Knitting · sweaters · wool

A Little Plotulopi Anyone?

I recently received my “plates” of Plotulopi from Claire of The Woolly Thistle and also the popular podcast, New Hampshire Knits of which I am a listener. I highly recommend it!

She is currently hosting a KAL for the Rusty Cardigan by Steinunn Birna Guojonsdottir which is so beautiful, and one I have had my eye on for a while. And it’s free to boot! Won’t you join Claire and the rest of us? My color selections were eggplant for the body of the cardigan and cream for the fair isle work.

If you’re not familiar with Plotulopi, it is a one-ply unspun Icelandic wool yarn from Istex with a gauge for 1-ply: 19 sts to 10 cm (4”) over St st using size 4½ mm (Old UK 7) (US 7). This yarn could also be used as a 2-ply, you just pull from center of plate for 1-ply or from the center and outside of plate together for 2-ply. Lori Ann Graham of  the Lori Times Five blog features it on her Instagram feed and her Ravely project page.

And some photos courtesy of Ravelry:

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I will keep you all posted on my progress. Happy knitting and happy Sunday!

xoxo Shannon

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

 

knits · Knitting · sweaters · wool

Project/Gift Knitting Lineup

woolen mittens

Hmmm, if this doesn’t get you itching to starting stitching for fall I don’t know what would!

Hi there! Ready to start those fall knitting projects? Or Christmas gifts? The yarn shop I work for has been getting decidedly more busy and mostly with knitters looking for yarn and/or ideas for Christmas gifts. There have been a few sweater projects started as well. Fall and cool weather are definitely in the air and with Christmas only a few months away, it’s time! Here are some ideas:

Antler Cardigan by tincanknits

Need a gift for that special niece, daughter or granddaughter? Is she adorable or what? Love the cardigan too! A tutorial for the pattern can be found here. This pattern which comes in adult sizes as well, is part of the book “Pacific Knits“. You will love the fact that it is knit seamlessly, the body is done in rows while the arms are knit in the round, and button bands are added on last.  I know I would love to have this in my wardrobe. The great thing about tincanknits patterns is they come in lots of sizes. Tell your friends!

Funky Grandpa” by La Maison Rililie

Rililie of La Maison Rililie fame is one of my favorite designers right now. She comes up with some really nice designs and stripes occur fairly often in them. They are classic with really great little design elements or use of color and stripes. BlueSand Cardigan, is another favorite. Check out her Ravelry page. This is a nice lightweight piece done in a fingering weight if you are looking for something not so heavy and too warm. It is also knit completely seamlessly and almost in one piece.

Mrs. Jekyll & Little Hyde” by La Maison Rililie

And while we’re at it, let’s add another of Rililie’s patterns. This reversible hat is ingenious and adorable. Who wouldn’t like this? It’s not too bulky, but yet done in two layers which will be warm. One side feminine, one side sporty. The ribbed rim is knit in one layer to prevent too much bulk near the face.

Border Socks” by Mary Jane Mucklestone

How about some socks for the men in your life? Or really, these could be unisex. I would wear them. I just had to throw in a color work pattern for you to be tempted by! Come on, try your hand at a little fair isle along with some wide wale ribbing. This is the perfect gift. I have a friend who could whip these out in no time. She has become a sock knitting fiend. I’m jealous.

Mosaic Blanket” by Purl Soho

As you might have guessed, I kind of have a love affair with mosaics right now. I have just about finished my PaintBoxes Cowl as mentioned and shown in a previous post. Mosaic is so easy, please don’t be intimidated by it. It just consists of using two colors and slip stitching and that’s it! Besides the fact that this pattern is beautiful, it’s also free. This was knit in Purl Soho’s Alpaca Pure in 24 outstanding colors and Worsted Twist in 34 glorious colors, both aran weights (worsted weight would work here as well). They used a pattern taken from Barbara Walker’s “Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns“.

Here is my latest project. Sssh, it’s a surprise for someone! I will tell you it is going to be colorful. I promise to show you the progress along the way.

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Happy knitting everyone!

xoxo Shannon

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

 

color · knits · Knitting · sweaters · wool

My Knitting Bucket List

I think we knitters need a bucket list of knitting patterns we would like to accomplish sometime in our lives! Don’t you agree? This list could get pretty long, right? So I will try to be discriminate and weed through the many designs in my Ravelry library and list them here for you to compare, to inspire and to challenge. I will keep the list fairly short, say to maybe 10 designs? This list includes sweaters, shawls, a hat and mitt set, a cardigan,  and a moebius cowl:

“Coda” by Olga Buraya-Kefelian

This design has great little details that make the whole finished project have a big impact. I especially like the detailing coming down from the neckline.

“Aranami” by Olga Buraya-Kefelian

I have never seen anything come close to this in the design elements, the gradient color change, just the overall finished project.

“Ashby” by Leila Raabe

Love the way the yarn shines through in the stitch pattern and definition. This is a Brooklyn Tweed design and the yarn is Shelter, a worsted weight. It has such a richness of depth, color and drapes the body beautifully.

“Moody House Set” by Elinor Brown

This would be a great first-time color work project. Elinor used Plucky Knitter Primo worsted which I think was a great choice! Love the design at top of hat and around edge of hat and mitts

“Reine” by Alexis Winslow

Here is another Brooklyn Tweed design from Wool People Vol. 3, knitted out of Loft, fingering weight. A classic, elegant but casual cardigan that is a must have for any wardrobe.

“Damejakka Loppa/Flea” by Pinneguri

This was a pretty popular project on Ravelry, showing 130 people crafting it. Pinneguri always produces great color work. She has been at it a long time. Check her out here.

“Reversible Smocked Hat” by Elisa McLaughlin

Everything about this called to me: the color, design, pattern. Elisa designs mostly hats, see her Ravelry page here. An errata page can be found here as well.

“Halligarth” by Gudrun Johnston

Brooklyn Tweed seems to have one thing in common in all of their designs: a very good classic sensibility with a twist. What makes them classic is the designs at times but also the yarn used. Not trendy yarns, but yarns that offer great quality, color and stitch definition.

“Turbulence Cowl” by Laura Chau

This does look like turbulent waves in an ocean which has been achieved by using short rows and stripes. This very sculptural look is what definitely appealed to me as well as the color combination used.

“Sperry” by Amy Miller

What a great take on a three-quarter length sleeve and shirttail shirt! Add stripes and you’ve got a fun sweater to whip up in no time. It is a top-down raglan which shouldn’t be too hard. The last one I made knit up in a flash. I love just about everything Amy puts out.

“Funchal Moebius” by Kate Davies

It doesn’t get much better than Kate Davies and her great color work, not to mention the brilliant designs she comes up with. I bought this pattern and have intended to make this for some time now. What’s holding me back? For one thing, I procrastinate a great deal, and I get intimidated easily. I must do this, I must! This is one of my all-time favorites. LOVE the reversed patterning!

A list like this is almost impossible to compose but still fun to put together. I would really like to know what some of you would include on your list. Let’s compare, shall we?

 

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 · 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