Knitting News & a Recipe for Mitts

November 21, 2013

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I've been enjoying a bit of mindless knitting with a pair of stockinette fingerless mitts. Below you will find a recipe where I give you the details on how I made my mitts, but before I do I want to tell you about a few things going on elsewhere in the knitting/crafting universe that I think are worthwhile. Be sure to read through the post. There might just be a coupon code somewhere in there!

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First up, my friends at The Seamen's Church Institute are  asking knitters to make tiny mariner's caps and "hide them in plain sight" to get the word out about the contributions of mariners. Head over to The Seaman's Church Institute's website to learn more, including instructions on how to get the pattern. Also check out the other work they do knitting for mariners with their Christmas at Sea project.

If you're like me, and have an aversion to the Black Friday frenzy, join my buddy Beverly at PoMo Golightly and have a Craft Friday instead (follow that link to read more and to tell Beverly you're in)! I personally would much rather give thoughtful handmade and avoid mass produced gifts whenever possible. I've already started my holiday knitting, but look forward to digging through my stash and planning projects to work on that day. Right now I'm leaning toward making gifts with handspun on Craft Friday. That way even my yarn is handmade! To help you with your own planning I'm offering 20% off of all of my independently published patterns between now and midnight on Saturday, November 30th. Just use coupon code CRAFTFRIDAY at check out. Then you can follow up Craft Friday with Small Business Saturday, and support an independent business person, like your local yarn shop, indie desigers, and indie yarn companies with your holiday craft themed shopping!

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Now, for the curious who'd like more details on the mitts, I'm using Manos Alegria in Butia that I purchased at Trillium Yarns. Here are the basics on how I did it (let's call it a recipe, rather than a pattern):

Kirsten's Fingerless Mitts Recipe

Cast on 56 sts on a US 3 (or size to get gauge see my 'note about gauge' below). Work in (k1tbl, p1) rib for half an inch or so, then knit in the round for about 7".

Next up add a gusset: round 1: knit to one st from end, pm, m1, pm, k1. all even rounds: knit. odd rounds 3-17:  knit to marker, slm, m1, knit to next marker, m1, slm. you'll  end up with 17 sts between the markers.

Knit one more round, then on the next round place all of the 17 gusset sts on scrap yarn and continue working the remaining 56 sts in stockinette st in the round for another 1". Finish the top edge with another 1/2" of (k1tbl, p1) ribbing. Bind off. Finally place the thumb sts back on your needles, pick up and knit 3 sts in the gap, and knit 4 rounds. Then finish the thumb with 1/2" of (k1tbl, p1) rib and bind off.

A note about gauge - my gauge is 28 sts = 4". This will give you a finished mitt that is 8" in circumference - these mitts are a bit slouchy on me. If your gauge is 25 sts = 4" your mitts will measure 9". If it's 32 sts = 4" your mitts will measure 7". Adjust your needles accordingly.

Calycanthus

November 11, 2013

Calycanthus

Just in time for holiday knitting, my Calycanthus mitts pattern is available for 50% off. To take advantage of this offer, visit the Calycanthus Ravelry pattern page for the coupon code. Sale ends on Monday, November 18th.

 

Calycanthus

Calycanthus

Calycanthus

Wrap Sized Laight Street

November 07, 2013

Laight Street Wrap

Some knits are so delightfully squishy and soft that you want to wrap yourself up in them and never take them off. Such is the case with my Laight Street that I made using Malabrigo Twist in the Zinc colorway.

Laight Street Wrap

Sofie modeled my new Laight Street wrap for me yesterday in the Hudson River Park. By the end of our photo session she had declared my Laight Street hers, and told me of her plans to take it back to her dorm with her. Nonononono! There might be trouble brewing in the Kapur household over the ownership of this knit. 

Laight Street Wrap

The thing is, this is the sort of piece that I will wear over and over again. It's perfect to wear out on a chilly evening when you don't quite need a coat, or over a coat on a colder night. Of course wrapping oneself up in it while sitting on the couch reading would be another excellent way to wear Laight Street.

I knit my Laight Street wrap exactly as in the pattern instructions for the wrap size, except I added one extra repeat of the lace since I had lots of yarn, and I love a gigantic shawl.

Laight Street Wrap

I purchased 8 skeins of Malabrigo Twist from my friend Beverly's store, Trillium Yarns. (Side note: I'm teaching at Trillium this coming Sunday. We'll be working on center out shawls and blankets. For more info visit Beverly's website.) In the end I used less than six skeins for this project, and as you can see from the photos it is quite large enough. I'm sure I'll find a use for the remaining 2.5 skeins. That's never an issue in this house. 

Laight Street Wrap

One final note, I'm excited to be designing for Anne Podlesak's Wooly Wonka Fibers Heroine's club again. I'm creating shawls for two installments of the club this year. The first is for the April shipment of the small shawls club. My inspiration for that one is Pippi Longstocking (yay Pippi!) Then in September my design, inspired by Lisbeth Salander, for the  full sized shawl club will ship. For more information or to join one of the clubs head over to the Wooly Wonka Fibers website.

Fun With Color: Desbrosses

October 28, 2013

Desbrosses

Desbrosses - for the curious, this pattern is named for a street in Tribeca.

After filling our bellies at Momofuku Noodle Bar, one day last summer, my friend Kelly and I wandered over to Downtown Yarns - a favorite NYC yarn store of mine. Downtown Yarns is small, but loaded with beautiful yarn, and is a warm, friendly place to shop.

Desbrosses

As we stood there contemplating the selections, I discovered four skeins of Tosh DK that simply refused to let me leave without them. You see, there had been an idea for a cowl banging around in my brain for several weeks, and these four colors would be the perfect choice to finally get the idea out of my head and onto my needles.

Desbrosses

Once I got those skeins home, they sat in the yarn basket next to my knitting chair and taunted me until I had the time to cast on. I don't remember much from that point on. I was in such a bliss of color and knitting that the memory is a blur. The next thing I knew there was a cowl and it came off the needles exactly as I had seen it in my mind's eye for all of those weeks before. Since then, the hardest thing has been keeping my girls from stealing the cowl before I had a chance to photograph it and put the finishing touches on the pattern.

Desbrosses

And so today I give you Desbrosses. After working the initial garter stitch edge, it moves right into simple stranded colorwork, and then back into multi-colored garter stitch stripes. Although I picked up new yarn to make my Desbrosses, I'll bet many of you have yarn in your stash that would work beautifully. The large sized cowl takes most of one skein of Tosh DK, and just a little over a half a skein of three others. There is also a small size that uses considerably less yarn.

Desbrosses

Desbrosses


Size: S [L] Shown in size L

Finished Measurements: 30 [64]”circumference x 9 [9]” deep

Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh DK, 100% Superwash Merino; 225 yards/206 m per skein,
Color A: Antique Lace, 1[1] skein / 110 [215]yds
Color B: Duchess, 1[1] skein / 60 [120] yds
Color C: Briar, 1[1] skein / 60 [120] yds
Color D: Antler, 1[1] skein / 60 [120] yds

Needles: US 8 (5mm) 24[40]” circular needles  or size to obtain gauge

Gauge: 15 sts & 38 rows = 4”/10cm in garter st- blocked (see notes below), always take the time to check gauge

Other Materials: stitch marker, tapestry needle

Price: $5.50 US

Thank you to Nadia for test knitting and to Karen for tech editing.

Classes, Classes Classes

October 11, 2013
Thanks to everyone who entered the Fair Isle Style contest. I used a random number generator to select Chantelle as the winner! Chantelle has been notified and the publisher of Fair Isle Style will send her a copy of the book.

Vestry Street

This post is mostly about classes that I'm teaching in the coming weeks, but I'll pepper it with photos of the lace weight Vestry that I made a few weeks ago for visual interest. For details on the yarn I used, head over to the project page on Ravelry. You will find the pattern here

Vestry Street

Now on to the classes. I'm scheduled to teach three workshops at my good friend Beverly's store, Trillium Yarns in Morristown, NJ.  If you haven't been to Trillium, and you live anywhere near, or are visiting the area I highly recommend checking this LYS out. Trillium Yarns is loaded with great yarn (I might have stocked up on Tosh DK and a good bit of Malabrigo Twist when I visited earlier this week). If you're not in the area Beverly also sells on-line, so head over to the website and check Trillium Yarns out. The first two classes I'll be teaching at Trillium (scroll down to find my workshops)  are color workshops on Sunday, October 27th. In the morning class we'll explore color, step out our "color comfort zone", and learn to select yarns that will make our multi-color projects sing. Then in the afternoon workshop we will cast on and use what we've learned. Knitters may choose any of my multi-color patterns, and I will work with each to help select colors and master the necessary techniques to complete the project. I'm really excited about both of these classes because I LOVE to work with color! Please join us for one or both classes on October 27th, it promises to be a very fun day.

Vestry Street

Next up on Sunday, November 10th I'm teaching Center Out Blankets and Shawls. Center out blankets are a lot of fun. Since they are knit in the round, there are no wrong side rows! The construction also lends itself very nicely to adding stripes and working in multiple colors. Knitters May choose any one of my center out blanket projects - Abby's Blanket, Hap-Lapghan (from Fair Isle Style), or Water Music. We'll learn several different cast on options, and master all of the necessary skills to complete your project. For those who want a simpler project, I'll also have instructions on hand for a basic center out garter stitch blanket.  

Vestry Street

Vestry Street Shawl knit in Play At Life Fiber Arts Wishingstar Lace.

Back Roads & Brownstones

October 01, 2013

It is always a joy to work with Amy Herzog. She is creative, fun, talented, and smart. The roots of our most recent collaboration started well over a year ago when she was in NYC for business and we found a few hours to spend some time knitting and chatting about design over lunch. We had recently published The Charles Collection along with Elinor Brown, and knew we wanted to work together again. With Elinor too busy to join us this time around, we set to work scheming on what we could do with just the two of us. We decided that a small collection would work best this time, with each of us focusing on our own regions. Amy lives in New England, I live in NYC. It seemed a perfect theme for us. Truthfully, we each have a little of both the country and the city in our souls, which may explain why we get along so well, but for this project I would represent the city and Amy would represent the country. BRBS 2We named the collection "Back Roads & Brownstones", and decided to publish the collection in pieces, with new installments every two weeks.  The designs are each published independently, with patterns available individually. Today I am introducing the fist installment of the collection with two related patterns, the Brownstone wraps.Brownstones CoverThe Brownstone wraps are Vestry Street and Laight Street, named after two New York City streets in the Tribeca neighborhood. Both designs feature a similar lace pattern, but have different shaping and are worked at much different gauges.

Vestry St Back
Vestry Street is a light fingering weight, half-pi shawl, with bands of lace separated by broad bands of garter stitch. The lower edge is finished with a delicate picot bind off. Vestry Profile

This shawl has a more refined, uptown look. Perfect for a romantic dinner, or evening at the opera.

Vestry Profile

Vestry Street

Size: One Size

Finished Measurements: 46 wide x 20” deep

Yarn: Swans Island Fingering, 100% Certified Organic Merino; 525 yards per 100 g skein, color: Bittersweet, 1 skein

Needles: US 6 (4mm) straight or circular needles or size to obtain gauge

Gauge: 18 sts & 38 rows = 4”/10cm in Garter Stitch- blocked, always take the time to check gauge

Other Materials: stitch markers, tapestry needle, cable needle

Laight St 5

Laight Street is an edgier, downtown look. Worked in a bulkier yarn with a choice of scarf or wrap sizes, this design is perfect for tossing on over your bomber jacket as you wander around the Soho. This time around the lace is all over with openwork areas framing solid sections of chunky cables.


Laight St 1

Laight Street

Size: Scarf [Wrap], shown in scarf size

Finished Measurements: 12 [22]” wide x 62” long

Yarn: Swans Island Bulky, 100% Certified Organic Merino; 130 yards per 100 g skein, color: Teal; 3 [6] skeins

Needles: US 11 (8mm) straight or circular needles or size to obtain gauge

Gauge: 13 sts & 16 rows = 4”/10cm in lace pattern- blocked, always take the time to check gauge

Other Materials: tapestry needle, cable needle

 

Vestry Street $6.00

Laight Street $6.00

Brownstone Wraps $9.00

(Both patterns together)

 

 

Fair Isle Style

September 27, 2013

Fair Isle Style - jacket art

Photo copyright Chris Vaccaro used with permission

Welcome to the final stop on the Fair Isle Style blog tour. If you haven't been lucky enough to see this gorgeous book by Mary Jane Mucklestone  you really should get your hands on a copy. It is filled with gorgeous photos and must-knit designs from many favorite designers and of course a few from ultra-talented Mary Jane herself. I personally want to make one of everything within its pages. I am currently in search of babies to knit a pair of Carrie Bostick Hoge's  Peerie Weerie Booties for, or a young child who would might enjoy Lucinda Guy's Babsie Bird.

Fair Isle Style - Peerie Weerie Booties beauty shot Fair Isle Style - Babsie Bird beauty shot

Photos copyright Chris Vaccaro used with permission

After showing my sisters my copy of the book they are both angling for a pair of Spilly Jane's Mushroom Kelliemuffs. A Christmas pair for each perhaps?

Fair Isle Style - Mushroom Kelliemuffs beauty shot

Photo copyright Chris Vaccaro used with permission

I am very excited, and honored to have had the chance to make a contribution to Fair Isle Style. My design is the Hap-Lapghan, a very cozy lap blanket made using two colors of Cascade Eco Cloud.

Fair Isle Style - Hap-Lapghan beauty shot

Photo copyright Chris Vaccaro used with permission

When Mary Jane said she was looking for designs that used traditional Fair Isle techniques, but with an updated look I immediately envisioned a bold, graphic, modern afghan. Something that might look as good on the ornately carved antique chairs that I inherited from my grandmother as it does on the clean lines of a sleek leather couch.

Hap-Lapghan

The construction of the Hap-Lapghan starts in the center with very few stitches and builds outward in broad stripes which graduate in size. A chevron border using traditional Fair Isle techniques finishes the piece and contrasts with the boldly striped center.

Hap-Lapghan

Izzy was happy to wrap herself up on a chilly fall day to model the lapghan before I shipped it off to Mary Jane.

Hap-Lapghan

Mary Jane has offered to send a copy of Fair Isle Style to one lucky reader. To enter just make a comment on this post by midnight next Friday, October 4th. I will select the winner using a random number generator.

To read more about the book visit the other blogs on the tour by following the links below.

Thursday, September 19: Mary Jane Mucklestone - Valenzi Cardigan and Morrowless Socks

Friday, September 20: Carrie Hoge - Peerie Weerie Booties

Monday, September 23: Norah Gaughan - Mareel Shrug

Tuesday, September 24: Courtney Kelly - Fara Raglan & Kate Osborne - Scandi Sukkalegs

Wednesday, September 25: Gudrun Johnston - Bressay Dress

Thursday, September 26: Kat Coyle - Keltin Skirt

The Shepherd & The Shearer

September 23, 2013

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It has been almost a year since Susan Gibbs of Juniper Moon Farm first contacted me about designing for an exciting new project that she was working on. She told me about how the idea had been born during a late night conversation between she and good friend Emily. They share a fondness for classic sweaters knit in hard-wearing yarns - the sort that you love and wear for years and years. As they sat and chatted that night they both agreed that the knitting world did not have enough sturdy yarns to make sweaters that hold up to years of wear, and that it was time for Susan, the Shepherd and Emily, the Shearer to do something about it. And so The Shepherd and The Shearer was born. Susan explained that she wanted the very talented Kate Davies and me to each create a design for this fabulous new yarn. Naturally we both quickly agreed.

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Emily set to work shearing the sheep in March and worked through May. Shearing fleeces from from over 30 different breeds of sheep.

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Next the fleeces were sent to MacAusland’s mill on Price Edward Island, Canada to be spun. MacAusland's has been in business since the 1800's and still uses the original equipment.

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Meanwhile, Katie and I were sent yarn to work with. In order to have enough time to create the designs, we couldn't wait for samples from the mill. Instead we were sent yarn that was a good match to Susan's & Emily's vision for their yarn - New Lanark Aran. We both set to work on our sweaters. We agreed that Kate would design a cardigan - The Shepherd, and I would create a pullover - The Shearer.

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I wanted my design to have the elements of a timeless classic, so I designed it with rich cables, and a modified drop shoulder. Side slits help it to fall easily over the hips. The slightly over-sized fit makes it the sort of sweater you want to pull on on a chilly fall weekend.

All of the photos above are property of Juniper Moon Farms. Used with permission.

I took a few quick photos of Sofie modeling The Shearer on a hot July day before I sent it off to Susan. Given the heat of NYC in July, I ask you to forgive her for modeling an Aran weight sweater with a pair of cutoffs.

The Shearer

The Shearer

The Shearer

The Shearer
To read more about The Shepherd and The Shearer, or to purchase the patterns, ebook, or kits, visit the Juniper Moon Farm website. To read Kate's post about The Shepherd visit her blog.

Chambers Street

September 05, 2013

Chambers Street

I don't have time for a long post today. I'm heading to Maine in a few hours to teach at Fiber College. If you live anywhere near Searsport, Maine I highly recommend spending the day, or the whole weekend at Fiber College. There are a lot of wonderful classes that have room for last minute sign ups, a market filled with gorgeous yarn and spinning fiber, free demonstrations, book signings, and fun people all in a spectacular setting.

Chambers Street

Before I head out I want to tell you about my new design, Chambers Street. This over-sized sweater is knit in sport weight yarn at a loose gauge to give it fabulous drape. I knit Sofie's in Louet Euroflax Sport, but when I make my own it will be in glorious Plucky Primo Sport.

Chambers Street

This comfortable sweater is as easy to make as it is to wear. I chose to design Chambers Street as a  pieced sweater to give the drapey fabric a bit of needed structure, but seaming is easy with drop shoulders and no arm holes to fiddle with. Side vents and color blocking give Chambers Street up to date style.

Chambers Street

Wear Chambers Street with 3-5" of positive ease. The model’s bust measurement is 35” and she is wearing the 40” size. When selecting color placement, consider your body proportions. The model has broad shoulders and narrow hips. For her, placing the brighter color on the bottom and the darker color on the top helps to balance her proportions. For narrow shoulders, and broader hips, consider reversing the color positions.

Chambers Street

Chambers Street

(Ravelry link above, please head over to Ravelry to queue it or fav it.)

Sizes: This sweater is meant to be worn with 3-5” of positive ease. See “Finished Measurements” below and select your size accordingly.

Finished Measurements: 34[36, 38, 40, 42, 44, 46, 48, 50, 52, 54, 56, 58, 60]” at bust and hip, 25” long (may be lengthened or shortened as desired.)

Yarn: Louet Euroflax Sport, 100% Linen; 270yards/246 m per 100g / 3.5 oz skein,
MC: Eggplant - 3 [3, 3, 3, 3, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4] skeins CC: Aqua - 2 [2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 2, 3, 3] skeins
MC: Eggplant - 670 [710, 730, 770, 800, 840, 890, 920, 950, 1000, 1040, 1050, 1080] yds CC: Aqua - 340 [360, 370, 390, 400, 430, 450, 470, 480, 490, 520, 540, 550, 570] yds

Needles: 
24” US 6 (4 mm) circular needle  or size to obtain gauge
24” US 4 (3mm) circular needle or 2 sizes smaller than needles used to achieve gauge

Gauge: 21 sts &  29 rows = 4”/10cm in stockinette - blocked, always take the time to check gauge

Other Materials: tapestry needle, safety pins

Price: $6.50

Thank you to my test knitters; Mari, Kelly, Annika, & La'Ketta and to my wonderful tech editor Karen.

Bowery Mitts

August 28, 2013

Bowery Mitts 1

My Bowery Mitts pattern is available for free on Ravelry until October 1st. Get a jump start on your holiday knitting, or indulge youself in a quick, stash busting project. I'm going to make my next pair striped. Maybe even fraternal. I like that sort of thing.

Bowery Mitts 5

Bowery Mitts

Sizes: S [M, L] Shown in size M

Finished Measurements: Circumference at wrist and palm 6.25 [7, 8]”, relaxed, will stretch to fit up to 7.5 [8.5, 9.75]”, 8.5[9, 9.5]” long from bottom of cuff to top of mitt.

Yarn: Stonehedge Fiber Mill Shepherd's Wool, 250 yards/229 m per 113 g/3.99 oz skein, Color: Milk Chocolate, 1 skein

Needles: One set US 5 (3.75mm) double pointed needles or size to obtain gauge


Gauge: 27 sts and 36 rows = 4” in diagonal blocks stitch pattern, relaxed

Other Materials: Tapestry Needle, stitch markers, scrap yarn