Category Archives: Knitting

#MiniSweaterChallenge

4 Mini Sweaters in 4 Weeks

Starting August 11, 2017

Learn the skills you need to create the sweater of your dreams!

I am hosting a challenge over at SweaterSisters.com!  We will spend four weeks working one different mini sweater construction each week.  Sign up for the challenge at Sweater Sisters and beginning August 11th, you will receive an email each Friday with a different mini sweater pattern.

There will be a weekly prize drawing.  To enter, simply post your finished sweater in my Facebook Group WayfaringYarns Designs, in the Facebook Group Fall Sweater Challenge or on Instagram with the hashtag #MiniSweaterChallenge

SWEATER DIMENSIONS:

Sweaters have a circumference of about 10″/25.4 cm and measure about 5″/10.25 cm from shoulder to hem.

MATERIALS NEEDED

@40 grams/95 yds. of sport weight yarn per sweater *(see QUESTIONS below for other yarn weights)

Size US 5/3.75 mm needles – DPN’s or your preferred way of working small circumferences in the round, circulars or straight needles for working back and forth in rows.

Waste yarn or small yarn holders

Several stitchmarkers (4 should be removable!)

Tapestry needle for weaving in ends

Week 1 – Bottom Up Drop Sleeve Sweater (worked with garter stitch trim)

Week 2 – Top Down Seamless Yoke (worked with a K1, P1 rib trim)

Week 3 – Bottom Up Set in Sleeve (worked with a seed stitch trim)

Week 4 – Top Down Raglan (worked with a rolled trim)

To be eligible for the weekly prizes, post a picture of your completed sweater on Instagram or Facebook with the hashtag #minisweaterchallenge.

QUESTION – How long does it take to complete each sweater?

Each sweater takes approximately 4-8 hours to complete, depending on your knitting speed and how many new skills you’re learning with each sweater.

*QUESTION – Can I use other yarn weights?

Yes, just keep in mind the larger the yarn weight, (DK, Worsted, etc.) the larger the dimensions of the sweater will be.  If you decide to use a different yarn weight, make sure you adjust your needle size accordingly so your stitches aren’t too tight. Feel free to use whatever yarn weight and corresponding needle size you enjoy working with most!

Barchan Earflap Hat

Download the pattern from Ravelry FREE for 24 hours!

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The Barchan Earflap Hat is named after the horseshoe-shaped snowdrifts called barchans.  Worked from the top down with a provisional cast-on, this ribbed hat has a seamless construction with no short rows or stitches to pick up.  The slouchy version of the hat is shown, but the pattern can be easily adapted for a beanie style, with or without earflaps.

I’m in love with the Lana Grossa Fur Pom Pom from The Trendsetter Yarn Group.  It attaches easily with a snap which you stitch onto the hat.  It’s just so soft and fuzzy and gorgeous!

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I used the beautiful worsted wool I bought in Dresden, Germany a few years ago at The Green Wheel.  I love having yarn as a souvenir.  It was so much fun to relive a little bit of that amazing trip!

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Darling German cherub
Darling German cherub

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Piedras Blancas Cowl

Download Piedras Blancas Cowl on Ravelry.

50% off all WayfaringYarns Designs on Cyber Monday (and Tuesday!)

This summer I had the pleasure of traveling with my two oldest children to Cambria, a quaint little town on California’s central coast.

Ball & Skein & More, Cambria, California
Ball & Skein & More, Cambria, California

After a fabulous lunch, I just had to stop at the yarn store in town.

Beautiful yarn!
Beautiful yarn!

Ball & Skein & More carries items from over 90 different vendors, so it took me…we’ll just say more than a few minutes to decide on my purchase.

Piedras Blancas Cowl in Mrs. Crosby Hat Box
Piedras Blancas Cowl in Mrs. Crosby Hat Box

Two gorgeous skeins of Mrs. Crosby Hat Box was the winner!

I couldn’t wait to get home and get busy with this beautiful, luxury yarn.  75% Merino, 15% silk and 10% cashmere = pure heaven!

I named this cowl after Piedras Blancas Beach, a lovely state beach just north of Cambria.  The textured lace pattern is reminiscent of the white stone beach and gentle waves of the Pacific Ocean.

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The long version of the cowl is shown on the model, but the pattern also includes a shorter version which only uses 400 yards of sport weight yarn.

Happy Knitting!

Frogged!🐸

I started with lots of ideas gleaned from fashion pages and special requests for my hat patterns featured in this edition of Wayfaring Yarns.  Needless to say, there were many more that did not make it here than did.  Below is one that I worked to the bitter end.

Rustic Fair Isle Hat - FROGGED
Rustic Fair Isle Hat – FROGGED

I’m not an artist and have no training in design, just a desire to create something beautiful, something that gives pleasure throughout the entire process of planning, working and gifting.  My Sweet Baby James, who is an artist and loves color, innovation and presentation tried to give me gentle hints when I asked his opinion:

Me: (halfway through) Don’t you love these colors?
James: hmmmmm
Me: (before edging was added) Try this on, baby, tell me what you think.
James: It looks like a helmet from The Holy Grail.
Me: (after adding edging) What do you you think now? Would you wear it?
James: Well, probably not. It does look better, though.

Hahaha!  Have I learned my lesson? Probably not.  But I will continue to solicit his sage advise.

The photo shoot location for the hats I didn’t frog was the Wilson Ranch, a Wyoming Centennial Farm and Ranch.  This honor is given to Wyoming farms and ranches which are owned and operated by the same families for 100 years or more.  Thanks to Meredith and Dana Wilson for their permission to use this lovely piece of Wyoming.

Thanks to all my beautiful models

From left to right, Haylee Lyman, Amelia Wilson and Olivia Wilson
From left to right, Haylee Lyman, Amelia Wilson and Olivia Wilson
Gus, a Belgium Draft horse, property of the Wilson Ranch
Gus, a Belgium Draft horse

and my Sweet Baby James.

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Trace Your Yarn

While driving through the Rhône-Alpes region of France last year

Dairy cows in the French Alps
Dairy cows in the French Alps

my husband and I stopped in downtown Grenoble so I could check out a yarn store (feeling lots of hubby-love here❤️), Maille á Part, located at 5 rue Génissieu. I went straight to some fingering weight alpaca, and stood there, trying to decide on a color.  This was my first experience with Lang Yarns, a German company which has been in business since 1867.   That’s almost 150 years!

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Lang Yarns carries several wool yarns that are traceable, meaning can enter the yarn information printed on the lable here and learn about the farm and the sheep on the farm that produced the wool you are holding in your hand.  Pretty cool.

Baby Alpaca is not a traceable yarn, but that didn’t take away any of the pleasure I enjoyed while knitting up the Grenoble Fair Isle Hat.

Grenoble Fair Isle Hat, Lang Yarns Baby Alpaca, 100% alpaca
Grenoble Fair Isle Hat, Lang Yarns Baby Alpaca, 100% alpaca

 

Wayfaring Yarns 🐢 Slow Fashion

This month I’m joining with The Fringe Association in celebrating fashion the slow way – Handmade, Quality over Quantity, Indie Fashion, Small Batchs, Sustainability, Know your Source, and Buy Local.

HANDMADE

This Mobius Cowl designed by Maie Landra, owner of Koigu Wool, was featured on the cover of Vogue Knitting Winter 2013/14.  While I am a huge fan of Koigu yarns, I chose to use some yarn from my stash – Frogtree Pediboo, to create this lovely, fun-to-knit cowl.

  

QUALITY OVER QUANTITY

While learning to knit and design, I have learned that I enjoy working with quality yarns.  I love the beauty and feel of natural fibers in my hands. I love learning about small companies and co-ops all over the world who employ local  create fabulous yarns.  This Aprés-Ski Wool Sock  pattern knit in Noro Kureyon will be featured in my Winter 2016 collection.

 

INDIE FASHION

Thanks to internet sites like craftsy, ravelry, knitty and etsy, it is now easier than ever for individuals and micro businesses to be in the business of designing fashion.  I’ve jumped into the game myself!  Below are two designs-in-progress that will be featured in my Winter 2016 collection: Downtown Jackson Scarf and open cable cowl (working title).

  

SMALL BATCHES

I had a great time visiting the Mountain Colors workshop earlier this summer.  Hats off to the many yarn companies and individuals who hand paint and hand dye their beautiful yarn.  I’m making the most of these stunning colors with my new design, Selway Poncho, a part of my Winter 2016 collection.

 

SUSTAINABILITY

A year ago I took a trip to europe for my 50th birthday.  One of my favorite purchases was this no lable dk merino wool from The Green Wheel in the artisan section of Dresden, Germany.  The owner explained that their yarns are from southern German co-ops who raise sheep.  I love working with this high quality merino yarn.  Pictured are my Green Wheel Merino hats.  In the works is a complimentary neck gaiter design for the boyz to keep them cozy during ski season.  The free pattern will be available in my Winter 2016 collection.

  

KNOW YOUR SOURCE

The Buffalo Wool Company is an excellent example of a yarn company who really knows their source. The downy bison fiber used in their exquisite yarns and clothing is sourced from their own bison herd in Texas.  I have used their yarn for two of my new designs; Yellowstone Skate Ski hat and Downtown Jackson Gloves, both available in my Winter 2016 collection.

 

BUY LOCAL

Ron and Cheryl Smith, owners of Paintbrush Alpacas sold me this beautiful yarn at a local fiber fair.  I enjoy supporting local artists for purely selfish reason, the yarn is unique and lovely!  This pattern is from Country Weekend Socks by Madeline Weston.

  
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the slow fashion movement!
 

  

Autumn at Last

I’ve always loved autumn.  The year is ending, earth is cooling off and giving up its harvest, but for me it signals a beginning, a fresh start.  Autumn brings me crisp mornings and cooler evenings.  It brings me time during the day while my kids are at school to start a new exercise routine and have a long quiet soak in the hot tub.  It brings me after-school music students who are actually practicing!  It brings me lots of good reasons to relax at night with something warm to drink and lots of soft, cozy yarn to knit.

Autumn is the perfect time for me to publish my first issue of Wayfaring Yarns Magazine.  I’m excited to use this online format to share with you my yarn adventures, my travel adventures and the results of my first ever foray into the endlessly fascinating world of knitting design.

All of my designs thus far are easy to knit, made elegant by beautiful yarns.  In fact, I get great pleasure in figuring a design for the yarn that showcases the particular qualities inherent in that yarn.

I’d like to thank my models for their time and especially their patience with my very amateur attempts at photography.

My perfect-in-every-way daughter, Megan
My perfect-in-every-way daughter, Megan 😘
My beautiful, sweet niece from Atlanta, Anabelle
My beautiful, sweet niece from Atlanta, Anabelle
Haylee and Emily Lyman were amazing. We had so much fun!
Haylee and Emily were amazing. What a great mother/daughter team! Daughter on the left 😉
Follow Belle on Instagram @bellethefrenchbully
Follow Belle on Instagram @bellethefrenchbully

Thanks for joining me!

Selena Miskin
Musician by trade
Knitter by choice
Traveler by chance