Introducing The Summer Sweater Collection

Some of you might recall our Kelbourne Woolens Summer Sweater Design Competition where we asked for design submissions from the knitting and crochet community. We were amazed by the amazing entries, and after narrowing down to the final 5, you voted for a winner to be included with the rest of the designs in the Summer Sweater Collection. We're proud to finally introduce the patters to you! 

Let's start with the winner of the KW Summer Sweater Contest, Melissa Drozdowski-Schoenwether

Knit out of Savannah in Natural, Laredo features an open back detail that immediately caught our eye. Paired with light wash jeans and earrings, Laredo is perfect for a simple day in the field. Although designed to be a shorter t-shirt, Laredo is easily customizable to a longer length due to its top down construction. 

We'd like to thank everyone who participated in the KW Summer Sweater Challenge! To see the other submissions, click here.

Next up, Calexico by Maura Kirk.

Featuring Meadow in Queen Anne's Lace for the body and Savannah in Natural for the lace yoke, Calexico is the perfect summer sweater for a fancy night on the town. 

Copyright 2014 Amanda Stevenson Photography + Kelbourne Woolens

The lace yoke is a great balance to the bell shaped body of Calexico.

Continuing the lace + stockinette theme, Hidalgo by Meghan Kelly features a unique lace patterned back and stockinette front in a loose-fitting t-shirt.

Featuring a zig-zag lace pattern and split hem construction, Hidalgo is a modern take on the summer sweater. Pair it with a pair of patterned shorts or distressed boyfriend jeans and you're ready for a casual dinner beachside. 

Roma by Kate Gagnon Osborn, features a t-shirt hem created using short rows, a garter stripe body and contrast yoke.

Knit out of Savannah in Natural, Sycamore and Sage, Roma is a wonderful showcase for a wide variety of summery color combinations!

Garter stitch texture created with a wide ribbing pattern is the main feature of Courtney Kelley's Sonora

Pair it with a pair of dark wash jeans, oxfords, and simple earrings and you're ready for a night out on the town. 

To finish off Sonora, Courtney used a 3-needle bind off, a nice compliment to the garter stitch pattern throughout the sweater.

Last, but not least, is Caseta by Leah McGlone also featuring a Garter stitch stripe pattern and relaxed fit.

Knit out of Savannah in Hickory, Caseta features bold garter stitch striping and two different needle sizes to enhance the contrast between the Garter and stockinette stitch sections. Fully reversable, Caseta also showcases a low neckline for the back of the sweater. Throw Caseta on top of a lace panel dress and you're ready for a late lunch, early dinner. 

All six summer sweater patterns are en route to our warehouse from our printer, and are available for Ravelry downloads right now!

For more information about the Summer Sweater Collection, head on over to the pattern page here or view the patterns on Ravelry here. For more information about Savannah, click here

Many thanks to our awesome photographer, Amanda, and lovely model, who braved a particularly cold day in our summery garments!

{All images ©2014 Kelbourne Woolens + Amanda Stevenson Lupke}

Twist Collective Summer 2014: Ivyle by Quenna Lee

The latest issue of Twist Collective was released this past weekend and we welcomed it with open arms while sitting outside, drinking some iced coffee and thinking about a life without snow boots (finally!). With dreams of lace sweaters, shawls and lightweight knits, we were ecstatic to see Ivyle by Quenna Lee, featuring Meadow in Pennyroyal.

Copyright 2014 Twist Collective + James Brittain

Copyright 2014 Twist Collective + James Brittain

Copyright 2014 Twist Collective + James Brittain

Copyright 2014 Twist Collective + James Brittain

Featuring a split Garter stitch hem and a lovely lace panel, Ivyle is a great transitional garment for the spring months and late summer nights. 

Copyright 2014 Twist Collective + James Brittain

Copyright 2014 Twist Collective + James Brittain

While planning for my spring and summer knitting, I was thinking of some other color options from the Meadow color palette, what do you think?

For more information on Ivyle head on over to the latest issue of Twist Collective, here
To see other designs from Quenna Lee you can head on over to her Ravelry page here, or her blog here

Our Week in Instagram: Photo Shoot Edition

For those of you who follow us on Instagram, you might have seen our #kwsneakpeeks, for an exclusive look into our fall photo shoot with our lovely photographer Amanda Stevenson. We had a great time - from admiring our lovely location in Society Hill to small dance breaks, the photo shoot was a great success.

We also received this hilarious video of Kate and Leah from Amanda - we hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

To see some other #kwsneakpeeks, head on over to the Instagram page, here.

Yarn Cupboard Retreat

We are so thrilled to be included as teachers in this year's Yarn Cupboard Retreat in Syracuse, NY on April 26th and 27th. We will be joining some fantastic designers and crafters for the weekend and look forward to teaching, and shopping in the marketplace!

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We will be teaching three classes. Saturday morning we will be teaching basic colorwork using our pattern Gretel. (If you are attending, be sure to stop at Yarn Cupboard beforehand to pick up your homework!)

On Saturday afternoon we'll be teaching the Parquet shawl with both lace and cables! This class is fantastic if you've been afraid of reading charts, we are here to help--and we love knitting charts!

And, finally, on Sunday morning we'll be teaching basic cables using our very popular pattern, Tallin.

Visit Yarn Cupboard to view all the classes and we hope to see you there!

Rosemont KAL: Finished!

We're delighted to be hosting our very own Rosemont Cardigan Knit-A-Long on the Kelbourne Woolens Blog. The Rosemont Cardigan by Hannah Fettig, features Terra in Nettle, and is a great way to stay warm during the last few months of winter.

I had planned to share the pictures of my Finished Rosemont next Wednesday, but to be honest, I couldn't wait.

So, without further ado, here is my finished Rosemont Cardigan.

After thoughtful consideration I went with Terra in Black Locust Bark and I couldn't be happier. The earthy brown tone with hints of a blue charcoal grey featured within the silk noils will be a perfect staple piece in my wardrobe. I chose to knit the 39.5" version of the pattern, giving me a little bit of ease but not the 3" as recommended by Hannah. I have a feeling this will be my go to cardigan for the weekends due to its oversized nature and relaxed fit. 

Like other knitters who participated in the Knit-A-Long, I struggled with the neck and raglan increases. But, thanks to a little help from Kate and Hannah, I was able to confidently finish the upper body of my cardigan.  

One of my favorite parts of the sweater is the oversized shawl collar. Perfect for those brisk, spring mornings where a scarf is too much but you still a little coverage from the early morning winds. 

After all is said and done, I give the Rosemont Cardigan two thumbs up. Also, thanks to Maura for the lovely pictures!

We hope you enjoyed following our progress on Instagram and Ravelry as much as we did. Thanks to all of you who participated - we truly loved seeing your progress photos and finished objects! 

Happy (almost) spring,
-Leah 

For more information about the Rosemont Cardigan, head on over to the pattern page here.

For more information about The Fibre Company Terra, click here.

The Promise of Spring

The spring weather is coming, I promise, to those of you who are still riding the rollercoaster of March's unpredictabilitly. 

I've had a ball of Road to China Light sitting on my desk since mid-October, and with it a plan to knit a simple pair handwarmers to wear while I was at work. Our office is an old stone house from the 1700's--beautiful, yes--but very hard to keep warm when it's both cold and damp outside. 

The ball of yarn sat there and taunted me, as my slightly arthritic and freezing fingers clickety-clacked away at the keys of my computer all winter, With my nack for taking on too many projects (as usual), and not prioritizing personal-happy-knitting time, my dream handwarmers were starting to be pushed back further and further. Finally, in January, I happily cast on to some spare needles I found in my desk drawer. As I sat at my desk finishing up the annual accounting and inventory I would knit a few stitches while waiting for reports to load. Those little bits of knitting we a welcome indulgence-- instantly calming and deeply gratifying. Finally, last week, just as we had our first bout of 60 degree weather and signs of spring, I finished them. Admittedly, my first thoughts were, "Great. Finished just in time to not actually need these. That's annoying." But no! I am perhaps the only person along the mid-Atlantic seaboard who is pleased about our recent return to frigid temperatures and damp, grey gloom because I now have a lovely brand new pair of handwarmers to keep my fingers nice and toasty while I look forward to a springtime of gardening ahead!

 And it's okay that today is chilly and grey. I'll enjoy it while it lasts, because it won't be long now...spring weather is just around the corner.

spring03302013.jpg

--CAK

Springtime Handwarmers

Yarn: The Fibre Company Road to China Light (65% baby alpaca, 15% silk, 10% camel, 10% cashmere; 159 yds/50gm skein): carnelian, 1 skein.
Gauge: 24 sts + 44 rows = 4” (10cm) in Garter Stitch, after blocking.
Needles: US 4 (3.75mm) needles, extra US 4 for optional three needle bind off.
Notions: 4 stitch markers (optional), tapestry needle.
Size: 6.5" Long and 6.25" circumference.
Skills: knitting. Optional: picking up stitches, three needle bind off.

Worthy of Note: These can be knit and seamed together, or you can opt to work the “sew-as-you-go” bind off (see below). Slip the first stitch of each row.

HAND:

Cast on 36 sts. Always slip the first st of each row purl-wise with yarn in back. Work in garter st for 36 rows, or until desired length.

FINISHING:
Option One:  Bind off all sts loosely. Seam together, leaving a 1” thumb opening approximately 1” from the top end.

Option Two:  Work a “sew-as-you-go” bind off as follows: Using two stitch markers, mark the 8th and the 16th stitch on the cast on edge. Fold work in half so that the cast on edge is held parallel to the sts on your needle. Bind off 8 sts as follows: insert the tip of the rh needle into the first st on the lh needle, then insert the tip of the rh needle into the first cast on stitch, pulling the yarn through the fabric (just like picking up and knitting), then pull it through the live stitch on your lh needle. Repeat for second stitch. Bind off by pulling the first st worked over the second. Repeat until 8 sts have been bound off in this fashion, or to first marked cast on stitch. Next, bind off 8 sts on live sts only for thumb opening. Continue working the sew-as-you-go bind off until all rem sts are bound off.

Weave in all ends to inside of work.

For a list of commonly used abbreviations in this and other Kelbourne Woolens patterns, please visit: http://kelbournewoolens.com/abbreviations.

Rosemont KAL Week 7: Finishing

We're delighted to be hosting our very own Rosemont Cardigan Knit-A-Long on the Kelbourne Woolens Blog. The Rosemont Cardigan by Hannah Fettig, features Terra in Nettle, and is a great way to stay warm during the last few months of winter.

Last night I bound off my Rosemont Cardigan with a huge smile on my face. There's something so refreshing about binding off a large project. I was so excited that I immediately put on my cardigan, strings and all, and sat in my finished, yet unfinished, Rosemont inspecting my bind offs and coloration attributed to the silk noils found in Terra. After a good half an hour I came back to reality, knowing that I still had to weave in all of my ends and block my garment to measurements to truly call my Rosemont finished.

When I was in high school I worked at my local yarn store, where I was mentored by a lovely 80 year old woman from Belgium who had been knitting her entire life. To this day I still think about the small grey hair bun atop her head, with a long straight needle perched under her arm using the English method of knitting and showing me different knitting techniques. One of the best things she taught me was the importance of finishing. To this day I remember her saying, "What's the point of knitting something if you're not going to finish it properly?" So blunt and yet so true. So, today we'll be sewing in the ends and blocking our Rosemont Cardigan to measurements. To start you'll need: your almost finished garment, a darning needle, and a pair of scissors. 

Rosemont Cardigan 1

If you were to ask a room full of knitters their preferred method to weave in ends, you'd probably hear a selection of different, yet similar, techniques. During my garter stitch scarf days I would break the yarn, thread it through the back of my garter ridges, cut and pull on the area to "assure" me that the end was woven in place. Boy, was I wrong. It wasn't until my mentor showed me how to weave in my ends properly that those pesky little ends would stay in place. So, let's begin. 

With the wrong side facing you, and holding your needle at a 45 degree angle inserting it into the purl bumps, weave in the end for 5 to 7 stitches. Then turn the needle so it is pointing in the opposite direction, still at a diagonal, and weave it in for another 5 to 7 stitches. These stitch counts can vary based on the length of yarn you have to weave in, but nothing less than 4 stitches, otherwise your end might come undone. 

Photo Mar 26, 10 16 43 AM.jpg

Next, I trim my ends and give the area a small tug to ensure that my yarn end is securly woven into my finished Rosemont and that's it! I also enlisted the help of an old blog post from The Purl Bee, discussing different methods to weave in your ends {you can check it out here}. With my ends taken care of, it's time to wash and block my cardigan.

Blocking is a tricky beast, but it pays off significantly. Stitches relax, the yarn blooms and your finished object, in this case my Rosemont Cardigan, is ready to be showcased to the world. Wet blocking is my preferred method of washing my knitwear - it's just what I grew up with, so to say. However, there was a great discussion featured on The Fringe Association in regards to blocking, and if you have a moment I would highly recommend reading it

To start you'll need to fill your sink/ bathtub/ fancy washbasin with cold to lukewarm water and some form of woolwash. 

Photo Mar 26, 11 56 04 AM.jpg

Submerge your garment in the water, then  "swoosh" it around to ensure that your knitting is completely covered with water and leave for about half an hour. Drain the water from your sink/ bathtub/ fancy washbasin and press your knitting against the walls to remove some of the water that was soaked by your knitted garment. You're then left with a wet piece of knitting that looks something like this:

Are you my sweater? 

Are you my sweater? 

Next, lay the sweater out onto a large towel that is specifically used for blocking (trust me, it's worth it), and roll the towel into a log shape.

Photo Mar 26, 3 48 06 PM.jpg

Then walk along the top of the rolled up towel, squeezing out as much water you can. Sometimes you might need to use more than one round of "towel walking" to get the excess water out of your knitting. Once you're convinced you've removed a good portion of the water, unwrap your cardigan from the towel and place on a blocking board. 

Using your schematic as a guide, layout your finished piece making sure that the stitches lay flat and that's it! Now's the hardest part: waiting for my Rosemont to dry. Stay tuned, on Friday I'll be posting the final pictures of my Rosemont. Speaking of final pictures, how's your Rosemont coming along? 

Also, don't forget to show us your progress with the #RosemontKAL tag on your social media sites! 

-Leah 

Introducing, "May We Suggest"

Time and time again I'll look on Ravelry and see countless projects that catch my eye. From a heavily cabled cardigan to a delicate lace shawl, sometimes I'll go on a "queuing and favoriting" tangent and then I'm left with countless projects and not enough time to knit them all.  

I could write a 20 page paper on why I love Pinterest. From food recipes to dream wardrobe building, Pinterest is one of my favorite social media sites (you can find the Kelbourne Woolens page here) and it's perfect for  "May We Suggest" Board. Featuring patterns from different knitwear designers, the "May We Suggest" board features a pattern and a Fibre Company yarn with a similar weight (note: it's still imperative to knit a gauge swatch to ensure your yarn substitution will work with the selected pattern).

Some knitter's find solace in following the exact yarn recommendation, not only with regards to the brand but as far as the same color featured in the pattern. While others use yarn substitution for various reasons - from "de-stashing" to an allergy within the yarn blend, many knitters use yarn substitutions to their advantage. So, let's take a closer look at the "May We Suggest" board.

As you can see, each pattern is paired with a Fibre Company yarn of a similar weight and gauge with three color options. Plus, it's linked back to the pattern's Ravelry page - ready to be queued and favorited! 

We'll be adding more patterns to the "May We Suggest" board, and who knows, maybe your pattern will end up there too! To keep up-to-date with the "May We Suggest" board or some of our favorite snacks, inspirational knitwear and anything else that inspires us, head on over to our Pinterest page, here!

Happy Pinning!
-Leah 

Rosemont KAL Week 6b: Short Row Shaping - A Continuation

We're delighted to be hosting our very own Rosemont Cardigan Knit-A-Long on the Kelbourne Woolens Blog. The Rosemont Cardigan by Hannah Fettig, features Terra in Nettle, and is a great way to stay warm during the last few months of winter.

Last week we discussed short rows, wrapping and turning and found a true appreciation for the blog TECHknitting. I must admit, I spent a lot of time this weekend digging through the TECHknitting archives to find new tips and tricks regarding one of my favorite hobbies. This weekend I caught up to the rest of the pack and started the shawl collar of my Rosemont, and even though I had read through last week's post, my brain still approached the patterned short rows with a, "huh?" So, even though we assigned finishing tips and techniques to this week's discussion, I thought we should do a follow-up on short row shaping, specifically in pattern. 

As we discussed last week, short row shaping adds length to selected areas of knitting and uses techniques like wrapping and turning to connect these longer areas to the original knititng. When working the shawl collar of your Rosemont, you'll notice the short row shaping will be dependent on whether you're working a knit or purl stitch. After a little bit of research, I came across a great article from the Purl Bee regarding short rows for both the knit and purl stitch.

Essentially it comes down to where your yarn begins for the wrap and turn. For knit stitches, the yarn is held in the back and respectfully, for purl stitches the yarn is held in the front. When picking up the wrapped and turned stitches, you pick up the wrap from front to back and knit it together with the "wrapped" stitch. For purl stitches, you pick up the wrap from back to front, place it onto the left hand needle and purl those two stitches together. I hope that clarifies some of the questions regarding the short row collar, I know it helped me! You can see a step-by-step photo tutorial over on the Purl Bee's website, here.

If you're following the Rosemont Knit-A-Long group on Ravelry, you might have seen a "Finished Sweaters" thread and we were pleased to see not one, but two completed Rosemonts from Foursquarewalls and Sashadanae (right)!

Don't they look great? Both sweaters are inspiring me to finish up those final rows for the shawl collar, sew in my ends and block my final sweater! Next week we will be discussing different finishing techniques, from sewing in ends to blocking our final garment to measurements, I'm excited to see how everyone else's Rosemont cardigans turned out! 

-Leah