Free Pattern Friday: Reyna

Because I'm leagues-deep in sweater mode right now, I favourite a ton of sock and shawl patterns on Ravelry.  I tell myself -- and this is probably going to end up being inaccurate -- that I can knit shawls and socks again in three months, once the Year of Twelve Sweaters is over.  One of the ones I've saved is Reyna, a simple and beautiful pattern for a variegated sock yarn.  One skein is kind of my default for sock yarn, when I find something too lovely to leave behind but for which I have no idea what to make.  One skein of sock yarn is a good compromise, as it could become a pair of socks, a pair of mitts, a shawl or cowl, or it could be coupled with another skein of sock yarn to make something striped.  Basically, it's enough to make something nice, without making you commit to investing hundreds of dollars in yarn before you even know what you want to make.

Noora Laivola's free shawl pattern, Reyna, is the answer to my wishes.  I would think it's best suited to variegated, handpainted, or semi-solid colourways, because the lace pattern would show those off best, and it will maximize the use of your single skein of yarn, since it's knit from the top down.  It's available for free on Ravelry in three languages (English, French, and German), and the pattern sheets even include a little bonus section tracker.

Images by Noora Laivola

Free Patterns and New Trend: Granny Square Sweaters

I've been knitting pretty furiously on two sweaters and a pair of socks, but I have very few exciting WIP pictures to show.  That's mostly because I'm in the most tedious part of both sweaters, where you're adding length but not doing any exhilarating shaping or anything.  I probably should have planned it a bit better; had one boring sweater with minimal shaping and one with more things going on (like cables or lace, maybe) to keep my mind busy.  Maybe a sweater like one of these?

That's the Campfire Cardigan from Make & Do Crew and Lana Red Studio's diy granny square sweater.

I love, love, love how in both of these patterns, the designers have taken a flat, blocky shape (the granny square) and turned it into something fitted and wearable.  I'm also very inspired by the colour stories in both sweaters, though they've very different from each other.  Thinking about weaving in all the ends gives me a headache, though.  And other than weaving the ends, I think it would also be pretty fast to crochet one of these, since a granny square has so much negative space in it.  Maybe I can start a new trend in granny square clothing...

Images from Make & Do Crew and Lana Red Studio

Dreaming of Fall Knits, Part Three: Free Mitten Patterns

Cozy mitts are really fall knitting, because it's preparation for the (long, cold, hard) winter ahead, right?  As quick a knit as mitts are, you can't wait until it's -30 Celsius out and you need the mitts NOW to start them.  As a knitter, you have to look ahead a little bit (or a lot -- it's kind of like how the fall fashion collections come out in the spring, when you really don't feel like looking at wool capes and heavy pants). 

I love the look of intricate colourwork mittens, like Jorid Lindvik's, but I don't have the appetite for it.  So I was attracted to these three mitten patterns, which are free on Ravelry, and incorporate a little bit of simple colourwork for interest:  Azurite, Marius votter barn (which is written in a child's size), and Coffee and Cream (from left to right). 


I also like cabled mitts, as they add some cushiness and warmth, like in these three free patterns:  Kaivo, Convertible Cable Mittens, and Wine Mittens.  I'm not the biggest fan of convertible mitts (and don't get me started on fingerless mitts!), because they're really not warm enough for these sub-arctic climes, but it would be easy enough to make regular mitts from that second pattern.  I love how long they are!  Shorter cuffs usually result in exposedskin at the wrists, so I make the cuffs on my mitts long enough to tuck into my jacket cuffs and stay there.  Elbow-length mitts are a bit extreme, but if your jacket sleeves are large enough to accommodate them you'd stay very warm indeed.

Photo Credits:  Azurite (Blacker Yarns), Marius votter barn (Trude Eikebrokk), Coffee and Cream (Megan Charlton), Kaivo (Milla H.), Convertible Cable ( Michelle Porter), Wine Mittens (Jungmi Ryu)


Free patterns: Little Church Knits

How have I only discovered this website a couple of weeks ago?  Cheryl, who is based in Prince Edward County, Ontario, was publishing free patterns on a weekly basis for a while there.  She still has some of the older ones available for free, and the newer ones are also free on a limited basis.  You can read about it here.

Among the older patterns, there's some beautiful stuff:  Big Island Wrapper (below left), Hay Bay Hat (below right), Tooty Mitts (I still love colourblocking!) and Hill Island Wrap.  And in the spirit of knitterly sharing and education, she's got some helpful knitting technique video tutorials.

Images from Little Church Knits

Free Pattern: Ten-Stitch Blanket and Sister KAL

My sister Julia (yamwam on Ravelry) showed me her finished Ten-Stitch Twist blanket, and it's so beautiful.  One side ends up with ridges, as you can see below, because of the way the stitches are joined, and it's really pretty.  I think she used about 1000 yards of a worsted weight yarn and hers came out baby-blanket-sized.

Frankie Brown first developed her Ten-Stitch Blanket, then published a plethora of adaptations:  Twist, Zigzag, Triangle, Corner, Wave, Cable, and Double.  The patterns are all free on Ravelry, and she has so far raised £15,941.90 for the Children’s Liver Disease Foundation with these and other free patterns.  These are all really cool patterns, because they're joined as you go, and so at the end you don't have a lot of seaming.

My sister's gorgeous blanket made me want to knit one too; it would be good to knit while watching TV or reading, and would also let me clear out a bit of the stash.  I had a bad habit, previously, of buying strange quantities of yarn: way too much for a hat or mitts, and not quite enough for a sweater.  A blanket project where I can stop whenever I run out of yarn is a fabulous way to get some of that yarn out of the stash, and the yarn I have in mind will knit up quickly and look good in this type of pattern. 

Julia has some stash yarn she wants to use to make another ten-stitch project, so we decided to make this a sister KAL.  Now we just have to agree on which ten-stitch pattern to do!

Free Pattern: Shot Through the Heart

At first glance, this looks like a work in progress, but look closer and you see that what appeared at first to be knitting needles are actually arrows. 

 Image  via

Image via

Heidi Gustad's neat pattern for her Shot Through the Heart wall hanging hits a lot of bright points: it's worked in a bulky-weight wool, so it would be a quick knit; it's worked in veil stitch, which yields a drapey, open fabric that still holds its shape due to the twisted stitches; a heart shape emerges from just a bit of interesting shaping; it creatively repurposes vintage items; it's punctuated with a tassel at the bottom; it references a Bon Jovi song. 

What an imaginative way to incorporate knitting into decor!  This calls back to those fringey wall hangings that have become so popular lately, and to macrame ones, which seems to be coming back into style (or maybe it was never out of style?), but produces something fresh and new.  And I think even if you didn't have a couple of vintage arrows sitting around, you could use vintage straight knitting needles, or make some arrow-looking things out of dowels, or even just use plain dowels in your wall hanging.