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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

 

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New Pattern: Mini Marvel Swing Vest

Just in time, for Vogue Knitting Live: 2015 in NYC … I give you the Mini Marvel Swing Vest!

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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!

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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!

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New Pattern: Rapid Eye Movement Wrap/Cowl

This design has been in the works for more than a year!  I’m pleased to bring you Rapid Eye Movement — a wrap, or a cowl, or a little bit of both:

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Many thanks to Dream in Color for their generous yarn support, excellent photography, and pattern layout! Rapid Eye Movement is part of the upcoming “Duets Collection” — kits will be sold through local yarn shops starting in early 2015.  (Ask yours to carry the kits!)

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This shape of this design is inspired by the rhythms of dreaming. Sleepers alternate between periods of deep sleep and periods of lighter Rapid Eye Movement sleep. REM sleep is associated with creativity, learning, memory, and dreams. Coincidentally, my initials growing up were REM. I shared this monogram with my Grandpa, who is a philosopher, a doctor, and a maker of things. I learned a lot about creative thinking and science from him; he’s always encouraged me to dream big.

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This design uses alternating rings DIC Classy with Cashmere and Wisp. The Classy forms the arches of the wrap, and gathers the Wisp ruching together at three equally spaced locations. The wrap can be worn with one set of gathers at one shoulder for an asymmetrical look, or doubled up as a cowl. I would suggest a dark tonal colorway for the Classy-with-Cashmere, and a lighter, more variegated colorway for the Wisp.

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New Pattern Release: Mind the Gap Cowl

Introducing my latest pattern: Mind the Gap!

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Pattern: Mind the Gap

DesignerRachel Henry (that’s me!)

Available: FREE on Ravelry

Yarn: A Hundred Ravens Danu, Squonk (sample used  about 175 yards)

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Design/Skills Needed:

Mind the Gap is especially designed for hand-dyed yarn. The puffs consolidate colors, making a finished cowl with color properties similar to the original skein of yarn. Even highly variegated skeins can pop in this fun-to-knit, three-dimensional stitch pattern.

The short pattern repeat makes this an easy pattern to adapt to a variety of yarn weights and sizes.

This cowl may be knit flat or in the round – full directions for both methods are included! Full written directions for all charts are also provided.

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New Pattern Release: Mhara Baby Blanket

Introducing my latest pattern: Mhara Baby Blanket! Mhara means “sea” in Gaelic.

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Pattern: Mhara Baby Blanket

Designer: Rachel Henry (that’s me!)

Available: for $1.99 through Knit Picks IDP or $2.50 on Ravelry

Yarn: Knit Picks Brava Bulky in Tranquil

Design/Skills Needed: This fully reversible baby blanket is worked on the bias in garter stitch. Step-wise increases and decreases are embellished as you go with crocheted waves. Explicit directions for stroller- and crib-sized blankets are given, but the pattern is easily adapted for larger or smaller blankets. This pattern includes complete photo tutorials for the step-wise increases and the crocheted embellishment. For ease of printing, these tutorials appear at the end of the pattern. Experienced knitters may print just page 2 for complete pattern with no extraneous photos or information.

Familiarity with crocheting is helpful, but not necessary. Almost any yarn will work with this pattern, provided you use appropriately-sized needles.

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New Pattern Release: Babylon Shawlette

Introducing my latest pattern: the Babylon Shawlette!

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Knit from a single skein of sock yarn, this shawlette started out life destined to be a pair of socks … but the yarn wanted more. In sock form, the colors pooled and flashed in an unacceptably foul manner. No matter what I did, the yarn would not cooperate.

 

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PatternBabylon Shawlette

DesignerRachel Henry (that’s me!)

Available: $6 on Ravelry

Yarn: Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks That Rock Lightweight (biggie skein)

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Design/Skills Needed: This sinuous shawlette is designed to show off unusual colorways while fighting pooling and flashing with a varying-width edging and tapered ends.  Short rows at the center back curve the shawlette into a shoulder-hugging crescent and add interest to the pattern.  Babylon is worked from tip to tip in one piece — no finishing or picking up stitches! The neck edge has a worked-as-you-go i-cord border for comfort at prevent too much curling.

The trickiest bit of the edging is the yarn-over at the beginning of each wrong-side row.  It’s important to wrap the yarn the same way you would to do a normal stitch–that way, it stays open and creates a pretty loopy edge. The extra effort is worth it: a pretty edge that doesn’t roll and isn’t garter stitch, yay!

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New Pattern Release: Cadet Cropped Cardigan

Introducing my latest pattern: the Cadet Cropped Cardigan!

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This stylish little cardi is my first sweater design project, so I am especially pleased that it has been released into the world.  The pattern is available through your local yarn store as part of Plymouth Yarn’s new fall pattern line: ask for Pamphlet #2325.  Photo credit for the modeled shots in this post all go to Plymouth Yarns — thank you for letting me blog with these awesome pix!

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Pattern: Cadet Cropped Cardigan

Designer: Rachel Henry (that’s me!)

Available: in Pamphlet #2325 at your local yarn shop

Yarn: Plymouth Yarns Worsted Merino Superwash Solids

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Inspiration: This is one of the first projects I did after deciding to carry around a small sketchpad, everywhere.  I saw a commercial on TV for an adorable fabric jacket that I thought would translate well to knitwear, and starting drawing little ideas madly. That’s as far as it went, until one of the designers at Plymouth (for whom I had been doing a lot of sample knitting) asked if I had any designs that might suit their fall line.  I worked up a proposal and it was accepted — I was thrilled!

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Design/Skills Needed: This cardi is worked flat, in pieces.  The all-over diagonal lines are formed by knits and purls; the vertical lines on the front, center back, and sleeves are right twists and left twists. The sleeves begin wide deep turned-hem cuffs, and have set-in sleeve caps. The center plackets are worked from picked-up stitches and are also deep turned hems.  The cardi is finished with i-cord at the neck and bottom edge.  The button loops and faux epaulets are also made with i-cord, then sewn in place.  It’s worth noting that there is a lot of “finishing” work on this cardi — some of my test knitters found it a bit daunting to complete the basic pieces, and then still have so much work to do.

Speaking of test knitters … check out this AWESOME use of the Cadet Cropped Cardi as part of a steampunk costume!

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I would be delighted to answer any questions or help any knitters working on this project.