Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Vignette Giveaway Winner!

Congratulations to Robin Silver aka Donna1504!! You have one the pattern Vignette from SweetGeorgia Yarns!!!!! I will let SweetGeorgia know today, so you should receive your pattern shortly.

Thanks to all who participated! Remember to keep checking back for more fun fiber reading and fantastic giveaways. You never know if the next skein or pattern will go to you.

Happy knitting, friends!

Sunday, October 2, 2016

A Little Bit of Luxury (& Giveaway)

Knitters often define themselves as either process knitters (those who love the act of knitting and/or seek out the technical skills involved in knitting) or product knitters (those who knit primarily to have a finished item). Personally, I bounce back and forth between both. I'm not sure which I love more about my newest pattern: the finished product or the process of making it.

Say hello to Vignette- a fun little bit of luxury both to make and to wear. 

Recently, SweetGeorgia Yarns published a beautiful collection of designs, which includes Vignette,  in Fall with SweetGeorgia Yarns No. 2. You can see the collection here on the SweetGeorgia website or here on Ravelry. It includes such a lovely group of designs, from cozy cardigans to lacy shawls and chunky scarves to delicate hats.

I have my eye on Kristen TenDyke's Adamello scarf. If you know me, then you know I have a thing for chunky cables and this scarf fits the bill.

But let's chat a bit more about Vignette. Do you know that feeling when you step into incredibly soft and cozy slippers for the first time? Yeah, wearing these fingerless gloves is kind of like that. These modern, luxurious, and yet simple fingerless gloves offer an enticing combination of a-typical construction and heavenly finished product.

Most mittens and gloves are worked in the round from the bottom up. However, Vignette is worked flat from side to side beginning with a provisional cast-on. The main color is held together with the contrasting color and is worked in stockinette stitch for bit. Then a squishy strip of ruching is worked in only the contrasting color. Finally, both yarns are held together again and worked in stockinette stitch for the remainder of the glove. The live stitches are then grafted together in a three needle bind off, with the exception of the thumbhole.What's that? No thumb gusset? No thumb stitches to pickup and knit? No fiddly double pointed needles to work in the round? Yep, told you it was simple.

This design is ideal for highlighting delicate yarn and subtle colorways. I used SweetGeorgia's Tough Love Sock in Apricot for the main color and Silk Mist in Silver for the contrasting color. When a lace weight yarn with a bit of halo, like Silk Mist,  and soft fingering weight yarn, like Tough Love Sock,  are knit together, as they are in this design, the end result is a cozy fabric you WANT next to your skin.

Want to know the  best part? You can knit two pairs from both skeins. Can we say, holiday knitting?

Guess what, knitters. It's GIVEAWAY time!! SweetGeorgia Yarns is generously donating one pattern of Vignette to the winner of this giveaway. Aren't they the best? All you have to do is pop over to the Ravelry pattern page and favorite Vignette, then pop back here to comment. I'd love to know what colors you will be knitting your Vignette fingerless gloves in. Be sure to include your Ravelry name in the comment!

The giveaway ends on Sunday October 9. I will announce the winner on Monday October 10.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Moonshine Winner!

Congratulations to alsparky!! You have won the Moonshine Yarn Giveaway! I will contact you today so that I can mail your yarn as soon as possible.

Thanks to all who commented. Keep coming back for more fiber fun! I have another giveaway coming up very very very soon!!

In the mean time...

Happy knitting :)

Monday, September 12, 2016

Inshore Cowl and Legwarmers (& Giveaway)

This week on the MRK blog, I am sharing a bit about a super snuggly matching cowl and legwarmer set from Gansey Kids: the Inshore Cowl and Inshore Legwarmers.

It was quite blustery that day- perfect fall weather!


Keeping in theme of Gansey Kids, the cowl (and legwarmers) are worked in the round from the bottom up and feature a variety of classic textured stitch patterns found on traditional gansey pullovers.  Think of it like a gansey sampler. Both patterns also feature the fun tubular cast-on and bind off, which is terrific for these types of projects. The stretchy and almost edge-less look give these designs extra wiggle room for slipping over shoes and heads. If you’ve never tried the tubular cast-on/bind-off, now is the time. It is the perfect compliment to this cozy accessory. Not quite ready for the challenge? Then stick with the tried-and-true long-tail cast-on.

Emma's cowl and legwarmers are made with gorgeous Moonshine yarn from Juniper Moon Farm in the Popsicle colorway. This yarn is downright scrumptious- so soft, so smooth (and yet quite lofty), and so perfect for next-to-skin knits. How could it not be anything less then heavenly with that blend of alpaca, wool, and silk in so many lovely heathery colorways?

I. Love. These. Knits. I love them so much that almost as soon as I finished knitting them, I cast on a cowl for me.  My cowl was knit in Ball and Skein's Providence yarn in the Moonshadow colorway.

Emma was giggling quite a bit during this shoot.

Guess what, readers. I happen to have one skein of Moonshine in the Popsicle colorway to give away to one of you!! To put yourself in the running to win this super soft and snuggly yarn, hop over to Ravelry and favorite both the Inshore Cowl and Inshore Legwarmers.

Then come back to this post and comment which Inshore accessory you would make first and who you'd make it for (it is perfectly A-OK to say YOU, ha ha).

Be sure to let me know your Rav name (so I can see all those lovely hearts and have a way of contacting you for the win)!  Feel free to favorite as many patterns as you like and purchase your Gansey Kids collection too. You have until Sunday, September 18th to participate. I will select a winner next Monday, September 19!

Until then, happy knitting!!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Sweet Georgia Yarn Winner!

Congratulations to "Tuxbird"!! You have won a beautiful skein of Sweet Georgia Yarns' Superwash DK in the Mist colorway. How exciting!! This yarn is FABULOUS and no doubt it will become your go-to dk yarn.

Keep coming back readers for more knitting fun and giveaways. There is a new giveaway coming up this week that you won't want to miss!

Happy knitting :)

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Picture Day Worthy (& Giveaway)

What is it about vests on little kids that just screams Picture Day? Perhaps it is because vests make littles look so dapper like miniature grown-ups? Or perhaps all the knitting moms know how quickly they knit up, so it has become the go-to last-minute knit? Either way, I have TWO vest patterns for you to pick from and make for that mini-me in need of a cute Picture Day outfit. I also have TWO giveaways for you - so keep reading!

The Whitby Vest is that quintessential garment that should be in every little kid's closet. Although it is unisex, I immediately picture a little boy wearing one complete with corduroy pants and plaid shirt (which is perhaps why I made mine for my 4 year old, Tommy). The Whitby Vest is a relaxed fitting vest perfect for knitting with a more earthy or rustic yarn like Fibre Company’s Cumbria. It takes 1-2 skeins of Cumbria depending on the size you make, so it is a terrific stash-busting knit!

This vest is worked in the round from the bottom up in stockinette stitch with a double rib hem. The top half of the vest is worked in a double moss stitch. The collar and armbands are created by working an I-cord bind off. As you may have noticed with my children garments, I like button closures (because my beautiful children have large heads and we need the room!). This design also has a button closure on the right shoulder.

You can read more about the Whitby Vest AND enter to win Cumbria yarn AND the Gansey Kids e-book over on the Kelbourne Woolens blog. Courtney Kelly wrote the loveliest review! The giveaway ends Wednesday, August 31st at midnight. So hurry over after reading the rest of this post :).

The Filey Vest  is a lovely little top that can be worn as a sleeveless pullover or as a cozy vest layered with a cute tee. This vest is worked in the round from the bottom up with a single rib hem, seed stitch body, and a single baby cable on the sides. The collar is a mock turtle neck worked flat with two wee buttons for closure (and ease for slipping over wiggly bodies).

When the Filey Vest is knit with a beautifully subtle tonal yarn, such as Sweet Georgia Yarn’s Superwash DK (as shown), the stitches pop, the yarn blooms, and a fabric with depth is created. This vest takes 1-3 skeins of this yarn depending on which size you choose (sizes range from 12 months to 12 years).

Lucky news for you, readers!  I have one skein of Sweet Georgia Yarn's Superwash DK in the Mist colorway to give away to one of you!! To put yourself in the running to win this FABULOUS yarn, hop over to Ravelry and favorite both the Whitby Vest and Filey Vest. Then come back to this post and comment what knitted item YOU would wear to school tomorrow for Picture Day. Be sure to let me know your Rav name (so I can see all those lovely hearts and have a way of contacting you for the win)!  Feel free to favorite as many patterns as you like and purchase your Gansey Kids collection too. You have until Monday, September 5th to participate. I will select a winner next Tuesday, September 6!

Even if you only have a week until Picture Day, then you definitely have time to whip up one of these vests. Which will it be? Filey or Whitby?

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Gansey Kids Giveaway on Quince & Co.

Who is ready for another yarn AND Gansey Kids giveaway? 

Today I am a guest blogger on the Quince and Co.'s blog. There you can read all the fun details about two cute unisex accessories from the Gansey Kids collection, which feature beautiful yarns from Quince & Co:  Cullercoats Cap and Fisherman Mitts


 I think it is safe to say that this hat would look cute on any member of the family. The only question to ask yourself about this accessory is whether or not to add a pom-pom. By the way, did you know that Cullercoats is a fishing town on the North East coast of England?


Fisherman Mitts is my favorite accessory from Gansey Kids. After I knit Emma's pair in Chickadee (which was the perfect yarn to showcase that textured cably panel), I had to make a pair for Tommy... and then for me. I am pretty sure I have found my new go-to gifting knit! 

Quince & Co. is hosting a giveaway on their blog RIGHT NOW!  So hop on over to their site to enter for a chance to win the Gansey Kids ebook AND enough yarn to make YOUR CHOICE of either the Cullercoats Cap or the Fisherman Mitts! So exciting!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Classy Giveaway Winner

Congratulations to "amchat"! You have won my Classy yarn giveaway. I will contact you with the details today.

Please keep coming back for more fun, more knitting chat, more patterns and more giveaways. I have SEVERAL giveaways planned over the next month!

In the mean time...

Happy knitting!

Sunday, August 14, 2016

It all started with patches...

Two years ago, I had this idea of designing a very classic child's pullover that would feature knitted elbow patches. Then, I had this idea of designing a matching cardigan version of the pullover. Dream in Color was so kind in providing yarn support for these designs... two years ago. Is it that a normal length of time for a designer to self-publish? Nope.

What can I say? I got distracted by other designs both professionally published and self-published. All along, those sweater ideas were in the back of my mind and then finally last summer, it hit me. Why not do a mini collection? You know, maybe 4-5 designs all about ganseys. I have long loved the look of gansey sweaters, plus is anything cuter than a 3 year old in a little gansey? So cute!


 And so the Gansey Kids collection was born. It quickly snowballed into 10 designs, but the initial two were the Patches Pullover and the Patches Cardigan.

Timeless. Classic. Wearable. Comfortable.


Let's start with the Patches Pullover. This garment has the truest gansey shape: knit in the round from the bottom up, straight shaping (or should I say shapeless?), underarm gussets, drop shoulders with shoulder straps, buttoned collar, faux seam along the sides.  Let's not forget about the adorable elbow patches! This sweater allows the knitter to knit the classic gansey construction without the distraction of textured stitch patterns.


The Patches Cardigan has a similar construction to the Patches Pullover: knit from the bottom up (flat- it is a cardigan after all!), straight shaping, underarm gussets, drop shoulders, faux seam along the sides. How cute are those sheepy buttons? I found them at the Yarn Gallery in West Reading, Pennsylvania (a shop you must visit if you are in the area).

The Patches Cardigan features seed stitch elbow patches and the Patches Pullover features stockinette stitch elbow patches. Guess what! BOTH patterns include directions for BOTH kinds of patches.

I knew from the very first time I sketched out this design that Dream in Color's Classy yarn was perfect. Classy is one of my favorite worsted weight yarns for children's garments. It is one I often recommend to my knitting class students when teaching at Harps & Thistle's Yarn Imporium. It can handle the rough and tough play of children and still look beautiful (thanks to those gorgeous colorways!) after many washes in the washing machine. Oh yes! Classy is MACHINE WASHABLE! It is my go-to yarn for sweater-knitting for my children.

And guess what, friends? I happen to have a skein of Dream in Color's Classy FOR ONE OF YOU! That's right! One lucky winner will receive a skein of Classy in Punky Fuschia colorway. That is 250 yards of 100% superwash merino wool... just... for... you.

What's the catch? All you have to do is hop on over to Ravelry and favorite the Patches Pullover AND Patches Cardigan. Then come back to this post and comment which you'd prefer to make first- the pullover or the cardi. Be sure to let me know your Rav name (so I can see all those lovely hearts and have a way of contacting you for the win)!  Feel free to favorite as many patterns as you like and purchase your Gansey Kids collection too.

I will randomly select a winner on Sunday August 21, 2016. You only have ONE week! So start "hearting" those patterns!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Gansey Kids

This week, something big happened. Big. HUGE! Gansey Kids was released on Ravelry and Etsy.

Gansey Kids is collection of ten patterns inspired by traditional ganseys. Does this mean you are going to see a classic fisherman sweater on every page? Absolutely not. This is 2016, so the designs in this e-book reflect many of the gansey characteristics on current styles fit for the present day.

Patches Pullover and Patches Cardigan
Coastal Capelet
Whitby Vest
Filey Vest
If you are a knitter, then you likely already know all about ganseys or at least would recognize one if you saw it, but for those who are new to the subject, let me paint a little picture for you. Ganseys (or guernseys) are fisherman sweaters from the British Isles, which were knit for male family members for practicality and sometimes for income. There are many characteristics associated with ganseys such as the square-shaped body, all-over textured stitch patterns, underarm gussets, etc. These features made the handknit pullovers both wind and water resistant - rather important for the fishermen.

In this collection, you will find five accessories for children and adults and five garments for children 1-12 years. Some designs, like the Cullercoats Cap and Whitby Vest, are more traditional in color and construction, while others, like the Coastal Capelet and Broadside Mittens, are a bit more modern with bright colors and current shapes. 

Fisherman Mitts

Inshore Cowl
Inshore Legwarmers
Cullercoats Cap
Broadside Mittens

Gansey Kids can be purchased on Ravelry and on Etsy for only $18.00. It is a 54-page document that has been professionally written, professionally photographed, and professionally tech-edited. All of the garments have schematics.  All of the patterns include links for special techniques.  As I said before, there are TEN patterns in this collection. So that means each pattern costs only $1.80. Yes, you read that correctly. Only $1.80 per pattern. Quite a steal if you ask me! So what are you waiting for? Get started on your fall knitting NOW. Make a Cullercoats Cap for everyone in the house. Knit a matching pair of mittens for your kids.

I hope you'll keep checking back on the blog the next two months because I have some BIG things in store! Yarn reviews! Pattern reviews! Yarn giveaways galore! Knit-a-longs! Prizes! And more!

Did you know I am on Facebook and Instagram? Stop on by and follow me!

Thursday, July 28, 2016

4 days. 10 patterns.

In 4 days, I will be releasing an e-book with 10 fresh designs. What do you need to know about these designs? I think the next two words pretty much sum it up...




So stay tuned!

Monday, July 11, 2016

A Lesson in Fair Isle

Recently I was asked to teach a series of beginner friendly classes on fair isle at my local yarn shop, Harps & Thistles Yarn Imporium.

I struggled to find that just-right collection of patterns to teach those initial skills (no steeking in this class!). So a few new patterns popped out instead...

If you have been toying with the idea of trying fair isle or colorwork beyond striping, then I encourage you to try these three patterns in the following order. Each pattern puts specific beginner skills into practice. Another bonus? Buy yourself two colors of a yardage heavy worsted weight yarn (like Stonehedge Fiber Mill's Shepherds Worsted or Dream in Color's Classy) and you will have enough yarn to make ALL THREE projects!

Are you ready to take your advanced beginner knitting skills to the intermediate level? Go!

Project 2: Chevron Cup Cozy
shown on a "tall" Starbucks cup
shown on a "grande" Starbucks cup

Project 3: Mrs Smith's Hat

If you are local to Akron, Ohio, come by the shop and take one of these classes with me. Check here for availability.