Ever notice how stitchers seem to fall into two camps: those of us who always seem to be making things for other people and those of us who make just what we love and want for ourselves? Regardless of which group you belong to, fall is the perfect season to grab your needles and hooks and make fun, quick projects that will keep the giftee – you or someone else – warm, stylish, and happy. Now might even be a great time to switch camps just for a project or two.
We’re here to help you churn out those FOs. For each of the next five weeks until winter officially arrives, we will host a Make It Now! Stitch-Along for indie designer patterns. We’ll present several suggestions each Thursday. All patterns will be either free or available from GYI as Ravelry downloads and yarn purchased for any Make It Now! pattern will be 10% off through Saturday, December 21, the first day of winter.
Week #1’s Make It Now! patterns are almost all done in worsted weight yarn to celebrate the long-awaited arrival in the shop of two big boxes of tosh vintage. First is Varia* from the designer of Howlcat*, Alexandra Tinsley. Stranded knitting has been hugely popular this year, and it doesn’t get much simpler or more attractive than this:
When I first spotted the Varia hat on Ravelry, it was with un petit peu of déjà vu, having seen Linda’s pretty, pretty Maroo Mitts* by AMBAH in Claudia Hand Painted Yarns Fingering. Look familiar?
Wouldn’t a pair of Maroos be ideal to pair with a Varia? Even though Maroos are knit in fingering weight yarn we’re going to sneak this pattern in as our second Make It Now! suggestion for Week #1 because the two designs go so well together. Here’s another color variation:
Returning to projects for worsted weight yarn, our third Make It Now! idea is Inspira, a freebie from graphica, here on Ravelry.
Catherine has a knack for finding the most wonderful patterns. She introduced us to Inspira and even made us a terrific shop sample in two different shades of Plymouth Gina, below. This deceptively easy project was designed for two self-shading, gradient, or painted yarns (think Gina, Mochi+, and Liberty Wool), but it looks just as snazzy with two solid colors. Over 1900 Ravelers have already fallen in love with Inspira. We hope you will, too.
Want a quick knit for wee ones? Rhymes with Shawl* is a sweet sweater for children 6 months to 10 years by Jenny Wiebe.
Want to crochet some warm mitts for cold mornings? Try Cozy Clusters Mittens* by Lindsey Carr.
Finally, the seven free patterns in The Simple Collection from Tin Can Knits will be part of the Make It Now! Stitch-Along for all five weeks. You may want to make them all! If you haven’t already fallen in love with Barley, Wheat, Rye, Flax, Maize, Oats, and Malt, do it now.
Note: Next week’s Make It Now! patterns will be posted here on Thursday, November 21.
In the last FO post (remember the last post?), I promised Martha’s finished Building Blocks blanket would be revealed, and here it is. Ta daa!
Didn’t Martha do a beautiful job, both knitting and finishing? There’s a little bit of everything in this pretty sampler: cables, bobbles, lace… If you are ready to kick your knitting skills up a notch and go beyond garter and stockinette, the step-by-step instruction of our Building Blocks course can help you become a better knitter. A new class will begin after the holidays.
Speaking of holidays, one of our new yarns that’s ideal for gift-stitching is Chalet from Classic Elite. It’s called a bulky weight, but its 70% baby alpaca/30% bamboo composition means it is light and luxuriously soft with just enough drape to make decadent accessories and garments. Its chainette construction means it works up beautifully across a wide range of needle/hook sizes. Jill knit this Color Block Bias Wrap* with two skeins each of 3 different colors, and is it ever yummy.
I love this look, belted with slacks and a sweater or tunic blouse:
More ideas for Chalet, both free patterns and Ravelry in-store downloads:
On to some of the many summer camp FOs. Our first GYI summer camp is now just a warm, happy memory. If you couldn’t “attend” this year, please join us next summer. We have lots of new ideas in store! So many camp projects were completed this first time around, and so many merit badges (GYI gift cards) were awarded in such a short time. Kathie, below, won the Happy Camper Award, a backpack stuffed with over $200 worth of yarn, patterns, and notions. Yup, all those goodies came out of that one bag.
There were at least three sets of twins at camp. Here is Alice’s Dichotomy Shawl by Marjorie Dussaud in Louet Gems.
Next is Bonnie’s, in worsted Maya from Berroco Yarns.
Both are absolutely lovely, yet they’re very different, thanks to Gems being a superwash merino sport weight, while Maya is an alpaca/cotton worsted weight. Isn’t it amazing the power yarn has over patterns? (Just what Carol Sulcoski discussed at her recent class, Yarn Substitution Made Easy.)
Here’s the next set of fraternal twins. Above, Mary Beth’s exquisite Ice Queen was worked in mossy green Silky Alpaca Lace by Classic Elite. As the name hints, the yarn is 70% alpaca/30% silk. Beads add a bright pop of color; the alpaca gives it a sensuous slink.
And below, Joan S.’s Ice Queen in Shibui Silk Cloud, a 60% mohair/40% silk. Every bit as gorgeous but a very different look, thanks to mohair’s fluffiness.
Joan also added beads to this Romi Hill pattern. Can you see the two tiny ones stacked together?
Bonnie chose tosh merino light from madelinetosh for her Sideway Shawl by Kyoko Nakayoshi from the Winter 2012 issue of Knitscene. Short rows send these stripes spinning around and around.
Jeanne chose Colinette’s Jitterbug for her Sideway Shawl. Again, so different and so stunning!
One more from Jeanne, everyone’s favorite ruffle scarf in silky Filatura di Crosa Moda.
Another gorgeous creation from Joan S., Metalouse by Stephen West in Schoppel-Wolle Crazy Zauberball and tosh merino light. The pattern is a freebie from the Winter 2012 edition of the online magazine Knitty at knitty.com. Joan can wear this any time of year, but these colors are particularly perfect for autumn, don’t you think?
One more from Joan S., her Entrelac Envelope Bag*, designed by Anne Carroll Gilmour, again shows off her love of beads and her great eye for color.
Our supply of Trendsetter Mimi, the 100% mink yarn, is a little low right now, and this is one beautiful reason why:
The Ombre Cowl Hood by Hilary Carr is a luscious way to wear your Mimi. This pretty black-to-white-to-grey version is just one made by Marsha – I think she made three in all.
Probably the ultimate repeatable pattern is our favorite Effin Scarf*. Below are several ways Joan T. can wear her latest Effin out of Ripple and Crystal from TSC yarns.
Joan will have just as good a time choosing how to wear her on-trend Bolt* from Veera Välimäki, knit from madelinetosh tosh sock.
Alice chose Ty-Dy Cotton for her Side to Side Pullover 124* from Diane Soucy of Knitting Pure & Simple. This is a beautiful top, pure and simple.
For a young lady of her acquaintance, Jane picked another Diane Soucy design, the Girl’s Cap Sleeve Cardigan Vest #106, and Liberty Wool. Such cute buttons!
Another Jane creation: Thoreau Hat in Dream in Color Classy. Terri Kruse is the designer, and one of Jane’s sons is the very lucky receipient.
Bonnie found the pattern for this spectacular #13 Lace Triangle Shawl in Vogue Knitting. She found the yarn in our Liberty Wool Department.
Another from Bonnie – a Poplar Cowl in Organik from Fibre Company. This is a super easy pattern, endlessly adaptable with just a change of needle and stitch count to suit your gauge. She used a US10 to get maximum drape. Gorgeous.
After making her Sideway Shawl, above, Bonnie went on to make a second design by Kyoko Nakayoshi, Merging Ripple Shawl, again with tosh merino light.
Peeking out from underneath Bonnie’s graceful shawl is Paula’s Trace* by Kristin Spurkland in Shibui Heichi. Here it is in a starring role:
Kathy made a classic Wingspan with Schoppel-Wolle Crazy Zauberball. Crazy like a fox, Kathy!
Kay fell in love with the free pattern Cabled Band Hat c192 and whipped up these two cuties from Cascade Cloud.
Here is just one of the shawls Tina knit this summer, the incomparable Tiong Bahru* from Åsa Tricosa in Handmaiden Lace Silk. With beads. Oh my.
Put this picture in the dictionary for the definition of “ethereal.”
This next one is mine. Pendulum* from Amy Miller. I used Zen Yarn Garden Serenity 20 in Mystic Ocean and Mossy Oak and loved every stitch. The yarn is like buttah.
Sometimes very bad things happen to very good knitters. Joan T. also made a Pendulum this summer. When it came out of its blocking bath, tragedy had struck. The deep, saturated orange of her Citrus madelinetosh merino light had stained the soft grey of the Smokestack. Could this have been prevented? The madelinetosh apologists say to “shock” the most intense colors first in ice water to which a few cups of white vinegar have been added before blocking. Alternatively, one could do the same to the unwound hank before knitting. Reputable hand dyers work hard to ensure that accidents such as this won’t happen, but one bad skein may still slip through…
To end on a much happier note, I will close with Sue’s Elijah the Elephant* from Ysolda Teague. Sue knit him from Cascade 220 Sport, and if he can’t put a smile on your face, I don’t know what will!
Note: All patterns marked with an asterisk* are available for sale at Gosh Yarn It!