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Vineyard Mystery Knitalong

Vineyard Mystery Knitalong

Announcing the upcoming Vineyard Mystery Knitalong! Join me in September to kick off autumn and relax after the back-to-school mania. (But let’s not think about THAT just yet.)

You’ll get to feel like a designer as you knit through each section, not knowing where you’ll end up. It’s exciting, isn’t it?

The Vineyard Mystery Knitalong (MKAL) is a shawl pattern of secret shape and design, to be published in 6 installments starting September 4th & 5th, 2024. You’ll receive one clue a week, every Wednesday, each with instructions for creating the next section of the shawl.

I’ll be hosting the MKAL online AND in person, at Maker Savvy in Kanata, Ontario, Canada. If you live nearby, join us for the live events by signing up at We’ll kick off the series at KIN Vineyards in Carp, with a wine tasting, gourmet pizza made with local ingredients, and a murder! (Cue dramatic music… dah dah DAAAAAAH)

All the in-person knitters will be entertained by a chapter of a murder-mystery story that Wendy of Maker Savvy is adapting for us from a free online murder-mystery party outline. Since we’re not entirely sure about the copyright laws of using the free outline in a published pattern, I’m not going to include Wendy’s story with the mkal pattern. Apologies.

So, online, the mkal will be a normal, super-fun, murderless, mysterious knitting pattern. 🙂

Now, about the pattern itself:

If I told you, I’d have to… well, you know the old joke. (In case you don’t, the answer is “kill you.” “I’d have to kill you.” But of course I never would because that would be incredibly rude.)

The Vineyard Mystery Knitalong pattern will be a shawl knit with fingering-weight sock yarn, and it will use 7 colours in total.

It will include stitches in various combinations, and it will be written for all skill levels to follow. You might learn a few new things along the way, and I will include complete instructions for every technique, but there will NOT be brioche. (I love brioche! But Wendy thought I should tone it down a little for this particular project. She’s probably not wrong.)

If you’re a fan of my general style esthetic, which I would call wearable, bold, stylish, and possibly geometric/textural, then let me tell you that I’m designing another shawl that I personally want to wear.

If you like patterns that have periodic shifts in technique and/or stitch patterns to keep your interest, then I’m so your girl! ADHD brains for the win!

About the Gorgeous Yarn Kits:

You guys. I am super into seasonal colour palette analysis lately. Have you seen this on Insta? I blame my bff, who started me down this rabbit hole, but really, I’m having a blast.

I’ve been dressing in my colours, and I feel so good! (I’m a True Winter / Cool Winter.) And I reeeeeally wanted a yarn kit in my seasonal colours. So… (cue heraldic trumpet notes)… Wendy and I worked with Kat’s Riverside Studio, and they let me put together the colour kits for the pattern from Kat’s gorgeous selection of hand-dyed yarns.

You can order the kits online from I hope you love them as much as I do!!

The Winter Colour Palette:
Clear, cool, high-contrast
MC: noir
Minis: ghost, marylou, chartreuse, cone flower, lapis, and celestial

The Summer Colour Palette:
Cool, muted, soft
MC: faded jeans
Minis: verdigris, rindle, marsh, ballet, wisp, sugar plum

The Spring Colour Palette:
Clear, warm, bright
MC: beryl
Minis: kelpie, lagoon, lipstick, chartreuse, coral, flamingo

The Autumn Colour Palette:
Warm, muted, deep
MC: neptune
Minis: berry, hunter, ochre, russet, moss, mahogany

To make your own yarn kit from stash:

Use fingering weight sock yarn. My sample is knit in a multi-ply yarn, not singles. I recommend a multi-ply yarn for this particular pattern because it will provide you with a similar stitch definition. But if you want to mix yarn types, that can be fun, too.

MC: 115 g / 440 y / 402 m
Minis: 6 x 25 g / 110 y / 101 m (total 150 g / 660 y / 606 m)

To make a large size, double every yarn amount.

Needles: Size 5 US / 3.75 mm circulars, about 48″ / 120 cm in length from needle tip to needle tip. We’ll be knitting flat.

Colour Advice:

For the Vineyard Mystery Knitalong shawl, as long as your MC stands out against all your Minis, you should be fine. Some of my kit colours (particularly Summer) have lower contrast levels on purpose, to provide a more muted, hazy appearance to the colour blends.

The MC will be used throughout the entire project, with the Minis playing and running around in various ways and combos. So, the MC will set the overall background tone, and the Minis will affect it in various ways depending on how they’re blended.

I’ve got a few tips on how to choose your own seasonal palette colours, but first, I should explain the difference between a warm and a cool colour.

Warm and cool are relative terms, but for this purpose, warm means it has a yellow / orange base or undertone, and cool means it has a blue or purple base / undertone.

The colour red is also a warm colour (although not as warm as yellow), but if it leans more towards a purple, we call it a cool red. Warm reds lean more towards orange. The red that’s right in the middle, neutral red or true red, is generally considered to be in the True Winter palette, but I’ll leave that up to you.

Clear” and “muted” has to do with how pure the hue is. The three classic primary colours (hues) are red, blue, and yellow, assuming that each primary is exactly in the neutral centre of its spectrum. When you mix two primaries together, you get either orange (red + yellow), green (yellow + blue), or purple (blue + red). Any secondary colour that’s made of only two primaries in any mix ratio is a “clear” hue.

As soon as you add even a tiny dot of the third primary to any of the secondary colour mixes, you get a more muted version of the clear hue. The muted colours start to lean towards either a grey or a brown, but they still look like colours, not a greyscale.

(To get all the way to a grey, you’d need to add about an equal amount of a warm secondary and a cool primary hue to each other, or vice versa. To get all the way to a brown, combine a warm primary with a warm secondary. But since we’re choosing yarns and not mixing paints or dyes, I’ll stop there.)

To custom-make your own colour palette with yarns from your stash (or your LYS), here are a few suggestions. Feel free to tag me on Instagram with a picture of your yarn ideas if you have any questions.

Winter Palette principles: Clear, cool, high-contrast

MC: lightest or darkest of all the colours, like black or bright white

Choose a variety of shades, like 3 medium, 2 light, and 1 dark, to achieve high contrast with your background. Lean towards bright, cool colours, especially in the medium-shade range.

Summer Palette principles: Cool, muted, soft

MC: a hazy, medium-shade colour

Light-to-medium-shade colours in various cool, hazy colours. Add a navy or a milk-tea colour if you want a little more contrast.

Spring Palette principles: Bright, warm, clear

MC: a clear, light, or bright colour

Minis: bright, warm rainbow colours, spring greens, caramels, warm turquoises. Many of the bright colours will be a medium-shade (if you take a photo and turn it to greyscale), but try to choose at least one or two that are lighter and darker for variety. If you like neutrals, try a light cream, caramel, or warm taupe.

Autumn Palette principles: Muted, warm, deep

MC: Your favourite fall colour. Deep turquoise? Russet?

Minis: Any rich, warm colour. Go for a fall foliage palette, or choose all warm turquoises and olive greens for something different. Deep mahogany browns and warm, rich cabernet. Choose a range of shades, from dark to light, for more movement within your hues.

You can pre-order the pattern from Ravelry at any time, and you’ll receive each pattern update directly to your inbox as they’re released.

To knitalong together online, use the hashtag #vineyardmkal and tag me at aknitica on Instagram. Feel free to ask me for colour advice there, too!

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One, A Shawl with Two Sides

You guys, I am so excited about what I’ve been working on lately. I wanted to make myself a reversible, graphic, simple, shawl that was enjoyable to knit while I read a book. The obvious stitch to choose was garter stitch, but I had bought a gorgeous Julie Asselin gradient kit recently, and I really wanted to use it in something interesting.

After some trial and error, I finally settled on pairing it with a white skein of Cascade Heritage Silk from my stash. (I love how the white makes the turquoises look light and airy.) I started with my favourite easy-to-begin shawl shape, the asymmetrical triangle that grows from just a few stitches designed originally (I think) by Martina Behm.

And then, I started to play with slipped stitches. I wanted a straightforward, repeatable, reversible pattern. I wanted it a little interesting to knit and to look at, but I wanted to let the gradient be the star of the show.

Here’s what happened:

This is One. It came first.

One Shawl, part of the Inverse Reverse Collection by Amanda Schwabe #OneShawl #InverseReverse #knitting @aknitica Assymetrical Shawls One and Two 2016-07-22 010 Assymetrical Shawls One and Two 2016-07-22 018

Did I mention the One shawl is reversible? Like, completely perfect on both the right side and wrong side of the fabric?

The wrong side is actually an inversion of the right-side columns, so you can choose which side you’re in the mood for on any given day. The light side or the bright side… or maybe the bright side or the dark side, depending on your colour choice.

Assymetrical Shawls One and Two 2016-07-22 020 Assymetrical Shawls One and Two 2016-07-22 027 Assymetrical Shawls One and Two 2016-07-22 031 Assymetrical Shawls One and Two 2016-07-22 036

I’m so happy with it! I hope you like it, too. It’s so wearable, so easy, so simple, that I’m almost afraid to publish it. Maybe you won’t think it’s special enough. But I like the good classics, and I think this shawl will become a pattern I return to knitting and to wearing over and over again. It’s even good gift knitting, since it requires no blocking whatsoever because of the nicely behaved garter stitch. (I always want to give the people I love beautiful shawls, but the prospect of then explaining to them that they’ll have to handwash it and block out the lace to open it up every time it needs cleaning is so off-putting.)

Slip-stitch knitting is so fun, too. What I like is how it makes those beautiful vertical lines that you don’t often get in knitting unless you know stranded knitting or intarsia. But to make them with slipped stitches is sooo easy. You never have to use two colours in a row. Only one. Always just one strand of yarn at a time.

You’ll get a complex look with a simple technique. It’s so fun!

And then, to add on to all that goodness, there’s the shape: I love this shape. For so many reasons. How do I love it? Let me count the ways:

  1. It grows from a tiny point, so the cast on and start up are fast and easy.
  2. It grows from a tiny point and ends with a cast-off along one whole side of the triangle, so you can knit it up to any size using ANY weight of yarn without doing any calculations at all; you just knit until you’re done and then you stop. I’ve practiced it with fingering-weight, worsted weight, and sport weight so far. Using 100g in each of two colours makes a lovely size of shawl no matter which weight you choose. (This also makes it a good project for any hand-spun yarn that doesn’t necessarily align with a standard factory-spun weight.)
  3. It’s easy to wear. Sure, it makes a triangle, but it’s a versatile, shallow, curvy triangle that makes a lovely scarf/wrap/kerchief/long blanket/cozy magical thing.

So then I got a little carried away by the joy that is reversible slipped-stitch columns, and I wanted to see what they’d look like traveling and twirling around each other on both sides of the fabric. So I made more shawls…. and they’ve grown into a collection. There were just too many fun possibilities to try!

The Inverse Reverse Collection is an ebook that grows by one shawl every month for the next 4 months. So when you buy the ebook, you’ll get a shawl subscription to every reversible slip-stitch pattern that’s coming up this fall, at a discounted price.

Here’s a little preview of what’s coming up:

Meet Two, a reversible shawl with a twist.

It’s coming out at the end of August.

Two Shawl, part of the Inverse Reverse Collection by Amanda Schwabe #TwoShawl #InverseReverse #knitting @aknitica Assymetrical Shawls One and Two 2016-07-22 055

And then, there will be Three.

You can see sneak peaks of it in my Instagram feed (@aknitica), in a gorgeous pink gradient paired with light grey. Its birthday will be the end of September.

Four will feature the return of reversible cables in a new configuration.

Let’s leave it mysterious for now, and look forward to its release at the end of October 2016.


For now, if you’re intrigued, the best place to start is by knitting up your own version of One. It’ll give you a great introduction to the basics of the two-sided slip-stitch technique, which will make the more-complex future shawls seem all the easier.


You can get One here, on Ravelry.

To subscribe to the Inverse Reverse Collection ebook (and get One right away), buy it here on Ravelry.


And, if you’re in the Ottawa area, I’ll be teaching Two in a class at Yarn Forward & Sew On on Bank Street, starting in September. Keep an eye on the store’s booking website for upcoming class details and to sign up for the Slip-Stitch Shawl Class:


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Scintillate Shawl Knitting Pattern and Super Special Discount

It’s the weekend, and who doesn’t want a deal on an addictive shawl knitting pattern? I’ve just made my “Learn to Knit a Lace Shawl” class exclusive pattern available to everyone. I hope you like it, too.

I’ve named it Scintillate. It is covered in diamonds, after all. Whether they shine or not in real life is totally up to you and your yarn choice.

Scintillate Shawl pattern by Amanda Schwabe. #knitting  #shawls #cozy

I made this shawl with beginning lace knitters in mind. I wanted to give them something pretty yet simple to work on. I love knitting diamonds because of the beautiful, straight lines they make. It’s so easy to see if a yarnover is out of place. If you keep looking at your knitting, mistakes are easy to spot and fix before you’ve gone too far.

Scintillate Shawl pattern by Amanda Schwabe. Great wrap for cool weather. #knitting #aknitica #shawls

The overall lace patterning has a lovely rhythm to it, too. After a while, you’ll have memorized the pattern and be able to anticipate what should happen next. It keeps things interesting while giving a comforting sameness all at once.

This has become one of my favourite shawls to wear. The Manos del Uruguay Fino is cozy and squishy, and the shawl size I got from 1.5 skeins makes it a perfect wrap. You can knit yours in any size, as a neckerchief or an even larger shawl. You can also use any yarn you want. One of my students made two versions: one with fingering-weight yarn and one with worsted. The worsted one is thick and luscious, and I might have to copy her idea soon.

My little Eva modeled it for me. It really is grown-up sized.
My little Eva modeled it for me. It really is grown-up sized.

The pattern includes options for three different edges to finish it off. You can knit it with no special edging, with a narrow garter-and-zigzag border that flows out of the diamond tips, or with a wider large-diamond border, like the one in my pictures here.

And, as promised, as a subscriber to my site, you get a coupon code for the Scintillate Shawl pattern! It will be good until the end of September, and you can feel free to share it with your friends. With the code, the price goes down from $6 to just $0. That’s less than a cup of coffee. Heck, that’s FREE. Yes, free. Zero dollars. Just because I like you.

[box type=”note” icon=”none”]Scintillate Shawl coupon code: COZYUP[/box]

You can grab your pattern here, but hurry! The coupon code only lasts as long as September. Once October hits, it’s gone.

If you’ve just popped over to see what the free coupon code is all about, welcome! I have other free patterns available, plus some goodies that I like to think are worth paying for. 😉 If you subscribe, you’ll get future discounts and even knitting tips in your inbox. 

Scintillate Shawl pattern by Amanda Schwabe. #knitting #shawls


Happy knitting!


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Effervescent Shawl Pattern

I love lace shawls, but I do not always want to wear them.  You know what I mean?

I prefer to wear an every-day, toss-around-your-neck-and-go Shawl That You Wear Like A Scarf.  In fact, scarf shawls are my new necklaces.  They keep me warm, and I always feel fabulous and cozy while wearing one.  They are my new love.  (I have my knitting guild to thank for that.  Last year was a bit shawl-obsessed for all of us.)

Since my shawls are my favourite accessory, I basically need all sorts of different ones.  Being an in-between size (you know, between “having kids” and “actually wanting to do the work to lose the last 15 pounds”), I tend to buy basic tops.  Like black t-shirts.  But a shawl?  It will fit me no matter what size I am. So you see, I’ve been thinking a lot about shawls lately.

This, then, is my first shawl design, with more to come.  More on my needles, more being charted, more being puzzled through…  But for now:  TA-DAAA!  It’s the Effervescent shawl.

Effervescent Shawl pattern by Amanda Schwabe. It starts with an interesting lace edge that I puzzled out from a cardigan that my Grandma knit for my mom.  I love it because of its nice lines, and how the little eyelets and decreases pull themselves into little almost-bows.  Close enough to be feminine, and far enough to be every-day wear.  It has patterning on both right- and wrong-side rows, with a couple rest rows in between.

Then we move on to perfect tv knitting: stockinette stripes in bold colours.  For me, that makes it a perfect project.  A little bit of spice to start, a little bit of relaxation to finish.  I like my knitting to be both spicy and sweet. Because we started at the bottom edge of the triangle, the finishing up bits are minimal, since all the stitches have been decreased down to 7.  Simple grafting ensues. Effervescent shawl pattern by Amanda Schwabe.


















I love that coral is back in style this year.  And that blue?  Oh my.  This colour combo will keep me feeling breezy and light, even through the deep, dark winter. But I have a feeling that you knitters will branch out and be your creative knitting selves, delving into colour combinations I haven’t even considered yet.  My friend Beckie was leaning toward grey, red, and dark blue last time I saw her.   I can’t wait to see all the colourways that will emerge! Effervescent shawl pattern by Amanda Schwabe.

Now, let’s get down to the details.

Yarn: Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in Coral, White, and Light Blue.  For you local people, I bought mine at Unraveled in Merrickville.  The Baby Cashmerino is about a 2 (Baby/Sport weight) if you’re going by the Craft Yarn Council of America standards, in case you want to substitute.  I bought it because it came in the exact colours that I wanted, and because I love the feel of it.

With the Debbie Bliss yarn, you will need

300 m / 120 g White (3 balls)

150 m / 60 g Coral (2 balls)

250 m / 100 g Light Blue (2 balls)

Needles: size 6 US (4 mm) circular, in about a 32″-40″ range.  You just need a cable long enough to hold your shawl while you work it back and forth.

The pattern includes charts for the lace as well as written directions.  There’s also a drawing that gives you a brief overview and the measurements for blocking.

And now for the Grand Finale!  You can get it by clicking this little button:

p.s.  I finally started a Ravelry group!!  I’d be honoured if you’d join me there.  It’ll be a great place for pattern support, knitalongs, and lots of encouragement.  You can still (and always) reach me by email if you have any questions or comments, but now we have one more choice in the mix.  If you’re knitting up an Effervescent shawl, please come and share it with the group!  I will ooh and ahh over your colour choices.  🙂

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Shawls On The Brain

Rock Island close up, using Indigodragonfly Merino Lace Singles in "You Punched the Highlights Out Of Her Hair."

I am veeery slowly working my way through the TKGA Master Knitting course.  Why so slowly?  Well, I keep getting sidetracked.

Take, for instance, yesterday, when I discovered not one, but two Craftsy classes that caught my eye.  Now, I’m a huge fan of Stephen West.  I was a fan of his shawls before I even realized they were all designed by the same guy.  So when I saw that he’s teaching a new class called Shawlscapes, I was in trouble.  How could I not take his class?  I’ve been puzzling over a shawl design that looks great in my head, but was being impossible to sketch.  Maybe he could give me some insight.

So I signed up.

And then I watched every single video in his series last night.

And guess what?  I think I’m on to something with that stubborn shawl idea of mine!  It’s probably not at all what he intended from his lessons, but just listening to him talk about his design process and some what-ifs of design made more wheels start to turn in my brain.  Worth. Every. Penny.

If you’re wondering about taking Stephen’s class, let me just tell you that

1) He’s hilarious

2) He talks a lot about his unconventional shaping methods and how they work.  Think geometry refresher course.

3) He gives great knitting tips throughout the videos — cast ons, selvedges, different bind offs that are great for shawls, colour play, and blocking.  I learned a couple things and picked up some new tips, which is kind of a big deal when you’ve already been reading lots for your Master Knitting program.

4) I’m inspired!  I’m getting ideas!  And they don’t look like his — they look like mine!  Sometimes, all you need is a great teacher.

I watched the whole class — every video — on my Android smartphone.  Craftsy doesn’t have an Android app yet (Come on, Craftsy!), but their mobile site is really nice.  It doesn’t contain all the features — I couldn’t make video notes — but it’s good enough to watch everything through.  So I curled up in my soft, green knitting chair, placed my phone beside me on my knitting table, worked mindlessly on the garter-stitch section of Rock Island, and immersed myself in Shawlscapes.  What a great evening.

Knitting chair.  Rock Island Shawl, unblocked.  Bliss.

I eventually finished all the videos in Stephen’s class, cast off my Rock Island, and started in on the other class I signed up for yesterday:  Miriam Felton’s Lace Shawl Design.

For now, I will say only, I have been looking for someone to explain these things to me.  

I’m looking forward to learning all I can about the flow of lace stitch patterns.  They have always fascinated me.

Are you taking any classes right now?  Are we in the same class?  I’d love to hear from you!