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

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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

 

Knitting

Cochineal Yarn and a New W.I.P.

Hello everyone! How are you? I am so sorry for my blogging absence! I allowed life to get in the way, and that’s my only excuse. Anyone getting in the mood for some fall/winter knitting? I know I am. This is a good time to get out those w.i.p.s you’ve put to the side and finish them! It has been getting cool here at nights, and today is just the most perfect, cloudless day. Fall is coming! Now onto some yarn news:Instead of delving into the indigo dye vat, I decided to try another cochineal project. I am pretty happy with how these turned out: a very nice soft seashell pinkish lilac with a new yarn that has a great heft and feel to it. Just the kind of yarn you can’t wait to dig your needles into.

Yarn specs:

  • 85% alpaca, 15% bamboo
  • 3-ply sport weight
  • 5 oz., 320 yds.

Other knitterly things in the works is a mosaic project I am currently working on for a class I will be teaching soon. If you’ve never tried your hand at mosaics, it is a rewarding knit and fairly easy to accomplish. It consists of a lot of slip, purl and knit stitches. You work with two colors, one at a time for two rows with some pretty spectacular results! Here is the pattern I’m using:

PaintBoxes Cowl by Susan Ashcroft

My version:

DSCF8655IMG_2960

What others have to say on the subject:

  • Twist Collective – great photos, information, links and charts.
  • Barbara G. Walker‘s book (the queen of Mosaic knitting) is a great resource.
  • Her Ravelry page offers many inspiring designs.
  • Purl Bee offers a fresh take on this technique with a blanket and also gives three other color options.
  • Knit Freedom has a good introduction to mosaics.

What new techniques are you trying? I challenge you to challenge yourself! Have a good one.

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

color · flowers · Garden · knits · Knitting · Nature

Rewind and Rework!

Well I was knitting this sample for the yarn store I’m working at and knew I wasn’t really happy with the way it was turning out. Soooo, I ripped it all out (I know, painful but not too bad) and started over. The whole idea with this Ito yarn was to show off the two different textures of the mohair line, Sensai and the 100% silk line, Kinu. I was knitting and purling every five rows when instead I should have been doing a Stockinette for five rows and Reverse Stockinette for the next five rows. Needless to say, the result has been much better and does definitely give a much better representation of the two yarns. See for yourself:  

 
DSCF8488DSCF8238DSCF8485Can you tell purple is one of my favorite colors?

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.

Knitting, Crafts, Food

“Aya” Progress

DSCF6008 DSCF6009 DSCF6010//As you can see, the Aya Scarf is coming along. It is thrilling to see the color progression happen and add that to the texture of the yarn, it just doesn’t get any better, for me anyway. In this project I am using Noro’s Aya (hence the name) made up of 50% cotton, 35% silk, and 15% wool. It is a different feel than a lot of yarns I have worked with before, but this is my first time to work with a yarn containing silk.DSCF6011 DSCF6012 DSCF6013//I am about halfway done knitting this scarf. It is going relatively fast, a little bit whenever I can find the time – you know how that goes. Sometimes it seems as if you are never going to be done, and then boom, it’s finished.

DSCF6017 DSCF6018 DSCF6020

DSCF6021

//Any thoughts you would like to share on the projects you are working on? I would love to hear. I hope you all have a great week!

xoxo Shannon