Friday, February 5, 2016

Fresh New Pattern: Hearts Alive Cowl!

Hearts Alive is a super quick and cozy cowl pattern that features a simple Heart Cable pattern. It’s knit using 4 strands of a light fingering weight yarn which makes it extra dense and perfect to combat those February winds. The project begins with an I-Cord Cast-on, the cable pattern is then worked in-the-round for a few repeats and then an I-Cord Bind-Off is used to give it a clean edge. Instructions are included for both the I-Cord Cast-On and Bind-Off, so don’t worry if you haven’t tried these techniques yet.
You will need:
  • 500-880 yards of a light fingering weight yarn
  • size 10 (6mm) Circular Knitting Needles in 16”(20”; 24”, 29”) length
  • Cable Needle
  • Yarn Needle

There are 4 size options and all sizes do require 2 skeins of yarn.
Originally when I started designing this cowl, I was planning on using a bulky/heavy worsted weight yarn, but I was continually drawn to the beautiful Linaza from Plymouth Yarn Company. It's listed as a sport weight yarn, but it feels more like a light fingering weight so I decided to hold the yarn quadruple and knit it up on larger needles. This means that the small size is a perfect weekend project and the larger sizes can be easily completed in 1-2 weeks. The blend of Alpaca/Linen/Tencel knits up into a beautiful, squishy fabric that is perfect to combat the intense February winds.

The guage swatch that I made was 20 sts x 30 rows for a 5” square.
(That way you can do an entire repeat of the Heart Cable Pattern.)
My birthday is on February 13, so this is my favorite month and I have always felt like Valentine's Day is my holiday. Because of that I knew that I had to include a heart motif on this cowl and I've really been feeling the cables lately so this was the perfect melding of the two. The cables get an extra pop because they are made by doing a K1, P1, K1 on each set of cable stitches. Surprisingly, this doesn't create a ribbing effect, it just serves to plump up the cables more than they would be naturally. I also really enjoy the slight complexity that the seed stitch at the center of the hearts provides because it makes you pay more attention to what you are doing. You don't get bored, but it also isn't so complex that you get frustrated. 

Cowl snow prints post photoshoot.
I'm a sucker for a clean, finished edge so the I-cord cast-on and bind-off were my best options (plus, they match beautifully with the cables). My first attempt was with a provisional cast-on, but the cables made for a terrible pick-up attempt when it came time to finish the cowl. So, at the suggestion of my test knitter, Katie, I learned how to do the I-cord cast-on and incorporated that into the design. If you need a video tutorial for the cast-on, has a great one.

Become a love bandit with your own Hearts Alive cowl!
I'm offering a 50% discount on this pattern to my e-mail subscribers through the end of February, so be sure to sign up at the top of the page to get your coupon code. Also, tag your knits with #YumiYarns and #HeartsAlive when you post on social media for a chance to be featured in an upcoming e-mail blast and to be entered for a chance to win an adorable knitting pouch duo.

Win this adorable knitting pouch duo by using the tags #YumiYarns and #HeartsAlive

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Completed Project: Shawl Vest

My completed, stress relieving Shawl Vest

This week I'm doing a bit of a flashback to last fall when I started a Shawl Vest by StevenBe during a day of classes with the Stev(ph)ens but before the Booty Short Design Contest Fashion Show (check my Instagram Feed if you missed the Booty Short action). The weeks leading up to this were extremely stressful because I was trying to get a few patterns completed while still learning my new(ish) position as Cafe Manager at Barnes & Noble. So when I bound off the Brioche Booty shorts that I was making, I just wanted a simple, squishy project on larger needles that I could whip through for some instant gratification.

Most people would reach for a basic hat or a pair of vanilla socks, but I had bought these 5 colors of Sun Valley Fibers the last time that I was at StevenBe and knew that I needed to use them double and all together in a project. The Shawl Vest pattern was one that I had my eye on since the first class that I took with the Stev(ph)ens last February because I love the drama that it creates and the simplicity of the design. I chose to hold an intensely contrasting color of mohair along with the fingering weight yarn because it gave a beautiful, almost iridescent look to the finished seed-stitch fabric.

I've gotten so many compliments everytime that I wear this vest and I can't even tell you how much I love the way it fits and feels on. The yarns were beautiful to work with and even my little boy loves rubbing the finished vest on his face (haha, I'm raising him right. He keeps trying to steal the mini-balls of leftovers, too!)

Have a great week, guys and have fun with your crafting!! 

Shaina ^_^

Both photos were taken by my lovely sister, DoeDeer Photography. Check out her stuff, she's amazing!!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

New Pattern: Color Shift Brioche Cowl

Do you ever have those days when everything just comes together? All week long I've felt like I'm just one step behind where I need to be and just when I think that I'm getting my feet under me, something else happens to set me back again. Today broke that trend and I'm happy to announce the release of a new pattern: the Color Shift Brioche Cowl!

I've been working on this one since last fall when I was planning my Beginning Brioche Knitting class, but I kept getting distracted by all sorts of things and this poor cowl kept ending up at the bottom of the project pile. It's such a quick knit, I don't know why I didn't just knock it out. This morning when I picked it up, I only had one row left to knit before binding off, seaming, washing and blocking it. That quick finish was just the push that I needed to get the pattern written, pictures taken, and the submission to Ravelry and Love Knittng completed.

This quick project teaches you the basis of 1x1 Brioche Ribbing while keeping things interesting by incorporating some easy color striping techniques.. Brioche Rib is a fun technique that creates a super squishy fabric that is great for items that you want to snuggle into. The Color Shift Brioche Cowl uses a yarn with a long color repeat (Knitpicks Chroma Worsted) and a neutral heathered yarn (Rowan Creative Focus Worsted), but you can use yarns with more contrast for a bright pop of color or use more subdued colors for a subtle color shift effect. You can even add in more than just two colors if you're feeling ambitious (great for stash-busting)!

I’d love to see your project photos, so if you post them on Instagram or Facebook, be sure to use the hashtags: #YumiYarns and #ColorShiftBriocheCowl . Sign up for my new e-mail list (located in the top right corner of this page) to be the first to know about new patterns and special give-a-ways that are open only to subscribers.

Cairo claimed the finished cowl instantly and has given it his stamp of approval.  ^_^