Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Scarf Workshops

"Once again, it's Christmastime. How can I be completely blindsided by a holiday that happens on the same day each year is absolutely beyond me. You'd swear they only announce the date for Christmas in November and I have maybe three weeks to cope with the news. Once again I am nowhere near ready....." from "Yarn Harlot, the secret life of a knitter" by Stephanie Pearl MacPhee.
Are you a little behind in your Christmas knitting? Maybe we can help. For the next three Saturdays we are offering FREE SCARF KNITTING WORKSHOPS for a few of our favourite quick knits.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 3rd from 3pm - 4:30pm
#1 cowl on Ravelry, HONEY COWL, can be knit either short or long. A simple slip stitch pattern creates an interesting waffley texture.The original design was knit in DK but the pattern offers advice on adjusting for various weights of yarn. The pattern is a FREE DOWNLOAD at

Several versions of LINEN STITCH scarves can be found on Ravelry. One very large & colourful version is MINI-MANIA knit with bits of left over sock yarn.

A FREE DOWNLOAD for Mini-Mania can be found at
Mini-mania is a huge scarf knit with very fine yarn so it may not be your best choice for last minute Christmas knitting. Many people have knit smaller versions of linen stitch.

Linen Stitch knit with Misti Alpaca Hand Paint sock yarn.

Linen stitch in Misti Alpaca Pima Cotton & Silk

For a really quick project a Linen Stitch Cowl. Above is CHICKADEE COWL. Several knitters posted their finished cowls on Ravelry with their lovely pooches as models.

Chickadee Cowl is a FREE DOWNLOAD at
A slight variation on linen stitch is TIME WARP shown below. Linen stitch slips single stitches, Time Warp slips multiples.
Time Warp is a FREE DOWNLOAD at
All these patterns involve "slipped stitches" which is a very easy technique once you understand a few basic rules.Most of these designs can also be adjusted to use chunkier yarns which would make them an even quicker knit. We have store samples knit in linen stitch with Debbie Bliss Riva (chunky) and Woolly Bully (bulky) which knit up in 1 or 2 evenings.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 10TH from 10:00AM - 11:30 AM
There are a number of interesting patterns which use elongated & dropped stitches.The simplest version is one such as DROP STITCH DRAMA SCARF shown below.
Close up of drop stitch detail.
This basic drop stitch pattern can be found as a FREE DOWNLOAD at
A more interesting use of elongated stitches is one of my favourites I have been knitting for years. I call it my YARN OVER WAVE scarf. Grouping stitches of varying lengths produces little oval shaped pools which are a dramatic use for hand paint yarns. The little patches of special stitches allows the yarn to purposely colour pool creating fascinating and often dramatic designs.
Yarn Over Wave Scarf knit with Fleece Artist Sea Wool.
A very effective use of this stitch is knitting a scarf length wise with a Noro style yarn.
There are several patterns on Ravelry using this stitch. I have my own favourite available at the store.
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 17TH from 10:00am - 11:30 am
There are hundreds of Triangular shaped shawls and scarves on Ravelry. My favourites are the shallow skinny ones with long tapered ends and not to long at the point. One of my absolute favourites is ROLLERCOASTER.

One of the things I love about the structure of Rollercoaster is how it can be knit with any amount of yarn. You start with 2 stitches and gradually increase until the size you like or until you are almost out of yarn, and them cast off.
Rollercoaster is truly just a triangular scarf, not a shawl.
Rollercoaster is a FREE DOWNLOAD at

Rollercoaster with a little lace inserted shown above. FREE DOWNLOAD at

SQUIGGLE, a variation on Rollercoaster with some dropped stitches inserted. FREE DOWNLOAD at
Another shallow triangle scarf I love is AZZUS shown below. The structure of Azzus is different from the Rollercoaster triangles; it also starts with a few stitches and increases in a top down direction. Rollercoaster is knit side to side. Both produce long skinny triangular shaped scarves. Azzus also can be knit to any size or until you run out of yarn.

With a little help understanding proper placement of increases and/or decreases, these scarves and their variations quickly become TV knitting and can be easily adjusted to any weight of yarn, even chunky if a really quick knit is needed
Azzus is a FREE DOWNLOAD at
I have a pattern for a lace and garter stitch variation knit in Misti Pima Cotton & Silk which has been very popular.
All these workshops are FREE.We do ask;
1. Please, only yarns purchased at Serenity Knits
2. Please give us a call at 905-710-3283 or drop us an e-mail at info@serenityknits.ca, subject scarf work shop dated ___. We would just like to have a general idea how many people to expect.
3. A few of the patterns are Free Store Patterns which we will be happy to provide. For patterns for which links have been provided, please download your own copies and bring them to the class.
Any questions, feel free to give us a call.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Carol Feller

When Gabriela and I attended Knit Camp in Scotland last summer, one of our "tutors" ( as they are referred to in Scotland), was a delightful young Irish woman, Carol Feller. We had not heard of her, but her class sounded very interesting; a vest, knit sideways, with adjustable short row shaping in the mid section to create a flattering custom fit, fascinating cap sleeves also done with short row shaping similar to a sock heel. The vest was called Raspberry Layers, shown below modelled by Carol herself.
Raspberry Layers
Being EXCELLENT STUDENTS, Gabriela and I, and our new friend Jenny from South Africa, arrived early, took our seats, organized our knitting paraphernalia and were ready to patiently wait for the class to begin. Carol arrived, with bags of yarn and a friendly smile and " Hello, are any of you my assistant for the class?" We answered "Hello, but no, we are students." She looked a little panicked, class was due to start in about 10 minutes. (A little side note: We had a blast at UK Knit Camp, but it became a study in poor organization and a nightmare for many of the tutors) We asked if she needed help which she quickly accepted. Gabriela and I began hand winding skeins of yarn for the class. Carol went searching for the missing class notes which the organizers were to have had copied and ready for her. (A scenario we saw played and replayed all week. The poor teachers.) Gabriela & I hand wound all the yarn, Carol returned with the missing notes and a wonderful class started. Fifteen minutes into the class the missing assistant arrived!! The class was wonderful and really interesting. We got a taste of the unusual structural design elements for which Carol has become known.
Upon our return from Knit Camp , we were delighted to discover Leitmotif, a Carol Feller design on the cover of Interweave Knits, Fall 2010. Karen had fallen in love with it and was planning a KAL.
Leitmotif front view

Leitmotif's beautiful cabled back view

If you are interested in viewing all of Carol designs, her website is stolenstitches.com
Her design approach combines her training as both an artist and a structural engineer, emphasizing seamless construction and clever shaping techniques to create flattering, tailored
garments with interesting shapes and textures. Her patterns for men, women, and
children are widely published in books and magazines, including Knitting in the
Sun (Wiley, 2009), More Knitting in the Sun (Wiley, 2011), Twist Collective,
Interweave Knits, Knitty, and Yarn Forward.
Carol's designs can frequently be found in Interweave Knits. Her little Draped Vest appeared in Spring 2011. Use of short row shaping is common in Carol's sweaters.
Spoked Cardigan was the cover garment for Interweave Knits Weekend 2011. Designs knit sideways are popular with Carol.
A close up of the detail on Spoked
Carol can also be found in Knitty. Below Iced from Knitty First Fall, 2010.
Many of Carol's sweaters are one piece top down designs. Iced is knit top down and then the front bands are picked up and knit later. Carol uses a lot of "seamless construction" techniques so when you are finished knitting you are done!! Iceling Hat & Cardigan, how cute.
You can find ICED at
I have been eying this pattern for some time now because we have several chunky yarns the perfect weight, especially Berroco Vintage Chunky which comes in several great colours.
Iceling is available in pattern version.
The most recent Knitty, Deep Fall 2011 has a great cabled mitten pattern, Ambroso.
Carol has also included a fingerless version.
Ambroso mitts can be found at http://knitty.com/ISSUEdf11/PATTambroso.php
Carol also has several patterns. Adrift, knit with lace weight yarn as a vest.
The pattern also includes a 3/4 sleeve version.
Carole is fond of stoles;Maelnad
Centrique with instructions for a large and a small version. Carol has both charts and written instructions for her lace. I have knit the small version of Centrique and it was one of the most well written , clear, patterns I have ever had the pleasure to knit.
Nepal Wrap
She is also fond of fine yarns.Talamah below is knit topdown in sock yarn.
So is Eilonwy
I was thrilled to see Carol publish her first book. If you enjoy cables, you will love this book. In addition to the 20 patterns for garments and accessories for men women and children, Carol shares the rich Irish history of knitting and tweed yarns.
From her blog, Carol at Trunk Show and book signing in her home town of Cork, Ireland.
Carol has four sons. CONTEMPORARY IRISH KNITS has patterns for all ages, several nice children's designs. Now that I have a grandson, Caherciveen below is very tempting. It is sized from 2 years to 12 years.
Dangan below is either a shawl
or smallish lap blanket.
I have totally fallen in love with Glengesh below. As soon as my Christmas knitting is done, I have some beautiful red tweed just waiting.

One of customers has a lucky granddaughter who will be receiving a gift of Listowel from Grandma.
The cover garment , Kilorglin has some of the most beautiful cable combinations I have ever seen. Carol does love cables.
As I was drafting this blog, Interweave Knitscene winter 2011 arrived. Among its many beautiful designs, Wragby Cardigan from Carol Feller. Wragby on Carol.
Wragby in Knitscene.
Looking over the pattern for Wragby, Gabriela discovered that Wragby is more or less a worsted weight version of Iced (knit in chunky). Other than the yarn weight there is only a small difference in the shaping of the front band. Gabriela will be offering a class on Top Down Knitting in the new year which offers Iced and Wragby as a choice of class projects. Winter 2012 classes will be posted very soon.
I haven't knit a sweater in a long while. I think that might change soon.
If you are interested, we have Carol's book and several of her patterns available.