I love this new scarfy/wrappy pattern, Orion, from Nick Davis. I adore the simple but elegant welted ribs – they always give a simple air of style to a basic knit. Plus, it’s made with one of my favourite yarns, Malabrigo Rios. Rios is a hand dyed, super soft, machine washable merino wool made in Uruguay by a family owned company that supports local development environmental sustainability (plus they’re really nice, I met them at a trade show last summer and we chatted for a bit). If you want to substitute another yarn, you can use any worsted weight yarn.
The pattern uses basic short-row shaping to create the asymmetrical ribs (something else I love). If short-rows are a technique you don’t already know you don’t need to be afraid, they aren’t difficult and are definitely worth learning. There are LOTS of tutorials online, there’s a good one with photos and video HERE.
Mini Short-Row Knit-Hack
It’s easy to lose track of where you are in most knitting projects, but if you start with a consistent system your chance of success goes up exponentially! The most important thing about how to make short rows successful and fun is to keep track of what you are doing and where you are:
Put a locking stitch marker in your wraps to mark them. Everything is easier when you can see it clearly!
Keep track of your rows as you go. Your system doesn’t have to be fancy, I usually just use paper and pencil to track where I am in the pattern, and I often tick off my progress right on my pattern. Plus, I’m a big fan of pencils, because if I have to rip back my work I can erase and adjust my notes without making a mess that will inevitably confuse me later.
Andrea Mowry came out this super pretty new shawl pattern recently and I thought it would be totally gorgeous made with Cascade’s new marled-ombre yarn, Cascade 220 Superwash Wave! It’s knit on 5mm needles, so it won’t take forever to finish this project, and it will be nice and cozy for the cold winter. The pattern calls for 6 colours but 5 of the Cascade is plenty to make your wrap, and you won’t suffer for lack of colour (the pattern is easy to change up, the designer wrote this into the instructions). I took a picture of a couple of colour combos I thought would look pretty (see below). Plus, Cascade 220 Superwash Waveis very reasonably priced your the project won’t break the bank.
We just received a shipment of a Drops Brushed Alpaca and Silk and I was thinking “Wouldn’t it be divine to make a big, light, cozy wrap with it?!” Well, great minds think alike, because at least 50 other people already came up with the same brilliant idea and used if for one of my favourite wrap patterns, Nuvem. The Drops Brushed Alpaca and Silkis a super light and airy blend of brushed alpaca and silk – it looks like kid mohair, but feels like baby alpaca (ie. very, very happy, not scratchy). The other happy part is the price; Drops yarns are very affordable and you can make this wrap for under $50!
The pattern is pretty straightforward, the only novel part is the cast-on. You can make it as large or as small as you like, the pattern is based on the total weight of the yarn you’re using, so having a kitchen scale at your disposal is helpful (although not necessary). If you use this particular yarn use larger needles (4.5mm/US7), and cast on about 123 sts.
Gradients are beautiful and harmonious, but some of us like a bit more COLOUR in our wardrobes (and our knitting). Our popular Handmaiden Casbah 5Ply Gradient Wrap Kits are now available in colour mixes. These kits are the same as their gradient siblings, they all come with 5 skeins of the same beautiful Casbah 5Ply cashmere blend and 2 patterns. They’re great for knitters of all skill levels, for beginner to more experienced, and make a great gift. The project requires 4mm/US6-36″circular needles (or longer), which are sold separately. Handmaiden Casbah 5ply is soft, squishy, and delicious to knit & wear!
Each kit comes with:
Five 50g skeins (410m) of Handmaiden Casbah 5ply (10% cashmere, 80% merino wool, 10% nylon)
I LOVE this project, the Quaker Yarn Stretcher was definitely a win. When I cast on I wasn’t sure if it was right for the yarn (Handmaiden Maiden Hair) but my intuition told me that it would work out, so I pushed on, and I’m glad I did. By the time I was ready to cast-off, I was wishing I had another ball – not because I thought the project needed to be larger, but because I was just enjoying it so much. The size is just right for a fall scarf. The fabric is light and airy; the silk in the yarn shows up as beautiful highlights of colour, and the kid mohair creates a soft, beautiful halo. If the Handmaiden Maiden Hair is a little out of your budget, or your skin is too sensitive for any type of mohair, try a skein or two of Malabrigo Lace Baby Merino on 4mm/US6 to 4.5mm/US7 needles (2 skeins if you want a larger size) – it’s 100% super soft merino wool and puffs up with a beautiful aura type halo effect.
I’m so happy I stumbled across Ley Lines! I saw this wrap being knitted by a client a while ago, and even in progress, I LOVED the modernity and simplicity of the look. There’s just something about ribbing going in different directions that makes me thankful that I’m a knitter (cables do this to me occasionally too). To make the most of the ribbing, use a semi-solid or solid coloured yarn, like Madeline Tosh Tosh Merino Light (a single ply merino), Manos del Uruguay Alegria (a hand-dyed semi-solid), or if you prefer the crisp look of a mechanically dyed yarn, try Cascade Heritage (also easier on the budget).
One size. Finished measurements: 90” (225 cm) from side to side and 34” (85 cm) from top to bottom at deepest point.
Photos: Ivory Eve
All the yarns below are ON SALE TO SEPT 6! The number of skeins you’ll need depends on the size desired, but you can definitely eke out a sizeable Ley Lines with two skeins (see IvoryEve’s, it’s beautiful).
So it’s the end of the summer, you aren’t ready yet to let go and drift into fall, but you’re over summer projects … so make a little one-skein, scarfy-wrappy thingy that you’ll be able to wear in fall and spring. Close to You is a great little pattern, it’s got a little bit of detail to keep you involved, but it also has enough straight knitting that you don’t have to commit too much brain power. It uses one skein of fingering weight yarn, so it’s a perfect little project for a mini-splurge, or dig into your stash. It should knit up beautifully in a solid, semi-solid, variegated, or self-striping yarn like Madeline Tosh Tosh Merino Light, Manos Alegria
1 skein of any of these yarns is perfect to make Close to You :