new hat patterns!

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Okay, neither of these is technically brand new anymore, but they are both newly available as individual patterns through my Ravelry store.

You might recognize Fjordland, shown at right, which was first published in issue 7 of Pom Pom Quarterly (Winter 2013). I’ve been meaning to release it as an individual pattern ever since the rights reverted, and my new camera gave me the little push I needed. Fjordland is worked in fingering weight yarn – the pattern calls for Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light, and I can tell you it’s the perfect pattern for using up leftovers (partial sock yarn skeins, anyone?). The sample was actually knit with leftovers from my Amiina and Vasa samples! Check out the Ravelry page for more details and photos and to purchase it.

The other hat, shown at left, is called Cliff Park. This pattern was originally designed for LYS A Grand Yarn‘s Indie Club, and since A Grand Yarn was – up until last winter – located in Spokane, Washington, the hat was named after nearby public park Cliff Park. I love the combination of stripes and colorwork, and I especially love the yarn. Cliff Park calls for Stonehedge Fiber Mill Shepherd’s Wool Worsted, a delightfully springy worsted spun yarn made from merino top. If you’ve only ever worked with superwash merino, get ready to have your mind blown. Merino is SO delightful when it hasn’t been superwash treated, and Shepherd’s Wool is incredibly soft and bouncy. It’s also availabe in a huge palette of colors, so there are endless potential color combinations. Find Cliff Park on Ravelry here to see more photos and purchase the pattern.

Between all the hats I’ve released this year, plus the Fringe Hatalong, 2015 is feeling like the Year of the Hat. And speaking of the Fringe Hatalong, Karen’s put up the preview for hat #3 – the big reveal is happening next Thursday, June 18th, and I can’t wait!

stars on the brain

I’ve followed the work of artist Dan-ah Kim for several years now, and I’ve even got a few of her pieces up on the walls at Paper Tiger, so I was ecstatic when I saw that she’s released her first children’s picture book, If I Lived in the Sky.

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I’m such a sucker for a good night sky illustration, and Dan-ah’s pretty amazing at those. Her paintings have a lovely textural quality, often incorporating additional layers of paper or fabric as well as stitched elements in addition to the textured surface of the paint itself, and while a lot of that depth is lost in book format, the mixed media still comes through and it’s a breathtaking little book. Mine’s already come in the mail and if you’d like a copy of your own, it’s available for $11.84 on Amazon.

I’ve had starry skies on my mind a lot lately (I recently finished reading The End of Night, by Paul Bogard – a book I would highly recommend it to anyone who is a human) so it’s no surprise that when I stopped by my local yarn store after getting this package in the mail I walked away with a couple of skeins of Tosh Merino Light in the Stargazing colorway.

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It’s an exceptionally difficult color to photograph accurately, but it’s all deep rich blues, with purples and greens thrown in, rather like the Northern Lights. The sense of depth, of light and of shadow, is the hardest thing to capture in a photo. It’s pretty remarkable. I got to thinking that it would look really lovely as some kind of beaded shawl – where the beads are like stars – and then I remembered Audry Nicklin’s Southern Skies and Celestarium, two circular shawls that are celestial maps of the sky over the southern hemisphere and the northern hemisphere, respectively. Could there be a more perfect set of patterns for a colorway called “stargazing”? So I’m pretty sure my three skeins will become a Celestarium, eventually. I say “eventually” because I’ve got a few patterns to wrap up before I can dedicate that much time to a personal project (and more on those upcoming patterns soon).

Fore more starry-related goodness, I’d also recommend Find the Constellations and The Stars: A New Way to See Them by H. A. Rey, of Curious George fame.