On Mondays I sit down and figure out what I’d like to (or need to) work on in the coming week. I thought it’d be neat to take a photo of the plan, which is also a record of where each project is at.Continue reading
I love it when a plan comes together
Update Sept. 27/19: The pattern–Porcupine Ridge–came out on Ravelry today. Click the link for full pattern details and to buy the pattern.
Three weeks ago I was in Whitehorse, up in the Yukon, visiting my sister. She took me to her local yarn shop, because she knows me. They had qiviut yarn, because it’s the North.Continue reading
A while back, I started playing around with purl ridges and came up with a simple stitch pattern that I really love.
What is it about this texture that grabs me so? I have no idea, but I find these graduated purl ridges deeply satisfying, no matter how many times I work them (and you are going to see them a lot in the next few releases). While noodling around with the ridges, I tried drawing a column of slipped knit stitches through them, and I liked that version, too.
I looked at the result and could picture it as a cowl: a big, generous cowl in a soft, lush yarn that would be as much of a pleasure to knit as it would be to wear. This design would be simple without being boring: a design to work on a lazy weekend, in stolen minutes during the day, or whenever you feel like knitting something satisfying and are not in the mood for a challenge.Continue reading
Tutorial: Judy’s Magic Cast On
This is my usual cast on for toe up socks and slippers. I came across it years ago in Wendy D. Johnson’s book Toe Up Socks for Every Body, and it worked well for me, so I’ve stuck with it. I’m not going to tell you it’s the Best Cast On Ever, or even that it’s better or worse than any other toe up cast on out there, just that it works well for me and I kind of like the flippy motions of slinging the yarn around the needles like a very minimalist Cat’s Cradle. It’s the cast on I used in the Last Minute Travel Slippers, and I included this tutorial in the pattern. Here’s how you do it:
Note: This tutorial shows 2 circular needles. If you usually do your socks with Magic Loop or DPNs, do feel free to use your preferred needles. Obviously there’s no cord on DPNs, so if you’re using those you won’t be pulling your needles out to work the first round.
Take one tip from each of two circular needles. Hold the tips together, one (needle 1) below the other (needle 2). Arrange yarn so that the tail comes up over your index finger, over needle 2, between the needles, around your thumb from the outside, and from there over your palm to the ball of yarn. Use your other three fingers to hold the yarn ends firmly.
With your index finger, bring the tail behind needle 1, up around the front, and between the needles.
With your thumb, bring the working yarn behind and over needle 2, then back between the needles.
Repeat steps 2 and 3 until you have cast on the desired number of stitches, ending with step 2.
I usually place my marker after finishing this round.
Turn needles over so that needle 1 is on the top and the tips are pointing to your right. Pull the tip of needle 2 to the right so that the bottom stitches are on the cord. Make sure the tail is between the working yarn and needle 1.
Knit all stitches on needle 1.
Turn needles so that needle 2 is on the top. Pull needle 1 to the right so that its stitches are on the cord, then pull needle 2 to the left so that its stitches are on the needle tip, with the tip pointed to your right.
All the stitches on needle 2 except the first one will be seated backward, so knit the first stitch, then knit the rest of the stitches on needle 2 through the back of the loop.
And that’s it! This cast on is nicely invisible, looking rather like the grafted toe on a cuff-down sock.
Fauxtarsia Wave swatchorama
Since releasing Fauxtarsia Wave I’ve had a few questions about yarn substitution: would other yarns work in this design? What kind of yarns would work best? What about yarns with more contrast? How about a variegated + a solid or semi-solid? While the short answers are “Absolutely!” and the ever-relevant “Swatch and see!” I really want to encourage knitters to experiment with this design, so I did a bit of swatching myself to show some of the possibilities.
Last Minute Travel Slippers
It started in May. I had a week to go before my road trip to Maryland Sheep & Wool, and the itch set in. The itch to make something for this trip. I can make something in a week, surely. It’s not like I have anything else to do. (I had a lot else to do.) I know: I’ll make some slippers! My beloved old moccasins are looking pretty beat up, and they take up a fair bit of room in the suitcase, and I bet I can whip out a pair of ballet-ish slippers that look nice and pack small and will keep my bare feet off the hotel carpet.
Now, this is not my first last-minute-travel-project rodeo, and though I was tempted to also spin the yarn for these things, I knew that that way lay madness. Besides, that’s much of the point of a stash, surely: to have exactly the right yarn when inspiration strikes, just waiting for you to pull it out and get knitting. So I did. I found some worsted weight from Imperial Yarn in a heathery bottle green, and off I went.*
Tubular Cast On: my current favourite method
I do adore the tubular cast on. It’s tidy, and stretchy, and in fine gauge yarns before some ribbing it looks positively professional. It’s particularly helpful when you want to get a stretchy rib from a yarn without much memory of its own, which is why it’s the key to a good brim in Slouch 1, 2, and 3.
I’ve tried several different tubular cast on methods; this is the one I currently prefer. I won’t say it’s the Best Method Ever—that’s subjective, and I’m fickle. It’s the one I used for these samples, and it worked well for me. Here’s how you do it: Continue reading
Help with Harvey relief while making something beautiful
I’ve been watching and reading about the unimaginable devastation to Houston and coastal Texas, and wondering what I could do to help. I could make stuff, but the logistics of dealing with stuff in a disaster make that more of a curse than a blessing. What they really need is cash in the hands of people who know where the help is most needed, and are able to do the most good. So here’s what I’m doing:
From now until midnight on Saturday, CDT, 100% of my income from pattern sales on Ravelry will go to the United Way of Houston’s Relief Fund and to the SPCA of Texas, two local organizations who do good work and will make good use of the money. To be clear: that’s everything that hits my account from Ravelry for the next four days (and tonight). It’s a small thing in the face of such need, but it’s a thing I can do. Help me do it right.
Photos by Gale Zucker.
Saltmeadow + Shibui Knits: a giveaway
Yeah, I know, this is a promotional post, which I’ve said I’ll keep to a minimum here on the blog. BUT! This giveaway is pretty sweet, and I didn’t want you to miss out. So:
Last week, I released Saltmeadow, a new shawl pattern in Shibui Knits Reed and Lunar. I’m pretty pleased with how this one turned out: lovely, drapey, lineny goodness, perfect for summer knitting, with a shot of glowing merino/silk at the edges.
The people at Shibui liked Saltmeadow so much, they asked if I’d like to do a giveaway for the design on Instagram, and here we are: the #mySaltmeadow yarn + pattern giveaway. One lucky knitter will win the yarn to make their own Saltmeadow—that’s 7 skeins of Reed and 1 skein of Lunar, in your choice of colours—and a PDF copy of the pattern. Plus, Shibui Knits has kindly said they’ll ship the yarn to you even if you don’t live in the US, so international entries are welcome! Here’s how you enter: Continue reading