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Thursday, November 13, 2014

NellKnitsNovember + Indie Design Gift-a-Long

This has already been a very busy month for NellKnits.

The New River Fiber Company has been promoting #NellKnitsNovember 
in their shop and on Instagram.
There are 2 brand new patterns for the event! 
shown in Swans Island Natural Worsted (Raspberry): 

and Raked 
shown in Fibre Company Canopy Worsted (Wild Ginger).  

These patterns will only be available exclusively at the shop, 
through the end of the month.

I'll be at the shop for a meet + greet, to offer advice and to teach 
my popular class
Tips + Tricks, this Saturday the 15th.  

The Indie Design Group on Ravelry has put together a fabulous event, and this year I am participating.

Thousands of patterns will be on sale for 25% off with the code 
during the GAL sale period - Thursday November 13th (8pm EST) through 
Friday November 21 (11:59pm EST).
Join in the GAL, which lasts until the end of the year - chat with designers and other crafters, play games, win prizes, and more importantly make some beautiful things!

I will be choosing something new to knit, too...  

Monday, September 15, 2014

Oh, a Give-Away!

Today I'm offering a sweet giveaway, a copy of the new book
One + One: Wraps, Cowls & Capelets by Iris Schrier.
My pattern is the Beaded Eyelet Hug, knit with one skein each of 
Artyarns Beaded Pearl and Sequins and Artyarns Rhapsody Light.  

The book shows so many beautiful shapes. I'm a big fan of cowls, capelets and wraps that are joined and stay put!  

Just leave a comment here, on Ravelry, my Instagram, or my Facebook page to be eligible to win.  I'll also have a few free NellKnits patterns to share.  The drawing will take place on Friday evening.  Good luck and enter everywhere!

The New River Fiber Company and Mosaic Yarn are giving away a Cashmere Level pass to the first ever Sheep in the Shade event!! 
I will be teaching there, along with Angie + Stephanie of Kismet Fiber Works 
and Courtney + Kate of Kellbourne Woolens.  
This will be at beautiful Claytor Lake, just outside of Blacksburg, Virginia.  

The deadline for entry is quite soon, the contest is on Instagram via  any of these links.
Good luck and hope to see you there.

I am also working on a multi-size & multi-gauge Poncho, 
shown here in a discontinued silk & cotton that I over-dyed with Indigo.  
I have been surprised at how often I have popped this one on.
Yes, it's just a simple rectangle shape, 

but with the addition of a few short rows, the neck is less open, 
and there's a flattering fit across the shoulders.  
I'm currently working on a Shale Lace edged version in some lovely KidSilk Aura 
that was just lingering in my stash, 
and have almost readied the pattern for testing.  
Do join in the fun, 
there is a size for you, 
and with all the gauge variety, you may have just the yarn you need tucked away.  
Send me an email or message if you're interested.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Happy September!

One of the things that September means is that the time for gift-giving is just

Right Around the Corner.

Here are a few great small projects to share, perfect for working on right now.

Gyre, made for the New River Fiber Company

That Hat, a pixie-ish topper with an interesting twist on cabling, 

made with delicious Kismet Fiber Works Sleek Fingering
a wonderful blend of Silk & Wool.  
This might be the go to pattern for several single skeins in the stash.  
This little wrap sits just right.

You can see these, me and everyone linked above at Sheep in the Shade, a fiber retreat on beautiful Claytor Lake, outside of Blacksburg, VA, the first weekend of October.  I am so excited to meet and learn about color with the Fibre Company gals, dye with Angie & Stephanie of Kismet - and meet, hang out (teach & share) with the attendees and new friends there.  I hope that you can join us.  

Stilla, my take on the poncho - soon to be available in many gauges.
Here is the prototype, knit with a long discontinued cotton & silk held double, then over-dyed in my backyard Indigo pot.

I will be talking about this soon, I expect the book to arrive this week, and will have a little giveaway, stay tuned!

Friday, July 4, 2014

“It's still magic even if you know how it's done.” Terry Pratchett

Although the quote, from "A Hatful of Sky", was not written to describe knitting, 
I think it applies.

After all the miles of yarn that have run through my hands, I am still amazed at what a needle or 2, and a few fingertip tricks can conjure up.

Introducing Wheaten.

Knit here in a hand-dyed semi-solid fingering weight from Fleur de Fiber, a souvenir from last years Chicago adventure.  It drapes, hangs and wraps wonderfully, and can be worn in may ways.  Even in the heat of high summer, I can see it wrapped snugly as a scarf - but in the meantime it will keep the chill of sudden AC off my back.
Check out the test knit by Larcyarn made of Kismet Soul!  That color!!

For the 4th of July, I plan to celebrate with a vat of Indigo Dye.  The supplies arrived yesterday and today I mix it up.  If you live in the area, come over for a little dip.

Keep an eye on Instagram for some of our results.

Speaking of Instagram, I celebrated my 3rd anniversary of publishing patterns with a giveaway there.  New friends were made and a dozen patterns gifted.  
It has been 3 fantastic years, thank you all!

Also on Instagram (can you tell it's my new favorite?) there will be a KAL with Whitney of The New River Fiber Company in Blacksburg VA.  Details will be up soon!

High Summer.  
That means a ton of vegetables from our wonderful CSA.  
We made Pickled Beets yesterday, tweaking this recipe by swapping ACV for the Tarragon Vinegar and adding a few whole cloves.

Of course there have been Onion Tarts, and I'm dreaming up new things to make with with the abundance of squashes. 

 A very happy holiday weekend to us all.

Friday, June 20, 2014

Swatching in the Round

I have really enjoyed following Ysolda's (week) daily blog, 
most especially this one about accurate swatching for in-the-round knitting.
My technique is a little different.
Here is a generous swatch, 40 stitches equalling about 6 inches in width.  
I've worked back and forth in the rib for a few rows, just for a base.

I did a little math, and estimate that one row takes about 32 inches of yarn. 
 I measured the relaxed yarn and made a slip knot at the 32 inch mark.
Do this straight of course, it's just circled round for a tidy picture.

Push the work back to the beginning of the right side and begin knitting with the attached, not the ball end of the measured yarn.  

You can see the loop at the end shows that 32 was just a few inches too long.  
If it had been a few stitches short in length, I would have just slipped them, 
unworked, and added a few inches to the next measure.  

Now knit across with the ball end, then repeat with a looped end.

With a flat swatch for knitting in-the-round it is important, IMHO, to use the very same needle that you will for the garment, and to make the swatch large enough so that you are only counting the inside area for information.  
Whatever method you do use, the edges will most likely not read true to gauge.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Ending the Cowl and an Update on (some of the) Other Work.

                                                      Both the Cowl & Capelet are complete!
                       Here are a few tips for tidier finishing for this, and many other projects.

When ending, I always extend the last stitch several inches and cut the center.  
Pull the ball end out and there you have your tail.  
When working in the round, I like to make an invisible join by running the tail 
under both strands of the first bind off.

Run the tail back into the last bound off stitch.

Snug it up, even with the others, and run or weave the end in.  
Here I used the end to snug up the last yarn over, which was a little loopier from 
being in the selvedge of the garter rows.

: : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : :

Haley is modeling the Restoration Cowl made of those beautiful skeins of Clara Yarn.  
She managed some serious good cheer on one of the hottest days of the year.

The longer, chunkier Capelet in Quince & Company Osprey.

 (because she could doesn't mean she would)

Some things from my knitting basket :

Working along on the 2nd sleeve of a wonderful pullover in Dance.  The color is Titania, which is really what I'd consider a Celadon, not the lovely but incorrect grey captured here.

Ready to work the knitted tubular bind off and make a thumb decision for this mitt, 
part of the  Kismet Abundant set.
The color is completely yum.

And I'm mostly back on track with this Habu, the top of which I have reknit thrice.  
Good Tip : Mark your increases and decreases with removable markers as you go along! 
I especially love this coil-less variety, but only have them in the same shade as this yarn.  
I may need to search out silver or brass...  

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Beginning a Cowl, and ClaraYarn

Two beautiful skeins of Sapphire Clara Yarn Cormo 1.0 have found a new home.
I know.  I always am in love with the yarn I'm using.
I am in Big LOVE with this beautiful yarn.  It's bouncy and squishy, yet crisp and firm.

I'd been playing with a new stitch pattern, which should be perfect in a cowl.
  I want to share a few favorite techniques as I work:

I've cast on my border stitches, plus one.  
The garter border is worked flat, knitting every row.
On the final row, which is the right side, work to the final stitch. 
Join by working the first and last stitch together.

The benefits are : When bringing the selvedges together for the join, 
it is more difficult to twist the cast on edge.  
Working the 2 stitches together secures the join and makes a twist, after-the-fact, impossible.
The tail must be woven in, and might as well make a tiny seam.
The extra stitch is incorporated in that tiny seam.

Because the pattern begins with the first stitch of the round, 
the join should be worked before placing the beginning of the round marker.  

Stay tuned.