Knitted Old Business, Part II: Not-Sweaters

But wait! There are more recent knitting oddments that didn’t get their own blog posts, either because they were little and fiddly, or because I just plain forgot.

Pictured above are the Grumpybum Monster Longies that I made for my first great-nephew, who was born in May. (I have to post about these, if for no other reason than it is so much fun to type “Grumpybum.”) These were a quick and easy knit, with the eyes and teeth done in duplicate stitch embroidery.  The small size is advertised to fit babies from 6 to 18 months, with the long, roll-up cuffs providing extra length, so it’s bound to fit the recipient on a chilly day at some point. (And if you are ever having a bad day, go to the project pages for this pattern and look at all the monster-clad baby backsides from all over the world! Giggles are guaranteed.)



Next up is a simple grid-stitch cowl.

So one day I went with Deb and Selena to Santa Fe for a yarn crawl, as we do on a fairly regular basis, and high on our agenda was a stop at Amore’s Yarn Studio, owned by the ever-delightful Amor Valdez. Amor has been selling her hand-dyed yarns in LYSs and yarn fests for some time, but she recently opened a shop where she also carries several different bases of yarn, each lovelier that the last, which she has had dyed in her own specific  palette. She is always up to something creative, and this day was no exception.

She was knitting a bulky cowl with Luna, her wonderful merino/cashmere hand dyed yarn. It is fingering-weight. But she was Navajo-plying as she knit. (Navajo plying, or chain plying, is a way of producing a three-ply yarn with one continuous strand of yarn–no bobbins required. If you’d like to try it, YouTube has several videos.)

Of course we all went home with some Luna, and the photo above is a close-up of my cowl. Any simple knit-purl ribbing or pattern will work.  I cast on a multiple of 4 sts on a size 13 needle–either 68 or 72, if I recall–and knit the following pattern while chain-plying:

Rounds 1 and 2: Knit. Rounds 3 and 4: K2, P2.

Selena was the first to finish, and found that it was rather hard to get a neat bind-off. She discovered that Jenny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-Off, worked on a size 9 needle, produced an excellent result.



Speaking of Navajo-plying, here is some yarn that I just finished spinning, in which I used that technique to make a worsted-weight yarn. (It’s hard to tell with this dark yarn, but another advantage to chain-plying is that, if you are spinning from a hand-painted roving, it tends to keep the colors together and avoid the “barber pole” effect, which some people find objectionable.) I spun this one from a hand-painted alpaca-silk roving from Greenwood Fiberworks, which I was lucky enough to find at the Salida Woolfest two years ago.



Finally, the Cambridge socks. I always take a one-skein project on my travels, and this year we went to the UK, on the kind of trip where I spent a lot of time traveling, but got to check a lot of items off my bucket list–Salisbury, Stonehenge, Cambridge, York, Durham and Whitby–and completed a sock and a half. The yarn is KnitPicks Hawthorne, in the Happy Valley colorway, which my friend Kay gave to me. The slip-stitch pattern is from the Om Shanti Bedsocks from Alice Yu’s Socktopus book, but since I wanted them to be a regular length with a ribbed cuff, I just used the stitch pattern on a plain old 64-stitch sock. In case you are wondering why the cast-on looks odd at the ribbing, it’s because I used my mindless, never-have-to-look-it-up-in-a-book-because-I-have-forgotten-how-to-do-it stretchy cast on for socks: I cast on twice the required number of stitches–in this case 128–and work 2 stitches together all the way around in whatever ribbing pattern I am using, so in this case the first round was K2tog, K2tog, P2tog, P2tog. It’s delightfully stretchy, and I have yet to struggle to get a sock on over my heel when I have used this method.

Here endeth the recitation of the knitting oddments. Next up: another linen dress.










4 comments on “Knitted Old Business, Part II: Not-Sweaters

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