seven stars / knit purl

Last weekend I had the great pleasure of heading to Portland, Oregon to teach a colorwork workshop at Knit Purl downtown – based on a new pattern for colorwork mitts I have out!

Seven Stars is a pair of fingerless mitts that combines Spincycle’s Dyed in the Wool with stranded colorwork to create a pattern of colorwork with slow color gradients. I love watching the colors shift as these mitts knit up. The pattern is written for three sizes (small, medium, large) and further adjustments could be made using gauge.

For those unfamiliar with Spincycle Yarns and their Dyed in the Wool, it’s a small-batch mill-spun yarn that looks and feels like a handspun. To use Spincycle’s words, “Dyed In The Wool represents the fulfillment of our desire, here at Spincycle headquarters, to merge the beauty and texture of a handspun yarn with a more efficiently produced millspun yarn.” They collaborate with a mill on Camano Island here in western Washington state: Spincycle dyes the fiber before it’s sent to the mill to be spun – hence the dyed in the wool bit – and then the mother-daughter team at the mill spins it up! The result is a gorgeous plied yarn with unique colorways that truly looks like a handspun yarn.  (If actual handspun is more your thing, Spincycle carries several other yarns which are spun by hand in house). When the lovely ladies at Spincycle asked if I’d like to use their yarn for a design, I jumped at the chance to try Dyed in the Wool with colorwork!

For the first sample pair, I wanted to play up the rustic handspun feel of the Dyed in the Wool, so I paired it with Brooklyn Tweed Loft – when used as the main color, the woolen-spun Loft knits up into a fuzzy wool backdrop for the colorwork. That pair is pictured at left (with colors The Saddest Place in Dyed in the Wool and Snowbound in Loft). Rustic isn’t everybody’s thing, however, particularly with colorwork, so I dressed up my second sample pair with the luxurious Shibui Staccato, a sleek merino/silk blend. Pictured at right, that pair used Dyed in the Wool in Robin’s Egg and Staccato in Tar. When choosing your own colors, make sure to pick two yarns with high contrast throughout for best results.

I think these mitts have a thoroughly modern look (helped in no small part by the beautiful Dyed in the Wool) even though they make use of some very traditional techniques. I borrowed heavily from traditional Norwegian mitten construction – the cuff, gusset, and borders between the palm and back of the hand are all typical of Selbuvotter, or Selbu mittens. Instructions for working the gusset increases are written out (and I have plans to do a photo tutorial at some point in the near future) and the placement is also indicated in the charts.

The pattern is available exclusively through Knit Purl this month – you can grab a hard copy or a kit in store, or order one online. If you’d just like the pattern and you don’t live nearby, it’s also available as a PDF download from the Knit Purl Website. The kits are available in several colorways, using both Brooklyn Tweed Loft and Shibui Staccato! Here are the links:

Knit Purl – Seven Stars pattern & yarn kit
Seven Stars PDF download

I also wanted to extend a special thank you to Knit Purl for having me – and if you ever find yourself in Portland, you should absolutely pay them a visit! Their space is beautiful and well-organized, and it’s easy to while away a whole afternoon just checking out the yarn selection (I definitely came home with a few yarny souvenirs). And thanks to those of you came out for the workshop, as well! It was an incredibly fun weekend.

P.S. Yesterday was the official first day of the Hearth Slippers KAL! It’s not too late to join in! Which is good, as I’ve yet to cast on…


It always seems hardest to keep up with blogging when I’m at my busiest, and it’s been a busy fall so far! But there are many, many things of note happening in the craft world at the moment as well as in my own world, so I thought I’d mention a few things here:

– I’ve been sewing some more, in free moments. I finished my first Deer and Doe pattern two weeks ago, the Airelle blouse, and you can see my version here. I’m not sure if I’ll make it again (I prefer a straighter cut and narrower sleeves in blouses, I think) but the pattern itself was great and I’m very pleased with how it turned out! I’m looking forward to more sewing, and I recently picked up some lovely light grey fabric for the Chardon skirt, also from Deer and Doe.


– Felicity Ford’s new book, the Knitsonik Stranded Colourwork Sourcebook, has been making the rounds of the craft blogosphere and it’s become obvious that I need to pick myself up a copy! For anyone who’s ever wanted to get into stranded colorwork but struggled with choosing colors or finding inspiration, or if you’re the kind of knitter who wants to break free from patterns, I think this book will be a huge help. If you’d like to learn more about it, I’d hop over to this post by Kate Davies or this one from Ysolda (or, for that matter, check out the whole blog tour which begins today – the list can be found at the bottom of this post), and the book itself can be ordered right here.


– Speaking of Kate Davies: Kate is wrapping up work on her forthcoming book, YOKES! I am beyond excited for this book: featuring 11 patterns for yoked sweaters of all different sorts, it will also feature quite a bit of history in the form of essays and other short pieces of writing. Having been a follower of Kate’s work for years, I’m beyond thrilled that I was able to aid Kate in her research for certain sections of the book. Isn’t that cover sweater a stunner? I’ll be sure to post when it’s available to order.


– The preview of the Winter issue of Pom Pom Quarterly is up, and it’s beautiful! I love the cozy cover sweater by Bristol Ivy. The whole issue is full of cozy knits, soft and warm tones, and I love the pub where they did the photoshoot (especially that portrait of Queen Victoria).

– I’ve really been enjoying the #fringeandfriendsknitalong, the cabled-sweater knitalong begin hosted by Karen Templer of Fringe Association. I’m not participating, just following along, but it’s a great place to be a fly on the wall. Check out all the KAL-related blog posts over at Fringe.


As for me, I’m furiously working away on wrapping up a few new patterns. One of those is Seven Stars, the pair of fingerless mitts pictured above, featuring Spincycle’s beautiful Dyed in the Wool. These will be the basis for a colorwork workshop I’m teaching at Knit Purl in Portland, Oregon on November 15 (I believe there are one or two spaces still available; more on that here). There will also be a Paper Tiger trunk show, so if you’re in or around Portland, you should stop by! Seven Stars is almost ready for publication, so I’ll have more info for you on those next week!

I’m also going to be stopping by Knit Fit! in Seattle the weekend of November 8-9. I won’t be vending this year, but I’m taking a crochet class (!) and I’ll definitely be stopping by the marketplace as well! If you see me there, say hello!