big yarn, big needles

if you liked yesterday’s new pattern ‘burza

because of the extra super bulky yarn from tjockt

and the idea of using the supersized needles,

then you might want to take a peek

at the ‘desert night cowl

in the new issue of knit.purl magazine.

also worked in huge yarn, this cowl takes a smaller amount of it.200g

200g (150g if you’re really careful with keeping short tails) is all it takes.

that, size 35 needles and a stitch marker…

well, they don’t really make stitch markers for needles this big,

so what you need is a scrap of pretty yarn

long enough to make a loop that fits around the needle

with enough left over to tie a knot.

now you’re good to go.

it’s an adventure to knit this big.

it uses different muscles and exaggerated motions

and i find it very, very satisfying.

‘idea’ taken from 17:20 of acts.

cozy x10

‘burza’ means ‘storm’.

and in a howling wind (with or without snow or ice or hail),

this is just the kind of cowl i’d want. wouldn’t you?burza6sqit uses extra super bulky yarn. yes, you heard me right.

this kind of yarn uses big needles

(which i find to be crazy fun to work with)

and it knits up fast.

really, really, really fast. about 2.5 hours

from start to finish.



photos by kristielee.

‘Storm’ taken from 55:8 of Psalms.

light as a…

i want spring,

but no degree of my wanting it

(and i want it pretty badly) will speed its arrival.IMG_8764cropso here’s a little cowl to pass the time more productivity

(since i find myself staring out into the whiteness

and daydreaming of green).

i used the fibre company’s knightsbrige

which is a soft and airy mix of llama, merino and silk.

it’s as luxurious as it sounds.

…maybe having a few last weeks of cold to wear it in

isn’t such a bad idea after all.


‘sounds’ taken from 14:7 of first corinthians.


i have been wanting to introduce you

to harrisville design’s new yarn ‘flywheel’.

this sport weight is so sweet

to work with and

the tweediness is spectacular.

today, harrisville blogged and said everything

that i thought i wanted to say.

so, you can simply check out the details

in their post over here.

caryn-scanlan-talitha001‘today’ taken from 6:11 of matthew.

photo by caryn of caryn scanlan photography.

round and round again

stockinette stitch is flexible.

that’s one of the great things about it.

it drapes, it stretches, it organically curls at the edges,

IMG_3714cropbut can it also be strong and firm and stand straight?

that was the question on my mind

when the seed of an idea

for the ‘sirkel’ cowl

started to grow

in my head.

the thinking went something like this:

if folded hems are strong, thick and lay flat,

IMG_3704shine(which they are)

then, a circular folded hem big enough around to be

worn like a cowl would stand tall

all on its own, right?

one ring wouldn’t be very interesting though…

could two be worn together of different sizes?

and what ifIMG_3667crop

they were connected,

without having to stitch seams,

to each other or


partially connected

so there was still room for them to move a bit?

ok, that works in my head, now will it really work?

IMG_5580frontthat’s when the ruler and scissors

came out to cut a little

fleece and see.

sure enough, it worked.

it could all be knit in one piece

with a few

edges for folding upon

and some three needle bind-offs

to separate the two rings.

ta-da! it’s sirkel.

‘edges’ taken from 19:9 of leviticus.

when winding up is winding down

cowls are notoriously tricky.

there’s too small, just right, too big,

followed by just right to be doubled, and then way, way too big.

i’ve been working on this cowl for a couple of weeks now.IMG_5618crop

it wasn’t until i wove in the ends this morning,

that the proverbial light bulb went off in my head.

this is not wool.

which i knew all along and is significant because

when i swatched at the begining, i calculated the # of sts to co

based on the swatch stretched out (my cheater’s version of blocked).

since i’ve planned this all along as a spring to very early fall piece,

 i chose a silk cotton blend.  intentionally.

the faux pas is that only when trying it on for the first time

did i discover my mistake.

so, instead of ‘just right’ i have too long to be a single loop

and too short to be doubled.  sigh.

now i’ll have to keep

my eyes open for a friend who likes their cowls this length (because some people do)

then this can become a well loved gift

and i can have another go,

a fresh start with

new #’s.

my cowl is still coming,

just a little a later than i thought.

file this under: live and try to learn to pay more attention from the get go.

‘fresh’ taken from 3:11 of james.

torto beginner’s cowl

sometimes i challenge myself.

sometimes someone else fuels the fire.

this time elizabeth, owner of lys “auntie zaza’s”, asked for a cowl pattern.


‘something,’ she said, ‘for a beginner, but interesting.  maybe with a cable.’

it’s funny how working to simplify this cowl

down to the very basics and

finding the most straightforward ways to construct it around the cable

was harder than designing a more complex piece.

IMG_3238collagei think that’s because i wanted every stitch to count.

if you’re learning to cable,

you want bang for your buck, you know?

long, wide cables are minimal on fuss

and maximize the drama.

IMG_3273cropb&w&cropif you’re going to try your hand at knitting in the round,

you want to not get two rows in

only to realize that you twisted it into a mobius by mistake.

since this cowl’s ribbing is knit flat,

by the time you join to knit in the round

it’s easy, almost foolproof, to see when you’ve got the twists out.

IMG_3247cropwashproblem solved.  now if only there was an easy way

to do gorgeous colorwork with 5 shades per row…

‘time’ taken from 15:32 in job.

darker cowl is cascade eco+ in ‘berry’.

lighter cowl is debbie bliss rialto chunky in ‘sea green’.

a little to the left

i am trying to find my ‘vibe’

as i photograph soon to be released new designs.

i’m not so very skilled with picture taking.

there is so much that can go wrong with each shot.

which unnerves me to no end.

but, i’m giving it a good solid try anyway.


with the intense light

being 14″ of freshly fallen snow,

my lack of experience with glare and lighting

did not work in my favor.


however, thanks to picmonkey and my ‘creative pinky’

(akin to a ‘green thumb’ which apparently skips a generation

as my mum and daughter both have one, but not me)

i wound up with this nice ‘warhol-esque’

selfie (see the newest design?).

clearer shots coming

very soon.


the opposite of being undecided

today knitcircus released their winter 2011 issue.

sold as part of that collection is my ‘duplicity’.

inspired by the stark branches of winter as

they set against the cool midday sky,

i wanted it to be a clutch

but it balked

and became a reversible buttoned cowl instead.

it’s double knit so that there are no strands to be carried across

the long stretches of color.

this also allows the mc and cc

 to swap places on opposite sides.

i was thrilled for the opportunity

to try classic elite yarn’s

eco-friendly yarn


it’s softness

was a surprise

since it’s partly made

of nettles, but soft and fairly silky it is.

the wool takes dye differently

than the nettle fibers do,

so the yarn has a way of looking solid & heathery at the very same time

…already my mind is racing to work out the details

of the next project i will knit in this fiber

whose nettles belie it’s smoothness.

now, there’s some duplicity for you.

‘duplicity’ taken from 11:3 in proverbs.