Tag Archives: knit picks

new knitting: stripey duffle coat

I recently wrapped up a new commuter-knitting project — Kate Oates’ Stripey Duffle Coat.   One of the side-benefits of commuting — plenty of knitting time.  Tends to keep away seatmates who worry about getting poked too. :)

When I first saw this pattern on Ravelry, I couldn’t resist buying it.   And boy, you really get what you pay for. It’s basically  perfect; I want to knit it over and over again. The sizing on the pattern is wonderful (I ad libbed 3/4 sleeves) and the hood is the cutest. I have a few others in the queue for one of the many babes that have arrived of late.

It took me a bit to get the the first 20 rows correct, mostly b/c I wasn’t paying attention.  I ended up ripping it back twice, before I got the increases right.

Despite not being ah huge fan of acrylic yarn, that’s what I went with. These days I’m liking it better than super-wash.  Knitpicks Brava was totally reasonable as far as acrylic goes, plus the colors are much nicer than what’s available in the box stores.  Special-washing a sweater probably isn’t at the top of new parents’ to-do lists. ;)

You should go knit this.

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selfish project: smooshy cowl

Sometimes you have to put yourself first.  Seriously.  Every now and again, you need to make yourself a little something as a thank you for generally being in the service of other things and peoples. This, incidentally, is a talk I need to give myself rather frequently!  In terms of self-gifting, I’m convinced that the best kinds of projects combine the following features:  not too time consuming, not too spendy, as cute as anything available in the stores.  My recent answer to this is the smooshy cowl.

I think I’ve only ever knitted myself two other items, both scarves.  One of them was…oh… circa 2006.  I bought some lovely cream-colored alpaca yarn,  I think from Downtown Yarns.  I recall it being kind of expensive and my being very happy.  I have a soft spot for swanky yarn stores. Said alpaca scarf started its life as a poncho.  Yes, a poncho. They were very fashion-forward (in my mind) then.  It was also briefly featured in a Google Maps drive by of one of my old addresses.  Famous!  A few years later I disassembled and re-purposed it into an infinity scarf. Then it developed some holes. Then I felted it in an effort to mend the holes. Then I wore it w/ the holes tucked up inside. Sadly, my faithful scarf is no longer suitable for public wearing.  And since I’m a consummate indoor scarf wearer, it’s really not suitable for work.

But, that means it’s time for a brandy new scarf!  I fooled w/ making a pattern with bobbles, but it was meh.  Ultimately, I went w/ the old standby — the 2×2 rib. It didn’t require any looking  or concentration during our Hobbit watching marathon over the weekend. :) Smooshy, warm, able to be worn as a hood or cuffed to look sort of preppy.  Behold the versatility of a knitted tube!

The Smooshy Cowl
(a knitted tube “pattern” by Melliroo)

Size
one size fits everyone, albeit differently

Materials
1.5 skeins  of Knit Picks Swish Bulky (colors are sadly out of production)  or other similar weight yarn.
1 set size 11 circular needles (12″)
1 size 15 straight needled

Other tools
stitch marker (i.e. looped piece of contrast-color scrap yarn)
yarn needle

Stitches
2×2 rib (k2, p2) for entire project

Directions
Loosely cast-on 80 stitches, using long-tail method. Place marker and join yarn.

Knit in 2×2 rib until piece measures 16 inches.  Try it on a few times as you’re knitting to get your most preferred length. (Hilarity ensues when you struggle to wiggle your head thru the circulars w/o dropping stitches). Cast-off using the size 15 needle to give it a little something extra on the bottom. Weave in your ends, then block if you’re into it. I’m kind of a blocking maniac, but am tempted not to bother w/ this one.

Finished Measurements
7.5 inches wide (unstretched) x 16 inches long
Tah-dah!

Note that this is a loosely fitting cowl.  It’s more of an indoor, non-arctic temperatures accessory. Also, if you plan to regularly wear it as a hood, I’d add an extra two inches  in length.

smooshy cowl by Melliroo