Contest Winner

June 14, 2014

Congratulations to Candice who's name was selected using a random number generator to win Knitcircus yarn in Cranberry Relish!

Thank you to everyone for playing along and for all of the anniversary wishes. I really enjoyed all of your comments, haiku, & tips.

Puschkinia

June 02, 2014

Occasionally I have the overwhelming need to knit a pair of socks. It just happens, I'll happily knit a bucket-load of shawls and sweaters and then boom, I MUST KNIT SOCKS. On top of this need to knit socks, I have a weakness for the wealth of gorgeous gradient yarns cropping up from indie dyers, tempting me at every turn. So when Susan B Anderson posted about Jaala Spiro's Knitcircus Matching Sock Gradient yarns, I was helpless.

Il_570xN.588076112_b78xphoto copyright Knitcircus used with permission

Jaala winds her Knitcircus Matching Sock Gradients into tidy little identical yarn cakes that are absolutely perfect for socks. Wait just a minute, a gradient yarn for socks? Wound so that they match? I had no choice but to load up my shopping cart and click that delightful "check out" button.

Reynard 1

You might remember Reynard from several months back. They were the first pair I made with Knitcirucs yarn. But one pair wasn't enough. No siree. Moments after Kitchenering Reynard I cast on for a new pair. This time I wanted to experiment with other ways to use gradients. A little stranded colorwork perhaps? Maybe some stripes? Before I knew it I had knit another pair of socks in Knitcircus yarn, and had another new design.

Puschkinia 1
Puschkinia starts at the top with a pretty, little colorwork flower motif. After that it's pretty much smooth sailing with a two-color, stockinette stripe broken up by the occasional row of stranding just to keep you on your toes. To make these socks you begin with the dark end of one ball, and the light end of the other. The colors contrast at the cuff for crisp colorwork, and then begin to fade and merge as you get to the toes. In the Pigeon colorway that I used for the sample they remind me of a favorite pair of well worn jeans.

Puschkinia

When I showed the new design to Jaala, she was very excited, and suggested we work together to give knitters a way to purchase the pattern and yarn as kits. We decided that the best way to do this was to offer free shipping on Knitcircus yarns with the purchase of the Puschkinia pattern. When you buy the pattern you will be given a coupon code to use at checkout in the Knitcircus store.

I have one more set of Knitcircus Matching Socks Gradients, the colorway is Cranberry Relish. I'm going to send this yarn to one lucky reader. To enter, leave a comment on this post by midnight on June 10th (which also happens to be my 25th wedding anniversary), and I'll select a winner using a random number generator. Extra points (okay, an extra entry) if you say something funny, leave a knitting tip, write a haiku, or help spread the word by linking to this post.

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Head over to the Puschkinia Ravelry page for all the details about the pattern. Or you can just impulse by the pattern by clicking the button below. When you do you'll get the coupon code for free shiping on Knitcirucs Yarn.

 Price: $6.00

Thanks for reading. I leave you with a photo of Sofie at our photoshoot, throwing a few yoga poses into the action.

Puschkinia Yoga

From Mama, With Love

May 19, 2014

Later this week my oldest child, my sweet lad, will graduate from college and I find myself feeling nostalgic for the early days when he was just a wee one. I think of those early mornings when he and I, both early risers, would get up and snuggle as we eased our way into the day. I remember the milestones: first smile, first giggle, first words, first steps. Later, there were the tears (mine, not his) when I dropped him off on that first day of kindergarten. I think of moments, the day that we brought his twin sisters home from the hospital, my gentle boy sitting and holding them completely unaware of how his center-of-the-universe life had been completely turned upside down (he is still the kindest brother anyone could hope for), or his excitement at seeing the Temple of Dendur when we took him to the Metropolitan Museum of Art during his Ancient Egypt phase. As he got older life got so busy. The years flew by with soccer games, sleepovers, summer days spent cannonballing into the pool, winter afternoons sledding on our hill, trumpet then guitar lessons, concerts, gigs, proms. Before we knew it he was off to college. Just as with all the years before, the past four years have gone by in a heartbeat. Now, here we are at the beginning of another new chapter in his life and my heart is filled with all of the years that have passed, and with pride in the young man he has become.

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With all of this remembering of those lovely, quiet days when my kids were little, it seemed appropriate when Tanis Gray selected this week for the one when I would participate in the blog tour for From Mama, With Love, an ebook collection that she has created along with an exceptionally talented group of young moms -- Kate Gagnon Osborn, Connie Chang Chinchio, Melissa LaBarre, and Margaux Hufnagel.

Kate8_medium2

                                                                       Bluebell Pullover Photo copyright Kate Gagnon Osborn

This sweet collection is filled with the sort of wearable patterns that I would have made for my own children when they were young. There are hats, vests, sweaters, blankets, even a “boppy” cover -- a total of 15 designs in all, three from each of the 5 designers.

Mh6_medium2                                                                         Seed Stitch Boppy Photo Copyright Margaux Hufnagel

The designs are classic and will stand the test of time. This is a collection you will turn to again, and again, whether for your own children or gifts for others. I can see the Bluebell Pullover  being handed down from brother to sister to brother, or the Sid Scrappy Hat made for each child in the family. Personally, I’d like a Isadora Lopapeysa in my own size.

Isadora4_medium2
                                                                   
Isadora Lopapeysa photo copyright Kate Gagnon Osborn

The patterns will be part of the ebook until October 1st of this year. After that they will only be available individually.

Mystery Shawl 2014

May 15, 2014

MS 14 Noir

The TTL Mystery Shawl 2014 is now up on Ravelry.

This year’s shawl will be a shallow triangle. I love this shape for its ease of wear. Since the point is not nearly as deep or pronounced as on a traditional triangle, it can be tossed casually around the neck much like a scarf. With its triangular shape, it still works well worn across the back as a shawl to show off the lovely patterning.

The pattern will be released in 5 clues, one each week for the month of June. The release dates are as follows. I will try to get each clue up by midnight Eastern Daylight Time:

Clue 1 - June 1
Clue 2 - June 8
Clue 3 - June 15
Clue 4 - June 22
Clue 5 June 29

Size: One Size

Finished Measurements: 22” deep x 60” wide

Yarn: Approximately 500 yards of fingering weight yarn. I used Black Trillium Fibre Studio Pebble Sock Gradient Kit, 100% Superwash Merino, 165g total, approximately 635 yds total, Color: Fern

Needles: US 6 (4mm) circular needles  or size to obtain gauge

Gauge: 18 sts & 36 rows = 4”/10cm in Lace Pattern (lace pattern will be given in Clue 1) -- blocked, always take the time to check gauge

Other Materials: stitch markers, tapestry needle, 4 mm crochet hook

Price: The pattern is $3.00 between now and June 1st. After that the price will be $6.00.

Hope to see you in the KAL. Join us in the Fans of Through the Loops Group on Ravelry.

 

 

COMING SOON!!!

May 13, 2014

MS 14 Noir

Be sure to join my mailing list so you don't miss out!!

Join My Mailing List!!

April 30, 2014

Photo

I'm madly preparing for TNNA, but I took a break from packing (okay, maybe there was a bit of procrastinating involved) and created a mailing list. This is something I've meant to do for a while. I often get comments from people that they've missed a post about mystery knitalong or a new pattern. I think that this is most often due to the fleeting nature of social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, etc -- if you don't log in at just the right time, you miss it. My email list will solve that. I will use it to send email updates with new patterns, events, announcements, and mailing list only coupons. I promise not to fill your in-box with daily emails, just once a month updates (maybe twice a month if something really big is happening).

To join my mailing list simply click here and fill in the required information.

Saranac

April 01, 2014

My new pattern, Saranac is a crescent shaped shawl that is perfect for handspun or hand-dyed yarns. The construction -- with a long, peaked border that is worked side to side over a small number of stitches, and a stockinette body that is worked width-wise -- lets the color variations in these yarns shine.

I've knit two versions. The first was with my own handspun yarn, made from Unwind Yarn Company's Hand-dyed Merino Roving in the delightful Sanibel Stoop colorway. I love how the color variations in this handspun show off the construction of the shawl. Dana, tells me that she'll have a few braids of Merino Silk in Sanibel Stoop available in the Unwind Yarn Company update at 4:00 this afternoon.

HS Shawl 3
My second Saranac was knit with a beautiful soft grey from Tumbleweed Yarn in their Aurora fingering weight yarn. This more subtle colorway brings out the shawl's more elegant side. Tumbleweed, a new indie yarn company, is a collaboration between the extraordinarily talented designer Kitman Figueroa, and her sister-in-law Diana Story. Head over and check out their yarns. They have a gorgeous range of semi-solids that would work beautifully for this shawl, as well as some spectacular variegated offerings that would make a fun, colorful Saranac.

Saranac 1

Whichever way you decide to go with the yarn, this shawl is a fun knit that seems to fly off the needles.

HS Shawl 1

Sofie gave it her college student seal of approval when she modeled the grey version for me with a grey silk dress in almost the exact same color.

Saranac 5

I wish I had more photos of the handspun version to show you, but the dreary, rainy days we've had lately have made photographing knits a challenge. Instead, indulge me with another photo of the grey version.

Saranac 3

Saranac

Size: One Size

Finished Measurements:
14” deep x 62” long

Yarn:
Approximately 550 yds fingering weight yarn. Grey version shown in Tumbleweed Yarn Aurora, 80 % Merino/20% Nylon, 400 yards per 100 g skein. Color: Weathered Grey, 2 skeins.
Handspun version shown in yarn spun from a braid of Unwind Yarn Company Merino Roving. Color: Sanibel Stoop.

Needles:
US 6 (4mm) needles  or size to obtain gauge

Gauge:
19 sts & 32 rows = 4”/10cm in Stockinette St -- blocked; always take the time to check gauge

Other Materials:
stitch markers, tapestry needle

Price: $6.50

Trillium Mitts

February 10, 2014

My new Trillium Mitts pattern is named for my friend Beverly's LYS in Morristown, NJ. I'm a huge fan of Beverly's store and local yarn stores in general. So along with Trillium yarns, I'd like to dedicate this pattern to all local yarn stores and the owners, sales people, and teachers who make them so special.

Trillium Notebook
At a local yarn store you can spend a happy afternoon chatting with like-minded knitters about your shared passion. You can admire gorgeous colors, textures and that new shipment from your favorite yarn brand in person. At yarn stores you can increase your knitting skills -- through formal classes, or by chatting with other knitters. The people who work in yarn stores pick up dropped stitches, help you figure out what yarn will work best for that pattern you're just dying to knit, and are thrilled to admire a new project freshly off your needles. If you love your LYS, be sure to show them by spending a portion of your yarn budget there. Without the support of knitters, your LYS may not be there the next time you need that set of size 7 needles so you can cast on for your dream sweater right away.

Trillium Yarn Ball

Trillium Mitts

Size: One Size
Finished Measurements: 8” at cuff and palm x 8” long

Yarn: Juniper Moon Farm Tenzing, 85% Merino Wool, 15% Yak; 153 yards/140m per 1.76 oz/50g skein
Color A: #12 Brown, 1 skein - about 100 yards
Color B: #13 Mauve, 1 skein - about 100 yards
Color C: #11 Sand, 1 skein - about 35 yards

Needles: One set of 5, US 4 (3.5mm) double pointed needles or size to obtain gauge

Gauge: 27 sts & 31 rows = 4”/10cm in Hand chart - blocked, always take the time to check gauge

Other Materials: stitch markers, tapestry needle

Price: $6.00 US

Reynard Socks

February 05, 2014

Reynard 2

Raynard with its ornate cuff, and simple leg and foot, is perfect for showing off beautiful gradient yarns like KnitCircus's Thrilling. Thrilling comes divided into two cakes, allowing the knitter to easily achieve a matched pair.  I broke down and ordered two more colors this morning. I am weak in the presence of beautiful yarn.

Raynard starts with a delicate picot cast on, followed by an intricate cuff pattern of twisted stitches. To me the cuff looks like little upside down fox faces. I like the way they look up at me when I'm wearing the socks.

The pattern is written for two sizes. Choose your size based on your foot and ankle circumference. The length of the foot is customizable for a perfect fit.

Reynard 1

Reynard

Sizes: S/M [M/L]

Finished Measurements: 7.5 [8.5]” relaxed, will stretch to fit up to 10 [11]”

Yarn: KnitCircus Thrilling, 80% Superwash Merino, 20% Tussah Silk, 440 yards per 4 oz set of two yarn cakes, color: Bears Love Honey, one set of two cakes.

Needles:  1 set of 5 US 1.5 (2.5 mm) dpns  or size to obtain gauge

Gauge: 34 sts & 44 rows = 4”/10cm in stockinette st, blocked

Other Materials: tapestry needle, stitch markers, cable needle

Price: $6.00

The Gigantic Garter Blob

February 03, 2014

Nothing to see here . . .

Garter Blob 3

. . . just a gigantic garter stitch blankie.

Garter Blob 2

I worked this blanket from the center out, switching colors every 16 rounds. Most of the yarn was straight out of the stash. For more information see the project page on Ravelry.

Garter Blob 1