I am freshly back from teaching at A Good Yarn in Sarasota, Florida. I had heard a lot about this wonderful yarn shop and was excited to be the first teacher in their new space. Susan Post has curated a wonderful collection of lovely yarns, and the sunshine and warm weather were a much-needed bonus! Teaching 4 workshops in 2 days usually means I come home with no voice, but I truly love traveling to new shops and teaching knitters who are excited to learn new techniques. I’ve said it a million times - knitting has survived so long because it’s our duty as knitters to continue to pass on information and share our love for good fiber and knowledge with each other!
VK Live also happened, and while I wanted to be there, I have yet to figure out a way to be in two places at once. I had 4 patterns debut last week and wanted to let you know about what’s new here at TanisKnits…
The Suburban Warrior Cowl debuted at A Good Yarn for the Fair Isle 101 class. Knit with 1 hank of each color in Flying Goat Farm’s Tresna, this was deigned to be the perfect first stranded color work cowl. I spoke a lot about what I call “faux isle” - the technique of using a variegated (or a gradient like I did in my popular Ziggy Stardust Cowl) combined with a solid. It’s not only a great way to use your hanks of variegated that wouldn’t work well with lace, but a way to make it look like you did more color changing than you actually did! I loved watching a room full of people knitting this in all different color combinations. They were all gorgeous! Easy garter edging makes this a quick, addictive knit and I love that this is a local yarn. I have plans to knit another for myself in super brights.
Another A Good Yarn debut was my Agate Hat. An intermediate cabled hat, the ribbing turns directly into twisted cables that come to a thoughtful and well-executed crown. I dislike when cabled hats end abruptly and weirdly in the crown decreases, so I always make sure the top is as lovely as the body of the hat. Inspired by nature, especially trees, this beanie has over 8 different cables and 7 different decreases, and is easy to read in a color-coordinated chart. It’s a surprisingly quick knit since every other round is only knits and purls and uses just 1 hank of Dragonfly Fibers’ Traveller, another local yarn. The cables are all small enough that you can enjoy cabling without a cable needle like I do if you wish.
My mitten kick continues with my new Shooting Star Mittens. Knit in one of my favorite local yarns, Little Fox’s Vulpine, these beauties need just 1 hank of each color. Inspired by a meteor shower my mom took my brother and I to as children, they make me remember lying in the grass on a blanket on Pine Street in an old soccer field, watching the shower with school friends late into the night. The stars shoot across the public side of the mitts, while an inverted design of the starry skies runs across the palm side. A feminine picot hem adds prettiness and stability to the cuff and the fiber is luxurious and perfect for mittens.
Finally, I was part of a group of 8 designers with Primrose Yarn debuting new patterns at VK Live. My Balustrade Cowl was inspired by the shadow of a neighbor’s fence when I was out walking with my daughter one afternoon. A mix of corrugated ribbing and stranded color work make this a doable project for all levels. Using 2 hanks of each color in Marquess MCN DK and Vintage DK Tweed, I always love mixing super brights with more neutral shades. The tweed adds a bit of texture and is designed to help you master 2-handed color work knitting. I love how large this cowl is - you can pull it up over your head like I did in my photo (look at me, actually modeling my own work for a change!) and wear it more like a snood, or let it drape around your neck. Either way, it’s a statement!