It has been a while since I posted a tutorial video, and it seems like this is a great place to share with you how to lock floats in knitting. The technique has been explored by a number of people, including Meg Swansen and Joyce Williams in the book Armenian Knitting. One of my sample knitters, Cindy Baily, encouraged me to give it a try and I've been locking floats ever since.
I promise you that it becomes really easy with practice. Yes, it slows me down just a touch while working, but it certainly makes the inside of a finished garment so beautiful.
Sometimes this technique will cause the floated yarn to "peek" through to the front of the fabric. Yarns with more "spring" work better for this technique, and while I'm swatching I work with different needle sizes to discover the best combination of yarn, needles, and pattern.
Here's hoping you are having a beautiful week!
The inspiration for the Aymara cowl arrived the day I saw Jorge del Carpio's Kickstarter campaign for Fibras Andinas. I read the story of the Chilean herders tending their flocks 11,000 ft above sea level, and learned how the development of this new project would provide an opportunity for the purchase and use of the fiber from the animals.
Over the next few months, I exchanged emails with Jorge and learned even more about his passion for helping his community. Once Nicole Snow from Darn Good Yarn joined on as the U.S. distributor, it was decided: I was going to design something special with this yarn.
The outside of the cowl is inspired by traditional Aymara weaving patterns, and the inside features round after round of adorable llamas! It's knit on circular needles, and the beginning and end are grafted together hiding all ends and making the entire piece reversible and oh-so-cozy.
This project takes two skeins each of 2 colors of sport weight yarn from Royal Llama (available in the United States via Darn Good Yarn). Is it soft, you ask? Most definitely. The fiber is de-haired llama. It's warm, luxurious, amazing to work with, and wearing the finished cowl is like getting a big hug from a long-lost friend. Of course, another benefit is knowing that your purchase of Royal Llama yarn helps support the Chilean llama herders!
Skills needed | Provisional cast on, knit, purl, working in the round, stranded color work, Kitchener stitch.
You will find the pattern on Ravelry HERE.
The pattern will be available in a kit available through Darn Good Yarn and Fibras Andinas.
Aymara is available in English & Spanish as an individual pattern (via the link below):
This is the second time I have had the pleasure of designing for Quince and Co.! This year I wanted to design a cowl that was simple enough for someone just venturing into the world of lace. Reversible, without being overly-complicated. A weekend of swatching and pondering yielded this new design.
Araminta requires basic knitting knowledge, including working in the round, increasing/decreasing, and finishing. Know how to knit, purl, yarn over, do simple decreases? Know how to do a twisted knit stitch? That's about all you need to know to make this cowl!
...And for those who have yet to work with Quince and Co. yarn, I encourage you to visit your LYS or order some online and give it a try. The colors are beautiful, and this particular yarn is soft, rustic, and familiar.
Of course, once you have the entire 14 pattern collection, it'll be hard to decide what to make first. There are options! Colorwork, cables, lace, pleats, asymmetrical wraps... the list goes on and on!
All the photography is stunning (as usual). It, along with the e-book layout is done by the uber-talented Carrie Bostick Hodge.
The yarn, I should say, is lovely. Owl is a favorite of mine because of its rustic feel. Not only does it work well with twisted stitches, it makes cables sing! Just a few weeks ago, Quince and Co. announced Owl Tweet! - the tweed version of Owl. I saw it at Stitches WEST and loved it. Perhaps someone will work Araminta in Tweet so I fall in love all over again.
I designed the Modern Motif Pillow for Universal Yarn's new book: Nazeli Garden 5: Bring Your Garden Inside. The book contains 18 designs for the home. One side is covered in a floral motif and the opposite side uses a geometric design created after studying Georgian era garden plans.
Before sending the samples out to the publisher I took a few photos, and Dewey wanted to join the fun! He's so adorable I had to share one of those too.
The entire piece is worked in the round, and is finished with applied i-cord and sealed with a zipper.
The project is worked in the round and requires basic knitting knowledge, including knit/purl, i-cord, and finishing, including the installation of a zipper.
Learn more about the project HERE or visit the Ravelry page HERE.
San Francisco has mild (but unpredictable) weather. Traveling across the city folks who live here know it's wise to always carry a jacket. In the cooler times of year, a finely knit cowl or scarf also comes in handy. Inspired by architectural detail in San Francisco's War Memorial Opera House, Cabaletta is a fine knit that uses two different yarns from Crystal Palace to create a lightweight (but warm) cowl.
The name “Cabaletta” is a term in Italian opera defining a brisk aria that usually follows a more contemplative one. The word was derived from the Italian “Cavallo” (horse) and often the music accompanying the cabaletta can be reminiscent of a horse’s gallop.
I love the way this cowl feels. It's the perfect weight... I also think that for colder climates this design would be nice if the height was doubled.
The pattern is available on Ravelry (via the link below).
There really is nothing like working with handspun yarn. And wearing a hat made from woolen-spun yarn is a comfy, cozy, toasty treat!
I designed this hat for PLY Magazine's Winter 2013 issue using woolen spun 3-ply yarn made with Kyle William dyed BFL in the colorways Silver Thaw and December Sky (often available in the shop HERE).
Carefully spun by NY spinner Aaron Bush, it was really a treat to be able to make a hat using materials that had been so lovingly prepared.
The fibers come in 4 ounce quantities, and the hat uses under 100 yards of each color. When Aaron spun up the fiber, he blended the colors together by creating rolags of built-up tufts of fiber. This method created an evenly-varigated finished yarn.
If you aren't yet a spinner, talk to other fiber friends, or check artist sites like www.etsy.com for options. Compare the yarn you're considering to the details in the project, and if it's close, chances are, it'll make a nice finished hat.
And for those who prefer commercially spun yarn, a light worsted or DK yarn should fit the bill. This pattern is a little more difficult than others to re-size since the pattern repeat is so large. Altering needle or yarn size will change the finished dimensions.
...and beyond my small contribution, I have to tell you. PLY Magazine is chocked full of thoughtfully worded articles and beautiful images. Want to learn to spin? Already an expert? Seriously, this magazine has a lot of great information (it even includes some great product reviews!)
I hope you'll check it out while you can!
Kristin Omdahl has written the kind of book I can wrap my imagination around. Knitting Outside the Swatch spends half the book explaining all the different motifs, and then the second half shows examples of motifs in ten different projects!
I love the special bind off Kristin used for the motifs in the Shania medallion hat for the book cover!
Kristin is known for imagination and talent with mathematics... and it shows through the pages of this latest title. She's created a lot of really interesting patterns for this book, and I believe that this resource is well worth adding to your library. Over 40 motifs are included, and with clear instructions on each piece, it's like having Kristin right there with you, showing you the way!
As a lover of freeform knitting and crochet, I think of this book as an inspiration library. These small motifs use only a little bit of yarn, and they are creatively designed. One of my favorite motifs uses yarn wraps to hide a join, creating a beautiful finish. It's also a great chance to use up leftover yarns or for sample skeins. My plans include using this resource to knit up bits to include in a freeform wrap that I started a while back... These patterns are really a breath of fresh air!
I also believe that motif collections like this help us to come up with new motif variations on our own. Work a few new pieces, and add them to your freeform scrumbles. See how these new bits might inspire new experimentation in your other work.
The book is available in paperback or by digital download. Click the image above or button below to get yours right now, or head to your LYS to pick up a copy.
If you'd like to dive right in, Interweave has a solution for you! Take your choice (digital or paper) and go ahead and order it now:
Want a free copy of Knitting Outside the Swatch? I have one to give away to a very lucky reader.
Here's how to enter -
Post in the comments, and tell me what is your favorite thing to knit? It could be one of her designs from the book, or it could be some other project... as specific as a certain pattern, or as generic as "socks!"
Post your comment by 11:59PM PST Saturday, November 16, 2013 to enter.
Be sure to include your email address when posting your comment so that I can contact you if you're the lucky (random!) winner.
Thank you for sharing this post with your friends on Facebook or other social media sites!
As always, thank you for taking time to read the blog. If you have any questions or comments for me, feel free to send me an email using the comment tab on the website!
CONGRATULATIONS! to Cheryl! She won the copy of Knitting Outside the Swatch, and I hope she has a wonderful time working the new motifs!
While so many fiber folks are posting, sharing, and commenting about their fluffy finds at Rhinebeck, I'm here in the studio working on layout and final edits for the upcoming ebook: Good Deeds, Volume One: Hats"! The project is almost ready, so I better get back to work. I just wanted to say "Happy Rhinebeck!" to everyone who is lucky enough to be there.
While you're perusing the fiber, perhaps you'll pick up a couple skeins of yarn to knit a hat for charity?
Full details about this design are included on the pattern page HERE.
This men’s half-zip pullover uses a gently shifting motif to create a modified houndstooth motif. Carefully tailored with set in sleeves, and solid cuffs and hem, a zipper finishes off the neckline and completes this timeless design.
This pattern is worked flat and requires basic knitting knowledge, including knit/purl, increasing, decreasing, reading charts, stranded knitting, and finishing.
Among the many projects in my queue, the CYC Certified Instructor Program Level 1 has lived comfortably ignored for much of the past year. This certification is mostly for teaching beginning knitting (or crochet) courses at big box stores. I felt it'd be a good exercise and its lessons guide the student through the steps of creating a lesson plan, and gauging class time. I finished the bulk of the work pretty quickly, but then left it to hibernate in my studio and queue on Ravelry. After much delay and procrastination, I finally completed the swatches for this level.
There should be some sort of award for completing levels. (Actually, there are many: A feeling of accomplishment, Receiving feedback from the instructor, Growing as a craftsperson and becoming more critical of the work you produce, Turning the tables on yourself and thinking as a new student)...
It will be nice to hear back from my instructor, to complete any updates or re-do that needs doing, and to move to the next level.
Dr. Lace's Badge of Accomplishments
Working on that program, I spent time thinking about what it meant to be recognized for accomplishment. Many of us get awards at work or through our good deeds, but what about our knitting? A friend of mine has considered the same conundrum and created Dr. Lace's Badge of Accomplishments.
Beautifully presented on a letterpress card, this badge sings honor for knitting a first scarf (or first project, for that matter!) I think these would be a perfect reward for a "learn to knit" class... and every yarn shop should have them as special treats for those who need that extra encouragement.
Learning a new skill can feel daunting, but I promise. Everything we do gets easier with time and practice and determination.
Sometimes, a little encouragement from our friends or community is all we need to step out of our comfort zone and press on into the unknown!
Want this badge as an award for yourself or a friend who has learned how to knit? Post a comment telling me who taught you to knit and I'll randomly select one entry as the winner of this beautiful pin! Deadline: Saturday, September 28, 2013 at
UPDATE: - Congratulations to Michelle who was the winner of this contest! Visit www.drlace.com if you'd like to purchase a badge of your very own!