Monday, December 31, 2012

End of Year Mosaic Time!


It just wouldn't be new year's eve without a photo mosaic of the year's patterns.
Top row: Sharona (redux), Voluta, Brimley

This year's been kind of a blur. I feel like it was a little skinty, pattern-wise, but that's probably because I have been working on more secret projects than usual (hopefully all of which will see the light of day next year. Yay!) I had my first trade show booth (with the fabulous Ms Tiny Owl), went on an excellent anniversary road trip to the House on the Rock, and visited friends and relatives in England for the first time in like, 8 years (which I COMPLETELY failed to post about. How did that happen?? I'll get on that...) I ran a successful Kickstarter (I'll have an update on that project soon too!) and had Halloween for Christmas. I did my first online workshop over at Craftsy. I CUT MY HAIR SHORT FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE 6th GRADE! (That link is not from when I did it, but that's how I cut it.) I started working for Malabrigo right at the beginning of 2012 and that has been a major crash course in project coordination (and super fun.) Starting in 2013, the Freelance Pattern Project ebooks that I arranged (rather than the ones Hannah did before she left) will start going up and that's both very exciting and terrifying... I'm also elbow deep into several of their future books which is crazy!

In 2013 (and in no particular order)....

- I will publish my first garment patterns. OMGIKNOW. 

- I'll be attending VKL in New York City, where I have not been since I was eight so that's quite exciting. I'm not exhibiting, just screwing around- say hi if you're there!

- Also, TNNA in Columbus, of course! I probably will not exhibit this year but I plan to loiter in my compatriots' booths like the wooly riff-raff that I am. 

- We'll finish work on Doomsday Knits (and if all goes well, it will be out sometime before the end of the year)... this includes going out to Oregon to shoot the book and see my long lost love, Ms Vivian Aubrey and her wee new baybay (who is not really SO very wee anymore, but still fairly wee.)

- I'll be contributing to several pattern clubs (The Woolgirl Poet's Club, the Twisted Shawlette Club, and another Twisted club that hasn't released details yet ;-) ) 

- There is the possibility that I will be going down to Uruguay to be at the shoot for Malabrigo's next book! I am not sure exactly when that's happening yet, haha. 

- I'll be planning something super awesome and secret and fun for 2014 ;-) Look for details in the fall!

Going to be a busy, busy year. With lots of airplanes (shudder. As an aside, has anyone tried Earplanes? Do they work? I have the worst ears) and fun places and great people and collaborating and yay. Here's hoping it all goes off without a hitch and my head doesn't explode!

And a very happy 2013 to all of you! May it be full of puppies and joy and delicious confections and all things that are good. I leave you with this: a video of my husband riding a children's toy (his Christmas present) in a vacant building while wearing a dinosaur costume. (If you stick with it long enough you'll see how much better I am at it. Unfortunately Trav is a really nauseating cameraman, even more than I am.) 

Saturday, December 22, 2012

"TNNA" Sweater

Don't mind me, just hanging out in my magical fairy fort, wearing the sweater I was supposed to finish in time to wear to TNNA in June but only just bound off the other day (that's, um, why TNNA is in quotes in the title.)

Mysterious fairy fort veil!!

Half of the back!

I just wanted something easy and comfy to protect me from the convention center's air conditioning. But it was only about half done when it came time to head to Columbus, and though I worked on it a lot there, it's been sitting on the back burner since. The yarn is Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Worsted in Kale, which is very easily my favorite Madtosh colorway ever. I have about three whole skeins leftover, too, which is exciting.


It's really simple- a basic raglan, no body shaping, no sleeve shaping, wide neck, stockinette with some reverse stockinette on the edges. It was originally supposed to be worn inside out but when I started alternating skeins (to avoid getting a sharp line when I switched them) I forgot to carry the yarn up the correct side so, um, oops. No biggie, except the reverse stockinette along the vertical opening looks a little silly on this side, but would've been a cool i-cord-esque detail if it was inside out. No buttons or other closures, because I was lazy and didn't want to have to count more than absolutely necessary ;-) It was a delightfully mindless project to have with me at the show, in the end, and now it will be a delightfully just-north-of-schluppy sweater to bum around in all Christmas. Yay!


Friday, December 21, 2012

Tick, tock...

Just a wee reminder- 11 more hours to get buy-2-get-1-free patterns.... and until we can make fun of everyone who was stocking up bottled water and spam yesterday (and everyone involved with this.)

The Link: Dull Roar Ravelry Shop

The Code: 2012buy2get1

And just for kicks, here are a few things I'm pretty confident you could still finish by Christmas, if you knit really hard (click the photo to go to the pattern page):

Knit it for: Your friend, your sister, your girlfriend

Knit it for: The most obnoxiously cute person you know who lives in a cold climate.

Knit it for: Just about any lady. Very mom-friendly, and can be worn as a cowl rather than capelet (but some moms will rock a capelet too!)

Knit it for: Your dad, your brother, your boyfriend, or any girl in your life who prefers a more simple, unisex style. 

Knit it for: Someone you still need a gift for on Christmas Eve. This one's fast!

Knit it for: Chicks who dig hats. Possibly dudes who dig hats... I've never tried it on Travis but it just might work. 

Knit it for: Your quirky cousin, or if you're me, your mother-in-law.

Knit it for: Someone who either enjoys the romance of gauntlet-like items, has perpetually cold cost/mitten wrist gaps, or likes to pretend they're a superhero.

And this one takes a little longer but if you're determined and have a long boring flight or car trip to pass...
Knit it for: Anyone who will look this cute in it.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The World is Ending Again

Get out your canned bacon and hysteria, 'cause it's time for another Apocalypse sale!

Mayan Apocalypse #doomsday
Photo by markhillary, used under creative commons

IT'S A DEAL SO HOT IT'LL BURN YOUR PLANET TO A CRISP! SO COOL IT'LL START A NEW ICE AGE!'ll...turn you into zombie and cause you to eat all your loved ones?

I don't know, that's all I got.

Anyway- on the 21st, everything* in my Ravelry shop will be "Buy 2, get 1 free" from 12:00 to 12:00 EST (or until the world blows up, anyway.)

Just use this code: 2012buy2get1

Get there before they do. (Photo by Bahman, used under creative commons)

 *Except ebooks. They will count as 1 pattern towards the "buy 2" part, though.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Poor ole Michael Boncible, Re-Phoncible

Well that's probably my dumbest post title to date. Anyway, I have another new version of an old pattern...


It's the same as the original, except this time in Crystal Palace Mochi Plus (colors Ice Wine and Caramel Latte...which sounds like a distasteful combination but actually looks quite lovely, hehe) 


I like these pictures so much better than the originals, but with Phoncible being one of my best sellers (possibly due to the fact that it features Noro) I'm a little afraid to change them. What do you think? I suppose there's no harm in trying them on Ravelry for a bit...


(BTW- if you're getting sick of that scenery/outfit, don't worry, I think I only have one or two more things I photographed that day....)

Monday, December 17, 2012

I call 'er Marla


This hat is a slight variation on Darla- same experimental Mal yarn (this time in Glitter, snagged from Imagiknit when they had some in stock awhile back.)


Basically... the ribbing is longer. The slit is similar. I'm pretty sure the decreases are the same or very similar. I rather like it :-)


Friday, December 7, 2012

Needles and Artifice Winner!

Drumroll, please...

The winner of the Needles & Artifice ebook is: Captain Lilly Ainsworth! (aka roesleinknits.)

Congrats, Sophie, hope you enjoy it!

Thank you everyone for playing! Don't worry, there's still time to add the book to your "Things-I-Want-For-<insertholidayhere>" list :-) May all your lives be steamy and also punky!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Sharona Redux

The rights to Sharona have reverted back into my hot little hands, which means I can finally release this beast into the wild! Sharona Redux has some very minor differences from the original, so I'm releasing it as a new pattern (Ravelry-wise) to save confusion, but the overall effect is much the same.



This yarn (Madelinetosh DK in Rosewood and a matching shade of Habu Wool Stainless Steel) is the exact yarn that I swatched with when I sent the submission into Interweave over two years ago. I've saved it since then because I couldn't bear the thought of it becoming anything else. Those yarns and this pattern were meant to be, as far as I'm concerned.



 It's a fun pattern, and one that affords a lot of room for creativity- try different yarn combos, different colors...make it longer, or shorter, or wider, or thinner. What if the Habu was the main yarn and the Tosh was the accent?


 It can be worn doubled over, or more like a capelet (shoulderette? Is that a word?) You can put the point to the front, back, side, or tuck it in completely. (I totally would've taken photos of these options if it hadn't been raining on my cameraman, I swear.) 

 Anyway- Here she is on Ravelry, and on Craftsy. Or, of course, you can hit this magic button:


(Oh, and those mitts you see peeking out? Those have been waiting for publication forever. I'm working on it, I promise.) 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

I call this series, "Self-Loathing and Reconciliation"

tongue pointy pointy2 faces hugitout goteamfail 
(Go Team Venture-Fail!)

...and I call these hats P├ętoncle and Varia (I think. Don't hold me to that.) The patterns will be available shortly :-)

Oh, and here's Varia's lil' sister, PinkyScallopface (I don't have to come up with a real name if it doesn't have its own pattern, okay??) A smaller and simpler variant, with a pompom, cause...yes.


It had to happen. Pinterest has been taunting me with scalloped everything for months now. I stole Pinky's color scheme right off that trailor ;-P

Chutes, and also Ladders now available!


I'm pleased to announce that the pattern for Chutes, and also Ladders is now available for individual purchase on Ravelry and Craftsy! (And through Deep South, if you are a wholesale customer.)

Just in time for a last minute gift!



Twists are magical things! They’re like cables, but less fiddly. Here, they’re used to “draw” a series of criss- crossing ribbony things, separated by eyelet ladders. The chart is very intuitive, making it much easier than it looks, and the glittery cashmere yarn can only be described as “really friggin’ luxurious.” The combination is sophisticated but light-hearted, and the hat knits up more quickly than you’d expect – perfect when you need a gift that will really wow ‘em or just a special treat for your fine self. 

This hat uses a on-the-light-side-of-DK weight yarn doubled up to make something closer to a Worsted, though you can also substitute a worsted weight yarn, of course! Pick something with a touch of healthy drape- this yarn is cashmere, but an alpaca or silk blend would give a similar effect. (It's hard to beat glittery cashmere though!) 


Check it out on Ravelry 

Friday, November 30, 2012

Book Review: Needles and Artifice!

"The scent of jasmine floated into the tiny pod, completely untainted by the smell of bears, Anna noted with satisfaction." 

 The fine folks at Cooperative Press have asked me to review one of their newest books, "Needles and Artifice: A Refined Adventure Story with Ingenious Knitting Patterns

Lemme translate that for you:

 Steampunk. Knitting. 

Given that those are two of my favorite words, I was bound to love this book, and I do. All of the patterns center around a main story: a classic steam-y tale of a badass lady airship pilot, her foppish gentleman companion, and a brigade of needle-wielding friends (each with their own areas of adventuring and expertise.)

"After the Northeastern Dinosaur Fern Spore Bloom Incident, her father had insisted that her specimens be kept as far as possible from the train passengers." 

I found the story very cinematic, somehow- I couldn't help but picture it on a screen (the guy who played Niles Crane was definitely the male lead.) It reads sort of like an episode of Firefly in book form, only more Victorian and more knitterly.* (That should be taken as a great compliment, by the way.) In any case, it's a clever bit of writing with a sharp wit, engaging story, and a healthy dose of goofiness- I particularly enjoyed the knitting-themed profanity ("thrice-frogged idiot" is my favorite, followed closely by "horsebobbles.") I'd totally watch the movie version, f'reals.

 "'You impertinent slattern!'" 

The photographs are absolutely gorgeous, and the attention to costuming and detail is stunning- you'll notice that every character has her communication brooch on somewhere, and I'll admit to giggling out loud when I noticed the tea ball in Anna's utility belt. I get the impression that the Ladies of Mischief are quite fond of tea (in much the same way that Buddha was "fond of" meditating or John Hinckley, Jr. was "fond of" Jodie Foster.)

"'Coraline, I have nothing to knit!' The Ladies all shuddered in sympathy." 

The projects are all terribly gorgeous, knit in beautiful luxury yarns (pretty much entirely from small dyers.) It would be easy to slip into kitsch in a book like this (Gears! Goggles! Gears and goggles!!) but I think the Ladies have done a fine job of dodging that and producing very refined and wearable projects. The directions are thorough as can be (one pattern even has instructions for fixing a dropped stitch in brioche, which I must find time to try out because I usually just live in fear whenever I'm brioching.)

With so many wonderful things it's impossible to pick favorites, but I'll show you a few of the projects that I would knit RIGHT. MEOW. if I had the time.

Is that not the most delightful lady-Captain sweater you ever did see?

Phase one: Find a corset that actually fits me. 
Phase two: Knit this and put it on over the corset. 
Phase three: ?? 
Phase four: Profit

"Chemise" is such a pretty word. It's the polar opposite of "panties," which is a thoroughly unpleasant word that makes my skin crawl. All names for pretty lingerie should rustle softly, and this top somehow illustrates that feeling perfectly. Plus it will go well with that corset I need to buy.

"The Ladies all said no one in their right mind would knit a six foot long double knit scarf with a non-repeating pattern! So Dr. Erma Melanogaster set out to prove them wrong. However, the good doctor didn't realize her stunning success failed to contradict the Ladies proclamation, as she is seldom of her right mind herself." 
 Damn that null hypothesis and its unprovability! Sorry, psych major moment. Ahem. This scarf is the shit. I'm not sure I'm crazy enough to knit it, but it's still the shit. 

 "'What exactly are you planning to do with so much chloroform?'" 

And now we get to the good part- Cooperative Press and the Ladies of Mischief have agreed to give a digital copy of the book to one lucky reader! All you gotta do this time is go here: 

Generate yourself a steampunk name, and report back in the comment section below to tell me what it is. (Or feel free to make it up yourself, if you're feeling creative.) I'll draw a winner a week from now (don't forget to leave contact info!) In the meantime, you can check out all the patterns here.

(My name, by the way, is "Lady Adrianna Brock." Or "Princess Drusilla Brock" if I use Alexandra. "Drusilla" reminds me of the Buffy villain, but, hmm, I AM rather well suited to the crown...) 

 *(But seriously though, did anyone else get a Jayne-ish vibe from Anna? 
'Cause I'm getting a Jayneish vibe. And I like it.)

Monday, November 19, 2012

Gratuitous Maelstrom Shots

I have been wanting to reshoot the photos for the Maelstrom pattern for years- the originals were taken indoors with my old, inferior-for-indoors-shots lens, and then of course I LOST the original sample *sob*

So... I reknit it, this time in the Chapel Stone colorway (still Malabrigo Worsted, of course.) That was in, um, May, but I finally got around to taking the photos.




 Tried taking some jumping shots, but those never quite seem to work out for me...

Hello hairface. AND ALSO INAPPROPRIATE MIDRIFF! *gasp, clutch*


 Oh well. Anyway, if you purchased Maelstrom on Ravelry, you can download an updated pdf if you want. The pattern is the same, though, don't worry :-)

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