New Pattern: Tutti Wrap

For those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, the coldest months of the year are just ahead, and that means it's time to wrap yourself in warm, woolly knits. I've got a new design that will help you do just that: the Tutti Wrap.

  Tutti Wrap  by Bonnie Sennott

Tutti Wrap by Bonnie Sennott

Tutti is a big rectangular wrap that epitomizes hygge — the Danish quality of comfort and coziness. It's on sale for 20% off in my Ravelry pattern store with the coupon code TUTTI20.

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Tutti is one of six designs in a new Stitch Sprouts collection featuring their Crater Lake yarn, a soft bulky weight merino with great stitch definition. The collection also includes a shawlette by Barbara Benson, a cowl by Mindy Wilkes, a hat and mitts by Heather Zoppetti, and a pullover by Jennifer Dassau.

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When the call for submissions went out early this year, I was struck by the architectural details in the photos of barns in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania: metal bands encircling a silo, diamond-shaped hinges on barn doors, weathered windows. I pulled out my graph paper and began playing around with geometric motifs and knit-purl textures. I landed on a sequence that brought all of these elements into play, and the result was Tutti.

The Ravelry Tutti sale continues through December 31. The pattern is also available in my Etsy shop and from Loveknitting.

Thanks very much for reading!

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My Year of Garter Stitch

I guess working on my Next in Line afghan from January to July just didn't give me quite enough time with garter stitch this year: recently, I cast on two more garter stitch projects. One is a shawl design (only partly garter stitch — lots of lace, too) that will debut in October, just before Rhinebeck.

The other is a square for an MDK Team Blanket.

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Over at Mason-Dixon Knitting, Ann and Kay have started the Team Blanket project, encouraging knitters either to coordinate a blanket for someone in need or to volunteer to knit a single square. It started last month when Ann decided to knit a blanket for Tia Coleman, who lost nine family members in a boating disaster. "Knitting a blanket," she wrote, "is not going to fix anything, but knitting is a measure of time spent thinking about someone."

Teams quickly formed. Since I had a little extra knitting time to spare, plus stash yarns at the ready, I signed up for Team Blanket No. 1. We are making squares for a woman who lost her fiance in a farming accident just two weeks before their wedding. Her story moved me to tears. I thought about her a lot as I knit my square, wishing her the strength to get through this sad time and find a way to go on, somehow.

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Our team has used the Mitered Crosses Blanket pattern, by Kay Gardiner (all proceeds go to Mercy Corps, an international relief organization) — a simple yet striking design that brings together miters (paired decreases that magically create a square) with log cabin blanket construction.

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The pattern is easy to follow and the knitting went quickly. In a way, it's like colorwork, in that you feel motivated to keep knitting to see how it's going to look when you finish each section.

As with any project, knitting a swatch is a good idea. I started off with the recommended needle size, but after finishing one miter I could see it was coming out too large. Dropping down a needle size and swapping out a too-heavy yarn fixed the problem. I ended up using Green Mountain Spinnery Mountain Mohair (in ice blue) for the center cross and Thelma & Louise from Wing and a Prayer Farm (left over from my Enallagma Shawl) for the borders. My finished blanket square measured exactly the size needed after blocking. I guess the knitting deities were smiling on me!

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If you've got a cat — or a friend with one — you can put your swatch to good use by turning it into a catnip toy. I folded mine in half, sewed up three sides, filled it with catnip, then sewed the final edge.

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I enjoyed knitting this clever mitered square so much! It doesn't require a lot of yarn or a lot of time — just a desire to join other knitters in creating comfort for someone who is suffering. Here are links, if you'd like to get involved:

Mason-Dixon Team Blanket blog post
Mason-Dixon Forums (join a team here)
Mitered Crosses Blanket FOR MERCY CORPS

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