Pop Rocket Shawl

Pop Rocket Shawl knit in grey yarn with bursts of yellow-blue areas. On top of the shawl is a skein of Wonderland Yarns Mary Ann in the colorway Dandelion in a sidewalk crack.

There’s nothing new about color burst yarns, they’ve been around for a while and I’ve even worked with them before. That being said, I’ve never done anything special to manipulate the burst in favor of letting the pop of color be just that. In fact, I think I’ve only ever tried to control pooling once (the Pool & Conquer shawl by Martina Behm).

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the concept of controlled pooling, the idea is that you’re manipulating the yarn to create an effect. This can be done by stacking the color with a specific number of stitches or working a specific stitch whenever you hit a color burst. The Pop Rocket Shawl (free), for example, has you use yarnovers to manipulate the color bursts and accent them further. Other forced pooling projects can be found by searching “pooling” on Ravelry, I have my eye on a few by Dawn Barker.

I highly enjoyed working on the pop rocket shawl. It was simple with just enough of something to do every so often that I never lost interest in knitting it. Definitely has me thinking about what else I should work on that plays around with forced pooling and the colors of Dandelion in a sidewalk crack by Wonderland Yarns goes with almost everything in my wardrobe. The shawl also grew a LOT when I blocked it, which was a pleasant surprise. If I were to knit this pattern again, I think I would manipulate the pattern to use two skeins instead of one for a larger shawl.

Use the discount YARNVIP for 15% off your total purchase from Wonderland Yarns (discount not eligible on sale items, with other discounts, or on yarn clubs) :]

A woman in a black shirt and light green skirt wearing the Pop Rocket Shawl knit in grey yarn with bursts of yellow-blue areas.

Into the Cave of Wonders Sock Pattern

One of the most memorable scenes, for me, in Aladdin is when he’s first entered the Cave of Wonders and is slowly making his way down hundreds of steps. Down and down and down until he’s surrounded by treasure, instructed to touch nothing but the lamp. This is an interesting proposition to make when you take into account that a handful of literally anything in the room would change Aladdin’s life forever. “Touch nothing but the lamp” is an interesting way of saying “don’t be greedy”.

When I designed Into the Cave of Wonders for Wonderland Yarn’s deSTITCHnation, this is the scene that came to mind. Smock stitches are meant to illustrate steps working their way down your leg to heels and toes that are made extra colorful by the yarn being held double. The way the stitches provide an extra throw of the color makes me happy.

You can grab a skein of Cave of Wonders from Wonderland Yarns this month!

Into The Cave of Wonders knit in wonderland yarns Cheshire Cat.

Other things I made during the 2022 “Make Good Stash Down”

This past winter, my Local Yarn Store held their second stash down knit along (KAL). The goal was simple, work through the yarn in your stash and finish projects on your needles. I actually knit most of my yarn! By the end of the KAL I only had two or three skeins left in my hatbox. During the KAL, I made (and have already mentioned) a Sorrel Mini, my Tic Tac Toe sweater, some quick knit cowls, a couple of gradient knits, and a hat for my husband. Since the KAL took place while I was patiently waiting for our little one to arrive as well as in the early days when I had to stay awake for long stretches of time, a lot more knitting took place! In addition to those projects, I also made:

Another pair of Flip-Top Mittens, this time in Blue Sky Fibers Extra. These are super handy for taking the dog out or for any day when a little extra dexterity is important. I believe this is the ninth time I’ve worked up this pattern? It’s a quick and easy gift that everyone seems to enjoy, so I’m sure it won’t be the last time I reach for the Red is Best pattern.

Socks, of course. Prior to this project, I had never worked with Urth Uneek Fingering and if I’m being honest it made for a crazy pair of socks! Part of me thinks it could have made a beautiful shawl as well, I’m thinking something that takes advantage of long color repeats. Since Hubs picked out the yarn specifically for the purpose of adding another pair of knit socks to his collection, I tried holding the yarn double when knitting the heel and toe. With any luck, this will add an extra layer of toughness and prevent holes just a little bit longer.

A baby cardigan, in Wonderland Yarns & Frabjous Fibers Mary Ann and Blue Sky Fibers Woolstok Light, held double. In my mind, I knit the larger size so that O could wear it longer… in practice, she won’t be able to wear it until the fall. Oh well!

The final project I was able to finish (just barely) was a woven scarf to match Hubs’ hat. The plaid is a little crazy, but I’m hoping the various fibers will keep him very warm next winter.

I still can’t believe how many projects I cranked out in the three-month period, and how quickly I refilled my stash when the KAL ended. My queue is long again, which is a fun place to be.

Looking to add some Wonderland Yarn to your stash? Use the discount YARNVIP for 15% off your total purchase from Wonderland Yarns (discount not eligible on sale items, with other discounts, or on yarn clubs) :]

End of the Tic Tac Toe Sweater KAL

Two Tac Tac Toe sweaters folded in half and laid side by side so that they form a complete sweater.

Thank you to everyone who downloaded the Tic Tac Toe sweater this past month! I’m so excited by the number of pattern downloads and can’t wait to see how different people continue to have different takes on working it up. If you haven’t grabbed the sweater for free yet, you have until this Friday with code three in a row, after that the pattern will be full price.

Grab the pattern on Ravelry.

Head in the Clouds Knitting Pattern

Head in the clouds shawl sitting on a manikin.

Over the last few months, I’ve found myself reaching for gradient yarns more and more frequently. Don’t get me wrong, I think solid or heathered colorways are still my favorite, but I think gradient colorways are giving me the space to work with more than one color without sacrificing the complexity of the project. Gradients allow you to continue to play around with texture, something I’ve been drawn to of late. This is a roundabout way of saying that when Wonderland Yarns asked me if I wanted to design a pattern for their March Blossom Club, they received an enthusiastic yes!

It took a few tries before I landed on a design that I was happy with, despite going into the design process with the idea of “head in the clouds” after seeing the colorway. My first attempt was a shawl that didn’t make it much further than casting on. Then I tried a cowl with a provisional cast on with the general goal of grafting the ends together at the end, this design didn’t make it much further than the second repeat. Third time was the charm, although I did have to put it down for an evening before committing to it. Visualizing the way a design is going to knit up and block is very difficult – even making a gauge swatch leaves a lot left to the imagination when it comes to what the larger garment will look like. There’s this delicate balance between creating from an idea and calling the project when it’s clear that it’s not working out the way that you intended it to.

Head in the Clouds is a quick knit cowl, despite being knit in fingering weight yarn, with a textured design meant to remind the wearer of birds migrating and puffy clouds in the sky. Guage is not important for this pattern, but not knitting the cowl to gauge will affect yardage requirements (and Head in the Clouds uses just about an entire skein of blossom!).

You can purchase Head in the Clouds on Ravelry.

Close up of the head in the clouds cowl being worn.