Category Archives: ” “Cowlgirls

Keeping Fiber in My Life

Cowl, “in the snood,” in progress.

The urge to knit always seems to hit me in autumn, and this year has been no exception.  None have been large, complicated patterns, instead they are small, easily finished pieces.  I’m still busy staining my log home, and weather is about to turn against me.  I haven’t had the time or energy for weaving, though I will be back at that soon.  As a way to keep fibers in my life, I turned to knitting pieces easily picked up and put down

The photo above is a cowl in progress, “in the snood,”  pp. 88-89 in “Cowlgirls.”  It’s an easy pattern, repeating six rows on size 9 needles.  It can be worn as a cowl, or pulled up over your head.  I’ll be learning to knit I-Cord, a good excuse to pull the Elizabeth Zimmerman books off my shelves again.

Handspun wool, plied with a fine 2 ply wool.

I’m loving the idea of cowls since the older I get, the more I notice my neck seems cold!  I ran across this handspun I’d done awhile back, thinking I might try it in my sock machine some day when feeling brave.  Now, though, I’m hoping there will be enough yarn for a handspun, handknit cowl.  I have no idea how many yards there are here, or what size needles I’ll need, so sampling is in order.

Handspun, handknit pillow, nearing completion.

Awhile back on this blog there was a photo of this pillow, still in progress but nearing completion.  This is knit with handspun, and was created in the moment, random blocks of garter and stockinette stitch.  I had seen a photo of a pillow closed with buttons, so I extended the back enough to fold over, and crocheted front and back together.  Handmade, “textured” pottery buttons were ordered from an artist in Austrailia.  The pillow definitely needs blocking, and I’ve been considering trying to felt it just a bit.  Then I will somehow add the buttons and hopefully have a pillow form this will fit.  Otherwise, I’ll be making a muslin pillow for the inside.  I haven’t yet been terribly successful in getting a photo to show the texture and blocks, but will try again when it is finished.

Winter hat, nearing completion.

I’ll be spending more time outdoors this winter, hauling wood from the woodshed to the porch, for my woodburning range in the kitchen.  Naturally, I need a handknit hat to wear, and as my winter jacket is a chocolate brown, I picked up this slightly tweedy yarn and a basic hat pattern.  It’s ready to take off the needles and make a yarn pom-pom or some kind of finish.

Handcarded wool rolags, ready to spin.

Occasionally during the evening, while watching a movie or program, I’ll handcard more fleece that was washed this past summer.  I set these handcarded rolags high up on a shelf to keep the cats out of them, and have more on a shelf down in the weaving studio.  I am SO looking forward to spinning this up, but there is a lot more carding to do first.

Clearly, when the staining of my log home ends, because I am finished or forced to stop because of weather, I need to take a day or two and finish up these knitting projects.  There are at three sweaters, in various stages, awaiting my attention.  Good winter knitting!          

New Library Additions

As I wrote at the end of the prevous post, I’m feeling more than a little fiber deprived at this point, while working on staining my home.  After spending a good deal of each day outside working on the house, I’m tending to fall asleep the moment I sit down. 

I solved my need for a fiber fix by checking out KnitPicks most recent book sale and ordering a DVD and two knitting books, the better to enjoy the upcoming winter.

I love Rita Buchanan’s “How I Spin” (2 DVD set), learned a number of new things from it, and being more than a little visual, appreciated the wool comb demonstration along with everything else on it.  They left me wanting MORE, much more, and I hope Rita and Interweave Press will bring us more of Rita and her work.

I’ve been noticing cowls in a couple of recent knitting magazines along with a free pattern courtesy of a Takhi ad that came to my Inbox.  My winter jacket has a short stand-up collar, which I like, but my neck is often cold, so when I saw the book “Cowlgirls,” I had to order it.  There are several I hope to knit, and now need to look into specific yarns, though I’m thinking a couple of them in handspun would be especially nice.

The third book, “Norwegian Patterns for Knitting,” was a must have due to my Norwegian heritage and memories of Mungnal, mother of one of my dad’s cousins, who told me long ago that she had knit over 100 Norwegian sweaters.  How I wish she were here now to teach me.  This book is likely beyond my current knitting skills, but when the time is right, and the urge becomes an obsession, I’ll try one of these beautiful sweaters.  Meanwhile, I can dream!