Simply stockinette

As a knitting designer, it should come as no surprise that I find beauty in the simplest of stitches. Like stockinette. I really love the way the stitches interlock and just the organic perfection of it all. Yes, I’m feeling schmaltzy. Also under-caffeinated. I started a new eating plan and I’m in the “what the heck was I thinking” phase soon to be followed by the “trading my yarn stash for a cookie” phase.

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But the stockinette short-row section of this shawlette is done. And I’m on to the lacey goodness. Which is gonna be good – wait until you see! And really, I’m not a laceweight person normally – sock yarn is my bread and butter – but this Mithril by the Verdant Gryphon is really, really nice. I can’t wait to block this out and see how nice it all comes together.

The second sonnet will be spoken soon – so you need to get your supplies together – one skein of Mithril, size 5 or so needles (I’m using a 40-incher) and some slightly larger needles for the fancy cast-on (I used 8’s). The pattern will be available August 1st, but you can pre-order the e-book now so that you will have all the sonnets. All this sonnet needs now is to be finished and named.

Photo Friday – Super Hero Edition

I might have mentioned that I’m trying to learn photography. Trying being the operative word. I’ve learned a fair few things. Under certain conditions I can make my camera do what I want it to do. Outside in the shade? No problem. My kitchen counter with the indirect light from the French doors in the great room? It’s a snap. Other things? Not so much.

So I took an online class called “Shoot It” with famed knitwear photographer Caro Sheridan. And I really learned a ton about how to set up awesome photo shoots. I’m hoping to implement some of it for next photo shoot which will be out of this gorgeous yarn by the queen of all things variegated Dyeabolical.

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I learned loads from the Shoot It class, but I still need to gain more technical knowledge. Tabetha Hedrick, an awesome designer I met at TNNA, strongly recommends Clickin’ Moms. So I think that will be my next step. I’m going to review some of the information I’m compiled from the internet on the technical aspects, but I think I need that little extra push. See what I mean? I’m still having trouble focusing on the right place. But my birthday manicure looks awesome – gel nails are love!

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In other love news I am absolutely gaga over Dyeabolical‘s Super Ego sportweight. It’s just so squishy. And on size 8 needles it makes these perfect little fat stitches that just make me happy. And the new design specifically for variegated yarns is coming along just as my crazy inner eye envisioned.

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I’m going to try from now on to make Fridays about photography.  Any hints on the best sources you’ve found for photography learning?

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Enabler

Sometimes I think I do better at enabling folks to buy yummy yarn than I do at selling patterns. Because this yarn? Yummy is not strong enough of a word. I’ve always been a fan of Gryphon‘s work, so when I decided to do this collection I immediately thought of her yarn. She did not disappoint. I told her the theme of the collection – think old books, parchment, rich leather – hence the Ink colorway of the Soy Beautiful. I don’t normally think of rusty pumpkin as the perfect color, but this is kind of perfect.

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Oddly enough I took this picture on my brown leather sofa in indirect light from the back french doors. But the background seems to disappear and all you see is yarny goodness. And good it is. Mithril from the Verdant Gryphon is 4 oz. of the softest 100% merino that you ever did touch. It has 750 yards and is just a perfectly plied heavy laceweight.

So head on over to the Verdant Gryphon and get yourself your own skein of Mithril. Mine is in La Cantante – but she has all kinds of gorgeous available. Because the second of the Seven Sonnets will be released on August 1st.

Yeats

Yeats is the first of the Seven Sonnets, a collection of shawls and shawlettes in some very delicious hand-dyed yarns. I’ll have a preview of some of the upcoming yarns later this week. But first we showcase Soy Beautiful, hand-dyed by Our Humble Castle. Soy Beautiful is something else. It’s actually hard to describe, but it’s a lovely mix of squishy and shiny, but it has body to it also. Sounds like a hair commercial, doesn’t it?

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Yeats is worked from side-to-side with garter stitch short-row sections giving the shawlette it’s crescent shape. The lace panels in between have garter elements that bring it all together. And the edging that runs along the bottom of the lace sections also borders the garter sections also.

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Yeats is available as either a single pattern for $6.00 or as part of the pre-order of the entire collection for $21.95. There are seven patterns in the collection and one will be released on the first of the month until January 1st, 2013. That’s only $3.14 per pattern. Hey they are pi patterns!!! Nevermind. Math joke. Move along. Nothing to see here.

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So head over to Our Humble Castle and get yourself some Soy Beautiful for your Yeats – Sarah-Ashley has stocked up in the Ink colorway which is actually perfect to throw on with jeans and a white cami or tee – just a little something to keep the chill off your shoulders.

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Needles: Size 6 needles (4.0 mm)

Yarn: Soy Beautiful from Our Humble Castle in the Ink Colorway, 378 yards to 115 grams

Gauge: 18 stitches and 24rows = 4 inches in blocked garter

Sizes: Sample measures 16″ deep and 70″ wide

Yeats is available to purchase for $6.00 USD
Or as part of the pre-order for the Seven Sonnets collection for $21.95 USD

 

 

Cast On Bind Off

A good while back I received an e-mail – asking me to review a book. I don’t normally get these sorts of e-mails, but it was a technique book so I was intrigued and said sure – send me a book. So they sent me a copy of Leslie Ann Bestor’s Cast On Bind Off.

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First off – I just want to say that I think that using spiral binding on a technique book is nothing short of genius. I have a fair few stitch dictionaries. And some of them are looking pretty worn out because I turn to them so frequently. I think this cute little book will stand up to my abuse!

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And I’m pleased to say that I will actually use this one. Not only does she offer a nice long list of different beginnings and ends, she also gives you the why. As in why you would want to use this cast-on or bind-off. Or why not. Sometimes I think the “why-nots” are even more important!

Each and every cast-on has an amazing amount of pictures – pictures of how it looks from different angles and wonderfully detailed how-to photographs.

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I actually got to meet the author, Leslie Ann Bestor, at TNNA and she was lovely. A smart girl would have taken her book and had Leslie Ann sign it and gotten a cute picture of her, but hey, it was my first TNNA and I forgot a lot of things. Like say my hairdryer. Ahem.

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I was quite shocked to find there were a number of techniques in this book that I had never heard of, much less attempted, so I feel I can safely say that it would be useful to novices and experienced knitters alike! After I received the book and realized how much I wanted to keep it for my very own self, I had to scramble back to the e-mail because I was pretty sure I was expected to give it away. But huzzah! This is not the case. I am having a giveaway but they will send it to you and I get to keep my copy. Which is good for you because I might have licked it. Ok, not really. But anyhow…

If you comment on this entry by end of day on July 12th, I will choose a very lucky winner on Friday to get their own copy of Leslie Ann Bestor’s Cast On Bind Off. So comment away. Tell me something amusing. Go!

And if you want to read more about this amazing little book visit the other stops on the blog tour:

7/9         Picnic Knits

7/10       Knit and Tonic

7/11       Zeneedle

7/12       Rambling Designs

7/13       Rambling Designs (pt. 2: Leslie Ann guest post)

7/14       Neo Knits

7/15       Knit & Nosh

7/16       Knitting at Large

7/17       Rebecca Danger

7/18       Lapdog Creations

7/19       Nutmeg Knitter

7/20       Yarnagogo

7/21       Weekend Knitter

7/22       knitgrrl

7/23       It’s a Purl, Man

7/24       Whip Up

7/25       Knitspot

7/26       Under the Humble Moon

7/27       Knitting Daily

7/28       Knitting School Dropout

7/29       Hugs for Your Head

7/30       The Knit Girllls

 

 

The Hard Way

Sometimes I severely overestimate myself. Like the time I had a 75% finished shawlette and I thought I could take it to TNNA and on vacation and actually finish it and write the pattern and send it to the editor and publish it by July 1st… Oh wait. That just happened.

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If you try to knit in the Hyatt Lounge at TNNA you might have way too many lemonade & sweet tea vodka drinks and have to pull out all your progress. Likewise for knitting while trying to help your poor husband navigate to three different sets of various grandparents in the Midwest.

And you might think e-mailing all the files you need to your little computer will allow you to write the pattern. Well it would. If you had made sure the little computer had all the same software as the big computer.

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So lucky you – we’re doing a pre-order sale. Yeats is the first of the Seven Sonnets and you can buy it two ways. You can buy the individual pattern for only $3. Or you can pre-order the whole collection for only $15.95. The Seven Sonnets is going to be much like the Seven Songs. Seven shawls/shawlettes, all worked up in different construction methods, using one skein of heavy lace or fingering weight yarn.

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Yeats is worked up in a gorgeous fiber I’ve never worked with before – soy. Soy Beautiful yarn is hand-dyed by Our Humble Castle and it reminds me a lot of silk. It has a gorgeous sheen and it had the added benefit of blocking easily with a steam iron. Yeah – I thought I could block a shawlette in a hotel room with no supplies. I really was not thinking ahead.

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But my insane lack of foresight is your gain. You can pre-order the pattern (or the collection) and the first pattern will be available to you on Monday, July 9th. And I’ll have more details about the collection and this lovely pattern then! And just to sweeten the deal, Our Humble Castle is offering a special deal on the Soy Beautiful yarn – use the code “soy15″ for 15% off!