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

Knitting · wool

my summer project

 

IMG_3432
Campside Shawl in Progress

I’ve been wanting to try this shawl for a looong time. Alicia Plummer’s classic design is free too, you can get it here. So far it has been an easy and enjoyable knit, I’m moving right along with no problems. It starts with a Garter Tab Cast-On then rotating and picking up stitches, a set-up row then off you go with increase section, lace work and ribbed edging.

My yarn of choice is Araucania’s Huasco DK hand-painted merino wool in #119 Silversea colorway (below).

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Glorious

I am truly loving this yarn, the color, the tight twisted plies, and the stitch definition it’s giving me. How do you like my cat and yarn pillow? It was my grandmother’s; not sure if she made it or someone else did, but it is definitely handmade. The cat looks a lot like my own Miss Squeakers with the same colored eyes! Too funny.

I hope you are all having a great summer so far. Taking any interesting knitting projects with you on vacation? Part of any good KAL’s?

Here’s a run-down of some summer KAL’s for you:

  • Woolful’s KAL starts today and runs until September 1st! You can choose from one of Hannah Fettig’s patterns out of her newest book, Home and Away. 
  • Organic Knitters have chosen the Gerbera Shawl by Linnea Ornstein, running until August 14th. They are offering kits starting tomorrow.
  • At the Berroco Design Studio, they have started Astilbe, a lovely free cardigan pattern by Amy Christoffers.
  • Olga Buraya-Keflian of Olga Jazzy is hosting one to start on the 4th of July! The pattern of choice is one of her designs, Tetrapods, a dazzling shawl.

Have a Happy Friday and 4th of July for me! I will not be doing too much, maybe a few fireworks and a little grilling, some ribs possibly and definitely some knitting.

xoxo Shannon

color · Knitting · Knitting, Crafts, Food · wool

Tea, Fiber and Some Knitting Catch-up

Hello all, Happy New Year! Where has the time gone? The months got away from me. I hope you are all doing well, healthy and excited for 2016. It feels good to be talking to you all again. I’ve missed you.IMG_3060Here is my latest dyeing venture with black tea bags and 100% merino wool from Camellia Fiber Company. I love the way these turned out: a soft, classy color, very warm and nice. What do you think?

 

FullSizeRenderSome past Christmas knitting in progress: I ended up making three of these (Jason’s Cashmere Hat) in red, blue and green for each of my sons. They loved them and I was so proud of myself, cranked these babies out in about four days each. That was fun. I felt very accomplished.

Here’s a little Instagram update for you:

It is finished. #baby #blanket #knitting #knittersofinstagram #knitstagram

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My latest FO for a certain pregnant someone who will remain unnamed just in case she pops in. This was a very quick, satisfying project done in a cotton yarn which I will have to say has never really appealed to me in the past. But this was a nice quality yarn from Berroco, “Modern Cotton”, worsted. The pattern, “Chevron Baby Blanket”, is a freebie and can be found here.

#Ley Lines #shawl coming right along by #Joji Locatelli #knitting #knitstagram #knittersofinstagram

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Ley Lines” is getting close to being done. It’s a little fiddly in Section 5 where you start to bind off the sections on the even rows. Not sure if I’m doing this right. It’s unique and different from any other pattern I’ve tried.

#sock #knitting #knittersofinstagram #knitstagram #wool #blue #white

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How do you like my new #knitting #bowl from a kind #friend #knitstagram #knittersofig #knittersofinstagram

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A fairly new project I’m attempting. Having a little trouble at the point in the pattern where it says to “turn the work inside out and work in opposite direction to finish the sock”. Pattern is “Hugs Socks” by Jean Moss from her book, “Great Little Gifts to Knit”.  Anyone attempted this one yet?

How is your year going so far? Trying anything new? Be brave, go knit something good.

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?