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Wool and the Gang – Josie Gloves

Happy Star Wars week!!! Do you have your tickets yet?  My husband and I have had ours for months and are SO excited to see The Force Awakens on Saturday!!

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Now, back to knitting.  My most recent FO [finished object] are the Josie Gloves, pattern and yarn by Wool and the Gang! This is a fabulous knitting kit that comes with everything you need to create a rockin’ pair of mitts in NO time.  Seriously, I knit up one of these mitts in a matter of hours one evening while binge watching Sex and the City [for the second time].

I love everything about Wool and the Gang, their aesthetic, their modern knitwear….and their YARN!  This particular pattern came with Sheepaca, a luscious blend of baby alpaca and merino wool, making it pretty much the softest yarn ever.  The ivory white spoke to me, which was a little strange, since I’m always so drawn to color.

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I knit these mitts per the pattern, using the Sheepaca yarn held double.  But I did make a small modification to the right mitt pattern.  In order for the right and left mitt to match, I changed the following for the instructions for the Right Mitten:

Line 3: “Knit until you have 12 sts left of the round….” instead of the 11 as written.

As it was written, the knit column of the ribbed cuff was not lining up with the knit column of the cable, so I shifted it over.  Then I modified accordingly with thumb gusset placement.  This modification was for myself, and I still feel the pattern was very well-written and easy to follow.  There are tutorials, and links to videos to help with all of the techniques.  Even a brand new knitter could pick up this pattern in the morning and have a pair of mitts by supper time!

I blocked my mitts by soaking them in water and wool wash for about 10 minutes, then folded them into a towel to absorb a lot of the moisture.  I laid them out on my blocking mats without pinning until they were dry; they are pretty thick so I did have to flip them over a couple of times. They are a perfect fit!

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See my Ravelry project page for more photos and information!  Happy knitting and may the force be with you!

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Pop Twizzle :: collaboration with Infinite Twist yarns

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Meet Pop Twizzle, an oversized seamless cowl, with a chevron lace edge detail.  This design is an exciting collaboration with Cate from Infinite Twist and was inspired by her beautiful hand dyed yarn.  I am incredibly honored to be a part of her latest Winter collection, Turkish Delight. Cate approached me earlier this year with an idea for a kit collaboration, pairing one of her new yarns, Umbra, with a brioche cowl pattern. Voila, the idea for Pop Twizzle was born!  I wanted to combine the same stitch pattern that I used to design the Pop Fizzle hat, but use it to create a textural, squishy, gigantic cowl, with a scalloped edge detail, created by the brioche chevron lace.

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Let me just talk about her Umbra yarn for a minute.  Wow, it is incredible.  A blend of Camel hair and Nylon, with an almost woven ply, this yarn is probably one of the softest I have ever encountered.  I couldn’t possibly have used any other yarn, it creates the most beautiful brioche fabric, with a density and drape that are quite magical.  Cate dyes this yarn herself, and has put together four delicious color combinations, all of which are compliments of each other.  I knit my sample using Scarlet (the bright red main color) and Badlands (the shadow-like maroon contrast color), and it just shouts HOLIDAYS to me!  I feel like I’m all dressed up, ready to go to a holiday party!

You can find this pattern exclusively as kits for a limited time through Infinite Twist, here!  These super fun kits include everything you need to knit this scrumptious cowl. Included in the kits:

  • Printed original pattern
  • Beautiful hand-dyed Umbra yarn in the quantities needed (1000 yards), your choice of color
  • Bamboo circular needle
  • stitch markers
  • yarn needles (large and small)
  • gauge card
  • two-color pattern marking pencil

Looking for that perfect holiday gift for a knitter in your life?  This kit would be so fabulous!!  The pattern is written for every level of knitter, and it would be a gift that kept on giving.  Or buy the kit for yourself and knit up a fabulous cowl to keep you or a loved one warm for the rest of the winter! Check out my Ravelry page for more information about Pop Twizzle.

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For all of you who are wondering, this pattern will also be available as a PDF download through Ravelry starting on December 26, 2015!

Happy holidays, my friends!

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Early pattern release and Citizens of Textile

Since last June, I have been extremely lucky to feature my fiber work with Citizens of Textile (COT), a very cool online pop-up shop that features different fiber artists every month!  I started with selling some of my hand knits, but realized that this shop is more of a market for yarn, notions pouches, and knitting patterns.  Heather Bostic (@houseofalamode on Instagram) is the creative genius behind COT and House of A La Mode hand dyed and painted yarn, and she is so much fun to work with.  Every month since June, I have been pairing my Condominium cowl pattern with her DK weight yarn as special knitting kits, and this month we have something very special cooked up!

Introducing Scottish Honeymoon, a new knitting pattern that includes His and Her complimenting hats, knit using a custom colorway that Heather and I created together called Winter Plaid.  This yarn really inspired the name of the pattern, and I am so excited to see it come to life. His hat, shown in Winter Plaid Stunning Single DK, is the perfect blank slate to show off a fabulous variegated yarn,  with interesting ribbing and purl ridges to add texture. Her hat, shown in Winter Plaid Freckle Stunning Single DK, was designed to make a speckled yarn shine, with slight ribbing, and purl and stockinette horizontal striping.  Both hats come in two sizes, adult small and large, and use less than one skein of DK weight yarn each!  This is a great first hat pattern for a beginner knitter, or just a fun and interesting knit for you advanced knitters out there.

You can find this pattern, as well as some limited edition kits with Winter Plaid and Winter Plaid Freckle, exclusively at the November COT pop-up shop, starting at 5pm Pacific / 8pm Eastern time on Friday, November 6 and going through Sunday, November 8, 2015!  These kits will make the perfect holiday gift for that knitter in your acquaintance, or buy the kits / pattern for yourself and create hats for you and your significant other, your mom, your dad, or anyone who will need a warm head this winter!

The pattern will also be released in my Ravelry shop and will be available to download starting on Tuesday, November 10, 2015.

Happy holiday knitting!

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Winter Plaid and Winter Plaid Freckle yarn, hand painted by Heather of House of A La Mode

 

 

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New pattern release :: Taking Turns hats!

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I am so excited to announce my newest knitting pattern release, Taking Turns!  This includes patterns for two different hats – Hat #One is full of texture using one-color brioche syncopating stripes, while Hat #Two creates exciting two-color brioche Alternating Color stripes! Brioche in a light bulky weight yarn creates the squishiest fabric, so grab a skein or two and let’s go!

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These hats were actually a complete experiment for me!  I had been thinking about a new technique with brioche knitting that would create interesting color-changing stripes by switching which color yarn is used in the middle of a row or round.  I started experimenting with this technique using two skeins of beautiful bulky yarn hand-dyed by Melissa of Hey Lady Hey, in colors Scabosia and a custom speckled colorway, Books and Pens.  I was having a lot of fun playing with syncopating and Alternating Color stripes, but the combination of solid and speckles just wasn’t working.  It was too much for one hat pattern!  So I decided to make the Books and Pens SHINE by using it alone in one hat design!  The speckled yarn with the texture the syncopated brioche stripes creates is just magical.

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Of course, this meant that I had to get another skein of the bulky yarn to go with the Scabosia!  So I went for a beautiful contrasting color, Ephemera, which is a bright yellow-green!  Deep eggplant purple with the bright yellow-green was exactly what the Alternating Color stripes needed to really pop.  And it worked!  I am delighted to have sort of UNvented this new technique, and I’m looking forward to creating more brioche designs with it! In case you’re a little intimidated to try a new technique with an already complicated stitch, I did put together a short photo and video tutorial that goes with the pattern.

This pattern is another in my fun collaboration with Andrea Mowry, KNIT in COLOR!  I have so enjoyed working with indie yarn dyers like Melissa and hope that you will check out her gorgeous yarn!!

You can get your copy on Ravelry, and right now I have a special Back To School sale going on!  Use coupon code BACKTOSCHOOL at checkout and receive a 25% discount on ALL Knit Graffiti Designs!! This sale will run from Thursday, October 8 through Sunday, October 11 at midnight Eastern!!

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Fiber Graffiti and other ways to enhance your handmade wardrobe…

Do you love adding a personal touch to your handmade wardrobe?  I really do.  One of my favorite things to do when I was younger (mostly after college when I lived in New York City), was to go thrifting for clothing, then add embroidery and applique to it!  I loved it so much, that I decided to build a small business selling recycled and upcycled clothing and accessories.  I opened a little Etsy shoppe called Pink Graffiti, and sold accessories, sweaters, even leg warmers made from old sweater sleeves!!  It is currently closed, but if you wanted to see some of the One-Of-A-Kind items that I sold, you can check out Pink Graffiti here :: lesleyanne.etsy.com.

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When I was in college, I found a bolt of this gorgeous floral fabric on sale at some random fabric shop in Detroit – I immediately fell in love with the bright colors, but the fabric was very translucent.  It sat in my stash for a long time before I found the perfect BRIGHT purple sweater in a thrift shop, and created this upcycled treasure to sell in my shop!

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I was so excited about this piece, that I wrote a tutorial on my old blog – which you can find the post, here.

I hope this can give you some inspiration to take some of your old pieces of clothing that maybe you don’t want to wear anymore, or are thinking of donating, and give them new life!

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Pop Fizzle class!

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Hey!!  Are you in the East Lansing / Lansing, Michigan area??  Would you love to learn how to knit this super fun hat?!  I will be teaching a Pop Fizzle! class at Woven Art in East Lansing in October!!  Check out their website for all of the information, but it will be the first 3 weeks in October, and positions are very limited!

In this class, I will be covering ALL aspects of the design, and it is really geared towards intermediate brioche knitters (meaning, if you know how to knit two-color brioche, you will totally be ready for this class).  I am very excited to be teaching these amazing stitches, and to have such a generous local yarn shop to host me!

If you have not yet tried two-color brioche and are just itching to learn, please be sure to check out Nancy Marchant’s amazing website: www.briochestitch.com. From there, you will discover an entire world of brioche that you may never have known existed!  You can take her phenomenal Craftsy class, buy her innovative books, and so so so much more.  She was MY teacher, I actually learned all of these beautiful stitches by knitting her Willow shawl, from her most recent book, Knitting Fresh Brioche.  So knit up a little swatch of two-color brioche, and then go sign up for my class!!!

Happy briocheing, friends!!