Monday, July 11, 2016

A Lesson in Fair Isle

Recently I was asked to teach a series of beginner friendly classes on fair isle at my local yarn shop, Harps & Thistles Yarn Imporium.

I struggled to find that just-right collection of patterns to teach those initial skills (no steeking in this class!). So a few new patterns popped out instead...

If you have been toying with the idea of trying fair isle or colorwork beyond striping, then I encourage you to try these three patterns in the following order. Each pattern puts specific beginner skills into practice. Another bonus? Buy yourself two colors of a yardage heavy worsted weight yarn (like Stonehedge Fiber Mill's Shepherds Worsted or Dream in Color's Classy) and you will have enough yarn to make ALL THREE projects!

Are you ready to take your advanced beginner knitting skills to the intermediate level? Go!

Project 2: Chevron Cup Cozy
shown on a "tall" Starbucks cup
shown on a "grande" Starbucks cup

Project 3: Mrs Smith's Hat

If you are local to Akron, Ohio, come by the shop and take one of these classes with me. Check here for availability.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Morning at the Tate

Some experiences in life are planted firmly in your memory and cannot be shaken. I can remember on a trip to London, more than 15 years ago, walking up to the Tate Modern thinking, “I’m not going to like this. It’s modern; no way will I like this. Modern art is not art.” 

Boy was I wrong! I can still picture how dark and dingy the exterior looked and how industrial the interior felt. That morning visit at the Tate changed my view on art forever. The warmth and boldness of the paintings and sculptures moved me then and inspire me to this day. 

After that I began to see irregular shaping and construction everywhere, even in quilts, which led to my love of Denise Schmidt quilts and fabrics. Modern meets charm. Love it.

Morning at the Tate is a scarf which features irregular strips of color stacked together at varying lengths apart (much like my beloved DS Quilts). These bursts of color are what really give the scarf punch, energy and an urban feel. 

This unisex scarf is part of a vibrant collection of designs from Dragonfly Fibers. Masterpiece Knits is exploding with fifteen energetic and atypical designs all inspired by famous works of modern art. How gorgeous is that cowl on the cover? It is called Modern Lattice from the ever talented Andi Smith. 

Morning at the Tate uses three different colors of Pixie yarn (a single ply fingering weight merino wool) from Dragonfly Fibers. In the book, you will see a version with a variegated yarn for the main color (Blue Morning Glories) and a bright (Weaverknits Grellow) and neutral (Silver Fox) for contrasting striping.

However, this version features the neutral for the main color (Silver Fox) and a bright (Weaverknits Grellow) and a variegated (Blue Morning Glories) for the contrasting colors.

Lucky knitters, there is a Morning at the Tate KIT contest via Stash and Burn podcasters. Definitely check out Nicole and Jenny's podcast if they are new to you - always a fun listen. Hop over to their Ravelry group for all of the details on how to win this gorgeous kit.

Until next time... happy knitting!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Modern Lines Winner!

The winners for the DOUBLE Modern Lines giveaway have been selected (using an online random number generator). Drum roll, please.......

Bianca! You have won a copy of the Modern Lines pattern AND that gorgeous skein of Dragonfly Fibers' Pixie yarn!!!!

Craftsonthego! You have won a copy of the Modern Lines pattern!!!!

I will be contacting these lucky gals today. In the mean time, keep reading the blog! I have LOTS more giveaway plans in the near future.

Happy knitting!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Modern Lines: New Pattern and Double Giveaway!!

When I think of the word modern, I think of clean and sometimes intersecting lines in clothing, architecture, furniture, or the modern wing of an art gallery.

For example:

Arkon Art Museum in Arkon, Ohio

 Navarre Home Design
Modern Luxury Furniture

This style was the inspiration behind my newest pattern, Modern Lines.

These fingerless mittens are cozy and warm thanks to the dense slip-stitch pattern, known as a diagonal float stitch. They feature vertical, horizontal, and diagonal lines making them quite the modern mitt. However, I feel they appear both modern and feminine when knit in a beautiful kettle or hand-dyed colorway.

This pattern was originally published in the Three Irish Girls’ Eunice’s Choice yarn club in October 2015 under the title “Calypso Mitts.” Although I greatly prefer the look of these fingerless mitts in a tonal colorway, I think they would create quite a different effect (in a good way) in a gently variegated colorway, such as these:

Bellini colorway from Three Irish Girls Yarn
Save the Ta-Tas colorway from Dragonfly Fibers

With Valentine's Day around the corner, I clearly have PINK on my mind.

The mitts pictured in the Modern Lines pattern feature one of my favorite yarns from one of my favorite yarn companies: Pixie by Dragonfly Fibers. This pattern only takes about 185 yards of fingering weight yarn. So you can knit 2 pairs of Modern Lines mitts from 1 skein of Pixie!!

They are a shorter mitt, only 7.5" in length. The mitts are worked in the round from the bottom up. The cuff, top of the mitt, and top of the thumb are all worked in a short single rib stitch pattern. The front and back of the mitt are worked in a diagonal float stitch pattern. There is a also a sliver of garter stitch on both sides. And finally, the thumb gussets are worked in stockinette stitch.

I'm happy to say that I will be hosting a DOUBLE GIVEAWAY!!! Post in the comments below what colors you'd love to knit Modern Lines in and who you would knit them for. Don't forget to include a way for me to contact you (e.g. Ravelry name, email address).

Pixie yarn in the Blue Velvet colorway

Winner #1 will receive the Modern Lines pattern AND one skein of Pixie yarn in the Blue Velvet colorway.
Winner #2 will receive the Modern Lines pattern.

On Wednesday, February 3rd I will select two winners using the online random number generator. Good luck and as always happy knitting!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

BSA winner!

Congratulations to Manyakitty307, you have won a lovely squishy skein of Blue Sky Alpacas Sport!! If you would please let me know how to contact you (Raverly name? email address?) in the comments, then I we can sort out the details to get this pretty yarn to you quickly. 

Thanks to all who commented! Keep checking back with the blog often. I have big plans for giveaways in 2016!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Yarn Review: Blue Sky Alpacas Sport

I hope you have all taken a few minutes to explore the Knittin' Little website- a fun site with cute knitting patterns for kids and a well written blog by the creator, Andrea Sanchez. In September, she released the inaugural pattern collection for Knittin' Little, which included a design from me, the Sleep Fox Jumper.

Oh how I love this cozy dress and particularly love that sweet little fox! You can read more about the design here and here. Today, however, is all about the yarn: Blue Sky Alpacas' Sport.

This sport weight yarn comes from a company that creates luxurious yet affordable yarns. Blue Sky Alpacas provides generous support for designers and produces a quality yarn for their customers. I have knit with several BSA yarns before, but this was my first experience with Sport.

I admit I was hesitant about this yarn choice while swatching. It seemed stiff and not at all forgiving. Forgiveness is key with intarsia. After wet-blocking my little swatch, my patience paid off. What a result! The stitches really softened, settled down, and nestled together, which resulted in fabric with excellent drape and a pretty halo effect. The drape from the alpaca fiber gives the fabric an overall relaxed and comfortable look. I've always felt that intarsia motifs look a bit more polished and professional when the project yarn has a little halo to it.  My daughter Emma (the model), said the dress had a "swishy swirly feeling" when she walked, which is code for awesome yarn.

Petal Pink colorway

Today I have one skein of Blue Sky Alpacas Sport yarn in the Petal Pink to give away to one of my readers.  Be sure to leave a comment below sharing what you'd like to make with this bit of perfection. I foresee cute pair of fingerless mittens for someone.

I will select a winner using the online random number generator next Monday December 14. Be sure to include a way to contact you: email or Ravelry name. Until then, happy knitting!

Company: Blue Sky Alpacas
Yarn: Sport Yarn
Weight: sport weight
Fiber Content: 100% baby alpaca
Yardage:  110 yds (100 m)/ 50 g

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Yarn Review: Trinity Worsted

In early September, Sweet Georgia Yarns published a beautiful collection of autumnal patterns in Fall with Sweet Georgia, Volume 1.  I was fortunate to be among the contributing designers in this issue. What a treat to work with such a generous and positive yarn company! The real joy came when working with their beautiful Trinity Worsted yarn.

Just look at the silky sheen, smooth plies, and gorgeous color! Trinity Worsted yarn is a smooth worsted weight yarn with gorgeous drape. There is an illusion of heaviness while knitting with it, but never fear, once your item is blocked, the stitches settle and distribute the weight beautifully leaving you warm, comfortable, and very pleased with yourself for selecting this yarn. 

I love this close-up shot of my pattern, Slice, from the fall collection. You can clearly see the subtle blend of colors in each colorway. This pattern needs only 2 skeins: 1 in Nightwatch (main color) and 1 in Silver (contrasting color).

Each skein is packed with 200 yards and is made up of 70% superwash merino, 20% cashmere, and 10% silk. If you are an Anzula For Better or Worsted fan, then I encourage you to try Sweet Georgia's Trinity Worsted.

Company: Sweet Georgia Yarns
Yarn: Trinity Worsted
Weight: worsted
Fiber Content: 70% superwash merino, 20% cashmere, and 10% silk
Yardage:  200 yds (185 m)/ 4 oz (115g)