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.
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).
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.
We saw a woodpecker in the dunes, feasting on some insects. He didn’t budge, even when we got close.
And apparently, it is THE place for dogs to stroll this time of year. (These were only some of the last “pack.”)
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.
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.
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.)
Check out Ella’s GAL designs here and enter giftalong2015 as the coupon code to receive 25% off until this Friday, November 27th.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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
Besides lace, cables are my very favorite thing to knit. I love the way that simply by changing the order of the stitches, a completely complex pattern emerges. And much like colorwork, I always want to do “just one more row” of the pattern.
Today, the Winding Road hat is making a comeback. It’s a design originally made for a yarn company that, sadly, went out of business. They had a lovely Corriedale used for the original hat. I loved this hat and didn’t want it to disappear simply because the yarn had, so it’s been reworked and the pattern has been re-written with new charts and new photos and it now comes in two sizes instead of just one.
This one has been worked up in Plucky Knitter Primo Worsted in color Wintry Mix. Primo Worsted is a wonderful blend of Merino, cashmere and nylon that’s perfect for hats. And it takes less than one skein!
A coupon code for a free download of the pattern was sent to subscribers of the Paper Moon Knits newsletter. It’s good until the 15th of this month. If you’re not a subscriber, you can still get the code by signing up for the newsletter here. My little gift for all of you who come along with me.
Just as I was patting myself on the back for being so good about writing regularly on my blog and sending out my PMK newsletter each month, things went awry! Excuses are for sissies, but here they come anyway:
School started back up for me and I have a new position (so learning curve), and I’m now responsible for planning lessons for a range of ages from 4 – 14!
Knitting deadlines piled up. I had 2 pieces due October 15 and 2 pieces due October 21st. Then the October 15th pieces got moved up to September 30th. My family asked me why I do this to myself, but really, as a designer you submit, cross your fingers and hope they’ll like your submissions. When they do you’re thrilled, but then everyone’s publishing at the same time of the year, so all the deadlines fall one on top of another. You can’t stagger them. It’s the nature of publishing knitwear patterns.
A new job in the industry. I’ll talk about that another time, but needless to say, it involves time. (Doesn’t everything worthwhile?)
So here’s what I offer you…
A new design in Interweave Knits for Winter 2016 — the Warwick Hat. The online magazine is out today. Love this hat, love this yarn, The Knitting Boutique’s Severn DK, love the people at The Knitting Boutique, especially Dianna and Heather. Thank you, thank you. (I’ll write more about this design and The Knitting Boutique next week, but just so you know those wonderful people at The Knitting Boutique are offering the yarn for this as a kit here.)
A special mid-month newsletter ….I was sending these out at the end of the month, but there’s a re-release of a popular pattern that I’ll be giving away to newsletter subscribers. If you’re not signed up, do that before Friday, November 6th to get the pattern here.
I’m back on track now, hopefully no craziness in the next few months (just the holiday craziness, I guess). Knitting weather is in full force here in the Northeast. No excuses!
This morning I released Barnstorm, a roomy pullover with just a bit (26 rows) of colorwork.
When the fall and winter set in, I am always cold. So originally, my idea for this pullover was to create something a tad oversized, warm and appropriate for wearing inside or as a layering piece, outside. To make Barnstorm casual and add comfort, I added slits at the hem and cuffs, but I wanted to create a bit of interest there, too, without distracting too much from the yoke, so there is a spin on a simple rib.
My daughter, the model in the pictures, is wearing the sample size (39-3/4″) with about 3-1/2″ of positive ease. Of course, you could adjust the fit by knitting up a smaller or larger size. The pattern is written in 8 sizes ranging from 35-3/4 to 57″
Yarn was also important for this one. (Is it ever not?) Quince & Co. Owl and Owl Tweet are a blend of 50% wool and 50% alpaca. Quince does a great job with these two because they have the warmth I was looking for without making the pullover too heavy.
The colorwork pattern has 3 colors, but I think the pattern would look just as nice in one color or even two. I used Owl Tweet Russet, and Owl Cinnamon and Chamomile as contrasting colors, with the main color being Abyssinian.
I’m itching to wear Barnstorm, but it’s still a little too warm here on Long Island. Sitting in the bleachers at high school football games is right around the corner for me, though, and this is wear I’m going to give my Barnstorm its debut!
P.S. There’s a coupon code for everyone and a special one for subscribers to the newsletter.