Knitalong with me (there will be prizes and coffee)

Hi, guys!

Little Woolly Things podcast
Hello from Bravewood!

Would you like to knit some gifts with me this year?  It’s time for a knitalong!  But more about that in a minute.

It has been so busy here at Bravewood and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down at all.  I mean, not any time soon.  I have this new podcast going on, which is super cool, but I haven’t quite figured out how to balance the podcasting with the blogging.  I don’t want to neglect my old blog just because the podcast videos are all new and shiny. I also don’t want my blog to just turn into shownotes for the podcast.

It’s a challenge.

So, here I am thinking that I should at least give my blog readers an update on what’s happening because I know that not everyone has the time or the inclination to sit and watch a podcast video.  I would love it if you would give it a try, though.  My podcasts are pretty short, compared to a lot of the other knitting podcasts out there.  Plus, there’s coffee.

If you look at it upside-down, it’s a happy cup of coffee.

I have a few new patterns in the works and at varying levels of completion.  One is waiting on an answer from a popular yarn company about whether or not they want to publish it.  Another is in the test knitting stage, which will take a while.  That one is scheduled to go live next Spring.  I am also working on a really cute and very quick knitted decor project.  I don’t have any photos of it yet, so you’ll have to come back and read my next blog post for more information on that.  I am also working on putting together my first ever collaboration with a couple other artists that I have met through the magic of the internet.  Right now, it’s in the super secret squirrel stage.  Sorry, if I told you, I’d have to… well, let’s just not think about that.

SO, there is a lot of stuff going on that I really can’t show you ANY photos of.  And what’s a blog post without photos?

BUT, I can tell you about my first ever knitalong that I am hosting on my podcast. [ I know, finally something I can actually talk about, right? ]  I am calling it the Sneaky Gift KAL and it is starting September 1, 2017 and running through January 1, 2018.

The idea behind the KAL is to share stories of the sneaky ways we have to hide those gift knitting projects from the people we love while still making sure that we have enough knitting time to actually get them finished on time.  The struggle is real!  So, show off your WIPs, share your knitting/crocheting/crafting stories and post those finished objects in the FO thread for a chance to win.

You can officially join the club in my podcast group on Ravelry.  Link to the

Look for this badge in the groups on Ravelry.

group is right HERE.  And, of course, you can get information by watching my Little Woolly Things podcasts on YouTube.  There will be prizes at the end of the KAL, so please check it out.  I only have 10 people in my group so far, so your chances of winning a prize are pretty darn good.  And it has been my experience that a knitalong can be a great way to make a new knitting friend or two, either from somewhere far away or just down the street.  I have really been enjoying my foray into the online knitting community. I hope to see you there!

P.S.: You can also post your works in progress on Instagram with the hashtag: #sneakygiftkal

Stay tuned for more little woolly things

Hello, crafty friends, and welcome to Little Woolly Things!  I have been knitting my little fingers to the bone, so I have some new things to show you.  And I’m also working on a very scary project, too, that I’m not ready to unveil yet.  I will tell you about it, but it’s not ready for public viewing quite yet.

Little Woolly Things Blog Post graphic
Stay tuned for more little woolly things

So, the first thing I want to show off is the WIP that has been getting most of my attention for the last few weeks.  I am working on this Summer top design as my contribution to a knitalong in one of my Ravelry groups.  The KAL started May 1st and is open until July 31st, so I’m not into that end of the KAL, deadline is approaching crunch yet, but I’m really trying to avoid pulling an all-nighter to finish a project that I got myself involved with just because I thought it sounded like fun.  At my age, pulling all-nighters is just not fun anymore.  I would really like this project to continue to be fun all the way through, so I’m working on it diligently now, in the hopes of finishing it before the deadline.  We shall see how that all works out.

It started like this, with a little swatch.


I turned that little swatch into a square neck yoke, and then I had to decide how to handle the sleeves working from the top down. I’m pretty sure I changed my mind about fifteen times.  Then, I picked out a lace pattern to add some extra interest to the design, picked up stitches along the edge and started knitting.  Easy, right?

Lucky me, it all worked out.  I got a bit of knitting time in over the weekend, so I made decent progress.  This is how it looked yesterday afternoon:

 

Back of summer top.

A post shared by Wendelika Cline (@wendelikacline) on

 

And then, I sat up last night to do some more knitting after the kiddos were in bed and thought, “Hey, why don’t I watch Gone with the Wind while I’m knitting. I don’t remember ever watching it before and it’s a classic that I should probably be familiar with.” Or something like that. So, I started watching this wonderful old movie. I did not realize how incredibly long Gone with the Wind is! Have you seen it? Do you realize that it’s nearly FOUR HOURS LONG???

I did not stay up long enough to watch all four hours of it. You might suggest that I could have forwarded through the overture, intermission and entr’acte music, but as a musician, I just can’t bring myself to do that. I love the music and I want to hear it as much as I want to see the movie. So, to sum it all up, I know what I will be knitting to for the next couple of nights. And isn’t Rhett Butler just a cad? And Scarlett? Absolutely scandalous.

So, that’s where I am on the Summer top project.  I have another project to show off, and this one is actually a finished pattern, ready to be your next project.  It’s a quick, easy knit, with some simple embroidery to top it off.  I call it the Cornflower Cowl.

 

 

Ravelry users can purchase the pattern here.  And if you’re not a Ravelry member, you definitely should be.  This website has everything knitting, crocheting, spinning, weaving and otherwise yarn related.  And while you’re there, check out my Ravelry store.

I have also begun to venture into the YouTube world, of late.  I recorded one knitting tutorial video and uploaded it for all the world to see.  I am planning to record more tutorials soon, so subscribe to my channel: Little Woolly Things, and watch my one tutorial video on how to work the linen stitch.  YouTube will notify you when I upload the next video, so you can watch whenever you have the time and want to work on a new knitting technique.  I also receive email notifications whenever you leave a comment on one of my videos, so if you like it, let me know in the comments right there on YouTube.  If you have a suggestion for a tutorial that you would like to see, please share that, too.  I will try my best.

And that leads me right into the big, scary project that I am putting together.  I have been working on a Little Woolly Things podcast.  I actually recorded “Episode 1” but decided to use that experience as a dress rehearsal for my next attempt.  Let me tell you, talking about your knitting projects to your videocamera for any length of time is not as easy as so many podcasters make it appear.  Did you notice my cheery greeting at the beginning of this post?  I’m working on that.  I think it will take a few episodes for me to work out my podcast format and remember to breathe normally in front of the camera.

I am hoping to talk about more than just knitting and crochet in this podcast.  I would tell you all about it, but then you wouldn’t need to watch it.  SO, I will leave you wondering just a little bit and hope that you will watch my podcast when I finally release Episode 1.  It will be worth the wait.

So, that’s the news from Bravewood.  Be brave, friends, and have a wonder-filled day!

The secret to making an awesome tassel

Little Woolly Things blog post tassel tutorial

It’s finally here!  Tassels and stripes and unique shaping with colors and textures!  This is an idea that I have been playing with in the back corner of my mind for quite a few years.  I worked it up as a shawlette using novelty yarns and ribbons about 15 years ago, but it wasn’t really perfect, so I never published it.  Recently, it crept into my thoughts again and I decided to give it another go.  This time, it’s a hodgepodge of textures and colors, but without the eyelash novelty yarn that no one wants to work with, anyway.  It’s really better this way.

 

This is one of the outtakes from our photoshoot. Captain, our Border Collie just really wanted to be in the picture.

So, In honor of my Sedimentary Shawl pattern release, I thought I’d share a tiny part of the pattern with you.  This tassel tutorial comes straight out of the pattern, which you can purchase from Knit Picks right here.  The pattern and tassels both require a wide variety of yarns, from Aran weight to lace weight.  There have been skeptics who said that it couldn’t be done, but with a lot of trial on my part (so you don’t have to) with different needle sizes and stitch counts, I have hit upon the magic combination that allows these different weights to drape and flutter nicely in the breeze.  They really do play together very well, if you know how to handle them.

11-year-old daughter approved

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, without any further ado, here is the tutorial.

Sedimentary Shawl Tassels

Yarns required:

Knit Picks Paragon yarn in Almond and Doe

Knit Picks City Tweed Aran in Tahitian Pearl

Knit Picks Stroll Fingering in Koi Pond

Knit Picks Luminance in Strength

Additional Supplies:

one yarn needle, one 4×6-inch (10×15 cm) piece of cardstock or cardboard for wrapping tassels, two ¾-inch (1.9 cm) wooden beads

Directions:

Cut a piece of Stroll Koi Pond yarn about 3 feet (1 meter) long.  Thread onto yarn needle so that yarn is doubled.

Wood beads and Knit Picks Stroll handpaint yarn in Koi Pond
Wood beads and yarn threaded and ready to begin

Bring yarn up through the hole in one bead, holding onto the yarn tails underneath.

Beginning to wrap yarn through the wood bead

Wrap yarn around the bead and through the hole until you have used up all the yarn on the needle.


Cut another piece of yarn and continue in the same manner until the entire bead is covered.  Cut the yarn, leaving a tail for sewing to the shawl.

Next, using one yarn at a time, wrap yarn around your cardstock to create a 4-inch (10cm) long tassel.  Cut each yarn at the bottom of the card and begin the next color at the bottom, where you left off.  You can use as many wraps as you like.  I used about 15 wraps of the Paragon yarns, 12 wraps of the City Tweed, about 40 wraps of Luminance and 20 wraps of Stroll.

 

 

 

 

 

When you have finished your last wrap (I used Stroll last), cut your yarn leaving about a 2-foot (60 cm) long tail.  Thread yarn end onto yarn needle.  Stitch through the top of the yarn wraps using a backstitch all the way across the top of the yarn wraps.

first row of hand stitching

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then, after you’ve stitched all the way across, do it again backwards across the yarn wraps, making your stitches offset from the first row of stitches.  These don’t have to be pretty (thank goodness) because no one will see them.

 

 

 

 

 

Then, slide the card out from the center of the yarn wraps.  Fold the stitched edge together and stitch through the backstitches to hold the tassel together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, take the yarn with the needle up through the yarn-wrapped bead (this will be very tight) and then back down through the bead again.

Flip the tassel upside down so that you can see the stitches in the center of the tassel and stitch securely to create a knot.  Cut your yarn.

And then, use your scissors to cut through the yarn loops and trim the bottom edge evenly.

And this completes your tassel.  If you are making them for my Sedimentary Shawl pattern, you will need to make one more, then sew them securely to the long points at either end of the shawl.

I hope you enjoyed my tassel tutorial.  You can pick up the entire pattern, along with the yarn, needles, and anything else you could possibly need to get your knitting gears in motion, at www.knitpicks.com.  And you can see more of my patterns at http://www.ravelry.com/designers/wendelika-cline