Scarves Cowls Shawls

Winter Knitting in the Heat

Whew! - these past two weeks certainly have been scorching hot in the northeast! A cold snap the final week of August faked me out and the subsequent heat wave caught me hauling out blankets and packing away my summer clothes. So here I sit with the air conditioner blasting, knitting snowflakes into a sweater that - true to its name - is making me sweat just pooled up in my lap. 

Nevertheless, my winter knitting is off to a strong start. I've just finished the draft of a new scarf pattern meant to look like the movement of water in the rain. I'm not sure that came through well at all but I do think it's a pretty scarf. I'll pop in some pictures at the bottom. 

Mostly I've had a sweater bug these days - my couch is covered in dog-eared copies of interweave, splayed open to pictures of sweaters in heather grays and mustard yellows. Inexplicably, the first one I cast on is holiday green and covered in snowflakes. Not totally appropriate for fall! I do love it though.

Commonwealth Sweater by Kiri FitzGerald-Hillier, from Interweave Fall 2015 - still sans sleeves but soon to come! 

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I haven't even tried it on yet as the temperature in my apartment makes that an unappealing task. But my dress form and I have been in partnership for some time, and judging by how it fits her, it ought to be perfect on me. 

And now for some pictures of my new design-in-progress. I think I may need to knit a new sample of it in a yarn where the pattern will stand out a bit better. 

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Hopefully someday it will be knitwear weather again. 

New Designs, New Projects

Between work which has kept me busier than usual lately and the fact that I moved to a new apartment in November (and I am not one of these people for whom unpacking takes less than six months), my knitting life has progressed slowly lately. Here is an all too brief rundown of my recent endeavors. 

First, new patterns:

My first yoga mat bag design! I'm beyond pleased with how it turned out. I originally conceived of this design as a stash-buster to work through some scraps of cotton I had left behind from a few weaving projects. Last spring, my best friend and I visited Paris and I had a chance to visit the popular yarn and notions shop, La Droguerie. I was enchanted by the vibrant colors of their Fleur de Coton yarn and bought a few hundred yards in twenty-six colors...which has left me quite a stash of cotton yarn. 

I wanted to make the bag completely adjustable to any size yoga mat, so the pattern begins with a center-out circle that can be worked to any desired size. Once the bottom of the bag is sufficiently wide, the pattern simply carries on working upward to make the body. I used a very basic slipped stitch pattern so that only one working yarn is used at a time. 

Just a few weeks ago, I finally published the pattern for a little scarf I originally designed nearly a year ago. 

This guy has quickly become my favorite scarf. I always have a hard time finding a chunky scarf that doesn't look dumb under a puffy winter coat, but this one is perfect. I tried to take a selfie wearing it, but it didn't come out very well: 

 Selfies aren't my thing. 

Selfies aren't my thing. 

In the works I have a set of simple pillows and a double knit triangle scarf. Pictures to come!

Square Summer Scarf

This past December I was with some friends Christmas shopping at Nordstrom when I found a super-cheap ultra bulky square scarf about four feet long on each side. It's enormous - actually so large that when I wear it I can't see my feet when I walk (do other people look at their feet when they walk down stairs, or is that just me?). I had no idea how to wear such a garment when I first found it, but it was a pretty blend of pastels like a watercolor painting - and cheap - so I took it home. It was only when I wore it to my frigid office building that I discovered the wonderful versatility of square scarves: when chilly at your desk, you can use them as blankets! Plus, as my best friend and I discovered walking the streets of Paris this year, bulky scarves worn kerchief-style are really in right now.  

This newfound love of square scarves inspired me to design a center-out square knitting pattern. I received a jumbo-skein of Ewetopia's Lima DK (100% alpaca) in Pomegranate in one of my Yarnbox monthly packages and it pairs beautifully with a bright white cotton worsted weight from Knit Picks. 

Here are some photos of my cute friend Nana modeling the finished product: 

The Color of Summer is...Fringe!

I've recently discovered all the glory that is fringe. Seriously, how have I not been fringing everything I own all these years? The pattern for this scarf will be forthcoming, but for now here's a little trip through my latest fringe adventure. 

Fashion forward knitting, in seven steps:

Step One - Find yourself some airy, breathable yarn, preferably with a teeny bit of shimmer and shine.

 Teresa Ruch Designs Tencel 5/2 in pearl

Teresa Ruch Designs Tencel 5/2 in pearl

Step Two: Knit something light and lacy.

Step Three: Contemplate your fringe. How long should it be? Three inches? Four? Go for drama and make it five! Sky's the limit. 

Step Four: Put the menfolk to work cutting the fringe. 

 My brother, clearly thrilled. 

My brother, clearly thrilled. 

Step Five: Attach fringe to scarf.

Step Six: Throw on a gorgeous dress and have a photo shoot.

Step Seven: Enjoy!

Cashmere Cowl

Cashmere Cowl

One of the most agonizing aspects of travel is, for me, that hour spent the night before departure deciding what, oh what, to knit on the journey. Perhaps those less clumsy and accident prone than I are faced with an easier decision, but for me a great deal rides on this choice. Indeed, I believe I am the queen of the crafting-while-traveling faux pas. There was the fateful dpns-on-a-plane incident in which I dropped a needle from my work and, after a great deal of fuss, located it under a fellow passenger's rear end. Or the time I brought a color work hat on a megabus and one of the many balls of yarn slipped from my hands and rolled beneath the seats all the way to the front of the bus. Are you getting the picture? I'm not one of those people who travels with poise. 

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Cable-Band Scarf

Cable-Band Scarf

I have to make a confession: I have a complete mental block when it comes to variegated yarn.  Seriously.  I dislike wearing garments made of variegated yarn, inspiration runs dry when I'm designing patterns for variegated yarn, and I refuse to make socks - the great domain of variegated yarns - on principle (I so so so so so don't want people walking on my hand knits...is that unreasonable?).  

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