Chlorochrous & Shibui

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!
 Chlorochrous in Staccato by Shibui 

14 shibui smallThere are days (I decline to say how many), when I need just a little extra help to get through the day — some sort of extra armor to keep me safe from the world (or just possibly to keep the world safe from me).  It has not escaped my notice that you can wear Curls as something rather closely resembling a superhero cape.  A stylish, modern superhero cape of course, but a superhero cape none the less.  Now of course you may not need a superhero cape, and if that’s the case, you can wear yours in a host of other ways.  But on the off chance you occasionally need a bit of extra armor too, I wanted to be sure you knew.

And I can totally see Shibui yarns having super powers.  The two used here are Staccato (that’s the main yarn) and Silk Cloud (that’s the accent yarn, held when you work the rows with the lovely floats.  Shibui does an amazing job of having interesting bases, dyed in the exact same colors, that play beautifully together.  It leads to all sorts of possible combinations.  Every time I see their yarns I have a whole host of new ideas.  I love how these two played together here!

Fulvous & The Plucky Knitter

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!
 Fulvous in Bello Worsted by The Plucky Knitter 

13 plucky knitter smallI’ve already professed my love for the two extremes of the cable spectrum.  The last project satisfied my need for the big meaty cables, this one takes care of my undying fondness for teeny tiny cables.  Just to make things even more interesting, there’s a bit of dropped stitch action going on, too.  The result is a dense, substantial, deeply textured fabric with marvelous body.  You’ll know you have this on, and you’ll love snuggling up in it.

Of course it’s hard not to love being snuggled in swaths of 55% cashmere and 45% merino yarn dyed by the lovely folks at The Plucky Knitter.  My fondness for designing in their yarns is well established.  I am pretty hopelessly smitten with all they do.  But most of my projects with them have been in lighter yarns.  This was one of the few times I’ve played with their thicker lines, and I’m impressed as always.  It’s substantial without being heavy, it feels delightful while you’re knitting, and it holds up beautifully over time.  I know you’ll love it!

Icterine & Cephalopod Yarns

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!
 Icterine in Bugga by Cephalopod Yarns 

12 cephalopod smallThere is something to be said for extremes.  When it comes to cables, I tend to embrace the far ends of the spectrum.  I find myself madly in love with both itty bitty one-by-one cables and with big swoopy cables that involve so many stitches that things crumple up in the middle and make marvelous shadows and channels.  I’m guessing you can tell which one caught my attention here.  I love the drama cables of this size create (all with very little work on your part), and I couldn’t be happier with the result.

When you’re making cables this big, you need a well-behaved yarn — one that will give you a solid fabric for the cables to pop out of, but still have enough drape to handle the cable gracefully.  Bugga does the job perfectly.  This particular skein came from Cephalopod Yarns, which is now (sadly) closed (and much very missed).  If you manage to track down a skein, I totally recommend grabbing it up.  Luckily, if you can’t find a skein from Cephalopod, the same yarn base is still available through lovely folks at The Verdant Gryphon.

Filemot & Spud & Chloë (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!
 Filemot in Fine by Spud & Chloë 

11 spud and chloe smallThere is a place in this world for auto pilot knitting.  The stuff you can knit in the dark at the movie theater, or over a beer in the dimly lit bar, or while watching some deeply engrossing tv show.  Projects like that are lovely, and there are several of them in this book.  This is not one of them.  This is unabashedly fiddly.  You’ve got lots of ribbing, you’ve got stuff going on on both right- and wrong-side rows, and you’ve even got twisted decreases.  But, for the love of all things woolly, the result is so worth it.

If you’re going to put that kind of work into a project, you wan to use a yarn that will last beautifully.  This one, by Spud & Chloë is just the thing.  It’s made with six tiny plies which are first twisted together into three pairs, then brought together into one cohesive, balanced whole.  I love yarns put together this way as they tend to feel delicate but wear like iron.  And of course, the 80% merino 20% silk mix bounces the light around beautifully.  It really is a perfect match.

And one of you is going to get to see just how perfect a match for yourself!  Spud & Chloë has donated two skeins of Fine (plus a lovely project bag to keep your work safe).  If you’d like it to be yours, just leave a comment here telling me how you feel about fiddly knitting.  Not gonna happen? Worth it for the right project? The fiddlier the better?  There is no right or wrong answer, just let me know what you think!

FIneComments left between now and the end of the day (eastern time) Thursday, November 27th, 2014 will be entered to win.  I’ll pick a winner, 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 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.

Sinopia & Blue Sky Alpacas (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!
 Sinopia in Alpaca Silk from Blue Sky Alpacas 

10 blue sky alpacas smallOne of my goals for this book was to make patterns that would work with whatever amount of yarn you happened to have.  It’s easy to feel like you can make something marvelous with 500 yards of yarn.  It can be a bit trickier if you’re working with half that.  But because of the shape of Curls, you can create a substantial, wearable piece with surprisingly little yarn.  This one used only 250 yards, and you can see how flexible it is.

That flexibility makes Curls perfect for especially delicious yarns like this treat from Blue Sky Alpacas.  The 50% silk 50% alpaca blend is marvelously indulgent.  The alpaca makes it warm, the silk makes it glow, and the lovely, balanced three ply structure gives the yarn a fabulous drape.  It’s just the tiniest bit slinky without being at all flashy.  It feels marvelously grown up and elegant to me!  The projects you make from it are destined to be something special.

And the good folks at Blue Sky Alpacas are going to help one of you make your own something special!  They’ve got two skeins of the delightful Aplaca Silk plus one of their adorable project bags ready to send off to one of you.  If you’d like it to be you, just leave a comment telling me what you look for in indulgent yarns.  Is it the fiber?  The softness?  The color?  There are no right or wrong answers, I just want to hear what you like!

AlpacaSilkComments left between now and the end of the day (eastern time) Thursday, November 27th, 2014 will be entered to win.  I’ll pick a winner, 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 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.

Nacarat & Briar Rose Fibers (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!
 Nacarat in Fourth of July from Briar Rose 

9 briar rose smallI’ve often confessed that I rely on several marvelous sample knitters to help me produce all the pieces you see in my books.  There is just no way I could knit everything myself and still put out books at the rate I like to publish them.  But every now and then, a piece tickles my fancy so much I just have to knit it myself.  This is one of those (if you’ve been following along at home for some time, you may remember it making a brief appearance earlier this year).  I love it (I have a well-documented weakness for orange), and I am having the hardest time leaving it safely in the Book Samples box instead of wearing it everywhere.

I suspect a significant part of its charm comes from the delightful Briar Rose yarn with which it is made.  It’s a lovely, 100% wool yarn, worsted-weight, with a generous 550 yards per skein.  And of course it comes in all of Briar Rose’s beautiful colors.  But my favorite thing about it is that one of its four plies is crafted in such a way that it takes the dye more strongly than the others, giving it a delightful barber pole effect.  I have absolutely no idea how it’s done (I suspect magic may be involved), but I love the extra depth it gives to the knitted fabric.

One of you can experience that, or any of the other Briar Rose magic, for yourself.  Briar Rose has a $50 gift certificate for one of you, good for anything in their online shop.  That’s a delightful prospect if ever there was one, and I know whoever wins it is going to be in for a treat.  For a chance to win, just leave a comment telling me one thing that would find its way into your cart if you won (I’m personally eyeing the Wistful…that would be an awful lot of fun to play with).

Comments left between now and the end of the day (eastern time) Thursday, November 27th, 2014 will be entered to win.  I’ll pick a winner, 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 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.

Watchet & Claudia Hand Painted Yarns

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!
 Watchet in F-55 from Claudia Hand Painted Yarn 

8 claudia hand painted smallYou all know I’m a fan of things being tidy and orderly.  I keep my books in alphabetical order and line them up with a ruler.  My yarn is carefully sorted, and so is my tea.  I like things to be arranged just so.  So it should be no surprise at all that I love the patterning on this Curl.  The lovely little motifs interlock like beautiful tiles.  They march along in perfect, even rows, each one nestled against its neighbors.  Its unreasonably satisfying.  If you’ve ever found yourself itching to straighten the books at someone else’s house, I think you’ll love it too.

And I’m absolutely positive you’ll love the yarn.  Claudia Hand Painted Yarns are all delightful, but this one is a particular favorite.  It’s 55% silk and 45% merino, and it’s put together in a special way.  It’s made with six very very tiny plies.  These are first twisted up into three bundles of two, and then all three of those are twisted together to make the finished yarn.  The result is a magnificently bouncy, lively yarn with great shimmer from the silk.  It looks absolutely amazing knit up.

Ianthine & Space Cadet Creations (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!
 Ianthine in Oriana 8-Ply from Space Cadet Creations 

7 space cadet small I am, generally, fairly immune to the charms of what you might call girly things.  I don’t do pink and purple.  I’m not all that susceptible to lace.  I’m far more likely to wear jeans than a skirt.  But every now and then, when I’m not expecting it, something undeniably girly will catch my eye and render me helpless to resist.  That happened here.  It’s purple lace, and yet I’m smitten.  Even if I am more likely to be wearing it with jeans and a tee than over a sundress!

I’m sure quite a bit of this unexpected susceptibility is due to the yarn.  Space Cadet Creations does marvelous work, and I seem to have a long history of finding their purples irresistible.  This one is no exception.  And the yarn (8 tiny plies of merino, twisted tightly together to make a yarn sturdy enough for socks but fluid enough to have beautiful drape when worked at a looser gauge) is more or less impossible to say no to.

And Space Cadet is making it very easy indeed for one of you to say yes!  They’re going to send one of you a skein of the Oriana in your choice of color.  I used the Plume, but you can pick your favorite.  Just leave a comment here telling me which color you’d like for a chance to win.

Comments left between now and the end of the day (eastern time) Thursday, November 27th, 2014 will be entered to win. I’ll pick a winner, contact them to get their addresses, and arrange to get the yarn 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 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.

Infuscate & String Theory (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!
 Infuscate in Selku from String Theory 

6 string theory smallMost of the time, holes in your knitting are a bad thing, a cause for great alarm.  But in this case, the holes in this piece are a very good thing indeed.  I am hopelessly in love with the stitch pattern used for this Curl.  I keep thinking it looks like kelp or seaweed or something else delightfully organic.  And, just to continue the feeling, the stitch pattern naturally causes the edge of the piece to ripple just slightly, making for the most delightfully scalloped edge imaginable.  I really couldn’t be any happier with it.

And of course you all know I adore String Theory yarns.  At last count I had oh, um, let’s just say lots of patterns designed in their yarn (and there may well be more on the way).  But this was my first time working with their Selku yarn.  It’s a lovely, supple sport-weight yarn made of 50% merino and 50% silk.  I swear the combination of String Theory’s amazing colors with the lovely rich silk results in a yarn that just glows.

And one of you lucky folks is in for a lovely treat.  The masterminds at String Theory want to send one of you a $60 gift certificate.  That $60 would be just right to grab two skeins of the Selku and make a piece just like this of your own, but there are so many tempting treasures on offer that I fully expect it to be hard to decide (I mean just look at all the goodies I dragged home when I last visited).  If you think the gift certificate should be yours, just tell me what you’d buy with it?  Would you load up on Caper Aran (aka my current favorite fat sock yarn)?  Or would Selku be your choice?  Or would you find something else all together?  You really can’t go wrong, just let me know what grabs your eye!

Comments left between now and the end of the day (eastern time) Thursday, November 27th, 2014 will be entered to win. I’ll pick a winner, contact them to get their addresses, and arrange to get the yarn 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 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.

Pavonated & Elemental Affects (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!
 Pavonated in Civility Sport from Elemental Affects 

5 elemental affects smallDo you ever find yourself feeling indecisive?  It doesn’t hit me often, but when it does, it hits hard.  I found myself plagued with indecision when I swatched for this piece.  I simply could not decide which side of the fabric should be the right side.  They are both lovely (and quite distinct), and either could easily be the public face.  I finally let the knitting dictate right and wrong (no one wants to do double decreases on a purl row if they can avoid it), but I firmly believe both sides are equally lovely, and I want you to wear it however you like it best!

Perhaps my uncharacteristic indecision is due to the marvelous yarn from Elemental Affects.  This blend of 70% merino and 30% silk comes in three weights (worsted, sport, and fingering) plus a special version of the fingering weight with extra twist that is just perfect for socks.  All those options mean you could make just about anything out of this yarn, it’s no wonder I couldn’t make up my mind!

And one of you lucky folks is going to get to find out just how many possibilities there are in a skein of this yarn. The lovely folks at Elemental Affects are giving one of you a skein of Civility Sport for you to experiment with! To enter, just leave a comment telling me which of their delicious colors you’d like most.

Comments left between now and the end of the day (eastern time) Thursday, November 27th, 2014 will be entered to win. I’ll pick a winner, contact them to get their addresses, and arrange to get the yarn 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 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.