Well, I’m officially on Spring Break and feel like I can actually take a nice deep breath, knit profusely, and talk about it. So today I get to share with you some of the knitting fun that has been sporadically plodding along behind the scenes.

The most exciting undertaking to have begun in the last couple of weeks is the second project in the ongoing process of project provocation that Adrian and I seem to continually dish out, or as we officially call it, our 2-Person-Knit-a-long.

I think we’ve probably been waxing poetic about Alice Starmore’s Na Craga [via Ravelry] pattern for well over a year. Armed with lots of wool (this thing is a beast) it’s a wonder that we’ve finally taken the plunge and started the knitting. I can’t tell you how good it feels to have tweedy cables back in my life.

Gimme The Good Stuff

We’re both heavily modifying it from its sack-like origins. Since the fabric is thick like a jacket, and I’m pre-disposed to being warm, this is undergoing a full cardiganization. I also have hopes of making it hooded, the thought of which makes me positively giddy, but this of course all depends on how much yarn I have. Yarn which, as naturally happens, is discontinued.

Twisted Ribbing

I’m dipping into my last sweaters-worth of the lovely Skye Tweed from Classic Elite (may she rest in peace). This will be my third sweater with this yarn… wow, maybe it’s good that I’m being forced to move on?

I’ll be doing the standard seamless treatment on this one too, meaning lovely knitting done all in one piece, just the way I like it. Rather than steeking this time around, I’m knitting back and forth (all the cabling happens on even rows, so it’s nice and clean) with a buttonband worked in as I go.

Cables Everywhere

The cables in this thing are spectacular – those cheese-grater-like honeycombs not only run up the body, but also right up the center of the sleeves and flow into one of the best saddle-shoulders I think I’ve ever seen. The braided plait cables, while being the biggest hand-haters of any motif in the pattern, look so good I can’t complain (that much). And how about that twisted ribbing?! It really makes it.

Knitting a sweater like this is always an up and down saga, but so far we haven’t had any major snags, aside from sometimes being so brain dead at the end of the day that the thought of even looking at the thing sometimes seems outside of my human capacity. In these cases, it’s good to have a back up. To that end, I’m still plugging away on my ginormous garter stitch afghan which I can now safely use to keep me warm whilst I work on it – a huge bonus in my book.

Workhorse

I’m getting out of the city for the week and couldn’t be happier. For those of you who are lucky enough to get a break this week – I hope you enjoy! Tomorrow my knitting and I will be spending some quality time on a train speeding along the Hudson and away from Gotham. Have a great week!

Last week while riding the train early in the morning with my bare hands stuffed deep in the pockets of my winter jacket I decided I was sick of having cold hands in the morning. Last weekend I resolved to put my current knitting on hold and tend to my cold-hand problem post-haste.

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See, I’m a fidgety person who tends to keep busy at all times (a blessing and a curse), including in transit – so mittens aren’t great for me. I love knitting them but feel positively annoyed while wearing them in most situations. Too many times I’ve tried to answer the phone or scribble some notes in a notebook while mitten-clad, only to see my phone crash onto the sidewalk or my pen go flying under my neighbors subway seat. And lets not even talk about coffee spillage. Granted gloves also lend themselves to an obvious loss of dexterity but at this point in the winter, it’s all relative.

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Pattern: Ken (free from the Berroco design team) [*via Ravelry]

Materials: Noro Kureyon; #51

Amount: 160 grams (just over 1.5 skeins)

Needles: US8/5.0mm Double Pointed Needles

Started: 22 February 2008

Finished: 23 February 2008

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This was a total impulse knit. I didn’t even have a pattern in mind, just grabbed two balls of Kureyon from the stash and went pattern-huntin‘ on Ravelry. I found this free pattern, got gauge on the first try and went for it. There’s something really refreshing about spicing up your knitting with small, impulse-projects, especially when they work out – and I find that they often do. Maybe it’s the absence of obsessive planning and worrying that seems to surprise us time and again.

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I like this pattern – it’s fitted and detailed while remaining straightforward. Knitting ten fingers is always kind of a drag, but at this gauge they go mighty quick. I think that Kureyon is slightly heavier than the yarn called for in the pattern and makes for a semi-dense, very fitted glove. I really like it like this, but if you prefer a glove with a bit of ease on your hands, I’d recommend maybe using a different yarn or jumping up a needle size.

Green Fingers (by b r o o k l y n t w e e d)

I guess I should also mention that my hands are large-ish and the pattern specifies a men’s medium, so if you have average size manhands, you can probably disregard my previous warning.

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I was putting off knitting myself a pair of gloves, mostly because I continue to entertain the idea that spring is just around the corner. I know that this is wishful thinking here in the city, and winter is, after all, one of my favorite times of year. Although I think most of us knitters are perpetually wistful for Fall, winter is pretty great too (Sometimes I forget. Usually early in the morning).

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To sum up – this is a great *free* pattern that is definitely worthy of being squeezed into a weekend. Why not go spelunking in your stash and surprise someone you love with warm hands for the rest of the winter? Until next time – happy knitting.

Don’t ask me when, but at some point this winter I found some time to do a whole bunch of spinning. This was a while ago, but nonetheless, I’ve amassed quite a little army of handspun and it’s so beautiful and well-behaved, sitting quietly on the shelf, knowing it will probably have to wait much too long to see the needles. So far they’ve all been happy to sit for portraits – and there lies our compromise.

Low Country Shetland (by b r o o k l y n t w e e d)

The photo above is probably my favorite skein – it’s shetland wool dyed at HelloYarn in Boston, MA. I had never spun shetland and loved it way more than I anticipated. I was expecting scratchy and sticky, but it spun wonderfully and fluffed up to my ideal specifications. Note to self – spin more shetland. (Here’s a picture of how the fiber looked pre-spinning).

Charmer (by b r o o k l y n t w e e d)

Corriedale 2-ply in “Charmer” – another of Adrian’s. I’ve been sampling small batches of various wools, which also means having fun with small batches of crazy colors.

Bulky Corriedale (Skein #2) (by b r o o k l y n t w e e d)

I got a huge bag of white corriedale wool with my wheel and started spinning bulky singles (very instant-gratification) with hopes that I’ll have enough for another wooly blanket for next winter. Hey, it’s good to have (unrealistic) goals.

Mushroom Swatch (by b r o o k l y n t w e e d)
Forest Handspun (by b r o o k l y n t w e e d)

Both of these beauties came from Pigeonroof Studios in California. Wonderfully subtle and tweedy yarns – I’m quite partial as you might expect. The yellow/green batch is fine shetland, spun from this (and already occupying half of a BSJ). The brown/pink batch is South African Fine wool, spun from this. That Krista is quite a dyer.

And if you haven’t gotten enough juicy spinning pictures, pop on over to my 2008 Spinning Gallery to get your fix.

There’s been a great amount of knitting and some new projects are brewing. I’ve slowly been wooing my knitting mojo back into my corner (he abandoned me for a bit there) and great things are happening. More to come very soon.

I guess it’s never too late to share Christmas knitting, is it? As I promised before (this long silence), I’d show a few quick little knits that were distributed under the tree this year and now live far far away. Today’s hats both reside in Portland, Oregon where wool’s water-resistant qualities are highly appreciated.

Jo's Hat (by b r o o k l y n t w e e d)

The first is an adaptation of the Thorpe pattern [PDF]. I really liked this pattern (it’s knit from the top down, and you know I love that) but knew that handspun was in order so I decided to merge the two. The yarn I had on hand was DK weight so I just tweaked the numbers a bit to work – very easy to do when knitting hats from the top down. It turned out lightweight, fluffy and rather nice for a milder climate. Stripey too.

Jo's Hat (by b r o o k l y n t w e e d)

The yarn is a 2-ply merino that I spun last fall with this particular recipient in mind. The fiber was handdyed in sunny California at Pigeonroof Studios and turned out to be a lovely little skein. I actually have enough of it leftover to knit another hat, so you may see this one pop up again in the future. Here’s the unknit yarn hanging in the window.

Lazy Daisy Drying


Hat number two was a little stashbusting creation. I had about half a skein of both Silk Garden and Cascade 220, both in neutral shades, both begging to be married. So I put them together and got this.

Ryan's Hat

The hat is just about as basic as can be, aside from maybe the crown. I really love how raglan-style decreases create a square-top on hats. I got to thinking of the stripes as circles and thought it might be interesting to throw some squares into the mix. I started thinking of this hat as squares-within-circles and really liked how it turned out.

Ryan's Hat (by b r o o k l y n t w e e d)

The photos were taken on Puget Sound at Dash Point in Washington State. While we were walking the beach we saw a whole herd (school?) pod of Orcas (thanks everyone!) jumping off the coast – something I’ve never seen in all my life. And I grew up there. It was pretty great – and you can’t beat that Puget Sound light!

Ryan's Hat

Knitting has been regretfully slow around here lately, but a few projects can pull you through almost any stress-ridden period (thank heaven for Baby Surprise Jackets!)… and when did February sneak up on us?

Okay, here’s one more picture of canoodling handknits
for the road.

Ryan and Jo

Until next time – happy knitting!

Thank you so very much for all your comments on the Pi Shawl Blanket – it really is a special pattern and a very special knit to have around. I highly recommend giving it a shot with any yarn you have lying around – it’s very versatile. There were a number of questions that I received via e-mail about the shawl (mostly about the yarn and blocking) that I’ve done my best to answer at the conclusion of this post. I hope they are helpful!

And since we’re already in a lacey state of mind, I figure I’d exploit this opportunity to introduce a finished project that has been waiting for a little blog coverage for months. If you’ve followed my knitting for any length of time, you know I prefer knitting lace in thicker weight wools – I think the beautiful stitch work combined with something a little more heavy duty is a winning combination and I always seem to come back to it. My second swallowtail is no exception.

Swallowtail Shawl 2.0
 

Pattern: Swallowtail Shawl by Evelyn Clark [Ravelry]
Source: Interweave Knits Fall 2006
Materials: Queensland Collection Uruguay DK (70 ex.fine merino, 20 alpaca, 10 silk) [Ravelry]
Amount: about 4.5 skeins (approx. 225 grams/560 yards) in “Mint” (#10)
Needles: US7/4.5mm Addi Turbo 32″ Circulars

Started: April 2007
Finished: May 2007
Blocked: August 2007
Gifted: December 2007 (Phew!)

 

Blocked

The color in this photo is the least accurate – a touch too green. The other photos are more true to actual color


This is a wonderful pattern and quite a popular one. I knit my first one in October ’06 with lace weight and ever since wondered how those lacey bobbles would look in a dk weight. Of the two I think I prefer the thicker one, but they’re both beautiful and have their own unique charms.

Thicker yarns give a great stitch definition but don’t have as good a blocking memory as lace. I see this as an added advantage because it makes them that much more thick and snuggly. I’ll often add a couple repeats in the lace pattern if possible when working with thicker yarns to compensate for this.

Folded

The yarn is wonderful – I snatched it up from a WEBS sale last year and had a great time working with it. It’s not the wooliest of wools but it’s got a bouncy, soft feel and a light sheen because of the silk that provides both elegance and warmth.

This was gifted in December an I’m happy it’s getting some wear now that the daily temps here in New York are in the low 30′s.

Pi Shawl Queries: A few additional details about my Pi Shawl to answer e-mails I’ve received.

First, more specifics about the color of the wool. I received this yarn as a gift from a friend in Iceland. She purchased the yarn there in person. Schoolhouse Press does sell this yarn, but in a limited palette – which I should have mentioned earlier – and does not currently carry the color that I used.

The color of my wool is titled Sea Green Heather and listed as product #1422 on the Istex official color card – viewable here. You’ll notice they have a lot of wonderful colors! Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

In researching, we think that the best bet for possibly acquiring this yarn by mail order would be the Handknitting Association of Iceland, but can’t say for sure. All of their contact information is available behind the link. NOTE: it seems that the colorcard listed on their site is an older version and sites Sea Green Heather as #9736.

Blocking: Yes, blocking was quite a challenge in our hardwood-floored, tiny apartment. I was hoping to be able to block the shawl on the queen-sized bed but realized very soon that this would not be possible. After some creative brainstorming, we tried a rather unconventional but nonetheless effective way of blocking – involving the box spring. The picture says it all.

And finally – a few of you asked if I worked with the unspun Icelandic wool single stranded or held it double stranded. I worked single stranded.

I hope that helps – I’ll add this information as a post-script in the original post so everything is in one place. Happy knitting!

I know I said that I would be sharing small, Christmas knits with you first… but I finished this last week and have been too excited to keep it under wraps any longer. Of all my knitting projects, this one has got to be up there in my all-time favorites (despite it being my own personal Everest for the last three months). So good in fact, it’s keeping me warm while I write – it’s cold out there!

Pi Shawl Blanket (by b r o o k l y n t w e e d)
 

Pattern: The Pi Shawl by Elizabeth Zimmermann (on ravelry)
Source: Knitter’s Almanac (July)
Materials: Ístex Plötulopi Unspun Icelandic Wool; just uner 6 wheels (1800 yards)*
Needles: 36-Inch US 8/5.0 mm Addi Turbo Circulars
Dimensions: 78″ diameter after blocking; 64″ diameter unblocked
*See bottom of post for additional details on yarn and blocking

Start Date: 19 October 2007
Finish Date: 9 January 2008

 

Pi Shawl Blanket (by b r o o k l y n t w e e d)

Notes on the pattern: Of all the many genius ideas of Elizabeth’s, to me, the Pi Shawl is one of the most mind-blowing. If you aren’t familiar with the pattern I urge you to read it, for the pure enjoyment of how clever it is in all its glorious simplicity. Worked from the center out, the entire piece has no more than 6 (or 7 in my case) increase rounds total – meaning 99% of this shawl is straight knitting (save whatever lacey embellishments you’d like to incorporate) which gets major points in my book.

The other beautiful thing about the Pi Shawl is its endless potential for individuality. Spend a little time trolling the web for completed Pi Shawls (there are hundreds) and you’ll see what I mean. The beauty of the pattern is it’s blank-canvas-like nature – consecutive rings of set stitch counts (144, 288, 576, etc.) which just beg you to plug in any old lace motif that’s giving you an itch.

Pi Shawl Blanket (by b r o o k l y n t w e e d)

If you aren’t feeling all that creative, or have your heart set on one of the versions EZ suggests (like I did) – that’s just fine too. There are two beauties already laid out for you in both Knitter’s Almanac and Knitting Workshop. I have always loved the straight forward and classic beauty of the ‘consecutive YO ring’ version and knew that I wanted to give it a go. This is basically a stockinette circular shawl with a *YO, k2tog* round thrown in every 6th row. I love how these “sham rows” completely camouflage the actual organic increase rounds. The shaping is invisible in the entourage of lace rings. So great!

Pi Shawl Blanket (by b r o o k l y n t w e e d)

Elizabeth talks about how there is never a need to increase beyond the 576 stitch section, as the shawl will already be nice and big (she says something about not having a need to cover a football field?). I had a lot of yarn though, and really wanted to see how far I could push this, with the ultimate goal of having a big blanket for the couch. My calculations showed that I would have enough wool for about 22 rows into the 1152 stitch section (oh the horror), plus an attached (9-stitch) garter side-to-side edging.

Pi Shawl Blanket (by b r o o k l y n t w e e d)

The most miraculous part of the whole process is probably that I was able to keep a treacherous number of stitches on a 36″ circular needle. It got a little rough on my hands towards the end, but when that frantic finishing fever comes over you just about nothing can stand in your way, right? Having a huge round of knitting on a circular needle also makes it impossible to predict just how big the piece will be. Before working the edging, you have nothing more than a big rumpled sack of holey wool sitting in your lap that looks more like an oversized rasta cap than a lace blanket. Some days it took all my control to keep from bucking my calculations and indulging in the bind-off, just to be able to free the lace from the needles.

Pi Shawl Blanket (by b r o o k l y n t w e e d)

The edging of the shawl is the only section that got a little bit of fancy lace (not that fancy, but relatively). I think a little hint of laciness around the edge makes the simpler ring pattern really shine. After my final increase round I switched into a gull stitch pattern and worked 5 vertical repeats around before starting the attached garter stitch edging aaaaall the way around.

Pi Shawl Blanket (by b r o o k l y n t w e e d)

Some notes on yarn: Unspun Icelandic is a wonderful, wonderful thing. If you’re a fan of wooly things, you must get your hands on some (I received mine as a gift from a friend in Iceland, but you can purchase it online through Schoolhouse Press). Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a yarn you’re gonna want around your neck – it’s a far cry from merino – but it has its own unique qualities that I could go on and on about. First of all, because it’s an unspun, long-stapled wool, it’s as light as air and very warm. Even in a thin piece of lace full of holes, it works surprisingly well at trapping warmth. The blanket is huge and light and toasty -exactly the combination I was looking for. The other benefit is the yardage. Each wheel seems to go on and on and on – I made a blanket that covers a queen sized bed with less than 6 wheels of the stuff (it’s about 300 yards to 3.5 oz) on a US 8.

And if you fear knitting with something so “delicate”, you can get rid of that idea straight away. The wool staple is longer than the distance between your needle and your fingers, so while knitting it feels just like any other yarn, and if it does break coming out of the skein (rarely happened, unaided by dogs or human feet) it’s no problem. The yarn sticks to itself like velcro – so to join a break just overlap about 2 inches on each end and knit right past it. That’s the other bonus – no ends to weave in, and no spit splicing necessary. It’s like knitting an 1800 yard cone – carefree and seamless. And to dispell any rumours, the knitted fabric is just as strong as any other yarn out there on the market.

Pi Shawl Blanket (by b r o o k l y n t w e e d)
I guess this counts as my first official finished knit of 2008. It’s already taken some serious self-control to keep myself from purchasing more of this wool (the natural colors are amazing) and cast on for another. It became an immediate crowd-pleaser in my home, so another one might not be such a bad idea.

Edited to Add: The following information has been added to the post in response to questions I’ve received via e-mail about this project. I hope they are helpful.

First, more specifics about the color of the wool. I received this yarn as a gift from a friend in Iceland. She purchased the yarn there in person. Schoolhouse Press does sell this yarn, but in a limited palette – which I should have mentioned earlier – and does not currently carry the color that I used.

The color of my wool is titled Sea Green Heather and listed as product #1422 on the Istex official color card – viewable here. You’ll notice they have a lot of wonderful colors! Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

In researching, we think that the best bet for possibly acquiring this yarn by mail order would be the Handknitting Association of Iceland, but can’t say for sure. All of their contact information is available behind the link. NOTE: it seems that the colorcard listed on their site is an older version and sites Sea Green Heather as #9736.

Blocking: Yes, blocking was quite a challenge in our hardwood-floored, tiny apartment. I was hoping to be able to block the shawl on the queen-sized bed but realized very soon that this would not be possible. After some creative brainstorming, we tried a rather unconventional but nonetheless effective way of blocking – involving the box spring. The picture says it all.

And finally – a few of you asked if I worked with the unspun Icelandic wool single stranded or held it double stranded. I worked single stranded.

Well welcome back for another year of knitting fun! The holiday period always seems like a huge hurricane of so many wonderful things, not the least of which is a whole lot of knitting. Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been thinking a lot about The Tweed and where I want to go this year with knitting. I have some new plans and interesting twists to introduce this year, so I hope you’ll stick around. And if I don’t say it enough – THANK YOU – for visiting, reading, commenting, e-mailing, and general good-vibe sending. This website has been a wonderfully unexpected project in my life and I am excited to see where it will go this year.

Now – January. The month in which we get to blab all about our secretive holiday projects. They’ve been knit, given, well received and hopefully well worn. Now the only thing left to do is dish out the good stuff – so that’s what I plan on doing this month.

I thought I’d start the holiday knitting spew with a really fun EZ project that took me a mere couple of days and was very enjoyable. These were knit for a dear friend who is weathering the winter in rural Minnesota – she needs all the woolies she can get!

Mitered Mittens
 

Pattern: Mitered Mittens by Elizabeth Zimmermann [on ravelry]
Source: Knitter’s Almanac (May Pattern)
Materials: Noro Silk Garden in #226; 2 skeins
Needles: US8/5.0mm Addi Turbo Circulars

Start Date: 5 December 2007
Finish Date: 8 December 2007


Modifications: I was making these for tiny little lady hands so I nipped them down a bit from what the pattern suggests. Rather than casting on 48 stitches at the base, I did 44 and decreased down to 40 after about a 2.5″ cuff. It’s a great pattern because you can virtually knit it at any gauge as long as your stitch counts are divisible by 4. Very easy to custom fit. I chose garter stitch for the cuff, rather than ribbing, because I like it better. Thumb placement is also simple – just check out the receiver’s hands and see where their thumb is located. Since it’s done as an afterthought, you don’t have to worry about thumb placement while knitting the body of the mitten. Another reason this project is super quick.

Mitered Mittens

The Yarn: I had seen a couple of versions of these knit up in self striping yarns and thought they looked great. As for the striping, I just let the Noro do it’s thing – I like their asymmetry. The thumbs are put on as an afterthought as mentioned above, so I just did my best in matching color with my remaining yarn so there wouldn’t be a dramatic color shift between mitten and thumb.

I have reports that they fit perfectly – which is a relief, since I was going on memory about handsize. Whew.

Mitered Mittens

A Bit o’ Business: If you’ve had problems e-mailing me over the last month or two – please accept my sincere apologies. My mail forwarding was malfunctioning, unbeknownst to me and bouncing a huge amount of e-mails back to you. It’s all fixed now, so don’t fret at firing e-mails on over to me at jared [at] brooklyntweed [dot] net, or just click the “e-mail me” link in the sidebar.

Also, for all of you who have been searching high and low for a Cobblestone Pattern, there’s no need to look any further than your computer screen. The lovely folks at Interweave are now offering it for online purchase (details behind the link). Thanks for all of your e-mail requests after the issue sold out – it was killing me that I couldn’t get the pattern to you then, but now it looks like the problem is solved. Happy Knitting!

More small wooly projects should be popping up over here in the next couple of weeks. A happy new year to all!

I’m happy to finally share my most recent “real” sweater project with you. I’ve been knitting lace and other smaller woolies for so long that I’m getting pretty starved for sweater knitting. I’m devoting the rest of my vacation time to the Pi shawl but back in Brooklyn sweaters are gonna be back on center stage.

Big Blue

This sweater was a collaboration between knitter and recipient – we merged ideas and I imposed my Seamless tendencies on all possibilities that were presented. I knit the majority of this beast in the Fall but didn’t get around to choosing buttons (and sewing them on, my least favorite part of any cardigan) until a few weeks back. Brooklyn’s first snowfall prompted the photoshoot and the sweater has been in regular rotation for a few weeks already.

Big Blue
 

Pattern: My Own
Materials: Beaverslide McTaggart Tweed in “Big Sky Heather” (100% wool)
Amount: 8 skeins (1680 yards)
Needles: US9/5.5mm Addi Turbos
Gauge: 15 sts to 4 inches
Buttons: 7 Leather Cased Buttons from M & J Trimming

Started: July 2007
Finished: September 2007 (Knitting); December 2007 (Officially)

 

Big Blue

About the Pattern: The sweater is a cardigan knit in the round, back and forth (yes, I purled) with a shirt yoke (one of two seamless hybrid variations) a la Elizabeth Zimmermann. The yoke is my favorite part of the sweater – I wasn’t sure how it would work out with a chunky yarn, but it turned out just right. I’ve yet to find a pair of shoulders that this style of yoke doesn’t suit wonderfully. My first one is a fit-superstar in my sweater collection. I still marvel at how those shoulder stitches travel horizontally across the body – amazing!

Big Blue

The collar and button band were knit last, after body, sleeves and yoke. I picked up stitches around the collar opening and knitted straight for a few inches for the stand-up collar and the picked up and worked the buttonband in a 2×2 rib to finish everything off. For anyone thinking about a vertical ribbed buttonband, I love how it turned out – and don’t judge it until you block it, it will behave very nicely for you. I extended the 2×2 ribbing up the underarms to make the sweater a bit more fitted for the body type. It also adds a nice little design detail.

Big Blue

As for the yarn, I know I’ve said it before but this is one of my favorites – probably one of the best values out there. It’s the same stuff I knit my Tomten out of earlier this year and I’ll tell ya – it wears just as nice as it knits. Not only is there color palette unmatched for nature-tone lovers, but the yardage alone is unbelievable. For a thicker yarn, you won’t believe how light it feels. It blocks beautifully and can take some serious real-world wear and tear. Yes, Beaverslide has a big fat BT stamp of approval for anyone who is considering it.


Big Blue

All told, I’m very happy with how it turned out – and it always sweetens the deal when you see a non-knitter wearing a handknit on a regular basis. As I mentioned before, revisiting this project has sparked my interest in going back for round 2 on any one of my multiple half-knit sweaters. Unfortunately they’re all about 3000 miles away. I’ll have to settle for lace and colorwork for another week… nothing to complain about I suppose.

Hope everyone is warm and relaxed with knitting nearby. Don’t feel bad about wrapping up an unfinished knit tomorrow morning – it still means a lot! Merry Christmas to all.

Writing from Brooklyntweed HQ: Washington with a quick bit of news. Thanks to a whole lot of e-mails from you all, Interweave has released the Koolhaas pattern in their online store. If you’re in dire need of a last minute Christmas knit, or just want to knit something for yourself on Christmas – have at it!

Koolhaas Now Available Online

The pattern is available here and can be knit with any worsted weight yarn (wool is best). I want to say thanks again for all the support and requests for the pattern, it really means a lot!

Article in Spin-Off

In other news: Spin-Off readers, I wrote a feature article in this month’s issue profiling the Kromski family and their story. It was a great experience and also turned out to be a great issue. I saved it for the airplane – it kept me entertained while breaking from plane knitting.

Sweater tomorrow – hope you’re all settled in for the holidays!

Here’s a Christmas present that was given early to my mom when she was visiting after Thanksgiving. New York is colder than Washington state, so we both agreed it was a good choice for early gifting.

It’s another classic Elizabeth Zimmermann pattern to add to the ever-growing collection I’ve started.

Ribwarmer
 

Pattern: Ribwarmer by Elizabeth Zimmermann
Source: Knitting Workshop
Yarn: Rowan Scottish Tweed Chunky in “Lobster”; 3 skeins
Needles: US 10.5/6.5mm KnitPicks Options Circulars
Buttons: 2 black marbled toggles from M&J Trimming

Started and Finished: Late last summer (planning ahead is rare, but awesome)

 

Ribwarmer Collar Detail

Modifications: The original pattern is written for worsted weight but I really had my heart set on using this chunky red tweed that I had in my stash. I did some pretty simple calculations to change the counts for a thicker yarn although in retrospect I think the vest would be pretty nice as-written with a chunkier yarn. My mom is a tiny little woman so this fit her perfectly, but I don’t think the modifications made a huge difference for the intended size since the chunky yarn needs more ease than worsted anyway.

Ribwarmer Collar Detail

I trimmed the whole thing with I-cord and tried invisible I-cord buttonholes a la EZ which are really fun. The vest is knit in two pieces – the right side and left side (this was the predecessor of Elizabeth’s “Rorschach Sweater”) and seamed up the back after knitting (see picture below). All shaping is done using short-row-style mitered corners and as usual its all garter stitch, which means no purls allowed.

Ribwarmer Collar Detail

This is a quick knit – great for gifts if you’ve already exhausted someone with hats or scarves over the years. Also, this piece technically fits in the sweater category… so you’ll get extra brownie points for that. In true EZ fashion the pattern is so clever that it’s sure to keep you interested all the way through, even on a deadline.

Ribwarmer

I have three days of trials left and then we’re hopping on a plane and flying far far away from The Big Apple. Here’s wishing you minimal stress over the next 10 days. I’m shooting to have one more sweater for you before Christmas – stay tuned!