tweed revisited

Posted on 5 CommentsPosted in patterns

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january presents a tough challenge—with holiday glitter a mere memory and not nearly time to tell ourselves that “spring is just around the corner”, we need something fresh to brighten the days and our moods.

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playful—but warm—accessories in fun colors are just the thing to fill the lapels of a classic coat, show off at the end of bracelet length sleeves, or wear at your desk if it happens to be placed in a chilly spot.

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our fall clubs usually end in january and each year i aim to design a package with a surprising colorway to knit a project with a hint of spring.

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i had turquoise on the brain for last january, when our 2013 fall in full color club came to a close. we invited brooke sinnes, the dyer behind the sincere sheep label, to devise a custom turquoise colorway for us using her natural dye process.

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the resulting colorway—heather’s gem—was absolutely perfect. being hand dyed with natural materials, each skein was slightly different, with the whole lot representing the entire range of turquoise shades. and on the polwarth/silk base we chose, it fairly glows.

i loved it and was completely inspired to make the best use of the large skeins we got.

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because the january package is also a sort of goodbye at the end of the club, we wanted to include a special goodie to incorporate into the project. we approached my friend sarina at moving mud to come up with a custom button design.

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she and brooke got to meet and commiserate at TNNA that spring, with the result that we ended up with a spectacular package.

now to create.

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the plan was to design a pair of fingerless mitts and a slouchy hat with buttoned detailing on the cuffs and brim. i decided to go with a longer style glove, something to wear with short sleeves when it’s chilly.

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there is a largish knit/purl houndstooth pattern in a few of the stitch dictionaries i have that i’ve always wanted to use on something. the yarn is so soft that i wondered if i’d achieve good stitch definition for this, but that turned out not to be the case—it worked up a treat.

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i’m always happy to design something with a classic tweedy feel in a surprising color or shape and this concept drove the pairing of this yarn and pattern.

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i knit the hat first and thought it looked adorable on several different people. and the mitts followed, which i realized could be worked long or short as desired (and as yarn supply demands).

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but for all that, i used up just one skein of yarn and i knew we had plenty of double dippers among our club membership (clubbies who buy in for a double serving of yarn).

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so, at the last m inure, i devised a rectangular cowl piece that can be buttoned several different ways to reconfigure it for a new effect (without moving buttons around). fun, right?

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shown here are the natty cap in size small, the natty cowl in size large, and the tweed set mitts in size medium. all knit in sincere sheep luminous, a polwarth/silk blend DK in colorway hathor’s gem, the custom dyed colorway for our club.

we have some extras skeins listed in the store for those that might might need a hit of turquoise about now. One skein will make the cowl or the hat/mitts combo; two skeins will make everything.

oh, and we have those moving mud buttons as well; one card required for the hat/mitts and one for the cowl.

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these patterns are also included in the 2013 fall in full color eBook, which compiles seventeen total 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.

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if it’s the single patterns or more information you’re after, click to view our online store pages for tweed set, natty cap, or natty cowl. you may also view or purchase them in my ravelry pattern shop by clicking here for tweed setnatty cap, or natty cowl.

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in the process of writ in up this post, i got to thinking that this cap would be SO handsome on david knit up in one of our soft yarns— our cooper sportstone soup DK, or better breakfast DK—due out in about a week (and we could use a sample to show it off).

i think my weekend knitting is settled then, how about you?

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speaking of clubs, there are still spots left in our blanket statement club which will begin shipping on february 7. (i would say be there or be square, but it’s all aBOUT squares!)

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oh, where does the time go?

Posted on 16 CommentsPosted in book reviews/events, designing, projects

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boy oh boy, one minute i’m running around after my little friend helena, who stands barely up to my shoulders but is basking in the glow of her first modeling assignment.

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and the next thing i know she’s playing sexy secretary in my office, with an arsenal of looks and characters she’s portrayed in dozens of our photo shoots since.

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today she turns eighteen—how time flies (hehe, i’m sure kris and jeff are thinking the same thing!).

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from her very first session modeling pine and ivy, she’s always styled her own outfits, with just the right sense of what was needed.

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though one or two may not have been her dad’s favorite (sorry jeff!).

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at age thirteen, she did create a stunning look for our crossing mitts release, in a swirl of vintage silk and chiffon ruffles—like a christmas fairy.

still one of my all-time favorite photo shoots.

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there was crooked walking shawl the next spring and

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sheltie triangle with the apples in clover tam

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and hazeline with her beautiful mom and my dear friend, kris.

she’s got a real way with hats, too—a designer’s dream come true.

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but mostly, she’s been a great kid, one of my favorites and i know she’s going to be a great woman, too.

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on sunday, several special guests were invited to helena’s birthday fête—an afternoon tea party at her home.

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we were enthusiastically greeted by our hostess katherine delores (k.d.), who let it be known that there is but one fairy princess in this house—thank you very much—and that is herself.

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platters of scrumptious hor d’ourves were laid out on the table—not only did they look beautiful, but we soon discovered they were divinely delicious as well.

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the table was literally a work of art—a bit of spring blooming inside the house on a winter’s day.

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(i think k.d.’s personal designer must have done the napkin folding, however; those little paws are probably better suited to other tasks, such as dancing)

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beckie and i had been there just a few minutes when the rest of the guests arrived—three little red-headed girls who were as charming as could be—of course they were friends of helena’s.

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after we all had a close look at the new dollhouse that helena and her dad recently finished building (i think they’ve been working on it for two years), we all sat down to the table.

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while the daylight turned to twilight, we nibbled on delectable foods and watched helena open her gifts.

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k.d. stayed behind the scenes and made sure that every detail was attended to with graceful precision.

it was much too dark to take photos of the cake cutting, but be assured that it was irresistibly good.

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happy, HAPPY birthday, dear helena; thank you for sharing the loveliness of your youth with us and the goodness that you carry out into the world; we love you!

 

notes from a snowstorm

Posted on 26 CommentsPosted in designing, projects

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mid morning snow begins falling like we’re holding a christmas card audition.

cozy new sweater on the needles—finally.

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i tear myself away for a few minutes to snap some photos for a short blog—wow, the white stuff is falling fast—look at our street just a few minutes later.

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i finished swatching for this sweater last night and after a long, hot, soapy soak, they are blooming and drying in my workroom.

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i just love the transformation that takes place between the knitted fabric and the washed fabric—stunning, right? i’m working with squooshy kent DK in the kelp shade, which is a rich brown with gold highlights.

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the design is one i knitted off-the-cuff years ago for a friend, but then liked it so much that i wrote down careful notes afterward so i could replicate it some day for myself. ok, well it took sixteen years, but i’m finally doing it.

hey, i had a long queue and a lot of life changes in between, haha. besides, i was waiting for just the right yarn to come along . . .

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anyway, now it’s here; time to settle in and knit near the window to watch the snow fly, while  appreciating indoor heat and the fact that we don’t have to go anywhere today.

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sounds like heaven to me.

anachronaut and toffer

Posted on 7 CommentsPosted in patterns

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ready for a light, lacy project with a hint of spring to get you through january?

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selfish knitting month is half gone now—maybe you still need to cast on something for yourself . . .

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and this pretty pair holds plenty of possibility. they are both designed with the same stitch patterns—an open, lacy cable-and-lace motif for the hems with a more solid, garter-based pattern for the body.

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toffer is a little more than a half-circle, with shaping that allows it to sit nicely on the shoulders and a bit of a collar to finish off the neck (that’s optional; it may also be finished off with a round neck if desired). anachronaut is rectangular and can be knit as a scarf or stole (and is easily enlarged to a blanket or wrap!)

the detailing gives the pieces a little bit of a victorian feel, but doesn’t lock them into being worn any particular way—the larger ones can still function as both scarf or wrap.

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toffer, the crescent shawlette, begins at the hem with the lace portion and is worked to the neck, where it is finished with a collar or a narrow band. anachronaut, the rectangle scarf or stole, is worked from hem to center back and grafted.

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the lacy hems are worked on larger needles and with more sts to give them a little flare.

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something for the breeze to pick up and play with.

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shown here are the toffer shawlette (above, one size), all knit in miss babs isadora, a merino/silk blend singles in colorway allium, the custom dyed colorway for our club. we have some extras listed in the store for those that might want them.

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shown below are the anachronaut scarf (top) and the stole (below), also knit in the isadora lace yarn.

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if it’s the single patterns or more information you’re after, click here to view our online store page for anachronaut and here for toffer. you may also view or purchase them in my ravelry pattern shop by clicking here for toffer and here for anachronaut.

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if working with fine lace yarn is challenging for you, these pieces can be knit in light fingering yarn on larger needles to be more manageable. they would be lovely in our chebris lace, stone soup fingering or better breakfast fingering—not to mention the luscious pura mongolian cashmere (i would guess needles size 6US/4.0 mm and size 5US/3.75 mm for that weight).

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and don’t forget that help with grafting is just a click away; with my free craftsy class, the ins and outs of grafting can be yours forever. need a hand with blocking a shape that’s new to you? i also offer a complete blocking course in a handy DVD format—put it on the TV while you are pinning out your lace and follow me step by step.

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many thanks to our friends and coworker, sheyanne, quentin, and faith, who modeled these pretty pieces for us in the fall; we really appreciate you taking the time to do this for us!

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