3.29.2013

Stereo Cuff!

It's the end of March which means the 2nd kit in my Patternworks Knit Kit Club has shipped!  Can I get a WOOT WOOT?
Stereo Cuff
Stereo Cuff- A Bold Band of Beads!
Stereo Cuff is deceptively simple... with only 8 stitches with 3 colors of beads slipped up in between, what's not to love?  The kit includes everything you need to make a Stereo in one of three sizes.
Stereo Cuff Clasps
Simple snap clasps finish Stereo off
The kit contains: 10 yards of Mercerized Pima Cotton, 144 (160, 176) Size 8 glass seed beads;pink luster and lavender 72 (80, 88)Size 8 glass seed beads; raspberry, 2 Snap clasps, Dental floss threader, and the pattern with links to video tutorials.

For those of you who get this kit, I can't wait to see what other versions of Stereo you come up with once you have the pattern.... the possibilities are really endless!
Stereo Cuff
There are still spots if you want to sign up for the Kit Club... it has rolling sign-ups so you will receive the past kit, Cheerio, along with the future ones on schedule. It's been such great fun to see the Cheerio knit up by so many of you and I can't wait to hear what you think of Stereo!

And just because I love being a tease... just wait until you see May's kit!!!!!

ETA: And the winner of the birthday bag giveaway?#24! Congrats to Margot Schips!  Get in touch with me so I can send it on out!

3.26.2013

One for You, One for Me: A Birthday Giveaway!

Well, spring still isn't here and over the weekend I thought a sewing session might help save the day!  I've been itching to make something with my dear friend Marisa's new fabric line, Locally Grown, and decided project bags were just what the doctor ordered!
Sheep Parade with Prosperity Hens... I LOVE these sheep
I wasn't sure what shape to make, but when I saw Kim's at lunch, I had a plan!  A quick google search turned up many different versions of this reversible Japanese bag knot bag.... I think they were "hot" five years ago, but sometimes I'm a little slow with the trends : )!  I finally settled on this version over at Martha's and got right down to the sewing!  The bag has one short handle and one tall handle, you simply slide the tall handle through the short one, and voila, a sweet little bag. It felt so great to get my sewing Mojo back.
AND, since it's my birthday I decided to make a second one to give to one of you as a THANKYOU for your amazing support this year... I want to celebrate with all of you!
Perfect Knitter Fabric!  Sheep on Parade with Thneed Knitters from The Lorax!
So, if you want to win this bag JUST LEAVE A COMMENT! You don't need to join my Ravelry group, like my Facebook page, follow me on Twitter or Instagram, or buy a pattern.  Just remember to leave a way to get in touch with you!  I'll choose a winner this Friday March 29 after midnight EST.

3.22.2013

Life Cycle Shawl

Alright everyone, ready to hear more about Life Cycle the lace shawl I designed for my latest class with Craftsy? The samples arrived home yesterday and we headed out for a COLD (and fun) shoot!
Life Cycle
Life Cycle is a Center Out Lace Square that is designed to be knit either in lace or fingering weight yarn.  I knit the larger size in Fyberspates Scrumptious Lace in Treacle Toffee, a yummy wool/silk blend and the smaller size as a baby blanket with Spud and Chloe Fine in Popcorn.

Life Cycle

The class takes you through each section of this project, teaching you the skills you'll need to be able to work this heirloom piece of lace. Worked from the center out over a small number of stitches I teach working a circular cast on (both on double pointed needles, and on magic loop), and then jump right into chart reading, Nupps, and advanced decreases.  I cover life lines, lace chart tips and tricks (written instructions are included as well), yarn and needle choices, fixing mistakes, in depth blocking, and more!

A diagram of LifeCycle's construction... to see closeup's of each stitch go here.
Life Cycle
The stitches in Life Cycle are designed to get increasingly more interesting as the project grows on your needles!
Life Cycle
You work the same chart 4 times around for each section which helps you grow more and more familiar with each stitch... a great way to learn to knit more complicated lace!
Life Cycle
Finally an edging is worked, perpendicularly to the body of the shawl, binding off your stitches and adding greater detail to the edge at the same time!
So, if you want to learn how to knit this shawl and discover lots of tips and tricks for working a large lace project like Life Cycle check out my newest class with Craftsy, Lace From the Inside Out!

3.20.2013

Ricefield Collective: A Kickstarter project

While procrastinating on work yesterday I stumbled across this kickstarter campaign initiated by Meredith Ramirez, a visionary knitter, who lives in Ithaca, NY... so of course I had to investigate!  The Ricefield Collective's goal is to craft handmade knitted accessories to help keep indigenous people of Ifugao, Philippines on their ancestral land. Just watch this video... it explains it better than I ever could!
I adore that one of the mandates of this project is to prove that innovation and tradition can go hand in hand. Of course things change with time, they should, but Ricefield Collective is helping to ensure that those who want to stay in their homes in Ifugao may be able to through the power of craft and knitting!

To learn more about backing this project and in exchange have the option to receive hand knit items from the women of Ifugao knit in Quince and Co yarns please check out their kickstarter page.... I expect you'll be as inspired by the energy behind this project as I am!

(also... if you watch the video, you'll get a pretty good look at what Ithaca looks like in March, pretty freakin' dreary!)

3.15.2013

Juego Mystery KAL: A Few Yarn Ideas

Well, I know I promised you a post on ideas for yarn for Juego... and here you go!  I thought a good way to approach this would be to put myself in your shoes and go shopping at my local yarn store!

So, I headed down to Knitting Etc, and scoured their shelves with its owner, Hickory, to find a few ideas.  What I discovered is that finding yarns that will work for Juego is EASY!  It took us 6 minutes to come up with these three combos.... I can't even imagine how many more could have been made!  (Hickory is very good at buying yarn and beads!)
Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Midway with Cascade Heritage Silk in color 5639 with Miyuki Translucent Root Beer AB Beads

Madeline Tosh Sock in Byzantine and Gilded with Miyuki Silver Lined Dark Topaz AB Beads


Pagewood Farms Chugiak in Charcoal and Army Girl with Miyuki Matte Silver Lined Grey Beads
This yarn is perfect as it has 450 yards per skein, so you'll only need one of each color!-
Knitting Etc has lots in stock though it's not listed on their website!
  I did a quick google search, though and found lots!
 
Liciniac, posted this combination in my Ravelry Group:Malabrigo Sock in Impressionist Sky and Archangel with gold toned beads.... this is going to make a GORGEOUS Juego!
 
Another AMAZING Rav member, KnittyTwin2, was inspired by this photo of a stormy sunset and DYED AND SPUN her own yarn for the KAL and then chose beads... she is obviously an overachiever and we all want to be like her when we grow up!  I for one am hoping on a plane to Australia to steal her Juego when it's done, because it is going to be NICE!
Important things to keep in mind when choosing yarn for Juego (beads or no):
  • Choose two colors that really POP off each other. 
    This doesn't mean that they need to be different colors AND values (light or dark), just either a contrasting color OR a different value of the same color.
  • Make sure you have enough yardage, you'll need at least 430 of the Multicolor (Col M) and 470 of the Solid (Col S).  When I design I always add 15% to my total yarn usage, so this means my Juego used around 380 yards of col. M and 410 of Col S... so that's my way of saying, you can maybe get away with a 400 yard skein, but maybe not!  Consider yourself warned!  Personally, I always buy MORE yarn than necessary!
Important things to keep in mind when choosing yarn for Juego if you are working with beads:
  • Choose a weight yarn that size 8 beads can slide easily along.  All of the yarns listed above will work perfectly with size 8 beads.  There are also lots of other options listed here.
  • I don't suggest choosing a single ply yarn when working with beads as the yarn will "fuzz" up awfully quickly!
  • When choosing beads you want to choose a color that POPS from both your yarns... sometimes this just means your bead needs a metallic lining so it shines, other times a color that contrasts or shines.  See the examples above for a few ideas that work!
  • A trick:  Not sure if your yarn is going to wear well with beads?  String a few on the yarn and rub them up and down a length of your yarn.... notice a halo starting to form?  If the answer is yes, your yarn is going to look worn before you are done knitting with it!  STOP and choose something else for this project!  Use that yarn for a cowl and send it to me, I need more cowls!
So, have questions?  Post them here, or in my Ravelry group... I can't wait to see what yarns you are thinking of using!

And the moral of the story?  Head to your LYS (if you have one).... you are bound to find the perfect yarn, and perhaps inspire a few other knitters to join you in our FUN!

3.13.2013

New, On Craftsy: Lace From the Inside Out!

I'm thrilled to announce that my newest class with Craftsy, Lace from the Inside Out has been released!
Lace from the Inside Out builds upon the skills developed in Knit This! Mastering Lace Shawls and Knitting with Beads. There's no secret that I adore working with Craftsy, and this experience was no different.  It's certainly getting easier to sit in front of a camera and share my knitting tips and tricks while trying to maintain my composure and not sound like an idiot!

As with my other classes I designed a project that could teach all the skills I wanted to impart in the class.  This means that while this class is all about process and learning, you do end up with Life Cycle, a gorgeous shawl or baby blanket, to show off at the end!  I hadn't ever designed a square piece of lace before, so designing Life Cycle provided a challenge for me as well.  Worked from the center out over a small number of stitches I teach working a circular cast on (both on double pointed needles, and on magic loop), and then jump right into chart reading, Nupps, and advanced decreases.  I cover life lines, lace chart tips and tricks (written instructions are included as well), yarn and needle choices, fixing mistakes, in depth blocking, and more!

Life Cycle is a labor of love.... it is the largest lace design I've ever accomplished I spent many lovely hours this fall/winter working on it.  Does anybody remember that caramel blob I tweeted about?
Well, it became this:
I've got a photoshoot scheduled soon and will share photos of Life Cycle and tell you more about it next week!

HUGE NOTE:  All of the links above provide you with a HUGE discount on my Craftsy classes!  50% off!  So, by all means use them, and share them with your friends...  once you purchase a Craftsy class it is yours forever to watch as many times as you want whenever you want.  I consistently check in with my classes and provide feedback, support and encouragement.... so, let's knit some lace together!

3.04.2013

Wow, that was fast...

Um, WOW?  (I'm tempted to make that this entire blog post... but I think I'll tell you more!)

I released Juego last week and am WOWED by the response.... I'm not new to Mystery KAL's, this is my 4th, but it's the first one I decided to offer a kit option on.  Part of the fun of running Mystery KAL's has always been helping people choose their yarn and beads before the KAL officially begins... call it MKAL foreplay : )! 

During Trapeze a few of it's participants expressed an interest in having a kit option.... so for this KAL I decided to try that out...It was SO HARD to plan for... maybe only 10 people would want one and I'd stick a dyer with a huge overstock of one yarn base.  Silly, Silly me....in 2 hours we sold out! I begged, cajoled and whined and got Stephanie to raise the numbers a bit, in 24 hours the rest SOLD OUT!  I guess I might have underestimated y'alls shopping prowess! 

Stephanie is dying as fast as she can, in hopes she will have time to release more, but in the meantime I want to help you to choose yarn and beads.... there is no reason not to participate just because you can't get a kit... there are LOTS of yarns on the shelves of your LYS that will work for this design.  You just need a little help choosing them, right? 

I'm working on a more detailed post outlining possible yarn and color choices, but for now, head over to my Ravelry group.  There's a whole thread dedicated to choosing yarn and beads... some people are dying their own yarn, some are even spinning it, some are stash diving, and some are shopping.  There's plenty of time to enjoy this part of the Juego Mystery Knit-A-Long!