Tuesday, January 29, 2013

And the winner is...

 The winner of the ISLAND giveaway is Bonnie!
Congratulations :)

I'll be in touch.

Thanks to everyone for entering the draw.

You can follow along with the book tour and enter other draws for this wonderful book.
Here's the tour list, including a stop today at my friend the Yarniad!

29th - The Yarniad
31st - Knitted Bliss

5th - French Press Knits
7th - Truly Myrtle
12th - Noodlehead
14th - Miso Crafty
19th - SweetGeorgia
21st - A Playful Day

Friday, January 25, 2013

Indie Designer Revisit

Designer: Susanna IC
Blog: ArtQualia
Rav ID: zuzusus
Some Great Designs: zuzusus' Rav Designer Page
Original Indie Designer Post: September 5, 2008

(Ok, I know I've already revisited Susanna IC about this time last year, but I super love her work and she's always publishing more!)

Everybody knows the wonderful Susanna IC, right?
So for this first indie designer revisit of 2013, I'll simply say:
-she's brilliant
-when I first profiled her about 4.5 years ago she had about five patterns, and now she has 85!
-she publishes prolifically in magazines (eg. Knitty, twist collective, Interweave Knits) as well as her own self publishing on ArtQualia
-check out the lovely:

Ferywen, (pictured) one of her more recent designs, has a wonderful little designer's inspiration on the pattern page: "For Ferywen, Welsh for ‘juniper’, I wanted to create a lace pattern which would combine Celtic shapes with the geometry of evergreen leaves and branches. I used some simple nupps to mimic the texture of juniper berries; however, these can be easily replaced with beads for a bit of extra sparkle."
Fascinating! Of course her work is consistently knittable, wearable, and attractive, but to have such a rich and direct relationship with the original inspiration makes the term "lace shawl" seem just insufficient to describe this piece!

Published in Knitty's Deep Fall 2012, Beithe is another example of her poetry in yarn. The diamond lace motif (much resembling an birch leaf) stands as an autumnal symbol, using both the simple beauty of the natural leaf shape and culturally-invested value of a diamond's preciousness in a wearable fusion of that season's glory.

Yep, I like her work.

Though she specializes in shawls (so many to mention, please see her rav designer page above!), I wanted to point out that she's adept at other garments:

Hercynia is a simple, pretty, hat and mitts set.

 really gets me. I love this lace cape. Maybe it's just that it's Susanna IC's, so it's great; but I think it's also that I so appreciate the thought that she always so apparently infuses into her designs. For example, this one is resplendent with gothic architectural motifs, and we all know how much I dig those!

Suffice all this to say: she rocks. Keep it up. And as always, looking forward to your next design!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

ISLAND: Jane Richmond Blog Tour and Giveaway

© Nicholas Kupiak
I've been a Jane Richmond fan for years. Her work is consistently impressive, wonderfully wearable, and fashionable.
Her aesthetic is on display in her new book, ISLAND.

More than just a knitting book, ISLAND is a visual and creative experience showcasing the majestic beauty of Vancouver Island. Filled with designs & fibers that are true to Jane's classic and modern aesthetic, ISLAND not only makes you want to knit, it also inspires you to lose yourself in an adventure of your own.

This really is more than a knitting book.
Flipping through this book will transport you, and put you in the best of moods. It's like a coffee table book; fantastic photography dominates the first half, with the pattern instructions and details following in the back.

And these patterns exhibit that wearable and fashionable Jane Richmond aesthetic .
© Nicholas Kupiak
There's five pieces in total:

A beautiful, one-skein cowl, (check out all the lovely FOs on Ravelry!), this piece plays a great little knitting trick: it appears to be wrapped around in layers, but utilizes short rows to achieve this effect instead.  

Fingering-weight knits always steal my heart, and Grace is no exception. It's a pretty, simple cardigan, one you can imagine yourself wearing all the time. It has a wide size range, from 30"-50" bust measurements.

This toque is knit from the bottom up, but inside out. Very cool! I love this idea, as it maximizes the use of knit stitch. You also get instructions for a shorter, beanie version and longer, slouchy version with this pattern.

An all-season accessory, this light and airy scarf will be at your side the whole year round.

A pair of fingerless mitts that anyone would love, Rathtrevor are sized to fit an average woman's hands. They make a lovely pair with the Strathcona scarf!

Good to Know:
-ISLAND is a beautifully photographed book with five new patterns from Jane Richmond
-you can purchase each of the patterns individually as pdfs on Ravelry
-there are ebook and print versions
-ISLAND is available for purchase online at Ravelry, and on Amazon.com, Amazon.ca and Amazon.co.uk
-you get a selection of adaptable and unique accessory and garment patterns
-listen to this episode of the Pagan Knitter podcast for an interview with Jane about ISLAND
-read details about the book on Jane Richmond's site
-read info about the design process for each pattern here

You can enter to win a signed copy of ISLAND!
Just comment on this post with your favourite pattern from ISLAND to be eligible. And please remember to leave your contact info so I can let you know if you've won!

Contest closes January 29th. Winner announced January 30th.

Follow along with the ISLAND blog tour for more chances to win signed copies of the book!

8th - Vancouver Yarn
10th - KD Quilts
14th - Canadian Living
17th - Celtic Cast On
22nd - Canary Knits
24th - Hey Jen Renee
29th - The Yarniad
31st - Knitted Bliss

5th - French Press Knits
7th - Truly Myrtle
12th - Noodlehead
14th - Miso Crafty
19th - SweetGeorgia
21st - A Playful Day

Friday, January 18, 2013

Indie Designer Day

Designer: JumperCablesKnitting
Blog: JumperCables Knitting
Rav ID: JumperCables
Some Great Designs: JumperCables' Rav Designer Page

If you like pretty, feminine, and simple shawls, scarves, and cowls, then you need to have a looksee at this designer's work.

JumperCables (as you may deduce from her rav name) loves cables, and it does make an appearance in her work, but overall there's a focus on beautiful, uniform, and often understated texture.

Take the pleasingly synchronous January Scarf (pictured).  A perfect example of simple shape, texture and technique to create a fantastic finished project.

Chilly Cowl also demonstrates this sensibility. Shape and texture play wonderfully together in this pattern, creating something that would look oh-so-stylish just peeking out from the top of your bundled-up winter coat.

With a name like Duck Soup you know it's got to be a good pattern. This one has the same JumperCables aesthetic; she's smartly photographed this simple scarf in a variety of styles, showing just a glimpse of what you can do with a basic shape and fashion-imagination.

To round off this designer recommendation, I'll point you to something entirely different in her Mayfair.  A simple (and sturdy!) looking accessory.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

What the 80s Mean to Me: Holla!

Today my inept fumblings with less-than-ideal technology have been exposed to the interwebs.

That's right: from today into infinity (or, until my vimeo account is killed), you can feast your eyes on my silly self in a me-made video for my upcoming Holla Knits Spring 2013 design.

There's also a much more interesting/less embarrassing guest post I've written up on the Holla Knits blog.

Check it!

I'm also curious: do you have a favourite fashion era? Do you like to pick and choose bits from certain styles? Share! I'd love to know :)

Friday, January 11, 2013

Indie Designer Day

Designer: Christine Guest
Blog: Christine Guest Designs
Rav ID: ChristineGuest
Some Great Designs: Christine Guest's Rav Designer Page

Warm up with the fun designs of ChrsitineGuest!

First up, The Holly Mittens. I superlove the 3D holly. The berries are created though bobbles (created as you go) and the leaves are appliqued on afterwards.
They look so warm and cozy, and the holly keeps me thinking of Christmas without being totally Christmassy.

The Attelboro Sweater, a crocheted garment, utilizes two colours of yarn to highlight a pretty, lacy yoke and comfy long sleeved sweater. It's got a great story, too:
When I was a High School Student in the 1980’s, I wanted to make a cozy sweater that took the best of current fashion, and something a princess would wear while fighting along side Robin Hood.
Thankfully, what I got was this sweater.
Lastly, I'd like to point you all to the Herringbone Parallelogram Scarf.  A basic and attractive unisex pattern, this piece is written with the option of four different yarn weights. I love that idea! Why didn't I think of it before! Creating such a versatile yet simple pattern, and making it even more accessible to people by writing it up in a variety of weights. Fantastic!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Emerging from Holiday Slumber

I happen to love the wintery-religiousy-seculary- holidays.
It's the second best holiday-time of the year, with Thanksgiving and Halloween topping my list o' faves.
This year, though, Christmas has an edge because, let me tell you, my brother scored high points on the awesome-o-meter with his very surprise gift to me: knitting-themed mugs and tea pot!

Needless to say, it's been knitting mugs all the time over at my place.

I don't know where he bought them; he was a bit vague on where "in the mall" it was, so unfortunately I can't point ya'll in the proper direction to score these beautiful objects.
But I'll get it out of him. Oh yes. I will.

ETA: He bought them from Think Kitchen, and their brand is Stokes Porcelain. I'm sad to say a quick intertubes search this morning produced no results. I think all the knitters bought them up right away!

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Elbie is Famous!; Or, Centrefold Bird

I have this unweildy habit of getting myself started on far too many crafty-type projects than one human should assume they can handle.

Over the holidays I decided it would be great fun to make myself a 2013 calendar.
Because really,
1) those art supplies from art school lo those embarrassingly-many years ago aren't going to use themselves!
2) where else, pray tell, can one find a calendar of one's pet, dressed up in amusing outfits? WHERE!?

Nowhere, that's where, except for the bizarre and often quite silly depths of my odd-duck imagination.

Forthwith I will be sharing these singularly amusing monthly images.

Here's the little feathered jerk in a pair of lederhosen.

HA! Take THAT Elbie! I put you in LEDERHOSEN! Mwuhahahaha! The internet is looking now! You have no place to hide, bitey bird!

(note to self: it may not be best for one's mental health to take personal vendetta against most beloved pet out on one's crafting blog.)

Friday, January 04, 2013

Indie Designer Day

© magic-photographer.com
Designer: Kamila Janiszewska
Blog: jan kamila knits
Rav ID: JanKamila
Some Great Designs: JanKamila's Rav Designer Page

In knitting, for me, imagination trumps elegance and color trumps consistency. I’m inspired by different stories, Polish folklore, striking color combinations, and… my stash - necessity can indeed often be the mother of invention.

This lovely quote comes from JanKamila's designer page, and I think it's a great introduction to her patterns.
And, which she says imagination trumps elegance, I think the two are very well intertwined in her aesthetic.

She currently has two published: Wintering (pictured) and the adorable Toothy (Wintering is to be worked up in a worsted version in the near future!)

Stories being an important aspect to her patterns, I was excited to learn that JanKamila is currently working on a longer sequence of patterns, of which Wintering and Persephone’s Plaits are both a part.
Check out Persephone's Plaits: it has the same warm, cozy feel as Wintering, great design with classic details.

You can see the same asethetic at work in Mori and Emi Mitts. Currently both are listed as finsihed projects; I have the inside scoop that they're the next designs to be worked up in to patterns!

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Thistle Garden Cardigan: Lacy Zen Wonderland

I'm very happy to finally share with you a pattern I've been working on for the past few months.

The Thistle Garden cardigan is knit in Zen Yarn Garden's Serenity Worsted yarn. In fact, it was designed to be knit with this beautiful, glorious stuff.

or, purchase the kit from ZYG.
I'd never worked with ZYG before, but after having created this cardigan with it, Serenity Worsted has shot to the top of my favourite yarns list!
Just check out that colourway!

And seriously, even if you don't care for Thistle Garden, I recommend getting yourself at least one hank of Zen Yarn Garden's stuff. Just check out their site for your closest retailer.

Here's the details about the cardigan:

You don’t have to say good bye to lace in the cold weather! Thistle Garden will keep you warm and satisfy your desire for lace at the same time.
The worsted weight used in this pattern is worked up in a textural seed stitch, providing a comfortable and casual knit you’ll find yourself wearing throughout the chilly months.
Lace decorates the cuffs and front closure; the overlapping lace panel is unobstructed by buttons, and instead has two rows of snaps to fasten the cardigan.
Nearly seamless, the top down raglan design skims your body with waist shaping and 0 ease.
This pattern features both written and charted instructions for the lace.

Kit Information
The price per skein of Serenity Worsted is $32 but with your purchase of this kit, we are extending a 20% discount for the volume purchase for a price per skein of $25.60. The price per pattern is included in the kit price for $8 and will be sent to you via PDF attachment.
Skills Used
knitting in the round
simple lace
Zen Yarn Gardens Serenity Worsted, 175 yd / 160 m per 100 g hank, 7 (7, 8, 9, 10, 11) hanks, colourway Dragonfruit
3.75 mm/#5 circular needles and double pointed needles
18 sts and 24 rows to 4” / 10 cm in Seed Stitch Flat
18 sts and 28 rows to 4” / 10 cm in Thistle Lace Flat
XS (S, M, L, XL, XXL) See Garment Schematic for finished garment measurements
29 (33, 37, 42, 45, 50)” / 73.5 (84, 94, 107, 114, 127) cm bust; this garment is designed with 0”/0 cm of ease. Choose the bust measurement which is within +/- 2” (5 cm) of your actual bust.
14 (14, 16, 16, 16, 16) snaps, approximately 0.5” / 1 cm across