Outlander MKAL 2015 - It's Happening!

I am so excited to announce that I will be hosting another Outlander MKAL with Jimmy Beans Wool! This time, it will begin with the premiere of the second half of season 1 of Outlander on Starz, which I am sure we are all super excited to watch. I know I can't wait! Craigh Na Dun

In the beginning of Season 1, Claire’s journey begins when she steps through the standing stones at Craig Na Dun. The circle continues to play an important role in her story throughout the rest of the episodes, and of course it will continue to do so for the remainder of the story. For that reason, both the Lorna’s Laces limited edition color this month, as well as this mystery knit-a-long have been inspired by Craig Na Dun!

The shawl will be knit using 2 skeins of Shepherd Sock, and the pattern will be released over the course of 5 weeks, beginning with the premiere of the second half of season 1 of Outlander on April 4th.

I have included 2 different unblocked gauges,  1x1 ribbing and garter stitch. This will allow you to check your gauge in the the first few inches of clue 1 to see if you are on track!  Gauge is not super important with this pattern, so no need to stress too much about it :) Below is a pic of what the color looks like knitted up...gorgeous, right?!

Craigh na Dun garter stitch swatch.

You will need a US 4-40" circular needle for the MKAL, though you can of course start with a shorter circular, or even straight needles, and just move to the long circular as the shawl grows. Also, in the course of designing the pattern, I found that I was much happier on a "grabbier " (technical term, right?) needle, rather than a super slippery metal one. I was dying to try out the Knitter's Pride Marblz, mostly because they are so pretty. They were the perfect mix of smooth and a little grabby, plus a tip that is pointy, but not too much so. Plus, the size 4 is hot pink, so how can you go wrong!?

 

Everything you need for the MKAL, plus some of my favorite extras!

I hope you all join me and Jimmy Beans Wool for the MKAL, you can find an active, fun and friendly community in the JBW group on Ravelry. Happy knitting!

Once Upon A Time MKAL - Clue 4

It's time for Clue 4 of the OUAT MKAL, we're over half way there! For those of you that guessed that we would be joining in the round, you were totally right! In this section of the cowl, after joining in the round and purling a row, you will be switching to star stitch. This continues the same texture from the mitts for a nice matching set. I know this stitch can be a little hard on the hands, and if you find that you are having trouble, you may want to go up a needle size for this section. Also, try and keep your stitches as loose as possible because that will help! I know some people insert the needle into the 3 stitches to be knit together purl-wise, and then pull on the stitches a bit to loosen them before doing the stitch. It is an extra step but it may be worth the time and effort to save your hands! If you find that you really don’t want to do star stitch than you can just keep doing the woven stitch from the first clue. It will still look nice with your mitts, and be much easier on the hands!

How is everyone liking how the Frozen characters are fitting into the Once Upon A Time plot so far? I am finding that I am really enjoying it and I am very intrigued to find out what happened to Anna and what the story is with the crazy snow queen! It is nice to have some fresh characters introduced into Storybrook and I'm excited to see how the story unfolds!

I found these comparison images between the movie and the OUAT characters. I think they did a pretty good job with the casting! What do you think?

Elsa from Frozen and OUAT.

images

It's not to late to join in the fun! You can get the Frozen Upon a Time yarn from JBW and the OUAT MKAL pattern from Ravelry and easily catch up. Happy knitting everyone, and don't forget to head over to my Etsy shop and check out my  line of hand dyed yarn!

Once Upon A Time MKAL - Clue 2

This week, for the OUAT MKAL,  you are receiving the remainder of the left mitt, plus the entire right mitt! I figure that you already know what the mitts look like, so there is no need to draw out the rest of the instructions. This will make the remaining 4 clues the cowl! I'm really enjoying how they are working the Frozen plot into the show so far!

You will notice that the only difference in the instructions between the left and right mitt is the cuff. This means that if you prefer to wear the mitts with the cuff flap facing down rather than up, you are completely welcome to do so. I think they look nice both ways, so it’s just a mater of personal preference!

A quick note for those of you using buttons rather than the bobble: You will need a total of 5 for the mitts and cowl together, and 3/4” - 1 inch should work just fine!

Also, on the finishing, you will want to block the mitts very gently, if at all. The star stitch is a squishy, puffy stitch, so when you are blocking it you don’t want to flatten it too much or you will loose the lovely three dimensionality and texture. I recommend just using a little steam to block the edges flat and open up the stitches. If you choose to wet block it than just make sure you don’t flatten it to much!

Well that's about it for this week, happy knitting and watching!

Be sure and check out my other designs on Ravelry, and my Etsy shop for my line of hand dyed yarn!

Ripple Effect Shawl

My latest design, the Ripple Effect Shawl, is now available! Ripple Effect Shawl

Two alternating solid colors are striped together, with feather and fan lace sections in a third, coordinating variegated color. The garter and lace sections get larger as the shawl grows, a bit like ripples on the water. Hence the name Ripple Effect!

Ripple Effect Shawl

This long crescent shaped shawl can be worn draped cozily across the shoulders or wrapped scarf-like around the neck. The garter stitch stripes are super squishy and cozy, while the lace sections add a bit of airiness and drape. In fingering weight yarn, it is the perfect light- weight spring accessory!

Knit in Madelinetosh Dandelion, the linen adds a lovely drape to the yarn, as well as a slightly tweedy look. Tosh Merino Light would also be a great yarn choice! The sample is knit in Hosta Blue, Cousteau and Seawash. I purposely choose a variegated yarn that matched well with the two solids, however for a higher contrast look try using 3 solids for an equally lovely effect. Stay tuned for some other color combinations I've come up with in the next couple days!

Madelinetosh Dandelion Bouquet

Have you seen the yarn bouquets from Jimmy Beans Wool? If you purchase one of the Madelinetosh Dandelion or Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light bouquets from Jimmy Beans, a copy of the Ripple Effect Shawl pattern will be included!

The pattern is $6.00 and available to download on Ravelry here.

Modicum Mitts

I guess I am on a roll this week with publishing patterns! Up next is my newest new design, the Modicum Mitts! Modicum Mitts Design

I was recently inspired by the Madelinetosh Tea Cake samplers at Jimmy Beans Wool, and almost immediately the idea of the Modicum Mitts jumped into my head.  Each sampler has 12 mini skeins (20 yards each) of Tosh Merino Light in colors that coordinate, but still have a lot of tonal variability. I decided to create a pair of fingerless mitts that are based on simple stripes but with just a bit of stranded colorwork thrown in to give them some interest. I mean, let's face it, stockinette stripes can be pretty boring so this will at least keep you looking forward to getting to the next color in the sequence! I really loved how the design was coming out so I decided not to interrupt it and switch to ribbing at the end and instead used an i-cord bind off to keep the edge from rolling.

These mitts are super simple and really rely on the simple colorwork to make them interesting. When I was choosing what order to knit the colors in, I laid out all 12 of the skeins on my kitchen table and then arranged them in an order that I was happy with and also so none of the too similar colors were next to each other. Then, I took a black and white photo (you can do this with a smart phone and then apply a black and white filter in a photo app like Instagram) to better see that value of the colors. As you can see in the photo below I had a few colors next too each other that were too close in value so I spread those out. Once I finalized the color sequence I strung all the skeins onto a piece of waste yarn to help maintain the order while knitting and then the knitting could begin!

Modicum Mitts Color Sequence

As I am sure you can guess, there are somewhere around a 14 billion ends to weave in (No, of course I am not exaggerating that number. It sure felt like 14 billion ends...). I decided to take a short cut and simply tie them together with square knots. After all, it's on the inside of the mitt so who other than me (and every other knitter who picks them up, and you guys won't tell, right?) is going to see all of the ends? Well, that's what I did, and I would say if you are using superwash yarn (which Tosh Merino Light is), DON'T do this under any circumstances. Unless of course you like holes in your knitting! I really thought the knots would hold just fine, but superwash yarn is just too slippery and they started coming out within hours of tying the final knot. I was able to reinforce them and stop them from unraveling with some thread, but this is not a great solution so I encourage you all to just take the time to weave in the ends if you are using a superwash  yarn.

One last note, I knit these two at a time, using magic loop. If you are worried about yardage you may want to do this to ensure that your mitts come out the same. Of course if you are a little more free-form with your knitting then don't worry about making them exactly the same (my OCD heart simply won't let me do that, but I encourage you to follow your own heart in this matter!).

These mitts are a great way to use up the leftover bits of sock yarn that you have floating around your craft room! I know it's hard to throw those away and now you have a use for them! If you purchase a Madelinetosh Tea Cake Sampler from Jimmy Beans Wool (pictured in Berry Blackcurrant, but there are 5 other gorgeous colors to choose from) you will receive this pattern free! Or, you can purchase it from Ravelry here.