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Play Yarn Chicken Like a Pro

Not too long ago, I was adventuring in a great experiment. For over a year, I lived here in Portland Oregon without a car – taking public transportation and riding my bike everywhere.

Not only did lots of knitting get done at bus stops, etc. but on one lovely day, a fellow rider pointed me to an incredile house sale where I traded one dollar a skein for some glorious Harrisville Higland Heather wool…

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I wound it all up and gave it a little squeeze of fresh Portland air for good measure and then left it to linger in deep stash, waiting (and waiting, and waiting…)

But something in the changing weather and leaves all around me in recent weeks awoke my fascination with this lovely yarn. The color of the majority of it is actually named “FOLIAGE” and it has all the beautiful variations of the russet, gold and splashes of persimmon you see in the autumn landscape.

Chic Knits Knitting BlogI cast on an IBA cardigan – which is perfect for this yarn.

The Highland Heather has some nice body to it and I’m thinking will produce one of those essential wear-it-around-the-house-for-everything wrappers I love to put together.

My favorite yarns seem to be those that can last the test of time and don’t have to be babied but work for their room and board! So far, it’s turning out great – the front bands and back detail are lovely and dimensional with the heathery tones.

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The only problem (besides not having more hours in the day to knit knit knit and get it done faster), is I’m not really sure I have enough to make this as long as I’d really love it to be! Lately, I’ve be enthralled with Really Long Cardigans – and if this could go to almost knee-length, it would be awesome.

You know what that means, right?

It’s time for, drum roll, another edition of Yarn Chicken here at Studio Chic.

I have 5 skeins of the Foliage color; my estimates, based on years of making bottom-up sewn sweaters are roughly:
      • 1 skein for each sleeve = 2 skeins used
      • 2 skeins for the Back and
      • 1 skein each for the Fronts

Ooops. That’s 6 skeins (I only have 5 in Foliage) AND this is a top-down sweater! Hmmm. Would my normal theory hold?

To test it, once I finished the Yoke and its current ball of yarn, the Iba cardi was about 4″ beyond where you split for the Body. To that point, I’d used 2 skeins.

Next, I put all the Body stitches on scrap yarn, so I could knit the Sleeves and see how much yarn remained.

With whatever, if any, yarn was left over from them, I could add it to my 1-skein targeted for the lower Body and just knit until the yarn runs out! (Cue: FAVE knitting action!)

This time, I also basted the Body SHUT with some scrap yarn – one of my Pet Peeves with top-down sweaters is how they flop around when you’re knitting the sleeves – IMHO, lots of avoidable wear’n’tear cut down with this little detour. This means it can sit in my lap (nice bonus: a little warmth) and I can go to town on those sleeves.

When I’m ready to go on with the Body knitting, it’s an easy remove and back on the needles.

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Notice also, I might just have an ace-in-the-hole here too, IF I’m game enough.

I have one skein of Mustard (gold) which just might make a nice wide bottom band – it blends rather nicely with the Foliage and would be a brisk counterpoint to denim jeans.

stay tuned & find more details on the IBA CARDIGN here

WELCOME Sweater Weather!

Chic Knits PNW #1
                                                        …Chugach National Forest near Eyak Lake, Alaska

Now that it’s officially FALL there’s nothing better than snuggling into a cushy, friendly cardi and going for a hike!

Looks like a lot of you feel the same – thanks for the great feedback on this design! I have two personal ones that I made (am having my morning coffee wearing one, in fact, while I write this).

I sent out a bonus update last week with a Pocket Mod so if you like, you can make a plain stockinette version with some hand warming action for when you run out
to walk the dog…

Pacific Northwest Number One – or PNW #1 – has a gauge of 4 sts / 1″
so it knits up fast…

Here’s some Yarn Subs – maybe a stash dive is in your future?

Bartlett Yarns 2-ply
Briggs & Little Heritage
Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Worsted
Cascade Eco Wool & Eco +
Cestari 2-Ply
Imperial Yarn Columbia
Istex Lett-Lopi
Quince & Co. Osprey
Rowan Scottish Tweed Aran
Valley Yarns Berkshire
––– OR –––
be on the lookout at your favorite Fiber Fest for some home-grown yarnie goodness (OFFF? Rhinebeck?)
… lots of small producer yarns are perfect for this design …

to get the PNW #1 pattern (and more details) > Click Here

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Pacific Northwest Number One

Chic Knits PNW #1
This summer I was up in Cordova, Alaska, teaching at a wonderful
retreat at the NetLoft.

I brought a few(!) sweaters with me – knowing it would be chilly at times, even in June – it’s right at the foot of the glacial rain forest. And what were
the ones I wore the most?

My PNW #1 cardigans!

At the end of the week, my friends and I hiked out near Eyak Lake and took some special shots of the oatmeal color one – I wish I could take you there! It was almost overwhelmingly beautiful – I was afraid none of my pictures would be in focus I was so in awe of the rocks and sweet waterfalls…

The inspiring Coastal knitting tradition is reflected in the shape of this cardigan and its raised stitch motif on front and back – or it can be made plain for a
really bread & butter wearable staple…

Pacific Northwest Number One – or PNW #1 – is knit with heavy worsted wool with a shaped shawl collar is really just comfy cozy…

And stylish! I wore them with all sorts of outfits: jeans & tees; skirts and blouses and even this one over a navy knit lace dress for a special Friday night.

Chic Knits PNW #1

>>> for all the making details and more pictures > click here <

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