I’m not just a geek, but also a total nerd.
Being back in school has made this clear.
I took Latin for 3 years in high school. I can’t remember verb tenses to save my life, but the classes sparked a lifelong interest in etymology and vocabulary. I often look at words and try to guess root words, their origins, and how meanings shift over time.
Like the word cerulean for a gorgeous shade of blue. When I was a kid, my original box of 64 Crayolas had blue-green, and also green-blue. Two favorite crayons. Then NEW colors arrived, including cerulean. I loved everything about this color, including its strange-to-me name. I still do (apparently 9 year old me was hipper than I thought).
When working on a yarn club pattern earlier this year in gorgeous Mrs. Crosby Carpet Bag yarn, Miriam and I chose Sunset Regatta, a luscious, rich aquatic blue. It looked like the sea. Or the sky. Or that favorite childhood crayon. The root word for cerulean is caeruleus, written in various forms, including caeruleum.
caeruleus m (feminine caerulea, neuter caeruleum); first/second declension
- Of or pertaining to the sea.
- Of or pertaining to the sky.
- Of or pertaining to rivers or sea and river deities.
- dark colored, dark blue, dark green, cerulean, azure
Definition from the ever-faithful Wikipedia.
So without further adieu, meet Caeruleum! A simple but elegantly textured triangle shawl, Caeruleum takes approximately 480 yards of light worsted weight yarn. Twisted and dropped stitches create an undulating wave pattern along one edge, and simple stockinette balances the texture with drape.
Caeruleum shawl pdf pattern, $6.
To celebrate summer (and the end of my summer semester, woohoo!), I’m having a sale on patterns all month long! Buy Caeruleum, get any of my patterns in my Ravelry pattern store for 50% off! Use the code SUMMERSALE16 for discount.
It’s been a while since I’ve sent anything out, because things here have been INSANE.
My husband and I traveled to New Mexico in June (so amazing and gorgeous), and while we were gone, our apartment was robbed. Little did we know this was just the first incident in what we first dubbed “The Week of Doom,” which snowballed into “The Month of Doom,” and in reality was six solid weeks of stressful DOOM. More thefts, very sick pets (still reeling from vet bills), total chaos.
Things are thankfully much quieter now. *sigh of relief*
We’ve moved to a safer apartment in a lovely 1920s building in a cute Birmingham neighborhood. I’m writing you from my little screened-in porch with my dog, Leelu, at my feet. I’ve also moved my work stuff into a new studio space, so the apartment doesn’t look like a yarn shop blew up all over the furniture. Chris is very happy about this last part.
If you’d like to write to me, send cookies, postcards, whatever, I have a new mailing address. It’s a rented mailbox and they take all carriers’ shipments:
1116 20th St S #203
Birmingham, AL 35205
In the calm after the storm of June/July, I’ve been able to FINALLY finish up two sweater patterns that have been waiting in the wings. Both are sponsored by Blue Water Fibers, the US distributor for Erika Knight’s luscious classic British wool yarns.
Meet Highland Avenue and Cobb Lane!
Highland Avenue cardigan
Cobb Lane pullover
Both of these sweaters, along with everything available in my Ravelry pattern store, are now 30% off, now through my birthday weekend, 9/21. Grab one (or three?) for yourself, gift a pattern to a friend, or perform a random act of kindness for a fellow Ravelry group member. No need for a coupon code, just shop to your heart’s delight and all items will be automatically discounted in your shopping cart. Easy peasy, rice and cheesy.
The Brioche Knitting Made Easy class on Craftsy is still going strong! If you still haven’t signed up, come on over and join us. I’m so proud of what my students are knitting up!
How has your summer been? What are you planning for autumn? Tell me all about it.
Hey, there! No, I haven’t retired, although you might think so from the radio silence around here.
The manuscript is in, and I am slowly crawling out of my hermit cave to enter the land of the living again. I just got back from California, where I taught two days of brioche knitting classes at Interweave Knitting Lab.
IT WAS AWESOME. I had amazing, clever, inquisitive, adventurous students in all four of my brioche classes. If you get a chance to attend one of these events, DO IT. I also spent a few days in the San Francisco/Oakland area, which I will post about soon.
I released two new brioche knit cowl patterns at the Knitting Lab, Zillah and Rhoda, knit in polworth/silk blend yarns from Knitted Wit and Sincere Sheep. They are now available in my Ravelry shop.
If brioche is unfamiliar to you, you can jump into this technique with my help using my brioche basics DVD or video download from Interweave Press.
Two-color brioche stitch is shaped into a dramatic pattern using basic brioche shaping.
Rhoda looks fabulous in contrasting pairings of hand-dyed semi-solid or solid DK yarns.
Finished size: Approximately 10 1/2” deep, 26” circumference.
Yarn: Knitted Wit Polworth Shimmer (DK weight yarn, 85% wool, 15% silk; 330yds/4 oz); MC- Salted Caramel (tan), 1 skein; CC- Thistle (violet), 1 skein.
Needles: US size 3 (3.25 mm) 16” circular needle. Ad- just needle size as needed to obtain gauge.
Gauge: 22 sts and 28 rows = 4” in brioche mirrored wing stitch, worked in the round.
Notions: locking stitch markers, tapestry needle.
Skills needed: Knitting, purling, basic brioche stitches, brioche shaping, 2-color brioche rib stitch.
Rhoda PDF download, $7.00 (via Ravelry)
Zillah is a flat-knit brioche stitch cowl uses brioche shaping stitches and cable twists to create a gorgeous, warm, insulating fabric that looks fabulous in hand-dyed semi-solid or solid DK yarns.
Finished size: Approximately 24” long and 9” wide, un-buttoned.
Yarn: Sincere Sheep Luminous (DK weight yarn, 85% wool, 15% silk; 330 yds/4 oz); Kung Hey Fat Choy, 1 skein.
Needles: US size 3 (3.25 mm) straight or circular needle. Adjust needle size as needed to obtain gauge.
Gauge: 22 sts and 28 rows = 4” in brioche twisted lozenge stitch, worked flat.
Notions: Cable needle, tapestry needle, 7- 5/8” buttons, sewing needle and thread.
Skills needed: Knitting, purling, k2tog decreases, basic brioche stitches, brioche shaping, brioche cable twists, yarnovers.
Zillah PDF download, $7.00 (via Ravelry)
Both cowls are modeled by the glamorous, ever patient Leelu. Leelu is a boxer-pit mix who loves lounging, hugs, hunting varmints, and enjoying a nice soup bone now and then.
Approximately 1485 (1560, 1740, 1900, 2120) yards of fingering weight wool yarn
6 (6, 7, 7, 8) skeins of Brooklyn Tweed Loft (100% American Targhee-Columbia wool; 275 yards/50g)
Photographed in color Tent
24 stitches & 36 rows = 4″ in stockinette stitch using Size A needle, before blocking
23 stitches & 34 rows = 4″ in stockinette stitch using Size A needle, after blocking
18-stitch repeat of Cable Panel measures approximately 2¼” wide
Size A (for Body):
One 32″ circular needle in size needed to obtain gauge listed
Suggested Size: 4 mm (US 6)
Size B (for Edgings):
One each 16″ and 32″ long circular needles two sizes smaller than Size A needle
Suggested Size: 3½ mm (US 4)
38 (39¾, 43½, 47½, 52)” finished (blocked) garment at bust
Intended Ease: +4-5″
Sample shown is size 38″ with +4″ of ease on model
3 of 5
From Jared Flood of Brooklyn Tweed:
Hitch…has a great casual elegance about it. The dolman shape means that the garment is made with two pieces (front and back, with sleeves integrated). If you look closely at the direction of the garter stitch on the cuffs, you’ll see that the sleeves are worked sideways as a result.
While swatching at the beginning of the design process, Mercedes fell hard for this cable – which she said reminded her of thick links of chain (our inspiration for naming the design) – and built the rest of the sweater as a suitable “frame” for it.
I think the proportions are great – the deep garter hem, the front-only panel of chain cables, three-quarter sleeves and a wide boat neck. The fabric is lightweight – worked in Loft at a relaxed gauge – which means it has that “easy to throw on” thing going for it, too.
I am so proud of this design! I love it as a layering piece, and want (at least!) one in my wardrobe, and hope that you will, too!
Named after the classic American cocktail, Sazerac is a relaxed fit cardigan with great details. Knit-in pockets, set-in cuffed sleeves, and a generous knit-in shawl collar. Body is knit in one piece to the armholes, and then split for fronts and back.
Shown in Lorna’s Laces Sportmate in colorway “Spats”. Sazerac uses a simple brioche variation combined with garter stitch, which work beautifully with multi-color yarns as well as solids.
32 1/4 (36, 39 1/2, 44 1/4, 48, 52 3/4, 56 1/4)” bust circumference. Choose a size that allows for 2-4” of positive ease.
1600 (1800, 2000, 2200, 2400, 2600, 2900) yards sportweight yarn.
20 sts and 40 rows = 4” in Garter Stitch and Garter Brioche Stitch, after blocking.
32” circular US size 5 (3.75mm), body and edgings.
stitch markers in at least two colors, scrap yarn, tapestry needle, blocking supplies.
Sazerac is knit flat in one piece to the armholes, then split for fronts and back. Sleeves are knit flat and seamed in place.
$7.00 PDF download
$7.00 PDF download
ravelry pattern page
Remember a couple weeks back when I talked about going to Denver to make a class with Craftsy?
It’s ready!!! I’m so excited!
The class is The Seamless Artemisia Sweater, and features a top-down, seamless set-in sleeve construction, knit-in pockets, hourglass waist shaping, and a delicate lace panel at the neckline.
Students are beginning to enroll (and my brain is amazed by how many people want to take my class right away. Seriously, WOW.), and I’ve been answering student questions already.
I’m in love with the Craftsy class format. As someone who’s been both a teacher and a student in other online class format, this platform is amazing. Easy to navigate and full of features. It’s also making it really easy to keep up with my students to help them quickly and clearly. Plus, once you’re in the class, you’re IN. Replay lessons as often as you need to, they won’t expire. So if life gets hectic, you can come back to class at your own pace. Awesome!
Known for cute, feminine and fashionable sweaters, knitwear designer Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark brings a brand-new design to Craftsy! Worked from the top down, the Seamless Artemisia Sweater features set-in sleeves in the round, knit-in pockets and pretty lace details. Shaping at the back neck, shoulders and waist provide a flattering fit.
As you knit along with Mercedes, you’ll learn her techniques for short-row shaping, knitting in the round, following lace charts and lots of nifty tips and tricks. Choose to knit three-quarter or full-length sleeves, building in as much ease as you like. You’ll finish with a sweater you’ll be pleased to wear or give.
What You’ll Learn
- Knitting a top-down sweater in the round
- Lace in the round
- Short row shaping at back neck and shoulders
- Top-down, set-in sleeves in the round
- Knit-in pockets
- Waist shaping
What You’ll Make
Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark’s Artemisia sweater pattern is included free with purchase of this class. Finished Size: 30¼ (34¼, 38¼, 42¼, 46¼, 51, 55)” bust circumference.
What You’ll Need
- Cascade Venezia Worsted [70 percent merino wool, 30 percent silk, 219 yds/100g]: 5 (6, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10) skeins; or worsted-weight yarn of your choice
- Circular needles, U.S. size 5 and 7, or size to obtain gauge
- Intermediate knitting skills: You should be able to knit in the round and follow a lace chart
I’m looking forward to seeing my students knit their Artemisia sweaters! I hope you’ll join us, this is going to be fun!
It’s been like a ghost town around here. The universe has spent the last few months throwing a series of curveballs my way, and a lot of it would make for some pretty rich writing material, just not for a knitting blog. Maybe more on that later. In between bits of chaos, I have been working on a few design projects that were really fun.
My new pattern, Fortune Bay, is out in the newest Twist Collective. I am SO happy to finally be able to share this design! I love stripes. Madly. And Fortune Bay takes the idea of a classic sailor striped pullover and turns it on its side. Pretty much literally.
The 2-row horizontal stripes begin at the shoulder, with a seamless, top-down set-in sleeve construction that ensures a matching pattern along the front, sleeves, and back. Once the stripes reach the torso, a series of short rows alter the stripes to create a diagonal slant from underarm to hem. While knitting several striped swatches, I had an “Ah-ha!” moment thinking about short rows that led to the idea for Fortune Bay.
The original swatch and sketch show the origin of the pattern, which came to life in a gorgeous neutral palette of alpaca blend yarn for the final garment.
I love thinking about all the possibilities for color pairings for this pullover. Aqua and grey? Black and white? Red and ecru? Mustard and navy? Which colors would you choose for this timeless wardrobe staple?
Buy Fortune Bay via Ravelry download or directly from Twist Collective.
Bust: 30 ½ (34 ½, 38 ½, 42 ½ 46 ½, 51 ¼, 55 ¼)” / 77.5 (87.5, 98, 108, 118, 130, 140.5) cm
Shown in size 34″ / 86.5 cm
Intended to be worn with 2–3″ / 5–7.5 cm positive ease.
Green Mountain Spinnery Alpaca Elegance (180 yd / 165 m per 2 oz / 57 g skein; 50% Alpaca, 50% Fine Wool):
3 (3, 3, 4, 4, 5, 5) skeins in Dark Roast (MC)
3 (3, 3, 4, 4, 5, 5) skeins in Chai (CC)
Needles & Notions:
Size 5 US / 3.75 mm:
• circular needle, 24″ / 60 cm long
• set of five double pointed needles
Size 3 US/ 3.25 mm:
• circular needle, 24″ / 60 cm long
• set of five double-pointed needles
Four stitch markers (one in a contrasting color), six buttons ³⁄8″ / 9 mm diameter (optional)
20 sts and 32 rows = 4″ / 10 cm in Stockinette stitch using size 5 US / 3.75 mm needles
Construction Notes: Boatneck pullover worked in one piece from the top down. Short rows create a diagonal mid-section in the allover narrow stripe pattern.
After a few months of waiting, I can finally spill the beans about one of my top-secret design projects! Brooklyn Tweed’s Wool People 3 is out this week, including my Biston cocoon shrug pattern.
This collection is full of beautiful designs, I’m so happy to be in the good company of designers such as Amy Christoffers (who I FINALLY got to meet this past weekend at TNNA…she’s delightful, and tall!), Veronik Avery (who I’ve had a long-standing design crush on), Hannah Fettig, and Alexis Winslow.
Jared Flood has put together an inspired collection to please wool lovers in the summer season, full of airy layering pieces that take advantage of BT’s light and, well…lofty Loft yarn (seriously, it’s like knitting a fingering weight cloud, in a sumptuous way). A soft neutral palette carries these pieces through the year.
Biston is a simple, light layering piece, knit side-to-side in reverse Stockinette stitch, AKA- knit in regular Stockinette and then flipped over for seaming. Two short seams join the fitted 3/4 sleeves, and then a band of slanting rib is picked up and knit out from the softly draped body. It is light, simple summer knitting. While knitting this, I had many hours of enjoyable tactile experience while engaging in movies, conversations, and time with friends. Biston makes excellent social knitting!
Buy Biston, or any of the Wool People 3 Collection, on Ravelry or on the Brooklyn Tweed website.
Sorry about that.
I’ve been working on one top-secret project after another. And bursting to tell y’all about them, but sworn to secrecy. The suspense is killing me!!
I’m also getting ready to go to TNNA, the needlework conference being held in Columbus, OH, later this month. Which has meant lots of running around like a headless chicken getting travel plans, my portfolio, and other details squared away.
Happily, I can show you a tiny bit of one of my current projects. The color is a bit of a secret, one of Lorna’s Laces new Fall 2012 multicolors, but you can see the brioche and garter stitch details. I’ve used a “cheater method” brioche, which skips the yarnover/slip stitch combo in favor of knitting into the row below to create the brioche floats. I can’t wait to share this sweater design once it’s complete!
Inspired by my years of living in Savannah, Georgia, these top-down socks use a leafy lace pattern, traditional heel, and garter stitch details to evoke the beauty of the Live Oak-lined streets of one of my favorite Southern cities. Dragonfly Fiber’s richly colored “Spanish Moss” colorway makes a beautiful compliment to the textured lace pattern. Continuing from the leg, the lace pattern sweeps in mirror-image panels across each instep.
Lace is charted only. Work socks with your preferred tubular knitting technique: Magic Loop, 2 Circulars, or DPN.
Finished size: women’s medium/large. 8″ instep and ankle, lace pattern will stretch generously.
Yarn: approx. 400 yards fingering/sock weight
Needles: US size 1
Gauge: 8st/1″ in St st
Originally published for Club Dragonwitch, 2011.
Photos were taken by the amazing Caro Sheridan of Splityarn, and modeled by the delightful Stitchy McYarnpants on the streets of Portland, OR.