Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Coupon Code, New Patterns

Hello !
Breast Cancer Awareness Month is just around the corner.  And I’d like to tell you what we have planned.
To mark Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I will be offering 25% off all of my patterns, with coupon code OCTOBER.  In addition, I'll donate an additional 25% for each pattern sold, to support
breast cancer research.

My mom died of breast cancer when she was just in her forties, and it's important to me to help cure this terrible disease.  I was just 14 when I lost her, and I often wonder what my sis and I missed out on, by not having her with us longer. My sister is a survivor of ovarian cancer, so this is to honor her as well.  

I look forward to seeing your show of support for the month of October. But you don't have to wait -- the coupon starts now. That's 25% off every pattern in my Ravelry store, and I donate a matching 25% to Cancer Research. It’s a win-win-win!  


New Patterns

Several new designs have been published lately, so here is a quick round-up:

Clement Shawl, in the latest Malabrigo Pattern Book.   

Forever Diamonds Cowl in I Like Knitting magazine

#6 Lace Trimmed Shawl in Noro Magazine   

Ainsley Shawl from Willow Yarns

Riviera Nights - Knit Picks 

If you follow me on Instagram (I'm @bcastiel) you may have seen pictures of my latest project, the Pistachio Ice Cream shawl. It uses short rows to create wedges that really show off a beautiful variegated, speckled or gradient yarn.
It's being test knit now and will be released in a couple of weeks. I'm very excited about it!

That's it for now! See you soon.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

A Giveaway, Alpacas in Sweaters, and more.


Thanks for playing! ***

We have a book review and a giveaway! We'll give away the book Refined Knits by Jennifer Wood, plus, your choice of yarn: A skein of Cozy from the Plucky Knitter OR 3 skeins of silk/cashmere. You choose!
 But first, the book review.
The book features sophisticated lace, cable, and Aran lace knitwear. The book has lots of photographs, and is very well laid out. You can see every angle and every detail of the garments, which is great. And, you can purchase either hard copy or e-book. 

The book starts with a cute story of how the author learned to knit. It then goes on to the patterns. Let's start with Willa, a cozy rustic sweater.

Its slightly lower than usual neckline gives it a modern look. I like that the pattern includes helpful tips, and a description of the construction of the sweater. The cables run from the neckline down the sleeves, in a variation on the saddle shoulder. It adds a very pretty touch. 

Adelaide is a scarf that is reversible. Its very thoughtful design includes cables, and gently ruffled ends.  

Idril is a graceful and flattering pullover sweater.  
It is worked top down, and is nicely shaped and fitted. 

Next comes Brielle. This is a v-neck cardigan that uses two different yarns thereby getting both a nice stitch definition and a soft halo. 

Ada is a pullover with a really nice contrast color I-cord edging. The I-cord gives it a very elegant finish. It is a raglan construction, worked top down. 

In the next section we have Victoria -- it is a diamond lace pullover, top down raglan, knitted in one piece. It has lace inserts in the front and back, lovely and graceful. 

The book includes tips for reading lace charts. It should be noted that the book has charts only, no written instructions. 

Vivian, is a sleeveless pullover that is worked top down, in the round. It features a loose drapey cowl neck. 

Camelia is a cardigan with a very nice pine cone lace pattern.  

In addition to patterns, the book includes information on choosing suitable yarns, instructions on how to cable without a cable needle, and various other techniques. 

All in all, I would recommend this book for the advanced beginner to intermediate knitter. 
There are lots of sweaters I would love to make for myself!

Do you want to win your very own copy? Just enter a comment on this blog saying why you want to win. Also tell me which yarn you'd like, the Plucky Knitter in color "Princess Phone" (260 yds worsted weight) or the 3 skeins of SilkyB blue silk/cashmere blend (an artisanal yarn from a small producer in Pennsylvania).  You must include your email or Rav id or Instagram handle so I can tell you if you've won! 
Please sign up for the newsletter, too (top right), as you must be signed up in order to win
I’ll draw a winner on Sept 1.
Good luck!

Note: I was given a review copy of the book by F+W Publications.

Alpacas in Sweaters

Here’s what’s new in my Etsy shop. I have added a cute fabric featuring alpacas in sweaters and scarves.  It’s available in both drawstring and zipper styles. 

Here are some comments from my past customers:

"This bag is so well made! Great work and super fast door-to-door! Already stuffed with goodies to knit! Thank you!!!!"
"Fast shipping, great product, couldn't be happier. I'll come back again and again! "


All my Ravelry Patterns are 20% off with code SUMMER, until Sept 1, 2016.

See you next time!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Knitting Tips, a Summer Sale, and an Etsy Sale, Oh My!

20% Off Summer Sale

All my patterns, yes, all! are on sale at 20% off with code SUMMER.
  Some summery ones you might like:
Tiny Bubbles Top, and Celine Cardi.



Project Bags on Sale Too - 25% off
All my Ready-to-Ship project bags are on sale at 25% off.
They are already marked down in my Etsy Shop, GoodStuffCrafts. No coupon code required. Shop early for the best selection!
 Knitting Tips
Knitting in the Round
You might enjoy this great write-up on knitting in the round with small circumferences. It covers pros and cons of the different methods. Really interesting!

Hand Dyed Yarn
I really learned a lot from this post from Phydeaux Yarns on the different types of hand dyed yarns: semisolid, tonal, and variegated. Are you clear on the differences? If not, this will help!


Got a vacation coming up? Here's a post about choosing and packing knitting projects for air travel. Great advice and useful tips!

* * *
That's it for today. Thanks for reading!

Please sign up for my Newsletter (top right of this screen) to get regular updates, plus a free pattern just for signing up.

P.S. Don't forget to join my Ravelry Group for fun, my latest test knit, KALs and prizes.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Review: Custom Colorwork Techniques - Craftsy Class

Hi everyone!
Today I'm reviewing the Craftsy class by the designer Stephannie Tallent - Custom Colorwork Techniques - Mitts.
I really enjoyed this class. It was very comprehensive and it was also quite empowering, because Stephanie encourages you -- once you have learned some basic concepts -- to go ahead and design your own mittens. She gives you all the information you need, from calculating your stitch counts, choosing your colors, and designing interesting edges that coordinate with your design motifs. 

She has a warm friendly style, and is really pleasant to watch and listen to. It's obvious that she loves the topic, and her enthusiasm shines through.
Among the subjects covered are: creating charts, choosing colors (a quick review of Color Theory), duplicate stitch to add colors, and customizing your design.
Class materials include a mitt pattern, templates and a size and motif worksheet to work out your own ideas.
Stephannie is very responsive and answers all the questions that students post.
Mitts are a great small portable project to work on during the summer months, so it's perfect timing to start a project now, when there are no looming deadlines!
I feel as though I learned a lot from her class, and I'm excited to design a pair of mittens for myself. I am sure you will enjoy it too.

Go to this link to get 50% off the class, for a limited time!


See you next time!

Friday, May 13, 2016

Special Offer - I Like Knitting magazine

I've been fortunate that I Like Knitting magazine has published several of my designs and articles in the past. 
They are an online publication that you read on their website on a PC, or on a tablet.

They are currently offering a discount on their Website + Tablet subscription next week, and wanted to extend the offer to you, my lovely readers.  The sale is going to run from today through May 22, 2016.  They are offering the Website + Tablet subscription, normally $34.97, for $19.97, or 43% off.   
To take advantage of the offer, use this LINK.


Monday, May 2, 2016

Mother's Day Sale, and the new Galaxy Shawl

Mother’s Day Sale
For Mother’s Day I’m having a special sale just for my lovely Newsletter subscribers. From now until May 10, buy 1 pattern, get 1 FREE! Just put at least 2 items in your cart, and use the code “MOM”. Stock up on your favorites!

New Release
I have a new release – the Galaxy Shawl. There’s a new release special discount  - get a 25% discount with code GALAXY!


Galaxy shows the sparkle of distant stars in the edging and wide expanses of deep space in the garter stitch body. It’s a long triangular shawlette that is just the right length to wrap once around the neck. Garter stitch is knit at a looser gauge to create a soft cushy fabric that drapes nicely.
The lacy edge, knit simultaneously with the body, provides interest and charm. This shawl can take you through all of the seasons. It’s light enough to toss in your bag and take along for chilly summer evenings and air conditioned spaces.
It is knit side to side, from one point to the other. It’s perfect for a gradient yarn, or it can showcase a beautiful variegated or handspun yarn. It’s designed to use whatever amount of special yarn you may have.

Would you like to knit along with us? There’s a KAL for the Galaxy Shawl starting on May 10. Relaxed atmosphere, friendly chat and no obligation to use any special yarn or to finish by the end date. It’s all about the fun - come join us in the Ravelry Group! There are lovely prizes :-)
Yarn: 400 to 450 yd. (365 to 410 m) of fingering or sport weight yarn.
Pattern Info: Pattern includes instructions on how to adjust the shawl to use whatever amount of yarn you have.
Instructions include both charted and written directions. 
It has been tech-edited and test knit.

In Other News:
I have talked a few times on this blog about the importance of swatching. Still not totally convinced? Have a look at this article. It might give you second thoughts. 

See you next time!

P.S. If you haven't already done it, why not subscribe to my Newsletter (top right of this blog). You'll get discounts, special offers, useful knitting tips, and new releases -- plus a free pattern just for signing up.