Knits: Baby Hue Shift

 

I couldn’t resist creating a quarter-size baby version for a friend due in the fall. It is the perfect size to tuck a little one into their baby seat. All the colors of the rainbow are perfect for a girl or a boy.

Knits: Hue Shift Afghan

 

My favorite local yarn store, Eat Sleep Knit, holds a number of knit-alongs every year. This year they decided to hold a year-long KAL for the Hue Shift Afghan. I instantly fell in love with the color possibilities and looked through all the projects on Ravelry for inspiration. With the help of this wonderful color picking tool created for designing your hue shift, I tried at least a dozen combinations of Cascade 220 superwash (ESK carries the whole line) and decided on sunny shades mixed with neutrals.

I started by ordering my picks online, but found that going to the store was required to tweak a few of the gradient choices to get enough separation and consistent vibrancy of color. I would definitely recommend picking yarn for this project in person.

I made a few modifications to the pattern as written: 1) I knit all of the squares in the same direction. I liked the diagonal running across the whole surface and also liked avoiding any piecing together a the end. Each square is knit on the edge of previous squares. 2) I decided not to add a border. I preferred the squares running to the edge and letting the pattern be the statement without “framing.”

After an extra trip to get more yarn (it takes about 1.3 skeins per color in Cascade 220), it took over 3 months to complete the Afghan. I was able to work on many other small portable projects and leave this one for home knitting in the evenings.

I would highly recommend this project to anyone looking for a blanket project that avoids monotony. Color choice transforms the design and knitting the blanket in small units keeps it from feeling overwhelming. The excitement of seeing how each color combination looks keeps you eager to start the next square.

Knits: Siren Song Shawl

 

My favorite local yarn store, Eat.Sleep.Knit, held a Flash KAL in March featuring the patterns Song of the Sea and Siren Song. I decided to go the extra mile and complete the shawl size of Siren Song.

I decided to use some Madelintosh Eyre Light that I already had on hand in electric rainbow, onyx, and smokestack/optic. I love how the electric rainbow created a mother of pearl effect. I had enough yarn of each color to transition between colors for each pattern size change. On that note, this pattern really eats up the yardage. If you decide to make the shawl, be sure to have plenty of yarn on hand.

Knits: Spinning yarn

 

My neighborhood has a number of fiber artists and a few of us finally got together to share our interests. One of the things I never thought I’d do was spin yarn. I’ve been pleasantly surprised to find that I was able to get started with a minimum investment in both money and space – all I needed was a drop spindle, a niddy noddy, and some fiber.

The result is the collection of small skeins above. There are a bunch of helpful videos on youtube to get a feel of techniques: I found this one from MeganERisk helpful for learning how to park and spin. I also liked this one for understanding how to draft fiber consistently for different thicknesses from Spinning Sara. This one from Megan LaCore was helpful for learning how to ply yarns together.

It’s good to know there is a simple way to get started spinning if you’ve ever been curious. Like knitting, I have a feeling that it just takes time and practice to build skill.

 

Knits: New Year, old yarn, lots of hats

 

After a flurry of making for the year, I’m usually left with a bag of little scrappy balls of yarn that aren’t large enough to create a single project. As part of getting started for the new year, one of my favorite things is to pull all of these scraps out and make palettes for hats.

I created this simple hat pattern many years ago that is perfect for using up whatever I have. It has a simple texture that coordinates well with stripes or solids or color blocking. The sampling above is about half of the hats I made using up my odds and ends. I like to pair my worsted weight and sock weight scraps and knit holding the two yarns together. The sock weight yarn can help unify the other colors or create subtle striping on a more monochromatic background.

Here’s to creating one-of-a-kind color combos while using up yarn scraps!

Knits: TinCanKnits patterns keep it classic

 

Earlier this year I was introduced to the classic and beautifully accessible pattern collection by TinCanKnits: The Simple Collection. This free collection has a wonderful variety of coordinating patterns sized from baby to adult and light to worsted yarn weights. The instructions are nicely designed and easy to follow with simple illustrations for clarity.

I knit up three of the patterns:

Rye socks: These are perfect for the knitter that wants to knit socks, but doesn’t want to spend a lot of time. Using worsted weight yarn, these knit up super fast and look beautiful both in solid and multicolor yarns. You can also easily add your own twist with stripes or color blocking.

Flax sweater: This seamless, top-down pattern has a very simple and flattering design that looks great on everyone. It is very easy to add your own flair with stripes or color blocking.

Barley hat: I couldn’t resist making the matching hat with the yarn I had left over from the baby sweater. So simple and quick to knit up!

This collection is a wonderful place to start for the knitter that is moving into knitting apparel and will give you a great foundation in understanding construction for more complex patterns.

 

Knits: Graph Paper Mitts Pattern

 

These light fingerless gloves use worsted and fingering weight yarn together in a two-color slipped stitch pattern reminiscent of graph paper.

These fingerless mitts knit from the bottom cuff up.
They are knit in the round.

Special skills:
• Knitting in the round
• Increase & Decrease
• Slipped stitches

Size: Adult
Approximate finished measurements: Glove length: 7 in (17.75 cm), Flat width: 3 in (7.6 cm) – 1 in larger in thumb gusset area.

Needles: US 6 (4.0 mm) double pointed needles – set of 4 recommended.
Tapestry needle.

Yarn: Approx 65 yds (60 m) each of worsted and fingering weight yarn (This pattern can also be knit with Aran and Sport weight for a heavier fabric glove.)

 

You can buy the pattern here:
Available on Etsy for $3.50
Available on Craftsy for $3.50

Knit Pattern: Rhombic Mitts

It’s fingerless glove knitting season again! The Cherokee Heights Arts Festival is coming up in November and I’m working on creating a new collection of the most popular item: fingerless gloves. Glove production is also my pattern design workshop where I work up new patterns, test them out a few times, write them down, and then test knit them with the yarn I think works best and photographs well. First up this season is Rhombic Mitts. I enjoyed the Ironwork Mitts from last year so much, I decided to do a new variation on the theme.

You can buy the pattern here:
Available on Etsy for $3.50
Available on Craftsy for $3.50

The Details:
These fingerless mitts knit from the bottom cuff up.
They are knit in the round.

Special skills:
• Knitting in the round
• Increase & Decrease
• Twisted stitches
• Cable stitches

Size: Adult
Approximate finished measurements: Glove length: 6.5 in (16.5 cm), Flat width: 3 in (7.6 cm) – larger in thumb gusset area.

Needles: US 6 (4.0 mm) double pointed needles – set of 4 recommended. Cable needle.
Stitch marker and stitch counter optional.

Yarn: Worsted Weight, approx 95 yds (87 m)

Knits: Summer Shawls

 

My exploration of shawls this summer was inspired by favorite local yarn shop, Eat.Sleep.Knit, and their Flash KAL (Knit A-Long) for the simple yet stunning pattern Clapotis. This pattern was perfect for showing off the beauty and texture of hand-dyed yarn and I loved how it turned out using Blue Moon Fiber Arts Marine Silk Worsted (now discontinued) in the color, The Final Frontier.

I enjoyed it so much, I decided to pull out some beautiful Debbie Bliss Fine Donegal I had stashed about two years ago to knit up another one. This fingering weight yarn created an even lighter shawl perfect for fall in southern climes.

Encouraged by my success, I looked for another project and found Shockwaves by Beata Jezek. I was immediately drawn to the quirky asymmetrical chevrons and bold color choices of many of the projects on Ravelry. In the end, I decided to contrast the pattern with a soft ombre of beautiful blue-greys of Madelinetosh Eyre Light. The depth of tone and soft single ply of the yarn kept this very large shawl from becoming overly heavy.

My last shawl project of the summer looks forward to autumn with the sunset colors of Claudia Handpainted Yarns Addiction (aptly named) in Be My Valentine and Makes Me Hungry applied to Melanie Berg’s Assante. The simple striping of this pattern allowed the brighter mix of colors to emerge from dusky darkness for a light and fluttery shawl that can be worn like a scarf. While I love the result, the shawl is knit length-wise, so as the rows build, the row length becomes considerable, especially to a knitter used to row counts of under 200 stitches. That aside, I highly recommend this pattern and may knit another one in the future.