This quarter’s Quince Quarterly is a hat and mittens set made from the bulky Puffin yarn. The pattern is called Novae, by Sarah Pope, and features a Danish star motif and brioche stitch. Here’s my Ravelry project.
The mitten cuffs use brioche stitch instead of traditional ribbing. The star motif is pared down to just an hourglass shape around the wrist. The backs of the hands continue with more brioche, while the palms and thumbs are in stockinette. One interesting feature is the asymmetrical decrease for the fingers. It follows the natural hand shape more closely than mittens typically do.
Like the mittens, the hat brim uses brioche stitch instead of ribbing. The Danish star emerges from the brim and finishes on a stockinette background. Both the hat and the mittens also use a tubular cast on, which looks really polished.
And for a fun touch, I added a giant pom pom on top! This was my first time making a pom pom. The QQ box included a pom pom maker, so it was a nice opportunity to try the technique. I found some great tutorials at Loome. Here is what the hat looks like with the pom pom:
Overall, this was a fun project with some new techniques, and it was nice that it was so fast to make with the bulky yarn.
Wow, another month has passed already! This month I managed to finish three knitting projects, despite the short month and starting back to work last week.
FINISHED – This scarf (Ravelry, pattern) was so much fun! As a first intarsia project, it was very straightforward since all the shapes are squares and rectangles, nothing complicated. I got into a good rhythm of cutting new lengths of yarn every 12 rows to coincide with the color changes. I used the felted join method when a color spanned two 12-row sections. The felted join is surprisingly easy! All it takes is a little water and some friction, and the two pieces are magically connected. I definitely need to use this technique in future projects. My favorite part about the scarf was the fabulous colors of Rowan Felted Tweed, and fortunately I have plenty left for at least one more project! The only thing I changed from the pattern was the border: I used the Ultramarine colorway to knit a garter stitch border on all four sides.
Galloway Hat #2
FINISHED – I finished this just in time to squeeze into February – I just blocked it today (Ravelry)! I used the same colors of Brooklyn Tweed Peerie as the first Galloway Hat, in a different order. As I mentioned last month, the yellow ended up being more prominent than I wanted. I also used smaller needles than last time (US0, 1, 2) so it ended up a little smaller.
FINISHED – This hat is from Quince Quarterly Winter 2021, which also includes matching mittens (Ravelry, pattern). Knit in bulky Puffin yarn, it came together quickly. The hat features brioche stitch in place of the usual brim ribbing. I think I will add a pom pom, but I need to finish the mittens first to make sure I don’t run out of yarn!
IN PROGRESS – Just this afternoon, while holding a sleeping baby, I started my Watercolor Cowl (pattern). I’m using the same colors of Rowan Felted Tweed from my Cityscape Scarf. Instead of using the colors for the center squares and neutrals for the large areas, I’m using a neutral colorway (Boulder) for the central squares and the 12 other colors in the large areas. I’ll also do the edging in Boulder to tie it all together.
It’s a new year! So far my craft productivity is way down compared to some of the fall months. Could it have anything to do with caring for a two month old baby? Seems likely. I also decided this year that I am not setting explicit goals. This is a big departure for me, as I typically like to have a lot of goals written down. But I want to explore another way this year, where I just do whatever I want. Of course there are a lot of things in life that must be done, and I’m good at doing the necessities. But aside from those, I want to get back in touch with my own inner voice and, as much as possible, only do things I want to do. There is no need to feel obligated to work on a project. I want to use my limited free time on things that make me happier. So here are the things I’ve been working on this month, which most of the time I did not feel obligated to do.
Quilty Love Cross Stitch
FINISHED – There were moments where I really avoided this one. But I got a burst of desire to finish it right at the end of the month, so I put on the finishing touches of ric rac and buttons just today. And now I can use it with my Valentine’s decorations!
IN PROGRESS – This scarf has been a lot of fun to make, and I adore the yarn colors. I’m about 3/4 done with the main knitting, then will finish with edging. It is my first experience with intarsia, and it is really not that hard! The squares in the design make for an easy introduction to the technique. The colors change every 12 rows, so I can get in the groove for a little while and then get the next set of colors ready before I get bored. I learned the felted join technique for connecting on new pieces of yarn, and it is a game changer. I am going to have plenty of yarn left over for another project, which I’m already plotting.
Galloway Hat #2
IN PROGRESS – This one is about 75% done. I think there is too much yellow… Maybe I should have chosen the order of colors differently. Oh well!
I got a surprising amount of crafting done this month, considering we had Christmas and the baby takes lots of attention. I have learned how to knit while holding a sleeping baby, which is a pretty good talent to have!
FINISHED – I finally finished this sweater! In case you haven’t followed my other monthly updates, this is the Forbes Sweater from Brooklyn Tweed, made from Ranch 02 yarn.
FINISHED – This is another Burnaby Hat knit in bulky weight Brooklyn Tweed Quarry, this time in the Moonstone colorway. I went up a needle size from before, to US 8 and US 10.5, because the recipient has a slightly larger diameter head than the pattern specifies. I also made the ribbing a little longer than the first time. Here’s another picture of the first one, just to show off how good it looks on my sister!
FINISHED – This is from a pattern that Brooklyn Tweed released for free this holiday season. There is no specific gauge or yarn suggestion, and the final size depends on the yarn selection. I made this out of some Quince and Co. Finch yarn (fingering weight) and size US 3 needles. It’s a fast knit that makes great use of small amounts of leftover yarn!
Quilty Love Cross Stitch
IN PROGRESS – I started this last January as part of a cross stitch along that concluded just in time for Valentine’s Day. I obviously didn’t finish in time! I’m hoping to finish by the end of January this year. I just have 1.5 red hearts and one more row of quilt motifs to go, then the finishing details of sewing on buttons and adding the ric rac borders. The pattern and thread kit are available from Fat Quarter Shop.
Rowan Felted Tweed Swatch
FINISHED – I quickly knitted up this swatch of Rowan Felted Tweed in preparation to make the Cityscape Scarf from Modern Daily Knitting’s Field Guide 16. For Christmas, I received a kit of all the suggested yarn colors for this scarf. This yarn is awesome and I can’t wait to get started on the beautiful scarf. The colors!!!
Galloway Hat #2
IN PROGRESS – I have plenty of Peerie yarn left from my first Galloway Hat. This one uses white as the main color, and I went down one size for each needle to make it a little bit smaller. I’ve finished the ribbing and started the first few rounds of colorwork.
This adorable pattern is available at Quince and Co., where you can also buy a kit containing the required yarns plus the pattern printed on card stock. I decided to go with the kit because it contains smaller quantities of yarn rather than full skeins. Earlier this fall, there was a special holiday color set in addition to the original set, so of course that is what I bought. The yarns are Chickadee sport weight in the Camel and Rook colorways and Finch fingering weight in the Winesap colorway.
Over the course of about a week, I made these booties in the smallest size (0-6 months) for my little peanut. Here are some photos of the process. (My project is on Ravelry here.)
The bootie starts with the sole, worked flat in garter stitch with increases at the edges and middle, which will become the heel and toe, respectively.
Next, the top of the toe is shaped with short rows in reverse stockinette stitch.
The tongue continues up from the toe in reverse stockinette stitch.
The ankle is worked flat in reverse stockinette stitch with an accent panel of stockinette at the back. It connects the two sides of the bootie so only the heel and center sole are still disconnected.
The last steps are to sew up the bottom and heel, weave in the ends, wet block, and put in the laces!
I’m excited for these to fit my little one. They are a bit big right now, but I’m sure he will grow into them in no time!
Update! I found some football-shaped buttons that I had bought for this project a couple years ago, so I decided to replace the plain white buttons.
In November I made a cute little cardigan (Ravelry) for the new baby, using the Fuss Free Baby Cardigan pattern by Louise Tilbrook. I got 95% done with one of these for the first baby in 2018 and never quite finished…oops! I had quite a few other things on my mind that year, and knitting was not a big priority then. I also made one as a gift several years ago.
This time, I wanted to chronicle all the modifications I made to the original pattern. The pattern is great as written, and it includes a few suggestions for customization that are easy to expand upon.
Unfortunately, I can’t figure out what yarn I used. I bought it and wound it in 2018, when I originally intended to make this sweater, and lost track of the ball bands. I know it is a wool DK weight yarn, and I used a US 6 needle to get 5.5 stitches per inch gauge.
Instead of starting with the garter stitch border, I started at the beginning of the stockinette section at the top. This allowed me to pick up and knit the garter stitch border after the body was done, making the top, bottom, and sides as one piece.
For the raglan increases, I used M1 instead of KFB. Specifically, I did: knit to one stitch before marker, M1R, K1, sl marker, K1, M1L. This makes a double column of knit stitches in between the increases.
I alternated colors as follows to create the stripes: *6 rows orange, 2 rows blue, 2 rows white, 2 rows blue, repeat from *.
After completing the stockinette body, I picked up stitches on the left, right, and top (in addition to the bottom stitches that were still live). Then I joined in the round to work the garter stitch border as one piece. I did 8 rounds of garter stitch (knit one round, purl one round) and increased 2 stitches at each corner on every RS (knit) round to help the border lie flat.
I wanted to make long sleeves in the stripe pattern without working in the round so I could avoid jogs in the stripes without any special techniques. For each sleeve, I did the following while maintaining the stripe pattern to match the body: Row 1: Starting from right edge of held stitches, pick up and knit 2, knit held stitches, pick up and knit 2. Row 2: sl1, purl to end. Row 3: sl1, knit to end. Row 4: repeat Row 2. Row 5 (decrease row): sl 1, k1, k2tog, k to last 4 sts, ssk, k2. Continue in stockinette st, working decrease row every 4th row (rows 9, 13, 17, 21) and slipping first stitch of each row. Rows 23-28: work even in stockinette, slipping the first st of each row. Switch to blue and knit one row. Seam together the two edges, then join in the round and continue to work garter stitch for 5 more rounds. BO all stitches.
I really like how this turned out and can’t wait for my little one to start wearing it!
I finished several projects this month. This was mostly because I took a week off of work before the baby was born, and spent most of that time knitting. I think it was my nesting instinct kicking into overdrive!
Easy Baby Hat
FINISHED – Last month I wrote about the Albizia Hat and Mittens from the Quince Quarterly Fall 2020 subscription box, and the modified version of the hat I made for my toddler. I still had a little bit of the wonderful Owl yarn left and wanted to find a way to use it up. I had just enough yarn to make a baby hat. Now both of my kids have hats to match mine! The pattern I improvised is below.
Baby Hat Pattern: Gauge: 20 sts = 4 in with US 7 needles Yarn: Owl by Quince and Co. in Steppe (C1), Allagash (C2), and Abyssinian (C3) Finished measurements: About 14″ circumference, and 5″ tall CO 70 with two-color long-tail cast on. (Here is a description of the cast on, although I only used a single needle.) Round 1: Knit with C1, which was on the thumb side for the cast on. Round 2: Knit with C2, which was on the finger side for the cast on. Rounds 3-6: Work K1, P1 ribbing, alternating C1 and C2 each round. The remainder of the hat is worked in stockinette stitch (K all stitches). Rounds 7-15: *Knit 2 rounds with C1, Knit 1 round with C2, repeat from * 2 more times. Rounds 16-18: Knit 2 rounds with C1, Knit 1 round with C3. Rounds 19-27: *Knit 2 rounds with C1, Knit 1 round with C2, repeat from * 2 more times. Round 28 (dec rnd): With C1, *K3, K2tog, repeat from * (14 sts decreased, 56 sts remain) Round 29: With C1, knit Round 30: With C3, knit Round 31 (dec rnd): With C1, *K2, K2tog, repeat from * (14 sts decreased, 42 sts remain) Round 32: With C1, knit Round 33 (dec rnd): With C2, *K1, K2tog, repeat from * (14 sts decreased, 28 sts remain) Round 34: With C1, knit Round 35 (dec rnd): With C1, *K2tog, repeat from * (14 sts decreased, 14 sts remain) Round 36 (dec rnd): With C1, *K2tog, repeat from * (7 sts decreased, 7 sts remain) Break yarn, thread through remaining 7 sts and cinch closed, weave in ends.
FINISHED – I swatched twice for this! I had to go up a needle size from the pattern recommendation to make gauge. I love the pattern…it is a beautiful 4-color stranded colorwork hat in fingering yarn (Brooklyn Tweed Peerie). I suspect I will be making more than one of these, especially because there is plenty of yarn left!
IN PROGRESS – I’m nearing the finish line on this pullover! Since last month, I joined the sleeves to the body and started working the circular yoke. I’m 70% done with the yoke pattern, which uses simple combinations of knit and purl stitches to create a textured design.
FINISHED – This is a quick knit using chunky Brooklyn Tweed Quarry yarn. The pattern includes instructions for both chunky yarn and DK yarn, so it’s a nice one to have in my library.
IN PROGRESS – I already made one of these, but it ended up too big, likely since I didn’t do a real gauge swatch. I started over with smaller needles and so far it seems like a better fit. The pattern uses a simple half brioche rib stitch to make a cozy fabric. I’m using Brooklyn Tweed’s Dapple yarn, a blend of cotton and wool that they released this summer.
FINISHED – This is another item that I made pretty quickly. I started it 2 days before the baby was born and even worked on it a little bit in the hospital! It is worked top down with raglan sleeve shaping and a garter stitch border worked in the round. It is based on this pattern, with significant modifications.
FINISHED – I stitched the name and did the finishing sewing during nap times. I’m so glad I got this done just in time to decorate for Christmas! (Note: I prefer to keep my kids anonymous online, so that’s why the name is blurred.)
I read two books related to knitting: A Stashof One’s Own by Clara Parkes, and The KnitVibe by Vickie Howell. I’ve also been keeping up with Modern Daily Knitting, and ordered myself a few gifts from their store!
Today I want to highlight some neckwear accessories that I’ve made over the past few years. They are all made from the same yarn, Brooklyn Tweed Vale, and all the patterns are from Brooklyn Tweed as well. If you haven’t tried any of their patterns, I highly recommend them. They are all high quality and include details on all required techniques (cast on, blocking, stitch patterns, etc.).
Brooklyn Tweed Vale is a laceweight Rambouillet wool that premiered in 2017. When it was released, I immediately ordered a shade card to see what it was like. The yarn is soft and springy, and comes in several colors ranging from bold to pastel to neutral. As a laceweight yarn, the look really changes depending on the gauge of the project it is used in. I’ve completed three projects with Vale so far.
I made Gully (pattern) in the summer of 2017, right after I received the shade card and decided I must knit with this yarn. This lightweight cowl took one skein of Vale in colorway Norway. This was the first time I had tried brioche knitting, which uses yarn overs and slipped stitches to create a squishy fabric. It is an interesting technique to use with laceweight yarn, resulting in a cozy but very lightweight feel. This cowl is knit flat, starting from the bottom, and gradually tapers to a narrower opening at the top. It is seamed together after blocking to create a tube. Unlike a lot of cowl designs, this one fits very closely to the neck. Mine ended up almost too tight, so if I make this pattern again I will swatch carefully and consider going up a needle size (I used the recommended US4 this time).
I made the Brora Shawl (pattern) in 2017 and early 2018, using two skeins of Vale in colorway Heron and US3 needles. This triangular shawl was a delight to knit and I wear it frequently. The center triangle is knit first, starting at the center point, then the edges of this triangle are picked up and the outer lace motif is worked out toward the edges. The center triangle has a subtle garter triangle pattern, and the lace section includes both garter stitch and eyelets. I like that this shawl is light enough that it could go with a summer dress to lessen the chill of the evening, or it could be a layer underneath a warmer coat in the colder seasons.
I started the Prism Cowl (pattern) in mid-2018, and didn’t finish it until mid-2020! This was during the height of my knitting rut so I really was not working on it for most of this time. I finally picked it back up and finished it once I started working from home due to the coronavirus in March 2020. Anyway, this cowl used two skeins of Vale in colorway Thaw and a US6 needle. It is knit flat and grafted together after blocking. The pattern is a satisfying combination of garter stitch and geometric lace. It was interesting to knit but also fairly easy to memorize each row. It can be styled as a long cowl or wrapped double for extra coziness.
I went a little crazy on ordering Vale yarn back in 2017, so I have a few skeins left – one each of colorways Sashiko, Vernal, Barberry, and Morel. Maybe I’ll make some more Gully Cowls as gifts, or track down some other one-skein patterns. These colors could also work nicely together if I find a nice large, multicolor project. It will be a treat to use this wonderful yarn again!
IN PROGRESS – This is as done as it can be until the baby comes! By mid-October, I had finished everything except stitching the name and the final construction. It didn’t take as long as I expected – only about 3 months. It required really buckling down and focusing on it, though!
Albizia Hat and Mittens
FINISHED – This is the Quince Quarterly Fall 2020 project that I wrote about here.
After completing the Albizia hat and mittens, I had enough yarn leftover to make a toddler hat (left in above picture). I adapted the pattern to make it a little smaller than the original hat, and to account for having very little of the oatmeal-colored yarn left. I cast on 5 fewer stitches to shrink the diameter and worked about 8 fewer rounds. The pattern has 3 colorwork charts to make up the full pattern. I worked the first and last chart as written, and for the middle section I took inspiration from the second chart. I like how the toddler hat turned out, and I’m glad I made it right away while I still remembered my gauge for this pattern and yarn. I still have a little bit of the blue and yellow yarn, so maybe I’ll whip up a tiny baby hat, too!
IN PROGRESS – I finished the main stockinette body and both sleeves. The next step is to join the sleeves with the body, then work the circular yoke, which has a charted pattern. I’m excited for this step, as I’ve never made a circular yoke sweater before.
I wrote recently about the Quince Quarterly box I just subscribed to. This was not my first yarn subscription box, though. In 2019 I received the Darn Good YarnYarn of the Month subscription box for about 6 months. For $20 a box, you get a skein of yarn, a pattern designed for the monthly yarn, and some kind of accessory or notion. The pattern always has a knit option and a crochet option, and sometimes there are even two patterns for each craft.
The yarns are different from what you would find at most yarn companies. Darn Good Yarn primarily sources its yarn from disadvantaged communities, and most products are recycled in some way. For example, some of their yarns are made from recycled saris from India. They also have yarns made from uncommon fibers like banana fiber. This company has a great mission that I’m happy to support!
Finished Project #1
So what have I received in my subscription boxes, and what have I made? This month, I finally finished the Kahawai Cowl that I started making sometime in 2019. This project used some really nice Lace Weight Silk Yarn in color Sparkle Sandy Beach. The yarn is lightweight and mixes dyed silk with a skinny strand of sparkly material. It was overall nice to work with, but sometimes the fiber got caught on itself. The yarn nicely self-stripes, and the blue/green stripes contrast well with the sandy brown stripes.
The cowl is knit in the round and consists of a large cable on a background of reverse stockinette, followed by regular stockinette. After knitting the full length of the tube, the ends are seamed together. I did kind of a hybrid join, something between mattress stitch and kitchener stitch. Since I did not bind off the final edge before seaming but did not do a provisional cast-on, I couldn’t quite do regular kitchener stitch. The join is hardly visible, though (see the middle of the photo below), so I’m happy with how it turned out! This box also included a set of safety pin stitch markers, which I find useful for all kinds of projects.
Finished Project #2
The other project I finished is a little crocheted bag with a drawstring (I can’t find the pattern, unfortunately). It is made from Fancy Twist Silk Yarn in color Pink Flamingo, a bulky recycled silk yarn. This bag is a nice size for a child’s treasures, or maybe it could be a dice bag for role playing games. If I’m remembering correctly, the accessory this month was a pair of straight needles and a crochet hook, in an appropriate size for the pattern (US8).
Unfinished Project #1
This box featured a nice colorful yarn: Darn Good Twist Worsted Weight Silk Yarn, which is made from recycled silk, in color Machu Picchu. I worked on the knit pattern a few months ago, but am only about halfway done. It is an I-cord necklace made with US8 double-pointed needles. The box also included a 3-pack of silver buttons, which could look nice as an accent on a cowl or headband.
Unfinished Project #2
This box includes Speckled Tweed Recycled Silk Yarn in color Begonia. The two pattern options are a bracelet and a cowl. I haven’t yet decided which project to make…maybe I’ll try something completely different! The accessory gift is a pom pom tassel, which would be a cute embellishment for a bag.
Unfinished Project #3
Although the tag on the yarn in this image says it’s super bulky, it is really a Worsted Weight in color Catskill Fireworks (there was a slight mix-up in the inventory). The pattern is a bottle coozie and looks pretty fast to knit. The accessory is some hand salve, which is really helpful in winter months to soften hands.
This is a nice subscription box for trying unique yarns and small projects. I found that several of the recommended patterns were things I was not so excited to make, so I think that is why they have languished on my shelf. My desire to knit was also in a lull while I was subscribing, so that also may have been a factor. I do really like the company and would consider subscribing again in the future. If you’d like to subscribe, you can sign up here.