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!
One of the projects on my “someday” list has been a worsted weight shawl. I’ve always wanted to have a a touch of Kirsten Larson and Laura Ingalls in my life… even if the weather isn’t always quite right and I’m not about to be tossing one over my shoulders before I head out to milk some sassy milk cows in the dead of winter. At least not any time soon. Sylvia Bo Bilvia’s Lonely Tree Shawl has been in my Ravelry queue forever, just waiting for the perfect yarn to cast on with.
This shawl has all the characteristics that I look for in a lace shawl: an easy to remember pattern, top down construction and a nice simple border. The great thing about this one is that it’s knit with the worsted weight wool so it’s a super quick project (at least compared to other fingering or lace weight shawls I’ve been working on). I grabbed four balls of the new Wool of the Andes Superwash in Fjord Heather and my size 8 needles and got to work in the car on the way down to the Redwood National Park for 4th of July weekend.
It took three days of pretty steady knitting (knitting in the car, at the rest stop, around the campfire, in the tent and back in the car again) to finish it! One quick soak to wash the smokey campfire smell and it’s ready to wear (I LOVE that smell, but not when it’s tinged with the scent of cooking veggie dogs too!).
Now I have a shawl that reminds me of all those afternoons I spent dreaming of cabin life growing up and my vacation to one of the prettiest forests on this coast. The new Wool of the Andes Superwash feels just like regular Wool of the Andes (I was actually joking around the office that if they lost their ball bands I’d never be able to tell them apart) so now I can have my traditional wooly, rugged knits but I can toss them in the washing machine!
Oh how I LOVE Kerin’s new Light Basics collection. I can very clearly remember the minute we unpacked all of the knit samples in the office. As each garment came out we all reached out to touch the beautiful, springy fabric of each garment. I definitely gave the Light Basics Pullover an extra squeeze and even a little hug to with a big grin on my face because that Capretta (as I’ve said before) just knits up into SUCH A GORGEOUS fabric!
Each piece in this collection is designed to be a simple, easy to knit and timeless addition to your wardrobe.
The Light Basics Tee is knit in the so soft, machine washable Comfy. This piece is definitely meant to be in regular rotation as an everyday garment. I could see myself sitting in a meeting at work, going for a morning stroll or spending time with a passel of children all day in this tee. I love the longer length of the torso (no skin peeping to be had!) and the gentle v-neck.
I think this shot shows what a wonderful transition piece shawlettes can be. The Light Basics Garter Shawlette is knit in a fingering weight yarn so it’s a little bit heartier than the traditional lace shawl but light enough that it can easily be tucked inside of a jacket or on top of a cardigan without adding unnecessary bulk. I think of shawlettes as the perfect companion to sleeveless tops on cold mornings that promise to warm up into balmy afternoons. They keep those shoulders toasty in the morning and fold away perfectly into a purse as the sun comes out.
Like the Tee, the Light Basics Shell is one of those everyday pieces that really shine. It’s deceptively simple with some wonderful little finishing touches that make it a garment that will continue to wear well through many trips through the washing machine. Applied i-cord and a folded hem means that all the edges are nice and crisp and will stay that way over time. Plus, the subtle Stellina shimmer in Glimmer gives this sleevless top a little extra sweetness.
The Light Basics Pullover is the garment that I’m totally drawn to right away. The luscious Capretta fabric and the beautiful Cream color makes this the perfect neutral garment. The shaping is so lovely and the finishing so smooth that it almost looks store-bought. It would be easy to add any sort of embellishing colorwork, swap out the yarn or choose to swap out the high turtleneck for the alternate crew neck instead.
And, really, I can’t think of a single day when I couldn’t wear a nice little beanie. I love the length of the Light Basics Garter Ridge Hat which leaves room to fold the band up and instantly makes this a very versatile hat, perfect for just about any shaped noggin.
The proverbial “icing on the cake” in this collection is the Light Basics Cardigan. The elegant shaping, simplicity and fitted nature of this pattern means that it’s the perfect layering piece. Pop it over a light tank top for the spring or tuck it under a cozy jacket in the fall and you’re good to go on any adventure. Just check out the finished edges on this one! I love the crisp lines and the tidy bottom band. Gorgeous.
Sigh, there are so many pieces that I would LOVE to start but they’ll all have to wait until after the holidays pass and I have some more time to work on my own projects. Which one would you cast on for RIGHT NOW if you could? I think I would have to grab my needles and find the buttons for that Cardigan first, but I bet I couldn’t finish it before I just had to cast on for the pullover too!
Crafting started as something fun to do once in a while, like during a rainy day or on the odd vacation weekend. I have a few memories of making massive collages of tiny horses cut out of magazines, or sorting through a giant jar of buttons.
That was all before I picked up a pair of knitting needles late in high school. From that moment on I needed to craft. It became a lifestyle. I knit in class, on the bus, during movies, on car rides to the store and especially in parks on nice days. Today I always have a larger project to work on at home and a smaller portable project to work on when I’m out in the fresh air and I noticed during this past round of craft shows that I always love picking up purses and tote bags but my first thought was always “hmmm… how much knitting can I fit in here?”
I’m not making a statement with my public craftitude, instead I’m simply keeping busy and working through my stash no matter where I am. I do get a little thrill whenever a stranger asks what I’m making or even just correctly identifies whether I’m sewing, knitting or crocheting (conversely, I HATE it when someone asks what I’m sewing when I’m clearly knitting… sheesh!).
I think the project that has spent the most time out and about with me is my Hue Shift Afghan. I bought the yarn after I saw the finished blanket when it came through the office, well before I even shot it for the catalog! I couldn’t WAIT to get started!
Well, almost exactly one year later I just finished weaving in the last end. It is by far my most long-term project and one of the least portable but I wanted to finish it so badly that I wound up lugging it around with me for the past five months.
Now it’s officially done (complete with a photo!) so now the space in my purse for projects is freed up and I’m definitely at a bit of a loss for what to start next! I think I’m due for a few toys or mittens. Lately I’ve been grabbing a ball of yarn and a crochet hook instead of reaching for my circulars when I head out on a date or to a coffee shop. I love how portable and quick Amigurumi or granny squares can be!