Category Archives: Knit Picks Designers

Fifty Percent!

I've been working on my hubby's sweater now for a little over a month, and I've just passed 50% completion! Both sleeves are finished, and the body is currently 8.5" long - just over a third done. For me, this is where the hard part begins - the monotony of the next 23"! Luckily I've only got a foot left until I break for the armscyes... yipes. My attention span on a project is usually two weeks or so, so looking headlong into another month of knitting this one project is daunting, to say the least. To keep my mind busy, I've started timing my rounds. It takes about 10 minutes for non-patterned rounds and up to half an hour for patterned rounds. So, with about 75 rounds to the armscyes, that's 25 hours and ten minutes max. I could totally do that in a weekend, right?

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What would your perfect kit be?

As with any fashion-type industry, we plan all of our patterns and kits well in advance of their release dates. In fact, we're about to start planning our projects for 2013! With so many other projects in the works, it's a daunting prospect to come up with so many ideas at once. So, I turn to you, dear readers, for inspiration! What kind of kits would you like to see in 2013?

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Wait, did I say ‘simple’?

I'm now three weeks into the knitting of hubby's new sweater. That's about the longest I can usually pay attention to a project - but I'm only through the sleeves! I think this proves a couple of rules of knitting for other people. 1: Don't underestimate how long things take to knit, and 2: If you let the recipient pick the pattern, be prepared to face the consequences! I did some pre-searching through all of my pattern books and found several all-over cable designs that were nice and rhythmic and easy to memorize. I presented these to my hubby, and his reaction was pretty dry. So I let him look through my books, and he picked quite possibly the most difficult cable pattern he could have! It's the Baroque Cable from Barbara Walker's third treasury.

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Flowers in Spring

With Spring fast approaching, it's almost time to start putting away the woolen sweaters and coats. But you'll still need something to keep the chilly air at bay! How about the cheerful new Lilypad Shawl kit? This shawl features a bold design of lily pads and flowers on a pond. The lilies are worked in intarsia, and their simple shapes and coloring are good for someone new to the technique. (If you need some pointers on Intarsia, check out this video tutorial!)

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New IDP Kits

Did you notice something new about our new kits this month? We now have kits featuring patterns from our favorite IDP designers!  We are so excited to introduce this to you - you get the pattern & the yarn together for a discount and the designer still gets 100% of the pattern sales.  

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A sweater to dye for

I finally got some decent pictures of my Swish Bulky sweater! This is not only to show that I did make said sweater, but to immortalize its temporary whiteness. You see, I'm really, really good at turning white clothes pink. I don't really have problems with any other color of clothing, but white things just don't stay white. So, in order to prevent my inevitable disappointment, I'm planning on dyeing my sweater. But I can't figure out what color to dye it - or what dye to use.

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A journey of 100,000 stitches…

Begins with a single slip knot! The yarn for hubby's sweater is here! I think he was even more excited than I was when I first opened the box on our couch. He grabbed it and took a deep whif of its woolly goodness. I've trained him well! Now for the fun part - designing the sweater!

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An exercise in Stash Management

It's no secret that I have a ridiculous stash. I've been fighting the dreaded SABLE (Stash Accumulation Beyond Life Expectancy) for some time now, and the only weapon I have is youth! But, barring medical advances that would have me able to knit productively till about 120 years old, I need to do something about my stash. What really spurred me on was the stash swap party we had last week. I had to go through my stash and get rid of stuff, and I was also determined to bring home less than I brought. But, I have to say that dumping out a comforter-bags' worth of stash all over my dining table was a bit of an eye-opener!

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Let the madness – and sweaters – begin!

Well, I'm still not totally through figuring out what craziness is in store for me this year, but I know that it's going to involve a lot of sweaters. I really need to use up a good size chunk of my stash this year (for the sake of sanity), and sweaters are a darn good way to do that. But my first sweater is decidedly not a stash sweater. Over the holidays, my husband and I found ourselves shuffling among the crowds at the mall a little more frequently than we'd have liked. But one upside of that is that my husband got to see a lot of the mannequins decked out in their nice fancy sweaters. We kept passing by one window that had a lighly textured Aran type sweater in a creamy oatmeal color, and over time it really grew on him. Until finally, the question was asked - "can you make one for me?" WELL OF COURSE! WHY DIDN'T YOU SAY SO SOONER! I GET TO GET MORE YARN!!!(and also - he doesn't want me to buy one, but make one. Double score!)

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A flower of a different color

Wow, the response to the Viola Afghan was much bigger than I expected! Some of you have been asking about washable yarn substitutions for it, and I've been working on that for a few days to get the colors right. One benefit to our good ol' workhorse Wool of the Andes is that, since it's really a 'staple' yarn, we can have an enormous breadth of color. That makes it so versatile for designing - but not machine washable! Finding a suitable substitute for Viola has proved to be quite a challenge. The palette of Swish has waxed and waned to a balanced, tight family, and Brava is too new to have the expanded color range that it likely will see in the future. The best option came in the wide range of purples in Shine. So, along with washability, Viola has had a drastic hue shift in this version! Since the yardage on Shine is a little less than that of Wool of the Andes, you'll need a little more of each color, and each substituted color is used in place of the original in every instance. So, here is a Shine-y, purple Viola!

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