Entrechat KAL Sponsor: Kunibag

I first met Judit online when she came up with this incredibly stunning version of my Hyphen cardigan (click on image for the Ravelry project page): 

Stunning isn't it? I had never really thought of using knitting as a canvas for embroidery before! I had to find out more about her (she lives in Hamburg, not too far from me!) and I started following her on  social media.

Her creativity and eye for colors are just brilliant. She has a particular love for colorwork and I love just about everything she comes up with. Her Instagram feed is so inspiring, full of the most enticing photographs of wooly goodness. AND she doesn't just knit, she also spins and sews beautifully, and even sells THE coolest project bags  (she calls them Kunibags) online, in shops around Hamburg and at yarn festivals.

I am so delighted that she agreed to donate one Kunibag as a prize for our Entrechat KAL

One lucky winner will soon receive this beauty! I have to admit I'm a bit jealous ;)

I love the combination of fabrics she picked out, it's super elegant and modern, with a retro twist, don't you think?

Judit has been super busy lately in her studio and will soon open an Etsy shop. In the meantime, make sure you follow her on Instagram and Ravelry so you don't miss any of her beautiful creations. Thanks again Judit!

Entrechat KAL Sponsor: Unwind Yarn Company

Another one of our lovely indie dyer sponsors is Dana from the Unwind Yarn Company.

Unwind Yarn Company

I've been following Dana on Instagram for a while now, and I love having that window into her day-to-day as an indie dyer and business owner, and seeing her adorable little girl grow. 

As an indie dyer, she comes up with absolutely wonderful colorways full of happy bright colors, which come in a wide variety of bases, from fingering to worsted weight. Each one of her colorways is inspired by something very personal, either a meaningful song, a memory, a photo... Dana also makes the cutest notion pouches and project bags in covetable fabrics. Be sure to check out her store! She really pours her heart and soul into her work, and with each new product she shares a bit of herself with the world.

Dana is also one of the organizer behind the Into The Wool Fiber Retreat, which has been taking place for the past four years and looks oh-so-heavenly. 

Are you curious to see the prize that Dana has prepared for our Entrechat KAL? It's the loveliest yarn and bag kit!

This fabric is just perfect, no? And how wonderful is this yarn!

Here are some more details:

The project bag is made from organic cotton print fabric with a white organic cotton lining. It measures approximately 11" wide x 7" tall with a 4" gusset.  It is interfaced with batting and is soft but will stand up on its own. It has a zipper top and coordinating colored stitching.

The yarn is Unwind Yarn Company's Round Trip Sock, a lovely high-twist super wash 100% merino single that blocks beautifully and shows stitch definition extremely well. It was dyed in Dana's repeatable colorway Black Magic Woman, a tonal pink with splashes of navy. The skein is 400yds/100g. Gauge: 7-8 sts = 1” on #1-3 needles. Hand or machine wash cool, lay flat to dry.

I am so excited on behalf of the lucky winner who will receive this wonderful kit! Want your own? You can find the Unwind Yarn Company here:

Shop: Unwind Yarn Company

Instagram: Unwindyarncompany

Facebook: Unwind Yarn Company

The KAL is still going strong, with new participants still joining us every day, so don't be shy and join us! There's still plenty of time to make one Entrechat... or five! I'll announce the winners on July 1.

Entrechat KAL Sponsor: Sewhappyjane Hand dyed yarn

When I had a call for sponsors for the Entrechat KAL back in May, Heather from Sewhappyjane was one of the first ones to offer a prize, and given how gorgeous and special her yarns are, I was more than thrilled! 

How pretty is this?? It's called Lavish and you can find it it, along with all of Heather's offerings here

Here's a close up of the donated skein, Lavish in DK weight, for your viewing pleasure. You are welcome :)

Heather's hand-dyed yarns are inspired by the world around her; tiny songbirds, majestic skies, sand and stone, and all things bright and beautiful. Heather creates sewhappyJane yarn in the kitchen of her century old music teaching studio. She uses only the finest, professional grade materials and dye in small batches of 2-4 skeins at a time. Each skein of yarn is unique and made to infuse your projects with life. 

Thank you so much, Heather, for being a sponsor! And for taking part in the KAL of course!

Heather can be found the following places:

Shop: sewhappyjane.bigcartel.com

Instagram: sewhappyjane

facebook: sewhappyjane

Ravelry: sewhappyjane

www.sustainmusicstudio.com

Entrechat hack: long sleeves

Entrechat is designed to have small cap sleeves, but I think an elbow or even full-length sleeve also works very well for this design. It could be great for chillier spring or fall days, or to use over a summer dress if it's a bit cooler in the evening (or if the A/C is blasting!).

Entrechat knitting pattern by Frogginette Knitting Patterns

Here are my notes about how I made this variation based on the main Entrechat knitting pattern, which is available here.

First a note about extra supplies: You will need a set of dpns of the same diameter as your main (circular) needle to work the sleeves in the round (unless you prefer to use the magic loop technique). You will also need a bit more yarn than indicated in the pattern since you are adding sleeve length. I would guesstimate that you will need anywhere from 50 to 150 yards extra depending on the size you are working and sleeve length you want to knit. 

The beginning of the pattern can be followed as written until Page 3 of the pattern, where it says "Repeat Rows 3 and 4 for the raglan increases until you have the following stitch count."

You simply ignore the stitch counts that are immediately following this statement, as well as the next two sentences, instead working rows 3 and 4 until you get the stitch counts given at the bottom of page 3 (they are bolded).

Then, on the next WS, instead of binding off the sleeve stitches as indicated, you place them on hold using two pieces of scrap yarn (so, purl to the end of that WS, then slip both sets of sleeve sts onto holders, removing markers).

Then, you can follow the pattern as written to finish the body of the shrug.

Once you are done with the body, it's time to work the sleeves. Place the held sleeve stitches onto your dpns, making sure they are evenly distributed.

Then, joining new yarn at the underarm (leave a yarn tail about 8" or 20cm, which you will later use to thread a needle to close up any holes/gaps), you pick up and knit two stitches from the edge of the underarm area. Place a marker between those two stitches and then knit all the sleeve stitches. Then, joining in the round, knit your sleeve stitches in the round for approximately 1" or 2.5cm. 

At that point, work a decrease round: Slm, k1, k2tog, knit until 3 sts remain, ssk, k1.

Continue working in the round in stockinette, working a decrease round every 2 inches or 5cm. When you are 1" shy of your desired sleeve length, alternate working a purled round and a knitted round to produce garter ridges. When you have three ridges, knit one more round and then bind off purlwise (this will produce your final garter ridge.)

Voila!! A sleeve!  Do the same to work the second sleeve and you're all done!

Note: Sleeve length can be easily customized depending on what you need: short sleeves, elbow length, long sleeves. Simply measure the child's arm from the underarm to where your want the sleeve cuff to be. As a reference you can also consult the standard sleeve lengths provided by the Craft Yarn Council for babies and children.

Entrechat knitting pattern (sleeve hack) by Frogginette Knitting Patterns
Entrechat knitting pattern (long sleeve hack) by Frogginette Knitting Patterns

By the way, I am running an Entrechat KAL in my Ravelry group from June 1 to June 30! Join us, it's going to be fun!

Plus, there's 30% off both my Entrechat and Madame Entrechat patterns using the code "ENTRECHATKAL"until June 10th so don't miss out! There will be TONS of prizes: yarn, notions, patterns from many indie designers... To see the entire sponsor list, check out the second post in the Club Frogginette KAL thread)

Don't forget to use the hashtag #EntrechatKAL on your Ravelry project or social media so we can all see your contribution!

Portrait of a knitwear designer: Marie Greene of Olive Knits

I've been getting to know more of my fellow knitwear designers lately, and I am fascinated by the person who exists behind the designs. People have such diverse motivations, personal circumstances, backgrounds, stories, insights! Knitwear designers are definitely an interesting and thoughtful bunch. So I've decided to do a little interview series of my favorite people!


First up: Marie from Olive Knits and her wonderfully sleek, super wearable yet sophisticated designs:

Marie wearing her Southwell Cardigan

Marie wearing her Southwell Cardigan

  • What are 5 random things people might not know about you?

-My kitchen is my zen space. I love to cook - it's a great way to unwind after a long day. 

-I like to binge-watch moody Scandinavian crime shows while I work. 

-I love secondhand and vintage shops. 

-I am an early riser to the extreme (this morning it was 3:30 AM), but it also means that I go to bed ridiculously early most nights. My friends tease me if I'm up past 9:30 PM because they know I'm dying inside. 

-When I was first married I worked as a contract seamstress for the Navy Reserve. 

  • What is your style in a nutshell?

My style continues to evolve. In my early days I was still finding my footing as a designer, still trying to tap into the ideas that resonated with the style story I wanted to tell, but I feel like I'm reaching that place a little more each day. My goal is effortless, beautiful design that is as fun to knit as it is to wear. I hate to use the word 'practical,' but in reality - that really has a huge influence on my work. I want to create pieces that people want in their closets. 

  • What is your favorite technique?

Goodness, it's hard to pick a favorite. I don't know if I can pick just one, but two of my favorites are Japanese Short Rows and the Horizontal Stitch, and you can see both of those demonstrated here

  • What is/are your go-to yarn(s)?

Ooh, another tough one. I love yarns that lean toward the more natural style, and often the "crunchy" yarns really call to me - Sherwood Yarn, The Fibre Company and Rauma Finnulgarn rank high on my list. I also love supporting the work of Sincere Sheep for her commitment to sourcing and her use of natural dyes, and The Farmer's Daughter Fibers because I not only love her gorgeous colorways, but really connect with the way she draws upon her heritage and homeland for inspiration. When I need something with crisp, brilliant color, I go for Knitted Wit; I especially love her rich solids and her personal commitment to supporting meaningful causes through her business. 

  • Do you have a favorite designer? Or any particular design you think is genius.

I have a couple of favorites that span opposite directions, but the one that comes to mind first is Norah Gaughan. She's been one of my design heroes for years. It's funny because my design style is nothing like Norah's, but her designs remind me to think outside the box. I've met her a couple of times and she's genuine and gracious - a true professional. 

  • What is the most important thing you've learned since becoming a designer?

Compassion. Becoming a designer has really opened my eyes to the immense amount of work, love, time and resources that go into the pattern design process. Those insights have translated into a deeper appreciation for the work of my peers, and for the work of small business owners across creative genres; I'm more keenly aware of the person behind the screen/email/storefront who's hustling to make the magic happen.

Behind the scenes!

Behind the scenes!

  • What is your best-selling pattern? Why do you think that is?

Gosh, I had to go look at the numbers. I have two best sellers that are almost tied for first place: Brookings and BeckettI think these pieces are both incredibly versatile and wearable, and flatter a range of body types

  • What is the design you are the most proud of? Why?

Eek, another hard one. I'm really proud of most of them, to be honest, but I think River Light Tee is one I was especially proud of because I challenged my usual construction process, and I think the stitch transition to the lower hem was beautifully strategic. 

River Light Tee by Olive Knits

River Light Tee by Olive Knits

  • What is your favorite quote or saying?
My candle burns at both ends; it will not last the night. But, ah, my foes, and oh, my friends, it lends a lovely light.
— Edna St. Vincent Millay

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my very nosy questions with such thoughtful answers Marie! I wish you the very best on your designing journey! You can find Marie's designs on her website (be sure to check out her blog!) as well as Ravelry. She is @oliveknits on Instagram.


Are you curious about what it takes to be a knitwear designer? What the daily routine might look like? Would you like to get to know your favorite designer? Please let me know in the comments if you'd like me to reach out to anybody in particular, and whether you'd like to me to ask any specific questions!

Wearing your knits: 5 lessons I've learned

Every month of May for the past eight years, Me-Made-May has been a big movement in the crafting community. It's not really a make-a-long per se, it's more about actually wearing the things you've made.

Tatie cardigan -- Pattern by NCL Knits

Tatie cardigan -- Pattern by NCL Knits

I have to admit, I don't wear my knits consistently.

I have phases where I will wear something I've made over and over, like this Old Growth cardigan by Tin Can Knits. When my daughter was little and still nursing, I barely left home without it (and wore it around the house as well!)

Old Growth cardigan by Tin Can Knits

Old Growth cardigan by Tin Can Knits

Love that side buttoning!

Love that side buttoning!

I actually tested the pattern for them way back when, and I love how comfy and easy to wear it is. 

Meanwhile some other gorgeous hand-knits have been languishing for years at the back of my closet. Wondering why exactly that is, I studied them carefully and thought about each one's perceived shortcomings. And I had a few epiphanies:

Wearing Your Knits: 5 lessons I've learned by Frogginette Knitting Patterns
  • The sleeve shaping type: I've realized that raglan generally works well for my shape. I like set-in sleeves but I am very particular about the way they should fit on my body, and I'm often disappointed in the way my hand-knits sit in the shoulder area. Very often I feel like the top of the sleeve cap is too narrow, and the seam where the sleeve attaches to the body is placed too far on the outside, towards the very edge or the shoulder or even beyond. (I have pretty square shoulders, too!) This results in the garment constantly feeling like it's slipping, not sitting well, and just not comfortable to wear.
  • The sleeve ease and length: I've learned that I shouldn't just follow directions when I knit sleeves. Instead I should study the schematic a bit more carefully make sure the sleeve ease and length will work for me. I have yet to knit a sweater where the sleeve didn't turn out a bit too tight or a bit too wide. To be fair, I think I'm quite picky there as well. And perhaps I have non-standard arms :D
  • The color: Have you ever noticed that the colors you are attracted to at the yarn store are not necessarily the ones that look the best on you? I love very muted hues, greys, faded lilacs, soft blues... (I mean... just look at that pile of knits above!) Yet I notice that I look much better when I wear jewel tones, deep or bright greens or reds. 
  • The buttons: I have more than a few cardigans that just don't get worn because I made the wrong button choice. Annoyingly heavy buttons for a comparatively thinner yarn. Too-small buttons that slip through the buttonholes easily (this happens too if the yarn is slippery, for example if it has silk content). Cute or fancy buttons that end up distracting from the knit itself.
  • The choice of yarn: Selecting the right yarn for a sweater is no small feat. I've noticed that if the yarn is too precious and delicate, I will simply not wear the garment for fear of damaging it during my day-to-day activities (my kids LOVE to yank on my sleeves to get my attention and they routinely attack me with spiky toy dinosaurs. Ouch!). On the other hand, if I'm going to invest lots of time knitting a sweater for myself, I want the yarn to be special enough. So there has to be a balance. For me, that means using a relatively rugged yarn: Malabrigo Rios, which I used for my Old Growth above, or perhaps Madelinetosh Vintage or Cascade Eco... 

What about you? What are your tips for creating wearable knits?

Entrechat hack: two-colors

Over the years some of my favorite projects that knitters have made from my Entrechat pattern were ones involving two or more colors.

Two-color Entrechat by Frogginette Knitting Patterns #malabrigo

I think using two colors works so well for my Entrechat pattern: it underlines the unusual construction and makes the textured band really pop.

I decided to make a two-tone Entrechat using two Malabrigo Rios colorways: Water Green as the main color and Teal Feather as a contrasting color:

Here's a basic how-to:

First, a word of warning: you have to be willing to weave in a few ends! I made this using intarsia, which means that for the rows where I had contrasting color on both ends of my knitting, I used two separate balls of contrasting color yarn, one on each end, and the main color yarn for the middle.

- So before you start, wind up a small ball (about 1.5 to 2 inches - that's about 4-5 cm in diameter) from your main contrasting color (CC) yarn ball, which you'll use for the intarsia bits.

Two-color Entrechat shrug by Frogginette Knitting Patterns #malabrigo

- Cast on your project using the larger ball of CC yarn and follow instructions until you have your 4 garter ridges from the cast on edge. Cut CC yarn.

- On next RS row, switch to the main color yarn (MC) and follow the pattern until the sleeve stitches are bound off. Cut MC yarn.

- Join CC (larger ball) to pick up the stitches along the raglans and until you are ready to start the "Work Body" section.

- To work the textured band:

RS: K4 in CC (from the larger ball), join MC and work as explained in the pattern to 4 sts from end of row, leave MC hanging at the back of your work and join CC from the separate small ball, k4, (it will seem like you have a big gap where you joined the yarns but this will be fixed later when you weave in the ends).

WS: K4 using the smaller ball of CC, then leave CC hanging and pick up your MC (crossing/wrapping it around the CC to close the gap) and work to 4 sts from end of row, leave MC hanging and pick up CC from the larger ball (crossing/wrapping it around the MC) and k4.

- Keep working the textured band rows in this way -- you might need to untangle your three balls of yarns once in a while -- oh the joys of colorwork ;)

- When you reach the part in the pattern where you are given the length of the textured band, work the following RS in CC using the two balls of CC yarn and leaving the MC hanging (you can "carry it" at the back of your work, just twisting it with your working yarn as you encounter it).

- When you have worked the two garter ridges and you are ready to work the increase row, work the first 4 sts in CC using the larger ball of yarn, then pick up your MC to do the increases and switch to the CC from the smaller ball for the last 4 sts. Continue in this way using the three balls of yarn until you reach the given measurements, but instead of ending on a RS row as instructed, end on a WS row. Cut the MC yarn and the CC yarn from the smaller ball of yarn.

- On the next RS: using the CC from the larger ball of yarn, knit one row. Then work the ridges with the buttonhole according to the pattern.

- Last but not least: Weave in all those ends neatly.

TA-DA! A lovely two-color Entrechat!!

Two-color Entrechat shrug by Frogginette Knitting Patterns #malabrigo

By the way... I will be hosting an Entrechat KAL in June! I will announce the details soon.

My week in knitting

Hi knitters! It's Monday! What is on your needles this week? 

Over here, things are transitioning into Spring/Summer knitting. I'm preparing a few samples for my Entrechat KAL. It will start in June and I thought it would be fun to feature so-called pattern "hacks," which are just fun mods that you can do using my pattern as a jumping board. I always like to encourage creativity and I can't wait to see what everybody comes up with.

So: here is my bicolor Entrechat, which is blocking nicely as I write. Can you guess which button I ended up chosing? Do you tend to agonize over button choice too by the way? It's kind of ridiculous how much hemming and hawing was involved in this small decision.

Entrechat by Frogginette Knitting Patterns

This week, knitting-wise, I'm planning on focusing mostly on this little number: a Colorplay Dress for a friend's soon-to-arrive baby girl. I might just do some stripes or very simple colorwork for the body, and then do the flower motif at the chest only. But I'll probably be figuring it out as I go along :)

What are you working on this week?

Knitting for a new baby by Frogginette Knitting Patterns

Here are the winners of the Easter / Spring Dress knit-along!

The Easter/Spring Dress KAL that I hosted in my Ravelry group came to an end earlier this week. Many participated, and it was so fun to see everybody's little sweet little dresses pop up in the thread. As promised, prizes were awarded for the following projects:

SpinnyGonzalez won one of the two grand prizes! I selected her Tutu Top because her choice of colors was just so fresh and spunky. I think this bright green paired with acid yellow is the perfect combination for a Spring tunic that's just the thing to wear while exploring nature:

Tutu Top by SpinnyGonzalez on Ravelry

Tutu Top by SpinnyGonzalez on Ravelry

I also chose this pretty Broderie as the recipient of the second Grand Prize! I think that Dye2Knit's project is beautiful in this classic blue with subtle tonal variations. Very romantic and sweet:

Broderie by Dye2knit on Ravelry

Broderie by Dye2knit on Ravelry

Pennster managed to whip up THREE Honey Pie dresses during the KAL! Impressive, right? Two of her projects were randomly selected and she won two of my patterns :D

Honey Pie by Pennster on Ravelry

Honey Pie by Pennster on Ravelry

Honey Pie by Pennster on Ravelry

Honey Pie by Pennster on Ravelry

Another winner was Angeldogknitter, who came up with this really gorgeous combination of colors for her Tutu Top. While the body of the sweater is purple (you know that tends to be a winner for little girls!) I love that she paired it with a more subtle powdery mauve, it really gives a nice sophistication to the project.

Tutu Top by Angeldogknitter on Ravelry

Tutu Top by Angeldogknitter on Ravelry

Another really sweet version was Alisa01's Honey Pie. I love this shade of Malabrigo Rios (Archangel), an unusual red/purple hue. And look at those sweet flower buttons she picked out!

Honey Pie by alesa01 on Ravelry

Honey Pie by alesa01 on Ravelry

Last but not least, Kimzboyz made this beautiful, bright blue Honey Pie with really special buttons:

Honey Pie by Kimzboyz on Ravelry

Honey Pie by Kimzboyz on Ravelry

So that's all for this KAL folks! Are you ready for another one in June? I am planning to host an Entrechat-hack knit-along so if you know of (or are envisioning) any fun variations of my best-selling design, chime in in the comments!