Friday, July 31, 2009

Indie Designer Day

PhotobucketDesigner: Natalie Jacobs
Blog: Organic Stills
Etsy Shop: Organic Stills
Rav ID: organicstills
Some Great Designs: organicstills' Rav Designer Page

With the summer in full force, I've been having fun looking at beautiful sock patterns.

Organicstills has a lovely collection of these very items, and I present you with her Harpa Socks (pictured), an adorable free ankle sock pattern. I'm particularly enamoured by the toe detail. What a great way to extend the lacey pattern while maintaining sock-toe integrity!

Rustled Up Socks are another pretty pattern, inspired by an autumnly colourful English street from the designer's childhood. Always a big fan of said season myself, I can definitely feel the falltime inspiration emanating from these socks.

Looking forward to cooler times, Roman Holiday Mitts are a good beginner project, as organicstills outlines here:
"As the pattern stitch is worked all the way around, there is no difference between the left and right hand mitts. The cables can easily be done without a cable needle."

If you take a look at her blog or etsy shop, you'll find that she is also a talented photographer! Here photography site, Organic Stills Photography, is certainly worth a look. Being thus creatively inclined, organicstills states that in both her photography and knit designs she is, "...inspired by things that are natural in my environment. Photography makes me look at shapes, colors, formations etc. with a different eye, and I think that helps with designing."

Excitingly, she also crochets - and the word is that we might have some of those crafty designs to look forward to in the near future!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Bonfire Briar; Campside Attire

As some of you noticed in my recent camping pics, I've been up to some poncho-esque knitting.
Pattern: Bonfire Briar
Yarn: Lamb's Pride Burly Spun, 2 hanks, in Fuchsia

PhotobucketHaving fallen in love with this particular shade of hawt pink bulky bulky yarn, I thought cabley funtimes experimentations were in order.

Despite the fact that this pattern is simply a stumpy tube, it's actually rather useful, as I found out when I premiered it at my recent family camping trip. It kept me quite warm and comfy during the breezy parts of the day and chilly times of the night.

...And don't think I didn't try to get some decent pics of me actually wearing it around the campfire. Alas, my imagined smores-making, poncho-sporting photos by firelight didn't turn out in the least.
Bonfire Briar - on blog
So instead, you see me frolicking on the hammock (très relaxing, btw. Especially when accompanied by a good book and mottled sunshine. And Lady Grey tea. Hmm, I need to go camping again, methinks).

The cables ended up coming out alright, though as usual, not quite as twisty and turny as I had envisioned.
I played with the idea of making a big-ish flower to stitch on one side of the poncho. Something like this, this or this.
Would you have added this flower?
Should I add it? I think I'm looking for an excuse to knit some flora.

Reader Appreciation Summer FunTime Giveaway!

PhotobucketWelcome to the seventh installment of the Reader Appreciation SummerFunTime Giveaway!

Congratulations to last week's winner, Hilary.

I'll be taking another break next Sunday from the giveaway. It'll return on August 9th.

Here we go with week seven.

This week we've got:

-one Baby Book of patterns from the 50s or early 60s
-one single pattern sheet of mitts from the 70s
-three wee sheep, made by me, with purpose unknown. I originally wanted to make stitch markers, but they don't function quite as well as most other stitch markers. They're still cute!
-two small felt owls
-one cotton purse/bag
-one Singer Home Decoration Guide from the 50s. This one is a real gem. It's got how-tos for draperies, slip covers, colour charts, etc...

Good Luck, and thanks for reading!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Indie Designer Day

PhotobucketDesigner: Heidi Hirtle
Blog: Lilibeth's Garden
Etsy Shop: Lilibeth's Garden
Rav ID: lilibethsgarden
Some Great Designs: lilibethsgarden's Rav Designer Page

Looking at lilibethsgarden's designs, I get an overall impression of funky-comfy.
And I'm sure it will come as no surprise to ya'll, dear readers, that I've chosen her sweet Little Red Birdie Felted Handbag to highlight in this post.
(You can check out her etsy shop for other patterns for sale as well).

Another lovely bag pattern is her recently released Ashling. Interesting to note, for all yarn aficionados, is that the currently downloadable version of Ashling is the "Canadian" version - by that, the designer is referring to the Canadian made wool used in the photoged pattern, Briggs & Little Heritage. She says of it,

"[t]his particular version will be specifically made for this wool, as it is the only way to get such stitch definition, without sacrificing thickness, or risking proportional problems.
I’m currently developing the pattern for Cascade 220 Wool, which will give you the same nice lines and thickness, without the stitch detailing. This will ensure a great design that is also nice and sturdy. Cascade will also provide the option of a much wider range of colour options and availability."

As I'm currently wending my way through the great Book of Yarn, a burgeoning yarn aficionado myself, I love this kind o' stuff!

And take a peak at her Cherry Blossom Felted Handbag. Very adorable (and the pattern will possibly be offered for sale!)

Bags aren't the only patterns lilibethsgarden can design - she has a beautiful Crocheted Mesh Scarf (free!) and Orange Cowl that I'm really digging. Check out the third photo of the Orange Cowl - very cool to see it in numerous colours!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Reader Appreciation Summer FunTime Giveaway!

Welcome to the sixth installment of the Reader Appreciation SummerFunTime Giveaway!

Congratulations to last week's winner, Ellen.

Yippee! We continue on to week six.

This week we've got:

-one leaflet pattern from the 70s, with winter hats and scarves
-one leaflet pattern from (probably) the 70s, this time with mitts!
-one child's sweater pattern (guessing it's from the 70s again)
-one wee keychain (says Canada on it)
-four different teas for happy sippin'
-one Good Housekeeping Needlecraft mag from 1978/79

Good luck everyone!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Indie Designer Day

Golden Tulip CowlDesigner: Saccade Elyse
Rav ID: Saccade
Some Great Designs: Saccade's Rav Designer Page

I've talked a lot about design and structure. Saccade has these elements down.
With this designer, however, I seem to have found a yarnny kindred spirit!
Check out the gorgeous choices she makes (fibre, colour, texture and weight-wise) in her knits.

Golden Tulip Cowl (pictured) is a great example. The design itself is interesting and inviting, but is enhanced infinitely by her astute yarn choice!

There's also the Candlelight Shawl which, as you can see from the projects page, looks lovely in a variety of colours. But her original Sundara Yarn Sock Yarn is so pretty it almost purrs.

And, a knit with a great cause, the sproingy-looking Norfolk Island Pine Mitts have a bouncy-leaf-strewn-forest-floor quality about them, because of the yarn! It's important to note that
100% of sale proceeds for this pattern go to the Asian American Donor Program to help encourage registration of potential bone marrow donors from HLA groups who are underrepresented in registries.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Pssst - I'm Lazy

PhotobucketWhat's that about best laid plans? And them oft going awry?
Me and my best laid plans are currently being waylaid by my best laid laziness.
As some of you spotted in my camping post, I've got a new knit and it's on the verge of free publishmentification. Save for the fact that I've ne'er done a cable chart, and am having an issue or two in the translation of my cryptic notekeeping.
The goal is to have it done by the end of July.

We shall see.

Its name is Bonfire Briar.

ps: While I am not lying re: my laziness, I will have to admit that I'm also working on another pattern (or two!!), which, in its colourworky funness, is rather time consuming.

pps: I do believe this post is the winner for the most Firefoxified-red-underlined words (ie: words I've made up just cause I feel like it).

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Reader Appreciation Summer FunTime Giveaway!

Dolce far niente - on blogWelcome to the fifth installment of the Reader Appreciation SummerFunTime Giveaway!

Congratulations to last week's winner, andrea.

Yippee! We continue on to week five.

This week, up for grabs:

I'll send you off a free copy of my Dolce Far Niente pattern.

If you're on Ravelry, I can simply send you the pattern across the virtual Rav space.
If not, I can email you the pdf.

Been busy this week! Next week I'll have a chance to gather a prize package for mailing.

Thanks everyone, and good luck :)

Friday, July 10, 2009

Indie Designer Day

PhotobucketDesigner: strikkelise
Blog: The Nerd and the Needles
Rav ID: strikkelise
Some Great Designs: strikkelise's Rav Designer Page

While this wonderful pattern is already widely known, I couldn't help pointing ya'll in the direction of the Baktus Scarf (pictured, photograph © strikkelise). I love that it was born from a stash-busting ideal. That motivation is almost as lovely as the simple scarf itself. I'm a colour-person, and generally ooo and ahhh over yarn because of its hue. This project really flips my needles.*
Only a few weeks ago strikkelise wrote a great post about the project herself. It includes wonderful details about the pattern, and how it's popularity has grown.

But she has plenty of other patterns, too!
The 48 Hour Mohair Shawl has the same spirit as the Baktus. I really love how it's expressly stated in the pattern notes that gauge is not important. Sweeeet.

And, for a little bit of whimsy, check out her pretty Knitted Flower. Great use for the random button you've got lying around!

*I'm trying out a new knitting phrase. Working? Yeah? mmm, probably not...

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Camping in a Camper is still Camping

I've had me a long weekend break! While very little knitting was done, I do have some pretty photos to share.
It was 4 days in a camper with the whole fam. Food was roasted, smores were ingested, canoes were paddled and novels were read.

Duckweed, floating happily on the surface of a small pond along a trail.

Cute wee froggy, who was rather dazed and unhappy by my camera's bright flash during our night time hike.

Me having fun with the nighttime setting on my camera. Check out my brother's cool blue flashlight.

Taking pics as I go for a ride in the canoe.

Standing atop a lookout tower, giving a nice view of the lake and surrounding forest.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Indie Designer Day

Beanpole BeanieDesigner: Rachel
Rav ID: rachelknitter
Great Design: rachelknitter's Rav Designer Page

This week our Indie Designer comes a bit early. I'm away from the interwebs for a few days (enjoying the greenness of summer) and so have a lovely green hat to present to you all.

I've had a thing for this lovely hat for quite some time now - perhaps the designer's own words speak best on the Beanpole Beanie itself:

"I live in the Windy City, so when I need a hat, the hat needs to mean business. I find the gauge on most hat patterns to be too loosey-goosey, and I end up with an earache as a result. So I’ve gotten myself into the habit of automatically going up a yarn weight on most hat patterns. That won’t be necessary here. This pattern was written with a gauge of steel. The recommended gauge on Cashmerino Chunky is 3.5 stitches per inch on US 10.5 needles, but I knit this hat on size 7 needles to obtain a gauge of 5.25 stitches per inch. This produces a windproof, but not at all stiff fabric. If you prefer to use a yarn a little closer to standard gauge, substitute a worsted weight yarn."

I love a design with such purpose! Functional and purty :)