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Ladies and Gentlemen, for you today I have something special. I have a combo post both with an FO and with a pattern. My first real pattern in fact. I’ve been designing things for ages, but usually as I go along, with no notes kept. So today, it is with great pleasure that I offer you the first knittingprettyindc pattern.

Pattern: Prettybird Neckwarmer (ravelry)

Source: knittingprettyindc (right here in this very post!)

Yarn: Fleece Artist, Blue Faced Leicester DK

Needles: US 3

Started: November 23, 2008

Finished: November 27, 2008

Find it on Ravelry here.

This is a quick knit, simple with just a little something to keep it interesting to the eye and in the hands. The name comes from a favorite nickname from a favorite friend of mine. It’s sweet and simple, but it makes me feel special when she says it.

This neckwarmer was designed out of necessity. I recently got a new coat, and one of it’s best details is the stand-up collar. The collar can be turned down to wear scarves, but I wanted to chance to show it off sometimes. My cowls are mostly too bulky to sit under it, but with nothing underneath, the wind works it’s way in and I end up shivering. So in came a neckwarmer, fitted enough to sit well underneath the neck, but oh so very warm.

Prettybird Neckwarmer Pattern:

Yarn: About 150 yds of DK weight yarn.

Needle: US 4 straight or circular needles.*

Gauge: 8 sts= 1″ in Cable Patttern.

Prettybird Neckwarmer Pattern

Click above to download the PDF!

*You may notice that I used a US size 3 needle, but I tend to knit loosely and always have to go down at least one needle size, so if you generally knit to gauge, I estimate a size 4 will work for you.

Please let me know if you find any mistakes. Oh and you can queue it up here. Enjoy!


Since Thanksgiving is about relaxing, enjoying your friends and family and marking what you’re thankful for, in my life it will definitely include knitting. Half the fun of holidays is all of the knitting time. This year I thought it would be fun to make it official with a mini KAL, so I roped my mother and my best friend, Liz, into knitting the Thanksgiving Day Mitts with me.

So this was how my day began. Which in an ideal world is how I would start everyday. In reality it usually starts with my alarm going off or my waking to the sound of a one year old through the ceiling and thoughts of “no not yet, please not yet.” But I digress…

I cast on while watching the parade on TV with my Mother, and then spent the next couple of hours knitting, while she did a lot of cooking, and she a bit of knitting herself.

Until Liz showed up with this…the anise seed crust for our pumpkin tart. Every year we make pumpkin pie and mashed potatoes together. We often try slight variations. This year we made Pumpkin Tart with Anise Seed Crust and Fennel Scented Mashed Potatoes.

While the tart was cooking Liz got to cast on. And I worked on my mitts some more. Then the potato peeling began.

Once the pie was done we began to work on the potatoes in earnest. Once both batches of potatoes were boiling (we made some plain too) I sent Liz home shower.

And I also got dressed. In my “Ladybird Classics” dress straight from the 50s with store tags still on. Sadly I had to cut the tags off in order to wear it. But I saved them, so everything will be ok.

And Liz dressed the table. It was really gorgeous. Beautiful and seasonal. What a talented lady.

Eventually it was time to eat. Yum! We always have a wonderful meal. Having so many fantastic cooks in your life is definitely something to be thankful for.

Another of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions is that after dinner every year we play games. But that didn’t stop Liz and I from knitting. Is anyone familiar with Munchkin? It’s pretty awesome. Of course knitting while playing Munchkin is a definite double dose of nerdiness. Good thing I have no qualms about being a nerd.

Even while playing I was making some serious progress on my mitts. Jennie does say that they knit up nice and fast, and she wasn’t joking.

So much so that I finished my first mitt while we were still playing. Had to be careful not to set it too close to my “Flaming Armor” card though, lest it catch on fire.

Liz made some headway while we were playing too. I love the gorgeous caramel colored Malabrigo she’s using. So pretty. Neither one of us finished on the day (nor did my Mom), other fun bits of Thanksgiving kept getting in the way, so we decided to make it a Thanksgiving Weekend KAL. I spent some spare moments today adding a bit on to mitt number two.

Having a best friend who is also a knitter is something else to be thankful for. It added another layer of enjoyment to an already wonderful day. I love our tradition of cooking together. And hopefully we can make a mini KAL a new tradition. Because those who knit together…well you know where I’m going with that. I hope you all had as great a day as I did and have as much to be thankful for.

What have I been up to other than just acquiring more and more yarn?  A lot of secret gift knitting, a lot of knitting that’s now hibernating as a result of frustration, but also a little knitting I can share with you.

Pattern: Axel Mitts (ravelry)

Source: Blue Garter

Yarn: Rowan, Cocoon

Needles: US 9

Started: November 12, 2008

Finished: November 14, 2008

Find it on Ravelry here.

I was feeling a bit blue last week and decided I need an instant gratification project to take my mind off it.  I’d bought the Cocoon at Stitches with these mitts in mind, so I thought that would be the perfect thing.  I got to use new yarn and see my progress fly by at the same time.  These mitts worked up incredibly quickly and the chunky and extremely fuzzy nature of the yarn makes them very cozy.  They were the perfect pick me up project; great fun to knit and a treat to wear.

I hardly ever get anything in the mail other than junk, bills and netflix, so getting anything real is always a joy. But when I got home Friday to find the absolutely wonderful thank you package from Kirsten I was practically jumping.

Yarn: Yarn Nerd, 1200 MHz Merino

Color: Absolute Zero

Dye Lot: –-

Amount: one skein at 310 yds

Purchased at: gifted!

stashed on ravelry here

Kirsten sent me the package to thank me for my help moderating TTL Mystery Sock KAL, which makes me one lucky girl because I had a great time helping and now I’ve got all these great goodies! In addition to the gorgeous yarn there are many other fun things. There’s a copy of one of Kirsten’s new mitten patterns Gallus, which is high on my list of things to make. It will probably have to wait until after Christmas, but these will make a great plane project for my planned post holiday travels! There’s also a little ornament that I’ve decided is an alpaca even though I’m pretty sure it’s not technically true. But hey, if it makes me happy right? You can also see in the picture a chocolate bar, well it was actually one of two, the other was already gone by the time I took this picture this morning. I’m sure the one you can see will be gone soon also. Yum!

Thank you Kirsten for the super package! I love it all!

…trips to my LYS that is.  I’ve got the pictures together of the rest of the lovely things I acquired at Stitches East.  So here is the second half of what I brought home with me from Baltimore this weekend.  I hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I do.

Yarn: Yarn Love, Elizabeth Bennett

Color: Bella

Dye Lot:

Amount: two skeins at 195 yds each

Purchased at: Yarn Love booth, Stitches East

stashed on ravelry here

Oh my gosh is this yarn amazingly gorgeous.  It’s almost hard for me to come up with anything else to say because it’s just so pretty.  It’s pretty to touch, and pretty to look at and it smells pretty.  Really, really pretty.  At first I planned to make socks with it, but someone has put the bug in my ear that it might just be too pretty for socks and I think they might just be right.

Yarn: Black Water Abbey, 2 Ply Worsted

Color: Navy

Dye Lot: 131207

Amount: one skein at 220 yds

Purchased at: Black Water Abbey booth, Stitches East

stashed on ravelry here

I’d seen the gorgeous colors that Black Water Abbey comes in and knew I wanted to get my hands on some.  I’ve been wanting to make a new hat and I’ve been in the mood to do one with cables.  I haven’t picked a specific pattern yet, but I thought a classic Irish Aran yarn of this type would be well suited to a hat of that kind.  And while the color is dark, I don’t think it’s so dark that the cables will disappear.  While the colorway is called Navy it’s really more like a mottled black and purple.  It’s very unique.

Yarn: Malabrigo, Dos Test Skeins

Color: Blue Bellis

Dye Lot:

Amount: two skeins at 150 yds each

Purchased at: Malabrigo booth, Stitches East

stashed on ravelry here

One of the booths I was most excited about visiting was the Malabrigo booth.  I got to see Antonio and Tobias.  I got to see mini Malabrigo made Bob and his herd of sheep.  And I knew that if I name dropped my Junkies affiliation I would get some test skeins if there were any left.  And I did!  These two lovely skeins of the new Malabrigo yarn Dos feel like they have a lot of sproing.  I’ve never encountered this before in a Malabrigo yarn, so I’m really looking forward to knitting it up and getting a sense of what it feels like to work with.

Yarn: Yarn Love, Marianne Dashwood

Color: Summer Sangria

Dye Lot:

Amount: one skein at 330 yds

Purchased at: Yarn Love booth, Stitches East

stashed on ravelry here

This is my other score from the Yarn Love booth.  Let me not forget to mention that this particular booth was also very high on my list.  It was also the only booth where I purchased more than one item.  And this second of the two, while it doesn’t bring on full out fainting spells like the first is also really gorgeous.  The facets of the color are amazing and I know a stitch pattern will stand out very well with the slight sheen and even twist this yarn has.  It tends to be a struggle to keep myself from buying variegated sock yarn, but when the semi-solid yarns look like this, it becomes a whole lot easier.  Now to pick the perfect pattern for the perfect semi solid yarn.

That’s right, I’ve just returned from my one day jaunt up to Baltimore for Stitches East. I picked up a bundle of yarn but managed to stay within my budget! At the last minute plans changed and my Mom was able to join me, which made it even more fun. We at least peaked at every booth, which since we took no break to ate, put us pretty close to passing out. I met some great yarn folk, more than a few of them being ladies I truly admire. I picked up some really fantastic things and eve got a deal or two. I’ve only taken pictures of about half of my haul at this point, so this will be the first of two installments detailing what exactly I scored.

Yarn: Malabrigo, Sock

Color: Lettuce

Dye Lot: 310703

Amount: one skein at 440 yds

Purchased at: Great Yarns! booth, Stitches East

stashed on ravelry here

This was on my must buy list. I pre-ordered one skein from Yarnzilla that I haven’t gotten yet, as a back up in case I got to Stitches and all the Malabrigo Sock was sold out, but I managed to find this gorgeous skein as well. I cannot wait to use this yarn I’ve been dying to try it since buzz about its release first started to come out months ago.

Yarn: JaggerSpun, Zephyr Wool Silk

Color: Pewter – 205

Dye Lot:

Amount: one skein at 630yds

Purchased at: Stitches East

stashed on ravelry here

A week or so ago I stumbled on a Ravelry thread where folks were talking about what their favorite lace weight yarn was. This one was incredibly popular, so when I saw it at Stitches for $11 for 630y ds I snatched it up. I wish I could remember what booth I bought it at though.

Yarn: Fleece Artist, Sea Wool

Color: Victoria

Dye Lot:

Amount: one skein at 382 yds

Purchased at: Yarn4Socks booth, Stitches East

stashed on ravelry here

Apart from Malabrigo Sock this yarn has been on the top of my “too try” list for ages. I’ve heard great things about yarn will Seacell in general and this one in particular and I’ve really wanted to know what all the fuss was about. I spotted this skein early on in the day, but I’d already done some pretty significant damage in a short time, and wanted to make sure I had some funds left for later so I decided to hold back. We happened to walk by the booth on our way out the door and I spotted a sign that said it had been marked down since we first walked by. The skein I had been looking at was still there, so I had to go for it.

Yarn: Rowan, Cocoon

Color: Seascape

Dye Lot: 70100

Amount: one skein at 126 yds

Purchased at: Rosie’s Yarn Cellar booth, Stitches East

stashed on ravelry here

This is another yarn I’ve heard great things about. I was looking for a bulky weight yarn with some sheen to it for the Axel Mitts and I spotted this. The color is amazing, the sheen is amazing and it feels so soft. It was right at the end of the day, so all my resolve had worn down and I just went for it. Not that I regret it. It’s so, so pretty.

Yarn: Habu, XS-45 20/3

Color: Eggplant

Dye Lot:

Amount: one skein at 574 yds

Purchased at: Habu booth, Stitches East

stashed on ravelry here

I’ve never knit with a Habu yarn before and I’ve wanted to try one for awhile.  Their yarns always seem so luxurious.  This lace weight bamboo is no exception.  The color is gorgeous and it has a high sheen.  For a minute after getting home and unpacking my bag I thought I had managed to leave it in the gelato shop we hit after lunch on our way out of town.  I was completely panicked, but it turned out to be safely in mothers car, so I will get to find out fabulous their yarns are after all.

That’s it for now.  I’ll show you the other things I picked up (only a few more) once I get a chance to take pictures of them all.  Hopefully I’ll get to that in the next few days.

This one has been finished for awhile now, and even the photos were taken quite some time ago, but I just never got around to putting the post together, so I’ll go ahead and show you now while I’m largely consumed with secret knitting.

Pattern: Weaver’s Wool Mini Shawl (ravelry)

Source: Knit List

Yarn: Garnstudio DROPS, Alaska

Needles: US 10

Started: August 24, 2008

Finished: September 12, 2008

Find it on Ravelry here.

As I’m sure many of you can guess this shawl was inspired by mustaa villaa.  After seeing how gorgeous hers was I knew I had to have one.  I chose a more neutral pallet.  I really wanted this to be something I could wear all the time with pretty much anything.  So I went with shades of grey and brown.  I love the end result.  It’s very subtle, but it makes it great to wear all the time.

Most projects I choose because I want to knit it, but every now and then there is something I make just because I want to own it.  This was definitely the latter of the two.  The garter stitch was a breeze, but the yo increases provided just enough to think about which kept me from getting bored.  Normally I shy away from garter stitch projects, and it had been ages since I’d knit anything on needles as big as 10s, but I really enjoyed knitting this shawl.  In fact it spoiled me so much it was a little hard to transition back to complicated stitch patterns on size 1s.

It’s also one of the most wearable things I’ve knit in a long time.  The overall look is simple, but the color blocks make it more interesting.  And it’s great to grab and throw over your shoulder or wrap around your neck on your way out the door.  I also think it will make a great impromptu lap blanket for the winter days when the shop is freezing and I’m sitting around knitting (I usually wear an “outdoor scarf” and bring an “indoor scarf” to change into anyway when we reach that time of year).  I’ve already got lots of use out of it, and I’m sure I’ll get much more.