Hello friends, today on the Knits of Steele knitting blog I want to tell you a bit more about my latest knitting design the Cass Cowl. This knitting pattern is squishy, it’s cozy, it has a big braided cable and twisted rib. This knit cowl design has everything I love and that’s why I named it after me!
This chunky knit cowl came to be way way back, I’m not even sure when. I think it was some time in 2019. I knew when I designed it that I eventually wanted to release the knitting pattern, but I lost my confidence a bit and even though I wrote the pattern up I never put it through testing or had it released.
But I set a goal in 2020 that I’m continuing this year to design more knitting patterns and release more of the knitting patterns that I already have written and ready to go. So starting of 2021’s schedule of releases here (finally) is the Cass Cowl knitting pattern!
I named this pattern after myself as a joke at first. It was a placeholder name until I could think of something better, but it just stuck and so it has remained the Cass Cowl. It feels like the right name for this knit design.
And the reason that it is a fitting name for this knitting pattern is that this knit cowl has so many of the design features that I love. Starting of with twisted rib. I’m not sure why I love twisted rib so much, but I do! It just adds a little something extra to a hat brim or sock cuff, or in this case the edges of a knit cowl, over traditional ribbing.
I designed this cowl knitting pattern when I was going through a cable phase. The big braided cable is offset to the side and starts right from the beginning of the cowl and goes right to end integrated into the twisted rib. For obvious reasons, this giant braided cable is my favourite part of this knit design.
And it’s all knit out of super cozy and squishy super bulky yarn!
I used Lion Brand Wool Ease Thick & Quick for this cowl, it takes just over 2 balls to complete. I used the colour Spice Market for this pattern, I’m in love with the rose gold, pink and yellow tones in this yarn! Unfortuantely, I think this colourway has been discontinued 😦
But no need to worry because this cowl looks great in any colour! It suits variegated and solid yarns just fine.
This knit cowl is honestly so squishy and cozy. It’s one of the warmest knit accessories I own and I always pull it out on super cold days. It’s large enough to come up and cover half of your face to ensure warmth, but also that you can still see! But it’s not so bulky that it’s uncomfortable and you can easily push it down to sit under or around your chin.
It keeps the wind out when it’s tucked into the collar of your coat and when paired with a hat it keeps your head and neck totally warm and covered from wind and snow.
As most knitters can tell you, it’s really easy to get carried away with projects, to get side tracked with new yarn and new cast ons. It’s possible to do a lot of knitting and feel like you accomplished nothing! So for 2020 I set some knitting goals to keep me on track.
At the beginning of 2020, I wrote out my knitting goals for the year. It was actually one of my first posts on this knitting blog! Of course when I wrote this blog I had no idea the turn that 2020 would take… But despite being thrown for a loop by a global pandemic and seemingly endless months of lockdown – I made some good progress on my knitting goals!
Knitting goal 1: Colours
The colours that I wanted to knit with this year were one of my goals. This was because in 2019 I felt like a lot of my projects were really dark neutrals – there was A LOT of navy blue in 2019.
I wanted to use more bright colours because I really love bright pinks and teals and greens, but have never really brought them into my wardrobe.
I think I did pretty well with this goal. Here are some of my colourful projects from 2020.
This was my Christmas Eve Cast on in 2019, but I didn’t finish it until mid-February. I absolutely love the colours I used a mini set from Holy Press Fibres for the contrast colours. The main colour is Mushroom on Artfil Belle which is a fingering sock yarn, and one of my favourites. I love the contrast of the bright colours and this gorgeous tonal great.
This pattern was on my Ravelry queue for ages, I had a really hard time choosing colours. I knew I wanted to use Magician as the main colour, and I bought that yarn first while I made up my mind about the second colour.
I actually used a colour wheel to pick this contrast colour. I highly recommend using a colour wheel if you’re like me and bad at coming up with combinations. I think I almost used a creamy white instead of this peach!!
I used a Hawthorne fade set from Knit Picks for this sweater and it took me a few tries to figure out the colours and the pace of the fade. I’m not 100% happy with the fit of this sweater, it’s too tight and too big in all the wrong places, and I ran out of yarn so the sleeves are an awkward length. But I love the colours!
And I used this light neutral colour for my Simone Pullover, which is totally out of my comfort zone and I loved how it turned out!
These last two sweaters are my biggest fails towards goal number 3…stashbusting…two new sweater quantities definitely weren’t in the plans for 2020…OH WELL!
I have my Coziest Memories blanket to use up my fingering weight scraps. But one of my goals for 2020 was to knit some scrappy knitting projects that weren’t for fingering weight.
My success towards this goal has been so-so…
I knit the My Little Secret Crop by Jessie Maed Designs at the beginning of lockdown in March, actually I knit two of them. This was a really good project for scraps, but as I used fingering weight held together it didn’t quite meet my requirement of scrappy knitting projects that weren’t fingering weight.
For my second My Little Secret Crop I used Nomadic Yarns self striping yarn held with some speckled Hawthorne fingering and it Love the way it turned out. This was a serious game of yarn chicken, by the end I had just a bit of the striping yarn left over.
I knit the Falling For You cowl by Leslie Alcock. It’s worsted weight and you just need a bit of each colour. It’s designed to be 4 colour blocks and that’s how I knit it, but for my next one I want to do smaller stripes of many colours and that will be perfect for using up worsted weight scraps.
This year, I sought out to solve my own problem when it came to having lots of super bulky scraps. I didn’t have enough of one colour to knit a whole hat so I designed this scrappy knit hat just a few days ago.
I have so many bits of super bulky yarn so I will definitely be making more of these knit hats in all sorts of colour combinations! You can find the free knitting pattern here.
Knitting goal 3: Stash busting
I had some great success with this goal. I knit 37 projects in 2020 and nearly all of them were using up yarn I already had in stash including several sweater quantities.
I have quite a bit of this fuzzy yarn leftover so I need to come up with something to make, I’m thinking a cozy cowl would be perfect!
And here’s how I failed:
Given I knit so many projects with yarn I had in my stash, I’m not sure I’d call it a failure, but I certainly bought more yarn this year than I wanted to…well than I planned to, because I certainly wanted to buy all of this yarn (and more)!
Outside of the yarn for my Simone Pullover and my City Limits, most of my new yarn came from the Great Toronto Yarn Hop – you can read about my haul from that event here.
Sweater quantity for the For Fox Sake sweater. Although in my defense…this was a pattern from my Ravely queue, so it’s a de-stash of my queue LOL.
And some sock yarn! The bubblegum pink is going to be a pair of Shag Carpet Shorites, I’ll hold the yarn double. I don’t have plans for the self striping skein yet…definitely socks though!
there’s some of the other pretty yarn I didn’t get to this year…somehow in all the knitting I did there is actually yarn I didn’t use! It’s almost unbelievable. However, I saw a moth the other day so most of it is packed up safe in vacuum bags and not fit to be photographed!
Knitting goal 4: Designing
The final goal I set was to design, and actually release, more of my knitting patterns. I have a tendency to design something and then lose the nerve to actually put it out into the world.
In 2020 I released six knitting patterns, many of them are free knitting patterns on this blog!
One of these six patterns is the Twister Mitts
I’m pretty proud of my progress this year, but I did design two pairs of socks that never saw the light of day so I still have some work to do in this area.
I cannot believe that November is over and it’s already time for another monthly round-up! The monthly round-up post is my opportunity to share with you what I’m knitting, my works in progress, my knit finished objects, knitting patterns I’m working on and MORE.
In this edition: my woeful neglected WIPs, a FREE hat pattern and my new crafting obsession…let’s dive in!
Current Knitting Projects
For Fox Sake Sweater
I wrote about this knit colourwork sweater in my October Round-up, and I had about 20 rows left in the yoke. Now I have maybe 5-7 rows left. I haven’t worked on it for the past few weeks, but I am done the foxes!
This is going to be my last sweater of 2020, if I finish it this year at all and it’s looking very possible that I won’t. But once I get through the yoke and the sleeve separation my pace should pick up quite a bit.
Vampire Vibes Socks
For a second I thought For Fox Sake was my only WIP, but I am also working on a pair of knit socks. These were my Halloween Cast-on if such a thing exists. I’m using KnitPicks Felici in the colour Vampire Vibes.
In my last post I wrote about my experience with my first afterthought heel and I’m going to do another afterthought heel on this pair.
I haven’t knit much on them, I’m mostly pulling out this project for knitting during movie night.
Coziest Memory Blanket
I mean…this a a forever WIP and I promise I won’t include it in every monthly round-up, but I do want to chat a bit about my scrappy mitered square blanket. I started this blanket in August of 2019 and in August of this year I realized that I was barely 10% through.
A few weeks back I set a goal of doing 2 at least squares every Sunday and I’ve been pretty good so far at keeping that up. If I manage to stick to this goal all the way through the end of December I’ll be 20% done when 2020 ends!
Finished Objects AKA Mini-FO Spotlight
Bear Lak Cowl
The honour of being the only Knits of Steele FO for November 2020 goes to the Bear Lake Cowl (Ravelry link) by Kacey Herlihy. This was a test knit, when I saw Kacey post the testing call I fell in love with this pretty cowl. And it came at the perfect time in my cowl/DK obession!
I used KnitPicks Capra for this project. It was my first time using this yarn and definitely not the last. It is so cozy and warm, the squish factor is unreal.
New (FREE) Knits of Steele Design
I released a new free knitting pattern a couple weeks ago! Hazelnut Latte is a simple knit hat is a perfect wardrobe staple for Fall or Winter. I wrote about it on the blog when it was released, you can check that out here.
And you can download your free copy of Hazelnut Latte from my Ravelry store!
Part of the reason that my WIPs have been so neglected in November is that I’ve been really enjoying some other hobbies outside of knitting this month.
I did A LOT of knitting in the first three quarters of 2020 and I’m not losing my mojo by any means, but I have taken some time to think about slowing down in the amount of projects I’m knitting. Running out of space in my closet…
Near the end of October I thought that I might enjoy Cross Stitch so I purchased some beginner friendly kits and my journey began. And I love it! Look out knitting…just kidding, knitting will always be my love/obsession but it’s nice to have some variation in crafts.
I haven’t posted much about my cross stitching other than an Instagram story here and there when I’m popping in to give updates. I don’t intend for this to become a cross stitch blog LOL. But I do think I will write a post in the near future about getting started with cross stitch, what my experience was like and some tips for beginners, from a beginner.
I’m approaching my cross stitch journey way differently than my journey with knitting and I don’t think cross stitch will ever reach the same level for me as knitting has what with this blog and my Instagram account.
And that’s exactly how I want it! Posting about my knitting hasn’t taken away my love for it, but it has made that love different and I view cross stitch as a bit of an escape from that.
Like many people I got really into Animal Crossing new Horizons during lockdown when it came out earlier this year. But over the past couple months my enthusiasm for the game was waning. And while I didn’t feel like I wanted to play, I was sad about that because it’s such a cute game and I was having a lot of fun.
In November I’m happy to say that my Animal Crossing motivation was back and I’ve had a lot of fun improving my island (hello five stars!) and making plans for cute little areas I want to create in the future.
If you’re not familiar with Pikman it involves cute little creatures called, well Pikman! I had one of these games for my Nintendo DS and Matt surprised me with the new one for the Switch.
I just started so I’m not very far along, but this game is also going to be keeping me entertained when I’m not knitting!
This game is the reason I have played on the new Playstation more than Matt has! It’s so cute.
One of the reasons I am loving this game is the world is so whimsical and cute it’s nice to escape reality for a bit. And it’s like Pokemon, but sometimes I find Pokemon overwhelming, in Bugsnax it seems really do-able to actually catch all the critters.
This blog is already loooong enough so I’m going to try and keep the knitflix section short! Here are the shows, movies, podcasts I’ve been enjoying while I work on my knitting projects.
Buffy The Vampire Slayer
If you have been following me on Instagram than you know that Buffy is my favourite show. At the beginning of lockdown I started a re-watch and it has taken me until now to finish it.
This was my first time watching the series beginning to end since I first watched it back in 2015. When Buffy aired I was too young for it and although I caught some of the later episodes on cable when I was older I didn’t really follow the series.
Now that I’m finished the series I’m going on to read the comics which pick up where the show left off! And if I can get my hands on it, I’ll re-watch Angel which is a spinoff show.
Matt and I love adult animation and after watching Archer a dozen times and finishing Rick & Morty we needed something new. With the 4th season of Big Mouth coming this week we figured it was a great time to get into this show.
This show is SUUUUUPER for adults only – very R rated and if a lot of sexual content is going to make you uncomfy I would avoid it. That being said it is hilarious and has had us laughing out loud and cringing all at the same time.
Wine and Crime Podcast
I used to be really into the podcast Wine & Crime (this is another one with graphic content for adults only), but with so many podcasts to keep up with, and not having a commute in 2020 I’ve fallen behind on episodes. Near the end of November I started listening again and now I’m working towards getting all caught up.
I really love the format of this podcast compared to other true crime shows, it’s broken down into segments with each host tackling the background of their topic or a case. And they have a wine pairing for every show!
That’s a wrap on November 2020! I’m not sure how this post got so long when I feel like I’ve hardly done any knitting…I hope you enjoyed it. Please share with me in the comments what you’ve been up to this month.
What’s coming up in December….I mean who knows, but I think I can say that the December Round-up will include a few words about chunky knits, a new cross stitch project or two, some Christmas knitflixes and maybe even an FO!
OH and my Christmas Eve cast-on because I already have that planned! Maybe I’ll even share some of my favourite cookie recipes here on the blog.
Welcome to my first monthly round up post! I wanted to start this post series as a way to capture all of my projects as well as share some other things I’m into at the moment like snacks and what I’m watching on TV.
I decided on starting this category because it was just too much to share all of my projects through FO Spotlight posts. Especially because I’ve been doing so much knitting this year (thanks COVID…), I’ll still be doing my FO Spotlight posts for certain projects. Especially when I have some interesting notes to share about the process. And with these posts I can give you an update on my current WIPs!
I also wanted a place to share what I’m reading, listening to, and watching because I’m also doing more of that these days (also thanks to COVID). And share any other fun things like snacks or drinks I’ve been enjoying.
Works in Progress
I though I was going to have more WIPs at the time of writing this, but I’ve managed to finish off a couple of things so those will be further down in the FO section.
For Fox Sake Sweater
I’ve got about 20 rows to go for the yoke of this sweater. I’m enjoying the colourowork, my first time doing three stranded colourwork, but I also can’t wait to get to the mindless stockinette stitch in the body!
Wrap & Cuddle Blanket
Be prepared to see this one on the WIP list for the next little while! I have quite a bit of time to finish this one so I’m just working on it here and there.
Afterthought Heel Socks
These were my first afterthought heel socks, I’ll be writing up a separate post sharing more of my experience.
I used Lion Brand Mani Pedi and Sock Ease. And although I wasn’t aiming to make the stripes match up they came out exactly the same!
City Limits Sweater
If you were following my Insta stories at the time you know this sweater caused me a lot of of issues with gauge and yardage and i had to rip back a decent chunk of the yoke.
It didn’t turn out quite how I expected, it’s a bit tighter, but I’m happy with the fit and the way the colours are working together. If I made this again there are a few things I would do differently starting with my yarn choice.
Falling For You Cowl
I had the privilege of testing this cowl pattern for Leslie’s Lake Life (Ravelry Link). It was an absolute joy to knit and I can’t wait to make another one, and then maybe a third one and pay more with different colours.
The pattern comes out November 3rd so make sure you keep an eye out for it.
I just can’t get enough of cowls lately! I had this in my queue for so long I just needed to find the right yarn and I finaly did!
I used a unique dyelot from Sweet Georgia that’s been in my stash for a little while and Campfiber Yarns Eeyore colourway from the Winnie the Pooh collection.
Reads of Steele
I used to do a story highlight on Instagram called Reads of Steele where I posted about books I was reading and gave a bit of a review when I finished. I’m so glad to be resurrecting Reads of Steele and including it here in my monthly round-ups!
A Blade So Black
I really enjoyed this novel that puts a twist on the story of Alice in Wonderland. It was a quick read partly because it was so good I couldn’t put it down at some points.
This is another book that took me a little while to finish, but I was finally able to complete it this month. I watched The Witcher series on Netflix and little while ago and I wanted to give the book a try.
I really enjoyed it. It’s written as a compilation of short stories and reading most of the book before starting the series really helped me track the timeline and plot.
Artemis Fowl (graphic novels)
Artemis Fowl was one of my favourite book series when I was a kid. I started reading the graphic novels by getting the e-books from the library.
I’ve read the books quite a few times so this is a nice way to revisit the story in a different format.
I just wrapped up watching Ratched this past weekend, it took me about a week to finish it. I wasn’t sure I would like this series, but I was looking for something to watch so I figured I would give it a try.
I found the story really intriguing, the acting was great and I was happy to find that familiarity with the story of One Flew Over the Cuckoos next was not required.
I’m watching this movie now while writing this post, in preparation for Halloween. This is my favourite scary movie I watch it every year around Halloween and sometimes the sequels as well. I don’t even mind watching it alone, probably because I’ve seen it so many times i know exactly what to expect!
Matt and I recently finished this series earlier in October, and although we didn’t enjoy it as much as it’s predecessor The Haunting of Hill House it was still a pretty good series. It wasn’t necessarily scary, but it had some serious creepy vibes.
And That’s Why We Drink
I recently discovered this podcast (check out their website here) and I have been loving it. It brings together two of my favourite things, true crime and paranormal stories/investigations.
It’s hosted by Rabia Chaudry who is a well known figure in the true crime world, so that’s how I discovered this podcast. She is an excellent host and really brings a lot of depth to the history and folklore that she shares.
We carved pumpkins for Halloween! I made a cat-o-lattern. Garfield was mostly interested iwth eating the discarded pumpkin guts.
Halloween is just around the corner, are you ready to get into a spooky mood?
I love Fall, I love Halloween, I love scary movies…and I love knitting of course! Here’s a list of some of my favourite spooky movies and series for a Halloween Knitflix!
I’ve given them all a jack-o-lattern emoji rating 🎃 from one: not scary at all, to five: bonechillingly terrifying. And I’m a huge baby so you can count on those ratings to be generous towards the terrifying side!
Let’s start off with a classic! This movie is great for knitflixing if you’ve seen it 1,000 times like I have. Scream is mandatory Halloween viewing in my opinion so if you haven’t seen it then grab your project and press play.
This movie is not too scary, it’s just scary enough, and you’ll have your knitting on hand to distract you from the gory scenes. If you’re in the mood for a marathon you can watch all 4 of the Scream movies in a row.
With all that knitflixing not only will you be in the Halloween spirit you’ll make a lot of progress on your knitting. So pull out that large project you haven’t touched in a year and get to work!
The easy to follow plot means you won’t lose your place while you work on your WIP (work in progress).
The best thing about the Nightmare Before Christmas, in my opinion – remember I said I’m a huge baby – is that, despite its name, it will put you in the Halloween spirit without giving you nightmares! Dynamic characters, catchy songs and some dark humour make this a great pick for your Halloween Knitflix marathon.
The Haunting of Hill House and/or The Haunting of Bly Manor 🎃🎃
I’m lumping these two series together and giving them an average of a 2 jack-o-lantern scare rating. However, Haunting of Hill House is closer to a 3 while Bly Manor is closer to a 1, or maybe 2, depending how easily scared you are.
These are two entirely independent stories so you can watch only one or both and watch them in whichever order you like! The Haunting of Hill House is a truly chilling tale and much closer to a horror movie in a series with plenty of jump scares. While The Haunting of Bly Manor is a bit slower, less startlingly scary and has more of a creepy vibe rather than horror.
Okay, now for a scary one! I would have given this five jack-o-latterns, but when I saw the rating it made me feel like a huge scaredy cat that it’s PG-13!
This alien mystery thriller left me with that creeped out feeling for DAYS after watching it for the first time. That being said, I really enjoyed this movie. It’s filmed in the “this is a true story” style which adds to the scare factor.
This movie is well suited to knitflixing, it’s a bit of a slow burn plot-wise. But by no means boring, you’ll definitely be able to get in a few rows. And you’ll have something on hand to distract you when things really get going!
Here’s one for the documentary lovers who like a real life true crime/scary story. Netflix just dropped the second collection of episodes for their Unsolved Mysteries reboot that came out earlier this year.
Depending how scared you get by true crime this could be a 1 or a 2 (or even a 3) for you. And it’s all in the name these are unsolved cases which adds to the creep factor for me.
I haven’t watched the second collection yet, but I binge watched the first season in one day when it was released. With a WIP in hand of course!
If you want to watch the OG Unsolved Mysteries it’s streaming on Amazon Prime.
Here’s a classic everyone in the family can enjoy! Just because this movie is a one jack-o-lattern rating doesn’t mean it’s boring.
There’s the coming of age plot line, magic, and some great costumes. This movie is perfect for knitflixing because the plot is easy to follow so you won’t lose track of the movie or your knitting. And it’s not super scary so it’s just right to get you in the spooky spirit without spending the whole time with a blanket over your eyes!
Halloweentown is also a series, there’s four of them, so if you’re working on a big project plan a movie marathon!
Here’s another creepy series for Halloween knitflixing. Full disclosure at the time of writing this post I haven’t finished watching this series, I’m half-way through the eight episodes.
The lead character of this series, played by Sarah Paulson, is based on Nurse Ratched from One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. I’ve never seen or read it so I can safely say it is not a prerequisite for watching Ratched the series.
This show is not necessarily scary, it has more of a creepy feel, but it certainly is gorey and has some disturbing moments. I was watching it last night and found myself saying “oh my god, that’s messed up” except messed is not the word that I used 😉.