Ethereal Diamonds – a free lace scarf pattern, introducing “Erle”

mohair silk wool yarn

Dale Garn’s new “Erle”, a heavenly kid mohair / silk / wool blend.

I had lost count of all the projects on my needles.  Sanity warned “Don’t you dare cast on one more stitch until 2015!” But, if you could just hold one soft, little cloud of Dale Garn’s new “Erle” in your hands, you’d understand why I couldn’t resist adding an Erle project to my epic list.

Erle yarn

Mohair, silk and wool work magic together in Dale Garn’s new Erle yarn. It’s amazingly light and soft, yet surprisingly warm and stury. A delightful new luxury knitting experience!

Actually, from what I’ve seen, no one just holds Erle – they smoosh it, they pet it, they caress it.  Erle is an incredibly soft, featherweight blend of kid mohair, silk and wool.  Thanks to its diaphanous nature, just one 50g / 1 3/4 oz ball of Erle gives you a surprising 325m / 355 yds.  Amazed when they see the yardage, knitters ask me  “So what can I make with a ball of this?”  Well, lots of things!  Here’s my first idea – my Ethereal Diamonds Scarf.

Dale Garn Erle mohair, silk and wool yarn in Ethereal Diamonds, a free knitting pattern from the Two Strands Blog

Well, a scarf swatch.  It’s only a little over one foot long at this point, but I’ve only used up a tad under 10g.  Eventually, once my epic project list allows me some more time with it, I’ll have a 60″ long cloud of sweet, soft luxury to wrap around a favored neck.  In the meantime, who knows how much perfect scarf-sporting weather will come and go?!  Since I’m so pleased with my Erle scarf so far, I’ve written it up as an early little holiday treat for you. If you like simple lace scarves, I think you will be pleased with it, too.  Aside from the usual increases (yo’s) and decreases (k2tog, ssk, s2kp – all detailed in the pattern), it’s predominantly garter stitch, so it’s about as close to reversible as scarves like this get.

Those of you who are familiar with my knitting business know that pretty much everything I do is charted knitting; so, of course, this pattern centers around a chart, too.  But, I’ve included the text translation of each row of the chart, too.  If  you haven’t tried charted knitting yet, I’m hoping this will be just the perfect little bridge for you to cross on your way to charted knitting bliss.

(Yes, of course you can use this pattern with all sorts of yarn, in all sorts of fibers.  But if you want something exquisite, give “Erle” a try.)

Click this link to download the PDF: Ethereal Diamonds, a free knitting pattern for a lace scarf

Visit my online yarn shop for Erle and countless other goodies from Dale of Norway / Dale Garn.

Happy knitting!

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Supernova Hat

Supernova hat, seen from above.

Supernova Hat, bird’s eye view.

Supernova Hat, a Fair Isle / Norwegian knitting design by Mary Ann Stephens

Supernova Hat, waiting to be knit in your two favorite shades of Dale Hubro.

Thirty, count ‘em, thirty quick rounds of short repeat, short float bliss, then *poof*, you’re done.  Should fit most of the adults on your holiday list.  It seems a shame to knit just one, no?

Knit yours in any two favorite shades of Dale Garn Hubro 100% pure new wool.  Just one ball of each color will do the trick. Printed pattern available through Mary Ann at Kidsknits; PDF available for purchase through Ravelry.

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Ode to Heilo

Wintergarden Pullover by Mary Ann Stephens, knit in Dale Garn Heilo

The original Wintergarden Pullover, ten years later.

Going through some of my files this morning, it dawned on me that, oh my gosh, my Wintergarden Pullover is ten years old!  It’s been a hectic decade of adventures for Wintergarden – skiing, hiking, knitting, scrambling, chasing, knitting, lounging, loafing, knitting – and yet it still looks like new.  Reason #947 why I love, love, love Heilo yarn.

Dale just recently discontinued quite a few colors of Heilo. :(  I swear, I mourn the passing of every discontinued Heilo color!  Thankfully, they’re still offering most of the core “traditional” Heilo colors, as you’ll see in their latest color card, below.

Heilo Color Card 2014

My Heilo page on my online shop

Wintergarden on Ravelry.

Posted in Fair Isle Knitting, Knitting, Mary Ann's Designs, Norwegian Knitting, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Shepherdess Cloche

My “Shepherdess Cloche” hat design, sized for adult females, knit in Dale Garn Monjita, Hegre and Heilo or Falk, now available as a knitting pattern, PDF or kit:

 

Knitting pattern for ladies' hat with Fair Isle detail.

Shepherdess Cloche, a knitting design for a ladies’ hat.

Dale Garn’s new, wonderfully soft, Persian-lamb-lookalike, Monjita, is held together with a strand of Heilo (or Falk, if you prefer) through the main portions of the hat,  so you end up with one very warm, very speedy project – perfect for your holiday list, no?!  I used four colors of Hegre for the Fair Isle band.  Of course, if you’re not quite ready for Fair Isle -style knitting, you could simply knit stripes for the colors in the band. But, the longest float on the Fair Isle band is only 3 stitches long, so this just might be the very “first Fair Isle” project that some of you have been asking for.  Hope so!  The pattern includes colorway suggestions for brown, camel and off-white hats, in addition to the black version, shown.  Check out the color cards, below – I can’t wait to see your version!

Monjita Color Card 2014

Hegre Color Card 2014

Heilo Color Card 2014

Falk Color Card 2014

Posted in Fair Isle Knitting, Knitting, Mary Ann's Designs, Norwegian Knitting | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Camissonia Mittens

My new “Camissonia Mittens“, sized to fit the average adult female hand.  Knit in standard Fair Isle knitting technique, then (optionally) embroidered, using Dale Garn Alpakka throughout:

Ladies' Camissonia Mittens, knit in Dale Garn Alpakka 100% alpaca yarn

Ladies’ Camissonia Mittens, a hand knitting design by Mary Ann Stephens

The knitting kit is available through my on-line yarn shop, Kidsknits.com.  It includes five different-colored balls of Dale Garn Alpakka (the default kit gets you the colors shown, but feel free to request your five favorite shades of Alpakka) and your choice of the printed pattern (yep, there are plenty of pages to this baby!) or an emailed PDF.

Mittens knit in Magic Loop technique

I used the “Magic Loop” technique for mine.

And, of course, the downloadable PDF is for sale through Ravelry, too.

mittens knit with alpaca yarn

Love, love, love 100% alpaca for mittens!

Embroidered knit mittens

Embroidery hint: When you’re working the embroidery, roll them up from the bottom to access the tips.

Palm side of mittens

Hello, friend!

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Fair Isle Cowl in 60 Quick Luxury Knits

60 Quick Luxury Knits” has just been released and it includes my reversible fair isle cowl, below:

Fair Isle Cowl by Mary Ann Stephens

Photo Copyright Sixth&Spring Books

The publishers had me use Cascade’s “Venezia Sport” 70% merino wool, 30% mulberry silk sport weight yarn.  (In fact, all of the designs in the “60 Quick” series use Cascade yarns of one type or another.)

I wish they had taken a photo of my cowl on a model, so you could get an idea of the fit and drape. I would have, but I figured that I’d better leave that to the professionals.  Bummer!  :(

I can tell you that the shaping, scale and fit of this new cowl in Cascade Venezia Sport are quite similar to my old Riverside Cowl, which I knit in Dale of Norway / Dalegarn Royal Alpakka . (See below.) But, the silk in Venezia makes for an extremely fluid drape, so it won’t “stand up” quite as much as my alpaca Riverside Cowl did. That could be good or bad, depending upon your perspective…and your weather.  As always, choose whatever sport weight yarn sings to you.

Riverside Cowl knit in Dale Alpakka

Riverside Cowl, Knit in Dale of Norway Royal Alpakka.

For the color junkies among you (count me in), here are my original color charts for the fair isle cowl design submission (below).  The businesswoman in me told me it’s always a good idea to provide variations upon the theme, whenever submitting an idea to be published elsewhere. So, as you’ll see, I did the same chart using two, three or four colors. I guess that was a good move, despite my continual preference for “as many colors as I can get”. But, for the life of me, I can’t relate to their preference for the two-colored version.

What do you think?

Fair Isle Cowl options

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Chevron Fingerless Mittens

fingerless mittens knit in alpaca yarn

Chevron Fingerless Mittens by Mary Ann Stephens

My “Chevron Fingerless Mittens”, sized for the average adult female hand, with fitted cuffs and gusseted thumbs. Knit in luxurious Dale of Norway Royal Alpakka.  Use any three shades your heart desires.  I used 19g of Slate 0007, 32g of Off-white 0010 and 13g of Beige 2642 – one ball of each color.  (If you want to make two pair, you’ll only need to get an extra ball of the off-white – you’ll have enough left over from the other two colors to knit a second pair.)

The PDF is available for $6 from my Ravelry store.

fingerless mittens in alpaca yarn

Chevron Fingerless Mittens knit in Dale of Norway Royal Alpakka 100% alpaca yarn.

fingerless mittens

Well-fitted, with full range of finger movement.

I liked the idea of having some fingerless mittens with full finger mobility, so these are a bit shorter than some of my other fingerless mittens. But, they don’t have to be! If you’d like to lengthen the upper section, so that your fingers have more coverage, it’s as simple as can be – right above the thumb opening, merely add some more repeats of the plain chevron motif (the plain grey + white zigzag section in the middle) before starting that upper striped motif.  The shaping has been worked so that you can fit entire horizontal repeats of the chevron motif in the top, for as long as you’d like.

Happy knitting!

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