New Pattern Release: Broken

Introducing my latest pattern: Broken!

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Pattern: Broken

DesignerRachel Henry (that’s me!)

Available: $6 as a single pattern/ $10 as part of the Lovelorn Collection

Yarn: Bohemia Fibers Barefoot Bohemian Sock or any fingering-weight yarn — uses about 450 yards

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Design/Skills Needed:

This semi-circular shawlette is worked top-down. Four textured panels extend like spokes of a wheel, interrupted by broken-mesh wedges. The broad cast-on edge curves around your neck, and the full shape hugs shoulders like a shrug. The textured panels use a combination of slipped stitches, twisted stitches, and knit/purl patterns to create a faux cable. The lace panels use yarn-overs, ssk, and s2kp (a double decrease).

The pattern can be extended or shortened in 10-row increments, making it simple to customize the size and use more or less yarn.

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The sample shows off the unusual “Walker” colorway by independent dyer Bohemia Fibers. Amy has a knack for creating beautiful and unusual colorways, and is especially well-known for her “inspiration” colorways.

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Broken is part of the Lovelorn collection.  Each of three shawlettes in the collection can be made with a single skein of fingering-weight yarn. Look for Heartsick (lace border worked sideways, crescent-shaped, short-row body) and Crushed (top-down, heart-shaped, lace and nupps).

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New Pattern Release: Crushed

Introducing my latest pattern: Crushed!

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Pattern: Crushed

DesignerRachel Henry (that’s me!)

Available: $6 as a single pattern/ $10 as part of the Lovelorn Collection

Yarn: Mind’s Eye Yarns Merino/Tencel or any fingering-weight yarn — uses about 400 yards

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Design/Skills Needed:

This heart-shaped shawlette is worked top-down. The graceful wings hug your shoulders – this is a shawl that doesn’t slip off easily. The lace pattern of the body evolves into a nupp-enhanced lower border.

The main body pattern repeats every 24 rows, making it simple to customize the size and use more or less yarn. The sample was made with about 390 yards, and was 16” deep and about 45” around the neck edge.

The sample drapes beautifully in a merino/tencel blend, hand-painted by Lucy at Mind’s Eye Yarns in Cambridge, MA. This pattern will work best with solid or tonal colorway; anything more than mild variegation will likely be at odds with the lace pattern.

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Crushed is part of the Lovelorn collection. Each of three shawlettes in the collection can be made with a single skein of fingering-weight yarn. Look for Heartsick (lace border worked sideways, crescent-shaped, short-row body) and Broken (top-down, half-circle, texture and lace).

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New Pattern Release: Heartsick

Introducing my latest pattern: Heartsick!

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Pattern: Heartsick

DesignerRachel Henry (that’s me!)

Available: $6 as a single pattern/ $10 as part of the Lovelorn Collection

Yarn: BMFA Socks That Rock Lightweight or any fingering-weight yarn — uses about 300 yards

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Design/Skills Needed:

This crescent shawlette begins with a narrow lace border. The heart motif is set off by a looped edge and an open-work net pattern. Stitches picked up from the border form the body of the shawlette, which is worked with short rows and finished with a decorative row of eyelets. The pattern uses basic increases and decreases, plus a 3-in-1 increase, k3tog, and s2kp.

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Heartsick is designed with colorful  yarn in mind. Variable stitch count in the border and the short rows in the body both help fight pooling. The strong pattern shines through tonal and moderately variegated colorways.

Heartsick is part of the Lovelorn collection.  Each of three shawlettes in the collection can be made with a single skein of fingering-weight yarn. Look for “Crushed” (top-down, heart-shaped, lace and nupps) and “Broken” (top-down, half-circle, texture and lace).

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FO Friday: Wavelength

This year, I am 3/3 for finishing sock-club projects for the Blue Moon Fiber Arts Notorious Sock Knitters club! 🙂  This is the not-sock pattern from March:

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Project: Wavelength

Pattern: Breaking Waves

Designer: Carson Demers

Available: sometime after March 2013

Yarn: Socks That Rock Lightweight in “Wavelength”

I am always interested to see how variegated yarn knits up.  Check out this comparison of the skeined yarn …

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…with the full shawlette:

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This pattern used an interesting technique to warp and ruffle the top part of the shawl.  The ripples are achieved by working stockinette stitch for a spell, then on a “pickup” row you knit the stitch on the needle together with a stitch from a previous row.  Very cool textural and 3-D effect!

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Although many club members chose to knit an additional repeat of the feather-and-fan bottom edging, I decided to knit the pattern as written — I like this compact scarf/shawlette size.

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FO Friday: My Blithe Heaven

Presenting … 100% camel in a gorgeous lace pattern!

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Project: My Blithe Heaven

Pattern: My Heaven

Designer: Patusha

Available: FREE! on Ravelry

Yarn: 100% baby camel — off label fingering-weight yarn from the back wall at Hub Mills Store

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This is a free pattern, designed for lace-weight yarn.  The edging is knit sideways, then the body is worked bottom-up from picked-up stitches.  The lace edging and main body pattern are both worked with lace every row, in garter stitch — no resting purl-back rows. I love how “every row” holes alternate with “every other row” holes in the edging, and I also love the undulating circles/waves in the main body pattern.

 

Modifications:

Because I was working with fingering-weight yarn, and I wanted to replicate the VERY open lace of the sample photos, I used #7 needles — in other words, big!  With such large needles, I worked only 11  edging repeats per side, and picked up a mere 149 stitches.  Since this was a perfect number for starting the main body pattern, I worked one wrong-side row and dove into the lace.  I did two full repeats plus two extra rows, and then finished up with garter stitch as the pattern describes.

I will say, the charts for this pattern are provided in “as knit” form — meaning that the chart does NOT show the “right side” appearance.  This is, shall we say, my less-preferred mode of charting.  I knit a few repeats of the edging on size #6 needles, decided to move up a size, and ripped out.  As long as I was starting over, I decided to re-write the edging chart in my preferred mode — as viewed from the RS.  In the process, I discovered a few irregularities that I hadn’t noticed before.  I decided to change them in my version of the charts, because I obsessively want things symmetrical and consistent.  I’m still not 100% sure which way the designer wanted things to be, so I’m not ready to call them “mistakes” per se — but here are my changes to the edging (affects both A and B chart):

Row 1: yo, k2tog, k2, k2tog, yo, (then the rest of the row)

Row 3: yo, k2tog twice, yo, k3, yo, ssk, k3, yo, ssk, k2tog, yo, ssk, (then the rest of the row)

Future knitters of My Heaven can decide for themselves which way they prefer these two rows to be worked.

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FO Friday: Ashton Sweet Pea

I fear I am becoming a bit of a fingering-weight shawlette whore …

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Project: Ashton Sweet Pea

Pattern: Ashton Shawlette

Designer: Dee O’Keefe

Available: FREE! on Ravelry

Yarn: Socks That Rock Lightweight in Sweet Pea

I had this ball of STR saved from May 2010.  I tried (and failed) to make the club sock that month.  The yarn seemed boring and lackluster, too pale.  But, oh how this “spirit” colorway shines in a mostly-stockinette shawl!  Ashton is a great pattern in it’s own right, but the designer makes it even better by intentionally making it accessible to the beginner lace knitter.  A thoughtful step-by-step process leads a novice lace knitter through the  process of reading charts to make a traditional top-down triangular lace shawl.  I have, in fact, already recommended this pattern to a friend and a knitting student. I did do one repeat less than the pattern called for, because I knew I was working with a smallish skein.  I ended up with 6g left after the bind off.  Success!

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.

Cast-On Monday: Wicked Abstract, Deep Water Echo, Mystery Archangel

Because sometimes I simply cannot help myself, this week I cast on for some shawls.  Not one, not two, but THREE new projects.  Ack.

First up: CEY’s popular Abstract with some gorgeous cashmere yarn I picked up at such a discount that I am ashamed to admit it in public.  I have 136 grams of Wicked, and I am making the softest most beautiful-est shawl/scarf ever. It is completely spoiling me for all other yarns forever, because knitting with cashmere is like … well, like nothing else I’ve ever knit with. Yum.  The work is humming right along — should be a quick project to finish.

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Later in the week, I got really impatient waiting for the next clue on a mystery lace KAL to come out, so (logically) I cast on for a Echo Flower shawl using some Shadow Tonal in Deep Waters.  I’d originally meant the yarn to be something else, but then changed my mind.  So this doesn’t really count as a new project, right?

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This did not cure my KAL waiting blues however, and after seeing so many gorgeous lace-weight projects go up on the KAL thread, I caved in and bought some Malabrigo Lace at the shop, and cast on last night, and finished the first clue.  You can see where this is headed … I finished Clue 3 on the original mystery today, and I’m halfway through clue 2 on the lace-weight one.  Help?  Also: we will not discuss the four skeins of Tosh Light that are already destined for three different lace projects.  Will not!

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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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FO Friday: Castlevania

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I finished my Wilhemina Shawlette! Have you noticed that I am completely addicted to one-skein, fingering-weight shawlettes?  Talk about instant gratification!

Clewe, my 10-month-old Border Collie, “volunteered” to show off his most excellent STAY and pose with the FO:

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Project: Castlevania

Pattern: Wilhelmina Shawlette

Designer: Chrissy Gardiner

Available: as a single pattern for $6, as part of the most excellent What Would Madame DeFarge Knit? for $16.95.

Yarn: Knit Picks Imagination in Castle Walls

Thoroughly addictive and beautiful lace pattern — a truly enjoyable knit. I ended up adding several extra repeats of the edging, in order to use up as much of my skein as possible. I really like the visual effect of these extra repeats.  Imagination worked beautifully for this pattern — it’s so soft and pretty, I’m almost done being mad at it for felting when made into socks ;).

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