Tag Archives: knitting

Labour Day Weekend 30% Off

Enjoy this weekend by choosing some new projects to keep your needles and hooks busy:

30% off all 72 patterns in my Ravelry Store! NO COUPON NEEDED

The discount will apply at checkout. I’ll also be releasing new patterns that will be perfect for quick Christmas gifts or to make for yourself and your family–keep your eye out for them, they’ll be here in a few days!  There will be an exciting, fun new Pokemon Inspired pattern later this week, and The Crunchy Carrot Market Bag is will be in the Pattern Store this weekend.Crunchy CarrotSlippers, socks, a scarf, a washcloth/soap sack spa set, toys…lots of new designs coming in September, as well as a MYSTERY CROCHET-ALONG and KNIT-ALONG!

If you need more inspiration meantime, you can check out the Interweave Store!

Save 30% on hundreds of crafting resources. No coupon needed. Sale runs now through 9/5. Some exclusions apply.  In addition, be sure to also check out the just released Atoll Cowl Kit. It is on sale, too, and the link is on the right, just below the “Interweave Store” tab.

Happy Labour Day…enjoy this weekend, and let me know if you need help with any of my designs. The quickest way to get help is usually to write a personal message on my Facebook Page: West Coast Fibre Arts

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Fleurs de Lis for Paris: Day 6


Only a short post tonight, because today there are only 2 Rows to complete:  we have reached the centre of the counterpane square! The next post will be much longer, and give you the rest of the rows to complete the centre.  Then we will just have the easy lace insertion design to put around the square–or to use for the bottom, sides, and handle of a tote bag 🙂

  1. k2, p1, k2, p16, k3, p5, k3, p16, k2, p1, k2.
  2. k3, p2, k16, p3, k5, p3, k16, p2, k3.

Beautiful Counterpane orig fleurs de lis 51fleurs de lis 52

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Fleurs de Lis for Paris KAL: Day 3

For those interested in knitting Victorian style counterpanes, there are quite a few patterns available to recreate them.  The University of Pennsylvania has scanned online a pdf of Mrs. George (Anne Jane) Cupples A Knitting-Book of Counterpanes, first published in 1871. Those of us who are fans of the L. M. Montgomery ‘Anne of Green Gables‘ novels remember that character Rachel Lynde had knit 16 cotton counterpanes, a remarkable feat!  If you don’t have the time or need to make a full size counterpane, you can always use the designs to make smaller items–an afghan, or baby blanket, a pillow top, or (as I’m doing) a tote bag.  Some of the patterns, like the one this KAL explores, are squares; some are knit in strips or ‘stripes,’ some in hexagons, triangles, or diamonds.  In the coming days I’ll rewrite a crocheted counterpane pattern, so that those who don’t knit can participate in an exploration of vintage counterpanes.  One I’ve considered making for quite awhile is this design from Godey’s Magazine, 1862; I think it would make a lovely lace shawl or rectangular scarf.

counterpane Godey's 1862 crochet

Day 3 of the Fleurs de Lis for Paris KAL has, once more, 10 rows.

  1. k2, p1, k1, p3, k2, p4, k7, p4, k1, p3, k1, p4, k7, p4, k2, p3, k1, p1, k2.
  2. k3, p1, k3, p2, k4, p7, k4, p1, k3, p1, k4, p7, k4, p2, k3, p1, k3.
  3. k2, p1, k1, p2, k4, p3, k7, p5, k1, p1, k1, p5, k7, p3, k4, p2, k1, p1, k2.
  4. k3, p1, k2, p4, k3, p7, k5, p1, k1, p1, k5, p7, k3, p4, k2, p1, k3.
  5. k2, p1, k1, p2, k2, p3, k2, p2, k5, p2, k1, p2, k1, p1, k1, p2, k1, p2, k5, p2, k2, p3, k2, p2, k1, p1, k2.
  6. k3, p1, k2, p2, k3, p2, k2, p5, k2, p1, k2, p1, k1, p1, k2, p1, k2, p5, k2, p2, k3, p2, k2, p1, k3.
  7. k2, p1, k1, p2, k2, p2, k3, p2, k6, p1, k1, p7, k1, p1, k6, p2, k3, p2, k3, p2, k2, p2, k1, p1, k2.
  8. k3, p1, k2, p2, k2, p3, k2, p6, k1, p1, k7, p1, k1, p6, k2, p3, k2, p2, k2, p1, k3.
  9. k2, p1, k1, p2, k9, p1, k7, p7, k7, p1, k9, p2, k1, p1, k2.
  10. k3, p1, k2, p9, k1, p7, k7, p7, k1, p9, k2, p1, k3.

Happy knitting 🙂

And here are clippings of the original pattern.  This time, NOTE that there is an ERROR on Row 29: It begins, “knit 2, seam 6…” — but it should read “knit 2, seam 1…”  Remember: ‘seam’ means ‘purl’ 🙂

Beautiful Counterpane orig fleurs de lis 21-23Beautiful Counterpane orig fleurs de lis 23-30.jpg

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Victoria’s Secrets Mini Mystery

The instructions for the mini mystery have now been uploaded, so if you have pre-purchased please check your email or Ravelry messages for the update link.

If you’d like to purchase Victoria’s Secrets, you may do so by clicking on the photo of Queen Victoria…you will be whisked away to the Ravelry pattern store!

(c) The Royal Hospitals; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

(c) The Royal Hospitals; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Today is Queen Victoria’s birthday, and this little design is a small and humble homage to her.  She reigned long and sometimes gloriously–and even non-Commonwealth members of the western world know that extended period as the Victorian era, whether referring to literature, fashion, sociology, or many other facets of ‘civilization.’

I hope that you enjoy this little design–I certainly have!  Please get in touch if you need any help or find any errors.

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Countdown to Christmas

winter elf Collage

I had planned to have a Giveaway to celebrate reaching the 2000 Fan Milestone on my FaceBook page…but last night, after West Coast: Super, Natural reached 1999 “Likes”, Facebook deleted 800 fans!  So unless it was a glitch that they correct, it will be some time before the 2000 Fan count is reached again.  Meanwhile…all those 800 fans who had wanted to see posts about new patterns, giveaways, and works-in-progress will not see the West Coast posts.  So if you are/were a fan of the Page, please check to see if you need to click on “Like” again to follow my Facebook posts.

Meanwhile…as a Thank you to the 2000+ fans who have supported me and shown interest in my patterns and fibre work, and as a Countdown to Christmas, I am going to post a link to one of my patterns every day…with a coupon code so that you can get it FREE for just 3 hours!! So head on over to the West Coast to see which pattern is free from 3PM Pacific Time until 6:30 PM Pacific Time today…and be sure to check back tomorrow to see the new free design!  IT WILL NOT BE POSTED AT THE SAME TIME EVERY DAY,  so if you do not want to miss them be sure to ‘Like’ the page so you see the posts in your news feed–and to continue seeing them, comment on a post or click ‘like’ on a post, or else Facebook does not show them in your news feed. FACEBOOK PAGE

And don’t forget…the BUY 1 GET 1 FREE PATTERN sale is still on until tonight at Midnight Pacific Time! Ravelry Coupon Code to add at the checkout: givethanks


#freepattern #countdowntochristmas #crochet #knitting

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Happy Thanksgiving to US Friends

Happy Thanksgiving to all my US friends! To help celebrate I am having a BUY 1 GET 1 FREE SALE: Choose from any patterns in my Ravelry Store, and at the checkout use the code: givethanks

Give Thanks Collage

You can use the code as many times as you like, for any of my patterns, from now until midnight Pacific Time on November 30/2014.

I will be adding 2 more patterns Friday–the Myadora Cowl and the Myadora Cloth.  Both were inspired by a Victorian D’oyley or “Toilet Mat” design and use a lovely, simple spiraling shell stitch.  In the Victorian era, a “toilet table” was what we would more likely call a “vanity” today, and the tiny “mat” made in crochet thread would have been used to put under a little bottle of scent or some other small item.

Myadora Rav Pattern

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Entwisted Cloth Knitting Pattern

Entwisted Cloth

The “Entwisted Cloth” free pattern, designed to thank all my followers and fans on Facebook for “1000 Likes Milestone Reached” is now available in my Ravelry Pattern Store.  Please take a moment to add it to your Favourites in Ravelry and feel free to share the link on Facebook.

This cloth is knitted with a simple but really effective knitted mesh lace that I found in a Victorian book from 1871. There are a lot of photos–so if you are a beginning knitter you can make this cloth.  All you need to know is cast on, knit, slip a stitch, yarn forward, knit 2 together, and cast off.  If you haven’t done a yarn over or a knit 2 together, there is a photo tutorial at the end of the pattern to show how to do them.

Soon there will be another design in “A Victorian Potpourri for Bed and Bath” that uses this stitch pattern, and making a cloth is a really useful way to learn new stitches.  I think this cloth in the size I made only used about 25g of worsted weight Bernat Handicrafter Cotton (with 5mm needles), so you could make a set of 3 from a ball of cotton–a lovely gift for someone on your Christmas gift, if you wrap it up with a bar of locally handcrafted soap!


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The Painted Veil Cloth



Just a little more 1884 knitted lace…and another cloth, this one is approximately 6″ by 6″ and uses worsted weight cotton with 5mm needles again.

I found these two lace stitch patterns in the instructions for a baby’s veil. This is my interpretation of the instructions, as they used different terminology in those days.  I am using them in another design-in-progress using hand-painted yarn, and the cloth is the way I practiced the stitches.

If you like the combination, watch for more “Painted Veil” patterns!

You can use any worsted weight cotton to make these small cloths.  I like to use them on my desk, under my coffee mug.  They are also great to use for small clean-up jobs instead of a piece of paper towel!  Or make a couple to use as washcloths, and include a bar of locally-made soap as a nice little gift to a friend or co-worker.


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1884 lace design: Happy Wanderer

infant's sweater cloth

There is an evergreen vine with purple flowers, native to Australia and popular in Victorian gardens, called Hardenbergia violacea, or “Happy Wanderer.”  I have chosen the name for this pattern because the lace looks so complex, but it is only 6 stitches and 8 rows in each pattern repeat! As well as rewriting the Infant’s Knitted Sweater pattern that uses the stitch, I am designing a shawl that incorporates this lace too, so I have made a cloth to practice it.  One of the little tricks that will make knitting go more quickly and happily is to learn and practice the shortcut in yesterday’s post for doing the one-step skp decrease–and you can use the same method for the double decrease, the ‘slip 1, knit 2 together, pass the slipped stitch over.’

Materials:  I used Bernat Handicrafter cotton and 5mm needles.

Size:  My  cloth is approximately 9 inches square.


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1849 Stitch Pattern Soap-Sack

misc 054


2014 Item A Day:  Day 12–Soap-Sack.

I used 4.5mm needles and Bernat Handicrafter yarn to make this soap-sack, a great way to learn the 1849 stitch pattern and use up the last little bit of this cream-coloured worsted weight cotton.

NOTE:  Canadian/US crochet terms used for the little shell edging.

To make one, cast on 30 stitches.

1.  Knit 1 row.

2. Slip 1 stitch purlwise with yarn at back; *yarn over, knit 1* and repeat from * to * to the end of the row.

3.  Slip the first stitch purlwise with yarn at back; *slip the yarnover from the last row purlwise with yarn at back, knit 1, pass the slipped stitch over;* repeat from * to * to the end of the row.

Repeat rows 2 and 3 nine times more, ending after row 3.

Cast off, but do not cut yarn.  Fold the piece with the right sides out, and use a crochet hook to single crochet through both sides, fastening them together.  Single crochet across the narrow end too, and then up the other long side. chain 3 for the first double crochet, *chain 2, miss a knitted ridge, double crochet in the next;* repeat from * to * around the top of the bag.  join with a slip stitch to the 3rd chain at thee beginning of the round.  Chain 1, *single crochet in the first chain 2 space; in the next chain 2 space work 1 double crochet, 1 treble crochet, 1 double crochet;* repeat from * to * round the sack.  join with a slip stitch to the first single crochet.  Fasten off.  Weave in ends.

misc 052

For the cord you can either make a twisted cord, knit an i-cord, or–as I did–hold the yarn doubled and crochet a cord.  Weave in the ends.

To make a cloth instead of a soap-sack, just continue knitting until the piece is square!  End after a Row 3, cast off, weave in ends.

Here is a photo of the right side first, showing the cross stitch; then of the wrong side, which resembles garter stitch.

misc 047    misc 048

I will be experimenting with this stitch to make a tapestry-like piece, as it so closely resembles the embroidered cross stitch.

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2014 New Year’s Resolution: Item a Day

I am a yarn and fibre addict.  I admit it quite freely.  However, it’s time to do something with some of my stashed yarn and fleece in an orderly manner.  Therefore, my 2014 New Year’s Resolution is  to make 1 item every day from my giant yarn and fleece stash. It can be a tiny toy, or a skein of handspun, or finishing a project begun earlier than 1 Jan 2014, or a non-knit/crochet project like weaving or needle/wet felting—but it must use up stash obtained earlier than 1 Jan 2014!!!!! and be a finished object!!!!! You will find photos of the finished items on my Facebook Page in the Photo Album “2014 Item a Day

Day 1 I made this cute little bracelet, using up 1 skein of cotton embroidery thread:

brioche stitch, bracelet 021

Day 2–today–I made something every Victorian bride would have needed several of in her trousseau or ‘hope’ chest–a washcloth.

day 2 015

If she was eloping she may not have had time to make enough prior to her marriage, and would have to knit some at her leisure or hope that her friends would send her a little gift with 4 or 6 cloths tied with a bit of pretty ribbon–still a very welcome house-warming present for family or friends.

day 2 001

I used up leftover Bernat Handicrafter cotton.

brioche stitch, bracelet 017

The cloth is perfect to use as a paper-towel substitute in the kitchen, or it makes a wonderful absorbent mug rug.  I used a reversible, simple, 1 row stitch pattern that belongs to the ‘brioche stitch’ family.  Jane Gaugain used it in an 1846 pattern for a little scarf.  The cloth can be made larger or smaller simply by adding or subtracting stitches in multiples of 3–for a larger cloth, you may want to cast on 42, or 54, etc; for a smaller coaster-size cloth try 21.

I used size 4mm needles and Cast on 30 stitches; I worked 24 rows in the first colour, tied on my second colour and worked 24 more rows, then cast off.

If you are counting rows it is important to remember: 2 rows LOOKS like 1 row!

Cast on 30 stitches [or the number you want, in multiples of 3].

Row 1: *Yarn over, slip 1 stitch purlwise, knit 2 together*; repeat from * – * to the end of the row.

Repeat this Row 47 times more [or until your item is the length you want].

Cast off.

Yarn over  brioche stitch, bracelet 001

Slip 1 purlwise  brioche stitch, bracelet 002

Knit 2 together  brioche stitch, bracelet 005

Repeat the 3 steps to end of row:

Yarn over  brioche stitch, bracelet 007

Slip 1 purlwise  brioche stitch, bracelet 008

Knit 2 together  brioche stitch, bracelet 010 remembering to keep yarn at front to complete the yarn over!


That’s it! Just repeat Row 1, then Cast Off when you have finished as many rows as you want.  I washed my cloth by hand and then dried it flat, so I could block it to shape.  It is such a simple, effective stitch that is reversible–perfect for scarves, cowls, fingerless mitts, etc.

Tomorrow I’ll share another Victorian-era stitch pattern I’m going to use to make a cloth.  Cloths are a wonderful way to learn new stitches, and they make very nice gifts or craft fair items!

day 2 005


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A Fall Affaire: Collar and Cuffs

Fall Affaire Collar and Cuffs

PATTERN: $5.00  Buy Now

“A Fall Affaire” is a design adapted from an 1844 pattern for a”ruff” or collar. It provides a surprising amount of warmth worn over a sweater for fall, without adding the bulk of a cowl or scarf.  A Bonus pattern for matching cuffs is included.

The first photo shows the collar worked in a sport or fingering weight alpaca/wool/polyamide blend yarn with a long colour change, Lana Grosso’s Alta Mode Fine “Degrade” or Print — which, though it has 160m in 25g, has a suggested needle size of 5mm! This collar is worked using 3mm needles for the centre band, and 7mm needles for the lace on either side.

The pattern for the crochet Fuchsia Flower with leaf is included, as a lovely finishing touch to the chain cord fastener. It is reworked from a pattern from 1850.

Fall Affaire Collar and Cuffs3

Fall Affaire Collar and Cuffs2

This version is knit in Patons Classic Wool, “Harvest”colour; 1 -100g ball was exactly enough to make the collar and cuff set, without an inch of yarn leftover! The last few yards were used to make the cute tassels.

The cuffs provide a little warmth in cooler fall weather, perfect to use while doing some yard work and gardening chores.  To fasten them, a small button that fits through the yarn overs in the band makes them adjustable, up to a 7.5″ – 8″ wrist.

Fall Affaire Collar and Cuffs5Fall Affaire Collar and Cuffs4Fall Affaire Collar and Cuffs6

The collar provides a splash of colour if you are wearing neutrals.

Fall Affaire Collar and Cuffs7Fall Affaire Collar and Cuffs8

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Monika Eckert (Wollklabauter) has just announced a new mystery knit-a-long, starting soon–the “Masked Ball in Venice”.  She has not even given the yarn requirements yet, so there is lots of time to join the group before it starts!  Go to her blog to get the information, or visit her on Ravelry.  Moni celebrated her birthday in April by sharing a mystery KAL on her blog–the Taurus shawl.

Taurus Shawl

Taurus Shawl

Moni’s designs are so lovely, and it is really wonderful of her to celebrate her own birthday by sharing a mystery design–it was free for the duration of the KAL and afterwards will be available for sale, along with other patterns, in her online shop!

I used one  skein of Noro Silk Garden Sock yarn my daughter bought me for MY birthday last summer–I’d been keeping it for something special, and Taurus shawl is it!  The finished shawl is about 60″ (150cm) wingspan by 24″ (60cm) deep, using 5mm needles.

Taurus Shawl

Taurus Shawl

Now…to finish up some other works-in-progress before the Masked Ball begins!  On the list:

Vernal Equinox Surprise, Mystic Star, Springtime Swirl, and Wings of Horus……can I do it????

I think so…on Moni’s blog, she says it is about five weeks before the knitting  starts!

Now…out into the sunny garden to knit!

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Vintage Cloud or Cache-nez Pattern

I decided to knit useful items instead of swatches to test vintage patterns; this kitchen towel was made to test the pattern on page 180-181 in The Young Lady’s Book: A Manual of Amusements, Exercises, Studies, and Pursuits, edited by Mrs. Henry (Matilda Anne Planche) Mackarness; published 1888 in London, available online through Google’s book search.  It is a pattern for a cloud, or cache-nez–a wide scarf, or stole, as Sarah Bradberry’s Knitting-and.com site explains (be prepared to spend some time browsing, if you haven’t been there already!).

This is an interesting stitch that I am not familiar with. I only did three pattern repeats, before switching to plain stockinette as the main towel component. The edging that I put on the bottom of my towel is added along cast-on and cast-off edges of the cloud, or stole as we would call it today.
It would be a great scarf or stole–you knit it long ways, casting on 334 stitches, and knit in pattern for 18”; the pattern is only a four row repeat, and three of those rows are plain knitting (i.e. garter st) so it would go quickly. It might be a bit boring–but easy to remember, a great almost-mindless take-along project where you don’t want sheets of lace charts to keep track of.counterpane-and-cloud005counterpane-and-cloud001

The Young Lady’s Book is interesting to browse through:  for instance, besides a few knitting patterns, there are many recipes, and household tips–such as, on page 34, using newspaper to clean glass; this is how my mother always cleaned her windows, except she added a splash of white vinegar instead of plain water as The Young Lady’s Book suggests.  There are outdoor and indoor games and activities (including woodcarving, carving cameos on shells, and–for older girls–“Dumb Crambo”, on page 281, a charades game in which one group thinks of a verb, the other must act out what they think it is) and a chapter on “Conversation” beginning on page 120 in which she condemns the use of slang: citing words such as

“awfully” (excessively) pretty, merry, or agreeable.

“cheeky”, impertinent, bold.

When you go hunting for knitting patterns on the internet, you just never know what you will find, or where you will get sidetracked to…It can give us great insight into the daily lives of those who actually filled their spare time and had fun without the benefit of electric appliances, chemical cleaners, video games, movies…and, of course, the internet!


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Another New KAL–Vernal Equinox Shawl Surprise

I finished three projects…well, is it one project or three?  I’m calling it three, so my conscience is salved–and there are three items!winterwear004winterwear005

So, with three projects finished, I feel so great that I can not only knit on the Mystic Star…but, as there is such a loooooong wait for the next clue (!) I just have to begin the other KAL that has been waiting in the wings…

This new KAL actually started in January, but I’ve been busy with other projects and just started it last night.  It is hosted by a very talented designer in Finland, and the KAL clues are posted on the Lankakomero  blog.

I decided to use my Yarn Treehouse Lace Merino Print cobweb-weight yarn for this–I’ve been saving it for a special shawl, and as the Vernal Equinox celebrates the end of winter/beginning of spring, I think the soft pastel colour changes will be perfect.

On the Ravelry group for the VESS KAL a Finnish knitter mentioned some pastries called Runeberg’s cupcakes, made in honour of the Finnish national poet who also wrote their national anthem.  She gave me the link to an online recipe she thinks is the best–thank you, Kirsi!    I searched online and found another recipe for these tarts, and am going to try making them tomorrow, February 5, as that is the day Finland celebrates Runeberg’s birthday by making and eating them–isn’t it a wonderful excuse for me to make a scrumptious treat??  But I will have to modify the recipe, as it calls for almonds and my son is allergic to almonds (an other tree nuts).  The Nordic Recipe Archive has many other fascinating recipes to try, too–like Quark Pies, which are sweet-dough buns filled with a mixture that I suspect will be very similar to cheesecake.  It even has a recipe to make Quark, a soft cheese similar to ricotta, if your store doesn’t carry quark, using buttermilk and milk. It is actually the same as my mother’s recipe for making “cottage cheese”.   I think I will make Quark Buns, too, while I am knitting this Finnish shawl!

Here is Clue 1 of the Vernal Equinox Shawl Surprise:vernal-equinox002

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New KAL–Mystic Star

Well, one New Year’s resolution has hit a bit of a snag….I promised myself I would finish two fibre projects before I started one new one, and I fell off the wagon when I ran into a comment about Anna Dalvi’s new mystery shawl knitalong, the Mystic Star KAL.  My only defense is that I have yarn in my stash to use up, and in these times of financial restraint that is a bonus; plus–Anna is Canadian, so I am “buying at home” by purchasing her pattern!

I am using a black wool single-ply yarn that I found over a year ago at a Salvation Army Thrift Store; two skeins of this, plus one of another black wool, were only $3.50.  After I got home, I did the “bleach test” to make sure it was wool–took a 2″ piece of the yarn, and placed it in a saucer with a little pure blelach; within 15 minutes the yarn had completely dissolved, showing it was a 100% protein fibre like wool or silk (plant proteins, like cotton, and synthetics don’t dissolve).   I forgot to measure the skein/add up the wraps so I’m not sure of the yardage; therefore, I decided to make the half-circle instead of full circle, to make sure I have enouogh yarn to finish.  I have always used 3.5 mm needles with laceweight (except my Spanish Mantilla, which used 10mm), but I’ve seen shawls knit with larger needles and decided to try it out with this one, so am using 4.5 mm. It will definitely not need as heavy a blocking at the end of the project.

The first and second clues knit up very quickly, so I am going to salvage my resolution by finishing three projects before Clue 3 comes out!mystic-star-clue2

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