I love the designs in Barbara Benson’s book Mosaic & Lace Knits. I was especially drawn to the Love Child shawl, with its bands of color and clever lace and mosaic stitch pattern.
Last April, when it was STILL snowing, I happened to walk into my LYS, The Artful Yarn, when they were stocking their shelves with a brand-new shipment of Sweet Georgia Tough Love Sock yarn. Oh, my…the gorgeous colors! Quite a few skeins came home with me, including a bright yellow and a cheery blue. I was more than ready for happy summery colors after such a dismally long winter!
I like the mosaic and lace stitch pattern so much. It makes the shawl a perfect weight for warm weather.
Knitting with the Tough Love Sock yarn was a dream. It’s well behaved and soft.
You can check out my review of the Mosaic & Lace Knits book here.
Once in a while I knit up a project that I’m so pleased with, I can’t help smiling when I see it and I wear it all the time. Such was the Waterlily top. Designed by Mehgan Fernandes, I found it to be absolutely delightful to knit.
I added my own modifications to make it just right for me….Shaping in the front and back to form an hourglass illusion, with extra decreases on the sides to make up for my pear shape. (More on this in a future post). I also made it longer than the pattern’s finished measurements.
I used Knit Picks Lindy Chain yarn in the Sagebrush color. Even though the yarn is fingering weight, it was a very quick knit on the #7 needles that got me the right gauge. The linen/cotton blend offered nice stitch definition. I’m in love with these details – the pretty lace on top and the clever Latvian braid.
I might just knit another of these next spring!
Knit Picks Lindy Chain yarn
We have a winner! Katherine of Hudson, Ohio won this beautiful book.
If only I hadn’t broken my arm, I’d have spent the past few weeks making summer tops from the lovely book Knitted Tanks & Tunics: 21 Crisp, Cool Designs for Sleeveless Tops. Designer Angela Hahn’s patterns include a variety of techniques and skill levels, all using a nice selection of cotton, linen, bamboo and other cool yarns.
Several tops feature clever construction, like this one called “Charlotte”:
The techniques used in different patterns range from lace, to fair isle, to this mosaic design:
I love that there are patterns that appeal to many skill levels. Relatively new knitters could easily make this cute “Atlanta” top. I can see this as an excellent first project to teach a new knitter the basics of making a sweater.
Here’s the top want to make. I like the “Marietta” V-neck back, mirrored by a clever V-shaped insert in the front. I like the simple cable down the center, too.
A careful study of the designer’s instructions show they are well-written. Her charts are well-done, with clear symbols and detailed written instructions for special stitches. I really like Hahn’s schematics, too. They include more details and more measurements than most schematics I’ve seen. I love great schematics that enhance my ability to understand a pattern.
The other place this books excels is in the Techniques section. The directions are very well written, with fantastic photos to illustrate the techniques. Over the years I’ve been knitting, I’ve appreciated being able to learn new skills from Techniques sections like this. Well-written and well-illustrated tutorials like these have given me the confidence to try patterns that I thought were beyond my abilities. It’s so gratifying to learn new skills and be able to finish such projects!
I’m giving away this wonderful perfect-for-summer book in a random drawing from comments left here on this post. The comment period will be open until midnight Eastern Time on Sunday, August 19th.
To enter the random drawing, simply leave a comment here on this post. Please include your contact information in your comment so I can let you know if you’re the winner. (One comment per person, please, with only one comment and email address per person.)
I can mail this book anywhere in the world as long as there are no postal or delivery restrictions.
This book was kindly provided by the distributor National Book Network.
The Reyna shawl is one of those lovely little projects when you’re in the mood for something very easy to knit, or you have some pretty sock/fingering yarn you want to use up. The pattern, by Noora Laivola, is available for free on Ravelry.
I don’t know about you, but as the days tick down to travelling by airplane my anxiety level rises in proportion to the number of portable projects I have on hand. When I had nothing at all to work on before a recent trip across country, I was in a dither. I was thrilled to find the Reyna shawl! I zipped over to my LYS and picked up some lovely Malabrigo Sock yarn. Out of the many gorgeous colorways, I chose Indiecita – it has enough colors to keep it interesting, while not being so contrast-y as to take away from the stitch pattern.
At 16″ high and 44″ wide, the shawl is on the small side, although it’s fine as a little summery accessory. When I make another one I’ll work it on a larger needle (maybe a #5 instead of a #4) or work another pattern repeat or two, but I might need another skein.
This was one of my favorite travel projects. It’s perfect for social knitting too!