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.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Patternum Novum :: Appia

We all know I love a shawl-cowl hybrid. In February I released Starshower. And Luna Viridis. Then last month I did Adama. Thing is, I just can't get them out of my head. I love wearing them, and I love knitting them. And planning and designing them is even better. I keep thinking of new stitch patterns I want to experiment with, and new configurations. Even the math is fun -- each shawl-cowl requires a slightly different type of shaping depending on how its stitch pattern falls. So today, I'm releasing yet another one, Appia.




Appia - $5 via Ravelry (no account required)


Appia, named after the famous Roman road, is done in the Roman Stripe stitch pattern (which happens to be my favorite stitch pattern) and includes a pretty picot bind off at the end. The stitch pattern is simple to execute and is highly textured, which looks fantastic in pretty sock yarns. Appia comes in two sizes (the small is the green one and the large is the purple one), and both take less than a skein of sock yarn. I felt like the small took me absolutely no time at all (the large was quick, too) -- so there's probably still time to whip up a couple before a certain holiday coming up...

The specs...

Sizes/finished measurements: Small [Large] = 17.25”/ 44 cm [22”/ 56 cm]” circumference at top opening and 16”/ 40.5 cm [18”/ 45.5 cm] height at center

Yarn: 250 yds/ 225 m 375 yds/ 350 m of fingering weight yarn;
Shown in Madelinetosh Tosh Sock (100% Superwash Merino; 395 yds/ 361 m); 1 skein in Forestry (the green) and Fiber Story Fave Sock (100% Superwash Merino; 400 yds/ 365 m per 100 g); 1 skein in Tilly (the purple)

Needles: US 6 (4 mm) circular needle, 16-24”/ 40-60 cm long

Gauge: 16 stitches and 26 rows = 4 inches in Roman Stripe and Garter Stitch


For more information on Appia, 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 Adama discussion in my Ravelry group, The Yarniad's Symposium.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Patternum Novum (sort of) :: Ultravioleta

Back at the end of May, I had a pattern included in a kit available via Tanis Fiber Arts (with her stunning Cosmic Blue Label yarn). And I am pleased to say that Ultravioleta is now available as an individual download, for those of you who may have been interested in the pattern but who missed out on a kit.


Ultravioleta - $5 via Ravelry (no account required)





Ultravioleta is airy and feminine, with lots of lace and some bobbles sprinkled throughout for extra texture. The edging is separated by a band of garter stitch and has just the slightest amount of ruffle to it.

The specs...

Size: 42”/ 106.75 cm along top edge; 18.5”/ 47 cm height at center

Yarn: Tanis Fiber Arts Cosmic Blue Label Fingering (84% merino, 16% sparkling nylon; 420 yds/ 385 m per 115g); 1 skein in Luxe; or 420 yds/ 385 m of a fingering weight yarn (Anzula Nebula would be a nice substitute)

Needles: US 6 (4 mm) circular needle, at least 24" / 60 cm long, or size needed to obtain gauge

Gauge: 16 sts & 28 rows = 4”/ 10 cm in Ultraviolet Chevron Lace pattern; 17 sts & 36 rows = 4”/ 10 cm in Garter Stitch; 25 sts & 35 rows = 4”/ 10 cm in Stockinette St

For more information about Ultravioleta, you can check it out on Ravelry here.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Patternum Novum: Adama

Happy Friday, everyone! I'm very excited to share this new pattern with you all. Last February, I released Starshower, a lacey shawl-cowl hybrid done in fingering weight yarn. It remains one of my favorite knits to date, but since then I've been dreaming of something similar, but in heavier weight yarn. Something a little more substantial with large-scale lace that could be whipped up in a weekend. I've thought about it pretty much all year. And finally, just before little Elin was born, I nailed down the exact combination of lace and yarn I was looking for, and Adama came to be.



Adama - $5 via Ravelry (no account required)




Named for the Latin word for diamond (as well as, yes, the captain of Battlestar Galactica), it is shaped as a shawl, but the second half is worked in the round to create the illusion of a semi-circular shawl worn wrapped around the neck without ends to worry about tying. The majority of the cowl is done in a simple diamond lace pattern, with bands of Stockinette and Garter stitch breaking things up. Using gorgeous Plucky Knitter Scholar, a worsted weight wool-cashmere blend, on large needles gives this cowl a cozy, rustic appearance and cuts the knitting time to practically nothing.

The specs...

Finished measurements: 22.5” / 57 cm circumference at top opening; 18” / 45.5 cm height at center front; 9”/ 23 cm height at back

Yarn: The Plucky Knitter Scholar (75% Merino, 25% Cashmere; 255 yds/ 233 m per 115g); 2 skeins in Flannel; Or 300 yds/ 275 m of a worsted weight yarn

Needles: US 9 (4 mm) circular needle, 16-24”/ 40-60 cm long

Gauge: 15 sts & 20 rows = 4”/ 10 cm in Rustic Diamond Lace pattern; 15 sts & 22 rows = 4”/ 10 cm in Stockinette St


For more information on Adama, 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 Adama discussion in my Ravelry group, The Yarniad's Symposium.