I just finished the picot bind-off on Glinda, an upcoming Mystery KAL. The MKAL will start in September — I still have photography, testing, and tech editing ahead of me — but for now, I offer you this sneak peek of a tiny corner of the finished shawl:
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New Pattern: Silvan Vinyard
Silvan Vinyard is an asymmetrical garter-stitch shawl with a leafy edge. Designed for the Random Fandom Yarn Club, it is inspired by the woodland elves of Tolkien’s novels.
Imagine a silvan vinyard tended by elves. Would they wear the grapevines draped sweetly ‘round their necks? I think they might.
Silvan Vinyard is easily adapted to any weight yarn: simply use an appropriately-sized needle. It is easily enlarged if you have more yardage: simply work additional repeats of the body pattern.
This pattern is mainly charted. Full written instructions are provided for all charts.
New Pattern: Eponymous Mitts
I designed Eponymous Mitts to show off vibrant colorways in a quick, fun-to-knit pattern. This pattern features a new worsted-weight yarn from A Hundred Ravens: Epona. It is similar in structure to Aesir, and it has the same bouncy feel and takes dye beautifully.
For a limited time only I am collaborating with A Hundred Ravens to promote this awesome new yarn. If you try out Epona, I’ll give you the pattern for Eponymous Mitts for free (details in the AHR forum).
The mitts are knit flat, then seamed with a thumb-hole — super easy. The slip-stitch pattern highlights variegated yarn. Pattern is sized for children’s small through men’s large; length is easily adapted if you prefer longer mitts.
New Pattern: Crosswind Pullover
I’m pleased to bring you Crosswind!
Crosswind is a cropped sweater that features dramatic flared cuffs, a scoop neck, and deep ribbing at the waist. The cuffs fold back over ¾-length sleeves and are sewn in place: use your favorite buttons for a decorative accent. Crosswind borrows its silhouette from the sweaters of the 50’s, with steampunk details to delight and inspire.
Worn with 1-2” of positive ease, this garment is both forgiving and flattering. Body and sleeves are worked bottom-up, in the round, until armhole bind-offs. The ribbed neckline is worked in the round from picked-up stitches. Traditional sleeve caps provide a tailored fit. Pattern includes directions for plain ribbed cuffs.
I’m especially excited to launch this design, because Knitcrate is offering a limited-edition Crosswind kit. The kit includes the pattern, yarn, and some awesome extras. You have a choice of three exclusive colorways of Aesir from A Hundred Ravens.
Aesir is a round and bouncy 8-ply superwash merino that straddles the line between sport and DK. It has the perfect combination of substance and drape when worked at a DK gauge (5.5 spi). The 8 plies are actually four 2-ply strands, cabled back on themselves; this lends Aesir durability and strength, making it a near-perfect sweater yarn.
This is a design that I’ve adored pretty much from the first sketch all the way through blocking and photography. This isn’t normally the case for me! I’m used to a certain stage of my design process where I kinda sorta hate what’s on the needles.
But Crosswind practically knit itself … I love the cuffs, love the deep ribbing, love the pretty scoop neck.
Coming Soon to a Project Bag Near You
It’s been a busy, busy spring in my head design-wise — and my hands have been busy too! I haven’t knit many just-for-me projects in what seems like ages…. In fact I have so much going on, I had to break down and make a spreadsheet of all the design projects I have planned, submitted, on the needles, in need of photography, and off to the Tech Editor.
(Ok, if you know me, you know it wasn’t THAT big a sacrifice to make a spreadsheet …. )
I have a couple designs coming out Very Soon that I’d like to share with you, dear reader. These are sneak peeks — full posts on each design will be forthcoming.
WARNING! WARNING! WARNING!
If you are in the Random Fandom yarn club, beware! Spoilers below (specifically, #3).
#1: Eponymous Mitts
A Hundred Ravens is debuting their new worsted-weight yarn Very Soon Now. The yarn is called Epona (after the Celtic goddess of horses), and it is simply delightful. I designed these mitts as a quick one-skein project — great for gifts, great for you :).
#2: Crosswind Sweater
Seriously, I love this sweater so much. Those cuffs! Swoon. This is my first garment design in Aesir, and I’m pleased to say I was 100% correct in thinking that it is awesome for sweaters. Also, I am Very Excited because KnitCrate will be selling this design as a kit! The KnitCrate kit comes with the pattern and the yarn you need to complete your very own Crosswind. Kate and I made three brand-new gorgeous colors for the kits — can’t wait to share them with you.
#3: Silvan Vinyard Shawlette
This is design features the June yarn-of-the-month for Random Fandom. Club members … look away if you don’t want to be spoiled! 🙂 The shawlette is mostly garter, with a leafy edge that makes the colors sing. This is those any-yarn, any-amount-of-yarn designs — just use the right needles, and keep knitting until you run out of yarn.
New Pattern: Altitude Shawl
Done! Just in time for Stitches South ….
Designed for two contrasting colorways, Altitude is a crescent-shaped shawl with an extravagant lace border. The shawl begins at the back neck with just three stitches. The body features a simple lace pattern flanked by garter-stitch wings, and is suitable for both tonal and moderately variegated colorways. The all-lace border is worked along the entire length of the shawl. Frequent increases in the border allow for dramatic blocking. The complex lace is best shown in a tonal colorway.
New Pattern Promotion! Buy Altitude, and receive 25% off anything in my Ravelry store. No limit on number of patterns or ebooks; expires April 30th, 2015.
(No coupon code required — just put Altitude in your cart, and the discount should apply automatically to any pattern from my Rav store.)
Some things I love about this shawl ….
* Color, color, color! Be as WILD as you want to — the body section will stand up to moderate variegation, so don’t be shy! Or … be subtle and sophisticated with mellow tonals that are closely related. The choice is yours!
* Shape! Crescents are my favorite shape for easy wearing. The curve keeps everything in place, and the fabric just swoops across your body with stately aplomb.
* Ruffles? Almost! The massive increase in stitch count at the border means that extra fabric for extreme blocking, but it also means the edge goes 3D with very little effort. Lots of movement in the finished piece.
New Pattern: Nahant Stole/Scarf
Who loves handspun? I do! I’m pleased to share this new design via Knitty.com.
I give you … Nahant!
I read about fractal spinning and had to try it out. Like magic, colorful high-contrast fiber fluff became self-striping-ish prismatic handspun. I absolutely adored the finished yarn, but it needed to be knit up into something special.
Pattern searches left me unsatisfied — the only solution was to design the perfect stole. My requirements: mostly stockinette, with just enough pattern to keep my interest without distracting from the colorful yarn.
Nahant highlights the color changes of my fractal handspun with a subtle leaf pattern that doesn’t fight for attention. Knit on the bias, it resists curling. Use any weight yarn (just choose the appropriate needle), and make it as wide or as narrow as you like. Length is flexible too, so you can make the most of that precious handspun yarn.
Extra thanks to Donna (who helped me get photos at Nahant Beach for submission to Knitty) and Rebecka (who modeled “springier” pictures for me, as per Knitty’s quite reasonable request).
Cast-On Monday: Catching Up
I honestly don’t know when I last posted about which new projects were leaping onto my needles … let’s just say it’s been too long? For a while, I was purposefully holding off on new projects, because I had a weekend retreat planned with my knitting circle, and I wanted to cast on a whole bunch of projects AT the retreat. Because of the way my brain works, every time I work on a project (or touch a finished object) I can recall all the places I worked on it, with nearly photographic intensity. Often I can hear any music or conversation or (let’s be honest) the TV show that I heard while I was working on the project.
Every once in a while this backfires — for example, I had a really hard time finishing the socks I was working on at the Emergency Vet’s office while Gromit was getting a stick surgically removed from the roof of his mouth. Every time I touched them, I was instantly back in the chilly waiting room, sitting on a hard plastic chair and shivering, waiting to hear how Gromit was. I can smell the antiseptic, not really covering up the faint odor of blood and other bodily fluids.
But, most of the time, my “mental souvenir” in the form of knitting projects is a boon! I think everyone in the group cast on at least one new project, for a total of 17 new WIPs! Of these, seven were mine. Whee!
I’m using my handspun for this — I’m insanely pleased with this handspun, and it needed a special project! The highly textured and lacy Renaissance Shawl (by Anne-Lise Maigaard) is just the thing. The pattern has optional beads, on which I am opting out, because the handspun is a little crazy color and doesn’t need any gilding. As of today, I’m about 25% done with this one.
#2: Twill Flower Cowl (was: Hat) — FINISHED!
Technically, this started life as a hat, but I was knitting a tad loose and the brim was clearly too large. Rather than rip and try again, I used the most excellent suggestion of Marilyn to just make it a cowl instead. It turned out awesome — soft and squishy and just the right size. I gave it to my friend Judy :).
#3: Sweet Spring
Some of us are doing Boo’s Sweet Dreams shawl as a casual KAL … I haven’t made much progress on it, because I was knitting like mad on a different Boo shawl … I’ll post about that on a future FO Friday. My KAL yarn is from Vogue Knitting Live … I totally love the bright green springy colorway.
#4: Rainbow House Socks — FINISHED!
I used a skein of self-striping DK yarn from White Birch to make some squishy house socks. They came out a tad large, but still totally wearable in slippers or boots.
I paired a skein of brightly-colored “Impatiens” with a skein of leftover “Mist” to make a cheerful shawl … as of this writing, I’m about halfway through the two-tone garter-stitch body
#6: Willow Angst
My oh my, the pattern for these socks is high concept! And, alas, kind of painful to knit. And I’m starting to worry about fit. So, this WIP wins “most likely to be frogged,” but for now it is still on the needles.
#7: Bella Hornburg
A big fluffy skein of super-bulky yarn in bright yellow-green? I’m turning this one into a upsized Hornburg. No slipped stitches, fewer stitches and fewer repeats … it’ll be done lickety-split.
FO Friday: Entrelac Butterflies Cowl
Lookit what I made!
Project: Emo Butterflies
Pattern: Knitted Scarf Butterflies
Designer: Svetlana Gordon
Available: $3 on Ravelry
Yarn: White Birch Fiber Arts 100% SW Merino, DK in “Emo Enough?” (self-striping)
I first encountered White Birch‘s amazing self-striping colorways at Stitches East. I picked up two skeins of her DK-weight 100% SW Merino, in part because I recognized the base yarn (Crazy Eight, from Wool2Dye4). I’m familiar with Crazy Eight, because Kate uses it too! I love this bouncy 8-ply yarn that straddles the line between sport and DK. Knowing the base made it easy to invest in the dyer at White Birch — and her self-striping colorways are fantastic, so I really wanted to take some home.
Finding the right pattern for this spectacular colorway — “Emo Enough?” — took some time. I cast on a number of projects and ripped, ripped, ripped. Eventually I settled on the Knitted Scarf Butterflies pattern, marking my first time doing entrelac. To my surprise, the back-and-forth rhythms of entrelac knitting were soothing and fun! Each tier of tilting rectangles feels like an accomplishment. Each rectangle has a single cable cross, further livening things up. This isn’t entrelac for newbies, but it certainly is a nice, chewy knit — and the results speak for themselves.
Alas, my yarn didn’t go as far as I’d hoped … my FO was not quite long enough for a scarf or doubled-up infinity scarf, and was a bit long for a single-loop cowl. No amount of thuggish blocking got me anywhere near the length I needed, so I played a bit with it in the mirror, and decided that some buttons and i-cord could bridge the gap. I’m quite happy with the result, and may use this “shape” again with an otherwise-awkwardly-short scarf.
New Pattern: Mini Marvel Swing Vest
Just in time, for Vogue Knitting Live: 2015 in NYC … I give you the Mini Marvel Swing Vest!
Are you anywhere near Manhattan? No plans this weekend? Come visit me, Kate, and the Mini Marvel Swing Vest at Vogue Knitting Live. Ask nice, and I’ll let you try it on and give it a spin. A Hundred Ravens has Booth #1006 on the sixth floor of the Marriott Marquis in Times Square (market hours and directions). We’ll have plenty of mini sets as well as new colorways in Kate’s fabulous yarn, and of course all the usual suspects too.
Mini Marvel is a slouchy vest that features an asymmetric flare of color over the left shoulder – show off your gradient mini set from A Hundred Ravens! Also perfect for hoarded sock-yarn leftovers … go subtle or bold, the choice is up to you.
Worked sideways in garter stitch, the vest uses short rows to create the flare and swingy hem, and simple increases/decreases to shape the armholes. Finishing is limited to two shoulder seams!
Many thanks to the lovely Libby for modeling Mini Marvel for me! The owner of Stewart’s Florist (Townsend, MA) was so accommodating for our impromptu photo shoot — thank you!