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2016 :: the year of the shawls

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A new year brings all kinds of joy, plans and…. sifting through ALL the yarn! After taking a little time off during the holidays to rest, relax and really spend time figuring out where I want my knit design career to go, I have decided that 2016 will be the year of the SHAWLS!!  I spent 2015 finding my knitting “voice”, researching, learning new techniques (aka BRIOCHE), knitting sweaters and building exciting relationships that I hope will blossom more and more this coming year.  And now, I’m organizing my thoughts (and my yarn) to see how many shawls I can knit this year!

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These shawls are almost equal parts personal designs and those that have been in my knitting queue for months.  Some very special yarn has been set aside for design ideas (from top left, to bottom right) – Baerenwolle, Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light, Manos del Uruguay, Havirland, House of A La Mode, Hedgehog Fibres…..and of course, my current design: using custom hand dyed Fern Fiber Organic Merino wool, and Republic of Wool Twist Fingering.

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More about this design later this winter, when it’s released.

One of my favorite things about being a fiber artist are collaborations, working with indie yarn dyers, yarn shop owners, and other fabulous knitters and designers.  I am very excited about several projects that I will be working on this year and can’t wait to share them all with you!

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Besides shawl designs, I also have a few shawls that others have designed calling to me – like Alluvial Plains, designed by my dear friend, Karen MaCall. The yarn pictured above is destined for that piece of loveliness that I look forward to throwing over my shoulders. From left to right: Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in Fragrant, Havirland sock in Toxic Ooze, and Hedgehog Fibres Sock in Graphite. Exploration Station by the amazing and inspiring Stephen West is next, followed closely by Quicksilver, designed by shawl genius Melanie Berg. What shawls are on your MUST KNIT list for this year?

Not pictured are a few of my other favorite yarns: Quince and Co., Infinite Twist, Shepherd’s Wool, The Flying Kettle, Fancy Tiger Crafts Heirloom Romney, La Bien Aimée, and O-Wool.

On top of all this, I still plan to continue learning, knitting sweaters, and playing with new yarn.  Stay tuned for another post about my favorite tools for knitting with this gorgeous yarn!

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One year since Pink Graffiti…..

Happy New Year from Knit Graffiti Designs!

I really just can’t believe it.  It has been nearly one year since I published my first knitting pattern, Pink Graffiti!

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This design was born out of a NEED to knit a brioche hat, and I wasn’t finding a pattern that spoke to me or was my style.  I had just started learning brioche knitting with Stephen West’s pattern, Ferocious Briocheous. Little did I know then that it would take over my LIFE!!  Since independently publishing this design, I have published a total of 12 knitting patterns, several of which utilize the brioche stitch!

2015 was quite an amazing year for me, but it was also quite difficult.  At the beginning of the year, I lost my dear grandmother.  I had been close to her for my entire life, and even though we were prepared for her passing, it was extremely saddening. Pink Graffiti was published the same week as her memorial service, and after that, I became obsessed with knitting.  It became my best friend, soothing my grief and comforting me during dark days.  Knitting was my shining light, and knit design made it even more exciting.  I just wanted to learn everything!  I spent my days this year knitting sweaters (4 of them, to be exact!), shawls, hats (so many hats) and also developed some amazing friendships within this fiber community.

This community of knitters, yarn dyers, and other fiber lovers has really helped to make my past year in the knitting world unforgettable.  So, to thank each and every one of you, I would like to have a special offer in my Ravelry shop for the entire month of January!  Buy 2 Knit Graffiti patterns, get any pattern of your choice for FREE!  See my shop page for all the details.

Thank you all so much!!  Here’s to another fabulous year!

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New pattern release :: Pink Madness!

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Introducing…Pink Madness!!  My newest knitting pattern with KNIT in COLOR is live and available for digital PDF download on Ravelry!  Pink Madness is a statement scarf with a dramatic brioche motif, surrounded by two color garter stitch stripes and two-color brioche borders.  It starts with all two-color brioche, with a few simple increases and decreases, then moves to an interesting two-color garter stitch interior that surrounds the brioche. The main body of the scarf just flies by with mostly garter stitch!

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This scarf is knit flat, worked in two halves, then grafted together. This is the perfect pattern to play with color!! I chose these gorgeous pinks that were almost made for each other.  I paired up Madelinetosh Tosh Vintage in color Fragrant (purchased at my LYS Woven Art) with House of A La Mode Dreamy DK in color Zakka.  This is a very special colorway, and if you’re interested in some for yourself, Heather will be dyeing some to be sold with Citizens of Textile early next year!!

I honestly thought of this scarf pattern on a whim.  I had been sketching and swatching for a much larger scale project, and came up with a new design with which I just fell in love.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset I had been playing around with different stitch patterns and this motif was created.  The larger project ended up overwhelming me a bit, and so I put it down, debating whether it would be a practical idea in the end.  But with the brainstorming help of my super talented sister-in-law and the owner of my local yarn shop, the design idea for Pink Madness came to life!

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The brioche motif is just as much fun on the other side of the fabric!  I think that’s what I love the most about brioche, and even this combination of brioche and garter: the fabric is completely reversible.   The two halves of the scarf are opposites, as I switched the colors!  This opens up endless possibilities for color combinations! See my Ravelry pattern page for more information!

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Celebrate the holiday season with a 25% discount on this pattern, and all other patterns in my shop! Use coupon code HOLIDAY25 at checkout until midnight Eastern time on Monday, December 28! Happy holidays!!

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Wool and the Gang – Josie Gloves

Happy Star Wars week!!! Do you have your tickets yet?  My husband and I have had ours for months and are SO excited to see The Force Awakens on Saturday!!

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Now, back to knitting.  My most recent FO [finished object] are the Josie Gloves, pattern and yarn by Wool and the Gang! This is a fabulous knitting kit that comes with everything you need to create a rockin’ pair of mitts in NO time.  Seriously, I knit up one of these mitts in a matter of hours one evening while binge watching Sex and the City [for the second time].

I love everything about Wool and the Gang, their aesthetic, their modern knitwear….and their YARN!  This particular pattern came with Sheepaca, a luscious blend of baby alpaca and merino wool, making it pretty much the softest yarn ever.  The ivory white spoke to me, which was a little strange, since I’m always so drawn to color.

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I knit these mitts per the pattern, using the Sheepaca yarn held double.  But I did make a small modification to the right mitt pattern.  In order for the right and left mitt to match, I changed the following for the instructions for the Right Mitten:

Line 3: “Knit until you have 12 sts left of the round….” instead of the 11 as written.

As it was written, the knit column of the ribbed cuff was not lining up with the knit column of the cable, so I shifted it over.  Then I modified accordingly with thumb gusset placement.  This modification was for myself, and I still feel the pattern was very well-written and easy to follow.  There are tutorials, and links to videos to help with all of the techniques.  Even a brand new knitter could pick up this pattern in the morning and have a pair of mitts by supper time!

I blocked my mitts by soaking them in water and wool wash for about 10 minutes, then folded them into a towel to absorb a lot of the moisture.  I laid them out on my blocking mats without pinning until they were dry; they are pretty thick so I did have to flip them over a couple of times. They are a perfect fit!

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See my Ravelry project page for more photos and information!  Happy knitting and may the force be with you!

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Pop Twizzle :: collaboration with Infinite Twist yarns

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Meet Pop Twizzle, an oversized seamless cowl, with a chevron lace edge detail.  This design is an exciting collaboration with Cate from Infinite Twist and was inspired by her beautiful hand dyed yarn.  I am incredibly honored to be a part of her latest Winter collection, Turkish Delight. Cate approached me earlier this year with an idea for a kit collaboration, pairing one of her new yarns, Umbra, with a brioche cowl pattern. Voila, the idea for Pop Twizzle was born!  I wanted to combine the same stitch pattern that I used to design the Pop Fizzle hat, but use it to create a textural, squishy, gigantic cowl, with a scalloped edge detail, created by the brioche chevron lace.

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Let me just talk about her Umbra yarn for a minute.  Wow, it is incredible.  A blend of Camel hair and Nylon, with an almost woven ply, this yarn is probably one of the softest I have ever encountered.  I couldn’t possibly have used any other yarn, it creates the most beautiful brioche fabric, with a density and drape that are quite magical.  Cate dyes this yarn herself, and has put together four delicious color combinations, all of which are compliments of each other.  I knit my sample using Scarlet (the bright red main color) and Badlands (the shadow-like maroon contrast color), and it just shouts HOLIDAYS to me!  I feel like I’m all dressed up, ready to go to a holiday party!

You can find this pattern exclusively as kits for a limited time through Infinite Twist, here!  These super fun kits include everything you need to knit this scrumptious cowl. Included in the kits:

  • Printed original pattern
  • Beautiful hand-dyed Umbra yarn in the quantities needed (1000 yards), your choice of color
  • Bamboo circular needle
  • stitch markers
  • yarn needles (large and small)
  • gauge card
  • two-color pattern marking pencil

Looking for that perfect holiday gift for a knitter in your life?  This kit would be so fabulous!!  The pattern is written for every level of knitter, and it would be a gift that kept on giving.  Or buy the kit for yourself and knit up a fabulous cowl to keep you or a loved one warm for the rest of the winter! Check out my Ravelry page for more information about Pop Twizzle.

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For all of you who are wondering, this pattern will also be available as a PDF download through Ravelry starting on December 26, 2015!

Happy holidays, my friends!

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Early pattern release and Citizens of Textile

Since last June, I have been extremely lucky to feature my fiber work with Citizens of Textile (COT), a very cool online pop-up shop that features different fiber artists every month!  I started with selling some of my hand knits, but realized that this shop is more of a market for yarn, notions pouches, and knitting patterns.  Heather Bostic (@houseofalamode on Instagram) is the creative genius behind COT and House of A La Mode hand dyed and painted yarn, and she is so much fun to work with.  Every month since June, I have been pairing my Condominium cowl pattern with her DK weight yarn as special knitting kits, and this month we have something very special cooked up!

Introducing Scottish Honeymoon, a new knitting pattern that includes His and Her complimenting hats, knit using a custom colorway that Heather and I created together called Winter Plaid.  This yarn really inspired the name of the pattern, and I am so excited to see it come to life. His hat, shown in Winter Plaid Stunning Single DK, is the perfect blank slate to show off a fabulous variegated yarn,  with interesting ribbing and purl ridges to add texture. Her hat, shown in Winter Plaid Freckle Stunning Single DK, was designed to make a speckled yarn shine, with slight ribbing, and purl and stockinette horizontal striping.  Both hats come in two sizes, adult small and large, and use less than one skein of DK weight yarn each!  This is a great first hat pattern for a beginner knitter, or just a fun and interesting knit for you advanced knitters out there.

You can find this pattern, as well as some limited edition kits with Winter Plaid and Winter Plaid Freckle, exclusively at the November COT pop-up shop, starting at 5pm Pacific / 8pm Eastern time on Friday, November 6 and going through Sunday, November 8, 2015!  These kits will make the perfect holiday gift for that knitter in your acquaintance, or buy the kits / pattern for yourself and create hats for you and your significant other, your mom, your dad, or anyone who will need a warm head this winter!

The pattern will also be released in my Ravelry shop and will be available to download starting on Tuesday, November 10, 2015.

Happy holiday knitting!

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Winter Plaid and Winter Plaid Freckle yarn, hand painted by Heather of House of A La Mode