Ethel Rose Knits

I’m off on a new adventure with my friend and fellow designer, Sima Brason.  We have some new designs and we’re teaching some classes in the NY/NJ area.  Ethel Rose Knits is our collaboration and we’ve named it for our maternal grandmothers ~ Ethel is hers and Rose is mine.  Pellegrino, pictured below, is my first design for Ethel Rose.  (Ettle, coming early next month, will be hers.)

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The story of my maternal grandmother is one of perseverance and I have heard it told since I was a small child. The eldest of 6 children, Rose left to be with her husband, John, who had already emigrated to the US. Her mother-in-law, with whom she lived after her marriage, begged her not to go in the hopes that John would return. She was torn between being a good daughter-in-law and being a good wife, and returned my grandfather’s ticket twice before she eventually left. She never saw any member of her family again.

Six years later, during the long labor in which Rose delivered her only child (my mother), her lung collapsed. She then developed tuberculosis and as was the custom at the time, was sent away to recuperate, leaving her infant daughter with her husband and family friends for almost 2 years. When she returned, her daughter did not know her.

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She was widowed at 48 when my grandfather died suddenly. She went to work as a seamstress and raised her 12-year-old daughter alone in a country without one relative to help her, but refused to go back to her country because it was my grandfather’s wish that his daughter be an American.

It’s a sad story, yes, but in the retelling I always find inspiration. I can’t imagine being brave enough to do those things. Rose was an amazing woman. Through hardship and difficulty, she never gave up, and it makes me proud that she’s my grandmother.

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And so, my first design for Ethel Rose Knits is Pellegrino, my grandmother’s maiden name.  When I looked up the meaning of “pellegrino,” I found that it meant “pilgrim,” a coincidence I find wonderfully strange.  Just like the Pilgrims, my grandmother came to a new world where things weren’t always easy, but through perseverance found a way.

You can find Pellegrino on Ravelry.  If you’re a subscriber to the Paper Moon Knits newsletter, you’ll receive monthly news and special offers.  (There’s one for Pellegrino in the newsletter this month.)

UNICEF

In all the year end/year beginning things I needed to do, I forgot to tell you about the money raised for UNICEF, (although I did remember to post in the group thread on Ravelry).  If you’re an American over the age of 40, you probably remember collecting money for UNICEF when you went trick-or-treating at Halloween.  UNICEF would send our schools a little “put-together” box, and as we went from door-to- door amassing our haul of candy, we would ask if there was also something for UNICEF.  People would drop pennies, nickels and dimes into our box.  It made an impression.

UNICEF is the United Nations’ International Children’s Emergency Fund.  It was started after WWII to help the millions of children who became refugees because of the war.  Unfortunately, there are still lots of children who are refugees, but UNICEF does a lot more.   You can read about their work here.  They do wonderful things.

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During December, when A Collection of Smooth Stones (a hat and mitt set) was released, I announced that the month’s sales would be going to UNICEF.

I’m happy to announce (belatedly) that we raised $107 and I rounded up a little for a total donation of $210.

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Thank you to everyone who was so very generous!  Knitters are great people.

 

A thank you for 2015

Before the year ends, I just want to take this time to thank you all for coming along on the Paper Moon Knits journey with me.  Whether you read the blog, subscribed to the newsletter, bought a pattern (or two), joined the Ravelry group, knitted one of my designs, wrote a lovely comment, hit that favorite button, test knitted, or cheered me on, I’m tremendously grateful.

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And just because, I have a little gift for you…Angle of Incidence.  It’s a capelet with a slanted front panel ~ top-down and seamless in worsted weight yarn with no (or a tiny bit of optional) finishing.  Free  until the end of the year if you subscribe to the newsletter.  If you don’t you can do that here and still get it for free.

So, thank you.  Couldn’t have done it without you.  xoxoxox

Went to the beach…

Today, I’m releasing A Collection of Smooth Stones, an ebook with two patterns ~ hat and mitts.  The ebook (my first) is 25% off until Christmas Eve, with all of the money raised from its sale until that time going to UNICEF.  No coupon code is needed.  I’m pretty excited about the ebook, although you can certainly buy the patterns separately, too.

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Last Sunday, the first in December, we went to a local beach to shoot these for the pattern.  The beach is unique because right about where we shot the first set of pictures, there is a river that flows into the Long Island Sound (fresh water flowing into salt water = brackish water = lots of unusual wildlife).

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My daughter and model, Connie, didn’t want to drive up there (about 15 minutes from the house), but it was so gloriously sunny and relatively warm, that I kind of insisted ~ tee hee.  It was a gorgeous day and we probably could have spent a longer time there, just hanging out, she especially.

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We saw a woodpecker in the dunes, feasting on some insects.  He didn’t budge, even when we got close.

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And apparently, it is THE place for dogs to stroll this time of year.  (These were only some of the last “pack.”)

BomBella Designs

As you know by now, I’m one of the many indie designers participating in Ravelry’s 2015 GAL.  The GAL runs until the very last day of 2015, but the sale for the GAL patterns ends this Friday.  Last week, I featured Hanna Maciejewska’s work, and today, I’d like to share with you another designer whose patterns I admire.  They are quite different, but just as wonderful – Ella Austin.

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Ella designs independently on Ravelry as BomBella Designs.  Many of them are whimsical and put a smile on your face.  Ella was kind enough to gift me with her Tawny Owl pattern, which I will be making as part of at the Toys, Home & Other Miscellaneous Things category of the GAL.  I’ll be knitting this up in some Quince & Co. Finch that I have in stash.  What’s so appealing to me about many of her patterns is that there’s a bit of colorwork to keep you interested, clever construction, and that they make me smile.

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I asked Ella to tell me the backstory on one of her GAL patterns.  She chose   Oh My Butterfly.  Here’s what she wrote:

Oh My Butterfly was designed with the aim of using up and displaying small amount of beautiful handdyed yarn.
The pattern includes three suggested uses for the butterflies.

The mobile was inspired by a painted wooden butterfly mobile that I loved. I bought it when I was 16 and it was part of the broken fairtrade stock in the Oxfam shop I was volunteering in. I bought it and repaired it at home. Who said mobiles were just for babies?!

The hairclip is ideal for silky yarns. I imagined them looking gorgeous on bridesmaids with the yarn dyed in colours to match or compliment their dresses. A perfect fairytale finishing touch.

For the framed taxidermy style butterfly, I thought this would be a great use for the leftovers from a very special skein. This finish also has an option to include a label where you can display the yarn base and colourway names in place of the latin name for the butterfly specimen.

The butterflies are lots of fun to knit and use a lot of short rows and shaping -it takes some concentration at first but after knitting a few wings they become intuitive.

When I first saw this design, I had to chuckle.  It’s such a cute idea and I especially love that they can be “put under glass” as if they were real specimens.

Another pattern I think is wonderful is  Fancy Hen.  I’ll be using Rowan Felted Tweed from stash in some yellow and lavender.  I can see it gracing my kitchen, but in fact, I’ll be making the first one for a friend whose undergoing a kitchen renovation.)

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Check out Ella’s GAL designs here and enter giftalong2015 as the coupon code to receive 25% off until this Friday, November 27th.

Hanna, the Amazing

My good friend Hanna Maciejewska is an amazing designer who is also participating in the GAL. If you don’t know her, I’d love to introduce you to her. I don’t knit from patterns much anymore, preferring to design my own, but knitting her patterns is such a treat that I try to do it as often as I can.

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I asked Hanna to do a little interview and explain the design process for a favorite piece. Hanna chose Petrichor  and Little Petrichor.

Here’s what Hanna had to say:

These cardigans evolved after I had published my Get the Picture hat featuring the same stitch. A lot of people asked me for the sweater with the same stitch pattern and I thought: “Why not?!” Open front cardigans are one of my favorites, so I decided to design a simple, classic open cardigan with raglan sleeves and pockets hidden within the hem. Something comfortable and wearable, something you can slip into when you go for a walk in the park with your kids or for a cup of coffee with your friends. I had the perfect yarn for such sweater – Hektos from Julie Asselin. And that was how the adult sized “Petrichor” came to life. A few weeks later I was asked to design a kid size sweater with Libby Summers Fine Aran and I thought it would be perfect for a “Little Petrichor”. Both cardigans are knit top down, absolutely seamlessly (with pockets joined to the hem as you go). All raglan increases are charted, too.

Here are two of Hanna’s patterns that I’ve made:

Thanks to Hanna for participating and for her wonderful designs. I feel lucky to know her!

 

Warwick Colorwork

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Warwick Hat

Winter submission proposals are usually due just as everyone in these parts (the Northeast) is finally done with winter.  After last winter, it was hard to think about another cold, snowy season, but I had some ideas I thought would be a good fit for Interweave’s call for submission for their Winter 2016 edition.  This was to be their “classics” issue with plenty of cables and colorwork.

One of the proposals I sent in was for the Glimster hat.  Here’s what my proposal looked like.

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As you can see, the hat had already been completely knitting.  Usually with small things like this, it’s silly to do a swatch when the hat itself wouldn’t take much more time.  I always include some inspiration, which in this case was a painting by Stanley Cursiter and a knitted cap from the Shetland Museum’s collection.  I always name my submissions and this one was called Glimster.

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I was in love with the yarn, too.  It’s The Knitting Boutique’s Severn DK, a blend of 75% wool and 25% silk and absolutely lovely.  The Knitting Boutique is now offering the hat as a kit on their website here.  You can choose one of the two color options that were done for Interweave or even pick your own.

The Knitting Boutique is owned by the lovely and wonderful Dianna.  I met Dianna in January of 2013 and she generously gave me a skein of Severn to try.  (I chose the Midnight colorway.) As soon as I started working with it, I knew I had to have more, so I bought some in Amber.  I had an opportunity to go on the TKB retreat in the spring of 2014 with some of my friends and we had a blast.  We then popped into her beautiful shop.  You really must go if you’re anywhere near Baltimore.  Their boutique yarn line includes more than just Severn.  You can see all the beauties here.

When Interweave contacted me to let me know the design had been accepted, they wanted the hat as it was.  I then asked if they wanted me to do another in an alternative colors and when they agreed, I contacted Dianna again.  She and Heather, who dyes each of these exquisite yarns, told me to choose my colors and they custom dyed them for me.  So excited.

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Merlot & Light Moss version

When the hat went to publication, Interweave changed the name to Warwick.  The Knitting Boutique also contacted me to be part of their Saturday morning podcast.  I’ve been listening to the podcast for awhile now and it’s so much fun.  ‘ll be speaking about the hat in Episode 15 (November 21st edition).  You can listen to all the podcasts here