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“Mixer” Accessories Are Up

January 30

An enthusiastic fan of my book Reversible Scarves: Curing the Wrong Side Blues asked whether I could design some mittens to go with the Mixer Scarf from the book. What a great idea!

Here’s the original Mixer Scarf from the book. It is now available as an individual pattern as well!

Mixer Scarf

Here are the mittens…The little scallop shape on the cuff matches the scallops at the ends of the scarf.

©2014galezucker

The palms sport a little seed stitch motif

©2014galezucker

I figured, “Why stop at mittens?” So I designed a hat to go with it too.

©2014galezucker

 All three patterns are available through the AudKnits Pattern Store also on Ravelry.

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Resources

Many thanks to Gale Zucker for the wonderful mitten and hat photos.

Kudos, as always, to Caro Sheridan for the scarf photo from the book.

Old Edna Photo Shoot

January 26

I love getting to be on hand for photo shoots of my designs. I do have a tendency to fret like a mother hen, and I’m fortunate to work with people who have patience!

We were soooooo lucky to use the fantastic Old Edna Townsite for Saturday’s session. Set in the Edna Valley Wine country, just south of San Luis Obispo, it’s a collection of historic buildings lovingly restored by “The Mayor” of the town, Pattea Torrence.

For out-of-towners there is a beautiful, restored farmhouse and adorably cozy cottage available to rent as part of a “farmstay” vacation.

Old Edna_6

Wouldn’t it be fun to hang out in 2 acres of an old town? My hat is off to Pattea for having the vision and considerable talent to create such a unique and character-filled place.

Old Edna, photo shoot 2015

Not every rooster gets his own toy dump trucks to play with

PhotoShoot_2015_01_24_4

Thank you, Pattea, for your kindness!

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Colleen Rosenthal shot our lovely model Ali Peters, wearing some accessories that I’ll be publishing soon. Cassandra Evangelho kept us all organized and the outfits styled to a tee!

PhotoShoot_1_2015_Collage2

I’m grateful to be part of a talented team who work well together and spend most of the time laughing.

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Resources:

Old Edna

Suite Edna Farmhouse Vacation Rental

Colleen Rosenthal Photography

Cassandra Evangelho, stylist and co-owner of Evaneal

Matchy-Matchy

January 6

Do you have my Reversible Scarves book, and wish that you had accessories to match the scarves?

The new year will bring new designs that will do just that. I will be releasing mitten, hat and/or sock designs that will go with the lovely scarves you’re making. The accessories will not be reversible (after all, who needs reversible socks, right?) but will complement the reversible scarves.  Here’s a sneak peek:

Anybody want to guess which scarf pattern these mittens and hat go with?

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Photography by Gale Zucker

Another Pair of Lockhart

November 4

I wish I were better at photographing red. If I was, you’d be seeing the true gorgeous ruby color of my latest pair of Lockhart fingerless mitts. The design is by the talented Leila Raabe.

This was my first time using Baah Sonoma yarn, and I am smitten. It is soft as can be, but doesn’t lose its oomph during blocking. The lovely ply makes for great stitch definition in the twisted stitches.

fingerless mitts, Baah yarn

I made a few little modifications. I made the short version of the pattern, but wanted a bit more wrist coverage. I added two rows to the beginning and two rows to the end of the cuff chart. I bound of all stitches purlwise, since I like the way it blends into the rows of garter.

I love this pattern. It is well written, and fun to make!

 

Lockhart Mitts

December 10

I thoroughly enjoyed making these Lockhart Mitts, a Brooklyn Tweed pattern by Leila Raabe. I had some Lorna’s Laces Green Line Worsted in my stash, and was glad to find the perfect use for it.

fingerless mitts, Lockhart, Brooklyn Tweed, twisted stitches

Full of twisted stitches and a few little cables, it’s an entertaining pattern to knit.

I altered things a little. The pattern includes instructions for both a short and a long version. I had plenty of yarn for the short but not enough for the long. I wanted the cuff to come down further below my wrists, so I added 4 rows before row 1 of the main mitt charts (in the same pattern as row 1).

Another small change I made was to use the bumpy side of the cast-on facing out, then casting off purlwise to match.

If I had them to do over again, I’d work the last couple of rows of garter on smaller needles, or work in a couple of decreases, so they’d be snugger around my fingers.

 fingerless mitts, Brooklyn Tweed, twisted stitches

If you’re looking for last minute holiday knitting, Lockhart might fit the bill!

Many thanks to my hubbie Steve Ells for taking these photos. ♥

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

 

Downton Done

March 3

I wasn’t able to block the Downton Abbey Mystery KAL mitts before leaving for Stitches West, but here they are at last.

Downton Abbey KAL

Participating in the knit-a-long was fun!

Downton Abbey Mystery KAL Clue 5

February 7

Another new-to-me technique made its appearance in this week’s mystery KAL clue. I have never done ruching before.  (I hate to admit I didn’t even know how to spell it until I looked it up. )

In addition to starting the second mitt, this week we made an icord for each mitt’s ruching. I found this pretty, contrasting sport weight in my stash:

Downton Mystery KAL

I haven’t cinched down the ruching yet – I’ll wait to block the mitts and try them on first.

Congratulations to designer Kristin Ashbaugh-Helmreich for an astronomic number of projects out there – what a brilliant and well-loved idea this KAL has been!

I always wonder how many projects are out there besides Ravelry.

Resources:

Jimmy Beans Wool Blog: Downton Abbey MKAL Clue #5

 

Downton Abbey Mystery KAL Clue 4

February 3

Some of my friends are just now getting around to watching Downton Abbey Season 3. A fun quiz to test your knowledge of the historical context and some of the plot points so far is hosted by NPR in their segment, “Quiz: Are You Down With Downton?”

I just barely got Clue 4 of the Mystery KAL done last night, in time for this morning’s new clue.

What a pretty edging! It’s been a while since I’ve used this technique – I really enjoyed it. I love the way each section of the gauntlet unfolds from week to week – just as the drama in the Downton Abbey series does!

Downton_4b

I love how pretty this edging turned out; being a mystery KAL, it was a nice surprise.

Downton Clue 4_detail

Resources:

Jimmy Beans Wool Blog: Mystery KAL

Mystery KAL Week 1, Clue #1. (Downton Abbey meets NASA)

January 10

One of the best things about participating in the Downton Abbey Mystery KAL is getting to use a new fiber from an old favorite yarn company, Lorna’s Laces. For the KAL, I’m using the suggested yarn, Sportmate. As I read the ball band, I was a little surprised by the contents: “70% superwash Merino and 30% Outlast viscose.” Never having heard of Outlast, I just had to look it up. As it turns out I’m working on a 1900’s inspired pattern using a fiber developed for NASA! Here’s what the Outlast web site has to say about it: “Outlast® technology, originally developed for NASA, utilizes phase change materials (PCM) that absorb, store and release heat for optimal thermal comfort.” What would Lady Violet have to say about that? Leave a comment with what you think she’d say about a newfangled fiber!

Sportmate is a very well-behave yarn, easy to knit with and creating nice, even stitches. There is a slight halo to it. Here’s the project KAL project so far, through Clue #1.

 Downton Mystery KAL, Jimmy Beans Wool, Lorna's Laces

Free Pattern – Kellie Fingerless Gloves

May 23

I’ve been remiss in posting lately. Sorry about that!

To atone for my negligence, I offer you a cute little pattern: the Kellie Fingerless Gloves. It’s fun to make, and free! Using sock yarns, the finished gloves measure 8″ around.  If you’re like me, you have sock yarn galore in your stash; this pattern uses a printed yarn (sometimes called jacquard) and a solid. The pattern is shown in two colorways, but there are endless combinations you can come up with.

 

free pattern, fingerless gloves, Opal, Heritage, sock yarn

 

free pattern, fingerless gloves, Opal, Regia, sock yarn

 

Here’s the skinny for the Kellie Fingerless Gloves:

Size:
M

Finished Measurements:
Hand circumference: 8″/20.5cm
Length: 7.5″/19cm

Yarn:
Turquoise and Yellow Version:
MC: Opal 4 Ply Wool (75% superwash new wool, 25% polyamide; 465yds/425m/100g); Color Petticoat #1297; 1 ball. Or use about 140yds/128m of any patterned sock yarn.
CC: Cascade Yarns Heritage (75% merino superwash, 25% nylon; 437yds/400m/100g); Color #5626; 1 ball. Or use approximately 95yds/87m of any solid sock yarn.

Blue & Red Version:
MC: Opal 4 Ply Wool (75% superwash new wool, 25% polyamide; 465yds/425m/100g); Color #750 (3206) Blind Venus; 1 ball. Or use about 140yds/128m of any patterned sock yarn.
CC: Regia 4-Ply (75% superwash new wool, 25% polyamide; 230yds/210m/50g); Color #2137; 1 ball. Or use approximately 95yds/87m of any solid sock yarn.

Needles:
US#1/2.25mm set of 5 dpns in 6″/15cm or 8″/20.5cm length for working body of gloves
Optional: US#1/2.25mm set of 5 dpns in 4″/10cm length for working fingers

You can download the pattern for free here:

 

free knitting pattern

 

 

Many thanks to John Kieger/www.KiegerPhoto.com for photography, and Khani Nguyen for modelling.

Knab Fingerless Gloves

September 1

At long last, my Knab Fingerless Gloves are  finished. The pattern is in Ann Feitelson’s The Art of Fair Isle Knitting: History, Technique, Color & Patterns. I used Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift. By far the hardest part of the project was narrowing down the colors. Loop and Leaf in Santa Barbara carries a veritable rainbow of tantalizing shades. All of which I wanted to take home with me. Fortunately Celeste, with her expert eye for Fair Isle, was able to help me narrow it down.

Many thanks to my steadfast husband Steve for photographing the gloves.

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