Things to Come

Hello, blog readers — I hope you're still around after my rather long absence! Just as the scilla and snowdrops are emerging around town, so I feel I am emerging from weeks of being buried in work (and not the fibery kind that's fun to blog about).

Fun, fibery things are indeed coming up, though. I recently bound off and blocked a new shawl (a companion to the About Town Mitts) and am very pleased with how it turned out.

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Knit in three colors, with lace, knit-purl textures, and stripes, it's got plenty of variety to keep the knitting interesting. The pattern is coming very soon, but if you want to stash dive ahead of time, you'll need fingering weight yarn in three colors: Color 1 (which is peach in my sample, dyed with red onion skins) - 290 yards/265 m; Color 2 (cream) - 175 yards/160 m; and Color 3 (the lace section in the sample) - 135 yards/124 m. Total yardage, if you want to make it a single color: 600 yards/549 m. After blocking, the wingspan of my sample measured 58 inches/148 cm.

The About Town Shawl would be a great project for the next knitalong in the Ravelry Blue Peninsula group. The Knit All The Things (KATT) KAL starts a week from today, April 19. It's a leisurely KAL, lasting until June 10, so there's plenty of time to cast on and finish a large project like a sweater or a shawl. Of course, small projects are welcome, too!

Any of my designs can be knit for the KATT KAL, and if you want to finish up a WIP rather than start something new, that's fine, too. We have lovely prizes of yarn, free patterns, and other goodies, and as always there will be lots of friendly knitting conversation. Come join us anytime — we're already discussing possible patterns and yarns.

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One project I've been working on during the past month involves this gorgeous Phantom Ship colorway of Stitch Sprouts Crater Lake, a soft and squishy bulky weight merino. The design must stay under wraps until later this year, but I loved the yarn so much I just had to share a peek with you.

I'll be back soon with the new About Town Shawl pattern. In the meantime, if it's spring where you are, I hope it's beautiful!

Spring color at the Mount Holyoke College Botanic Garden's annual flower show

Spring color at the Mount Holyoke College Botanic Garden's annual flower show

P.S. If you don't already receive the monthly Blue Peninsula newsletter, now's a good time to sign up — the next issue will have something special just for subscribers.

Treat Yourself KAL Starts Today (and Sale Ends)

It's cast on time! The Treat Yourself KAL starts today in the Ravelry Blue Peninsula group. For the next six weeks, you're invited to join us as you knit yourself a special accessory or sweater.

Perhaps a new cowl? There's my newest pattern — Waverleigh — and lots of others to choose from. Just a reminder, all individual patterns in my Ravelry pattern store are 20% off through midnight tonight (Sunday) with the coupon code TREATYOURSELF.

Clockwise from upper left:  Waverleigh ,  Singing Beach ,  Calliopsis ,  Birchleaf ,  Erste , and  Cordulia

Clockwise from upper left: Waverleigh, Singing Beach, Calliopsis, Birchleaf, Erste, and Cordulia

A number of knitters are making the Rowhouse Socks for the KAL. I can't wait to see how they look in different colors! If you haven't done stranded-color socks before, this would be a wonderful pattern to start with. After the colorwork on the calf is done, the knitting is quite simple.

Rowhouse Socks , by Bonnie Sennott

Rowhouse Socks, by Bonnie Sennott

The Treat Yourself KAL lasts a full six weeks, ending on February 25. So there's plenty of time to delve into a shawl or sweater. Maybe a lace cardigan, like the Drafter's Cardigan, or a chic layering piece for spring, like the Mathews Street Vest? Both are available as PDF downloads from Interweave.com.

photo courtesy F&W Media/Harper Point Photography

photo courtesy F&W Media/Harper Point Photography

photo courtesy F&W Media/Harper Point Photography

photo courtesy F&W Media/Harper Point Photography

If you haven't got a lot of free time for knitting, then maybe a new pair of mitts might be perfect. (That's probably what I'm making.) Whatever you choose, I look forward to seeing you in the KAL!

The  Blue Peninsula January sale  ends midnight, Sunday, January 14!

The Blue Peninsula January sale ends midnight, Sunday, January 14!

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!

Sneak Peek: Ischnura Shawl

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We're finally getting some fall color here in western Massachusetts. What a warm and late fall it's been! I got some lovely shots of Ischnura, my upcoming shawl, along the Norwottuck bike trail this morning. It brought back memories of the day last summer when I took photos of the Enallagma Shawl, the first design in my Dragonfly Days collection.

Then, it was warm and humid, and there was lots of Queen Anne's Lace and purple loosestrife by the fences on the trail. Today — red, yellow, and orange leaves, and cattails bursting. A completely different, but equally beautiful scene.

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The pattern will be ready to publish just as soon as I edit all the photos and finalize the layout — probably later this week. 

In the meantime, here's just one of my Rhinebeck photos. It was bright and very warm at Rhinebeck on Saturday. I managed to wear my wool/alpaca sweater until lunch — then off it came. Because of the heat, there weren't nearly as many gorgeous knits to see, but still — better sunshine than rain, right? Once again, being there reminded me what a friendly and inspiring community the fiber world is. It was so much fun seeing all the beautiful sheep, goats, and alpacas, perusing yarns and spinning fiber (many from small farms), and meeting knitters and other designers. Can't wait till next year!

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Countdown to Rhinebeck

The recent warm weather here in New England has been nice, but it also makes me a little nervous — is it global warming, or just an unusually warm fall? I hope these unseasonably high temperatures don't continue through the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival, coming up October 21-22. If it's hot, no one will want to wear their Rhinebeck sweaters or shawls!

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I'm so looking forward to Rhinebeck — seeing (and petting and hearing) lots of pretty sheep and goats. And — of course — checking out everybody's gorgeous knitwear. Maybe if all of us knitters wish for crisp, cool, and bright weather, we can make it happen. Let's try!

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I'm working like mad on my Rhinebeck sweater and am optimistic it will be finished in time. The pattern won't be published until November, but I can share a few details now: it's a casual women's pullover, with modified drop shoulders, knit in worsted weight yarn (I'm using Quince & Co. Owl, a wool/alpaca blend). It's worked in the round from the bottom up and the only seaming is at the shoulders (or, if you hate seaming, use a three-needle bind-off instead). More details soon!

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The other new design I'm working on is the third and final accessory for my Dragonfly Days collection (the first two were the Enallagma Shawl and the Cordulia Cowl). This time around, I've mixed in some cables with the dragonfly lace, to create a crescent-shaped shawl. Worked in bulky weight yarn — Brooklyn Tweed's Quarry — it will be super warm and cozy, perfect for chilly winter days.

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In other news: My Chili Pepper Cardigan from the fall 2017 Knitscene is now available as an instant download from Interweave. Did you know my patterns in the Interweave family of publications are available as digital downloads? I participate in the Designer's Choice program, which means my patterns appear both in the magazines and in the Interweave online store. It's a nice program both for knitters and designers — knitters can purchase individual patterns long after the print magazine is no longer on store shelves, and designers receive royalties for those digital sales.

To find my patterns at Interweave, just type the pattern name in the search box. Or, use these direct links:

Chili Pepper Cardigan
Mathews Street Vest
Firehouse Alley Cowl
Drafter's Cardigan
Nested Knots Hat
Stagger Cowl
Morgantown Hat

Are you going to Rhinebeck this year? If you're working on a Rhinebeck sweater, I hope it's going well and you finish with plenty of time to spare!

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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.