The Eco Hero

ou compost every table scrap, your bicycle has more miles on it than your car, you look your best in compact fluorescent light and in your vocabulary, ‘disposable’ is a four letter word. You are, an Eco Hero.  And what does every superhero need?  A cape.

You realize that our planet is our most precious resource and that taking care of it should make every day Earth Day. You get up at the crack of dawn to take your recycling to the curb, so who says you shouldn’t look great doing it?

I found a lovely little thick and thin yarn called ‘Refashion’ by Plymouth Yarns and knew it was destined to be a cape.  The versatile open collar makes is fun to wear a variety of ways and it’s bright blues and greens are as pretty as earth from space. This recycled wool and cashmere yarn will make your little green heart go pitter patter.

It’s a quick knit and unique enough that you can share your vision for a better planet with everyone who asks about it. Here’s the pattern in a .pdf

Eco Hero Cape

For more on how to save the planet one knit at a time, check out last year’s Earth Day post…. Happy Earth Day and happy knitting.

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Mohair, Mo Patience

My first mohair project was nearly my last.  With thread sized yarn and size 2 needles, it took months to finish. I’m an instant gratification knitter, and a project that takes longer than a few days to finish is worse that writing a term paper.

But, the more I wore that scarf the more I loved the soft airy warmth of mohair and before I knew it, I was scouring ravelry for mohair patterns.

Then I stumbled upon the one…the one pattern that could entice me to pick up that super tiny, fuzzy little yarn and make a long term commitment.

The Mohair Minimalist top by Anna Kuduja has successfully redeemed mohair yarn for me.  The pattern is brilliantly simple and easily sized to fit perfectly. With less than two balls of mohair and knit entirely on circular needles with no seaming, it was a cinch to knit. But, that’s not to say it was without complication.  These complications were entirely user error of course, but I thought I’d share with you the errors of my ways to save you the trouble knitting yours. And so I present…the anatomy of a mohair sweater.

1. You’ve cast on, you’re rolling right along, you’re thinking to yourself…I’m gonna finish this thing in no time.  Don’t get cocky, because, boom…you double your stitches for the shoulders and cut your speed in half.

2. Whew, you made it to the shoulders.  Be sure you cast off the arm holes VERY loosely.  Because nobody wants the dreaded ‘sausage arm’ look.

2.5. You’ve been measuring the length from the arm holes and it looks like you just might finish using only one skein!  You start hunting for new patterns to use that second ball of mohair – well don’t. You’ve still got quite a ways to go.

3. Alright, the length from the arm hole seems plenty long right?  I bind off loosely, or so I thought. I can barely get my head through it.  I rip out the bind off edge, but not before the mohair puts up a valiant fight.  Ok, I bind off again with a size 11 needle so it’s extra loose.  Yikes, it’s a crop top!  The mohair and I go one more round while I rip the edge out again and continue on.  It’s at this point, that I refer back to the pattern which suggests the top to bottom length is about 60 cm, or 23.5 inches.  That’ll teach me to knit without reading directions.

4. I add another 7 inches and bind off for the last time with size 11 needles.  Full success!

Lessons learned: be patient, read the directions, and when those directions say bind off loosely..they really mean it.  All in all, I love this pattern and this sweater and I’d definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to try their hand at mohair.  Learn from my mistakes and you and mohair may just start a relationship as warm and fuzzy as this sweater.