Mazerunner

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Oct 042016
 
Mazerunner

Sinuous crossed paths run a maze around mesh diamonds on this triangle shawl worked from the bottom up. The crimpy fiber of the cormo creates a very lofty and bouncy fabric, giving the lace a refreshingly rustic and woolly dimension. Techniques & Skills Used: longtail CO, knit/purl, cables, easy lace; this pattern is both fully written and charted. Size: 60” wingspan and 26” depth; customizable. Yarn: Sincere Sheep Cormo Fingering (100% Cormo wool; 500 yards/ 457m/113g); 1 skein, or 500 yards of wool/wool blend fingering weight yarn. The sample as written used the entire skein; you may want to have additional yardage on hand, as the shawl may easily be enlarged. Other Materials: US 6 (4mm) 32” circular needle, or size to match gauge; Cable neede; Yarn needle. Gauge: 20 st and 32 rows/4” in stockinette stitch, 20 st and 30 rows/4” in lace pattern after blocking. Gauge is not critical for this project, however a different gauge may result in a smaller or larger finished shawl, and different yardage requirements. See it on Ravelry, . . .

Sweet Chilly

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Mar 172016
 
Sweet Chilly

  As comfy as your favorite sweatshirt but made stylish with special details, Sweet Chilly uses seamless topdown construction and textured stitches in a modern knit sweater. Shifting Broken Rib panels create the look of a deep raglan, while the Twisted Rib featured on the dolman sleeves continues along the sides providing natural shaping. Techniques & Skills Used: knit/purl, increasing/decreasing, cable CO, backwards loop CO, 3-needle BO, working in the round, short rows. Pattern instructions are fully written, with charts also provided for the stitch patterns, and a link to my short row tutorials. Size: 32 (34, 36, 38, 40, 42, 44, 48, 52, 56)” bust; shown in fifth size with 5” positive ease. Yarn: Colour Adventures Sweet Merino DK (100% superwash merino wool; 250 yards/229m/115g), shown in Chilly; 4 (5, 5, 5, 5, 5, 6, 6, 7, 7) skeins, or approximately 950 (1000, 1050, 1100, 1200, 1250, 1350, 1450, 1550, 1650) yards of dk weight wool yarn. Other Materials: US 6 (4mm) 32″ circular needle or size to match gauge; US 6 (4mm) 24″ . . .

Interview: Laura Patterson of Fiber Dreams

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Dec 102014
 
Interview: Laura Patterson of Fiber Dreams

The Indie Design Gift-A-Long is in full swing on Ravelry, with so many talented designers participating, and such an array of beautiful patterns. Today I’m talking with the very talented Laura Patterson of Fiber Dreams, who has an amazing catalog of designs all of which feature thoughtfully combined elements and detail, as well as evocative names and descriptive inspiration. I asked Laura about her work, and she graciously shared the answers that appear below: How did you get started designing? Not long after I started knitting, I began tweaking the patterns I knit. I didn’t like the rolled collar on a pullover, so knit ribbing instead, I added length and pockets to a too-short cardigan, worked a different top treatment on a sock or changed the toe. Mostly it was little stuff like that, but after a while there was almost always some change I made. Then I started making more drastic changes, like changing the gauge for a sweater I loved to work with the yarn I had on hand. Throughout all this my . . .

Garden State Sheep & Fiber

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Sep 072014
 
Garden State Sheep & Fiber

This weekend was New Jersey’s 20th annual fiber fest, and although it’s small, I like to think of it as powerful. There are four barns full of animals, fleece, spinning, shows and vendors – just enough for a good half day, with the added bonus of being local for me. Almost everything is under cover, which worked out nicely this year in the feels-like 100 degree heat, followed in the afternoon by drenching thunderstorms. I left before the actual rains came, but felt like I had been soaked anyway by that time from the humidity. The shade helped them, but the animals were hot too; the sheep that were getting sheared seemed pleased to lose the extra insulation. This guy was a blue ribbon winner, and he looked totally over it. The angora bunnies were alert, but keeping motion to a minimum. There were kids leading sheep around the show ring, the local spinners’ guild doing their thing, lots of fibery crafts (SO many felted things!) and a super array of booths from indie dyers. . . .

Oct 212013
 
Mission: Rhinebeck

I usually go to fairs, and even stores, with the “look around and see what I find” sort of mentality. Several things are at play there; I design around stash that I have (those yarns I’ve “found”), I like the thrill of discovery, and if I really NEED something I go straight to sourcing it online and ordering. But this year at Rhinebeck it was different, because I was hunting the Tiger. Tigers . . . quick, what do you think of? Orange and black, and fierce. I have a concept, and it requires orange and black yarn – which is alarming. Especially the orange part. Fortunately, I had my best orange-loving peeps with me. If anyone knows orange, it’s Amy and Jenny.     They know when it’s too rusty, not golden enough, or just plain pumpkin overload. We must’ve looked at every orange yarn at the festival, plus taken in the foliage inspiration, and visited the wool sources themselves.     And as if orange weren’t enough of a challenge, black is NOT a . . .

It’s a Plaid, Plaid World

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Sep 252013
 
It's a Plaid, Plaid World

Plaid is everywhere for fall, and I’m officially obsessed. Americans use the words “plaid” and “tartan” interchangeably, but a tartan is a woven textile pattern historically identifying Scottish Highland clans and military or political allegiances, while a plaid (“pledd”) is a length of this woven wool thrown about the body, for example to stay warm on the moors. Tartan in fact has a long history; the earliest examples of this sort of woven textile were found on mummies dating from around 2000 B.C. in the central Asian Tarim desert basin. In The Mummies of Urumchi, archeologist and textile historian Elizabeth Wayland Barber investigates the link between these Indo-Europeans and the Celts. A branch of the Celts gave rise to the Scots, and to the practice of local clans adopting certain woven color patterns, which became identified with their wearers. The materials and aesthetics of the weavers first determined what patterns were available, and where. The system of colors and patterns coalesced throughout the 17th century, sometimes becoming associated with military regiments. In a political move, . . .

Sep 102013
 
20 Years

Not of knitting; that’s a relatively new thing – the real longevity is 20 years of married bliss with my lovely husband Gary, fondly referred to by me as DH on the interwebz. We were white label even back then, not the types who wanted chicken & green beans amandine in the ballroom at the local fancy venue. We had our ceremony on the deck at the old Shanghai Red’s in Weehawkin, New Jersey (now the Chart House), with the amazing view of the NYC skyline. It rained all day, then cleared up in the late afternoon, perfectly timed for our evening event. We had an awesome party on the deck, then moved inside for dancing, snacks and of course the toast. People were freaked out at first, because there weren’t assigned tables; but they all sorted it out and ended up mingling with the perfect mix just like we envisioned. DH always says “I loved your wedding!” and I have to agree. So 20 years later, here we are, going out for a nice . . .