If you’re Rhinebeck bound, we would love to see you at Jill Draper’s studio in Kingston on Saturday night. Details here.

Other People’s Knitting: Knitmas Edition

Dear Ann:
I’m completely wrecked from staying up with the kids last night to watch the British Pop Pensioners Concert, I mean the 12/12/12 concert to benefit Superstorm Sandy relief. There is now a clear demarcation in my life: the Time Before I Saw Roger Daltrey’s High-Gloss Bare Chest, and the Time After. (Click if you dare.) Seriously. Foxy old men: I love your foxiness. I really do. I also love a shirt.
Ann! The Christmas-Hanukkah-Kwanzaa-New Year is upon us! As always, without setting out with intent to knit gifts, I am knitting gifts. A/k/a Honey Cowls, which I would be knitting anyway. Might as well spread a few more of them among the general population, for they are Good.
Today, though, I’d like to showcase Other People’s Knitting. These are patterns that may fill that quick-knit niche in someone’s gift-knitting regimen. Alternatively the patterns themselves would make good gifts for a knitter. And it’s so blissfully easy to bag & tag the gift of a Ravelry download: you send your recipient a festive message saying, A GREAT PATTERN IS IN YOUR RAVELRY LIBRARY RIGHT NOW. And there it is, shiny and new, awaiting its turn in the knitter’s queue. So here we go.
This year, at last, Britain responds to the beloved Norwegian Christmas balls of Arne and Carlos. In London, at True Brit knits, Belinda and Wendy–designers of the Hampstead Wreath, have come up with their own collection of handknit ornamental finery for the season.
I want mine in charcoal, cream and scarlet, if anybody is knitting me some.
Meanwhile, Jen Arnall-Culliford and Kyoko Nakayoshi have published Cloudy Apples, a collection of 9 smashing accessories for the head, hands and feet. For some reason, Jen and Kyoko thought that the dishrag-knitting queens of the universe would particularly like this set:
(It’s not really that close of a match for the Ballband Dishcloth. But point taken.)
I would love to see this dash pattern in tonal greys, with a dash of tweed. Tonal anything. I’m all about the tonal and the tweed at the moment.
The Underleaf Hat and Mitts are available as individual patterns, and also as part of an e-book, on Ravelry.
Thanks to Jen’s long service at The Knitter, Britain’s monthly magazine for advanced knitters, and Kyoko’s vast experience designing exquisite knits, the patterns are beautifully designed and written. Whether you whip up one of these small items quickly for a gift, or go the giftwrap-free route and just give a pattern or the e-book to a knitted head/hand/foot-gear enthusiast, you are golden. Done. Dusted. Next present.
EDITED TO ADD: The designers have kindly offered a discount of 2 pounds off the e-book price of 9 pounds (hello where is that pound symbol on my keyboard) if you put CloudyMasonDixon in the coupon code box on Ravelry. So be sure to do that.
Good Old American Ingenuity, or What I Knit Last Night
We return to the land of our fathers and mothers, where our beloved pal and photographer of our persons, Gale Zucker, has come up with a super fast, super bulky, super loud cowl pattern that does not sacrifice knitting interest to knitting speed: Decibella. The stitch pattern, a variation on Fisherman’s Rib, is a sweet little puzzle if you’ve never done it before. What? You get a two color rib but never use more than one color in a row? You purl alternate rows, but the FO shows no purls, on either side? Who thinks up this stuff? It’s cool.
I made one last night. (Yes. Last night. Super fast knit.)
Modeled here by Old Mother Hubbard, who recently disembarked from steerage, it is in fact intended for a spritely 11 year old who lives in Providence, where the winters still are cold. I used 2 skeins of Cascade Magnum that had been in the stash so long that germination was becoming a concern. And now, wa-la! Insta-knit high fashion!
Back to my Honey Cowls. Two long subway rides before I sleep.

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  1. I saw Roger Daltrey from the second row a couple of weeks ago. Not only was his chest and that enormous scar on his belly on full display, his fly was open. Lots of anticipation, but no reveal.

  2. Old Mother Hubbard indeed!
    And now I read that Roger Daltrey has been going around with his fly undone! (nothing new there then, some might say).
    Anyway, thank you once more for lovely words about our Bowbell Baubles, a set will be on their way to you. In you requested colours.
    B x x x

  3. That Gale Zucker Cowl might just solve ALL of my Christmas knitting problems! 🙂 Thank you. xxx

  4. That Gale Zucker Cowl might just solve ALL of my Christmas knitting problems! 🙂 Thank you. xxx

  5. YOUR requested colours. YOUR. Not You. Brain addled by baubles!

  6. What is it about a dare that I can’t back down from it? Yikes. Should NOT have clicked that link.
    Thanks for another enjoyable, humorous blog post.
    Happy Hanukkah, Merry Christmas!

  7. I, too, dared. Is it coincidental that the “how to knit” teeshirt from Cafe Press was featured in the ads on the RHS???

  8. I love you people. And, check out, on Ravelry, of course, The Neck’s Big Thing. Made in less than a football game!

  9. I love your Decibella, and your description of the stitch, too.
    I do not think you look like Old Mother Hubbard. Anyway, she’s off somewherre in a shoe with Old Roger Daltrey and his super-plastic shining chest.

  10. Just finished a less quick fisherman’s rib cowl, but love this version. Also love carrie’s.

  11. Sweet dreams after your subway rides and thanks for a wonderfully entertaining post!

  12. I’m not knitting Christmas gifts either but i still have 5 baubles of ten to go. I’d send them along but they are red and white. Sorry.
    Must knit faster. Saw Gayle’s cowl last night. Need one.
    off to cast off red scarf, knock off the baubles and cowl on.

  13. IczeJagboMEiiiOiDx 9072


  15. I’m sorry, but after you said “Roger Daltry” I stopped paying attention. Be still, my heart . . .

  16. I have never RUN TO RAVELRY as fast as that. I must figure out the magical color ribbing.

  17. Looks like you went with the two-sided I-cord, eh? Mother H never looked so good!
    The lovely Carrie looks almost ready to join Bilbo on His Quest. She will be warm and stylish.

  18. Looks like you went with the two-sided I-cord, eh? Mother H never looked so good!
    The lovely Carrie looks almost ready to join Bilbo on His Quest. She will be warm and stylish.

  19. I just finished my first Honey Cowl, and now I SHALL KNIT THEM FOREEEEVVVVVVEEEERRRRRR.
    The Disrobing of the Who burned, but then Kanye came on wearing what I can only assume was something from the Not Slutty Enough Kim Kardashian Reject Pile, and I had to turn it off because I am either too old or too young for music.

  20. just saying this friday night lots of love
    and care to one and all how do you knit tears
    give big hugs to all your young ones
    your a great group on this page and watching
    ann and kayes childern grow up has been a joy

  21. Old Mother Hubbard is MY persona, Kay, and don’t you forget it.

  22. Kay, you are so damn funny. Good old steerage. My dad remembers coming in on the boat from Ireland to Boston and the stink of the trash on Spectacle Island in Boston Harbor!

  23. Hats, stitch pattern on the fly are the thing this year around here. All else fails, I may use the knitting machine to crank out the stockinette bits. (In between bouts of cookie baking. Too bad Keebler elves don’t make house calls.)
    £ and € symbols come standard on the iPad keyboard.

  24. Love the baubles – I am always looking for Unbreakable
    Ornaments- I would add some sparkly yarn and I think Roger has earned the right to take his shirt off

  25. I’m seriously into tonal now – it happened after I knit “Sheep Heid” by Kate Davies recently. There’s something about knitting that pattern that changes you. Or, at least, me. Once you knit using 9 different shades of undyed shetland wool – it’s made me look at color in a completely different way.

  26. That photo of you in Decibella is all I want for Christmas. Truly, such a good-natured lol that I really needed. You’re the bestest. xoc

  27. I like Magnum, but the couple of times I’ve used it my knitting shed like a mofo. I’ll have to find a slightly less sheddy yarn to try it with, because it looks like a lot of fun!

  28. Do you understand that this is high time to get the mortgage loans, which will make you dreams real.

  29. Just want to say thank you for posting the inside of the Hagia Sophia mosque in Turkey! As a Muslim, I was thrilled to see such a vivid piece of visual beauty and artistry on my favorite of knitting blogs. ^__^


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