Sunday, October 31, 2010

Hello, Friends...

I've had a little time on my hands lately (more on that to come), during which I haven't felt much like knitting (gasp!). When that happens, I tend to pull out my knitting books and spend hours poring over stitch dictionaries, my favorite pattern books, and, sometimes, my old sketchbooks. Which brings me, via a recent obsession with living in Paris, to my Villette Fingerless Gloves (Ravelry link).

Of all the designs I've done in the past year (more or less), this lacy little confection is one of my favorites. Everything came together perfectly. The stitch pattern, which I'd used for my Villette Socks, is feminine and pretty, and makes a sweet rippling wave effect at the top of the wrist. And the easy (no hem) picot cast-on I used sets it off very nicely, indeed.

Originally, I'd intended to repeat the picot edge on the bind off at the knuckles. (I often find picot edges on thumbs get in the way of what I'm doing, and I like to design garments I'd want to wear.) Once I'd bound off, however, the edging just didn't sit right. The lace pattern is intricate enough to speak for itself, so I ripped back and decided on neat little twisted ribs at the knuckles.

"Ils sont parfaits!," I thought. And I'm still as happy with the design today as I was when it was fresh off my needles. Now and then, things just seem to work out, don't they?

You can purchase the Villette Fingerless Gloves (and/or matching Villette Socks) pattern by contacting either (1) Shalimar Yarns or (2) Eleganza Yarns. Or you can write to

Should you buy a pattern and work up a pair, I'd love to see photos. And I hope you enjoy knitting -- and wearing -- them as much as I do :)

One last thing...

I've been absent from Ravelry, from my blog, and even from my LYS and knitting group/s for quite a while. So, lest you be overly concerned about my welfare, I want to assure you I'm OK.

For nearly a month, I've been suffering from an allergy/virus combo that's left me utterly exhausted, weak, and nauseous (great combo, huh?). So yucky, in fact, that I've hardly done any knitting at all :(

I have complete faith in my fabulous doctor, however, whom I'm seeing this week, so I'm sure I'll be back to my usual self soon. Until then...

Happy Knitting!


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sock Yarn One-Skein Wonders: 101 fun knits, including my Clover Honey Shawlette!

Sock Yarn One-Skien Wonders: 101 Patterns That Go Way Beyond Socks!, edited by Judith Durant--the latest edition in the popular One-Skein Wonders series--is now available (review coming soon!).

I have to tell you, even if I didn't have a pattern in this book, I'd have been happily anticipating its release. I do, however, have a pattern in this latest knitter's goodie bag: the Clover Honey Shawlette...

Clover Honey Shawlette in Shalimar Yarns' Zoe Sock (color: Snow Pea)

When I designed the prototype for the Clover Honey Shawlette, back in October 2008, "shawlette fever" hadn't yet begun to spread. Since then, however, they've become wildly popular. (Please don't misunderstand...I am not suggesting that I had anything to do with this.)

In my opinion, the appeal of these little wraps is well-founded: They're versatile, quick to knit, and most use only a skein or so of fingering-weight yarn. Plus, their smaller size makes them less "granny-ish," a concern of many women, especially those of un certain age ;)

A close-up of the "prototype" shawlette in Zoe Sock (color: Dirty Sand)

The beads are applied when you bind-off, and add a little sparkle that really makes the shawl stand out. Also, their weight (the beads I used were Czech glass) -- along with the Faroese shaping -- helps keep the shawl on your shoulders. Adding the beads is easy, easy, easy! For the visual learners among us, I wrote a tutorial, illustrated with photos by Kristi Johnson, dye-genius behind Shalimar Yarns. You can find the tutorial here.

Sure, you're going to rush out and buy the book. But until then, here are some particulars, so you can get ready to knit up a Clover Honey Shawlette of your own:
  • Size: 46 in. wide at top edge; 16 in. long from top (at neck) to bottom of lace panel
  • Yarn: One skein Shalimar Yarns' Zoe Sock (100% Superwash Merino Wool, 100g/450yd)
  • Needles: US #5/3.75mm 32-in circular needles

The Book
Sock Yarn One-Skein Wonders: 101 Patterns that go way beyond socks!
Judith Durant, editor
Published by Storey Publishing.

Preserve our small businesses: Please purchase this book at your local yarn store or independent bookseller!

PS> You may also purchase the Clover Honey Shawlette pattern here :)


Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Let's Knit Mitts!

Only a few spaces remain in my Smitten with Mittens workshop at Eleganza Yarns this weekend!

Come join me for some mitten knittin' in Frederick, Md. this Saturday (10/9). We'll spend four delightful hours -- with a break for a quick run to Frederick Coffee Co. down the street.

Participants will...
- Learn how to design great looking and well fitting mittens and fingerless mitts
- Explore measuring tips and techniques for unique design features
- Discover the whys-and-hows of different thumb/gusset constructions
- Try out new stitch patterns, cuff ideas, and embellishments for creative, unique mittens

AND, every student will leave with a customized pattern!

What you'll need: 200-250 yards of worsted weight yarn for main color, 75-100 yards of several colors of contrasting worsted weight yarn, tapestry needle, sewing needle, colorful scraps of yarn for embellishment

All this for only $60??? What a deal :)

Call the store or sign up online today, and bring a friend!

Smitten with Mittens Workshop
Instructor: Hannah Six
Date: Saturday, October 9, 2010
Time: 12 Noon to 4 p.m.

PS. A special note from me: Please try to purchase your main-color (and contrasting color, if possible) yarn at Eleganza, and do come early to allow enough time for skeins to be wound into center-pull balls.