Guest Blog Post: Yarn and Pattern Pairings

Hello, fellow Friends of Knitcircus!  My name is Beth, and I’m a knitter from outside of Portland, OR.  It’s a fiber lover’s paradise here in the Pacific NW, with more than a dozen LYS that participate in our local Yarn Crawl, the same number of independent dyers, and many designers.  Many of the local dyers do gradients, but none of them catch come close to the beautiful skeins that come from Jaala and Knitcircus crew. 

Just as the wand chooses the wizard, I firmly believe that the yarn chooses the pattern.   I don’t claim to be a yarn whisperer, and some yarns are more selective than others.   When I try to knit something other than what the yarn wants, the project just doesn’t work out, and ends up getting frogged.  Along the way, I’ve noticed that many of the Knitcircus yarns appear to have a sense of humor when it comes to selecting their patterns!   Jaala asked me to share some of their ideas with you.

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It started with a skein of Over the Rainbow Gradient Speckle that insisted on becoming the Emerald City Shawl by Shannon Squire.

After that things just took off!  Some of the projects currently lined up in my queue:

A skein of ‘Starry Night’ wants to become the ‘Summer Sky’ shawl by Janina Kallio

Space is Big, Really Big’ wants to be ‘Don’t Panic’ by Monika Evans

‘Mallard’ is insisting on becoming the ‘Dodo’ shawl by Heidi Alexander

‘Evergreen’ is begging to be the ‘Timberline Lodge Shawl’ by Kay Hopkins

‘Toasting Marshmallows’ chose the ‘Flame Keeper Shawl’ by Laurie Beardsley, and

‘Fruit Kabob’ jumped at the sight of the ‘Bosc Pear Shawl’ by Tetiana Otruta.

What does your yarn want to become?

–Beth Root

Jaala’s note: We are thrilled to have Beth write this blog post for us! I just love her inspirations! Many of the colors mentioned are exclusive Yarn Club colors, because she’s that kind of awesome. To see all of the current available colors for your yarn and project ideas, please check out the Knitcircus site.  Happy knitting!

Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy

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Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy is one of the new Impressionist Speckled Gradients. We are all in love with these gradients with pops of unexpected color throughout.

This new dyeing process started one day when Elizabeth and I had been hanging out at beloved yarn/coffee shop The Sow’s Ear. On the way home I told her about some dyeing experiments I’d been working on and described some of the pitfalls.

easy peasy 2

Bug got so excited that she used her finely-honed style sense, picked out the Cancun Boxy Lace Top and knit it up within a week!

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One of the first Speckled Impressionist Gradients was Just Have a Little Faith. You guys know I’m a little obsessed with the TV show Prison Break, with its suspenseful, clever plot and self-sacrificing hero. The grays and blues of the first season begged to be made into a speckled gradient!

frog_toad

The next one, with its rich greens and blues, had to be an homage to some more favorite characters. You guys loved Frog and Toad as much as we did!

Every time we create a new color of the Speckled Gradients, it generates a lot of excitement in the studio. We’re all trying to get dibs on the yarn first! It’s really fun to knit, because you keep asking, “Which color will this stitch be? How about the next one…”

Happy knitting,

Jaala

 

Design Inspiration Revealed: Susanna IC’s Vernice Shawl

KnitCircus_July2015_ConnieWardPhotography-115 (1)Susanna IC has built her reputation on beautifully-designed shawls, and has had patterns published in many leading knitting magazines, including Twist Collective and Wool People. She designed the stunning Vernice Shawl for our Fall Collection: in the first of a series, she shares her inspiration and design process for us in a mini-interview.

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  1. How did you choose the kind of project you designed?

I wanted to create a smaller, one skein shawl with some fun textures throughout; something that would be quick to knit but still interesting to work on, a perfect gift project. Of course, this being a Knitcircus project, the design also had to play well with beautiful gradient yarns.

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  1. What was the biggest challenge of designing this project?

The inspiration for Vernice came from the brilliant colors of the skein, which reminded me of the changing seasons, and the design progressed easily from there. I wanted to work with interestingly textured lace stitches that would reflect the colors and textures of autumn foliage. The biggest challenge came while trying to decide which color to start with.

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  1. What was your favorite part of the process?

While the more difficult decision had to do with which color to work with first, the red or the blue, the color progression was also my favorite part of the design process. In the end, I decided to start with the blues to reflect the color of clear sunny sky and to finish with the reds that look much like autumn leaves.

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  1. Your favorite thing about the finished piece?

I am very happy with the way the textured stitches interact with each other, creating interesting shapes throughout the lace border. I also like how versatile the size of this crescent is: it can be worn around the shoulders as a traditional shawl, yet at the same time the elongated shape makes it possible to wear open like a long scarf.

Here’s where you’ll find the:

Vernice Pattern

Vernice Kit

Knitcircus Fall Collection

You can find all of Susanna’s designs on Ravelry, join her Ravelry Group and check out her website, Artqualia.com!

Ready for Fall Knitting!

Hi, Knitters,

My knitting mojo is back. It’s finally September!!! That means it’s real knitting season, even if it’s 90 degrees outside right now.

Monet

Monet

Of course, we’re all really excited about the new Impressionist Yarns, which is a new technique we’ve been developing this summer to unveil this fall! One of my Assistant Dyers, Erin, told me about a dyeing technique she had tried on fabric; we tried it on yarn, then ended up using a completely different approach to get a similar effect. The final product is a gradient with pops of exciting colors throughout. It’s exciting to knit because you never know what color the next stitch will be!

So I grabbed one of our first prototypes and started knitting up a scarf; I thought that Seed Stitch would be a fun way to make a reversible fabric with the Impressionist yarn.

Renoir Scarf

Renoir Scarf

This became the Renoir Scarf we released along with the new colors last week. It’s an easy free, reversible pattern to make the most of this or any of your favorite DK-weight yarn. This one that I kntted was in the shop for about two days, then my 92-year-old grandma came for a visit. She admired the scarf, so I gave it to her! My grandma loves color, so I knew it would be a perfect fit.

the lovely Emily

the lovely Emily

Here’s the Renoir Scarf modeled by our other Assistant Dyer, Emily! Both of our Assistant Dyers are in the Textile Design program at the UW and plan to complete their studies at the Fashion Institute of Design in New York. We’re very proud of them; watch out, fashion industry!

Cassatt

Cassatt

Each of the Impressionist yarns is unique, but they all follow a general gradient pattern. This soft colorway was named for one of my favorite Impressionists, Mary Cassatt. Her paintings of intimate moments between mothers and daughters were pretty groundbreaking at the time.

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I knew we had a kind of quiet, recover-from-the-first-week-of-school weekend planned, so I took a Gauguin colorway to make another scarf. I’ve never been so excited about Seed Stitch! I feel like I could keep on knitting these scarves until the kids head off to college!IMG_4080[1]

Progress so far….

As it turned out, Lil Buddy has been down with a fever all weekend and I spilled hot coffee on my leg, creating a pretty exciting swollen, red knee, so I’ve gotten a little more down time to knit than we anticipated. He seems to have more energy today, so that’s a relief. Moral of the story: always have your knitting ready!

Hope you’re all having a good weekend and staying cool,

Jaala