SIMPLY HANDMADE-along | Scrumptious September

So, I'm not sure what happened. It was barely August, then September arrived, and now I'm looking at the calendar and we're almost halfway through the month. What the heck is going on? Have you experienced this "loss" of time, as well? I apologize for being amiss and neglecting to post a new Simply Handmade-along project for us. Without further adieu, here it is... 

SEPTEMBER | MOHAIR BIAS LOOP | THROUGH OCTOBER 10TH

photo © Churchmouse Yarns & Teas

photo © Churchmouse Yarns & Teas

I love the classic simplicity of Churchmouse patterns and the Mohair Bias Loop is one of my all-time favorite. It's versatile as a light (but warm) capelet for the shoulders, or worn long or doubled up as a cowl. 

photo © Churchmouse Yarns & Teas

photo © Churchmouse Yarns & Teas

I knit one up a few years back (my Ravelry project page says I knit it in a week and we have almost 4 weeks) and it was a long-term shop sample at Firefly Fibers. I used Rowan's Kidsilk Haze Glamour and the yarn has since been discontinued and I've wanted to knit another for the shop (and maybe one for myself, too). So, when this arrived a couple weeks back... 

Anatolia by Julie Asselin

Anatolia by Julie Asselin

Anatolia by Julie Asselin

Anatolia by Julie Asselin

I knew Julie Asselin's new hand dyed, lace weight mohair would be perfect!

Anatolia is a mohair and silk blend, lace weight that can be knit alone for a featherweight look, or paired with other yarns for a light halo on your favorite knits.

FIBER: 60% Kid Mohair + 40% Silk
YARDAGE: 330 yards / 300m
AMOUNT: approximately 0.90 oz / 25gr
WEIGHT: lace
GAUGE: 5 sts = 1"
NEEDLE: US 6-8 / 4-5mm

The original project uses 2 balls of Kidsilk Haze, but Anatolia has a wee bit more yardage, so I'm knitting my Mohair Bias Loop using just one skein. It was hard to choose from the colors because all 12 are stunning, but I decided on Ballerine - a soft pink with warm taupe and grey undertones - and I love it! The project uses a provisional cast on and is finished with kitchener stitch, so the finished project is a loop without a seam. If these techniques are new to you, the fabulous Tin Can Knits ladies have a great tutorial here for the provisional cast on and here for the kitchener stitch.

We have all 12 colors of Anatolia in stock at the shop if you'd like to try Julie's new yarn - based on the Ravlery yarn usage, one skein with 330yds should be enough, just make sure your gauge isn't too tight so you can get the desired length - otherwise, you'll need about 350yds of a lace weight mohair. If you have time, check out some of the projects on Ravelry for more inspiration - there are some really gorgeous versions that pair the mohair with either a lace or fingering weight yarn and that's had me thinking about pairing Anatolia with either Fino or Merletto. One step at a time though. *wink*

What do you think? Are you in? I hope so and I can't wait to see what you knit up!

CHEERS!

SIMPLY HANDMADE-ALONG | AWESOME AUGUST

The new August Simply Handmade-along project really is AWESOME! I sound pretty confident, don't I? Well, I know it's AWESOME, because I've already knit one and I absolutely LOVE it! The first was for the Blue Sky Fibers Summer KAL - our shop sample is amazing - and I *might* have worn it once (or twice) because it's just so squishy and irresistible.  Say "hello" to the Caledonia Cowl... 

 

AUGUST | CALEDONIA COWL | THROUGH SEPTEMBER 5TH

photo by Blue Sky Fibers

photo by Blue Sky Fibers

The Caledonia Cowl is knit in my favorite cotton, Blue Sky Fibers Worsted Cotton and it's a perfect pairing of project and yarn. Really, the super-soft organic cotton and the garter stitch make a cowl that's not only gorgeous, but the cotton makes it a perfect summer accessory. And, what's even better... it's a super-fast knit with the yarn held double on size 13 needles! 

I knit the first one as a shop sample using the colors pictured [3 skeins (MC) 614 Drift, 1 skein each (CC's) 625 Graphite, 626 Stone, and 639 Wasabi] in just a couple evenings and quickly decided that I was going to knit a 2nd one for myself. I had enough of the 3 contrast colors left that I *could* have made an identical one with just 2 more skeins of the main color (you do have about half of a skein left), but I decided to swap one out one of the contrast colors and I'll share the new color combo soon on Instagram. It's not crazy different, just enough for a slightly different version. 

 

Here's a 2nd version recommended by Blue Sky Fibers using 3 skeins (MC) 80 Bone, 1 skein each (CC's) 643 Ash, 635 Sleet, and 628 Azul.

There are also some really fabulous color combos in the Blue Sky Fibers Caledonia Cowl KAL thread. 

 
photo by Blue Sky Fibers

photo by Blue Sky Fibers

So... if you fancy joining the fun this time around, you can (as always) choose any yarn you want for our KAL, but if you'd like to use the Blue Sky Fibers Worsted Cotton (and I highly recommend this because it's a great yarn), Firefly Fibers is offering 20% OFF all in-stock Worsted Cotton through Monday, August 22nd for our Handmade-along at the brick-and-mortar shop or online with offer code 'CaledoniaKAL'

As an added bonus... if you complete your cowl before August 31st, be sure to share your FO photo in the Blue Sky Fibers group for a chance to win the prize for their KAL! Of course, just casting on and starting a project counts for prize eligibility in our group, but I know you won't be able to put this one down and you'll have one finished in no time at all!

I hope you'll join the fun this month, because it's REALLY FUN! If you're new to the Simply Handmade-along, you can find all the details and sign up here

CHEERS!

Simply Handmade-along | July JEWELRY

Is summer flying by for you? It sure is for me and I can't believe we're already more than halfway through July! I am, as always, looking forward to cooler weather, but there's quite a bit of time before that's going to be a reality. We've had trips, vacations, hiking, gardening, life in general, work, and we have a BIG wedding coming up next weekend. Basically, it's been hard to find time to do much of anything, but we've been having a blast! I think this is the general theme of summer for many of us. 

I've been ready for a few weeks with the new Simply Handmade-along July project, but since time has been passing so quickly, there's been a change in plans to accommodate the pace of life here and I hope it works out for you, as well! 

JULY | CROCHETED BEADED NECKLACE & BRACELET | THROUGH AUGUST 8TH

 
© Churchmouse Yarns & Teas

© Churchmouse Yarns & Teas

 

I've stocked Churchmouse Yarns & Teas patterns at Firefly Fibers since we opened in 2010 and I just love working with them - their patterns are well-written, beautiful (how could they not be with Jared Flood's photography), and they are such very kind folks. 

As I said... I had our July project all planned, but when a friend mentioned the Crocheted Beaded Necklace & Bracelet to me last week as a suggestion for our Handmade-along, I fell in love immediately. Somehow I missed this project coming out in February, but the timing for the hustle and bustle of July is perfect!

 
 

Please don't be dissuaded by "crochet" - THE CROCHET HERE IS VERY SIMPLE

Crochet and knitted jewelry can be fun, simple, and easy. This project is all of these (it's just a simple crochet chain with a bead here and there), plus it's super versatile for yarn and bead selection. 

What do you need? I gathered up supplies available at our shop and this is what I came up with for my project/s...

  • pattern - currently available here on the Churchmouse website (click on the free pattern tab) - just copy and paste the pattern instructions to a document since they will most likely remove the pattern when it becomes part of their regular pattern line up. 
  • fingering or sport weight yarn - I selected our Quince & Co Sparrow (a fingering linen yarn - enough for several projects)
  • beads (size 6) - Miyuki seed beads (1 tube will make several necklaces)
  • crochet hook - pattern calls for a size B (2.25mm) but I used a size D (3mm) because that's what I had and it worked really well. 
  • clasp - I've got both shell buttons and a silver clasp (shown above) and I'm leaning toward the clasp
  • bead threader/needle - I use a dental floss threader

I'm really happy with my first project and I'll be attaching the clasp once it's been washed and blocked. It took about an hour for me to read through the instructions, string beads, and make the chain, so it's a fast project. I really wanted to use the linen because of the durability and structure of the finished projects. Jewelry is flexible, so play around and have fun! As I said, this is all available at my shop, Firefly Fibers, but it's at our brick-and-mortar only, so just pop into the shop or I'm happy to get mail orders together if you want to contact me at the shop.

I hope you join the fun this month and I can't wait to see what you create!

And... just in case you didn't see, the winners for the first drawing have been posted on Ravelry in our group thread and there will be more drawings to come, so keep participating! 

CHEERS!