Throwback Thursday – Antonia

It’s Throwback Thursday!

TT Antonia

Today, Antonia!

Antonia was originally designed for Dolce Merino, a great 50/50 merino/microfiber blend.  Fortunately, we have two excellent substitutes!

Merino XF Superwash is 100% extra fine merino.  Very soft, very springy, and just the right weight to make this cool-weather cardi.  Alternately, we’d recommend knitter-favorite Deluxe DK Superwash 100% superwash wool.  If you want to perfectly duplicate the look of the original, several of the greens are a very good match.

The braid portion of the pattern consists of right twists of the type we’ve been working on in our Afghan Knitalong.  The bobbles are made by knitting multiple times into the same stitch, then immediately decreasing to make a raised bump in the fabric.  They really pop against the reverse stockinette column background.

We hope you enjoy this free stylish cardi-style jacket.  Happy knitting!

 

It’s Contagious

Ever since I started the weaving blog and bringing in my finished projects, my coworker Katie has been coveting the Cricket. Katie works just one door down from me in the office and is the (very important) (and very patient!) customer service lead for our small Universal team. A couple of weeks ago I brought in the loom and got to teaching Katie how to weave.

Katie is very good at understanding the mechanics of things. She taught me how to use one of those little i-cord crank gadgets because I just couldn’t quite get it on my own! So, I knew learning how to warp and weave would be a snap for her.

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Here I am, explaining how important it is to put some kind of spacer between the warp as it’s rolled onto the back beam. It turns out, the brown paper my reeds came wrapped in make an awesome spacer!

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I felt a little like Tom Sawyer convincing Katie to whitewash a fence as I passed off the duty of threading the reed – not my most favorite part of warping!

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After we finished warping the 5-dent reed with Uptown Worsted, we started in doing plain-weave with the super-bulky Classic Shades Big Time. I planned on making a cover to fit a 12″ pillow form. We warped the loom 13″ wide to account for draw-in and seaming. Weaving with a yarn as bulky as the Big Time made this my quickest project yet. The two sides of the pillow cover were done in under an hour total of weaving time.

I decided to sew the cover using my machine, but this could just as easily be done by hand. First I zig-zagged the ends of each of the two cover pieces, and then cut them apart.

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I planned a button placket and hemmed that by hand using an invisible whipstitch.

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Then I pinned both pieces right-sides together and stitched around three sides.

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I decided to go a different direction with the buttons, but was still glad for the placket. After some buttons and button loops, the final pillowcase:

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And as a pillow:

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All in all, this project took around 2-3 hours to complete. Not bad, eh? Katie had such a blast, that I haven’t seen the loom for the last couple of weeks. She’s been weaving like a maniac and doing some super-fun projects. Next time, I can’t wait to share some of her finished scarves with you!

Sunday Swatch – Saki Bamboo

Today’s Sunday Swatch is in Saki Bamboo color 101 Crayon Box.

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Saki Bamboo is a soft machine washable blend of superwash merino, rayon from bamboo, and a little nylon for extra durability.  I love how crisply this yarn stripes up.

I picked this yarn because there’s a project I’ve been wanting to start, and Saki Bamboo seemed like the perfect fit.  The Mystik Spiral socks use short rows to create a diagonal band across the foot and leg of a sock, ideal for a strong self-striping yarn.  Sure enough, it’s looking pretty great.

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I’m delighted with how well the stripes are turning out, and how soft the bamboo content makes these socks.  This is definitely going to be  the project I keep in my purse on vacation this year.

Happy knitting!

Free Pattern Friday – Little Boy’s Bomber Cap

It’s Free Pattern Friday!

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Today, the Little Boy’s Bomber Cap in Classic Shades.

Yesterday’s self-shading scarf and hat in Poems got us thinking of other self-shading projects!  This adorable kid’s hat is worked flat on straight needles using Classic Shades, a self-shading wool/acrylic blend.  With 197 yards to a skein of Classic Shades, this is easily a one-ball project with plenty left over.

The bomber cap is also part of Classic Shades Kids, a book of toddler and kid projects featuring Classic Shades.  We just had to set this project free for everybody to try.  Isn’t it fascinating how a colorful yarn selection can change the entire look of a project?

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I’m already thinking about how this hat would look in different colors.  Jeweltones?  Neons?  Hmmm…

Throwback Thursday – Bohemian Hat and Scarf

It’s Throwback Thursday!

TT Beohemian Hat and Scarf

Today, the Bohemian Hat and Scarf set in Poems!

This is a pattern near and dear to my heart.  When a friend overseas (hi, Cheryl!) wanted to learn to knit, I made her a care package of this pattern, US size 8 (5mm) circular needles, and enough Poems 100% wool to make the set.  I wanted her to learn on a good quality yarn, and in my experience, self-shading yarn is a special treat for a beginning knitter.  It’s something about the anticipation of seeing what color is going to come next that motivates a newer knitter to keep going, even through any frustration or mistakes.

Bohemian hat and scarf partialThe scarf is an incredibly easy starting point into the world of knitting.  Cast on 220 stitches, knit every row, then cast off.  Boom, you’ve made a beautiful striped scarf.  From there, it’s not a great leap in skills to be able to make the hat and you’re ready to step out in style.

This would be a great set for Classic Shades wool/acrylic blend, as well.  The yardage on Classic Shades is excellent, making it another great choice for the beginning knitter who wants to dive in to a colorful project.

Cheryl’s still knitting, having moved on to shawls and other more advanced projects.  Next I need to send this pattern and some Poems to another friend in New England.  I’m converting all my friends into knitters, one ball of yarn at a time!

 

Afghan Knitalong – Block Eleven

Block Eleven is live!

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Nifty!  This month we’re exploring relief stitches, using twists that travel across the fabric, starting with Block Eleven, “Every Which Way.”

I’m particularly glad to see this technique come up – I still recall doing a hat pattern with all over right twists and left twists.  The right twists, I could figure out, but I never got the hang of left twists and had to use a cable needle every time my stitches travelled in that direction.  So tedious!

Amy shows us how to work these twists, which I think of as tiny one-stitch cables.

After doing this block, I may take another crack at that hat pattern.  Let’s hear it for learning new things!

As always we love seeing your blocks. You can share with us on Facebook, or in our Ravelry group.  We’ll see you in two weeks with a new block and a new take on this design element!

Happy knitting!

Free Pattern Friday – Bamboo Pop Dolls

It’s Free Pattern Friday!

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Did we say “free pattern?”  Try five free patterns, part of Bamboo Pop Dolls!

Bamboo Pop Kids is such a popular E-Book for us, and no wonder – Bamboo Pop is a versatile yarn for kids and adults.  One of the things we heard from stores was, “wouldn’t it be great if there were matching outfits for the kids’ dolls?”  Once we were done squealing over the adorableness of that idea, we got to work!

 

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The T-Ball Tee keeps the sweet little ties at the arms and shortens the body, making this a very quick lace knit.  I can absolutely see the two little ladies above palling around town together!  Matches the T-Ball Tee from Bamboo Pop Kids (Ravelry link).

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The Pixie Skirt removes one tie from the shortened waist of the 18″ doll at left.  It’s a shortened length of i-cord that can be made with either a crank machine or by hand.  This is a great skirt to spin in.  Matches the Pixie Skirt from Bamboo Pop Kids (Ravelry link).

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The Little Patriot is all decked out and ready to go!  For me, what really makes this top pop is the red edging around the star and the edges.  Being a Southerner, I think this is a great top for a summer day of watermelon and fresh-churned ice cream.  Matches the Little Patriot from Bamboo Pop Kids (Ravelry link).

Blog Hoodie composite

The Fading Stripe Hoodie uses a slipped “pebble stitch” to give texture.  Something just a touch warmer for the girl on the left as she wait for her friend to come home from school.  Matches the Fading Stripe Hoodie from Bamboo Pop Kids (Ravelry link).

Blog Berry Blossom compositeThe Berry Blossom Pullover lends itself well to “dollification!”  This is one of our most popular designs for girls, and it looks great on an 18″ doll, too.  Matches the Berry Blossom Pullover from Bamboo Pop Kids (Ravelry link).

Many thanks to our store owners who brought us this great idea.  We always love to hear what you have to say.

Happy knitting!