Dr. Seuss Capelet Pattern

This pattern is based on my Quickie Caplet pattern. As with that one, it holds multiple yarns together and uses big needles to make it a quick, fun knit. The one pictured above is the Long length. All versions have three “furry” rows, but in the medium length version, they are narrower and the collar is slightly shorter.

Why Dr. Seuss? Well, you can dress it up a bit by bunching it up over a frock and you might resemble Seuss’s character Foona-Lagoona Baboona. If you wear it poncho style over casual clothes or a jacket you’ll fall somewhere between the Dr. Seuss birds the Goo-Goo Goose or a Pelf.

Enjoy!

Downloadable pattern: 2017-dr-suess-caplet

Needles: a 32” circular needle–size 17.

Yarns: 2 skeins Red Heart Super Saver and 3 skeins Red Heart Fur Sure

Gauge: stockinette holding two strands of Red Heart super saver together 7 sts over 4 inches

Fuzzy rounds are created by holding one strand of Fur Sure together with one strand of Super Saver. Plain rounds are created by hold two strands of the Super Saver alone.

Pattern: Medium length (Long length)

Cast on 72 (88) stitches holding one strand fur yarn and one strand worsted plain yarn together. Join yarn to knit in the round, placing a marker.

Continue in the round using a K2P2 rib (all fuzzy rows are ribbed) for 6 (8) rows. Decrease one stitch at marker each row (on fuzzy rows only) to hide reductions.

Row 7 (9) drop Fur Sure and pick up another strand of smooth yarn (two smooth yarn strands held together. Knit in stockinette for 6 (8) more rounds even (do not decrease on smooth/stockinette rows to hide decreases).

Repeat rows 1-12 (1-16)

Row 13 (17) drop one strand of smooth yarn and pick up the furry strand. Rib for 6 (8 rows). Decrease one stitch at the marker each row.

Row 19 (25) Drop furry yarn and holding two smooth yarns together knit in K2P2 rib for 10 (14 rows). Do not reduce.

Row 29 (39) Cast off loosely

© Kristin Tolle. This pattern is freely available and without restriction to all would be capelet makers and Dr. Seuss lovers!

Brioche in Plain English

I’ve struggled with two color brioche and for someone that has been knitting brioche for many decades without a hitch—both in the round and flat—this is a huge source of frustration. I decided to take multiple classes until I could master it. The upshot is that this approach did not work, so I hope to save you the trouble and expense and hopefully a lot of angst.

The problem isn’t you, it’s the lingo.

Recently there has been a largely unnecessary adaptation from standard knitting terms which might sell books and patterns, but stymies people that just want to do these techniques without having to learn new terminology, take classes or buy books.

*deep sigh*

I was bewildered when a member of my guild said that Nancy Marchant “had to invent new terms” because there weren’t any, the only thing I could think would prompt such a remark is that she wasn’t aware that brioche knitting is technique had been around for centuries. And while vintage patterns use multiple methods of description (the rational for creating a new “standard”) each of these ways is easily more comprehensible to me, but most lack the colorwork I want to learn.

At no small expense I flew to Colorado for YarnFest to take my second (and third) class on the topic from Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark (the first was 4 years ago from Nancy herself at Vogue Knitting in Seattle). Once again I failed to learn the technique.

Admittedly part of the problem was I sat next to a tardy 20-something “troll” who had taken the class before and poured scorn in a loud whisper on other attendees who failed to grasp it. She had lots of fodder since that happened to be the majority of the ladies there—all of whom were knitting veterans with decades of experience looking for a way to bridge this unnecessary gap. Needless to say, I left early just to get away from her competitive, obnoxious behavior.

I’m not the type to give up, especially when it is something I know well, like brioche. So I immediately turned to the web to uncover a solution—right there in my hotel room—knowing I was going to have the follow on course the next day and would need to know how to do two color to move onto increases and decreases.

If you’ve also struggled, I want you to know that I’ve discovered that others are still willing to use the standard terminology to teach these fairly basic techniques and give you equally good results—at no charge.

That evening I came across a YouTube video by a lovely young lady, Stephanie of Milk Shed, and learned, in ten minutes, exactly what the first 2 hours of the class covered. And the lingo? Good old fashioned slips with yarnovers and knit/purl to togethers. There is also a written tutorial that comes with a free cowl pattern. Even Jo-Ann’s is getting into the plain English act with their online tutorials—not a BRK (brioche knit) or a BRP (brioche purl) in sight!

And not to worry if you want to knit a newer pattern. I found that once I mastered the techniques it was fairly straight forward to work in reverse. All you have to do is to map normal knitting terms onto the newer patterns.

*deep happy breath*

My First Crochet Project

My Gadabout Bag
My Gadabout Bag

I know somewhere in the distant past I made a few granny squares in Junior High. So you might argue that this isn’t my very first crochet project. So perhaps a better way of describing it is that I’ve just created my first ever *usable* object.

The not-so-little Gad-about bag (I used 64 stitches instead of 48), designed by Dot Matthews, is my newest project bag. The Seahawks colors are unintentional. This is just what I had lying about of similar weight and composition. Though it could be that I’m subliminally drawn to the local sports team colors. I like to think I already liked this combination and that the correspondence is a coincidence.

The bottom of the finished bag inspired my wish to see what more
The bottom of the finished bag inspired my wish to see what more “mistakes” might look like.

My LYM (local yarn manufacturer) is Warm Valley Orchard (WVO) on Orcas Island. When I’ve bought a sweater’s worth of yarn I’ve been allowed to make a free selection from a hank ends pile. So between leftovers from various projects and these hank ends, I was building up quite a stash of unstashable yarns. I find WVO yarns to be stiffer than other yarns. Perfect for a sturdy bag.

I didn’t follow the directions exactly for the bottom, but I followed pretty closely for the top. And though it is clearly too tight in places, I must admit, I prefer the fabric from the not followed section better than the followed. The coil outward reminds me of a Panamanian hat. I wondered what it would look like if I just kept on going…

Bottom of the bag in progress
Bottom of the bag in progress

I was so pleased with my mods, I decided to immediately start on another bag. However I stopped work quickly after the bottom section because I really am anxious to get on with my next big project—a cardigan for me. Finally!!

You might also notice that the colors match fairly well the first project I put into it—my Woolful Summer knit-a-long Home and Away project, which is a combination of a Georgetown and a Hancock sweater from Hannah Fettig’s Home and Away book.

Georgetown-Hancock from Home and Away
Georgetown-Hancock from Home and Away made from Tosh DK in Worn Denim

If you’ve seen this beautiful book, you’ll know that Hancock calls for a sport weight yarn and Georgetown calls for worsted. One is cropped and the other is hip length. One described as a bottom up knit and the other top-down (though directions are provided in both styles for each). About the only thing they have in common is they are cardigans. I love design elements from both, so onward I go.

And as for the yarn. I’m officially madly in love with Tosh DK in this colorway.