KNITTED WIT POLWARTH SHIMMER
Well that was exciting! My order of Polwarth Shimmer, from Knitted Wit, arrived on Thursday. Over the next few days, nearly all of it went to Beekeeper Cardigan KAL participants. (There is enough Ex's Flannel Shirt, a pretty deep rose, left with enough yardage to knit up to the size 40.) Everyone who has swatched with it (including me) has commented on how pleasant it is to knit with. If you're a Beekeeper, and want help measuring your swatch or interpreting anything in the pattern, please feel free to reach out--in addition to last year's Four Day KAL for Stillwater, I've knit several other of Marie's designs and am familiar with how she builds a beautiful sweater you'll want to reach for again and again.
If you want to get in on the fun without a commitment to a full sweater, the Beekeeper Cowl was just released this weekend, and features the stitch pattern that the cardigan is based on. The cowl only requires one skein, and is a nice way to sample both the stitch and the gorgeous yarn.
Woolbuddy needle felting kits are whimsical, and contain everything you need to explore this fun fiber craft, with the exception of a foam work surface. These make nice birthday gifts, or could be a fun way to spend time with a visiting family member age 8+.
JUNIPER & GINGER STITCH MARKERS
These are such a great combination of characteristics: pretty, and removable! They work like a keyring, and if you're skeptical about how smoothly they twist into a stitch, Cheryl of Juniper & Ginger has provided sample markers and a swatch to demonstrate--they are remarkably snag-free! They are available in three sizes (small, up to 4mm needles, medium, up to 6mm, and large, up to 9mm) and a variety of colors!
Tip of the hat to knitter Lynn for calling my attention to the Cyclo Knitter. Built by George Barratt-Jones, it is a human-powered knitting machine driven by pedaling a stationary bike. George has set it up in the Eindhoven train station in the Netherlands, where he invites people waiting for the train to make a scarf in about five minutes. Watch the video--it's wonderful!
Slope is finished, with the expected transformation from stiff, crunchy fabric to something very fluid and soft.
The small changes I made to the design were to knit it in two colors, and to finish the neckline with slip stitch crochet. The pattern does not specify any edging for the neck or armholes, but I felt that the neck needed just a bit of refinement. I tried picking up and knitting first, but liked the very minimal crochet option better.
Finished! And it's clear why this is such a popular hat pattern--it's easy to knit, and variegated yarns look great in garter stitch. And in addition to that, it hugs the head comfortably, without feeling constricting at all. Five stars, would knit again.