Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Indigenous is in Knitty!

The Late Fall Knitty'10 (and Knittyspin) is out today and I"m sitting here for the first time this season wearing the Baby Llama Glow version of Indigenous, which you'll find in the patterns section of Knitty's just released issue, and my white handspun Cassy's Cuffs. After weeks of weather in the 90s, it suddenly cooled and rained. Temps today are in the low 60s, but feel like low 50s after all that heat. A perfect day to pull out the knitwear and the needles.

I really love this pattern and have knit it in wool, silk, llama, handspun (like the TWF Canyonlands Bfl/Tussah version, left), millspun, you name it. It's beautiful knit as openwork lace or just as regular knitting (though I wouldn't knit it on too firm a gauge myself). Since it's modular you can knit it as large or small as you want, from a neck bandana to a sumptuous shawl. The brown version shown here at right is Three Waters Farm Organic Sportweight Yarn in Chocolate.

Indigenous has a crochet edging. I know that many knitters do not crochet and I suspect this is because they tension their yarn exclusively with their dominant hand (usually the right). Crochet is pretty slow if you tension with the right hand, goes way faster with yarn held in the left. I'm a continental knitter, so crochet comes naturally. Rather than not include the crocheted edging, I decided to include instructions for "knitchet", or crocheting with knitting needles. Knitchet is really simple to understand and work, and although it will never replace the speed and efficiency of the hook, it will allow those who have never picked up a hook the chance to finish the pattern without learning a whole new skill. It goes like this:

Here's how you pick up into the edge to form a single crochet stitch with knitting needles. I"m starting in the middle of the row so I already have one stitch on my rh needle. I'm using a contrasting color so you can see the stitches. Of course in real life you'd use the same yarn as the body of the shawl. Photo A: With one st on rh needle, pick up next st.
Photo B: Place 2 sts on lh needle. Photo C: k2tog through the back of the loop. It's that easy. To work a chain stitch, you simply return the st from the rh needle to the lh needle and knit it.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Got Handspun? Check out these patterns!

Recently Claire Cabe of Lucca Dot Yarns asked me if I ever wrote patterns for small amounts of art yarns. Claire has had a booth in the Chattanooga Market this summer and her yarns are walking out the door around people's necks! She is getting return customers asking, "What can I do with 20-40 yds of yarn?" So here's my answer. Got Handspun? Here are some easy, quick ideas, now available on my Etsy Store: These patterns are perfect for TWF Thick and Thin Yarn as well. BTW, that's her lovely daughter Lauren in the photos. Lauren is well on her way to becoming a professional model.

In fact, response has already been really positive. Several handspun stores on Etsy have asked to link my patterns to their yarns. So I'm going to start listing those shops on my sidebar with links to their stores. If you want me to link you, convo me on Etsy and I'll be glad to add you to the list.

Two Way Street Scarf (photo 1): takes total of approx 75 yds, one 35 yd skein and one 40 yd skein.

Lynx: a modular scarf in three pieces. Photo 2 shows all three Lynx, photo 3 shows one Lynk with Rose is a Rose. Divvy up 100 yds of yarn into three different length pieces and lynk them together or wear alone.

Lynx Headband (photo 4): Takes approx 40 yds and a button.

Rose is a Rose (photo 2): No wallflowers here. This is one in-your-face rose. Takes 10 yds of bulky weight yarn and about 30 minutes to knit.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

SAFF 2010: Hands On Color and Active Twist Singles

 SAFF (Southeastern Animal and Fiber Festival) in Asheville, NC is just around the corner. I'll be teaching two different classes there this year. Hands On Color will be all day on Friday, Oct 22, 2010. We'll cover many spinning techniques for getting the most out of handpainted rovings, including various ways of separating your fiber for color effects, different drafting techniques, and several different ways to ply. As usual, there is new stuff in my class every year. Foundation Singles for Art Yarns will be all day on Saturday, Oct 23. We'll focus on spinning fine and heavy singles, including spinning two different directions of twist, and ply them into several types of art yarns.

Hands On Color will repeat again on Sunday, Oct 24. So you have two chances to take that particular class.

If you haven't signed up yet and want to, you can go here for more information. Hope to see you there.