8.27.2011

A Clarus and Skywalker GIVEAWAY!

This week has been anticipated for so long that it's time for a giveaway to celebrate!

So, who wants to win some yarn with an accompanying pattern?  I've got not one, but TWO kits to giveaway.... ready?

Clarus
A skein of Shalimar Yarns Breathless in Oyster and the pattern for Clarus!
OR
Skywalker
A skein of Sweet Georgia Cash Silk Lace and the pattern for Skywalker
(We can work out your color choice together... I have a few options!) 

Just leave a comment by Sept 3rd at high noon letting me know just how much you love to knit lace, or want to love to knit lace, or love when other people knit lace for you, or etc.... don't forget to leave a way for me to get in touch with you!

8.26.2011

Clarus

Introducing Clarus!
Clarus 
Clarus is my first top-down triangle shawl. Can you believe it? I was so surprised when I realized I had never designed a shawl with this shaping... I think I thought I did, but it must have been a dream! Clarus is built with symmetrical two triangles separated by a center panel. Since it starts from the top down you cast on a small number of stitches, and then start increasing for the triangles on each side as you work. The same lace stitch is echoed throughout the whole piece so once you get the hang of it you are good to go! The gently ruffled border is worked seamlessly off the body of the shawl. The pattern is written in two different sizes, for two different weight yarns... possibilities abound!
  Clarus
Clarus is the second of two designs I did for my lace class with Craftsy... so if you want to knit it, but think you need support, signing up for my class would be the way to go! Why did I knit this in two different weights?  One of the things I really wanted to do in the class was to show how different lace can look when you change the weight of your yarn... working with lace weights can be more challenging but the end result is certainly stunning.
Clarus
Oh, but wait, you want to hear about the yarn, right? The white "shawlette" version is knit with one skein of Shalimar Yarns Breathless in Oyster... this cashmere blend is a new fav of mine. If you ever see this yarn, buy a skein, you really want it in your stash to pet and then knit with! Really you do!
Clarus
The second version is knit in Handmaiden's newest yarn Marakeesh in Amethyst, a silk camel blend that is delightful to work with. This was my first time working with a Handmaiden yarn, and it definitely won't be my last. The camel fibers helped the silk from being too slippery and added a dimensionality to the fiber keeping the lace from looking too flat. The silk gives it incredible sheen AND takes the dye stunningly, this fiber combo is uniquely beautiful!

Come back tomorrow, there is going to be a giveaway... for yarn (and patterns) of course!

8.25.2011

Introducing Skywalker

Meet Skywalker, my latest shawl design.
Skywalker
Skywalker is a semi-circular shawl, worked from the top down beginning with a garter tab. Increase rows separate each lace stitch section, creating a shape that is loosely based on Elizabeth Zimmermann’s Pi-Shawl formula.  The shawl is designed to use one 400 yard skein of SPECIAL yarn!
Skywalker
Skywalker was a suprisingly challenging design for me... it is the first of two designs I did for my first class with Craftsy and I wanted to design a beginning to intermediate lace shawl that started out simply, and got more challenging as you knit on.... but not too challenging! It turns out most lace patterns I am drawn to are quite complex and I kept having to rip out and rethink the patterns to keep slowly building skills without being overwhelming. The result? A super fun simple lace knit with a few complex stitches thrown in towards the bottom to keep the knitting interesting!

But, of course you want to hear about the yarns I used, don't you? I LOVED both of these yarns equally! I got them both earlier this year at the Loopy Ewe Spring Fling and jumped at the chance to design with them RIGHT AWAY.
Skywalker 
The pink is Sweet Georiga Yarns Cash Silk Lace in China Doll, this yarn holds a special place in my heart, in fact, I am using it in October's Adorn design I love it so!  
 Skywalker
The blue version is String Theory's Bluestocking in Didgeridoo.  The dye job on this skein of yarn is amazing, at first glance it looks denim blue, but upon closer inspection it in fact has every color of the rainbow on it.   I believe Kirsten even got the same skein of Bluestocking I did... and I can't wait to see what she does with it!

Tomorrow I'll be releasing Clarus, the second design I did for my Craftsy class... and then Saturday it's time for A GIVEAWAY!  Come on back!

8.24.2011

Knit This! Mastering Lace Shawls

Remember in June when I hinted to knitting all lace all the time? Well I am so excited that the on-line class, Knit This!  Mastering Lace Shawls that I developed with Craftsy.com has launched!  I've been wanting to run an on-line class for quite a while and the HD platform that Craftsy has developed lends itself perfectly to teaching knitting!  Want to see?
 

I designed two new patterns for this class Skywalker and Clarus... both top down lace shawls that start over a small number of stitches to give a gentle introduction into the world of knitting lace.  I'll be blogging about both these designs individually later this week when I release them on my website as well. 
Working with the Craftsy team has been a phenomenal learning experience.  I expected to land in their studios anxious and uncomfortable but besides the enormous amounts of makeup they made me wear the time I spent working with them was natural, easy and just plain FUN!  Want to learn more about Craftsy?  Tina just wrote a great post that sums up beautifully what they are doing with their site.
On Set with the "Crew"- Thanks to Emily, Justin, Tom, Joe and Victoria
(not shown but a big thanks to Stefanie and Lisa as well!) 

I do hope that some of you who have been itching to knit lace, and and been stumped by it will consider signing up for the class, you are bound to learn alot, create community with your classmates, AND make two beautiful shawls!

8.19.2011

Butin Earrings... another way (or two!)

I've been doing some playing with my latest pattern for Adorn, Butin Earrings... want to see?
Butin Earrings Wire Style
This first version is done with 28 gauge silver wire with 6/0 and 8/0 triangular Miyuki beads.  It actually took me a few tries to get them right as the wire was a bit finicky to work with... I ended up getting some great support from Colleen and this book.  The trick?  A fair amount of tugging and massaging to get the wire to relax into shape. 
Butin Earrings Habu Style
This version is done with Habu Silk Stainless Steel in Violet with Miyuki 8/0 triangle beads and Magatama 4 x 7mm fringe beads.  These I absolutely adore and plan to make more!

Have you made Butin Earrings yet?  People are starting to post their projects on Ravelry, can't wait to see yours!!!!

8.10.2011

8.08.2011

Apricot Jammin'!

apricot jam

Last week we drove to Victor to go riding and spent the entire drive trying to find a u-pick apricot farm on Seneca Lake.... we didn't find it, but when we got to Geneva we did find Red Jacket Orchards, and somehow 56 pounds of apricots made it into the van.  When we got home that evening, after apricots and bad pizza for dinner, it was time to decide what to do with them.  

Most got processed for the freezer, and the last 10 pounds got turned into JAM!  
apricot processing
I used this recipe a few years ago.... it is super simple, kinda sweet, and YUMMY!  It's different than any other canning I've done in that you don't need pectin, or to boil the jars, but it works....
apricot jamming

Some of my people might be seeing it as part of their homemade holiday love this year....

8.02.2011

Adorn Bonus: Crochet Butin!

I've got a little surprise for you! 
Introducing Crochet Butin, a crochet version of Butin Collar
I'd been getting requests to try this and I'm so glad I did! 
A striking crochet necklace, Butin requires only 20 yards of fingering weight yarn and is SO EASY you can make one in a night! Beads are simply slipped up to form a “swag” of texture at the center of the piece. This is crochet beaded jewelry at it’s easiest! 

Also, want a kit for Crochet Butin?  You can order one here... just ask for the crochet version when you check out!  If you subscribe to Adorn, Crochet Butin has been included as a bonus 11th pattern!  Enjoy!!!!

Thanks so much to Joan, Colleen and Mandy... this would NOT have happened without your help!

8.01.2011

Butin Earrings: August's Adorn Pattern

August’s Adorn design, Butin Earring, was designed as a complement June’s pattern Butin Collar.

The earrings are based on FOUR stitches of knitting, with beads slipped up into a delicate swag.  Trials on this pattern were particularly challenging as I worked on a way to naturally keep the bottom swag spread out and not too droopey... you should see some of the first few prototypes : )!

Now that I have the pattern down it takes me less than an hour to make a pair and they are addictive to whip up…. just sayin’. There is even a video link provided in the pattern for attaching the earring finding!!!!

Play around with various yarns, wire, and beads for a completely different look.  I've got a few other versions in the works I'll show you later this week! 


And something a little exciting?  There are also kits available to match the Butin Collar kits  if you don’t have easy access to beads and findings.