Pattern Preview: Mayblossom Shawl

I’ve been busy putting the finishing touches on a new lace-and-texture shawl pattern. Just a few photo editing and layout tasks remain — the pattern will be released early next week.

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Named Mayblossom after blooming hawthorn branches, this asymmetrical triangular shawl is worked in DK weight wool. I used three skeins of Purl Soho Good Wool, a soft, squishy woolen-spun yarn.

Mayblossom Prelim_on stone.JPEG
Mayblossom Prelim.JPG

Mayblossom is knit sideways, from just a few stitches, gradually growing longer and wider as you knit. It’s a generously sized shawl, really perfect for wrapping yourself up in, whether indoors or out. There are two sizes, with wingspans of 71 (77) inches/180 (195) cm along the longest edge. I can’t wait to share the pattern with you — it won’t be long now!

New Pattern: Bay Road Cowl

Knitters of cowls, lovers of cables and lace: I’ve got a new design that’s just for you!

The Bay Road Cowl has just been released on Ravelry, where it’s on sale for 20% off. Use the coupon code COWL20 to get the discount.

Named after a winding road with views of apple orchards in my hometown of Amherst, Massachusetts, the Bay Road Cowl features gently curving cables and pretty wrapped cluster lace stitches, all framed by crisp seed stitch.

The cowl is knit flat, end to end, in fingering weight yarn, beginning with a provisional crochet cast-on. Finishing is simple: after the piece is blocked, the two ends are joined with a three-needle bind-off. The pattern includes instructions for both the cast-on and bind-off, in case either of those techniques are new to you.

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With a circumference of 51.5 inches/131 cm, the Bay Road Cowl can be worn either in a single loop or — on those coldest days — doubled up for extra warmth. In yesterday’s freezing temperatures, it kept my neck toasty warm all day.

For this design, I used a special skein of yarn that I purchased from White Barn Farm Sheep and Wool at Rhinebeck last fall. I fell in love with both the lovely color and the soft Cormo wool. This is a new, 2-ply fingering weight version of their DK NEST yarn. It’s not in the Ravelry database yet; according to the label there are 365yd/334m in the 100g skein. The cowl used nearly all of the skein.

The 20% off sale ends this Sunday, February 3. Happy knitting — and if you’re dealing with record-breaking cold, I hope you are warm and safe!

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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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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Avoiding Second Sock Syndrome

Whenever you need to knit two of something — a sock, a mitten — there's a risk that the project will stall. It can be boring to do all the same stuff over again, which leads to procrastination. Isn't it curious how all kinds of temptations suddenly appear? You notice a whole bunch of new patterns on Ravelry you really must cast on. Or some gorgeous yarn you've always wanted to try goes on sale, so of course you have to get it on your needles ASAP.

Or maybe the second item isn't boring to knit, in fact you know you'll enjoy it, but because the first one took so long (life gets in the way!), you're now in the wrong season. It's hard to feel motivated in June to finish a pair of mittens you began back when it was actually mitten weather.

And how about sweater sleeves? Raise your hand if you've got a sweater three-quarters finished, but you're not sure when you'll ever actually wear it because you just can't bring yourself to slog through the second sleeve.

Sock knitting at MASS MoCA in North Adams, Massachusetts

Sock knitting at MASS MoCA in North Adams, Massachusetts

My solution is to work these kinds of projects in stages, rather than finish one completely and then start the second one. For socks, I work the leg on the first one, then set it aside and cast on for the leg of the second sock. When both socks are done to the heel, I work the heel and gusset on each, then the foot on each, and last of all the toes.

An advantage to this method is that since the heels and gussets are done close to each other in time, I'm more likely to remember any special adjustments or modifications I made and do the same on both socks. Ditto for the toe shaping.

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Here's my current sock project, a "plain vanilla" sock knit over 64-stitches, with 2x2 ribbing followed by stockinette stitch. The first sock is finished as far as the heel, so I've transferred the stitches to dpns and set it aside for now (this frees up my 9-inch ChiaoGoo circular for the second sock).

Sock knitting on the Norwottuck Rail Trail in Amherst, Massachusetts

Sock knitting on the Norwottuck Rail Trail in Amherst, Massachusetts

For these socks, I'm using Platinum Sock from End of the Row Yarns in the Peacock colorway. I'm really smitten with these saturated colors — they're so evocative of spring and summer and all the color that's bursting into view this time of year. I'm mostly working on this pair while walking — I keep them in my shoulder bag, so whenever the urge or opportunity to walk arises, I can pull out the sock and get in a few rounds while also getting some exercise.

Sock knitting at the Quabbin Reservoir in Ware, Massachusetts

Sock knitting at the Quabbin Reservoir in Ware, Massachusetts

Have you tried knitting two-at-a-time socks on circulars? That also seems like a really great way to avoid Second Sock Syndrome. I haven't gone there, because I'd need to purchase even more needles, and I feel like I already have enough. I'm also not sure how well the long circulars would work for walking and knitting. 

Do you suffer from Second Sock Syndrome? What are your favorite tricks for finishing projects that require knitting two of anything?