Knockout Knits: What's Inside?????

Yeah!  It's time to start showing you what's inside Knockout Knits! It's official release date is Sept 2nd, so every Tuesday between now and then I'll be uploading 4 of the patterns onto Ravelry.  What a tease right? I had a great time choosing which patterns to pair together, and this first set is chosen to get you extra excited for what is in store for you!
Wave Cuffs from Wrapped Stitches at Play
Halli Shawl from Beaded Beauties
Quadro Shrug from Get Your Lace On!
Traversus Socks from Wrapped Stitches at Play (Yes!  I knit a pair of socks!)
So, which is your favorite of these first four patterns?  Can't wait to hear what you think!


Weekend Sewing: SisBoom Tortola and Another Laurel in Liberty!

I'm in the middle of some BIG knitting deadlines... which means my hands needed to take breaks this weekend, so I decided to make some new clothes for SSK.  (Plus, I keep wanting to buy more fabric, but really needed to sew up what I already bought, right? I'm sure you all know what I am talking about...)
First up, I had 1 yd of Liberty of London Lawn that I got at Fancy Tiger , and when I saw the next pattern in The Road Trip Sewing Club, Sis Boom Tortola Tank, by Carla, the Scientific Seamstress I knew it was going to be perfect.  The pattern actually called for 2 yards as it's cut on the bias, but since Liberty is 57" wide I was able to get an XS out of it. (Though I did have to move to the studio, out of the kittens way, to cut my fabric.)

Then, I was a good girl and made a muslin, which is wearable, but maybe a little boring on me. So, I made a few mods: Made the shoulder straps 1/4 inch narrower, which opened up the arc of the neckline a bit, then I added in the option of the Notched neckline, which was challenging and did not come out perfectly, but I like it anyway, and finally I smoothed out the hip "bump" as it wasn't hitting me in the right place. I did decide that it's perfect with my Mudra Necklace, so I still get to wear some knitting!

My dear friend Betz is the mastermind behind The Road Trip Sewing Club... it's a super fun concept and I'm loving being on it... can't wait to see what the next pattern by Liesl Gibson is!

And next I made another Laurel Tunic, as one is not enough!  I bought 1.5 yards of Liberty Jersey (on sale) this time, so I could make both the length and the sleeves longer.  I think you'll be seeing me wearing this at workshops this fall... ALOT!  It's one of those dresses that is so comfortable that it makes you feel like you are wearing your pajamas!
Next up, after I crank out some more knitting, I am going to make another Amelie Dress, but in a knit fabric from stash. I've been wearing the one I made a surprising amount and think that if I make it in knit I can avoid having to sew in a zipper (which I didn't like that much). In case you want to see more photos of it, Ava is wearing my Amelie in the Forza Scarf photos I released last week!

So, yeah, at least I can show you my sewing right now, cause the knitting???? That's super super super secret!


Forza Scarf: A free pattern from Knockout Knits

It's time for a little story and then a present for you all to celebrate the release of Knockout Knits this September!

Knockout Knits is my first traditionally published book... and it took me a year to design and write it!  When I handed in my manuscript it turns out I was 6,000 words OVER contract.  WHOOPS!  I guess I had a lot to say about knitting.  Luckily my editor Caitlin had an excellent attitude about it and she and I worked to slim down where necessary without loosing any significant content.  Knockout Knits is a book to learn by and we weren't going to compromise that in the editing of it!

There was only one casualty during the editing to make page count and we decided Forza Scarf should be a free pattern to introduce you to the book!  A great solution, right?
Worked in two halves and grafted in the center this single sided lace scarf will teach you the intricacies of working shaped lace, integrated i-cord edging and reading a chart… it’s your gateway drug to unexpected but simple lace techniques!  Forza is worked in two halves as the Forza stitch must be worked from the bottom up to achieve mirrored shaping at the bottom edge.
I know I’ve told you that designing the simple things is hard for me, but it’s never been more true than with this design. I forced myself to only use three lace stitches; the yarnover, a left leaning decrease (ssk) and a right leaning decrease (k2tog).  As I was swatching I kept trying to throw in a little something different but kept to my rules!  The result is a scarf that will teach you that you CAN knit lace, and that it’s FUN and EASY!  Hope you agree : )!
Forza is knit with 135 yards of sport weight yarn. I originally knit it in Classic Elite Fresco (the purple version above).
Then at TNNA Sabrina from Anzula gave me a STUNNING skein of their new silk/linen sport-weight Vera and I knew I needed to knit a summer version as well.  The silk/linen combo adds a phenomenal stitch definition.  I wore it in Texas last weekend and is the perfect summer yarn! 
Download your free copy of Forza on Ravelry OR on Scribd.

I also have Catch-Up KAL going in my Ravelry group with awesome yarny prizes (Wollmeise, anyone?)... I've decided to add Forza to the list of projects as I know many of you will be able to whip it out, making it a great additional entry to the KAL!


Video Tutorial: Lace Bind Off with Placed Beads

I've another new beaded bind off for you! I used this one at the end of Clue #5 of Magia Mystery KAL.

This one is extra cool as the beads sit perfectly centered on the stitches.  It's a bit more finicky to do as your beads aren't prestrung and you'll be wishing you had a third hand, but once you get into the swing of it the bind off goes quickly!


Just One More: Haven River

Time for July's Just One More shawl pattern!  This stunning piece was inspired by the construction of Trapeze, one of my all-time favorite MKAL's. Haven River was shown (and taught) this past weekend at The Tin Smith's Wife retreat and my students were a bit blown away by it's geometry!
First, three trapezoids are knit from the center out. These trapezoids are then connected by triangles, which I call connectors. Then, stitches are picked up for the bottom border and a beaded lace ruffle is worked.
Finally, the top edge of the shawl is finished off with attached i-cord. Of course, you can knit this pattern with no beads at all and it will still be stunning!
I knit Haven River in two yarns (you know me, one is never enough!) The light green version shown is in Fibre Company Meadow, a stunning light fingering weight blend of merino, llama, silk and linen. The darker, more variegated version is in Sheepwalk Merino 600, a lovely merino fingering with 600yards/skein.  Be careful when choosing yarn for this shawl to make sure it doesn't have too much variegation... you can see that the lace pattern and beads can get easilylost.
Purchase Haven River
Purchase Just One More

Note: Purchasing the eBook Just One More ($21.00) represents a significant discount over purchasing each pattern in the e-book separately ($7.00 each) as they are released. If you have already purchased Just One More the pdf has been updated to include Haven River... ENJOY!


A Summer Retreat at The Tin Smith's Wife

Four years ago I taught at The Tin Smith's Wife in Comfort, Texas. Ever since then I have been dying to go back to the hill country!  Over the weekend I was honored to be the featured teacher at their store retreat... and OH.MY.GOSH did we have fun!!!!!  Want to see?  For once I was good about taking photos!

Tin Smith's wife is a whole giant building FULL of yarn, needlepoint supplies, goodies, and a few cats!
At the Friday night event, where I show Haven River, the shawl I designed for the retreat!  You'll see/hear more about it tomorrow when I release it as the next pattern in Just One More.
Showing designs, and helping the knitters pick yarn and beads!  What fun! Thanks to my buddy Andrea for taking these great shots!
Jennifer from The Sheepwalk showed up with some freshly dyed yarn for Haven River!
On the porch at the Haven River Inn and loving it!
Teaching on the porch of Haven River... we were crazy lucky to be outside at the end of June!
Everyone is working away! 
Texas shaped cheese at the wine tasting at Singing Water Winery
Super happy group post wine tasting : )!
Group shot of current and future Ravelry group members!
Almost everyone at the very end!  (including Cindy... who Hilary brought along on the adventure!)