Entries in pattern (5)

Monday
Dec032012

pom pom quarterly

Have you heard of Pom Pom Quarterly? It's brand new on the knitting scene, a sassy import from the UK. Printed at a smaller than usual scale on gorgeous matte paper, it is filled with charming hand drawn illustrations and tasteful touches like a list of what current contributors are listening to while they create. The patterns are fresh and adorable, and they have just enough knitterly detail to broadcast your skills to the world without slipping into fiber fashion victim territory. 

I was very happy to contribute an article to their most recent issue, available here. You'll have to get your hands on the issue to see what I have to say about shopping for leather and closures in unusual locales, but I thought I'd share some of the photos I submitted here. I'm particularly enamoured with a swing clasp that I found at my local leather good supply, MacPherson's here in Seattle. I used it to close the Sweet & Tough Ducan Scarf shown above (download the free pattern here). The heavy antiqued brass was the perfect way to offset the frothy Schulana Ducan

 

From the top: 1. Bolts of leather on display at MacPhearson's 2. Picking up cabling ideas from leather braiding manuals 3. Dyed fish skins 4. Strips of supple leather lacing 5. Leather lacing used to embellish a men's hat 6. Gilded skin from an ostrich shin 7. Ragga Eirkisdottir using an Icelandic sheepskin to stay warm [photo by Jared Flood] 8. Scrap bin at MacPhearson's, the perfect place to find elbow patches and trims. 

Wednesday
Sep192012

instahats...

You've probably heard of Instagram, but have you ever heard of InstaHATS? That's what I've started calling the hats I have been cranking out on my addi Express knitting machine! I used the King size to make three hats and a cowl in just under an hour. My coworkers made an awesome video that shows you exactly how to make our Riff Hat Express pattern (click here to download the free PDF).

It's a really simple hat, but it's a winner. It's all about yarn choice here. I recommend using a self-striping yarn for lots of interest (the hats above each used colorful Schoppel Zauberwolle), or switching colors halfway through, as we did with the original sports team inspired hats seen in the PDF. 

The hat is completely reversible, super stretchy and very warm! If you make it on the longer side (26" or so), it will have that slouchy Seven Dwarves look that is so in these days...

We had a German-themed shindig over the summer to celebrate 25 years of Skacel. The addi Express table was completely packed the whole day! It only takes a moment to learn (even after a stein or two of beer), and once you get going, it's really hard to stop. My mind is reeling with the possibilites...

Hope you're all enjoying the final days of summer!

CR

Tuesday
Apr242012

welcome holla knits! 

UPDATE: Comments are now closed, congratulations to our winner, MONICA from Sweet Purls

As most of you have probably noticed, the world of patterns has completely changed in the past few years. I still hold my tangible, collectible books and magazines dear, but the trend towards online publishing is exciting for many reasons. With a bit of computer savvy and great organizational moxie, a knitter can put herself at the helm of a mini-indie-media empire (say that three times fast). That is just what Allyson Dyhuizen has done, and Holla Knits is her latest project. 

Allyson has been teaching, blogging and designing for quite a while now, and I have long admired her fun and innovative approach. Even the simplest patterns contain cheeky details, like the Two Boyfriends Cardigan, where she updates the ever popular boyfriend cardigan silhouette with intentionally mismatched fronts. Does the world need another online knitting magazine? When the editor is as fun and motivated as Allyson, YES! 

So what is Holla Knits all about? It is more than a static collection of patterns. Allyson runs a fantastic blog that offers a peek into the design process, from picking yarns to sewing on that last button. By the time I met the sweaters in the first issue, I felt like I really understood the work and thought that had gone into each one. The layout is clean and easy to follow, and she has sprinkled tons of totally fun images throughout. 

The coolest feature is that each garment is knit in two yarns: one low-priced and easily obtainable option and one slightly more luxurious option. Sizes and design features are also swapped out in some cases. It takes one of the best features of Ravelry--seeing variations on different bodies--and plugs it right into the magazine! Genius! 

I was thrilled to work with Allyson providing the yarn support for Lilith Ubbelohde's adorable Romp Around the Clock design. I honestly had no doubts that a risky garment like a one-piece adult romper would not go awry under the editorial direction of Allyson. Would you believe this is Lilith's FIRST design?! She hit it out of the park. 

HiKoo Simplicity works beautifully here. It is next to skin soft, machine washable and bouncy enough to hold up summer after summer. The DK weight merino blend comes in a HUGE array of colors, and I love the romper in Seattle Skies, a charcoal gray that will go with everything. The stitch definition is perfect for showcasing the textured details Lilith worked into this adorable piece. 

 

We are especially excited to be able to offer a PRIZE kit for this pattern! The winner will receive a pattern, the yarn and the addi Needles to knit this romper! Start now and wear it to a Fourth of July BBQ! Comment here to enter--let me know how you would style this versatile piece. If you're already a Holla Knits subscriber, head to their blog to enter their subscriber exclusive giveaway. I will pick a winner on May 5th. Good luck either way! 

Friday
Apr062012

the linen closet

For a knitter, there is always something bittersweet about the arrival of spring. The magazines and websites we follow so faithfully are no longer full of fluffy scarves, intricate colorwork mittens and cozy Aran sweaters. Our steady diets of soft comforting fibers like wool, mohair and alpaca give way to slinky bamboo, silk, and cottons infused with linen. Just as frothy cups of cocoa are swapped for iced tea, our garment choices become lacy, spare, cooling. As much as I love winter, I am always happy to rekindle my love for linen. 

If you've never worked with linen before, you might have at least heard the warnings about it. It's a yarn that can require a bit of patience, as the starchy, strong fibers can be somewhat unyielding at first. The crisp hand can be tempered somewhat by the addition of soft cotton, but even in its purest form, it will soften beautifully with use and laundering. 

Schulana Kilino fits this category and comes in an array of sophisticated pastels that are perfect for warm weather garments. Three colorways combine neutrals with intermittent spots of color, and all are an intriguing combination of slightly shiny linen and soft, matte cotton. 

The yarn has a chain construction that lends lightness and versatility: it looks as good knit at the ballband gauge of 5 stitches per inch as it does knit at a slightly looser gauge. The swatch below shows the spotted shade knit on size 9 needles, while the vine lace swatch (stitch pattern listed at bottom of post) was knit on a size 8 needle: 

Kilino caught the attention of Yumiko Alexander, a designer I've long admired for her calm palette and her texture rich designs. Yumiko responded to the natural texture present in the yarn and used it to create Forest Weave, an intriguing top full of contradictory surfaces, deep cables alternating with breezy dropped stitches. You can find the pattern for sale on Ravelry here. I asked Yumiko for her impressions of Kilino: 

Kilino is a wonderful blend of cotton and linen. For this style of project, I wanted to create a light, easy summer style top that would work well in our hot climate, yet I could layer for winter. The 53 % linen and 47% cotton is a perfect blend for creating a lighter feeling garment than pure cotton of the same DK weight. The chainette construction adds even more lightness and a great texture for the drop stitches. By using Kilino, a high quality blended yarn, I am assured my sweater will last me for many seasons, which is important to me when creating a new design.

Here is the pattern for the yellow swatch shown above. There are three repeats show, which means I started with 31 stitches. It makes a nice little "mug rug" for the copious hot tea I'm drinking at the moment...see, springtime in Seattle is actually quite chilly, so we have a few more weeks of wool yet! 

Have a wonderful weekend,

CR

Vine Lace

(multiple of 9 stitches plus 4)

Rows 1 + 3 (wrong side): Purl.

Row 2: Knit 3, *yarnover, knit 2, slip slip knit, knit 2 together, knit 2, yarnover, knit 1, repeat from *, ending knit 1. 

Row 4: Knit 2, *yarnover, knit 2, slip slip knit, knit 2 together, knit 2, yarnover, knit 1, repeat from *, ending knit 2.  

Repeat these two rows for pattern. 

Thursday
Mar292012

all about lop...

As promised, the pattern for the on trend Lop Headband. Get in on this coquettish spring trend with just one ball of Schulana Angora Fashion Color Twist. You can hear more about the inspiration behind this little confection in my video about Lop

 

marc jacobs rtw s/s 2012 runway images by gianni pucci for gorunway.com    

Hope you're enjoying the moody shades of springtime wherever you are...

CR