Spicule (plus giveaway)

Want a hat?  Wait, actually, want three hats?  Maybe with a little something extra thrown in for fun? Because if so, I think Spicule might be just the thing.

d-1 copyThat’s three lovely, snuggly, cozy hats (just perfect for the cold weather that I suspect will arrive any day now).

d-6 copyPlus three unspeakably adorable ornament versions that will look just darling dangling from your tree or tied on top of a present (massive massive bonus points if you knit someone a hat, wrap it up, and put the ornament sized version on top of the package as a present topper).

crownsNow of course, each one is totally cute enough to stand on its own.  The cables on each are lovely and intricate (I’m such a sucker for twisty little cables).  And the crowns are rather marvelous if I do say so myself.

ornament 2But cute though they are individually, there’s something about putting them together as a set (especially with the ornament sized ones in there) that’s just more fun than it has any right to be.  I couldn’t resist bundling them all together, and I suspect you won’t mind!

d-3 copyI used different yarns for the full sized versions and the ornament versions.  For the ornaments, I wanted something tiny to keep the scale of the things reasonable (I’m a fan of small ornaments, these come in at about 3.5 inches across).  I used Gloss Fingering (in the undyed color called bare) from Knit Picks for them.  But for the hats, I wanted something more substantial, both so the stitches would show up and so the project wouldn’t take too terribly long.  I went with Swish Worsted (also in the undyed color called bare) also from Knit Picks.

They were both a lovely match for their projects, and I just happen to have a skein of each to pop in the mail.  I think it would be best to share the love, so how about we do two winners.  All you have to do to enter is leave a comment telling me how you feel about knitted ornaments.  Already got a tree full?  Totally going to sneak some in before the holidays?  Putting them on top of all of this year’s presents?  Not quite sure what the fuss is about?  There’s no right or wrong answer, I just like to know how you feel!

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

DSC_2256 copyComments left between now and the end of the day (eastern time) Friday, November 4, 2016 will be entered to win.  I’ll pick winners, 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.

Oh, and for anyone paying alarmingly close attention at home, the ornaments sized versions were originally released as part of the Adorn ornament collection put out by Knit Picks last year.  So if you have that, you already have the mini versions.  The full sized versions are only available in the Spicule pattern (though you might be able to wing it if you’re feeling adventurous).

Slant (plus giveaway)

Ready for an oldie?  Slant were one of the very first sock patterns I ever put out (looks like my third one if I’m counting correctly).  They’ve been on hiatus while the pattern was totally revamped (new photos, new charts, new layout, loads more sizes), and now they’re ready for their comeback!

slant 1 smallI loved these when I first made them (they’re still in heavy rotation in my sock basket), and I love them now.  The rib ensures they’ll fit beautifully.  The pattern is mirrored (because when you have lines like that you just have to do it that way, there’s no other choice).  And the long loops used in the cables help coerce yarn that might like to pool into behaving for you.

slant 3 smallMy first pair were in a heavier yarn, and these are in a classic fingering weight (Stroll Tonal by Knit Picks).  The pattern works beautifully with either (and there are sizing notes in the pattern to work at either 8.25 or 7.25 stitches per inch as you prefer).

slant 2 smallThe good folks at Knit Picks want to help one of you make a pair for yourself.  Just take a look at the Stroll Tonal page and leave a comment letting me know which color you’d like (I confess a fondness for Pansy, but you really can’t go wrong with any of them).

And I can’t quite manage yarn for all of you, but I can give everyone a bit of a deal on the pattern.  Just use the code  SLIDE to get a dollar off the price of the pattern between now and Friday.  Just put Slant in your ravelry cart, click on the ‘use a coupon code’ button, and type in the code SLIDE.  You’ll see the change in price reflected right away.

slant 5 smallComments left between now and the end of the day (eastern time) Friday, June 26, 2015 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.

Plicate (plus giveaway)

A while ago, I quietly took down all my earliest patterns.  They were fine, but they just weren’t quite as polished as my current work, so down they came.  I’ve been revamping them (new layouts, new charts, updated text, and often new pictures and more sizes) and rereleasing them as time allows.  Louche is back out, as are lots of lovely cuffs.  But it was about time for a hat pattern to get some love, so today I’m bringing Plicate back!

plicate mainPlicate is, if you’ll forgive the shameful lack of modesty, awfully close to my idea of the perfect slouchy hat.  The slouch is created by some clever gathering inside the hat, which means it all stays just how you’d like it, and you won’t be constantly fussing with it (or feeling it creep down your head) as you wear it.  You can make it a bit taller if you like it super slouchy (like the one above), or keep it a bit shorter if you like a more understated crumple (like the one below).

plicate old 2And you can use pretty much any fingering, sport, or light DK yarn you can imagine.  The pattern is written for three gauges (4, 4.5, and 5 stitches per inch in stockinette).  If you can get a soft, drapey fabric with your yarn at one of those gauges, you can use it for this hat (there are five size too, so you can fit everyone from toddlers to large adults).

plicateYou can also use a surprising range of yarn textures.  The first picture shows the hat in Gloss Fingering, a 70% merino 30% silk yarn by Knit Picks.  It’s smooth and even and very consistent.  The second shows the hat in a 100% alpaca, heavy fingering-weight yarn from a local independent producer (alas, no name, it came from a fiber festival years ago and had no info other than the fiber content).  It’s super fuzzy and has quite a bit of variation in thickness.  The hat works beautifully in either.  And, since you can make it with 200 yards of yarn or less, I’m pretty sure you’ll have no trouble finding the perfect yarn.

But one of you is going to have an even easier time.  The good folks at Knit Picks are going to send one of you a skein of Gloss Fingering in Robot (that’s the lovely light gray I used here, and one of the most perfect color names ever) to make your own hat.  If you think it should be you, just leave a comment telling me how you feel about slouchy hats.  Are they all you wear?  Are you still looking for the perfect one?  Have you decided they’re not your style?  There aren’t any right or wrong answers, just tell me how you feel!

Comments left between now and the end of the day (eastern time) Saturday, January 24, 2015 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 send prizes to US addresses.

 

Still not the Big News

Sock_DetailSo this is still not it.  There’s a good chance the ‘it’ will be discussed tomorrow or Monday.

Instead, I bring you some other news, this time accompanied by a photo.  It’s been an unreasonably long time since there has been a photo of a new sock.  So, with no further ado, a picture.  This is a sock with a bit of back story.  The story is rather rambly.  The short version is ‘new pattern later this month.’  If you don’t want the long version, feel free to wander off now.  I’ll never know.

Ok, now for the long version.  Quite a while ago, I thought ‘I’ll write up a pattern and submit it to an online magazine, that will be fun!’  Turns out what it actually was was hard and frustrating.  Headaches and heartaches ensued.  Unladylike language was used.  I set the pattern (and the partially knitted socks) aside.  They slowly drifted ever farther down the mythical list of things to do.

A few weeks ago, I found myself thinking of them.  I was thinking of them rather a lot.  They’re actually kind of nifty.  It was unfair to abandon them.  They deserved better.  The reason I started thinking of them was that fit of darning I endured earlier this year.  That wouldn’t have been necessary with these socks.  You see, these socks are made in such a way that, should the sole ever wear out, you can unceremoniously remove the feet and turn the lovely lacy cuff into fingerless mitts.  It’s actually pretty clever (I’m biased, but it really does amuse me to no end).  I’m starting to think more socks should be made this way.

And here was this pattern.  Just sitting there.  I took another look, and the things that had seemed impossibly difficult to describe a year ago were suddenly crystal clear.  It turns out that a year of steady practice makes things easier (why did no one ever mention this before).  I whipped the pattern into shape in no time.

Alas, I still had only 1.5 socks (which isn’t terribly photogenic) and no time to finish them.  Also, in a fit of astonishingly poor stash management that still needs to be addressed, I seem to have misplaced the yarn needed to finish that second sock.

Enter the Knit Picks Independent Designer Program.

Now I know this program is a bit controversial.  Some people say ‘oh it devalues designers’ work, you’re selling yourself short, you deserve to be beset by ravenous moths if you even consider it.’  Other say ‘it’s the keenest thing since cashmere, the exposure makes up for the low pattern price, it’s made of sunshine and butterflies.’  I think the truth is somewhere in between.  It’s likely not the venue for your aran sweater masterpiece painstakingly graded for twelve sizes.  But it’s also likely worth considering for some projects.

What sealed the deal for me, at least for this pattern, was the possibility of sample knitters.  Knit Picks wanted a sample of the sock in their new tonal sock yarn.  It’s lovely, and they provide the yarn.  Some of my most trusted and gracious test knitters were willing to knit samples for me.  Knit Picks would take the pictures (the picture up there is an old one of mine, the Knit Picks ones are much better).  This seemed the perfect choice.  I got to send my pattern (and my magical convertible sock notion) out into the world.  I didn’t have to squeeze out time for one more knitting project.  I got to send yarn to some of the people who’ve been such a help to me over the last months.  It seemed too good to pass up.

So that was a (very) long way of saying that the pattern for these will be released around March 25th.  Stay tuned for more details about that conversion bit and (hopefully) some more pictures.