Friday, December 27, 2013

Intersect Mystery Kint Along

The Intersect Mystery Knit Along pattern is now available!  I'm so excited about the MYKAL, it's two fun filled patterns that are perfect for those of us who have been overwhelmed with holiday knitting and need a little something to sit back and relax with.  

Wendi has a thread going for the MKAL in the Indieway Yarns Group on Ravelry where you can join in on the fun and we can answer any questions that you may have.  

Intersect is specially priced until Jan 1 at $6.50 which includes both patterns for the MKAL, no coupon code is needed.

Here is a little information about the MKAL and the pattern:
 
Welcome to the Intersect Mystery Knit Along! Two effortless projects, clear instructions, six clues and a lot of fun along the way. Both patterns have been test knitted and tech edited to ensure that you have an enjoyable experience!

The first clue will be released on January 17th with a new clue being released every Friday for five consecutive weeks. Join us in the Indieway Yarns Group where you can post progress pictures and we can answer any questions you may have.

The clues are designed for those of us who have been wiped out from holiday cheer and want something fun and relaxing to knit.

What are the two projects? A hat and matching mitts. Why is this being disclosed? You may have thought it was supposed to be a secret… Well, Wendi and I felt that knitters would want to have an idea of what they were going to be knitting. It helps in choosing the color of the yarn, and this way you won’t be expecting an Estonian shawl or something of that nature.

Wendi from Indieway Yarns has generously offered a coupon code for $2 off per skein (may be applied to non–sale yarns) for the MKAL. Use it when ordering in her Etsy shop : https://www.etsy.com/shop/Indiewayarns?ref=si_shop For 1 skein: 1mystery For 2 skeins: 2mystery

Materials needed for the MKAL: 2 skeins of Indieway Yarns Best Worsted. The color used for the original design is Periwinkle. The pattern looks fab in tonal and semisolid colors, and also will work in variegated colorways as the pattern stitch will break up pooling that sometimes occurs.

Notions: Stitch markers, stitch holder (optional), and a tapestry needle for weaving in ends.

Needles:
Hat: US 5/3.75 mm 16” circular needle, US 6/4mm 16” circular needle and dpns, or size needed to obtain gauge.
Mitts: US 4/3.5 mm set of dpns or size needed to obtain gauge.

Gauge:
Hat: 22 sts X 28 rows = 4” blocked in stockinette.
Mitts: 20 sts X 32 rows = 4” blocked in stockinette.

Gauge is critical to the fit of both the hat and mitts. Be sure to take time to check your gauge.

Now all that is left to do is to choose a color for your hat and mitts.   Wendi sent me this fantastic shade of deep purple called Black Currant which I am in love with! I just took a peek in her shop and I don't see that colorway in there, but a little birdy told me that more Best Worsted is being added to the shop later on today, so be sure to check and see what colors she is adding.




 


Friday, December 20, 2013

A Festivus Fortherestivus

That's right, it's the time of year that many of us have been waiting for.  It's almost December 23 which means it's time for the Annual Airing of Grievances for Festivus! Since no one ever likes to go first in these things, I will start: 


To my mother who decided to tell my Grandmother she is putting her in a nursing home. Right. Before. Christmas. What is wrong with you? I can't comment further on this, because quite frankly I am infuriated. You couldn't wait a couple of weeks to do this?

To the person who brought the nut encrusted cookies of death into our home last year.  Do it this year, and it will be the last time you are invited over.  I really want to print out a copy of this article to give to you, but my sweet husband has asked me not to.

Share your Festivus grievance in the comments section by Thursday December 26 and be entered to win my new Intersect Mystery KAL pattern!

I will be talking more about the pattern the next couple of weeks here on my blog and in the Indieway Yarns group on Ravelry.  There will be a thread for the KAL in the Indieway group (it should be up today or tomorrow).  The KAL will consist of two patterns and six clues.  The first clue will be released on January 17th with a new clue coming out each Friday after that.  So, are you wondering what the patterns will be?  A very cute hat and matching mitts!  The samples that I did continually get compliments every time I wear them.  The test knitters have all been sending me pictures of the ones they have made and it's so much fun to see what they look like in other colors.  For the KAL you will need two skeins of Indieway's Best Worsted.  It's a really enjoyable yarn to knit with.  It has a great hand, shows stitch definition well, and best of all it wears well.  It's soft and warm, and I've worn the heck out of the mitt's and there are no signs of pilling. I hope you can join us for the KAL, the Indiway Group has a lot of great gal's in it and the KAL is going to be a lot fun!  


PS The pattern will be available for purchase on Ravelry beginning December 27. 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Iridill

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/iridill
http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/iridill


It's finally here!  This afternoon I released Iridill.  I'm really excited about this pattern and hope that you will find it to be a fun knit.  I think that knitting should be fun which is why I strive to have my patterns be clear and easy to follow. My test knitters all loved knitting this one and I think you will too!  A huge thank you to Lydia, Aparna, Debbi, Debby and Michelle who all did a fantastic job test knitting.  A lot of time and effort goes into designing a pattern, and it's not possible to do a good job without fantastic test knitters.

The Iridill pattern includes two sizes: The Shawl in Worsted and Shawlette in Fingering.  

Introductory priced at $4.50 until December 15 in my Ravelry Shop.  

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/iridill
Shawlette shown in Miss Babs Yummy in Maryland 2013

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/iridill
Shawl in Miss Babs Yowza in Perfect Wreckless.

The shawlette would also work up really nicely in Shalimar Yarns Zoe Sock or Indieway Yarns First String Sock. As an alternative worsted weight Shalimar's Honey Worsted or Indieway's Best Worsted would work well.


If you were wondering where the name came from, here is the story from the pattern:

I have to admit that I am a bit of a magpie. I am drawn to things that have a bit of shine to them, and Carnival Glass is no exception. It comes in beautiful colors that shimmer in the light, showing off the lovely patterns that are molded into the glass. When Carnival Glass first came into production it was called Iridill. The Iridill Shawl and Shawlette are inspired by the ever changing colors in Carnival Glass. It’s an easy knit that will really show off in variegated yarns.



Monday, December 9, 2013

2013

It's hard to believe that 2013 is almost over and the start of a new year is right around the corner.  This year has had a lot of wonderful things in it.  Seeing one of my designs on the front page of Ravelrys Hot Right Now list was unbelievable! Last December I set a goal to publish six patterns in 2013. I fond that I love designing and writing patterns and wound up publishing 16 patterns!  This is my first year designing and I'm so excited that I was able to actually do more than I planned for. There is still one more pattern to come this year, Iridill, which will be released later this week. If you are looking for something to take along to holiday gatherings to work on, this is the perfect project.  The pattern includes two sizes, shawl and shawlette, in two weights of yarn, worsted and fingering.


A little later this month the Intersect Mystery KAL with Indieway Yarns will be available for pre-purchase.  The KAL will be held in the Indieway Group on Ravelry and is going to be loads of fun!  I don't want to give away too many details, but I can say that it includes two projects and six clues.  It will be a great way to get through the mid January and February winter blahs.

Look for this placemarker on Ravelry when the pattern is released:


Guess what?!  I am so excited about this!  After a year and a half I am only EIGHT hexipuffs away from finishing!  We had an ice storm yesterday and spent the day inside.  I wound up finishing what I was knitting on and decided to see if I there were enough hexi's to make into a throw.  I should be able to knit eight more hexi's and get them tied on by the end of the year.  Earlier this year Kyle sent me the ones he made which was a huge help or I would be even further away from finishing.  I really enjoyed putting them together.  I could look at each one and remember where the yarn came from.  Most of the yarn was left over from things that I have knitted over the years, a few hexi's were made from mini skeins, and there are some in there that are made out of my handspun yarn. It kind of reminds me of the yo-yo quilts that were popular when I was a kid (back in the dark ages!).  I wound up over stuffing the hexi's and the throw is quite heavy.  Something to keep in mind if you decide to knit one.  I don't mind the weight of it though and it also will be nice to sit on since it's really squishy.





Last December I had a Festivus Airing of Greivences post which was so much fun.  I am planning on having another one later this month.  I'm really hoping that special someone doesn't bring us nut encrusted cookies of death again, but if they do it will be great writing material!  Andy is talking about putting up a Festivus Pole in honor of our new tradition.  It's all in fun of course.  Sometimes things happen and there isn't a good place to vent about them.  The Festivus post will be that place!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thankfullness

With Thanksgiving upon us, Ive been taking some time to reflect on the things that I am most thankful for in my life.  In the past, Thanksgiving has been a hard time of year.  I had a rough growing up and don't really have much to do with my family anymore because of this.  The one constant that has been in my life is my Grandma.  When things got really bad at home, I would go stay with my Grandma.  I'm lucky enough that she is still with us at 97.  We talk on the phone every week.  Even though her health is failing and her memory has become fainter over the years, she always asks how I am, how my pattern designs are coming and how Andy is.  She is an amazing woman, who is graceful and generous in every situation.  I can only hope to be half as much of a generous and gracious person as she is.

My cousin Lindsay with my Gram this summer:





I am also thankful for Andy.  He has stood by me and been supportive through family crises, health issues, didn't bat an eye when the majority of my hair fell out from a severe allergic reaction to medication, listens to my knitting talk and always takes a look at what I'm making. H was even dubbed "The Good Fiber Husband" by a group of women at a fiber festival!  He's my very best friend and sole mate. I don't know what I would do without him. 




Andy and I have our annual Thanksgiving lock down in the works.  Turkey, a few sides, movies and a quiet day of relaxing.  It's been our tradition for several years now and it works out really well.  Black Friday?  Here at our house it means left overs and usually a craft day.  We try not to leave the house at all.  The crowds are really insane and we both agree that nothing is worth getting trampled over.  We are planning on heading out to the local farmers market for Small Business Saturday though.  Most of the gifts we give come from local or craft/indi businesses on Etsy.  It's really important to us to help support our community.

I found this on Facebook and it really cracked me up!


I'm really hoping we can put the tree up either Saturday afternoon or Sunday.  I love decorating for Christmas and especially love seeing the lights on the tree.  What are you weekend plans?  I would love to hear about your Thanksgiving traditions!

I am having a sale on my patterns for Small Business Saturday/Cyber Monday.  Use coupon code: Turkey for 25% off all single patterns in my Raverly Shop.  The coupon is good until midnight on Cyber Monday.


Marly Bird has a lot of great holiday specials listed on her blog: Marly Bird  I know I will be taking advantage of the ones at Signature Needle Arts! 

Tina Sanders will be posting specials on her blog this Friday: Peacefully Knitting




Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Contest Winners and Frost in Bloom - The Hat


Thank you to everyone who left a comment and shared their best birthday memories.  I really enjoyed reading all of them. 

The prize winners chosen by Random Number Generator are:

CeltChick has won the The Harmony Guides: Knit Edgings & Trims
 
Kris has won the Yummy Sock Yarn along with the Mirrored Step Pattern.


When Andy and I got up on Saturday it was a dreary looking day.  The sky was dark and gray and there were showers in the forecast.  Most people would think that it wouldn't be a great day to take pictures, but sometimes those gray days are the best.  The lack of sunlight produces pictures without a lot of shadows and glare which are perfect.  We were able to get two sets of pictures done.  One for Frost in Bloom - The Hat and the other one is for.....the new Mystery KAL with Indieway Yarns that will be coming at the beginning of 2014!  Squee!  The pictures for it came out fantastic, but since it's a Mystery, we won't be able to show them until after the KAL.  I'll have more information here on the blog in the next few weeks.  It's going to be a lot of fun and there will be a thread in the Indieway Yarns group on Raverly for the KAL.

I can show you Frost in Bloom - The Hat.  It's a really fun knit!  I'm putting the final touches on the pattern and will have it ready for test knitting by the end of next week.  It's in First String Sock from Indieway in Delicate Pastels.


Last but not least, I'm binding off on The Bat shawl.  It's really pretty, and very batty!  There are a lot of beads in the pattern.  A lot.  Like 585 of the black beads alone, plus the red beads in the black section, and the beads for the bind off. That's a lot of bead placement and a lot of cursing when I would drop one and it would wind up somewhere in dust bunny hell under the sofa.  I didn't realize that Wendy was nice enough to include extra beads in the kit or I wouldn't have gone on a safari looking for the ones I dropped!


Monday, November 11, 2013

Birthday Specials!

There have been a couple of birthdays over the years that were a bit of struggle for me.  When I turned forty, I didn't even want anyone to acknowledge it. I don't know exactly why, since getting older means you have (hopefully, anyway) gained some knowledge, maybe learned a new skill and as a bonus you are closer to getting a senior discount at Kroger on Tuesdays.  I decided a few years ago, that I wasn't going to go down without a fight.  I started adding a new and improved skin regimen (I never even used to remove my makeup at night or wear sunscreen) and recently have had the naturally occurring after a certain age platinum blonde hairs enhanced to a better shade of highlight.  I changed some of my eating habits (Who is going to give up cupcakes? That would just be crazy talk.) and overall I feel a lot better.  My grandmother, who recently turned 97, had the best advice of all: keep your mind young and you will always feel young no matter what your age. 

To celebrate my birthday, I'm having a few giveaways and a coupon for my pattern shop on Ravelry.  Use coupon code: Cupcake for 25% off all single patterns until November 17th.

I somehow wound up purchasing two copies of The Harmony Guides: Knit Edgings & Trims, in the same order from Interweave.  That means I have a copy to give away!  It does not mean that was a senior moment.  Really, it wasn't. 



I also had two skeins of this Yummy Sock Yarn in my stash and would like to share one along with a copy of my Mirrored Step pattern.  

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/mirrored-step


For a chance to win please enter a comment and share your best birthday memory.  I'll draw for the winners by random number generator next Monday, November 18th. 





Friday, November 8, 2013

The Cosiest Time of the Year

Late fall is here and it's one of my favorite seasons.  The morning air is crisp and clean, a brisk breeze rustles through the fallen leaves and there is a bit of frost on the windshield of the car when I head outside. I love being able to cuddle up on the couch with Andy in the evenings after dinner. This weekend we are hoping to sit out on the patio and have a little fire to roast marshmallows over while wearing our hand knits.

It's the perfect time of year for hat's and I've been working on a new design to go with the  Frost in Bloom infinity scarf.  It's going to be called Frost in Bloom - The Hat.  Knit up in Indieway Yarns First String Sock in the Delicate Pastels colorway, it's super soft and light.  It's just warm enough to keep the chill off your head on a cooler day.



A couple of months ago, I saw an ad on Ravelry for Dark Shadows: Bat Shawl Mystery KAL.  I couldn't resist and signed up the day it opened.  If you are in the KAL and haven't completed the first clue and don't want a spoiler, don't read any further!

The first clue was released last week and I've already completed it.  There are little bats hanging in the center panel and the sides look like vampire teeth.  It's very cute and I can't wait to see what the finished shawl is going to look like.

Here is clue #1



I've also been working on Monkey Jacobus for the Shalimar Yarns Monkey Mayhem KAL on Ravelry.  It's a really fun pattern and has seamless construction.  It's kind of like putting a puzzle together and I'm really enjoying knitting him.






There are a couple of fun things coming up.  The first one which I have been sworn to secrecy about will announced right after Thanksgiving.  I can't give too many hints, but I can say that it's going to be a lot fun and filled with surprises!  The second thing is next week I will be turning a year older and a year closer to being able to join AARP and Senior Singles (Have you checked your SPAM folder lately?  That is what is in mine!) I will be having a special coupon for a discount in my Ravelry Shop.  Check back on the blog on Monday for the coupon code and to sign up for the prize give away that I have planned!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Frost Bite

With winter right around the corner I thought now would be a good time to release Frost Bite.  It's a really fun knit that incorporates stockinette, reverse stockinette and some twisted stitches for a zigzag pattern that flows nicely from below the cuff and down the top of the foot. 


If you are like me, you probably have a skein or two of souvenir sock yarn that you picked up at a fiber festival or while you were traveling.  Ok, I know I have way more than that, but whose counting?  This is a great pattern to use with that special yarn.  The varying stitches really help to break up pooling and yet really show off the colors.  Shown here in Socks That Rock Light Weight,  Boobie 1.


Since it's still technically still our anniversary week, this pattern is on sale in my Ravelry Shop.  Use coupon code Dontgetbitten for 50% until Monday. 




Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Happy Anniversary!


Happy Anniversary to my best friend and love of my life!





 There is no one else I would rather go though a Zombie Apocalypse with!


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Antarctica or it's Time to Turn on the Heat and Start Wearing Handknits

By nature, I am a cold blooded creature.  Most of the time this isn't a problem since I live in Virginia.  It's swealteringly hot here during the summer.  Spring and fall tend to be very mild and there are only a few cold months.  After spending a week in a tropical paradise where it didn't get below 70 degrees, the weather here seems rather chilly.  When I got up this morning it was THIRTY SIX degrees.  Quite frankly, this is unacceptable.  It means that car windshields need to be scraped and it's not even November! I'm sitting here wearing fingerless gloves while trying to type and hoping that the feeling in my cold to the bone fingers returns soon. I have given in and turned the heat on but only to 68.  It is far too early to have to do this.  I think we are going to be in for a very cold winter and I'm hoping it brings lot's of snow.  As soon as I can adjust to the sudden drop in temperature, I will be a much happier camper.

One thing is for sure, hand knits will keep you warm!  I tend to pile them on in layers in the colder months.  Ok, who am I kidding?  I wear my shawls all year long!  Speaking of shawls, Iridill my new design is shawl and shawlette pattern in worsted or fingering weight yarn.  It's currently being test knitted and should be ready for release by the end of November.  I have the worsted weight one (on the right in the photo) on right now and it's really helping to keep the chill off my neck and shoulders.  It's a super simple knit and perfect for that variegated skein of yarn that's been hanging out in your stash!

The shawlette (right) is in Miss Babs Yummy in Maryland 2013 and the shawl (left) is in Miss Babs Yowza in Perfectly Wreckless.

  
I also have a new sock design that will be coming out at the beginning of November, Frost Bite. Shown here in Socks That Rock Lightweight in the Boobie colorway.  I couldn't resist this colorway! Not only is it beautiful, but the name cracked me up.


I just finished reading Doctor Sleep by Stephen King.  If you are looking for a book that will scare the heck out of you, give you nightmares and you still won't be able to put it down - this is it.  I LOVED it!  Now that The Walking Dead is back on tv my week winds up being complete on Sunday nights.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Vacation

Aside from planning, the hardest thing about taking a vacation is coming home and getting back to reality.  This is the first vacation that Andy and I have taken together that was more than a few days and had very little contact with the outside world.  The week went by a little too quickly and looking back it was like being in an alternate reality.  Flying down was relatively easy.  In fact, the drive to the airport took longer than the flight itself.  Once we collected our bags the driver took us to the resort and we didn't get into another car until it was time to head home on Saturday. We were shocked to hear that the Government was still shut down when we came home.

The resort we stayed at had a tropical island feel and even had a small sandy man made beach.  Part of the pool was designed to look like a beach and even had sand in one area.  We got up early every day and headed over to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure and then came back tor a relaxing afternoon swim.  We would sit and float on pool noodles and enjoy some much needed down time together.  In the evenings we would either head back over to the parks or have dinner at CityWalk.  A few of the restaurants were closed for private parties so we wound up eating at Bubba Gumps three times.  The food was great there and they had the best service of any of the restaurants that we ate at.  We were able to find some healthier choices on their menu too which can be hard while traveling. 



Thursday evening we went to Universals Halloween Horror Nights (HHN).  It was so scary and so fantastic and the best part of the vacation.  We stayed in the park and had dinner at Finegans Pub while HHN was set up.  They kept us in a special area and we were able to go in to HHN thirty minutes before it was opened to the public.  The first house we went in was themed after An American Werewolf in London and it was FANTASTIC!  There were eight houses total, which doesn't seem like a lot, but when you are being scared shitless to death it was just the right number.  My favorite one was The Walking Dead.  The front desk clerk at the resort told us that some of the original props from the series were used in it and that someone from the Walking Dead special effects helped to design the make up and costumes.  There were zombies walking all over the park through out the evening.  They would sneak up on you and I have to say there was a lot of screaming going on!  I'm pretty sure this is actual car that was used in The Walking Dead.

 Dale's camper.

We also got to see a tribute to one of my all time favorite movies... The Rocky Horror Picture Show!  Woot!  Andy and I got up and did the Time Warp and it was just so much fun.  The actors were fabulous and very authentic. 


The scariest thing of all was that Andy bribed managed to convince me to go on a roller coaster.  There is a picture of us riding on it that we purchased.  I'm not posting it here or anywhere else publicly.  I'm white as a sheet and the look on my face would be good to use for a model of what to look like if you are auditioning for a role in a horror movie.  I went on it twice more after that. Heh.

We wound up having so much fun that I didn't even have time to knit.  I did do a little bit while we were waiting to board the plane and go home and when I wasn't passed out from shear exhaustion on the flight I managed a few rows on a second Camberwell



While there were no yarn shops to be found on site, we did find a window display with yarn on one of the side streets at Universal.  Yarn.  It's everywhere!

I'm heading outside in a bit to take pictures of a new design that will be coming out in December.  It's a shawl in Miss Babs Yowza and shawlette in Miss Babs Yummy.  I'll have pictures to post next time.  I always wonder what our neighbors think when they see me hauling the mannequins around outside.