Monthly Archives: April 2013

  • Join Our Spring Knit-Along Featuring the... Tranquil Tank Top!

    KAL badgeEach season we host a crochet- or knit-along, a virtual event in which yarncrafters come together here online to work on one pattern together, share their experiences, and to learn together. There’s no need to sign up! Simply follow along with the blog posts at your own pace as you knit your project, and feel free to share your comments and/or photos as you progress.

    The votes are in!

    We asked you to vote on what knit project you’d like to make, and you picked our Tranquil Green Tank Top! More than 6,000 of you voted, and we're so excited to knit-along with you.

    Click here to download the pattern for the Tranquil Tank Top.

    To get this knit-along going, this week is about gathering your materials so that we can jump right in next week. This lovely tank top is made in our Vanna's Choice yarn, a versatile, easy-care, acrylic worsted-weight yarn that comes in a huge assortment of stunning colors. If you're more in the mood for a cotton blend, Cotton-Ease is a great substitute, and will be light and lovely as the temperatures get warmer. You can also opt for the eco-friendly choice and knit your top in Recycled Cotton, which is a blend of new and recycled materials.

    As with any yarn substitution, you’ll also need to figure out how many skeins of the yarn of your choice the pattern will require. Here are the number of balls for our other recommended yarns:

     Yarn S/M  L  1X
     Vanna's Choice  4 skeins 4 skeins  5 skeins
     Cotton-Ease  4 skeins 4 skeins  5 skeins
     Recycled Cotton  4 skeins 4 skeins  5 skeins

    Click here for our FAQ on substituting yarns.

    When choosing a size, sometimes it helps to find a top that you like the fit of and measure this garment to help you choose a size.

    Starting next week, our KAL host Heather will be posting her progress through the tank top project, with updates coming every Thursday. You'll know it's a dedicated KAL blog post when you see our special badge in the upper right-hand corner of the post. Don't forget to join our Ravelry group for this KAL as well!

    In the meantime, please introduce yourself below–let us know who you are, where you’re from, and who you’re making this top for!

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  • From Our Newsletter Archives: Tips from Our Design Department on Adding Color to Your Project

    Hand-knit and hand-crocheted items make great gifts to be treasured and loved. Make them even more special by making them unique. Pick colors special to you or your recipient and you’re sure to please, says Jackie Smyth, our technical editor. In this interview, Jackie shares more great tips. 

    Knitting and crocheting are great for handmade gifts that really reflect the giver or the recipient. What’s a simple recommendation about how to customize a project?
    One word—COLOR. The great thing about patterns is that it’s easy to choose other colors in the same yarns and get a totally different look. To make a pattern really personal, choose colors that you like or that have representative meanings to the recipient. Perhaps they love autumn colors or spring colors. The right colors can add a lot of depth to a project.

    What if you are nervous about choosing colors that will go together?
    Going with a yarn that has a great color range is often a good place to start. The Lion Brand Design team works to create yarn collections that are designed that coordinate beautifully.

    What’s a yarn you might recommend for someone looking for easy-to-match yarns?
    Vanna’s Choice is a great yarn for mixing and matching colors. All of the solid colors in this collection are designed to match and coordinate. You could use three colors in one family—say, Dusty Rose, Rose, and Antique Rose—to get a light-to-dark effect, or you could pick a few contrasting colors like Purple, Chocolate, Pea Green, and Rust that will really pop against each other.

    It’s good to look for inspiration from the things around you. Flowers are one place to find unexpected but beautiful contrasting colors. Fashion and architecture are other places to draw inspiration.

    Not-Your-Average-Granny Scarf: Colorful granny squares made in Vanna Squares Afghan: Colorful afghan crocheted in Vanna’s choice Boy’s Striped Cardigan: Knit kid’s sweater in Vanna’s Choice
    Crocheted Not-Your-Average
    Granny Scarf
    Crocheted Squares Afghan Knit Boy's Striped Cardigan

    Would you recommend a few colorful patterns for our readers?
    For a simple project, I like the Not-Your-Average-Granny Scarf pattern. We’ve carefully plotted the colors for each square, so that it’s an exciting color journey, but I would encourage you to be playful and experiment with your own color combinations. Feel free to exchange the colors between squares–have fun!

    Next, I like the Squares Afghan. I think it’s just stunning in the palette we chose, but you can choose also choose colors that go with your own home décor.

    My third recommendation, the little Boy’s Striped Cardigan, is a wonderful example of how just a shot of color can spice up a wardrobe basic. It shows that you can add a few or many colorful jolts of color with simple stripes that are easy to incorporate into any pattern.

    Don’t be afraid to change the colors in a pattern to suit you better. That’s the great thing about knitting and crocheting; you can really make every item your own.

    ---

    A version of this article first ran in The Weekly Stitch newsletter in August 2007. Click here to sign up for the newsletter and get articles, free patterns, and exclusive offers in your inbox each week. 

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  • Fettuccini is Back--Just in Time for Earth Month!

    zpagettiOur hugely popular yarn, Fettuccini, is finally back in stock after blowing off the shelves and selling out several weeks ago. And just in time! Earth Day may have been yesterday, but all of April is Earth Month, and every day is a great opportunity to be eco-friendly. As many Fettuccini enthusiasts already know, this unique yarn is made with remnants of jersey fabric used to create garments. The remnants would otherwise be discarded, so we're thrilled to breathe a little new life into this special fiber. In honor of its (re-)arrival, I've rounded up a handful of the great items you can knit, crochet or craft with this yarn. Click here to learn more about Fettuccini, browse colors and place your order today!

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