Posts Tagged ‘knitting’

Icicles Sweater

Need a last minute gift (a pattern, of course!) for a knitter? Done with your gift knitting and ready to make something fun for yourself? Try my new Icicles Sweater!


This incredibly warm, soft cardigan is not for the faint of heart! Knit in a blend of alpaca and bamboo, Icicles is positively dripping with gorgeous colorwork.

arm up

The sweater features a rolled collar, slightly flared sleeves, and a zipper for ease of use. It also uses a traditional short-row yoke and folded hems. If you or your favorite knitter is looking for a next great adventure in knitting, check it out!


Gift-a-Long 2017

The 5th annual Gift-a-Long is underway! I can’t believe we’ve been doing this for 5 years already! I’ve been a participating designer and knitter all 5 years, and it’s an absolute blast every time.

gal 5

New to the GAL? It’s a great event originally created to boost awareness of Indie designers and to help fiber crafters get those holiday projects done on time. For one week each November (this year it’s from the 21st to the 28th) all participating designs are 25% off with that year’s code. This year we have over 300 designers enrolling 10-20 designs each in the sale. You can catch a quick idea of what I personally have on sale below, or click the link to see all 20 discounted patterns.

GAL 2017 poster

The sale only lasts a week, but the Gift-a-Long lasts all the way until New Year’s Eve. There is an -along thread for each category of pattern (sweaters, baby knits, hands, etc) with random prizes awarded periodically in each. There are also threads for various contests that run throughout the GAL, and on New Year’s there’s a prize giveaway extravaganza! It’s a fun way to motivate each other to get through your holiday gift-knitting and get yourself some fun gifts too.

Interested? Join in!

Diamond Collection

I have a new collection out, just in time for holiday knitting! I am thrilled to introduce you to the Diamond Collection. This collection contains 3 patterns available separately, or at a discount as an e-book.

Centenary scarf

The first and easiest pattern in this collection is Centenary, named for one of the largest diamonds ever unearthed. This fully reversible scarf is surprisingly beginner friendly, consisting entirely of knits and purls with no shaping at all.

Orlov gloves

The second pattern in the collection is Orlov, named for a diamond in the Russian crown jewels. Appropriate for intermediate knitters, this is actually quite a fast little pattern if you’ve knit gloves before. Ideal for a last minute gift!

Koh-i-Noor hat

The final and most adventurous pattern in this collection is Koh-i-Noor, named for a diamond in the UK crown jewels. This giant, super-slouchy beret will keep your head and ears toasty warm all winter long.

If you’re looking for a luxurious matching gift set to give this season, or just something beautiful to keep yourself warm, I hope you’ll indulge in the Diamond Collection!

Snowed In Collection

It’s cold out there! Have you been snowed in yet? Need a quick project or three to get you through until you can go outside again? Do I ever have the collection for you!

My Snowed In Collection is an e-book of 3 patterns each designed to be knit in the stretch of time you might be stuck inside during or after a storm. The neckwear patterns come in a range of estimated times and difficulties:

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Snowzilla is the fastest and easiest of the patterns. Very beginner-friendly, it requires only knits and purls with no shaping or fancy pattern stitches. It’s also a great way to use up some handspun or that unpredictable art yarn you bought at a show.


Storm Cloud is the next easiest pattern in the collection, and due to its chunky-weight yarn likely to take about as long as Snowzilla. It does introduce a new-to-may technique, fishermen’s rib, with a photo tutorial. This extra stretchy, extra warm stitch is surprisingly easy to learn, and a good precursor to learning brioche.


Cabin Fever is likely to take a bit longer than a weekend – you may want to save this one for a monster storm! When the cabin fever has set in, and you’re about to lose it, learning a new technique can be a great distraction! This beautiful two-color scarf pattern serves as a great introduction either to two-color brioche, or to brioche overall. The written instruction are accompanied by both a photo and video tutorial, if either technique is new to you. If you’ve already learned the stitches needed for fishermen’s rib with my Storm Cloud, you’ll have a head start!

All 3 patterns are available for purchase separately on Ravelry, but now through December 31 you can get the whole collection for the price of one pattern when you buy my e-book!

Whatcom Falls

Fall is here and with it a bit of a chill to the air! Keep that chill off your shoulders with my new shawlette, Whatcom Falls.


This little scrap of lacy goodness is inspired by the colors and land features of the Pacific Northwest, as well as one really fun care package. Whatcom Falls is ideal for this time of year. It makes a great transition piece to carry your summer clothes for just a few more weeks.


The beads also add a bit of glitter and sophistication to those increasingly long, cool evenings. Not to mention, they’re just fun to knit with!

Road Trip Socks

Wow, it’s been a while since I posted here! I am fresh back from a road trip to New Orleans, and I have a new pattern for you! It’s summer in the northern hemisphere and for many of us that means road trips. I created this pair of Road Trip Socks on my own road trip and was sufficiently struck by how perfect for travel it is that I decided to share it!

roadtrip hero.jpg

These quick and easy cabled socks are wonderfully portable and not too warm in your hands, making them perfect for that summer road trip! The pattern is easily memorized, and uses a maximum of about 450 yards of yarn – easy packing!

roadtrip close.jpg

Because the cables are only two stitches wide and repeat frequently, they’re also perfect for learning to cable without a needle, so you can leave one more piece of equipment at home! Instructions for no-needle cabling, if needed, are linked in the pattern and also available on this blog. If you’re doing a traveling this summer, I hope you’ll take Road Trip Socks along for the ride!

roadtrip detail

A Lace Primer

It’s spring, and spring means lace! Mostly when I knit lace, I just think of it as lace. But from time to time I think about traditional Irish lace, or the fancy needle laces I watched little old ladies make in Venice, or how people wax poetic about Estonian lace on the boards of Ravelry.  Being a naturally curious person I always kind of wondered about the differences and the definitions of each type of lace, but an interesting recent thread on Ravelry finally inspired me to look into it properly. Unsurprisingly, many of these laces are just as tied to their cultures of origin as language or music. Read on if you’ve always wondered too!

Non-knitted Lace

Needle lace

Needle lace, By Unknown – Diacollectie Kunsthistorisch Instituut Universiteit van Amsterdam, CC BY 3.0

Since this is primarily a knitting blog, I’m going to keep this one short. There are actually quite a few ways to make lace that don’t involve knitting needles. Most of what we see in stores is some persuasion of needle lace, which would traditionally be made with only a needle and thread. Turkish knotted lace is technically also a form of needle lace, as opposed to other knotted laces like macrame that use only thread or yarn. Cutwork, which you often see on linens, is woven fabric with pretty holes cut out and then reinforced with embroidery thread. Bobbin lace is a rather complicated form of weaving involving a pillow and many bobbins (shocking, I know!) Interestingly, chemical lace also came into being just over 100 years ago. This uses a continuous motif of embroidery on a “sacrificial” woven background, which is then dissolved via water or heat, leaving only the embroidery behind.

Crochet Lace


Filet crochet by FranzJosef

There are a few forms of crochet lace, but I am a mediocre crocheter at best, so I won’t go into too much detail here either. Irish crochet was created in the mid-1800s to imitate expensive Venetian needle laces. Typically, it uses a very fine steel hook and similarly minuscule cotton or linen thread to crochet separate motifs which are then basted onto a mesh background in a pleasing arrangement. Filet crochet uses varying combinations of chain stitches and double crochet stitches, traditionally in fine mercerized cotton, to create interesting motifs on a mesh background.

Orenburg Lace (Russia)


Orenburg Shawl postage stamp, By Russian Post, Publishing and Trade Centre “Marka”

Orenburg lace originated in Russia in the 17oos and is most typically used for shawls. The ever popular “wedding ring shawl” (technically, any full-sized shawl that can be pulled through a wedding ring) is a well-known example of Orenburg lace. According to legend, the wives of soldiers stationed in the remote Ural steppes were so bored they began to create the most ornate, fine-gauge shawls they could imagine just to fill the long winters. Historically the shawls were made in various geometric shapes from very lightweight, undyed threads of Orenburg goat wool. Orenburg down is thought to be the thinnest, softest goat down in the world – 16-18 micrometers, as opposed to Angora’s 22-24. As Orenburg goats living outside of the harsh winters of the Urals often develop rougher wool, Angora is commonly substituted in the rest of the world. Common Orenburg motifs include honeycomb, peas, and strawberries.

Shetland Lace (Scotland)

shetland lace

While no one seems to be entirely clear on how or when Shetland lace started, the oldest known example was found on a body buried in the late 1600s. Shetland lace does not appear to have been popular outside the islands until it became a particular favorite of Queen Victoria, who commissioned many pieces for herself and as gifts. Eventually, Shetland lace also developed a “wedding ring shawl” tradition, although many decorative and occasionally practical items beyond shawls are also made from Shetland lace. Like Orenburg lace, it traditionally uses thread spun from the undercoat of a local animal, although in this case it is a breed of sheep and not goat. Shetland shawls are generally square, featuring knitted borders basted onto a knitted center square. Common Shetland motifs include cat’s paws, old shale, and distinctive versions of the almost universal shell and horseshoe stitch patterns.

Estonian Lace (Estonia)


Swallowtail uses several Estonian techniques, including nupps.

Estonian lace began during the Russian rule of Estonia (early 1700s-early 1900s), when the town of Haapsalu became a popular resort town. Local women began creating ornate lace pieces to sell to the tourists. If you’ve ever heard of a nupp, you know about Estonian lace. This k-yo-k pattern, worked in a single stitch, creates a bump that is distinct from a bobble and is very characteristic of Estonian lace. Star stitches are also generally thought to be an Estonian creation. Like Shetland lace, Estonian lace pieces generally have borders. Unlike Shetland lace, Estonian borders are created by picking up stitches all the way around the project and knitting in the round.

Modern Lace

You’ll notice that many of the most well-known and beloved knitting styles originate in rather remote places. It takes a certain amount of isolation for unique styles to really develop. With the development of world travel and more recently the internet, all of the wonderful knitting traditions out there are rapidly blending to create a whole new sort of lace. I can’t wait to see what new styles evolve and separate in the coming centuries with access to so much information!


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