wood hollow hat

Gerald asked me for a hat! Since he never, ever asks me for knitting (but for the slippers) of course I agreed to knit him a hat. He was very specific about the pattern (same as Jerry’s hat) and the color (“do not start until I see the yarn”).

wood hollow

The pattern is the Wood Hollow Hat from Kirsten Kapur. I love it so much; it’s fun to knit and very intuitive. Gerald chose his favorite color – blue – in a beautiful shade of Cascade 220 that I had in my stash. If there was ever a wool yarn that could be described as “denim” this would be it. I love the 220 Heathers.

Jerry’s hat was knit on a US 5 needle, and with no adjustments to the pattern, it is a perfect fit. Because Gerald’s head is bigger, I meant to cast on with a 6, but couldn’t find a 6. So I grabbed a size 7 needle and as far as I can tell (without having knit a swatch) it’s going to fit him perfectly.

I’m doing the cables, even the small ones, without a cable needle. I feel very, very smart when I cable without a cable needle.

The behind-the-scenes work on the blog is progressing, if slowly. I worked on one particular page on Saturday – ALL DAY – and there’s some glitch that I don’t understand and it is driving me absolutely nutso. So instead of working on the blog, I’ve decided instead to work on my “sewing area”.  I wasn’t going to post a “before” picture here because it is truly awful. But then I decided there would be a strong impetus to show you the “after” photo if I posted the embarrassing “before” photo. So here it is, the corner of my bedroom where sewing (and knitting) supplies are…stored.


Although you can barely tell, there is a long table where all that stuff is piled. I’ve already removed enough stuff from the table to take the first picture that appears in this post, so I’m making progress. Today I’m going to make the table shorter by slicing it in half with my circular saw. Tomorrow I’m taking a road trip to IKEA to buy a shelf and other organizy things. And by Wednesday it’ll be done! (pray for me)

Hooters for Maggie

I have knit one lonely Christmas gift this year, and here it is.

owl sweater

Pattern: Owl Sweater. Now, I got my pattern from my local yarn store. It was free with the yarn purchase and when I asked who wrote it they said someone from the store transcribed it from a vintage pattern, whatever that means. You can buy an owl pattern by Penny Straker from the online store Abundant Yarn & Dyeworks (scroll down). From what I can tell by looking at the pattern picture of the Penny Straker design, it and my owl sweater are similarly constructed.
Yarn: Encore DK. Washable!
Knit for: Maggie. My pattern was only written for one size, and it has about a 24″ finished chest circumference.
Needles: US 3 for ribbing, US 4 for stockinette.

For such a little sweater, there was a lot to this project! It has aspects that I usually keep away from when I choose what I’m going to knit, the main thing is that it is knit in pieces and then sewn up. What a chore for someone who is so accustomed to knitting seamless sweaters! But I saw someone at my knitting group making this and I knew it was for Maggie.

So the sweater is knit in pieces. First you knit the fronts and back, then seam the shoulders, pick up stitches around the armhole and knit the sleeves flat to the cuff. That leaves the arms and body to be seamed. And then the buttons! Six for the band and 16 for the owl eyes!

I only made minor modifications. Instead of binding off the shoulder stitches, I kept them all live and joined the shoulders using a three-needle bind off when all the pieces were ready. I also kept the neck stitches for the collar live until I knit the neck band.

owl sweater - details

Aren’t the owls awesome? Hooters, if you will, and I think you might.

I sewed the owl’s eyes on with black thread as directed in the pattern. I used white thread for the rest of the buttons.

owl sweater - the back has owls, too!

More Hooters on the back!

I’m so pleased with how this came together.  I was dying, DYING, to sew the owl eyes on the instant I finished those little cables.  But I told myself I wasn’t allowed to enjoy the eyes until the sweater was seamed.  I stuck to my self-imposed rule and it paid off because now I have a beautiful little sweater for my gal.  Modeled pictures after Christmas!!