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Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Indigo and my New Skirt

It all began with a few yards of Celedon cotton jersey, 
a shade particularly unflattering to me.  
It was well washed, but not scoured.
I measured and cut the length needed to lay out an 
A-line skirt from my own adjusted Alabama Chanin pattern.
Then I hand basted miles of natural cotton thread through a very large remnant of that same jersey.

On a beautiful clear day (last year!), 
I got an Indigo vat going for a delightful class and we dipped and dipped.
The skirt fabric was immersed and oxidized once, the remnant twice.

(This is not from that particular day, but from my most recent dip in the blue.)

The fabric was left folded while in the vat which resulted in great splotchy and spilly marks. 
The thread was pulled out and wound round a cork to keep it tidy. The stitching left some great patterning behind on the fabric, and the thread is wonderfully variegated.
Four skirt pieces were cut and sewn together.
I'd drawn templates of Matisse-inspired leaves on old folders. I traced them onto the darker fabric and stitched them to the skirt using the dyed thread.
The shapes were carefully cut around after the stitching was complete.

I've tried the foldover elastic on another skirt but found it wasn't as firm as I prefer, 
so this time I stitched a once-turned casing using an easy stretchy stitch.  
On the flat, or front side, it looks like a pair of alternating running stitches, 
on the reverse, it's a row of vertical stitches.  

I'm thrilled with the fit. And. I can't wait to stitch up something else.
What are you working on?

Friday, March 17, 2017

Amalgam, the Journey from a Cowl to...

In June of 2016, on a particularly sultry weekend, 
TNNA was happening in Washington, DC.
Among the many beautiful fibers and friends, 
I found dear Kate of Dragonfly Fibers.  
She generously offered me a few skeins of 
Valkyrie, her lovely new superwash worsted.
I loved the twist, texture, and the colors.  

I quickly knit a deep cowl. 
A blend of Short Rows, Mosaic Colorwork, it was a joy to make.
The pattern was sent to Knitty - and Amy thought it was great, but...
Wouldn't it be nice to add some shaping? 
Sure.  I said.  It really would.

It was a really good call.  

So much fun.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Isle of You Hat Pattern !

Love, love, love.

My Isle of You cowl pattern now includes the hat.  
Just in time to show your love.

Cowl shown in Shepherds Wool Worsted,
(using up some of those little leftovers that I can never bear to toss)

Sunday, January 15, 2017

A Short Section of Stranded Colorwork - In the Round!

Knitted Words have been on my mind.  
Haley has knit several in hats, by working the ribbed band and the word section flat (back and forth), then joining into the round for the top and shaping.  
Some of her words have been : 'Hello', 'Bon', 'Yoyo', 'Hat + 1' and my favorite - 'Ass'

I'd been puzzling how the colorwork could be done while keeping all of the knitting 
completely in the round.
Here are some notes on how I did just that :

My chart of the letters. The dots mark the stitch count (34)

Cast on 96 stitches with worsted weight, ribbed in 2x2 for 2 inches, then worked in stockinette for 1/2 inch.

Knit 30, work the first round of the graph using both the MC and CC as charted, complete the round. 
The CC remains at the end of the chart section.

Work the second round to where you'd work the first CC stitch.  Place a marker.

Slip each of the stitches to be worked with the CC as if to purl and 
Knit the MC colors to the end of the chart.

Complete the round and work the 3rd round to the marker.
Slip all of the chart stitches to the final CC square from the Left Needle to the Right Needle as if to purl.
Turn the work and purl the slipped stitches in the CC, reading round 2 of the graph from Left to Right.  The CC is now at the beginning of the chart section.

Turn and work the 3rd round of the graph using both colors as charted. 
Continue to slip the CC stitches of the even rows and to work them on the following round from the wrong side in purl, after slipping the charted stitches from the Left Needle to the Right Needle as if to purl.

I did cut the CC on the final 2 rows to work each end independently rather than strand the yarn all the way across.

The right edge is a bit too loose, and I changed my mind about one square of color in the 'F'.  I dropped it back and swapped colors to confirm that it looked better.  It did, but the swap left too much of a loop.  
Yarns used : MC - Stonehedge Shepherds Wool, shown here in Great Lakes
The CC yarn is a beautiful mystery.

I omitted the charted dots of the 'i' in favor of a French Knot to be done later.

P.S. A very Happy New Year to you.  

Monday, December 12, 2016

Last Minute Gifting - Give a Pattern, Get a Pattern

Hello Knitting Friends,

I don't know about you, but my hands are just a little tired from all the knitting that's been going on...
I'm working on another Hawkeye Hat and a pair of secret gift Firefly Mitts from the Firefly Series, oh, and a sweater that isn't a gift at all.

This is Alice's Hawkeye in Cast Iron, Cinnabar, and Sweatshirt Shelter

And before I realized that I really preferred the Haystack 
to the Long Johns Stripe, also in Shelter.

If you have a last minute present or 2 to come up with, I'm offering a free pattern code to everyone who gifts one of my patterns from now till the eve of the 24th.  
I have to do this manually - so it won't be as instantaneous as the actual gift.  
Thank you.

There's also a great little column over on the Mason Dixon Knitting forum about non-knitted gifts  Their mug (above) is a great choice too.  

However you celebrate, I wish you Joy in this month and in the New Year ahead of us.  
Stand Together and Stand Strong.  

Thursday, November 24, 2016


Yes, I am.  So very thankful.

Kate Atherley, your wonderful book has been a beacon to me, 
I refer to it nearly every time that I write and format. 
Ann + Kay, you guys.
My Atlanta knitting friends who still keep me in their loop :
Alice, Allison, Debbie, Diane, Ellen, Hannah, Jennifer, Jill, Judith, Judy, Karlene, Laura
and Megan.
Leslie, who made Rhinebeck a reality for me 2 weeks after I moved.
Janet, Jenn, Amanda. Jill ! 
💙   Cynthia.  Lee.  Whitney.  Matt.  Kate.  💙

And to all of you.  
Through Friday midnight, EST, use the code thankful to receive


It's an easy rib repeat, knit with beautiful Dragonfly Valkyrie 

And a great top

Finishing pictorial coming next week!

An oldie but goodie for some last minute knitting :

Firefly Series  a Hat, Mittens, and Mitts in 2 lengths.
Each require less than an average skein of worsted weight. 
The hat is shown in Malabrigo Worsted, 
 the mitts are both in Hamilton Wool Classic and the mittens are Swans Island Worsted.

Love is love.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Lykke Needles

This summer I had the great pleasure of testing out Lykke, a new knitting needle for 
Lykke Crafts.
I knit every yarn that I could with this superb 24 inch US6.
Made of grayed birch, with the smoothest join, it is quick, quiet and elegant in the hand.  
The tip is perfect - pointy but not sharp.  
These needles are also available in aluminum and also come in a straight version.
Would you like to win one? 
Share this blog post with a friend or on your own social media and leave a comment that you've done so.  Winners will be randomly chosen on the 23rd of October.

I count this needle among my favorite notions, shown here with solid circle markers, coilless safety pins, a dangling row counter and a bright plastic removable that I use to mark mistakes to fix on the next round...
The yarn is Valkyrie from Dragonfly Fibers, shown in Cheshire Cat.