Archive for the ‘Original Pattern’ Category

Jolie with Pointy Sticks

August 18, 2012

Well! It only took me AGES, but I finally have a little collection of accessory patterns available, just in time for autumn.

I’ve talked a little about the philosophy behind this collection as I’ve worked on it, but I’m going to mention it again. The idea behind this collection was to create a somewhat cohesive set of accessories that could be mixed and matched to offset a fall and winter wardrobe. Like most knitters, I have an absolute ton of hats and cowls and mitts and such, but they’re often knit in isolation from one another and can’t really be worn together without making me look a little crazy. Watching old movies, one of the things that struck me about the curated wardrobes of the actresses was how well the accessories worked together. I wanted to create small patterns using minimal amounts of luxury yarn that would create a set of accessories that could be worn as part of a well matched wardrobe.

Myrna 3

Myrna cowl and mitts

I’ve listed two sets as individual patterns, meaning that while there are six patterns listed for the collection, there are actually instructions for eight different accessories: two hats, two cowls, two shawls, one set of mitts, and a cravat.

So let’s talk a little about the patterns! You’ve seen Rosa and Dorothy before.

Rosa and Dorothy

Rosa has been updated to include a second, larger size, and a second suggested yarn. Both suggested yarns are from Rocky Mountain Dyeworks. I love the rich colors that Hasmi, the creative force behind Rocky Mountain Dyeworks, teases out of fibers. The original red Rosa was knit in Bow Falls Fingering, a tight BFL. The new version is knit in Kicking Horse Sock, a merino/bamboo blend with a soft hand and oodles of drape. I asked Hasmi if she had any colors suggestive of a yellow rose, and she dyed me THREE absolutely gorgeous shades, which I alternated to create a subtle gradient from light to dark. I absolutely love the result. If you previously purchased Rosa, you should have received an update to the pattern, and if you wish to purchase the whole collection, the price of Rosa will be automatically discounted at purchase.

Dorothy is included in this collection as well, the only way to purchase the pattern through Knitting Kninja. Unlike my other shawl patterns, Dorothy is a raglan shawl, which makes it easy to drape over the shoulders and wear. It’s also easy to wrap around as a scarf. I used Knit Picks Imagination sock yarn for this version, an alpaca blend that adds a fuzzy halo to your knitting. Each section is fast and fun to knit, with a great deal of texture.


Clara is a bobble and lace hat. I don’t always love bobbles, but there’s something about a bobble hat that I adore. I have a saved picture in my files from ages ago of a bobble hat with diamond lace and I knew I wanted to make something similar one day. Clara is that something similar. It’s a one size hat, because the lace makes it very stretchy in order to fit a wide range of head sizes. Clara’s lace comes together in the decreases to make a star shaped top that just added to the fun little details. Knit in Sanguine Gryphon Traveller, it’s a warm hat despite the holes. I suggest substituting Cephalopod Yarns or Verdant Gryphon Traveller. Each skein is enough to make at least two hats.


Edith is a beret and cravat set knit in A Verb for Keeping Warm Metamorphosis. Metamorphosis is a gorgeous silk/merino blend with a somewhat rustic hand. The beret is covered in little twisted stitch cables that interlock and wind up the hat. They are echoed slightly in the ruffle cravat. The hat comes in two styles, a shallow beret (shown) and a slouchier version for those who want a little more substance. You can make a shallow beret and a cravat in any size from just one skein of yarn, which makes this a good value for an expensive and luxurious yarn.


Ida is a colorwork cowl knit in the inevitable Malabrigo yarns. Inevitable, because, let’s face it, I love Malabrigo. I am not the best at colorwork, so the thick Malabrigo Worsted made this a breeze, since it knits up fast and limits the amount of colorwork you actually need to do. Stranded colorwork meant a lot of loose strands inside the cowl and I was worried about snagging, so I used some Malabrigo Lace to knit a lining. If you haven’t knit with Lace, it’s kitten soft and just a delight against the skin, which means that my cowl is unbelievably warm and soft. I made it a bit oversized to compensate for the extreme warmth of a stranded, lined merino cowl.


Finally, Myrna. Myrna hasn’t gotten a lot of attention on Ravelry since I added it, but in some ways, it’s my favorite pattern in the lot. Knit in Sanguine Gryphon Bugga!, I wanted to utilize what I think is the absolutely perfect stitch quality of the yarn. It knits up more neatly than almost any other yarn I’ve worked with, and I wanted to show off the color and quality of the yarn. Myrna is knit on small needles to create a neat, stretchy set of mitts with negative ease. There is nothing fancy about these mitts other than the yarn and the button tab. They’re simple as can be, but perhaps because of that, they’re my favorite to wear. The matching cowl uses stripes of stockinette and a textured slip stitch lace pattern that creates little half moons all around. Another button tab pulls the cowl down in front and turns the stripes into a gentle accordion shape.

The whole collection is available for US $16.00.

Dear Jane

May 2, 2012

Dear Jane 2012 1

Spring has sprung here in the Bay Area, as you can see by my delphiniums above! And I’m celebrating with a long delayed release – Dear Jane is back! I originally designed this hat for now defunct Sanguine Gryphon, and the yarn I got to use, Codex, was and is one of my favorites ever. Sadly, when the Sanguine Gryphon dissolved, Codex went with it. I went on a crazy buying spree in the weeks before the company closed its doors, but while I may have a supply of Codex for some time to come, it seemed wrong to release the pattern with a yarn so nearly impossible to obtain.

Dear Jane was designed with Codex in mind, and as it was a unique yarn, I wanted to find something that could live up to its shine, drape, and strength. There are a lot of single ply merino/silk blends out there, but Codex was a BFL/silk blend, and the longer fibers of the BFL lent it a strength that you just won’t get in a similar merino yarn. Enter Slick. As you probably know if you’ve read this blog in the past, I’m a huge fan of local-to-me A Verb for Keeping Warm. And Verb introduced their own BFL/silk blend last year. It’s a multi-ply yarn with a slightly different weight than Codex, but if anything could work in its stead, I figured Slick was the yarn.

Dear Jane 2012 4

I chose Thai Iced Tea as the color. Man, I love that color on every single Verb base. It comes out slightly differently on base to base and from time to time, and I have yet to see an iteration that I don’t love entirely. The yarn was a delight to knit with, and I think it has just the right amount of drape that is needed for this sort of turban-hat. The new pattern includes a small photo tutorial about how to thread the ribbons through the eyelet holes. For cost reasons, I tried to keep both sizes down to one skein of yarn, but it’s easy to adjust ribbon length or the amount of slouch up top to use the amount you want to use.

If you previously purchased Dear Jane through The Sanguine Gryphon and would like an updated copy of this pattern, please send an email and let me know.

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a female knitter must in all likelihood have a weakness for Jane Austen. When contemplating a literary design, Jane Fairfax of Emma sprang to mind. The name Dear Jane refers both to Jane’s introduction through her letters to her aunt and to the way she is clearly perceived by her author. The Dear Jane hat is modeled on fashionable Regency turbans, part of a trend in which the far reaches of the British Empire were treated as both exotic and tame. Ladies’ turbans were ubiquitous, fashionable, and seemed rather daring to their wearers. What looked like a turban was really a hat, sewn into shape and prêt-à-porter. Dear Jane is similarly easy to wear. The unusual construction results in a hat you can pull on and style in a variety of different ways just by tightening or loosening the ribbons. Perfect for a girl who can use a little romantic spice in her life!

This hat has a very unusual construction in that you begin with a long ribbon knit in Tunisian rib, then pick up the brim stitches from the center of the ribbon before joining to knit in the round. The dangling ribbon ends are eventually woven through the large eyelets placed at strategic points along the hat body. The ribbon can be woven through in a large mock cable as directed, or straight, if so desired, and it can be used to adjust the shape of the hat as well by pulling tight or leaving loose. Crown length is given as slouchy, but can easily be adjusted for desired style and length. The new version of the pattern includes a small photo tutorial for how to thread the knitted ribbon through the hat.

Dear Jane 2012 3

Adult S/M (20-21 inches), Adult L (22-23 inches)
17 (19) inches at brim


  • 1 (1) skein A Verb for Keeping Warm Slick (70% Superwash Blue-faced Leicester, 30% Silk; 240 yds per 4oz skein); shown in Thai Iced Tea. Note: One skein may cut it close for size L, so it would be wise to purchase a second skein for insurance.
  • U.S. size 4 (3.5 mm) needles
  • U.S. size 6 (4 mm) 16” circular needle
  • 1 set U.S. size 6 (4 mm) double pointed needles OR long circular needle for Magic Loop
  • 3 split stitch markers OR waste yarn
  • start of round marker
  • tapestry needle

19 sts/29 rows = 4 inches in stockinette st on size 6 needles

Buy it now for U.S. $5.00

Mango Lassi

April 30, 2012

I don’t know what is wrong with me – I released this pattern weeks ago and completely forgot to add it to the blog. It’s been a little bit crazy around here, but still, that seems particularly silly. I’ll be rereleasing Dear Jane tomorrow, too, so stay tuned!

Mango Lassi gold 1
A mango lassi is a hot weather yogurt based drink from India, refreshing and relaxing. Mango Lassi is a simple knit tank top, relaxing to make and wear, and easy to style. Knit in a drapey fingering weight yarn, the top breathes and makes use of the Outlast © to keep you cool and comfortable in the spring and summer heat. An easy twisted stitch textural argyle pattern in the bottom corner of the tank adds interest to the knitting and a cute detail for later. Knitted in one piece to the bottom of the V back detail, Mango Lassi is then knit flat with the V back becoming the two tank top straps. Rather than place all the weight of the top on the two buttons, the straps are seamed to the garment and decorative buttons added afterward. This is a great project to show off your favorite buttons!

Mango Lassi back 1

XS, S, M, L, 1X, 2X, 3X
Actual size at bust: 29 (33, 37, 41, 45, 49, 53) inches


  • 2 (2, 2, 3, 3. 3. 3) skeins Lorna’s Laces Solemate [55% Superwash merino, 30% Outlast ©, 15% nylon; 425 yds per 100gm skein], shown in colorway Satsuma
  • U.S. size 2 (2.75 mm) 24” circular needle
  • U.S. size 3 (3.25 mm) 24” circular needle
  • U.S. size CD (3mm) crochet hook
  • 3 stitch markers, one distinct for start of round
  • cable needle
  • tapestry needle
  • waste yarn or holders
  • 2 large decorative buttons

Mango Lassi outside 1

24 sts/31 rows = 4 inches in stockinette st on size 3 needles

Tech edited by Lauren Cross

Buy it now for US $5.00

Grand Lake

March 21, 2012

Grand Lake, the shawl I designed for A Verb for Keeping Warm’s ProVerbial Club, is now available to everyone! There’s a lovely new sample, knit by a very talented sample knitter, and a new size, and some suggestions for modifications.

Grand Lake II 11

The new sample is knit in A Verb for Keeping Warm High Twist in Filigree, very different from the Floating used to create the original. Floating is a soft, haloed blend of alpaca, cashmere, and silk. High Twist is a tight twisted blend of merino and silk, strong and a bit ropelike before blocking. I think the way the pattern looks in each of these yarns gives a pretty good range to demonstrate the difference between different weights and different textures and how they affect a pattern. The High Twist is the light yellow, and the Floating is the warm pink.

Grand Lake 1.1

This shawl remains one of my personal favorite designs. I got to use so many beloved stitch patterns and ideas, and I think the end result is really pretty and special. The shawl is a dressy one, but as I think our second shoot demonstrates, it can be worn casually, too.

Grand Lake II 1

Although the stitch inspirations for Grand Lake come from fish scales and seashells, the end result reminded me strongly of architecture, specifically old movie theater architecture with its arches and flourishes and decorative motifs. Near Lake Merritt in Oakland, there is a 1920s movie palace called the Grand Lake. Kept open as a labor of love by its proprietors, the Grand Lake Theater is an Oakland landmark and a little piece of Americana with its beautifully cluttered mishmash of architectural styles. Wear your Grand Lake to a movie night and experience a little of the glamour of the old time movie palaces.

Grand Lake II 3

Small: 52 inches wide, 21 inches in length
Large: 64 inches wide, 23 inches in length


  • Small: 1 skein A Verb for Keeping Warm Floating 70% Alpaca, 20% Cashmere, 10% Silk; 400 yds per 100g skein
  • Large: 1 skein A Verb for Keeping Warm High Twist 70% Merino, 30% Silk; 660 yds per 100gm skein
  • Optional: 40 yards same weight yarn in contrast color for edging. Shown in Rocky Mountain Dyeworks Mistaya Lace.
  • Small: U.S. size 6 (4 mm) 24” or longer circular needle
  • Large U.S. size 5 (3.75 mm) 24” or longer circular needle
  • tapestry needle
  • stitch marker(s) (optional)

Grand Lake II 15

Small: 20 sts/29 rows = 4 inches in stockinette st on size 6 needles
Large: 21 sts/34 rows = 4 inches in stockinette st on size 5 needles

Tech edited by Lauren Cross.

Buy it now for $6.50 US

Orange you glad

February 19, 2012

Pantone’s Color of the Year for 2012 is Tangerine Tango, an orangey red or a red orange that screams, “HEY! I’m right HERE!”.

It is a coincidence that my new sweater is a similar red orange, but not an inappropriate one. I’m still here! I’m still hard at work. I’ve just reached pathological levels of mostly happy busyness. This frenetic, happy color seems apropos of my feelings lately, and I think it’s just gorgeous to boot.

The above sweater is of course the Jewel Lake Pullover, but for me this time, and with lengthened sleeves and torso. The yarn is Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Worsted in Poppy, and it is soft and cozy and warm. I really like Shepherd Worsted for its wooliness. A lot of superwash wools are smooth, slick, and quite different in texture than a wool that is untreated. I like that sort of texture quite well, but there’s something really special about the fuzziness of untreated wool, and Shepherd Worsted manages to maintain that quality. It comes in a whole mess of gorgeous colors to boot, but I had to pick the Poppy after realizing that I was drawn back to it every time. I’m so glad I did!

Audrey Totter

January 9, 2012

Happy New Year, y’all! It’s been a busy holiday season over at Kninja Headquarters, but I think the coming year should be a really great one. As you probably have heard, the Sanguine Gryphon closed its doors at the end of 2011. This is sad news for all of us who loved the company, but the two new companies (The Verdant Gryphon and Cephalopod Yarns) rising phoenixlike from the ashes promise new temptations and beauty for all.

The pattern rights for Sanguine Gryphon patterns reverted to the designers when the company dissolved, and I am now rereleasing Audrey Totter through Knitting Kninja. Both companies will still be carrying the Bugga! yarn used for the body of the dress, and both will have some lovely laceweights on offer for the sash. If you previously purchased Audrey Totter through The Sanguine Gryphon and you would like a copy of the Knitting Kninja version, please let me know through email or Ravelry message (username Jejune).

I am very excited about the advent of these new companies, and I hope you’ll be seeing more Knitting Kninja designs using their yarns in future!

I am addicted to murder. Don’t get me wrong; I’ve never killed, but I love a good murder mystery, and I love a good noir film. I have a certain sympathy with the dames, broads, dolls, and molls of the noir genre. They may be bad, but in the words of Jessica Rabbit, they’re drawn that way. Every femme fatale needs a tight fitting dress that makes her look like a million dangerous bucks, and that’s what Audrey Totter is. Knit simply in mostly stockinette fit, the design uses dart shaping and negative ease to cling to every curve. The lace sash is knit separately and joined to the dress afterward for a retro look that is to die for.

Woman’s XS (S, M, L, XL, 2X, 3X)
Bust size 28 (32, 36, 40, 44, 48, 52) inches
Bust: 26 (30, 34, 38, 42, 45.5, 49) inches

* 3 (3, 3, 4, 4, 5, 6) skeins The Sanguine Gryphon Bugga!
[70% superwash merino, 20% cashmere, 10% nylon; 412 yds per
113 gram skein], shown in colorway Longhorned Beetle
* 1 (1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 2) skein(s) The Sanguine Gryphon Gaia Lace
[40% Mongolian cashmere/60% silk; 420 yds per 56 gram skein],
shown in colorway Cobblestone Mazes
* U.S. size 4 (3.5 mm) 24” or 32” circular needle
* U.S. size 5 (3.75 mm) needles (straight or circular)
* U.S. size E (3.5 mm) crochet hook
* 5 stitch markers, one distinct
* tapestry needle
* waste yarn or 3 stitch holders

22.5 sts/32 rows = 4 inches in stockinette stitch in Bugga on size 4 needles
12.5 sts/25 rows = 4 inches in Vine Lace stitch in Gaia Lace on size 5 needles

Buy it now for $6.50 US

One thing more! I will also be rereleasing the pattern Dear Jane, previously available through The Sanguine Gryphon. However, that pattern was knit in Sanguine Gryphon Codex, a yarn that will not be regularly offered through either company. (Sad tears here – that yarn was a real favorite of mine!) I am planning on reworking the pattern in a currently available yarn of similar fibers offered through another company and Dear Jane will be rereleased when the math is all done and the sample knit in the slightly different weight yarn. Thanks for your patience.

Introducing a couple of bad girls, and a discount

October 16, 2011

I am so excited to finally be able to tell you all about Audrey Totter, the Bad Girl. Audrey’s part of the Sanguine Gryphon Film Noir line for Fall 2011, and most definitely the sexiest thing I’ve ever knit! When the call went out for Film Noir inspired ideas for fall, I think I jumped up and down with excitement. I am an old movie junkie with the entire Thin Man collection on DVD, and for the last few years I’ve become deeply obsessed with mystery stories of any sort. Many of my favorite movies are noir, and I love the look of the period as much as the actual content.

I am not the world’s fastest knitter, and I am trying to know my own limitations, so although my brain caught fire at the prospect of making noir themed clothing, I decided to limit myself to one submission. Although at first I was drawn to creating menswear for a detective type, ultimately, I knew my sympathies lay with the femme fatale. And you know, I’ve really, really been wanting to design a dress for ages, so…

I immediately started looking at pictures of femmes fatale in dresses from my favorite movies. Some of these dresses were surprisingly sensible compared to what I was imagining, such as Barbara Stanwyck’s costumes from Double Indemnity. She wears a lot of twin sets and suits in that film and of course looks like a million bucks, but I was aiming to clothe a sultry nightclub singer, not a housewife, and I wanted something more revealing and clingy. There’s a sultry nightclub singer played by Penny Singleton in After the Thin Man, but her costumes are actually kind of silly looking. After a while I sort of went out on my own and started trying to look at period costume and make it more sultry and more like the picture in my head. What ultimately inspired me was this photo of the Boswell Sisters, a singing group that became popular in the ’30s.

I’m not sure which sister is in the center of that photo, but I do know I loved her dress right away. I’d never seen a dress with a sash threaded through it like that, and while the Boswell dress is not tight and sultry, the possibilities were very interesting. A sash threaded through a keyhole like that creates an exaggerated hourglass, highlighting the shape of the figure. (Also, seriously, I want those shoes. And the ukelele is pretty rad, too.)

This is what I drew.

I know the point of a garment sketch is to convey the idea of the garment, but let me tell you, I agonized over how terrible those hands look. I feel the need to put a disclaimer that I can actually draw, even if I didn’t do such a great job here. At a certain point, I was realizing I was spending all my time on the sketch and not enough on the actual submission and I let it go, but I am still not over those stupid hands.

My original idea was to knit it in a worsted weight yarn with a laceweight sash, but the wise folks over at the Sanguine Gryphon HQ knew better and chose Bugga! for the dress body instead. Bugga!, although thinner than I had planned, is actually a fabulous choice for a dress. It’s a hardwearing yarn (my son has Bugga! mitts that he’s worn for several successive winters and he is HARD on them) but soft as can be with a merino/cashmere/nylon blend, saturated, and the nylon content that can be very helpful in maintaining wear and shape in a garment. The sash is knit in Gaia Lace, a seriously luxurious cashmere/silk blend.

Despite being a dress, this is not a slow or a difficult knit. It’s done in the round to the armpits from the bottom up, and shaped with placed darts. The stretchy fabric created by the Bugga! hugs the curves with negative ease, but I wrote a very little positive ease into the waist so that the dress won’t cling at the tummy. The sash is knit separately in one piece and seamed to the neckline at the end. I’d originally planned to bind it off onto the dress, but when I tried, it looked absolutely terrible, so a little seaming it is!

The lace used for the sash is a very simple Vine Lace repeat to keep it all nice and easy. With very few rows to memorize, the lace breezes by. I was worried about whether I’d finish to the deadline because the idea of knitting a whole dress with sport and laceweight yarn was intimidating as all get out, but no sleeves and open lace makes for a pretty straightforward knit!  When I’d finished, I asked Mr. Kninja to take a picture of me in the dress before we sent it off, and he got super excited and asked our neighbor if we could take the picture in front of the neighbor’s Model A.

I don’t quite have the enviable proportions of the model used by the Sanguine Gryphon, but the stretchy fabric means it fits me too! You can buy the Audrey Totter pattern at the Sanguine Gryphon website for $7.00. Please do check out the rest of the Film Noir collection, as it is AMAZING! I love so many of these patterns and wish I had time to knit more of them. As it is, I want to knit both hats, and I think I can probably swing that!

I mentioned another bad girl. That would be our new rat, Amelia. I didn’t blog about this when it happened because I was so depressed about it, but one of our rats, Daisy, died some months ago after what should have been a routine surgery to remove a benign tumor. Her sister, Rose, has been kind of down since then, and since rats are healthier with cage mates we decided to get two new baby rats to keep her company. They came home on Tuesday night and on Wednesday morning we introduced them to Rose and put them in the big cage. It went great until I checked on all the rats a short while later and found only two of them, Clio and Rose. Amelia was loose. We spent a very upsetting day and a half searching and attempting to lure her out and feeling discouraged, but on Thursday afternoon, something nibbled my toes when I stood in front of the couch. I peeked under and there was Amelia! She took off for behind the piano, but once we knew where she was, catching her was not that hard. She’s in rat reform school now and I’ll post adorable baby rat pictures soon.

And finally the discount! I know we’re all deep in holiday knitting mode, and to aid in that, I’m offering 15% off any Knitting Kninja pattern from now through the end of November. Just use the coupon code jumpstart at checkout and you can get 15% off any pattern or ebook.

Happy knitting!

Treasures from Verb

August 1, 2011

It’s no secret that I love A Verb for Keeping Warm‘s yarns, and I live close enough to A Verb for Keeping Warm’s brick and mortar store that I can go there on a semi-regular basis. This is dangerous and wonderful all at once. I want ALL THE YARNS! Luckily, I have some small modicum of self restraint, and I am holding off from buying ALL THE YARNS until I’ve used up some of the yarns I already have. That doesn’t mean I haven’t gotten to play with Verb yarns in the meantime, though.

This year, Verb started its first yarn (or fiber) club, complete with four shawl patterns by four designers. I was designer number four, and I got to knit in the lovely and amazing Verb Floating, which is a delectable blend of alpaca, silk, and cashmere. Seriously, this stuff makes kitten fur feel like sandpaper. The color was an exclusive club shade of gorgeous corally pink, 2 Gems and a Pearl. I am not usually a fan of pink, nor do I think it flatters my skin tones, but Kristine managed to dye this yarn a pink that looks great on pretty much everyone. I have no idea how this is possible, but there you go.

I was excited by the fact that Verb is a local to me company, and I sought inspiration in the bay. One of my very favorite lace patterns is the one called Split Leaf in the first Barbara Walker treasury. Although I know it is an ostensibly arboreal pattern, I’ve always thought it looked more like scales. I also adapted an umbrella themed stitch pattern to create what I thought looked like a seashell edging. Fish scales and seashells, but the end result actually looked more like the architecture of old movie palaces than something sea related. The name of the pattern, Grand Lake, is after the beautiful old Grand Lake Theater in Oakland.

Getting to use such a luscious yarn and getting to work so many of my long held favorite ideas was a treat. Thank you so much to A Verb for Keeping Warm for including me in this first club!

The other Verb related object I have to show you is this Felicity hat knit in Verb Toasted.

I am the last knitter in the universe to make the Felicity hat, but it seems to be universally flattering to everyone. I love this hat so much and I will wear it often this winter. The color is Tidepool, and it is so so pretty. It reminds me of a smouldering volcano more than anything. I think I messed up the decreases of this hat somehow – mine certainly do not look like the ones I’ve seen in other people’s photographs – but I still love how it looks and wears. My husband told me I looked like a whaler and then a Jacobin on the day I finished it, and I’m choosing to take both remarks as compliments, because this is one damn cute chapeau.

What’s next for me in Verb yarn? I don’t exactly know, but I have this terribly inspiring skein of Creating just waiting for me to come up with something!

Jewel Lake Pullover

June 17, 2011

I am a very lucky knitter. Seriously. I have gotten to work with a lot of my favorite yarns and yarn companies in recent times and to that list I now get to add Lorna’s Laces. I bought myself some Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock waaaay back on my Piecation trip as a souvenir, and I was so impressed with how the yarn was soft, but also sturdy and hard wearing.  It was also a gorgeous color. (Firefly, a sort of neon yellow tinged with green.)

Recently, I got to make a sweater out of Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Worsted. It is soft and hard wearing like its sister yarn, but much, much squishier. I am in love. I did not get to keep the sample sweater, but that’s OK, because I want one for myself in one of Lorna’s Laces beautiful oranges – maybe a red orange, like Brick, or a bright tangerine, like Satsuma. But orange.

Sorry, I digress. This is the Jewel Lake Pullover, and also could be called How I Spent My May.

I have had this idea in my sketchbook for some time now. It’s not a complicated design, but the idea stuck with me longer than most ideas do.

This nice thing about a simple design is that it allows the yarn to really shine. I hadn’t imagined Jewel Lake in a variegated yarn, as you see above, but the Lorna’s Laces yarn really brings it to life. I loved the way the colors shifted while I was knitting – the colors (the colorway is called Navy Pier) were harmonious enough to look great even where they pooled, but different enough to sparkle. I thought it looked like especially beautiful water.

Enough chatter for now! Here are the details.

One of my family’s favorite places to go on the weekends is Tilden Park in Berkeley. Within Tilden, there is a small body of water called Jewel Lake. It’s a short hike to the lake, but there is such variety both on the way and at the lake itself that we never tire of it. The beautiful watery colors of the Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Worsted reminded me of happy mornings spent clambering around the lake, looking at snakes and frogs and turtles. A simple top down boat neck pullover, I hope Jewel Lake will be inspiring to you as well. Dressed up with a skirt or down with jeans, worn with a ribbon or without, this is a top that can see you through the season.

28 (32, 36, 40, 44, 48, 52) inches at bust
Shown in size 32 with negative ease


  • 4 (4, 5, 5, 5. 6. 6) skeins Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Worsted 100% Superwash Wool; 225 yds per 4oz skein, shown in colorway Navy Pier
  • U.S. size 6 (4 mm) 24” or 32” circular needle
  • 1 set U.S. size 6 (4 mm) dpns OR long circular needle for Magic Loop
  • 5 stitch markers, one distinct
  • tapestry needle
  • waste yarn
  • 2 yards of 1-1.5” wide wireless ribbon (optional)

19 sts/28 rows = 4 inches in stockinette stitch

Tech edited by Lauren Cross

Buy it now for U.S. $6.50

Arcadian Shawl

May 25, 2011

Arcadian Shawl modeled 1

I’m very happy to be able to release the Arcadian Shawl! This has been one of my favorite projects to date, helped in no small part by the beautiful yarn from A Verb for Keeping Warm. Seriously, if you can knit this in the suggested yarns, I highly recommend it, as it’s a rewarding experience. And what’s more, if you hurry, the Alpaca Silk is May’s Dyer Special from Verb! I think the natural dyes really make something special with this shawl.

Arcadian Shawl nasturtiums

Arcadia, before it was a city in Southern California, was a region in Ancient Greece. After the collapse of the Roman Empire, Arcadia became a concept, an idealized fantasy of perfect unspoiled rusticity. In the imaginations of western Europeans, Arcadia remained pristine, utopic, populated by happy shepherds and beautiful shepherdesses. The Arcadian Shawl is so named for its own faux rusticity, in which gorgeous luxury yarns are transformed into a simple but beautiful wrap. The lace edging for the shawl requires very little yarn, making this a great project for using up leftovers.

Arcadian Shawl detail

Small: 55 inches wide, 18 inches long (shown in Small)
Medium: 63 inches wide, 20 inches long
Large: 78 inches wide, 25 inches long


  • 1 (1, 2) skeins A Verb for Keeping Warm Alpaca Silk Yarn 70% Alpaca, 30% Silk; 310 yds per 112g skein for MC – shown in Magic Bean
  • 1 (1, 1) skein A Verb for Keeping Warm Metamorphosis 70% Superwash Merino, 30% Silk; 385 yds per 115 g skein for CC – shown in Nugget
  • U.S. size 6 (4 mm) 24” (or longer) circular needle
  • tapestry needle
  • stitch markers

16 sts/28 rows = 4 inches in stockinette using Alpaca Silk

Tech edited by Lauren Cross

Buy it now for $6.50 US.