Gift Along 2016

It’s just about thanksgiving which means we, the few, the crafty, are already thinking about holiday knitting. For the (third? fourth?? I can’t keep track oh well) something-th year running I’ll be participating in the Indie Designer’s Gift-Along! That Ravelry link will give you all the details. But in a nut-shell it goes like this:

  • Participating designers have patterns on sale from tonight to November 30th.
  • Knit Alongs will be hosted for all types of projects with prizes for participation, random give aways, and other special categories.
  • Prizes! Digital patterns, physical yarn, books, notions. This part is big because we’re pooling our resources. You should really check out the prize list.

To find which patterns are on sale for the next week(ish) you can check out the group bundles and pinterest boards (here). Or see the designer’s bundles (here).

I’ve got 15 designs which will be 25% off as part of the sale! From 8pm (EST) tonight through midnight on the 30th use the code giftalong2016 to get the discount. This is my biggest annual sale and I hope you like the selection this year. I tried to mix old and new, small and large projects so there should be something for everyone! 

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So warm up those needles, dig through your stash, and happy knitting!

What is greatness?

I will work to make America great. My definition may be a little different than that of others. But oh well.

I will work to help the poor, shelter the weak, feed the hungry, build my local community from the ground up.

I will take the high road. And I will hope for the best. I’m scared. But I also believe that most of us simply want what is best. We want a world with less corruption and less hate. We just see very different ways of getting there at the top level.

But let’s not forget that we live at the bottom level. In our communities we can work together, stand up against bullies, and make sure our ideals shine through. On a day-to-day level don’t forget those ideals are not so far apart.

More knitting tomorrow, I promise.

WIPs and FOs

I’m mostly knitting accessories these days, and a (not?) surprising number of them are for Windsor. I mean, how can I say no when she asks specifically for me to knit slippers?

And then, of course, she needs a new hat this year. This one is the classic garter ear flap hat from Purl Soho:

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Next up, a collection of mittens. I’m considering lanolin-izing these just like I used to for the diaper covers. I’m thinking that’ll help them keep her hands warm and dry on the playground. Sounds good in theory, anyway:

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And I whipped up some pretty fingerless mitts too. Because what is fall without a new pair of mitts for myself?

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Rhinebeck Recap

The NY Sheep and Wool festival this year was pretty much perfect. Every year people discuss the weather, the crowds, the animals, and of course the yarn. This year everything was superb.

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We were very near the front of the line at the 4H gate, it was a chilly saturday morning and if you don’t like lines this early arrival is not for you. But if you bring some knitting, some coffee, and the expectation that the strangers around you are just friends you haven’t met yet – then the Rhinebeck morning line is really not so bad.

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The animals are predictably adorable. Someday I want an angora bunny who will just sit in my arms and nap. The ones at the festival that patiently let 10,000 people pet them are such good sports. These goats were equally unfazed by the crowds.

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My favorite part of the festival are the people (don’t get me wrong, I love yarn too). My friend Amy finally finished her Boyden sweater. Also pictured: me and Susie Allen, both of us in sweater dresses from the All Aboard! collection. I love meeting old friends, making new ones, and I LOVE seeing all the sweaters, and being able to complement on just about anything anyone is wearing, knowing there’s a good chance it’s hand-made.

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And yarn. There’s always so much good yarn. I got a sweater quantity of WATERshed from Harrisville, except I’m not planning a sweater. Instead I’m going to knit some fair isle pants! Also pictured, the purple yarn is for a sweater for Windsor, sock yarn for myself (I’m thinking color work for those tiny skeins!) and for Neil (good ol’ brown.) In the non-yarn category I got aprons for myself and Windsor (the pink one has a lady-knight on it!) A lovely basket (which is supposed to be for yarn, but I’ve caught both cats sleeping in it already.) Not pictured: a sheepy mug, hand cream, soap, cheese, and blackberry marinade. Yum.

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Essex Junction

Ah…. Fall. Sweater dress weather.

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This is Essex Junction, my newest pattern – my contribution to the All Aboard! collection released just in time for Rhinebeck. As always, please favorite and queue it on Ravelry.

This one has been a long time coming! It was last february that a bunch of us designers decided to release a collection of sweater dresses. I knew then I wanted something with a color work yoke. I knew by April it was going to be another take on the modified raglan shape I used in Stammel. And I’ve been itching to do some serious corrugated ribbing for about that long too.

essex junction hems

Sourcing the yarn took a bit longer. I knew I wanted worsted or aran weight yarn. I knew I wanted either a variegated yarn, or a whole lot of solid colors. I considered a lot of brands but couldn’t find anything that really fit the bill until I asked twitter. That’s when Laura from The Unique Sheep let me know they dye their gradience sets in heavier weight yarns. Perfect.

This dress uses a semi-solid for the body (the Dove colorway) and a gradience set for the CC’s (Black Daylilly) which means just those two colorways provide all the colors in this dress. If you’re subbing yarns in you’ll need approximately equal amounts of at least four different colors for the chart.

essex junction shoulder

Once I had the yarn in hand the design came quickly and easily. I swatched and researched my little sleeve peeries. Some complicated math came into play to figure out how to make that chart fit the yoke in all sizes. But the knitting went quickly. I don’t remember much frogging at all… In spite of the long sleeves I think you’ll find this a quick knit!

essex junction back

The collection, All Aboard! Features six dresses from six different designers. I love them all and wish I had time to actually knit them all… If you’re a sweater dress person too – consider the collection, it’s an amazing deal!

All Aboard cover

October again

It’s autumn here in Vermont. Really and truly. The foliage is slow to come into its full glory. But we can all see it creeping up the hillsides.

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We’ve done lots of appropriate fall activities. Like apple picking. Chutney-making will come soon too!

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And there’s garden clean up. Did I mention we’ve moved? We’re renting which is a little weird after years of owning our own place. But this new place has a pretty sweet garden and I’m excited to see what I can grow in this deep river-bed soil.

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And then there’s the fall knitting. My yarn for the MorningWalkKAL arrived while I was away on business. But I’m casting on just as soon as I can find those size 8 circulars. I know I must have put them someplace safe…

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Bits and Bobs

I have an e-mail with this title that I use to send myself reminders. It’s the electronic version of writing stuff on a post-it note for myself. I’m sure there’s an app for that, but whatever. I look at my e-mail constantly so having my notes-to-self right there is easy enough.

I’m waiting on some gorgeous yarn from BMFA for the Morning Walk KAL. That’s right, I’m knitting myself a second one.

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This time it’ll be in red (Love is a Verb is the name of their colorway) It’s another leaf-appropriate color but for the fall season. In the mean time I’m making slow progress on my poor, neglected greenery pullover.

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I’ve divided for  the front/back twice now. The first time I followed the pattern. Which wouldn’t normally be a problem. Except I’d added decreases for some bust shaping, which means that my stitch count was not the same as the pattern. So I had to frog a couple of inches of stockinette. But I’m getting there.

And in other news, I did a big (well, big for me) knitting photo shoot with a bunch of designs from some other designers! I’ve mentioned the winter designer’s retreat in passing before. This fall we’ve got a special treat in store. A project that was dreamed up around a delicious breakfast table last February is about to meet the world…

Morning Walk KAL

Happy September! I’m beyond thrilled to let you all know I’ve published a new pattern, you’ve seen peaks before, but here’s Morning Walk, please favorite and queue at will!

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Even better, I’m hosting a Fall Sweater Challenge knit along in cooperation with Blue Moon Fiber Arts: the folks who dye the gorgeous targhee wool I used for this design.

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From now to mid-september the pattern is 25% off, and everyone who purchases gets a code good for 10% off targhee worsted from BMFA’s website. I want to send a huge thanks out to them for supporting my design! I hope you check out their yarn. It’s put up in hanks of over 600 yards each. For this cap-sleeved cardi you need just one or two skeins to knit the whole thing.

As with all my designs this sweater is graded for a wide range of sizes:
27 (30.5, 34.75, 38.25, 42.5, 46, 49.5, 54.5, 58, 62.25)”/ 68.5 (77.5, 88.5, 97, 108, 117, 125.5, 138.5, 147.5, 158) cm.

I can’t tell you how excited I was (when I finished the math) to see that even the largest sizes would only need two skeins of yarn. The targhee wool is soft, lofty, and bouncy which makes it just perfect for showing off the leaf lace pattern in this design. It lends stretch and resiliency to the seed stitch border as well.

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I hope to see your sweater in our knit-along group soon!

Late summer

The corn in the field on my way to work is tall. So are the weeds. Everything looks green. You can smell the green as you walk. But the browns are there too.

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Plants going from bloom to seed. Leaves curling under. Squirrels collecting acorns. Wait. Acorns on the ground, that’s new.

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Burdock, aster, jewelweed, perrenial sunflower. I am learning the plants around me again. Like meeting old friends in a new location. We, plants and humans, are preparing for fall. It’s coming. And I can’t wait to get some more knitting time too.

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Designs in progress

I have some designs in progress and I think they’re finally going to see daylight!

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(Morning Walk – coming very soon)

I’ve mentioned a lot how busy life has been. That’s finally starting to slow down. There was a moving truck involved. Things are definitely looking up in the commuting department. I haven’t had much time for knitting, or design work. But that’s finally starting to change.

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(Multiflorous socks)

The things I have knit this year have been of my own imagining. And now I’m starting to revisit them. Write them up. Check my notes, my photos, dig out my samples.

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(unnamed bunny hat)

Fall is coming. And new patterns will be here soon too! Watch this space!

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(unnamed wine mitts)

All these items are potential new designs. Anything you’d especially love to see a pattern for? Consider signing up for my newsletter if you never want to miss a release!

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(there’s a whole sweater dress like this)