Cowls – Knit now, Wear later!

One of my favorite yarn shops, The Knitter’s Edge, has a saying “Knit now, Wear later” — I LOVE this concept!

During the summer months, it’s hard to think about knitting winter accessories. But this is really the best time for small knits; cowls, mittens, hats, and socks are all things that won’t make your lap warm.

Get those winter woolens ready for the cold. Before you know it holiday knitting time will be here. If you start gift knitting now, your holiday could be that much less stressful.

Here are two cowl projects perfect for knitting now and wearing later.

Fiammata is knit with my new yarn, Yellowstone. It’s worked from side to side and closed with 6 buttons. This construction makes it easy to adjust it for width or height. Using just one skein of super-soft Yellowstone, this is would make a great gift for your closest friends, or for yourself!

Fiammata

Gemello is a double-knit cowl using Road to China Light. The pattern has links to youTube videos for both a tubular cast-on and bind-off to give your cowl a professional finish.

Gemello

Both of these patterns are just $6 and available now in my Ravelry store. Keep cool this summer by thinking wintery thoughts while knitting now to wear later.

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Spring 2014 Manos del Uruguay Collection

Now available, five new patterns created especially for Manos del Uruguay that celebrate the beauty and versatility of the yarn. With a variety of stylish designs, everyone will find something they want on their needles! You can see the whole collection on the Fairmount Fibers’ website.

The first pattern is Flan.

Flan Shawl

© Fairmount Fibers

Flan is a lace shawlette made with Fino, a fingering weight merino and silk blend. This makes for a warm wrap with nice drape and the luxurious touch of silk for the lightest bit of sheen. This shawl can be dressed up or down. It will be at home over a t-shirt or sweater while walking in cool evening air, or accompanying an evening dress for a night out on the town. Special thanks to my sample knitter Barb, who did an excellent job!

Ricardito is a fun cables and lace cowl that shows off the super soft Maxima to great effect.

© Fairmount Fibers

© Fairmount Fibers

The cables and lace really pop thanks to this squishy round singles yarn. The 100% merino wool will keep out the chill of both fall and winter days. Wear it long as an infinity scarf or doubled up for a fantastically cozy cowl. The creative cable design will make knitting it a fun and rewarding challenge.

Bizcocho uses two yarns to create an elegantly simple pullover with a touch of color.

© Fairmount Fibers

© Fairmount Fibers

This sweater is created with Silk Blend, a brilliant DK weight merino/silk for the body and Lace, a luxurious alpaca, silk, and cashmere for the inlaid accents. To minimize finishing, Bizcocho is knit seamlessly from the bottom up and features a round yoke construction. Once off your needles, you’ll have a gorgeous sweater ready to wear with anything.

Dulce de Leche is knitted in my favorite yarn, Serena.

© Fairmount Fibers

© Fairmount Fibers

Serena is an interesting combination of alpaca and cotton. This cap-sleeve tunic will be light and soft. Lace side panels add a touch of charm peeking out from under spring coats as well as waving in a summer breeze. It is knit in the round from the bottom up and features set-in sleeves and a swingy a-line shape that will flatter all figures.

My final pattern is Tarta, a color-blocked cardigan with contrasting collar and buttonbands.

© Fairmount Fibers

© Fairmount Fibers

Created from the same Silk Blend yarn as Bizcocho, Tarta will become your favorite go-to sweater. Simple color-work transitions between blocks of colors keeping this classic silhouette looking sophisticated no matter when you wear it. There are so many beautiful shades of Silk Blend, you can make sweaters with all your favorite color combinations!

Do any of these patterns speak to you? I love seeing my designs knitted up–be sure to share any of your finished projects with my Ravelry group!

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State Fair & Verchères

The Winter 2014 issue of Interweave Knits is now available. On first inspection you might notice the sweater on the cover is a classic henley in a beautiful rusty orange and…oh my — that is my design! Yup, my first cover!! Can you tell I’m excited?

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The cover sweater is the Verchères Pullover. It is knitted in Lorna’s Laces Sportmate. This is my first time using Sportmate, and I have to say, it will not be my last! I absolutely love this yarn. It is the perfect weight and the “Outlast” (temperature regulating magic stuff) is something so cool…you have to feel it for yourself.

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© Interweave Press

This boyfriend-wear inspired henley is knit in pieces from the bottom up. It features set-in sleeves for the perfect fit. Its contoured collar and small placket is flattering on all body types.

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© Interweave Press

This is a sweater that you will wear all winter and well into spring — a go-to piece that you will favor for years to come.

Not to be overshadowed, the State Fair Cardigan is also in this issue!

© Interweave Press

© Interweave Press

This cardigan features Imperial Yarns’ Erin, a lofty 3-ply perfect for cables. This yarn is so squishable!

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© Interweave Press

Cables run up the fronts as well as down the back. Worked in pieces and seamed, this sweater also sports set-in sleeves.

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© Interweave Press

I hope you like these designs. They were both incredibly fun to design and knit. Go pick up your copy of Interweave Knits Winter 2014!

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SHAWLOWEEN

Yes — I’m hosting a mystery KAL!

shawloweenBadge

I have always wanted to do a mystery KAL, but have not had the time to plan one. What’s more fun than Halloween??? SHAWL-oween!!

Join me for my first mystery shawl knit-a-long. We will be making a shawl (obviously) using two colors of sock yarn. Grab your needles, your yarn, and get ready!

Pre-order now ($6) — the fun starts Monday, October 21st!

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Start Knitting Lace

Earlier this summer I had the privilege of traveling out to Colorado to shoot a video workshop: Start Knitting Lace! with Interweave. What better topic than lace? I absolutely love knitting lace and it is a technique that I am passionate about teaching.

I also had another mission, to deliver the samples for my book. Somehow it felt better hand delivering these items than leaving them to the whims of UPS.

Leading up to departure there was much swatching, planning, practicing, and fretting over materials. Teaching in the local yarn shop is very different than teaching to a video camera. My biggest concern was not having the student feedback during class to propel me forward. Instead, these questions and comments needed to be anticipated and addressed without prompts.

My journey began at the tiny Lancaster airport. This is the plane as seen through the gate. I did not even know that our little airport had commercial flights.

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And the inside of the plane. I’ve flown before, but never on such a small craft. I was incredibly nervous.

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The flight was…scary. I was one of only three passengers. Before boarding they ask you how much your bags weigh. Then they ask you how much you weigh. Now is not the time to lie about your weight, it could throw off the balance of the plane!

During my layover I made sure to guzzle some nectar of the gods coffee in order to regain my strength, and my nerves.

IMG_4668Of course I had travel knitting with me. I started this sock with the intention of making toe-up knee highs.

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After arriving safely in Denver, I met my friend Tabetha for dinner (I do not have any pictures of our dinner since my phone died on the way to the restaurant).

Next I drove up to Loveland. Everything is so flat and straight, the speed limit on the highway was 75 – my kind of driving!

The next day, I headed into the office.

IMG_4675The “office” is actually divided into multiple buildings but the main one is in this old bank. Isn’t it beautiful?

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I had a day to hang out, to meet people that I have worked with, and to set up. I really love this little downtown area. So many cute shops! I had time to poke into a few. My favorites were the kitchen gadget store and the used bookstore.

Meeting people whom I have only had contact with via e-mail was exciting. Putting a face to a name is always surprising (people never look how I expect). Everyone wanted to take me out to eat. I think I must have gained at least five pounds while there.

Between meetings I wandered around downtown and hung out in the local coffee shop. My friend Joanna Johnson even invited me to join her knit night – what a fun time!

Filming took place all in one day. Here is Anne Merrow arranging the set:

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I had all my swatches and charts laid out for segments:

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So many lights! The sheer amount of equipment in this room is overwhelming — cameras, monitors, microphones, lights, and wires.IMG_4689

Me with Amy Clarke Moore and Anne Merrow:IMG_4693

Before I knew it, filming was done and I was headed home. As soon as I left, I missed Colorado. The lack of humidity alone was enough to make me desire a longer stay. I hope to have the opportunity to visit again.

The result, a brand new video workshop: Start Knitting Lace! The beautiful scarf on the cover was knit by my fabulous friend Connie.

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There are three different ways to purchase this video. You can download either the standard or HD versions, or you can order the DVD.

Check out the preview here (if the video does not load, you can view it via this link: Preview Start Knitting Lace):

For the curious, this is how far I got on my sock.

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Zentangled

Because I am not busy enough, I decided to try something new. Zentangle was something interesting that I noticed other people posting on Pinterest and Instagram, so I checked it out.

Basically it is doodling…but more. Why more? Because it is mindful. Doodles happen anywhere at any time, and usually while doing other things. A Zentangle is something that you purposefully sit down to do. There is a ceremony to it. The whole process takes about 30 minutes and produces a beautiful, one of a kind, tiny, piece of art. I am not very good at explaining it. I’m not a CZT, or Certified Zentangle Teacher, so I will leave that up to the experts.

Like knitting, Zentangle does not require any fancy supplies to get started. I bought a set of pens (mainly because I love pens, not because what I already had would not work), grabbed a sketchbook and pencil, and got started.

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My tangles tend to be organic. They grow out of their initial string boundaries and I like that. I am not fond of hard boundaries, so this makes sense. I am especially drawn to the natural shapes like leaves and flowers. Flowing and soft.

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Finished page on the right, close-ups on the left

Here is one I tried with circles. I had this great vision, but after laying them all down, it was too much work to fill them all in. I had limited myself too much although, I think it still looks nice.

Many friends commented on how nice this would look as a fabric. However, I am not sure how well these would scale. Each of my first tangles is only about 3″ wide. The circle piece is in a 3.5″ x 5.5″ (9x14cm) notebook.

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On an A5 pad

The hardest aspect of the process is letting go, and that is the zen. These are drawn in pen. The pencil is used only as a starting string and as final shading. That means for the most part there is no erasing, no second guessing, no going back. There are no mistakes. If you make a “mistake”, it simply becomes part of the piece. Each pattern is made out of easy and repetitive strokes. Like meditation, it is calming and relaxing; you feel centered and at ease.

Loved them so much

Love them so much

As shapes and forms grow out of your fingers and into the ink, magic happens. Anyone can create these little pieces of magic, no artistic ability is needed.

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My favorite Books

I love reading. I love reading almost as much as I love knitting, which is quite a bit. I love reading so much that I taught myself to knit while reading so that I wouldn’t have to give it up in favor of knitting.

Here is a list of my all time favorite books (in no particular order):

Are you a member of my Ravelry group? If not, you should join! Check it out: I’m starting a book club. There’s a poll up now, we are picking our first book to start. Voting closes on Tuesday!

I belong to a local reading group as well. So far we’ve read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, The Night Circus, and now we are reading The Blind Assassin.

What are your favorite books?

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Allodola

I know it’s been a long time…but I have a new pattern! Allodola is a two color shawlette which is perfect for using one solid and one variegated colorway. Shown here in the always beautiful Baah! Yarns’ La Jolla.

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The solid color is Maldives and the multi is Cape Cod.

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The slip stitch pattern pulls the variegated yarn into pleasing chevrons which reminded me of bird feathers.

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A subtle ruffle on the edge keeps things feminine and flirty.

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Another fun way to wear this shawl is to wrap the long ends around and secure in the back.

Here are the details:

Size: One Size
Measurements: approximately 66” wide and 12” deep
Yarn: Baah! Yarns, La Jolla (100% superfine merino; 400 yds
366 m/100 g): maldives (MC), cape cod (CC), 1 skein each
Needles: US #6 4 mm
Gauge: 29 sts and 32 rows = 4” in Lark st, BLOCKED
Notions: stitch markers, cable needle, tapestry needle

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10 on Tuesday: Movies

Here are 10 movies that I watch over and over and over again (in no particular order). I love watching familiar films while knitting because I don’t feel like I have to keep my eyes glued to the screen. What are your favorite movies?

  1. Moulin Rouge
  2. Memoirs of a Geisha
  3. Clueless
  4. Empire Records
  5. Center Stage
  6. Walk the Line
  7. Little Women (with Winona Rider)
  8. Pride and Prejudice (any version)
  9. Kill Bill vol 1
  10. Kill Bill vol 2
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On Failures

I’ve been writing a lot about success, but what about failure? There are two types of failure in the knitwear design field. First, the cold hard rejection of a failed submission. Second, the soul-sucking feeling of being a failure.

It’s not all acceptances and contracts around here. I’d say for every pattern that gets accepted, I have at least five that were rejected.

At first, every rejection was like a stab in the heart. Why didn’t she like my idea?!?! I’d be crushed for days; discouraged from submitting again. But now I just look at it as an opportunity to be a better fit somewhere else. Several times I’ve gotten a design that was originally rejected from one source, accepted into another. It was just a better fit.

When a design gets rejected, I move it into a folder named “Homeless”. When a new call goes out, I always look through that folder first to see if anything there would fit. If I feel like something would, I’m already ahead of the game by being able to use a previous submission again.

Occasionally I end up self-publishing my homeless designs. Turning failures into success is motivating. Mercurial and Mormorio are two examples where I’ve made a lot more money by self-publishing than I would have had they been accepted for publication.

As hard as the rejection is, the worst kind of failure is the second — the kind that we make up when comparing ourselves to others. I do this too much. As a creative trying to “make it” in business, I’m constantly looking at what other successful people are doing. What makes them successful? And why isn’t what I’m doing making me as successful?

Some of this comes from envy. I’m jealous that others seem to come by success so easily when I’m working my butt off. How do they do it? Is it just luck of timing? Or are they really just so much more creatively brilliant than I am? So many times I find myself saying, “Why didn’t I think of that?!”

But some of it comes from something else, something I don’t know the right word for. I don’t envy people that are successful by recycling the same design again and again. I have little respect for the “designer” that publishes the same shawl one hundred times with a different lace border. I have no desire to do that, and hope I never fall into that trap. But I hate that they become successful when doing this. It’s not fair.

Among all this envy and whatever-the-word-is I find that I’m still able to be excited and happy for my friends that get acceptances even when I fail. I know they work hard and I love to see their success. We can’t all be in all the things all the time. If one of us get’s published, that’s something to be excited about. There’s a camaraderie among the hard workers. We need to band together to collectively out-design those pretenders!

All this brings me back to success. Success from hard work is much more satisfying than success from luck or whatever-the-word-is. I have faith that no matter how much of a failure I feel like, if I keep working hard, I’ll find my own success in my own time. Already things are starting to happen for me. Now I need to keep positive, and keep moving forward.

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Review: The Broken Circle

In full disclosure, I was gifted this book by the author, Cheryl Potter, one of my Stitch Sprouts designers.

I don’t usually enjoy “knitting” fiction. Something about it always seems fake. The knitting feels forced and can even take away from the story. The characters are typically flat and stereotypical; the situations are generally eye-roll worthy.

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The Broken Circle, Yarns of the Knitting Witches is different. I loved reading this book! The entire fantastical world that Cheryl has created relies on knitting, dyeing, and fiber arts and so these things feel integrated, not added-on. The characters are well developed and interesting. Each has their own interesting story, and I want to know them all.

The plot of the story unfolds amidst colorful descriptions of hand-knits, fiber, and of course, the knitting witches. The world is in trouble and only the knitting witches have the power (maybe) to save it! Magic crystals, fantastical creatures, a war torn land, and clever women come together in this truly enjoyable yarn. The Broken Circle is the first of a trilogy and I’m anxiously awaiting the next installment to be finished so I can find out what happens next.

Along with the novel, a pattern booklet is available with projects inspired by items in the book. I think this is an ingenious addition and really brings the whole story together.

Both the novel and pattern book are available here.

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Focus on Success

I consider myself both successful and happy. Some people struggle with both of these things. They complain about their life, their job, their general “situation”; but they do nothing to change. Let me tell you about my success and the journey it took to get there.

During high school I got very sick. After a life threatening event caused me to start my junior year late, I started focusing on school. I had a new outlook on life. My new passion was physics. I read everything I could about it and I took all the physics and mathematics classes I was able to take at my silly little school. This focus led me to college as a physics major.

College got me down. I admit, I became lost in the vastness of it. My tiny town and tiny school were mere puddles when compared to the ocean of opportunity at college. I drowned in the combination of scholastic pressure, social awkwardness, medical illness, and waning focus.

I switched my major to computer science because all my friends were doing it. Seriously — this is the most immature, stupid reason to do anything. It was something I was pretty good at without having to put in any effort, which is what made it appealing.

By the end of my short college career, I just wanted out. I ended up dropping out of the honors college in order to graduate early. I was accepted into a Ph.D. program and so I was off to grad school. What?!? Why would I leave school so impatiently just to rush off to another, even bigger, school? Yes, this. I realized my folly about a month after starting graduate studies and dropped out.

I took a job that I hated, mostly because I just needed a job. I started taking art classes online. (I love art. If I could go back and do it all again, I would have majored in english composition and art. I think I would have enjoyed college much more, but this is for another story.) In addition to drawing, I also tried many hobbies including but not limited to beading, poly clay, sewing, journaling, painting porcelain, and spinning yarn.

Boredom led me to switch jobs not once, but twice. I ended up working an hour and a half away doing programming for a government contracting company. My days included driving, working, driving, playing World of Warcraft with coworkers until 2am, sleep, repeat. I realized I had developed an addiction to WoW, I had even quit my art classes. So, I quit playing. What would fill the void? Knitting.

I had started knitting back in college. But in the last few years, had touched it little. Now I picked it up again with fervor. I knitted in every spare moment. I joined a carpool group so that I could knit during the commute even though it meant getting up every day at 4am. My addiction to WoW became an addiction to knitting. Later I took a similar but closer-to-home job. I couldn’t knit in the car, but I knit before and after work. I even knit at work on occasion.

I started designing in 2009 while still at my full time job. After two years of intense focus, designing and knitting in every spare moment, knitwear design became my full time job in 2011. Designing is my focus, my passion. It’s a job I love. Finally.

My focus and dedication to designing has lead to my success. In less than five years, I’ve been published in magazines, worked with yarn companies, am writing a book, and started a related business. I could not do all these things if I was still drawing, writing, beading, etc. If I lacked focus, I would still be working for some man, in some cubical, writing code. I would not be where I am today.

I chose to change my life. It took a while to get there, but I did it. I found that one thing that I love to do and made it my career. It was scary. It required me quitting a good paying job to pursue my dream. And it required, and still requires, a lot of hard work. In the end, I think I’ve been successful.

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Busy Bee

I’m incredibly busy. To keep from going insane, I’m writing a blog post. Makes sense, right? No? Maybe I’ve already gone insane!

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To keep everything going I rely on lists. Lists everywhere. Lists on my keyboard, lists on my computer, lists on the back of my phone. It’s an love song to the post-it note in my house. But just to keep things real, or maybe to make things a little more crazy, I’ll make another list here.

  • I’m still working on my book, which is going well, but I’ve been slacking off a bit.
  • I have three magazine designs due before my book deadline. Which perfectly illustrates my inability to say “no”.
  • In August I’ll be teaching my most important class EVER.
  • I have a Spring 2014 collection for a yarn company due in September.
  • TNNA – I have reached approximately 1% completion on that to-do list. Sooooo much yet to do.

So yeah, very busy. I just need to remember:

focus

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10 on Tuesday: The Notions Bag

I decided to start a new thing, 10 on Tuesdays. This week, what’s in my notions bag?

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  1. Lantern Moon sheep tape measure
  2. Tin of stitch markers & needle caps
  3. Needle gauge/ruler
  4. Highlighter tape – invaluable for charts
  5. Fix-a-stitch
  6. Clover Chibi – my favorite come in the orange container, metal with bent tips
  7. Row counter – no idea when I last used this or what pattern row 9 was from
  8. Cable needle – I prefer this U shaped kind
  9. Crochet hook
  10. Pom-pom makers – because you never know when you’ll need to make a pompom!

What notions do you carry around with you?

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Unwelcome Home

I apologize in advance. This is a sad, whiney, and pointless post.

My mom has been very sick which means trips home to visit. I love living close enough to visit, but far enough away not to have to visit often. Trips to Hanover are filled with mixed emotions. I love my parents, but I hate the town. Too many bad childhood memories still hit a little close to the heart.

Growing up in Hanover wasn’t fun. I was adopted from South Korea. For many years I was the only non-white person in the entire town. Actually, that isn’t completely true, I remember one African American family moving into a nearby neighborhood. They didn’t stay long because they got chased away by fowl neighbors. Chased. Away. So sad. Even then, as a young child, I saw how wrong this was.

My mom tried to encourage me. Saying I wasn’t any different, that I was just like the other girls. This of course was terribly wrong. Instead of celebrating my uniqueness, I hated it. All throughout grade school I tried to be “just like everyone else”. But I couldn’t change my race. I got teased and harassed daily. I ended up compromising my sense of self in an effort to fit in. I wished I could be chased away.

It wasn’t until I moved to Lancaster for college did I start to feel like I could become myself. It took a long time for me to rediscover exactly who that was. Now that I have found myself, I would never dream of moving back to Hanover.

Of course things are better now. But, still, I cannot shake that very unwelcome feeling. Just driving through this dreary little town, looking at how things are getting run down, imagining the mean spirited people that live in these ever more shoddy looking homes…

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Firehawk

I know I just released a pattern earlier this week, but this one just couldn’t wait any longer. My husband has been obsessing over, and constantly playing, the games Borderlands and Borderlands 2. I’ve watched him play so much that I decided to create a shawl inspired by the character Lilith. May I present: Firehawk.

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This is a two color shawlette that starts with a lace border knit sideways. Stitches are then picked up and the body is worked from the bottom up. The slipped stitch cable and texture pattern give the illusion of a third color.

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The Baah! LaJolla yarn used is fantastically bright and vibrant. Any of the beautifully saturated Baah! colorways would look great for this shawl.

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Because it’s worked from the bottom up, your stitch count gets smaller and smaller making the knitting feel both fun and fast.

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It’s shape is an exaggerated semi-circle, really more like 3/5 of a circle, meaning it will sit on the shoulders and hug the neck better than a straight top shawl.

Here are the details:

Size: One Size
Measurements: 40” wide by 18” deep
Yarn: Baah! La Jolla (100% merino; 400 yds [366 m]/100 g): pink tourmaline (MC), 1 skein and california poppy (CC), 1 skein
Needles: US #6 [4 mm] 24” circular
Gauge: 22 sts and 34 rows = 4” in st st, BLOCKED
Notions: stitch markers, cable needle, tapestry needle

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Mercurial

Just in time for Spring, I’ve been hard at work creating this stunning lace shawl: Mercurial.

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Knit from just one skein of Aurora Yarns Silk Dreams (1090 yds), this circular shawl is 44″ in diameter.

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Mercurial features three different lace patterns that swirl to create this beautifully sunny medallion.

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This shawl starts from the center with just a few stitches and ends with a simple and clean crochet chain bind off.

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Here are the details:

Size: One Size
Measurements: 44” diameter
Yarn: Aurora Yarns Silk Dreams (70% superfine merino, 30% silk; 1090 yds 1000 m/100 g): #112 sunshine
Needles: US #3 3.25 mm 24” circular and set of 4 dpns
Gauge: 24 sts and 32 rows = 4” in stockinette st, BLOCKED Notions: US D 3.25mm crochet hook, stitch markers, tapestry needle

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Overlay Vest

The latest issue of Knit.Wear is available for preorder or download! I have a pattern in this issue: Overlay Vest.

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© Interweave Press

I’ll be the first to admit, I don’t love the styling on this piece. The front pieces of the sample are 20″ wide…for a 32″ sample, it’s supposed to drape in the front. I would guess this model is wearing it with at least 4-6″ of negative ease.  It fits her like it fit me, and I was a 38″ bust.

© Interweave Press

© Interweave Press

See how the side seam is not on the side, but on the back? Yeah, definitely too small for her.

© Interweave Press

© Interweave Press

This “vest” is knit with just one skein (for most sizes) of Suri Elegance by The Alpaca Yarn Company. Suri Elegance is a delicious suri alpaca lace weight yarn.

The back is knit from the bottom up, but the fronts are knitted side to side. This makes the pattern fun to knit despite it being stockinette.

Here are the details:

FINISHED SIZE 32 (36, 40, 44, 48)” bust circumference. Vest shown measures 32”.
YARN The Alpaca Yarn Company Suri Elegance (100% suri alpaca; 875 yd 800 m/3 1/2 oz 100 g): #1301 silver, 1 (1, 1, 2, 2) skein(s).
NEEDLES Size 4 (3.5 mm). Adjust needle size if necessary to obtain the correct gauge.
NOTIONS Stitch holder; tapestry needle.
GAUGE 20 sts and 36 rows = 4” in St st.

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TNNA Coupon

This week is going to be crazy busy. I’m getting ready to take a trip out to California to attend the TNNA show in Long Beach. I’ll be staying with my favorite designer and friend, Corrina Ferguson. Together we will hit the show floor, schmooze at the social events, and crash at the hotel.

For this trip I’m going as two people. First, as myself the designer. Second, as owner of Stitch Sprouts. It will be a fun adventure, but mostly work.

As a designer I will be meeting with companies who have graciously sent me yarn for the book and making contacts with companies for future projects. I also have a collection in planning for Fall that I will be looking to get yarn ideas for. (Which reminds me, I still have to make sketches and print out proposals…)

As Stitch Sprouts I will be looking for sales reps and otherwise spreading the word about the company. Pattern distribution is the main part of the business and it’s important to have reps out there showing the patterns to potential yarn store customers. I will also be checking out booths and planning to have my own at the Columbus show in June.

I have never flown by myself before. My biggest concern? Getting lost in the airport and missing my flight. Yes, I really do think this could happen, and no, I’m not joking. I am a space cadet. I made sure to book my layovers with plenty of time in between flights to help with this, but you never know…I’ll be that crazy lady you see running frantically through the airport to get to the terminal on the other side only to realize that it’s not even the correct terminal.

The second concern, luggage. I’m going to attempt to take only a carry-on and laptop bag. So, I need to pack light. This really should not be a problem considering that it’s 70-80 degrees in Long Beach; I won’t have to pack any heavy clothes. But I will be taking catalogs, samples to wear, and yarn for knitting.

My last concern is of course about money. I don’t really have the cash to spend (especially with my upcoming surgery), but feel that this trip is important for business. So, in order to help, I’m having a sale! Please check out my Ravelry pattern store. All single patterns are 50% off when you enter the code TNNA at checkout.

Now I have lots of tasks to complete before leaving so if you see me socializing too much online, tell me to get back to work!!

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Surgery

I’ve gone back and forth about posting this…but I do want to start sharing more about myself and my life here on my blog. So, here goes…

In February I’m having surgery. More specifically, I’m getting a hysterectomy. I have a large-to-me (3.6 cm) submucosal uterine fibroid. It’s causing all sorts of issues that I won’t go into, but the bottom line is it has to be treated.

Here were my treatment options:

  1. Partial fibroid removal. Partial because they cannot remove the whole thing without leaving my uterine wall too thin and unstable. This means it will grow back. How fast? No way to tell. They think this has been growing over many years and only now has started causing problems. It could be 5, 10, 20, years until it starts causing trouble again at which point I would have the same choice to make…Or this procedure might not fix anything at all.
  2. Hysterectomy. This is the only definitive treatment. I do have two other fibroids, but they are on the outside and not causing issues…yet. They will also continue to grow. Getting the uterus removed will eliminate all and ensure none grow back.

Most people I talk to about this are worried or sad for me. Sad that I won’t be able to procreate, and worried that I’m undergoing something unnecessary. But I don’t feel worried or sad. Well, ok, I’m worried, but mostly because it’s surgery, and there’s always a fear of complications with any surgery.

Children have never been on the agenda and to quote my doctor, “Uteruses are only good for making babies. If you don’t want babies, there’s not really any reason to have one.”

The good news is I will be keeping my ovaries so I won’t be going through early menopause. This also leaves the door open for egg harvesting if I decide later that I absolutely must have a child from my own DNA.

The surgery is as minimally invasive as it can get. No longer does this procedure require an open abdomen operation. Everything is done through a couple of tiny incisions. I will stay one night in the hospital and then go home. Most normal activities can resume after two weeks and full recovery after six. I’m hoping to get quite a bit of knitting accomplished during my down time.

Do you still have your uterus?

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