Posts Tagged ‘color’


Freeze-Thaw is a fun take on a necessary practicality. Named for the all too familiar cycle that characterizes winter in my home state of Virginia, and seasonal transitions further north, this pattern is a great way to add a little color and creativity to your next lightweight hat!

This hat is knit flat and sideways, using short rows to form the familiar shape. Knit each wedge in a different color for a bit of extra playfulness. It also makes for a great way to use up a collection of mini-skeins or scraps!

Freeze-Thaw gives you opportunities to practice a number of techniques explained in this blog, including short-rows, provisional cast-ons, and Kitchener stitch. Check out this quick knit today!

GAL and Small Business Saturday

So my Knit Picks order finally arrived:


And after a bit of fondling the alpaca that came in the box, I cast on Eloina for the GAL. To be totally honest I bought the pattern purely because it’s pretty, and I have no real need for it. That’s lucky, because when the yarn arrived it was not remotely the same color it looks like on my computer. I really should have known better, because purple is always a tricky color and Knit Picks colors tend to run warm compared to what my computer shows. Nonetheless, it turned out to be a shade of “purple” (pinkish purple) that will look fantastic on my sister, so now she is getting surprise socks in addition to her other Christmas gift.


Yes, that really is my standard for unsolicited handknits. “I have the yarn and the pattern anyway, and even if you hate it at least I got to knit something really fun and you got something else too”. Seems like a pretty fair standard to me.

Last Saturday Hubby also suggested going out shopping for Small Business Saturday, which he insisted should include a stop at our LYS (God I love him). So I came home with a gorgeous new hunk of roving from a trunk show Flying Goat Farm was having, and some Berroco Vintage for remaking the Irish Moss Gloves Hubby has worn out. This one isn’t an unsolicited knit; he actually specifically requested it when he suggested LYS shopping. Have I mentioned what a smart decision I made in marrying him?

2015-11-28 15.45.26

In any case I will cast on the Irish Moss golves and a Brumby Jill as soon as I finish the Eloina socks. Add that to the  scrumptious alpaca design still on the needles and I certainly won’t run out of stitchwork anytime soon!

Some Selfish Knitting

I finished the Colophon mitts! Now my poor hands won’t freeze when I first get to work in the mornings. You’ll have to forgive the photos today. There’s little enough daylight this time of year to begin with, but with all the rain and “wintry mix” this past week it’s really just been a lost cause.


I also cast on Nubby last night, not because I need another hat but because it makes me happy. Also making me happy is the fantastically green Cascade 220 I’m using, which I picked up at my LYS last (Small Business) Saturday. That was another goody I didn’t really need. Sometimes being selfish is awesome.

nubby brim

What are you making this cold, windy Sunday? If the weather where you are is as nasty as here, I hope you’re taking advantage of this prime knitting time!

Puck Drop

It’s finally hockey (pre)season! I’ve been waiting for this day since June! In celebration, I’m releasing a new hockey-inspired pattern. My latest sweater Puck Drop is inspired by the hockey sweaters of the early league, but updated and tailored a bit to better suit today’s women.

puck drop

This sturdy game-time pullover features classic striping at the elbows as well as color changes around the neckline and placket which, in my personal favorite feature, laces up like a jersey. The tri-coloration lends itself nicely to the three dominant colors of most NHL teams, but it wouldn’t be hard to adapt for a two- or four-color team either.

puck drop detail

Puck Drop is a raglan that lends itself well to just a little positive ease. In the photos there’s about an inch of ease, which is just enough to wear a tank top or layering tee under it comfortably. Anywhere between .5 and 3 inches of ease will preserve the look and the layering ability.

puck drop full length

Puck Drop is knit in the round from the neckline down, with no seaming. This and the primarily stockinette body make it ideal for someone who has knit a sweater or two before, but isn’t interested in something especially challenging right now. It’s a great, spirited top perfect for easing you back into heavy duty winter knitting, and into hockey season! Anyone think they can get one done by the start of regular season? Three weeks to go!


Knitting and Culture: Norway

If the post scheduler is working correctly, I am currently on vacation and absolutely nowhere near a computer. Since I plan to spend a good bit of my vacation in Norway, I thought I’d share with you a bit of info on the history and culture of knitting in Norway.


Map courtesy of Google

Did you know that Norway was actually one of the last European countries to adopt knitting? For as much as we overseas think “Scandinavia” every time we think “knitting”, the earliest known pieces of Norwegian knitting are from the 1600s. I guess it makes sense when you consider how far that knowledge had to travel just to get to Scandinavia at all.

Knitting didn’t really become common nationwide until the mid-1800s,when it became part of a growing movement toward nationalism. This is also when the first of what we tend to think of as the “traditional” two-color patterns began to appear. In particular, dot of darker color on a lighter background (unfortunately nicknamed “lice”) and borders of eight-petal flowers are now considered distinctly Norwegian.


Pattern: Norwegian Stockings to Knit by Terri Shea

After the Norwegian division from Sweden in 1905, there was a serious push to develop a national identity, and this included national styles of dress and handicraft. At that time people began to closely examine and make an effort to preserve the best regional and rural traditions from Norway, but they also began to borrow or modify ideas and designs that spoke to them from other cultures. For example, the Nordlandskofta style of sweater frequently includes borders inspired by Greek culture, but is a distinctly southwestern Norway creation from the 1940s.


In 1956 Dale of Norway created the now-iconic sweater for the Norwegian winter Olympics teams, which really cemented the idea of “Norwegian knitting” in the international world. It also transformed knitting in Norway from a rural tradition to a nationwide fashion statement. It had a wholesome, productive, and thoroughly feminine connotation that no doubt appealed to the “housewife culture” so common in the mid-century Western world. Knitting was not only a way to show national pride, but to show you loved your family and were skilled.

dale olympics 1956


Then in the 1970s there was an interesting phenomenon called “Hønsestrikk”, (“Chicken Knitting” or  “Hen Knitting”), which was actually a feminist movement. Take that, grandma stereotype. Danish writer Kirsten Hofstätter objected to tendency toward traditional knitting, much as other feminists of the time objected to traditional family structures. She felt it limited creativity and encouraged elitism. Hofstätter wrote a series of books encouraging use of bright colors, non-traditional designs, and saving money (and adding color!) by using scrap yarn whenever possible. Basically, she encouraged individuality. In fact it was not unusual to see hen knitters work their own names or personal stories and symbols into patterns. The trend became massively popular in Norway, where knitters not only began to buy patterns separately from yarn, but grew less inclined to use patterns at all.



No doubt the emergence of Ravelry in this generation has changed the face of knitting once again in Norway, as it is in so many other nations. I look forward to seeing what people will say about the next trend in another decade or two! I know some of my readers come from Norway or from Norwegian backgrounds; if you have more to add we’d love to hear it!

Hurry Up and Wait

Between all the waiting around at work, waiting around at the vet (routine appointments), and tons of soccer to watch, I’ve had a lot of time for mindless knitting lately. Good thing I had several long stretches of stockinette ready to go.

pink socks

The pink/purple purse socks are finally done. There was no real urgency on those, of course, since they were a purse project. Still nice to have something finished though. It makes me feel like I’ve actually accomplished something this month after all.

green socks

Because the pink socks are done, yesterday I cast on these lovely green beauties. The striping is a bit more subtle, except for the fat stripes of spring green thrown in amongst all the darker blue-greens and grey-greens. Still, I like green a lot more than pink, so these are making me happy so far.

mohair bastard

I finally managed to piece together the fronts and back of the mohair sweater too, and start a sleeve. It’s taking me an inordinate amount of time though, because I just do. not. feel like working on it. I think I’m still a bit bitter towards it. Luckily I’ve got a massive undertaking coming up (shhh, secrets!) that should distract me from it for the rest of the summer.

This Again?

We’ve had several days in the 60s and even one in the 70s in the last week or so. My hyacinths and garlic and even what appear to be some crocus I didn’t know we had have all sprouted.



The neighbor’s crocus are even blooming, not that I’m jealous or anything. Ahem. I’ve started all the veggies that need indoor starting, the robins are nesting, and I am getting super psyched for spring. But then tonight’s forecast? 3-6 inches of snow. Sigh.

I really hoped we were done with winter. We almost never get snow this late in the year. State testing begins in mid-March (Tuesday, actually) because we’re supposed to be *done* with weather-related scheduling issues by now. Where is my spring, dang it? Oh well, at least I’ll have plenty of knitting to keep be warm. Again.

rainbow cowl


I finally used up the end of that rainbow yarn and finished my cowl. It is cozy and colorful and will keep me from killing people when the world turns white and grey again tonight. I will probably pair it with my rainbow socks just to be extra sure.

I did indeed run out of yarn before completing the last sleeve of Flutter, so I ordered a new skein…and possibly some pretty green sock yarn as well. Knit Picks is having a St. Patrick’s day sale; can you blame me? I really think a little green is just as necessary as the rainbows, what with the impending weather and all.


While I’m waiting on that yarn to arrive, I’ve also been working on the stash-busting purse socks a bit more. I’m using the same cabling pattern as the Flutter sleeves. They’re also almost the same color as the neighbor’s crocus. Are you noticing a theme here?

Some Pretty for You

Last weekend we had a brief break in the cold before the endless snowing returned. I took advantage of the temporary warmth to air out my shawl collection and also take a few photos for an upcoming ad campaign. I thought a lot of it wound up pretty, and very refreshing after months of endless grey and white. Because I love you all, I am sharing. All photos can be enlarged by clicking.

folded shawls

A close-up of my shawls, all folded and ready for spreading




Almost overwhelming for the senses this time of year!

swept away

More beads and a bit of pretty light play.


Fish? Vines? Don’t care. It’s green, and I need green right now.

Hope these brightened your day a bit, as they did mine. For the interested, the shawls (in the order they appear in the fence picture) are: Clapotis, Swallowtail, Leonardtown, Sea Spray, and Swept Away.


So Um, Socks.

Yep. Two of them. I cast on for these awesome Rainbow Love socks Tuesday evening, and now I am wearing them. I have never in my life knit a pair of socks this quickly.

rainbow love


I’m not sure if the rainbow bug really bit me that bad, or if Olympic hockey is just that good for my knitting productivity. I somehow have a miraculous 70g of yarn left too. I actually went so far as to knit about half the toe of a new pair of socks with the leftovers until I realized how absolutely insane that it. Since I can’t seem to put down All the Colors in spite of having finished my socks, I cast on for a new cowl instead. After all, there’s a whole lot of hockey still left to watch.

rainbow cowl


Lookit!!! I got rainbows!!!


I finally found some rainbow striping yarn- Cold Springs seems to have a pretty decent supply of the stuff. Isn’t it preeeeeetty? The colors are so fabulously saturated and exactly what I need on this nasty grey week. Naturally I couldn’t wait to dive into it and have already cast on a new pair of socks. We won’t discuss the current sock WIP it definitely displaced, or the sweater that is also still not finished.

sock toe

Really, how could you even think about those WIPs when you have this on the needles?! It’s not quite the fat stripes I was originally looking for, but still distinct and bold and look how pretty!!! It’s super soft too. This is so much better than grading papers. Or eating. Or sleeping. I may be in trouble…

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