Trending for Fall 2011—What’s new at Patternworks!

The Patternworks Fall 2011 catalog is in the mail, and boy are we excited about the great new yarns and patterns it includes. They’re perfect for updating your wardrobe for this season.

One of the biggest trends for this fall is capes, and we have an enviable assortment of patterns available! From the Cabled Capelet, knit in light-and-lofty Grande yarn, to the wonderfully textural Women’s Jacket pattern in snuggly, thick-and-thin Haciendo, selection abounds. For those who like colorwork, there’s the Léttlopi Cape Pattern, from the Lopi 30 leaflet. The Lopi 30 leaflet includes a second fall trend—polka dots, which adorn the yoke of the Gola sweater.

Lace details are another fall must-have, and there’s no better way to bring this trend into your wardrobe than with a whole book’s worth of lace patterns. The new Knitted Lace book from Interweave includes 26 lace projects, from shawls and scarves to hats, tops and socks. With this book, you’ll be covered head to toe. There’s also Lacy Knits, which includes over 20 patterns for delicate projects designed to be knit in mohair-silk yarns. For crocheters, Totally Simple Crochet is a beautiful collection of over 30 garment and home-dec patterns, and includes multiple patterns with open, lacy contruction (the Crocheted Stole/Shawl pattern is divine!). A bonus to this book: it includes basic crochet instructions, so if you’re a knitter who’s wanted to learn to crochet, this is a great book for you as well!

Another option for a great fall garment with lacy detail is the Patternworks exclusive Peterborough Shrug, knit in Meredith Bay. And, as if this garment wasn’t enticing enough in its own right, add to it the fact that both Meredith Bay and Bretton Yarns By Patternworks are now being offered at new, lower prices!

As far as color is concerned, bright and bold is where it’s at this fall. If you’re comfortable in warm, eye-popping hues, go for shades of crimson, mustard, or emberglow, one of Pantone’s Fall 2011 color picks (a juicy coral-meets-melon hue). See the new Salmon color of Nature Spun Worsted—it’s a great choice if you want to go emberglow. If you’d rather stick to cooler colors, there are some great options there as well. Jade, deep teal (such as the Teal color of the new Baby Alpaca Tweed yarn), and International Klein Blue (that’s IKB to artists; it’s a deep, ultramarine blue first mixed by French artist Yves Klein) are all great choices this fall.

Maxi skirts will also be big this fall. To complete the outfit, pair an ultra-long skirt with a long cozy sweater that hits mid-thigh, such as the Top Down Raglan Tunic knit in Haciendo yarn, or offset the skirt’s length with a cropped sweater, à la the Cropped Jacket from Filatura Di Crosa Sportwool™ Charly™ leaflet, knit in Sportwool™.

For accessories, look to choker necklaces and cuff bracelets to finish your look. The delicate Elizabethan Beaded Choker, knit in Ewe Silky Thing yarn, will add instant color to an outfit. Bracelets knit in Baby Alpaca Grande can be worked up and worn in a jiffy!
Wondering what you’ll see this fall as far as yarn trends? Think glitz and sparkle. Just a little at first, with Diamante yarn in this catalog, but keep an eye out, there’s more to come! Another exciting addition…new Koigu colors! (Personally, I can’t get enough of color 470X. Which is your favorite?)

New Koigu Yarn Colors

As you can see, there’s a lot to be excited about at Patternworks this fall. And the season is just beginning!


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A Tale of Two FO’s

Baby blanketMy friend Karen recently gave birth to her first child, and in my book that definitely counts as a finished object! Nine months of energy and hard work went into making that beautiful little girl. The second finished object—a baby blanket for the new addition—was much more of a rush job!

Of course, most knitting or crochet projects don’t begin as rush jobs. We all have good intentions of starting things early and finishing them in plenty of time. But then we get partway into the third color of a six color baby blanket (Karen chose pink, lime green, and brown as the baby’s “colors,” so shades of pink, green, and brown there would be!), and realize that we didn’t cast on enough stitches, so if we try to use all six of the planned-on colors, we will have a beach towel, not a baby blanket. So out it all comes, and now what was “plenty of time to finish” is “up until 2am on the morning of the baby shower, sleep a little, and back up in time to wash, dry, and wrap the blanket and still make it to the shower on time” (thank goodness for fluffy, soft, MACHINE WASHABLE Encore yarn!). The weekend before the shower two of my PW coworkers and I went to NH Sheep and Wool Festival, and, while I said we could take my car, Betsy took pity on me and drove my car so I could spend the time knitting!

The scramble is always worth it, however. Knowing that my friend’s child will be wrapped up in, drag around, and snuggle with a blanket frantically knit with love just for her is a feeling that can’t be beat. And now it’s Karen’s turn to be up at 2am with her finished object!

And in case you’re interested, here’s the “pattern:”

When I came up with the plan for this blanket, my requirements were 1. to incorporate all six of the yarn colors I chose, and 2. a stitch pattern that was texturally appealing enough for a child, but that had some straight knit and purl rows so I could actually finish the blanket in time. As mentioned above, I was in a rush, and I and didn’t take notes (I know, bad knitter!), but here’s a basic recipe.

Yarn: Encore Worsted, 1 ball each #137 Hot Pink, #449 Rose, #450 Ice Green, #3335 Lime, #451 Herb, and #1204 Cocoa

Needles: Long circulars size US #9
1 cable needle

Offset Cables Stitch Pattern (from Vogue Knitting Stitchionary Volume 2, page 91):
4-st LC: Sl 2 sts to cable needle and hold in front, k2, k2 from cable needle
Rows 1 and 5 (RS): Knit.
Row 2 and all WS rows: Purl.
Row 3: *4-st LC, k4; rep from * to end.
Row 7: *K4, 4-st LC; rep from * to end.
Row 8: Purl.
Rep rows 1–8.

Recipe (not quite a pattern, as it’s from memory):
Cast on 154 sts in first color (I started with Cocoa). Knit 5 rows of seed stitch for border. Next row, knit 5 stitches in seed stitch, change to offset cable stitch pattern, knit across in offset cable pattern to last 5 stitches, knit last 5 stitches in seed stitch. Continue knitting in this manner (the offset cable pattern with a 5 stitch seed stitch border on either end) until out of the first color, making sure to complete a full row before changing colors. From here I measured the width of the first stripe, and then knit each subsequent stripe to the same width (the seed stitch border seemed to eat up a little more yarn than the the body of the blanket, so this method worked well). Once you get to the sixth/final color, measure the length of the offset cable section in the first color, knit this far, then knit the final 5 rows in seed stitch. Bind off loosely.

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When you think about knitting, what other things come to mind?

The ski sweater Becky's grandmother knit

For me, knitting brings back some wonderful memories! Wonderful quiet time spent with my grandmother is a perfect example. I remember sitting on the front porch of her big farmhouse, watching her make socks for my grandfather; helping her wind the yarn from a skein into a ball; and her being so patient while trying to teach me to knit and purl. And then there’s the wonderful wool cabled ski sweater that she made me when I started skiing. I still have it!

Knitting is a little like riding a bike. It isn’t easy at first. There are some bumps and times when you have to back up and start over. However, like riding a bike, once you really master knitting, you can go days, months, or years without doing it, yet once you pick the needles and yarn back up you’ll be knitting like a pro in minutes.

As I mentioned, I was taught to knit by my grandmother, and made a few small projects when I was seven or eight. Then, as a teenager, I had a music class that was so boring—the only requirement was to listen. So I went to the instructor and said, “I have to have something to do while I sit here, may I knit? I promise I’ll listen!” I made three or four vests and baby sweaters during that class.

During the next stages of my life, I never sat still long enough to knit. Then, when my children started playing every sport they could in high school, I picked up the needles and began multitasking again. This time I figured out how to watch games and knit. Small projects were always easier to transport, and the simpler the better.

Next came grandchildren and a career change. Knitting has now become a daily habit, and, I admit, it does govern other aspects of my life. I much prefer to be driven than to drive—I can KNIT. I love the telephone headset I use at work, because I can talk and still have both hands free to KNIT. Now that I work at Patternworks, I find myself helping coworkers and customers with patterns by trouble-shooting—or, as I prefer to thinking of it, KNITTING! On the weekends, I love sitting with my grandchildren, and it definitely doesn’t hurt that I can KNIT at the same time. Whatever or wherever, the softball game, the dance recital, the farmers’ market, the maple sugar shack, camping, the beach, or the car races, I can always be found with my KNITTING AND WONDERFUL MEMORIES!

By Becky in the Patternworks Call Center


Posted in Project Tales | 2 Comments

At the Patternworks Shop this Week


Scrumptious yarn

We checked out the shop this week to see what’s new: great summer project bags of every size, shape and material, from cute felted sheep to big woven bags in fabulous colors. We love the new cashmere yarns and everyone in the shop is excited about the Scrumptious yarns. When you visit make sure you check out the great bargain yarn located in the front entry.

Posted in Just for Fun! | 2 Comments

The Imperfect Purple Sweater

Happy Thursday!

I’m taking over the Patternworks Blog for today because everybody else is working hard finishing up one catalog or another!

I am not a knitter, nor a crocheter — but I was, a long time ago. My mother and grandmother taught me all those things, embroidery, sewing, knitting and crochet at a very young age. I do recall I tackled one knitting project in my life. I was around 10 years old and I started a sweater! I chose the brightest, most fabulous purple yarn I could find – my favorite color! Under the tutelage of my mother she taught me the casting on and off (I also recall I always sweated when I had to do that) and once I got going on the main part of the sweater, I could knit and purl like any other knitting demon!

Then…. the worst happened. We ran out of my perfect, fabulous purple yarn. We went back to the same place, got the same yarn, the same color and — well, you know what happened. Let’s just say it was another of those ‘teaching moments’ — In Which I learned about the concept of “dye lot number” — and how, unless you get the exact same one — you don’t get the EXACT same color. It wasn’t obvious to the naked eye but once I got my demon knitting needles going again and held it up, yeah, it was pretty obvious. I was crushed. I had put so much work into it!

Well, anyway I did finally finish my purple sweater… I think I may have been about 12 by the time I finished it. My mother helped me do the finishing touches and … Show Time! Finally it was time to try on my purple work of art! I put it over my head… and the arms were about 6-8 inches below my fingertips and the bottom down to my knees. I have no idea how I ended up knitting an men’s XL sweater when I was a size MED pre-teen girl. Ha ha! Maybe that’s why I ran out of yarn!

I still saved the sweater… and tried it on over my teen years, but never wore it out anywhere, due to the… “DYE LOT SITUATION”. But it was MY sweater that I had knitted — and I was proud of it, so I kept it. Over the years I would see fashion styles change — girls decked out in oversized tee shirts and sweatshirts and sweaters was THE fashion … hanging to their knees and over their hands. Some little part of me would bemoan that my sweater and I were so ahead of the times – why couldn’t that have been the style then!? But no, perfectly fitting preppy crewneck sweaters were the fashion then. To wear my Super Size sweater in public would’ve made me look like some purple waif from “Oliver!” or “Les Miserables”. NOT good for one’s popularity rating in junior high school.

Sometimes I still wonder what ever happened to my purple sweater, though I suspect it had something to do with moving out to go to college and having a sister who terrorized all of my clothing and possessions in my absence. It might actually fit me now. Okay, not a chance.. but… I don’t really care about what people think these days — I would proudly tell all about how I knitted my subtly two-toned purple XL sweater so many years ago. Now that I work here, and see the gorgeous yarns and beautiful patterns that we have, I keep thinking I am going to try it again.

I just hope I don’t knit a hat that will fit a two headed person.

Maybe next time everybody is busy with the catalogs, I’ll tell you about my crocheting adventure. : ) Happy knitting!

Ruthie, Patternworks Web Designer

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In the Streets of Boston

For all of the non-Boston hockey fans, we wish your teams luck in the 2011-2012 season. For all the Boston Bruin fans…WE GOT THE CUP! In case you weren’t able to make it to the rolling rally on Saturday, here are some of my pictures. It was a blast!

Captain Zdeno Chara and the Stanley Cup

Goalie Tim Thomas

Rene Rancourt, national anthem singer for the Bruins

Milan Lucic


Patrice Bergeron

Johnny Boychuk and Dennis Seidenberg

Posted in Just for Fun! | 1 Comment

2011 Patternworks Summer Sale

The 2011 Patternworks Summer Sale was this past weekend, and it was a huge success! The weather was a bit cool in the mornings, but both days warmed up nicely. We had so much fun, and everyone who came had a great time—and snatched up some terrific bargains along the way! If you weren’t able to make it to the sale, here are some pictures to make you feel like you were there!

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The Keepsake Prayer Warriors (plus their pattern)

This week, I’m very happy to introduce you to a remarkable group of women. The generosity of these ladies has provided others with comfort and strength, and given the knitters a sense of fulfillment in return. Becky K, Patricia, Becky P, Lisa, Tina, Pati, Betsy, Dawn, Nancy, Bonnie, Debbie, Toni, Karen, Kathy G, Lynn, Mary Ann and Sally C are all members of the Keepsake Prayer Warriors.

Back in 2009, Becky K heard through the grapevine that one of our co-workers was faced with surgery and, moved by care and concern, she wanted to do something for her. She asked four other co-workers to help her knit a prayer shawl—in just two days! They completed the shawl and gave it to the recipient the day before her surgery. Today the group has 17 members. Some participate in the knitting of the shawls, and some provide the supplies, but they all share in the blessing of seeing a face light up when someone receives a shawl made just for them.

If you know of someone who is going through a tough time, please use this pattern to knit up a shawl that is sure to bring them a measure of comfort.

Prayer Shawl Pattern
Materials needed:
16″ circular or straight needles #11
2 balls of Marble Chunky yarn (Note: 3 balls will make two shawls)
Quiet time to reflect on the person that will be receiving the shawl

Finished size approx. 28″ x 60″ (for an average-size shawl)

Cast on 65 sts.
Rows 1–5: K1, P1 across the row, end K1. (Seed st)
Row 6: Seed st 5 sts, knit 55 sts, seed st 5 sts.
Row 7: Seed st 5 sts, purl 55 sts, seed st 5 sts.
Repeat Rows 6 and 7 until desired length. (To make a larger size shawl, cast on 75 sts and knit the length longer.)

When you reach the desired length, repeat Rows 1–5.
Bind off loosely.

Posted in Posts with Free Patterns, Project Tales | 4 Comments

Knitting for a cause—The Dravet Syndrome Foundation

Each year, Patternworks holds a knitting and crocheting challenge. These contests serve two purposes. The first is for our customers to be able to display their talents in making a specified item, which is judged and prizes are awarded. The second purpose is to give all involved the opportunity to help a charity in need by donating the finished projects to that charity.

This year’s challenge will help The Dravet Syndrome Foundation. I learned of this group from one of our vendors, whose daughter’s close friend has a child who suffers from this condition, which affects every aspect of a child’s daily life.

The Dravet Syndrome Foundation describes this condition as “a rare and catastrophic form of epilepsy for which there is currently no cure. Seizures begin in the first year of life in an otherwise typically developing infant. Initial seizures are most often prolonged events and, in the second year of life, other seizure types emerge. All seizure types are remarkably resistant to medical therapy and the prognosis for Dravet syndrome is poor.” With your donation of a challenge blanket, you will be bringing comfort to a child who certainly needs it.

If you’ve never entered one of our challenges before, please consider doing so this time. Even if you don’t win a prize, you will win by giving a blanket to this worthy cause!

See the details for the 2011 Patternworks Challenge.

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Winner of the Patternworks 5,000 Fans on Facebook Contest!

The lucky winner of 20 balls of either Meredith Bay or Bretton yarn in the color of her choice is Vira Curiel-Garcia! Vira, please email us at so we can find out your yarn selection and address to ship your prize out to you! Congratulations Vira, and thanks to everyone for liking our page!

Posted in Just for Fun! | 1 Comment