Monday, February 17, 2014

We have a winner!

I'm happy to say that we have a winner for the Knit Picks Bulky Pattern Collection Giveaway. It's Aimee - who is PrincessMommie on Ravelry - and had lucky number 8.

Thanks for entering, everyone.

There will be another giveaway soon so stay tuned!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Winter Olympics!

During the Winter Olympics:
I’ll donate 80% of sales during the Opening day and Closing day; and 50% of sales during the rest of the Olympics to the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission. http://iglhrc.org/ Thanks for your support!

See my patterns here:
http://www.ravelry.com/designers/brenda-castiel

Friday, January 24, 2014

First Giveaway of the New Year

First,
Today's Tip: I found a great blog post from Sweet Georgia Yarns on Yarn Substitution : what to do when you can't, or don't want to, use the yarn that the pattern calls for.

Either that yarn isn't available to you, or due to allergies and other sensitivities it cannot be used. 
So if you find yourself having to go with a different yarn than what the pattern calls for, you should try to find a balance between the many different but interacting variables. It may sound intimidating, but in reality all you need is just good old common sense paired with a few basic facts about yarn and fiber characteristics.

Gauge, texture, and yardage are discussed. It's a really illuminating article!

Giveaway!
I have a great giveaway for this month. The new Knit Picks Bulky Collection, published in late 2013, is full of quick and easy cozy knits, perfect for winter and spring weather.

It includes sweaters and accessories -- you're sure to find something you like.  These oh-so-satisfying large gauge yarns hold a special space in every knitter’s stash. And not just for instant gratification wow, but also for their keen ability to transform simple textures, cables and motifs to striking designs. The Bulky 2013 collection revels in these details that highlight the qualities of bulky yarns, all while showcasing a versatile mix of dramatic shapes and sleek silhouettes alongside easy-to-wear garments and accessories.
My own Bryant Park Vest is in the collection.

How to enter:
  1. Please sign up for my monthly newsletter (upper right side of this blog). I promise to work at making it useful and interesting, not just a sales pitch; for example, every issue has one or more Tips and Tricks  AND,
  2. Write a comment on the blog about one of the designs in the collection – why you like it, why you would knit it, whom you would knit it for, etc. Please include an email address or Ravelry ID so I can reach you!
That’s it! If you are already signed up for the newsletter, that’s fine, you don’t have to sign up again.
Deadline is  Feb 15, 2014. 

Coupon Code!
From now until Feb 28, 2014, I'm offering 60% off all hat or hat and mitt sets. See my designs here. The code is HALOS in honor of Halos of Hope, an organization that provides hats for chemo patients -- a great cause! You can knit hats for them (hats are being collected at Stitches West, and several yarn stores) or donate money to help with postage costs.
See you next time with a book review, and more tips and goodies.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Downton Abbey Knits - Giveaway!

Newsflash: 
Brenda Castiel Designs–40% off  ALL patterns from Brenda Castiel on Ravelrycoupon code–thanks40. Available from Nov 27 – Dec 6.

** WINNERS of the DRAWING **
Ravelry ID Gussek and Nhsarab 

Contact me with your mailing address!  Congrats to the winners, and thanks to all who entered!


Downton Abbey!
I’m happy to announce a new giveaway! This time it’s the gorgeous “Unofficial Downton Abbey Knits”
I have two copies, so your chances are excellent. Note, for legal reasons this particular giveaway is only available to US residents. Sorry. In future, international entries WILL be accepted.
How to enter:
  1. Please sign up for my monthly newsletter (upper right side of this blog). I promise to work at making it useful and interesting, not just a sales pitch; for example, every issue has one or more Tips and Tricks  AND,
  2. Write a comment on the blog about one of the designs in the magazine – why you like it, why you would, or would not, knit it, whom you would knit it for, etc. Please include an email address or Ravelry ID so I can reach you!
That’s it! If you are already signed up for the newsletter, that’s fine, you don’t have to sign up again.
Deadline is  November 30, 2013. 


Review
I’m a big fan of Downton Abbey, have watched it since the beginning and have seen some of the episodes more than once. So I was thrilled to get my hands on this magazine.
Before I get to the knitting patterns, I want to say that articles are excellent and well worth reading. The topics include:

- A short history of Highclere Castle, the actual location where DA is filmed.
- Marrying an English Lord
- Mrs Beeton, who wrote books on “household management” in the 1800’s that are still popular today
- Knitting for the Troops.

The last page of the magazine lists books on related topics for further reading.

Categories include: 
  • Upstairs – Beautiful lace detailing, beaded embellishments and classic colorwork mark these elegant garments and accessories. These are upscale in design and detail.
  • Downstairs – While the details are more subtle, these are just as engaging as the Upstairs patterns. The vests, hats, blouses and jackets here are casual yet interesting, and very wearable.
  • World War I – Knitting was a huge part of war-time history, whether it was women knitting for the troops or knitting to create practical garments and occupy their time.
To see all the designs on one screen, here is a Ravelry link.  

Here are some of my favorites:
Garden Bouquet – a lacy semi-circle shawl
Stunning Sunflower Stole – timeless design
Chilly Morning Cozycoat – more of a vest, very practical
Footman’s Vest – actually has sleeves
Half Day Off Mitts – charming edgings, very pretty
Vest for the Cricket Match – traditional cream colored cabled vest with contrast trim, so handsome!

Some designs – while faithful to the look of the historical period – are just not adaptable to our modern, casual lifestyles. But they are gorgeous to look at, and would be fun to make.  An example is the Brocade Vestment that appears on the cover.
 
You can buy the magazine here.  It comes from Interweave/F+W Media; and costs $14.99. 
Don’t forget to enter the giveaway!
 
Disclaimer: I was given the magazines for the giveaway and review by F&W Media.

Today's Tip:
I found this through TwinSetEllen. The lovely Dee came up with a way to avoid twisting your knitting when you join to work in the round. It's kind of like hanging a little curtain behind the stitches so they all have to face the same way. 
It's explained here on Ravelry and here is a YouTube video. You can use ribbon, fabric, knitted strips or even old swatches for the little "curtain". I can't wait to try it!



  


Friday, October 25, 2013

Halloween Promotion - All patterns 50% off!

From now till Oct 31, I'm running a Halloween promotion - a whopping 50% off all my patterns. That's right - prices so low they're spooky!
See them  here:

Coupon Code is "halloween". 

There are several shawl designs in the bunch - Lydia Crescent Shawl  is one.







.









Summerdale Shawl is another.
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There are also hats, mitts, cowls, kid's sweaters and more - take a look!

http://www.ravelry.com/stores/brenda-castiel-designs

Get ready for holiday knitting :-)


Sunday, October 6, 2013

"Hitch" - Patterns inspired by Films of Alfred Hitchcock

And the winner is Dayana !
Pls send me an email address and the PDF copy of "Hitch" will be sent to you!

Congratulations, and thanks everyone for entering the contest! Don't forget to sign up for my monthly newsletter and you'll learn about all my future giveaways.

* * * * *
This is part of the blog tour for the book Hitch.
When I saw the call for submissions for this book, I was very inspired because I really love the fashions of that era. I had been playing around with an idea for straight-line intarsia, and as I looked at fashions from the 1950s and 60s, this design gradually took shape in my mind. 
My pattern is the Riviera Nights Stole. 


In the 50’s and 60’s, this classic stole might have been worn over a strapless evening dress or a tailored day dress. It’s a look that Grace Kelly as Francie might have worn in To Catch a Thief for those Riviera nights with a hint of chill.
The black and white color scheme is simple and dramatic.
 
For versatile modern usage, it could be worn as a scarf or wrap to accent a dress, jacket, or top.

The stole is comprised of two rectangles, each bisected into a black and a white triangle, using intarsia to create the design. Increases and decreases keep the intarsia border straight and even.
Applied i-cord provides an elegant, smooth edging. A little bit of ribbing at the edges adds stability and helps prevent curling.
The Stole can easily be made larger or smaller simply by casting on more or fewer stitches. It's perfect for a first-time intarsia project.


I am running a giveaway for a pdf (E-book) version of the Hitch book here on my blog. Just post a comment on my blog to be entered to win. The comment can be anything related to the book: favorite pattern(s), the whole theme, or a comment about your favorite Hitchcock film. The deadline is Oct 13. Be sure to leave an email or Ravelry ID so I can contact you. 
And while you're at it, please sign up for my monthly newsletter - it always has tips, news, and other useful info. See top right corner of this page.


Hitch is currently available through Cooperative Press as an ebook, and as a preorder for the print and PDF combined package.
 


 These are the other stops on the Tour:

9/28/2013: Sunset Cat Designs 
10/5/2013: Knitting Kninja
10/7/2013: 
Herrlichkeiten
10/8/2013: 
Knit and Travel
10/9/2013: 
Knit & Knag Designs
10/10/2013: 
Wooly Wonka Fibers
10/11/2013: 
Verdant Gryphon
10/15/2013: 
Impeccable Knits: Shifting Stitches
10/16/2013: 
Rewolluzza
10/21/2013: 
Knitwear Designs by Carolyn Noyes
10/22/2013: 
Peacefully Knitting
10/23/2013: 
Dark Matter Knits
10/24/2013: 
Turnknit: Dani Berg Designs
10/25/2013: 
SweetGeorgia Yarns
10/28/2013: 
doviejay knits
10/29/2013: 
Triona Designs
10/30/2013: 
Tactile Fiber Arts
11/4/2013: 
A Knitter's Life
11/5/2013: 
Catchloops
11/6/2013: 
Yarn On The House
11/07/2013: 
Ramblings
11/12/2013: 
Hazel Knits
11/13/2013: 
Knitcircus
11/19/2013: 
indigodragonfly
11/9/2013: 
Fyberspates
11/25/2013: 
knittingkirigami
11/22013: 
A B-ewe-tiful Design

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Winners of the "Harry Potter Knits" Giveaway - and a new shawl pattern

Hello,
Here are the winners of the giveaway, via the Random Number generator:
- Kismatt
- alittleposy
- J Vincent
- sparky136

Congratulations!
I will try to contact everyone over the next couple of days to get his/her mailing address. If I don't hear from you in a week, I will draw more names, until I get 4 lucky winners with postal addresses.

And thanks to everyone who participated. Watch the blog, and the Newsletter, for more giveaways in the future.

By the way, here is my latest design the "An Apple a Day" shawl, a lovely crescent shape with an apple motif.
 .
It's on sale at $4.00 till Oct 4, when it goes to $7.00.  Check it out !