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Tapetis Cowl

Tapestries are a great source of inspiration for me. I look at them and marvel how so many have stood the test of time, many of them looking like they were taken off the loom yesterday. The vibrant colors, the intricate scenes they depict, the sheer scale, and the amount of time they must have taken to create make them a unique medium. Our friends at Wikipedia tell us, “Tapestry is a form of textile art, traditionally woven on a vertical loom. Tapestry is weft-faced weaving, in which all the warp threads are hidden in the completed work, unlike cloth-weaving where both the warp and the weft threads may be visible. In tapestry weaving, weft yarns are typically discontinuous; the artisan interlaces each coloured weft back and forth in its own small pattern area. It is a plain weft-faced weave having weft threads of different colours worked over portions of the warp to form the design.”

As a kid, my mom and dad brought me home a coloring book with details from the Lady and the Unicorn tapestries from one of their travels. I loved that coloring book and it took me years to color it all in because it was special to me. This was before coloring books were trendy, so I suppose I was ahead of my time! That coloring book ignited my love of tapestries and unicorns.

I met Aimee from Little Fox Yarn this past autumn at the Shenandoah Fiber Festival. We look forward to the festival each year (especially the apple cobbler) and have attended for years. Her colors shone and I was drawn to her booth immediately. With a true eye for color and training as an interior decorator, everything in her booth was lovely and could easily be mixed and matched. It was almost impossible to choose just a few colors, but I left her booth with yarn in my hands and a smile on my face. I had Fair Isle plans.

Inspired by old tapestries, I’d like to introduce the Tapetis Cowl, a Fair Isle cowl that uses just 3 hanks of Little Fox’s Vulpine DK, a delightful blend of merino, nylon, and cashmere. This luxury cowl is a great combination of corrugated ribbing sandwiching a fun-to-knit Fair Isle pattern working up on US 7 circular needles. The 3 colors are used in equal amounts, using almost the entire skein, but it’d be super simple to add or take away length depending on what you like. This yarn was amazing to knit with, I loved the colors, and couldn’t wait to get it around my neck! I love a cozy color work cowl!

Gossamer, Demelza, Vardo

Fired Pumpkin, Chasing Blue Skies, Loganberry

Gossamer, Hey Peacock!, Deep Water

Falling Leaves, Smudge, Mulberry

With so many gorgeous combinations to chose from, Little Fox Yarn has come up with 3 alternate combos in addition to the original as a kit for the Tapetis Cowl! I love the idea of giving this kit to a fellow knitter for the holidays, since so often we knit and knit for everyone else and forget about ourselves. This is another cowl that has gone into my daily rotation and I find myself snuggling into it throughout the day.

Download the Tapetis Cowl pattern here and check out the stunning kits from Little Fox here.

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Plum Dandi Knits & Giveaway!

UPDATE 12/11/17: Congratulations to winner Bridget! Check your email!

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I was excited to get my hands on a copy of Plum Dandi Knits – Simple Designs for Luxury Yarns by Alicia Plummer and Melissa Schaschwary (Interweave Press, $24.99, 2017). A collaborative effort between two designer friends (AliciaPlum and Dandiliongrl = Plum Dandi), this book contains 23 projects ideal for luxury yarns. I love the idea of making a book with your best fiber friend!

If you’re like me, you tend to hoard the luxury fibers. Buying them is a treat, but sometimes I’m not sure what to do with them. Is that hat worthy of cashmere? Do I deserve that silk blend shawl? I am always happy to use fancy yarns for gift knitting, but I get stuck in the cycle of waiting for the exact right project to come along to knit for myself. Personal knitting is a rarity, so I very much liked the idea of this book.

High Cliff

Ramsey

Beautifully photographed outside, I love the contrast of the soft knits in nature. These are simple designs to live your life in and I appreciated the natural environment. With leg warmers, cowls, socks, shawls, hats, multiple sweaters, a blanket, and a headband, I enjoyed that there were a lot of smaller, non-fussy projects that could be worked up quickly with a variety of techniques represented. Check out all the patterns here.

Langlade

Sawyer

I’m a fan of both Alicia and Melissa, having worked with Melissa for a project in Modern Baby Knits. This is a lovely collection and I have my eye on Sawyer, Langlade, and Exeter for a few last-minute knitting gifts for the holidays. I can picture this book combined with a hank of luxury fiber making a wonderful gift for any knitter this holiday season!

Exeter

Fennimer

Let’s give a copy of this book away, shall we? Answer the below trivia question in the comments correctly for a chance to win! Open to US residents only.

What are the 8 countries that produce the most cashmere?

A winner will be chosen at random on Monday, December 11th.

 

 

Part of Your World Cowl

The first time I saw Disney’s The Little Mermaid, I sat in the theater in complete awe. The second the opening credits started rolling I was hooked. The bright colors, the music, the story, the fluidity of the animation. When it came out on VHS, my childhood friend Ashley and I would walk back and forth to each other’s houses to watch it. Her house had a huge TV and a seemingly endless bowl of M&Ms and she and I along with her older sister would belt out the tunes along with the tape. It remains to this day my favorite Disney film and one of my random party tricks is being able to quote the entire movie.

This film inspired me to set my path, or at least set it as much as an 8 year-old could at that part of my life. I knew I wanted to go to school for animation, I knew I wanted to attend RISD, and I knew I wanted to animate for Disney Studios. While part of that dream came true (and I still harbor dreams about working for Pixar), my path twisted and turned until I ended up exactly where I’m supposed to be. My love of animation still burns brightly, and it’s a joy to watch animated features with my son.

I’ve been wanting to design something inspired by The Little Mermaid for quite some time. I wanted it to be elegant, colorful, and something both my 8 year-old self and my 30-something self would get grabby hands over and want to wear. I knew it needed to be squishy, soft, and put a smile on my face every time I went to wrap it around my neck, a wearable ode to one of my favorite films of all time.

Introducing the Part of Your World Cowl, a Fair Isle extravaganza (it’s me, of COURSE it would be Fair Isle!) named after the famous song where Ariel sings about wanting to become human, using only 2 balls of yarn. The gentle gradient of Freia Handpaints new Ombré Fingering Shawl Ball in 100% cruelty-free merino in Aurora, a mix of greens and blues, combined with Whisper, a very subtle neutral palette, brings to mind the sea and the beach. With shells, mermaids, fish, ocean waves, starfish, and sand dollars, if this doesn’t get you in the mood to either hit the beach or watch The Little Mermaid, I don’t know what will!

Knitting up on US 3s for the garter edging and US 4s for the Fair Isle work, this cowl knits up large enough to engulf your neck or wear like a fitted poncho. I’ve been wearing it in the mornings for a few weeks and it keeps me warm and snugly while talking with the other parents about our Disney memories from way back when. I find myself digging through the pile of knits in the front closet for it every day! It’s my new favorite for certain.

Another exciting announcement about this cowl is that I’ve teamed up with Freia Handpaints and Webs to make kits available to all!!! I’m very excited about this partnership as I’ve been a customer and fan of both Webs and Freia for years! The Part of Your World Cowl is available through their online store here, as well as kits for the popular Ziggy Stardust here, and Nakia here. Please remember that while you shop and knit like a crazy person for all the loved ones in your life for the holiday season, it doesn’t hurt to get yourself a treat, too!

Download the Part of Your World Cowl here, or find the kit here.