My maternal grandmother was named Doris. She was an excellent lady. She had 5 kids and 27 grand- and great-grand children. Those 32 relatives had about 10 different names for her (Mom, Mother, Ma, Nannie, Granny, Grandma, etc.). To me and my brother, she was Nannie. And she was the best! When I was in elementary school, my mom had to tell the administrators that Nannie wasn’t allowed to pick me up if I was sick. I would go to the nurse and fake it because I knew she’d pick me up and take me to her house to watch cartoons and eat junk food. It was awesome.
Nannie died about this time last year. I couldn’t get enough money to go home for the funeral. I was heart-broken. Then, when the holidays rolled around, I was still too broke for a plane ticket home. My mom simply wouldn’t let me miss Christmas with the family. She found a way to get me home for the holidays. And it was one of the best yet. It meant the world to me.
Mom has wanted a fine lace shawl for years now. I figured it was about time she got one. She lives at the beach now, and has always favored a beachy color scheme. So I chose some Sea Lace in the Barbados colorway, a lovely seafoam green and cool ocean blue.
I knew I wanted to make a garter stitch based shawl; purling isn’t terrible, but purling across a row of 200+ stitches isn’t my idea of a good time. I knew I wanted to use some traditional Shetland lace edgings. And I knew I wanted it to be big. So I found a good book on Shetland knitting, Heirloom Knitting, and was thrilled to find an edging pattern called Doris! It had to be a part of the shawl. I paired it with another edging for a really deep border.
The shawl starts at the center back in garter stitch. The next panel is a simple 2-row lace, off-set every other repeat; this is followed by another small panel of garter stitch. Finally, the deep border is knit on sideways, eating up the body stitches along the way. To ensure the corner is turned properly, more rows are worked between the body stitches. It turned out not just big, but HUGE!!! I love everything about this project. I wish I could be there when Mom opens the package.
It wasn’t long ago that I thought to myself: I have plenty of time for all of my holiday knitting. And now…I’m laughing at myself. Even starting the day after Christmas, a knitter NEVER has enough time for holiday knitting; the more time available, the more people are added to the gift list, or the projects become more complicated.
Both of these things have happened to me in the last few weeks. I added a Secret Santa gift from my roller derby league to the list, along with a few other new family members. Additionally, a baby shower gift morphed into three separate gifts, and a friend’s gift at least tripled in size. And these are just the things I can mention here without giving away any secrets!
However, I have not been working on my holiday knitting list. Like, NOT. AT. ALL. Instead, I’ve been working on prototypes and drafts for a handful of upcoming knitting patterns. Because that seems like more fun to me!
The first was a set including a hat and a pair of fingerless mitts done in a Special Edition yarn by Hand Maiden called Keji Worsted. The 100% cashmere yarn is simply amazing to handle! The second pattern is an adorable hood in a new Fleece Artist yarn, Tosca. And the third pattern is a buttoned ascot done in Hand Maiden’s Marrakesh. Look for these in the next couple of weeks.
And the final pattern I’ll be releasing in the next couple of weeks is for a squishy, all-over cable hat called The Staghorn. It features a 16-stitch mirror-image cable repeated around the hat, separated by a single purl stitch, and an optional puff ball. It’s a fairly quick knit in BFL Aran!
I’ve always been someone who works best under pressure and with deadlines, so now that we’re past Thanksgiving and officially “in the holiday season,” I’m feeling enough of a push to start my holiday gift knitting list!
What’s more exciting than getting in a sample skein of 100% cashmere yarn from Hand Maiden? Just about nothing! I took this opportunity to design a quick, simple, unisex hat and fingerless mitt pattern combo, the Cape Creek Cashmere Set. Each item in the set requires just one skein of the luxurious cashmere.
The Cape Creek bridge along Highway 101 in Oregon is one of 13 bridges designed by Conde McCullough listed on the National Register of Historic Places. These bridges use bold straight lines and gentle arches to reflect the art deco style that was popular during the time of their construction. They use sturdy, rugged concrete and steel to span breathtaking natural settings, juxtaposing durability with beauty.
The Cape Creek bridge echos Roman aquaducts with its strong vertical pillars, and is the inspiration for this luxurious cashmere hat and mitt set. An easy stitch motif mimics the straight pillars of the bridge; tightly spun cashmere resists wear and tear. A mix of bold yet simple lines, durable materials, and natural beauty make this set as timeless as the McCullough bridges.
I’ve been sick. Really sick. And it’s no fun at all. Except the part when I get to lay around in bed with all the animals, and knit the day away while listening to audio-books and sipping on heavily honeyed tea. That part isn’t actually so bad! Over in the Colorsong Yarn group on Rav, we’re hosting a BFL-A-Long; everyone is working with a BFL yarn and a pattern of their choice. I chose to knit Non-Felted Slippers by Yuko Nakamura.
I like the final outcome, but I’m not at all pleased with the construction method. The slippers are knit flat and seamed along the bottom of the foot and up the back of the ankle. This seems very
strange wrong to me. I will definitely knit them again, but I will start with Judy’s magic cast-on along the bottom of the foot, and then continue to knit in the round. It just makes more sense to me, and no seams!
After finishing the slippers, I still have a month more left in the BFL-A-Long, so I cast on for a hat featuring a staghorn cable. I found the cable when perusing a Barbara G. Walker stitch dictionary, and it grabbed me. I had to knit it. Then, I was looking through a trunk of yarn and found this BFL Aran in the Colorsong Yarn Fashion Color Exclusive Regatta, which is very similar to Tourmaline, though this photo doesn’t accurately reflect the color. The two were a perfect pair, and voila, a fantastic hat!
This video was shared with me, and it moved me. Profoundly. I hope you also enjoy it.