Cast-On Monday

This week I added two new projects to my needles.  One is a design project that was accepted for publication through Knit Picks IDP, and the other is a test knit for one of my favorite designers.

The new project of mine is a “practical” shawl — worked mostly in garter stitch with superwash worsted-weight yarn, it should be warm and cozy, and knit up quickly, too.  I’m using the Danish wrap-style shawl as a basis for the shape.  To make it pretty and fun to knit, I’m adding a bit of lace here and there — but not so much as to make it un-practical, or slow down a knitter too much.  Knit Picks granted my every wish when they accepted the pattern, and then gave me Swish Worsted in Blue Violet:

2389 KP Swish Worsted in Blue Violet
I’m lucky enough to be on Kate Oates (of Tot Toppers) test-knitter list.  Periodically she puts  out photos and descriptions of patterns she needs tested, and it is a tribute to her and her designs how quickly the tests fill up!  Lately I’ve been too slow to respond, and have missed out on testing a number of great patterns, but this time I got lucky! If you read Kate’s group on Ravelry, you already know about her knitpon — a chance to pre-order her fall collection for only $33.  Today (Mon 13th) is the absolute last chance to take advantage of this deal — check out the awesome patterns:

See that stripey boy’s sweater in the top row?  That’s the pattern I’m test knitting. I ordered some great Wool of the Andes in the new Tonal colorways,  and I’m already halfway through the body.  It looks great on my youngest boy, who is very into dinosaurs.  Here’s my pretty yarn, in Blue Yonder, Springtime, and Deep Waters.

2385 Dino Sweater Test Knit

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Test Knitters Needed: Drop Everything and Kudzu

I’m working on two projects for Classic Elite.  Both will eventually be FREE! to the world via CEY’s daily web-letter. Right now I’m working on the samples, and they are looking good.  I also need a few intrepid test knitters to help me eliminate any errors and clarifying confusing bits.

Dear reader, this is where you come in! One of the projects is quick-and-easy; the other is more involved-and-complex.  If you have time over the next 2-3 weeks to test knit a pattern, please let me know.  I’ll email you a test version of the pattern, you supply the yarn and mad knitting skillz.  You get to keep your finished object, and earn my undying gratitude ;).

Drop Everything Scarf

Quick and fun drop-stitch scarf, using ribbon-style bulky yarn.

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1369 Drop Everything swatch

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Ribbon yarns shine in drop-stitch projects. Katydid’s exceptional softness and drape make this straight-forward drop-stitch scarf something special, and just the thing to accessorize in springtime.

The pattern alternates between large sections of horizontal drop stitches between rows of garter stitch and vertical drop stitches between columns of stockinette.

The easy pattern repeat and big needles means it works up quickly. This project should appeal to experienced knitters and beginners alike.

Sizes: 6″ wide, 5 feet long
Approximate Hours to Complete: 6
Deadline: March 15
Tools needed: US#10 needles (6.0 mm)
Material needed: appx 250 yards of aran yarn, ideally a ribbon-style yarn
Pattern Difficulty: Easy
Pattern Style: written
Testing needs: Check for errors, test for ease of understanding drop-stitch directions

Kudzu Shawlette

This is a leafy lace shawlette, with a pattern that flows from one motif to the next. Intermediate-to-advanced level lace: stitch count varies row to row, and knitter must understand & execute sk2p vs. s2kp correctly.

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1373 Kudzu swatch

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In the southern US Kudzu flows over the land like waves caught in time. I tried to capture the impression of motion in this shawlette. The twisted rib grows leaves that expand to cover a lattice.

This lacy shawlette can be worn over the shoulders with a fancy accent button or shawl pin to hold it in place. It can also be wrapped twice around the neck for a more casual look.

Directions are be provided in both chart and written format.

Sizes: appx 10″ deep and 50″ long
Approximate Hours to Complete: 25-30
Deadline: March 22
Tools needed: US#6 needles (4.0 mm)
Material needed: appx 750 yards of sport or DK yarn, button (if desired)
Pattern Difficulty: Experienced
Pattern Style: fully charted and written
Testing needs: Check for errors, especially in the written directions.