Quickies: Little Yellow Chushki

left: обикновена чушка right: самодивска чушка
left: обикновена чушка right: самодивска чушка

My friend Lora has knit some adorable little Chushki with a kind of maryjane vibe. Chushki is part of my Woodstove Series, four fast, toasty little accessories for the chilliest part of winter. Here’s what she says about her mods:

I did a single crochet seam on the outside – I think it’s quite pretty. Sewed up the toe side for only about 8 selvedge stitches. Then folded the slipper and sewed from the top of the heel side for about 8-9 selvedge stitches. So it makes a cute little elfin slipper.

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I bet these elfin Chushki would be great slippers for sitting out on my balcony on a sunny morning. As an awesome bonus, Lora shared a little glimpse of her Bulgarian childhood:

There’s a whole variety of ‘terlici’ [Bulgarian for ‘slippers’] that can be created from this lovely, quick, and easy pattern… In any case, I absolutely used to abhor terlici as a child – my great grandmother and grandmother would knit endless piles of them, from home-spun wool that I had probably helped to clean earlier in the year. Despite how romantic this all sounds now, I used to think they were prickly and horrendous looking, and as a young person with good circulation, simply could not understand why my feet had to be constantly swaddled in thick wool (the draft of course, the dreaded draft!).

It seems the younger you are, the better your body is at keeping itself warm, and the more your elders will worry that you’re cold. Many many times in Bulgaria, particularly on the train, an older person has remarked on how “naked” I am (post-Communist Bulgaria is not a particularly prudish place, but in winter, Bulgarian grandmas will accuse you of public nudity for having your collarbone exposed). If I assure them I’m warm enough, they bob their heads from side-to-side and say it must be my “young blood.”

Check out Lora’s project page for her “Zholti Chushki,” and see all of her gorgeous knitting here. Thanks for the story, Lora, and happy knitting!

 

 

The Woodstove Series: Chushki and Mekitza

And finally, to round out my little ebook, I bring you Chushki:

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and Mekitza:

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Chushki is a super-quick little pair of house slippers, in garter stitch with just a couple little slipped-stitch accents. The pattern is written for a slipper of about 9″ unstretched, but is easily adjustable for whatever size you want to make. For an adult foot, cast on the same number of stitches, and aim for a slipper just about one inch shorter than the intended wearer’s foot (these will stretch to fit nice and snug).

With Mekitza, there are no such sizing quibbles. Just cast on with some great big needles and go. This would be an ideal project if you’d like to try short rows for the first time.

These two patterns, along with Snezhanka and Pechka, are included in my Woodstove Series.

In creating the Woodstove Series, my intention was to present wearable designs that would appeal to knitters of all levels, that would be clear enough for beginners to understand but fun enough for advanced knitters. These are all quick, chunky knits, with some fun details. I’d love to see what kinds of color combinations other people might come up with for these designs. If you have questions about any of the patterns, or you’re thinking about casting on one of them, leave me a comment and I’ll respond.

The Woodstove Series: Snezhanka

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Hot off the presses: the second design in my Woodstove Series!

Meet Snezhanka. This luscious little hat takes only one skein of Puffin. Knit in brioche stitch on size 11 needles, Snezhanka might be the quickest knit of all the Woodstove designs (and that’s saying a lot!). I chose a pale, delicate color that accentuates the brioche stitch’s lovely topography.

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Next up in the Woodstove Series: some sweet little slippers, and a cozy, chunky bandana cowl. Stay tuned.

Announcing: The Woodstove Series

Just in time for the dead of winter, I’m so excited to announce my new mini-collection of designs. Introducing The Woodstove Series.

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The photos are the work of my friend, George. Aside from his amazing photography, and graphic design work, George spends his time fighting fascism and eating bananas.

All knit up in Quince & Co. Puffin, these four winter warmers can be worked up in a flash. They’re perfect if you need an instant-gratification knit, or if you spent all December making gifts for other people, and now find yourself exposed to the elements.

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I chose bright colors with a vintage vibe, inspired by Bulgarian folk costumes and the monkey bars outside my block. The shapes and stitches are basic, but each design incorporates a couple techniques that might be new to you. I hope they’ll be fun, quick projects for experienced knitters. And, if you’re a beginner, I really hope you’ll give them a try.

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I’ll be releasing the patterns one at a time, every few days, for the next week. Once they’re all up, they’ll be available in an ebook on Ravelry as well. The first design in the series is Pechka, a super-cozy double-layer hat.

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Check back all week for more releases. Stay warm out there.