Thursday, March 31, 2022

A Re-Knit

I have to be honest, I've knit very few of my patterns a second time. Yep, usually once is enough to hold my interest and then I'm ready for the next adventure with brand new yarn. Each time I start a design I'm never 100% sure that it's going to work... I mean, I have the basic idea (and a terrible sketch) but other than that it's a bit of guesswork and luck. I very much enjoy the exploration and excitement of a design idea working out. 

Even with my aversion to knitting things twice I did decide that the single skein of gorgeous yarn that I purchased from The Lamb and Kid needed to be made into a Bump Along cowl. And oh, my, word, this yarn is amazingly soft! The base is a merino/cashmere blend called Elmer Fingering and I think I want my whole winter wardrobe made from this, it is divine! But alas, only one skein was in my budget so I've just knit myself a luxury cowl. 

The reason I picked Bump Along is I really love the dimensions of this pattern and it is so easy to memorize! I wanted to have a single skein project that was easy to knit while my mom and I were traveling and attending Stitches West. I love showing how versatile Bump Along is in a solid version along with the original striped version

The final fabric is squishy yet lofty from the ply of the yarn. Which do you prefer, the striped version or the solid version? 

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Intarsia Tutorial

Hi All Knit Up Designs Fan! 

I have a couple of designs out that use intarsia (Color Pop Beanie and Liberty Tides) and I thought I would provide a simple tutorial for the knitters who haven't knit intarsia before or need a refresher. First, lets discuss intarsia. 

Intarsia is a color work technique that consists of interlocking two colors together when you are changing colors within one row. Different from faire isle where the knitter uses two or more colors across the whole row, intarsia in done in smaller sections and colors are not worked all the way across. Take a look at the photos below for the intarsia sections. 

This is the Color Pop Beanie and it has an intarsia insert. The knitter doesn't carry the contrast color across the whole row, only over a small section of stitches. 

For Liberty Tides, the cable is intarsia. The edging is knit at the same time as the shawl and the knitter interlocks the main color and contrast color together at the edge. 

Intarsia can be very simple or very different depending on how many sections of intarsia are in the piece. Usually each colors section has its own bobbin of yarn that the knitter uses. Neither of these pattern is a different intarsia pattern, Color Pop was my first intarsia project ever and Liberty Tides my second. 

Below is the simple photo tutorial on how to interlock your colors together for intarsia! 

Start of interlock section (Knit to the interlock)

Cross the contrast yarn on top of the main color yarn. (White over Blue)

Cross the main color over the contrast color one more time (Blue over White, so the colors are 'interlocked') and then proceed to knit across with main color.

Backside of the intarsia piece and interlocked section

There you are! A simple photo tutorial on how to interlock the yarns together for intarsia. Essentially the yarns are wrapped around each other so there isn't a gap between the two different sides of the piece. Incorrectly wrapped intarsia will have a whole between the two sides. Both of my designs use an intarsia edging, not intarsia in the middle of a piece and I included this video to the pattern as well, this is not my video but linked form YouTube. 

Can't wait to see your first intarsia project! Happy Knitting! 


Thursday, March 24, 2022

Libery Tides Shawl

Okay, I told you I was enamored with intarsia and I used this technique in another design! Liberty Tides is my newest shawl design that features intarsia, variegated yarn, and cables! 

My newest shawl design takes variegated yarn (sometimes hard to find patterns for) and transforms them into the perfect base for your shawl and contrast cable!

Liberty Tides uses two skeins of fingering weight for the main color, I used a variegated yarn so that I could use a tonal/contrast color to highlight the variegated yarn. The contrast color used about 10 grams of yarn so a mini skein or leftover should be plenty. The shaping is my favorite asymmetric triangle shape that is perfect for wrapping around the neck a few times. 

The yarn I used was a merino/cashmere/nylon base and has the most beautiful halo (fuzzy stuff) that feels amazing on my skin. The yarn was dyed by Leading Men Fiber Arts that I picked up at a fiber festival. 

How did I pick my main colors and the contrast? I like to highlight a certain color in my variegated yarn to make it stand out. With this variegated it could have been the purple or perhaps the green but pink is one of my favorites and I knew that pink was the one for me. I had a full skein of the pink yarn and hardly used any so I'll definitely be able to make another project with it. 

Any fingering weight yarn will work (but I also had a tester knit it in DK weight and it came out amazing!) as well as any amount of yardage. This shawl can definitely be made into a shawlette if you only have a single skein of the main color that you would like to use. If you are planing to knit with one skein of main colors I think that about 6 grams of the contrast should be enough. 

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Book Review: The Power of Knitting

My life is pretty well entrenched with knitting. It's my job, my passion, my friend base, so why not add it to my reading list? Honestly, I haven't read much in the last 5 years. College really burnt me out on reading but I also like/want to keep myself educated and reading is the best and least expensive way to do that. 

The first knitting theme book I read this year is The Power of Knitting: Stitching Together Our Lives in a Fractured World. I thought I would share my thoughts on the book with you so you can check it out if you'd like! So here it goes! 

I really wanted to love this book but felt it fell flat. The main theme is knitting and the authors life falling apart. At the end she discusses selling two houses and then finding herself by going on a round the world trip? What? If you have enough money to buy a plane ticket that expensive I don’t think you’re really in the dire of straits you want your readers to believe. 

The Power of Knitting ended up being hard to relate to, I do think I’ll be using her bibliography page as a stepping stone to find more books to read. I felt that she could have definitely gone more in-depth with some of the side stories and the book would have been more enjoyable. The author just kind of skimmed around topics without actually going in deeply.

She touched on quite a few interesting historical knitting topics and references but didn't really flush them out and draw me in. I definitely felt that I was interested in the topics she was discussing but now need to go and do my own research. So, I would probably give this book 3/5 stars. I'm glad a read it but honestly I think I could have taken the bibliography information and been plenty happy with that as well. 

The link posted above (for the book) is to a website that connects you to indie book shops. If you're thinking of purchasing this book to read please visit your local book shop before purchasing on Amazon. Want to discuss the book more? Head of over to Knitting Joy and chat with me! 

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

New To Me Local-ish Yarn Shop!

I've lived in Washington almost a year now (I know right!) and was able to visit the lovely yarn shop on Bainbridge Island! The Lamb and Kid is tucked away on the main street and is just brimming with color and squishy, squishy yarn. The shop was open and airy with large front windows but still full of yarn!

The Lamb and Kid has its own specially spun and dyed yarn that is in an array of luxury bases. I purchased a Merino/Cashmere blend that feels like it blooms under my touch. (I'm planning to knit a solid version of Bump Along, but more on that in another post.) 

The bases run with cashmere, merino, yak, mohair, silk, and a little bit of tweed, all of them were amazing! The shop also carried a few other dyers and lovely notions along with their own brand of products. The staff was helpful and knowledgeable about their product. I definitely recommend making a stop at the shop if you are on Bainbridge or in the area.