For our most recent issue, Nomadic Knits traveled through Utah and Nevada, curating a collection of knitwear from fifteen local dyers and ten designers from around the world. The knitting patterns include socks, a hat, a shawl, a cowl, a tank top, a cardigan, and five pullovers ranging in weight from fingering to bulky.
Each design name is inspired by the region, and every knitting pattern is designed to be size inclusive, fitting a 28 – 60” bust, and ranging in difficulty from beginner to advanced. The photographs below link to the design’s page on Ravelry, where you can find information about yardage, needle size, and sizing, including schematic measurements.
Our full magazine (both print and digital) tells the heartwarming stories of the indie dyers and designers who collaborated with us on this issue; we’re giving a brief introduction to each of our wonderful contributors here in this blog.
Without further ado, we present the knitting patterns of
issue twelve : utah / nevada!
Sierra Nevada is named for the four hundred mile mountain range that lies on Nevada’s western border. Designer Mona Zillah has collaborated with us on several beautiful sweater patterns over the last few years. She is passionate about environmentally regenerative fibers, which is a perfect fit for Home Camp worsted yarn from Lani’s Lana. Lani Estill is a local rancher whose Rambouillet herd has earned the label Climate Beneficial Wool, actually restoring carbon to the earth with its negative carbon footprint.
The Tahoe tank, named for the lake that straddles Nevada and California in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, is perfect for the desert, where the daytime temperatures average over one hundred degrees throughout the summer months. Tayler Earl, of Fiber for the People, is no stranger to the heat, dyeing yarn in the desert south of Las Vegas. Her Hemp Merino Sport yarn is a perfect match for Danyel Tacker’s racerback tank top. Danyel designs knitting patterns in West Virginia, where she works full time as a biochemist and hospital laboratory medical director.
Jeffrey Pine features a shawl collar covered in cables reminiscent of the bark on Jeffrey Pine trees, found along Lake Tahoe in the western region of Nevada. Julee Mackessy designed this beautiful cardigan, and inspired us with her description of the intricate bark patterns and the subtle lemon, vanilla, and butterscotch scents of the Jeffrey Pine forests. Baah Yarn’s Byzantine Gold colorway resonates with that apt portrayal of the forest and the Aspen yarn base, a luxurious blend of Mohair, Cashmere, and Silk, has just the right balance of softness and stitch definition. Mira Cole founded Baah Yarn in 2011 in California, and now lives with her family in Las Vegas, Nevada, where she works with a team of ten, sending her beautiful colors to shops around the world.
The Hoodoo Socks and Hat are named for the hoodoos, or unique rock formations made by eons of wind erosion, also called fairy chimneys. Melissa Kemmerer of Melissa K Designs wrote these coordinating simple knitting patterns for easy hats and socks. We had the enormous pleasure of using yarns from six local indie dyers for these designs!
Far Left: Naluknits’ Julee Mackessy is wearing two hats in this issue, as both designer and dyer. She lives in Reno, Nevada, where she works as an Occupational Therapist.
Middle: Deborah Raymond of Kearns, Utah, dyes whimsical and fun colors inspired by the wonders and excitement of childhood for her company, Candy Shoppe Yarns.
Far Right: Alaska Houghton of Sinful Yarns lives in Springville, Utah, where she is surrounded
by majestic mountains and works full-time as a carrier for the USPS.
I couldn’t resist showing off my Hoodoo Socks in these super-fun Ugg Boots! Cheesy rainbow background for your viewing pleasure.😉
You can use one, two, or three colors for the Hoodoo Hat, making it a great way to use sock sets, like this Book of the Dead sock set from The Backcountry Knitter. Sirena Bliss is an indie dyer and outdoor enthusiast in Salt Lake City, Utah, where she can be found bringing knitting projects on all of her adventures.
Simple hats like Hoodoo are great projects for self-striping yarn! Pamela Kirschman of Logan, Utah, dyes yarn for her small business, PK Yarn. Pamela has a degree in Dance Education and works at the Cache Valley Civic Ballet as an instructor, choreographer, and rehearsal assistant.
Speckled colorways like this one look fabulous in 2×2 ribbing! Jay Gerbel plays a myriad of musical instruments, and his lifelong passion for music is reflected in his Arkaik Fibres colorway names, including the colorway featured here, Choose Bronze, named for an album by The Casket Lottery.
Area 51 is a simple yet elegant crescent shawl. It’s named for the highly classified US Air Force base located in Lincoln County, Nevada, an area of speculation regarding extraterrestrials and UFO sightings. Designer Donna Estin, another of our long-time collaborators, lives in Maryland, where she is also the Vice President of Public Relations for The Knitting Guild Association. Area 51 was knit using Greenwood Fiberworks’ Yakity Yak Fingering. Dyer Carolyn Greenwood layered Periwinkle over the luscious natural color of the Yak for a deep, gorgeous colorway.
Canyonlands is a stunning all-over cabled pullover. Nataliya Polyakov, who’s been collaborating with us since our second issue, designed it to fall perfectly right at the top of the hip, flattering a wide range of body types. Canyonlands is knit in beautifully dyed sport weight from Dragon Hoard Yarn. Trysten Molina and her husband dye yarn in Utah, in the same town where she grew up. Trysten’s background is in psychology, and she remains passionate about mental health while working full-time in the fiber industry.
Bryce, named for the Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah, will be on my needles this winter, without a doubt. It’s an adorable, reversible shell pullover knit in bulky yarn, making it a perfect instant gratification project. Alesha Goble of Salt Lake City, Utah, dyes colorways inspired by the layers and nuances of the colors in nature, especially the shades of dark blues and grays of stormy skies. Yarn Nouveau’s sophisticated gray wonderfully complements Afifa Sayeed’s timeless design. Afifa has been designing in California since 2015 and has since published an entire wardrobe of garments and accessories.
Kanab is named for a small town in southern Utah that is located perfectly to be the jumping-off point for exploring several of the beautiful parks that Utah has to offer. The Kanab cowl is first worked flat to create the pointed triangle, then joined in the round to close the bandana into a cowl. Christin Santos started Desert Panda Fiber Arts after upgrading from big box store yarn, which led her to the world of hand-dyeing. She dyes her beautiful colorways at night to avoid the stifling heat of summer days in Las Vegas, Nevada. Erica Sufka’s Kanab design is a delightful canvas for speckles and multi-colored yarns. The simple but elegant lace design on the front is fun to knit, and the cowl’s bandana-inspired shape makes it easy to wear.
Stratosphere is named for Las Vegas’ tallest free-standing observation tower in the US. It boasts the attraction of a freefall drop/jump from the top, as well as a thrilling rollercoaster ride up and around the sky tower at over 800 feet.
While our Stratosphere sweater is slightly less hair-raising, you’ll be thrilled with the results. Sierra Morningstar designed this pullover to fit just about every body; plenty of ease makes it cozy, and the ribbing on the sleeves provides a better fit through the shoulders, whatever the size. Sierra is another of our repeat collaborators, and loves that clothing can have an impact on personality, and a special knitted piece can make us feel a certain way – not just warm, but also safe, confident, adventurous, soothed.
Use DK weight yarn, such as Dragon Hoard Yarn‘s Fairytale DK, or hold fingering weight along with a strand of laceweight Suri Alpaca (right) to get a softer, warmer feel. Sierra used Lepto Fingering and Raptor Lace from Yarnaceous Fibers. Maggie Fangmann grew up with The Land Before Time and Jurassic Park, then took Paleontology classes in college, so she’s obsessed with dinosaurs and pulls many of her colorway names from prehistoric references.
Fatimah Hinds shared her wonderful writing with us in an article explaining how to adapt knitting patterns to fit your gender identity, and Stratosphere is the perfect jumping-off point for personalizing your own sweater.
Silver State is an old nickname for Nevada; back in the 1800s, the land was so saturated with silver that it coated the earth with a thick gray crust! The Silver State pullover was designed by Nomagugu Sibanda of South Africa. Noma has a background in Financial Advising and Planning, and found that knitwear design is the perfect complement to being a stay-at-home mum.
Yarn Café Creations‘ Irish Fingering is a beautiful drapey blend of Merino and Linen. Linen is a great fiber for warmer weather, making it perfect for the heat of the high desert. Christy Houghton lives on a six-acre farm nestled in the mountains of Utah. She is mom to four grown daughters, two of whom are also indie dyers from Utah; Trysten Molina and Alaska Houghton!
Thanks so much for checking out our Utah and Nevada issue! We’d like to think there’s something for everyone in this collection, and we hope you found a design that leaves you itching to cast on.
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