Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Cashmere, Buttonholes and More Socks

Hi Knitters,
Happy Valentine's Day! I don't have any heart knitting for you today, but I do have an excellent project in a Valentine-y red. It'll have to do this year.

Every once in a while you see a pattern that you know you have to make and that you have to start immediately. The Purlbee's Two-Color Cowl struck me like this for some reason. 

I like to dabble in crochet every once in a while. This cowl was the perfect counter to the knitting and designing I have been doing lately for my book stuff. I had this Trauco, Araucania 100% cashmere lace weight, just sitting around but I never knew what to make with it until I saw this pattern. 

I pulled out my trusty US D/3-3.25mm crochet hook that I wasn't even sure I had, and got to work. I just chained until I had about 22 inches and joined to work in the round. I ended up with fewer stitches than the pattern calls for but I figured it would be fine and it was. This is an easy and well written pattern. You need to know how to chain, slip stitch, single crochet and double crochet. Those are very basic crochet skills and I love the end result.

I can't believe how light and airy this cowl is, it feels like butter. I finished my Two-Color Cowl Sunday night. In the morning, I soaked it in Celebration Soak Wash for about 20 minutes. I squeezed out the excess water and laid it flat to dry. It smells so good. 

It dried in no time at all. By the end of the afternoon the cowl was completely dry. I wore it for the rest of the day and night. I love the tonal variation of the yarn as it adds interest to the fabric. Also, I made my cowl about 13-inches in length instead of the 16-inches suggested in the pattern. That is plenty long for me.

Anyway, I deem this project a huge success, good enough to use a skein of cashmere. This is the first time I have worked with 100% cashmere so that was fun and new. If you are a beginning crocheter the Two-Color Cowl would be a perfect project for you. It's so simple and fast.

I love the Purlbee, don't you?

On a different note, while I was waiting for my new cowl to dry, I was wearing my Owls cardigan. I have been meaning to tighten up the buttonholes a bit as they were a little too big for the buttons I selected and kept coming undone while I was wearing the cardigan. This was the perfect chance to get this done. I often end up tightening knit buttonholes after I make a cardigan so the buttons stay buttoned.

I used a matching gray thread and sewing needle to do this. On the wrong side of the buttonhole I take a few stitches to close up the hole a bit. Before tying off the thread and cutting, I always try to pull the button through the hole to make sure that I haven't made it too small. If it's a good fit I tie a couple of knots and pull the end through a few stitches and cut the thread. It is completely invisible and secure.

I wore the Owls cardigan for the rest of the day along with my new cowl. The buttons now stay closed which makes me happy! What an easy and effective fix.

Also, while my cowl was drying and I had my basin and Soak out, I quickly washed a pair of handknit socks I made a couple of years ago. This is one pair that has been borrowed by my Peachy (and never returned). I believe it is Noro Kureyon Sock Yarn (do they still make this yarn?). I used my simple sock pattern, click here if you missed it.

I don't wash these socks in the machine because this is a single ply wool and I think they would felt. It is so easy to handwash wool and then it always smells so good when you are done. I actually kind of enjoy handwashing my woolens. These particular socks have been worn and washed a lot and they are holding up very well.

That's it for today. I am thinking about another book giveaway soon. I feel like I haven't done one in a while.

Have a super Tuesday.
best, susie