Timelapse Wrap

I set out to knit an afghan, frogged. Started to knit a different afghan, frogged. Ok, I started to knit a wrap. This all started about a year ago when I saw all 21 colors of Blue Sky Fibers Woolstok. I wanted to make something with the colors all melted into each other. I purchased all 21, 50 gram skeins, yes that’s a lot of yarn. It was the perfect amount for an afghan and I would use mosaic knitting to melt the colors.

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I eventually decided an afghan was the wrong choice, now it was going to be a wrap. I started to post timelapse videos each day of the progress. It was fun to watch an hour pass in one short minute. I kept up with posting daily for awhile and you can check them out on You Tube. I made it through 17 of 21 colors of Woolstok and the wrap was already 120” long, I am only 60” tall. Needless to say I called the wrap done. It was put on a shelf and waiting for the ends to be woven in when a friend used Woolstok for a felted project. It was soft, fluffy and so warm. Cue cartoon light bulb over my head. That ridiculously long wrap, would become a reasonable long felted wrap. Some soak and hot trip through the washing machine later I have a wrap I would travel to Alaska with.

 
 
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Timelapse Wrap Recipe

Needle: U.S. 8

Cast on: 79 sts

Garter Stitch Section

Row 1 - K2, kfb, knit to last 4 sts, k2tog, s2 wyif

Row 2 - Knit to last 2 sts, s2 wyif

Row 3 - Same as row 1

Row 4 - Same as row 2

Seed Stitch Section

Row 1 - K2, kfb, [k1, p1] to last 4 sts, k2tog, s2 wyif

Row 2 - K3, [p1, k1] to last 5 sts, p1, k2, s2 wyif

Row 3 - Same as row 1

Row 4 - Same as row 2

Repeat Garter Section

Color Fade Section

Row 1 (C2) - K2, kfb, [k1, sl 1] to last 4 sts, k2tog, s2 wyif

Row 2 (C2) - K3, [sl 1 wyif, k1] to last 4 sts, k2, s2 wyif

Row 3 (C1)- K2, kfb, knit to last 4 sts, k2tog, s2 wyif

Row 4 (C1) - Knit to last 2 sts, s2 wyif

Row 5 (C2) - Same as row 1

Row 6 (C2)- Same as row 2

Row 7 (C1)- K2, kfb, knit to last 4 sts, k2tog, s2 wyif

Row 8 (C1) - Knit to last 2 sts, s2 wyif

Row 9 (C2)- K2, kfb, knit to last 4 sts, k2tog, s2 wyif

Row 10 (C2) - Knit to last 2 sts, s2 wyif

Row 11 (C1)- K2, kfb, knit to last 4 sts, k2tog, s2 wyif

Row 12 (C1) - Knit to last 2 sts, s2 wyif

Row 13 (C2)- K2, kfb, knit to last 4 sts, k2tog, s2 wyif

Row 14 (C2) - Knit to last 2 sts, s2 wyif

Row 15 (C1) - K2, kfb, [k1, sl 1] to last 4 sts, k2tog, s2 wyif

Row 16 (C1) - K3, [sl 1 wyif, k1] to last 4 sts, k2, s2 wyif

Row 17 (C2)- K2, kfb, knit to last 4 sts, k2tog, s2 wyif

Row 18 (C2) - Knit to last 2 sts, s2 wyif

Row 19 (C1) - Same as row 1

Row 20 (C1)- Same as row 2

Repeat pattern for each new color added until wrap reaches desired length.

 

Abbreviations

C1 - Color 1

C2 - Color 2

k - knit

k2tog - knit 2 sts together

kfb - knit in front and back loop of 1 st

p - purl

s - slip st, purlwise

st(s) - stitch(es)

wyif - with yarn in front

Two Day Mittens

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Every year in Syracuse, NY there’s always the day when Fall abruptly turns to winter. The orange and gold leaves are covered with a fresh coating of snow and the air turns to brisk razor blades. It is reality slapping us into consciousness that the long, cold, grey season ahead of us. Well that day happened about a week and a half ago and my hands went numb followed by painful pricks on the way to work. I needed new mittens, immediately.

Luckily I had recently purchased a bright blue skein of BFL Aran from Woolfiend in Sapphire Isle. This had the best chance of keeping my hands warm in the shortest amount of time. Armed with needles, yarn and a the trusty Tin Can Knits, World’s Simplest Mittens patterns I was prepared to defeat the impending doom of the season.

 

You may look at the picture and I wonder how I made these mittens from the Tin Can Knits pattern, they don’t exactly look alike. Also, there aren’t any instructions for aran weight yarn in the pattern either. Well as a knit designer myself I’m giving you permission to change patterns and make whatever modifications your heart desires. I really only changed two simple things in this pattern, the yarn and the stitch pattern.

Aran weight yarn is only slightly thicker in gauge from worsted weight and I knew I wanted nice dense mittens. I chose to follow the worsted weight instructions for the adult medium mittens. Working the Aran on U.S. size 5 & 7 needles would battle the cold even better. I worked the cuff in 1 x 1 rib as the pattern calls for but the stockinette stitch portion is where I strayed from the pattern. I used alternating rounds of Knit and (k1, p1). This stitch patterns creates the look of those cozy thermal pjs. For the thumb gusset portion I did work Stockinette stitch for the thumb only.

Next time you can’t find the exact knitting pattern you’re looking for, find the closest one and modify it your way. Stitch patterns, stripes, colorwork, and length are all simple adjustments than any of us needle wielding people can make.

West Egg Shawl, Inspired by Art Deco Architecture.

Some people head to nature for hike to relax, I however stick to the sidewalk. I find a long walk around city streets to be much more interesting and I’m far less likely to come across a snake. I’m intrigued by architecture, small businesses, and urban planning. Some of my favorite buildings to stare up at are from our Art Deco era. From the details, angles and colors they can be the among the most beautiful. It was buildings like these that had me sketching for my newest design, the West Egg Shawl.

I started this shawl on my June trip back to Berkeley CA. I picked up a couple of skeins of The Farmer’s Daughter Fibers and a skein of Earl Grey Fiber Co to go along with the Farmer’s Daughter exclusive colorway dyed for The Black Squirrel Berkeley. I wanted a 1920s color scheme to go with the art deco shape.

West Egg is a knitted shawl using brioche stitches, short rows and eyelets to create its art deco shape. It is trimmed with a built in I-cord edging. The pattern is broken down into small sections so you’ll feel accomplished as you knit through this. Not only is the shape more interesting to knit, there is a completely functionally reason. We all have those giant shawls we love, but when you wrap it like a scarf you end up with tons of bulk around your ears. The notched out shape of the West Egg drapes both perfectly on your shoulders but also takes the bulk away from your ears.

Read more about the details HERE

Loopy Lunch and Building Community

What do you do when you are a knitting instructor, have bags of donated acrylic yarn and are looking to build community? You start a charity knitting class. After moving back to Syracuse NY from the Bay Area I found myself missing the strong fiber community from the Bay. It's much colder in Syracuse so you would think there would be more knitters, and maybe there are but, how do you find them? Well its 2018 so I started so I started a hashtag on Instagram #knittersofsyracuse and it worked. I started connecting with and meeting new people but being ready to take it to the next level and really wanting to find a way to give back with the craft "Loopy Lunch" was born. 

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The objective of Loopy Lunch is to create blankets as a group to then donate around our area to people in need. I however have bigger plans for this weekly meeting. Each week we'll use up more and more of the donated stash and get to know each other a little better each time. I'm offering free lessons to anyone willing to join us, all in effort to make the knitting/ fiber community bigger.

Knitting/ fiber groups bring people together that may never cross paths otherwise. In a time where there are so many factors driving us apart and highlighting our differences, getting out of your comfort zone is the perfect way to learn how we are all the same, human. Crossing generations, races, genders and economical backgrounds is the best way to move forward as one. There is so much we can learn from each other and so much more we can accomplish as a collective. 

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Loopy Lunch is hosted by  Wildflowers Armory, an artist collective boutiques located in the heart of Syracuse. The space is full of work for sale by some many talented artists and makers in our region. It is my first stop for finding the perfect gift or some new art for myself. If you don't support your local artists imagine how boring this world would be. The gallery space is the perfect setting and full of inspiration for our Loopy Lunches. Loopy Lunch is Tuesdays from 11:30am to 1:30pm.

I would love to see more groups get together and build community across the world. If you are interested in starting a similar event in your area I am happy to answer any questions you may have.  Send me an email and I will do my best to help.

Ellen Coy is the knit designer behind Ellen Rose Knits and can also be found teaching Knitting Classes of all levels at Knitty Gritty Yarns in Syracuse, NY.

 

Somewhere, a shawl for gradients

My love for a really good gradient started when I first discovered Apple Tree Knits, there is something so satisfying to a perfectly faded gradient.  When I say "good" gradient, I mean a true gradual color change, not the color block "gradients" you'll find in the stores we do not speak of. My first knit with Apple Tree Knits was the infamous watermelon Dotted Rays shawl I made for The Black Squirrel.  West Knits Dotted Rays was the perfect design to create a fun watermelon slice.

 
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I started to get the itch to make a rainbow, because a rainbow really is the ultimate gradient. I snagged a 6 oz plush fingering, gradient in Chakra from Apple Tree and hit the needles.  My goal was to design a simple pattern that would not intimidate more novice knitters. Elaborate designs never feel as necessary for a yarn that just speaks for itself.  Somewhere is all about the shape and drape around the shoulders. The change in increases midway through is what helps the shawl hug the shoulders and mimic the shape of a rainbow. This shawl could be made larger by simply repeating the last section as long as you desire.

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I hope everyone enjoys this knit and finds rainbows and unicorns in the darkest places. 

Details on Somewhere

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Ellen Coy is the knit designer behind Ellen Rose Knits and can also be found teaching Knitting Classes of all levels at Knitty Gritty Yarns in Syracuse, NY.

Japananese Knitting Stitch Bible - Book Review

Exquisite they are. 260 Exquisite Patterns by Hitomi Shida; Japanese Knitting Stitch Bible is full of intricate, elegant stitch patterns that you didn't realize were missing from your knitting. Whether you are a knit designer or knit for yourself, this book has earned its spot in any knitters library.  I am happy to have chosen for my first "book report" in 15 years.

There are indeed 260 unique patterns, each as beautiful as the last.  Hitomi has organized stitch patterns in several categories; Lacy Patterns (with bobbles, scallops, and smocking), Overall Patterns, Crossing Stitch Patterns, Pattern Panels, Pattern Arrangements, Round Yokes and edgings.  Who knew there could be as many categories, but having seen them all grouped together each feels necessary. Sprinkled throughout are a few simple garments made special by Japanese stitch work.

I would definitely classify these stitch patterns as mindful and not mindless knitting. Do not crack this book for an evening of Netflix and knit. Put on a podcast or your latest audio book and focus on each stitch. You'll be twisting stitches, working cables and lace knitting all in each pattern. These are heavily detailed with up to 50 row repeat patterns with no reprieve on the wrong side rows. I quick worked up a sample of a Lacy Pattern, #58, this morning to test my abilities. There are a lot of new symbols for us American knitters and some even change pattern to pattern. I suggest taking the time to copy out which ever pattern you decide to work from and create a stitch key you can work side by side with. Like I always teach my students, do not depend on standardization in knitting, always refer to a patterns stitches and abbreviations list for each pattern or designer.

The Japanese Knitting Stitch Bible will keep experienced knitters on their toes and give intermediate knitters a chance to learn something new.  Stitch descriptions are clear and simple to follow. My hope is to see more timid knitters gain the confidence to add different design elements to their favorite patterns making one of a kind garments and accessories. Even if you never knit a stitch from it each page will you fill you with inspiration.  

Happy Knitting!

Knit Swatch of pattern #58 Knit on U.S. size 7 needles in worsted weight yarn.

Knit Swatch of pattern #58 Knit on U.S. size 7 needles in worsted weight yarn.

Grab your copy here

Ellen Coy is the knit designer behind Ellen Rose Knits and can also be found teaching Knitting Classes of all levels at Knitty Gritty Yarns in Syracuse, NY.

Listen while you Knit

How to Block your Knits

More and more people ask me how to or why block your knits.  Blocking your knits evens out imperfect stitches, softens the fabric and helps shape the final product.  After you spend however many hours/ days/ or months take the extra few minutes to finish and block your knits.  Below is how I block my knits when I finish.

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As always stop by your Local Yarn Store to pick up blocking supplies.  If you don't have a Local Yarn Store or they don't carry order the products I use on Amazon.

Happy Knitting!