Every New Year, we make promises to ourselves. My cliche list includes working out more often, reading one book a month, and learning one new knitting technique every month. So far, I've kept up all three promises. I started this year with two new projects, both involving color work. The first one is part of our Building Blocks in Color class. Over the span of ten months, a new color-work technique is learned and mastered every month. The end result is a beautiful color-work blanket! The first months' lesson plan covers Intarsia. Intarsia...the thought of creating a color-work pattern with separate balls of yarn attached...I think my knitting needles just ran away from me. To be fairly honest, this panel has been a lot easier than I anticipated. I got the hang of the concept within the first 5 rows and picked up speed as I intarsia-ed along. Last year, we introduced Building Blocks- a 12 month project where we taught one new stitch pattern a month. That stitch pattern was incorporated into a block for each month. These beautiful blocks blossomed into a fun textured throw and many students ended up making more than one blanket. So, following the success of the Building Blocks, we decided to advance to Building Blocks in Color.
Building in Color requires a double-knit (DK) weight yarn. This blanket features Simplicity by Hikoo, a spring-y, squish-y, soft washable yarn that's just perfect for blankets. The superwash wool makes it practical for blankets and the nylon adds stability and structure to make this yarn last. Some other yarns I personally would love to see this blanket knit up in are Tosh DK, Cassia by Louisa Harding, Vintage DK by Berroco, Skinny Cotton by Blue Sky Fibers, or Seedling by Classic Elite Yarns.
I cast on in Louisa Hardings' Cassia, a wool and nylon blend. I've enjoyed knitting in this yarn because the stitch definition has been great but I'm also partial to the feel of the fabric this yarn creates. I will keep you updated on how this knit-along goes!
My first finished project of 2017 is the Cruces Cowl by Hillary Smith Callis. I knit this in Anzula Fibers Cricket in Au Natural and Elephant in about 5 days. This is the second project I've made in Cricket and I truly believe that this yarn knits itself up. The cashmere really adds a hand of luxury and the double fabric gives you warmth when you need it (happy dance because it has finally gotten cold in Atlanta!). This project includes color work where two strands of yarn are carried together in each row which is called fairisle. If you feel intimidated, don't. The fairisle pattern in both colors is followed by a block of stockinette on either side so you get a fun burst of color and then a tame section of relaxing knitting.
My second project of 2017 is the Fragmentation Cowl by Kiyomi Burgin. This pattern was in the 19th issue of PomPom Quarterly and has a few options for yarn ideas. I was keen on the ombre version so I decided to use Madeline Tosh's Unicorn Tails. I had never knit in Madeline Tosh Unicorn Tails and this was a fun project to test out different colorways. All Unicorn Tails are dyed in the base of Tosh Merino Light and come in 25 different color options. In my version of this hat, I used Dirty Panther, Charcoal, Worn Denim, Celadon, and Antler. The pattern was easy and fun to follow.
There is a chill in the air and my chunky cowls have come out to play! It's officially knitting season (although I do believe knitting is an all year round activity)! From sweaters, cowls, scarves, and socks, the possibilities are endless. Winter Accessories are my personal favorite as they knit up quickly and add personality to whatever you wear. This year, I've noticed one trend- the chunkier the better! Chunky yarns aren't only fun but they knit-up in a blink of an eye.
Rasta by Malabrigo comes in medley of kettle dyed colorways. My favorite color is Piedras. If you pair the yarn with the Rasta Neckwarmer and natural coconut buttons, this is something you will want wear all winter long. The pattern for the Rasta Neckwarmer comes in Malabrigo Book 3 which has a number of great patterns for accessories and garments (check out the Twisted Cowl and Purl Ridge Hat)!
Another alternative (**free pattern alert**) is called the Squishy Soft Cowl. This is a great pattern because it caters to different weights of yarn (from fingering to bulky) but you can also customize the size and width of the cowl. If you want a thinner yarn, Mecha or Dream in Color Classy with Cashmere are great options as they are variegated and knit up beautifully to show off the fun pattern.
Extra Is another yarn that has the softness of baby alpaca and the durability of merino. It's great for sweaters, cowls, and scarves alike. The Purl Soho Stitch Block Cowl and Two Harbors Poncho are my picks to showcase this yarn. Extra has great color options that go well with one another.
If you want a one skein project, Alpakka Kashmir is your friend. The Center Row Lace Headband/Cowl will use every last drop of your yarn, with just enough to sow on a cute button to bring in the two ends together. This dual purpose project can keep the chill from nipping at your ears as a headband or help you stay warm around your neck.
The Marled Cowl in Knit Collages' Pixie Dust and Cast Away will give you instant gratification. Knit on size US 35's, in a blink of an eye, you will have a fluffy colorful cowl for the days you just need a little *something* special to keep you warm. Pixie Dust and Cast Away are hand spun artistic yarns that give life to any project. If you want something more colorful and dramatic, the Cozy Cast Away Wrap in any bright color will keep you cozy when you don't want a jacket.
Misti Alpaca's Chunky and Hand paint Chunky are great for one skein scarves (see this one here : Ribs and Ruffles Scarf) but also some fun garments that are perfect for Atlanta's hot/cold winters. The Moto Vest is a great pattern for this yarn because it's a simple pattern to follow and you can wear it a few different ways. I would love to make this vest in the colorway Winter Queen!
If the cold weather hasn't gotten your needles moving, I hope some of these projects will inspire your inner-knitter to come out an play!
I'm usually monogamous when it comes to projects. I try to restrain some self control when knitting and I only start a new project once the old project is bound off. But this summer, I've taken many breaks from my Bevan Pullover. I'm a sucker for color blocking, and I strayed from the colors called for, choosing cool tones instead. The pattern has been easy to follow and I've enjoyed gauging my progress by the number of color changes I've made.
But while I knit away at Bevan, I have completed a few other projects because... you know... cast on envy!
This summer, I started and finished knitting Jumo, a Trapezoid Tee, a Caledonia Cowl, a Sunshine Daydream Cardi–my favorite summer project–, a Three Color Cashmere Cowl, and last but not least, a Peeep-a-Boo Cowl.
The Peeep-a-Boo Cowl was one of my favorite things to make because Jade Sapphire's Peeeps yarn is just heaven. I picked the colors I wanted to knit with and was extremely disappointed when I had to bind off. I could just knit this yarn forever!
Peeeps is a strand of wool wrapped in a cloud of cashmere, creating a light and airy yarn. The pattern comes with the kit but you can stripe the cowl as you please, making up your own pattern. The kit comes with two balls of one main color and one ball of a contrast color. I knit up exactly one and a half balls of yarn for one cowl and have enough leftover to make one more cowl to gift someone who will also fall in love with the softness and amazing quality that is Peeep! I can't wait for cooler temperatures so I can throw this on.
The ever so popular Color Block Bias Wrap has always been a hit. It takes 2 skeins each of three colors in Classic Elite's Chalet or Chateau. Chalet colors are all neutrals and naturals while Chateaux adds a pop of color to brighten up your project.
When knitters get bored, we start to get creative. My sister, Rieddhi, gets creative often. She was looking at the Be Sweet Mohair Boucle when she realized we had certain color combinations that would make an amazing Color Block Bias Wrap. She picked one skein each of a cream, light blue, and dark blue. Each skein has enough yardage to make the entire scarf (you just divide each ball in half, creating six balls of yarn). The mohair boucle has a halo so that allows you to work with a larger needle size has the halo fills in the stich. We liked the gauge that the US 10.5 needle knit up on and off we went.
Here are the result! What do you guys think?
Trapezoid Tee by Sarah Wilson
Yarn ideas: Vijay Fibers Legato or Rowan Creative Linen
Aurelia Ponchette by Nancy Ricci
Yarn ideas: Jade Sapphire Sylph, Louet Euroflax, Rowan Purelife Revive, Anzula Fibers in Milky Way
Still Waters by Julie Turjoman
Yarn ideas: Vijay Fibers Octave, Louet Euroflax, Hemp by Lucci
Tove by Amy Christoffers
Yarn ideas: Berroco Corsica, Be Sweet Bambino
Ombre Tank by Mona Schmidt for Espace Tricot
Yarn ideas: Habu Textiles A-1 2/17 Tsumugi Silk, Juniper Moon Farms Zooey
Striking Mesh Top by Rosemary Drysdale
Yarn ideas: Tahki Stacey Ripple, Lana Grossa Aria
Sonam by Marie Wallin
Yarn ideas: Rowan SoftYak Dk, Berocco Weekend DK, Rowan Creative Linen
- Sycamore Vest by Hannah Fettig
Yarn ideas: Blue Sky Alpacas Skinny Cotton, CEY Sandpiper
Lacuna Vest by Norah Gaughan
Yarn ideas: Berroco Captiva, Berroco Fuji, CEY Sandpiper
NOTE:Since the Berroco Trunk Show arrived at our store, many of us have been inspired by Norah Gaughan's Lacuna Vest. So, we're going to host an impromptu Knit-A-Long for it this summer! If you're interested in joining, let us know!
Francis by Olga Buraya-Kefelian
Yarn ideas: Rowan Purelife Revive, Habu Textiles Tsumugi Silk, Anzula Milky Way
Togue Pond by Pam Allen
Yarn ideas: Vijay Fibers Brio, Berroco Modern Cotton, Berroco Fuji, Rowan Cotton Lustre
Since the Berroco Trunk Show arrived at our store, many of us have been inspired by Norah Gaughan's Lacuna Vest. So, we're going to host a Knit-A-Long for it this summer! If you're interested in joining, let us know!
I was very excited to finish the Chrysanthemum socks only to jump right into a summer garment. The socks turned out fantastically and I can't wait to wear them–who wouldn't want a little bit of cashmere to keep their feet warm? I'm a huge fan of Anzula's yarns (especially Squishy and Cricket) and I would knit with them in a heartbeat. Last November, I knit in Anzula's Cricket and made Outlined by Suvi Simola. I can't brag enough about the pattern and I am pretty sure I've worn it at least once a week for the past five months. It's one of the most comfortable sweaters I have ever knitted.
The next project I'm working on uses lace weight yarn.
Sombra by Elanor King was featured in the Summer 2014 issue of Pom Pom magazine. It's a beautiful cotton lace weight top with a geometric ombre pattern. The yarn called for is a discontinued yarn by Habu Textiles called Non-Twist Cotton Boucle. I'd fallen in love with top as soon as the magazine fell into my hands. The only deterrent was how thin the yarn was. Luckily, thin yarn and big needles help! So far, this has been easy to knit up. The pattern calls for the "at the same time do XandYandZ and please don't forget to count your stitches and pat your head and belly" construction. Mkthanks! Nothing a little spreadsheet can't take care of! I've learned that reading through patterns and writing out what needs to be done on each row makes knitting easier, and as you continue down the yellow brick road, you just check off each row.
It's been ages since I knit up socks. And after flipping (and may I add drooling) through Hunter Hammerson's The Knitter's Curiosity Cabinet books, I settled for a small, portable, quick project. The cover of The Knitter's Curiosity Cabinet (Volume I) showcases a pair of botanically inspired saffron-hued socks. It was love at first sight.
The Chrysanthemum frutescens socks features a petal pattern with a curved picot edging. I know the weather is warming up, but I can not wait to wear these! I am currently knitting these socks two-at-a-time in Anzula Fibers' Squishy. Squishy is a fingering weight yarn composed of merino for softness, cashmere for luxury, and a bit of nylon for durability and structure. Squishy comes in a huge palette of color ways with each color being vibrant and as unique as the color names.
The Cusp has been bound-off, washed, blocked, and ready to be worn!
I followed the pattern for my size and it ended up being very big on me. I removed a few pattern repeats and the end result was much more flattering. I'm very happy with the outcome. Hope it gets chilly just for a day so I can enjoy wearing this comfy top! The yarn is also quite nice- soft and not itchy. Frabjous Fibers' March Hare was the perfect pairing...great stitch definition, vibrant colorways, and comfortable to wear.
Now....onto the next project!
I am currently knitting a pattern called Cusp by Olga Buraya-Kefelian. She created this pattern for Brooklyn Tweed's 2015 Capsule Collection. It's a hexagonal pull over that draws detail to cables and geometry galore.
This sweater taught me to do a new cast on (the Circular Cast-On which Laura Nelkin does a perfectly good job teaching you on Youtube) and how to drop down traveling cables, fix them, then bring those stitches back up. As easy and intuitive as this pattern is, if focus is lost for a minute, you may find yourself with a cable that zagged when it should have zigged.
This pattern has been perfectly paired with Frabjous Fiber's March Hare yarn. This yarn company, Wonderland Yarns, has themed their yarns after Lois Carol's Alice in Wonderland. I'm currently using Shilling&Pence, a beautiful heathered teal blue. The yarn is a 100% superwash merino and has been a delight to knit with. If anyone knows, I can (and do so easily) get distracted, so even after all the unknitting I have done, this yarn has held up wonderfully.
After spending an unmentionable amount of time on trying to figure out what my first post would be about, I threw my hands up in the air and said...I give up...let's knit!
I find it much easier to talk about things I like and love. One of those things happens to be knitting. I presume you and I have something in common since that's how you ended up stumbling upon this little corner of the interwebs. This blog is dedicated all things yarn. All things pretty. And all things I love.
At the moment, I am currently loving Madeline Tosh's Pashmina. It's soft, silky, shiny, and you would be amazed how many times you can rip out your project and cast on, rip out, cast on, rip out...rinse, lather and repeat. Pashmina is a perfect blend of silk, cashmere, and superwash merino and it knits up like a dream. And the colors...you find one that you like, then another, and oh what about that blue one...it's like you have to leave a trail of bread crumbs to come back to the first color you originally liked. After spending two hours looking at the color ways, you're lucky if you can walk out of the yarn shop with just one color and one project. So once you've picked out the perfect color, you need to find the most perfect pattern for this perfect yarn. You know you have found this perfect pattern when your heart leaps out of your chest, you can't wait to cast on (even without doing your gauge swatch...yes...I know, it happens to the best of us), all you want to do is spend time knitting, and sometimes, you can hear little birds singing. Please insert a Pepe le Peu heart for eyes picture here. Upon eyeing Thoreau, a grassy green tossed in with a golden yellow, my hunt for the perfect pattern began. (Thoreau has since been discontinued...I feel I have literally made out like a bandit with my glorious four skeins.)
For me, Norah Gaughan can do no wrong. She has designed for Berroco and Loops-London, she teaches, and creates the most timeless sweater patterns that you will wear for eons to come. Just cool, clean, structured cable patterns that you want to throw on and spend all day in.
Enter Parlan. My perfect pattern.
A cozy cabled turtle neck sweater to keep you warm on chilly knits. Fortunately, it gets a little chilly in Atlanta so this sweater will serve its' stylish purpose. I just cast on a few days ago and have had a blast knitting up this pattern. The pattern is well written and easy to understand, something knitters are fans of. I've gotten through a few pattern repeats and I am really enjoying knitting this sweater.