Category Archives: yarn

Ebb and Flow encore

My third Ebb and Flow cowl. It’s my favorite of the three, and it’s everything I dreamed for it to be. I’m so glad I ripped back to put the color changes at the garter ridges. And the yarn blocks out so crisply, it’s an absolute joy. I sewed in the ends this morning so I could wear it today.

Blocking is magic! A reminder of how it looked, just off the needles. Now it’s airy and perfect.

Schmutzerella mini skeins. So much yardage, I could have both the taller cowl neck, and the longer triangle point. There’s yarn left over, because of the color changes at the garter ridges. I love it when a plan works out perfectly!

On and off the needles

Knitting goes a lot faster if you’re not second guessing with every stitch whether you should rip it out. After deciding to make my mini skein color changes at the garter ridges, this was a breeze of a multitasking project. Three bands of the first two colors, two bands of the next three colors, and one band of the last color for the lacy edging. I spent a couple afternoons finishing my Ebb and Flow while reading in the sunny backyard. (Spring has finally sprung!) I’ll be blocking it today.

I’m also playing with this yarn combo. It’s Dream in Color Smooshy in Tip Top Tangerine and Sonoran Magic. Yes, a little more assigned pooling!

Getting the yarn to cooperate for assigned pooling is tricky when you don’t have many stitches on the needles yet. I ripped it out and started again after cutting off about 18” of yarn at the beginning of the orange. Much better. The orange and hot pink are pretty fun together. We’ll see if it fulfills my vision for this piece. Wish me luck!

Ebb and Flow, encore

The linen knit is coming along nicely, but I decided I needed an even simpler project for multi-tasking. I cast one one more Ebb and Flow cowl, which is mostly stockinette. I bought these minis from Schmutzerella Yarns at Red Alder Fiber Arts Festival for just this purpose. So it’s not stash!

I want the blue up by my face, and the green at the bottom edging. I’m so happy the minis have numbers on them in case I get them out of order. Blue is 6, Green is 1, so I’m working in reverse. Each mini is 92 yards/20g, and there are 6 of them for 120g total. Doing a little math, 100g is 460 yards, which is lighter in weight than the Moss Fibers (100g/394 yards) that I used for the original cowl here.

I cast on with the same size needle (US 4), but decided pretty quickly that the fabric was too open. I started again with a US 3. Much better! It makes the neck slightly smaller, but that’s fine with me. And with 552 yards total, I’m able to have both the taller cowl neck and the longer triangle body, and I know I won’t run out of yarn before I’m done.

Do you like to knit the same thing more than once? I don’t mind, especially if it’s a good multi-tasking knit.

Spring knitting with linen, again

What goes around, comes around! This was an abandoned project from last year. I set it aside when it became clear that I wouldn’t be wearing it before summer was over. Now it’s spring again and this is the perfect simple project to keep my hands busy while I dream about the next design project and work on getting Brioche Knit Love re-published.

Where I left off last year

As I wrote last year: Back in 2019, I was swatching/playing with Quince & Co Sparrow, which is fingering weight linen. I ultimately decided to design Kittiwake in Quince’s Kestrel, which is Aran weight, for a quicker project. I used the same stitch pattern for both weights.

Kittiwake in Aran weight Kestrel

The blocked fingering weight piece was relegated to the stash bin for later evaluation. When I pulled it out last year I fell in love all over again with the beautifully crisp yet drapey fabric. The original piece was an excellent gauge swatch, and it even had the needles in it so I knew what size to use. I started an oversized top, basically two rectangles, no shaping. The oversized shoulder seams would come down as faux sleeves.

I was knitting it in the round from the bottom up to the armholes. Instead of the swatch’s 16 repeats/37 inches wide, I was knitting 20 repeats/46 inches, which gives me 9 inches (a lot) of ease. Perfect for a drapey swingy top for summer. I have about 2 inches (5 cm) to go before it’s time to split to work the front and back separately, back and forth to the shoulders.

I’m not usually good about going back to abandoned projects, but this one looks worthwhile! It’s not a design project, just a fun for me project, so there’s no pressure about getting it done. I’m just enjoying the ride again.

What’s on your needles for summer (or winter, down under)?

Coming soon: Starfall Cowl

Still on the assigned pooling bandwagon! I just blocked this, and I love it. It’s a fingering weight bandana cowl with a cascade of assigned pooling stars, and an Old Shale lace edging. This is one of my favorite looks to wear; it looks like a shawl but it stays on without a fuss.

I just finished writing the pattern and video tutorial, and it will be tech edited this week. I’m looking for a few test knitters; you’d need one skein of fingering weight yarn that’s dyed for assigned pooling, with a color pop of about 8” long. I used Dream in Color Smooshy with Cashmere.

Let me know if you’re interested!

Saving yarn labels

I’m making a paper chain with the yarn labels from this year’s projects; it’s a tidy and visual way to remember what I’ve done. Ten projects by the first week of April feels pretty good.

So far, from the top: Fierce Fibers and Moss Fibers (for Ebb and Flow), Knit Picks Chroma (Aspen Leaf scarf and Athena Cowl), Yarn Snob (Pooling is a Cinch and Firefly Trails), Anzula Luxury Yarn (Aspen Leaf Coasters), Dream in Color Classy (Fanfare Cowl/Hat (2 of them) and the current project which isn’t named yet).

Also pictured: Yarn chicken mug by JaMPDX, and our ancient Darth Vader bank, which still works when you put coins in. Some heavy breathing, light saber waving, and a message: “Impressive. Most impressive. But you are not a Jedi yet!”

Do you save your yarn labels? If yes, how? I used to just throw them in a basket, but the chain is much more fun.

Knit Picks April IDP Showcase featuring Chroma

I love Knit Picks Chroma Worsted; the long smooth color changes are fun to work with. My favorite colorway is Pegasus; I’ve used it many times. I like pairing it with Chroma Worsted in Bare for brioche.

This is my Aspen Leaf scarf, re-worked in Chroma Worsted for the Knit Picks Independent Design Partnership (IDP) program. It’s a little shorter than the DK weight version, and very squishy. It’s featured this month in the Knit Picks IDP Showcase, which is all about their Chroma yarns. All Chroma yarns are on sale 20% off this month. That means Chroma Worsted, Chroma Fingering, Chroma Twist Worsted, and Chroma Twist Bulky.

My reworked Athena Entrelac Cowl is also featured in the IDP Showcase. And I found out that I have my own Knit Picks Designer Showcase page, so if you’re interested in all my Knit Picks patterns, there they are!

April is starting off chilly and wet here, so wool is still a big part of the wardrobe!

Yesterday was the debut class for my Fanfare Assigned Pooling Cowl/Hat, and we had fun! We talked about many ways you can adjust your knitting for assigned pooling, and a little bit about other planned pooling as well. This is a one skein quick knit in worsted weight yarn, and the coziness is still welcome this month.

What are you knitting in April? I’m finishing a fingering weight assigned pooling piece, and then I need to decide what’s coming next…

Introducing Fanfare

Let’s have an introductory fanfare for Fanfare!

Fanfare is a convertible cowl/hat knit with worsted weight yarn, designed for my assigned pooling class at For Yarn’s Sake next month. It can be worn as a cowl

or as a hat. It’s knit with yarn that is dyed especially for assigned color pooling, with a color pop of 10 to 16 inches. This yarn is Dream in Color Classy with Cashmere, in the Violet Fields colorway. It feels so plush!

The yarn comes in 12 pooling colorways. I knit a second version to confirm my instructions (and avoid yarn chicken this time), using Dream in Color Classy with Cashmere in the Storm Berry colorway.

The color pop was longer in this skein of yarn, so I adapted my fan stitch to accommodate the difference. Instructions for the fan stitch are given in a video tutorial and in written instructions, too. There are also instructions on adapting the size of the fan stitch to suit your yarn.

The pattern is available through Ravelry and Payhip. It’s 15% off through March 14 with coupon code FAFF. If you’re signing up for my online class through For Yarn’s Sake, the pattern is already included in your class fee. Don’t buy it twice! The class is on April 2.

I have one or two more pooling patterns in the works. It’s kind of addictive!

Still catching up, bicoastally

How much can we pack into February? A LOT. I’ll never get to completely blog VKLive NYC and Red Alder Fiber Arts Retreat in Tacoma, but here are some highlights.

Fun classes with great students, both at VKLive

And at Red Alder. why am I showing both Sheepy Steeky Coasters classes? Because the joy of scissors makes a great photo op!

So happy to meet up with Keith Leonard and Shaina Bilow again after Knit Maine. And new friend Dario Tubiana, too. (Check out the sheep on the door of La Pecora Bianca.)

The Empire State Building makes a great tiara…or unicorn horn. You decide.

I didn’t have a full length mirror in NYC, but I did in Tacoma, so I could do my traditional what did I wear collage. Coffee Breakers Shawl (from Brioche Knit Love), Camellia Wrap, Ebb and Flow cowl.

Ebb and Flow looks good on everyone! New Beginnings statue outside the Federal Courthouse in Tacoma. It was the train station a long time ago.

Hanging out with Alasdair Post-Quinn (double knitting king), Michael Kelson (Spinpossible), and Xandy Peters.

We had fabulous markets on both coasts. What did I buy, since you know I don’t stash yarn?

Super fun yarn and NYC-themed project bag from Maker’s Mercantile. And it comes with a notions box that fits in the pocket, too. Look closely to see all the fiber-related pictures!

Also from NYC, Jūl’s new toolkit. Choose your shape: round, square, or triangle.

You can make the shape into a shawl pin with the stick pin, or a shawl cuff with the leather band. You can use the stick pin by itself. The other two leather pieces are to close a cardigan front. And the buttons have a round ball at the end of the shank, and a leather back to pop over the ball. You can move your buttons from one piece of knitwear to the next. So far I’ve only used the cuff, but I’ve used it a lot.

From Tacoma: a silly cats in hats project bag, also from Maker’s Mercantile. Did I need it? Yes. It will help corral supplies for a class.

Oh look, yarn! I bought this peacock green to teal gradient from Schmutzerella to knit one more Ebb and Flow. I love how smoothly the colors melt into each other. I can have both the taller neck and the longer triangle with this much yardage. It’s not stash if I have a plan to cast on soon! Right now I’m trying to decide if I want the blue on top or bottom. The piece gets wider towards the bottom, so the stripe down there will be narrower, but more visible. What do you think?

Always nice to see Mt. Rainier from my hotel room window.

So very different from my hotel room view the week before!

Currently on the needles: I’m finishing an Embellishment Cowl sample. I used it in class last week at VKL, and now I need it to display at For Yarn’s Sake as a sample for my class on May 7. It’s almost done. I need to have it bound off and steam blocked by Thursday morning, just in time for my trunk show. Wish me luck!

Introducing Pooling is a Cinch!

Pooling is a Cinch is a convertible piece that will please both hat and cowl lovers. The stockinette stitch body is a perfect canvas for playing with assigned pooling. Worsted weight yarn knits up quickly for a fun introduction to this technique. Choose a yarn that is meant to pool; you’ll want 6 to 8 inch (15-20 cm) runs of your pooling color.

Knitting begins and ends with a reverse stockinette rolled edge. A knit cord is threaded through a round of eyelets near the top. The cord is tied in a decorative knot on the cowl. The cord can also be cinched to convert the cowl to a hat.

The pattern is now available through Ravelry here, and through Payhip here. It’s 15% off through February 14, no coupon code needed. If you’re in my Pooling class at Red Alder Fiber Arts Retreat, the yarn and pattern is included in your class packet. (I think there are 2 spots left; come knit with me!)

I used Yarn Snob’s A Wondrous Worsted in the Times Square colorway, and it pooled beautifully. Calvin approves!