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Posts from November 2011

Win a Copy of Coastal Knits

CoverCoastal Knits by Alana Dakos and Hannah Fettig is a beautiful collection of ten sweater and accessory patterns created by two friends on opposite coasts.


Alana and Hannah each have their own point of veiw, but share a talent for creating flattering designs with the kinds of details that make them fun to knit and wear.


The projects in the book are all beautifully photograhphed in locations around Alana's west coast or Hannah's east coast homes. Sweet illustrations and essays on the individual locations compliment the photographs to make the book a pleasure to page through.


With a range of techniques and difficulty levels there is something for everyone in this book. I'm particularly taken with the lovely way the decreases on the crown of the Rustling Leaves Beret come together to create an orderly swirl of leaves.


Hannah and Alana have offered to send a free copy of Coastal Knits to one of my readers. Simply comment on this post by Monday, December 5th and I will draw one winner at random.

All images are copyright 2011 by Coastal Knits.

Asteroidea, Brueghel, Tanis Fiber Arts Club, a Yarn App and Pies. Oh My

I hope everyone in the US had a wonderful Thanksgiving. I'm preparing the full turkey dinner today. For yesterday's meal we were a large group and since no one in the family has the space for such a crowd, we opted to have Thanksgiving in a restaurant. The meal and company were wonderful, but there is nothing like a Thanksgiving meal cooked at home. Anders will be coming to join us along with one of his roommates.

Before I start baking pies I thought I'd write a quick post. I've had several things that I've been wanting to post about so I thought I would combine them here.

First on the list is Tanis Fiber Arts Year in Colour Yarn Club. Tanis's yarns are a dream to design with. I adore both her colors and the base yarns that she uses. For 2011 Tanis offered club subscriptions for the first time and I happily agreed when she asked me to create a design.

Asteroidea 6
If you missed this year's club, there's still time to join for next year. I'll be creating a design again for her 2012 club and I am humbled to be among the group of designers she's chosen; Julie Crawford of Knitted Bliss, Hannah Fettig of Knitbot, Alana Dakos of Never Not Knitting, Hilary Smith Callis of The Yarniad and Jared Flood of Brooklyn Tweed!   Head over to Tanis's website to sign up.

Asteroidea 1
For Tanis's 2011 club I created a slouchy hat, Asteroidea in Blue Label Fingering Weight. The top of the hat reminds me of a starfish, so I named it Asteroidea which is the class that starfish belong to. For now Asteroidea is exclusive to club members. It will be available to everyone else in January.

Asteroidea 2

Speaking of yarn clubs, a pattern that I created for the Loopy Ewe 2010 club is now available to everyone.

Brueghel is a cuff down sock worked in twisted stitches and lace. The stitch pattern reminds me of little spades so I named it Brueghel for the the sixteenth century Dutch painter Pieter Brueghel who is best known for his paintings of peasants. It was his painting “The Hay Harvest”, that inspired me to name the pattern after him.

Brueghel 2


Sizes: M[L] (shown in size M)

Measurements: 7[8]” circumference at foot and leg, the foot length is customizable.
Gauge: 34 sts and 50 rows = 4” in “Harvest” stitch pattern

Yarn: Fingering weight, approx. 400 yards. Shown in Madelinetosh Tosh Sock, 100% superwash merino wool, 395 yards/361 m per 114 g skein, 1 skein

Needles: US 1 (2.25mm) DPN’s or size to obtain gauge

Additional Materials: Stitch Markers, Tapestry Needle, Cable Needle

Price: $6.00 US

Now before I go bake those pies, I have one final item. I was recently sent a promotional copy of Yarn U to try out on my phone. This handy little app has a database of yarns with details on fiber content, price, distributors and mini reviews of the yarns along with finished project photos for inspiration. For someone like me who spends a lot of time knitting away from home this is a great resource to help you choose the right yarn for your next project.

Thanks for reading. It's time for me to go peel some apples. Have a great weekend.


Ziggity Shawl 1

The two color Ziggity shawl is shaped with 2 increases on every row. The top edge curves slightly up at the center back to give added protection to the neck on cold days. The bottom edge has a gentle curve which may be blocked to soft points as shown or with a straight edge.

Simple garter stitch gives way to a lively zig-zag lace pattern. Experiment with color - try working each section of the zig-zag in a different yarn, or work the garter stitch in a variegated yarn and the lace in a solid. The more adventuresome may even want to try two different colorways of self striping yarn. For a more understated look a single solid color will make an elegant shawl for a more formal occasion.

Ziggity Shawl 6
Ziggity may be worn tossed casually around the neck like a scarf, draped over the shoulders as  a shawl or even wrapped multiple times around the neck with the ends tied and tucked under as a cowl. Have fun experimenting with multiple ways to style this shape.

Ziggity Shawl 2

Ziggity Shawl 5


Size: One Size

Finished Measurements: 66” wide by 19” Deep

Yarn: String Theory Hand Dyed Yarn Blue Stocking, 80% Blue Face Leicester/20% nylon, 420 yards(384m) per 113g(3.99 oz) skein
MC: Didgeridoo - 1 skein the shawl shown took 1/2 of the skein or about 210 yards
CC: Vert - 1 skein The shawl shown took 65% of the skein or about 275 yards
It is always advisable to have extra yardage to allow for differences from knitter to knitter and skein to skein.

Needles: US 7 (4.5mm) 32” circular needle or size to obtain gauge

Gauge: 17 sts & 40 rows = 4” in garter stitch- blocked, always take the time to check gauge

Other Materials: Scrap Yarn, Crochet Hook, Place Markers (PM), tapestry needle

Price: $6.50 US

Ziggity Shawl 7
Thank you to my wonderful test knitters Cara, Mary, Katie, Linda, Vera, Amy & Daphne!

Craft Activism

Have you seen Craft Activism yet? Joan Tapper & Gale Zucker have created a wonderful collection of photos and essays featuring talented folks who craft with a purpose. They cover a large range of projects from yarn bombing to whimsical skirts crafted from plastic shopping bags to hand-knit animal skins that meticulously recreate the intricate patterns of individual ocelots. Every page is filled with inspiration and information all delightfully illustrated with Gale's beautiful, yet playful photos. It is no surprise that Craft Activism deservedly earned a spot in Amazon's Best Craft Books of 2011.


I am happy to have played a small part in the book by contributing the  Craftitude Vest. Ever patient TTL model Sofie even did the honors of modeling the vest for the book. Sofie and I met Gale at the High Line on a hot summer day for the photo-shoot. Sofs was a trooper modeling wool in sweltering heat. She has learned well how to suffer for her mother's crafty adventures.

Gale Sofs


For Craftitude I wanted to create a feminine vest that combined the simplicity of stockinette with an interesting cable. The vest features a scooped neck, waist shaping, and a long lean silhouette. It works well over dresses and skirts or with your favorite pair of jeans.

Craftitude Vest 1

Craftitude Vest 2

Craftitude Vest 3

Craftitude Vest 4

For more details on the vest and to see Gales wonderful photos go to the Raverly Pattern page.

Oana Shawl

I am very much behind in posting about new designs that I have had published in books and magazines recently. I choose to blame it on moving, or deadlines, or getting The Charles Collection ready, or rogue October snowstorms. Please indulge my laying the blame elsewhere rather than with my own talent for procrastination. I will try to post every couple of days for awhile so I can show you the designs one at a time.

First off I am very pleased to have a design in the most recent issue of Knitscene - Winter 2011. This particular issue is packed with designs I want to knit. I only wish I could find the time. You can see them all here on Ravlery, or on the Knitscene website.

My contribution is a worsted weight, fringed lace shawl, Oana.

Photo copyright Knitscene


Photo copyright Knitscene

The Oana shawl is worked in one piece from the bottom point upward using worsted weight yarn. The sample in the magazine is made with O-Wool Classic Worsted. I took photos of Sofie modeling the shawl before we sent it off, but sadly my camera was misbehaving that day and the photos didn't come out very well. The few that weren't totally overexposed have Sofie looking quite miserable. Maybe she was upset that we had to ship Oana off and she didn't get to keep this one. Truly I don't remember much about taking the photos other than we were about to miss the train, so there was no time to adjust exposure and such. But you get the idea. Oana Shawl

Look for more pattern updates in the coming days.