Introducing Raspberry Mocha Swirl!

Happy Leap Day 2016!  Schnapps wanted to be sure to get this pattern out to everyone today.  We hope you made the most of the extra day this year and spread some happiness.
Spring is coming, but that doesn’t mean that the need for chemo caps is over.  They are in need all year long and Schnapps has been sure to include all yarn weights when he writes up his patterns so that you can make them with whatever yarn you have on hand and whatever suits the season.
Raspberry Mocha Swirl
Schnapps has been hard at work on some new patterns for an upcoming e-book also.

If you’re not a fan of Delaware Head Huggers yet, stop by and “Like” our Facebook page.  Help us name the patterns and see all the beautiful hats that are donated.  Stop by Kozy Kovers for Kids Facebook page too!  We welcome everyone to join us.  Stop by and say hello.  You can always reach Schnapps or me at too! 

 Raspberry Mocha Swirl

You will need 2 colors of 5-weight yarn and size US 10.5 circular needles and dpns.

s1wyif:  slip one stitch, purl-wise, while holding the yarn to the front of the work.
k2tog:  knit 2 stitches together

Using Color A, cast on 64 stitches, place marker and join, taking care not to twist stitches.

Work Brim:  Using Color A
Row 1:   knit all stitches
Row 2:   purl all stitches

Repeat Rows 1 and 2 until your work measures 2 to
3 inches in length.  End with a Row 1.

Work Body of Hat:
Row 1:  Color B:  *s1wyif, k3*; repeat around
Row 2:  Color B:  *k2, s1wyif, k1*; repeat around
Row 3:  Color A:  *k2, s1wyif, k1*; repeat around
Row 4:  Color A:  *s1wyif, k3*; repeat around
Repeat Rows 1 – 4  until piece is about 6.5 to 7.5 inches in length.

Decrease Crown:  use dpn’s when needed
Row 1:   *k2, k2tog *; repeat around
Row 2:   *k1, k2tog *; repeat around
Row 3:    *k2tog*; repeat around
Row 4:   * k2tog*; repeat around
Row 5:    *k2tog *; repeat around

 Finish: Cut working yarn, leaving a 6-inch tail.  Draw the tail through the remaining stitches, cinch closed and secure.  Weave in ends and share.

If using 6-weight yarn, use size 13 needles and cast on 48. 

If using 4-weight yarn, use size 8 needles and cast on 72. 

If using 3-weight yarn, use size 5 needles and cast on 100 stitches.  

This  pattern is worked over 4 stitches.  Adjust accordingly for size differences.

Source: New feed

March is almost here

Our March meeting is coming up fast – in fact it is on Tuesday as that is the start of the month – yes Tuesday 1st March!  Where did January and February go??  Even the extra day for the leap year hasn’t made it seem any longer!!

As well as the usual chatter, and show and tell, I will bring a machine along and demonstrate some of the things you can do with a 7-prong transfer tool.  Standard gauge machine of course, as they never made the adjustable transfer tool for any other gauge machine.

Bring work in progress too if you like to keep your hands busy.

Guild of Machine Knitters members please bring your subscription renewals with you.

See you on Tuesday, 8 pm as usual.
Source: Knit

A Yarn Story

Last week I bought a copy of Designer Knitting – that’s the international edition of Vogue Knitting.  It was the Winter 2015/16 issue, and has some very nice updated Bohus knits, which was what attracted me.  The magazine has taken a while to get to this country – it had not been on the shelves in W H Smiths for very long when I bought it, yet Orange Swan reviewed it on her blog The Knitting Needle and the Damage Done last December.

One small news feature caught my eye, because it mentions the Knitting & Crochet Guild.  Yarn Stories is a yarn brand based in a mill at Slaithwaite, near Huddersfield.  Last year they ran a competition to design a blanket square inspired by the Guild’s collection.  The finalists’ designs have been used to create a pattern for a blanket.

It’s an amazingly rich design, incorporating stranded knitting, cables, crochet, lace,….   The square with the KCG initials is inspired by a Sanquhar glove pattern.   Yarn Stories are selling the pattern, or the pattern + yarn,  here, and very generously donating the profits from the pattern to the Guild.

The item in Designer Knitting has a brief description of the Guild collection – and I should take the opportunity to update one piece of information.  It says that we have 31,000 patterns in the collection.   In fact, we have at least 38,500 pattern leaflets – those are the ones that we have sorted and recorded so far.  I’ve been estimating for quite a while that we have about 50,000 pattern leaflets altogether, and I think that’s about right.  But if you want to count all the patterns, you would have to include the ones that have appeared in books, booklets and magazines  – I wouldn’t even like to estimate how many of those there are.  Let’s just say a lot.   We’re just beginning to catalogue the pattern leaflets, which is a daunting task.  It’ll take a while.      
Source: ggg

On the Other Hand (3)

The last instalment of the On the Other Hand Mystery Knit Along was issued last Friday,  Lots of participants have already finished their mitts and posted photos to the Ravelry group, because Ann and Sarah are offering prizes, to be announced at 2 p.m. today.  There are some really beautiful finished pairs – lovely choices of colours, quite a few with different choices of options for the two mitts.  

My mitts aren’t quite finished – I still have the thumb cuff to do on one of them.

I changed the pattern a little bit – I did a single corrugated rib for the finger and thumb cuffs, rather than repeating the double corrugated rib. And I wanted the thumbs to be a bit longer, so I have extended the patterning on the thumb gusset for 4 more rows before starting the cuff,

I’m really pleased with my mitts. Even so, the finished projects in the Ravelry group make me want to knit another pair and choose the other options and different colour combinations. But I already need to knit a pair of fingerless mitts for a workshop I am doing in April, and there is probably quite a low limit on the number of fingerless mitts anyone needs. (My daughter has already reached her limit, with the pair I gave her at Christmas, though she tells me that should I feel an irresistible urge to knit more, she has several friends who would be very glad to receive them. But I’m not sure I’m that generous.)

I’ll post more photos of the finished mitts when they are completely finished. It’s been such a lot of fun taking part in the Knit Along. Several other members of the Thursday knitting group at Spun have been taking part too – a sort of mini Knit Along. I’ve enjoyed picking the colours, choosing between the different options and guessing which option was designed by Ann and which by Sarah – I saw Ann last night, and she told me that my guesses were correct – they’ll show their original samples in the Periscope broadcast, I believe, and also the second pair that each has knitted to the other’s design. Hope I can get organised to watch it live.

Source: ggg

Time For a New Car?

I’ve owned my trusty Honda Accord for 12 years now and it looks like I need to replace it.

Change is Good

I don’t often say this, but I’m actually happy for this change.

My old car finally came upon a repair I wasn’t willing to make (power steering fluid leak), and I have been ready for a new car for a while now anyway.  After trying to work through the Costco auto purchase plan and a salesperson that was trying to get me to come into to test drive a car they didn’t have, I finally looked at other non-Costco approved dealerships and ended up getting the exact car I wanted for less than the Costco negotiated price.

Okay, so my old car was a gray, Honda Accord, and my new car is a gray, Honda Accord…okay, I’m the most boring person on the planet…I’m okay with that…but I LOVE my new car.

It’s a 2016 Accord, Touring model which has everything they offer including, the Honda Sensing feature which has sight-assisting cameras in the front, back and passenger side of the car that help me stay in my own lane and brakes for me if I’m about to hit someone in front of me.  It’s also got full navigation and smartphone connectivity including Apple CarPlay.

I drove it home last night and the LED headlights were amazing for an old man like me, although I’m not overly fond of the automatic high-beam feature…I think I blinded a few people driving ahead of me until I figure out how to disable it.

The eagle-eyed among you will note the car has only 39 miles on it so far…and I’ve driven 33 of them.

New cars can bring such joy!

Current Knitting

Almost to the sleeve-top shaping…just a few more inches to go before it starts to go faster, rather than slower (as the sleeve is still getting wider).

I”m hopeful to finish the sleeves this weekend and sew them up.  Then it’s just a button band and collar, and Bob’s you’re Uncle, it’ll be finished!

Source: loo

In Progress (Any Loom, Any Hat, Anytime Loom Knitting Book)

Right now I am in the process of testing out my theories on different hat styles and how to make them on virtually any loom you may possess. It will be using basic math skills to figure out how to go about making some basic styles of hats, like…… cloche, beanie, slouch, earflap, newsboy, ski mask, hood, cap, and beret.

So far I have the cloche, earflap, newsboy, slouch, and beret written up and videoed. I still need to go in and refine my ski mask, hood, and cap.

Hoping to have the book ready in a couple of months.

This will be a wonderful book to add to a reference collection that can help you go about making your own patterns using different stitches, and stitch patterns. So be keeping an eye out for this book.

Here are a few images of the hats I have been working on.

Source: fs


I am truly shocked at the number of people that are hateful, ignorant (either willfully or not) and angry.

Don’t Discuss Religion or Politics

I always thought it  was a stupid suggestion to not discuss politics or religion in polite company.

Now I know why.

If an acquaintance of mine started to discuss why Trump was the right man for the White House, that would be the end of any polite conversation I might have with that person.  On a bad day, I’d tell the person what a fucking moron they were…on a good day, I’d walk away politely and never initiate contact with that person again.

I’m a patriot…a true patriot that cares what happens to this country and it sickens me that this bully-clown has turned the nomination for Republican Presidential candidate into a reality show.

It sickens me even more that there are so many people in this country who are taken in by his bullshit. 

I have to believe that every sane, level-headed, patriotic American will come out to vote against this bloviating bully, and more than that, vote out as many Republican Senators and Representatives in November to make sure that if he is elected, we can protect this country from the morons.

Current Knitting

The nephew cardigan continues to move along, albeit slowly.

The Shaker Rib stitch pattern takes a bit of work to get any length, especially as the sleeves get wider and wider.
Source: loo

The Trunk Show goes to Birmingham

Angharad and I have just been to Birmingham for the weekend, taking a suitcase full of knitting and crocheted pieces from the Guild collection (Angharad) and another of tools, gadgets and publications (me).  They were selected highlights, designed to give an idea of what the collection covers, and we showed them to the Birmingham branch of the Guild at their monthly meeting on Saturday.

It was their second meeting in the new John Lewis store, above New Street station.  The store has a Community Hub, a room that’s available for local groups to use, free – a wonderful resource for the city.   We restricted the trunk show to fifteen people, so that they could all sit around a table and have a close look at the things we had brought – cotton gloves provided.

A 1930s child’s Fair Isle cardigan

Some of the pieces that we showed are favourites that we have shown several times, like the child’s Fair Isle cardigan bought in Jenners in Edinburgh in the 1930s.  But we try to include some things that we have not shown before – on Saturday, we showed Kaffe Fassett’s Citrus Pyramid jacket for the first time.    

Kaffe Fassett’s Citrus Pyramid jacket

The daffodil doiley travelled safely in its pizza box, and arrived with the daffodils uncrushed.

Another new item was a 1950s sleeveless top, knitted sideways in a mauve yarn with a silver metallic thread running through it.  It was donated last year by the daughter of the woman who knitted it.  It came with a photo of the knitter wearing it (off the shoulders) in 1958 and looking very glamorous.

The 1950s sleeveless top, and a  set of crocheted Russian dolls

We stayed on Friday night with Janet, the convenor, and I stayed on Saturday night too – the prospect of a Birmingham balti was irresistible.   And on Sunday, Janet and I went to the Toft Alpaca Shop and farm.

A scarf pattern from the Toft Alpaca Shop

We had coffee in the cafe, and browsed the patterns and the (delectable) yarns in the shop.  The yarn is mostly undyed, but there is a surprising range of colours.

 And of course we wanted to see the alpacas, so went for a walk across the farm.  We were told that there were about 200 alpacas in the further fields – we didn’t see that many, but certainly quite a lot.

We had a very nice lunch in the Dun Cow in Dunchurch, the nearby village, and then I came home. It was a really good weekend.  Thanks to Janet for her generous hospitality, and to the Birmingham branch for providing an enthusiastic and appreciative audience.

The Birmingham Guild meetings are open to everyone – you don’t need to be a member of the Knitting & Crochet Guild.  If anyone would like information on future meetings, you can email Janet:  janetwcollins at outlook dot com.

Source: ggg