Free Pattern Friday – Lilypad Afghan

It’s Free Pattern Friday!

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Today, the Lilypad Afghan in Major.

Did you enjoy Thanksgiving?  Ready to snuggle up under a warm blanket?  We’ve got you covered (no pun intended).

lilypad-afghan-detail-blogThe Lilypad Afghan is composed of strips of join-as-you-go hexagons in four colors of big, beautiful Major (328yds/200g).  On a US Size J/10 (6 mm) hook, it zips along fairly quickly.

The pattern is written, charted, and contains a schematic showing just how it all comes together.  A satisfying and cozy project!

We hope you’re having a great holiday, and that you remember to show your LYS some love on Small Business Saturday.

Have a great weekend!

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Weaving Wednesdays – Herringbone Sampler

I’m pretty excited about this current weaving project. For years now, I’ve wanted to weave my own fabric for a custom-sewn jacket. And finally, I’m going to make it happen. In fact, I’m making two of them! Yonca, our sales director (and my boss) caught wind of my plan and requested a jacket for her own. You be able to find us at next January’s TNNA in our matching jackets.

Years ago, I sewed a moto jacket from this Burda pattern.

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Here I am wearing my version, circa 2009 or so.

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I’ve been wanting to weave with our Deluxe DK Tweed Superwash ever since we introduced it earlier this year, and I decided this would be the perfect project for it. I toyed around with a few ideas for the type of weaving draft I’d use, but in the end I decided on a herringbone tweed. I love the idea of classic herringbone and tweed modernized in the ultra-cool moto jacket.

Before beginning, I knew I need to make a sample of my woven fabric. I mean, if I’m going to be weaving yards upon yards of fabric for two jackets, I need to know I’m going to like it, right? I was also having trouble deciding on colors, and saw this as a perfect example to introduce a little plaid into my tweed and herringbone.

First, I selected five colors from the Deluxe DK palette that I’d been considering:

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Next, I set out to warp my loom with a section in each color. I read that it’s a good idea to use a denser sett (ends per inch) when weaving twill, so that’s what I did. For a DK weight yarn such as Deluxe DK Tweed Superwash, I would normally weave with a 10 dent reed. But for this project, I opted for a 12 dent.

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I’m using a four harness loom which makes weaving twill a breeze. But with if you have a rigid heddle loom, with the use of pick-up sticks this is totally achievable.

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As you can see, my warp has 5 different colors. I also wove with the same 5 colors to see how they all interacted with one another. I found it interesting that the same 2 colors played differently depending in which was warp and which was weft. The color that is the warp (in this particular twill) shows as being more dominant that the weft.

It’s nice to do a “practice” piece of weaving that I’ll actually use and wear!

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The colors that I ultimately selected for my jacket are the two that I would have picked anyway, but I’m so glad I did this exercise. It also gave Yonca a chance to see the different colors so she could make her choice as well.

Stay tuned for more herringbone twill and moto jackets!

 

Free Pattern Friday – Sideline Scarves

It’s Free Pattern Friday!

Just in time for football season (and gift knitting season!), we have the Sideline Scarves. And a photo tutorial!

Each scarf requires 1 ball of Uptown Worsted Spirit Stripes and 1 ball of Uptown Worsted. 1 strand of each yarn is held together throughout the scarf.

Though these scarves look like intarsia, I can assure you there is no manual changing of colors in this project. The vertical striping along this piece is inherent in the yarn print. This project takes advantage of the color changes in the yarn, and employs what we call “intentional color pooling.” The reason for the tutorial below rather than a simple pattern is that the color changes in Spirit Stripes can vary just a bit from skein to skein. With the method below, no matter what the lengths of color are in your particular skein, you can achieve intentional color pooling.

With just a little bit of preparation, you’ll be knitting away in no time!

Here’s how to do it!

When choosing yarn colors, it’s best to pick a color in Uptown Worsted solids that contrasts with the Spirit Stripes. In the tutorial below, I’m using Uptown Worsted 324 Black with Spirit Stripes 517 Arena (red and yellow)

Step 1: Holding both yarns together, cast on 30-40 stitches with a US Size 10 1/2 needle. Make sure that the last cast-on stitch ends right at the end of that particular color section in the Spirit Stripes. This is important because we’re going to be calculating just how many stitches are consumed by each section of color.

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Step 2: Work in K1, P1 Ribbing through the end of the first section of color. Count how many stitches it took to get through this color, and round to the nearest even number. We will call this number of stitches “X.” If you’re as absent-minded as me, write this number down!

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Step 3: Next, work in K1, P1 Ribbing through the second color and count the stitches. You will most likely have to turn the row before you’ve made it through this color – that’s okay, it’s unimportant now. We will call this color “Y.” Y may not be the same number as X, because the color sections are not always exactly the same length.

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Step 4: Unravel your knitting from above. Add X + Y, then divide in half. The resulting number will be your cast on. Your cast on number should be roughly 24-30 stitches.

Step 5: With waste yarn, make a crochet chain that is several stitches longer than your cast on number. Now, holding both yarns together, from the tail end of the yarns, find a color section a few colors from the end. Find the halfway point of this section of color. Be sure to leave at least a yard or so of tail for binding off later.

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Step 6: Beginning at that halfway point in the first color section, working through the bottom bump of each crochet chain, [pick up and knit 1 stitch, pick up and purl 1 stitch] until you’ve run to the end of this color. The number of stitches you were able to pick up should be half of X (or Y). If you picked up more or fewer stitches before reaching the end of the color change, take out a few stitches and adjust tension as needed.

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Step 7: Continuing where you left off in the rib sequence (you may have left off with either a pick up and knit or pick up and purl), pick up stitches in K1, P1 Ribbing until you have run halfway through the second color. This number should be half of X (or Y). If it is not, take out a few stitches and adjust your tension.

The total number of stitches on your needle should be the cast-on number figured in Step 4, or X + Y divided by 2.

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Step 8: Now it’s time for the fun part – the knitting! Turn your work. Work in K1, P1 Ribbing until you reach the end of that color. Your last stitch in this color (shown yellow below) should fall right on top of the first stitch yellow stitch. If it doesn’t, take a few stitches out and adjust your tension.

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Step 9: Continue in K1, P1 Ribbing to the end of the row. You should now be halfway through the second color (shown red below).

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Repeat Steps 8 & 9 until you have about 1 yard of yarn left, enough to bind off.

Here is another version of the scarf, a little further along:

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You can see that the midway point between the colors is not perfect – and that’s okay! Just be sure not to get too far off track with your alignment of the colors, or it will be tougher to correct when you get farther into the scarf.

Pick your team, choose your colors, and get knitting!

New Bern Cowl – Faux Cable Fundamentals

Have you seen the New Bern Cowl and wondered how I created that faux cable look? Today, I’ll show you how, step by step!

So easy! The New Bern Cowl calls for just two balls of Big Time and a US Size 15 (10mm) needle.

It is a very simple technique, but brace yourself knitters…it does involve a crochet hook! Don’t worry though, if you can do a simple chain, you can do this.

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Pretty easy, right? I can’t wait for you to try it out on your very own New Bern Cowl!

Ready for the Big Time? In Transit is here!

It’s here!

E-book In Transit offers 7 knit and crochet accessories in beautiful bulky Classic Shades Big Time.

Looking for some quick gifts to knock out?  Want a little distraction from the holidays – or from real life?  We’ve got you covered.  The new e-book In Transit features 7 fabulous accessories to knit and crochet, all in bulky, beautiful Classic Shades Big Time (150yds/85g).

Designed by Amy Gunderson and Tori Gurbisz, they’re all achievable by the intermediate or newer crafter, and they all go quickly on big needles or hooks.  All patterns are available on Ravelry as a set in the In Transit e-book, or individually.  Check out the gallery – and enjoy!

Deluxe Cable Collection Knitalong – We’re Still Knitting Along!

It’s been a little bit quiet on the ol’ western front  with the Deluxe Cable Collection Knitalong. But I can assure you, those of us with projects still on the needles continue to plug away!

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As a reminder,  you can learn more about the knitalong by reading previous blog posts here, viewing the collection here, and joining our Ravelry group here.

Heather finished her Tillery Socks last month, but she didn’t stop there. She is now the proud owner of her very own two-color Cold Mountain Hat:

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Look how happy she is! I would be too if I had a hat that looked super-awesome with my blue hair.

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You can just barely see those blue locks peeking out from under the double-folded brim, but trust me: this is a fun color combination.

I love how Heather took this pattern and made it her own, through something as seemingly simple as different color choices. It always amazes me what a difference color can make in a knitted item or anything else, for that matter!

Often times we see a project and don’t look twice because the color doesn’t suit us. Heather proves that if you like the stitches and the item, the color is the easiest thing about it to change!

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Do you love the Deluxe Cable Collection, too? If so, I’d love to hear about what project you’re working on!

I’ll be back next time (hopefully sooner rather than later this time) to demonstrate the finishing on my modified version of the Wesley Heights Pullover. I’m almost there!

 

Free Pattern Friday – Double Cable Poncho

It’s Free Pattern Friday!

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Today, the Double Cable Poncho in Major.

How Autumn-y are these colors?  We’ve featured a lot of designs for our popular bulky yarn Major (328yds/200g) using pastels and bluish tones (the Pineapple Peacock Shawl is a favorite) but these more southwestern, earthy tones of color 113 Santa Fe fit the Double Cable Poncho well.

The poncho is made as two rectangles which are them sewn together, long end to short end.  A twisted fringe is added to finish it off.

If you haven’t tried twisted fringe before, it’s really easy.  Amy Gunderson’s got a short video to show you just how to do it.

It’s actually rather meditative, which is always a great quality in a crafting project.

We hope you have an excellent weekend.  Happy knitting!

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