Calico Shawl

Our good friend and designer, Andrea Rangel, has a new pattern in the next issue of Knitscene magazine.  Check out her Calico Shawl knit in Hazel Knits Divine (merino/cashmere/silk) in the colorway Bloom. Nice work Andrea - this is stunning!!
Photo credit: Nathan Rega of Harper Point Photography
The digital edition of Knitscene Summer 2013 is available now or, if you prefer, you can pre-order a paper copy of the magazine.
We can't wait to see what Andrea designs next.


And the winner is...

Great comments on that last post everybody. For myself, I started out on four circulars, knitting my first socks around 2007. Fairly soon after I moved to 5 circs which helped me to solve my laddering problem. I always had runs between stitches where my needles changed.
In the more recent past (in the last year or two) I started using magic loop. This is definitely the way for me. And now that I've finally sprung for some Addi Turbo needles, there is no going back. The joins are so smooth.
I'm curious about Christine's comments about the Addi Turbo Lace needles smelling funny. I just got a pair and haven't experienced this problem yet. But if it is a problem that arises out of skin pH issues, I expect I will encounter it sooner or later. I have a habit of tarnishing nickel plated needles and I remember once having my makeup done professionally and the makeup artist being shocked that my lips turned a bright blue when she applied a very pink lipstick (it was the eighties!). Obviously I have some out of whack pH issues at times.
But enough about me. I know you're here to find out who is the winner of Andrea Rangel's Woodsmoke & Ash.


The originally winner we selected could not be contacted and did not contact us so we have selected a new winner. The random number generator has selected wildwoolly.  Congratulations wildwoolly. I will be getting in touch with you shortly through Ravelry.

Thanks again to Andrea for the informative tutorial and for the copy of her book. We'll make sure it gets into wildwoolly's hands as soon as we can.


Woodsmoke & Ash Blog Tour Stop

We are thrilled to host the next stop on the blog tour for Andrea Rangel's new book Woodsmoke & Ash. Andrea has designed a beautiful collection of patterns specifically with men in mind. The collection contains seven patterns for sweaters and accessories, including three that were designed in Hazel Knits yarn. The collection is currently available in hard copy and electronic formats through Andrea's website and electronically through Ravelry. Each individual pattern is also available to purchase as a PDF download.  

For our stop on Andrea's blog tour she has put together a tutorial explaining the Whip Stitch Hem she uses for the Resin socks included in the collection.
I'll turn the blog over to her now, but make sure you read through to the bottom of this post for an opportunity to win your own copy of Woodsmoke & Ash.
The book features three patterns worked in Hazel Knits yarn, and you'll be able to see all three samples at Vogue Knitting Live Seattle in the Hazel Knits booth next month.
One of the patterns that I worked in Hazel Knits is Resin, a toe-up sock with a strong, geometric stitch pattern.  I wanted a super tough, super warm sock that would have enough interest to keep the knitter excited, but not so much as to be overly decorative.  Resin works up quickly in DK Lively, and is finished with a beautiful hemmed cuff.  I'm a huge fan of hemmed edges because they just look so beautiful and clean - such a crisp finish.  Working toe-up is handy, but ending with the cuff means that you have to pay special attention to how you finish the top.  A sock's cuff has to be very stretchy so that a foot (much wider than an ankle) can get through it.  Because of that, I chose to avoid binding off altogether, and instead whip stitched my live stitches to the inside of the hem.  I have a hard time sewing in a straight line no matter what the situation, so I love using life lines to help guide me.  I've created a tutorial that shows you how to place a lifeline, and how to use it to help you whip stitch your cuff.  (The sock featured is size XS worked in Jay Blue.  It fits me perfectly & I can't wait to knit up the second one.)

1. Arrange the all the stitches so that they are on the cord, not on the needles. 
(You can do this on double pointed needles if you wish, but it will be more difficult to insert the tapestry needle to place the lifeline.  Consider switching to a circular needle at least for placing the lifeline.)
2. Thread your tapestry needle with smooth, contrasting color waste yarn. 
(In this example, my sock is worked with Hazel Knits DK Lively in Jay Blue, and my waste yarn is Hazel Knits Artisan Sock in Nekkid.)

3. Leaving the stitches on the cord, thread the tapestry needle through a number of them.  I'm usually comfortable with about five.

4. Draw your yarn through.

Repeat steps 3-4 until all stitches have waste yarn in them.

Here's what it looks like with waste yarn trailing out both ends of the round.

I recommend cutting your waste yarn, leaving a 6 in/15 cm tail.  Leaving it attached to a ball of yarn can lead to lots of unfortunate tangles.

To continue working, just insert your needle and work as usual, ignoring the waste yarn.

Here's what it looks like after you've worked a bunch of stitches.

Once you've completed your hem, you should be able to see your lifeline and your hem, split in the middle by a purl turning round.

Now, turn the sock or other project inside out (or, if working flat, just turn to the wrong side.)

Turn cuff/hem in at turning round. 

Cut working yarn, leaving a 24 in/61 cm tail and thread through a tapestry needle.

Insert tapestry needle into first stitch on the needle as if to purl and draw through, being careful not to pull too tightly.

To help you see where the beginning of the round is, you may want to use your tapestry needle to draw one end of the waste yarn through to the wrong wide of the work, as shown.

Insert tapestry needle into the first stitch with waste yarn in it and draw through, being careful not to pull too tightly.

To make it go more quickly, I often insert the tapestry needle into both the stitch on the needle and the stitch with the waste yarn before drawing the yarn through.

Repeat the last two steps until all live stitches have been whip stitched down. 

Here's what it looks like when a bunch of stitches have been whip stitched.

And what it looks like from the wrong side when it's all completed.

And what it looks like from the right side after it's all completed. 
At this point, you can simply firmly take hold of one end of your waste yarn and draw it out of all of the stitches.
Weave in your ends and block.

Now you have a beautiful, finished cuff.

Thanks so much for that awesome tutorial, Andrea. There is nothing worse than getting to the end of a project and finding the bind off/cuff too tight. A little extra effort along the way can save a lot of heartache.

And now, one of our lucky readers can win a hard copy of Andrea's Woodsmoke & Ash collection. Just leave a comment on this post before midnight (Pacific Time) Tuesday, March 12, 2013, telling me what your preferred needles for sock knitting are: double points, magic loop, two circs, other or even if you refuse to knit socks at all. One comment per person. I'll randomly select a winner from the comments.

Make sure your comment includes a way to contact you -either by signing in or including an email address or ravname. Comments are moderated. It may take a while for your comment to appear.


What the HK is on Viki's Needles?

My knitting streak is continuing. And while I didn't finish my second pair of socks for the January/February Knitalong, I did make some very good progress. I've very pleased with how my Ode to Frogs and the Pond are turning out. They look so cheerful in the club colour Flicker.
Progress on these socks will continue, but with the completion of one KAL it was time to launch a new KAL. Our March/April KAL is a theme KAL. Our theme this time is Tribute. Participants can knit (or crochet) any pattern named after a person, humanoid, animal or creature, real or imagined. You can find more information and join in here.
Naturally, I had to cast on immediately. My choice for this KAL? Old Joe by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee aka the Yarn Harlot.

This pattern feels right, like I've come full circle now, as it was through Stephanie's blog that I found Hazel Knits yarn over five years ago.

I'm knitting my Old Joe's in the club colour Sedge. I'm really liking how these are turning out so far. The colour almost looks as if it glows from within.

I've also finished my latest design, but more about that after the pattern is written up and ready to go, hopefully early next month.

Later this week, we will be hosting a stop on a blog tour. Come back and check it out!