Elizabeth Street

New Pattern: Everley Cowl

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Meet my newest knitting pattern, the Everley Cowl!  This pattern has a special origin for me.  When my paternal grandma passed away, I inherited most of her knitting stash and supplies.  She was a master craftswoman who knit, quilted and sewed her whole adult life.  I didn't get serious about knitting until after she passed away, so being able to use her supplies and give them new life while carrying on the tradition of knitting and making is really special to me.  Tucked in amongst the yarn were all kinds of swatches and half-started projects.  One of the swatches was this intriguing knit and purl pattern that looked like ribbing.  I immediately knew I wanted to hold onto this swatch and look at it later.  One day I finally took the time to sit down and undo a few rows to figure out the stitch pattern.  It turned out that this mock rib was deceptively simple, and I immediately knew I wanted to use it in a design of my own.  That's how the Everley Cowl was born.  

everleybulky_1.jpg

Everley is designed as a simple, grab-on-your-way-out-the-door kind of accessory.  I knew right away I wanted to offer two different weights to maximize customization. The bulky version uses 1 skein of Brooklyn Tweed Quarry and the worsted weight uses 2 skeins of Quince and Co. Lark.  This is the perfect excuse to go stash diving!

I'm totally smitten with the texture created by the knit / purl stitch combinations.  It looks impressive but is so simple to create and easy to memorize.  I've been grabbing my own cowls the last few days with our cool Wisconsin spring mornings and it's just enough coziness in these transitional days.  

I can't wait to see what you knitters make with this pattern!  Share your work on Instagram with #everleycowl and #elizabethstreetstudioknits.

Grab your own copy of the pattern on Ravelry!

Queue Check: March 2017

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I knit pretty monogamously on these two projects in March.  I like having all my knitting lined up and organized, but I admit I'm missing the ones that are set aside in project bags.  The weather is starting to show signs of spring, but I'm still holding onto my winter knitting - give me wool any time of the year!  

Above: the green/blue shades in my Find Your Fade shawl are just enough spring for me!

Below: a new design currently in testing; it's a transitional cowl that will include a bulky and worsted weight version - hopefully coming at you on Ravelry really soon! 

Happy spring knitting!  What's on your needles this month?

This + That | No. 11

Creative InspirationLiz TubmanComment
This + That is a regular feature collecting making - related bits and pieces from around the web for your browsing pleasure. 

Did you know that March is Icelandic Wool Month at Tolt Yarn & Wool shop?  I've been following this beautiful shop based in Carnation, Washington on Instagram for several years, and have been continually impressed by their offerings and engagement with the fiber world.  I've also had a visit to Iceland on my bucket list since I become a knitter - staggeringly wild & beautiful countryside with a history of knitting? YES please!  So I've been loving following Tolt's Icelandic wool celebration on social media this month.  Here's a few blog posts + patterns to peruse that I've found really interesting:

Top row:

This Skogafjall sweater designed by Diana Walla for this year's Icelandic Wool Month; read about Diana's design inspiration here!

That post about Anna Dietrich's color inspiration for her own Skogafjall sweater

Bottom row:

That Icelandic edition of "Swatch of the Month" over on the Fringe Association all about the signature lopapeysa sweaters that have become a national symbol for Iceland

This Blaer Cardigan designed by Beatrice Perron Dahlen for Tolt's 2016 Icelandic Wool Month; I'm dreaming of a slightly cropped version of this gorgeous cardigan with bracelet length sleeves as an outer layer for some fall weddings I have coming up later this year! 

This + That | No. 10

Creative InspirationLiz Tubman1 Comment
This + That is a regular feature collecting making - related bits and pieces from around the web for your browsing pleasure.

This week's This + That feature is all about brioche - I'm completely in love with both these shawl designs that feature this stitch.  Have you ever tried brioche?  It's a stitch technique where you knit the row twice before turning your work, creating a thickly textured, double sided fabric that has a similar feel to fisherman's rib.  It's luxurious and warm especially when it's knit up in a yarn like a merino wool. 

This shawl from Andrea Mowry of Drea Renee Knits: Rose Gold, now available on Ravelry

That crescent shawl design from Mara Licole of Mara Licole Knit Studio, coming soon!  

I'm dreaming of casting both of these designs on someday, and if you're into brioche patterns, be sure to check out the rest of Andrea's designs - many of them feature brioche, even if it's a new technique for you! 

Queue Check: February 2017

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The few weeks of February just flew by, didn't they?  My knitting queue has only grown to be honest, with only one project being finished from last month.  The finished project was my Hygge Hat & Mitts (and I'm really proud of how the pattern turned out) which can now be purchased on Ravelry!  Here's what was happening on my needles in February:

1. River Light Tee swatch in Quince & Co. Tern: this was an interesting swatch; normally I don't knit swatches this large but the Irish moss stitch really pulls on the bias while you're knitting and Marie suggested a large swatch to see how the stitch blocked out.  I'm really glad I did - the difference between the blocked vs. unblocked swatch was crazy!  I'm planning to down a needle size for the sweater but other than that I'm loving the way it's looking after a good soak.

2. New design!  I'm super excited about this guy; I'm in love with the texture and reversible stitch pattern I've got going on.  It's knit in Brooklyn Tweed Quarry and I'm debating working up a worsted weight swatch to see what that looks like as well.  More details to come!!

3. Find Your Fade shawl: Cannot. stop. knitting. this.  I thought a fingering weight shawl would be so fiddly and slow but seriously, I can't put this down!  There's just enough variety with the alternating sections and I'm so excited to see how the next color looks that I just want to keep going!

What's on your needles this month? I'd love to hear!

New Pattern: Hygge Hat & Mitts

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I'm thrilled to announce the release of my newest pattern, the Hygge Hat & Mitt Set!  

I don't know about you, but right around this time every year, I get really tired of winter.  Last year, I came across the term hygge,  pronounced (hoo-ga), in an article about how Danes have a different mindset about their long cold winters in the Northern hemisphere.  This Danish word (with no direct English translation) evokes a sense of coziness, comfort, friendship, and the enjoyment of simple moments. It’s a celebration of the little traditions that see them through the dark winter months, like lighting candles or gathering around the fire with a hot drink and good friends.  For me, hygge is knitting. Curling up with yarn and needles by the fire is the epitome of coziness and comfort in the middle of winter.  As soon as I discovered this new word, I knew I had to design something around it for the long Midwestern winters that celebrated the idea of knitting as hygge.

The Hygge Hat and Mitts are designed to be total comfort knits, both in the making and the wearing.  They're knit up with just 2-3 skeins of Brooklyn Tweed Arbor (shown in Tincture), a beautifully springy DK weight yarn.  Both the hat and mitts feature a simple cable pattern that’s easy to memorize and perfect to try if you're new to cables.  The cable texture creates a warm fabric to keep your hands and head cozy all winter long.

I've been wearing my own Hygge hat & mitts all week in the snow, freezing rain, and cold we've had here in Wisconsin.  I think you'll love this pattern at least as much as I do!   After you cast on, tag your knitting with #hyggehatandmitts and #elizabethstreetknits so we can all see your beautiful work!  Happy knitting!   

Get your own copy of Hygge Hat & Mitts on Ravelry!

Β 

This + That | No. 9

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This + That is a regular feature collecting making - related bits and pieces from around the web for your browsing pleasure. 

I have a new installment of This + That for you today!  I've become slightly obssessed with Erica Smith's design style (minimal, intentional, and forever classic), and she just released a new pattern, Apogee.  It's pretty much the most beautiful basic pullover I've yet laid eyes on.  This got me thinking about some other pullover patterns that I really love, and it became this  basic vs. cabled pullovers game.  So here they are - what do you prefer?  Cables? or simple stockinette?  Or, as in my perfect world, one of each?

These basic patterns (left to right): Apogee by Erica Smith & Beckett by Marie Greene

Those cabled patterns (left to right) : Stonecutter by Michele Wang & Adamantine by Erica Smith

Which would you knit? (or knit first, anyway?)

The Price of Design

Creative InspirationLiz Tubman3 Comments

I'm currently knee-deep in testing and prepping my second self-published knitting pattern, and through this process I've hit a stumbling block: the high price of designing knitting patterns.  I'm wondering if any other knitters or self-published designers have felt this same frustration at times.  You see this beautiful new pattern (or have killer idea for a new design) and immediately know you have to cast on...until you add up the price of the skeins of yarn being called for.  You cringe at the total, knowing there's no way you can afford to spend that amount of money on something that's not an absolute necessity.  You might be able to go stash-diving, but what if what you have on hand doesn't fit the pattern requirements?  How do you move forward on a project without sacrificing the quality or integrity of the design?

I knew as soon as I started designing that I never wanted to design something that:

1. I wouldn't want to wear myself and

2. that I couldn't afford to knit myself.

This has become a much bigger challenge than I thought.  I never want to sacrifice yarno quality but I also want whatever I design to be approachable for knitters of any income level.  On the other hand, I love being able to support small businesses and domestic yarn companies working hard to keep the fiber industry alive.  It feels like a bit of a tightrope walk trying to balance all of these elements with a single design.  I face the frustration of not being able to bring a vision in my head into reality the way I want, since the price of high quality yarn and supplies are sometimes prohibitively high for me.

I should also say that I'm a very new designer and all of my design work so far is completely self-funded purely as a small side business.  I imagine that a full-time designer works very differently and perhaps doesn't face these challenges in particular.  And I will admit that I have probably only scratched the surface of possible yarn and supply sources and maybe my taste just tends toward the more expensive side. 

All these thoughts have been floating around my head as I've been laying out design plans for the rest of 2017.  While I acknowledge these challenges, I also have to acknowledge the fact that I'm so grateful to be able to fund any kind of hobby period.  I'm also happy to have found a couple of go-to companies that produce an extremely high-quality product for a very reasonable price that (in my opinion) is worth every penny: Quince & Co and Brooklyn Tweed.  These are my go-to sources for yarn at the moment but I'd love to be able to expand that, especially to include some indie dyers and small(er) yarn companies. 

Have you ever experienced this frustration?  I'd love to hear your thoughts or suggestions for yarn + supplies!  

Queue Check: January 2017

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February is already here, but I want to recap my January knitting / making queue.  Time goes by faster every day, and I want to refocus my mind and energy with these queue check posts this year!  It feels so good to finish projects, but as soon as I finish one, I always find myself starting at least three more.

1. First Watch Cardigan:  I'm just past the sleeve divide!  This is going to be ridiculously cozy to wear in this long WI winter, I can't wait to put it on!

2. Design #2: I'm so close to being ready for testers; I had to rip this hat out completely and start over, but I know it'll be worth it!

3. Cardamom Coffee Hat: I've had this sitting around all month, just waiting for a few moments to cast on; I think the hardest part was choosing colors!

What's on your needles?  As much as winter can seem long and dark, I really do love this season of wearing and making all these warm hand knits and cozying up in the evenings with my yarn.  Cheers to another month full of knitting to keep us warm!

Knit: Ondawa Sweater

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This sweater was my last finish of 2016, and my favorite hand knit item I've ever made to date.  It took me almost the whole year to finish this project, but not because it was particularly hard.  This sweater is really just two rectangles and two sleeves all seamed together, it just took me lots of time with all the cables and twisted ribbing.  It also got set aside in favor of other projects a couple times.  All that time was more than worth it, though, I've lost track of how many times I've worn my Ondawa since I finished it.  At least two or three times a week! 

The design is just beautiful, the cables and ribbing complement each other and the bracelet length sleeves and slightly cropped body make it a perfect piece for layering.  I decided to use the recommended yarn, BT Shelter in Fauna and it's perfect.  I love the color in person and I can tell it's going to be a work-horse sweater.  Spending the extra money on BT yarn was completely worth it in my opinion.  

I feel like this sweater has become a sort of embodiment of the past year for me personally; 2016 was a year of real ups and downs and there were times I just didn't feel like doing my usual routine - I felt like hiding away from the world somewhere - but I didn't.  I kept plugging away and showing up.  It wasn't always fun but I'm glad I did.  The same happened with this sweater - it got long, and I didn't always enjoy the knitting, but I knew the finished product would be beautiful so I kept showing up.  And then suddenly, it was done  - and I had something incredibly beautiful made by my own two hands.  That's what life kind of feels like too; it was a hard year but I feel like I've turned a metaphorical corner and suddenly realized what a beautiful life I actually have.  Thanks, knitting for teaching me a life lesson while sitting on my couch, haha!


Pattern: Ondawa by Michele Wang

Yarn: Brooklyn Tweed Shelter in Fauna

Size: 51 3/4"

Mods: knit about 2" extra on the body pieces and bound off the sleeves in pattern with a normal bind off rather than the recommended bind off method (this was to avoid decreasing stitches to make sure they didn't fit too tightly)