Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Design Notebook: Lelia Hat

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I've had the idea for a companion hat to the Lelia Mitts since the very beginning, but have been super sidetracked recently with work deadlines, classes, and various family stuff. I finally cast on for the sample last week, but after working the colorwork band and a few stripes, I tried it on and found out that it had some problems - too big in the ribbing, and maybe too big in the body too. Either way, not what I wanted.

So today I grabbed some turquoise and green stash yarn in the right weight, and cast on for a second hat to give myself a sanity check, by comparing the two hats without ripping out the first one. I knew that I should try that ever since I started last week, but was feeling disheartened by how far off the sample looked from my vision of it.

Of course, the answer was right there all along: go down a needle size. Chop off a pattern repeat. And suddenly, the thing that looked so sad to me this morning has regained its possibility, that it could have that thing that makes it feel special and right. I was fighting it, because it takes a certain amount of work to admit defeat and try again - but it almost always seems to be worth it in the end.



In other news, our little Corglet has officially completed her first class at doggie school! She's already way more attentive and happy than she was when we started, and we're finally starting to feel like we're communicating properly with each other - even though we still have a lot of work to do.

And Corglet happiness is positively contagious! (Just look at that face... sheesh, dog, you're the frigging cutest.)

Happy Wednesday, friends!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Nusalong: FO & WIP Drawing Winners!


First Prize FO
katriddell on Ravelry

Two skeins of Three Fates Yarns aquae singles in her choice of colors - Arthur and Guinevere - and a Three Fates project bag.

Print & digital copies of my Pip hat, Lelia Mitts, and Salt Creek Loop patterns!

Second Prize FO
zanneq on Ravelry

Digital copies of my Pip hat, Lelia Mitts, and Salt Creek Loop patterns!

Runner-Up WIP
ccb on Ravelry

A digital copy of a pattern of her choice in my Ravelry shop.


I'll be in touch with all of the winners soon! Thank you guys again so much for participating - I had a great time seeing all of your beautiful color combinations and project photos, and it's been a really fun interlude from my usual work knitting!

Have a great week, friends!

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Nusalong: It's An FO!

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Friends, I think I've gone full-on mermaid. I can't get enough neon. All I want to is wear flowy things. I have this strange desire to comb my hair with a fork and wear a seashell as a hat. (Or is it a top? I can never remember.)

But I guess it's good timing that the Nusalong is ending this evening at 11:59 pm (remember to post to the Ravelry FO thread if you haven't already!!), because now I can quit my human job and apply to become a mermaid full-time! And how could that possibly go wrong?

...y'know, besides for every reason.


Oh well. I will content myself with wearing mermaidy things and smooshing my face in my new Nusa cowl, which is well and properly mermaid-tastic.

Thanks again to Stephania at Three Fates for sharing her gorgeous yarns with us, and to you all for participating! I'll be choosing winners of all three prizes and posting their names next Tuesday, May 17th. Stay tuned!

(Details of my Nusa are on Ravelry here.)

Happy (late) Friday, friends!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Design Notebook: Academy Collar

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Lately I've been working through a major backlog of projects, and whenever that happens I get the impulse to make and finish something really quickly. I've had the materials for this collar for over a year, but I kept on putting it off because it's a silly personal project, rather than one for work. I finally started it last weekend on a whim, and now that I've taken the time to knit it up, I'm so happy with it!

I've made a few of these collars before, but this one is particularly special. I knit the body in a mohair/wool/nylon blend bouclé held double, with an additional strand of Trendsetter Luna in a shimmery rainbow-silver color. Once that was finished, Lumberjack had the brilliant idea to work an edging on just three sides of the collar, just to spiff it up a little.

I decided to use just one strand of the Luna, which is a novelty yarn with teeny sequins attached to it. It was a pain to knit the i-cord, since the yarn is basically polyester thread - but the final effect is delicate and shimmering, a fine detail next to the richly textured collar fabric.

Since the gauge of the collar and the i-cord are so different, I worked the cord separately and sewed it on using a strand of laceweight alpaca/wool, which blends in perfectly. Overall, it was super fiddly and a bit time-consuming, but I'm so pleased with the end result that I don't even mind. I'm sure I'll be making more soon enough!

More details are on Ravelry here.

Happy Thursday, friends!

Monday, May 9, 2016

FO: Black Wolf Ranch Nusa

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At this year's Madrona Fiber Arts festival, I chatted with Wendy of Black Wolf Ranch & Fiber for a few minutes while going for a spin around the market and admiring her lovely yarns. I had seen their booth at a few shows before, and was intrigued by the new dyed colors on their alpaca, alpaca/silk, and polwarth/silk bases, which take dye in the most jewel-like manner.

Fast forward a few months, when Wendy got in touch and asked if I could knit up a sample of Nusa using Black Wolf Ranch yarns. (Playing with pretty yarn and getting more indie.knits into the wild? Why yes, that sounds delightful!)

So after chatting about a few different color combinations, we settled on two colors of 100% alpaca Distinctly Alpaca Sport in Tuscan Sun and City Scape, a luminous acid green and a cozy medium gray. I cast on about a month ago and knit up the sample in a couple of weeks, and loved every second of it.

The alpaca gave such a wonderfully textural knitting experience, and the finished cowl such dramatic softness and drape, that I was a little sad to see this one get wrapped up and shipped off to its new home! But I'm so glad for the opportunity to knit with this gorgeous yarn, and honored that my work will be featured alongside Black Wolf Ranch's beautiful and thoughtfully produced yarns.

All the details are on Ravelry here.

Happy Monday!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Nusalong: Knitting Deadline, and Giveaway Details!


Remember that tonight - Friday, May 6th, at 11:59 pm - is the deadline to finish knitting on your Nusas!

Then, post your WIP or FO to the Ravelry thread by 11:59 pm on Friday, May 13th, to enter to win the following prizes -

allcolors projects7

First Prize FO

Two skeins of Three Fates Yarns aquae singles, in your choice of colors, and a Three Fates project bag.

(All of Stephania's gorgeous repeatable colors can be viewed here. Pick your favorite two, and post them along with your FO photo to the Ravelry thread!)

You'll also win print & digital copies of my Pip hatLelia Mitts, and Salt Creek Loop patterns!

piphat15 lelia11 saltcreekcowl20

Second Prize FO

Digital copies of my Pip hatLelia Mitts, and Salt Creek Loop patterns!

piphat12 lupinefo4 talusshoot2 saltcreek5
colsweet10 colwayward colling8 colcairn

Runner-Up WIP

Didn't quite finish? That's okay! Anyone who posts their WIP in the FO thread will be entered to win a digital copy of a pattern of their choice in my Ravelry shop.


Thanks again for participating, everybody - can't wait to see all your beautiful FOs, and I'll be sure to post when I finish mine. :D

Happy Friday, friends!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Nusalong: Home Stretch!

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Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? Mer-maid Nu-sa!

(As you can see, I have fallen for the silly pineapple trend as well as the neon colors trend. Why not whack 'em together into one?)

I'm on the home stretch of my Nusalong project, which is to say that I am about to work the turning round. That's really far, right? It's not bad policy to be super late on your own KAL, right? (Sure, self, suuuuuure!)

But really. I am totally planning to bang out the last stripey section in time for the finishing deadline, which is this Friday, May 6th, at 11:59 pm! All you have to have done by the date is the knitting - sewing and blocking can happen in the week after.

And once you're all finished and ready to share photos, we're going to have some cool prizes from me and Three Fates Yarns - all you have to do is post a photo of your FO in the Ravelry FO thread, with your favorite combination of Three Fates aquae fingering colorways, and you'll be entered to win! (FYI, this thread is new and different than the original Nusalong thread.)

The deadline for posting in the thread is Friday, May 13th, at 11:59 pm.

What if you didn't quite finish? That's okay! Post your WIP in the same thread, and you'll be entered to win other cool prizes. More details to come!

Happy Wednesday, friends, and hope your Nusas are Nusaing right along!