Friday, August 29, 2014

Colors of August


The palette of colors Kristi's dye pots produce are akin to the shades we see around us.  
The plants of the fields and gardens have subtle nuances and tones, just like you will find in all Shalimar Hand Dyed yarns.  


Come join our newest KAL Falling (S)leeves - A Shalimar Sweater Adventure



Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Iolanthe Shawl, A Breathless Design


I knitted and crocheted all the time as a teenager, but took a 35-year hiatus from crafts--other than my one-per-decade crocheted afghans. Then one fateful evening a few years ago, I saw a sample fun fur scarf hanging in Michaels. It appealed to me at the time for reasons I cannot fathom now (although I’m sure glad it did) and I decided to start knitting again. After knitting about 25 garter stitch scarves, I finally got up the nerve to try something more challenging and eventually attempted my first lace shawl. It was love at first knit! Little did I know at the time that a lace obsession would begin that would eventually take over my life and become my full time job as both a shawl designer and teacher.  

 
When I first learned about traditional Estonian lace shawls, I was fascinated by the unique stitch patterns used in the designs—in particular, the leaf and flower motif I incorporated into Iolanthe’s border. Although it’s called “water lilies” in the Estonian tradition, it appeared to me to more closely resemble African violets with their big, fuzzy green leaves. I just think it's one of the prettiest lace stitch patterns I've ever seen. I knew right away that motif was going to be featured in a future design and had an idea of how it would be laid out—with little violet flowers and leaves flowing into increasingly larger ones, showing the life cycle of the plant.





I finalized the design this July and decided to call it Iolanthe, which means violet flower in Greek. I chose to knit the sample shawl in fingering weight rather than the lace weight traditionally used in most Estonian shawls to modernize the design. I just happened to have 2 skeins of the fabulous Breathless yarn in that perfect hot-for-summer Cayenne colorway. The lush softness of the yarn reminded me of those fuzzy violet leaves. I knew it was the perfect choice for Iolanthe, particularly since I like to use non-traditional colors for my sample shawls. I couldn't be more pleased with the way the yarn worked up for the design. 







Join us on the Shalimar Ravelry Forum

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Willowherb Pullover


By Marine MacLean
I designed the Willowherb Hat and Mittens set early this year after falling in love quatrefoil cable pattern I found in one of my stitch dictionaries.
Willowherb Hat and Mitts

Since I loved knitting the accessories so much, I floated the idea of doing a sweater, to Kristi, and she suggested using some Paulie Worsted. I did a fair number of sketches, trying to decide what I wanted to do with the motifs. I knew I didn't want an all-over pattern. I think the motif is most interesting when it's used sparsely. I also liked the idea of an asymmetrical design, and that's when the idea of grouping 4 of the motifs came together. 
The pattern is designed so that the widest part of the motif cluster, hits at your natural waist. Combined with waist shaping darts, the piece really helps to create an hourglass appearance. 

The next big challenge was making sure the motifs were to scale, even in the larger sizes. The pattern is offered from a 32" bust to a 60" bust, and I didn't want the motifs that looked great in the 30-40" range to get lost in the 50-60" range. I scaled up the motifs for the larger sizes to give a more uniform appearance across the full range of sizes.  Since the larger motifs also add length to the garment, petite-plus women can always use the smaller motifs along the body, to shorten the torso, and use the larger motifs around the yoke, to fit their bust.
I include plenty of fitting tips and suggestions like this throughout the pattern, and hope knitters will really adapt this pattern to make it their own.

It was a real pleasure designing this piece and, of course, I love working with Kristi and her yarns. I hope knitters enjoy this piece as much as I enjoyed designing it. 

Look for a Shalimar Etsy update soon to order your yarn for this sweater. 

Join Falling (S)leeves - a Shalimar Sweater Adventure KAL on our Ravelry forum. 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Falling (S)leeves - A Shalimar Sweater Adventure



The Mystery of Fall is approaching. Let’s discover together the magic of sweater knitting. The shaping of waists, the curves of shoulders, the length of sleeves and the wonder of Shalimar yarns and colors.  I know you have that sweater quantity of Breathless or Breathless DK in your stash.  Maybe you have the newest yarn Equus.  Or the hot favorite Paulie with the blend of merino, cashmere, camel and silk.  
The Sweater KAL welcomes any sweater knit in any of Shalimar’s yarn bases. Cardigans or pullovers are welcome.
The design should be available on the Ravelry pattern database.
The Falling (S)leeves KAL welcomes new Shalimar sweaters and those lovelies you have already started and need to complete in time for Fall’s cool and crisp days.  There will be a category for WIP and for Newly Cast on Sweater
The Official Start Date is Sunday, August 24. We will continue to work together on our sweaters through October 31.
Tag your projects with ShalimarFallingSleeves2014
To qualify for prizes, post a photo in this thread.

Please join us to see how the (S)leeves fall.  

Friday, August 15, 2014

A Tale of Two Sisters: Etheria and Sibelle


 by Julia Trice  aka mindofwinter




I am a knitter with a capital K, but every once in a while I spend just a little too much time designing knitting patterns and burn myself out.  In those times, I fill my hands with other crafty endeavors.  I've been known to quilt, cross stitch, do origami, and go crazy with the Christmas bug making paper garlands and spray-painting pine cones in metallic colors.  My most frequent escapes by far are quilting and crochet, so it is no great surprise that after marathon knitting the Yukiya Pullover this spring, I turned to crochet.  What is surprising is that it stuck.

My first foray into crochet was Etheria, which is essentially a stitch sampler worked in rounds. I had become a little obsessed with Shalimar Paulie in Toast Points, which I also used in the Yukiya slouchy and pullover, and I wanted to see how the yarn looked in crochet. I was playing with different stitch patterns that appealed to me to see if I could get a nice progression.  When mixing stitches in knitting patterns this often involves a bit of trial and error, but with Etheria it just happened.  I cast on 270 sts - the number I would need to get the circumference I wanted in the first stitch pattern I tried - and just went.  As luck would have it, all three of the stitch patterns I used - each with a different number of stitches in the repeat - fit evenly into 270.  If that isn't kismet, I don't know what is.  I just crocheted until I wanted something new, and then picked another stitch pattern.  The only planning I did was choosing the percentage of the design that I wanted each stitch pattern to take up.  Even division into thirds is less interesting than strips with varying widths, so I did pay attention to that detail, but in all other respects it was just a matter of doing what I liked and thought might look nice together.  In case you are wondering - that never, ever happens.  It was magical.  Hence Etheria - a name that brings to mind light, air, and fantasy.  It gave me all three.



Sibelle was inspired by a lovely skein of Paulie in Adobe 
- a gorgeous, subtly variegated colorway that really defies description. The closest I can come to describing it is to say that it reminds me of a soft sunset. Sibelle is a play on sibling, because I think of Sibelle as Etheria's sister design - equally light and airy and clearly related, but also different - bolder in color and completely different in construction.  While Etheria is worked in long rounds, Sibelle is a series of motifs strung together and then bordered on both sides by picots - which, by the way - are the exact opposite of Etheria's picots.  Etheria's picots are internal to the chains.  Sibelle's dance out along the edges.  
That really describes how I think of Sibelle - dancing in the air.  Etheria is beautiful and subdued, Sibelle is joyful.  I did not plan on designing Sibelle any more than I did Etheria, but once I 
worked a single motif the others followed effortlessly, and I liked the idea of doing a similar piece in a different way. The way each little color appeared in the yarn kept me moving forward - pink, yellow, gold, brown, peach, almost-orange, and back again. A dance of color to match the dance of the clusters that criss-cross across the cowl.

No doubt as I work more in crochet I will become more structured, but for now the carefree nature of just going where the hook leads has been great fun.  So fun, in fact, that I am planning to be back with more next spring, if not sooner.

Join us on the the Shalimar Ravelry Forum see other Light and Lacy cowl projects.  

Monday, August 11, 2014

Spring Bouquet KAL Marvelsl


There were so many gorgeous projects in our Spring KAL.  We were challenged to use two or more colors of Shalimar yarns in any design.  The color combinations were fresh and cool, energetic, relaxed, bold, mellow....all across the board in Shalimar.

Look at this Tranquil scene 

This is drlindak's Ondulation .  The Homage colors are from an Etsy kit called Aspens in Winter.  


Look for another Etsy update soon featuring Palettes of colors to work your own wrap for your scene.

There have been several splendid stripes sweaters created with Shalimar yarns.  Here is randyjen4's Elfe in Paulie in Mystery Date and Ore.  The varying width stripes are so flattering on her.  This pattern has an intriguing shoulder and sleeve construction method. 

Julia Trice designed a yoked sweater using slip stitch in two colors.  Several of us cast on for Yukiya. Limerick and Seaglass, Emerald and Buttermilk, Toast Points and Red Hot Minute were just some of the combinations we watched. 

 Here is amylynn1345's Yukiya.  It was knit in a fresh color combination of Limerick, Seaglass and Shrimp Kiss.  The neckline lays so nice above the textured yoke.  





She won the KAL drawing for the book Botanical Knits 2.  

Join us for our Light and Lacy KAL/CAL where we are creating anything with a bit of lace in Shalimar.  


Thursday, August 7, 2014

A Summer Blooms


We are having our first rainy day in weeks.  The sound of it on the porch reminds me of hay baling days on the farm.  The rush to get the load off the field before the rains came.  These beauties are gracing my garden right now.
I think the Purple Cone Flowers look like 
 


And this Day Lily is definitely ...


The Clematis is surely...







and the gentle Painted Ferns might just be




Ahhh.... the colors of Shalimar blend perfectly with summertime.

The photos are of our yarn base Paulie.  Paulie is a blend of 60% Merino, 20% Camel, 10% Silk, and 10% Cashmere.  It is available in both worsted and fingering weight.

Join us on our Ravelry forum.  

Thursday, July 31, 2014

A Summer Reset

After I accomplish a big goal my mind seems free to explore the next adventure for mind or body.

The past 7 summers my hubby and I have pedaled across Iowa in RAGBRAI.  We start at the Missouri river and end at the Mississippi.  We ride about 450 miles during the week.  It is not a race, but rather a moving State Fair.

Each small town shares a slice of it's community with churches preparing spaghetti dinners with pie and fireman selling pancakes.  There is always a little girl selling water to raise money to go to camp.



The best of Iowa is on display in the fields.  The crops of corn and beans are green and lush.

Many Iowa towns have a central square with a court house or a park.  These are all decked out for the festivities.  

My training is complete, the ride accomplished, the tent packed away and the laundry done.  We are ready to start something new.  I have been ignoring my urge to design some knit wear.  It is too easy to choose a pattern off Ravelry.  All the math has been done.  The gauge has been determined.  The lines of the garment has been sketched.  But these are all someone else's designs.  When I spent many hours a week quilting, I started  by working out of a pattern book.   As my expertise grew I evolved to only working from my own sketch pad.  

I think I might be time to do that with my knitting.  I have published a few hat designs and a scarf.  There will definitely be more of those in my future.  I love knitting hats.  But right now....  I have a skien of Breathless DK in Glacier that is waiting for me to do something with it.  Let's see how we go with the next focus of the summer.  Design a baby hat and sweater. The stitch dictionaries are at the ready. Next is the swatch creation process.  The yarn is caked.  


 I'll keep you posted.  

Check the latest Shalimar beauties on our Ravelry threads.  We'd love to chat with you there and see your Shalimar projects.  




Friday, July 11, 2014

Light and Lacy - A Shalimar Yarns Summer KAL & CAL

The heat of the summer is upon us. We need a project that is “Light and Lacy” to ease our way through these hot, yet somehow relaxing days. 



The “Light and Lacy” projects can be knit or crocheted in any Shalimar yarn base.

The project should include a lace element as a part of the design. A lace element is a yarnover – decrease combination to create the “hole” that defines the design. Crochet designs should have open work that creates the lace effect. The whole garment does not have to be lace. 


The design or pattern should be available on the Ravelry database. 


Cast on no earlier the July 20. Swatches and all sorts of preparations are encouraged before then. 


Complete your project and post a picture in this thread by August 31. 


Please join us. 

Monday, July 7, 2014

3 yarns, 3 Spring Bouquet KAL projects to wrap the shoulders

The Spring Bouquet KAL is creating some amazing projects.  The goal was to create a Shalimar Yarns project using two or more colors. The project can be created with any of the Shalimar Yarns bases.   Just look at these combinations.


  YarnPumpkin used Breathless Lace in Glacier and Limerick to create this beautiful crocheted shawl. She calls it Singing in the Rain.   The beaded edge is delicate and fresh.   Nancy's workmanship is inspiring.  Look for more crochet projects being featured in the next CAL/KAL starting soon.





KattyRadie's Black Truffles and Oysters was knit in Paulie in Black Truffle and Curry.  The right shade of yellow can make so many other shades sing.  







KillerBs Rayas cowl in Homage in Corfu and Tequilla Sunrise. Homage is a 4 ply fingering weight in a blend of merino, silk and cashmere.   All the garter stitch creates a squishy fabric that will wrap around the shoulders gracefully.

The Spring Bouquet KAL/CAL continues through July 18.  Come join the conversation to get inspired for your next multi color project.  You can view more of the Shalimar yarns colors on the Colors of Shalimar Ravelry Page.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

America, the Beautiful


Oh beautiful for spacious skies,

For amber waves of grain,

For purple mountain majesties 

Above the fruited plain!

America! America! God shed his grace on thee

And crown thy good with brotherhood 

from sea to shining sea. 

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Summer Celebration Ice Cream Dessert


Last time we were introduced to Shalimar's newest yarn, Equus.  Let's celebrate it's arrival.
In our house, all celebrations include dessert.  In the summer, most desserts are either filled with summer's bounty of fruit or come out of the freezer.  This ice cream dessert was in my Mother's freezer on the farm whenever I brought my sons to visit.  My Dad enjoyed ice cream so much.  He has quite the reputation with my sons as to the size of bowl a real man eats ice cream from.  I hope you enjoy this summertime cooler for you next celebration.  The recipe originates from a Centennial Celebration cookbook published in 1982 for the little town, McCausland, Iowa.

Grandma's Summer Celebration Ice Cream Dessert

Crust Layer

1 pound Oreos
1/2 cup butter, melted

Crush the Oreos and melted butter together.  Using the food processor makes easy work of it.  

Placing the Oreos and melted butter in a heavy zip top bag and crushing them with a rolling pin works well too.  Reserve about 1/2 cup of crumbs as a final topping. 

Press the remaining cookie crumbs into a 9"x 13" glass dish.  Slide into the freezer.












Middle Ice Cream Layer


1/2 gallon of your favorite Vanilla ice cream in a rectangular container
1 1/2 cups of unsalted dry roasted peanuts

Set the ice cream on the counter to soften while you crush the cookie crumbs.  Unwrap the package and slice the ice cream into even pieces and place on the frozen cookie crust.  Fill in the gaps by spreading with a silicone spatula or your fingertips.  Sprinkle the peanuts over top of the ice cream.  Slide back into the freezer.





Chocolate Topping Layer

2 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups evaporated milk
1 approx 2 cup package 60% cacao chocolate chips
1/2 cup butter  ( I know, more butter, but it is a celebration dessert, just go with it)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Measure the all the topping ingredients except vanilla into a heavy saucepan.  Heat over medium low heat for 5 -8 minutes.  Stir frequently until you get the glossy texture of a chocolate sauce.  Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla.  Stir occasionally as the sauce cools.  


Spread the cooled sauce over the crumb, ice cream and peanut layers.  Sprinkle the reserved cookie crumbs over top.  Return to freezer until 15 minutes before you are ready to serve.  
Allow to soften at room temperature while the coffee brews.  Serve in 2"-3" squares.  


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