Henslowe, the third

Henslowe is the perfect portable project, great for putting down and picking up, a thousand times over. The first one I knit, a light silvery gray, was created in the thick of Gregory’s infant-hood. The second, an inky blue, I knit on a beach family vacation. So when my family and I traveled to Florida in February, I decided to cast on my third one.

Pattern: Henslowe by Beth Kling.

Yarn: Madelinetosh 100% superwash merino sock yarn in Dubrovnik. This color is remarkably similar to the second Henslowe I knit!

Needles and finished dimensions: I used US 5 needles for this one, though I’ve used US 4 in the past. I went up a needle size in the hopes of making a slightly larger shawl, but to be honest, my plan backfired. The shawl is not particularly larger (48″ across and 18″ deep, after relaxing) and I ran out of yarn, yikes! I ended up having to frog, modify the lace to a simpler motif (same mod as the silver Henslowe), and do a lot of weighing and math to make the yardage worked out. I think a surer way to get a larger shawl would have been to use a yarn with silk content, and stick with US 4 needles!

Rainbow shawl!

I discovered Mothy and the Squid on Etsy last year, when I was looking for the perfect rainbow yarn to knit my son a pair of socks (I ended up using some Regia). I can’t say rainbow yarns had ever attracted my attention until then, but the yarns at Mothy and the Squid were spectacular and inspired, and there were so many gorgeous rainbow and rainbow-esque offerings. WOW!!!

I ended up buying a rainbow sock blank from the Etsy shop, with absolutely no idea of how I was going to use the yarn – maybe socks, maybe something else. It was my first time trying a sock blank, too!

Picture from Mothy and the Squid Etsy store

Eventually I decided that I’d pair this rainbow yarn with a neutral solid and knit a 2-color shawl out of it. Several of my friends had made shawls like that, and I loved their results.

A post shared by Grumperina (@_grumperina_) on

Rainbow sock blank paired with Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock in kerfuffle. The two yarns are a great match in terms of composition (both are merino/nylon blends), yarn thickness, and the way in which they are plied.

I first tried the Nymphaledia Shawl, but I just wasn’t crazy about knitting it. I felt the gray dominated over the rainbow yarn, and I always lost track of my short rows. I ripped, and tried again using the Meadow Grass pattern. I liked the way the two yarns knit up much better, and the project flew by! I finished it within a week or two of starting, I think!

PatternMeadow Grass by Heidi Alander (an excellent pattern which happens to be free!)


  • Mothy and the Squid Speckled Rainbow Sock Blank, 75%  superwash merino/25% nylon, about 160 yards
  • Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock in kerfuffle (58ns), 80% superwash merino/20% nylon, about 358 yards

Needles and Finished Dimensions: I used US 6 needles, and the shawl is about 54″ across the top, and 22″ deep.

I modified the pattern a little bit to get more rainbow in there, and ended up shortening the gray border section as a result. In an ultimate head-meets-desk moment, I discovered an extra mini ball of the gray yarn after everything was bound off. D’oi!

I have a ton of the rainbow yarn left over – I only used up about 1/3 of what I had in that sock blank! And now I’m wondering, what should I knit with the remainder?

Years later, Sweet Pea Cardigan

As best as I can tell from my blog archives, this little project is almost 6 years in the making! I think I originally started it as a gift for someone expecting a baby girl, but jumped ship when I just couldn’t get the picot-edge front band to look nice, no matter what I tried. I think the problem was mine alone, as there are plenty of perfectly flat picot bands on Ravelry – I’m not sure what happened!


Years later, with a little girl of my own, I finally found the impetus to finish the project, once and for all.


I ended up taking out the picot-edge band entirely, and instead knitting an attached i-cord, leaving a few stitches free for the buttons. I used the Silverfox Bonnet pattern for the i-cord directions – very clear, and very simple to skip some stitches for the buttonhole openings.

The pattern left a purl space for sewing on ribbons, but sewing seemed so tedious to me after 5.5 years. So, I just wove through one ribbon to fill that space; it was very simple, and got the job done.

After all was said and done, there are still a few fit issues. The sweater is pretty snug across the chest because I took out the picot band, which would have added a good 2″ or so. The sleeves are very boxy for even toddler sausage arms. The hood is huge – huge on the wearer’s head, and heavy enough to weigh down the sweater in the back.


But she sure looks cute wearing it, right?!?

Pattern: Sweet Pea Cardigan from 60 Quick Baby Knits (I wrote a review of this book 6 years ago, if you’re interested!). I couldn’t find my original notes from this project, so I don’t know what size I knit.

Yarn: Berroco Vintage, a yarn I love to use for kids’ knits. I used about 2.5 skeins for this project, in the colorway wasabi, which appears to be discontinued now.

Needles and Finished Dimensions: I’m pretty sure I used US 7 needles, because I got my standard Berroco Vintage gauge of 5 spi and 7 rpi. The sweater is: 21? chest circumference, 8.5? sleeve length to underarm, and 13.25? shoulder to hem.