FO Friday: Baby Jack!

All about Jack’s beautiful blanket, and thoughts on gift knitting!

Sage Yarn

Jack & Rams Jack O. with Rams & Yowes blanket, designed by Kate Davies. Knit by Jennifer Heinlein using Brown Sheep Nature Spun Fingering.

Okay, so he’s really more of a WIP, but Baby Jack arrived safe and sound on January 22 — just one day ahead of his due date.  He’s sweet and cheerful, sleeps while the dogs are yodeling, and even lets me knit occasionally!  John and I are positively smitten with our little boy!

The second most amazing thing to happen to me this year has been the outpouring of fiber love for Jack.  My friends, students, and customers are truly amazing — case in point is the Rams & Yowes blanket knit by Jen!  Ready for a story?  We’d intended to have our own knitalong for this project during our 2012 TKGA Grand Retreat trip, and planned far in advance how we’d modify the original neutral palette with shades…

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Short Row Tutorial

Sage Yarn

Short rows are a clever way to add shaping and curves to your knitting, and Heidi Kirrmaier takes them to the max in her Vitamin D cardigan, our current knitalong project!  If you’ve never tried short rows before, we’re here to help you out.

First, let’s clarify what a short row is.  It’s essentially an incomplete row of knitting — in the process of a regular row you’ve stopped, turned the work, and headed back in the opposite direction.  Part of your knitting is now going to have more fabric, and the part left unworked has been “shorted.”  If you do this over and over again, you’ll create a wedge shape.  It’s the wedge idea that creates the beautiful drape in the Vitamin D cardigan!  However, we have to add one little thing in order to avoid big, gaping holes in our work: wrapped stitches.

Let’s take a look…

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Sunday Skills: Colorwork and Steeking Tir Chonaill

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Let’s talk colorwork!  This is my in-progress shot of Tir Chonaill by knitwear designer Kate Davies, named for the long ago kingdom in what is now County Donegal, Ireland.  I’m a huge colorwork junkie, and when I was alerted to this new pattern by one of my customers. . . well, I bought it and cast on immediately.  Davies’ design is intended as a lap blanket or wrap, and can be easily adjusted to create a larger throw if desired.  It’s knit in the round and then steeked — and absolutely perfect for knitters looking for their first colorwork project, because there are very few areas where floats need securing.  Nervous about steeking?  Don’t be!  It’s fun — promise!  Davies has her own clever method for finishing steeks called a “steek sandwich” and offers support for the technique right on her fabulous website.  I’m really intrigued…

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