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Traveling Home

Wed 28 Oct 2015 11:10am


2015 has been an amazing year for me. I’m fortunate to be asked to teach all over the world – and I just can’t seem to say no – the result being, 165 days away from home. My home is a relatively new one for me, so even it doesn’t feel quite real … I’m beginning to accept that I just might be a nomad.

You can catch up with some of my adventures on Instagram, and I’ll be using this space to tell bits and pieces of my stories from the year and share new things I’m exploring.


Image: Sara Remington from The Modern Natural Dyer

Check back on Friday for a THRILLING give-away!!!
I’ll be reviewing Kristine Vejar’s new book, and sharing my experiment with natural dyeing!


Top image: Double Rainbow, Burrastow House, Shetland, September 2015


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Weston Beanie

Fri 18 Sep 2015 04:09pm


Weston Beanie is my new hat pattern. I designed it a while back, for my nephew who was off to college in Montana. I made a few more, but they were always disappearing – popular I think. So now you can knit your own. You can find it in my Ravelry shop.


The sample is made with Dale of Norway Heilo, which is 100% Norwegian wool, that I had left over from knitting my Scandinavian book, 150 Scandinavian Motifs (called 150 Scandinavian Knitting Designs outside of North America). With a gauge of 5½ stitches to the inch over the fair isle pattern, I used almost an entire ball of the main color (1.76 oz [50g] balls, 109 yds [100 m]).

Estimated Yarn Amounts are about 106 yards (97 meters) for the Main Color and 30½ yards (27.9 meters) for the Contrast Color. You could mix things up here and even use a third or fourth color if you wanted to. I’ve made it with a variety of different yarns with great success getting a gauge of anywhere between 5 – 6 stitches to the inch, just remember, different gauges will use different amounts of yarn and the hats will be slightly different in size. Sadly I don’t have any of those beanies to show you…those were the ones that walked off to different parts of the world…even the sample pictured has been worn for a winter. I was lucky to get it back!


Kathy Cadigan took these wonderful photographs of my Weston Beanie modeled by her beautiful daughter Morgan (also an artist). They were both such troopers. It had to have been the hottest day of the summer, absolutely sweltering, and you would never know to look at these images. They did it all with good cheer and I can not thank them enough.

So please take a look at the pattern details on Ravelry, and check out the other projects that are starting to appear. One of my friends has already made four Weston Beanies using different yarns and they look great.

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Stopover KAL Countdown and Colors

Tue 15 Sep 2015 02:09pm

Countdown to the Stopover KAL! It begins just after midnight tonight – wherever you are!
If you sign up in my Ravelry group on the ••Stopover KAL – signups thread, by 11:59 pm Eastern time, which is just before midnight here in Portland Maine, you’ll be included in the drawing for the very first prize – 3 skeins of Léttlopi! That is also the time the special KAL promotion, of 10% off ends…so join up!

This is my very first KAL, so I’m not well versed in the art. Some people started the moment I posted Stopover, which is GRAND! I’m so happy, and they are NOT excluded from any of the fun. You can figure out time zones here. If you look at the ••Stopover – Talk About It thread, you can see some of the in-progress Stopovers, and the colors people have chosen. You’ll also see the trio of natural colors that are the prize for the first drawing. Winner announced tomorrow!

StopoverKAL_blogStopover_Colors - Thumb
Which brings me to choosing colors! I get lots of questions…I suggest choosing a color you absolutely LOVE for the main color. Then grab another color you like, and decide which position you’d like it in. I’ve put the MC at the top, followed by CC1 for the Cuffs and Neckline, CC2, for the first color in the “peacock feather” motif on the yoke, and finally the accent color, CC3 on the bottom.

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A friend of mine really loves the mossy green #9421, which I just happen to own a ball of, so I started trying out possible combinations with what I also had on hand. The combination on the left looks a like spring in Maine to me, the dead grass starting to turn green,the first pale yellow wildflowers and the little red buds on the maple trees…if I swap out the clear colors for heathered versions the look veers to autumn.

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Pretending I don’t like fall colors had me swap out the yellow for grey, which made me think of lightening up the whole sweater, and have blue as an accent…And then I got to thinking about Grey Heather as the MC, with blue and red as the accents, inspired by the first finished Stopover. The black dot seems nice and graphic.

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Maybe too graphic. Soften the transition and include a really pretty slate blue, and perk it up with glacier blue and a bright clear yellow, like an alpine wildflower. Too sweet? Use the dark blue as MC, but choose some unusual colors to go with, you can’t see very well in the image on the right, but the dark color #9417 is a gorgeous eggplant. I’m currently smitten with #9427 a rust heather and the red will glow like a jewel!

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Ok so be bold and choose bright red for the MC, the cast on and neckline will be my current love rust heather, and then let’s continue being kind of weird and bring in that gold color, and now I’m back to that black dot for graphic punctuation. I can’t stop thinking of the eggplant color now, so how does it go with the rust heather, the weird gold and old favorite garnet heather…kind of pretty. Really rich. Much nicer in person.

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So since I think I like rust heather so much, how about feature it as MC…and add some of those fall colors, with deep blue like a mountain lake. Can’t commit to the rust? Try the blue again as the MC…You see? ENDLESS opportunities for fun! You may not even have to knit Stopover because you could just do this till the end of time. But I do hope you decide to knit it.

Can’t decide? There is no shame in knitting it exactly as the sample…that is still my favorite one!

But to sum it up:

Choose your favorite color for MC.
Choose two harmonious colors for CC1 and CC2.
CC1 will be the cast-on, cuffs and neckline.
CC2 is next to the MC at the end of the ribbing and cuff. It also forms the base of the “peacock feather” and the radiating quill in the yoke pattern.
Choose something unexpected for CC3, the single dot – you want to make sure it will hold it’s own against the MC, so make sure there is a difference in value with the MC, or that it is super-saturated and bright.
Have fun with it!

Find my Stopover pattern on Ravelry!

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Stopover in Action and a KAL

Fri 11 Sep 2015 05:09pm


We’re taking the plunge! Stopover is having a Knit-A-Long!

The KAL will start on Wednesday September 16, 2015 with the official CO time at 12 AM wherever you are. The last day of the KAL will be December 31, 2015 since some people might use it for holiday knitting because it’s such a quick knit.

Signups continue throughout the KAL, right up until the end, I bet someone could knit one in a day!

I’m offering a discount! Use code StopoverKAL for 10% off until September 15, 2015, 11:59 PM Eastern time – that is just before the KAL starts in my time zone.

If you want to join in the fun, go to my Ravelry group Mary Jane Mucklestone and sign up on the ••Stopover KAL • signups thread. You can read all the details on that thread which is just for signups so we’ll have an easy list to see for drawings and prizes.

In fact, on the ••Stopover KAL – Talk About It is where we will announce prizes and drawings, and there is a drawing happening September 16, 3 skeins of Léttlopi, might be yours if you sign up before Wednesday September 16.

You’ll also find a ••Stopover KAL FO – No Chatter thread which is just what it says, eventually a gorgeous gallery of finished objects to admire and marvel at.

When I first made Stopover I was captured acting silly and leaping like a gazelle on the island of Unst by photographer Kathy Cadigan, who was making a more proper video for the release of my friend Gudrun Johnston’s book Shetland Trader 2. (Which you need to buy if you don’t already have it.)

Click on the video above for a glimpse of Unst behind my nutty self.

Oh! Speaking of Stopovers, beginning March 9 Icelandair will be flying to Aberdeen, where the planes and the boat departs for Shetland, so you can book an Iceland stopover before or after you visit Shetland!

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