12.30.2012

2012: A Knitting Year in Recap



I did a recap for 2010, and decided that I was in the mood to be OCD again and compile a list of this year's knitting for posterity's sake.  It's a great way for me to really see just how much I got done, and for you to "get" just how crazypants I am!

Adorn Anew
Other Jewelry
Shawls 
  • Accola- for my Craftsy Class, Knitting with Beads, (releases in March!)
  • Spumante
  • Trapeze
  • 2 Secrets you'll get to see this Spring!
  • A another secret to be published Fall 2013 (i think...)
  • A final secret you won't see until the book comes out in Fall 2014!
Knitting for Me and Others

Aaand, because every good blog post needs a photo or two... I made some photo mosaics combining this year's knitting and some soon to be revealed NEW projects!


(and I bet you want to know the winner of the Knit Accessories Giveaway... don't you?  Congrats to JMargaret  get in touch so I can get your e-book out to you!)

12.21.2012

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays!
Pint Sized Pines (with beads) gather with last year's Korknisse.....
A warm and wonderful holiday season to you all!!!!!

Happy Holidays!

I'll be back in the new year with my traditional round up of 2012's knitting projects....

12.19.2012

Knit Accessories: A Review and Giveaway

This fall I was honored by my tech editor Kate Atherley when she asked me to write a quote for the back of her second book with Cooperative Press, Knit Accessories: Essentials & Variations.  Of course I said Yes!  (and it meant I got a super early version of the book to review!)  Know what I said?
Kate Atherley has her pulse on how modern knitters think about their knitting.  Her patterns are clear, concise, and don't leave you in the dark.  If you are looking for a "go-to" basic pattern resource this is it!

As I sat down to write a review this morning I stand by that quote wholeheartedly... this book is a great modern pattern resource!  It's got basic patterns, written in at least two different gauges, for scarves, mittens, cowls, legwarmers, socks, and a variety of hat shapes. Kate delves into tips and tricks for all of these shapes, like working with the hole at the base of your thumb, and picking up stitches on a sock gusset.
I reviewed Kate's first book, Beyond Knit and Purl last spring, and Knit Accessories is perfectly matched to build on the skills that she covered in it's pages.
Looking through the book in depth I had a thought... do you think about designing but aren't sure where to start?  One could easily use the basic formulas in this book as a base for plugging in more complicated design elements and stitch patterns.  Kate goes into depth with this in her cowl chapter showing what seems to be an endless array of cowl variations by changing the yarn gauge, size of the cowl, and stitch.

So, guess what, lucky blog readers?  Kate and Cooperative Press have offered a pdf copy of Knit Accessories to one lucky winner!  So, leave a comment telling me what you think you'd love to make (or learn) with your copy if you were to win (with a way to get in touch with you) by the end of the day on Dec 23rd.  I'll choose a winner and let you know who won later in the month!

12.11.2012

A Mica Tam for Miss B!

Remember when I released Mica Tam in October and I told you that my girl tried to steal it before I had even taken pics?  Well, I promised to make her one... and so I did!  I suppose it was an early Hanukkah present!  I was having a horrible time getting pics of it on her, so I had to resort to threats... no photos, no taxi service!  (I know all you parents know what I am talking about!)
Mica Tam for my Girl
Pattern: Mica Tam
Yarn: The Fibre Company Canopy Fingering; Obisdian
Beads: Miyuki 6/0 Transparent Green AB
details added to my Ravelry project page
Mica Tam for my Girl
Mica Tam for my Girl
And the outtakes....
Mica Tam for my Girl
Love, it's not a strong enough word for how I feel about this girl!

Oh, want to hear who the winners are for the Latus giveaway?  Congrats to Sandy and Boxerdog get in touch with your address so I can get your yarn/beads and pattern out to you so you can get knitting!

12.05.2012

FibreSpace Inspired: A Miss Babs Giveaway!

Thanks so much for the Kable Kuff love this week... I'm thrilled that you love it's simplicity and elegance!
Over the weekend I was lucky enough to teach at Fibre Space.  Nestled right in the heart of Old Town Alexandria, Fibre Space is chock-full of yarn and goodies that are hard to find.  Danielle, the owner has done an AMAZING job making her store unique.  My classes were SO FUN!  Peels of laughter, loads of learning, and even some tender moments occurred as Fibre Space's intrepid knitters discovered the joys of knitting with beads.  I got to meet knitters from my Ravelry group who have been participating for years... KnitFoolDeirdre even brought me Whoppers (one of my FAV's) and Michele gifted me a gorgeous skein of her hand-dyed yarn!  Swoon!  There was also a fair amount of enabling... I noticed my students slipping away for a bit to take a break in the shop downstairs and coming back loaded with goodies.  It was pretty comical! 

I had to do some shopping too. I got some yarn from Fibre Company for the book that I cannot wait to work with. Right before I left on Sunday I saw a HUGE basket on the floor of Miss Babs "Yummy Toes"! Yummy Toes has 133 yards on it, just enough to make a Latus!  Before I knew it I was piling up skeins I had to have!  The staff caught the bug from me and chose skeins as well... then they asked me to go across to the street and find matching beads for them, which I just had to do!  I can't wait to see their Latus's (Latusi?) take shape... I know Arthelea has already cast on!
After such a wonderful weekend I was feeling the love... so I decided to get you some yarn too! I bought two skeins of Yummy Toes, and matched them with beads for you to make a Latus of your own!  Wanna see?
Two commenters will win:
  • 1 skein of Miss Babs Yummy Toes
  • 40 grams of matching beads
  • Pdf pattern for Latus
Latus is a garter stitch wedge scarflette, with beaded accents... since it uses just over 100 yards you can get this puppy knit in time for the holidays!
How's your holiday crafting?  Leave a comment sharing with us how it's going.... I'd love to hear what you are up to.  I'll leave comments open through December 10th, and chose a winner on the 11th!  Don't forget to leave a way to get in touch with you!

12.03.2012

Kable Kuff: Adorn Anew's Final Pattern!

I can't believe it's already time for Adorn Anew's last pattern to be released... this year went by quickly! Without further ado, introducing Kable Kuff!
Kable Kuff
Want to learn the secrets of reversible cables? Kable Kuff will teach you all about them... and then surprise you with the addition of beads! You’ll get to chose if you want to alternate 2 colors of beads, or go all out with a new color on each cable! The photo above shows Kable Kuff in the two color version.
Kable Kuff
This version has different color beads on each cable!
Kable Kuff
Here are three versions... all in a row. (thanks Justine for letting me borrow yours!)
This basic pattern will hopefully inspire you to play with your yarn and beads and see what you can come up with! I'd start the first one you make with two colors, and learn the technique. The cuffs above are worked in lace weight so you might decide you want to try first with fingering weight yarn and larger needles to learn the technique... once you have it down try with lace weight for a delicate version! This is a great technique to use whenever you are doing something new... larger yarn, bigger needles, and some patience are sometimes all you need to have knitting success!

As with many of the patterns in Adorn Anew, Kable Kuff is a great for gift knitting, and since it only takes 16 yards... you'll be able to get one knit in a night.  I bet you have a few people on your list this could be perfect for!

Kable Kuff is available both individually and as part of Adorn Anew! 

11.29.2012

Video Tutorial: Attached I-Cord Edging

One of my favorite ways to finish a raw edge is with Attached I-cord.... I've done this in many of my designs including Trapeze, Mythos, Vaya Shrug, Winterlude and Circulate.

Earlier this fall I made this video for the Mystery KAL... and now it's time to share it with you all!



If you want to get fancy you can even combine the beading technique shown in this tutorial and have a beaded attached i-cord!

11.21.2012

A Mystery Crochet Along and More!

Archer Mystery CAL, Clue #1
I've so much on the needles that I can't show you that I decided to work on something that I could share!  I've actually never done a Mystery pattern, and thought it would be a blast to try FreshStitches Archer Crochet-A-Long.

I just finished Clue #1... which took no time at all! I have no idea what I am making, though the guesses from my family have kept us giggling. Do you have any guesses? I'd love to hear them!  There's still time to join in on the CAL, Clue #2 comes out tomorrow and my hook is at the ready!
FreshStitches was the most recent stop on the Adorn Anew Blog Tour and Stacey went ALL OUT and wrote a tutorial for gradient dying with Kool-Aid, so those of you who still haven't found a yarn for Stellanti might want to give this technique a whirl!  Thanks Stacy for contributing such a content rich post!
 
Happy Thanksgiving to those of you that celebrate... I, for one, am thoroughly excited for a day of cooking, family, EATING and being thankful! 

11.15.2012

Trapeze Mystery KAL: The Final Reveal!

Trapeze Shawl
Well, it's time for the big reveal, I waited longer than usual to share photos of my Trapeze as it's been WAY too much fun watching everyone finish theirs and I didn't want to steal the thunder.  This mystery KAL has been by far the most amazing KAL I have ever run.  My Ravelry group outdid itself with it's support, education, entertainment, and knitting prowess.  Seriously, we had a knitting LOVE FEST!!!!  I'm planning a post for next week that shows off some of the other amazing Trapezes (Trapezi?) that have been made!
Trapeze Shawl
My version of Trapeze was knit in Madeline Tosh Sock in Burnished with Toho and Matsuno beads.... I'm a bit of a bead snob, and the two beads I chose to use were not available anywhere we could find.  I did end up buying them wholesale and putting them in my Etsy shop if you need to have them too! 
Trapeze Shawl
My goal with a Mystery KAL is to keep people guessing... with this one I played with construction and not until the final clues did the pieces come together!
Trapeze Shawl
First three trapezoids were knit from the center out and placed onto scrap yarn. These trapezoids were then connected by beaded lace triangles. The top edge of the shawl is then finished off with attached i-cord and finally the the bottom border is worked with two colors of beads and a gentle lacy ruffle. Of course you can knit this pattern with only one color of bead, or no beads at all, and it will still be gorgeous!
Trapeze Shawl
The FINAL VERSION of Trapeze is now available! An update has been sent out to all of you who signed up for the KAL.  The pattern is both charted and written out, there are exclusive video tutorials for working the lace sections with beads AND there is a ginourmous amount of information in my Ravelry group.  Are you working on yours and haven't finished yet?  We've got a "slow swingers" thread going strong for those of you who need help and encouragement!

A quick note about this photo shoot: I cheated on Caitlin (yes, I felt guilty...) and worked with a new model, Zainab, who you will be seeing more of.  These photos were taken in front of the Cornell Schwartz Center for the Arts whose architecture style is truly 80's and was the perfect geometric background. I love how the turquoise window framing played with the lines of the shawl and the yarn's color highlights.

The BIG QUESTION:  When is the next Mystery KAL?  I am shooting for April 1st... I'm choosing yarn and plotting a crazy course of action now...... : )!

11.13.2012

Squares for Comfort

From my office over the last few weeks I've been hearing tales of misfortune and loss (as well as those of triumph) from those on the East Coast effected by Hurricane Sandy.. the area of upstate NY that I reside in was luckily unscathed, but many were not so fortunate.
Squares for Comfort
One of my Ravelry group members JanElinRN (the genius behind the Mica Tam), was much more effected by the storm, though she weathered it without major incident.  She and her friend decided to put some of their knitting expertise to good use and are making blankets from 12 x 12 inch squares to be delivered to those in need. 

They've set up a Ravelry group, Squares for Comfort, and wrote up the perfect mission statement for it:
We both, as knitters, have experienced the kindness of knitters as we struggled through the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. We’d like to help those who continue to suffer to experience some of the kindness, warmth and generosity that we know the knitting community is always willing to provide. We’ve decided to make blankets which we are planning to take directly to those in the most need. 
Squares for Comfort
Over the weekend I spent just a bit of time making a square to send off to them... I dove into the stash to find some superwash New York State yarns... and was thrilled with what I found!  The brown is Schaefer Yarn Chris in Julia Child, and the lime is Jill Draper Makes Stuff Hudson in Bottle. I went with a center out square, striped with a Fibonacci sequence, with bands of garter and stockinette stitch to keep it interesting...

So, do you have a bit of time on your hands?  Consider making a square or two and sending it along (details here).  I was surprised by how quickly this whipped off the needles, and will have more going as I work on deadlines. 

11.09.2012

Operation Turkey Trot

I've been working on a little secret with Jimmy Beans Wool, a handful of other designers, yarn, and knitting supply company's for the holiday season... I'm awfully excited for you to see my part in it and to see what others have done! On Friday Nov 16th, head on over to the Jimmy Beans Wool blog, and you'll get to hear all about their latest project, Operation Turkey Trot!

For me the holiday season is all about MAKING, whipping up food, crafting gifts, and throwing together celebrations.  We are already in my favorite part of the process when we start planning what to eat, gathering supplies for gifting, and scheduling time with family and friends.  I've developed a litany of treats that don't get made the rest of the year and I for one can't wait to sample them as we start to stockpile the goodies! There will be Rosemary Nuts, Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramels, Chocolate Bark, Meringues, Tamari Pecans, Molasses Crinkles... I.CAN'T.WAIT!

On the crafting front, we think about all the people on our list friends, family, teachers, colleagues, and I try to see how many of them I can whip up some of these for!  If the giftee is a knitter, then I lovingly wrap up a kit and they can make it themselves while they munch on some homemade treats from us.  Having a knit jewelry kit business comes in really handy at this time of year..... just sayin'. 

I've some other hand made gift ideas as well, but since I know some people read my blog that I'll be gifting I can't share them here just yet!

Also, the Adorn Anew Blog Tour is still going strong... Ann Hanson, over at Knitspot, just shared a post with her readers. So, grab a cup of tea and head on over.  Keep scrolling through her posts, she just is heading back from a trip to California and her travel post was SO fun to read! Ann just opened spots her in next Bare Naked Club, which sounds like a wonderful knitting adventure!

So, what do you have planned for the holiday season?  I'm open to more ideas : )!

11.07.2012

Stellanti: November's Adorn Anew Pattern!

Well, I've been sharing my progress on this design over the last month and I know at least a few of you are CHOMPING at the bit to get your hands on it ; )!
Introducing Stellanti, Adorn Anew's November Pattern!
Construction: Worked from the top down, with crescent shaping, this shawl design has a triangular inset with 1 x 1 ribbing that is defined by 2 contrasting color beads.  Stellanti is actually incredibly simple and easy to knit, I adore knits that take your breath away, and yet are SO easy to work!
Stellanti- Ivy
Stellanti by Lorrie- Ivy
The Yarn: The shaping of this design works perfectly with hand dyed ombre yarns like Nightfall by Fibro Fibers which has a gradient that spans the entire length of the skein.  The shawl is worked from the outside of the ball from light to dark, any gradient or sock yarn would do, though and I can't wait to see other versions of this shawl come off of people's needles!  Both Stellanti's tester's and myself knit our versions of Stellanti in Nightfall Fingering Shawl Ball but unfortunately it's not the easiest to obtain. I know Jen, the dyeing wiz behind this yarn is waiting on more base and planning on doing a shop update SOON!  She lets me know when the updates are live and I'll pass on the news in my Ravelry group, promise.  
Stellanti- Deep Turquoise
Stellanti by Justine- Deep Turquoise
The Beads: When choosing beads, you can work with two colors of beads throughout (Option A), one color of bead (Option B), beads only on the bottom edge lace ribbing (Option C), or no beads at all.  The pattern is written for all of these options.  Since I decided to work with two colors of beads I made sure that my a and b beads CONTRASTED from each other.  My “a” beads were closer to the top color in my shawl and my “b” beads were closer to the bottom border color.  Whichever yarn you chose to use, just be sure that your two bead colors really POP against each other so all that work doesn’t get lost.
Stellanti- Silver
Stellanti by Colleen- Silver
A KAL: Since Trapeze has been wrapping up it's time for another KAL, don't you think?  There are knitter's already chatting away about the yarn and bead choices in my Ravelry group.  This will be an informal KAL as I know many people are still waiting on their supplies to arrive, but we'll all be there encouraging each other, asking questions and oohhing over the possibilities... won't you join us?
Stellanti- Ivy, Teal, Silver Wine (left to right)
All our Stellanti's on my favorite photoshoot wall!
THE THANKYOU's: I certainly got help making sure Stellanti was ready for this KAL! ALL the lovely Stellanti's shown in this post were knit by myself (wine), and my testers, Justine, Lorrie, Colleen, and Jeanne (Jeanne's is not shown but is lovely too!).  Ysolda pitched in by taking some FUN photos of me at Rhinebeck as well, I haven't quite perfected being both the model and photographer yet!  Thanks to Kate for tech editing, and Ann for copy editing... what a team!
Stellanti- Deep Turquoise
So, are you dying to cast on?  Stellanti is available both individually and as part of Adorn Anew... you choose. 

10.31.2012

Time for a Swap....

Swap Package I received from Steph179 last spring!
It's time for another swap over in my Ravelry group!  Last spring's was SO FUN, and I've decided it's time to have one again!

Want to join in?  Head over to my Ravelry group and agree to the rules there!  Then it's time to start chatting and gathering... : )!  I'll announce swapmates in my Ravelry group when the signups close!

11/6/12 ETA:  The swap is full... assignments have been made, and I can't wait to start stalking my swapee  :)!



10.30.2012

A Lolly Pod for Dot!

 
One of my students turned knitting buddies, Angela, knit a Lolly Pod for her brand new niece, Dot.  Last week she shared some SWEET photos with me taken by Agnes Kindberg when she was 4 days old... precious, right? 
Angela used Jill Draper Makes Stuff Hudson for the Pod, and Splendor for the Hat in Bottle, one of my favorite colors!

Welcome to the world Miss Dot..... I can't wait to see what knitwear you will pose in next!

10.25.2012

My Book Here....

It's finally time to let the cat out of the bag...
Bookshelf!
Guess what? I'm writing a book!  Last month I signed a contract with Potter Craft, a division of Random House!  Crazypants, right?  I am so excited for this next year of plotting/planning/designing/knitting/and writing.  I've pondered this next step for quite a while and finally decided it was TIME to take the plunge!  I'm sure it will be inspiring/challenging/and fun all at once, or at least in waves, and I'm ready to take it on.  I already have plans to balance book work out with Mystery KAL's, new kits, and other projects so I won't be disappearing in the least.... no worries!

I can't go too deep into what the book is about, just know that it will be chock full of my style, wit, and knitting adventure. It will be a book to help you stretch your knitting skills and it won't be out until Fall of 2014, so you have time to finish up what's on the needles!!!!!

Hopefully my family is prepared to eat hummus, pasta, and eggs for the next 12 months. 'Cause my time in the kitchen?  That might be what suffers!

10.23.2012

Rhinebeck 2012!

This past weekend I shot down to Rhinebeck for 48 hours of friends, babies, animals, yarn and wool fumes!  My camera was right by my side and am excited to share some of what it caught with you!
Rhinebeck 2012
My personal favorite at Rhinebeck!
Rhinebeck 2012
So regal!
Rhinebeck 2012
A cow sheep!
Rhinebeck 2012
All time favorite haircut!
Rhinebeck 2012
Ravelry meet up on Saturday!
Rhinebeck 2012
Miss Zoe, who obviously has very good taste in knitwear!
Rhinebeck 2012
Zoe and I wearing our Trapeze's together!
Rhinebeck 2012
I met JanElinRN in real-life... I was so enamoured with her Accola I forgot to take a picture of her face! Oops!
Rhinebeck 2012
Melissa Jean's Button booth with Space Cadet Yarns and my kits... too busy to get into!  Woot!
I'm almost proud to say: I CAME HOME WITHOUT ANY YARN!  I've got a lot of projects on my plate right now which means no time for vicarious knitting....
Rhinebeck 2012
But, I did get a really nice mug from Jennie the Potter, so don't feel bad for me!
Of course there is so much I missed, I totally forgot to take a picture of my crew. Spending more time with Jill and friends only just cemented how much I adore her and them. If you are at Vogue Knitting Live in Chicago this weekend, go give her a hug from me? I miss her!

Oh, and the winner of the November Knits giveaway?  Congrats go to SillyLittleLady, get in touch and I'll have Interweave send your book out to you : )! Love her knit Viking Helmet!  If you don't know what you are being for Halloween, it might have just been solved!