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.
The end of this weekend marks the end of the drawing for the beautiful stitch markers, custom made to celebrate AudKnits’ four year blogiversary! If you want your name to be in the drawing, leave a comment on the original post. (One comment per person, please.) I’ll be giving away four sets of markers – one for each year of the blog. Hurray!
This is one of my favorite designs from my book Reversible Scarves: Curing the Wrong Side Blues. It’s easy to make; the pattern calls for the slip stitch method of double knitting, so I didn’t have to learn any new techniques to make it. All it requires is knowing how to knit, purl, and slip stitches. It makes for very social knitting!
Berroco Ultra Alpaca is perfect for this pattern. The 50% alpaca gives it wonderful drape, so the double thickness doesn’t get too stiff. The 50% wool lends structure, so it maintains its shape.
I can’t wait to try this in more colors. Wouldn’t it look stunning in black and white? Or some fall colors? Maybe a plum and gold?
Don’t you just love patterns that look all difficult and fancy-shmancy, but are really easy to make? That’s how it was with the Classic Elite Yarn pattern called the Seedling Wrap, designed by Tonia Barry. The pattern calls for Verde cotton yarn, but I substituted Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran. With its merino wool and touch of cashmere, I think it will be a warmer choice for chilly California evenings (I know it sounds crazy, but even in summer it can be 100 in the day, and really cold at night!).
The lovely curves motif reminds me of waves and sand. A perfect gift my friend who adores outings to the beach!
I was happily sitting in the Phoenix airport, getting to know Michelle Hunter of Knit Purl Hunter fame, when along came a cameraman for a local TV news program. New airline regulations are going into effect and he wanted to interview me about them. Always game for a good rant, I said yes! The cameraman was the nicest guy ever, and seemed intrigued by the idea that someone might actually have to travel for knitting (hard to explain TNNA, isn’t it?!). When I whipped out my iPad with the rough draft of my book, he exclaimed, “But you’re so high tech!” Little does he know what a bright bunch we knitters are. Cutting edge all the way!
The interview aired on Wednesday evening on Phoenix 3TV News, on the 3 On Your Side segment. I’m at the beginning and end. You can watch it here:
Dubbed the Cushy Chroma Socks due to their warmth and thickness, these socks make for perfect winter knitting. I don’t know about you, but as the hectic holidays wind down, I’m always in the mood for some easy, quick knits. The Cushy Chroma Socks fit the bill. No teeny needles or thin sock yarn here – Knit Pick’s Chroma Worsted works up quickly on US #5 and #6 needles. The end result? Soft, warm socks that are perfect for padding around the house on frigid winter days, wearing to bed to keep tootsies toasty at night, or even to wear out in your roomier shoes or boots.
The Cushy Chroma Socks pattern is available for free from Knit Picks. Sizes are Women’s small (shoe size US 5-6), medium (7-8), and large (9-10), ranging in circumference from 6.5″ to 8″. Chroma Worsted comes in vibrant colors ranging from blended stripes to bold. I love wearing these cheerful colors when the weather is dreary!
I’ve been privileged to be part of the Knit Picks Independent Designer Program since April 2010. I thank Stacey and the rest of the Knit Picks team for the opportunity to include another pattern!
It’s been a while since I made one of my Eleanor Cowls. I figure it’s the perfect little project to work up for Stitches West. As you know, I already made a Tangled Yoke Cardigan for the event. If I had a brain in my head, I would have color co-ordinated the two pieces. But noooo. I did, however, find pajamas that work with my new Eleanor. So I will definitely be stylin’ for the pajama party.
This Eleanor is in Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino. I adore this teal color. Say hello to me at Stitches – I’ll look just like this, but without the wooden neck.
Is anybody else bringing Eleanor along to Stitches West? Leave a comment if you are! The project pages on Ravelry show there are a lot of beautiful versions out there. I’d love to see them in person!
When I first read about the Prayer Shawl Ministry, I was struck by it’s beautiful concept. The person knitting the shawl begins with prayers and blessings for the recipient, ends with a final blessing, and prays blessings into it throughout its creation. The shawl is meant to give comfort and solace to its recipient.
I had always thought about making one of these shawls, but had never considered what it would be like to receive one. One of the most powerful times of my mother’s illness was when a staff member from her church came into her room at the hospital, bearing a prayer shawl. He was the epitome of kindness and led us in a beautiful prayer. My mom couldn’t speak, but she spent a long time entranced with the shawl. With her one good hand she felt the stitches over and over, and admired the pretty colors. It was as if she could feel all those blessings and prayers knitted into it.
The shawl has served as blanket on Mom’s bed, a shawl around her shoulders, and a lap warmer when we wheel her outside. During a particularly bad stretch that found my mother in ICU again, I wrapped up in it as I slept in a recliner in her room. As I hugged it around me I was comforted by the thought of all the people sending their love and prayers Mom’s way. Most of all, in the middle of the clinical, machine-laden world of hospitals where the effort is on to heal the body, it has served as a reminder that what really matters is the spirit.
If you’re looking for a very Christmas-y pattern you might like to check out my Christmas Smock Top Sock. It features both a challenge – the cuff done in smocking stitch – and also the mindless stockinette stitch that can be such a comfort and relaxation during this hectic time of year.
The pattern includes directions for sizes Small, Medium and Large.