A Thrilling Thursday

Just can’t contain myself right now.

I got the mail and WOW!

Look what was in it:


Number 2 has arrived.


Maybe that was an unfortunate little sentence.

But any-who, yes number 2 arrived…Mason-Dixon Knitting Field Guide Number 2!

Kay Gardiner and Ann Shayne pretty much just made my day.  Big time.

I loved the first one but I really, really love this second one.

I am drooling over the Ann Budd sock pattern “Apres-Anything.  The Asterisk/Dot Hat and Cowl, more drool.  Then a hush falls over the crowd for the fabulous Hadley Pullover.  Shiver shiver. Gonna do the socks first.  Then it will be a toss of the dice for what’s next.  We really have the best of all worlds with this little handy field guide.  There are terrific patterns, glorious color work charts, and the famous Mason-Dixon humor.  Dang!

Happy Thursday!

Here’s a link to Mason-Dixon knitting so you can get your field guides if you haven’t.


Look around there for a little while.  You will be so entertained!  Get on their mailing list and you can preorder the next field guide like I have done for the first two. They also send you funny emails, especially on Saturdays.  Yep, so funny.

So happy to check the mail-y yours,

-Here’s my Pot O’Gold-this moment-



Oh, Gloves!

I really want to get these gloves done.  When a kid asks you for gloves or anything knit really, you squeal with delight and dig in.  Then glove reality sets in.  Oh, and I get distracted easily.  Squirrel.


These gloves have been on my needles for a while.  A looooong while.  Their time has come.  And I really mean it now.

I started the gloves from a pattern in “Men in Knits” by Tara Jon Manning.  Got one done and man, it was huge.  My gauge was right on, they just happen to be for bigger man hands than my kid has, I guess.  So rip, rip, rip.  I started over and woohoo…one glove done.

Then there is the face I make.  There needs to be TWO.  So I started up right away again.



Okay, then stuff happened everywhere but with the glove.  But today is the day.

Do you ever have a moment when you pick up something you were knitting and then you say to yourself, “Doh!  Where was I?  What the heck is going on with this pattern?  What was I thinking? Someone bring me a donut.”  I’m sure it goes something like that.


(Buffy looks a little worried back there)

I am now staring at my notes that I made for making this pattern smaller.  I wish I could have left better notes for my future self to read.


Do not worry.  I will figure this out and then there will be a finished picture.  Can you still bring me a donut?

Gloves-will-get-done-ily yours,

-Here’s my Pot O’ Gold-this moment-


Jump on the Knitting Brioche Wagon!

Brioche knitting seems to be the topic of the day lately.  Last week I was able to go to Stitches Midwest 2016 in Chicago and I heard a lot of buzz about it from knitters walking around in the market.  Brioche also makes me think of delicious bread.  Whatcha gonna do?

Happily I stumbled upon KnitCircus Yarns’ booth:


and saw this beautiful cowl that was the squishiest and loveliest rainbow creation called the Chromatic Cowl!   Here’s a link by the way…you are welcome!:


My friend and I squished it for quite a while.  At first it looks like a ribbed stitch but if you start picking around at it, which we did, you can see something strange was going on with that ribbing.

A couple of months ago I had picked up Nancy Marchant’s book “Knitting Brioche:  The Essential Guide to the Brioche Stitch” but hadn’t yet had a chance to check it out.


Well, hot dog!  Things worked out.  The book has some great tips for everything Brioche.  It did give me a little twinge in my neck however as I really just wanted to dig in and make something simple right away.  The Chromatic Cowl is the perfect add-on for this book.  Amy Detjen, who wrote the pattern, mentions on the pattern page that it’s a pretty easy pattern if you know how to do Brioche knitting but definitely refer to Nancy’s book for help as she’s the expert.  Perfect!

I had no problem figuring out what to do in the pattern after I read some helpful hints in the book.  Make sure you don’t cast on too tight.  I used the German Twisted Cast On method.  This does take a bit more yarn to cast on so be generous in this area.  I picked out a beautiful yarn from KnitCircus Yarns along with a natural color for the two-color Brioche:


Try not to start your project while you are watching an exciting women’s rugby match on the Olympics, okay?  You might have trouble.  I know…

Here’s my start:


You can see I’ve progressed pretty well here:


This is just SO soft.

Now don’t laugh too hard while reading the knitting abbreviations as you will see a BRP in there.  Psssst…it’s not a real Burp…but you sure won’t forget it now.

If you have any troubles, just look up Nancy Marchant’s videos and you’ll be fine.

Get on that wagon…the Brioche Knitting Wagon!

Brioche-ly yours,

-Here’s my Pot O’Gold-this moment-


Queen of Thorns

Every Sunday in April, May, and June I happily anticipate the newest episode of Game of Thrones.  Especially this year.  Last season was very emotionally trying and it sure seemed like it was time for some good things to happen to my favorite characters.  But you just never know.  I stumbled across a Mystery Knit-Along called Queen of Thorns from Jimmy Beans Wool:


I don’t trust this show very much in regards to giving me good things to happen so I thought this would be the perfect idea!  I’ll have a project to work on while watching so whatever devastating things would be coming my way at least I will have a buffer.  Plus I can kind of look away at the very graphic things that always happen during the show.  So the idea was, every week a new clue would be sent to do with the project being completed in about a month.

The Queen of Thorns character is a little feisty old lady who puts everyone in their place.  Seems admirable.  The colors were gorgeous, too.

With Mystery Knit-Alongs I always hesitate to jump in too quickly in case there are mistakes in the clues.  I love that there are groups on Ravelry http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/queen-of-thorns-mkal-2016 to discuss any trouble or questions.  I waited a little bit to get started and just watched the first episode without the project in my hand.  Then I checked out the group discussion.  Not too bad!  There weren’t too many snags.   So I started after the first episode.  Also…SPOILER…but everyone’s heard by now…Jon Snow is ALIVE!!  Such happy news.  But we can never let our guard down as there are many opportunities for characters to get taken down.

I’ve taken my project along on a lot of car rides and scenic tours:


(This was a fun day in Stevens Point, Wisconsin at the Schmeekle Nature Preserve…go visit there…it’s amazing!  Also check out their trail system):


I’m a little behind the month to finish but only have about 12 rows to go to finish.  I’ve hidden behind the shawl a few times while watching the show.  Thank goodness it was there.  Happily the character Queen of Thorns is still with us…for now.

This lady was watching me…I think she would like to start her own MKAL.

Where’s your favorite spot to work on projects?

Coming soon:  Some friends and I are tackling the Vitamin D Sweater:


I did start it before I finished my mystery shawl…but is that really news to anyone??


So much knitting and so little time-ily yours,

-Here’s my Pot O’Gold-this moment-




Fab Fingerless Gloves: I love them so much!


Can we just take a moment to reflect on the greatness of these little beauties called fingerless gloves?  You can DO stuff with your hands and yet your hand stays warm.  Magic?  Perhaps.  Also these aren’t really gloves as there aren’t any spots for fingers but they can’t be fingerless mittens because that just sounds ridiculous.  There’s no end to their awesome mystery.  I dug out a few of mine as my newest driving kid was asking about gloves or mittens to use.  Hey!  Shazam!  Accessories!!!  I have those!

Back in the day of my shop I would  use a quick fingerless glove to show how amazing striping yarn would work up.  Usually I just made one because well, I got a little distracted and more yarn just keep coming in and I wanted to see what those would knit up like. Yes, such a struggle.  This little pattern is so great and easy that you could make a bunch of sets in just a couple of Netflix binge sessions.  (Please please watch Vampire Diaries…)



Anyway, here’s the pattern I used:

Size 5 double points

sport, DK, or worsted weight yarn:  about 100-120 yds.

gauge:  4.5 stitches/inch roughly

Cast on 48 stitches to your double points.  Join in the round.  K2 P2 around.  Continue in this pattern until the glove measures about 6 inches.

Now here comes the super fun part for your thumb:

k2 p2 for 8 stitches then bind off 4 stitches and continue pattern to end of round.

Next round:  do first 8 stitches in pattern and then cast on four stitches and continue in pattern to end of round.

Continue to do K2 P2 for about 2 to 2 1/2 inches or as your hand requests!

Bind off in pattern.  Weave in ends.  Snuggle your chilly hand in and stick up your thumb for a job well done!

Please do feel free to adjust as needed for your hand.  Add a different stitch pattern if you want.  Adjust lengths.  Do a jig.  Enjoy!


-Here’s my pot o’ gold- this moment










North Winds Buster Cowl

Here’s the quickest, coziest, and easiest thing you could do right now!

North Winds Buster Cowl

Here’s what you need:

Size 13 – 16” Circular Needle
Approximately 150 yards Bulky Yarn

Gauge: 2 stitches per inch


Loosely cast on 80 stitches. Being careful not to twist, join stitches in a round. K2 P2 around for each round. Continue this pattern until Cowl measures approximately 12 inches. Bind off in pattern. Weave in ends. Put on and snuggle in. Enjoy!

©All rights reserved Shana McIlheran


Thanks to my beautiful model!!

-Here’s my pot o’ gold-this moment!