Blue Mountain Cowl

Recently, I picked up my yarn and needles and let my hands dictate the design that unfolded. This process knit resulted in a gorgeous cowl.

I decided on the name Blue Mountain Cowl as it got some use on the trails of the Blue Mountains outside of Sydney, Australia. Australia is in the middle of winter right now so the temps in the mountain were a bit chilly. We started the day with it being 1°C and I think it got up to 13°C in direct sun with no wind. The cozy Merino/cashmere blend felt like a little piece of heaven.Originally, I had socks in mind, however, the yarn didn’t have enough nylon content for me. I kept ending up with really baggy socks, which were a no go. I have suffered too many years with baggy sock. The curse of tiny feet! 😫

The yarn is String Theory Caper Sock in Stella Blue (merino wool/cashmere/nylon), which I purchased in Burlington, Vermont last summer. I love the subtle color variegation in this yarn. The yarn was also soooooo soft to work with. To be honest, I was a little sad for the project to end.

The Blue Mountain Cowl was worked over 4 DPNs. I wanted a texture panel, so I worked a modified seed stitch over the first needle. The remaining stitches were purely stockinette. I was aiming for one big tube, but then I remembered this cowl from PurlSoho. I loved how the front panel draped lower than the back. What a great idea! Don’t you hate tugging your neckwear down to seal the cold out of the front of your jacket? Inspired, I added about 1.5″ to the front section only.

Well here I am in my Blue Mountain Cowl in the Blue Mountains! It was a pretty spectacular day. The sun was shining and the cool air kept us somewhat temperature controlled during our 8 miles of hiking. It was good to be out in some crisp. I think my body is happiest in cooler weather.

Until Next Time,

-Whit-

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Places You Can Knit

Since being out of China I have really had the chance to catch up on Instagram (IG) and my blog reading. Due to the internet restrictions, it can be really difficult to load pictures or really any internet content that isn’t Chinese. Social media, such as IG, is such an inspiration for me. I love to see what people are making/ creating as well as catching up on the latest pattern releases.

All this inspiration lead me to start thinking about how I express my passions in life. So I am starting a series of posts via Instagram (@knitsbywhitsf) about knitting while traveling Australia this summer. If you would like to join in spreading knitting love use the hashtag #knitwhiletraveling2018.

I look forward to seeing where you love to knit!

Until Next Time,

-Whit-

Summer Update

Well we have made it through our first year in China! Woot woot! We had many ups and downs and no matter what we expected the experience has changed us forever.

The one thing I have loved about our time so far abroad is traveling. Having much of Asia less than a 5 hour flight away has been pretty awesome. Our favorite spots have been Tokyo, Singapore, and Guilin.

It has been a challenge to keep up knitting as much in China. There is a serious lack of LYS in Guangzhou that sell natural fibers. There is a lot of acrylic going on. I am making a more conscious effort to seek out yarn shops when we travel, which has made for great souvenirs. I also managed to figure out online shopping (Taobao) to purchase some of the larger name brands (Debbie Bliss, Quince and Co).

This summer we will be in California and Australia for a total of 5 weeks. I am super excited and have already started looking up yarn shops in Sydney! If you would like to read about our travels please do so at Smithberrys Abroad. Or connect with me on IG @knitsbywhitsf

Until Next Time,

-Whit-

Gemini Top

Fist off I am in love with this color. I really love jeweled tones and this yarn was such a rich shade of teal I couldn’t resist using it twice! (See my Bankhead Hat). The yarn isn’t a natural fiber, but it passes the ‘pet test.’ Meet my newest finished garment Gemini.

This pattern features a lace yoke panel that can be worn to the front or back depending on your mood. The pattern was very straight forward and the yarn/needles size combo made for a quick knit. I worked the small size and have about 2-3″ of positive ease. I did modify the length of the body as I am petite and have a shorter torso.

Another short sleeve top to add to the stack! Since my Gemini top isn’t straight cotton it will make a good layering piece when the weather does finally cool down. I am thinking a collared shirt might look cute underneath. The endless possibilities that come with creating your own wardrobe!

Until Next Time,

-Whit-

Bankhead Hat

I finally got around to making the Bankhead Hat by Susie Gourlay. I originally found this hat while doing some research for a coworker. She wanted to make a basic-ish beanie that was gender neutral.

The Bankhead Hat is a great project for beginners. The pattern is well written and has a lot of photos to guide you along. Along with being free, Bankhead can be created with pretty much any yarn. I used a solid color, however, Bankhead would look lovely in striped or with variegated yarn.

I am not quite sure if I worked the crown decreases correctly. If I did then I really like the finished look. If not… I still like it (hahaha).

What is your favorite basic-ish hat/beanie pattern?

Until Next Time,

-Whit-

Knitting With Woolfolk

I purchased a skein of Woolfolk Tynd (Color N°14) at Knitterly in Petaluma, CA over a year ago. Sadly, this LYS is now closed 🙁. I became curious about this yarn after reading about it on some blogs. Woolfolk yarn is known for high quality and responsibly made yarn. The yarn is made to feel luxurious. In the store, the yarn definitely passed the “pet test” (aka soft and squishy).

I have held onto this yarn for awhile because just wasn’t sure what to make. Last week I realized that a friend’s daughter’s birthday was coming up. She is turning 16 and she is quite far away from her best friends. I thought that a hand-knitted item may make her feel excited on her special day.

I was feeling in a designing mood so I went to Ravelry for inspiration. My interest was captured by The Valley of the Moon Shawl. I really loved the angled eyelets. The hat ended up using a slanted eyelet pattern over 12 stitches. I made 3 rows with a total of 5 eyelets in each row. I then changed the direction of the eyelet slant by using ssk vs. k2tog. My only complaint is that the Woolfolk yarn didn’t really make my pattern pop. Tynd is a fuzzy yarn and so it made my eyelets look a little muted.

I would consider using Woolfolk yarn again if I had some extra money on hand. Maybe for a nice pullover? I can only imagine how soft and cozy it would be. 😍

Have you tried Woolfolk Yarns?

Until Next Time,

-Whit-

Zigzagular Socks

The Zigzagular Socks are a free knitting pattern on Ravelry. The construction is top down with a textured heel flap. Along the sides of the socks runs a basic cable pattern that moves back and forth in a zig zag pattern.

I made the smallest size using my Daruma Superwash Merino wool yarn. This is a Japanese brand. I was first attracted to this yarn as it looked super soft and cozy. I have to say I wouldn’t use this yarn for socks again. It was too loosely wound for me. I like a very smooth yarn that is tightly plied and has at least 25% nylon. I like how the nylon helps keep a tight fit on my teeny tiny feet.

The pattern for these socks was well written. I liked that there were written direction as well as charts included. I also love a pattern with lots of pictures. It helps give me a better idea of what I am going to end up with.

I will not be wearing these sock for a looooong time. It will be 90° F/30°C for pretty much everyday for the foreseeable future. So no socks required 🙁. But, if you are looking for a sock pattern to stock up on your cold weather gear during the summer months I highly suggest the Zigzagular Socks.

Until Next Time,

-Whit-