Swatch it! Fall 2015
By Clara Parkes
People warn against using anything but the simplest of yarns for cable motifs. The more challenging the twists and turns in our pattern, the more solid your yarn's color and texture should be—the idea being that the pattern itself needs to take center stage, with the least distracting yarn possible. This might explain why Luise O'Neill's Ballyfaron tam and cowl set piqued my interest.
Swatch It! Spring/Summer 2015
By Clara Parkes
Dropped-stitch patterns are wonderfully deceptive. At first, your knitting looks dense and cohesive, a pretty piece of fabric that'd be right at home in a sweater. But then you reach your destination and release the designated stitches, and suddenly your fabric opens up to reveal something else entirely.
This "what you see isn't what you get" phenomenon can make yarn choices a challenge, especially if you want to substitute for something other than what the pattern specifies. Complicate matters by stranding two different yarns together, instead of using just one, and things really get fun. And since knitting is about having fun, that's what I decided to do, using Brenda Patipa's Acanthus pattern as my guide.
Let it Go: Zen and the Art of Crafty Minimalism
by Rachael Herron
I’ve been thinking a lot about minimalism lately, and I believe that to make yourself happier, you should get rid of your stash.
Whoops. That shook you up, didn’t it? I’m kidding! Kidding! Actually, I’m not kidding. But I’ll give you a minute to get your breath back.
I’ll start by noting that some people are truly not bothered by clutter. My better half is one of them, a soul actually soothed by leaning piles of books, papers, and artwork. If that’s you—and if that’s working for you—that’s fine. I envy you. The universe tends toward entropy and you are already comfortable with this fact of life. But if the size of your stash makes you feel stressed or if clutter in your house makes you anxious, stick with me. If you long for organization, if you wish you could catalog everything in your stash with a quick flip through the ol’ mental Rolodex but can’t figure out where to start, keep reading.
Plenty of Provisions
By Marnie MacLean
When I started designing, back when I only offered free patterns on my own website, and deadlines and schedules were the furthest thing from my mind, I would design in a sort of stream-of-consciousness way, working a bit of the design, trying it on and going where the yarn and my mood took me. To keep my options open, I’d almost always start with a provisional cast-on. I hadn’t learned to estimate yardage so it made it possible to lengthen or shorten the piece, without much fuss, and I could pick a hem that suited the design, once I figured out what that design would be.
How the West Was Wooled
Part 1: A History Lesson
By Hypatia Francis