Garden Inspired Knits

majordomo wrote this at around evening time:

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Most of you know Anne has many passions that drive her creative force. Anne appreciates beauty in every form and finds a lot of inspiration in nature. Her and David’s garden is a labor of love every year, no matter the size of crop.

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Anne likes to be up early in the morning to see what the world has to offer each day. New plants, flowers, nests, insects, buds and blooms end up spiraling in her head until they produce or inspire a stitch pattern.

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Often the patterns get on the knitting needles immediately, and sometimes they sit in the Anne vault for months or even years until the right yarn comes along.

 

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Anne thought it would be fun to start a trip down memory lane and highlight shawl and scarf designs that were birthed in the garden. She started a Facebook album, which will be added to over the next few days, and started posting pattern photos on Instagram with #GardenInspiredKnits. I thought it would be fun to highlight a few more here. Come…take a walk with me…

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Lacewing is a faroese shawl with allover floral and fern patterns finishing with a banded insect motif just above the hem. It’s worked top-down, with shaping at the shoulders and an applied (knitted on) lace edging at the hem border. 

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The shawl design was inspired by the lacewing,

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a delicate insect that is a great help in pest control for your garden. The name alone easily lended itself to a lace knitting pattern. Originally knit in Knitting Notions Class Merino Lace, this would be stunning in Chebris or Mrs. Lincoln’s Lace. See Anne’s original blog post here.

Frillibet is a triangle shawl

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with a mix of leaf

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and petal motifs that mimic a blooming hydrangea.

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I think this is one of my favorite shawls because I find hydrangeas such a beautiful explosion of color.

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I love going on walks through my neighborhood in June and July, seeing all the different shades of their blooms. Frillibet was originally knit in Malabrigo Lace, but I think it would make a stunning knit in any of the natural colors of laceweight cotton or  Fibre Co Meadow. For more, see Anne’s original blog post here.

Morning Glory is a wrap that pays homage to a delicate flower that only lives for a day.

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Most morning glories unravel into full bloom in the early morning and they prefer bright sunlight. They definitely have an almost magical quality in their temporary beauty.

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This piece is knit in a DK weight and I think it would be gorgeous in Stone Soup DK. It has such unique properties and when knit in lace it has a sophisticated rustic appeal. See Anne’s original blog post here.

Anne says Fruit of the Vine is the “essence of summer knitting—practically weightless, it takes up no space in a purse or tote. the pattern is simple to work and to memorize; with wrong side rows all in purl it is the perfect knitting for hazy, daydreamy summer evenings. come autumn, when mornings are nippy again, you’ll have a bit of sun-soaked color to wrap up with, mmm.”

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The beautiful open work lace mimics a grapevine trellis, with bits of fruit poking through.

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The original scarf is knit in a discontinued yarn,

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but it would be suitable for several laceweights found in our online shop here. See Anne’s original blog post here.

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Sonnenblume is full of delicate motifs that when all brought together in this cleverly structured semicircular shawl, it looks just like sunflowers.

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To me, sunflowers are one of the happiest flowers – they’re large, hearty, come in array of gorgeous colors and resemble little smiling faces. Just this afternoon Padraig and I stumbled upon sunflowers lining a neighbor’s driveway and we froze in our tracks, smiling at their beauty.

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Sonneblume was originally knit with Knitting Notions, but it would also be lovely in one of the soft organic cotton colors here or a Bare Naked Wools here. See Anne’s original blog post here. To view Anne’s entire shawl/wrap collection click here and to view the scarf collection click here.

Pop back now and then over the next few days on Facebook and Instagram and see more of Anne’s garden inspired knits. There’s an abundance of them! So I’m dying to know, which is your favorite garden inspired design of Anne’s? Tell me in the comments below by Tuesday 9 pm EST and I’ll pick two winners to receive a shawl or scarf pattern of their choice!

we get around

anne wrote this late at night:

 

 

 

 

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to continue on the theme of finished knits, my friend susie brought her completed capricorn triangle to our monday knitting class. this shawl, knit in our cuddly chebris lace yarn, was the april feature of our 2014 bare naked knitspot club and members of my monday class have been working through it together over the summer.

janet finished hers a while back and i’m blanking on where debby is with hers, but susie is now the proud owner of a finished AND blocked copy of her own. and as you can see, she’s pretty chuffed about it, haha; what’s not to love about this photo?

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debbie s. will be the next finisher—she’s been plugging away on the first half of her edging and was victorious in getting to the halfway mark at last monday’s class. seeing susie’s finished gave her a little something to look forward to (pattern is exclusive to club members until april 2015, but eBook memberships are available here; KAL for the project can be joined in our BNK rav group).

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just that morning i had blocked a couple of things myself—one of them was my completed empreinte crescent shawl, knit in the beautiful forest mist shade of organic color grown cotton.

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i am totally in love with this piece all over again—it is so different, yet equally fetching in light, refreshing cotton lace. and wow, so great to finally see it off the needles, huh?

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i think this hem lace is one of the most stunning patterns i’ve ever had the privilege to knit—it just knocks your socks off, doesn’t it? it’s really pretty in the rectangular version too, where more pattern results in a piece with lots of wow factor.

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and the edging, short though it be, adds that little extra-exquisite touch—again, its impact is amplified in the rectangular piece where it runs along the full length of the piece.

once it was unpinned, i got to play with it on the dress form

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i had to fan myself a little bit when i stepped back to see it.

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the drape of this fabric is so alluring and it does so effortlessly; you don’t have to fuss to make it look incredible.

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just toss it on and fluff—talk about power dressing, haha.

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i knit the smallest size of the pattern, using needles one size smaller than it called for (3.25 mm and 2.75 mm). i used less than one ball of the ecobutterfly cotton lace—about 450 yards/1.3 ounces; your mileage may vary. the piece blocked out to about the same as it did in the wool yarn on slightly larger needles; plenty large enough for a good sized scarf on me.

i am completely thrilled with the outcome!

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on the same day i also blocked a sample scarf that karolyn knit for us, using the unusual purple fifo cotton lace that was shipped with the july installment of the passion club. an openwork celtic knot is placed at the back of the neck.

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this cotton yarn grows in an extremely deep and rare shade that runs the gamut from the color of purple beets or carrots to a brownish mauve. we were very lucky to procure for our club shipment the most purple examples of its type—much more so that the heavier weight versions we have in sport, fingering, and worsted weight.

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this yarn knits into a completely different fabric from the green and brown color grown cottons. with a fiber texture more like linen, the fabric is sturdy like denim and has the same propensity to be a bit stiff at first, softening with time and handling. the design is the rectangle version of the club project, knit into a fabric pattern inspired by bandana prints. this pattern will be released when the club pattern comes up for general release in november.

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i knit a bocce hat from the fifo cotton in sport weight, which i also blocked and washed the other day, but forgot to photograph. i’ll do that when i get home; i’d like talk a little more about how the fabric opens up and changes with washing.

well, that was monday—we were to travel on wednesday and i wanted to use up the various vegetables we had in the fridge before we left.

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so once everyone went home, i got to work in the kitchen on a curry. i think just about everything in it was from the garden except the tofu.

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yum-yum; summer eating is so good! and the best part is that there was plenty to put in the freezer so when we get home, we can just thaw and heat for dinner.

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first thing the next morning we hit the road for albany. as usual i drove the first half and david took the last half, which meant i was free to knit til we got there.

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i brought a few different projects along, but the one i worked on in the car was my third bocce cap in our kent DK yarn—i’m trying to get a few samples knit in different fibers so we can have a variety for the photo shoot.

i finished the brim and did my increase round, then changed needles for the body. i always enjoy passing that milestone; even though the size grows a bunch all in one shot, my hands love changing to larger needles and a looser gauge.

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with the ease of a more flexible fabric, the body pattern just flies along—lots of stockinette and a pattern that begs for more rows to be added. by the time we got to albany and settled in, i was well into the hat body.

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i worked on a different project that evening, but the next day, i knit on it while i checked email and ravelry and later when we went to the movies, i put on a few more rounds.

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and on today’s trip to massachusetts, i got a bunch more done—i’m almost ready now to start the top decreases.

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today i finally did some running after almost a month of rehabbing my ankle from its mysterious injury. i’ve been biking a lot to keep in shape while it heals, but have been hesitant to run or even walk on it, since the last time i tried, i had a backslide with it. i figured this would be a good time, while i was away and getting more sleep and some relaxation.

so yesterday i went for a good four mile walk and today i did a mix of walking and running, finishing with two miles of running. the roads near my mom’s place offer some nice shady woods as well as neighborhoods—there are even trails leading into the pine bush nature area to explore. often those are way too muddy to navigate when i’m visiting, but today they were good and dry. it felt great to be out there again; i’m hoping i can keep it up. so far, it still pain free and i’ll try again tomorrow. unfortunately, i’m fairly certain that next weekend’s half marathon is out—a big disappointment since the race route takes us along all the streets i run nearly every day; i was really looking forward to it.

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yesterday we went with my mom to the movies in the afternoon and then to a terrific photography exhibit in the evening at the albany institute of history and art. i really enjoyed that; if you live nearby, it is well worth checking out.

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then today we were lucky to take a trip with my cousin to massMOCA museum of contemporary art. this was such a treat; one thing i really miss about living in NYC is the access to world class museums. i’m going to tell you all about that in the next post as this one is getting too long now, but i do want to show you one beautiful thing i saw today (among many others)

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this adorable doggie named flannery, who stole my heart when she posed so readily for my camera. what a charmer! we had a wonderful day filled with art and my head was just about to explode with visual excitement by the time we left.

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back at my mom’s place, we made a nice dinner of fish and vegetables, including—guess what?—green beans from our garden, which we all enjoyed.

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now it’s time to join my mom and david in watching a movie (we sort of glut ourselves on AMC classics when we visit, haha). i’m working on a secret project this evening; let’s see if we can sneak up on it to spy . . .

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drat, not quick enough; it heard me coming and zipped itself up tight. a sure signal that it’s time to stop typing and go knit. see you soon.

eastward, ho

anne wrote this in the early morning:

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i’ve always just loved the lace pattern that is the hem of the empreinte crescent shawl and now i have one in lusciously soft organic cotton lace—it feels like cashmere, but summery. mmm. even the name—forest mist—feels cool and fresh. i enjoyed every minute of knitting this project.

we are on the move today—david an i are traveling to albany for a visit with my mom over the holiday weekend. i had hoped to get a blog up before we left this morning but i just ran out of time—too many green beans to pick and square away, haha.

(i’m SO not kidding; i was out there as soon as it got light to pick whatever i could before we leave).

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i did get my knits blocked and once we are there and settled, i’ll be back with a real post, hopefully late tonight. have a good day and see you soon!

dutch tiles

anne wrote this late at night:

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wa-a-ay back in february, while i was staying with my friend kim in sunny southern california, she told me she had purchased enough extra of our special edition festivus club yarn to knit a blanket, but she didn’t know what pattern she wanted to do.

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i asked if she enjoyed knitting the FIFC club projects i had designed for this yarn and she said yes. i said, well then, i’ve been thinking of using those as inspiration for a blanket; why don’t i just put that together for you now?

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and so i did. i don’t know if she ever started that blanket, but since the gauge was also perfect for our own confection worsted weight yarn line as well as the new-at-the-time kent worsted, i made a deal with our dear friend anne marie to knit a sample for us in confection.

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i just had a feeling this would be very appealing to our readers and fans of our yarns. first of all, with such a great balance of knit and purl within the construction, if has lovely drape, especially in a smooth, semi-worsted yarn like confection.

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the textured motif is wonderfully reversible and because the pattern ribs catch the light as they change direction, a delightful illusion effect is created by the natural sheen of high quality wool yarn.

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besides all that, it is also super fun to knit—the motif is so engaging you just don’t want to put it down. it’s highly entertaining and yet, simple enough to work on through football games and other spectator sports.

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but watch out—this sideline knitting could end up drawing quite a bit of attention, haha.

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it makes a great gift for that kid who just left the nest for college—a little something to cover them with love while making such a big transition maybe?

to purchase pattern or view complete pattern information, please click here to visit the dutch tiles page in the knitspot pattern shop or click here to see specs and purchase in my ravelry pattern shop

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this lap-sized version above is knit in the cookies and cream shade of our confection worsted, a great choice for  someone who has some knowledge about washing woolens.

but for that recipient who doesn’t, why not consider easy care, worsted weight organic color grown cottonour version from ecobutterfly has a lusciously soft hand, beautiful drape, AND it’s completely machine washable and dryable.

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barb knit up a sample swatch for us at the beginning of the summer so you could get an idea of what it looks like. a blanket like this would be an excellent addition to a summer house, boat, or sleeping porch extending your enjoyment of those favorite spots well into the fall.

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(in fact, many of our blanket designs translate beautifully in heavier cotton yarn, especially in these sophisticated color grown colors, which are nature’s answer to neutrals)

yep, it’s time to knit a blanket; my fingers are itching for one, especially on these chilly evenings we’ve had—fall is definitely in the air now.

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i think even our newest knitters are ready for a project like this—won’t you join them?