Happy Thanksgiving everyone.  I just finished preparing the Cranberry Relish for this evening’s feast, and I wanted to share my recipe and yarn inspiration with you all:

1 bag cranberries

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup fresh orange juice

1 teaspoon grated orange peel

 

place all 4 ingredients in saucepan.  Turn on low, and stir until sugar dissolves.  Let cook approximately 10-12 minutes–cranberries should be soft.

Remove from flame, and add:

1/2 cup toasted walnuts, cut into small pieces

1 orange peeled and chopped (no seeds please)

Stir and transfer to serving dish.  Let stand until lukewarm.  Refrigerate or freeze, depending on how much time you have.

Enjoy enjoy enjoy.

 

This recipe inspired the following yarn, Beaded Silk Light in the exclusive Cranberry Relish colorway:

This gorgeous yarn is 100% Silk, with metal beads and you can see a variety of patterns for it here:

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/search#sort=best&query=artyarns beaded silk light

 

Want to purchase it?  It is only available through Jimmy Beans Wool:  http://www.jimmybeanswool.com/knitting/yarn/Artyarns/BeadedSilkLight.asp

Enjoy your holiday and treat yourself to a yarn fit for a feast!

Want to win this ball of yarn?  Post a comment about what you would make with it, and one winner will be selected randomly on Friday, November 28, 2014.

 

I just added the Lace Muse Wrap to Ravelry here.  It is a delicate angelic-like piece, that uses such a simple lace pattern.   You can see the graceful drape in the lovely cashmere, accented by the 100% silk and glass beads and sequins.  It is shown in Cashmere 1 color 107 blue, and Beaded Silk & Sequins Light color H34 Silver.

I chose my colors here below:

Beaded Silk & Sequins Light color 1024 Gold and Cashmere 1 color 2289, Eggplant.  I just love the contrast in these 2 colors, and I know I would wear this all the time.  What do you think?

 

This book is coming out in just a few days, and I am super-excited about it.  The best thing about having a new book out is seeing all the projects that you the readers end up creating using these designs. And I hope you will post them to Ravelry here.    I will add sneak peeks from the book to my blog on a regular basis.

Today’s sneak peeks are two completely new designs:

Wrapped Scarf

Designed to wrap around and around, the Wrapped Scarf  on page 107 has an interesting construction. You build the width with short rows at the edges, right at the beginning, to make it wider and shallower than a standard top-down scarf. Then a lovely lace pattern enhances the shape.

This top-down design uses 2 skeins of Ensemble 4, starting with color H13 and ending with color H23 at the bottom.

Thinking of making another one in these two colors of Ensemble 4: H24 and H31.

 

Beaded Eyelet Hug

This easy yet versatile Beaded Eyelet Hug designed by the talented Nell Ziroli on page 75 is knit in the round from the top down with a luscious yarn and is highlighted by beads and sequins The increased shaping is hidden in the eyelet design.

Shown in Rhapsody Light color H2 and Beaded Pearl and Sequins color H2 Gold, 1 skein each.

Thinking of making the hug in these 2 skeins:

Rhapsody Glitter Light and Beaded Pearl & Sequins in H18 Silver.  Yummy.

 

 

 

Rayhmah recently designed the Hydrangea Shrug using Rhapsody Light and Beaded Mohair & Sequins. She spoke with us about her design process and her background. 

1.      What was your inspiration for the Hydrangea Shrug?

It was the colour. Since I was introduced to Artyarns, H16 has been my favourite colour beside H26 and 904. This beautiful mix of lavender and light blue reminds me of Hydrangeas, sunsets in northern areas with the ice reflecting the soft shades of the painted sky or also some kinds of mother of pearl. When I had the chance to put my hands on the skein Rhapsody Light and two Mohair Splash in H16, I just couldn’t resist. Even winding the balls was a pleasure. So these three skeins were sitting there waiting for the right pattern to happen so to say. I found that I liked the Mohair Splash most in stockinette and a shrug or bolero was what I had enough yardage for.

2.      Do you follow a specific philosophy as a designer? If so, what is it?

Creating beauty in simplicity is an art and my goal at the same time. I have a soft spot for elegant, feminine and discreet fashion with extraordinary shapes that becomes unique because of it’s details. It’s not easy to make something simple look special but once achieved, it makes the design fabulous.

3.      What is your design process, in general and specifically for this piece?

Usually it starts with the yarn and what it reminds me of. Nature, scents, colours, fine and sophisticated traditional handwork …  These are the things that move me emotionally. Just like a beautiful fabric brings the image of the finished garment to my mind, a beautiful yarn in combination with what moves me initiates the same for knitted designs. What I design is never static. It develops and changes during the process. The finished design must not necessarily look like what I thought of at first. Sometimes a knitted stitch pattern or shape comes out differently or looks better or worse in a specific yarn. If it feels right, I keep going, if not, I unravel and start over. My feeling tips the scales. If it doesn’t feel right, I will never be happy with what I have on my needles.

 

When I knitted the Hydrangea Shrug, I wanted the eyes focused on the beautiful yarn, so the design itself had to be rather simple. The Lace gives it a final touch, femininity and elegance yet does not distract too much from the beaded yarn.

4.      What are you most proud of about your piece?

Actually I’m not proud. I’m very self-critical and rather surprised by the positive response it gets. When I look at my designs, I always see something that I could have done better. Being praised this much just makes me humble because I don’t see myself like that.

5.      What were your favorite qualities about the yarns you used?
My professional background (master bespoke tailor) made me become very picky when it comes to fibres and threads, may it be a woven piece of fabric or a skein of yarn. I love to buy hand-dyed yarns of high quality natural fibres like smerino, silk, cashmere or mohair. Amongst others, ending up with Artyarns is a natural consequence. What I love about Artyarts is that there are only the finest fibres used: Japanese Silk, Itailan Cashmere… paired with hand-dyeing it’s the crest of what is possible.

 Find all of Rahymah’s beatuiful designs on Ravelry here!

On July 15, 2014, we are starting a knitalong for the Lace Tonal Tee.  You can use any Artyarns yarn to join the knitalong.  If you want to make it using the Silk Pearl kits or Regal Silk kits, here are some of your options:

When you purchase one of these kits, you will get the full pattern, which is actually two separate options:

Lace Tonal Tee

Shown in Chili Rose and Stepping Stones colorways in Silk Pearl kits

Shown in Regal Silk Blue Turquoise Colorway

The Lace Tonal Tee comes in just 2 sizes, since it is oversize, and you will be able to make it longer with more skeins that come with the kits for the larger sizes.

 

If you prefer to make the easier non-lace version of the tonal tee, you will receive a pattern with your kit for the Piped Tonal Tee:

Shown in Dreamy Blues colorway of Silk Pearl Kits

This tee is knitted in all stockinette, with the exception of the (k1, p1) rib at the bottom hem, and a lovely piped edging is applied to the neckline and sleeves with the darkest color.  You will be switching colors in the round, although you are never working with more than two colors at a time.  The great thing about switching colors in the round is that the color transitions are really subtle, since you are able to change color every round, and not cut the yarn ( as compared with every other row in traditional straight knitting).

The tricky thing about switching colors on every round without cutting the yarn is you will need to mark the first stitch of each round, and make sure to knit it with the new color.  But you will need to slip that first stitch, instead of knitting it, every other round, to maintain the color changes and make sure that they start in that first stitch. Normally when knitting in the round, your rounds move  one stitch to the left, and unless you want to have a diagonal color change “seam,” it is best to mark the stitch so that you always knit it with the new color or slip it when it is already presenting itself in the new color on every other round.

Other than that, this is a lovely television-watching option to the more complex lace version that requires concentration.

Here are the links to the Ravelry pages that contain more details including information on where to purchase the kits and available sizes.

Lace Tonal Tee

Piped Tonal Tee

 

 

Lisa Hoffman is a noted knitwear designer. Her designs have appeared in Vogue Knitting, Iris Schreier’s One + One book series, knit.wear, and Knit Simple, among (many) other places. Lisa’s designs lean toward fashionable yet classy pieces that work for any age. She was kind enough to answer some questions about her newest scarf design in Ensemble Light, Belweather.

What was your inspiration for the scarf?

The softness of the yarn. I knew it would make a lovely lightweight scarf so I paired it with a simple lace pattern that would work up quickly, not curl, and look smart on both sides.

Do you follow a specific philosophy as a designer?

I try to design lace patterns that are interesting to work but not too complicated, easy to follow by an advanced beginner/intermediate knitter. I like that I have to think a bit from row to row, if the pattern is too boring I will lose interest with the piece before it’s completed.

What is your design process, in general and specifically for this piece?

I usually swatch different stitch patterns to see what will look best and achieve the result I want for the particular fiber. I will block the swatches and think about what they want to be. Next I will sketch, do some math to figure out the stitch count appropriate to the lace pattern, and get started. With this pattern I knew I needed to add selvedge stitches to keep the edges from curling.

Did the yarn and/or color play a large role in guiding the design?

The color is sooo very important! I have always loved teal, and I originally made this for myself.

What were your favorite qualities of Ensemble Light?

As this is a silk and cashmere blend, there is a slight difference in how each fiber absorbs the dye – there is a beautiful depth of color that adds dimension to a flat knit.

What other pieces that you’ve designed in Artyarns yarns are you most happy with?

One of my very first pieces published in Vogue Knitting Magazine was a lace coat (#15 Lace Coat, Vogue Knitting Holiday 2008) and I just loved working with the yarn and the amazing variety of colors. The following year I had fallen in love with a deep red in Artyarns Cashmere Sock and decided to work up a pair of mittens, they ended up in Vogue Knitting Fall 2009 and Vogue Knitting: Mittens and Gloves. More recently I am so proud to have had pieces included in all of Iris Schreier’s One + One books, every one of which has been quite popular.

 

You can find Lisa on Ravelry as nycknitr. And guess what? She is offering Artyarns blog readers $2 off on the pattern with coupon code ARTYARNS!

Today we have a special guest post from Evelyn, who designed a gorgeous shawl out of Ensemble Glitter Light color 195 silver. Artyarns loves working with independent designers. Please contact us if you are a designer interested in a collaboration!

I had water in mind when I started designing the Ruscella Shawl.  I was inspired by the thought of a summer vacation on the beach, walking in the water with a warm breeze sweeping over the ocean, watching the waves leave their ripple marks on the sand.  The two border patterns have a wavy look and the name of the pattern is Ruscella, which means a stream or a brook in Italian. Working with the Ensemble Light yarn felt like water flowing through my fingers.

 

This simple construction makes this shawl a quick knit. The border is worked first, over 29 stitches to begin with (a few increases within the 16 row repeat takes it to 32 stitches at the center of it.) Stitches are then picked up on the side of the shawl to form its body. This pattern comes in 3 sizes and the first 2 can be worked using only one skein of the Ensemble Light Glitter. The smaller size has a few special elements: a hem and an i-cord to tie it and keep it in place. For the larger size, using a skein or two of the Artyarns Beaded Silk Light for the border and switching to the Ensemble Light Glitter for the body would make an absolutely stunning piece.

 

I’m in love with how beautifully the lace stitches came out in this yarn and how the silver glitter adds a feel of luxury, something very special – a piece to cherish for years to come. I love this bold colorway (color 195) of red and purple blending throughout the rows. This project could also easily be turned into a wedding shawl with in an ivory or white colorway (color 250). The large skein makes it easy to work this project. You will cut the yarn only when you are done with the bind off!

Let this design inspire you and take you to your happy place.

Evelyn is offering a special discount for Artyarns blog readers! Get 10% off on the Ruscella Shawl with coupon code JUNE2014.  Valid until June 30th.

The May contest starts today!  We’ll choose two winners to each receive one Duets Kit or Duets Silk Kit in the colorways Ocean Life (left) and Silver Lining (right). These are brand new kits that incorporate two of our yarns in different weights.  Duets contains one skein of Silk Halo twisted together with Supermerino, while Duets Silk contains Regal Silk and Supermerino.  They are both gorgeous in the skein, and in the finished product, as well!  The labels on the kits contain a website and coupon code to retrieve the patterns for free.  Iris designed two complimentary patterns for the kits – a cowl and a scarf:

Are you interested in winning this month’s prize? If so, please tell us your favorite Artyarns color - what inspires you about this color?  What does it remind you of – the beach? A fruit stand in Mexico? A sunset you once saw in Wyoming?  Leave a comment below with your entry.  We will choose our favorite response. The criteria are for your post to be interesting, descriptive, and genuine  - so write carefully and colorfully! We will choose and announce the winners May 29th.