Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Design Release: Floribunda Mitts

Even before I designed my Floribunda Cap (with a brand new yarn that was then soon to be available at my LYS, Gosh Yarn It!) I knew that I would also design a companion mitt pattern.

The yarn, Knit One, Crochet Too Après Ski, is a soft blend of wool and nylon featuring really bright colors.

With GYI's request for a new colorwork class project using this outstandingly brilliant color, I immediately thought of flowers.  The mitts have an optional rose in duplicate stitch on the back of each hand.  The pattern has two sizes to fit most girls (women).

The hat is a great beginner two-handed stranded colorwork project.  The rolled stockinette edge goes quickly to get right into the stranded colorwok.  The leaf border is the simplest kind of stranded colorwork... limited to three stitches between color changes, it requires little attention to the lengths of floats.  When you get to the rose motif rows, I recommend "trapping" some of the floats.  For more information on all this, please see my popular blog post, Two-Handed Stranded Colorwork Tutorial.

Any two 100g skeins of worsted/aran weight yarn should be plenty to make both the cap and a pair of mitts.

Finished Mitts Measurements
5¾ (6¾)” [14.5 (17 cm)] hand circumference (measured around palm) and 8¼ (9)” [21 (23) cm)] long when unrolled
Yarn Required 
Worsted weight yarn 
50 (60) yd [46 (55) m] Color A 
50 (60) yd [46 (55) m] Color B 
Shown in: 
Knit One, Crochet Too Après Ski (70% wool, 30% nylon; 197 yd [180 m], 100 g) 
Color A:  #238 Cherry Bomb, 1 skein 
Color B:  #589 Colorado Spruce, 1 skein 
Needles (Adjust size if necessary to get correct gauge) 
Size US 7 [4.5 mm] needles (two circular or set of double-pointed).  Adjust needle size if necessary to obtain the correct gauge.

The Floribunda Mitts pattern is now available for a limited time at a special introductory price of $2.50.  This discount ends midnight Sunday, April 24.  The regular price of the pattern will be $5.

Thanks for reading and happy knitting!

Related Post Just Adorable -- Models, Hats, Hats on Models 

Monday, April 11, 2016

Just Adorable -- Models, Hats, Hats on Models

I was extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to photograph the design samples for my newly released Floribunda Cap pattern modeled by the beautiful and awesome (she even knits!) Lyla, and her lovely mom, Kami.

I really enjoyed the time I got to spend with both of them one morning back in November.  I am grateful that they have been patient in their wait to see this design actually being published.  (Good things take time.)

Aren't they absolutely the best handknit hat models ever?

The Floribunda Cap is a two-color stranded colorwork cap in two sizes to fit most girls (women).

Finished Hat Measurements
18¼ (20½)” [46.5 (52) cm] circumference and 8¼ (8¾)” [21 (22) cm] tall when unrolled

Yarn Required
Worsted weight yarn
80 (90) yd [73 (82) m] Color A
80 (90) yd [73 (82) m] Color B
Shown in:
Knit One, Crochet Too
Après Ski (70% wool, 30% nylon; 197 yd [180 m], 100 g)
Color A:  #238 Cherry Bomb, 1 skein
Color B, Size 18¼”:  #762 Borealis, 1 skein
Color B, Size 20½”:  #589 Colorado Spruce, 1 skein
Needles (Adjust size if necessary to get correct gauge)
Size US 7 [4.5 mm] needles: 16” circular (cir) and set of double-pointed (dpn) 

The Floribunda Cap pattern is now available for a limited time at a special introductory price of $2.50.  This discount ends midnight Sunday, April 17.  The regular price of the pattern will be $5.

Thanks for reading and happy knitting!     

Thursday, April 7, 2016

(Early) Spring: Knitting Color & Knitting Progress

My newest knitting yarn is this.

Three skeins of Silken Straw by Alchemy Yarns of Transformation.  It is a 100% silk ribbon yarn in a colorway called Spider Orchid.  (I cannot really explain why -- but, to me, the variegated color is all about early spring -- like the pine trees through the window in the photo, or the shadows under the trees where there will soon be flowers -- )

I want to make a spring/summer top with it.  I am going to work hard to make it a design of my own.  Maybe you cannot tell from the photo, but it is a special yarn... (not at all inexpensive), unique in color, and well, it is a "yarn of transformation".

From the Alchemy website:
"The first touch. The initial glimpse of Alchemy Yarns of Transformation tells you we are passionate about everything we do. Pleasing the senses. Soothing the soul -- we strive for nothing less than the transformative moment in art and life." 

I hope that I can do justice to all of that.

In the meantime, I have been knitting away on my Hart (designed by Julie Hoover) and I am almost finished with the first I have a good start on the second sleeve.  (Does it really take me longer to finish editing a blog post than it does to knit a sleeve?)

The back of my Hart blocked out to an appropriate width but is a bit longer than I expected (I knit it an inch and a half shorter than the pattern). The Shibui Knits Pebble (silk, merino and cashmere) is lovely and light, so I am hoping I will like it in what will be a rather long cardigan for me.

The fronts are ready to come off the blocking board.  I used a technique I call "piggyback blocking", described in a previous blog post Helene Update: Piggyback Blocking.

The right front of Hart was laid over the left front.  This saves time in measuring the second front.  You only have to check measurements on the first piece.  After it dries, spread the second (symmetrical) piece on top to match the shape of the piece below and re-pin all of the edges.  I expect to block the two sleeves in a similar fashion.

This paragraph is for critical knitters only!  Please feel free to skip it if you are not a (critical) knitter.
I'll be the first to admit that my side seam edges are not very straight, but I know that they will be fine once I seam them.  The front edges have a narrow icord in which I wove a blocking wire for each piece.  I chose not use wires on the side seam edges.  (With the waist shaping, it would take three of my not very flexible wires per piece.)  I also chose not to work the selvedge stitch as in the pattern.  I did try it for the first couple inches of the back.  The slip stitch selvedge was straighter, but it also caused a looseness in the nearby stitches that would not be at all helpful when working the actual seams.   This, my friends, is truly a matter of the personal preference of the knitter.

I hope that you are enjoying your own early spring (with or without knitting)!  

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Yellow Arriving

I have a forsythia bush in my yard that needs to be cut back, and is long overdue for some composting or other soil enrichment.  My scraggly forsythia bush borders the woods and is easy to ignore.  The ground to the south and east of my forsythia bush rises into a small hill preventing it from getting a whole lot of the full sunlight it enjoys.  But, in spite of all that, my forsythia has begun to blossom.

My mother's favorite spring flowers were yellow tulips and my favorite spring flowers are daffodils.  (Both of these have been in my home for the Easter season.)  The goldfinches are back at the feeder behind my house.  Right now, it's still a bit hard to tell the males from the females, but in the coming days the males will molt into their bright yellow summer (breeding) plumage.

I welcome all of these yellows.

Spring, a good time to blossom.  Hope you are feeling it, too.