A Checklist of Birds is our 2022 fall collaboration with Andrea Rangel. Not only do the colours represent eight of our favourite birds in the Pacific Northwest, but the texture pattern for each bird is actually a chart showing how common that species is throughout the year.
You have your choice of a "multi-bird" pair of socks with the Checklist colourway (above), or "single-bird" socks with a flock of eight identical birds per colourway (below).
There are eight birds in our Checklist. From left to right, these are Anna's Hummingbird, Rufous Hummingbird, Northern Flicker, Varied Thrush, American Goldfinch, Mallard, Steller's Jay, and Great Blue Heron.
The sock pattern is sold separately through Andrea's website and Ravelry.
If you're interested in a little background on how this collection came together, I've been writing about it over on Substack. If you're new to Substack, there is no login or subscription required. However, if you enjoy my rambling descriptions and want more, you can subscribe (for free) to receive new posts by email when they are published.
We've had some good questions come in* about the Garden Wedding Shawl so I thought I'd put together some answers for you!
What if I run out of yarn?
We have worked hard to make sure you will have enough yarn! We had several testers for each size to ensure that our yardage estimates were accurate. Each kit includes an extra half skein (approximately 100 m) of extra dark blue yarn, because sometimes gauge swatches lie and you might need a little more to complete the project. All our testers finished their shawls with 50m - 100 m of extra yarn left over. We have also built in extra green and red yarn.
Is there a fingering weight version?
No. After much thought and testing, Andrea decided to work with worsted weight for this project. The yarn we chose is a 100% superwash Merino that is bouncy enough to make those cables pop, and light enough that it doesn’t weigh itself down.
Are there other colour options?
No (for now). The collaboration was a big project for both Andrea and I, and we decided to keep it manageable by focusing on one colour palette. So far the pattern and yarn have been very well received (thank you!) and so we may create more colour options at a later date.
Can I substitute yarn?
Yes. A 1200 yard, worsted weight gradient is not a common thing (I can’t think of any others) so if you like the slow colour change in the body of the shawl, this is the yarn for you. However, the pattern gives instructions for substituting yarn and would work beautifully in a solid colour.
What else can I knit with this yarn?
The world is your oyster. However, to get the most out of this yarn, I would personally choose a project that showcases the gradient by using all the yarn in one continuous piece of fabric AND that shows off the pink-to-red mini gradient and green contrast yarn. So basically I am describing the Garden Wedding shawl. This is not a coincidence, we absolutely did tailor the yardage and flow of the colours in this kit to this shawl.
How do I work with this gradient?
This yarn is dyed to create a long, subtle gradient that moves from a light periwinkle blue at the cast-on to a deep grey blue at the border. The yarn is divided into four skeins for practical purposes, but the gradient continues uninterrupted from one skein to the next. The colour change is so subtle that it is hard to see, so it is important to pay attention when joining a new ball. Each skein in the main colour gradient is marked with an off-colour section at one end. These are in rainbow order (pink, orange, yellow, green) to help you determine which skein comes next. Cast on and add in new yarn starting with the marked end of each skein, otherwise that section of the gradient will flow in the wrong direction.
How do you dye a gradient like that?
People are too polite to ever ask this question but I’m going to answer it anyway. For us, the way to create a beautiful, smooth colour transition is exactly the same as the way we dye our self-striping yarn, except that each stripe is almost the same colour as the last one. For this shawl, we use 34 different blues and apply them in order from palest to darkest.
*Actually only three of these were real questions from knitters. I made up the rest, but I do think the answers are helpful.
Find the yarn in our shop here. The pattern is available through Andrea Rangel here.
Andrea Rangel’s sister got married this spring. This is the shawl Andrea knit for the occasion.
It turns out that when a detail-oriented knitwear designer makes something for herself without worrying about how many charts it would require, or whether it might be a little too “extra” for the rest of us, the result is truly epic.
This shawl is a statement piece that combines intricate cables and lace with bold colourwork. If you are ready for a fun knitting adventure, this one's for you.
We have the yarn listed in our shop now, and the pattern is available through Andrea’s website or on Ravelry.
The shawl pattern is written for two sizes: small and large (though “large” and “even larger” would be more accurate). Each kit contains 5 skeins of our Merino Worsted yarn.
The small shawl requires 900 yd / 820m of yarn. The finished wingspan is 58 in / 148 cm. The kit contains 4 x 115 g / 4 oz blue skeins plus 1 x mini skein of contrast yarn.
The large shawl requires 1330 yd / 1220 m of fingering weight yarn. The finished wingspan is 74 in / 188 cm. The kit contains 4 x 170 g / 6 oz blue skeins plus 1 x mini skein of contrast yarn.
The body of the shawl is worked in a gentle gradient that flows from a light periwinkle to a dark grey/blue. In the photos, it looks like the blue yarn is four skeins, each a slightly darker shade than the last. In fact, the colour shifts slowly through each skein so that the end of one skein matches the start of the next.
The colour change is so subtle that we’ve marked the “beginning” end of the skeins with a pop of colour (pink/orange/yellow/green) so you can tell what order to knit them in, and which end to start with.
We've been sharing bits and pieces of our design process for this collaboration, so you might remember that early on, I put together a bright, cheery colour palette based on the colours in Andrea's gown.
In the end it wasn't the right look for the shawl Andrea had in mind, but it was just a perfect match for Andrea's Saxe Point Socks pattern. The playful colours combined with a gradient yarn for the stranded colourwork give these socks a whole new look.
The yarn is called In Bloom and you can find it here.
All Together Now is a favourite colourway from five (!) years ago. We've given it a bit of a makeover, and are happy to have it back just in time for summer knitting.
As with so many of our colourways, we have a SHAWL version and a CLASSIC/SOCK version.
SHAWL: Unlike the socks, the shawl version of this yarn goes through the rainbow of colours only once. The shawl shown here is Everyday Shawl by Sweaterfreak Knits and was made using the 170 g / 6 oz skein. Knit and photographed by nerdbirdmakery.
CLASSIC: Each skein has four repeats of the rainbow. You can make matching socks, or, like we did here, a playfully mis-matched pair. Each short sock in the photo uses just over one quarter of a regular (115 g/4 oz) skein.
These were knit on a circular sock machine and use a folded hem and short-row heel. If you'd like to use these techniques for your hand knit socks, I found a couple how-to videos you might like.
Summer Lee has a tutorial on working the folded hem at the cuff. There are a few different options for a folded cuff and this video shows the method I like best: cast on as usual, work in stockinette, and finish by loosely sewing the folded edge to the inside of the cuff.
[Update: Anoush just sent me this Ravelry link with a variation on the folded cuff that has an extra "tab" at the back to help keep the socks from slipping off. I haven't tried it yet, but I love this little detail.]
Andrea Rangel has a tutorial on working a short-row heel. I like a deeper heel, so I started with more than half the stitches (34 stitches for the heel, leaving 26 at the front of the leg).
Since the socks were knit on a machine, I also did a short-row toe. It is worked exactly the same as a short-row heel, starting with the bottom half of the stitches. The final step is to kitchener stitch the completed toe to the top of the foot.
These techniques can be substituted into your favourite sock pattern. If you're looking for a starting point, I like Rye Light by Tin Can Knits and Tip Toe Up Socks by Holli Yeoh.
White Light SWEATER is back in the shop.
Folks, it's a one-skein, self-striping baby sweater. Each skein begins with a rainbow of colours that will form the yoke, and then a lot of blue which you'll use for both the body and arms.
We recommend the Flax Light pattern by Tin Can Knits, but you can substitute any top-down raglan pattern, either cardigan or pullover.
Introducing Earth's Atmosphere.
A sibling to Our Solar System, our newest colourway represents a temperature profile of the Earth's atmosphere at different altitudes.
There are two different versions:
Round trip has two matching halves for projects like socks. To divide the skein into two balls, cut the yarn at the blue stripe in the middle of the skein. Sock heels can be knit with the red ends of each ball.
One Way Trip is perfectly suited for a hat or rectangular scarf. These photos show hats knit using Ysolda's iconic Musselburgh Hat pattern.
Colourwheel is now on worsted weight!
Our popular Colourwheel has a new big sister. This worsted weight is perfect for quick one-skein projects like hats or mitts, and would also be great paired with a neutral colour for larger projects like scarves or sweaters.
We're also happy to have our Whiskey in a Teacup SWEATER yarn back in stock!
Today's shop update is all in-stock yarn and we aim to ship within a week.