New Pattern Release: Astrid

Introducing my latest pattern: Astrid!

(Photos from Classic Elite!)

Pattern: Astrid

DesignerRachel Henry (that’s me!)

Available: $6 on Ravelry, or as part of the booklet #9236 “New Mode” (from Classic Elite Yarns)

Yarn: CEY Alpaca Sox; 4-7 balls (depending on size); sample knit in 1869 “Amethyst”

Design/Skills Needed:

Frothy lace at the hem, throat and cuffs make this cozy pullover dramatic and feminine. This pullover is worked primarily in the round.  The lacy portions are worked single-stranded; the stockinette portions are worked double-stranded. This makes for a suprisingly quick knit!

 

 

Cast-On Monday: Parseval in the Clover, Ashton Sweet Pea, RSC Jan 2012 Not-Sock

Here I go, casting on new projects like a crazy person.  I had a good reason though! I’m sure I did. I think.

First up: Parseval in the Clover

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I finished the knitting on a sweater-for-me project, and although it was blocking and lacked three buttons, I gave myself permission to swatch for my long-planned Parseval.  Except, I wanted to swatch in the round, because the garment is worked mostly in the round … and when I decided how much to cast on, I realized that it was almost enough for a sleeve … so in a way, I’m not swatching.  I cast on for a sleeve willy-nilly with just a guess at the correct needle and garment size. I will wash & block the sleeve when it reaches 6 inches or so, but this is unsteady ground for me.  I have learned, however, that flat swatches aren’t necessarily accurate when planning in-the-round garments, so there it is.  I love the yarn (Gloss DK), and the pattern isn’t too terrible (4×1 rib, mostly).  I really want the finished sweater, and all the knitting becomes interesting towards the end, so I should be good to go.

Next up: Ashton Shawlette

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I love this KAL choice — it’s the Feb project in the Beginning Lace Knitters group. There’s nothing super-special about the pattern, but it is well balanced and extremely well written.  The designer has written a lovely tutorial that new lace knitters should find exceptionally helpful, and she’s providing it for free.  I’ve already used it to help a new-to-lace knitter get started.  For my own Ashton, I’m pleased to say it seems like my unloved ball of Sweet Pea (from the 2010 Socks that Rock sock club) has finally found its true calling as a simple lace shawlette.

Third, I also cast on the “not a sock” pattern from the first shipment of the 2012 Socks that Rock sock club.  This year, the good folks at Blue Moon Fiber Arts are providing two patterns (as they have for the last two years), but one of the two patterns is not a sock!  Due to spoilage issues, I can’t say any more about the pattern or color, except that I am IN LOVE with both. Of course I had to cast on.

New Pattern Release: Flurry Sweater

Introducing my latest pattern: the Flurry Sweater! This two-color pullover features a band of colorwork snowflakes at the waist and elbow, waist-shaping, flared sleeves and hem, and i-cord finish on all edges.

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Pattern: Flurry Sweater

Designer: Rachel Henry (that’s me!)

Available: for $3.99 through Knit Picks IDP

Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Tweed

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Inspiration: I have this old sweater, a favorite that I’ve had a long time.  It’s pilled and felted from incautious laundering, but I still love to wear it. I picked the things I liked best about it (grey on top, blue on the bottom, colorwork band) and improved it a bit too (more fitted waist, set-in sleeves).

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Design/Skills Needed: The body is knit in-the-round until the armholes, after which the front and back are worked flat, separately. The sleeves are also knit in the round until the sleeve cap, which is worked flat. Knitters may select their preferred in-the-round method (DPNs, one circ, magic loop, two circs, etc.) throughout.

For the colorwork section, I recommend going down one needle size, as many knitters find their colorwork to be looser than their stockinette. However, it’s possible that you may need to stay with the same needle, or even go up a size, to maintain consistent gauge between the stockinette and colorwork portions. Please work a gauge swatch in both stockinette and the colorwork pattern to determine the best needle size for you, for each section.

When working stranded colorwork, take care to keep the floats loose behind the work. When gaps larger than 5 sts must be bridged, catch the float halfway through the gap to keep things tidy. The colorwork sections are charted.

Yarn: Almost any worsted-weight yarn will work with this pattern. I recommend the darkest color for the bottom, a medium value for the top, and the lightest for the snowflakes.

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

Cast-on Monday: Tappan Zee, Itty Bitty Blocker Sock, and Flurry Prototype

This week, I was waiting impatiently for two boxes from Knit Picks.  I stalked my birthday-gift-card box online, and frowned mightily when it sojourned far too long at the nearby sorting center. To force the box to come, I swatched for a Tappan Zee in this gorgeous yarn …

2384 Decadent Fibers Pulled Taffy in Red Hot Pepper

I bought the yarn at half off at the Loon Mountain Knit-In.  I only have two skeins — about 980 yards.  The label claims “DK” — but I have to say it looks and swatches a lot like worsted.  Of course the swatching caused both my boxes to arrive the very next day.  Mission accomplished!

The first box was my birthday order (gift card from my mom):

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Mostly I got enough Gloss DK to make a Parseval. The orange/black combo is for a Halloween Cowl: Hocus Pocus. The Stroll Glimmer (shiny!) is for a Damask shawl.  I also got a snappy little tape measure, and a sock-blocker key chain.  Did I cast on with any of this yarn?  No. I must focus on the other box.  I did, however, cast on (and finish) an itty bitty sock-blocker sock with leftover BMFA STR Lightweight in “Electric Kool-aid Acid Test.”

The other box from KP is for my “Flurry Pullover” prototype.  KP accepted my proposal, and this is my delightful WotA Tweed!  I have swatched, waited impatiently for the swatch to dry (rainy weekend here), cast on, and knit the bottom 3-4 inches of the sweater. This sweater must be my knitting focus for the next few weeks.  My goal is to knit through one ball of yarn per day — that should get this sweater done lickety split.  Then “all” I have left is testing.

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I swatched for the proposal using Swish DK in similar colors — not the right size, but enough to show the idea:

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Ravelry Monday: Pareval, Anchor Bay Sunset, and Bella Rue

Happy Monday! Time to look back at the previous week’s recently added knitting patterns on Ravelry and pick a few favorites.

First pick: “Parseval” by Melissa Wehrle ($4.00)

This sweater is mostly-ribbed, with a bit of cabling towards the top with a big cowl neck.  This sweater made it into my (ever-growing) queue, because I think it has potential to look good on many body types.  The cabling will draw the eye upwards, and the ribbing will make the body and sleeves accommodating.  It’s worked mostly in the round — my favorite!  I don’t have a good, simple sweater right now … maybe I should start this one sooner rather than later?

Second Pick: “Anchor Bay Sunset” by Julia Duren (FREE!)

Simple, attractive, fingerless mitts — no fancy colorwork or cables, no girly lace.  Yet, with just a few purl rows in a contrasting color, these mitts look great!  Endless color possibilities — they could be a real stash-buster for sock yarn.  The pattern says they are designed to wear as-is, or over a wrist-brace for carpal tunnel or other RSI issues.

Third Pick: “Bella Rue” by Amanda Rios ($8.00)

Although I adore this sweater for many reasons — the top-down construction! the button detail on the sleeve! the awesome pleated panel on the back! — I have a sinking feeling that adorable as it is, it just wouldn’ t work with my body type. Alas!

Ravelry Monday: Goldfish in a Bag Hat, Open Heart Sweater, and Lady Jessica

Happy Monday! Time to look back at the previous week’s recently added knitting patterns on Ravelry and pick a few favorites.  As many an avid knitter is aware, the Winter 2011 edition of Knitty was released last week.  As usual, it is chock-a-block full of great patterns and articles.  Rather than have Knitty dominate Ravelry Monday, I will instead devote Wednesday’s post solely to Knitty, and talk about some other patterns today.

First pick: “Goldfish in a Bag Hat” by Carol White ($4.00)

This hat charmed me right away: bold design, cute, and clever too.  Looks to me like it is a simple rolled-brim bag-top hat with a color change and a bit of intarsia and embroidery.  I especially love the bag-tie on the top.

Second Pick: “Open Heart Sweater” by Alice Tang ($3.99)

Let me begin by admitting bias — I tech-edited this sweater for Alice, and it was in fact my very first for-pay tech editing job.  (Alice and I had swapped tech-editing services in the past.)  Although I haven’t actually test-knit the pattern, I am very familiar with the pattern. It is simple/elegant, with a neat twist (literally!) up the front on a reverse-stockinette background.

Third Pick: “Lady Jessica” by Veronica O’Neil (FREE!)

This feminine cowl makes me think of a steampunk heroine, corseted and bedecked in ruffles and lace, and wielding a big brass laser gun :).  It looks like a fun, easy knit and the final product is sure to win compliments.