27 March 2015

quick + purly: 5 lacy pullovers

In hoping for Spring (snow showers this weekend in NYC?! sigh), I thought lighter (sport or fingering weight), lacy pullovers would be fun to explore. Plus, I've got a lace pullover in tech edit/testing now, so it's on my brain.

What's on your to-knit list for Spring?

  1. Baltoro Sweater by Marie Grace Smith $6 USD 
    Super-flattering, love the button detail
  2. Carpino by Carol Feller $8 USD 
    Low-key and lovely - a real wardrobe staple
  3. Lena by Deb Hoss $6 USD 
    Lovely in a casual context, but this would dress up beautifully
  4. Princesa Preciosa by Vera Sanon $6 USD 
    This is just perfect for Spring
  5. Princess Fiona by Amy Miller $6 USD 
    Love the fit and asymmetrical lace
There were only two pages of results in my Ravelry search, so I'm going to put on my designing cap, since I find these types of pullovers quick to knit (with the right pattern) and incredibly versatile to wear. Ooh, one more: my Wavelette $7 USD
I wear mine all. the. time.

All images from the patterns' Ravelry pages. No copyright infringement intended - just want to spread the love!

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!
xoxo, Kathleen

25 March 2015

Knitterly Details: i-cord for smarties

Have you ever used i-cord in place of your cast-on? I made some (not pretty, but helpful) videos showing you how to use i-cord as the foundation of a piece - in this instance the Ozark Wrap*, which also uses "integrated i-cord" on the sides to finish off the piece as you go and keep the edges from curling. "Idiot cord" is pretty smart!

  1. provisional cast-on (one of my overall favorite techniques)

  2. picking up stitches from an i-cord (also used for the Mermaid's Cardigan cuffs)

  3. working the first row (once begun is half done)

  4. adding the side i-cord (to work the integrated edging)
Would a video showing how to cast off with i-cord help you? Let me know in the comments. I'd love to make some more (my new camera should make videos of my hands knitting easier to create - I promise my next video will be in better focus!
Happy knitting!
xoxo, Kathleen
*Want to buy the Ozark Wrap from Interweave? Click here. Want to know when I release my version of the pattern? Sign up for my newsletter here.

23 March 2015

FO-tastic: An Aran for Frederick

Have you ever or are you planning to knit An Aran for Frederick? How about a few lovely FOs for inspiration?

Malika added some flattering waist shaping to hers (a la An Aran for Anne) but with Frederick's cables. I love it when you knitters really make a design your own. After all, we are the bosses of our own knitting :)

I love James's manly version in Beaverslide Dry Goods Merino/Mohair.

Tahirih went all curvy and dropped the neckline on her version. Did anyone see her at Rhinebeck 2014?

How handsome is Adrianne's son in this version? And the Wensleydale Longwool Aran looks amazing.
All images from the projects' Ravelry pages. No copyright infringement intended - just want to share the love and appreciation!

Have you knit up one of my designs? I'd love to share it with all of my readers. Let me know when you've posted an FO photo on Ravelry, and I'll feature it in an upcoming blog post so other readers can be inspired.

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!
xoxo, Kathleen

20 March 2015

quick + purly: 5 mittens

While Spring is about to ... spring, many of us still have some chilly weather to get through, so how about some pretty pretty mittens? If you're lucky enough not to need hand-warming any more this season, knitting one of these patterns would give you a nice portable project and have you ready for next Winter. Win win!

  1. How Cold Is It? (adult language alert) by Drunk Girl Designs $5.50 USD
  2. La Joie du Printemps by Heather Desserud $5.50 USD 
  3. Chawton Mittens by Anne Blayney (originally published in Jane Austen Knits) $4.50 CAD 
  4. All You Need Is Love by Freshisle Fibers (love how they are reversed) $3.99 
  5. Midwinter Rose Mittens by Marit Trudvang $5.50 USD 
All images from the patterns' Ravelry pages. No copyright infringement intended - just want to spread the love!

Today I chose five adult, stranded, fingering-weight mitten patterns, because I had to narrow it down somehow! Even still, there were eight pages of beautiful patterns. Clearly, more than one quick + purly mitten exploration is needed :)

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!
xoxo, Kathleen

18 March 2015

Springtime for Mermaids

I think of Mermaid's Cardigan as a Springtime project: worsted-weight yarn (it's not warm yet), but with a little ventilation in those lacy sleeves and a little waist-shaping to show off your curves.

You don't feel like you have a waist after this Winter's hibernation? Don't worry - the princess seams that create this cardigan's waist shaping give you the illusion of a waist. Seriously! I am a short-waisted, apple-shaped lady. Those princess-seam lines lure the eye upward, and the fabric curves along your body, enhancing whatever shapeliness you DO have.

The lace sleeves begin with a bit of i-cord for a blouson effect, which means no increasing in the lace (I love lace, but sometimes I want it to be not hard, you know?). And the i-cord edging ties in to the i-cord cuffs, creates the buttonholes, and keeps the stockinette edges from rolling. All that from something called "idiot cord" - maybe we should start calling it "smart cord"!

So, need a flattering cardigan for Spring? Try a Mermaid's Cardigan.

Mermaid's Cardigan by Kathleen Dames

buy now

Happy knitting (and almost-Springtime)!

P.S. Want a little lace but no time for a garment? Try Mermaid's Mitts!

16 March 2015

Come join the Kellynch Cardigan KAL!

the makings of an Envy-inducing Kellynch Cardigan :)

Today marks the official beginning of my kids' TWO WEEK SPRING BREAK (two weeks, people. two. weeks.). To maintain my sanity, I need knitting. But my JAK yarn hasn't arrived yet (and it isn't easy to design and knit a sample for publication with the gang around), and the backlog of independent designs to be published means I shouldn't start on something new.

To independently publish my patterns for you, I need a sample that fits me or a model that fits my sample. Since I love wearing my designs, I prefer a Kathleen-sized sample. So, now I've started a KAL over on Ravelry to keep me motivated. Care to join us? The "official" start date was Saturday the 14th (belated Happy π Day!), but I'm not big on rules, so come when you're ready to cast on.

If you don't have the Jane Austen Knits 2014 issue, there are a couple of ways to buy it from Interweave, or you can buy the Kellynch Cardigan individual download (the kathleen dames | knitwear design version will be available in October thanks to the knitting of this sample).*

While getting the above links for you, I found this:
Save 30% Off Your Purchase at Interweave with Offer Code LUV2CRAFT

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!
xoxo, Kathleen

*Those are Interweave affiliate links. If you purchase through one of those links, I receive a tiny commission. If you would rather buy the pattern from me directly, please sign up for my newsletter, and you'll be the first to know when it is available.

13 March 2015

quick + purly: 5 skirts

Skirts. I love the idea and think they would knit up super-fast. I mean, no sleeve island, right? There is the notion that skirts bag out and are unflattering. These are not those. I think thoughtful yarn choice and careful swatching are critical for success, but I might just be up for that.

Have you knit a skirt? I'd love to hear how it went and if you enjoy wearing yours.
  1. "She's Electric" Aztec Pattern Bodycon Skirt by Lauren Riker $5 USD 
  2. Swirl Skirt by AnneLena Mattison $7 USD 
  3. Bold Move by Lorilee Beltman $6.50 USD 
  4. Flouncy Skirt by Cindy Craig $5 USD 
  5. Take-Two Skirt by Ann Budd $6.50 USD 

All images from the patterns' Ravelry pages. No copyright infringement intended - just want to spread the love!

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!
xoxo, Kathleen