Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Welcome Back, Knotions

I was excited to learn recently that Knotions, a free online knitting magazine founded in 2008, is being relaunched. After taking a hiatus for a few years, editor Jody Richards is completely revamping the site, making it more beautiful and more accessible. It's now tablet and mobile friendly, with other great improvements as well—like printable PDFs for each pattern.

I've had a soft spot in my heart for Knotions ever since the magazine published one of my very first designs, the Rising Fog shawl, in fall 2009.

Rising Fog Shawl_3

Rising Fog Shawl_5

 With 303 beads (placed using the crochet hook method), Rising Fog is not a quick project by any means. But oh so satisfying to make and to wear! Knit with a laceweight alpaca/silk blend (I used Classic Elite's Silky Alpaca Lace), it's warm yet light as air. 


I dug around in my Flickr photos and found my original sketch for the shawl (which takes its name from an 1884 letter by poet Emily Dickinson):


I also found an ink sketch I made in 2011 of fog rising from the Pelham hills to the east of my home in Amherst, Massachusetts:

Rising Fog_Pelham Hills

I still love Rising Fog and remain grateful to Jody for publishing it in Knotions. I can't wait to see what's ahead for the magazine. By the way, she's accepting submissions and welcomes both new and experienced designers; get the info here.

You can also hear her talk about the revamped Knotions on the Ready, Set, Knit! podcast.

Best of luck, Jody! So glad to have Knotions back!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Beautiful Beginnings

The Blue Peninsula Neckwear KAL is off to a a great start—lots of beautiful projects are on the needles. Everyone's making good progress, especially on Hop Brook, which is probably the most popular pattern in the KAL. 

I'm really enjoying seeing the range of colors being used—and the yarns, too. It's always instructive and inspiring to see how a design works with different yarns. Today I thought I'd share just a few of the KAL project photos, with links to the knitters' project pages. 

Jenny's using a tonal sock yarn, Knit Picks Stroll, which is working really well for her Hop Brook (shown against a backdrop of her own beautiful weaving):

Another Missouri knitter, Elisabeth, is also using sock yarn (Classic Elite's Alpaca Sox) for her Hop Brook:

Connie's Hop Brook is knit in Twin Canyon Fingering from Lost City Knits:

And Brennee's Hop Brook is knit in her own hand-dyed yarn (End of the Row Yarns), a blend of alpaca, silk, and linen:

Other patterns are seeing some love, too, among them Streusel, Shallows, and Conklaree.

For her Streusel, Ruth has chosen Handmaiden Fine Yarn Sea Silk in the orchid colorway:

Susan is using the Periwinkle Sheep yarn she won in the Hulst KAL this summer for her Shallows cowl:

(I have a soft spot in my heart for this beautiful Atlantic colorway. It's the same one I used for my Hulst socks.)

And for her Conklaree, Dana is aiming for a bigger, cozier wrap by using a worsted weight yarn—Cascade 220 Heathers in the Crushed Grape colorway:

This "Gallery of Beautiful Beginnings" is just a peek at the KAL projects—see more using the hashtag #bpnk2015 on Instagram or Ravelry.

Friday, October 2 will be "Free Pattern Friday." Throughout the day I'll randomly award free patterns to posts in the KAL discussion thread. All you have to do is post (as often as you wish). 

The Blue Peninsula Neckwear KAL continues through October 15, and you can join anytime. At the end, yarn and other great prizes will be awarded to finished projects in the FO thread. Hope to see you!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

New Pattern: Exit 4

Here comes fall! #summersend #Brookfieldfarm  #amherstma #corn

Here comes fall! And with it the urge to knit, knit, knit. Especially cables—what is it about cables that makes them so right for fall? 


My newest design has plenty of cables—and twisted stitches, and lots of ribbing, too. Exit 4 is now available from Green Mountain Spinnery. It's an oversized, cabled tunic knit with their Mountain Mohair yarn, a luscious blend of wool and mohair. Find the pattern at Green Mountain Spinnery and on Ravelry.

Exit 4_Landscape

Exit 4 is perfect for tossing over a long-sleeve tee and jeans as the days grow cooler. It would look great in the office, too, worn with a slim skirt and tailored shirt. 

The top is worked in two pieces that are joined at the sides with decorative buttons (mine are etched bamboo, from Katrinkles).

Exit 4_Button Detail

I named Exit 4 after the Interstate 91 exit that leads to Green Mountain Spinnery in Putney, Vermont. The wall of color that greets you upon walking in the door will take your breath away. If you've never been there, it's worth a visit! 

Am I in knitter's heaven? What an inspiring wall at Green Mountain Spinnery! #bluepeninsula #greenmountainspinnery #vermont #knit #knitting #knittersofinstagram #knitstagram

P.S. If you're in Wisconsin, you can see Exit 4 and another new pattern from Green Mountain Spinnery—Kristen, a hoodie designed by Kristen TenDyke—at the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival this weekend. Read more on the Green Mountain Spinnery blog.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Gearing Up for the Neckwear KAL

Only a week left before the Blue Peninsula 2015 Neckwear KAL starts! From September 10 through October 15, we'll be knitting up scarves, shawls, and cowls in the Ravelry Blue Peninsula group. And at the end, some lovely prizes will be awarded to finished projects.

Neckwear KAL Mosaic_2015

One prize is a skein of Elsa Wool's fingering weight woolen-spun Cormo, the same yarn I used for Hop Brook. It's such a beautiful yarn—I can't wait to mail it off to the lucky winner.

Elsa Wool Cormo and Hop Brook

Of course, finishing a project—whether it's something new for your own wardrobe or a gift—is its own reward, but having the incentive of prizes doesn't hurt! We've also got a Namaste circular needle case (donated by Jenny) and a beautifully crocheted stone (donated by Betsey). And midway through the KAL, I'll award free patterns randomly to posts in the discussion thread. 

KAL Prizes_2

Any of my scarf, cowl, or shawl designs can be made for this KAL. If you're looking for ideas, you can browse all of my patterns here, or check out my Cowls and Scarves and Shawls bundles. 

New design coming soon

My newest pattern, Hop Brook, remains on sale in my Ravelry shop through the start of the KAL. Take 25% off with the coupon code NECKWEARKAL.

Follow our progress on Instagram with the hashtag #bpnk2015. Hope to see you in the KAL!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

New Pattern: Hop Brook

Introducing Hop Brook, a scarf/shawlette named after a lovely brook in my hometown. With its relaxing garter stitch and not-too-complicated lace, Hop Brook is the perfect end-of-summer knitting project. It's now available in my Ravelry, Craftsy, and Etsy shops, and at Loveknitting as well.

Hop Brook Scarf
Pattern: Hop Brook, by Bonnie Sennott
Yarn: Elsa Wool Cormo woolen-spun fingering in light grey

Hop Brook Scarf

Hop Brook's elegant, tapered crescent shape results from gradually spaced increases and decreases in the garter stitch portion of the scarf. Like my Streusel scarf, it is worked from one end to the other, with no grafting or short rows. The pattern includes instructions for making it longer or shorter, and the stitch patterns are provided both in charts and in row-by-row written form.

Hop Brook Scarf

This was my first time knitting with Elsa Wool Cormo and it certainly won't be my last. This beautiful undyed yarn comes from purebred Cormo sheep in Colorado and Montana. It is a good, honest yarn that's a pleasure to have on the needles. Its softness makes it ideal for anything worn against the skin.

Hop Brook Scarf

Hop Brook is the fourth pattern in my 2015 All You Need Is One collection of designs that require just one skein of yarn. When you purchase the collection (available only on Ravelry), the PDF is automatically updated in your Ravelry library each time a new pattern is released. One more pattern will be added to the collection this fall; at $16 for five patterns, it's a great deal!

Hop Brook Scarf

In conjunction with the second annual Neckwear KAL, I'm offering a discount on Hop Brook through September 10, only on Ravelry. Enter the coupon code NECKWEARKAL at checkout to get 25% off.

Hop Brook Scarf

I hope you'll join us for the KAL! Last year's was lots of fun, so we're doing it again. The Blue Peninsula Neckwear KAL starts Thursday, September 10 and ends Thursday, October 15. Whether you're knitting something special for yourself or gearing up for holiday gift giving, it's going to be a fun, low-pressure KAL with some nice prizes (including a skein of Elsa Wool Cormo!).

The scarf takes its name from a brook in Amherst, Massachusetts. On a very hot Sunday earlier this month, I took a break from creating the pattern's charts to go for a walk on the local bike trail. When I passed a little sign for Hop Brook, I stopped and realized I'd never gone down that particular path before. So I did, and within five minutes came upon this beautiful view:

Hop Brook, Amherst, MA

And just like that, I had found the name for my scarf! Goes to show, it's good to take breaks when you've been working a lot (especially on Sundays!) and to head down unfamiliar paths once in a while.

Hop Brook Scarf

Hop Brook Scarf

 As always, thanks go to my sister Jenny for her expert tech editing. Couldn't do it without her! 

Thank you very much for reading.

Monday, August 10, 2015

In August

Ah summer! #summer #joy #beauty #waterlilies #bonniesennott

What's not to love about August? Blue skies, puffy clouds, all of nature full and in bloom.

Another moment to squirrel away for next February #Brookfieldfarm #summer #joy #cosmos #eveninglight #mytown #amherstma #westernma

Since the Tour de Fleece ended, I've continued spinning every day. Yesterday I plied my second skein of mixed BFL. When I compare it to the first, I see real progress! The singles were more evenly spun, and the plied yarn has less twist. Overall, the yarn is more relaxed, though I feel a little less twist would be even better.

It's a yarn-making kind of Sunday! #dropspindles #spindlespinning #spinnersofinstagram #spindlersofinstagram #yarn

It might be hard to see, but you can definitely feel the difference between the two. The skein on top is the new one; the one below is my first:

Skein No. 2 of my mixed BFL (on top) is a big improvement over Skein No. 1 (bottom). More evenly spun, less tightly plied. Finally making yarn I would want to knit! #bonniesennott #spindlespinning #spinnersofinstagram #spindlersofinstagram #yarn #igspindl

I'm in between designs right now. Sent one off just recently that you won't get to see for a while. Now I'm focused on the next, knitting on it outdoors when I can, and sometimes in coffeeshops, too (no surprise, that). 

Ah, lakeside knitting in summer! Working on the next All You Need Is One design... #bluepeninsula #knit #knitting #knittersofinstagram #knitstagram #secretknitting #knittersofinstagram #summer #joy

Still don't have a name for the next design - Iced Coffee comes to mind, but it's already taken, darn! #bluepeninsula #knit #knitlace #cormo #elsawool #knitting #knittersofinstagram #knitstagram

It's a neckwear accessory, knit with ElsaWool Cormo fingering. I can't wait to share it with you! It'll be ready later this month, before we start the next Blue Peninsula knitalong.

The 2015 Neckwear KAL is coming up in September. Details soon!

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Wonderberry Flash Sale

For no reason other than we're in the height of summer here in the Northern Hemisphere—and because I originally photographed and published it in summer—I'm having a flash sale on my Wonderberry shawl.

Now through Tuesday, August 4, get $2 off the pattern—no coupon code needed—only in my Ravelry pattern store.



Wonderberry is knit in fingering weight yarn. I used a merino silk blend, and that bit of silk gives it a lovely drape. But any fingering weight wool that you like for lace accessories is sure to work well.


Wonderberry is worked top-down and can be knit in three sizes. The pattern provides instructions for placing beads using the crochet hook method, but if you don't care for beads, you can simply omit them. 


On these hot summer days, knitting a worsted-weight sweater can seem completely out of the question. Too heavy, too sticky! But an airy shawl in cool, silky fingering weight yarn? For me, that's the perfect late summer project.


Sale ends Tuesday. Happy knitting!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Hulst KAL Wrap-up

Some of us finished our socks in the Hulst KAL, and some didn't—but either way, we had a good time knitting and sharing summer recipes. The range of colors and yarns was inspiring! Everything from bright greens to deep browns to buttery yellows.

Remember Brenda of End of the Row yarns, who I interviewed back in May? She's so speedy she made not one but two pairs of Hulst. The first was in her 80/20 sock yarn, in the My Favorite Martian colorway:

The second was in her Platinum BFL base, in a colorway she calls On the Edge:

End of the Row Yarns proved to be popular for this KAL. Susan (suzygirl) knit hers in Brenda's Winter Sage colorway:

Brenda wasn't the only one to knit two pair—so did Nadia (tricoteuse007)! First she knit a lovely women's pair in Woolen Rabbit Pearl:

Then she created a men's version by working the back-of-leg faux-cable stitch on the front and eliminating the lace. She used the Raven colorway of Woolen Rabbit Harmony—a great color for a man's sock. I loved how it worked out and hope other knitters will give Nadia's modification a try.

Ruth's Hulsts were definitely the sunniest socks in the KAL. She knit hers in the Butterscotch colorway of West Yorkshire Spinners Signature 4-ply:

Another beautiful color in the KAL was a soft lavender-grey called Haze. This pair was knit by Lu Ann (wanny) in Hazel Knits Artisan Sock: 

Heather (afeistyknitter) didn't finish her socks, but for a very good reason—she's got lots of other projects to finish for her October wedding. She chose an acid green colorway of Periwinkle Sheep yarn called Antidote for her Hulsts (it matches her engagement ring). She also contributed some excellent recipes, including a cooler called Summer in a Glass

Due to a couple of secret projects. I didn't finish my own Hulsts—knit in Into the Whirled Gloucester Sock. But now that I've put one big project in the mail, I definitely plan to spend more time on them:

Hulst sock in progress

Thank you very much for reading—hope to see you in the next Blue Peninsula KAL!