Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Beer Beer Beer Beer

Beer: embroidery style!

You may recall my love affair with a certain stitched Tom Turkey last year.
Well, the Red Letter Day Stitches ladies are at it again with cool embroidery patterns that make me drop my knitting needles and pick up my sewing ones.

It's called Raise a Glass! and it's in honour of St. Patrick's Day. I'm not much of a fan of that holiday myself, but lord knows I'm a fan of beer. And this adorable pattern!

I'm not an experienced embroiderer by any means; if you're hesitant at all to try this needle art because you fear it may be too difficult, let me tell you, no worries! The RLDS patterns I've seen and worked with are a nice way to ease yourself into embroidery. You have a small enough project that it's not overwhelming, and techniques that are easy to grasp and resources to help you along the way should you need it.

If you're interested in joinging the SAL (stitch-along!), pop on to the Facebook group here. It starts today, and you can win yourself a 2014 All-Inclusive subscription to Red Letter Day Stitches! I'll be there; can't wait to practice those French knots!

And speaking of winning...
Would you like to win a copy of Raise a Glass! ?
Just leave a comment on this post letting me know your favourite beer. The winner will be drawn on March 5. Good luck everyone!

ps: my favourite is Boneshaker IPA. That sweet, sweet nectar shakes my bones but good!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Indie Designer Day

Designer: Sue Lazenby
Rav ID: suseknits
Some Great Designs: suseknits' Rav Designer Page

Key words for this week's designer: cozy texture. Her work makes me want the chilly months to last and last!

Featured in the photo at right, Bark, is a shawl with two sizes, instructions on adjusting size, adding stripes, and a top-down construction. It was inspired by trees, which has me won over right away!

I'm also quite a fan of her Lichen and Moss Cowl
and hat. This set pair to create a great, unisex, cold-weather knit. Any birthdays coming up? Get knitting! I think there's no way these designs wouldn't go over a treat!

And her newest pattern is lovely as well: the Snowflakes & Icicles shawl. It's so new, in fact, that the KAL for it is still going on! It's pretty and delicate and incorporates beads into the knitting. I love beaded knitting!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Hatching Plans and Seeing Spring

I love winter. I really do. But let me tell you, this year's is really testing my patience. Even I am getting a bit stir crazy, day dreaming about seed-planting and shoe-wearing and maybe even possibly not walking like a penguin anymore.

Last night I made an excursion to my local giant thrift store. I have a 90s theme party coming up this weekend and had to stock up on ridiculous 90s things (like Goosebumps books and Boyz II Men cassette tapes and Dance Mix 97 cds, obvy).
And whenever I find myself at the thrift store, I have to swing past the sewing section. I sometimes can't believe the things I find there, in my size, still neatly folded in their vintage packages, untouched and entirely uncut from decades gone by.

This time, I found this gem.

I'm digging this fabric for it, though I'm not sure on my yardage and will have to unfurl and pin all the pieces down to find my answer first.

I can't can't wait to get going on this project.
Has the spring bug bitten you, too? Do you have any projects of any sort that are helping you through the last bits of this insalubrious winter?

Monday, February 17, 2014

Hinterland: Winter

The third and final Hinterland collection is out!
Introducing Hinterland: Winter.

In the winter, we find ourselves drawn outdoors despite of (or perhaps because of) the cold, icy surfaces, and gloriously wind-sculpted white landscape. 
Enjoying the forest, riverside, and frozen fields calls for a bit of extra knitted warmth; this is where us knitters can shine.

The three patterns in this collection are designed to help you enjoy the subzero temperatures on your excursions into the hinterland.

Drift's Ridge

Drift’s Ridge was inspired by the look and feel of deep winter. Heaps of snow sculpted by harsh winds are tamed into soft, regular scallops; the chill of the season is kept away with a finely-gauged sweater knit in a cozy fibre. This is a knit that you can layer, one that extends down past your wrists into long sleeves and over your hips in a near tunic-length.

Knit from the top down in one piece, Drift’s Ridge features a seamless construction, simple colourwork and long sleeves.
29 (33, 35.5, 42, 46, 50, 54.5, 59)” / 73.5 (84, 90, 106.5, 117, 127, 138.5, 150) cm


The critters of the forest might be hibernating, but there’s no reason you have to! These legwarmers can keep you extra cozy whether you’re indoors or out exploring the snow banks this winter. A relaxing knit and purl textured stitch is easily memorized, making this a quick and soothing knit. The I cord and pom poms add a bit of bounce and fun to Hibernation, with the added benefit of a snug fit. Easily adjust the length by adding repeats of the delightfully simple Chevron Texture Stitch.

11.5” (14.5)” / 29 (37) cm circumference unstretched

Winter Coronet

Part cowl part hood, Winter Coronet keeps you warm while outside in the winter. Worn up, the
beautiful interwoven cables are snug around your ears, acting as graceful earwarmers while also keeping the wind from sneaking down your neck.  Worn down, the hood adds plenty of extra fabric around your neck and shoulders; much appreciated when the temperatures drop!
Knit from the top down, Winter Coronet is a seamless design featuring short rows, cables, and gentle increases at the crown for a voluminous hood to warm you this winter!
One size

Friday, February 14, 2014

Indie Designer Day

Designer: Jenny Williams
Blog: Daydreamer Knits
Rav ID: jennyw
Some Great Designs: jennyw's Rav Designer Page

It's Valentine's Day, and I'm in love with this designer's work!
(Oh my god SO corny! But true. See cool stuff below).

This week's designer is all about wonderful texture and dancing cables. All three of the featured patterns here share this trait.

The pictured Avonleigh Scarf/hood, featured in Cooperative Press' Fresh Designs, has little vines, leaves, and "berries" (bobbles) wandering back and forth across it's length. A very pretty piece, and yet another in my arsenal to pull out when people say "bobbles! Yuck!" No! Look how pretty! She's also helpfully included a link to a video by the Knit Witch that shows you how to work them back and forth, without turning your work.

The Lady Edith Hooded Scarf is a lovely piece. Inspired by the eponymous character from Downton, this pattern is practical and pretty. With the cold winds still whipping around outside, a handknit stretch of loveliness is the perfect thing to keep head and ears warm. The elegant hood shaping is perfect for this purpose.

And to finish with something just a bit different, here's the Laurel Park Shrug. I'm a big shrug fan, and this one looks like a great knit, with a variety of texture and nice shape when worn.

Find any knits to be your Valentine? :)

Friday, February 07, 2014

Indie Designer Day

Designer: The Needle Lady
Blog: med pinner
Rav ID: Pinneguri
Some Great Designs: Pinneguri's Rav Designer Page

ALERT! BEAUTIFUL STRANDED COLOURWORK AHEAD! Beware, your queue may be in for a great influx!

I had far to difficult a time deciding which of the so, so many lovely pieces by this week's designer to feature, I figured I'd change up the format and do less talking and more showing. This week, the images are going to speak for themselves.

© Ann Myhre

Barnejakka Villsauene på Runde
Check out the pattern page for this one. There's so many wonderful colour combinations! (I really, really need one of these for me).


Baby Blanket Snowflakes
Holy cow.

© Ann Myhre
The Bumblebee Socks

I need these. In these colours. Naow.

Monday, February 03, 2014

Dress to Impress in 1935

I've been in a very-early-spring-cleaning mode for a few weeks now.
I decided (as I procrastinated from what should have been my pattern-writing schedule) by doing what was clearly the most logical task of going through my filing cabinet and making it a functional rather than frightening space.

With the advent of Pinterest I have neglected my previous squirreling away of interesting or inspiring images and articles that pique my interest or raise my dander.

One of my discoveries, tucked far and away in the back of the bottom drawer, was a photocopy of a chapter in the book by Lillian Eichler from 1935 titled "The New Book of Etiquette".

Of course, I had to figure out what prompted me to save this pile of papers in the first place before proceeding to triumphantly recycle it and clear space in my increasingly functional filing system.

Here, friends, is a selection of what I found humourous, frustrating, and in some cases historically edifying from that 79 year old book:

"You know instinctively when a woman is well-dressed. The thought that immediately occurs to you is not, 'What a beautiful gown!' but, 'What a charming woman!' You are attracted, not by the gown she wears, but by the personality it expresses."

"[The well-dressed woman is] chic, and yet just a bit independent of prevailing fashion - enough to express her own individuality. She is at ease because her clothes are comfortable."

On Adapting Fashions to Your Figure
"... tall people should not wear striped materials even when they are fashionable, for stripes, particularly when they are vertical, add to the height. The short woman should avoid empire-effect gowns, even when they are in vogue, for long-waisted effects are very much more becoming to her."

"Short people will find short skirts more becoming than long, striped materials more becoming than those that are checked, subdued shades more becoming than those that are vivid... Tall people will do well to avoid severely tailored clothes, straight lines, solid colors.... Dark colors are best, particularly when relieved by one touch of vivid contrast at the waist."

Uh oh Scooby Doo. I think my shortness and my love of vivid colour are clashing!

While problematic (and really, what historical document doesn't have shades of contemporary mis-judgement and misplaced ethics and morals), I'd like to think I can take away a bit of inspiration from this book: to allow what I wear to be emblematic of who I am. Being conscious of that can connect your selfness to your exterior. Wear what makes you happy! Defy Ms. Eichler, fellow shorties, and wear those vivid colours! (Should they be the ones that put a smile on your face!) I'm convinced that all fashion advice is a crock of crap unless what you wear really does make you happy and jive with your self-definition.
So, define yourself, I say!