Friday, June 16, 2017

Yarn Over, Yarn Over

The Yarn Over KAL in the Ravelry Blue Peninsula group is off to a great start. The focus is on lace for this "choose your own project" KAL—you can make any of my designs with yarn overs, everything from socks and sweaters, to scarves, cowls, shawls, or mitts. And there's still lots of time to cast on. This leisurely summer KAL continues through Sunday, July 30.

We already have a few finished projects, including a pair of Con Brio mitts, a beautiful Golden Valley shawl worked in two colors, and a Birchleaf cowl knit up in a gradient yarn. You can view all of them in the FO thread, and check out the prizes in the discussion thread.

I might cast on another pair of Plumtree socks for the KAL, but first I'm focusing on a new shawl design.

Shawl design in progress

Knit in a small-farm wool/mohair blend that I purchased at Rhinebeck last fall (Thelma & Louise from Wing and a Prayer Farm), this shawl will have the same kind of asymmetrical triangular shape as Notch. But, it's worked in the opposite direction—you cast on at the wide end and then decrease until only a few stitches remain. After the lace section, there's a transition to mostly garter stitch, which will make the project really zip along.

Shawl design in progress

More on the shawl later this summer. In the meantime, I hope you'll join us for the Yarn Over KAL. I started a fun "mini challenge" yesterday, asking folks to share photos of their WIPs with a pet. Here's Snickers, lounging next to me as I worked on the shawl the other evening:

Snickers and Lace

She looks pretty relaxed, doesn't she? I hope your weekend is just as relaxed, with plenty of knitting time!

Friday, June 09, 2017

Indie June Sale at Loveknitting

Every June, the UK knitting site Loveknitting celebrates independent designers and their contributions to the fiber arts. There are blog competitions, designer features, plus a great big Indie June sale.

Those of you in the U.S. might be more familiar with Ravelry than with Loveknitting. The two sites both are great platforms for finding patterns, discovering new designers, and sharing your finished projects. One difference: Loveknitting offers supplies as well. While browsing patterns you can also get needles, crochet hooks, notions, and yarn. So it's kind of a "one stop shop" for everything you might need for a project.

Five of my most popular patterns are discounted $1.50 during the Indie June sale:


Birchleaf Cowl_Full_2

Shallows Mitts_72_with bag


Hop Brook

Lots of patterns are on sale—from baby items to shawls, socks, sweaters, and more—by many, many talented designers. 

If you aren't yet acquainted with Loveknitting, the Indie June sale is a great time to explore the site! Maybe you'll find inspiration for your summer and fall knitting—while also supporting independent designers like myself. The sale and other Indie June activities continue through June 30.

Friday, June 02, 2017

New Pattern: Plumtree Socks

Plumtree Socks

Summer's just about here—always a great time for knitting socks. They're light and portable and don't involve large amounts of wool (which is never too comfortable on hot summer days).

So I'm pleased to announce a new sock pattern for the start of the summer season. Worked in the round from the top down, my Plumtree socks feature an appealing mix of lace and knit-purl textures. They're now available on Ravelry.

Plumtree Socks

Plumtree Socks

When I ordered the yarn months ago, I wanted a color that said, "summer," and when the skein arrived I was thrilled. To my eye, this Elderberry colorway of Altair sock yarn by Luna Grey Fiber Arts really embodies the sweetness of warm weather and sunny days. A blend of superwash merino, nylon, and Tencel, Altair has great stitch definition. The purl stitches and decreases are nice and crisp and the stockinette is beautifully even. I love when I take a chance on a new-to-me yarn and discover a new favorite!

Plumtree Socks

Like Hulst and Pomeroy, these socks are named after a street in my hometown of Amherst, Massachusetts. We shot the photos at one of my favorite Amherst spots, the Mount Pollux conservation area (you may recognize it—it's also where I shot Pomegranate and Wonderberry). It's a quiet, peaceful place with lots of trails, meadows, apple trees, and beautiful views of the surrounding Pioneer Valley and nearby Mount Norwottuck. I always feel refreshed after spending time there.

Plumtree Socks

Check out the #plumtreesocks hashtag on Instagram to see Plumtrees in other yarns and colors. I'm really grateful to the test knitters who responded to my call and enthusiastically knit up the socks! (Their speedy knitting confirmed these socks are really a quick knit.)

I'm also grateful to my sister Jackie for being such a terrific sock model and to Jenny for editing the pattern. Another Sennott Sisters production! And a shout out to Betsey, too—she and Jenny are both knitting their very own Plumtrees (you need to be logged on to Ravelry to follow these links to their projects).

Plumtree Socks

Since the socks have plenty of yarn overs, they're a perfect project for this summer's Yarn Over KAL. Join the fun in the Ravelry Blue Peninsula group—you can cast on anytime between now and July 30.  We have some lovely prizes—including a skein of the same yarn and colorway I knit Plumtree with. 

Plumtree Socks

Thank you very much for reading. I hope your summer is off to a beautiful start!