Tegna II

DSC00819

Tegna II is done.

Clearly I really like the Tegna knitting pattern by Caitlin Hunter (Boyland Knitworks). Released in May of this year, Tegna is constructed from the bottom up starting with the lace section and has a loose, boxy shape that I feel is well suited for hand knit garments. For me the fit is perfect, on top of all the other amazing features of this top, so how could I resist knitting a second one?

DSC00060

Since my first Tegna is what I consider to be a neutral version I decided to go with more color for the second one. Recently I had become aware of the allure of Garn Stories, a German based yarn company that seems to specialize quite well in speckles–just what I was looking for! I went with the colorway Magic Mint, which is a blue-green (although more green than blue) and white yarn with multi-colored speckles. It is luscious!

DSC00289

Having already worn my first Tegna about a dozen times I think we can expect this one to get a ton of wear. To view and read about my first Tegna, click here.

DSC00861

Advertisements

Sophie’s Handspun Windschief

DSC00418.JPG

When Tour de Fleece came around this year I wanted to spin in solidarity with other fiber enthusiasts around the world, though I was too late to sign up for a team. My hands were already full with knitting commitments, but I made time to spin one of the many rovings (and tops and rolags) I’ve had sitting around on the shelf for months. I went with my roving of Malabrigo Nube in the colorway “Diana,” which is probably one of my favorite Malabrigo colorways. By the way I do all of my spinning on a Schacht Flatiron.

IMG_3672.JPG

Being a spinning “nube” (gotta make use of those puns when graced with the opportunity), I attempted to spin fine singles and failed. Instead I ended up with a fingering/sport mix. While my spinning consistency has greatly improved, I have not yet managed to spin one bobbin-full of a single yarn weight. When I can one day spin beautiful fine singles to ply for socks, I will be dancing on the rooftops.

IMG_3925

I plied together my thick-and-thin-ish singles, which resulted in a lovely worsted weight skein. My friends on Instagram thought a hat would be best, so I searched through my queue and decided on Windschief, a West Knits pattern. My daughter loves the colors, so she became the obvious recipient. The yarn is a tad busy for the pattern, but Sophie didn’t want a plain knit hat, and I didn’t want to knit one either. It’s a good thing because this pattern was fun to knit!

DSC00361

Of course Sophie had to have a pompom, which I am always thrilled to make. If I didn’t feel they are a waste of expensive designer yarn I’d make pompom garlands weekly and string them throughout the house.

How I Roll: Rose City Rollers, Havirland Style

DSC00156

The Rose City Rollers sock pattern is (or certainly ought to be) a staple of every sock knitter’s library. Mara Catherine Bryner (@orangeknits) released this sensational free pattern back in 2015. Soon after we began to see examples of her blending technique, where she fades colors from one to the next as she knits the sock. Apparently everyone wanted to know how she worked such magic, so in June of this year she met their demands and released a new pattern called How I Roll. This pattern details her process of blending, as well as offering endless knitting options, including top-down and toe-up; texture patterning; square, rounded and asymmetrical toe shaping; and three different heel flap styles. Undoubtedly, with this pattern you get your money’s worth! The How I Roll pattern can be purchased here.

DSC09728

I knit my socks two-at-a-time (I rarely don’t) and chose yarns from my stash–all from one of my absolute favorite Indie yarn dyers, Carol Ocker, who operates under Havirland Yarns. I used five colorways and blended each sock in opposite order of the others. The colors are Space Cadet, Sock Science, Lady Orange, Hawaiian Punch and I Need More Yellow in My Sock Drawer. I allowed Lady Orange to dominate the other colors in my scheme because orange is one of my favorite colors, and somehow I don’t have any mostly orange socks as of yet.

Her yarns are divine! Visit the Havirland Yarns shop here.

Oh, also I made soap (above). I’m always trying new things, and soap-making is probably going to turn into a permanent hobby for cooler weather. (It’s hot making soap in my garage right now!) This batch is a lemongrass soap, and the recipe is from the book Pure Soapmaking.

DSC00168

I adjusted the pattern a bit to accommodate a smaller ankle because I like it SNUG. As you can see from the pic above, my heel flap is teensy.

Now that my new Rollers are complete, all that is left to decide is when to cast on the next pair…

Sophie’s So Faded

Sophie 5x5

I’m fairly new to Andrea Mowry’s knitting patterns and only became familiar with her earlier this year when she released the Find Your Fade shawl, which uses a very similar fading process to the So Faded sweater pictured above. I have found that I am strongly attracted to knitting any kind of fade or blend. (In fact, my Cupid’s Mix beanie design from last year fades colors from one to the next. Click here for my Cupid’s Mix post and free pattern.)

Needless to say, the Find Your Fade hook was in my mouth before I knew it, and I rapidly ordered yarn and cranked one out–not because I needed a shawl (but who can have too many), not because the design was irresistible (although it is very pretty), but because I simply had to work that fade. Thus began my introduction to the beautiful knits of Andrea Mowry. (To see my post on the Find Your Fade shawl, click here.)

IMG_3417

I’ve been rather uncertain whether I could pull off a So Faded sweater for myself, but I was positive a So Faded Sophie would be adorable, so I showed her the pint sized version of the pattern. Pictures of the sweater got her quite excited, but it wasn’t until we started searching for yarn that she was bouncing in her seat. We ended up at the site for Old Rusted Chair, whose Nashville-based owner is the sweet and acrobatic Lauren (yeah, she’s got all kinds of skills). I’ve been no stranger to her enticing yarn, having used it in several of my previous projects, and I can say with authority that her style and quality is supreme. I let Sophie select the colors herself from Old Rusted Chair’s site, although I did assist her so that we’d end up with the ultimate Sophie fade. Above are the colors we chose, which are from top to bottom Chrysalis, Spring Forward, Don’t Forget Your Shades, Test Kitchen and We Will Rock You. Which is your favorite???

Like Find Your Fade, So Faded is a super fabulous pattern, and I hope to make another one. Perhaps one of my friends knows a baby or child for whom they’d like me to knit one? Let me know!

I am of the opinion there cannot be too many pictures of this sweater. We love our So Faded so much! The So Faded patterns (regular and pint sized) can be purchased directly from Andrea Mowry’s site here.

DSC09387DSC09496

The Tegna Tee

I really don’t know where to begin with the Tegna tee. Genuinely, this top has blown my mind. It is by far my favorite knit piece ever, and that is saying something because I love my knit pieces.

DSC09067.JPG

The Tegna pattern is authored by Caitlin Hunter (@boylandknitworks on Instagram), and while this pattern is her first for me, it shall certainly not be my last. Let’s work our way sequentially through the pattern, starting with the bottom lace section. The chart is clear, simple and easy to follow, yet the lace is varied and interesting enough to thwart the doldrums. To top it off the hem is ridiculously stunning and drapes gracefully from the body of the garment. It’s plain to see that the lace and over-sized fit are a match made in heaven.

IMG_3297

Which brings us to the fit. The Tegna top is meant to fit loosely for that over-sized look and comfy feel we’ve all grown accustomed to with the fashion trends of the past few years. However, somehow Hunter has magically conceived a knit boxy tee design that is actually flattering. No small task, indeed.

DSC08770

Perhaps the reason the baggy fit succeeds to this degree is that the shoulders and arms are fitted to just the right snugness, and the relaxed and open neckline further complements the overall design. I do not exaggerate when I say this pattern is 100% lacking in flaws. There is not one teeny adjustment I will make on my next Tegna. Yes, I will definitely be making another Tegna. The pattern can be purchased here.

DSC09003

I knit the sleeves two-at-a-time (see above) because knitting sleeves, socks, mitts, etc. one at a time drives me crazy. Knowing I have another identical object to knit inevitably slows down my work due to the foreseen mental weariness and consequent procrastination. To view my instructions for knitting sleeves two-at-a-time click here.

DSC08484

This top would be gorgeous and stylish in any color, but I am in love with my color choice! The yarn is Woolberry Fiber Co. Pure Merino in the Farmer’s Market colorway, which is a delicious speckled neutral–one of my favorite schemes! I had never seen a gray yarn with specks of purple, orange and dark green. It’s ravishing.

DSC09109

A little bird told me she might adjust the pattern for child’s sizes. In that case my daughter will have one hanging in her closet, for sure.

To view this project on Ravelry, click here.

DSC09066.JPG

Titania’s Shawl for Mom’s Birthday

DSC08871.JPG

Flipping through the Summer 2017 edition of Interweave Knits magazine, I spotted the lacy Titania’s Shawl by Susanna Ic. I had not knit anything from Interweave in quite some time, and I was intrigued by this shawl, envisioning it would make an elegant new piece for my mom’s ever growing knit wardrobe.

DSC07273

The pattern calls for Hand Maiden Fine Yarn Lace Silk, and yes, it is 100% silk. Only one skein is needed, and in fact I had a quarter-skein or so left over. Given the pattern name, Ic was clearly inspired by the Shakespearean play A Midsummer Night’s Dream when creating Titania’s Shawl. For those unfamiliar with the play, the character Titania is queen of the fairies, and undoubtedly her regal refinement heavily influenced the shawl’s design. (We’ll not focus on the fact that Titania is humiliatingly made to fall in love with a donkey…) Ic could have named her shawl after any Shakespearean work, but it just so happens that A Midsummer Night’s Dream is one of my all-time favorite plays, so I quickly showed the shawl to my mom to see what she thought. As expected, she loved it!

DSC07738

After winding the skein of silk for what felt like an eternity, I set to work on the shawl. The pattern also calls for beads, so after discussing with my mom we chose pearl Rocailles seed beads by Miyuki of Japan, which I purchased from Fire Mountain Gems and Beads. The pearl beads complement the shawl’s elegance while also weighing down the bottom section. In my humble opinion all lace shawls should be weighed down with beads, and Ic clearly knows her stuff. This method of beading uses a teeny crochet hook to insert the beads into the work as you knit along. Below is a video I made for Instagram demonstrating this process. (I apologize for the graininess.)

Working on this project gave me the perfect opportunity to break in my new Blue Moon trundle bag from Madder Root. The quality of this bag cannot be beat.

DSC08694

After much tedious yet satisfying lace and bead work, she’s done! For knitting, blocking isn’t always a must, but with lace it is an absolute necessity. Blocking spreads and sets the lace, which would otherwise appear as above–a jumbled mess.

DSC08838

Look! My bashful mom modeled her birthday shawl for me and even let me take a picture. If there’s anyone who can pull off an elegant silk shawl with distressed jeans, it’s my mom. She couldn’t do ugly if she tried.

DSC08986DSC08992

Happy Birthday, Mom! Love you!!!

DSC08857

Rebel Two Shawl

DSC08536

At the beginning of the year Lesley Anne Robinson released her Rebel shawl pattern in honor of Princess Leia, a beloved Star Wars character played by actress Carrie Fisher, whose death late last year shook the world. It was not until I was exiting the theater with my family after viewing Rogue One for the first time that I learned of her death. Having just watched her on the big screen–a dear and familiar character playing in a fresh story line–I was quite impacted by the news. I was devastated. Needless to say, I added Lesley’s Rebel shawl to my queue immediately following its release.

The original Rebel shawl is a one-color brioche project (which I would have added to my queue regardless of its association with Carrie Fisher), but soon after Lesley started posting teasers of a gorgeous two-color version (Rebel Two) to be released in May. I was more than a little anxious to knit this version and started it promptly after it became available. Both versions can be purchased here.

IMG_2741

I selected yarns from my stash for this project: Hedgehog Fibres Sock in colorway “Bramble” for the main color and Old Rusted Chair 2 Ply Sock in colorway “Strange Magic” for the contrast color.  I had been saving my skein of Bramble for something special–something not socks because I find that the Hedgehog Sock yarn has too little twist for my liking in socks. The Old Rusted Chair yarn is more versatile and would have been suited just fine for socks, but it paired and contrasted so nicely with the Bramble that I declared these two a combo and set to work.

Below is a video I originally posted on Instagram demonstrating the Twisted German Cast-On, which is the method called for in the Rebel shawl pattern.

Progress…

DSC08004

One of the best things, if not the best thing, about two-color brioche is the automatic reversibility you get with such a project (see above). With reversibility comes flexibility. Do I want to wear a mostly pale-toned shawl today, or do I want a nice dark one to stand out against an already pale ensemble? Choices are good!

Lesley Anne Robinson (aka Knit Graffiti Designs) never ceases to amaze me with her creativity and excellent pattern writing. Of all brioche projects I have knit, hers are the most clearly written, so if you are new to brioche and want to give it a go I highly recommend choosing one of Lesley’s patterns. To view all of her designs visit her Ravelry page here.

Many thanks to my patient daughter for modeling my completed Rebel Two shawl!

DSC08597

DSC08605