It has become our tradition to release a new pattern at Knit City. Our first was Gather, a smocked hat and cowl set that quickly became a fan favourite! Our second was Spotlight, a bright and graphic fair isle yoked sweater (now available in Mad Colour). This year, for the 5th annual Knit City, we bring you Precipitation.
Growing up and living in the good old PNW I am often inspired by rain. Use what you know right?! The lovely little raindrop stitch pattern so reminds me of watery drops running down the windowpane.
I met Sarah of Bumblebirch yarns a few years ago at Knit Fit in Seattle and have been smitten with her lovely colours and soft yarns ever since! Precipitation is knit with Quill, her DK weight, and I just love it. Soft and bouncy, with such a lovely depth of colour. Bumblebirch will be at booth 410 this weekend so make sure to drop by and fondle the lovely yarns!
Knit City Giveaway
It is the 5th annual Knit City and to celebrate we will be giving away 50 copies of Precipitation! To get your free copy of Precipitation you must be one of the first 30 people at our booth on Saturday or one of the first 20 people at our booth on Sunday. Limit of 1 per person. We are at booth 107.
Precipitation pattern details:
Sizing: baby (toddler, child, adult S, M, L)
to fit head 16 (17, 18, 19, 21, 23)”
Yarn: 90 (100, 110, 130, 170, 190) yds DK weight yarn
(samples show in Bumblebirch Quill in ‘glacier’ and ‘honey’)
Needles: US #3 / 3.25mm 16” circular needle and US #6 / 4mm 16” circular needle and DPNs
5 years later….
Celebrating 5 years of Knit City is pretty exciting. I remember the very first one, with wee baby Jones sleeping under the table at our booth! We received our shipment of Pacific Knits the day before the show, it was a real nail biter! KC has grown quite a bit since then but the magic remains. With such a vibrant Vancouver knitting community (so many dyers, designers, and great shops), added to all of the fun folks from out of town, it is a recipe for a good time! Care to share your favourite KC memory?
More TCK from Knit City
In the summer of 2015 Emily R and I had an idea: we should knit matching sweaters for our kids! They are cousins after all, and who doesn’t love a good matchy photoshoot right? We used Emily’s rainbow leftovers from Ellis’ chevron blanket (SweetGeorgia Superwash Worsted in ‘saffron’ and ‘glacier’, Madelinetosh Vintage in ‘grasshopper’, ‘medieval’ and ‘tomato’) and chose Tanis Fiber Arts Green Label Aran in ‘sand’ for a nice neutral backdrop. We decided on a Flax sweater with the only modification being the rainbow.
Well, I knocked out the Hunter size sweater quick. The Jonesie size went a little slower, and the Bodhi size crawled (Em had long finished her wee Ellis sized sweater!).
The Jones and Bodhi sizes took me so long that I had to rip back the Jones one and add length to the arms and body and Emily had to do the same for Ellis’! So, a year after our intended finish date we did it: September sweaters!
This one is pretty simple, once you have done 2 rounds of the body in the main colour, switch to a rainbow! We used 5 colours and 3 stripes of each colour for all the sizes.
The bright pops of rainbow worked perfectly and I even got a shot of everyone looking at the camera at the same time (not an easy feat with these kiddos I assure you). I am absolutely in love with the results and although Jonesies will only fit him for another minute, at least there are hand-me-downs a plenty! Ellis will have a rainbow sweater in his size until he is 8 or so.
More rainbow bright knits from TCK:
We know colourwork can seem daunting somehow, but we have the perfect starter pattern: Prism. As you may have read (or guessed!) we love a good swatch hat. A hat is an excellent blank canvas to test out different colour combinations and techniques plus you end up with a usable finished knit. Prism is 3 hats in one pattern, Dots, Stripes, and Triangles.
Prism was one of our favourite patterns to knit samples for. We could just take a wander through the stash, pull out a few DK weight yarns and cast on. We mixed and matched, and as soon as one hat was done, the next was on the needles!
The Dots hat is the perfect place to use up those odds and ends of your precious favorite colour combinations. While we wrote the pattern using DK for the main colour and contrasts, you could really use a fingering or a worsted for the ‘dots’ without a worry. After knitting *ahem* a few blankets I really had a lot of teeny balls and little scraps that were begging to become something beautiful. With a neutral background (maybe a white or grey) you really can’t go wrong. Us a darker MC and bright dots for a bit of drama, an ombre for a little sophistication, or a rainbow for a bit of fun!
Emily has been obsessed with stripes for a while now. I think it all started with the Bumble hat…or maybe the single row stripe Playdate for Max….or maybe it has always been there, in the back of her mind begging to be let out! The stripes hat seems pretty straight forward right? Take 2 colours, stripe them. BUT the beauty of stripes is that they can be stripes of all kinds! The rainbow striped hat seems more like blocks of colour. An ombre (can you tell we were into ombres?) makes for an eye catching beauty, and simple black and white are always a winner.
Colour choices can make a big difference when it comes to single row stripes. Choosing 2 similar tones creates a blended effect (like our black and grey hat), really a whole new colour. High contrast stripes have a different look altogether (like Ellis’ black and white stripes). The possibilities, oh the possibilities!
My very favourite sample from the whole collection is this triangle hat Emily knit. With such a mad stash of bits and bobs of Rainbow Heirloom yarn from her days as a yarn dyer she was able to use a rainbow of tonal combinations to an effect that has me head over heels! The pattern is simple, the carries or ‘floats’ are short and this is a great first fair isle project.
So, which of our million samples is your favorite?
More fun hats from TCK
The concept for Mad Colour really began long long ago….with a POP! The year was 2012, we were working away on our second book, Pacific Knits, Alexa was preggers again, and Emily was on a walk-about in the UK. Suddenly, during a coffee date with a friend, a flash of genius hit! Emily had to rush home and try out this brilliant idea. The results of this creative frenzy? POP!
POP was inspired by the bright, exciting, and high-contrast graphics of comic books and American Pop Art, and Emily’s love of polka dots in general.
POP immediately became our most popular pattern and we started to build on the idea of a book of colour. We have both always loved colour (in spite of my black wardrobe) and the interesting way that colours interact to create rich and interesting fabrics. It was an idea that needed to percolate though. How to tackle a concept as large as colour? Which patterns perfectly represent the different ideas we had?
Well, fast forward (and forward and forward) to 2016 and we are finally able to bring you Mad Colour! Each pattern, while being fabulous on its own, also speaks to a larger concept in the realm of colour. From stripes to slip stitches, fair isle to colour blocks, layering to marling. Each idea is represented. We chose to include POP, now one of our most popular patterns, because it was POP that began it all!
More colourful blankies from TCK:
You all knew when Neve was born a new book couldn’t possibly be far behind right? We are proud to announce our newest collection: Mad Colour!
Mad Colour is a big one, 5 garments (sized baby to big of course!), 13 accessories, and with all the colourful possibilities it really seems endless!
This book is all about play. The patterns are simple, designed for experimentation. Dive head-first into your stash, fish out your hidden treasures and mix them up. Try a novel blend, or stick to a tried-and-true colour combo. If you are new to colourwork techniques, these designs are great for practicing fair-isle, slip stitch, stripes and intarsia too!
Mad Colour Details
The Ebook: You can order you Mad Colour ebook now for just $18
In Print: The print book is also available in print for $23 and all of our print books include the ebook. Books will ship September 23rd.
The garments in this book cover all of our favourite colour techniques, from fair isle to stripes, ombre, lace, and texture, what’s not to love? All patterns are sized from baby to big, perfect for those super cheesy family photoshoots!
We may have gone a little blanket crazy….we just love colourful blankets! Stripes of ombre, circles of self striping colour, chunky and marled, and the hexagons, oh the hexagons. A blanket for every season!
Our favorite thing about this book was our desire to keep trying out different versions of each pattern. When a black and white hat flew off the needles, a colourful striped cowl went on, when we finished some fair isle, it was time for some slipped stitches. Each new combination inspiring another idea or design.
Colour sliced and diced! This is the Slice shawl, grab 3 skeins of sock/fingering yarn to get started!
While most of our collections have a fairly clear progression from concept to book, this one was a little different. Colour itself is a big idea and we really wanted to showcase the different ways that colours can interact in knitting. We came up with the idea for Mad Colour way back in 2012 and have let it percolate ever since.
Colour can sometimes be daunting, so we have a hat pattern to get you started. Prism is 3 hats in one, slipped stitches, stripes, and fair isle. A little project to try out some new skills or a perfect place to test a new palette….did we mention it was great for using up those little scraps?!
So pick up your copy of Mad Colour, grab those perfect skeins from your stash, and cast on!
More fabulous colourful knits from TCK:
Like just about everybody else on the internet, I’ve recently gotten on board with the tidying craze (if you haven’t already heard about this phenomenon, read this book by Marie Kondo). While my tone seems a little flippant, the fact of the matter is that tidying, getting my house in order, has brought about a significant and fundamental change in my relationship to my things, and my pleasure in life.
Of most interest to you knitters is the change in my relationship to my STASH. Here is one of the results is this project, a super-chunky stashbuster blanket worked in tunisian crochet on a massive (19mm) hook.
Working as a designer for the past 6+ years, I have naturally amassed a MOUNTAINOUS stash. While naturally frugal, crafting supplies have always been a weakness of mine. With yarn classed as a business expense, the barriers to purchase have been further eroded! After I’d used Kondo’s method to clear out my wardrobe, bookshelf, kitchen, office supplies and cupboards, it was time to confront my stash head on, and determine which items genuinely brought me joy to have and to hold. My stash mountain has honestly become a weight upon me. At times I have felt guilty for all the beautiful and precious stash that I know in my heart will never become a knit project.
There were hundreds of luxurious bits and odd skeins left over from projects I’d completed, and dozens of single balls that I’d purchased thinking that I’d swatch with them, or knit a gift. There were even several sweater quantities of gorgeous yarns that I’d bought when I was touring around. Nearly every skein had a story, an emotion, a memory attached; such a weight that I was reluctant to let go of.
But I told myself that there was no value in having these things packed away in plastic tubs, if they were not bringing joy to my life and beauty to my home, and if, in fact, they contributed a weight of anxiety and guilt instead of the pleasure they might bring to someone else. If a bird in hand is worth 3 in the bush, then a skein of yarn in use (worked into something beautiful and useful) is worth 100 in the stash!
But how could I part with this mountain of alpaca, silk, cashmere, merino and hand-dyed luxury? Enter the Stashbuster Blanket!
I remembered working at Urban Yarns when I was in my designer infancy, and a project that the owner Anina had been working on, called the Stashbuster Blanket. At the time I thought I’d NEVER waste that much yarn on a single project. But lately, I’d been wanting to try the technique (tunisian crochet), and thought the finished object would be a lovely addition to my home, so last year I bought the pattern and hook, but never cast on. Well the ‘Year to Try Something New’ and this tidying project were a final impetus to act.
After a couple false starts, which blended colours a bit more radically for my taste, I settled on a concept; I planned an ombre of primary colours (blues, reds, yellows) against a lightening ombre of greys. Each colour block has 3 sections, darkest, medium, and lightest. The pattern calls for 3 colours to be worked at a time, but I began with a grey border in a single colour, then worked 2 slightly different colours of blue with this grey, then two slightly lighter colours with the grey, and so on and so forth. By the time I’d completed 3 sections of blue, then 3 sections of red/orange, I could see that the blanket was long enough, and adding yellows would make it out of proportion for a couch throw. So I worked a second grey edge and called my masterpiece complete!
stashbuster blanket project details:
Pattern: Stashbuster Blanket by StitchDiva Studios
Finished Size: I worked a blanket that is 60 sts wide, and 108 rows long. It measures 38″ wide x 61″ long.
Yarn: About a million different yarns… and I’ve no idea the finished yardage!
How do you feel about your stash?
How do you display it? Does it bring you pleasure just to own it, or do you suffer some anxiety or guilt? Share thoughts and photos of your stash mountain on your favourite social spot:
Pretty projects for knitting from stash:
There is always a knitter or 2 out there that get you. A quick perusal of their project page has you drooling and re-thinking your current w.i.p.s in a serious way. You adore their colour choices, their combinations of patterns and yarns, and a quick look at their project page leads you straight to the stash, filled with inspiration. For me Laura (aka Undone57 on Ravelry and Undone.57 on Instagram) is that knitter. Her most recent triumph is this stunning Fly Away blanket, but there is so much more!
We have featured Laura’s knitting here once before, she completed the 12 sweaters in 2015 challenge with a family set of Christmas in July sweaters. When I saw her lovely combinations I knew I wanted to cast on for one (or 3) myself!
In case it wasn’t obvious, I’ve been particularly smitten with all kinds of colourwork lately and I would be remiss if I didn’t add in this adorable Playdate Cardigan. Laura has added a simple little fair isle pattern all over and the effect is awesome. Who knew scrappy could look so good?!
Even in her accessories and details, I love all of the cool colour combinations and cute photos!
You can see why it is so much fun to see what Laura is knitting! As soon as I saw her Fly Away I wanted to cast on for one of my own (even though I still have one that just needs seaming….). Which knitter inspires you?
More cozy blankets from TCK