Free Pattern Friday – Ellery Reversible Cowl

It’s Free Pattern Friday!

Llamalini Ellery Cowl_blog

Today, the Ellery Reversible Cowl in Llamalini silk/linen/royal llama blend (50g/109yds).

This yarn is a favorite around the office for its lovely heathering and soft feel.  The blend of luxury fibers gives it a rich depth.  And it’s well suited to this design, which I love for many reasons – not the least because it’s reversible.

Llamalini Ellery Cowl wrapped blogWhat look like cables are really faux-cables.  No cable needle required.  Wear it long or wrap it for warmth – Llamalini is quite toasty!

We hope you craft something luxurious and wonderful this holiday.  Whether it’s for you or someone else, the process itself is such a joy.

Happy knitting!

Throwback Thursday – Jolly St. Nick

It’s Throwback Thursday!

TT_Jolly St Nick

I’m home celebrating Thanksgiving with my family, but couldn’t resist sharing this little guy – especially after we promised the crocheters last week!

Jolly St. Nick is a crochet version of Santa from Michele Wilcox, the Queen of Cute.  He stands 18″ high including hat – if you’ve seen an American Girl-style doll, that’s about the same height.  Just as with last week’s knit Santa, we’re recommending Uptown Worsted.  The 100% anti-pilling acrylic stands up to a lot of beard-pulling and snuggles.

Start at the top of his head and work down, then go back and add all the details that make him so adorable.  Any pattern that instructs you to embroider a smile is a keeper.

We hope you’re having a wonderful Thanksgiving.  This year, as every year, I am grateful for the ability to create, and in so doing to bring joy to myself and others.  And always, always, there is gratitude for the community of fellow crafters who enrich our lives.  What are you thankful for this year?

All the best this holiday.

Holiday Helper – Pattern Sale!

Holiday crafting going okay?  Maybe you’re still looking for just the right design.  Don’t worry, we’re here to help!

Pattern Sale 1BIt’s our first online pattern sale!  From now through Monday December 1st, 2014, take 30% off of all purchases from our Ravelry store.  Just enter code 2014HOHOHO at checkout.

This includes e-books, pattern collections, and individual patterns.  Pick from favorites like Bamboo Pop Kids and Contrarian Shawls, gorgeous designs from Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton and Yumiko Alexander, and lovely cool-weather knits in the Deluxe family of yarns.

I just have to point out, there are quite a few great options in Garden Book 5.  That one book could knock out a lot of your gift crafting.  The fact that they’re very satisfying projects to make is a nice bonus.

We hope you’ll take this opportunity to pick out a great pattern, swing by your local yarn store (Small Business Saturday is this weekend!) and make something gorgeous for the people you love.  And include yourself in that list of people!

Happy crafting!

 

AFGHAN KNITALONG – BLOCK NINETEEN

Block Nineteen is live!

19 Tuckered Out with title_blog

Tuck in!  Block Nineteen is called All Tuckered Out because it introduces the tuck stitch.  It’s a little fold in the fabric that in this case creates a ridge.  This combines knitting back and forth as we did in the bobble and nupp blocks, but with a bit of a different spin.

Amy Gunderson has a video demonstrating this technique.

Amy mentions “knitting backwards” here, which is a technique you could use for Block 17 and Block 18.  Although we shared this as part of Block 17,  want to highlight it again here because it’s just so darned cool.

I can’t tell you how much time it’s going to save me not to have to knit back and forth over little rows.  This is a technique I’m going to practice until I’ve mastered.  This block looks like the perfect opportunity!

As always, you can share your thoughts and work with us here, on Facebook, or in our Ravelry group.    Check back in two weeks for the next block!

Free Pattern Friday – Coffee Beans and Sugar Cubes

It’s Free Pattern Friday!

Uptown Bulky Two Hats_blog

Today, Coffee Beans and Sugar Cubes.

Two hats that can be completed with one ball of each color of Uptown Bulky 100% anti-pilling acrylic (100g/87yds).  Cute!  Knit on  size 11 needles, these go quickly and are a good way to practice your Fair Isle.

I’m loving the color, too.  That Uptown Bulky 416 Iron coordinates well with 421, Coral.  The coral is at the forefront of style at the moment – Sherwin Williams just picked Coral Reef as their color of the year.  Pretty!

We hope you enjoy this satisfying quick project. Happy knitting!

 

Throwback Thursday – Hearty Holiday Santa

It’s Throwback Thursday!TT_Hearty_Santa

This week, we asked our Facebook friends whether they’d rather see a knit or a crochet pattern today.  The knits won – but don’t worry, crocheters, we’ll have something for you next week!

Michele Wilcox’s Hearty Holiday Santa is mittens-down the most adorable Santa I’ve seen.  You just know that when he laughs, his belly shakes like a bowl full of jelly.

Santa was originally made in now-discontinued Classic Worsted Holiday.  We’re updating the selection to Uptown Worsted.  The 100% anti-pilling acrylic will stand up to quite a few hugs.

Make the legs, then the body and head, then add on details like ears, belt, and hat.  You can’t quite see it in the picture, but Santa has an adorable smile behind his beard.  We hope this project will make you smile too.

Happy knitting!

Pucker Up

Before becoming a knitter some 5 or 6 years ago , I did lots of sewing. Although I tend to be FO oriented with my fiber crafting, experimentation solely for the purpose of learning and entertainment is very gratifying. It’s a low pressure way to work and has low to no expectation of success (in my world). One of my favorite things to play around with is fabric manipulation. It can be achieved in so many different ways – pleats, ruffles, gathers, godets, smocking, etc etc.  A quilt made up of pleated blocks; ruffles around a neckline; a smocked bodice.

Last time on Weaving Wednesday, I made a scarf that used the technique of felting as a means of gathering. I decided to modify that thought this week, again using felted wool to manipulate the fabric. But instead of one long felted strip, I wanted an all-over gathered effect.

I opted to combine Deluxe Worsted (100% wool) and Deluxe DK Superwash (100% superwash wool). The regular (non-superwash) Deluxe will felt when agitated, the Superwash will not because it has been specially treated. Both Deluxe and DK Superwash are available in So Many colors, that choosing just two was very hard for me! Most folks in the office here know that I’m a total sucker for gray. I almost did go with two shades of gray, but branched out and went with one blue and one gray. Adventurous, right?

DSC_0011

Starting with regular Deluxe Worsted, I did a direct warp on the 15″ Cricket.  I threaded one slot, then skipped 5, and repeated this all the way across ending with one slot threaded. Then I went back and filled in the large gaps with my DK Superwash. The last felted scarf I wove shrunk in length more than I had expected, by almost half! I do like my scarves long, so I went ahead and warped about 130″. I figured about 10″ of loom waste each end, and after shrinkage, I should end up with about a 60″ scarf plus fringe.

DSC_0012

I wove following the same sequence as I warped – 2 picks with Deluxe, 10 picks with DK Superwash. I decided to cut my yarn after every “stripe”, although in retrospect this may not have been entirely necessary.

I was sure to alternate sides that I began each color section in order to avoid “stacking”. I didn’t want all of the color changes to occur on just one side of the scarf. And I made it easy on myself. I didn’t measure a thing while weaving, aside from making sure my work was square (same picks per inch as ends per inch). I simply wove until I ran out of warp, and finished off.

 

I clipped the non-superwash Deluxe and fed the ends back through the length of the warp for an inch or two. I did this because I knew I would be putting my scarf through at least a cycle or two in the washing machine. Had I not done this, I would most likely have had a big tangled mess where the Deluxe had felted around parts of the DK Superwash.  I also tied the ends of the Superwash in a loose knot along each group of fringe to protect them from unravelling too much in the wash.

pre-felting

Here it is, off the loom, ends clipped but not fully clipped, all ready for felting! I have a top load machine without a center agitator. I placed the scarf along with a pair of jeans, a couple of towels, and a little other assorted laundry I didn’t mind putting through more than one cycle. I started with a delicate cycle, cool water.

There was definitely some felting that happened, but not enough for my taste. If I was smart, I would have continued the delicate wash, checking eveyr 5 minutes or so to make sure the project was felting to my satisfaction. Instead, I started the machine on a regular wash with warm water and threw caution to the wind.  The scarf came out a touch more shrunken than I would have liked, but not by much. I still like it a lot, but I could have opened that washing machine to find a mess. Learn from my mistakes, weavers! Be cautious!

Semi-felted Scarf closeup1_blog

Here’s a close-up of the finished fabric. After taking out of the washing machine, I did have to pull apart a few parts of the scarf where it had sort of felted on itself. But this was easy to do as long as it was still damp. I also clipped all the ends close to the surface while it was still wet, trimmed the fringe, and pulled things into shape a bit. After that, I let it dry fully.

Semi-felted Scarf_blog

Here it is in its full puckery glory. It has the appearance of seersucker fabric, particularly in these colors. I’m really itching to try variations on this – more contrasting colors, cotton in place of the superwash, larger “grids”; the possibilities are many!

And here are the details for anyone wanting to give this a try:

  • Length of warp on loom: 130″
  • Length off loom: 110″
  • Length after felting: 70″ (not including fringe)
  • Width on loom: 14″
  • Width off loom: 13″
  • Width after felting: 8″
  • Ends: 110
  • Ends per inch: 8 (8 dent reed)
  • Weave structure: plain
  • Materials: Deluxe Worsted, color 14011 Sea Glass – 1 hank; Deluxe DK Superwash, color 832 Icy Grey – 3 balls

 

See you next time for a weaving experiment with Bamboo Bloom!