Beta Pattern Release: Āio Shawl

A new beta is now available for download! Download link is below and enter the giveaway for the chance to win a skein of some wonderful yarn from Australia!

“Properly practiced, knitting soothes the troubled spirit, and it doesn't hurt the untroubled spirit either” 
- Elizabeth Zimmerman.

Find inner peace and serenity as you knit the Āio Shawl with its all-over leaf-like lace patterning, evoking the stillness and peace that one can find in nature. The lace design provides both an engaging and repetitive knit so that adventurous beginners and experienced lace knitters will find that this pattern satisfies their creative itch for a challenge or familiarity. 

The size is easily adjustable, making it a perfect fit for one cozy skein wonders (measuring 400 yards) or larger yardages. Wrap yourself up in elegant splendor while enjoying the sunlight in a green pasture and making the most of those still moments.

This shawl was made in collaboration with Circus Tonic Handmade, an indie yarn biz located in Sydney, Australia. It was absolutely loIely to knit with: it's soft, elastic, bouncy, and easy on the fingers and needles. I'm giving away two skeins of Hannah's Revelry in her lovely Southern Fulmar colorway, as seen in the sample shown here. Two winners will receive one skein each, which will be enough to knit up a slightly smaller Aio Shawl.

Beta no longer available

The beta will be online until December 31st. Sign up for my newsletter, Frenchie's Knitsgram to receive notification of when the official pattern goes live on Ravelry, which will be January 8th. The official version will be tech edited, updated with photos and cleaned up for errors. New subscribers will receive a free copy of the Seashell Shawl pattern. Please add this pattern to your favs on Ravelry if you download it! :D

Note: if you sign up and get blank emails instead of the welcome email, hit respond and let me know ASAP.

Giveaway

Enter the giveaway by following the entry instructions below!

Win a skein of this yarn!

Yarn Cakes and Tea Episode 7: Circus Tonic Handmade Revelry

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Circus Tonic Handmade was founded by Hannah Ginn, based in Sydney, Australia (she gets extra points for being from my birth place!). She recently started her hand-dying business while on break from scientific employment and is already seeing some great growth and interest in the knitting community. 

Hannah is quite a lovely soul to interact with and has a "go-getter" spirit, which I personally really like to see in a small biz entrepreneur. She contacted me with the idea of doing a collaboration together and I was really interested to see what fiber artists from Australia could bring to the table so I agreed. 

She sent me a ton of yarn, in addition to a special color way that she hand-dyed for me. It is such a great honor to receive a skein of yarn that was especially hand-dyed for me (and she gave me four skeins!) and it is not an honor that I take lightly. The yarn color way is called Southern Fulmar, which is a seabird. Hannah names her colors ways after Australian native birds and the natural environment and it gives me a nostalgic longing for my birth place.

The yarn base that Southern Fulmar was dyed up in is her Revelry Sock Fingering line, 80% Australian Merino and 20% Nylon superwash yarn, with 409 generous yards per skein. The skeins are super squishy and soft to the touch. 

QUICK KNIT

I am not a sock knitter, as I have yet to knit my first pair of socks, so I was immediately drawn to designing and knitting a lace shawl with this yarn. It was such a pleasure working with this yarn: it's soft on the fingers, the yarn doesn't pill, it works easily on metal needles and it was very elastic and springy. It is not cat proof however, as in the minute I left my knitting unattended, I returned to find that my cat had chewed through the yarn and I had to re-attach it. Ok, so that's not a fault of the yarn as all yarn is chewable, but beware, cats may love this yarn too much. 

The yarn does split a bit, which can get a little annoying when you are working lace, but as a whole, the yarn held itself well and is strong and durable. The yarn went through lots of stress and work when I was using my really long cable needle cord, which unfortunately is slightly faulty as some parts of the cord are rough and catch the yarn. Why I thought it was a good idea to use that, I don't know, but the yarn held up and didn't fuzz, despite all the friction that it went through.

POST-BLOCK

I managed to knit my hair in there too.

I managed to knit my hair in there too.

This yarn can stretch a long way and can hold up to aggressively blocking nicely. It holds its shape well and the lace pattern flourished. The shawl has nice balance of memory and drape so it falls over the shoulders elegantly while still retaining the lace patterning and picots at the edges. It's warm, soft, cozy and HUGE! I used up an entire full skein and commenced into a second skein (about 20 yards of it) and then decided that it was going to be plenty big enough. And also working rows of 300+ stitches is not my thing (I get lazy sometimes and if I'm thinking that I'm getting tired, then knitters will probably think the same). 

The yarn has good amounts of bounce, which is really important in a sock yarn. Bounce allows a fitted item to stretch comfortably but still "bounce" back to its original shape and size when relaxed. 

FINAL THOUGHTS

Do note that this is a nylon blend as well as superwash, so if you're the super organic, natural type, then this is not for you. However, if that doesn't bother you at all, this is a great versitle yarn, good for socks, shawls and other fitted accessories and even garments that favor flattering fits. A joy to work with, easy to take care of, fun to wear with a touch of Australian culture. I'm really glad to see such quality work coming from Australia, as importing yarn can be expensive and hard to get to. If you're located within Australia or New Zealand, I highly recommend giving this yarn a go. If you're international, take note of the shipping fees but if it ever pops up in your LYS, give it a squish (Hannah is currently only selling this in her Etsy shop, last time I checked)!  

Australian and New Zealand knitters rejoice! 

Free Beta Download: Nakahi Shawl

If Crocodile Dundee was the type to wear shawls, it would probably be this one. The overlapping decreases in the lace stitch create a scale like quality in the fabric and pair it up with an eccentric, hand-dyed yarn, you find yourself with a Nakahi (Maori for snake). The lace pattern is easy to memorize, making for a great relaxing and mindless knit. This is also a quick knit due to decreases used to form the wedges, so the stitch count never gets overwhelming and you'll find that the rows just fly by. The Nakahi Shawl makes for a perfect accessory for those who love working with variegated, stippled or other eccentric color-ways.

The shawl was knit up in The Yarns of Rhichard Devrieze's Peppino, in the color-way Visions of Paradise. To learn more about this eccentric little yarn and for a chance to win a skein of this yarn, see my video and written review here.

Beta Not Longer available

The beta will be available as free download until December 11th, so make sure to save the pdf onto your desktop. All I ask in return is that you add the pattern to your faves on Ravelry! Sign up for the Newsletter for Knitters so you can receive notification of the official release and get an exclusive discount of the official pattern (and you'll get a free download of the SeaShell Shawl)!

Additionally, I’m hosting a mini-KAL for the beta release of the Nakahi shawl to help you get your holiday knitting into gear. Whether you’re knitting for yourself or a loved one, knitting as a group really helps keep you on track and get your projects DONE! There will be prizes for those who participate! 

This mini KAL will run until December 21st, and the official pattern will be released live onto Ravelry December 28th. Please note that this will be a paid-for pattern (which will be tech edited, corrected for errors, contain updated photos). If you enjoyed knitting the shawl and want to support small indie designers, get the upgrade as a small thank you.


As a small heads up, the mega ultra Indie Designer Gift-a-Long 2015 sale ends tomorrow. Use the code giftalong2015 to get select designs 25% off. Click the link to get your GAL pattern now!

http://bit.ly/akgal

Mizu Shawlette - Beta Release and giveaway

Imagine going out for a quaint stroll through the woods: the trees are lush and full with richly colored leaves, the air is fresh and cool, and you can hear a babbling brook not too far off. The sunlight filters through the tree-tops, dancing across your face, but an unexpected gust of wind blows through, sending goosebumps across your skin.

Thankfully you brought along your most recent finished object, a light yet warm and cozy crescent shawl, the Mizu shawlette. A simple one-skein wonder project, but not without sophistication and grace. The body of the shawlette is worked up in sections of stockinette, divided by a fine line of slip stitches, for textural and visual interest. And to finish the design, a delicate and airy lace pattern, resembling water drops dripping off of leaves after a summer storm.

You wrap it around you and continue on your way...

"There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more."

-   Lord Byron, Childe Harold's Pilgrimage, 1818

Due to the simplicity of the design, the pattern works well with colorful and busy color-ways and by using the slip stitches as a guiding point, can also be used with gradient yarns as well. However, it truly shines with semi-solid or solid colorways, such as Frida Fuchs yarns. 

This design was made in collaboration with Frida Fuchs yarns, an independent yarn maker located in Germany, headed by the two talented sisters, Jana and Julia. The yarn base is a simple superwash merino, named Hosenmatz, but like the design, which is simple in its conception, the final result is a warm and cozy shawlette with amazing drape and flow. Knit it up in Frida Fuchs's more luxurious yarn base, Schnieke, a merino and silk blend, for shine and silkiness. You can watch/read my review of Hosenmatz here.

I'm releasing the beta of the pattern as a free download until November 13th. The final version, which will include photos, any corrections and clarification, will be released November 20th. If you download the pattern, please add it to your favs on Ravelry! That would be super rad.

Edit: so I know I said that pattern support isn't provided for betas, but I'm making an adjustment to this. Pattern support is now provided for betas! So if you are stumped, email me away.

Beta is no longer available.

Please sign up for the Newsletter for Knitters so you can receive notification of the official release (and you'll get a free download of the SeaShell Shawl)!

Edit: thank you all for your patience in regards to downloading the pattern. Hopefully this will no longer give you anymore issues.


But that's not all! I'm also giving away one skein of Frida Fuchs Hosenmatz in the colorway Blaumohn as well as a copy of the final version of the Mizu Shawlette! The winner will be announced November 14th.
To enter, just follow the instructions below!
Win this delicious hank of yarn and a copy of the final version of the pattern!

Win this delicious hank of yarn and a copy of the final version of the pattern!



Pattern Release: Keep Austin Warm Shawl

In Japan, summer is over and autumn is immediately making itself known by sending in the windy chills, leaves are changing color and the days are slowly but surely getting shorter. On the upside, it's perfect knitting season to prep those warm and cozy knits to bundle up in! And my newest pattern release is perfect for the Fall Season: the Keep Austin Warm Shawl.


This shawl was made in collaboration with Hill Country Weavers, a local yarn shop located in Austin, Texas. This quaint and very unique shop is very special to me: it's where I started my knitting journey! 

When I moved to Japan last year, I never expected that they would be following my growth as a designer. However that changed when I found out that they had made a store sample of my Caprius Shawl and had presented it at yarn and fiber festivals in Texas! They also sell kits of the Arius Shawl, the sister pattern to Caprius! 

The cherry on top of this really flattering and humbling experience was when they asked me to design something with their yarns for the upcoming Hill Country Weavers Yarn Crawl, an annual event when many LYS in Texas get together for a massive Yarn Crawl. Each participating store will be providing their own special designs for the event and I am so happy to have been able to participate and contribute in some way!


And thus "Keep Austin Warm" was born! A play on the “Keep Austin Weird” slogan, it draws inspiration from the city itself for the design. The triangular shape and fringe evokes the cowboy bandana, the lace mimics the thistles and wild plant life native to the area, and the stripe stockinette section drawing from modern fashion. Knit up in Worsted weight yarn, the end result is a large and swooping shawl, perfect for the adventurer in all of us. 

This shawl was worked up in “Kaybee’s Twist”, Hill Country Weaver’s first house yarn!

HCW explains their new yarn beautifully:
 

"When HCW had the opportunity to create an exclusive yarn for the store, we knew exactly what it should be — a Texas merino and mohair blend. And we knew what to call it — Kaybee’s Twist, as it combines both Texas history and personal history with a gentle twist of fiber.

You’ll love the loosely twisted 2-ply that mimics handspun in texture and creates a soft fabric that drapes easily at looser gauges, while giving substance to tighter ones."


The pattern is available for purchase on Ravelry, LoveKnitting and Craftsy. And this weekend only, get the pattern 15% off! Use the code KAWSHAWL15 at checkout.

For wholesale inquires, email me at fdanoy@arohaknits.com

Simply Familiar Pattern Release

Simply Familiar contains elements that we all are familiar with: stockinette, garter stitch and simple mesh and top-down shawl shaping. 

The shawl blends these parts together through its switch from crescent to triangular shaping. Combined with the gradient yarns from Frabjous Fibers, this can turn into an interesting knit: first watching the colors play together as they shift through the spectrum and second, watching how a new shape can form itself from the body of the old.

This was knit up on slightly larger needles to create an exquisite drape in the shawl, even when it is wrapped around your neck and shoulders. Light and soft, but warm and cozy, you will find yourself reaching for this simple yet versatile shawl again and again.


Needle: US size 5 (3.75mm) 32” (80cm) circular needle. A circular needle is recommended in order to accommodate the large number of stitches.

Yarns Used: One pack of Frabjous Fiber’s Cheshire Cat Mini-Skeins (Fingering / 4 ply; 100% Merino; 640 yards / 142 grams)

Yardage: 610-640 yards

Gauge: Before blocking, in St. st.: 27 sts and 36 rows per 4 inches (28 rows per 3 inches).

Other Notions: Tapestry needle and removable stitch markers.

Final Measurements: Measurements will vary based on gauge and blocking, but sample measurements are 24” at deepest point by 80” wingspan.

You can get the pattern on Ravelry, LoveKnitting or Craftsy. And on Ravelry only, you can get the pattern 10% off this weekend. Use the code SIMPLY10 at checkout!