29 May 2015

quick + purly: 5 tees

It's so beautifully Summer-y here in New York City that I have the urge to knit things with little or no sleeves, so here are five tees with special details for you.

  1. The Perseids by Asami Kawa $5.50USD 
    This sweet top has been in my favorites for ages -
    love the touch of beads at the neckline
  2. Mesh Panel Tee by Myrna Batten $5USD 
    Using laceweight doubled except for the mesh is a great idea
  3. Crown Tee by Jenise Hope $7CAD 
    Lovely, feminine details
  4. Camelia Tee by Playsweetmusic Design kr.30.00 SEK 
    Charming inspiration and execution
  5. Hane by Kirsten Johnstone $8USD 
    Intriguing details and lots of options in the pattern
All images from patterns' Ravelry pages. No copyright infringement intended. I just want to share the love!

Have you knit any short-sleeved items? I tend to think of knits as long-sleeved Winter-y (and Spring- and Fall-y) things, but this year I'm jonesing to create Summer-y pieces. Tell me about your favorite summer knits in the comments.

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!

27 May 2015

Father's Day ideas: Knits for Men

Is there a fella in your life in need of a handknit? I put my patterns for men into a bundle on Ravelry, so you can find them all in one place:

  • An Aran for Frederick This one is loaded with cables telling the story of our hero Frederick Wentworth from Persuasion
  • A Vest for Charles* All in one piece, this vest has stitch patterns inspired by the sweater Charles II wore yet is quick to knit in worsted weight yarn (and no sleeves!)
  • Captain Austen's Scarf The seaweed knit-purl pattern is handsome and reversible, while the fringe is optional (some guys dig it, others not so much)
  • Dennis tie Time and again this fully-fashioned tie makes a great gift and can also be worked out of less than one skein of fingering weight yarn
  • Kind Woodsman** This handsome pullover is simple enough for most men to wear but has an intriguing all-over cable pattern that makes it fun for you to knit
  • Sailor's Valentine Another handsome cabled story-telling sweater; I recommend working double seed stitch rather than 2x2 ribbing at the sides for a more masculine silhouette
*Currently available from Jane Austen Knits/Interweave. Available in my Ravelry store this June!
**Currently available from Enchanted Knits/Interweave. Available in my Ravelry store this July!

To be among the first to know about my pattern releases, be sure to subscribe to my newsletter.

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!
xoxo, Kathleen

25 May 2015

FO-tastic: A Vest for Charles

Looking for a great knit for your fella but don't want to go to the trouble of making an entire sweater? A Vest for Charles fits the bill and is worked all in one piece with historical precedent and a Jane Austen connection. One knitter even added fantastic little pockets for her son's pocket watch! Here are some other favorite finished projects:

ArchaicDome's A Vest for Scott with lovely buttons and a yarn choice that really shows off the Diamond pattern

A Vest for Guillem by laracroft - Guillem looks so happy in his!

Doesn't Terry's vest from dayep look lovely in this color?

I would bet money that Scott is wearing his vest by simplyamy at Rhinebeck (I am now triply sad that I didn't make it to NYS&W in 2014)

And Emmett looks pretty happy with his vest from meredithn

All images from the projects' Ravelry pages. No copyright infringement intended. I just want to share the love!

In case you want to check out all the other fantastic A Vest for Charles projects:

Thanks for stopping by and happy knitting!
xoxo, Kathleen

22 May 2015

quick + purly: 5 lace + beads

Have you tried knitting with beads? I've only done it once, but it was quite enjoyable (so long as the kids weren't nearby, and I wasn't on a plane - little containers of beads have the potential to go everywhere) and the results are stunning. Here are five that I loved this week...

  1. Corryn Shawl by Abigail Phelps $6 USD 
  2. Blackbird by Kieran Foley $4.75 USD 
  3. Queen of the Night by Amy van de Laar $6 USD 
  4. Southern Skies by Audry Nicklin $7 USD 
  5. Tess by Camilla Lieske $5 USD 
All images from patterns' Ravelry pages. No copyright infringement intended. I just want to spread the love!

There are so many beautiful, lacy, beaded patterns to choose from. Here was my search. Which patterns strike your fancy? Let me know below in the comments.

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!
xoxo, Kathleen

18 May 2015

quick + purly: 5 linen cardigans

I'm sorry to be late publishing this for you - Saturday's trunk show took up all of my bandwidth, but it also inspired this q+p, since Jill has loads of wonderful summer-weight yarns (lots with linen) at Yarns in the Farms. Since it is beginning to feel a lot like summer, here are some lovely options for you...

This ended up being a more challenging search than I had expected. As a woman with an ample endowment, those waterfall cardigans don't often work for me, nor do all those little top-down things that only button at the top. V-necks and U-necks are more flattering for m, though I think they are a little more challenging to design.

  1. Fine Sand by Heidi Kirrmaier $6.80 USD 
    Open-front but with enough fabric to flatter
  2. Le Jardin Cardi by Hélène Rush $6.25 USD 
    Love the different stitch patterns
  3. Kowloon Cardigan by Connie Chang Chinchio $7 USD 
    Great shape and special collar/buttonband
  4. Morning Glory by Pam Allen $6 USD 
    Just enough little details to make this special
  5. Silver Ghost by Annamária Ötvös $6.50 USD 
    This looks like one of those patterns you might make again and again
All images from patterns' Ravelry pages. No copyright infringement intended. I just want to spread the love!

What cardigan would you want to knit and wear this summer? Let me know in the comments.

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!
xoxo, Kathleen

13 May 2015

Another great use for 2t-LTCO

This is a quickie post, as I'm busy getting ready for Saturday's Trunk Show (I keep thinking of "Dog Show!" from SNL when I type it):

A useful variant of the 2t-LTCO is for a provisional cast-on. Just tie your working yarn and waste yarn together as the two strands. Then place the waste yarn over your finger and working yarn over your thumb, working the long-tail cast-on from that position. The waste yarn should end up running along the bottom of your needle, while the working yarn goes over the needle top forming the first row of stitches. Remember not to count the slipknot as a stitch and pull it out when you work your way back to it on the first row/round of knitting. When it is time to put the stitches back on a needle and work in the opposite direction, just start pulling the waste yarn out of the stitches and popping those "live" babies onto the needle. If you have cast on a lot of stitches, I recommend cutting the waste yarn every once in a while, so you don't have to pull extreme lengths of waste yarn through the live stitches.

That's my advice for today. Hope to see some of you at Yarns in the Farms this Saturday :)

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!
xoxo, Kathleen

11 May 2015

Trunk Show! Yarns in the Farms on 5/16/15

Very excited that I will be visiting my first LYS (and truly one of my favorites - great yarns, charming owner, across the street from an ice cream shop - what more could you ask for?), Yarns in the Farms, this Saturday with a lovely selection of samples and printed patterns, including the Unicorn Tapestries, vol. one.

If you are in the area, I would love to see you! And talk knitting :) I'm almost finished with my Kellynch Cardigan, so who knows what I'll be working on by Saturday. Come find out!

And if you can't make it on Saturday, the pretties will be hanging out with Jill in the shop all week.

And if you live far from the area, perhaps I can come visit your LYS some time. Drop me a line or ask your LYSO to get in touch at kathleendames at gmail dot com. Or PM me on Ravelry, where I go by Purly.

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!
xoxo, Kathleen

08 May 2015

quick + purly: 5 dolls

Whoohoo! My Jane Austen Knits 2015 patterns and samples are in, which means I can rejoin the world and focus on things other than gauge and stitch counts.

Have you ever knit a doll? I've knit a few teddy bears and dogs in my time, as well as created the Matryoshka Japonais doll set. But I haven't knit a proper doll, by which I mean one with arms and legs and outfits. This week I found five little charmers for you from some talented knitted toy designers.

  1. China Doll by Sara Elizabeth Kellner $4.50 USD 
    I love that she is constructed like an antique china doll.
    Do NOT miss Sara's other patterns, including China Doll's outfit!
  2. Homage to Jane Austen by Noreen Crone-Finlay $6.75 USD 
    How could I not include a Jane Austen doll?
  3. Tulip Doll by Katie Boyette $6 USD 
    Katie's patterns are super-cute!
    I'm still holding out hope that she will publish
    her Henry VIII and Friends projects as patterns.
  4. Marie Antoinette Knit Doll Pattern by Amy Gaines $6 USD 
    More cuteness! The hair makes me giggle.
    Amy is prolific in the adorable toy category.
  5. Theodóra by Hélène Magnússon €5 EUR 
    Don't miss the adorable Icelandic wardrobe and sheep dog!
All images from the patterns' Ravelry pages. No copyright infringement intended - I just want to share the love!

There were so many pages of cuteness that I really had to get specific on which dolls to share. I think we will need a mermaid doll post, soon.

I'm off to decide which doll I want to knit most (right now) and to enjoy a calm Mother's Day weekend. Hope you have a good one, whether you are mother, child, or both.

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!
xoxo, Kathleen

06 May 2015

New pattern: Sly Maid Stole

Today I have a lovely versatile accessory pattern to share with you.

Sly Maid Stole $7 on Ravelry (no account required)

At first glance, this stole is seems simple, yet the more you look at it, the more you find going on. Two different textures of Stockinette make this reversible, while the eyelet rows lighten things up. All you need is one skein of your favorite laceweight yarn (or perhaps fingering weight? ooh, that would make a lovely and more substantial version) for this beauty.

Sly maids always peek at you out of the corner of their eyes, never straight-on. This stole begins as a straight-up rectangle, but it ends up being all about bias and winking eyelets and never knowing which side is right. Once you get to know a sly maid, you won’t want to be without her – light, cozy, adaptable, never boring yet not difficult.

What you'll love about knitting Sly Maid Stole:

  • 2tLTCO means you will have just the right amount of yarn for your cast-on
  • working on the bias - it's just more fun that way
  • when the rows of stockinette start to feel monotonous, it's time for some eyelet action!
What you'll love about wearing Sly Maid Stole:
  • madelinetosh Prairie in all its glory (or your fave laceweight yarn - I adore Prairie)
  • the bias fabric makes for a rhombus that is more interesting to wear than the usual rectangle
  • it's totes reversible
  • the fabric is just open enough to be wonderfully squishy - not too warm, but it will ward off any chills

Size/Finished Measurements
61”/155 cm (long edge) x 28”/71.1 cm (short edge), 16”/40.6 cm wide

Materials madlinetosh prairie (100% Merino; 840 yds/768 m per 4 oz/114 g); color: Tart; 1 skein {approx. 775 yds}
US6/4.0 mm 29-inch circular needle
Tapestry needle

20 sts x 32 rows = 4”/10 cm in Stockinette Stitch Note: I am a loose knitter. While gauge is not critical in a stole, you may run out of yarn if your gauge is different from the gauge given.

Skills Needed Casting on
Binding off

Thanks! Technical Editing: Rachel Brown
Test Knitting: dezignmama, pinhappy, pretz2005

Pattern is professionally formatted (by me!) to ensure you have everything you need to create your own beautiful Sly Maid Stole.

This pattern is part of a bundle of four inspired by The Unicorn Tapestries at The Cloisters in New York City. Sly Maid Stole comes from the tapestry fragment known as The Mystic Capture of the Unicorn, where we can see a “sly” maid signaling to the hunters that the Unicorn has been lured into an enclosed garden by the fair maiden.

I hope you enjoy this pattern! It is one of my favorite things to wear (and having written that bit above about knitting it in fingering weight, I am seriously considering another one).

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!
xoxo, Kathleen

04 May 2015

New pattern: Pomegranate Cardi

Apologies for the delay in posting today! I am finishing up a couple of special projects for Jane Austen Knits this week, so things are a little busy. But here is another one of my new patterns for you:

Pomegranate Cardi

Pomegranate Cardi $7 on Ravelry (no account required)

Here is another lightweight project: sock yarn worked at a comfortable gauge with lovely split pomegranate cables ringing the hem and cuffs, as well as traveling up the cardigan fronts. To keep things tidy, Seed Stitch shows up on the hem, collar, and cuffs, as well as recalling the seeds of those cut pomegranates. By the way, can you see the sparkles in the yarn? Oh, sparkly yarn, how fantastic you are!

What you will love about knitting this sweater:

  • Body worked in one piece to the underarms, as well as sleeves - working everything flat ensures the gauge matches on all pieces
  • Seed stitch along the edges prevents them from curling
  • Raglan lines created using centered double decreases have a crisp, delicate line
  • Pomegranate Cables are a fun mashup of cable maneuvers and Seed stitch - written and charted versions of the cable pattern are both included
  • Integrated buttonbands mean no fussing around with where to sew on your beautiful buttons - right over the buttonholes!
What you will love about wearing this sweater:
  • 3/4 sleeves are versatile and perfect for all seasons
  • Drape of the fabric is lovely and means you can skip waist shaping yet still have a flattering garment
  • Square neckline draws all eyes up to your pretty face
  • Telling people about the pomegranates in the Unicorn Tapestries is always fun!

Sizes/Finished Measurements Women’s XS {S, M, L, 1X, 2X, 3X} (shown in size M with 0 inches ease)
Chest circumference: 28 {33, 36¼, 39¾, 44¾, 48, 53} inches/71.1 {83.8, 92.1, 101, 113.7, 121.9, 134.6} cm

Materials Wooly Wonka Arianrhod Sock (75% Merino, 20% Silk, 5% Metallic; 435yds/398m per 3.53oz/100g); color: Byzantine; 2 3, 3, 3, 3, 4, 4 skeins {approx. 750 (875, 1000, 1200, 1300, 1500, 1600) yds}
US4/3.5mm 29-inch circular needle
Cable needle
Waste yarn
Stitch markers
Removable stitch markers
Tapestry needle

24 sts x 32 rows = 4” in Stockinette Stitch

Skills Needed Casting on
Binding off
Working from charted or written instructions

Thanks! Technical Editing: Rachel Brown
Test Knitting: Malinda, chau7, galzanne, strickgut

Pattern is provided in both charted and written formats professionally formatted (by me!) to ensure you have everything you need to create your own beautiful Pomegranate Cardi.

Pomegranate Cardi is part of a bundle of four patterns inspired by The Unicorn Tapestries at The Cloisters in New York City. Inspiration for this design came from the magnificent tapestry known as The Unicorn in Captivity, where the Unicorn lounges beneath a pomegranate tree with pomegranate seeds and juice dripping down it's flank. Pomegranates were a fertility symbol, thanks to their abundant seeds.

I hope you enjoy this pattern! There are two more new patterns and one re-release to share with you this week, so stay tuned :)

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!
xoxo, Kathleen

01 May 2015

quick + purly: 5 lacy stoles

Perhaps it's that I just blocked my two #seekritknitting projects. Or maybe all the pollen has gone to my head. This week I was drawn to lacy, nupp-y stoles, even if they might take a lot of yarn and a LOT of knitting. These five beauties are the opposite of my recently-published Sly Maid Stole - maybe that's why I like them.

Have you knit nupps (pronounced noops from what I understand)? Any tips or tricks? Let me know in the comments.

  1. Forest Path Stole by Faina Latoutchaia $6 USD 
    I might even venture entrelac for this - divine
  2. Sweet Embrace by Marriana Designs $6 USD 
    nupps on stockinette are so modern
  3. Fairy of Happiness by Meeli Vent 4.90 EUR 
    perfect pattern name
  4. Snowdrop Shawl by Nancy Bush $7 USD 
    Yes, that Nancy Bush
  5. Ophelia Shawl by Miriam Felton $6.50 
    Miriam's photo shoot is as lovely as her stole
All images from the patterns' Ravelry pages. No copyright infringement intended - I just want to share the love!

Looking for your own nupp-y stole option? Here is my Ravelry search.

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!
xoxo, Kathleen
P.S. More on those new patterns next week!