Saturday, October 27, 2018

Officially Launched: Swatch Warriors

This has been a busy fall... During the weeks that my Trinity Mountain Hat and Daphnis scarf designs were released I have spent time promoting them... I have also been working on two more designs that will definitely be released in 2018... A couple more are in the works and may be released shortly thereafter... These are also the weeks of the year when publishers everywhere are seeking design submissions for next fall........

I am interrupting all of that to announce the official launch of a brand new pattern website!!!

The site is the brainchild of Yurika Kotze of South Africa -- a crochet designer who has a dayjob building ECommerce sites. This summer, after months of work, Yurika put out a call to designers on Ravelry to gauge interest in her yet to be launched curated pattern site. Enough designers, including myself, came on-board for the launch.

Swatch Warriors is a deeply curated collection, quite different from Ravelry, whose primary goal is to be an all-inclusive fiber-arts database. Swatch Warriors sets itself apart with Yurika's curation. She has used her designer's eye and aesthetic to sift out what are the most beautiful, fresh and forward-thinking patterns that designers have to offer. The website is lovely and easily navigated, first by tool (needles or hook), and then by category. There are new patterns being added every week, and a fun featured 'Pattern of the Week'. I hope to contribute more designs to the site in the future.

Please check it out. I think you will be glad that you did!

Sunday, October 14, 2018

DAPHNIS -- Scarves etc 7 is here!

I am happy to announce the release of my scarf design, DAPHNIS.

Daphnis is just one of 10 beautiful knitwear designs for hand-knitters included in Quince and co's annual neckwear collection, Scarves etc, 7.

The cables of Daphnis are very round and flowing. Its generous size makes it a statement piece.
The cable crossings are unique in that three groups of stitches are crossed using two cable needles. (I found using two bamboo double-pointed needles worked even better for me than using cable needles.)

The cable crossings are all the same and there are over 100 of them.
I loved using Osprey for Daphnis. It is a lofty, soft, plump and round wool yarn that has tremendous stitch definition -- perfect for the triple-cross Daphnis knitted cables. The Aran weight Osprey worked up beautifully to make a substantially-sized piece that is light and lofty. The Nightshade colorway is a favorite of mine, but there are dozens more to choose from.

Thanks for reading!


Monday, October 8, 2018

Coming Soon: Scarves Etc 7

The first one was Scarves etc 2012. I was very lucky that year, as a new knitwear designer, to have my cowl, Jonna selected for Quince & co's first annual collection of scarves, cowls, wraps and shawls.

  Jonna, Carolyn Kern 
 Scarves, etc 2012, © Quince & Co.

Every year since 2012, the yarn company has put together a Scarves etc neckware collection, having published a total of 76 designs in six years. A handful of times over the years, I have submitted design proposals when I have seen their calls for submissions. My ideas were not selected until the call late last year...

A new design of mine will be one of 10 in the new Scarves, etc 7 to be released on Thursday, October 11! It is so rewarding to have finally got back in again!

Quince is so amazing to work with. One of my favorite people at Quince is Jerusha, who just posted about Scarves, etc through the years.

As before the release of Jonna, I have not yet seen any of the Quince photography for my new design with the sample that I made this spring. I can hardly wait to see them, and the other 9 designs in the Scarves etc 7 lookbook on Thursday!

You can go to the post by Jerusha, and click through the link at the bottom to sign up for Quince email announcements... or follow me here, or on Ravelry, but especially on Instagram.

I will close with a teaser photo and a a secret that I learned along the way about #7...

There will be a good number of cables.

Saturday, September 29, 2018


My latest design, Trinity Mountain Hat, was recently released by Green Mountain Spinnery. It was a fun and colorful project!

I designed the hat to show off GMS's brand new DK weight Ragg-Time yarn. This 100% wool yarn comes in many stunning colorways.

The "Holiday" colorway, on top above, was sent for me to work with for my hat design. This colorway is actually more of a gradient yarn with long lengths of color that do not repeat within one skein. This became evident once I wound my skein into a ball.

I selected a highly-textured stitch pattern most commonly known as Trinity Stitch.

The stitch pattern continues through the decreasing of the crown. The pompom is optional.

Finished Measurements
13¼ (16½, 19¾)” / 33.5 (42, 50) cm un-stretched circumference
 (will stretch to fit heads up to approximately 19 (22, 25)” / 48.5 (56, 63.5) cm).
  10½ (11½, 12)” / 26.5 (29, 30.5) cm un-cuffed height.

Yarn250 - 300 yards (229 - 274 m) DK weight yarnOne skein of Green Mountain Spinnery Ragg-Time will be enough to make a hat in either of the two smaller sizes along with a pompom similar in size to sample hat.
 If making the largest size hat, a smaller pompom could be made.

                 - Size US 3 [3.25 mm] needles: 16” circular (cir) 
                 - Size US 6 [4.0 mm] needles: 16” circular (cir) and set of double-pointed (dpn).
Adjust needle size if necessary to obtain the correct gauge.

View the Trinity Mountain Hat on Ravelry for more information.
Both pattern and yarn are available at the Green Mountain Spinnery website.
Also see this GMS blog post for more information on Ragg-Time yarn and other ideas for using it.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Our Rocky Mountain Trip - Part 2

It has been a year now since our trip to three national parks in the Rocky Mountains. (I have been told that it may not be correct to group all of these mountains together with my "Rocky Mountain" label, but it works for me.)

This first photo is my favorite shot from Glacier National Park on the Canadian border in Montana. I did not take it. Dave Kuharchick, a local TV personality who was touring with us, shot it with my iPhone 7 plus. He was sitting at the window during that part of our Red Bus tour. I learned a lot while watching him (quickly) set the focus and zoom.

We were sincerely told that our views on that rainy day were far better than those we would have seen on days (before or after) when the smoke of wildfires dominated.

We learned a lot about why natural, controlled, forest fires are both healthy and necessary for the ecosystem.

All of these shots were from the Going to the Sun Highway. (The roadway is the first to have been registered in all of the following categories: National Historic Place, National Historic Landmark and Historic Civil Engineering Landmark. The length of the road is approximately 50 miles and spans the width of the park between the east and west entrance stations.) 

My Part 3 Rocky Mountain Post will be all about Yellowstone.

It is very possible that new knitting will come sooner...

Monday, March 12, 2018

(didn't know I was) Playing Yarn Chicken

One of my knitwear design highlights in 2017 was my No-Wrong-Side Hat which I created for The Fibre Co’s Fall 2017 Yarn Support Programme.

No-Wrong-Side Hat (for Mr K) Dec 2017 (with just one skein of Tundra)

Please see my design release post from November to read about the reversibilty of this hat (two hats in one).

The pattern has three sizes: 15½ (18¼, 20¾)” [39.5 (46.5, 52.5) cm] circumference. The two smaller sizes can easily be made with one skein of lovely, silky and lofty Tundra. The largest size will take a bit more...

Or so I calculated.

I did NOT make the largest size No-Wrong-Side Hat in Tundra before I published the pattern. (My test knitters did but with other yarns.) Shortly after publication I made one for Mr K, and...

It only took one skein!

With only one yard to spare!!! (as shown in photo)

I have been adding 5% to my yardage calculations for a long time now. This was originally suggested to me by the tech editor for my Socks That Rock Design, Sandy Rosner, and it only makes sense...

Using my swatches and design samples, I do my best to calculate yardage requirements, and then I add 5%. I strive to guarantee that others have success knitting my designs -- which means not having to play the game of yarn chicken (i.e., will I, or won't I, run out of yarn?).  

In the case of the largest No-Wrong-Side hat in Tundra, a 5% buffer means that you will need a second skein to be certain that you will not run out of yarn. But, of course, you may not need it...

Perhaps you can ask about the return policy where you purchase your yarn... Perhaps you can make a second hat... Perhaps you can wait a bit for the release of my next mitt design...

A pair of mitts will take far less than one skein of Tundra.
I will keep you posted. 😉

Friday, February 16, 2018

Revisiting: Equilibrium Cowl -- Now a kit!

This seems a very good time to revisit my Equilibrium Cowl design which was originally published in Knitscene Accessories, 2012. (My first magazine!)

This reversible cowl was designed to be a great learning project in stranded knitting. You can learn much more about the technique in my own Two-Handed Stranded Colorwork Tutorial. In fact, all of the photos in my tutorial are of me knitting the Equilibrium stitch patterns.

If you are a Knitting Daily email subscriber you might already know that Interweave is currently offering an Equilibrium Cowl Kit with 2 skeins of the very same yarn that I used for the original design sample... 
Cascade Yarns Eco Alpaca (100% undyed alpaca; 220 yd 201 m/100 g) 
• #1520 black (MC), 1 skein 
• #1510 natural (CC), 1 skein
Included in the kit is a digital copy of Knitscene Accessories, 2012.
In addition, you will need a 16" circular needle to get gauge (US Size 8, 5mm recommended), a stitch marker and tapestry needle.

Knitscene editor Hannah Baker wrote a lovely article describing the cowl,
Irresistible Reversible Knits: One Cowl, Two Ways. Please check it out if you have the time.
There are currently 88 Equilibrium Cowl Projects on Ravelry in every color of the rainbow!  
Thanks for reading.❤❤❤
All photos ©Harper Point Photography and used courtesy Interweave.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

New Design: NO-WRONG-SIDE Hat

(right side when knitting)

I am very happy to introduce my bulky weight, reversible (2-hats-in-1), design in three sizes, NO-WRONG-SIDE Hat.

Earlier this year, I was thrilled to learn that I had been selected for The Fibre Co’s Fall 2017 Yarn Support Programme! The Fibre Co's Tundra is the the perfect blend of baby alpaca, merino and silk, worked into a 2-ply that gives it a pleasing, well-rounded appearance for great stitch definition. Though a bulky yarn, it is very light in weight, lofty and extremely warm. It is perfect for the deep texture / cable stitch pattern of the No-Wrong-Side Hat.

This design was originally sparked by the photo of the “Sunburst Check” stitch pattern on page 202 of A 2ND TREASURY OF KNITTING PATTERNS by Barbara G Walker. I was fascinated by the depth of texture in the photo. The poofs of stockinette push strongly forward leaving little pockets of reverse stockinette like pools beneath them. 
When I swatched this stitch pattern, I was quite surprised to find that the reverse side of the fabric was a stitch pattern in itself – a very fluid rib-cable. It did not look like the “wrong side” of a piece of knitting. I worked out a double brim that compliments both sides of the hat. I also created a decreasing crown that flows from the stitch pattern on both sides of the hat.

(reverse side when knitting)

The brim of the hat is folded on a purl ridge and knit together creating a double layer brim. This requires a provisional cast-on and a later “knitting two layers together round” (much like three-needle-bind-off, but with both knit and purl stitches). Next there is an increase round with specific purl increases. For the remainder of the hat, both charted and written directions are provided.

Hat swatch showing purl ridge and double layer brim,
(knit with Tundra in the Boreal colorway).

Finished Measurements
15½ (18¼, 20¾)” [39.5 (46.5, 52.5) cm] circumference and 8¼” [21 cm] high,
will stretch to fit heads up to approximately 19 (22, 24)” [48.5 (56, 61) cm].

Bulky weight yarn,
approximately 96 (112, 128) yd [88 (103, 117) m] for hat.

Shown in:
The Fibre Co.
Tundra (60% alpaca, 30% wool, 10% silk; 120 yd [110 m], 100 g)
 Tiaga colorway, 1 (1, 2) skein(s).

Size US 9 [5.5 mm] needles: 16” [40 cm] circular (cir).
- Size US 10.5 [6.5 mm] needles: 16” [40 cm] circular and set of double-pointed (dpn). Adjust needle size if necessary to obtain the correct gauge.
- Spare US 9 [5.5 mm] or smaller 16” [40 cm] cir needle to hold hem stitches.

My No-Wrong-Side Hat pattern has been carefully written and tech-edited.

Three of my local knitting friends kindly and helpfully agreed to test the pattern in the Fibre Co Tundra. After which, I ran a successful second test knit on Ravelry. (I love all of my test knitters!)

This pattern is now available on Ravelry at an introductory reduced price of $3.75 until the end of the day (11:59 EST) December 4. After that, the pattern will be available at its regular price of $5.00.

My No-Wrong-Side Hat is a fun and quick-to-knit project... perfect for gift knitting. Because I am a participating designer in the Ravelry Indie Gift-A-Long, this hat is an eligible pattern for participation in the GAL2017 HATS & OTHER HEAD THINGS KAL/CAL, where you will find all the love and support you could wish for... as you finish your own gift knitting goals... along with fun games and many prizes.

Thanks for reading!
Thanks for your support of indie designers!!!