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Monday, January 16, 2017

Cowichan Themed Sweater



I've been thinking about and planning this Cowichan-themed sweater for years. In 2013 I did some sample knitting for Sylvia Olsen (author of Working with Wool and Knitting Stories among many other books), and in return, she spun me a sweater quantity of yarn. It was so special, though, that I was too nervous to knit with it! I tried a sweater out and had gauge problems, so I set it aside. But last fall, my friend Kirsten suggested we do a little Cowichan-themed KAL so she could knit herself a Jane Richmond West Coast Cardigan and I could finally knit a sweater with this yarn.

I knew that I wanted to stick with geometric rather than organic forms (like animals), but I wanted to think about silhouette again to be sure I was making something that would fit into my wardrobe. So I did a few sketches and got some really great feedback on Instagram (thanks!) and decided to go with cropped oversized and drop shoulders, sort of a mix of the ones shown on the left and right below.

Sketching is a big challenge for me, so I often use my Fashionary notebook for garment design.

I did a spreadsheet and had a solid plan before casting on, but I also made a few changes during knitting. The first was because my initial idea of how much ease I'd need for my sleeve was a bit off. The fabric is pretty bulky, so with the slender sleeves I originally envisioned, I had a hard time bending at the elbow. I'm a big proponent of clothes a person can move in, so that wouldn't work for me. Adding a bit more ease solved the problem, though. 

The second thing that didn't initially work out was the collar. The first one was just too tiny. I didn't want a huge collar, but I did want one that would actually fold over, so I ripped and re-knit it.


Lots of zippers to choose from

I finished the knitting a couple months ago, but I had some trouble sourcing the right zipper. The first one I bought didn't actually separate at the bottom - important for a cardigan! And my usual online stores either didn't have quite what I was looking for, or charged $25 for shipping to Canada. In the end, Caitlin French over in Vancouver offered to grab a couple options from her neighbourhood fancy fabric store & send them to me! (The knitting community is really the best.) I got the perfect zipper - black with big silver teeth and sewed it in by hand. And my sweater is finally finished!

My hand-sewn zipper was basted, then sewn down with smaller stitches, then whip stitched to the inside selvedge stitch.


I'm so thrilled with the result! It's cozy and warm and fits exactly as I'd hoped. The short row shoulder shaping and relatively slender sleeves make it flattering even though it's oversized and it's a great top layer for the middle of winter.



I have to admit, I've found myself wishing it had pockets. Like most humans, I love pockets, but I left them off because the sweater is so cropped. In order to put my hands in pockets on this sweater I'd have to bend my elbows at a 90 degree angle. But now that I've worn it for a while, it may just be fine to have bent elbows and warm hands. That's the bomber jacket look anyway, right?

I do plan to publish this as a pattern eventually. It's important that I find a yarn that's commercially available, and maybe I'll put pockets in the finished pattern. I also expect that I'll make a few more Cowichan-inspired designs in different silhouettes because I love this one, but I want all the other shapes too!

Here's to 2017 as the year of finishing old works in progress. I hope you get some finishing done too!

P.S. Karen over at Fringe Association is talking about working up another Cowichan-inspired sweater. Check it out!


Thursday, December 15, 2016

Swatch-a-week Project

I make knitting patterns for a living, so I have a lot of yarn. A good amount of it is set aside for particular projects, but I also have an ever-growing collection of single skeins that I want to try out with the idea that I could design with them someday. But as much as I love the idea of playing with new yarn, it turns out that it's hard to squeeze play into my pretty packed work schedule. So instead I've decided to just make it a part of my weekly routine with the swatch-a-week project. If you follow me on Instagram, you've seen my swatches so far, but I wanted to do a little round-up to talk about some of the yarns that I've tried and what I think of it all.

How the project works:
Each week I choose a yarn and make a big swatch with it. I measure and photograph it pre-blocking and post-blocking, and then take a short video of the fabric to share how it behaves at the gauge I knit it at.  (I didn't think to take videos of the first few swatches - sorry!) I also write down my needle size and gauge on the label and tie the label to my swatch so I have a starting-point if I decide I want to design with that yarn.

Where the yarn comes from:
Most of the yarn I use was given to me by the yarn company. Sometimes yarn shops will give me yarn and sometimes I do buy it. I only accept yarn I'm intrigued by, so if it seems like my reviews are super positive, it's possible I'm unconsciously biased because the yarn was given to me and I want to be nice to the yarn co, or it could be that I just know what I like in the first place.





THE SWATCHES

Yarn: Noro Kureyon (left)
Where I got it: YarnCanada.ca sent it to me.
Needles I used: US 7/4.5 mm
Gauge I got: 16 sts/27 rows = 4"/10 cm
What it's like: This is a 100% wool worsted weight yarn that feel like a singles, but it's got two plies in there. It's very wooly in the best way and it has a dry, slightly toothy feel. I love a good crunchy wool yarn, so I'm definitely into it, though if you only like super-soft yarns, this one might not be for you. It floats more than drapes once it's knit up. And watching the colours change is so, so addictive. I really didn't want to bind off my swatch because I wanted to see that neon green knit up!
What I might design with it: I'd love leg warmers with it, but I know I'm a bigger fan of leg warmers that most people, so I think I'm more likely to do a hat. I'm really tempted to try colorwork with it, but I'd need just the right contrast colour to make it work. It isn't super soft, so I probably wouldn't do a cowl out of it, but thick mittens could be great.
Where you can get some: If you're in Canada, YarnCanada has a great selection of colours. It's also available at Webs and a whole lot of local yarn shops.


A video posted by Andrea Rangel (@andrearknits) on

Yarn: Spincycle Yarns Debauchery (top, second from the left)
Where I got it: Spincycle gave it to me at TNNA.
Needles I used: US 0/2 mm
Gauge I got: 38 sts/62 rows = 4"/10 cm
What it's like: Debauchery is a 100% BFL plied lace weight. It's light and floaty and wooly. I think I need to knit this up in a lace stitch pattern to truly see its potential because, while I liked it in the Stockinette, my swatch seemed a little sloppy. (I'm not great at knitting at such a tiny gauge.) The fabric is soft and exhibits one of my favourite combos of characteristics - delicate but rustic. 
What I might design with it: This would make a stunning lace shawl. I'm thinking a pi shawl or a huge rectangular wrap that would take a year to knit. Or this could be a gorgeous lightweight shrug or cardigan to wear with fancy dresses.
Where you can get some: Check out the Spincycle website.


Yarn: Amano Puyu (bottom right)
Where I got it: Amano Yarns sent it from Peru.
What it's like: This one is pretty unique and made with some modern technology. It's a super bulky silk/alpaca blend that's made by forcing alpaca into a silk cage with air pressure. It's shockingly soft with a very noticeable halo, and it's really light for silk/alpaca thanks to the construction method. The big stitches melt into each other thanks to the alpaca halo.
Needles I used: US 13/9 mm
Gauge I got: 10.5 sts/16 rows =4"/10 cm
What I might design with it: Because it's so incredibly soft, I want to wear this directly next to my skin - I'm thinking neck wear. I'd love to make it into a cowl or a big shawl. I think I'll avoid very interesting stitch patterns because the halo would probably just obscure anything more complicated than Stockinette or garter. Then again, I think I'd love the subtle cables I could create with this. That would be so incredibly lush!
Where you can get some: Try your local yarn shop or Webs.


A video posted by Andrea Rangel (@andrearknits) on



Yarn: Quince & Co. Sparrow (bottom, second from the left)
Where I got it: I bought it from Beehive Wool Shop in Victoria.
Needles I used: US 3/3 mm
Gauge I got: 25 sts/37 rows = 4"/10 cm
What it's like: Sparrow is a 100% Linen fingering weight yarn. It's smooth with a bit of crunchiness while knitting, and it feels surprisingly cool to knit with (like temperature). Plant fibre yarns that don't have any elasticity are often hard on the hands, but I was comfortable knitting with it. The fabric just drapes for days. It definitely softened up a lot with washing.
What I might design with it: I'd love to have a generous summer wrap, camisole, or dressy cardigan and I really want to try this out in a few different lace patterns.
Where you can get some: Quince & Co. website

Yarn: YOTH Father (top right)
Where I got it: I bought it at Knit Fit in Seattle.
Needles I used: US 7/4.5 mm
Gauge I got: 16 sts/24 rows = 4"/10 cm
What it's like: Father is a 100% Rambouillet, plied worsted weight. It's a really middle-of-the-road yarn in that it's very soft, but also wooly. It's got a lot of bounce, but it's also pretty buttery. It doesn't have a ton of drape, but it does have a lovely weight to it. The colour is really matte with a subtle semi-solid thing. It's on the heavier 
What I might design with it: I actually had a plan for this particular yarn and bought a sweater quantity of it so I could make myself a Valley Trail Pullover. (My contrast colour is Blue Raspberry.) I didn't follow my usual swatch-a-week procedure with this one in that I made a sleeve-as-swatch for an actual project rather than just a rectangular swatch, but I feel okay about bending the rules a bit. I have no doubt this is going to be a very wearable sweater, but I'd also love this in a big, 2-color crescent-shaped shawl that I'd wear wrapped like a mega-scarf.
Where you can get some: YOTH website



Yarn: Brooklyn Tweed Arbor (top middle)
Where I got it: Brooklyn Tweed sent it.
Needles I used: US 4/3.5 mm
Gauge I got: 21.5 sts/36 rows = 4"/10 cm
What it's like: Arbor is Brooklyn Tweed's latest yarn and it's really different from the rest of their line. It's a worsted spun, smooth, plied DK Targhee wool. It's a super clean, matte yarn that felt effortless to knit with. The fabric was surprisingly dry and light and even though the construction is so different from other BT yarns, it actually fits right in with them. Like the rest of the line, Arbor is grown and manufactured in the US.
What I might design with it: I feel like this one could be anything. I've seen it knit up in cables and the stitch definition is stunning. I think this would make a perfect mid-weight sweater and a gorgeous lace wrap. It leans more toward elegant than rustic, so I'm not going to let go of my Loft and Shelter (since you know I love the rustic), but so far I'm a big fan of this new addition.
Where you can get some: Brooklyn Tweed website



A video posted by Andrea Rangel (@andrearknits) on


Yarn: Fibre Company Arranmore (bottom middle)
Where I got it: Kelbourne Woolens sent it.
Needles I used: US 7/4.5 mm
Gauge I got: 16.5 sts/29 rows = 4"/10 cm
What it's like: Arranmore is a tweedy aran weight Merino/silk/cashmere blend with a ton of gorgeous texture. Like the other Fibre Co. yarns, it's got amazing colour depth and richness and as you would expect from the fibre content, it's incredibly soft. My husband saw the skein and said it was the coolest yarn he'd ever seen. My skein was the colour Cronan.
What I might design with it: An oversized cable-y sweater would be amazing! I'd also love a good winter hat, and even though the yarn itself is so textured, it's calling to me to add more texture - knit/purl patterns, cables - anything with a bit of a 3-D feel.
Where you can get some: Try your LYS or Webs.



Thursday, December 8, 2016

Rugged Knits Pattern Highlight: Cedar Bough

Cedar Bough is the last of my pattern highlights for Rugged Knits! I had a concept for this shawl long before I actually designed it and this is one of those that required a huge amount of swatching to figure out exactly how I wanted to achieve those geometric lines. In the end I settled on twisted stitches that are slipped on the wrong side, and the result is exactly what I hoped for. This is one of the pieces that I'm wearing the most from this collection. It's got a generous wingspan and looks great worn scarf-style, which is my favourite way to show off my shawls.




CONSTRUCTION
- This shallow triangle shawl is worked side-to-side using increases and decreases to create the shape.

- The lace edging is worked at the same time as the body of the shawl.
- A clean I-cord edging is applied to the top after completing the rest of the shawl for a neat finish.
- The twisted slip stitch pattern creates a dense, hard-wearing fabric.

FIT
- The shawl has a generous 71 in/180.5 cm wingspan, so it can be wrapped around a bunch or draped for elegant warmth.


YARN
I picked Quince and Co. Tern, a fingering weight silk/wool blend with a tight twist and a bunch of plies. Not only is the stitch definition amazingly crisp, but the silk adds a tiny bit of shine that makes the surface design pop even more.


TIPS FOR SUBSTITUTING
- To get the full effect, choose a tightly-twisted plied yarn with a bit of something shiny in it like silk, cotton, or even mohair if you want a little halo.
- A good, sturdy hand dyed sock yarn could be lovely if you want a bit of a watercolour effect.
- Sincere Sheep Agleam could be a lovey choice - it's a Tencel/Merino blend.


MY FAVORITE DETAIL
This one is all about the surface design. It isn't exactly a detail, more the main event, but I love those geometric lines.

GENERAL TIPS
Because the fabric is so dense, this takes a bit more yarn and time than you might think looking at the photos, but it's worth it in the end!


Be sure to use the hashtags #RuggedKnits#CedarBoughShawl, and #AndreaRangelKnits when you post pics of your Cedar Bough shawl!


PATTERN DETAILS


Finished Measurements

71” (180.5 cm) wide and 243⁄4” (63 cm) long

Yarn 
1215 yd (1111 m) fingering weight (#1 Super Fine).

Shown here: Quince & Co. Tern (75% American wool, 25% silk; 221 yd 202 m/50 g): color #404 Seaweed, 6 skeins.

Needles 

Size U.S. 5 (3.75 mm): 32” (80 cm) long circular (cir). 
Size U.S. 4 (3.5 mm) pair of double-pointed (dpn) for I-cord edging. 
Adjust needle size if necessary to obtain the correct gauge.

Notions
Markers (m); tapestry needle; blocking wires.

Gauge

28 sts and 35 rows = 4” (10 cm) over Twisted Sts patt (Charts 1–8) using larger needles, blocked.


See it on Ravelry


Thursday, December 1, 2016

Rugged Knits Pattern Highlight: Bright River

Bright River is one of those sweaters that can really easily be dressed up or down. I wore it with jeans over a Merino base layer last week, but I think it would be perfect with a skirt for a Christmas party. It's so incredibly soft and shimmery, and it's perfectly warm. I wanted a pullover that was elegant, but cozy, and I think this fits the bill perfectly.




CONSTRUCTION
- It's worked bottom-up seamlessly. The little sleeves are worked and then joined with the yoke for raglan shaping. After completing the yoke, stitches are picked up for that gorgeous, draping cowl.

- The cowl is shaped using progressively larger needle sizes.
- Waist shaping and an engaging Cartridge Belt Rib stitch pattern create a flattering fit.

FIT
- This sweater hugs curves and it's designed to be worn with zero-2 inches of negative ease. Pick a size that's smaller than what you'd usually go with.


YARN
The yarn I used is so glorious and I was so delighted to get to work with it. It's Fibre Co. Terra, a singles blend of wool, alpaca, and silk, and it has these gorgeous little silk nubs that are in different colours and add texture, beauty, and the sweetest glow to the fabric. This yarn is so unique that any substitution is likely to look really different, but it can, of course, be done.


TIPS FOR SUBSTITUTING
- Pick a worsted weight yarn with wool to help keep its shape, but including something shiny and slippery in there would be lovely too. 
- I'd love to see this in something very different like Quince and Co. Owl, a tweedy alpaca/wool blend.
- As I'm sitting here wearing a lush sweater in Malabrigo Worsted, I have to recommend that one too. It's an extremely soft and squishy singles Merino that I think would be lovely.


MY FAVORITE DETAIL
The super soft cowl neck is really divine to wear.

GENERAL TIPS
I recommend choosing a yarn with at least some wool in it. The stitch pattern can be helpful in adding a little resilience, but the sweater is seamless, so it can use a little help from a bouncy fibre too.


Be sure to use the hashtags #RuggedKnits#BrightRiverSweater, and #AndreaRangelKnits when you post pics of your Wrapup Hoodie projects!


PATTERN DETAILS


Finished Measurements

271⁄4 (311⁄4, 351⁄4, 391⁄4, 421⁄2, 461⁄2)” (69 79.5, 89.5, 99.5, 108, 118) cm bust circumference and 253⁄4 (261⁄2, 27, 273⁄4, 283⁄4, 291⁄4)” (65.5 67.5, 68.5, 70.5, 73, 74.5 cm) long.

Shown in size 311⁄4” (79.5) cm. 
Intended to be worn with 0–2” (0–5 cm) of negative ease.

Yarn 
843 (939, 1113, 1250, 1442, 1617) yd (771 858, 1017, 1143, 1318, 1478 m) Aran weight (#4 medium).

Shown here: The Fibre Company Terra (40% baby alpaca, 40% merino wool, 20% silk; 98 yd 89 m/50 g): color Olive Leaf, 9 (10, 12, 13, 15, 17) skeins

Needles 

Size U.S. 7 (4.5 mm) 16” and 24” (40 and 60 cm) circular (cir) and set of 4 or 5 double- pointed (dpn). 
Size U.S. 8 (5 mm) 24” (60 cm) circular (cir). 
Size U.S. 9 (5.5 mm) 24” (60 cm) circular (cir). 
Adjust needle sizes if necessary to obtain the correct gauge.

Notions
Markers (m); stitch holders or waste yarn; tapestry needle.

Gauge

20 sts and 30 rnds = 4” (10 cm) over Cartridge Belt Rib using smallest needle.


See it on Ravelry


Thursday, November 24, 2016

Indie Design Gift Along 2016


Happy Thanksgiving to all my U.S. friends! I hope your day is full of good food and loved ones. I'm going to celebrate tomorrow with family coming up to Victoria from Seattle, but for today I'm working and thinking of how grateful I am for knitters and my designer colleagues. This community is something I couldn't have dreamed up. Not only do I get to interact with kind and enthusiastic knitters who use my patterns and attend my workshops, but I'm also among professionals who value collaboration and support. I'm so thankful for the encouragement and advice that has been given to me freely since I was a brand new designer. 

That spirit of mutual support is a big bright light to me, and the Indie Design Gift Along is an amazing example of it. If you're not familiar with the GAL, it's an enormous group sale (335 designers are participating!) and online knitting party. Participating designers are offering 25% off a specially-selected group of their indie patterns for one week. The idea is that these patterns are great for gift knitting, but you might just knit yourself a gift too! The sale is on now (use the code giftalong2016 to get your discount), and goes through November 30. But it isn't just the sale that's fun! There are also a huge number of Knit Alongs happening in the group and there will be so, so many prizes.

My sale bundle includes 16 of my most popular patterns (you can see a few of them above) and you can check out the whole bundle here. I'm hoping to get a little gift knitting in myself, and to make the experience a little more relaxing, I'm planning to knit from friends' patterns rather than designing my own. Part of the goal of the GAL is to allow designers to promote each other, so here are the patterns I'm hoping to knit and gift.

© K Good Photography
I tried this hat on at the local Victoria launch party for Within, a new book from Shannon Cook and Jane Richmond, and it had just the perfect amount of slouch and texture. I may leave off the pom pom, but I feel like it'll be a really fun and fast knit. It's called Tread and it's by Shannon Cook, and lucky us, the pattern is in her GAL bundle! (Though I'll admit, I do already have the book in print. It's gorgeous. Go look!) While I haven't knit it yet, I have had a good look over the pattern and it seems really straightforward, with lots of gorgeous images, three sizes, helpful hints, and links to additional resources. I also love a good, clean layout and it really delivers!

© Stephannie Tallent

The other pattern I'd like to knit up is the Cayucos Shawl by Stephannie Tallent. I just love the texture in the body of the shawl and that cabled/lace edging looks so fun (and gorgeous!) I also had a good look at this pattern, and I was so impressed! The pattern includes instructions for three gauges (lace, DK, and worsted), a single-color and two-color versions, and the texture and lace instructions are given in charted and written instructions. The pattern has all these great extra helpful things too, like a special chart and written instructions for swatching, tips for using up whatever quantity of yarn you've got on hand, and a clear description of how the construction works. I'm thinking I'll do mine in a woolly neutral.

I hope you'll be participating in the GAL too! Here are some links to get you started:
- Gift Along Ravelry Group
- Participating Designers Thread
- My GAL bundle 

Don't forget to use the code giftalong2016 to get the 25% discount and please post in the KAL/CAL forum threads, and use the hashtag #giftalong2016 for your social media posts. 

Happy gifting!


Friday, November 18, 2016

Rugged Knits Pattern Highlight: Wrapup Hoodie

I know a lot of us are starting to get deep into gift knitting, and those projects tend to be on the smaller side, but I want to share the Wrapup Hoodie with you. It's not a small project, but it is a fairly straight-forward one that I think you'll love for yourself or for someone particularly knit-worthy. This is a cardigan with all the practical features -- big, functional pockets, a roomy hood, a relaxed, loose fit that keeps the sleeves slender and the shoulders carefully shaped so it's sure to look great.



CONSTRUCTION
- I chose to work this hoodie in pieces so that mattress stitch seams would add structure to the DK weight superwash yarn I picked. Pieces also mean that the project doesn't get too cumbersome while you're working on it. 

- All the pieces are worked bottom-up with shaping. The waist shaping isn't dramatic, but it does nip in a bit for a flattering look.
- It's got drop-shoulder construction and short-row shaped shoulders that are seamed together at the end using mattress stitch.
- The pockets are worked separately and then sewn on using mattress stitch.
- The hood is worked at the very end after seaming is complete. It's worked by first picking up stitches along the collar, then shaped with increases and decreases, and joined at the top with three-needle bind-off.
- The bands and hood edging are worked all at once (so use a long circular needle to fit all the way around!)
- Bands are striped garter stitch, giving a subtle, but striking detail.
- Button loops are worked last and sewn on.

FIT
- This hoodie is designed to be worn with an oversized fit -- about 8-10 inches/20.5-25.5 cm of positive ease. That means it'll be comfortable and easy to move in.

- The sleeves are kept slender so the overall impression is of a flattering fit even though the body has so much positive ease.
- A hip-length silhouette makes this sweater great outerwear in mild climates.

YARN
I just had to have a couple very particular colours, so I used two different yarns for this one. The main colour is Baah Yarns Sonoma, and the contrast colour is Hazel Knits DK Lively. Both are superwash worsted spun Merino yarns with a whole lot of plies, a tight twist, and fantastic bounce. They work beautifully together. If you have a sweater quantity of one yarn, you may be able to use some stash leftovers for the contrast colour.


TIPS FOR SUBSTITUTING
- Pick wool or wool blend yarn with a tight twist and a bunch of plies to help the sweater keep its shape. The seams offer some support, but I recommend avoiding very slippery yarns or those without memory like alpaca or silk because the sweater is long with a lot of fabric.
- DK weight sock yarns will give a similar look to the sample. Think Madelinetosh Tosh DK, Quince & Co. Phoebe, or Malabrigo Arroyo.
- For a more rustic, tweedy look, you could try Jamieson's Double Knitting, or, for a smooth, matte look, go for Brooklyn Tweed's new DK base - Arbor.


MY FAVORITE DETAIL
Those pockets are just perfection. I love the diagonal openings and subtle edging.

GENERAL TIPS
After your swatch is dry, hang it up for a day or so before measuring to check for vertical growth. Measure your gauge before and after to see if there's any change.


Be sure to use the hashtags #RuggedKnits, #WrapUpHoodie, and #AndreaRangelKnits when you post pics of your Wrapup Hoodie projects!


PATTERN DETAILS


Finished Measurements

38 (411⁄4, 451⁄2, 483⁄4, 521⁄2, 561⁄4)” (96.5 (105, 115.5, 124, 133.5, 143) cm bust circumference with 13⁄4 (13⁄4, 13⁄4, 23⁄4, 23⁄4, 23⁄4)” (4.5 4.5, 4.5, 7, 7, 7 cm) overlap and 26 (261⁄4, 263⁄4, 273⁄4, 283⁄4, 2912)” (66 66.5, 68, 70.5, 73, 75 cm) long.

Intended to be worn with 8–10” (20.5–25.5 cm) of positive ease. 
Shown in size 411⁄4” (105 cm).

Yarn 
DK weight (#3 Light). 
Main Color (MC): 1626 (1774, 1951, 2066, 2230, 2408) yd (1487 1622, 1784, 1889, 2039, 2202 m). 
Contrast Color (CC): 86 (86, 87, 133, 136, 138) yd (78 78, 79, 121, 124, 126 m).

Shown here: 
Main Color: Baah Sonoma (100% super- wash merino wool; 234 yd 214 m/100 g): color Pecan (MC), 6 (7, 8, 8, 9, 9) skeins. 
Contrast Color: Hazel Knits Lively DK (90% merino wool, 10% nylon; 275 yd 251 m/130 g); color White Wing Dove (CC), 1 skein.

Needles 

Size U.S. 4 (3.5 mm) straight, 60” (150 cm) long circular (cir), and pair of double-pointed (dpn). 
Size U.S. 5 (3.75 mm) straight and 24” (60 cm) long circular (cir). 
Adjust needle sizes if necessary to obtain the correct gauge.

Notions
Markers (m); tapestry needle; five 11⁄2” (38 mm) toggle buttons.

Gauge

22 sts and 34 rows = 4” (10 cm) over St st using larger needles.


See it on Ravelry

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Clouds in a Blue Sky

Photos © Hanahlie Beise 2016
This week's blog post is a new pattern, Clouds in a Blue Sky. Exploring lace on an unexpected scale has always appealed to me, and this one adds texture and color to that exploration.

YARN
I picked Spincycle Yarns Knit Fast, Die Young for an unusual lace edge. It adds a moodiness to the geometry of the lace, and I adore that gradual change of color. The yarn is fairly dense and heavy, so it adds some weight to the edging.

For the body, I wanted a chunky yarn that would float and be pure comfort. Imperial Yarns Bulky 2 Strand is an un-spun roving that's light as air. It's very delicate while it's being knit (be gentle or you'll just pull it right apart), but it makes an incredibly cozy, lofty fabric when knit up. It's a tiny bit lighter (skinnier) than the Knit Fast, Die Young, but I stuck with the same needle size, so the gauge of the crescent body is looser than usual, and has a lovely drape despite also being so floaty.

Most of my testers chose to work this up in a single color, which works as well. The gauge is 3 sts = 1"/2.5 cm, so if you've got a soft wool yarn that works well at that gauge, go for it.

CONSTRUCTION
The shawl is worked bottom-up, so you'll cast on for the lace edging first. The ends of the lace are shaped, and the body is worked using a short row/decreasing method.

This is a really quick knit. It takes about 300 yards of yarn and some of my testers finished it in a day.  It would make a lovely gift, or just a special instant gratification knit for you!

KNIT FIT
If you'll be in Seattle this weekend, stop by the Spincycle booth to see this shawl in person and shop for the gorgeous edging yarn. The other colors are incredible.

I'll also be signing books at the YOTH booth on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016 at 1:30. Bring your copy of Rugged Knits to be signed or pick one up while you're there!

NEWSLETTER SALE
I'll be sending out a coupon for this pattern in my next weekly email newsletter, so if you haven't signed up and you'd like a special deal on this pattern, please subscribe now!

PATTERN SPECS
Finished Measurements 
Wingspan: 49 in/124.5 cm
Depth at Center: 15.5 in/39.5 cm

Yarn
Super Bulky Weight Yarn in two colors:
Bottom Lace Edging: 175 yd/160 m
Body of Shawl: 125 yd/114 m

Bottom Lace Edging shown in Spincycle Yarns Knit Fast, Die Young (100% wool; 100 yd/91 m per 127g skein); Color: Paper Planes; 2 skeins

Main Body of Shawl shown in Imperial Yarn Bulky 2 Strand (100% wool; 200 yd/183 m per 116g skein); Color: Pearl Gray; 1 skein

Blocked Gauge 
Gauge measurement should be taken after blocking.
7 sts/16 rows = 4 in/10 cm in St st

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

US #15/10 mm 40 in/100 cm circular needle
tapestry needle
stitch markers (optional for dividing lace repeats)

Skills
working lace using charted and/or written instructions, short row shaping

Technical Editing by Susan Moskwa
Copy Editing by Jessie Kwak

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If you're into this pattern, you'll probably like my other macro lace patterns too. Check out Sentiment, Pembroke Wrap, and Squam Confidential.


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