Striped Directions Wrap

striped directions scarf
Striped Directions Scarf

I am so happy to finally be publishing designs again! I got obsessed with slip stitch knitting several years ago, and have been working on a series of designs using this technique. I am seeing more and more of it everywhere, but when I initially started, I remember friends commenting they’d never seen some of the stitch patterns I was doing.

I really love slip stitch knitting because it allows you to play with color without doing stranded knitting such as Fair Isle. Carrying the floats requires you to be careful with your tension or the knitting will pucker, but slip stitch knitting doesn’t have this issue.

Slip stitch knitting is also known as mosaic knitting because it uses the same technique of working with two colors of yarn, but only knitting with one color every two rows, and slipping stitches in the alternate color to create patterns.

My new design uses garter st and a very simple slip stitch pattern to create perpendicular stripes. I used a fractal spun yarn and a semi-solid to create this scarf. You could also use handspun or gradient yarns, or even solids that have good contrast. This is a really great stashbuster project because you only need 400-600 yards each of two colors of yarn. I used a semi-solid and a fractal spun, but this would lend itself to so many different combinations! I am excited to make more different versions myself.

I feel like celebrating, as it has been so long since I published, and it’s a beautiful October day, and fall knitting season is here! I also really want to say thank you to everyone who reads this blog, supports me as a designer, and has very patiently continued to do so while I was in the middle of major life change and MIA for awhile.

As my thanks to you, I am running a promotion for all my patterns for the month of October. When you spend $15 on my patterns, get $5 off (at checkout on Ravelry) with fallknitekb. And please tag me on Instagram with #elizabethkaybooth or post in my group on Ravelry when you make one of my patterns so I can see your take on it. There is nothing more rewarding as a designer than to see other people enjoy my work and to see what colors and personal touches you bring to it!

For anyone interested, here is my Ravelry store: https://www.ravelry.com/designers/elizabeth-kay-booth

Happy fall my friends! More good things to come very soon!

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New (FREE) Pattern: Morning Glory Sweater Coat

One of the photos taken as inspiration from our garden
One of the photos taken as inspiration from our garden
Original Sketch
Original Sketch
From the TNNA fashion show runway
From the TNNA fashion show runway

Greetings everyone! It has been a long time since I posted. I will fill you in on my month of July in another post, but while I was preoccupied, good things have been happening. You have already seen a little preview of my latest pattern from the TNNA fashion show runway, but I am really happy to tell you that Brown Sheep Co now has the pattern up on their website as a free download.

I really hope you will like it. I am particularly proud of this pattern because it was difficult to write (due to the custom color charts) and to be perfectly honest, there were points in the process I was ready to give up on it all together. I am glad I persisted with it, because as you can see from the photo and sketch, it had a clear path from original inspiration to sketch to final pattern and finished garment. As my fellow designers can probably attest, it is very rewarding when this happens. More frequently than I’d like to admit, I think I have a gorgeous idea in my head, and then when I start the writing and knitting, things don’t work out the way I expect.

With this garment, I had a clear concept from start to finish. I was sitting in my garden one day sketching, and it was at just the right time of day when the morning glories were fully open. I snapped some photos (see above) and instantly pictured a bright statement sweater coat with colorwork based on the flowers. I drew all the color charts by hand, based off of my photographs, and the sweater took shape from there.

If you would like to pick your own colors for this project, Google Images will give you an array to choose from. Based on my Google search, I was surprised to find that the colors of my flowers are unusual – apparently morning glories are more often in the blue/purple family.  It is knit in Brown Sheep’s Lanaloft, so you will have plenty of yarn colors to choose from to fulfill your own vision, and I encourage you to have fun picking your colors.

Please share photos with me if you choose to make this, and I hope you find it as rewarding to knit as I did to design. I also want to say a big thank you to Brown Sheep for working with me. They had not worked with me before this, and had not met me until the TNNA show, so I am very grateful they were willing to feature my pattern and take a chance on someone new. Plus, if you haven’t worked with their yarn before, you definitely should! Happy knitting!

Sheba

20160501_152934As promised, here are more photos and details about my latest design with Colinton Australia. This started out as a long-sleeve sweater with different yarn, and after working on it for a short time, we changed direction. We realized if I worked in UltraFine Lace, I would have a design in each of the Colinton bases. It also works well for us both to have three pieces in the TNNA fashion show featuring my collection of work in mohair and all three weights of her yarn.

She also suggested I take a look at 1920s fashion, which surprised me at the time, because my focus has been to show mohair in a modern way. However, once I started perusing all of my books on fashion in that era, (Coco Chanel’s work in particular), I realized how much the 1920s silhouettes still influence what we wear today. (And who am I kidding – I really love the fact I had an excuse to study Coco Chanel’s work for a week!)

The 1920s featured a very loose, drapey look, with wide v-necks in the front and back. All of the clothing was very heavy with beading and embellishments, and women tended to wear more makeup – strong lipcolors, eyeliner, etc. Even though the fit was relaxed, it was still a very formal look. A popular look was called tabard, which was basically a top with an opening for the head, but did not have side seams. I was inspired by the drapey look of these tops, although seaming the sides seemed much more practical for today.

In comparison, modern fashion is all about mixing high and low. I think this is why 1920s looks can be translated so well into modern fashion. You can take things that are embellished or formal, and pair them with jeans and flip flops if you’re running errands or dress up your ripped jeans with heels (as I did here) and be ready for a night out. All body types look good because of the loose, easy fit, and it makes the wearer feel confident. Fashion is known to be cyclical, but it seems like the 1920s have had a far-reaching influence, and I’m inclined to think it’s probably because the silhouettes were so flattering for everyone.

With all that said, I present Sheba (inspired by the film of the same name that garnered so much attention in the 1920s).

Front

Back

It is a fun, relaxing knit with an easy-to-memorize slip stitch pattern, a V-neck in the front and back, and a drapey, loose fit. It is worked from the bottom up and includes a few simple short rows to add a flattering hemline shape in the front and back. The textures in this piece subtly mimic the rows of beading in original 1920s clothing, and you can customize the neckline to be open or more tightened up.

Closeup

I hope you like this design, and if you choose to make it, please share photos with me. I would love to hear your thoughts, and I hope to be able to share highlights from the fashion show with all of you. Have a beautiful weekend!

New Pattern Collaboration: Urban Lines

Urban Lines cardigan
Urban Lines

Here is my latest pattern, which I hope all of you will like. I did this in collaboration with Colinton Australia, and it has been a whole new experience for me as a designer. This truly was a collaboration, and a total pleasure for me to do. We had long conversations about working with the fiber, other designs we felt worked or didn’t work and why, as well as what we both felt would constitute a worthwhile knit for our customers. Our focus was to design a garment that would be versatile, flattering for lots of body shapes and sizes, and worth the purchase of her luxurious yarn.

In addition to flattering angles and drape, we did not want the project to require more than 6 skeins, and we wanted an innovative design. There are many beautiful lace designs in mohair, but we decided to head in the opposite direction to create clean lines and add a modern twist to a fiber that has traditionally been viewed as best lending itself to lace.

Back View
Back View

Closeup1

This is a piece you will want to wear all the time, with everything. It is a beautiful combination of being lightweight, yet warm, and I recommend you choose your favorite colors and not second guess yourself!

Closeup2

This project was an incredible learning process for me about mohair, and I will be sharing tips and tricks for working with it in upcoming posts. I did not realize until this design collaboration how different it is from wool, for example, and also that all mohair is not created the same. I hope you will enjoy the series I’m planning and that this design (which was many months in the making) inspires you!

I also owe a big thanks to Colinton Australia for supporting a new designer like myself. A year ago, she took my first design in her yarn to TNNA, and now features my work on her site. Both Unfurled and Urban Lines were featured at Vogue Knitting Live last month, and I am most grateful for the support!

Color On the Move Scarf

Color On the Move Scarf
Color On the Move Scarf
Closeup_medium
Closeup of shadow knitting

Just wanted to share my newest design, freshly published on Ravelry. It is always an exciting day when I finally push the publish button, but this design in particular went through what seems like an extra long process. Tomorrow, once I’ve enjoyed my little self-pat on the back for finally getting this finished, I will share it all with you. I hope you all like it, and if you haven’t tried shadow knitting before, I encourage you not to let it intimidate you! I had alot more fun with this project after I decided to do it in shadow knitting.

New Design: Summer Colorblock Top

Summer Colorblock Top
Summer Colorblock Top

20150308_132118

As I mentioned previously, I have been designing a crochet pattern for the 2015 LA Yarn Crawl. It is a for-sale pattern on Ravelry, but will be free to all yarn crawlers who stop in the shop during the crawl! I included ideas for customizing it, as well as notes and a schematic. I hope you enjoy it, and I hope to meet new faces during the crawl, which is only a few weeks away!

My Valentine’s Go-To Gift

KnittingDishcloth
One of my Spanish-speaking friends calls Valentine’s Day “El Dia de Amor y Amistad” (The Day of Love and Friendship). I’m not sure if this term is used widely or only in her country, but it describes how I feel about this holiday. Lots of people don’t like Valentine’s Day because it is a painful reminder of heartbreaks, the fact that they’re single, etc., and I don’t blame them for that. But I can’t think of any reason why it has to be only about romantic love. Of course I like to celebrate it with my husband, but I also love to celebrate it with my kids, and I think it’s a great day to celebrate friendships too.

I have a new friendship in my life at the moment, but since it is new, it is also in that stage where overdoing a gift could make things extremely awkward. As you all know, I am a fan of making dishcloths, and I decided this holiday offers me the perfect chance to do something nice for her without making her feel uncomfortable. Because Valentine’s Day is a minor holiday, it is a great time to do something nice for someone in an understated way. Dishcloths are useful, and since I made them, they have that homemade touch, but they’re not sentimental. The perfect gift to say I care about my friend. The bonus for these is they’re easy to whip up in a day.

I use a very basic checkerboard pattern, but it makes the perfect-textured cloth. I hope you all enjoy!

Dishcloths
Knit and Purl Dish/Wash Cloth Pattern

Finished Measurements: Approx. 10.75 x 10.75 inches
Materials Needed: 95 yds worsted weight cotton yarn
US Size 7 needles
Darning needle (to weave in ends)

CO 42 sts.

Knit 8 rows (4 garter ridges).

Row 1: Knit.
Row 2: *k6, p6*, end k6.

Repeat these two rows 3 more times.

Row 9: Knit.
Row 10: *p6, k6*, end p6.

Repeat these two rows 3 more times.

After rows 9 – 16 are complete, switch back to Rows 1 and 2 for 8 rows. Continue alternating pattern every 8 rows until cloth is approximately 1″ shorter than desired.

Finish with 8 rows of knitting (4 garter ridges). BO and weave in ends.