Meet the Brookfield Cowl

Rock House Reservation, West Brookfield MA

Living in New England, Fall is a highlight.  The beauty of the trees softens the blow of the impending chill that follows it.  While the temperatures are definitely cooling, the sun can still warm a day beyond its potential.  

Dressing for fall can be a challenge on days like the one pictured above.  These day call for layers; and often, less is more.  I find that a warm neck more than compensates for a jacket.  This cowl is designed to be that go-to accessory for fall days and it will carry you through to winter.  The wide cable panel is reminiscent of fall days spent meandering through leaf covered trails.  

I am happy to release this unisex pattern featuring Miss Babs Yarns new aran weight BFL, Northumbria Aran, a 3-ply 100% Superwash Blue Faced Leicester wool.  The yarn was wonderful to knit!  The long staples of the BFL make the yarn lustrous and very silky smooth.  The BFL takes the dye so beautifully that I found myself slowed by the number of times I stopped to admire my work, or rather, Miss Babs’ handiwork!  The 3-ply gives the cables just the pop they need!

Brookfield Cowl

Pattern:  The pattern is both written and charted.  While it is one size, the pattern is easily altered to make the circumference smaller or larger.  The cowl uses i-cord cast on and bind off to create nice finished edges.

Yarn:  1 skein of  Miss Babs Yarns “Northumbria” Aran, [3-ply 100% Superwash Blue Faced Leicester Wool, 100 grams 188 yards).  The colorway shown is Luna Granite, a lustrous grey with a hint of lavender to it in some lights; just stunning!

Needle US Size 8 (5.0 mm) 16 inch circular needle or size to obtain gauge. (I used the new Knitters Pride needle and loved the 16″. )

Finished Measurements after blocking:  circumference: 22 inches  [56cm]; height: 7.5 inches [19 cm].

If you are on your way TKGA in Greensboro, NC or Fiber Space in Alexandria VA this weekend or New York Sheep and Wool in Rhinebeck, NY  in October, find Miss Babs and grab a skein of NU Aran.  You won’t be disappointed! 

(P.S. matching mittens are coming too! grab a bonus skein for a matching set!)


Bubblicious Socks

Life is about fun and what’s more fun than blowing bubbles?  With 4 kids, I’ve blown a lot of bubbles in my days.  Have you ever blown bubbles until you were dizzy?  Well, this pattern reminded me of those tiny bubbles clustered at first and then one always manages to drift away with the wind.  It’s really a simple pattern, easily memorized, to show the beauty of hand-painted yarns and that one little bubble that got away.  

I am happy to release this pattern today in celebration of Sock Summit 2011.  I am doubly excited since this is the first sock I ever designed.  That was over a year ago but I was waiting for just the right time to release it!

Bubblicious Socks are fun and provide just the right amount of detail to keep you interested.  Bubblicious socks are a great match for today’s beautiful handpainted yarns.  I love the beauty of the colors themselves but somehow always feel I should be knitting a really intricate sock.

What I like about Bubblicious is that it gives the colors of the yarn a chance to shine through in the stockinette portions of the sock while allowing the individual colors to pop through in the patterned areas.  In a solid or semi-solid yarn, the texture of the stitch pattern and traveling stitches are so crisp!

Did I mention the heel?  This eye of the partridge heel is subtly stunning.  I love its simplicity and checkerboard look.

Bubblicious Socks

Pattern:  The pattern is available in 3 sizes,  is charted and easily memorizable. The bubble  pattern is clustered at the cuff and then travels down and across the sock to the toe.  The pattern is provided  for 2 socks as they are mirror image. 

Yardage:  350-380 yards of fingering weight yarn such as BMFA Socks That Rock Lightweight, Spirit Trails Frija, Miss Babs Yummy Superwash Sock, Fleur de Fiber Arden, Knitted Wit Superwash Merino Fingering, Valley Yarns Charlemont or Charlemont Kettle Dye, Kollage Yarns Sock-a-licious, Plucky Knitter Merino Cashmere Nylon Fingering, Sanguine Gryphon Skinny Bugga.

Needle US Size 1 (2.25 mm) long circular or double pointed needles or size to obtain gauge.

Finished Measurements:  foot circumference: 7½ (8, 8½) inches  [19 (20.5, 21.5) cm]; leg length: 6 (6, 5 ¼) inches [15 (15, 13) cm].

The socks shown are knit in BMFA Lightweight Peek-a-boo Peony (the pink and yellow) and Spirit Trails Frija Blue-Green.

So if you are on your way to Sock Summit, stop in the Marketplace and pick up a skein of yarn to help you be a kid again…if you can’t be a kid, knit like one!

Cheers to a Happy Sock Summit!

Odds and Ends

I feel like my kids.  Eagerly anticipating summer and a lack of schedule.  I am also ready to throw away the lists.  In an attempt to clear the deck, here are some of the things that have been going on in the last few weeks.

1. The Miss Babs Marrowstone KAL has been going great.  There are around 30 of us playing and some have already finished.  Here is my Miss Babs’ KAL Marrowstone in progress:

Clearly, I need to put a wiggle on it!  Not too late to join…

2. I cast on 2 Marrowstone Shawls in June and have completed one.  This one has been gifted to my dear friend Debbi for her birthday.  I admit to being a week late but I think in knitterly terms, a week is acceptable.  You see, I knew there was no way she would have time in her busy design career to knit her own.

It was fun to knit knowing it was for her.

Her favorite color is red.

The yarn is Valley Yarns Charlemont Kettle Dye.  Really enjoy love the yarn and the color!  Its silk content makes it great for a shawl.  Project details on here on Ravelry.

4. Lorajean at KnittedWit is starting a Summer Solstice Marrowstone KAL.  In honor, we teamed up and have awarded Leigh (aka ell-in-or on Ravelry) a Marrowstone pattern and skein of her pretty merino/tencel blend Shine.  It is very pretty!  Pop over to the Knitted Wit group on Ravelry to play!

Congrats Leigh! Can’t wait to see your Marrowstone!

5. Lastly, I have a tease for you! Look for my newest pattern Cotuit Sands Scarf next week.  How can it be that each new pattern becomes my favorite?  In the mood for easy, lightweight, uncumbersome summer knitting?  This project has only 2 rows and is reversible.  Do you have a heavy laceweight yarn and a size 5 needle handy?

Enjoy your weekend! I love starting the weekend on a Thursday!

Knit on!

Marrowstone for All Seasons

…or Ask Me How I Know

Since the Marrowstone Shawl Summer Knit A Long with Miss Babs Yarns is starting on June 1st, I thought I would share a few helpful hints on the pattern.  File these under “Ask Me How I Know.”   Even though I designed the pattern, it doesn’t mean I escape the pitfalls of operator error.

1. Cast on loosely.  Marrowstone needs to be blocked to open up the lace.  If the cast on edge, although untraditional, is too tight, the shape of the shawl will be affected.

2. As the instructions state, slip the first stitch of every row with the yarn in front.  Then, bring the yarn between the first stitch on the right needle and next stitch on the left needle to begin the next knit stitch.  This will create a nice edge with enough give for the blocking process.  Also, it creates a beautiful finished edge.

3. On the edging, remember to knit the last 2 stitches on the wrong side rows.  If you accidentally purl the entire row and don’t catch yourself, you will end up with a problem come time to pick up the stitches for the body of the shawl.  The straight edge created will show on the front of the shawl as a design element of the shawl.  (This is the part where I reknit nearly all of the edging repeats.)

4. The edging becomes easy to read.  Learn to read your knitting after a few repeats without relying on the pattern.  You can do it.

5. If you are tired, put it down for the night.  That’s where my knitting mistakes ALL happened!

The yarn I chose is Miss Babs “Yummy” 2 ply in the color Light Clematis. I am really excited for the Knit A Long!

Won’t you join us?