design · Knitting · stitch patterns · sweaters · texture · wool

Pom Pom Mag Review, Issue #14

I now own my very first issue of Pom Pom Magazine, #14. I must say, I do love it. So concise, and just the right size to fit into your bag (6 1/2 ” x 9″ to be exact), as well as the obvious. It includes great patterns and articles such as the discussion of different breeds of sheep and their wool and how John Arbon Textiles in North Devon got their start to name a few. There is even a recipe for pumpkin spice cake included!

Here are some of my design picks:

Hitchcock” by  Alexa Ludeman of Tincanknits

Love, love, love this t-shirt sweater design. The richness of the “Pomegranate” color way gives it such great depth and the fact it is a simple, classic design puts it in the staple category, something I would want to knit over and over in many colors. There is one change I might make to the pattern. Since I am fairly short waisted, I would probably shorten it to just below my waist which would be an easy thing to do. This sweater seems to have been fashioned after the classic Henley. It is unisex so you can make it for your boyfriend, spouse, brother, sister. This is definitely going in my knitting que.

Stats:

  • Category: Sweater, pullover
  • Yarn: Swans Island, worsted in shades Pomegranate or Frost. This certified organic wool is hand-spun in New England and hand-dyed in Maine.
  • Sleeves knit first
  • Body worked from bottom up in one piece to underarm
  • Ribbing at hem, cuff trim, neck trim and buttonhole strip
Karusellen” by Erica-Knits

Adorable, rustic and whimsical. Really liking the tweedy texture of Shelter, a great pick! What a cozy, cute and quick knit. I have not personally worked with Shelter yet, but this design has me itching to!

Stats:

  • Category: hat, beanie, toque
  • Yarn: Brooklyn Tweed’s Shelter, worsted in shades Woodsmoke and Thistle. 100% Wyoming-grown Targhee-Columbia wool
  • Colorwork
  • Ribbing at bottom rim
  • Pom pom
Magdalen” by Joji Locatelli

There is so much going on in this outstanding scarf by Joji Locatelli! Where do I begin? First of all, the color caught my eye immediately, one of my favorites. Then the design patterns! The dimensions coupled with the dramatic take this over the top.

Stats:

  • Category: scarf/wrap
  • Yarn: O-Wool Classic Worsted (a 100% certified organic merino) in Begonia
  • Size: One size at 16″ wide by 69″ long
  • Patterns: Honeycomb cable on the body and Twisted Rope cable for trim

Note: I ordered my copy of Pom Pom Quarterly from Fringe Supply Co. Unfortunately they are sold out right now, but have a few other good publications still for sale.

I hope you are having the best day!

xoxo Shannon

 

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color · design · knits · Knitting · stitch patterns · sweaters · texture · wool

Review: Twist Collective’s Fall 2015 Issue

If you haven’t seen Twist Collective’s newest issue for Fall, then you are missing out. Here are the standouts for me:

ballyfaron_d_500 ballyfaron_a_500Ballyfaron” by Luise O’Neill

Stats:

  • Both tam and cowl knit in Madelintosh DK in Terra (225 yds, 100% super wash merino)
  • Techniques: knitting in the round, I-cord cast-on, Vikkel braid, and cables
  • Ravelry page info.

And you may be asking what is a Vikkel braid, otherwise known as a Lateral or Estonian braid. You can see it running along both edges of the cowl. Here is a good video showing the technique. It looks like it basically involves knitting into the back loop and slipping stitches. I really like the professional finish it gives.

I love everything about Ballyfaron: the color, the yarn, the design, and the wonderful stitch definition. It speaks fall to me. It also has a Celtic feel, something any Irish lass such as myself would be happy to wear. This will end up in my Ravelry library.

cherrywood_a_500“Cherrywood” by Kristen TenDyke.

The richness of this yarn color caught my attention for starters. The cabled trim at bottom and around cuffs take this classic sweater shape over the top and gives it a Renaissance feel. It belongs in the courts of Lancelot. Makes you want to run off into the woods, huh? A winner in my book!

Stats:

  • Yarn is Shalimar Yarns, Paulie, worsted weight (60% merino, 20% camel, 10% cashmere, 10% silk) in  color way “American Beauty”
  • Techniques: cables, provisional cast-on, kitchener stitch, working in the round
  • Ravelry page info.

“Fretwork” by Stephannie Tallent

This is so beautifully executed with the bi-color cables and lacework on the trim. The patterns and color pop out at you. I can see me wearing this, oh yeah.

Stats:

  • Yarn: Piegonroof Studios American sock (400 yds, 100% superwash merino) in Indigo Ink and Celeste
  • Bi-color cables and stranding
  • Lacework and intarsia
  • short rows
  • garter stitch
  • Ravelry page info.

filigrene_b_500“Filigrene” by Barbara Gregory

First of all, I think the colors combined with the intricate design work make for a really nice package. Just enough of a challenge for you first-time color knitters out there.

Stats:

  • Yarn: Indigodragonfly Chameleon sock yarn (400 yds, 63% super wash merino, 20% cashmere, 17% silk) in color ways Cylons of Anarchy and Lambada 3
  • stranded color work mittens
  • worked in round from cuff to tip
  • Ravelry page info.

Enjoy!

xoxo Shannon

 

design · improvisational techniques · Knitting · stitch patterns · sweaters · Travel

Designer of the Week – Wendy Bernard

Hello all, I have been on vacation, hence my absence last week! I thought I might be able to get a post in, but it was just too tempting to languish and do nothing but enjoy others’ company, the sunshine and my knitting. I’m sure you can relate.imageThis is where I spent my time. Now you understand, right?

Now, for the designer of the week. Wendy Bernard has been a favorite for some time as I own most of her books she has published. “Ingenue” from “Custom Knits” was my first top-down sweater project and was a wonderful initiation into this type of construction. The pattern was easy to follow and execute. I loved the process and the final outcome.

Ingenue“, Custom Knits.

cropped-cropped-cropped-img_1630111.jpg

DSCF7207collageHer designs are so well thought out, classic and feminine at the same time, while offering a chance to “make it your own”. For instance, with Ingenue she suggests you could make it an off-the-shoulder sweater and goes about telling just how to do that. If you are interested in “unleashing your inner designer” with improvisational techniques she instructs on that as well.    “Custom Knits 2” continues on in the same vein. “Up, Down, All-Around Stitch Dictionary“, one of her more recent publications, is a wonderful compilation of more than 150 stitch patterns to use knitting top down, bottom up, back and forth and in the round. A great book with concise instruction, good choice of patterns and a few designs thrown in as well.

Staghorn Vest“, Custom Knits 2.
Royal Cable Vest“, Up, Down, All-Around Stitch Dictionary.

Custom Knits Accessories“, a resource for customizing your accessories.

Skipper Poncho“, Custom Knits Accessories.

Other Wendy Bernard resources:

Any of you out there trying to improvise on a design? Desire to be a designer? Wendy’s books would be a great place to start for inspiration, help and just plain good instruction.

Now go knit and do good.

xoxo Shannon

design · knits · Knitting · texture · wool

Designer of the Week – Kate Davies

Hello all! Hopefully you had a happy and safe 4th of July!

Once again we meet and I get to introduce you to Kate Davies. Although I am sure most of you know about her considering her prolific and wonderful career thus far. She stands out in my eyes due to her unerring talent for color work. The fact that she lives in Scotland doesn’t hurt either – talk about inspiration!

This shows you just how busy she has been!

In today’s post on her blog, you can even read a short little tid bit of how Kate got back into knitting and designing.

Other places to find her:

Her Funchal Moebius is one of my all-time favorites. The genius of the reversible patterning and the simple two color combination. As it says on her Ravelry page, it is a surprisingly easy knit using a 4-ply fingering or sock weight yarn doubled. It can be worn as a wrap, scarf, cowl, or hood.

In her post about this pattern, she sites using an OXO pattern with strong diagonals. Beautiful! I own this pattern and have had the yarn to make it for some time but have just never gotten around to doing it. What does that say about me? I’m a professional procrastinator for one thing. Maybe I am a little bit intimidated by it? Whatever the reason, it has been my loss.

In review:

  • two-color stranded work
  • moebius that starts out as a provisionally cast-on tube, knit continuously up to your shoulders, then blocked flat and twisted and knit into a moebius.
  • versatile – can be worn several different ways
  • fairly easy, satisfying project

This design was inspired by the dragons-tooth pavements she saw on a trip to Funchal, the capital of Portugal in the Madeira region. I think we have inspiration all around us, we just have to be open to it and be looking!

Other well-known patterns of hers that are also some of my favorites:

Rams and Yowes

Sheep Heid

Peerie Flooers

… and the infamous, “Owls” (in a kids version as well now)

Well, I am now definitely itching (sorry for the yarny pun) to make up one of these. I hope you have been inspired today!

xoxo Shannon

design · knits · Knitting · sweaters · wool

Designer of the Week – Olga Buraya Kefelian

This weekly feature will include knitwear designers that I am particularly drawn to. I will feature some of their designs, why I like them and links to their information as well. If there is a designer you think I should post about and really, really like, then please shoot me an email at fultongirl59@gmail.com.

This week I would like to introduce you to Olga Buraya Kefelian of Olga Jazzy.

Photos courtesy of Olga Buraya Kefelian

One of my favorite designs of hers is the Aranami Shawl which I have seen numerous times referenced on other blogs, Ravelry, etc. Olga blogged about it here. Aranami translates “stormy seas and raging waves” in Japanese according to Olga. The original pattern was done up in Brooklyn Tweed’s Loft yarn which comes in a whopping 32 colors! She used five tonal colors in a gradated move which is one of the things I really love about it. Also, the half-circle motifs used are genius. And you could easily change the color scheme as she recommends in her blog post even showing you different color gradations of Loft that would work. I have not knit this shawl but think it definitely needs to go on my bucket list of knits! So, let me review:

  • gradated in tonal colors
  • reversible
  • good portable project
  • visibly very pleasing to the eye
  • can be done in a variety of color gradations
  • beginner/intermediate project

You can find a very good interview with her here at Brooklyn Tweed.

BURAYA_wp7_blog_conversation_02
Photos courtesy of Jared Flood

The work she did for Jared Flood is so classic with a good touch of patterning added in inventive ways so that the design offers a timeless appeal with a twist. The cables and eyelet work are perfect added design elements. This is “Coda“, a cabled raglan and arched yoke pullover worked in the round from bottom up. While the upper yoke and sleeves are done in one piece from the top down.

In review:

  • classic design with a twist
  • great yarn choice, Shelter of Brooklyn Tweed
  • ribbing
  • three-quarter sleeve length
  • inventive use of patterning (cables and eyelet)

Check out Ravelry for more information from fellow knitters who have made this. This pattern needless to say is for the more advanced knitter. I would be willing to give it a try, how about you? I like it that much.

She fortunately has many more wonderful designs found at Brooklyn Tweed and on her website.

I hope you enjoyed my first designer feature! Let me know if you would like different information not included in this post. Thanks, and have a great day!

xoxo Shannon

color · Crafts · design · Knitting · sweaters

Are you living a creative life?

Mollie Makes has featured a designer and told her creative journey. This has been the desire of my heart for some time, to be living the creative life. Just how to go about it can sometimes be overwhelming and confusing. So let’s find out shall we?

Here’s the story of well-known Etsy seller, Louise Walker of Sincerely Louise fame.

image

I’ve always loved her creations. I think one thing obvious about Louise is that she found a way to stand out, to be unique.  I also think this requires a certain willingness to take risks, to try something new or just go with what your gut is telling you.

What is it that keeps you from pursuing this creative life? Fear? Lack of confidence? Lack of time? I once read that you just have to start doing something and see where it takes you. I like it. It’s like you are being given permission to “just do it”.

Some more “creatives” I like:

Ashley of Woolful writes a successful knitting blog and prolific podcast where she interviews a lot of fiber folk, journals about her life on a farm living the creative life, and processing yarns from her wool.

Liesl of Buckaloo View writes in a very fresh and honest way about her knitting, sewing, yarn dyeing and podcasting.

Shannon of Very Shannon out of Canada who designs knitting and sewing patterns and has published some great knitting books. It seems she is able to accomplish quite a lot and do it in a very appealing way.

Kate Davies of Kate Davies Designs who resides in Scotland of all places! Who wouldn’t be inspired living there?! Her timeless, spot-on designs always show a lot of creativity, great color and pattern work. Her Funchal Moebius is among some of my favorites of her work.

And these are just to name a few!

I encourage all of you to go for it, just do it and don’t be afraid. Until next time.

Shannon

color · Crafts · design · knits · Knitting · sweaters · texture · wool

Aaah, the magic of color!

You know it really is magical and to think I was once intimidated by it! I have always loved and been drawn to color and lots of it. That’s why knitting is so great. Not only do we get to play around with color and make beautiful patterns appear but there is texture involved which gives us such great visual and tactile qualities. And that makes everything even more interesting, right?

    
DSCF8474Here is the missing third color of the aforementioned Icelandic Sweater I told you about here as well as the pattern I am making. I chose the pullover on the left. What do you think? Bit off more than I can chew? Maybe, we’ll see!

       And sitting amongst the ajuga and lavender is my newest project on the needles: a scarf knit in Ito’s Sensai and Kinu, stranded together . The color way is Prune. Pattern consists of knitting five rows and purling five rows. Easy peasy. But since the yarn is so unique and beautiful it makes for an interesting combination. In case you aren’t familiar with these yarns, the Sensai consists of 60% mohair and 40% silk; Kinu is 100% silk. I for one, have never knit with mohair so this is a first for me. And I am glad to be doing it since this has been one of my goals: to try mohair and other different fibers. What are some unique yarns you all have worked with? I would love to hear about them.  

A few Fair Isle faves from Ravelry:

collageimage_medium2

This armwarmer pattern “Ratjetoe” (Dutch for hodgepodge) by Cello Knits would be a great first-time color project with a little ribbing thrown in on top and around the hand and thumb. Use up those color yarns in your stash as well. It is free until June 14th!

Fairisle-067_medium2

Love this three-quarter length sleeve Fair Isle Cardigan by Debbie Bliss. This would definitely be for the more advanced knitter. I am intimidated by this project but how satisfying it would be to finish, right?

FP_DOT_Fair_Isle_medium

And you can’t go wrong with a matching set such as this one! The Fair Isle Scarf, Hat & Mittens pattern by Rosemary Drysdale is also free here. The skill level is listed as “easy” and it only requires two colors. Not bad! I love it, it’s a classic.

Now go knit some color and do good.