Friday, October 30, 2015

Indie Designer Revisit

Designer: Jennifer Thompson
Blog: Fern Knits
Rav ID: fern1knits
Some Great Designs: fern1knits' Rav Designer Page
Original Indie Designer Post: February 10, 2012

Three and a half years ago, I described Jennifer Thompson's designs as delicately beautiful. That quality is strong and present in her work today, and I want to share with you some of my favouites.

Resonance (pictured) is one of her more recent designs. The intricate colourwork that dances across the front of this cardigan is modern and eye catching. I love the dynamism of the colours she chose, though this could be in a muted palette and be equally eye catching.

And as it happens, I have an example of just that! Check out Umbra & Penumbra from Knit Picks' Fall collection last year. I LOVE the gentle gradient from brown to creamy white. And the best part about this? Because of the slip stitch pattern she chose for the sweater, it takes only 6 different yarn colours to create 16 different colour stripes. Isn't that fantastic!

Finally, I want to show you all the pretty and delicate Larkspur. This pattern is from a special six pattern collection that Jennifer designed just for Knit Picks. It's a lightweight cardigan with dolman sleeves in fingering weight, featuring a lace panel detail at the waist and overall garter stitch.

Jennifer has plenty more patterns to see! Just hop on over to her Ravelry designer page!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Neon Neutral Triangle Club: The Designs

I promised earlier this week I'd go in to detail about my designs in the recently released Neon Neutral Triangle Club.

Here they be!

First up is Phospho Glow.
Sizes: 30 (34, 38, 42)(46, 50.5, 54)" bust

This sweater is close to my heart. It's in wonderfully delicate fingering weight, which means it wraps around you and drapes in a gentle way. It has a v-neckline that is juuuust the right amount of deep.

It's got long sleeves that have super understated puffs.  
And possibly my favourite detail, it has my favourite type of shaping placement: front bust increases and small of the back waist decreases. These make for smooth, soft ruffles and expand the sweater out where it needs expanding, and draws it in where it needs narrowing. I personally also find this type of shaping to be easier to modify either larger or smaller. Since the stitch changes happen in one row, it makes for slightly less math!

A bit more about those puffed sleeves:

I've learned a lot about the shapes of my body over the past couple of years because of my interest in sewing. One of the things I've learned is my shoulder shape, which is sloped.
Manufactured clothing is generally cut for shoulders that are higher and straighter than mine, which creates fit issues for tops. As knitters, we know that fitting the shoulder is a very important part of fitting a sweater.
Shoulders that are of a standard work well with this sweater's sweet little puffed sleeves. My own shoulders have that slope, which means that they don't fill out that puff and thus it would collapse on itself and I'd lose the puffed sleeve look entirely.
My solution to that problem is a pair of shoulder pads.
I can feel that intake of breath as you read that dirty, dirty pair of words. These shoulder pads do the job of making this sweater look the way I want it to, and they were easy as pie to create.

Shoulder Pads
I used sport weight yarn, but this is the sort of thing that's perfect for scrappy bits in nearly any weight you might have. The lighter the weight, the more control you have over ultimate thickness of the pad.
I chose to knit two triangles for each pad to give me a thickness of about 0.5". Maybe even less than that. This is a very simple cast on, decrease for the tip sort of knit, which will always depend on your own shoulder shape.

Neon Bon Bon
One size: 9" wide and 9.5" long at front
Three weights: bulky, worsted, fingering

Fingering Weight
Where Phospho Glow is complex, Neon Bon Bon is a sweet wee simple bonnet, written out for three different weights. It's great for using up some half hanks you might have left over; knit flat and seamed up the back, it features the fun detail of pom poms at the end of each long tie and a handful of short rows to angle the bottom edge for a comfortable fit.

Bulky Weight
I LOVE bonnets, as you may have guessed. They're usually quick knits. They don't wreck your hair (well, not as much as other hats). And they're SO cute!!

Worsted Weight

I'll be posting again in the coming days about the great patterns by Emma and Sarah in the Neon Neutral Triangle Club. And if you're interested, I'll talk a bit more about my shoulder pad experience!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Neon Neutral Triangle Club

Today is the day!

After over a year of collaborative work, Emma Welford, Sarah Hurwitz, and I are very pleased to release the Neon Neutral Triangle Club collection!

The ebook contains 6 patterns, two from each designer.
All three of us contributed a garment and an accessory design. I'll chat a bit more about my two pieces later this week, but for now, here's my favourite: Phospho Glow.

You can download the entire ebook from Ravelry, or purchase individual patterns.
Phospho Glow
Neon Bon Bon
Triangle Inception
Acute-ly Preppy
Pinkerton Top
Tessellate Hat

The unifying theme is, you guessed it, neon, neutral, and triangles. Stay tuned this week to hear more about the collection, and my two designs in it!

Monday, October 26, 2015


Sorry for shouting, but I really can't wait to show you all the fantastic collection that Emma Welford, Sarah Hurwitz, and I, have been working on for the past year.

It launches tomorrow.

Hint: you can see one of my patterns in my bio pic here on the blog.

I've shared a couple sneak peeks in the past, but tomorrow you can see THE WHOLE THING. Sweeeet.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Rhinebeck Recap 2015

I did it again!

Rhinebeck is, as always, a fantastic experience. Here I continue my tradition of video posting my recap.
Check here for my previous years:

Friday, October 09, 2015

Great Northern: THE LAST DAY

Everyone! I have wonderful news.

Last night we reached our goal and Great Northern WILL be published in print!

Getting this book funded was a community effort. It was because of all you fantastic people who shared, posted on blogs, contributed to the Kickstarter, donated prizes, and have been cheerleaders the whole way through.

This is so fantastic. I've never felt so supported. I wish I could send you all a cinnamon-bun-of-thanks.

To keep in the Great Northern loop over the next year, you can check out the Great Northern website and/or join the mailing list. There will be news, previews, and test knit opportunities.

There's just about 12 hours left on the Kickstarter.
If you're interested in getting a print copy, you can pre-order it and get FREE shipping if you purchase any incentive that's $27 or greater.

THANK YOU times a million!

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Great Northern: Cherry Pie Sample Complete!

Great Northern can happen with your help! Please consider contributing to our Kickstarter!

I wanted to share with you all my recently completed sample of Cherry Pie.

This is a sweater that will be part of Great Northern.
It's drawn from the great, cozy colourwork sweaters worn by the Log Lady on Twin Peaks, and is done in LOVELY Rain City Knits yarn.

Like the looks of this sweater? Keep an eye out for test knit opportunities by joining the Great Northern mailing list.

AND, bring this sweater to print by supporting the Great Northern Kickstarter!

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Kat; And, I Write a Crop Top Manifesto

Don't doubt my love of crop tops and my determination to make them season-spanning.

Witness Kat!

Blue Sky Alpaca Sport, 100% baby alpaca, 110 y / 100 m per hank, Natural 6 (6, 7, 7, 8, 8) hanks

3.25 mm (US 3) or size to obtain gauge

22 sts and 26 rows = 4” / 10 cm in stockinette

Waist size 24 (26, 30, 34, 38, 42)” / 60 (66, 76, 86, 96.5, 106.5) cm
Choose the size that is within +/- 2” / 5 cm of your actual waist measurement. Kat is designed to have approximately 0” / 0 cm of ease at

This fun little sweater is knit from side-to-side and features a boat neckline, mesh, drapey sleeves, short rows to gently shape the waist, and rolled hems (perfect for that 100% alpaca fibre!)

I've styled Kat in a number of ways that you can check out on its Ravelry page. Personally, my favourite way to wear it ss what you see above. (Though I do quite like it with a high-waisted pencil skirt too).

This sweater is so lovely as a light fall layer. The mesh means you're likely going to want to wear a cami beneath it; the elbow-length sleeves mean you won't have extra bulk, but will have extra warmth when you throw on that jacket and head outdoors.

My Crop Top Manifesto
If I ever impart anything on any of you dear readers, I hope it is this: wear what you want.

Something's not your style? That's cool!

But if in your heart you want to wear something, but are held back by fear of other people's judgement, please consider embracing your fashion desires. It's such a bummer that we let our joy get squashed by societal dictation.

My vociferous crop top love is my own statement of embracing that joy. I know it's super subjective: I'm sure there's LOADS of people who don't care and wouldn't bat an eye, but my internal dialogue was "you can't wear that for X, Y, Z negative body-shame reasons!" and the my heart would say"... but I wanna! I'm not hurting anyone!"

The rest of this post is me giving you the joys of embracing this style if, in your fashion heart, you really want to:

  • crop tops are fantastic with high waisted skirts! (you don't have to show any more skin with a crop top than with any other sweater
  • crop tops can be fitted (like Kat), or have plenty of room! Let your taste dictate. The knitting pattern world has choice for you!
  • crop tops are FASTER to knit because, of course, they're smaller!
  • crop tops also take less yarn; have too many hanks for a cowl, but not enough for a full length sweater?! Crop tops are your answer!

Monday, October 05, 2015

Great Northern: Twin Peaks Buying Guide for the Crafty Individual

Please help make Great Northern happen: this is the LAST WEEK for our Kickstarter!

Love Twin Peaks?
Know someone who does?

The internet is full of cool Twin Peaks-themed gift ideas for the crafty or crafty-admirers. Here's just a few.

©Bridgeen Gillespie
Spoonflower is filled with cool fabric designs. But people, check this out. A whole LINE of fabrics inspired by Twin Peaks. The designer, Bridgeen Gillespie, is an artist, writer, and "erstwhile comic book creator" who blogs over at Geen Geenie.
She creates other things inspired by Twin Peaks, including this cool embroidery portrait of Audrey.

image: A selection of fabrics from her spoonflower shop ranging in price from $17.50-$38 USD / yd.

©Melissa Jilk
This entire etsy shop is filled with Twin Peaks jewellery and embroidery. In fact, one lucky backer can get this very necklace if you select that incentive in our Kickstarter!

image: Cooper's Favorite Things, $20 USD

© Kate Rowland
This shop has a section devoted entirely to Twin Peaks items. Products include brooches, earrings, and necklaces.
image: Twin Peaks Brooch, $12.84 USD

This is the online shop for the Welcome To Twin Peaks website. Items include a cool "Great Northern" wood keychain, t shirts, and "Directed by David Lynch" stickers.
You can also see their own Twin Peaks gift guide on their website, where there's a wide array of types of gifts listed.

© Bunny Miele
Stocked with hand drawn illustrations based on Twin Peaks, this shop includes items from patches to pins to stickers and prints. FYI, she's also got some cool X Files pieces too!
image: Lucy Moran Print, $8.00 USD

© Jenni's Prints
With an entire section devoted to Twin Peaks, this shop offers you an array of badges, pins, postcards, and sew-on patches. You can see one of my favourites above.
image: Twin Peaks inspired Sheriff Department Iron-on Badge, $10.00 USD

CSDye Yarn
This handdyer has colourways named after the show.
See them above:
image: Wrapped in Plastic (left) and This Cherry Pie is a Miracle (right), $22.00 USD each

Keep up to date with all things Great Northern by joining our mailing list.

Cozy Fall Light

It's like the weather knew it was October, and I expect to be able to wear my knits.

As if by magic, on October 1, the temperatures dipped right down and now we're in the midst of a real fall feeling. So I'm very glad to announce that a collaboration between myself, Holly Priestley, and Kirsten Singer has just been released!

Cozy Fall Light is about those first light layers you want to put on at this time of year.
That's the cue each of us took for our pattern in this collection.

You can purchase each individually, or all three together.

More to come about my own contribution, Kat, tomorrow!

Saturday, October 03, 2015

More Great Northern Incentives!

Great Northern can happen with your help! Please consider contributing to our Kickstarter!

Check out these goodies!

Yarn Lot 1
You get:
Blue Sky Alpaca Bulky
Rowan Fine Art
Shibui Scaccato
Lang Mille Colori
Lopi Einband
AND the print and digital collection of Great Northern!

Yarn Lot 2
 You get:
Dream in Color Classy
Rain City Knits Worsted (2 hanks!)
Louisa Harding Grace
Hand dyed (approx 200 metres)
AND the print and digital collection of Great Northern!

Vintage Accessory Patterns
You get:
Accent on Accessories, 1953 (14 page booklet)
Socks by Beehive, c. 1960s (22 page booklet)
Socks for Men, 1979, (18 page booklet)
AND the print and digital collection of Great Northern!

Vintage Kids and Baby Patterns
 You get:
 Pre-School Fashions c. 1960s (22 page booklet)
Children's Choice c. 1960s (22 page booklet)
Baby Book c. 1960s (50 page booklet)
AND the print and digital collection of Great Northern!

1923 Vintage Book
You get:
a 62 page pattern booklet (without a cover) from 1923
AND the print and digital collection of Great Northern!

Knit Picks  
You get:
Sock Yarn Scarves
Twist and Tweed
AND the print and digital collection of Great Northern!

To pick up any of these goodies just head over to the Great Northern Kickstarter!