Our ten-degree January has been the perfect time for a bulky knit.
Over the holidays we traveled to Alexandria, VA, where I was able to visit fibre space, a full-service LYS filled with yarny inspiration. I walked out with two different yarns--BT Shelter and a super soft, hand dyed single ply from Fiberstory called ONE Bulky.
On the drive home I cast on for this cowl design now in my Ravelry store--The ONE Ring (yes there's a Tolkien reference there--couldn't resist given the name of the yarn!).
This design is great for beginners since it has a very easy lace pattern and works up quickly in bulky yarn.
Simple yarnover buttonholes are worked at the end so you can fasten the cowl with statement buttons.
And to help you with your January knitting--use code "chillin" to take 25% off this and all my other Ravelry store patterns, now through Jan. 16.
Introducing Rhodes, my very first official sweater pattern, now available on Ravelry! I have tinkered with sweaters over the years, but not very many because they take so long to knit. After working with this lovely lace and cable stitch pattern for the Lacylicious hat, I decided it would look awesome on the front of a sweater.
Here's me modeling my version, knit with the Plucky Knitter Scholar (worsted weight). This yarn is a merino/cashmere blend and has a lovely rustic feel.
I added little elegant details such as twisted ribbing, eyelet increases, and cables along the backs of the sleeves.
Here is a smaller sample shown in the Plucky Knitter Trusty.
And a bonus – the top down construction is virtually seamless!
There's nothing like a competition to get the creative wheels turning. This month I'm entering a pillow cover into the Umbrella Prints Trimmings Competition. After I learned about the competition last month, I fell in love with the clean lines of Umbrella's screened prints and ordered a couple trimmings packets. Bonus: I actually won one of the Golden Tickets! (My prize, which I got to choose from several options, was a "super duper" pack of remnants of many different prints--so much fun to play with!)
This square pillow is from my new sewing pattern, Mod Flower Pillows, and used one of the competition trimmings packets, together with some solid color fabrics in shades of peach and orange. The rules require using the trimmings in any creative way; other fabrics can be used as long as the prints are the focus. The trimmings pieces were kind of tiny, at most 5 inches long on one side:
the trimmings unpacked piecing in progress
It has an envelope-style back for easy insertion.
The little rectangle pillow below is also from my Mod Flower Pillows PDF pattern, which is for sale on my site here and in my etsy shop. The pattern has instructions for two different pillows with cute retro flower motifs, which can be appliqued in felted wool or quilting fabric. The templates are full size.
I used a machine blanket stitch for the applique, but it could also be done by hand or a zigzag or running machine stitch.
My latest knitting pattern is a crescent shawl named Deco Fountains. I designed this specifically for The Woolen Rabbit Yarn Club 2013. If you haven't checked out Kim's yarn yet, you should take a look at the yumminess here. This shawl is knit in Opal, a very soft, deluxe sport-weight. The color is exclusive to the club, while the pattern is exclusive for six months. It will be available for general sale on Ravelry at the end of October 2014.
Kim's fun theme for the 2013 Yarn Club was The Roaring 20s. I love Art Deco architecture, so I jumped at the chance to design a shawl with an Art Deco theme. I love the swooping lines of the center lace panel, which reminiscent of the interior of Severance Hall (where our local band, The Cleveland Orchestra, plays):
as well as these gorgeous examples of Art Deco style from New York (the Madison Belmont and Chrysler buildings).
Exquisite wool applique with beaded embroidery and ric rac
A couple weeks ago I went to a local quilt show and saw some stunning examples of appliqued and intricately hand-embellished insects and flowers on a wall hanging quilt. The tag stated they were designs from Sue Spargo, whom I immediately looked up when I got home. Her folk art designs of embellished wool appliqué are simply amazing, and I think they have a wonderful vintage feel.
The handworked detail here is amazing!
Shortly thereafter, I was thrilled to find a Sue Spargo kit from a local fabric shop. The "Sew Your Seeds" kit came with bits of fabric, trims, and beads. It was a fun portable sewing project, and I turned it into a sewing case instead of a needle keeper when it was done.
In progress Finished outside
Inside of finished case
Investigating wool appliqué got my ideas buzzing, so I ordered this Sue Spargo pattern book from Amazon, and I've been overdyeing some wool coating with Kool-Aid. It's amazing how many different colors you can get by mixing a few kinds of Kool-Aid. It's also super fast. I did five 12x12" squares in half an hour, with two pots going. I used 1-3 packets of unsweetened Kool-Aid per 1.5-2 quarts water, heated to just below boiling for 5-10 minutes until the desired shade was reached. A quick rinse in cold water, then it's done! Pretty scary to think of people drinking this stuff. The most potent flavor, I've found, is the grape. Just half a packet made my very thick coating square a nice lilac shade, and only a few dribbles can darken other shades. I shudder to think of how it dyes your insides.
If you'd like to try wool applique but are not interested in having a fruity-smelling kitchen, I found this shop on etsy that sells lovely bundles of dyed wool for reasonable prices. It's worth checking out!
All the pretty colors of wool dyed with . . . Kool Aid???