Collage of handknit items with text overlay reading "Fasten Off YAL Designer: Nov 25th - Dec 31st"

Fasten Off Yarnalong Starts Today!

The Fasten Off Yarnalong, an annual off-Ravelry stitchalong, begins tonight (at 9pm ET), and I am once participating as a designer.

There are 109 designers participating this year, with patterns for knitting, crochet, and Tunisian crochet. The event will kick off with a sale of 25% off select patterns from participating designers, with code FO2022. All my individually priced patterns will be on sale in my Payhip, Ravelry, and Etsy shops (note that the event will be run off Ravelry).

The discount period will last through December 8th, so there’s no pressure to shop on Black Friday or Cyber Monday if you’d rather enjoy family time. The Yarnalong itself will run through December 31st.

You can find all the details on how to participate, and search the database for designers and patterns, at the link below. If you’re planning to knit a few holiday gifts this season and would like some company, and fun games and prizes, come join me!


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New Pattern Release – Towline Hat

The Towline Hat is now available as an individual download. Originally published on the Spin Off website, Towline is a cozy cabled hat that harkens back to classic Aran sweaters.

The pattern includes instructions for two adult sizes, and spinning notes for those who would like to make their own handspun version. For the non-spinners, I’ve also included commercially-spun yarn recommendations, and I’ll talk about choosing your yarn in a future post. For the individual pattern I’ve also added an option for a beanie version in addition to the original folded brim, watchcap version. The cables can be worked from charted and written instructions, and all of the cables can be worked without a cable needle. In a worsted/ Aran weight yarn, this hat will knit up quickly and have you ready for fall in no time!

The Towline Hat is available on Ravelry, Payhip and Etsy.


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Reclaiming Yarn For a Project

We’ve had some lovely fall weather here in the Piedmont, and my thoughts have turned to sweater knitting. I’ve just started a new sweater project for myself, and I’m reusing yarn from an unraveled sweater I knit previously (call it upcycled!). Confession time: even after my years of knitting and designing, and with careful planning, sometimes my projects still don’t work out.

I had originally knitted Donna Smith’s Peerie Leaves jumper (Ravelry link) from this yarn. It’s a lovely pattern, but somehow my gauge changed during the knitting (yes, it can happen), or I miscalculated somehow, and my sweater ended up being quite a bit larger than I’d intended. And I also found that the allover lace pattern on the front just didn’t work for me. I’m just not that much of a lace person. So I’m reclaiming the yarn to knit a Glenfiddich cardigan, by Annamária Ötvös, a sweater that has been on my wishlist for several years now. It’s a top-down cardigan, which isn’t my preference, but I love the cable pattern, and I’ve never knit set-in sleeves from the shoulder down before, so I’ll be learning a new technique. The yarn is Buoy DK from Hipstrings, a blend of 100% wool from BFL, Shetland and Manx breeds.

Reclaiming the Yarn

In case you’re curious about how to reclaim yarn, here’s what I did:

I unpicked the seams or joins one at a time, and unravel one piece at a time. In this case, I started with the sleeves, and labeled the yarn to use for the sleeves in the new project. Because I was alternating two skeins of hand-dyed yarn, winding into separate skeins was a bit tricky. I first wound each into a ball, keeping one on either side of my lap to keep it from becoming a tangled mess. Then I wound each ball into a skein on my niddy-noddy. (If I have only one ball of yarn to deal with, I usually wind it off directly onto the niddy-noddy).

Once I had both sleeves done, I soaked the yarn in hot water with some wool wash, then rolled in a towel, snapped it to remove more kinks, and hung it to dry. I repeated the procedure with the body of the sweater. Once dried the yarn may still have a little bit of a kink to it, but will wind nicely into a skein or ball and will knit up nicely.

My unraveled yarn (left) and washed and dried skeins (right)

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Wear Your Knits – the Suora Tee

This is the second post in my series on how I style my handknit garments. In the first post I wrote about styling my Composure Cardigan. Today, I’ll show you how I wear my Suora tee.

Suora is knit in 100% linen yarn, and makes a versatile T-shirt type wardrobe piece. It can also be worn with a variety of ease, depending on your preference. In the photos I am wearing the sample size (98 cm / 39 inches), which is about 4 inches of ease in my upper chest and 0 inches of ease in the full bust. One of these days I plan to knit myself a larger version to wear more oversized.

How I Wear the Suora Tee

My favorite way to wear Suora is with wide-leg linen or linen-blend pants.

Another favorite outfit is Suora with a midi-length skirt.

Choosing Colors

If you’ve been following this series you may have noticed that I have a lot of denim and chambray in my wardrobe. They make a perfect neutral to wear with many different pieces. I tend to prefer wearing neutrals with a single piece in a bright or rich color or print. One trick I use is to keep a pretty consistent color palette, so that I can easily mix and match pieces. I have just a few pieces in other statement colors to make it interesting.

Stay tuned next week for some tips on how to put together an outfit using your handknits. I hope to continue adding to this series in the future. In the meantime, I’ve started a Pinterest board with handknit outfit ideas.


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Mending a Sweater Hem

As spring arrives, some of my most-loved winter knits have seen some wear and tear. I’ve accumulated a small mending pile, including one of my favorite sweaters – the Poet sweater by Sari Nordlund (see it on Ravelry), knit in local Jacob wool yarn from Avillion Farm. The hem of the sweater had unraveled a bit, so I thought I’d share how I mend a sweater at the hem or cuff.

Here is a before photo. As you can see, the bind off had come undone, and a bit of unraveling had occurred.

Before the repair

For the repair, I used locking stitch markers, a small-diameter crochet hook, and a circular needle approximately the size the sweater was knit with.

Fixing the Unraveled Stitches

The first thing I did was to catch the live stitches – locking stitch markers are handy for that. I then used the crochet hook to ladder up the stitches that had run – you can do it from either the knit or purl side, but I often find it easier to work from the knit side.

I managed to get a bit of video of this process. You’ll notice that I use a second crochet hook to grab the stitches I’ve already fixed, and then I transfer them onto a second locking stitch marker. (Unfortunately, I didn’t have my camera set up quite right and all the work is going on in one corner, but you can still watch how I ladder up the stiches and place them on the stitch marker.)

Laddering up and catching the stitches

Once all the stitches were secure, I attached new yarn (fortunately I had a bit of the same yarn left over) and bound off the stitches once more. Now all that’s left is to weave in the ends! As you can see in the photo at the top, my sweater looks good as new.

Sweater hem after repair

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