Friday, August 12, 2022

Comfy Cozy Shawl

My last few shawls have been in the color play direction, Comfy Cozy definitely lands in the comfort stitches and easy to memorize directions. Comfy Cozy is my newest shawl pattern and it's a top down triangle shawl that alternates broken rib sections with a few rows of garter. 

The broken rib is easy to memorize and makes distinct paths of knit stitches so it's easy to figure out what row you're on. The garter rows break up the sections for a fun and visual stitches sections. The broken rib is so squishy and makes Comfy Cozy the perfect accessory for cool weather. 

Comfy Cozy is an excellent design for a solid or tonal yarn in your stash but a multi-color option is great too! Comfy Cozy take approximately ~870 yards of fingering weight yarn, perfect for a two skein project. 

The yarn that was used for the sample is Greenwood Fiberworks Gold Dust, a merino, nylon, and stellina blend that is soft enough to wrap around my neck. I would suggest any fingering weight yarn you are comfortable wearing around your neck. I had testers knit the pattern in a solid and a lightly variegated so there are lots of options! 

Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Gnedward the Gnome

To start off with, this project just makes me giggle. I haven't knit too many stuffies before but this gnome subscription from JimmyBeans was just too delightful to pass up. Gnedward is knit with Madelinetosh yarns in the single ply fingering weight base and I used a US 1.5 needle to knit everything. The pattern suggested a small and large size needle but I didn't have a US 2 and wasn't interested in purchasing one. 

The pattern is designed by Sarah Schira from Imagined Landscapes designs and this is the first time I've knit one of her designs. Her pattern writing is so thorough and planed out; there were no questions on where to pick up and what part was coming next. 

Things were a bit tight because everything is worked on such small needles but not because of anything from the pattern. All the bits were easy to sew together and everything came out so cute. At the end of the six months I'll have a small village of knit gnomes. I've already started the second month! If you are interested in the pattern and aren't apart of the subscription I believe the Gnedward pattern should be available at the beginning of 2023:)

If you aren't a fan of sewing things together than I would say this pattern isn't for you. The hat bobbles and the nose are sewing on, as well as the arms, beard, and the feet. The body is picked up from the hat brim and is not sewn on. This pattern could easily be knit from your stash or your scraps! Only a few grams of each yarn is needed, maybe I'll be knitting some scrappy cousins next! 

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

All Squared Up

If this is your first time here then you don't know, but if you are a long time follower of All Knit Up Designs then you know I love a shawl that uses up scraps! All those little leftovers are just too precious (and expensive) to just toss. My newest shawl pattern utilizes little bits of leftovers in a fun new way! 

All Squared Up is an asymmetric triangle shawl that's finishing edge is mitered squares! Don't know what a mitered square is, take a look at the blog post here to read about the type of mitered square that I used! 
All Squared Up used a shawl skein for the body (150 grams vs 100 grams) for a generous size to wrap around your neck and then used ~3 grams per square. All Squared Up is the perfect way for you to explore color combinations and palettes that may not be in your everyday accessories.

There is 13 mitered square along the edge which allows for so much color play. The original sample used a variety of leftovers that lean to the blue/green palette. Check out the test projects here and see the wonderful pallets the pattern testers pulled together. I'm particularly enthralled by the version that used a gradient for the mitered squares.

I used a wool/cashmere blend for the main body of the shawl but an fingering weight you are comfortable with around your neck would be great. This shawl can easily be made larger or smaller depending on how much yarn you have. The number does have to be a multiple of 16 if you want to follow all instructions for the pattern. As shown by testers, the mitered squares can be done in a variety of fingering weight leftovers or with a gradient. Raid your stash and see what you can pull together!

Saturday, July 9, 2022

What is a Mitered Square?

What is a mitered square? That's what this whole post will be about! A mitered square is a form of knitting that utilizes decreases at certain sections to create a shape. 

Mitered Squares cast on the full amount of stitches for two sides of the square ie cast on 32 stitches for 16 stitches per side and then you decrease on both sides of a center marker. 

There are also options for decreasing two stitches at once instead of on each side of a marker but for All Squared Up, the pattern uses a center marker and then decreases on both sides. 

Mitered Squares can be used in a variety of ways. All Squared Up uses them a the bottom of the shawl for binding off, Scrapbook Cowl uses only mitered squares to create the body of the cowl. 

Mitered Squares really are a fascinating and fun knitting technique that is simple to knit and a great way to explore color. I can't wait to see the color groups knitters come up with for All Squared Up! 

Friday, July 8, 2022

Book Review: This Long Thread

I finished another fiber book! I purchased This Long Thread: Women of Color on Craft, Community, and Connection by Jen Hewett at Stitches West this year and I'm so glad I did. It felt sacred reading everyones stories and their history; stories and histories of only makers of color.

Jen's book is based on women of color in the crafting community who she interviewed and surveyed and learned their personal stories with making. My family doesn't have a deep connection to the fiber community, I learned to knit at 14 and my mom learned with me. We took a class and the rest is kinda history, so reading the deep history so many makers had was heartwarming and induced a longing for a deeper practice with making.

The survey questions were personal but also basic and brought so much of the makers personalities out. I felt like I was learning and meeting each maker and I loved it. The makers were a variety of ages and all had different experiences which made it a very nuanced read and didn't feel like it was geared toward a specific generation. 

I would highly recommend this as a read for every maker so that, for white people, there is a better understanding of how makers of color are treated and how they feel, and to realize there is a deep history of crafting for people of color. Although, this book is not a monolith, each maker of color has their own experiences and story, don't ignore what other people are saying. I've included a link above to purchase but also check out your local book, yarn, or fabric shop and see if they have it in stock. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Valley Snow

 Ya'll should get excited because this pattern is amazing and has wonderful memories that inspired it! Valley Snow is a traditional triangle shape that highlights three different sections of the same lace pattern. 

Let me tell you a the inspiration behind my new shawl pattern. There's an urban legend where I grew up in Sacramento Valley that it only snows once every 10 years. In my 28 years of living there I believe it snowed twice. What did happen every year is the dropping of the almond blossoms which cover the ground like snow. Valley Snow was inspired by the slow drop of petals from the almond trees; the only snow that valley ever really saw. 

For the collaboration I reached out to From Me to Yarn with the inspiration photos below and explained what I was looking for in colors and what shape/patterns I would be using to evoke the feelings and nature of falling petals. 

I was looking for the soft colors of the petals and then slowly getting darker as the shawl gets larger and more lace is added to each section. This color change would represent more and more petals falling through out the season. This is what Jessie sent to me and it was perfect! 

With these colors and the inspiration of falling petals I started working on my design! This was one of the first times that I started with a full drawn picture of the shawl will look like and represent. Usually I'm a bit more freeform with my designing. The end result looks so amazing and accurate than what I imagined! 

Valley Snow uses a fingering weight yarn with approx 900 yards total. If you want the same colors I used Jessie has a kit in her shop with a free shipping code! If a kit isn't in your budget or you already have yarn in stash than any fingering weight would work, though probably not a self striping. I think that a solid or a tonal color would look amazing and really show off the lace transition. 

Monday, May 16, 2022

70s Couch Socks

Yes, I really did name a project the 70s Couch Socks, but come on! Look at the colors! Can't you just see a 70s couch with a crochet blanket thrown over the back and arm covers...I'll wait while you imagine. 

This sock yarn came in a pack that was gifted to me by a friend/previous co-worker who purchased the yarn in Switzerland. She is no a fan of orange, so any yarn with orange came to me! Yay! My sister is going to be so happy with some new socks in her future. 

The yarn is a basic wool/nylon blend from the brand Stabile by Bernetta Wolle. I reminds me of Regia and other German brands of sock yarn, definitely on the hardier side of the scale. Which is perfect for my sister because she seems to wear through socks quicker than anyone I know! 

As with other European sock brands this ball came with a small spool of thinner thread so you can reinforce the areas that wear through quickly. I don't need to reinforce at the traditional spots (the heel) but more along the ball of the foot and into the toes. 

Using the spool along with the regular yarn together resulted in a pretty marled section is the sock that is slightly thicker than the surrounding areas. I'm actually kind of nerdy excited about seeing if these wear better than the other pairs without the reinforcement thread. I'll keep you updated!