Square 1

There is nothing quite like a never-ending crocheted granny square for comfort. It comforts me to make it, and it comforts me to wear it. Here’s one I finished a few years ago.

This is the first one I made from nice yarn. It’s all Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in various shades I had left over from other projects. The only exception is the scalloped edge, which I made from Madelinetosh Prairie, a lace weight yarn, also left over from another project.

This is large, as shawls go, I think about 52” square. I fold it into a triangle and start draping. When I’m done, usually I don’t need a coat. It’s 100% merino wool, so it’s pretty warm.

My idea for the color scheme was to do colors I see outside in early spring. I like how it turned out.

Cedar Shake Mitts

Continuing with my effort to catalog my older projects…

I made mine from Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light wool in the shade Fig. Perhaps you can tell my skeins didn’t match exactly. That’s part of using hand-dyed yarn: sometimes they match well, sometimes you spend a few days or weeks figuring out how to blend the different color variations together as seamlessly as possible, or figuring out what effect you want to make. This is what happens when you spend zero time on that because you didn’t expect to use the second skein for some reason. It’s not so bad, but it’s definitely visible.

I enjoyed these so much! I couldn’t find them at all this winter. Where in the world could they be? I was so careful with them. That’s my downfall, though. I put things in such a special place I can’t find them again. I’m sure they’ll turn up when I’m least expecting it.

The pattern is from the book Juju’s Loops, by Juju Vail and Susan Cropper, pictured below.

Elk in the Woods

It’s a funny sort of thing, part snuggly collar, part scarf. I use a pretty pin to hold it closed. A shawl stick should work, too.

I knitted my version in Madelinetosh Pashmina. The shade is called Antler. I found the pattern in Juju Vail and Susan Cropper’s book Juju’s Loops, pictured below.

Crow Waltz Shawl

This is a pattern from Juju Vail for Loop London.

I knitted my version in Madelinetosh Pashmina yarn. I used the shades Tern and Opaline.

This is another scarf people seem to notice and like when they see it in person, so I think it would make a nice gift if you know someone who appreciates handmade stuff.

I do see now for the first time that the point is a little off. How in the world did I never notice? Hmm. I wonder if I made a mistake somewhere…

Feather Duster shawl

Pattern by Susan Lawrence.

I knitted my version in Madelinetosh Pashmina, a wonderfully soft blend of merino wool, cashmere, and silk. The shade is called Composition Book Gray.

I was on the fence about trying the yarn or the pattern until I saw another person’s version on Ravelry in this exact yarn and color. I loved it so much I ordered the yarn immediately. I believe it was Beth Kling whose version I copied.

I wonder if you can see a theme is emerging: sometimes I don’t realize the potential of an idea until I see someone else has done a beautiful thing. I think this is great inspiration for us to show our work to one another. It has been such a help to me, anyway, to see what other people do with what’s available to us.

The pattern is not at all difficult once you get going, and it’s very gratifying to work. People seem to like this shawl when they see it in person, and I’ve knitted the pattern as a gift at least once I can think of, if you happen to be looking for patterns which are well-received and not too taxing to complete.

Ishbel shawl

Ishbel, pattern by Ysolda Teague.

My version, knitted in Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light. The shade is Tart. I don’t have the skill to photograph the color accurately. It is dark and luminous and rich, the most beautiful red.

I use this at Christmas. I tried once for Reformation Day, but it’s still too warm and humid here for wool shawls.


My version of Hansel, a pattern by Gudrun Johnston.

This is another of my older projects, still, I haven’t even blocked it yet. It looked so comfy and cozy I wrapped it around myself and have used it just like it came off the needles.

I have folded it into a triangle because it’s large, but it’s really an entire square blanket/shawl. I love having beautiful, socially acceptable blankets to hide in, if need be, when I am out in public; they’re portable blanket forts. You can’t exactly carry your bedspread around, but this? No one bats an eye.

It’s all merino wool, so it’s warm with the two layers. I used one of my favorite yarns, Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light, in the following shades: Antique Lace, Luster, Olivia, and Flour Sack. I can’t remember the name of the darker brown color! I’ll update* if I remember it.

*Update: Was it Dust Bowl? I think it may have been.


I realized I hadn’t posted this sweater I finished more recently than the other things I’ve been cataloging.

The pattern isn’t new, but I didn’t get around to trying it until last year.

It’s Ranunculus, by Midori Hirose.

This was such a quick, easy, fun sweater to make. I’ve intended to do more, but, well, what happened was that I finished this right before Covid really hit, and I had Big Plans. Then, everything went bonkers and I forgot all about plans to make anything ever again, pretty much.

I need to snap out of it.

Anyway, I made this out of small quantities of a variety of yarns I had leftover from other projects, and from a shawl I made that it had become clear I was never going to wear. I ripped it out and did this sweater instead and that was the best thing that could’ve happened to the shawl.

What do we have here? There’s Madelinetosh Vintage in Antler, Madelinetosh DK in Mansfield Garden Party, Madelinetosh Tosh Merino in both Rosewood and Gossamer, and Manos del Uruguay Wool Clasica in a shade which I believe was called Cameo.

It uses surprisingly little yarn, at least, I thought so. I cannot stress enough how quick this was to make. Very satisfying.

You can see the sweater is pretty loosely knit, which, as it turns out, is an excellent quality, because it would be way too hot for me to wear otherwise. The weight of the sweater pulls the little flowers open so they’re more visible than when it’s laying flat.

I love it. Definitely need to make at least one more. When I snap out of it.

Tea Leaves Cardigan

My version of the Tea Leaves Cardigan, pattern by Melissa LaBarre. This is another old project.

It’s also another pattern that got a lot of attention when it was released. Rightly so, I think. One of the samples was knit out of Madelinetosh Tosh Merino, if I remember correctly. It’s this single-ply merino wool in worsted weight, so it has a soft-focus quality, and the colorway used in the sample was gorgeous. It was catnip to knitters, and it seemed like nearly everyone who posted on the knitting forum I used to frequent was making one. It’s really fun when everyone is excited about something.

I didn’t buy The Color, or even The Yarn. I was too late for that, being a person who contemplates projects for a long time before deciding what I want to do.

I used, instead, Madelinetosh Vintage in a shade called Fig. I love this color. I did my best to capture it on camera, but I still think it’s better in person.

The pattern is easy and fun. My gauge was off, so my sweater turned out a little larger than I intended. I don’t think it’s too large, though, just cozy. It’s very warm.

Below, you can see the edge of the sleeve. Mine kind of bell out a little, which I don’t mind.

Also, on this project I learned about doing a row or two of single crochet around the neckline if it’s stretching too much when you wear it. That helped it fit better.

Looking at it now, I wish we would have just a little longer with chilly weather so I could wear it more.

Prairie Shawl

Continuing with older projects, here is my Prairie shawl. It’s a pattern by Juju Vail and Susan Cropper, and it’s from here:

I love this book. I’ve done eight of the eleven projects in it, a lot for me.

The shawl was fun to knit, and it’s one of my favorite things I’ve made. I really want a snuggly, chunky version, so I need to get on that.

I used Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light yarn in the shade Candlewick. It’s still available! How did that happen? Ha.