Building a snowman. Baking a chocolate cake and licking the spoon. Fixing a pot of soup on a cold night. Knitting.
Athalia uses 3 colors of Baah Aspen, a 75% merino/15% silk/10% cashmere sport weight yarn.
Athalia is a crescent shawl worked from the bottom up. The lace edge incorporates all 3 colors of the shawl, and the shawl body is worked in one color. The shawl body uses short rows to shape the shawl. While the lace edge is a little more toothsome, the shawl body is a breeze to knit. It’s a nice meld of mindful and mindless knitting.
The e-book is $15.50 and the individual pattern is $6.
Lesage is a generously sized shawl worked from tip to tip. The body of the shawl is worked in squishy garter stitch. The wide lace edge is a variation of a traditional Shetland lace pattern and is combined with a scalloped edge. The body and edging are worked all in one piece so there’s minimal finishing to do.
Lesage uses 2 skeins of Anzula Cricket, a scrumptious DK weight yarn. The pattern for Lesage is available for purchase individually or as part of a 5 pattern e-book. All of the designs in the e-book use Anzula Cricket.
Finished Size 88” wide and 17½” deep.
Yarn Anzula Cricket (80% superwash merino, 10% cashmere, 10% polyamide; 250 yd 229 m/ 4 oz 115 g): periwinkle, 2 skeins.
Needles Size 7 (4.5 mm): 24” circular (cir). Adjust needle size if necessary to obtain the correct gauge.
Notions Marker (m); tapestry needle.
Gauge 16 sts and 24 rows = 4” in garter st.
Back in October at Rhinebeck, I purchased 3 skeins of this gorgeous aran weight yarn from Foxhill Farm. The yarn is 100% Cormo wool, and it may be the squooshiest yarn that has ever squooshed. I am totally in love with it, and I plan to buy more of this yarn when I go back to Rhinebeck in 9 months.
I started a new design last week with the yarn. I just love it.
That pile of papers in the background are sales tax reports. Yesterday I spent the day running reports and reviewing the numbers so I can pay the taxes I owe. My reward for finishing the taxes today is winding the next skein of yarn and knitting away on this cozy thing.
Yesterday, I mentioned that yellow is a tough color. You either love it or don’t, and even if you love it, it might not be flattering to wear. I’ve seen a few comments floating around about the color choices in the Spring issue of Knitscene, particularly the Gold Dust Woman story. Unfortunately, some of the comments were, uh, not that nice. Well, you don’t have to make it yellow. Changing the color of yarn you use is the easiest yarn substitution to make, but if I’ve learned anything from working at a yarn store, this is something that a lot of knitters struggle with.
Here’s what I ask customers at the shop when they’re asking about color:
- What’s the project? If there’s lots of lace or texture, I steer them away from wildly variegated yarn so that the stitches aren’t lost in the variegation.
- What colors do you not like? This is pretty self-explanatory. If you don’t like yellow, then don’t choose yellow.
- What colors do you like to wear in your everyday wardrobe? For example, I wear a lot of blacks, greys, and neutrals. Anything that coordinates with these will work for me as long as it’s a color I like. I’m also not afraid of color so as long as I like the color, it’s a good choice. If you wear a lot of blues, choose a color that coordinates well with blue.
The only hard and fast rule for choosing color is If you like it and you like your project, then it’s perfect.
Let’s look at Arnica again, and we’ll use my sketch from the submission to illustrate the color choice.
Below is the original sketch from my submission to Knitscene. It’s yellow because I was submitting to a call for designs that were yellow. My original swatch was worked in fingering weight yarn that was a golden yellow.
Now change that original sketch to lilac. Lilacs your favorite flower? Your favorite color? How about Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sport in Dupage?
What if you want to go with a very light colored neutral to go with your favorite black shirt? Look at this silvery blue gray Shepherd Sport in Dobson.
Remember, when you’re looking at a pattern, unless you absolutely love the color shown, you aren’t tied to the choices of the designer or the magazine editor. Choose what you’ll wear. Choose what you love. You’ll end up with a project you adore.
I have a pattern in the Spring 2015 issue of Knitscene.
The shawl begins with a picot cast on. If it’s not obvious, I love picots. I sometimes have to stop myself from adding picots on designs. I just love them so. Anyway. The bottom edge of the shawl has little floral buds on a background of reverse stockinette stitch. The shawl body is in stockinette stitch and is shaped with short rows.
The nature of the stitch pattern on the bottom edge creates a scalloped edge, and with the picots, it’s my favorite thing about the shawl.
Arnica is included in a larger editorial story called Gold Dust Woman. All of the patterns featured in this story are worked in golden hues. When I first saw the call for submissions, I was inspired by the thought of a field of golden flowers, like daffodils or even dandelions, in the Spring. The yarn I used for Arnica was Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sport in Louisville. I loved it. It had subtle shades of different yellows even some green-gold hues. Yellow’s a tough color to wear for a lot of people including me. Tomorrow we’ll talk about what to do if you like a pattern but the yarn color is not something you’d choose.
I released a new pattern last week, and it’s not a shawl.
It’s a cowl! When I chose the yarn for this project, I saw that there was some variegation in the color so I wanted to use stitch patterns that would work with the colors.
Eyelet ribbing and a slipped stitch cable frame a center panel of daisy stitch. The daisy stitch gives the cowl lots of fun texture and all of the stitch patterns work to break up any weirdness that might happen with variegated yarn. The stitch pattern is a simple 4 row repeat, and I found that after just a few repeats, I had the pattern memorized and could knit without the pattern. It was a great project for sitting and watching Netflix.
The yarn is Fiberstory One DK. This yarn base is new and isn’t listed in her store, but it’s a great yarn. It’s a single ply that is spun thick and thin. It reminded me a lot of Malabrigo Worsted, just at a lighter weight. One of my test knitters used Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sport and hers turned out great.
450 yards (411 m) dk weight yarn.
US 7 (4.5 mm) needles, or size needed to achieve gauge.
6 stitch markers, crochet hook, waste yarn, spare needle, yarn needle.
15 in height by 34 in circumference (38 cm height by 86 cm circumference).
basic knitting skills, knit two together decrease, slip slip knit decrease, yarn over increase, p3tog decrease, provisional cast on, 3 needle bind off. Pattern includes instructions to work cable stitches.
A little more than a year ago, I started thinking about more patterns that feature the same lace pattern that is used in Holden. I wrote down a bunch of ideas, started thinking about yarn choices and color schemes, and made a whole bunch of notes in my notebook. The first pattern to come from that bit of brainstorming is Brunswick.
Brunswick uses the lace pattern from Holden throughout the shawl. If you ever wanted a Holden that was all lace, then this is your pattern.
As you can see from the picture above, the lace has picot hems (I LOVE picots!) interspersed throughout the lace, much like what you see in my Star House Cowl pattern from Interweave Knits Spring 2014 issue. The picot hems are three dimensional and pop out from the lace. They’re a nice break from all that lace too. If you don’t want to add the picot hems, don’t worry. The pattern tells you how to omit them if you just want the lace.
Brunswick is available now on Ravelry for $6.00.
700 yards (640 m) lace weight yarn.
US 4 (3.5 mm), 40 inch or longer circular needle, or size needed to achieve gauge.
Yarn needle, waste yarn.
53.5 x 24.5 inches (136 x 62 cm)
basic knitting skills, knit two together decrease, slip slip knit decrease, yarn over increase.
Just like most of my patterns, the pattern has both written and charted instructions and has been professionally tech edited. The pattern also includes full instructions on how to work the picot hems.
If you’re wondering how the name Brunswick relates to Holden, Holden Beach, North Carolina, is in Brunswick County.
My e-mail inbox has been pinging nonstop the past two days as we finalize the details for our trip to Rhinebeck next week. While I’m so very excited for Rhinebeck, another part of me is screaming “Knit faster!!!” The design above needs to be finished by next weekend. We’ll be doing the photo shoot for this design (and a few others) next weekend. So this is my Rhinebeck project. I’ll probably be wearing it at the fairgrounds one day, along with my Star House Cowl from this past spring’s Interweave Knits.
What is your Rhinebeck knitting project? Will you be at Rhinebeck next weekend?
Harrisville Designs released their 2014 Autumn Collection late last week, and I have a pattern in it.
The top portion of the shawl is alternating garter stitch and stockinette stitch panels. Increases along the edges and the center spine are worked as yarn overs on the right side of the shawl; on the wrong side, the yarn overs are knit through the back loop to close the hole created by the yarn over.
The bottom portion of the shawl has an openwork pattern that is super fun to work. The stitch pattern is worked on both the right and wrong sides of the shawl. The stitch pattern is easy to memorize since each row uses the same repeat.
The combination of garter stitch, stockinette stitch, and the openwork pattern adds a lot of fun texture to the shawl, which shows off the nature of the yarn.
Rollinsford is available for purchase through Harrisville’s website.
I finished another sample of my next design. The sample really needs a good block since it still resembles lots of ramen noodles. When I’m knitting a design, I watch a lot of Netflix and Acorn TV. One of my favorites is Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. Oh, the costumes on this show! They’re so beautiful. The series is based on the books by Kerry Greenwood. At my last trip to the library, I picked up one of the books to check it out. Dare I say I like the TV series better?
The shawl will be blocked here in the next day or two now that my new Knitter’s Block arrived. The pattern is currently in testing, and I’m shooting for it to be released later this month.
Oh, hey, this is my first post here on the new blog and website. Yay!
This post is part of the Yarn Along. I haven’t participated in a long, long time, but now with the new space, it’s time to get going again.
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A few weeks ago Quince & Co. released an e-book featuring all of the shawls from their 2013 shawl week. The e-book includes my design, Everly. I thought it would be fun to highlight some beautiful finished shawls.
Her shawl is gorgeous and her photography is just outstanding. Go ahead and look at her Notebook on Ravelry. It’s inspiring.
I just love a good blocking shot.
Everly is one of my favorite designs I’ve done. I think it’s the simplicity of the project that makes it so beautiful. There’s nothing fancy or complicated going on in this project, and that simpleness just makes this design work.
The Summer 2014 issue of Pom Pom Quarterly is out so that means it’s time for me to show you my latest pattern. First of all, if you’ve never heard of Pom Pom, you seriously need to go check them out. Listen to their podcast (or Pomcast) while you’re at it.
This is Baya. Baya is a crescent shaped shawl worked from the bottom up. The bottom edge of the shawl is a lace pattern that incorporates some simple cables to make a swoopy, leafy edge. The body of the shawl is worked in garter stitch so after all that lace at the bottom, you can just knit away at the top.
Oh, wait a second. It’s the COVER!
What makes Baya just a little bit different is the yarn. The lace edge is worked in SweetGeorgia Cashsilk Lace, and the body is worked in SweetGeorgia Tough Love Sock. Two different weights of yarn AND two different colors, although you could use one color in both bases for a monochromatic look.
You can order Pom Pom through their website.
Last weekend, was the summer 2014 TNNA show. TNNA (The National Needlearts Association) is a trade show for professionals in the needlearts industry. On the show floor, most major yarn companies have their yarns on display for retailers to look at and hopefully purchase for their shops. Publishers, like Interweave, and designers exhibit as well. TNNA is a great way to see what's new in the knitting (and crochet) world. It's also a great way to meet fellow designers and talk to people who actually understand what it is that you do for a living.
I exhibited for the first time this year. I shared a booth with the super sweet Stephannie Tallent.
This was my half of the booth. Please ignore my red knitting bag stashed under the table and the not so great pictures. I only brought my phone with me for pictures.
I had a really great time. For me, TNNA is much more about talking and networking with others. I was able to meet people I had worked with in the past and was able to set up some new projects for this year. I had a wonderful time, even if I was super exhausted by the end of the weekend, and I'm looking forward to next summer in Columbus.
Let's talk about my latest pattern, shall we?
This is the Star House Cowl in the latest issue of Interweave Knits.
It's a lace cowl with tiers of picot edges. When the call to submit came out last year, I knew immediately what I wanted to do. I had used this particular lace pattern before in a swatch, and I felt the lace and picots were meant to be together. However, that swatch didn't work for a number of reasons. When worked flat, the lace pattern creates a biased fabric and makes the edges of the piece asymmetrical, but when worked in the round, the lace creates a great geometric, but still very feminine, fabric. I combined this lace pattern with a technique found in a German stitch dictionary which alternates lace with picot tiers. Creating a mash up of these two stitch patterns resulted in the cowl seen above.
The project calls for Sweet Georgia Merino Silk Aran, which was the yarn I used for the swatch I sent to Interweave for the submision. It's a worsted weight yarn with great sheen and drape. If you're looking to substitute yarns, I would suggest staying away from a single ply yarn. The technique to create the picot tiers has you pick up stitches from several rounds below, and I think using a single ply yarn would make this more difficult than it needs to be.
I love the technique for the picot tiers, and I can pretty confidently say it won't be the last you see this from me.
Pattern: Star House Cowl
Yarn: 4 skeins Sweet Georgia Merino Silk Aran (740 yards worsted weight yarn)
Needles: US 8 (5 mm) 32" circular needle
Gauge: 14 sts and 20 rnds in lace pattern
Finished Size: 50" circumference and 13" wide
Pattern available in Interweave Knits, Spring 2014.
*All pictures ©Interweave Knits.
In 2013, I didn't do too much self-publishing. Most of my work this year has been for third party publishers. As I build this little business of mine, I'm still trying to find the best balance for me between self-publishing and publishing with others. I like working with others and think that some combination between the two are what's right for me.
Looking at what I've published this year, I felt like I was way more busy than this actually shows, and then I stopped to think. I have two designs that I did this year that are still waiting to be published. One will come out in the beginning of 2014, and the other will be out sometime in the next year or so. I have two more commissioned designs for publication for 2014 already. I have another self-published pattern that will be out early in 2014 too. And, I have my two little people. First grade homework, IEP meetings, Cub Scouts, dance classes, preschool parties. So, yes, I was busier than that picture reflects.
2013 has been my most successful year in the knit design world, and for this, I am so thankful. Thankful for a career that lets me stay at home with my kids and lets me work on my own time. Thankful for all of the wonderful people in this industry I've met over this past year. Thankful to all of the wonderful knitters who decide to knit one of my patterns.
Happy New Year to you and yours.
Earlier this year, I started working on updating my very first pattern, Holden. Quite frankly, looking at the original version made me want to throw it in the fire. Since it was my first pattern, I hadn't yet established my pattern writing style, and the pattern just did not meet my current standards (in any conceivable way). I also added additional sizes for the shawl and added a lace weight version.
The new, updated version of Holden is available today.
This is the large size of the shawl, and it's quite large. You can see my sister has the shawl tied around her neck. It's really beautiful worn this way. The large shawl takes almost 2 full skeins of Malabrigo Sock, shown here in the color Cote d' Azure.
This is the medium version which was knit in Malabrigo Lace; you'll need 2 skeins of yarn for this one as it took a full skein and a little less than half of the second. The color here is Emerald Blue. This is a nice size shawl, not too large, not small like a shawlette. I was wearing this shawl when I was at Rhinebeck.
Here's the small size, which is also the original Holden. It takes one skein of Malabrigo Sock, shown here in the color Aguas.
With all of these changes, the pattern is no longer free. Besides adding the different sizes, I redid the chart and rewrote the written instructions. The written instructions are so much better than they were before. Oh so much better. I also had the pattern professionally tech edited by Heather Zoppetti.
430 (550, 800) yards/393 (503, 732) meters lace or fingering weight yarn.
US 5 (3.75 mm) for lace version/US 6 (4mm) for fingering version, 40 inch or longer circular needles, or size needed to achieve gauge.
Sizes S (M, L)
49 x 23 (51.5 x 26, 71 x 32) in.
124.5 x 58 (131 x 66, 180 x 81) cm.
I'm participating in the first Indie Designer Giftalong. All of my self-published patterns are 25% off with the coupon code 'giftalong'. The code is good through the end of this week.
It's more than a sale though. Much more! The giftalong is a knit/crochet along as well. Pick your pattern(s) from the participating designers, join the appropriate KAL/CAL, and win prizes. There are a bunch of indie designers participating, and there are tons of prizes to be won. Prizes for posting progress photos, prizes for finished projects, prizes for participating in the discussions, prizes for playing the Designer Hunt game. There are so many beautiful prizes to be won. And so many gorgeous patterns to buy too!
Here's the link to the Ravelry group. Read through and join us!
I have a pattern in the recent issue of Knitscene.
Gambel is a top-down, triangular shawl. The upper portion of the shawl is a very simple k2, p4 rib. The bottom edge has a series of large eyelets that flow organically from the ribbing. The eyelets are created using a series of double decreases and double yarn overs.
The shawl calls for 4 skeins of The Fibre Company Terra. This was my first time working with Terra. It is a heavy worsted/aran weight, single ply yarn. The yarn has little slubby portions in it which brings a lot of interest and texture to the shawl.
The pattern itself is pretty easy to modify. If you want to make the shawl larger, keep repeating the ribbing chart and/or the eyelet chart.
Here are some of the pictures I took before I sent the shawl off to Knitscene. Juliana was my very willing model.
Earlier this past spring, I was contacted by a fellow designer, Tanis Gray, wanting to know if I would like to design a piece for a yarn company to support a new yarn line. Tanis told me a little about the company and gave me one design guideline (a triangular shawl). I was in.
Our Back 40 brings together the finest alpaca from small American alpaca farms to create beautiful, luxurious yarn.
Symmes is the shawl I designed to support their American Class Sport Weight Alpaca. I wanted a shawl with lots of texture that would show off how gorgeous this yarn is.
Symmes is a top-down triangular shawl. Instead of yarn overs, the shawl uses make one right and left to create the triangular shape. Panels of stockinette stitch alternate with broken rib. The bottom edge is a diamond brocade.
Symmes is available as a kit from Our Back 40. The yarn is described as cashmere quality, and it is. It is such a dream to knit with. Whenever I was knitting this project, everyone stopped to pet the shawl and squeeze the yarn. It's so nice. You should treat yourself.