Archive for the ‘patterns’ Category

days of wine . . . and wine!

Sunday, September 28th, 2014

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the first day of fall is just just a few days behind us, but wow, have things changed around here. i can’t get over how much more color has appeared in the treetops in just one week’s time

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or how much the garden has died back

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neither one a cause for regret in my mind, because both signal the onset of full-on knitting season and the flurry of excitement that goes with it. time to dive back into the stash and take account, make shopping lists for fall wool shows and shop excursions, and begin scheming upon holiday knitting strategies for later in the season.

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i don’t know about you, but my own excitement about the advance of wool-wearing weather is somehow amplified by the fact that it is so closely timed to harvest season, when a rich variety of plenty can be had on all levels.

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right now, when time is once again freed up for evening knitting and it’s cool enough to knit with wool in hand, is a good time to work through a much-desired selfish knitting project.

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maybe you’ve been desiring to stretch your skills a bit with something a bit more involved or  make a larger shawl you can enjoy layering on when the weather turns truly cold.

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these two pretty pieces will fit the bill; large, light and lacy, you can wear them loose and fluttery when the sun is warmer and you just need a light cover

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or bunched up into a lovely pile of warmth around your neck and shoulders when the temperatures are a bit brisk. either would be stunning as an accent at the throat of a classic, plain coat.

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featured in both rectangle and semicircle versions as our october club patterns last fall, they share a composition of grape leaves and trellises, set agains a background of garter stitch and mesh.

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the semicircle, zinfandel, begins with a small number of stitches and increases outward to the hem through a “pi” construction; once you work an increase row, your stitch count and patterning will stay the same until the next big increase row. it’s kind of a nice break from a construction which increases constantly; you can decide about halfway through whether you want to knit the petite or tall version.

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the rectangle, syrah, also can be knit in two sizes and begins at the center back with a provisional caston and is worked outward to the hem in both directions, resulting in a solid “body” punctuated by eyelets, with lots of lacy texture down near the hems—wonderful for scarfing up if you like.

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shown here is the petite stole (above) and the petite semicircle shawl (below), both knit in briar rose stella, colorway days of wine . . . and wine!, which was a custom dyed colorway for our club.

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we have a very limited number of skeins left in our bare naked wools boutique; too few to list in our online shop. please contact david to inquire, using our contact form at right.   ETA: all gone now, thank you!

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if it’s the single pattern you’re after, click here to view more information about the zinfandel shawl or here to read about the syrah rectangle scarf/stole. you may also view them in my ravelry pattern shop—click here for zinfandel and here for syrah.

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these patterns are also included in the 2013 fall in full color eBook, along with fifteen other accessory patterns from the 2013 fall color collection—that’s a lotta patterns! anyone looking for a knitalong around these designs need not look further than the ravelry clubhouse where our color clubs meet—all are welcome and appreciated.

either of these beautiful shawls would be cushy and delicious in our chebris lace yarn or mrs lincoln’s lace.

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i’ll be back tomorrow with a wrap up post about our wonderful grand opening party; stay tuned!

fall crocuses

Monday, September 22nd, 2014

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wow. it’s the first day of fall and just like clockwork, the temperatures have dropped and the wind has picked up. our old house can be a bit drafty, especially in the morning. today, while other knitters might be savoring their first PSL of the season, i’m getting snuggly with my own coffee and knitting at home, under a cozy little lap blanket.

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the crocus patch blanket has been published for a while actually, but only as part of the book, my grandmother’s knitting by larissa brown.

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until now.

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i didn’t know until recently that we could publish this blanket as a single pattern, but once we realized we could, i thought it would be so pretty knit in several of our yarns. so in a way, it’s nice that we waited.

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this sample was knit by our dear friend hattie, in our chebris sport, a luscious blend of fine wool and yearling mohair. i can’t even begin to describe how soft and lovely this little number feels—i want to keep it all for myself. but it was made for everyone to see—i will share.

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just for this morning though, i pretended it was mine. can you see those gorgeous mohair fibers catching the light?? so beautiful!

i keep imagining what it would look like in the cabécou brillant très bien. très belle. très great!

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and if you are just now wondering how this might work up as a baby blanket option—i’m about to show you.

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erica’s dad sent us these precious photos of little baby carter sacked out to great satisfaction on it.

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nana candy knit his in breakfast blend fingering yarn for his christening gift, along with a wee slouchy cap i designed to go with it—hey it’s never too early to get them addicted, is it?

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now, the cap and blanket are not just for the little ones—both patterns include sizes. the blanket has three and the cap has eight—one for every family member from preemie to adult.

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the blanket show here is the smallest size; the hat is the 3-month size. they are both knit in the oatmeal shade of breakfast blend fingering yarn. it’s such a great color for a baby—it goes with everything, especially that lovely new skin.

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

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the small size blanket is perfect for taking along in the car, stroller, or carriage, while the medium and large sizes make excellent covers for crib and playpen as well as for use as a lap blanket.

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

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yep—blankets in the fall make everyone happy. the perfect thing to celebrate the arrival of yarn season!

Cover Lover

Friday, September 19th, 2014

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The temp has dropped considerably in Michigan and I couldn’t be happier. Gardening is such a delight in the crisp weather! Every single bed got a fluff and facelift, plus we did a new raised bed out front with new plantings, thanks to the help of my parents.

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Each night we worked until dark and were chilled to the bone, looking forward to escaping to all the woolens inside. The heavier blankets came out of cedar storage and onto the beds and handknit socks were on our feet. I love to be covered in layers in the evenings with knitting in my hands. This combination seems to warm my soul.

Last night I wove in the ends of my Goobalini in Stone Soup DK and Nate’s Yarn and today I had a chance to wear it.

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There’s just enough nip in the air and it feels so good to walk around the neighborhood with the sun heating up the blend (rambouillet, columbia, lincoln, navajo-churro, alpaca, silk, bamboo, tencel, bison, and llama) atop my head. Details on my ravelry page here.

I’ve now moved onto a Fartlek in two colors of Stone Soup DK. This yarn is my new obsession!

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I’m doing the brim in the new Travertine and the body of the hat in Marble. I knit Fartlek before in Pumice (details here) and I’m looking forward to a whole new look of this hat in two colors. In case you did a double take two sentences back – yes! we have NEW colors of Stone Soup and we have them in Fingering and DK!

River Rock is a rich, chocolatey brown

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and Travertine is a warm, soft brown that reminds me of wet clay on a wheel.

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The two of these colors compliment each other beautifully and are also stunning on their own.

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Cable Keyhole Scarf is a perfect quick knit for Fall. With just one skein of Stone Soup DK, you can make two scarves! That means one for you and one for the gift bin!

And once you get hooked on cables, you can move on to getting an Aztec Mazes on the needles.

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This version was knit in Breakfast Blend DK, but just imagine it in the subtly tweedy texture of Stone Soup DK!

Or maybe you’re wanting to cover up this winter with a Wheaten blanket. A great way to get comfortable with the stitch pattern is to first work up Wheaten Cap and Mitts.

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This version was knit in Stone Soup Fingering River Rock. Wouldn’t it be so sweet to give a couple the gift of Wheaten for the holidays? The girl could get the cap and mitt set and the guy could get the blanket!

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Maybe there’s a new baby needing a warm welcome into the world and Sky Ladder would make a sweet little gift.

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Plus there’s a matching cap too!

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This set was knit in pumice and I bet it would be lovely knit in one of the new browns!

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I’m still deciding what blanket I want to cast on. There’s so many gorgeous ones! I was really set on Caravan,

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but now I’m leaning towards Roger That after seeing WelshSteph’s blanket in Stone Soup DK in Granite.

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Isn’t it divine!? And her wallpaper is fantastic! See details on her ravelry project page here.

Anne has carefully chosen the new browns to work well with the rest of the Stone Soup palette, so you have even more options for colorwork. I think a Hazard throw in all the Stone Soup Colors would be quite the show piece.

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Imagine this wrap in a stripey blanket version! And depending on the yardage you need to plan the colors of your throw, we have Halfsies (half skeins) available here.

Even though Anne’s blanket patterns are designed for specific weights, they can easily be knit with other ones and a needle change. For instance my mom is knitting Comfort Me

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in Breakfast Blend DK on a US #7, instead of the Confection Worsted it was knit in above. You can easily customize Anne’s blanket designs to fit the weight and size you prefer to knit.

What blanket or sweater are you dreaming of casting on? Tell me in the comments by 9 pm EST September 23 and I’ll pick TWO WINNERS to get a pattern of their choice! Speaking of contests, thank you all for entering the Garden Inspired Knits giveaway. The winners are Anya and Shelley!

A Voyage Into Color Territory

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

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Understanding how yarns perform is an essential knitting skill. To gain this knowledge, it’s important to know about the fiber

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from sheep to yarn

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to knitted fabric.

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Or to learn fibers have long or short staple lengths and are good for particular types of knits. Plus, the construction of the yarn – plies, blends, weight -

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is an essential part that should be taken into account when planning a project.

I learned so many vital pieces of information when I took a Yarn Voyage class from Anne. I had notes scribbled everywhere and my head was swimming with new information. I can’t tell you how many times I blurted out “aha!” in class (and possibly a few more in my head). Several us chatted after class and unanimously said, “if only I had taken a class like this when I started knitting!”

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Everyone, even very experienced knitters and spinners, left the class with lots more knowledge about yarn and its properties. I must say that every knitting project since class has been more successful. The necessity of swatching was really driven home,

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plus I looked at my stash completely different. I feel I have more of an educated eye when discerning between yarns in the planning process of a project. Even when I get to the swatching phase and a yarn doesn’t necessarily work out, I no longer get frustrated or think time has been wasted. I just log that swatch and information away for a future project. And my finished Knitspot objects – well, they’re just that much more beautiful.

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This year at Rhinebeck After Party Anne is teaching Yarn Voyage II: Color Territory. In Anne’s words,

Yarn voyage for color knitting and design: Are your attempts at color knitting foiled by sloppy looking results, fabrics that appear lifeless, and/or stitches that gape and won’t lie straight? Do you find your attempts at substituting colors or creating your own combinations disappointing? It might not be you—it could be your yarn. Learn how choosing the right yarn will help you achieve a smooth and cohesive surface as well as a beautifully orchestrated palette in your color knitting projects. Our voyage into color knitting territory is much more than a discussion about yarn weight. It’s an explorative class for knitters and handspinners of all levels, covering the specific characteristics of yarn that influence the outcome of color knitted fabric. Included will be a short history of color work in knitting, how it was disseminated around the world, how various cultures influenced its development, and the evolution in turn of its separate ethnic identities. Participants will learn how yarn type relates to the fabric surface, texture, weight, and elasticity, and how to use that information to make better choices and/or substitutions in their projects. Students will test Bare Naked Wools of various fibers and twist ratios to make comparisons and learn to assess final fabrics. Even the most experienced knitters and spinners will go away with new insight on the fibers and yarns they thought they knew. 
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This is a class I am super excited about. Colorwork is my absolute favorite, but I’m not very good at it. I’ve knit a few color projects (mostly striped or slipped stitch) and a couple successful fair isle items like this Peruvian Purl Earflap Hat,
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but I’m desperate to learn more about the process. As I learned in the first Yarn Voyage, a lot of unsuccessful knits are due to choosing the wrong yarn. I definitely believe that was the culprit in my past experiences. I’m excited Anne’s new class takes Yarn Voyage to another level and focuses on color, with emphasis on naturals. I drool over fair isle sweaters and vests, but I have a little fear. I know Anne will help me nip that in the bud. She always does. I want to knit Apples in Clover
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and Sheltie Triangle, but I can never seem to get past the planning stage. Which yarn? Where should my color placement be? How can I add a pop of hand dyed color into my neutral palette? Can I mix fibers? There’s just so many questions!

For those that have taken Yarn Voyage I, you will definitely learn new things. For knitters that haven’t, have no fear! The first class is not a prerequisite. We will all leave this class with our eyes wide open and itching to cast on a project. Speaking of that, Yarn Voyage II is just the kickoff to the After Party. Following the afternoon break, Anne will teach A Survey of Color Knitting - an exploration of techniques including mosaic, intarsia, stranded colorwork, and slip stitch. Both two-handed and one-handed stranded color knitting will be covered! The following day, jump head first into mosaic or stranded knitting with Color Project Immersion. This class includes a brand spankin’ new kit with an unreleased pattern. You will spend the day (with an afternoon break) in a relaxed, semi-social setting planning your color palette, swatching and knitting the beginnings of the project. Not only will students be the first ones to buy this Knitspot kit, Anne Hanson will be walking you through the process! How cool is that!?

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On the last day, you can tackle knitting successful sweaters with Sweater Fitness. In Anne’s words, 

An intermediate workshop in the important basics of sweater fit and construction. Get into your best shape EVER! Participants will complete a thorough set of body measurements and discuss how to use them to choose and use a sweater pattern in an appropriate size. Students may knit gauge swatches during the workshop. Other topics of discussion will include swatching, yarn choices, pattern reading and terminology, types and uses of shaping techniques (increasing and decreasing), tips and tricks for successful navigation through a sweater project. 

During part of the afternoon break of Sweater Fitness, Anne added Color Project KnitALong. Have you ever wanted just a little more time with an instructor (yes, that’s me!) after you took a class? This is your chance! Project Immersion students can add this KAL to advance a little on their project, ask additional questions, or get another Knitspot color project on the needles while Anne is sitting next to them. As an added bonus if you sign up for the entire Rhinebeck After Party (kit and caboodle), the KAL session is FREE!

There are openings left in all classes, but they are going fast! Sign up here to snag a spot. I can’t believe New York Sheep and Wool is right around the corner! See you soon!