I was surprised how much I loved TCI, even in the height of summer – yes, it was warm, but warm at the beach with a light breeze is really wonderful! I especially liked being able to dive without wetsuits, and to walk into the ocean without feeling like it was the least bit chilly.
Our stay at Amanyara was perfection – beautiful grounds, a lovely and peaceful pavilion as our room, and beach bikes to ride along the quiet roads. Plus, probably the most beautiful (and largely deserted) beach I’ve ever seen, with some pretty fabulous snorkeling right off the sand and around the rocky point.
We had a great day diving and cliff jumping with Big Blue, the very best ecotourism and dive company on the Island!
Most of all, it was a wonderful opportunity to spend time with my youngest daughter 🙂
I love this yarn – good structure and bounce, but still soft and silky. The color is deeply saturated, with just a little bit of shine. Because it’s fingering weight, I knit double-stranded. I ran out of yarn before I even began the top shaping, so I finished it up much more quickly than the pattern called for, completing all of the decreases in just a few rounds. I love how it turned out, but I’d also like to finish off the pattern as written (next time I find two skeins of fingering weight yarn that I can’t resist!)
The name was inspired by my oldest daughter, who took one look at the soft, lovely color and commented that it was the iconic color for bridesmaids’ dresses 🙂 Knit double-stranded with a yarn comprised of baby alpaca, silk, and cashmere, it’s no wonder that this is just about the softest, yummiest thing I’ve ever worn around my neck!
I love this stitch pattern both front and back, which makes the cowl completely reversible.
Yarn: Bleu Poussiere Noble (70% baby alpaca / 20% silk / 10% cashmere) – 2 skeins (400m/ea) in color Amulette, naturally dyed with madder and hibiscus
Needles: US 4s 16″
Notes: Knit with yarn held double-stranded throughout.
DIRECTIONS: Cast on 136 sts. Join in the round, being careful not to twist. Garter stitch (knit one round, then purl one round) for 9 rounds total.
Begin four-round stitch pattern: R1-3: Knit R4: *Sl 1 purl wise to cable needle and hold in front of work, k2, slip st from cable needle to RH needle, k1. Rep. from * to end of round.
Work until ” from cast-on. Starting with a purl round, work in garter stitch for 9 rounds. Bind off loosely knit-wise.
I think of this top more as a popover than a sweater, because of it’s shape and because I think it looks so much better with a longer tank top underneath. I was inspired by the designer’s images and volunteered to test knit; the pattern is lovely, but I’m not sure it’s the best shape or fit for me. Right now, these short boxy tops are really “in” and you see them all over knitwear designers’ pages, but I think I’m too short and boxy myself to wear them well!
Yarn: Mythica Fibers (100% rustic silk) – 2 skeins (470 yds/ea) in color Je Te Veux (I ran out when finishing the sleeve and neck edges, but I could have left them unfinished, or I could have kept the top its original length, instead of lengthening it by an inch or so).
I had hoped to get the perfect soft pink by combining two strands of Purl Soho’s Cattail Silk, but instead the two colors just muddied each other . . . I’m happy with how the yarn knit up as a tee, and the rustic silk makes it wearable in warm weather, but I’m disappointed in the color.
Pattern: Clarke Pullover by Jane Richmond (modified sleeve by knitting for 1.5″ and then .75″ of ribbing)
Yarn: Purl Soho Cattail Silk (100% silk) – 2 skeins (470 yds/ea) in colors Porcelain White and Cherry Blossom, knit double-stranded (unfortunately, I needed only a very little of the second skeins, so now I have a lot of leftover yarn from this project!)
Needles: US 4s
Size: 36″ (this size would typically give me zero positive ease, but likely my gauge is a little on the large size, so this probably comes out more like 38″
My second go-round knitting one of my new patterns from By Hand Serial Lookbook No. 9. This time, I wanted a completely different look, so instead of a rustic, “sheepy” yarn, I used fingering weight, knit at a fairly open gauge, double-stranded with mohair. The result is a soft, warm yet light pullover that drapes beautifully and looks like a soft spring morning 🙂
To me, there’s no place in the world more beautiful than the coast of Maine – even when the spring has been unusually cool and slow to arrive! My oldest daughter and I spent a week exploring to celebrate her successful completion of her freshman year of college 🙂
My luck is hit-and-miss finding store-bought patterns that fit me well, so I’ve started hacking my own patterns from ready-made clothes in my closet. I recently bought a boxy linen pullover that I thought would make a good model for a tunic. I drafted the pattern and first experimented on some apparel fabric in my stash, bought years ago – I thought I’d use this just as a test subject, but I liked it so much that I ended up adding it to my wardrobe! Unfortunately, I have no notes on what the fabric is or where I got it.
Next, I used the “main event” fabric – 2.5 yards of Japanese yarn-dyed cotton that I purchased recently at Fiddlehead Artisan Supply in Belfast, Maine.
For both tunics, I used the neckline and sleeve fit from the ready-made inspiration piece, but I lengthened the body, loosened the cuffs on the sleeves so that buttons weren’t necessary, and added pockets (because what tunic doesn’t look and wear better with pockets!) I was really pleased with the fit and how both of these (very different) fabrics.
Another summerweight mohair shawl from By Hand Serial Lookbook No. 9, this one is knit by alternating lace weight merino (held double stranded) and adding in a strand of lace weight merino/silk (for a total of three strands).
Two new shawls, designed for By Hand Serial Lookbook No. 9 – both use a combination of mohair/silk and fingering weight yarns to create a soft, beautiful fiber that is both light and warm. I love how mixing different yarns in the same color family results in a color that has so much layering and depth to it!
After hacking the tunic pattern, I wanted to see how it would look if I expanded it (with a few tweaks) into a dress. I lengthened it further, but also started it sloping outwards in an A-shape from the waist downward. Instead of patch pockets, I added interior pockets along the side seams. I shortened the sleeves (but kept the cuff as edging).
The fabric is another impulse buy from Fiddlehead Artisan Supply – 3 yards of linen Hokkah sheeting. As a facing, pocket lining, and an edging along the hem, I used .5 yards of Galway Indigo linen.
I think that the shape works so long as the hem is fairly high – it’s loose, not overly fitted, but still flattering, and a comfortable, lightweight staple for the summer.
This is one of my patterns from the newest issue of By Hand Serial: Lookbook No. 9. I think it might be my favorite – it is, in my opinion, the perfect wear-anywhere, wear-with-everything, three-season cardigan! Knit in fingering weight yarn, it can take on just about any look you want, showcase any yarn you love, and it’s never too heavy or bulky. I already have a second one on my needles 🙂
This yarn came to me all the way from Poland – it is created in small batches by a talented dyer named Marzena Kolaczek. Her saturated tonal colors are stunning, and I love how they look so beautiful together, they almost glow! This yarn base is a blend of merino, cashmere, and silk – the result is the perfect drape and incredible softness. This piece has become my new favorite go-to shawl, just because it feels so good around my neck and it was so much fun to knit up all of the different colors.
Sweet Sounds Bias Wrap
Width: 18” Length: 74”
Chmurka Goat on the Boat (70% superwash merino/20% silk/10% cashmere, 437 yds per 100 g) 1 skein each of five colors (I used Sunny Honey, Valadilene, Cogs, Patina, and Foggy Night)
US 7 (4.5 mm) needles, tapestry needle
18 sts and 25 rows = 4” in Stockinette stitch, blocked
Hold yarn double-stranded throughout. Scarf is knit on the bias from one short end to the other, with large stripes separated by one garter stitch ridge. Scarf begins and ends with K3, P2 ribbing.
Using C1, CO 108 sts.
Ribbing: Row 1 (RS): (K3, p2) to last 3 sts, k3. Row 2 (WS): K3, (k2, p3) to last 3 sts, k3. Row 3: K3, kfb, cont ribbing pattern as established to last 5 its, k2tog, k3. Row 4: K3, cont ribbing pattern to last 3 sts, k3. Rep rows 3 and 4 until scarf measures 2” from CO edge, ending with a WS row.
Body: Row 1 (RS): K3, kfb, k to last 5 sts, k2tog, k3. Row 2 (WS): K3, purl to last 3 sts, k3. Rep rows 1 and 2 for a total of 30 rows.
Garter Rows: Next knit two rows in garter stitch, continuing the increases and decreases: Row 1 (RS): K3, kfb, k to last 5 sts, k2tog, k3. Row 2 (WS): K3, k to last 3 sts, k3.
Cut C1 and change to C2.
Rep Body section in C2, work Garter rows, then change to C3.
Rep Body section in C3, work Garter rows, then change to C4.
Rep Body section in C4, work Garter rows, then change to C5.
Rep Body section in C5, work Garter rows, then change to C1.
Rep the same sequence with all 5 colors.
After completing the second C5 section, continue with C5 and rep Ribbing section.
BO all sts in pattern.
Block scarf to measurements.
BO bind off CC contrast color CO cast on k knit kfb knit into the front and back of the same stitch p purl rep repeat RS right side St st stockinette stitch st(s) stitch(es) WS wrong side