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Thursday, March 26, 2015

#RangelKAL Prize Announcement 5


Can you guess what the next KAL prize is? If you're familiar with Fringe Association, you knew as soon as you saw that picture! If you don't know about Fringe, you're in for a treat. Style genius and maker/blogger Karen Templer also curates the perfect little shop for knitters and other creative folks. The bags shown above are handmade by another favorite (and Canadian!), Bookhou. The shop also carries wonderful notions like buttons made of horn and bone, the incredibly useful Fashionary notebook, and lots of other beautiful and well-made goods.

Karen has generously agreed to give a $25 gift certificate to one lucky knitter. To be eligible to win this and lots more amazing prizes, you just have to join our Knit Along currently in progress, post a Ravelry project, and post photos of your finished project in the forum thread by May 20, 2015. 

This could be the perfect motivation to start working on that sweater you've been pining after (Luxa is a springtime favorite). Or, if you're short on time, check out my Quick Knits Pinterest board for ideas on projects that provide a little bit more instant gratification. (Have you knit a Pembroke yet? It's a lace triangle in super bulky yarn, so you'll finish it up in no time!)

A few knitters have already finished their projects, so you can scroll through the forum thread for a little inspirations. It's not too late to join and I'd love to have you!

#RangelKAL Ravelry Forum Thread
Patterns

Fringe Association
Knitter's Pride Needle Set Prize
Knit Crate Ume Kit Prize
Knitting Boutique Passages Prize
Tolt Hat and Mitts Prize



Monday, March 16, 2015

#RANGELKAL Prize Announcement 4



The Rangel KAL is now well underway, but I'm going to keep announcing prizes! This next one is a sampler set of Knitter's Pride interchangeable needles. Thank you, Knitter's Pride for your contribution! 

The set includes three kinds of tips - Karbonz, Bamboo, and Nova Cubics (they're square!) - so you can try them all out and see which ones you like. You'll also get 2 cords - 24" and 40", making this a really versatile little kit. I love this sampler concept because it lets you try out the whole interchangeable thing without committing to a whole set the first time around. 

Now that the cast-on day has passed, please join us at any time! You just have to add your project to Ravelry & share FO pics before May 20th to be eligible to win this needle set (and lots of yarny prizes too!) 

#RangelKAL Ravelry Forum Thread
Patterns

Knit Crate Ume Kit PrizeKnitting Boutique Passages Prize
Tolt Hat and Mitts Prize



Monday, March 9, 2015

#RANGELKAL Prize Announcement 3


The good folks at KnitCrate are very kindly contributing a kit for one of my most popular patterns, Ume and a coveted color of Hazel Knits Artisan Sock that'll be perfect to celebrate spring!

The KAL kicks off tomorrow, so get ready to cast on! To be eligible to win a prize, you just have to add your project to Ravelry and post at least one FO picture to the Ravelry thread. I'd love to add you to our list of participants too, so head over to the forum to check out what everyone else is planning to make and share your own plans!

Knit Crate
#RangelKAL Ravelry Forum Thread
Patterns

Knitting Boutique Passages Prize
Tolt Hat and Mitts Prize

Saturday, March 7, 2015

#RANGELKAL Prize Announcement 2


Thanks to all of you have have already posted in my Ravelry thread to participate in the upcoming KAL! We're casting on in just a few days (March 10) and I've got another prize to announce!

The Knitting Boutique has generously offered a kit for my latest pattern, Passages! The yarn for this one is extra special. Lustrous and rare, Teeswater wool has the sweetest, delicate halo. The two-ply structure is also perfect for lace. The Passages pattern and yarn are part of The Knitting Boutique's ongoing Rare Breeds Club.

Passages is worked sideways, starting with a provisional cast-on and then grafted. The lace pattern is made up of strong chevrons, but it's softened by the loft, drape, and delicacy of the yarn. 

If you're planning to knit Passages or any of my other designs, don't miss out on the KAL. I hope to chat with you soon!

Knitting Boutique Rare Breeds Club
#RangelKAL Ravelry Forum Thread
Patterns

Monday, March 2, 2015

#RANGELKAL

Top photo © Anna Dianich, 2013. Bottom photo © Andrea Rangel 2014.

There's been a lot of anticipatory conversation in my Ravelry group over the last week about our upcoming Knit Along! I'm excited to have a bunch of knitters on board and I hope you'll join us. KAL's are great fun because you get to be part of a community where you can ask questions, share ideas, and celebrate each other's achievements. They're also fun for the prizes!

I'm announcing the first prize today - a kit to knit my Tolt Hat and Mitts, including 3 skeins of Berroco Blackstone Tweed and both patterns (digital downloads.) I'll be announcing more prizes over the next few weeks.

Here's the KAL Info:

WHAT: 
Knit a project from any of my pattern, no matter where they're published. There's a coupon code for indie pattern in our Ravelry thread.

WHEN:
Cast on March 10. Post FO (finished object) photos in our Ravelry thread by May 20 to be eligible for prizes.

WHERE: 
Discussion and WIP (work in progress) photos will be shared on my group Ravelry thread, but I'll be sharing on this blog, and I'd love if you'd share on social media - use the tag #RangelKAL when posting to Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

So how about it? Join lots of other knitters and post in the forum thread to let us know what you'll be knitting and give us the scoop on your yarn choice. 


Monday, February 23, 2015

Pembroke & Triangle Shawl Construction

I've been getting some great questions lately about my bulky shawl patterns, so I've decided to share some extra info here on the blog. 

First up, let's talk about Pembroke and standard top-down, center-out triangle shawl construction. I'll be talking about Pembroke specifically, so you'll probably get more out of this if you have the Pembroke pattern to refer to, but a lot of this information also applies to triangle shawls in general.




I designed Pembroke as an instant-gratification project for knitters who may be new to lace or new to triangle shawls or both. This construction is used a lot - if you see a triangular shawl that has a center spine with holes on either side of that center stitch, it was probably constructed this way. This is especially likely if it has a garter stitch top edge.

When I first encountered this construction in a pattern, I was completely baffled. Instead of following the pattern and learning something new, I assumed the designer must be crazy, so I threw the pattern away and made up something that made more sense to me. Looking back, I'm sad that I missed out on a great learning opportunity and wish I had just asked a more experienced knitter friend to explain it to me because this construction is really cool! It's one of the things in knitting (like Kitchener stitch, turning a heel, and mattress stitch seams) that's just magical! 

It was years after that first experience that I finally figured this construction out, and I don't want that to happen to you! 






The diagram above shows how the construction works and I'm going to explain all the steps below.


IT STARTS WITH THE GARTER TAB
First, you'll cast on a small number of stitches, probably 3 or 4. Pembroke calls for 3. You may use a provisional cast-on, but not always. I recommend a provisional cast-on for Pembroke and any other very bulky shawls and I'll explain why as we go along. Then you knit the "tab," which is often 6 rows of garter stitch. (Knit every row.) The number of rows can vary depending on the pattern, but 6 is common.

After knitting your 6 rows, don't turn the work, but rather pick up 3 stitches along the vertical edge of the "tab." You can pick up between the ridges, or you can pick up into the "knots" at the edge of each garter ridge. This is the method that Stephen West recommends in his Craftsy shawl class, and, while I used to pick up between ridges, I like his method better as it avoids a ridge on the wrong side of the work. (So thanks, Stephen!)

So now you have 3 stitches from the original cast-on number plus 3 that you picked up along the vertical side for a total of 6. Again, don't turn you work, but instead either pick up 3 along the cast-on edge or remove your provisional cast-on and knit into those 3 live stitches. 

If you pick up the stitches instead of removing a provisional cast-on, you'll end up with a ridge on the wrong side of your work. With light-weight yarns, it's pretty imperceptible, but with bulky yarns, that ridge can be huge and noticeable. With a provisional cast-on you won't have any ridge!

Now you have 9 stitches total on the needle and your garter tab is complete. This is the center top of your shawl (shown in gray and labeled, "Garter Tab" on the diagram above) and you'll be working outward and down toward the point from now on.

PLACE YOUR MARKERS
Stitch markers divide the sections of the shawl and will help guide you as you work from the charts, so it's important that you place them during your next row of work. 

Here's a close-up diagram of the Garter tab after all the stitches have been picked up. Each "m" shows where you'll place a marker.





The marker should be placed:

1. After the first three stitches (this is going to be one side of the top garter edge of your shawl)
2 and 3. On either side of the center stitch (your "spine" stitch), and 
4. Before the last three stitches (the other side of your top garter edge.)

When working your yarn-overs, be sure not to shift your markers away from these spots - always keep them after the first three, on either side of the center stitch, and before the last three.

WORK THE FIRST CHART
First, a word about reading charts:
Each box on the chart represents a stitch - the Key will tell you what each symbol means. Be sure to read the Key carefully as stitches are worked differently on right and wrong side rows. Always read the charts from right to left on right side rows and from left to right on wrong side rows. 

The charts in Pembroke look like upside-down triangles, and you may wonder, "What's with all the blank space?" The blank space is there to allow the chart to grow - because this is a triangle shawl, it grows as you work by adding increases at the sides and the center. You’ll just work the stitches shown in the boxes and then skip to the next box over, regardless of the blank spaces in between. 

So Rows 1 and 2 go like this: 
Row 1: Knit 3, (marker), yarn over, knit 1, yarn over, (marker), knit 1, (marker), yarn over, knit 1, yarn over, (marker), knit 3. 
Row 2: Knit 3, (marker) purl 3, (marker), purl 1, (marker), purl 3, (marker), knit 3

You'll continue working in this way until you've finished the Setup Chart. 

WORKING THE LEAF LACE AND ARROWHEAD SCALLOP EDGE CHARTS
The Leaf Lace Chart has an added element - red boxes labeled, "8-stitch Repeat."  Whenever you have a "repeat," you'll need to work the stitches inside the box more than once. In the case of the Leaf Lace Chart, you'll work those eight stitches three times. It works like this:

Work according to the chart until you come to the red box. Work the 8 stitches in the box, then work those same 8 stitches twice more. Then work the center stitches until you come to the next red box. Work the stitches in the red box a total of 3 times, then work to the end of the row. Work in this way through the rest of the Leaf Lace Chart.

The Arrowhead Scalloped Edge Chart works the same way, except that the repeated stitches need to be worked five times instead of three.

There's a little two-row edge treatment, and then the bind-off! The first time I knit this shawl it took me about three hours, so I hope it's quick for you too!

If you're curious to see more Pembroke shawls, check out the projects on Ravelry (there are over 500 of them!)

QUESTIONS?
Post a comment below or join the Pembroke KAL in my Ravelry group. 

I'd love to see your FO's so please share them in my Ravelry group or link to them in your comment!

I'll also be starting a new KAL soon. You can knit any of my indie patterns and I'm offering a discount on patterns for participants. Join us!

GET THE PATTERN
Get the Pembroke Kit from Craftsy or download the pattern from Craftsy, Ravelry, my website, or Patternfish. (If you want to knit a larger version of the shawl, be sure to buy the pattern from Ravelry or my website to get the extended charts.) 

If you're an LYS, you can get the pattern in print through Stitch Sprouts or via the Ravelry in-store pattern sales program.

Next time I'll talk about doing the math to make Sentiment larger.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Luxa Indie



Photos © Kathy Cadigan 2013; Model Credits: Dianna Walla & Jessie Kwak
It's always cause for a little celebration here when pattern rights revert to me, so I'm excited to announce that Luxa is now available as an indie download via Ravelry, my website, Craftsy, and Patternfish. So however you like to get and keep your digital patterns, I've got you covered. 

PATTERN SPECS

Finished Measurements
Bust Circumference: 32 (36.5, 40, 44.5, 48, 52.5, 56, 60.5) in/81.5 (92.5, 101.5, 113, 122, 133.5, 142, 153.5) cm

Yarn 
670 (800, 890, 1015, 1110, 1230, 1335, 1440) yd/ 
615 (730, 815, 930, 1015, 1125, 1220, 1315) m light fingering weight yarn

Shown in Knitting Boutique Susquehanna Fingering (85% Organic Polwarth, 15% Silk; 360 yd/4 oz skein) 
Color: Smoky Quartz; 2 (3, 3, 3, 4, 4, 4, 4) skeins

Blocked Gauge 
Gauge measurement should be taken after blocking. 
26 sts/36 rows = 4 in/10 cm in Stockinette stitch using larger needle 
28 sts/42 rows = 4 in/10 cm in Lacy Rib pattern using smaller needle

Needles & Notions 
Needle Sizes are recommendations only. Always use needle size necessary to obtain gauge.

US #5/3.75 mm needle 
US #2/2.75 mm needle 
US #2/2.75 mm double pointed needles

removable stitch markers 
tapestry needle 
blocking pins

Skills 
working lace from charted and/or written instructions, waist shaping, short row shaping, applied I-cord, I-cord bind off, short row shaping, picking up stitches

Photos by Kathy Cadigan 
Model Credit: Dianna Walla and Jessie Kwak

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