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; . . .

Pax Vobis

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Jul 102015
Pax Vobis

Let Pax Vobis bring peace to you, as rhythmic baby cables flow into a gentle A-line silhouette. Seamless topdown raglan construction and an intuitive cable twist stitch pattern enable serene and uncomplicated knitting. The cropped length, elbow sleeves and deeply scooped neckline are perfect with a summer outfit, and the lightweight yarn brings a whisper soft harmony. Techniques & Skills Used: raglan construction, knit/purl, increasing/decreasing, cable CO, backwards loop CO, working in the round; baby cable twist pattern is both written and charted and includes instructions for increasing in pattern. Size: 29.25 (31.25, 32.75, 34.75, 36.75, 38.75, 40.75, 44.75, 48)” bust; shown in fourth size with no ease. Yarn: Woolfolk Tynd (100% Ovis 21 ultimate merino wool; 223 yards/205m/50g); 4 (4, 4, 4, 5, 5, 6, 7, 7) skeins, or approximately 725 (775, 850, 900, 975, 1075, 1175, 1300, 1450) yards of fingering weight yarn. Sample shown in Color No. 02. Other Materials: US 5 (3.75mm) 32″ circular needle or size to match gauge; US 5 (3.75mm) 24″ circular needle for neckline; Stitch markers (8); . . .


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Feb 172015

Dolman three-quarter sleeves and an easy silhouette make Veruschka the perfect cozy sweater for casual days. Knit in one piece from the top down, the body features gentle shaping to flatter your curves, and chunky ribbing to keep the mood rustic. A foldover turtleneck finishes the look and keeps out the chill. Techniques & Skills Used: knit/purl, short rows, picking up stitches, increasing/ decreasing, backwards loop CO, provisional CO, grafting. This pattern includes links to my short row and grafting tutorials. Size: 30 (32, 34, 36, 38, 40, 42, 44, 48, 52)” bust; sample shown in fifth size, worn with 3” positive ease. Yarn: Malabrigo Yarn Merino Worsted (100% merino wool; 210 yards/100g); 4 (5, 5, 5, 5, 6, 6, 7, 7, 8) skeins or approximately 800 (875, 950, 1000, 1050, 1100, 1200, 1300, 1400, 1500) yards of worsted weight yarn. Sample shown in Purple Mystery. Other Materials: US 9 (5.5mm) 32” circular needle (2) or size to match gauge; Stitch markers (4); Locking stitch markers (2); Stitch holders (4); Scrap yarn for provisional CO; . . .

The Fisher Queen

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Feb 242014
The Fisher Queen

A modern take on the fisherman sweater, The Fisher Queen blends classic cable and rib elements with a non-traditional shape and construction. The modified dolman sleeves, scooped neck and curved hem are all updated details on a classic silhouette. Worked seamlessly from the top down, the shoulder saddles are knit first, with stitches picked up for front and back and worked flat to below the armhole, then joined to work in the round. Long, skinny sleeves are picked up and worked in rib, then finished with twisted rib cuffs, matching the hem and neckband. The Fisher Queen mixes traditional and modern, in a contemporary classic. Techniques & Skills Used: backwards loop CO, knit/purl, cables, decreasing, short rows, picking up stitches, grafting. Body stitch patterns are both written and charted. Size: 31 (35, 39, 43, 47, 51, 55)” bust; shown in third size with 4” ease. For a similar fit, choose a size with several inches of ease; the cables and rib will conform gently to the body, while still maintaining a relaxed silhouette. Yarn: Cascade . . .

Slaunter Hat

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Nov 052013
Slaunter Hat

Just the right amount of slouchy style and comfort, the Slaunter Hat features smooth reverse stockinette with high relief knit rib accents, and a stretchy textured mistake-rib brim. Instructions are included for both the traditional and the modern split-brim versions, for double your style options! Techniques & Skills Used: cable CO, knit/purl, increasing/decreasing, knitting in the round. Size: one size, which easily fits women’s M or 21-23” head circumference; approximately 18” brim circumference and 9” depth, unstretched. Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh DK (100% Superwash Merino; 225 yards/110g); 1 skein. Traditional brim version shown in Ink, and split-brim version in Iris, and using 65 and 70 grams respectively. Other Materials: US 7 (4.5mm) 16” circular needle and dpns, or 32” circular needle if using Magic Loop, or size to match gauge; extra US 7 dpn for split brim facings; Stitch markers (8); Yarn needle. Gauge: 20 st and 26 rows/4” in reverse stockinette stitch; 22 st and 28 rows/4” in Mistake Rib, after blocking. See it on Ravelry, to read more or purchase the pattern.     

Slauntering towards a Swatch

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Aug 262013
Slauntering towards a Swatch

At my house, we have a  word we like to use when someone is lazily, casually moving towards an objective: Slaunter.  As in, “I saw you slauntering around by the coffee shop this morning,” or “Could you please pick up the pace from a slaunter to a stride; we’re late.” It’s meant to suggest relaxed and unconcerned action; maybe a little bit indolent, but typically in a good way. Weekend mornings are perfect for slauntering; we’re achieving things, but in a relaxed and non-stressful way. Slaunter is a little bit saunter, mixed in with a dose of slouch. It’s imperfect, comfortable and forgiving. The concept of slauntering is all over my next bit of knitwear, from a mistake-rib beginning, to an easy, relaxed result. I’m loving the concept so much that I’m exploring some accessories, like a split-brim hat: (Some color, huh? That’s tosh dk in Iris; I popped into the LYS near my daughter’s orthodontist the other day just to pass some time, and they had three cubbies’ worth of colors and bases. Can . . .

Aug 072013
Ripping Lace

Those are two words a knitter doesn’t ever want to hear – ripping lace. And yet I was not only hearing it, but doing it. This is the summer of lace for me, specifically lace sweaters; the last of which is almost ready for release. But getting there involved a nerve-wracking interlude of ripping back the lace pattern. I kept trying on this tee shirt (with the shoulders pinned together, since they were to be finished later), and thinking, hmmm, it’s not long enough, just another 8 row repeat before the ribbing. Somehow I got off track; it was originally meant to be cropped and boxy, over a wide ribbed hem, but then with the short sleeves I thought that would be too square shaped. Then I thought about those generic length end-at-the-bottom-of-the-pants-waistband tops which are kind of boring, so I just kept adding on and adding on. And you know when you suspect you’ve done something that’s not really working out, but you think, oh, it’ll be fine, and keep going? Yeah, me too. . . .

Jan 232013
Alluvium - WIP Wednesday

The Arctic blast has come to the Mid Atlantic region, and we’re having daytime high temperatures hovering around 21 degrees F. What better time to be working on a chunky blanket-style cardi? It’s serendipity. The Biggo yarn from Knit Picks is gorgeous and wintery in Dove Heather, and is knitting up for me at 12 st and 16 rows on US 10 needles. It feels great, and promises to be easy care, too, with 50% superwash merino and 50% nylon content. I love me a warm, quick sweater! I’m calling it Alluvium, which refers to loose, unconsolidated matter that has been eroded, reshaped and redeposited – kind of like yarn and stitches forming new shapes.

Chunnel Mitts

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Nov 012012
Chunnel Mitts

The Chunnel Mitts are long armwarmers with fitted rib cuffs and hands, and deep textural gauntlet forearms which can be scrunched up or worn straight depending on the weather and your coat sleeve length. An easy and fast knit with a thumb slit and no increasing or decreasing, the deep channel tunnels of the gauntlet stitch pattern do an excellent job of breaking up pooling in variegated yarns. Weave the ends in neatly and the Chunnel Mitts are completely reversible, showing a different but equally attractive pattern on the reverse side. Techniques & Skills Used: knit/purl, knitting into the stitch below, knitting in the round. Size: S (M, L): to fit 6.5 (7.5, 8.5)” palm circumference; 4 (4, 5)” length from wrist and 7 (8.25, 9.25)” cuff length. The Chunnel Mitts are very stretchy, and size M will fit a wide range of hand sizes from teen to women’s large. Yarn: Malabrigo Rios (100% superwash merino wool, 210 yards), 1 (1, 2) skeins. Size M shown in Candombe and Azules. Other Materials: US 7 (4.5mm) . . .

Oct 112012
So much colors!

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.    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 . . .