Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Happy November--Here's Our POM's!

Hey, here come all the holidays and the wooly knitting! Let's help you with that.

The Figheadh Pattern of the Month (POM) is the Glentrekker Cardigan and it's 30% off all month long. It also includes two hat patterns--a toque and a slouchy beanie--both with the same luscious cables as the cardigan.

No code is needed for the discount. You'll automatically receive it when you buy.

The Mirth POM is the Ravenwood Lace Scarf, which has an easy feather-and-fan pattern edged with a ribbed flounce inserted on each end. It's knit in two parts and joined at the middle.

It's also 30% off through November 30, 2017, no code needed.

Lace or cables? Which will it be? 
Maybe both!


Saturday, October 14, 2017

Feather Lace Socks Tutorial: Toe Increases

My last blog post had you casting on your 24 stitches to begin the Feather Lace Socks. Now, let's get ready for the toe increases. We are working on two 16" circulars, but you can also work this on one long circular, or the Magic Loop.

Pull the needle holding the second half of the CO stitches so that those stitches lie on the flexible cord with its tips resting. Bring the working tip of the first-half stitches into place to be ready to work.

Before we get started, though, flip to the back and wrap the tail end over the working yarn to secure it. Otherwise, it could unravel and make you cry.

Knit across the first half of the stitches on needle one.

When you come to needle two, knit the first stitch. Then you will see that the rest of the stitches are mounted backward, so knit into the back of those to correct their mounts.

Now we're ready for our first increase. Next round, knit the first stitch, and then pick up the running thread between the first and second stitches with the right needle, front to back, and place it onto the left needle. Alternately, you can pick up that running thread from back to front with your left needle, but I often do it with my right needle because I find it easier. Either way--just so you get it onto the left needle positioned correctly.

You want it to to sit like this.

Now knit into the front of the picked-up stitch. You made a new stitch! And it's a right-leaning one, at that.

Knit the next stitch and take a second to look at your new stitch between the first and third ones. Nice! Now, knit all the way across to the last stitch. We want to add another stitch there before we knit the last one.

This time you want to pick up the running stitch between the next-to-last stitch and the last stitch front to back and knit into the back of it. If that little move is giving you fits, read on.

I have a little trick for this. Bring the two needle tips more in a parallel position, slide the right needle into the front of the stitch, then over and behind the left needle, and knit into the back. It seems easier to me. Maybe it will to you, too! You just made a left-leaning increase, by the way. Now knit the last stitch and get ready to work the same increases on the second needle.

Work this same set of increases every other round until there are 32 stitches on each needle.

It will look like this after the first set of increases. It will become more apparent that you are knitting rounds the more stitches you have on the needles.

Once you have increased the toe to 32 stitches on each needle (64 total), you are ready to begin the lace pattern. Have fun!

I'll be back next post to show you how to knit that double-wrap, short-row heel.

See you then!



Thursday, October 12, 2017

Feather Lace Socks Tutorial: Judy's Magic CO

This post is specifically written for the Mirth Feather Lace Socks, but it will help you with any toe-up sock with a plain toe. 

The Feather Lace Socks call for one of three CO methods--the figure-eight, the Turkish, and Judy's Magic CO. The last one is my favorite, and makes a very fine beginning to any toe-up sock. I thought I'd show you some tips. If my "tips" get muddy, you can always refer back to the link for the original "Judy's Magic" above.

Because I don't like the bump caused by a slip knot at the toe of my socks, I usually start this CO with the tail toward the back, and just lay the yarn over the needle.

Then, holding the tips of two 16" circular needles together, I wrap the yarn over the top needle, keeping the tail toward the back. I slip my pointer around the front strand with the back strand laying over it. Yes, I am about to twist it once to secure the yarn over that needle.

I then grab the two yarn strands and poke my pointer and thumb between them with the tail over my thumb and the working yarn over my pointer while twisting the tail toward the front. This secures the tail so that it does not get loose while I cast on the rest of the stitches. It also makes it stay in place when it's time to work the toe increases without having to make a slip knot.

We already have one stitch on the top needle, so it's time to cast on a stitch to the bottom needle to match. At this point, I take the working yarn on my pointer finger toward the front under the bottom needle and then over it and between needles. Then I give it a pull to secure it, but not TOO tightly that I cannot work into it later.

Tada! One stitch on each needle. 

Time for more! I take the tail that's over my thumb toward the back, over the top needle, and through the two needles to cast on the second stitch to the top needle.

Second stitch on top needle secured! After this, my pointer goes back in place to wrap the yarn under the lower needle and up and between the needles again to cast a second stitch on the lower needle.

I keep doing these two motions until there are 12 sts on each needle (or however many your pattern requires).

The Feather Lace is worked with superfine sock yarn, so it begins with 12 stitches on each needle and increases to 32 stitches on each.

I am eternally grateful to Judy Becker for "unventing" the Magic CO! It's my absolute favorite.

Next post I will show you how to set up for and work the toe increases.

Bye for now!

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Show Us Your Iains!

At last I've come to the "Show Us" post I've been wanting to write for years! So many fantastic sweaters have been made from my Iain pattern that it was almost impossible to choose, but I went with the best pictures. Sometimes it was a case of good picture AND good story. I love reading all the notes and even the twists and turns and calamities of your projects. It helps me so much!

The Iain Hoodie Pullover pattern was first published back in 2008 as hard copy sold in yarn shops only. In 2010 I started selling my patterns as PDF downloads, and in 2013 I published an upgrade to the Iain, followed by another upgrade in 2016. 

Let's look at some of the Iain projects completed in the past eight years.


photo credit: Andi
Andrea knit this Iain for her boyfriend, and she used Cascade Eco Wool. She had few notes on her Ravelry page, but wrote three blog posts about it.  It's beautiful, Andrea!

photo credit: knittingocd
The dapper fellow on the right is Cathy's husband and he's posing with his brothers, who certainly must wish they had an Iain like Mike. Cathy made Mike's sweater with Cascade Eco Wool in Gray.  It looks great on Mike!

photo credit: Callalily
This Iain was knit by my tech editor Tracey after she knit the Iain, Jr. for her daughter. Tracey started out test knitting with me, and then transitioned to one of the best tech editors ever. I am so lucky to be able to work with her. Your Iain looks great on Renzie, Tracey, even though he never gets to wear it down in Florida. It's made with cozy Patons Classic Wool Merino in oatmeal.

photo credit: bethstar
This lovely Iain was knit by a knitter who does not give her name on Ravelry, but let's call her Beth. Her project page says she knit it for MaryAnn, so I have to assume that is who is in the picture. If so, it looks great on you, MaryAnn! (Sometimes this stuff requires detective work.) This Iain was made with Cascade Eco Wool and "Beth" says she would make another one. Yea!

photo credit: AbsintheYarn
Here's Kathy's husband, who she calls "Captain Romance," in his Iain made with Cascade Eco Wool in Charcoal. Kathy made lots of notes on her project page, so if you want to read those, follow that link. I think it looks just fabulous on Captain Romance, don't you?

photo credit: wish2knit
Elena's project page says this was made for Ross. Well, hello, Ross! You look great in your Iain made with Cascade Eco Wool in natural. Elena has no notes nor blog posts on her project page, so the details of the project remain a mystery. Looks like a success to me, though!

photo credit: knitacat
Louise gets props for most imaginative picture, and I hope Kermit likes his Iain! You can see that Louise subbed ribbing for the garter stitch as edging and it looks fine. This awesome Iain was made with Knit Picks City Tweed HW.

photo credit: christen
And now we come to the best Iain story of all time, and I doubt that it will ever, ever be bested. This is Christen's first Iain, which was for her husband. She completed it in 2009, but the next year he wanted another one, so she complied (true love!) and made another one, but in a lighter color.  Then she got the insane idea to make a third one for her husband's brother later that year. He saw his brother's Iain and wanted one, too. Saying no was just not an option, I guess. The real problem came when she decided to make Iains for her husband's other two brothers as well. Yep, she ended up making FIVE Iains in the course of just two years--two for her husband and one each for brothers-in-law Steven, Daniel, and Kevin. She said she wanted to burn the pattern and never make another one after that. But then I sent her the 2016 update and she has it parked in her Ravelry library. She is thinking she might have to make her husband another one if he gains weight. She's a saint! Oh, and I'm still waiting for that group shot, Christen. Just sayin'...

As you can see, most knitters use Cascade Eco Wool to make the Iain, like the original version. It's because it's the best yarn for this sweater! It's been used in 49 of the reported 73 projects on Ravelry. All the other yarns used except Cascade 220, which is a little too lightweight for this sweater, have only been used once each.  The pattern has 109 projects reported on Ravelry, but some folks neglect to add yarn info on their project page. I urge you knitters on Ravelry to flesh out your project pages--it helps all of us when you add all the pertinent information!

I want to make another one myself someday. And if I do, I'll use Cascade Eco again. 

Bravo to these knitters!



Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Show Us Your Bavarian Mitts!

Figheadh is my most well-known pattern line, but I have another one!


It (so far) hasn't gotten as much love as Figheadh does, and it's not clear why. Same designer, same pattern writer, same care for tech editing and testing, but the Mirth patterns have a different format than do the Figheadh ones, because I wanted to play. There's even a free one to try out. Check it out!

Anyway...that's probably why there have been only two projects posted on Ravelry of the Bavarian Mitts, our September Mirth Pattern of the Month. And they're both lovely.

photo credit: emilysmom
How fuzzy and cozy do these Bavarian Mitts look? It's because she used Ravenwood Cashmere to make them. This is the yarn that I designed them for, and trust me, it's divine. Watch this space for more 3-ply to come available.

photo credit: fiddlehead
So pretty! Mindy used Stonehedge Fiber Mill Shepherd's Wool Fine in garnet to make these Bavarian Mitts. It makes the stitch pattern so crisp!

I hope you'll try some Bavarian Mitts, no matter which fingering-weight yarn you choose. The pattern is 30% off until the end of September!


Happy Knitting!

Friday, August 25, 2017

Show Us Your Wanda Nells!

I'm so excited about this post, because I have loved seeing what knitters do with the Wanda Nell Cardigan pattern. The creativity and ingenuity of knitters never fails to fascinate me!

I have added in links to each knitter's project page for you Ravelry folks.

photo credit: cheekybeak
First up is cheekybeak on Ravelry who knit her sweet pink cardigan with two shades of pink and one of light sage green. All the yarns were from Grant Creek Yarns. I love it, Kirsty!

photo credit: fischtail
 Then we have Nathalie's Wanda Nell, which she knit with Madeline Tosh 80/10/10 fingering in the Briar colorway and she made it a cropped sweater to fit over a sweet dress. Great idea!

photo credit: moonsister
 Mara had all kinds of fun with the Wanda Nell. She made it long-sleeved and with an interesting cuff! She also made it tonal by using different yarns in each section lengthwise. She edged all the fun with a good neutral gray. Well done!

photo credit: Wildcrafty
This was Karen's second Wanda Nell. She says she loved it so much that she cast on another one! She had the same problem as I did. This one is simply knit with a lovely orange in Posh Yarn Martha Sock and another of Zauberball Crazy in the Riverbed colorway. Great yarn choices!

photo credit: RAELNE
Such a lovely blue Wanda Nell here by Raelene. She used The Wool Company's Utiku Baby 4-ply in the aqua colorway. Raelene also wants to make another! Boy, do I love to hear that.

photo credit: 3girlymom
Tabitha knit her Wanda Nell with Radiant Yarnworks' Seaweed colorway and edged it in their Oceanic. She also made some modifications because of gauge issues and it looks like it's a great fit!

photo credit: Arlene
Arlene made her WN Cardi with Alicia Goes Around Plush Lace in the intriguing Suit and Florsheims colorway and edged in Knit Picks Gloss Fingering in the Timber colorway. It looks so nice on you, Arlene! Also love the glass buttons!

photo credit: kattyradie
Kathy made this Wanda Nell for her daughter, and does she look happy with it! It was knit with Grant Creek Yarns Cushy Merino 2-ply in Deep Blue Sea--a great match for Amanda's lovely red hair! Again, those are some great buttons!

photo credit: lacymaker
Christina used Cherry Tree Hill Yarn Supersock in Dove and edged it with Zwerger Yarn Opal Uni Solid 4-ply in turquoise. So pretty! She says she would have made the body and sleeves longer but was working with limited yarn. This is the beauty of the Wanda Nell--you have those options!

photo credit: yarnosaurus
Tanya made her Wanda Nell into a cropped sweater like Nathalie, but with longer sleeves. She used Madelinetosh 80/10/10 Fingering in Brothers Grimm especially to wear with her gorgeous Anthropologie dress. 

I love all these versions of the Wanda Nell Cardigan

Don't forget that the pattern is 30% off through August 31. Try it for yourself!

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Show us Your F14's (and headless guys)!

June's almost at its close, so it's time to show off your FPOM, the Fundamental Men's Top-Down Cardigan!

I see I'm not the only one with a guy who refuses to have his head photographed, even when happy with his new hand-knit sweater!

I have included links below to each knitter's Ravelry page for you to see more lovely pictures and details.

credit to catlover

First up is catlover's "Osprey Cardigan" made with Mountain Colors 4/8s wool in the Osprey colorway. I'll just bet this is a comfy, soft sweater for our first headless guy. 

credit to knitgirl389
Then there's knitgirl389's cardigan made for her husband in Knit Picks Swish DK in a beautiful garnet heather. So classic! But still headless...sigh.

credit to amberlindemann

Next is this lovely cardigan knit by amberlindemann in Leading Men Fiber Arts Box Office in turkey run and edged with auburn. What great yarn choices! Wheres the head?

Hey, guys, just why? Why can't we see your smiling faces? There's no way you could look anything but handsome in these beautiful cardigans. 

See?

credit to amberlindemann

See how handsome this guy looks in his hand-knit cardigan? Be like this guy!
His cardigan was also knit by amberlindemann, but this one was made with Mrs. Crosby's Steamer Trunk in Smoky Granite. I can attest to the wonder of this yarn because I have made a whole sweater with it myself. Gorgeous colorway here!

These were some of the very few husbands, sons, friends, uncles, cousins, or grandpas who would even consent to being photographed wearing their cardigans, and only one allowed his head!

What are we to do? I'll be on the lookout for more great FO pics of the F14--especially with heads in full view. Until then, let's applaud these knitters!

And remember, you have until midnight tomorrow night to receive 30% off this pattern. July 1 there will be a new one and I'll be back soon to crow about that. Cheers!


Thursday, May 25, 2017

Show Us Your Big Easy Blanket!


Get ready to feast your eyes, because I'm about to show off some Big Easy Blanket FO's!

photo by JulieR
 This beautiful green Big Easy was knit by JulieR on Ravelry. She used Paton's Washed Haze Aran in teal, which is a discontinued yarn. Too bad, because this color has my heart! And the fabric is gorgeous! Thanks to Julie for allowing me to use her picture.

photo by nannyknitter62
 This perky purple Big Easy is from nannyknitter62, who has knit the BE twice. This one is from last year and she knit it with The Fiber Company Cumbria in the Castelrigg colorway. It looks so cozy!

photo by nannyknitter62
 And here's nanyknitter62's earlier FO of the Big Easy, which she made with Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock Heavyweight in the Star Sapphire colorway. Such a regal fabric!

photo by silverwoman

This Big Easy Blanket knit by silverwoman on Ravelry shows off the fabric so well and was knit with Cascade Yarns 128 Superwash in the Silver colorway. I'm so glad she allowed me to use her picture! Striking!

Why am I showing off these beautiful blankets? Why, it's all part of the Figheadh Pattern of the Month! Another part of it is the 30% discount you can still receive on the pattern until May 31. Many have already taken advantage and so can you! There's no code needed--just pop the pattern in your shopping cart and the discount is automatically deducted. Nice!

Ravelry tells me there are 41 projects for this pattern and I have requested lots more photo permissions, so I'll update this post as I receive those. If you want your Big Easy FO added, let me know!