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Knitalong Knitting

March Knitalong: The Moto Vest

March 3, 2015

Each month we host a knitalong, something that can be completed in a month’s time and features a special small farm yarn.

I have been anticipating this knitalong for a couple months now and although I wanted to start early, I held off so I could knit it along with all of you. This pattern, the Moto Vest designed by Shelli Westcott, is the perfect layering piece, versatile in both design and material. I’ll be knitting mine with an alpaca blend from Radius Yarns, though I already have plans for another in a lighter weight yarn as well. When I was visiting Knitterly, the yarn shop that Shelli owns and operates in Petaluma, I kept eyeing different variations of this pattern and was surprised how simple it was to alter and knit up. I asked Shelli to share a little about this pattern, her Radius yarn and the alterations you can make to the pattern to fit your needs and likes. I hope you’ll join us! Visit our Ravelry group to share your progress and ask any questions…

moto vest shelli westcott


I was inspired to design this pattern with the Radius Lopi bulky, a yarn I just fell in love with but felt it really was too big and too heavy to make a sweater out of that would work in the Bay Area climate. I wanted to create a project that would be simple and any level of knitter could make it…whether it be your second or fiftieth project. Because I was using this bulky weight, I wanted to keep it small. The bulky yarns have less yardage and are heavier, so again, something versatile was key. I designed the Moto Vest, the perfect layering companion, for under a jacket or over a flannel shirt. The collar can act as a scarf, keeping you warm, and lays outside of your jacket, but the body keeps your torso and spine warm, where you can lose a lot of heat. The pattern was really well received so I began using all thicknesses of yarns I found in the shop, from light worsted on a size 10.5 needle, to bulky on a size 13, and knit several different lengths, from your waist to below your front pockets. Of all the one’s knit, the long vests are the most popular. Another fun thing to do is adjust the number of stitches cast on for the scarf and the back, resulting in either a thicker or thinner scarf and back.

Here are some fun combinations we’ve made up, all with yarn you can get from shop.knitterly.com

Radius Light Worsted
3 skeins – size 8-10 needle
Cast on 58 for scarf,
46″ long (scarf)
Cast on 30 for back,

11″ long (back)

Radius Bulky
3 skeins – size 13-15 needles
45″ long (scarf)
12″ wide (scarf)
12″ wide (back)

Woolfolk Far
5-6 skeins – 8 to 11 size needles
50″ long (scarf)
13″ wide (scarf)
13″ wide (back)

Plymouth Colca Canyon (nice thin alpaca)
5 skeins – size 15 needles
Cast on 30 for scarf,
58″ long (scarf)
Cast on 26 for back,
15″ long (back)

Twirl Petals (held double)
4 skeins – size 10-10.5 needles
Cast on 30 for scarf,

52″ long (scarf)
Cast on 20 for back,

20″ long (back)

moto vest shelli westcott

Knitting

Fiber friends: cabinfour and my shawl addiction

February 8, 2015

In the past several months I’ve developed a bit of a shawl addiction. It all started with a photo Lori posted last July when she deemed Wednesday’s “Wear your shawl Wednesday”. I actually had never really considered knitting shawls, I’m not entirely certain why, but that post opened a whole new world for me. All the sudden they were everywhere and everyone was knitting or wearing one. So I cast on a shawl that night, after meticulously finding a very intimidating pattern, full of many charts. I worked on it off and on for a couple months and then ended up frogging it, deciding I needed to start with something simple. Modern, fresh, clean and simple. It was then that one of my favorite designers, Deneise of cabinfour released her “Pure” shawl pattern. It was perfect. I had a stash to use up and a 17hr road trip to knit my little heart out. That was just the beginning.

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Next up was the textured shawl by Orlane. I began this as a Christmas for my mother, knit with 3-ply Beaverslide in a beautiful eggplant color. I am nearly done with this one, I made it very large, to help keep her extra cozy with those cold Idaho Winters.

beaverslide

In January we had the first Woolful Knitalong, which featured the Nordic Wind shawl pattern, also by cabinfour. I came across this pattern when looking for one to knit up with the most beautiful Lopi from Greenbow Farms, which I was fortunate enough to have some to carry in the shop. Even better, my friend Annie had picked the same pattern to knit with her Greenbow Lopi…so I knew it would make the perfect knitalong pattern. Boy were we right! There were so many incredible Nordic Wind projects made last month, I couldn’t believe it…and in so many beautiful yarns.

nordic wind shawl

Now it’s February. I was anxious to cast on another shawl for myself and when we got the Moeke yarns in the shop I knew exactly what I wanted to make with them…cabinfour’s Wapiti shawl. It’s the perfect blend of two soft neutral colors and light weight, which is great for living and layering in San Francisco. The Moeke yarns are more rustic than most I knit with, but the Wapiti was a perfect match. Thankfully I’m able to wear the more rustic yarns next to my skin, although most of the time I tend to wear my shawls on my shoulders anyhow.

And this brings us to today. You may have seen a few sneak peeks Deneise shared via her Instagram, of a new pattern she’s been working on, the Farmhouse shawl. I was lucky enough to be a sort of fly on the wall, getting to watch a bit of the journey this shawl took from inspiration and conception to this now stunning design. Deneise, your ability to deliver the most elegant simplicity astounds me. It’s knit up with one of my all time favorite yarns, Brooklyn Tweed. And fringe! Needless to say, yes, this too has been added to my queue.

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So I started a new years resolution…I will always have a shawl or wrap in progress. It’s the perfect project to pickup when you’re in need of good wool therapy or waiting for that sweater swatch to dry. And one can never have too many shawls, I’m convinced.

Sidenote: Farm yarns often come in small batches and so we sold out of the Greenbow quite fast. I’ve started a waiting list for folks who’d like to know when we have it back in stock which will be closer to the Fall. Email me if you’d like to be added to the list, hello ( at ) woolful ( dot ) com 

Knitting Woolful Podcast

Episode 10: Maryanne Moodie & Woolcrush – Falling into fiber arts, Natural dyeing, Dedication and Building communities

February 3, 2015

I’m very excited to share the 10th episode of the Woolful podcast. Today we get to meet two fiber folk who are such an inspiration and both in their own unique ways, Maryanne Moodie and Amy Higgins Stambaugh of Woolcrush.

knitterly-logo

Sponsor: This episode is sponsored by Knitterly, a very special yarn shop created by Shelli Westcott, based in Petaluma California and online at shop.knitterly.com. I am always so amazed at the well curated selection of yarns, fibers and classes Shelli works so hard to provide all us fiber enthusiasts. Make sure to visit when in Petaluma and online at shop.knitterly.com

knitterly

Fiber folk 1: Amy is an amazing natural dyer living on her farm in Columbia, Missouri, where she recently built a beautiful natural dye studio. You can find her at woolcrush.com and on Instagram @woolcrush.

ammyhigginsstambaugh

Man on the Street: Did fiber arts run in your family or did you just happen to “fall into” your fiber art?”. We had some amazing replies from Jennifer @jaykay_knits, Beatrice @threadandladle, Carlene @carlenergy, Emily @alafrench and Amber @dapperewe.

Fiber folk 2: I first came across our next guests work awhile back via the Design Sponge blog and was immediately enamored with her use of color in her weavings, adventurous designs and excitement around building community. Maryanne didn’t come from a legacy of weavers, but she’s working hard to leave one with this beautiful fiber community. You can find her at maryannemoodie.com and on Instagram @maryannemoodie.

maryanne

Giveaway: The winner of last week’s giveaway, is Tina Charlotte! You’ve won a $25 gift certificate to Fringe Supply Company. Congratulations!

This week’s giveaway is sponsored by Southern Textiles, a wonderful farm and natural dye studio in Tennessee. We’re giving away a naturally dyed mini skein kit, perfect for weaving, knitting or crochet. To enter this giveaway, leave a comment below.

southerntextiles

 

 

Music by Jónsi.

Transcription coming soon!