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Building Blocks Afghan Class

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Now that you’ve been knitting awhile, you probably have a few things down pat: the knit stitch, the purl stitch, casting on and casting off. You may even be comfortable with increasing and decreasing- good for you! You have the skills and you’re ready for anything- what to do? Try the Building Blocks Afghan. It’s a great way to build your skills by learn to knit 12 different blocks each with a new stitch pattern. At the end, you’ll have a cozy afghan for snuggling up!

This season we’re offering a monthly class to knit the Building Blocks Afghan together. You’ll learn a new block each month and at the end you’ll learn how to seam them together to complete the afghan. This is a great opportunity to learn something new in manageable increments and knit with others!

Class starts October 4 and will be held the first Saturday OR first Wednesday of every month and run through the following year.

Here’s all the details:

BUILDING BLOCKS BLANKET
$288 for twelve 2-hour classes
prerequisites: cast on, knit, purl, increase, decrease

Wednesdays, October 1, November 5, December 3, January 7, 2015, February 4, March 4, April 1, May 6, June 3, July 1, August 5, September 2, 6-8pm

Saturday, October 4, November 1, December 6, January 3, 2015, February 7, March 7, April 4, May 2, June 6, July 11, August 1, September 5, 11am-1pm

supplies: Building Blocks by Michelle Hunter, 10-12 skeins of Hikoo Simpliworsted (10 if you use one color for every block, 12 if you use a different color for each block), US10 needles or size to get gauge, stitch markers, darning needle, row counter.

You can pay for this class in 4 quarterly payments of $72, with your commitment to participate for the year. Purchase all of your yarn at the start of the class, you’ll receive a 10% discount on the cost of the yarn. Pay for the full class and the yarn when you register and receive 20% off both!

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Colorblock Stripes Blanket

Colorblock Stripes Blanket

Granny squares are the first crochet motif that many of us learn to make. They’re made entirely of double crochets, so you can focus on the construction and not worry about what stitch is next.

And because you begin in the center with just a few chains, it’s more manageable than a long row of them. Once you understand how and when the corners are made, it’s fun and easy to start playing with color and layout.

Colorblock Stripes Blanket

For the Colorblock Stripes Blanket, we chose 6 colors of Spud & Chloe Sweater: 5 contrast colors and 1 main color. There are five squares of each contrast color. Every square is finished with a round of the main color, which is also used for the final border.

We arranged the colors in rows instead of staggering them for a more modern look. Even in rows you can play with their order. We went formal – blues on one side, greens on the other, and yellow in the middle.

The result is fresh and playful. Perfect for a baby – of any age!

SQUARES AND STRIPES BLANKET

SIZE
One size, 29 inches square.

MATERIALS
Spud & Chloe Sweater, 2 skeins of ice cream (main color), 1 skein each of turtle, grass, firefly, splash and waterslide (contrast colors).
Size G hook

ABBREVIATIONS
ch chain
dc double crochet
sl st slip stitch
st stitch
ch 1 sp chain 1 space
ch 2 sp chain 2 space

NOTE
Work over ends whenever possible to make finishing easier.

MOTIF PATTERN
Ch 4, join with sl st to first ch to form ring.

Round 1: Ch3, 2 dc in ring. Ch2, *3dc in ring, ch3. Repeat from * 2 times more. Ch2, sl st in top of ch3.

Round 2: Sl st in the first 2 dc’s and in the first ch 2 lp. Ch3, 2 dc in ch 2 sp, ch2, work 3 dc in same sp. Work the following 3 times (Ch1, work 3 dc, ch2, 3 dc in next ch 2 sp.) Ch1, join with sl st to top of ch 3.

Round 3: Sl st in the first 2 dc’s and in the first ch2 sp. Ch3, 2 dc in ch 2 sp, ch2, work 3 dc in same sp. Ch1, work 3 dc in next ch1 sp. Ch1. Work the following 3 times (Work 3 dc, ch2, 3 dc in next ch 2 sp. Ch 1, work 3 dc in next ch1-sp. Ch1.) Join with sl st to top of ch3.

Round 4: rep round 3.

Instructions
Make 5 motifs with each color. Rounds 1-3 are made with the contrast color, round 4 is made in the main color.

Assembly
Using the main color, attach motifs of the same color into strips by holding right sides together and slip stitching through outermost loop on each piece. Then attach strips in the same manner.

Border
With the main color, join yarn in a corner and work 3 rounds of single crochet.

Fasten off and weave in ends.

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Natalie’s Wave Blanket

Natalie's Wave Blanket

Natalie came in one day just as I was putting away a few hanks Worsted Cotton yarn for a Wave Blanket that I’d been thinking of making. I showed her the blanket and she liked all but one of the colors, so we found a replacement and she was on her way. The final colors are: Jasper, Azul, Bone, Stone, and Toffee.

Natalie's Wave Blanket on a chair

Natalie’s an experienced knitter and crocheter, but it was still a little surprising when she returned a week later with a finished blanket. Rather than knit 8 pattern repeats in each color, Natalie knit 3 repeats for thinner stripes and more color sequences. It’s a small change but it made a big difference – and I love it!

The Wave Blanket is a great first lace pattern for new knitters. It has a 4-row repeat: two rows of knitting, one row of purling, and one row of lace knitting. That one row of lace knitting has a big impact on the whole blanket, it creates the waves.

To help you knit the lace row, place markers between each of the 18-stitch repeats (where you see the asterisks in the pattern). The stitch count doesn’t change throughout the pattern. At the end of each lace knitting row, count the stitches on your needle to make sure you still have the same number; then you know you’re on track!

Natalie's Wave Blanket close up

The Wave Blanket is one of our most popular free patterns. We’ve assembled kits in a few of our favorite color combinations, but with all Worsted Cotton‘s beautiful colors, the possibilities are endless.

Whether you use one of ours or create a combination of your own, you’ll have a soft, machine-washable, beautiful blanket to keep or to gift!

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Wave Blanket Kits!

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A new baby is often the catalyst that brings new people to knitting, or brings the lapsed knitter back to the fold! In both instances, a simple project that yields a beautiful result is in order. Cue the Wave Blanket: 5 colors of Blue Sky’s Worsted Cotton plus feather & fan stitch make a perfect match!

Since we made our first version in 2008, this blanket has been knit countless times. Blue Sky Cotton is organically grown for ultimate in softness for baby and the stitch pattern is easy to memorize and accomplish. The hardest part is picking the colors! That’s where our new Wave Blanket Kits come to the rescue!

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Knowing that picking the right colors can be a challenge, we put together 3 color combinations. A bright rainbow for a baby whose gender will be a surprise, cool blues with a turquoise pop for baby boys and a purple & pink party for little baby girls!

Each kit comes with the pattern & one skein of each color shown all wound up and ready to go! With the color guesswork taken way & the yarn rolled up, you can relax, knit and dream about the sweet babe that’s soon to come!

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I love thinking about how many babies have been wrapped up in our design! If you’d like to knit one more to swaddle your little one, here’s the free pattern! Have fun!

WAVE BLANKET

SIZE
approximately 33” by 39”

MATERIALS
5 hanks of Blue Sky Alpaca’s Worsted Cotton
40 inch US 9 circular needle

GAUGE
16 sts = 4 inches in stockinette stitch, but gauge is not critical for this project

ABBREVIATIONS
K – knit
P – purl
K2tog – knit the next 2 stitches together as one stitch.

STITCH PATTERN
Row 1 (right side) – knit
Row 2 – purl
Row 3 – *(K2tog) 3 times, (yo, k1) 6 times, (k2tog) 3 times; repeat from * to end.
Row 4 – knit.
Repeat Rows 1 to 4.

BLANKET PATTERN
CO 144 stitches. Repeat pattern. Change to new color after finishing Row 4 of pattern. We knit 8 pattern repeats for each color.

Bind off loosely and weave in ends.

Enjoy!

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Works in Progress

Lately I’ve been working on an average of 5 projects at a time. That’s a small number for me. At times, I’ve had as many as 12 to 15 projects going. I’m only counting active projects – not UFOs (unfinished objects) sitting in bags.

There are times – rare though they may be – that I focus on a single project. It’s a wonderful feeling, having a project that so completely engages me, but I can’t make it happen. I don’t know why some projects fly off the needles, while others require breaks to get excited about them again.

I don’t worry about having a lot of projects going at once. Even though I merged my hobby and work lives, I still view knitting and crocheting as recreational activities. To keep it fun and from feeling like work, I let myself work on what I’m in the mood for, without guilt.

MY CURRENT ACTIVE PROJECTS

Girasole
Jared Flood's Girasole blanket in Brooklyn Tweed Loft yarn.

Pattern: Girasole by Jared Flood.
Yarn: Brooklyn Tweed Loft in Hayloft

I rarely knit lace. It requires row-by-row attention and, honestly, I get distracted and make mistakes. But the other day I came across the Girasole pattern, which I’ve always loved, and there was some Loft in the color Hayloft leftover from the Arrowhead Mittens that Elizabeth knit for the shop, and I decided to cast on and see where it went.

Surprisingly, I’m loving it. Maybe it’s the alignment of the stars, maybe it’s the weather – I don’t know – but I haven’t put it down since I cast on. I just began the fourth chart this morning.

Granny Square Blanket
Granny Square Blanket in Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light yarn.

Pattern: Granny Square Blanket
Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light

I’ve been working on this blanket for a while now. A friend stopped in with the beginnings of a granny square blanket and in typical crafter fashion, I wanted to make one too.

My friend selected maybe 7 or 8 colors and was using a different one for each round. I decided to use just one color at a time. I started with some Windowpane that was leftover from another project (are you seeing a trend here) then went to Cousteau, Grasshopper, and now Baltic. With the exception of the Windowpane, each band is one whole skein.

The last time I measured, the blanket was about 28 inches square. I’m really not sure yet how big I’ll make it.

Two-at-a-Time Socks
Cuffs of Melissa Morgan-Oakes's Classic Socks

Pattern: The Classic Sock from 2-at-a-Time Socks by Melissa Morgan-Oakes
Yarn: Black Bunny Fibers BFL Tight Twist in color Currency

I took Melissa’s 2-at-a-Time Socks class when she was here last month and cast on for these socks that night. Carol had brought in all this beautiful yarn she’d dyed and the greens in Currency were just calling my name.

I’ve been working on the 1×1 ribbed cuff and getting used to managing the yarn – I’m knitting from just one ball – so it’s been a little slow going. I expect I’ll pick up speed once I work on it some more.

Green Tea
Noro Shiraito and Rowan Kidsilk Haze yarns

Pattern: Green Tea
Yarn: Noro Shiraito and Rowan Kidsilk Haze

Shiraito is a new yarn from Noro. It’s 45% cashmere, 45% angora, and 10% wool. It feels fantastic. Every time I pass it in the shop, I stop, feel, and stare and the gorgeous colors.

Once I chose my colorway – purples/limes – paired it with a ball of Kidsilk Haze, and sat down to figure out what to make.

So, here’s what I’m doing. Because it’s not done, I obviously can’t show you what’ll look like or tell you the final dimensions. But in case you want to join in…

You’ll need 1 ball of each yarn.

CO 3 sts with Shiraito.

With Shiraito,
Row 1: K3.
Row 2: K1, kfb (knit front and back of the same stitch), k to end.

With Kidsilk Haze,
Row 3: Knit.
Row 4: Purl.

Rep these four rows. Don’t cut the yarn, just carry the one not in use along the side.

At first I thought I’d continue this way until half the Shiraito was used. Then, I’d begin decreasing on Row 2, replacing kfb with k2tog. Now I’m thinking I’ll just keep repeating these four rows and see how wide it gets at the end. We’ll see.

WHAT’S IN YOUR PROJECT BAG?

So that’s my current WIPs (works in progress). What are you working on?

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Crochet Hexagon Blanket – Progress Report 1

I’m making good progress with my crochet hexagons. They don’t take long to make, so I can finish two or three when I find myself with a bit of free time. I’ve crocheted 42 hexagons so far.

Crochet Hexagons

I added two more colors of Shelter yarn, Thistle, which is purple, and Button Jar, which is green. They make the palette cooler and darker.

I’m still unsure how these will come together, but I’m not worried about it, because making them is so much fun. And the more hexagons I make, the more options I’ll have!