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.