Favorite Pattern Friday: Cotyledon

Now that the weather’s getting cooler, I’ve been turning a lot of my focus toward projects to keep me warm, like scarves and hats. I used some lovely madelinetosh tosh DK to knit myself an autumn-themed scarf a couple weeks ago, and decided I needed a matching hat.

My Cotyledon

My Cotyledon

Looking at the amount of each color I had left, I decided that a Cotyledon in yellow with a brown trim would be the perfect complement to my scarf.

Of course, with Christmas gifts coming up and the crazy idea that maybe I can knit myself a sweater between now and Christmas on top of everything else, that hat’s fallen a bit by the wayside.

Anyway, I’ve decided to feature Cotyledon as my Favorite Pattern Friday this week, since my attention’s been brought back to it recently and because it’s such a nice pattern.

I was one of the original test knitters for this pattern in 2011, and loved it. The hat quickly became one of my go-to hats. The pattern gives two options: a slouchy version and a beanie version. I can only speak to the beanie version as that’s the one I’ve knit.

My Cotyledon

My Cotyledon

This pattern’s a little different than many hat patterns I’m used to because it is knit from the top down, instead of from the brim up. It’s a little fiddly getting started, just because there are so few stitches across 3 or 4 dpns, but once it’s cast on it’s an easy pattern.

I like the way the cables in the pattern are simple enough to be almost mindless knitting, but interesting enough that you don’t get bored. The contrasting border on the bottom adds a nice pop, too. The sizing of the pattern works very well for me, because I like hats that cover my ears well and this hat does the trick.

I would give this pattern an A and highly recommend it to anyone looking for an interesting but not too complicated hat or portable project. The pattern is available for $6 on Ravelry here.


Favorite Pattern Friday: CanCans

My favorite pattern that I’m featuring this week is CanCans by Erica Lomax.

My first CanCans

My first pair of CanCans from 2009

These mitts were one of the first pairs of fingerless gloves I made, and to date this is the one pattern I have made the most FOs of.

I tend to sometimes have trouble making a pattern more than once (which leads to major Second Sock Syndrome) because I like to challenge myself, and get bored easily doing the same thing over and over.

The CanCans, for some reason, don’t bore me. And that’s definitely a good thing! I’ve made (so far) three pairs for myself, a pair for my sister, and a pair for a trade on Ravelry.

I think I like making this pattern over and over because it’s such a well-constructed pattern. The twisted stitch pattern on the backs of the hands is different enough to make it an interesting knit, but simple enough that it makes a good driving/watching TV/other mindless knitting project.

The CanCans I made for my sister

The CanCans I made for my sister a couple years ago

I also like the way the cuff/arm is tapered to make it fit well, without scrunching. I like longer wristwarmers, but I really don’t like when they scrunch up around your wrists. This pattern decreases the circumference around the wrists to prevent bagginess, and also makes the cuff long enough to hug your arm and not scrunch up.

This pattern is great for beginners too, as evidenced by the fact that this was only the second or third fingerless glove pattern I’d knit, and was the first time I’d used twisted stitches to make mini cables. In fact, this pattern inspired me to start designing my own patterns using twisted stitches.

Overall, I *love* this pattern, and it’s a great fall-back for gifts, or when I need a quick or portable project and don’t have anything specific in mind. It’s more interesting than stockinette, but easy enough I can knit without looking (especially since I’ve practically memorized the pattern at this point). I’d definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a fun portable project or a great gift.

Pattern Roundup!

Yes, I know, it’s been a while since I last blogged. I’ve done a lot of knitting in that time, but what I want to share first are my patterns that I’ve published on Ravelry since I last posted. 🙂

Twisted Diamond Mitts


I came up with the idea for these mitts when I got some lovely yarn that I wanted to use to make an instant-gratification gift to myself after holiday knitting. I designed a simple-yet-pretty twisted stitch pattern that is easy enough to memorize, but
interesting enough to keep you from getting bored.


Moss/Seed Stitch Hat


This hat is a simple knit that’s great for showcasing those yarns that feel so soft, but don’t necessarily have great stitch definition. The moss/seed stitch itself is squooshy, which accentuates the natural softness of any yarn.


Climbing Lattice Hat


I came up with this hat when I wanted a hat that would show off the semi-solid nature of my yarn without too busy a pattern.
The hat features a weaving lattice pattern with decreases hidden by the cables.


Climbing Lattice Neckwarmer


I came up with this neckwarmer to be a companion to my Climbing Lattice hat, and show off my semisolid yarn.
The neckwarmer features a weaving lattice pattern with basic cables running up the sides.
Neckwarmer is worked flat.


Bubbling Diamonds Hat


I designed this hat to showcase the contrasting colors of some DK weight yarn I had. The hat features alternating bubble and diamond patterns in a stranded design.

There are 2 lengths available, depending on how many pattern repeats are done.


Kera Wristwarmers


These fingerless mitts feature mirrored intertwined cables. They’re named after my sister, as I came up with the design for her Christmas gift this year.
They come in a small/medium size to fit wrist circumferences up to 7 inches, and a medium/large size to fit wrist circumferences 7 to 8 inches.


A new month, a new plan!

Happy Independence Day weekend to my fellow US people! And Happy Canada Day to my Canadian friends! And happy weekend to everyone else! And happy any other holiday that I’m not aware of! (If you are celebrating another holiday this weekend/week, let me know in the comments, I love learning new things!)

With the new month come new HPKCHC classes, and new plans.

First, let me recap my June progress, which unfortunately wasn’t near what I’d hoped thanks to a combination of startitis, carpal tunnel, and overambitious goals, lol.

I did get my little CMYK made for my sister, which I think turned out cute, even if she didn’t get the joke immediately.

My favorite project I finished (not that there was a lot of choice, I only finished two!) was my Cotyledon Hat, which I did as a test knit. I was happy about it because it finally gave me a great project to use my madelinetosh tosh dk that I bought on an HPKCHC WEBS trip in March. I’d been looking for the perfect project, but I only had one skein. Let me just say, this yarn was awesome to work with, it was very soft and had great stitch definition, which worked well for the hat.

I was worried at first that my hat was going to be too big, but it turned out perfect for use as a spring/fall hat. It’s not tight, so it won’t be windproof, but it looks cute and will work for those cool-not-cold days.

As far as plans for July go, I’m keeping it pretty simple: I’m planning to work exclusively on my Aeolian in an attempt to finish it before my vacation later in the month. I figure I can do some smaller projects for classes on vacation, but I can’t really finish and block a huge shawl in a motel room!

Sightseeing socks, lace addictions and the consequences of marathon knitting

What do you get when you cross marathon knitting with wrists that have personal vendettas against you?

You get almost a week of no knitting time, that’s what. 😦

I think the fact that I was knitting lace on tiny needles (My Aeolian and My Heaven, both lace on size 2s, and a sock also on size 2s) didn’t help either.

Let me just tell you, you know your hands need a long break right. now. when your thumb starts involuntarily shaking whenever you bend it, so much so that you can’t type on your phone with it. Ask me how I know.

As difficult as it was, I did make myself rest from knitting for several days. I was able to alleviate some of the restless hand-ness by spinning on my drop spindle, something I haven’t done in quite a while. I spun some gorgeous chocolate brown alpaca top that I had gotten at WEBS a few months ago, which proceeded to shed all over me. (Have you ever cleaned up after an alpaca? I have. It. Was. Awesome.)

Granted, I should have seen this coming. Let’s think about what I’ve been knitting over the past several weeks…

You can see where the sunset part comes in.

Spectacular Sightseeing Sunset Socks

Why yes, I am a fan of alliteration, how did you guess? 😉

These socks actually came about for exactly two reasons: 1) I wanted to try Michaels’ new Loops & Threads Luxury Sock yarn, and 2) I wanted something small and mindless to knit on a trip to New York City. I figured a pair of plan stockinette socks would be the perfect travel project, and would allow me to try this new yarn (which is very nice, I might add, I just wish it came in solid colors).

Over the course of two days, these socks were knit at:

  • Car ride from CT to NY train station
  • Train ride to New York City
  • NYC subway station while waiting for the train
  • Central Park bench
  • Yankee Stadium while waiting for the game to start
  • Train back from NYC
  • Car ride home from NY
  • Car ride to the beach
  • On the beach
  • At the outlet stores waiting for the rain to end
  • On the way home from the outlets

That’s a lot of tiny needle knitting.

That red is my lifeline, juuuust in case.


I’ve blogged about my Aeolian before, it’s my Ancient Runes OWL for the House Cup. In order to get “midterm credit” for it, I need to have it 50% done by the end of the month. My goal was to get out of the yucca pattern repeats (there were 12 repeats of 8 rows, and with each row getting longer, those yuccas seemed to go on forever).

On the morning of June 7, I had it at 15.10% (thank you handy Google spreadsheet). By the end of the day on June 11, I had it at 25.83%. That means I knit 7,332 teeny tiny stitches, complete with a whole lot of teeny tiny beads, in four days.

This is the edging as it’ll look on the shawl.

My Heaven

For some reason, I’ve become addicted to lace, and decided a couple weeks ago that I just HAD to find the perfect lace pattern for some gorgeous red baby alpaca yarn I have. I decided on a My Heaven (Ravelry link), as I had done a search for red lace shawls and saw a project page for a My Heaven done in red, and absolutely loved it. I haven’t been able to work on it much yet, because I want to get my Aeolian to 50%, but I’m trudging along on it.

The construction on this shawl is interesting because it’s unlike any shawls I’ve done before: you knit the entire edge sideways first, then pick up the stitches along the long edge to knit the body. The shawl as written has a garter stitch piece in the middle of the body, but I plan to just continue the lace pattern the entire way to make an airy, delicate shawl.

The colors are a little richer than this photo shows, but you can see the stitch definition.

Cotyledon Hat

This hat I’m doing as a test knit for another Raveler. I’m using madelinetosh tosh dk, and it is sucha lovely yarn to work with. It’s super soft, but it has a fairly tight twist and great stitch definition for the knit-through-the-back-loop ridges and the cables in this pattern.

The pattern actually caught my eye because it looked pretty and complex, but it turned out to be very simple, consisting of a few cables strategically placed.
So yeah. I think I can understand why my hands decided to freak out. For now, I’m going to work on finishing my hat on size 6 needles before moving back to my teeny tiny projects.

The month of the gloves (and hat and cowl and monster)

Remember how I was all about the scarves a few months ago? Well, apparently this month it was gloves that were all the rage.

Let's all say it together now: Awwwwwwww!

If you count pairs I’d started before the month began, I finished a total of 7 pairs of gloves this month, along with a buttoned cowl, a striped scarf, a test knit hat, a cute little monster toy, half a pair of socks, and the baby hats I’m currently crocheting for charity (4 done so far, I’ll update later with my final total).

Of those 7 pairs, 4 of them were Broken Spiral Mitts (each word links to a separate pair), a fingerless glove pattern I test knit for fellow Raveler and HP House Cupper benningsm back in February.

Part of what motivated me to do so much crafting this month was the Harry Potter Knitting and Crochet House Cup group on Ravelry, which splits participants up into the four Harry Potter Houses and pitts the four groups against one another in 3-month terms. The group with the most points (gained through crafting for monthly “classes,” term-long “OWLs,” Quidditch, and other bonus point-gathering methods) at the end of the three months wins the House Cup.

Let me tell you, while it may be an internet game of sorts, it’s very competitive, and great for motivation. I definitely wouldn’t have done so much crafting over the past year-plus if it weren’t for the House Cup.

I was particularly motivated to craft this month, because I’d completed a full roster of classes in January and February, and wanted to finish out the term strong.

My first finished project of the month was a redo on a pair of gloves that I’d made for my boyfriend’s sister-in-law. The first pair was too big in the hands and too small in the fingers, so I started over (with measurements this time!) and they fit perfectly, which made both of us happy. 🙂

My second and third finished projects, both part of my OWL, were particularly special to me. One was a pair of London Eye Glittens (convertible fingerless gloves/full mittens) that I made for my sister using Patons Classic Wool, and the other was a pair of Celtic Moonrise Mittens I made for myself out of Knit Picks Capra yarn (one of my favorite yarns ever!).

I loved the glittens for several reasons:

1) They were SO my sister. Purple and green, mismatched-bur-not, bright colors, the whole nine yards.
2) They were fun to knit. They used some techniques I hadn’t used before, like picking up stitches in the middle of the piece for the mitten flap, and cabling without using a cable needle.
3) My sister was super excited to get them, and she wears them all the time (honestly, she’s one of the most knitworthy people I know).

The Celtic Moonrise Mittens were great for a list of reasons of their own:

1) The cable pattern is just gorgeous. I’ve always loved Celtic knot patterns, and had been looking for a good mitten pattern incorporating the knots.

2) The yarn is soooo comfortable. It is nice and soft, but still has great stitch definition, so it really shows off the cables.

3) I was able to modify the pattern very easily in order to continue the cables to the end of the mittens instead of the cutoff the pattern called for.

My other favorite project of the month: my Happy Monstie. I think his photo speaks for itself.


Just in time mittens

I made this mittens just in time for the snow!

I recently finished a pair of mittens just in time for the snow, using the Celtic Moonrise pattern from Ravelry.


Instead of using the thumb in the pattern, I began a thumb gusset at row 15 of my second cable chart repeat, so that it ended at row 9 of my third chart repeat, putting the thumb opening at the same spot as in the pattern. I started the thumb gusset in the second chart repeat so that I’d have a longer mitten.

I wanted to have my cables continue and meet for an end, so I began decreasing on a row 1 of the chart repeat, using the following odd-numbered rows:

1) k1, ssk, sl2 to cable needle and hold in front, p2, k2 from cable needle, p4, sl2 to cable needle and hold in back, k2, k2 from cable needle, p4, sl2 to cable needle and hold in back, k2, p2 from cable needle, k2tog, k1

3) k1, ssk, sl2 to cable needle and hold in front, p2, k2 from cable needle, sl2 to cable needle and hold in back, k2, p2 from cable needle, sl2 to cable needle and hold in front, p2, k2 from cable needle, sl2 to cable needle and hold in back, k2, p2 from cable needle, k2tog, k1

5) k1, ssk, sl2 to cable needle and hold in front, p2, k2 from cable needle, p4, sl2 to cable needle and hold in back, k2, p2 from cable needle, k2tog, k1

7) k1, ssk, sl2 to cable needle and hold in front, p2, k2 from cable needle, sl2 to cable needle and hold in back, k2, p2 from cable needle, k2tog, k1

Winterfell socks at the end of winter

I am currently working on a test knit of a sock pattern that I found on Ravelry, and it is coming out great so far!


A yoga dilemma

Okay, I’ve got a problem that isn’t a problem.

yoga bag in progress

This is my bag in progress, don’t the colors look nice together? 🙂

I’ve recently started yoga classes at a local studio, and I’m really enjoying it. Not wanting my mat to unroll everywhere, I decided to knit myself a yoga bag. I found a great pattern (Knitty link) on Ravelry (Rav pattern link), and started knitting in in some Sugar ‘N Cream, with a nice purple and blue contrast.

At first, I was going to make it wider than the pattern, in order to accommodate a block and strap. I quickly realized this was unnecessary, as the block would fit into the bag as the pattern was written.

So, now, my issue is this: I can’t decide whether to knit the bag an extra foot or so to accommodate the block, or knit a second, smaller bag in the same color scheme that can hook in with the bag’s strap onto the bigger mat bag.

What do you think I should do? Any yogis out there with some advice?


too much snow!

This was my car after our most recent heavy snowstorm.

Okay, so it has been COLD here. We’re talking negative teens for the overnight temperatures over this past weekend. Combine that with all the snow we have, and I’m just about done with winter.

We’ve already gotten over 43 inches of snow here in Connecticut this month alone, with up to another foot coming in tomorrow night. And we still have two months left of official winter.

At least that gives me plenty of excuses to make nice winter accessories, right?

Well, I’ve certainly kept busy doing just that.

prism scarf

I just love these color changes!

I finished my Prism Chroma rainbow scarf that I mentioned in my last post! I was actually really happy with it, because the scarf came out to just about 5 feet long after two full color pattern repeats, which turned out to be a great length for the way I like to wear scarves (I like to fold them in half, drape them around my neck, and pull the ends through the loop to secure them).

The yarn itself helped my color cause, because my ball started in the perfect spot on the red colorway and continued to the orange, so I was able to make two perfect color repeats.

rolled scarf

Doesn’t that look cool?

Another reason I love this Chroma yarn: scarves made from it look really pretty when you roll them up.

rainbow hat

I should have gone about 4 stripes longer.

Of course, I had to have a matching hat to go with my new rainbow scarf. however, I didn’t make the hat long enough, and it only covers the very top of my ears. 😦 I think I’m going to give this one to my younger sister and try again, I’ve still got about 5 colors (so just under a full color pattern repeat) of that Chroma colorway left, so it should be enough to make another hat. Plus, this one will be mostly blues and purples in the main section, which are my favorite colors! 🙂

It fits!

However, considering my rainbow hat was too small, and knowing we had subzero temperatures coming up, I decided to make myself another new hat to beat the cold. This one I made out of Bernat Alpaca blend, because it’s a bulky yarn so should be thicker and warmer (plus I was not home and therefore did not have access to my stash). I decided to just go with a simple 10 rows of k1p1 ribbing and then a stockinette hat, to ensure a quick finish.

As it would happen, I first cast on too many stitches, then got distracted while knitting, so I didn’t finish my “Emergency Hat” in time for the first really cold day, but I did have it in time for the second and third subzero evenings, so all was well.

I made sure this hat would be long enough by knitting it until the length I’d normal go before decreasing (about 6 inches), then continuing for another inch, inch and a half, just to make sure the length was there.

Sure enough, it fits! I finally have a hat that completely covers my ears without having to resort to earflaps!

Andean Silk mittens

You can even see here how loose they are.

Now I have to finish the matching mittens I’m making. I have a pair of mittens I made last year out of Knit Picks Andean Silk that I love, but I made them too loose and long. I’m considering felting them, but I don’t know how well they’d do (anyone ever felt Andean Silk? Does it felt well?). The only thing that has kept me from felting them so far has been my fear that if I felt them, I’ll destroy the pretty cable pattern on the backs.

Therefore, after making my Emergency Hat, I started on a pair of matching, tighter, shorter mittens – in other words, mittens that actually fit my hands. I’ve got one mitten done (sorry, I haven’t taken photo yet!), so hopefully the other will be done by the end of the week so I can turn them in for a class in the HPKCHC.

Other than the projects for myself, I have been working on a couple things for my sisters.


Aren’t those owl cables cute?

I’ve made good progress on the Owlings mitts I’m making for my 13 year old sister. She requested a pair of fingerless gloves in bright orange yarn, so I found this KP Swish in the perfect color, and figured the owl cables would be perfect for her considering she is a huge animal lover.

I’ve actually finished one mitt (except for the thumb) but haven’t gotten a full photo of it yet.

And, last but not least, I’m working on another rainbow-colored Chroma scarf for my 18 year old sister. This one is being made using the Lollipop colorway of Chroma, which is more pastel/neon rainbow colors than the yarn I used for my own scarf.

This rainbow is a bit lighter and brighter than the other one.

Happily, I encountered the same color situation with this yarn as I did with my yarn: the ball started perfectly in the middle of the red/pink. I think I was just lucky with these two balls, because my Prism ended with yellow, and this ball of Lollipop ends with green, so I don’t think they’re able to start every ball at the beginning of the rainbow.

You can see where the slub was.

So far, I have been pretty happy with the Chroma. The only time I’ve run into issues has been with my sister’s scarf. In the first round of green, I got a huge slub that’s pretty noticeable in the knitting, and then a few yards later it pulled apart in a fluffy spot (which, admittedly, was a concern I’d had with the Chroma being a single).

Overall, it didn’t end up being the biggest issue ever. I showed my sister the slubby part and she didn’t mind (extra of her favorite color!) and I was able to splice the broken yarn back together. I wound the rest of my ball and didn’t see any more slubs or breaks, so I think it should be good now. I haven’t looked at my other ball, so I don’t know if there will be any problems with it, but I’m optimistic because I had no issues with my first ball.

Looking ahead now, my goals for the rest of the month (i.e. the next week) are to finish my mittens, finish my sister’s scarf, finish a hat I started for my boyfriend’s nephew, and make a warm winter hat for my boyfriend. Hopefully the snow this week will motivate me to get them done. 😉

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