FO Friday: Howl Cowl

I put this pattern in my queue some time ago, and I bought yarn for it in early September.  My goal was to finish it by Halloween …

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Project: Howl Cowl

Pattern: Hocus Pocus Cowl

Designer: Thea Eschliman

Available: $7 on Ravelry (includes alternate pattern for tote bag)

Yarn: Knit Picks Gloss Fingering in Black and Stroll Tonal in Foliage

I had a great time making this cowl.  It begins and ends with a turned hem.  Even the “baubles” are adorable — and I’m often not a fan of bobble-knitting.  I think the colorwork is exceptionally clever — very evocative cats, owl, and pumpkins, with subtle vines to fill in the empty spaces. I especially like the skull at the foot of the cats — fantastic!

What with camping in the snow (unintentionally) and a days-long power outage, I wasn’t able to finish before Oct 31st.  Lucky for me, the power outage forced the town to delay Halloween by a week, so by some measures I did get to finish on “Halloween night.”

New Pattern Release: Steek This Coffee Cozy

Introducing my latest pattern: Steek This Coffee Cozy! I designed this button-up mini vest to fit 20-oz coffee cups. More important than a stylish accessory for your latte, however, is the opportunity to try out steeking!

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Steeking is technique used to safely and securely cut your knitting to create holes where you want them. It is frequently used with complex colorwork sweaters, because it is easier and faster to knit colorwork in the round. It can be scary to steek a big sweater, so I created this scaled-down steeking project to help knitters try out the technique fearlessly. The cozy is worked in the round with stranded colorwork to create a classic fair-isle pattern. Then follow the step-by-step guide to steeking with a crocheted reinforcement.

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Pattern: Steek This Coffee Cozy

Designer: Rachel Henry (that’s me!)

Available:  FREE! on Ravelry

Yarn: Cascade 220 Solids and Heathers

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Inspiration: This coffee cozy popped into my head when I was thinking about fun, useful classes that I wanted to teach. If we get enough people, I’ll be teaching “Steek This” on Mondays this September at Unforgettable Yarns.

Yarn: Natural fibers, NOT superwash

Design/Skills Needed: This project is best for knitters who have experience with colorwork and knitting in the round.  The tutorial walks you through the process of reinforcing the steek with a crocheted chain before cutting. Stitches are picked up along the two edges created by cutting, and the button bands are knit from there.

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I would be delighted to answer any questions or help any knitters working on this project.

FO Friday: Arbuckle Hat

1971 Arbuckle Hat

For Christmas this year, I gave seven gift certificates to close family members for a “Knit 4 U x Me” gift: they can choose from several suggestions, or ask for something else completely.  It’s a clever trick, because my giftees get exactly what they want, and I’m not swamped by Christmas knitting.

My Grandpa Bob made this request:

Commercial hat size is “large.” Measure is 22 1/2″.

Summer I’m a bill cap or straw, so best use a wool or such yarn.

Color wise? Hey, I’m color blind, an old dog, what-do-I-know dog.

This left a lot up to me! I wanted to use a pattern that was interesting without being too outlandish, but that my Grandpa could still appreciate.  I chose colors he could see, too. Superwash wool is a must for gifts, unless I’m sure the giftee knows how to care for wool and wants to do it.  Swish DK is exactly the right yarn for this  present.

1970 Arbuckle Hat

Project: Arbuckle Christmas Hat

Pattern: Arbuckle Hat

Designer: Alexis Winslow

Available: on Ravelry for just $2.00

Yarn: Knit Picks Swish DK in Marble Heather and Delft Heather (1 ball each)

I usually knit a bit larger than gauge, so I used the given needles in order to make a slightly larger-than-pattern hat.  Then I threw it in the washer and dryer, to make sure it could handle any rough care it might receive at it’s new home.  (If something will be ruined, I would rather do it myself and then try again.)  It felted just a tiny bit, and the garter edge wants to flip when it’s not on a head, but it survived admirably other than that. I deem it “good enough” to go to my Grandpa Bob.

1972 Arbuckle Hat