Monday, May 2, 2016

Annie's Signature Designs Kit Winner

Thanks all for entering to win the Ventana Vest Kit.  Our winner is Aubrey McKelvey.  Congrats, Aubrey!

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Monday, April 25, 2016

Annie's Signature Designs Summer Love Collection Giveaway

As I'm busy stitching away on my first ever summer knit, I wanted to give you all the opportunity to jump right in as well.

I have been given the opportunity to help spread the word about Annie's Signature Designs Summer Love collection- an exclusive, seasonal collection of upscale knitting and crochet patterns.  This season's inaugural collection was envisioned by Lena Skvasgerson, who brings more that 25 years of experience in the European design market. 

The collection is teeming with options of lightweight layering pieces that are perfect for the summer months.

My favorite piece is probably the Chamisal Tee Pattern- but I think that is partly because I have summer tees on the brain?

Annie's gives you the option to "build-a-kit", which means you don't have to look far to find the perfect yarn for your project, it can all be ordered together.

Have I still not convinced you that lightweight summer knit are what all the cool kids are wearing this year?  Well- this may help....

Up for grabs is a lovely Ventana Vest Kit.  One lucky winner will receive a pattern download and enough Plymouth Yarn Driftone to complete the project.

 To enter, take a peep at the Summer Love Collection Lookbook (or click this link to see the pattern webpage) and let me know which look is your favorite.  Comment below, make sure you leave a way for me to contact you if you are our randomly selected winner.  Giveaway ends at 11:59 EST on Friday, April 29, 2016.  Best of luck!

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Sunday, April 24, 2016

Linen Stitching

For some time, I've been wanting to remake one of my favorite summer shirts in a hand knit version.  Now that I'm home with the kids full time I have been able to find extra time for knitting (or sometimes just thinking about knitting- that's an accomplishment, too!).

This picture is from a few years ago, but it's the best I could find that would give you an idea of the shirt.  It's a lightweight knit fabric with clean, simple lines.  It fits perfectly and I feel beyond comfortable in it.  I actually have the shirt in both white and black and both get a fair amount of wear, especially in the warmer months.  

Enter Shannon Cook's (aka 'Very Shannon') TTTKAL.   Many of you are probably familiar.  For those who are not, it stands for "Tops, Tanks, & Tees Knit Along"  and it was the perfect excuse to finally see my project through to fruition.

Since the store bought version fits perfectly, I started with careful measurements and multiple swatches.  I decided to knit the shirt in Quince&Co. "Sparrow".  The yarn is a fingering weight linen, and is quite a difference when compared to my normal 100% wool.  

There's a totally different feel when working with linen yarn, it kind of gives my fingers this funny tingling feeling.  Like, you know your feet get that weird prickly sensation when you're standing at the edge of super high building (what... am I the only one?!?)?  It's sort of like that in my hands.  I'm learning to appreciate it for what it is. 

Something else I've learned.  Linen looks messy as you knit.  It makes you question your existence as a knitter and wonder if the bloom and halo of wool is just a crutch to hide your stitch flaws ("a little caulk, a little paint, make a builder what he ain't"... I feel like we need one of these for knitting).

But then you wash your knitting (yes wash, not just block- I'm talking full on washer and dryer!)...

and you're left with uniform stitches with a bit of slub and a drape that is out of this world.

Tomorrow I have a giveaway kicking off- stay tuned for your chance to win a summer knitting kit!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Lamplight Mittens

Just a quick post to alert the knitting world to a new mitten pattern I released today :-)

A classic mitten design featuring a subtle cable pattern. Contrasting lined cuffs add warmth and a pop of color to give these mittens a touch of unexpected luxury.

Starting with a provisional cast on and contrasting yarn, the inner cuff is knitted before switching to the worsted weight yarn. After completing the outer cuff, the inner cuff is turned in and joined as you continue to knit the body of the mitten.

Utilizing just one skein of Quince & Co. “Owl” and a small amount of fingering weight yarn, this project will fly of your needles and onto your hands before the spring warmth has time to set in!

Find them on Ravelry now!

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Friday, January 15, 2016

Sam's Christmas Sweater

And finally, some pictures.  More about the process in yesterday's post.

The sweater was modeled after Joe's Graduation Vest (I still owe you some posts on that, don't I?).  I changed the colors a bit but used the same pattern.  Knitpick's Palette was the yarn of choice, and I used less than one skein of every color used.

Raveled: here

Thursday, January 14, 2016

How to Make Your Christmas Season More Stressful

That's right.  If there's ever been an authority on creating more stress for yourself, I'd like to throw my hat in the ring for the title.  There's a big part of me that thrives on deadlines and coming in right at the buzzer.  At the end of a 5k or 10k race, I enjoy digging deep and finding my last bit of energy to finish in a mad sprint.  It seems I have adapted this same tactic when I approach my knitting, especially when knitting before Christmas!
So, on the 18th of December, I decided that Sam needed a new sweater vest for the holiday season. Things started great.  I cast in the morning and sat knitting among the kids while they played.  As Clara napped in the afternoon, I enjoyed some hardcore knitting while Sam enjoyed a show... or two.  Before heading out to the bus stop in the afternoon, I was just about ready to start armhole decreases and add in steek stitches. 

But then the Christmas season hit.  I wasn't worried about the project and kept putting it off to do silly things like wrap presents, send out Christmas cards,  and hit the grocery store way too often.

The project was small which made it quite convenient for throwing in my Field Bag  and bringing it along while waiting for tables and other holiday season excursions.

Then I realized I had to pause and actually take some time to figure out what I was doing.  When I originally cast on, I took some measurements, did a gauge swatch and started knitting.  When it came to the top of the vest, I took a garment out of Sam's closet and measured, planned, and fumbled my way through to the end.

And two days before Christmas, I had something that looked like this:

Now, here's the tricky part.  I always think that this means I'm almost done.  It doesn't. 2x2 ribbing in fingering weight yarn isn't the quickest of knitting ventures.  Especially when you're in a Christmas fog and don't cast on enough neck stitches.  That's right- a sweater of any sort will NOT fit over a giant toddler noggin if the neck hole is not large enough (lesson learned).  So after ripping back and re-knitting I was left with just the ends to weave in on Christmas morning.

Or so I thought.  Enter younger toddler sister.  Who, despite being incapable of living an hour a day off my hip while I prepare dinner, ends up being totally capable of  operating a pair of small scissors.  Thank you, fine motor skills.

By no means was the sweater destroyed, but it was enough to put last-minute-knitting-mom into a tizzy as I frantically tied whatever ends I could and reinforced cut stitches.  Lovely, no?!

But, by the time we were ready to head out to relatives, a sweater vest was complete... along with all that other stuff people make you do for Christmas!

And as the rest of the day was such a blur, the finished sweater vest did not get much time in front of the camera.

More soon...

Friday, January 8, 2016

When Good Knits Go Forgotten

Welcome to 2016!  I hope you all enjoyed the holiday season.  The down time was much needed and appreciated in our neck of the woods, but it's good to be back on a schedule and to be making goals for the New Year.

In the midst of the New Year productivity, we decided to switch our kids bedrooms around.  Clara moved into Sam's old room, Sam moved into Elise's old room, and Elise moved into Clara's old room. *phew* Not an easy task!

With all the moves came cleaning out closets and drawers.  I have a box of hand knits stowed away in the back of the nursery closet.  I thought I had gotten out all of Elise's old knits for Clara to put into rotation but to my surprise, I found this beaut' tucked in bottom:

So, while Clara was busy wearing her Merriment Cardigan around town all Christmas, this one was sadly tucked away.  The good news?  It fits!

The sweater was knit for Elise for Christmas back in 2011.  Although I limited use/wear to the holidays back then, now I'm just happy Clara has a chance to wear this hand-me-down-hand-knit while it's still chilly!

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