Greenhorn (plus giveaway)

So if you’ve been here any length of time at all, you know I’m a firm believer in top down socks with a heel flap.  But…every once and a while, the urge to do something a little (but let’s be real…only a little) bit different strikes me.  Greenhorn was one of those times!

These are actually a very mellow way to depart from traditional top down heel flap socks.  The leg is the same, the foot is the same, just the heel and gusset are handled a bit differently.  Instead of working flat over half the stitches to make a heel flap, then picking up stitches to make a gusset, you keep working in the round, increasing on each side of the foot to make the heel flap, gusset, and top of your foot all at once.  It’s kind of nifty!

The fit is similar, there’s just a bit more working in the round (which I generally prefer) and a bit less picking up stitches (which may not be my very favorite knitting task ever).  And if you’re using a striping yarn, you get a bit less of a break in the pattern than you do with a heel flap (let’s be fair…it’s not no break in the pattern, just less).  Plus, you know, it’s fun to try something new!

Though just in case you’re Really Quite Set on doing a traditional heel flap, there are instructions in the pattern for that too.  I promise I don’t mind if you’re feeling traditional!

These are made in Space Cadet’s Oriana in the color Fizz.  As far as I can tell, it’s the world’s most perfect yarn for tiny cables.  The stitch definition is so sharp you’ll stab yourself.  And when a yarn has teeny tiny plies like this, it’s super round, and you don’t get distracted by the shadows you sometimes see on a 2 or 3 ply yarn (one of these days we’ll have a very dorky discussion about this…but for now just trust me, this type of yarn makes tiny cables pop).

When they sent the yarn for these (they’re nice…they send me yarn…it makes me swoony), they very kindly sent along an extra skein, so I’m going to make one of you very very happy and send it your way.  Just leave a comment telling me how you feel about sock construction.  Why mess with tradition?  The weirder the better? A little variation is fine but nothing too crazy?  There’s no right or wrong answer, I just like to know what you guys like!

And for everyone I can’t send yarn to (I’m just not cool enough to get yarn to everyone, sorry!), I’ve got a coupon for this pattern.  You can use the code SHARP to get 10% off the hat between now and Friday.  Just put Greenhorn in your ravelry cart, click on the ‘use a coupon code’ button, and type in the code SHARP.  You’ll see the change in price reflected right away.

Comments left between now and the end of the day (eastern time) Friday, May 19, 2017 will be entered to win.  I’ll pick a winner, contact them to get their addresses, and arrange to send yarn their way.  Be sure to use a real email address so I can contact you if you’ve won (I won’t do anything with those email addresses besides notify the winners).  If I do email you, I need to hear back from you within 72 hours or I will pick a new winner and contact them. Sorry, but I can only ship physical prizes to US addresses.

Permutation (plus giveaway)

I have a hard time knowing when to stop.  This was supposed to be a simple little hat.  Instead it turned into something of an adventure.  Allow me to introduce Permutation.

permutationsIt all started with that gray and pink hat.  It was a simple little thing.  That spiky stitch is lots of fun to do and a fabulous way to practice playing with two colors.  It would have been a lovely stand alone pattern. I mean just look how cute the top is!

permutations bBut I have a hard time leaving well enough alone, and before I was done with the hat I found myself wondering about other variations on the theme.  What if you did the spiky stitch all over?  Or did it in thick stripes?  Or had a folded brim?  Or only used one color?

Before I knew it, I’d chatted with the good folks over at SpaceCadet, confessed my runaway imagination, and hatched a plan.  I wrote up a pattern, and they worked their magic and sent me a whole stack of hats.

permutations kWe ended up with five variations to show off, but there are a huge number of ways to put this hat together.  You get to decide if you’d like a plain brim or a folded one.

permutations dYou get to decide if you’d like the spike stitch to be all over, in thick stripes, or a bit more scattered

permutations jAnd you get to decide if you’d like to use two colors or stick to just one.

permutations fAll together there are dozens of ways to put the pieces together.  But don’t worry, the pattern walks you through it all and tells you exactly what choices all the examples used so you’ll have an easy time putting together something you love!

The hardest part might just be picking colors.  But even that is more fun than it has any right to be.  In fact, the folks over at SpaceCadet are going to help one of you take home your favorite color pairing.  They’re sending someone a skein of Cressida (that’s the yarn we used for the background) and a skein of Capella (that’s the one we used for the spiky stitches) to someone so they can make your own hat.

I used Dark Skies (that’s the gray) and Tantrum (bright pink) on my hat.  But the Fat Free Chocolate (brown) and Windswept (pinky-purple) are singing my song too.  All you have to do to enter is leave a comment telling me which colors you’d use.  There’s no right or wrong answer,  I just like knowing what grabs your eye!

And while I can’t quite manage to send yarn to everyone, I can give everyone a discount.  You can use the code VARIATIONS to get a dollar the price between now and Friday.  Just put Permutation in your ravelry cart, click on the ‘use a coupon code’ button, and type in the code VARIATIONS.  You’ll see the change in price reflected right away.

permutations lComments left between now and the end of the day (eastern time) Friday, December 9, 2016 will be entered to win.  I’ll pick a winner, contact them to get their addresses, and arrange to send yarn their way.  Be sure to use a real email address so I can contact you if you’ve won (I won’t do anything with those email addresses besides notify the winner).  If I do email you, I need to hear back from you within 72 hours or I will pick a new winner and contact them.

Welter (plus giveaway)

If you’re on my mailing list, you should have found a fun little surprise in your inbox.  I sent everyone an email with instructions for how to download Welter.

DSC_6044 copyIf you weren’t already on the list, and you want the pattern, go ahead and sign up now.  Shortly after you confirm your subscription, you’ll get an email with download instructions (just remember to hit the button in the confirmation email to complete your subscription or it won’t work).

And if you thought you were on the mailing list, but didn’t get an email from me, start by checking your spam filter.  It’s probably there.  If that doesn’t work, try signing up again. If you were already on the list, it will confirm that and send you the email with the download instructions.  And if you weren’t on the list, it will get you signed up.

DSC_5932 copyI am a big fan of cowls.  They’re faster to knit and easier to wear than shawls.  They come in every size from ‘adorable light accessory’ to ‘so, how about this blizzard.’  They’re a perfect thing to knit as gifts.  And, with the right pattern and yarn, you can bang one out in a weekend.

DSC_5940 copyThis lovely bit of magic is made with SpaceCadet’s Capella (a super soft, single ply, worsted weight yarn) in the color Molten Cool.  The combination of a thicker yarn and a quick pattern (it’s all knit stitches, with just a few cables thrown in every now and then to keep you motivated) means you’ll cruise through it in record time.

Everybody should have (or be able to grab) the pattern, but the good folks at SpaceCadet want to give someone some lovely yarn too.  They’re going to send someone a skein of Capella in their favorite color so they can make a cowl of their own.  If you want the yarn to come live with you, leave a comment telling me what you look for in cowls or which of SpaceCadet’s beautiful colors you’d pick.

DSC_5956 copyComments left between now and the end of the day (eastern time) Friday, August 5, 2016 will be entered to win.  I’ll pick a winner, contact them to get their addresses, and arrange to send yarn their way.  Be sure to use a real email address so I can contact you if you’ve won (I won’t do anything with those email addresses besides notify the winner).  If I do email you, I need to hear back from you within 72 hours or I will pick a new winner and contact them.