Balinese Cardi and Snowshoeing

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Guess what, talented designer Elizabeth Green Musselman just released her Balinese Cardi pattern, making ingenious use of our gradient and kettle-dyed yarns!BalineseCardi_main1 (2)

We’re so thrilled about her design. Using the gradients on the sleeves and yoke makes a lovely  and unusual garment, especially with the handkerchief hems and gorgeous lace inserts. And, if you purchase the Balinese Cardi pattern on Ravelry, you’ll get a special secret code for free shipping on the Balinese Cardi kit in the Knitcircus store.

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Check out that sleeve detail; wow! This is truly a flattering design for all figures, and Elizabeth wrote it for bust sizes 32-54″, so everyone can cast one on.

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Making Tracks

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A bit ago, Buppa, Li’l Buddy and a couple of his pals and I went up north for a weekend ski getaway. It was delightful, rustic and just enough adventure for all of us.

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We got to see near-frozen waterfalls, hike along the otherworldly frozen landscape of Lake Superior shore,

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and for me, try snowshoeing for the first time.IMG_1963

I’m not usually a sporty girl, but hiking through snow-covered woods is about my speed. My DH, being the lovely man that he is, gifted me a set of snowshoes, so now I can do it on our home turf! As soon as it’s above 0 degrees F,  I can’t wait to try…

Have a great weekend, and stay warm,

Jaala

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Spring Sweater Knitting

Remember when I said that I only wanted to knit sweaters out of dk or worsted-weight yarn? Or even chunky? Well, never say never, my friends, because now it’s spring, and my thoughts are turning lightly to thoughts of fingering. Especially because summer has been very slow in coming here in Wisconsin, and I am still sporting jeans and a long-sleeved shirt right now… I’m even wearing wool socks!

With two little guys now, we spend a lot of time watching Little League games, and the field’s high, flat location means it’s always windier and chillier there than most places in town. So, a nice, light, fingering wool sweater strikes me as the perfect thing for this time of year!

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My spring sweater pick: 5200K, by Suvi Simola. The clean, simple lines look great on everyone who’s knit it, and I’m using one of my gradients for the yoke. I kind of fell in love with this color. 🙂

For my next sweater:

A couple of days ago, one of my favorite design teams, Tincanknits, paired up with one of my favorite indy dyers, Sweetgeorgia Yarns, to release the elegant, simple, lacy, pretty much perfect spring sweater, Raindrops. Looking at the design intrigued me so much that I checked out all of their other patterns and found what looks like the perfect warm-weather sweater; laceweight, beautiful neckline detail: Bonny. Can’t wait to keep on knitting and be able to wear these!

 

 

 

Sweater Resolutions

A fresh new year, full of yarn and knitting! This makes me very happy.

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This week’s article gives resources for trying colorwork, different sock constructions, entrelac, traditional techniques, new and innovative techniques, cables, charts and dyeing your own yarn. I was lucky enough to have resolutions shared by some wonderful designers, including Susan B. Anderson, Stephannie Tallent, Daniel Yuhas, Alex Tinsley, Sarah Wilson, Elizabeth Morrison, podcast host Maria MN, video maker Johnny Vasquez, Elizabeth Green Musselman and Lee Meredith.

My Resolution

I have one big goal this year; to give myself an education in knitting sweaters. Because I like to try on as I go, and have a fear of knitting a bunch of pieces that make a sweater way too big (or more likely, too small) for me, I’m going to focus on seamless sweaters. First, pullovers, then cardigans.

I love knitting accessories, and as a busy mom, business owner and Healthy Snack Team leader for the kids’ school, have shied away from sweaters as too time consuming. But I’m too stubborn to buy myself store sweaters, since the knitter in me always thinks she could do it better (at least with better yarn!). Amy has knitted herself a whole wardrobe of sweaters. Susie Anderson has been a big inspiration, wearing her favorite handknit sweaters every time I see her. And the fact is, I’m getting cold. Especially now that I spend much of the day dyeing yarn in my basement studio, it’s chilly! So sweaters it is.

I’ve been having fun trolling through Ravelry and noting my favorite patterns to try, and have a pretty good queue lined up. I’m not under the delusion that I’ll finish all of these this year, but want to start with the very simplest raglan sweater and move into more details over time.

Look out, sweaters, here I come!

There are so many appealing sweaters on Ravelry, but here are my Top 13 for 13 picks….

1. Already started: Sunday Brunch Sweater, by Mishellee Zaharis. It looks like a very simple raglan top-down knitted with worsted weight yarn and larger needles for drape.

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This coral color is the first skein of my red Sweater’s Worth of yarn.

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2. Oatmeal Pullover, by Jane Richmond. Simple raglan construction in chunky yarn, should be a relatively quick knit!

3. Mondo Cable Pulli, by Bonne Marie Burns. Who doesn’t love this pattern?

4.Tang, by Wendy Bernard. A nice, cozy turtleneck.

5.Kaleidoscope Yoke, by Katie Himmelberg. You know I’ve got to try this in my own gradient yarn!

6. Bayside Pullover, by Hannah Fettig, to get those cables going. Love that detail.

7.Shellseeker, by Heidi Kirrmaier; I can’t resist both stripes and pockets!

8. Elise, by Stephannie Tallent. Loved this since we first published it.

9. Gathered Blouse , by Katya Frankel.

10. Wetwang, by Ann Kingstone. A big fan of this designer, and I love the subdued yet stylish colorwork on  this one.

11. Snowflake, by TinCanKnits

12. Hillcrest Coat, by Amy Miller. A fellow Wisconsinite! I could see wearing this sweater every single cold day.

13: From this Day Forward by Ashley Knowlton. An elegant spring/summer sweater. This one is in fingering, so a stretch for me, but would be so lovely when finished.

Of course, as a designer, there’s always deadline knitting, but I’ve set myself a goal of no less than 7 sweater rounds a day. That’s enough to make some progress, but not so much that it’s un-do-able in a deadline crunch. The main goal is to keep knitting something every day and make sure that my own sweaters don’t get put on the back burner.

Sweater Knitting: Somebody Tell a Yoke

Meg Swansen is every bit as beautiful and gracious in person as you might imagine, with a little twinkle for every knitter. She and the lovely Amy Detjen signed their new book at the Sow’s Ear on Saturday afternoon; it was so nice of Amy to introduce us.

Debi generously invited me to join the Sow’s Ear crew, Amy and Meg at Quivey’s Grove for dinner after the event; local specialties in a stone farmhouse-turned-restaurant. Poor Meg had to leave because she wasn’t feeling well, but the Sow’s Ear ladies, including Webmistress Cindy, Heather, Debi, Deb, Liz, Pat and Jeanne-Marie have no trouble keeping things lively.Talk of yarn, knitted ski masks and Knitting Camp turned to techniques, and Amy, in Teacher Mode, rattled off 11 different sweater yoke methods. We all wanted to try, so we agreed that we’d each knit a sweater with a yoke this summer. I’m really excited about this project, and have been combing Ravelry for my Yoke-Along sweater.

Of course, there’s this knitting book deadline, so it’s maybe a tad unreasonable to take on a sweater right now, but why let logic take over my knitting? Passions are wild. Plus, sleep is overrated. And I really want to try a yoke.

My yoke-knitting parameters:

1) Can’t be on anything less than a Size 5 needle, or I’ll never finish.

2) Must be yarn available at the Sow’s Ear.

3) This was a bit of a wrench, because there are so many great cardigan patterns out there, but I know that I’ll do better if I can just knit my way around a pullover.

4) I love colorwork, but have to make sure that the colorwork or yoke section is big enough to look flattering on someone as tall and big as me. ETA:  Amy says a small yoke looks like a necklace, so I’m rethinking that one.

Yokes to Remember

The one that started it all: drooled over this at Meg’s display at the Sow’s Ear

Yoke Chart Pullover-WG79 by Elizabeth Zimmermann and Meg Swansen

Equinox Yoke Pullover, by Michele Rose Orne

The Linnea Pullover, by Wisconsin LYS owner Kathryn Ashley Wright

Circles Yoke Sweater, by WEBS

Stripes! by Whitney Gegg-Harrison (I would just do the stripes on the yoke section).

Elemental Pullover, by Veronik Avery. I love everything in the Knitting 24/7 book.

Drops 122-8 Pullover

Sky Isle Cardigan, by Candace Joggerst (following the mods to make it a pullover)

Boreal, by Kate Davies

Olive Blouse, by Helga Isager

Based on Amy’s comment below, I’m going to add

Neiman, by Weaverknits

Icelandic Sweater, by Elizabeth Zimmermann

and Freyja by Courtney Kelly and maybe think twice about Boreal and Sky Isle…

And maybe the top contender right now: Adelaide Yoke Pullover, by Kate Gagnon Osborn

Too small for my self-imposed needle success rule, but so pretty maybe I should try anyway:

Cottage Garden, by Cheryl Burke

Please let me know which of these to pick! And, please also let me know if you’re interested in an online yoke-along. Maybe we’ll be able to convince Amy to pop in and answer questions sometimes….