Winter Cabin Throw

So my family has a tradition. (When I say “my family” I mean me; when I say “a tradition” I mean “I decided it was going to be a tradition.” Just to be clear.) When each of my siblings got engaged I picked out a pattern and yarn and made an afghan as a wedding present. So when my cousin announced her engagement last summer I decided that I should include her in this tradition as well. (Then my brother got engaged at Christmas so that really put the knitting deadlines to the test! More on his afghan shortly…)

Alecia’s bridal shower was this weekend so I was able to present her with her Winter Cabin Throw, one of the most enjoyable projects I have made in a long time. And as you can see, she was very happy with it!

Alecia, the writer's cousin, poses in a garden wearing a white lace dress and black glasses.  She has draped her new white cabled afghan over one shoulder and is hugging it to herself.
Alecia posing at her bridal shower in her parents’ garden with her new afghan.

While browing patten options way back last fall when I was first starting to consider my options, the pattern for the Winter Cabin Throw immediately caught my eye and I decided right away that it was perfect. My cousin is a fan of classic and vintage designs and she loves a good cozy afternoon with book and a mug of our favorite tea. (We both share a deep love of Stash Tea’s Christmas Eve blend, which is a spearmint tea with warm spices and which I highly recommend to you if you are looking for a comforting decaffeinated option. I love it at bedtime.) This pattern calls for either worsted weight yarn held double or a bulky-weight held singly; I had already bought some Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick & Quick with this present in mind (I had a coupon!) so I was pleased to have my plan come together.

A close-up of the completed afghan, showing the seed stitch diamonds and bordering cable twists, worked in a cream colored yarn.

This pattern is clear and well written, with the pattern charted and written out. The cables are not terrible complex: columns of seed-stitch filled diamonds are bordered with slipped-stitch columns and fat happy twists. Since I love a good cable chart I only glanced at the written instructions and dove right in. Even better, Kalurah includes a fully charted and written swatch that includes all of the cables and ribbing used in the full project, and I was able to whip that out with no problems. So I was feeling extremely confident about this project.

Blanket in progress is stretched across a table in the sunlight with two skeins of yarn laying next to it.
Early on, when it was still small enough to be carried all over the yard.

Naturally, I hit a bit of a road block right away. The first row is worked on the wrong side, setting up the ribbed border, and I …had a very hard time working “backwards” off the chart. I ripped that row out four times before I finally got it to work. Then I got about six rows in, found a hideous mistake, and ended up ripping the whole thing back and casting on again. Third time ended up being the charm, and once I got the ribs completed and into the cable chart it was smooth sailing.

In progress cabled afghan, stretched over the writer's legs to show off the center diamond panel and bordering cables.
Work in Progress, having grown much taller.

I made a few modifications, namely the bobbles. The pattern originally called for them to be 5 stitches. I tested both 5 and 3 stitch bobbles and decided I preferred the 3 stitch bobbles, so I worked them all a little smaller.

I also opted to knit this on US 13 circulars (9 mm) instead of the US 15 called for. I’m a pretty loose knitter so I usually go down a needle size in general but more prosaically, I put my hands on my US 13 interchangeable tips first when I went to cast on my swatch and I got gauge spot on so I just…kept going.

Finally, I ended up striping two yarns. The main color I went with was Fisherman, which is a perfect creamy-off white. But I had also found Starlight, which is the Fisherman color with an added gold tinsel wrap. (You can see it in the picture above.) I ended up alternating the yarns every other row, so the gold wrap was a little more subtle. It didn’t fight with the cable pattern at all and while it made for more ends to weave in the end result was so stunning that it was absolutely worth it.

View of the finished afghan hanging on a clothesline to dry, showing both the front and reverse of the cables.
The finished afghan hanging on a clothesline to dry, showing both the front and reverse of the cables.

I did run out of yarn; I was just shy of the 1100 yards that the pattern called for, for the bulky yarn, half for each of the two colors I was working with. The pattern said 1100 yards included the yarn used for the swatch so I assumed I would be fine, but then I ran out just as I was starting the last cable repeat. So things went on hold for a few weeks while I ordered another few skeins. (Cheers to Lion Brand’s website, which had them shipped and arriving very promptly!) It worked out just fine, aside from the frustration of reaching into my project bag for another ball to join and coming up empty. However, if you make this pattern using bulky I would suggest having some extra yarn on hand.

Despite that interruption, I loved this project so much that I’m considering making another one for myself, but of course with a modification: I want to try it with a single-strand worsted yarn, for a slightly lighter blanket, and with more repeats of the cable chart to make it wide enough to cover my bed with. But I’m going to hold off on that until the winter!

I’m so happy that Alecia is so pleased with her gift – her fiance also seemed happy with it, and when I left the shower they were discussing which room it should go in. I hope they enjoy many snuggly evenings together!

Alecia, the writer's cousin, poses in a garden wearing a white lace dress and black glasses.  She is holding out her new white cabled afghan and smiling.

Winter Cabin Throw Project Data

Pattern Name & DesignerWinter Cabin Throw (Etsy Link) by Kalurah Hudson.
Also available on Ravelry here (Rav link).
SizeOne Size
YarnLion Brand Wool Ease Thick & Quick in Fisherman (cream) and Starlight (cream with gold tinsel wrap)
NeedlesUS 13 (9 mm)
DateMarch - May 2021

Sunshine’s Courtship Tee

So have I mentioned that I’m an auntie? I haven’t? pulls out phone, starts loading up pictures…

My nibling count is up to six, and we’ll give them some code names. So far we’ve got Farmer, the eldest of the New York cousins, and his little brother Puck and little sister Sunshine. The Pennsylvania cousins are Dill, Captain, and new baby brother Lion. They’re my favorite people to knit for so they’ll make plenty of future appearances. This post, however, is just for Miss Sunshine, the next to youngest of the cousin crew.

Sunshine turned a year old in February so I knit her up a top for her birthday, which she allowed us to pop on over her birthday dress.

Sunshine is standing holding an apple sauce pouch.  She is wearing a pink party dress with grey leggings and a hand-knit tee in pink and teal stripes over it.
Sunshine in her birthday outfit.

And just the other day she wore her new birthday shirt again, demonstrating both her flair for style and her outstanding modeling abilities.

Sunshine wearing her Courtship top with a white long-sleeved tee and black leggings.  She is posed with her hand on one hip.
Look at the hand on the hip! So stylish.

So I’m extremely pleased, because her birthday top looks great and she looks great in it.

The pattern I picked is Courtship, by Megan Nodecker, and I’m really very happy with it. It’s a very well-written pattern and it has a great size range: from infant through adult 4x (20″-64″). (This also offers the possibility of a Mommy and Me theme, which I offered to my sister. She laughed and asked me if I’d get around to knitting it all before Sunshine went to college. She has a fair point.)

The pattern is both fully written and has a chart for the lace. It was an easy and quick knit that I was able to complete in two nights for the 20″ size. The top is knit in two pieces for the lace panels on the top and then joined in the round to knit the rest of the garment, finished with seaming the shoulders and then picking up the sleeves for some garter rib to finish. The lace chart is worked on both knit and purl sides and can get a little tricky so I did have to give it my full attention on the purl rows, but it didn’t take long to finish those.

Unfortunately, the only place this pattern is available right now is on Ravelry (link below) but the designer does have a website so it may become available elsewhere and if so I will add that availability in.

I had some Jojoland Carnation that I picked up from WEBS on clearance in my stash which was both a great and frustrating choice. I hit gauge for a project calling for a fingering yarn despite it being described as a worsted weight. (It certainly didn’t feel like a worsted weight to me!) Carnation is a cotton/acrylic blend that will wash and wear well, and the colorway (Mixed Kale) was a fun mix of pink, magenta, teal, and white stripes that felt very beachy and summery to me. Since my goal was a multi-season garment that Sunshine can wear until she’s outgrown it, the colors worked really well. That being said, I found the Carnation extremely frustrating to work with. I had two balls: one was terrific; one was just full of knots, and the joined strands were completely disregarding the stripe pattern. Normally I would just cut them out and rejoin the yarn, but since I’d already knit the entire first ball I had a really well-established stripe pattern, and the changes would have been obvious. I ended up with multiple small balls in order to preserve the stripe pattern, and consequently way, way too many ends to weave in. I’ve never knit with Carnation before so I have no idea if this is a normal thing with this yarn but I found the entire process frankly obnoxious, so I would hesitate to buy it again. The garment came out great and looks terrific but the extra work involved to get it was just unnecessarily stressful.

The pattern, however, is a definite keeper and it’s on my list to make one of my own – with a different yarn! It’s a shape that I really like for myself and I’d like to take a second crack at that lace pattern and see if it goes easier with a less variegated yarn.

Sunshine stands facing the camera,  wearing her Courtship tee with a longsleeve white shirt and black leggings.
Enough pictures already!

Courtship Project Data

Pattern Name & DesignerCourtship Tee (Ravelry Link) by Megan Nodecker
TypeSleeveless pullover
SizeInfant (20" chest)
YarnJojoland Carnation in Mixed Kale, 2 balls (260 yards)
NeedlesUS 4 (3.5mm)
DateFebruary 2021

Sunshine wanders away from the camera,  wearing her Courtship tee with a long sleeve white shirt and black leggings.

Gift Knitting

So when you have knitworthy relatives who have big life events happening (for example, getting engaged), and you also have a tradition of knitting afghans to gift to knitworthy relatives on the occasion of their marriages… you have a very dry blogging spell, because you don’t want to post spoilery images and ruin the surprise. When it’s TWO afghans, it takes even longer.

But then I reasoned, that while they follow my Instagram, they don’t really pay attention to this site. So you can have a few close-ups, as a treat.

A blanket square of a mitered cross knit in a variegated yarn with purple, pink, orange, yellow, and navy stripes.  The cross is bordered by a log cabin frame in a cream colored yarn.
Gift one.
A partially-completed, deeply textured afghan knit in a bulky cream yarn.  Squishy cables bracket stitches forming large diamonds with seed stitch centers.  Two skeins of yarn are lying next to the work.
Gift two.

Gift One is finished and will be presented to its recipients soon, and Gift Two is in progress. Once they are completed and presented I will write them up in fuller detail.

Socktober. Of a sort.

I finished two pairs of socks last week, let’s pretend that they were my Socktober!

The truth: these socks were both started months ago in the beginning of the pandemic and then they sat in my WIP bag and waited very patiently for me for the whole summer. The purple socks were my Traveling Socks for a few months, but since I’m only commuting into the office once a week, and I’m not really going very many other places… (Baseball season is over so I can’t even knit them at my nephews’ games) I was not making very much progress on them. The striped socks had been sitting by my desk for those moments when your hands need something to do while you’re on hold on a call… and I wasn’t making much progress on those either. So I sat them both down and decided to just get them done. They’re both plain stockinette socks so it was easy to pick them right up and just go.

It turns out when you’re actually making an effort, you get finished socks. Who knew?

I have enough striped yarn left to manage a pair of ankle socks and I’ve cast on another fingering pair as well. I’ve got holiday knitting to start but for this upcoming week I think simple and comforting is the way to go.

Sock 1
Pattern: Stockinette, top down. (Cast on 72 stitches for leg with 2×2 rib to start, decreasing twice to get to 64 at the ankle).
Yarn: Bumblebee Acres Fiber Farm Bubble Sock (80% Superwash Merino Wool/ 20% Silk Fingering Weight) in Mrs. Weasley’s Knits, purchased at Rhinebeck 2019.
Needles: US 1 DPNs (2.5 mm)

Sock 2
Pattern: Stockinette, top down. (Cast on 48 stitches with 2×2 rib to start.)
Yarn:  Novita 7 Brothers Raita (75% Wool/25% Polyamide aran weight in Spice, purchased from WEBS.
Needles: US 3 DPNs (3.25 mm)

Forest Sweater Test Knit

So let’s be clear about one thing. I am not the fastest knitter out there. I suffer from frequent bouts of startitis and I am easily distractable. I have two sweaters currently on the needles, one of which I started in the spring and one I started in the spring of …last year.

And yet, this sweater that I didn’t even think I’d be able to finish to the designer’s requested deadline – it just flew off the needles. Exactly one month after I cast on I was steam-blocking a finished object, and one month and one day after I cast on, I took my finished Forest Sweater out to to meet some evergreens.

Abbie stands in a field of Christmas trees, wearing her completed green and grey Forest sweater. She is facing the camera with her hands in her pockets.

I cannot begin to tell you how happy I am with this sweater. I tried a new-to-me yarn (Cascade Eco+ Hemp), a new-to-me pattern, my first colorwork sweater, and my first sweater test knit. I’ve done a lot of colorwork, but it’s all been for accessories; this was the first time I did a colorwork project of this size. And it all worked out perfectly.

The Forest Sweater is a published pattern but I was testing for the upcoming expanded size release. It is a seamed raglan pullover sweater, knit bottom-up. I opted for the 55″ size, which gave me a good 6-7 inches of positive ease. I also slightly modified the sweater as written, opting to lengthen the body by three inches to my preferred sweater length, and I also added to the arms a bit, but I could have gone probably five rounds shorter for the sleeves and still been happy with the length. This pattern also calls for casting on and working in the round, but I didn’t have a circular needle long enough, so I knit the ribbing flat on a pair of ancient aluminum Boye straight needles and then joined in the round once I switched up to the larger needle for the body. It was easy enough to sew that quick seam once the sweater was done.

Close-up of the evergreen colorwork.

I did encounter a few challenges, mostly with managing the colorwork. Once you divide for the front and back and begin the colorwork charts, you’re looking at some extremely long non-repeating chart lines. Any sensible knitter would have put some stitch markers in to help them keep track, but I am apparently not very sensible and just powered through. After the first two or three rows it gets much easier to reference the stitches you’ve already worked to make sure you’re counting correctly, but for the first row or two I had to tink back a few times on each side.

The sleeves were much easier to do colorwork on, as they are much smaller charts. I made another change here. Natalie’s original pattern has two separate sleeve designs, both with the evergreen motif, but one with a little tent on one sleeve. It’s adorable …but I’m not much of a camper. So (with her blessing) I did both sleeves with the trees-only chart.

Abbie stands in a field of Christmas trees, wearing her completed green and grey Forest sweater. She is facing away from the camera, showing the evergreen colorwork pattern on the back and sleeve of the sweater.

Seaming this turned out to be very pleasant, thanks to a virtual class I took last weekend during the 2020 NY Sheep & Wool festival: Crochet for Knitters with Pam Grushkin. My crochet skills are pretty haphazard, and I learned from Pam that I had been doing crochet seaming incorrectly (carrying the yarn over the seam). After reviewing with her, doing the seams on this sweater was a breeze.

Abbie’s Forest Sweater laid out on grass, covered with fallen autumn leaves.

And finally, the yarn. I knit this project with Cascade Eco+ Hemp, a yarn I haven’t used before. I picked it for several reasons: the put-up is very economical (328 yards), it included the green and soft grey I wanted for my project, I’ve been curious about trying a hemp blend yarn, and since it was in stock at WEBS that meant their discount kicked in. (I haven’t used or bought Cascade for quite a few years now, but as I now understand the previous owner whose homophobic statements led me to avoid their yarns is now no longer involved in the company I decided to try it.) I was really happy with the yarn! It knit up exactly to gauge, it’s a nice lofty worsted spun that makes a cozy light fabric, and once knit up it has a surprisingly silky hand. The hemp creates a lovely marled appearance. I would say I’d buy it again, but I actually already have – more on that in a moment.

Would I do anything differently? Absolutely. I would knit the sleeves a bit shorter, and I would knit the body in the round and steek for the sleeves. And I’m going to try those changes, because my dad (the Christmas tree farmer) has been watching me knit this for the last month and put in a request early on for his own Christmas tree sweater. So I ordered some more of the Eco+ Hemp yarn for his sweater – but with white instead of grey, at his request. Dad and I are pretty similarly sized so he tried mine on and it fit him pretty well, but he commented he’d like a little more space in the lower arm, so I may jump up to the next size for the arms.

I am looking forward to coming back to this in a month or two, once I’m done with Christmas knits for my niflings, and I think that more than anything else tells you what a delightful experience this was to knit, but just in case let’s reiterate how hard it was to put this down: I finished this in one month. Natalie’s pattern is clear and well laid out, and test knitting this was a joy. I highly recommend the pattern if you’re looking for some coziness this winter.

Forest Sweater: Etsy or Ravelry (please use caution when clicking through to Ravelry links)
Yarn: Cascade Eco + Hemp in 11 Jasper (green) and 2 Antique (gray), purchased from WEBS
Needles: US 3 straights and US 5 circulars for body; US 3 and US 5 DPNs and US 5 circs for sleeves

Forest Sweater

So a little story. About a year ago I came upon a gorgeous sweater on Ravelry by Natalie Meredith with a gorgeous colorwork forest of evergreens. Since my family runs a Christmas tree farm I am a little, shall we say, obsessed with evergreens and Christmas trees, so I was hooked immediately. Unfortunately the pattern sizing stopped just short of my bust measurements. I messaged Natalie and we had a really nice chat about pattern sizing and she told me that she couldn’t guarantee a timeline but it was on her list to expand the size range. “Great!” I said. “Please let me know!” And then I got distracted by…life.

(Picture from Natalie Meredith)

Fast forward to September, just as I was starting to plan the Christmas hats I knit every year for my niflings. (There’s five niflings now, I need to actually plan and not just start digging through stash on December 1.) And what should appear in my inbox but a note from Natalie that she had, indeed, worked out an expanded size range as I’d requested, and would I be able to test knit.

I probably should have said no, because my schedule is ridiculous. Instead, I ordered yarn, paid for 2-day delivery, and wound and cast on immediately. The Christmas hats can wait. (I got the yarn for them too, don’t worry.)

I usually don’t bother with swatching because I am a daredevil and when you’re doing socks and shawls it’s not usually necessary. But this time, I did a proper swatch and washed it and everything.

And a week and a half later now I’m finally up to the colorwork section. It’s…not going as well, partly because I can’t sit on the couch knitting for hours on end while I watch an entire season of Hell on Wheels in one weekend (new discovery, it’s great, why did I take so long?) and partly because I can’t count. I knit the first two rows of the chart four times. (It’s demoralizing when your six year old nephew can count better than you can.) There was a lot of ripping back, but I think we’re starting

I think I have it figured out now but let’s see how quickly I can power through these charts. It’s getting chilly in New York, and I want to wear this!

Forest Sweater: Etsy or Ravelry (please use caution when clicking through to Ravelry links)
Yarn: Cascade Eco + Hemp in Jasper (green) and Antique (gray)

Summer’s still hanging on in my part of New York, but I’m starting to feel ready for fall. Last week I had dinner at the local beach with family and cast on a sock. That’s what you do at the beach, right?

A newly cast-on sock lying on a beach blanket with the Long Island Sound at sunset in the background.

But I feel autumn creeping in. The leaves are ever so slightly starting to let their colors peek through; the nights are growing delightfully chilly. Autumn is my favorite season and I have a newly organized stash and notions collection all ready to go. I also have revamped the site here and my pattern sales.

Over the last few months I’ve realized I have quite a few ideas for accessories I’d like to work on developing, and that I’ve really let my attention to the blog lapse over the last few years. So this autumn I am going to work on rectifying both of those things. I also have set up a new pattern store on Payhip for people who are no longer comfortable using Ravelry. I am going to continue maintaining my pattern store on Ravelry as well for the time being, and if you give me your Rav username when you check out on Payhip I am happy to send the pattern to your Rav library as well if you plan to continue using that as a backup.

Long story short…I’ve been busy. But I’m pretty happy with everything right now, and I’m feeling a bit celebratory. So how about a coupon? I love coupons. If you purchase a pattern on Payhip, use code happyautumn for 25% off until September 30, 2020. Autumn is coming, accessories are great, and today is a great day to cast on something fun.

A collage of Rush Hour Knitting designs


Hello internet!

It has been a long year and I have been very occupied by lots of things that are not the blog, and I’m sorry about that. I miss the blog so one of my goals for this new year is to give it more of my attention. Let me start by showing you a bit of my holidays!






I gave myself permission to relax this holiday season, and so my crafting was pretty limited. I made some infinity scarves out of bulky yarn for my sisters, which were quick and easy knits. I didn’t even bother with a pattern, just cast on 100 stitches and worked in seed stitch in the round until I felt like it was long enough. I think, now that the holidays are over, that I’d like to make one for myself too!

I also knit a little something for my nephew, who is now a year old and growing every day!

Since I got him toys for his birthday, I decided for Christmas I would get books. So I got a few old favorites, and a new-to-me story, “The Mitten,” about a little boy whose lost mitten shelters woodland creatures, and grows tremendous in the process. So it seemed obvious that I should knit him two mittens, a regular boy-sized one and a stretched out one.


Nephew found them fascinating, so I think I shall knit him a proper wearing pair out of wool, and not the acrylic I used for these toy ones.


(I also think I need to make a pair for my brother-in-law, who put on the stretched mitten, found it fit, and then didn’t want to take it off!)

I also made a set of tea towels for my sisters (with more to come for myself and my parents – see that whole bit about relaxing!) and I worked from a Spoonflower tutorial I’ve been meaning to try for a long time. We had a number of hand-written recipes from my grandmothers floating around, so I scanned some and worked up a design that I was able to submit to Spoonflower and order printed on their linen-cotton fabric. When it arrived, I cut it up (four towels to a yard) and seamed them using the wonderful sewing machine my parents gifted me with on my last birthday. They came out pretty cool:


Each sister got one recipe from each grandmother, and I’m going to give one of the other sets to my parents and keep one for myself. One of my sisters has already framed them up and hung them on the wall – she decided they were too precious to use, despite my promises that if they were ruined I could make her new ones. I’m happy she loves them so much she wants to see them every day. I think having a little bit of family around, even though they’ve been gone for a long time, is a big part of what makes the holidays special for us so I’m really please with how well these went over.

If you are looking for a unique (and showstopping!) gift I highly recommend the tutorial. I’m still very much a novice sewer and was able to handle this project without much difficulty at all. It was a very good learning project for me, actually, and I enjoyed the process immensely.

And now that the holidays are over I am off on a vacation. Maybe I will get some traveling sock pictures for the blog! I hope 2015 brings us all health and happiness and good things.

We Interrupt This Hiatus

to inform you all that i have not fallen off the face of the earth.

I have, however, been a little busy with this delightful new friend:


Meet my new nephew. This picture is nine months old, so I’m a little behind, but I can assure he’s an absolute delight.

379712_10152166999067518_1190775174_n (bonus Grammy photobombing here…)


I love him madly, and his personality is starting to peek through in between feedings! He loves the book my roommate bought for him (“Each Peach Pear Plum” by Janet and Allan Ahlberg, a wonderful little rhyming fairytale story) and we read it together every time I visit. Right now we are crawling everywhere like a speed demon and paying lots of attention to the construction happening next door.

So of course I am also knitting ALL THE THINGS for my little guy.

This wonderful blanket is the Baby Chalice Blanket [rav link], knit with a skein and a half of Madtosh tosh dk in Mineral. This is a superwash yarn, so it can be laundered as needed, but it’s incredibly soft to the touch and looks beautiful knit up. I used just shy of two skeins for this blanket, so about 400 yards, and it came out the perfect size to wrap up a newborn or tuck into a stroller. If you’re looking for something a step up from acrylic to knit for a little one, I highly recommend Madtosh! According to my sister the blanket has held up very well.




For Christmas I knit Nephew a Baby Sophisticate [rav link] in some leftover Filatura Lanarota from last year’s Rhinebeck sweater. Buttons are from Knitpicks and came from my stash. He only got a few wears out of this but that’s ok, because look at how cute he is:


I will probably whip out another one of these for him this fall, appropriately sized and knit in superwash to counter that alarming tendency of babies to generate… messes. Of all sorts.

(that’s his Your Camera Is Highly Offensive To Me Face, btw. He wears it a lot with me.)


I also knit a shawl/blanket for Nephew’s christening.


I recreated this from an old family heirloom that’s unfortunately out of our hands now, but I think he likes his new one, don’t you? It deserves a post of its own, so once I get the pattern written up and tested you’ll see some more of this.

My next Big Idea is a cardigan with a hood and ears, so that Nephew can be Max for Halloween. I think there will be lots of literary/knitting crossovers in my future. I can’t wait.