Rhinebeck Preview in Black and White

With only a couple of weeks left until Rhinebeck, my mind is occupied with almost nothing else. Today it’s sunny and in the 60s — really perfect weather for a day wandering around the beautiful Dutchess County fairgrounds. I hope we have exactly the same weather for Rhinebeck. Last year, it was far too hot for wearing wool sweaters, so fingers crossed we don’t have a repeat of that.

 Secret Rhinebeck Shawl

Secret Rhinebeck Shawl

This year Rhinebeck is even more exciting because I’ve created a new design just for the fair. It’s knit in the exclusive Rhinebeck 2018 colorway dyed by an indie dyer who will be there. Since I don’t want to spoil the surprise of the color, my photos are all black and white for now. But trust me, it’s lovely — really, really lovely — a soothing and calming color that goes with just about everything.

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The yarn will be revealed and the pattern released during the days leading up to Rhinebeck. For now, I can share that it’s a garter stitch and lace crescent shawl, in two sizes. After working the lace, you transition to easy garter stitch short rows (very easy — you don’t even have to pick up the wraps, because they are hidden within the garter stitch). After the lace — which does require being attentive to a chart or the row-by-row written instructions — the project is refreshingly simple, perfect for taking along to a cafe or knit night.

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The dyer and I both wanted this design to be a one-skein project. After knitting lots of swatches and trying out different lace ideas, I made my best calculations about yardage and cast on. And at the end, when I cast off, there were only a few yards remaining. Not ideal! So I wrote up the pattern for two sizes, one 60 inches long and the other about 66 inches. The smaller size definitely requires just one skein (or about 425 yards of fingering weight); the larger one calls for two skeins (475 yards). I did manage to squeeze the larger size out of just one skein, but it was a very close call and it’s possible the skein had a little extra yardage in it. I don’t want anyone to lose at “yarn chicken” when they’re nearly finished, so I’m recommending two skeins for the larger/longer size.

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Will you be at Rhinebeck (or another fiber festival) this year? I’m getting more and more excited every day about seeing so much beautiful and inspiring knitwear all in one place, plus petting sheep, and goats, and alpacas, and bunnies. I can’t wait!

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Traveling Wonderberry

My Wonderberry Shawl is making the rounds of fall fiber festivals. Last weekend, it was on display in the Periwinkle Sheep booth at the Finger Lakes Fiber Festival. This coming weekend, it’s traveling to the Adirondack Wool and Arts Festival in Greenwich, New York. To celebrate, the pattern is 15% off on Ravelry with the coupon code WONDER15.

  Wonderberry Shawl  by Bonnie Sennott

Wonderberry Shawl by Bonnie Sennott

The shawl will be on display all weekend in the Periwinkle Sheep booth. She’ll have lots of colors of her fingering weight Watercolors II yarn (the shawl is in Rose Quartz) plus all her other gorgeous yarns.

Are you excited that the fall fiber festival season is here? Which are you going to? I’ll be at Rhinebeck — can’t wait!

The Wonderberry Shawl sale ends Monday, September 24. Find the pattern here.

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Sweater Sale and 100 Knits Book

100 Knits: Interweave's Ultimate Pattern Collection

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Have you seen Interweave's beautiful new book of their most popular knitting patterns? I'm excited to have two designs in it — Chili Pepper Cardigan and Drafter's Cardigan

100 Knits: Interweave's Ultimate Pattern Collection is a gorgeous compendium of hats, cowls, cardigans, pullovers, shawls, socks, and more. At 500+ pages, with lots of full-page photos and patterns by many, many talented knitwear designers, it's incredibly inspiring to flip through — a knitting reference you'll treasure for years to come. The only problem will be finding time to make everything in it that you love!

100 Knits: Interweave's Ultimate Pattern Collection is available both as a print book and a downloadable ebook from Interweave. It's also available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Sweater Sale!

As summer draws to a close, it's time to start planning your fall sweater knitting — and to make that easier, I'm having a sale. Save 20% on Blue Peninsula pullover, vest, and cardigan patterns in my Ravelry pattern store with the coupon code SALE20. The sale ends Tuesday, September 4 and you can use the code as many times as you wish. (Magazine and yarn collection patterns are not included.)

Happy Labor Day Weekend (if you're in the U.S.) and happy fall knitting!

Next in Line Afghan: Heat Wave Blocking Party

Cast on January 1, bound off July 4: my Next in Line Afghan is now complete!

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It took me awhile to carefully bind off the 263 stitches of the 19th and final log. I sat directly in front of a big fan the whole time. It was the only way I could possibly stand to knit, because we've been having quite the heat and humidity fest this week.

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As soon as I finished binding off and wove in the ends, I did something really crazy, considering how hot the evening was. I just had to run to the couch and drape it over me, to be absolutely sure of the size. Was it big enough? Cozy enough?

Yes, and yes! Absolutely perfect for chilly winter evenings. 

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The finished measurements (before blocking) were 52 inches x 60 inches. There's no way I was going to attempt wet blocking something so big, so I chose to steam block it lightly — just enough to even out the stitches and allow the wool relax a bit.

Early in the morning (the only minimally comfortable time of day when it's in the 90s and humid), I hung the afghan over the shower rod in my bathroom and steamed the right side, then flipped it over and repeated the process on the wrong side. Then I laid it out on a sheet to dry (it was only slightly damp), carefully smoothing the fabric with my hands, working from the center outward toward the edges.

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I haven't yet measured it again, but I expect that blocking might have increased its size just a little — we'll see. I know many of you are eagerly awaiting the pattern, and I'm excited that we are now so much closer to that moment. But there's still lots to do: calculate yardage requirements for each color, take photos and edit them, write the pattern, have it tech edited, finalize layout, etc.

I will share the yardage requirements when the pattern is released or shortly before, so hang tight. It won't be long now!

LINKS
Next in Line Instagram posts (hashtag: #nextinlineblanket)
My Ravelry project page
Next in Line blog posts