My Very Wurm Cowl

Wurm Cowl, similar to the Wurm Hat knit with 2 skeins of Malabrigo Worsted in color #98, Tuareg. I CO 210 stitches but other than that, copied almost exactly this beautiful cowl, and here are her directions: CO 200sts; After 3 rounds of garter, simply alternated purl 5 rounds/knit 4 rounds similar to Wurm, then ended with 3 rounds of garter (after purl 5 rounds), then BO knitwise.


Redwork embroidery was popular in the Victorian era and refers to the color, always worked in Turkey Red floss. Redwork has been on and off a passion of mine. As a newlywed I fell in love with the sweet little designs, almost always flowers, animals or children. I've made several Redwork quilts over the years and would like to share a few of them with you, the ones I still have in my possession! The first one shown above was made in 1986 and was often on my son's bed. When he was little we had such fun finding the pictures and talking about them. One square shows our three dogs we had at the time, Trapper, Woody and Sugar along with a few of their "favorite things". Really, writing about this now makes me a little teary, so many sweet memories. My now 27 year old son still says he loves this quilt.

Below is a quilt in progress. Started years ago and put on hold, with only half of the quilting done. It will be finished one day, I just have to be in the mood to quilt. You know how that is. The little girl holding her dollies, crying baby and the bird lady...too cute! In those close up shots you can see that after the squares are sewn together and before it's quilted, I use a herringbone stitch on the seam. The embroidery stitches used are mostly stem and outline stitch, a little bit of chain stitch and some French knots. I always use highest quality 100% natural muslin, and naturally I have to buy my floss in bulk! DMC #304.

Below is a baby quilt I made and never gifted! Yet.

This bin holds years of collected Redwork embroidery patterns. Often called Penny Squares, in the 1800's a square of muslin with a little design cost one penny. Designs were wildly collectible and girls and their mothers would share and trade.

BTW, this is a great travel project; a dozen squares, embroidery hoop, a few needles and a half dozen skeins of floss and you are ready to go, a very light-weight project.

This last one is vintage, not sure of the exact date. I found the finished squares at a flea market for $10 for the lot! I assembled the squares and quilted them. It's pretty delicate but did hang on our guest room wall for a time. I especially like the Little Red Riding Hood scenes, look at the one with "grandma" knitting!
For years I spent many happy hours stitching away, I still do when I would rather not knit, although that is a rare occasion. Writing this post was taking a little trip back in time, before knitting, when redwork was my passion. Thanks for coming with me!

Whiter Shade of Pale

Remember that song? I don't think I ever really understood the lyrics, but never mind, just so, so, so very good. About the time that song came out I left California for a European trip for 4 months. While there, I rarely heard any of the music I loved, but did learn to love one distinctly French song that was played non-stop over European radio. Neither my friend nor I could speak a work of French, but in those 4 months we had become experts in mimicking Jane Birkin's breathless, girly voice (complete with heavy breathing) singing Je T’aime … Moi Non Plus. Does anyone remember that song? BTW, I saw Jane Birkin on a TV interview a bit ago and in her 60's now she still looks beautiful.

If you read this blog often, you know I knit lots of white and shades of white and have shared most of them with you. Here are some I haven't shared on my blog, all in a whiter shade of pale.

Below is Martha by Kim Hargreaves, knit in discontinued Rowan 4-Ply Cotton. This pattern was very popular when it came out and I still love it. The next is another Kim Hargreaves called Red Cross. It's made from Rowan Polar, is warm and snuggly, but quite a bit hairy and linty. I think it's also a discontinued yarn. The fabulous buttons are bakelite from my grandmother's robe.

Pearly above it my absolute favorite sweater, my husband's favorite too. A Martin Storey design using Rowan 4-Ply Soft, a wonderful wool, and I think it has been discontinued too. Has it? I can't remember, I hope not! It's wonderful. This sweater has little pearls cuddling in each little cable nest. It's dreamy.

Below is a cardigan design by Debbie Bliss. The ribs turn into cables, very cute. It's made with Baby Cashmerino and is super soft.
Glade above is another Martin Storey design. So fun to knit, but took forever with fingering Rowan 4-Ply Cotton and size 2 needles! The design has all the bobbles and lace you would ever dare to put in a sweater. It was meant to be knit with Rowan Bamboo Soft, but from experience with that dreadful yarn, I knew it would grow into a cardigan sized for a linebacker. How did I know this? Because the beautiful sweater below, Amory by Kim Hargreaves, is knit in Bamboo Soft. A few wears and this sweater stretched to non-wearableness and could not be blocked back. Gifted to daughter who is a size larger, she loves it, that makes me happy. All's well that ends well. Note to self, steer clear of bamboo.

I just got back from a great week in Florida. I took several projects that needed finishing, and as soon as I get some pictures, I'll share them. And thank you Florida for having the most beautiful fall weather while we were vacationing.