Jan 26, 2020

Potato Chip Knits

Every now and then you run across a project that you simply can't put down, and for better or worse, that's precisely what's happened with my simple rectangular shawl. 

In a very short time (comparatively speaking, because I'm still a very slow knitter), it progressed 
from this:

To this:

The two deep colors involved in the second section are so closely related, it was often difficult to distinguish one from the other. Yep, this made the knitting a bit challenging (lots of bright light was essential), but I love the effect, so it was worth it.

Finishing the first two sections was so motivating, I decided to continue plugging away, so it quickly grew some more.

As knitters, many of us have our own version of what constitutes an irrisistable potato chip knit. For some of us, it might be complex lace, for others it's anything with cables. For still others, it's intarsia.

It could be anything, but clearly for me, the magic combo appears to be soft yarn, pretty colors, an easy but interesting stitch, and fairly frequent color changes. What's your version of a potato chip knit?



Jan 12, 2020


I hope your new year is off to a great start.

Personally, in spite of the fact that it's not just a new year but the start of a new decade, my knitting goals remain basically unchanged. My top priorities are to limit the number of projects on the needles, finish active wips, frog projects that aren't working, and find creative ways to make use of the many lovely yarns lurking in my stash.

That certainly sounds do-able, doesn't it? 
It should be, except for one thing. Shortly after the new year dawned, I cast on this:

It's the start of a rectangular shawl/stole using lovely Mad Hatter sport weight yarn by Wonderland Yarns & frabjous fibers in the Shillings & Pence colorway.

Here's how I'm rationalizing this indulgence. Last year, I promised myself I could cast on a rainbow shawl as soon as I finished a few existing wips, which I did. (Technically, I still have some ends to weave in the Ohio Star blanket, but let's not get distracted with details.)

Not only have I been lusting after a rainbow shawl for months, but the yarn is wound and at the ready so it seemed like a no-brainer. Right up to the point where this experimental swatch caught my eye, that is.

And just like that, I switched directions. This yarn is soft, wooly and better suited to colder weather, which makes it perfect for winter knitting. If I can finish the shawl/stole fast enough, I'll undoubtedly have plenty of opportunities to wear it before the weather warms.

I'm opting for a slightly different ombre/gradient approach than what's shown in the swatch, so I hope it works. Meanwhile, I'm happily knitting away and making progress, and where knitting is concerned, that's what counts, right?

Dec 12, 2019

Pattern | Healdan Scarf

Longing for a dashing scarf that’s fast, easy and reversible? This design offers that and more. Healdan, an Old English word meaning to care for or protect, is a versatile unisex design suitable for folks of all ages.

Slipped stitches create an attractive fabric with fluted columns on one side and fluted ribs on the other. The stitch is easy to execute, knits quickly and is appealing in one color or many.

Go classic with a single solid or tonal yarn, work a subtle two-tone weave, or craft a custom gradient, ombre or fade. No matter what option you choose, the colorwork is easy, because only one color is worked on a row.

The pattern is written for sock/fingering weight or lace weight held double, but it readily adapts to any yarn weight or fiber. As an added plus, it includes directions for three lengths (48, 60, 72 ins), three widths (4, 6, 8 ins), and five color strategies ranging from a solid and two-tone weave to different gradient effects. Work it as written or use the handy Quick Reference guide, stitch chart, tips, tricks and easy modifications to tailor your project to suit your tastes.
Healdan Scarf | Fast, Easy & Reversible 
Skill Level 2: Easy
Yarn: Sock/fingering or lace weight held double
Needles: US 8 (5 mm), US 9 (5.5 mm) or whatever size works for you
Sizes: Three lengths (48, 60, 72 ins) and three widths (4, 6, 8 ins)
Yardage (approx.): 240 to 645 yards (fingering); 480 to 1290 yards (lace weight held double)

With Healdan, the:

  • Slipped stitch is extremely easy to execute, equally easy to memorize, and it produces a a lovely fabric that's fully reversible.
  • Flat construction keeps your project compact and portable, so you can work it on the go.
  • Colorwork is easy, because only one color is worked on a row.
  • Five color strategies help you tailor each scarf to your tastes or those of the recipient.
  • Pattern is simple enough for any moderately experienced beginner. It's concise but complete, with written directions, stitch chart, stitch counts, yardage and dimensions for each size.
  • Yarn choice is completely up to you. The pattern is written for sock/fingering weight or lace weight held double, but it readily adapts to other weights and multi-stranding.
  • Design is versatile and unisex, suitable for all ages, and can be worked in different yarns and countless combinations. 

The only limitation is your imagination. Create a timeless look with muted neutrals, or go bold with brights, classic with gem tones, or whimsical with rainbow hues. Add a lush touch with luxury yarn, texture with a rustic tweed, or a trendy feel with speckled yarns. Simplify your color choices by indulging in a gradient or ombre mini-skein collection, or craft your own. 

For dramatic impact with minimal fuss, try a slow-change gradient or rainbow yarn. To tone down pooling, pair a busy variegated with a closely related solid, or add a touch of glam by combining glitter or metallic yarn with a contrasting solid.

If you're feeling brave and want to quickly work up a last-minute holiday gift, substitute a heavier yarn weight or multi-strand lighter weight yarns and use larger needles. Fast, easy and fully reversible, Healdan is suited to any knitter who can cast on, knit, k2tog, ktbl, purl, slip stitches and bind off.

To view the Ravelry description and purchase the Healdan scarf pattern, click here. (And don't forget, you don't have to be a Ravelry member to buy patterns.)

Happy holidays and happy knitting! 

Want to learn more? See FO| Healdan Rose GradientFO | Healdan Plumberry Mitts & Scarf .
Shopping at your favorite LYS? All patterns are activated for in-store sales.
Experimenting with color combos? These articles offer ideas and inspiration.