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A Few New Patterns…

I don’t always write about new patterns here on the blog… To be honest, I work on so many things and by the time they roll around to being published, sometimes I forget I even knit them or I’m just too swamped to do anything about it. This is when I’d really appreciate it if someone would make cloning oneself affordable and not creepy. thefiberists-logo Recently, I met The Fiberists. They came up and introduced themselves at the Shenandoah Fiber Festival in the fall when I was doing a book signing. Comprised of Spencer and Reggie, I had seen their yarns at my LYS, Fibre Space and really liked them. The color ways are named for natural elements and I loved the softness, ply and both Spencer and Reggie. A few emails and meetings later, and we had hatched a plan for me to do three patterns for them for their trunk show at Fibre Space. If you’re in the Alexandria, VA area, swing by this weekend on February 16th and 17th started at 10am-6pm both days to meet The Fiberists, manhandle some of their gorgeous yarns, check out their lovely trunk show and see my three new designs for them.

Kinderhook Blanket

Kinderhook Blanket

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I love knitting baby blankets that don’t assume the knitter can’t handle something fun. I’m so tired of boring baby blankets in boring colors that are well, boring to knit. Babies need color and texture! Blankets shouldn’t be a chore to knit for a new baby, they should be fun, with love and anticipation for the arrival in every stitch. Kinderhook Blanket pattern available here.

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Booker Cowl

SONY DSCIt’s no secret I love cabling. Cabling in two colors? Even better! This thick cowl ensures no wind will get through and the unisex design means you can make a few for the coat closet and anyone can grab one and go!

Book Cowl pattern available here.

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Rimrock Reversible Cowl

SONY DSCI think Fair Isle knitting will always be my favorite technique. I teach it so often for both classes and workshops and truly enjoy it. What I hear a lot from my students is they hate how the wrong side looks when they knit something in Fair Isle. This got me thinking… Wouldn’t a reversible cowl be a great idea? Not only would it be extra thick, but it’s be an inverted design, so you never have to worry about the wrong side facing out. Kitchenering ensures no seaming. Oh, I love this cowl!

Rimrock Reversible Cowl pattern available here.

Hope to see you this weekend at the trunk show!

Banding Together – FREE Pattern Alert!

I wonder if there’s a place in the universe where all the missing socks go. Its twin planet would no doubt be where all the missing mittens go. They probably get together and have a giant party, laughing at all the people wandering around with mismatched socks and one cold hand. Seriously, where do all those missing socks and mittens go?

My son and I go to the playground almost daily. It’s a ritual he’s come to expect and love and I enjoy spending time together there with him, watching as he gets bolder with the curly q slides or the swings. We went from hanging out on the fringe while he got the lay of the land to running full force from one enjoyment to another.  It’s been a joy watching him join in and build confidence.

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The place is crawling with kids of all ages, shapes and sizes, colorful blurs running here and there with pink cheeks, icy cold hands and bare heads. I’d like to say (as both a knitter and a mom) that my kid would never be one of those cold children running around mittenless or without a hat on his head. I’d like to say that, but it’s just not true.

My son will wear a hat without complaint, but he hates mittens. I noticed his innate ability to quickly lose a mitten in less than 20 seconds flat, even with mitten clips. I’d watch him like a hawk and he’d still pull a Houdini and we’d walk home, one mitten less. “Leave no mitten behind!” I’d proclaim in my head, but it’s a battle I lost almost every time. Eventually I gave up, letting him play with cold hands and feeling like a terrible mother.

I’d discuss this phenomenon with other moms, dads and caregivers at the playground. We’d all accepted it as our fate to have cold children, shuffle around a bit, shake our heads and move on. Until one day, when I decided I was tired of buying and losing mittens and I’d use the power of the knitted icord to win this battle once and for all.

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Whomever invented superwash yarn should be declared a saint. My favorite superwash is Cascade’s 128 Superwash, a 100% superwash merino wool with 128 yards per hank. I love it’s gentle ply, it’s soft squishiness and how quickly it knits up and how in no time, you’ll have something cute made up that can be thrown in the washing machine. They have almost 70 colors with endless combinations and it was difficult choosing just two. It was with two hanks of 128 Superwash in hand that I began my battle against the missing mitten.

Feeling smug (as if I’d won the battle already), I knit my son a pair of adorable striped mittens in Sesame Street colors with a corrugated ribbed cuff, measured his wingspan from wrist to wrist and attached an icord. It’d be next to impossible for him to lose a mitten, since they are attached with a nice, springy icord. I was surprised at how far two hanks were going and decided to make a matching hat. I was shocked when I STILL had yarn left and put a pom pom on top of the hat. Talk about great yardage! And I even had some left! I doubt I’ll ever make him another hat and mitten set in any other yarn (though the colors will probably go from his favorite TV show to school or sports team colors over time). I am smitten with 128 Superwash.

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We walked to the playground yesterday. He ran and ran around until he was tuckered out and guess what? We walked home victorious, with warm hands and with both mittens.

Download the free Banding Together pattern here.