Sunday, June 23, 2013

Happy Summer Solstice!

So we just had the longest day of the year - in the northern hemisphere that is. Doesn't it feel like the whole, long summer is stretching out in front of us? Just like when we were kids and school was out for the summer?
I can swear that summers were longer back then ;-)

Today's Tip:
Here is a tip that makes use of Ravelry
Do you have a variegated yarn that you want to use, but you’re not sure how it will look knitted up? Of course, it’s a good idea to swatch; but here’s another idea.
  1. Go into Ravelry and under the “Yarns” tab, look up the yarn. 
  2. Once you have it, you’ll see tabs along the top including “Stashes”, “Pattern Ideas” and “Projects”. Choose Projects.
  3. On the drop down menus, choose Knitting or Crochet, and optionally select the color you’re interested in. You can even enter the exact colorway in the search box on the right.
  4. Click “Search in Projects” and you should see a bunch of projects worked up in your color of yarn. 
Like this.
Isn’t that neat?

So, what’s new in my projects? Recently published are:

The Nancy Pearl fingerless mitts have just been published in a new book called “Stitching in the Stacks”.

It is themed to libraries, librarians and books, and is published by Cooperative Press.
The yarn I used, Elizabeth Bennet by Yarn Love, was great.  

The Hampshire Jacket, published in Yarnwise magazine is out too. 
This seamless sweater features distinctive trim using a decorative blanket stitch. It has a bit of the flair of the classic Chanel-style jacket.
The lower hem is done in garter stitch, turned up and stitched in a contrasting color, and the sleeve cuffs are edged in the same way. Blanket stitch is also applied to the collar and armhole seams.

The Greenwich Vest - also in Yarnwise is one I’m particularly happy with. It’s simple, and flattering to many body types.
Cables run up the center and frame the neckline to make this top very flattering by lengthening the body, and the unusual off-set rib at the waist creates a slimmer silhouette.
This is a great layering piece, and can be worn over a crisp shirt, or a soft turtle neck sweater for those times when you need an extra layer but don’t want anything too bulky. It is a quick knit in chunky yarn.  

Best of all, it made the cover of the magazine! I was so excited to see that.

It will be available as an individual download in Sept 2013. Let me know if you’d like to be reminded when it comes out – just give me your email or Ravelry ID or cell phone number (to get a text).

There are more – see the rest on my Ravelry Page.
In the Works:
Eveleigh, a cozy cowl in yummy Malabrigo Rios – knit at an angle, reversible, with a colorful i-cord trim. More to come...
A lacy, ruffled shawl called Summerdale

Small shawls are a brilliant way to show off the sock yarn that’s too pretty to wear on your feet!
This crescent shaped shawl has a great shape that’s easy to wear, as it stays on without a shawl pin; it can work as a scarf and be draped in many different ways.
It’s designed to use one skein (about 425 yds) of a solid, or semi-solid yarn such as Mountain Colors Crazyfoot.
A larger size shawl (needs about 600 yds) is provided as well.
This will be published in a couple of weeks, as soon as the test knitters finish!

I designed 5 items for a new yarn company called Willow Yarns .  They have a great selection of yarns: wools, blends, acrylic, and even a lovely wool-silk blend.
There was no way I could have knit all 5 pieces in 4 weeks (I'm actually not a very fast knitter), so I hired sample knitters to knit 3 of the 5 for me.  It worked out OK, although one of them cut it very close deadline-wise.
There was a lace shawl, a men’s sweater, a baby blanket, a kid’s cardigan, and a hot-water-bottle cover.
I will show them to you when they’re published! Or you can keep an eye on my Ravelry page.  -

As you can see, I’ve been pretty busy lately!

Next week I’ll be featured on the Twinset Designs podcast.  Two twin sisters, Jan and Ellen, do this one, and they are funny, knowledgeable, and delightful. Give them a listen!

Contest and Giveaways

Watch this space because I plan to run contests, giveaways, and promotions later on this summer.

Talk to you soon!


  1. Hi Brenda, loving your designs so please add me to your message list for ravelry. Can't wait to see you collection. Elly from England x

  2. Yes, I'd love to know when these are available! I'm thekittyknitter on Ravelry.

  3. I'd love to hear about tips for joining new balls of yarn to a project, in up-coming issues of your newsletter! Thank you!

  4. Congratulations on your magazine cover vest! It looks like a flattering design.

    I'd also like tips about joining new balls of yarn. And I'd like to see an easy shawl pattern for a pre-teen.