FO Friday: Fairy Rings

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:

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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.

 

Wacky Wednesday: How Do Dinosaurs Wear Their Knitting?

 

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.

 

But.

 

It’s even better on a dinosaur.

 

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(The raptor  is a yard ornament. That you can buy. To put in your yard. And terrify people.)

CO Monday: Flywheel, a new shawl design!

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:

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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.)

FO Friday: Firebird Rhea Silvia

I finished, finally! :) I give you … a very BRIGHTLY colored cowl/wrap:

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Project: Firebird Rhea Silvia

Pattern: Rhea Silvia

Designer: Sara Morris

Available: $6 on Ravelry

Yarn: A Hundred Ravens Iachos in “Midst Her Fires”

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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.

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FO Friday, I mean Monday: Aphrodite of the Sea

 

This project was finished a while ago, but I never shared … enjoy!

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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! :)

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Cast-on Monday: Fall in Alexandria

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.

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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:

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The gradient colorway is AMAZING in person — here it is in skein and cake:

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I have selected Alexandra by Dee O’Keefe (shawlette size) — so far, I’m in loooove!

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