There’s Nothing Like A Cowl

Curls modeling her new hat and cowl

Curls modeling her new hat and cowl

Curls delivers mail up in the cold mountains east of San Diego. Quit laughing all of you in snow country, 20 degrees Fahrenheit is cold for us. To keep my precious sister warm, I knit both a hat and a cowl. Both the hat and the cowl were knit in Silk Garden by Noro, quite a love yarn with which to knit. The hat is one of our favorite patterns which Curls “found” on our Northwest trip a couple of year ago, Urchin by Ysolda Teague. The cowl was knit using my favorite pattern State Street Cowl by Pam Allen. I LOVE cowls since they don’t have any hanging ends for me to slop through my food when eating out.

Urchin and State Street Cowl

Urchin and State Street Cowl

I’ve mentioned my “love affair” with Pinterest before. One pin lead me to the wonderful FitzBirch Crafts blog and its plethora of free patterns; cowls, socks, scarves, doorstop, etc. Here are just a few of their cowl patterns that I totally love:


Trellis Vine Cowl

Recently Updated67

Bunker Bay Cowl

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Catch My Eye Cowl


Chevron Delight Infinity Scarf

Chevron Delight Infinity Scarf

As a process knitter, I love the process of knitting, trying new patterns and techniques, but usually give the items I’ve knit away since I’m not really making them for myself. My favorite person to knit for is Curls since she can actually wear the winter woolens.
QNow get your crafty self up and make something for some one. Have fun!

My Hats

– I love knitting hats and wearing them. (Q – She looks so wonderful in hats!)


These are a just few of the hats I have knitted for myself. Clockwise: 1) At the top, the red hat is a free pattern from Red Heart which is made with their wool yarn. 2) The brown hat, which I call THE HAT, is made with yarn I picked up in Montana at the Mountain Colors Yarn Company. It is one of my favorite hats. THE HAT is featured on the front cover of “Vogue Knitting” Fall 2009. The article was called “Head Trips”.  The name of THE HAT is Vine and Leaf Beret found on page 75. I love THE HAT so much that I have made 3 of them! 3) The grey hat is from the same issue of Vogue Knitting called Lace Beret. 4)  The last hat, in the bottom left, is the one I made for Q while we were on our Northwest Adventure in Washington. The pattern is Urchin by Ysolda Teague (see our March 31, 2012 post). I made one for Q and one for myself purchasing yarns which matched our hair colors.

Check out our post “Tams are Me,” posted May 8, 2012. In that post is a spring tam I made with green wool yarn which was  hand-dyed by Q.  There is also another example of THE HAT which I gave to mom. 🙂

What’s in Your Notepad?

Q – Two women had a strong influence in my upbringing; my mom and my grandmother.  Both highly creative women in different media.  One habit we have because of them; always carry a notepad in your purse because you never know what you’ll see when out-and-about that desperately needs to be written down.  I have a couple of my grandmothers old, beat-up notepads.  Ugly brown, but when I open them up and see my grandmother’s notes they are priceless.  I’m brought back to my childhood, I can see her jotting down notes as we are out.  She had notes about recipes, sketches about beading ideas, creations with yarn ideas, etc.  Her hand were always busy creating something!  I wish I had one of mom’s notepads.  She designed such wonderful clothes for my sisters and me.  Her notepad was filled with sewing ideas; such wonderful little dresses filled the pages.  I was quite envious when one of the dresses was for a sister and not me!

There is nothing more wonderful than walking into a yarn, quilt or fabric store and seeing all the models on display.  Fingers itching to do something new.  We especially love it when the yarn stores have a tag hanging from the display identifying the pattern and it’s free!  These are the notes for Curls and my trip to the Northwest, collected from various yarn stores, the majority of the free ones came from Yellow House Yarns in Puyallup:

Free Downloads:

Mara shawl
– Amy Hendrix
Moon River Scarf – Susanna IC
Annis shawl – Susanna IC
Gaia Shoulder Hug – Anne Carroll Gilmour
Madrid laced wristlets – Alexandra Brinck (any one up by Puyallup, this was a class at Yellow House Yarns)
Ginkgo Shoulderette Shawl – Maggie Magalie – If you love ginkgo leaves you must visit Marjorie Moser’s blog she silkscreens and dyes the most fabulous items.
Urchin hat – Ysolda Teague
Advent-Calender-Scarf 2011 with beads – Kristin Benecken
Matilde Shawl – Chiara Chiavacci

Bitterroot shawl with beads – Rosemary (Romi) Hill – I love her patterns!

Crystal Palace Yarns
Jasmine Lace Fingerless Mitts – Adrienne Fong

Not free, but wonderful:
Snapdragon Tam – Ysolda Teague
Monica scarf – Trudy Van Stralen
Traveling Woman – Liz Abinante
Entwined Cowl – Taniis Gray – stay tuned, we’re not going to buy the pattern but we’ve got a “BIG” idea
Trousseau shawl – Carol Feller

This was free in February, but looks as if it is not now.
Berry Tam – Lijuan Jing

Also jotted down were titles of  books and patterns that we liked.  One was “Scandinavian Slippers and Socks” which Curls bought.  We are knitting the Norwegian Star slipper pattern.

I found I spent the most money for yarns in Yellow House Yarns since they had so many models and the patterns were free.  I figured free patterns = more yarn!  I like that math!  Very smart marketing on their part!  This is just a sampling of the notes we took on our trip.  Doesn’t include the sewing ideas which will be a different post.  So, what’s in your notepad?

“It Never Rains in Southern California”

q8~The lyricist for that song must be someone who has never lived here and must have had a “no-rain-in-Southern-California” dream.  It’s one of those cold, yucky, gray, drizzly, day that we do get here – sometimes!  I know those of you elsewhere are thinking “what a baby”.  I’ll agree.  It does mean I’m not outside dyeing today. Durning our Northwest Trip it was COLD- rain, sleet and snow!  I have tons of sun hats, but very few winter hats.  I was complaining about my cold head and wonderful sister Barb made this hat for me:

We saw the yarn at Acorn Street Yarn shop in Seattle.  The yarn is Odisea by Fil Katia.  The pattern is Urchin by Ysolda Teague.  She also made one for herself in the darker color way.  Barb has dark curly hair and I have blond straight hair.  Where’s the justice?  I hate pictures of myself but laying the hat flat just did not do it justice.

Have you ever started a project that you just HATE?  While on the trip we decided it was time for us to try knitting socks.  We’ve knitted booties, but not socks.  I purchased a wonderfully soft yarn by Debbie MacComber.  It’s Petal Sock yarn color way Blueberry.  I poured over tons of sock patterns, I knit quite a bit of lace but wasn’t sure if I wanted a complicated pattern for my first pair.  I’m not even sure what pattern I decided on, but I do not like it.  After hours…… sigh……  I’ll have to quite worrying about turning heels, picking up sides, or whatever and find a pattern I really like.  This is what I have:

After a whole day of spinning yesterday, my hands begged me to take the day off today.  I plan on practicing the long draw again tomorrow.  I did order a book Celia Quinn recommended, Handspinners Handbook by Bette Hochberg.  With postage it was about $10.  What a good deal.  I’m anxious to see all of the tips.  I downloaded the iSpin app that quite a few members recommended at the workshop yesterday.  Now I need to spin something so I can try it. lol