NEW pattern: Pendula

Introducing Pendula!

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Interesting story … you may have noticed a distinct similarity between the main motif of Pendula and Flywheel.  If so, good eye!  Some fellow knitters at the Hub Mills knit night admired Flywheel, but bemoaned its general triangularity. They opined that a rectangular version featuring the first motif on Flywheel would suit them most admirably. I agreed to adapt the pattern for them, in return for their mad sample-knitting skills. Thus, I bring you two versions of Pendula, thanks to Jane and Kim — for the first time ever, I didn’t knit the sample for one of my patterns!  (I did knit an enormous swatch to make sure the charts worked, natch.)


DesignerRachel Henry

Available:  $6 on Ravelry

YarnCEY Firefly in #7734 Vivid Violet and #7774 Parakeet Lagoon

This stole is worked in two halves beginning in the center with a provisional cast on. A series of dramatic pendula extend towards the edges, culminating in an explosion of lace. This pattern is easily adapted to almost any desired width and length. Complex patterning and several unusual stitches make this an interesting pattern for ambitious intermediate knitters.

Pendula is fully charted; no written translation of the charts is provided.



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NEW Mystery KAL: Flywheel

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

flywheel notebook ad

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

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.




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.)

Tips and Tricks: Yarn Substitution in Shawls

There’s a question I get asked on a regular basis … it has several forms, but in essence it is this: knitter wants to make one of my patterns, which calls for certain weight yarn.  They want to use a different weight of yarn. How many yards will they need?

This turns out to be a more complicated question to answer than you might think!

Let’s get concrete here, and take a specific shawl as an example — say, Levade. The pattern-as-written calls for 450-500 yards of fingering-weight yarn. Like many lace shawls, the pattern suggests a needle size (#7) that is several sizes up from what is listed on the yarn label.  This is intentional — the goal is to create an open, airy fabric that blocks and drapes beautifully.

Using a Thicker Yarn 

Jane Knitter doesn’t have enough fingering-weight yarn in her stash to make this shawl, but she does have some DK and worsted-weight yarn in large enough quantities to make the shawl … or does she?  If she uses a #7 needle with a thicker yarn, the fabric won’t have the right characteristics. The thicker the yarn she substitutes, the more firm and dense the fabric will be.  If she tries to make the shawl with a #7 needle and 500 yards of worsted-weight yarn, she won’t run out of yarn … but she may create a “shawl” that is much more stiff than she wanted.  Try it with a bulky yarn and the shawl may stand up all by itself!

The solution to the too-thick fabric problem is to use a needle that is appropriate for the yarn she has — for DK, I’d go up to a #9, and for worsted-weight, a #10 or even higher.  She’ll need to swatch, too, to make sure she likes the fabric she’s getting.  Once she’s settled with a needle, she has a new problem … if she makes the shawl as written with a larger needle and thicker yarn, the shawl will be bigger (perhaps MUCH bigger) than the original — and it will use a lot more yarn.  There’s no simple way to calculate how much, though a swatch and very accurate scale can help her get an estimate.

If she doesn’t want a bigger shawl, she’ll need to modify the pattern — do fewer rows, somehow.  This will use less yarn than making as written … though how much less is (again) difficult to know in advance.

Using a Thinner Yarn

Jack Knitter, on the other hand, has piles of laceweight in his stash — more than he knows what to do with.  He’d like to make Levade with some laceweight instead of fingering weight yarn.  The good news is, he can probably get away with using laceweight and #7 needles — the resulting fabric will be ephemeral and gauzy, but the shawl will be about the same size as the original and use about the same amount of yarn.

Jack swatches like a good little knitter, but finds he doesn’t like the fabric he’s getting on #7 needles with his laceweight.  He has to go down to a #4 before he’s happy.  What does this mean for his shawl?  If he works the pattern as written with #4’s, he’ll get a tiny little shawl and use up less yarn.  This isn’t what he’s going for!  The solution is to add rows (often there’s a good place to repeat a portion of a pattern) until it’s the size he wants.  Again, the amount of yarn he’ll need is highly variable at this point.

So What Is A Knitter To Do?

If you don’t have the weight yarn that’s called for in a pattern, don’t despair … but don’t expect an easy answer, either! You’ll need to swatch and do some math and maybe alter a pattern to get results you’ll be happy with. Tame that knitting, make it yours!


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:


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:


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.


FO Friday: Morticia Raven

I made a Boo Knits shawl!



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 MY-TR08-0451; B:  Miyuki Round Seed Bead 8/0 Transparent Crystal AB from MY-08-0250



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.



FO Friday, I mean Wednesday: Fall in Alexandria

Seriously? It doesn’t get much more fabulous than this:


Project: Fall in Alexandria

Pattern: Alexandra Shawl

Designer: Dee O’Keefe

Available: $6 on Ravelry

Yarn: hand-dyed gradient yarn from A Hundred Ravens

I told you all about making the gradient yarn for this fabulous shawl.  The pattern worked out PERFECTLY — I really respect and admire Dee’s pattern writing style and design skills.  I’ll let the pictures do the talking on this one!



New Pattern Release: Objects Below

Introducing my latest pattern: Objects Below!


Pattern: Objects Below

DesignerRachel 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)


Design/Skills Needed:

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.