Posted by: spinnyknitter | May 11, 2015

Low Country Shawl, an Anniversary Sale and more!

Hi everyone!  Guess what happened five years ago today?  I sold my first pattern!  I can scarcely believe it, but it’s been five years since I published my first pattern for sale on Ravelry.  I had no idea how caught up I would become in this whole pattern writing business. The first shawl pattern I designed was Calais Shawl and it was and still is, a free pattern on Ravelry.  It started the passion I have for lace design.

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A month later, on May 11, 2010, I published Dover Castle Shawl, my first “for sale” pattern.  It has remained one of my most popular patterns over the years.  I must admit, it’s one of my favourites too!

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Now here I am, five years later, and a lot has happened.  I’ve designed a lot of patterns and you know how sometimes things just happen?  Well, a couple of weeks ago, I realized that the next pattern I published would be my 50th pattern.  And my anniversary, May 11 was coming up fast too.  I didn’t think I could get it ready in time, but then things slowly started to happen.  And everything fell into place, just like that.  As if it were meant to be.  So I guess it was!  But first I have other news! The first bit of news is that I have a new design layout for my patterns!  Elizabeth Green Musselman at Stitch Definition did a fabulous job designing a new pattern template for me.  I’m so excited that my new pattern will be showing off the new format.  She also designed my new logo, which I LOVE!

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Isn’t it awesome!  She really listened to what I wanted in a logo and she was so patience while we both figured out what would work for me.  Stitch Definition does graphic design, editing and amazing looking photography.  I can’t wait to try some of their other services!

To help celebrate my anniversary, as well as the release of my 50th pattern and as a way of saying thank you, I am holding a sale.  It begins today and runs until the end of May 2015.  Here are the details: Buy any two patterns and receive a third pattern free.  All my self published patterns are included in the sale and no coupon code is required.  Place all three patterns into your cart before you check out.  You may purchase as many patterns as you would like, every third one will be free.  You may see all the patterns included in the sale in this bundle I set up on Ravelry here.

I’m so happy to publish my 50th pattern today, Low Country Shawl.

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Low Country shawl is a wide, shallow semi-circle and features a pretty asymmetrical lace border and several options.  The solid body may be knit in either stockinette stitch or garter, your choice.  The depth of the lace border and the body are both easily adjustable, allowing you to customize the look and size to your preference and the yardage available.  If you love lace, then go wild and make the border decadently deep.  Or maybe you love to knit soothing garter or stockinette?  You may knit the body deeper and add a shallow border for just a touch of lace, it’s all up to you!

I’ve knit 3 versions of this pattern and they are all different configurations of the basic design.  Sample number 1 was knit using one skein of Tosh Merino Light in the colorway Fathom.  This version has 4 repeats of the lace border and a larger body done in garter stitch.

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Sample number 2 was knit using a 5 skein gradient set from Black Trillium Lilt Sock.  I didn’t use the lightest color skein, but worked the shawl using the other 4 shades.  I have enough yarn leftover to make another shawl using a different shading sequence.  This version has a smaller garter stitch body and 6 repeats of the lace border.

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The final version was again knit using one skein of Tosh Merino light, this time is the gorgeous Blue Nile colorway.  This version has a smaller stockinette body and 4 repeats of the lace border.

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I’d love it if you joined my group on Ravelry too!  It’s a fun group of lace knitters to hang out with and everyone is helpful and nice to chat with.    I also offer special deals, contests, etc for group members only occasionally.  join the group here. Hope to see you there!

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Posted by: spinnyknitter | May 2, 2015

Lineau shawl kit on Craftsy

Hi everyone!  Just wanted to let you know that I have a new design available as a kit on Craftsy. 12305_1200x1200_medium2 The kit includes 2 skeins of the beautiful Art Yarn’s Milano merino yarn and the pattern download.  And they have some gorgeous colorways available in this yarn, have a look here – http://www.craftsy.com/supplies/lineau-shawl-kit/12305 DSC_2228_medium2 The knitting is simple and easy.  The lace pattern is an easy one and there is a lot of stocking stitch.  This would make great vacation or travel knitting as it’s interesting but doesn’t require a lot of concentration!

Posted by: spinnyknitter | April 14, 2015

Stone Croft Shawl

I hope spring has arrived for those of you who were buried under snow all winter!  I think Stone Croft Shawl would make a nice little transition piece to carry you into the warm spring weather.  It may be worn as a scarf/cowl now and later on, pulled around the shoulders on a cool spring or summer evening. blog6

This design was inspired by stone walls, small farms and above all, texture.  I love texture, especially when set off by expanses of smooth stocking stitch and anything leafy. blog4

The large sample shown is knit using a yarn new to me, Wollmeise Blend.  I stopped by their website on a whim, and noticed this fairly new (I think) yarn.  This colorway, Olio Vergine, really spoke to me, and it was in stock, yay! When it arrived, it felt nice and squishy and I loved the color but I set it aside for a future design.  After knitting the small sample, I wanted a larger version and choose this yarn, because I really wanted to take it for a test drive.  I expected it to be very nice to knit with.  I was wrong, it was amazing to work with!  Really amazing!  I love this yarn.  It’s so soft to the touch and drapes so beautifully and yet holds the stitch definition.  The color shimmers in the light, did I mention how much I love this yarn!

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Wollmeise Blend is merino, cashmere, nylon, one of my all time favourite blends and the weight is perfect.  It is a sport weight, which I love for lace.  A tiny bit heavier than a fingering weight, just perfect to fill in those stitches nicely.

My small sample was knit using another yarn that was new to me, Frabjous Fibers Mad Hatter.  This is also such an awesome sport weight yarn, hand dyed in this luscious teal green.  The weight is almost identical to the Wollmeise Blend.  It was a pleasure to have on the needles.  I will be looking for more of both these yarns in the future. blog2

Stone Croft Shawl is slightly asymmetrical in shape and features an easy lace border on two sides. It begins at one wing tip with a few stitches, and then is simply knit into a widening triangle. Directions are included for two different widths of lace border, and the size of the shawl is easily adjustable to any size.  The lace pattern is charted only. blog1

There are two options given for border depth: the narrow border measures approximately 4 inches deep, and the wide border measures approximately 6 inches deep. blog8

I have used the narrow border on the small sample and the wide border on the large sample, but you may use either border on any size shawl, according to your personal preference.  If you want more lace, use the wide border on any size shawl. The sizing is easily adjustable by just working more or less repeats of the main chart, so no worries about having just the right amount of yardage available. blog3

Stone Croft Shawl is available for sale on Ravelry.  Happy spring knitting, everyone!

Posted by: spinnyknitter | February 11, 2015

Wanderlust: 46 Modern Knits for Bohemian Style

I have a design in the upcoming new book from Interweave called Wanderlust: 46 Modern Knits for Bohemian Style.

This book is by Tanis Gray, a very talented editor for Interweave and a fabulous pattern designer as well.  The book looks amazing, I love the styling that they have used and it has 46 designs!  Can you believe, 46 designs in one book.  There are sweaters, scarves, hats, a blanket, mittens, cowls, a capelet, wraps, and shawls.  It’s a pretty amazing collection, here’s a look at all the patterns on Ravelry.

It feels so great to have my Quixote Shawl included in this collection.  I just love this quirky photo, it captures exactly what I had in mind while designing it.

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Quixote shawl is a top down triangular shawl using Cascades Longwood yarn.  This is a superwash extra fine merino yarn in an aran weight that is so soft and lovely to work with.  Expect your shawl to knit up in no time flat at this heavier gauge and easy lace patterning.  And make it any size you would like, the pattern is very easily adjustable by simply knitting more repeats of the main lace pattern.

I hope you’ll check out the book.  Congratulations to Tanis for putting together another really great collection of knitwear!

Posted by: spinnyknitter | December 23, 2014

Fika Scarf

Fika is a swedish word pronounced FEE-ka.  It means a social coffee break, usually accompanied by something sweet to eat such as sweet buns, cake, or tarts. And this is what inspired my latest design, the Fika Scarf.  The little rounded edging reminds me of cookies, cinnamon buns, and fluted pie crusts.  And the easy, stocking stitch body allows you to take a little break, an easy little pause in the pattern, during which you could chat or think about sweet things.

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The Fika scarf is a wide, shallow triangle that may be worn as a cowl, a scarf or a shawl. It’s a very versatile little accessory. It is asymmetrical in shape and design, with one wing tip longer than the other. Cast on at one wing tip with a few stitches and then simply knit into a shallow triangle, with the lace border knit along with the rest of the work.

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When it is the size you wish, turn the corner with the lace border and work a sideways bind off to finish. It is easily adjustable to any size or yarn.

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The pattern includes both charts and written instructions.

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Many thanks to Teresa, for test knitting the pattern for me. You’re the best, Teresa! Blocked size of the sample shown above: 54” wide by 15” deep.  Shown made with one skein of Tosh Merino Light in the colorway Sequoia. And look, I made my first sample using some of my handspun. This was polwarth/silk I purchased from Three Waters Farm.  I love the diagonal stripes that happen.

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Fika Scarf is available in my pattern shop on Ravelry. I hope you like my last design of the year and that you are all able to meet up with friends and family to fika over the holidays. Cheers Judy

Posted by: spinnyknitter | November 25, 2014

Skye Boat Shawl and Cowl

“Billow and breeze, islands and seas Mountains of rain and sun All that was good, all that was fair… over the sea to Skye” Robert Louis Stevenson One of my favourite poems and recently adapted for the theme song to the Outlander TV series.  Oh, the romance! I designed Skye Boat Shawl first but I was so enamored with the reversible stitch pattern that I wanted a cowl too.  I love them both.   The slip stitch rib on both pieces is completely reversible and I love the texture it adds.  The lace pattern is reversible too, but does not look the same on both sides.  One side is a pretty lace motif that reminds me of buttercups… DSC_0069 And the other side, which I think is my favourite of the two, reminds me of rustic hand woven baskets… DSC_0048 This brought to mind the two sides of Claire’s life on Outlander.  It’s really a romantic idea, but let’s talk knitting. Sometimes, when designing a piece, you accidentally stumble upon the perfect yarn with the first sample.  This does not happen very often.  Most times it’s the opposite, it’s the second sample that works the best. I’ve had 2 skeins of Tosh DK in my stash forever.  I love Madelinetosh but mostly, I work with fingering weight.  And most of my stash is made up of fingering weight too.  So when I decided to make a heavier, warmer, winter shawl, I didn’t have much choice when digging through my stash.  I came across the 2 skeins and decided to give it a try.  I had always loved the color, called Copper Penny.  So onto the needles it went.  And it was perfect.  Tosh DK has a lot of body and bounce and that’s exactly what these two designs need, to really show off their stitches.  It made the ribbing pop and created amazing texture in the lace.  And it practically flew off the needles at the larger gauge. DSC_0016   DSC_0056   DSC_0047 I loved the sample and it’s the perfect size to wrap around the neck on a cold day, but I was craving a larger version.  Something that I could cocoon around myself and sink into. I found the colorway Olivia at a local shop and I immediately loved it.  And it was a new color to me, which always gives me a little thrill.  Here is the 3 skein version in Tosh DK, with generous dimensions of 64 inches wide by 28 inches deep. DSC_0027 Have I mentioned that you can make this shawl any size at all?  The main pattern is an 8 row repeat, which you may work as many times as you like, for the perfect size shawl for you. DSC_0041 The shawl is begun at one wingtip with a few stitches and then knit across to the other wingtip.  The finished shape is just slightly asymmetrical.  The stitch patterns are easy peasy and all the lace work is done on the right side rows. DSC_0053 Once the two shawl samples were complete, I just couldn’t let go of the stitch pattern.  I checked my stash for other heavier yarns and came across an old favourite, Malabrigo Rios.  This yarn has similar properties to Tosh DK and I thought it would work for a cowl. So next on the needles went a 2 skein cowl using the colorway Teal Feather.  I ran the ribbing along the top edge of the cowl, to add some subtle neck shaping. DSC_0029 It worked out great and I loved the cowl too.  But I started wondering what a smaller version would be like.  Something I could even wear indoors on a cold and drafty winter day.   Or under my coat on a walk.  I decided to see if I could make a small version using just one skein of Tosh Dk. I loved the idea of turning a single skein into something useful.  And it would work up quickly, what a great idea for gifts. This time I selected the Tosh DK in the colorway Betty Draper’s Blues.  I’m a huge fan of the TV series Mad men, whose character Betty Draper wears this shade of blue quite often.  I played with the width a bit, making it 2 inches narrower, and I was able to get 26 inches in length, before blocking, which turned out to be perfect for the size I had in mind. DSC_0002 The cowl is begun with a provisional cast on, but it’s the easiest provisional cast on, in my opinion.  It’s done with a crochet hook (but you don’t need to know how to crochet!) and your stitches go right onto the needle using waste yarn.  Cut your waste yarn, begin your beautiful yarn and you are started. I’m a big fan of Knit Purl Hunter videos on youtube.  She is awesome at explaining everything step by step and her videos are clear and concise.  If I’m searching for a technique, I always turn to her channel first, as I know I will get a quality video.  She very generously agreed to share her video on the crochet cast on with us. Easy right?  Once the length of your cowl has been knit, it’s quick to join the two ends together using the three-needle bind off.  Knit Purl Hunter has a video on that too.  Check out her awesome website, with all her videos here. I really like working cowls lengthwise.  For some reason, it seems to go faster when the rows are short.  And best of all, you can try on the cowl or even block it, while still on the needles.  No guess work on how long it will be in the end.  I love that. Like the shawl, it’s very simple to change up the size of the cowl, to suit your preferences.  Change the depth by adding or subtracting stitches, in multiples of 4.  And to change the circumference, simply knit your piece longer or shorter than directed.  If you are not sure what length you’d like, block it on the needles, as I often do, to get it just right. DSC_0016 This has been a very long post, so I will end now by saying a big thank you to Teresa for test knitting for me.

The two patterns, Skye Boat Shawl and Skye Boat Cowl are for sale on Ravelry beginning today.  I’m running a special promotion until midnight Friday November 28th.  Purchase one the Skye Boat patterns and receive the other one free.  Details on the pattern pages on Ravelry. DSC_0040

Posted by: spinnyknitter | September 30, 2014

Knitting in Paradise

Exciting news!  I will be teaching at a Knitting Retreat in Spring 2015 in Burmuda!  The Black Purl Yarn Shop is holding their first Knitting Retreat, Knitting in Paradise, next May and I’ll be there, along with co-teacher, Norah Gaughan.  Norah will be giving classes in cables, and I’ll be doing lace classes.  I’ve been trying to figure out how I can teach my classes AND take all of Norah’s classes, I’m a huge fan of her’s.   

I’ll be teaching four lace classes at the retreat.  There will be a Blocking and Finishing Lace class, as well as classes geared to all level of lace knitters.  I’ll update you with more class details later on.

If you register for the retreat before December 31, 2014, you will receive a substantial discount on the price.  So if you are interested in joining us, keep that in mind.

Psst, there also might be a new design in the works, inspired by the beauty that is Burmuda.  But don’t tell anyone…

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Posted by: spinnyknitter | September 26, 2014

Three Skeins or Less

I designed a shawl last year for Tanis Gray to include in her book Three Skeins or Less Fresh Knitted Accessories.  I’m excited to show you the book and the shawl!

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3 Skeins or Less By Tanis Gray Interweave/F+W; $24.99

This is a really versatile collection of accessories that would make beautiful gifts, to others or to yourself.   And it might help reduce your stash too.

My design in the book, Leeside Shawl is slightly asymmetrical in shape and design but very simple to knit. It is cast on at one wing tip with a few stitches and simply knit into a widening triangle. The tiny lace border then turns the corner and becomes a sideways bind off. This shawl is simple to enlarge if you have extra yarn by repeating the last chart as many times as desired.

The yarn I used was Hazel Knits Artisanal sock in the colorway beach glass.  This yarn is wonderful to work with and the colour  is so beautiful!  It really did remind me of the beach and this helped to inspire the name of the piece.  This was my first time using this yarn and I’m now definitely a fan.  I can’t wait to work with more of those lush colourways.

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Tanis was awesome to work with and it was so much fun to see my design come to life in the pages of an Interweave book.  I’ve been a reader of Interweave books and magazines for a very long time, so it’s especially thrilling to me to have a design published with them.

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Posted by: spinnyknitter | September 23, 2014

Craftsy Kits

Hi everyone.  As we head into fall today, it seems everyone is gearing up for knitting projects.  I just wanted to let you know that I have some kits available over on Craftsy.  The kits come complete with a copy of my pattern and the same yarn that I used to design the project, so no guess work required.

The kits available are Woodsie GlovesSunshadow Tam and GlovesEast Gable ShawlVigneto Shawl, and Cedar Grove Shawl Check them out, as well as all the other awesome kits available.

Have you tried a Craftsy class yet?  I took Spinning dyed Fibers over the summer and it reignited my passion for spinning.

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Happy fall knitting!

Posted by: spinnyknitter | July 29, 2014

Breakwater Shawl

I hope your summer is going along swimmingly.  Here we are near the end of July, which in my part of the world means half way through summer.  Our summer started out wet and cold but has now become warm and sunny and I try to be outside as much as possible.

I have a new pattern for you today, the Breakwater Shawl, shown here in Swan’s Island Natural Colors Merino Fingering.  This is organic merino and a real pleasure to knit with.  And in this sunny shade of green, it seemed perfect for summer.

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The pattern is slightly asymmetrical in shape and design and features a beautful textural lace pattern forming the body of the shawl with a mirror image border.  It is cast on at one wing tip with a few stitches and then simply knit into a widening triangle.

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The lace has patterning on the right side only and the size is very easily adjustable to the yardage available, making for stress free summer knitting.

I used a very gentle hand when blocking because I wanted to preserve the texture of the lace.

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I’m also thinking down the road and imagining this worn as a cowl in the fall, wrapped around my neck and shoulders.

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Thank you to Teresa for test knitting the pattern for me.  I really appreciate her being so generous with her time!

Breakwater Shawl is available in my pattern shop on Ravelry.

 

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