Introducing the Twist Ending Cowl!!

Twist Ending Cowl
Spoiler Alert: it’s my new pattern!

Announcing my latest pattern–the Twist Ending Cowl! It’s available now for free (yes, free!) on the Knit Picks website as part of their Twelve Gifts of Christmas series. Here is the Ravelry link. I really love this pattern–it’s simple but it’s got a kick to it. And I can imagine it looking great in all kinds of color combinations, although I confess a special fondness for the grey and yellow combo. It was designed to show off the pop of color in the Latvian braid edging, so it would look great with any neutral paired with a bright contrasting color. White with black or red or navy, perhaps? Or maybe black with a hot pink?

Worked in Knit Picks Mighty Stitch Super Bulky yarn on size 15 circular needles, the pattern calls for about 130 yards of the main color and 30 yards of the contrast color. It knits up super fast and would make a great Christmas gift (or twelve). And, keeping in mind my recent posts, it would be the perfect pattern to knit during a movie; the pattern is simple and easy to memorize but the result looks a lot more complicated than it really is.

Here are some more equally gorgeous photos from the Knit Picks site:

Thank you to Knit Picks and their Independent Designer Partnership Program (IDP), and especially Stacey Winklepleck. And gratitude also to my good friend, Deborah Gormley, who originally suggested the twist pattern and is just generally a good egg all around.

I hope you all like this pattern, and I’d love to hear from any of you knitters out there who have knitted it up. Show me your finished cowls — I can’t wait to see what all of you come up with! Thank you!

Black Friday: Knitting Edition, or All I Want for Christmas is Ewe

In celebration (if that’s the right word) of Black Friday or Cyber Monday or whatever day this is, I’ve put together a list of what I think are some of the best gifts for knitters this year. This is a completely subjective list with no criteria other than “what Kate liked when she was leafing through knitting magazines the other day” and “what Kate liked that showed up on her Twitter feed.”

Here goes…

  • After years of resistance, I’ve started sock knitting so I am not only succumbing to the beauty of sock yarn, but also to the charm of teeny-tiny knitting needles. My favorite this season is this set of Knitter’s Pride Karbonz 6″ dpn’s in sizes 0 through 3 (on sale this week at Webs and Amazon!). These are virtually unbreakable, which is perfect for knitters like me with ham-fisted knitting styles (I can’t even count how many wimpy little wooden dpn’s I’ve broken with my farmers’ hands). If you prefer not to use dpn’s, I think this ChiaoGoo Twist Minis interchangeable set would be right up your alley. I wish the needle portion was shorter than 5″ but, otherwise they look like a good deal and they are available practically everywhere, even WalMart (not that I’m endorsing WalMart).
  • This Craftvent Calendar is a special advent calendar from Jimmy Beans Wool. Each little drawer has a little ball of yarn and a clue to the mystery shawl pattern. You also get all the notions necessary to complete the project. Offered in seasonally appropriate Wintergreen, Sugarplum, and Cozy Fire colorways, the Craftvent Calendar has a price ($150) that makes it quite an indulgence but it looks adorable and fun.
  • From Hannah’s Ideas in Wood, these carved wooden shawl pins are quite beautiful and can also be used as hair sticks (in fact, they are marketed as such). They also have some very attractive cell phone and tablet stands for when you listen to music or audio books while you knit. And then there are these Celtic knot shawl pins from Crafty Flutterby Creations, who also offers some Outlander-themed shawl pins and stitch markers. These aren’t new but these shawl pins  and shawl sticks from Jul Designs are gorgeous.
  • A dual-purpose pom pom/tassel maker from Boye that lets you make pom poms and tassels ranging in size from .75″ to 6.25″. I love the idea of replacing all my miscellaneous pom pom makers and of having a more formal way to make tassels than just wrapping yarn around a book (basically this is just an excuse to get a new gadget).
Boye-Pompom-Tassel-Maker_
Bonus! It looks like a miniature, multi-colored Hollywood Bowl when it’s not in use!
  • Some adorable, practically bespoke sheep figures from  Mary Kilvert. You can read all about how each unique sheep is made on the web site.
Mary Kilvert Sheep
While to my ear from uplands far away/The bleating of the folded flocks is borne,/With distant cries of reapers in the corn— /All the live murmur of a summer’s day.
  • I like these recycled craft-paper style care instruction cards quite a bit too. Let’s face it, I love everything on Knit It Hook It Craft It’s site. Go ahead, check it out and you’ll see.
  • And if you want your jewelry to reflect your love of knitting, there’s this great knitted clay collection from Beauelle.

     

There’s lots more of course but I think I’ve got enough for now. I’d better stop or it will be Christmas 2018 before I finish this list.

Tomorrow, gifts for stitchers!

 

Christmas Crescent

Wouldn’t you know it? As soon as I vow to restart this blog, I get sick as a dog (hey, that rhymes!). I hope you’ll forgive me for taking so long to post again.

I thought I’d start with a little bit of a look back at the Christmas presents I made for 2013. Unfortunately, I had a mishap with my camera, so I only have two projects that survived the unintentional camera purge. Very frustrating. Fortunately, I do have some gorgeous pictures of the Ginkgo Crescent shawl by Jade Keaney that I knitted for my talented Aunt Kathy. Here’s the (hugely oversized) gallery of pictures:

In my family, we draw names for Christmas presents and we each get one present from/for another family member. This year, I was given the name of my Aunt Kathy, who is herself a knitter so I know she appreciates finely dyed wool and an intricately blocked pattern.

Our family gathered together in November for a wedding and Kathy looked beautiful in a beautiful dark teal green dress. I was already itching to make the Ginkgo Crescent for someone special so I went online to find the perfect shade of MadelineTosh Light Merino to match Kathy’s dress. It’s called “Cousteau” (after Jacques Cousteau perhaps?) and the pictures don’t begin to do it justice. Gorgeous, amazing, sublime colors. This is my first time knitting with MadelineTosh yarn and I’m already addicted. And the yardage is quite generous; I added two repeats of the stockinette stitch portion and the entire shawl still took less than one skein.

I have learned a couple things making this shawl. First, I need to work on my crescent-shaping technique so there isn’t too much of a “bump” in the center of the shawl where the cast-on edge is. And second, make sure you have vinegar on hand to wash the Merino Light and ensure colorfastness. During the blocking process, the color bleeding was extensive, like I had murdered a Vulcan with a chainsaw (yo, where my Trekkies at?).

Well, I’ve regaled you enough for today. I will save tales of my second Christmas present for tomorrow.