Thursday, November 24, 2016

Indie Design Gift Along 2016

Happy Thanksgiving to all my U.S. friends! I hope your day is full of good food and loved ones. I'm going to celebrate tomorrow with family coming up to Victoria from Seattle, but for today I'm working and thinking of how grateful I am for knitters and my designer colleagues. This community is something I couldn't have dreamed up. Not only do I get to interact with kind and enthusiastic knitters who use my patterns and attend my workshops, but I'm also among professionals who value collaboration and support. I'm so thankful for the encouragement and advice that has been given to me freely since I was a brand new designer. 

That spirit of mutual support is a big bright light to me, and the Indie Design Gift Along is an amazing example of it. If you're not familiar with the GAL, it's an enormous group sale (335 designers are participating!) and online knitting party. Participating designers are offering 25% off a specially-selected group of their indie patterns for one week. The idea is that these patterns are great for gift knitting, but you might just knit yourself a gift too! The sale is on now (use the code giftalong2016 to get your discount), and goes through November 30. But it isn't just the sale that's fun! There are also a huge number of Knit Alongs happening in the group and there will be so, so many prizes.

My sale bundle includes 16 of my most popular patterns (you can see a few of them above) and you can check out the whole bundle here. I'm hoping to get a little gift knitting in myself, and to make the experience a little more relaxing, I'm planning to knit from friends' patterns rather than designing my own. Part of the goal of the GAL is to allow designers to promote each other, so here are the patterns I'm hoping to knit and gift.

© K Good Photography
I tried this hat on at the local Victoria launch party for Within, a new book from Shannon Cook and Jane Richmond, and it had just the perfect amount of slouch and texture. I may leave off the pom pom, but I feel like it'll be a really fun and fast knit. It's called Tread and it's by Shannon Cook, and lucky us, the pattern is in her GAL bundle! (Though I'll admit, I do already have the book in print. It's gorgeous. Go look!) While I haven't knit it yet, I have had a good look over the pattern and it seems really straightforward, with lots of gorgeous images, three sizes, helpful hints, and links to additional resources. I also love a good, clean layout and it really delivers!

© Stephannie Tallent

The other pattern I'd like to knit up is the Cayucos Shawl by Stephannie Tallent. I just love the texture in the body of the shawl and that cabled/lace edging looks so fun (and gorgeous!) I also had a good look at this pattern, and I was so impressed! The pattern includes instructions for three gauges (lace, DK, and worsted), a single-color and two-color versions, and the texture and lace instructions are given in charted and written instructions. The pattern has all these great extra helpful things too, like a special chart and written instructions for swatching, tips for using up whatever quantity of yarn you've got on hand, and a clear description of how the construction works. I'm thinking I'll do mine in a woolly neutral.

I hope you'll be participating in the GAL too! Here are some links to get you started:
- Gift Along Ravelry Group
- Participating Designers Thread
- My GAL bundle 

Don't forget to use the code giftalong2016 to get the 25% discount and please post in the KAL/CAL forum threads, and use the hashtag #giftalong2016 for your social media posts. 

Happy gifting!

Friday, November 18, 2016

Rugged Knits Pattern Highlight: Wrapup Hoodie

I know a lot of us are starting to get deep into gift knitting, and those projects tend to be on the smaller side, but I want to share the Wrapup Hoodie with you. It's not a small project, but it is a fairly straight-forward one that I think you'll love for yourself or for someone particularly knit-worthy. This is a cardigan with all the practical features -- big, functional pockets, a roomy hood, a relaxed, loose fit that keeps the sleeves slender and the shoulders carefully shaped so it's sure to look great.

- I chose to work this hoodie in pieces so that mattress stitch seams would add structure to the DK weight superwash yarn I picked. Pieces also mean that the project doesn't get too cumbersome while you're working on it. 

- All the pieces are worked bottom-up with shaping. The waist shaping isn't dramatic, but it does nip in a bit for a flattering look.
- It's got drop-shoulder construction and short-row shaped shoulders that are seamed together at the end using mattress stitch.
- The pockets are worked separately and then sewn on using mattress stitch.
- The hood is worked at the very end after seaming is complete. It's worked by first picking up stitches along the collar, then shaped with increases and decreases, and joined at the top with three-needle bind-off.
- The bands and hood edging are worked all at once (so use a long circular needle to fit all the way around!)
- Bands are striped garter stitch, giving a subtle, but striking detail.
- Button loops are worked last and sewn on.

- This hoodie is designed to be worn with an oversized fit -- about 8-10 inches/20.5-25.5 cm of positive ease. That means it'll be comfortable and easy to move in.

- The sleeves are kept slender so the overall impression is of a flattering fit even though the body has so much positive ease.
- A hip-length silhouette makes this sweater great outerwear in mild climates.

I just had to have a couple very particular colours, so I used two different yarns for this one. The main colour is Baah Yarns Sonoma, and the contrast colour is Hazel Knits DK Lively. Both are superwash worsted spun Merino yarns with a whole lot of plies, a tight twist, and fantastic bounce. They work beautifully together. If you have a sweater quantity of one yarn, you may be able to use some stash leftovers for the contrast colour.

- Pick wool or wool blend yarn with a tight twist and a bunch of plies to help the sweater keep its shape. The seams offer some support, but I recommend avoiding very slippery yarns or those without memory like alpaca or silk because the sweater is long with a lot of fabric.
- DK weight sock yarns will give a similar look to the sample. Think Madelinetosh Tosh DK, Quince & Co. Phoebe, or Malabrigo Arroyo.
- For a more rustic, tweedy look, you could try Jamieson's Double Knitting, or, for a smooth, matte look, go for Brooklyn Tweed's new DK base - Arbor.

Those pockets are just perfection. I love the diagonal openings and subtle edging.

After your swatch is dry, hang it up for a day or so before measuring to check for vertical growth. Measure your gauge before and after to see if there's any change.

Be sure to use the hashtags #RuggedKnits, #WrapUpHoodie, and #AndreaRangelKnits when you post pics of your Wrapup Hoodie projects!


Finished Measurements

38 (411⁄4, 451⁄2, 483⁄4, 521⁄2, 561⁄4)” (96.5 (105, 115.5, 124, 133.5, 143) cm bust circumference with 13⁄4 (13⁄4, 13⁄4, 23⁄4, 23⁄4, 23⁄4)” (4.5 4.5, 4.5, 7, 7, 7 cm) overlap and 26 (261⁄4, 263⁄4, 273⁄4, 283⁄4, 2912)” (66 66.5, 68, 70.5, 73, 75 cm) long.

Intended to be worn with 8–10” (20.5–25.5 cm) of positive ease. 
Shown in size 411⁄4” (105 cm).

DK weight (#3 Light). 
Main Color (MC): 1626 (1774, 1951, 2066, 2230, 2408) yd (1487 1622, 1784, 1889, 2039, 2202 m). 
Contrast Color (CC): 86 (86, 87, 133, 136, 138) yd (78 78, 79, 121, 124, 126 m).

Shown here: 
Main Color: Baah Sonoma (100% super- wash merino wool; 234 yd 214 m/100 g): color Pecan (MC), 6 (7, 8, 8, 9, 9) skeins. 
Contrast Color: Hazel Knits Lively DK (90% merino wool, 10% nylon; 275 yd 251 m/130 g); color White Wing Dove (CC), 1 skein.


Size U.S. 4 (3.5 mm) straight, 60” (150 cm) long circular (cir), and pair of double-pointed (dpn). 
Size U.S. 5 (3.75 mm) straight and 24” (60 cm) long circular (cir). 
Adjust needle sizes if necessary to obtain the correct gauge.

Markers (m); tapestry needle; five 11⁄2” (38 mm) toggle buttons.


22 sts and 34 rows = 4” (10 cm) over St st using larger needles.

See it on Ravelry

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Clouds in a Blue Sky

Photos © Hanahlie Beise 2016
This week's blog post is a new pattern, Clouds in a Blue Sky. Exploring lace on an unexpected scale has always appealed to me, and this one adds texture and color to that exploration.

I picked Spincycle Yarns Knit Fast, Die Young for an unusual lace edge. It adds a moodiness to the geometry of the lace, and I adore that gradual change of color. The yarn is fairly dense and heavy, so it adds some weight to the edging.

For the body, I wanted a chunky yarn that would float and be pure comfort. Imperial Yarns Bulky 2 Strand is an un-spun roving that's light as air. It's very delicate while it's being knit (be gentle or you'll just pull it right apart), but it makes an incredibly cozy, lofty fabric when knit up. It's a tiny bit lighter (skinnier) than the Knit Fast, Die Young, but I stuck with the same needle size, so the gauge of the crescent body is looser than usual, and has a lovely drape despite also being so floaty.

Most of my testers chose to work this up in a single color, which works as well. The gauge is 3 sts = 1"/2.5 cm, so if you've got a soft wool yarn that works well at that gauge, go for it.

The shawl is worked bottom-up, so you'll cast on for the lace edging first. The ends of the lace are shaped, and the body is worked using a short row/decreasing method.

This is a really quick knit. It takes about 300 yards of yarn and some of my testers finished it in a day.  It would make a lovely gift, or just a special instant gratification knit for you!

If you'll be in Seattle this weekend, stop by the Spincycle booth to see this shawl in person and shop for the gorgeous edging yarn. The other colors are incredible.

I'll also be signing books at the YOTH booth on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016 at 1:30. Bring your copy of Rugged Knits to be signed or pick one up while you're there!

I'll be sending out a coupon for this pattern in my next weekly email newsletter, so if you haven't signed up and you'd like a special deal on this pattern, please subscribe now!

Finished Measurements 
Wingspan: 49 in/124.5 cm
Depth at Center: 15.5 in/39.5 cm

Super Bulky Weight Yarn in two colors:
Bottom Lace Edging: 175 yd/160 m
Body of Shawl: 125 yd/114 m

Bottom Lace Edging shown in Spincycle Yarns Knit Fast, Die Young (100% wool; 100 yd/91 m per 127g skein); Color: Paper Planes; 2 skeins

Main Body of Shawl shown in Imperial Yarn Bulky 2 Strand (100% wool; 200 yd/183 m per 116g skein); Color: Pearl Gray; 1 skein

Blocked Gauge 
Gauge measurement should be taken after blocking.
7 sts/16 rows = 4 in/10 cm in St st

Needles & Notions 
Needle Sizes are recommendations only. Always use needle size necessary to obtain gauge.

US #15/10 mm 40 in/100 cm circular needle
tapestry needle
stitch markers (optional for dividing lace repeats)

working lace using charted and/or written instructions, short row shaping

Technical Editing by Susan Moskwa
Copy Editing by Jessie Kwak


$7 PDF download

If you're into this pattern, you'll probably like my other macro lace patterns too. Check out Sentiment, Pembroke Wrap, and Squam Confidential.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Rugged Knits Pattern Highlight: Weathered Mountain

This week's pattern is probably the least flashy in the Rugged Knits collection, but it's one of those projects that I think will really get worn. Weathered Mountain is a slim beanie worked in super lightweight yarn with a simple, but fun-to-work knit-and-purl stitch pattern. It's great for fellas who only want basics while still being engaging to knit, and it's perfect for anyone who wants a versatile accessory that can be slipped under a bike or climbing helmet or just worn on crisp fall days.

- This one has pretty standard construction - bottom-up, starting with a ribbed brim and topped off with a handsome square crown.

It's meant to fit as a snug beanie and it's written for four adult head circumferences: 18.5 (20, 21.25, 22.75)" (47 [51, 54, 58] cm).

I picked Brooklyn Tweed Loft because it's just so light and lofty while still being warm. I adore the fabric it makes, particularly how it blooms so beautifully, the stitches relaxing into each other to make a cohesive but really interesting fabric. 

- If you want the lightness in the original sample, stick with a woolen spun fingering weight yarn. Some yarns that fit this bill are Sincere Sheep Equity Fingering and Jamieson & Smith 2 Ply Jumper Weight.
- You could also go for something with crisper stitch definition. Grab that special skein of sock yarn you've been saving or try Quince & Co. Tern.

I always love a square crown. It's so neat and brings everything together so beautifully.

This pattern includes charted and written instructions, so you're covered whichever you prefer!

Be sure to use the hashtags #RuggedKnits#WeatheredMountainHatand #AndreaRangelKnits when you post pics of your Weathered Mountain projects!


I'll be teaching three workshops at Knit Fit in Seattle November 12-13, 2016. Click here to sign up!


Finished Measurements

About 18.5 (20, 21.25, 22.75)” (47 51, 54, 58 cm) circumference and 7 (7.25, 7.5, 7.75)” (18 18.5, 19, 19.5 cm) long.

Example A shown on woman in size 18.5” (47 cm). 
Example B shown on man in size 21.25” (54 cm).

154 (170, 181, 192) yd (141 155, 165, 175 m) sock weight (#1 Super Fine).

Shown here: Brooklyn Tweed Loft (100% Targhee-Columbia wool; 275 yd 251 m/50 g): color Sap (Example A); Artifact (Example B), 1 skein.


Size U.S. 3 (3.25 mm): 16” (40 cm) circular (cir) and set of 5 double-pointed (dpn). 
Adjust needle size if necessary to obtain the correct gauge.


Markers (m); tapestry needle.


22.5 sts and 43 rnds = 4” (10 cm) in Dots Textured st.

See it on Ravelry

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