March KALFH #3: Arika Cowl

I can't tell you how many of these gorgeous cowls I saw when I was at Stitches West last month. There were such an array of sizes, colors, fringe length, etc., but every single one of them was beautiful. Made me a bit jealous that my sample was on display at my LYS rather than around my neck at the show! 

Arika Cowl by Jane Richmond

As you knit this cowl, I DARE you not to be all "it's too small, it's never going to look right, oh mannnnnn". 'Cuz I sure did! And then I blocked, and seamed, and fringe'd it and it just blossomed! 

Um... you're kinda on your own?!

Not much of a tutorial, eh?! I'm kidding... kind of! The beauty of this cowl, beyond the objective beauty of how it lays and it's coziness factor, is that it's actually quite easy to knit. It's the final construction that can trip folks up! 

There's not much to tell as far as the flat construction of the cowl. The shaping is quite unique but the schematics included in the pattern pretty much tell the tale. Knit the cowl flat, as per the pattern, and wet block it to the dimensions shown in the schematic.

One minor clarification!

The only clarification I can make has to do with the Abbreviations section. The instructions for sk2p should likely include that you should slip the stitch knitwise. So, for sk2p, read it as: sl 1 knit-wise, k2tog, pass slipped stitch over. 

Aaaaaaand... fast forward a few hours!

I'm going assume you've now finishing knitting your cowl and have blocked it and allowed it to dry?! Yes? Good! 

The seaming is the true magic of this project. I used a collection of removable markers and about 36-inches of project yarn to graft the flat project into the cowl shape.

With the RS facing, use a removable marker to clip the bottom stitch in each COLUMN of knit stitches (omit the purl columns) to one slipped edge stitch each. What you'll end up with is 18 removable markers clipped to 18 slipped edge stitches. This is the best way (in my opinion, of course) to ensure that you're seaming the correct number of stitches, and at a ratio that makes sense for the project. Obviously, you can remove the markers as you seam the project, otherwise they kind of get in the way.

Seam knitting in 2 different directions

Here are two resources for seaming a vertical knit edge to a horizontal knit edge (i.e.: your stitches were worked in different directions).

Annie's has a great pictorial that shows a static picture of your working yarn in and around the fixed edge: this creates an incredible, invisible seam between the two edges (click the image to be directed to the actual page with written instructions).

And, if you're like me and you prefer a video tutorial, here is the inestimable KnitPurlHunter with another gem of a video! In this video she references set in sleeves but is using two flat pieces - which is perfect since you've got two flat edges of the cowl to seam. Your ratio of picking up will be one knit stitch to one slipped edge stitch. Because we're omitting the purl stitches in the vertical columns, the stitch ratio works out. 

Here's the video: http://tinyurl.com/hmpztbt

Adding the Fringe

Fringe is pretty straight forward, right? Cut some lengths, and attach?! Yep, pretty much. For this project, I actually used a few more lengths than Jane's recommended, but that's just a function of having a difference row gauge. I cut my fringe to length per the pattern, and ended up using close to 100 yds to do it.

I attached a fringe (a fringe?! Is 'fringe' plural... if so, what's the singular of 'fringe'?) every 2nd slipped edge stitch. My very fringe was the botton point of the shawl (the triangular point) and then every other slipped edge stitch for the entire circumference of the shawl. I have seen some folks wear it with fringe JUST along the wide edge, or just to the shoulders (and none behind the neck/back) - it's truly up to you how much you want to fringe. 

Here's a great video from Very Pink Knits to show how to attach fringe (and cut it to length, if you're new to it. Jump ahead to 1:50 in the video to see the actual method of attaching the fringe. Tutorial: http://tinyurl.com/zsgk3q8

Is that all there is?

Yep yep! Isn't it a fun one?! I'm pretty sure that by the end of the year I'll have more than one. It was a luxuriously quick knit, save the fringe-making. That took some time. But all in all, a relatively simple knit with stunning results. 

Keep in touch!

Thanks for knitting along with on this cowl! If you're on social media, feel free to tag #unapologeticknitter (or use @notsorryknitter on IG) so I can see your amazing creations! 

New Pattern: Mother Lode

I'm so thrilled to finally be releasing today's latest design, Mother Lode. It took me over a year to create this... literally. I purchased the yarn at the Rose City Yarn Crawl in March os 2016 and its taken until now to conceptualize and knit this beauty. And let me emphasize the "conceptualize". The yarn, a 4-color Mother Sampler (heavy lace weight; approx. 1100 yds per sampler collection) from Yarn on the House, sat in a place of prominence for about 5 months, staring at me, taunting me, until it told me what it needed to be. And here she is: 

Mother Lode

lode
lōd/
noun
noun: lode; plural noun: lodes
  1. a vein of metal ore in the earth.
    • a rich source of something.
Origin
Old English lād ‘way, course,’ variant of 'load'. The term denoted a watercourse in late Middle English and a lodestone in the early 16th century The current sense dates from the early 17th century.

What's in a name?

Sometimes? Nothing. But sometimes? Everything! I'd been eyeing these Mother Samplers from YOTH for quite a while and finally was able to source them locally during the yarn crawl. I hemmed and hawed about what color combination to select (greens, blues, browns, grays) and finally settled on the classic gray.  They're warm grays so there's an undertone of brown which makes this the perfect "wear it with everything" kind of shawl. 

So to me, this shawl is everything. The yarns are lovely, and just my kind of palette, but mostly, it's the fruition of a long term project working out EXACTLY as I'd imagined it. So the Mother Lode is a rich source of joy and pride for this cat. 

The Details

The Story

I was lucky enough to get my hands on a YOTH Mother Sampler during a yarn crawl - when I brought it home I knew it had to be something cushy and spectacular, but not fussy, to show off the gorgeous palette.

Materials

  • Yarn on the House Mother Sampler (heavy lace weight; 100% domestic Rambouillet wool; 1100 yds/200g): 1 set of 4 (275 yds/50g ea).
    • ‘Sea Salt’ (color A)
    • ‘Poppy Seed’ (color B)
    • ‘Wild Rice’ (color C)
    • ‘Cracked Pepper’ (color D)
  • US 3 (3.25mm) 32” circular needle (or preferred length)
  • Removable stitch marker (optional)

Finished Dimensions

79 inches wingspan by 16 inches deep

Gauge

30 sts and 58 rows = 4 inches in garter stitch after blocking

Notes

  • This shawl is constructed in an asymmetrical shape and worked flat, from tip to end. Written instructions are provided for the entirety of the shawl.
  • Adjust needle size as necessary to match gauge.
  • All sts will be slipped purlwise unless otherwise noted.
  • You may wish to clip a removable stitch marker to the RS of the work to differentiate RS from WS since this project is worked largely in garter stitch.
  • Although gauge is not critical for this project, a looser gauge than noted will result in the use of more yardage.

No YOTH? No worries!

Although this pattern was designed using a palette from the YOTH Mother Sampler, you can put together your own sampler with a heavy lace weight or light fingering yarn. You'll just need 275 yds of each color and you're off to the races.

So! Go get your pattern here: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/mother-lode

Choose your yarns! And get knitting! If you're on social media, tag me with #unapologeticknitter or @notsorryknitter on Twitter and Instagram. I'd love to see your color combos! Happy knitting, my lovelies!!! 

Product Review: Knit Crate, March 2017

You know when you sign up for a subscription service (magazines, clothes, KNITTING THINGS) and you're all "Oh man... I hope it's super awesome" and then it shows up and your blown away? Welp! That's all I gotta say about the March Knit Crate that showed up at my door the other day. 

In the past I've signed up for package knitting services and have enjoyed them, but this time, when I opened my Knit Crate box, the first Knit Crate I've received, I think I actually said "Wow!". For serious. Wow. I mean, sure, yarn is always pretty, but this whole package is beautiful.  

Let's break it down!

So, beyond the clean outer box, this is what's inside:

  • A descriptor card about the inspiration for the month - this month is all about the earth tones of root vegetables and winter crops. 
  • A double-sided pattern postcard that shows a sneak peak of the Beginner pattern and the Intermediate/Advanced pattern available for you to download and knit with the included yarn.
  • A feel good business card with the express purpose of giving back!
  • A little bag with some oh-so-cute progress keepers to keep you on track as you knit the pattern, AND... duh duh duh DA!
  • THE YARN! 

Postcards aside...

There is a lovely business card inside this box for "Butterfly Boxes". Now, I'd never heard of Butterfly Boxes but I feel like it's something I would really like to get on board with. And I love that Knit Crate, a business (aka: for profit), has taken the time to find a way for their customers to give back to those in need.

The general idea with Butterfly Boxes (a non-profit, BTW) is that we, as knitters (or crocheters) can send completed fiber-y items (blankets, toys, wash cloths, bags, hats, etc.) to the Butterfly Box organization, and the items will be distributed, along with other necessities, to refugee families in need arriving in Portland, OR. I mean, come on, right?! Maybe it's just me, but that hit me in the feels, y'all! We have such an amazing skill, as fiber artists. How special to share it with someone who would truly appreciate it?! Just do it! *stepping off my soapbox now*

Lest I forget the progress keepers!

These adorable little sheepy-wonders are super adorable. They've got a claw clasp on them so you can clip them to your project bags for easy transport for new projects. Or, if you're like me, to a zipper on your jacket so you always have a sheep friend with you! 

OK, can we discuss this yarn?!

I have heard of Knit One Crochet Too yarn but have never actually touched it. And now I'm kind of kicking myself for not squishing it before! The kit includes 2 skeins of Crock-O-Dye, a fingering weight yarn in a blend of superwash, nylon and silk. Yum-My! 

Time is of the essence!

If you love this kit, you've got just 9 more days to get your hands on it (aka: March 31)! Once they're gone, they're gone, and the April boxes will be up for grabs!

How do you get one? Click this link: http://mbsy.co/gR3nS

You'll be directed to a page where you can choose from this crate, or a selection of other crates (Beginners, Socks, and Newbies and CROCHET, too!) that you can order by the month (a one-time purchase), 3-months, or even a full years subscription. And yes, the multi-order plans are discounted! Woot! 

And, just 'cuz I love you guys (and the Knit Crate folks love me) I have a discount code to share with you, should you decide to purchase the March Box. Just use UK20 at checkout and you can save 20% on your Knit Crate. I mean... does it get any better than that?! Nope... didn't think so.

So... why are you still here?

Go get your Crate. Save some $$ with UK20 and get to knitting with some incredible yarns (and patterns, of course). Thanks for stopping by! More knitting goodness is coming your way, soon!

Oh! And did I mention?! If you snap a photo of your Knit Crate and share it on social media with #KNITCRATE and #UnravelYourKNITCRATE you're entered to win a $50 Knit Crate gift card?! Yep... that's more than a month's box worth. Double 'woot'!