10.31.2011

Iota Scarf and Cowl

Remember when I said I would tell you more about all the patterns in the Iota Collection?  Well, now it's time to share the Iota Scarf and Cowl set with you.  This pattern has a special place in my heart as it is written for Fingering, DK + Bulky weight yarns.  As I played with the Iota Stitch I found that it looked wonderful both flat and in the round and in a variety of yarn weights.... and since i am never one to take the easy road, I decided to write a Cowl/Scarf pattern that could take advantage of this!   What does this mean?  Iota Scarf and Cowl is a great pattern for going stash diving! See?
Iota Scarf
Scarf knitted with Lorna's Lace Honor in Aslan. This DK yarn is a dream to work with, light and airy with a halo but stitch definition all at the same time.  LOVE.THIS.YARN
Iota Scarf
Scarf knitted with Schaefer Yarn Audrey in Ash. This wool/silk fingering weight yarn has shown up in many of my designs over the years for a few reasons: 
     1. There are 700 yards on a skein 
     2. I helped design it with a US mill when I worked at Schaefer 
     3. It feels GOOD!

Iota Cowl
Cowl knit with one and a half skeins of Spud and Chloe Outer in Bayou.  This might be my favorite piece of the collection! The stitch really POPS and moves in bulky yarn, and it was uber fast to knit!!!!
Iota Cowl
Cowl knit with one skein of Schaefer Yarn Chris in Pomegranate.  This DK superwash yarn has fabulous hand, sheen, and extraordinary stitch definition that help the Iota stitch shine!


Next week I'll have a more in-depth look at the Iota Capelet and a giveaway to celebrate the collection.  Don't forget about the Perle giveaway, there is still a bit of time to enter!

10.27.2011

Not quitting my day job....

The girl and I got Bakerella's Cake Pop book last winter and wanted to make some gorgeous Halloween treats!
But look what we made instead:
Alien Kitty Blob's
Alien kitty blob attack
They were supposed to look like this:
What they should look like....

Thinking I should stick with the knitting.....

10.25.2011

Giveaway: Knitcircus Gifts and a Perle Kit!

What a busy month y'all!  I've never blogged, knitted, and traveled so much!

Remember the other week when I posted about one of my newest designs, Perlé in Knitcircus Gifts 2012?  Well, it's time to do a giveaway to celebrate it!  Knitcircus has generously offered FIVE pdf collections of their latest edition, and I have a skein of The Fibre Company's Road to China Light in Grey Pearl with scrumptious beads to match for one of the five winners as well. I affectionately refer to Road to China Light as crack, remember Cayden? If you've never knit with it, now is your chance to have a skein of your very own!

Perle, a beaded scarflette, is worked in two halves and kitchener stitched together. Beads are worked in two different ways on this pattern. The edge beads are prestrung and worked on the first knit stitch of each row. The interior beads are placed onto their stitches with a crochet hook or super floss. Video links are included in pattern to teach specific beading techniques! Confused by different beading techniques?  I did an accompanying article on beading in this issue as well.

So, who wants to win?  Leave a comment below by Tuesday November 1 at 12 noon EST... m'kay?

10.20.2011

The Iota Sweater

It's time to give you a more in-depth look at the pieces in The Iota Collection, don't you think?
Iota Sweater
Let's start with The Iota Sweater... worked from the top-down The Iota Sweater starts with the Iota stitch worked in the round for one vertical repeat to create a mock turtleneck.  This serves to elongate the neck and create quite a striking start to the sweater.  Then increases start in between the Iota motifs... these slowly shape the yoke.  One beauty of seamless top down sweaters like Iota?  You can try it on as you go along and make sure the yoke fits you perfectly before splitting off for the body and sleeves. 

Sized to fit 31 (34, 37, 40, 43.5, 47, 50) inch busts the pattern is written with one inch of positive ease.  There is a schematic for exact measurements to help you choose a size that will best fit your body shape and ease requirements.  I also added in waist shaping.. though it is easily taken out if you don't require it!

Iota Sweater
This cream version is worked in Imperial Stock Ranch Erin, a 3-ply worsted 100% wool that is raised sustainably on the 30,000 acre Imperial Stock Ranch in Maupin, Oregon.

And of course, since I can never do just one version, here is The Iota Sweater, with short sleeves.  It is worked in Schaefer Yarn's Miss Priss in Indigo, one of my favorite hand-dyed 100% merino worsted weight yarns.
Iota Sweater

candnoche2
Oh, and I bet you want to know the winner of the Bambeanies giveaway, don't you?  Congrats to Patti... Woolly will be in touch with your new book, congratulations : )!

10.19.2011

Adorn BONUS: Jul Belt

Jul Belt
It's time for Adorn's first bonus pattern... and it's a belt! 

This design was born at TNNA when I fell head over heels in love with the Jul Designs booth.  (remember: I used one of their shawl pin donuts in Beignet?)  I saw these floating buttonholes and just knew they would make the PERFECT belt buckle.  I worked out a pattern that creates a dense fabric with slipped stitches and yarnover's going down the center so the closure can attach.  And of course I had to do a second version with beads, because that's what Adorn is all about, right?
Jul Belt
Another favorite part of this design was setting up the photoshoot.  I knew what style skirt I wanted to show the Jul Belt on and realized that my friend Kate designs exactly what I was looking for! Luckily she agreed and we had a great time choosing colors and styles that fit the image I wanted.  I just might have ordered a shirt for myself before the shoot was over... go take a gander at her shop, Woolen Moss, her clothing is wearable, comfortable and stylish, what more could a girl want?
Jul Belt
Everyone who has subscribed to Adorn has received an update with this pattern included. The Jul Belt won't be available separately, so if you'd like this pattern you need to sign up for Adorn!

10.18.2011

Ahhh, Rhinebeck....

photo by Maya*Made
I found love over the weekend... with this handsome devil, and the thousands of knitters and fiber enthusiasts who flocked to Rhinebeck for NYS Sheep and Wool.  What a whirlwind!  I was SO careful to not have an agenda and my posse and I just wandered, stopping to talk, look, and be inspired.  I ran into many old friends, made new ones, and even got to meet some of my Craftsy students IRL, which was super exciting!  
It was Iota's first real outing and I was THRILLED with it's reception, Caitlin kept being stopped so people could check out her neck! 
A particularly photogenic alpaca!
With an overwhelming number of things to see and do that I "almost" shut down, call it sensory overload... only 2 skeins of yarn, 1 button, and a book came home with me.  

I've had ideas flying out both ears, and a grin on my face for days..... thankyou Maya and Caitlin for being the best travel mates a girl could ask for and Julibeth and Peter for being the best hosts EVER!!
Maya's Instagram photo, courtesy of Caitlin's awesome long arm!

10.14.2011

Bambeanies Giveaway!

TGIF everyone!  Things really couldn't be any better, it's Friday, I'm leaving for Rhinebeck in the morning, and I'm the next stop on Woolly Wormhead's Bambeanies Blog Tour.  When Woolly asked me to participate last month I said yes with out a moment's hesitation and knew exactly what I wanted to do...  knit a hat from Bambeanies for one of my favorite toddlers who lives in Baltimore!  The patterns in her book are just too cute!  I have to say, I LOVE Woolly's photography, it is NOT EASY to photograph kids and she has a style that shows her hats, and the kids playful spirits SO WELL.... I am in awe : )!

Pixeta
Damsel
Aurora
Bella and I spent quite some time flipping though the designs choosing the perfect one for Carmyn, we considered Damsel, Pixeta and Aurora but finally settled on Queenie.
Queenie
Once Queenie was chosen it was time for me to stash dive.  I knew I had to use soft yarn as the little miss I am knitting for is a wee bit sensitive and I ended up deciding that I wanted to do a striped garter stitch.  So, I chose Three Irish Girls Cashmerino Worsted in Carey and Alisha Goes Around Tiding of Magpies in Peony (held double).  The cashmerino is perfectly squishy and soft, and the Tidings has sparkles, perfect for a two-year old girl! 

Then it was time to get down to the business of swatching... the pattern calls for DK weight yarn at a gauge of 5 sts/in over garter stitch... I got 4.25 sts/in with the Cashmerino, and so cast on for one size smaller which ended up working perfectly.  The sizing and techniques section in Bambeanies is comprehensive and EXCELLENT and I referred to it more than once as I got ready to cast on!
My version of Queenie
What do you think?  I have to say I LOVE getting to take a break and just follow another designers pattern.  Of course I changed it, because of my yarn choices, but that's just how I roll...  Queenie was so quick to knit up, garter stitch in the round with simple slipped stitches to highlight the crown sections: BRILLIANT!
Side view of Queenie
And guess what?  Queenie looked so cute on my borrowed model that I just had to give it to her.... Luckily there is enough yarn for a second one (and it's perfect Rhinebeck knitting) so Carmyn will still get one too! 

So, who wants to win a copy (pdf) of Bambeanies?  Leave a comment letting us know which hat you'd like to make out of the book for a chance to win.  Comments will be open until Wed Oct 19th at 9 pm.  Winner will be chosen at random the next day!  (Make sure you remember to leave a way for me to get in touch with you in your comment!)

10.13.2011

KnitCircus Gifts 2011: Perlé

Do you have a moment?  If so, grab a cuppa and go look at the latest Knitcircus!  This is one of my favorite on-line magazines to flip through and I am so excited to announce that this issue I am included!  I wrote an article (my first) on knitting with beads AND designed a scarflette, Perlé to accompany it!

Perlé, knit with one skein of Road to China Light (a fav of mine!), incorporates both prestrung beads that run along the edge of the scarf, and beads placed onto stitches within the lace. 

I'll be back tomorrow with a giveaway as I'm the next stop on Woolly Wormhead's Bambeanie's blog tour... and next week there will be a Knitcircus Giveaway! 


10.11.2011

The Iota Collection

Well, I've been giving out hints... and it's time for the big release:

Introducing:  The Iota Collection!

Iota Montage!

Th Iota Collection contains 3 unique patterns: Iota Cowl and Scarf, Iota Capelet, and Iota Sweater. The designs are all based on the Iota stitch, a defined faux bobble stitch that I created last spring. They are available individually for $6 and as a collection for $12.

Over the next week or so I'll be doing individual blog posts about each design... to read more now click on the links above or check them out on Ravelry!

Many companies, test knitters and tech editors came together to create this collection and I'd like to thank:  Imperial Stock Ranch, Lorna's Laces, Stonehedge Fiber Mill, Schaefer Yarn Company, Spud and Chloe, JoseyKnits, Kristen TenDyke, RabiesonmyShoe, and Ssknits.   

And  an extra huge thanks to my model, Caitlin, an extraordinary friend who meets me at all hours of the day with just the right amount of makeup on and a smile on her face, no matter what I ask her to do!

10.10.2011

Rhinebeck or Bust....

Squeee... Rhinebeck is only 5 days away, I seriously cannot WAIT!  

Want to know a few reasons why?

     * Maya, Caitlin (my lovely model), and myself get a 48 hour road trip
           that involves lots of wool, friends, and food!

     * My kits will be featured in Melissa Jean Designs Booth
           (barn 36, booth #9)

           Her buttons are beautiful, and I plan on stashing some!

     * I'll be playing Blogger Bingo for the first time

     * We'll all be wearing pieces from my new collection, Iota, which I'll be
           releasing tomorrow.

     * I'm "working" on my shopping list.....

So, if you see me and my posse, don't be shy, please stop and introduce yourself, I LOVE meeting new friends!  The best part of Rhinebeck is that people you "know" on line get to become friends IN REAL LIFE!

10.07.2011

Webs- New Designs for Valley Yarns

When I left Schaefer last spring it opened the doors for me to be able to start designing with any yarn out there!  How overwhelming, right?  A few months later I had a great conversation with Kathy Elkins of Webs....  I met Kathy years ago at TNNA and her verve, experience, and positive force in the industry have constantly impressed me.   She asked me to design with their Valley Yarn line, and there was no way I could refuse.  A huge box arrived on my doorstep a few days later and then the swatching began!  Want to see the result?
Selata Shawl in Charlemont


Selata is a top down garter stitch shawl with a squared off bottom edge and lacy ruffle... since I can never do just one version of my designs I knit it both in one color, and bi-colored... I do love the striped version!
Gears Wrap in Deerfield
Gears wrap is what I would call my first "real" crochet design... I was enamored with a book of Japanese Crochet Motifs I got at Kinokuniya a few years ago and the gear is a result of that inspiration.  I have plans for a baby blanket made up of these... it was a joy to see it come together!  A huge thanks to Colleen and Kathy for helping make it happen! 

Both of these Valley Yarns were a delight to work with. I have my eye on some Berkshire for a quick sweater for me... and definitely on the Colrain Lace for a new shawl!   

Luckily I am teaching at Webs in less than a month and there are still a few spots left... won't you consider joining me for the weekend?  We can go shopping together after class!!!!!

10.06.2011

In the works...

Here's a little peak of a new collection due out next week...
candnoche2

I'm really crushing on the love between Caitlin and my pup, Noche...

10.05.2011

More than OK in Oklahoma!

This past weekend I was invited to teach a weekend of workshops at the Gourmet Yarn Co in Oklahoma City, OK. 
What a whirlwind weekend... my hosts Margaret and David were fabulous and we had just as much fun sharing our thoughts on the needlework industry and economic climate as we did talking about knitting.  Of course I didn't take that many pics as that seems to be my M.O. when traveling, but here are a few to give you an idea of what their store and my classes were like!  
Learning Ennoble, I fell in love with these teal beads!
Kathy studiously working on Migrations
Gourmet Yarn Co has a fabulous layout with a HUGE hang out area in the back which seemed to be constantly frequented by multiple knitters sitting, working, and talking together.  Having been in knitting stores where there is nowhere to sit and enable each other I think this area is key to their success... LOVE IT!  
(Of course I didn't get a pic of it... but I did hang out there until 10 pm Sat night, putting it to good use!)
Oh, and the yarn... Gourmet Yarn Co had a wonderful selection, some of which came home with me!  Right before I arrived a HUGE shipment of the new Juniper Moon Farm yarns came in.  Luckily I ran out of knitting on my last day and had to buy a skein of Findley in Black to make a Skywalker for me!
On Sunday am, I was taken out for breakfast and a driving tour by one of my dear model knitters JoseyKnits.  It was beyond lovely to meet her in real life... I felt as though we could talk for days!  She was the perfect guide and took me past some of OK city's highlights, including the art museum which contains a permanent Chihuly exhibit and the memorial for the 1995 bombing, which was beautifully realized.  Next time I'll schedule a day to visit both these sites...

10.03.2011

Rippled: Adorn's September Pattern

Rippled

It's October, and time for the next Adorn pattern!  Introducing Rippled, my new favorite necklace!  (Do I say this every time a new design comes out?)  Rippled is a lightweight lace ruffle to adorn your neck.  It is constructed by ten rows of garter stitch with beads placed at intervals for pools of shine.  Finished off with a fringe bead bind off and i-cords for easily adjustable length. It's another necklace you can make in a night! 
(and yes, there are kits available)

One of my students from Texas, Hillary, e-mailed me last spring and told me I HAD to find some Magatama (fringe) beads and work with them.  I somehow ended up with a huge stash of them, so this necklace is most certainly her fault!  

Oh, and the yarn?  I used Sweet Georgia Yarns Cash Silk Lace for most of these... I can't really get enough of this yarn right now!  The black and silver versions are made in Alpaca with a Twist Fino, a lovely alpaca silk blend.  

Rippled 
If you have subscribed to Adorn, the update collection was sent to you earlier today.... if you'd like to subscribe this pattern is included but you can also purchase it individually here.   

Keep in mind: if you decide to purchase a kit, the pattern is included!