twist and shout

Because I just never shut up

Mayme Corsage Cowl…a free knitting pattern! January 15, 2014

Hello, dear friends! A special shout out to those dear knitting friends who live in the frigid tundra region of these United States, as I have something to share here that might be something cheery you can use.

After what seems like forever–at least to me, anyway–I’ve managed to work the cowl I submitted to Uncommon Goods for their consideration into a FREE pdf pattern for you guys. I originally named it the “Jaunty Corsage Cowl,” however, a recent news story about a homeowner renovating her 1910 home and the postcards to “Mayme” that were found secreted behind some kitchen baseboards caught my eye. Seems like Mayme might’ve had a little romance on the side, since the name of the sender didn’t match her husband’s name in the town records. Hmm.

At any rate, I could not resist a name that sounded exactly like a lady who’d sport a lovely striped cowl with a happy flower corsage when the weather turned frightful. So the Mayme Corsage Cowl was born.

The pattern includes both the knitting instructions, as well as how to create the felt flower corsage pin. So without further ado, here it is…just click on the link just below.

mayme corsage cowl3


As I wrote out the pattern, I started thinking how pretty this cowl would also be made from two shades of a natural color yarn, like an oatmeal and a tweedy brown, or two shades of handspun, either fastened with a lovely heirloom brooch instead of the felted flower corsage.

Oh the ideas are bubbling away…

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this pattern!

You can finish this in a weekend!

You can finish this in a weekend!



Hats off! February 25, 2013

I heard the most rotten thing the other day.

The friend of a dear friend (let me just call my dear friend “L”) of mine has stage 4 breast cancer. That in itself is rotten. But to make things over the top rotten, my friend L told me over coffee that her friend who has breast cancer was on her way to yet another chemo treatment with the intention of going for a wig afterwards, had her purse stolen. $700 cash was in that purse, and this poor sick woman–a single mom with a teenager and a couple of young kids–has no other way to pay for her wig.

I mean, how freakin’ rotten are people to steal from someone so obviously unwell. It makes me furious. 😦

I hope this pretty and soft merino feels like a hug.

I hope this pretty and soft merino feels like a hug.

But instead of simply getting angry, I decided to channel that anger into this lovely little chemo cap. A free, easy pattern, and a super terrific way to use up a lone skein of pretty Dream in Color Superwash Merino. This was a skein of Purple Paisley leftover from my Amelie sweater a couple of winters ago. It only took me a day or two. And I heard that the friend of my pal L, really liked the hat, that it fit her, and she loved the color. 🙂

Yeah, I gave her a little money toward her wig, but I’m just so happy I also made her something cuddly, something a little like a hug. I even got inspired to make a few more of these hats to give out to a cancer center–when I get my yarn a bit sorted out.

First, however, I needed to make the Bug a new hat.

The actual color is a bit richer in person.

The actual color is a bit richer in person.

She’d outgrown the Wolf Hat I made her a couple of years ago (not to mention it got lost in the Pit of Despair, but whatever), so she picked out the Seedling pattern by Alana Dakos. A pretty hat, to be sure. But it was all purling in the round. Not a good combo for me, let me say.

So typical me, I changed the pattern: I knitted it inside out! Yes! And it worked amazingly.

First I swatched a lovely filigree colorway of Madtosh Worsted and found I had to go down 2 sizes to get gauge. Good thing I took the time to swatch, Haha.

And after reading all the different projects (thank God for Rav and everyone who actually posts comments), it confirmed to me that all that dang purling would make this an endless project, so I decided to follow my gut and knit this puppy “inside out.”

By that I mean I “reversed” all the pattern stitch directions: instead of P2 K1 ribbing, I’m doing K2 P1 rib. And when I increased stitches after the ribbing, I did all the increases knitwise. I took special care there to space the pattern setup area in reverse as well, counting to make sure I had 12 stitches on each side of the “stems.”

When I reached the “leaves” chart, I read it all in reverse and made sure I started from the lower left corner and read left to right.
It got a little dicey around the double decrease in the pattern, but there were only 3, so I didn’t get terribly worried; I simply took my time there.

The ssp (instead of ssk) required a look online at Knitting Help, but it was a good thing to learn, and I only needed to make a dozen or so anyway. I think the best thing about doing the pattern chart in reverse was that it was a good stretch for my brain cells…I loved it!!

Have turned the heel and am racing toward the toe!

Have turned the heel and am racing toward the toe!

Oh yes, and I’m chugging away on my 6 pair of socks in one year. Maybe I’ll even end up doing bonus socks. Yippee.


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