Sunday, May 21, 2017

Countdown to the Yarn Over KAL


Are you up for some relaxed summer knitting among friends? The next Blue Peninsula knitalong starts in a week, with a focus on lace. For the Yarn Over KAL, you can knit any of my designs with a yarn over in it.

Socks, sweaters, shawls, scarves, cowls, mitts—all qualify for this KAL. The dates are Sunday, May 28 through Sunday, July 30.

There will be some lovely prizes, too. One is a skein of Luna Grey Fiber Arts Altair sock yarn, a blend of merino/nylon/Tencel. I'm knitting my next sock design with this yarn and am so pleased with its striking color and stitch definition, I decided to order another skein for a KAL prize.

Luna Grey Altair sock yarn

Another prize is two skeins of Stitch Sprouts Yellowstone, the sport weight wool/silk blend that I used for my Meadow Road pullover. Yellowstone works beautifully for lace, so it seemed like a natural choice for a prize. Two skeins are enough to make many of my cowl or shawl designs; see my Ravelry designer page for ideas.

Prize for Yarn Over KAL

I'll be announcing one more prize later this week in the KAL discussion thread. You can join now or anytime during the KAL, and WIPS are welcome, too. So if you started a sweater or a shawl a while ago and need incentive to finish up, this KAL is for you. 

Hope you can join us! Thanks for reading—and have a beautiful day.

May Flowers: Day 14



Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Flash Sale! Mitts for Mom

Mitts by Bonnie Sennott

Now through Wednesday: Save 25% on all fingerless mitts in my Ravelry pattern store with the coupon code MOM.

Fee-bee Mitts_2

There's still time to knit a pretty pair of mitts for Mother's Day, especially if you choose a style without a thumb gusset, like Fee-bee or Shallows.

Shallows Mitts_72_with bag

Happy knitting and happy Mother's Day!




Friday, May 05, 2017

Tra-la, it's May!

Here we are in May, possibly my very favorite month of the year. My sinuses don't love it, but my eyes are drunk—absolutely tipsy—on color. Flowers, flowers, everywhere!

I'm posting a flower photo every day in May on Instagram. Care to join me? Use the hashtag #floweradayinmay

Flower a Day in May: 1

May Flowers: Day 2

May Flowers: Day 3

Next January and February, when the world seems bereft of color, it will be such a balm to scroll through #floweradayinmay and dream of the beauty that lies ahead.

May Flowers: Day 5

May Flowers: Day 4

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

New Pattern: Spindler Mitts

Spindler Mitts

Today I'm pleased to share the first design I've created with handspun yarn: the Spindler Mitts. They're now available on Ravelry.

Spindler Mitts

A pretty mix of lace, garter stitch, and stockinette, the Spindler Mitts are just right for small amounts of handspun yarn, or for those partial skeins of fingering weight yarn we all have in our stashes. Using only 125 yards for the small/medium size (140 for the large size), they're a quick knit—perfect for a last-minute Mother's Day gift or for end-of-the-year teacher gifts. (You could get three pairs out of a typical skein of sock yarn!)

Spindler Mitts

Spindler Mitts

For the sample pair, I used Ashland Bay Mixed Bluefaced Leicester, spun and plied with drop spindles (16 wpi). As I mentioned in my last post, I found BFL pleasant to spin and was really excited to see how the 2-ply developed a soft, attractive halo after I blocked the mitts. 

Spindler Mitts_1

At Rhinebeck last fall, I picked up a bag of Cormo/alpaca fiber from the Foxhill Farm booth. I've started spinning and plying it, with good results. So now I'm pondering design ideas. Maybe a cowl to go with the Spindler Mitts, in time for Rhinebeck 2017? We'll see! Stay tuned here on the blog—or follow me on Instagram—to see how that works out.

Spindler Mitts

Heartfelt thanks go to Jenny Sennott for editing the pattern and Betsey Sennott for modeling. (Another Sennott Sisters production, yay!)

I hope you enjoy the pattern. Thank you very much for reading.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Pretty, Pretty BFL

What a busy month! With Calliopsis just published, a large secret project for a magazine under way, a new sock design in progress, and a new fingerless mitts pattern almost ready to publish, I basically have knitwear design on my mind 24 hours a day.

The mitts—a pretty combination of lace, stockinette, and garter stitch—are my first design with my own handspun yarn.

Handspun Mitt Beginning

The fiber is Ashland Bay Mixed BFL Top, which I spun and plied with drop spindles; the resulting two-ply yarn is fingering weight, 16 wpi.

Handspun BFL mitts

I had about 140 yards to work with. So I weighed the yarn carefully as I knit, making sure I wouldn't run out. In the end, the small/medium size used about 125 yards. There's also a large size, which requires about 140 yards.

Spindle-spun and Spindle-plied BFL

I think there will definitely be more BFL in my spinning future! I enjoyed both spinning and knitting it. But what I loved most was how, after a good soak in Eucalan, the fabric developed a really pretty halo. And it's so soft!  A delight to feel against your skin.

My sister Jenny, an accomplished spinner with years of experience (far more than me—I'm still a newbie), says BFL is her current favorite sheep breed because "it is a pleasure to spin and finishes up soft and lustrous, not as fussy or pill-prone as merino." So far, with my limited experience, I'd have to concur.

Handspun BFL and Mitts

They're called Spindler Mitts, and I hope to publish them next week. To get news about these and all my new patterns delivered directly to your inbox, sign up for the monthly Blue Peninsula newsletter.


Wednesday, April 05, 2017

New Pattern: Calliopsis (and Cowl Sale!)

I'm excited to share a lovely new cowl for spring: Calliopsis.

Calliopsis_3

Knit in two colors of Fibre Co. Meadow, Calliopsis is a light and airy lace confection. It can be styled lots of different ways, depending on your mood, your outfit, or the weather.

The pattern is on sale—along with my other cowl patterns—through Sunday, April 9. Use the coupon code COWL25 to save 25% on cowls in my Ravelry store (magazine patterns are not included). The code can be used as many times as you like.

Calliopsis_1

Named after the flower Coreopsis (also known as Calliopsis or—less romantically—Tickweed), Calliopsis features two pretty lace stitches, each knit in its own color, separated by striped bands. These bands, knit back and forth on a circular needle, employ a really fun technique of sliding the stitches across the cable and knitting them again with the other color on the same side of the work. I first encountered this technique back in 2008 when I knit Norah Gaughan's Almost Garter Scarf. It's so clever!

Calliopsis_5

Calliopsis is worked flat from end to end, from a provisional cast on. After blocking, the two ends of the piece are joined with a three-needle bind off to form a loop. Instructions for these techniques are provided in the pattern, and the lace stitches are given in both charts and line-by-line written instructions.

Calliopsis_6

It's easy to customize this design. Aside from choosing any two colors you like, you can also vary the lengths of the two lace sections, to make a cowl that's uniquely your own. 

Calliopsis_7

Knit in a laceweight or light fingering weight yarn, Calliopsis is the perfect accessory for spring. I knit the sample in Fibre Co. Meadow—a luscious blend of merino, baby llama, silk, and linen—in Prairie (for the main color) and Bergamot (for the contrast color). As I mentioned in my previous post, after I swatched with Meadow I felt no need to look at other yarns for this design. It has an exquisite softness and drape—it's almost weightless—but a really pleasing rustic quality, too. This was my first time knitting with Meadow and I'm sure it won't be my last.

Calliopsis_2

If you get bored knitting scarves or cowls that are "the same thing over and over," you'll love Calliopsis. The lace and color changes are engaging and keep the knitting fun. 

Calliopsis Cowl

As always, I am grateful to Jenny Sennott for her careful tech editing. I'm so fortunate to have her eyes on my patterns, making sure they come to you error free.

Thank you very much for reading!

Monday, March 27, 2017

Unrumpled

Lace looks so unimpressive while you're knitting it ...

Cowl in progress

The rumpled stitches are like ugly ducklings, awaiting their transformation ...

Fibre Co. Meadow design in progress

But once lace gets a good soak in wool wash and is blocked, it's an ugly duckling no more. How I love that part of the process! It never fails to make my heart leap just a little (sometimes a lot).

Cowl Blocking

This is a new cowl design I'm working on, knit in Fibre Co. Meadow, a light fingering (almost laceweight) yarn. Usually, I like to audition a few yarns for a design, to get a feel for what fiber content and weight might be best. But once I made a couple swatches with Meadow, I felt no need to look at other yarns. Without a doubt, this rustic blend of merino, baby llama, silk, and linen was "the one." 

There's still some work to do on the pattern, plus photography, but it won't be too long a wait. Look for the pattern in early April.

P.S.  Did you know that free patterns are one of the rewards for my Patreon page? For a pledge of $2 per month, you'll receive a coupon code for one free pattern of your choice. For a $3 pledge, you'll get two free patterns. To learn more and see the progress of my Stitch Journal 2017 project, follow me on Patreon.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

We're KALing!

The Shawls Etc. KAL started just last week, and already quite a few beautiful projects have been cast on. We've also been discussing podcasts, why we love knitting shawls, knitting in public, and other fun stuff. It's off to a great start!

Among the projects folks are making for the KAL: Firehouse Alley Cowl, from knit.wear fall 2016, which I knit in the soft and springy Elsa Wool Cormo Fingering (2 skeins, or about 900 yards).

This wide, lace-and-texture cowl is knit flat from a provisional cast-on. After blocking, the two ends can either be grafted or joined with a three-needle bind-off.

Firehouse Alley Cowl by Bonnie Sennott

Hop Brook is another popular KAL project—which I knit in the very same yarn (yes, I love it that much!). This shawl takes just one skein (or about 450 yards). A pleasing mix of garter stitch and lace, it's knit from one end to the other, gradually increasing to the center, then decreasing. 

Hop Brook Shawl by Bonnie Sennott

Next week, we'll have a Jeopardy-style Trivia Tuesday in the KAL, where free patterns will be given away. There will be another Trivia Tuesday later on, too. The KAL goes until April 20, so everyone can work at a comfortable, not-stressful pace. Hope to see you!

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Pattern Update: Golden Valley Shawl

Golden Valley Shawl, by Bonnie Sennott

Pattern update news! Golden Valley, originally published on New Year's Day, has been expanded to include both fingering weight and sport weight versions.

Golden Valley Shawl by Bonnie Sennott

I knit the new fingering weight sample of Golden Valley in Anzula Squishy, a blend of merino, cashmere, and nylon. It's so light and airy—perfect for spring and summer.

Golden Valley Shawl by Bonnie Sennott

If you've already purchased the pattern, not to worry—a new, expanded pattern PDF will appear in your Ravelry library, ready for download.

Golden Valley Shawl by Bonnie Sennott

Golden Valley would be an ideal project for the upcoming Shawls Etc. KAL in the Ravelry Blue Peninsula group. Not up for making a shawl? That's OK—knit a scarf or cowl instead.

The KAL starts March 15 and continues through April 20. In addition to several lovely prizes, we're going to have pattern giveaways on Trivia Tuesdays. Hope to see you!

Sunday, March 05, 2017

Shawls Etc. KAL Starts March 15

Shawls Etc. KAL 2017

Save the dates! We've got a new KAL starting soon in the Ravelry Blue Peninsula group.

The Shawls Etc. KAL starts March 15 and ends April 20 — five full weeks to knit any of my shawl, cowl, or scarf designs

I hope you'll be able to join us. Pop over anytime to chat and see the prizes, including something new: Trivia Tuesdays!

Golden Valley Shawl, blocking

Meanwhile, today I'm blocking the new fingering weight version of my Golden Valley Shawl, knit in the Hippo colorway of Anzula Squishy. Later this week, I'll update the pattern to include yardage, needles, and dimensions for both fingering and sport weight yarns. If you've already purchased it, you'll get a free pattern update in your Ravelry library.

Until then, have a great Sunday — and happy knitting!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Sunday Odds and Ends

Happy Sunday to you! I'm having a quiet day of knitting and stitching, in between working on a freelance editing project. This morning as I worked on Stitch Journal 2017 I was blessed to witness a gorgeous sunrise. I didn't stop to take a shot of it, but here's an equally lovely sunrise from the other day (we've had lots lately!):

February Sunrise

As you can see, we've finally had some snow this winter. Fluffy and soft, the very best kind. It's been perfect mitten weather!

Leaf in the Wind_72_2

Today's the last day to save 25% on my new Leaf in the Wind mittens pattern, or any of the fingerless mitts in my Ravelry pattern store. Use the coupon code HAND25 before midnight tonight EST to get the discount (you can use it multiple times).


As for the stitching—this year's Stitch Journal project, "Presence/Absence," is moving along. I'm now at work on the second piece—a negative space embroidery of a piece of bark I found years ago.

Stitch Journal 2017: Day 38

If you'd like to see progress on the Stitch Journal 2017 plus help me raise funds for photographing and exhibiting Stitch Journal 2016, head over to my Patreon page. You can become a patron for as little as $1 a month. There are other levels, too, which give you lovely things like Stitch Journal postcards, free patterns, and even original embroidery pieces. I'm thrilled to already have 25 patrons, whose support has helped me reach my first goal of $100—which means I'll soon be ordering the stretchers for mounting the 12 Stitch Journal 2016 pieces. 

Well, time to get back to my editing work. I'll sign off with a recent sunset, and wish you a very happy Sunday.

February Sunset




Wednesday, February 15, 2017

New Pattern: Leaf in the Wind

Announcing a new design to keep your hands warm this snowy February: Leaf in the Wind

Leaf in the Wind_72_5

These modern mittens feature a geometric design inspired by the art of Agnes Martin (they're named after her 1963 abstract painting Leaf in the Wind.) Now through Sunday, February 19, take 25% off Leaf in the Wind and all mitts designs in my Ravelry pattern store, with the coupon code HAND25.

Leaf in the Wind Mittens

Leaf in the Wind Mittens

You'll need three colors of fingering or light fingering weight yarn to make these mitts—one light in tone, one medium, and one dark. I used Cascade 220 Fingering in buff, ginseng, and soft sage. There are two sizes, women's small/medium (about 8.5 inches/22 cm circumference) and large (about 9.5 inches/24 cm).

Leaf in the Wind_72_NM_1

Leaf in the Wind_72_6

If you've never done colorwork before, Leaf in the Wind would be an ideal pattern to start with. There are only three colors, and the stitch patterns are simple and compact—there's no need to catch your floats as you knit, because you're never carrying a color over more than three stitches.

If you're an experienced mitten knitter, you'll probably find these to be a quick and enjoyable knit. You can easily finish a pair while there's still snow on the ground this winter!

Leaf in the Wind_72_3

As with most of my patterns, Leaf in the Wind was a Sennott Sisters production. Thanks go to my talented sisters Jenny (for tech editing the pattern) and Betsey (for modeling). For more about how the design developed, see this post.

Thank you very much for reading!