I have caught the Olympics fever big time this year. This past weekend, I did little more than drink coffee, binge-watch Olympic events, and of course, knit non-stop.
Ralph Lauren designed the closing ceremony knitwear and outfits for US Olympic team members, including this spectacular stranded hat. I’ve already seen some incarnations of this over on Ravelry.
It’s a great hat. I love the balance of color and the jaunty double tassel thing that’s going on at the top. But stranded knitting can be intimidating and also time consuming. If colorwork is your cup of tea (confession: it’s mine!), then I would recommend these colors in Deluxe DK Superwash for your take on this hat:
With just one skein of self-striping Amplify you can make this patriotic hat and cowl set. And on size 11 needles, this set goes so quickly you could make this project several times over before the closing ceremonies next weekend.
What’s on your needles this week as you cheer on your country?
As the cover promises, this collection contains patterns all containing peplums, pleats, and ruffles, all knit in new yarn Papyrus. There is actually just one project that utilizes pleats, and that is the Kaizen cardigan.
The pleats are added just to the sleeve cuffs here for a touch of feminine playfulness to an otherwise classically shaped cardigan.
Though I did my best to give accurate written instructions of how to make the pleats, this is one of those techniques where pictures really do speak a thousand words. There are a few photos of how to join pleats included in the pattern file, but the following is a much more detailed instruction.
If you thought this looked complicated at the beginning, I hope I’ve changed your mind. It’s just a matter of arranging some stitches and working some k3togs.
My friends, winter is showing no signs of letting up, even here in North Carolina. We were blasted with 5-6″ of snow the other day. If you’re from a northern state as I am, that may not seem like much. But in the south it is a significant amount and is cause for much celebration and hot cocoa. And as we all know, any reason to pile on more knitwear is quite welcome.
Our free pattern this week is the Porthole Cowl, knit in a soft wintery shade of self-shading Major.
This cowl is knit in the round, showing off the shading of Major as it works it’s way upward in a bounty of texture and “porthole” lace. The color is quite subtle in color 118 Silver Blush. If you like more in-your-face-color, there are many options to choose from. Some of my favorites are:
Self-shading yarn never gets old for me. It’s so pretty and fun to watch the colors that emerge from a ball of colorful yarn. One of my favorite patterns in our Poems yarn is the Southwest Sky Afghan.
Three gorgeous colorways of Poems come together in this modular garter stitch piece. In each colorway of Poems, there are around 6 different shades, meaning in this blanket where there are 3 colorways, there are 18 different colors in the project! I believe that most any color combination could look really great in this throw. But it can be tough to just visualize what this might look like, so we thought it would be fun to see some other color combinations actually knit up.
Here are some small samples of three alternate colorways:
The examples above either fall into the same color family (generally), or value-wise are similar. It could be fun to pick out only brights, or purples, or go for highly contrasting – sky’s the limit!
Oh, how I adore stranded knitting in our Deluxe DK Tweed! Crisp, defined colorwork has its place. But when the yarn has more character like our tweed, it softens the lines of the patterning and gives more interest.
This title of this design has the caveat of “revisited” because the original Templetop Cowl indeed exists. The first incarnation of this design was knit in Amphora, another yarn with one of my favorite characteristics: halo.
With smooth, plied yarns, knitting is crisp, even, and predictable. But when a yarn has a special characteristic such as tweedy bits or loft, stitches are less cut and dry and more organic. They have a mind of their own, so to speak. And they become more like real life, too, where we can’t always control things down to every last detail. There is a level of relief that comes with that acceptance, where we just let things be how they’re going to be, and this is ultimately why I love yarns with character. They mirror our own lives in ways that we might not realize at first.
Golly, you never knew yarn and knitting could get so philosophical, right? You can find the Templetop Revisited kit on our website here.
The knitting in these is relatively simple – mostly stockinette with a bit of garter and an i-cord bind-off. There are enough details to keep a seasoned knitter entertained, but are simple enough that they would also make a good first sock project.
One feature that I’d like to explain more in detail is the afterthought heel. Unlike the common short-row heel which is knit as the rest of your sock is knit, an afterthought heel is added later after the rest of the sock is complete. There are various reasons for choosing this type of heel. My reasoning for doing so in this project was both to keep my stripe sequence uninterrupted and also to make the most of my yarn.
Grab your needles and yarn and let’s get to learning!
Continue to knit the rest of the sock/swatch. Knit across the waste yarn stitches and on around.
I also like this technique for set-in pockets on a top-down sweater. It’s not as hard as you thought it was going to be, right?
These warm and wooly mitts are knit from the bottom up, beginning with a cable rib and ending with an i-cord bind-off. The patterning is Fair Isle, meaning two colors are used on each round. If this is a technique you’ve never tried before, these mitts could be a good place to start. It’s always less daunting trying out new skills on a small project. Deluxe DK Superwash is the featured yarn in this project, making this pair a great gift since they are machine washable.
To celebrate the 12 Days of Winter and my love of snowflakes, I’ve written a poem.
The Snowflake Sonnet
Each year the wind turns cold and gray. For some this is a hindrance. But for those who knit and crochet This weather is far from nuisance.
In May through the fall when it’s warm, I turn to linen, cotton, and bamboo. But plant fibers aren’t fit for snowstorm As I trudge to work on showshoe.
It is springy wool that I long for Throughout most months of the year. Its fabric warms me to the core; The feel of its stitches brings me such cheer.
For this year’s winter I believe I will make Knitted mitts adorned with a snowflake.