Original Designs for Knitters Who Want to Learn More
I live with my Giant Maso Mastiff, Sunny, in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley. I love to serve dinner out on the back deck, have a campfire with family and friends, and take my knitting, spinning or crocheting everywhere I go! Most of all, I love to bring some sunshine to another person's day and see them go on their way with a smile on their face!
It’s not exactly where I was expecting to be this week, but I’m happy to be here!
My brother and his family very kindly invited me to join them for a week at Fenwick Island, DE. I wasn’t sure at first whether I’d be able or even if I wanted to go (given that Hubby could not join due to work, nor Sunny either because the accommodations are “no pets allowed”).
But a very dear family member offered to have Sunny join her and her dogs on her farm for the week! I am SO relieved knowing Sunny is in such good, and loving hands and enjoying her own little vacay with her best buds!
And then Hubby was adamant that I must go even though he couldn’t. So I did.
And I’m glad to be here. It’s so lovely to spend time with my brother and his sweet little family. We went for a little walk on the beach this evening…
And the sea is gorgeous. So is the sky. And the sand.
And some very creative person built an amazing sand castle that looks like a lizard! It’s so cool, I had to show you:
Tomorrow, I plan to fit in some knitting time on the beach!
Did you or are you vacationing this year? Where do you like to go?
Our morning Knit & Chew (usually out on the back deck) has become something of a ritual for Sunny and I. In fact, Sunny can get quite bossy about it if she thinks I’m taking too long making the coffee… 😂☕️
Knit & Chew: The unreasonably early morning version (indoors because it’s so early there’s not enough light outside yet for knitting)…
Would you believe me if I told you that getting up so early was originally Sunny’s idea? Sometimes I think she pretends she needs to go out just because she misses me! 😊💗 Apparently, sleeping next to our bed isn’t close enough! 😂💗
Wait. What? How did this get in here?!
It’s the “I’m so cute when I’m napping that Mommy can’t help herself” nap time photo bomb… 😜😂
Knit & Chew: The totally reasonable morning version…
And some sneak peeks at swatches for a new design I’m working on! More details forthcoming! 😄
Yarn always makes my day better, but a delivery from The Loopy Ewe makes me especially happy!
(They are super excellent and super quick, by the way; which is always good, particularly where yarn is involved! For example: I placed this order on Tuesday, and it arrived on Friday of the same week! 😄)
Usually when I order yarn, I do so with a particular project in mind, as is the case this time. (Unless it’s an occasional splurge on a gorgeous hand dyed skein that I can’t pass up! 😉)
This yarn order happens to consist entirely of Cascade 220 Superwash; the pink is in their worsted weight, and the others are sport weight. I love this yarn for many reasons, but particularly for baby knits because of its softness and easy care (machine wash-and-dry-able).
So now that my yarn has arrived, I am totally thrilled to be able to get started this weekend on some knits for a new little niece and a new little second cousin who will both be arriving later this Summer! 😄💗
What are your favorite go-to knits and yarns for the babies in your life?
In other news, today was a happy mail day for Sunny too! While I was happily photographing my new yarns…
…Sunny was happily going to town on the tissue paper they came wrapped up in! 😂
Although I wasn’t quite fast enough to get a photo of her in the act, I did manage to document her handy work (above), and her “I don’t know what you’re talking about because I’ve been laying all the way over here sleeping the whole time” face (below)! 😂😂
I didn’t mind her tearing up the tissue paper at all (if I’d had plans for it, I would have kept it out of her reach). It was just too cute and funny not to share with you! I promise that she’s a really good puppy who usually chews only on the appropriate items! Here’s a photo to prove it:
Wishing you all a wonderful weekend and very happy knitting!
For me, that meant coffee & knitting out on the back deck (with Sunny nearby, of course 😉)!
For Sunny, that meant a new beef chew & lying in soft, shady grass!
It’s such a relief to have some sunshine at last! And today was perfect – brilliant blue sky, warm sunshine but not too hot, a lovely breeze… listening to the music of the stream and the birds, watching all of the little creatures out and busily about! The one word that keeps coming to my mind for today is: JOY! 😄☀️🌸🌼🌹
Progress on my Daisy Shawl sample continues on apace!
This afternoon while I was working on some sample knitting…
I learned a very valuable lesson:
Do not leave alpaca wool (waiting to be spun) un-attended while assuming that Puppy is still contentedly chewing the bone she was totally engrossed with 30 seconds ago! 🤣🤣🤣🙃
Sunny: Who? Me?! No, I have no idea who got into the alpaca wool…!
SUCH an innocent face! 😂😂😂💗
Sunny When She Thought My Back Was Turned: Hmmmm… Do you think she bought the act…?
Heehee!! Not for a second!😂 But it sure was cute! 💗
Fortunately, it seems that Sunny was having so much fun pulling the alpaca wool out of its bag and spreading it around the house that she hadn’t actually chewed up any of it yet! So I was able to pick it all up and save it. 😊 Happy Ending! 😄
70% Super kid mohair & 30% mulberry silk, Plume is a gorgeous 2-ply lace weight yarn that’s just begging to be knit up into a scrumptious lace shawl… I think this shade (Silver Birch) is to die for, but they have many other lovely colors as well!
80% Fine merino wool & 20% cashmere, this DK/fingering weight yarn is the definition of cozy luxury! I want to knit it up into a matching hat/mitts/cowl set to wear this coming Fall/Winter! And did I mention that this yarn is hand-dyed?! I’m loving this Tweed colorway (#165), but there are additional glorious color ways available as well!
70% Extrafine merino wool & 30% silk in a plush single-spun, this gorgeous fine fingering weight yarn would be a dream to knit and wear! And the hand-dyed colorways are simply magical! I’m feeling particularly drawn to Corsage (#401)… I’d probably make another shawl, or maybe a lacey scarf… 🙂
Just look at that sheen! And the texture…! Linen Quill is 50% fine highland wool, 35% alpaca, & 15% linen in a fingering weight yarn that knits up light and airy with great stitch definition and texture. Perfect for (yet) another shawl, or a light and breezy top! They have lots of exciting new colors this year, but I’m still finding myself partial to this one (Lavender Opal #1620LQ). 🙂
75% Cotton & 25% linen and made in the USA! This lovely yarn is the very definition of Summer knitting and is available in a 3-ply DK weight as well as a 2-ply fingering (sock) weight! The kettle-dyed colors are simply beautiful, but I’m especially drawn to this one (Tansy). 🙂 I’d love to knit a sleeve-less Summer top, or a skirt, or some Summer socks in this gorgeous yarn!
I fell instantly in LOVE with it. All the creative wheels in my brain went into overdrive, flooding my mind with endless possibilities and ideas… I could practically hear that yarn calling my name! But I had such a huge yarn stash already… So of course I had to show my girlfriends Kathryn & Kayla the amazing yarn so they could talk me into buying it anyway! 🤣 😉
Kathryn and Kayla fell instantly under the spell of the gorgeous yarn too! But not being knitters or crocheters, they weren’t sure what they’d do with it… Which sparked one of the best ideas ever: We’d each buy a skein, and I would design similar “sister” scarves for each of us, specific to our individual style and taste! It was perfect! I got to play with 3 whole skeins of the amazing yarn, and they got scarves custom designed and handmade just for them by a friend! 😄👏🏻🎉🎈Needless to say, I went back to my cart and clicked “submit” on my yarn order right away!
Style & Construction…
While waiting for our yarn to arrive, we discussed neckwear shapes, styles, and construction techniques. Kathryn and Kayla are both very artistic people, but in different ways and with unique styles. They were both very certain about what they wanted though, which made things SO much easier (and more fun!) for me! 😉 Kathryn had her heart set on a super long and thin, flowing scarf with a light, airy, open feel. She wanted to be able to style it in many different ways, and wear it in any Season – even Summer! So very Kathryn – elegant, lovely, dramatic (the good kind only!), yet practical! Kayla on the other hand, favored a medium length infinity type scarf that she could choose to loop around her neck once, twice, or three times. So very Kayla – Gorgeous, super fun & trendy, cozy, yet versatile! I couldn’t wait to get started!
Once the yarn arrived, I immediately got out my swift and ball winder…
I was anxious to start swatching as soon as possible! 😀 I knit several swatches, using different stitch patterns, but we found it near impossible to choose between them…
So we put them on display in the office so we could look at them and think about them throughout the day. We even talked about them with our customers and kept a tally of customer votes as to which swatch was favored and why!
It was SO much fun! We also put photos of the swatches on Facebook and Instagram so our friends and followers could give their feedback as well!
The time for un-hurried visual contemplation, along with the discussions we had with friends, co-workers, and customers turned out to be super helpful, in addition to being super fun! In the end, Kathryn fell in love with swatch #3 (Arrowhead Lace and Cables); while Kayla was drawn to swatch #2 (Falling Leaves). We concluded that although we all loved swatch #1 (Norwegian Fir Lace), that particular stitch pattern would look better in a solid colored or at least less busily variegated yarn, and shelved it for another time. 🙂
Knitting Kathryn’s Scarf…
Once I had done all my math and charted my Arrowhead Lace and Cables stitch pattern, it was finally time to cast on for Kathryn’s Scarf!
I like math. I like planning and charting and writing. But the actual knitting has always been my favorite part, and I have a feeling it always will be… 😉
This is my doggy niece, Pepper (an adorable Boston Terrier). She is one of my best knitting buddies, and kept me company through most of the knitting of Kathryn’s scarf! 😀 (I can never get over her tiny doggy socks! They make me squeal every time…! XD Wish I could say I had made them for her… ;))
Tools shown in the making of Kathryn Scarf include…
Tape Measure – from The Loopy Ewe, one of my favorite yarn stores! This tape measure was a little gift they tucked into one of my orders a while back (they have a fabulous rewards system! 😀 ). I think the tape measures are macaron themed now… SO cute!
Knitters Tool Tin – by The Sexy Knitter, this one was a special edition featuring an angora goat from Juniper Moon Farm. The cable needle shown (my fav!) is just one of the handy knitting tools included in the tin!
Coffee is also a faithful knitting buddy of mine… 😉
Although the scarf is really long, it’s not super wide, and the stitch pattern is easily memorized…
…so it was a delightfully relaxing and satisfyingly quick knit!
Kathryn Scarf before blocking
Many thanks to my gorgeous sister-in-law, Annelies, for modeling the finished scarf for me; and to my wonderful technical editor, Allison O’Mahony of Kniterations, for her help in polishing the pattern so it can be it’s best self! 😀
This pattern has just been released, so if you’d like to knit your own Kathryn Scarf, well now you can! Customize your scarf to whatever length you prefer, and use only one skein of any fingering weight yarn you have available in your stash! 😀 Or if you want to use the same yarn used in the sample, hop over to Expression Fiber Arts and have a look at their lovely colors! 😀
Check out my Ravelry shop and use coupon code: New20KS to receive 20% off your purchase of the Kathryn Scarf pattern through Monday, May 14th, 2018!
Or, if you’d like to save even more (50% off new patterns!), and receive knitting tips, discounts, notifications of test knitting opportunities, and/or the latest news from Sarah Inskeep Designs, sign up for my e-Letter!
And of course we’d LOVE to see your projects! Share pics & progress on social media with hashtags #kathrynscarf and #sarahinskeepdesigns !
~ Happy Knitting!
P.S. Stay tuned for Sister Scarves Part 2: All About Kayla to get all the details and back story about Kayla’s scarf and it’s pattern release coming soon! 😀
Hello! I’m Sundance “Sunny” Inskeep! I’m a Giant Maso (drool-less) Mastiff. I’m 9 weeks old and I weigh 18.5 lbs. I like cuddling with my people, belly rubs, food, and chasing the odd leaf around the yard! 🐶💗😊💗
We’re SO excited to welcome Sunny into our family! She’s our first puppy/dog and we love her SO much!
Sunny loves to play with Hubby!…
She loves to play in general! 🙂
We’re working on things like: “Let’s play tug-of-war with your rope toy, instead of Mommy’s hair!” 😉
And: “We can snuggle shoes/flip-flops…,
…but not chew them…” 😉
Sunny prefers to stay as close to us as possible, which is totally awesome! 😀
She’s still very young (not quite three months old yet), and she’s growing really fast so she takes lots of naps…
AND she is the best of knitting buddies… 🙂
…both outdoors and in! 😉
In other news, I’m re-knitting a sample for my Kayla Infinity Scarf pattern (coming soon!)…
We discovered during the test knitting that the edges roll badly (due to the stockinette nature of the knitted fabric) when other yarns are used. I really want knitters to be able to successfully use yarn from their stashes to knit this if they want, without fear of excessively rolling edges. So I modified the pattern to include a ribbed edging on both top and bottom. Several different edging options were considered, including seed stitch and garter stitch; but I chose to go with the ribbing because it seems to do the job while preserving the flow of the stitch pattern on the body of the scarf!
The new sample is still on my needles; you can see it in progress in some of the photos with Sunny above. 🙂 So far I’m very happy with how the new sample is turning out, but we’ll have to see how it does in other yarns with a re-test! 😉
Do you have any pets? What’s on your needles now? We’d love to hear all about it! 🙂
This is Tucker. He is my new woodland buddy. He makes me smile. And laugh. A lot!
As you can see, he’s an adorable and thoroughly cheeky little squirrel with the sleekest fur and bushiest tail imaginable.
For a while now, I’ve been wondering who has been taking bites out of my decorative corn (left over from Fall)… Turns out it’s Tucker! (And I think we can all tell which flavor he likes best!)
Tucker likes to run up onto the back deck, under the kitchen window and grab a mouthful of dried corn kernels. Then he runs back across the deck, climbs up onto the railing, and perches there to enjoy his snack!
I happened to see him through the kitchen window, doing this over and over early one morning as I was making coffee. Now we meet up for coffee & corn breaks most early mornings and late afternoons.
I haven’t yet figured out whether he’s told all his friends & relations about the free handouts on my back deck, or whether he’s keeping it all to himself… 😉
Here’s a quick peak at what’s currently on my needles…
Another baby blanket. This one is a sample in a smaller size as I would like to offer a couple of different size options in the pattern.
And this is a new pattern I’m working on for a Spring/Summer weight shawl!
What’s been making you smile/laugh lately? And what’s on your needles/hooks/wheel/loom? I’d love to hear all about it!