Accola Shawl with a SUPER giveaway!

Want to learn more about Accola the new shawl I designed for my Craftsy class Knitting with Beads and have a chance to enter a great giveaway?  Read on!

The main teaching tool I use in the class is the Accola Shawl... as with many of my shawl patterns, it is written for both lace and fingering weight yarns, AND in two sizes.  

Skills Used: Accola incorporates size 6/0 beads placed on stitches, nupps, and double sided beaded lace (size 8/0) balanced by a healthy portion of stockinette stitch to keep you sane.

Construction: Accola is worked from the bottom up, starting with the lace border which is worked vertically over a small number of stitches.  After the border is competed, you pick up stitches all the way along it's edge and then start to work the body of the shawl.  The top edge is finished off with a perpendicular bind off that includes more nupps and beads.

Note:  Right now the only way to get this pattern is to sign up for my Craftsy class

But, what about the yarn?
Lace Weight version: Jill Draper Makes Stuff Nimbus in Bottle.

This is my all.time new favorite color.  I knit this large lace weight version in January when it was all kinds of brown, grey and brown outside, I spent a large portion of everyday looking at this stunning green, and I do believe it kept me sane!  Nimbus is a lovely 70% Angora/30% silk that carries the weight of the beads, and the texture of the nupps beautifully!

Fingering Weight version: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Midway.

Believe it or not this is my first time working with Shepherd Sock, and I LOVE how it behaved with beads, it's hearty but still so soft and the fiber stood up to the wear of the beads really well! Colleen got to knit this after I did the swatching and I was sad to not get to actually knit it, but a girl only has so many hands. I really wanted to show how this shawl would look with a variegated yarn and it did not disappoint!  See?

Photo Credits Jenn Tomaszewski
Ready for that giveaway? Jill, who is a seriously wonderful woman, and an awesome dyer, has generously offered up 2 skeins of Nimbus in Bottle AND Craftsy has offer to giveaway a class with it You can make your very own Accola!

So, leave a comment letting us know if you've ever knit with beads and how it went for you by April 3 at 12 noon EST and I'll chose a random winner when comments close!


Knitting with Beads... my new Craftsy Class!

I'm so thrilled to share with you that my new class, Knitting with Beads on Craftsy.com is LIVE!

I designed two new projects for this class The Pioneer Cuff, and a new shawl, that I adore, Accola.  In the class take you step by step through how to make these two designs, which teach a myriad of tricks and tips for knitting with beads.  I also teach you how to add beads to existing lace patterns.  I am so excited about this part of the class!  I start with Clarus and then show you how to incorporate them into other charts as well.  SO.FUN!
Accola Shawl- Jill Draper Makes Stuff Nimbus, in Bottle
Accola Shawl- Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock, in Midway
Pioneer Cuff- Fingering Weight
Pioneer Cuff- Sweet Georgia Yarn Tough.Love.Sock
Clarus with Beads
Clarus- Anzula Yarns Cloud in Mulberry
Working with Craftsy has to be one of my new favorite things to do... I really only have the most FABULOUS things to say about them, their platform, and their staff members.  In the on-line interactive learning platform Craftsy created you can ask me questions along the way, and post photos as you work.  If you run into a trouble spot, you can ask me (and your classmates) for tips, advice, and techniques to get you back on track. Once you purchase a Craftsy class you own it forever and can watch it as many times as you need/want to get your projects made!  Hint:  If you click on the link at the top of this post, the class is 50% off!

I'll be back with more posts that describe these new patterns in depth later this week... but for now, enjoy!


Too cute!

My honey is working on a new website... and I have fallen deeply in love with this baby squirrel in a cast on it's front page. 

There's some vicarious cuteness for your day, enjoy!


Celebrate with me? A Flash Sale!

You know what?  It's my birthday, and I'm not 40 anymore!  Want to celebrate with me?
All patterns on my site or in my Ravelry shop are 20% off today, only!

Birthday's on Mondays are never all that... so I celebrated over the weekend with knit group, The Hunger Games, dinner at one of my fav restaurants, a hike here with my Maya, and some gardening!
Sunday morning in the woods with my beast! (an embarrassing factoid?  We share the same birthday!)
What a crazy FUN year it has been. I can't wait to see what this next one will bring!


A Spring Swap Anyone?

Happy Spring Y'all!  We've decided to celebrate spring with a swap in my Ravelry group!

Spring SWAP
Why? Because we are all doing some spring cleaning (or we should be), we want to get to know each other better, AND we like to get packages in the mail!
How? Build a package for your Swapmate that reflects a bit of you both. You should be stash diving for some of this, and shopping for only a wee bit (like food!). Every package must include at include one skein of special yarn, two 20 yard fingering or lace weight yarn bits (for jewelry making of course!), three treats (edible or knitting related), and at least 10 grams of ass’t beads for playing and anything else that you want to send, as long as you remain within the spending limit.
Let’s guesstimate you’ll be spending in the $30-$40 range if you were buying the items in your package new. You can make your swapmate something, but this is not mandatory…

So, do you want to join in the fun?  Go here to read all the Rules and Regulations, and sign up.  There is even a fancy google form to fill out once you sign-up! Limited Sign-ups are open until March 31st.
SO.MUCH.FUN! Have a lovely weekend!


Extendo Shawl

Spring has sprung and it's time for a seasonal pattern release, don't you think?  I've had this ready for a bit waiting for just the right week to let it out into the world, and today is the day!
Extendo Shawl- Fingering Weight, small
Welcome to Extendo Shawl... so named for the stitch I used throughout the body of the Shawl!  The Extendo Stitch is created by reaching down a few rows in between cables and pulling up a big loop of your yarn.  Of course I shot you a private video for the tricksy bit of this stitch, and that link is included in the pattern!
Extendo Shawl- Laceweight, Large with Beads
Extendo is written for both fingering weight and lace weight yarn (held doubled)  you get the same gauge with both yarns, the lace weight is a wee bit more challenging to work with but the fabric is creates is GORGEOUS! The lace weight version is knit with Schaefer Yarn Andrea in Chamomile, a stunning 100% cultivated silk in a color reminiscent of BUTTER!  It is shown in the larger size.
Extendo Shawl- Fingering Weight, small
The fingering weight version is knit with Malabrigo Sock in Terracotta.  This sample is knit in the smaller size. 
Extendo Shawl- Laceweight, Large with Beads
Construction Notes
The shawl is worked from the bottom up, first it’s edging is worked in two halves and grafted in the center. Then the body stitches are picked up across the top of the edging and worked with decreases at the edges and center seam so that the shawl seamlessly tapers to the top as you work the Extendo Stitch.  Optional beads add both weight and texture to this piece creating a fabric that is knit though it appears woven.

Want to read more details about Extendo Shawl and maybe even add it to your queue?  Go HERE!

Thinking a spring KAL is in order for this one so I will set up it up in my Ravelry group, I know a few people have been waiting for another shawl....


Some Yarn Cupboard LOVE!

I landed back from the Yarn Cupboard Winter Retreat Sunday eve, what a fabulous time!  I was especially lucky that this retreat was so close to home... I didn't have that weary travel feeling the next day which is a blessing!

I got to catch up with old friends like Jill, Cal, Melissa, Kristen, and Angela.... and make new ones, like Sandi, Jennifer, Sharon, Lisa, Beth and so many more. 

During the days I taught and worked in the marketplace at my table.  Evenings were filled with conversation that would make my non-knitting friends eyes roll back in their heads with confusion and boredom, but LAWS, it was satisfying and inspiring for me. Saturday night I might have even done my "zoolander" strut for the fashion show, lucky for me it looks like I was too fast for anyone to catch it on camera!
A photo before the "shopping" started in the marketplace... I was lucky enough to be right next to Jill's goodies!
Lisa Meyers, the US distributor for Manos del Uruguay came and gave an incredibly interesting talk about Manos' business mandate and spinning and dyeing techniques... they are definitely an overseas company you can feel good about!  (If you look closely at the pic she is holding up you will see giant hanks of yarn on a metal hook being dipped into a huge dye cauldron.)
My VERY studious Eventide class, hard at work!
Sabra, from my Ravelry group, wearing her gorgeous Kinetik!  So honored she came up for the day!
My newest BFF Kristen, wearing a Butin, and learning Eventide!  You go girl!
And last, but definitely not least, remember Zoe from last month's classes at The Livingston Arts center? Well, she and her handlers (Serena, Janis and Pattie) came to see me and learn all about Knitting Jewelry with Beads.... and then she agreed to model (or munch on) her Mama's GORGEOUS finished Kinetik for me!

Huge thanks go out to Susan for the wonderful weekend! Not sure I can wait until next April to do it again!


So, you liked Downton Abbey?

I LOVED IT!  and I have been on a hunt for other BBC series in that same genre...

Can I share a few with you I have found and adored?
House of Elliot (adore this series about 1920's fashion house!)
Forstye Saga
Upstairs Downstairs (2010... I want to watch the 70's version next!)
Mansfield Park (ok, this is movie, but I LOVED IT!)
Pride and Prejudice (with Colin Firth)- this is on my list to re-watch!
I have to say, I am completely hooked, and with all the knitting I have to do it's the perfect entertainment!  Do you have other shows you think we should add to this list?  Please share in the comments below... we'd all LOVE to hear about them!


And back again....

What a whirlwind of a week!

I spent the first part of last week shooting my new class for Craftsy... want proof?
On Set at Craftsy!
The days flew by as I shared my love for knitting with beads with Justin, Rachel, Josh, and the camera... my production team now knows more than they ever wanted to on the subject!  One eve I took advantage of Denver Restaurant week, mmmm, Rioja with Kellen was SUPERB! 
Savory Spice Shop
When it was all over I treated myself to some culinary inspiration.... we have Mole in our future!  Then, Stefanie and I went out and talked for hours. I adore taking my online friendships and making them REAL! (in typical fashion I was so busy chatting I forgot to take pictures for proof of our good time, you'll just have to believe me!)

Then it was time for a 24-hour vacation... I arranged a blind-date with Anne of Flax and Twine!  We've chatted on-line (and on the phone) but never met in person... I even upped the ante by suggesting we go back-country skiing, something I've always wanted to do in Colorado!  BEST.BLINDDATE.EVER 
First, we skied in the mountains above Boulder at Brainard Lake....
The Mountains!
Then, we went to The Loopy Ewe for Knit Night.... if you are anywhere near Fort Collins, visiting is a MUST!  Sheri and her elves have done a fabulous job with their new space!
Knit Night at The Loopy Ewe
Clockwise:  Anne and myself high on yarn fumes, a WHOLE wall of lornas laces, some new additions to my stash, sock yarn as far as the eye can see....
Then, we had frozen yogurt with LOTS of toppings for desert (of course, I was too busy eating to take a pic) and went back to Anne's house to help each other with the inner workings of Blogger until the wee hours....

The next morning I was entertained by Anne's family as I watched 3 kids under the age of 9, 2 parents, and one insanely cute 8-month-old-rottweiler-German shepherd puppy get ready for their day.... we then met more friends at Tangerine for brunch, and it was time for me to head home!   Phew! Could someone remind me to do that more often? A HUGE thankyou to Anne and her family for their genuinely lovely hospitality!  I look forward to returning the favor someday!

But, I bet you just read all of that because you want to know the winner of the yarn spinner, right? Congrats go to Misha!!!!! Btw, if you didn't win, David will be stocking more yarn spinners soon (I think we "made" him sell out!), just go favorite his Etsy shop and then you'll see when he has more in stock!


A Video Review and Giveaway

I'm spending the week filming my new class with Craftsy and I decided it would be fun to have a video review/giveaway while I was gone!

If you were active in my Ravelry Group for the Mystery KAL you got to witness us all drooling over these yarn spinners.  I even did a mini-giveaway for the KAL participants for one.  David, the woodworker behind Craftiness, offered a spinner for my blog and I just couldn't say no!

Okay... if you made it through that whole video you now know I am a total goof... and should really edit more! (and somehow the video got smushed... so I am looking just a little thinner than usual : )! )

So, leave a comment here by March 13th at noon and I'll pick a lucky winner, don't forget to leave a way to get in touch with you.  David, from Craftiness, will be shipping the spinner to the lucky winner. 


An Exciting New Project!

I'm thrilled to be a part of this new project spearheaded by the wonderful Susan Gibbs of Juniper Moon Farm.
Introducing the start of  Juniper Moon Farm's most exciting project ever- By Hand Magazine. The quarterly magazine will focus on food, gardening, DIY, sewing and knitting, along with profiles of people who make their living with their hands. JMF has assembled a mighty team of writers, editors, designers and crafters as contributors and editors and I am honored to be among their ranks!

By Hand will officially launch in August with it's Fall issue but JMF is holding a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds and get the word out about the magazine. The Kickstarter is crucial to their ability to go forward with By Hand, so I hope you'll take a minute to take a peak at their campaign.


A New Look!

Things look  a little different around here, don't they?  Another project that was LONG in the making, my website/logo redesign, is DONE!

This time I hired a designer and came up with a graphic concept and layout and then had MANY late night meetings with my webslave (aka cherished husband) as we solidified exactly what I wanted and how to make that work. 

I am totally smitten with it right now, even though I've been looking at it for weeks on end... I especially enjoy the bead that moves up and down the yarn strand as you go through the menu!  

I could get all geeky on you and tell you that it's database driven, and easily updateable, with templates that pull code from Ravelry to seamlessly integrate their cart into my site, but I wouldn't really understand what i was talking about.  Let's just go with that it's back-end is awesomesauce and my hubby is the BEST!

I can't wait to hear what you think... and I hope you have a lovely weekend!