Next up

Remember how I said that the current mailing list goody was about to go away so I could bring out something new?  Well I have it on good authority that you’re going to want to be sure you’re in on that…the new piece is rather fetching.

Here it is on my patent-pending (this is a blatant lie), super nifty (that part’s true) cowl blocking device.  Yes, I do call it the frilly lampshade, and yes it is the best way I’ve found to block a cowl without getting any pesky wrinkles.  You should totally be doing this to all your cowls (this part is also true).

And here’s a peek at how it looks after blocking (wasn’t it clever of me to find a house with a mossy tree stump in the yard…makes for great photo backgrounds).  I’ll show it off more fully on Tuesday when it goes out to mailing list folks!

So, one last reminder to grab the current pattern while you can.  (This last warning is mostly so I can assuage my guilt when someone comes along in a few days and says ‘but I didn’t know…and now it’s gone‘…I’m trying to walk that line between giving everyone who might be interested in getting it sufficient notice and beating people over the head.)  It’s going down some time this weekend, so move quick.

And, if you’re on the mailing list, you’ll also get this lovely new bit of business on Tuesday when it comes out.  So go give the stash a little bit of a toss and see what might be calling to you.  This one’s made with Anzula’s Cricket (which is an absolutely delightful yarn).

Still Smitten

Yup, this yarn in the mail thing never ever ever gets old.  These lovelies are from Anzula, and I suspect grand things are going to be happening with them!

8 copyThat’s dreamy in Gravity.

7 copyAnd that’s Squishy in Cardamom.

And oh my are they lovely.  I swear those folks can do no wrong!

Phaeodaria (plus giveaway)

You know how sometimes I come along and say ‘so I know this looks tricky, but you’ll have it down in no time?’  Well that’s not these socks.  Phaeodaria actually are just a tiny bit tricky, but wow are they worth it!

pd 1 sThe leg?  It’s one big chart with a lovely, intricate, twirly, swirly extravaganza of tiny twisted cables.  I won’t lie to you, you will totally need to pay a bit of attention for that part (really though, I have faith in you, you can totally do it).  But I’m not completely heartless. By the time you get to the foot, I know you’ll want a bit of a break.  So the pattern on the foot is every bit as lovely, but much more relaxing. That part you really will have memorized in no time!And really, if you’ve been around here for any length of time, you know I don’t believe in boring socks!  We’re knitters, we’re mighty, and we deserve to be entertained by our knitting.

pd 2 sOne of the things that helps make these entertaining is the gorgeous Haiku yarn from Anzula.  There are some sizeable stretches of purl stitches on these socks, so you want a yarn with fairly subdued color changes (purl stitches mix up yarn colors more than knit stitches do, flip over a piece of colorful stockinette to see what I mean, things are way more chaotic on the purl side).  But the patterning, especially on the foot, is regular enough that you can absolutely get away with something more interesting than just a solid.  This Shiitake colorway is absolutely perfect (though I confess quite a few of Anzula’s colors are delightful and would be amazing here).

pd 3 sAnd the lovely folks at Anzula are going to make one of you very happy.  I’ve got a beautiful skein of Haiku in Shiitake to send off to one of you.  Just leave a comment telling me how you feel about slightly fiddly socks to be entered to win.  Do you love a bit of a challenge?  Only if the pattern really grabs you? Or do you want your socks to be simple as can be?  There’s no right answer, I just want to know what you guys like!

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

pd 4 sComments left between now and the end of the day (eastern time) Friday, April 8, 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.  Sorry, but I can only ship physical prizes to US addresses.

Argent, Fourth Curls KAL

We’re doing knitalongs for the patterns in Curls, and it’s time for the fourth pattern in the book, Argent.

4 anzula smallI am a firm believer in low-key knitalongs, so there isn’t really too much structure.  All the details for this one are over the KAL thread in my ravelry group.  But the gist is knit this pattern over the next two months, show it off and talk about it in that thread, and some time after the KAL ends I’ll send someone who posted a picture of a finished project something fun in the mail.  Pretty simple really!  We’ve already got folks started, and their projects are amazing.  We’d love to have you join us.

And of course, if you happen to have Gridelin on your needles, the KAL for that is still going on, and you’re welcome to join us for that one, too!

Oh, and for anyone wondering, the word Argent means silver or silvery white.  All the pattern names in Curls are interesting color words.  You can hear the pronunciation over here if you’re wondering how exactly it’s said (and yes, the next book is all easy-to-pronounce pattern names, cross my heart).

Argent & Anzula (giveaway)

I’m using the Curls preorder to introduce the patterns and yarns from the book. I’ll be featuring a new pair each day. Most of the yarn companies have donated lovely prizes, so come back every day to see what’s new!
 Argent in Cloud from Anzula 

4 anzula smallIf I’m being honest, I’ll confess that my own personal difficulty wearing shawls was a significant motivating factor in making this book.  I’m really not good with shawls.  On a bad day, even scarves have been known to prove challenging.  The whole goal of Curls was to make pieces even I could wear.  But, even in a collection of easy-to-wear wraps, one is still going to win the title of easiest of all.  And it simply must be this piece.  I swear I was absolutely spoiled for choice when it came to pictures of this one.  Every way you put it on, it looks beautiful.  I’m convinced it makes me look taller, more clever, and at least 15% more interesting.  Imagine what it will do for you!

The delightful yarn from Anzula is a big part of this magic trick.  It’s the merino, cashmere, nylon blend we’ve all come to love in sock yarns, but spun up in at a lighter weight (somewhere between lace and fingering) and a with looser twist.  The result is something that is perfect for wraps – airy and light with beautiful drape, but still sturdy and easy to work with.  And I swear the color (Anzula does great grays) goes with every single thing I own.

The lovely folks at Anzula want to see if they can add this piece to your wardrobe too.  They’ve got two skeins of Cloud in this lovely shade (it’s called Seaside) to give away.  That’s enough to make two great big Curls, so let’s have two winners!  To enter, leave a comment telling me how you get along with shawls, (Do you have the knack of them?  Or do they sometimes seem to elude you?  There’s no right or wrong answer, just tell me what your experience is!) or pin this image.  I’ll pick one winner from comments and one from pinterest (it’s fine to enter both ways).

Comments left and pins made between now and the end of the day (eastern time) Thursday, November 27th, 2014 will be entered to win.  I’ll pick winners, contact them to get their addresses, and arrange to get the goodies to them.  When you leave a comment, 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 you win by pinning, I’ll leave a comment on your pin letting you know you’ve won.  If I do get in touch with you, I need to hear back from you within 72 hours or I will pick a new winner and contact them.

Bounce bounce bounce

I am generally rather orderly.  Some might say alarmingly orderly.  I’m a huge fan of breaking a large task into smaller ones, putting the pieces in the right order, allocating time for them, and moving through the list.  I’ve written and published five books in the last few years.  You sort of have to be orderly to pull that off.  At least I do.

But right now I’m feeling scattered.  It’s not the bad sort of scattered, it’s the ‘oh holy crap muffins I just had the best idea and now I am absolutely itching to implement it please can I put all all all of my attention on it and only it for the next week or two’ sort of scattered.  That’s actually loads of fun, but I’ve had about four of those ideas in the last week and well…you I can’t do all four at once.

This scattered nature is somewhat reflected in my knitting pile at the moment.

yarn and swatchesThat’s the boy sock I’m working on and a few new swatches, damp from the sink, for the book after next (the tan one on the bottom is Anzula Oasis, and the purple bit of business is Alchemy Lust, and they’re both yummy).  Plus some old swatches in Bare Naked that I’m adding to to augment an upcoming plot (about which loads more later if it all comes together).  Oh and a sample of some mystery yarn (dear yarn companies, please please please attach your company name and yarn info to your samples…this one just has a sticker saying ‘5’ and I’m at a loss as to what it might be) that is just insisting it become a little cuff, despite its unknown origins.  And up at the top is one of Knit Circus gradients that suddenly needs to become a hat (why, because I saw this neat thing on the inside of a heel flap that demanded to be used in a more visible location, that’s why).

Plus I’m talking to a yarn show, making plans with a handful of yarn shops, and looking for a custom metal worker to build me some…things.  Oh and I had the best idea ever for something to do with the book after next and local yarn stores, that needs some serious planning too.

So if one of you clever folks could either figure out how to make the days a bit longer, clone me, or slow the flow of ideas, I’d really appreciate it.  Because I’m pinging about like a bouncy ball here and someone’s going to get hurt if I don’t settle down soon.

Not a Sock in Sight

We talked the other day about sock yarns for the book after next, but as usual, the book is more than just socks.  Some of the non-sock yarns have also started to arrive, and they’re delightful.

mannerlyUp at the top there, in all of its lovely pinkness, is Manos Fino in Rosewater.  That’s going to become an absolutely delicious shawl.  Moving clockwise around the circle, the next one is Anzula Oasis in Seaside.  This is also destined for some sort of wrap (it’s a silk/camel blend, and I anticipate greatness).  Then we’ve got Sweet Georgia Trinity Worsted in Silver.  I’m anticipating a hat, but I’m not 100% decided.  And finally, the lovely Phydeaux Creme in Seaglass.  This has actually already leapt onto the needles and is absolutely a hat.

There are more to come (four you’ve not seen, two of which are coming in the mail any minute now).  But this should give you a sense of what I’m up to these days.  I am starting to get the sock itch though, so I wouldn’t be surprised if a pair of socks started making appearances some time soon.

Interstices

Well, they’re done, and the pattern’s out!

pink knit mitts 1It’s been a long road for these mitts.  I first made them an alarmingly long time ago (they were one of the very first mitts I did).  I knit them, loved them, wrote up the pattern, folks made them, all was well.  Then, last year, I started to get an itch.  An itch to completely re-do many of my favorite early patterns.  I tried to ignore that itch for a very long time (it’s a huge undertaking), but I could not.  So I jumped in.  I started with these.

pink knit mitts 2First, I knit another pair in a more suitable yarn (Anzula’s Squishy, and wow is it yummy for these).  When they were done, The Boy and I tromped off to the conveniently located abandoned greenhouse to get some pictures.  Then, I lent the pattern to a friend for a marvelous project.  And now, now the exclusivity on that project has ended, so I can finally make the shiny new pattern available to you.

pink knit mitts 5So that’s just what I’m doing today.  The pattern for Interstices is now available on ravelry.  I’m delighted to have the new and improved pattern out there.  I love these mitts, and thrilled for the chance to show them off the way they deserve!

If they find their way onto your needles, I’d love to hear about it.  Come show them off in my rav group!  I can’t wait to see what you do with them.

On the Value of Following Instructions

You know how that last instruction in most every pattern is something to do with blocking?  And you know how you may occasionally want to blatantly ignore that instruction?  Mmmm, yes.  Next time you’re tempted to do that?  Remember this picture.

Same yarn, same needles, same knitter, worked the same week.  One blocked and one not (yet) blocked.  Which do you think will look better on?

The goal is to have these blocked and dry for Sunday morning so The Boy and I can go traipsing around this neat half-collapsed greenhouse and take some pictures.  Should be cool, if we don’t find ourselves hassled by the local constabulary for blatant trespassing.  I’m sure they’ll understand the need for nifty backgrounds for knitting pictures, right?  Should be fine.

Actual Knitting

Between the reading and rereading and rerereading of the proofs, there has only been a bit of time and energy for knitting.  But that little bit has been quite pleasant.  Here’s the first of the redone mitts finished and blocked.

I switched the thumb gusset out to the style I like better these days.  It fits well and is easy to knit.  I think it looks nifty too, but I could be biased.

The second one is on the needles and might even be finished this weekend.  Or maybe I’ll nap.  Depends on how cross-eyed I end up after the last round of double checking.