Sunday, December 29, 2013

2013 in Review

As is tradition in late December, I like to make a little collage rounding up all my designs from the year.


Holy shitting knitsticks.

Compare that to 2011 or poor 2012! Of course a lot of these things were actually knit in 2012 which is probably why it looked so skinty. But still. I've been a busy girl. I was going to post links to all of them, but perhaps it's easier just to point you over here. 

2013 was the year of Doomsday Knits, Love from London, and So You Want To Be a Knit Designer. It was also the year of Stitching in the Stacks and Stitch Mountain, as well as various other clubs and publications that I am honored to have been a part of. I'd say it was a pretty darn good one, over all ;-) 

As for next year's goals...


That's my to-do list app. Sigh. 


(FYI that awesome painting on my background is this.)




Saturday, December 28, 2013

Just the Tip, if you please

 

The neon trend seems to be holding fast, but not every outfit or occasion can support an entirely-neon accessory. So why not.... just the tip?

 

Just the Tip is easy enough for an adventurous beginner, subdued enough for everyday wear, but also fun enough for… well, for fun! Knit in Malabrigo Worsted, which now offers a handful of great neons- Bergamota and Apple Green from their older line-up, and the new Fluo and Very Berry.

 (Can you tell I shot it around Halloween? Dig the vampire bangs, yo.) 


You can find Just the Tip on Ravelry here, or... 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Doomsday Knits is here!!

(The digital version, anyway!)



Santa made it here in time to stuff a little apocalypse in your stockings. Woo!!! Pre-orders and Kickstarter prizes are winging their way into inboxes as we speak (give it a second and make sure to check your spam folders ;-) )

Didn't preorder? You can check it out over on Cooperative Press or Ravelry. This book has been such fun- I hope you guys enjoy it as much as we have!

Physical copies, for those curious, should start shipping early in the new year. At 172 pages they'll be doozies! In the meantime, Happy Doomsmas to all, and to all, a goodnight <3

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

We have a winner for the Zealana Air and Karbonz giveaway: Jessica! Congrats!

Everyone else, don't despair- I figure I'll give it a rest for a week or two, but I've got a very exciting giveaway up coming after the holidays ;-)

Friday, December 13, 2013

Review and Giveaway- Zealana Air and Knitter's Pride Karbonz

I was recently sent a few more goodies to share with you guys! Well, one lucky winner in particular ;-)



First up is a newish yarn from Zealana called "Air". As you might suspect, Air has a bit of a light and airy quality to it- though at a substantial aran/chunky weight, it's definitely got body. It's made of 40% cashmere, 40% brushtail possum down, and 20% silk...and is about as soft as it sounds! It claims to be "ultra soft, durable, pill-resistant, and lighter & warmer than 100% cashmere." It's got a fuzzy, brushed texture, something which can be a little itchy on sensitive skin, but I actually think I could possibly wear this on my neck without a problem (and definitely my head or hands), which is saying something, especially this time of year when my skin is bone dry and itchin' all over ;-P

Air has pretty decent stitch definition for a brushed yarn, and the different fibers give it a lovely color depth. It appears to be chained plied (it's a little tough to tell with the fuzziness) which I always find pleasant to work with- nice and round. 

Educational Sidebar: 
Possum down, for those who are unfamiliar, comes from a type of marsupial native to Australia (NOT the North American opossum, which is significantly less cute... though I am one of the few people who actually does find them a little charming, heh.) While kind of cuddly-looking, the brushtail possum is a major invasive species in New Zealand that is causing any number of ecological issues. By harvesting the down from these critters, companies like Zealana are extracting some good out of their sad-but-necessary eradication. The down is extremely soft and luxurious- often even finer than cashmere, and with an angora-like halo minus the pokey-ness! 



Second are the needles! These are Knitter's Pride Karbonz needles, which I had not tried before. They have a sort of... masculine beauty. Handsome. Man-pretty, even. Kinda sexy. The tips are nickel-plated brass and are delightfully slick and pointy. The black part is a "high-tech carbon fiber"- I'd say it feels like extraordinarily smooth wood. It's somewhat entrancing to look at, almost like... black-iridescent. Like some sort of strange black gem stone, even. In any case... the carbon part is a bit grippier than the metal part, which causes the needles to handle rather uniquely. I will say it takes a few minutes of getting used to after using pretty much exclusively all-metal or all-wood needles, but I've cast on a larger project with them now and am quite enjoying them. The joins are very smooth, which is always a perk. The cord is your usual plastic cord- not too stiff, though. I suspect it will loosen up in time, too (they usually do.)

Wanna win some??
All you have to do is comment on this post. I'll pick a winner at random at the end of the day next Friday (Dec 20th)- the winner will recieve one ball of Zealana Air in shade "L07" (the greenish one in the pic) and a set of Knitter's Pride Karbonz circular needles, size US 9/5.5mm, 40". Good luck and happy knitting!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Knitter's Gift Guide



It's that lovely time of year for filling up your wishlist with knitterly goods (and boots, if you're me. Always boots.) If you're lucky, maybe you even have other knitters to shop for (oh what fun!) I thought I'd round up a few goodies to recommend- yarn and needles are pretty obvious so I only put a liitttttle yarn in, hehe.

Clockwise from top left corner:

Herschel Supply Little America Backpack
I know they're pandering to me with their faux-retro-sentimental vibe but I totally eat it up. This one's great for knitters because it's low on yarn-catching zippers, but they have dozens of covetable styles and colors... included this new collection with knitted accents.

Loopy Mango Big Loop Yarn
This one is definitely a splurge, but it's so cooool. I'd love to give mega-giant yarn a whirl someday, but alas, not in the budget at the moment.

Knitterella "Winter Knitter" Notecard
Knitterella has tons of stationary-type goodies for knitters (including some charmingly sassy gift tags) but this sweet little doodle is my favorite.

Piccadilly, Inc Leatherlook Notebook
This is the exact notebook I use for designing. I'm not sure why I like it, exactly, but I do. It's got that smooth, pliable cover like a Moleskine, but more reasonably priced. Looks nice, feels nice, pretty durable, has a little ribbon bookmark... pretty much just checks off all my boxes. I'm on my second one, having filled up the first (which, weirdly, had a stiffer cover...I prefer the bendy one though.)

Oh Sew Betty Chevron Clutch
Oh Sew Betty is a local crafter who has the cutest dang clutches. I love this dyed linen one too... perfect for notions or small projects.

Triggertrap
Triggertrap hooks your smartphone up to your DSLR to give you way more control than your usual remote trigger. Awesome for photographing FOs when no one else is around! Plus it has cool tricks like sound trigger or motion trigger, so you could, say, shout or clap or jump in the air to take the picture. Waaant.

Fashionary Notebooks
Great for designers, though I've used mine most when deciding how to style things for photoshoots! Each page has a lightly printed croquis (a body figure) printed on it so you can draw your garments on top of it. Indispensable for design submissions- it makes your sketches look way more pro with a minimum of effort.

Black Trillium Fibre Studio Gradient Kit
Black Trillium has been killing it with the gradients lately. And by "it" I mean "me", killing me, because I WANT THEM ALLLLL.

And in the center:

Tape Measure Bracelet
Because being on the go is no excuse for not checking your gauge! (Okay, granted, the ones made out of vintage tape measures like this one here are probably a bit inaccurate because they stretch over time...but better than nothing, and they look nice! These things are all over etsy so you could probably find a newer, more accurate one if you wanted to. They'd be easy to DIY too!)


Other suggestions.... Cooperative Press has a ton of great new books out (Doomsday Knits isn't quite out yet but is available for preorder, and should be out before Christmas). I couldn't pick just one to stuff in the overcrowded collage, so...yeah. Brooklyn Tweed is still selling those adorable sweater cards.  And have you looked at the Ravelry minimart lately? They've got some super cute project bags, (and nail polish!) Oh I could go on..... maybe I need to do a volume 2.


So what'd I miss? What's on your guys's lists this year? 

(Disclaimer: I'm not affiliated with or sponsored by any of these products and I've only used some of them personally... it's just stuff I think is cool!) 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Flabbergash

OMG it's a pattern that has nothing to do with the end of the world! Introducing Flabbergash...


Flabbergash

Flabbergash 

 Flabbergash features the delightfully textured Berroco Abode yarn. Abode comes in the prettiest, subtle, layered-ish colors- quite lovely. Of course you could also work this in smooth yarn and bold colors for a different but still very cool look. Three gashes are worked into an otherwise straightforward striped hat to give a peek at a contrast color underneath. 

  Flabbergash 

 And here's a glimpse at my new makeshift photo set up:

  Flabbergash 

I figured out that if I put the camera in the bathroom by the window and shoot out into the hall I get just the right amount of light on these blechy gray days... 

 In any case! You can find Flabbergash on Ravelry here, or 

 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Tomorrow's Rainbow

For some reason the mental image of my grandmother's 70's-y, rainbow duvet cover set (Wamsutta Ultracale Tomorrow's Rainbow, or so I've just discovered they are called) has always stuck with me. I guess they're fairly iconic, for bedsheets, as I've come across them in movies several times since childhood- Urban Outfitters even sold a remake for awhile. But for me, they always drag me back into the headspace of a 7 year old, sneaking a peek into my grandmother's surprisingly colorful bedroom where I was almost certainly not supposed to be playing.

And also, they are super damn groovy, and needed to be made into an equally groovy ski hat.





How have I never made rainbow pompoms before?? A grievous oversight!!

There is no pattern for this hat, as it's basically a variation on Varia or Zam (start with either, remove the colorwork, add stripes.) But I'll give you a rundown of the colors in case you want 'em! All are Malabrigo Merino Worsted. The main color, obviously, is Natural. The stripes, 2 rows of each, from the bottom up:

-Emerald
-Bobby Blue
-Hollyhock
-Ravelry Red
-Bergamota
-Sunset
-Fluo

For the rainbow pompom, I used my trusty Clover pompom maker, and you just wrap one color after another. You could also wrap them at the same time for more of a mixed-up look. 

I'm pretty sure this is exactly the sort of knitting legacy my grandmother (who was British and made beautiful Aran sweaters from hardwearing, undyed British wool) meant to leave ;-) Tooottally. 



Sunday, December 1, 2013

Doomvember: Filled with Dread and a Recap!

Well here we are, safely on the other side of Doomvember, mostly intact (I hope.) The digital version of Doomsday Knits will be dropping any day now (we're in the super-final-double-checking-everything stage). In addition to the patterns you just saw, the book includes lots of reviews and recommendations for apocalyptic media, and even a few survival tips. Oh, and one last not-quite-knit project, tucked away in the "Kill All Humans" chapter...


DREADFALLS! WOOOO!



You can't be a punked-out cyberbabe without technicolor dreads! And luckily for us knitters, wool is the material of choice for faux-dreads (not just among crafty types, either- this stuff is punk approved.) The truly hardcore dreadfallers felt individual ropes of wool roving for a super custom look, but these dreads use Colinette Point Five, a pure wool thick-and-thin yarn (along with some glowing jelly yarn and tulle scraps) for a slightly less labor-intensive route. And yes, there are "how to attach them to your head" instructions in the book too ;-) 


And with that, the tour is now officially over. Did you miss some posts? No matter, I can catch you up right now:

10/31- Fallout- Dull Roar
11/1- Fatigued- Not So Granny
11/2- Grom-Mitts- Guest post by Brenda K.B. Anderson on Dull Roar
11/3- Circuit- Spillyjane Knits
11/4- Desert Warrior- A Pile of Sheep
11/5- Alternating Current- Dull Roar
11/6- Fennec- Knitted Alternately On a Sofa
11/7- Ringmaster- Theatre of Yarns
11/8- Apocketmitts- Flossie Knits
11/9- Oxygenate- MLemmons Designs
11/10- I Was a Teenaged Mutant- Dull Roar
11/11- Fission- Through the Looking Glass
11/12- Long Road Ahead - Katherine Vaughan Designs
11/13- Ozone- Guest post by Rebecca Zicarelli on Dull Roar
11/14- Thrumviator- PDXKnitterati
11/15- Oh Bondage! - Dull Roar
11/16- Utility Corset- Thorn Maiden
11/17- Bulletproof- guest post by Alexandra Virgiel on Dull Roar
11/18- Ditch the Tech- DovieJay Knits
11/19- Oryx- The Knitting Vortex
11/20- Wayfarer- Knitting Like Crazy
11/21- Lunar Progression- Argent Gal Designs
11/22- Forager- Dull Roar
11/23- Rattlebone- Sarah Bear Crafts
11/24- Baby's First Principles- Republic of Yarn
11/25- Alpaca-lypse- Baah Baah & Black Sheep
11/26- Quaintrelle- Sillylittlelady's
11/27- Survivor- Guest post by Mara Marzocchi on Dull Roar
11/28- Suture- Dull Roar
11/29- Battle Ready- Guest Post by Suesan Roth on Dull Roar
11/30- Technologica- Dull Roar

And once more (with feeling!)... you can learn more about Doomsday Knits or preorder a copy over at Cooperative Press. The digital version will be out later this month, with paper following soon after. You can also preorder (and check out all the patterns in one place) over on Ravelry. 

And finally, one more big huge THANK YOU to the photographer, Vivian Aubrey, and to all the models- Katy, Ruby, Emily, and Kelsy (and also Lee for her assistance on set!)

Whew! Okay! I'll shut up about the apocalypse for a little while now ;-) Til the book comes out, anyway...

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