Posted in Knitting

Knitting patterns for speckled yarn

Brain Frieze knit cowl pattern by Susan Ashcroft
Brain Frieze by Susan Ashcroft

Speckled yarn is having a moment! I first saw it a few years ago in the form of acid yellow speckles on a cream base. I didn’t love it. But the more I see this type of yarn, the more it grows on me.

I was at Alpaca Direct a few days ago, and I saw a gorgeous project, Susan Ashcroft’s Brain Frieze Cowl. Alpaca Direct’s store manager Susan Melka knit this version from Frabjous Fibers Cheshire Cat and Tosh Merino Light. The Cheshire Cat is the speckled yarn (it’s the Dreadfully Frightened colorway from Halloween 2016, which is no longer available), and the “solid” is Tosh Light in the Filagree colorway, which is really a light green and yellow variegated. The two yarns work together beautifully in this pattern.

The trick to using speckled yarn in a multi-yarn project is choosing colors that complement each other. You need choose solids with enough contrast so that the speckle stands out, but not so much that it overpowers it.

Check out this beautiful project from my friend Carmen:

The Building Blocks knit shawl pattern by Stephen West. Photo copyright Carmen Wiley
Photo copyright Carmen Wiley

This project is Stephen West’s beautiful Building Blocks Knit Shawl. Carmen’s yarn choices are key to the success of this project; she picked two speckled yarns with similar colors and pulled out the blue and orange for her solid yarns. The transition from solid to speckled is perfect. Looking good, Carmen!

For more ideas, check out this post!

Have fun knitting with speckled yarn,

 

1KCsig

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Posted in Knitting

Holidays, Knitting, Football, and SNOW!

Kathleen and family enjoying Christmas
Here I am with my sister, Liz, and my mom, Lannie.

We just got back from Arizona, where we spent five days, three of them in the pouring rain, and two in glorious, warm sunshine. But all five were filled with family and fun. My sister and her husband live in Phoenix, and Mimi’s parents and family live in Scottsdale, where we stayed. My mom went, too, and stayed with my sister. We all got to spend lots of time together, cooking, laughing, eating, and relaxing.

Mimi’s mom is a wonderful hostess, and she invited my family to join us in Scottsdale for Christmas Eve. It was dinner for 19, and it went off without a hitch. We spent the day cooking and setting tables, and the evening visiting and eating the fruits of our labor. Delicious!

We are big football fans in my family. When I was a little girl, my dad coached football at Washington State University, and my brother and I both went to college there. So we root for the Cougars through good and bad; it’s mostly bad or fair, honestly. There’s a saying that WSU Cougar fans are undefeated, and that’s so true—we cheer on our team equally in losing and winning seasons. Well, maybe a teensy bit harder in winning seasons.

When I was with Knitting Daily, I wrote a newsletter about the Scoreboard Cowl knit-along from Skacel. With my family background in football, I was so enthusiastic about this cool project—you end up with a randomly stripped cowl that corresponds to each game, one round per point. The people at Skacel were so kind, they loved my blog and offered me free yarn to take part in the KAL. So I asked for Cougar colors, crimson and gray. I got through about three games last season, and then I got distracted by something and put down the project. Sad.

The Scoreboard Cowl knitting pattern, in progress

I found it again this year while packing for Arizona, and I decided to take it with me. The Cougs had a great season, and made it to one of the top bowls, so I thought I’d knit on it and record the bowl score in my scarf. But alas, we laid a big rotten egg right there on the field. Terrible game! So I’m putting this project away until next season. Hopefully we can get to a good bowl again and WIN.

In other knitting news, Mimi and I are on a finishing kick: no new projects can be cast on until the new year. Mimi has been a finishing fool! She’s completed her own Scoreboard Cowl, in Seahawks colors, and grafted it together. You have to Kitchener the ends together in the round, which is different than doing it flat. I’ll make a video on that soon for you.

Mimi has also finished a sweater and she’s almost done with two more. She wins. I’ve only finished my Lori Scarf and it’s not even blocked, so it’s not really finished, I guess.

Lori Knit Shawl, pre-blocking
My Lori Shawl, pre-blocking. I hope to get rid of the ruffled edge on the left, and to smooth everything out.
The James knitted sweater pattern by Amy Miller
James by Amy Miller

I completed the James sweater last year, and it turned out too big at the bottom. It’s supposed to be swingy, but I did too many increase rounds, so it was too swingy, plus it grew after blocking. I made it tunic length, so it was hard to rip out TEN INCHES! Since it had already been blocked, the raveled yarn was really ramen-ish, as you can see below. I could have skeined it, soaked it, dried it, etc., but I couldn’t be bothered. I balled it up as I ripped it out, and started knitting again right away.

Check out the difference in the blocked fabric and the reknit fabric. Man, I hope this works out.

James Knit Sweater reknit

The James Sweater knitting pattern by Amy Miller, in progress.I’m using Plucky Knitter Primo Sport in the color Lonely Heart. The photo at left is more true to the color than the photos above.

I’m going to make this much shorter and do shirt-tail shaping on the front and back with short-rows. I also knit cap sleeves because I wasn’t sure if I had enough yarn for the longer sleeves. Now I will, but I like the short sleeves.

We’re back in knitting weather, that’s for sure. We came home to six inches of snow, and plowed-in cars. It took about an hour to dig my mom’s car out, and I was thanking whomever the entire time that I was able to park in my garage. It’s a winter wonderland to look at, but a pain in the butt to work in!

I hope your holidays are happy. What’s on your needles?

Cheers,

1KCsig