McCowan Shawlette

mccowan-slider.jpg

IMG_7135  

McCowan is finally ready to go! I finished this shawl ages ago - like over the summer. And the pictures are months old too. But life has just conspired against me. But it's kind of the worth the wait - and it's perfect timing. McCowan uses size 10 needles and only 300 yards of yarn so it's just right for gift knitting. And who wouldn't love a cozy shawl/scarf like this?

IMG_7136

It blocks out to a generous six feet (!!!!) wide. That's 72 inches folks. The depth is a bit shallow at only 15", but it's perfect for a shawl that doubles as a scarf.

IMG_7131

It is worked using yarnover short-rows. These are the easiest short-rows because they require no wraps or other fiddly nonsense. It's a great short-row beginner project. It also uses faux-cables in the eyelet edging - all the nice look of a simple cable with no fuss!

IMG_7140

McCowan is available now on Ravelry and you still have plenty of time to whip one up for yourself or someone who's truly knit worthy. All the instructions are available in written form, so everything is spelled out for you.

Needles: Size 10 needles (6.0 mm)

Yarn: Malabrigo Twist, 100% Merino, 150 yards to 100g, 2 skeins of Indiecita

Gauge: 13 stitches and 18 rows = 4 inches in blocked garter stitch

Size: 72" wide and 15" deep

McCowan is available on Ravelry individually for $7.00 USD

Oh and to celebrate it's release, you can get McCowan for half price - only $3.50 until the end of December 6th.

Giftalong Feets

The 2015 Gift-A-Long is going strong. Today I'm going to showcase my single sock pattern that is on sale and share with you some of my other favorites in the feets category! 9293715488_53da29df2f_z

Ardelis is a swirling sock pattern that comes in a mirrored pair. Worked up in Dragonfly Fibers Dragon Sock in Summer Harvest - it's perfect for hand dyed yarns. And if you use the coupon code "giftalong2015" Ardelis is 25% off!

But the awesome thing about the Giftalong is that it's not just a sale. There is currently a giant foot/leg knitalong/crochetalong going on in the Indie Giftalong group and it's not too late to join. Plus there are fabulous prizes.

You can peruse Pinterest and see all the pretty socks and other leg stuff in one place. And just in case my socks aren't your cup of tea, I thought I would share a few of my other favorites.

© Carolyn Macpherson/tnbtGolden Socks © Carolyn Macpherson/tnbt

candyshopsocks-beverly-sCandy Shop Socks @Beverly S.

lady-una-allison-janochaLady Una @Allison Janocha

lazydaisy-dana-gervaisLazy Daisy @Dana Gervais

drumlanrig-anneh-fletcherDrumlanrig @Anneh Fletcher

 

Modern Lopi

I spent the evening with Modern Lopi: One the other night, drooling over the patterns, and drinking in every word that Lars Rains wrote. You need to know that this is very out of character for me. I'm a skimmer. I focus on what catches my eye - what as a designer makes me stop and pay attention. But I started to read the stories about the names of the patterns - the story of Lars, and his history with Icelandic knitting, and I just kept reading. lopicover

@Gale Zucker/Modern Lopi

This book has 12 patterns, and it has the rare sweaters in it that will be true heirlooms once knit. It makes me want to live somewhere cold so I could rock the Icelandic wool. Well, at least visit somewhere cold. I love living in Florida. The photography is amazing - I means it's Gale Zucker, why wouldn't it be? I'm such a fan of her work. It's like a coffee table knitting book. So it's pretty awesome that this book is being offered in hardcover edition, which is unusual for knitting books nowadays.

Modern Lopi designs by Lars Rains

@Gale Zucker/Modern Lopi

Hildur is my absolute favorite from the book. The grey with the brights is one of my favorite color combinations. Lars describes it as "a silhouette that would be fitting for an elfin queen". Which is pretty much a perfect description for his model, the adorable Toby Roxane. I love that so many fabulous folks that I know were involved with this book. I even read all the credits!

Modern Lopi designs by Lars Rains

@Gale Zucker/Modern Lopi

And then I came to Monsina. I love the crazy colors, I love the funky striped sleeves. I love the sassy model. I just love it. And then Lars made me cry as I read about how he named it for his mother. Thanks Lars.

Modern Lopi designs by Lars Rains

@Gale Zucker/Modern Lopi

But all in all, this book is just full of good stuff. He gives great tips for how to carry the yarns, and all sorts of other helpful instruction for the techniques and constructions used in this book. You too can be an Icelandic colorwork master! And of course now I want to do all the colorwork. You know, in my free time.

Modern Lopi is available in PDF, softcover, and hardcover formats. And you can see all the gorgeous colorwork on Ravelry so you will know that you are getting a book full of wonderful. So head on over to Ravelry and come back and tell me which one of the projects is your favorite -  you will be entered into a drawing for a free PDF version of this beautiful book. The winner will be drawn on November 27th.

 

Gift-A-Long 2015

What is the Gift-A-Long? The Gift-A-Long is like a package of awesomeness wrapped up in yarn and all the good things. The first part starts tonight - it's a 25% sale off of thousands of patterns. Seriously. There are over 300 designers participating and each of them is offering 25% off of 5-20 of their patterns. Knit designers AND crochet designers. All kinds of good stuff. The sale starts now and from Thursday, November 19th at 8:00 pm US EST - Friday, November 27, 2015 at 11:59 you can use the code "giftalong2015" for this fabulous sale. And you can see the 20 patterns I have on sale in my Gift-A-Long bundle: gal-collage_copy_medium

And then there is this massive thread with all of the designers. It's like a shop-a-palooza. So much fun! But then it gets even better. We have a worldwide Gift-A-Long going on - it's a knit-a-long and a crochet-a-long with amazing prizes. And they are good prizes. Very, very good prizes. Tons of folks will win free patterns and then there's yarn and project bags and love and happiness.... Well you catch my drift. You do need to be a member of the Gift-A-Long group to play the games and be eligible for prizes - you can find all the details for that in this thread.

So c'mon! You know you want to! It's time to Gift-A-Long!

gal-promo

The Ambrelle Shrug

ambrelle-slider.jpg

ambrelle It's new pattern time! This one is the Ambrelle Shrug, one of those lovely knitted things that the muggle would never guess is so simple. How simple is it? It's a rectangle - with ribbing at both ends, and then you seam it up according to instructions to make a perfect comfy, cozy shrug.

IMG_7117_medium2

Ambrelle is one of those pieces that goes perfect with just about anything. Here she wears it with a simple blouse and jeans. But it's just as at home over a slip of a dress. And the yarn is this delicious merino/silk/cashmere blend that is like butter in your knitting hands AND against your skin. It's a win-win.

IMG_7119_medium2

The cable lace pattern is fun to knit and is provided in written and charted instruction form. Just grab your favorite sport or heavy fingering yarn and you're good to go.

Needles: Size 6 needles (4.5 mm)

Yarn: Baah! Aspen, 330 yards to 100g, 2 skeins for the sm/med, 3 skeins for the lg/xl

Gauge: 22 stitches and 28 rows = 4 inches in blocked cable lace pattern

Size: 31.5" (39)" back width

Ambrelle is available on Ravelry individually for $6.00 USD

 

Knit Companion Shop!

Are you a KnitCompanion fan? If you don't know, KnitCompanion is a nifty app that does all sorts of magic to knitting patterns. It helps you keep track of charts, has all kinds of highlighting features, and it evens helps you track those pesky "at the same time" directions. It's good stuff! They have set up a fabulous new shop where you can buy KnitCompanion versions of a ton of wonderful knit designs, including a couple of mine! These enhanced versions come completely set up with all of the KnitCompanion bells and whistles, and they go right into your Ravelry library. And I know how attached y'all to your Rav libraries!

Hassonite is now available in KnitCompanion version - helps you keep up with your rows and all that fancy lace at the bottom!

hassonite

Nathari is also available - and it has a lot of lace going on so you know that KnitCompanion will help with all that!

nathari

And there's more to come - lots more PicnicKnits designs will be going up in the KCDesigns shop. Of course you can always buy my designs and set them up in KnitCompanion yourself, but this lets you get to the knitting right away!

Plus the KnitCompanion Design Shop is chock full of all your favorite designers - check it out!

Review: Unexpected Cables

15KN06_Cover.indd Unexpected Cables is another one of those books that I knew about for a very, very long time. So I had inside information on this beautiful collection of sweaters and accessories. I got to see things before Interweave did even!

The book has 8 accessories and 10 garments. And I will just tell you right now, if you live in the Northeast United States and have a chance to see these pieces in person at a book signing or trunk show, you really should. Because in order to see the true beauty of the collection you need to see these sweaters without the distracting clothing choices in the book.

rheems

Rheems is hands down my favorite thing in the book. But not with a flannel hunting shirt underneath it lol! Heather wore this sweater to Rhinebeck for book signings and it looked so beautiful with the open cowl neck. It doesn't need anything under it! The subtle allover cable on this pattern is perfect with the Lorna's Laces Sportmate.

conoy

Again, just say no to the plaid!  Picture this with a simple camisole underneath. Conoy is  a lovely piece with an easy rectangular construction and drapey fit that goes perfect with skinny jeans. And this tunic calls for Manos Serena, easily one of all time favorite yarns.

This book has an interesting variety of constructions for the garments, and beautiful, intricate details on the accessories. It's a well rounded collection with pieces full of unusual cables that will never bore you. Definitely a must-have for your knitting book collection!

 

Format Flash Sale!

Yes, it's been a while. Things have been crazy. I'm sorry. Things have been CRAZY. All caps. Screaming yellow zonkers. But I have decided that I am done with the crazy. Therefore it had best simmer down. I've got work to do here! Speaking of work to do, I'm still formatting! In fact 7 patterns got formatted AND thrown together into an e-book.

sideways-shawlettes-two-cover

You can see all the patterns together as the Sideways Shawlettes Two e-book. Any of the single patterns is 50% off - no coupon code required. This sale will last for the next 48 hours - so come 10am EST on Tuesday morning it's gone!

Short Row Crescent Class

On Tuesday night (tomorrow!!!) I will be signing copies of my book Warm Days, Cool Knits with a trunk show of all the projects. If you are in the Lauderhill, Florida area and would like to buy a book and get it signed Sheep Thrills still has copies of the book available - call and reserve yours! WDCK cover

And on Wednesday I will be teaching a class on my Evanthe shawl. This is a new crescent shaped short row shawl that will be exclusively available at Sheep Thrills for the rest of the year. There are still a few spots available in this class which will take place on Wednesday morning, so hurry up and grab yours!

IMG_7183

During this class we will be working up a mini version of the shawl to practice all of the skills that are needed to complete the shawl. Those skills include:

  1. My unvented fancy cast-on
  2. The flower knot stitch
  3. Nearly invisible yarnover short rows
  4. Crochet bind off

And how to block your shawl to bring out the lace and make it look like less of a fuzzy lump and more like  the knitted masterpiece it is!

evanthe-class

Evanthe is knit up in one skein of The Fiber Seed Sprout - a yummy fingering weight. The sample is in the Sanquis colorway, a beautiful red/pink. Students need to bring their yarn, size 6 (4.0) needles, and a size E (3.5 mm) crochet hook. I'll bring the patterns, the know-how, and the blocking supplies. 

IMG_7190

So if you're in the area and want to take this class or come to the book signing, contact Sheep Thrills. If you'd like a class like this for YOUR yarn shop, get in touch with me!

IMG_7179

Fall With Sweet Georgia - Volume One

Screenshot 2015-09-25 07.18.10A while back my lovely friend Tabetha Hedrick got the dream gig of being the design director for Sweet Georgia Yarns. So of course when the calls started coming out I had to submit. And I sent her this nifty little swatch for the Fall Collection:

File Jun 18, 9 59 57 AM

Which in hindsight kind of looks like attack pods from Mars. Or maybe that's just me. Fortunately Tabetha was able to see my vision in this - which was to create one of my rounded rectangle shawls in the delicious new sport weight. Sweet Georgia sent me two skeins of Empress - the most rich and royal purple you ever did see. That I neglected to take a before picture of. But I loved it and with a bit of direction I turned it into this:

pic4

This does not do the Empress colorway justice. But it does show you how I blocked this beauty. You may wonder how this works out when you wear it - but if you look at the diagonal increases on each side - well your shoulder sits right in those and this shawl does not fall off! It's magic!

008_SGY-FW15_medium2

 

 

Reiland has an unusual construction, but it makes for fun knitting and charts are your friend! You start with a small manageable size cast-on (the red line below) and work back and forth until the shawl is complete. The lace edging is applied, so there are no million mile rows to bind off!

Screenshot 2015-09-25 07.00.15

Reiland is my first design for the new Sweet Georgia collections but certainly not my last. Dreamy yarns, wonderful people to work with, and would you just look at this photography? It's swoon-worthy!

010_SGY-FW15_medium2

And now you have a chance to win a free copy of Reiland. Just tell me which pattern in the Fall With Sweet Georgia Collection is your favorite in the comments. You'll be entered to win a free copy of my Reiland shawl! I will pick a random winner at the end of the weekend!

And if you hurry you still have time to enter the giveaway on Tabetha Hedrick's blog - she's picking a winner tonight. The blog tour continues on September 30th on Knitted Bliss - so head there next!

 

 

 

Fine Formats!

Sorry y'all for missing a week. The last month has just been nothing but hogwash around here. Concussions, car accidents, and all the associated nonsense that comes with such non fun times. Hogwash I tell you. But I'm back in the saddle. The concussed boy is all healed up. The wrecked Jeep is nearly repaired, and the man who was driving the Jeep is just fine minus some aches and pains. So back to work! Well I've been working like crazy - just not stuff y'all can see yet. And today I have two lovely options for Format Friday - two pretty things made out of Sincere Sheep yarns that I worked up a couple of year ago. Gosh has it been two years? Time flies!

brindille1

Brindille is an asymmetrical shawl worked up in an Estonian lace pattern with beads instead of nupps - just say no to nupps!

sarla1

And Sarla is a reversible shawl worked from the bottom up beginning with an angular lace pattern with simple repeating lace rows. It's a perfect opportunity to learn to read charts - even though writtens are provided as well.

Both of these patterns are 50% off this weekend - no coupon code required. Happy Format Friday!

 

Fly Formats

I am pretty sure I am too old to say fly. Even though the Fly Girls were a thing on Living Color when I was young. But I refuse to say fleek, so I'm running short on options that spring to mind. My next resort will be to hit up the site that lists adjectives starting with a certain letter so I can continue this streak of madness. Today's Format Friday offerings includes one that is inspired by the beginning of football season. I was never a football girl. Until my boys started playing it. So now I'm football mom. I'm already sporting a football t-shirt for tonight's pre-season game (my baby is starting!!!) and I'm heading up to school in a few hours to help serve dinner for the team. So our first Format Friday pattern is the Fangirl Hat!

6977258959_6413c299a0_o

The Fangirl Hat is especially awesome because it doesn't have to be for a sport team. And it doesn't have to be for a girl! Pick your two favorite colors (Hogwarts anyone?) and knit yourself up a sweet hat that is perfect for supporting your favorites or as a gift for the Fangirl or Fanboy in your life!

6831131530_7e0df1d8b9_o-2

Next up is the Carnivale Cowl. This is another gift-worthy knit. The holidays are coming faster than we think, especially if you are knitting your gifts. It only uses a bit of each yarn so it's a great leftover skeins project.

4363119398_4e90d9ffc8_b

And finally I have reformatted one of my favorite patterns - Gaenor. It's my original sideways shawl - the one that started the craziness for me. I still love sideway shawls and this is the beginning of the fun!

3950965828_a8499b38f6_o

And just like always, all three Format Friday patterns are 50% off this weekend! No coupon code needed!

Knit.Purl Fall-Winter

It's another installment of OPP - Other People's Patterns. No, that will never get old for me. I'm sorry. Well not really sorry because I'm giggling like a 12 year old. So anyhow... Yesterday I showed you my Quick Wind Pullover from the Fall/Winter 2015 issue of Knit.Purl. Today I'm showing you three of the patterns I would knit if I had time for OPP!

First up is Amy Palmer's Painted Pullover. Love this sweater. Looks so comfy and casual, and I love how the yarn does all the work. I also adore A-line shaping - so flattering! And can we just take a minute and swoon over this model's hair? Love it. So much. One day I will grow out my grey and I hope and pray mine looks half this lovely.

KnitPurl-05-2015-0283_medium2@Interweave

I am not an intarsia person. But I would do it for this Dark Rainbow Sweater. I love the lines of this sweater and I love the way she makes the most of gradient yarns. Emma Welford is doing some really fabulous things and I admit it, I'm jealous of her talent! In a nice way.

KnitPurl-05-2015-1024_medium2

@Interweave

Finally the Crystal Bay Shawl by Romi Hill. This is just beautiful and I really like her use of the eyelet columns to separate the lace border from the body. This is an excerpt from her book New Lace Knitting - which is just basically a bound volume of gorgeousness. Seriously when I talk about OPP Romi's patterns are always at the top of my list.

New_Lace_Knitting_-_Crystal_Bay_Shawl_interior_beauty_image_medium2

@Interweave

So which are your favorite patterns from the new issue of Knit.Purl?

 

Quick Wind Pullover

quickwind-slider.jpg

Many moons ago I submitted a design to Interweave Knits. They said thanks, but no thanks. Hey, it happens. If you think you're gonna get into this business called knit design and everyone will always want your stuff... hahahahahaha ...you are wrong. But on the bright side they wanted it for an upcoming issue of Knit.Purl! And there was much rejoicing. So I thought I would give you a backstage look at how the pullover came together. First I swatched the cable drop stitch pattern I unvented in Malabrigo Worsted. I have a bunch of it around and I love knitting with it, so people get a LOT of grey swatches from me!

File Aug 19, 8 34 35 AM

Then I sketched up a gorgeous sweater. Yeah, just kidding. I cannot draw things on my iPad. Yet. This is hideous proof.

File Aug 19, 8 35 17 AM

Then I got out my pencils and drew a pretty picture that someone might actually think would turn into a nice sweater and used that for my submission to Interweave.

waboyan

And in turn they sent me a big ole bag full of  beautiful squishy denim color Mrs. Crosby Steamer Trunk. This yarn is so nice to work with, so thick and bouncy.

File Aug 19, 8 27 30 AM

Which I turned into this poorly mannequin modeled thing. This is my 40" bust mannequin. You can see how she's stretching out the bust of this sweater - the sweater has a lot of give so you can wear it more fitted if you like. This is the 35" sweater stretched over a 40" bust - 5" of negative ease.

File Aug 19, 8 28 30 AMAnd then I sent it off to Interweave and they showed me how pretty it could really be with Harper Point Photography. This lovely little slip of a woman is modeling the size 35" sweater with 4 inches of positive ease.

KnitPurl-05-2015-0196_medium2

You can see how different the sweater looks with the positive ease - almost like it's a different sweater.

KnitPurl-05-2015-0202_medium2

So that's how the sweater formerly known as Waboyan (to me) became the Quick Wind Pullover for the Fall/Winter Issue of Knit.Purl - which you can order via the Interweave Store! And I highly recommend the Steamer Trunk yarn - really a delight to work with!

 

Fab Formats

Look I found another f word! This is going to end badly, isn't it? Today's format friday post is going to be a fast one because I'm crazed. I got the boys back to school but now I have to catch up with all the work that got away from me when I was shoe shopping and getting the boys haircut and all that expensive nonsense! So here's this week's trio - a sweater, a sock, and a shawl! Same deal as it ever was - half off these beauties with no coupon code needed!

Dolinger

9524281484_7f63ff3879_z

Ardelis 9293715488_53da29df2f_z

Nathari

9085879866_9884f42288_z

Office Space

As a knit designer, I work from "home". Why is home in air quotes? Well because I pretty much work wherever I can. Yesterday I swatched a new lace pattern in the minivan while waiting for the boys to get out of a football meeting. And tonight while they are at Scouts I will be heading to Starbucks to finish writing a pattern. But when I'm really at home I have two basic modes of knit design work - computer work and actual knitting work. When I'm doing knitting work this is my satellite office: File Aug 04, 9 20 27 AM

I have the comfiest of comfy recliners. I will be sad when it dies it's final death and we have to replace it - we've had it for ages. It's actually part of a couch and the center piece folds down to serve as a cup and remote holder. The cup nook also corrals yarn nicely. And who am I kidding here - the center section hardly ever gets used as a place to sit!

You can see in my knitting nook a selection of various crucial knitting tools. My yarn-it to help keep unruly balls under control (*snicker*), a mini arc notebook for important design notes that I will promptly forgot I've taken, a handful of stitch dictionaries in the side table nook, scissors, my Macbook, new yarns that I'm waiting for them to tell me what they want to be when they grow up, and my Ott Lites.

File Aug 04, 9 19 40 AM

I could not live without my Ott Lites. The little flip up one in the back I've had for years. Our living room is short on artificial light in the evenings (I really need to remedy that) so without my mini Ott Lite I would never be able to see what I was knitting - especially with darker yarns.

But now I have new, bigger, more awesome Ott Lite. A couple of months ago I got to attend the Marly Bird Designer Dinner at TNNA. And the folks at Ott Lite were kind enough to offer up this beauty as a prize - which I won! They shipped it out to me and I took my sweet time setting it up, but am I glad I did! It has a magnifier attachment and a handy dandy clip to hold pattern charts for me. Plus the light portion is on a completely adjustable stand so I can point the light anywhere I need to! I recently finished a gorgeous shawl in some rich deep purple Sweet Georgia (seriously this new yarn of hers is super delicious) and this light was my best friend while I was knitting dark purple lace in the wee small hours of the night watching Cedar Cove on the Hallmark channel. Don't judge. You know you have a cheesy guilty pleasure show too. So.... where in your house do you knit? And what do you watch when you knit it?

Style Sheets

Are you a knit designer? What's your style sheet look like? Do you say row or do you say Row? What's your preferred abbreviation for a centered double decrease on the knit side? How do you write out all the wonderfully complicated instructions for shaping a sleeve cap?

These are the questions people. And it helps your editor and your customers if you answer the questions the same every time. And hey - it saves you time and energy too - and goodness knows we could all use that help!

So head on over to the Stitch Sprouts blog to learn about style sheets!

Fancy Formats

File-Aug-07-9-53-42-AM.jpeg

Just to let y'all know I am gonna very quickly run out of f-words to describe my updated formats. Last week was fresh - this week is fancy... and off the top of my head I can't even think of a third. Oh well! This week's offerings are three of the fabulous (ooh an f-word lol!!!) Seven Sheep. So here you go - three patterns for half off this entire weekend with no coupon code:

Lacaune

IMG_5959

Apennine

IMG_6339

Debouillet

IMG_6400

Fresh Formats

It's Friday! And actually right on schedule I'm releasing the second batch of freshly formatted PicnicKnits patterns. Today we have three patterns - all available for half price this entire weekend to celebrate their new fancy formats! No coupon code needed - just buy 'em on Ravelry and the $3 price will come up automatically!

Loradee is a 3-color striped shawl with short-rows.

loradee-ff

The Sarasota Shrug is a lace counterpane shrug. 

sarasota-ff

And Maribelle is an asymmetrical shawlette in gradient yarn.

maribelle-ff

Check in next week for another batch of Format Friday patterns!

Do ALL the things!

I'm in crazy mode around here. My list of things to do is massive and for some reason (quite possibly insanity) I keep adding things to it! There are so many things I want to branch out and do that if I think about it too much I just want to take a nap. Can I add naps to my to-do list? I could check that one off like a boss! Do people still say like a boss? I should probably ask my sons*. File Jul 29, 9 36 54 AM

The to-do list is long and overwhelming and what I really want to do is start my podcast. I have lots of plans and ideas and I've even been studying up so I start up a good podcast with nice sound quality and all of that, but there are other things that demand my attention right now so I better get back to those. Sometimes my boss is a real pain in the butt.

*My 15 year old son has confirmed that no one says "like a boss" anymore. And was shocked and amazed that I had heard someone say it. When I confessed I was trying to blog it he just shook his head with a look of pity on his face.