New Year, New Resolutions!

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. 


January 12, 2017 — Maansi Shah

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