What Are Your Crafting Resolutions for 2018?

As 2017 winds down, it's a great time to take stock of your accomplishments for the past 12 months while also making plans for the year ahead. Perhaps you made some resolutions at the start of 2017; were you successful in all of them, or did a few escape your to-do list? Sometimes your priorities change as the year progresses, but you may decide to revisit those forgotten resolutions, or perhaps make new ones, as the calendar begins anew. We know that many knitters and crocheters embark on yearly challenges related to the craft - for instance, by pledging to knit a pair of socks each month, or going "cold sheep" and only knitting or crocheting from one's stash for an entire year.
Even if you don't make an official pledge for 2018, that there is always something new to learn about knitting, crocheting and crafting in general! We look forward to sharing lots of inspiration and tutorials with you in 2018, and we'd love to hear your suggestions for tutorials and other features you'd like to see.

Do you have any special challenges, techniques or projects you hope to tackle in 2018? Tell us about them in the comments for your chance to win a Leafy Yarn Holder from our 2017-18 Collection! Be sure to also include your Ravelry ID or email address so that we can contact you if you win. We will randomly select one lucky blog reader to announce as our winner on our first blog post of 2018.

From all of us a Knitter's Pride, have a safe and happy holiday season. See you in 2018!

Free Patterns: Recipe for Relaxation Knit & Crochet Mason Jar Cozy + Free Printable Gift Tags

The holiday season is in full swing! Today, we have two free patterns for a quick gift you can whip up in just a few hours. These mason jar cozies are a fun and festive way to package a thoughtful gift, and mason jars can hold so many things: colorful candies, hot chocolate or baking ingredients, or relaxing bath salts (we share our favorite recipe below!). Whether you knit or crochet, we've got you covered with this simple pattern using a bulky weight yarn. Enjoy!

Recipe for Relaxation: Relaxing Bath Salts
Depending on the size of your jar, you will need to double, triple, or quadruple this base recipe. You'll need 1/2 c. Epsom salts (found at most grocery or drug stores), 1/2 c. baking soda, and 10-20 drops of your favorite essential oil. Some popular choices include lavender (relaxing), rose absolute (relieves anxiety), bergamot (uplifting), eucalyptus (great for cold & flu season), or tangerine (calming). Mix everything together in a clean bowl and transfer to your mason jar.

Crochet Mason Jar Cozy


Gauge: 11 stitches and 16 rounds = 4" in single crochet

Finished Dimensions: To fit 3" circumference jar (see pattern notes for how to adjust for other sizes); 3.5" height

sc - single crochet
dc - double crochet
rnd(s) - round(s)

To Make Cozy:

Begin with a magic ring - sc 6 stitches. Use removable stitch marker to mark the beginning of each round as you work; you will be working in a continuous spiral unless otherwise noted. 

Increase Rnd 1: sc twice in each stitch. 12 stitches. 
Increase Rnd 2: *sc 1 stitch, sc twice in next stitch, repeat from * to end of round. 18 stitches.
Increase Rnd 3: *sc 2 stitches, sc twice in next stitch, repeat from * to end of round. 24 stitches.
Increase Rnd 4: *sc 3 stitches, sc twice in next stitch, repeat from * to end of round. 30 stitches.

Note: You can adjust final circumference by working fewer increase rounds (for a smaller jar) or working additional increase rounds (for a larger jar). For a larger cozy, simply add 1 more sc stitch between increases. 

Work turning rnd: sc all stitches through the back loop only. When you reach the end of the round, slip stitch in the first stitch at the beginning of that round. Chain 1 stitch.

For next 2 rnds, sc all stitches. When you reach the end of the second round, slip stitch in the first stitch at the beginning of that round. Chain 3 stitches.

Next rnd: Skip first stitch of rnd, *DC in next stitch, skip next stitch and chain 1, repeat from * to end of rnd. When you reach the end of the round, slip stitch in the first stitch at the beginning of that round to close. Chain 1 stitch.

Single crochet all stitches until you reach desired height (sample shown measures 3.5 inches from turning rnd). When you reach the end of the final round, slip stitch in the first stitch at the beginning of that round. Break yarn and pull through loop to secure. Weave in ends. 

Knit Mason Jar Cozy


Gauge: 16 stitches and 18 rounds = 4" in stockinette stitch

Finished Dimensions: To fit 3" circumference jar (see pattern notes for how to adjust for other sizes); 4" height

k - knit
kf&b - knit into front and back on 1 stitch (1 stitch increased)
k2tog - knit 2 stitches together (1 stitch decreased)
p - purl
yo - yarn over

To Make Cozy:

Cast on 6 stitches. Use removable stitch marker to mark the beginning of each round as you work; you will be working in a continuous spiral. 

Increase Rnd 1: kf&b 12 stitches. 
Increase Rnd 2: *k1, kf&b, repeat from * to end of round. 18 stitches.
Increase Rnd 3: *k2, kf&b, repeat from * to end of round. 24 stitches.
Increase Rnd 4: *k3, kf&b, repeat from * to end of round. 30 stitches.
Increase Rnd 5: *k4, kf&b, repeat from * to end of round. 36 stitches.

Note: You can adjust final circumference by working fewer increase rounds (for a smaller jar) or working additional increase rounds (for a larger jar). For a larger cozy, simply add 1 more knit stitch between increases. 

Work turning rnd: p all stitches. 

Work 3 rnds in stockinette stitch (k all stitches).

Eyelet rnd: *yo, k2tog, repeat from * to end of round.

Work in stockinette stitch (k all stitches) until you are approximately 1/2" from desired height from turning rnd (sample shown measures 3.5 inches from turning rnd).

P 1 rnd.
K 1 rnd.
P 1 rnd. 

Bind off all stitches knitwise. Break yarn and pull through loop to secure. Weave in ends.

Since it's the season of giving, we have two more bonuses for you this month!

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Crochet Provisional Cast-On 2 Ways

First, congratulations to caffeine72,  our winner for this month's blog giveaway. We will contact you to arrange for the delivery of your prize!

From time to time, you'll come across a knitting pattern requiring a provisional cast on. This is very common for infinity cowls which are worked flat and then seamed together, for example. By grafting the live stitches from both ends together, the knitter is able to create a nearly invisible join rather than seaming the cast-on and bound-off edges, which often produces a bulky or visible seam. This technique can also be used in other projects, such as sideways-knit hats, toe-up socks, or unique sweater constructions. Today, we'll show you two ways to create an easy-to-remove provisional cast on using the crochet cast-on method.

You'll need your working yarn and knitting needles, some scrap yarn (enough for your provisional cast-on), and a crochet hook that is similar in size or slightly larger than the knitting needles you'll be using.

Method #1: Picking Up Stitches from a Chain

Step 1: With waste yarn, make a slip knot and slide onto your crochet hook.

Step 2: Wrap the working end of your yarn around the hook from front to back (as shown below) and pull this loop through the slip knot to create your first chain stitch.

Step 3: Continue wrapping the yarn around the hook from front to back and pulling the loop through the stitch on the hook to create chain stitches. You will need to chain the number of stitches needed for your cast on PLUS a few extras (about 5-10 additional chain stitches will work). Cut yarn and pull through the final loop to secure.

Step 4: You will now be using your working yarn to pick up stitches from the chain you've created. The top of your chain will look similar to a bound off edge; you will need to flip the chain over - the bumps on the bottom of the chain (where the yellow arrows are pointing in the image below) are where you will inserting your needle to pick up each stitch.

With your working yarn and needle and beginning at the slip knot that started the chain, insert needle from front to back, wrap the yarn around the needle as you would do when picking up stitches from a knit fabric, and pull the loop through the chain stitch bump to create a stitch on your knitting needle. Leave this stitch on the needle and repeat the process until you have picked up the required number of stitches.

Step 5: You can now begin knitting with your working yarn (either in the round or flat) to follow your pattern instructions. When it is time to unzip the provisional cast-on, you will begin at the extra stitches at the end of the chain (if you were wondering, the extra stitches make it easier for you to find later on!). Simply take the yarn end and pull it the opposite way through the final loop - you should now be able to quickly and easily "unzip" the provisional yarn, allowing you to move these live stitches onto a knitting needle to be worked according the pattern instructions.

Method #2: On-Needle Method

Step 1: With waste yarn, make a slip knot and slide onto your crochet hook (see image for Step 1 above).

Step 2: Arrange your knitting needle and crochet hook in your left hand as pictured below (they should be parallel).

Step 3: Secure the stitch on the crochet hook while you wrap the working yarn around the back of the knitting needle, bringing it over the needle and to the front of the crochet hook.

Step 4: Pull the working yarn through the stitch on the crochet hook.

Step 5: Repeat Steps 3 & 4 until you have 1 stitch less than the total number of desired stitches on your needle.

Step 6: Transfer the stitch that is on your crochet hook to the knitting needle.

Step 7: You can now begin knitting with your working yarn (either in the round or flat) to follow your pattern instructions. When it is time to unzip the provisional cast-on, you will need to begin at the end with the slip knot to begin unraveling your provisional cast-on. This is sometimes a little tricky to get started, but if you think of it as though you were trying to untangle a knot, that can be helpful!

Bonus: This method can also be used as a regular cast-on method, using only your working yarn. Although it is not as stretchy as some cast-on methods, it requires less yarn than some methods, and it also more closely resembles the bound-off edge.

We hope you found this tutorial helpful for your next project - and if you like this post, be sure to share it on Pinterest!

Free Holiday Planning Printables from Knitter's Pride

The holidays will be here before you know it, and now is the perfect time to get all of your plans in place, allowing you to celebrate the season stress-free! We've created two free printables to help you keep track of your handmade gifts and other essential holiday tasks, from wrapping gifts to making cookies (and there's plenty of space to add in your own to-do's, too).

Make your list and check it twice, then relax and enjoy the season knowing that everything is taken care of!

Click here to sign up for our newsletter and you'll receive both of these PDF's as our free gift to you! If you already subscribe, we've already sent them your way - simply check your inbox for a download link.

Giveaway Time!

If you're knitting or crocheting holiday gifts this year (or even if you aren't!), what's keeping you entertained as you work? Do you listen to podcasts, "Netflix and knit," or keep up with your favorite YouTube channels? Let us know in the comments for your chance to win a set of Knitter's Pride Knit Blockers. One lucky person will be randomly selected as our winner to announce here on our blog on Friday, November 24.

If you haven't yet watched The Knit Show with Vickie Howell, we highly recommend checking it out! Knitter's Pride is proud to sponsor 9 of the 10 episodes, each of which has an interesting theme (such as big knits, color, or amigurumi), lots of fun guests, and free patterns, too! Click here to check it out.

Last but not least, congratulations to Valerie A, who won last month's giveaway - we will contact you to arrange for the delivery of your prize!

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Better Buttonholes for Knitted Garments

Do you avoid making worked-in buttonholes by knitting only pullovers or zip-up cardigans? Buttonholes give many knitters pause, as they are a feature usually located on the front a garment: you want them to look their best and be done well. In this post, we aim to provide you with the information you need to build a better buttonhole!

Small Eyelet Buttonholes

Knitted buttonholes are best kept as small as possible as a knitted fabric will stretch to allow the button to pass through. There is no one formula to follow, so you can be flexible in your choice, keeping in mind the garment style, yarn used, and the size of the button.

Traditionally used on baby garments, the small eyelet buttonhole is appropriate anytime a small button is used. The eyelet makes a round opening so a button somewhat larger than the opening is required to stay in place. The technique involves a combination of a paired yarnover and decrease (for example, yo, ssk), similar to what you use in lace and mesh patterns.

If you need a slightly bigger buttonhole, try working a double yarnover by wrapping the yarn around the needle twice, and working an additional decrease to compensate (for example, k2tog, double yo, ssk). When you come to this double yarnover on the next working row, you will work k1, p1 (or p1, k1) into those stitches.

If you still need a much larger buttonhole, Ysolda Teague has an interesting technique she calls the One Row Buttonhole, which is an excellent choice to use when an eyelet buttonhole is not appropriate.

Reinforcing a Buttonhole

If a buttonhole is going to be subjected to hard wear, the yarn used for the garment is softly spun, or if the fabric is worked at a loose tension, the smart choice is the reinforce the buttonhole. Reinforcing the buttonhole will also stabilize the opening to avoid stretching out with wear. On occasion, a sewn finish can be used to camouflage an imperfect buttonhole, to correct one that is too large or stretched, or to add a decorative touch. Using the same yarn used for the garment will help the edge blend in.

The choice of stitch to reinforce a buttonhole is up to the knitter or crocheter. Shown above left is the buttonhole swatch before any reinforcement was completed. The buttonholes in the center are reinforced with (from top to bottom) an overcast stitch in a contrasting yarn, overcast stitch in with a ply of the yarn used,  buttonhole stitch with a ply of the yarn used to knit the swatch, and the buttonhole stitch worked with a contrasting color. The top right photo shows a close up on the first two methods, the bottom right photo shows the second two methods.

Purchasing your buttons at the start of the project will help guide your choice of buttonhole to make! Before you cast on your project, take your swatch (you did make that swatch, right?) to the shop so you can see how the buttons look with your fabric.


One lucky blog reader will win a large Joy Hand Block Printed Fabric Bag. To enter, leave a comment on this post telling us what you’re knitting or crocheting this fall. Be sure to also mention your Ravelry ID or email address so that we can contact you if you win. We’ll randomly select one lucky winner to announce on our next blog post on Friday, November 10. Good luck!

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2017 Holiday Gift Set Reveal: The Golden Light

We're pleased to introduce this year's limited edition gift set, which is arriving at a Knitter's Pride retailer near you this month! The Golden Light captures the warmth of the holiday season with this elegant set designed for merry making.

The Golden Light is a masterpiece in its own, pairing warm colors with matte gold connectors.  Each set contains 9 pairs of interchangeable needle tips in US sizes 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 10.5 & 11; 4 color-coded cords in lengths of 24” (1 - green), 32” (2 - orange), & 40” (1 - red); and a set of cord connectors. Accessories are packed in a coordinated fabric pouch, and we have also included a color coordinated shawl pin adorned with a fine crystal as a free gift!
Make sure to add it to your wish list this holiday season!

Congratulations to lostinayarn, the winner of our giveaway for an Aspire Pattern Keeper! We will contact you shortly to arrange the delivery of your prize.

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Coming this Fall: The Knit Show with Vickie Howell & the Knitter's Pride 2017-18 Collection

We couldn't be more excited for The Knit Show with Vickie Howell to premier this October! Knitter's Pride is a proud sponsor of this unique crowd-funded series which is unlike any other, covering topics ranging from yarn, knitting and crochet (of course!!) to personal training sessions for body health, a field trip to visit shepherds in Central Asia, and more! Here is a video preview:

Be sure to keep your eye on Youtube, because on October 5, all of the episodes will be uploaded for knitters and crocheters throughout the globe to enjoy!

That's not all you have to look forward to this fall, however - the Knitter's Pride 2017-18 Collection will be arriving at your LYS soon, and we have some pretty exciting new additions to our product lines!

By popular demand, the colorful Zing needles will now be available throughout North America. These color-coded aluminum needles were featured in our Melodies of Life gift set last year, and we have received numerous requests to add them to our product line ever since. Choose from single point, double point, fixed circular, and interchangeable styles - click here to learn more!

There are also many new accessories to make crafting more enjoyable: choose from two new handcrafted wooden swift and ball winder styles, perfect for winding yarns (including jumbo 450g skeins of fingering weight yarn!). Then, keep your yarn cake secure with one of our new wooden Yarn Dispensers - or you may prefer one of these decorative yarn bowls or boxes. We've also added a new multipurpose Needle & Crochet Gauge with Yarncutter in a fun elephant shape!

Keep everything organized with our new hand-printed fabric zipper bags, needle cases, storage bags and pattern holders. There are many sizes, shapes and color options available, so you're sure to find something that's just right for you. Click here to see more styles!

One lucky reader will win a large Pattern Holder in the Aspire print, shown below. To enter, leave a comment on this post telling us which product(s) from our new collection that you are most excited about! Be sure to also mention your Ravelry ID or email address so that we can contact you if you win.

We'll randomly select a winner to announce on our next blog post on Friday, October 13. Good luck!

Winner + Lots of LYS Love!

Last month, we asked you to share why you love your LYS, and we received some fabulous entries for our contest!  Below are a few of our favorite posts from the Ravelry contest thread. Be sure to keep reading until end to find out who won our grand prize!

Puffygriffinclaw has this to say about her LYS:
My favorite LYS is The Village Yarn & Fiber Shop in East Rochester, NY. They have a remarkable array of yarns, from work horse yarns to those very special yarns. The staff is always helpful, and they offer many types of programs and classes as well as knit nights. They also sponsor special events for charity as well as trunk shows. They are active supporters of the local fiber community, so hats off to them!

They stock Knitters Pride needles, and I hope they will soon stock the Zings that have stolen my knitting heart!

LunariaLovesTea has two shops she frequents in two different states:
"I’m really lucky to have my LYS be WEBS in Northampton, MA. I’ve spent many hours wandering through the vast store and taking classes. My LYS away from home , when I visit my son in Denver, is Fancy Tiger Crafts. They carry wonderful yarns that I can’t get at home, so I always participate in yarn tourism!"

spundreams appreciates the community at her LYS:
"My LYS is The Yarn Store at Nob Hill in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I love them not only for their excellent selection of just about every aspect of fiber craft, but also because the owner has done her best to make it a community center. Aside from the coffee maker, microwave, and refrigerator, there are often munchies available, supplied by the store as well as brought in by customers. There are some excellent classes as well as various crochet-, knit- and spin-alongs, plus open knitting (Or crocheting or spinning, etc) any time the store is open. There is a computer available to look up things on Ravelry or to find patterns or yarns. There are also experts on hand who can help with simple problems or questions for free, and help with more complex problems at a reasonable price. There are arranged trips to various fiber shows; and in-store there are guest lectures and trunk shows. As part of the community outreach the owner recently invited the candidates for the local mayoral race to come after hours for a meet-and-greet and to explain their positions and answer questions. Any one of these things would be enough to make it an excellent yarn store, but everything put together truly makes it a treasure for the fiber arts as well as the larger community."

Though we couldn't pick all of the lovely messages, you can read them all in our Ravelry thread.

Last but not least, our randomly-drawn grand prize winner is post #18, crazy8mom with this entry:
"My LYS is the Tangled Skein in Eagle River, Alaska. It is a beautiful, well stocked shop that has a wonderful selection of yarns of all types. They have the largest selection of needles available in our state. So many cute accessories are available to tempt! And they are always free to help with knitting problems."

We will contact our winner on Ravelry to arrange for the delivery of your prize. Thanks to everyone who entered our contest, we hope you'll continue to show your LYS some love this fall!

ETA: Oops, we forgot to announce the winner for our August giveaway! We apologize for the delayed announcement, our randomly-selected winner is Cazzie53. We will contact you on Ravelry to arranger the delivery of your prize, a deluxe Royale interchangeable set! 

Contest: Show Your LYS Some Love!

Is your local yarn shop (LYS) the first place you go to find out about what's new and exciting in the world of yarn? Did you learn to knit or crochet there? Do they host fun events like Knitter's Pride needle tastings and knit nights?

We want to hear about what makes your LYS so special! Tell us about your favorite yarn shop for your chance to win your choice of prizes: a Deluxe Royale Interchangeable set or a Waves Crochet set.

Here's how to enter: 

1. Make sure you are a member of the Knitter's Pride Ravelry group!
2. Post a comment in this thread telling us the name of your LYS, where it's located, and what you love about it. Feel free to include photos in your post and earburn the shop if they have a Ravelry account!
3. For a special bonus entry, post a photo of your LYS on social media using #kpLYSlove - and be sure to tag your LYS, too!

We'll randomly select our grand prize winner to announce on Friday, September 15. Good luck! 

Cloud Peak KAL + Designer Spotlight: Simone Kereit of OwlCat Designs

Fall is just around the corner, and we're celebrating summer's last hurrah with a fun KAL featuring a new design by Simone Kereit of OwlCat Designs! We've asked Simone to share a guest post with our readers - read on for more info about this KAL, a special coupon code just for Knitter's Pride fans, and a chance to win the special prize, too!

Hello there, my lovely knitting friends! 
I am Simone Kereit, but you may know me better as OwlCat Designs, and we’ll be doing a fun KAL together! And before anything else, I want to thank Knitters Pride for sponsoring this event and letting me take over their blog as well as providing a number of cool prizes to participants, but more on that later!
But before we get into any more details, let me introduce myself a little, in case you don’t know that much about me:
My name is Simone and I was born in Switzerland where I learned to knit when I was around 5 or 6 years old. My mom always had a project going, so the concept was with me from a really young age. And then of course, we all learned to knit in school, though I am sure my brother would not remember how if I asked him these days! When I started to knit, there were not a lot of patterns, especially for kids or teenagers, and so I learned to knit socks by asking my Mom how to do it, and knitting a sweater by picking out yarn which at the time would have convenient notes on the label about how many balls of yarn it might take for a size 38 etc. You would then take the yarn home and swatch the stitch you wanted to use and then doing all the math off of the swatch. As you can imagine, there was  a bit of a learning curve and not all my projects turned out fabulous right from the start. I distinctly remember one where I decided to put a band of colorwork into the bottom third on the front and since this was the first time I worked a stranded design and was teaching myself by making ALL the mistakes, the band was a whole lot tighter than the rest of the sweater. So smartly, when I knit the back, I made sure to make it extra loose, which ended up making a big ol’ pouch than hung below my butt! I still wore the sweater, I had made it after all, but luckily it was a really warm number and there wasn’t all that much occasion to wear it except in the woods!
When I moved to the US in 1999, I was surprised to learn that not everyone was knitting the way I was taught and publishing designs was almost the logical conclusion.
I really love to knit and so I enjoy a variety of techniques and items, from shawls over smaller accessories (like the Mitts we will be knitting together) to sweaters and cardigans. I design things that I would like to wear (and I often do, though sometimes I have to wait for the shawl or sweater to make their way back to me after travelling in trunk shows to shops around the country) and so the things I am inspired to design change. I have many more ideas than hours or energy in my hands to knit, so I have to structure and plan, but I do like to leave a bit of room for the unexpected, if I can. I find having the freedom to design something on the spur of the moment just because I had this amazing idea really helps my creativity and my happiness. 

I love wooden tools, knitting needles included and have more needles than I care to admit. I probably have the entire size range of Knitter’s Pride Dreamz Interchangeable needles twice over, because they give me so much flexibility and because I always seem to need needles in the same sizes and end up adding another set of tips. I love that the wooden tips now come as Natural, because sometimes you just need a light colored needle to be able to really see your stitches. When I knit small circular things I prefer using DPNs, but I do quickly go over how to adapt your longer (40” /100 cm) circulars to knit these mitts using magic loop. 

One thing that I think absolutely rocks about the Knitter’s Pride interchangeable needles is the end caps. Do you use them much? If not, you should! Each cable comes with two of them and even though I tend to not often put something aside on the cable to use the needle tips for something else (see above and my mention of my needle collection) though they are great for that as well (just make sure to use the size tags which come with each set, for you won’t remember the size when you find your project 2 years from now and the sticky notes do fall off, trust me).
No, what I use them most often for is travel safety and sleeve stitches
Let me explain the first: When you travel on planes these days, you never know if they might take your needles. Fingers crossed, I never had an issue using my wooden Dreamz tips, but it depends on the country and the airport and you just never know. If you should be so unlucky as to have to give up your needles, simply unscrew the tips, put endcaps on and when you get to your destination, unpack the set of tips that was in your checked luggage! Sure it is sad that you couldn’t knit on your lace shawl while flying, but the stitches are safe and you get to enjoy it when you are on vacation! 
The other is sleeves: When I knit cardigans or sweaters in the round, (anything circular yoke or raglan shaped) instead of putting stitches on waste yarn, I simply knit them onto a short cable, add endcaps and voilĂ ! When it comes time to knit the sleeves (or join the sleeves to the body for bottom up designs) all you have to do is unscrew the endcaps and thread on the proper needle. No more stitches that got all tiny and are hard to pick up, no slipping this way and that. Just screw on those tips, and knit right off the end! I am probably a bit giddy, but I do love this so much, I probably have 8 sets of 16” and 20” cables just for that!
But let’s get back to designing. Often my inspiration comes from nature, I love hiking and being outside in general and anything in nature from a misty sunrise to an intricately twisted branch can just hit you and take your breath away. The Cloud Peak mitts that we are going to knit together, were inspired by those high peaks up in the mountains, the ones that often wear a cap of clouds when the wind is right. I settled on the name on our recent vacation, when driving across Wyoming towards the Big Horn mountains, the tallest peaks are in an area known as the Cloud Peak Wilderness, and from a distance, there are many smaller peaks visible as you approach across the lower country. The name seemed just perfectly fitted to the stitch pattern reminding me of mountain ranges back home with multiple peaks jutting high into the blue sky.
I hope many of you will join me as we get started, the official cast on date is August 25th, so you have 2 full weeks to shop for the perfect yarn or dig through your stash for that perfect skein. You need sport weight yarn and if you like, beads. I have tutorials that will show you all the parts that might be new to you, so if you’ve never used beads in your knitting, just follow along, it’s super easy! And all the details on materials are below. 

The socializing part of the KAL will be happening online and we even have our very own #hashtag: #CloudPeakKAL 
We will virtually knit together in my Ravelry group and on Instagram 
And on the Knitter's Pride and OwlCatDesigns Instagram profiles.  

So come over, give us a follow and say hi in my Ravelry group!

When I started designing these mitts, I wanted them to be versatile, but also something that has a few details that perhaps are new to you and where you can add a new knitting skill to your bag of tricks. I designed them to be knit in Sport Weight yarn so it would go quickly and the beads add an elegant little detail to the back of your hand! The pattern comes in a couple of sizes and I want to quickly go over how to measure your hand to find the perfect size and fit. 

As shown in the picture, measure the circumference of your palm, holding the tape measure snug. On the pattern you will find two measurements, one is the actual finished size, the other is the hand circumference it is meant to fit. Just like when you make a hat, you will want some negative ease (the actual measurement of the knitted item is smaller than the size of your hand) as knitted fabric has some stretch. This is so the mitt doesn’t fit all floppy and loose in the end but fits you ‘like a glove’.
The Cloud Peak Mitts can be knit with a regular or a long cuff, since I like mine long to tuck into a sweater or inside a jacket sleeve without cold wind getting to you. And the pattern is written in multiple sizes, so you can make one for the rest of the family too! As we go along, I have a couple of hacks and adaptations that I think would make these fun for a guy to wear as well (unless of course they are fond of beads, no tweaking necessary then).
A quick word on yarn: For this stitch pattern, a smooth plied yarn works best, and since mitts usually get a good bit of use and friction, you may want to opt for Superwash while you’re at it.
Ok so now that you know a bit more, here is what you need to get to be ready for cast on!
Approx. 155 (165, 180) yds / 140 (150, 165) m of sport weight yarn
US 4 (3.5mm needles) Knitter’s Pride either DPNs or 40” / 100 cm circulars needles for magic loop
28 st and 32 rows = 4” / 10 cm in stockinette st
Finished Sizes
6 (7, 8)” / 15 (18, 20) cm palm circumference
to fit hand with palm circumference up to 7 (8, 9)” / 18 (20.5, 23) cm
Tapestry Needle
0.75mm Knitter’s Pride crochet hook or preferred tool to add beads
approx. 95 (105, 120) size 6/0 beads
5 markers (2 color A for Cloud Peak pattern panel, 2 color B for thumb gusset, and 1 marker for EoR)

For the sample I used Dragonfly Fibers Damsel in Silver Fox and less than 1 tube (20g) of size 6/0 beads in matte metallic silver grey.

Our KAL runs August 25-Sept. 22; I hope you will join me as we knit the Cloud Peak Mitts together over the next few weeks! 

August Giveaway! 

One lucky reader will win a Deluxe Royale Interchangeable Needle Set. To enter, leave a comment telling us what your favorite pattern is from Simone's back catalog! Don't forget to also mention your Ravelry ID or email address so that we can contact you if you win.

We'll randomly select one lucky winner to announce on our next blog post on Friday, August 31. Good luck! 

Tips for Working With Hand-Dyed Yarns

There are so many beautiful hand-dyed options available for yarn lovers, but they can sometimes be a challenge to work with. On today's post, we'll cover four key areas to consider before starting your next project with a hand-dyed yarn to ensure maximum satisfaction with your FO (finished object)!

1. Buy a "safety skein."

Buying enough yarn for your project may seem like obvious advice, but judging by the number of #yarnchicken posts on Instagram, it can be easier said than done! A good rule of thumb is to add an extra skein to the amount of yarn you think you need to ensure that all of your skeins are from the same dye lot. With the amount of variation amongst hand-dyed yarns (not to mention, the number of unrepeatable/one-of-a-kind colors out there), you'll be glad you did! If you end up having that safety skein of yarn left over, you can always make a matching hat, or enter it into your Ravelry stash as for sale/trade - chances are, someone will be interested in giving it a new home.

2. Pick the right pattern. 

#Specklesaresohotrightnow, but they don't go with everything! Many of those variegated color ways that look so pretty in the skein can be difficult to pair up with patterns, as more complex stitch patterns can get lost when they compete with a variegated colorway.

More complex lace and cables are generally better suited to shaded solids, but if there is a pattern that you've got your heart set on for that special skein, do a little research first. Check Ravelry to see other people's projects - it's likely someone else has made that shawl pattern with a variegated yarn, and if you like how theirs turned out, yours will probably look great, too! Of course, you can knit a swatch with your yarn as the final determination of whether or not to proceed, but checking Ravelry first can save you a little time!

Lastly, a pattern with lots of shaping or slipped stitches will minimize pooling, which is when colors stack up while knitting to form larger splotches of color. This may or may not be a desirable effect - just check the Planned Pooling thread in the Yarn & Fiber Ravelry group to see some stunning examples of both ends of the spectrum.

3. Alternate Skeins.

If you'll be using more than 1 skein of the same color in your project, alternating skeins is the best way to ensure that any variations between those skeins are minimized - otherwise, you might have a very visible line where the new yarn was joined. Here is a great blog post about methods for alternating skeins:

What if you forgot to buy that safety skein of yarn, and lost at yarn chicken? Alternating skeins is also a great way to introduce a different dye lot of the same color into your project with minimal detection (just make sure that you have enough of your original yarn to alternate rows for at least a few inches).

Image via Handmade by Stefanie; used with permission.

Sure, you can take your chances and hope for the best, but alternating skeins really isn't as fussy as it sounds, and the results are worth it.

4. Test Color Fastness.

Reds, pinks and yellows are the hardest dyes to set properly. Newbie and experienced dyers alike have this problem! While these three hues are the most prone to bleeding, ANY color can be at risk. Especially if you are using multiple colors and/or pairing light with dark, checking for color fastness is a month before you begin your project. There is nothing sadder than those crisp white stripes becoming tinged with its neighboring color. It's better to be safe than sorry!

Staci Perri of Very Pink Knits has a super simple method for testing for color fastness:

We hope these tips help you to plan your next project with hand dyed yarn, and we would love to hear your own ideas and tips in the comments!

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Winner + Spring Home Decor KAL/CAL Round-Up

First, let's announce the winner of our June blog giveaway - congratulations to caffeine72 with this comment:

We'll be in touch via Ravelry to coordinate the prize delivery. Thanks to everyone else who took our quiz and entered the contest!

Spring Home Decor KAL/CAL Round-Up
We had a great time seeing all of the clever home decor patterns that you all knit or crocheted over the last couple of months.

Here are just a few of the projects that caught our eyes.

#1. Dishsoap Bottle Dress and Cloth
The moment we saw these dresses, we thought they were super clever, and a fun way to bring a little fun into the kitchen.

What a great idea, and we are sure to see more of these popping up on Ravelry! Thanks to LeilaEvelyn on Ravelry for sharing these with us.

#2. The Spa-Riffic Wash Cloth
Many of you took to this delightfully textured pattern, and the results were fabulous!
This one by 55yrknitter looks great with that hand poured bar of soap.

Knittingdancer made hers in this stunning bright orange!

#3. Fronded Trivet
We thought this dual colored pattern deserved some attention. The subtle patterning makes this a great addition to your kitchen or even a botanical inspired bathroom, Great work CornucopiAmy!

Here are the winners for our prizes, as chosen by the Random Number Generator:
2. kshufelt from Ravelry - Knit Blockers 
3. Asteride from Instagram - Reverie Fabric Bag

We will get in touch with you via Ravelry to arrange for the delivery of your prizes. Thanks to everyone who entered our KAL/CAL!