3.30.2014

My Next Craftsy Class!

Well, I've finally been given the go-ahead to lift the cone of silence and tell you about my newest Craftsy class!  You Ready?  It's official release date is April 8th!
There are endless possibilities when designing knitwear and breaking down the cowl into its essential elements and then guiding knitters through the steps to imagine their own creations is a dream of mine! I am a passionate maker, and showing other’s how easy it is to stretch ones creativity is a blast! Cowl’s are the perfect shape to play with when starting to design and I cannot wait to see what you all come up with as you dive into this in-depth study of cowl design.

This class is for all the knitters! Some might be ready to become pattern designers they will certainly benefit from the in depth look I take at cowl design and pattern publishing. Some knitters might want to create unique cowls for themselves, friends and family, and Design Your Own Cowl will take them step by step through that process. And others might want to learn more about what goes into writing and designing a cowl pattern so when they comprehend more of the “why” behind them.
The class includes an interactive design decision worksheet, 12 step by step templates, 3 cowl designs each of which uses the templates to illustrate their function by example and many of my favorite designing tips and tricks. There is an informative section in the class on casting on and binding off for cowls that includes how to work a Mobius cast on, casting on over a large number of stitches, and more! I dive into how to use a scale to determine yarn usage in a project. Whether you are an aspiring designer, creative knitter, or merely wanting to learn more this class is sure to inspire you to knit cowls!
Oh, want a sneak peek of the 3 cowl patterns included with class?
I'll share more once the course is live on April 8th... but for now Craftsy suggested teasing you with a chance to be able to own the class as soon as it goes live! And you know how I love to tease (and offer giveaways!) If you'd like a chance to win the class for free, just click this link and log into Craftsy (or sign up) to enter.  We'll choose a winner randomly on April 7th and I'll contact them immediately!

Come back here April 8th, I'll have a great discount on the class for you, with more information about Red, Ojo Cowl and Lapso. Plus you'll be able to watch the class intro, which is always a great time!

3.25.2014

Celebrating!

Guess what?  It's my birthday... so since I'm the boss I decided we should have a sale to celebrate!
I am turning 28 for the 15th time... hence the 28% off discount on all kits (in my Etsy shop) and patterns (in my Ravelry shop or website)!

To take advantage of this in my Etsy shop, just use the code: HAPPY28thplus15

No need for a code in Ravelry, it will be automatically deducted at checkout!

The small print:this is for in stock items only.  

Thanks for celebrating with me!

3.24.2014

The Beadle Needle: A Video Review and Tutorial!

Happy Monday Y'all!  I've got a little something special for you!



For those of you who want a Beadle Needle of your own you can get them from these great retailers:
Earthfaire.com
Lacis

For those of you DIY'ers out there... here is a post that shows you how to make your own!

And here's my video tutorial for placing a bead on a stitch with a crochet hook or dental floss in case you are looking for that!

3.13.2014

The M Club: Second Shipment for Magnify Mystery KAL!

I promised all of you M Club members that I'd educate you more about what came in your 2nd M Club shipment!  Sorry it took me a bit, I wanted to make sure most everyone received it!

Your kit contained a whole pile of goodies!
  • A 500 yard skein of Blue Moon Fiber Arts BFL Fingering in Icy Winterblue Awesomesauce, an exclusive color Tina dyed just for us!
  • Two colors of Beads: 30 grams Size 8 glass seed beads (col A), 20 grams Size 8 glass seed beads (col B)
  • A Dental Floss Threader, and Scrap Yarn in Two Colors (these are for the KAL, the scrap yarn in particular is important as it is smooth, more on that below!)
  • A Double Sided Beading Bowl and 2 Locking Stitch Markers
  • And for the 4th MKAL: Proper Sock, a superwash BFL“mini” from Propanicus Moon (a local Rochester, NY dyer with STUNNING colors!)
This package is a lesson in fiber... and watching me break rules!  This next MKAL works with pre-strung beads (you should be able to deduce that from the dental floss threader included... and the photo... which has beads strung on the yarn).

For those of you who have worked my patterns before you'll know what I say: You’ll need to choose a tough yarn that can handle the number of beads this project entails. Stay away from "fuzzy" yarns, single ply yarns, or yarns that have more than 5% silk or cashmere as they will pill quickly.  I urge people to test their yarn by stringing 20 beads onto a length and wearing it around their wrist for a few days... you quickly know if your yarn isn't going to hold up to the abrasion of the beads!
For this KAL I wanted to find a yarn with a "halo" that could work with pre-strung beads and thought about non-superwash BFL... then I stumbled upon Blue Moon Fiber Art's BFL and was smitten. I did some tests (see above) and was shocked by how soft the fiber was, and yet how durable.  I learned that this is due to it's long staple length and micron count. (The Blue Faced Leciester Sheep is a longwool breed).  This long staple length gives the fiber high abrasion resistance and incredible drape.  Wait until to you see how it flows in this design.
Your mini for the 4th MKAL is Proper Sock, a BFL Superwash from Propanicus Moon that I knew was tough as the scales have been sealed in the superwash process. Why don't you compare the two yarns you got in your package?  Do you see how different the BFL is in its superwash and non-superwash form?  I think it's an interesting study in how superwashing changes a fiber.

One of the required materials for this design is scrap yarn and I quickly learned that it needed to be smooth scrap yarn as a fuzzy yarn could easily get tangled up with the long BFL fibers. So that is why you got those two small lengths of mercerized cotton yarn... please use those when the pattern called for scrap yarn!  They will save you a headache!  Promise!

Oh, and did any of you notice that the beading bowl fits in the tool tin I sent in December?????

For those of you not in the MClub, we are helping people choose supplies to knit Magnify along with us! You can join in by buying the pattern!  First clue comes out April 1st : )!

3.10.2014

Liathite and Ross Farms... a match made in heaven!

Another sweater for me is off the needles... it's actually been done for a while, but I was a bit of a procrastinator when it came to the zipper and photos!
Last Fall I reviewed Carol Feller's latest e-book Among Stones and SWORE that I would make myself a Liathite.... and then while at Fingerlakes Fiber Festival in September I finally got to see Ross Fiber Farms yarn in person and the perfect match was made!
I was first introduced to Ross Fiber Farms, a PA Century Farm raising Heritage and Rare Breed Livestock, when Amy, one of it's owners, participated in a Mystery KAL of mine last year. She shared her farm's story with us, and it really resonated with me, so of course the first time I met her (and saw her yarn) some had to come home!
I knew I wanted Liathite to be made out of "real" wool... a winter sweater jacket to keep me warm and LAST a long time!  This is a sweater for walking the dog, doing the dishes, taking out the compost, and then wearing to knit night.  I settled on a 3-ply Jacob/Leicester Longwool in Worsted weight, which is perfect with a long sleeve shirt underneath it.
This was also my first time installing a zipper... I had been waiting to try out Caro's method of using blocking wires and pin... and it was freaking painless!  Why was I so scared to install a zipper? Silly me!

As for knitting this top down, seamless hoodie, it was such a fast, fun knit and it fit into all of my other deadline knitting so well, I almost don't even remember knitting it....  I would just pick it up, work a cable repeat, and then come back to it again when I needed a break.
And of course no blog post is complete unless it has a goofy photo (or two)... so here ya go!
 Oh... and those Cambio cap winners? 

Congrats to geo9, LaurainATL and Rooski... get in touch to claim your prize!

3.06.2014

NEW KIT: Cambio Cap (and a giveaway!)

It's time for that new kit I've been teasing you all with for months! 

When  Cambio Cowl was released all I could do was think about how cool it would be to have a matching cap!  (and yes, y'all, I'm thinking about mitts next!)
Cambio Cap is knit in the round with a bi-color mosaic stitch that plays with two VERY special yarns... an exclusive Freia Fibers gradient mini skein paired with Jill Draper’s newest yarn, Esopus.
Amaranth
Cloud
Flare
Vertigo
Cambio Cap is available in the same 5 colors of the cowl....  right now Flare is my favorite! (and Jill's too!)
Materials Included in Kit
90 yards (11 grams) Freia Ombré Lace
     (75% Wool, 25% Nylon)
120 yards (26 Grams) Jill Draper Makes Stuff Esopus
     (100% Superwash US Merino Wool)
Cambio Cap Pattern
    (the Cambio stitch is both charted and written out!)

Materials Needed
One US Size 2 [2.75 mm] 16-inch circular needle
One US Size 3 [3.25 mm] 16-inch circular needle
One set US Size 3 [3.25 mm] double pointed needles
(or size needed to obtain gauge)
1 stitch marker
Tapestry Needle

Finished Measurements
7.25 inches high x 19 inches around
Fits average size head.

Gauge
28 sts x 32 rows = 4 inches in st st on larger needles, blocked
28 sts x 46 rnds = 4 inches in cambio st on larger needles, blocked

You can order Cambio Cap kit from your local knitting store, or my Etsy shop!
So, I feel like celebrating, how about a giveaway???? 

I've got three Cambio Cap Kits to give away... the winners will get to choose their color (from my existing choices). 

I'm already thinking about new colorways to add for fall...so, will you check out all the colors Freia Ombre Lace comes in and let me know which you think I should play with next?   Leave a comment below with your favorite (and don't forget a way to get in touch with you!)I'll choose the lucky winners on Monday March 10th at 12 noon EST!



3.04.2014

Reading List: 2014 Winter Survival Edition

I'm an avid reader... I LOVE to read!  Last summer I posted my first summer reading list on the blog and the response was great!  It also kept me accountable to my reading list and I'm proud to say I've read almost everything (and more) that was on there!

So, since this winter is a doozy, and I am having even more indoor time than anticipated I thought another list was in order!  It also doesn't hurt that 4 books have come out recently (by knitters who write) which are suddenly at the top of the list!

On my Shelf:
    Just Finished:
    • The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
           (haunting... and a bit of action, the main character is a HOT MESS!)
           (actually I have 50 pages left, but it will be done today, so it goes here!)
    • The Art Forger by BA Shapiro
           (read this before even knowing about Goldfinch, loved the background and research into art history and technique... and the character development)
    • Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
          (technically YA, and a love story... and I LOVED IT!)
    • Following Atticus by Tom Ryan
          (not quite sure why I kept reading and even finished this, didn't love it, but his story had me hooked all the same)
       
    Listening: 
    • Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese
         (A story of twin brothers and their shared history set
      at a mission hospital in Addis Ababa... the narrator's voice is STUNNING)
    • The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
         (I adored The Secret Life of Bees, and her new book has garnered rave reviews, nothing like a bit of historical fiction to help your needles fly!
    What are you reading and/or listening too?  Looking at the weather report I'm thinking I am going to make it through this list a bit more quickly than usual!  Let's help each other survive the winter entertained!

    3.02.2014

    Magnify Mystery KAL: Starts April 1st!

    It's time for our next Mystery KAL!

    SCHEDULE of Clues
    Clue #1- April 1st
    Clue #2- April 8th
    Clue #3- April 15th
    Clue #4- April 22nd

    Magnify can be knit three different ways and you get to decide which is for you! Option 1 is the most fun with two colors of beads, Option 2 is a bit simpler with one bead color, or Option 3 is to make it with no beads at all (and it will still be a beauty).  If you decide to work without beads then just skip all the instructions that have to do with beads!  Easy!  Go here to read more and sign up!

    HOW IT WORKS:  Sign up by purchasing the pattern prior to April 1st for a discounted price of $6.00  (You can sign up later and receive the previous clues, but I think it's more fun if you start it right from the get-go!)  After April 1st the KAL will be $7.00

    NOTE: If you are a member of The M Club an e-mail is being sent to you with a link to redeem your pattern, no need to purchase it, it is included in your club membership!

    When you sign up you will be sent a pdf with a materials list, yarn ideas, and gauge to be ready to cast on. On each scheduled clue release date an updated pdf will be sent to you with the next clue.  There will be videos made just for the KAL to help you along, and an active thread in my group on Ravelry so that you have lots of support and FUN while you are knitting. Go here to read more about the KAL and find out what materials you'll need!

    So, Sign UP! Sign up for the KAL on Ravelry or my website  and then get on over to my Ravelry group and start chatting about your yarn (and bead) choices!

    Note
    This is a brand-new never released design and it is sure to teach you TONS!  Video tutorials will be included along the way... I had such fun incorporating new techniques into this design, I hope you like it as much as I do!

    Have Questions?
    Ask them below... I'll answer in the comments so everyone can benefit from the answer.... if you have questions, I'll bet someone else is wondering the same thing too!