Category Archives: Yarn

Gradients Part 1: EYF Gradient Sets

Over the last few months I’ve become rather obsessed with gradients. I’ve been putting a collection together and it’s really inspiring me for the EYF class I’ll be teaching in March. When people talk about gradients they can mean several different things; sometimes it means a colour that graduated from light to dark within the same colour family  (also referred to as Ombre) or alternatively  it may be a gradient that graduates from one colour to another. The terms are often used interchangeably.

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Colour graduating from light to dark within the same colour family. (Shades of Turquoise from The Knitting Goddess)

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Colours moving from yellow, through orange and rust into a dark brown. (Autumn Harvest from Fiber Optic Yarns)

There are many different way to create gradients. Here I’ve outlined a few that I’ve come across with photo examples of each. Knitting with gradients is so much fun, you can’t wait to see how the next colour looks knitted up!

1. Mini-skein gradients

This is very much as it sounds, a larger skein is broken down into several mini-skeins (could be any number but 5 seems to be fairly common).

IMG_0034Here is an example of a single colour gradient going from light to dark green (Shaded Olives from The Knitting Goddess). This set has 5 different colours.

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This graduated set moves from a deep pink to a pale pastel pink (Party of 5, Sweet Georgia, Hanami).

IMG_0012This is an example of a mini-skein set that had related colours graduating from dark to light and then to dark again in a different colour (Dragonfly Fibers sock gradient set, Winter Woods).

2. Single skein gradients

This is a single skein of yarn that has been dyed so that it gradually moves from one colour to another. This can be one single colour graduation over the entire skein or it can be shorter colour gradients so that it goes through a few colour changes (this is a pretty close sister to some of the more subtle self-striping yarns).

IMG_0020These yarns are an example of a single skein gradient that moves from one colour to another across a single skein (Knitcircus Greatest of Ease ‘Gnarly Dude’ and Lavish ‘Brass and Steam’).

IMG_0022Here again we have a single skein gradient but it moves from a very pale/white to a deep pink in the single skein (Freia fine handpaints Ombre Grande ‘Valentine’)

IMG_0033This is a single skein of yarn that graduates through a range of colours in a gently graduated set of stripes that repeats (Kauni Wool 8/2 Effektgarn)

3. DIY gradients

There is nothing stopping you from creating your own gradients. If you’ve got an extensive yarn collection gather similar weight yarns together and see if you can create a pleasing gradient with what’s in your stash. Any yarn supplier that has a wide range of colours is perfect for creating gradients. Look for a yarn supplier that would typically supply yarn for complex colourwork and you should easily be able to create your own gradient with their yarn.

IMG_0026Here is a range of Navia Duo colours that are close enough to each other that they can be combined to create a gradient.

EYF Students

If you’re taking the ‘Painting with Rainbows’ class with me at EYF you’ll want to bring a selection of gradient colours with you. You can either come with a pre-purchased pack or alternatively you can make your own. I’ve been digging through the EYF vendors to see who has some gradient yarn in their shops and this is what I’ve come up with, so you can either stock up before the class or grab some in the marketplace afterward to practice your new skills!

Mini-Skein Gradients:

La Bien Aimée
Easy Knits
Fyberspates
The Knitting Goddess
Purlescence
The Little Grey Sheep
Rainbow Heirloom
Ripple Crafts
Snail Yarn
Skein Queen
Eden Cottage Yarns

Single skein gradient:

Bilium
Namolio
The Wool Kitchen

Wide Colour ranges for DIY gradient sets:

New Lanark
The Skye Shilasdair
Jamiesons

Final Destash

Most of the destash went yesterday, there are some of the cotton and linen blends left.

I’m going to break them down into the individual yarns with suggested prices. Postage costs (shown below) will be added again.

1. Spud & Chloe Sweater, 1 full, 1 partial, 161g: €3 reserved

IMG_40492. Drops Safran x 2, 100g: €2

IMG_40893. Drops Paris and collection of partial Cotton Classic, 270g: €2

IMG_40904. Blue Sky Alpaca skinny cotton, 1 full & 1 partial, 116g: €3

IMG_40935. Rowna Handknit cotton x 2, 100g: €3 reserved

IMG_40956. Tedman & Kvist Colina 1 full & 2 partial, 205g: €3

IMG_40437. Southwick, 1 full, 1 partial, 91g: €2 reserved

IMG_40508. Drops Ice x 1, 50g: €1

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Postage rates:

Postage for Ireland:

500g €4.50

1kg €7.00

1.5 or 2kg €8.25

Europe:

500g €5.90

1kg €8.40

1.5 or 2kg €11.65

World:

500g €5.90

1kg €11.65

1.5 or 2kg €17.90

 

Destash – part 2!

Here is the last of my destash – some is is free for postage and some (with complete skeins) have a suggested value, with postage to be added. I’ve put postage rates at the bottom of the page.

I’ll try to keep track of offers – but there’s coming in from a few different directions! If a yarn pack is going to you I’ll contact you to confirm by email and will send you on a paypal invoice. Today is New Year’s Day so I’ll be in and out all day!

I’d prefer to sell the shown bundles together but if after today there isn’t any offers on the complete bundle I’ll break it up tomorrow. Please leave your offer in the comments here so I can track more easily! If you want something individually put it in the comments and they will be ordered on a first come first served basis from the comments.

1. Wool and wool blends 1100g: €25 plus shipping for total. CLAIMED

Yarn’s pictured are cone of Donegal aran tweed, Araucania nature wool, cushendale wool and mohair, drops Neapal x2, mystery orange (may be Quince & co), classic elite lush x2, Jamiesons dk, jamieson & smith soft spun, Portuguese wool, rowan felted tweed.

IMG_40762. Cascade Eco+ 250g : €5 plus shipping CLAIMED

20151230_152223-1_resized3. Cotton/Linen and blends 1424g: €40 plus shipping SIERRA ONLY CLAIMED

Included is 1 full 2 partial Tedman & Kvist Colina, 1 full 2 partial spud & chloe sweater, 2 drops saffran, drops ice, drops paris, collection of partial charles stacy cotton classic, 3 cascade sierra, 1 full 1 partial blue skys alpaca skinny dyed cotton, 2 rowan handknit cotton, 2 valley yarns southwick.

IMG_40804. Alpaca yarns from Peru 532g: Free for postage costs CLAIMED

8 alpaca dk (4 full 4 partial), 2 skeins fingering alpaca/acrylic blend.

IMG_40875. Lace weight yarns, 294 g: Free for shipping CLAIMED

Malabrigo, Knitpicks, mystery lace (silk?), Rowan kidsilk.

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Postage rates:

Postage for Ireland:

500g €4.50

1kg €7.00

1.5 or 2kg €8.25

Europe:

500g €5.90

1kg €8.40

1.5 or 2kg €11.65

World:

500g €5.90

1kg €11.65

1.5 or 2kg €17.90

 

New yarn – make your wish!

 

THESE YARNS ARE ALL CLAIMED NOW – MORE YARN WILL BE POSTED HERE TOMORROW.

Thanks and Happy New Year to you all!

To start with I’ve tried dividing the partial skeins of yarn into colour groups.

These partial skeins are all free collection or postage costs.

I’ve put the weights down so you can see how much it would be (see here)….tomorrow I’ll have some complete skeins up with a nominal cost.

Postage for Ireland:

500g €4.50

1kg €7.00

1.5 or 2kg €8.25

Europe:

500g €5.90

1kg €8.40

1.5 or 2kg €11.65

World:

500g €5.90

1kg €11.65

1.5 or 2kg €17.90

First up is the pinks/purples 757g: (Purple only for Wyvernfriend)

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Blues (with a few dark purple): 616g – reserved for wyvernfriend

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Brown/Mustards 1050g: – reserved for wyvernfriend

IMG_4027Greens 616g in total: – reserved for Tracie

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Peach/Orange 700g:

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Neutral & Greys 478g: – reserved for Gillian

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New year sort out

I don’t like sorting and organising myself any better than most people but the time has come to grab the bull by the horns. My office has been accumulating yarn, samples and paper since I started designing and I’m about to be buried under the mountain. I didn’t realise quite how bad I was as keep stuff ‘just in case’. It would appear that I’ve got the yarn remains of EVERY item I’ve designed since I began.

I’ve started by pulling the boxes of yarn into the hall and while I’m doing that my husband is in the office clearing rubbish and reorganising the furniture. It’s a big space but very badly used with several corners that are effectively inaccessible by me due to the furniture placement.

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This is the selection of partially used skeins, some with ball bands but a lot without. I think tomorrow I’ll divide this into colour blocks and willing parties can request what they want!

20151230_160023-1_resizedEspecially as a designer it is so hard to get rid of yarn. What if inspiration hits and you need THAT yarn? Although as I’m discovering, in reality if a yarn has been buried in your stash for a couple of years it is pretty unlikely you’ll dig it out to use.

So I’ve been posting to twitter with the yarn that’s coming out of my stash. Here is some of it; if something interested you just leave a comment and make an offer :-)

First is a huge 250g skein of Cascade Eco + that I use to make Vivido.

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3 skeins of lovely Cascade Sierra:

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2 packs of alpaca yarn direct from Peru; 2 skeins are a fingering weight alpaca/acrylic blend and the other 8 skeins (4 complete and 4 partial) are 100% alpaca in a dk weight.

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Schoppel Leinen Los 70% wool 30% linen which has a full skein of each colour and a partial skein of each.
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A collection of sock yarn; Regina, Mirasol and Wendy Happy.
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And finally…definitely not for sale, the super sweet Lizzie decided that she needed to help out as well :-)
20151230_162822-1_resizedThis renovation of my office is very necessary – I’ve got lots of big new plans and they’re not going to happen in a cluttered space!

The Road Not Taken

The Road Not Taken
by Robert Frost

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

When I was in school I learned this poem and out of all the poems, novels and plays I studied this one has stuck with me. There are so many times in life where you are presented with options and want to do both. You stand at a crossroads and must choose. This also happens with design work; every step along the way is a decision. Each choice is not necessarily good or bad – just different.
When I spent a year in art college we ended the year with a project. We picked a topic and then spend the next several months examining it from different angles. There were charcoal drawings, pastel drawings, long lost sculptures and paper texture work. I’ve recently rediscover a lot of this in my parents attic and it’s made me a little nostalgic! (And yes, my project was on a prawn…it smelled really, really dreadful after several months even with freezes between uses.)

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Over the coming months I’m starting a new project. I’m gradually piecing together in my head how I want it to work. It will be an exploration of colour combinations and gradients. I want to do more than a single design, it feels like this is a project that needs to take as many forks on the road as possible. There will be swatches, tutorials, patterns and project options. I think an e-book released over a series of weeks or months a chapter at a time that travels on the exploration journey with me would be the most useful for knitters.

Anyone want to join me on this journey?

New pattern – Shaniko!

I’d like to thank all of you for your naming help, I’ve been inundated with names here on my blog, on ravelry, facebook and instagram!
I’ve decided on the name – Shaniko. I both like the sound of the name and the history behind it which seems very fitting!
Congrats to Andrea for picking the winner.
However I want everyone to win on this one so until the 8th of November code ‘IMPERIAL’ will get 20% off the pattern price for everyone :-) You just need to ‘add to cart’ and then you’ll have the option on checkout to use a coupon code.

Shaniko

This is actually one of the longest patterns I’ve ever written, I wanted to demystify more complex patterns so full stitch counts outside each of the charts are given on the raglan and at the waist shaping. Each of the 5 charts is also written out for anyone who dislikes charts and I’ve given details of German Short Rows for working the collar. For short rows in Moss Stitch its definitely the nicest way of working short rows!

Hope you enjoy; this is a great cardigan to keep your mind busy on cables and is super warm when you’re finished.



Irish Yarn Club 2016 is go!

Irish Yarn club 2016

This is the third year that I’m running the Irish Yarn Club with This Is Knit and I’ve never been this excited about it! The Irish Yarn Club this year has got a few really, really exciting developments. Up to this point all yarn has been hand dyed in Ireland but the yarn was all milled elsewhere. For the first time we’re going to have a yarn milled in Donegal by Donegal Yarns and hand dyed by Dublin Dye Company. I’ve had a peek at the yarn and it’s just glorious :-)

But that’s just for starters….Hedgehog Fibres has been producing some out-of-this world colours over the last year. When I went to visit her studio last month I was just blown away with what they’re doing. I think you’ll like her yarn club offering this year!

I want to keep the final yarn from Townhouse Yarns a surprise…it’s a type of yarn dyeing that I’ve fallen totally in love with over the last year and will be so much fun to knit with. I’m not going to give any more away though!

As you can problem tell I’m extraordinarily excited about the club yarns this year, watching them transform into finished knits is going to be even more exciting. Please join me on the adventure.

So are you in? Don’t miss the chance to grab a spot in the club:

Full club membership (yarn & patterns) here.
Pattern only membership here.

Viminal

So we come to the final project from Dovestone Hills; Viminal. This sweater uses one of my all time favourite construction techniques; top down with short row set-in sleeves. In this sweater I wanted to blend two very different but complementary colours as seamlessly as possible to create an ombre effect.

The sweater begins at the shoulders with 2 stripes (one for each shoulder) worked from the neck out to the shoulder. These stitches can be left on a holder to form the top of the sleeve later. The stitches for the back and front are picked up from these strips and the shoulder slope is then worked using short rows at each side. The rest of the armholes are worked on each side increasing as necessary. Finally the body is joined under the armholes and worked in the round to the hem. There are a few little finishing details as well; the hem and cuffs are finished with folded hems but they pick up the second colour giving you a little glimpse at the bottom edge. The neck edge is gently rounded (easy to drop down if you want to) and finished with an I-cord edging.

Once the body is finished we go back to work the sleeves. There are live stitches at the top of the sleeve and we pick up stitches along the edge on either side. Short rows are worked back and forth to form the sleeve cap and then the sleeve is worked in the round to the cuff.

What colour combinations do you think you’d do for your version of Viminal?

Quirinalis

We’re already on the second last garment from Dovestone Hills; Quirinalis. This uses one of my favourite construction techniques, seamless set-in sleeves. The cardigan is knit from the bottom up in one piece to the armhole. From there the front and back are worked separately and armhole decreases are worked. Finally the shoulders are joined together using a 3-needle bind-off. When the body is finished the stitches for the sleeve are picked up around the armhole and the set-in sleeve cap in worked using short rows. The remainder of the sleeve is worked from the top down.

First let’s take a look at the the cables; these are not your standard cables! I wanted this cardigan to have a modern, more geometric feel so the cables I’ve used are zigzag and undulating along the front of the cardigan. I love working cables but when a garment is heavily cabled it can make it a bit dense for everyday wear. These add ‘just enough’ so this can become your favourite everyday cardigan.

You can see here as well that I’ve kept the rest simple; both the back and sleeves are worked in Dot Stitch giving it a nicely textured feel which works really well with a nice woolly yarn.

The folded collar is one of my favourite details; it’s worked to double length and folded inwards, then when you’re doing your bind-off you pick up the cast-on stitches and knit them together. this creates a seamless ‘seam’ that has all the stretch of a knitted finish.