Pivot Cowl

img_0985Some knitters find garter stitch to be tedious, and avoid it whenever possible. But as this cowl shows, garter doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, it lends itself quite nicely to shaping, in a neat, tailored sort of way that stockinette or fancier stitches can’t quite match. This design combines short row triangles with rectangles, and one of the things that appealed to me when it caught my eye on the Purl Soho site this afternoon is the way it drapes without bunching up around the neck the way many cowls do. I also like the stitch definition that the yarn, Cashmere Merino Bloom, produces. Having now knitted several garments from Purl Soho kits, I can testify to the excellent quality of their yarns. Pivot is made on size 5 US straight or circular needles.

As soon as I finish the Purl Soho Drachenfels shawl that currently occupies my needles, the Pivot Cowl may just be my next project.

Knitting News: Is That a Scarf Tied Around That Tree?

10929024_10152695917758262_2448200790972217037_nNo, it’s not a yellow ribbon, it’s probably not even yellow. Neither is it another form of yarn bombing, which is sort of wasteful when you think about it. Rather, there’s a new trend spreading across the country. People are tying scarves, handmade or store bought, around trees is urban areas, parks, and neighborhoods. They’re labelled with messages like, “No, I’m not lost. Please take me with you if you’re cold. Hope it helps.” Since the trend started in Seymour,Indiana, church groups, schools fundraisers and kind random strangers from almost every state are pitching in to make sure a good portion of the 1.56 million homeless Americans are a little warmer this winter! A bit of good news in this most difficult of months following the elections. A fuller version of this heartwarming little story can be found on Facebook or at HeartlandEternal.com.

Going down right now to my stash of handknits to find a couple to share.

Speckled Scarf



This morning while surfing over at  Purl Soho, which  is quickly becoming my fave knitting website, this simple but classic scarf caught my eye. It’s made with fingering weight linen yarn, and resembles woven fabric rather than knitted, I think. Equally suitable for women and men. Recommended needle size is U.S. 3.  The slip stitch pattern should go fairly quickly despite the fine yarn.

Funny, I just realized that with knitting as well as reading, I choose projects or books according to my current mood. It has to feel right, or I can’t drum up any enthusiasm. Lately, I’ve been going for wraps and scarves, even though I certainly don’t need more of those! What I most enjoy about knitting is watching the patterns and colors develop as I work. What kind of knitter are you?

Broken Garter Scarf

Ohhh. I’m in trouble…. Purl Soho keeps posting beautiful free patterns made with their exquisite yarns. Broken Garter Scarf is the latest, posted just today. Just got through ordering the yarn to knit one up for my beautiful daughter, who truly appreciates my work (not everyone loves hand knits, I’m afraid. )


This is lovely in the shell pink, but not a good shade for Erica. She chose a beautiful pale blue, which, oh happy day, is on sale!

You can access this pattern right over here.

Diagonal Twist Scarf

One of the best commercial fiber arts sites on the web is purlsoho.com . They’ve been around for a while, but recently revamped their website, and it’s a winner, exceptionally organized and beautifully photographed and presented. All the major fiber arts techniques (sewing, embroidery, crafting, weaving, knitting and crochet) have their own department, with patterns, tools, and tutorials. It all makes for very fun browsing.

If you’re a knitter or crocheter who hasn’t seen the new PurlSoho site yet, you’re in for a treat. Many beautiful yarns, and on the product page for each one, there are pictures of related projects that the particular yarn is best suited for. Today’s free newsletter pattern immediately caught my eye, because of its  unusual design in diagonal twist stitch. I also love the color, sheen, and drapiness of the Alpaca Pure yarn, which is worsted weight and comes in a range of other equally lovely shades. The color shown is called Grey Fig.


The scarf is made using size 8 (US) needles, circular or straight, and requires 7 skeins of this particular yarn, which comes in skeins of 109 yards. The pattern, which includes a tutorial on this stitch, can be found here . Just noticed that the wrong side is every bit as attractive as the right, always a plus.

Textured Cowl

imageLion Brand has recently come up with some pretty cool new yarns, and some pretty new patterns to go with them. It’s not just Homespun anymore.  This past winter, I crocheted two of their Simple Cowl using Unique, and this pattern is so quick and lovely (and warm!) that I plan to make more as gifts.  Now they’ve released a new one, Textured Cowl, that uses Landscape, knitted on size 9 US circular needles. The diamonds within stripes effect is created with a slip stitch. The pattern is available right over HERE .