Fresh Favorite Tee
The Fresh Favorite Tee pattern is NOW LIVE and available for purchase and download via Queen City Yarn and Ravelry.
The Fresh Favorite Tee is reminiscent of my favorite, sadly worn out, ready-to-wear tee that I picked up at a local boutique years ago. This comfy, cool and slightly cropped loose-fitting tee with a high-low hem is the hand knit re-imagination of what was my go-to warm weather top.
The Fresh Favorite Tee is worked in Queen City Yarn’s Coleman, a gorgeous silk and linen blend DK weight yarn. A relaxed gauge, combined with the silk and linen, yields a beautiful fabric with fluid movement.
This tee features saddle shoulders and a wide scoop neckline. Short rows ensure a great fit across the shoulders and front neckline and also shape the bottom split hem. The tee is worked flat and seamed to avoid biasing. Hems are worked in single strand double knitting and finished with a sewn tubular bind off. A glossary of special technique tutorials is included.
Size inclusivity is very important to me and I am so happy to offer The Fresh Favorite Tee in 12 sizes! This tee is intended to be worn with 2-6” (5-15 cm) positive ease. If between sizes, sizing down is recommended.
I used Seersucker for my size 5 tee, modeled with 6 inches of positive ease and an OOAK colorway (Green Thumb from the Studio Series Club last summer) for Caitlyn’s size 1 tee, modeled with 6 inches of positive ease.
Many of my awesome test knitters chose to use Queen City Yarn’s NEW Coleman Silk/Linen blend for their Fresh Favorite Tees!
Pictured here are the gorgeous Coleman Fresh Favorite Tees knit as part of the test knit by Ann, Lauren, Beth, Jo, Amy and Carrie.
QCY Goes Green for Earth Day!
We all know that we only have one planet, so we wanted to take a little time out of our day to talk about the steps Queen City Yarn as a company, and us in our personal lives take to make our home a little greener. It's impossible for everyone to make drastic changes in their lives in the name of sustainability, but it is very possible for all of us to make at least a few small changes, which in turn can make a very big impact. Below are a few of the ways we have found to leave this earth a little cleaner than it was when we found it.
Brian and I have taken several steps to help reduce our carbon footprint. Brian loves to ride his bike to work! Something he is eager to do from our new home. We took huge steps to reduce the amount of paper and plastic in our home several years ago. We invested in cloth grocery bags and use all cloth napkins in our kitchen. A little laundry basket in the kitchen helps keep them together to be washed once a week. We recently started using some of the silicone resealable bags for snack and travel. Brian has a little Bento box for taking his lunch to work and we are always using our reusable water cups and straws.
With two younger children and a family on the go, we find it a little hard to completely step away from one use paper and plastic but we do what we can to minimize its impact and made changes to reusable silicone baggies, water bottles, and metal straws. One of the biggest changes we have made as a family is to invest in solar energy for our home. We had solar panels installed on our house to harness the harsh summer sun here in the Carolinas which offsets the majority of our energy consumption. We also installed a water catchment system to conserve water (and really money because water where we live is very expensive). So, we are able to water our garden (and even dye yarn) without tapping into the city water.
We are also a busy family with two young kids at home. We try to do our part to consume less plastic, reuse plastic that does make its way into our home and keep our community clean. We use glass containers in the kitchen and reuse all the plastic ones that have made their way in with take out orders for either food storage or craft projects. We all have reusable water bottles (and I have coffee cups) that get an extreme workout between school, soccer, the little bits of traveling we do and regular days at home. We've personalized them with some stickers so we always know which is ours when we are out and about. Speaking of being out and about, we are careful with our trash and always pick up litter when we see it. The kids are quick to call out a litterbug and Caitlyn and her friends regularly take "trash walks" through our neighborhood, collecting any litter they find along the way and properly recycling or disposing of it.
We can't forget about QCY! All of our shipping materials are made from recycled materials and can be reused and then recycled. We REFUSE to use any plastic packaging! In the dye studio we use LOTS of old towels to keep things clean. The yarn dyeing process uses A LOT OF WATER! Brian is actively trying to install a heat recapture system that will allow us to take some of the heat from an exhausted pot of water and transfer it to the next pot while allowing us to use clean water.
Travel Knitting & Sock Tubes
Spring Break is quickly approaching for my kids and that has me thinking a lot about travel knitting. We don’t have any big trips planned for the break from school but we will be doing a bit of local travel and knitting is always at the top of my necessity list (you know, because sanity is important when going anywhere with kids).
Travel knitting for me means socks because they are perfectly packable, easy to pick up for a few quick rounds and easy to put down at a moments notice. I love working afterthought heel socks as a travel project because I can just knit and knit round and round without worrying about where to start my heel or if the foot is long enough to start the toe. With just a general idea of the length sock tube needed for the kind of socks I want, i.e. bootie, mid-calf, or use up all the yarn length, I can knit a sock tube without a second thought.
Travel sock knitting necessities:
- Awesome yarn. Whether it be spectacular speckles, fun variegated, or potato-chippy self-striping, the yarn is the most important part of travel knitting! Pick something that you are excited about, maybe even something that speaks to the type of travel or adventure you are embarking on.
- Small, squishable project bag. These are key for me as I like to shove my sock project into whatever bag I’m using for the day- sometimes thats my pocketbook other days it’s a backpack. Having my project in its own little bag makes it easy to move from one to the other.
- Mini notions pouch. I don’t like to carry my full size notions pouch with me when traveling so I have a small one that includes only the necessities for sock knitting: tape measure, small scissors, a couple of locking stitch markers (I like those lightbulb kind) and a darning needle.
- Needles. I’m most likely to use a 9” circular when traveling because that makes my sock even easier to pick up and put down but I also pack a 32” circular for working cuffs, toes and heels. I don’t recommend DPNs for travel knitting because they are easy to drop and lose.
General sock knitting sizing tips:
Gauge matters and, along with foot measurements, should be used as a guide to choosing how many stitches to cast on. As a general rule of thumb (or toe) 10% negative ease is necessary for a good fit.
- To avoid a baggy sock deduct 10% from the foot circumference when to choosing how many stitches to cast on.
- To avoid a floppy foot, deduct 10% of the foot length as well, working this deduction in when determining where to cut in your heel.
Travel sock knitting tips:
- Cast on before leaving home. I’m most often a cuff down sock knitter and I absolutely love using the tubular cast on because it is stretchy but doesn’t flare. The long tail tubular cast on tutorial by Ysolda (see link below) is great and shows the way I do the tubular cast on. There are other methods but with some practice this one has become my favorite. I like to work the initial cast on, the 2 set up rows and one full round before leaving home. Having a sock already on the needles is so nice, especially if you are the snack getter in the car or when you find a few minutes while waiting in line for something.
- Think about sock tube length. You can knit 2 matching sock tubes by casting on each one, working the cuffs, the tubes and finish with the toes. You can also knit one long tube with cuffs on each end and cut it in half to add toes. About what size shoes does the lucky recipient of these socks wear? How long do you want the socks to be (bootie, mid-calf, super duper tall)? Shoe size will give you an idea about how long the foot of the sock will need to be and from there you can decide how much additional tube you want to knit for the leg of the sock.
- Know your toe options. There are many types of toes in sock knitting and some are easier to work, especially when traveling, than others. I prefer a wedge toe (see link below) with decreases every other round because it is easy to tell where I am by looking at the previous round. Another great option is the round toe (see link below) which makes cutting in your heel really easy because you won’t have to worry about making sure you are using only “sole” stitches as determined by toe shape.
- Determine where to cut in the heels. This is where the tape measure from the mini notions pouch comes in handy! I use a chart by Zappos (see link below) to decide where I need to cut in the heels on socks for me and my family. Be sure to deduct 10% of the foot length in your measurement to ensure a great fit. Mark the center sole stitch where you will cut with a locking stitch marker.
- Afterthought heels. I like to use a 32” circular for picking up the stitches on either side of the cut row (as marked with the locking stitch marker). I LOVE the tutorial that KirbyWirby posted (see link below) and use her technique to avoid holes at the sides of my afterthought heels. I work about 5 rounds of heel plain before beginning any decreases to give extra depth to the heel and then I decrease every other round, exactly as I do for the wedge toe.
Helpful links for techniques mentioned above:
Dyeing to Knit Episode 41
One finished object, lots of works in progress and some chat about the Queen City Yarn Studio Series Yarn Club and upcoming Yarncentric event.