26 May 2022Knitting Blogs
26 May 2022
We put the sweater on a Barber Cord to see the actual size. It took Lynn less than 3 minutes to slide the stitches onto the cord and the same amount of time to get them back on the needle. Barber Cords are awesome and we highly suggest you have some in your knitting bag.
Lynn has one word of warning about Barber Cords. I am working on a 5.5mm needle and she was gentle slipping the stitches. The Barber Cords work best for 4.5mm and smaller needles.When I finished the yoke pattern last night I went back to my Inclinations Cowl. I’m busily working away on my decreases.Lynn’s Inclinations Cowl is done, blocked and sewn together. The colours look awesome. Lynn loves it. It looks better on a person but I was outside with my friend so I threw it on her.Isabel Kraemer has a new cardigan. Lynn is in love with it. Maybe I should say obsessed. I think this will be her next project.
Elah is worked seamlessly from the top down. Fronts are worked in lace pattern, while the back is worked in Stockinette stitch. Knitting starts with the provisional cast on of the shoulders for the fronts (you will first work the right front, then the left front). Once the short row shaped shoulder slope is done, the front is worked flat to underarm. Shoulder stitches are picked up from the provisional CO of both front shoulders to work the back to the same length. At underarm both fronts and back are joined to work the body top down back and forth to the bottom hem. As the front ribbing is built in, there is no finishing required. Sleeve stitches are picked up around the arm openings to work the sleeves in Stockinette stitch top down in rounds to the cuffs.
The cardigan is knit in worsted weight yarn - the options are endless.
If I was knitting the cardigan I would use Kathmandu Aran. We have a shawl knit in the yarn and it looks amazing in textured stitches and in stocking stitch.
25 May 2022
Dear [First Name],
This week’s newsletter is a hard one to write, and yet I write it with so much joy in my heart.
The same kind of joy that happens when you’ve been working on a beautiful project for years, and it finally comes time to bind off.
As I write this, I’m in the final stages of binding off my 27-year marriage to my friend and longtime business partner, Brent. We’ve all heard the divorce horror stories, but Brent and I have been determined to treat this process like the ending of a beautiful knit project: A celebration of all we’ve accomplished together. Three amazing, creative, grown children. Three amazing businesses - first branding, then Loops and Knit Stars, and now his blossoming painting business.
We both want to look back a year from now and know that we handled even the difficult parts with compassion, grace and love.
And I’m reminded, yet again, of how knitting mirrors life. No project is perfect. No creative process is without its rough patches. Every ending is a celebration, and an opportunity for another beautiful beginning.
It’s been a time of deep reflection for me. I’ve just returned from a month in Europe, filming for Knit Stars Season 7 in Sweden and Amsterdam, meeting up with my daughter and my best friend who lives in Madrid, and spending a week quietly falling in love with the island of Mallorca (and visiting Season 5 Star Tatiana Sarasa at her amazing Mallorca studio!)
I’ve returned with even deeper gratitude for the global movement we’ve created together. And I’m in the process of re-discovering whole swaths of myself that I thought I’d forgotten.
So this week, I encourage you to spend some time in reflection as well. Where are you on your journey?
What might you need to bind off, and what is it time to cast on?
Knitters know: Nothing motivates you to finish an old project like the promise of a new project!
“Textured Shawl Recipe” by Orlane Sucche is one of the most popular long-running patterns on Ravelry, and for good reason. It has three easy, repeating blocks of stitches - just the right combination of engaging and meditative.
We’ve curated 6 different kits for your “Textured Shawl,” using our own Loops Luxe Fizz superfine alpaca held together with either our exclusive LolaBean Dream Bean or our brand-new Loops Luxe Smoothie, a luxurious base of 80% wool + 20% silk that creates a light and airy texture while holding a stunning depth of color.
“Iconic Orange” Dream Bean + “Iconic Orange” Fizz
“Iconic Orange” Smoothie + “Iconic Orange” Fizz
“Blueberry” Smoothie + “Blueberry” Fizz
“Razzleberry” Smoothie + “Arctic” Fizz
“Coconut” Smoothie + “Grey Goose” Fizz
“Red Your Mind” Dream Bean + “Strawberry” Fizz
Choose your favorite combo here and get ready to cast on!
Looking for a project that lets you try out our Loops Luxe Fizz on a lighter summer shape?
Our friends over at Espace Tricot created a feminine love letter with the “You Had Me At Tricot” Shawl. The delicate eyelet stitches and sweet ruffle make this that perfect touch of color and style to wrap around your neck as you head out the door.
I saw scarves like this all over Europe these last few weeks!
“You Had Me At Tricot” can be knit with two skeins each of Loops Luxe Smoothie and Loops Luxe Fizz. Or sub LolaBean Dream Bean for the Smoothie.
We’ve created kits for you here.
Have you ever wished your lace eyelets were a little more “open?”
Laura Nelkin from Knit Stars Season 2 has a great tip for you this week, to open up your eyelets and make them a little bigger.
Click here to watch this one-minute tip that you can put to great use on your “You Had Me At Tricot” project.
The markets are filling up with homegrown, fresh summer veggies! And this Grilled Garden Veggie Pizza from TasteofHome-dot-com is just waiting for you to make the most of those farmer’s market finds. Whether you throw it on the grill or roast it inside, this pizza is sure to be a staple this summer. While it cooks, sneak in a few rows!
- 1 medium red onion, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
- 1 large sweet red pepper, halved, stemmed and seeded
- 1 small zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch slices
- 1 yellow summer squash, cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch slices
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 prebaked 12-inch thin whole wheat pizza crust
- 3 tablespoons jarred roasted minced garlic
- 2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
- 1/3 cup torn fresh basil
- Brush vegetables with oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill, covered, over medium heat until tender, 4-5 minutes per side for onion and pepper, 3-4 minutes per side for zucchini and squash.
- Separate onion into rings; cut pepper into strips. Spread pizza crust with garlic; sprinkle with 1 cup cheese. Top with grilled vegetables, then remaining cheese.
- Grill pizza, covered, over medium heat until bottom is golden brown and cheese is melted, 5-7 minutes. Top with basil.
25 May 2022
I’m sharing my review for a yarn tote bag that you can use as a project bag or just to share your love of crochet with the world when you’re out and about! This post contains affiliate links. I may receive compensation (at no added cost to you) if you make a purchase using these... Read more
25 May 2022
The Bell of the Bobble Shorts from Kate Gardin are a super cute intro to shorts knitting. They’re designed as high waisted short shorts, though of course you can alter to make the legs longer or the waist shorter or both if that’s what you’d prefer. And they have cute little bobbles at the leg edge.
They use DK weight yarn and are available in 9 sizes. You can get a copy on Ravelry.
[Photo: Kate Gardin.]
25 May 2022
I break a lot of knitting rules, in part because most of them make no sense to me. How we hold our hands, for example, should be a matter of comfort and personal knitting style (as long as you get the correct results, who cares whether you wrap or pick, or use your right or left hand). Do your stitches look great? Awesome. Po-tay-toes, po-tah-toes. You do you.
But I do have two knitting rules that I hold in near-sacred reverence: swatching and blocking. [Gasp! Faint!] Break all the rules you like (as long as you can do your own troubleshooting if your results get wonky), but whatever you do – don’t skip swatching or blocking.
But what about cowls? Should we swatch for – or block? – a handknit cowl?
Great question, I would love to tell you. (Said in the voice of Elyse Meyers.)
The short answer is yes. Yes to blocking, and mostly-yes to swatching. But let’s focus on blocking your cowl, which will cause us to brush right up against swatching, like it or not.
Blocking your cowl (or any project, really) is critical for drape and stitch definition. But more than that, a good dip with wool wash can help remove any residue or debris – from the mill, the dye house, the warehouse, or the knitting process – and will soften and relax the fiber. As stitches relax, they create a more cohesive fabric and can help eliminate stitch inconsistencies that may have been obvious otherwise. (I’d like a show of hands from anyone who would NOT enjoy a little post-knitting stitch smoothing for the weird tension changes that happened while you were watching an episode of Dateline.)Key Reasons for Blocking Cowls
- Improves drape to make it more wearable
- Enhances the stitch pattern to make details more visible
- Evens-out the texture and eliminates inconsistencies in stitches
- Rinses debris and excess dye/residue
- Softens (especially if you use a wool wash with softening properties)
- But I like how it looks un-blocked.
Do you really? Have you seen what a blocked version looks like? Often when someone tells me that they like how their project looks un-blocked, I secretly assume they’re just in a hurry to wear it and don’t want to wait for it to dry. It’s worth the wait, trust me. And when you get used to blocking as the last step of every project, it won’t feel like a delay. Personally, I LOVE blocking. I get excited for it. It’s the moment of truth when I get to see all my hard work come together.
- I’m afraid if I block it, the colors will bleed.
AHA! Remember how I said that our conversation about blocking would brush right up against the subject of swatching? Here’s where swatching comes in handy – even for something as simple as a cowl. If you’re knitting with more than one color, swatching and blocking in both colors allows you to test the potential for color transfer. The best time to find out that your colors bleed is in the swatch, NOT the finished project. Take my word for this. If the colors stay put in your blocked swatch, then they’ll stay put in the finished cowl, as well. Win/win.
- I like the size where it is. I’m afraid if I block it, the cowl will grow too much.
If I had a nickel for every knitter that told me they don’t want to block their project because they don’t want it to grow, I could take myself and my fella out to a fancy dinner (and even pay for the gas to get there). Once again, we’ve brushed up against the purpose of swatching. If you swatch for your cowl – and block your swatch – then you can compare your gauge to the gauge of the pattern and get a pretty solid idea of what your finished measurements will be at the end. Measuring your gauge in a blocked swatch is what will help you predict the results of your blocked cowl. So if your gauge is a little big or small, you can adjust your needle size ahead of time so that your finished cowl can be blocked and still fit the way it’s meant to.Floral Trellis Cowl, unblocked – knitting needles for size referenceFloral Trellis Cowl, blocked. Note the difference in size from the unblocked version!
Sure, blocking requires an extra day (or two, or three) before your project is ready to gift or wear, but the rewards are worth it. So yes, Virginia, please block your cowls.Floral Trellis Cowl
This one-skein showstopper is a quick weekend knit with easily memorized details. It’s a classic, wearable style that’s perfect for gifts or just a quick accessory – and it’s the perfect way to use a single special skein.$8.00
25 May 2022
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25 May 2022
I am so grateful I don’t have to rely on automatic translations for any business I conduct. When “poke the needle” comes up as the translated name of a product, it’s an automatic fail in translation.
Translate The Translation – What Means Poke The Needle
I purchased a needle-felting kit from Amazon. Presumably from a non-English speaking country. It’s a good thing that I didn’t need specific instructions on how to use it.
25 May 2022Full disclosure: I contributed one design to Knitstrips, the Instant Heirloom shawl, but apart from making the pattern IK-ready I had no involvement with the conception or production of this book whatsoever – I didn’t even see the proofs! This review was written following my very first reading of Knitstrips, absorbing the book in its...
25 May 2022
25 May 2022
I have a confession to make: I’ve always wanted to emulate the style of Kate Middleton. The only problem is I don’t have the budget to buy the gorgeous tiara she wore on her wedding day! What’s a fan of the British royal family to do? Pick up a crochet hook and work on crochet patterns royalty would love, of course.
Even though they are members of the British royal family, Kate Middleton, Meghan, and even Queen Elizabeth don’t wear a crown every day. When they’re not giving public speeches or attending formal events, they gravitate to more casual styles that often include handmade items. Don’t be mistaken, though. These ladies bring the glam to special events. From delicate shrugs to pretty clutches, no formal occasion is complete without gorgeous accessories.
That’s where these royal crochet patterns will come into play. Whether they are copycat designs of those worn by royalty or are simply inspired by the royals’ looks, you’ll love creating these crochet designs. Many of these crochet patterns are also timeless and elegant. For example, shawls, cardigans, and other oversized outerwear are all part of Kate Middleton’s outfits when she’s out-and-about and while spending time with her two children. The Duchess of Cambridge adds a crochet shawl to almost any outfit and looks polished and put-together while running errands.
Let’s look to the other members of the British royal family for crochet design inspiration, too. Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, has a casual and outdoorsy aesthetic. In her downtime, she will complement an outfit with accessories that appear handmade. Even the Queen of England has been known to wear vests and sweaters, especially when she’s spending her summer at Balmoral Castle.
When writing about any royal family, you can’t exclude purple crochet patterns. Long associated with power, wealth, and prestige, purple is the perfect way to add a regal look to a crochet pattern. Use yarn in your favorite shade of purple, or create a unique look with variegated yarn.
Check out these gorgeous crochet patterns royalty would love on AllFreeCrochet. Even though you can’t get a tiara, you can add a regal touch to your own everyday style!
You will love making these copycat crochet patterns and items inspired by Queen Elizabeth, Camilla, and Kate!
- Kate Middleton Cloche Hat — This crochet pattern looks like something Kate would wear!
- Swanky Crochet Kaftan — Wear this for your next night out
- Crochet Sweater Blanket — Dress up any ensemble with this beautiful sweater
- Duchess of Cambridge Crochet Shawl — Here is an elegant take on the traditional prayer shawl design
- Glam Girl Shrug — Add some sparkle to any outfit with this gorgeous shrug
- A Crochet Clutch Purse — Keep your essential items in this perfect accessory
- New Year’s Eve Silver Crochet Shawl — Wear this cute item over your favorite little black dress
- Easy V-Stitch Cocoon Shrug — You’ll look great while running errands in this cute shrug
- Rustic Fringe Infinity Scarf — Rustic never looked so chic!
- Misty Morn Crochet Scarf — Here is an elegant way to wear a scarf
- Butterfly Fling Crochet Shawl — Spring or summer outfits will look great with this shawl
- Glamorous Pearl Center Flowers — Include a bit of purple to any outfit with these easy-to-make flowers
- Purple Convertible Cowl — Can be worn as a hood!
- Purple Sport Shawl — Use the shell stitch to make this elegant little number
- Cosmos Scarf — Ethereal and stylish. What a great combination!