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Archive for October, 2008

Mid-October, when the maple trees are at their best in the Hudson Valley section of New York, is the ideal time for a sheep and wool festival, and the 2008 event was perfect! Brisk, sweater weather, brilliant sunshine – and knitters and crocheters everywhere. Here are a few shots from the show:

The Jacob sheep on the right is considered a rare heritage breed according to the Jacob Sheep Conservancy. Just wish the guy at the bottom had chosen another time to turn his head!

But, of course, my favorite shot is of my granddaughter, Hazel, in her new Simply Soft sweater (over about 5 layers including another sweater). As you can see, they’re a family that loves knit and crochet (that’s Hazel’s dad in the background).

COZYING UP…
And now for you knitters, here’s the season-appropriate “Scared-y Cat” knitted cup cozy. It should take you no more than a few minutes to knit up so you can make a bunch for that Halloween party for the kids. Just fill go-cups with hot cider or hot chocolate!

SCAREDY CAT CUP COZY
Rated: Easy
Designed by Liz Walsh
MATERIALS
Naturallycaron.com Country: Black #0024: 1oz (makes 3 cozies)
2 buttons
Embroidery floss in Pink and White
Size 9 knitting needles
Size 5 crochet hook
Yarn needle

COZY
Holding yarn double, cast on 30 sts.
Row 1: knit across.
Row 2: purl across.
Rows 3-14: repeat rows1+2

Ears
Row 15: bind off the first 8st carrying the yarn across,
Ear Row 1: *Knit next 5sts. Turn.
Row 2: Purl 5. Turn.
Row 3: K2tog. Knit 3. Turn
Row 4: P2tog. Purl 2. Turn
Row 5: K2tog. Knit1. Turn.
Row 6: P2tog.
Using the crochet hook, slip stitch down the side of the ear to the knitting needle.* Bind off next 4 sts carrying yarn across. * Repeat from * Bind off remaining 8sts.

Finishing
Sew together ends, weaving in ends.
Attach buttons for eyes and embroidery nose and whiskers.
(Eye can also be embroidered)

Featured Patterns
What a perfect accent for an evening out – or a Victorian addition to an otherwise basic look! The perfect little lace squares of the Doral Wristlets are joined together with chains, the circular motifs a Kristin Omdahl signature. Crocheted in Spa Rose Bisque, they’re the ideal portable project to carry with you in your smallest purse.

And for knitters, the Zurich his-and-hers cabled scarves are the perfect gift! Knitted using simple, basic cables and seed stitch, they’re super for those of you who haven’t yet tried cables. You’ll be SO surprised how easy they are! Marilyn Losee designed the pair of scarves in Country, hers in Foliage and his in Plum Pudding.

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With pumpkins and colorful leaves around every corner here in Vermont, it’s the perfect Halloween atmosphere. So, with that in mind, it’s time for a couple of embellishments to your cup cozies from the last two weeks. For this week, use the basic crocheted cozy pattern (which was more for a large cup – so for a small cup, ch 3 fewer sts for the base ch) but in solid Country Vicuna. For the pumpkin, use Spice House accented with a bit of Loden Forest for the stem and vine. For accenting the pumpkin and vine, use a bit of rayon embroidery floss.

Here’s the pumpkin pattern.
Start with a ring,
Row 1- ch1 sc 6 st, join in first to create a round (6)
Row 2-(in back of stitch only) 2 sc in each st, join (12)
Row3- (in back of stitch only) 2 sc in each st, join (24)
Row4-(in back of stitch only) sc in each st, join (24)
Tie off, weave in ends
Stem can be stitch as two rows of sc, or can be embroidered on after the pumpkin is appliquéd

If you’d like to use the base color but trade out the appliqué when other seasons come rolling along, use a self-adhesive Velcro dot on the back of the appliqué to attach it to the cozy. Then when you want a different appliqué, remove the pumpkin and affix the new appliqué to the same spot the Pumpkin was (since the Velcro will definitely pull the yarn).

Designer Connection
I wanted to let you all know about one of our designer’s blog that features a new NaturallyCaron.com design. Kim Guzman has a fabulous and super-simple “Options Vest” done in Country that is sized from a 1X through 5X. From Kim’s blog: “With or without the diagonal hem, you can make this vest in this surprisingly easy stitch pattern in about 3-5 days.” You can access Kim’s blog here. Great job, Kim!

New NaturallyCaron.com Patterns!
Just in time for winter – and in time to make for gift-giving – are the his-and-hers Sydney hats, designed by Kim Rutledge and crocheted in Country. The crown of the hats is a unique pinwheel pattern while the sides are worked in a type of brick stitch.

Another great gift would be these Little Arches socks, designed by Darlene Dale and knitted in Spa. The simple Fair Isle patterning is in just two striped sections that are complemented by the easy stripes. And to literally top this design off, the bobbles give these socks just enough fun.

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Caron International and A.C. Moore stores have teamed up to bring you a very special contest. To enter, just knit or crochet a baby-sized blanket (about 40″ x 60″) and enter a photo and documentation by December 1, 2008. You could win up to $300!! Even better, with every entry, Caron will donate $1 to Project Linus, the wonderful organization that gives handmade blankets to babies in need. Check out the complete rules here.

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Cozying Up…

The Country cup cozy patterns and ideas continue, this time with a knitted cozy. Liz has created a super-simple knitted cup cozy in garter-stitch – and done straight and seamed. (For those of you who are double-pointed-needles devotees, you can certainly knit this in the round.) She did it in two contrasting colors but you can do it in one color or pick your favorite two.

YARN
Caron International’s Naturallycaron.com Country (75% Microdenier Acrylic/25% Merino Wool):
0012 Foliage (1oz/28g makes 3 cozies) (A)

0021 Peacock (1oz/28g makes 3 cozies) (B)
One pair size US 8 (5 mm) needles, or size to obtain gauge
Row counter
Yarn Needle

GAUGE
In garter stitch, using US size 8 ( 5mm) needles 8 sts and 8 rows = 2″X2”

STITCHES USED
Garter stitch (Garter st)
All rows: knit.

With 1 strand of each color held together:
Cast on 40 sts.
Rows1-10: Work garter st.
Bind off and sew short sides together to create the band.

Using yarn needle, weave in ends.

Be sure to return next week when we start doing some way-cute embellishments to your cozy!

Cusco – Legwarmers??
As I promised last week, here’s the “Cusco Surprise,” but first a bit of background. The Cusco vest started its life as a jacket, yes, with sleeves. But since we had a number of jackets, I felt it would work better for us as a vest (with my apologies to Margret). But I hated to not use the beautiful sleeves. So why not re-purpose them as, yes, legwarmers?!? So here’s what the sleeve looked like and the resulting legwarmer. And here’s the pattern for the legwarmers

Cusco Leg Warmers
designed by Margret Willson
SIZES: One size
KNITTED MEASUREMENTS: 15” long
MATERIALS
Caron International’s Naturallycaron.com Country (75% Microdenier Acrylic/25% Merino Wool)
#0016 Charcoal (A): 6 oz
1 oz each:
#0015 Deep Taupe (B)
#0010 Sunset (C)
#0008 Silver Service (D)
One pair US size 8 (5 mm), or size to obtain gauge
One pair US size 9 (5.5 mm)
One circular needle size US 8 (5 mm), 29″ long
Stitch holder
Tapestry needle (tn)
Row counter (optional)

GAUGE: In Texture Pattern, using smaller needles, 21 sts and 29 rows = 4″/10 cm
In Color Pattern, using larger needles, 22 sts and 42 rows = 4″/10 cm

STITCHES USED
Rib I (multiple of 6 + 4; 2-row repeat)
Row 1 (WS): P1, k2, *p4, k2, rep from *across, end p1.
Row 2: K1, p2, *k4, p2, rep from * across, end k1.
Rep rows 1 and 2.

Rib II (multiple of 6 + 2; 2-row repeat)
Row 1 (WS): *K2, p4, rep from * across, end k2.
Row 2: *P2, k4, rep from * across, end p2.
Rep rows 1 and 2.

Texture Pattern (multiple of 6 + 4; 4-row repeat)
Row 1 (RS): Knit
Row 2: P4, *k2, p4, rep from * across.
Row 3: Knit
Row 4: P1, k2, *p4, k2, rep from * across, end p1.
Rep rows 1-4.

Color Pattern (multiple of 6 + 2; 24-row repeat)
Row 1 (RS): With B, k1, *sl 2 wyib, k4, rep from * across, end k1.
Row 2: With B, k1, *k2, p2, sl 2 wyif, rep from * across, end k1.
Row 3: With C, k3, *sl 2 wyib, k4, rep from * across, end sl 2 wyib, k3.
Row 4: With C, k1, *p2, sl 2 wyif, k2, rep from * across, end k1.
Row 5: With D, k1, *k4, sl 2 wyib, rep from * across, end k1.
Row 6: With D, k1, *sl 2 wyif, k2, p2, rep from * across, end k1.
Rows 7 and 8: With A, rep rows 1 and 2.
Rows 9 and 10: With B, rep rows 3 and 4.
Rows 11 and 12: With C, rep rows 5 and 6.
Rows 13 and 14: With D, rep rows 1 and 2.
Rows 15 and 16: With A, rep rows 3 and 4.
Rows 17 and 18: With B, rep rows 5 and 6.
Rows 19 and 20: With C, rep rows 1 and 2.
Rows 21 and 22: With D, rep rows 3 and 4.
Rows 23 and 24: With A, rep rows 5 and 6:
Rep rows 1-24.
Carry unused colors loosely up right hand edge of work.

LEGWARMERS (make 2)
Using smaller needles and color A, CO 50 sts.
(WS) Work 5 rows Rib II, end with WS row. Change to larger needles and Color Pattern; work even for 8 rows, end with a WS row.
Shape Sleeve: (RS) Inc 1 st each side this row, then every 10 rows 6 times: 62 sts.
Work even until piece measures 7″ from the beginning, end with Color D WS row.
Change to smaller needles, color A, and Texture Pattern. Work 2 rows even then continue sleeve shaping: inc 1 st each end this row then every 10 rows 2 more times: 68 sts. Work even until piece measures 14″ from beg, ending with WS row.
Change to Rib II Pat and work for 1”. Bind off loosely across.

FINISHING
Block pieces to measurements. Sew seam.
Using tn, weave in ends.

Rwanda Knits Online Auction
It’s that time again where we welcome you to join the fun in bidding for your favorite designer’s garments! 100% of all earnings go to helping the Rwanda knitters build their cooperatives and feed their families. There will be garments, home dec items and sweaters for the family – created by designers such as Doris Chan, Nicky Epstein, Vashti Braha, Drew Emborsky, Teva Durham and many others! The auction starts on Oct 16 in the evening and ends on Oct 26 at 8:30 p.m. So mark your calendars and get those bidding paddles ready to support a great cause! For more information on the Rwanda Knits project, visit www.rwandaknits.org. To go live to the auction when it is on, go to www.rwandaknitsauction.org. See you there!!
Photo shows two members of the Nyagatare Women knitting cooperative with two school sweaters they recently made.

Onto the Patterns!
The Turpan jacket, designed by Deborah Newton, is a wonderful combination of easy double moss stitches throughout the body of the sweater and a more challenging “wheat sheaves” motif around all edges. But since the jacket is knitted in a double strand of Country in Loden Forest, it works up quickly. And I love the sleeves! They really show off the wheat motifs! This is a design I have to make!

And in Spa, the Lemon Drop dress, designed by our wonderful tech editor, KJ Hay, can also can be worn as a jumper. The flower motifs throughout the bodice are echoed in the trim along the skirt. The dress is crocheted in Spa Soft Sunshine and Green Sheen. And remember that Spa is 100% machine washable and dryable – and keeps its shape and colors through many washings, so important for toddler attire!

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On September 21, the New York City Crochet Guild sponsored their own grassroots Knit-Out, held on famous 125th Street in Harlem. Earlier in the year, they asked if I would come down to judge the fashion show, so how could I say no?

These ladies had been so active in the Knit-Outs when they were held in NYC, they felt they needed to continue the tradition but just uptown. And continue they did! Here are a few photos from the day.

My favorite is of Gabriel Christianson holding the bear that’s wearing the scarf he crocheted. In the photo he’s waiting his turn to go “out on the runway.”

And to the right are a couple ladies joining squares to create afghans for Warm Up America.

Coffee Cup Surprise!
Like many of us who work in offices, we often take a few minute to step out and grab a cup o’ joe – I know I do. But I was noticing how many java jackets aka cup cozies I was accumulating. I almost brought them all back to the espresso shop but thought of a better idea, one we could share with you: make (and customize) your own crocheted (and knit) java jackets! Liz jumped at the opportunity, so here you have our first – of many – cup cozies made using Country. This will be the basic crocheted pattern that we will use for future customized cozies, so keep the pattern handy. And next week, look out for a knitted version. Who knows? You might even get one from me!

Reusable Cup Cozy
designed by Liz Walsh

SIZES: One size

YARN
Caron International’s Naturallycaron.com Country (75% Microdenier Acrylic/25% Merino Wool): 2 oz of yarn will make 3 cozies
#0012 Foliage (1oz/28g) (A)
#0021 Peacock (1oz/28g) (B)

CROCHET HOOK
One size US G/6 (4 mm), or size to obtain gauge

ADDITIONAL MATERIALS
Yarn needle

GAUGE: In single crochet, using size US G/6 (4 mm) hook, 11 sts and 12 rows = 2″/5 cm

STITCHES USED
Chain (ch)
Single crochet (sc)
Slip stitch (slip st)

NOTE
To change color in join of a round, insert hook in first sc of round, yarn over with new color and draw through all loops on hook. Carry color not in use up wrong side of work until needed for next color change.

COZY
With A, ch 48; join with slip st in first ch to form a ring.
Rounds 1–3 (RS): Ch 1, sc in each sc around; join with slip st in first sc; change to B in join of last round—48 sc.
Rounds 4–6: With B, ch 1, sc in each sc around; join with slip st in first sc; change to A in join of last round.
Rounds 7–9: With A, rep Rounds 4–6.
Rounds 10–15: With B, rep Rounds 4–9. Fasten off.

FINISHING
Using yarn needle, weave in ends.
Enjoy! Ahhhhh – hot cupa joe!

Today’s Patterns

La Paloma Wrap
It’s Kristin Omdahl at her finest! This amazing La Paloma lace wrap is crocheted in four colors of Spa and it’s one of my favorites. Wear it over a tank – or wrap it around a fall jacket. It’s amazing however you look at it!

Edinborough Pullover Vest
While some may call this a vest and some a top, whatever you call the Edinborough, call it versatile. Click through the various options for wearing this piece and you’ll see what I mean. It’s a top under a jacket, a vest over a blouse or a spring/summer top worn just as is. Plus you can belt it or wear it straight. Designer Kim Kotary used Country in Naturally for Edinborough.

Cusco Vest
The Cusco vest, knitted in Country, is a wonderful contemporary adaptation of a traditional menswear cardigan popular in the 50’s. The contrasting front is what makes this design so unique – and so retro. Designer Margret Willson created this project using an easy textured stitch and basic 3-color slip stitch. But Cusco has a story behind it, which I’ll explain – and show you – next week.

Amsterdam Coat
Another Doris Chan original, the Amsterdam Coat is totally “Doris.” It’s crocheted from the neck down, one of her signatures, with a wide flounced border that is so flattering on nearly any figure. Yes, the sizes go up to a 3X, so truly nearly anyone can make and wear this super design. The Amsterdam coat is crocheted in Country in color Peacock.

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