Marjorie Dussaud has created this week’s handsome free dishcloth pattern: the Bicolor Tweed Dishcloth. I’m smitten with this combination of stripes and textured slip stitches, perfect for rugged session of dish-duty! Dussaud notes that this pattern is great for beginners because it’s an easy stitch repeat for a big effect. I have this particular pattern ear-marked as a quick stash busting project, ideal for featuring striped sections of yarn from previous projects!
The rains are here and I know it’s time to start thinking about pumpkins, golden leaves and early frosts. My favorite pumpkin patch has started sneaking tempting images of ripe pumpkins into my Facebook feed and my Pinterest is filling up with October crafts (beeswax-dipped leaves, anyone?) so it’s definitely time to get my fall crafting started! To celebrate the cooler weather and changing seasons I whipped up a quick little pattern with instructions for both knit and crochet pumpkins.
Both versions of the Clove & Spice Pumpkins are great beginner patterns with written pattern instructions and photos illustrating how to create those chubby little ridges. These little fellas are the perfect size to perch on a book shelf or to add into a little tabletop tableau (the knit Spice pumpkin has a 10.5″ circumference and the crochet Clove pumpkin has a 13.5″ circumference) and there’s enough yarn in one ball of Wool of the Andes Sport to make two pumpkins.
I can’t think of a cuter way to welcome in the fall season! What are your favorite cold-weather crafts? Are you gearing up for a trip to the pumpkin patch too? I can’t wait
Check out our new Stroll Tweed yarn! Once, a few years ago we had a yarn with the same name, however we’ve gone back to the drawing board when it came to the tweed nepps since then and I’m delighted to show you what we’ve come up with! I love the rich color palette we’ve chosen and the new natural-colored flecks. I love using the Stroll family for washable fingering weight projects (especially baby sweaters!) and Stroll Tweed. The minute we opened the box of our photography samples I grabbed a bag of the Indigo Heather (the prettiest purple-blue I’ve EVER seen!) and got to work picking out a pattern.
I didn’t care what I made, I just had to have a whole bag of that pretty yarn! I went through my Ravelry queue over and over again but I wasn’t finding anything that really spoke to me. I could do another shawl, but I thought all those pretty nepps really needed to be featured in a sweater of some sort.
I was still wracking my brains, trying to think of a project I liked enough to spend so much time working with fingering weight yarn when I spotted my copy of First Light on the shelf above my computer. When we first shot all the pieces in that collection I remember mentally bookmarking a few of them so I decided to flip through it to jog my memory.
I opened right to Jill Wright’s Kelso hoodie. I loved how this light weight sweater looked when we put it on Erin (our fantastic model for that half of the collection) and I loved it even more now that I was picturing it knit up with the yarn I’d picked. I envisioned it as the perfect “chilly office top” solution that would also be comfortable in the car on the ride home and endlessly washable which (in my mind) makes it the perfect “work horse piece” to add to my wardrobe.
I admit that most of the things I knit wind up tucked away for special occasions (usually really short ones too) because they’re so precious or itchy. This one is definitely going to get hung up in my closet with the rest of my store-bought cardigans because it is just so comfy! The tweed flecks give this garment a timeless, traditional feel while the subtle heathers in the yarn itself give the fabric and unexpected depth.
Stroll Tweed is definitely going to be my new go-to sock yarn and fingering weight yarn for projects I know will need to be washed often. I can’t wait to work up a little baby sweater in Farmhouse Heather (I think all babies look like little old fellas and I’m definitely not above making them sweaters that remind me of something a scholarly gentleman would don) and I’m definitely eyeballing Flagstone Heather and Down Heather to knit SOME sort of stripes! I think that would look so nice.
Last but not least, I tried my hand at crocheting with Stroll Tweed in Thirst Heather for a last minute free pattern. The Swiss Tweed Cowl takes just one ball of Stroll Tweed, works up in a weekend and is a nice, light accessory that works even when it’s more than a little toasty outside.
I’m still fairly new to crochet and find myself getting irritated when I try to thread a hook through some yarn with out splitting the strand. Figuring out what yarn works best for crochet and what is, quite simply, an absolute nightmare has been a process of trying everything and seeing what I like and what doesn’t work for me.
Stroll Tweed was a clear winner! It was easy to work with and the tweedy bits managed to shine even with the thicker fabric produced with crochet. I think it’s safe to say that I’m thoroughly enamored with the new yarn, and I hope it charms you too! What patterns leap to mind now that you’ve seen this lovely new yarn? I can’t wait to see what beautiful projects start appearing now that you can get your hands on it.
So, as I’ve mentioned before that I have an incredible amount of lace weight yarn just lurking around in the shadows of my yarn stash. Everyone else in the office seems to have learned their lesson (aka that they just won’t ever get around to knitting with lace weight yarn) so they steer well clear of it whenever a stray skein winds up in the office. I, on the other hand am more than happy to snap each and every one of them up and take them home with me. Well… almost anything, and by anything I mean just the blues!
This means that I’m always prowling Ravelry, our own pattern section and all the available books in the office for lace weight patterns. ANYTHING to put this lovely, light yarn to good use. Eventually I found A. Westbrook’s free crochet Lacy Feather and Fan pattern on Ravelry. I loved how open the pattern was, the simple two-row repeat and that I could really easily turn this into a cowl. SOLD!
I grabbed the nearest skein which wound up being an older Shadow Lace color (Jazz) and my size 4 (G) hook. A month of pretty sporadic work later I had one of the prettiest, breeziest cowls I’ve ever seen! I LOVE the pattern and how quickly I was able to use up an entire skein! Plus, the slightly denser fabric inherent to crochet means that the project actually winds up feeling like it’s done in a fingering weight yarn. I also mistakenly worked the entire project in DC where I should have done TC which means that the fabric didn’t wind up being as open as it was meant to be, but I really love how it turned out, perhaps even more than I would have if I’d caught my mistake earlier.
I have a few more skeins of lace in my stash and I was thinking about trying this pattern out with alternating colors every two rows. I can’t wait to wear it this summer once the sun goes down.
I’m pretty sure that I just took my crochet skills to a whole new level this past launch when I released my very first pattern (the Luminarie Cozy and Hanging Planter Pattern) as part of Knit Picks, for free! I can’t tell you how excited I am to share what I’ve been tinkering with since we got our first samples of our new Curio crochet thread in the office.
I’ve been oggling jar covers on Pinterest since I created my account but never wanted to make a set out of something as heavy and wooly as Palette, and none of our lace yarns seemed quite sturdy enough for the job of bearing the weight of a plant. In stepped Curio just about the same time summer truly got started here in Portland and I seriously starting to pine for something cute to work on. Curio has the perfect combination of sturdiness, stitch definition, extraordinarily lovely palette and dainty thread weight for this sort of project.
I chose the ever-classic Natural color and picked up my 1.5 mm steel crochet hook and started playing around with different stitches.
Some of the very first images that really caught my eye were jar cozies with candles inside. I LOVED how the light shines through the fabric and casts beautiful lacy shadows on the table top. A simple sleeve that fits snugly over a jar seemed like the perfect place to start. I found a fairly solid stitch pattern that I thought would hold it’s shape, stay situated on the jar right where I wanted it while still allow enough of that romantic candlelight to shine through.
Isn’t that lovely? And it’s so easy. I decided to crochet it flat, working back and forth until I had just the right length to wrap around the jar. That way I wouldn’t have to worry about twisted foundation chains and I could just stitch the ends together for a quick finish.
The second pattern was a bit of a challenge because I needed to find some way of making a base to support a jar with a plant inside so that I could hang it in a window. It couldn’t be too open, or the whole shebang would sag, but it still needed to have a touch of delicacy about it.
I settled on a simple round motif for the bottom that transitions into a simple two-row repeat in the round for the sides. My favorite part about both projects is that if you’re familiar and comfortable basic crochet techniques, you can whip both of these up in a day and have PLENTY of thread left over to make many more.
I would love to crochet a few of these in gradated colors to line up down a table for a dinner party. Maybe Natural, Bluebell, Ciel and Navy? Oh, how those blues get me every time!