Tuesday, August 31

Celestial Trio

Three variations on a simple theme--a shawlette/scarf and two shawls--all constructed with pi shaping that ends in a lace border. Easy to knit and addictive! Knit one in every color. Easy to adapt for different weights of yarn. Written instructions for all three are included in the pattern including a lace chart for the border.

I came up with the idea for the shawlette/scarf as a pattern for the goody bags at my knitting group's annual retreat. I paired the pattern with a ball of Knit Picks Palette yarn. Yes, it only takes 231 yards of fingering/sock weight yarn to knit it! The pictured shawlette was knit in Celestial Blue on size 7 (4.5 mm) knitting needles. This is a nice little wrap to throw around your shoulders to keep the chill off in air conditioned rooms or restaurants or over your winter coat for a flash of color.

I had so much fun knitting the scarf version that I decided to upsize it to a shawl. So came about version #2 that uses 630 yards of fingering/sock weight yarn. This is a very full shawl that comes down to my elbows. I used Knit Picks Palette in Golden Heather for the main body of the shawl and Sweet Potato for the lace border.

Then I wondered what would happen if I omitted the front edge increases. Thus came about version #3, an almost half circle shawl. I used 440 yards of rainbow merino yarn that I had spun some time back. It was waiting for the perfect project and this one was it! I love how it turned out!

For more information, visit my Ravelry pattern store to see all my available designs, current pricing information, and purchase pattern downloads.

Friday, August 27

Name That Bag!

This is a bag pattern that I donated for use in the Holiday Mystery Gifts group in 2009. I'm ready to post the pattern as a freebie but I don't care for the pattern name. I called it Bag it Up! for HMG last year. It's pretty boring.

Want to take a go at giving it a better name? Post a comment with your name suggestion either here on my blog or in the naming thread on my Simply Simple Knits group on Ravelry. If I use the name you suggest, I'll gift you a copy of any of my patterns.

This is a felted tote bag that is knit in the round from the bottom up. The handles are knit in as you bind off the top edge. There's even instructions for knitting a pocket to sew to the inside of the tote. I used a variegated yarn for the sides of the bag. Isn't it cool the pattern it made?

The garden is beginning to wind down for the season. It's been an odd year for the garden. First wet, then hot and dry. Our sweet corn didn't do very well. The ears were small and not well filled out. At least the raccoons didn't get it this year! LOL! Cucumbers and summer squash plants have died due to bug damage. The beans are about done. Potatoes are dying which means we can dig some at any time. Winter squash is setting fruit. Oh, and tomatoes are coming in great guns. I've been busy freezing things for the winter. The only time you can go outside to pick anything is in the middle of the day when it's sunny or the mosquitoes eat you alive!

My knitting group held it's 2nd annual retreat on August 7th at the University of Notre Dame. We had a great time. One of our members taught a Fair Isle knitting class for us. I put together goody bags with the help of some of the members of our group. It was a fun and relaxing day for all who attended.

Last Friday I went to Michigan Fiber Fest in Allegan, Michigan. It was scorching hot that day. Got there about 15 minutes after they opened and it looked like a lot of other people had had the same idea as I had to arrive early. By the time I reached the last building I was dripping sweat. Didn't stop me from buying some Pygora combed top, merino, silk hankies, and Polworth wool before I was finished shopping. :) The booth owner where I bought the Pygora was shocked when I told her I was allergic to alpaca. She said but it's billed as hypoallergenic. It's not. I know a lot of people who are allergic to it. She told me that Pygora (from a goat) is a hair fiber like alpaca. I have my fingers crossed that the Pygora doesn't bother me the way that alpaca does.

I'll tease you by saying that I've got another free bag pattern and a new shawl pattern that I need to blog about. Both patterns are already up on Ravelry. If you're a member of Ravelry, you can see all my patterns by clicking HERE. You must be signed in to view it. Casey is working on making our design pages visible outside of Ravelry.

Monday, August 9

Lydia's Star

Back in the spring, I stumbled across a pattern for a vintage circular shawl in a very old publication. No picture but the description of a star and leaf pattern intrigued me enough to find some yarn and cast on. The instructions were surprisingly easy to understand and update to modern knitting terminology. I finished the shawl after several weeks. It is gorgeous! I may well be the first person to knit this design in over 100 years! (That really appeals to the history major in me. LOL!) It would be a real shame to lose this piece of our knitting heritage. So I have taken the time to write and chart the shawl pattern for others to use.

First off, I've given the pattern a new name---Lydia's Star. I'm dedicating this pattern to my niece’s grandmother, Lydia, who passed away this summer after a long battle with cancer. A donation will be made in Lydia's name to the American Cancer Society for each pattern sold.

The original shawl pattern cryptically titled “A Handsome Round Shawl Knitted in Star Pattern and Leaves” is from Weldon’s Practical Knitter (1895) had no picture of the shawl. I've adapted and updated the vintage pattern for use by modern knitters. The 6 page pattern contains updated instructions, errors have been corrected, vague instructions clarified, missing instructions added, the pattern totally charted, and a lace edging added. The original shawl ended with a just few plain knit and purl rounds. I felt that such a beautiful shawl deserved something a little more special than that.

I used 1500 yards of fingering weight yarn (Jaggerspun Maine Line 2/8) on size 4 (3.5 mm) needles to knit this shawl. My finished shawl measured 52” across at the center but could have been blocked even larger. I didn't have a space large enough to block it as much as I would have liked.

I hope you enjoy knitting this shawl as much as I did.

The pattern can be found in my Ravelry pattern store.

All money from pattern sales is donated to the Mercy Corp.

For more information, visit my Ravelry pattern store to see all my available designs, current pricing information, and purchase pattern downloads.