Friday, November 28, 2014

Introducing Cardamom Rose - a design that's come out of the increasingly loud travel bug I've been nurturing this year.  A family trip is in the works, and all internet trolling seems to include yarn, doesn't it?  So, look what I found while "researching"....

A happy accident too, because I loved this yarn the moment I saw it online and it was even better in person. Reminiscent of the English countryside from whence it came, Eden Cottage Yarn's Langdale Aran is both delicate and hearty at the same time. Soft as can be - with a lovely roundness and spring to the fabric that's just perfect in a cowl.

This pale pink shade (Driftwood) was sketched out to be delicate lace, but the geometric texture was so crisp and distinct in the fiber, and once I spent a few rounds working the simple lace repeat, I was hooked. (Perhaps that’s just an excuse to make another design down the road…?)

It's a great, easy knit with some quick, satisfying results! And a good excuse to try a yarn from afar.
Victoria is in the process of adding a whole selection of new yarn to her shop, and will be ready on Sunday 11/30 with an amazing selection of colors and yarns for you to check out.

The pattern is for sale in the patterns section of the blog or on Ravelry for $5, and all the info is on the Ravelry page, here....

And there's limited-time fun things for you, too: 

We’ve included a code in the the Cardamom Rose PDF for free international shipping from ECY with the purchase of at least 3 skeins of the Aran, valid from 11/30 to 12/7 - so you can take advantage of the shop update, no matter where you live!

Plus, from now until 12/7, if you purchase Cardamom Rose, you can also get any of my hat patterns for 25% off - cause I also think hats are a great way to try out new stuff… Code for that is Hatsandacowl.

Find the yarns and more info about Eden Cottage Yarns here:

Monday, November 24, 2014

Hard to believe it's Thanksgiving Week!  We are hosting a big crowd, so don't expect to see me around the internest for the next few days, but before I go I wanted to say THANKS for the amazing response to Chartreuse.   I'm so excited to see you guys start knitting these up and I am so very happy that you liked the design so much! 

And as you knit, know that the Chartreuse KAL/FAQ thread on Ravelry in my BabyCocktails group is there and that we've already begun talking about yarn subs and sizing mods other project-beginning type questions. Feel free to share pics and questions and thoughts or just pop in for general conversation as you work!

In other bloggy news, I wanted to share some of the photos from my trip to California and thank everybody who made it over to A Verb For Keeping Warm to say hello.   The shop was just as amazing as I'd heard, and meeting Kristine was an absolute treat.  Her textile-related talents go on and on, and she is as charming as she is talented.  I got a little sneak peek of a book she's got in the works, which is gorgeous and fascinating and I can't wait until it exists in real life!!  She's just so incredibly inspiring, and oh, her colors...

Of course I went home with a bit of yarn, and a hankering for more - so expect another project in AFKW yarn as the months go on.  This time I have her Annapurna to play with, and visions of a shawl for spring.....

Besides Kristine, I got to meet her staff (Thank you again for the perfect cocktails and my absinthey parting gift!) and a bunch of West Coast knitters, who were all just lovely.  Glenna and Stephany - who have been internet friends and testers for years now, did me the huge favor of bringing along some of their Plucky knits so I didn't have to pack as many sweaters as usual (yay!).  There was meeting and greeting, plus the usual trying on and purchasing yarn and hanging out.

And, my OTHER sister, Alene, came.  (wearing Glenna's Paloma here)  She's a knitter too, but primarily a geologist and busy person so you don't see her on Ravelry - although I think being in the shop got her going a bit, and I think she may be back there soon.

The pics may be a little fuzzy and the light isn't exactly right, but I blame my camera phone (the real camera was just too big to add to the bag!) and apologize profusely.   Anyways, I should get over to the store.  There is a long list calling my name and many things to get started on.   Enjoy your holidays if I don't get back here before Thursday --  Save travels to everybody - Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Introducing Chartreuse, a seamless, shawl collared cardigan I designed specifically to showcase a cable design that I've had pinned to my wall forever. I wanted something simple but distinct, and I really wanted the cables to be the focus.  So, here we are. Cables, stockinette, pockets, and a shawl collar.  It was a fun sweater to design, and I had to pry the sample back from Melissa here.  I absolutely love this one, and I hope that you all will as well...

I love how deep and bold and rhythmic the lines of the motif are when knit up. If feels classic, but not exactly.  The detail really stands out in a panel, and there's a subtle assymetry to the lines that keeps the eye - and the knitter - interested. (With huge thanks to Dawn Catanzaro for figuring out the tweaky bits that made it work just right)

To showcase the cable panels, Chartreuse features simple vertical and horizontal details that play off of one another. The shawl collar wraps around the neck at back to continue the motif in an unbroken line and the horizontal shirt back detail distinctly accents this while separating the long, vertical back cables distinctly from the collar above.

Simple pockets don't interfere with the other elements, and provide an extra cozy spot for hands.
Chartreuse is knit seamlessly from the bottom up, using a version of Elizabeth Zimmerman's saddle shoulder method. As always with my patterns, there are modifications to adjust the fit for length or width included in the instructions. Notes about altering pocket placement or size are included as well.

My sweater is knit in The Plucky Knitter's Scholar, a worsted weight merino-cashmere blend that's amazing both to knit with and to wear. The yarn is soft and round -- and rustic without being sheepy. The combination of merino and cashmere keeps it light and soft when worn, but it still has a very satisfying weight to it.  And it loves the cables. Loooves them!  I really can't say enough about this yarn - except that I've already begun designing a second sweater in it  ;)  And I may have ordered still more in the last update (in a dusty blue shade called Thank You Note, mmmm).

If you don't have Scholar (keep your eyes on the Plucky blog for future updates!), I would suggest another worsted weight wool yarn in a solid, heather or tweed. I'd stay away from anything with too much weight or drape to it, and I'd stick to solids or subtly variegated fibers as the cables won't stand out in a busy fabric.


Chartreuse is available for purchase in the Patterns section of this blog, or on Ravelry for $7.00. Some details are listed below and the rest of the information - plus the lovely test knits - can be found on the Ravelry page.

Plucky Knitter Scholar Worsted, shown in Technicolor Teal, 255 yds per skein. 1450(1550,1650,1750,1850,1950)(2050,2150,2200,2250,2300,2400) yards

33.5(35.25, 37.5, 39.25, 41.5, 43.25)(45.5, 47.25, 49.5, 51.25, 53.5, 55.25)" Measurements are finished bust size. For the fit shown, pick the size that gives you 3-4" of ease, based on your actual bust.

5 stitches, 7 rows per 1" in stockinette. Gauge based on finished, blocked fabric. Cable gauge is given in pattern.

US#6/4mm needles. (Or size to obtain gauge) Long circulars for body, shorter circulars or DPNs for sleeves.

I'm also loving Chartreuse, the drink. (and yes, I know the color Chartreuse is a bright acid green, but who can wear that? I was not about to knit this in acid green.)

The Last Word

   1 oz gin
   1 oz Chartreuse
   1 oz fresh lime juice
   1 oz maraschino liqueur

Shake together in jigger with ice and pour into a small champagne or cocktail glass and drink while still cold. I also think this is pretty good without the maraschino - and to be honest, I prefer mine that way - but the official recipe does call for it, so I've included it here.   Chartreuse itself is also amazing added to a simple lime gin and tonic - and I'm toying with the idea of adding a touch to champagne and seeing what that's like...

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Sorry I've been silent!  Since coming back from California (a belated post will follow soon....) I have plunged deep into Thanksgiving planning AND....

I've been busy putting the final touches on my Chartreuse pattern for release.

Launching Thursday.  I just have to do all the technology bits tomorrow.

You start with the sleeves, which make perfect Thanksgiving holiday travel knitting.