4.26.2012

Pattern Release: Selata Shawl

Last fall I designed a pattern for Webs called Selata Shawl in Charlemont... the pattern rights have reverted back to me... so of course I had to knit up a new version AND add beads to it, right?
Selata with Beads
Selata is worked from the top down, with increases placed so that a squared off bottom hem emerges. To this edge I added a lacy ruffle and to that an optional beaded lace bind off!  You can work Selata either in one color, or two as I have done.  The pattern is written in two sizes, and includes detailed yardage information for both versions.
Selata with Beads
For this version I went stash diving!  It turns out that I have an embarrassingly large number of single skeins of cashmere blend sock yarn in my studio...  who knew?  I easily found two that just HAD to be worked together... the darker purple color is Sweet Georgia Yarn Cash Lux Fine in Ultraviolet, and the coppery variegated color is String Theory Caper Sock in Oban.  I had a few other versions that might have worked as well, but this combination was the clear winner!
Selata
A great thing about knitting Selata Shawl? There is ALL that garter stitch with just a little lace at the end.... so if you are looking for a project that makes for easy knitting (and we know not all my patterns are like that!) this might fit the bill!
Selata

You can see extra photos, read more about Selata Shawl and purchase it on my website or on Ravelry...


4.24.2012

Scrumptious Knits: A Review and Giveaway!

Welcome... to the next stop on the Scrumptious Knits blog tour and I'm thrilled to share this book with you!  Earlier this winter Carol Feller self-published a lovely booklet in cooperation with Fyberspates Yarn entitled Scrumptious Knits... have you seen it?
Scrumptious Knits is a striking collection of 7 patterns.  It contains 3 garments and 4 accessories, all knit from Fyberspates Scrumptious yarn in a range of weights from lace weight all the way up to chunky. The patterns are available individually or as a pdf booklet through Carol's site, and it are also available in a printed book through Fyperspates.  Carol and her husband work together on the photography, I love the style that they have developed together.  I first became aware of their dynamic when I saw Carol's first book, Contemporary Irish Knits... how great to have your photographer live at home with you!
If I had all the time in the world (and more hands!) I'd be knitting the sweater from the cover Ignus... I love belted sweater tunics with skirts in the winter and I think Ignus would be stunning styled this way.
Another design I adore is the Haruna Hat... I'm pretty smitten with cloche style hats, and the shaping and detail on this design is stunning! 
See the delicate detailing on the top?  LOVE IT!

So, I bet you want to know about this giveaway, right?  Well, Carol has offered to giveaway a pdf version of Scrumptious Knits AND Fyberspates is offering up a skein of Scrumptious DK in plum to knit your very own Haruni, how generous is that?
To Enter:  Leave a comment below... I'd love to hear which design in the book you love!  Don't forget, I'll need a way to get in touch with you if you win!  Comments will be open until April 30 at 12 EST.

4.23.2012

A weekend at Webs that ended with SNOW!

The weekend started with a road trip to Webs. I taught some wonderful students how to incorporate beads into their knitting.  We had a fabulous time together and the classes ended with hugs and smiles.  Tina, the education coordinator is a sweetheart, if we lived in the same town I'm sure we'd knit together : )!   I am going to blame it on the yarn fumes, but I forgot, and took hardly any pictures while I was there... here are a few, though, to give you an idea of my time:
Deborah working away on advanced lace with beads!
A "field" trip in the store where we discuss appropriate yarns....
Sooper Secret Warehouse!  SHHHHHHH!
Thankfully my dear friend (and model) Caitlin came along to share the driving and knitting with me.  It was over 70 degrees, the light was perfect and we were able to squeeze in an amazing photoshoot, taking turns behind the camera... Northhampton had just the right amount of rust and brick.  You'll be seeing the pics over the next few weeks as some big releases are on their way!
A package is heading out today my swapmate, GypsysLegacy, an amazing woman who raises alpacas, dyes yarn, weaves, knits and is someone I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know!  The swap in my Ravelry group has been TOO fun... I am stalking my mailbox waiting for my giftees to arrive from Steph179 in the UK!

And how did this Monday start?  With a SNOW DAY!  Craziest April 23rd I can remember.... I spent the whole winter kvetching that we weren't getting snow, and I couldn't go skiing, and now look at my tulips!
Happy Snow Day everyone... I'm going to celebrate with a mocha and kit building!


4.19.2012

Passing it on....

On our mini break to the Blue Ridge Mountains in VA last week I got to spend some time with one of my favorite people... this time she was interested in what I was doing, and really wanted to help, see?
Knitting with my Monkey
I need you to know that she is SO astute that she would even go down the yarn and grab some beads before "wrapping" around the needle.... brilliant, right?
Knitting with my Monkey
It's no secret that I love teaching knitting, but sharing these moments with this little monkey pretty much make my heart melt, sing, and ache all at once. 

4.17.2012

A Craftsy Review wrap-up and more!

I've just landed back from some sweet time away with my family... and while I was gone the internet was a-bit a-buzz about my new Craftsy class, Knitting with Beads!

            "Think about it...You get the trifecta of texture, color and bling just by adding a tiny 
              piece of glass or plastic or whatever to your work. It doesn't really get much better 
              than that."
  • Jessa at Happy Knits who has taken "real-live" beading workshops with me before, signed up... she loves the lessons where I teach how to add beads to existing lace patterns (the coolest part of the class, IMHO!)
Photo Jenn Tomaszewski
  • Stefanie Japel, my "handler" at Craftsy, picked my brain about knitting with beads while I was in Denver and knit herself a GORGEOUS shawl with beads embedded into the feather and fan stitch... LOVE!

I'll bet you want to know who the winner is from the Beyond Knit and Purl Giveaway, don't you? Congrats to Kathy!  Get in touch with me and I'll have Kate send you your prize!

And because this post doesn't have enough photos, here's sneak peek of a design that is "almost" ready to be released!
(and yes, the moment Instgram was released for Android devices I signed up.. I might be having too much fun with it's filters!)

4.13.2012

A 'lil sumthin for Cat!

You've met Cat once before, right?  After reading through Kate's book I decided she "needed" something special and in 15 minutes I made her the Cat Toy complete with catnip stuffing...

cat_stare
cat_play
cat spin
cat

Turns out my little fur ball is not camera shy at all!

4.10.2012

Beyond Knit and Purl: Review and Giveaway!

"Every week students ask me the same questions: What’s easy to knit? What’s a good first project? Where can I find good patterns? And inevitably:I’m tired of scarves. What’s next? 

This book is my answer to all those students, to help them find their way once they know how to knit and purl.  All new knitters have run headlong into the same challenge that I did when I first started knitting: there’s a big gulf between knowing how to knit and purl and knowing how to choose and successfully work a pattern." Kate Atherly
Beyond Knit and Purl fills a gap in knitter's knowledge.  Often times knitter's take a beginning class on knitting and then are let loose into the knitting world, unsure of how/where to go next.  Unless you have a network, or mentor, choosing your next projects and understanding how to read patterns can be a huge obstacle.  In her new book Kate breaks down all of the skills you will need to be tackling knit patterns independently.  

One of the things that Kate does in this book is not make any assumptions (and  you know what they say about assumptions) about your knitting skills.  This means she explains EVERYTHING you need to know to tackle the patterns in the book.  The first section on choosing appropriate patterns is brilliant, there are charts to help you match your skills to a patterns included techniques.  There are fabulous sections on chosing yarn, swatching, joining yarn, weaving in ends, increasing and decreasing, and so much more,  The goal of this book is to ensure that you experience SUCCESS with your  knitting.  How can that be a bad thing?  The book is chock full of basic patterns that will help reinforce the skills she explains in the first half of the book.  Want to see them?
Reading through Beyond Knit and Purl the last few days I have learned many tidbits that will only add to my knitting/teaching arsenal.  I especially love all the Knitterly tips contributed by Kate's colleagues and students and her Dirty Secrets that are spattered throughout the book.

It's no secret that Kate has been my technical editor for the last few patterns I've released... working with her has been such a treat as she makes sure I don't make assumptions about your knitting knowledge base in my patterns.  I'm honored to be on Kate Atherly's Beyond Knit and Purl blog tour, Thanks Kate and Shannon!!  Stop by Marnie's blog tomorrow to learn even more about this great publication!

So, would you love to win a pdf copy of this book?  Share a funny assumption or mistake you made when you were first learning how to knit and a way to get in touch with you.  Leave a comment below by April 16th at noon for your chance to win.

Want to hear/see my first BIG mistake?
I decided to knit my honey a lovely BIG cardigan in worsted weight superwash at a loose gauge... without understanding anything about gauge, the effects of yarn weight, and the characteristics of superwash.  By the time I finished knitting it, sewed in the zipper, and got it on his body it had GROWN.  I don't think he'll ever let me take a pic of it for you to see.  I should have knit the gauge WAY tighter and chosen a smaller size and probably not used superwash.... if I only had had this book back then!

4.07.2012

Lambing at Woolen Moss

Be forewarned there is some major sheepy cuteness in this post!

Yesterday afternoon we went over to Woolen Moss to meet their baby lambs.... and of course take pictures of them.  I know nothing about shepherding or lambing, and we learned tons from Kate while cooing, oohing, and aahing over her Shetland Sheep and their new brood.
Kate Kiss
LOVE!
kate and her babe
mama
One proud Mama!
mama and two out of three
Mama with two of her three 2-day old lambs
Lil black
Curious already!
bella and a wee lamb
My cutie with a cutie!

4.05.2012

Clarus Shawl: now with Beads!

One of the things I teach in my new Craftsy class is how to add beads to existing lace patterns... so I included an extra in the class, adding beads to Clarus!  Want to see?
Clarus with Beads
This version of Clarus is knit in Anzula Cloud in Wine... a stunning light fingering weight merion/cashmere/nylon blend that is heavenly... like a cloud!  Size 6 beads are placed on stitches at the bottom border to highlight the arcs the lace pattern creates.  You can see more pics of the beading on this design on Colleen's project page on Ravlery... didn't she do a stunning job knitting it?
Clarus with Beads
Those of you who have already purchased Clarus through Nelkin Designs are in for a treat... since I own copyright on this design, and have already released it, I am able to add this beaded option to the existing pattern.  So go check your e-mail, the updated pattern should be in there!

If you haven't worked with beads before, or if it hasn't gone successfully, I do suggest signing up for my Craftsy class, Knitting with Beads.  You will learn so much about incorporating beads into your knitting... Clarus is just icing on the cake!

4.03.2012

If I Had More Hands... IV

This is one of those times where I am WISHING I had more hands! Recently I fell down the Pinterest Rabbit hole and I just keep finding pretty pretty things I want to make! Want to see a few?


These crochet eggs by Anne of Flax and Twine are divine! (yes, I know that rhymes!) I have some Schaefer Andrea that would be TOO beautiful on brown eggs. There is a chance these could happen for spring... right?


I found these on Pinterest and am officially in love with this Etsy shop. Our kitchen really needs lighting, and I do believe these would do the trick...

I've seen this frock before and thought it might be for me... but then I saw Marisa's and it's time to add it to the list! Thinking in Liberty of London? or maybe one of these prints?

Ack! I wish I didn't need to sleep!

Oh, bet you want to know who the winner is from my Craftsy class giveaway, don't you?
Congrats to Taloferia!!! Get in touch with me so I can get you your Craftsy class link and hook you up with Jill, so you can get your yarn!