Happy S-Oc(k)tober 1st!

IMG_20140918_185342Last week saw the first of the series of storms that usually brings our cold weather on, and it was so lovely to wear boots for the first time in a long time. The only thing that could make it better was the addition of hand-knit socks inside the boots.

I have a whole drawer (albeit a small drawer) full of handknit socks, some that rarely get worn, and I’ve come to the conclusion that my sock knitting should be for other people. At least for a little while. I’m making the dude a pair of striped socks, and meanwhile I’m coveting yarns from gynx and Spun Right Round for imaginary pairs to grace the feet of the people I love.

I also ran across this stunning sock again on Ravelry today and wanted very much to cast on a pair for myself even though I have 3 WIPs on the needles right now, and entirely too much to knit before Christmas.

To celebrate my deep and abiding affection for the humble handknit sock, all of my sock patterns are 15% off through my Ravelry Store (and this site which uses Ravelry’s cart system). Just add the patterns to your cart, and check out. No coupon needed, the discount will be automatically applied.

Mrs. Crosby & Broadwyn Giveaway

Satchel GiveawayMrs. Crosby is lovely, as is her yarn. Satchel, which I used for the Broadwyn Shawl, is a buttery Superwash Merino Wool Fingering Weight. It was a difficult decision which color to pick for Broadwyn, but in the end, I am a sucker for gray, and it would photograph well. So I chose Greystone.

But Mrs. Crosby’s yarn fairies were kind enough to send me 3 skeins of Satchel in “Green-Tailed Grackle”, a deep and glorious mix of greens for a giveaway! I’ll throw in a copy of Broadwyn (for you or for a gift if you’ve already bought the pattern) to make the giveaway complete.

So… here’s the deal… leave a comment on this post telling me where you would wear Broadwyn and I’ll pick a winner at random on Friday, September 26.

Yay! Looking forward to hearing from you!
M

Update: Out of 56 comments, the Random Number Generator picked #12, which is Sara! Congrats Sara! I sent you an email! :) Thanks for participating, everybody!

Broadwyn Shawl

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Broadwyn
Broadwyn is an asymmetrical triangle knit from the short end, with decreases on one side & a lace panel on the other to make a long scarf-like shawl. With i-cord all around (an i-cord cast on, then inline i-cord edging), it is a modern & dynamic addition to any wardrobe, no matter how you drape it. Throw it on, toss the end around, and enjoy! I’ve also posted an I-cord Cast-On tutorial to support this pattern. You can check it out here in my YouTube Channel

Broadwyn3
Yarn: 875 yards of fingering weight yarn. Shown in Mrs. Crosby Satchel (100% Merino Wool, 370 yds in 100g) in Greystone.

Gauge: 22 sts & 36 rows = 4 inches (10 cm) square in garter stitch after blocking.

Needles: 3.5 mm (US4) needles for flat knitting

Notions: tapestry needle for grafting and weaving in ends, 2 stitch markers.

Finished Size:80 inches (203 cm) long & 23 inches (58.5 cm) wide at the widest (cast-on) end (see schematic)

Techniques Used: knit, purl, k2tog, ssk, kf&b, sl1 k2tog psso, yarnover, p2togtbl, slipping stitches with yarn in front and with yarn in back, markers, grafting.

Broadwyn6

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It’s also available on Craftsy :)

The Art of Slowing Down

This poor blog, once created as a way to connect with the outside world, and basically neglected for the last few years.

It’s been over year since I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. 4 months of getting worse while I was participating in a drug trial (and by all indications on the placebo), and 9 months of trial and error with supplements, medication, exercises, and foods trying to find a place where I can be both happy and healthy.

I seem to have found a good place (but what works today could stop working tomorrow), and I have started being able to design again. And I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to feel even remotely like myself.

I’ve learned a lot in the 9 months though, and learned what boundaries my new normal has set for me. I won’t be releasing a pattern every month like I did when I started doing this full time. I can still teach or go to events, but I need a week afterward of doing absolutely nothing to recover. And I’ve learned the importance of writing things down. I simply can’t trust my brain from moment to moment to remember what I need it to remember. If I don’t write it down, I won’t remember it when I need it (My Bullet Journal and how I use it will be a topic in a future post). I’ve started to look at resting and down time as a necessary part of my day-to-day. And I need to take time for myself.

Self-care has taken many forms for me. I do a sun salutation every morning (daily yoga and stretching help with the pain and muscle weakness), I eat less but more frequently (I found that I get sick and exhausted after eating when I only eat 2 or 3 times a day), and I can’t afford to block out or ignore what my body is telling me anymore. When my body tells me I’m tired, I need to take a nap. When my sleep has been less than restful, I need to plan an easy day.

All of this has led me to learn to slow down. I still want to do ALL THE THINGS, but I’ve learned what I can do, what I can’t do, and what I need to do RIGHT NOW. And it’s a much slower pace of life than I’m used to. But it seems that in slowing down, I’ve also started to see a lot of things I didn’t see before. I stop at regular intervals to pet my cats, instead of waiting until they demand my attention. I have found the pleasure in washing my face instead of just feeling like it was something that had to be done in order to get on with the day. And being home so much has helped me realize ways that I can shape my space to make me feel the most comfortable and at ease. You see different things when you walk a trail than when you ride a train past it.

I feel the turmoil in my brain slowing, and it’s really nice. I’m hoping that the lack of brain-on-a-hamster-wheel will help me to bring back this whole blogging thing. Taking the time to plan and type a blog post might even prove therapeutic. Another thing that I can do to occupy my mind while resting my body.

Hopefully more from me will be forthcoming :)

M

Breccia Cowl

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BrecciaCowl3
Announcing my first crochet pattern! Simple crochet stitches, with an easily memorizable repeat make this cowl a quick and fun project. Work it in a drapey yarn for a sophisticated look. If you want to learn to crochet, check out Kim Werker’s online class, Crochet Basics & Beyond.

BrecciaCowl2

Yarn: 220 yards of DK weight yarn. Shown in Anzula Vera 65% Silk/35% Linen, approx. 365 yds in 4 ounces in Storm.

Gauge: 18 sts & 8 rows = 4 inches 10 cm square in pattern after blocking.

Hook: 5.5 mm I/9 or size needed to obtain gauge.

Notions: 2 stitch markers, waste yarn or spare needle to hold stitches. Tapestry needle to sew seams and weave in ends.

Finished Sizes: 22 inches 28 cm circumference & 10 inches 25.5 cm tall.

BrecciaCowl1

Stitches Used: chain, slip stitch, double crochet, single crochet, double crochet increase, single crochet increase, double crochet decrease, single crochet decrease.

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Monthly Sale: Cloisters Wrap

Hey everyone! I’m trying to do more promotion of my back catalog patterns. You’ll see some oldies but goodies pop up in the blog, and every month an older pattern will be on sale. If you’d like to be notified of the sale every month you can sign up for the Knitter’s Newsletter.


For the month of August, the sale pattern is the Cloisters Wrap. To get the pattern at 15% off, just purchase it before the end of the month! The discount will be taken off during checkout.

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cloisters2

Cloisters recalls the architecture of the buildings that housed monastic communities of women. Delicate traceries of lace recall the ornate grills that separated the cloister from the public in visiting parlours, while peaked arches mimic graceful spires and alcoves.

Check out the great finished version on Ravelry! And check out EraLunaris’ scarf version!

cloisters6

Gauge: 24 sts and 36 rows per 4 inch (10 cm) square in Chart 2 pattern after blocking.
Finished Measurements: 24 inches (61 cm) wide, 80 inches (203 cm) long.
Yarn Requirements: 1100 yards (3.3 ounces) laceweight yarn. Sample shown in Shivaya Naturals Merino Lace in ‘Sunset’
Needle Size: 3.25mm (US 3) straight or circular needle for flat knitting or size needed to obtain gauge.
Pattern Includes: charts and text translations of charts
Stitches Used: knit, purl, yo, k2tog, p2tog, ssk, sl1 k2tog psso, Centered Double Decrease.
Other Details: This wrap is worked from one short edge to the other with no grafting and joining in the middle. The border patterns are designed to be similar enough to match, but not exactly the same.

cloisters5

Monthly Sale: Tart Lime Socks

Hey everyone! I’m trying to do more promotion of my back catalog patterns. You’ll see some oldies but goodies pop up in the blog, and every month an older pattern will be on sale. If you’d like to be notified of the sale every month you can sign up for the Knitter’s Newsletter.


For the month of July, the sale pattern is the Tart Lime Socks. To get the pattern at 15% off, just purchase it before the end of the month! The discount will be taken off during checkout.

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7-365

Ribbing flows smoothly into twisted stitch cables, for a subtley shifting texture that creates a squishy and comfortable sock. The stitch motif eases out of the ribbing at the cuff and decreases back into the ribbing on the top of the foot, mimicking the peaks and valleys of the stitch pattern.

Check out the great finished versions on Ravelry!

tartlime3

Gauge: 16 sts and 25 rounds per 2 inches (5 cm) square in Chart 2 motif
Finished Measurements: To fit 7-9(9-11) inch (18-23(23-28) cm) foot circumference(see notes). 7.75 inches (19.75 cm) from cuff edge to top of heel flap
Yarn Requirements: 360 (450)yds of fingering weight yarn. Shown in Chameleon Colorworks Twinkle Toes in ‘Walk the Lime’
Needle Size: Set of 5 double points in 2.50 mm (US 1.5) or size needed to obtain gauge.
Pattern Includes: charts and text translations of charts
Stitches Used: knit, purl, k2tog, ssk, Left Twist, Right Twist, slip with yarn in front and with yarn in back.
Other Details: These socks are worked from the cuff down with ribbing at the top to keep them up. The pattern changes subtly as the cuff progresses, and reverses the order of stitch motifs down the instep. The pattern includes a heel-stitch flap heel, and a wedge toe.

tartlime2

On my love affair with Granny Squares

GrannyHex+KittyI learned to crochet when I was 8. But my love of Granny Squares came a bit later. An 8-year-old doesn’t have a lot of free cash to buy bunches of different colored yarns, and I would save my allowance or raid my mom’s craft room stash to make doll blankets, and covers for tables, but I didn’t start to feel the granny love until my first year of college when we moved to a different house and I truly realized how large my scrap stash had grown. I had tons of colors, but not enough of any one to really do a whole project. I was knitting by this time, and I had started working with more natural fibers. Most of my scrap stash was acrylic or acrylic wool blends, and I figured I should either use them or get rid of them. :)

About this same time, my long-abiding love of hexagons had begun, and when I saw a granny hexagon pattern I went to town.

Tilted GrannyI ended up making 2 granny hex afghans (one for me, one for my then-boyfriend, now husband), and made a woobie (our term for a special blanket) for my youngest brother.

As with most of my crafty pursuits I was trying to come up with a way to change it up from a standard granny square, so I made up this tilted granny block. You work the first two rows like a normal granny square, then rotate it on the diagonal and work a corner in each flat side and anchor it on the corner of the previous row with a slip stitch. Then the square is reacquired and you keep going.

Granny squares are so much fun! If you’d like to get hooked on granny squares yourself, check out mine and Amy O’Neill Houck’s knitty article complete with step by step instructions on granny squares.

And as an actual-granny tie-in, check out the granny square afghan complete with corner tassles that my Great Grandma Rose (click the link for her picture) made for her son! It now belongs to me and I treasure it :)

<3
M

GrandmaRoseGranny

Monthly Sale: Desdemona Shawl

Hey everyone! I’m trying to do more promotion of my back catalog patterns. You’ll see some oldies but goodies pop up in the blog, and every month an older pattern will be on sale. If you’d like to be notified of the sale every month you can sign up for the Knitter’s Newsletter.


For the month of June, the sale pattern is the Desdemona Shawl. To get the pattern at 15% off, just purchase it before the end of the month! The discount will be taken off during checkout.

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desdemona1

This traditional square shawl is inspired by the character of Desdemona from William Shakespeare’s great tragedy, Othello. Desdemona’s handkerchief, which was given to her by Othello upon the occasion of their marriage, bordered in strawberries, becomes a pivotal object in the intrigue, betrayal, and ultimate death of both Desdemona and her beloved Othello.

Check out the great finished versions on Ravelry! I especially love MaryCatharine’s beaded silk version. Stunning!

desdemona7

Gauge: 18 sts and 30 rows per 4 inch (10 cm) square in body pattern after blocking
Finished Measurements: 37 inches (94 cm) square.
Yarn Requirements: 950-1000 yards (about 4.5-5 ounces) of laceweight yarn. Sample shown in Wooly Wonka Merino Tencel Laceweight in ‘Crushed Strawberries’.
Needle Size: 3.25mm (US 3) 32 inch (81 cm) circular needle or size needed to obtain gauge.
Pattern Includes: charts and text translations of charts
Stitches Used: knit, purl, k2tog, k3tog, sl1 k2tog psso, ssk, yo
Other Details: The body of this shawl is worked as a flat square, then stitches picked up all around and a border worked outward in the round. On every odd numbered border round, yarn overs on either side of the corner stitches shape the border.

desdemona2

Nesoi Tee

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Nesoi Tee 1
This tee is knit from the bottom up in two ribbed sections (front and back), then joined into the round and worked with waist shaping to the underarms. It is then split into front and back again to the shoulders, where it is joined with a 3-needle bind off on each shoulder.

Nesoi Tee 4

Yarn: 660[775, 910, 1060, 1220, 1400] yards of light fingering/heavy laceweight yarn. Shown in Anzula Breeze (65% Silk/35% Linen +/- 750 yd/685 m) in `Lenore’

Needles: US 4 (3.5mm) 32-inch (81 cm) circular needle or size needed to obtain gauge

Notions: 2 stitch markers, waste yarn or spare needle to hold stitches. Tapestry needle to sew seams and weave in ends.

Finished Sizes: XS[S, M, L, 1X, 2X], with bust sizes of 30[34, 38, 42, 46, 50] inches (76[86, 97, 107, 117, 127] cm). See schematic for further dimensions

Nesoi Tee 3

Techniques Used: knit, purl, ssk, k2tog, placement and slipping of markers, make 1 left and right (with instructions included).

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