Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Introducing Ommegang!  Graduated, assymetric cables are the focus of this one.  I love the mix of delicate curves in these, and how they play off one another when arranged in order of size and simplicity.  It's a classic cabled tunic, but worked in a way that feels new and modern. 

The complex cable panel and sleeve are balanced by stockinette on the other side of the sweater, and a tunic length reinforces the long lines of the cables.

The turtleneck is hen set off from the cabled body with a welt - which is a fun technique to use, and the detail works perfectly between ribbing and cables.

 Ommegang is knit seamlessly from the bottom up, and it's easy to modify for either length or width if desired.  Instructions for doing so are included, as always - and you can look at the test knits to see that my knitters have used these to create sweaters that work for each of them - from a hip length sweater to a dress!  There are also instructions for both a turtleneck or a cowl in the pattern, so you can work whichever you prefer.

For yarn, I wanted a delicate, rustic feel to the sweater, but I wanted a big, cozy sweater that would feel soft and cushy.  Bare Naked Wool's Stone Soup DK is a mix of 11 (yes, ELEVEN) different fibers that creates a beautiful yarn that knits up into that exact fabric with a touch of drape and a light, lofty feel.  The shop is stocked up right now with eight beautiful, natural shades of the stuff. 

Ommegang is available on Ravelry for $7.00, and will be added to the patterns page of the blog soon.  Some details are below and the rest of the information, plus the test knits can be found on the Ravelry page.

Sizing:  33.5(37, 40, 42, 45.5)(47.5, 49.5, 52.5)”  Sizing based on finished circumference at bust.  I suggest 5" of ease.
Yarn:   Bare Naked Wool Stone Soup DK, 300 yds per skein.  Sample shown in Marble.  1700(1800, 1900, 2000, 2100)(2200, 2300, 2400) yds 
Gauge:   5 sts /7 rows per inch in stockinette and 5.5 sts/7 rows per 1” in ribbing.  Cable gauges are given in pattern.    
Needles: US#6/4 mm circular needle. Or size to get gauge. 

I picked Ommegang as the name after trying a few of their beers, and visiting their brewery in NY State.  Not only are all of their beers delicious, with layers of flavor and depth that you don't see coming, but they've put a modern brewing facility into an amazing old hops farm in upstate NY.  They make traditional style beers with a nod to both the past and the modern drinker.  Plus, I love the word.  For a sweater that plays with traditional cables in a new way,  knit in a beautiful yarn that uses fibers and combines them in ways we haven't seen before, I think it's perfect. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

They are like bunnies, aren't they?  And they keep popping up around here.

They are so quick on and off the needles!  And between snowdays, extra people in the house, and shoveling breaks it's hard to get going on a sweater, so I keep starting these while the snow keeps falling.  Plus, I am doing a great job of knitting down my stash of single and double skeins while I'm at it, so trust me when I say that more is coming.  (That holds true for both the snow and the knits, by the way.)

The Hudson Bay Set features a distinctive lace motif surrounded by ribbing, and the flow created where the lace meets the ribs is what makes this beautiful.  Simple, elegant lines. Plus, the design is reversible - so your cowl can fold as it likes and still look great.  It's the most soothing knitting ever and it's absolutely addictive - which explains why I've already knit a hat and a cowl in this same motif already, right?

The other reason it's so addicting is Jill Draper's Hudson - a gorgeous 100% All American merino with deep, saturated colors and a great little "boing" to the fiber.  It's round and soft and durable - and trust me when I say it can take a hard wearing without a pill.   I want another of these every time I see her rainbow of colors ...

I have actually already begun working on a shawl version in her Esopus, which is like Hudson's fingering weight cousin - and I also have an idea about a cardigan that features the motif as well, so know that I'm not done with either the motif or Jill's yarns yet.  (I said addictive, right?)

All the details are on the Ravelry page, where the PDF is available for $7.  The pattern has directions for both hat and cowl, and instructions on how to modify for width or depth, which is pretty easy.

You need one skein for the hat, and two for the cowl.   If you are going to Stitches West next weekend, you can find Jill in her booth with a whole rainbow of Hudson on hand.  If not, there are a number of local yarn stores that carry her yarns, including Fibrespace, Tolt, Happy Knits, and Loop.  And when Jill returns to the snowy East, I am sure she'll begin restocking things in her Esty shop as well. 

And for a drink?  We have Sue, from my Ravelry group to thank.  (She's also known as pickupsticks66)   She informed me that there was an actual cocktail named The Hudson Bay.  Perfect.  I was leaning towards things with names like "twisted" and "stirred" and my husband was voting for "swizzle stick".  She rescued us from those sad options, and now you can make one of these:

Hudson Bay

.5 oz cherry brandy
1 oz gin
1 oz rum
1 oz of fresh orange juice
.5 oz fresh lime juice

Shake with ice in a jigger and strain into a glass.  It's got a little kick, so don't have too many!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade.  When Mother Nature gives you foot upon foot of snow, you make a warm, cozy hat.


I  needed something to do between bouts of shoveling and this was perfect.  Julie Asselin's soft and smooshy Ankara yarn, Barbara Walker's Snowflake Lace, a deep cozy brim and a couple of hours by the fire was exactly what I needed to keep me happy while the flakes fell. 

Grab yourself a skein and find a cozy spot to sit for a little while, and you can be wearing yours by the time the snow stops falling.

Julie has put together kits with 5 different colorways in her Etsy Shop. (The images below are of these colors other bases, but I promise they are also gorgeous on Ankara - which has a mix of 85% merino and 15%  mohair for an extra soft and squishy fiber.)  And when you purchase your skein of Ankara for $25 through Julie's shop, you'll receive a code to download the pattern off Ravelry for the discounted price of $2!

The pattern alone is also available on Ravelry for $3.