November 29, 2011

A really BIG Cowl

The Italian version of this cowl was published on La versione italiana di questo collo è stata pubblicata su

Collo Big a colori
Two hanks of Bracco Big, big fat needles and in a little more than one hour here's a perfect and very warm accessory ready t be gifted. 

  • Bracco Big, 35% baby alpaca, 28% acrylic, 22% polyammide, 15% merino wool, 100 g = 40 m, 1 hank each coll. 5 (a) e 6 (b)
  • 15 mm 16 cm long circular needle
  • one 6 mm needle or, if you are using an interchangeable circular kit,a 6 mm pit (optional)
  • a crochet hook at least size 10 mm (optional)
  • Scissors
Tension: 6 sts = 10 cm in g st
Measures: circ. = 63 cm, height = 22 cm.
In this pattern the short rows are knitted by simply turning the work with no need to wrap and turn: the garter stitch and the thickness of the yarn prevent holes and unevenness in texture.
The first stitch in each row should always be knitted, never slipped. This will make the sewing up easier.

Collo Big grigio su grigio (non cambia molto)


C.o. 35 sts with the long tail method and col. a.
Knit 1 row, start working the hort row pattern.

First short row section
  • Row 1: k 5, turn.
  • Row 2 and all even rows: k all sts.
  • Row 3: k 10, turn..
  • Row 5: k 5, turn..
Continue knitting 5 sts more on each odd row until you will be knitting 30 sts. 

Central section

Turn and knit all sts, then knit 2 rows from end to end.
Join col. b, k 2 rows with col. b, k 2 more rows with col. a and cut leaving a 30 cm tail. Continue working with col b for 3 rows. 

Second short row section
  • Row 1: k 30, turn.
  • Row 2 and all even rows: k all sts.
  • Row 3: k 25, turn..
  • Row 5: k 20, turn..
Continue knitting 5 sts less on each odd row until you will be knitting 5 sts only.

Final border

K 2 rows.
B.o. all sts with EZ's sewn b.o. using your fingers to run the yarn tail through the stitches, if you like you may use a very big crochet hok to hel you sew the stitches. You may also substitute the needle (or just its tip) with a 6 mm needle to make things easier. 


Seam the short sides together still using either your fingers or the crochet hook.
Wash the cowl in warm water and let it dry (veru slowly) on a flat surface.

November 25, 2011

A loud POP

Often enough the foreign knitters think that since so many gorgeous yarns are produced in italy, this country must be a sort of Mecca of good knitting. Sometimes I wonder how can be people who knit, out there, when the best instructions that Italian books can give about knitting are like this example.
Sorry, guys: I know, this is bad porn
Yes, the text explains exactly what you seem to understand frm the picture: to cast-on on a circular needle, cast-on on a straight and transfer all the stitches. That's the best circular cast-on you can work according to them. On reading this I heard a loud "POP" and it took me a few moments to understand that it wasm't from some outside sourche: it was my brain popping apart!

November 20, 2011

November 15, 2011

Lots of goodies!

The envelopes
This morning I found several envelopes awaiting me on my desk, all of them from the UK.
There was a used book (part of a fantasy series by Harry Turtledove of which the first three had been translated in italian while the other three were left untranslated. I got the second.hand books through Abebooks), 12 and 15 mm needle tips for my Denise set (I alteady have them for my KnitPro, but the Denise cords support much better the weight involved with bulky and extrabulky knitting so I decided to get these new tips) and a lovely spindle from Deborah Gray.
Books, needle tips and that lovely spindle
It's one of her Deluxe Spindles, individually turned by artisan Murray Dunan in Auchterarder, not very far north of Edinburgh. The spindle is made for bottom whorl spinning and sports an elegant thistle head finish on the shaft to anchor the yarn with a half-hitch for spinning bottom-whorl (thistle is Scottish national flower, which always makes me think about inviting some Scottish people to a bagna cauda dinner with lots of cardi gobbi stalks to dip in the garlic, oil and anchovy sauce). I requested a small personalization and Mr Dunan fixed a hook on the shorter end of the shaft for top-whorl spinning, since I am pretty good at using the half-hitch on the longer end of the shaft, but I suck at top-whorl half-hitching. Mr Dunan then offered me an extra treat by making my own spindle a very special one with a wonderfully patterned whorl made ith some special wood. And I love it. Really! I mean, check out how beautiful it is!
And, yes, it came padded in lots of wool...

November 12, 2011

Good evening

As Berlusconi was finally quitting I was happily and quickly purling on the stockinette section of this wool and silk shawl.

November 10, 2011

November 9, 2011

Knitting Big

I adopted a couple of hanks of a new yarn called Big from an Italian spinnery, Bracco. It's an alpaca-wool-plastic blend in a really HUGE version. A 100 grams hank is only 40 meters long! Despite being 50% plastic it has a really nice feel, it's soft and very natural feeling, it even smells lightly of "animal", a slight odor that goes away with a light wash. Even the structure is interesting, since it looks like a single ply but instead it's made of 6 very lightly spun plies.
I knitted it into an easy short rowed cowl and a 15 mm (US 19) needle at 6 sts to 10 cm (4"); it's soft and plushy, like a cushion abd it takes a really short time to knit it up. "Fun" one would think...
Big, the cowl!
Nope. It took me just this one knit to make understand i full that I do not like in the least knitting with such huge needles and such low tension. It tires me out and makes my wrists hurt. Sorry, guys! The yarn is a treat despite the hight acrylic content, but knitting it for me is a bit of a threat.

November 6, 2011

Things I like about knitting top-down

Is no verdammt leftovers!

Envelope hat
Knitted Envelope Hat

This is an envelope hat I knitted with an 80 gram of yarn dyed with 100% natural dyes by artisan Paola Della Pergola. I used Turkish cast-on and EZ's sewn bind-off (she calls it "casting-on casting-off"), both firsts. I will try to write down the pattern. The yarn costs 8 euro per 100 grams, each skein is separately weighted and priced. For more informations about Paola's yarns check out her blog.

November 4, 2011

Season Finale in italiano

per chi preferisse lavorare da schemi in italiano, segnalo che il mio collo Season Finale è stato pubblicato in italiano su

November 1, 2011

The ogival issue continues

Finding it totally impossible to knit with the ogival tipped needles on Saturday I decided to go hunting for a new set of dpns. Unfortunately it seems that in Milano it's nearly impossibe to lay hold of an half-decent set. After touring half of the shops I finally hit a paleozoic seller who had these alluminium needles dating probably to the 1950's. Something a knitter from the US or UK would probably regard as a vintage piece and which here are to be considered the state of the art. They are longer and heavier than I would have liked, but at least they have dull but acceptable conical tips with which I can even cable without a cable needle. Yet, when on Sunday I swatched some yarn on my knitpro set I almost cried at how unbelievably easier it is to knit with proper tools.

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