Berroco Estiva is a bulky weight, 100% cotton ribbon yarn, so it’s super soft, easy to knit with, and works up FAST! Plus, it has scads of yardage, so you can make a smaller size of Deschain with two skeins, or a shawl/wrap with one. The ball-band calls for 6.5mm/US105 to 8mm/US11 needles, so there’s lots of flexibility to play around. The yarn is made in Italy (personally, I’m always pleased to see milling happening in Italy, they do it beautifully there), and it is MACHINE WASHABLE (a good thing for summer garments)!
Knitting Gauge: 3.5 to 4 sts = 1″ (2.5cm) on 6.5mm/US10.5 to 8mm/US11 needles. 14 to 16sts = 4″ (10cm)
When I ran across these projects on Ravelry I knew we had to make one! The pattern, Deschain, was designed a few years ago by Quince & Co for their organic linen yarn, Kestrel (which is also stunning and I love and we sell and makes me very happy). But the pattern looks equally awesome made with a new bulky weight cotton yarn, Berroco Estiva.
Note: you might need to work extra pattern repeats to get your sweater long enough. While you are working, hold it up to your body as you go (for a size small you might need to knit extra length to get good coverage).
I don’t know if you caught this pattern on Ravelry a few weeks ago, but I filed it away somewhere in the middle of my mind. It’s made with BC Garn Bio Balance, a gorgeous spring/summer weight yarn made from a blend of organic wool & cotton. We’ve worked up a sample shawl with it and it was delightful to work with and wear. When you work with it, it kind of moves like a soft wool with a bit of texture and grab to it, you don’t really feel the cotton. But when its knitted, the fabric doesn’t feel like wool at all, it feels like a blended plant fibre you’d find in a commercial garment. It’s interesting, and really nice!
Anyway, I love the combination of texture and oversized ease in this sweater. It’ll be extremely comfortable and breathable, perfect for slouching around the cottage, the house and the city. I don’t love the colour they chose, I don’t know about you but I have a hard time visualizing myself in a dark green summer sweater! Good thing BC Garn Bio Balance comes in a bunch of pretty colours for warmer seasons (they have a medium green that is beautiful). If you want to cast on right away, here are your best bets (if you have your heart set on another colour that we don’t have in stock let us know and we can get that for you):
Needle Hack: Interchangeables ROCK!
The body and sleeves are worked in the round from the bottom up to the yoke, then the pieces are joined for working the circular yoke. If skipped ahead to the materials, you’ll notice that the pattern calls for a bunch of needles in different lengths – if you have been thinking about buying yourself a set of interchangeable needles this might be a good opportunity. If not, I’d buy individual interchangeable tips and cords: for the circulars I’d get Knitter’s Pride Interchangeable Tips 3.5mm-4.5″, 3.5mm-3.5″, and 3mm-4.5″ (to sub for the 2.75mm), and corresponding Knitter’s Pride Interchangeable Cords/Cables in 16″, 24″ and 40″. For the double pointed needles you can get them in 3mm & 3.5mm, or use your 40″ cord for the magic loop technique.
If you already have an interchangeable set check to see if it comes with the 3mm tips – most do not, but Knitter’s Pride makes them as individual pairs in the metal “nova platina” (chrome plated brass).
Pattern Hack: Libraries ROCK!
We no longer carry Interweave Knits, but you can still find the paper edition in grocery stores, drug stores, and online as an e-publication through Interweave. But there is a fourth option: the public library! Check your public library to see if they provide digital magazines. Interweave Knits is available from the Toronto Public Library though the RB Digital service, which is a FREE service – all you need is a library card (also FREE) and a digital device (smart phone, tablet or computer). If you don’t have a device you can go to the library and use one of their computers and printers – you can even ask the librarian for help if you are having trouble, helping people access information is their calling. You can also ask a librarian for help if you have a portable device but you don’t know how to use the digital system to access the magazine. Librarians ROCK!
42 (48, 54, 60, 66)“ circumference at underarm.
Pullover shown measures 48”; modeled with 15” of positive ease.
I just finished this Clapo-Ktus wrap and it came out beautifully! I was itching to work with some of the Handmaiden Flyss on our shelves, a Canadian hand-dyed blend of Silk and Linen, and I was looking for a one-skein project that wouldn’t take too long and would show off the textile – I think totally NAILED IT.
Clapo-Ktus (terrible name, but the pattern is free) is actually a combination of two popular patterns, the Clapotis scarf/wrap, which involves dropped stitches, and the Baktus scarf, which is knit from side to side. The dropped stitches are gorgeous and make great use of the yarn’s natural drape (linen and silk are both fibres that are ALL drape, and have zero body). The Baktus part of the design give it a triangular shape, and allows you to use exactly as much yarn as you have on hand (hence a one-skein project).
The Finished Product
I wasn’t initially sure the one skein would be enough, but as I dropped the stitches it expanded beautifully, and after blocking it was magnificent. If you are interested, I would definitely also recommend making a Clapotis with this yarn, it would be a stunner! I originally envisioned this project as a wrap for the spring and summer, and I think it will hold it’s own in this department, but when it was finished and I tried it on I actually ADORED wearing it as a spring scarf. The fabric isn’t heavy or dense, and the textile is soft but has just enough texture to make it interesting. The Handmaiden Flyss is definitely knit-worthy, I’d like to make a sweater with it next!
Just one caveat – I ended up with these weird open stitches on one side, where the dropped stitches were initially created (you can see them in the picture below with the hanger). I thought I followed the pattern, so I’m not sure what went wrong or how I ended up with this. With all the dropped stitches in the fabric I don’t think it’s a big deal or unsightly, but if you have any idea what I’ve done please leave a comment!
We’re clearing out some summer yarns that we aren’t bringing back, so grab it on sale before it’s gone!
CLEARANCE 30% OFF DMC Natura XL
DMC Natura XL is a bulky weight, machine washable 100% cotton yarn, and is especially great for baby & kid projects, fast sweaters, blankets pillows and afghans, as well as crocheted baskets and other home decor projects.
We just finished a VERY quick & satisfying summer quickie, our Instant Gratification Cardi! We used a thick & quick cotton, DMC Natura XL, and 8mm/US11 needles – can’t go wrong with big needles! Also, because the yarn is thicker than the one the pattern was originally conceived with, we went down about 4″ in size (we made the 34″ size and got a 38″ size). If you want the sleeves longer, definitely buy an extra skein of yarn.
I find really interesting things when I browse through the patterns on Ravelry …. one of the things I found this week was a micro-collection of the same cowl made over and over again in different colourways of Urth Uneek Fingering (ON SALE UNTIL THE END OF JULY). I thought it was awesome that this knitter, Deb-Knits, enjoyed her project and the yarn so much that she wanted to continue exploring and experiencing it. I also get it, the project is GORGEOUS, and it illustrates that all the colourways of Urth Uneek Fingering work up beautifully. And hey, is it ever too early to start holiday knitting?
A client showed me this gorgeous, diaphinous top and I thought how great would it look knitted up with Handmaiden Flyss or Quince & Co Sparrow?! Both are sublime summer yarns; Flyss is a soft, summery blend of % silk and 35% linen, and comes with lots of yardage, and Sparrow is 100% organic linen. And since it knits up on 6mm/US10 needles it will go FAST!
As I’ve been writing about Rowan Original Denim yarn (ON SALE NOW) a question has come up a few times – what is the black denim like? And what they are really thinking is “will it end up looking like the sexy black jeans that ended up a sad dingy grey?”. The answer is it could if you’re really mean to your denim sweater, but if you take proper care of it you’ll have a “happily ever after”.
I think most people think of denim yarn as a knitterly sibling of denim jeans, but it’s really more of a cousin, so it doesn’t wear the same way, especially since we (hopefully) don’t wear or care for our sweaters in the same way we do our jeans. In high school, I worked in retail selling Levis jeans and became extremely well acquainted with the garment: they’re worn constantly, washed frequently, and cared for poorly. An average pair of jeans is dealt A LOT of abuse. Not so our sweaters: we don’t wear them as much, they aren’t washed as much, and when we do wash them it’s either by hand with a delicate wash like Eucalan or Soak, or in a delicates bag on the delicate cycle (cold) in the machine. Add a cup of white vinegar to the wash to stabilize the dye and you have some very good looking denim knitwear (the vinegar trick works with your jeans too, it’s especially helpful with dark washes).
This is the project that helped open up my perspective on black denim yarn. The pattern, Deschain, was designed with a substantially thicker and heavier yarn, but the garment design is so oversized that it easily scales down to a thinner yarn. The texture looks amazing with lace and works really well with the drape of the oversized aesthetic.
Vale by Kim Hargreaves
In my mind, if super designer Kim Hargreaves is down with it, it might as well as have received royal assent (that’s Canadian parliamentary humour for “it’s legit” … I’m also really pleased that Kim thinks it’s ok to wear a tiara out-and-about, I could use a little more bling in my coif). Like the denim Deschain above, Hargreaves exploits the denim to create a tension between the delicacy of lace patterning and the texture of the yarn. It’s a balancing act that works beautifully and makes for a really interesting garment – definitely one you’ll never find in any store.
This guy obviously either lives in a beautifully curated home or a Pottery Barn … either way, it’s a nice backdrop for a beautiful sweater, Seahorse. One of the big problems with black yarn is that it is very hard to photograph the colour properly, and it often looks like a washed out dark grey. The yarn itself is a very deep, dense black, so add white vinegar when you wash it to stabilize the colour.
I don’t know which pattern was used for RobbyRaccon’s Ridge top (I think it might be a variation of Rosamund by Tonia Barry, but it’s a different type of sleeve construction … if you know please tell me, it’s driving me up the wall), but it made excellent use of black denim yarn, every time I look at it I experience sweater envy.