Category Archives: Knitting

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

True Colors

Road trip!

Bridge crossing the Salmon River, Idaho
Bridge crossing the Salmon River, Idaho

The boyz and I decided to hit the road to the Bitterroot Valley in Montana to visit the Mountain Colors workshop.

Beautiful summer day
Beautiful summer day
Lunch at Dave's Pizza in Salmon, Idaho. Two thumbs up!
Lunch at Dave’s Pizza in Salmon, Idaho. Two thumbs up!

We followed the footsteps of Lewis and Clark, traveling up the Sacagawea Historical Byway in Idaho then onto the Salmon River Byway and into the Salmon-Challis National Forest.

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Once we crossed the Montana state line, we entered the Bitterroot National Forest and drove down the mountain pass into the Bitterroot valley.

Sapphire Mountains in the Bitterroot Valley
Sapphire Mountains in the Bitterroot Valley

The valley is most famous as the setting for “A River Runs Through It,” but we traveled there for the yarn. Mountain Colors is owned and operated by Leslie Taylor and Diana McKay.

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I was tickled to catch these hard-working ladies in action.

Natural yarn waiting its turn to become Mountain Colors
Natural yarn waiting its turn to become Mountain Colors
Hand painting yarn. There color of this batch was Harmony Plum. At least 9 different colors are painted on to even the more solid colored yarn!
Hand painting yarn. The color of this batch was Harmony Plum. At least 9 different colors are painted on to even the more solid colored yarns!
Heat processing with vinegar for colors that stay put
Heat processing with vinegar for colors that stay put
Stunning colors!
Stunning colors!

I took along some of my finished designs for show and tell

Gilmore Skinny Scarf worked in Mountain Colors "Jeannette" colorway Firestorm 65% cashmere, 35% silk
Gilmore Skinny Scarf worked in Mountain Colors “Jeannette” 65% cashmere, 35% silk
Sapphire Mountain Cowl, worked in Mountain Colors "Mountain Goat" 55% mohair 45% wool
Sapphire Mountain Cowl, worked in Mountain Colors “Mountain Goat” 55% mohair 45% wool
Dauphiné Alpine Lace Socks worked in Mountain Colors "Bearfoot" 60% wool, 25% mohair, 15% nylon
Dauphiné Alpine Lace Socks worked in Mountain Colors “Bearfoot” 60% wool, 25% mohair, 15% nylon

and came away with more treasures.

Mountain Colors "Wooly Feathers" 65% mohair, 20% nylon, 15% wool
Mountain Colors “Wooly Feathers” 65% mohair, 20% nylon, 15% wool
Selway River Poncho - Mountain Goat, 55% mohair 45% wool, Wooly Feathers, 65% mohair 20% nylon 15% wool
Selway River Poncho – Mountain Goat, 55% mohair 45% wool, Wooly Feathers, 65% mohair 20% nylon 15% wool
Skein ends sold at Mountain Colors workshop by the ounce - "Half Crepe" 100% merino
Skein ends sold at Mountain Colors workshop by the ounce – “Half Crepe” 100% merino

As every knitter knows, no matter what’s in the queue or what’s in the stash, when new yarn comes home we have to get our hands on it right away!

Salmon River Fingerless Mitts worked in "Half Crepe" 100% merino
Salmon River Fingerless Mitts worked in “Half Crepe” 100% merino

If you’re on the road and in the Missoula, Montana area take a few minutes and stop by the Mountain Colors Workshop. If you’re not on the road, check out #mountaincolors on Instagram for more of their lovely, vibrant yarns.