Monday, January 24, 2022

Mittens for Me!

I actually knit something that wasn't from my own pattern...I know, what!?! After two and a half consecutive years of knitting, almost exclusively, my own designs I knit a really fun (and necessary) project. Mittens are a project I've only knitted a few times but are sorely needed up here, my fingers have been freezing and my only pair of mittens were pumpkin orange. 

I started with my yarn first, I had a solid color I picked up at Stitches West many, many years ago and a variegated fingering weight I thought was going to be a hat. The solid color is a merino wool, silk, and qiviut blend and it was divine to work with! Qiviut it a musk ox down fiber that is terribly expensive because it is harvested by hand not sheered. The yarn is one of the warmest fibers available and it's incredibly soft. Here is a link to learn a little more about qiviut fiber. I held my two yarns together (and reached approximately a sport weight yarn) and made the most beautiful marled mittens. My variegated color is Koigu fingering weight and I love how the two played together. You can check out my project page on Ravelry here

When I decided I was going to make mittens I decided to start top down incase I ran out of the pink yarn. I  thought that I could finish the cuffs in just the variegated if I ran short, turns out, I didn't need to worry! I didn't run out of either yarn and have wonderful mitts! 

I used a mitts pattern that originally had a stitch pattern but I opted to use the cast on instructions and the increasing but just knit plain stockinette. Now that I've knit one pair like this (following someone else's pattern but changing quite a lot) I have an idea of how I would design a pair of top down mittens. Maybe a pattern for fall 2022? 

I have a few more yarns set aside for mittens, some multicolored and some solids so you'll probably see another post or two in the future! 

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Color Pop Beanie

I haven't published a hat in quite awhile but this one just wouldn't leave me alone until I knit it! Color Pop Beanie has an intarsia insert of mohair or a contrast color fingering weight yarn that gives your new hat a little 'pop.' 

Color Pop is knit flat and then seamed using the mattress stitch (I included a link to a mattress stitch tutorial), it was so quick to knit! I used ~ 60 grams of the main color and ~ 5 of the mohair, this is my second hat out of the main color! 

This is only my second ever intarsia project so don't be intimidated by a new technique (my first project is a yet-to-be released shawl design.) This hat is a great way to highlight a favorite mini skein or use up leftovers from other hat projects. 

Along with Color Pop having a new technique for me I also used Yarn Pond for the first time for my testing! Yarn Pond is a testing, tech editing, and sample knitting website. I enjoyed finding new people to test for me but I did find the interface a little bit clunky. It's taken me a little bit of time to get used to the different sections and find where to check but I think I'll use it again. I've only every used Yarn Pond as a designer though, never as a tester or an editor so I can't speak to how the interface works from their end. 

The main color yarn I used is a gorgeous merino/cashmere blend and my contrast is mohair but most of test knitters used a basic wool for the main yarn and then a mohair for the contrast. This definitely doesn't have to be an expensive project, I can't wait to see your color combinations! 

Thursday, January 6, 2022

Scrapbook Cowl

Happy 2022! I'm am so glad it's a new year! 2021 was so emotionally hard and stressful and amazing and a pretty low bar to pass for 2022. I don't need a great year, I really just want it to be better than 2021. The year wasn't terrible but also wasn't great and the 'new year' is really just a mindset but I hope 2022 is calmer. 

Enough maudlin thoughts, I have a new design for you! Scrapbook Cowl is designed to use your leftovers and create a beautiful wearable 'scrapbook' of your previous projects. This design is knit using mitered squares, a decreasing technique that creates a spine down the middle and takes you from the full cast on down to 2 stitches. 

Each square only uses a few grams of yarn so you can use lots of leftovers or just a few colors and make different placement combinations. Scrapbook Cowl is knit flat and then seamed together using the mattress stitch. Why Scrapbook? Because this is a scrapbook of different yarns from different projects; a way to collect all your project memories together. 

I obviously went with a fall/pink vibe for my cowl, but I had test knitters use a variety of yarns and color combinations. The color combinations are endless! Some of my yarns were from different designs and projects, and some were purchased to try out and support different small dyers. 

As for the yarns used, these were all scraps so it's a combination of bases and fibers, but all are fingering weight. The cowl is designed starting at one corner and then made as long or tall as you want! My original sample is 6 squares high and 11 squares but I think I'd like to knit another that's even higher, they higher you make it the taller the cowl is. I can't wait to see your version! Come share it in the Knitting Joy Facebook group!