Test knit done, so I’d say the pattern is ready for release!



A harf is a fitted hood that fits closely to the head so that there is nowhere for the cold winter winds to come in. The scarf is actually more of a cowl in that it is an attached loop to the hood that you twist and loop over your head, holding the hood snugly (but comfortably) in place, locking in the warmth and locking out out the cold. The harf is knit in garter stitch for extra squish, but also for the stretch and elasticity garter gives. You want it to be quite stretchy so that it really conforms to your head. Without a pompom a harf is perfect for going underneath a helmet. With a pompom it is a sassy piece of winter warmth.


Materials required:

  • 300 yards (plus additional length for pompom) worsted weight yarn or a light chunky weight yarn (I have done both with success)
  • Size US10 circular needle
  • 2 stitch markers
  • Additional needle for holding stitches, or some scrap yarn to hold them


Spotlight: Tiny Alpaca! by Anna Hrachovec

Tiny Alpaca! is one of the most adorable patterns I have ever seen. I can’t handle how cute these are. I don’t knit (or particularly understand the appeal) of amigurumi  but these absolutely slay me in their adorableness. I went to the designer’s website (Mochimochi Land) and discovered a world of other ridiculously cute knitted things.

I also can’t handle that in her pattern pictures she includes on where the little alpacas are playing Twister. I mean, seriously, who comes up with this!? First she creates the most adorable little knitted alpaca ever, and then turns it up to eleven by posing them on a tiny game of Twister?! I want to high five the designer for her brilliance. I aspire to be as awesome as she clearly is.

Leave a comment if you love this pattern too!

Rounding the corner

I have been working a lot on my Sock Yarn Justification Blanket, which is extremely easy uncomplicated knitting. Enjoyable but pretty mindless, and I really feel like I need something more complicated to challenge myself with. I know I COULD be working on my Stripes Gone Crazy sweater, but another idea has struck me…

I have this idea for a hat, where the cables coming down from the top of the hat start small but get bigger, and then turn 90 degrees to become the bottom border as well. I haven’t seen a pattern like this, nor am I going to go looking for one. I want to see if I can create this pattern on my own and figure out how to make it work. Obviously the challenges are going to be:

1. making the cables grow from the top in a smooth way that maintains the look of the cables

2. pulling off the 90 degree turn while having the cabled pattern continue smoothly

3. doing a clean connection between the the rounded turn of the cable and the rest of the bottom band

Big part of this is going to be choosing a cable pattern that isn’t so complicated that rounding the turn is impossible. I’m sort of tossed up on whether to do this bottom up or top down. I can see how both are possible. Right now I am leaning towards top down for the hat construction, but before I start the hat as a whole I think I am going to have to do some test knits of how the cables will grow and how to pivot the design 90 degrees. Methinks there be some shortrows in my future…


PATTERN: Squashy Cowl

It took me longer than I intended but my pattern for my Squashy Cowl is finally available!

Squishy, stretchy, warm, reversible, fast knit cowl using worsted weight yarn. 085This pattern is done in a basic 6×6 rib but with alternating rows of elongated knit and elongated purl stitches. The knit/purl columns remain constant, but it alternates between rows where the knit stitches are elongated with purl stitches normal, and rows where the purl stitches are elongated and knit are normal. This results in alternating blocks of puffy stitches combined with blocks of normal tighter stitches. The technique is easy to learn and easy to do and gives a huge amount of stretch to the item. When it isn’t stretched out it creates fluffy folds that make the item very warm. Knit flat and seaming the two sides together the ribs are horizontal and the stretch is vertical in the cowl, lending it to being worn as a cowl and hood pull up over the head. Knit on the round the ribs are vertical and the stretch is horizontal. This allows the cowl to be worn loosely around the neck, or stretched out and looped for extra warmth. Made wide enough and long enough this pattern could be easily adapted to work as a shoulder shrug/shoulder cosy.


Elongated Knit Stitch

ek – elongated knit stitch
ep – elongated purl stitch

This pattern relies upon an elongated stitch. To make an elongated knit stitch, you make a knit stitch as you would normally except for one difference: you make two wraps of the yarn instead of one. By making the extra wrap it mimics the effect if you had used a larger needle for that stitch, creating a much larger loop. Consider it like a yarn over (YO) WITHIN a stitch, rather than before or after a stitch like a normal yarn over. With a yarn over the stitch count is increased, but with an elongated stitch your stitch count never changes due to how the stitch is worked.

diagram of what each stitch type will look like and how they will appear in the cowl

Creating an Elongated stitch

Insert your working needle into the stitch knit wise, wrap the working yarn around the working needle twice, then pull the wrapped yarn through the stitch as you would in a normal knit stitch. This will result in two loops for that stitch instead of one. The extra wrap/loop is creating some slack in the yarn that will be released when you work it on the next row.

Working an Elongated stitch

How you work an enlongated stitch is key to achieving the effect. When you get to an elongated stitch you will see the yarn wrapped around the needle rather than just looped over like a normal stitch. Pick up the first loop with your working yarn, work it as the pattern indicates, but when you pull the yarn through the stitch you need to pull the extra loop off the needle as well. You are releasing the slack you created by doing the double wrap when you created the stitch, making that loop extra big.

It is important that it is worked as one to get the elongated loop.

  • Do NOT knit each loop separately. This would create extra stitches and you would not get the big elongated loop.
  • Do NOT knit the two loops together. This would keep the loop from being large and elongated.


The pattern is actually quite simple once you get a handle on the elongated stitch. You really just need to remember to release the elongated stitch each time you come to one. Now that I have explained the elongated stitch to death, on to the actual pattern!



  • 300-400 yards of worsted weight yarn. (I used Berocco Vintage yarn)
  • Size 6 US (4mm) circular needles. (Straight needles can be used if you are making the knit flat vertical stretch version of the cowl.)

Option 1: Knit Flat/Vertical Stretch

Cast on 84 stitches using a stretchy cast on technique. This will be 8 repeats of the ribbed pattern. NOTE: If you want to make it wider/more narrow make sure your total number of stitches of a multiple of 6!

OPTIONAL SEAMLESS JOIN: For a concealed seam on the cowl cast on using a provisional cast on method. This will allow you to seam the two sides together using kitchener.

Row 1,3,5 : *(ek6, p6), repeating * 7 times

Row 2,4,6 : *(k6, ep6), repeating * 7 times

Row 7,9,11 : *(k6, ep6), repeating * 7 times

Row 8,10,12 : *(ek6, p6), repeating * 7 times

Repeat rows 1-12 until it reaches the desired length. In the pattern example 20 repeats were done.

Cast off using a stretchy cast off technique, then join the two sides together using the technique of your choice. For best results complete the seam in such a way that allows for some stretch.


OPTIONAL SEAMLESS JOIN: Instead of casting off pick up the stitches from the provisional cast on edge and connect the two sides of the cowl using kitchener stitch. In order to do this and have it be truly seamless you need to be able to do a kitchener stitch for both knit and purl stitches.




Option 2: Knit on the round/Horizontal Stretch

Cast on 252 stitches on circular needles. Join on the round.

Row 1-6: *(ek6, p6), repeating * 21 times

Row 7-12 : *(k6, ep6), repeating * 21 times

Repeat rows 1-12 until cowl is desired length.

Cast off using stretchy cast of technique.

You can download a PDF version of this pattern by clicking HERE.

Stripes Gone Crazy Sweater (Part 1)

(photo from the pattern page)

Stripes Gone Crazy by aletier alfa

Well, I’m doing it. I’m going to make a sweater. I feel like being able to successfully knit a sweater that looks good and is wearable is important, at least in terms of my feeling like an capable knitter. Never one to take on reasonable challenges, I of course chose a more complicated pattern for my first sweater – Stripes Gone Crazy by atelier alfa (paid pattern). Gorgeous pattern if you ask me and well worth paying for, and I HATE paying for patterns. So much more interesting than just a basic striped sweater. The pattern is complicated but seems really well written and clearly laid out with lots of explanations and graphics explaining the different techniques used, which is fantastic.

Cascade Heritage Sock Yarn

Now, I do worry this wasn’t the best choice because it has certain echoes of my Sonar Shawl. Lots of stockinette and stripes of varying widths in fingering weight yarn… Sounds familiar, eh? I am really hoping that because these stripes are done using short rows  and there is a lot more interesting knitting going on that I won’t find it as tedious and miserable to finish. Please god, I hope this isn’t as bad as that shawl was. That said, I do love the end result of that shawl, so maybe even if it is awful to knit it will still be worth it.

After deciding on a pattern I ordered my yarn online. After consulting with others on Ravelry I decided to go with Cascade Heritage Sock yarn. I had originally thought of buying 4 different colours for the stripes to create a gradient or ombre effect, but my Post-Christmas yarn budget didn’t really allow for that. Instead I went with two colours – China Grey for the main colour, and Cerulean for the secondary colour. For the first time ever I ordered the yarn via It took two weeks for my yarn to arrive (damn you, international shipping times!) but it arrived yesterday. First impressions of the yarn are very positive. Really nice texture, soft, the colours are nice. I wish the China Grey was a lighter grey but that isn’t a huge deal. My only real complaint is that the balling the yarn is a big fat pain in my ass. Why the hell haven’t I bought a swift and ball winder yet?! Why do I keep forcing myself to go through the torment of balling things by hand?! Such a pain in the ass and by far my least favourite part of knitting. I managed to ball 3 last night using my knees as a makeshift swift, and each ball taking me about 30 minutes to do. Ugh. But hey, each of them balled up really smoothly, no tangles or knots like I usually get when I ball hanks of yarn like this by hand. And now I have two grey and one blue balled and ready to go.

After taking my measurements I decided to cast on the XL size. I was absolutely convinced I was going to have to make the XXL size and then cross my fingers that even that would fit, but the XL size seems to be almost exactly my measurements. I clearly still haven’t updated my inner size after having lost all this weight (100lbs and counting! Yeah!). I’m hoping for a bit of negative ease so that it isn’t all droopy and baggy.

And so it begins. Looking forward to seeing some progress on this.


Click here to see every post about my Stripes Gone Crazy sweater, or visit my Ravelry project page.