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.

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.

Goodnight, Irene

Hi there, internet. I’m posting which means I do, in fact, have power — unlike most of Long Island. Something like half of the households are still out following this weekend’s hurricane, so I’m feeling pretty fortunate. We had a lot of wind and rain, but now that the storm has passed it’s peaceful and everything smells fresh and clean.

We did have some pretty large trees go down in the storm:

Irene's Aftermath

like this big old one by the public library. The whole thing just came up out of the ground, roots and all. My yard got off pretty lightly in comparison:

Irene's Aftermath

We cleaned up everything today, so I decided to celebrate by having a winding party.

Winding party

It was very strange to sit outside winding yarn in such fresh-smelling air, looking at the perfectly sunny, blue sky, when it was so stormy just a day before. I’m very glad my family & neighborhood got through OK, and my heart’s going out to Vermont and the shore communities in NC and NJ that have been so decimated.

Raining, Pouring

It has been a very wet week. I spent it catsitting for friends in Queens, which meant a delightfully shortened commute, but now I am home again and catching up on everything.

I did some knitting this week, but it’s secret, so all I can show you is this:

Super Secret

3 down, 7 to go. Soon.

I also got some swag. My friend Rebecca went to Sock Summit, and she brought me back goodies!

Summit Swag

There’s some Indigo Dragonfly yarn in there, and Glenna C’s Captain Mal sock pattern (eee!), a skein of Little Red Bicycle laceweight, and some Hazel Knits miniskeins and a delightful little fingerless mitt pattern for them. I hardly know where to begin. Look at this beautiful yarn. Just look at it.

Also, I wanted to introduce you to the newest member of my family, my puppyniece Lucy!


Lucy is a schnauzer-poodle mix, 11 weeks old, and the most wiggly bundle of energy I have ever seen. This picture is a few weeks old now, and she is almost as big as her toys at this point. She will squirm her way right into your heart before you’ve known it. She and Eeyore are already fast friends:

Lucy & Eeyore

Lucy is very happy to meet you all.

Wiggly Lucy

Shawls for Smiles

So you might remember a few posts back I talked about spending the day with my friend Vhary. We went to St John the Divine and had lunch and went yarn shopping, and Vhary asked me if I would knit her something if she got herself some yarn.

Well, why not? Especially when Vhary has such good taste:


This is Malabrigo Sock in Indecita, which is really lovely. I understand now why it’s so popular. I took the yarn home with me and wound it, and picked out a pattern (Charlize by Vanessa Smith [rav link]) that seemed to meet Vhary’s requests: lots of lace, and long, almost more scarf than shawl.

I cast on on the train home from work a few days later:


and knit during commutes and on lunch break and at home:

Work in Progress

(that’s the tail end of a lunch break, with my tea and chocolate, mmm) and then Vhary emailed and said she was going to be in town for a few days last week and would I like to meet for dinner? So I quickly blocked the finished object, and wrapped it up carefully and brought it with me and gave it to her after we had a lovely tea at Alice’s.

Vhary did this:


and then she did this:

I think she likes it

and that is why I love her. Reactions like that mean I’ll knit for you any time, Vhary darling, just say the word.

So that was one of my mystery projects. I have two more that I am working on now, along with a Featherweight and socks that are kind of being ignored more often than not, and today I got more yarn for more mystery projects:

Mystery Projects

Let’s just say there are a lot of squares in my future. And thank goodness for Lion Brand’s wonderful discounts, because I walked out of there with a bag of 30 skeins(!). There is not enough time to knit all of my yarn, people. This knitting stuff is serious business.

Take Me Out

Traveling Sock celebrated Father’s Day by going to the ballpark.

Ducks Game 6.19.2011

It was a beautiful day for a game. Especially when the home team won 6-0. Sorry, Camden.

Ducks Game 6.19.2011

The Long Island Ducks are my favorite baseball team, because they are a semi-pro team that play in a reasonably-sized stadium where you can see what’s happening on the field no matter where your seat, because you will not go bankrupt buying crackerjacks, because the first base coach (Buddy Harrelson, for you Mets fans out there) will sit at a table during the fourth inning and sign autographs for kids, because half of the starting lineup is from the Island and I like supporting my community, and because the mascot is a gigantic duck.

Ducks Game 6.19.2011

Since it was Father’s Day, Quackerjack’s dad Papa jack flew up from Florida to join him (get it?) Their antics never fail to amuse.

I didn’t get much knitting done, since I was coated in sunscreen and still somehow managed to get burned in a few spots. But it was a great afternoon. I love a good ballgame.