Afghan Knitalong – Block Four

4 lace block Tree Family_blog

Block Four is called “Tree Family” (link here).

How did your first lace square go?  Feel like you have a handle on the basics?

Yonca Square Three_blog Heather Square 3_Blog

We had a good time with the last square in the office.  Once the chart reading “clicks” it really does make knitting lace easier.

Our new block is also lace with a good helping of stockinette, but it introduces one new stitch – the center double decrease.  You’ll slip two as if to knit, then knit a stitch, then pass those two slipped stitches over the stitch you just knit.  This is a way of reducing three stitches into just one.  If you saw yesterday’s Sunday Swatch in Classic Shades Big Time, the mitered square used a centered double decrease to create the line of V-stitches running diagonally up the center of the block.

If this is your first time with this stitch, no worries!  Amy has put together a video on the center double decrease, as well as a handy tip on creating some decidedly low-tech stitch markers.

Amy also reveals the technique featured in our next block.  It will be… drumroll… slip stitch colorwork!

As always, you’re welcome to share what you’ve done here, on Facebook, or in our Ravelry group.  We can’t wait to see what you do!

Happy knitting!

Sunday Swatch – Classic Shades Big Time

Today’s Sunday Swatch is in Classic Shades Big Time.

Sunday Swatch Classic Shades Big Time_blog

Classic Shades Big Time is part of our popular Classic Shades family of yarns.  As the name implies, it’s the same wool/acrylic blend as Classic Shades, but BIG.  These were knit on a US size 11(8mm) needle, and you could easily go up to a US13.

Although this is a bulky yarn, the pattern is actually taken from the scrap sock yarn blanket at Luann’s Loose Threads.  Cast on 31 and follow the instructions for a single mitered square.

Sunday Swatch Classic Shades Big Time single square_blogI had planned to do just one, but it went so fast I wanted to keep going!

To hook two squares together as in the larger picture above, I finished one square and left my last stitch (upper right purple corner in the picture at right) on the needle, then did an e-loop cast on of an additional 15 stitches.  I knitted back across the stitches I had cast on, then picked up and knitted 15 stitches along the edge of the square I had just finished.  With 31 stitches on the needle I followed the directions for another square.  It would have been just as easy to line up the direction that the rows went by binding off that final stitch, then picking up along a different edge and starting a new square.

There are a lot of applications for these mitered squares.  Can’t you imagine a row of these for a scarf, or several strips or blocks for an afghan?  The color changes would be striking!  One 150g ball of Classic Shades Big Time will make five 6 1/2″ square blocks on a size 11 needle.

If you’re looking for something on even bigger needles, how about the free Skyscraper Shawl at right?  Two balls of Classic Shades Big Time on a size 15 needle – instant gratification!

We hope your week is filled with big, beautiful things!


Free Pattern Friday – Swingy

It’s Free Pattern Friday!

Swingy in Bamboo Pop

Today, Amy Gunderson brings us Swingy in Bamboo Pop.

Swingy sleeve detailAfter releasing our E-Book Bamboo Pop Kids we had quite a few requests for an adult pattern in Bamboo Pop (292yds/100g), our popular cotton/bamboo blend.  This lightweight swingy cardi fits the bill.

Worked with raglan shaping from the top down, there is no seaming involved.  This is the kind of loose, drapey jacket you reach for when you want comfort as well as style.

Happy knitting!

Sunday Swatch – Cotton Supreme DK

Today’s Sunday Swatch is in Cotton Supreme DK.

Sunday Swatch Cotton Supreme DKAh, Spring.  Time to plant the garden, spruce up the house, and experiment with cooler fabrics.  Hence the paint job on the fence – and today’s Sunday Swatch.

Cotton Supreme DK is a lighter weight version of our favorite worsted weight Cotton Supreme.  It knits up nicely on a US Size 5 or 6 needle.

Sea Breeze by Yumiko AlexanderThe Cotton Supreme family isn’t tiring on the hands as some cottons can be – I knitted the Sea Breeze top shown at right for my daughter out of  Cotton Supreme and would happily do it again.

This design is part of Yumiko Alexander’s Warm Earth Book 3, which until recently was only available in print.  We’re delighted to release the book and its patterns for sale as digital downloads from Ravelry and Craftsy.  Yumiko’s patterns are always a pleasure to make, and we look forward to sharing more of them with you electronically.

If you’re looking for something free, there’s always the popular Fleurette Lace Pullover designed for Cotton Supreme DK.  Long sleeved but lacy on both front and back, it’s perfect for this time of year.

Happy knitting!


Free Pattern Friday – Leaf by Leaf Triangular Shawl

It’s Free Pattern Friday!

Leaf By Leaf Shawl in Soft Payette

I know, I know.  I’m squealing too.

This is the Leaf by Leaf Triangular Shawl in Soft Payette.  Formerly available only as part of a printed pattern collection, today we release it “into the wild” as a free pattern.

Sequined Soft Payette (224yds/100g) adds the perfect amount of sparkle to this gorgeous lace shawl, which knits up quickly on US Size 9 (5.5mm)needles.  I like the model shown in 158-02 Pearl, but am leaning toward 158-16 Lapis for my own.  Those blue sequins on blue yarn are just my style.

Have fun making this shawl your own.  Happy knitting!

Afghan Knitalong – Block Three

Step Up Your Game block

How’d your intarsia go?  Ready for something new? How do you feel about lace?

Block 3 is called “Step Up Your Game” (link here).  It’s both written and charted so you can do whatever you prefer – but if you haven’t tried reading a chart before, we hope you’ll give it a go.  Once you get the hang of it, it’s a handy skill to have.

Amy shares a video with us in which she talks about charts and walks us through the basic increases and decreases.  Try out her modified ssk (slip, slip, knit) – it lays flatter than the traditional version for a neater look.

Continuing our theme of building blocks (no pun intended), our next square will be more lace, with one additional type of decrease.

We hope you learn something new – and have fun!

Sunday Swatch – Uptown Worsted

Sunday Swatch is in Uptown Worsted.

Sunday Swatch Uptown Worsted_blog

Sunday Swatch will look very familiar to those of you who are joining us for the Afghan Knitalong.  I thought I’d try Square Two, the “Do The Wave” block in different colors than my original color choice, just for kicks.

Why different colors?  Well, we now have not one, not two, but THREE different people at Universal Yarn working on the Rocky Shore colorway selection.

Yonca block 2 waves blogSquare 2 Jen_blog Katie 1 Wave blogYonca block 2 waves blog

Once again, all their blocks are different.  But still – sometimes you want to mix things up a bit.

There’s something else different about the colorful block.  It contains a noticeable mistake.  The pattern itself is just fine, it’s just that I wasn’t paying close attention as I worked.  So the choice before me was whether to unravel or to keep going.

These blocks are meant to be a learning experience, so that’s how I approached the decision.  When I look at the finished afghan, do I need it to be perfect?  Or will I enjoy looking at it and thinking about about the experience of making it?

In the end, I decided to let it go.  It will be one block among many, so it probably won’t stand out.  I’ll let this block be a lesson in accepting imperfection.

We’ll be back next week with block number three in our Afghan Knitalong.  See you then!