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!

Release: Like a Lamb

Last night when I came home from work I received an email inquiring as to when Like a Lamb would be released.  Well, look at that, it is July, isn't it?!

What perfect timing, as I have my new Like a Lamb all blocked and ready to show off to the world:

At first I was a little bummed to have to wait to release the pattern until now, but now that July has come, and summer is in full swing, it seems to make perfect sense.  The lace weight yarn is perfect for summer knitting.  After a few repeats, the lace pattern is simple to follow, making this wrap quite travel-able (is that a word?).  

It took me some time to finish this one, mainly because I was working on other knits during 'knitting time'.  Like a Lamb was the project that was in a bag in my purse that I could bust out at any time- waiting rooms, the beach, or socializing with friends. 

I'm super excited about this color, and have already gotten use out of the wrap in the evenings (yes, despite the heat wave we are experiencing!).

This time I used a couple skeins of Malabrigo Lace in Paris Night colorway.   I barely dipped in to the second skein, so I'll have to figure out how to use my leftovers- anyone know of any good lace-weight baby patterns out there?

Interested in making your own?  The pattern is now available for purchase on Ravelry.

psst... more info on this one on Ravelry.

Errata alert:  The first edition of the pattern was missing a "yo" in row 13.  Updated patterns were sent out on July 18, 2012.  If you need the updated version, please contact me and I can send it on.
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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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The Aravis Cowl!

 Making our grand prize winner in the "Name that Cowl Contest"  Woolcat!

Congratulations to Woolcat, who wrote:

I suggest the "Aravis Cowl" - because I am reading "The horse and his boy" to my daughter, and I think Aravis would have loved a cowl like this - it has just enough femininity and mystery, and just enough practicality, for a well-bred Tarkheena like Aravis who is not afraid to take on an adventure. Also I can totally see Aravis looking good in purple. And she could have used the hood to hide in when she didn't want to be recognised. And there is no Aravis pattern on Ravelry, so you'd be original!

I read "The Horse and His Boy" as a child, but when Woolcat suggested the Aravis cowl, I decided to do a little research on the character.  I headed to Wikipedia to read the account of Aravis, whose character did seem to be the perfect name for this cowl.

There were also some other names I liked, and I'll give those a quick mention here.  

Monkeymama wrote:
I suggest the Ludington Cowl, since some of your patterns have location names and I just picture walking in a senic area while wearing that cowl.

But, Ludington is a top on Ravlery. Maybe the Madeline Island Cowl?

I thought monkeymama must know me pretty well, because before I made this a contest, I was thinking about going with Ludington Cowl!  I have named my other cowls after places I've been to, and since we just took a short trip to Ludington, this would be keeping with the theme.  Tara also caught on to the places themed and suggested the following:

I love that you've named some of your patterns for things in Michigan, so how about Purple Rose for the theatre?

Jennie saw this and suggested:

I like Tara's comment on you naming things after places in Michigan. This cowl looks like something I would definitely wear on a perfect fall day like today. One of my favorite places to be in the fall is Kensington Metropark so I vote for the Kensington cowl. It also looks like the sky when sun coming up over the lake at the park!

Kensington cowl sounded so great, and I only live about 15 minutes away from Kensington, but unfortunately 'Kensington Cowl' already has a presence on Ravelry.

As mentioned in the original post, Woolcat will receive the new Aravis Cowl pattern along with a skein of Malabrigo Worsted to complete the project (yup- that's all it takes!).

All the others I mentioned here will also have the pdf pattern sent to them, just because I like the way they were thinking!  

Also, as promised the first five commenters will also be receiving a copy of the pdf pattern. This includes: Lisa, Chelles, Beth, Joyce Laurie, and Three Birds Jewelry

If you don't hear from me by the end of the day, it means I have no way of contacting you.  You can send me an email at melynda [at!] to let me know where to send the pattern.

Thanks, and congrats to all the winners.  Remember, it's not too late to enter the Never Not Knitting Pattern Giveaway! (and don't be surprised if you see another giveaway pop up tomorrow!)

***pattern should be posted and available for purchase later today, I will post again when it's ready to roll!***

On Being 'Harlotized'

Many of you have heard by now. Even more of you are here just because of it. But for those of you who don't know, it's true... I've been 'Harlotized'.

You may be wondering why there is a can of spam(the oh-so-delicious pork and ham treat) in a post about being 'Harlotized', but there are some who are wondering what it even means to be 'Harlotized', so I'll start there.

It all began last monday night, December 7th. I was checking my email when I noticed that a certain Stephanie Pearl-Mcphee purchased my French Press Felted Slipper Pattern. Could it be? The Yarn Harlot herself was purchasing one of my designs? I went straight to her Twitter Feed to read "buying yarn for French Press Slippers".

Just because of this little mention, I saw a small spike in slipper pattern sales over the following days. I had to ask myself what kind of crazy power this woman has...she didn't even put a link up and people started buying my pattern!

Fast forward a couple days; this is where the real craziness began. On Thursday, I got home from work to find my email address flooded with new mail. Not only were there hundreds of new emails, but every time I glanced down at my laptop screen, there were more- the list just kept growing.

At first I assumed there was something wrong- but then the realization hit me... I had been 'Harlotized'. No sooner than this idea popped into my head, I went straight to the Yarn Harlot's blog. And there it was!

Oh, to write with such power to command thousands of reader's attention. No one does it in a way quite like the Yarn Harlot does. As you can see, the post needed no pictures. There were just a few links to click along the way... and the results were astonishing!

I didn't even read the whole post before it struck that I had to start sending out emails as fast as my fingers(or the three year old computer) could. You see, when a customer purchases a pattern from me on Etsy, there is no automated system like Ravelry. I have to do the grunt work myself- send out an email with PDF attachment. (And contrary to popular belief, I didn't actually sell out of the PDF- the link Stephanie used was one specific pattern. When that one pattern sold, it said 'Sold Out', but there were always others up in the shop).

I got to work on the emails and it was not long before I got this:

I was flagged for spamming for sending out too many of the same thing to different email accounts. I changed my email address in Etsy, got back to work, and encountered this:

And so it continued for 6 different email address before I realized I could upgrade my Google account to Google Apps. I quickly shelled out $100 and started sending emails from the original address (after a few hours had past and I gained access again, of course!). It wasn't too long after that I ran into this problem:


Things have slowed down to a point where I am not getting locked out anymore, but I'm afraid Google, Yahoo, and Hotmail will probably be monitoring my IP address for the next year or so!

All in all, I can't thank Stephanie enough for giving my pattern so much exposure. She has quite the following, and I am blessed to be mentioned on such a wonderful blog. I am forever indebted to the Yarn Harlot for her 'Oprah effect in the knitting world'!

What about you? Do you have the pattern yet? If not, head on over to Roxanne's blog, the 60/40 where she is hosting a giveaway. Two copies of the French Press Felted Slipper Pattern will be given away on Saturday. All you need to do is get to the post and leave a comment about your favorite holiday tradition.

While you're there, check out the rest of Roxanne's 'Homespun Holiday' series, you'll be happy you did!