Knit Now Issue 8

TIM 3820 medium2
Subscribers will have received their copies of Knit Now Issue 8 in this weekends post.    Another issue received with great excitement about seeing our patterns in print.    Our Cashmere Cosy pattern is shown on pages 38/39modelled by one of the Practical Publishing team.  He loved the hat so much he even asked to keep it, what a compliment.     Photo copyright of Practical Publishing Ltd.

It’s made using 2-3 balls of the Superwash Merino Cashmere (10% off this month) so give it a try.  It’s sized for babies through to an XL adult size for the largest of noggins.

Some visitors have had problems with the discount codes, so I’ve just left the discount as a straight 10% off all colours of the yarn.    This is a super easy knit, quick, it took me a couple of evenings at most and looks great on both men and women.

A great alternative to this would be the Austermann Merino Silk, this will be available in a couple of weeks when our order arrives.   It’s a similar blend to the Lion Brand but has silk instead of nylon, it’s gorgeous!

The inspiration?    My boyfriend (who works outdoors) hates knitted hats.  He says they’re itchy, never fit properly and always look the worse for washing.   It’s a good job I love a challenge isnt’ it?     I started playing with ideas for a unisex hat in a gorgeous cashmere blend as it’s soft, warm and washable.    It’s easy to knit, but also gives knitters a chance to try a luxury yarn without breaking the bank.

We hope you like it! 

Designer Spotlight – Ruth Brasch

Almost Aran is a scarf that features the lovely cabling seen on aran sweaters, but is a smaller project than a full sweater! Get your cable fix without having to worry about finishing a whole sweater!

This scarf features an optional faux mobius twist that is put in after the entire scarf is knitted. You get the option of a lovely twist without having to work a twisted project.

 Our Designer Spotlight is on Ruth Brasch on Ravelry.com who is taking part in this years Indie Design Gift Along.

I first chatted to Ruth in the Indie Design Gift Along last year and have kept in touch over the year.   Her designs often feature clever names which never fail to make me smile, great use of colour and an wonderful eye for textured details.

My first choice for today is the Ode to Summer Hat, this has been really popular with knitters since it’s release, think they love the flower and texture which make it a fun project to knit but also because it has that wow factor your gift recipient is sure to love.

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Next is the New Horizons Hat, something for the crocheters among you (something I love too!).   This’d be a good stashbuster or fabulous for self striping or plain yarns. 

This hat features:

  • Edging for a controlled stretch in the band
  • A tutorial for an invisible 3rd loop join
  • A bottom up construction for adjustable sizing from the start
  • Options for an ear warmer instead of a hat
  • Options to make a slouchier hat
  • Options to make a larger or smaller hat
  • Instructions to make a straight Hdc seam instead of a diagonal one

newhorizonshat

Last on today’s list but another favourite of mine is the Almost Aran Fauxbius, what a fab name!    Almost Aran is a scarf that features the lovely cabling seen on aran sweaters, but is a smaller project than a full sweater! Get your cable fix without having to worry about finishing a whole sweater!    This scarf features an optional faux mobius twist that is put in after the entire scarf is knitted. You get the option of a lovely twist without having to work a twisted project.

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To check out all the discounted patterns in the Indie Design Gift Along visit the group for more information. 

Designer Spotlight Joan Dyer

I missed yesterday so I’m playing catch up.   Our Designer Spotlight is on Joan Dyer, joandyer on Ravelry.com who is taking part in this years Indie Design Gift Along.

I won a pattern in the forums the other day and chose Madeira, my dear, by Joan Dyer, it’s a gorgeous all over lace pattern and I love the rich raspberry colour she chose for the design sample.   I’d be easy to add a bit of waist and hip shaping by just changing needle sizes, larger at the hips and smaller at the waist.    It has a nice clean neckline (no clutter and fancy shaping required) and the sleeves also feature the pretty lace.   As always with Joan’s patterns, it’s well written, clear and clever.   There are charts and written instructions with lots of hints and tips on how best to handle the lace shaping at the raglan.

If you make one sweater for work or play, this should be on your short list.   It’s worked in the round with raglan shaping, that gives the best options for trying on as you knit.    There’s an option for sweater length and tunic length, this’d make a great beach coverup or a teen dress for nights out (with appropriate layers underneath 🙂

Madeira My Dear Sweater pattern

Next up is the Sidestrokes Pullover, a childrens knit worked ‘sideways’ if you hadn’t guessed from the name 🙂 .  Sidestrokes Pullover features  a placket neck opening with a one button closure to make it both easy to pull on over the head but also for style points. It was created for Tess’ Designer Yarns.  The four sizes correspond to ages 3, 6, 12, and 18 months with 4 inches (10 cm) ease. The width is easily adjusted by adding more rows, and the length by casting on additional stitches.  The main body is knit sideways, the neckline and bottom edge picked up and knit circularly after the sides are seamed.

The sweater can be worked in lace weight yarn, 3 strands held together, which provides the opportunity to create a gradient that shifts color from one cuff to the other with the color changes controlled by replacing one strand at a time. The design is well suited to variegated yarns, or sock weight yarns knit to gauge for a lighter weight garment.  If you use machine washable sock yarn, it’ll be clean and dry in no time.   Brilliant for busy Mums and stylish for fashion conscious kids.

sidestrokes

Our last garment for this post is called Klid, a child’s cardigan, with a stunning tree on a rev st st background.  Great for young Hobbit or LOTR fans or just kids who love nature!  The pattern has a cropped or hip length version (to keep them warm and toasty), is knitted in worsted weight yarn but there are notes on how to adapt for other yarn weights which is a great bonus.   The body is worked flat bottom-up, with waste yarn replacing sleeves until the sweater body is completed. The sleeves are worked in the round top-down with underarm gussets (continuing from waste yarn, no pickup required). The closure can be snaps or buttons. The construction is seamless.

 klid

 I couldn’t resist adding this and the sample item would match nicely to Klid (above), it’s the Ditty Bag pattern.    It’s handy for cable needles, your seaming or sewing needles to stop them dropping down the side of the chair (or is that just me?).     You can use any weight of yarn, any type of yarn and it’s a great project to learn about double knitting.

 dittybag

 To check out all the discounted patterns in the Indie Design Gift Along visit the group for more information.    To see our discounted patterns, go here.

the discount code is giftalong2015 for 25% of the sale patterns.  Sale ends on Friday UK time and Thursday midnight EST.

 

 

 

Designer Spotlight PJKaylor

Today I’ll be featuring some gorgeous designs from just one designer, Peggy Jean Kaylor or pjkaylor to her friends on Ravelry.com

One of my favourites is Leaves of Lothlorien.   I read Lord of the Rings at 8 years old and loved it, Tolkein created an incredible world where I could escape the day to day.   The film adaptations captured the written details perfectly and Peggy’s scarf does just the same thing.  It evokes magic, mystery and an ethereal atmosphere.       The pattern is very well written with clear instructions for every stage.     It’s adaptable – you could use it to make a garland for Christmas, a scarf for a night out using some sparkly yarns and it would even make a great hatband.    A friend of mine made it several times with different yarns and loves it.  The scarf is construction using garter stitch and short rows, so it’s a fabulous practice piece.   Each leaf ‘grows’ from the central spine and can be placed where you want them.   In this case, the short rows don’t require any special skill so all you need to know are how to knit-on cast on, traditional bind off/cast off, knit, knit 2 together. The short row shaping does not require any special treatments beyond turning the work and just knitting whatever number of stitches is specified instead of completing each row.

You could make several in shades of green or in autumnal shades (Fall to our US cousins) for a showstopper accessory or you could just make a short length and add it as an embellishment to a bag or garment, it’d look fabulous around the yoke of a sweater.

As for the LOTR, I try and read it once a year although I admit I skip the chapters with shelob the spider – ewwww..   Each of these gorgeous designs is 25% off so don’t miss the sale!   The coupon code is giftalong2015 without any spaces!

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IMG 2760 medium2Vine Scarf 001 medium2

Next up is the Heart Throb Scarf, a pretty project for those wanting to try something a bit lacy but not too much and fancy a go at bobbles to give texture.  Peggy has designed a cute heart motif which you could do many times on the scarf as shown, or just once at each end.    It’s very well written and every part of the pattern is clear, even for beginners.  

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Last, but by no means least, and made in a fabulous blue, is Melite, Nymph of Calm Seas, another very well written pattern, which has optional beading for those wanting to add a bit of glitz.    What I love about Melite is that every element is totally reversible. The beads sparkle from both sides of the fabric. The lace and solid sections are created from reversible stitch patterns. It makes the perfect wrap.   Why is that good?  It means you can’t wear it inside out, as either side looks amazing!   Great to grab as you dash out the door for a bit of added glamour and warmth

Stitches used in the pattern: k, p, yo, k2tog. While the techniques are not difficult, most knitters will need to pay regular attention to either the written instructions or the chart to successfully insert the solid zigzags into the lace ground and to place the beads correctly within the zigzags.    Beading is optional but adds a subtle sparkle. If knitted exactly as the pattern directs, Melite requires 1,213 size 6/0 glass seed beads. Placing the beads requires either Threader Floss dental floss or a small steel crochet hook that will fit through the center of the beads.    The pattern includes complete abbreviated row-by-row written instructions as well as fully charted directions.

Melite pattern sample modeled 001 medium2

 

I’ve finished my Campside Hat by CarolynMac and my Renilda Hat by Tracey Lee.

Do check out our designer bundle with our sale patterns, we hope you like our new releases and find lots of inspiration.

Knits for Head, Neck and Hands

Today I’ll be featuring some gorgeous designs from some amazing friends in the Indie Gift Along 2015.     They’re my personal favourites and include hats, mitts/wristers, scarves, shawls or cowls to mix or match.

First up is Knittipoliti, aka Ellen Kapusniak, and her Bezel Hat, Bezel Mittens and Bezel Cowl, a stunning set which has the smooshiest cable design and would be a really quick gift for someone knitworthy.  Or if that someone was a knitter, you could gift them the pattern(s), they will thank you.   Click on the images to see more.   Each of these gorgeous designs is 25% off so don’t miss the sale!   The coupon code is giftalong2015 without any spaces!

Hat3_small2Mittens2_smallCowl3_small2

Our next designer Scrabblepooh, aka Helen Gipson, has the most amazing eye for detail.   I’ve picked out some of her neckwear, perfect for wrapping up on cold days or to match with your winter coat.    My first choice is Downtime, a great way to use up scraps, match your scarf to all your outfits and just because it’s smooshy, warm and soft!   My second choice was Iolaire, look at the texture of this scarf?  It’s a knitters dream, a simple pattern, great texture and works with plain or patterned yarns.   Last, but by no means least, is the totally stunning Petalous Shawl, it’s got cables, lace and texture making it a fun and fascinating knit, it also stays on the shoulders when worn and could be styled in different ways.

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Lets have a look at Selana, aka Handarbeitskram on Ravelry.   Selana has some gorgeous designs in a wide range of categories.   I’ve stuck to todays theme and I’d love you to take a look at the Opposites Attact Hat, the Opposites Attract Cowl and the Muddy River Mitts and just for fun, also to keep you on your toes, Pin Eater

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Last, but just as wonderful is Mistealeaf, aka Tracey Lee, I love her Makallie Hat, great colourwork and another good stashbuster for those of us who keep part balls and oddments, just in case!    Next up are the Kallan Mitts, very pretty cable and rib pattern, fits most people and will look great in pretty much any yarn.   To match this and as a real showstopper I just low the Kallan Cape, smooshy cables and great for cooler days, stylish too!

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I’ve cast on my Campside Hat from yesterdays blog update and my Renilda Hat by Tracey Lee.

Do check out our designer bundle with our sale patterns, we hope you like our new releases and find lots of inspiration.

Hats, Hats and more Hats

The Indie Design Gift Along for 2015 starts tonight, it’ll be about 1am for us Brits so I’ll be sleeping like a baby.     I’ll catch up with all the excitement when I get up on Friday.

I’ve been perusing the list of participating designers and am just blown away by the fabulous designs, range of techniques, basics, classics and fun items they’ve included in the sale.   You can see the full list here with pictures, or here for an alphabetical list.     The featured patterns are all part of the sale event and will be 25% off for the next week (ish).

Today’s feature is all about hats.   I have a few I want to make, so anyone that knows me, please don’t tell my family or they won’t have suprises on Christmas Day!  

I’m planning to cast on Campside, I haven’t chosen a yarn yet, must stash dive but perhaps some Austermann Merino Silk as it’s beautifully soft.     I love the lace and texture of this beanie fit hat, the decreases for the crown give a wonderful 3D effect.   It should be warm enough for cool days and travelling, but also cute enough to wear at meetings where the room isn’t as warm as I’d like it to be 🙂       I also really love her Early Harvest Cap but that’ll feature on another day as it has some matching mitts I’d love you to see!

Campside-2_small2

Next is going to be Southern Star which features some really neat colourwork and would be brilliant for those using up scraps, oddments and leftover balls of yarn.  It’s a great opportuntity to practise stranded knitting and will look amazing.   I love this design, there is such clever use of traditional motifs with modern colour and fit.

Next on my list of cast on items is Nickes Hat, it’s really cute, great texture from the cabling and is worked in beanie and slouchy sizes.   It featurs a pretty lace and cable pattern to keep you interested but is also really easy to remember.     It’s made with dk weight yarn so I’m thinking Lanas Stop Alpaca as the softness and warmth will work really well.

Last but not least, for this post that is, is the gorgeous Twisted Fall Hat, I love the twisted stitches, texture and travelling elements of this pattern, it works so well.   But those who know me, also know I can’t resist a purple shade, so I’m sold on this one right from the first glance 🙂    We have some Austermann Merino Silk in a lilac or a baby blue shade that would be fabulous for this.

I’m off now to gather yarn and get ready for the big cast on event, I do hope you’ll join us and will love viewing all the fabulous patterns on offer.  It’ll be a great start to your gift knitting and you can win prizes in the Knit along/Crochet along threads for each type of project.    

Do check out our designer bundle with our sale patterns, we hope you like our new releases and find lots of inspiration.

 

 

Indie Design Gift Along 2015

After having such a wonderful and fun time last year in the Indie Design Gift Along, we are pleased announce that we are participating in the Indie Designers’ Gift Along this year!

There are even more designers taking part, over 330 at the last count, and that means lots and lots of patterns for sale.     If you’re buying patterns on Ravelry you can also gift them but gift patterns won’t work with the discount code.      During the GAL, if you win a coupon code for a free pattern, you can use that any time before March 1016.

The sale and the gift along officially kicks off THURSDAY NIGHT at 8PM EST which is about 1am for the UK so I’ll be catching up with everything on Friday morning.    A selected range of 20 of our pattern range are 25% off using the gift along coupon code giftalong2015. The sale lasts for one week only. Designers can include up to 20 of their patterns for sale.    There will be searchable boards on Pinterest for those that use it and also a Team Bundle on Ravelry so you can see all of the designers patterns.

You can participate in the gift along by knitting or crocheting any paid patterns (meaning not free) by any of the designers taking part. You can use patterns you’ve already purchased or patterns that aren’t on sale…as long as the pattern is not free, you can knit it (or crochet it!) and your project will be eligible for prizes if it’s finished during the Gift Along period, more info here.

Prizes! Lots and lots and lots of prizes! From downloadable patterns (each designer gave at least 5 coupon codes for free patterns, we donated 10 codes) to tangible, real life items…such as YARN.     I won some Capra yarn in last year’s gift along and it’s fabulous!

Here is a sneak peak at some of patterns for sale in the gift along. Click the picture to go to my Ravelry designer page:

GALCollageLBWMD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New out for Christmas knitting are the Evergreen Hat, Wheatsheaf Hat and the Frosty Morning Hat, we do hope you like them.

Shawl Pin Shawl Mystery KAL

Buy the pattern here

Pre-MKAL sale 25% off (applied automatically; regular price – $6.00 – starts August 26th, 2015)

Just a glimpse about the pattern: this easy level shawl features Drama by Claudia Hand Painted Yarns and comes in two sizes. The small – 10.5”/ 26.5cm deep by 64”/ 162.5cm wide – requires 2 skeins of yarn. The large – 12.75”/ 32.5cm deep by 74”/ 188cm wide – requires 3 skeins of yarn. The special features of the shawl are a secret, but the design works for both women and men. Suggested prerequisite skills include : knit, purl, increase, short rows (wrap and turn or method of choice), and I-cord. Pattern has been tech edited & test knit.

Now onto the fun – the Shawl Pin Shawl MKAL Details!

MKAL runs August 26, 2015 – September 18, 2015 in the Knit Eco Chic group on Ravelry.

Pattern Releases: August 26 (Wed) – Release Part A August 31 (Mon) – Release Part B September 9 (Wed) – Final Release & open FO thread Final projects due September 18, 2015 at 9am EST

Games: Hunter game – clues (some visual and some textual) will be posted at random during the duration of the MKAL. After the clue is posted you have 48 hours to post the correct answer. All correct posts will be entered into a random draw for a prize! The Hunter game will include multiple opportunities to win, but participants may only win 1 prize per person. You can still participate in the fun, but your post won’t be entered into the random draw.

FO game – everyone (including winners from the Hunter game) who post their FO in the FO thread by the deadline (September 18, 2015 at 9am EST) will be entered into a prize random draw.

Requirement for game participation – purchased Shawl Pin Shawl pattern and a project linked to the Shawl Pin Shawl pattern page

Physical Prizes from: Black Mountain Yarn Shop JUL Designs more coming soon

Electronic Prizes from: Knit Eco Chic – 10% of participants will win!

Muddy River Mitts by Selana

I recently test  knitted the Muddy River Mitts pattern by Selana on Ravelry.com.     I used Austermann Merino Silk and I love them.    The pattern is very well written with a cheat sheet to mark your thumb gusset increases next to the corresponding cable round.  Making it really easy to keep track.

They’d make an ideal gift and all of Selana’s patterns are 40% off until 10th May 2015.

Muddy River Mitts

 

 

giftalong 2014 Interview with Stana D.Sortor

today’s feature is on designer Stana D.Sortor aka Fifinka on Ravelry.com
My username is Fifinka and my website is stana-critters-etc.blogspot.com/

Hello, Stana! Welcome to our blog, Just in case people don’t know who you are… Who are you? Where are you?

My name is Stana. I am a dreamer, artist, photographer, writer, and designer. Originally from Europe, I live on the East Coast of USA at the moment.

Chameleon Leon Minion Pencil Box  
Fifi Minions  

How did you get into designing? Who taught you to knit? Can you crochet?

My grandmother taught me how to crochet when I was a little girl. She tried to teach me knitting as well, but it took me a while to actually enjoy it. Nowadays I hardly crochet, but spend plenty of time with knitting needles and yarn. 
Couple of years ago a friend of mine asked me to explain to her a knitting pattern that she had trouble with, and at first I did not understand it as well. I have spent a lifetime with knitting but never really used knitting patterns. I always improvised and made up my own stuff. Anyway eventually I figured out that particular pattern and was able to help her. After I joined Ravelry I have received messages from other knitters asking for patterns for my creations, so I tried and wrote my first pattern. I still keep trying and working my way through it.

I love your designs, Stana, your use of clever details in your toy patterns is both creative and beautiful, what inspires your designs?

I try to keep my eyes open and let the nature and world around inspire me.

Do you find yourself working often in a specific style or is every piece different for you?

It varies. Sometimes when answering the call for submission I work within their set guidelines. But for toys, I am free and playful and let my imagination go wild. Of course there is always somebody asking for something specific, and as every mom in the world I try to make my child happy by knitting whatever is on the never-ending and ever-evolving list.

Who are your yarn heros? Do you have a favourite yarn or brand you love to use?

For toys I prefer to use cotton, or acrylic (for my charitable donations). Otherwise I let the colors and yarns speak to me.

What is your favourite part of designing? Is there a least favourite part of designing?

Playing with yarn and knitting needles and watching the finished project come to life, is probably my favorite part. My least favorite part is sitting in front of computer and type.

Who are your design heroes? What is about them that inspires you?

Too many to list.

What do you see yourself doing/exploring in 2015? Is there something you’d love to learn?

Hopefully by the end of January The Knit Season my e-book will be ready. After the work on this e-book is finished, perhaps a week or two without deadlines. 
I still would love to try Entrelac and play with polka dots in double knitting.

I can’t wait to see what you come up with in 2015! Thank you for taking time to chat to us, Stana! If you’d like to see the Stana’s latest work, check out her website:

Stana’s critters etc: 
Blog: http://stana-critters-etc.blogspot.com/ 
Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Stanas-critters-etc/1857978… 
Twitter: https://twitter.com/Stanascritters 
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/stanascritters/ 
Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop/Stanascrittersetc

WIPs Giftalong2014 OPPs in focus

I’ve bought a few patterns in the giftalong2014 promotion so far, these are listed below and I’ll be doing regular updates of my progress with pictures and comments.

Taliesin Sweater by Leeana Gardiner

Taliesin Sweater

The mystical Taliesin is another treasured character from The Ancient Future by Traci Harding. His violet eyes and magical abilities were what came to mind when using the purple sparkly yarn for the Mini Taliesin. The Celtic cables with their many twists and turns complements Taliesin’s many plans and abilities.    I love the cable panel and the ease of shaping for this piece, I need to add hip and waist shaping as well as short rows for the bust.

This pattern is bottom up and in pieces. The set in sleeves and seams help to provide structure in this sweater. 

Mom’s Favourite Color (hat) by Paige Reisenfeld

Moms Favourite Colour hat

“Mom’s Favorite Color” is a quick, slightly slouchy bottom-up hat that looks more complicated than it is. It uses only one color per row and the plaid effect is created by slipped stitches. The name is a tribute to my mom, who in answer to the age-old question, “What is your favorite color?” always replied, “Plaid.”

Brix Coat by Denise Voie de Vie

brix coat

the yarn used is Lion Brand Amazing, I’ve used this a lot and it’s a fantastic value choice, washes well too!   I have some gorgeous purple fur yarn to trim this with and can’t wait to use it.   This would be my first crochet garment, so wish me luck!

 

postgrad by Alicia Plummer.  

postgrad by Alicia Plummer 

I’m also knitting

Cranberry Brioche Sweater by Ashwini Jambhekar 

Cranberry Brioche Sweater

This sweater is worked from the bottom up, flat, and seamed. The sweater back is plain stockinette, while the front has a cable panel, which is proportional across sizes. The sleeves feature a cable detail at the wrists. The cowl neck is worked in the round in brioche rib– brief instructions for brioche rib are provided in the pattern, as well as links to photo and video tutorials online.   I have some deep, rich red yarn which would look fabulous for this pattern.   Planning to cast on today and finish for Christmas.

The Spear Maidens Heart Fingerless by Erica Mount

The symmetrical heart and spear motif breaks through the latvian braid, creating interesting detail in these mitts.  The pattern is appropriate for intermediate colorwork knitters. It includes instructions for the braids. The chart is color coded.