Donny

I’ve been doing this business for awhile. There are many ups and downs to this business. One of the ups is that I have access to a lot of beautiful yarns. I’m established enough that I can request yarn support for my designs, and I don’t really buy yarn. In fact, I’m not sure when I last bought yarn. Too busy, too much work.

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Except for a few weeks back. ContinentalKim picked me up in her brand new Mini and we headed down to Four Purls in Winter Haven, Florida. Ross Farm and Gerschubie Fiber Arts were having a trunk show down there. The shop was amazing and the yarns were just wonderful.

2380293Ross Farms is real working sheep farm up in Pennsylvania that sells natural yarns from only heritage and rare breeds. I brought home some Piccadilly. I absolutely love how they have a picture of the actual sheep on the tags.  It’s going to grow up to be a cowl. Apparently cowls are my new obsession right now.

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Gerschubie Fiber Arts is a hand-dyer out of North Carolina. I totally fell in love with her Largo bulky base in the color Puppy Love. I actually brought home two skeins of it, and I knew it was destined to be a Valentine’s Day Cowl. I actually bought needles and cast-on right in the store.

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And what that yarn became is Donny. It’s a reversible cowl pattern with tons of options. You can use 1 skein of Largo – 100 yards of bulky – and you get a cozy cowl that measures 30″ around by 15″ tall.

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Or you can use two skeins and get a 60″ long reversible scarf.

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The scarf is actually 15″ wide so you can wear it as a stole.

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Or you can do like I did and seam it together for a moebius cowl.

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Which is long enough to wrap double around your neck for the squishiest, warmest cowl you ever did wear. But since it’s worked up in only 200 yards of bulky yarn it only takes a few hours to knit. Knit one for your sweetheart – or for yourself. I knit mine for me! I’ve worn it three times since I finished it – we are having a cold snap here in sunny Florida.

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Donny is available on Ravelry for only $6.00 and it includes all the instructions for all the variations of Donny. Why is it named Donny? For Donny Osmond of course. A yarn named Puppy Love makes you sing the old song…

And they called it puppy love
Oh, I guess they’ll never know
How a young heart really feels
And why I love her so

Needles: Size 13 needles (9.0 mm)

Yarn: Gerschubie Fiber Arts Largo, 100% merino, 100 yards, 1-2 skeins

Gauge: 5.25 stitches and 7 rows = 4 inches in blocked lace pattern

Size: Small Cowl is 15″ high and 30″ around,
Large Version is 60″ long/around and 15″ high/wide after blocking

Donny is available on Ravelry individually for $6.00 USD 

VALENTINE’S SPECIAL!!

Only for the weekend of February 14-15 use the code “love” to get Donny for free! 

Kahel

Anzula For Better or Worsted is the worsted weight yarn of your dreams. First off it’s an MCN blend, which just makes it better right away. And then the twist is just perfection – such a sproingy, lovely yarn. Knitting with it is heavenly.

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Kahel uses two skeins of For Better or Worsted in a rich deep orange shade called Arizona. For this design I really wanted something generous and sumptuous. Something you could really wrap yourself up in. On size 9 needles the For Better or Worsted makes a cozy fabric, and the way the fabric is worked, it has a beautiful wrong-side which makes it reversible.

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Kahel is worked from tip to tip – the increasing and decreasing is all incorporated into the patterning, and the garter lace edging is applied as the knitting is worked. The simple knit/purl pattern with eyelets looks more complicated than it is. For experienced knitters it’s great knit-night knitting – the kind that become intuitive as you go along. And for beginners to charts and lace it’s a great way to hone your chart skills.

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Kahel is available on Ravelry individually for $6.00 USD or as part of the Stitch Sprouts For Better or Worsted Pamphlet for only $18.00.

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Needles: Size 9 needles (5.5 mm)

Yarn: Anzula For Better or Worsted, 80% merino, 20% cashmere, 10% nylon, 200 yards to 115g, 1 skein

Gauge: 16 stitches and 20 rows = 4 inches in blocked body pattern

Size: 64″ wide and 24″ tall after blocking

Kahel is available on Ravelry individually for $6.00 USD

Dalawa

Anzula is one of my desert island yarns. Although I’m not sure I could pick just one base. So many delicious bases. And then of course the people. The Anzula people are some of my most favorite industry people. Even when they show up at TNNA with new people, the new people are just as awesome! I do not know how they do this.

So when Stitch Sprouts decided to do collections for three of the Anzula bases I wanted a design in ALL of them. Sadly, I was also working on a million other things so I only ended up with designs in two. So sad. The Squishy Collection features five designs from super cool Stitch Sprouts designers including this one of mine… Dalawa.

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Dalawa is a cowl with cable lace patterning, working in the round with deep ribbing. Around the top of the cowl there is an i-cord drawstring for two, count ‘em two reasons. Reason the first is to really cinch up the cowl on a very blustery day. Because sometimes you need some extra chill insurance.

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And the second reason is to turn Dalawa into a sweet little slouchy hat. Just pull the drawstring in all the way, tie a little bow and bam! You’re rocking a hat! The Squishy base is a fingering weight merino/cashmere/nylon yarn that is ridiculously soft for next to the skin wear. And the nice twist on the yarn means that cables and lace pop with the perfect stitch definition.

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Dalawa is available on Ravelry individually for $6.00 USD or as part of the Stitch Sprouts Squishy Pamphlet for only $18.00. And check back tomorrow when I blog about Kahel – which is my design in the For Better Or Worsted Collection.

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Needles: Size 4 needles (3.5 mm)

Yarn: Anzula Squishy, 80% merino, 20% cashmere, 10% nylon, 375 yards to 115g, 1 skein

Gauge: 22 stitches and 28 rows = 4 inches in blocked lace cable pattern

Size: 21-3/4″ in circumference and 11″ tall after blocking

Dalawa is available on Ravelry individually for $6.00 USD

TNNA Phoenix Recap

The weekend before last was the Phoenix TNNA. Now I don’t know why, but the 2 hour time difference seems to have sucked the life out of me. Maybe it’s because Phoenix also sucked every last bit of moisture out of my body. I can’t imagine what the dryness is like in the summer when it’s actually hot. I swear I drank a gallon of water every day and I still was constantly parched.

But now I’m home, and not napping every day and slightly recovered. I have a nagging cough from the show crud I caught, but I’m trying to get back to work and keep the boys on task and send them out of town… see? There goes that eye twitch again. I’m tired of being so busy. I need to figure out how to schedule my life so I can fool myself into thinking I’m not swamped lol!

Anyhow, show recap. That’s why we are here. So Phoenix is like a strange plateau completely surrounded by mountains. And we were up at the buttcrack of dawn on Friday to start set-up!

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All Friday morning we did booth set-up.
The tutu of doom deposited glitter all over everything in sight!

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But my little corner of the Stitch Sprouts world turned out pretty nice!

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Then Heather and I sold Stitch Sprouts fabulous new class kits at Sample It!

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And it was fashion show time! My Lareina was featured on the runway.
And run they did. Those were the fastest walking models I had ever seen.
The audience was yelling at them to slow down.

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Lareina even got a nice big button to wear in the booth!

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I got to see a Vittorio in the wild! That always makes me happy!

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And I got to see the Interweave spring catalog. Featuring my Junius
shawl design from my upcoming book on the cover. I felt kind of like a rockstar!
And yes you can pre-order my book Warm Days, Cool Knits!

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I decided that all my future trade show outfits will feature tights from We Love Colors. So comfy and I felt so cute!

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My shawl skirt was quite the conversation starter!
It turned out to be a gorgeous way to showcase some of my older shawl designs.

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And then excitement! We were evacuated from the convention center when the show was nearly done! Fortunately all was well and none of the yarn was harmed in any way!

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And just like that another TNNA was over. Fortunately in the course of this one I got to spend some time with a new friend, Jen Lucas, and we will definitely be hanging out in Columbus! And then the booth was kaput and the crate was ready to go.

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And there was much rejoicing.

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Tips 4 Designers – Trade Show Etiquette

Are you thinking about attending your first TNNA trade show this year in Columbus? I’ve been going for a while and now I exhibit at the shows – you can see my little corner of the Stitch Sprouts world on the right below. But when I first went I had no idea what to expect!

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Today on the Stitch Sprouts blog I’m talking about Trade Show Etiquette. If you are going to an industry trade show such as the TNNA show in late May you don’t want to be that designer. You know that one. The one that the other companies and designers talk about and use as a cautionary tale.  So read up on my etiquette tips over at the Stitch Sprouts blog and check out all of my Tips For Designers.

Lareina

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Lareina is finally live! I swear life has been conspiring against me – but I am getting things back under control. Lareina is the 2nd of the Perfectly Placed shawls – Loradee was the first. Perfectly Placed is a collection of striped shawls in Yellowstone – an 80/20 wool/silk by Stitch Sprouts. Yellowstone is a sport-weight yarn with a generous 285 yards per skein. And it’s buttery soft!

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Lareina begins with a lovely lace border – and then you pick up stitches to work the Latvian braid. Once you work the braid and the body set-up the body is a simple 6 row repeat. And it goes fast, because your rows get shorter and shorter. I love that kind of fast!

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The wool/silk blend makes for a really sumptuous next to the skin soft wrap that works in any season. The slip stitch patterning mimics a lovely plaid and the creamsicle colors make this a dreamy project. What colors of Yellowstone would you work this shawl up in?

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Lareina is available on Ravelry individually for $6.00 USD or as part of the Perfectly Placed collection for only $11.95. Two more Perfectly Placed shawls are coming soon to use up all the Yellowstone colors!

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Needles: Size 7 needles (4.5 mm)

Yarn: Stitch Sprouts Yellowstone in Natural and Forest Fire – 285 yards to 100g

Gauge: 18 stitches and 26 rows = 4 inches in blocked slip stitch pattern

Size: 50″ wide and 24″ deep after blocking

Lareina is available on Ravelry individually for $6.00 USD
or as part of the Perfectly Placed e-book for $11.95 USD

Artistic Differences Blog Tour

I am the second to last stop on the Artistic Differences Blog Tour. This is an amazing new collection by Talitha Kuomi in collaboration with Classic Elite Yarns.  If you don’t know Talitha’s work from her fabulous portfolio or from The Fiber Factor, you should definitely check her out! Talitha has come up with a fascinating set of projects – each being shown in a Rocker version and a Bohemian version. It’s a really neat way of showing the way that a few simple changes to a project can totally change the vibe!

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The book overall is a lovely volume, and the photography is perfect for the showing off the two different musical styles. I kept wanting to be a rocker, but I definitely found out I’m a Bohemian girl! But even though the rocker pieces surely have an edge to them, the entire collection is very wearable.

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Today’s featured pattern is Tensity. It’s a bag with two personalities! Worked up in the green as a shoulder sling it has Rocker sensibilities. But as a shoulder bag in the wine it’s Bohemian and go anywhere! The bag is worked up in Wynter – a bulky 50/50 superfine alpaca wool blend – on size 10 needles for a sweet instant gratification project! And for today only the pattern is 10% off if you purchase it on Ravelry.

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This bag was on my mind this weekend as I traveled to Phoenix for TNNA. I totally need a nice knitted bag for my airplane carry on.  The beautiful hardware for this bag is available from Jul Designs. You can purchase either the Rocker hardware set or the Bohemian hardware set on their set.

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Classic Elite is giving away the entire Artistic Differences collection in print – it’s a beautiful booklet. So head on over to their blog tomorrow to enter that giveaway. They are the last stop on the blog tour naturally! And if you comment on this blog post you will be entered to win a copy of the Tensity pattern. You must comment by January 21st, as I will choose my winner on January 22nd. And you can choose who you want to be and knit up the version of your choice!

 

Tips 4 Designers – Photography Models

Are you an aspiring knitting designer? Did you know I write a blog series on the Stitch Sprouts Blog called “Tips 4 Designers”? Each week or so I blog about some things that might help you as a beginning designer. I’m always looking for blog post ideas, so if you have any suggestions – head on over to the Stitch Sprouts Blog and leave me a comment.

Today’s post is about using models for knitting designs and how much of a difference it just makes to use a model.

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And look for this lovely design Lareina to be released soon after I finish editing all these pretty pictures!

Happy New Year!

This year one of my resolutions is to not be so scarce around these parts. Among lots and lots of other things! I am going to be one of those annoying people who proclaims 2015 to by MY YEAR – a lot because 2014 sucked big time. I was going to use another colorful phrase, but I’m trying to be couth here.

Today my husband decided that the thing that we must do today is plant a tree. So we did. We headed up to home depot to see what they had in stock for winter planting and the pickings were slim. Most of the options were citrus trees. And while I would love to have a lime or lemon tree, that’s a backyard tree. I don’t want the neighbors or the HOA complaining if my harvest gets out of hand. And today I wanted a front yard tree.

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So we chose this lovely magnolia tree. And of course now I feel like I need to be all gentile and possibly sit on the porch with a hat or something. But then I remember that I don’t have a porch on my house that is quite possibly the bain of the neighborhood with it’s Hershey chocolate exterior. And the only hat I own that isn’t knitted is a ginormous lime green beach hat that clashes with said house.  I adore living in the South, but I don’t have any illusions about actually being Southern!

There are lots of things in store with my business and my life and I hope y’all will come along for the ride this year. My year.

Miasuli

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Sometimes you need a little something. Not too simple, not too hard. Miasuli fits the bill. It’s perfect for last minute Christmas knitting, or just as a break from the crazy holiday runaround. The lace is unusual and fun to knit, and the garter short row  sections go crazy fast.

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The yarn is the sumptuous Ella Rae Lace Merino Chunky, and it’s a dream to work with. Silky and soft, with amazing stitch definition. Worked on big needles it makes a cozy but not too dense fabric with an open geometric lace pattern.

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Needles: Size 10.5 needles (6.5 mm)

Yarn: Ella Rae Lace Merino Chunky, 121 yards to 100g, 2 skeins – sample in color #10 – Teal Green

Gauge: 12stitches and 20 rows = 4 inches in blocked garter pattern

Size: 64″ wide and 12″ deep after blocking

Miasuli is available on Ravelry individually for $6.00 USD