Free Pattern Friday – Color Pooling Argyle Scarf

It’s Free Pattern Friday Part Two!

Pooling Colors Scarf in Uptown Worsted Spirit Stripes

More crochet goodness!  This is the Color Pooling Argyle Scarf in Uptown Worsted Spirit Stripes.

Pooling Colors Scarf closeupSpirit Stripes is dyed in team colors, so you can craft a piece for game day that will show everyone who you’re rooting for.  Alice Gossette and Kat Koeller came up with this ingenious technique of using half double crochet and clever color placement to get the yarn to pool just so.  The result: argyle diamonds!

Who do you root for?  Frankly, I always hope for a nailbiter that goes into overtime – as long as I’ve brought my yarn along.

Free Pattern Friday – Rambling Crochet Cowl

It’s Free Pattern Friday!

Rambling Cowl in Classic Shades Frenzy

Today, we share the Rambling Crochet Cowl.  Just two balls of bulky Classic Shades Frenzy on a 6.5mm hook means that this works up in a flash.  We love the texture that the double crochet clusters provide, and the way the cowl looks wrapped up snug or hanging freely.

Rambling Cowl in Classic Shades Frenzy unwrapped

We’re really feeling the crochet love today, so let’s make it a two-fer.  Check back in later today for another free pattern!

Afghan Knitalong – Don’t Be A Square!

It’s knitalong time!

Cupcake colors_med

Designer Amy Gunderson is guiding us through a new project: the Don’t Be A Square Afghan.  This will be a geometry-themed project with a different square every other week.

What to expect: The squares will highlight different techniques and color combinations.  Look forward to intarsia, cables, applied elements, and unique textures.  We’ll be posting video tutorials – this will be a great opportunity to learn something new.

Skill level: There will be enough to interest an experienced knitter, but if you’re a newer knitter, don’t be afraid to jump in.  We’ll guide you along the path.  Instructions will be both written and charted.

As for timing, we’ll be done with the whole thing just in time for Mother’s Day next year.  You’ll have a ready-made gift.

Want to get ready?  Amy has highlighted some suggested color combinations in our Uptown Worsted 100% anti-pilling acrylic below.  We strongly recommend at least four colors.

coloroptions_circles with logo med

How much yarn?  Amy: “Each block, barring heavily cabled blocks, will require about 30g of yarn. So the finished 20 blocks will require, at minimum, about 600g or 6 balls. I’d like to recommend preparing for 2 balls of each color if a person is using 5 or 6 colors because the 600g doesn’t take into consideration edging.”

Gauge: 17 sts x 21 rows = 4″ in St st.

Finished Size? Amy: “Made in Uptown Worsted, each square will be about 8½” square.  The finished afghan will be 4 x 5 squares, or 34” x 42½ ”.  Made in Uptown Baby Sport, the finished size would be about 75% of the size of the worsted afghan. Made in Uptown Bulky, it would be about 30% bigger.”

Pick your colors, grab your needles, and start swatching.  We’ll be back in March with the first block and some handy tips!

Sunday Swatch – Saki Silk

Friday’s rain brought, predictably, mud, and a lot of shoes and boots left outside the door.  Thankfully the sun’s back out here, so soon the never-ending battle for clean floors will turn in our favor.

Sunday Swatch Saki Silk 2 180

But we take time out from cleaning to do what we love – namely, knitting!  I pulled out my DPNs and started a pair of socks in Saki Silk, the superwash wool/nylon/silk blend that’s part of our Wisdom Yarns line.  The nylon provides extra durability, and silk gives it a luxurious sheen.

I decided to go with the earth tones of our 303 Peach Cobbler  colorway, but looking around on Ravelry, I noticed these gorgeous socks by SuzyZim that had me drooling.

SuzyZim's Mars Attacks! socksSuzy chose colorway 302 Mystery Mars.  They look fantastic!  She’s following Susan B. Anderson’s top-down formula, which calls for a 64 stitch count for the leg and foot – the same as I’m using.  The moral, of course, is always check your gauge.  SuzyZim’s look just perfect on size 1 needles, while I’m getting gauge on size 0’s.

I love how my socks are turning out, but next time, I think I’ll take inspiration from Suzy’s socks and go for that extra burst of color.  Colorful feet look great coming out of muddy boots.

Free Pattern Friday – Umbrella Dress

It’s Free Pattern Friday!

If last week we were snowed in, this week Mother Nature has decided to showcase everything else.  Sunny and 70 degrees yesterday, strong gusts of wind last night, and now a real gullywasher of a rainstorm.

Fortunately, we’re crafters.  We know what to do when we’re stuck inside.  Today we’re thumbing our nose at the nasty weather with the Umbrella Dress in Classic Shades.

Umbrella Dress_ClassicShades

The dress is knit in panels – four for the front, four for the back, and two for each sleeve.  The collar is knit separately in the round.  It’s all stitched together and voila!  A colorful dress to chase away the rainy day blues.

On The Road to Stitches West!

Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton and Amy Gunderson
Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton and Amy Gunderson at Stitches East 2013

We’re packed and ready to fly out to Stitches West 2014, happening this weekend Feb 23-24!

Suzy the CuddlebunnyThis is a fun show that we always look forward to.  It’s a great opportunity to connect with our customers and fellow knitters – and to pick up some delicious new yarn.

We’ll be offering kits for some of our popular patterns, like Suzy the Cuddlebunny in Wicked Fur.  Suzy will be at the show, supervising us in booth 609.   Stop by and give her a hug!

On Sunday at noon, Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton will be in the booth signing copies of her latest book Poems: Windfall and answering questions about texture and color.  Cornelia’s a fantastic resource and very generous with her time and talent.  It’s a great opportunity to meet a legendary designer.

Bring along this coupon for discounted admission.  We hope to see you there!

Stitches West 2014 Coupon

Sunday Swatch – Poems in Chevron

For today’s Sunday Swatch, I couldn’t resist showing off our beautiful snow before it all melted to slush.  The cold weather certainly inspired this week’s choice – Poems 100% wool.  Colorway 592 Embers made me think warm thoughts.

Poems in Chevron Stitch

This chevron section is an easy two-row repeat, worked on a multiple of 14+2:

Row 1: Purl

Row 2: K1 *KFB, K4, SSK, K2tog, K4, KFB; rep from * to last stitch, K1

This example is worked over 30 stitches on US size 8 (5mm) needles and comes out to 5½ – 6″ wide.  One ball of Poems would make this swatch 24″ long, making this pattern well-suited for a little two ball scarf in Poems.

Spectrum ThrowI can think of many uses for this chevron pattern.  What about a chevron strip stitched at the side to another strip knitted in the opposite direction?  Put a few together and you’ve got a cute throw.  A similar strips-sewn-together technique was used in the vibrant Spectrum Throw from Poems Book 2: Colors in Design.

What would you do?