Makers’ Minute – Glanz Punkt by Zitron

Translated from German, Glanz Punkt means Brilliant Point. Described perfectly by its name, this Silk/Tencel blend has a gorgeous slight sheen that gives your stitches beautiful definition while holding its shape. Glanz Punkt looks elegant in plain stockinette or is stunning as a lacy summer scarf.

Browse all the available colors here!

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Fridays with Franklin – The Adventure of the Llama on the Corner, Part Two

fwf-logo-v11The Adventure of the Llama on the Corner, Part Two

For an introduction to what goes on in this column, click here.

For the first part of this adventure, click here.

Here’s what I have in mind.

As I wrote in the previous installment, shadow knitting only shows its hidden pattern when the viewer is looking at the fabric from a low angle across the horizontal (row) grain.

Llama 2.1

What I have wanted to mess around with for ages is this: a piece of shadow knitting that deliberately obscures part of the hidden pattern from every angle. A piece that will never, ever, show you everything no matter where you stand.

This shouldn’t be terribly complicated. All it requires is that we make sure every so often to change the grain of the fabric. This could be as simple as knitting the work in pieces, with the grains at (for example) right angles to one another. One of my earliest sketches looked something like this.

Llama 2.2

That’s nothing more than two pieces joined together. It would work.

Or…we could take advantage of knitting’s ability to produce a single piece of fabric that contains within itself a change of grain. We could knit a mitered square.

Mitered squares are not at all difficult. They boil down to a simple recipe.

1. Cast on double the number of stitches you need for one side, plus one “spine” stitch that will be located halfway across the row.

2. Begin knitting. On every other row, decrease one stitch (using, theoretically, any single decrease) on either side of the spine stitch, which will be the center of the row.

3. Continue until you have about three stitches left.

4. Bind off.

That’s it. I mean, you can finesse it by pairing your decreases so they slant toward or away from the spine stitch. But really, that’s it.

What you get is a square with a horizontal (row) grain that bends 90 degrees when it reaches that spine.

Llama 2.3

And since almost any solid fabric that can be knit in stripes can be worked as shadow knitting, a shadow mitered square should be interesting. Not necessarily good, mind you. But interesting. We’ll see.

The Color of Shadows

I didn’t say much about the colors of the HiKoo Llamor in my pile last week. Here they are, chose from across the line’s Peruvian, Natural, and Carnival palettes.

Llama 2.4

I know. That pink is really pink. I want it that way. I’m in the mood for color, and the brilliance of the pink strikes me as a nice shot of energy in the midst of all the more muted shades.

In fact, I like all of these so much as a jumble that I’m not going to spend a whole lot of time deciding which two to pair in each square. I’m just going to grab and go.

Testing, Testing

The first square off the needles was promising. Not perfect, but promising.

Llama 2.5

I got the effect I wanted: a shadow triangle in each half, with contrasting shadow borders in the middle and sides. As with most shadow fabrics, there is a tendency to curl–but a nice wet block…

Llama 2.6

…calmed the curl and cause the fabric to bloom. The Llamor, which was already soft pre-blocking, became positively buttery; and unlike some pure llama yarns I’ve worked with, it gained a gentle halo instead of busting out in a total frizz.

I wasn’t absolutely satisfied with structural details of the square, but I’ve decided to do something kind of outside my comfort zone. Rather than rip the whole thing out and start again, I’m going to stick with it and press on. I have limited time and a limited supply of Llamor on hand.

Llama 2.7

Four down, a third in progress. (I know, I know. It’s a shaky photo. I was excited. And also 37,000 feet in the air on an Embraer RJ145 in the middle of turbulence.)

I think we’re going to make this a cowl.

Come back in two weeks, and I’ll show you what I’ve got.

Tools and Materials Appearing in This Issue

HiKoo® Llamor (100% baby llama; 109 yd per 50g ball), available in the Peruvian Palette, the Natural Palette, and the Carnival Palette
Schoppel-Wolle Gradient (100% merino wool; 284 yd per 100g ball)
addi® Olive Wood Circular knitting needles

About Franklin

Designer, teacher, author and illustrator Franklin Habit is the author of It Itches: A Stash of Knitting Cartoons (Interweave Press, 2008). His new book, I Dream of Yarn: A Knit and Crochet Coloring Book was brought out by Soho Publishing in May 2016 and is in its second printing.

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, 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.

Follow Franklin online via Twitter (@franklinhabit), Instagram (@franklin.habit), or his Facebook page.

Makers’ Minute – The Best Of Knit Purl Hunter Book

The Best of Knit Purl Hunter is an inspiring collection of 25 patterns from designer Michelle Hunter. Many of these patterns were originally featured as Knit-Alongs through her Progressive Needles series and are backed with the educational videos we’ve come to know and love from Michelle. Featuring all new stunning photography and a variety of projects such as socks, cowls, shawls and more. This book is a must-have for every knitter!

Featured yarns include HiKoo® CoBaSi, CoBaSi Tonal, Kenzie, Llamor, Rylie, Simplicity, Simpliworsted, Simplinatural, Sueno and Sueno Tonal, along with Schoppel Zauberball® and Zauberball® Crazy.

Click here to buy a copy today!

 

Fridays with Franklin – The Adventure of the Llama on the Corner, Part One

fwf-logo-v11The Adventure of the Llama on the Corner, Part One

When I move from one project to the next, I swing like a pendulum.

I’ve always been a little in awe of artists like Picasso who, famously, go through “periods” in which they obsess over a particular fascination for an extended time. Picasso’s Blue Period was what it sounds like–a span of three years in which almost every painting he undertook was a vision tinted with blue. Now, blue is my favorite color–but honestly, three years? A week, maybe a month. Variety. I need variety.

Maybe that’s just me.

Our last adventure was crochet in the bewitching Schoppel-Wolle yarn Leinen Los. Leinen Los has an attractive but limited palette of four colorways, three shown here…

Llama 1.1

…and using just two of them turned out a bag that had the earthy-crunchy hippie look I so desired.

Llama 1.2

With this finished, I find myself swinging in the opposite direction. I want to knit. And I want color, color, color, and more color. Our gray and gloomy spring is, no doubt, feeding the impulse. Even as the local flora has been obliging…

Llama 1.3

…the skies of Chicago, and the overall atmosphere, remain resolutely mucky.

This brings me to the choice of yarns for our next adventure. Last time I was at Makers’ Mercantile in person, I also dropped by the headquarters of Skacel Collection. I like it there. The people are nice, the light is flattering, and the air smells like fresh yarn and needles.

I was picking up a few Addi Swing crochet hooks, but in passing by someone’s desk I was arrested by the sight of a little pile of llama in a basket.*

It was a sampling of this, HiKoo® Llamor. It’s made from 100% Baby Llama.

Llama 1.4

“You want some?” they asked.

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha.

I took it all.

(I left the basket.)

Seriously, do not offer me yarn unless you mean it.

Now I have in mind to do something that will let me put (if possible) this whole tumble of buttery-soft color…

Llama 1.5

…into a single project.

Every Which Way

What I’d like to do is use them in a piece I have been mulling over–and even swatched a bit in various scrap yarns–for more than a year. It’s an idea for shadow knitting, the technique we explored with Schoppel-Wolle Gradient in the first Fridays with Franklin adventure. (If you’re unfamiliar with shadow knitting, also called illusion knitting, click here for the capsule explanation.)

One of the usual concerns in shadow knitting is legibility. You have a hidden motif in the fabric. Can you see it? Is it clear? Can it be read?

This is partly determined, of course, by where the viewer stands in relation to the fabric. The fabric has two grains, horizontal (rows) and vertical (columns).

Llama 1.6

Only a person looking across the horizontal grain from a somewhat steep angle will be able to see the hidden pattern.

Llama 1.7

Messing around with shadow knitting (I love knitting it, and I teach it a great deal) has encouraged me to question the persistent emphasis on legibility. If a big part of the magic of the technique is that the “secret” images appear and disappear, why not focus on that–rather than expecting it to act as a billboard? I mean, if you want absolutely clearly to present a message, you can do that in stranded color work, intarsia, duplicate stitch, embroidery–any number of other techniques.

What I want to toy with is this: can I get an interesting effect from a piece of shadow knitting in which I deliberately obscure the pattern? Can I make a piece in which you will never, ever see all of the pattern at once–and if I can, what will the result be? Cool? Or just silly?

Curious? Stop back in two weeks and I’ll show you where this is going. In the meantime, I’m swatching and swatching and swatching with the HiKoo® Llamor. Divine. Colors deep as mountain lakes, soft as–well, soft as a baby llama…

Llama 1.8

*Llama in a Basket is the name of my new Peruvian funk metal band.

Shop Notes!

In celebration of Mother’s Day: until May 13, 2017, buy a Makers’ Mercantile gift card valued at $25 or more, and receive a Makers’ shopping bag, Lavishea Bar, and a calendar.

Tools and Materials Appearing in This Issue

Schoppel-Wolle Leinen Los (70% wool, 30% linen; 328 yd per 100g ball)
HiKoo® Llamor (100% baby llama; 109 yd per 50g ball), available in the Peruvian Palette, the Natural Palette, and the Carnival Palette
Schoppel-Wolle Gradient (100% merino wool; 284 yd per 100g ball)
addi® Swing crochet hooks

About Franklin

Designer, teacher, author and illustrator Franklin Habit is the author of It Itches: A Stash of Knitting Cartoons (Interweave Press, 2008). His new book, I Dream of Yarn: A Knit and Crochet Coloring Book was brought out by Soho Publishing in May 2016 and is in its second printing.

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, 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.

Follow Franklin online via Twitter (@franklinhabit), Instagram (@franklin.habit), or his Facebook page.

Makers’ with Vickie – Holey Scarves!

Vickie promo pic.png

For Our Needle Artists

This month on Makers’ with Vickie our friend, Vickie Howell gives an “Artfelt®” tutorial on how to make a wearable art piece using our hugely popular, Holey Scarf kit.

Using simple, easy-to-follow steps you’re just a draft, tack, and dryer cycle away from creating a head-turning accessory — and in just a few hours! You’ll be giddy over how how the saturated colors of the gorgeous roving mix and meld as you lay out pieces and then begin the felting process — it’s like painting with fiber, but without the requirement of being artistically inclined. Here’s the scoop!

 

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fvickiehowell%2Fvideos%2F1198525706922643%2F&show_text=0&width=560

 

Get the Supplies

holeyscarf-group reduced white space

Artfelt Holey Scarf Kit, which includes everything you need to make this project:

  • Artfelt Needles
  • Paper
  • Plastic
  • Artfelt Roving
  • Instructions.

For Our Knitters

edition 3 holey scarf 02

(Shown: Edition 3 #2296)

Does the thought of setting down your knitting needles to create a felted art piece make you feel like something’s missing — like perhaps, there’s a crafty hole that needs to be filled? No worries, we’ve got you. You can still join in on the negative space fun with our knitted Holey Scarves Pattern (link below)!

 

Get the Supplies

lace-ball-100-glamour01

Lace-weight Version:

Holey Scarf Pattern (In Skacel Magazine Vol 10 2017) Free here.

1 Ball of Schoppel-Wolle Laceball 100 or Lace Ball

Size US 2 Addi Rockets, circular needle (any length)

Note: Straight needles will also work for this project.

 

Sport-weight Version:

edition-3-glamour02.jpg

Holey Scarf Pattern (In Skacel Magazine Vol 10 2017) Free here.

3 Balls Schoppel-Wolle Edition 3

Size US 6 (4.5mm) Addi Turbo circular needle (any length)

Note: Straight needles or other types will also work for this project.

We hope to see you back for more Makers’ with Vickie on the first Friday of every month. Next up: How to back knit or crochet button bands with ribbon, using hand-sewn, machine-sewn, and fabric glue methods! Tune in June 2nd at 10:30amPT to facebook.com/vickiehowell !

Vickie Howell is a knitting & crochet ambassador, author, and the Host/Executive Producer of the upcoming, The Knit Show with Vickie Howell (October ’17). Stay in touch by following @vickiehowell

Makers’ Minute – IVKO Women Clothing & Accessories

IVKO Woman specializes in designing and creating high class woven and knitted garments combining exceptional craftsmanship with state of the art knitting technology. They use only the finest natural fabrics and fibers in producing an exquisite range of fashion designed for the modern, independent woman.

Shop our online collection here.