Thursday, July 30, 2015

It's August - let's have a sale!

Tip of the Week
I'm currently working on a project using 2 balls of Noro Silk Garden Sock. I'm striping them together with a simple slip stitch. But guess what, before too long I couldn't tell which was Color A and which was B. After all, they were both orange!

 I just marked each one "A" and "B" - and no more guesswork!

August Sale
The month of August can be a quiet time. Many people go on vacation, businesses postpone projects, and in general decisions get delayed until everyone is back at work.
So, it's a great time for a sale.
With code AUG50  you get 50% off any of the patterns in my Ravelry store
Yes, summer patterns, winter patterns; sweaters, accessories, all of them!
But act quickly, the sale lasts just 4 days, Aug 1-4.  

Next post will be a book review and a giveaway, so watch this space!

Friday, July 24, 2015

FYI: Big Sale at Interweave - $25 off.

I'm sharing this as a public Service. I am a master enabler, after all ;-)
* * * 

It might be too warm to break out a holiday sweater, but get your Christmas in July fix on with our Christmas in July Sale.
Mark your calendar and share the joy! F+W, and its crafting communities have a fun sale coming up this weekend: Christmas in July. From Friday, 7/24 to Sunday, 7/26/2015 shoppers can save big. Many stores are running a deal for $25 off orders of $50 or more, but there are other deals going on as well. Please read more details below and get into the gift making/giving season!

Who:   F+W’s Christmas in July Sale 2015

What: $25 off orders of $50 or more

When: Fri, 7/24/2015 – Sun, 7/26/2015

Why:   For craft and especially quilting, Christmas in July is actually a significant event. It’s a kickoff to the creative gift-making season, a time to start gathering supplies to make a quilt or special gift.

How:   Visit any one of the five aforementioned URL links listed above under “Where” beginning Friday, 7/24/2015

Certain exclusions do apply: Limited exclusions include subscriptions, iTunes, and auto-ship products. For Crochet and Knit Shop, Shop Sew It All, and Scrap and Paper Shop exclusions include magazine subscriptions, gift cards and items shipping from the manufacturer.

Deal: This discount is given in the cart automatically, but you have to spend a minimum of $50 to get the $25 off.

Monday, June 29, 2015

A Book Review and a Giveaway: Knit Stitch Dictionary

* The winner of the drawing is Doula Mommy - MonkeyButtBabies on Rav! 
Congrats, and thank you everyone for participating! *

Interweave/F+W; $22.99

This is a review of the book Knit Stitch Dictionary by Debbie Tomkies from Interweave Press.
As a designer, I really love stitch dictionaries. They can inspire me, or they can help me solve difficult design problems. 
I really love this book!  Here are a few reasons.
The organization is fantastic, such an improvement over older stitch dictionaries. 
The Table of Contents, first of all, is divided into categories such as knit and purl stitch patterns, eyelets and lace, tucks and pleats, etc.
Best of all, it is organized visually so you get a small thumbnail picture of each stitch right in the Table of Contents, so you can leaf through and quickly identify what you might be looking for. It's also fun to just open pages at random and browse, and find new and interesting stitches to try. It includes both written and charted instructions. It doesn't address knitting in the round however.

One of the best things about the book -- that really sets it apart -- is that for each stitch there is a description. The description tells you, for example, that this stitch works best with a smooth yarn, or that it creates a firm non curling fabric, and it even gives suggestions as to where it might be used. For example, a bulky yarn to make home accessories would work well with this stitch; or an open lacy stitch would be great in a summer shawl.
This book gives you everything you would need in a stitch dictionary; not  just a bunch of stitches but guidance as to how and where to use them. This would be a great advantage for a newer knitter, who doesn't always know which stitch works best with which use.

When I was a new knitter, I often made the mistake of choosing an inappropriate stitch with an inappropriate yarn (e.g. heavily textured or highly variegated), and having results that I wasn't too happy with. This book gives you the guidance you need so that you might avoid these mistakes.

It gives you additional information about gauge, knitting techniques, discussion of the various kinds of knitting needles, and description of different types of yarn. It's an excellent reference for both the new and experienced knitter.
I highly recommend this book.

Once again, Interweave is sponsoring a giveaway of this book. Please comment on this blog post saying why you would like to win this book, and also sign up for my newsletter (top right corner of the blog) to to be entered into the drawing. Please include an email address or Ravelry ID so I can contact you if you win. I'll choose the winner on July 8, 2015 and announce it here on the blog.
Good luck!

Disclaimer: I was given a review copy of this book.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Announcing a Knit Along (KAL) - Footloose and Fancy Free Poncho

The Footloose and Fancy Free Poncho, in pretty gradient yarn from Three Irish Girls, is really catching on!
This asymmetrical poncho with optional cowl neck will be a pleasure to wear when you just want a light extra layer.  It's an easy relaxing knit, mostly stocking stitch, with just a slip stitch pattern to accent the color changes and provide a non-curling border.

Thanks to Gaye of GGMadeIt for posting about hers and getting the ball rolling :-)

The rules are pretty simple. Knit the Poncho, and finish by Sept 15, 2015. You'll have it just in time for cooler weather (in the northern hemisphere that is).
It's perfect for gradient sets, but you can use any yarn.
Prizes for finishers will include free patterns and pretty yarns!

Here is Gaye's version in gray:

Doesn't hers look fabulous? 

If you're interested, just post here in my Ravelry Group, buy your pattern, and cast on!


Sunday, June 7, 2015

Happy June! A Coupon Code and a New Design

Hello everyone! 
Here we are in the beautiful month of June.
This month I'm featuring my Molto Bella shawl, a unique L-shaped shawl which makes a nice change from traditional triangles. Because you're knitting only rectangle shapes, there is no increasing, decreasing, or counting your stitches. Just a nice relaxing knit. 

There's lace at the edges, but after that it’s just stockinette stitch and garter stitch. Perfect for knitting in the car, or while socializing with friends. 
Enjoy it at 20% off with coupon code MOLTO20. Give it a try!  

The wool-bamboo blend provides lovely drape for just the extra layer you need when breezes blow or when the air conditioning is on too high.

Pattern is both charted and written, and has been professionally tech-edited and test knit.


New Design

There's something else I'd like to share with you -- I have a new pattern featured on the Three Irish Girls website. This is the Factory Girl Chevron cowl or scarf, which features their beautiful colors. 

Each stripe of the Chevron scarf is a slightly different texture, made up of just knits and purls. But if you want something simpler, just knit it all in garter stitch. It will still look fabulous! 
And don't the colors make you happy?

Here's the link to buy this on-trend design.

Finish the ends with garter stitch, or use provisional cast-on and grafting for an invisible join and you’ll have an up-to-the-minute infinity scarf or cowl. (Instructions are provided for both options.)

See you next time with a book review and another giveaway.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Book Review - Rustic Modern Knits - and a Giveaway!



Today’s book review includes an interview with the author and a giveaway.

By Yumiko Alexander
Interweave/F+W; $24.99

Just want to enter the giveaway? Post your comment here on the blog to enter, and please include contact information – an email or a Ravelry ID.  Tell us why you want to win the book. That’s it. 
Drawing will take place on May 7th.

I had previously seen Yumiko’s designs at Stitches West, and was impressed with the originality of her work. In the book, the Japanese influence made the designs just a bit different from the everyday. They are functional and fashionable, yet not the pieces you’ll find everywhere in clothing stores. A few of my faves:

with permission Interweave/F+W
Wisteria – loose unstructured vest, in sport weight yarn.  


English Garden – large scale entrelac pattern.  

Garden path – chunky scarf, crescent  shape. 

Lotus Lace – in worsted weight  (cover picture)

To be honest, there were a few pieces I didn’t care for, but this just shows that the designer isn’t playing safe – she takes risks.

Here is an interview with the author, Yumiko Alexander.

1.      What led you to publish this book?
I published the Rustic Modern Knits book with Interweave for several reasons.  I love sharing my designs with people and books are a great way to reach a large audience.  Interweave is a great company and produces quality work and has a large customer base.  I also published Rustic Modern Crochet with Interweave the year before.
2.      How would you describe your style?
Many people have said my style is a combination of Japanese and American. I don’t really think about the culture when designing. I know my designs contain simple shapes with fan knitted/crocheted fabric that combined some stitch patterns.
3.      What makes a design work?
I think it needs to be unique.  A useful, functional and stylist design that can’t be found in everyday clothing stores.
The combinations of stitch patterns make attractive garments and keeps knitter’s interests and enjoyment while creating their unique piece.
4.      What is your process like; i.e. what steps do you follow to create a design?
My design ideas come from what I want in my closet.
I keep notes on what I would like to wear and ideas of interesting shapes.  I usually think what style/shape of garment I want to make, then I start swatching.  This part of the process takes most of the time. The swatching process helps me identify what stitch pattern I want to use.  Usually the yarn tells me how it wants to be worked.  While I am knitting, I get more ideas of what I want to add/change to the design.
5.      How do you know when a design will be successful, or do you ever know?
I wish I could predict what will be successful.  After designs are published, I am often surprised with which designs are most popular.
6.      Which are some of your favorite designs - ones you’re just in love with?
“Japanese Lantern” (in Rustic Modern Knits)
“Sands and Shells” (In Rustic Modern Crochet)
“Mesa” (in individual pattern)
7.      Finally, what are you working on right now that has you excited?
Most of my designs are worked in heavier weight than Sport weight/DK weight yarn.  This year, I have been trying to make designs with lighter weight yarn.  I am also making a few designs with Tencel fiber which I have not used in the past.

Thanks, Yumiko!

To recap, if you’d like to win a copy of Rustic Modern Knits, please comment here on the blog. Don’t forget your contact information!

Thanks to Interweave/F+W for the review copy of the book.