Friday, October 17, 2014

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Great TV Knitting

I don't think it's a secret that many designers watch things while knitting. I can only do this when the work is not very "think-y" and doesn't require many visual check-ins... so, garter stitch is the absolute perfect thing to knit knit knit while my attention is elsewhere.

Before you get too jealous of all the lazy, wonderful times I am having watching television, I'd estimate this is probably 10-15% of my worktime... and I usually do it at night after dinner.

While knitting my new Double Deco for the Knit-Along, I have been watching Hannibal and just started Outlander. These are verrry different shows (note to self/everyone: don't watch Hannibal before bed!) and shouldn't be watched back-to-back or whiplash may occur. I MEAN:

"I have feelings for you maybe" 

"I consider you my only friend and maybe also want to kill you and maybe you also want to kill me and maybe we just ate someone together and hey are you hungry cuz I got some nice flank steak in the freezer..."


But hey! Back to the knitting. This is the tops when it comes to letting those stitches fly.

If you still want to join the Double Deco KAL, it's not too late! Check out the Ravelry thread, pick out your colors, download the pattern, and get started. 

If you're already knitting along (or crafting something else) while you watch something, leave a comment and let me know what you consider the perfect TV/movie/knitting combination!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Dolman Tunic Pullover

Somehow, last year in the midst of finishing up my Married to the Sea ebook, I never posted about this sweater. Which I love and wear all the time. It's comfy, sassy, and versatile (all my favorite things), and deserves its day in the sun!

Two versions in the pattern: The "sailor" Breton-inspired version and the three-color ombre version.

It's quick, simple, knit with worsted yarn on size 10 (6mm) needles. One piece, very little sewing. Great for a first time sweater knitter!

Dolman Tunic Pullover knitting pattern PDF

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Double Deco KAL begins!

Hey there! Are you knitting along with us yet?

Check out my Week 1 techniques post over at Ewe Ewe. We're casting on and getting started. Next week we will finish the first section of Wing 1 and Wing 2.

Make sure to label your posts with #DoubleDecoKAL so we can find each other! I can't wait to see what you're up to. So far the colors people have chosen have been super fun.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

new pattern - Rita Hayworth cropped sweater

Named after the incredible Margarita Carmen Cansino (Rita Hayworth was her Hollywood-friendly name), dancer, actress, bombshell. A 1940s-inspired fitted sweater with some updates-- wide boatneck, deep V in back, cropped length, half sleeves, pure sass.

The ribbed waist ensures a snug and flattering fit, whether you wear it over a flowy blouse, or all by itself, you daring minx you.

Fits with a bit of negative ease. Shown is size M (to fit 36" but I'm more like a 38").  The strap makes sure it stays where it is supposed to, along with looking pretty neat. Knit with Ewe So Sporty, my go-to washable merino yarn.

I hope you enjoy this one as much as I do!

36" size on a 36" mannequin


Monday, September 22, 2014

Steeking Cape Vertigo and Holla Knits Giveaway!

Steeking! It scares the *&!$ out of most knitters. The mere thought of cutting a knitting project sends shivers down the spines of even the boldest, bad-assiest crafters among us.

Cape Vertigo is my first pattern to utilize steeking, and I was a bit nervous about this (understatement of the year), having only ever steeked a tiny sample before this. "Why," you might ask, "would you want to incorporate such a nerve-wracking process into your pattern?" 

Well, that's a great question. 

Firstly, it allows the piece to be worked in the round, which makes stranded colorwork practically a breeze. When you can bring both colors along for the ride on the inside of the fabric, it makes for a much simpler and cleaner process AND finished product. 

Secondly, steeking is... not that bad! Really! It's all in the preparation, and if you've prepped your steek properly and securely, it works out beautifully.

Finally, it's EXCITING. It's like the knitting equivalent of skydiving. You just have to take the plunge! 


Because I knit my cape in the luscious Berroco Flicker,  a gorgeous baby alpaca blend with a bit of sparkle, I wanted to make sure its unique, smooth chain-ply texture didn't try to break free and unravel. Steeking is most often done with 100% wool, the fuzzier the better, to bind to itself and hold the steek in place. Wool like this is sometimes referred to as "sticky"... and Flicker is very smooth. Because of this, the pattern walks you through a double-reinforced process to make sure everything stays where it is supposed to.

The gray crochet chain adds stability for the sewn reinforcement

A crochet chain is the first step, looping through each stitch of each row all the way up the steek line. Then, with a sharp needle and strong thread, we sew a careful running stitch and back-stitch along the line, making sure to pierce EACH stitch and strand of each row. 

Then... we pick up some sharp scissors, take a deep breath (and/or swig of liquid courage), and cut, carefully carefully, so as not to snip our reinforced edges.


It works! It's secure and strong and ready for the next step of the process.

The end... for now

Knit Picks is giving away some of their excellent Wool of the Andes Tweed (seen below in Allyson's gorgeous dark brown and blue Cape Vertigo). To enter this Subscriber Exclusive Giveaway, subscribe if you haven't already and head over to the HK blog for details!

The Holla Knits blog tour continues! Check out all these amazing designers, yarn companies, and crafters extraordinaire:

Sept 8: Launch
Sept 9: The Sweatshop of Love - pattern giveaway, SEG: 6 skeins KP WotA Tweed in Brass Heather
Sept 10: Klever Knits - pattern and skein of Rowan Kid Classic giveaway, SEG: 6 skeins KP City Tweed Aran in Jacquard
Sept 11: Berroco - review and pattern giveaway
Sept 12: Canary Knits - pattern giveaway, SEG: 1 500 yard skein of Mountain Colors 4/8’s Wool in Harmony Ice

Sept 15: Mountain Colors Facebook Page - SEG: Mountain Colors Perspectives Twizzle in Blue/Turq
Sept 16: Life on Laffer - review and pattern giveaway
Sept 17: Knits in Class - SEG: 1 skein of Knit in Class
Sept 18: Makewise Designs - review and pattern giveaway
Sept 19: Anzula - SEG all the Anzula yarn needed for the vest

Sept 22: Ruby Submarine - SEG: 3 skeins KP WofA Tweed in Thirst Heather
Sept 23: BoKnits - SEG: 8 skeins KP Swish DK in Indigo Heather
Sept 24: Under the Red Umbrella - review and pattern giveaway
Sept 25: DoogKnits - review and pattern giveaway
Sept 26: Cosmos and Cashmere - review and pattern giveaway

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Double Deco Knit Along!

This is exciting! I'm leading a KAL for one of my favorite recent patterns, Double Deco. 

Starting Wednesday October 1st you can knit along with us, learning tips and tricks along the way... and in the end you'll have your very own gorgeous wrap.

Head over to the Ewe Ewe blog to find out how to join in. There's a coupon for 25% off the pattern price!

Once you've got your materials, join us on the Ewe Ewe blog and/or the Double Deco KAL forum on Ravelry!

Here are the colors of Ewe So Sporty I'll be using for the new version of the shawl. What do you think? If you're having trouble choosing colors, check out my color combinations blog post!