Introducing: Knitspiration

Hello? Is anybody out there??

For now, we will ignore the date on this post as it compares to the date on the previous post in order to introduce you to my newest pattern: The Knitspiration Hat.

This is a little something that has been in the works for a few years now, and I’m excited to finally share it with other knitters. As you may know, I have been home with my kids, as a full-time, stay-at-home-mom for three years now. Now that I have multiple children in school, I always seem to be scrambling to find the perfect teacher gifts this time of year. Teachers give so much to our children; cultivating their lives daily, helping them grow and learn when parents are not around. I would love to be able to lavish them all with expensive gifts and Starbucks trips and Target runs, but our budget doesn’t allow for that these days (plus I have a way to get my kids involved… keep reading!).

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This pattern was born out of necessity, using resources I have: time/desire to knit, lots of yarn… and lots of “help”.

Each year, for the past few years, I have drawn out a picture of a plain knit hat, having my kids color it in with a design from their heart (along with a little guidance from mom).  I then interpret their “designs” into a hat for these important people who pour so much into their lives. 

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And now, after much tweaking and input, I have a way to share this concept with you!

You start with the card template, shown above. Your child (or even you if you would like to tackle the project solo) “designs” the blank hat. There are colorwork charts in the pattern to get you started, but the sky’s the limit. If you don’t feel comfortable with colorwork, get out your stitch dictionary to incorporate cables, lace, or texture. Interpretation is up to you!

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A blank workspace is included for you to plot out your design, stitch by stitch, along with three different options for crown decreases.

The Knitspiration Hat is now available for download on Ravelry and because I would love to help you all feel “knitspired” this holiday season, I am offering the pattern for free for the first 2 days of launch.

So who inspires you?  A teacher? Grandparent? Aunt? Uncle? Mentor?  

I’d love to see what you come up with. Tag your project on social media with #knitspirationhat to share your ideas with others and tag me @frenchpressknits on Instagram to get featured!

My 2018 teacher gifts are underway and I’ll be sharing more specifics soon!

A Reveal

Remember my swatch?

I promised it turned into something grander and... well, bigger- and I am excited to share final pictures with you.

Without further ado, I am very pleased to introduce you to Like a Lamb:

 Spring has a way of coming “in like a lion, out like a lamb”.  But when chilly nights loom around, knitting cannot be forgotten.  *Like a Lamb* is a piece that will carry you from winter to spring, day to night.  A simple design complimented by lace weight cashmere creates a wardrobe classic-perfect for all seasons and climates.

Although this pattern is not quite ready to be released to the public, Knit Culture Studio Club Members will be receiving their pattern and yarn very soon as it is the March/April installment.  Not a member?  There are still limited spots available here.  A subscription is for a six month time period, with three shipments (one every two months) that include an exclusive pattern and the hand-dyed yarn needed to complete the project.  

Like a Lamb features Jade Sapphire Mongolian Cashmere, and I can assure you it is a dream to behold.

ps... thanks to the lovely Jill (Knitterella )  For modeling my new wrap :-)

pps... pattern has now been added to Ravelry

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Gettin' Swatchy

I know many of you are wondering what my beautiful skeins of Madelintosh Pashmina turned in to.

Although you have to wait a couple more days for the reveal of my new pattern, I can show you my funny looking swatch:

Yup, the honest truth- I am a lazy knitter.  When I am trying out multiple stitch patterns I often just throw them onto one long swtch instead of casting on and binding off multiple times.  Plus, after I frog and wash the swatch I can re-use the yarn.

Many of you guessed that the skeins above were the Baltic colorway. It is actually the Cousteau, which is a newer Madelinetosh colorway.  Stay tuned later this week to see the pattern that will debut with Knit Culture at Vogue Knitting Live!

Testing Texture

This weekend I decided to do a swatch test. The pattern I'm working on is drawn up, I've made a couple small 'practice items' to help me decide what kind of construction I would like to use, and it is finally time for the best part- the knitting.

The stitches you see, from bottom to top, are as follows:

1. The back side of the Bramble stitch fromA Treasury of Knitting Patterns by Barbara Walker, pg 129 (oops... the rest I did the wrong way, you'll just have to look it up to see what it looks like.)

3. 2x2 rib, this will be the rib along the bottom and the cuff- just wanted to see what it looked like next to some of the textures

6. Not sure of the name, but I'm sure it has one. I was making it up as I went, but basically it was a seed stitch with a knit row between every texture row.

I think I have a winner- what is your favorite texture stitch to knit up?