The shortest day of the year

It's a dreary grey day in London today, and there isn't going to be much of it. For today is the Winter Solstice, when the Northern Hemisphere experiences the shortest amount of daylight all year (a mere 7 hours and 49 minutes).

To celebrate the depths of winter, and the gradual return of the sun, today is the kick off of a fantastic KAL hosted by The Fibre Company, featuring their glorious Tundra yarn and the patterns from the Nordlándda collection!

All images copyright 2016 Kate O'Sullivan for The Fibre Co.

The KAL is being hosted in the I Heart The Fibre Co. Ravelry group, and will run through the last day of winter, on March 20th. 

As a special deal, you can get three of the Nordlándda collection patterns for the price of two - just use the coupon code Northland17 when you check out to receive your discount. I'll be hanging around the KAL thread on Ravelry to answer any questions and cheer people on, and I'm excited to be joining in!

Copyright 2016 Kate O'Sullivan for The Fibre Co.

Copyright 2016 Kate O'Sullivan for The Fibre Co.

I'm going to knit Fauske in some handspun Bluefaced Leicester - the singles are done, but now I've got to ply and finish the yarn before I can cast on. Looking forward to having you all join in! 

The Nordlándda Collection: Ifjord, Sappen and Skáidi

This is the last post to cover the Nordlándda Collection, and I've save the hats for last.

All images copyright 2015 The Fibre Company & Tommy Martin

When originally discussing the collection, Daphne and I decided that we wanted to have a hat that was throughly unisex. I went for a close fitting shape with a small, all-over stitch pattern and ended up with Ifjord.

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Starting with 2x2 ribbing, the hat is then worked in a lovely but simple cable pattern that only every uses 1x1 crosses; in other words, only 2 sts are in each cable crossing, making this a good project to work without using a cable needle. The stitch motif is a 6 stitch repeat worked over 4 rounds, 2 of which are plain stockinette, making the stitch pattern easy to memorise. The crown decreases are worked at four equally spaced points around the circumference of the hat, and hide the decreases within the already existing stitch pattern, making for a smooth transition to the crown shaping.

Next up is Sappen. This is another beanie that is worked in an all-over cable pattern, but unlike the small stitch motif in Ifjord, this hat uses two cable patterns: a large complex cable panel bordered by four stitch Honeycomb cables repeated around the hat. After starting with 1x1 twisted rib (k1tbl, p1), the cables are worked up to the desired length. The crown shaping is built in to the cable panel as the hat grows, so there is a lot to pay attention to as you work your way to the top!

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Slouchy Skáidi is related to Sappen, in that they share the twisted ribbing, the large cable panel and the Honeycomb cables. In Skáidi however, the cable panel is only worked once, with Honeycomb cables on either side and a third Honeycomb cable directly opposite the cable panel. The crown decreases are again worked into the large cable panel and on either side of the opposing Honeycomb cable. Although the rest of the hat is worked in stockinette, I actually think this one is the most difficult of the three because of the more complicated crown decreases.

This wraps up my overview of the pieces in the Nordlándda Collection. It's been great fun to share them all with you, and it's wonderful to see projects and FOs starting to pop up on Ravelry, Twitter and Instagram. There's still time to join the #AYSWinterCablesKAL hosted by Carmen from A Yarn Story if you need a holiday gift, and share your projects in the Ravelry thread!

Note: If you are in Europe and would like to purchase one of the patterns from the collection without paying VAT, please go to the Nordlándda page and be sure to include your Ravelry ID (if you have one) when you check out. The pattern will be emailed to you and put into your Ravelry library. Thank you!

THE NORDLÁNDDA COLLECTION: Nøss and Heggelia

When I was brainstorming about the pieces to include in the Nordlándda collection, I wanted to include some projects that were suitable for new cable knitters. The first piece that fits this bill are the Nøss mitts.

Copyright 2015 The Fibre Co. & Tommy Martin

These super simple little mitts are worked in the round from the bottom up, and feature a very small, 2 stitch cable on either edge. Since the cables are only two stitches, this is a perfect pattern if you'd like to try cabling without a cable needles.

I've got some handspun London Fog Bluefaced Leicester spun up that I'm using to cast on my own pair of Noss mitts at Knit Night tonight - the pattern takes less then 120 yards for all sizes, but I've only got 85 yds of handspun. I'm still going to try to squeak out a medium pair for myself - stay tuned for future Yarn Chicken games!

 

The second pair of mitts in the collection are the super scrummy Heggelia gauntlets

Copyright 2015 The Fibre Co. & Tommy Martin

Copyright 2015 The Fibre Co. & Tommy Martin

I just love these mitts - long and cosy to protect against any intrusive winter winds, worked in reverse stockinette for interest with a big bold cable running down the back of the hand and arm.  This is also a good potential no-cable-needle project - the cable looks complicated, but all of the cable crosses are worked over four stitches, so its just a step up from the Nøss mitts in terms of cabling complexity.

The Heggelia mitts come in two sizes, and use up to 240 yards of bulky yarn. I want to do a handspun pair of these too, but I'm going to need to spin up some yarn for them specifically. I'm not such a pink person generally speaking, but it is a colour that works well with the design! Maybe I'll have to bite the bullet and stay in keeping with the original sample...

There's still plenty of time to join in the #AYSWinterCablesKAL on Instagram and over at the A Yarn Story group on Ravelry. We'd love to see your projects!

Note: If you are in Europe and would like to purchase one of the patterns from the collection without paying VAT, please go to the Nordlándda page and be sure to include your Ravelry ID (if you have one) when you check out. The pattern will be emailed to you and put into your Ravelry library. Thank you!

The Nordlándda Collection: Moen Cowl

It is super cold in my kitchen today here in London, even though the sun is shining. And I'm wishing I had my Moen Cowl samples to keep me warm! Sadly, they are all enjoying themselves at A Yarn Story in Bath for the #AYSWinterCablesKAL, so I'm just going to have to find something else to wrap up in (sobs quietly).

Moen is a super snuggly cowl that uses some of my favourite things all in one project: tubular cast on and bind off for perfectly matching edges, loads of cables that add interest but aren't too difficult to work without a cable needle, and chunky yarn that means the project zips right along! The pattern includes two sizes: a cozy, close fitting version that is perfect for wearing with your winter coat, and a longer, infinity cowl size that can be doubled up for extra warmth, or worn across your shoulders like a shawl.

Moen as hood...

Moen as hood...

The cable pattern used in this cowl is a bit different: in addition to cable crosses, it also uses some wrapped stitches at the top and bottom of the main cable for extra interest.

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In fact, I enjoy this cowl so much that I'm using if for a project class at A Yarn Story on Sunday, 29th November, from 10:00 am - 1:00 pm. In the class, we'll cover the tubular cast on and bind off (if you are as OCD as I am about your edges matching), working cables from charts and cabling without a cable needle. If you'd like to join us, you can sign up here. The cost of the class includes materials for the small version of the cowl, and I'll have plenty of yarn for swatching and practicing the techniques. I hope to see you then, but I've got to dig out a sweater and make some tea!

Note: If you are in Europe and would like to purchase one of the patterns from the collection without paying VAT, please go to the Nordlándda page and be sure to include your Ravelry ID (if you have one) when you check out. The pattern will be emailed to you and put into your Ravelry library. Thank you!

The Nordlándda Collection: Fauske and Rosta

Above photos copyright 2015 The Fibre Co. & Tommy Martin

Today I want to talk about two pieces from the Nordlándda Collection that share a common edging - the wonderful, occasionally fiddley, applied i-cord edge. Rosta is one of the simpler pieces in the collection, with a wide panel of stockinette bordered by two loose cables, while Fauske is one of the more complex, with an intricate cable border and an expanding and contracting panel of a smaller, very traditional cable motif, but both use an applied i-cord to generate a tidy edging that won't roll or curl when you're finished.

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There are a couple of tricks for getting a nice i-cord edge that lies flat. First off, for both of these pieces, the i-cord is made by slipping the last three stitches of every row. On the right side rows, the last three stitches are slipped purlwise with the yarn in back, and on the wrong side rows, the stitches are slipped purlwise with the yarn in front. In both cases, you want the yarn to be on the right side of the fabric for working the start of the next row.

The other tip is to keep the i-cord stitches a little bit loose as you are knitting, Because the i-cord is only worked every other row on each edge, if you work those stitches tightly, the i-cord will be shorter then the rest of the piece, and your finished item won't lie flat when it's blocked. Be careful to leave a little extra slack in those three edge stitches, and you should end up with a beautiful finished edge.


Please come join us in the A Yarn Story #AYSWInterCablesKAL on Ravelry - Carmen has some gorgeous prizes lined up, and we'd love to see your take on the Nordlándda Collection!

Note: If you are in Europe and would like to purchase one of the patterns from the collection without paying VAT, please go to the Nordlándda page and be sure to include your Ravelry ID (if you have one) when you check out. The pattern will be emailed to you and put into your Ravelry library. Thank you!