Malabrigo Cable Cowl

My local yarn shop started carrying Malabrigo yarn. I have never knitted with Malabrigo before, but I know some knitters who are total snobs about this yarn. They refuse to knit with anything else. I now understand why. The Malabrigo worsted merino is like knitting with clouds. It’s so soft and light between my fingers – an absolute joy to work with. It’s also reasonably priced for the quality. At around $12 per hank, it has so much potential for small projects without breaking the bank.

I really wanted to show of the lustre and quality of the yarn. I decided on a cabled cowl. I don’t have much experience with cables except that they aren’t really difficult; they just take concentration and the ability to keep track of rows.

I wanted to try something beyond a simple cable, but nothing too complicated. I settled on a lovely Ravelry pattern from Auriga’s Knits called the Spikelets Cowl. I recommend this pattern to those who have a little experience with cables but are ready to go to the next level. It was fun to knit, and even more luxurious to wear.

I used one hank of Malabrigo Worsted Merino in Purple Mystery.

Malabrigo cable cowl | Alaska Knit Nat Malabrigo cable cowl | Alaska Knit Nat

Malabrigo cable cowl | Alaska Knit Nat Malabrigo cable cowl | Alaska Knit Nat

Fuzzy Ombre Scarflet — A Free Knitting Pattern

Boy, sending mail to Belgium takes a while! I’m so thrilled to finally be posting this pattern. I had to wait for it to arrive in my friend’s mailbox before I could publish it. Enjoy!

Last summer an old friend of mine got married on the Greek island of Paros, which is known for its brilliantly white  buildings contrasted against the blue Aegean Sea. I wanted to send her a handmade wedding gift that represented the beautiful location of her wedding. Since I have limited artistic talent (I am not a brilliant illustrator as she is), I decided to knit her an ombre scarf. Ombre might still be considered trendy, but I know I’m a little past the height of ombre hype.

I had a difficult time finding yarn that was the right color, so I settled with a “Frozen”-esque ice blue. Elsa wasn’t whom I had in mind when I made this scarf, but I do love the colors anyway.

I wanted to try an unusual stitch pattern instead of doing my basic ribbing or garter stitch. I don’t have a great attention span for stitch patterns that take 14 rows to complete, so I found a lovely pattern that is repeated every 4 rows. This way I can set it down anytime and be certain where I left off. I went with St. John’s Wort Stitch.

Fuzzy Ombre Scarflet | A Free Pattern from Alaska Knit Nat

St. John’s wort is a flowering plant that is used medicinally as a sort of cureall. It’s supposedly good for treating anxiety, depression and cuts. I made this scarf so my friend can feel cozy and safe, so it’s fitting it is named for a healing, cheer-you-up herb.

I hope my friend is able to think of this scarf as a warm hug from her past. We haven’t seen each other in more than 10 years, so I wanted her to have a little reminder of home and of her happy day in Santorini.

Ariadne sketch by Tamar Levi
Ariadne sketch by Tamar Levi

Fuzzy Ombre Scarflet

Fuzzy Ombre Scarflet | A Free Pattern from Alaska Knit Nat

1 hank Heritage Cascade Sock Yarn, color 5630 (or any sport weight yarn in ice blue that is more than 200 yards). I’ll call this color B

1 hank Heritage Cascade Sock Yarn, color 5682 (white). I’ll call this color A.

1 skein Dale Påfugl mohair, color 0010 (or 100 yards of any mohair brand in white). I’ll call this color 1.

1 skein Dale Påfugl mohair, color 6815 (blue). I’ll call this color 2.

US 10 needles

Continue reading Fuzzy Ombre Scarflet — A Free Knitting Pattern

Tapered Flower Headband — A Free Crochet Pattern

I’ve been trying to polish up my site and I realized one of my most popular patterns was full of dead photo links. I also realized it wasn’t even a pattern but just some nice photos of my wearing a bunch of my headbands — pretty much useless to all of you! Instead of just updating the post, which was from three years ago, I figured I’d just start anew and reintroduce it.

This simple crocheted headband is my best-selling product. I sell out of it at Bella Boutique every holiday season. You can’t go wrong — it’s colorful and has a huge flower on it. I also love embellishing the back of the headband with a vintage button.

The pattern is inspired by Knitty.com’s Calorimetry Headband, which I like, but is really too wide for my head. I also get bored by the ribbing pattern. I wanted something that I could create quickly for my short attention span. I relied on this pattern for the base and then added a simple trim and my own flower pattern, instructions for which can be found here.

Many thanks to my old friend Laura for taking (and recovering) these shots. She was just starting out her photography business when these were taken and they are lovely!

Tapered flower headband | A free crochet pattern from Alaska Knit Nat
© Laura Stennett Photography

I originally made two versions of this pattern, one with worsted yarn and the other while crocheting two strands of worsted at the same time. I prefer the double stranded version because it’s fuller looking. You can do a single strand but you may have to extend the ends by a couple of rows.

Continue reading Tapered Flower Headband — A Free Crochet Pattern

Quick, Chunky Crochet Hat — A Free Pattern

I knit a lot of gifts this last holiday season. With the completion of a belated scarf last week, I’m just about knitted out. I needed a new project that would satisfy my short attention span and was something different.

I found a simple crochet hat pattern on TangledHappy.com that used the herringbone half double crochet stitch. I’d never heard of it, but after a couple of video tutorials, it looked easy enough.

I didn’t have the hook size the pattern called for, but I had something close, so I used what I think was an N size hook (it’s unmarked for some ridiculous reason). This made the gauge off for the original pattern so I had to wing it, which is why I’m posting a pattern on my blog. I also added contrasting trim and pompom.

These are incredibly quick to complete. I made two yesterday and one this morning. They are a great way to use up excess yarn, especially if you double up worsted weight and crochet two strands at once, which I did with the blue hat shown in this pattern.

Quick Chunky Crochet Hat | A Free Pattern from Alaska Knit Nat

Quick, Chunky Crochet Hat with Pompom — A Free Pattern from Alaska Knit Nat

Materials:

1 skein of chunky yarn such as Lopi or Lion Brand Thick and Quick OR two strands of heavy worsted yarn crocheted together as one strand.

1 skein of contrasting yarn, weight can vary

Size N crochet hook

Darning needle

Two toilet paper tubes (opional)

Sharp scissors

Removable stitch marker

Continue reading Quick, Chunky Crochet Hat — A Free Pattern

Vegetable Soup with Italian Sausage

I haven’t ever been much of a soup fan, but tonight I may have changed my mind. I threw together a minestrone-esque stew that was bursting with flavor and vegetables.

This is a flexible recipe. Use whatever veggies you like; you can’t really go wrong.

Vegetable Soup with Italian Sausage | A hearty soup recipe from Alaska Knit Nat

Vegetable Soup with Italian Sausage

Serves 6

Ingredients;
2 oz. pancetta, or three slices of bacon

1 Tbs. butter

2 Tbs. olive oil

1 cup chopped onions

2 celery stalks, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

2 cups chopped red cabbage

1 cup sliced mushrooms

1, 14-oz can Italian-style diced tomatoes, undrained

1/2 cup chopped cherry tomatoes (optional)

2 bay leaves

2 tsp. herbes de Provence (optional)

3 cups chicken stock

salt and pepper to taste

1 lb. Italian sausage, casings removed

1 zucchini, diced

1 cup fresh green beans, chopped

1 can of white beans, drained

1 can of cannellini beans, drained

Grated parmesan cheese, for serving

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Salmon salad lettuce wraps

With a new year comes New Year’s resolutions, and I’ve decided to join the countless others who resolve to eat more healthily. As a contributor to Anchorage Food Mosaic Project, I was recently asked what my Food Year’s Resolution was. Fewer cheeseburgers was the first thing that came to mind, but also to cut down on carbs and to eat more healthily in general.

My husband and I are trying out the South Beach Diet, which is a low sugar and carb regimen. The first phase is pretty strict, but that doesn’t limit my ability to cook delicious food.

Today’s lunch was quick to prepare and pretty dang delicious. I love me some smoked salmon, but that stuff is expensive. I wanted to make a dish that had the flavor of smoked salmon, but was a little easier on the pocketbook.

This salad recipe is chock full of nutrients and with the use of smoked paprika, it fulfilled my craving for smoked salmon. I purchased my canned salmon at Costco, but if you’re lucky to have an Alaska fisherman friend, you could certainly make this with fresh-cooked salmon!

Smokey Salmon Lettuce Wraps | A Healthy Lunch from Alaska Knit Nat

Smokey salmon lettuce wraps — A South Beach Diet phase 1 recipe

Makes about 6 wraps

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Big, Fluffy Brioche Cowl — A Free Knitting Pattern

Now that the holidays are over and my handmade gifts have been delivered I can start posting some more patterns.

Earlier this winter I became mildly obsessed with the brioche stitch. I found this lovely tutorial and pattern for a cowl and I came up with a simple headband/turban using the same stitch.

I took it one step further with this fluffy, scrumptious stitch and decided to make an oversized cowl using larger needles and a wider width. Not only is it super cozy, but you can stretch part of it over your head for a makeshift hood. You can wear it looped around your neck twice or have it hang loosely. It’s a versatile piece that happens to be trendy.

Big, Fluffy Brioche Cowl | A Free Knitting Pattern from Alaskaknitnat.com

Big Fluffy Brioche Cowl

Materials:

250 grams of heavy worsted yarn such as Lamb’s Pride (I used 2.5 skeins of Loops & Threads Wool to Wash)

Size  US 13 straight needles

Darning needle

Big, Fluffy Brioche Cowl | A Free Knitting Pattern from Alaskaknitnat.com

Continue reading Big, Fluffy Brioche Cowl — A Free Knitting Pattern

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