Dear mother, please do not felt the knitting

You know, sometimes it’s just not a good idea to be overzealous when trying to keep your knitting clean. Sigh. I mean, really, Mom. I know you mean well. It’s just that you might want to stick to the instructions when washing your knitting. You might also ask what kind of fiber it is, is it superwash or not, and so on. I know that some washing machines have a wool washing cycle but if you want to go the extra mile, you could just handwash it in cold water. That also applies when blocking – is this material that can be wetblocked, can you steamblock it, or would it all be in vain…

But yeah, my Mom felted a project. A gift I knit for her that she really loved. It’s a Herringbone Cowl – a pretty and dense cowl. She prefers cowls that aren’t too ‘airy’ so they can protect her neck against the wind. It really is a great design although I wouldn’t recommend using a highly variegated yarn – you’ll lose the herringbone effect. But the pattern will really show off more subtle yarn shifts. The yarn I used was Malabrigo Silky Merino in the colorway Amoroso. Very luscious yarn, and a combination of silk and merino. Yes, there’s enough merino in there to felt the yarn.

You can see the subtle colorshifts from red to pink and back

I unfortunately didn’t catch Mom before she stuck the cowls in the washing machine. Yes. She felted another cowl while she was at it. You should have seen my expression when I saw the shrunken cowls.


The yarn is TLS silky merino worsted by Pigeonroof Studios. Beautiful yarn, soft and yummy, a mix of merino and silk. Once again, another yarn with 50% merino, 50% silk. Krista from Pigeonroof Studios dyes lovely yarns, and beautiful roving.

Well, the cowls shrunk after washing, as felted items do. Yup, Mom couldn’t fit them over her head, despite all of her attempts. They now linger in her cold weather accessories basket. Hmm, I have to see if the cowls fit over my goddaughters’ heads. That way they’ll be useful once again. And now Mom knows to ask me before washing handknit items.

Mom, I love you. I really really really love you (I even made a stop motion video for you). But please don’t felt handknit things again, ok?

2 Cowls

Felted necklace by Vacide Erda Zimic, can be found here. You’ll find amazing items there, and all of them are focused on sustainability as well.

Poor Professor Lupin

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Spoiler alert if you haven’t read/watched “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.” Don’t read any further if you want to find out what’s going to happen on your own. I warned you. Even though I think that there aren’t many people out there who haven’t been exposed to Harry Potter.

Poor Professor Lupin. He just hasn’t had an easy time of it. I mean, who wants to deal with being a werewolf. And I’m not talking about the Teen Wolf kind of werewolf. Btw, I think there’s an MTV version of Teen Wolf nowadays? I have no idea myself, I haven’t kept up with MTV in, oh, forever.

Professor Lupin’s werewolf is the agressive kind, having to stay separate from others during the full moon to avoid endangering others. After having been bitten as a child by Fenrir Greyback, a werewolf, he has had a rather difficult childhood suffering from his werewolvism. After graduating from Hogwarts, he has a hard time finding a job due to his affliction. He always looks a bit shabby. Even though he’s a nice, uhm, guy/raving werewolf. He did a good job as Professor of Defense against the Dark Arts, but still had to hide what he was to avoid upset parents descending on the school. Well, and then Harry, Rob and Hermione figured out what he was…

Are you wondering what my point is? Ha! I do have a point. I was looking for a hat pattern – well, I was looking for a hat pattern in February. It was still cold enough that I needed a hat, especially after working out. Wet hair and cold weather easily make for a cold. I was looking around Ravelry when I found a hat. Well, a hat and a cowl. A cowlhat. Or more precisely, a howlcat. Even though cats meow, rather than howl. Speaking of meowing, this little Spongebob Squarepants video is hilarious (from ‘I was a Teenage Gary‘):

Apart from Spongebob and Professor Lupin, I also kept thinking of the ‘Werewolves of London‘ song by Warren Zevon (click on the link if you want to see him performing the song). Well, this werewolf howls, so maybe he would wear this howlcat. Yes, I know, a werewolf is not a cat, but the howling belongs more in its realm. Speaking of the hat, it’s basically a stockingette tube that transitions into a ribbed tube. So the end of the hat is ‘open’ – you basically close it twisting it into shape. Also, the hat is reversible – you can wear the stockingette or the ribbed side on top. It’s a great beginner project, very easy. You just need to be able to join in the round, and the rest is easy peasy.

Ghostly whisper

It’s time for another blast from the past. Ok, it’s not that old, but here’s a finished object from 2011. Meet my Ghostly Whisper. It’s a lovely cowl, knit in laceweight yarn. This was my first time knitting with Rowan Kidsilk Haze. I liked it, but boy, the finished cowl fuzzed all over my shirt. Is fuzzed an actual word? Anyway, I feel like you need to take a lint roller along if you wear this cowl. But the yarn is very soft, and very very light. It could just fly away in a light breeze. In fact, I tried to take some ‘floating’ pictures, with me throwing the cowl in the air, but the lighting wasn’t good enough, and as you can imagine, the mechanics were more than a bit challenging. It reminded me of my photography project where we had to ‘photograph’ movement.

I knit this pretty much as written in the pattern. The cowl ended up a bit longer than planned – it fit loosely over my shoulders and draped nicely. I would have liked for the cowl to be just a little bit shorter so it would be a bit more snug around the shoulders. I used the invisible cast on and cast on onto a spare Knitpicks needle. That way it was really easy to graft the ends together. You have to be really careful while grafting to avoid fabric puckering. The pattern suggests to pull the length of yarn through at the end, after the grafting. I don’t think that’s a good idea, given the nature of the Kidsilk Haze. Instead I pulled the yarn through along the way, making sure to keep enough tension, without puckering up the seam.

The cowl has since been rehomed and went to my friend Hanna as a birthday gift. Yay for handknit gifts!

Balustrade cowl

I made Mom a cowl out of Malabrigo Silky Merino, colorway Amoroso last year. Unfortunately, Mom forgot to ask me before deciding to wash the cowl. She stuck it in the washing machine, and promptly felted the cowl. No chance of fitting it over her head.

Herringbone cowl in Amoroso

Herringbone cowl in Amoroso

Since I had to more skeins of the color, I decided to whip up a replacement cowl. The Balustrade cowl is a longer cowl that uses two skeins of Malabrigo Silky Merino, and it has an interesting structure, almost architectural. Indeed, the designer writes that she was inspired by decorative ornaments in architecture. A quick knit, and a fun and easy pattern.

Balustrade cowl around the neck

Balustrade cowl modeled

Balustrade cowl

Balustrade cowl

Where are they now?

2nd annual Knitting and Crochet Blog Week

Day 4’s theme:

Day Four: 31st March. Where are they now?

Whatever happened to your __________?

Write about the fate of a past knitting project. Whether it be something that you crocheted or knitted for yourself or to give to another person. An item that lives with you or something which you sent off to charity.

There are a lot of different aspects to look at when looking back at a knitting project and it can make for interesting blogging, as much of the time we blog about items recently completed, new and freshly completed. It is not so often that we look back at what has happened to these items after they have been around for a while.

How has one of your past knits lived up to wear. Maybe an item has become lost. Maybe you spent weeks knitting your giant-footed dad a pair of socks in bright pink and green stripes which the then ‘lost’. If you have knit items to donate to a good cause, you could reflect on the was in which you hope that item is still doing good for it’s owner or the cause it was made to support.

Past projects – for me, they consist of gifts, WIPs, hibernating projects, and things that I’ve knit for myself. So let’s take a look back:

    • The Shaun the Sheep mobile for my nephew (see the Tale of Two Yarns post). It’s placed right over my nephew’s changing table, and has provided him with endless amusement. Originally my sister asked me to knit the sheep in different colors, but in the end the black and white of the sheep (apart from the sheep’s accessories) is better for babies, since they can see strong contrast colors better. The thing is, the mobile was so loved until Shirley, the big fat sheep in the middle got pulled off. Well, at least that’s easily fixed.

      sheep from Shaun the Sheep

      Shirley detached

    • Burgundy. This is a dress I knit for my goddaughter. It’s really pretty but the weight of the dress is stretching out the seed stitch section. So her mom asked me to fix that on the dress, and I’ve instead decided to frog the dress and knit up it up in a different design – the Kenna button top. I have the perfect buttons for this dress and I’ll be posting about them in the embellishments post.

      child's sun top


    • Shades of Grey Wurm hat. This hat has gotten a lot of use this winter. I saw a few multi-colored Wurm version, so I decided to knit one in light and dark grey. I love it and wear it whenever it is colder. Plus this hat really fits me – most hats look silly on me or slide off.

      wurm hat

      Wurm hat

    • Amoroso. This is a cowl knit in Malabrigo Silky Merino in the colorway Amoroso for my mom. It’s soft and warm, and my mom loves it. Or should I say loved it. Cause she decided to wash the cowl, stuck it in the washing machine, and the result is a felted cowl that doesn’t fit over her head. Sigh. I’m working on a replacement cowl for her. And I’ve carefully explained how important the proper care is for handknit projects.
Amoroso Herringbone Cowl

Amoroso - pre-felting

So that’s it for today. As always, if you’re interested in more of my knitting shenanigans, you can find me on Ravelry, username anji. And if you’re interested in seeing other posts on the topic ‘A Tale of Two Yarns’ from other bloggers who’ll be blogging today on this topic, just search on Google (or another search engine) for the tag 2KCBWDAY4, and on Twitter #2KCBW.