Category Archives: Wool Gathering

I have a new home!

Please follow me over to KierstenBrandtDesigns.com

It’s my new home and I’d love to have you stop by for a visit! All links and pins will still work, as I’ll leave this content in place. Thank you!

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Pattern Release: Anderson, Bluemont & Eisenhower

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It’s always exciting to release a pattern, and this time it’s triple the fun!  These patterns were a fun excursion into the land of Fair Isle, and I thoroughly enjoyed the process of writing, knitting, testing, and editing. My girls were a big help this time as well. Katie picked out the color palette for the brown hat and the navy/grey/teal hat, and Ellie picked the bright colors of the purple and green hat. Their more sedate mother chose a 2-tone version of Ellie’s hat.

All the hats are designed to be used with fingering, sock, or sport weight yarn.

a

Anderson Pattern Link

 

 

b

 

Bluemont Pattern Link

 

 

 

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Eisenhower Pattern Link. I love how different color choices make such dramatic differences!

All three patterns are also available in the eBook Alma Mater. My fellow K-State alums will recognize the names of these prominent buildings on campus. I logged a lot of time in these buildings!

Forecast: Grab all your woolens and hunker down!

My sons say they are done with this winter. This morning they had the pleasure of digging my car out of several inches of snow and removing the 2 and a half foot, hard-packed snowdrift created by the very efficient city snow plows at the end of the driveway. One of our neighbors was kind enough to use his snow blower to clear the whole sidewalk on our block. He’ll be getting homemade cookies later today, no doubt about it.

I was supposed to work in the library this morning, but even that was shut down by the snow. So instead, I took some photos of some finished objects.

wrap

My winter wardrobe is not adequate to these sorts of winters. Where we now live, you can’t have too many sweaters, cowls, scarves, hats, mittens, socks. It’s a knitter’s dream. This is the first of several of these wrap cardigans I hope to make for myself.

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This is made from the very popular Color Affection pattern. Most of the ones I’ve seen have been very dramatic with highly contrasting colorways. I wanted to use yarns I’ve picked up in St. Louis when I’ve gone there with Sean, but they blend instead of contrast, so I’ve got more of a really really long garter stitch scarf.

a1The yarn couldn’t be any softer, and I know this scarf will get a lot of use.

EPcowl

After making one of these for my friend, I knew I wanted one of my own. Katie’s tried to snatch it and is making plans as to when she’ll be wearing it in the near future. I think I’d better make some more!

We’re in for another week or more of temps below freezing. Stay warm, friends!

 

 

A little help from a friend

helpThe last week or so has been pretty fun. One of my New Year’s priorities was to get back to designing. I was in a groove two summers ago, and then school and sports and moves and Bob’s your uncle (Where did that phrase come from?), and designing was pushed further back than the back burner. My goal this year was to release 3-4 patterns. So far, I have a cowl in testing phase, a sock pattern prototype almost finished (this one’s a carry over from a couple years ago), and I just cast on for a prototype of a hat pattern.

I am really enjoying the process of coming up with these patterns. There’s been a lot of swatching, charting, and math.  My artist in residence has given me a lot of input into the element balance and color palette of the hat, and it’s been really cool to bounce ideas around with her. She’s already claimed the hat prototype, and she may also lend her nickname to the final pattern name.

One of the children (not the “baby”) decided I needed a little help with this one and brought Monkley for encouragement. I think he’s double checking my math.

The Knitter’s Family is Cold

How can it be that my family doesn’t have enough woollies to stay warm during this Arctic blast? Monday we had wind chills in the neighborhood of -45*F and I couldn’t find a cowl. I think one of the next orders of business for me is to stock up our bucket of hats, gloves, etc., so we are better prepared for this Hoth-like weather.

My oldest son is working at a local grocery store as a bagger. Unless the roads/sidewalks are impassable, he bikes to work and back. He’s been getting really cold lately, so I’ve been working on a couple items for him.

cowl2 This is the City Creek Cowl, modified a bit. He didn’t need a lot of bunching at the neck, so I cut off a bit of a repeat. I also used different cast on and bind off methods. This only took a few hours to whip up, and I think it’s a good one for men. The cabling even gives a bit of double thickness here and there for extra warmth.

gloves  I started these back in September, but Christmas knitting pushed it to the bottom of the knitting bag. I finally finished them last night. The pattern is from The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns, one of the best tools available for knitters. I always recommend it to people who ask for a suggestion for a book with basic patterns. These gloves were made from sock yarn, and are thin enough to layer under some other bulky stuffmart gloves.

Both projects were knit with stash yarn. It’s been a great couple months for using yarn from the stash. I’d love to keep that going this year, though a new pretty now and then would still be a treat!

Nice Landing!

This morning Sean took me to visit the second of two yarn shops in our new home, and it was such a treat!  I found so many favorite brands and yarns, and saw several I’ve been wanting to try for a while, too.  She also had the most gorgeous braids of fiber for spinning and felting.

I got to visit with the owner and one of the other staff, and they were really neat. I learned Stephen West had spent some time there at one point and was shown a model he’d knit for the shop…too fun! What a joy to have 2 lovely shops so close to my new home.

chili

This pretty came to live with me and become socks. Yes, it’s very orange. No, I do not have a fever. It called to me.  It’s a skein of Dream in Color’s Everlasting sock, and I’ve been eager to try it for quite a while. It looks like stitch definition is going to be gorgeous with it, so I need to find a nice pattern that will let it strut its stuff.

I’ve got about 2 more inches on the brown/teal socks before the second toe, and then it’s afterthought heel time!

 

Digging out!

We’ve reached that interesting state in the move, when enough is unpacked to live day to day life, but enough is still boxed that we’re not making the best use of space, and many important things are still in hiding, including some knitting. I’ve got a vest that has got to get the highest attention as soon as it’s unearthed.

The charger for my camera batteries has also been MIA, and we finally decided to replace it. (I’m expecting to find it any moment now.) I’m pleased to have the use of the camera again!  My cell phone camera is nice, but so very not the same.  This morning we put the newly charged battery in the camera and I snapped this photo to celebrate:  My current “recitation socks.”

sock

 

Recitation socks must be mindless and be made with unfussy yarn, as they are what keep me sane through Grammar Sentence Classifications and Spelling Tests. This is a pairing of Loopy Ewe yarns just perfect for afterthought heels.

Several of my earliest pairs of socks are starting to look a little tired and need some darning.  I’ve got a pile going of those, but it (along with a pretty chilly first winter in our new home) highlights the need (yes, need!) for a few new additions to the sock drawer.