Archive for December, 2012

Top Ten Knitting Trends For 2012

Saturday, December 29th, 2012

In a year dominated by unpredictable forces, both natural and manmade, its comforting to know that knitting remains a constant in our lives, an age old form of intertwining not only stitches across a needle but also connecting people and communities together though one shared passion.  For some of us it may be a circle of friends sharing stories during a weekly knit ‘n’ chat, a charity group combining their stitching skills in an effort to help those less fortunate, or the privelege of guiding a tiny pair of hands as they cast on for the first time.  The common element that draws knitters together is the calming rhythmic strokes of the needles as they click together creating something uniquely handmade, and letting us know that everything is alright in the world, at least for the time being.

Its time to shine the spotlight on the Top Ten Knitting Trends For 2012, and predict which ones will stick around and which ones have had their time in the sun-

Rialto Lace Tie Front Cardigan by Debbie Bliss

10.  DOWNTON ABBEY STYLE!  This British drama series kept us hot-glued to our seats last winter on blustery nights as a knotted and jumbled storyline unfolded amidst a backdrop of lavish period costumes.  It seems designers were also tuning in to the finer side of life, inspired by the intricate lacework in cardigans, collars and shawls.   Rialto Lace Cardigan by Debbie Bliss (shown above).


Sirdar #9544

9.  GOING IN CIRCLES!  Knitting stepped off the straight and narrow path, just as flowers were budding and birds were nesting, interesting circular patterns began to show up in knitwear.  Vests and cardigans designed with a medallion motif in the back received rave reviews as knitters were on a quest for the next trend and ready to step up their skill levels.  Sirdar Leaflet #9544 (shown above).


Crocheted Tunic in Silk Garden

8.  CROCHET REVIVAL!   This year many knitters set aside their needles and became hooked on crochet, as the retro craft once again popped up on the horizon.  Designers took notice and began to feature entire crochet collections while Noro went one step further introducing a hardcover book filled with enticing patterns for accessories and fashionable wear.  Noro Crochet Tunic (shown above).


Malindi Suntop by Katia

7.  PRE-KNIT YARNS! Eyes were popping as knitters discovered hollow tubes of chainlike yarn suddenly appearing on store shelves, surprisingly light and airy, and ideal for knitting on big needles.  Malindi Suntop by Katia (shown above).


Karbonz double point needles

6.  CARBON FIBRE! This revolutionary new fibre made its way from the racing circuit into the hands of lace knitters, stronger than steel and lighter than wood, the new Karbonz needles from Knitter’s Pride quickly zoomed into the lead with Formula 1 speed.  Available in sizes 1.00 mm to 3.50 mm in circular, straight or double points.


Sirdar #9605

5.  PONCHO TOPS!  A hybrid emerged just in time for the first cool days of Fall, a pull-on style without sleeves, adding a layer of warmth without all the bulk.  Beginners fell head over heels for this easy design knit up in one piece with minimal shaping.  Sirdar Leaflet #9605 (shown above).


Mahattan Cowl by Katia

4.  FRINGING ALL THE WAY!   After a sensational season of ruffles and swirls, along came self-fringing yarns, making their debut in scarves, cowls, and cardigans.  The suede-like allure of Manhattan by Katia adds an exciting new texture to handknit accessories.  Katia Manhattan Cowl (shown above).


Funny Shrug by Katia

3.  TRIM YARNS! Katia made waves this year with a cache of ribbons and trims that instantly entranced their global fan club.  Like magic, what appeared to be flat bands of cleverly woven material transitioned from a conventional yarn into fabulous edgings or an entire garment by simply joining strips together.  Katia’s Funny Shrug (shown above).


Shiraito Cowl by Noro

2.  DOUBLE UP COWLS! These cosy coverings went the extra distance and became the ‘must have’ gift item for Christmas as shop owners reported a steady stream of knitters hunting for cowl patterns that had to wrap not once but twice around the neck.  Noro came to the rescue with this cheery candy-coloured version, and offered the pattern as a free download.  Shiraito Double Cowl  (shown above).


Felino Wrap by Lanas Stop

1.  FAUX FUR! The holiday season was wrapped up in plush elegance with the arrival of Lanas Stop’s faux fur line.  Knitters had their pick of the litter with Mink, Seal, KoalaRabbit, and newest darling-Felino.  Cowls, scarves, hats and other cold weather accessories knit up in a flash with this innovative yarn that so closely resembles animal fur, its irresistible.  Felino Wrap by Lanas Stop (shown above).

Wishing you health, happiness and miles of smiles from all your knitting projects!

All The Trimmings

Saturday, December 15th, 2012

The fur is flying this season….. literally right off the shelves, as shop owners endeavor to keep stocked up with the hottest in novelty yarns.  Fashionably ‘in’ right now, Mink from Lanas Stop is a faux fur knitting yarn that is so incredibly plush, it will have you doing a double loop, twist and twirl.  This is the type of yarn that works for all the trimmings, a couple of rows added to the brim of a cabled hat, or a fuzzy edging on a pair of mittens, dress up a Christmas stocking, or jazz up a ‘plain Jane’ cardigan with a luxurious collar.

For the forgotten few on this year’s list, here is a last minute gift idea for a posh pair of fur trimmed wrist warmers.  These are guaranteed to knit up in an evening and will keep hands warm while sipping a latte or texting friends.


Fur Trimmed Wrist Warmers


Size:  Women’s Medium

Finished Length: 23 cm/9 in

Finished Width:  18 cm/7 in

Yarn:  1 ball Lanas Stop Mink col #790 (CC), 1 skein Debbie Bliss Paloma col #6 (MC)

Needles:  8.00 mm double pointed set

Tension:  12 sts and 19 rows over stocking stitch using MC = 10 cm/4 in


Cast on 21 sts with CC, divide sts evenly onto three needles, join in round. K 1 round.  Cut CC.

Continue in K rounds with MC until work measures 13 cm/5 in from top of fur cuff.

Make Thumb Opening:  Cast off 4 sts at beg of next round, K to end.  Cast on 4 sts at beg of next round, K to end.  Work a further 5 K rounds.  Cut MC.  Change to CC and K 1 round.  Cast off in CC.

Make a 2nd one to match.

Brush fur lightly with a large tooth comb.

Design by:  Michele Meadows

Holiday Shimmer

Saturday, December 1st, 2012

Surprise, surprise, its getting to be that time of year again………..the holiday hustle and bustle, hanging the front door wreath, searching for the missing ornaments, and dusting off the mantle to hang cedar boughs, all in the name of good cheer.  Party season is just around the bend, and that little black dress will soon be in constant demand.  Instead of looking for a new outfit for each and every social occasion, recharge your look by adding a little shimmer and shine with one of these five stunning dress-up styles, as simple as changing your jewelry.

Holiday Shimmer from Katia’s Elegance Collection


Galaxy Shawl

An easy to wear piece for exclusive engagements, this lacy knit shawl radiates elegance and just the right amount of sparkle.  Knit in Galaxy, a fingering weight metallic yarn that can work magic with a pair of 5.50 mm needles and four balls.


Illusion Tunic

This dramatic tunic will have heads turning not once but twice.  Three yarns are combined to create the effect, Funny, a mesh-like band quite different from any other yarn is intermingled with knitted strips of Paillettes, a whispery-fine thread embedded with sequins, and Illusion, a fluffy kid mohair mix.   See the video for a closer look at working with Funny.


Galaxy Bolero

Ignite a few sparks this season with Katia’s glittery two-tone bolero, knit in Galaxy, Paillettes and Illusion.  The back and sleeves are worked with a strand of Paillettes and Illusion held together.  The front panel is knit in Galaxy’s ‘green gold’.  Look for nine other metallic shades to choose from.


Galaxy Waterfall Vest

Change the look of a shawl to a trendy waterfall vest, a simple throw on piece to glam up an evening event.  This is one long crocheted panel with two armhole openings.  The collar is worked seperately in double crochet and sewn on.  Galaxy in ‘green gold’ (shown above).


Greta Evening Handbag

The finishing touch to a holiday outfit!  This chic evening bag will garner scores of compliments and the chance to say, “I made it myself”.  Crocheted with a ball of Greta, a new beaded trim-style yarn and a ball of Kiss, a silky soft merino mix available in fourteen shade picks.