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Storm Mountain Cardigan

January 21

I’ve been in a stash-reducing mood lately. I had a bunch of Rowan Felted Tweed DK sitting around for a pattern I decided not to make after all. What to do? Through the magic of Ravelry, I found the perfect use for all that yarn – Storm Mountain by Heidi Kirrmaier.

The pattern is simple to make. Worked from the top down, it uses raglan shaping for the sleeves and eyelet increases to create the pretty back. Heidi uses ingenious stitch count tables to make it very easy to keep track of the repeats and number of stitches at each stage along the way.

Storm Mountain_2_sml

As you can see, there are a couple of ways to wear the sweater; it can cascade down the front or be secured across. The open front was not so great outside in the winter snow, but will be just right in the spring!

Storm Mountain_1_sml

  Storm Mountain_3_sml

Being a seriously pear-shaped person, I needed the top part of the sweater to be smaller than the bottom part. I made the following modifications:

First, I cast on using cable method for firmness. I made the top half, down to about 7.5” beyond the yoke, in smaller needle sizes (#3 and #4); this gave me a tighter gauge as well as less garment width. Then I switched to #5 which gave me the gauge as called for in the garment for the bottom part of the sweater. I worked one fewer pattern repeats in bottom half, since I got the called-for length.

I struggled with the SSE as described in the pattern; clearly I was doing something wrong. I chose instead to do: RS first 4 sts: ktbl, p1, sl1,p1 RS last 4 sts: p1, sl1, p1, slwyibWS first 4 sts: p, k, p, k WS last 4 sts: k, p, k, slwyif

 I found the sweater easy enough for tv-watching and social knitting, with just enough going on to also keep it interesting.

Many thanks to my husband Steve for braving the snow to take these lovely photos!

 

Resources:

Storm Mountain pattern

Rowan Felted Tweed DK

Happy New Year Scarf

December 30

There’s nothing like an easy knit in party colors to ring in the New Year. I made this Composite Stripe scarf (from my book Reversible Scarves: Curing the Wrong Side Blues) out of Feza Alp Oriental in the #13 colorway. The great thing about the yarn is that it comes with all kinds of different yarns on one ball. Mixed in with plied solids are bouclé’s, metallics, and even a subtle trace of eyelash yarn. The colors are a delightful mix of reds with some turquoises, a hint of teal and some yellows thrown in. Each ball is like a party unto itself. Just one ball of Alp Oriental makes the entire scarf.

reversible scarf, Feza

 

AudKnits “Verticality” Scarf

 

If you have a bunch of fun yarns in your stash, you can also create this super-easy scarf by holding different yarns together as you knit.

Happy New Year!

 

Resources:

Composite Stripes pattern from Reversible Scarves: Curing the Wrong Side Blues

Feza Alp Oriental yarn

John Kieger Photography

Teal Mixer

December 16

Sometimes it’s really great to be a scarf designer. I have all sorts of them lying around!

Mixer, Reversible Scarves, Cascade 220

“Mixer”, from my book Reversible Scarves: Curing the Wrong Side Blues was a great choice for a bitter cold walk through the snowy woods. It’s just the right width, and the Cascade 220 wool kept me toasty.

Mixer, Reversible Scarves, Cascade 220

Winter Woods1

Even when I don’t need it for practical purposes, I have a soft spot for this pattern. The different textures are fun to knit, and I like the scalloped ends. (If I do say so myself!)

Teal Mixer_Detail_sml

 

 

Resources:

Reversible Scarves: Curing the Wrong Side Blues “Mixer” pattern

Mixer, Reversible Scarves, scarf, Cascade 220

 

Cascade 220 yarn

posted under Book, Projects, Scarf | No Comments »

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. ♥

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ZigZags Galore

October 30

I like patterns that can be can easily evoke different seasons or moods. My ZigZag pattern from my book Reversible Scarves: Curing the Wrong Side Blues is like that. There are so many gorgeous self-striping yarns out there, it’s easy to whip out a scarf that is exactly right as a gift, to match a certain outfit, or for a different time of year.

Here are a couple of variations I made last year. I had Spring in mind for this one made from Wisdom Yarns Poems:

reversible scarf

 

Then Summer came along and I was drawn to the inense blues of some Noro Kureyon I found:

reversible scarf

 
 

And now I’m finishing up my Fall version, made from Plymouth Yarn’s Gina. For this one, I liked the way the colors worled out when I increased the cast on to 36 stitches. (I include a “Make It Your Own” sidebar in the book so you can adjust the stitch counts any way you’d like to accomodate whichever yarn you want to use.) The pattern gives options for either the pointy or the squared-off ends.

You can see I get carried away sometimes…I was inspired by our red maple tree, then just had to toss my WIP into its branches. I got kind of matchy-matchy with the fall leaves pallette!

reversible scarf, short rows

Next time you’re in the mood for a quick, fun knit, you might enjoy the ZigZag pattern. It uses easy short rows, and it’s fun to watch the colors emerge as the knitting progresses.

Resources:

Reversible Scarves: Curing the Wrong Side Blues ZigZag pattern

final-08205_medium2[1]

Wisdom Yarns: Poems

Noro Yarn: Kureyon

Plymouth Yarn: Gina

Frog Tree Cables and Knots

October 25

I love getting a chance to work with new-to-me yarns. I had the pleasure of making two sample scarves from my book Reversible Scarves: Curing the Wrong Side Blues. Both used Frog Tree’s Pediboo Worsted, a lovely blend of machine washable worsted and bamboo. Here’s the first of the samples (I’ll blog about the other at a later date):

You can see that the yarn lends nice stitch definition to my “Cables and Knots” pattern…

reversible scarf, Frog Tree, cables

 

 …I also love the way the little scallops along the scarf’s edges held their shape after blocking.

reversible scarf, Frog Tree, cables

Like many of the patterns in my book, the “Cables and Knots” design looks more complicated than it really is. The knots in the center of the cables are very easy to make (unlike bobbles, which I find to be kind of fussy). The pattern repeat is easy to memorize, too.

This particular sample will be on display at the Ball & Skein & More yarn store in Cambria, California. It took three skeins of yarn.

I like it so much, I may have to make another to keep myself!

 

 

Resources:

Reversible Scarves: Curing the Wrong Side Blues “Cables and Knots” pattern:

reversible scarves, cables

 

Frog Tree Yarns

The Ball & Skein & More carries a wonderful selection of Frog Tree yarns and my book. You can see the Cables and Knots sample, and they always have my book available.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cushy Chroma Socks for Fall

September 23

I adore thick, warm socks to wear around the house in the fall. You may remember my Cushy Chroma Socks design. When I’m in the mood for a quick knit, this is the pattern I turn to. Knit Picks is always coming out with new colorways for it’s Chroma Worsted yarn, and I’ve amassed quite a stash of it. This time I was in the mood for the Soft Rock colorway.  I used the second of two versions for the “Rolled-Edge Cast On for K2, P2 Rib” from Cap Sease’s book, Cast On Bind Off: 211 Ways to Begin and End Your Knitting.

Cushy Chroma Socks 2

The free pattern offers womens’ small, medium, and large sizes and are simple enough for social knitting. They’re perfect for making gifts for friends.

This super-simple pattern is available for free through AudKnits, Ravelry and Knit Picks.

Resources:

Cast On Bind Off: 211 Ways to Begin and End Your Knitting is available from the following sources:

Please support your local yarn shop and see if they carry the book!

Knit Picks

Amazon

Patternworks

Martingale

Taygete

September 6

Taygete 2

An end of summer treat, Taygete was a fun shawl to make. The pattern’s garter stitch center made for good social knitting, and then the edges provided that kind of quiet-time knitting where I enjoyed concentrating on the lace.

Taygete 3

Anzula Squishy yarn is a dream to knit with! It’s soft with a good ply.

Now it’s time to put away the lace weight yarns and summery colors, and haul out some beginning-of-fall knitting. It’s hard to believe its that time already!

 

Resources:

Taygete pattern by Romi Hill

Anzula yarn

posted under Shawls | No Comments »

Color Affection

July 2

A shawl pattern I’ve long wanted to make is Color Affection by designer Veera Välimäki . I’ve seen it on Ravelry in many gorgeous color combinations, and I love the interesting effect the short rows create.

Color Affection 3

I made mine with Swans Island Natural Colors Merino Fingering. As you can see, I was in the mood for some spring colors! I love the yarn – it’s what I call well-behaved - smooth, not splitty, soft.

I did have a couple of issues which I’ll keep in mind if I make another Color Affection….It ended up much smaller than the pattern’s dimensions call for, worked on US #6 needles. I’ll never disbelieve a gauge swatch again (ha, ha). It told me I should go up a needle size or two to get gauge, but thinking I didn’t want the stitches to get too loose, I ignored it. My shawl blocked out to about 72” x 16”, a far cry from the 94 x 22 in the pattern’s schematic. I probably should have used a size 8.

Nonetheless, this was a lot of fun to knit. It’ll be fine as a little shawlette-type accessory.

Bind-off: I tried going up two needle sizes and using the standard bind-off. It was too tight. I took it out and used Cap Sease’s “Suspended Bind Off Variation” from her book Cast On, Bind Off. It was perfect for the curved edge.

Color Affection 4

I want to thank my dear hubbie, the awesome Steve Ells, for taking these photos. I like the way the arch in the bridge mirrors the curved shape of the shawl!

Resources:

Color Affection pattern

Veera Välimäki’ designs on Ravelry and her beautiful Rain Knitwear Designs web site

Cast On, Bind Off by Cap Sease – please support your local yarn store and buy it there if they have it.

Swans Island yarn (made in the USA)

posted under Projects, Shawls | 2 Comments »

Reversible Scarves: Stefanie Moebius

May 10

Just the right weight for springtime - I made a version of my Stefanie Moebius pattern from Knit Picks’ Wool of the Andes Sport. I used Woodland Heather and Sapphire Heather. I adore sport-weight yarn, which added to this project’s fun factor. I previously made one from Lorna’s Laces, and high on my to-do list is to make one from Tosh Sport too. All these companies have such great colors to choose from!

If you’d like to make one of these yourself, the pattern is from my book Reversible Scarves: Curing the Wrong Side Blues. There are directions for the tricky-but-fun Moebius cast-on that Cat Bordhi teaches. One of the elements I like about this design is the contrasting edging; it emphasizes the intriguing Moebius shape.

scarf, mobius, reversible

scarf, Moebius, reversible

 

Resources:

Reversible Scarves: Curing the Wrong Side Blues

Cat Bordhi’s Moebius Cast-On video

Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Sport

Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sport

Madelinetosh Tosh Sport

 

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!

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