Road Tripping!

I think I have become a road trip junkie. I blame my good friend Kim and her evil collection of Mini Coopers. Last month Kim took her convertible mini and drove me up to Thomasville, Georgia and Tallahassee, Florida.

Thomasville is an amazing little town in south Georgia. They have wonderful shops and restaurants and of course a fabulous brand new yarn shop – The Fuzzy Goat! This shop was love at first sight. It has wonderful yarns and such a great vibe to it. If I was going to open a yarn store this lovely place would be very inspiring!

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Next up we headed over to Tallahassee where her daughter attends college. We visited Yarn Therapy – another sweet shop! The owner there Marianne was just as nice as can be and we chatted about meeting up in Rhinebeck. And in small world news her former employee now works for Interweave and we ended up talking on the phone this week about my upcoming appearance on Knitting Daily TV. This shop was also full of beautiful yarns and super friendly people.

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And then this past weekend Kim broke out her “big” Mini Cooper (actually her husband’s) and drove Kristin and I all the way down to Sarasota Florida to visit A Good  Yarn. We shopped, and hung out for hours at the first Saturday of the month spin-in. No I don’t spin lol. Bad things happen when I spin. But Kim and Kristin did some spinning, and I got to knit and hang out with some truly fabulous and welcoming folks. Sarasota is a 4-hour drive but we will so be going back there!

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You know I don’t buy a whole lot of yarn anymore because I’m always knitting on deadline projects, but I can always find some notions I’m needing for design work. I think I need to investigate all the yarn stores within a semi-reasonable driving distance! If you know of any must-see shops anywhere close to Jacksonville, Florida you let me know, ok?

*All pics came from the stores’ Facebook or websites – because I was a dunderhead and forgot to take any pics on either trip!

Give One Get One!

Today I am in full on Christmas gear. I have on jingle bell earrings, a Christmas tee with Santa Claus, and Christmas socks that are striped red, white, and green with silver sparkle. I had to work the ice cream sales at school. It was for the children. Don’t judge me.

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Psst! Did you know you can follow me on Instagram?
 

I am feeling much more spirit, although I am sad to say I still have not put up my tree. I am planning on rectifying this tonight. I don’t care what has to happen, tonight there will be tinsel! Fortunately the man has already decorated the mantel and we’ve been sporting Christmas lights on the front of the house for weeks.

But today I have a gift for you! Did you know you can send patterns as gifts? All you need is someone’s Ravelry name OR their e-mail address. See that nifty little “send as gift” option circled in red there on the right? You click that, put their info in, put in your own Happy Holidays message and you’re good to go! Easy peasy!

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And right now if you buy a gift for someone I will give a gift to you! It won’t happen automatically, but I will be checking every hour for gift purchases, and if you give a gift I will send you a coupon for $6.00 off your next PicnicKnits purchase. Which means a single pattern is FREE! How do you like them apples?

I’m calling it the GOGO sale. Give One Get One! I will be checking every waking hour (EST) to send out the coupon codes and will catch up on overnight purchases first thing in the morning. So go! Give! Get!

Small Biz Saturday

I never thought I would own my own business. When I first started designing it was really for yarn money. I had no idea that companies would give me yarn so I could make them pretty things. But as life changed, we started to realize that it was either build up this little business of mine or get a real job.

And I didn’t want a real job. I pick my boys up from school everyday. I go to every single one of their games and events. I’m here. I wasn’t able to be here when they were tiny and I regret that so much. But I knew I wanted a business where I called the shots. Where I got to own my time.

So now I have this business that sometimes wants to grow faster than I can manage. But I still have the option to make my own choices. And I still get to raise my boys the way I see fit. It’s a good thing. And it’s part of the whole small business thing. Where does small business money go? The same place paychecks go, but in a cut out the middle man kind of way. When you buy an e-book from me, I turn around and spend that money on groceries, or sports fees, or a third of a new pair of shoes. Seriously – the teenage boy shoe thing is insane. Every time I turn around their feet are bigger and their legs are longer. And you hear the jokes about the groceries, but my oldest plays footballs and weight lifts and he is constantly starving!

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Yeah, they are huge. Just for reference I’m 5’10”, so my youngest is only an inch shorter than me at 5’9. Last time I checked my oldest was 6’1″ – but he looks taller in that picture, doesn’t he? And they are only in 8th and 9th grade!!!

So instead of paying some insane executive salary and letting some of the money trickle down to the average Joe, you give money to me (and to other small business owners) and we use that money to live life. And I am so grateful for that. I love my job and my business and I love my family. And y’all make it possible for me to have the best of both worlds.

Small Business Saturday is just another day for me to be thankful in this season of gratitude.

So to say thank you I’m having some little weekend sales – e-books are 40% off with the coupon code “stay home” – because I think the Black Friday madness is just that – madness. Although I do heartily endorse going out today and shopping at your favorite small businesses!

And if individual patterns are your thing, you can do a Buy Two Get One Free deal – using the code “smallisgood“.

So do some shopping in the PicnicKnits Store!

The Seven Sheep

So it’s finally done. All Seven Sheep have been published. I’m really, really in love with this collection. And let me just tell you the Baah! La Jolla will do anything. It cables, it laces, it does mesh, and it blocks like a dream. The colors are out of this world and there really is a color for everyone. So you really, really need some Baah in your life!

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Hopefully now that you can see the entire collection you can see it’s totally worth the $21.95 price tag. Seven lovely shawl and shawlette patterns – all with the different construction methods and shapes, and all with a special personality all their own. One of the things I like to do on a day when I wonder what the heck I think I’m doing with my life is peruse my project galleries. And if you go here, you can see some of the beautiful projects folks have made using my Seven Sheep patterns. That always lifts me up!

Book

So on Tuesday, 11/12/13, I did something very exciting. I officially signed the contract on my very first book. I’ve been wanting to do this forever and I am so excited! Do you see that word right above and below my name? AUTHOR. I am going to be an author. So exciting!

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Also on Tuesday my very first box of book yarn arrived. I find this particularly amazing. I ask folks for yarn for my book and they say yes! It’s so neat to be at the stage in my career where I feel like I can confidently ask for yarn support. Of course the fact that I’m writing the book for Interweave sweetens the request more than just a little bit!

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Of course now I get to do exciting things like buy ALL the plastic baggies! Heather swears we knit designers should get some kind of bulk discount on ziplocs. I feel like I spend more on plastic baggies and post-its than I do on knitting needles!

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So yeah, I’m writing a book. I am alternately excited and terrified! It will definitely be a wild ride and I’m sure I’ll learn tons. And become very friendly with my UPS man. I wonder if he will be excited that I’m writing a book. That reminds me – I need to call my mom!

Hadria

Hadria is my most recently published shawl, just put out this past week by the folks at Sweet Georgia. I have wanted to work with Sweet Georgia yarns for years. Literally. I have no idea why it took me this long to use her stuff. But let me just tell you – it won’t be the last time.

Merino Silk Fine is the stuff of dreams. Supremely soft, with a subtle sheen, and amazing stitch definition. Amazing. And my Hadria Shawl is worked up in two skeins to make up a sumptuous shawl that you can really wrap yourself up in.

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Hadria uses size 6 needles and a crochet hook for the bind-off, but it’s much easier than it looks. The lace column pattern is easy to memorize and the intricate edging works up quicker than you would think. And it all comes together to make one of those just-right shawls.

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It’s not a true triangle shape – the blocking picture below shows how you pin out the sides to make the shape that really likes to stay on your shoulders.

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Hadria is available in individual download from the folks at Sweet Georgia - so go and get!

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Final E-Book Extravaganza Day!

Well folks today is the last day. Tomorrow I will have to come with something new to blog about! But it was easy blog fodder while it lasted!

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Today’s special is a repeat of yesterday to give y’all a second chance! Use the code “extra78” for 50% off the Seven Sheep, or use the code “extraspecial” and choose 7 patterns from the PicnicKnits store for only $18.95 – which is more than 50% off the individual prices!

So to finish up I’ll show off 3 more of the published Seven Sheep!

Biellese is a 2-color half circle shawl I’m incredibly proud of!

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Montadale is worked top down with lace and cable wings.

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And Lacaune is worked sideways in a gorgeous open eyelet pattern.

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Today’s your last day! So get to getting!

I got six!

Sometimes when I run short on post titles I go back to the classic standards – like School House Rock. Years ago I loaned my DVD to someone and never got it back. I really need to buy it again – it’s good for the soul and makes me feel young again.

But today is the sixth day of the E-Book Extravaganza. Do you know how many days there are? There are eight. I have four e-books, and I figure 2 days per e-book to give folks a chance to take advantage of the coupon code.

Which means you have exactly three days (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) to take advantage of the Make Your Own E-Book special. Choose 7 individual patterns from the PicnicKnits store, apply the coupon code “extraspecial” and it’s only $18.95!

And today’s daily special is again half off the The Seven Sonnets, with the coupon code “extra56“. So we’ll show off the last three of the sonnets.

Teasdale is started with a long border, and a textured crescent body.

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Marlais is worked counterpane style from the center out and is offered in two sizes.

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And finally Poe is a winged shawl worked top down with feathery cables in honor of my favorite poet.

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I was shocked, shocked I tell you, when I realized that no one had used the name Poe for a knitting pattern (on Ravelry at least). That totally made my day when I realized I didn’t have to come up with some alternate name!

Who’s your favorite poet?

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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