Monday, February 25, 2013

Blog Tour: Vintage Inspired Baseball Knits

Full disclosure: Allyson Dykhuizen of the Sweatshop of Love is one of my designer buds.
She's awesomecool, very fun, creative and talented.

Even setting that aside, her new book Vintage-Inspired Baseball Knits would have caught my attention. And let me tell you why:
-I always love a thematic collection. This one has the specific focus of baseball history. Allyson researched historic baseball sweaters and other team-wear; her passion for the game is palpable in this collection.
-six patterns for only $9.99! That's amazing!
-you can purchase Vintage-Inspired Baseball Knits as an ebook or hard copy. I love that!

You can purchase the book on Knit Picks as well as Ravelry. The book is $9.99, and individual patterns can be purchased for $4.99.

Here's a quick run-down of the patterns included:

© Knit Picks
A cuddly and wearable cardigan, this garment harkens back to team sweaters baseball players used to wear.

© Knit Picks
This sweater has some very cool button placement, creating a neckline that'll keep you good and warm on a chilly game night!
Also: make sure you visit the ravelry pattern page to see some cool pics of baseball players wearing this very sort of garment. Well-designed, Allyson!

© Knit Picks
I love the beautiful, crisp lines of this blanket! A very useful knit to have at your side through an early-in-the-season game. Knit in your team's colours, make it larger or smaller, this is a great customize-able pattern.

© Knit Picks
Here's an example of some of the cool research done for the book:
"The New York Knickerbockers were one of the first ever baseball teams, and were the first team to wear uniforms, which back then were glorified pajamas and nothing like the uniforms we see players wearing today. Somewhere along the way baseball merchandizing took off, and now female sports fans are in a world of bedazzled pink crop tanks and short shorts." (source)

© Knit Picks
A great summer tee, this piece is named after after Ann Harnett, the first woman to join with the All-American Girl’s Professional Baseball League. What you can't see in this pic is the cute racerback straps! 

© Knit Picks
This adorable onesie will make for fantastic photos to look back on when the little one is old enough to join little league!

I'm sure you're all keen to win a copy of one of these patterns.
To enter the giveaway, please comment on this post, letting me know your favourite of the six patterns from Vintage-Inspired Baseball Knits and your ravelry ID (or other way to contact you!)
I'll random-number-generate the winner on Monday March 4, and your favourite pattern will be sent to your directly!

Before you go:

Check out this great little video with Allyson

And follow along with the rest of the blog tour!

Mon Feb 18 - Magical Grammar
Wed Feb 20 - Under the Red Umbrella
Fri Feb 22 - The Yarniad
Sat Feb 23 - Voolenvine

Mon Feb 25 - Canary Knits
Wed Feb 27 - Adaly Myles Place
Fri March 1st - Subway Knits

Friday, February 22, 2013

Indie Designer Revisit

Designer: Sara Peterson
Website: knottygnome crafts
Rav ID: knottygnome
Some Great Designs: knottygnome's Rav Designer Page
Original Indie Designer Post: January 9, 2009

Four years later, and knottygnome has so very many new projects to share!

She's had a funky cool pattern, the Jellyfish Scarf, published in Interweave Knits Accessories, the lovely Furlough Socks in Knitcircus magazine, and a multitude of wonderful self-published pretties.

Of which, I'd like to point out my favourite: Tinderer.
You must go check out the other images of this hat on the pattern page. It's so lovely in its duo-chrome simplicity. The pom pom makes my day, and the tradition star motif makes this a modern, wearable classic.

And, before you go: take a look at Prep School Cat. The grey kitty is certainly sporting the vest with class! The other cat... I think he's rather unamused.

PS: sign up for her newsletter here.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Styled by The Sexy Knitter Herself!

I'm very happy to share with you all this Polyvore style set created by The Sexy Knitter.
This is Knight Service for the Spring, casual style.
I love everything about this! The hair band is adorable, the bag irresistible! Knight Service complements this outfit perfectly.

Thanks Sexy Knitter!

Knight Service: The Original

I really dig the beads on Knight Service.
And, inspired by the idea of styling (as outlined in yesterday's post), I thought I'd show a few options for the original Knight Service.

If you dig any of these ideas, just remember: Knight Service is on sale for only $2 this week! Pick it up soon, only two days left!

Knight Service: office style!

And here casual (though admittedly, since I work in the arts, I'm allowed to get away with this as "office wear").

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Knight Service: Style Boards

I've said more than once that shrugs, and specifically Knight Service, is a pretty versatile pattern. When I knit up the warm-weather version of this piece, the very talented Allyson Dykhuizen suggested that we put together some Polyvore sets, showing just how this shrug can be multi-styled.

If you dig any of these ideas, just remember: Knight Service is on sale for only $2 this week! Pick it up soon!

Here you see my styling for the office.
Comfy, warm, professional, feminine.

Allyson's styled it pretty for formal.
I really love the colour combinations she's included. I think I need to find that dress!

Here she shows it casual.
(side note: omg, you can include nail polish in your Polyvore sets? I saw this on Allyson's, and totally copied her for my last two!)

And here it's two-ways for the beach. I couldn't decided if I liked the shorts look or the dress better!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Knight Service Spring

This week only, you can buy Knight Service for 50% off. That's a total of $2!

See this post on the Holla Knits blog for more info.

And why take a second look at Knight Service? It's been re-done for Spring.

Singing the Praises of Spring
Living in a temperate zone is exciting. Being able to see the transitions between seasons makes each year both familiar in its cycles and yet new and different each go-round.
Everyone has their favourite season, and I have to admit that Spring was never one of mine. Sure, you’ve got all the flowers coming up and the birds shaking off the snow, but, you’ve got to give up all that glorious Winter knitting!

It’s a sad day when they all get their last wash before storage, and trundle, verily unhappily, into plastic bins for the next six months. So when I can find a pattern that has the ability to season-straddle, and make itself magically transform, I get all keen on it. Avoiding the storage-trundle-of-sadness is totes good.
Knight Service is one of those pieces.

Its debut as a cold-weather garment capitalized on its strengths of warmth (using a wool based yarn), and the metaphorical and physical heaviness that those months’ fashion can bring (the beading acting as statement-making accent to any outfit).

With some simple alterations, Knight Service can show off its warm-weather strengths, too!
Spring brings sunshine, cute dresses, bright colours, and an emotional lightness to fashion that is infectious and invigorating.

This brightness and lightness translates into a shrug made of cotton and linen; one that forgoes the heavy beading and allows the option of smooth shoulders (or perhaps a pretty bow?)

This Knight Service is the perfect complement to Spring’s outfits and energized vibe.
I held a brief and highly unscientific poll saw that most people prefer Spring above all other seasons.

So, which Knight Service do YOU prefer?

Friday, February 15, 2013

Indie Designer Day

Designer: Tante Ehm
Rav ID: tma
Some Great Designs: tme's Rav Designer Page

This week's designer has a solid body of work, pretty patterns that you can imagine yourself wearing all the time. Texture and simple shapes play together and create basic, classic pieces.

Prairie Girl, pictured is a "...crescent shaped shawl ... worked from the top down. The rapid increases result in a wide shallow shawl with twirling edges." Texture and shape work together not only in the piece's basic geometry, it also creates a dynamic "twirl" that creates movement and interest.

Määrä works in a similar way to Prairie Girl, with a subtle ruffle dancing along the edge of this pretty, shallows shawl.

The Piper's Hat and the Movie Night Shrug (a free pattern) show how this designer can transfer her skill for texture and shape into other garments.

And finally, the lovely large cowl Bimini, with beautiful lace and a simple shape.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Q and A: V day edition

Incidentally, Vday is a much better way to "celebrate" February 14 than your traditional lovey-dovey crap.

I've been honoured with a Liebster Award from the very kind and talented Kangath Knits!

For this, I'll answer 11 questions and name a few other knitwear designers I admire.

1) What kind of music do you like?
An often embarrassing variety.

2) Do you prefer the weather to be so cold your nose hairs freeze or so hot you sweat just thinking about moving?
Cold all the way! I hate sweating. Yuck.

3) If you were forced to choose only one knitting technique to use for the rest of your life, would it be cabling, colorwork, or lace?
Cables. I'm not really a lace kind of lady, and colourwork and I haven't found our groove quite yet.

4) What was the last book you read?
Cover-to-cover? I can't recall. But skimmed? Color: A Natural History of the Palette by Victoria Finlay. I don't really recommend it, unless you're looking for a book that goes on at length about stories that have nothing to do with colour history/psychology/application only to find a few little trivia facts (interesting though they may be) hidden in vast swathes of text.

5) How do you tie shoelaces?
Shoelaces are from the devil. Velcro is the creator's gift for the lazy.

6) Name one thing you have done that will you never do again.
Never is a pretty strong word, and assumes that I always have a choice in the matter, but if I could avoid it, I'd never play any sports ever ever again. 

7) Describe your relationship with your camera.
Hate hate. As in, I hate it and it really hates me.

8) Apples or bananas?
What! They're so different! It's almost like comparing apples and oranges! (yuk yuk yuk)

9) What scares you?
Centipedes. Even typing the word is just gross.

10) Name three knit designers whose work you admire.
Hilary Smith Callis, Allyson Dykhuizen and Sarah Wilson.

11) What do you like to do after a hard day?
Unwind with some tea or wine, chill with my lovebird Elbie, and plan out new designs!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Baby Duck, Donald Style

My cousin had a baby boy at the beginning of January.
So you've got to know, my baby-knitting went in to overdrive. She loves Disney characters, so I thought it'd make an appreciated baptism gift to have her son all decked out like Donald Duck.

If I get a chance, I'll get some modeled pics. Much better than the laid-on-the-tile-floor blah of these :)

Monday, February 11, 2013

A Second Look at a Winter Pattern

Recognize this guy?
Hmm... are patterns gendered?

Well, anyway, look to see a refreshed version of Knight Service in the coming weeks.

I'm looking forward to Spring, are you?

Friday, February 08, 2013

Indie Designer Day

Designer: Patricia Tan
Blog: Knitting my passion and dreams...
Rav ID: patken2
Some Great Designs: patken2's Rav Designer Page

This week's designer works mainly in machine knitting.
I've never tried this before, but was interested to see the sort of lovely designs she's made with this technique.

Pictured is The Other Side of the Rainbow Machine Knitting. As you might have guessed from the beautiful colours in this piece, patken2 has a passion for hand dying yarn. Such a wonderful combination!

I'd also like to point out Somewhere over the Rainbow Machine Knitting, another beautiful machine knit piece.

The designer has let me know that at the moment, she's trying to write up more instructions for machine knitting. I'm looking forward to the next creations!

Monday, February 04, 2013

Elbie is Famous!; Or, Embarrass the Bird in February

The second in my twelve part pet-shaming, here's Elbie in a tux and tails.

Here's January, in case you're keen to see his lederhosen shame (again!)

Friday, February 01, 2013

Indie Designer Day

Designer: Faye Perriam
Blog: buttons and beeswax
Rav ID: ButtonsandBeeswax
Some Great Designs: ButtonsandBeeswax's Rav Designer Page

ButtonsandBeeswax's ravelry designer page is chock full of cute and fun patterns.

The Edith Mitts and Mittens (pictured) are perfect for this chilly time of year. Have any friends with a February birthday? This would make a great last minute gift.

I love me those pom poms, and the Constantine hat and mittens (which you can buy both together) feature those fantastic wintery elements as well as a great play with cabled texture. I also really appreciate how it's a very unisex pattern. Hmm... now to canvas my male friends and relatives and see who needs a new toque!

This designer is also great with garments; the Heather - Lace Shrug is one of those pieces I can imagine wearing into the ground. Just throw it on over a tee or dress, and voila! Warm and stylish. And again, it's a quicker knit than not, with the worsted weight of the yarn and needle size.

While I know that it's not the pumpkinny time of year, I can't resist throwing in the adorable Pumpkin Tea Cosy. How cute it this! My tea pot will be transformed into a pumpkin quite soon!