Bart & Francis – Brioche Knitting

I was certain that I had posted a “casting on” photo, or at least a WIP photo, but I may have only thought I did.

Here is another Nancy Marchant project, Bart & Francis, published in Knitting Fresh Brioche: Creating Two-Color Twists & Turns, available from Amazon.

Continuing as before, I selected a pattern that would use an entire skein of Lion Shawl in a Ball yarn, this time in color Cleansing Quartz, along with the companion Knitpicks Stroll Fingering in color Black.

Also, continuing as before, it took multiple tries to get the hang of the pattern.  I wish I could figure out what my problem is with these patterns – It’s like that “Magic Eye” picture – it makes no sense until, suddenly, it does, and then it’s a great project and lots of fun.

Completed Project – Champagne Bubbles

I wasn’t sure about the lace version of a Nancy Marchant pattern, but I decided that I was ready to try.

Champagne Bubbles is published in Vogue Knitting, Holiday, 2014 (available as a digital magazine).  Again, using Lion Brand Shawl in a Ball, in color Peaceful Earth, with the contrast color of Knit Picks Palette in color Camel Heather.

I intended this to be a light and casual wrap, and I believe that is how it turned out.  Very enjoyable project, and now that I’ve knit several of these, I can follow the pattern and fix stitches that are missed.

Note on the picture with two side-by-side projects.  The one on the right is not blocked – same yardage as the one on the left.  What a difference a little warm water and stretching can make!

Latest Brioche Adventure: Champagne Bubbles Brioche Lace Scarf

Champagne Bubbles is another pattern from Nancy Marchant, this time published in Vogue Knitting, Holiday 2014 (available as a digital purchase).

I’ve looked at brioche patterns by other designers, but Nancy Marchant’s pattern format is the easiest to read.  I’ve noted in earlier posts that it seems to take me a while to get the hang of a particular brioche pattern – though it shouldn’t, since for every four knitted rows, there is only one “pattern” row – the rest all are knitted (or purled) in a standard manner.  Other patterns I’ve read have detailed every row as a “row,” rather than 2-sets-of-2 or a set of 4, which (IMHO) makes them far more difficult to read.

In the case of Nancy Marchant’s patterns (at least as far as I’ve knit them), once I get the hang of the major pattern, I can easily memorize the format and knit more quickly and confidently.

That is, “once I get the hang of it.”  As usual, it took me no fewer than 6 attempts to “get the hang” of this pattern.

This is my first attempt (and a rare version of Nancy’s patterns) to incorporate lace.  It took a while to be able to “read” the double-yarn-overs on the 2-of-4 row and knit (or purl, or slip) properly.

Even though Nancy Marchant’s brioche patterns take time to read, understand, and properly execute, they make beautiful projects, and the unique light and fluffy fabric is wonderfully inviting to the touch.

Yarn:  I’m still enjoying my “Shawl in a Ball” binge, this time with color Peaceful Earth.  I’m augmenting the pattern with a second color from Knit Picks Palette in color Camel Heather.

One twist:  I purchased the downloaded pattern via the Vogue Knitting App, and haven’t been inclined to try to figure out how to print out the pattern onto paper, so I’m only using a digital version.  Since the pattern (now that I’ve started over several times) is fairly easy, I’m OK with not having a paper pattern.

Now, if I could just find time to do more than one round of four at a time!


Casting On – Lace Shawl

I promise, I only went into Hobby Lobby to get Thanksgiving paper goods for next week!  I did not intend to buy yarn!  You must believe me!  Yet, three balls of this interesting yarn jumped into my cart, and I had to take them home.

Introducing, “Shawl in a Ball,” by LionBrand.  This is a two-ply, acrylic/cotton blend yarn.  The yarn band says “medium weight,” the website says “worsted weight” and recommends size 8 needles, but I’m using size 5 needles, and I would class it as a light worsted weight.  The band says 518 yards – hence the name, “Shawl in a Ball,” as 518 is enough to make a small shawl or wrap.

LionBrand has a selection of terrific free patterns that go with this yarn.  You can find it here:  Lion Brand Shawl in a Ball Patterns.  However, as I have perused knitting magazines (or Pinterest or Ravelry- and don’t we all do this?), I have tagged a collection of patterns I would like to try, and I selected Lace Shawl, published by Interweave Knits.  I think I obtained this pattern via one of Interweave Knits’ periodic free booklets.

Though labeled as “Intermediate,” I would call it more “easy,” since the pattern is a 16-stitch, 8-row repeat, with 1-sided lace (purl on the wrong side).  It’s great for quick knitting while binge-watching Arrow on Netflix (I’m two seasons behind).


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Like a lot of shawls, this seems to be knitting up small, but should block to size.



Diamond Shawl Complete

Blocked, ends tucked in, and completed.  This was a nice way to use the novelty yarn, and I think the end result worked well with the pattern.  It took a while to get onto the pattern, but it was simple enough that I had it memorized by the time I got to the second skein.

Yarn is Lang Sol Degrade in green.  This is a 100% cotton, ribbon style yarn.  Aside from watching that I didn’t split the yarn with the knitting needle, it was fairly easy to work.

Pattern is Diamond Shawl, free from Lion Brand.  While it is considered “intermediate,” in difficulty once you get onto the pattern, it’s  pretty easy (if you pay attention).  The pattern would work up well with about any DK or heavier yarn.

Little Girl’s Poncho

I’m visiting my adorable great-nieces next week, who are (nearly) 3 and 5.  I made the ponchos below for them to wear when they play.

Pattern:  Feather and Fan Girl’s Poncho (adapted from classical version of adult ponchos)

Easy “feather and fan” pattern with an 18-stitch repeat.  Started by casting on 80 on Size 8 circular needles and K1,P1 ribbing for 4 rows, with markers placed every 10 stitches.  At this point, I added the fuzzy novelty yarn.

Then continued with straight-stitch, increasing before and after each stitch marker on alternate rows until 180 stitches on the needle (another 8 rows).  End the novelty yarn and continue with the feather and fan pattern for three repeats, switch to novelty yarn for one pattern repeat, switch to main yarn for three repeats, and switch to novelty yarn for 6 rows and bind off very loosely (I use the K1, YO, K, Pass YO and K1 over method).

Feather and Fan pattern (4 row repeat)

  • Row 1:  Knit
  • Row 2:  Knit
  • Row 3: *[K2tog] 3 times, [YO, K1] 6 times, [K2tog] 3 times, repeat from *
  • Row 4: Knit

Ties are made with a 4-stitch I-cord, woven through the ribbing and pom-poms attached.

Yarn:  Loops and Threads Impeccable worsted (Leftover afghan yarn) and novelty Patons Cha-Cha in color Jazz.

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Diamond Shawl – Casting On

New project Diamond Knit Shawl – Free pattern from Lion Brand.  This is one of the first patterns I collected when I first learned to knit, but I’ve never got around to knitting it.  While I like the pattern, I think that the model (the garment, not the person) wasn’t that great, so it didn’t excite me enough to try to work with it.  Note – the user photos uploaded are much better than the Lion Brand version (which, to be fair, probably suffers from being outdated)

Yarn is Lang Sol Degrade in the green blended colors (0016), obtained from the Mass Ave Knit Shop on an outing with B (same time as the Cascade Heritage Print yarn was purchased – which became the Quiet Morning Socks).  This yarn is 100% cotton, and in a ribbon style, which intimidated me, for a while, because I wasn’t sure how it would work up.

I decided to try the shawl, since the yarn size and amount were comparable, and so here we are.

Observations:  The change in color is more abrupt than I would prefer, and might not work exceedingly well for a shawl.  However, I like the way the shawl is knitting.

Pattern challenges:  The pattern is not too difficult, but it requires you to pay attention.  For some reason, I’m dropping some of the yarnovers, which throws my count off until I figure it out (usually at the end of the row).  However, I think I’m getting the hang of it

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