Thursday, April 06, 2017

2017 LA County Yarn Crawl & Trunk Show

It's that time of year! The LA County Yarn Crawl starts today, Thursday April 6 and as part of the crawl I'm having a trunk show at The Little Knittery featuring my designs from the Interweave book "Highland Knits, Knitwear Inspired by the Outlander Series". The trunk show is from 4-7pm with a raffle being held at 7pm for a copy of "Highland Knits" and a skein of Cascade Magnum (there's a surprise raffle too!) If you're in the area, come on by! 

For information about the Crawl click here.

Saturday, January 07, 2017

The Women's March on Washington

My daughters think that soon to be President No. 45 hates girls. I was at a loss to find something that would show them regardless of how powerless they feel with things beyond their control they can still contribute to a cause that makes them feel they are being heard. 

Inspired by the efforts of Kat Coyle at The Little Knittery (who wrote the original Pussyhat pattern) and nudged by Instagram friend @obliviousknits it makes me happy, for many reasons to contribute a pattern to the Pussyhat Project in Tunisian Crochet; though mainly because it shows my daughters that even the small act of making a hat has a larger impact when combined with others who have the same concerns yet feel powerless as well. 

Find the pattern for the TC Pussyhat here.

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

the Cadena Cowl

Sometimes you need a break from the project you're working on, but you don't necessarily want a break from the stitch pattern. I'm in the middle of a sweater design that incorporates these two stitch patterns: a basic 1x1 rib and the Woven Basket Stitch a beautifully textured crossed stitch pattern that creates a nice thick fabric, perfect for keeping warm whether in a blanket, sweater or a cowl. I wanted a break from the smaller needles though and wanted to cast on and bind off on the same night :)

A note on this stitch pattern: if you can work this stitch as a Combination Knitter it will make the knit row so much easier! You can check out 'combination knitting' on youtube but basically what you are doing is picking or throwing your purls in the opposite direction so your knit stitch sits backwards. I learned how to knit this way and didn't realize there was any other way for years! But then my mom and sisters all knit this way and really until I got into some serious knitting it never posed a problem. So if you want to throw in a little challenge try it, always good to add more skills to your arsenal  ;)

the Cadena Cowl


2 skeins Cadena l by Illimani Yarn 49yds/100gs each. Color shown here #85 'Sand'
US19 (15mm) for Woven Basket Stitch
US15 (10mm) for ribbing
Darning Needle for finishing.

2sts & 2 rows = 1" in Woven Basket Stitch

Woven Basket Stitch:
Multiple of 2
Row 1: * pass the right hand needle behind the first stitch, k the second st, k the first stitch *
Row 2: P1 * p the second stitch, p the first stitch * p1

Finished measurements: 21.25" x 10"  53.5cm x 25.5cm before sewing together.

With the smaller needle cast on 54 stitches.
Row 1: K1 *k1, p1* k1
Row 2: P1 *k1, p1* p1
Work these 2 rows of Ribbing two more times. 4 rows total of ribbing.

Switch to the larger needle and begin Woven Basket Stitch

Row 1: K1 * pass the right hand needle behind the first stitch, k the second st, k the first stitch * k1
Row 2: P2 * p the second stitch, p the first stitch * p1
Repeat the 2 rows of the Woven Basket Stitch 7x's. Work one more Row 1 then switch back to the smaller needle and work the last Row 2 of pattern.
Begin Ribbing as established in the first 4 rows and work for 4 rows. 
Bind off, sew the short edges together, weave in ends and enjoy!

Friday, December 04, 2015

the Eastsider

I know I said my next post would be a knit cowl but I just couldn't put down my S hook and Tunisian crochet is a little bit of knitting???... anyway, I'm working on a crochet kimono that uses black and white Magnum and my leftovers were talking to me. I love black and white together and knew with Tunisian crochet it would create a statement piece without a lot of effort or time, probably a quarter of the time it's taking me to post it LOL! 

The Tunisian stitch in this pattern is the Tunisian Plain Stitch. The first 2 rows are worked as for Tunisian Simple but from there instead of going through the vertical bars like you do with the Simple Stitch you go through the space below the chain of the previous row... confused? I've added photos to help and if you need a reminder on how to work the first 2 rows of Simple look back to my tutorial here

Right Side

Wrong Side

the Eastsider

Tunisian Crochet Hook size S (19mm) 
120yds (250grams) total of a chunky yarn like Magnum by Cascade. If using 2 colors @60yds each color (125grams each color)
Darning Needle for finishing

Gauge: @1st per inch
Finished measurements: before sewing together 28" x 15" 71cm x 38cm

Main Color (MC): Black
Contrasting Color (CC): White

Tunisian Simple Stitch
Make a chain the number of stitches required.
Row 1: Insert hook into the 2nd ch from hook, * draw through a loop, insert hook into next st, repeat from * leaving all loops on the hook. DO NOT turn work.
Row 2: (working back from left to right) draw yarn through a loop * draw through 2 loops, repeat from * to end of row. 1 loop on hook

Tunisian Plain Stitch
Work 2 rows Tunisian Simple.
Row 1: Insert hook under the horizontal bar formed by Row 2, draw through a loop.
Row 2: As Row 2 of Tunisian Simple.

With MC Chain 18 and work Row 1 of Tunisian Simple. 18 loops on hook. 
If you can pull the loop through the bump on the back of the chain, this makes for a more finished edge. Again check out my tutorial on Tunisian Crochet to see photos of this.

Now work back, do not turn the work.
Work a Row 2 of Tunisian Simple

A note on changing colors: I found I got the best result for a clean edge when changing colors by letting the yarn I wasn't using sit off to my right side. I didn't try to twist the yarn or cross it over in any way, then when I went to use it again it crossed in a way that looks neat and clean. 

Change to CC and pull a loop through the space below the horizontal bar of the previous row.

These photos show after I worked a couple of rows but you can see the space you pull the loops through. Not the vertical bars like in Tunisian Simple, but just below the horizontal bar. 

Pull loops up through each space to the end. 18 loops on the hook. 

Work Row 2 of Tunisian Simple (you will always work back as in Row 2 of Tunisian Simple). 

Switch back to MC and begin next row. 

A couple of notes before we continue. As I said in my other Tunisian Crochet tutorial, I've read other tutorials or instructions that have you chain 1 at the beginning of a Row 1 but for me doing that made a messy edge so I skip that step.

Secondly, read through the captions with the photos below before you start. In a MC row I have you pick up 19 loops; in a CC row only 18, when you read through (with the photos) this will make sense. 

Continue working Row 1 & Row 2 of Tunisian Plain (changing colors at the beginning of each row) until cowl measures 28" (71cm)

When desired length is reached end with a Row 1 in the CC, 18 loops on the hook. Fold piece in half with the Right Sides facing so the starting edge meets the loops on the hook and join by working a row of slip stitch to the end. Finish off the last loop, weave in ends, wear and enjoy!

These next 4 photos show where to insert the hook at the beginning of the row for the MC and the CC. 
Note: when switching colors you will go into a different space at the beginning of each row. As you get more rows you will see the vertical stripes made with the 2 colors and if you follow the stripes you will be working in the correct space.  For a MC row: Insert your hook into the space to the left of the edge stitch as in the above photos.

Notice in the next set of photos the space to insert your hook to pull the first CC loop is to the left of the first MC vertical bar of the previous row. See the continuity of the white stripe, keep that in mind as you work that if there is a break in that vertical color line then you've gone into the wrong space.

These 3 photos show where to insert the hook at the end of the row for the MC and the CC. 
The last stitch with the CC should look like this. Notice the 2 vertical bars of the MC on the left edge.

The last stitch of the MC row is made by going between the vertical bars of the last stitch of the previous CC row (top photo). The bottom photo shows how the stitch should look after completing. This last stitch on the MC row will add a stitch making the stitch count for a MC row 19.

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Pop Up Cowl

The hardest thing about writing patterns is naming them! I asked my 8yo what I should name my latest crochet cowl and she immediately said, "Pop Up!" I asked why and she replied, "for the parts that 'pop up' from the others"... sounds good to me! :)

So here we are, my latest crochet offering... the 'Pop Up' named for the vertical columns that are formed by alternating double crochet in the front post with double crochet in the back post. Love the ribbed texture these stitches create making for a thick (but surprisingly not too dense) and warm cowl. Oh and did I mention how quickly these work up? Great gifts (that can actually be made in time!) for everyone on your list :D

1 skein Magnum by Cascade 123yds/250grams color shown here #9449 Midnight Heather
S/19mm crochet hook

Gauge: 1 stitch & 1 row = 1” of dcfp

sc: single crochet
dc: double crochet
fp: Front post
bp: back post
sts: stitches
FO: Fasten Off

Chain 26 and being careful not to twist join with a slip stitch.
Round 1: Chain 2 (counts as a stitch), either mark this stitch with a split ring or locking stitch marker OR use the tail as a visual for the beginning/end of the round. If using a marker move the marker up as you go.
dc around = 26sts
Note: Round 1 is the only round that starts the round with a Ch 2.

Round 2: *1dcfp, 1dcbp* repeat from * to * around ending with a 1dcbp in the Ch 2. 26sts

From here on work repeats of  *1dcfp, 1dcbp* until desired length or at least 9". When desired length is reached work to marker and 1scbp in the last dcbp. FO. Weave in ends.

Finished measurements: 9" x 13" 23cm x 33cm

Look for a free Knit cowl pattern in the next couple of days! 

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

the Llama II Sweater

I have a feeling I'm going to be living in my latest sweater design! This very comfy oversized sweater is made using Illimani Yarn's new bulky Llama ll, a super soft baby llama that works up nicely on a US10.5 needle.

Worked from the top down and from sleeve edge to sleeve edge in Stockinette & Sand Stitch (a variation on a k1, p1 rib) I would rate this pattern for at least an intermediate for some of the techniques involved: invisible cast on, short rows and a 3 needle bind off.

The pattern is written for 3 sizes: S, M & L (size shown L). But because the body is very generous, the best size for you is based on your height and arm length. If you are shorter but have a fuller figure, the L will be too big because the arms will be too long. If you are tall but more slender (or not), the L will fit better because the sleeves will be longer. Using the schematic will help you decide which size to make.

Materials used:
8 (9, 10) skeins of Illimani Yarn's Llama ll 109yds/100m
10.5 US 6.5mm circular needle at least 47"(120cm) long
10 US 6mm 24"(60cm) to finish the neckline/collar


Thankfully the weather has turned cooler here in Los Angeles because honestly I can't stop wearing this sweater... do I say that everytime??? ;)

Pattern available as a PDF download.