Tag Archives: cashmere

Knitting Pattern Release: Cathay Williams Shawl

I’m pleased to announce that I just released my cozy new shawl for fall, The Cathay Williams Shawl!  It features a crescent shape with long wings, perfect to wrap around you., and uses just under two 100 gram skeins of fingering weight yarn.  Each row of the shawl is worked across different sections: mesh, a texture section and then mesh again.   I’m sure you’ll enjoy curling up to knit, and wear, this shawl.

You can buy it and read more about it on Ravelry (you don’t have to be a member!).  Click here!


You can adjust the size of the shawl (the length/depth) for the amount of yarn you have on hand.  The pattern has been tech edited.

Who is Cathay Williams? In a time when U.S. Army regulations forbade the enlistment of women, Cathay Williams enlisted under the name William Cathay on November 15, 1866.  She told the recruiting officer that she was a 22-year-old cook.  An Army Surgeon examined her and determined she was fit for duty.  Cathay Williams then became the first documented black woman to enlist in the Army.  She was assigned to the 38th U.S. Infantry and traveled throughout the West with her unit.  She was discharged in October 1868 when an Army surgeon found out she was a woman.  She is the only known female Buffalo Solider.


  • Yarn
    • Approximately 825 yards fingering weight yarn. Shown in Fresh From the Cauldron Schoodic Sock (75% superwash merino, 25% nylon, 460 yards, 3.53oz) in the colorway Poe’s Absinthe Induced Dream.   Other suggested yarns include Destination Yarns Postcard, Cascade Heritage Paints or Knitted Wit Victory Sock.
  • Needle
    • Size US 4 (3.5mm) circular needle in a length of 32″ or 40″, or size needed to obtain gauge.
  • Other Materials
    • 2 stitch markers
    •  Tapestry needle
    •  Blocking pins


  • Finished Measurements
    • After Blocking
      • 32″ wide
      • 44″ height (or depth)

The shawl is blocked aggressively width-wise. Meeting exact gauge is not crucial but may affect the final dimensions. 



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Knitting Pipeline Retreat 2017 – The Goodies


As I promised last week, here are the goodies from the Knitting Pipeline retreat! I have included  links to the vendors (ok, I’m enabling you) so you can check them out. Now to try to go through these in a semi organized fashion.


Oh, bags.  People keep telling me I have a bag problem.  I can’t help it!

Upper left – teal and white circles – I bought the bag at a LYS booth (it was a retreat sponsor) but the bag was actually made by Trappings and Trinkets (available on Etsy). I actually squeeled when I unzipped the bag because the interior fabric was so cute (teal, pink and white kitties).  If you want a peak, take a look at my instagram feed!

Upper right – arctic animals on a gray background – this bag is from Fat Squirrel Fibers.  She actually made a bag specifically for the retreat but I loved the animals on this one even more (see the little narwhal?).  The bags are nicely made and she picks out fabrics that are fun but not necessarily loud and crazy.

Lower right – these two little notion pouches are from RainStorm Studios.  I toss them in my project bags that don’t have pockets.  I really like the one on the right because it has a circle base but opens up wide enough you can include a pair of small scissors in there.  Very functional for me.

Lower left – this is the gauge ruler from Ann Budd knits. KnitCircus carries them and they’re all of $5. You line up the stitch symbols on the ruler with your stitches such that the with of your stitches matches the symbols.  Whichever set of symbols it lines up with tells you your gauge (not the most elegant description).


Oh, the yarn! If you saw my post about found patterns you know I went into the vendor market with some projects in mind.  So I can happily say I did buy most yarn with a project in mind.

Upper left green and purple skeins – The slightly variegated green skein is Strong Stock (80/20 merino/nylon) from Another Crafty Girl in the colorway Numerical Vampire.  The purple next to it is Tenacious Sock (75/15/10 merino/nylon/tencel) from Dyeabolical Yarns in the colorway Ever After. I plan to use these in a two-color shawl together.

Upper center gold and black skeins – Both of these are from Sun Valley Fibers in the merino/cashmere/nylon fingering base.  The two colors are called Golden Harvest and Onyx.  I also plan to use these in a two-color shawl (see a trend yet?).

Upper center gray variegated skeins – These are from Yarn Geek Fibers in her Rocketeer (merino/cashmere/nylon) base in the To Boldly Go colorway.  Yes, a Star Trek reference.  This yarn is super soft and squishy.  So squishy I can’t describe. This doesn’t have a project planned for it – maybe a cowl? a shawl? There’s a lot of yardage (962 yards of fingering) so maybe a shawl? Still can’t decide.

Top right dark green skeins – These are included in our Knitting Pipeline bag from Quince and Co.  100 grams (total) of fingering weight wool.  I think these are going to be boot toppers.

Lower left red and black skeins – Both of these are from Leading Men Fiber Arts in the Box Office base (100% worsted weight merino).  The colors are called Poison Apple and Darkest Hour.  These are going to be a Themisto Hat and there might be enough left over for wristers or boot toppers.

Bottom left green skein – Also from Leading Men Fiber Arts – this is the Diva base, 150 grams of 80/20 merino/silk.  The colorway is Envy.  Definitely going to be a lace shawl.  I love the extra yardage – its great for shawls!

Lower right – black and blue skeins – All three of these are Plymouth Yarn Happy Feet (90/10 merino/nylon), which is squishy soft.  One of the blacks and the blue are going together for something brioche.  I got the second black to have as an extra because I frequently pair colorful yarns with black.

That’s a wrap!





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Knitting Pattern Release: Sybil Ludington Shawl

I’m pleased to announce that I just released my a cozy new shawl for fall, The Sybil Ludington Shawl!  It features a crescent shape with long wings, perfect to wrap around you., and uses just under two 100 gram skeins of fingering weight yarn.  Each row of the shawl is worked across different sections: mesh, a cable panel, lace, another cable panel and then mesh again.   I’m sure you’ll enjoy curling up to knit, and wear, this shawl.

01a Back

You can buy it and read more about it on Ravelry (you don’t have to be a member!).  Click here!

03a open

The stitch patterns for the cable and the lace are provided in a chart, as well as written out, and percentages of yarn used are also provided if you wish to modify the size of your shawl.  The pattern has been test knitted and tech edited.

Who is Sybil Ludington? While Paul Revere is most commonly credited with riding to alert militia of approaching British forces, so did the young Sybil Ludington.  Her father headed the local militia during the American Revolution.  On April 26, 1777, at the age of 16, she left on a forty mile ride to warn her father’s militiamen that British troops were planning to attack Danbury, Connecticut.  Her ride lasted from 9 p.m. to dawn the next morning and one of her stops was to warn the people of Danbury.  While the British troops destroyed several buildings and homes in Danbury, there were few people killed, due in large part to Sybil’s warning.

02a Detail

  • Yarn
    • Approximately 720 yards fingering weight yarn. Shown in Zen Yarn Garden Serenity 20 (70% superwash merino, 20% cashmere and 10% nylon, 400 yards, 3.53oz) in the colorway Black Cherry.   Other suggested yarns include Cascade Heritage Silk, Dream in Color Smooshy, or Plucky Primo Fingering.
  • Needle
    • Size US 4 (3.5mm) circular needle in a length of 32″/81 cm, or size needed to obtain gauge.
  • Other Materials
    • 4 stitch markers
    •  Tapestry needle
    •  Cable needle
    •  Blocking pins
    •  Optional: additional stitch markers for marking lace repeats

01b Arm

  • Finished Measurements
    • After Blocking
      • 35.5″ wide
      • 38.5″ height (or depth)

The shawl is blocked aggressively width-wise. Meeting exact gauge is not crucial but may affect the final dimensions. 

04a front

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Finished Object – Mansion House Shawl


So happy for finishitis – the opposite of startitis for knitters.  I saw a sample of this shawl knit up in the Verdant Gryphon booth at Stitches Midwest last year and loved the shape and design.  Grinning Gargoyle yarns had some luxury yarn on sale in the needed weight and quantity.  A perfect match up.  I actually started this around Thanksgiving but set it down multiple times to work on some of my designs.  I feel like it was a close friend throughout the winter months and was almost sad to see the shawl end.   Enough about the backstory and onto the good details!


My Rav project page is here.

Pattern – Mansion House (Ravelry pattern here) by Toby Roxane Designs.  Its worked top-down with a center triangle flanked by two longer, shallower triangles.  The lace pattern was a good level of challenging and the stockinette stitch in the long, shallow triangle provided a nice break.  The only thing I didn’t love about this pattern was the lack of border at the end. You finish a repeat of the chart and immediately bind off which means the bind off edge curls.  A seed stitch border might be nice?

Yarn –  Grinning Gargoyle Primo.  Primo is a heavy DK weight blend of 80% merino, 10% cashmere  and 10% nylon. One skein is 4 ounces and 230 yards.  Super squishy  and soft with a medium amount of twist.  These stuff just feels like luxury and held up well.  The colorway for this is Signature Red, a deep, dark red color.  It bled a little bit when washed, which isn’t totally unexpected with a red.  One of the factors that drew me to the yarn from Grinning Gargoyle was the subtle tonal nature of the yarn.  I used three skeins and the resulting shawl is larger and perfect to snuggle up in.


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Finished Object – Gridelin Shawl


Gift knitting.  Of course, now I want one for me too.  I’ve actually had this done for about a week but wanted to wait until I gave it to the recipient to post (although I don’t think she reads my blog).  Her birthday was an extra special occasion this year for two reasons – one, it was a milestone birthday, two, I actually got to see her on her birthday!  She’s one of the most knit-worthy people I know which means I enjoy knitting for her.  I gave it to her last night and I think she liked it.  Enough about the backstory and onto the good details! I won’t be going into great detail about the pattern as I plan to write a review next week about the book the pattern was in.


My Rav project page is here.


Pattern – Gridelin (Ravelry pattern here) from the Curls book by Hunter Hammersen.  Curls are unusual shaped shawls that I can best describe as half a crescent shawl.  It’s an eight row repeat that uses increases more similar to a triangular shawl.  Like I mentioned, I’ll discuss the book and yarn usage next week in my review.


Yarn –  Dream in Color Smooshy with Cashmere.  Smooshy with Cashmere is a fingering weight blend of 70% merino, 20% cashmere  and 10% nylon. One skein is 4 ounces and 400 yards.  Super squishy  and soft but not very tightly plied.  The colorway for this is Amber Glass, a rich gold color.  I held the yarn double (so it was about DK weight)  and used 784 yards.  I’ve used this yarn before and would use it again just because it is so soft. I was worried that by holding the yarn double I would have issues with splitty-ness but it was fine.



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Finished Object – Midsommer Beaded Shawl

dI bought this yarn almost three years ago to the day.  I remember exactly where I bought it and chose beads for it that same day.  We (Patty and I) were at Stitches Midwest, my first time.  We both fell in love with the bright blue and then headed over to Twisted Sistah to buy matching beads.  Matching might be a misnomer.  I picked a bright aqua that would pop and she chose darker, I think, iridescent beads.  When we got back we set out to find a pattern that used two skeins of fingering and beads.  That was three years ago.  Early this summer Patty suggested we get our shawls knit up before Stitches this year.  Yes!! I love knitting lace with beads!! I finished almost exactly one week ahead of our trip to Chicago for Stitches Midwest.  Patty has been on a spinning kick lately and is now planning to rip out to start with larger needles.  I should (nicely) pester her. a

Moving on.  My Rav project page is here.

cNotes – I knit from the charts but some of the notes from other knitters indicate there may be errors in the written instructions.  As I mentioned the pattern called for 600 yards of lace as written on US 5 needles.  For fingering weight it would be common to go up a couple needle sizes, but, since I’m a loose knitter, I stuck with the US 5s.  Also, I knit most of my fingering weight lace shawls on 5s.  Anyways, I used 600 yards of fingering but that included an extra repeat of Chart B.  That’s an extra 24 rows.  I don’t possibly see how you would use near 600 yards of lace if you knit the pattern without the extra repeat.  Or get it to the size shown in the pattern photos.  I also blocked this aggressively.  I’m happy with the finished size but definitely wouldn’t have been if I hadn’t knit the extra repeat.  If I had more beads I would have done a second extra repeat. e

Pattern – Midsommer (Ravelry pattern here) from Sivia Harding. This is a crescent shawl with a center panel and identical side panels, starting at the center of the straight edge.  Instructions are charted and written out.  The pattern is designed to use about 600 yards of lace weight yarn.  Pattern is $7.50 on Ravelry.

fYarn –  Plucky Knitter Primo Fingering.  Primo Fingering is a fingering weight blend of 75% merino, 20% cashmere  and 5% nylon. One skein is 3.56 ounces and 390 yards.  Super squishy  but still tightly plied.  The colorway for this is Fat Fish Blue, a vibrant but dark cerulean blue.  I used 616 yards with the aforementioned modifications.  Note that this yarn/colorway bled when I washed it.  Below is a picture of the first wash in warm water.  A second wash with a glug of vinegar seemed to minimize the bleeding. Untitled


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Finished Object – Up & Away Hat


Hey looky! I started and finished something and it *didn’t* take three months.  I started this week before last knowing it would be an easy travel project for a work conference in Orlando.  I actually cast on and knit up to where the silver started at home so it would pre-started and I wouldn’t have to worry about changing needles.  I flew down on to Orlando on a Satruday (6:20am flight – what fun) and finished up the green as I was waiting for my bag at baggage claim.  I really enjoyed the colorwork pattern – it was so much fun to watch the design develop.

Moving on.  My Rav project page is here.


Pattern – Up . . .up & Away (Ravelry pattern here) from Grace Akhrem (website here).  This is a beanie style hat worked in two colors with some rows using both colors..   The second color is carried up the rows so only four ends total to weave in.  I love stranded color knitting for its simplicity and the fun of seeing what happens next.  DK weight yarn in two solid colors that contrast would look best – you want the colors to pop against each other. Pattern is $7.00 on Ravelry.

Yarn –  Sublime Yarns’ Baby Cashmere Merino Silk DK (Rav link)(Company website).  Sublime is a line from the English yarn company Sirdar which was distributed in the US by Knitting Fever (it appears Knitting Fever no longer distributes Sublime since I can’t find it on their website).  This particular yarn is a DK weight blend of 75% merino, 20% silk and 5% cashmere.  A 50 gram ball is 127 yards and the yarn is tightly plied.  I used 89 yards of the green and 51 yards of the gray for the whole hat (so you couldn’t quite get two hats out of two 50 gram balls).  The green colorway is number 0336 and the gray is 0276.  I would buy this yarn 100 times over – its durable and squishy soft.


Pattern Mods

1. Circumference – the pattern indicates the body circumference is 20.5” at a gauge of 5.5 sts/inch. On size 4s I came out to 5.75 sts/inch and 7 rounds/inch. Going up to a size 5 needle resulted in too loose of a fabric and was under 5 sts/inch. So I stuck with my size 4s, knowing I’d need to do a little tweaking for height. I did not adjust the circumference (number of stitches around) since I have a small-ish head and wanted it to fit tight. The finished result was pretty tight but it fits and I expect it will stretch out. I could have gone with it a bit longer at the end.

2. Cast on 112 and just did a 3×1 rib over 11 rounds for the brim – none of the decreasing in the pattern. This was two more rounds than the pattern to add length (see next note).

3. The first step on the body is to knit 5 rounds – I knit 8 total, again to add length. Here’s about where math went wonky. Based on the row gauge and the number of rows per the pattern I should have had about 2.2 inches knit so far. I knew my row gauge was off a bit but only by about 1.5 rounds per inch. I was no where near the 2.2 inches (mine was more like 1.5 inches). So, fuzzy math aside, I added 5 rows to the pattern between the brim and body.

4. I did the same round exercise when I got to the crown shaping and now my hat was too tall! So I needed to eliminate rounds. In the crown shaping section I only knit one round between the decrease rounds (6-8, 10-11 and 13-14). This eliminated 4 rounds.

5. In the grand scheme I only added one round and could have possibly knit the pattern without any mods. But, I actually would have preferred the hat to be longer (I ended up 1/4 of an inch longer than the pattern length). I think a 9 inch beanie would be better for me.


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On The Needles – October 2014

What’s on my needles right now!


Post Spinzilla I haven’t done any spinning.  The first weekend after I reorganized my stash, picked up the loft and put together project bags.  Putting together project bags is basically my OCD version of startitis.  I select my top projects I want to knit and bag up the yarn, pattern and needles.  It looks a lot like the picture above.  There’s actually more project bags not pictured but I’m only going to talk about those I’ve already started or actually plan to work on within the next month.  I have an additional five queued, bagged and ready to go.

  • Reverse Spectra – I started this puppy in May, put it away for several months and then actually completed over a dozen of the wedges.  But, I have several oopsies along the edging and I wasn’t happy with how I carried the black yarn so I ripped it out.  Knitted about six wedges and had to rip again.  Hopefully third time is a charm.  The pattern is Spectra by Stephen West.  Gradient yarn is Turquoise to Tangerine gradient on FootNotes from Fiber Optic Yarns.  The solid black is also in FootNotes.  Most people have used the gradient for the wedges but I mixed things up and used the solid for the wedges!




  • Watering in the Garden Shawl – This one is bagged up except the pattern.  I changed my mind when I noticed my prior selection did not have charts for the lace.  Knitting lace without charts didn’t sound too appealing.  Anyways, pattern change.  This is a shawl for me I hope to be able to wear to holiday parties.  Yarn is Crimson to Black gradient from Fiber Optic Yarns. The pattern is Watering in the Garden Shawlette by Giddy Davies.


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Finished Object – Firehawk Shawl


I started this back in March on a plane ride to Omaha, Nebraska for work.  Then put it on the back-burner to work on the felted tote and do some spinning.  I felt like the border took forever and I think that slowed down my progress on it mentally.  Now that it is done I will say I really enjoyed knitting it, especially the two color section.  It was so much fun to watch the pattern.  Since I don’t wear much that goes with gold I don’t know how much I’ll actually wear it but I will try!

Moving on.  My Rav project page is here.

outside 2

Pattern – Firehawk Shawl (Ravelry pattern here) from Heather Zoppetti of Heather Zoppetti Designs and Stitch Sprouts.  This is a half circle shawl with a colorwork pattern made by slipping stitches.  You need the border back and forth (perpendicular to the direction you knit the body of the shawl), then pick up all the edge stitches to form the base of the body of the shawl.  The slipped stitch pattern starts almost immediately and you decrease as you knit, eventually reaching the center of the long edge.  In addition to the slipped stitches there is a small cable that goes up the body of the shawl.  I blocked, focusing on the points, but they don’t appear to be holding very well but that may be because of the nylon in the yarn. Fingering weight yarn in two solid colors that contrast would look best – you want the colors to pop against each other. Pattern is $6.00 on Ravelry.

whole shawl
Yarn –  Dream in Color Smooshy with Cashmere.  Smooshy with Cashmere is a fingering weight blend of 70% merino, 20% cashmere  and 10% nylon. A 113 gram ball is 400 yards.  I used 251 yards of the gold and 296 yards of the teal for the whole shawl.  The teal colorway is called Blue Lagoon (number 160) and the gold is Amber Glass (number 45).  PS – Their blog here has a number of giveaways.

lace border

lace tree

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On the Needles – March 14, 2014

For one of my regular planned posts, lets take a quick run through of what’s on my needles right now.  You know, now that the sweater is DONE  🙂


On the needles right now:

  • Firehawk Shawl – I started this on the plane ride out to Omaha.  This two color shawl has an interesting construction.  You knit the long lace border edge then pick up stitches along it to knit the body of the shawl.  I’m still working on border (see photo above) but love this shawl and the yarn. The pattern is Firehawk Shawl by Heather Zoppetti and the yarn is Dream in Color Smooshy with Cashmere in Amber Glass and Blue Lagoon.
  • Scarlet Capelet – I’ve been working on this poor thing for nearly a year.  I started it, put it aside, picked it up, put it down – you get the idea. This pattern appeared in the 2011 Jane Austen Knits and is a hooded cape.  I’m unfortunately not as excited about it now as I was but I do plan to continue working on it.  This pattern (Scarlet Capelet) is also by Heather Zoppetti.  The yarn is Miss Babs Northumbria Aran in Vlads.


  • Gregorio Hat – This thing is very nearly done – I mean really, really close! The pattern was written for aran weight yarn and I modified it for DK weight.  While the changes needed for the colorwork went fine I’m stuck on doing the decreases and keeping the pattern.  I need to take it up to my friend one afternoon but just haven’t gotten around to it quite yet.  The pattern is Gregorio by Grace Akhrem and the yarn is Alpaca with a Twist Baby Twist in orange and electric blue.

That’s a wrap!

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