Just In Time!

December in Chicago and the first snows have fallen, right along with the temperature.  I was afraid I wouldn’t have what I needed so I knit as fast as my fingers permitted – just to make sure I was ready for the drop.

It’s not as though I don’t have hand knits to wear, right?  The conundrum this year had to do with a cape and the colors of that cape.  Yes, a brown, cream, charcoal and rust colored tweedy wool cape that very much put me in the mind of the old Sherlock Holmes movies.  Beautiful, dashing things WITHOUT sleeves.  What to do, what to do?  My workable option came in the form of Malabrigo Hand Thingies (Ravelry). I like the faux-rib created by the slipped knit stitch, so I adapted the pattern to create fingerless mitts that extend to the elbow.  No sleeves? No problem.

Project details

(2) skeins of Cascade 128 Chunky Solid in Charcoal Grey
Size 10.75 US needles

Although I used heavier yarn than called for in the pattern, I still cast on the requisite number of stitches. I followed the pattern as written except I kept going until I’d knit the length of my forearm, alternating k2, sl 1 row with knit row until to about 2 inches shy of my wrist.  I then repeated the purl row, knit row banding as in the beginning of the normal Thingie pattern and voila!  Thingies At Arm’s Length:

Malabrigo Arm Thingies

Malabrigo Arm Thingies

I’ve never worn this cape so I decided its debut wouldn’t be complete without a neckwarmer and matching hat.   The challenge here came in the form of the flared-bottom shape of the cape.  It absolutely requires a fuller shaped hat to help balance top to bottom.  I have enough body issues so I refuse to look like a tweed-clad penguin with a tiny head and large body.  I settled on Natalie Larson’s Star Crossed Slouchy Beret (Ravelry). The slouch and the fullness of the softly cabled top really appeals to me.

For the neckwarmer, I stuck with the Malabrigo Neck Thingie pattern, using one skein (210 yards) Malabrigo worsted weight merino in Red Java.  Two days, start to finish:

Red Hot Neck Thingie

Red Hot Malabrigo Neck Thingie

There is no way I was going to go the completely matching ensemble route though, which is why I chose the same pattern for arm and neck thingies, then the same color for neck thingie and slouchy beret.  I’ll try to snap a picture of the complete look once I get cracking on the beret.

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