New Pattern: About Town Shawl

Attention, shawl lovers: here's a new pattern perfect for spring!

Worked from the top down in three colors of fingering weight yarn, the About Town Shawl showcases a striking mix of knit-purl textures, garter stitch, and lace — plenty of variety to keep the knitting interesting. Make it your own with colors that suit your style — subtle neutrals, or bright colors that pop — it’s your choice!

The About Town Shawl is on sale in my Ravelry pattern store for 25% off through Thursday, April 19 — use the coupon code SHAWL25 to get the discount.

I designed this shawl to match the About Town Mitts. The two patterns can be purchased together as an ebook set in my Ravelry pattern store for just $8.

For the sample, I used stash yarns, including some laceweights held together with light fingering weight yarns. The peach color was a skein of Tika Designs sock yarn that I purchased at Rhinebeck a couple of years ago and later dyed with red onion skins. It was really fun combining yarns and colors — I went with soft, gentle colors, but that's just one possibility. There are so many others — I can't wait to see the combinations knitters use! You can find a complete rundown on the yarns I used, plus yardage requirements for knitting your own shawl, on the pattern's Ravelry page.

The About Town Shawl would be a lovely project to cast on for the KATT (Knit All The Things) KAL. Find more info and join the KAL in the Ravelry Blue Peninsula group. It starts this Thursday, April 19, and ends June 10.

Thank you very much for reading!

New Pattern: Evergreen Mountain Pullover

The spring 2018 Interweave Knits is now arriving in stores and mailboxes, and I'm excited to share that I have a new sweater design in this issue.

All photos copyright 2018 Interweave/F&W Media/Harper Point Photography

All photos copyright 2018 Interweave/F&W Media/Harper Point Photography

The Evergreen Mountain Pullover features striking sculptural and textural lace on the back and front, with patterning that’s easy to memorize and satisfying to knit. The body of this drop-shoulder pullover is worked from the bottom up in pieces and blocked before the neck and sleeves are worked in the round.

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The call for submissions for this issue asked designers what they'd most like to wear on a springtime retreat in the mountains. (Doesn't that sound nice? Wish I could go on one!) For me, the perfect sweater would have a casual, relaxed fit — a comfy pullover that's warm enough for chilly mornings when layered over a heavy T or a long-sleeve shirt — but also comfortable on warmer spring days when worn over something lighter, like a camisole.

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I do love to knit sweaters in the round, but for Evergreen Mountain I chose to knit the front and back separately. That’s because the stitch pattern really needs to be well blocked to open up and reveal its true beauty. I knew the blocking would be much more effective if the pieces were knit flat. After the sides are seamed, though, the sleeve stitches are picked up around the armholes and then the sleeves are knit in the round, downwards to the cuff.

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This sweater has one of my very favorite neckbands: a 1x1 rib that’s knit to double the intended length, then folded to the inside and sewn in place. It’s a little more knitting than just binding off in pattern, but I think the end result is well worth it.

For this design, I didn’t use the same ribbing on the hem, sleeve cuffs, and neckband. Instead, they’re all different — the split hems have a wide rib that flows perfectly into the lace stitch of the body, while the sleeves have a 2x2 ribbing. I could have used the wide rib on the cuffs, but I felt it would have been out of proportion on that narrower circumference.

Evergreen Mountain is knit in a worsted weight wool — Blue Sky Fibers Woolstok worsted. It was new to me, and I liked it quite a lot. It worked beautifully for the lace stitch and produced smooth and even stockinette on the sleeves. I would love to knit another sweater with it, especially with one of the natural (undyed) colors.

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If you'd like to cast on your own Evergreen Mountain, you can get the spring 2018 Interweave Knits online — or look for it at your LYS or local bookstore.

New Pattern: Mount Pollux Pullover

Sweater weather is finally here! There's been a delicious crispness in the air in recent days, and I'm so excited to finally break out my hand-knit cowls, fingerless mitts, hats, shawls, and sweaters. As I type this, I'm wearing a brand-new sweater design, just released on Ravelry: the Mount Pollux pullover.

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This roomy tunic-length pullover is named after the Mount Pollux Conservation Area in Amherst, Massachusetts, where the photos were taken. It's designed with a comfy, relaxed fit (shown here modeled with about 10 inches/25 cm positive ease).

To celebrate its release, I'm having an introductory sale: through Sunday, November 19, save 25% on Mount Pollux in my Ravelry store with the coupon code MTPOLLUX25.

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Mount Pollux is worked mostly seamlessly. After the split hems are worked flat and joined on a circular needle, the body is worked in the round to the armholes. The upper front and back are worked separately and the shoulders are seamed. Stitches for the sleeves are picked up around the armholes and the sleeves are worked from the top down in the round. I love this method of knitting sleeves because you can try them on as you go to get exactly the length you prefer.

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Knit in worsted weight yarn, Mount Pollux features a satisfying mix of knit-purl textures, garter stitch, and lace. For the sample, I used Quince & Co. Owl, a wool/alpaca blend. This was my first time knitting with Owl, and I fell in love with its softness and lovely halo. It knitted up effortlessly into a sweater that's incredibly warm — perfect for chilly winter days ahead.

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I loved knitting this sweater — it was one of my favorite projects of 2017. And I love wearing it even more. I hope you enjoy it, too. Thanks very much for reading!

New Pattern: Ischnura Shawl

Ischnura, a lace-and-garter stitch crescent shawl, is now available on Ravelry. Knit in bulky weight wool, it's a warm and cozy accessory for the winter months ahead. Now through Sunday, it's 25% off with the coupon code SHAWL25.

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Named after a genus of damselflies, Ischnura is the third and final lace accessory in my Dragonfly Days collection (the others are the Enallagma shawl and Cordulia cowl). The three patterns may be purchased individually, or in a combined ebook for just $12.

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Ischnura is knit with three skeins of Brooklyn Tweed Quarry, a bulky weight wool with beautiful stitch definition and a very high "squish" factor. The blocked shawl has a wingspan of 72 inches, so it's long enough to wrap around your shoulders and stay warm on even the coldest winter day. 

The knitting begins with a pretty lace-and-cable stitch pattern that produces a gently scalloped edge. Following the lace, short rows are worked in garter stitch to shape the shawl. The pattern provides full, step-by-step instructions for the short rows. And the lace stitch is provided in both a chart and written, line-by-line instructions — so whichever you prefer, you're covered.

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Ischnura would be a great pattern to make for the Free Fall KAL in the Ravelry Blue Peninsula group (and a beautiful holiday gift, also!). The KAL continues through November 15, so there's still plenty of time to cast on. One of the prizes is a shawl pin from Ideas in Wood, like the one shown in the photo below. Join the KAL and see what everyone's making here.

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This was my first time designing with Quarry — and now that I've seen how well it works for cables and lace, it may not be my last. I enjoyed every moment of knitting this shawl, and I hope you like it as much as I do.

Thank you very much for reading!

New Pattern: Enallagma Shawl

Just published today: a new lace shawl called Enallagma.

Named after pretty blue damselflies, the Enallagma shawl combines eye-catching lace with restful garter stitch. It's on sale on Ravelry for 25% off with the coupon code DAMSELFLY through August 1.

The lace section is worked straight without shaping, then the shawl tapers along one side, until just a few stitches remain. This means the knitting goes faster and faster as you go, since you're always working fewer stitches.

There are lots of ways to style Enallagma. Wear it loosely draped over your shoulders or wrap it once or twice around like a scarf. Wear the dragonfly lace in front or in back. Fasten it with a shawl pin for extra style.

For the photos, I chose a handmade pin from the Etsy shop ideasinwood. I was really thrilled when it arrived — it's beautifully crafted, and the little circle in the center of the design seemed a perfect match for the shawl's eyelet rows.

Enallagma is knit in DK weight yarn — you'll need about 600 yards/550 m. For my sample, I used a wool and mohair blend called Thelma & Louise from a small farm in Vermont, Wing and a Prayer Farm.

I've been following shepherdess Tammy White's Instagram feed and blog for a long time. She writes about her animals with so much love and affection, you really start to care about them — a lot! So I was thrilled to score a few skeins of Thelma & Louise at Rhinebeck last fall. Hopefully, the closeup photos here give you some idea of its softness and lovely halo. Without a doubt, it's one of the most beautiful yarns I've ever knit with.

Although I took lots of photos near water, no dragonflies obliged me and appeared in any of them — maybe it was too early in the morning? But that's OK — they're there in spirit in the lace. I know that whenever I wear Enallagma, even in coldest winter, it will take me back to summer and the magic of dragonflies darting to and fro.

Thanks very much for reading!

Sneak Peek: Enallagma Shawl

Spend time near any lake or pond in summer here in New England and you're sure to see dragonflies and damselflies. Since the lace in my new shawl design reminds me of them, I decided to call it Enallagma, after the pretty blue damselflies.

This shawl has an asymmetrical shape similar to my Notch shawl. But while Notch begins from a few stitches and grows wider and wider, Enallagma is just the opposite: after working the lace section, one edge gradually tapers during the garter stitch-and-eyelet rows until finally there are just five stitches to bind off. So the knitting goes faster and faster as you go, which I found to be a great motivator to keep knitting!

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Can you see from these photos what a lovely halo the yarn has? This undyed wool/mohair blend called Thelma & Louise comes from sheep and angora goats with those very names at Wing & a Prayer Farm in Vermont. I purchased it last fall at the annual New York Sheep and Wool Festival (aka Rhinebeck) with a shawl in mind. Now, many months later, that glimmer of an idea is a reality.

Summer lace — in nature and in knitting

Summer lace — in nature and in knitting

The pattern will be published just as soon as I finish editing photos and finalizing the layout. In the meantime, if you'd like to start planning, you'll need about 600 yards/550 m of DK weight or light worsted weight yarn, and US 6/4.00mm and US 7/4.50mm needles.