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?

Finishing Up

I’m finishing up my Earth Stripe Wrap – finally! I took a picture of it yesterday, because it was so sunny. I knew the colours would show up well in the snow. Here’s the length of it:

Earth Stripe Wrap knit by Deborah Cooke

I had wanted to knit three full repeats of the colour sequence, but I’m running out of Majestic (as anticipated). So, I’ll knit a few more rows then bind it off in the same Trance and Majestic as the cast-on edge, and with the same beads. It’s 82″ long right now so will probably finish out around 85″ before it’s blocked.

Here’s a close-up of the cast-on edge. Because it’s not blocked yet, the edge wants to curl under, but you can see the beads. The colours in this photograph are pretty true to life. Earth Stripe Wrap knit by Deborah Cooke

It’s soft and light and so very pretty. I’m really happy with this wrap, and I’m also glad to be so close to finishing it. It’s been a big project but one that I’ve almost knitted right through without interruption. I started August 15 and took a break when it was too hot in September to have a mound of KSH in my lap.

Next up, I’m going to finish my Audrey cardigan, designed by Martin Storey. (This is the Ravelry link.) This one has been set aside for a while. It’s knitted in Rowan Angora Haze in the colourway Love, which is deep purple. There are lots of cables on this one. I originally cast on this project in march 2016, but stopped working on it when the weather warmed up. Here’s my first blog post. I’ve finished the back and left front, and am halfway up the right front. Maybe I’ll get it done by the second anniversary of the cast-on!

A Thousand Miles of Stockinette

I’ve been knitting on my Earth Stripe Wrap, which feels like it’s at least a thousand miles of stockinette.

In reality, it’s a lot less than that.

Let’s do some knitter geek math. According to Ravelry, the completed wrap takes about 3206 yards of Kidsilk Haze. There are 1760 yards in a mile, so that’s 1.82 miles BUT the yarn is used double. It’s not even one mile of stockinette stitch. It sounds a little better in metric—2932m is almost three kilometers. Divided in half for the doubled yarn, that’s 1.5 klicks. That seems to diminish what might be an endless project. Let’s try this: there are 115 stitches in each row and 186 rows in the stripe repeat. I’ve knit two repeats, for a grand total of 42,780 stitches. That sounds impressive!

Here’s what the wrap looks like now:

Earth Stripe Wrap knit by Deborah Cooke

It was just shy of finishing the second repeat yesterday when I took the picture. I finished that repeat last night. Right now, it’s not quite 60″ long. (148cm) I’m hoping to knit a third repeat—depending on how far my yarn goes. Ha. That’ll be another 21,390 stitches if I make it. I know I’ll run out of Majestic very close to the end of the repeat, but one of the other colours might run out sooner. We’ll see.

It’s quite a pile of fuzzy warmth to have in my lap when I knit. I stopped working on it in September when we had a warm spell, but now it’s perfectly cozy.

Whenever I knit a bit project like this, I need a little interim encouragement and usually take breaks to knit some quick projects. Quick projects are all about instant gratification. They usually take only one ball of yarn, and they knit up in an evening or two. Here are some of my recent ones:

Two Mobius cowls knit by Deborah Cooke

These two mobius cowls each used a single ball of Isaac Mizrahi Sutton. I liked the colors and the feel of it, so bought a couple of balls when they were on sale. The pattern is a free one: Bulky Mobius Cowl.  It’s easy, but I always have to watch the Cat Bordhi video to cast on a moebius. (There’s a link in the pattern.) I wanted to use a smaller needle, 8mm instead of 10, so I cast on 50 stitches. For the yellow and brown one, I followed the pattern until I ran out of yarn. For the purple one, I alternated two rows knit and two rows purl until I ran out of yarn. They fit snugly around my throat, which was exactly what I wanted.

Serpentine Hat knit by Deborah Cooke

I saw the yarn for this hat on sale and liked it. (It has alpaca fibre. How could this be bad? It’s purple. Likewise.) There was a picture of this hat with a cowl on the label, but the pattern wasn’t on the label. I had to go to their website to download it when I got home. (It’s here.) This was a little irksome because, in the store, I wasn’t sure how many balls of yarn I needed and had to guess. (No, I don’t shop with my phone in hand.) I bought three and only needed two for the hat and cowl. I could make mitts with the third, but that seems a bit matchy-matchy to me. I’ll make a second hat and give it away.

What have you been creating lately?


Socks and a Scarf

I’ve been travelling a bit lately so we haven’t had a Fibre Friday. Today’s the day!

First up, I finished a pair of very bright socks, knit in Patons Kroy Stripes. The colourway is Sunburst Stripes. I used two balls and just barely got the pair out of that – I thought I’d have to buy a third ball for the toes!
Socks knit by Deborah Cooke in Patons Kroy Stripes

They’re brighter than what I usually wear, but they’re socks – and they’ll be cheerful in the winter.

I’ve also finished a scarf knit without a pattern. I had this thick-and-thin yarn in my stash – I found it in the mill ends at Spinrite, which means there’s no label. I liked the colours, though, and thought there was enough for a scarf. It’s more like a cowl, but I really like how it knit up in garter stitch.

Scarf knit in mystery thick-and-thin yarn by Deborah Cooke

I knit it diagonally. Where you can see the end at the bottom, I cast on three stitches. I increased once stitch at each edge on every right side row (and knit every wrong side row) until I thought the point was wide enough. After that, I increased on the lead edge of every right side row, and finished each right side row with K2tog, K1. I continued to knit the wrong side rows. In this picture, I’m just at the point of starting the decreases for the other end.

In this picture, I’m just at the point of starting the decreases for the other end.  (Yes, I weighed the first point, then knit until the remaining wool weighed just a few grams more than that.) From here, I decrease at both ends of each right side row until there are just three stitches left, then cast off. I haven’t decided whether to leave it as a short scarf that I can wrap across the front of my throat, or I should join it into a cowl – either by grafting the ends together or adding some loops and buttons. What do you think?

Update on the Earth Stripe Wrap

Last week, I showed you the beginning of my Earth Stripe wrap. Well, I got a little further and made a choice, so this week, you get a progress report!

Here’s where I was when I decided there was an issue. The whole thing looked too brown to me.Earth Stripe Wrap in process, knit by Deborah Cooke

I went back to the original colours and reconsidered my substitution for Meadow. I used the Aloe at the bottom right in this picture. The top call is KSH in Jelly, which is also one of the colours in the shawl. Meadow was a pale silvery green, so I dug into the stash and found the yarn at the bottom left. It’s not KSH but another kid mohair and silk blend of similar proportions and a handpainted yarn from Capistrano Fiber Art Studio in a colourway called Irish Moss. I decided to use it instead of the Aloe. (I bought this yarn in New York at Habu Textiles on one of my trips to Manhattan.)

shades of green

The needle in the first picture shows how far I needed to frog back the shawl. I actually had to go a little further, since the first dark brown stripe is also knitted with the yarn I was changing out.

Kidsilk Haze isn’t the nightmare to frog that many knitters think it is – you just have to take your time. When I have to unravel KSH, I think of it as unknitting, not as ripping or frogging. Slowly, slowly, and all will go well. 🙂

Here’s a shot of the reknit shawl, up to the same point – of course, the needle wanted to curl:

Earth Stripe Warp take 2, knit by Deborah Cooke

Can you see the difference? There isn’t a lot of colourway F in this section, so the difference is subtle, but I’m much happier with it. Let’s take a couple of slices and line them up:

Earth stripe shawl detail - v1 knit by Deborah Cooke   Earth stripe shawl detail - v2 knit by Deborah Cooke

Where are the differences? Starting at the bottom, the first dark brown stripe is knit with Bark and F – on the left, F is Aloe and on the right, it’s Irish Moss. Continue up to the second difference – it’s the greyish band above the needle on the left picture. In the right picture, you can see a brighter green with the grey in that band. You have to look way up to find the next use of F – it’s above the 3R blue band near the top. There’s a row with dark blue and turquoise, followed by two rows of dark blue with grey, followed by two rows of bronze with grey. Above that are four rows of grey and F, then a row with the two greens knit together. This is the section that prompted me to make the change. Everything above the blue looked brown to me on the first version, so that new silvery-green stripe makes me happier.

The beads are more interesting than I’d expected. They’re the Rowan beads made by Swarovski and are particularly sparkly. The holes aren’t just silvered. They seem to be faceted inside. In real life, they’re adding a wonderful glimmer to the sides of this shawl.

And onward I go! I’ll show you the shawl again when I’ve completed one entire repeat.

Last week, I went to the annual tent sale at Koigu Yarns at their studio near Owen Sound, Ontario. I’ll share a bit about that next week on Fibre Friday.

Wingspan Shawls

Earlier this week, I promised to show you the Wingspan shawl that Josée gave me at Romancing the Capital on the weekend. Here it is, and the pin she made for it:

Wingspan shawl crocheted by Josée Giroux 2017

Isn’t it lovely?

Here’s the Dragons panel at RTC, with all of us wearing the shawls Josée made for us. From the left, Coreene Callahan, Eve Langlais, myself and Milly Taiden.

The panel discussion on dragons at RTC2017 with Coreen Callahan, Eve Langlais, Deborah Cooke and Milly Taiden

What’s really interesting is that her shawl is Tunisian crochet. I’ve also made this pattern, but I’ve knit it. I used Noro Silk Garden Sock for mine and here it is:
Thanks again to Josée for the beautiful shawl!

A Pretty Little Shawl

I’m switching around my Thursday and Friday posts, since there’s a link for the other post that’s taking a bit to populate. Let’s have Fibre Friday on Thursday this week!

Last year, at the readers’ conference Romancing the Capital, Carol gave me some of her beautiful merino handspun. She’d dyed it, too, and I spent a lot of time looking at the (very soft!) yarn, trying to figure out how to show it off.

Handspun marl

I finally decided on a pattern called Daybreak by Stephen West. It’s written for fingering weight yarn and this was heavier, so I just winged it. I started with the purple, then striped in the turquoise. When I ran out of purple, I switched to the pink, then did the edging in pink when the turquoise was gone.  I’m very happy with how it came out:

Daybreak shawl knit by Dborah CookeIt’s just the perfect size to sit over the shoulders and falls to my elbows. I love shawls of this size as they keep my back warm but stay out the way.

The pattern was great and I’ll definitely knit another.

I’m heading to RTC again next week, and I’m going to wear the shawl. I’m hoping that Carol will be there.

What do you think?

Waiting for Rain Shawl

This week, I finished knitting a shawl. These are unusual colours for me, but I really like the result.

The pattern is called Waiting for Rain (that’s a Ravelry link) and it features lace inserts in a garter stitch crescent-shaped shawl. The construction is really interesting, plus it’s easy to play with the colours and the design.

I knit mine in Madeline Tosh Dandelion, which has 10% flax. It’s interesting because the different fibers take the color in different ways. I used two skeins of Chickory and one of Whiskey Barrel. I decided to do the lace inserts in Whiskey Barrel, as well as some extra stripes and the bind-off. This yarn is discontinued so it’s gone from the MadTosh website, but here’s a Ravelry link.

This meant that I had too much yarn – the pattern calls for 700 to 800 yds, and I had over 900 – but I wanted to use it up. The pattern has three lace inserts. Once I’d followed the directions, I continued in a similar way and added two more lace inserts, then knit in garter stitch until the Chickory was gone. I liked the yarn. It’s smooth and cool, and I like the colour gradations in each colourway. There were long fibres, presumably of flax, and it was tempting to tug them out but I knitted them in. The pattern was well-written and clear. I bought the collection and will knit another shawl from it.

Here’s a detail shot, showing off the yarn:

Waiting for Rain shawl, knit by Deborah Cooke in Madeline Tosh Dandelion

There are stripes in the Whiskey Barrel, but the Chickory has some of the same greyed brown tone in it so it’s hard to tell which yarn is where. I like that! If you’re curious though, all the garter stitch below the lowest lace insert is in Chickory, then the bind-off is in Whiskey Barrel. You can just barely see it. Also, the garter stitch is all Chicory down to the first lace insert. (The shawl is knit from the top of the picture.)

My only disappointment is that I wasn’t sure how much Whiskey Barrel to leave for the cast-off, and I left too much. 😦 That means leftovers for the stash, about 8g. It turns out that I could have knit a couple of rows of garter stitch in the contrasting colour before casting off, but that’s how it is and that’s how it will stay. There’s no need to frog back a 500 stitch cast-off!

Here’s the complete shawl:

Waiting for Rain shawl, knit by Deborah Cooke in Madeline Tosh Dandelion

I was debating whether to block this shawl. I don’t usually block garter stitch shawls because I like the squishy texture they have right off the needles. It’ll get bigger if it’s blocked, though, and I was thinking it’s just a nice size. While taking the pictures, though, I can see that the ripple on the increasing edge is too much. I’ll give it a good block it this weekend.

What do you think?