Evolution KAL: Official Fiber Factor Edition

So … last year I competed on the first (and so far, only) season of The Fiber Factor.  This year, Skacel and The Fiber Factor have been hosting a series of Knit-A-Longs (KALs) for some of the designs featured on the show.  My design for the first Challenge (“Knit Your Life”) was Evolution, a big heart-shaped shawl that begins simply and ends with a flourish of lace. Evolution is the November KAL for The Fiber Factor’s “Year of the KAL.”

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I led an informal KAL right after the pattern was published by Skacel, and I’ve heard about several knitting guilds selecting Evolution as a group KAL pattern — last time I checked, there were 90+ project pages for Evolution, including just over 40 finished shawls. Nothing thrills me more than knitters making stuff from my patterns.  It makes my heart sing!

This latest, greatest Evolution KAL will be hosted by yours truly on the Fiber Factor forum on Ravelry. I’ve re-knit the pattern in Rylie (a great sportweight yarn made of alpaca, silk, and linen), and made little videos for each week of knitting.

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Cast On: November 3rd

Cast Off: December 8th

Prizes:  provided by Skacel, awarded to three lucky randomly-selected KAL participants (see the forum post for full information).

I hope you join us for this KAL!

Flywheel M-KAL update: Swatches galore!

We are a week away from the release of Clue #1 of the Flywheel M-KAL!  I’ve decided to start the prizes early for this M-KAL.  If you know me, you know I think swatching is a valuable and important part of the knitting process.  Any M-KAL-er who posts a photo of their swatch for Flywheel is eligible to win this pair of hand-made stitch markers:

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Details for the drawing are posted in the Remily Knits forum.

Many thanks to Jane for crafting these (and many more!) fabulous stitch markers especially for me to give away during this M-KAL.  She does beautiful work.

NEW Mystery KAL: Flywheel

Today is the big day! Flywheel is up on Ravelry!

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I do so love a mystery KAL.  Please join in the fun! I’m hosting the Flywheel M-KAL in the Remily Knits forum on Ravelry.  You’ll find all the details there, of course, but here is most crucial information.

Pattern Information
This triangular shawl is worked from the top down. Flywheel begins with a garter-stitch tab and progresses through all stitch patterns with regular increases at the spine and both edges. The shawl is designed to be made with two skeins of fingering-weight yarn in complementary colorways (choose semi-solid or tonal colorways for best results). Clues alternate between the two colorways, resulting in broad stripes. Each clue features a different stitch pattern, with transitions between clues.

Finished Size: appx 74” tip to tip and 37” down the spine

Yarn: A Hundred Ravens Llyr 438 yd/400 m per 3.5 oz/100 g skein; Color 1: “Thames” (sample used about 340 yards); Color 2: “Grass” (sample used about 430 yards)
Gauge: 20 sts = 4” in stockinette stitch (exact gauge is not critical for this project; however it will affect yardage needed to complete shawl)
Tools: #4/3.5mm circular needle, stitch markers, cable needle, tapestry needle

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: Morticia Raven

I made a Boo Knits shawl!

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Project: Mortica Raven

Pattern: Morticia

Designer: Boo Knits

Available: £4.00 GBP on Ravelry

Yarn: A Hundred Ravens Alfar in “Smoke”

Beads: A:  Miyuki Triangle Seed Bead 8/0 Metallic Gunmetal from Auracrystals.com MY-TR08-0451; B:  Miyuki Round Seed Bead 8/0 Transparent Crystal AB from Auracrystals.com MY-08-0250

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I think this kind of lace speaks for itself. I thoroughly enjoyed this Mystery KAL.  I managed to keep up, which is saying something!  “Morticia” is just plain beautiful — a totally fun and challenging knit.  I loved ALL the beading. I thought I might die from the final cast-off … took me the better part of two solid evenings … but I did finish, and it was completely worth the effort.

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Cast-On Monday: It’s Been Too Long!

The 5th challenge of The Fiber Factor was all-consuming for me … lots of new techniques to conquer, and leagues of hand-sewing and hand-embroidery to do before I could rest.  My fingers bled, my eyes crossed: my piece was a harsh mistress :). One thing that kept me at my task was knowing that I had not one, not two, but THREE mystery KALs lined up to start right when the project was due. Yippee!  Naturally I started them all as quickly as I could. We shall not mention that I already have the specs (and a bit of bling) for Challenge #6.

First up: the RHK Mystery KAL by Sara Elizabeth Kellner.  RHK stands for Rabbit Hole Knits — Sara designs adorable stuffed toys to knit, and this seemed like a great opportunity to make one.  This MKAL is free — all you have to do is join her forum.  I’m using some left-over Tosh Vintage in Rosewood:

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Next up: the Autumn Mystery KAL by Susanna IC.  Right now the pattern is still $3, but the price will go up as clues are released.  Buy now to get the best price! 🙂  I’m using two skeins of Tosh Sock in Mare and the browner beads:

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Last but not least, the Morticia Halloween KAL 2013 by Boo Knits.  I’ve been dying to do a Boo Knits pattern, and I had this skein of Alfar just begging for a good use.  I’m doing the “two kids of beads” option, making the larger shawl:

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New Pattern Release: Flock

Introducing my latest pattern: Flock!

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Pattern: Flock

DesignerRachel Henry (that’s me!)

Available: $6 on Ravelry — discounted to $3 until August 31st, 2013!

Yarn: Dream in Color Wisp in 712 Brilliant (2 skeins, sample used about 770 yards)

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Design/Skills Needed:

Flock is a crescent-shaped shawl worked from the bottom edge up. The main lace pattern features nupps. The curved stockinette body is achieved with short rows (no wraps, just decreases). The top edge is finished with an echo of the main lace pattern that transitions to purls to help fight curling.

Flock is fully charted, except for setup and finishing rows. Complete written translations for all charts are also provided.

Special thanks go out to Dream in Color, which provided yarn support for this design, and also gave me a skein of Wisp to give away!  I’m hosting a KAL for Flock in the Remily Knits forum, and I’ll be giving the Wisp away to a KAL-er who uses any DIC yarn for their Flock (and finishes by the end date).