The End to a Fun KAL

Knitwise Design’s Summer KAL on Ravelry has come to a close and it was really fun! There were 11 participants, including myself. (That’s one of my projects in the photo – “Earbuds” in Valley Yarn’s Berkshire Bulky.)  We filled 11 pages with conversation and were inspired by everyone’s finished projects – 19 total – including a sweater! There were three winners for the random free pattern drawings, and Dottie Turner (deturner on Ravelry), from Marshall Texas, won the grand prize drawing! She has chosen her Milla Mia Naturally Soft Cotton yarn package in a lovely “Sweet Pea” color to make a baby blanket for her great grandson. dottie was also the most prolific knitter in the KAL finishing 7 projects – including that sweater!

This was a great way to get to know other knitters from around the globe – I just love Ravelry for that! Through Ravelry I feel like I have a real community of friends – even though we have never met in person (yet – I have hopes!) The KAL was a way to gather together a virtual knitting circle and watch the progress of everyone’s projects, and to get to know each other a little better. I will definitely do this again!

 

Artist Profile

I am very excited to have been accepted to teach a class in September at this year’s Fiber College of Maine! This event is one of the most popular fiber arts educational events of the year. Held at the Searsport Shores Ocean Park and Campground, Searsport, Maine it is the largest Fiber Arts education gathering on the East Coast. Classes on everything fiber: knitting, crocheting, weaving, spinning, fiber preparation, rug hooking, quilting, lace making, wood working and more. You can check out their excellent website to explore all their offerings and logistical details for this year.

One of their traditions is to profile some of their instructors on their blog and I have been lucky enough to be featured first! They sent me a thoughtful set of interview questions and I must admit it was a bit like sitting for an essay exam to answer them all! But I am very happy with the final profile. Check it out HERE.

The class I will be teaching is called “Conquer Your Fear of Knitting Charts”. I am amazed at how many knitters are intimidated by working from charts. In today’s knitting world charts are almost the given for many types of knitting including stranded color work, cabled patterns, and certainly lace. Hopefully this class will give participants the skills and confidence to knit from charted patterns.

Remember, if you are intrigued by the offerings at Fiber College this year, don’t wait too long to sign up. This is a popular event! Registration is open now. See you there!

Playing with Blocks

My latest pattern has been so much fun to design! I was lucky enough to meet Stephanie Griego last Fall at Knit East in St. Andrews, New Brunswick. Stephanie is the talented dyer behind Dirty Water DyeWorks and dyes incredibly beautiful yarn! I came home with a skein of “Bertha” – a fingering weight merino, cashmere, nylon blend in a yummy, subtly variegated “Chocolate Raspberry” color and immediately started playing. I knew I wanted socks with texture – something ribbed to fit nicely, but not boring to knit. I came up with just the thing in my newest design: Two-Block Socks.

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I have a background in weaving and spent many years working with weaving drafts, which can often be broken into “blocks” to design with. As I played with a stitch pattern from an old Mon-Tricot stitch dictionary I realized that it could be broken down into two design blocks and that those blocks could then be rearranged in many different ways. Not being able to make up my mind which arrangement I liked best, I decided to present the pattern in such a way that a knitter could knit socks in one of two block arrangements I detail, or they could play with the blocks to make their own arrangement. So many possibilities from one pattern!

Check out more about Two-Block Socks on the pattern page HERE, or in my Ravelry , Etsy, or Patternfish stores.

Malabrigo March!

There is no end to the fun things going on in the Ravelry community! In March the group Malabrigo Junkies is hosting a month long event with KALs and contests and great promotions on patterns! Check out all the happenings for “Malabrigo March”. I was thrilled to be asked to participate as a designer who has been part of the Malabrigo Quickies program. I am offering 25% off each of my patterns that I designed for that program – Shapely Legs Legwarmers and Perfect Pitch Scarf. The coupon code for my promotion is Malmarch .There are many more designers participating and lots of great deals! What a lovely way to pass the often cold, dreary month of March – with a cup of tea and a yummy Malabrigo project on the needles!

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Third Annual Indie Design Gift-A-Long!

Collage #2 GAL 2015

I’m so excited to once again be a participating designer in the Indie Design Gift-A-Long on Ravelry – GAL for short! If you haven’t experienced the fun of the GAL before, be sure to join us this year. What is it? It is 6 weeks of fun activities, contests, prizes and knit-a-longs hosted on Ravelry and featuring patterns by independent designers. The whole thing starts off with an incredible sale!  From Thursday, November 19th at 8:00 pm US EST to Friday, November 27, 2015 at 11:59 pm US EST over 300 indie designers will be discounting between 5 – 20 of their patterns 25% for this event. That is thousands of patterns! Use coupon code: giftalong2015 when you check out. For the first time I actually had to choose some patterns to exclude from the sale since I now have 24 patterns for sale in my Ravelry store! But 20 of my patterns that would make great gifts are included. The link for the participating designers’ patterns goes live on the 19th and I will be sure to post it here. Each designer is represented by a collage with a link to their patterns. You can see my collage for the event at the top of this post. Here a link to the thread with ALL participating designer’s collages, which link to their Ravelry stores.

GAL 728x90_JoinusThis year I am again part of the behind the scenes “Pinning Team” for the event. We pin every pattern that is included in the sale part of the GAL to appropriate boards on Pinterest. That makes a great way to browse designs by category. Search for “GAL 2015” on Pinterest to find the boards for hats, shawls, sweaters, etc. (They will be live at 8 pm on Nov 19th.) We have a crochet board as well. Doing this job puts me up close and personal with many designs and I am just so impressed by the creativity and talent among my fellow independent designers!

And don’t forget about the GAL once the sale period is over! Join one of the forums on Ravelry (links to come) to knit your gifts and see others. Those participating in the forums will get chances to win free patterns and a range of donated knitterly gifts. Oh, and you are not limited to the sale patterns for this part of the GAL – you can knit any paid pattern by any of the participating designers. I had fun knitting some other people’s designs last year and seeing other’s finished projects. For me the GAL has become an eagerly anticipated part of the holiday season – come join us!

To see more about the gift-a-long visit the Indie Design Gift-A-Long forum on Ravelry.

What’s a Herpetologist?

A herpetologist is someone who studies reptiles and amphibians – including frogs. If you know one, then I’ve got the perfect hat for you to knit him or her! But of course this cutie is a big hit with kids as well. I designed it in 3 sizes to fit toddlers to adults. Because the rest of the hat is in ribbing, I couldn’t resist naming this design “Rib-It Frog Hat” (You may groan now.)

This is definitely one of those designs where inspiration seems to have hit in a flash from an unknown muse – I’m not particularly fond of frogs myself! But this little guy really appeals to me (being so nice and non-slimy!) How can you not smile wearing him on your head? My adorable model feel in love with the hat and we had to sneak it away at the end of the photo shoot. I felt just terrible as we left and she was looking all over for the hat! I usually like to keep a sample of my designs when I can, so I may just have to knit this little girl another frog hat of her own!

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See more about Rib-It Frog Hat here on the website , or on Raverly or Etsy.

Patchwork Mittens

My newest pattern is just released! “Patchwork Mittens” is a great introduction to intarsia since there is just one join and 2 colors used throughout. I designed these mittens with Green Mountain Spinnery Mountain Mohair. I love this yarn! The 30% mohair content gives it both a  lovely sheen and a warm, cozy fuzziness. I also decided to make a pair for my own chilly hands with some of my beautifully colored balls of Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Worsted. It also has some mohair – I really want mittens to be warm! It was fun to use 6 different colors – some from very small balls of leftovers that had been around my stash for years. I was also excited to see the color combinations my test knitters chose. This is a mitten I can see making again and again – and it’s quick too! You can read more about it here on my website, in my Ravelry Store, or on Etsy.

Patchwork Mittens in Six Different Colors.

Patchwork Mittens in Six Different Colors.

 

GAL Pinterest Boards

GAL14_logo-800One of the best things about the Ravelry Gift-a-Long (GAL) for me, as an independent designer, is the opportunity to meet and work with other independent designers all over the world!  Almost 300 designers participated this year and for weeks the planning forums were hopping, with threads being updated faster than you could keep up! As part of the “Pinning Team” team for the event, I helped pin thousands of images of beautiful designs. The eight Pinterest boards separate designs by category to make it easy to browse. Each pin links back to the Ravelry pattern page to learn more about the design and to purchase the pattern. The boards themselves are incredible eye candy for anyone who knits or crochets! Check out the links below and be prepared to drool! And remember, the GAL event is in full swing until December 31st, with games, contests, prizes and knit-a-longs (KALs) and crochet-a-longs (CALs) for all eight categories. Join the fun HERE.

Hats & Head  

Cowls, Scarves, and Neck

Shawls & Stoles

Sweaters and Other Garments

Hand & Arm

Feet & Legs

Baby & Kid

Toys, Home & Miscellaneous

 

 

 

Young at Heart Hat

Heart hat photo #1Ever since designing my “Flora and Stella Socks” I have been thinking of designs that use the same fun technique of forming a picture with alternating colors and slip stitches. A heart hat for little girls was one of the ideas that grabbed me and I just had to do it right away! Since not just little girls love hearts, I graded the pattern for sizes from a toddler up to a large adult size. A hat like this needs a special topper. I played around with various ideas but finally decided a little heart loop not only looked perfect, but gave you a way to hang up your hat too!

You can get more information, and see more photos, on the website page here, or in my Ravelry store or Etsy store.

 

Trying New Yarn from Briggs and Little

Briggs and Little's newest knitting yarn - Lite 'n' Fancy

I’m trying out this new sport weight yarn from one of my favorite companies. It is so soft! I chose the color “Rainforest” (third from right above) and am loving how it looks with my newest design! It will be a while before the design is ready, so you’ll have to wait. One hint though – there are actually 2 related designs! I’m not sure where this yarn is available in stores yet. I got it from the Briggs and Little mill in New Brunswick. They’ll ship you some if you call!