Kindness is Everything/Kindness KAL

kindness is everything

Wow, we’re still in the middle of the Peace Project KAL, so it’s hard to realize that the New Year will be here in a flash. I’m thrilled to say that this year will bring another round of the Kindess KAL! It was so heartwarming to see how many people participated last year and to appreciate all of their different Kindness KAL projects with creative color and yarn combinations. The new KAL will feature a new Kindness KAL shawl pattern (not published yet) and will run from February 1-April 1 2018.

I’m really happy with the new Kindness colorway this year (there was a pile on Liz’s desk this morning and I had to pick it up and pretend-eat it, I love it so). The soft grays flow into sky blue and rich purples.  Purple has traditionally been associated with magic, and I also associate it with forgiveness and kindness, any emotion that expands the mind and spirit. Hopefully you will all enjoy it, too!

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These days, we need acts of kindness more than ever. The way the KAL will run isn’t set yet; if you have ideas of how people can contribute time, talent or money to organizations through the KAL, please leave a comment here or on instagram (@knitcircus_yarns).

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The inspiration for this colorway’s name came from the Madison, Wisconsin mothers who created these yard signs.  If you like what you see, you could get one for your own window or yard!

You don’t have to wait for the KAL; use this color for any favorite project! But do mark your calendar to knit along with us for Kindness starting February 1.


New Stripes, New Shop, New KAL

Wow, Knitters,

I’ve got so much that’s new and exciting to share with you! it’s hard to know where to start.

New Shop

First, and very big news to us: we have our own Knitcircus Yarns web store now! You can purchase 100g Gradients, 150g Gradients, Matching Socks Sets and Gradient Stripes Socks right from our site now. Whooo! Big props to Webmistress Cindy for her hard work getting it all prepared for you.


New Stripes

The new Gradient Stripes socks are flying off of our virtual shelves, and I’m dyeing them up as quickly as I can so that you can start playing with them! We sent many, many packages out the door in the last two days, so if you live nearby, you may have your sock sets in hand soon! More are heading out today because we really want you to be able to knit with them.

New Knitalong

We can’t wait to see what you’re knitting, so we’ve started a KAL in the Knitcircus Group to bring everyone together to share and enjoy progress on their Gradient Stripes socks. We’ll have weekly prizes and surprises, and Webmistress Cindy is putting together a list of good sock patterns to use. Just post progress pics in the progress thread to be eligible to win! Note: if you would like to work the KAL with original Matching Socks Sets gradients, of course you can!


Webmistress Cindy has already knitted most of her first sock! She knits fast. She’s using a prototype for the Sand Castle colorway that has a little less contrast in the blue section than the for-sale colorway will.

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Susie Anderson’s finished sock so intrigued me that I wanted to try the Tropical Sunset colorway for myself.

Gradient Stripes Giveaway!

Speaking of Susan B Anderson, she’s doing a fun giveaway on her blog right now, in fact, two giveaways for the new Gradient Stripes Socks! She talks about the yarns and shows her finished sock on her video podcast, and has a really creative idea for the giveaways. It’s so fun that she’s doing videocasts now, because Susie’s personality just shines and she’s one of the dearest people I know. I’m so lucky to live near her, but now knitters in far-flung places get to be charmed by her, too!

Bye, Bye, Baseball


In kid news, Lil Buddy’s fall baseball season wrapped up; unfortunately, he hurt his hand right before the last day of play, but still had a blast with his fall tournament team. What a talented and fun bunch of kids.The World Series starts next week, so that will be the last hurrah. I can’t wait to make the traditional homemade caramel corn….

It warms the cockles of my heart that he still wears my handknits in public; above he’s sporting two-years-ago’s Gryffindor hat. 🙂 Belle has a new hat, a variation on the Valentina I made for her last year, but I haven’t gotten to snap a pic yet.

Happy Friday Pet Pics

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Of course, I couldn’t have a blog post without including some cute pet pics! Sasha and Squeak are good friends and enjoy napping together when they’ve worn themselves out chasing and play-fighting.

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Buppa purchased an early holiday present for Lil Buddy; new ski boots! And Squeak got the box.

Silk Moon KAL

Hi, Knitters,

I don’t know about you, but now that September is here and the kids are back in school, I’m itching to start some satisfying fall projects!


We’ll be running a series of knitalongs in the coming months, and we’re easing things in with the Silk Moon Crescent Shawlette. This is my most popular design, possibly because it is such a quick and rewarding project. This garter-stitch shawl with an easy-to-memorize increase pattern is true potato-chip knitting!

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Here’s the classic version made with Noro yarns; you can use any worsted-weight Noro you have in stash.


New for this KAL, we’ve released a new fingering version of the shawl! Many of you asked for fingering-weight instructions for of this fun knit, and we listened. Silk Moon Crescent now includes instructions for both worsted and fingering weight projects.If you’ve already purchased the pattern, you should already have received a notification about the pattern update.


Use any 400-yard fingering weight in your stash, or choose from Knitcircus Yarns’ 100g fingering gradients.


The KAL will start on Friday, but you can cast on as soon as you like. We have special Silk Moon Crescent Kits available in the shop, and we will be rushing kit orders made by September 19th. The dyed-to-order kits include a copy of the pattern and two cakes of Ringmaster or our new dk-weight Merino Cashmere Nylon, Knitcircus Calliope, in some of our best-selling colors. There are also a few special kits made up out of bases or colors that are currently in limited supply. If you prefer fingering, orders of any 100g fingering weight yarn made in the same period will include a free Ravelry download code for the pattern.


The KAL will include new prizes every week and will officially run from Friday, September 12th to October 15th. Please join us in the KAL thread in the Knitcircus Ravelry Group!


Have a happy start to fall knitting season,




Corrina Shawl Pattern Release and KAL

ImageThe Corrina Shawl pattern is now available, and will kick off this year’s Summer of Shawls KAL! Last year, we had a wonderful group of knitters participating, and some fun prizes, so I hope you’ll join the party. We’ll have three newly-released shawls, one each for June, July and August.

The Corrina Shawl was created for the Knitcircus All Wrapped Up Yarn Club, to use one skein of fingering-weight handpainted yarn, approximately 420 yards. It would be a perfect stashbuster for a subtle or not-so-subtle handpaint. The constant increases for the crescent shape minimize color pooling, and the simple dropped-stitch lace pattern makes it fun and achievable.

ImageWant this shawl, in these colors? There’s a limited number of Corrina Kits available in the Knitcircus Yarns shop! Kits include a printed pattern in plastic sleeve, a skein of Pixie Dust yarn in the Andromeda colorway shown, and a mini-skein of Knitcircus Aerialist yarn, just for fun.

The shawl was knit in Knitcircus Pixie Dust fingering, USA-made superwash wool/silk/nylon combo, so you can choose any Pixie Dust skein from the shop for a similar subtle glittery effect, or use any fingering-weight stash yarn you’ve been saving for something fun.


Please do join the fun in the Corrina Shawl Knit Along Group on Ravelry, where we’ll have prizes and surprises throughout the KAL!

The Knitalong runs from June 1 to July 15th, plenty of time for this one-skein shawl (maybe even one for you and one for a friend…)


New Pattern: Juniper Lemon Shawl

Two new shawl patterns in a week?! This seems crazy! But it’s a happy kind of crazy…

I had such a great time knitting up both this and the Red Sumac Shawl, and hope you will, too.

The Juniper Lemon Shawl was inspired by a delicious flavor of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Cream I got to try at TNNA. Maybe I should try to track down some more flavors and do a whole series! Multiple tastings would be in order, just to make sure I got them right…

This design was created with some of my favorite knitters in mind, the Silk Crescent and Balm to the Soul KAL knitters; it’s kind of a combination of the triangular shawl construction of Balm with the periodic increases of  Silk Moon to give it a nice, shallower silhouette.

The lace edging uses the same construction as Balm to the Soul, which means that there are increases on each side of the lace pattern. Juniper Lemon begins with one of my favorite knitting techniques, the Garter Tab Cast-On, to make a crescent-shaped starting row. The shawl uses 440 yards of fingering weight yarn, so makes a fun stashbuster.

The Juniper Lemon Shawl pattern is available for $4.50. I hope you’ll join us in the Juniper Lemon Shawl KAL group on Ravelry, for a chance to hang out with fellow Juniper-Lemon knitters and win fabulous prizes, too! The KAL runs from August 15th to October 1st, and you can join anytime!




Knitalong Finished Shawls and New Prizes

The Balm to the Soul Knitalong has been going like gangbusters, and knitters have chosen  gorgeous yarns to give the pattern all different looks. As a designer, it’s so exciting to see the pattern worked in different yarns and colors; these knitters open my eyes to wonderful possibilities!

A selection of the beautifulshawls so far with the finisher’s Ravelry name:

lovely variegated by pati

beautifully executed by wburton
understated elegance by andersonmi
gorgeous color by baugus
pretty, pretty by pinkshawlgirl
yum! extra lace repeat by jamnut

More photos to come!

This Week’s Winners

These three members of the KAL Group won copies of my e-book, Knitting Recipes: Hats and Cowls:

bbitner, debbie1085 and leebehnke! Notifications have been sent through Ravelry. 🙂

This Week’s Prize

A skein of handpainted worsted yarn from Yarn Hollow! With 560 yards, this is more than enough to finish a Balm to the Soul or Bridge Over Troubled Water shawl.

Everyone in the KAL who has a Balm to the Soul 1 or 2 or a Bridge Over Troubled Water project listed on Ravelry is eligible to win; winner announced next weekend.

Knitalong Hopping Right Along

zbyszkoknits finished her Balm to the Soul shawlette in just one day! A number of amazing knitters have already posted finished photos by this morning; it’s so exciting to see people’s yarn and photos of their works-in-progress, too.

Still plenty of time to join in the stashbusting…I love how pretty much everyone in this KAL has shopped their stashes.

Sport Sock Update

It’s growing slowly; hope to have a pair by the end of Fall Ball! This one’s ready for sime ribbing. I’m going to use this tutorial for an invisible, stretchy bind-off from crankygrrrrrl.

Belle’s Yarn

Belle’s yarn from our dyeing class makes such a pretty yarnball! She’s graciously allowing me to knit something out of it for her (more on that later; hint: it’s a free pattern in the works!)

It’s winding up to be a sticky, hot day here; hope you all keep cool.


Balm to the Soul Knitalong Tips

The Balm to the Soul Knitalong got off to a whiz-bang start yesterday, with knitters casting on in beautiful yarns from Cascade 220 to Malabrigo. Many knitters successfully found stash yarn for the project, making it particularly satisfying…

If you’re knitting the shawl, or thinking about it, here are the construction and techniques tips so far:

The Balm to the Soul Shawlette is a Double Triangle shawl. That means that you’re going to be increasing in the middle (called the spine) and on the edges (borders) as we go along, creating a large triangle that’s actually made of two smaller triangles.
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It seems funny, but when we cast on, we’re starting at the middle of the long, flat edge of the triangle, and the increases will shape it into the two triangles as we go.

The shawl starts with a good long Stockinette portion, so you can get used to the increase pattern before you do anything fancy.

You’ll be increasing along each side (border) of the shawl and at the midpoint (spine) every Right Side row. For the first 44 rows, on the Wrong Sides, you just work in Stockinette stitch, which means you get to purl every stitch on that row.

A very important note: because you’re using yarnover increases that make the shawl bigger (not paired with decreases) you will be actually adding stitches at the sides and midpoint of the shawl every right side row. This means that, if you use regular stitch markers, they will get moved away from their target stitch every time you increase. This can be VERY confusing.

It is sometimes hard to see the midpoint stitches among all the purled stitches on the Wrong Side, so I recommend using a coilless safety pin or latching marker and attaching it to the midpoint stitch. Just move it every few rows so you can tell which stitch is the midpoint. You’ll work a YO on either side of this marked midpoint stitch on the Right Side of your work, and purl the stitches on either side of it on the Wrong Side.

This is no big deal in the Stockinette section, because you’re purling everything on the back side already, but when you get to the texture stitches, you’ll continue to work the Spine and Border stitches in Stockinette, so you’ll want to be able to see the midpoint stitch. In the texture sections, you’ll work seed or garter stitch for all of the shawl body stitches, then purl the three Spine stitches and two Border Stitches on the Wrong Side of the work.

The new, updated version of the pattern contains a lot more information than the original, including many more line-by-line instructions and stitch counts. It also has expanded construction and techniques notes for all of the sections of the shawl.

If you’re not very familiar with following a pattern, it’s very important to read all of the Notes in the Pattern Notes section first, so you’re ready to work the instructions when you get there. It’s also important to know that the line-by-line instructions for the basic Crest of the Wave lace pattern are in the Pattern Notes, so you’ll need to turn back to that page for written instructions if you’re not comfortable reading a chart.

The one tricky section in the shawl is the Lace section, because you have to follow the written instructions for each line, and at the same time follow the lace chart. The line-by-line instructions tell you how to work the stitches on either side of the lace chart, which is repeated six-and-a-half times. But don’t worry! By the time you get to the lace chart, you’ll be familiar with the shawl construction and will do just fine.

This is where the shawl can get tricky if you’re new to lace, or new to the idea of a double triangle, but no worries! You can totally do this.
The most important thing to remember is that the shawl is increasing by four stitches every right side row, which means one stitch on each side of the lace pattern every RS row. But the lace pattern stays the same! The number of stitches in the lace pattern does not change as the shawl gets bigger. This means that you will be adding stitches on either side of your lace pattern, but they won’t be part of the lace pattern, they’ll be worked in Stockinette Stitch. You’ll start with 3 stitches on one side of your lace panel and 2 on the other, and the next RS row, you’ll have 4 and 3, then next 5 and 4, etc. You get little Stockinette Stitch triangles on either side of your lace pattern, and that’s how it’s supposed to look. 🙂
Here’s a chart showing how that happens. This just shows one lace repeat, and has it starting with one stitch on each side (in blue).
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The other thing to know about the lace pattern is that you’ll be working half of the lace pattern just before the stockinette stitches on either side of the spine. Instead of 4 yarnovers and 4 matching decreases, you’ll only have two on each side. These are mirrored so that you have yarnovers and k2tog on the first side and yarnovers and ssk on the second side, so they look symmetrical. It’s just the same as for the regular lace repeat, only you stop in the middle!
Here’s a photo of the lace pattern, St st triangle and spine where they all meet up.
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Enjoy your weekend, everyone! By a miracle of sports scheduling, today is game-free, so we can do whatever looks fun in the 90-degree temps. Water, popsicles and/or ice cream will be involved…


Balm to the Soul Knitalong

Today’s the day, the start of the Balm to the Soul Shawlette KAL! The pattern includes directions for both DK and worsted-weight yarn, taking only 220 yards of worsted or 300 of DK. You begin with a nice stockinette section to get used to the increase pattern, then add a bit of texture, and filnally, finish with one lace repeat.

This is going to be a lot of fun, and I can’t wait to see the projects unfold!

Here’s my DK version, worked in Berroco Vintage DK. The worsted lilac shawl above is in local favorite Blackberry Ridge Woolen Mills‘ Mer Maid kettle-dyed yarn.

We’ll have prizes and surprises throughout the KAL, which goes until August 1; here’s the first one now!

A big prize for a lucky finisher: two skeins of Malabrigo Merino Worsted in the color Damask, more than enough to complete another shawlette!

Please join us in the KAL for some good ol’ summer fun.

Silk Moon Knitalong Wrap-Up and Prizes

You KAL knitters exceeded my expectations by a mile! So many beautful shawls and color choices. We had 49 finishers, a number of whom cast on more than one Silk Moon Shawlette.

Most FO’s Prizes

In honor of their initiative, here’s the last surprise: some special prizes for knitters who made more than one shawl!

Irishpat on Ravelry made no less than 7 shawlettes, and is the winner of this set of Hiya-Hiya stitch markers and dumpling bag! (She wasn’t active on the Ravelry group, but Amy Detjen, me and everyone at beloved LYS the Sow’s Ear can attest to her rapid progress on the shawls!)

Zbyszkoknits on Ravelry had at least 7 on the needles and finished five shawls during the KAL! She wins a skein of Pollika KnitGlobal sock yarn and mesh project bag.

Jan229, Wburton,Valuable and Kganster each finished two! Of those four, the Random Number generator picked Valuable to win a Spud and Chloe gift bag.

We’ll have a drawing very soon for the Stash and New yarn categories; just want to make sure I hear from eveyrone about which yarn they used first.

KAL Member Prizes

The Silk Moon Group has 163 members! You don’t have to have finished anything for these prizes, just have joined the knitalong party.

The winner of the Pretty Cheep project bag and Spud & Chloe gift bag is Weeziemom on Ravelry!

The Spud and Chloe bag and keychain winner is jchant on Ravelry!

The Grand Prize

And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for:

All of the 49 finishers are eligible to take home three skeins of Noro Kureyon yarn to make another Silk Moon Shawlette.

The Random Number Generator has spoken and the winner is: Sarebearknits on Ravelry!!!!!!

All winners have been notified via Ravelry message boards.

This was so much fun, we’ll definitely do it again; I have a project up my sleeve that I think you shawl knitters would really enjoy. I’m also working on a fingering-weight version of the Silk Moon pattern, which will be part of the Knitting Recipes: Shawls and Scarves e-book, and I hope to release that pattern in the next few months. So maybe we’ll revive the KAL for both versions just in time for the gift-knitting season….

Thanks again so much to Susan B Anderson for her support throughout the KAL and to all of the wonderful knitters who participated.