Come What May, by Susan B. Anderson

come what may

Hi, Knitters,

I’m so lucky to have Susan B. Anderson as a friend (and almost a neighbor!). She is one of the most talented designers you’ll ever find, and one of the sweetest people. If you’ve ever gotten to take a class with her or meet at a knitting event, you’ll know that she’s just as lovely and down-to-earth in person as she is on her blog.

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photo: susan b anderson

We’ve been working on a project together for a while, and I’m happy to be able to announce that Susan has written a pattern exclusively for us, using a skein of Knitcircus Opulence fingering in Come What May to create an elegant shawl with a silvery beaded edge.

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photo:ryan berg for knitcircus

Susan tells the story of its inspiration best herself (from her blog):

As I sat with my friend, Jaala Spiro, having tea, pastries and knitting in my living room one morning she surprised me with several cakes of her lovely KnitCircus yarns. One of these cakes was the spectacular gradient called Come What May. There is just something about the rosy shade of pink moving into the sweet kiss of blush and ending with the lightest shade of gray.
The yarn cake was thrilling to hold in my hands and it was inspiring. I quickly cast on and knit the sweetest little lacey shawl that is not only simple and wearable but is a really fun knit to boot. The sections of the shawl keep you entertained while the gradient yarn motivates you to keep going to get to the next color.
The shawl is a semi-circular shape with stockinette, simple lace and eyelet sections that end with a beautiful eyelet ruffle. The shawl is finished with an elegant bind-off with silver-lined beads. The beads are always optional but they add so much to the look and feel of the finished shawl. The entire project is a pleasure to knit.
The yarn colorway is the single inspiration for the shawl so the name of the design has to be Come What May. The colorway, luxury yarn base, shawl design and beads are the perfect match.
Enjoy!
Susan

We’re just thrilled with the way the design came out, and are offering Come What May kits so you can make a shawl just like Susan’s, either with or without beads.

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photo: ryan berg for knitcircus

You can also find Susan’s beautifully-written pattern on Ravelry if you’d like to work from your stash.

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photo: susan b anderson

The shawl shows off the soft color changes of the gradient so nicely;  I created Come What May last February when I was so tired of bare trees and snow and just longed for the colors of spring. And Susan is holding a giveaway on her blog; comment and you could win a Come What May kit of your very own ( just through this afternoon, so hurry!)

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photo: ryan berg for knitcircus

Whether you just got a fresh pile of snow like we did or are already harvesting your rhubarb, I wish you all of the loveliness of spring,

Jaala

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Knitting Tree’s New Home, Night Circus and Captain Tightpants

Hi, Knitters,

One of our local yarn shops, which has been around since my brother and I would walk to the drugstore to purchase candy bars for twenty-six cents, has a new, improved home! (We would literally walk right y it then, when I had not idea how important knitting and yarn would be in my life).

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The Knitting Tree, run by the sweet and fabulous Jackie, is just a block away from its old space on Monroe Street, but now boasts a spacious, modern place. Not only is there room for lots more gorgeous yarn, but you can actually hang out and knit!

Dreamlike Reading

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I recently read The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern; I don’t read fiction that often, because I know it’s so exciting I’ll want to do nothing else. This dreamllike, steampunk-ish story had me spellbound and I really enjoyed it. The premise of two magicians bound together in a lifelong contest I found extremely original, and ahistorical Victorian London where magic can be learned by anyone and women can be entrepreneurs and nobody bats an eye is a very pleasant place to visit. I’m so excited that the group The Ravelry Book Club is doing this book for October! Can’t wait to hear what other people think about this story. Please join in if you’d like…

Satine

Moulin Rouge, with its swirling dancers, romance, Ewan MacGregor and Nicole Kidman, and modern soundtrack, is one of my favorite movies. I designed several yarns based on it last year (like The Can Can Can, inspired by the Moulin Rouge dancers’ petticoats). I’ve been a huge fan of director Baz Luhrmann’s over-the-top musical vision since my mom and I watched Strictly Ballroom many times together on our VHS…

The “Sparkling Diamond,” featured Moulin Rouge dancer Satine, falls in love despite herself, and the colors in the Satine colorway were inspired by a rooftop song with pink moon and blue Eiffel Tower against the backdrop of a Paris twilight.

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Now, the Satine gradient, kit and shawl pattern are available to everyone! Diamond lace is a girl’s best friend…

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Not exactly a Paris nightclub, but then our model (a yoga teacher) is definitely healthier than poor Satine, and luckier in love!

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The Satine lace is trickier than some of the lace patterns I use, but only because it takes a number of rows to create the diamond patterns. There are no strange or difficult stitches, and it’s still only worked every right side row, so if you keep the chart nearby, it should be just fine.

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Fun Magazine

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Knit.wear has changed to Knit.Purl and gotten a pretty new makeover! I liked Knit.Wear already, a specialty twice-yearly publication with a fun, modern twist on the classics Interweave is so well-known for. I was happy to see that the sensibility and the articles, etc are not different, only the cover and some of the graphic design.

I really liked the article on the design student with a featured knitting/sewing combo fashion show and was thrilled to discover that the lovely Stephannie Tallent has her own Aran Cables and Lace video class with Interveave! Congratulations, Stephannie!

Captain Tightpants

Another director I love, this one mostly televison: Joss Whedon. Of course, Buffy rocks, but I’m an even bigger Firefly fan. I was skeptical about the concept of space and cowboy together, but Captain Mal and his ragtag crew drew me in until they became some of my most favorite tv characters of all time.

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Just for fun, I’m bringing back two of my favorite Firefly-inspired kettle dyes for the month of October. The first: Captain Tightpants.

Loyal, courageous and resourceful,  former battle captain Malcolm Reynolds held his crew together, doing whatever it took to keep flying another day. It’s not terrible to think of Nathan Fillion in leather pants as you’re knitting, either.

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The Firefly crew circles the outer edges of the ‘Verse, always on the edge of The Black. Here’s a yarn interpretation of the vastness of space. You can order both The Black and Captain Tightpants in either Greatest of Ease or Opulence yarn.

Have a great Thursday,

Jaala

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!

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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!

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Have a happy start to fall knitting season,

Jaala

 

 

Floralise Shawl

Some wonderful knitters have told me they’ve been waiting for Floralise to be available; wait no longer!

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This was one of my favorite patterns to design, since it blends stripes, lace, and a DK-weight yarn for quick knitting. Created for last year’s All Wrapped Up Shawl Club, it’s now available to purchase.

Floralise requires approximately 225-250 yards of each color of a DK-weight yarn; the Grand Parade yarn shown is a drapey alpaca-wool blend from USA-sourced fibers. For your own Floralise, do some stashbusting, or purchase the Floralise Kit.

Just for fun, the Floralise Sachet minipattern is now available as a free Ravelry download. With just 50 yards of a sock-weight, it’s perfect for using up precious small amounts of yarn.

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Have an excellent day and stay cool,

Jaala

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!

 

 

 

New Knitting Pattern: Red Sumac Shawl

The Red Sumac Shawl was one of the most fun projects I’ve ever knit. It starts with one of my favorite cast-on’s, the Invisible Circular Cast-on, and finishes with a Picot Bind-off (those two links let you download the Knitcircus photo tutorials for the techniques). It uses two simple lace patterns, so that it looks pretty but isn’t too taxing to knit. The first leaf pattern, Miniature Leaves, from Barbara Walker’s Treasury, has only three worked lace rows, with yarnovers on each side and a double decrease in the  middle to make a tiny, openwork leaf shape; the second pattern is basically just a longer version, with yarnovers defining the edges and the same double decrease in the center.

I was lucky to get to design this shawl for not one, but two wonderful groups of knitters; my class at beloved LYS The Sow’s Ear, which kicked off last night, and the Ravelry Spin-a-Shawl Group, who are actually making their own yarn for the project! Any of you spinners out there, please do join in the fun with the Spin-A-Shawl group.

The shawl is worked in Malabrigo Silky Merino; the Amoroso colorway reminded me of the big stands of sumac at my parents’ home near Spring Green, Wisconsin. Sumac spreads over the whole uphill overlooking the prairie, and in the fall, the many leaves on the small trees turn cardinal red and orange. They’re actually called Flameleaf Sumac, which suits this colorway perfectly.

Any of you who haven’t tried a Half-Pi shawl, you will be so pleased at how easy it is! Unlike triangular shawls, or even the Silk Moon Crescent, it has no border increases; you just knit merrily along until you come to an eyelet increase round, then everything between that and the next increase round is the same number of stitches. Clever, clever Elizabeth Zimmermann. Where would we be without her?

The Red Sumac shawl is up and available for purchase for $3.50 on Ravelry. Hope you’ll have as much fun knitting it as I did writing it!

 

Balm Knitalong Big Finish and Rabble Rousers Book Giveaway

Check out knitpurple09’s beautiful Balm to the Soul!

And jantaber’s colorful one!

Thanks so much to everyone who joined the fun in the Balm to the Soul/Bridge Over Troubled Water KAL; what a delightful group, and so many generous people making gifts for friends or prayer shawls. Everyone who finished a shawl will receive a copy of the Juniper Lemon Shawlette pattern as soon as it’s published. Hope to see you all back again for the Juniper Lemon KAL starting August 15th!

Rabble Rousers Book, by Hunter Hammersen

Hunter Hammersen, one of my favorite designers, has just published a fun new collection, Rabble Rousers; What to Knit When You’re Up to No Good. The accessories projects feature lace and textured patterns all one skein or less, so perfect for gearing up for holiday gifts! The book is available in physical and electronic forms, and anyone who purchases the physical book gets the e-version for free.

Fracas Hat

The collection includes the Clamor loose-fitting hat, Tumult textured cowl, Fracas lace-and-ribbed hat, lacy Uproar cuff, and mitt-and-cowl Ruction set. For knitting that’s up to no good, these look pretty good to me!

Tumult Cowl

Thanks so much to Hunter for giving an e-book to one lucky reader; to win, just comment about your favorite pattern here or any of Hunter’s work. The giveaway will run through this Friday, August 3rd.

Take care,

Jaala