Happy gift knitting season!!! Whenever Thanksgiving rolls around, I start getting the ITCH to cast something on that is quick, fun, and for somebody other than myself (or a design)!
This year, to get in to the spirit of gift knitting season, I am participating in the 4th annual Indie Designer Gift-A-Long! I stumbled upon this exciting knit-a-long last year and knew that I wanted to be a part of it. As a fun incentive to get people to join, hundreds of indie designers are offering a 25% discount on select patterns in their Ravelry shops! I have put together a special bundle on my Ravelry designer page, you can see it by following this link, here. Choose from 20 of my self-published patterns and receive a 25% discount using coupon code “giftalong2016“!! Knit something special for your secret Santa, or even treat yourself to a few patterns you have been wanting to add to your library!
Seriously, there are SO many designers participating this year, like hundreds and hundreds. You can find a list of all of them here, it’s pretty crazy!! It has been fun going through the list and queueing up some lovely new patterns. I have hand-picked a few of my favorite designers who are showcasing their work in the Gift-A-Long this year, and would love to share with you all their favorite designs they have created! So here we go.
Have you SEEN the new Feyre shawl designed by Shannon Cook of Very Shannon??? I mean, WOW! This is by far my favorite of hers (so far), and I think it’s one of her favorites, too. I am already planning out my own Feyre, I even have some of Brooklyn Tweed’s marl Shelter yarn in my stash in the Narwhal colorway, perfect!
Shannon’s designs are absolutely timeless. But they have a modern twist to them that keep them interesting, and her color play is just marvelous. I mean, she took black and white and created something so interesting! Here is what she says about Feyre, ” Inspired by the main character Feyre, from the Court of Thorns and Roses Series by Sarah J. Maas, this crescent shaped shawl embodies both the strength and softness, and the lightness and darkness always at play within Feyre. Relaxing to knit combinations of Stockinette stitch, Garter stitch and Slip Stitch Ribs combine to make a shawl filled with texture that’s fabulous for showing off your new favourite marled, tonal or hand dyed yarn!”
As a super fun bonus, she has also included a coloring page as a part of the pattern, so that you can visualize your own shawl!! So creative, I just love that.
Francoise Danoy of Aroha Knits is quite an amazing person. She empowers other knitters, encourages others to shine, and teaches makers the skills they need to push through boundaries and make their dreams come true. Her Taimana Cowl is her favorite creation, and I must say, it is stunning. Frenchie, as she likes to be called, strives to add a personal touch to each and every one of her designs. Here is what she says, “The main colorwork motif of the Taimana Cowl (Te Reo Maori for “Diamond”), like the Kumura Cowl, is heavily influenced by traditional Maori tāniko designs, geometric patterning woven onto borders of cloaks and dresses. This particular geometric formation is called “Patikitiki”, easily identifiable through the singular diamond as the dominant motif. The Patikitiki motif is meant to resemble the flounder fish, which used to be a common food source for the Maori.”
The colors and tribal look of this cowl really speak to me, I just love it. I think it is my favorite, too.
I feel a great affinity with Susanne Sommer of Sosu Knits – her use of brioche in several of her designs is simply magical. I actually found her designs during my obsession with brioche and garter stitch, a combination which she also uses quite frequently! And her bright colors, yes please!! Her Candy shawl is her absolutely most-worn knit, so it MUST be her favorite, right? Here is what she says about it, “I’ve started designing brioche and garter shawls after Nancy Marchant’s inspiring brioche class early this year and I’ve been hooked ever since. This pattern is special to me, not only because I love the candy colors of one of my sample shawls, but it has all my favorite elements: top-down shawl construction with an i-cord surrounding the entire shawl, there’s stripes and a lot of playing with colors, there’s brioche and garter stitch and there’s chevrons. And it’s big enough to wear instead of a cardigan on a cool summer night, or to tightly wrap it around my neck on cold winter day. There’s new elements introduced in each section, so knitting never gets boring, but it also gives you enough time to get acquainted with a new technique. And playing with colors is just so much fun!” Yes it is, Susanne, indeed it is!!!
As you may already know, I released my Whisp cowl pattern to Ravelry last week!! You can read more about it in my previous blog post, here. Well, did you also know that you can purchase kits online with Feel Good Yarn Co?? YES!!!! These kits are quite amazing, and include two skeins of yarn (one skein of SilverSpun® Sock, and one skein of Backyard Fiberworks Meadow Light), as well as the original pattern PDF. Be sure to follow this link here to view the kits on their website. There are three different color ways available:
I know, those colors are so beautiful. I especially love the POP of gold in the Galleon combination. Can you imagine the folded collar of the cowl in that gorgeousness?
Ok, now for the GIVEAWAY!!! Together with Feel Good Yarn Co., I would love to offer one lucky winner a Whisp cowl kit in the color of their choice!! This is a $68 value, and all you have to do to enter is leave a comment here and tell me the following:
Which color combination would you pick?
Your email address. This will automatically sign you up for the Feel Good Yarn Co. email newsletter.
That’s it!! The giveaway will run through Sunday, October 23, and I will choose and announce the winner sometime next week. I can’t wait to hear what colors you all would choose, and good luck!
Drama, texture, and wardrobe staple. That is the definition of my new Steam Coat by We Are Knitters. Seriously, I finished this super fun vest last night (on a 90+ degree day here in Michigan), and the first thing I did was put it on! I am so looking forward to adding this piece to my autumn / winter wardrobe. And the other really fun fact is that I will be living in southern Texas, where my hand knits will shine and not be covered up by a big, bulky coat!! Layered over a cotton tee, or long-sleeve thermal, this is the ultimate statement piece.
The Steam Coat kit came with everything I needed to knit up this garment – including the yarn, shown here in Spotted Beige, giant wooden knitting needles, a small pamphlet of the pattern, garment tag and tapestry needle. The pattern was simple to follow and super fun!! I had not tried “loop knitting” before, and was very intrigued by the look this technique creates. Almost like I’m wearing a sheep’s coat! With the generous gauge of the yarn and needles, super bulky and size US 19, this vest knits up so fast. I made only one modification – I did not seam the ribbed edge at the bottom. I love the split hem look, so I decided to try it out! You can check out my Ravelry project page for more photos and details!
So funky and fresh. I think I’m going to give it a good blocking before I wear it this coming fall / winter.
GIVEAWAY TIME!!!!! I know you were waiting for this!! One winner will be chosen on Friday of this week to receive a KIT OF YOUR CHOICE from WeAreKnitters.com (with a $100 value or less)!! To enter, all you need to do is:
Comment here on this post telling me your email address and which kit you would love to knit (and color choice, too if you want!!)
Sign up for the We Are Knitters newsletter – follow this link, here. That’s it!!
Again, I will choose a winner this coming Friday, June 17, at 8pm Eastern time. I will announce it in the comments here on the blog, as well as send the winner an email to let them know. Only entries from the US, Canada or Europe are eligible at this time.
Also, be sure to take advantage of a 15% discount using coupon code KNITGRAFFITIWAK on their website!!
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!
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!
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?
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!!
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.
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!
See my Ravelry project page for more photos and information! Happy knitting and may the force be with you!