IRL – Gradient Garden

Talented Jen has done it again! Our Garden 5 + a tie-dye kit = awesome!

Jen Garden 5 crochet shawl colors blog

 

By nature I am a cool colors kind of girl. Jen’s color choices really speak to me in this crochet masterpiece.  I also love the color-block effect and the definitive lines. Here is Jen in her own words on this striking shawl project:

I had a bunch of white Garden 5 laying around the house, you know, like you do.  I couldn’t think of anything I wanted to make with plain white cotton so I decided to play around with dyeing it.  I bought one of those three color tie-dye kits at the local big box store and went to town.

dyedGarden5

I split my yarn into three hanks and dyed each hank with a separate color so that I could crochet a shawl with super long color stripes. Once the yarn was dry I Russian joined all of them together and wound a big giant ball on my ball winder.  I don’t recommend doing that since it broke my ball winder, but I had an absurdly giant ball of yarn at the end, which was kind of cool.

giantballofyarn

There is a fantastic free shawl pattern on Ravelry called the Seraphina Shawl by Doni’s Stuff.  It’s super easy once you have the repeat down and it looks awesome in just about any yarn and gauge.  This is the third time I’ve used it and I really love how it came out.  The shape of the shawl makes it easy to wear over your shoulders without it falling off and depending on the yarn you use it can be super warm for cold weather or a great layering piece for in-between weather.  I’m excited for the weather to cool down a little so I can wear it.

Jen Garden 5 crochet shawl blog

Thanks for sharing, Jen! We bow down to your fine crochet skills.

Bamboo Bloom Handpaints- Limited Edition 323 Hashi

 

Hashi 323 blog

One of the best things about my job is coming in in the morning to a brand new batch of yarn, fresh from the mill.  This is an absolutely beautiful example.  Bamboo Bloom Handpaints in color 323 Hashi.

Hashi means “bridge” in Japanese, and this colorway represents two meanings of the word.  It’s evocative of a passage from one place to another – a bridge that we walk across step by step.

Misty fieldIt’s also meaningful as a passage from one time to another, a bridge that we cross simply by living our lives.  The muted buttery yellows and oranges of Autumn are there, along with an oaky brown.  But they’re connected by shining strands of cream and silver, a nod to winter frost, fallen leaves, and a sun that has to work a little bit harder to warm us.
Bamboo Bloom color 323 Hashi is here as a limited edition.  When it’s gone, it’s gone.  And that, too, is fitting for the passing of the seasons.  The season to come will be just a little bit different than every one before.

VK Fall 2015 Llamalini Bamboo Bloom Stripes Raglan PulloverBamboo Bloom is a popular yarn for its thick/thin quality and shiny/matte blend, and because of the many easy accessory patterns out there.  Designers enjoy it as well.  Take, for example, Vanessa Putt’s Striped Raglan Pullover in the Fall 2015 Vogue Knitting.  It combines lightly heathered Llamalini (royal llama/linen/silk bourette) 101 Birchbark with coordinating Bamboo Bloom Handpaints 309 Nagano for an aesthetically pleasing blend of color and texture, perfect for this top-down loose-fitting bohemian pullover.

Llamalini and Bamboo Bloom for sweater blogLooking at our new colorway 323 Hashi, I couldn’t help but think that it would be a great match for Llamalini color 107 Porpoise.  The two together are a great earthy blend.

I’m currently making myself a one-ball cowl in Hashi.  Since it’s a limited edition I couldn’t resist grabbing a hank while we still had some.  When it’s all done, I’ll share it on our Facebook page.

Here’s hoping you enjoy the changing seasons, and find some inspiration in the world around you.

Happy crafting!

Free Pattern Friday – Happy Magic Scarf

It’s Free Pattern Friday!

Chevron Scarf 1 blogToday, the Happy Magic Scarf in Wisdom Yarns Pix.

Chevron Scarf 2 blogThis one has a special place in my heart, mainly because I designed it myself.  It was my carry-along knitting everywhere, and it got compliments while still in progress at quite a few coffeehouses.

Chevrons are everywhere in knitting, and with good reason.  It’s an easy way to give a lot of visual interest without memorizing a complicated stitch pattern.  When I saw samples of our new Pix yarn, the lighbulb went off.   The colorful print is a great choice for a pattern that zigs and zags.

Chevron Scarf 5 detail blogIt’s true that with 75% superwash wool and 25% nylon, Pix is a bright and durable choice for socks, but there’s no reason to stop with just socks (although how great would this look as a pair of Jaywalkers?).  This pattern is a very simple two-row repeat that shows off the somewhat “Fake Isle” printed quality of the stripes.  I love that the color bands aren’t solid – a bit of other colors are mixed in to give the finished scarf a Bohemian quality.
This scarf only used 85 grams of a 100 gram ball.  You could certainly lengthen or widen the scarf with no worries.  Or keep thinking outside the box – I’m visualizing some chic sideways chevron wrist cuffs, maybe even with a tiny pocket to hold a key.

Hmm… where’d I put the rest of my Pix?

Happy knitting!

Chevron Scarf wide 2 blog

 

 

Weaving Wednesday – Start Today

weave yarnbomb done 1

Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.
-Arthur Ashe

Today’s Weaving Wednesday was inspired on a walk down my street.  I was having difficulty getting motivated, and paused at a fence by a stream to look at the water and be in the moment.  Watching the stream wind along reminded me that oftentimes, we just need to overcome our own inertia, take that first step and move.  We’ll figure out the direction along the way – starting is the important part.

weave yarnbomb with yarn

With that thought in mind, I brought my tiny little 2″ square Weavette loom and a few colors of Garden 10 cotton thread with me to our local Worldwide Knit In Public day and started to weave with the thread held doubled.  I had the idea that the squares would make good individual oversized embroidery backgrounds.  Garden 10 is a lovely, fine mercerized Egyptian Giza cotton, and I knew it was hardy enough to stand up to the elements, an important consideration for this project.

weave Yarnbomb embroideryOver the next week, in the lovely evenings of late Spring in the South, I sat on the front porch and embroidered a letter on each square with Deluxe Worsted.  My embroidery skills are rough, but again, the point is to start now.  If we wait to begin until conditions are perfect, we’ll never begin.

weave yarnbomb STARTWhen they were ready, I began taking a square, a length of thread, some scissors, and a needle along with me on my walks.  Each night, I paused at the fence by the stream and added a letter.

weave yarnbomb START TOI can’t be sure what the neighbors thought, but by the time the end was near, I was getting smiles from others who were out for an evening stroll.  I’d like to think they were curious to see the final message.

The holes in the chain link were larger than I realized, so a little creative stitching was necessary.  I had to be careful not to pull too tightly when attaching the squares – the weaving pulled out of true on some letters.  Nonetheless, at the end of nine days, it was done.

weave yarnbomb done 2

 It’s stayed in good shape over several months now.  I hope this little yarnbomb brings a smile and perhaps a moment of motivation to someone else as they walk by.

Mark Twain said that the secret of getting ahead is getting started.  What have you been putting aside that you can start today?

Free Pattern Friday – Fun Fringe Scarf

It’s Free Pattern Friday!

Bamboo Pop Flower Fringe Scarf 2_blogToday, the Fun Fringe Scarf in Bamboo Pop.

Bamboo Pop Flower Fringe Scarf fringe_blogLast week we featured Bamboo Pop knit, so this week we’re showing it in crochet.  The scarf features double mesh crochet, a two-row repeat, for the length of the scarf.  The finishing really makes the difference, though – the fun flowery fringe is just too adorable.

Bamboo Pop cotton/bamboo blend makes this a great warm weather piece.

We hope you enjoy this fun, kicky crochet piece.

Happy crafting!

Bamboo Pop Flower Fringe Scarf 1_blog

 

Free Pattern Friday – Easy Baby Cardi

It’s Free Pattern Friday!

Bamboo Baby flowery blog

Today, the Easy Baby Cardi in Bamboo Pop.

Bamboo Pop ballIs it just me, or is everybody having babies at once?  I have two friends in their third trimester (hi, Cristi and Casey!) and several more whose baby bumps and adoption processes are well underway.  So yes, this is a perfect moment to introduce a basic but beautiful garter stitch baby sweater.  The fact that it uses machine-washable Bamboo Pop (292yds/100g) is icing on the cake.

It’s a good basic design that would work well for boys or girls and would be easy to personalize with some fun buttons.

I’d like to offer a word of advice as a parent.  When you’re considering baby shower gifts, it may be tempting to want to make the smallest size and be done in a hurry.  Consider making the next size up, or even the one beyond that.  Babies grow fast, and you want your recipient to be able to enjoy your gift longer than a week.  Since this pattern takes just two balls for all sizes, there’s no additional cost (besides your time) involved in making the 12-month size and having a gift that the baby will be wearing after all the other presents have been outgrown.

Happy knitting!

Free Pattern Friday – Wandering Lace Tee

It’s Free Pattern Friday!

Wandering Lace Tee_blog

Today, the Wandering Lace Tee in Infusion Handpaints.

Infusion Handpaints Tones colorsMmmm.  Lovely lace.  Sometimes that can be hard to do in a variegated yarn.  Who wants all their hard work to be lost in a sea of color?  Fortunately, the tonal offerings in Infusion Handpaints are a little more subtle than some.  We think this design would look great in any of these six “shade on shade” colors.

The design itself is smooth sailing.  Knit the ribbing on smaller needles, then switch to US size 6/4mm needles (or whatever gets you gauge) and work up from hem to neckline.  Do the same for back as you did for the front, then block, seam, and you’re ready to go.

This is a tee, but with a couple of tiny mods to the neck this would be a great vest to go over a button-down.  Hmm… should I think of summer for this piece, or look ahead to Fall?  Decisions, decisions…

Happy knitting!