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Posts Tagged ‘Debbie Bliss Magazine Fall/Winter 2009’

My brother-on-law, Beau, asked me to knit him a skull hat way, way back in the day…and I would have knit one for him sooner, except I needed to teach myself how to do stranded color-work.  Luckily for him, that was a technique on my list of 2010 Knitting Goals (along with sock knitting, mastering the  kitchener stitch, knitting myself two sweaters, and starting holiday projects in June).

There was an article in the Fall/Winter 2009 issue of Debbie Bliss Magazine that gave a tutorial on stranded color-work, which was extremely helpful.  Basically, along the back of the work, I carried my main color (black) over my contrasting color (gray).   These long, carried strands are called “floats.”  It sort of reminded me of when you carry a color up the side of a piece of knitting, only this time you are carrying the yarn horizontally instead of vertically.

{Both one and two-handed fair isle techniques are demonstrated}

After finding this easy-looking-enough pattern on Ravelry, I dove in.  Once I saw the pattern come alive with each row, I couldn’t stop!  The hat was literally finished in two days.  Here is a close-up of the skull repeat:

One of the cool things about this pattern is the clever ear band – the first 24 rows of the pattern are straight stockinette, followed by a purl turning row.  This creates a flap which gets folded up and either sewn or knitted to the inside of the hat.  The flap serves two purposes – one, it covers the floats of the skull pattern running along the inside of the hat; and two, it creates an extra cozy layer of warmth around the ears.

You could either use a provisional cast on when you start the project and then graft the live stitches with the stitches on the 25th row, or you can do what I did, which is a traditional long-tail cast on, and then lightly stitch the flap to the inside of the hat.  Overall, this was a really fun project – I am excited to try more Fair Isle knitting, especially with more than two colors.  This was the perfect beginner project for trying out this technique…

Here are the details:

  • Pattern: Skull Hat by Gina Doherty (free!)
  • Yarn: Knit Picks Swish Worsted in Black and Coast Gray
  • Needles: Size US 8, 16″ circulars
  • Size Made: Size 22″ circumference
  • Helpful hints: If you are doing the long tail CO instead of the provisional CO, leave your CO tail very long, so that it can be uses to stitch the ear band in place.  Also, I did not use the smaller size needles to knit the ear band – the whole hat was knit using the 8″ circs.

Today looks like it is going to be another gorgeous day – maybe I’ll do some knitting outside this afternoon… ~J

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{Debbie Bliss Fall/Winter 2009}

{Debbie Bliss Fall/Winter 2009}

So I finally picked up a copy of the new Debbie Bliss Fall/Winter 2009 magazine, and this issue is chock full of goodies!

There is the always inspiring ‘Blissful Life’ section, where Debbie gives us a glimpse of a few of her favorite things – and where she includes a recipe for her Fantastic Fairy Cakes…

{yum!}

{yum!}

The knitting stories start out with The Need for Tweed, which includes 6 patterns that highlight the subtle beauty of her Donegal Tweed yarns.  There’s a sturdy, over-sized cable knit tote, sweaters, and the dramatic red riding coat featured on the cover.  These pieces will take you from early fall all the way through to the last cold days of winter.

Queue-worthy pattern:

{Pattern: Curved Edge Jacket, knit in DB Donegal Luxury Tweed Chunky}

{Pattern: Curved Edge Jacket, knit in DB Donegal Luxury Tweed Chunky}

The next story is Putting on the Ritz, which gives you 4 elegant jacket patterns for covering up those fancy holiday dresses, but which will also keep you looking chic for when you are out doing your holiday shopping.

Queue-worthy pattern:

{Pattern: Herringbone Jacket, knit in DB Donegal Luxury Tweed Aran}

{Pattern: Herringbone Jacket, knit in DB Donegal Luxury Tweed Aran}

Perhaps one of my favorite sections in the magazine is the Berry Nice story, with 6 beautiful patterns in juicy shades of berry.  There is a lot to choose from in this section, from the cable-knit turtleneck sweater with beautiful openwork sleeves to an Alpaca Silk Aran wrap jacket with a double-ribbed shawl collar and ribbon ties.  You’ll immediately see the difference between my style and Jaime’s style when you look at our picks:

Jenny’s Queue-worthy pattern:

{Pattern: Shawl Collared Sweater, knit in DB Donegal Luxury Tweed Aran}

{Pattern: Shawl Collared Sweater, knit in DB Donegal Luxury Tweed Aran}

Jaime’s Queue-worthy pattern:

{Pattern: Kimono Jacket, knit in DB Alpaca Silk Aran}

{Pattern: Kimono Jacket, knit in DB Alpaca Silk Aran}

There is a fabulous section on Fair Isle Knitting – which I am dying to learn how to do – and includes a pattern for a 1940’s retro-inspired secretary’s sweater and a sweet child’s beret.

{Both one and two-handed fair isle techniques are demonstrated}

{Both one and two-handed fair isle techniques are demonstrated}

For the kids, look no further than Animal Planet, which features adorable scarves with animal faces.  With 4 different animals to choose from, you are sure to find something that pleases your little zoo-creature.

Queue-worthy pattern:

{Pattern: Monkey Scarf, knit in DB Cashmerino DK}

{Pattern: Monkey Scarf, knit in DB Cashmerino DK}

The New Softies story really makes me crave the cool days of fall!   Knit in plush cashmere, these chunky patterns will fly off the needles before the leaves even start to change. They are all queue worthy but if I had to pick just one…

Queue-worthy pattern:

{Pattern: Moss Stitch Scarf and Daisy Stitch Hat, knit in DB Como}

{Pattern: Moss Stitch Scarf and Daisy Stitch Hat, knit in DB Como}

The preppy side of me enjoyed the Britannia Rules story, featuring home accessories knit in British inspired argyles and plaids.  From throw pillows to dog beds, socks with leather soles and cozies for both your tea pots and water bottles, any of these knits would make wonderful holiday gifts.

Queue-worthy pattern:

{Pattern: Welsh Blanket, knit in DB Rialto DK}

{Pattern: Welsh Blanket, knit in DB Rialto DK}

The last knitting story in the magazine is Heaven-Sent, and includes three patterns for baby accessories.  Knit in beachy shades of beige and blue, they offer a nice respite from the dark colors of fall.

Queue-worthy pattern:

{Pattern: Bootees, knit in DB Baby Cashmerino}

{Pattern: Bootees, knit in DB Baby Cashmerino}

Visit the issue on Ravelry, or pick one up at your local yarn/book store! ~Jenny

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Since my mornings are now kid-free, I think I’ll head over to my local Border’s tomorrow and check out the fall editions of my favorite knitting magazines:

{Vogue Knitting, Fall/Winter 2009}

{Vogue Knitting, Fall/Winter 2009}

{Debbie Bliss, Fall/Winter 2009}

{Debbie Bliss, Fall/Winter 2009}

*Update – check out my recap of Debbie Bliss Fall/Winter 2009 here!*

And since Jaime was so nice to make me that beautiful blue dress, I’ll be a good sissy and pick her up one of these:

{Quilting Arts, August/September 2009}

{Quilting Arts, August/September 2009}

Magazines and coffee (hopefully pumpkin flavored!) – one of my favorite ways to relax…

~Jenny

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