The Deepest Ridge in the Ocean

Here’s an update on my Lizard Ridge afghan in Noro Kureyon, predominantly in shades of blue and green.

I finished the seven blocks in colourway 327 which has a lot of deep blues – also some burnt orange and a bit of burgundy.

Six Lixard Ridge blocks knit in Noro Kureyon 327 by Deborah Cooke

I only included six in the picture, since it made a nicer composition, but there are seven of them.

Now I’ve knit one block from each skein. I have 21 blocks and a lot of bits:

Noro Kureyon bits

They’re grouped by colourway here. The total weight is 150g and it takes about 40g to make one square.

Here are my last three squares, each of which has at least two colourways in it. That’s the last of the yarn below. They don’t look bad, do they?

Lizard Ridge afghan squares in Noro Kureyon knit by Deborah Cooke

I’m surprised to only have 13g of yarn left, but several of the colourways were spun thicker than the original one. I have 8 complete blocks of the first colourway I used (the one from my stash – 254), plus it’s in two of the leftover blocks, and there’s still a bit of leftover. I had 7 skeins. In contrast, I bought 7 skeins of the last colourway (327) which was spun much thicker. I got 7 squares out of that, plus half of one of the last three, and the other bit of leftover.

Just for fun, I laid out all the blocks on the patio. They’re curly because they need to be blocked and I know I’ll be moving the order around, but here they are all together:
Lizard Ridge afghan in Noro Kureyon, unblocked and unsewn, knit by Deborah CookeNow I have a lot of blocking and sewing to do.

What do you think?

And MORE Ocean Ridges

I’ve been talking about the afghan I’m knitting in Noro Kureyon, in a pattern called Lizard Ridge. There are two posts so far: here’s the first one, and here’s the update.

Today, there’s another update. 🙂

This week, I knit the three blocks in colourway 40. Here they are:
three Lizard Ridge blocks in Noro Kureyon 40 knit by Deborah Cooke

This takes me into the blues from the greens. I have some bits left but will do my blended squares after knitting all the ones that are in a single colourway. I’ve started to knit the blocks in 327 which has a lot of lovely deep blues. I’ll show you some of them next week. I have seven balls of that colourway, so it will take me a couple of weeks to get them all knitted. Then the mixy mixy ones. THEN I can start to put it together!

What do you think of these?

More Ocean Ridges

I’ve been knitting away on my Lizard Ridge afghan in Noro Kureyon, and wanted to show you my progress today. I showed you the first two squares two weeks ago, which were knitted from some Kureyon in my stash. That was colour 254, which is discontinued. I knit up most of that, and have the eight squares at the top of this picture as a result, as well as some bits and ends leftover.

I then knit 3 squares with colour 332, which is shades of green with a bit of brick red. Those three squares are at the very bottom.

Lizard's Ridge knitted by Deborah Cooke in Noro Kureyon

Because it hasn’t been blocked or had the blocks sewn together, it’s a bit curly on the edges, but you get the idea.

Right now, I’m knitting squares from colour 40, which is more blue with a touch of lime and pink.

Finally, I have seven balls in colour 327, which is mostly blues with a little bit of orange and purple.

These eleven squares completed means that I’ve done almost half. The pattern calls for 24 squares (4 by 6) but I’d rather it was 25 (5 by 5). I’ll have to see what I can do with those bits and ends once the blocks that are entirely each colour are done.

What do you think? I think it’s going to be fun to rearrange the blocks once I have them all knitted! There’s an edging in a solid colour and I have a feeling mine might need to be purple. We’ll see!

My Juicy Gloss Cardigan in Koigu

I’ve been distracted by a new knitting project and thought I’d share my progress with you today. The pattern is called Juicy Gloss and it’s an open-front cardigan, with lace fronts. It’s knit top-down and has some interesting details. Here’s a link to the Juicy Gloss pattern on Ravelry.

One thing I wanted to change was the length of the fronts. I want them longer but still swingy. So, instead of working increases only for the sleeves and back, I did them for the fronts as well. I took the sweater off the needles last weekend to check the fit and here’s what it looked like then:Juicy Gloss cardigan in Koigu in progress, knit by Deborah Cooke

It’s back on the needles now and I’ve divided for the sleeves. There’s a lovely short-row inset on the back that I’m currently knitting. This designer has really paid attention to the details.

And the colours of the Koigu! These pictures don’t nearly do the colourway justice plus it looks a bit more mauve here than in real life. It’s gorgeous. The mix of colours reminds me of granite. Juicy Gloss cardigan in Koigu in progress, knit by Deborah Cooke

Part of the reason I cast on this project is that I’ve gone to the Koigu tent sale the past two summers and bought yarn, but not knit very much of it. (I did knit one shawl this winter.) I decided I needed to knit a sweater before going again this summer.

What do you think?

Another Kauni Cardigan

the Elrond Sweater, knit by Deborah Cooke in Kauni EffektgarnKauni Effektgarn is a self-striping yarn with long gradations of color which I like a lot. It feels kind of rough when you knit it but you wash it after knitting, and hey presto, it fulls and becomes amazingly soft. Plus the colours rock.

Years ago, I knit a sweater out of this yarn for Mr. Math that I called the Elrond Sweater. (That link will take you to my blog post about it.) I used the colorway that is all blues for the background and the rainbow colorway for the second color. I had to break the blue section out of the rainbow because it disappeared against the background. I also broke out the lime to knit the I-cord all around the edges. (It still irks me that the zipper is slightly offset.) Mr. Math wears this all the time.

Hippocampus Mittens in Kauni EffektgarnLater I used up the bits in two pairs of Hippocamus mittens. That’s the Ravelry link to the pattern. They don’t quite match, but they’re close enough.

Ever since I finished the sweater for the mister, I’ve wanted to make one for myself. I started one before, but stalled after knitting the back (because it’s a kimono style and hmm.)

This year I started another cardigan.

The pattern is The Oa by Kate Davies, which is written for a much thicker yarn. It’s also a pullover with raglan sleeves, but I want a cardigan with regular sleeves. So, the pattern is more of an inspiration than a set of instructions.

I’m using solid black as the contrast to the rainbow colorway. (I’m not sure Kauni was making the solid colors when I knit Mr. Math’s sweater.)

Here’s the back of my sweater:
Back of sweater in Kauni Effektgarn knit by Deborah Cooke

It’s huge because I’ll toss the finished sweater into the washing machine when it’s done. This will full and soften the yarn and will also shrink the sweater. (I’m really hoping I made my calculations correctly!)

Here’s a detail shot of the hem. My idea is that there’s a border with the colorways reversed, along the hem and up the front on either side of the opening.
hem of sweater knit in Kauni Effektgarn by Deborah Cooke

Now, I’ve started the front. I’m knitting the two fronts in one piece to keep the rate of the color changes roughly the same as the back. I’ll steek the fronts when they’re done. (It’s possible that I didn’t continue with the Kauni Roan because there was steeking to be done. I’ve never done a steek. This sweater will probably be the first steek for me.) The rate of the color change will be slightly different because 1/ there are 7 stitches more on each row, because there are 7 stitches between the two fronts for the steek and 2/ the inverted bands of color running up each side of the center front will mean that the rainbow is used at a quicker rate than on the back. I’m curious to see how much different the color comes out. This is still the best way I can think of to have them as close as possible to being the same.

The only way to make the fronts and the back exactly the same is to knit the sweater in the round, as I did with Mr. Math’s sweater. I wanted the blocks of each color to be wider on this one though, so compromises must be made. 🙂

I can’t even think about the sleeves. I knit Mr. Math’s top-down to make sure they matched. I’ll cross that proverbial bridge when I get to it. 🙂

What do you think?

A Tale of Two Skeins

It’s Fibre Friday and today’s post could have been called Second Sock Syndrome. Second sock syndrome refers to the a knitter’s tendency to make the first sock then not quite get around to making the other. It’s a lot like Second Book Syndrome, which writers are said to experience – the first book is written in a glorious rush, making the process look so easy, then the second one is fraught with problems, and sometimes doesn’t get completed.

I’m having an issue with a pair of socks.

They’re knee socks, or they will be when they’re done. I’m not sure why I’m fascinated by knee socks and always want to knit them. I don’t ever wear them when they’re finished. I just like the idea of knee socks, the funkier the better. Here’s a pair I knit in Noro Kureyon a few years ago.

Ha! I just looked at my Ravelry project page. I finished these in 2009!!! And they’ve yet to be worn. They sleep, neatly folded, in my sock drawer. This isn’t because I don’t like them. I love them! I just never wear them. And I loved knitting them, too, which maybe is why I cast on another pair.

This newest pair of knee socks are knit from handpainted yarn, so they’re making a kind of a spiral stripe on their own. It’s actually the pooling of the colourway, not a stripe, per se. The yarn is Fleece Artist Trail Socks, a yummy scrummy yarn in beautiful colors, and the colorway is Hercules. I bought two skeins, because well, knee socks. One skein contains 305 yards, which is enough for a pair of regular socks but not enough for knee socks.

My Ravelry project page says I started these in 2015. The first one was knit quickly, then things went awry. Here’s why:

Fleece Artist knee socks knit by Deborah Cooke

It doesn’t even look like I’ve used the same colourway for the second sock, does it? I thought the issue was where I started in the cast-on, but I’ve done it again and it’s still not right. The second sock has languished, because I’ve been perplexed. Then last week, I wondered if the YARN was different between the skeins. I know that Fleece Artist doesn’t have dye lots and that each skein is unique, but I’ve never had two that were so very different.

I decided to have a closer look. Here, I’ve laid out a single colour repeat from one skein beside that of the second skein.

Fleece Artist skeins

So, there’s a little bit of difference but not that much. It must be where I cast on.

I was thinking I would live with this and had kept knitting, but it’s driving me crazy. I’m going to frog both socks and make two pairs of regular socks instead, one pair from each skein. Then, they’ll match each other and I’ll be happier.

Have you had any projects you needed to restart lately?

A New Hat

I haven’t shown you any knitting lately because I haven’t finished many projects. I have a number of bigger ones on my needles and they just go on and on.

BUT, I did finish this hat. It’s very fuzzy and soft. The best way to block a beret is on a dinner plate, which is where it is here:
Selbu Modern knit by Deborah Cooke in Misti Alpaca Sport and Rowan Mohair HazeThe pattern is Selbu Modern, which is a free download. I’ve knit this pattern before, but I gave the hat away without taking a picture. It’s an easy pattern to follow. I used stash yarn for it – Misti Alpaca Sport in dark purple (this yarn is discontinued) and Rowan Mohair Haze in bright pink.

The combination is fun and bright for those winter days. I realized as I was knitting that I’ve worked in this colour combination before – I made a pair of gloves in two shades of Kidsilk Haze (more fuzzy mohair!) but seldom wear them because they don’t go with anything else. That’s solved now! Here they are:

Striped Glvoes in Rowan Kidsilk Haze knit by Deborah Cooke

What have you been knitting lately?


Koigu Fingerless Gloves

I work in Mr. Math’s office when I format book interiors and upload content to the retail portals. It’s colder in there than in my office, and my hands get chilled. Recently, I decided to solve that. I dove into the stash and found two colours of Koigu, then knit myself a pair of fingerless gloves.

Fingerless gloves knit in Koigu by Deborah Cooke

The two colourways coordinate so well that it’s hard to see that there are two colours. The second one had that darker aubergine in it and a brighter chartreuse.


I knit the cuff in the first colour, striped them through the hand, then did the fingers in the first colour again. This is a pattern that I just made up as I went. The directions are below, mostly in case I need them again to knit another pair. 🙂

I do like the thumb gusset.Fingerless gloves knit in Koigu by Deborah Cooke

• Wool: 55g of sock yarn in one colour, or 30g colour A and 25g colour B for stripes
• 2.75mm needles. (I used DPN’s but a pair of short circulars would also work)
• markers
• stitch holders

• Cast on 60 stitches in A and join in round. PM at beginning of round.
• Work 2/2 rib for 24 rows.
This is the cuff.
• For the hand, if making stripes, work 6 rows of B, 2 rows of A, 6 rows B. If not making stripes, work 14 rows.

Begin thumb gusset, continuing in stripe pattern:
• work to first knit ridge. M1 before the knit ridge, PM, K2, M1, then finish the round. Work 1 round, knitting the new stitches.
You now have a 4-stitch knit ridge. The outside stitches (which you just made) will be the outer boundary of the gusset and new stitches will be made on either side of that same central knit ridge. The marker will stay before the two central knit stitches and indicates the place for the first increase.

• Next row,  work to the 4-stitch knit ridge. K1, M1, keep marker here, K2, M1, K1, continue to end of round. Work one row, knitting the new stitches.

• On R13, work to the 6-stitch knit ridge. K1, M1, K1, keep marker here, K2, M1, K2, continue to end of round. Work one row, purling the new stitches.

• Continue, increasing 1 stitch before and 1 stitch after the central 2 knit stitches to 84 stitches. You will have increased twelve times for a total of 24 new stitches, and the 2/2 rib will be complete all the way around.

• Keep the 26 stitches of the thumb gusset on your needles and place the stitches for the rest of the hand on a stitch holder. Work once around in A in 2/2 rib, making two new stitches in the gap that will be the base of the thumb. On the second row, purl these stitches. Work 3 more rows and cast off thumb.

• Put the remaining stitches back on your needles. Work 1 round, picking up two stitches at the base of the thumb from those two cast-on stitches. They’ll be knit stitches on the next round. Work 6 more rounds in B, finishing the last stripe, and break B.

• For index finger, put 16 stitches on your needles (8 on either side of the thumb), make two stitches on the side opposite the thumb, join in round and work 8R in A, then cast off.

• For middle finger, put the next 8 stitches from the back of the glove on the needles, using A, pick up two stitches from the two created on the side of the index finger, knit the next 8 stitches from the front of the glove, make two more stitches in the space that will be between the middle and the ring finger, join in round. Work 8 rows, then cast off.

• For the ring finger, repeat, picking up 8 stitches from the front and back, and two on each side.

• For the small finger, work on the remaining 12 stitches, picking up two between the small finger and ring finger. You might want to only knit 6 rows before casting off.

Sew in the ends and be warm!

Tink, Knit, Tink

To tink is to knit backwards, that is, to un-knit or rip back. Another word for the same process is frog – as in “rip it, rip it”.

I’ve been tinking in 2018 and thought we’d talk about that today. Tinking my knitting is a lot like revising my books: I think of it as an editorial process, and a means of getting the project right.

First up in Tinkland was my Fire Dance shawl. (That’s a Ravelry link.) This one is knit in a silk laceweight yarn, in a gradient dye from The Unique Sheep. It’s the same yarn, but a different colour and pattern, as I used in my Urdr shawl three years ago. I like to knit lace in the winter, and Fire Dance has a lot of beads, which is awesome, too – plus the colourway is called Dragon Fire. How could I resist that? Well, I was about 80 rows in and realized I’d dropped a stitch waaaaaaay back around R25. Ugh. I can’t imagine how I’d be able to pick up the stitches, so I just frogged it all the way back and started over again.

Here’s my progress now:Fire Dance shawl, cast on AGAIN by Deborah Cooke

This next tink project is a strange one. Several years ago, Rowan published a pattern for a sweater which I loved on sight. Here’s another Ravelry link – the pattern is Amour and it was published in Rowan 50. The yarn used is Rowan Silk Twist, which was discontinued soon after that and very quickly disappeared from the world. (Maybe there wasn’t very much of it around by the time it was discontinued.) I periodically looked on eBay to see if anyone wants to be rid of some, because you never know. Lo and behold, in January, a listing popped up – not for the yarn per se, but for sample sweaters knit of the yarn for Rowan. Even more strange, they were $15US each. I looked up the pattern and it used at least 8 skeins depending on the size. So, each sweater was available for just a little more than the price of a single skein, when it had been available, but included the same amount as 8 skeins. Even better, the sweaters were the luscious purple colour of Silk Twist. I bought two of them, specifically to tink them and knit Amour.

Silk Twist sample sweaters bought by Deborah CookeThey arrived this week and are just as pretty as expected. They’re far too small for me to ever wear, so I’ll start tinking them this weekend.

What’s on your needles? Have you tinked anything lately?

The Hunt for the Perfect Hat

I’m trying to finish up some knitting projects, which means I have bits and ends to show you this Friday.

Scarf knit in Kidsilk Haze Stripe by Deborah cookeFirst up, a scarf in Kidsilk Haze Stripe that has been waiting to be finished for a very long time. I cast it on (ahem) in July 2013, according to Ravelry, to knit on the plane on the way to and from RWA National convention in Atlanta. I used bamboo needles as they were allowed on flights then. I didn’t finish it on the flight so it waited – because I don’t particularly like knitting KSH on bamboo needles. The pattern is one of my own, called Calienté, which I unpublished because I found mistakes in the chart.

This yarn is discountinued, which is a shame because I really like it. The first thing I knit in it was another scarf following the same pattern – you can see it here. I’ve also knit two cardigans in this yarn: here’s one and here’s the other.

I’ve also knit a couple more hats. This isn’t because I like hats. I don’t like hats, but when it gets cold, I end up knitting a bunch of different ones. It’s the hunt for the perfect hat, and it keeps going on because I haven’t found the ideal hat yet. Does it exist? This might be my version of the hunt for the Holy Grail. (Maybe I should move somewhere warmer.)

Slouchy hat in Premier yarns Appalachia knit by Deborah CookeThis week’s candidates include a slouchy hat in Premier Yarns Appalachia. It took one ball. The pattern was from Patons website, Knitspirations, and is a free download. It’s called Polka Dot Knit Hat. I don’t love it, so this one might be given away. A slouchy hat might look good, but a good wind will snatch it away. It’s not just cold here in winter; it’s windy, too.

Hat in bulky marl knit by Deborah CookeI also knit this hat in a bulky red/grey marl. I don’t know what this yarn is. It reminds me of Patons Classic Wool Bulky and I did get it in the mill ends at Spinrite. They don’t distribute a red/grey marl, though, so maybe it’s something else.

The pattern is called In An Evening Toque from Fleece Artist and is a free download. This yarn is obviously much thicker. I knit the hat on 6mm needles so I cast on 6 stitches more than the pattern called for (because it’s knit on 7mm needles). The hat is big enough that it doesn’t flatten my hair and the stitches are really dense. I don’t love it, though.

The hunt goes on! What have you been knitting lately?