Thursday, June 25, 2015

Holla Knits Summer 2015 Magazine!

I was super excited when Allyson- editor of Holla Knits- emailed several months ago and asked if I'd like to write an article for the summer issue of Holla Knits because oh yeah, it's a full on magazine now, with tutorials, a letter from the editor, and everything. Super excited! I've never really thought of myself as a real writer before, but seeing something I wrote in a magazine- I believe. I knew right away that I wanted to share a slightly embarrassing, though lovely and heartwarming, story about my first-ever knitting project. If you're familiar with my designs, then you know that they can be a bit.... well, crazypants. See: the Duck Hat, Everett Henley (my first sweater design, because I am nuts), and just wait until you see what I'm working on for Holla Knits for this winter. Nuts. Read my story about the first thing I picked out to knit and I think you'll see why I am the way I am. You can get a copy of the fantastic magazine, which also has 6 awesome summer patterns to knit, here. Teresa Gregorio and Emma Welford wrote something too, because they are also awesome.

After you read my little story, you'll surely want to knit something from the magazine, because duh, it's Holla Knits and EVERYTHING is awesome! (I recognize that I just used "awesome" about 6 times in the last 4 sentences, but I have that lego song in my head so we all have to suffer.) All of the designs are great, but this one is my favorite, and it's already in my Ravelry queue:

Annapolis by my invisible internet friend Kristen Jancuk (mediaperuana on Twitter)

That stitch pattern! Ahh! I could see wearing this sweater a lot. I've got some mint green yarn in my stash that might be perfect... and I'm weirdly super obsessed with mint green right now.

Also, because it's not a blog tour stop without a giveaway, wanna win a pattern from the issue? Comment and tell me which pattern you're dying to knit, and you could win a copy! Be sure to leave some way for me to contact you- email, Rav ID, Twitter handle, something. And then check out the rest of the blog tour for even more giveaways. Oh, and you might want to subscribe to the magazine so that you get my nutso winter pattern as soon as it's released... I think you'll want to make what I'm cooking up. :)

Leave a comment by Tuesday, June 30th. I'll announce a winner on Wednesday July 1st!

June 16: The Sweatshop of Love- pattern giveaway
June 17: Klever Knits- pattern giveaway
June 18: Canary Knits - Travel knitting & mag giveaway
June 22: MediaPeruana - pattern giveaway
June 24: YarnGasm - Knitting with Voolenvine Podcast- magazine giveaway
June 25: Cosmos and Cashmere - pattern giveaway
June 26: Midwest Yarn - pattern giveaway
June 29: Emma Welford  - pattern giveaway
July 2: Canary Knits- Beach House styling & giveaway

Monday, June 15, 2015

New Pattern: Diamond Lattice Mittens

Once again with a non-seasonal new pattern. Hey, some people live where it's cold year-round, right?

These are the Diamond Lattice Mittens. I found this stitch pattern in one of my stitch dictionaries- favorite reading material ever- and I knew right away that this pattern was meant to be mittens. The mittens are otherwise basic: ribbed cuff, thumb gusset, nice rounded top, but the slip-stitch pattern really jazzes things up, right? I mean, why make plain mittens when you can make diamond-y mittens? It's an easy pattern to work, especially if you've ever cabled without a cable needle- these are the same idea. A pair of mittens takes about 150 yards of worsted-weight yarn. I used Malabrigo Worsted for the sample because I will come up with any excuse to use Malabrigo Worsted. It's like knitting with a cloud.

My pattern testers felt that this was a great pattern for a highly variegated yarn. Check out their projects here- they were totally right.

Two sizes, women's small/medium and women's large. Finished hand circumference for the smaller mittens is 7.75 inches, and it's 8.75 inches for the larger size. 

Needles: US 6 and US 7 dpns.
Gauge: 20 sts and 28 rows = 4" in stockinette on larger needles

Want to make a pair for yourself? Until June 20th, get the pattern for 40% off the usual price of $4. Take advantage! 

Saturday, May 30, 2015

New Pattern: Kenner Street Pullover!

It's summer! Guess that means it's time for a new sweater pattern, amirite?

This is the Kenner Street Pullover. It's top-down and totally seamless, with short-row shoulders, set-in sleeves, and a lace panel running down the back, just for something fun. From the front: basic V-neck pullover. From the back: BOOM, lace!

Construction details: This sweater starts with a provisional cast on of the back stitches. The back is worked down to the underarms, then put on hold while stitches are picked up from each shoulder for the fronts. The fronts and back are joined at the underarms and worked straight down with no waist shaping to the bottom ribbing. Stitches are picked up for set-in sleeves. The sleeve cap is created with short rows, then the sleeves are worked down to the ribbing.

The body has no shaping for an easy, casual fit, but you can easily add some waist shaping. Sleeve lengths are easy to customize- try 3/4 or half sleeves to make the sweater more versatile for warmer weather.

The pattern calls for DK weight yarn. I used Knit Picks Gloss DK, a very soft blend of silk and merino. The sample shown is size 34.5, worn with about 2 inches of negative ease. The sample took about 7 balls of Gloss DK. 

Skills needed: Knitting in the round, working short rows, basic increases and decreases, basic lace, picking up stitches, provisional and backwards loop cast ons, knitting with double-pointed needles.

Full bust: 33 (34.5, 37, 39.25, 43, 46.5, 48.25) 
To fit bust sizes 33-37 (34-38, 37-41, 39-43, 43-47, 46-50, 48-52) 
To be worn with 0-2 inches of negative ease in the bust. Shown in size 34.5 with approximately 2 inches of negative ease.

Knit Picks Gloss DK; (70% Merino, 30% Silk; 123yd/112m per 50 g skein); Color: Admiral 7 (8, 9, 11, 13, 14, 16) skeins

Check out the projects on Ravelry- some of my testers adjusted the sleeve length, and it's cute!

Get the Kenner Street Pullover pattern for just $4.50 until June 7th, then the price will go up to the usual $6.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Another Designer's Pattern

Recently, I read a blog post from another designer about how important it is for us, as designers, to knit other designers' patterns. While I totally agree (it's a great way to learn more about construction, pattern writing, get new ideas, etc.), this is FAR easier said than done. I don't have the luxury of hiring a sample knitter, as badly as I want to, so I knit all of my samples myself. It takes up very nearly all of my (limited, with the job) knitting time. I come across patterns that I love and want to knit all the time, but I just file them away in my "someday" queue, knowing full well that it's actually a "only in my head and never for reals" queue.

Well, I got sick of that. I saw this pattern (Beatitude by Katy Banks) in a Knit Picks catalog last fall and was instantly obsessed with it. Like, leave-the-catalog-open-to-that-page-and-leave-it-lying-around-so-I-could-see-it obsessed. I broke down. I bought the yarn. I carved out some knitting time. I STARTED ANOTHER DESIGNER'S PATTERN. And honestly? I need to always have another designer's pattern on the needles. This sweater is my mental break from whatever else I'm working on- I don't have to do any math, or make sure the charts line up, or anything else I have to do when I'm knitting my own designs- and I love it.

It's a top-down yoked cardigan with a steek- this will be my first time steeking, and I admit I'm a bit terrified. I'm at the point now where there are something like 500 stitches in each round, so it's going a bit slow. Also, I don't often get more than 20 or 30 minutes at a time to work on it, so that's probably contributing more to the slow. I think I'm like an inch away from dividing for the sleeves, and honestly, I don't think there's any better feeling than dividing for the sleeves in a top-down sweater. I might truck on today so I can get to that point and rejoice in my knitting prowess. Also I don't have any major designs on the needles, so I can knit on this and not feel guilty! (Who am I kidding, I'll feel guilty anyway. Designer's guilt: it's a disease.)

Sunday, April 19, 2015

New Pattern: Tullamore Cardigan

I know that it's not a great time of year to release a heavily cabled cardigan pattern, but here we are. I got the yarn for this beauty in late December, then I swatched. And swatched. And swatched some more. The yarn is Dream in Color Classy, a personal favorite, in a beautiful golden colorway called Amber Glass, and it's.... thin. Oddly thin. More like a DK than the worsted it's supposed to be. I ignored that fact for far too long while I tried to make the swatches work, because it seemed so weird that the yarn would be different that I just sort of assumed that it was me who wasn't working. Stupid, really, because once I accepted the fact that the yarn was thin, and treated it as such, the knitting went a LOT faster.

I knitted this cardigan in pieces and seamed them together. I admit that it's not my favorite way to design, but I wanted to branch out.

Each piece is cabled with a variation on the back panel; the sleeves and front each have just one of the circle-y cables, and the back has three. I love, love, love this design. Despite taking ages and ages to finish, and having to rip it out about a million times, I still love it.


The Tullamore Cardigan (Ravelry link)

Skills needed: Long tail cast on, cabling with or without a cable needle, increases and decreases, seaming, picking up stitches.

Ladies’ S (M, L, XL, 2X, 3X)

Finished Measurements:
Full bust: 37 (40, 43, 46, 49, 52)
To fit bust sizes 33-36 (36-39, 39-42, 42-45, 45-48, 48-51)
To be worn with 1-4 inches of positive ease in the bust. Shown in size 40 with approximately 3 inches of positive ease.

Dream in Color Classy; [100% Merino; 250yd/229m per 113 g skein]; Color: Amber Glass; 5 (6, 6, 7, 7, 8) skeins
Note on the yarn: see above comments about this particular lot's thickness. I would recommend a DK yarn instead, unless you also have a lot of thin Classy. Everlasting DK is a good choice for a sub.

Until April 30th, get the pattern for $4.50 on Ravelry. After that I'm bumping it up to its regular price of $6.50. EU knitters can get the pattern on Love Knitting as usual.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Sockity Sock Socks.

I don't have particularly small feet, but every time I knit socks for myself (which is every time I knit socks, really... I don't give away knits well) I end up with quite a lot of leftover yarn. Not saying this is a bad thing, but after awhile the sock yarn bin starts to overflow and action must be taken. Rainbow sock action.

This is all yarn leftover from various sock projects over the past few years. I know that I'm not really using much up, but I at least feel like I'm making progress on the "using stuff up" front.

I made one rainbow sock, but then I had to go on an emergency trip, and the rainbow socks were not ideal plane knitting. So, here's a bit of another sock.

This is a couple inches of a Froot Loop sock from Knitty. I'm using my oldest stash sock yarn- something I dyed from my brief dyeing streak of 2010. It's a little blue for my taste so I might give the finished socks a bath in green dye, just to make them more of a teal color. I think I would like that better. The pattern's a little weird, but it's fairly easy to work. Just twisted stitches and purls. I'm in no hurry to finish either pair of these socks, because it's been north of 85 degrees here every day in recent memory, and I'm sticking to my chair right now. My hair is fluffy from all the humidity and I haven't slept with any blankets in weeks. I don't think I'll be needing new socks anytime soon.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Like I Have the Time

Beatitude Cardigan by Katy Banks... picture borrowed from the KP website

I don't know if you spend a lot of time on the Knit Picks website, but I find myself there often. Sometimes I'm looking for inspiration, sometimes I'm picking out colors for a submission, sometimes I'm dreaming about things that I don't have time to knit. I noticed a couple months ago that they were doing a monthly yarn sale- 20% off a specific yarn each month. I don't remember what the yarn was these past few months, but this month, it's Palette. Palette happens to be the yarn called for in the Beatitude Cardigan from the recent Fair Isle collection- I have been obsessed with that cardigan since the collection came out. Like, really obsessed. I thought about buying a kit the second I saw that pattern, but I was like no, there's no time to knit it, it'll just sit in my sewing room for ages and make me sad. But then- Palette sale. Guess what I've got in my sewing room now?

Yep. Yarn for the Beatitude Cardigan. I will make time for this pattern, I swear. I want that cardigan in my closet in the worst way.

I'm pretty much just going to copy the sample. Main color is Oyster Heather, and for the contrast I'm using Raspberry Heather and Conch. I already had the Conch so it was just a matter of choosing a darker coral. Love these colors together. Now, to find time to swatch. Sigh.