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.  ^_^

Friday, January 8, 2016

January 2016 Dream In Color Club Review

Hi, guys! Today I wanted to show you this month’s Dream in Color Dream Club colorway and pattern. If you are unfamiliar with what a yarn club is here’s a brief run-down: Usually a monthly yarn club will include yarn, a pattern and sometimes an additional bonus item (like stitch markers, a bag, or other knitting goodies). Depending on the club you join, there might be an additional bonus like that the yarn/pattern is an exclusive for club members only. The Dream in Color Club is one that I’ve participated in off and on for a few years now (whenever my local yarn shop has offered sign-ups). I really like getting surprise yarns each month from a yarn company that I love because even if the corresponding pattern isn’t one that I’m particularly keen on, I know that I’m going to love the yarn.

This month was a wonderful surprise because the yarn base is my absolute favorite Dream in Color base: Jilly with Cashmere. It’s a beautiful Merino/Cashmere/Nylon blend that knits up into a squishy, delicious fabric that makes for great accessories (especially ones that will be wrapped around your face/neck). The color artists at DiC really out-did themselves this round with stormy shades of denim blue, grey, black and some undyed sections peeking through. Everyone at Athena’s (my LYS) was drooling over the skeins when they arrived and people who didn’t sign up for the club this round were wishing that they had.

From their Ravelry page: “Jilly with Cashmere is luxuriously sumptuous and soft! The colors come to life. Every stitch knitted with Jilly with Cashmere is a dream, making only the most magnificent of accessories and garments.”

Photo credit to Dream in Color Yarn

The pattern that came in this month’s kit is “Blue Jean Boheme” by: Kalurah Hudson. “These fingerless mitts feature a unique Estonian elongated stitch that travels down the center of your hand. The gorgeous blues in the variegated Jilly with Cashmere lend to the vintage blue jean feel of these pretty gloves. Knit in the round in garter stitch, these will fit a wide range of hand sizes. The tubular cast on and bind off allow for plenty of stretch. The striking thumb gusset is created with slipped stitches that frame the increases.” (from the pattern description on Ravelry.)

I don’t always knit the patterns that come with the club kits, but I’ve been wanting to make some fingerless gloves lately and this pattern incorporates a few techniques that I haven’t tried before so I’m going to give them a shot. Plus, I’m impressed that they included a pattern for a kerchief. Usually you see fingerless gloves paired with hats or scarves/cowls so this is a refreshing change from the norm and the subtle stitch pattern combined with the hand-dyed yarn makes for a super cute accessory set! 

Are any of you in the Dream in Color club? Are you going to be knitting the pattern that came with it or do you have other plans for this amazing yarn? Let me know in the comments what you think of this month’s club kit and what you’ll be using it for. Have a great week guys! See you next Wednesday.  ^_^