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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!

 

Yarn Discovery Tour and Travelling Stitches

September 6

I adore the North Coast Knitting Guild in Northeast Ohio. It’s a very active group, with all kinds of activities and lots of very talented knitters. The Guild regularly offers fantastic workshops. Today I was lucky enough to take Candace Eisner Strick’s class on travelling stitches. She has a unique way of working some of the stitches so that the left- and right-travelling stitches match each other better than in the traditional method.

Right after class I embarked on my very first Yarn Discovery Tour. I’ve heard about it for years, and am determined to finally participate. Knitting on the Square (affectionately known as KNOTS) in Chardon was my first stop on the Tour. I’ve been looking for a variegated yarn in fall colors, and scored big time with these lovely skeins of Dream in Color Smooshy in the “Flight of the Maple Seed” colorway. Serendipity!

Dream in Color yarn, Smooshy

 

KNOTS is a warm, inviting store owned by the very talented designer Kate Jackson.  I can’t wait to go back!

Having procured my YDT passport and my first stamp, I have “only” 16 more to go. Good thing we have until September 20th!

Frog Tree Feather and Fan

February 23

 Feather and Fan, reversible scarf, Frog Tree

Here’s a sample I made from Frog Tree’s Pediboo Worsted. I was excited to get to try this yarn, since tone-on-tone colorways are a relatively new addition to the Pediboo line. Frog Tree has created gorgeous colors in both the worsted and sock weight.

This is the reversible “Feather and Fan” pattern from my book Reversible Scarves: Curing the Wrong Side Blues.  In the partially worked ball of the yarn, you can see the subtle variations of lighter and darker blue:

FeatherFan_FrogTree_Ball

 

I love the “Feather and Fan” pattern – it’s a fun and easy knit. It always makes me nervous at first, though, since it looks like a jumbly mess as it comes off the needles. After wet-blocking – giving it a good stretch – it transforms into a beautiful, feminine creation! You can see the beautiful color variations of the new Frog Tree tone-on-tone line:

  Feather_Fan_FrogTree_ed2

 

This scarf is on display at the Ball & Skein & More in Cambria, California – it was one of the first shops to carry the new tone-on-tone version of Pediboo Worsted. I loved getting a sneak peek of all the gorgeous colors available! The Feather and Fan scarf uses only two skeins.

 

Resources:

“Feather and Fan” pattern from  Reversible Scarves: Curing the Wrong Side Blues :

final-08599

Frog Tree Yarns

The Ball & Skein & More – the amazing yarn store in Cambria, California

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Fenimore

December 28

I love patterns that offer interesting construction. With its intriguing cables weaving in and out, Jared Flood’s Fenimore tam fits the bill nicely. I couldn’t wait to use the beautiful Brooklyn Tweed Shelter yarn calling to me from my stash.  Subtle flecks of color give the yarn depth without distracting from the texture of the cables.

 

I adore this yarn. It’s well behaved – easy to knit, and nicely spun. The heathered colors are so gorgeous – I can’t wait to make another project in another color!

I finished the tam just in time for the second snowfall of the season!

Jared’s written an amazing account of how he manufactures his yarns in historic Harrisville, New Hampshire. His posts are great, and illustrated with his beautiful photography.

posted under Hats, Projects, Yarn | 2 Comments »

Free Knit Picks Sock Pattern

December 16

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!

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.

Springtime Socks

June 2

As you may know, we now have a part-time home near where I grew up in the Midwest. I’m not used to living in the suburbs where other people can see me. In California, the only people who might get weirded out by my photographing socks are the deer and foxes and newts. Well, and my husband at first, but he got over it after a while. Here in the suburbs, I can only guess at what my new neighbors might think as I diligently pose socks around the yard. They haven’t come over to introduce themselves yet. Maybe this is why. (“The lady who used to live here was so…. normal”, they lament to each other, peering into our yard.)

Nonetheless, here are the socks I created using Sockotta Sock yarn and some leftover Regia 4-ply. I adore knitting with jacquard-patterned yarn like the Sockotta. The ever-changing colors keep the knitting entertaining.

 

I find the Sock Wizard software a handy tool for making socks. Once I do a swatch, it’s easy to plug the gauge into the software and come up with a pattern that is exactly the size I’m looking for. I’ve used it often enough to know that I always need to make the heel length longer. And I always put some sort of ribbing into the leg. Even with a good cuff, the legs fall down when I knit straight stockinette.

I’m not sure I’m crazy about the afterthought heel. What is your favorite heel?

Socks for Spring

April 12

I haven’t tried Sockotta sock yarn before. But when I saw these pretty spring colors, I just had to start a pair. I think all my projects should be color coordinated with my garden.

posted under Projects, Socks, Yarn | 4 Comments »

Tangled Yoke Cardigan

March 29

At long last I’ve finished the Tangled Yoke Cardigan. It soared to the top of my list of favorite patterns to knit. Eunny Jang’s genius in the cable design made it delightful. I kept wondering, “How did she think of that?” as I went along. I just love the long stretch of ribbing on the sleeves and bottom of the sweater as well.

 

I thoroughly enjoy the yarn. It’s Rowan’s Felted Tweed - the DK version. I was worried that the yarn would be scratchy, but I wore the sweater with just a shell on underneath and it was fine.  It’s the perfect spring sweater – light and just warm enough for cool mornings.

The color I used, Shade 141 Whisper, has been discontinued, but Rowan has come out with a bunch of other enticing colors. I can’t wait to use one of them to make another of these cardigans!

 

posted under Sweaters, Yarn | 9 Comments »

Hand Spun Scarf

March 9

For the beautiful yarn that Adrienne spun, I turned to one of my all-time favorite patterns from Candi Jensen’s book Knit Scarves. The Woven Knit pattern uses slipped stitches to form a fabric that looks, well, woven.

I like both sides of this scarf. And need I say more about the colors? Adrienne tells me the roving is called “Alpine”, by Mountain Colors.

Many thanks to my amazing nephew Neil for taking these photos. If like photography, you can check out Neil’s Flickr photostream. You’re in for a treat!

Adrienne can be found on Ravelry as Truffle. I feel lucky to have such a talented, kind and interesting friend as a co-conspirator in all things knitterly!

posted under Scarf, Yarn | 6 Comments »
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