Extra! Extra!

How many words can you think of that begin with extra? I’m running out of juice on that front. But that aside, the E-Book Extravaganza is still ongoing. Today we are featuring The Seven Sonnets, seven lovely shawlettes in different construction types that are named after poets. For the next two days you can use the coupon code “extra56” and get half off of The Seven Sonnets.

First is Yeats, worked sideways with short row garter wedges to offset the lace!

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Next up is Longfellow, worked crescent style in the amazing Verdant Gryphon Mithril.

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Third to bat is Whitman, also worked sideways, but with long columns of lace.

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And the fourth sonnet is Wendell Holmes, worked top down with fancy lace edging.

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And don’t forget you can still make your own e-book. Choose 7 PicnicKnits patterns from my store, and apply the code “extraspecial” and you get all seven for only $18.95!

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And the beat goes on – day four!

Second verse, same as the first… well actually fourth verse, same as the third, but you know what I mean, right? Today’s features are a second chance to get The Seven Songs for half price and the Make Your Own E-Book deal is still keeping on.

Coupon code “extra34” gets you half off The Seven Songs

Coupon code “extraspecial” gets you 7 PicnicKnits patterns for only $18.95!

And today we feature the rest of The Seven Songs, so you can see the pretties you can get!

Prokofiev - worked from the top down in five lacy wedges.

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Auber - worked from the bottom up with a lace edging and diamonds full of Estonian patterning.

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Rachmaninoff - a border worked longways with stitches picked up for the short-row crescent body.

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Berlioz - worked in my favorite way sideways with softly curved lace patterning.

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I was really proud that I was able to work up seven different construction techniques for the shawlettes in this book. That way you’re not working the same old same old over and over again. That’s one of my pet peeves! And speaking of new constructions, I’m working on something slightly different for me for the sixth of The Seven Sheep. As soon as I can make up my mind which color goes best with the silver I will be knitting like a fiend!

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Extravaganza Day Three

You might think I started up this little e-book thing because I was running out of things to blog about. You would be partially right. I forgot that when I force myself to write everyday I sometimes get a bit Eeyore-ish. But talking about fun projects that I am proud of  makes me happy, so there you go!

Today (and tomorrow’s) special is half off of my first planned collection – the Seven Songs - so you can get it today and tomorrow for 50% off!! Use the coupon code “extra34” for that deal. The Seven Songs is one where I actually planned out names and themes for the shawls – each one a different construction. And here are the first three songs…

Debussy – a top down triangle without a spine. It’s spineless! Get it? Ok, maybe not.

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Delius – crescent shaped with large, lovely leaf motifs.

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And Stravinsky – worked from the bottom up with an ornate lace border.

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Now say, you like some of these songs, but you don’t want the whole collection? No worries! The Make Your Own E-Book deal is still going on. Use the code “extraspecial”, choose your favorite seven patterns from my store, and the total cost is only $18.95!

Extravaganza Day Two

Today the E-Book Extravaganza is still going strong!

If you use the code “extraspecial” you can make your own e-book. Choose any 7 PicnicKnits patterns from the store, put ‘em in your cart, apply the code, and it’s only $18.95! That’s more than 50% off normal individual prices. And you my dear get an e-book that has exactly what you like!

It’s the second and final day to feature the Sideways Shawlettes e-book for 50% off! Use the coupon code “extra12″ to get this amazing deal!

Yesterday we looked at the first four patterns in the Sideways Shawlettes e-book. Today we will take a peak at the final four!

Cordelle is a cozy wrap worked up in one of those mongo skeins of Alpaca With A Twist’s Baby Twist. So soft and warm!

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Katara is worked sideways with short-row shaping in a perfect wintery ice blue.

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Renita is worked up in a red that is pure perfection from the Verdant Gryphon.

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And my very favorite of this bunch, Pettine uses one skein of Malabrigo Sock.

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So don’t miss your chance to get Sideways Shawlettes at 50% off! Today is the last day for that special deal!

E-Book Extravaganza Day One: Sideways Shawlettes

So I am kicking off an E-Book Extravaganza! And there are two ways to get in on it! You can choose the e-book of the day and get it for  half price (woot!) or you can make your e-book by choosing 7 PicnicKnits patterns from my store and get them all for only $18.95!

Today and tomorrow’s e-book of the day is Sideways Shawlettes – 8 sideways patterns for the half-off price of only $12.50!!! Use the coupon code “extra12” for that awesome deal!

To make your own e-book, put seven individual PicnicKnits patterns in your Ravelry cart, and apply the code “extraspecial” and the price will be only $18.95! Yes people, that is more than 50% off.

And are you familiar with all the pretties in the Sideways Shawlettes book? There are eight of them, and I’m featuring four of them today. Starting off with my very first (and most popular) sideways shawlette Gaenor.

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Like all of the projects, Gaenor is worked from tip to tip. It uses 430 yards of fingering weight merino/silk, but you can use any amount of yarn because it’s easy to transition from increasing to decreasing! By the way, this popular beauty has a slew of gorgeous finished objects on Ravelry.

Next up is Argante, which incorporates short-row shaping and a sweet rounded lace edging.

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Then we have Kyveli – still worked side to side, but with some fancy reversible lace stripes incorporated. Don’t worry – they are easier to work than they look!

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And the fourth featured pattern for today, Bakersfield. Another fan favorite, this one is a shallow wide shawl that uses just one skein of Colinette Jitterbug.

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So if you were going to make your own e-book, which patterns would you choose? I’ve got my favorites (naturally) but what are yours?

Pretty Cast On

I have a favorite cast-on. It’s kind of weird. Other folks have used it I’m sure, but it was an idea that I had that worked out really nicely. You cast-on over two needles (or one really big one) and then you immediately do a ton of double increases.

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When you work in stockinette stitch you get a nice little star cluster effect that runs all along the cast-on edge.

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It does however have a natural curve and tightness to it. Frequently knitters will worry that it’s too tight. It’s not! I promise. When you go to block the design it will block out into the perfect crescent edge, like you see in Longfellow below:

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Or in Lawsonia:

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You can even use it in garter stitch shawls like Jovia, although the cluster effect is not as pronounced.

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/jovia

 What’s your favorite cast-on?

Undereye Luggage

Yesterday was a very good day. Despite the fact that I didn’t get to chaperone my own kids, I got to spend the day with a wonderful family, and three other neat kids. It was kind of cool seeing Disney through younger girls’ eyes. I’m so used to the jaded teenage boy perspective!

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See those bags? That’s the problem – I am useless today. I am trying to supervise some catch-up work for both boys in their English classes. Language Arts? Not my forte! Three hours of sleep on Friday night, combined with a 4:30 am wakeup call on Saturday and not actually crawling back into my bed until 2:30 am on Sunday morning? This woman is feeling her age and isn’t very helpful!

I am actually making coffee right now and I rarely drink it at all anymore. But if I don’t I will be snoozing at the kitchen table while my boys play on their phones instead of do their English re-writes and notecards!

Knitting wise I’m still plugging along on the autumn colored lace piece. I’m finally deep into the lace edging, but it’s slow going. I also have some swatches that need finishing for another project so I’m trying to convince myself that short and sweet projects like swatches are the way to go. What’s on your needles on this sleepy Sunday?

No, I appreciate you!

One of my favorite things to do, especially when a Friday is acting like a Monday, is to look at my user activity on Ravelry. It’s this sweet little place where I can see what how folks on Ravelry interact with my patterns. I get to see queues and favorites and the things I love most – project pictures and finished objects. When I looked today, I was reminded that someone said this about my Longfellow pattern: “This is probably the prettiest thing I’ve ever knit, with the prettiest yarn I’ve ever used.’

It’s one of the nicest compliments I’ve ever received.

So to share the love, I’ve got a little appreciation for you – my awesome customers! If you buy anything today or tomorrow, you can get a free pattern! Basically pick something you want from my store, and then choose a pattern you want for free. Add it all to your Ravelry cart – and then add the coupon code “appreciation”. It will take $6 (the going rate for my singles) right off your total! You could even make Longfellow one of your choices, one of the Seven Sonnets.

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Coupon code is good today and tomorrow, so get on it! And I’m happy to say that tomorrow will be nothing like a Monday because I get to spend my day at the happiest place on earth. My sons are altar servers at church and it’s Disney field trip day and I’m going along as a chaperone. Hopefully I’ll get to exert some chaperone muscle and ride my very favorite – the Haunted Mansion! What’s your favorite amusement park ride?

The Hard Part

I probably shouldn’t have said I would blog every day in October. I’m trying to get my writing mojo going again, but today is one of those days that I just don’t want to write anything down. But rather than be negative, I’m going to be positive. Yes, it’s a forced fake it ’til you make it kind of positive, but it’s better than being whiny.

Top Five Things I Love About My Knitting Design Career

1. Flexibility – If I want to work in the middle of the night when everyone else is asleep, I can. If I want to take my knitting to the beach and stare at the waves while I work on a project I can.

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2. People – Most of my best friends are knitters. It’s so easy and effortless to make knitting and designer friends that it shouldn’t be legal. The love of yarn has brought me together with folks I would have never met otherwise and my life is infinitely better for it.

3. Accomplishment – There are so many big and little ways that knit design is gratifying to my spirit. I love it when things go just right on a project. I love it when folks like my work and even better – want to reproduce it!

4. Income – When I first started this business it was for fun money. Little bits here and there, maybe taking the family to dinner once in a while. Now (for better or for worse!) it’s a serious chunk of our family’s income, and helps to pay for the ever growing expenses of two teenage boys. But it’s so wonderful to make money doing something I love.

5. Challenges – I love that with knit design I can constantly challenge myself. How can I make the yarn do this? How can I make the shawl or the sweater hang just so? I love that with yarn there are so few limits, and that there’s always something new for me to try and do!

What are you favorite things about knitting? (Or knit design if that’s how you roll!) And yes, if my teenage sons saw that I used the phrase “how you roll” they would be mortified. But I figure that’s part of my job as a mom, am I right?

Fall

I really, really miss fall. I was just saying to myself the other day that I needed to plan a family road trip somewhere north where the leaves properly change color, and you can feel the crispness in the air. But then I realized that the next five years of my life include a high school football game every Friday night during the fall which kind of puts the kibosh on weekend trips. Today we’re getting a heavy soak. Which is bringing the temperature down but is not the fall experience I’m looking for!

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Of course I think the fact that those are pineapples growing on my back porch doesn’t to bring about a feeling of fall either. Also I was planning a trip to the beach tomorrow. Not a very fall-like activity. But I think the rain is going to persist.

I think I just need to do fall things inside. Decorate a bit, make soup and possibly something with pumpkin. Speaking of which, when did pumpkin become the end all be all of fall? I love all things pumpkin, but I think we’re going a little overboard.

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Ooh, that might be a good fall activity. Snuggle in with knitting and a blanket and a Lord of the Rings marathon. Yes, that is a stretch, and really has nothing to do with fall, but I don’t have much to work with here! Honestly I think I just need to design and cast-on for a cozy sweater!

But maybe you do need some knitting where you are to keep your lap warm. So to help in that regard I’m having a little fall BOGO sale. Buy one get one free on all e-books and patterns in my store.

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And if you’ve got some gorgeous fall foliage where you live, take a picture for me! I need to live vicariously through y’all!