Thursday, September 7, 2023

Faux Hounds Shawl

The stitch that my newest shawl uses has been on my mind for years. I originally found/used the stitch in Auditions by KnitPurl Hunter and just love the movement of the colors. I've been playing around with shawl shapes and ideas for the stitch since I started designing and finally settled on a traditional triangle shape to really make the colors and stitch shine. 

Faux Hounds is my newest shawl pattern and it utilizes the 3 to 1 stitch as well as a gradient to great a gentle flow of color and texture. I used two different yarn bases for Faux Hounds, a merino, yak and silk as the base color and a merino silk blend for the gradient. I get asked frequently if I do/is it okay to mix fibers and my answer is yes...with some rules. 

I tend to keep my blends similar in base (these two are both heavily merino wool and have the silk) and I don't usually mix plant and animal bases. Why don't I mix plant and animal bases? They stretch differently as well as hold dye differently. Wool bases have lots of 'life' to them and spring back into place when they've been stretched out, usually why socks are hand knit with wool. A cotton yarn is much heavier than a wool and does not bounce back into shape when it's been stretched out. 

Faux Hounds is an excellent example on how to combine different bases and how nicely they can knit together. Faux Hounds works great with a solid color base and a variegated, a solid with mini skeins, or a solid color with leftovers. There are so many opportunities to play with color. Also, doesn't the stitch remind you of houndstooth fabric? That's where Faux Hounds came from! A faux houndstooth print! 

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Socks are Done!

I've finished a pair socks for me! With how much I design and sew it isn't very often lately that I am able to knit something for me that isn't a design. The latest pair of socks was cast on at the beginning of the summer and just got their first wear! 

The yarn was a brand I'd used before but not from the specific line. I used Pairfect from Regia and it's a yarn that has a starting section that the knitter cuts out so that the socks start in the exact same place and they are a perfect pair! 

Regia is a sturdier sock yarn that makes me think of cold weather and warm toes. I tend to use Regia as socks for my sisters as they are superwash and can be thrown in the washing machine and dryer (I don't machine dry mine but don't expect my sister to hang dry their socks.) I talked with the members of Knitting Joy and asked what color they thought I should use for the heel. Navy blue was the winning choice but I didn't have any in stash to I went with a charcoal grey. How do you show your pride? 

Thursday, August 17, 2023

Just a Piece Shawl

We're having a heat wave up here in the PNW so it feels weird to be releasing a shawl pattern but...fall will eventually get here so you need new inspiration! Just a Piece is my latest shawl design using half twisted ribbing and simple garter. Just a Piece sounds kinda funky right? This shawl was inspired by just a piece of my Playground Shawl! I was thoroughly pleased by the twisted ribbing in Playground and wanted to explore a design that would highlight just that section, thus, Just a Piece was born!

Just a Piece is knit from the top down using a garter tab cast on and easy triangle shaping. This is a great shawl for someone looking to practice twisted stitches or a knitter who just needs a simple project to make their yarn shine. 

The sample shawl was knit in TML + Tweed by Madelinetosh, a fingering weight yarn composed of merino, rayon, nylon tweed in the Pink Mist Smoke Tree colorway. I used two skeins of this yarn and had just a tiny nugget leftover. Like many of my designs whatever fingering weight yarn you are comfortable wearing around your neck would work for Just a Piece. Tonal, solid, or lightly speckled yarn would show off the twisted stitches best. If you adjusted the needle size accordingly a sport or dk weight yarn would work as well. 

I hope you found some good info and inspiration from this post! 

-- Sierra

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Shorty Socks for Summer

When I lived in California I hardly ever wore socks from March - the end of October, but here in Washington it still gets Cold! I knit up a partial skein of yarn from my newest fav yarn MustStash! A few times a year the company has a warehouse sale and sells partial skeins at reduced prices.

I set an alarm as a reminder and was able to grab a few skeins! The first one I've knit up is the Great Smoky Mountain colorway from the National Parks collection and I love how it knit up! 

Just like the full skeins, each mini starts at the same place so there is no guessing if your stripes will line up. I added the green contrast heel so my stripes would stay in order (not necessary, just what I like). I knit 5 rows of ribbing and then a few rows of stockinette for the leg and then went into the heel right away. These new shorties look great with my sandals and keep my toes toasty in the cooler June mornings. Have you knit shorty socks before? You should give them a try, they knit up so fast! 

Thursday, June 15, 2023

Welly's Socks

What makes you think of summer? Change from pants to shorts? Pulling the cover off the grill? For me, it's ice cream. As soon as the weather starts to warm I want all different kinds of ice cream. So when I saw the Mint Chip colorway from Jadawoo Designs I knew that I needed to design with it. 

From Jessica's gorgeous wool came the Welly's Socks, a knitted interpretation of an ice cream cone! Welly's is a top down sock pattern with cables, a contrast heel, and helical knitting. The cable is fully written out for all three sizes which makes it so simple to knit. 

The cables are 1x1 crosses which made it easy to knit them without a cable needle. The heel used is a Modified Eye of Partridge Heel Flap which is always eye catching. Before starting the toe the helical knitting technique is used which is a single row striping technique that doesn't require any slip stitches! To me, it looks like ice cream cone, swirled ice cream, and then topped with chocolate. 

There are kits available at my Etsy shop that is for the yarn and a matching sock bag! So cute right! I was just so excited for this collab that I wanted to make it even more special. 

Welly's is a pattern that will work great with tonal, solid, or speckled yarn. I think a variegated would overtake the cables but any sock yarn will work! With the cable pattern across the top of the foot sock is a tighter fit. If you prefer less negative ease then I would suggest going up a cast on size or needle size. 

Thursday, May 11, 2023

The Palette

Hey knitters! Does knitting make you feel like an artist? Does the combination of colors and stitches feel like art work to you? My latest shawl design is the perfect pattern to bring out the artist in ANY knitter. 

The Palette is a 3/4 shaped shawl that uses 5 different stitches to create the perfect opportunity for knitters to explore color combinations and knit a truly unique piece. Why The Palette? While designing it truly felt like a painters palette opened up to me! The original sample was knit in a jewel tone palette but knitters could use neons with a black base, or neutrals with a cream base. So many options for different color tastes! 

The 3/4 shape is easy to memorize and so comfy to wear. It feels like a cardigan draped across the shoulders and stays in place. Each different stitch pattern is written out and easy to follow. 

The Palette was designed in fingering weight yarn and a variety of bases, the main color is a wool/silk blend but the contrast colors run the gamut of 100% wool, merino/nylon, merino/cashmere/nylon so any combination of fingering weights will work. Each of the contrast colors uses less than 100 grams, the largest being 75 grams. So many options open up if you want to use scraps! 

I can’t wait to see all the color combinations you artists come up with! 

Tuesday, May 9, 2023

More Spring Socks!

I am totally addicted to self-striping yarn right now. I want to knit ALL THE YARNS in my stash. I'm also a bit of a collector so I have quite a few to choose from. One dyer, who I have an array of yarns from, is Must Stash Yarns. I've knit one of her Christmas colors and loved working with her yarn, the other colors I have I've pretty much just hoarded. But, this spring, the spring of 2023 I dove into my collection and pulled out the happiest spring colorway. 

My newest finished socks are Firework from Must Stash Yarns and they have been so fun to knit through the gray days of spring. I added the heel flap color (a mini pulled from leftover box) and I love the reverse of the speckle in the heel vs as the main color. The sock is my 'vanilla' recipe, 64 stitches with a modified Eye of Partridge heel flap and a wedge toe. This recipe seems to fit my feet perfectly with a US 1.5 needle. 

Stacy is the owner of Must Stash and she sends out a newsletter with an update every Tuesday, some weeks I just can't even open the email because I know something is going to catch my eye. Do you have a dyer that you do this with? Stacy has a very cool concept that she calls Must Match, which means that your skein of yarn comes broken into two 50 hanks and they start at the exact same place! No trying to match up stripes because she does it for you! Isn't it genius! Now tell me you don't want to go and buy some of her yarn.