Lookit what I made, it’s so cool! :)
Project: Fairy Rings
Pattern: Miss Winkle
Designer: Martina Behm
Available: €3.60 EUR on Ravelry
Yarn: A Hundred Ravens Iachos in “Frances and the Leaping Fairy”
So … I think we all know how hard it can be to find a good pattern for a high-contrast multi-colored skein of hand-dyed yarn. For instance, take a look at this skein:
In terms of colors, the white, coral, and green all contrast sharply. The tone of the saturated green and color are about the same, as you can see in the black-and-white version, but there is a strong contrast between the white and the most saturated “grey” ends of the skein. This is a colorway that will be stripey, and would overwhelm any but the most simple lace pattern.
BUT — it’s perfect for garter stitch, especially if the project has a variable stitch count to help avoid big pools of color. Martina Behm’s Hitchhiker is a perfect example of a simple pattern in garter stitch that increases gradually from a small cast-on to a broad end … it’s classic! Martina seems to have made this sort of shawl/scarf a bit of a speciality. What I like about Miss Winkle is the awesome loopy edge. I need something to help hold my attention when working garter stitch, and this was just the thing. An unexpected side-benefit of the loops is that they concentrate the color. I estimate that each loop uses about half a round of the skein, so many progress through all three main colors. It helps “pop” the colors in the garter stitch…. and also, they are so cool!!
The curve of this kind of shawl happens naturally — the neck edge has kfb on both RS and WS rows, so it “pulls” a bit.
So … last week I got my hands on my special-order Aesir from A Hundred Ravens. I had a specific project in mind, and I asked Kate to dye a batch of Aesir in “mostly Bree, but less orange and more tonal in general.”
She took a look at the project I was planning, and made this for me:
And, here are the first two gears of my Torque Scarf!
A Hundred Ravens can be found at the Wayland Winter Farmers’ Market most Saturdays! Snugged in amongst the plants and, um, garden decorations you will find a wide variety of delicious local food and other neat stuff. Kate sells hard copies of many of my patterns, and has lovely samples worked up in her yarn. The butter-yellow Levade in Llyr is one of my favorites.
It’s even better on a dinosaur.
(The raptor is a yard ornament. That you can buy. To put in your yard. And terrify people.)
I’m very excited about my latest design project! I hardly dare say it (because jinx), but it’s coming together so effortlessly, and I looooove it so much! Here’s a bit of the first motif:
One of the joys of being and indie designer is that I can share photos whenever I like! So there.
My new collection of shawls is called “Clockwork.” Each shawl will feature different fingering-weight yarn from A Hundred Ravens. I’m using the yet-to-be-released spring/summer colors, and each two-skein shawl will feature two different colorways. I’ve seen some preview skeins, and they are unspeakably lovely, so I hope you are all super jealous :) :).
I swatched madly and then cast on for the first shawl, Flywheel, this week, using Llyr, a silk/wool blend with all the drape and shine you’d expect. I’m using two semi-solid colorways, and some really interesting and fun stitch patterns. This design will probably be my mystery KAL pattern for the collection. (Interested? Make sure to sign up for my email list to be notified first about mystery KAL updates.)
I finished, finally! :) I give you … a very BRIGHTLY colored cowl/wrap:
Project: Firebird Rhea Silvia
Pattern: Rhea Silvia
Designer: Sara Morris
Available: $6 on Ravelry
Yarn: A Hundred Ravens Iachos in “Midst Her Fires”
Two skeins of Iachos ends up being not quite enough yarn for a Rhea Silvia. If I’d read the pattern thoroughly, I would have know this. Instead, I got caught off guard … fortunately, I was able to bind off a row or three early on both edges, and it still looks pretty good. Even with blocking, I’m finding the border flares more than I like. If I make another Rhea Silvia, I’ll probably decrease more when transitioning from the cabled body to the border in order to limit/eliminate this flare.
That said, I’m delighted with the end product! Kate’s yarn shines (glows, even!) in this pattern. The striping and pooling of hand-dyed yarn can be SO much fun! I’ve been wearing it doubled-up (see below) and getting lots of compliments.
This project was finished a while ago, but I never shared … enjoy!
Project: Aphrodite of the Sea
Pattern: Song of the Sea
Designer: Louise Zass-Bangham
Available: £3.50 GBP on Ravelry
Yarn: Llyr from A Hundred Ravens in an early version of Aphrodite
This is a pretty straight-up pattern — shows off this tonal colorway beautifully. Easy to knit, easy to wear. Make one today! :)
So … I got this knitting machine for Challenge #4 of The Fiber Factor. It’s really good at cranking out stockinette … so obviously, instead of working on the challenge, I packed up the machine and brought it over to Kate’s house. (You know, Kate, the amazing hand-dyer over at A Hundred Ravens.) We rigged up two swifts and two skeins of her sock-yarn base ( (aka Iachos). With her managing the swifts and me minding (and winding) the machine with the sock yarn held double, we cranked through 400 yards and created a tube-shaped dying blank about 5 feet long (tall?).
Why, you ask? Because with such a blank, we could do a fabulous gradient dye job! What fun! It took about 40 minutes (with two people) to make the blank, which is longer than it took to dye it. Later on Kate & Company reversed the process and made skeins out of the blank.
My desire was to emulate the beautiful fall leaves against a slate-gray stormy sky. With Kate’s guidance (and editing eye) we focused on the leaves on the test skein (dyed “normally” with short color repeats), starting with a pale yellow, moving through bright oaky orange and a cherry maple red, and finishing with a more mahogany color. I begged for a second skein of the slate gray to do colorwork with the short-repeat skein.
Here are those two colorways, skeined and then caked:
The gradient colorway is AMAZING in person — here it is in skein and cake:
I have selected Alexandra by Dee O’Keefe (shawlette size) — so far, I’m in loooove!
Introducing my latest pattern: Objects Below!
Pattern: Objects Below
Designer: Rachel Henry (that’s me!)
Available: $6 on Ravelry – discounted to $3 until September 30th, 2013!
Yarn: A Hundred Ravens Lustre DK (sample used 215 yards)
Objects Below is a narrow lace stole/scarf designed especially for A Hundred Ravens Lustre DK. It uses nearly a whole skein — 215 yards in my sample. With complex lace patterning on both sides, this pattern is a challenge to make and a joy to behold.
Important Coupon Code!
If you buy before September 30th, please use coupon code **MOON** for a 50% discount.
Important Coupon Code!
Full written translations of all charts are included.
This week I started two new design projects!
The first is for Classic Elite’s Spring/Summer 2014 collection — so, even though I’ll be done with the design and sample in a few short weeks, I won’t be able to share until that collection debuts early next year. But, I want to give CEY Mesa a plug! Both in swatching and in the actual garment, this 100% cotton yarn is delightfully plush. I love the subtle tonal colorways.
The second project is something you’ll get to see a bit sooner! I’m working on a one-skein project for A Hundred Ravens Lustre (aka Luster DK on Ravelry). It’s a nicely spun merino/silk blend, hand-dyed by local dyer Kate. The silk blend takes yarn differently than pure wool, with smoother blends between hues and a beautiful, well, luster. (This all makes me think of this couplet: The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow/Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.) With only 231 yards to work with, I’ve got quite a challenge to make something dramatic! I’ve decided to go with a VERY open lacy stole, with lace patterning on both right-side and wrong-side rows.
Here’s my skein of Lustre:
Introducing my latest pattern: Mind the Gap!
Pattern: Mind the Gap
Designer: Rachel Henry (that’s me!)
Available: FREE on Ravelry
Yarn: A Hundred Ravens Danu, Squonk (sample used about 175 yards)
Mind the Gap is especially designed for hand-dyed yarn. The puffs consolidate colors, making a finished cowl with color properties similar to the original skein of yarn. Even highly variegated skeins can pop in this fun-to-knit, three-dimensional stitch pattern.
The short pattern repeat makes this an easy pattern to adapt to a variety of yarn weights and sizes.
This cowl may be knit flat or in the round – full directions for both methods are included! Full written directions for all charts are also provided.