Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Review: Charm City Knits

Over the past six-ish weeks, my designer friend Kristen (Mediaperuana on Ravelry) has been releasing one pattern a week from her new collection Charm City Knits, which are all inspired by her home town of Baltimore. The six patterns that make up the collection are a hat, a pair of fingerless mitts, a shawl, a pair of knee-high socks, a short-sleeved cardigan, and a long-sleeved pullover. The collection is an excellent variety of both items and techniques- it's got cables, lace, and knit-purl combos- so there really is something for everyone. Here are my favorites:

Annabel Lee Cardigan

This sweet cardigan has so many thoughtful details. From the pattern description: "Paying homage to the fashions of Poe’s day, the cabled fronts of this cardigan mimic the ruffles and pleats that adorned the bodices of women’s dresses. The cable design is repeated on the back, expanding at the small of the back, as a bow would." How cute is that?!? I love it. This cardigan is more practical for me personally, living in the South- short sleeves are something I could actually wear. 

Eutaw Street Socks

In 2015 I made myself a pair of Patriots socks just before the Superbowl, so I totally get wanting to make socks in team colors. These Orioles-inspired socks are extra fun because they're calf-length and they've got a fun garter stitch "boot strap" down the sides (meaning, they're not just plain stockinette so you're not going to get bored because of the length.)

The best part of this collection is that the ebook is more than just the six patterns. There are little snippets on What To Do In Baltimore, like where to eat, what to do with kids, that kind of thing. Each pattern has a substantial description, and I admit to learning quite a few things about Baltimore while reading the ebook. Also, at just $12.99, this thing is a steal. If you think you'd like to knit even two of these patterns, buying the whole ebook is the way to go.

If you're interested in knitting up one (or more) of these great pieces, Kristen is hosting a knit-along (KAL) starting May 27th in this group.

I would totally recommend this collection- it's so well done. It's got me thinking about designing my own collections based on Louisiana, or maybe my home state of South Dakota. Those would be pretty wildly different collections, now that I think about it, right? So many ideas, not enough time.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

New Pattern: Maine Harbor Bag

We all know how much I love nautical stuff. New pattern, no surprise, it's nautical. I am nothing if not predictable.

In my wonderfully nautical guest room, I have a print of all the different maritime flags, what letter each one stands for (should one need to spell something to other boats), and what they mean if used alone, in various nautical situations. For example, a flag that's blue on top and red on bottom is "E", and means "I'm directing my course starboard." For whatever reason I really get a kick out of maritime flags. Naturally- I designed a knitting pattern using them. That's what I do.

This bag uses the intarsia method. Those maritime flags spell out "KNIT" on one side of the bag, and "PURL" on the other side. The bag is lined ( I used fabric with ships on it because duh) and has a zipper, so whatever treasures you put inside won't fall out and get lost. Keep a small knitting project in the bag, or your notions, or even- gasp- something entirely unrelated to knitting, like cosmetics. Use it as a whimsical clutch when you go out one night. Explain about maritime flags and impress people with your random knowledge.

If you've never lined a bag before, the pattern has a few photos and instructions on how to do so. The intarsia flags are charted.

Skills Needed: Long tail cast on, working from a colorwork chart, intarsia, casting on to the end of a row with either backwards loop or cable cast on, applied i-cord bind off (instructions are given), seaming, sewing a straight seam with a sewing machine, sewing in a zipper (instructions are given in the pattern), hand stitching with needle and thread.

Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Sportweight: one skein (you won't need the whole thing) in Dove Heather, and very small amounts of Semolina, Coal, White, Red, and Winter Night. This project is a great use of leftovers, so long as they're all the same weight.

Get the pattern for $5 on Ravelry- no account needed.