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Ho Ho Ho! Knitting books for me!

Ho Ho Ho! Knitting books for me!

My family often uses my knitting wish list to inspire their shopping, and this year, I was lucky! Not one, but two knitting books to enjoy!

Alanna Nelson knits Bristol Ivy

Bristol Ivy’s “Knitting Outside the Box”

Alanna Nelson knits from Arne Carlos Bird book

My holiday knitting this year was light, and although I”m heads down into Emily Greene’s Divide Pullover , you can bet I’ll be whistling while I knit up and day dream with these wonders!

Books and knitting – two very lovely gifts that keep on giving! 

Easy Knitting for Summer Travels

Easy Knitting for Summer Travels

Six weeks into sailing season and so far, I’ve resisted starting new projects for the boat. Aren’t I diligent? Aren’t I ready for new summer knitting projects? Aren’t I avoiding finishing my Master Knitter Level 3 corrections?

Alanna Nelson knits and sails in Boston

One of the boats in the club had a perfect place to stash the project on board!

From the diligent end, aren’t you proud that either Joji Locatelli’s Windows to my Soul and Umeko by Sarah Hatton dropped into the sailing bag? I’ve been knitting them off and on for a while; both are nearly complete!

Alanna Nelson knits Rowan Yarns in Boston

Umeko in Cotton Lustre – Yum!

Now it’s time to cast on new traveling projects for the sailing bag as well as other summer adventures on the horizon. An ideal traveling project could be stockinette or garter, but easy to learn and repeatable patterns are more fun. I’d rather not do stranded knitting. A nice portable size is convenient, but I’m happy to do pieces and sew them together. Last year’s Silky Thorn required size 1 needles, which was workable… but not my first choice. And wouldn’t it be nice if it used yarn I already own?

Ravelry now allows you to bundle the projects and patterns that you favorite into Pinterest like collections. I created a “Traveling Knits” bundle, which was a good place to start with summer knitting inspiration. The first Fall edition of Knitty.com is always good for inspiration! And of course, the knitters at Sit and Knit and In Stitches always have great ideas when asked. So here’s

6 Easy Knitting Projects for Summer Travels

Alanna Nelson loves Knitty.com patterns

Baker Street by Joan of Dark in the

Although thoughts of early fall are truly repulsive, it’s always a good idea to restock the hand knit present shelf. Baker Street by Joan of Dark looks like an entertaining and easy project.

Alanna Nelson applauds Bristol Ivy knitting patters

Allongee by Bristol Ivy in Spring KnitScene 2015

Coordinating colors of Louet Sport Weight Linen lurk in my stash. They would look great in this fun Bristol Ivy’s Allongee. I love the way drop stitches make this easy knit a bit more interesting. And in Bristol Ivy style, the construction is also a bit different.

Bristol Ivy fingering weight cowl knit soon by Alanna Nelson

Sallah Cowl by Bristol Ivy

A quick peek around my Neck and Shoulders bundle brought me to another Bristol Ivy pattern, this time from Knitty! Sallah could be a portable project that uses one of those irresistible skeins of fingering weight yarn which I’m prone to procuring on the road.

Christy Kamm’s Zick Zack Scarf

The Zick Zack scarf is easy, appealing and I hear addicting. Sample color ways abound in nearly every shop in New England that carries Berrocco yarn! Any fingering weight yarn with gradations works for this pattern, or solids combined with the gradient, why not?

I especially love the look when the colors of the two balls are harmonious for a demure color wash effect.

Alanna Nelson knits Churchmouse patterns

Churchmouse Easy Folded Poncho


I will bow to the reality that fall arrives sooner or later by including the Easy Folded poncho from Churchmouse yarns. As the final project is a bit big, it’s most likely I won’t work on this if the weather is too warm.
Sarah Hattin Stripey Sailor girl knit Patton in Sublime Cashmerino

Sarah Hatton’s Stripey Sailor Girl will hit my needles this weekend, as two lovely baby girls entered my life this spring.

I’d love to build up the traveling knitting project options… what are yours?

As for avoiding the Master Knitter Corrections? Um, yes. I’ve finished my aran sweater pattern (test knitting made this a very humbling experience). There’s still more to do, but I won’t dedicate a 100% of my knitting time to the obligations. Holy Cats, it’s summer!

7 Sweaters I’d love to knit: Fall 2014

The last garter stitch rows (nearly 600 stitches each) of my Traveling Thorn are nearly over… thank goodness! It’s given me plenty of time to consider which sweaters I’d like to cast on next. How fast can I knit? So here’s my list of
7 Great Sweaters to Knit

Alanna Nelson knits sweaters from Rowan patterns

Hell’s Kitchen by Josh Bennett

My daughter has a fabulous friend for whom I am very grateful. He’s truly knit worthy. I think he’d look great in Josh Bennet’s Hell’s Kitchen.

If I knit it in Rowan Revive, which is a recycled cotton and silk yarn, it would be ready for next spring without problem. Not sure of which color way I’d choose, although he’d look great in the same colors as the photo.

Alanna Nelson knits Joji Locatelli patterns

Window to my soul by Joji Locatelli

Don’t ask me how I came across this fingering weight short sleeve cardi designed by Joji Locatelli. Window to my soul works from the top down and combines some fun smocking stitch with brainless stockinette. It could transition from a concentration sweater to traveling project without much issue. I’ll knit this along with Doreen, using Prism Saki. Can’t wait to start swatching this!

Alanna Nelson steeks knit Icelandic sweaters

Ragga Eiríksdóttir’s Iðunn

Ever since I heard Ragga Eiríksdóttir speak at the Slater Mill Knitter’s Guild, I’ve wanted to steek this lovely pattern. Unlike many knitters, I’m not afraid to cut my knitting. Isn’t that one of the wonderful things about knitting? If there’s a mistake, you just rip it out and start over. The stitches don’t disintegrate just by cutting them. It’s OK, really.

Once I learned that I could get Icelandic yarn grown in Massachusetts, the project somehow morphed into something somewhat unattainable. I could just cast on in worsted weight yarn, but….

Lace cardigans knit by Alanna Nelson

Meryl Streep Chevron Lace Cardi by Ann Weaver

Fiber is like Fritos… there always will be more. This mantra has often helped me resist unfocused stash building. However, it didn’t work when some Rowan Soft Lux shimmered in a close out bin nearly 7 years ago. Finally I’ve found a pattern with appropriate yardage and style. Ann Weaver creates a lot of beautiful knitwear patterns and the Meryl Streep Chevron Lace Cardi is no exception. Time to bust that yarn out of the stash.

Alanna Nelson finds Vermont Spinnery yarns for the Redfern Cardigan

Redfern Cardigan by Ramona Gaynor

When the Autumn 2014 copy of Interweave Knits arrived at Sit and Knit, I snatched it up immediately for the cover design. Marvelous, cozy, casual and so textured. And that yarn! Once I learned that it was Malabrigo Rios, two skeins alternating, I said, oh maybe not. But what about in Vermont Spinnery’s Weekend Wool? I could drive over Thanksgiving weekend for the Putney Craft Tour.

Alanna Nelson knits cable sweater

Norah Gaughn Lempster pullover


Sage Yarns in Falmouth is hosting Norah Gaughan in December, 2014. One of the classes she’ll teach is starting the Lempster sweater. OOO, I have not seen this yet. Another worsted weight sweater, I know. There’s not even any yarn in the stash for this. But wouldn’t it make a nice knit along?

Alanna Nelson nature inspired knits

Helene Rush Greenery from Twist Collective


Is it the photography? Is it the mitered squares and use of color? Is it because I love being on the water?

All I know is that I’d love to knit Greenery by Hélène Rush. The Twist Collective always has the best photography. I have some fab Martha’s Vineyard fiber farm yarns (yes, back from the days when the farm was in Massachusetts!) that would be fabulous for this sweater… except they are worsted weight yarns and the pattern calls for sport weight. I’ll mull this over while knitting the other sweaters, right?

So it looks like I’ll be knitting a lot this winter! In between commission work and corrections on my Master Knitter portfolio, I’d better hope for a lot of snow days!