Today the the first day of our next Curious Make Along with Franklin Habit.
From the unique shape to the gorgeous play of color, the Temple of Flora has intrigued me and had me longing to cast on, but my favorite part of this pattern is the use of the mosaic technique.
I am a huge fan of colorwork patterns and mosaic knitting is one of my favorite ways to add colorful designs. Using one color at a time makes mosaic knitting one of the easiest colorwork techniques, and it eliminates the worry of puckering due to strands pulled too tight. Additionally, because these patterns are created with slipped stitches, it makes the patterns more geometric in nature and the charts are easier to read and follow.
I have already cast on and I have been using this project to
practice my backwards knitting skills. What is knitting backwards you ask? It is exactly what it sounds like and rather than turning your work to purl the next row, you knit “back” over the stitches. It is a particularly useful skill when knitting a small number of stitches with two colors of yarn, as it keeps the yarn from tangling when you turn at the end of every row. Want to learn more? Our friend Chilly Dog is hosting a video event on April 11th to teach you this useful technique. You can learn more here.
If you want to knit along with us we have a few kits left, so order a kit and knit along, we can’t wait to see how your colors play together, and don’t forget to tag your project #curiouskal and #templeofflora
The key to what, you ask? Success? Change? Happiness? Love?
Choose your goal and move forward stitch by stitch as you create the repeating large-scale skeleton key motif in the Unlocked cowl.
In this KAL sponsored by skacel, Kyle Kunnecke guides you with helpful video instruction that clearly demonstrates two-handed knitting, working with two colors at once, and his favorite technique, locking floats.
HiKoo® Concentric is used in this project because not only does it shift in color, but it is also made of luxurious 100% Baby Alpaca. The resulting fabric is soft, lightweight, and cozy.
We will venture into the world of large expanses of negative space within the motif of this cowl. This provides an excellent opportunity to learn (and master!) locked floats in the round.
The Unlocked cowl is worked from the bottom up and requires knitting knowledge including: cast-on/bind-off, knit/purl, reading charts, securing/locking floats; all on circular needles.
Join the Knit-Along and spend time with other makers in the forum. Kyle also designed a very limited edition project bag for this KAL. Want one? The first customers to purchase two cakes of HiKoo® Concentric will receive the bag and a custom stitch marker in addition to a download code for the pattern as a thank you for signing up early.
Now through March 31, 2020, any customer who purchases two cakes of HiKoo® Concentric will receive the pattern as a free gift.
In the forum, Kyle will check in and offer information and support as you craft your way to completing this beautiful cowl.
For an introduction to what goes on in this column, click here.
I haven’t finished messing around with artfelt–in fact, I can’t wait to show you what I’ve been up to. But I’m going to have to wait, because today another project needs the spotlight.
We’ve been wanting to do a knit-along in this column for ages. We’ve waited, though, until the perfect yarn appeared for the idea we had in mind.
This is the yarn.
It’s called Infinito, from Zitron, and it’s a 100% extra fine, fingering weight merino–and it’s a Makers’ Mercantile exclusive.
Infinito is a gradient yarn, and what I love about it is the sllllllllllloooooooooowwwwww nature of the color change. In this colorway (Number 2), the skein begins with a deep purple and shifts, almost imperceptibly, to a handsome lavender as the strand progresses. (Note: The white bit that makes it look like the Bride of Frankenstein isn’t actually knit–it shows you where the color repeat begins. Very useful for multiple-skein projects!)
Because the shift is so gradual, I knew I could use this for lace without any risk of the color obscuring the patterning. And with the generous yardage (550 yards, or 500 meters, in a single 100 gram hank), I suspected I could also do something really impressive with one skein.
I also had a hankering to dip into waters where I love to swim–my collection of knitting manuals from the 19th century.
So that’s going to be our knit-along. We’re going to work, together, through a 19th century pattern. Here is our goal:
It’s a scarf, quite a luxurious one, worked in one piece from beginning to end. It’s about five feet long by about nine inches wide. As you’ll see however, the basic pattern is easily adapted to change both the length and the width. At this size, it requires one skein of Zitron Infinito.
Where did this pattern come from? I’m not going to reveal all just yet, but I’ll tell you this much: it’s a (very) light adaptation by a nineteenth century master of our craft; and as the knit-along progresses, you’ll learn much more about her.
On four successive Fridays in February, I’ll be releasing another piece of the pattern. Along the way, there will be historic information and tips about knitting lace, including a look at how and why this design works.
New lace knitters with an appetite for adventure will find it a fun challenge and skill-builder; veteran lace knitters may be surprised by some of the unusual maneuvers employed in fabric. There will be both charts and written directions, so you may take your pick.
This isn’t a superfine lace, you’ll note. The yarn is a fingering weight, and I used a US size 4 needle to work it. Your needle size may vary, of course, based upon your swatch (ahem). More on swatching to come.
All the while, participants will be able to interact with each other and the supportive Makers’ Mercantile hosts in the KAL forum. The exact location will be announced; in the meantime, watch the Makers’ Mercantile blog and join the shop’s mailing list.
At the end, as a finale, I will publish a facsimile of the original printed pattern, along with notes about how to read it, and how our modern version differs from the designer’s vision.
No registration is required. Supplies of Zitron Infinito are (how ironic) finite, so do go and buy your skein as soon as possible to be sure you get the colorway you like best.
I do hope you’ll join us. To tempt you, here are a few more photographs.
We’ve got plenty of room in the Time Machine. You can add the project to your Ravelry queue right here.
Tools and Materials Appearing in This Issue
Zitron Infinito (100% extra fine merino, 550 yards [500m] per 100g hank), shown in Colorway 2
He travels constantly to teach knitters at shops and guilds across the country and internationally; and has been a popular member of the faculties of such festivals as Vogue Knitting Live!, STITCHES Events, the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, Squam Arts Workshops, the Taos Wool Festival, Sock Summit, and the Madrona Fiber Arts Winter Retreat.
Franklin’s varied experience in the fiber world includes contributions of writing and design to Vogue Knitting, Yarn Market News, Interweave Knits, Interweave Crochet, PieceWork, Twist Collective; and a regular columns and cartoons for Mason-Dixon Knitting, PLY Magazine, Lion Brand Yarns, and Skacel Collection/Makers’ Mercantile. Many of his independently published designs are available via Ravelry.com.
He is the longtime proprietor of The Panopticon, one of the most popular knitting blogs on the Internet (presently on hiatus).
Franklin lives in Chicago, Illinois, cohabiting shamelessly with 15,000 books, a Schacht spinning wheel, four looms, and a colony of yarn that multiplies whenever his back is turned.