Three Little Pumpkins

I have finished these adorable little pumpkins and I love them! I found a few skeins of Lion Brand Thick and Quick in my stash and, you all know, that I’ve been working hard to knit down my stash. Many of the yarns that I have are nearly antiques! (Some are legit antiques but that’s another story.)

Three Little Pumpkins

I have knitted this pattern before. It’s “Pumpkin” by Marnie Ann Joyce and it’s free on Ravelry. I’ve made these little pumpkins in super bulky and worsted weight yarns before. So when I found the leftovers of orange and green Lion Brand Yarns Thick and Quick, I knew what I needed to do – and the timing is so right on! Right?

I used US 10 1/2 DPNs for this project which made them a little smaller than previous versions but they’re perfect this way because none of the stuffing shows through and they’re pretty indestructible … and since they’re going west to my nieces and nephew, they’ll be bounced around a little bit (or a lot!)

These guys knit up in a flash. I was able to finish one in about two hours. I added the icord stem by knitting a 5-stitch icord for two or three rounds, and then decreasing to a 4-stitch icord for a couple of rounds and ended up with a 3-stitch icord until I thought it was the way I liked it. The green pumpkin has a special curved stem that has two stitches (one leg of each stitch) knitted together to stick them that way forever!

Gone knitting.

Knitting Rules – The Truth about Slipped Stitches

Mojo Jojo Cowl in Berroco Mojo

Mojo Jojo Cowl in Berroco Mojo

I just completed a quick-knit cowl with some lovely yarn Santa brought for me. The yarn, Berroco’s Mojo in a bee-utiful shade of blues (Color 8001/Dye lot 2078). With two stitches to an inch on size US15 needles, this super bulky yarn knits up really quickly … the cowl took maybe four hours of knitting (and I’m a slow knitter).

The pattern, Mojo Jojo, is a free Ravelry pattern. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to knit up with the two hanks that Santa brought me but when I searched Ravelry (and I am moving to Maine in a few months) I found the cowl pattern and decided that THIS was a good plan. The pattern uses what is called a “faux cable”. I’m not sure that I agree with that term as it looks more like a stretched stitch to me but if you really want to stand back a few feet and squint, I guess one might say it looks like a cable … or maybe not. Regardless, the cowl is very attractive and it was a quick and easy knit project that I completed in a few hours. I will get a lot of wear out of it in Maine next winter.

Mojo Jojo Cowl Close-up

Mojo Jojo Cowl Close-up …  faux cable?

The faux cable is created by slipping one stitch, knitting four stitches and then passing the slipped stitch over the four knitted stitches. When knitting this cowl, I followed my slipping stitches rule #2. I slipped the first stitch knitwise because I was going to use it again in the next row.

So, let’s talk about slipping stitches in knitting.

A lot of knitters struggle with how to slip stitches and what is the “right” way to slip a stitch. So, here are the rules of slipping stitches according to me (the Queen Bee!)

Rule 1. If the pattern doesn’t state how to slip the stitch, the default is to slip the stitch from the holding needle (usually the left-hand) to the working needle (usually the right-hand) purlwise. There is no twist to the stitch, it’s passed from one needle to the other. Insert your working needle (right) purlwise (from the right to the left) into the first stitch.

Slip purlwise

Slip purlwise

Rule 2. If you are going to use the slipped stitch again in the same row, then slip the stitch knitwise as in a SSK (slip slip knit) or PSSO (pass the slipped stitch over). This way the stitch is twisted as it is slipped from one needle to the other.

Slip Knitwise

Slip Knitwise

Rule 3. If the directions tell you to slip the stitch(es) knitwise, then follow the instructions.

There you go! So simple that I even complicated the process with adding rule number three which, technically, is an obvious rule and should not even be mentioned. However, I have learned that I should not ever assume so the obvious becomes rule number three.

Gone knitting!

Design – 2012 Trends

I’m already laughing because the original title to this post was written “Design – 2010 Trends” … and it’s true that I am not a fashion plate, what the heck gives me the chops to design? And my response to myself is, “it’s for dogs!”

I do believe that fashion trends are created by the industry solely to give designers and fabricators job security. Those of you who are fashion-driven (I do not belong to this group) will be drooling over the new colors and styles paraded across magazines and runways and city streets. I just happen to be missing that gene. But, dressing my dogs … that’s a whole other situation!

Bright colors seem to be the trend and lots of pattern. The Señorita Lolita is still in vogue (no, not the magazine) and I still believe that neutrals and traditional cables like the MacTire are timeless. This little coat is really cute – celery green and with the fabulous seed stitch texture. I have to find the right buttons to go along with it … perhaps one that is feminine and one that is masculine (for obvious reasons.)

I knit this coat with a super bulky merino wool by Rowan called “rowan big wool”. It’s 100 gram ball (at approximately 87 yards) was just enough to make a coat for a or 11 pound dog … with a little bit of wiggle room depending on button placement. The shade that I used (29) is a light celery green … one of my favorites! I love knitting with this wool. It’s soft and not at all splitty and knit up it’s light weight but really warm. Care for this wool by washing in cold water by hand and dry flat. Never wring hand knits – simply roll them up in a big towel and press the water out of the garment, unroll and dry flat.

Rowan has a bunch of beautiful patterns FREE on their website! You’ll need to register but, trust me, it’s worth it! Their patterns are beautiful and plentiful!

I think the second draft will have to be in a tangerine orange color as the Pantone color of the year is “tangerine tango” a vivid red-orange that would look so wonderful on my boy, Boogie! I never liked “orange” but find myself wearing it today! Go figure! I’m so stylin’!

So, off to the yarn store in the world wide web I go.

Photos to follow soon of all my finished projects!

Gone knitting!