These feel amazing! They took only one skein of yarn, with a lot left over.
Pattern: Islandwood Mitts
Yarn: One skein Plucky Cashmere in color Petticoat
Needles: US 2 dpns
My youngest daughter has decided that wearing hats is her newest fashion statement, and she particularly loves blues, which gave me an excuse to buy some gorgeous Plucky yarns and indulge in the immediate gratification of hat knitting . . .
It amazes me how much longer it takes to knit a slouchy hat – I usually prefer the fit to the close-fitting hats, but the fit of a slouchy hat is dicey – either it works perfectly, or the end sticks up in the air and just looks like I have an elongated head
I picked up this set of “Shooters” at the 2016 Plucky Shindig on Bainbridge Island (“Glamping with Plucky”) last month . . . one of those situations where you buy yarn because you love how the colors look together, and then you try to figure out what to actually knit with it . . . although I just recently finished an On the Spice Market shawl, I chose to use the pattern again because it does such a beautiful job of displaying colors.
Pattern: On the Spice Market by Melanie Berg
Yarn: Plucky Primo Fingering – Small Batch 018 (MC) and contrast colors Livery, Lake Placid, Rapunzel, and Strut Your Stuff. The 200-yard skeins were plenty for the contrast colors, but I had to purchase a second, full-size skein of the MC.
Needles: US 4s
Modifications: Since I had only four contrast colors instead of six, I increased the number of repeats for each color, so that the shawl would come out approximately the same size as provided for in the pattern.
Yarn: Woolfolk Far – 10 skeins (142 yds/ea) in color O8. This yarn is absolutely phenomenal – so incredibly soft, you’d swear it was cashmere. It was a pleasure to work with, and although the soft hand does mean that it loosens up a little, that just results in a soft halo that adds to its beauty. I was surprised at how well it showed off stitch definition, particularly after wet blocking.
Pattern: Kogle Pullover by Julie Hoover. This one took longer to knit than I thought it would, although it didn’t feel as if it was going slowly – the stitch pattern isn’t difficult. I guess it was just a lot of inches to knit One thing to keep in mind – you want to be well-versed in reading your stitches before you try this pattern. That’s because you constantly have to adjust to keep the stitch pattern correct as you add or decrease stitches; you can’t just keep following the directions as written. This is easy to do once you have a few inches knit up, but if you’re uncomfortable with being able to make these kinds of adjustments, this pattern isn’t for you.
Needles: US 8s, US 6s and 5s (for ribbing)
Size: To fit bust 36″ (the pattern lists this as a finished measurement of 40″, which would give me 3-4″ of positive ease, which I’d say is exactly what I got). I wouldn’t want this to be any bigger; in fact, I was worried that it would stretch during wet blocking, but luckily that didn’t turn out to be the case. I wonder if it will stretch over time – if so, I’ll probably need to throw it in a hot dryer for a few minutes (or wet block it again) to bring it back to shape.
Felted acorns, Brooklyn Tweed-style . . .
I took my leftover scraps of Brooklyn Tweed Loft and Shelter yarns, rolled them into balls, tied the balls each into its own “chamber” in the stocking leg of panty hose, and ran them through a hot washing machine with a little bit of detergent. Amazingly, I had to do it four times – plus a trip through the dryer – before they felted enough.
Next, I collected acorn caps from under our oak tree and used a hot glue gun to attach them. The heathered colors of Brooklyn Tweed yarns are definitely perfect for fall!
Pattern: Ivar cardigan by Anne Hanson
Yarn: Brooklyn Tweed Loft – 7 skeins in color Camper
Size: 38 1/2″
Needles: US 6s and US 3s (ribbing)
This is a wonderful cardigan for transition seasons, because it’s so lightweight and lofty – nice stitch definition, and it can be dressed up or down, depending on what you wear with it. It has a pretty slim silhouette, so I think it looks best with skinny jeans or a narrow skirt.
By Hand is a series of lookbooks that focus on different fiber and fabric “making communities” around the country.
Each serial will feature photo journals and interviews with both up-and-coming and well-known yarn designers and dyers, local yarn stores, knitwear designers, fabric artists, and other makers who share the same philosophy and aesthetic of hand crafting functional forms to share and connect with others in the community. Projects, patterns, classes, and opportunities to purchase the artists’ work will also be included, as well as an opportunity to share what is beautiful and unique about each locale.
THE FIRST ISSUE OF BY HAND IS BASED IN PORTLAND, OREGON AND FEATURES:
Issue #1 also features three exclusive knitting patterns:
A beautiful tote bag pattern that gives you an opportunity to “create” your own fabric:
And a tasty recipe for red roasted tomato sauce, perfect for fall!
Visit our website to order Issue #1, purchase an annual subscription for the first three issues, or sign up to receive our newsletter!
Pattern: Gevir Pullover by Sarah Solomon
Size: 33″ (finished measurement 39″)
Needles: US 6s (down one size to get gauge)
Yarn: 9 skeins Woolfolk Tov in color 2
You have to feel this yarn to believe it – a 10-ply Aran weight, so soft you’d swear it was cashmere! What I love is that it’s incredibly soft, but not at the expense of texture – it shows stitch definition better than almost any other yarn I’ve knit with This sweater was knit as a sample for Woolfolk, but it just happened to fit me perfectly!
I’m loving this new yarn, Scout from Wool days – a new Australia yarnie producing minimally processed and organic merino wool that is ultra soft and dyed in a beautiful palette.
Pattern: Paddle Mitts by Tin Can Knits
Needles: Us 3s and US 5s
Size: I cast-on for the child’s size, because this yarn is a little heavier of a DK, then I knit to the lengths called for the adult small. The mitts turned out just a tad bit tight, but I like a tighter fit (although I think I would have been fine just knitting the adult size small).
Colors: One skein Caramel and one skein Blueberry Pie (I would have had enough left to knit another pair in reversed colors).
Quick to knit, fun to combine colors and bases, oh-so-soft and a great fit . . . the perfect hat!
Pattern: Morning Walk Hat
Yarn: 1 skein of Woolfolk Tynd (color 01) and 1 skein of Woolfolk Sno (color 01 + 11) – knit double-stranded
Size: The smaller of the two size options
Needles: US 3s (brim) and US 5s (the pattern called for US 4s, but all I had in 16″ circulars was US 5s, and they didn’t seem to change the fit at all)
Oh wow, guys, you are really going to want to knit this one! This has got to be one of my favorite cardigans of all time . . .
First, start with the yarn: AMAZING! It is so incredibly soft, you won’t believe it. And, this pattern double-strands Far (which is a chainetfte-contruction worsted) and Sno (a more tightly wound fingering), which gives it the perfect texture – loft and spring!
Second, the fit is spot-on – it hangs perfectly, fits across my shoulders perfectly, and I love the length (see below).
Third, since you’re knitting on US 9s, even though it’s a big piece, it goes so quickly, and you’ll love it while you’re knitting it! The color combinations are endless, and I swatched several before deciding, but I love the more subtle marl and how interesting this makes a neutral look.
Pattern: Birk Cardigan
Yarn: Woolfolk Far Color 01 (11 skeins) and Sno Color 01 + 17 (6 skeins)
Needles: US 8s and US 9s
Size: 36″ (small) – this is a smaller size than I would usually knit, but as the pattern notes, the finished size is larger, and even though I’m typically a bust size 36″, I have plenty of ease with this size.
Mods: Because I’m not near as tall as the model for this pattern, and I wanted a little more of a conventional fit, I shortened the length by 3″. This mean that I knit the pocket openings at 7″ from CO, then I knit to 17″ before beginning the V-neck shaping, and I knit to 21″ before dividing front and back. Perfect!
A great test knit for Baby Cocktails! I love this cardigan – it’s a real workhorse, goes with everything and looks great with jeans or with my Eileen Fisher dress. The natural dye gives just enough varigation to give it depth and texture, without messing with the stitch design. And this wool! It’s warm but so breathable and light, I can wear it even when there’s just a little bit of a fall chill in the air.
Yarn: Local Color Fiber Studio Cascara Merino (labeled as aran weight) – 5 skeins (200 yds/ea) of indigo dyed
Size: 38.25″ (increased length by 2 – 2 1/2″)
Needles: US 8s
A beautiful and serene week spent on North Haven Island, off of mid-coast Maine . . . is there ever a more beautiful time than mid-September??
The small village at North Haven’s ferry docking.
We rented a beautiful home on a 52-acre peninsula at the end of Crabtree Point.
Crabtree Cottage was a beautiful home-away-from-home.
Our home included a beautiful infinity pool, patio, poolhouse, and fire pit.
Kayaking on one of the many sunny afternoons.
Moonrise above Crabtree Cottage.
The view on the ferry ride to North Haven Island.
Holy Donuts in Portland was a worthwhile stop on our way up the coast.
This historic building was transformed into a community pizza parlor on the weekends, and a gourmet market during the week.
The outdoor fireplace was perfect for marshmallow roasting.
We took a day-trip to explore mid-coast Maine, including a visit to Bowdoin College in the town of Brunswick.
I always make sure to drink plenty of blueberry soda when in Maine
A long dock to the kayak launch.
Late in the day on Mile Long beach at Reid State Park, all to ourselves.
A tomato bar – better than a candy bar! – at Portland farmer’s market.
North Haven Island is very quiet, especially after Labor Day.
Pattern: Leda by Quince & Co
Yarn: Quince & Co Tern (75% American wool / 25% silk) – 6 skeins (221 yds/ea) in color Dusk
Needles: US 5s (down one size – even then, I my gauge was a little large, but I didn’t want to go down yet another needle size)
Size: 34 3/4″ (this would usually be too small for me, but I didn’t want it oversized, and because my gauge was a little big, I went one size smaller)
My adjustment to needle size and sweater size worked well – I think the fit is spot-on. One note – the sleeves are really tight where you pick up and knit (at the drop-sleeve point). At first I thought they would be too tight, but after completing and wearing the sweater, I really like the look – it balances out the somewhat oversize/boxy look of the body. Interesting shoulder/sleeve construction – I don’t usually like drop sleeves, but it works with this pattern.
I had wanted the color to be a little more – I’m not sure what, vibrant? Saturated? Not necessarily brighter, just a little . . . something. Anyway, I would probably go with a different color if I knit this again, but I do like the pattern and the fit, and it feels wonderful – light and with beautiful drape, but warm enough for a cool fall evening.
Usually I don’t enjoy swatching, but it’s actually fun when I get to experiment with different Woolfolk combinations! I’m trying to decide which combo to use for the new Birk Cardigan pattern . . .
This is Far (worsted weight) in Colors 01 (cream) and 11 (navy), and Sno (fingering weight) in Color 1+11. Here’s what the swatches look like:
I think they’re both beautiful, but I’m leaning toward this one for the cardigan:
But then I knit up a swatch (I’m knitting these on US 9s) with this combination – Far in Color 01 and Sno in Color 1+17:
Here’s how it looks knitted up:
I love this one too! It’s even more beautiful IRL – actually kind of hard to photograph. Decisions, decisions . . . I’d love some input!Pin It
I usually wouldn’t be knitting hats in August, but this was a quick test knit for Thea Coleman of Baby Cocktails, and a great way to use up some stash yarn . . .
Pattern: Anchor Steam hat
Yarn: Julie Asselin’s Nurtured (less than one skein each of the MC and CC colors)
Needles: US 5s (ribbing) and US 6s
I love how Thea uses short rows to make the ribbing wider in the front than in the back – this helps the hat “slouch” better and lets it sit more comfortably on your head. And, I think it’s beautiful knit in these neutrals!
I love how this one turned out!
Pattern: On the Spice Market by Melanie Berg
Yarn: The Plucky Knitter yarns: One full skein of Plucky Primo Sport in Wintery Mix (MC), and partial skeins of Plucky Traveler DK in Blueberry Sour, Remember When, Grimace, and Miniature Lilacs (CCs)
Needles: Because I altered the pattern from fingering weight to sport/DK weight, I went up to US 7s
Mods: I used four contrast colors instead of six, but because I was using heavier weight yarn, I just omitted the parts of the pattern related to CC5 and CC6, and it still turned out generously sized.