feelin' stripey

I admit to being the most fickle knitter.  I always have  n u m e r o u s  works-in-progress going on.  But I never worry, because I almost always finish them...some time or another!

Right now I'm feeling very stripey!

Go with a self striping yarn if you want the easiest way to way to add stripes to your wardrobe.
This will soon be a simple-to-knit top-down pullover.  I'll let the self striping do all the work for me.

I'm working on the gorgeous Guido in Rowan Purelife Revive. Stripes in a linen weave stitch. Love.

Guido from Rowan Mag 55

Save your oddballs!  Here's a simple baby cardi knit with 3 singles of Rowan Pure Wool DK.

This is last years BD gift from my darling girlfriends. 
It's on the back burner now but this fall it will be Caris from Kim Hargreave's, Storm, below. 

I'm saving up bits and pieces to make the cover girl sweater on Little Star.  Sigh.

Use that stash!  This will, one far away day, turn into Wharf.

Rowan Magazine 55 is very very stripey and some are free downloads.
Cardi stripes, peplum stipes, top-down stripes and sideways stripe.
View the Magazine 55 Online Collection of free pattern downloads here.

And then there's lacy stripes too.  Below left is Lourdes and right is Madonna.

I'm starting to gather up some stash for that Madonna.

And then a drum roll please for Belarus by Kaffe Fassett
knit in popsicle shades of Kidsilk Haze.  My girlfriend is making this.
It's gorge.  The pattern is free here.

Oh Ravello.  I love you so much.
Almost finished.  Modeled pics soon.
Knit using ancient stash yarn:  the beloved but discontinued Rowan Yorkshire Tweed 4-ply.
Ravello by Isabell Kraemer.

And another drumroll for Veera Valimaki's newest, Laneway.
I love the asymmetrical stripes.  Now you know what I'm thinking don't you?
Yes, KSH.
How about the colored stripes in one of the KSH Stripes color, like "Cool",
and then use the dark charcoal Anthracite for the solid?  Oh my.

And speaking of the color COOL, here is it knit up in Belle, the coolest cardi ever.
I love that the stripes don't match.

See you soon with some striped FOs!

xo Kristen


Scarves, Shrugs & Shawls

Today I'd like to share a book that I just discovered last week.  When knitting with my girlfriend, she pulled out this book.  While I love knitting and wearing scarves and shawls and shrugs, I must admit that at first I thought, oh ho hum, another scarf book.  But leafing through the pages I loved the projects and ended up buying a copy too.  I am a big fan of Sarah Hatton and have knit many of her patterns over the years.  In this book she has some ingenious projects that will freshen up your wardrobe and be fun to knit and wear year round. Here are some of my favorites:

The Cabled Wrap is a quick and clever shrug that gives 
cable interest without adding bulk where you don't want it.  
This is knit using 5-9 skeins of Rowan Baby Alpaca DK in Cheviot.

The Leaf Detail Collar uses just two skeins of Rowan Felted Tweed DK, knit above in Duck Egg.  
The pattern has just enough detail on each end and a clever open pocket to slip the end through.  
Also includes technique for a "no-turn" bobble.

Well, have to admit this is the reason I bought the book!
A fluffy collar knit in Kidsilk Haze!  
The Loop Stitch Collar uses 2 skeins and is held double throughout
and has a fun loop stitch technique.  While I LOVE this in bright Candy Girl,
I'll be making this in a more sedate charcoal, Anthracite.  (maybe beads too)

Well, OK, this is my 2nd reason for buying the book.  
Also knit in Felted Tweed DK and uses 3-5 skeins.  
The one above is in the color Clay.  
I made a similar cape for a child and was thinking, "wouldn't this be nice in an adult size?"

The Reversible Shrug is knit using a reversible cable technique, no wrong side! 
 This uses 7-13 balls of the super soft and cozy Lima in color La Paz.

If you've never knit a Chevron Scarf, well, why not?   
Such a fun fun stitch pattern, so addictive and you won't be able to put it down!
 I like the dimensions of the above scarf knit in 5 colors of Felted Tweed DK,
 but don't know why you couldn't use your stash.

The Multiway Stole is knit using 4-6 skeins of Kidsilk Haze in a simple lace pattern.
 At first glance you think this is just a scarf, but by adding buttons, 
it changes from a scarf to a shrug, cape, poncho and bolero!  
Very clever and fun addition to the wardrobe
The Bold Strip Scarf is cleverly knit in the round using Kidsilk Haze in eye popping colors. 
 I like this one so much.

A fantastic addition at the end; there are 6 pages on how to tie scarves.  
Sarah also includes very clear technique instructions including pictures, 
on how to do everything from cables, to fairisle and short row shaping and more.

There are 22 designs in the book and I've shared just a few of my favorites.  You can view ALL the patterns from the book here on Ravelry.  The yarns used throughout the entire book are from Rowan.  I hope you can find the book and yarn at your lys, but if not, I've included shopping links below! 

happy knitting!  xo kristen


Life Cycle

I'm happy to share Alana Dako's new skinny scarf pattern, Life Cycle available soon in her book, Botanical Knits 2.  I test knit this for her, then loved making it so much I promptly made two more.  The pattern is fun and addictive and makes a long skinny scarf that is fun to wear.  In case you think it's difficult, it's not.  It has both written and charted instructions and consists of a few simple stitches like yarnovers and knit-two-togethers and a few more.  Each stitch is explained well.  This would be a good beginner project if you wanted to advance your knitting skills.  It's fun to see the leaves "grow".  I knit this on the airplane sitting next to a middle aged man who had to occasionally check and marvel at my progress.  It's funny when you knit in public, people think you are some kind of curiosity!

The first one is knit in Rowan's new silk and linen yarn, the light worsted weight Silkystones.  I used two colors, Glade, below left, and Cavern on the right.  This was my first time knitting with Silkystones and think it's a wonderful transition spring and fall yarn.  Very easy to knit and has an earthy quality with a lot of texture and interest and is lovely against bare skin.  I was surprised how much "give" this yarn has.  Very easy to maneuver the stitches and it wet blocked very well.  To achieve the dual tone look, I knit with one color until I ran out, then added the other.

The next scarf is knit in Alana's recommended yarn, Dyed in the Wool by Spincycle Yarns in 100% superwash Bluefaced Leicester.  This is my first time using Bluefaced Leicester and now I know what all the fuss is about.  It's so soft!  It's 200 yards of sport/heavy sock weight, has many gorgeous colorways with gradual color changes and is just beautiful.  It wet blocked beautifully and I enjoyed knitting with this very much.  It's quite bouncy and has lots of memory.  The scarf below was knit in color "salty dog" and was gifted to my mother for Christmas.


The last one to share is Alana's color choice and is the sample for the book.  Also knit in Spincycle's Dyed in the Wool in a color, "end of summer", especially dyed for Alana for this scarf.  It's a beautiful blend of fall colors and makes the leaves pop.  The scarf above was knit using every bit of the 200 yards in the skein, and the sample below was knit using 300 yards.  We liked it better long and sassy.  This sample below I sadly had to send back, but was fun being a test knitter and work with Alana.

I'm so excited this pattern is finally published.  It's part of Alana's new book,  Botanical Knits 2.  I met Alana at Stitches West a few years ago and she is just adorable.  You can view all the new patterns of her new book here.  Look for Botanical Knits 2 available to purchase as an ebook or to pre-order in print beginning 10:00 PST, March 3.

The links!

My Ravelry project pages here, here and here
The pattern details on Ravelry, Life Cycle
Alana introduces the book, Botanical Knits 2
Rowan Silkystones available at Jannette's Rare Yarns
Spincycle Yarns, Dyed in the Wool on Etsy
My other test knit for Botanical 2, bare branches
Thank you Sylvia Gray for allowing me to photograph Life Cycle in your beautiful shop!

Dr. Owl

I'm so thrilled and happy to share a new pattern, a free download from Rowan, designed by me!  It's very exciting to have another pattern picked up by Rowan.  Dr. Owl, a cozy hot water bottle cover, is part of the Pure Wool Worsted Home Decor Collection all designed by Rowan Ambassadors and all are available as free pattern downloads.

Dr. Owl uses simple cables to form his body and branches and is knit with the color Granite, a gorgeous medium gray (there are several grays in the line) and a tiny scrap of Apple for the leaves.  Medium or light colors are best for Dr. Owl as you won't be able to find him if you knit this in a dark color.  Cables are funny that way.

I hope if you make Dr. Owl, you'll let me know and share a picture with me!  The pattern is very easy to follow and easily customizable to fit any size hot water bottle.  But if you have any questions, let me know and I'll help you out!

Dr. Owl designed by Kristen Rettig
Here are the other lovely designs in the Pure Wool Worsted Home Decor Collection designed by fellow ambassadors, all with links, and all are free!  Enjoy!

Slip Stitch Game Cushion by Ute Rehner.

Moonstone Cushion designed by Jen Geigley.

Diamond Cushion designed by Konrad Siebenhuter.

Cuildorag House Cushion by Claire Durbin.

Chainlink Cushion by Dayana Krawchuk.

Fishtail Table Runner by Sarah Woodhouse.

Plant Pot Cozy by Dayana Krawchuk.

Rowanette Cushion by Maria Nieidermayer.

The Canuck Tea Collection by Anne Featonby.

Wheel Barrow Cushion by Esther Hartley
Rowan has introduced a new superwash in worsted weight to compliment their superwash Pure Wool line that already includes 4 ply, dk and aran weights.  PWW will be available in the shops any day now, available in 50 sophisticated colors with excellent yardage at an excellent price.  It's super soft and I loved working with it.  It has great stitch definition and was very easy to maneuver into cables.  I've ordered some PWW in a dark damson plum to make a poncho (good grief, this poncho kick I'm on!)  I'll also be using PWW as part of a Martin Storey mystery KAL coming up next month.  More about that later!

The links: