Saturday, August 6, 2016

Top Ten Knitting Patterns for Fall

Although it is definitely still summer here in Illinois, lots of knitters are starting to plan some new projects for fall.  To help you along with a little pattern enabling, I put together this list of ten fantastic knits for fall!

1) Il Grande Favorito written by Isabelle Kraemer

It's a nice, oversized sweater that you can easily personalize with stripes, color blocking, or by adding special details, and it would be cozy to snuggle up with on cool fall days.  But the 3/4-length sleeves and sport-weight yarn mean that it won't be an overwhelmingly warm sweater, so it'll be great for those days that start out cool, then warm up a bit in the afternoon.

It's available in bust sizes ranging from 36" - 48", and the pattern is available in English, German, and French.
2) Dangling Conversation written by Mindy Ross

This shawl uses less than 500 yds and has a simple enough texture that you could really get creative with the yarn you choose to make this project.  And when that warm fall afternoon turns into a cool evening, it's nice to have an extra little layer that you can throw over your shoulders or wrap around your neck!  I can see this done in 3 different colors, as in the sample shawl, or it would be lovely knit in a gradient kit.

3) Chaleur written by Julie Hoover

Get out your leggings and a pair of cowboy boots...this oversized pullover looks like a fun & unique project to pair with them!

The design assumes such a loose fit that it is only available in 4 different sizes.  This really takes some of the stress out of knitting a garment. Chances are good that if you pick the appropriate size for your hip measurement, you can knit the pattern without any major alterations and it'll fit just as intended!

4) World War G{loves} written by Nicole Montgomery

Why go to the trouble of intricate color work or remembering a textured stitch pattern when these casual stockinette stitch gloves fit so well and coordinate with so many pieces in your wardrobe?  The fun in these is working the welts, which give the surface a rumpled texture while keeping the inside of the fabric smooth against your hands.  

If you've got 200 yds of DK-weight yarn in your stash, you could have these gloves finished by the end of the week!

5) Colors for a Cloudy Day written by yellowcosmo

This sweater has been in my queue ever since it was released.  I'm just waiting to collect enough DK-weight leftovers from other projects that I won't have to buy full skeins for the 6 contrast colors that would require less than 100 yds each.

I love a simple silhouette with fun details, and this sweater definitely fits the bill.  The pattern is written for chest sizes ranging from 31 - 53", so almost everyone should be able to find a size that will work for them.

6)  Nellie written by Donna Higgins

What if you're a baby girl this fall?  They need pretty fall knits, too!

I love this little baby sweater.  It provides a nice warm layer with a lot of visual interest.  And I love the little detail of the "flower buttons".  Such a sweet little design!

This pattern uses differing gauge to change sizes rather than different stitch counts, which isn't my usual jam, but more than 200 people have project pages up on Ravelry, so there are plenty of people who are willing to give this method a try!

7) Therapy written by Laura Aylor

If you crave garter stitch and changing colors, this shawl might be right up your alley!  One color requires a full skein of fingering-weight, the second color requires about half a skein, and the third color uses less than 1/4 of a skein.  It would be a great opportunity to pair a couple leftovers with a full skein and get them all used up!

8) Bulle written by Oomieknits

I became aware of this cute design when my sister decided to make it for her little girl.  It was her first attempt at knitting a garment, and she finished it with great success!

If your daughter needs a special back-to-school top, this is a style that is classic, yet fits perfectly with the current trend of longer tops worn over leggings.  So chances are, this is one your daughter will actually wear!

Bulle is available in sizes 3/4 - 11/12, and written in English, French, or Italian.  And if you're into being twinsies with your daughter, check out Lady Bulle for this same design written for women's sizes!

9) Surrounded Afghan written by Susan Rainey

A fall essential is a snuggly throw that can keep you warm on cool nights.  If you're one to play "furnace chicken," you know how important it is to have a blanket to throw over you when you decide to sit still.  Once your thermostat drops below about 68º in your home, that can feel pretty chilly without a couple layers to keep you warm!

Pick up 1700 yds of bulky wool, and you can create this lovely textured afghan.

10) Habañera by Mary Annarella

This 3/4-sleeve beauty could be a showcase for some gorgeous hand-dyed yarn.  But even if knit in a solid color, the lace collar still gives the sweater a lot of visual interest.

It's made from fingering-weight yarn in sizes from a 29" bust all the way up to a 50" bust.

Depending on size, you'll need between 900 and 1900 yds of fingering weight yarn to knit this lovely piece.  If you're anything like me, you probably have more than enough yarn in your stash that would fit the bill!

Which of these pieces is your favorite?  Do you have a favorite fall knit?  Leave me a comment and let me know what is on your project list for this fall!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Scallops and Bacon Tank Top test knitters drawing....

Thanks again to the testers who participated in this project, and good luck in the drawing to the two who finished by the deadline!  You'll have to watch to see if you're the winner.....  :)

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Local Swap

Are you the type of person who travels to a new place and always wants to pick up a little something (yarn!) to take home as a memento of your visit?  It doesn't matter if I'm a couple hours from home or have traveled half a day by suitcase is always heavier on the way home than it was when I arrived at my destination!

Every year, when I hang the seashell ornament that my husband and I bought on our honeymoon in Hawaii up on the Christmas tree, I get to remember the excitement of being a very young adult off on our first vacation together (and being too young to rent a car from most of the dealers!)  I have a magnet on our fridge from our trip to Coronado Island that I see all the time, and it still brings back memories of the wonderful trip we had when our kids were a great age for traveling.  (That means "too old to need naps, but still young enough that they were easily impressed by new things!")  There's a small sculpture on our fireplace mantel that my husband I and bought at an outdoor market in Willimstaad, the capital city of Curaçao, where we spent our 10th wedding anniversary.  But these days, more often than not, I like to check out the local yarn shops at my destination and pick something up from there....and then make my own souvenir!

Inspired by a recent surprise yarn package from a friend (he visited Iceland and sent me a couple lovely skeins of natural-colored Lettlopi), I decided to organize a "local swap".  Each participant would get to share a favorite "local" yarn and one other local product with a swap buddy, and their partner would get to do the same for them.  "Local" can mean whatever you want it to.  Maybe there is an indie dyer in your county, or you have a favorite somewhere else in your state/country.  Maybe there is a farm somewhere in your vicinity that sells handspun that you can get your hands on.  Maybe you have a favorite commercially-produced yarn that is made somewhere in your neck of the woods.  Same thing with your other "local gift"....maybe you know a local with an Etsy shop full of adorable treasures, or there's a superb candy maker nearby, or your area is famous for producing something specific.  Whatever you want to send, that's great!  And it'll be even better if you include a little note telling your swap partner where you live and how it is that these things are representative of your locale.  Share your home with someone far away, and learn a little about theirs, too.  The world keeps getting smaller, and this is one small way you can take a little trip without ever leaving home.

This is the last day for sign-ups though, so if you're interested, make sure to post in the swap thread today!  You can find it here.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Color Packs & Stash Scraps Knit-along!

Yesterday got away from me because we got to enjoy our New Year's Day at a wedding, but it was still the official start of the Color Packs & Stash Scraps knit-along!

If you have been petting the mini skein color packs at your LYS or have one at home that is begging to be used, take a look through the patterns in this collection and see if one would be a good match for the yarn you are dying to knit with!

Or maybe you're one of those noble knitters who made a resolution for 2016 that you would knit more from stash!  Chances are, you have more than a few partial balls of fingering or sport-weight yarn leftover from larger projects.  They might be a perfect match to something like the Swirls & Curls cowl, the Wine in the Wool hat or cowl, or Ziggy Pop.  Or pair five balls of sport-weight scraps with a full skein to make the child or smaller adult-size cardi, Tessie!

I invite you to join us this month and next for a knit-along.  Just click here for the KAL thread, read the details, and let us know what you are planning to make!  I look forward to knitting with you!