This simple wrap makes for great TV knitting! Stave off the chill wind with this cosy shawl, which pays homage to the dragon of lore with a slipped garter colorwork pattern that hints of scales. It’s worked in garter stitch from tip to edge, then neatly finished with I-cord bind-off. Asymmetrical increases create an elongated triangle shape. Size: 83“ [210 cm] wingspan along top edge and 25.5“ [65 cm] width.
The Drachenfels Wrap Kit features a stunning shawl pattern is by Melanie Berg. It contains one skein of Urth Yarns Uneek Fingering and two skeins of Urth Yarns Monokrom Fingering (a total of1200m of fingering weight merino yarn per kit). Each kit comes packaged in a clear plastic bag with full-colour insert. Both yarns are super soft 100% superwash merino wool, made and hand-dyed in Turkey. The pattern recommends a 4mm/US6 and 5mm/US8 needle.
The brown colourway in the photographs is 03. The purple is colourway 02 (photos by Ninkka).
We’re selling these kits as a pre-order and are not intending to stock them regularly in the store – they’ll function almost like a special order, and you have the option to order it any time (it will be available to purchase as long as the manufacturer makes it available to us). Your kit will ship or be available for pick-up once it arrives, and we will contact you. That said, the vendor is very fast, reliable, and close-by, so you shouldn’t have to wait too long. If you need your kit for a specific date please let us know and we can find out if it’s feasible. Please also let us know in advance if you’d like the yarn wound (you can leave a note when you are checking out online).
10% Off All Pre-Orders of Urth Yarns Kits, use code URTHY10 at checkout.
10% Off All Pre-Orders of Urth Yarns Kits, use code URTHY10 at checkout.
I just ordered the NIXE kit this afternoon – it’s so pretty I couldn’t pass it up! Nixe is an upcoming new pattern by designer Melanie Berg, scheduled to launch on August 26th, 2020. This two-colored asymmetrical triangle shawl, with an easy-to-knit yet beautiful stitch pattern that resembles a mermaid’s tail. The yarn, Balayage by @pascuali_filati_naturali, is a gorgeous blend of alpaca and organic, non-mulesed merino wool.
Finished Size: 98.5” [250 cm] wingspan and 23.5” [60 cm] deep 98.5” [250 cm] wingspan and 23.5” [60 cm] deep
Gauge (after blocking): 11 sts x 22 rows = 2 x 2” [5 x 5 cm] in garter stitch
Requires US 3 [3.25 mm/US3 circular needles or size to obtain gauge (not included in kit)
Pattern: Digital copy (via Ravelry); provide your Ravelry username or email address to receive your pattern.
The pattern will be released on August 26, 2020. We will ship/contact you for pick-up as soon as our stock arrives. This kit is only available as a limited run and once it is sold out we most likely will not be able to get more.
I swa this kit and immediately thought it would made a great project to keep busy hands occupied … and since it’ll be about a year and a half until a vaccine is available for COVID, we might be at this a while. Beaubourgis a large rectangular wrap that features two-colour brioche and slipped stitches against a background of garter stitch to represent the colourful pipes that run up the façade of the Beaubourg museum. Because this pattern uses the brioche technique, I don’t feel like its for the beginner knitter, but if you wanted to make something similar you can make a project Meadow Lane and alternate the two colours every-other-row. If you love it, but don’t wear really big wraps, you might also enjoy it as a STUNNING throw for your home.
Each kit comes with 8 skeins of Urth’s gorgeous hand-dyed, 100% superwash merino wool. It features 4 skeins of Urth Uneek Worsted, a hand-painted self-striping yarngasm (the main colour), and 4 skeins Urth Monokrom, a hand-dyed semi-solid (the contrast colour).
The colourway in the photographs is #01 (it’s a pretty bright rainbow colourway). The other colours that I think will look gorgeous include 05 (the red is sensational as a contrast colour, not for the faint of heart), 02 (I love, love, love the autumnal neutrals with the yellow), 03 (this combo will come out looking like pinks and reds), and 06 (inky!!). Or, If you’re like me and you have your own creative vision and just can’t stick to the items on the menu, you can contact us and we can talk about combining another shade of Urth Uneek Worsted with a dark or medium grey .
Because they’re fairly substantial we’re selling these kits as a pre-order and aren’t stocking them in the store on a regular basis – they’ll function almost like a special order. Your kit will ship or be available for pick-up once it arrives, and we will contact you. That said, the vendor is very fast, reliable, and close-by, so you shouldn’t have to wait too long. If you need your kit for a specific date please let us know and we can find out if it’s feasible. Please also let us know in advance if you’d like the yarn wound (you can leave a note when you are checking out online).
Quince & Co just released this super pretty wrap, Ashtona, as part of their new Shawls 2020 Collection. I thought its a pretty, not overly ambitious piece suitable for advanced beginners and intermediate knitters (I don’t know about you, but my mind has been super fuzzy lately – I blame COVID and humidity). This is the first pattern to be officially released from the collection, but I think you can buy the entire collection as a e-bookright now (I’m quite fond of the crochet wrap Sand Dollar).
Ashtona is an asymmetrical, sideways knit shawl, that combines pretty ribbon lace with an uneven ribbing motif. The piece is worked on the bias from the right tip to the wide left edge. The skills required are long-tail cast on (link provided); increasing, decreasing, and reading a pattern (both charts and line-by-line instructions are included in the pattern).
It’s made with one of my favourites, Quince & Co Sparrow. If you aren’t already familiar with Sparrow it’s a super soft, organic linen that’s made in Italy. Linen is generally crisp in the skein or ball, and then loosens up completely once it goes through the wash (like, seriously, it lets go on a buddhist level). Sparrow is machine washable, but I put it in a delicate bag to keep it from abrading with other garments in the wash. I often put it in the dryer for 15 to 20 minutes too. If you’ve never used my Panty Hose Hack I suggest you try it out the with linen, it’s slippery and can get a little unruly when left to its own devices.
I’ve been looking for something quick-ish but also with some interest to make with Berroco Estivaand I was so happy to come across the FREE Midsommar Shawl! It’s knit on 6mm/US10 needles, so you’ll be able to finish it and wear it out by the time social distancing is a distant memory.
The pattern is pretty straightforward, and it is broken down line-by-line (I especially like this for newish knitters, it makes it easier to read and follow the pattern). For the more experienced, it can still be an asset, as it’s a lot less likely you’ll forget where you were if you’re ticking off each row on the pattern as you go.For those with dyslexia or ADHD, it’s a treasure!
BerrocoEstivais a soft, 100% cotton tape yarn that knits on a 6mm/US10 to 8mm/US11 needles. It’s already knitted, so it isn’t heavy or bulky and there’s no splitting when you work with it. It’s also machine washable, so no shrinkage. Last year we used it for several projects (including a forthcoming pattern I’ve yet to finish) and it’s a keeper. They came out with some brighter colours this year, which I think is really needed right now (although they still have the more muted colours too).
Yay!!! Inaugural Stash Game! I hope this is a fun diversion!
StashGame is a virtual game where you send me a photo and description of your stashed, long neglected yarn and I’ll come up with at least one project idea for it and publish it here. There’s one hitch – you can’t request a type of project.
To enter, please send the following:
A clear photo of your yarn. It helps if I can get an idea about the colour as well as the texture (natural sunlight is best for taking pictures).
The name of your yarn (brand name and product name: for example Berroco Vintage)
The yarn’s weight (ex. 100g) and yardage (ex. 200m/220yds)
How long the yarn has been in your stash (I’m just curious)
Any interesting or pertinent back-story (if it has an interesting one). Was it a gift from someone special? Did you inherit it from your grandmother? Do you love it? Are you afraid of it? Do you hate it? (please note: if you hate it you should probably just break up with it and send it on to a better place)
Send your info through any of the following channels with the subject/hashtag #StashGame:
Notes: received as a gift by a beloved friend 7 years ago
Why This Yarn?
This yarn spoke to me for a few reasons:
The owner has been afraid to use it, which means it’s time for them to use it.
The type of fibre – it has a lot of limitations.
Category: Too Precious
This is a great example of the ‘Too Precious to Use’ stashed yarn. These yarns linger in our stashes for years, sometimes decades, waiting for the perfect project and the perfect pattern at the perfect time. We know we will receive a sign revealing what we are supposed to make with it, we just need to wait until all the planets and all their moons align ….
The entry point for this type of yarn problem is the descriptor PERFECT. In situations like this we’ve put this skein on a pedestal so high nobody could ever reach it, and unless you’re prepared to bring it down and live in the real, messy world, you might as well put it under glass. Don’t worry, I’ve been here, I’ve done it, I survived to tell the tale (it isn’t especially interesting).
Spoiler, if you are of the mind that perfectionism is a good thing, you’ll probably prefer to skip to the next section where I talk about the fibre.
So here’s the hitch – it doesn’t actually matter what you make with this yarn, because as long as it is on the perfection pedestal it will NEVER feel like it’s good enough or doing the yarn justice. So, you’ve got a choice, keep the yarn in it’s a safe little bubble of too-goodness, or use it and put yourself face to face with the uncomfortable feeling of not-good-enoughness. If you choose to move forward and use the yarn you’ll be putting yourself in a position of growth … but hey, it’s only string, it isn’t alive, so the experience shouldn’t be painful, just slightly uncomfortable and take you outside of your comfort zone.
One thing I suggest for getting this project off the ground is to reframe it, take the focus off of the self. Don’t use this yarn for making something for yourself, use it to make something for someone else. Since it was a gift from a beloved friend, I would make something for the person who gave it to me.
Project Limitations: Silk is Gonna Silk
This yarn is made from 100% Silk, which comes with its own set of issues. Silk has absolutely no memory, and it actually tends to grow with use. The more silk content in your yarn, the less shape it will likely hold. This means that it isn’t going to be useful for making anything that needs to have a shape or keep its shape. Hats, socks, fingerless gloves are all out and sweaters are tricky because of the growth factor. This sort of limits the types of projects that will work out successfully. The yarn is also thin, so wraps, scarves, wrappy-scarves, scarfy-wraps and shawls are the best options for a yarn like this. Types of lace where the yarn is wrapped around itself will bulk it up a little.
The silk will look good with lace, it won’t hold cables so if a design includes that it would have to be very deconstructed. This yarn is lovely and should probably be used on it’s own so it can shine. I would use pointy needles for this yarn, it will help scooping it up when you make your stitches. I would also advise using wood or less slippery needles, it will probably reduce accidents. Definitely be diligent and use a lifeline.
My suggestion for this yarn is the Herald wrap. I like the modernity of this openwork lace. It’s simple, timeless, and elegant. Plus, the yarn is a bright pink, so it’s going to dominate. Herald is worked on the bias as a scalene triangle, so it can be worn as a scarf or as a wrap, and has a cool asymmetrical sensibility (this translates to “easy to make, interesting to wear”). This lace also makes the most of the yardage available and doesn’t suck any up in a dense stitch like garter-stitch.
1. I think I need to do a reassessment of my stash and see how much of it is in the “Too Precious to Use” category. I’m sure I’m DEEP down this rabbit hole!
2. Currently, we’re are all already well outside of our comfort zones, and I know it sounds strange, but now is actually the perfect time to push yourself further. Our fears are running rampant right now, and we want to avoid those feelings because they are extremely uncomfortable, but it’s actually ok to accept them. Fear is part of being a human being. If we hold on to the fear we get stuck in it (which I think is really just being mean to ourselves), when we accept it then it passes through us. This video by Tara Brach on dealing with pandemic fears is excellent.
3. The best way to get out of your head FAST is to think about how you can help others – it clears out an immense amount of space! Now is a great time to make gifts for others …. the holidays will come, I promise you, and next fall you’ll be thrilled to have already finished your gifts. You can also make gifts for right now for the people you care about, and help them get through this tough time.
Please meet our latest success, Decemberist! I’ve been eyeballing this pattern for a while and figured “What have I got to loose?!” It knits fast with super thick yarn on 9mm/US13 needles (or larger if your yarn is accommodating). We used 3 balls of Drops Andes in colour 8112, an icy blue, so it was a pretty affordable project too ($33). The pattern was straight-forward, and the lace is given in both written instructions and as a chart – it probably fits into an advanced-beginner/intermediate skill level, and would probably make a decent introduction to lace knitting for anyone wanting to expand and explore.
Overall, I think it is a very successful project, and it would make a great holiday gift knit (I kind of like that it looks like a substantial sized gift, even though it’s light on cost and labour). If you know someone with a cottage it would make an amazing wrap to snuggle up in at night or at the end of the season. Women who work in cold offices will also appreciate one of these. I also think that this wrap is so pretty that when your friends/family/colleagues see you wearing this they are going to ask you to make them one, so you might as well get ahead of the curve and start early. Will it look a little strange seeing the women in your office walking around wearing the same wrap in different colours? Maybe, but the Pointer Sisters rocked the look, so I say own it and be your best, favourite you!
Drops Andes is a comfortable, lofty 2ply blend of Alpaca and Peruvian Wool. It’s soft to the touch, and kind of feels like what I always wish wool actually felt like – that stage that is just short of the buttery soft texture you normally find with a fine merino or baby alpaca. All of the colours are lovely, but I think the pattern would look especially good in the following:
Greys: 519 Dark Grey Mix, 9020 Light Grey Mix, 9015 Grey Mix, 8465 Medium Grey (solid)
Neutrals: 100 Off White (naturalish), 1101 White (cream), 206 Light Beige Mix, 619 Beige Mix (oatmeal)
If you want to make yours larger the easiest way is to use a slightly thicker yarn with a larger needle. Malabrigo Rasta (5 skeins) and Cascade Spuntaneous (3 skeins) would both be great yarns to sub, and you can go up to a 12mm/US17 needle with both of them. Unless you are a tight knitter, I would NOT increase the needle size for the Drops Andes; after blocking the fabric flows and drapes, its a beautiful tension (around 9 sts over 4″/10cm).
If you feel confident with your mathimagical abilities, you can also upsize the pattern by increasing the amount of stocking stitch you work before starting the lace. You’ll need to add an extra 36 sts to the stocking stitch section (so you’ll need to do an extra 6 repeats for “Section 1”, which would add an extra 12 rows). Depending on your tension, this should give you about an extra 3.75″/9.5cm of depth and about 16″/40cm in width.
If you don’t already own 9mm/US13 needles (or larger) this might be a great opportunity to buy some Knitters Pride Interchangeable needles. You’ll need a long cable for this project, which is something you may not get a lot of use out of in the future (unless you’re going to get into making Bulky Blankets, which are awesome things in their own right). With interchangeable needles one pair of tips can become any length of circular needle from 24″ to 60″, and extra cords are a very reasonable $3.97 each (instead of $20 to $35 for a new pair of needles with a different length cord).
This project is a two thumbs up! It’s pretty, fast, not too complicated, affordable, and giftable. I’m thinking about trying it again in Malabrigo Rasta in 429 Cape Cod Grey, but I’ll wait a month or so in case you guys need the yarn.
We finished up a new store project, our Beach Wrap pattern, but this time we did a little experiment and made it with a bulky cotton yarn, Berroco Estiva. Estiva is a new yarn this year, so we’re still playing around, putting it through it’s paces, but I think it’s definitely reorder-worthy for next spring. It’s soft, 100% cotton, bulky, and not heavy or ropy like most bulky weight cottons. That ticks a lot of boxes for me. It’s also made in Italy (ie. not made by slaves) and is machine washable on cold, which is are features I didn’t expect but please me.
The wrap came out significantly smaller than our original version in linen, so if you want to make a larger wrap you can cuddle into you should get an extra cakes of Berroco Estiva. I thought it was a teachable moment (at least I got teached), so I’m going into it in more detail in a follow-up post (I actually drafted that post first, so I PROMISE it will come).
Berroco Estiva: 1 cake for smaller version (in the pictures), 2 cakes if you want your wrap larger.
When we make projects for the store, I choose them with you in mind. You’ll can probably figure out which things I like to make for myself – mostly sweaters with simple silhouettes, accessories for the family, and quirky little things (mohair tissue box covers, decorative mini-sweaters, tea cozies with limbs growing out of them, etc). Day Blossom is kind of a crossover – I came across it while looking for a store project, and figured I’d take a chance on it. I fell in love with the texture, I love texture and playing with texture. It combines two weights of Quince’s linen yarns, one thicker and one thinner. In the pictures the yellow is the thicker yarn (Quince & Co Kestrel) and the neutral colour is the thinner (Quince & Co Sparrow).
I kind of like the little fringes, they reiterate the changes in the textile and create a bit of visual interest, but you don’t have to make them if you don’t want to. The size is nice too, it’s very comfortable as a scarf and as a shoulder cover. The linen is cool and comfortable, all drape. After a long winter and cold spring it’s nice to wear a garment that’s feels different. Linen and wool are kind of binary opposites; wool is all about warmth, air and body, while linen is cool, dense and drapey.
I like knitting linen with wood needles, but Liane said it drove her up the wall. When I made my first sweater with Quince & Co Sparrow I swatched quite a bit to make sure I got tension, and I tried both bamboo and brass needles. At first I didn’t like the wood, then I tried the brass, and after that I went back to the wood and preferred them. In the end, the needles weren’t really the factor I expected them to be, but getting used to working with the linen was the important part. Once I was accustomed to the fibre I was happy with my regular needles. As for all those swatches, Sparrow is super soft and machine washes beautifully so I use them around the house and the store. They’ve replaced disposable tissues for removing makeup, washing my face, and cleaning up little messes. To my mind, that’s a big bonus – the less I have to send to landfill the better!
The colours shown in the original pattern are Quince & Co Sparrow in Moon (a grey with a blueish cast) and Quince & Co Kestrel in Minos (purple). Their colours are STUNNING, I love them, and for a bit I had a hard time thinking outside of that box. But it’s been such a cold & dreary spring here that I felt I owed it to everyone to come up with something brighter, happier, more optimistic. To pull myself out of that blank mental space I pulled all of the colours off the shelf and shuffled them around on the table. I’m glad I did, the colour combo I came up with is sunny, it has just enough colour to brighten things up without being “HI, NICE TO MEET YOU! I’M YELLOW!” You can’t go wrong with the combo of a colour on a neutral, you just have to make sure that the tones in both shades are complimentary.
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!