Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

The finished product of my frantic sewing this month: Henry and Anne!

The was also a fabulous cake, made by a fabulous friend, with a fabulous real spaghetti squash top!
I hope you all have a very happy Halloween! Keep it spooky :)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Organizing is Fun!; Or, Hexagon Polish

A while ago I regaled you with my polish collection and its unwieldy strength being tamed by a good notebook and numbering system.

Well, it did occur to me that there was a flaw in that notebook system: I couldn't see all the polish swatches at once, and couldn't easily compare them to each other for the mixing and matching I so like to do.

Here's a couple of my solutions.

Solution one: make it like a picture.

This is just a random, pretty, oval frame I had kicking around.
I simply counted the number of polishes in the collection, drew out a map (to make sure they'd all fit on the page), and dripped one drop per bottle onto the paper.
I now regret adding the names of the polish in there. My printing is so terrible, it makes the whole thing look messy.

Solution two: magnets ahoy!

I'm much more pleased with this one.

Step 1: Get cheap or otherwise useless cookies sheet.
Step 2: Buy some small magnets, or better yet, that magnet tape stuff.
Step 3: Using white cardboard, cut out all the little hexagons.
Step 4: Swatch away!
Step 5: Attach magnets to back of hexagons.
Step 6: Write name/number of polish on back of hexagon for easy reference.

Voila! I think I'd like to display it on the wall somewhere. Have it as an "art" piece.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Holla Knits Accessories Giveaway Winner

Drum roll please....
The Random Number Generator has spoken, and the winner is Ricki Koppel. Congratulations!

Please leave me a reply here or email me to let me know your email address.
If the prize isn't claimed by Friday, I'll draw another winner.

Thanks everyone!

Ghosts Blog Tour Finale: Podcast Surprise!

Yeah! Subway Knits, my favourite knitting podcaster, has reviewed Ghosts.
Have a listen to Episode 42 here.
There's a coupon code for 15% off any Ghosts purchase in the show. Have a listen :)
She also talks about this year's Rhinebeck which I (sadly...) didn't get to go to.
Next year!
If you're not a regular listener, I'm sure you will become one. I really enjoy her style, and she and I have a few similarities. Recently, she's gotten into nail polish! Woo! Which is something you might be seeing in a CanaryKnits post verrrrry soooon.....

Friday, October 26, 2012

Ghosts Blog Tour: Stop Eleven, and Two Surprises!

So excited!
Today is the day the Ghosts tour makes a stop at Tiny Owl Knits.
This is a designer who, I'm sure, needs NO introduction :) So instead, I will tell you that you can fly on over there to read a very kind review of Ghosts. I blush!
And, send you to this video of her lovely song, Getting Better. (and, I'll admit, sometimes when I'm feeling down, I play this song and feel better. No joke. It's so light and lovely and uplifting).

I've got a few surprise blog tour stops today too:

Two new chances to win!

Kristen Hanley Cardozo has written an incredibly thoughtful review of Ghosts on her blog today.
She's also offering a chance to win a copy of Ghosts; you can comment on her post to enter.
But even if you're not interested in Ghosts, you should visit her blog. It's always thoughtful. She ran a very interesting series of posts a few months back about the male gaze in knitwear photography. Fascinating.

Kindly, Knit and Purl Mama has written a review and provided a giveaway for the full collection. Check out her post to see details of eligibility.
Check out her blog for one of my favourite features, link love Monday. Particularly the one about Halloween.

Indie Designer Revisited

Designer: Eline Oftedal
Blog: By Eline
Rav ID: elineof
Some Great Designs: elineof's Rav Designer Page
Original Indie Designer Post: November 13, 2009

This designer has been publishing wonderful things since I profiled her three whole years ago.

Plenty of fantastic pieces have been self published: check out the cozy All Seasons Slippers (sized for men and women), and the beautifully dainty Lace Capelet Victoria  (pictured). 

And there's the many magazine publications, including Lacy Leaf Capelet (from Vogue Knitting, Holiday 2010), Summer Cardigan (from Plymouth Yarn) and the wonderfully textural Lava Top (from The Knitter).

All her patterns give me a sense of solidity; they're all strong, well-designed pieces, and share an aesthetic despite their diverse types. She's designed several lacy capelets, pretty items featuring colourwork, potholders, hats, scarves, cardigans, gauntlets and more.

It's no surprise that she's currently working on a book to be published next year in autumn. I can't wait to see it!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Ghosts Blog Tour: Stop Ten

Pay a visit to Wandering Cat Studio today to read an interview about Ghosts.
Oh yeah, and don't miss out on the beautiful yarn in her etsy shop. Holy cow, it's fab!

I also wanted to post a little video here about Rites. It's the ruffly, blue scarf from Ghosts, and is one of the most fun pieces I designed for it. Here I stand, in the historic Hamilton City Cemetery, and show you a few different ways to wear this knit.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Ghost Blog Tour: Stop Nine

Visit Herrlichkeiten's blog today for your chance to win a copy of Ghosts.
Make sure you check out her pattern page on ravelry, too. She *might* have been profiled on a past indie designer day!

Halloween Happenings 2012; Or, I Get my Costume On

It's not *all* about Ghosts around here!
As the focus of that ebook implies, I love me my Halloween.
It's the most wonderful time of the year.

This past week has been filled with me furiously bedecking my home and making plans for my annual party.

A glimpse of the front lawn.

The backyard's been taken over too!

My living room has a few decorations arranged so far, but I have plans to make a bat mobile as well.
If it goes swimmingly, I'll have to share that with ya'll.

But the most time consuming project's been my gown.
It's from the Simplicity's 2589 Misses Tudor Gown pattern.
I'm going as Anne Boleyn, as has become my tradition, getting all English queen-y n' stuff.

My boyfriend has the distinct possibility of being a dead-ringer for Henry VIII, which is truthfully the main reason I decided to Boleyn it up this year.
I may be jinxing myself, but I'm hoping to have his costume as the murderous king completed in time for the party as well (that is, I have a grand total of nine days to get this done. Yikes).

Ok ok, I'll be fine (I think). I just have to, you know, make it from scratch and stuff. It's not easy to find an (affordable) man's Henry VIII costume pattern out there. Even with the entire English-speaking internet at my disposal.

I have a back up plan: if I fail (which is a distinct possibility, I tell you), I just might go as my very own Calavera Catrina (aka, sugar skull. See AWESOME makeup tutorial here.)
The boyfriend? Not sure what he'll do. I'll come up with something. Or, you know, not fail at making his Henry VIII costume.

I've also been pinning like my pants are on fire.  Watch my antics here. My favourite pins so far: I must try this glow in the dark icing, and creepy corpse cocoons.

Do you have any favourite Halloween decorations, crafts, snacks, treats, costumes and the like? Let me know! I want to make this party a-rockin.

I leave you with a pic of the cool and creepy eye-ball lights that're currently glowing in the bushes.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Holla Knits Accessories Blog Tour

sent to Allyson
Woo woo! Blog Tour stop for Holla Knits Accessories!

I have this great honour today, and I've chosen to do a few things on this tour stop:

1) Have a wee look at the pattern I've designed for  this new publication, Knight Service.
This is a fun little piece, which is basically a solution to my desire to have a little (just a little!) bit of Lady Gaga about me. It's also a stress-free way to get the beading bug satisfied. I've beaded with tiny, tiny seed beads before, and let me tell you, working with something that has a 2+mm opening is a *dream*.

sent to allyson

2) Go on about how great all the other patterns are!
I actually didn't get a chance to see any of the other five patterns in the Accessories collection until just before publication. It was such a great treat! I love them all!
There's Scallop of the Sea, a pretty, oversized clutch that serendipitously managed to align with my newfound addiction to sewing. This pattern lets to stretch out your intarsia muscle, but also gives you the opportunity to shop for some lovely fabric to line the bag, and practice your zipper-sewing skills.

Black Swan is something that looks like it needs to be in my wardrobe right now. A super cropped top (or perhaps rather long, sleeved cowl?), this is something that would be a quick knit, and add interest to a plain, everyday outfit. I hope my description's intrigued you! Go look at the pics. It's cool beans.

The Wallpaper Cowl is such a great combination of delicate pretty and bright and trendy.  This knit has such great potential to allow you colour-play freedom. Imagine the combinations you could create on both the exterior damask-like print and solid interior!

A cute little bag with a long strap, Multiplicity is both functional and fashionable. I can't count the number of shops this season carrying small bags with long, cross-body straps. And, to make this extra attractive to a knitter, it has some fun colourwork (double knitting, to be precise).

And I had to end with my favourite (though it is rather difficult to choose!), the Snowball Bonnet.  You might have noticed lately that I have a thing for bonnets, so when I saw this one I nearly had a knees-weak situation. Not only is it a bonnet, but it's a bonnet with the same sort of style that I *love* in my knits. The sort of style I try to weave into my own designs. This is a dream bonnet. And let me tell you why:
-check out those long, wide straps!
-love the loopy texture of the bonnet itself. Knitterly challenge ahoy!
-it has pom poms people. Pom poms.

So yeah, we all need to go out and knit us some of that.

3) I'd like to give you a chance to win a copy of Knight Service!
You can enter to win by leaving me a comment on this post, letting me know how you heard about Holla Knits. I'll keep the giveaway open until Friday, October 26 at 11:59 pm EST, and announce the winner on Monday, October 28.
I'll share my story: I came across this fairly new knitmag on the Designers forum on Ravelry. When I saw it was young and fashion-forward, I knew it'd hold some great patterns that'd be right up my alley.

4) I also want to point you in the direction of the rest of the Holla Knits Accessories Blog Tour. Check it:

October 8: The Sweatshop of Love
October 9: Under the Red Umbrella
October 10: Rohn Strong
October 11: Emma Welford Designs
October 12: Knits in Class

October 15: Bumblebirch Designs
October 16: Audrey’s Teashop
October 17: Gynx
October 18: Adaly Myles Place
October 19: Canary Knits

October 22: Webs Yarn Store Blog
October 23: The Sweatshop of Love Hosts Homestead Heirlooms!
October 24: Knitted Bliss
October 25: Stash, the Knit Picks Staff Blog
October 26: Holla Knits hosts Tara Shade! 

Good luck everyone!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Ghosts Blog Tour: Stop Eight

I have the great (and very flattering!) pleasure of having Ghosts reviewed by the super talented knitter Alex Tinsley. If you visit her blog you have a chance to win a copy of Ghosts by leaving a comment on the post, letting us know who your favourite ghost is! (I nearly laughed out loud when I read her mention of Devon Sawa in Casper. I suspect she and I are about the same age, because I remember clearly when my 12-year-old-self was crushin on that boy.)
 I like this idea. I want to share too!
It's very hard to choose, but I'm going to take the route of fictional ghost and pick the increda-scary Woman in Black. Holy crap people, have you seen that movie? I couldn't sleep right for a week. It was so scary, I was easily able to get past the fact that Harry Potter was starring in it.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Ghosts Blog Tour: Stop Seven

You might recognize Kathleen Dames from her beautiful and classically feminine designs, my favourite lately being Sotherton from Jane Austen Knits Summer 2012. It is so amazing! Those fantastic cables!

I've been lucky enough to add her name to the blog tour! Today's stop: her blog, where you can comment for your chance to win a copy of the ebook by sharing your favourite pattern from the collection, or a ghost story!
You can get yet another chance to win by joining her Ravelry group.
Stay tuned on her blog: tomorrow she's going to share one of her ghost stories! I can't wait!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Ghosts Blog Tour: Stop Six

Today Threadpanda has kindly offered to give away not only the entire collection of Ghosts *and* give you a review, you can also enter for a chance to win a hank of MAD TOSH!
Hop over to her blog here, and for an added bonus, like her on Facebook for a second chance to win!

I thought I'd also include a little video here, showing some details of the Calavera Catrina bonnet.
Thanks everyone!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Indie Designer Day

Designer: Hilary Hunt
Rav Group: Purls of Wisdom
Rav ID: PurlStudio
Some Great Designs: PurlStudio's Rav Designer Page

Want a pretty, quick little knit?
You need to check out PurlStudio.

I'll limit myself to two patterns today: checking out her designer page on ravelry is a treat!

First is the pictured The Organic Shrug. First off, this is free! And so cute! I think it's very wearable. I love the texture and the weight of the yarn.

She hits the same fantastic note with The Organic Mushroom hat. Again, this is a free pattern (hint hint: may I suggest a last minute gift for your fashionable family and friends? We certainly are entering the last-minute gifting season!) It uses a heavier weight yarn, and employes a simple lace stitch to make for an interesting slouchy hat.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Ghosts Blog Tour: Stop Five

Allyson Dykhuizen is a kind, fun, fantastic designer who I've recently worked with on her young and fashionable knitwear pattern publication, Holla Knits.
This multi-talented lady also teaches, blogs, AND designs! How she finds the time, I know not.

And, she also very generously offers up her blog for the Ghosts blog tour. Visit there today to read a review of the book.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Announcing: Holla Knits Accessories Issue. Knight Service, Baby!

I'm very happy to announce I have a pattern featured in Holla Knits' 2012 Accessories issue!

Here you see Knight Service, a beaded shrug which is, "(w)earable in any season and for any reason, Knight Service can carry you through a glitzy New Year’s Eve party in chilly January, a wedding reception in sunny June, an every-day-work-day in mild September, and even a dress-up-this-t-shirt-and-jeans outfit for popping out to do some shopping any time!"

Ok, I admit, I had a lot of fun writing up that description. But it's totally true! And I have to tell you, I can't wait to get the sample I knit back so that I can start wearing it again!

I'll be part of the blog tour for Holla Knits Accerssories; in a few days, I'll be sharing with you some more of my thoughts (read: squee) over the many other awesomenesses in this issue.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Ghosts Blog Tour: Stop Four

Today's blog tour stop goes to the fantastic The Sexy Knitter!
She's kindly written up (a very flattering!) review, and is offering a chance for you to win a copy of the entire ebook of Ghosts.

She mentions in her post that she and I have similar design styles. It's so true! I've loved her work for a very long time. How can you not love someone who designs capes, lace-topped socks and knits herself THE MOST AMAZING jumpsuit evar.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Indie Designer Day

PhotobucketDesigner: Katja Ottosson
Blog: Woolly World Knits
Rav ID: Kutja
Some Great Designs: Kutja's Rav Designer Page

Beautifully photographed and filled with wonderful designs, Kutja's blog is a fantastic place to visit on a breezy October afternoon.
(I particularly like this post about the importance of blocking).

It gets me in the knittin mood, especially when I'm greeted with patterns like Arya (pictured).

Smocked Sheaf Beret might be my favourite pattern she's yet published.  While it might be a simple beret, it has a fantastic texture that puts a spin on this traditional autumnal hat.

There's also a pair of fingerless mitts she's published: Canella. A simple cable runs up these mitts and makes for an easy, quick knit, the perfect sort of thing for a last-minute gift!

When I asked Kutja about being featured as an indie designer, she said:

"I’m working on a couple of new designs over the next period, which I’m very exited about. :)"

Me too!

Since then, she's published Webby, a slouchy hat, and Avena, a pair of extra long cabled mitts.
Looking forward to her next designs!

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Ghosts Blog Tour: Stop Three

Visit Knitted Bliss today for a review of Ghosts and your chance to win a copy!

If you haven't read this blog before, I think you'll become a fast fan.
Julie fills her posts with beautiful photography, interesting content, wonderful designs, and every Monday features knitters who mod designs into new pieces.

Comment on her blog to have a chance to win a copy of Ghosts!

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Ghosts Blog Tour: Stop Two

Today's tour stop is at Jane Richmond's lovely blog.
I've always admired her designs, (profiled her back in 2008!)

One of my favourites is Bazan, but I love them all! She does wonderful things with a bulky weight yarn.

Comment on her post for a chance to win a copy of the finished ebook.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Ghosts Blog Tour Begins

The Ghosts blog tour has begun!

Visit these kind bloggers as they post reviews, interviews and giveaways for Ghosts.
I'll be blogging here along with the tour, and send you all off in the direction of the day's latest stop.

Today, visit the talented Hilary Smith Callis over at The Yarniad for your chance to win the entire ebook collection!

Other tour stops include:
Wed Oct 3rd: Jane Richmond
Thurs Oct 4th: Knitted Bliss
Tues Oct 9th: The Sexy Knitter
Thurs Oct 11th: The Sweatshop of Love
Monday Oct 15th: Threadpanda
Wed Oct 17th: Kathleen Dames
Thurs Oct 18th: Dull Roar
Monday Oct 22nd: Herrlichkeiten
Tues Oct 23rd: Wandering Cat Studio
Thurs Oct 25th: Tiny Owl Knits

Monday, October 01, 2012


It's officially here. Ghosts: historiographies, cultural manifestations, and the knits they've inspired is live!

To purchase the ebook or individual patterns, click on over to Ravelry.
You can check out more details on the Ghosts page on the blog here.

About the book

Conceptually sparked by the effect changing technology has upon historic and contemporary perceptions of ghosts, Ghosts is more than a collection of unique, whimsical accessories and garments for the autumn season.

Months of research have gone into writing essays which explore how different cultures, historically and contemporarily, view the “physical” apparition of a ghost.  This research inspired a collection of 11 patterns, ranging from scarves, mittens and hats, to a pullover, cloak and skirt.

The essays (though stemming in the main from scholarly journals and books) are written in an informative, easy-to-read manner.

Interested in knitting a pattern from Ghosts? Hop on over to the KAL on my Ravelry group here for company, answers, advice, a coupon, and a chance to win one of three prizes!
In order to be eligible, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You must be a member of the Canary Knits Ravelry group.
  • You must have at least one photo of your finished object being modeled by someone.
  • Your FO must have a coordinating project page, with photos, which links to the pattern.
  • You must post a photo of your finished object to this thread before midnight, EST, October 31, 2012.
  • Each finished object you complete will give you one entry to the draw. Numbers are assigned to projects according to the order qualifying FOs are posted to the thread. The winner will be chosen using the Random Number Generator and announced on November 1st.

    The prizes:
    1) a gift certificate for $30 US at Knit Picks
    2) 5 balls of Knit Picks Palette yarn, colourway Oyster Heather (same as Galoshans!)
    3) a copy of the entire ebook of Ghosts

    Note: if winners have already purchased the entire ebook, a second Knit Picks gift certificate will be entered as a prize.

    Details to come tomorrow about the blog tour.