Ready for another round of The Great Garment Giveaway?

Summer can be a busy time for us yarn lovers. Many activities draw our attention away from our knitting and crocheting. It’s fun to think these retiring sample garments are going to new homes where they will get worn right away!

We have another beautiful, mesh garment for you this week. The best part is it’s a free pattern on our website!

lontue The Araucania Lontue top really makes a statement.

Jenny Watson’s design is soft and stylish, knit up in Araucania’s Lontue yarn, a 50% Cotton, 50% Linen blend.

lontue detailAiry and bright, this layer is feminine without being frilly. And with colors like this, it’s a great addition to any wardrobe.

(The sample is size XS, see sizing chart in the pattern for details!)

The Big Question: Would you be dressed for romance or adventure in this attractive shell?

Leave a comment on this blog post. We’ll select one lucky person to receive this actual item. Winner will be selected and notified (by email) on Tuesday.

(US residents. Void where prohibited.)

Don’t want to miss a future giveaway? Use the “subscribe” box in the right sidebar to sign up for our email newsletter.

Want to just knit it yourself? Download the pattern, then use our Store Locator feature to find a local or online yarn store that carries the Araucania line. Tell them you need Lontue yarn.

Have you read the Outlander series of books by Diana Gabaldon?

The general storyline is that a woman from the 1940s, Claire, visits some standing stones (think Stonehenge) in Scotland and is transported back to the 1700s. There she meets a brawny Highlander named Jamie and they proceed to have many adventures.

My mother-in-law introduced me to the series back in 2002 or 2003. She tricked me by telling me the book was about time-travel. By the time I figured out it was a romance (a genre I don’t usually read) I was too invested to stop reading.

(Let me pause here to mention my MIL also taught me how to knit and bakes delicious shortbread, so a little book trickery can be overlooked.)

The reason I’m bringing all this up is because the TV series based on the books premiers on STARZ on August 9 (in the USA at least). Although it’s been a couple years since I read the last book, and I’m not as rabid as some fans seem to be, I’m pretty darn excited to watch.

Since everything comes back to yarn in my life, I’ve been wondering whether we have any patterns that would be appropriate knitting while I’m watching.

To that end I started a Pinterest board of ideas, which I’ll probably continue to add to once the show starts.

Follow Knitting Fever’s board Outlander ideas on Pinterest.

For inspiration, I’ve been peering at the photos STARZ has posted online, and trying to pause the trailers to get a better look at the costumes.

When selecting projects for my Pinterest board I was not looking for garments that would look like a costume. Instead, I wanted practical garments you could knit and wear with out drawing strange looks. I wanted projects that would echo what I was seeing; “inspired by” rather than duplicate.

Here are my ideas, so far, of projects to knit while you’re watching the Outlander series.

Debbie Bliss Tartan SweaterSuggesting projects with a plaid pattern almost seems too easy, but they also can’t be overlooked!

The Tartan Sweater shown is from the Milano book by Debbie Bliss. The sweater uses a mix of Milano, Cashmerino Aran, and Rialto Aran yarns. Use the colors shown, or select your own palette to make it unique.

See more Debbie Bliss tartan patterned projects.

Viking of Norway socksOnce you think of plaid, you tend to think of kilts, and that makes you think of kilt hose. (At least, I do.)  Also, there is a scene in one of the books where Claire watches in fascination while Jamie knits a pair of socks on double pointed needles.

We don’t have any actual kilt hose patterns, but these socks from Viking of Norway look like a good substitute to me! Especially the cabled one on the top right.

This is a free pattern on our main website, but I suggest it for experienced sock knitters. The socks use a combination of Baby Ull and Nordlys yarns.

Viking of Norway Nordlys shawlI’m seeing lots of shawls and shrugs in the production images I’m seeing online, which lead me to this Viking of Norway pattern. This Nordlys shawl is another free pattern and takes three balls of Nordlys.

I liked the simple shape and muted colors of this shawl. Back in the 1700s wool was dyed with plants and insects, resulting in softer colors, compared to the bright colors we can achieve today by using chemicals. That is one of the reason you see “traditional” and “modern” versions of clan tartans.

While most of the garments being used for costumes in the show are probably woven, you can tell some are knit, so this shawl would fit in.

Juniper Moon Farm DeodarIn addition to shawls and shrugs, I’m seeing lots of gauntlets being worn. These include fabric armwarmers for warmth and leather gauntlets for protection.

There are a ton of armwarmer and mitt patterns listed on our website that you can purchase at your local yarn store. So many, in fact, that I could do a blog post just about them.

Instead I will focus on one here, and flood my Pinterest Outlander board with the rest!

The Deodar Hat and Arm Wamers set from Juniper Moon Farm is knit using their delicious Tenzing yarn. This set reminds me of the leather gauntlets I’ve seen in the pictures. Between the brown yarn used in the sample, the textures, and the embroidered design, these are totally knitwear armor!

Juniper Moon Farm EugeniaOne of the more intriguing knitting related scenes in the trailers is of Claire running through the woods while wearing a little purple cape. It’s just big enough to cover her shoulders. I can’t wait for that scene during the show so I can pause it and take a really good look.

In the meantime, the Eugenia Capelet from Juniper Moon Farm seems like a good stand in. The pattern is sized from XS to 3X and uses either three or four hanks of beautiful Moonshine yarn. Like Claire’s cape, it just enough to keep your shoulders warm without bogging you down.

You can see more information, and buy the digital pattern, on the Juniper Moon Farm website.

Louisa Harding Bette beretMost of the patterns I’ve highlighted have focused on after Claire travels back in time. I’m totally overlooking her time in the 1940s. However, I’m sure it will be easier to find even more knitting pattern ideas after the show starts, so keep an eye on our Pinterest board. I might even have to do another blog post!

In the mean time, I submit the Bette Beret from “Knits From an English Rose” by Louisa Harding as a potential 1940s inspired project. Isn’t it terribly romantic? And it takes just one ball of luxurious Amitola yarn!

Really, that entire book has a romantic, retro vibe that you might find very inspiring.

Louisa Harding VeraThe pattern I will close with, and the one I’ll be casting on during the show, is the Vera Cowl from Louisa Harding’s Luzia book.

This is the one-skein version. There is a larger, two-skein version in the book, too.

Luzia was introduced last fall to great acclaim, so I was only able to smuggle out one ball for review. With the faux fur trend staying strong for fall/winter 2014 fashion, Luzia should continue to fly off the shelves at your local yarn store.

Luzia comes in both natural and fashion colors.

Luzia comes in both natural and fashion colors.

In terms of Outlander, there is a picture of Claire mixing herbs on the Starz Outlander Community page, that shows her wearing what looks like a big, brown, fur cowl. I’ve seen another picture of Jamie and Claire on horseback where it looks like she has white fur on her collar and cuffs.

It’s pretty apparent this show is going to be covered in wool and fur!

Tell me I’m not alone in my obsession. Are you looking forward to the show? What are you planning to knit while you’re watching?

Find more inspiration in the Outlander Fans group on Ravelry.

 

Accomplished crochet designer Jenny King has released a flurry of wonderful designs using Noro yarns.

Yoko in Noro kibou (6)The Yoko Shawl is crocheted using 6 balls of Kibou yarn, a yummy 54% Cotton, 34% Wool, 12% Silk, sample in color 8.

This oversized triangle shawl is done with just a single crochet and chain. It is glamorous and practical for when the weather takes a turn for the worst or if a little Boho Chic is required. And isn’t that always? A large hook ensures it is quick to make. Let the colors of Noro Kibou do all the work, with a little help from the trim tool for the fringing. It also looks great draped over the lounge chair.

Find the pattern on Ravelry.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe Kelly wrap uses four balls of ever-popular yarn Silk Garden, the sample is shown in color 301.

This simple triangle wrap is done with just a double crochet and chain. It is glamorous and practical for when the weather takes a turn for the worst. It is the perfect travel companion and can be tucked into a hand bag. A large hook ensures it is quick to make.

Find the pattern on Ravelry.

mitchs beanie 021Mitchs beanie 1Mitch’s Beanie uses one ball of Noro Silk Garden and one ball of Lana Gatto SuperSoft.

Using just doubles, chains and single crochet this amazing 2 tone effect is achieved. Every 2nd row is worked with  Noro  so graduated striping  is already done for you. You will be popular with your teens and tweens if you make this design.

Find the pattern on Ravelry.

Naoko noro design in Kibou 020The stunning Naoko vest is crocheted using just three balls of Noro Kibou yarn. The sample was made using color 9.

This lovely vest has the beauty of crocheted lace in contemporary shaping. Made in square motifs it is a very versatile wardrobe piece. These squares are joined as you go and are simple to remember so once you have mastered one you are good to go.
Wear it open and loose flowing or cross over the fronts and secure with a brooch. It is a classic layering piece.

Find the pattern on Ravelry.

risa in noro 001The Risa wrap is one of my favorites from the new patterns.  It takes three balls of Noro Taiyo Sock, a 50% Cotton, 17% Wool, 17% Nylon, 16% Silk blend that is great for wearing in many seasons. The sample is shown in color S23.

This chevron wrap is asymmetrical and is worked using 3 balls of one color in Noro Taiyo Sock yarn. If you want something dramatic and a little off-beat then this wrap is it. You only need to count for the first couple of rows until you recognise the bumps in the rows.
It is a classic layering piece that can be as interesting or practical as you wish as you wrap it every which way.
It only uses double crochets.

Find the pattern on Ravelry.

hana in noro (2)Hana is an attractive top that is on trend for the renewed popularity of granny squares! It takes three balls of Taiyo Sock yarn.

The cotton ,wool and silk blend of the Taiyo sock means that this  is perfect layering piece over a summer tank top and jeans. It creates a lovely thinner profile as the flared skirt just skims the hips while keeping the focus on the long V at the front and back.
3 motifs are worked first and joined-as-you- go and the bottom half is no hassle easy crocheting and works up quickly.

Find the pattern on Ravelry.

Ingrid skirtLast, but not least, is the beautiful Ingrid Skirt. It takes from 1 to 4 balls of Silk Garden Sock yarn, depending on the size you make.

This pattern was originally a girls skirt about 10 years ago. So many requests came in for the grown up version that I have finally done this Mother and Daughter skirt. It is worked from the top down so that rounds may be added as your special girl gets taller or to be whatever length you need. Once the pattern is established just changing the hook sizes will allow for the flare of the skirt as has been done in patterns from the ‘70s.

Find the pattern on Ravelry.

In several cases Jenny has written the patterns using both US and British crochet terms. I tried to link to the one with US terms. Be sure to check the description in her Ravelry store so you know what to expect!

Which of these new designs is your favorite?

On July 24, Pacific Fabrics and Crafts hosted Debbie Bliss at Stitch n’ Pitch for the second time. (The first time was back in 2010.)

Pacific fabrics glove

Pacific Fabrics and Crafts has been sponsoring Stitch n’ Pitch at the Seattle Mariners for 10 years!

PF shirtsThey even had special shirts made up for the occasion.

Pacific FabricsThere is a lovely market where people can browse for yarn and books.

Pacific Fabrics yarnIt’s wonderful to be able to enjoy the fresh air and excitement of a baseball game combined with yarn!

Personally, I’ve knit at a couple Yankees games. Baseball seems to be the proper balance of quiet and excitement that is conducive to stitching.

image(1)Debbie’s friend knit her that great baseball glove for her appearance in 2010. It’s fun to see it again.

image(3)image(6)The Mariners Moose was also roaming the marketplace. Debbie is wearing the Braid-Edged Jacket from the Juliet book.

image(2)Nell and Debbie with the first pitch ball.

image(7)The garments from the trunk show were also available for people to try on.

image(5)The yellow Cabled Swing Tunic from issue 13 of Debbie Bliss Knitting Magazine was a popular garment for people to try on during the tour.

The pink sweater is the Blackberry Stitch & Cable Sweater, also form issue 13. It is knit using Cashmerino Aran yarn.

image(4)Another fan wearing the Cabled Swing Tunic and Debbie. (That tunic seems to look good on everyone!)

The day before the Stitch n’ Pitch event, Debbie and Nell visited Wild Fibers, a local yarn store in Mt Vernon.

Wild fibers groupThe event started with a lovely tea organized by the shop owner’s mother.

Wild Fibers teaStore owner Sarah had fun trying on garments along with the guests.

Wild fibers saraWild fibers sarah 3Here she’s trying on the Extra Wide Multi Cable Tunic from Debbie Bliss Magazine issue 13. It is knit using Rialto DK yarn.

Wild Fibers sarah 2Here Sarah is seen in the Cable and Moss Stitch Sweater, also from issue 13, knit using Paloma yarn.

Wild Fibers yellowThere’s the Cabled Swing Tunic again! See? It’s the same sweater on all these different people and it looks lovely.

Wild fibers 4Crew Neck Jacket from the Milano Chic book.

Wild fibers 3

Shape-Edged Jacket from the Milano Chic book.

My Multidirectional Cap Sleeve Top is moving along swiftly.

IMG_4742The pattern is from the second issue of Noro Knitting Magazine. Look for the print magazine at your local yarn store, or find the digital pattern on Patternfish or Ravelry.

I posted this picture on Facebook and Instagram over the weekend looking for opinions on how to join the side seam.

The top is constructed by knitting the center panels, then picking up stitches along the side and knitting out, while also using short-rows to shape the sleeves. You are instructed to bind-off and sew a seam.

IMG_4745Here’s another picture of the top with the stitches divided over two needles. You can see both the construction and the sleeve better.

My question was, “Can you think of a reason NOT to use a three-needle bind off instead?”

Most people said I should go for it! It appears that many knitters are, like myself, seaming adverse.

There were concerns about a three-needle bind off being bulky. Compared to a mattress stitch, a three-needle bind off can have more bulk. However, since this seam would be worked over bound off stitches, you’ll have bulk either way.

Our FB fan Patty suggested:

Why not do the Kitchner weave up to the arm holes and then do your bind off on the arm section. You would eleminate any bulk.

I hadn’t thought of that, but after consideration I was worried about how long to leave the tail and dropped the idea. (Of course, you could use the tail at the other end of the ball instead.)

Pat at Kirtland’s Yarn Barn said:

I did this and used a 3 needle bid off, had no problems. I found the neck on this much to wide for my body, so before finishing the neck edges, try on and see if it will stay on your shoulders, might have to add some rows around the neck to be comfortable wearing

While our fan Jean said:

I’ve done the three-needle bind-off in situations like this many times with never an unfortunate result. It makes a firm yet flexible seam every time.

The fact other people have used it in this situation gave me confidence to proceed.

I divided all the stitches between two needles. Using interchangable needles made it simple. Once the stitches were moved I just had to swap the tips from one end to the other, rather than fussing around to get them in the proper position! For my third needle I used a US8, instead of the US7 I used to knit the top, to help keep the cast off from getting tight.

After some fussing around, I decided to hold the right/public sides facing so the bulk of the seam is on the inside.

Putting the ridge on the inside also helped me dodge Kelly’s concern about the colors:

I also don’t like using a three needle bind off with Noro because the colors are so hard to match so the seam tends to stand out so much with a three needle BO. however, this top is very contrasty, so it may look great

 

IMG_4746I worked the three-needle bind off up to the markers for the underarm, then switched to working a regular cast off for the stitches around the sleeve. For that section I worked from the front toward the back, so any jog would be harder to see.

IMG_4747Here is the sweater laid out flat. Working the three needle bind off was quick and easy. I think it looks rather lovely.

See a pictures showing how to work a three-needle bind off.

See an example of using the three-needle bind off on a shoulder seam.

I’m using Noro Koromo yarn color 2 for my top. See all the Noro Koromo colors.

We are excited to be welcoming the venerable Italian yarn brand Lana Gatto to the family of yarns we distribute!

cat3We’ll be introducing them to you here on the Yarnologue as we get our website updated with images to tempt your needles.

The fall/winter season sees seven Lana Gatto yarns joining the roster and heading to a local yarn store near you.

Today I will introduce you to Class.

165966Lana Gatto Class yarn is a dreamy 80% Extrafine Merino Wool, 20% Angora blend. Each 50 gram ball has approximately 136 yards. The suggested knitting gauge is 4.5 sts per inch on a US 9.0 needle.

It is available in 23 colors ranging from neutrals, like the beige shown above, to pastels and primaries.

To help inspire you, we have a couple free patterns for class.

Lana Gatto Class PulloverThis pretty cable and rib Class Pullover is knit from cuff to cuff. The deep ribbing at the waist is picked up and knit down.

Download the pattern from our website.

Add the Class Pullover to your Ravelry queue.

Lana Gatto Class WaistcoatThe attractive Class Buttoned Waistcoat will be a fun to knit as it is to wear. Cables and lace create a rich texture that is sure to turn heads.

Download the free pattern from our website.

Add the Class Buttoned Waistcoat to your Ravelry queue.

Intrigued by what you see? Find a local yarn store near you that is stocking the Lana Gatto line so you can see it in person.

Browse Lana Gatto Class projects on Ravelry for more ideas.

Don’t miss out on exciting news like this! Remember to use the “subscribe” box in the right hand sidebar to join our email newsletter list.

Edit July 29: This week’s winner is Dana! She said:

I think it would be most appropriate to wear this lovely sweater
near Scotch and water. I certainly would be happy to wear it at that time.

(I guess we can all use a drink. Cheers!)

————-

You’ve all been having fun with the Great Garment Giveaway and we’re loving reading your comments.

DeRonda won week one. Patti S won week two. Linda won week three. Who will get to adopt this week’s garment?

We’ve got a real beauty for you, too. The only way this top could be more nautical is if you tossed it into the ocean!

rope coverall

Knitted up in a soft cord-like cotton with a casual drop-shoulder design, this coverall is the perfect layer for any adventure.

rope detailElla Rae’s Melbourne (100% cotton) really shines with this three-season wardrobe extender.

Measures 21.5″ across bottom ribbing, 31″ from sleeve hem to sleeve hem (across shoulders), 19″ shoulder to bottom edge, and wide 11″ neck.

The Big Question: Would you were this near salt water or fresh water?

Leave a comment on this blog post. We’ll select one lucky person to receive this actual item. Winner will be selected and notified (by email) on Tuesday.

(US residents. Void where prohibited.)

Don’t want to miss a future giveaway? Use the “subscribe” box in the right sidebar to sign up for our email newsletter.

Want to just knit it yourself?
Use our Store Locator feature to find a local or online yarn store that carries the Ella Rae line. Ask for the “Paradiso top” pattern in the Melbourne book.

Debbie Bliss and her daughter Nell are visiting local yarn stores in Washington and Oregon July 21-24, culminating in Debbie throwing out the first pitch at a Seattle Mariners game.

Find details of Debbie’s tour http://knittingfever.com/blog/debbie-bliss-tour-july-2014/

image(4)They started at Close Knit Portland on July 21. Debbie is second from left and Nell is second from right.
image(3)Visitors and staff enjoyed the trunk show of garments from new fall/winter 2014 books, as well as patterns that are already available.

Here we see the Chevron Cowl & Handwarmers from Debbie Bliss Knitting Magazine Issue 13 might give you superpowers!
image(2)It’s always exciting to meet one of your favorite designers and show off the projects you’ve made using their yarn and designs.
image(1)The foreground is the Braid-Edged Jacket from the Juliet book.
162739 Debbie recently did a gallery of different people wearing this same jacket on her blog.

In the background of the tour picture you see the Cabled Shoulder Cape from Debbie Bliss Knitting Magazine issue 13.
DBF14_Roma_06It is knit using the new yarn Roma, a bulky 70% Wool, 30% Alpaca blend.

Watch for the magazine and yarn to arrive in local yarn stores soon!

image(6)On July 22 they moved on to Seattle Yarn, where Virginia and Ruth hosted.

It’s always interesting to see the same sweater on different people.
image(8)This is the Cable Swing Tunic from Debbie Bliss Knitting Magazine issue 13. It is knit using the popular Debbie Bliss yarn Cashmernio Aran.
image(9)Here is the same yellow sweater on a different person, along with the Cable & Moss Stitch Sweater, also from the new issue of the magazine. The pink sweater is knit using delicious Paloma yarn, a chunky, 60% Baby Alpaca, 40% Merino Wool blend with a chainette construction.

And here are the official magazine pictures of both sweaters.DBF14_Cables_13 DBF14_Cables_09Note everyone is trying on the garments in size 34 — the magic of knitwear. Cautionary tale: choose the size to fit your shoulders. Knitters tend to make their sweaters in too large a size. Knitwear stretches and it should enhance and flatter your curves!
image(10)This knitter got to try on the Shape-edged Jacket from the new Milano Chic book. It is knit using Milano yarn, a 40% Wool, 28% Nylon, 18% Silk, 8% Polyester, 6% Acrylic blend that was introduced last year.
168170Here is the image of the same sweater in the Milano Chic book.
image(11)Ruth (wearing DB Milano) showing Nell one of her own capelet/cowl designs in Debbie Bliss Blue Faced Leicester Aran yarn.

Read more about their adventures on the Debbie Bliss Online Blog.

Having finished knitting my Kayleen Pullover, I plunged straight into knitting the Multidirectional Cap Sleeve Top designed by Irina Poludnenko from Noro Knitting Magazine issue 2.

If you follow us on Instagram you are not surprised to hear this as I’ve been posting a million progress pictures. LOL. One of the great things about a Noro knitting or crocheting project is that they look so different after just a few rows because of the color changes.

Noro Multidirectional topI loved this top from the moment I set eyes on the magazine, but you know what it’s like to have a long list of projects you want to make!

IMG_4372The pattern calls for Noro Koromo yarn, a yummy 39% Cotton, 35% Wool, 26% Silk blend in the wonderful Noro colors you expect. I’m using color #2. (It’s shown in the magazine in color #3.)

IMG_4682The yarn is soft, with the feel of the cotton dominating, while the silk shines through on a regular basis. I’ve knit up two balls so far and haven’t encountered any veggie matter!

IMG_4685The top starts with narrow center back and front panels. They are knit in an easy sequence during which you alternate the two balls to create the stripes. The pattern is really high impact in the beautiful Noro colors. I didn’t try to control the yarn at all, instead I just let the colors flow.

IMG_4693Once you finish the two center panels, you pick up along one side of each panel and knit the side out. That is what changes the direction of the stripes.

IMG_4730The cap sleeve are worked using short-row shaping, once again alternating two balls of yarn. I had to switch to two new balls just as the short-rows started, but I didn’t bother trying to match the color sequences.

IMG_4738Really, the top is so colorful, who is going to notice?

Find a local yarn store near you that stocks Noro and might have Issue 2 available.

Add the Multidirectional Cap Sleeve Top to your Ravelry queue.

Buy the single pattern on Patternfish.

Have you seen the Vogue Knitting Early Fall 2014 issue yet?

VKEF14Cover_small_webIt was supposed to hit newsstands on July 8. I saw it the other day at my grocery store.

As usual, it is full of interesting articles and eye catching patterns.

VKEF14_TRANSITION_04

VOGUE Knitting Early Fall 2014, photo by Rose Callahan

I was especially excited to see this interesting top in the “Turn, Turn, Turn” section.

Item name: Drop Shoulder Pullover

Designer: Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton

Yarn Information: Noro Taiyo

For sizes: Small, Medium, and Large

Amounts: 4 (4, 5) skeins in #49

Add the Drop Shoulder Pullover to your Ravelry queue.

Not only is this a unique garment that you won’t find it stores, but it looks like a fun sweater to knit, too!

Noro Taiyo yarn is a 40% Cotton, 30% Silk, 15% Wool, 15% Nylon blend with 220 yards per 100 gram ball. With a suggested gauge of 4.5 sts/inch, projects move along at a nice rate.

Hamilton has been experimenting with space and texture lately.UrsulaTopFlyer

She recently released the Ursula Top as an independent pattern.

It is knit using Noro Kirara yarn, a 51% Wool, 29% Cotton, 10% Silk, 10% Angora. I used Kirara to knit my Metalouse shawl a few months ago.

The Ursula Top has interesting triangular openings, compared to the neat and orderly squares of the top in Vogue Knitting.

Add the Ursula Top to your Ravelry queue.

IMG_4704The yarn spotlight page of the Early Fall 2014 issue of Vogue Knitting is about “denim” yarn and includes Jesse from the Louisa Harding line.

Jesse is a 100% Cotton Denim yarn that is available in 22 colors.

You might remember that I used it to knit the Miss Kitty Top from book #125-Jesse.

IMG_3767This picture is from when I first finished the top. It has softened with each washing.

When I first finished the top I was worried the fit was a little snug, but it is better every time I wear it. The yarn is “breaking in” wonderfully!

Add Miss Kitty to your Ravelry queue.

165039Finally, the magazine also has a blurb about the new, hardcover book “Knit Noro 1-2-3″. As the name implies, it is full of patterns you can knit with just a few balls of Noro yarn.

You can preview it on our main website.