Mystic Sunset KAL

On June 28, 2016, in KAL, lace, Mystic Sunset, pattern, shawl, by Anna

IMG_0850New Mystery KAL for the summer of 2016.

The golden yellow sun grows heavy after a long day and sinks lower and lower. It lingers on the horizon and then dips below, leaving the sky a brilliant cascade of colours – orange to red, fading to pink and into a deep purple night sky.

Mystic Sunset pairs a tangerine to ultraviolet gradient set with a solid colour to create a spectacular sunset shawl in which to wrap yourself.

The pattern is available for $6 until the release of the first clue.

KAL INFO
The KAL is broken into 3 pieces – swatch, and two clues of the pattern
Swatch pattern available immediately.
First clue posted on Friday, July 15, 2016.
Second clue posted on Friday, July 29, 2016.
Note: The pattern has been discounted from the regular pattern price. Once the first clue is posted on July 15, the pattern price will increase to $8.00.

MATERIALS
1 skein Fiber Optics Yarn Foot Notes in sterling (Colour 1)
1 box Fiber Optics Yarn Foot Notes Paintbox Gradient in Tangerine-Ultraviolet (Colour 2)

IMG_7276

FINISHED (BLOCKED) SIZE
Adjustable in pattern. As shown, with 1 solid skein of Fiber Optics Yarn Foot Notes and 1 Paintbox gradient, you can get a shawl of the following dimensions:
Wingspan: 80 in (202 cm)
Height: 24 in (61 cm)

 

More Love

On June 16, 2016, in fingerless mitts, gloves, More Love, pattern, by Anna

We need more love in the world. After one more mass shooting, one more senseless display of hate – this time in Orlando, FL – I’d like to make this pattern available to spread the love and in show of support for the LGBT community.

10903786_837178063010462_7412452728235239304_o

This glove-design is inspired by the Aroha hat by Kelly Brooker of Pekapeka. If you want to knit a matching hat, make sure to check out her pattern.

MATERIALS
1 skein of Classic Wool DK Superwash from Paton (100% wool – 125 yds/114 m per 50 g) or similar yarn
approx 10 m each of 6 different colours of fingering weight yarn for the hearts
4.0 mm (US 6) needles
stitchmarker
tapestry needle

The More Love pattern is available here for $3.00.

Note: This pattern is available for free with the coupon code MORELOVE until July 4, 2016.

 

I just spent several days at the St. Peter’s Abbey in Muenster, SK.  The Saskatchewan Stitches Conference takes place here every year, and I was one of the instructors.
IMG_7224

The conference is organized by Haus of Stitches in nearby Humboldt, SK.  Haus of Stitches is a lovely store that carries just about everything you need for quilting, sewing, knitting and crochet.

IMG_7218

When I visited the shop, I was immediately drawn to the wall with this gorgeous quilt having on in.  And after a while, I realized that my books were on display on top of the shelves filled with yarn.  :-)

IMG_7219

I arrived at the Abbey on Thursday afternoon, and had dinner with the group.  In the evening Jodi Barrows gave a talk about her Square in a Square quilting system.  I’m not a quilter at all, but I was intrigued by her applied geometry skills.

Over the course of the next 3 days, I taught 6 knitting classes.  On Friday we kicked off with an introduction to lace where we learned everything from basic lace stitches to how to read charts, and how to block your lace.  And then in the afternoon we continued with a class on how fix mistakes in lace knitting.

IMG_7226

Everyone did really well.  Here’s a picture of one of the students repairing her lace work.  Several people told me afterwords that they would never have attempted such complicated repairs before the class, but that they were feeling quite confident they had learned some new skills that could be applied in future projects.

On Saturday I taught two classes on shawl construction – basically how to create shawls in different shapes.  In the morning we looked as basic triangles and rectangles, and covered some of the more common shapes.  And in the afternoon we made several different types of crescents and circles.  Towards the end of the class, the students were all able to look at shawls differently, and just by a glance tell how the shawl was constructed, and not only that – they could apply the knowledge and knit little mini-shawls in that shape without any instructions from me.  I consider that a great success!  I look forward to seeing some future designs from these talented ladies.

IMG_7273

On Monday, we shifted gears entirely.  In the morning we were doing colourwork.  We tried out hands at slipped stitch knitting, intarsia and stranded knitting (Fair Isle).

IMG_7274

And in the afternoon we covered four different ways of making reversible cables.

IMG_7272

The evenings were full of show and tell, and various presentations.  I did say before that I’m not a quilter, but I really did see some fabulous quilts.  I won’t share them all here, but one of my favourites was this Gypsy Wife quilt, quilted by Dianne Jansson.  It almost makes me want to bring out the sewing machine.  :-)

IMG_7234

All in all – I had a wonderful time at the Saskatchewan Stitches Conference.  Can’t wait to go back!

 

Cloudborn Yarn

On April 4, 2016, in blanket, Cheshire Cat Shawl, lace, pattern, Salacia, shawl, yarn, by Anna

Did you know that Craftsy sells yarn and kits in addition to the classes?

In the fall, Craftsy launched a new line of yarn, called Cloudborn.  I’ve had the chance to work with Cloudborn yarn a fair bit, and I have to say I’m really impressed.

My Cheshire Cat shawl was knit in Cloudborn Merino Superwash Sock Twist, which is a light fingering weight yarn.  It’s was a great yarn to use for shawls, and I thought that the colours of Alice in Wonderland’s dress would be fabulous for the Cheshire Cat shawl.

IMG_5460

 

Salacia is another shawl I’ve designed with Cloudborn yarn. For that one I used Cloudborn Alpaca & Highland Naturals – a fingering weight 50/50 wool-alpaca blend with a slight halo that lends itself wonderfully to warm shawls.

8400_-1451925281865

 

I’m also in the process of knitting up a blanket in Cloudborn Superwash Merino Worsted Twist.  The colours are vibrant and the yarn is smooth and good to work with.  The pattern isn’t out yet, but when it is, it will be available as a kit from Craftsy.

IMG_6557

My kits, and many others are available at Craftsy.  As I am a Craftsy instructor, if you do shop there using my affiliate link, you will also be supporting me as a designer.  The yarn is very affordable and versatile.  Lots of options out there!

Thanks!

 

 

 

Mystic Haven Clue 1

On March 31, 2016, in KAL, lace, Mystic Haven, shawl, by Anna

The Mystic Haven KAL started yesterday.  As always, it’s really fun to see the beginnings of people’s shawls.  Here is mine, up through the first clue.

Mystic Haven

 

The shawl is knit with one gradient skein like this:

KnitCircus gradient

As you can see, the pattern does not just use the gradient from one end to the other, but breaks up the segments and alternates them.  I just love how the colours in this gradient work together, and by using both ends of the yarn, we get to see the different colours touching in the shawl.  It’s a little hard to see in the picture of my shawl, but right near the end of clue 1, the colour is starting to get darker and darker, and we’ll see more of that colour in clue 2.

If you’d like to join us, sign-ups are still open.  Also, if you haven’t already found the Knit & Knag Designs group on Ravelry, come check it out.  There’s a discussion thread as well as a spoiler thread with progress pictures of the shawl.

 

Salacia single pattern / kit

On March 25, 2016, in lace, pattern, Salacia, shawl, by Anna

The Salacia shawl is now available as a single pattern as well as a in a kit from Craftsy.
8400_-1451925281865
I got a chance to design the shawl in the fall as a part of Craftsy launching Cloudborn Yarn.  There were many amazing yarns to choose from, and I was immediately drawn to the Cloudborn Alpaca & Highland Naturals yarn.  It’s a fingering weight yarn, with a 50/50 blend of alpaca and wool.  It’s wonderfully soft and airy, and the naturals just have such an amazing depth to them.  The shawl actually uses three different shades – smoke, stone and espresso.

4168_-1451925281865

The shawl is knit from the neck to edge with the sand coloured sections filled of tiny bubbles made by the waves lapping the shore. The edging has large, dark pearls – jewels of the sea for the sea goddess – and ends in waves.

So often in lace knitting, there are straight lines.  There are lots of stitch patterns with diamonds and such, but knitting circles and bubbles is a little less common.  I found that the sandy sections were very relaxing to knit.  As I was knitting my little bubbles, I was just enjoying the soft yarn.  The pearls required a little bit more attention to the chart, of course, but it’s neat to see how the circles form.

The Salacia Shawl is named after the the goddess of the sea and springs in Roman mythology. Salacia was the queen of the oceans and the wife of Neptune.

IMG_5631

The pattern is available as a single PDF pattern for $7.00

 

WIPs

On March 23, 2016, in blanket, book, KAL, Mystic Haven, shawl, by Anna

I usually try to limit myself to three active WIPs at a time.  I find that if I have more, some tend to fall by the wayside.  And they do.  It doesn’t necessarily mean they won’t be finished, mind you, but it does mean that they will take longer than they really should.

At the moment, my most active WIP is my new blanket.  It’s coming along nicely.  I’m very excited about this design and project.  I’ve been wanting to make a new blanket for the cottage, and this will be it.  We close down our cottage for the winter (as it is an uninsulated log cabin), but once temperatures get to be consistently above freezing (hopefully in less than a month), we’ll be opening it up, and then it will be great to have a new blanket to cuddle under.
I’ve already written up the pattern, but I need to finish the whole blanket and take some nice pictures before it can be released, of course.
IMG_6557

I’m also working on a new shawl pattern for my next book.  Can’t say too much about it at the moment, but here’s a teeny tiny sneak peak of scrumptious red yarn from Spirit Trail Fiberworks and the early beginnings of a new shawl.

IMG_6556

 

The third project that is at the front of my mind this week is of course Mystic Haven.  While the knitting is complete for me (the ends are sewn in, it’s blocked, and I’ve taken lots of nice pictures that I can’t share), I’m doing the layout for the pattern files for the individual clues.  Nykki (sammiegray on Ravelry) has offered to create the written instructions for this pattern, so in addition to the charts, there will also be full written out instructions for anyone who wants them.  Sign-ups for the KAL are still open, of course, and the first clue will be released on March 30.

Mystic Haven

 

And of course I would be remiss, if I didn’t mention that I’m also working on the next Mystic KAL design.  I have yet to wind the yarn – I’ll probably get to that after Easter – but I do have a clear idea of where this shawl design is going, and I’m very excited about it.CaribouBaa

 

Romantic Knits

On March 21, 2016, in lace, Mystic Desire, Mystic Shawls, pattern, shawl, by Anna

Craftsy recently blogged about “Romantic Knits” and featured my Mystic Desire in the #3 spot.

Web Res-02116

3. Mystic Desire

“The Mystic Desire shawl imbues our roundup with a touch of dark, Gothic romance. At over 1,000 yards of lace weight yarn, this shawl is definitely a long-term project that requires a certain commitment from the knitter. But wouldn’t you agree that the result is quite magnificent, glamorous and worth the effort? Switch to an ivory-colored yarn and Mystic Desire transforms into a gorgeous wedding shawl.”

 

Mystic Desire was originally published in a mystery KAL format. I can’t believe it’s been almost 6 years since it was first released in May 2010, but there you go.  Time flies when you’re having fun (and knitting lace).  I knit mine in Laci from Blue Moon Fiber Arts in the colourway Thraven.  Blue Moon Fiber Arts has a series of colourways they call Raven Clan and they are all overdyed black colours.  Black with a shade of green or black with a touch of red or….  Thraven has blue-greens (almost teal in parts) on black, and it’s amazing. thraven_an_cu

But I like Craftsy’s idea above of knitting Mystic Desire in cream or ivory to make it into a wedding shawl.

The pattern is available as a single PDF pattern for $8.00

mysticshawls_frontcoverOR you can get it in my book Mystic Shawls, which is available either in print on Amazon or in PDF format on Ravelry.  Mystic Shawls includes Mystic Desire AND 13 other Mystic shawl patterns.  The e-book is $16.95 and the print book $26.95.

 

 

 

MysticShawlPatternsPicture

 

Glistening Stars

On March 18, 2016, in double knitting, scarf, shawl, by Anna

One of my favourite projects this winter has been a new double-knitting design called Glistening Stars.

Glistening Stars is an exploration in Nordic Star motifs. The many different stars spread out over an unusual shaped shawl, full of twists and turns. Glistening Stars is a double-knit shawl.

2 x 150 g of Kauni Effektgarn weight yarn in contrasting colours will give you a shawl which is 195 cm (76,5”) long and 30 cm (12”) wide at the midpoint.

For my Glistening Stars shawl I used Kauni Effektgarn EZ and EY, but there are several other yarns that would work well, including Wollmeise 100% Sockenwolle, or Bugga from the Verdant Gryphon, or Palette from KnitPicks, or just about any other sport/fingering weight yarn.

The pattern includes detailed instructions on double-knitting. So it is an excellent way to learn a new technique. If you’re already a double-knitting expert, just enjoy the shawl.

Since it is double-knit, the shawl is fully reversible.

The pattern is charted, and is available as a PDF download for $8.00.

 

Mystic Haven

On March 15, 2016, in KAL, lace, pattern, shawl, by Anna

Grab your needles and some yarn, and curl up in your own personal knitting haven. Mystic Haven is a lacy triangular shawl, and a fairly relaxing knit that lets the yarn shine.

image title

Mystic Haven is a triangular shaped shawl, published in mystery KAL format. You will need approx. 400 yards of gradient fingering weight yarn.

KAL START DATE: Mar 30, 2016
Clues posted every Wednesday for 3 consecutive weeks.
(Note: the pattern price will increase when the first clue is released)

The shawl is designed for the gradient kits from KnitCircus Yarns (see below for details), but can also be knit in two contrasting colours of fingering weight yarn.

MATERIALS
1 skein of Greatest of Ease from KnitCircus Yarns (80% merino, 20% nylon, 400 yds/100 g) or similar yarn
4.5 mm (US 7) needles
Stitch markers
Large-eyed, blunt needle

FINISHED (BLOCKED) SIZE
wingspan: 152 cm (60 in), height: 50 cm (19.5 in)


KnitCircus has a treat for all of the participants in the Mystic Haven KAL. If you would like to purchase their yarn to use for the KAL, you will get a 10% discount if they use the code mystichaven at checkout.
If you use that code, KnitCircus will do their best to expedite the order so you have the yarn in time for the KAL.

Here’s the link to the yarn I used but be sure to check out their other colour ways as well – there are tons of amazing options.

Happy knitting!