Monday, December 31, 2007

Built For Comfort

I won't be sashaying down the catwalk in this one. It is decidedly built for comfort. I also take comfort from reviewing the pictures in the Rowan Plaid Collection and noting that it is the nature of the designs to be oversized in all respects, including the sleeves. I'm just not sure that it's the best look on me. That being said, I do love wearing it! It is extremely soft, comfortable, and warm to wear and that is exactly what I was going for! Mr Puffy kindly said that he likes how I look in it. He's so sweet. Tomorrow he gets an extra long walk!

Mr Puffy is not the only one who is sweet. Just when I was wondering how I was going to close the front without any buttons my good friend Bridget from The Ravell'd Sleave serendipitously sent me a beautiful glass shawl closure that is absolutely perfect. Thank you Bridget!!!!!

Design: Raindrop; 7 Skeins Rowan Plaid ~ Sea Thistle ~ (42% Merino Wool; 30% Acrylic; 28% Superfine Alpaca); US 10.5 and US 11 needles.

I hope everyone had an enjoyable Christmas. We spent a wonderful day with my parents and my sister and her family. This is a picture of Mr Puffy enjoying my parent's Christmas tree. He is so spoiled by my parents that he departs with some reluctance. As do we all.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Because You Can Never Have Too Many

In my view, you can never have too many pairs of hand knit socks. They are the comfort food of clothing. The mashed potatoes of knitting. The warm cozy feel good clothing you just can't buy. Unless you hire your own Granny to knit you a pair. You heard me correctly. I learned about these sock knitting Grannies from Jenna's blog and was very amused by the idea. So, if you don't know how to knit socks there is no reason to despair as you too can now have your very own pair!

I fear this pair of socks will upset the knitting purists out there. Because I did the unforgivable. I combined a detailed sock pattern with a multicolored yarn that obscured the stitch detail. I still really like them. I can see the fancy stitch pattern and if you look really, really, really hard you can see it too!

These are the Embossed Leaves Socks from Interweave Magazine, Winter 2005, a pattern included in the recently released book "Favorite Socks." They are design by Mona from Knit Stricken who has designed a number of really niffy sock patterns - some of them free and on her blog - thank you Mona! For this pair, even though I used the suggested yarn (Koigu KPPPM), I went down a needle size to US 1 because I like my socks to fit my foot snugly. I have knit this pattern previously using Nature's Palette and US 2 needles and they turned out nicely too.

I can hardly believe that it is Christmas next week. Steve, Mr Puffy and I would like to wish everyone a very merry Christmas and hope that you will all enjoy the blessings of the season!

As an aside, I think those of you familiar with Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! will have to agree there is a resemblance between Mr Puffy and the little dog in that movie. The Grinch (as it was affectionately known in my home growing up) was watched by my family every year right along with Frosty the Snowman. My mother would wish me to say that we also watched, and still do watch, A Christmas Carol and without so doing it would not be Christmas.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

My Christmas Gift to You...

My Christmas gift to you...... a laugh at my expense?

What you are looking at is quite possibly the most expensive Rowan wool/cotton sweater ever knit. Oh, yes, I'm confident of that. And you are about to find out why.

A little background may be helpful here. I do love a LYS - but there are two types of LYS. One type is the ultimate in pampered knitting. This is the yarn shop where you wander in and immediately have your own sales clerk who will help you select the yarn, pattern, and then cast-on for you. The other type is where you wander in and can stay for an hour without anyone offering to help you and if you ask a question it is more often than not, met with a blank stare. This is a story about the first type of LYS. Parenthetically, there are LYS that are in between these two extremes and luckily for me I have just such a one in Santa Monica and that's Wild Fiber. But I digress from my story.

The sweater I'm wearing was actually "designed" for me by a LYS, which also "calculated" the yarn needed to knit the sweater. So helpful. This is where you laugh. The picture below is the "left over" yarn from this project. Some might suggest that I was over sold on the yarn. Be that as it may be - the clincher for me was once I had knit the sweater there was no way it could be "finished" unless by a professional "finisher." The individual pieces were like trying to fit the proverbial square peg into a round hole. Fortunately for me, this LYS also specialized in "finishing" projects. Now I wouldn't have minded paying for the "finishing" so much if it had truly been an option. However, given the oddly shaped pieces I had knit, only a professional could possibly have sewn it together in anything like a wearable garment. Thus, I paid to have it finished as well. Now, you see, how the cost of this sweater became prodigious.

But it's all good. I've worn it at least twice in the past 4 years and I do like it - I think.

Specs: 4 balls Rowan Wool Cotton (3 balls left over), S. Charles Filati D. Italia, Samba, US 6 Needles. I'm fairly certain a similar sweater could be knit from Last Minute Knitted Gifts (Hourglass Sweater) - a book I seem to refer to a lot but have yet to knit anything from.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Old Fashion Christmas Cookies!

Making Christmas cookies is time consuming so I only make a few each year. I always make iced cut-out cookies (Steve's favorites) and these fat little gingerbread men because they are fun and tasty. The recipe comes from a December 1993 Yankee's Home Companion, a magazine that I think has morphed into simply Yankee Magazine. I'm not sure how I came to have my subscription it was so long ago. In any event, I have a couple of recipes from that magazine that I've enjoyed over the years and this is one of them:

Gingerbread Gentlemen
Yield approximately 1 dozen very large gingerbread men or slightly more if you make them smaller

1 C. shortening
1/2 tsp. salt
3 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. ginger
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. allspice or ground cloves
1 C. sugar
1 C. molasses, dark
2 beaten eggs
1 tsp. instant coffee moistened in a little hot water (I use espresso powder)
5 C. All purpose flour
garnish: dried black currants (I use large fat ones from Trader Joe's that I prefer to the tiny variety sold at most grocery stores)


Pre-heat oven from 325 to 340 degrees

~Mix dough using wooden spoon ~
1. Cream first 6 ingredients;
2. Cream in sugar and molasses;
3. Add in beaten eggs and coffee (or espresso);
4. Add flour 1 cup at a time. After adding 3 cups stir in the last 2 cups by hand.
5. Refrigerate for approximately 2 hours or until dough is easy to handle.
6. Form gingerbread men by using your hands beginning with the middle and then adding the head, arms and legs. The more individual they are the better.  They should be quite large and quite fat.  Do not roll these into thin gingerbread men as it will cause them to cook too quickly and be thin, dry and unappealing to eat.  Use black currents to bring them to life and give them character! Jazz them up even more by using the same icing used for my Gingerbread House.

Bake approx.18 to 20 minutes. If you use the higher heat cook them for a shorter period of time. With my oven I set it to 340 degrees and cook them for 18 to 19 minutes.  You don't want these to over cook as they are meant to be a moist cookie.  I like to touch the surface and see if there is a slight spring back which indicates they are cook through. Cool on a wire rack.

After all the fires in California, seeing snow on the mountains is a welcome sight and says to me that Winter has finally arrived! It's not easy to see the snow (unless you "click" on the picture which enlarges it) but it's there and it's beautiful!

Tomorrow Mr Puffy and I go up to Santa Barbara to visit my parents for a few days. We will sit on the couch in front of the fire and drink cups of tea and munch on goodies - delightful! There is also a LYS within walking distance of their home - how cool is that?

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

I'm not a Knitter?

Steve has advised me that he is no longer going to call me a Knitter - instead he's going to call me a "Fiber Artist." He makes me laugh - and on top of everything else he's very artistic to boot! I have to confess this "still life" picture was Steve's idea from start to finish (I think maybe Steve's the Fiber Artist). For me, I'm happy being a Knitter - but enjoy his compliment in the spirit intended!

This scarf is soft, warm, and pretty and was made for my dear friend, Jane, who is a great walker and needs a scarf to keep her warm on those walks! When I'm in San Clemente we go for long walks on the beach - sometimes for as far as 5 miles (or does it just feel like 5 miles - I can't remember now). I'm thinking that I need a warm hat for those walks now that it's cold out! I've had my eye on Ysolda's Gretel hat - it looks very warm. She's a very talented designer and her Arisaig (free pattern on Knitty) is on my list of 101 "1,001 Things I Must Someday Knit."

The drape and feel of this scarf is just divine. It is very light weight despite the density of the fabric. (If you "click" on the picture it will enlarge it and shows the details much better). I washed and gave it a gentle block (no pins) and then took a page from Last Minute Knitted Gifts ("LMKG") and used "Twisted Cords" to tie the package. LMKG also has a similar scarf pattern ("The Purl Scarf") to this scarf in that it uses related color but different yarn textures to create depth and beauty.

Specs: Lace Scarf With Ruffles from Capistrano Fiber Arts Studio. I used 2 skeins of Capistrano Fiber Arts Studio, Petite Babeurre (70% Alpaca/30% Silk) stranded with GGH Soft-Kid (I used 2 skeins). The pattern recommended Rowan Kidsilk Haze but I wasn't able to find as good a color match as I did with the GGH Soft-Kid. US 6 needles. Finished Dimensions: Length 44" / Width 7"

Now, if I only knew where Mr Puffy was ........ he was here just a minute ago. Where, oh where, is he????

Oh there he is! Mr Puffy does love a good joke! Notice his necklace - just another handy use for the "twisted cord" technique used to wrap Jane's present!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Knitting Tip #2

The other day Mr Puffy reminded me that it had been entirely too long since I imparted a knitting tip and, I had to agree. See Knitting Tip #1 "Good Uses for UFOs" posted May 18, 2007). So, without further ado, here's knitting tip number two:

Knitting Tip #2: Don't merely measure your WIP - always count your rows.

Now, I don't know for sure, but I don't think it's just me, but every time I measure a piece of knitting - I get a different measurement. This happens despite my attempt to recreate the exact and I mean exact circumstances of the first measuring. Thus, to avoid this frustration - and ensure my knitting will fit together together like it should - I have taken to counting the rows that I have knit. I then record these in my "Knitting Journal" along with the measurement. I also use my Knitting Journal to track and record the rows where I make my increases/decreases so that they will also be evenly matched on the front and back. Some might call these "Project Notes" (see Raverly) but as I'm on the computer during the day (when I'm supposed to be working *blink* *blink*) and not in the evening when I tend to knit, a non-virtual knitting journal works best for me.

This is my Knitting Journal - purchased right here in Topanga. I bet you didn't know that Topanga, California is the last enclave of the 1960s hippie subculture. Yes, some things just say "Topanga." Granola anyone?

I'm currently working on "Flo" a Kim Hargreaves design (kit only) and - after what I paid for this kit - you can be sure I'm diligently keeping track of everything I do as this sweater had better fit me. I also have her new book Heartfelt "The Dark House Collection" and I have to say the designs are beautiful and I might just have to knit them all!

Flo is knit with RYC Cashsoft 4 ply with Rowan Kidsilk Haze for contrast detail and since you use US 3 needles it's not what I would describe as a fast knit.

It's beginning to look at lot like Christmas, everywhere you go......

This is the Scarborough Fair Socks kit from Yarn4Socks with a pattern designed by Melanie Gibbons (Pink Lemon Twist). I love this balsam green as it puts me in a Christmas-y mood hum hum hum everywhere you go...

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Lady of the Lake

I have no doubt read too many of the Arthurian legend books for my own good..... In any event, my favorite, by far, is the Merlin Trilogy by Mary Stewart. I'll leave it to your imagination as to which character I most relate! So why the literary reference? This shawl reminds me of that time and place and I feel positively mystical myself when I wear it!

I even find myself gazing in the mirror hoping for a bit of magic there. Alas, there is none to be found.

The shawl is Birch by Sharon Miller from Rowan Magazine 34 and is knit with Rowan Kidsilk Haze using US8 needles. I used the "heavenly" colorway (3 skeins plus a smidge of a 4th). N.B. The pattern only calls for 3 skeins, but I think you would have to go down to a US 7 needle to achieve that. For those of you who have never knit with Rowan Kidsilk Haze you are in for a treat - provided that you can get used to working with the yarn that tends to cling and be difficult to work with. The reward is a shawl that is light as a feather and warm and cozy to wear - with a bit of mystery thrown in.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Isn't It Ironic?

It's ironic, in the midst of a particularly difficult time, Mr Puffy and I received something that put a smile on my face. I'm talking about receiving the "You Make Me Smile Award" from the talented Monika of Smoking Hot Needles. This was a real compliment for which I thank you Monika. Monika is, by the way, without a doubt the most amazing knitter on this planet (and trust me - I've checked out a lot of knitting blogs - so I know of what I speak). If it's knitting lace, socks, dolls, hats, cardigans, vests, or spinning, sewing, cute dogs, and good writing that you like - head on over to her blog - you won't be disappointed! (She's also really wonderful about answering questions and sharing her patterns).

As a recipient of this award, it is my great pleasure to pass it on to five blogs that make me *smile.* This was not a hard choice for me because, while I surf a lot of blogs, there are only a handful that I regularly read. Those blogs (and reasons why) are as follows:

1. The Ravell'd Sleave. Bridget makes me smile because her taste, thoughts, and experiences (and books she has read and/or is reading) are so similar to mine.

2. Snitty. Jillian puts a smile on my face because she is a great one to go "shopping" with. If there is a cute new pattern or a "hot" yarn sale - she'll be the first to share it with you. She's also a fantastic knitter.

3. Fancie Pants. Amanda makes me smile because she is so elegant and her knitting is so beautiful.

4. A South Park Republican. Amy flat out makes me laugh - I simply find her writing amuses me. Be forewarned, her title says it all.

5. Knit the Classics. This blog makes me smile because I enjoy seeing the books they have chosen (typically books I have read and love) and seeing how that book has inspired their knitting.

There you have it. If I don't post again until after Thanksgiving, please enjoy a wonderful holiday with your friends and family.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The Mad Hatter

What better project than hats when the weather turns cool and time is limited! This was a hectic week but I had fun knitting these little hats to "freshen up" our winter wardrobe. I actually used yarn left over from the felted slippers that I knit last spring. I always seem to have extra yarn that I keep with the thought "some day I'll make that into a hat." And, this time, I actually did! It's Manos Del Uruguay (100% wool) and I used the basic hat pattern from Last Minute Knitted Gifts. The only modification was to add a little ribbing at the edge to prevent too much "rolling" of the brim.
I love hats and feel you can never have too many as they give a fun pop of color to an outfit. They are also incredibly useful when you take those early morning walks in the winter....that Mr Puffy enjoys so much.

Scarfs are also useful at this time of year and I'm just starting a very pretty "Lace Scarf With Ruffle" using yarn from Capistrano Fiber Arts Studio (70% baby alpaca/30% silk). Lori Lawson, the owner, both designed the scarf pattern and handpainted the yarn. I have to say I was very thrilled with the quality and beauty of this yarn when it arrived and I' am looking forward to this knit!

Saturday, November 3, 2007

My Clapotis

Here she is, in all her glory, my Clapotis. Those of you considering knitting her should be forewarned that there are various emotional phases you might find yourself experiencing. I have documented them as follows:

Stage 1. Excitement. During this stage you will probably join a knit along (KAL), such as Second Wave Clapotis, and spend large amounts of time anguishing over deciding which yarn to use.

Stage 2. Concern. Upon close examination, pattern will appear more tricky than expected. You recall during this stage that Knitty has rated the pattern "tangy." New knitting techniques such as KTB ("knitting through the back loop") will have to be learned and/or mastered. Decisions will need to be made on whether to also PTB ("purl through the back loop") and, if so, should it be a "mirrored twist". Lots of swatching takes place during this stage as needle size is also a variable.

Stage 3. Happy. You are finally underway. All concern experienced in stage 2 will have been forgotten as the pattern is genius and simple. You will delight as the beauty of the yarn is expressed in the simple stockinette pattern.

Stage 4. Concern. You realize that there is an awful lot of borning knitting in a simple stockinette pattern. During this stage you might find yourself wondering if it is worth the effort for basically a simple stockinette scarf.

Stage 5. Happy. You have now dropped a number of stitches and realize how fun intentionally dropping a stitch can be. The mystery of where the dropped stitch goes is intriguing. The drape of the fabric and the ladders they form begin to look quite elegant and you find yourself staring at your knitting. It's completely understandable why legions have knit the Clapotis.

Stage 6. Excitement. It's done. It's beautiful. You are thrilled to have a Clapotis and can't wait to wear it! Warning: during this stage you might also start planning your next one. P.S. The next one will be for you Puff.

I feel the need to go out for a cup of cappuccino, to be enjoyed with a lot of attitude.

Project Notes:
Yarn: Tess' Designer Yarns - Silk & Ivory, sport weight. Just over 1 skein.
Needle: US 5
Modifications: One extra increase section and 4 extra straight sections.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

As Easy as Apple Pie

As apple pie season is fast departing and those wonderful pumpkin, pecan, and mincemeat pies will soon take the fore, I wanted to post this recipe before it was all over. This is a traditional apple pie recipe that I learned from my mother and while I've tried other recipes, this is my favorite. I've tried to write the recipe steps as exacting as I can - because despite the expression "easy as pie" I find that a pie can be a bit tricky for those who don't bake frequently.

Basic 9" Pie Crust (double)

2 ½ Cups all purpose Flour
1 tsp. salt (scant)
1 Tbs. white sugar
1/2 Cup sweet (unsalted) butter - chilled
1/2 Cup Crisco vegetable shortening
Approx. 5-6 Tbs. ice cold water/white vinegar mixture (fill a small bowl with ice water and splash in some white vinegar to the mixture - you will be adding the water/vinegar mixture 1 Tbs. at a time until the dough forms)
1 egg white (for brushing pie crust top)
Sugar for garnish

Apple Pie Filling

5 to 6 C. Tart Apples (I use primarily Granny Smith but toss in 1 mellow Golden Delicious)
2 Tbs. Lemon Juice
½ to 2/3 C. white sugar (I prefer my pie with a hint of tartness and typically only use ½ C.)
1 to 1½ Tbs. Corn Starch (use the larger quantity if your apples are juicy)
¼ tsp. Cinnamon
1/8 tsp. Nutmeg
1/8 tsp. salt (just a pinch)
1 to ½ Tbs. unsalted butter


Make Pie Crust

1. Combine flour, salt, and sugar.
2. Cut in shortening.
3. Add water/vinegar mixture 1 Tbs. at a time. Use a fork to blend/mix just until the mixture forms a dough.
4. Divide dough in half and wrap each portion in wax paper – let rest in refrigerator while you prepare filling.

Prepare Filling

1. Peal & Core Apples – thinly slice and sprinkle with lemon juice as you work.
2. Combine sugar, corn starch, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Sprinkle sugar mixture over apples and toss well to coat evenly.

Roll out Pie Crusts

1. Flour your work space. Roll out bottom pie crust. I like to roll out the dough on floured wax paper as this helps prevent sticking. Wrap the crust around your rolling pin to transfer crust to the pie pan as this seems to help prevent tearing of the dough.
2. Fill crust with apple filling and dot mixture with unsalted butter.
3. Roll out top pie crust. Cover apple mixture and decorate crust with leftover dough. Make 4 slits to release steam.
4. Brush pie crust with egg white and sprinkle generously with white sugar.


1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
2. Cook for 10 minutes and reduce heat to 425 degrees.
3. Cook for 10 more minutes and reduce heat to 350 degrees.
4. At this time check to see if pie crust is golden brown – if it is – or when it becomes so – cover pie loosely with aluminum foil to prevent over browning/burning.
5. Continue baking at 350 degrees for another 35-55 minutes or until mixture is bubbling through the steam slits. Don’t rush this process as there is nothing worse than an apple pie with uncooked apple filling. This time is highly variable as it depends on how deep your pie dish is. Just keep checking every 10 minutes or so after the first 35 minutes. As long as you have the crust covered with aluminum foil it shouldn’t over brown.

To my immense delight, Steve joined Mr Puffy and me in our afternoon tea ritual. Apple pie is his favorite and it seems it was just too hard for him to wait until after dinner to tuck in!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! This is my pumpkin being used to model the blogland favorite "Fetching" mitts ~ free pattern ~ Knitty. I used Noro, Cash Iroha (wool/silk blend), 1 skein, US4 needles and you would find it scary if I showed you how little yarn was left over. I really like the picot edging that you can see better in the pictures below. This is a great pattern and I'll probably make another pair, but next time I'll use more of a stretchy yarn with more yardage so I can make the cuff a little longer.

I love Halloween and when Steve and I lived in the Midwest (South Bend, Indiana) we took many long drives into the country side to visit the various farmer's stands and pumpkin patches. The pictures below are from one of my favorite pumpkin patches that we happened upon on one of those drives. If you ever travel to the Chicago area try and make time to visit the towns surrounding Lake Michigan on the Indiana/Michigan border up into Michigan. They are just delightful and have some of the nicest Bed & Breakfasts I've ever stayed in.

For some reason Mr Puffy is not too keen on Halloween. I've suggested that he might enjoy dressing up and going trick or treating but he's really not been happy about the idea at all. He said he'd much rather stay home eat snacks and watch a scary movie. I don't understand it as I loved trick or treating and miss the fun of dressing up and coming home with huge bags of candy. To each their own.

On a sad note, Southern California has been ravaged by ferocious wildfires that swept through communities this past week. You can't imagine how it feels to see a fire burning on the horizon and know that you are in it's path. We are blessed to have been spared but feel terrible for the suffering of those who were not so fortunate. The fire came within a mile of our home but the brave ground crews and air support pilots faced and overcame the tremendous flames to stop the fire from progressing into Las Flores Canyon and up into the Santa Monica mountains. Our heartfelt thanks to the LA fire fighters. Mr Puffy snapped a few pictures from Saddle Peak Road that have been included on a couple of blogs. It is a view of the fire from the mountain area looking down into Malibu. If you scroll down to October 21, 2007 (day 1) at 3:53 p.m. on this blog you will find them. They are also on Mr Puffy's "flickr" page.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Irish Scones ~

We have been away for a few days and it is wonderful to be back home with my feet up enjoying hot buttered scones and a good cup of tea! These scones are a staple of my tea time and they are really pretty easy to fix once you have the proper ingredients. You will note that I suggest pre-soaking the raisins in brandy. In my opinion, most desserts are improved by adding a little liquor!


(Adapted from a Saveur recipe March 2003 issue)

3 C. All Purpose Flour (King Arthur Flour is the best)
¼ C. superfine baking sugar (you can increase to 1/2 C. if you prefer)
1 tsp. baking powder
8 tbsp. unsalted butter (I like to use Kerry Gold Irish Butter – but any European butter is good)
6 tbsp. sultanas (golden raisins)
½ C. + 6 tbsp. whole milk (just under 1 C.)
1 egg + 1 tsp. water (egg wash)
Demerara sugar for garnish (optional)


1. Soak raisins in brandy, if you plan ahead. Otherwise just use fresh plump raisins.
2. Preheat oven to 400 Degrees.
3. Whisk flour, sugar, and baking powder together in a large bowl.
4. Using pasty cutter, cut butter into flour mixture.
5. Stir in Sultanas (golden raisins).
6. Add milk and stir until dough just comes together. I then quickly kneed the dough right there in the same bowl. Tear off chunks about the size of a dinner roll. Don’t worry about creating fancy looking scones – these are supposed to be “rustic” in appearance and are much better for not having too much handling. One batch makes approximately 8-9 nice sized scones.
7. Plop scones on baking sheet and coat with egg wash (I simply use a paper towel dipped in the egg mixture).  Sprinkle liberally with Demerara Sugar
8. Bake for approximate 25-30 minutes – they should be nice and golden brown.  Scones should be baked until the sugar is almost carmalized as this creates a wonderful crunchy crust.
9. Serve warm with lots of butter and a good marmalade.  If you add the additional sugar to the dough these are sweet enough to eat plain.
10. Enjoy regularly!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

We're in the Pink

We’re in the Pink! Actually, I’m in the pink and Mr Puffy is in the watermelon, as I’ve explained to him several times now. Watermelon (the color of his favorite fruit) is a simply smashing color on him and I think this look gives him that certain preppy air. In fact, I was just saying to Steve the other day that I though school (obedience school, that is) might be a good idea. Can’t you just see Mr Puffy on campus? Regretfully, Mr Puffy is not the studious type and it might require a substantial donation for this to happen. On the other hand, he is quite athletic and might qualify for some type of sports scholarship. Oh well, it was just a thought and in any event the idea was not well received by Mr Puffy.

Mr Puffy is wearing a Fiber Trends Versatile Scarf knit with Manos Del Uruguay, Cotton Stria and I’m wearing Cherry by Anna Bell knit with Classic Elite Yarns, Premiere (pima cotton/tencel). Cherry was a fun knit except for the finishing – but then I never enjoy the finishing work. Frankly, the jury was out on this project until the last seam was seamed.
Two reasons why I wasn’t sure this would fit until the very end. First, I wasn’t knitting to the pattern gauge because I preferred the look of my swatch on US 6 needles even though I should have gone down to US5 to “get gauge.” Second, with cotton you have to wash and block your swatch to really know what your final gauge will be as cotton relaxes and expands when washed. Due to these factors, I actually knit this sweater to a size smaller than what the pattern was written for and I really didn’t know if my adjustments would work.
P.S. After reading some of the comments I realized I never said whether I liked Cherry or not! Yes, I'm very happy with the finished result - I'm just experiencing a little "post seeming" blues that apparently came through in my post. It's a well written pattern and has that magically quality where it looks flattering on everyone who has knit it!