Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Patternum Novum :: Macaron Slouch

For the longest time, I was completely terrified of Brioche Stitch. Every time I went to try it, I found all these terms I'd never seen before (brk? brp? what the...) and got all discombobulated. But when I finally got it together and just sat down with some yarn, needles, and a good webpage devoted to the Brioche, I realized something. I already knew how to do everything. There was absolutely nothing new about the techniques used in Brioche Stitch -- they're just called something different. And then I realized that a) it's extremely fun, and b) it's also super pretty. So then of course I had to design something.


Macaron Slouch is a super simple slouchy hat that I made in collaboration with Kitterly (the fabulous online pattern and kit shop) that utilizes Brioche Stitch for a deep and squishy brim. And because I don't want anyone to be unnecessarily scared of Brioche like I was, I've included photos and explanations in the pattern of every step (which can also be ignored if you already know what you're doing!). Brioche Stitch is extremely stretchy and looks just as good on the wrong side as it does on the right, so I gave Macaron just the right amount of slouch that the brim can be folded up and the hat pulled down like a close-fitting beanie (you know, if you don't want to wear Macaron Slouch as a slouch).


The pattern is currently only available as an exclusive kit on Kitterly here -- they've put together lots of delicious color combinations, and you can even get your needles and pompom maker at the same time if you'd like. (The only thing I wish they'd include are those yummy macarons in the photos!)



The specs...

Finished measurements: 16.5 (18.25, 20.25)” / 42 (46, 51.5) cm to fit heads up to roughly 20 (22, 24)” / 51 (56, 61) cm around


Yarn: Filatura Di Crosa Zara (100% Merino); 2 skeins in color 1401 White (MC) and 1 skein in color 1925 Pale Spring Green (CC) -- or whatever color combo you'd like!

Needles: US 5 (3.75 mm) circular needle, 16”/ 40 cm long, or size needed to obtain gauge

Gauge: 22 sts & 29 rows = 4"/ 10 cm in Stockinette St; 15 sts & 24 rows = 4"/ 10 cm in Two-Color Brioche St

For more information on the Macaron Slouch, you can check it out on Ravelry here.  And if you'd like to knit along with others and/or share photos, come join the Macaron discussion in my Ravelry group, The Yarniad's Symposium

Monday, March 16, 2015

Patternum Novum :: Xenia Cowl

I feel like I say this every time I release a new pattern -- but I think I have a new favorite. I really, truly love this one. And I really hope you guys aren't getting sick of these shawl-cowl hybrids I've been doing lately (Starshower started my obsession...), but I can't get enough. I love designing them (there's no special formula -- each one takes unique shaping), I love knitting them (so quick and rewarding!), and I really love wearing them (just the right amount of warmth, they don't fall off, and they spruce up my dominantly white/grey/black wardrobe). Anyway...here's the newest shawl-cowl, this time in stripes! Introducing Xenia...


Xenia - $5 via Ravelry (no account required)


I created Xenia (the ancient Greek notion of guest friendship) for the {Among Friends} yarn club, using some really lovely sock yarn by Pigeonroof Studios. The cowl features a slipped stitch stripe pattern that is simple and fun and (I think) is striking in both stripes (above) and monochrome (below) alike. It takes the equivalent of just a single skein of sock yarn, meaning that you can make one with a single skein, or, with two skeins, you can make two striped cowls with the colors reversed.


The specs...

Finished measurements: 19”/ 48.5 cm circumference at top opening, 15.25”/ 38.5 cm height at center, 40”/ 101.5 cm circumference at bottom opening

Yarn: 400 yds/ 366 m of fingering weight yarn: 255 yds/ 233 m of MC and 145 yds/ 133 m of CC Shown in Pigeonroof Studios American Sock (100% Merino; 400 yds/ 366 m); 1 skein each of Autumnal (monochrome version), Charcoal (MC in striped version), and Rubine 2 (CC in striped version)

Needles: US 6 (4 mm) circular needle, 16-24”/ 40-60 cm long, or size needed to obtain gauge

Gauge: 22 sts & 38 rows = 4”/ 10 cm in stripe pattern; 22 sts & 32 rows = 4”/ 10 cm in Stockinette st


For more information on Xenia, you can check it out on Ravelry here.  And if you'd like to knit along with others and/or share photos, come join the Sidere discussion in my Ravelry group, The Yarniad's Symposium.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Patternum Novum :: Sidere Shawl

I'm so pleased to say that I've teamed up with Jackie of Luna Grey Fiber Arts once again (our first collaboration was Luna Viridis) -- and once again, she's provided a yarn so lovely that designing something for it was a piece of cake. This time, Jackie's yarn wanted to be a romantic, lightweight shawl with sprinklings of texture, and I was happy to oblige.

(Psst....read to the end to find out about the giveaway Jackie and I are running...)


Sidere - $5 via Ravelry (no account required)

or purchase Sidere with the Starbright yarn as a kit here.

Sidere (Latin for starlight) is a lighter-than-air, crescent-shaped, asymmetrical shawl worked from the top down with increases on every row. A very simple stitch pattern creates tons of texture on the shawl and resembles twinkling stars....bands of Stockinette short rows break up that texture intermittently and give the shawl its asymmetrical shape. The shawl is beautiful draped over a lightweight tee or a spring dress, but it also works fabulously as a wispy scarf.


The specs...

Finished measurements: Length of top, straight edge: 78”/ 198 cm; height at thickest part of center: 18.5”/ 47 cm

Yarn: Luna Grey Fiber Arts Starbright (55% Superwash Bluefaced Leicester, 45% Silk; 656 yds/ 600 m per 100g); 1 skein in Radiant Orchid

Needles: US 4 (3.5 mm) circular needles, at least 32”/ 80 cm long, or size needed to obtain gauge

Gauge: 20 sts & 32 rows = 4”/ 10 cm in Stockinette stitch; 20 sts & 40 rows = 4”/ 10 cm in Starlight pattern


For more information on Sidere, you can check it out on Ravelry here.  And if you'd like to knit along with others and/or share photos, come join the Sidere discussion in my Ravelry group, The Yarniad's Symposium.

AND if you'd like to enter to win your very own Sidere kit, check it out here!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Patternum Novum :: Aurelia Cowl

Have you heard?  Knitscene Spring 2015 is out and it's a beauty. Golden tones, cables, and a collection by the uber-talented Bristol Ivy.....it's pretty amazing. And I swear I'm not just saying that because I have a design in it....

© Knitscene/Harper Point Photography 

My Aurelia Cowl is yet another of my favorite shawl-cowl hybrid accessories. It starts as a semi-circular shawlette and is joined to work in the round to create a cowl. I took small portions of the Ostrich Plumes stitch pattern and put them in bands around the cowl, which creates cool wavy lines and a scalloped edge.

 © Knitscene/Harper Point Photography  

The cowl is knit up in TSC Artyarns Tranquility Glitter, a blend of DK, merino, cashmere, and silk...and sparkle. It's pretty luxurious, and I'm not gonna lie -- I love a little glitter in my knitting.

You can find out more about Aurelia on Ravelry and check out the whole issue of Knitscene on Ravelry, here. We may still be in chilly January, but it's not too early to be knitting up some pretty spring accessories! You want to be prepared, right? :)

© Knitscene/Harper Point Photography 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Patternum Novum :: Ios Beanie

The idea for this next design came a very, very long time ago. We were living in San Francisco and Daniel was a baby, and it feels like that was another lifetime. Anyway, I had this skein of Malabrigo Lace and was playing around with it. (Wait a sec, that sounds familiar!) I was doing some chevron-y lace in a long strip and noticed that if I folded it in half, the eyelets all lined up and it created this really nice, cushy, three-dimensional lace that (I thought) looked really cool. I was pretty sure I was going to make some sort of infinity scarf with it. Well, I didn't, and that swatch sat around for quite some time. Until one day when Daniel grabbed it, as babies do, and started playing with it. And somehow it ended up across his forehead. And then a lightbulb went on.


Ios - $5 via Ravelry (no account required)


Ios (Ancient Greek for dawn) is a lightweight beanie with a simple lace brim and just the least bit of slouch. The hat begins with the chevron-like lace brim that my brilliant son invented, which is knit flat, then folded in half to create its three dimensional appearance. The rest of the hat is worked up from the brim with the yarn held double stranded (so soft and squishy), and I've provided a little photo tutorial for picking up stitches from the doubled lace brim. This is a very quick knit that is a perfect use of a single skein of soft laceweight yarn and provides just the right amount of warmth on chilly mornings, as rosy-fingered dawn is making her appearance.


The specs...

Sizes/finished measurements: 18.25 (19.75, 21.5)” / 46.5 (50, 54.5) cm to fit heads up to roughly 20 (22, 24)” / 51 (56, 61) cm around; 8 (8.25, 8.75)” / 20.5 (21, 22) cm from edge of brim to top

Yarn: Malabrigo Yarn Lace (100% Merino; 470 yds/430 m per 50g); 1 skein in color 130 Damask; Or 285 (315, 345) yds / 260 (290, 315) m of a similar laceweight yarn

Needles: US 6 (4 mm) 16-20” / 40-50 cm long circular needle and same size needles preferred for working a small circumference in the round (e.g. circular needle long enough for Magic Loop, dpns)

Gauge: 23 sts & 33 rows = 4” / 10 cm in Stockinette st, yarn held double stranded; 22 sts & 29 rows = 4” / 10 cm in lace patt, yarn held single stranded


For more information on Ios, you can check it out on Ravelry here.  And if you'd like to knit along with others and/or share photos, come join the Ios discussion in my Ravelry group, The Yarniad's Symposium.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Knitter's Tool Tins :: A Review

(Spoiler alert! There's a discount code at the bottom, so make sure you read the whole thing... :) )

Way back in the day, when I really started knitting in 2007, I loved to store things in old Altoid tins. I ate a lot of Ginger Altoids and hated throwing away the tins when the mints were gone, so I would decorate the lids with nail polish and use them for....stuff. It was only natural that I put my knitting tools in one and carry it around with me. It was so handy! But I never found a pair of scissors or tape measure small enough to keep in there, so those things were always separate. Kinda annoying.

So then my knitting Altoid tin broke some years later and I started using a little zipper bag thingy from Namaste, which happened to fit my scissors. Score! But it didn't fit my tape measure. Boo. So I still had more than one "thing" to worry about when I was carrying around my knitting. Still kinda annoying. For years, I thought: "Wouldn't it be nice if someone sold little kits of knitting tools that all fit into one cute container?" And, as it ends up, my good pal, talented designer Sarah Wilson, aka The Sexy Knitter, does.


The Knitter's Tool Tin is a brilliant invention of Sarah's, stocked in her Etsy shop, and she graciously offered to send me some last fall to review for all of you.

As you can see in the photos above, each tin includes a tape measure, teensy tiny scissors, 5 cute stitch markers, one of those cool double-ended crochet hooks that can be used to fix dropped stitches or just as a crochet hook, a stitch holder, a cable needle, a tapestry needle, and two more types of sewing needles. They all fit perfectly into an Altoid-style tin so you just have to grab and go. Sarah has a ton of great styles of tin lids (and even offers a freebie to anyone who submits a photo that she ends up using), though this month's exclusive styles are looking pretty good to me...(*wink*)...

(Ignore the dent in the Itineris one on the right. Totally my fault. Well, totally my 3 year old's fault.)

So what did I think of the tins now that I've had some time to use them? In two words: they're brilliant. Everything I was carrying around before was right there inside the tin. (Well, I did pop in a couple of removable stitch markers, but I just recently started using those a lot.) And they are quality products. The tape measure is good, the needles are good, the crochet hook thingy is awesome. The scissors (which are apparently new as of August) are fantastic. They're so teeny! But somehow they still snip yarn perfectly. I'll admit I didn't try steeking, so I don't know how great they are for that, but for every day knitting needs: great. (And really, how often does one steek away from one's home?) The only item I wasn't a huge fan of was the stitch markers. But I'm weird. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the stitch markers. I just don't like dangly stitch markers. Any of them. (I cut up straws, cheap-o style.) I will say that I did use them and they were fine in a pinch -- and they're so cute!! -- but I just couldn't love them like I wanted to.

Sarah suggested stashing a tool tin with each project I had going on, and this was a great suggestion. I'm actually a pretty monogamous knitter, but I always, always have project bags hanging around, packed with wound yarn, needles, and notes ready for swatching or starting a new project. With a Tool Tin in each one, I never had to search around for my little tool bag and tape measure. IT WAS SO HANDY AND MY LIFE IS CHANGED. Also? I do most of my knitting these days with a sleeping baby on top of me, so even avoiding walking across a small room for a knitting notion is nice.

Lastly, I love the little magnetic strip on the inside of the lid. So smart! I always seem to have to hunt for my needles, but not anymore.

Every month, Sarah does a set of exclusive tin styles and I'm very excited to say that my designs are featured atop her tins this month. The available styles are pictured below, going clockwise starting at the top: Glacerie, Itineris (this one's my favorite), Arrows Cowl, Spots Cowl, and (not pictured) Citron.


Each Tool Tin costs $25 plus shipping, or the whole set of 5 tins with exclusive The Yarniad designs can be had for just $100. OR, if you'd really like to stock up, Sarah offers tins at a wholesale discount of $150 plus shipping for 12 tins (that's 50% off) and doesn't require a wholesale license for these orders. I may actually take advantage of this at Christmastime next year -- these make fantastic gifts. (And I also want more for myself...) Click here for the wholesale listing.

Sarah is offering a discount to readers of The Yarniad and has set up a coupon code, FriendsofHilary, which is good for 20% off a purchase of $25 or more, excluding wholesale orders and the whole Yarniad set (which already has a nice discount). This coupon code is good for 10 days starting now....so what are you waiting for??

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Aeris :: Now Available!

Back in August, I was thrilled to be part of a kit update with The Plucky Knitter. My Aeris shawl was offered with all sorts of yarn lovelies and, I'll admit, I ordered a kit for myself just because I couldn't resist the yarn. Anyhoo, for those who were interested in the pattern but didn't partake of the kit update, Aeris is now available as an individual download!


Aeris - $6 via Ravelry (no account required)


The specs...

Finished measurements: 58”/ 147.5 cm along top edge; 21.5”/ 54.5 cm height at center

Yarn: The Plucky Knitter Bello Worsted (55% Merino, 45% Cashmere; 200 yds/ 183 m per 105g); 2 skeins in Sticky Toffee; or 400 yds/ 366 m of a worsted weight yarn

Needles: US 7 (4.5 mm) circular needles, at least 24”/ 60 cm long, or size needed to obtain gauge

Gauge: 115 sts & 24 rows = 4”/ 10 cm in Stockinette st; 15 sts & 29 rows = 4”/ 10 cm in Textured Copper pattern, blocked


For more information on Aeris (and some wonderful photos of Plucky's stripey version), you can check it out on Ravelry here.  And if you'd like to knit along with others and/or share photos, come join the Aeris discussion in my Ravelry group, The Yarniad's Symposium.