It’s just about thanksgiving which means we, the few, the crafty, are already thinking about holiday knitting. For the (third? fourth?? I can’t keep track oh well) something-th year running I’ll be participating in the Indie Designer’s Gift-Along! That Ravelry link will give you all the details. But in a nut-shell it goes like this:
- Participating designers have patterns on sale from tonight to November 30th.
- Knit Alongs will be hosted for all types of projects with prizes for participation, random give aways, and other special categories.
- Prizes! Digital patterns, physical yarn, books, notions. This part is big because we’re pooling our resources. You should really check out the prize list.
To find which patterns are on sale for the next week(ish) you can check out the group bundles and pinterest boards (here). Or see the designer’s bundles (here).
I’ve got 15 designs which will be 25% off as part of the sale! From 8pm (EST) tonight through midnight on the 30th use the code giftalong2016 to get the discount. This is my biggest annual sale and I hope you like the selection this year. I tried to mix old and new, small and large projects so there should be something for everyone!
So warm up those needles, dig through your stash, and happy knitting!
Happy September! I’m beyond thrilled to let you all know I’ve published a new pattern, you’ve seen peaks before, but here’s Morning Walk, please favorite and queue at will!
Even better, I’m hosting a Fall Sweater Challenge knit along in cooperation with Blue Moon Fiber Arts: the folks who dye the gorgeous targhee wool I used for this design.
From now to mid-september the pattern is 25% off, and everyone who purchases gets a code good for 10% off targhee worsted from BMFA’s website. I want to send a huge thanks out to them for supporting my design! I hope you check out their yarn. It’s put up in hanks of over 600 yards each. For this cap-sleeved cardi you need just one or two skeins to knit the whole thing.
As with all my designs this sweater is graded for a wide range of sizes:
27 (30.5, 34.75, 38.25, 42.5, 46, 49.5, 54.5, 58, 62.25)”/ 68.5 (77.5, 88.5, 97, 108, 117, 125.5, 138.5, 147.5, 158) cm.
I can’t tell you how excited I was (when I finished the math) to see that even the largest sizes would only need two skeins of yarn. The targhee wool is soft, lofty, and bouncy which makes it just perfect for showing off the leaf lace pattern in this design. It lends stretch and resiliency to the seed stitch border as well.
I hope to see your sweater in our knit-along group soon!
Hi, how you doing? How’s the weather where you are? Weather isn’t just a topic for small talk here, maple syrup season is big business and when we don’t have enough snow (we don’t) the trees don’t make as much sap. And when we don’t get the cold nights and warm days (we aren’t, it was 62F overnight) the sap doesn’t rise and fall the way it needs to for sugaring. In short the weather is seriously bipolar and while it doesn’t affect me personally, I can feel it in the community.
It’s also the opposite problem from the one we had back in 2013 when I was trying to arrange a photo shoot in the Sugarbush of Sterling for the Saccharum vest. These photos? With the model shivering and the snow in the background:
They were taken the second week in April. The sap had barely begun to run, and when it finally warmed up it went too fast. I can tell you, the sugar makers of New England are not pleased with this climate change thing.
Ok, but all that was depressing enough, lets have a peak at my vest in progress to cheer us all up:
You can barely tell, but I’m done with the tree branch chart. From here on the back is simple 2×2 ribbing which creates the canopy of the trees. I’m also ready to divide for the fronts, so I’m hoping from here it’ll be smooth sailing. Maybe I’ll have a finished vest by the end of the KAL (which is 4/8, not 4/1 – phew)
I also want to show off my button hole modification. Instead of toggles or multiple buttons I decided I wanted one big button for closure. So instead of using the leaf eyelets as they are I modified one leaf:
Instead of a pair of YOs I worked a double yo paired with a k3tog on the row before. Then I just knit the two loops of the double YO to keep the stitch count the same. I still don’t know which of my singleton buttons I’ll be featuring. I’ll let future-Becky decide that.
I’ve been steadily working away at my very own Saccharum vest since the start of the month, and it’s making excellent progress!
I’m eight or nine inches in (I’ve forgotten already) and right now I’m working even until 12.5 inches (so that’s why I’ve forgotten, clearly). I love the simple leaf detail that is the main feature of this part of the vest. It gives plenty of time to get that repeat memorized before throwing the complicated tree cables into the mix.
There are quite a few other Saccharums growing over in the Ravelry KALs right now (pural, because the wonderful Peace Fleece group has joined in again!) If you’re on Ravelry you can check out all the leafy goodness right here.
The official KAL ends in four weeks, but the thread in my group won’t be going anywhere. So there’s plenty of time for late-joiners if you’re interested!
I’m launching another book knit-along next month! March will feature the vest from the same chapter, Saccharum.
This vest includes leafy trim on the front edges, simple waist shaping, a deep V neck, and most of all: the trees
This vest is worked up in Imperial Yarns Columbia base. It’s a lovely, single farm yarn with plenty of bounce and spring to make cables pop.
If you’re looking at substitutes I recommend another bouncy wool in a heavy worsted or aran weight. March is still cold, after all. So this vest is meant to be knit up thick and warm!
Please consider joining in the KAL over on Ravelry where I’m happy to talk about vest modifications, yarn substitutes, and there will be some prizes too!
I love this sweater so, so much. I’m giving it a post of its own! This is my blueberry sweater (on ravelry for more photos). The pattern is Bluegold, the January sweater from Cast Iron, Cast On. This pattern was inspired by the coziness of winter and the pretty latticework on fancy blueberry pie*. This is not the only book sample which I knit in my own size. But for some reason it’s totally my favorite.
I’ve mentioned before that I’ve loved this book sample to pieces. I wore it almost constantly while pregnant. A cardigan is probably the best maternity sweater out there. The fabric has pilled a bit, but the superwash DK yarn from Periwinkle Sheep is brilliantly strong as well as holding those deep, saturated colors so perfectly. The biggest tragedy was the hole in the shoulder – pretty sure we have one of my cats to thank for that.
So before giving this sweater a photo shoot of its own I wanted to patch that up. I was thinking about the duplicate stitch darning I’ve seen tutorials for. But since this hole is in the knit/purl pattern I just didn’t have the mental energy to figure out how that would work. Instead I made up a system as I went. I started by putting in a framework:
Then I wrapped the yarn around that first strand – so that the working yarn is like a coiled spring that runs through the live stitches at the bottom and around the first rung.
The next set of coils went around the second rung and through the tops of the first coils. The final row goes through the live stitches at the top and the coils of the row below. It’s a patchwork job. But this coiled yarn maintains the stretchiness of the lattice work pattern in way that a traditional darning job wouldn’t. And (while being hard to describe) was easy to accomplish.
And then I took some new photos
So soft, so lovely!
And that patch job? It doesn’t look half bad either!
*Note that the recipe in this chapter ended up being a blueberry jam cobbler – no lattice pastry required. Sometimes the recipes evolved beyond the inspiration of the pattern. That’s the organic nature of our book writing process.
I have a January book KAL coming up and I’m hoping you’ll join in! January is a cold month (duh) and since it comes after all that gift-knitting in December it’s also an excellent time to start a new project just for yourself. May I suggest the Bluegold cardi from my book?
Bluegold is knit up in Periwinkle Sheep’s Merino DK yarn. This is a scrumptious high-twist merino. The plies of the yarn make it the hardest wearing super-wash yarn I’ve knit with. I lived in the book sample of this sweater for two winters after it was finished and it still looks really good. Even better? Karin is offering kits on sale for the whole month of January! Head over to her Etsy shop and you can pick up yarn in one of three colors for 15% off:
Check out the Ravelry page for Bluegold to figure out how many skeins you need for your size. Or check the book, unless you’re still waiting for Amazon to deliver it ;-)
The KAL will start January 1st and run (officially) through Feb 15th. But of course I’ll be around the Ravelry group long, long after that for anyone who has questions later on! I’ll be posting prizes and ways to enter next week. So please join in!
I knew I wanted to do a little knitting for myself this month, but I didn’t know what. That’s pretty weird since I’m usually a product knitter. But I knew it needed to be quick and I didn’t have my eye on a specific accessory.
Instead I picked out a special skein of handspun I’d been gifted. Shannon at Spun Monkey provided yarn support for my book. Except she sent not one but two lovely skeins of bulky weight handspun! Usually I would try to design something with the second to honor her generosity. But since she’s not selling handspun right now I decided to find the perfect pattern for this variegated yarn. (check out her blog linked above anyway. She’s moved on to some fun new projects and if you like what I’m doing here you’ll love her new blog too!)
This is the slip stitch beanie by Sarah Cooke. It’s an amazing gift project because it knits up fast and looks SO PRETTY in multicolored handspun or solid colored commercial yarn. It uses under 100yds of bulky yarn and with the slip stitch pattern it is perfect for blending and mixing the colors of the yarn.
I love how squishy the hat is. The fabric is dense and cozy and warm. And I think this pattern would be perfect for any soft yarn with so many gorgeous colors that you might have trouble with it overwhelming the pattern.
One of the absolute best things about the gift along this year is the searchable bundle.
No, wait, that’s not right. The BEST thing about the gift along is the fabulous people participating, the wonderful designers, the entertaining games, the amazing prize list.
So, do you want to participate? You just need to choose an eligible pattern and dive in! Ok, and THAT is where the searchable bundle comes in. If you look at that page you’ll see that with 335 designers we have over 300,000 eligible patterns. But instead of having to sort or scan, or just look at your favorites list and guess you can use the powerful Ravelry search feature!
Want to knit a hat with a single skein of bulky yarn? You can sort for that:
No, instead let’s consider something big, really big, epic. Maybe a lacey square or a circular shawl?
Or my favorite, cabled sweaters:
If you’ve never played with the Ravelry search now is a great time to test it. You can filter for patterns already in your library, patterns you’ve favorited, or patterns your friend has favorited – if you’re knitting a gift for someone else! You can choose a yarn and search for patterns that will work or look at all adult cardigans and then see what you already have the pattern for. Frequently when I’m looking on other websites I WISH for a search engine this customizable. It’s awesome.
Here’s my second finished gift-along project of the season! It’s the Laura cowl by Jennifer Dassau.
This is a snug little cowl perfect for wearing under your coat collar and keeping the wind out.
It’s also perfect for using up small amounts of magical yarn. This one took just two skeins of Road to China aran weight. The yarn is an amazing blend (65% Baby Alpaca, 15% Silk, 10% Camel, 10% Cashmere) and I only had 150 yards in this color. I think my cowl is a tad longer than the pattern calls for because I just kept knitting until I ran out of yarn.
I highly recommend both the yarn and the pattern. I love them as a combo too, since I got the yarn from last winter’s retreat and I met Jennifer there too!
Next up I’m knitting this slip stitch beanie. And the pattern is really doing brilliant things with my colorful and variegated yarn. I might need to try this stitch pattern again with other yarns…