Monday, March 23, 2015

A New Published Design

(c) Knitscene/Harper Point Photography
It's been easy to feel smug about this winter's weather in San Francisco (although I do feel obligated to add "but we really need the rain"). My husband and I have been outdoors in short sleeves while our families and friends have been up to their ear lobes in snow. Hopefully, the worst is over and everyone's thoughts are turning to . . . Summer!

The Summer 2015 issue of Knitscene has been released and is now available here. (Paper copies will be available in mid-April.) My contribution is a good-sized wrap with a collar and scalloped trim (inset). It's worked in two linen-blend yarns from Classic Elite in Half-linen Stitch. The pattern stitch is easily memorized and knit and creates the most amazing fabric with the variegated Bella Lino yarn.

That's it for now! Until next time . . .

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Stitches West!!!

Stitches West was held a couple of weeks ago at the Santa Clara Convention Center in (surprise) Santa Clara CA. The market, as always, was exhilarating. It was great to see the variety of yarn and - oh - the colors! I was able to catch up with some folks I don't often see and I had a wonderful, if exhausting, time.

My primary interest was finding yarns to design with. I wasn't disappointed.

First up is Rock Creek Sock in the Serengeti Sunset colorway from Wandering Wool. I was really looking for DK or sport-weight yarn, so I didn't buy it immediately. I was a couple of aisles away when the urge became irresistible and I figured I could always double it.

As it turns out, I swatched it single. This swatch is in Linen Stitch (also known as "Fabric Stitch") which is a slip stitch pattern. It is very, very dense, so I used US 6 (4 mm) needles for it. (I would normally use US 1's (2.25 mm) for sock yarn.) I just love the way the pattern stitch blends the colors; it's so quintessentially Autumn! The swatch still has lots of stretch.  I don't know that it would keep its shape well enough for a skirt or a tote bag, but I can't imagine anything else that it wouldn't work for.

The second swatch is worked in Hempton from Hemp for Knitting. It's a blend of cotton, hemp, and modal. This swatch is worked in Garter Slip Stitch VI. I got this stitch from The Harmony Guide to Knitting Stitches, but I also found it here. To do it in two colors, alternate colors every two rows. Only half the rows have slipped stitches, so this is less dense than Linen Stitch. I used US 3's (3.25 mm) which is only one needle size larger than I'd probably use otherwise. I think this fabric would make a great light-weight jacket, and, of course, utility items.

 Finally, I swatched the worsted-weight merino superwash from Polka Dot Sheep. The vendor told me it had good stitch definition, so I went all out with the pattern stitch. This beauty is pattern 51 from Aran Lace by Annie Maloney. I did it on US 5's (3.75 mm). It's the only one of the swatches that I actually blocked; the other two I soaked and just patted down on my table.

And that was my adventure! Until next time . . .