pattern

The St. Bega Set

Earlier this month, I had two new designs released with The Fibre Company as part of their Autumn 2017 Collection: the St. Bega Mitts and the St. Bega Cowl.

St.-Bega-Mitts-3_medium2.jpg
St.-Bega-Cowl-7_medium2.jpg

Worked in their new Arranmore Light yarn, both pieces are simple and rely on knitted tuck accents to gently shape the fabric and add texture. The cowl features a column of tucks at one location, while the mitts sport their tucks on the top of the wrist.

DSC_0388.jpg

Aside from the knitted tucks, it's all relaxing Netflix knitting--stockinette worked in the round with 2x2 ribbed trim!

New Designs: Seismite & Ribbons

I know I hinted at less designs...but these were completed awhile ago! Such is the nature of the biz, us designers are always working months in advance so I'm not necessarily busy when releases finally come out.

First up is Seismite, a fun and free hat pattern I released earlier this month. If you'd like to snag this one, just sign up for my weekly newsletter to receive it.

Photo by Lindsey Topham

Photo by Lindsey Topham

I dyed the yarn myself under the tutelage of the Kangaroo Dyer and this project is perfect for it! It was my first attempt at dyeing a speckly yarn and while the speckles aren't as pronounced as the skeins I've seen from official dyers, I'm pleased with the watercolor effect I wound up with. I only used up half the skein, leaving me with enough yardage for a second Seismite or some fingerless mitts.

I also contributed a cardigan to SweetGeorgia Yarns' Spring with SweetGeorgia Vol. 2 collection for spring. Meet Ribbons!

Photo by SweetGeorgia Yarns

Photo by SweetGeorgia Yarns

This long stockinette cardigan features graduated stripes of eyelet texture along the hem and cuffs, allowing you to play with fun color combinations! The set-in sleeves are shaped with decreases since you work everything in one piece from the bottom-up, which means no seaming. It's a simple, easy-going silhouette that works with jeans or a dress. I wouldn't wear it with this dress, I was only taking a modeled photo to share with my sample knitter Joni!

Mirth Tunic in Knitscene Winter 2016

I have a new design in the latest issue of Knitscene! Meet the Mirth Tunic.

Sleeveless seems kind of weird for a winter issue, doesn't it? I proposed this piece as a design in a winter issue that includes people knitting in warmer climates who don't need full ski sweaters. I'm also partial to tank top-y shells being worn as vests, and I think this one will look just dandy with a button-down beneath it, or a blazer layered over it.

It's hard to see in the photos, but all the waist shaping takes place on the back in the same formation as princess seam shaping. It helps bring a nice tailored shape to the tunic without distorting the edges of the front cable and lace pattern.

The lace and cable panel is simple to knit, yet it creates a big visual impact in worsted weight yarn (more on that later.) If you prefer a cowl neck with more drape, pick up more stitches or increase until the neck is the width you want. You can knit it shorter for a roll-neck look or go extra long for a really dramatic cowl!

So...about that yarn. It's Mountain Meadow Wool in Salem, a springy wool yarn wrapped in silk thread. As my sample knitter worded it, "In swatch form, the yarn looked rather rustic, but I was pleasantly surprised as well at how well it worked in the garment." If you choose to use Salem, have some faith! It does appear very wooly and naturally textured at first, but it relaxes gorgeously when blocked revealing a hidden elegance. However, Mountain Meadow Wool calls this a DK weight which I disagree with. Both my sample knitter and I were able to achieve a worsted weight gauge on a US 6 without any struggle. When compared next to other worsted weight yarns I had handy, you can see how the yarn works at such a gauge.

From L to R: Salem; Valley Yarns Northampton; Fibre Company Cumbria

From L to R: Salem; Valley Yarns Northampton; Fibre Company Cumbria

I would suggest swatching with a light worsted, worsted or aran weight yarn for this project. Throw the label of 'DK weight' out of your mind and go with a yarn and needle combination that will give you the listed gauge without creating an overly loose or overly tight fabric. I held a small swatch of the lace panel up to the window so you can attempt to judge the tension of the fabric.

If the tunic was completely stockinette and didn't have the lace panel in front, I would feel comfortable wearing it without a layer underneath (ie, I don't find the stockinette fabric inherently open or revealing.) If I had a stockinette swatch to demonstrate this alongside the lace swatch I would have, but it's not anywhere I can easily find! What can I say, my office is not entirely as organized as it should be.

You can find the Mirth Tunic here on Ravelry to add to your queue, or to purchase the individual pattern from Interweave, a new option they've started offering for magazine patterns.

Butter Mellow Cowl

New pattern time!

Photos by  Lindsey Topham

Photos by Lindsey Topham

Months ago I decided to start designing more from my stash. I think my stash is a manageable size compared to some peoples', but to me it feels overwhelming at times. I have good intentions when I buy yarn and try hard not to go overboard, though inevitably there's always a great deal or a limited edition something-or-other that's much harder to resist. I pulled a single skein of The Plucky Knitter Plucky Feet in this great bright yellow out of my stash and set about trying to do it justice. Thus we have the Butter Mellow Cowl!

IMG_7966sm.jpg

I never considered myself a big fingering weight or lace knitter...until now. This project kicked off a stream of fingering weight projects that I'm still in the middle of! Usually fingering weight designs make me anxious or frustrate me because they take so long and seem so fussy. For whatever reason, I really zen'd out while knitting this and just enjoyed the process, no matter how long it took.

This is a shorter cowl, meant to act as more of a decorative accent to your ensemble than provide warmth in cold-weather. Since the length as shown only uses 300 yards, it's perfect for a luxury skein with less yardage than the traditional 400+ yards many fingering weight yarns are packaged as. If you've got plenty of yarn and want it loop it around twice, add repeats of the alternating lace panels until you've reached the length you prefer!

Check out the Butter Mellow Cowl on Ravelry here.

Neon Neutral Triangle Club

The tweet that started it all. Over a year and many yards of neon yarn later, Sarah, Teresa and I are pleased to present Neon Neutral Triangle Club to you all!

Our awesome logo created by Kirsten Hipsky!

Our awesome logo created by Kirsten Hipsky!

The theme is pretty straightforward: neons, neutrals and triangles. We each designed one accessory and one garment based on our interpretation of the theme, and enlisted some killer yarn companies to support them. Because let's face it: when you are doing a collection about neon, you need some NEON.

My accessory design is Triangle Inception and it features some fancy-pantsy yarn from Rain City Knits.

Photos by  Lindsey Topham

Photos by Lindsey Topham

I wanted to showcase a bright variegated colorway since I feel like those types of yarns are often neglected. They're definitely harder to design for and knit with, but they're beautiful too! I met Krista at TNNA in 2014 so she was fresh on my mind when I was thinking of neon yarn options. I love supporting indie dyers!

You can tell these photos were taken awhile ago because my hair is totally different now!

You can tell these photos were taken awhile ago because my hair is totally different now!

It's a really simple triangle shawl with a garter stitch body and knit-and-purl triangle border. The white spokes are formed by slip-stitch surface crochet after the shawl is complete, and it's easy to get the hang of even if you aren't a crocheter! Plus the RainCityKnits Super Sock MCN base is lush and very pettable.

Acute-ly Preppy is my garment design and ohmygod I'm SO HAPPY that we managed to get a jumping shot during this photoshoot!

I've worked with the folks at Fairmount Fibers before (the US distributors of Manos del Uruguay yarns) and they are just fabulous, so I was really happy when they agreed to support this venture. Maxima is a great squishy single-ply merino that has punchy neon colors, making it a no-brainer choice.

I will warn you--this is a labor of love, product knitter type sweater. It's knit flat in pieces and seamed, which a lot of people already dislike, but that means the front panel has both right side AND wrong side colorwork going on. I personally didn't find it bad at all, though since I designed it I'm clearly crazy and my opinion can't be trusted. Essentially, the front panel is stranded so you're carrying your colors across both RS and WS rows, but it's set within a larger piece intarsia-style. You knit across the front to the beginning of the panel, twist the yarns around each other when working intarsia, strand both accent colors across the panel, and then twist around a separate ball of the MC to finish working the other side of the front.

Since the front is so complicated, there's no shaping and everything else is straightforward. The back neck is shaped the same as the front for a cute V-neck back. So if you wear a bright tank underneath, you'll have a little neon surprise back there!

jewelrycollage.jpg

I also want to thank two special people that contributed. First is my friend Elisabeth who graciously lent me some of her handmade triangle-themed jewelry (see above) for the photoshoot as the perfect accent. You can see her work at metal & rocks. The other person is Kirsten Hipsky, who created our ebook layout for us and did a fantastic design job. If you buy a copy you'll see what I mean!

Neon Neutral Triangle Club is available on Ravelry as a full 6-pattern ebook for $24, or you can purchase the patterns individually.

Cirriform Cardigan Notes

I'm sure that you caught the Deep Fall issue of Knitty and with it, my Cirriform Cardigan. I wanted to share some tips for those of you planning on knitting it. Let's begin!

Photos by  Lindsey Topham

Photos by Lindsey Topham

Front Lengths

User sheilatoy on Ravelry knit up a modified version and noted that the pattern schematic shows the fronts as being asymmetrical when they are actually the same length. I wanted the schematic to show the front lengths as they look when being worn to help illustrate how one side hangs lower due to the bias of the fabric. But she is totally correct--each lace front has the same number of rows! For reference, I'm 5'3" and the longer front hits about knee length on me (see above photo.) The yarn you use will either enhance or change the effect of the hang, which brings me to my next point...

Yarn Substitutions

I've been flagged in several Ravelry discussions about yarn choices for this project. Berroco Kodiak is a pretty unique yarn but unfortunately it's discontinued! You can still find it on closeout at Webs, and one LYS owner wrote to me that she still had stock in her store. User foodieknitter on Ravelry pointed out that Kodiak is closer to an aran weight than a bulky, and seeing as I knit it up at 4sts/inch in this project, I'd tend to agree. Kodiak is a tube style yarn similar to Blue Sky Alpacas Techno. I know Techno is created by forming a silk tube and then blowing the alpaca into it, so I imagine Kodiak is formed similarly but I don't know for sure. It's super weightless, which is what really makes this design work. I hesitate to suggest traditionally spun alpaca or wool yarns for Cirriform for a few reasons. Most bulky 100% alpaca yarns I see are 2-ply and actually quite heavy with a tendency to sag and weigh themselves down over time. I worry that the extra fabric on the fronts of this cardigan, combined with the natural bias of the lace pattern would give you fronts that reach your ankles by the end of the day! (Ok, slight exaggeration.) A tightly worsted-spun merino, on the other hand, is so springy that I don't think it would add that lovely drape the Kodiak provides.

Aside from the yarn suggestions listed in the pattern, I think your best luck lies with a brushed alpaca or a lofty woolen-spun wool yarn if you must have wool. I'd suggest generous swatches, plus hanging your lace front swatches to dry (perhaps even with weights added) to ensure the best representation of how the final fabric will behave. However, if you plan to wear it closed with a shawl pin or belt, or if you want to add a button or two at the top neckline, you don’t have to worry as much about the drape because those will hold up the sweater fronts. Not to mention they are fun and very valid styling choices to switch it up!

Front Lace Patterns

Both the very talented tech editor at Knitty, Kate Atherley, and knitter Kerstin (who emailed me) pointed out that the left front lace pattern is not a true diagonal lace pattern like the right front. That's how I designed the pattern, since I found the left front lace pattern biased enough on its own to create a cheater diagonal effect. But you are totally welcome to adapt it to create a truly diagonal lace pattern! Kerstin adapted it to a 4-row repeat like the right front, as follows:

Row 1 (RS): K1, *yo, k2tog; rep from * to end.

Row 2 (WS): Purl.

Row 3: K2 *yo, k2tog; rep from * until 1 st remains, k1.

Row 4: Purl.

Sizing

The sizing on this pattern is a little unusual because it's designed to be worn with a lot of ease. The official finished bust measurements of the finished garment are 35.75 [40, 44.5, 48.75, 53.25, 58.75, 63.05] inches. However, as you can see in the above photo, the fronts overlap each other quite significantly when held closed because the cardigan is intended to be worn open with excessively large, drape-y swaths of fabric acting as the fronts. My full bust measurement is 33" and I'm wearing the 40" size in photos--that's 7" of positive ease!

As you can see, the cardigan fits across my upper back and shoulders which is really the key here for this style. The back width after all raglan increases are finished (aka in line with your bust) are as follows:

16.75 (18.75, 20.75, 22.75, 24.75, 26.75, 28.75) inches

Based off that, my personal recommendation is that as the wearer, your personal full bust measurement should be about 30 (34, 38, 42, 46, 52, 56)" in order to have the intended amount of positive ease. If you prefer a slightly more fitted look, match yourself up with a size based on your back measurement and go down rather than up if you are between measurements. The fronts will still be drape-y and excessive even if you go down a size!

(One final shot for atmosphere because I'm obsessed with this gloriously vine-y wall!)

Got any further questions on the Cirriform Cardigan, or want to show off your own modifications to the pattern? I'd love to hear from you!

Shock Star Slouch KAL

I'm kicking off fall with a fun and free KAL! This is the Shock Star Slouch, knit in Spun Right Round Squish DK in the Shock Star colorway. Want to play along? All you have to do is follow me on Instagram (@emmawelford).

DSC_0254smedit.jpg

I'll be releasing the pattern in parts the week of October 12th on my Instagram. If you prefer a full PDF copy, don't worry--I'll have it on Ravelry for sale after the KAL has ended, but of course the original pattern posts will live on Instagram forever so you can always piece together the parts yourself for free.

All the textures going on in this hat make it perfect for confetti-style or any other hand-dyed yarn with short repeats. I know I have a few of those skeins in my stash...yarns that are too pretty to pass up but tend towards clown barf territory when knit up in regular stockinette. If you want to get your own skein of Shock Star (or another fabulous colorway of Squish DK), you're in luck. Renee is offering a coupon code good for 10% off your purchase from 9/25-10/9. Just use SHOCKSTARKAL10 at her Etsy shop! The hat has two size options and each size uses less than a full skein of the Squish DK.

Look at how much that highlighter yellow pops! And that color is straight-from-the-camera, folks, no crazy Photoshopping needed. This was my first self-shot pattern photoshoot with my Nikon D3200 and it turned out fantastic despite the erm, awkward positions I had to take:

Like Tim Gunn says, "Make it work!" I suppose I need a taller tripod though, unless I want every photo session to also double as a quad-burning workout!

Not on Instagram? You can still follow along online!

Meet the Paglia Baby Blanket

Baby knits are out of my comfort zone. I don't have children myself and the majority of my friends don't have children either, so I'm not exposed to them often. What do they want to wear? Or maybe more important, what do their parents want to dress them in?! A baby blanket though...that I can handle. When my stepsister Beth announced her and her husband Dave's first child last fall, I cooked up plans to design and knit a special baby blanket just for them.

Photos by  Lindsey Topham

Photos by Lindsey Topham

The Paglia Baby Blanket might be designed for babies, but I think it still holds true to my design ethos. You start in the center and work outwards, knitting the blanket in the round. The rectangle is split into four wedges. Two are worked in simple garter stitch which adds extra texture and provides a break from the cable-intensive other two panels. The rhythm of the pattern is easily recognizable and it's a small blanket, perfect for a car seat or playtime, so you'll be done with it quickly!

Spud & Chloe Sweater is a machine-washable organic cotton and wool blend, perfect for the intended recipient's California climate. You can use Sweater, or substitute the worsted weight yarn of your choice. Got any upcoming babies in your life?

Over the Dark Rainbow

Notice anything different around here? I decided it was time for a digital makeover! Poke around and let me know what you think of this snazzy new site design.

The Fall issue of knit.purl magazine is now appearing in the wilds and with it, my Dark Rainbow Sweater!

Photos courtesy of Interweave

Photos courtesy of Interweave

This was my first time working with knit.purl (though I've worked with editor Lisa Shroyer before) and I'm glad to finally check that one off my 'knitting bucket list.' Stylistically, I think it's SUCH a cool publication and I always love their presentation. I'm really digging the dark rocker chic vibe of these photos!

Dark Rainbow Sweater is super simple to knit but packs a ton of visual impact thanks to the Schoppel-Wolle Reggae Ombre. I had never seen this yarn before which is kind of a big deal. Webs doesn't carry everything of course, that's impossible, but we carry a lot more than a small LYS can so I'm familiar with a wide range of yarns. The Reggae is a very cool slightly-felted single, though I feel like that description doesn't give it justice. Maybe it's the type of wool used, but it feels very different from other felty singles I've seen before (all merino ones.) Whatever the reason, it sports a very cool texture that adds extra dimension plus there are lots of color combos to choose from--more on that in a different post!

It's knit flat in almost-identical pieces and seamed with minimal body shaping. I dig the long garter stitch cuffs on the sleeves but my favorite part is....DAT COLLAR. It's worked similarly to a turned hem and creates a wonderful mini-funnel neck, stand-up-on-its-own collar.

I can't wait to get this one back in the mail. It will fit seamlessly into my fall wardrobe! Black bodycon dress and goth boots, anyone?

Playing with Color: Polonaise Cardigan

Welcome to another edition of Playing with Color! Today we'll take a look at the Polonaise Cardigan. Let's just start by saying TGFM--thank god for Malabrigo! Or actually, thank god for Malabrigo's well-designed website that often puts perfect color combinations right next to each other. I mean, check out the page for Silky Merino. Hnnnngggghhh!

Photo by Kate Broderick

You'll need to pick three colors for this baby: one main color, and two coordinating colors for the bow detail. The idea is to pick two similar shades for the bow, one light and one dark, to be the body of the bow and its shadows. This is another occasion where shopping in-person is SO helpful. Failing that, if you can somehow get your hands on a Malabrigo color card or if you know someone with an extensive Silky Merino stash who can provide input, you'll be much better served than going in blindly and guessing.

I used Spring Water for the MC and Tatami/Topaz for the bow, as I was going for a cloth-of-gold bow look and thought the Spring Water would provide nice contrast. Here are some other fun suggestions! The first color on the left is the body color and the other two would be the bow colors.

Cape Cod Grey, Camote & Coral for a fresh, modern take

Pollen, Raspberry & Jupiter for an unexpected hint of sweetness

Wisteria, Acorn & Redwood Bark for the sophisticate's closet

Do any of these color combinations inspire you?

Momo's Amazing Modifications

Momo is a fantastic knitter with a droolworthy project page on Ravelry. She tackles difficult colorwork projects quickly with ease, has great color sense and almost always uses fabulous hand-dyed yarn. I was beyond thrilled to see how she creatively translated the charts from Elektrocute into a full pullover!

16690603128_a0ceb06268_zAll photos by Momo

In addition to expanding the charts to fit the length of the sweater, Momo made the background a gradient progression of grays which I think would look great in the cowl too! According to her project page notes, the pullover is top-down, uses the contiguous sleeve method and the zipper facing is steeked.

16878199865_62b5ca3704_zSuper creative--thank you for letting me share this, Momo!

If you love a colorwork chart but don't like the item it's intended for, why not modify? A cowl chart can be turned into a full sweater, a mitten motif can become the motif of a circular yoke cardigan, or a full sweater chart can be scaled down to a hat if you are dipping your toes into stranded knitting and want to test out a smaller project first. Knitting is full of limitless possibilities if you are open to making modifications and coming up with creative solutions to get the projects you want. Go forth and modify!

Welcome Spring (and Galicia!)

Back in January Manos del Uruguay released their spring line of patterns. I contributed Galicia, a lightweight pullover, but it just felt wrong to taunt you with warm-weather goodness while still embroiled in the depths of winter! Well, the snow is (mostly) melted 'round these parts and I feel like it's finally time to turn our knitting attentions to greener pastures.

galiciaDressmaker's photos by Fairmount Fibers Ltd

Galicia is knit in Serena, a really nice alpaca and cotton blend which is smooth, drapey, and just perfect for lighterweight garments. I decided to try out a new construction method that I've knit before on personal garments but not designed in until now. You start by working the upper back flat from the neck down to the armholes, then those stitches are set aside and the front shoulders are picked up from your cast on edge so you can work the chest from the neckline down to the armholes. From there, the halves are joined and the body is worked downwards in the round. Stitches for the sleeves are picked up to work a short row sleeve cap before continuing knitting them downwards in the round. In a nutshell: seamless, knit flat AND in the round, and lots of fun!

Just like the Holla Back Tank (how I've come full circle!), the back steals the show here with a lace panel and garter stitch upper back section. The front has a slight A-line shape thanks to evenly placed increases, to keep the fit breezy and relaxing. Here you can see a close-up shot of the front in the official pattern photos, and a casual one of me that shows how it looks on a person.

galicia collage

I think it would look great in Natural paired with denim or patterned shorts, or maybe Green Tea--one of my favorite Serena shades! A short sleeved or sleeveless version would also be killer for the intrepid modders among us. Any which way they turn out, I can't wait to see more versions popping up.

Golden

The Spring 2015 issue of Knitscene will be out shortly and I have two contributions this time around. One is a fun article about warm-weather knitting projects and the other is the Gilt Sweater.

Gilt-Sweater_medium2All photos by Knitscene/Harper Point Photography

This was sparked by the 'golden' color story on the mood boards. As I've mentioned before, sometimes I have ideas that just come to me rather than being drawn from specific photos or references and this sweater was one of those lightbulb ideas. I wanted to create a relaxed layering sweater, a transitional piece that was cozy like a sweatshirt but a little more refined. Hence my working title--Luxe$hirt! I think I said to Amy in my proposal that 'the $ is like Ke$ha', ha. It also explains my seemingly random designer blurb at the end of the pattern. I've been having fun with writing those lately, and I at least laugh at myself even if no one else finds them funny!

comboThe most striking part about the sweater is the gradient color transition, made possible by two gorgeous colors of Malabrigo Lace held double. The bottom is two strands of Color A, the middle is one strand each of Color A & Color B, and the yoke is two strands of Color B. It created a super luxurious fabric that's warm without being heavy--like a golden cloud! Extra deep ribbing on the sleeves, a boxy cropped fit and the raglan sleeves are all meant to keep it casual and sweatshirt-like. The small lace detail at the collar is supposed to mimic old school sweatshirts with the triangle insert at the neckline.

Knitscene-Spring-2015-Golden-0068_medium2The styling and setting for these photos is super cute and I couldn't be happier!

Cats Cats Cats

As promised, the second sweater from the caboose photo shoot: Cables 'n Cats!

IMG_1215 (2)smPhotos by Lindsey Topham

This sweater has no particular inspiration, which is how I work sometimes. I was playing around with juxtaposing various cable and texture patterns together and fell upon this combination which I really liked. It's a classic, simple shape overall but very flattering thanks to the waist shaping and the large cables which sit at a princess seam orientation. And then you turn around to reveal....cat buttons!

IMG_1353smestThe sleeve cuffs are also buttoned and each button features a different kitty! I love this style of buttons--I used them in my Brooklyn Bridge Mitts, and I have robot buttons in my stash waiting for the perfect sweater.

blogThe construction is a little interesting towards the end, but nothing crazy complicated. The body is worked in the round until the armholes, then the sleeves are worked separately (also in the round) and joined together with the body to work the yoke in one piece....at first! Once stitches are bound off at the center back for the button placket, the yoke is worked back and forth in rows. Then as the neckline shaping begins, you work back and forth on one side of the body at a time (going from the front neck across the shoulder to the center back.)

You can snag Cables 'n Cats on Ravelry now for $7.00.

Let's Get Stripey

I recently released a new cardigan pattern....and never posted about it here. Oops! In case you missed it on Ravelry, this is Stripe Quartet!

IMG_1598smallestAll photos by Lindsey Topham

Knit in four colors of the gorgeous Baah Aspen, Stripe Quartet is a top-down raglan cardigan that lets the stripes take center stage. There are a few special touches, like eyelet raglan increases and a curved hem finished with an I-cord bind off.

blog

I was super excited to finally use this location! I am constantly making note of potential photoshoot locations and I had mentally bookmarked this one ages ago. These amazing blue cabooses reside just behind Green Valley Produce, a farm stand in Deerfield, MA. The owner Jon was nice enough to allow us to shoot there and I have another sweater coming soon that we took photos of here as well.

I'm a huge fan of orange and pairing it with hot pink and greys was a dream color palette for me. What quartet of colors would you get stripey with?

Free Pattern: Rainbow Slip Mitts

smilehI have a free pattern for you today! These were inspired by some work I'm doing with my friend Gail, The Kangaroo Dyer. She put together these colorful mini skeins in her Poet Seat Fingering base--she calls it her 'first aid kit' for color--and gave me a batch to play with. I decided to put them to good use in this super easy pair of handwarmers! They are worked flat and seamed partially up the side to create an opening for the thumb. Rainbow Slip Mitts

Finished Size: 7" around, 4.75" long (17.80cm x 12cm)

Yarn: approx 50 yards of natural and scrap amounts of 5 colors. I used RainCityKnits MCN Fingering in Natural, and a Kangaroo Dyer Poet Seat Fingering Mini Skein Kit. This is a great way to use up precious leftovers!

Materials: US 3 (3.25mm) needle, tapestry needle

Gauge: 30 sts by 38 rows = 4" (10cm) in rainbow slip pattern. Gauge is not crucial for this project.

Using natural, CO 49 sts leaving a long tail to seam with at the end. Row 1 (RS): Slip 1, *p1, k1; rep from * to end. Row 2 (WS): Slip 1, *k1, p1; rep from * to end. Repeat these 2 rows until work measures 1.5" from beginning. Knit 1 row, then purl 1 row. Begin rainbow slip pattern.

Switch to pink (or your first color). Row 1 (RS): K1, *slip 1, k1; rep from * to end. Row 2: Repeat the last row. Row 3: Knit. Row 4: Purl.

Switch to orange (or your next color). Row 5: K2, slip 1, *k1, slip 1; rep from * until 2 sts remain, k2. Row 6: P1, k1, *slip 1, k1; rep from * until 1 st remains, p1. Row 7: Knit. Row 8: Purl.

Switch to yellow. Row 9: K1, *slip 1, k1; rep from * to end. Row 10: Repeat the last row. Row 11: Knit. Row 12: Purl.

Switch to green. Row 13: K2, slip 1, *k1, slip 1; rep from * until 2 sts remain, k2. Row 14: P1, k1, *slip 1, k1; rep from * until 1 st remains, p1. Row 15: Knit. Row 16: Purl.

Switch to indigo. Row 17: K1, *slip 1, k1; rep from * to end. Row 18: Repeat the last row. Row 19: Knit. Row 20: Purl.

Switch to pink. Row 21: K2, slip 1, *k1, slip 1; rep from * until 2 sts remain, k2. Row 22: P1, k1, *slip 1, k1; rep from * until 1 st remains, p1. Row 23: Knit. Row 24: Purl.

Switch to orange. Row 25: K1, *slip 1, k1; rep from * to end. Row 26: Repeat the last row. Row 27: Knit. Row 28: Purl.

Switch to yellow. Row 29: K2, slip 1, *k1, slip 1; rep from * until 2 sts remain, k2. Row 30: P1, k1, *slip 1, k1; rep from * until 1 st remains, p1. Row 31: Knit. Row 32: Purl.

Switch to green. Row 33: K1, *slip 1, k1; rep from * to end. Row 34: Repeat the last row. Row 35: Knit. Row 36: Purl.

Switch to indigo. Row 37: K2, slip 1, *k1, slip 1; rep from * until 2 sts remain, k2. Row 38: P1, k1, *slip 1, k1; rep from * until 1 st remains, p1. Row 39: Knit. Row 40: Purl.

Switch back to natural. Knit one row. Row 1 (WS): Slip 1, *k1, p1; rep from * to end. Row 2 (RS): Slip 1, *p1, k1; rep from * to end. Repeat these two rows once more, then work 1 more WS row. On next RS row, BO all sts in pattern and leave a long tail to seam with.

Weave in ends. Using your tail from casting on, seam the bottom of the mitt 2" up the side. Use the tail from your BO to seam the top of the mitt 1" down the side. This will leave a 1.75" opening along the side for your thumb, but adjust the length and placement of side seams as needed to comfortably fit your hand. Repeat for the second mitt (they are identical.)

IMG_1776 editedHappy slip knitting!

Spring, Spring, Spring

I couldn't resist that bit of nerdiness, now you know my secret love for musicals. SORRYNOTSORRY.

Spring is a fever dream right now in New England. Warm weather? Exposed arms? Dafuq?! But you too can dream that fever dream by checking out the great spring looks that have just been released as part of Louet North America's Spring 2014 Collection. If you start knitting now, you'll be prepared by the time the snow melts! In theory...

This is a very well rounded collection, featuring tanks, tees, a long-sleeve pullover, two shawls and a skirt. All use either Gems Fingering, Gems Sport or Euroflax Sport. The first two are smoothly plied merino yarns and the last one is 100% Linen. Yarn store employee confession time--Euroflax Sport simultaneously intrigued and terrified me when I worked in the store. If a customer wanted 100% Linen yarn, Euroflax Sport was one of the only ones we had. In the hank it's stiff and wiry but we kept a blocked swatch nearby to prove how well it softened once washed. LIKE MAGIC. I never got a chance to try it but still hope to someday!

I decided to style my three favorite items from the collection. First up is Selway by Karen Marlatt. (All photos of the collection by Caro Sheridan, who is a fountain of awesomeness by the way. Took a photography class of hers and it was amazing!)

BFF Afternoon

I love oversized, airy layering pieces and Selway is perfect for that! You can add a different colored tank top under it to change your look completely and have it fit right in with your wardrobe, especially when knit in a neutral like white. I made it pop with yummy coral jeans and cute kitschy shoes from Modcloth but you could easily work Selway into a more ~grown-up look. I think this would be perfect for an afternoon of shopping with my BFF--comfortable and still fashionable!

Summer Date Night

Niobrara by Jairlyn Mason features an elegant pleated neck detail and a flattering shape. I dressed it up for a summery date night out with a look that's put-together but not stuffy. A mini and flats put all the attention on your legs (one of my favorite parts to highlight) and a cardigan is a must-have when braving overly air-conditioned restaurants. Just don't forget to roll the cuffs back to show off that sweet stack of bracelets!

Lazy Sunday

For days when you need a quick layer but want something more polished than a sweatshirt, Camulet by Anne Podlesak is perfect. I'd let a bright tee peek through this lacy number for a lazy Sunday spent knitting, running errands and doing whatever else strikes my fancy. I'm a huge fan of long sleeves with shorts--I think of it as the less-popular cousin of short sleeves with pants--and as I've mentioned before on this blog I am a diehard Converse fan, so there's no contest in the footwear department! Add a geometric necklace and you are golden for spending a day on the couch without looking like you're spending a day on the couch, ifyaknowwhatImean.

Now that I've unfairly whey your appetite for warmer weather, go forth and knit! Or check out the other stops on the Louet North America Spring 2014 Collection blog tour to explore these great designs further!

January 13: Louet North America January 15: Mari Knits January 17: From the Desk of Molly Purlz January 20: Fiber Dreams January 22: Nik’s Knits January 24: Emma Welford Designs January 27: Guest Post by Patty Nance on Louet Blog January 31: Wooly Wonka Fibers February 3: Kangath Knits

Pantonal III: Tamborim

The end is nigh--er, I mean here!

collagePhotos by Topham Photo

Tamborim is the final installation of the Pantonal pattern club. Emma's Silly Pattern Naming Theme continues! Since the color is called Samba, I went Wikipedia-ing to find related terms that also happen to be cool sounding words, et voila. A tamborim is a type of Brazilian drum used in samba music. The more you know!

IMG_0432smallestThis super quick slouchy hat features garter stitch triangle details on the body for a simple but effective textural detail. I love the way Laura's tonal dye work looks here, the harmony of design + yarn are really working for me. It starts with a picot turned hem (side note: I love turned hems! They look so clean!) and is topped with a pom pom--optional if you like, but mandatory if you know what's good for you. Especially if you live somewhere snowy. Pom pom is non-negotiable!

We shot this in front of some really fun graffiti of a soundwave in downtown Northampton. You can read all about the project and see more photos here!

Tamborim will be available to you non-club riffraff on June 1, 2014.

It's Electric!

*cue The Electric Slide and memories of dancing to it in middle-school gym class* Ahem! Now that little bit of reminiscing is out of the way, I bring you: Elektrocute!

IMG_7337smAll photos by Lindsey Topham

Elektrocute is a graphic two-color cowl featuring a whole mess o' patterns! See: gradient transitions, zig-zags, and the cutest widdle lightening bolts ever. You won't get bored knitting or wearing this one, and it's sure to make you stand out from the crowd.

blogI'm sporting the longer 44" length (which can be worn open or doubled over) while Mary rocks the close-fitting 28" length. Both sizes take less than 2 skeins (one of each color) of Madelinetosh Pashmina. I've had Pashmina in my stash for over a year now but this is my first time using it--for shame! I can't think of a better luxury than treating yourself to this deliciously scrumptious yarn and then wrapping it around your neck. Not to mention the endless color combinations...

I wanted to try something a little different for this photo shoot, which is how we wound up with shots like this:

IMG_7294smI always enjoy starting my day with picking leaves out of my hair before work, don't you?

You can snag Elektrocute on Ravelry now.

An Army of Heliopaths

My Heliopath Vest pattern has over 1000 favorites on Ravelry--can I get a WOO-HOO?! Seriously, through the moon on this one. Putting a design out there is simultaneously exciting and scary, because what if no one likes something you labored over? (And cried over, and swore over...depending on the design!) This one is especially dear to my heart because of the Harry Potter connection, so I am super duper beyond thrilled that knitters are in love with Luna just as much as I am.

Without much more ado, here is a small sampling of the gorgeous Heliopath FOs that have been popping up!

heliopath1Krista-lu chose variegated yarn for a bold statement! These colors scream fall and I think the buttons are that perfect touch of bookish British classic style.

heliopath5Plucky Knitter yarn + a dynamite gal = thearensolo in her contribution! Great fit, and crazy adorable buttons (click through to her project page for a close-up!)

heliopath4I LOVE how this floral print shirt looks with Nanaelliot's flashy red Heliopath. I love button-ups but own zero, clearly I need to remedy this stat! (Side note: I never know whether to say 'button-up' or 'button-down' when referring to these shirts. Which is correct?!)

heliopath3OhTheBether even made her vest look stunning as it blocked! I'm a fall colors gal so I dig this rusty orange tone. Plus Swans Island yarn <3.

heliopath2And THAT? That my friends is Kirbalicious' vest seen here as part of her Loony Lovegood Halloween costume! She even has an accurate Quibbler in her hand, what detail!

Round of applause to these ladies and all the other Heliopath knitters out there--I really appreciate your support and always look forward to seeing your photos. Hope that more of you join us soon! After all, I'm going to need an army by my side when we finally decide the time is ripe to expose the Rotfang Conspiracy...