Carom (plus giveaway)

I suspect you might already know this, but I have a thing for sets.  I can’t help it.  As soon as I finish a piece I start wondering ‘and what would happen if I just wiggled this little bit over here?’  Then all of a sudden there’s another variation on the needles.  That’s totally what happened with Carom, and I’m so happy to have the pattern back out!DSC_0978 copyThe first hat uses a bigger, lacier version of the stitch pattern.  It’s lovely and swooshy and just a bit dramatic.

DSC_0925 copyThe second one uses a slightly smaller version of the stitch pattern.  It’s a bit more understated and avoids anything that might hint at lace.

DSC_0921 copyI’m showing a folded up brim on one version and no brim on the other, but of course you can go either way on either hat and it will look lovely.

DSC_0844 copyAnd the crown of each looks absolutely smashing (there’s really no excuse for boring crowns…life is too short for that).  crownsYou’ve totally got time to whip one of these out before cool weather really sets in.  I used Chubbie by Vice Yarns (one of my absolute favorite yarns, if your LYS doesn’t carry it do yourself a favor and ask them to start).  I’ve got a skein to give away (mine is in a beautiful mix of autumn colors that will make the most fabulous fall hat you can imagine).  If you’d like a chance to win, just leave a comment telling me how you feel about having a few variations of a project in a pattern.  The more the merrier? Or does it make it too hard to decide where to start?  There’s no right or wrong answer, I just like to know what you like!

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 Carom 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.

DSC_0818 copyComments left between now and the end of the day (eastern time) Friday, September 23, 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.

Latterly (plus giveaway)

Half the trick to knitting is balance (balance knits with purls to keep things from curling, balance cables with plain stitches to keep things from squinching up too tight, balance increases with decreases to keep things from changing size).  Latterly are a perfect balance between lace (fairly entertaining lace at that) and lovely, quiet ribbing.  I’m delighted to have them back out.

latterly 1 copyI love balancing lace with ribbing.  It works especially well here as this lace has you changing your stitch count from row to row.  If you have too much of that all on the same row, your sock can get a bit unruly.  But the ribbing keeps the lace nicely contained and marching along in a lovely, orderly fashion.

latterly 7 copyAnd we all know ribbing makes for a comfy, well-fitting sock.  But if you’re anything like me, you can’t quite bring yourself to manage a whole sock with nothing but ribs.  That’s not nearly interesting enough, no matter how great it feels!  So throwing some gorgeous lace on there is a grand way to keep things interesting.

latterly 6 copyAnd this really is lovely lace.  You do a whole bunch of increases all at once, then spend then spend the next few rows carefully whittling them back down to your original stitch count.  Then you do it again, with a slightly different set of decreases. Playing with the stitch count like that often produces beautifully organic stitch patterns (it’s a really easy way to get lovely curvy lines), and this is no exception.   And of course, the ribbing marches along on the sides to keep everyone on their best behavior!

It’s a perfect way to show off a solid or semi solid yarn (the lace is involved enough that you might lose some of its impact if you used a more variegated yarn).  So of course I reached for Vice, because they do marvelous solids (these use Carnal, now sadly discontinued, though Paradigm is a great substitute).  I know Vice is a bit hard to track down (you have to ask your LYS to carry it, but it’s totally worth asking for).  So I’m going to help someone out there fall as much in love with it as I am.  I’ve got a skein of Carnal to send home with someone.  Just leave a comment telling me how you feel about ribbing.  Secretly love it? Only just tolerable because it’s so handy?  Isn’t happening no matter how useful it is?  There’s no right or wrong answer, I just like knowing how you guys feel about stuff!

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

latterly 8 copyComments left between now and the end of the day (eastern time) Friday, June 24, 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.

P.S. For anyone keeping alarmingly close track at home, this was initially out (a long long long time ago) as Once More With Feeling (and if you bought it way back then, you’ll already have the new version in your rav library, don’t worry).  It was one of my very first patterns, and I hadn’t yet fully committed to the One Really Awesome Word For Titles thing.  But along with adding new sizes and better charts and prettier pictures, part of the fun of re-releasing old patterns is that I get to change the name if I want, so I am!

Peregrinate (plus giveaway)

You know when your knitting hits that perfect, meditative place? The spot where your fingers know just what to do and your stitches flow perfectly and all you have to do is sit back and admire your work?  Well Peregrinate totally hit that spot for me, and I’m so glad to have them back out!

peregrinate 1The pattern on the leg is very mellow.  Just knits, purls, and teeny tiny cables.  You’ll have it memorized in no time, and the result is something really lovely.

peregrinate 4Things get a little more interesting when you get to the foot.  The main pattern slowly meanders off toward the side, leaving a swath of purl stitches in its wake.  And of course I included instructions for just continuing the pattern all the way down the foot (in case you’re madly in love with it and can’t bear to stop), but I think the purl stitches are rather fetching.

peregrinate 3Whenever you have a big stretch of purl stitches like that, your yarn choice becomes extra important.  Any color variations in your yarn looks more pronounced on the purl side.  That can be fun if you’re in the mood for something energetic, but for these I wanted something a bit more mellow.  One of the marvelous semi-solids from the folks at Vice was the perfect choice.  (These use Carnal, now sadly discontinued, though Paradigm is a great substitute.)

peregrinate 2I know Vice can be a bit hard to track down (you can only get it in stores, not online, so if you want it you have to ask your LYS to carry it).  So I’m going to help someone out there fall as much in love with it as I am.  I’ve got a skein of Carnal to give away to one of you.  Just leave a comment telling me what gets you to that meditative state in your knitting.  Is it row after row of garter stitch?  Or do you like stockinette better?  Does ribbing do it (I’ve met some people who swear 1 by 1 ribbing is their therapy)?  Or would you rather have a bit more pattern?  There aren’t any right answers (and if you’re new enough to knitting that it still puts up too much of a fight to feel that way, that’s ok too!), I just want to know what does it for you.

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

peregrinate 5Comments left between now and the end of the day (eastern time) Friday, April 22, 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.

Gramercy (plus giveaway)

You know how some knitting projects just sort of seem like little magic tricks?  Either they come together faster than they should, or they use less yarn than you’d expect, or they look so much fancier than they have any right to given how easy they are.  Well Gramercy pretty much does all of those things!  I’m delighted to bring them back out. gramercy internal 1 smallThey use a marvelous little lace motif that has a lot going for it.  It’s easy enough to be a perfect introduction to fancy socks, but interesting enough that you won’t get bored, even if you’re a sock pro.  It’s astonishingly stretchy, which means your socks will both fit comfortably and stay up all day.  And it’s awfully pretty (which is half the fun of hand knit socks if we’re being honest)!  gramercy internal 2 smallAnd, while this is a bit subjective, these totally feel like fast socks to me.  All that open work means you use way less yarn than you’d expect, and using less yarn means you’re done in less time.  Those are my size 11 feet up there, and that sock has a 7.5 inch leg, and it used all of 300 yards of yarn.  That’s pretty much unheard of.  gramercy internal 3 smallI want one of you to see for yourself how much fun these are, so I’ve got a skein of the beautiful Carnal yarn by Vice in this amazing blue to send to someone.  Just leave a comment telling me the magic trick you most want your knitting to do to be entered to win.

And while I can’t send yarn to everyone, I can give everyone a discount.  Just use the code MAGIC to get a dollar the price between now and Friday.  Just put Gramercy in your ravelry cart, click on the ‘use a coupon code’ button, and type in the code MAGIC.  You’ll see the change in price reflected right away.gramerch long smallComments left between now and the end of the day (eastern time) Friday, September 4, 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.

Xanthophyll (plus giveaway)

Remember how I’m not supposed to have favorites?  Because I’m supposed to love all my patterns equally? Well that works about as well with patterns as with ice cream.  They’re all good, but some of them are especially good.  And Xanthophyll are totally some of my favorites!  I’m so glad to be bringing them back out.

x 1 smallThese were the first skinny yarn socks I knit for The Boy (before he happened to mention that he sort of liked thick socks best, thus increasing the overall number of knit socks in his future rather dramatically).  The original ones still turn up in the laundry pile on a regular basis though, and have held up rather nicely if I do say so myself!

But for this iteration, I wanted to get show off another variation.  For their second debut they’ve been reknit in some delicious Carnal by Vice.  If you’ve been hanging out here for a while you know I’m a tremendous fan of all the beautiful colors Lizzy magics into existence, and this is no exception.  I couldn’t ask for a more fitting shade for these socks…just enough variegation to keep it interesting, not so much that it obscures the fancy stitches.

x 7 smallAnd there are fancy stitches!  The basic stitch pattern is more or less a rib, but you’ve got a slipped stitch column and another with a lovely elongated stitch cable.  The combination means pooling isn’t likely to be a problem, even with tricky yarns.  And it’s orderly enough that you’ll have the rhythm of it memorized in no time.  The socks come in four sizes (a serious improvement over the one size in the original pattern!), and are totally suitable for guys or girls.

x 6 smallYou all know I take my duty to spread the yarn love seriously, so I’ve got a skein of Carnal to send off to one of you.  It’s not exactly this color (the one shown here was a one of a kind and was just too perfect not to use for these socks).  But it is a lovely, buttery yellow that’s completely appropriate for the pattern (xanthophyll is the yellow pigment in leaves, so I feel obligated to give away a yellow yarn).  If you’d like to be entered to win, just leave a comment telling me what color of leaves you prefer.  Are you in it for the first hits of green in the spring?  Or do you like full summer’s darker shades better?  Is it the fall fireworks that do you in?

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

x 3 smallComments left between now and the end of the day (eastern time) Friday, July 10, 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.

 

Psst

Xanthophyll (a favorite both because they’re awfully pretty socks and because any word that starts with an x gets automatic bonus points) is coming back out next Tuesday.

DSC_1205These were reknit in a beautiful yarn from Vice, and I couldn’t be more thrilled with them.  Mailing list folks get a coupon when they come out, and there will be a giveaway here too (because it’s a moral duty to share yarn that pretty)!

Woven

I have an unreasonable fondness for knitted fabrics that look woven at first glance.  It’s one of the reasons I love this curl.  It’s got all of the structure of a woven fabric with the stretch and bounce of a knit.  The back of it is even pretty too (always a nice touch in a wrap, as I am pretty much incapable of making sure just one side faces forward).

DSC_0940I am really really looking forward to the photo shoot for these.  It’s going to be an unreasonable amount of fun. Just remind me that it’s impractical to drag Alethea to Maine with us.  Because the idea of taking these pictures on the rocky seashore…well, it has a certain appeal!

Playing Favorites, Part 2

We talked a little while ago about the sock yarns for the upcoming book, but that book won’t all be sock-y goodness.  There are lots of other delightful projects too, and that means more yarn.  I’ve just now gotten the last of the yarns in, so that meant it was time to bring them all together for a group shot.

yarnsI really am rather madly in love with all of these, and I bet there are a few here that will be new to you.

Starting up at the top left, the pink one there is Manos Fino in Rosewater (otherwise known as ‘trust me I am just as surprised as you to see a baby pink in my stash but I really do rather love this).  The purple is Alchemy Lust in Amethyst (I’ve never seen another base quite like this, we’ll have to talk about it soon).  Then we’ve got the delightful Phydeaux Creme in Seaglass (found this at TNNA and remain totally smitten).  The light gray on the bottom right is Vice Carnal in a custom color Lizzy has not yet named (I’ll harass her soon).  Next to it is a darker gray, that’s SweetGeorgia Trinity Worsted in Silver (we all know I love SweetGeorgia).  Up on top of that is Anzula Oasis in Seaside (another base we need to chat about, splendid stuff).  The bit of yellow sunshine is Elemental Affects Civility in Limoncello (this is a shiny new yarn and I cannot wait for you to all meet it and fall madly in love with it too).  And finally, the delightful Frog Tree Pediboo Sport in 1464 (admittedly not the most fetching color name, but a very lovely yarn indeed).

Can I just say I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited about a book?  I mean I’ve loved them all, but this one just has me doing a bit of a boogie up and down the hallway every time I think about it.  I can’t wait to show it off!

And in Other News

The lovely blue socks I took off to the retreat are done (and have been for a while now, I just didn’t quite manage to get them outside and snap a picture).  We’ll start with proof of concept.  See that, two legs, two heels, two toes, all tidy and done.

And then lets take a closer look at the top of the feet.  Left and right mirrored (though it would be just as cute to put a left-leaning leaf and a right-leaning leaf together on the same sock).

It’s Vice (and yes, I am trying to irritate Lizzy into finishing up her website) in Chubbie in a super secret color she made for me.  Finished pics next time I’ve got me, The Boy, the camera, motivation, and daylight all at the same time, which should be easier now that the clocks have shifted.

Retreat, Mind the Loot

The goal of this retreat is for people who are working on self publishing knitting books to get together and help each other.  Well no, it’s a bit broader than that.  We’ve got a few things that aren’t exactly books, and a few things that aren’t exactly knitting.  But the gist of it is ‘fiber’ and ‘stuff that until recently was done only by big publishers (or maybe not even done at all) but is now being done by individuals.’  The technology is changing so fast that trying to pin it down more precisely than that gets tricky.  If you want to see the list of projects we’ve got out now, you can always look over here.

With a focus like that, you can likely guess that we’re a pro yarn bunch.  Very pro yarn.  Part of the fun every morning was looking over to your neighbor’s knitting bag and seeing what was on the needles that day.  So you can imagine the amount of gleeful squeaking when it turned out that several yarn companies had graciously sent us some of their yarn for us to get to know.  I’m going to ask that you lean in the ‘refined delight’ direction rather than in the ‘shameless scramble’ direction as you imagine, ok?  I promise it was all very decorous.  There was sharing and playing nicely and being generous.  There were also squeals of delight, but there’s no shame in that.  I walked away with several treasures.

The first is Vice’s Carnal in the color Waterlily.  Now you guys know just how much I love Vice.  It’s in the next book, it’s on my needles right this minute, and it may well have taken the coveted favorite fat sock yarn spot in my personal yarn hierarchy.  This color is that weird 80s periwinkle shade re-imagined and made 1000 times more awesome.  It somehow both reminds me of the colors of my childhood and feels completely modern at the same time.  I adore it.

Next up is ClaudiaHand Painted Yarns Fingering Weight in Prussian Soldiers (that’s the solid) and Giraffe (the multi…no idea about the name, there’s no brown or orange to be seen).  Now if you’ve been here for a while, you know I can be, um, color challenged.  I tend to lean towards the semi solids more than the multis.  But, and this is a big but, when I can find a multi that plays well with a semi solid, I feel so much more confident.  It leads to playing.  And I think something fun will happen here, look how well those two work together!  I’ll update you when it gets on the needles.

And last but never least, Blue Moon Fiber Arts Mopsy in Deep Unrelenting Gray and Socks that Rock Lightweight in Downpour.  You know gray is near and dear to my heart.  These are both absolutely my colors.  They leapt right out of the pile and twined themselves around my neck and whispered in my ear that they were mine and they would be coming home with me.  I don’t disagree with talking yarn (it leads to unsightly arguments), so here they are home with me.  I’m making plans already.