FO: Cait’s Cowl

I’m always asked why I don’t sell what I knit and I have a lot of responses (you wouldn’t want to pay me what it’s worth, people would expect perfection and I’m not perfect, I don’t want to…). But in all honesty, I like to make what I want when the mood strikes me. And more often than not I’m making something for someone else as a way to say thank you. Here’s a fine example. The other weekend I had brunch with friends and my girlfriend Cait was going to come and speak to my students that week. So when I saw her on Sunday wearing a super cute chunky green knit hat with a big pink pom pom on top I decided she needed a cowl to match.
Cait’s Cowl
Cait lives in DC and walks everywhere, so she’s a prime candidate for hand knits because she’d wear them and appreciate them on a cold day. Plus she’s a pretty awesome person who does cool stuff for work and gives great presentations to my students (I’m very lucky to have awesome friends). Last year I made her baby boy on the way a super cute cardigan but this time I wanted to make something for her. I knew I had a pretty close Kelly green yarn in my stash that would go with her hat (Knit Picks Mighty Stitch Bulky) that would be super soft and I still had some bright pink Ella Rae Chunky from this sweater I made ages ago that is super warm. That makes a perfect combo for a cowl – softness and warmth. So I pulled out the Beginner’s Brioche Cowl pattern I’d already knit a few weeks before and started to work on a lovely two color cowl for my friend.
Cait’s Cowl
By Monday night I was finished and blocking it so it had a full day to dry before I saw Cait on Wednesday for class. And with the beauty of brioche she can wear it on whatever side she wants to!
My brioche addiction is still strong…next I think will be a shawl with brioche in it but that will have to wait until I finish my two sweaters I’ve got on my needles. And speaking of, that Carbeth Cardigan is working up quickly!! If I get a little time to myself I might get close to finishing it this weekend. What are your weekend plans?


FO: Louisville Knits

I’ve been working on so many little projects and have taken a bunch of random photos so I thought I’d collect a few similar things into one post to share my finished objects. Sound like a plan?

Typically whenever I see my girlfriend Salina I like to take her a crafty gift because we gift handmade things to each other all the time. You might remember the hat I made for her when we went to New Orleans a while ago. Well, I had the same colorway of the Madlinetosh yarn, Spectrum, in the bulky weight that I had waited forever to do something with for her. So I decided to knit her a cowl.
I picked up the Beginners Brioche Cowl when it was free on Ravelry and used it as a guide to knit Salina a two color brioche cowl in the car on the way to Louisville. It only took me a few hours. I cast on more stitches that required to make it a bit bigger and looser and liked the finished look. I used the blue and purple yarn mixed with a skein of Mighty Stitch Bulky in silver. It was a great contrast and insanely soft. And I also decided her daughter Alexandra needed a cowl too but I wanted to do a bolder color palette and a little something different.
So I made her the fun Worsted Brioche Bandana Cowl and used the leftover yarn I had from my Happy Little Sweater. I love this Indian Corn colorway from the Lemonade Shop and wanted to put what I had left in a fun project. I contrasted it with some Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Superwash in Columbine Heather, a reddish purple, I had in my stash.
I think Alexandra will enjoy this little cowl since she’s always cold. It’s cute to wear with her purple coat or just on its own. And while we were in Louisville, Salina took me to Fiber and Friends a cute little yarn shop in La Grange, Kentucky. The ladies in this shop were so warm and inviting. They were taking my coat off for show and tell so they could see my knits! I definitely suggest if you’re in the area to pop on in. And while we were there Salina fell in love with a pom pom so I suggested she pick out some yarn and I would make her a hat to go with it. She picked up this really beautiful Berroco Millefiori BIG yarn in a purple and blue colorway. I knew immediately that one skein would be perfect for the Purl Soho pattern Super Soft Merino Hats for Everyone. It doesn’t take much yarn and I was able to whip it up in about 3 hours.
I’m so addicted to brioche knitting…you’re going to see these two patterns again very soon. I’ve got some wilder color combos coming that I made for myself!

Quick Gifts

I am currently a week into knitting a sweater for one of my sisters and I have one sleeve left to go! Since I know my sisters visit this blog on occasion I’m going to hold off on sharing the project here (or I may share it on Ravelry in a Ravelry only link when I’m finished) but I thought I could share some of the things I made last year for the holidays when I wasn’t blogging in case anyone was looking for quick and easy projects.
Frances fingerless mitts
Last year I only photographed the first pair of Frances Mitts (another Jane Richmond pattern I love) but I actually made SIX pairs! I was knitting these babies non-stop and I loved how quick and easy they were. Picking up stitches on the back was a bit tricky the first time but once you get it (and realize you’re knitting something inside out) they become easy as pie. They take less than one skein of yarn, are worsted weight and I actually liked doing them in a heavy acrylic blend to make them warm and machine washable. Plus my cousin told me they’re great to pop a hand warmer on the inside – she deals with brutal Chicago winters. I need to make a pair of these for myself with some of the leftover worsted weight wool I have in my stash.
A perfect fit and a happy smile. That's why I love making things. Thanks for being a guest speaker this semester @larrybrownjr #dwjknits
Hats are another great quick knit and I adore the Amelia E. trapper hat. This is an interesting top down hat construction! I’ve knit so many of these and even given this pattern as gifts. I love it because it has a great size range so it can accommodate anyone. Last year I made it for my friend Larry in the Valley Yarns Berkshire because he’s a bald guy and I wanted something soft but sturdy on his head. He loved it and told me he drove home hanging his head out the window to test how warm it was LOL. Now that’s when you know someone likes a gift.
Bandana Cowl
Another quick knit is Purl Soho’s Bandana Cowl. I’ve done this in ribbon yarn, bulky weight, doubled up worsted weight…this was one of my first projects where I learned how to do short rows! It’s done on big needles, is a cozy warm cowl and always a hit. Oh and the pattern is FREE!

My knit gift list is small this year, just my sisters and my cousin really. If I have time I may do something new for my mom. Really I want to get some of this out of the way because I want to make a few things still for myself! I’ve been loving wearing my knit sweaters as it gets colder and it just motivates me to want to make myself more!

So what are you knitting for the holidays? Any good quick knits to share?