Tag Archives: knit

Sunday Swatch – Nettle Lana

Today’s swatch is in Nettle Lana Solids.

Nettle Lana Swatch

 

Nettle Lana Solids is a luxurious blend of 70% organic wool and 30% nettle with a braided construction.  This is the first nettle yarn I’ve worked with, and I like it!  Some plant fiber yarns can be tiring to knit with, but I didn’t have that problem with Nettle Lana, perhaps due to the wool content.

This yarn has a particularly rich color saturation.  The plant and animal fibers take the dye at different rates leading to an almost heathered look.  Decadent.

Starcrossed CardiganI picked the shadow cable for this swatch because I liked how it looked in the Starcrossed Cardigan (above) from e-book Nettle Lana: Behind the Curtain.  Doing cables over the knit side of a stockinette background instead of the purl side gives a subtlety to the texture.  They fade into the background more than they would in a traditional Celtic cable.  The shadow cable is a simple 8-row repeat of two over two crosses that’s easy to memorize.  Like last week’s smock stitch swatch, it’s the same thing on rows 4 and 8, just staggered.  Very easy to keep track of, and an excellent beginner’s cable.  On US Size 7 needles, I got about 5 stitches per inch in pattern, but of course your gauge may vary.

Woven Stitch Cowl in Nettle Lana ExpressionsNettle Lana Solids would look great in a larger garment.  Nettle Lana Expressions, the multi version of this yarn, would be well-suited for a smaller project.  I’m eyeing the Woven Stitch Cowl at right, a free two ball pattern on our website.  A four row repeat with great texture?  Looks like another great stitch to try for Sunday Swatch!

 

 

Free Pattern Friday – Lace Edge Garter Stitch Shawl

It’s Free Pattern Friday!

Lace Edge Garter Stitch Shawl

Do you recognize this shawl?  Today, we’re releasing a “pay” pattern into the wild! The Lace Edge Garter Stitch Shawl is a popular design also found in our leaflet Poems Sock Shawls and Accessories.  This is a pattern we get a lot of requests for, and we’re delighted to be able to share it with you for free.

The shawl is knit from the top down, letting the Poems Sock self-shading yarn create a dramatic effect as the color repeats thin out while the stitches on the rows increase. The charted lace edging is knitted on at the end.

This would be a great project to occupy your hands when you need to focus your attention elsewhere.  The garter stitch isn’t hard to do, but leads to a great finished object.  The perfect project!

 

Sunday Swatch – Jubilation Kettle Dye Worsted

Today’s swatch is in Jubilation Kettle Dye Worsted.  This is a buttery-soft single ply spun from extra fine merino.  It comes 208 yards per 100g, enough to make a nice accessory from just one skein.

Sunday Swatch - Jubilation Kettle Dye 

I decided to try a smock stitch today, just to see how the long wrap would look going across the variegated stitches.  I like it!

The swatch uses the smock stitch over 2×2 rib.  For our purposes, we treat each section of eight p2,k2 stitches like one unit.  We purl 2, then do the smock stitch: with yarn in back, insert right hand needle between the sixth and seventh stitch on left hand needle (this should be between a knit and purl stitch), wrap working yarn around right hand needle and pull it through.  Then put the yarn on the left hand needle, and knit the wrapped stitch with the next stitch on the left hand needle.

This is one of those things that’s easier to demonstrate than explain, so we made a video.

Make better sense?

Here’s how this swatch was made.

Rows 1-3: k1 [p2, k2] to final stitch, k1.

Row 4: k1, [p2, smock stitch, pull smock stitch wrap across and knit together with next stitch, k1, p2, k2] across row to last stitch, k1.

Rows 5-7: k1, [p2, k2] to final stitch, k1.

Row 8: k1, p2, k2, [p2, smock stitch, pull smock stitch wrap across and knit together with next stitch, k1, p2, k2] across row to last five stitches, p2, k2, k1.

Really, you’re doing the same thing on rows 4 and 8, you’re just alternating which sections of the ribbing you wrap to stagger the appearance of the smocking.

Jubilation Kettle Dye AccessoriesThis swatch is 8” long unblocked and only took a quarter of a ball of Jubilation Kettle Dye.  I can definitely see using this pattern to make a one ball scarflette or cowl.  In fact, we’ve got an inexpensive e-book of accessories that take one or two skeins of Jubilation that you can find on Ravelry or Craftsy.

Although I made this swatch on size 7 (4.5mm) needles, I think next time I might use size 8 (5mm) and maybe try eight fewer stitches to narrow it just a little.  Extending this swatch would be an easy way to keep warm!

Afghan Knitalong – Don’t Be A Square!

It’s knitalong time!

Cupcake colors_med

Designer Amy Gunderson is guiding us through a new project: the Don’t Be A Square Afghan.  This will be a geometry-themed project with a different square every other week.

What to expect: The squares will highlight different techniques and color combinations.  Look forward to intarsia, cables, applied elements, and unique textures.  We’ll be posting video tutorials – this will be a great opportunity to learn something new.

Skill level: There will be enough to interest an experienced knitter, but if you’re a newer knitter, don’t be afraid to jump in.  We’ll guide you along the path.  Instructions will be both written and charted.

As for timing, we’ll be done with the whole thing just in time for Mother’s Day next year.  You’ll have a ready-made gift.

Want to get ready?  Amy has highlighted some suggested color combinations in our Uptown Worsted 100% anti-pilling acrylic below.  We strongly recommend at least four colors.

coloroptions_circles with logo med

How much yarn?  Amy: “Each block, barring heavily cabled blocks, will require about 30g of yarn. So the finished 20 blocks will require, at minimum, about 600g or 6 balls. I’d like to recommend preparing for 2 balls of each color if a person is using 5 or 6 colors because the 600g doesn’t take into consideration edging.”

Gauge: 17 sts x 21 rows = 4″ in St st.

Finished Size? Amy: “Made in Uptown Worsted, each square will be about 8½” square.  The finished afghan will be 4 x 5 squares, or 34” x 42½ ”.  Made in Uptown Baby Sport, the finished size would be about 75% of the size of the worsted afghan. Made in Uptown Bulky, it would be about 30% bigger.”

Pick your colors, grab your needles, and start swatching.  We’ll be back in March with the first block and some handy tips!

Sunday Swatch – Saki Silk

Friday’s rain brought, predictably, mud, and a lot of shoes and boots left outside the door.  Thankfully the sun’s back out here, so soon the never-ending battle for clean floors will turn in our favor.

Sunday Swatch Saki Silk 2 180

But we take time out from cleaning to do what we love – namely, knitting!  I pulled out my DPNs and started a pair of socks in Saki Silk, the superwash wool/nylon/silk blend that’s part of our Wisdom Yarns line.  The nylon provides extra durability, and silk gives it a luxurious sheen.

I decided to go with the earth tones of our 303 Peach Cobbler  colorway, but looking around on Ravelry, I noticed these gorgeous socks by SuzyZim that had me drooling.

SuzyZim's Mars Attacks! socksSuzy chose colorway 302 Mystery Mars.  They look fantastic!  She’s following Susan B. Anderson’s top-down formula, which calls for a 64 stitch count for the leg and foot – the same as I’m using.  The moral, of course, is always check your gauge.  SuzyZim’s look just perfect on size 1 needles, while I’m getting gauge on size 0’s.

I love how my socks are turning out, but next time, I think I’ll take inspiration from Suzy’s socks and go for that extra burst of color.  Colorful feet look great coming out of muddy boots.

Free Pattern Friday – Umbrella Dress

It’s Free Pattern Friday!

If last week we were snowed in, this week Mother Nature has decided to showcase everything else.  Sunny and 70 degrees yesterday, strong gusts of wind last night, and now a real gullywasher of a rainstorm.

Fortunately, we’re crafters.  We know what to do when we’re stuck inside.  Today we’re thumbing our nose at the nasty weather with the Umbrella Dress in Classic Shades.

Umbrella Dress_ClassicShades

The dress is knit in panels – four for the front, four for the back, and two for each sleeve.  The collar is knit separately in the round.  It’s all stitched together and voila!  A colorful dress to chase away the rainy day blues.

Sunday Swatch – Poems in Chevron

For today’s Sunday Swatch, I couldn’t resist showing off our beautiful snow before it all melted to slush.  The cold weather certainly inspired this week’s choice – Poems 100% wool.  Colorway 592 Embers made me think warm thoughts.

Poems in Chevron Stitch

This chevron section is an easy two-row repeat, worked on a multiple of 14+2:

Row 1: Purl

Row 2: K1 *KFB, K4, SSK, K2tog, K4, KFB; rep from * to last stitch, K1

This example is worked over 30 stitches on US size 8 (5mm) needles and comes out to 5½ – 6″ wide.  One ball of Poems would make this swatch 24″ long, making this pattern well-suited for a little two ball scarf in Poems.

Spectrum ThrowI can think of many uses for this chevron pattern.  What about a chevron strip stitched at the side to another strip knitted in the opposite direction?  Put a few together and you’ve got a cute throw.  A similar strips-sewn-together technique was used in the vibrant Spectrum Throw from Poems Book 2: Colors in Design.

What would you do?