I am basically addicted to this yarn.

I forgot how much I enjoy stranded color knitting. This pattern was easy to remember on the palm, yet interesting to knit on the back of the hand; I loved watching the leaves and the bird appear as I knit. I highly recommend this pattern.

Pogo will be sleeping until Spring.


Make Nine

So I was reading in the forums on Ravelry, and I came across the Make Nine Challenge. Apparently I miss a lot by not being on Instagram: I have an account, but never use it at all. Anyway, the Make Nine Challenge helps bring focus to your life, set gentle goals, center yourself. People can set their goals on specific things they want to knit, or they can include things that they want to learn,  goals that they want to achieve ... goals can really be anything. Putting it in writing is a way of focusing your mind.

I thought it would be fun to try and come up with nine things in the world of creating that I wanted to do in a year, so I have made a list. I give it until January 30, 2020 to see if I do them all, some of them, or none of them. Some goals are very broad and general, and some are terribly specific.


Beth's Make Nine Challenge

  1. Finish the Turquoise Zebra Blanket. It has developed a life of its own, like a child that goes on and on living with its parents, eating their food, never leaving. It is time for it to vacate the premises. I live for the day when I can say, "The Turquoise Zebra has left the building."
  2. Make at least one small thing each month (like socks, hats, mittens, small shawls). √ √ √ √ √
  3. Make three big things this year (like sweaters, big shawls). I have sweaters knashing their skeins in project bags, ready to be knit. The Turquoise Zebra, while HUGE, does not count because a) it has been ongoing now for two years, and b) it is almost completed. √
  4. Make one thing that is hard for me to knit. It might be because of the difficulty of the pattern, or the unusual technique, or the size and weight of it (sorry, that is the Turquoise Zebra talking).
  5. Become accomplished at knitting brioche. So far I knit a hat, flat, that was in one of Elizabeth Zimmerman's books, back in the 1980's, and another hat knit in the round in December of 2018 that I gave to my brother, despite the huge amount of errors in it. I need to get better at knitting brioche, try cables in it, try two colors in it. It looks so pretty.
  6. Design two patterns and put them on my blog.
  7. Knit the Selbu Modern hat, which has been in my Ravelry queue for ten years (March 26, 2009). That is before I had my stroke!
  8. Knit Saxony Socks by Lisa Lloyd which have also been in my queue for ten years (December 10, 2009). And I even have the yarn for them.
  9. Crochet a garment. I used to crochet Aran sweaters back in the eighties. I've crocheted a few blankets, hats and one sweater in my projects since I have been on Ravelry, so I thought I should beef up my crochet skills.

Mak moar knittdd mouses!

(Sorry. Pogo got on the keyboard again. Sigh. ::shakes my head::)



Remember this?

389_Abayomi front
389_Abayomi front
389_Abayomi front

That's Abayomi, designed by Donna Yacino for Berroco. I fell in love with it as soon as I saw it, and I reeeeeally wanted to knit it.

I ordered the yarn for it quite a while ago, like in the spring last year, but I never got around to starting it because other things kept popping up, things I wanted to get done first. It was going to be gorgeous in Swans Island Washable Wool sport weight in the color Edgecomb Grey.


Then I found NaKniSweMo (National Knitting A Sweater In A Month), a group on Ravelry. It is like NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) but for knitting sweaters instead of writing novels. I thought hmmmmmm, this might be the ticket. At least I will finally start Abayomi, and either I will knit it all in a month, or I'll get a good start on it! So I signed up.

I think the same day that I signed up, I also made plans with Lynne to go to Cape Cod. I hurriedly checked the pattern to see if the sleeves would be easy -- they were, all stockinette. Phew. And I had a few days before I left to get started on the back.

I won't lie, this sweater was hard to knit, but it mostly was that the lace panel which was the dominant feature was knitted lace, not lace knitting. Lace knitting is what you normally find in a pattern, a row of lace yarn overs combined with decreases, and a row that is purled back, or knitted back if it is garter stitch lace. Abayomi is knitted lace, featuring a lace panel that has no "easy" row of purling back; every row is patterned, so you have to be able to think backwards. Every knit two together becomes purl two together; every slip, slip knit two together becomes slip, slip purl two through the back loops.

Thinking backwards is hard to do with only half a brain.

However, after I got used to it, it went along easily. When I say it was hard to knit, please don't say, "Oh, well, then I won't knit it!" You can do it. If I can learn how to knit this, you can. Besides it is well worth the effort! It really is a lovely design, and while there was a certain amount of a learning curve, it got easier to knit as you went along. The pattern was very easy to read, the numbers for size small were correct, and the chart was easy to read.

I started on November 1, 2018 ...


Abayomi has begun! (November 1)


Sixteen inches of the back! (November 3)

I shortened the overall length of the back and the fronts by 5.5" inches (24.5" instead of 30") because I was using superwash yarn, and I estimated that it would grow about an inch per foot from blocking, which in the end was about right.


Back Completed! (November 13)

We drove to Cape Cod and back and I knit on the sleeves in the car, and in the hotel I knit on the left front. Except when we were having a cocktail*.

Cocktails are more for stockinette sleeves than a heavily-patterned-requiring-thinking-ability of the left front.


When I got home I got the sleeves finished. (November 15)


Finished the left front! (November 25)

Then I lost my knitting mojo. I got a lot of Abayomi done in November, and that was a good thing. Then there was the madness of Christmas, but I kept plugging on throughout. The pattern got really easy by this point, as I had managed to memorize quite a bit of it. I only had the right front to knit and to sew it together and it would be done! Sewing it together would be really easy; there was little shaping, the pieces fit together beautifully, and even the "tricky bit" of joining the left and right front together with a three needle bind off was really easy to do.

Ta da!

Finished January 12. I think it came out well! I hope Lindsey loves it.


*Cocktail: 1.5 ounces limoncello; 1 ounce vodka; a splash of seltzer water; a slice of lemon, and ice

New Year, New Beginnings

Hellooooooooo everybody! 

I haven't posted much, but I have been here. Here are a few pictures of my knitting:

Tractor sweater

A Farmall tractor sweater for a young gentleman (my own pattern)

Bandwidth tunic

A sunny yellow (my picture sucks) Bandwidth Tunic for a little girl

Snake cardi

The Nerodia cardigan for a wee boy ... 

Snakes hissssss

... complete with snakes!

Heart's queen cardigan

And the Heart's Queen Coat for the clever young girl ...


... with hearts and a hood :)


Upload_medium2 (1)

I went to Cape Cod in early November and went to A Great Yarn in Chatham. It's a wonderful shop! One of the yarns I got there was Knitwhits Freia Handpaints Freia Semi-Solid Shawl Ball Merino Fingering in the color Hard Candy. I decided to knit the Birch Bark Canoe shawl out of it.


Very bright!

What am I knitting now? Hmmmmm ...

The Turquoise Zebra blanket is going slowly, about one garter ridge a day (that is 2 rows for you muggles):

Turquoise Zebra Blanket

Sorry I don't have a new picture. I only knit on it after supper for about an hour and it is way too big to be photographed. I like to cuddle under it though!

I have a scrap sock yarn shawlette almost finished:

Scrap shawl

I am trying to use up all my scraps this year; it is a goal I have. Wish me luck. I have enough scraps to do another shawlette after this one too. The pattern is Linus.

Lynne's socks

I got this yarn at A Great Yarn too, and I am making socks for Lynne out of it. I got the seahorse mug in Cape Cod too!

We have a scary snowstorm coming (well, I'm not scared, I'm from Maine) and we are well stocked up for all contingencies:


Stay warm knitters!



Fiddle My Stitches!

Have you heard of a website called Stitch Fiddle? I hadn't. I decided to check it out after seeing what a woman was doing with it on Facebook.

It's a website that is also a program that allows the user to make charts for knitting, embroidery, crochet and other things. I've seen web sites like it before, but this one is much better. It is so intuitive. Every time I thought, this is pretty cool but I wish it would allow me to do This Thing, BAM! I found where to do it, in just the place where it should be.

It just so happened that I had a few Christmas stockings to design for some people, and I turned to Stitch Fiddle. This was the result (names are knit or embroidered at the top; the purple or pink line designates the turning point for the back half of the stocking):

Christmas Stocking - Stitch Fiddle Christmas Stocking II Christmas Stocking III

Designing with Stitch Fiddle was so easy and fun! There is a cool little Progress Tracker that highlights the row you are working on, and you can choose how it works to be exactly right for YOU. Such a great idea.

This program does more than colorwork too. It has crochet charts, and for knitting it has lace charts, cables, brioche, mosaic, and more. I may try my hand at designing lace something or other in the near future. Stitch Fiddle is always growing and expanding, so it can do  even more in the future. Should be fun! There is a Ravelry group for Stitch Fiddle too, and yes, I joined.

Stitch Fiddle works on a PC, Mac, iPhone & iPad, Android, Linux, Chromebook and more. No installation is required, just use it from your browser; your saved charts are automatically available on all your  devices. And you can work with others on something also, other users, a tech editor, clients, anybody. You can import a picture if you want to chart it. There is even an Inspiration:Explore Ideas page to see how Stitch Fiddle is being used! This web site is so valuable!

My Christmas stockings were designed in the free version of Stitch Fiddle, and I could save them all, share them, download them. There is also a Premium version of it also, which you can buy for a month (~$3.29) or a year (~$1.70 a month). Go check it out!

The Hearts Queen Coat

Once upon a time (don't you just love stories that start with this?) there was a clever little girl who lived with her parents and younger sister and kitties and a dog on the chilly coast of Maine.

For her birthday, her crippled old grand-aunt gave her choices of designs and said, "I will make you one of these sweaters to keep you warm, if you want me to," and the delightful child chose the Hearts Queen Coat.

Then the grand-aunt gave her a choice of three different places online to choose the color of superwash yarn she wanted for her sweater, and the girl wisely chose DROPS  Big Merino in the color Marble. Then she waited. The grand-aunt was a bit busy at the moment knitting something else, but when she finished, she started knitting right away.

The grand-aunt loved knitting this coat because the yarn was big and squishy and beautiful, and the pattern was absolutely lovely. Soon she had this:


She loved how it looked, and she hoped the clever  little girl would too. She knew it would keep her warm.

Stay posted for more of the story to continue!