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Saturday, December 9, 2017

Happy Holidays - and Free Pattern Coupon Code



Hello everyone!
I would like to offer my best wishes for a joyous and happy holiday season. To celebrate, and to thank you, I'd like to offer you a free coupon code for a free pattern download from my Ravelry store.  

There is one small catch. You need to be a subscriber to my newsletter to get the code. 
Please subscribe by this Tuesday December 12th, and you'll receive the free coupon code in your next newsletter. 
You should see a sign-up window in the upper right hand corner, or you may get a pop-up.
Thank you for subscribing! 
Here are a few items you might enjoy.












While I have you, I'd like to share some new project bags in my Etsy Shop. These will be great gifts for the knitters that you know, or for yourself. 
Take a look. I have pretty Marimekko fabric, with cork trim; a cute print featuring balls of yarn, and various plaids in pure soft wool. Very Outlander!




If you're doing a lot of knitting these days, you might want to be careful not to overdo it, take breaks, and rest from time to time. Fellow designer and blogger Dana Gervais has some great suggestions for taking care of your hands, plus some stretching exercises you can do. Here is the link.  Thanks, Dana!

Thanks again for reading my blog, and happy holidays!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Book Review and Giveaway - Knit Mitts by Kate Atherley

** We have a winner - It's Anne Westbrook, quotku on Ravelry. Congrats, Anne! **


Today I’m reviewing  Knit Mitts: Your Handy Guide to Knitting Mittens & Gloves by Kate Atherley. (Read on to see how you can win your own copy!)
It goes way beyond just patterns (for both mitts and gloves), it gives you a complete guide to everything you need to know to make mittens and gloves that fit perfectly and keep you warm.


From reading her other book, Custom Socks  I know that Kate’s style is meticulous and conscientious, with great attention to detail. This book is no different.

She discusses fit in great detail, providing a survey of measurements that she has collected (for a range of children’s and adult sizes), and describing how to use and adapt them. She explains how a proper fit is important to making sure the mittens keep you warm.

Kate includes a discussion of working in the round. She talks about choosing yarns;  wool, mohair, possum, and cashmere, are all recommended. Acrylic yarn is not.
She suggests using a lining, both for extra warmth, and also to help those who might be allergic to wool. This is a brilliant idea!

Also  included are discussions of swatching, double stranded knitting, and  felted mittens. Kate is super thorough, and includes tips and information on gauge, needles (DPNs and circular needles), casting on, working in the round, blocking, and finishing. 
I got as far as page 20 before I just had to jump ahead to look at the patterns that are in the last section.
Many of the patterns are written for different gauges which is awesome. Therefore you can use any yarn that you want to.  Information on various customizations is there too.

The Hannett Mittens are my favorite - they have a gorgeous cable pattern that I am dying to cast on, in spite of the fact that I live in California!


Her other patterns, which include colorwork and other fun techniques, are all enticing and charming. I really am now dying to make a pair of mittens, seriously. 

I think you will enjoy this book as much as I did.



Thanks to Interweave Press, I'm able to offer a giveaway of a copy of this book to one lucky person who comments on the blog, naming a favorite pattern or a favorite aspect of the book.


Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from F+W Media.


Now for the giveaway information. If you post a comment on this blog entry stating which pattern is your favorite, and sign up (or be signed up already) for my newsletter, you will be entered into a giveaway to win your own copy of this book.

Be sure to give a Ravelry ID, or an email address -- or even your Instagram handle will do -- so that if you win I have a way to contact you! Don't forget

I will select a name in one week's time, on Nov 8, 2017. 

Talk to you soon.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Book Review and Giveaway - Alter Knits



This is a review of the book AlterKnit by Andrea Rangel, a new publication from Interweave Press. 

More than a stitch dictionary, this book presents a new spin on colorwork, or Fair Isle knitting.
It does give a nod to traditional patterns, but Andrea goes way beyond what you may have seen before  -- and comes up with some original and whimsical colorwork designs. 
The book also has sections on choosing yarns and colors for your colorwork, a really important factor.

It shows you how to hold the yarn for two color knitting, teaches you how to deal with floats -- that's the yarn that sits behind your knitting when you're not using one color or the other. She teaches about swatching in the round and how to cut steeks in your knitting. These are all very valuable skills to have with colorwork knitting. It's easiest to do all your knitting in the round, so for something flat,  like a cardigan, you will need to cut your knitting in the round to make the front opening.  The book covers this technique in good detail. 

From there, we are on to the actual patterns. I even made a swatch of one of them that I thought was pretty, although there are so many, it will be hard for you to choose just one to start with.
There are abstract or geometric designs; there are motifs like flowers, animals, skulls, mushrooms, and bicycles. 

Not only are there swatches for all of them, but the book also includes a few patterns, so you can move right into making some garments for yourself. It's easy to substitute one pattern for another as long as you take into account the stitch repeats. 

There's plenty of guidance for using all these pretty designs in your knitting.
If you’re anything like me, you'll find your imagination taking flight with ideas of what you can make next! 

Thanks to Interweave Press, I'm able to offer a giveaway of a copy of this book to one lucky person who comments on the blog, naming a favorite pattern or a favorite aspect of the book.
Check this link to see all the swatches.  
If you love colorwork, you will enjoy this book.

Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from F+W Media.


Now for the giveaway information. If you post a comment on this blog entry stating which pattern is your favorite, and sign up for my newsletter, you will be entered into a giveaway to win your own copy of this book.

Be sure to give a Ravelry ID, or an email address -- or even your Instagram handle will do -- so that if you win I have a way to contact you! Don't forget

I will select a name in 1 week's time, on Sept. 5. 2017. 

Talk to you soon.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

ETSY Shop on Sale!

This week my Etsy shop where I sell project bags is all on sale! 10% off with no coupon code required.

I have themes featuring Star Wars, Doctor Who, Gilmore Girls and many more.

This one features sweaters, socks and yarn.


Here's one showing Van Gogh's Starry Night, with an optional clear window.







My newest one: cats and yarn!













And a sweet little notions pouch decorated with Liberty of London hexagon shapes.


Happy shopping!


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Why Does Seville have a Skein of Yarn in its Flag?





On a visit to Seville, Spain, a few years ago, I couldn’t help but notice banners fluttering from the lamp posts that featured what was  - unmistakably – a skein of yarn. 

 I pointed it out to my husband, a Spanish speaker, and asked him to explain it to me.  Maybe there was a knitting festival in town? (Hope springs eternal). He shrugged his shoulders – it was a mystery to him. 


This symbol was found on many signs around the city, from taxis and buses to sewer covers.



In the course of our vacation we made our way to the City Hall and there was an elaborate coat of arms and logo there:



There was a plaque telling the story behind this intriguing symbol. Legend says that it originates from the 13th-century coat of arms awarded to Sevilla by King Alfonso X the Wise. He bestowed it in gratitude for Seville´s support in his battles against his son, Sancho IV of Castile, who wanted to usurp his father´s throne during the Reconquest. 

Between the "NO" and "DO" is a skein of wool (“madeja” is Spanish for “skein”). Add the three together, speaking in Seville´s characteristic accent, and you have “no-madeja-do”; more correctly, “no me ha dejado” which means “She (the city of Seville) has not abandoned me”.  

The motto was his reward to the people of Seville for their loyalty. 

So cool, right?


See you next time!