Weekend Knitting Double Header

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It’s been a CRAZY spring. I’ve been burning the candle at all three ends.

And what happens the minute you slow down—you get sick of course! And while I really dislike the brain fog and lost time of working on my teaching materials, I got a lot of knitting done while I was confined to bed with a nasty cold.

The good news is that I had several easy projects on the needles and lots of time where I could only really do mentally passive activities—simple knitting among them (TV watching being the other—reruns of The Expanse anyone?).

I finished another bathmat–this one for the island house bathroom, I’ve taken to called “Jeff’s bathroom” due to it being across the hall from the bedroom where the inimitable Jeff Dozier spent time with us during his knee convalesce. And a very simple mock turtleneck sweater design by Adrienne Vittadini  from an old Vogue Knitting Magazine. Vintage yarn for a vintage pattern.

I’m hoping my brain function returns soon, but for now, there’s nothing like knocking off a twofer of simple WIPs in my project queue.

Quickie Capelet

Several views of the Quickie Capelet
Several views of the Quickie Capelet

How this pattern came together was trial and error. And while the pattern creation took several days, the actual knitting was 3 hours—total. A nice afternoon project with great results. Also of benefit is that I not only have a warm wear around the shoulders garment, I used up two yarns had had which were too much for a scarf/hat and not enough for a sweater.

I spent one whole day knitting swatches and seeing how the two yarns worked together. The main color is a single hand spun natural hank of worsted wool I picked up in Holbrook Arizona, just south of the Navaho Indian reservation. The other was three balls of wool ribbon yarn from my grandmother’s stash.

My inspiration for this garment was after I saw an Eileen Fisher capelet on a fashionista at work. I asked to inspect it more closely and it is from this that I chose the method of reducing—the creation of a seam in the back. Eileen’s was with a bulky fuzzy black yarn in garter stitch (so every other row knit/purl in the round) and had no border. I wanted both more and less texture. Less fuzz to show the yarns. Ribbing create visual appeal.

Supplies:

Side view of the capelet
Side view of the capelet

Pattern shown in photograph is made with three yarns held together:

  • Two hanks (~250-320 yards each) of worsted weight wool
  • Three skeins of ribbon yarn (I used a wool ribbon of unknown origin) of approximately DK weight

Substitute the same length of single strand of super bulky or two strands of bulky held together or whatever gives you the appropriate gauge.

Gauge:

5 stitches and 10 rows in a 4” x 4” square

Pattern:

Cast on 72 stitches and place stitch marker. Then continued in the round being careful not to twist.

Rows 1-4: K2P2 ribbing.

Row 5: Knit to marker

Rows 6-14: At marker K2tog, knit to end of row

63 Stitches remain

Rows 14-16: Knit even (do not reduce)

Rows 17: At marker K2tog and switch to K2 P2 ribbing

62 Stitches remain

Rows 18-30: Knit evening (do not reduce) in K2 P2 ribbing

Bind off in K2 P2 ribbing pattern

What I would do differently…

  1. I would hide the reductions by doing something farther out from the marker and evenly on each side. While there is a “cool” triangle on the back of the garment, I think a more subtle look would be better.

    K2tog at the marker creates a "tucked" look
    K2tog at the marker creates a “tucked” look
  2. I would even up the top and bottom rib for symmetry. I wanted more ribbing at the top to keep it up higher on my shoulders, but I think it would look better if I’d made them the same size.

What I would do the same…

  1. The yarns speak for themselves. I’d do less ribbing to show off the variegation in the wool ribbon yarn against the natural variations in the hand spun wool.
  2. Keep it this simple. What really makes the capelet visually elegant is the simplicity.