Posted on

Aves Hat and Charmed Fall Accessories collection!

Woohoo! A mystery project of mine is finally releasing today, so now I can tell you all about it. It’s so hard to keep these secrets, but I admit, it’s fun at the same time. I’ve really been enjoying working on a small and growing pile of secret things this year.

Read on for the details, an announcement, and a giveaway!

Aves Hat pattern by Amanda Schwabe, part of the Charmed Fall Accesories collection from Knit Picks. #knitting #aknitica

The Aves Hat is now available in Knit Picks’ new Charmed Fall Accessories collection! And oh my goodness, you guys, I’ve been pouring through the book today, and it is adorable. It’s full of cute hats in all sorts of yarn weights, and I notice that most of them (including mine) feature fun pom poms this year. They’re colourful and fun, whimsical, and yes, completely charming. The collection is aptly named. ūüôā


I’m also delighted to see a selection of perfect mitten patterns. In fact, they’re basic and versatile enough that you might find yourself knitting them year after year. The designs have beautifully arranged stripes and just make me so happy.

Okay, and there’s more. More! Boot toppers with garden vegetables….!!!… cowls with feathers, with diamonds…. socks with foxes…. a scarf with a gnome on it (hilarious!), and then I found more gnomes as I flipped through the pages. And for the more subdued tastes, there are beautifully textured accessories that will be classics, like the Rectrix Scarf and the Eclate leg warmers and cowl (love!). I think I might need to make the Yarn Chase Hat with the kitty chasing a ball of yarn, at least for my daugher.

A more whimsical, charming, delightful collection I could not imagine. Knit Picks really knocked it out of the park, and I’m so thrilled¬†to be a part of it. It’s just loaded with quick, perfect projects that make me smile.

My fellow Ottawa Knitting Guild peeps might especially like the Circus Hat, which features a bit of light 2-colour brioche stitch in the ribbing. (Our theme this year is brioche, so how perfect is that!) It is super sweet to boot.

Now, my Aves Hat features some light colourwork, just enough to keep things interesting, but not so much to make it scary, I hope. Once the little section of birdies is done, the dots are worked only every fourth row, so you’ll have 3 rest rows in between to knit mindlessly around in circles. It has a nice, slouchy fit and a fluffy pom pom on top that will make it drape just perfectly when worn. I made¬†the ribbing around the bottom to be snug and cozy, and the pattern comes with 3 sizes so everyone can achieve a great fit.

Aves Hat by Amanda Schwabe in the Charmed Fall Accessories collection from Knit Picks. #knitting #aknitica

If you’ve never tried stranded colourwork¬†before, don’t worry! Here are a couple things I’ve written with tips for you, and if you have any questions, just ask. Quick Tips for Knitting Fair Isle Colorwork¬†and¬† Choosing Colors for Your Knitting.

The nice thing about this hat is that choosing the colours is a bit easier since there are only three. Heck, you could even knit it in just two if you like. I bet it would look awesome in black and white, or maybe black or grey with one of the Stroll Brights. I love those fluorescent colours! I wrote the pattern for Knit Picks Palette yarn, but you could easily knit it in Stroll instead, which is so super soft and lovely in a different way. Honestly, it’s hard for me not to knit 5 of each pattern I make, just to try out different colour and yarn combinations. I need more knitting hours!!

And now, another fun announcement:

If any of you would like to join me in a knitalong of¬†any of the patterns in this collection, I’m inviting you to come and join my new Facebook group. The aknitica group¬†is for anyone who likes to talk about knitting, of any kind, not just my patterns or classes. But obviously, we can talk about those, too, and if you have any questions about techniques or anything, I’ll be there to answer them as often as I can. And I’m sure there will be other knowledgeable knitters there, as well, who can help when I can’t get to the computer fast enough. ūüôā

So come join the aknitica community and let’s knit together! There will be a giveaway¬†of the Charmed Fall Accessories ebook,¬†and I’ll tell you all the details of how to enter in the group.


Posted on

Perfect Bind Off in the Round: My Favourite Trick

I love this little trick for joining my cast-off edge in the round. It finished it up so nicely. Use it for the cast-off around cuffs, sock tops, headbands, or any other circular project that you’re binding off.

Cast off normally. (I assume you’re knitting 2, then passing the first stitch over, etc, until the end. But this also works with Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off and other cast off methods that look like a chain of V’s along the cast-off edge.)

When the last stitch has been cast off, cut the yarn, leaving a 6″ tail, but don’t thread the tail through the stitch.

Binding Off trick. #knittingtips #write31days

Instead, pull the last loop until it gets bigger and bigger and then gigantic and then — gasp! — it grows so big that it pops out entirely. You’ll now have a straight, non-loopy tail that comes out of the previous cast-off stitch. Nothing will unravel; it can’t. That tail is still holding things in place.

2014-10-08 22.04.52

Using a darning needle, sew the tail underneath the first stitch of the round. Go under both sides of the stitch:

Binding off in the round trick. #knittingtips #write31days

Now, poke the needle back through the last stitch of the round, where the tail originated.

Binding off in the round trick. #knittingtips #write31days

You’ve just created a fake “stitch” in the chain of cast-off stitches. Sew in your end as normal. (I prefer to use duplicate stitch to sew in my ends.)

Perfect cast-off edge join for circular knitting. #knittingtips #write31days

Isn’t it gorgeous? I first learned this trick from Cat Bordhi’s book New Pathways for Sock Knitters. It’s one of my all-time favourites because not only did it help me to understand sock structure and give me a way to custom size my socks, but it was also full of little tips like this that made my knitting nicer. I definitely recommend it for every knitting reference library.
31 Days to Your Nicest Knitting series. #write31days #knittingtipsThis post is part of my 31 Days to Your Nicest Knitting series. Every day, I’ll post a new tip or trick to make your knitting nicer. You can follow along easily by subscribing. If you have any knitting problems you’d like me to fix, let me know and I’ll try to answer your question as part of the series. You can find all the posts in the series here.

Posted on 1 Comment

Shades of Things to Come…

Currently in the works, we have… Leafalicious!

Expect a hat, some woolly mittens, and cute little baby sweaters to be appearing in the next couple months — all in this awesome, textural theme.

Also, I’ve been mulling over hats. Fall is coming you know, and it makes me want to knit warm things for my kids. I know how to pick a yarn and some needles and just make a hat from thin air. Do you? Well, you will soon!

(I’ve been knitting with Knit Picks City Tweed DK in Poseidon lately; it’s not too obvious, is it? I just discovered that they’ve replaced Poseidon with Jacquard, though… not that I’m complaining — Jacquard looks like an even more perfect shade of my favourite colour! But I realized I’d better not get too carried away with Poseidon anymore, since I won’t be able to get more.)

(p.s. City Tweed is Lovely with a capital “L” to work with. It’s soft in my hands, makes a beautiful, drapey fabric, and is sure to be warm and cozy once the weather turns crisp. Yay!)