Monday, July 27, 2009

A cowl of my own

I finally finished my very first whole project made from my own handspun yarn.  I used my merino/cashmere blend that I made a couple of weeks ago in the Tour de Fleece. I didn’t spin a large amount of it, given that it was my first attempt and it was only around a fingering weight, so it was a little tricky to find something I wanted to make with it.  Here is the finished results:

Loose and floppy

Or pinned back with a broach

If you would like to try to recreate this project, here is a very loosy-goosy version of a pattern:

A Cowl of My Own


Since I used a handspun yarn of my own creation, I will suggest using a commercially manufactured yarn. Two that I know will give you a great result are:

Alternatively, you can choose any other DK weight yarn with a softer animal fiber content (alpaca, cashmere, anything else luxurious next to your skin is great).  As far as color suggestions go, something with some variance would look really nice, but a self stripping yarn with stark color contrasts between colors might make you look a little like Bozo the Clown and we wouldn’t want that.

Technical Stuff:

Like I said before, this was a little adhoc and any gauge guidelines are going to rely heavily on the yarn you choose, so throw caution into the wind and use your better judgment on this one. 


5 mm circular (40 cm in length) or you can always use DPN if you are more comfortable with that

The Actual Pattern:

The number of stitches you cast on is going to depend on how floppy you want your end results.  In the pictures above, I worked 96 stitches in each row. If you want it really floppy cowl shoot for a lot of stitches (112 +). 

Using a long tail cast on, CO stitches in multiple of 16. Join to work in the round.

For the first round, place a stitch marker at the beginning of the round and knit one round.

For the second round, k5, yo, k1, yo, k5, ssk, k1, k2tog and repeat that sequence for the rest of the round (in my example that’s 6 sets of this pattern – 96/16=6).

Repeat rows 1-2 until you reach the desired length.  End on an odd round (all knits) and cast off.

If you are a chart reader, maybe this will help:


In order to make look just right, make sure to block out your new creation when you are done.  Happy knitting!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Hurray for new toys

I have just ordered myself a new drop spindle.  Since recently buying my very first drop spindle in order to learn how to spin, I have found that spinning as a whole is a lot easier (and addictive) than I thought it would be.  My beginner spindle – all 100g of it – was great for learning how to spin, but the results were really, really thick yarn or if you’re cynical like me, you'd call it rope. 

I guess I could make do with it, but live would be so much easier with a lighter spindle.  I’ve been looking around online for a while and most of the shops I have been looking for are either in the US, meaning I would have to pay extra shipping plus Danish moms of 25% upon delivery or else they want me to pay the price of the spindle in order to ship it to me, so either way, I will end up paying double the price in order to get my grubby hands on it.  Alas…

So this morning, I was online again (surprise) and found a web shop called IST Crafts which ships from the UK. They have a nice selection of spindles in various diameters and weights and a rather large selection of woods compared to other shops I have looked at.  I settled on a 60 mm (18-28g) spindle made out of Tulipwood on Sycamore with Walnut shaft:

Tulipwood on Sycamore with Walnut shaft

Best of all, it only cost me £22, the shipping was VERY reasonable and I have heard good things about them from other spinners.  Now I just have to figure out what my first project should be. Tags: ,

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Ew ew ew

I’ve been working on a sweater for my son and it’s been a bit of a strange process.  I wanted to use some Kauni 8/2 yarn I bought from Lynghøjgaard Garnbutikken some time ago with the intention of eventually making a sweater of some sort.  When I started knitting, I thought to myself that these colors weren’t quite looking as good together as I had thought they would in my head (and we all know that some thing seems like such a good idea “at the time”…)

So, I got though a zig zag detailing around the neck and realized that it looked like little M’s… wait a minute… yellow M’s on a red background?! Maybe even Golden Arches??  I’ve knitted a sweater for Ronald McDonald himself!!

Mustart Yellow  + Postbox Red  =ARG!

While they yarn and pattern themselves are great, I guess the real issue here is user error – ie: the knitter who put these to colors together, me.  And if you don’t believe me or if it’s been a while since you’ve seen the McD’s logo take a look at this:


At this point, I keep knitting and knitting the lower body of the sweater in the hopes that more red will balance this all out. Maybe a sleeve or two will help… will keep you posted on this ketchup and mustard nightmare.

PS: Just a minute, need to channel my inner gangster here… A special shout out @McJuel for the technical assistance.

Bing Bang McJuel Tags: ,,

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Let me see your grill

Ok, I am not sponsored nor am I moonlighting with product home-parties, but I made the investment of a buy the other day and had to plug this product.  The local grocery market Føtex had the Weber Style grill thermometer on sale the other day and I bought it. 

Ohh… ahhhh

I was going to make a roast on the grill and with two small children, I didn’t think that I would remember to check the meat when necessary.  It didn’t cost that much and I could carry the handset with me to keep track of the impending tastiness on my grill.  So… To keep it short, this was a great buy – it’s idiot proof and great for those like me who are busy or easily distracted. 

How did we ever get along when we had to actually get off our butts to cook food??

I’ve been a bad blogger…

I have been a very bad blogger the past few days and have not kept up with my postings, but in my defense, I have been very busy with several different projects.  I wonder if that balances my negligence toward my blog??

I have also been neglegent toward knitting.  I have been led astray…alas… I have been cheating on knitting with my sewing machine.   So far I have made some sleeping pants, a skirt and a dress for my daughter.  Stof og Stil had a mega super sale, so after getting a lot of good ideas about making skirts, dresses, onesies and other cool stuff for myself and kids, it was difficult not to say no to buying mass quantities of fabric.

I have a new knitting project made out of some yarn that I have just gotten done spinning myself (hey, two projects in one – bonus points!).  I have been looking for a scarf pattern I could work from that was easy to memorize since I hate being tied to a chart while I knit, especially since I usually store my charts on my hard drive.  The pattern I found was the Lace Ribbon Scarf.  Since the pattern is simple, repetitive, and knits up fast so it’s right up my ally at the moment. 

Ohh.... ahhh... lace scarfOld pic – we are up to about 40 cm in length now.

I lost motivation with this project over the past few days since temperatures outside have bounced between 27-30 C, which makes knitting a wool scarf feel not only moronic, but less than comfortable when you have to have your project in your lap as you work.  Now that the temperatures are back down to a more humane 20 C, I finally get to pick up my needles again.

Now that the Tour de Fleece is on, I am also spinning a lot.  My husband and I have spent the last two days with each of our hobbies – he with the Tour de France and I with the Tour de Fleece – and I have really enjoyed it.  It’s good “hygge” and a fun way to dump mass quantities of coffee into your system.  It would be nice to get this stuff in IV form so that I didn’t have to stop spinning or knitting every time I wanted a sip.