Saturday, March 15, 2014

Victoria Cowl/Hood

I like to name my designs after people I know, so this is named for my niece, whose middle name is Victoria. I already named a pattern after her first name.  I am going to have start using the names of my friends' children because I am running out of nieces. 

The Victoria Cowl can be worn as a cowl to keep your neck warm, or as a hood when the wind picks up.  It's a simple lace pattern, very similar to the feather and fan pattern. It comes out looking like a ribbed lace pattern, yet it's dense enough to keep the cold out. 

Victoria Cowl/Hood

2 Skeins Cascade Yarn 220 Superwash Sports Raspberry
   (100% Superwash Merino Wool -
     50 g(1.75 oz) - 136.5 yds (125m)
Size 6 (4mm) 16” circular needle
Stitch marker                
Yarn needle

Gauge: 4” = 22-24 stitches

Cast on 136 stitches. Join being careful not to twist the stitches. Place marker to note the beginning of the round.
Row 1: K
Row 2: P
Repeat these two rows two more times. 

Begin lace pattern:
Row 1: K
Row 2: *K1, yo, K1, yo, K 5 tog (slip the next four stitches onto your right needle, k1, pass each slipped stitch over the k1 one at a time), yo, k1, yo*. Repeat from * around to marker.
Rows 3 and 4: Knit

Continue these 4 rows for approximately 10 inches, or as long as you want the cowl. The longer the cowl, the better a hood it makes. End with row 2.

Row 1: K
Row 2: P
Repeat these two rows two more times. 
Bind off loosely in pattern.

Cut yarn, leaving an 8” tail. Cut yarn and secure tightly.  Weave in ends.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Downton Hat Pattern

Since I have received so many requests for it, the Downton Hat pattern is free at

It's a pattern by knitsofacto on Ravelry. Check out all the hats on her page.

My next hat will probably be purple.

Back to the needles.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

OCD - Downton Style

I can't stop knitting Downton hats! I would say I need help, but I just don't want to. I am beginning to think that I have some sort of OCD when it come to knitting certain patterns. I find one I really enjoy making and I knit it over and over again. That is the case with this wonderful hat.

I saw this behavioral pattern emerging for the first time when I started making socks (see my posts beginning September 8, 2013). I spent about two months straight knitting socks. I made about 20 pairs before I was done. I have enough socks to last the rest of my life as well as enough sock yarn to make 20+ pairs in the future. I have an entire basket of sock yarn to prove it. Yet when I see another cute sock pattern, there I am downloading the page, checking my inventory to see if I have the right yarn to make that pair, and checking my bank account to see if I can buy another skein of sock yarn.

The Ravelry link is

After a month or two of knitting socks, I will suddenly change to a specific scarf or cowl pattern and do the same thing. Right now, I am back to hats -- one specific hat. So far I have made three Downton hats -- and winter is almost over. The funny part is that I have a purple coat, so I will need to make another to match it. I am fighting the urge to run over to my local yarn store with my coat to match the color.  Or maybe I should just buy another coat. I bet they are on sale now. See my problem? I will probably solve my problem by buying both yarn and new coat.

The red hat is made with Cascade Yarns Eco Alpaca which is the same type of yarn as the gray and black one (Pattern link available on the February 11, 2014 post). This alpaca yarn is incredibly warm too, almost self-heating, so if you are suffering from a cold bitter winter, this might be the yarn for you. The blue one is made with yarn from Brooks Farm that I bought at a wool festival a few years ago. I think I had originally intended to make a shawl with this yarn, but I also have dozens of shawls as well (due to my knitting OCD), so I don't need another right now. But after finishing three hats, I am not done with this pattern. I need to make another.

Back to the needles.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The Games Kitties Play

Neko is not an especially playful kitty, but when he does, he certainly has some preferences.  It appears that only a specific person can play a certain game with him. Cases in point:

The only person who can play chase the laser light with Neko is my son. Neko will run across the carpet after that little red light like a running back cutting across the field to avoid being tackled. In fact, his claws dig into the carpet as if he were wearing cleats! His favorite place to chase the laser is up and down the carpeted steps. However, if Ken or I were to pick up the laser to continue the game, it's game over. The little red light can dance across the floor, jiggle in front of his paws, or peek around a corner, and Neko will plop down on his side with no interest in what is going on.

Is this my toy? What am I
supposed to do with it?
Last night though, Neko jumped up on the coffee table to play one of his favorite games with me. He nudges an empty plastic cup until it falls onto the floor. I pick up the cup and it back on the table. He pushes it off again. We played this game for a solid 10 minutes until Ken came into the room. He tried it. He picked up the cup and put it on the table in the exact way I did it. Neko walked to the end of the table and started grooming himself.  Obviously, Ken was not playing this game correctly.

What is weird about this is that Neko plays more games with Ken than anyone. He will shoot crumpled paper across the room and Neko will chase and attack it. I will pick up one of these papers and do the same thing, and he will completely ignore me. Ken can pick up the same piece of paper and Neko will start to play again.

We all know that cats are the masters of control, and I see it every time it is playtime. And we put up with it. And he knows we will.
Sorry. Play time is over.