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Wool and the Gang :: Careless Cardigan and giveaway!

Simple and carefree, that is exactly how I felt as I was knitting the Careless Cardigan, using Tina Tape yarn by Wool and the Gang.  I teamed up with them to test out this new yarn, which sounded like a dream come true for me.  Something that is as soft as silk and more cooling than linen?  Count me in!  Ever since we moved down to South Texas (as I’ve probably rambled on about before), I have been searching for yarns that I could be comfortable working with in this super hot and humid sub-tropical climate.  Well, here it is, folks!!!  Seriously, I even took this project to the beach and knit there very comfortably!!  It’s like knitting with satin ribbon, and even when the garment became fairly large, it didn’t feel like a hot blanket on my legs.  Isn’t that the curse of knitters?  We want to knit sweaters and blankets for the fall and winter….but that means we need to knit them in the SUMMER!

I digress.  Here are some photos of me knitting my Careless Cardi on the beach.  It was heavenly.

Ok now about the color.  Perfect Peach.  I am currently OBSESSED with this color, and am finding that my wardrobe is turning into pieces either mainly this color, or ALL this color.  Millenial Pink anyone?  ALL OF IT!  I was debating between this and Quetzal Green, which is close to a teal blue.  I’m so glad I went with this one.

I was excited to knit this cardi because it has very interesting construction!  It is knit from side to side, starting with one sleeve, and then knitting to the other sleeve, with some shaping in between.  Then the bottom is knit separately and you seam it all together.  I learned quite a bit from the pattern, and it was very relaxing at the same time.  I even took it to the movie theater once, and worked on it while the movie was playing! I only modified one thing, and made my sleeves a bit shorter than the pattern recommended.  I personally love a 3/4 length sleeve, so I made these only 11″, rather than the 15″ length in the pattern.  I am so happy with this decision, and I ended up with very little yarn at the end, so it’s a good thing!!

After seaming and a nice blocking, this cardi is the perfect addition to my wardrobe!!  I will probably end up wearing it in the cool evenings at home, and out as a jacket in the winter.

GIVEAWAY TIME!!

WATG and I are offering one Careless Cardigan kit in a color of your choice to one lucky winner!! To enter the giveaway, all you have to do is leave a comment here telling me which color you would choose!!  That’s it!  I will be closing the giveaway on Sunday, August 20, and then choosing a winner that following week.  Good luck!!

Other wardrobe items:

Dress: Loren embroidered linen dress in blush, by Roolee
Earrings: Anthropologie
Necklace: H&M

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Video feature with Insider!

I am so excited to be a featured artist on Insider!  You can view the original video on their website, here!  Thank you again to Insider for this amazing feature!

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Are you a gift knitter?

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)!

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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!

All three patterns in my POP! e-book are included in my bundle sale!!
All three patterns in my POP! e-book are included in my bundle sale!!

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.

 

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Feyre shawl by Shannon Cook of Very Shannon

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.

You can find Shannon’s GAL bundle, here.

[Photo courtesy of Shannon Cook, Very Shannon]

 

 

 

Taimana Cowl by Francoise Danoy of Aroha Knits
Taimana Cowl by Francoise Danoy of Aroha Knits

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.

You can find Frenchie’s GAL bundle, here.

[Photo courtesy of Francoise Danoy, Aroha Knits]

 

 

 

 

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Candy shawl by Susanne Sommer of Sosu Knits

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!!!

You can find Susanne’s GAL bundle, here.

[Photo courtesy of Susanne Sommer, Sosu Knits]

 

Are you inspired now??  I sure am.  Now let’s get to it!!  I hope you all have a lovely holiday week, and happy gift knitting!!

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Giveaway :: Whisp cowl kit!

It’s Giveaway time!!!  

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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:

Coastal (color ways of my original sample)
Coastal (color ways of my original sample)
Sailor's Delight
Sailor’s Delight
Galleon
Galleon

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:

  1. Which color combination would you pick?
  2. 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!

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We Are Knitters :: Steam Coat and Giveaway!

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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.

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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! 

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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:

  1. 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!!)
  2. 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!!

Happy knitting, friends!!

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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!