Things to ponder… Who blew the great horn of Helm Hammerhand? Was Saruman experimenting with explosives? Whatever shall I do with this high-contrast variegated colorway?
Hornburg provides an answer to the last query, using slipped stitches and ever-changing stitch counts to show wild colorways (like Helm’s Deep) to full effect.
Pattern: Hornburg Cowl
Designer: Rachel Henry
Available: $6 on Ravelry
Yarn: A Hundred Ravens Aesir — 2 skeins
Hornburg is knit flat, using a clever trick of construction to result in a circular cowl with no sewing or picked-up stitches. No, really!
Although designed for a bouncy sport-weight yarn (like Aesir), the pattern is readily adapted to other weights of yarn. Use needles sized appropriately for your yarn, and add (or remove) repeats of the bias strip pattern as desired. Naturally, yardage required will vary with size of yarn and needles.
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! 🙂