10.23.2014

ChiaoGoo Giveaway!

Last week, Julie from ChiaoGoo got in touch with me to see if I would do a giveaway for their new Interchangeable Sets.... and who can say no to giving you all the opportunity to win something I already bought, own and LOVE?
So, I have one each of the new 4" TWIST and SPIN Small Interchangeable Needles sets to giveaway.  The sets include US tip sizes 2 - 8, 8" cables, end stoppers, cable connector, stitch marker, needle gauge and a nifty case.  I don't think these have started shipping to shops yet... so y'all are really getting a treat!

I actually don't have this set, I bought 4" tips individually to put into my current set, but if this set had existed when I went shopping I would have bought it instead : )! 4 inch tips come in super handy... you can use them for working anything in a smaller diameter, like a hat, or sleeve, or cowl as they work with an 8" cord.  I've also found it really handy to have a second set of tips when I'm working on multiple projects at once (which is like all the time)!

The Knockout Knits tour is almost over, I'm off to Chicago this weekend for Vogue Knitting Live, and then to the DC area to teach at Fibre Space and The Yarn Spot on Nov 6th - 9th, and then it's time to take a break... I think I want to have Thanksgiving in my pajamas. During all this travel I've been working on a super secret collection for a super secret new yarn for one of my favorite yarn companies.... I hope to have sneak peeks to show soon.  It's so hard keeping secrets.... and I've got some holiday knitting AND some M Club knitting to do so I need to wrap it up!

Have you started planning your holiday knitting?  What's ready for the needles?  Maybe the sets above will come in handy. Just leave a comment below letting us know your holiday knitting plans.  Now's the time to make them!  I'll close the comments on 11/29 at midnight EST and randomly choose two winners the next day!

Thankyou ChiaoGoo!!!!! (Also, I love that ChiaoGoo means Crafty Lady in Chinese!)

10.22.2014

New Cambio and Stereo Colors for Fall!

I'm excited to finally share two new color ways I've been working on for the Cambio Kits...
 (both Cowl and Cap)
Introducing Fuschia (above) and Lichen (below)! I had such a hard time choosing two new Freia colors to add to the line, but in the end these were clear winners.
And, since I introduced a new solid color from Jill Draper Makes Stuff in Esopus it meant I got to design a new Stereo Cuff as well.... It's called Moonless, and I love it so much I want to marry it! I actually made this one for Jill to give her at Rhinebeck, but decided I needed to keep it... guess I need to make her one before I see her at Vogue Knitting Live (where I'm teaching and she's vending) in January!
And finally.... I've announced the fabulous yarny prizes for the Magmatic BOOM KAL in my Ravelry group.  Check it out!
I'll have all these new colorways with me this weekend at The Windy Knitty Booths #102-104 at Vogue Knitting Live... I'll be there Saturday 1 - 3 signing copies of Knockout Knits and trying not to buy all the yarn!

10.14.2014

Rhinebeck bound with a sweater!!!

YES! I finished my sweater in time for Rhinebeck! I've been working on my Lopi Affection since earlier this summer, and it's actually done!
I blame Kay Gardiner for this sweater as I was innocently reading Twitter one night when she shared it and at midnight suddenly I found myself buying yarn and the pattern... you know the story!
I love Lett Lopi for light warm sweaters, but find it itchy as all get out, so I used Quince and Co Osprey from stash on the cuffs, hem and yoke to protect my delicate skin. This worked out well, all I had to do was go down a needle size for the yoke so it didn't bag out.
I made the second to smallest size, and didn't mod it other than decided to add the two extra sts for the steek.  I wasn't sure if I would button or zip it but once I finished it (with a hand sewn ribbon facing) and tried it on with a button I decided a zipper would be more wearable and flattering.  I sewed in the zipper OVER the ribbon and I'm finding it a bit stiff.  I might need to snip it out and reapply the zipper without the ribbon, but that will have to wait until a snow storm hits.
Who knows what the weather will be like at Rhinebeck... but chances are you'll see me wearing my new sweater! I've got a full schedule besides being out shopping or waiting in line for Artichoke French, I'll also be in Building A, booth 25 helping The Spinning Room show/sell my kits and I've got some signings for Knockout Knits and meet-ups scheduled!

Saturday
10-11:30- Merrit Books Building B (in the back)
12:00- Ravelry meet up (on the hill)
3:30-5:00- Merrit Books Building B (in the back)

Sunday
10-11:30- Merrit Books Building B (in the back)
12:00- Ravelry meet up (on the hill)
3:00-4:00- Merrit Books Building B (in the back)

But first, I'm off to Ohio to shoot a segment of Knitting Daily TV!  Life is certainly not boring : )! (Follow me on Instagram or Twitter if you want to keep up with that adventure!)

10.13.2014

Tutorial: The Making of a Magic Ball (with Magic Knots!)


I've been a wee bit obsessed with designing for magic ball knitting lately and decided it was time to make a photo tutorial to show the magic knot I use for joining skeins and teach you a few tricks about having it be successful. Jane Richmond has an excellent video that shows this knot, which is how I learned about it.  Thanks Jane!


Step 1: Choose Your Yarn!  I decided to play with my LYS's excellent "stash" of Knitted Witt Gumballs for this tutorial. I choose enough to knit another Gusto as I can't really get enough of that pattern! (From the bottom to the top: Silver Lining, Oregon Sky, Honey Lavender, Buckle My Shoes, Winter's Night, Prussian Blue, Guy Noir) You can join together yarns in stash (see note below), or have a base yarn and join bits of color throughout it (like I did for Magmatic Boom).  This is where you get to be CREATIVE! If you aren't sure about the amount you can use a digital scale to weigh your odds and ends. Then begin to wind your yarn.
Step 2: Lay down the two ends you want to join with the tails going in opposite directions.
Step 3: Take one end and go underneath the other end to the opposite side.
Step 4: Then bring that end back over and lay it across itself.
Step 5: Then take that end and go inside the loop you have created to make a overhand knot.
Step 6: Pull tight.
Step 7: Repeat with other tail.



Step 8:  Holding onto the working yarn, start to pull in opposite directions.
Step 9:  Keep pulling, the two knots will slide together.
Step 10: Pull all the way tight!
Step 11: Trim the ends VERY close to the knot, sharp scissors help!
Step 12: Test your knot by yanking on it HARD! If you do not follow these steps exactly the knot will pop apart! 
 
I want to make a note that this knot is not perfect for every yarn and you should definitely test it with your yarn before you commit to it. I've heard that it doesn't work well with single ply yarn, yarns with high silk content, and cellulose based fibers (like cotton, rayon and tencel).  You can put a bit of Fray Check on it, which will make it hold... but just do a test first to be sure, sometimes it can change the color and hand of your fiber. Your other choice for joining the ends is to use a Russian Join, which will work on wool fibers but not the other fibers listed above.

(As seen on Knitty.com's blog)

10.10.2014

Three things!

1. I released Magmatic Boom yesterday, the last pattern in Just One More... did you see it?  We've got a little contest going over in the Ravelry group and plan to have a KAL with prizes... join in, won't you?

2. Did you see that I'm the designer for Craftsy's November Mystery KAL Workshop!  I've kept this under wraps for a while and am SO excited to share this mitt pattern with you!  It's perfecto for gift knitting.....
3. Besides some super duper secret knitting I'm almost done with my Rhinebeck sweater!  I hope it's cold enough next weekend to wear it!  I posted my schedule and hope to see many of my knitting peeps there... Rhinebeck is THE BEST!
I'm off this morning to teach a mini focus group a new class I'm designing for Vogue Knitting Live, the Craft of Casting On.  If I weren't such a perfectionist I'd just show up at Vogue and teach some cast on's but I love my classes to be organized, well thought-out, and content driven....  Wish me luck that I don't make my students heads explode while I try out my idea on them!

10.02.2014

The M Club: 2015 and a Magmatic Recap!

Sign-Ups opened for next year's M Club a few weeks ago and I've been so busy I realized I never blogged about it!  Details on the club are here. I won't restate them all in this post... but there will be 4 shipments... 2 will be MKAL's (also public) and 2 will be exclusive to members of the club.

One of my favorite parts of running a club is having a close knit (pardon the pun) community of knitters all working on the same piece together and putting their individual spin on it. As a designer getting to work with yarn, bead and craft companies to put together the kits is an absolute blast!  The 4th design is particularly fun as I'll be sending extra pieces for it throughout the year in the first 3 kits. I tried this last year with Magmatic MKAL and it was SO fun that I had to include it again!
Have you seen Magmatic yet? I really freaked members out with the construction of this MKAL. We started by making a magic ball with the yarns sent and then cast on 400+ stitches and worked a chevron stitch with elongated stitches AND placed beads. I LOVE how the place beads ended up zigzagging with the chevron stitch. (click on the photos below to see them bigger)
Finally, when the yarn was virtually gone it was time to steek (cut) it and to turn it into a scarf.  Of course I made videos for the cutting and the fringing. It was great fun to revive a technique I used to use when I was a weaver! Intrigued? You can read more about the process here.
Magmatic MKAL will be released as an individual pattern next August... one of the privileges of being in the club is getting 2 patterns exclusive to it's members for the first year!

My magic ball obsession continues... I'll be releasing a pattern next week inspired by Magmatic that uses the magic ball technique as well! SO FUN!

10.01.2014

Dream in Color Club: Cruzado Cowl!

Introducing Cruzado Cowl... Dream in Color's October Dream in Color Club design.  This spring I was sent a STUNNING skein of Classy... and I knew that I wanted to design a super simple cowl that would really highlight the yarn's color shifts. Typically I am drawn to stitches that create a pattern, but knowing they would get lost I lost myself in garter stitch with just a few bands of elongated stitches. As I knit on this design I kept being asked about the yarn... it's jaw droppingly GORGEOUS, and the perfect fall color!
Cruzado Cowl plays with a Möbius cast on, so though there are MANY stitches on the needles, it only has 23 rounds.  For those of you who haven't worked a traditional Möbius before, the cast on makes it so you are working the cowl from the center out.
The border of Cruzado has a the Knit-Cross 6 stitch that you might be familiar with from Knockout Knits..... a favorite for mixing up colors in hand painted yarn.
Thankyou Dream in Color for inviting me to be a part of this project! Right now the only way to get this pattern (and the YARN!) is through the DoC Club. Go here for a list of stores that participate. I'll be releasing the pattern in January 2015.