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So Cute Your Heart Just Might Crack: Celia’s Poncho

And it’s not even my own kid.

Usually when I think a kid is so cute my heart could burst, it’s because it’s Reed. I do have a few exceptions, however.

Like Celia.Celia's Poncho for kids by Andrea @ This Knitted Life This young lady is going places. At the ripe old age of six.

Celia needed a new poncho. Auntie to the rescue.

This is relevant to you for several reasons:

  1. I designed a pattern that works up in a week of evening knit-flixing. If you have young people staring you down, in need of hand made gifts this holiday season, look no further. Plus the pattern uses Malabrigo Rios (affordable and gorgeous) and superwash (we are talking about children).
  2. The poncho is easy. Yes, there are a few short rows for that nice curvy bottom and a bit of i-cord edging on the neck. And a wee bit of three-needle bind off to seam the shoulders. Mostly, however, it’s just stockinette with a smidge of garter edging because folding and rolling knits increase my blood pressure significantly. There’s nothing fussy or incredibly innovate here. Sometimes simple is better, in my humble opinion.
  3. The pattern includes three size options to fit children age three to seven. Plus it’s a poncho, so needless to say, sizing is forgiving anyway. Thus, if you have more than one child in your life that requires a hand made gift sometime soon, this one, single pattern could very well be your one-stop shop.Celia's Poncho for kids by Andrea @ This Knitted Life

You’re welcome.

I love Malabrigo Rios. The colorways are fabulous and the yarn is soft. (Celia HATES wool–won’t go near the stuff. Little does she know auntie just knit her a 100% wool poncho. Hee hee hee. I am so sneaky. Or maybe she knows and was just too polite to say.) Rios is also relatively affordable, and it’s superwash. Kids = dirty, messy, sticky everything-all-the-time.

I used the Indecita colorway, which reminds me of a mermaid tale. I already know I am going to knit myself a top of my own out of this stuff.

Next year.

In the meantime, I am super happy to share this new pattern with you! It’s called Celia’s Poncho (hello creative me), and it’s available on Ravelry for $ 6 USD. Subscribers, check your inbox for a COUPON CODE to SAVE MONEY.Celia's Poncho for kids by Andrea @ This Knitted LifeOkay knitters, quick, off you go to knit a lovely little poncho for that kid in YOUR life that makes YOUR heart crack.

P.S. If you miss me between posts, keep your eye out for my quips of wisdom on Instagram and Facebook!

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Lesley Pullover is Off the Needles

Lesley Pullover by Hannah Fettig. Knit by Andrea @ This Knitted Life.

This just goes to show that if you keep a pattern in your queue for two years and add it to a zillion and one bucket lists, eventually you might actually knit the darn thing.

Furthermore, it MIGHT actually fit.

How ’bout that.

I am pleased to hereby announced that Lesley by Hannah Fettig is complete. I even survived my little bout with Second Sleeve Syndrome. I look forward to wearing this knit All. Winter. Long. and staying nice and toasty. And pretty, too.

I basically knit the pattern as written, only adding a bit of overall length. I think it could use a few more short rows in the front (as is, it’s tricky to tell the front from the back…) and the sleeves could be looser. My friend and I both knit this pattern this summer and agree the sleeves are too restrictive.

I used the Shell colorway from Quinco & Co.’s Osprey base on Size 10 (6 mm) needles. It was a quick knit and very fulfilling in the “I’m actually accomplishing something” regard.

This pattern is available individually on Ravelry here, but I HIGHLY recommend buying the whole darn book, Home & Away, which is one of my favorites. It’s less than $20 USD these days. I also used my copy to knit up a Rosemont cardigan last year, which I wear A LOT.

Now, I wonder what else I set out to do two years ago that I can accomplish next? Possibly washing the windows…

P.S. Have you discovered my Facebook page

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My Favorite New Knit for Fall: Bayland Cowl

I’ll be honest. I am devastated that summer is coming to end. I truly am. I love the heat. The sun. The swimming. All the light that never seems to end.

And then there’s fall. Which has its own positive attributes. Pretty leaves. Pumpkin scented candles. Golden tinted light.

My new Bayland Cowl reminds me of fall. It’s not just the seasonal colorway–it’s the thickness from the worsted weight. It’s about preparation for cool mornings. Hikes through the redwood forest.  Walks around the bay at dusk. Layers.It’s been an adjustment moving back to the coast this past year. It’s so, well, coastal. The weather is different. The light is different. Everything just smells different. It’s cold when it should be hot.

And there’s water and wind everywhere.

And boats.

So many boats.

Did I mention my house is covered in beach sand?

I guess things could be worse.

This cowl is all about the bay. That unique ecosystem that bridges the gap between the Pacific and inland rivers. It makes me thinks of mudflats and salt marsh. Oysters and salmon. Egrets everywhere.

The Bayland Cowl is knit in the round with worsted weight yarn. Wear it long or loop it for warmth. The stitch pattern is easy–it’s all a balance of knits and purls with some slipped stitches thrown in the mix.

Easy peasy.

I worked up this cowl in Spincycle Independence. It was my first time working with their yarn, and I really loved the handspun look of the their yarn, even though it’s not actually hand spun. Plus, the company has an awesome ethic that I couldn’t’ support more.

The Bayland Cowl is available on Ravelry for $6 USD. As with all my contemporary patterns, the design has been reviewed by a tech editor. It has also been test knit by a remarkable group of volunteers, to whom I am indebted.

P.S. If you miss me between posts, keep your eye out for my quips of wisdom on Instagram and Facebook!

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Coming Soon — A Quick Update from Mwah.

I know I’ve been a little in and out this summer, more so than I would prefer. What can I say–LIFE has been happening. Like any mother, woman, maker, human, I always aspire to achieve more than perhaps is realistic given the current State of Things.

I sat down today to write my seasonal bucket list for fall, as I so love to do. But I found myself scanning Ravelry endlessly, flipping through patterns I had favorited the past few months, and generally trying to find some cohesive theme that would just feel serendipitous.

Nothing clicked.

The patterns were all marvelous. It was just me.

So.

Fall bucket list postponed to next week.

Instead I am sharing with you what I have planned for the upcoming quarter over here in my little corner of the Internet. I’ve been busy designing and updating patterns all year and have some marvelous releases planned for the next couple of months. I am trying to pace pattern releases so they launch once a month. Otherwise, I assume it’s hard for knitters to keep up.

Here’s your sneak peak!

Bayland Cowl

Expect this fall number to be released in the next week or so. (Top secret: it’s already actually on Ravelry here, as the test knitters upload their photos…) I actually developed this design at the beginning of the year, but have been saving it because it screamed FALL to me. This one knits up quick in worsted weight. More details soon! If you are feeling that Fall Itch and secretly lighting all those pumpkin spice candles when no one is looking, this one is for you.

Little White Sparkly Shawl

I just sent this pattern off to my tech editor this morning! I love this shawl. It has a sequin strand in the mix for a bit of shimmer (but not over the top). I already know I am wearing this one to the office holiday party this year.

This is my favorite kind of shawl: easy, textured, and crescent shaped. Not too busy, but not boring. I aiming for a late-September release for this one.

Twist Shawl-Finally Updated!

I tried to update my Twist Shawl earlier this summer but still fell flat on adjusting the shaping. I cannot tell you how incredibly pleased I am to announce this second updated version is shaped PERFECTLY. (Do you hear the angels harking? I do.) As soon as this baby is back from the tech editor, everyone who has already purchased the pattern will automatically get an updated version through Ravelry.

Ta da!

The new Twist Shawl is a perfect crescent shape and has that signature twist texture.

I swoon. And I couldn’t be prouder.

Next Up

I have this awkward lull right now between projects and have absolutely nothing of substance on my needles.

I know. It’s shocking.

I’ve been working on a pair of socks and trying not to track my yarn shipment via Fed X every five minutes.

It’s a challenge.

I’ve had a request to drum up a kid’s poncho, so I hope to tackle that next. I also have ambitions to develop some video tutorials for two of my hat patterns to help folks out that are finding the lateral braid tricky. Beyond that, my mind is just one big creative jumble.

And…I have some big plans hatching for a This Knitted Life Facebook group, so do stay tuned for that soon. If only a knitting business was just about, well, knitting.

What do you plan to knit this fall?

P.S. Have you discovered my Facebook page, in case you need minor injections of snark between blog posts. Just saying.

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The Endless Pursuit of Perfection: Updating the Twist Shawl

Perfection is an exhaustive pursuit.

As always, what was supposed to be easy-peasy design tweak didn’t exactly go as planned.

Because what ever goes as planned?

Yep.

Nada.

My carefully devised design release/knit production schedule?

Well.  I tried.

Note to self: don’t forget to update The Schedule. Two-month delay.

My quick and simple Twist Shawl update was fairly quick (six-ish weeks of hard core knitting), but missed the mark of perfection.

Of course.

I am trying to alter the shape a bit so it is more crescent-y and less triangular-y, although I think a lot of that is influenced by yarn choice (superwash vs. non-superwash) and blocking. All the same, perfect it must be!

While there was improvement, I still fell short of perfection.

Why: subtle adjustments result in subtle changes. Too subtle.

You want big results? Whelp, I guess you (I) have to go big!

There’s a lesson there: don’t hold back in life. Your shawls will end up the wrong shape. Although, as a consolation, they will drape well when worn (imperfect shape hardly evident).

I worked this baby up in The Fibre Company’s Cumbria (Cowberry) colorway. It’s going to be a gift for my mom. I think she’ll like the color, but I can’t say she’s much of a shawl person. Fashionable, she is not. We’ll see.

In the meantime, I have more fingering yarn ready to cake, ready for Try 2. I ended up with speckles On Accident, but I think everything will work out just fine in the end. (The universe acts in mysterious ways.)

I may be many things (fabulous, snarky, nonathletic), but a quitter I am NOT. Count down to Cast On.

There’s a pot of gold at the end of this Twist Shawl rainbow. I just know it.

P.S. Have you discovered my Facebook page, in case you need minor injections of snark between blog posts. Just saying.

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Blast Off to the Sun: Possibly the Most Amazing Shawl Pattern of All Time

Blast Off to the Sun with this perfect crescent shawl knitting pattern.

From the very first stitch, this project felt celestial to me. Maybe it was the prismatic golden yarn with its silky sheen. I honesty don’t know. This shawl design literally transported me from one life into the next, and I don’t plan to forget it anytime soon.

This shawl–I call it Blast Off to the Sun— didn’t start easily. The yarn was the first I caked in my new (old) home, and I remember the moment. Winding those balls made something big and dark feel possible.

At first, there was an unusual amount of swatching and frogging. I played with stitches. With math. All the variables. After a seemingly inordinate amount of time, I worked it all out.

Obviously.

Blast Off to the Sun with this perfect crescent shawl knitting pattern.

Blast off to the Sun was a collaboration with indie dyer Daien @ Beloved Yarn, who was kind enough to share her story earlier this year. This project has been in the works since the beginning of the year, and it feels so good to finally release this perfect shawl out into the universe.

I truly can’t say enough good things about Daien and this glorious yarn. Her yarn made me remember that I love merino/silk blends and should work with them more often. And her colors! Have you checked out her site yet??? Holy smokes. I assure you it took me no less than three weeks just to decide on a color from her website because they were all STUNNING.

Truly.

Blast Off to the Sun with this perfect crescent shawl knitting pattern.

Blast Off to the Sun is a perfect crescent shaped shawl. It starts out with just three tiny stitches and a garter tab cast on. Then it grows. Row by row. Eventually the waves of sunlight start on one end. Or at least that’s how I thought of them. Knit this up in blue and maybe they will feel like ocean waves to you. (You pick the color and then pick your own type of wave!)  After a while longer, little blips of stars appear on the other end. Gradually.

This shawl is balanced by a stockinette center and garter edges (because I can’t stand rolling and folding edges).

Blast Off to the Sun with this perfect crescent shawl knitting pattern.

Did I mention it’s knit up in DK yarn? This means it doesn’t take forever (uh, hello lace and fingering) but isn’t too heavy. As you can see from our windy photo shoot, it actually flaps gracefully in the wind just fine, thank you very much.

Blast Off to the Sun with this perfect crescent shawl knitting pattern.

It’s been grey here a lot lately. Summer fog on the coast. The day we took these photos (thank you Anna!), we about blew away. It was such a bitter cold wind, too. The clouds were flying by so fast, it was hard to keep up.
Blast Off to the Sun with this perfect crescent shawl knitting pattern.

I’ll be real, it hasn’t been the easiest transition for me. Working on this shawl during those first weeks truly helped. Picking up the bright yellow yarn and watching it glide through my hands, row by row, may have been the only thing that got me through the month of May.

File that one away somewhere: when life gets tough or the weather sucks, knit something yellow.

Blast Off to the Sun with this perfect crescent shawl knitting pattern.

If you’ve been with me for a while, you know I am more the happy sort.

Or the snarky sort.

Depends on the day.

So, I will say this: things are looking up.

As in, the shawl is done. It’s yours now. Knit one. Let it take you somewhere you need to go. It will be your own rocket to take you to your next chapter, however similar or dissimilar that looks to where you are at Right Now.

Blast Off to the Sun with this perfect crescent shawl knitting pattern.

Blast Off to the Sun is available on Ravelry for $6 USD. (Subscribers, check your email for a special coupon code.) Even if you aren’t ready to purchase this pattern today, please take a moment to add it to your favorites so you can more easily find it when you ARE ready. Just click the little pink heart in Ravelry.

I really hope this one blasts you off to wherever it is you want to go.

Blast Off to the Sun with this perfect crescent shawl knitting pattern.

And…I made a quick video overview too. Because I love to make you smile.

PS.

I have been very inactive in my Ravelry Forum, but I have a new test knit up. It’s a cowl. Check it out.

Do you already follow me on Instragram? If not, please do. I am here. Also, you can subscribe to my new YouTube channel here. Good things coming!

Blast Off to the Sun with this perfect crescent shawl knitting pattern.

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Garden Party Cowl Pattern Release

Like all good things in life, this new Garden Party Cowl design has been a long time coming. It was a quick and delightful knit–one of those designs that just flew off my needles. No problems. Completely cooperative. No frogging. No cussing. No crying.

That’s how I like to knit.

And then this dear cowl just hung around while I moved. Waiting.

Well, knit-universe, wait no longer.

This is the second time I’ve experimented with making videos to support a pattern launch. Fun+Terrifying+Kind of Goofy! There’s a second video here that’s actually a tutorial for working the smocked rib in this design.

Yes, I still have boxes to unpack and that latest cozy buzzword hygge is utterly and truly missing from my life at the present…BUT, I know (hope) I will get there. Besides, who said cardboard boxes laying about weren’t cozy? It’s all a matter of perspective.

The Garden Party Cowl is my second collaboration with an indie yarn dyer. I know you all were able to meet Stephanie from Knitley Road  last month. I loved using her yarn for this design. It was a single spun rustic fingering (three cheers for Canadian Wool!) that reminded me a lot of Brooklyn Tweed’s Shelter. You can tell it comes from a sheep (a plus) but it isn’t itchy and has a ton of loft, especially after blocking (double plus check!). Stephanie sent over (down?) a speckled colorway, which have been super popular lately. I get the speckled craze after working up this design–all the flecks of color really are a lot of fun.

The cowl is knit in the round. Wear long or loop twice for warmth, coziness, or reducing your risk of getting hung up on a foreign object. #SnagsHappen. The design is nearly reversible (I am not a fan of the “wrong side,” to be honest) and is a good balance of knits and purls. This means there’s no folding, rolling, or general misbehavior of this cowl. It just works.

The Garden Party cowl is now available on Ravelry for $5 USD. (Subscribers, check your inbox for a 20% off coupon code!). As with all my patterns these days, this design was independently reviewed by a qualified tech editor and is available in a professional format with measurements in both English and metric.

This is a perfect project for those single skeins of sock and fingering weight yarn, and the gauge is flexible.

You can totally knit this.

Or, at least hit the little heart on Ravelry to add it to your favorites.

A few quick administrative notes:

  1. I have a new You Tube channel! Subscribe here to see all my future videos! More laughs to come.
  2. Do you already follow me on Instragram? If not, please do. I am here.
  3. You can find Knitley Road’s shop over here. It’s awesome!
  4. Remember, subscribers receive special discounts on my patterns. If you aren’t already a subscriber, just enter your email in the box in the upper right hand corner of this page. I won’t blast you with nonsense, and I will NEVER share your email address.
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FO: Riverton Tee + MAJOR PATTERN DISCOUNT

[Hey all. Big News! The designer of this tee, Sheila Toy Stromberg, has generously provided a 50% off coupon code for Riverton! This deal ends on May 13th. This is not an affiliate link. I simply love this tee and am grateful to Sheila for a perfect design. Use the code Andrea_Riverton when you check out on Ravelry! $2.50 for this pattern is really a TREMENDOUS deal! It includes two killer video tutorials, so you’ll be all set for smooth knitting. Also, Happy Easter/Passover!]


Dear Lord,

It’s been about a year since I knitted my last top. At the time, it was the Rosemont cardigan by Hannah Fettig and I was having some SSS issues (you remember, Second Sleeve Syndrome).

Anyway.

Here I am, a year later, sick of working on cowls and working up a (somewhat) unplanned and generally impromptu Riverton Tee by Sheila Toy Stromberg. And it’s going marvelously.

For a while, I thought I might run out of yarn or something dramatic like that. But after weeks of fairly monogamous knitting, I crossed that threshold and realized all would be fine. I had faith. Maybe not in you (that’s a more complicated tale for another day), but at least in the amount of yarn (I was using Swan’s Island Fingering in Fig, by the way…good stuff).

So. There I am. Around and around. Bottom to top. I split for the front and back. Worked those up. Easy peasy. Joined the shoulders. Minimal seaming (thank you for that one, Lord…and Sheila). Not to mention, bless Sheila’s heart…she created these FABULOUS video tutorials that come with the pattern. They cleared up any confusion about the tricky bits.

Truly a miracle.

I trimmed out the neckline, skipping the button hole bit and simply joining in the round. What can I say, Lord, I have a small head so it worked. And I have this thing with buttons and buttonholes. Too fussy for me. One more thing to fiddle with and lose, or to generally go wrong. And I think we both know how the universe already has a tendency to lean toward Things Going Wrong, so let’s just minimize that whenever we can, right?

I worked up one sleeve. It went quickly. The end was in sight. The stray bits of yarn were already woven in and there was just one sleeve left to go.

The angels were harking, if you know what I mean. (I think you know what I mean.)

I ignored my family for an entire afternoon and worked up the second sleeve. Excited. Nearly done. A knitter with momentum should always stick with said momentum. It’s like a Law of Physics for knitters. When the going’s good, don’t stop. Remember that one, Lord. It’ll get you places. Or, at least, it’ll get you a sweater.

Do you wear sweaters?

Here’s the thing, Lord: I finished that second sleeve. I looked at it. Then I looked back to the first sleeve.

You know where I’m going with this, right?

They didn’t look quite the same. One was a bit smaller (the first), and one was a bit smaller (the last). I measured to be sure my eyes weren’t fooling me. (They weren’t fooling me.) The hopeful knitter in denial can sometimes un-see actual mistakes so they can just move on to the next project without having to GO BACK and fix the mistake.  It’s not uncommon. Trust me on that one.

My problem was thus: I didn’t know which sleeve I had screwed up. Was the first too small, or was the second too large? Which to fix?

You’d be proud of me on this one. I went with my gut. You’ll call that, faith, right? (I had a vague recollection of a seemingly out of place stitch marker near the end of working the second sleeve, so maybe we can split the difference and call this one an educated hunch…).

This is where a possibly sordid tale gets a happy ending.

I unraveled that second too-big sleeve and reknit it. That’s the good thing about knitting tees: the sleeves are small and knitting them doesn’t take nearly as long as working up an entire sweater sleeve.

Trade-offs. That’s where it’s at.

You know what?

It worked!

The sleeves matched. The tee blocked. It fit (I’ve goofed that one before, too, but no one’s perfect…have mercy on thy self, right?).

I love my Riverton. In fact, I’m wondering if you can have a word of two with the weather gods and see if something can be done about this ceaseless rain? I’d like the sun to come out so I can wear my new tee. Please.

I’ll owe ya one.

I wouldn’t mind a whole bunch of Rivertons in various shades in fibers. This tee is that perfect and all-purpose. I know wardrobe issues probably aren’t your biggest priority. (I get it. And, I agree. Poverty and misery should definitely come first. Let’s get on those, for sure). Maybe after we solve world hunger, we can get back to that Riverton issue, okay?

Thanks.

(And thanks to Sheila for an AWESOME design.)

Don’t forget to take advantage of Sheila’s 50% discount code. Use Andrea_Riverton when you check out on Ravelry. Good through May 13th. 

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Introducing Knitley Road

So far, the Year of the Indie Dyer has brought me nothing but amazing things. This pursuit has turned a formerly one-woman show into a team effort, and that is truly much more fun. 

Last month, I shared my first sneak peak of one of my more recent projects featuring yarn from Knitley Road. I was lucky enough to work up a new cowl design in Stephanie’s all-Canadian rustic fingering in the Garden Party colorway.

There are just so many reasons that makes me smile.

Today, hailing from Edmonton, Canada, I am proud to introduce indie dyer–and a talented fiber artist in her own right–Stephanie of Knitley Road. In her own words. 

I learned to knit when I was very young from my Italian grandmother. My tension was so tight I could barely squeak the metal needles through the yarn, and I couldn’t cast on or purl to save my life.  I put the needles down for a long time, and picked them up again about 10 years ago.  By this time I had graduated University and was living 600 kms away from my knitting relatives, and realized I was going to have to learn how to cast-on, by myself, for real. I went to my local box craft store and got a little kit; it had bright metal painted needles, (US size 8), and a book “Teach yourself to knit” or something to that effect. I got pretty good at scarves and flat things; I started watching You Tube videos and learned how to knit cables. I was exhausting weekly coupons on inexpensive, readily available yarn.

Christmas gifts were hand knit, and my poor cousin was gifted my first pair of knit gloves, complete with ladders (remember I had only knit flat things to this point), and uneven fingers.  I jumped from scarves and gloves to knit my first adult sweater, (for myself)- a fir lace, knee length cardigan with a hood. It was a big jump. The pattern was found in a library book and I discovered a proper local yarn shop, which soon became a regular haunt, and learned about the wonderful world of wool and yarn outside of a box craft store.

Eventually there were too many knits to give away or to wear and I opened Knitley Road on Etsy in 2012, having sold my handmade greeting cards on Etsy since 2009.  I sold at local  art fairs, started writing simple patterns. When I moved from Ontario to New Brunswick last year, I intended for Knitley Road to continue along the path of knit items and patterns.  At a weekend getaway, a fibre retreat of sorts, a friend brought her acid dyes and told us to bring some bare yarn. After having experimented with dyeing my own yarn with food-colouring gels, using the acid dyes was a whole new world of colour for me to play in.

Soon after the retreat, I bought some acid dyes of my own, found a local small business selling bare yarn and started listing the hand-dyed yarns in my Etsy shop.  I love the process and surprise of creating a new colourway; at the beginning, many were single skeins so I could keep experimenting.

We moved from New Brunswick to Alberta last summer, and I’ve been lucky enough to find a local mill that processes Canadian wool, which has become the KR Rustic line.  Other bases are sourced from Canadian, American and UK suppliers; I’ll be introducing some new bases over the coming weeks, including New Zealand Polworth.  Knitley Road bases are those that I would personally knit with, and we will continue to offer both superwash and non-superwash, as available.

I’m gradually building a list of standard colourways, but I will always offer some one-of-a-kind skeins so that I can keep playing with colour.  My inspiration varies.Some of it is colour theory, and experience from making my greeting cards. Other times it’s from nature, or photography. Most recently, I’ve been working on my Canadiana collection, inspired by all things Canadian (accurate or stereotypical, we’re pretty good at laughing at ourselves, eh?).

My education and career is in health care. Knitting and now dyeing yarn, has become my creative outlet and my therapy, which I’m very proud and happy to share with the fibre community. I’m looking forward to seeing how this chapter of Knitley Road is written, and am so grateful to the support, collaboration and friendship of the fibre community. For as long as you let me play and experiment with colour, and be part of your fibre art, I’ll be here.

Stephanie

You can find Stephanie on Etsy here.

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‘Bout Time!!! Pansyland Cowl Release!!!!

Pansyland Cowl pattern by Andrea @ This Knitted Life.

HeeellllooooooooOOOOOO, Spring!

AKA welcome endless days of rain and rain and rain on my delicate, little flower buds. And mud puddles. LOTS of mud puddles.

It’s such a tease.

I want to go outside, but then I stick my little toe out the door and quickly realize: actually knitting on the sofa will do just fine.

Call me when it hits 70 degrees (21 C). Then and only then, I will go outside.

Pansyland Cowl pattern by Andrea @ This Knitted Life.

I am so proud of the new Pansyland Cowl, not just because it is amazing (it is!) and long overdue (uh, yep), but because it is the first of (hopefully many) collaborations with indie dyers this year. This special yarn was dyed by the talented Allison Barnes. It is a SUPER squishy 4-ply merino worsted in the Alpine Pansy colorway. Allison clearly has an apt for naming colors!

This has been my favorite pattern ever to design because it felt like I was part of a TEAM. So much more fun and inspiring than working in isolation! Plus, Allison’s yarn was really a treat to work with.

Pansyland Cowl pattern by Andrea @ This Knitted Life.

This is also the first time I have made videos to go along with a new pattern. It was so scary and I am honestly quite bad at it. They are fairly dorky AND clunky, but I figured I would check the ol’ ego at the door and simply do my best.

The first video is a quick tutorial demonstrating how to work the main stitch pattern in this cowl. I love the texture from this stitch, and it is actually a fairly easy technique. I hope this video will give newer knitters a bit of confidence to try this stitch! You can do this! All you need is a double pointed needle.

Pansyland Cowl pattern by Andrea @ This Knitted Life.

The second video is an overview of the pattern itself. Still photography has it’s limits, and this video really let’s me show you the cowl, how it moves, and better explain why I love it. Please take a look and let me know what you think.*

Pansyland Cowl pattern by Andrea @ This Knitted Life.

The Pansyland Cowl is a tube-shaped cowl. Tall and narrow. The twist stitch gives it great texture, although really this is primarily a stockinette project (hello, Knitflix!!!).

The pattern includes an option for a tapered neckline that is achieved by working short rows. As a result, the back of the cowl is gently taller than the front. If you are not up for knitting short rows, just skip this part and cast off for a standard tube-shaped cowl. I personally love the shaped collar and feel like it makes this cowl unique and even more functional without being weird. Pansyland Cowl pattern by Andrea @ This Knitted Life.

The Pansyland Cowl is now available on Ravelry for $5.00 USD.** If you aren’t ready to knit this project quite yet, please add it to your Ravelry favorites (click the little heart near the upper right corner) so you can more easily find it in the future.

Okay knitters, off I go to do my sunshine dance. Wish me luck!

*Obviously my YouTube channel is BRAND NEW, but I would love it if you would subscribe. I hope to bring you more video fun throughout the year.  Videography isn’t exactly my strongest skill, but I hope to get better! Or at least embarrass myself less.

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Tune Ups

One of my goals for the year is to update and triple check my earliest patterns to make sure they are ABSOLUTELY perfect. No mistakes.

Because I don’t have enough to do.

I took my original Twist Cowl pattern with me to Panama, figuring it would be a good travel knit.

It was.

I used the same yarn (Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light), tightened up the gauge, added some length, and developed a double sided option with no “wrong side.”

Once the photo shoot (with an actual human being) is complete, the updated pattern will be uploaded to Ravelry and automatically distributed to everyone who purchased the original pattern.

Thankfully, unlike when I reworked my baby hat pattern, I didn’t come across any glaring errors in the original version and all was generally well.

At least I have that going for my ego.

All the same, the updated version received a good scrub from my tech editor, just to be sure.

I love Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light and have used it often over the past several years. There are so many colors to choose from! My local yarn shops don’t carry Mad Tosh (sad!), but I do purchase it online as needed. I will say I did a thorough internet search of my favorite places to buy yarn online with free shipping (Websters, based in Ashland, OR, which is nearly local, and Yarn.com) but found Jimmy Bean’s Wools (which I don’t usually use) BY FAR had the MOST SUBSTANTIAL selection of Mad Tosh Merino Light colorways. Impressive and overwhelming all at once.

Just saying, in case you’re also in the market…

Given I am banned from using grey this year (oh, the pain!), I thinking I am turning to pale pinks as my new go to quasi-neutral (okay, not at all neutral) addiction.

This cowl is one of my favorites because it so so simple (mostly stockinette) with some interesting but not too busy stitch texture thrown in the mix.

(Speaking of texture, did you know Hannah Fettig’s newest book Texture hit Amazon? Or check your LYS to shop local. $24 well spent!)

I designed the original Twist Cowl almost exactly two years ago when we last vacation (Hawaii) and nearly no one had discovered this quirky knitting space. Apparently I had yet to discover Lightroom because those early photos aren’t exactly impressive. Nonetheless, here we are, two years later, together. Polishing things up a bit and aiming for the stars.

Because we all have a little sparkle going on in that wool.

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No, It’s Not Secretly Fall

Unless you live south of the equator.

Which I don’t.

I simply don’t plan well. That’s all.

I used to be a good planner. I even own a planner. Several actually. I just haven’t been able to properly apply good use of said planner(s).

I basically live in chaos, but that’s okay.
This cowl (knit in Spincycle Independence) was my New Year’s knit. At the time, my stash was light. This had been on the to-knit list since fall (whoops), so I just went for it.

Aimless knitter over here. Hand in the air! That’s me!

First: I LOVED this yarn. It was my first Spincycle test drive. Cool stuff. Thick and thin, which I like. Similar to hand spun, but not. Groovy company. It checked all my boxes. I was truly sad when I cast off. Maybe the Easter Bunny will bring me some more.

Easter Bunny? Hello, are you out there???

The design: wear long or, as I prefer, loop to wear short and snuggly. This project FLEW off my needles and was done in NO TIME at all. I found this to be immensely satisfying. It’s a solid Worsted weight, so this thing’s no joke. It would get you through a blizzard.

Or gale force winds.

Just saying.As for the colors, well…clearly they are screaming FALL!  This is classic me given the fact we are in the dead of winter (SNOW visible out all my windows), although spring is creeping in (daffodils also abundant).

Apparently I am living in a state of Seasonal Confusion. Yes, you can check the Handbook of Psychological Disorders for the details on that one. It’s a Real Thing.

I totally made that up. It’s not a real thing. At least, I don’t think so.

I am going to be patient and wait until the Actual North American Fall season to release this pattern. What do you think? 

Hey, before I forget, did you know Craftsy is having a BIG SALE this weekend (Friday-Sunday)??? 50% off knitting kits and supplies. You’re welcome. Wink.