Posted by: spinnyknitter | March 10, 2014

Dovetail Shawl

This new design has been a long time coming…I started it way back in November and had to put it down several times for various reasons but I’m really happy to be able to publish this design finally…

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Dovetail Shawl is cast on at one wing tip with a few stitches, and then simply knit into a widening triangle for a slightly asymmetrical shape.  The color work is made easy by the simple slip stitch pattern and the use of two different colorways of self striping yarn.  The pattern is quick to memorize and the shifting colors keep the work interesting.  The size is easily adjustable to the yardage available, allowing you to knit a scarf, a shawl, or any size desired.

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This sample is knit using Kauni 8/2 Effektgarn in the colorways EQ and ET.  I have had both colorways in my stash forever and I’m so pleased that I finally used them.  The ET colorway actually is grey/black/purple, and I really only wanted the grey/black for a nice neutral background to the rainbow colorway.  So, I just eliminated the purple as I knit along.  I used black/grey then reversed direction to grey/black and so on so the colors shifted subtly.  I wound my ball into a centre pull ball using my ball winder and it was much easier to see the colors.  The repeats on this yarn are miles long so it gives you the opportunity to play a bit with the color placement.  If the color that you want next is not coming along fast enough, simply hurry it along by cutting out a section of the color.

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The version shown here: Blocked measurements 60″ across by 27″ deep. I used approximately 75 grams of each colorway or approximately 300m/328yd of each colorway for the size shown.

The yarn is lovely but a bit scratchy while knitting.  But when I finished, I gave it a long soak in some Eucalan before blocking.  It transformed into this lighter than air, soft but sturdy wrap with incredible drape and stitch definition.

I also made two other versions using Noro Silk Garden Sock.  Lovely colors, both mixed with the natural for the contrast color.  I love how both colorways shift subtly at intervals.  It makes the knitting quite addictive!

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The colorwork pattern is slip stitch colorwork.  You won’t believe how easy this is, if you can knit two color alternating stripes, you can knit this! Two different colorways of self striping yarn are alternated every second row, you are only working with one color per row. The color pattern is created using slipped stitches, as simple as it sounds: slip one stitch purlwise from the left needle to the right needle. Stitches used for the colorwork: knit, purl and slip.

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This pattern was so addictive that I’m still dreaming of other combinations.  Imagine it in this yarn!  Or a self striping with a solid, or a gradient yarn with a self striping or solid.  I entertain myself by dreaming up new combos…

I’d like to thank Teresa for test knitting this pattern for me.  I can’t wait to see her photographs!

Check out the pattern page on Ravelry for more details about yarn selection, color choices and yardage requirements - Dovetail Shawl

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Posted by: spinnyknitter | November 27, 2013

Lowena Cardigan

Lowena is a Cornish name meaning joy.

Lowena Cardigan is a top down child’s sweater featuring seed stitch bands and pretty lace panels up each side of the front.

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It has a roomy, comfortable fit and is easily customizable for sleeve and body length.  Size range is 2, [4, 6, 8] for a finished garment chest measurement of 24, [26, 28, 30] inches.

I would recommend choosing the size to fit the body of your child and then adjusting the length of the sleeves and/or body for a truly custom fitted knit.  One of my favourite things about top down sweaters is the ability to try it on as you go.  So if you have your child handy it will be a piece of cake to get a superb fit.

My little model loves her top down, it’s so comfortable when running and playing.   She can have fun without any seams to rub or constrict.

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The yarn I’ve chosen for this project is Tosh Merino DK in the colorway Flashdance.  All the little girls in my life love pink and purple.  The yarn is lovely and soft and also practical as it is a superwash.

I knit by alternating 2 skeins throughout the sweater and I’m really happy with the color distribution.  I’m so glad that I did this, no crazy pooling in sight, and really, it’s not that difficult to do.  A must I think, for hand dyed yarns to really show off their beauty.

I had some wonderful test knitters on this pattern.  You can check out all the cuteness over on their project pages on Ravelry, but here’s a little sneak peak -

Coping knit up this adorable version in size two.  The solid color really makes the lace detail pop.

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Travellers08 made this super cute version, also a size 2.  Don’t you love the buttons??

And MadeleineL whipped up this loveliness in size 6.  Gorgeous, yes??

I was very lucky to have these awesome test knitters and I want them to know how much I appreciate their efforts!  And also to Diane, who has been proofing my patterns and patiently correcting my mangled english for a while now.  Thanks so much, ladies!

This pattern also features a really great buttonhole technique that I found and adapted from The Principles of Knitting.  For small buttonholes I have always used the YO, K2Tog method and while easy to execute, I was never really happy with how they would stretch out after being used for awhile.  Then I came across this buttonhole.  The directions were for stocking stitch so I adapted it to fit my seed stitch borders and I love it.  It’s not difficult but a bit more involved than the YO, K2Tog, but so worth the little extra effort.

Lowena Cardigan is available for purchase on Ravelry.  Do you have a little girl in your life who would like one?

Posted by: spinnyknitter | October 2, 2013

Eccentric Cowl

I love starting the month off with a new pattern!  Here is Eccentric Cowl available in my pattern shop on Ravelry.

Eccentric cowl is knit in the round with no seams.  I have designed it in two sizes but really, you could make any size you’d like, directions are included in the pattern.

I wanted to design a cowl that would have drape and be warm but without a lot of bulk.  So I turned to my favourite weight of yarn – fingering weight.  This weight also makes up a huge part of my stash so I didn’t have to go far for yarn.

The small size is a nice single loop of warmth around your neck.  Shown here in Wollmeise Pure Merino in one of the “we’re different” oranges that I scored from their website.  This seems like the perfect color for fall, it’s such a vibrant orange.

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When you get tired of wearing it as a cowl, it may also be worn as a small scarf which could be tucked inside your coat on a really cold day.

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When I first started knitting the large size, i thought I had made it too large.  But now it is finished and blocked I am so in love with the size!  Shown here in Tosh Merino Light in the colorway Composition Book Grey, 2 skeins.  Loop it around the neck twice with a twist for easy drape and warmth.

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You could also wear it with the tube flat (2 layers) in a variety of other eccentric ways.  Shown here with the neck opening around the shoulders.

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And folded in half again and worn as a cozy scarf.
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Or looped around the neck in many different configurations.

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Pull it on over the shoulders.  Here’s a look at how large the tube really is!

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Keep it on as above but use your favourite shawl pin to come up with some more ways to wear it.

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I think this might be my favourite thing to wear this winter.  I’m so glad that I made it in this lovely grey neutral that will go with everything but I’m already thinking of a second version in greens or browns.

The lace pattern is simple to work and every second round is a plain knit round, so it knits up quite quickly considering the size.  And the pattern includes both charts and written instructions for the lace.

I hope you love it as much as I do!  Eccentric Cowl available today on Ravelry.

Posted by: spinnyknitter | September 21, 2013

Raven’s Nest Shawl

I’ve added my new pattern Raven’s Nest Shawl to Ravelry today.  It will be part of the upcoming book by Cooperative Press called Cascadia.  Check out their website for more information on this gorgeous west coast inspired book.

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My pattern was inspired by the landscapes and mythology of the beautiful west coast of Canada which has always been my home.  The raven symbolizes creation, knowledge, nature and truth in all things.  The raven is a healer and a keeper of secrets.


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The yarn used is Sweet Fiber Cashmerino Sock in the colorway Nocturnelle, simply gorgeous!

It’s top down construction, with simple lace and some cable crosses for added texture.

I’ve seen a few sneak peaks of the book and it looks fabulous.   I feel very fortunate to have been asked to take part in this project of Amanda and Fiona’s, otherwise known as Knit Social.

I think they’ve done a wonderful job in capturing the essence of the west coast.  I hope you’ll take a look and let me know what you think.

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Posted by: spinnyknitter | August 22, 2013

Leaf Press Shawl

Leaf Press Shawl is my new design to ease us into fall gradually.  It’s a light weight project perfect for summer knitting but the end result may be worn on the fall days just around the corner.

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I have used Quince and Co Finch for this shawl and I just love this yarn.  It’s my first time using it and I am a fan!  It’s wonderful to knit with, and then when you block it, it’s so drapey and elegant.  And the colors are equally wonderful.  Both samples shown here use Kumlien’s Gull (the grey stripe in both samples) yet the grey takes on a different look paired with the green or the blue.  Love this colorway, especially paired with these two subtle shades of green and blue.  The combination is very understated and lovely.

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Leaf Press is another slightly asymmetrical shawl knit from one wing tip into a widening triangle.  I love the canvas this shape provides.  And I love the fact that you can just keep knitting until you are almost out of yarn, work the little garter striped border and you are done!  I’ve worked up a scarf size (blue and grey) and a shawl size (green and grey) but you decide exactly how large to make your version.  I love this wrapped around the neck almost like a cowl and I think this is how I will wear mine this fall.

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Available on Ravelry - Leaf Press Shawl

Posted by: spinnyknitter | July 25, 2013

Summer Moon Shawl

This new design was inspired by the gorgeous summer weather and the yarns.  Combined they just begged to be a semi circular shawl, I’m so glad I listened.

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Summer Moon is top down construction and very easy to adjust in size.  The deep lace border repeat may be worked up to 10 times making this stress free knitting.

The large version measures 54 inches wide by 22 inches deep and features Dream in Color Smooshy.  I used 2 skeins of the colorway Sundown Orchid and had plenty of yarn to knit the full 10 repeats.  This colorway is beautiful with slight variegations of plum that remind me of a summer’s evening with the moon reflected on the water.  It was lovely to work with and is becoming a favourite of mine.  Did you look at the colorways??  Spectacular!

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The smaller yellow version is knit using Sweet Georgia Tough Love Sock in the colorway Lemon Curd.  With one skein I was able to knit Chart B five times and ended up with a shawl measuring 44 inches wide by 18 inches deep.   What a color, I smile every time I see it.  But then all of Sweet Georgia’s colors make me smile.

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The lace patterns are easy with patterning only on the right side rows and they both knit up quickly.

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Keeping with the theme, here is a favourite video of mine, made 20 years ago.

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Summer Moon is available for purchase on Ravelry.  I hope you are enjoying a wonderful summer.  Go outside this evening and dance in the moonlight.  If you get chilly, put on a shawl and keep dancing!

Posted by: spinnyknitter | June 3, 2013

Frutteto Shawl

Yes, I’m still languishing in the warmth and sunshine that is Italy.  Well, not really, but I can always dream!  I think my little “italian daydream” might have something to do with the wretchedly cold, damp spring we have had here on the west coast of Canada. But I think that I have the perfect summer knitting project for you.

This time I am visiting orchards in the lush italian countryside and that is where I found my inspiration for the Frutteto Shawl.   A slim branch of ripe figs or plums and the leafy foliage of the orchard trees just came to life for me in this colorway.  The yarn is Wollmeise Pure Merino and the skein is a we’re different colorway.  I ordered two skeins of “we’re different” from the website having no idea what I was going to get other than semi-solid.  Both skeins were absolutely gorgeous.  I’ve already ordered another 2 skeins!  I love the yardage you have to play with in these super-sized 150 gram skeins.

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Frutteto Shawl is another slightly asymmetrical design that has it’s start at one wingtip and is worked across to the other side very simply.  Such easy knitting, this one.  It begins with the branch of fruit (or leaf motif, if you prefer) winding down one side of the shawl on a bed of reverse stocking stitch.  This section may be adjusted in length before progressing into the leafy lace border.  The pattern is very easily adaptable to the size desired and the yarn quantity available.  I have made 3 of them now, all different sizes.  Have a look at my project pages on Ravelry to get an idea of sizing and yardage used – Casbah Sock version, Indigodragonfly version and Wollmeise version.

It’s quite versatile, I came up with a few different ways to wear it.

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If you’d like to visit Italy with me, I think this design would make the perfect summer and/or holiday knitting.  The first section has scads of mindless knitting, even the little fruit motif is easy to memorize.  The lace border is an interesting texture but very simple and easy to knit.   Not a lot of concentration required, perfect for summer knitting, I think.

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My Italian day dreams - Sonetto, Vigneto and now Frutteto all available on Ravelry.

Posted by: spinnyknitter | May 14, 2013

Vigneto Shawl

Here I am, back in Italy (well, in my imagination at least) with a new pattern for you. This design reminded me of rows and rows of perfectly groomed grapevines and the leafy foliage that is produced on the vines.  I searched and found a fitting name, Vigneto, which in Italian means vineyard.

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Vigneto Shawl is slightly asymmetrical and completely adjustable to your size requirements and to your available yardage.  Both the striped texture stitch at the beginning of the shawl and the leafy border pattern may be repeated any number of times.  The pattern begins at one wingtip with the striped texture stitch (the rows of grapevines) and ends at the other wingtip with the leafy border.  When worn, the rows of grapevines curve becomingly around your shoulders and then sprout into the leafy lace pattern.

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The lace border features an unusual textured stitch.  I searched online to find any mention of this stitch and I couldn’t find a thing.  I didn’t want anyone to have trouble visualizing how this stitch is done so I produced a little video on the technique.

The first sample I knit using Dream in Color Smooshy in the colorway Scorched Lime.  I did Chart A (the striped texture) only 8 times and worked Chart B (the leafy lace border) 6 times, for maximum lace effect.  Love this yarn, it has just the right amount of bounce and body for this project.

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The second sample I knit in an old favourite that never disappoints, Tosh Merino Light in the colorway Saffron.  Can’t you just see the sun setting over the vineyard??

I wanted to experiment a bit, so I knit Chart A 11 times, making a deeper striped texture section and I was still able to knit 3 repeats of the lace border.

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I’m not sure which I like best, they both have their own charms.

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Check out my project pages here and here for more details on sizes, yardage, etc.

Vigneto Shawl is available today on Ravelry here.

Ciao!

Posted by: spinnyknitter | April 25, 2013

Sonetto Shawl

Sonetto is Italian for “a little song”.  Perfect for this design, as I think of it as a little song for spring.  We have had wonderful spring sunshine for the past few days here on the west coast.  After months of very damp,dreary, rainy weather we are overjoyed to be able to get outside and bask in the sunshine.

Sonetto Shawl came about because I wanted to try something a little different.  It is slightly asymmetrical in shape and design but very simple to knit.  It is cast on at one wingtip with a few stitches and then simply knit until it is large enough or you run out of yarn, whichever comes first.  There are gradual increases along one side, touches of very easy lace and a little soothing stocking stitch.  No short rows, no counting but enough happening to keep you interested.

And no stressing about running short of yarn.  You will need 100 – 150 grams of fingering weight wool or wool blend for this pattern.  I knit my first protype in Tosh Merino Light and it worked very well too.

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The yarn used for the purple version is Baah yarn La Jolla in the gorgeous colorway Winter Purple.  This yarn is so lovely to work with.  I had not tried this yarn before but I am now a fan in a big way.

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The green version is Wollmeise 100% Merino in the colorway Grunfink.  The color is so green, so vibrant it practically glows.  A very nice compliment to the Winter Purple version.

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The Wollmeise comes in large 150 gram skeins, so this version is a little larger.  Normally I prefer my shawls to be more of a scarf size but I have to say that this larger version is very wearable.  It may be wrapped around the neck on a cool day, much like a cowl.  Or just nicely settled on your shoulders on a warmer day, as well as being worn as a large scarf.

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I hope you are enjoying some sunshine wherever you are and perhaps some knitting as well.

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Sonetto is available on Ravelry starting today here.  And lots more details on my project pages here, here and here.

Posted by: spinnyknitter | April 1, 2013

East Gable Shawl

I designed this shawl last summer, for the 2013 Wooly Wonka Heroines Club, January shipment. The theme this year was literary heroines and I picked the Anne of Green Gables series for my inspiration.  Today the exclusivity period has ended and the pattern is available for sale on Ravelry.

Anne at Wooly Wonka dyed this gorgeous spring green shade for my sample.  I wanted something bright and springlike both for the theme and also because this kit was going out in January.  I think everyone needs a shot of spring green in January to brighten up the month.  The yarn is Brigit Sock 100% organic merino.  Gorgeous yarn, gorgeous color!

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I tried to knit the second version in a color other than green, I really did.  But I kept coming back to this color, Forestry, which just begged to be an East Gable Shawl.

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This is one skein of Tosh Merino Light, colorway Forestry.

You can find East Gable Shawl and lots more details on Ravelry.

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