Summer Stitching Games

This summer, we’re celebrating the Olympics with our own Summer Stitching Games. This is a great opprotunity to pick up a new skill on a quick but challenging project. You can sign up for the Summer Stitching Games–for a materials discount and access to fun events here.
One of the most fun–and daunting–things about an event like our Summer Stitching Games is picking a project. Below are a few suggestions from Eloise — many knit and recommended by JP Knit & Stitch staff — along with Ravelry links, to inspire you.
Easy: Maluka (free)
I love the construction of this scarflette, and think it’s a lovely, rewarding project if you haven’t tackled lace before. You knit the edging first–a charted lace repeat that will be a nice challenge for beginners and easily memorized for the more experienced–then pick up stitches along that edging and use short rows to create the easy-to-wear crescent shape. This pattern calls about 300 yards of fingering weight yarn, so you could use Cascade Heritage, Malabrigo Sock, or even Noro Silk Garden Sock for fun changes in color. This pattern would also look lovely in a sport or DK weight yarn, such as Clasic Elite Magnolia.
Medium: Holden Shawlette (free)
This triangular shawl is a bit bigger than Maluka and introduces a few more shawl and lace techniques. You start with a garter stitch tab, knit in stockingette while increasing, and then move on to your choice of written or charted instructions for the lace at the edge. This would be perfect in a semisolid shade of Malabrigo Sock, or in Madeline Tosh Light.
This small shawl is a fun brainteaser for experienced lace knitters. I took this project (knit with a single ball of Classic Elite Silky Alpaca Lace, and now on display in the store) on a weeklong vacation–and long plane ride. You work from four different charts (knitting more than one repeat of some) to form a half-circle shawl. Written instructions are also available. This pattern gave me a real run for my money, but the small size keeps it managable as long as you make sure your stitch counts are accurate.
SWEATER (by weight)
Bulky: Owls (about $5, buy in-store)
This is a chunky-weight sweater with adorable cabled owls around the yoke. At about 700 yards for the medium size, this is a sweater you can finish in two weeks with just a bit of extra knitting time.
Aran: Aidez (free, knit by Eloise)
If you haven’t knit Aidez yet, now is a good time! This traditional, boyfriend-fit cabled cardigan has been a hit since it was released. (Check out Ravelry for a bunch of versions and tips from other knitters.) The guage is aran weight–a heavy worsted–and Cascade Ecological is a great, sheep-hued choice.
Worsted: February Lady Sweater (free, knit by Pat)
Looking for a bit of lace and a fitted garment? The February Lady Sweater, based on Elizabeth Zimmermann’s February Baby Sweater, is a lovely garter-and-lace sweater that looks fabulous on a bunch of body types. (I especially love it for moms-to-be!) Visit (and try on) our sample version in the store, knit from Cascade 220 Heather.
Fingering: Featherweight Cardigan or Wispy Cardi ($6, buy in-store, PDF or paper, Featherweight knit by Stephanie)
If the Marathon is your favorite Track & Field event, one of Hannah Fettig’s gorgeous little sweaters may be just the project for you. These wardrobe staples are knit with lace or fingering weight yarn on big(ger) needles for a fabric with amazing drape. Choosing a lovely, soft sock yarn like Cascade Heritage or Malabrigo Sock (for semisolid and verigated colors) will help those miles of stockingette fly by!
Stripes are a great way to use multiple colors in your knitting, simply. This worsted-weight baby sweater is the perfect combination of stripes and shaping for a beginner knitter looking for a managable challenge. How luxurious would this little sweater be in Madeline Tosh Vintage? (And it only takes a skein of each color!)
Medium: Anja (free)
This hat is a fabulous introduction to traditional stranded colorwork. It combines traditional motifs and a fun, modern shape, worked in a slightly heavier weight yarn than most colorwork patterns, perfect for new colorwork knitters. I’ve been having a great time putting together color combinations in our Sublime Extra Fine Merino Wool DK, Debbie Blis Cashmerino Baby, or Classic Elite Magnolia.
Hard: Colorwork Mittens (various; check out Anna’s!)
Mittens are a perfect canvas for stranded colorwork. The thick fabric is nice and warm, perfect for winter, and the size and shape of the accesory means that desigers can really play! There are patterns available for every interest, from traditional flower motifs (End of May Mitts, $6, worsted weight) to gender neutral geometrics (Quo Vadis, free, worsted weight and Strago, $5.75, sport or fingering weight) to quirky images like peacock feathers or narwahls (Mystery + Manners, free, fingering weight and Narwhal Mittens, about $6, sport weight, respectively)!
All of the above patterns are available in our store, and we have yarns we can recommend for each. Stop by for more ideas. We can’t wait to see what you create!
  • Princessjanine
    Posted at 15:36h, 27 July

    Actually, I thought that was the sotloiun for many years, until attending some classes with an expert who reminded me that using a size larger needle increases the HEIGHT of the stitch, but not the DISTANCE BETWEEN STITCHES (this is what produces the too tight cast on) .so simply being careful to keep enough space between the cast on stitches really does the trick. Need a video, try Cat Bordhi. Also, I use the old Norwegian cast on for items where more stretch is required (hats, socks, etc). Really works. (She also has a really stretchy cast off tutorial, quite good)