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Posts from November 2008

Beret Madness

My daughter loves berets, and I enjoy knitting them - a perfect combination.  A few days ago I picked  up a skein of handspun that has been waiting patiently in the stash to be knit into something fabulous. 


The fiber is Scout's Swag Handpainted Merino in her amazing "Power Couples" colorway.  I asked her to dye it for me last spring and spun it within 48 hours of receiving it.  That's how gorgeous these colors are.  I couldn't keep my hands off that roving.  I intentionally kept the singles thick so that each color would stand out sharply.  I knew Power Couples had to be knit into something special that would showcase the yarn.  It was knit/crocheted and ripped many times.  Nothing seemed good enough.  Enter the beret.


The beret has been all the rage among knitters lately, and I unterstand why.  Berets are fun, whimsical & they look really good with a great hair cut.  (Have you seen Ashley in hers?  Bailey looks pretty sharp too!)  DD#2's hair was, as usual, a little unruly in these photos - the wind didn't help.  She does have two eyes, I assure you.


Another asset the beret is that they are really fun to design.  They have the advantage over the basic skull cap as there is more surface area to work with.  For this hat I had to keep things simple.  It is after all, all about the yarn.  I used a simple slipped stitch pattern that kept me interested while knitting and broke up the colors just enough.


Power Couples Beret

Pattern:  My Own
Yarn:  Handspun from Scout's Swag Handpainted Merino Roving
Colorway:  Power Couples
Needles:  US 10.5 (6.5mm)


Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in the US!!

Zig Zags

The kids need to leave for school in about 10 minutes.  One is still in the shower, one has only just gotten out of bed, and the third is here in the kitchen with me pointing out why her brother and sister drive her crazy and stressing about a test.  And so my day begins. 

Rather than focus on that though, we will look at pretty mitts - Zig Zag Study Hall Mitts designed by Mandy Powers to be specific.  Oh how I love this pattern.  The design is so playful and the pattern very well written.

As for the Reynolds Whiskey that I used (colors 16 and 101), don't even get me started.  This is true love.  The colors are to die for.  It's hard to tell from the photos but that's plum and orange, not Charlie-Brown-t-shirt black and orange.




Raveled Here

Don't forget to queue the pattern.

Thorpe Revisited

Ever since Jared posted his I've wanted to make a handspun Thorpe.  I finally got around to it this weekend.

What started as this:

Gravel Redux
Became this:

HS Thorpe 4
HS Thrope 3
Handspun Thorpe

Pattern:  My own - it's a freebie in my pattern store.
Size:  Large - My yarn was more of an aran weight than bulky so I knit size large which worked out perfectly.
Main Color Yarn:  My handspun
Fiber:  100% Merion from Funky Carolina
Colorway:  Gravel Redux
Contrast Yarn:  Something brown in the stash that has long since been relieved of its label.

Mods, etc.
I was so happily knitting this one that I made the crown a little deep.  Rather than rip back, I made the garter edge two rounds shallower in the front.  Everything else is knit to the instructions for the large size.

The kids wanted extra long braids, so that's what they got.

Thorpe 5


As the weather turns colder, a knitter's thoughts turn to colorwork and mittens. Such is the case with this knitter at least.  I could happily make another 6 pairs of these.  Well, maybe not 6.  I'm pretty sure I'd design another pair before I got to that point.  I've already got a few new ideas bumping around with the cobwebs in my cranial cavity.

Rey Teal_Red

Since my girls won't give these two pairs up, I'll need to at least make a third pair for myself.

Rey Holding Hands

I've named the pattern "Reykjavik" for the Icelandic capital.  My son who visited Iceland last summer assures me that Reykjavik looks nothing like the ramshackle village depicted on the mittens.  Despite his protests, I am of a more romantic, bygone era, state of mind when I look at these.  Not all of us are so lucky as to be as well traveled as a certain snot-nosed 17 year old.  Some of us stay home and make sure he has clean underwear while finding ways to pay for his world travels.  Harrumph.

Rey Extended

For me, these mittens evoke burly 19th century fishermen in striped shirts.  Wooden smoke houses line the rocky coast where they sell their haul.  I'm sure the New Jersey winters that I am so fond of complaining about would be nothing to these hardy souls.

Rey Grn_Ivry


Finished Measurements:  7” (18cm) at cuff, 8” (20cm) at palm.  The overall mitten length and the thumb length are customizable.

Needles:  US 4 (3.5mm) or size to obtain gauge.  You may use DPN’s or Circulars whichever is your preference for working in the round.

Gauge:  23 stitches = 4”(10cm)

Yarn:  Knit Picks Telemark, 100% Peruvian Wool, 103 yards/94m per 50 gram ball.

Teal/Wine Mitt
Color A:  Tidepool Heather 1 ball*
Color B:  Garnet Heather 1 ball*

Ivory/Green Mitt
Color A:  Drift 1 ball*
Color B:  Pesto 1 ball*

*  Both pairs were made with only one ball of each color.  However, there was VERY little yarn left.  To play it safe you may want to have an extra ball handy – especially if you have large hands.

Price $6.00

Ah, Colorwork!

Stacked, originally uploaded by throughtheloops.

Coming tomorrow - November 17


A few weeks back Laura from The Schaefer Yarn Company sent some beautiful yarn for me to play with.  It didn't take long before I cast on.  The first order of business, mittens using the wonderful Heather with its decadent merino/silk blend.


When I asked for help naming these mittens, my daughter saw chicken wire in the cable patterning. She instantly went to her computer where she found the binomial nomenclature for chicken, “Gallus gallus”.  (Yes, she is a science nerd.)  So, we now have a pattern named for that most revered of birds.  

Gallus is worked in Schaefer Yarns Heather.  The yarn shows the stitch patterning beautifully in its semi-solid colorways.  The merino/silk blend makes a warm mitten that feels heavenly to wear.

Two pairs US size 1.5 (2.5mm) circular needles, 24 inch, or size to obtain gauge.
Small cable needle
Tapestry needle
Two place markers

Yarn: Schaefer Yarn Heather, 55%  Merino Wool Superwash, 30% Silk, 15% Nylon; Colorway:  Thistle, approx. 400 yards /4oz. per skein.  1 Skein.

Gauge:  34 stitches/46 rows = 4”(10cm) in stockinette stitch

Finished Measurements: 7” (18cm) at palm and wrist, 11.5” (29cm) long overall,  7.5” (19cm) from beginning of thumb gusset to fingertips.

Price $6.00

Behind the Scenes at Casa TTL

My girls thought it was time you see what they have to put up with during our photo sessions.  At least they get a lot of hand knits in the deal.

What's Really Happening 1 Mystery Three 1

What's Really Happening 2 Mystery Three 2
I know we are almost a week past the end of Socktoberfest but I'v finally taken some finished photos of my TTL Mystery Socks .  I've only got one completed sock of each.

Left:  60 Stitch Basic Sock in Colinette Jitterbug, colorway Elephant's Daydream

Middle:  64 Stitch Cabled Sock in Dream in Color Smooshy, colorway GoGo Grassy

Right:  64 Stitch Basic Sock in Three Waters Farm Hand Painted Superwash Merino - I bought this yarn when I was visiting my mom in NC last summer.  Sorry the tag is long gone so I have no idea of the colorway.  This sock was the prototype that I knit last summer.  It has been voted most likely to have a mate since I'm past the gusset decreases on its partner.

There were many others half knit and ripped to test various sizes and versions.  These three represent the only ones completed.  Hopefully they'll each have a mate before next Socktoberfest!

PS Did you notice DD#2's new haircut?

New Haircut


Pattern:  A new design - coming soon.
Yarn:  Schaefer Heather; 55% Merino Superwash, 30% Silk, 15% Nylon
Needles:  US 1.5

Laura at Schaefer sent some beautiful yarns for me to play with.  This gorgeous fingering weight seemed perfect for a pair of mittens.  I set to work on the design almost immediately after the yarn arrived.

Don't forget to VOTE tomorrow!!  Bring your knitting, the lines could be long.