Knitting Pattern: Absaroka Poncho

Knit Absaroka Poncho by Edie Eckman

Fall in love with this season-spanning wrap and the yarn it’s made of. The Absaroka Poncho, a knit poncho pattern, is easy enough for advanced beginning knitters. Better yet, when you’re ready to wear it, it can be styled several ways: worn over the shoulder as an asymmetric wrap, draped over the back neck to show off the striking colorwork, or left as a rectangular shawl to be worn over the shoulders.

The Construction

Absaroka Poncho cast-on edge
Knit two rectangular panels from the bottom up, and graft them together at the center. Sew the sides together, or use clasps or screw-in leather closures to create the poncho style.

And don’t stress over the need to graft the pieces together; there’s a video tutorial on How to Graft Knit Garter Stitch, as well as written instructions. Continue reading “Knitting Pattern: Absaroka Poncho”

Fun New Stuff from the TNNA Show

Welcome to TNNA 2018 banner

Welcome to TNNA 2018 bannerLast weekend Cleveland, Ohio hosted The National Needlearts Association trade show. The TNNA annual summer show is where yarn companies, yarn stores, designers and others meet to find out about new products and do some awesome networking. This year was no exception.

Cleveland was a new venue for the show, and a surprisingly nice one. The convention center was sparkly and new, and just downstairs from my hotel. I had a lovely view of Lake Erie from my hotel room. (True Confession: I need to work on my geography. I had to look it up because I wasn’t entirely positive which Lake that was.)

Even better, I found a lot of cool products to share with you. You may find some of these appearing at a local yarn store near you. And if they don’t, tell your LYSO (local yarn shop owner) about them so they can get them in.

Some of the following contain affiliate links, which don’t cost you anything, but help support this site.

Lay Flat to Dry graphic from KnitBaahPurl

Knitbaahpurl has a line of awesome sheepy products. You may have seen their “Lay Flat to Dry” t-shirts, but what about a “Three Sheeps to the Wind” stemless wine glass, or a “Sheep Wrecked” mug? You can see—and buy—everything online, as well as at your local store.

Sheep Happens T-shirts worn by Edie and a friend

I was not the only person wearing one of their “Sheep Happens” shirts at Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival in May. We both got compliments and questions about where to get your own. Now you know!

Edward's Managerie animal kitsSpeaking of sheepy, the UK company Toft has adorable crochet amigurumi kits from Edward’s Menagerie. These things are killer cute—and not just for kids. They are a great way to encourage new crocheters, and you’re sure to find your favorite animal. I’m pretty sure one of these is going to end up in my sheep collection. Check them out on Instagram at #edsanimals.

And if you love the animals and don’t need the kits, take a look at the book Edward’s Menagerie and other books by designer Kerry Lord, like Edward’s Crochet Imaginarium (for mix-and-match monsters) and Edward’s Menagerie: Dogs.

Clothezure Clothezure Fanfare Buttonsolves the problem of tricky shawl pins in a fun and fashionable way. For years, I’ve made my own shawl “buttons” by sewing a shank between a fancy button and a plain one, but Clothezure takes it one step further. Attractive decorative buttons are fitted with either a magnet or toggle-and-bungee system, to allow shawls and other garments to stay closed securely without having to pierce holes in the fabric. (It’s hard to explain, but it works.) They are currently available at a select number of shops, and I have it on good authority that there will soon be an online store which will feature one-of-a-kind designs made from estate jewelry and vintage buttons. I think shawl wearers are definitely going to want more than one of these.

Shellican Stitch Marker PinsShellican has oh-so-cute pins and notions for crafters. I was particularly taken with the enamel stitch marker pins, but there were really too many cute ones to name. Support your local economy by buying local.

Alpaca My Bag Swet Bag by Gleener“Alpaca My Bag” Swet Bag is a cute washable wet/dry bag from Gleener. (It took me a second—say it out loud.) The bag comes in two sizes and is perfect for gym clothes, dirty laundry, a diaper bag. Or for keeping your knitting and crochet projects away from your stinky workout clothes!

Oh, and there was yarn! Lots and lots of yarn! I’ve got several projects in the works, and got yarn for all of them. In the upcoming weeks, I’ll be knitting and crocheting up a storm.

Madder Root Temporary TattoosCan you add a P.S. to a blog post? While we’re on the topic of cool products, I want to give a shout-out to Madder Root, who I met (and spent a lot of money with) at Maryland Sheep and Wool. They have awesomely attractive knitting bags and t-shirts, as well as temporary knitting tattoos! Next show, I’m going to be all inked-up. Temporarily of course.

 

New Design: Three Pines Shawl

This post may contain affiliate links, which provide me with a small income but don’t cost you anything extra.

Three Pines SHawl Crochet

My newest crochet design, the Three Pines Shawl, made its debut at the Shelridge Yarns booth at Rhinebeck. It was a big hit with crocheters looking for an interesting wearable project using beautiful yarn.

Three Pines Shawl Crochet

 

This rectangular crocheted shawl wraps you in jacquard-look coziness. Contrasting colors in a simple four-row repeat make up the eye-catching reversible all-over fabric. The subtly ruffled edging complements the main fabric while adding movement and texture.

The Yarn

Shelridge Yarn Gradients

The shawl is designed for gradient colors of dk-weight yarn set off by a single contrasting color. I used Shelridge Yarns Classic DK, one of my all-time favorites because of the many beautiful colors available. (It’s what I used for all the samples for Connect the Shapes Crochet Motifs.

The shThree Pines Shawl Crochet closeupawl has been made up in two different colorways, a green/purple and a grey/red. You can also see it in a coral colorway from test crocheter huntm on Ravelry. You can buy a kit for the yarn AND the pattern from Shelridge Yarn here.

It would also work with a color-changing yarn with long repeats paired with a contrasting solid.

The Pattern

Three Pines Shawl Crochet closeupYou may be surprised by instructions that tell you not to turn at the end of some rows, but never fear! These instructions minimize the number of ends you’ll need to weave in. I’m looking out for you! Once you get the hang of the stitch pattern it’s easily memorized.

As with almost all my crochet patterns, I provide both text and charts to make the instructions as clear as possible. The pattern has been professionally tech edited and tested by seven different crocheters, so any bugs should be gone.

Won’t you make one and share a photo on Facebook or Instagram? #threepinesshawl


Three Pines: The Name

Three Pines Shawl crochet photo shoot

A few people have already asked if I’m a Louise Penny fan, because of the name of the shawl. Yes, I’ll admit that I “discovered” Inspector Armand Gamache as I was finishing the first shawl, and I was inspired to name it after the fictional Canadian village. Plus, I was using Canadian yarn, so it seemed right. If you are a fan of mysteries and haven’t yet discovered Louise Penny, check out her books below.

And just for fun, here’s a totally unglam picture of me taking a picture of the shawl, on a pine-wooded hill in Virginia.



It’s Fiber Festival Time!

Sheep Fiber Festival

Sheep Fiber FestivalCooler days mean it’s time for fiber festivals. If you’ve never been to one, you don’t know what you are missing. They are great family activities, and my now-grown children have fond memories of the hours we spent watching -and sometimes petting – the animals, eating great food, and petting and buying yarn. (Well ok, maybe the yarn thing is just my fond memory.)

Most festivals also feature workshops of all kinds. You can hone your knitting and crocheting skills, learn to spin or weave, learn about animal husbandry and dog training, and more.

Fall Fiber Festival and Sheep Dog Trials

Fall Fiber Festival and Sheep Dog Trials at MontpelierThe Virginia Fall Fiber Festival and Sheep Dog Trials in Montpelier takes place October 7 and 8. It’s a nice regional show and a long-time favorite of mine. It’s manageable in a day but offers plenty of variety and entertainment. I’ll be there on Saturday, October 5, signing books and demonstrating rigid heddle weaving in the demo tent. This year, unlike last year, I will remember to bring the heddle.

Rhinebeck

Rhinebeck New York Sheep and Wool FestivalThe New York Sheep & Wool Festival, known affectionately as “Rhinebeck”, is October 21-22, 2017. Fiber enthusiasts of all stripes descend on the small Hudson River town of Rhinebeck, site of the New York State Fairgrounds. This one’s a biggie! Bring your comfy shoes, your shopping list, your fat purse, and your hungry stomach, as you’ll need all of those to navigate the show.

I’ll be at the Merritt Books booth all weekend, doing book signings and exclaiming over beautiful handwork.

If you are there, please do me a favor: Buy out my book inventory, because if I sell all they have, I’m free to wander the show!

What’s your favorite fall fiber activity?