New Knitted Shawl Design*

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Pas de Deux Shawl

designed by Jennifer Edwards

available for purchase on ETSY

Designing and knitting a shawl mirrors life in uncanny ways. You begin with an idea, sketched out, roughly drawn and planned. Knitting begins, slowly working out stitch counts, rows, frogging stitches (and rows!) until it takes the shape you were aiming for.

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Then you knit. Just knit. And knit…working the parts where you can nearly knit on auto-pilot. Stockinette, some garter stitch, a wee bit of counting.

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And then you hit the edge. Ahhh…the edge…that part of utmost importance to the overall look of the shawl, but one which requires your utmost attention. Lots and lots of stitches to work with. As a designer, I want this part to really sing! My original idea for the edging was slightly different. The knitting itself began to “speak to me” changes in my initial plan. So I went with it, and I’m so glad I did.

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I find all this reflected in each day, week, month, and year. So many designs (plans), small and large, that begin with a flurry of planning and excitement then giving way to the everyday living out the established design. Somewhere along the way, either subtly or not-so-subtly, we are redirected. Following where our intuition takes us will often yield a more beautiful outcome. It all sounds so neat and tidy. But we, the knitters, know all the linked stitches, the frogged passages, the weaving of ends, and the blocking. This is the “everyday” stuff of life, the more monotonous parts of being entranced by beauty.

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The title of this shawl came to me as I thought of how the two colors danced together in a way similar to the ballet between two people, each taking the stage separately and then coming together for a final, beautiful adagio.

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I also like how this shawl stays on your shoulders. Instead of a straight edged triangle, this shawl continues around your neck in a semi-circle fashion while still laying flat down the back. I hope you can see this in the photos.

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I also hope you will knit this shawl! I knitted mine with Saucon Sock, in color “Carnation”, which has a lot of cotton in it, perfect for spring and summer. The second yarn is Louisa Harding Yarns, Noema. But I can’t wait to knit it in a wool for fall and winter. If you give it a go, I’d love to see your final shawl!:)

Thank you to everyone who purchases one of my patterns!! I write into each pattern a lot of extra helps and tips along the way to help you be successful in your knit and/or crochet adventure!

Happy Knitting!

-Jennifer

Pointier Points & Other Weighty Matters

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I mean, who really cares about whether the points on a knitted washcloth are pointier than previously knitted? I certainly don’t care one way or the other…but therein lies the fun of it all!

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So, I finally finished my Hitchhiker Shawl, and oh what a nail-biting finish that was! Only about 2 1/2 inches of yarn left on the bind off! Just barely enough to weave in. But that’s all I needed! 🙂

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At the same time, I had been merrily knitting washcloths  my latest obsession, and the thought occurred to me that I could, quite possibly, make the points on my washcloths just as pointy as the points on the Hitchhiker.

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Eureka! It worked! Using the clever little Kfb, turn, purl one, knit one, pass the purled stitch over, worked like a charm to add a bit of pointless pointiness  to the Almost Lost Washcloth. ‘Tis fun, no?

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Other oddments I’ve enjoyed immensely of late are finishing socks…

SoccerfieldSocks

…turning cart heels at soccer games…

ToeExcitement

…the thrill of toe knitting (not to be confused with knitting with your toes)…

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…drinking tea and eating a cupcake in a new way whilst finishing the knitting of a shawl design (typing up pattern for offering on Etsy soon!)…

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…starting a crocheted circular vest…

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…and finishing it in a few days time…

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…and working on a sweet little project I’ll tell you more about soon!

Pointless Pointiness and all manner of frivolity is very sustaining and enriching to one’s life!

I hope you have a bit of frivolity in your day today!

Cotton Love

BellaWrapMyWay

When the weather turns (even the slightest bit) to hints of spring, I begin longing for cotton.  At the end of February I discovered a pattern from a blog I follow and immediately knew I wanted to knit it. But wool, and the weather that accompanies it, was quickly fading from my yarn-loving visions and I knew I had to knit this in a cotton version.

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Of course, this meant having to re-do all the maths and figure out inches and all that good stuff. But that’s actually what I enjoy doing, so it just made for a completely entrancing project from beginning to end.

BellaWrapColors

I had purchased The Bella Wrap pattern but it didn’t give any schematics whatsoever. I think I got close to the original and I’m enjoying wearing it ever so much now that the days are a bit warmer.

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I’ve worn it with long sleeves as well as short sleeves…very versatile for the roller coaster temps we have here in the South in Springtime.

I pulled out all my leftover cottons. Some are cotton-acrylic blends and others 100% cotton. I doubled the colors throughout to allow them to gradate as I went along…cream melting into yellow, yellow flowing into pink, pink morphing into green, etc.

It has a very cosy feel to it. And I love the three ways you can wear it:

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Open in front.

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Or pinned in the middle.

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Or secured over to the side. The pattern showed a nifty round shawl pin, but I just used one of my decorative crochet hooks. It works great!

I seem to have issues with knitting things exactly by pattern. I owe this to my dear mother and to Elizabeth Zimmerman. Mom almost always does something different with a pattern in order to make the project fit correctly or to change something about the design. Elizabeth Zimmerman gave me the instruction for how to calculate making any pattern using a different gauge or weight yarn. When you have a little confidence and know-how, the knitting world is at your finger tips! Quite literally!! 🙂

I know I will make this again in a bulky wool on size 15 needles (as the pattern calls for) one day! But from now until August, cottons will be running through my hands.

Knitterly Sketch Journal Pages

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I’m gonna try to catch you up on my yarny travels of late by way of my sketch journal devoted solely to the items I’ve finished knitting or crocheting.

FINISHED is the key word here. A fiber project I’m working on does not get to be drawn into the journal until it is ALL DONE! Seams made, ends woven in, blocked if needed.

BootiesJournalEntry

This final step is like the icing on the cupcake for me. I love to draw. I love to knit and crochet. So to draw what I’ve knitted or crocheted is an extra boon!

Anna'sBooties Here’s a pic of the sweet little booties I crocheted for a friend who is expecting her first child.

Patsy'sTunicJournalEntry

And this is the page for Patsy’s Perfect Tunic, which I hope you are ALL knitting one of these for yourself (FREE Pattern!) before the cold weather leaves!!!

EverlastGobJournalEntry

Of course, the Everlasting Gobstopper Blanket…it continues to heal and warm and make cosy all who wrap up in it.

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And the Wild Hare Tunic I knitted last week when the first snow “storm” hit our area. I now have another project begun from this week’s snow storm (actually gave us 7″ of snow instead of 1″). I’ll share it with you another day! 🙂

WildHareFinished

I’ve since finished Rhubarb Blanket and a pair of socks, but they haven’t yet been journaled. Can’t wait to do that!

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Feel free to click on the images to see them larger on your screen.

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AND…if you haven’t yet signed up for my Knitterly Arts Newsletter, PLEASE DO SO!! The next issue is due out in a few days!!! Yay!

*Crochet Your Heart!

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(Last year’s Valentine’s Card. I’m working on this year’s!:)

CrochetYourHeartToday!

I think I might like Valentine’s Day even more than Christmas. Well no…maybe it’s a tie. What I like is that Valentine’s is simple. Or can be. Just a little gift to let someone know you “heart” them. And of course, the chocolate is pretty cool too! crochetheartpin Last year I designed this CROCHET HEART as I was wanting to teach a friend how to make a simple one. I searched the web for one I liked and couldn’t find just the right shape or find it simple enough for a beginning crocheter. So I designed this one, made several into pins last year, and have been wearing mine each day here lately. Feel free to use this little pattern (click on the link above) and share it with friends. Fronts&Backs

(Ugh. the color is ghastly here! So sorry!)

To make the pin, you simply crochet the heart using my pattern here, then single crochet around the edge with something sparkly. Add a pin back and a button or decorative brad to the center. Et Voila! But there are so many other things you could do with this pattern!! Since I may not have time to make all of these, I drew them for you! Working with various sizes of yarns and hooks, you can make this heart large or small!! So, big yarn and big hook = big heart! Small yarn and small hook = small heart! Garland&Flowers Small hearts make for great pins, attachments to cards and gift wrap, and even a lovely heart garland for your window or mantel. You could also make some heart “flowers”, hot gluing them to a stick and placing them down in a pot.:) HeartPurse Bigger hearts can be made into sachets and purses for little girls. Simply crochet TWO of them and stitch them together. For the purse, stitch it up only around the sides and bottom, leaving the top humps of the heart open. Crochet a chain as a handle onto the little purse, or just sew a ribbon on. You can even decorate it with buttons or beads if you like! heartSachet For the sachet,  just prior to sewing up the entire seam around the edge, stuff it with stuffing that has been spritzed with your favorite perfume or scent. Place one in a drawer to scent your clothing. Hang one from a clothes hanger for freshening the closet! Pin&Wands   Ooooh…and I saw on one of my favorite crochet blogs, Tangled Happy, a Crochet Heart Wand made with two hearts, stuffed a bit, with a sparkly pencil for the stick!! Add a few ribbons and what a cute valentine gift for a girl! IMG_3782 I also found online a wonderful pattern for KNITTING a heart! I was so tickled to see it was from a favorite blog I follow, called The Sitting Tree. Do check out her blog with a cup of tea in hand. You’ll enjoy every minute there! All of the above ideas could be made with these knitted hearts! I’m sure there is much much more you could do with them… CrochetYourHeart …Leave YOUR ideas in the comment section so we can all benefit! And HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!!

*Patsy’s Perfect Tunic: Free Pattern!!

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STOP whatever you are doing/making right now and RUN like mad to your stash or your LYS to buy some Super Bulky yarn!!

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Now! Do not pass GO! Do not collect $200!

Well, if someone offers you $200, take it, so you can buy some yarn and make this tunic!

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That’s how I felt when I saw my mom wearing hers…immediately the questions began:

What pattern? Which yarn? Size needles? What stitch? etc. She has actually knitted two of them with different gauge yarns, one chunky, one super bulky. They are both to die for! So, of course, I had to make one for myself. After plying her with a zillion questions (because she had just “made it up”!), here’s how I made mine:

Patsy'sPerfectTunic2

Patsy’s Perfect Tunic

Design by Pat (Patsy) Pilkington

Pattern written by her daughter Jennifer:)

Written for sizes Small (Medium, Large, Extra Large)

Difficulty Level: Perfect for Beginners!

Materials:

4 hanks of Noro Iro (each hank has 132 yards)

Size 10 1/2 or 11 needles. (I used size 11)

Yarn Needle

Begin: (Make 2 of these Rectangles)

Cast On 50 (60, 70, 80) sts. (Mine pictured here is a Medium. Mom’s pictured below is a Small.)

Work 2 Rows Seed Stitch (Row 1: K1, P1; Row 2: Knit the Purls, Purl the Knits:)

Work 5 x 5 BasketWeave Stitch (*K5, P5 for 6 Rows; P5, K5 for 6 Rows; Rep. from *) until you have length desired. (I just knitted until I was near to finishing 2 hanks.)

Work 2 Rows Seed Stitch.

Bind Off in pattern.

Put Together:

Using Yarn Needle and Mattress Stitch, seam the top shoulders leaving a neck opening of approximately 9 (10, 11, 12) inches.

Then Seam the sides leaving arm openings of approximately 8 (9, 10, 11) inches (or however large you desire!). I began the side seams about 3 inches from the bottom to have a side slit for easier wear.

Block:

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Blocking really made this tunic “sing”! I dunked the finished tunic into my sink of sudsy water, rinsed it, and rolled it GENTLY between two towels to pat out as much water as I could. DO NOT WRING! Then I pinned the tunic to my blocking board so as to make the length and shape I wanted. I wanted the bottom part to be slightly larger than the shoulder area (to accommodate the hips, ahem…)

I could hardly wait for the thing to dry! I was invited to a Sarah Addison Allen book reading/signing and just HAD to wear this tunic, so I yanked it off the blocking board whilst it was still a teensy bit damp! It has grown a little bit as I’ve worn it and worn it and worn it. But I just like it even more! It’s the perfect thing to wear with jeans, over leggings, with boots, etc!!

I can’t wait to start my next one!!

Some alternative yarn choices:

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Mom has knitted hers with combinations of Noro’s Silk Garden Chunky and Silver Thaw. I think she has had to use smaller needles (like a 10?) for these and adjusted the amount of basketweave “squares” to fit. But they are gorgeous yarns!! (And isn’t my mom beautiful??!! She’s an amazing artist whose mediums are oils as well as fibers!)

In looking on line, I found this yarn and this one, in the Super Bulky range I love so much!! Personally it’s all about the COLORS that are self-striping and variegated which make this tunic so lovely!! But, of course, you could knit this with any solid or multi-colored yarn you like!!! Heck, even combine numerous individual yarns together for a fun, whimsical look to your tunic!

The point of it all is to HAVE FUN!!! To make something OH SO SIMPLE that is lovely to wear in the SAME SEASON  that you begin making it! Ha! Ha!

Enjoy!

Stashbuster Mixed Media Cowl

MMCowlBrown

Before my Art Show in November, I made several of these and they have been well received by many folks there buying them for gifts or for themselves. I wanted to type up a tutorial for any who might be interested in making one (or LOTS) also. It’s a great way to use up your existing stash. In fact, I made it my mission to ONLY use what I had on hand…little bits of this, leftovers of that.

M&MMakeCowl The first thing I do is gather up my yarns. Mortimer and Millicent wanted to oversee my photo tutorial efforts, giving invaluable (and sometimes annoying) suggestions and critiques along the way. 🙂 I like to put the yarns in a white bowl so I can see them sitting there together. I pull anything and everything that tickles my fancy: solid yarns, variegated yarns, fibers with a bit of bling, textured yarns, etc. I don’t worry too much at this point whether or not I’ll actually USE them all…this is the fun part of putting color together! There may be a yarn or two that just don’t make it into the finished cowl. Or I may just use them all!

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I choose a bulky yarn as a “base” or anchor. Since I’m using either a size 13 knitting needle or an N crochet hook, I want the stitches and yarns to be rather chunky. But this doesn’t mean I can’t use worsted, DK or even fingering weight yarns. I just have to combine the thinner yarns to approximate a chunky weight. I’ll demonstrate this a bit in the photos.

If I’m knitting a Mixed Media Cowl, I cast on 40-50 sts. This is a wide range that you will have to determine the number based on how thick your yarn choices are AND based on how generous you want your cowl to be. I’ve made them anywhere from neck huggers to cowls with a bit of drape. You choose! The knitted version is simply garter stitch all the way through.

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If I’m crocheting a Mixed Media Cowl, I chain 45-50. Again, this all depends on the above factors. This one is a 50 chain Cowl, which is a bit more generous than some I have made. I use single crochet stitches THROUGH THE BACK LOOP. This allows the crochet to have more drape to it than regular single crochet.

So, here we go:

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I began with the “base” yarn, a chunky yarn combined with a very slim shiny yarn just to add interest. Chain 50.

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Sc in the second chain from hook and in each chain across. I like to crochet into the “butt” of the chain thereby giving a nice edge that looks like bind off in knitting.

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Attach a new yarn or set of yarns. Here I’ve combined two different worsted weight yarns. Together they are somewhat close to the thickness of the “base” yarn. I attach the new yarns just before finishing off the last single crochet stitch. Then, with the new yarn(s), finish the sc, CHAIN 1, and turn your work, ready to go on the next row!

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I work single crochet THROUGH THE BACK LOOPS at the same time crocheting over the ends so that I don’t have to weave them in at the end.:)

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I work two rows of each color or set of yarns. This time there are THREE yarns held together:  a worsted, a textured, and a thin “bling” yarn. Continue working sc tbl, and crocheting over the ends.

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Continue working in this manner until you have the height you desire.

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I worked 7 groupings of yarn, giving me approx. 6″-7″ depending on how much you stretch the fabric out. This crochet stitch looks a bit like sideways ribbing and has a lovely ridge on both sides.

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I end with the “base” yarn again. This is certainly not necessary, but I think it finishes it off. This last time I held a different shiny yarn with it for variety.  I only work one row of this. Weave in all ends.

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The cool thing about this cowl is that you do not need button holes! Place your buttons where you like and you can button it up in two different ways:

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With the buttons vertical, straight up and down (as pictured in the selfie above:).

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Or with the buttons and cowl diagonal, hugging the neck a bit more. Either way is lovely I think!

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Of course, Mortimer and Millicent had to try it on too! They were so upset that it didn’t fit them! Then they thought perhaps I had made them a cozy blanket, only to be dashed again when I explained this was a Cowl for PEOPLE not mice! (I may need to go make a couple of cowls, mice size, for them as they are a pouting a bit.)

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Choosing the buttons is REALLY fun! Go to your button box, mix and match, or find inexpensive buttons in shops you frequent. They add just the right touch!

Wear, smile, and have a beautiful, artsy day!!

Macy’s Christmas Tree: Free Instructions

Macy's Tree

Macy has been busy crocheting some Christmas trees perfect for hanging on the tree or for decorating the table. She now has a Christmas tree lot at Southwinds Gallery offering her makes for others to enjoy!

For those who crochet, Macy wanted to share how she made them. Instead of offering a PDF to download, I will dictate Macy’s instructions here for you to follow.

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Materials:

You need to have two colors of worsted weight yarn. Macy used Vicki Howell’s Sheepish, which she loves because it is soft and fuzzy and oh so colorful! But she also used some Peaches ‘n Cream Cotton and other worsted weight yarns. She used an H hook, and a yarn needle for sewing up and weaving in ends. Oh, and you will need a bit of stuffing and a ribbon or two for topping the tree!

Here’s how Macy did it:

Starting at the circular base, choose the main color you want for your tree and chain 3. Slip stitch to join to 1st chain forming a ring. You are working in the round the whole time.

Ch 1, work 8 sc in ring. Join with a sl st to beg sc.

Ch 1, work 2sc in each sc around. Join.

Ch 1, *work 1 sc, then 2 sc in next sc, rep from * around. Join.

Ch 1, *work 2 sc, then 2 sc in next sc, rep from * around. Join.

Stop here for smaller tree OR work another round IN THIS MANNER: *work 3 sc, then 2 sc in next sc, rep from * around. Join.

Begin working the BODY as follows:

Working in BLO, Ch 1, hdc in same as ch 1, work same as last row of base but with hdc DECREASES…SO…if last row was (*work 2 sc, then 2 sc in next sc, rep from *) THEN YOU WILL *work 2 hdc, hdc2tog, rep from * around. Join.

Change color to your CONTRASTING COLOR:

**Working in whole stitch now, make a sc in same stitch as join, ch 1, *skip a st, sc in next st, ch 1, rep from * around. Join.

Change color back to your TREE COLOR:

Ch 1, work hdc in each st around. Join.

Ch 1, *work hdc, hdc2tog, rep from * around. Join.

Change color to your CONTRASTING COLOR:

Rep this 3 RND pattern from the **, reducing stitches on the 2ND TREE COLOR rows of hdc each time around.

***STUFF AT SOME POINT BEFORE YOU GET TO THE LAST ROUND!!

End with the tree color at the top, sl st to 1st st.

Pull yarn through and tie to make a loop at top for hanging from a tree. Weave in ends.

Choose 2 ribbons to pull through top and tie in a bow.

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Macy hopes you enjoy making some of these little trees!! She sure had fun crocheting them! If you make them to sell, please give due credit to Jennifer Edwards, Macy’s pattern editor.:)

 

*More Free For Thee!

I have just uploaded four of my patterns to the FREE Patterns page here on my blog!

Be sure to check ’em out!

*New Pattern!

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Finally!! I’ve added a new pattern to my Etsy Shop! It’s a sweater and sweater/vest I’ve been wanting to offer for quite some time. It just takes time to write a pattern properly, with all the information you want to offer so that others can be successful in making it.

Appalachian Comfort  A Beginner Sweater (with Sweater Vest option)

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This pattern is perfect for beginning knitters!! Pass it along to any you may know, beginners or otherwise, who would like a simple project for fall comfort. It can be for any season, depending on the type of yarn you choose. I’m wanting to knit my next one in a yummy Noro yarn.

Here are some things you might like to know:

What You Need:

Bulky Weight Yarn :
For Size Small: 550 yds. Medium: 650 yds. Size Large: 850 yds.
(Shown in pic: Patagonia’s Araucania cotton, 105 yds. each)
Other suggestions: Noro Obi, Kama, Iro, Kogarashi, Plymouth Yarn Gina Chunky, Araucania “Tolten”.
Size 10, round or straight needles (or size needed to obtain gauge)
Interlocking Stitch Markers
Yarn Needle

*Instructions are written for sizes small, medium and large!

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The simplicity of this pattern makes it terrific for an on-the-go project where you don’t have complex charts and stitch patterns to follow. Yet I’ve written the pattern in such a way as to allow you to make it your own by adding various stitch patterns and securing the front in multiple ways.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend full of yarny goodness!