Potions Mistress

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Sep 072016
 
Potions Mistress

Techniques & Skills Used: cable CO, knit/purl, increasing, easy lace; instructions for this pattern are both fully written and charted. Size: 80” wingspan and 40” depth; this shawl may be customized in length and depth to accommodate varying yardage. Yarn: Julie Asselin Milis (100% superwash merino wool; 475 yards/ 438m/115g); 1 skein each A, B and C, shown in Clair de Lune, Sunset and Arlequin, respectively. The sample used almost all of the yardage from each skein, but any amount of yarn in any combination may be used; see Designer’s Notes. Other Materials: US 6 (4mm) 32” circular needle, or size to match gauge; Yarn needle. Gauge: 18 st and 36 rows/4” in garter stitch and 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, to read more or purchase the pattern.         Save Save

Block Theory

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Aug 042016
 
Block Theory

Bold blocks of intarsia decorate the front and back of this long and lean tank. Worked flat from the bottom up with a slightly longer back, the built-in rib edging is seamed at the sides, leaving slits at the hem. Waist shaping and an a-line flare at the hip emphasize the casual breeziness, and deep v-shaped armholes add to the linear styling. Techniques & Skills Used: Italian tubular CO, knit/purl, increasing/decreasing, intarsia, German short rows, cable CO, applied I-cord (provisional CO and grafting), 3-needle BO; links are provided to my techniques tutorials. Size: 32 (34, 36, 38, 40, 42, 44, 48, 52)” bust; shown in second size worn with 1” negative ease. Yarn: Cascade Yarns Ultra Pima (100% pima cotton; 220 yards/200m/100g), shown in MC 3718 Natural and CC 3729 Gray; 2 (3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 3, 4, 4) skeins MC and 1 (2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2) skeins CC, or approximately 425 (475, 500, 525, 575, 600, 625, 725, 800) yards of MC and 210 (230, 250, 270, 290, 310, . . .

Oct 082015
 
Not Quite Plaid

Colorblocks, stripes and vertical dropped stitches – it’s Not Quite Plaid, but looks vaguely tartan. An asymmetric bias shape and an atypical approach to creating a stitch pattern result in a fabric on which to combine colors for a nontraditional and modern shawl that is infinitely customizable. Choose colors and yarns that speak to you from your stash for your own perfect, (not quite) plaid. Techniques & Skills Used: cable CO, knit/purl, increasing/decreasing; instructions are both fully written and charted. Size: 84” length and 32” depth, customizable to any size. Yarn: Baah! La Jolla (100% merino wool; 400 yards/366m/100g); 1 skein each of color A/Night Sky, color B/Obsidian, color C/Grey Onyx and color D/La Perla. A plied sock yarn with a somewhat tight twist helps maintain the integrity of the dropped stitches. The sample used approximately 275/100/205/215 yards of colors A/B/C/D but any amount of yarn in any combination may be used; see Designer’s Notes. Other Materials: US 6 (4mm) 32” circular needle or size to match gauge; marker (1); removable markers (optional); Yarn needle; . . .

Sorbetto Scoop

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May 142015
 
Sorbetto Scoop

Blueberry, raspberry, pistachio . . . picking a sweater color is as hard as deciding your favorite flavor of sorbet. With stripes and colorblocking, the Sorbetto Scoop sweater lets you enjoy them all. Worked from the top down using the seamless, simultaneous set-in sleeve method, the silhouette is slightly relaxed with gentle waist shaping, curved cropped hems, a scoopneck, and bracelet length sleeves. Construction: The seamless, simultaneous set-in sleeve method allows you to work the back, front and sleeves at one time from the top down, while creating a tailored, set-in sleeve fit. Stitches are cast on for the back, and the back shoulders are shaped with a few short rows to create the shoulder slope; stitches are then picked up for each front shoulder, which is shaped with identical short rows. The back and fronts are united, while at the same time stitches are picked up at the shoulder edges for the sleeve caps, and sleeve cap shaping begins. The back, front and sleeves are worked simultaneously to the bottom of the armscye, with . . .

Vary

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Nov 032014
 
Vary

  vary: to change periodically or in succession; differ or alternate An asymmetric shawl that combines various patterns, this bias wrap moves from simple garter stripes through slipstitch colorwork and back again. Cast on at the long, narrow end, Vary grows on the bias only ever using one color at a time in each row. Choose two colors or even more, and make it your own by varying the placement of the different stitch patterns; the simple construction adapts easily to different amounts of yardage and to your artistic vision. Techniques & Skills Used: knit/purl, increasing/decreasing, slipstitch colorwork; the slipstitch pattern is written only. Size: 105” length and 21” depth, customizable; see schematic. Yarn: String Theory Hand Dyed Yarn Selku (50% silk, 50% merino wool; 375 yards/113g); 1 skein MC and 1 skein CC. Shown in Viola (MC) and Juice (CC), and using about 340 and 370 yards respectively. Other Materials: US 7 (4.5mm) 32” circular needle or size to match gauge; Yarn needle. Gauge: 15 st and 30 rows/4” in garter stitch, after blocking. . . .

Oct 312014
 
Sneak Peek: Vary

My giant, asymmetrical, two-color shawl Sundry is one of my most popular designs. It’s so over the top, I had no idea what sort of reception it would get once released. But people seem to like it, which is always great. I think it’s the opportunity to mix and match colors, and to customize their placement. A look at some projects on Ravelry shows all sorts of beautiful choices: One of the reasons I love the sample so much is the yarn I used; Selku by String Theory Hand Dyed Yarn. It’s a wool and silk sportweight blend with excellent drape, and the gorgeous colors for which Karen and Tanis are known. I was fortunate to see their lovely yarns in person at out tiny, local sheep and fiber festival at the beginning of September, and inspired to create another design using Selku. I was looking for something to pair with the purpley-blue Viola colorway I had been hoarding, and found a deep raspberry that was perfect. For fans of Sundry, my new shawl Vary . . .

May 012014
 
Crossfire

Diagonal lines fire across this elongated, asymmetrical shawl, creating striking contrasts in angles and colors. Textural stripes are worked using simple knit and purl stitches, while the intersecting columns are created by slipping stitches at regular intervals; only one color is ever worked at a time. The sample pairs a neutral main color with a long, self-striping yarn as the contrast color, but using a variegated yarn or leftovers to create your own custom stripe colors as the contrast would be equally lovely. The long, bias shape shows off the dramatic pattern while being easy to wear, and the simple construction adapts to varying amounts of yardage. Techniques & Skills Used: knit/purl, increasing/decreasing, slipped stitches; this pattern is both written and charted. Size: 92” on longest side and 18” deep at point; see schematic. Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light (100% merino wool; 420 yards/100g); 1 skein MC; Crystal Palace Yarns Mini Mochi (80% merino wool, 20% nylon; 195 yards/50g); 2 skeins CC. Shown in Natural (MC) and 120 Fireworks (CC), and using about 420 and . . .

Sneaky Sorbet

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Apr 232014
 
Sneaky Sorbet

I finished the knitting last night, so today was all about weaving in ends – and with a multi-striped sweater, there were a lot of them. Working in the round and twisting the colors created a tidy RS, but a bit of work to do on the private side. After a soak and block, I’ll see how the final result looks. And I’ll just mention that with the coming of spring (finally!), my mind is totally on sorbet; blueberry, raspberry, strawberry, pistachio . . .

Gathering Orchids

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Jan 242014
 
Gathering Orchids

I mentioned how pleased I was with the color of the year, Radiant Orchid. The thought of plummy pinks and purples being all over the stores just fills me up with excitement and anticipation; I love purple – wearing it, being around it, soaking up the purpley vibe. This week has been busy with working on some new upcoming patterns, and I needed a morning off – so, why wait to seek out some purple inspiration? I do consider shopping to be recreational, and by “shopping,” I certainly do not necessarily mean “buying.” For me, it’s all about going to look around, touch things, and find a little eye candy. If I actually need something specific, I’m more than likely to buy online – and that’s not quite “shopping” but more like “acquiring things I need.”  The really real shopping is all about going out of my everyday environment and seeing what sort of fabulous thing I might discover. One of my favorite subsets of shopping is thrifting, because there’s no better way to find . . .

Radiant Orchid

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Jan 162014
 
Radiant Orchid

With the Spring 2014 palette forecast by Pantone comes the new reigning color: Radiant Orchid is the Color of the Year for 2014. Out with the regeneration and healing of Emerald, and onward with the innovation and creativity of Orchid. Pantone opines “an enchanting harmony of fuchsia, purple and pink undertones, Radiant Orchid inspires confidence and emanates great joy, love and health. It is a captivating purple, one that draws you in with its beguiling charm.” I’m certainly beguiled by purples, which are more daring and unexpected than the red, green and blues. This one in particular is a bit off-beat, with the very pink undertones, and the creamy, strong white value. It’s a color that makes you think, hey, that would go with my favorite black outfit . . .  and in my living room . . .  and I need new nail polish. Somehow it goes with everything in the rest of the Spring palette, and it’s strong enough to stand up to what are sure to be the deeper, richer fall colors. . . .