Bonfire Night

I love Bonfire Night. OK, the historical events that led to this ever-so-British of autumnal celebrations are maybe not my favorite, but a big fire, complete with an evil perpetrator being burned in effigy followed by fireworks? That is a start of winter send off that I can get behind.

And this week, winter has suddenly reached out its icy fingertips and stroked England's collective cheek in warning - I am here, I am coming for you. Brrrr! So it seems fitting that this month's new pattern should be a perfect match for the day and the weather. Meet Bonfire Night:

Bonfire Night large.JPG

Bonfire Night is a super cozy, super fast knit that is perfect to wear huddled around your friendly neighborhood bonfire this Guy Fawkes Day. Its bulky wool and cozy thick cables will snuggle around your neck and up over your ears, keeping you toasty warm through the night. Shown above, worked in Lioness Arts Roar!, a super squishy 100% superwash merino, or below in Debbie Bliss Paloma, a lovely alpaca/merino blend, this cowl comes in two sizes to suit every need. Tubular cast on and bind off make for perfectly matching hems, and a super elastic edge. 

SKILLS NEEDED: Knitting, purling, working in the round, cabling, tubular cast on and bind off. Links to tutorials for the cast on and bind off are included in the pattern.

The cowl is worked in the round on circular needles. The pattern includes both a charted cable pattern and written stitch pattern instructions, if you don't like charts.

SIZES: Small (large), approximately 17 (22.5) in/43 (57) cm in circumference, and 10 (14) in/25.5 (35.5) cm tall.

YARDAGE: Super bulky yarn, approximately 140 (205) yds/128 (188) m. Shown in Debbie Bliss Paloma (73 yds/50 g) in Fuschia, and Lioness Arts Roar! (108 yds/100 g) in Moonlight.

Many thanks to Dani Sunshine of Lioness Arts for yarn support, and R. Deborah Overath for technical editing. You can purchase Bonfire Night either by clicking on the "buy now" button below, or from my Ravelry Store.

I hope you enjoy this pattern, and stay warm out there!


Bonfire Night, a cowl in two sizes ($5.00)

One benefit of tech editing

I started tech editing for real in May of this year, after an online class and a bunch of practice in an apprenticeship. And I love it - it appeals to the analytical side of my brain, and to the "this isn't perfect here's what you should do" voice inside my head that I try very hard to keep internal instead of external most of the time.

While I was pretty sure that I was going to enjoy tech editing by the time I started, there has been an unforeseen benefit: namely that I get to see a whole bunch of really, really cool patterns before they're generally available. Sometimes I can't help myself, and I have to ask the designer if I can cast on right away because I just can't help myself.

Two recent patterns I haven't been able to resist: Tabetha Hedrick's Fée Shawlette

Nautilus shawl...

Nautilus shawl...

I edited this pattern just about the time I started thinking about a present for Boo's Year 2 teacher. This was knit out of less then a skein of Kettle Yarn Co's discontinued Falkland/Tencel blend, so it's got fantastic drape and a lovely sheen from the Tencel.

Boo was a most enthusiastic model (my little hambone)...

My latest tech editing project is the Santa Maria Scarf from NorthbrooKnits

The pattern isn't up on Ravelry yet (although I know it's been released), so I won't give too many details. I'm using my precious one and only skein of A Verb for Keeping Warm yarn. It's their Annapurna base in "Root" (dyed with madder) and was part of the Knit Love Club in 2010. I figured that any yarn with cashmere belonged on my neck, not my feet, but hadn't found the right project until now. 

Pattern is addictive, yarn is luscious, Porpoise is happy. The end.

The Ultimate Lanterne Rouge

The Tour de Fleece ended almost exactly 2 months ago. And Thursday night, I finally limped across the finish line, and finished my raw-fleece-to-yarn spinning. At the beginning of the week, I weighed the fleece I had left - I'd been washing it an ounce at a time, and trying to spin on it fairly steadily. Lo and behold,

Almost done!

almost done! So I washed up the last few ounces, and got carding. I found it to be much more effective to card a rolag, spin it straight away, and then card some more. On Wednesday night I finished spinning the Gotland.

Last week's output

I only had 70 yds of the black Hebridean yarn, so I sorted through my bags of colored top that I'd bought, just to try out, and decided that the Black Welsh Mountain was the closest color match to the Hebridean. That got spun up on Thursday.

Hebridean wool vs. Black Welsh Mountain

Can you tell which is which? The Black Welsh Mountain is actually a dark brown, and when put next to the Hebridean, is noticeably lighter. The Hebridean is really, really black. I think that when I knit the sweater, I'll use the BWM for the hem and yoke colorwork, and the Hebridean for the cuffs. I think they'll be fine in isolation, but together the color difference will be noticeable.

Stasis pullover-to-be

The final pile. Yardage stats: 68 yds Hebridean, 115 yds Black Welsh Mountain (I have more of this top so if I run out, I can spin more),  1163 yds Gotland. Total yardage needed: 1125-1270 yds grey, 180-205 yds black, depending on whether I want positive ease or not. Hmmmm...I think I'm going to knit the body up to the armholes, provisionally cast on the sleeve stitches, work the yoke, and see how much yarn I have left and knit the sleeves down until I run out. Hopefully that will work!

In any event, it's a really good thing that I finished the spinning for this project on Thursday. Because you know what arrived on Friday?

The miniSpinner and all the extras

My new toy (and 40th birthday present to myself). And since the Gotland/BWM spinning was done, I got to start playing straight away.


I have since finished this BFL, and am working on some Wensleydale that is going to be a present for one of my P3 hostesses in a couple of weeks. It's taking some getting used to, but it sure is fun!


If nothing else, this blog has been good at motivating me to finish things. I guess the looming deadline coming up in a few weeks also has something to do with that, but I'll give the blog credit. I've actually been doing some finishing in the last week or so, my absolute least favorite thing about knitting. Oh, I like having things done and getting to wear them, but seaming and blocking and weaving in ends is pretty mind-numbing as far as I'm concerned. So I tend to procrastinate until I have an entire cupboard full of things that are "finished", i.e. I've finished knitting them, but not "finished", as in I could give them away to their intended recipiants because they are, in fact, really done. So without further ado, I give you the trifecta:

1) Devil's Christmas sweater, since she's going to be up in the great white north for the holidays

Devil's pinwheel
Devil's pinwheel

Pattern: Child's Pinwheel Sweater by Shelly Mackie at Elann

Yarn: Nature Spun Worsted from stash, less then one ball each of Brick Road, Blueberry and Touche Teal (who comes up with these names?)

Needles: US 8/5 mm

Start/finish: 9/19-11/11/07, but the majority of the sweater was done in about a week and a half

Comments/mods: knit pretty much as written, except that I used a size 8 for the body instead of a size 9 in order to get gauge. The loopy edgy was interminable, but looks really cute, so I'm glad I did it. I made the sleeves a bit shorter then called for, because I was afraid I would run out of yarn. Instead of ribbing at the cuffs, I used garter stitch to mimic the edge of the jacket. A fun pattern - I'm tempted to make one for myself, but I suspect it would look really silly on me...

2) Hemlock Ring (not shown in its entirety since it is going to be a C%$^&$**^& present for someone)

Devil's pinwheel
Devil's pinwheel
Devil's pinwheel
Devil's pinwheel

Pattern: Hemlock Ring from brooklyntweed

Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes, 5 skeins plus about 15 yards

Needles: US 10 (I think)

Start/finish: 9/12-11/11/07 (finished knitting 9/19)

Comments: Very fast to knit, I love knitting lace in worsted weight yarn. It ended up a bit smaller then I expected, about 44 inches in diameter, so if I make it again, I'll probably keep feather and fanning for quite a bit longer to get a bigger blanket. And maybe block it out a bit more severely. As it is, it will be a good lap blanket for someone for C#$#&^*. (Note: friends and family can place bids in the comments as to who gets this one).

3) Mini-bandwagon

Thistle mini-Clapotis
Thistle mini-Clapotis

Pattern: Clapotis. If you don't know where to find this, I'm sorry, you'll just have to be out of luck because I am not linking to it. And really, it's time to crawl out from under that nice rock you've got there.

Yarn: my own handspun, from the Hello Yarn Fiber Club June offering, colorway Thistle

Needles: US 8/5 mm

Start/finish: Started as a reward for finishing the Halloween costumes 11/1. Finished the knitting on 11/3 - completely addictive! Blocked and dried, 11/11/07.

Comments/mods: Since I only had just over 200 yds of yarn, of course I couldn't do a full sized Clapotis. And I don't really need a full sized one - it just doesn't get that cold in Houston. So with the help of numerous other folks who have already done mini versions, I decided to do one set of increase rows and then weigh the start of the scarf (17 g). I then knit straight sections until I had 20 g of yarn remaining and did the decrease rows. I probably could have knit one more straight section, but the scarf starts and ends on the same part of the color repeat, which I like for symmetry's sake.

Thistle mini-Clapotis

I read the very informative post here and decided to twist my stitches on both the knit and purl sides, and to twist them so that the front leg pointed into the stockinette sections. I really like how it looks once the stitches are dropped - there's no wonkiness along the edges of the stockinette sections at all. This yarn is my first chain plied yarn, and as I've already said, I'm a big fan of the three ply. It's wonderfully soft, and I'm anxiously waiting for it to be cold enough to need this beauty in the mornings. I can't wait to show it off!

FO: BBC's Sweet Baby Cap

Long time, no knitting content...we had three of my friends from grad school/rowing days down here for the weekend for a triathlon/catchup weekend, so opportunities for blogging were slim and none (and Slim left town a while back*). But I have been knitting.

Devil has a friend at daycare whose parents are expecting their second baby any day now. Actually, her parents were friends first - the fact that C and Devil run around screeching like crazed banshees when we get together for dinner is just a bonus. I whipped up this super easy super cute baby hat in just a couple of days. Of course, being me, it took another week and a half to weave in the ends and wash the damn thing, but so be it.

BBC hat

Pattern: Sweet Baby Cap from Grosblog

Yarn: Hot Socks Sockenwolle, color #214 - this is how it's listed in my stash spreadsheet, but I'm not sure it's correct.

Needles: US 1 (2.25 mm) and 2 (2.75)

Comments/mods: no mods, I did the pattern as written (6 month size). It was a very quick knit, and the basic pattern stitch is the same as the Jaywalker socks, so if you've made a pair of those, this should be a snap. I used 19 g (about 40 yds) for this hat - a great way to use up left overs from socks.

Here's a picture of Panda doing an action shot:

BBC hat on Panda

This is going off to BBC (Baby Boy C) along with the pair of socks I made for Boo while we in the UK that were woefully inadequate for her footses. Hopefully they'll fit him for at least a couple of days before he grows out of them.

BBC socks

These were just a standard, no-pattern stockinette sock with short row heel and what I think would be described as a wedge toe (decrease on 1 stitch on either side of the toe every other row for a bit, then every row before grafting remaining live stitches together). Perfect car knitting.

In other project news, the Basalt Tank now has a front, sides,

Basalt tank front

and part of a back.

Basalt tank back

Hopefully it will be done before the snow flies (not that there's going to be any snow flying around here in any but the most metaphorical sense) (unfortunately).

* an Ironman phrase that gets a lot of use.