It was really nice to get this photo from Nancy of Long Beach California. She used the knitted wool cowls for little dogs pattern to make cowls for her dogs Pepper and Ace. Nancy, they look really sharp. Happy Friday all!
Early spring in the mountains of the northeast usually means there is still a layer of snow on the ground. The melting snow is soft and slushy. The sunlight is bright and golden, robust enough to bring forth new life. Not like the brittle, fragile light of high winter – fleeting and gone so early in the day. The air is cool but not cold. It is a good time for wearing just a shawl. A shawl that you can wrap around to leave your hands free for work by tying it at your back.
Oona likes wraps and old-fashioned things and so I made this springtime shawl for her. Knit & crochet designer Kay Meadors very generously makes her Tess of the d’Urbervilles Shawl pattern available for a free download on Ravelry (if you knit and you aren’t already a member of Ravelry, do it, you’ll love it). I used a machine wash & dry pure wool yarn – Cascade 220 Superwash. The color is Spring Night. It was a fun and easy shawl to make.
The photos were taken with the Hipstamatic app using their new Mabel lens and Dixie film.
I got the fever to make xmas crafts right after Thanksgiving as usual. As there is now an empty nest and no little hands to engage in the work, it had to be something that did not require an assembly line or extensive cleanup and could be done after work as part of my relax mode. This ruled out projects involving glitter and clay. Since I like the feel of wool in my hands, I settled on pom-poms. You can make pom-poms very easily using cut-out circles of cardboard, which was what I was planning to do. However, when I walked into Downtown Yarns, my local yarn store in the City of Alphabet (otherwise known as Loisaida), they showed me the Lamborghini of pom-pom makers made by Clover. “Ok”, I said, “I’ll take that too” and I was in the 21st century of pom-pom making. It was a relaxing and satisfying project that I engaged in mindlessly, twirling the soft yarn, as I was riveted to the TV watching the last episodes of “24″ on Netflix.
Since I’m an xmas ornament hoarder, and have plenty of decorations, I decided to make this as a gift. My dear friend Maria Victoria has a lovely house in the country where she spends the holidays that she needs to fill up. Some red and green pom-poms strung around will look nice there.
I started commuting by bike only last spring. With the MTA monthly pass going up to over $100, and lots of new bike lanes to make it safer to ride in a crowded city, the decision was made. I walked over to Recycle-A-Bicycle on Loisaida Avenue and bought myself a beautiful recycled purple Schwinn for the price of two monthly passes.
Now I dread when it’s raining and I have to ride the crowded and lumbering crosstown bus to work. I’ve been riding all winter and have knit some accessories to keep me warm.
Here is the extremely simple pattern for the extra long cowl:
2 skeins of Malabrigo Merino Worsted
Cast on 72 stitches on US 9 – 5.5mm 16 inch circular needles
Join the stitches and knit 4 rows then purl 4 rows until you use up the 2 skeins. That’s it.
I adapted the very popular Calorimetry pattern at Knitty.com for a narrower headband. I used Noro Kureyon (which I encourage you to buy at your local yarn store). You can make two headbands from one skein.
Here is how I adapted the pattern for the Calorimetry headband:
Instead of casting on 120 stitches, I cast on 80
On Row 5, instead of repeating that row 15 times, I repeated it 8 times.
On Row 7, I just repeated that row till there were no more stitches left outside the markers.
We have tiny dogs. When the children’s clamor for a dog became too loud to ignore and the guinea pigs as cuddly mammals no longer cut it, I had one criteria – the dog had to have miniscule poop. I was not willing to pick up big poop with my hands in public on the streets of New York City. In came the Toy Fox Terriers. They are small and they are smart, but they are shivery. They are cold even in the apartment. My daughter had the idea to knit cowls for them and came up with the easy pattern below. The dogs wear their cowls all winter in the apartment, they lounge and they sleep in them on bitter nights. They wear them instead of coats on balmy days in autumn and early spring.
We use Brown Sheep Lambs Pride Worsted yarn. It is 85% wool and 15% mohair – very good quality. It comes in tons of colors and is very inexpensive for natural fiber. This pattern is sized for very small dogs (ours are 6 and 7 pounds), so you should adjust the number of cast on stitches as needed. The fit is snug enough so that it doesn’t come off easily but loose enough that they are comfortable hanging out with their cowls on.
Cast on 26 st. on number 9 needles.
P2 K2 for 7 rows
Row 8 – decrease 1 st at beginning of row and 1 st at end of row
Row 9 – P2 K2 through row
Row 10 – increase 1st at beginning of row and 1 st at end of row
Knit 3 more rows in P2 K2
cast off and stich together into a round cowl, sew in all loose ends.