New Patterns Released: Twins and Entwined, Cabled Mug Cozies

Announcing my two latest patterns: Twins and Entwined, two cabled mug cozies!  Both are available FREE on Ravelry, so go download a copy today.

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I designed this pair of patterns for my upcoming “Intro to Cabling” class at the Hub Mills Store. The class is two hours long and costs $20.  I’m offering it twice in the near future, on Saturday, April 21st, and Saturday, May 19th, from 10AM – noon.  “Twins” is the simpler of the two patterns, intended for the knitter who is totally new to cables.  “Entwined” is a bit more complex (though not as much as you might think!), meant for a knitter who has done a bit of cabling before, or an adventurous novice.

If you’d like to take my class, call (978) 408-2176 or email yarn@hubmillsstore.com to reserve a seat.

Both cozies take less than 50 yards of worsted-weight yarn, plus two buttons, and can be finished in a single day.  Both are also appropriate for learning how to cable without a cable needle — something I will also teach in class, because I think it makes cabling SO much quicker and easier.

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New Pattern Release: Marilla’s Very Practical Shawl

Introducing my latest pattern: Marilla’s Very Practical Shawl! This Danish-style tie shawl is worked from the bottom up in worsted-weight yarn.

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Pattern: Marilla’s Very Practical Shawl

Designer: Rachel Henry (that’s me!)

Available: for $1.99 through Knit Picks IDP

Yarn: Knit Picks Swish Tonal

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Inspiration: I read the Anne of Green Gables series several times over while I was growing up (and at least once as an adult).  It’s easy to like Anne—we’re meant to like her–but I always had a soft spot for Marilla Cuthbert. Prickly, practical, and tough, she protected a tender heart with a convincing façade. I like to think Marilla would have liked this shawl. It’s warm, knits up quickly, and the long Danish-style ties allow you to wrap and secure the shawl around your shoulders and waist. But, there’s just enough lace to make it pretty, too.

I made a shawl in this style a couple years ago, and I wore it all the time last winter. I loved how the ties held it in place, and allowed several different ways to wear it.  For cool days, I wore the shawl over my shoulders with the ties going directly under my arms and tied behind — like a shrug.  On frigid days, I crossed the shawl over my chest, wrapping the ties around myself before tying them behind. Both ways allowed great freedom of movement while staying warm, and pretty too!  I even wore this shawl to dog agility events.

My interpretation of this type of shawl is larger overall, with longer ties. I used worsted-weight yarn to make it warmer and faster to knit. I tried to streamline the construction to eliminate as many loose ends as possible.

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Design/Skills Needed: The shawl begins with the bottom edging, worked from right tip to left tip, with a short-row corner halfway through. Stitches are picked up along this bottom edge, leaving 8 repeats at both tips to form the ties. The body is worked from the bottom edge, with decreases to form the spine and top edge. After the body is completed, the neck edging is worked from right tip to left tip and joined to the body as you go.

It’s worth noting that the bottom edging uses about 40% of the yarn … so even though it takes a long time, you are nearly halfway done when you finish it! The pattern includes some charts; however, all charts are also completely written-out, for knitters who prefer to work from written directions.

Yarn: Almost any worsted-weight yarn will work with this pattern.

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

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Test Knitters Needed: Marilla’s Very Practical Shawl

I just finished the sample for a pattern for Knit Picks IDP worked in their GORGEOUS Swish Tonal (Blue Violet colorway).  I need a few intrepid test knitters to help me ferret out any errors or confusing bits.  If you’re up for the task, send me a message!

Marilla’s Very Practical Shawl

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Design details: The shawl begins with the bottom edging, worked from right tip to left tip, with a short-row corner halfway through.  Stitches are picked up along this bottom edge, leaving 8 repeats at both tips to form the ties.  The body is worked from the bottom edge, with decreases to form the spine and top edge. After the body is completed, the neck edging is worked from right tip to left tip and joined to the body as you go.

Craft(s): knitting
Number of Testers: 2 for charts, 2 for written directions
Approximate Hours to Complete: 30
Deadline: August 26th, 2011
Tools needed: #8 needles, tapestry needle
Material needed: 1100 yards of worsted-weight yarn
Pattern Difficulty: middling — skills needed include basic lace work, picking up stitches, short rows, and joining a lace edging to the body as you go
Formats Available: PDF
Pattern Style: full written directions, charts for some portions

Testing needs: Error checking for charts and written pattern; clarity of directions for construction; confirmation of yardage requirements.