American Wool Series

Friday, December 14, 2012

Savory Knitting

If you're as obsessed with Amy Christoffers' patterns as I am you'll be happy to know that all of her accessory patterns are on sale through December 24th. I just snapped up the Bristol Hat, for which I've got very selfish knitting plans.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Quick Gifts to Knit: Cowls

Here we are two weeks from Christmas, firmly ensconced in Hanukkah, and I bet you're frantically knitting away at gifts. Am I right? Well, if you've finally realized that all those socks for every family member knit on size 1 needles aren't going to knit themselves you're probably looking for alternative gift ideas. Here we go- these are some of my favorite free fast cowl patterns

I'll start off by tooting my own horn. My GSZ cowl is free (see the sidebar at right) and is super quick to knit in one skein of Malabrigo Rasta. Finish time for one of those bad boys is between 2 and 4 hours. Toot!

Last year I knit the Gaptastic Cowl out of two skeins of Cascade 128 Superwash for Little A's teacher. Two shortish evenings of knitting and I had a cowl just long enough to loop around for extra warmth. The beauty of this cowl is that you just knit seed stitch until you're almost out of yarn and then bind off so it's easily adjustable for both length and width.

The Burberry Inspired Cowl is a nice cabley pattern without being overly fussy. This cowl is knit flat lengthwise and then seamed. I knit mine with two skeins of Malabrigo Twist but you can easily alter the pattern to use up more skeins or less, like my friend Jen.

A perpetual favorite is the Dolores Park Cowl knit in one skein of Malabrigo Chunky. This is pretty much as simple as it gets. Chunky yarn, stockinette in the round, and a few increases make this cowl totally doable for newbie knitters or those of us in a time crunch.

This final pattern is one I've been stalking on Ravelry as of late - the Understory Cowl. It's a nice combination of pretty lace and aran weight yarn knit on size 10 needles. I think it would be easy to adjust circumference-wise once you figure out the number of stitches in the lace repeat. But really, I like the bold lace pattern with the heavy yarn. It looks extra squishy and toasty but pretty, too.

There you have it. Five free cowl patterns knit in heavy-ish weight yarns that could make it under the Christmas tree this year. Happy knitting!

Aaaaand I'm Done

No, not with holiday knitting but with something else that has been taking up a large amount of time and brain power. I'm finished with my BA coursework!!! As soon as grades are submitted and my paperwork is processed I'll be an official graduate of the University of Washington.

What next? Good question.

I'm taking a couple of weeks off for the holidays and the visit of my best friend who has been in Ukraine for the last two years. I'm going to knit. I'm going to revel in not having to do homework. And then I'm going to get down to the business of applying for graduate school. The application deadline is in October so I have plenty of time as long as I don't procrastinate. I've got writing samples to complete and observation hours to fulfill and a lot of other various requirements that take both time and attention.

For now I'm going to enjoy my freedom from school and spend time with my friends and family during the holiday season. And knit. A lot.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

WIP: Gentleman's Sock in Railway Stitch

These are one of my last gifts to knit for the holiday season and I'm a little embarrassed to say they've been lingering on the needles since other things are calling to me and I'm trying to wrap up my school quarter. All week long I've been fighting off some kind of sick* and it finally caught up with me yesterday. I had to miss a birthday celebration and will probably miss another outing tomorrow but the upside is that I finally picked these up again. As of this morning I've turned the heel and am almost done with the gusset decreases. Actually, I turned the heel twice since the first time I failed to read any sort of directions based on my actual stitch count. Note to self, cold medicine and improvisation don't make for well-turned heels.

*I sound like Barry White and can hear out of only one ear.