Friday, May 23, 2014

Summertime Project Inspiration!

Memorial Day, along with it's honoring of our country's lost soldiers, for many represents a transition into the summer season with it's outdoor activities, BBQ's, travel, and other fun warm-weather activities. It's hard to believe that summer is almost here!

I don't know about most of you, but when this warm weather hits, the last thing I want to be knitting on is a heavy woolen sweater or blanket, which is why I thought it might be nice to put together a list of items that would be warm weather appropriate and/or easy to travel with!

First up, garments. I'm refraining from knitting any of these lovelies until after I have this baby in July (hah, as if I'll actually have time to knit after that!), but I love each and every one of them. :)

This Togue Pond Tank by Pam Allen was originally knit in Quince and Co's Kestral, but since we aren't able to carry their yarn, I've got a great substitute! Berroco just came out with a similar linen-blend yarn called Linus, which would be perfect for this simple tank. I love the easy fit combined with the dropped back hem which makes the shape that much more modern. So pretty! 

The Gemini top by Jane Richmond (free on Knitty) is a great summer-weight tee! Knit in a DK weight cotton linen blend, this one can be knit in a number of different yarns! My picks would be either the Juniper Moon Farm Zooey, which would lend the pattern a little bit of texture, or the Rowan Creative Linen for a smooth and simple linen cotton blend. Either one would be lovely for this easy yet lovely tee.

I stumbled across this Shibui "Tank" on Ravelry and I couldn't help but love the simple shape and of course the pockets. Knit in Shibui Linen, this top is lightweight, simple, and perfect for wearing all summer long. Not only that, the light weight yarn won't weigh you down in the summer heat.

One item I don't often consider knitting is a skirt. I'm not really sure why, but I think I'm more worried about ruining a skirt than any other garment, so I don't think about putting the work into that large of a project. That said, the Amaranthus Skirt knit in Juniper Moon Farm Findley and Findley Dappled makes me want to change my tune. Isn't this thing stunning!?!? Two gauzy layers of lace, one solid and one variegated with a lace pattern, and this thing really swings.  

Last up in the garments category is Janna's Tunic by Grace Akhrem. This feminine tank features some cute neckline pleating and button details at the hip that make it truly unique. Classic Elite's Firefly or Bella Lino yarns would be perfect for this design which calls for a sport weight linen blend yarn. If you want a solid color, the Firefly is a good bet, whereas the Bella Lino provides some gentle self-striping throughout.

Now onto some smaller projects, perfect for weekend getaways, longer travel, camping trips, and just about anything else you can think of! 

If you are anything like me, you've got about a thousand single skeins of fingering weight yarn just lying around in your knitting stash. (Ok, well maybe not a thousand, but certainly a lot.) The Multnomah Shawlette, free on Ravelry, is the perfect one-skein shawl project that can help to knock out some of those single skeins. It takes about 412 yds, and is a simple project that you can easily do while hanging with friends or doing any other activity that doesn't require a lot of concentration. It also makes a great gift...just in case you are so inclined to begin working on some holiday knitting.

Don't have a lot of fingering weight in your stash? Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock, Manos del Urugury Alegria, Sweet Georgia Tough Love Sock, and Cascade Heritage Silk Paints are all great options for this shawl!

Prefer knitting socks, but find your normal wool socks are too much for your summer shoes? Then these cute little knit peds - or called Skimmer Socks are perfect for wearing with all of your summer shoes! (Sandals more your thing? Check out this designer's other sock patterns. She's got plenty of toeless options to choose from too!) There is no project more portable than socks, and these are quick and easy. Plus, since you need less yarn, you can get away with just about 50 grams of sock yarn like 1 skein of Koigu KPPPM or Spud & Chloe Fine!

Lastly, a blanket project that can be knit square by square is another great summertime travel project. Since one little square doesn't weigh you down, you can knit them throughout the season and then sew the whole thing together when the weather gets cool again. I just love the Vivid Blanket from Tin Can Knits. The pattern is in the Handmade in the UK book, but it's also available for single PDF download on Ravelry as well. What is great about this blanket (aside from how stunning it is), is that the pattern includes yardage requirements and measurements for 3 different weights of yarn so you can configure your blanket based on a weight you like to work with (or what you might have plenty of in your stash.) Personally, I like DK weights for summer knitting and also as a nice lighter weight for a throw. The HiKoo Simplicity is perfect for this design because it's just the right amount of yardage per skein to one square in the pattern, is machine washable, and comes in TONS of gorgeous colors. 

I hope these projects provide you with a little summertime knitting inspiration! I know I've got my work cut out for me. :) In the meantime, enjoy your holiday weekend and happy knitting, crocheting, or crafting of your choice!


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Terry's Ripple Effect Conundrum Solved! Sort of...

You all gave such wonderful advice about colors! Thank you so much! 

I have narrowed my choices down to six finalists! True, some of my choices weren't among the original combinations but were colors that came together while I was helping in store customers select colors. And these will actually go with my wardrobe better. Working here is really hard sometimes! Too many ideas, not enough time to do everything I have ideas to do!

Because I can't really choose I've decided to go with all six combinations. One or two will become Ripple Effect shawls (by Unraveled Designs) while the remainder will be stashed for other multicolored shawls! I've recently become enamored with Brian Smith's designs (aka ravelryguy) and I have lots of Romi Hill's patterns in my queue so I have no end of ideas of what to do with all these colors. Not to mention if I was left on a desert island and could only choose one yarn brand it would be Madelinetosh!

The six finalists starting on upper row left to right:
Antique Lace, Thrift Shop Dress Shirt & Denim
Leaf, Plaid Blanket, &  Glazed Pecan
Antler, Whitewash, & Denim

Lower row left to right:
Nectar, Mimosa, & Moorland
Seasalt, Parchment, & Alabaster
Nutmeg, Turtle, & Mineral

I think the last, Nutmeg, Turtle & Mineral, will be the first Ripple Effect shawl I start on.

Happy Knitting!