Announcing FreshStitches Knitting Patterns!

Wow… I’m full of announcements this week, aren’t I? Here’s another, in case you missed it.

Here’s another one… I’ve released a new collection of knitting patterns! I developed these patterns with my new yarn line in mind, but they’ll work great with pretty much any worsted weight yarn!

freshstitches knitting patterns

I’m so excited! And for you guys, a special! Buy 2, get the 3rd free… no coupon needed!

My design philosophy

My designing philosophy is just the same for my knitting designs as for my crocheted animals: patterns should be easy to understand, and accessible to a beginner who is open to learning something new. They should be interesting enough to keep you happy, but easy enough that they make great ‘watching tv’ knitting.

And I’ve delivered on every one of these three patterns. I couldn’t be more proud!

rainbow of freshstitches yarns

Even though though I developed these patterns with my new yarn colors in mind, they work great with lots of different color combos! (Check out Bento, below!) You might be interested in reading my Color Theory blog post and my more recent post about blending neutral colors and brights for inspiration!

Can I show you my new, fabulous patterns?

All of the amazing photos below were shot by Gale Zucker. Who’s amazing.

Chiclets

Have you noticed the craze going around with mini-skeins? But what do you DO with those little bits of yarn? Or leftovers?

Meet Chiclets!

Chiclets Chevron Rainbow Cowl by FreshStitches

This pattern uses 1 skein (175 yards) of Louet Gems Worsted (the sample is knitted in Cloud Grey) and 20 yards of 4 colors from my new line. The knitting is nice and easy, just a simple chevron pattern… but throw in some color changes and KA POW! Little bits that look like Chiclets!

FreshStitches chevron cowl Chiclets

The cowl is knit flat, and the only kinda tricky bit is working Intarsia… which just means doing color changes without stranding the yarn behind! This would make a great first Instarsia project.

I didn’t have time to knit ALL of the samples I have ideas for, so can I just share them with you? And you do all that knitting?

  • Instead of using only 4 colors, make this a real stash-buster and make each ‘chiclet’ a different color. That’s 12 colors total!
  • Stack the color changes vertically, creating an ombre cowl
  • Hold fingering weight yarn double to get a worsted gauge… and use those sock-yarn minis I know you have in your stash!
  • Use only 2 chiclet colors (maybe black & white?) for a super modern and sleek cowl

Aaah! I can’t wait to see these projects!

Go ahead and add this great pattern to your cart! (don’t forget, it’s buy 2, get 1 free!)

Mixie

When I was designing Mixie, I wanted a simple project. Fun colors, mostly stockinette.

Mixie by FreshStitches

The result is this cutie, a kite-shaped wrap that’s really flexible to wear. Do you see all of those pretty yarn-overs on the border? Sure, they’re pretty… but they double as buttonholes! So you can button this up any way you want!

Mixie by FreshStitches

Isn’t that fun?

The sample shows 3 colors (FreshStitches Cherry, Clementine and Lemon), but you could turn this one into a stash-buster too… and have oodles of stripes!

Go ahead and add this great pattern to your cart! (get all 3 patterns for the price of 2!)

Bento

I began designing Bento as a project for an “Introduction to Shawl Knitting” class. A lot of students are nervous about knitting a shawl (what the heck is a garter stitch tab?) especially ones that contain beads and lace.

Well, ‘lace’ is really just a word for a stitch pattern that contains yarn overs, and if you can knit, purl, increase and decrease, then you can do it!

Bento Shawl by FreshStitches

And so Bento was born: a great shawl that gently introduces you to various stitch patterns, and even a bit of beads for bling.

Bento by FreshStitches

I love the shape and weight of this shawl. Sometimes shawls end up being pretty, but barely stay on your shoulders. Not this guy! The extra-wide shape means that it easily drapes over your shoulders.

Go ahead and add this great pattern to your cart! Get all 3 patterns for the price of 2, no coupon needed!)

Buy 2, get 1 free!

Can’t decide? You don’t have to! Until September 1st, Buy 2, get the 3rd free! No coupon needed!

You can click this link to automatically add all three patterns to your cart. The sale only applies to the patterns mentioned in this post.

I can’t wait to see what you make!

See these in person!

A trunk show featuring these patterns (as well as a few others in my new yarn line) are coming to an LYS near you! The party will start at Knit New Haven.

Ask your local yarn shop if they’re stocking the FreshStitches line of Louet Gems, and whether they’re signed up for the trunk show!

FreshStitches yarn, Olive You Baby cardigan

Stitches Midwest and lots of inspiration!

Yarn and Craft Newsletter from FreshStitches

Events

Hey guys! Next weekend, I’m going to be at Stitches Midwest… am I going to see you there? It coincides with the Chicago Yarn Crawl that starts today and goes until August 7!

I’ve really enjoyed reading about the Australian Sheep and Wool Show

What I’m up to

I did some woodworking! I made a toy box for Maddie from American Cherry, and I’m really proud of it!

This is the hardest woodworking project I’ve done so far. I used these torsion hinges which keep the lid open at any angle- it means little fingers won’t get smashed! For this hinge, you need to weigh the lid for proper functioning, I feel very lucky to live near a Rockler Woodworking shop. It’s a lot like the quality assistance you get from a good yarn shop.

I finished the box with tung oil, which gives a great finish. It’s good to go outside of your comfort zone!

Tips and Tutorials

  • Here’s a video for how to use a ball winder and swift. You might also be interested in my review of my favorite at-home winder.
  • Here’s how to read a bead crochet pattern.
  • Surface Single Crochet is such a great technique and Moogly posted a great tutorial!
  • Want to put some colors together? Read this post on selecting colors that go together.
  • More Great Links

    Let me hear from you!

    I’m hoping to see a few of you in person this weekend… and then I’ll be on vacation for a week! Happy summer!

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    Color Theory: Neutrals + Pop of Color!

    You know that I love color.

    In fact, one of my most popular blog posts is this one where I talk about putting colors together.

    But maybe you’re not into wearing lots of different colors. I have another great color combo for you: a neutral + a pop of color!

    How to do it

    My philosophy for mixing neutrals and color is to mix warmth, but keep the darkness the same. For example, I mix a warm color with a cool neutral… but keep them about the same lightness.

    Here’s a little chart showing some ideas:
    mixing neutrals and color from freshstitches

    See it in action!

    I just finished knitting Dromos (well… actually, I finished knitting it a long time ago, but I just finished weaving in the ends!), and I just love it. It combines a medium brown with a soft blue.

    Dromos knit by Freshstitches

    Here’s a close up:
    close up

    Yummy, right? It’s a warm brown mixed with a cool blue, and they’re both similar darkness and a similar muted tone.

    And do you remember Phi?

    Phi Shawl

    A cool grey plus a warm orange… both fairly dark. Delicious!

    Dark grey and lime green? Oh, yeah.
    Derecho
    Bonus: whenever you use different colors in a project, it’s an opportunity to stash-bust and use up some odd skeins you might have on hand! Stripes are a stash-busters best friend!

    Have you done this before? What’s your favorite color combination?

    Color Theory 101: selecting yarns that go together

    A lot of patterns going around at the moment feature stripes: two or three colors that go together perfectly.

    You could follow the colors suggested in the pattern sample… but you want to try something a little different. But how in the world do you pick a colors that go together? Color theory. That’s how!

    Picture the yarns on a color wheel

    Most yarn lines contain a wide range of of colors. Here’s a look at the color palette for Cotton Candy from Be Sweet:

    Cotton Candy yarn color chart from be sweet

    Whoa! Overwhelming, right?

    But don’t fret. To get started with selecting a pair of colors, imagine them organized around a color wheel:

    Yarn color wheel

    It’s not all of the yarns, of course! I just picked a representative for each color wedge!

    Most yarn companies design their colors of yarn with compatibility in mind. This is good news! It means that most yarns from a single line are of similar tone and will work together nicely… it’s just up to you to pick your fave color combo!

    Color Theory 101

    Fortunately, there’s a name for the art of picking colors that go together: color theory. Oodles of brilliant artists and designers agree on some fundamental color groupings. Phew! That means we can use what they’ve figured out to help us pick our color pairings!

    There are three color schemes that, if followed, will create knock-your-socks-off color combos: analogous, complementary and split complementary. For help picking an awesome pair (or triple) of color, stick with one of these schemes, and you can’t go wrong!

    Analogous

    Analogous colors are the ones that are next to each other on the color wheel:

    Analogous color scheme on wheel

    This scheme can work with any number of colors… pick two that are next to each other, three or four!

    Complementary

    For a color pair with a real ‘punch’, go with complementary colors: colors that are opposite each other on the color wheel:

    complementary color schemes

    I love using complementary colors. The difference in colors highlights the striping/pattern in your knitting/crochet!

    Split Complementary

    A complementary color scheme gives you two colors… so if you want three, you’ll need to use the Split Complementary scheme. Here’s how this one works: start with one color. Zip across the color wheel to it’s complementary color, and select the two colors next to it:

    Split complementary

    Are you ready to hop into color?

    See… it’s not so bad? The color wheel is your friend!

    By using one of these color schemes, you’ll be able to put together a beautiful color combo! (I know I’ve started eyeing the blue + pink + orange one!)

    Thanks so much to Be Sweet for permitting use of the photo of their lovely yarn to use as examples!