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Fall Sweater Challenge

This post was supposed to go up hours ago. But Windsor is home sick which means no breaks for mama.

But I wanted to tell you about the Fall Sweater Challenge today because the first of many cool give aways is happening!

What is the fall sweater challenge? It’s a laid-back knit along started by Buffalo Wool Co. They’ve gotten some pretty awesome yarn folks to sponsor and we designers are stepping in with patterns too.

Today there’s a manic Monday give away featuring a sweaters’ worth of yarn from Bay Haven Short Tails! Follow the link to see how to enter!

And please join us on Facebook or Ravelry. I’m joining in with a WIP pullover. And I’ll be back with details on the KAL for a new design too!

Wine mitts

Here’s a project that has been languishing for months. I picked up this gorgeous skein or aran weight merino from Periwinkle Sheep at Rhinebeck last fall.

wine mitt mug

I cast on for the mitts in late winter, and was probably done knitting them by March.

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So why, oh why, did I wait until August to weave in the ends?!? Who knows. But they’re done, finally. I squeezed in some photos yesterday afternoon while the light was good.

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Two mitts, long and cozy, with slightly offset cables. I love these little cables, the bigger twists are offset by little tight twists. The hands are designed long with twisted rib cuffs that can be folded back or up over the base of my fingers.

wine mitt pair

I used almost the full skein of yarn. Fingerless mitts are my perfect one skein project.

wine mitt hero

Rainy Knit Camp

We’ve been going to Knit Camp for years and years, and this weekend was the first time it was just off and on rainy all weekend (emphasis on the “on”)

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Everyone there was the sort of camper who knew how to adapt. And we had a good time, even when the rain was coming down hard enough that the people sitting at the edges of the tents got wet.

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It is slightly easier to camp in the rain when all your stuff is staying cozy. Maybe not quite dry (it was more than a little humid this weekend) but no puddles in the clean laundry is worth a lot!

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The fire sputtered, but only went out once – and that was after dinner. Hiking and canoeing happened between the showers. And I got some real knitting time!

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July

July was pretty crazy. But in a mostly fun sort of way.

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There was a little poking in tide pools. A lot of hiking.

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Plenty of seafood and salty air.

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More rocks.

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Lots of camping. Light houses.

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And family time.

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We weren’t on vacation the entire month. But trying to pick up all the pieces sure makes it feel that way…

Slowly now

My design work moves at a much slower pace these days. But my imagination is still simmering and occasionally things pop out. A couple of my recent finished projects may someday get written up (like the waistcoat and this hat.)

In progress right now I have an awesome pair of socks.

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They use a simple slip stitch pattern which makes the fabric dense and cushy (perfect for socks) and at the same time it mixes up highly variegated colors (perfect for sock yarns)

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I’ve got a bigger project on the needles too, it’s starting with four inches of gorgeous corrugated ribbing:

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The yarn is from the Unique Sheep and I’m using a gradience set for the colorwork. I love the way it’s looking!

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Winnimere

Hello, hello, how are you? Welcome back! Would you like to see my new hat? Of course you would!

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Meet Winnimere! (queue and favorite on Ravelry, as always.) She’s knit out of Anzula’s new yarn: Ava. It’s a classic MCN (merino, cashmere, nylon – in case you missed that abbreviation until today) except in sport weight! The yarn is highly plied to give good stitch definition and great bounciness. Perfect for stranded color work.

winnimere side back

I had a lot of trouble choosing a color for this hat. I designed this hat to use a dark and light shade of the same color, the sample is worked up in light purple on dark (Irene & Grape). But Anzula has SO MANY COLORS (over 100!!) I think it’d be great to have a red version (Madam & Mauve), a blue one (Storm & Seafoam), green possibly (Spruce & Nimbus). So many options!

winnimere profile

The sample went to TNNA back at the start of June and is hanging out with Anzula now. I kinda love the idea of my design traveling around with them, seeing sights and meeting far more knitters than I will, personally. The pattern will be available through Anzula as well as Ravelry and anywhere Stitch Sprout patterns are sold!

winnimere morning

Winnimere is a warm and loose fitted hat showing off stranded stitch patterns. It features a Latvian braid and corrugated ribbing brim followed by a simple, flecked colorwork pattern which fades to dark before the decreases form the gathered, slouchy crown. This hat is meant to be worn loose and is shown in Large with 1” positive ease.

Late spring

Foggy spiderwebs are the best
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No, really.
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Although cute warblers are good too
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And you can never have too many wildflowers, right?
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Right.
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These are coltsfoot, not dandelions. I see them most often along roadsides as soon as the snows are melted. They’re usually home by May but I found some still in bloom at the top of smugglers notch!

Spring weekend

A family weekend in photos

Visiting montpelier
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Hiking and scrambling
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Planting wildflowers
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Building our new fire pit!
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Moving on

Big changes, my pretty and loyal rooster has gone home. He’s back at the farm where he hatched. I’m so glad he recovered, he was even back to crowing before we sent him home. I’m sure he was lonely here by himself. I miss eating our own eggs. And I miss watching the silly birds run around. But given the uncertainty in our future housing it just makes sense, not having chickens right now. Windsor clearly misses them too, she keeps talking about our sick rooster going to another farm to get better.

Not having to worry about the free ranging flock will make our next project easier.

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The landscaper is putting in our lawn, over the leach field we installed last winter. He’ll also scrape up all those brambles and saplings. We’re finally putting in the wildflowers we intended to plant over five years ago (apparently I could have a tag for blog posts of large earthmoving equipment in my front yard.)

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And my pretty sunflower kitchen has been normalized.

We’ve had our house on the market since November, and if we don’t sell in the next month we’ve decided to rent it out and find a place to rent ourselves. We need to move before next winter. Wish us luck.

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Oh. And I knit a whole sock! More on that later.

Custom Colorwork Techniques

Stephannie Tallent has a new class on Craftsy that I’m excited to share with you all! Custom Colorwork Techniques is more than just a class on fingerless mitts* – it’s a primer for designing your own mitts with your own trims, colorwork patterns, and sizes.

colorwork mitts class

Stephannie has tech edited some of my patterns, published another in her Hitch book, and is an all-around awesome designer. So when she offered to let me view the class so I could recommend it to you all I jumped on the chance! Especially since I’m also getting to share at 50% off link with you!

The class is broken up into six videos each with its own focus. This class is not for absolute beginners, Steph assumes you know how to knit, purl, increase, etc… and if you’re comfortable with some basic chart reading and math that’d be helpful too. But with lessons including a chart reading refresher and how to use either the provided worksheet handout, or build a worksheet in excel, this class will help you make perfectly beautiful AND perfectly fitted fingerless mitts.

Steph’s style of teaching is approachable and conversational. One of the things I love about Craftsy classes is that they feel much more like a one-on-one lesson with a friend than sitting in a big classroom with lots of other students. This class is perfect in that it covers everything from my favorite increases (the lifted ones are the most invisible) to my favorite gusset-style (offset thumb gussets!). And she’s even provided a charted template so you can free-form design across the whole mitt – thumb gusset too! While the excel portion was mostly review for me I love the lesson on choosing colors; including complementary colors and a couple of tricks for checking the contrast between two yarns (that’s the part that trips me up the most when I start a new colorwork design.)

The Craftsy platform is designed for hosting craft classes, and its perfect for it. I love the note-taking feature, and the ability to check your notes later without having to scroll through the video. The 30 second replay allows you to re-watch the directions for something quickly and easily. You can ask questions of the teacher and get a direct answer, or you can just review other people’s questions and the teacher’s answers to them. The integrated project pages will even let you see what your classmates are working on!

Have I piqued your interest? Here’s the link for 50% off Steph’s class! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

*Although I love mitts enough that would be fine!


(Please note that I did receive this class free for review purposes. However my opinions are my own, I won’t review something I don’t truly enjoy and think that you will like.)