Free Pattern Friday – Winter Shades Hat and Scarf

It’s Free Pattern Friday!

CS Metallic hat and cowl 1 blog

Today, the Winter Shades Hat and Scarf in Classic Shades Metallic and Uptown Worsted.

pumpkin apple bread
Heaven… I’m in heaven…

How’re we doing?  Still working through Thanksgiving leftovers?  I ask because right beside me, I have a slice of the pumpkin apple bread that has become traditional in our family.  Here’s the recipe.

It makes two loaves, so you can keep one for yourself and bring one in to the office to be a hero.  However, I’m writing this from home – Universal offices are closed today – and I can tell you there’s no way this bread will last until Monday.  Sorry, co-workers.

Just because the offices are closed doesn’t mean we didn’t prepare a beautiful pattern for you!

The Winter Shades Hat and Scarf combine two lovely yarns: solid Uptown Worsted (180yds/100g) and self-shading Classic Shades Metallic (175yds/100g).  Both hat and scarf are knitted flat in a surprisingly easy slip stitch pattern.  Knit the edging on US size 6 / 4mm needles, then switch to US size 10/6mm for the patterning on the body of the hat and scarf.  In the picture above, the brim of the hat is turned up.  In the picture below, it’s turned down for a slightly different look.

That charming model, by the way, is Jordan, the newest member of our customer service team.  We thought this ensemble would look great on her, and she graciously agreed to be our guinea pig model.  Thanks, Jordan!

We hope you enjoy the afterglow of Thanksgiving.  We’re so grateful for your enthusiasm, talent, and willingness to share your voices so we can become better crafting partners to you.

Happy knitting!

CS Metallic hat and cowl 2 blog

Free Pattern Friday – Grandmother’s Log Cabin

It’s Free Pattern Friday!

GrandmothersLogCabin_UptownWorsted_social media

Today, Grandmother’s Log Cabin in Uptown Worsted.

After our recent spate of lace, we thought we’d go back to basics… almost.  The Log Cabin is a classic design for a reason.  It’s great for those who like simplicity in their knitting, and the finished result always looks good.  But here, Amy Gunderson has given the Log Cabin a little twist.

By using wider and narrower strips of color, the squares move off-center for an updated look.  Uptown Worsted (180yds/100g) features 55 colors from earth tones to neons so you can tailor the finished throw to the decor surrounding it.  The colors Amy’s chosen here are:

5 skeins acorn #335 (G)
3 skeins sage #313 (E)
2 skeins hunter green #315 (B)
2 skeins Dijon #328 (C)
1 skein hot magenta #340 (A)
1 skein cranberry #325 (D)
1 skein steel grey #323 (F)

Personally, I love that little pop of magenta at the heart of each square.

This design was originally featured in the October 2013 Creative Knitting Magazine All Seasons Throws special issue.  We’re delighted to make this pattern available now as a free download from our site.

We hope you find something (or someone) warm to snuggle up with this weekend.

Happy knitting!

It’s the Neck’s Big Thing!

From time to time, I see a pattern that makes me think, “Man, I wish I’d thought of that!” The Neck’s Big Thing  is just such a project. Developed a few years ago by Shelley Brander of Loops Knitting in Tulsa, OK, this scarf transforms just one skein of special yarn into a wearable art piece.

Our dear friend Susan Whitmore who used to own Rainy Day Yarns in Pineville, just a hop-skip-and jump from our office here in Harrisburg, NC, introduced us all to the Neck’s Big Thing a couple of years ago at TNNA. Then, recently I saw someone making one of these fabulous designs again it was reminded of how great a gift-project this is. It’s got everything going for it:

  • quick to make
  • easy to knit (or crochet!)
  • requires just 1 skein of yarn
  • attractive

What is there not to love?

I whipped up a couple of NBTs the other day using two of our yarns that are just perfect for it: Classic Shades Big Time and Bamboo Bloom Handpaints.

Necks Big Thing side by side_blog

The one on the left is Bamboo Bloom Handpaints in color 317 Sensei. I held the yarn double throughout and followed the pattern exactly, except I cast on 11 stitches instead of 5. I also cut the fringe  longer, at about 80″.

Necks Big Thing Bamboo Bloom Braid blog Necks Big Thing Bamboo Bloom detail blog


The version on the right uses Classic Shades Big Time color 817 Natural Glow. As you can see, I was going for an autumn theme! I love how Heather styled these. This project looks cool with the fringe hanging free, braided, wrapped, and no doubt many other ways!

Necks Big Thing Big Time detail blog Necks Big Thing Big Time 1 blog Necks Big Thing Big Time wrapped blog

Though I later found out Shelley created a crochet version for the Neck’s Big Thing, I just kind of winged mine. For anyone interested, here is the pattern I came up with:

US Size N/15 (10 mm) hook

Ch 10. Sc in second ch from hook and each ch across, turn.

Row 1: Ch 1, sc in first sc, [tr in next sc, sc in next sc] across, turn.

Row 2: Ch 1, sc in each st across, turn.

Rep Rows 1-2, 9 more times. Fasten off. Attach fringe as for knit version.

I could see this project in many other stitch variations as well, both knit and crochet. Other yarns that would make great Neck’s Big Things are denims, Poems Chunky, and Poems Puzzle. It takes around 30 minutes to complete one of these – holiday gift-giving score!


IRL – Sail Away with Good Earth

Buket (pronounced “boo-keht”) is one of my favorite smiling faces to see around the office here at Universal Yarn. She works part time in bookkeeping helping to make sure all of those pesky numbers and inventories make sense. Buket also happens to be a fantastic knitter.

Buket in Good Earth blog

I passed her in the hall recently to see her wearing this lovely top made from Good Earth Multi in color 203 Sail.  She knit this from the bottom up, adding her favorite lace pattern at the hem to keep herself from dying of boredom. This was a pattern she completely made up on the fly, deciding upon final details only when she needed to. I love this!

Good Earth is a true three-season yarn. It’s a blend of linen and cotton which makes it a no-brainer for summer knitting. But it’s heavy enough that when worked in a solid fabric can be suitable for spring and fall knits as well.

Good Earth is also available in Solids:

Good Earth solids revised ball pic

And an awesome spray print called Adorn:

GE Adorn backdrop beauty shot

The Billow sweater would make a fantastic fall sweater. I could see this working up nicely in the new Adorn print.


Happy fall knitting!

Free Pattern Friday – Whimsical Wrap

It’s Free Pattern Friday!

Whimsical Shawl 1 blogToday, the Whimsical Wrap in Universe.

Can you tell we love Universe (50g/246yds)? It’s our tenth anniversary offering, and we’ve been having great fun with it.  In addition to today’s offering, we’ve recently released a collection of ornaments.  If you haven’t seen our Universe of Snowflakes e-book yet, you owe it to yourself to check it out – the collection is available as an e-book or as individual patterns.

Whimsical Shawl detail blogUniverse excels at lace, and the Whimsical Wrap is proof.  This center of this rectangular wrap is knit sideways from one end to the other. Then stitches are picked up from the perimeter of the center. The edging is worked as a knit-on edging. The last edging stitch is knit together with a stitch from the shawl body to attach.

The pattern is both written and charted.

We hope you’re able to bring something delicate and sparkling in your life this weekend, whether it’s glittering lace or a sky full of stars.

Happy knitting!



Free Pattern Friday – Yiasou! Hat

It’s Free Pattern Friday!

Yiasou social media graphic

Today, the Yiasou! Hat in Dona.

I designed this hat because I’ve been thinking about my father a lot lately.  He has a milestone birthday coming up soon.  I’d tell you what it is, but the running joke is that every birthday for the past mumble mumble years he has turned 39.  Since I myself have passed that age, this is quite the feat.

When I was a kid, I loved going with my father to the many Greek restaurants here in Charlotte, NC.  My father is an outgoing and friendly person, so he learned enough Greek to be able to greet the proprietors and to say “thank you.”  I can still his his hearty “Tikanis!” (How are you?) as we would come through the doors.  Dad makes friends wherever he goes.

This hat is named after his friendliness, and also our city’s huge annual Greek festival called Yiasou! (Hello!).  It’s a fun event with friendly people.

Yiasou Crown selfie 1For this hat, I worked 64 stitches on a size 7 needle.  You could increase or decrease by 8 and have the Greek Key chart and the top decreases work out.  (Picture of crown at right.  Hey, you try to take a selfie of the top of your head.)

Dona (126yds/50g) was a good choice for this.  It’s exceptionally soft and springy, machine washable, and the colors are vibrant and bold.  I had enough Dona left over that I’m considering making another hat, but with the colors reversed.

Here’s hoping you connect with someone this weekend, whether an old friend or a new one, who puts a smile on your face.

Happy knitting!

Yiasou Hat blog laugh