Don’t you just love it when you reach into your stash and find the perfect marriage of yarn and pattern? Such was my luck the other day when I found some Valkyrie “Jayne” fingering, a lovely blend of merino and cashmere hand-dyed by my friend Bonni Raine.
As luck would have it, I have a little bit of time between design projects to do some fun, personal knitting. I’m pairing the yarn with a design I’ve wanted to make for the longest time…the shawl called Ferru by my friend Stephannie Tallent. The design has special meaning for me, as I’ve spent a great deal of time in Arizona, the home of the Ferruginous hawk which inspired Stephannie’s design. Note the gorgeous feather motif!
The pattern is from “Lace 2“, Volume 5 of Stephannie’s fabulous eBook series called The Wild West. Check out the drawing for a giveaway of The Wild West collection!
You can find Bonni’s Valkyrie yarn at Yarns at the Adobe in San Luis Obispo, California
Stephannie Tallent’s blog is Sunset Cat Designs
One of the best things that have come from my involvement in the world of knitting has been getting to know interesting, fun and creative people. Stephannie Tallent is such a friend. I’ve been watching in awe as her design career has blossomed. She is truly amazing!
One of Stephannie’s design projects has been her series inspired by the years she spent living in Arizona. Aptly named The Wild West, the collection consists of five ebooks, with themes based on techniques such as cables, stranding, textures and lace. I will be giving away the entire series to one lucky winner!
Click on the image of each cover to see the patterns for each:
To win this fabulous collection, enter a comment here on this post by the end of the day on August 14th (midnight Eastern Time). Please include your contact information in your comment so I can let you know if you’re the winner. I’ll be conducting a random drawing. (One comment per person, please, with only one comment and email address per person.)
For the longest time I’ve had my eye on Arenda Holladay’s pattern, “Woman’s Cable Vest”. I like its simplicity, with the cables adding just the right amount of interest. (Plus, I’ll use any excuse to knit with Rowan’s Felted Tweed!)
The red color (“Rage”) married with the tweed texture will be just right when Fall rolls around.
Woman’s Cable Vest by Arenda Holladay, in the Members’ section of the TKGA website
Rowan Felted Tweed DK
If you’ve been following my blog, you know that in a couple of days I’m off to Knitting Camp. The optional homework is one or two mini sweaters. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working on both…one’s a yoke and one’s a drop-shoulder.
The little yoke sweater calls for corrugated ribbing. I’ve always liked the look of corrugated ribbing, but had never done it before. I appreciate that the instructions for the sweater are not overly specific. It gives me the chance to try different options, including how I work the first row or two and join the second color.
I love getting to learn some of the famous Elizabeth Zimmerman techniques that I’ve heard so much about. Working the faux seam had me delving into another of her books, this time Knitting Workshop, to learn her technique. It’s very clever, and I can see how it would not only lend structure to the sweater but also make it easier to block.
I haven’t gotten as far in the drop-shoulder sweater. So far it’s just a tube, waiting to get steeked. Eek a steek! I’ll wait until camp is in session to learn more about steeking before I cut the fabric. I’ve always been intimidated by steeking, and hope I will get over my phobia by the end of camp!
I’ve wanted to go to Knitting Camp forever. It’s hard to believe its almost time for me to head to Wisconsin. I can’t wait to meet the folks from Schoolhouse Press and the other “campers”!
I’m looking forward to teaching my Linen Stitch class at the Ewes d’Bleu yarn store in Pepper Pike, Ohio!
The class is on Sunday, July 26th starting promptly at 11:00 am. It includes lunch. Yum!
Description: One of my all-time favorite stitch patterns for scarves is the linen stitch. It’s perfect for variegated yarn, is attractive on both sides, and lies flat. Its versatility can be seen in the photos above – all three scarves are made from this one simple stitch, yet have completely different looks! Using the technique and pattern from my book, I’ll show you how to create the stitch, step by step. Then you’ll be set free to experiment and, if you want, to start a project scarf. The Ewes d’Bleu staff can help you select yarn to make your scarf, whether you’d like tone-on-tone, variegated, or textured. They’ll also help with needle size selection, as the linen stitch requires about 2 sizes bigger than what the yarn calls for on the ball band.
If you’re interested in taking the class, you can sign up on the Ewes d’Bleu’s registration page or stop in. Or for more information, call (216) 319-6559. Ewes d’Bleu is located in Pepper Pike at 30559 Pinetree Road, Suite 206 (Second Floor).
Samples from my book Reversible Scarves: Curing the Wrong Side Blues will be on display during the days leading up to the class. I’ll be signing books after class.
Come see the wide variety of techniques my book has to offer! With over 30 patterns, there’s something for everyone.
In other news, Christina B. is the winner of the lovely Kristin Omdahl Giveaway. Congratulations!
One of the things I like best about TNNA, our industry trade show, is being introduced to new yarns. Kristin Omdahl, who I’ve known as a designer, has a line of beautiful 100% bamboo yarns called Bamboo So Fine.
I came home with a skein of Kristin’s fingering weight “b. so fine” in a lovely pale lavender color. The sheen from the bamboo gives it almost a silvery glimmer, and the hand-dyed color includes lovely subtle variations. I’m excited about using it in Romi Hill’s Lyrica Euterpe shawl pattern. The yarn is so soft and has such lovely drape, it’ll be just right!
I also have a skein of the sport weight version of the yarn, calle “b. so sporty”. I will give it away in a random drawing from comments left on this post. At 325 yards (297m), it will easily make a small shawlette, hat, mitts, or even a baby garment. (I found oodles of patterns on Ravelry for sport weight projects using 300 yards or less).
The sport yarn comes in a cute drawstring bag and includes a sample of Kristin’s special no-rinse wash. It’s jasmine scent is heavenly. She has a balm with the same scent, which I’ll also include in the giveaway. She calls her line of scented products “Wrapture”. Clever, eh?
To win this gorgeous Kristin Omdahl collection, enter a comment here on this post by the end of the day on June 21st (midnight Pacific Time). Please include your contact information in your comment so I can let you know if you’re the winner. I’ll be conducting a random drawing. (One comment per person, please, with only one comment and email address per person.)
I’m finding it difficult to read Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Knitter’s Almanac without being outdoors. I love how connected she was to nature. Her tales of the family’s outdoor adventures, and knitting outside, are endearing to the nature-lover in me.
A quote: “In a travelling canoe one cannot write.”
How can I resist?
A few days ago, when it was a lovely almost-summer day, it seemed fitting to work on my homework for Meg Swansen’s Knitting Camp in the woods at the base of one of my favorite trees.
With giddy anticipation I look forward to Knitting Camp in July. Started by Elizabeth Zimmerman as a weekend knitting course 42 years ago, it is now taught by her daughter Meg Swansen.
I have heard about “EZ”s EPS (Percentage System) for many years, I have never studied it. I’ll read a couple of Elizabeth Zimmerman’s books before camp starts, and am already enthralled with Knitter’s Almanac.
To add to the joy of reading this warm-hearted book, my peonies are blooming. These lovelies take the sting out of leaving my California garden. I love their ethereal petals.
You can see the lovely red commemorative edition of Knitter’s Almanac that my very thoughtful husband gave me. I’m already wearing it out. I think EZ would approve.
I did not fall off the face of the earth, but the past few months have been full of crazy twists and turns. I’m sorry I haven’t posted since… yikes, could it really have been since March? Oh my. I’ll try to make it up to you.
I was unbelievably lucky to spend April designing a little something that’ll appear in a magazine in the fall. Being the Slowest Designer and Slowest Knitter on the planet, it took longer than any reasonable person would have thought. Oh yeah, that’s also when we started to pack up our house in anticipation of putting it on the market.
Yes, my 35-year love affair with California has come to an end. I will miss it terribly. I already yearn for my friends and my LYS and the incredible scenery.
So, the months have been filled with packing boxes (how on earth did we accumulate that much stuff?). To my dismay, I couldn’t de-stash fast enough for my poor husband to finally see the true vastness of my yarn “collection”. Oh, and the cake pans. I never could explain to his satisfaction why one family needs a half dozen Bundt pans plus a pile of antique aspic molds. (Because they’re cute I say.)
I try to even the score by bringing up the golf club “collection”, but it’s a pretty pathetic ruse.
We are on to our next adventure. We just aren’t sure yet where that will be!
Why is it I’m always a season behind in my knitting? Ah well, there’s just enough winter-ish snow for this lovely, warm sweater to be useful for another week or so. “Mork” is designed by Julia Farwell-Clay. I love patterns that are both relaxing to knit and also interesting. Worked in worsted weight, the knitting progressed quickly, while the cables kept my interest.
Even the back is filled beautifully with cabling and a just-right icord edge.
I used Rowan Pure Wool Worsted for this project. I was worried it might be a bit scratchy, but it softened nicely with washing.
Fans of Knit Picks can now find my “Mixer” accessories in Swish Worsted. The yarn is delightful to work with, and comes in lots of great colors.
The patterns are available individually here: Mixer Hat, Mixer Mittens, and Mixer Scarf. The variety of knit/purl stitch patterns make these cute accessories entertaining to knit!
Any knitter who has known me more than five minutes knows that Alana Dakos is one of my all-time favorite designers. I finally had the chance to make her Gnarled Oak Cardigan from the book she co-authored with Hannah Fettig, Coastal Knits.
I used Madelinetosh DK in the Grove color.
I love Alana’s attention to detail.
Gnarled Oak Cardigan on Ravelry
You’ll enjoy checking out Alana Dakos’ Never Not Knitting blog and very entertaining podcast
My Gnarled Oak Cardigan on Ravelry