Color Inspiration Thursday: Melted Chocolate

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What could be better than a beautiful, rich brown? I’ve struggled with getting a solid brown color for years. Brown dyes are made up of multiple different chemicals, many of which strike at different temperatures. Which leads to “breaking” … brown with flashes of orange, green, yellow, etc.

Finally, I think I’ve mastered brown! This is a mix of several different “browns,” with some other colors added in to level it all out. I love this colorway which, as soon as it emerged from the depot, reminded me of rich, warm, melted chocolate. So, that’s what it’s named.

Personally, I love brown on its own, but I know many people don’t. It’s a fantastic color for colorwork, though, and can lay a wonderful foundation for all sorts of other colors.

Works with both Perfect Beach Day and It’s Not Easy Being Green, doesn’t it? And wait til the Color Inspiration for next week; it’s another winning combo!

And, speaking of melted chocolate, the cupcakes in the collage above? Here’s the recipe. Gluten free, even, if you’re like me and can’t eat gluten (but easily made with regular flour, too). You’re welcome. 😀

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New Pattern! Meet Beatha

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Meet Beatha, a new pattern just published on Ravelry, designed by me!

Beatha (pronounced BA-ha) is Irish Gaelic for “life, livelihood, food, sustenance; that which nourishes us.” Knitting and textiles definitely nourish me, and I think that’s true for everyone who loves to create things with yarn. Seemed like a good name for this fun crescent shawl.

Earlier this year, Kim from Indigo Dragonfly and I cooked up a scheme to collaborate with each other for Amy Herzog’s Make Wear Love Retreat (where I am right now! In Maine! woohoo 😀 ).

I’ve always thought it would be fun to collaborate with other dyers. I contacted Kim, and she was totally up for it, because she’d been thinking the same thing. So, Kim and I each sent the other yarn, and then we had to dye something to go with what we received. And then design a pattern using the two yarns / colors together.

I chose DK weight, and Kim sent me this super-fun variegated colorway on her DK Matter base. The colorway is named “Nocturniquette” and is a blend of purples and oranges in varying hues. I dyed a really deep, dark purple, which I named “Sublime,” to go with it because I wanted two high-contrast colors for the design I had in mind.

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Which is a fun crescent shawl with striped garter stitch sections, some simple lace, a funky elongated stitch section, and picot edge. It’s an easy pattern except for the two rows which make up the elongated stitches. Which, honestly, aren’t difficult; they’re just fiddly. But only 4 rows out the the whole shawl are fiddly; the rest is just fun knitting.

I used nearly all of both skeins of yarn, so if you have any leftovers from other projects in Birte or DK Matter in your stash, I recommend using those to swatch. If not, keep your swatch because you’re going to need it to finish. If you choose another yarn base, keep in mind you may need more yardage than called for in the pattern (Wendy used some DK from Madeline Tosh and estimated that she used 294 yards for Color A and 288 yards of Color B).

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Modeled by the ever-delightful and ever-photogenic Caragh (my daughter; I might be just a little biased 😀 ).

 

The pattern has been test knit by several intrepid knitters. Much gratitude to Anne (who knit one and is close to finishing her second already!), Brooke, Kyrie, and Wendy, who jumped on it right away and helped me out with confirming / correcting stitch counts and a few other little glitches in the pattern. A few other Ravelers are knitting it as well, so do check out the pattern page for projects; they should be adding their shawls in the near future.

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Anne’s second Beatha in the works. She’s using Birte in Black Moon and Fog. I love this more neutral look (I might need to knit another one for myself, too!) (click on photo to get to Anne’s project page)

On the flip side, I sent Kim a skein of Sunna in a new colorway, Good Vibrations. I haven’t seen what she did with it yet, but I’m really looking forward to it. This was super fun, and I definitely hope to do it again with Kim, and perhaps some of my other dyer-friends.
The pattern is available for sale on Ravelry!

I’ll also be knitting up a fingering weight version. It’s a simple mod – pick two fingering weight yarns and adjust the needle size. I’m going to knit one in Sunna, on Size 6 needles.

Wendy’s Bestha, knit in Madeline Tosh DK in “Deep” and “Optic” (click on photo to get to Wendy’s project page)


 

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Color Inspiration Thursday: It’s Not Easy Being Green

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“It’s Not Easy Being Green.” This colorway reminded my kids of Kermit the Frog … Kermit on steroids, that is. It’s the same color family, but more neon than Kermit for sure. I kind of love it; I wouldn’t knit a whole sweater out of it, but it would be so fun in a mixed-color project.

Thinking about it with Perfect Beach Day

I can totally see these two paired with a neutral like The Witching Hour for maximum impact, or Fog for a little more subtlety, or Eggplant for some pizzazz, or another new colorway … stay tuned ’til next week!

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Shibui Knits FW17 Season Lookbook ~ WOW!

So, remember when I was looking for sophisticated, elegant knitting patterns a few months ago? I haven’t had a chance to do much of anything about it, and now I’m really pretty glad I didn’t. Because, oh, my. The  Shibui Knits FW17 Lookbook is amazing. I love every single pattern in it.

They’re clean in design, but not simple or plain. Elegant, sophisticated, and each with those little details that really make a pattern stand out, and a hand knit unique and special.

Shellie Anderson is my hero (and, not surprisingly, one of her patterns from a previous Shibui publication is first on the list in my prior post).

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Zona. I totally love this. So much. I’m definitely knitting it. Click on that Ravelry link for more photos.

But, also … Fresca, Tuva, Odessa … oh heck, all of them. Go look at the Lookbook.

I’m definitely knitting some of these. Then I look at Shellie’s pattern page on Ravelry and … there are way too many I love. I’m done. I’ve found my sophisticated and elegant designs. I think I’m going to knit Zona first. It will be perfect to wear in my studio / gallery when the shop is open and I want wear a hand knit, but also want to look uber-elegant and also sophisticatedly artsy. Just have to decide on a color!

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