Knitting with Malabrigo

We are twelve days into the source of knitting inspiration known on Ravelry as Malabrigo March — a month set aside for casting on projects to get you through several months, if not a year's, worth of knitting.  Seeing everyone's projects has been motivating and fun.  Without further ado, here are the projects I have been working on this month.


My first cast on was a Deux Hat, knit from Malabrigo's Rasta yarn in Stitch Red.  This pattern has been in my queue for a long time.  It was a good quick knit and using Rasta for it means this hat is going to be soft and warm.


Next up was Veera Välimäki's Shimmer in Blue, knit in Malabrigo Mecha in the Pocion colorway.  Mecha is a newer yarn base for Malabrigo.  It is a single-ply yarn, somewhere between a worsted and an aran weight. I used it previously and fell instantly in love.  Mecha was perfect for this pattern, knit mostly in garter stitch with four traveling cables.  I finished this cowl up earlier this week and still need to get a picture of it in action, but the bottom line is that this is a clever and very warm pattern that I wouldn't hesitate to knit again.

Raise malabrigo's barn

I've been working on a Barn Raising Quilt for my daughter for a looooong time, knitting a square a month with some long droughts.  I need to kick this project back into gear this year, as I'd like to have the finished quilt by the end of 2015 and I want to knit 20 or so more squares.  This one, in Malabrigo Sock in the Piedras colorway, is coming along nicely.


Modern garden 2

In addition to being Malabrigo March, this has apparently been a month of Veera's patterns for me.  This is another one, Modern Garden.  Modern Garden is a cardigan, knit all in one piece from the bottom up.  The sleeves are knit separately and then knit in once you reach the yoke á la Elizabeth Zimmerman.  The shaping is cleverly incorporated into othe leaf design.  

This pattern has been a challenge for me for two reasons.  First, I needed a different size on the bottom of the sweater than the top, so I've worked math magic — never my strong suit — to make that change around the waist.  The verdict is still out on that one. I also had a bad encounter with a buttonhole.  I forgot to make the second one and was less than thrilled about ripping back six rounds to insert it.  With the encouragement of a couple of very kind knitters on Ravelry, I laddered down and inserted the buttonhole over three stitches in the proper place.  To my surprise, the surgery was a great success.  Although I have used laddering in the past to fix a stitch, this was a fix of a different magnitude and I was delighted that it worked.  I'll devote a future post to documenting the method, as I was so grateful to receive help in accomplishing this fix.

Douglas fir brim

Douglas Fir is a hat with a special brim.  It has an intriguing twisted rib stitch that took some effort to figure out but turned out to be well worth the time.  I'm into the upper part of the hat now and hoping to have it finished for my youngest to wear on spring break, since green is his color.

Gray cowl

The last project I cast on is a simple gray cowl in Rasta.  The colorway is Plomo.  This is the same pattern I used to make a blue cowl last month.  The pattern is a 3×1 rib with a twisted purl stitch that.  This one is a tighter fit around the neck than the blue cowl and will be taller — more of a cowl and less of a scarf.

As these projects zing along, I've got several others planned.  I have two trips planned towards the end of the month, so I'm thinking about portable knitting.  In addition to finishing the quilt square, I'm going to cast on some bedroom slippers in Mecha.


Time permitting, I also have plans to cast on an Underwater Garden Shawl in Malagrigo Worsted, a Metallurgy Cowl in a beautiful pewter gray Malabrigo Silky Merino colorway called Smoke, and a Fuego Hat in Worsted.  I've been tickled by all of the Malabrigo March knitters with mottos like "Go Big or Go Home" and "Cast On All Things."  A little bit of sillyness in life is a good thing.  I like my knitting with a side-helping of laughter and Malabrigo March has been great in that regard.


Progress Knitting The Honegart Hat


I'm knitting Steven West's Honegart Hat for my oldest child, who goes to school up north.  He asked for a new hat a while back, and I had been rather obsessively stalking Ravelry for a basic hat he would like when I stumbled across this pattern.

I'm into the second repeat of the honey comb cable pattern.  After one more set of cable patterns, I'll be ready to start on the decreases.  It's a simple knit with enough variation to keep you interested throughout.


The yarn is Elliebelly Alpaca & Merino.  I opted for a blue and a green, rather than the gray and yellow high contrast hat in the sample.  I loved the sample hat, but thought the boy might be more prone to actually wearing the hat knit in these softer colors.


Dye Yarn. Dye.

Sometimes a girl just has to dye yarn.  Nothing else will do.


I dyed some Blue Faced Leicester for a very sweet girl.


I dyed two skeins of Elliebelly's Eco Alpaca — I guess that makes this an Eco Duo — to use together in a hat for my oldest.  The skeins were dyed together and then the skein on the bottom was overdyed.  I'm hoping this means I get complimentary skeins that work well together.  It's an experiment I've been wanting to try for a while.  You can see the richness of the colors a bit better in the close up photo below.


There is a bit more yarn steeping and you would think I would be tired of dyeing, but of course, that never happens.


Little Copernicus is Done

I just finished knitting the Little Copernicus sweater, and I'm so excited that I can't wait for daylight and the chance to take good pictures to share it with you.  I need to show it to you now.  Right this minute.  It is so tiny and cute!


Here it is, all done, and in need of a good blocking.  I'm hoping it's small enough to dry overnight, because I can't wait to sew on the tiny mother of pearl buttons I purchased for it.

The yarn is Elliebelly Pixie Merino, dyed in a Paintbrush colorway.  Here is a close up shot, so you can get a better idea of how the yarn works in this pattern and how nicely the picked up rib edging contrast with the stockinette body.



Knitting A Basic Hat

Ollie, who is seven, is one of my favorite consumers of knitted goods because he is so appreciative. He tries to keep wearing them long after they are outgrown.

I decided on one last minute birthday gift for him-a basic hat. I'm using one skein of Elliebelly bulky Talia Merino in a paintbrush colorway. So far, it's all 2×2 rib.  I haven't decided yet whether to do it like that the whole way up or switch to stockinette (or stripe?  linen stitch, which looks great in the paintbrush colorways?) I'm fortunate this bulky yarn knits up quickly, as I've only got a few days left to finish it!

Knitting A Basic Hat


Ann’s Handspun

Ann's handspun

My cousin Ann, who sews, knits, and quilts amazingly decided to take up spinning last year.  Her spinning is really beautiful.

Ann's handspun 2

You have to see her yarn up close to appreciate how neat of a twist she puts on it and how quickly she has become a fine spinner.  I have always been amazed by her — the woman manages to knit intricate Kaffe Fasset sweaters while stopped in traffic on her morning commute in LA — but her spinning really elevates an every day item into something of extraordinary beauty.

Ann's handspun 3

I'm going to see if I can get gauge with this yarn to do a square for Ellie's Barnraising quilt.  I tend to hoard and pet my handspun, but one of my new years resolutions is going to be actually knitting with it, so I'm going to try and get a headstart here.  This "string" is spun from Merino roving in the Elliebelly Copper Patina colorway.

I'll leave you all with a quick cat-update.  With cooler weater, Harry and Hermione, our Maine Coons, have become increasingly adventureous.  They seem to have an un-catlike knack for getting stuck high up in scraggilly trees that can't quite hold their weight.  On the plus side, they have been busy making friends (or at least achieving detente) with our new Doberman, a pony-sized dog named Hannibal.  Apparently, all of this has been too exhausting for Harry, who has decided to become dining room decor.  Isn't he handsome?