A few weeks ago, I was texting Courtney and suggested we host a little KAL as something fun to do in the midst of the laundry, dishes, chores, homeschooling, and madness of the last few months. Since it’s getting warmer, and we’re thinking about spring and summer knits, it is the perfec
t time to work on a warm weather sweater that would be interesting to knit, but not so difficult that couldn’t work on it after a long day, and quick enough that we could finish it in time for summer.
But what to make? Rift by Jacqueline Cieslak checks off all of the perfect Summer KAL boxes! As a bonus, it calls for a sport weight cotton and our Mojave yarn fits the bill, with a lot of flexibility! When I was swatching, I ended up holding two colors together and the result not only matched gauge perfectly, (after blocking, of course), I loved the combination. And who doesn't love a good marl?
Rift cracks open all your assumptions about what a ‘basic tee’ pattern should be. This lightweight, bottom-up knit includes instructions for two necklines, optional bust darts, short or long sleeves, and a custom fit bicep. The...
Wahoo! Another finished sweater!
As you may recall, I swatched
the Navia Brushed
yarns back in October. At that time, we were working with Navia on translating the patterns from some of their newer books, and I was eager to knit Dandelion
by Sára J. Mrdalo from Book 30
. Although Dandelion calls for Silkiull, I was in love with the Brushed swatches and wanted to see how it would work up in such a feminine design.
I ended up using US 9s to match the pattern gauge of 14 stitches to 4” (instead of US 8 at a gauge of 15 stitches to 4” as I originally thought), as I didn’t want to worry about adjusting the math. I used Navia Brushed Tradition
in 1102 light grey, a lovely heathered neutral, and knit the size medium with no modifications. Worked in pieces - my absolute most favorite way to make a sweater - I knit the back first, then the front, and then each sleeve. It knit up easily and quickly, and the flower pattern on the front was a nice break from all stockinette stitch. I opted to seam using Navia...
In conjunction with the release of the Sweet Pea Socks for the April installment of the Year of Gifts, I thought it would be fun to interview the designer, Jennifer Burke. We have been friends with Jen for well over a decade, and are delighted to have her as one of our featured contributors this year. Read on for more about Jen’s knitting preferences and plans for the future. Enjoy!
Kate Gagnon Osborn (KGO):
Hello! When I was walking the dogs the other day thinking of some questions to ask for this interview, I tried to calculate how long we’ve all known one another and lost count after 13 years. I do
know we all met at Rosie’s in Philadelphia, and for the longest time, I remember you loving to make very complicated lace shawls. When did you start knitting, and why lace?
Jennifer Burke (JB):
I learned the basics of casting on, knitting, and purling when I was about 7 or 8 from my mom. I kept at it for a few months, creating a very
modified bind off (thank God there’s no evidence of this to be found), and let it all go until about...
Here we are, week whatever-it-is, and we’re still doing our bit by staying home and social distancing. We are able to continue shipping to the local yarn shops
you love - albeit with a very small “team” of one person (either Kate or I) per week for a few hours a day. While it’s my week to “work from home,” a term I use very loosely to describe what it means to try to work while simultaneously having four kids in my house and a partner who is also “working from home,” I have spent probably too much time scrolling through Instagram in order to get a break from the laundry and the dishes and the unfinished school projects.
But, you guys, I have to say, the pictures you are sharing of our yarns when you open packages from your LYS are giving me life this week! Keep ‘em coming!
Wendy B. got this sweet package of our Perennial
yarn in the best purple to make the True Friend Sweater
by Veera Välimäki. Starlight Knitting Society in Portland, OR is open for walk up or curbside service. Come to the door and someone will shop for...
April’s Year of Gifts
pattern is here, and its a great
one! Designed by friend and fellow Philadelphian, Jennifer Burke, these socks are a twisty cabled delight worked in cherry, springy, neon coral Perennial. The Sweet Pea socks look complicated, but simple two stitch cables are all you need to work the design.
As with all Kelbourne Woolens designs, special techniques are linked in the pattern to detailed and clear tutorials
on our website. The Sweet Pea PDF includes links to:
• Working from charts
• Cabling without a cable needle
• Working the two stitch cable cross
• Kitchener stitch
As with previous months, we’ve assembled a kit for the Sweet Pea Socks, which includes:
• 1 skein of Perennial in neon coral
• 1 custom sock stitch marker
• 1 Soak wash packet
• 1 printed postcard with a code to download the pattern on Ravelry
All packaged in a custom printed project bag.
Head over to our online shop to purchase, or ask for one at your favorite local LYS!
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again - even in the midst of homeschooling, working from home, or picking up toys/clothes/shoes/ for the thousandth millionth time - knitting is a really great way to relax, use your brain, and feel accomplished! (I also have it on good authority that it pairs very well with an obscure documentary and beverage of choice at the end of a long day.)
We have heard from friends and family far and wide who have decided to pick up the needles for the first time, or revisit a languishing project, so I took a moment to go through our patterns to compile a short list of patterns perfect for new knitters or those of you looking for the “next step”!
Building Blocks Collection
By far the most simple pattern collection we have is the Building Blocks collection. Each pattern contains three different versions that increase in level of difficulty.
If you’re brand new to knitting, Scarves
are the perfect place to start. Begin by knitting, but once you’ve mastered the garter stitch, you can move on to working ribbing, and then wow yourself with cables!
Working in the round opens up a...
One of the motivations behind the creation of Perennial was finding the perfect match to the proliferation of hand-dyed sock/fingering weight yarn on the market. It was our goal to create a highly functional and versatile yarn that serves the needs of a lot of knitters and crocheters at a good price without a lot of fuss.
Perennial is not only a wonderful yarn in its own right, but makes a great yarn to pair with a single skein of something special, so I thought I would showcase a few projects I’ve noticed recently that pair Perennial with the hand-dyes we all know and love!
Andrea Mowry’s designs are known for their use of mosaic knitting and excellent use of color change. Madeline
knit not one, but three Shiftalong
hats using a skein of dark navy, and made this one for her mom by pairing the Perennial with some Baah Yarn La Jolla in pink promise. Emma
worked up a Montana Mountain Cowl
using natural paired with Fully Spun Sock.
Perennial also looks fabulous when marled! Jeanine
loves to knit bright, colorful designs, and her Metropolis
by Tanis Lavallee knit using Caribbean paired with...
It’s been quite the week for all of us, hasn’t it? With people out of work, kids out of school, and a lot of uncertainty about the future we have been trying to maintain a sense of routine and calm at our house. We’ve quickly created new routines that allow both my partner and I to work from home, and make sure our children are keeping to some sort of a schedule. We have started going for a walk down our unusually quiet block each afternoon to make sure the kids get some exercise and fresh air each day. It’s been nice to see all of the projects our neighbors have taken on with their newfound free time and nervous energy. There have been saws and hammers going a few doors down, our neighbors in the back took a chainsaw to some overgrown cedar trees, the next-door neighbors cleaned out their garage, and the neighbors on the other side proudly told us - from 10 feet away - about the effort of finally weeding the lily bed in their front garden. I have been working on my own project of sorts - finally writing and sharing some long-knit...
I’m not sure if its the stress that is getting to me, but I’m hoping there is some sort of omen that we’re releasing a cowl in Lucky Tweed
on St. Patrick’s day. (We try to steer clear of cliches around here, but I’m full on embracing any luck I can get these days!)
The Shamrock Cowl
is worked in the round from the bottom up. Designed with two sizes, you may either work a close fitting cowl perfect for staving off the winter chill, or a wider one that makes for a functional and cute accessory! As a bonus, the cowl is reversible and you can show it with the cables more subtle, and “inside out” with the knit columns popping – whichever side you prefer!
As with all Kelbourne Woolens patterns, special techniques are linked in the pattern to detailed and clear tutorials
on our website. The Shamrock Cowl PDF includes links to:
• Working from charts
• Measuring gauge in cable pattern
As with the other Year of Gifts patterns, we’ve assembled kits for the Shamrock Cowl, which include:
• 1 skein of Lucky Tweed in pine
• Custom printed gridded notebook
• 3 pencils
This week has had a lot of uncertainty, but one thing is for sure: We are staying home and making the most of it
. If you’re home with your family, roommates, or just trying not to go bananas from loneliness, remember that many many people have sought solace - and found it - in making something with their hands. Knitting is meditative, it feels productive, and it keeps the mind agile. Kate and I are plotting how we can create our own How-To video series while we’re in a work slow down, but there are many, many resources out there if you want to learn to knit, or learn any new craft!
Each of us has a story of the first thing they ever knit, and this is mine.
My grandmother, Mama, taught me to knit when I was probably 8 or 9. She gave me a skein of maroon Red Heart and a pair of yellow plastic (probably Boye brand) needles. She taught me how to do a backwards loop cast on
and the basic knit stitch. I carried that yarn and needles around with me for years, but never knit more than a few rows before pulling it...