Name That Cowl Contest

As I mentioned last night,  next week marks the first blogiversary of French Press Knits.  In honor of this occasion, today we will start a little contest that will lead into a new pattern release next week.  I've been holding back this cowl for some time now:

  With October Stockpile starting in the Malabrigo Junkies Group on Ravelry, I figured there's no time like the present to launch a pattern that utilizes just one skein (yes, one!) of Malabrigo Worsted.

This pattern is worked in the round with a classic fan and feather pattern.  The hood is shaped with short-row shaping within the infinty-cowl style.  Knit on size 10 circular needles, this is sure to be another great last-minute gift idea.

And here's where you come in.  This cowl does not yet have a name, and of course it would love one.   In the comments section, please leave me suggestions for a name.  If I choose the name you suggest, you will win the cowl pattern upon release, and a skein of Malabrigo Worsted in purple Mystery to get your WIP started!

And that's not all!  Be one of the first 5 people to leave a comment with a name suggestion, and you will automatically win a pdf of the pattern emailed and/or gifted to you on Ravelry when the pattern is released next week. 

The winning name will be announced on Tuesday, October 5, with the pattern going live soon after.  Comment by Tuesday morning for your chance to win!

CAYSC Shop Hop

As promised, a follow up from the Shop Hop last week (complete with loot pictures!).

As I began documenting and taking pictures of everything I walked away with last week, I realized that I bought a little more than I originally thought. Here we go...

Besides the cute little passport pictured above, Shop Hop attendants also received a reusable tote bag filled with loot from local Michigan companies.  Every store along the route provided 'hoppers' with a free pattern, written by the shop owner.

The first shop along our way was Woven Art in East Lansing. Woven Art became one of my favorite yarn shops from the moment I first walked in back in January.

Here I purchased yarn for this cute little Acorn Hat designed by Meg Croft, and also a skein of Shepherd's Wool in baby blue (just in case Baby B turns out to be baby boy!).

I was getting ready to check out at Woven Art when I spotted the Dale of Norway books and decided to peruse a little more.

Naturally, being only two months away from the due date of my first child, I grabbed a baby book- what can I say?  These days, it's instinct.   On the first page of the booklet I just happened to find this little beauty:

Seriously?!  You cannot expect any soon-to-be-first-time-mother-with-baby-due-a-month-before-Christmas to pass this one up.  Not this soon-to-be-mother at least- no way!  The plan for this is to try to get it done between the time baby is born and Christmas.  Should be interesting!

Next up was Rae's Yarn Boutique in Lansing. Here I scooped a sweater stone and my first skein of Noro. I have neve worked with Noro, and honestly, have never really understood the appeal- but I think I may be starting to get it. Once Jill introduced me to the Spring Sock pattern, I figured it was worth a shot.  Not sure when I will get around to knitting with it, but you can expect an unbiased review when I do. (You can also find some interesting footage of Erica and I battling with giant knitting needles at Rae's if you click here.)

Our third stop was at a shop I've been wanting to go to for some time now, so I was excited to visit Yarn Garden in Charlotte. Here I purchased the project bags seen above and also yarn to knit a new stocking for Christmas (yes, I will somehow have to fit this in along with the Dale of Norway...we'll see).  The stocking pattern was the free pattern designed by shop owner Lindsay Harmon.

Finally, as our time was running low, we made a stop back in Lansing at Threadbear Fiber Arts Studio where I walked away with two booklets from Classic Elite Yarn (not to mention my new Lansing Cowl and Beret pattern, which happened to be the pattern given away upon receiving your fourth Shop Hop stamp).

If you happened to attend to CAYSC Annual Shop Hop and have pictures and/or a blog post to share- let me know, and I will link to them here:

Also, if you attended and received my new patterns, they are now posted on Ravelry for you to add as a WIP- find the cowl here, beret here.

Sneak Peek

Just a quick sneak peek of what is coming. Pattern written up, test knit, and sending off to the graphic designer later today. Some details I can give you now: hooded cowl/infinity scarf, utilizes just 1 (yes, one!) skein of Malabrigo Worsted.
I'll also be taking some better pictures today... more soon!

Montebello Explained


In a rush to get everything ready for the Yarn Harlot's visit last week, I published my new Montebello Texture Cowl and posted about it here without much information. You may have noticed that when I first wrote about it, it was still just named 'Texture Cowl'. Today I want to tell you a little about the name/inspiration behind the cowl itself.

Montebello is the name of one of the three castles in Bellinzona, Switzerland. Bellinzona is in the Ticino canton of Switzerland. It is the southernmost canton in Switzerland and the only Swiss canton whose sole official language is Italian. When many people see my last name, they assume Joe's family is from Italy. Joe's grandpa is actually from the small town of Medeglia, Switzerland, just 'up the mountain' from Bellinzona.

A couple years ago, Joe and I had the pleasure of visiting his extended family in Switzerland. We stayed in the Ticino region, and explored it quite extensively. His family was very welcoming, we enjoyed the time we spent with them. We hope to return in the near future- and when we do return, we are sure to be greeted once again with polenta and fondue- what more could we ask for?

So, this cowl is named for our 'Swiss Family', thanks for welcoming us with open arms!

Texture Cowl

Yesterday I shared my Ishbel progress, today I wanted to give you a peek at what else I have been working on. I've been selling the Breckenridge Cowl online since the beginning of December, but have not been able to make it available for wholesale purchases yet. The main reason for this is because I sell it for so cheap online. After printing costs, it wouldn't make sense for me to sell it at wholesale prices.

Here is my solution: two patterns on one sheet of paper! In order to offer these to local yarn shops, and still keep my low online prices I will be selling the Breckenridge Cowl together with the 'Texture Cowl' (final name is yet to be determined). Both cowls are similar in construction, using the same weight of yarn and needles.

Both of these cowls were introduced in my Etsy shop when I opened, so although they may be old news to me- they are new for you! So, here's me in all my dorkiness modeling the Texture Cowl.

Pattern should be available on Ravelry by this weekend. The combo Breckenridge Cowl/Texture Cowl pattern will be available for wholesale orders by next week. If you happen to be in Detroit this weekend to see the Yarn Harlot speak at the Library- I should have print copies hot off the press!