Saranac

April 01, 2014

My new pattern, Saranac is a crescent shaped shawl that is perfect for handspun or hand-dyed yarns. The construction -- with a long, peaked border that is worked side to side over a small number of stitches, and a stockinette body that is worked width-wise -- lets the color variations in these yarns shine.

I've knit two versions. The first was with my own handspun yarn, made from Unwind Yarn Company's Hand-dyed Merino Roving in the delightful Sanibel Stoop colorway. I love how the color variations in this handspun show off the construction of the shawl. Dana, tells me that she'll have a few braids of Merino Silk in Sanibel Stoop available in the Unwind Yarn Company update at 4:00 this afternoon.

HS Shawl 3
My second Saranac was knit with a beautiful soft grey from Tumbleweed Yarn in their Aurora fingering weight yarn. This more subtle colorway brings out the shawl's more elegant side. Tumbleweed, a new indie yarn company, is a collaboration between the extraordinarily talented designer Kitman Figueroa, and her sister-in-law Diana Story. Head over and check out their yarns. They have a gorgeous range of semi-solids that would work beautifully for this shawl, as well as some spectacular variegated offerings that would make a fun, colorful Saranac.

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Whichever way you decide to go with the yarn, this shawl is a fun knit that seems to fly off the needles.

HS Shawl 1

Sofie gave it her college student seal of approval when she modeled the grey version for me with a grey silk dress in almost the exact same color.

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I wish I had more photos of the handspun version to show you, but the dreary, rainy days we've had lately have made photographing knits a challenge. Instead, indulge me with another photo of the grey version.

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Saranac

Size: One Size

Finished Measurements:
14” deep x 62” long

Yarn:
Approximately 550 yds fingering weight yarn. Grey version shown in Tumbleweed Yarn Aurora, 80 % Merino/20% Nylon, 400 yards per 100 g skein. Color: Weathered Grey, 2 skeins.
Handspun version shown in yarn spun from a braid of Unwind Yarn Company Merino Roving. Color: Sanibel Stoop.

Needles:
US 6 (4mm) needles  or size to obtain gauge

Gauge:
19 sts & 32 rows = 4”/10cm in Stockinette St -- blocked; always take the time to check gauge

Other Materials:
stitch markers, tapestry needle

Price: $6.50

Trillium Mitts

February 10, 2014

My new Trillium Mitts pattern is named for my friend Beverly's LYS in Morristown, NJ. I'm a huge fan of Beverly's store and local yarn stores in general. So along with Trillium yarns, I'd like to dedicate this pattern to all local yarn stores and the owners, sales people, and teachers who make them so special.

Trillium Notebook
At a local yarn store you can spend a happy afternoon chatting with like-minded knitters about your shared passion. You can admire gorgeous colors, textures and that new shipment from your favorite yarn brand in person. At yarn stores you can increase your knitting skills -- through formal classes, or by chatting with other knitters. The people who work in yarn stores pick up dropped stitches, help you figure out what yarn will work best for that pattern you're just dying to knit, and are thrilled to admire a new project freshly off your needles. If you love your LYS, be sure to show them by spending a portion of your yarn budget there. Without the support of knitters, your LYS may not be there the next time you need that set of size 7 needles so you can cast on for your dream sweater right away.

Trillium Yarn Ball

Trillium Mitts

Size: One Size
Finished Measurements: 8” at cuff and palm x 8” long

Yarn: Juniper Moon Farm Tenzing, 85% Merino Wool, 15% Yak; 153 yards/140m per 1.76 oz/50g skein
Color A: #12 Brown, 1 skein - about 100 yards
Color B: #13 Mauve, 1 skein - about 100 yards
Color C: #11 Sand, 1 skein - about 35 yards

Needles: One set of 5, US 4 (3.5mm) double pointed needles or size to obtain gauge

Gauge: 27 sts & 31 rows = 4”/10cm in Hand chart - blocked, always take the time to check gauge

Other Materials: stitch markers, tapestry needle

Price: $6.00 US

Reynard Socks

February 05, 2014

Reynard 2

Raynard with its ornate cuff, and simple leg and foot, is perfect for showing off beautiful gradient yarns like KnitCircus's Thrilling. Thrilling comes divided into two cakes, allowing the knitter to easily achieve a matched pair.  I broke down and ordered two more colors this morning. I am weak in the presence of beautiful yarn.

Raynard starts with a delicate picot cast on, followed by an intricate cuff pattern of twisted stitches. To me the cuff looks like little upside down fox faces. I like the way they look up at me when I'm wearing the socks.

The pattern is written for two sizes. Choose your size based on your foot and ankle circumference. The length of the foot is customizable for a perfect fit.

Reynard 1

Reynard

Sizes: S/M [M/L]

Finished Measurements: 7.5 [8.5]” relaxed, will stretch to fit up to 10 [11]”

Yarn: KnitCircus Thrilling, 80% Superwash Merino, 20% Tussah Silk, 440 yards per 4 oz set of two yarn cakes, color: Bears Love Honey, one set of two cakes.

Needles:  1 set of 5 US 1.5 (2.5 mm) dpns  or size to obtain gauge

Gauge: 34 sts & 44 rows = 4”/10cm in stockinette st, blocked

Other Materials: tapestry needle, stitch markers, cable needle

Price: $6.00

The Gigantic Garter Blob

February 03, 2014

Nothing to see here . . .

Garter Blob 3

. . . just a gigantic garter stitch blankie.

Garter Blob 2

I worked this blanket from the center out, switching colors every 16 rounds. Most of the yarn was straight out of the stash. For more information see the project page on Ravelry.

Garter Blob 1

Announcements and Knitting Fun!

January 29, 2014

The third clue of the TTL Mystery Sock 2014 went out last night. Since the third clue signifies the halfway point of the KAL, I thought knitters might like a little motivation to keep them going; so I'm having a mini contest this week. I will randomly draw 10 winners from all of the completed heels (one heel is enough but if you post two, I'll put you in the drawing twice), with photos posted in the Week 3 Spoiler thread in the Ravelry group by midnight EST on Tuesday, February 4th. The winners will each receive a copy of my soon to be released pattern, Reynard (pictured below).

Reynard 1

I'm also very excited to announce that I'm teaching in England this summer. On Saturday, July 12 and Sunday, July 13th I'm teaching 3 classes at Unwind Brighton; Shawl Design, Lace, and Cast Ons Bind Offs Knitted Edgings and Trims. On Sunday, July 19th I'll be at Loop London teaching two classes; Andrea's Shawl, and Demystifying Japanese Stitch Patterns. If you're within travel distance I'd love to see you in Brighton or London -- or both!

Now go get knitting on those socks so you can enter this week's contest!

Ralston

January 15, 2014

Some of you may have seen me at Rhinebeck wearing this sweater. I knit madly for a week before to get it done in time. The day I arrived was sunny and glorious, so I persuaded my lovely friend Karen to model for me. Doesn't she look beautiful? Sadly those perfect autumn days are behind us and we are in the long winter slog.

Rhinebeck Hero

January can be a bit of a bleak time, with the holidays over and spring still not much more than a promise. Time for some mid-winter knitting! Ralston, my new pullover sweater design, incorporates slipped stitch chevron patterns across the yoke and lower sleeves. You’re only knitting one color per row, so it’s a faster and easier way to achieve that pop of color that we all need right now!

I used The Plucky Knitter Plucky Sweater for this design, and it’s a wonderful yarn with great stitch definition; perfect for showing off the chevron designs. The yarn seems dense and tightly plied in the skein, knits up easily, and feels almost weightless when worn.

Rhinebeck 2

With the recommended 2" of ease, Ralston is the ideal transitional piece for those days when you want to put on some layers due to the unpredictability of the weather. I can see wearing this through the rest of the winter with a long sleeved shirt underneath, and later into the spring with a T-shirt.

Ralston represents the perfect entrée into colorwork knitting for an adventurous beginner, and is also a fun addition to any more advanced knitter’s skill set. Knitted bottom up, in the round, in one piece, with the sleeves worked separately and joined to the body, it’s got lots of knitting gratification built right in. As the chevrons are knitted, it’s easy to track your progress. A few short rows at the back neck, all thoroughly explained, add a finished look to the sweater.

Rhinebeck Sleeve

Ralston works well with a wide variety of yarns and colorways; I could easily see this in a neutral main color with a bright jewel tone for contrast, or dark/pastel pairing.

We’ve got a sweater KAL going on right now in my “Fans of Through the Loops” group on Ravelry, and Ralston definitely qualifies. I know, I know, there's also the Mystery Sock KAL, some of us are doing both. Our sweater projects help pass the time between clues.

RALSTON

Size: To fit bust 30 [32, 34, 36, 38, 40, 42, 44, 46, 48, 50, 52, 54, 56]” with 2” ease. Shown in size 42.

Finished Bust: 32 [34, 36, 38, 40, 42, 44, 46, 48, 50, 52, 54, 56, 58]”

Yarn: Plucky Knitter Plucky Sweater, 90% Merino / 10% Nylon, 270 yds per skein, MC: Cabaret 4 [4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 5, 5, 5, 6, 6, 6, 6] skeins, CC: Oatmeal, 1 [1, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2] skeins

Needles:

One set US 5 (3.75mm) 32” circular needles
One set US 6 (4mm) 32” circular needles
One set US 5 (3.75mm) double pointed needles
One set US 6 (4mm) double pointed needles or size to obtain gauge

Gauge: 20 sts & 28 rows = 4”/10cm in Stockinette on larger needles-- blocked; always take the time to check gauge

Other Materials: stitch markers, tapestry needle, scrap yarn

Price: $6.50 US

 
Thank you to Karen for tech editing and to Nancy for test knitting, and advising.

Grover's Mill

January 06, 2014

Here in NYC we are having a brief reprieve from frigid temperatures, but the forecast says the cold will return tomorrow with a vengeance. For those of you in the midwest, who are experiencing the blast of cold today, I hope you are able to stay inside, ideally snuggled up on the couch knitting. 

Grovers Mill Hero 3

If this cold weather has put you in a sweater knitting mood, head over to the Fans of Through the Loops Group on Ravelry where we're having a TTL Sweater KAL. The KAL was inspired by a pattern I  released over the weekend - Grover's Mill, a top down raglan, with lots of cable-y goodness. It's knit in worsted weight yarn - the gorgeous magenta yarn above is Swans Island Natural Colors Collection Worsted, in Garnet.  Grover's Mill can be worn with just a wee bit of ease, as in the photo above, where Sofie is wearing it with 2" of ease for a more tailored look. Or if you prefer a more casual feeling, it works equally well with a lot of ease, as with the blue-grey (Quince & Co Lark, in frost) version below which Sofie is wearing with 8" of ease.

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Traditional cables are softened with a shawl color, and button-less front bands. The raglan lines are highlighted with cables,

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that continue down the sides after the sleeves are divided from the body.

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The sleeves are accented with a cable detail at the wrist.

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Grover's Mill

Sizes: This sweater may be worn with anywhere from 2-8” of positive ease. The Garnet version has 2” of ease, the Frost version is worn with 8” of ease. Add the desired amount of ease to your bust measurement to find your size below.

Finished Measurements: 36 [38, 40, 42, 44, 46, 48, 50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60]” at bust and hip, 25” long

Yarn: Garnet version: Swans Island Natural Colors Collection Worsted, 100% Organic Merino; 250 yards per 100g skein, Color: Garnet; 6 [6, 6, 7, 7, 7, 8, 8, 8, 8, 9, 9, 9] skeins
Frost Version: Quince & Co Lark, 100% American Wool; 134 yds per 50g skein, Color Frost; 10 [11, 12, 12, 12, 13, 14, 14, 15, 15, 16, 16, 17] skeins

Approximately 1340 [1400, 1490, 1550, 1600, 1680, 1775, 1840, 1910, 1970, 2060, 2120, 2190] yds Worsted Weight yarn

Needles: 32” US 8 (5 mm) circular needle or size to obtain gauge 32” US 6 (4 mm) circular needle
1set US 8 (5 mm) dpns
1 set US 6 (4 mm) dpns

Gauge: 21 sts & 29 rows = 4”/10cm in stockinette on larger needles - blocked, always take the time to check gauge

Other Materials: tapestry needle, stitch markers in two colors: 8 “A” stitch markers & 6 “B” stitch markers

Price: $6.50 US

For those of you who are curious about the name of this pattern, here's the story. I grew up a few miles from Grover's Mill, New Jersey; the location of the Martians landing in the Orson Wells radio dramatization of H. G. Wells novel The War of the Worlds. Listening to the radio broadcast was an annul Halloween tradition for my family. We'd listen to the re-broadcast as we ate dinner, then head out to trick or treat. Local legend was that during the original broadcast, a resident of Grover's Mill was so convinced by Orson Wells radio drama, that he mistook a farmer's water tower for a Martian. He pulled out his shotgun and shot the water tower. I have no idea if this is true, but the idea of it thrilled me as a child.

Happy New Year & A Mystery Sock

January 01, 2014

Happy 2014 everyone!! Wishing you all a healthy and happy year.

January means Mystery Sock time here at TTL. This year the Mystery begins on January 15th, with new clues released once a week for five weeks. Now's the time to start digging through your stash, or head out to your LYS and find your yarn. This year's design uses two colors but have no fear, you only need about 35 yards of the second color. We all have those little bits of left over yarn laying around, don't we? The pattern calls for Plucky Knitter Primo Fingering, but most other fingering weight yarns will work too. I recommend a solid or semi-solid for the main color to show off the patterning.

You'll find more details on the TTL Mystery Sock 2014 pattern page on Ravelry, so head over there now. While you're there, help me spread the word by queuing the pattern, adding it to your favorites and mentioning it in the forums. Don't forget to join us in the Fans of Through the Loops Ravelry group to introduce yourself, show off your yarn, and get to know the other KAL members.

Mystery Sock Button
Sizes: S/M [M/L]

Finished Measurements: 7 [8]” relaxed, will stretch to fit up to 10.5 [11.5]”

Yarn: The Plucky Knitter Primo Fingering; 75% Merino/ 20% Cashmere/5% Nylon, 385 yds per 100g skein MC: 1 skein, CC: approximately 25 yards

Needles: 1 set of 5 US 1.5 (2.5 mm) dpns or size to obtain gauge

Gauge: 32 sts & 48 rows = 4”/10cm In stockinette st, blocked.

Other Materials: tapestry needle, stitch markers

Price: $6.00

Kildrummy

December 02, 2013

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As I mentioned in my last post, I am working on my third Kildrummy. (A handspun version this time around). After I wrote that post it occurred to me that I had never written an formal blog post on my first two Kildrummys.
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The original design was created using two colors of The Plucky Knitter's Traveler Aran. A delectably squishy blend of merino, silk and yak. My goal was to design a cowl that would knit up quickly, yet still be fun and interesting to make, using two colors to create an ombre effect. I gave the cowl chunky cables on a garter stitch ground. Narrow garter stitch stripes transition broad bands of color from one, into the next. The garter stitch gives the cowl body, and allows the squishy, soft yarn to shine. It also makes for quick knitting. Since every other round - with the exception of the cable rounds - is a plain knit round. DSC_0042

Since Sofie and Izzy love a chunky, chunky cowl, and I love playing with color combinations, I knit a second Kildrummy using two colors of Malabrigo Chunky. For this version I modified the pattern by casting on fewer stitches to accommodate the larger gauge. (This pattern is very easily modified to accommodate just about any gauge yarn.) To make this chunky version, I used a skein each of Polar Morn and Pearl Ten that I bought at Trillium Yarns. Izzy took this one back up to school with her within minutes of finishing the photo shoot.

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This pattern will knit up quickly for last minute Christmas knitting, and you probably have two skeins of yarn in your stash that you can use to make one.  And don't forget, my pattern sale continues until midnight tonight, so there's still time to get Kildrummy (and any of my other patterns) for 20% off. Just use coupon code CRAFTFRIDAY.

Kildrummy

Kildrummy

(note all of the specs/details below refer to the original, Plucky Traveler Aran version, which is the blue & wine colored cowl in the photos above)

Size: S [L] Shown in size L


Finished Measurements: 25 [50]”circumference x 8 [8]” deep

Yarn: Plucky Knitter Traveler Aran, 65% Merino / 20%Silk / 15%Yak; 220 yards/206 m per skein, Color A: Fat Fish Blue, 1[1] skeins
Color B: Contessa, 1[1] skeins

Needles: US 8 (5mm) 40” circular needles or size to obtain gauge

Gauge: 16 sts & 34 rows = 4”/10cm in garter st- blocked (see notes below), always take the time to check gauge

Other Materials: stitch markers, tapestry needle, cable needle

Price: $5.00 US

Craft Friday

November 29, 2013

Before I begin, I want to remind you all of my Craft Friday promotion, just use coupon code CRAFTFRIDAY to receive 20% off of all of my independently published patterns. I'm extending the sale to Monday to give you all a little extra time to pick up patterns for your holiday knitting.

I hope everyone who celebrates had a wonderful Thanksgiving yesterday. Along with the 5 usual suspects, we had several of my kids' college friends, the mom of one of those friends who was visiting from New Hampshire, and our upstairs neighbor (who saved the day by kindly offering his oven for extra cooking space). We all ate too much, and enjoyed spending time with each other.

Today we're having a low-key Craft Friday. I've decided to put my other WIPs on hold for the day and cast on a special project using a skein of my own handspun.

In the Skein

This yarn is spun from a braid of Into the Whirled superwash merino/cashmere/nylon that I purchased at Rhinebeck in October. The color is Vegetable Medley.

Bump

To prepare the fiber, I broke up the roving and sorted the pieces by color. Next I divided each of those piles of color into roughly equal portions and filled two bobbins with single plies in the same color order.  When I plied them together the color sections ended at slightly different spots so that there are short sections where two different colors are plied together. I like this effect since I find it helps the color transitions. I ended up with 300 yards of roughly sport weight yarn.

Yarn Cake

And now I'm off to turn this handspun into a Kildrummy Cowl. This pattern is very adaptable to different weight yarns. I designed it using Plucky Knitter Traveler Aran, then knit a second using Malabrigo Chunky. Now my third will be made with this handspun sport weight.  Since it's already a gradient I woun't need to do the color changes as written in the pattern.

Happy Craft Friday!