Tuesday, August 1, 2017

A Long and Winding Road

I now have a couple more new designs to share with you.

If you have been following along, you might remember that my latest (3rd party) magazine pattern is my Walnut Cowl,

© knitscene/Harper Point

which currently is featured in Interweave Knits Fall 2017, now on newsstands and in knitting stores everywhere.

On Ravelry, my newest pattern, Godiva Mitts, is slowly becoming one of my most popular indie designs.

Then just before July came to an end, I learned that a book with two of my designs had been published.

© Daniel Shanken/Stackpole Books

© Daniel Shanken/Stackpole Books

What a long and Winding Road it has been!!!

My Winding Road Mitts and the companion Winding Road Convertible Cowl were designed in the Summer of 2014. They were selected to be published in a book tentatively titled 60-Minute Knits to be published by Stackpole Books in Spring 2016.
The book was put on a hold after the company was sold in December 2015. It was not put back into production until October 2016.
It seems a very long time ago for me in my design career. But finally, in July 2017, the book has been published with the title KNITS IN A DAY.

© Daniel Shanken/Stackpole Books

As editor Candi Derr wrote, “Sometimes when you realize you need a new hat or mittens--It’s going to be freezing tomorrow and I’m going hiking! It’s my best friend’s birthday and I don’t have a gift!--you need it NOW! This is the book you can turn to again and again for just the right pattern, knowing that every project in it can be completed in a matter of minutes or hours.”
© Daniel Shanken/Stackpole Books

BTW: This Winding Road Convertible Cowl took me about 2 hours to knit.

And these Winding Road Mitts took a little more than one hour each.
Thanks for reading!

Thursday, July 20, 2017


Godiva Mitts
I am very happy to have just released my latest indie design, GODIVA MITTS. Like most of my designs, it has been a long time coming...

The spark began last spring when I focused on the diamond shape of a single ‘aran’ fishermen’s style cable... I was looking at one beautiful cable, and I thought of fitting it onto the back of a hand to make a mitt -- allowing its gently tapering width to enhance the shaping of the mitt.

I had the image of a small, dainty, fitted mitt and I knew that I wanted it to be sweet and feminine. I decided to fill the cable with some lacy open-work.

Swatch on Hand
I charted and then swatched the cable panel using a skein of yarn in my stash, Knit Picks Capretta in the Cream colorway. Then, somewhere in between August and September I made the first pair of Godiva Mitts. 

First Godiva's in Knit Picks Caprette
My friends at Gosh Yarn It! loved them when I brought them in on a regular Thursday "knit night" in October.

After other design obligations were met, I made the second pair of Godiva's using a single skein of Mango Moon Mulberry Meadow in the Rain Cloud colorway. These have a longer cuff -- a simple change, but one that gives the mitts a different look.
Longer cuffed mitts in Mango Moon Mulberry Meadow

Finished Measurements
7½” [19 cm] un-stretched circumference (measured at widest point).
The cream-colored mitts are 7” [18 cm] long, with a  2½” [6.5 cm] cuff.
The gray mitts are 8½” [21.5 cm] long, with a 4" [10 cm] cuff.

140 yd [128 m] of fingering weight yarn for shorter cuff
175 yd [160 m] of fingering weight yarn for longer cuff

Size US 2 [2.75 mm] needles (two circular or set of double-pointed)
 Adjust needle size if necessary to obtain the correct gauge.

My Godiva Mitts pattern has been carefully written and tech-edited, after which I ran an extremely successful test knit on Ravelry. I love my test knitters!

This pattern is available on Ravelry at an introductory reduced price of $3.75 until midnight (GMT) July 21. After that the pattern will be available at its regular price of $5.00.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Walnut Cowl -- Knitscene Fall 2017

Now up on Ravelry!

(80% merino wool, 10% cashmere, 10% silk ~ 100% lovely)
in Cronan
4 (100g/175yd) skeins 

Thanks knitscene / Harper Point Photography for all of the great photos,
And styling that had my 27 year old daughter say, "I would wear all that."

Friday, June 23, 2017

Made in May / Coming in June / More in July

Made in May
The Gosh Yarn It Multi-Pane Mitten KAL
Multi-Pane-Mittens in neutral colorways
Yarn: Blue Sky Fibers Woolstock
in Gravel Road and Drift Wood

Coming in June
(next week, maybe, probably)
This is a January photo of my "boxed to send to Colorado"
Walnut (Cable Boxes) Cowl
My next magazine design!!!
Yarn: The Fibre Co Arranmore
in Cronan 

I have a new computer, surface book,
 I'm using a new browser, chrome,
 I now have a new photo editor, picmonkey,
I used it all to make this "teaser" photo
 of my next new indie knit design...

More in July
This is a photo of my left hand wearing a lovely little mitt
with an aran cable filled with lace.

My next indie design is now being tested
(more photos)

Friday, May 19, 2017

THE THUMB & MORE (Part 3 of 3 - The Afterthought Thumb)

This is Part 3 (of 3) of my mini-tutorial on the afterthought thumb used in making my Multi-Pane Mittens. Part 1 was THE FORETHOUGHT. Part 2 was THE PICK-UP.

We ended Part 2 with a slightly scary looking thumb hole. Please do not be afraid of the floats!

IF YOU ARE USING DOUBLE-POINTED NEEDLES... You will need to introduce another needle before you can knit in the round. I suggest that you place the first 5 sts from the lower needle on a third dpn.

IF YOU ARE USING TWO CIRCULAR NEEDLES YOU ARE READY TO GO. All photos will show the use of two circular needles, my own preferred needle type.

The first row of the thumb will be knit in color A. I suggest that you leave an 8-10" tail when you join A at the right side of the bottom stitches. (The reason for this will follow near the end of this post.)

Rnd 2: With A, k9... these will be straightforward,

pick up 1 st between bottom and top of thumb... make sure that you create the new stitch by going below at least two strands of yarn,

knit 9 sts for the top of thumb... ignore the floats attached to two of these... let them "float" behind your work,

pick up 1 st between top and bottom of thumb... once again, make sure that you create the new stitch by going below at least two strands of yarn,

– 20 thumb sts... Not so bad. Right?

Rnd 1: (Join B.) *With A, k1, with B, k1; rep from * to end...

Continue to follow pattern to finish knitting of thumb.

There is one more step to the afterthought thumb. More often than not you will have a hole on one or both sides of the thumb. If your holes are as noticeable as the one shown below, they will require a stitch or two to sew closed.

Usually you can use the tail that was created when you joined your yarn to begin knitting the thumb. (If not use a new piece of yarn and weave its end in to start.)

Turn the mitten inside out, and take little stitches catching just one yarn at a time.

Check the outside of the mitten before weaving in ends.

No more holes.

All that my mitten needs now is a nice bath. Stranded colorwork evens itself out beautifully after a gentle hand-washing.  Use lukewarm water and mild soap, rinse, blot out excess moisture and lay flat to air dry.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

THE PICK-UP (Part 2 of 3 - The Afterthought Thumb)

This is Part 2 (of 3) of my mini-tutorial on the afterthought thumb used in making my Multi-Pane Mittens. Part 1 was THE FORETHOUGHT.


Before you can knit the thumb of your mitten, you will have to place the thumb stitches on needles, and remove the waste yarn. The Multi-Pane Mitten pattern has step by step instructions with photos. This tutorial will show the process in greater detail. 

Using two (double pointed or circular) needles, with first needle, from right to left, pick up 9 sts below waste yarn. (If you think of each knit stitch as a ‘V’ with a right and a left leg, you will be picking up the right leg of each ‘V’ below the 9 ‘V’s of your waste yarn. This part is rather straightforward.

 Your picked up sts should begin and end with A.)

Rotate the mitten 180 degrees.

With second needle, in a similar way, pick up 9 sts below waste yarn. In this position, the stitches you pick up will appear to be a half stitch to the left, and some of the 'V's will be have two different colored legs -- but once again, pick up the right side of each ‘V’ below the ‘V’s of your waste yarn.

Hint: Your 9 picked up sts should begin and end with B.

Carefully remove the waste yarn. I like to use a spare knitting needle to lift the waste yarn stitches, half-a-stitch at a time. (Remaining photos are with mitten cuff down.)

Now your mitten has a thumb hole. Some of the upper 9 stitches will have floats attached. Don't let them scare you. Tuck them into the mitten, and try to ignore them. They really will not be a problem and will stay behind the work after the first round of the thumb is knit.

What a lovely thumb hole!

My next post is on knitting and finishing the thumb. 

Part 3 of the The Afterthought Thumb: THE THUMB & MORE