Elinor Brown Knits

Knitting Designs by Elinor Brown

Category: manly knitting

FO: Central Park Hoodie

The toddler sewing pictures I promised will have to be put on hold a little longer, since the garments in question seem to be perpetually in the laundry. In the meantime, check out my new sweater!

As if this cardigan needs any introduction…

Central Park Hoodie in Tahki Donegal Tweed

It’s a Central Park Hoodie. You’ve seen it before. In fact, you’ve probably knit one yourself. More than 1400 Ravelers have.

Central Park Hoodie in Tahki Donegal Tweed

Pattern: Central Park Hoodie

Yarn: Tahki Donegal Tweed in #850 (“Obsidian”), every last yard of 6 skeins

Needles: US 6 & US 8

Modifications: I knit the 36″ size exactly from the pattern but I added two inches in length because I wanted to wear this as a coat.

What's with the heavy wool hoodie in June?

This is definitely an outerwear garment. Tahki Donegal Tweed is every bit as hot as you would imagine. In spite of its warmth, I have little doubt my CPH will become my most worn hand knit garment. In fact, I’m contemplating a second CPH in something softer and more appropriate for indoor wear.

Oh my god, I was so hot with all the buttons done!

You cannot possibly imagine how hot I was just taking these pictures. I could only keep it buttoned for a few minutes. Finishing a heavy wool sweater in 90 degree weather? Suboptimal.

Hood cable

While I love the tweed I chose, I admit that I regretted not using my Skye Tweed stash having seen the CPH iSeL finished recently – I even have the same color stashed! But no, that particular yarn was already set aside to copycat Christy’s Tweedy Aran.

A few weeks ago, I looked through some cable stitch books and swatched a cabled sweater for Aaron, what I’ve dubbed “Aaron’s Aran”. I initially intended to use Harrisville New England Highland but when Ram Wools had a sale on Selkirk, I bought it instead. Lots of it. Even without the sale, Selkirk sells for $5.95 for 273 yds of worsted weight yarn. In fact, my Selkirk and Highland swatches feel the same and both knit up at exactly same gauge.

Swatching Aaron's Aran

And now for the big argument: what size to make? The knitter would prefer to finish in her lifetime and to fit his 35″ chest. The tall, skinny man who buys clothes far too large for him, would prefer the 44″ size. Where is the middle ground? What would you do?

FO: Thrummed Mittens

Thrummed Mittens

Pattern: from Yarn Forward

Yarn: 1 skein Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Worsted in Onyx and about 2.5 oz bluefaced leicester fleece? roving? I take pride in not knowing the difference.

Thrummed Mittens

The end product is great. These will be the warmest mittens Aaron will ever have. The pattern is well written.

Now, for the rest of it. While this was an interesting (and stashbusting) project, the novelty soon wore off. I loathe Lamb’s Pride. I bought a few skeins of this as a relatively new knitter – before I knew better – and it’s just been stewing in stash for about 8 years. I hate that it’s a single ply, that it pills if you look at it funny, that it felts whether you’d like it or not, that it’s so very hairy. Its only redeeming quality is that it is no longer in my stash.

Thrummed Mittens

As for the thrums, I made 161 of them per mitten. In the process, I covered my living room in a fine layer of sheep fuzz. Realizing that my thrums looked remarkably like the clumps of undercoat that Petunia leaves all over our house, I decided to work in one, “personalized” Petunia thrum on the thumb. I couldn’t help it. The sad thing is that I probably should have just combed the dog out instead of buying fiber!

I’ve been hoping to finish up some of my UFOs this week so that I can start on the Ivy League Vest from the Winter 07 Interweave Knits. I bought some Harrisville New England Shetland at my LYS last week, swapping blues for the teal and loden. Glenna has a nice one going and she’s inspired me to give it a try.

Ivy League Vest

You will have to look elsewhere for 2007 retrospectives and 2008 resolutions. You saw the projects, you know what I made this year. You also know that I will not likely knit exclusively from my stash for the next year so why pretend? I am looking forward to a new 2008 project gallery set in Flickr, the beginning of a new semester and an end to media hype about year-in-reviews (Talk of the Nation today? a complete waste of air time), resolutions and diets. I wish you all the best in 2008!

Hand Knits in Action

Thank you for all of the sweet comments about my DROPS cardigan! In spite of a few quibbles with it, I am quite pleased with the outcome! And the yarn! Oh, the yarn. You all need some Queensland Kathmandu DK Tweed. Did I mention that it’s the same as Jo Sharp Silkroad DK Tweed? I suspected as much but a trip to my LYS confirmed it: the Jo Sharp yarn color numbers are exactly the same as the Queensland color numbers. Coincidence? I doubt it.

I thought I’d distract you this morning with some hand knits in action:


This Bea Ellis hat and Lamb’s Pride scarf I made Aaron are the only things I’ve knit him that see reliable wear. To be fair, they’re the only things I’ve knit him that are very nice. You should see this sweater I made him pre-blog – it’s positively hideous. In any case, his gloves aren’t very warm and I thought I would make him a pair of thrummed mittens for nighttime dog walking. He’s long maintained that mittens are far inferior to gloves in terms of dexterity but then again, dog walking requires little of that. And certainly, there will be very little range of motion in these babies. I got the idea from Jenna and then Pam had to go and cast on for some and, well, here you go.

Thrummed Mittens

In a rash of vacation startitis, I also cast on a few more projects. At least the rest of you can blame holiday knitting. I swore off that this year so I have no excuse. Below, a top-down raglan in Beaverslide wool and the second Drunken Bee to match the sock Stella so ably knit for me. I keep casting on for more because none of these are (yet) purse projects. The sweater was ideal until it grew too big to fit in the purse. The sock was great for the ribbing but I haven’t yet memorized the pattern and so I can’t knit and do anything else. The mitten pattern is easy to memorize and nice and portable but the thrums are decidedly not easily transportable.

Top-Down Raglan

The Second Sock Challenge

I’m not even going to add these to my Ravelry project list until they’re done because I don’t really want to see my WIP list go up. What denial, eh?

Socktoberfest, wait for me!!

I didn’t plan on participating in Lolly’s Socktoberfest this year, mostly because October started out as a terribly busy month. I also felt guilty about starting new socks when I had three pairs unfinished. Well, four to be completely honest, but I had almost resigned myself to never finishing these:


Yarn: Fortissima Sock

Pattern: a toe-up stockinette sock with 3×1 rib leg

I present the most painful socks I have ever made. In fact, I’m fairly certain these took a chunk of my soul with them. What was I thinking? Size 11 man socks in a terribly boring pattern on size 0 needles at a gauge of 10 sts/in? How could I possibly finish them after Aaron admitted he’d prefer a different kind of sock? The first sock required no less than six different bind off attempts before I found one stretchy enough. For the record, that was the k2tog method with a size 10 needle (yes, you read that correctly).


What was I thinking when I started these a mere 15 months ago? I’m not entirely sure. I imagine my judgment was clouded by the fact that I was 9 months pregnant, nesting and bored to tears. In this hormonally induced state, I wanted to make my dear sweet husband happy with some fine gauge socks. So what changed in the intervening time to make me loathe this project? Well, if you guessed pushing out a 7 lb 12 oz baby, you’re a winner!!!!!!!! The second sock has been 1″ shy of completion for over a year. I knew I would never knit that last inch. What would you have done? I ripped back the first sock to match the second and cast off. Done. Now Aaron has at least one pair of nice socks. Was that so difficult?


Yarn: Claudia’s Handpainted in Blue Sky from Mintyfresh!

Pattern: Minty’s Anastasia Socks


I started these in July but for whatever reason, I let the second sock languish on the needles for a few months. The pattern is wonderful, the socks fit perfectly and they’re for ME! A great combination!


To celebrate finishing two longstanding WIPs, I cast on a sock using the Fleece Artist Sea Wool that Ann sent me over the summer. I have never felt a nicer yarn. Never. It took every ounce of restraint I had to refrain from ordering 75893759843758934 more skeins of this stuff.


FO: Gentleman’s Fancy Socks

Thank you so much for your input about the ribbon on the baby tank. I haven’t decided what to do yet but Toni had the bright idea to tack the bow down! Why didn’t I think of that??? Of course! I might try tacking the bow down in front first before turning it around to the back. There’s something about a bow in back that screams 1986 to me.

I was looking forward to running a 10K last weekend but I woke up on Sunday to thunder, lightning and a heavy downpour. I’m still pretty disappointed about it because there aren’t many 10Ks in my area and it’s my favorite distance. I’m thinking of running one in Kansas City in early June, although the logistics of getting to the race and dealing with baby care might make that impossible. We’ll see. Instead of running this weekend, this is what I did:
That swift and ball winder is addicting!

I finished the Gentleman’s Fancy Socks this weekend. I apologize that every picture of these shows a different color – navy blue is impossible to photograph!!!

Pattern: Gentleman’s Fancy Socks from Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush
Yarn: Lang Jawoll in 85.025 (navy blue)
Needles: US 2, US1
Modifications: I don’t care for leg shaping so I knit the cuff and the first repeat on size 2 needles and then switched to size 1s for the desired shaping. It worked out very well.

You should see how little yarn I had left over. Maybe I’ll get a picture of that for later this week. It was really astounding. Both pairs of socks for my in-laws really came down to the last few yards!
There are two new pairs of socks on the needles, both using Woolarina sock yarn. The first is Craftaholic’s Orchid socks in Raspberry. Instead of doing a lace repeat in front and in back, I chose to do it in front with ribbing halfway down the back followed by stockinette stitch like the Canal du Midi socks.
The unblocked version looks all crumpled but check out some of the other Orchid socks on Flickr. That Craftaholic has some great sock patterns!

This yarn is also Woolarina in Grapefruit. I bought this ages ago because I loved the colors. At the time, I must have forgotten my contempt for the pooling that so often comes with variegated yarn. The yarn has been languishing in stash because I didn’t know what to do with it. Since the Orchid socks require more attention to knit than I’d like, I thought I’d start a mindless ribbed sock for reading/studying with this yarn. Of course, I’ve taken every precaution and I’m alternating between skeins to minimize any pooling. It’s going well so far, although I’m only a few inches in. Perhaps you’ll see some pictures later this week. I think I’ll try 4-5 inches of ribbing followed by plain stockinette. I’ve never made a stockinette sock so this will be a first!