Oct 232012

. . . and Stitches East, too, of course. October is a busy month for yarn acquisition in the northeast; the weather is just getting right for all that fall sweater knitting, and there are yarn events. Stitches East, the regional yarn expo put on by Knitting Universe, and the Dutchess County Sheep and Wool Festival, aka Rhinebeck, are always a week or two apart during cider season. This year my cronies and I were focusing on Rhinebeck, and we had a beautiful, wonderful time there. You cant beat this:

Rhinebeck 2012

I only went to Rhinebeck for the first time last year, and that was a quick one day trip by myself. This time I was with friends and stayed over, and we had time to visit every booth, rock the Ravelry meetup with friends old and new, and eat the Artichokes French as well as the Apple Crisp. About those snacks – all I know is that my weekly grocery run is tomorrow, and artichoke hearts are on the list, along with apples.

But enough about that; what about the yarn? I didn’t have a big shopping list, other than maybe some Yowza from Miss Babs – which I scored in the jewel-like ruby shade called “Catherine.” My red-loving friend Amy claims “that’s not RED!” but I think it is. I also think maybe I should stop characterizing myself as a lover of noncolor.

colorful yarn from Rhinebeck 2012

Here Miss Babs is joined by (left to right) 1120 yards of superwash fingering merino in Electric Blue from Sliver Moon Farm, Violet Sea Snail Bugga and Tree Frog Skinny Bugga from Cephalopod, and a sweater quantity of soft and wonderful Shepherd’s Wool in Midnight Lake from Stonehedge Fiber Mill. I cant wait to design something with that last one, especially – the color is an amazing dusky brown with tones of purple, navy and black – so gorgeous!

Not to forget about Stitches, which was as wonderful as ever – despite the crazy fact that I drove there and back in one day. For a variety of reasons, that was the best approach this year, but it was an exhausting total of seven hours driving. Absolutely worth it though, to talk to some of my favorite vendors, and, oh, right – the yarn.

Stitches East 2012

This picture looks somewhat more like my typical color palette, but maye that’s also because it’s not sunlit. Counterclockwise there is madtosh sock in Cathedral, String Theory Caper Sock in Juniper and Jasmine, an incredibly purple Candombe skein of Malabrigo Rios, and then madtosh pashmina worsted in Cousteau and Rainwater – all those skeins aren’t in the picture, but there’s a sweater quantity of each. The story there is, I knew I loved the blue-grey Rainwater color, but  was also deeply drawn in by the green Cousteau – much to my surprise. Of course, the solution was to get both. Clearly 2013 will be The Year of Sweater Design; altogether I have five sweaters’ worth of material here, in addition to the singles. Oh, yes, the stash is looking good.


 New Release, Patterns  Comments Off on Plixi
Oct 182012

Plixi Last Look | The Knitting Vortex

Plixi is a long and lean open front cardigan, with gentle waist shaping and a flowing ruffle at the front edge and cuffs. Worked seamlessly from the top down in a drapey fingering weight yarn on larger needles, Plixi uses the contiguous method of seamless shoulder and sleeve construction, with a picked-up ruffle along the front edge, and a simple purled hem finish. Long, slim and elegant, Plixi works with jeans or a dress, for sleek and chic style with any outfit.

Techniques & Skills Used: contiguous construction, knit/purl, short rows, increasing/decreasing, picking up stitches.

Size: 32 (34, 36, 38, 40, 44, 48)” bust; shown in second size with no ease.

Garment Measurements: Bust: 32 (34, 36, 38, 40, 44, 48)”; Waist: 30.5 (32.5, 34.5, 36.5, 38.5, 42.5, 46.5)”; Hip: 32.75 (34.75, 36.75, 38.75, 40.75, 44.75, 48.75)”; Length from shoulder tip to hem: 25.75 (26.5, 27.5, 28.25, 29.25, 30.25, 31.25)”.

Yarn: RYC Cashsoft 4 Ply (57% wool, 33% microfiber, 10% cashmere; 175 yards/50g); 8 (8, 9, 9, 10, 11, 12) balls, shown in #423 Monet.

Other Materials:

US 5 (3.75mm) 32” circular needle or size to match gauge; US 5 (3.75mm) 60” circular needle for ruffle; US 4 (3.5mm) 60” circular needle for ribbing and picking up stitches; Stitch markers (4); Scrap yarn or extra cables for stitch holders (2); Yarn needle.

Gauge: 20 st and 28 rows/4” in stockinette stitch, after blocking.

See it on Ravelry, to read more or purchase the pattern.  

Plixi front view | The Knitting Vortex  Plixi | The Knitting Vortex  Plixi cuff closeup | The Knitting Vortex

Oct 112012

Variegated yarns are an ongoing challenge; they look so appealing in the skein that you cant resist, and yet – what to do with them, really? Socks, maybe; those are mostly covered up and are like a secret crazy. I think that’s why sock yarns tend to have the most numerous, exuberant instances of variegation. But what about something like a worsted weight superwash? My solution was to make fingerless mitts with a K1below stitch pattern.

Chunnel in candombe   Chunnel in azules

The hand and cuff edge are regular rib, but the long gauntlet arm section transitions to a K1below rib that breaks up the colors and makes a fluffy, less elastic brioche, good for scrunching up. Both pairs use Malabrigo Rios, one in the Candombe colorway, the other in Azules. I made the Candombe pair first as the design prototype, when I was trying to find a way to love all that yellow in my skein. Then I thought I’d try a shaded-variegated with some of the Azules left over from Blue Honey. It may be mostly blue, but it goes from blue-green to blue-purple, with a lot of blues in between.

Candombe     Azules

It’s hard for me even to believe that I bought these yarns,when my typical perspective is that “dust,” “fog,” and “night” are ideal colors. To clarify, I do like color, just not so many all at once. Plum or teal or something is plenty all on its own. However, I do have another skein of that Azules left, and I’m feeling adventurous enough that it just may become a coordinating neckwarmer. To wear with a monochromatic outfit.

Oct 012012

Pauroxo closeup | The Knitting Vortex

A shapely topdown raglan with extended front panels, Pauroxo has a swingy A-line shape when worn open, and an enfolding cropped jacket vibe when closed with a shawl pin or belt. This easy cardigan is knit seamlessly with simple rolled front edges, Twisted Rib hem and cuffs, and a picked up collar band in Cable and Twist Rib. Pau Roxo is Portuguese for purple wood, and this cardigan is inspired by the striking deep violet wood from the Purpleheart tree found in tropical rainforests.

Techniques & Skills Used: long-tail CO, raglan construction,knit/purl, increasing/decreasing, picking up stitches.

Size: 32 (34, 36, 38, 40, 42, 44, 48, 52)” bust; this easy shaped cardigan is designed to be worn with some positive ease. Sample shown in third size with 1” ease.

Garment Measurements:

Bust & Hip: 32 (34, 36, 38, 40, 42, 44, 48, 52)”, with fronts overlapped.

Sleeve length from neck: 13 (13.5, 14, 14.5, 15, 15.5, 16, 17, 17.75)”.

Length: 21.75 (22, 22.5, 22.75, 23.5, 24.5, 25, 25.5, 26)”.

Yarn: Madelinetosh Pashmina (75% merino, 15% silk, 10% cashmere; 360 yards/117g); 3 (3, 3, 4, 4, 4, 4, 5, 5) skeins, shown in Bergamot.

Other Materials: US 4 (3.5mm) 40” circular needle; Stitch markers (10); Removable stitch markers (2); Stitch holders (2); Yarn needle.

Gauge: 24 st and 34 rows/4” in stockinette stitch; 24 st and 28 rows/4” in Twisted Rib, after blocking.


See it on Ravelry, to read more or purchase the pattern.   

Pauroxo another front view | The Knitting Vortex  PauRoxo Last Look | The Knitting Vortex  PauRoxo | The Knitting Vortex