WIP - Glacier Park Cowl

 

© Knit Purl


Today I am highlighting a work in progress that I started recently. I have been really excited about doing a colorwork project. I decided to knit the Glacier Park Cowl after meeting the designer, Caitlin Hunter of Boyland Knitworks, when she came into the store recently. She is a wonderful Oregon based designer and a very friendly person. You may recognize her name from the Camp Wilkerson shawl she designed, which we featured in Shibui Dune. Caitlin has published a handful of original patterns and is clearly very passionate about knitwear and design. I am excited to see what she comes out with next!


The pattern calls for fingering weight and I have been wanting to knit with the Sunday Knits 3ply yarns. I chose to knit the cowl in 4 colors instead of 2, mixing Sunday Knits Angelic and Eden. Angelic is 75% Ultra-Fine Merino, 25% Softest Angora and Eden is 100% Extra-Fine Merino Wool. My main color is Angelic in Midnight, a dark heathery blue. The main contrast color will be Eden in Bay, a seafoam green. Then I will use Angelic in Dijon and a bit of Shibui Pebble in Sidewalk as accent colors.

 

© Caitlin Hunter


I worked my gauge swatch in the two main colors and cast on to size 3, 24" circular needles. For my cast on, I used the twisted german to make the edge extra stretchy and then started the 2x2 rib. This was my first time using a Norwegian knitting thimble and once I got the hang of it I found it very helpful.  So far I am loving the yarn and I can't wait to start the colorwork part of the pattern.

 

 

February 06, 2017 by Kira Sassano

Shibui Knits Maai

© Knit Purl

My knitting journal is filling up with the prettiest swatches in all different colors. This week I added Shibui Knits Maai to my journal and I’m enamored. It was the first time I’ve knit with a chained link yarn and the result was not what I expected. I’ve seen chained link yarns before, but I always stayed clear of them thinking that I would be disappointed knitting with them. Silly me. Once again I’ve been happily proven wrong.

Maai was a delight to knit with. The blend of superbaby alpaca and fine Merino wool is lofty and soft in the skein. In fabric form, the yarn has an added spring that makes the fabric bouncy and light. The snapback, bounce that the fabric has, makes this yarn great for sweaters, cardigans, and accessories. What I really want to knit out of Maai is a robe and a pair of socks. Those probably aren’t the best uses for Maai, but it’s so soft that I can’t help but want to wrap myself in it from head to toe.


Here are a few practical knitting ideas for Maai:

© Shibui Knits

FW15 | Motif - A simple wrap with a bit of texture. My mom has been eyeing this pattern for a while now so I decided to make a kit for her. I paired it with Maai in Blueprint.

© Eric Mueller

Minne Mitts - I love fingerless gloves. I used to sew fingerless gloves with a friend of mine out of recycled cashmere sweaters. I finally knit my first pair this year which turned me into a fingerless glove knitting machine. Now whenever I see a pair of fingerless gloves that I love, I want to drop everything and start knitting. Minne Mitts are one of those pairs of gloves that have me dropping everything. They are small, cute, simple, and just waiting to be worn. Minne Mitts would look chic in Bordeaux.

© Julie Hoover

Cline Pullover - A dolman sweater with an oversize silhouette and three-quarter sleeves. This would be bouncy and airy knit in Maai. Have fun and knit Cline in a bright bold color like Poppy, or keep it classic and chic with Ivory.

© chickpeastudio

Erie Hat: A simple 1x1 ribbed, slouchy beanie. Perfect for a last minute gift and did I mention that the pattern is free?

December 23, 2016 by Laura Oriana Konstin

Favorite Cable Patterns

© Laura Oriana Konstin

I bought myself a present a couple of weeks ago that came in the form of the new Norah Gaughan's Knitted Cable Sourcebook. I’m not going to say much about the book because I will be dedicating an entire blog post to it at a later date. I will say, that if you haven’t purchased this book yet pause from reading this post and go purchase it now. Norah’s talent is undeniable and I’m beyond ecstatic that she was ever so kind to create a wonderful book for the knitting community.

My fascination with cables started three years ago. I was headed to Ireland for an ultimate road trip with one of my friends. Before I left, my mom requested that I return with a sweater. At the time I didn’t realize how impossible my mom’s request was. We looked everywhere for a sweater. Every town we stopped in, I would ask around to see where I could purchase one. We were two days away from leaving Ireland to make our way to Northern Ireland, and I was empty handed. I hopped on the internet and started my online search for where to find a handmade sweater in Ireland. I magically landed on a forum that spoke about this lady named Sarah who was located on Inis Mór (part of the Aran Islands). Apparently, luck was on my side because it just so happens we were headed there the next day.

When we arrived on Inis Mór, we located a horse and buggy to take us to Dún Aonghasa (a must-see fort). Our driver mainly spoke Irish (Gaelic) so I started to fear I wouldn’t be able to find the sweater I was on the hunt for. After playing a hilarious game of charades I turned to my friend and said, “We are never going to find Sarah”. Apparently, I said the magic word because the moment I said “Sarah”, he knew what I was looking for. It just so happens that Sarah is located right where one would get dropped off when going to see Dún Aonghasa.

I was beaming with joy that I was finally going to find a sweater for my mom. I hadn’t anticipated the greatness of Sarah’s talent. We walked into her quaint shop and started chatting with her. I eventually told her of my journey that led me to her. I finally mentioned I was looking for a sweater for my mom and she pulled out this beautiful moss green pullover with magical cables. I about lost it when I saw the sweater. It was the first time I had seen a sweater with so many styles of cables perfectly blended together. It was at this moment that my obsession for cables started.

I love how the simplest of projects can be transformed by the addition of a cable flowing down a sleeve of a top, like the T-Shawl. Then there are the sweaters that have a multitude of chunky cables that look modern and chic. Whenever I see cables in a pattern, I want to wrap myself up in them. There is something instantly cozy and comforting about a cable sweater. There is a little secret about cables that I’m going to share with everyone. They are deceivingly easy to create. Don’t be fooled like me. For the longest time, I thought that knitting something with cables would be too difficult to accomplish. I mean they always look so intricate, how could they be easy to knit? Well, the secret is out, they are much easier to knit than I had ever anticipated. If you are a cable newbie, A Very Braidy Cowl is the perfect starting place.

 

Here is a list of some fun and enticing cable patterns:

© The Gift of Knitting

© Brooklyn Tweed / Jared Flood

Byway

 

© Joji Locatelli

Cozy head, happy head

 

© Jared Flood / Norah Gaughan

Sourcebook Chunky Cardigan

 

© Brooklyn Tweed / Jared Flood

Hawser

 

© Andrea Mowry

Winter Honey

October 28, 2016 by Laura Oriana Konstin

Brooklyn Tweed Arbor

© Knit Purl

New, new, new. New yarn, new colors, and a new collection. This week, Brooklyn Tweed released their new yarn, Arbor. Keeping up with their Brooklyn Tweed tradition, Arbor is sourced, dyed, and spun within the USA. The purebred Targhee sheep come from beautiful Montana and South Dakota. These sheep have a distinctive fleece that resembles the softness of merino. Once the fleeces are collected they take a trip to Maine, where they get spun at the historic Jagger Brothers mill. Jagger Brothers have been producing high quality worsted spun yarns since the 1880’s. Lastly, the yarn takes a nice bath at the nearby organically certified, Saco River Dyehouse, where it’s transformed into a vibrant and lively custom color palette.


Arbor is a squishy, soft DK weight yarn that I was delighted to swatch with. Due to its worsted-spun construction, Arbor is denser and knits into a sturdier fabric. I didn’t have much yarn to experiment with so I made a super tiny swatch, and it was beyond pleasant to knit with. Unlike other Brooklyn Tweed yarn, it doesn’t have a rustic feel to it while you knit, and it has much more of a drape than Loft or Shelter. Arbor is a versatile yarn that will make great accessories and swoon-worthy sweaters.


The new color palette is probably my favorite out of the Brooklyn Tweed family. Usually, within a color palette, there are maybe a handful of colors I can imagine creating something with, but that is not the case here. I’m inspired by all 30 color choices. I love the fierceness of Firebrush and the tranquility of Sashiko. I swatched with Dorado, which is the most enticing, understated green that will make a gorgeous pullover. It won’t be hard to find a color for your project, but it will be near impossible to not try to take all of them home.


To go along with Arbor, Brooklyn Tweed also released a collection of patterns for this lovely yarn. Here are a few of my favorites:

© Brooklyn Tweed

High Pines : A high textured cowl mirroring the shape of pine trees. This is a great project for an advanced-beginner knitter that wants to try something a little bit more difficult, but isn’t ready to take the dive into sweater making yet.

© Brooklyn Tweed

Foundry: I love reversible pieces, and Foundry is beautiful from all sides. Foundry is a cabled scarf with three button closures that can be worn as a cowl or a wrap. I’m seeing mega scarves everywhere and I think I might have to add a bit more length to Foundry so I can have my own mega scarf.

© Brooklyn Tweed

Hirombe: Hirombe is a reversible hat with a branching motif of half-twisted rib. The pattern reminds me of vines crawling up a wall that have been manicured for max wow factor.

October 21, 2016 by Laura Oriana Konstin

First & Favorite Cardigan Patterns

© Laura Oriana Konstin

I hope all our Portland dwellers enjoyed the last few days of our extended summer. It’s the first time since I moved here, that I can finally say I’m ready for the rain and the cooler temperatures. It’s taken me quite a bit of time to acclimate to the Portland weather. I spent part of last year and most of my summer preparing my winter closet. I wish I had a good excuse on why it’s taken me so long to figure out how to not freeze my booty off when winter comes around. Sadly, I don’t.

Part of my preparation took place this summer. Instead of knitting garments to keep me cool, I decided to finish up some WIPs and work on my winter gear. Lucky for me, many of my WIPs happened to be fall/winter items. One project I worked on this summer that was not a WIP, was a test knit for the Gambier Jacket. The Gambier is a bulky knit cardigan with a cozy collar and colorwork in a diamond pattern. It is by far my favorite cardigan in my closet and fingers crossed it lasts a lifetime.

The Gambier is the first cardigan I’ve knit and I was a little worried that I wouldn’t enjoy it as much as knitting a sweater in the round, but I was so wrong. The part I feared the most, was picking up all the stitches for the collar, and it ended up being my favorite part. After knitting my first cardigan I now have a list of patterns that are on my must knit list.


Here are some of my favorites:

© Amirisu

Flaum: Flaum was going to be my first cardigan, but the Gambier sneakily snuck in. Flaum is a cropped cardigan in a ribbing pattern. It has two roomy pockets, but what I find the most intriguing is the shape. It is slightly lower in the back than the front. It also has an interesting drape that reminds me of a flower at the beginning stages of blooming.

 

© Sachiko Burgin

Fredericton: Fredericton is a unisex cardigan knit with two strands of sport weight yarn held together to create a marled effect. This cardigan is polished and rustic all in one. There is also the option to knit this in aran weight if you don’t want to work with two strands of yarn at the same time. I might get a little crazy and add elbow patches to this cardigan.

 

© Joji Locatelli

Madewell: I had a sweater once that was the perfect shade of navy and it had suede cognac color elbow patches. The sweater somehow made its way into the washer and was ruined. I then came across the Madewell cardigan and couldn’t believe my eyes. It is exactly like the sweater I used to have. Madewell is a simple cardigan with optional elbow patches. My option will be to make them. If I can figure out how to sew suede elbow patches on, even better!

September 30, 2016 by Laura Oriana Konstin

Shibui Knits Drift

© Knit Purl

 

Shibui Knits Drift is the newest yarn offering from Shibui, and it’s quite delightful.

I had a pleasant experience swatching with this cozy, fluffy yarn, imagining it for all sorts of fall and winter projects. The worsted weight makes it an excellent match for anything from cowls to sweaters. Its fiber content is 85% Extra Fine Merino, and 15% Cashmere. As you can imagine, it’s pretty amazingly soft. 

Here are some projects that I think would be wonderful in Drift:

© Tin Can Knits

Barley by Tin Can Knits. One skein is enough to make up to the child size of this adorable hat. Drift's drape would work really well in the slouchy version of the hat, too. This is a really good beginner project, using both stockinette and garter stitch. 

© Veera Välimäki

Smooth Edge by Veera Välimäki. I've admired this project for a while. I love the herringbone stitch pattern, and it would look so nice in Drift, with a light halo from the cashmere. I'm imagining it in Ash, light enough to show off the color. 

© Carrie Bostick Hoge

Lila by Carrie Bostick Hoge. This is the ultimate Sunday lounge-about-the-house sweater. It would be lovely in Drift – so soft and cozy! Drift would give it a nice drape, and feel warm and comforting. 

September 26, 2016 by Oleya Pearsall

Shibui Knits FW16 Collection

© Shibui Knits
Another week, another fabulous collection to admire. The Shibui Knits FW16 collection came out this week, and it’s filled with graceful essentials. They also released their new yarn, Drift, which will make fall and winter velvety soft. Drift is an extra-fine merino and cashmere blend that I can’t wait to get my hands on. I won’t say much more on Drift, since Oleya will be sharing a post about it later this month. I will share my favorite patterns from the new Shibui Knits FW16 collection.

© Shibui Knits
Boulevard: Is it a cape or is it a jacket, or maybe it’s a little bit of both? This is my favorite piece from the collection. Boulevard is chic and sophisticated. The textural pattern is an eye-catching addition to this refined cape. I would keep this simple and knit it in Ivory. It will allow for the pattern to stand out even more. Ash, Mineral, and Caffeine would also be great options.

 

© Shibui Knits

Midtown: I’ve been searching for the perfect cardigan for everyday wear and what do you know, Shibui answered me with Midtown. Midtown is modern and simple, and the yarn gives it a luxurious look and feel. Knit in a baby alpaca and merino blend, Midtown will be the cardigan you will want to take everywhere.

 

© Shibui Knits

Vista: There is something about clean lines and a simple knit fabric that I can’t help but gravitate towards. Vista is an effortless pullover with an asymmetric hem and knit in dual tones. The color pairings are endless for Vista. Keep it simple with Ivory and Fog or go bold with Tar and Bordeaux. There is also that option to make one in a solid color. I’m thinking about knitting one in Abyss.

September 16, 2016 by Laura Oriana Konstin

Woolfolk FW16 Collection

© Woolfolk

The last weeks of summer are fast approaching and soon the air will become crisp and the leaves will change colors. I’ve lived in Portland on and off since 2002. It wasn’t until 2014 that I really started to conform and begin enjoying cooler temperatures. I will forever be a beach baby that wants to live where it never gets below 70 degrees, but I can now appreciate cozy sweater weather. I can thank knitting and my killer boot collection for my new found appreciation of fall and winter weather.

One of my favorite things about fall, since becoming a knitter, is when new collections come out. I eagerly await the days when my favorite lines and designers start dropping new patterns. I’ve had my eyes on Woolfolk and all their collection teaser photos they’ve been sharing the past couple of months. Finally, this week the Woolfolk FW16 Collection was released, and I’m politely calling dibs on all their yarn we carry so I can knit every pattern.


Here are a few of my favorites from the collection:

© Woolfolk

DRYS: When I saw the teaser photo of this wrap I knew it was going to be a favorite. I’m enamored with this chic wrap and I can’t wait to drape it around my neck and over my shoulder. I love the placement of all the eyelet type holes that are so precisely spread around. This is one dreamy wrap that I can’t wait to wear.

 

© Woolfolk

LOS: This sweater was quick to catch my eyes. I know what Woolfolk FÅR yarn feels like, so I know that LOS is one cozy sweater. Everything about this sweater says cozy, from the slightly oversized look to the ribbed cuffs you will want to wrap your hands in. I’ve tried zooming in to see the pattern on the sweater since it looks so inviting, but I can’t seem to figure it out. Besides the cozy factor that LOS is bringing, it’s also one classy-looking turtleneck.

 

© Woolfolk

ARKADE: There are two choices for ARKADE, a cowl, and a scarf. I love the cowl, but I’m going to talk about the mega mega mega scarf. I love the look of large scarves that I can wrap around multiple times for a super bulky look. Unfortunately, the patterns are never intriguing enough for me to commit to knitting a six-foot scarf. ARKADE is going to make me a scarf knitter. The pattern is unique, intriguing, and something I’ve never seen before, which makes me want to drop everything and start knitting ARKADE.


After sharing my favorites I realized something – all of them are knit in color no. 1. I think I might have a favorite color for the seasons to come.

September 09, 2016 by Laura Oriana Konstin
Tags: New Patterns

Choosing a Project: Yarn Vs. Pattern

© Knit Purl

 

One of the many things I love about knitting is the fact that there are so many ways to go about it. I can find an irresistible yarn, and then start dreaming about all the things I can possibly make. Or maybe I’ll fall in love with a sweater on Ravelry, and then spend weeks finding the perfect yarn to match. How I start a project really depends on my mood. How I chose the two projects I am working on now is a perfect example of my process (or lack thereof!).

© Tin Can Knits

One of the projects I am working on right now is a baby sweater called Playdate. For this project, the yarn called to me first. I kept eyeing the Scarlet color of Madelinetosh Tosh Sock every time I passed by it in the store. Even though I usually work with non-superwash yarn these days, the bright red color really attracted me. After a while, I couldn’t deny it any longer. I didn't know what I was going to do with it, but I would figure it out. 

I purchased the yarn, and spent some time considering what I could make with it. I decided that wanted a baby sweater, and the sweater had to use up just that one skein. I sifted through my Ravelry favorites, and looked at all the projects that would be a good match. I found Playdate, and it just so happened that we had a copy of the Max & Bodhi’s Wardrobe book in the store. The gauge worked out well, and it was a perfect match!

 

 

© Shibui Knits

The other project I am working on is the Multigrain Scarf from Shibui Knits. With this project, the pattern called to me first. I loved the fact that it was a simple stitch pattern made engaging with gently shifting types of yarn. It helped that we have a lovely sample of it in the store. When I worked on the sales floor, I wore the sample so often that I thought it might be a good idea to make one. Then I got to work picking out the yarn. I used Silk Cloud, Cima, and Pebble as directed, but I chose different colors of yarn (Fjord, Graphite, and Abyss) for more of a gradient effect. I'm really pleased with how it's turning out so far!

So for me, there's no right or wrong way to pick out a project. It really does depend on the situation at hand! Both methods have resulted in some really satisfying projects. How do you choose a project?

 

 

August 29, 2016 by Oleya Pearsall

Simple Tees

© Julie Hoover

I was going through my wardrobe the other day and realized my tee collection is nonexistent. I remember when I used to have a drawer full of tees that I could easily pick from, now I have four. My two favorites from the bunch were gifted to me. One is white with an image of Patti Smith wearing a tee with an image of Keith Richards, and the other is a pop art portrait of my past dog, Bijou. I’m slowly trying to rebuild my collection with tees that I will enjoy and wear all the time. Since I would like to keep my tee collection small, I plan on knitting most of them.

Here are a few patterns that are currently trying to make the cut:

Insouciant: A simple grab and go tee with a rolled neck and small side slits. This will easily become a favorite. (Photo above!)

© Olgajazzy

Francis: The fabric crosses over in the back, allowing the top to have a slight opening. I knit a tank similar to this top that I can’t get enough of.

© Juju Vail

Alcomar: I have a couple of high-waisted jeans and pretty skirts that are in need of a more feminine tee to join them, and Alcomar is that tee. The front is a simple stockinette stitch while the back is knit in a delightful lace pattern.

© Jessie Roselyn

Alen Shell: It’s hard to not look through patterns and not want to knit something for someone else. I found this boxy little tee that has a sleeve and collar detail that I really like. I already have someone in mind for this top. I might have to knit one for myself too.

August 19, 2016 by Laura Oriana Konstin