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Spring Scarf

March 28

Here’s the just-right-for-Spring version of the Mistake Stitch Rib scarf from my book Reversible Scarves: Curing the Wrong Side Blues. What I love about this simple stitch pattern is how well it lends itself to variation. The book covers everything from sport weight to mohair to bulky versions, with this one being my favorite for this time of year.

 reversible scarf, mistake stitch rib, sport weight

Gaugefy App

February 27

You may remember I’ve been working on the second level of the TKGA Master Hand Knitting Program. I’m learning to be a stickler for gauge (oh dear, I’ve become one of those people). In Level 2, we have to write instructions for our swatches, including gauge.

A tool that I’m finding to be helpful is the Gaugefy app for Apple devices. It’s very easy to calculate gauge, since it lets you enter any measurement for your swatch – you’re not stuck with 4″ x 4″ for example. It then takes the stitches and rows in your swatch and calculates stitches per inch.

app, Gaugefy, gauge

You can then hit the “Create” button to go to a page that allows you to to use your stitches-per-inch calculation in a number of ways. I like using it to get the 4″ gauge to put into the gauge section of my patterns. Or you can you can estimate the measurements that you’ll get using a certain number of repeats. Or go the other way and figure out how many repeats you’ll get in a given measurement.

app, Gaugefy, gauge

This handy app has a free version which I use all the time. For $1.99 you can get a version with even more features. It will store your gauges for you for future reference.  As a designer, this is really handy. I can have at my fingertips the gauges for yarns I use in design work, or gauges for specific stitch patterns.

app, Gaugefy, gauge

Gaugefy seems like such a simple little app, yet is very handy!  You can check it out for free in iTunes and upgrade to the paid (but still really inexpensive) version if you’d like to be able to save the results of your swatches, including yarn and needle size.

Kellie Fingerless Mitts

March 18

My nephew and niece-in-law (I call her our “nice-in-law) are avid photographers. They love catching early morning light, but it can be mighty chilly! Fingerless mitts are just what they need to keep their hands warm, while their fingers are free to move the controls on their cameras.

I adapted my Kellie Fingerless Gloves pattern, replacing the fingers with ribbing at the tops.

Kellie Two

The good thing about having a big stash of sock yarn (well, my husband might call it “justification”) is that I had some great jacquard patterned yarn on hand. My nephew and his wife each picked the color that appealed to them for the hand section, and I chose some solids to match for the ribbing.

Kellie fingerless mitts, free pattern

Kellie fingerless mitts, free pattern

Resources

Kellie Fingerless Gloves patttern

Lang Yarn Jawool Aktion Color

Regia 4-Ply solids

 

Knit Picks IDP: Page Turner Throw

October 25

I’ve been snuggling up under my Page Turner Throw as the evenings turn cool. I think (and I admit I’m totally biased, here) it has the perfect combination of qualities – the worsted wool gives it warmth and a bit of heft, while the pattern lends a soft appearance.

This version of the pattern can be found in the Knit Picks Independent Designer Patterns.  It’s made of Wool of the Andes Worsted, which comes in 100 colors!

Knit Picks, IDP, Wool of the Andes, throw pattern

The throw is framed by icord, which reflects the cabling between the Calla lily motif.

I want to thank Knit Picks for including another of my patterns as part of their Independent Designer Partnership program!

Resources:

Knit Picks IDP Page Turner Throw

Wool of the Andes Worsted

Fall Colors

October 17

I love being in Ohio for the fall colors.

fall colors, treesGates Mills Bridge

 

 St Christopher’s church

 

deer, fall

 ”Hey, what’s this human doing in my woods?”

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To celebrate fall, I’m using Rowan Felted Tweed to make the Bold Stripes pattern from my book, swapping the book’s bright spring palette for muted fall colors

 

 

 

 

 

Two New Patterns for Fall

September 24

My newest patterns explore texture.

hat, calbles, knitting, hat pattern, knitting pattern, twisted stitches, Debbie Bliss

knitting pattern, Quince & Co, Lark, throw pattern

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Featuring twisted stitches and winding cables, Emmalina provides plenty of variety to keep the knitting interesting. The pattern uses sport weight yarn, shown here in Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Baby.

 hat, knitting pattern, twisted stitches, cables, Debbie Bliss

Knitters will appreciate little details like cables that grow out of the ribbing, and the flower design formed by the crown’s clever decreases.

hat, knitting pattern, twisted stitches, cables, Debbie Bliss

 

hat, knitting pattern, twisted stitches, cables, Debbie Bliss

 

Emmalina Hat – $3.99

 

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Snuggling up in a hand-knit throw is one of the best things about winter. How do you like to use a throw? Maybe to wrap around your shoulders as you fumble for that first cup of coffee in the morning? Maybe as a lap robe while watching TV or posting something funny online? Me, I love books and use my Page Turner Throw to complete my favorite nesting spot where I cozy up to read. When winter wears out its welcome, the pretty calla lily motif is there to remind me that spring is not so far off.

 knitting pattern, throw, Quince & Co, Lark

The finished piece measures approximately 44″ x 54″, just right for warming a lap or pulling around the shoulders. The throw is worked across the width and finished with an attached I-cord border. The pattern calls for worsted weight, shown here in Quince & Co.‘s gorgeous Lark.

knitting pattern, throw, Quince & Co, Lark

Page Turner Throw – $4.99

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Do you love Knit Picks? Both Emmalina and Page Turner Throw are availble throught the Knit Picks Independent Designers Program, using Knit Picks yarns, of course! I’ll be blogging about these versions of the patterns in a future post, but in the meantime you can find them here

 Knit Picks, hat pattern, Independent Designers Program, Wool of the Andes

and here

Knit Picks, hat pattern, Independent Designers Program, Wool of the Andes

 

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Photos by Colleen Rosenthal and John Kieger

 

 

 

Book Sneak Peek – Sprouts

June 11

You may remember my post showing a bit of the design process for a pattern in my upcoming book, Reversible Scarves: Curing the Wrong Side Blues. When you get my book, you’ll see that one of the chapters offers designs using double-knitting. Each pattern uses the slip-stitch technique, so knitters don’t have to learn any new skills – they can just jump right in and start knitting. My friends of course saw the bits of test knitting I worked on as I developed the patterns. They were always amazed at how simple the slip-stitch method is.

Here is one of my favorites from the book. May I present “Sprouts” in it’s final form, made pretty by the fantastic photographer, Caro Sheridan!

 reversible scarves, Reversible Scarves:Curing the Wrong Side Blues, double knitting

Book: Behind the Scenes of “Sprouts”

May 21

As I worked on my upcoming book, Reversible Scarves: Curing the Wrong Side Blues, I tried desperately to stay organized. I have papers pinned all over my bulletin board (sort of like the reality version of Pinterest). “Sprouts” was a really fun pattern to develop. An early bit of test swatching takes a place of honor in the mayhem:

reversible scarves, book

The wonderful sample of “Sprouts” for the book was created by Susan Claudino, of NoKnitSherlock fame on Ravelry. (You’ll see it in a Sneak Peek posting soon.) Since she knit it, she’ll get to post it to her Projects page.  I’ve been itching to knit one myself, partly because it’s a fun knit, and also so I can post my own  in my AudKnits Projects.

Early in the morning, I happily got started:

Sprouts, reversible scarves, double knitting, Borocco

Berroco’s Ultra Alpaca is a dream to knit with!

Book Sneak Peek – Mixer

April 17

People have been asking me about the scarf I used in my new Binding Off in Pattern YouTube video. “Mixer” is one of the many patterns from my upcoming book Reversible Scarves: Curing the Wrong Side Blues.

Reversible Scarves, Mixer, Cascade 220

Don’t you hate it when you lovingly knit a scarf, only to have it worn with the wrong side showing? My book will be a resource for reversible scarves, using a variety of techniques. “Mixer” comes from the chapter showcasing simple knit/purl patterns. I love the jaunty scalloped ends (if I do say so myself) and the great Cascade 220 Citron color.

My book is available for pre-order (see the sidebar at right). If you order the printed book, you’ll also receive the digital version. The digital version alone is also available.

Photo by Caro Sheridan

A Book is Born

October 24

Reversible Scarves, Cooperative Press, knitting book

 Hmm… What on earth is this pile of knitting?

Shannon Okey, Knitgrrl Studio, Cooperative Press
And why is Shannon Okey smiling?

I’m excited to tell you that the Really Big Project I’ve been alluding to over the past bunch of months is my book on reversible scarves. It will be published by Cooperative Press. I’m very grateful to Shannon Okey, of Knitgrrl fame, for giving me the opportunity to be published!

A few weeks ago I hauled all the scarf samples down to Shannon’s studio in Cleveland. I learned a lot, watching her sort the scarves into groups in preparation for photography. She then showed me the programs she uses to edit the Cooperative Press books. A fascinating process!

If you’re like me, and are tired of sorting through scores of scarf patterns to find the ones that look good from both sides, your wait will soon be over. My book uses a variety of techniques, and plenty of suggestions for customization – enough to keep you knitting gifts and accessories for years to come.

The book is in its infancy, and I’ll be sure to keep you posted as it makes its way toward actual book-dom!

Moebius Madness

September 6

When I signed up for Cat Bordhi‘s Moebius workshop, I had only the vaguest idea of what a Moebius actually is. Wikipedia describes it as “a surface with only one side.” In knitting, I knew of it from intriguing shawls, scarves and cowls that look like strips with a twist in the middle.

The picture below shows the surpise supplies that greeted us in the workshop. No, the apple is not a lilliputian variety – I just put in in the photos for scale to show that  the ball of yarn is really, really huge!

Moebius, Cat Bordhi, ShiBui, Addi

I couldn’t understand, why the giant yarn? Turns out the big yarn and big needles are just right for learning the special Moebius  Cast-On. It also helps when creating a new design – it means fewer stitches to rip out when the unexpected happens. See the variegated yarn in the center of the work? That, oddly enough, is the cast on that Cat so brilliantly teaches. Yes, the knitting starts in the center and works outward! This is just the beginning of where the design process is turned on its head.

 

Moebius, desigining

Wikipedia says, “If an ant were to crawl along the length of this strip, it would return to its starting point having traversed every part of the strip …without ever crossing an edge.”

Here’s the strip I made to start conceptualizing how to create a pattern for the Moebius shape. Not only does it start in the center, but also patterns that slant one way in the beginning slant the other way when they come around the second half of the knitting.

If this sounds like gobbledy-gook, I can highly recommend Cat’s workshops. She also has a terrific YouTube video  called “Intro to Moebius Knitting.”

My Moebius design will soon appear in… well, the Really Big Project that I can’t talk about yet.

ShiBui provided the lovely Highland Wool Alpaca yarn for Cat’s students, and the fabulous Addi Turbo needle came from Skacel.

Yarnmarket Visit

November 16

The field trip to end all field trips…I got to visit Yarnmarket a couple of weeks ago while in Ohio.  

When I drove up, my heart started going pitter-patter just seeing the familiar Yarnmarket logo.  Signs in the window show that the facility houses not only endless yarn and supplies, but also the wonderful, tenacious people who keep Yarndex up to date. (If you’re not familiar with Yarndex, check it out. It’s THE source for finding every kind of yarn imaginable, and is easily search-able by weight, gauge, brand and other terms).

Yarnmarket, yarn store

I love to support my LYS, but they can’t carry every line needed to satisfy my voracious yarn yearnings.  I fire up the computer to  place orders online with Yarnmarket,  sometimes phoning for expert advice to narrow down a selection. When I’ve looked at the huge list  of brands they carry, I’ve always wondered what on earth their company looks like in person.  Now I know: it’s yarn mecca to the nth degree!  A series of  light-industry warehouse units, all connected, housing shelf-after-shelf, bin-after-bin of every conceivable fiber goodie.

To have the opportunity to meet all the nice people I’ve spoken to by phone over the years was a real treat. Deborah Knight (no relation, but I wish we were) gave me a terrific tour of the facility. We started in the showroom, where I learned the stories behind some of Yarnmarket’s special brands. Did you know that Yarnmarket has its own house brand? Named Caledon Hills after the lovely part of Canada where Deborah’s mother lives, the yarn comes in worsted and chunky weights.  I am bowled over by the number of colors available – 72 in each line! My head is spinning with design ideas. To get the full story, you can check out Deborah’s hilarious description of life in this beautiful but technologically challenged part of Canada.

Yarnmarket’s Abbey Collection is inspired by the pastel drawings of an American monk. A dollar from each ball sold is donated to the artist’s abbey. If you want some design inspiration, check out the Abbey Collection site where there are pictures of the pastels. Clicking on the picture will take you to a page showing that particular drawing and the yarns that represent it. I love to see how Iris Schreier has used dye to interpret the pastels.

Deborah offered up many more entertaining stories, and I wish I could have had all my readers along to hear them too! As the day grew later, I had to get down to business selecting yarns for a new – big – project coming up. Jan, a yarn expert extraordinaire, looked over the sketches I brought and helped me to narrow my choices down.

If you visit Yarnmarket, you’ll start off in the showroom, where at least one of each yarn is on display.   With all the yarns the company offers, it might be easy to be overwhelmed, but the room is brilliantly organized. This photo  is of one tiny corner:

Yarnmarket, yarn

Next comes the warehouse tour. This is like walking through some lovely dream involving the ultimate stash combined with the knitter’s library from heaven. It’s another tribute to the powers of organization, as the bins all perfectly labelled and arranged alphabetically – room after room, shelf after shelf. I’ll fess up… the place is so enormous I  got lost trying to find my way back to the showroom the first time. I learned to tell my internal navigation system, “Turn left by the Berroco”.

I want to thank everyone at Yarnmarket for their warmth and hospitality. You’ll be seeing several of their yarns in future AudKnits designs.

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