Sunday, September 7, 2014

Back to School Sweaters

Yesterday, we had our first taste of fall weather... cool, damp, gray... I loved every minute of it. It was not to last, however, since here in north east Ohio we seem to be experiencing an Indian summer. That doesn't stop me from dreaming about sweater knitting.

My daughter, like so many children, went back to school a couple of weeks ago. I usually make her a "back to school" sweater in September but have yet to pick this year's pattern.

Will you be knitting for any kids or teens this fall? If so, here is a collection of beautiful sweaters to consider.

For little girls...
My Fair Maiden by Meg Roke

Berenice by Julie Hoover

Audrey's First Day by Elizabeth Smith

Bulle by Karen Borrel

Camilla Kid by Carrie Bostick Hoge

For little boys...
Fisherman's Pullover by Veera Valimaki

Treasure Vest by Kate Oates

Hemingway by Melissa Schaschwary

Wyatt by Michele Wang

Schenley by Jenn Emerson

For teens and college students...
Firefly July by Andrea Sanchez

Campus Jacket by Amy Christoffers

Ginny's Cardigan by Mari Chiba

Carpino by Carol Feller

Dragonslark by Maura Kirk

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Mirage Scarf- Winner!

Congratulations, April (bunpeal on Ravelry), who has won a copy of the Mirage Scarf pattern AND one gorgeous skein of McClellan Fingering yarn. I'll be contacting you today to get your details to send you the yarn.

Remember to keep reading the blog! You never know when I might have another giveaway. (Hmm, I am dangerously close to hitting 20,000 views... might have to have a giveaway soon!)

Happy knitting!!

Friday, August 22, 2014

My Fair Maiden- Winner!

Congratulations to "amchart." You have one a copy of the My Fair Maiden pattern AND one skein of Canopy Fingering yarn! I will contact you to get your detail so that I can send you your loot!

Remember to keep checking back with the blog for new patterns and more giveaways. There is one going on right now!

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Mirage Scarf

Who is ready for another pattern and yarn giveaway? 

The Mirage Scarf was first published by Three Irish Girls for their Eunice's Choice yarn club in June. It is a light and airy design perfect for summer or those first cool fall days. 

This scarf is worked flat with fingering weight yarn and larger needles, which creates a drapey, lightweight overall effect. It features an all-over zig-zag mesh lace pattern with an interesting twist on either end of the scarf: both ends are semi-circular.   

There are many many mesh scarf patterns out there. This simple rounded edge adds a little unique touch to make this scarf worth knitting.

The Mirage Scarf works well with any semisolid or variegated colorways. The yarn featured in this pattern is Three Irish Girls' McClellan Fingering. One of my all-time favorite yarns. It consists of 60% merino, 30% bamboo and 10% nylon.... a beautiful combination of softness (from the merino), drape (from the bamboo) and strength (from the nylon). I love knitting with this yarn for accessories. It feels wonderful on the fingers and needles. 

Here is your chance to win a copy of the pattern AND one beautiful skein of this yarn in the Arabian Nights colorway. Bonus! You only need one skein too! 
The colorway is Arabian Nights.

You may enter TWO times, IF you also go to the Ravelry pattern link here and "favorite" my pattern. Post in the comment with your favorite Three Irish Girls colorway is for one chance and then post a second comment saying you favorited my pattern to increase your chances of winning the yarn and pattern. Don't forget to share either your email address or Ravelry name so I can contact you with the good news! You have until next Tuesday to comment. On Wednesday I will select a winner at random and let you know who the lucky winner is.

Friday, August 15, 2014

My Fair Maiden

Please say hello to My Fair Maiden.

I'm not going to lie. I am exceedingly proud of this design. In fact, I just love it. There was much squealing with glee when I first tried it on my daughter, Emma.

Last summer, my daughter became obsessed with the Disney film Brave and insisted on watching it nearly every single day. The magic of Merida's story led to her interest in reading stories, such as The Princess and the Pea, Rumplestiltskin, Rapunzel, and other fairy tales on a nightly basis. My Fair Maiden is an ode to the damsels in fairy tales and maidens like Merida (from Brave). 

This garment is a sleeveless tunic and was designed with two purposes in mind: to be worn in costume play with a full tulle skirt and princess hat like a hennin, or to be worn in every day wear like over a slim fitting shirt with a denim skirt and print tights. 

It features characteristics of medieval dress, such as a high wide neckline, a slim fit in the body, and a slightly lower waistline. Beneath the waist is a short skirt with inverted box pleats.

A knit ribbon (worked at a looser gauge to reduce bulk and weight but add extra drape) is tied in a bow on the back and rests on the pleats. The ribbon is knit with a contrasting color in stockinette stitch and is worked horizontally at a looser gauge to create a more “ribbon-like” effect.

She is reading the funniest book in this picture, "The Worst Princess."

My Fair Maiden was designed with one inch of positive ease at the chest - it is slim fitting after all!

 This design was knit with the most heavenly yarn, Fibre Company's Canopy Fingering. It is a delicious blend of alpaca, merino and bamboo, which creates a beautiful drape when knitted into fabric - perfect for those pleats and ribbon!

Since, as you well know by now, I have children with significantly larger than average heads, I needed the accommodate that in the design. So, there are two options for the shoulder: seamed or hidden knitted tabs with sew-on snaps. Emma is wearing one with the hidden tabs/snaps.

That sweet girl of mine happened to go through a growth spurt between the time I began working on the tunic and the time I finished. So if I were to make it again for her, I would add an inch or two in length to the body. Otherwise, I could not have been happier with the final result.

Now, here is your chance to win some loot! Comment below and share what your favorite fairy tale was as a child. You have one week to enter. Next Friday (August 22) I will select a winner at random to receive a copy of the My Fair Maiden pattern AND 1 skein of Canopy Fingering yarn in the Crocus colorway! You may enter TWO times, IF you also go to the Ravelry pattern link here and "favorite" my pattern. Be sure to post in the comment with your favorite fairy tale for one chance and then post a second comment saying you favorited my pattern to increase your chances of winning the yarn and pattern.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Vacation knitting

When you pack and plan for an upcoming holiday, do you include knitting projects? I do! As I mentioned in my last post, I have a vacation coming up sandwiched by long long long drives. So not only do I need knitting for the relaxing part, but I also need knitting for the 12 hour drive each way. That's my kind of trip!

I plan to pack two projects (maybe a third... ). The first is a design for a wonderful yarn company, which I obviously cannot go into detail about, sorry. The second is the Sand and Sea Shawlette by Alana Dakos.

This project to me is the quintessential vacation project. It is small, lightweight, portable, interesting yet not too difficult. I have started the shawlette, but still have a ways to go. Mine is made from Three Irish Girls' Glenhaven Casmerino in Driftwood and The Fibre Company's Canopy Fingering in Manatee. Both yarns are to-die-for in so many ways: loft, spring, feel, wear, color.... oh my!

Need a few ideas of projects to travel with? Then look no further. These patterns were selected with several factors in mind: portability (size of finished object), heaviness (no one wants to cart around an afgan while on a trip), and fiddliness (yep, made that word up. No knitting with 8 different colors and three different needle sizes on the train).

Here are my vacation knitting picks:

For you...
Turkish Bed Socks by Churchmouse Yarns and Teas
Antiquity by Alicia Plummer
Typha by Kirsten Kapur
Black Bunny by Andi Smith
Harriet's Tam by Meg Roke
Maxine by Leah McGlone

For him...
Turn A Square by Jared Flood
Gansey Scarf by Megan Goodacre

For the kids...
Sardines by Andrea Sanchez
(various woodland) mittens by Birch Hollow Cottage
Kyle Vest by Connie Chang Chinchio

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Camping Knits

I admit, I am not a camper. Bugs, bears and no plumbing do not appeal to me. However, I really enjoy hiking, canoeing and the quietness of the outdoors (especially having a break from all things techy).

In a couple of weeks, my family will be "camping" in Michigan. By "camping" I mean we will be staying in a cabin with electricity (hurrah!!!) by the lake, but will have no TV. I am very very excited about this new experience partly because of the knitting I plan to do on the journey north and while at this cabin. In planning for this trip of knitting, I started thinking about knits that would be great to have handy while in the woods, especially up north.

So here are my picks of knitwear to make or wear while camping. The cozy styles, rustic fibers and earth-tone colors were primarily what drew me to these designs.

Accessories for you:
Barley by Tin Can Knits
Colorblock Mittens by Meg Roke
Earl Grey Mitts by Bristol Ivy
Camp Out Fingerless Mitts by Tante Ehm
Rae by Jane Richmond

Sweaters for you:
Woodstove Season by Alicia Plummer
Antler by Tin Can Knits

Camp Hoodie by Susan B. Anderson

For kids:
Towpath Henley by Andrea Sanchez

Abate by Alicia Plummer
Cosy (you) by Nadia Cretin-Lechenne
Arlo by Michele Wang

For your feet/legs:
McIntosh Boot Socks by Jennifer Burke
Fair Isle Slipper Boots by Andi Smith
Some Cloudy Day by Tiny Owl Knits
Camping by Cabinfour

What will I be knitting on my camping trip?

I am still hoping to finish my Cosy sweater in time for the trip. I just have the sleeves and buttonband to do. However, my progress has slowed down with the arrival of yarn for two upcoming designs (both through different yarn companies and both due before the end of August). So I may be working finishing up Cosy during the trip. I also have the Sand and Sea Shawlette on the needles. And lastly I plan to cast on a hat for an upcoming Akron Stitch 'n Bitch swap. Lots to do!