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One Skein o’ Wonderful

Dear Ann,
Hi there! I’m back from the mountain getaway. While breathing the cool mountain air, hiking to the point of actual yodelling, and munching delicious corn and tomatoes, which were all the sweeter for being prepared by NOT ME, I managed to get in some knitting time.
I was highly motivated by this glorious pile of goodies:
… which Aunt Kathy had hauled all the way from her vacation in Nova Scotia. (Aunt Kathy is my sister-in-law, but ever since we were simu-preggers back in 1996, we have addressed each other as Aunt Kathy and Aunt Kay. And it still feels good!)
Note that in all this bounty and variety, there is one skein of each yarn. Hmmm, what to do, on vacation, with only one set of needles (#5 circular), with one skein of gorgeous yarn? Clever me, I had brought a copy of the pattern for the One Skein Wonder that everybody is making such adorable versions of. (I brought it in case, you know, while roaming the mountains, far from a yarn store, I should come across one skein of something good. I’m optimistic that way.)
My thinking was, the One Skein Wonder is not for someone like me. Personally, I am more of a Multi-Skein Wonder. An Undisclosed-Number-of-Skeins Wonder, actually. We have spoken of my plow-pushing arms, and I have to say that I can visualize how those tight n’ teeny cap sleeves would emphasize the front porch and tummy area, and I’m just not going there. But the thing about the One Skein Wonder is that it is just too dang cute not to knit for somebody. And I know several Jane Austen-y little girls who could accessorize the living heck out of a One Skein Wonder. So I started out with one for niece Maggie, who had helped pick out the yarn in Nova Scotia, bless her.
The One Skein Wonder is a fun knit. It’s a top-down raglan with no front, basically. And it’s extremely clever how you seam the one-inch seam of the arms, and then you can do the ribbed edging for the neck and the bottom in the round. It doesn’t look like much lying flat, but look how cute it is on a real live little girl (here Carrie substitutes for her cousin, who was Unavailable At Time Of Photoshoot):
My next One Skein Wonder will be for Carrie, in time for High Holiday services (I know she has her mini-Kiri, but this is a serious holiday requiring two complete changes of outfit). She is already talking about wearing it to school with a long-sleeve t-shirt and jeans. When we get that kind of kid enthusiasm about a handknit, it’s time to start cranking them out, people!
Technical note: How did I make a kid-sized version? Remember how I said I just had a #5 circular with me? Well, the pattern is gauged for heavier yarn. So I just cast on the same number of stitches in my light worsted 70% mohair 30% wool handspun, hand-dyed yarn from Angora Hill in Nova Scotia. I wanted the back to be a bit longer than the one in the pattern, so I just knit more rows. I had plenty of yarn left over from a 100g skein. It worked out great. I think for Carrie’s version I will cast on fewer stitches at the beginning, and make the arms a bit smaller so that it is truly a shrug and not a bolero. But I like the way this one fits her. Anyway, it all worked out, just winging it. I’m a happy camper, literally.



  1. Such a cute shrug! As a faithful blog stalker, I’m shocked that I haven’t seen this before. It is precious and Carrie makes an excellent little model! I guess I’ve been hiding under a rock or something. Glad to here you are safely back from your trip.

  2. Nice to see a post appear late on the weekend! I guess the 5-hour time difference is in there somewhere.
    Those shrugs always make me wonder how one actually puts them on. Doesn’t seem like there’s enough to hold on to, y’know? But it looks cute. No, of course not cute, but elegant and grown-up!

  3. Adorable little OSK and goregous little girl. Those eyes!! She is beautiful!

  4. Holy moly, those are the biggest blue eyes in the world, and I thought my kid’s eyes were huge…
    The OSW looks wonderful on her!

  5. Cute OSW, even cuter model. I share your hesitations about knitting one for myself (those are the parts of my body I try to *minimize*), but I have a willowy 9 year old in my house who would look just swell in one. Hmmmmmm ….

  6. Very nice one skein wonder! I made one for my 13 year old from cotton and she loves it. She’ll need another in wool for the fall, I think. Like you, it’s not something I’d wear myself, but it is pretty cute.

  7. That looks fantastic on Carrie with the beautiful blue eyes.
    She will obviously require several for her new autumn wardrobe. The possibilities !

  8. The yearn for your OSW is gorgeous, I love it. I made a kid sized as well. http://stringtheoryfiberarts.typepad.com/stfa/2005/07/pink_on_parade.html
    I wish I had made the back a bit longer like you did. I also found that the sleeves need to be just a little longer so that short sleeved shirts don’t stick out at the end. My Buggy loves it though, she wants to wear it with everything, even over her bathing suit.

  9. Beautiful OSW — I’ve seen a lot in blog-land, and yours is one of the nicest. And, I echo the commenters before me … Carrie has gorgeous eyes!

  10. Mwah! Welcome back! Been wondering if you’d ever return to civilization . . .
    You KNEW I’d love that picture of Carrie. She is the darling, that one. And her shrug? Super Fantastic!

  11. your little girl has a face that should be immortalized in a painting.

  12. Have you got any information on Angora Hill? Wandering the back roads of Nova Scotia I came across Hillsdale Mohair, but I would love another yarn stop…

  13. Hi Amanda– I will ask Aunt Kathy. I know it was a local yarn store in the town they were in, which had the wonderful Fleece Artist as well as Daughter of Fleece Artist (Handmaiden–gorgeous cashmere/silk handpaint you see in the pop-up pic of the Angora Hill) and other small producers. I believe they were near Yarmouth but can’t say for sure. I googled Angora Hill and didn’t find anything. It’s a luscious yarn although the mohair is a bit hairy if like me you’re used to cotton! What I love is the subtle blue/gray/green striping. xoxo Kay

  14. You better start stocking up on those shotguns, Miss Kay…them boys are gonna be knocking your door down in a couple of years 🙂
    Just don’t let your Hubbo answer the door in his skivs while holding the shotgun…my dad did tht once and I think that pretty much ruined high school for me. LOL

  15. Pretty much all my Front Porch Goodnight Kisses (not that they were many, to begin with) were wrecked by Dad and that damn sleeveless undershirt of his, appearing at the screen door in 6-foot-4, belligerent splendor. The poor boys didn’t stick around to see the rest of his outfit. I was all, Dad, aren’t the braces on my teeth and the John-Denver wire frames enough of a deterrent? Do you just have to kill the tiniest speck of pseudo-romance?
    If we need to, we’ll get Dad on the case. I’m not worried. She has strong Geek Genes on both sides.
    xoxo Kay

  16. ….what shrug-a-licious-ness!….everything old, becomes new again…..carrie may break a lot of “man hearts”… glad you are prepping ahead….

  17. gosh Kay.. carrie gets more beautiful each day. I like that green on her, makes her eyes seem even more blue

  18. I just want to add that down here south of the Mason-Dixon line, on the Parent-Generated Fiber Arts Boy’s Short List of Acceptable Mate Candidates, we see one large-eyed girl named Carrie.
    Can we go ahead and arrange the thing? Must we wait? I’ll knit her OSWs all day long, OK?
    Signed, Fiber Arts Boy’s Mother

  19. Man, talk about an all Jane Austen-y model. She should be in an Empire-waistline dress and flower-trimmed straw bonnet, that one. What a beauty.
    I wonder if my non-girly-but-just-as-gorgeous 14 year-old niece would like one of those OSWs. What do you all think?

  20. Beautiful shrug on a little lady with the most gorgeous eyes. I couldn’t resist her for anything.

  21. I love the OSW although I have not found a graceful way of taking one off.

  22. …in news completely unrelated to knitting and doe-eyed daughters… Ann, I do have a recipe for your figs (lovely figs, BTW – so exotic for me!) will send it along
    glad to have you both back and blogging!

  23. She reminds me of a Keane painting…except not so melancholy looking! She’s beautiful!


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