Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tilt Shift Shawl

Tilt Shift Shawl

I needed a big warm wrap for winter. At Rhinebeck I picked up a few skeins of Brooklyn Tweed Shelter. I had never used the yarn but it was so lightweight and wooly that it seemed to be a perfect match for a blanket-like shawl. I designed a quick short-row striped triangle that starts at the bottom and works up to the top. The pattern doesn't given multiple sizes but it would be easy to make it larger or smaller by working more or fewer short-row wedges. You could easily change the yarn weight as well. If you can chain, slip stitch, and single crochet, you can make this shawl. You probably have enough time to whip up a couple for the Gift-a-long if you are so inclined.

Special Offer: Post a finished Tilt Shift Shawl in your projects by Dec. 21 and receive a free pattern of your choice from my Ravelry store. Your must include start/end dates and a finished project photo. PM me with a link to your project and your free pattern choice.

Tilt Shift Shawl

Tilt Shift is available for purchase in my pattern store, on Ravelry, and Craftsy.

ETA: Check out my Gift-a-long interview on the Voie de Vie blog.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Welcome to #stylinghandmade

Lately I've found myself in a rut with my clothes. I tend to wear the same things over and over out of habit. I will never be the person who spends an hour every morning doing my hair and putting on makeup. But I decided that it's too early to give up on myself entirely and just embrace the crazy, so I'm putting the teeniest bit more effort into getting dressed in the morning.

The first thing I did was to clean out my closet. I had many holdovers from my younger years that I'm never going to wear again, so I got rid of them. I also purged many handmades that just weren't quite right for whatever reason. I've made a pledge to make more conscious decisions about what I make and what I purchase. I tend to be more of a process crafter who sometimes makes things just to "see how they work" but I really need to focus on what belongs in my wardrobe and fits my style. I want to have a closet full of pieces that I love to wear.

I'm fascinated by the idea of a capsule wardrobe. I think that narrowing myself to a set number of items feels too limiting, but I do plan to pare down what I wear to the essentials and to dress things up with accessories. I'd like to document this journey on Fridays with #stylinghandmade. I will show off an outfit once a week with at least one handmade piece. I know that sometimes crafters spend many hours making a beautiful detailed garment and then have nothing practical to wear it with. I'm hoping that I can inspire you to pull out those lovely handmades and integrate them into your wardrobe.

This week's edition kicks off with a new crochet shawl design, the Tilt Shift Shawl. The pattern was released today, and I will talk in detail about it later, but for now enjoy the preview.

Psst...the Tilt Shift Shawl pattern is 25% off through the weekend on Ravelry. No coupon code necessary.

Tilt Shift Shawl | Pattern
Darling Ranges Dress | Pattern
Wool Tights | warmlegwear.com
Fitzwell Boots | similar

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Gift-a-long 2014 Designer Interview: Shannon Squire

Today, I'm thrilled to be interviewing Shannon Squire of Gathering Wool (shannon on Ravelry). Shannon is a Portland based designer with a lot of interesting knits for women and kids.

What is your favorite type of item to design and why (shawls/socks/sweaters/etc)?

"I have always loved knitting (and designing) shawlettes - they’re a fantastically blank canvas, ripe for so many different textural, lace, and color options. I have gotten more into cowl designs lately, and that’s partly because they are just so darned easy to wear. I love one or two skein projects that are easy TV knitting, but interesting enough to keep my attention."

You are very prolific and have quite the collection of designs. If you had to pick a favorite, what would it be and why?

"Ananke is probably still my favorite, because it was the first thing I actually designed and wrote up, and it remains my best-selling pattern. It’s the perfect example of my design philosophy: patterns that are accessible and easy to execute, but are fun enough that actually enjoy the knit."

What is your desert island yarn?

"That’s a really REALLY hard question! I recently used Blue Moon Fiber Arts Yaksi Fingering for a bunch of projects (designed the Off-Kilter Shawlette as a mystery KAL and therefore made three and then designed a cowl to complement the shawlette (called Off-Kilter Cowl)), and it’s pretty much the perfect accessory yarn. Soft, takes colors in a gorgeously muted way, has a nice tight twist, so can be frogged again and again and still holds up super well. There may or may not be a bunch of it in my stash, awaiting the time to play, and at this point in time, I’d have to say it’s my desert island yarn. Now, how many skeins of this yarn can I take to this fabled desert island, and when exactly can I leave? :)"

I started my gift knitting at the last minute and I only have 2 weeks left. Which of your patterns should I knit?

"I have a few patterns designed for super-bulky-weight yarn: the Tea & Picots Shawlette (made in Knitted Wit’s Cotton Candy) and a very-soon-to-be-released cowl designed for Blue Moon Fiber Arts Sookie. Both can be made up in an evening or two (depending on how fast you knit and how many hours an evening consists of in your life)."

How's life in Portland? I've never been there but I've always wanted to visit.

"Portland is amazing! I have two small kiddos, so don’t experience Portland the way I used to, but it’s a gorgeous city with mild-ish weather (I’m from the Midwest, and don’t miss the snow & extreme cold or the humidity & extreme heat one little bit). The food is amazing, there is a huge DIY and knitting culture, and it’s a very inspiring place to be."

Thanks, Shannon! Be sure to check out her Gift-a-long Designs. There's still a couple of days left to take advantage of the 25% off discount. I've got my eye on these cute legwarmers.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Just Keep Spinning

Since the weather has cooled, I've been spinning more. I actually have 2 more finished skeins but we're at that time of year when it takes 3 days to dry anything and I have to wait for weekends to have enough light for pictures, so you'll see the new skeins next week.

Three Waters Farm Club

I finished my November Three Waters Farm club fiber. I used my blending board to make rolags out of the Falkland wool and added in a little Angelina sparkle. I kept this one as a singles yarn and it's about a sport weight.

Kitchen Sink Handspun

This is my Kitchen Sink skein. It's a 2ply, about worsted weight and it has a base of shetland and leicester with a bit of everything carded into it. I just love the texture. I think it would make a fabulous pair of winter mittens.

Both skeins are in the shop.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Indie Design Gift-a-long

It's that time of year again! The Indie Design Gift-a-long starts tonight at 8PM EST. I am proud to be a participant again this year alongside so much design talent. Check out the stats on participating designers. The Ravelry group has over 3000 members and we would love it if you'd like to join us in making holiday gifts.

Giftalong 2014

This year I have 10 patterns eligible for the 25% off sale and both knit and crochet patterns are available. To take advantage of the discount, use the code giftalong2014 on select patterns from Thursday, November 13th (8pm EST) through Friday, November 21 (11:59pm EST). Join us in the Indie Design Gift-a-long group and you could win awesome prizes! All knottygnome pay patterns in my Ravelry store are eligible for prizes, not just the sale patterns.

I've already made a huge list of designs I'm planning to knit during the giftalong. I hope to share my knitting plans soon and I'll be interviewing another indie designer on the blog as well.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Sock Backlog

My Socktober was a success. I finished 3 pairs during the month and even won a prize from the Stitch Addiction podcast.

No Drama Socks

No Drama Socks: Toe-up rounded wedge toe, FLK heel, 3x1 ribbing
Yarn: Rainy Days & Wooly Dogs Laudanum - Gothsock in Teenage Drama Queen
Needles: #1.5 circs
Size: Ladies' 6
Started: October 2 | Finished: October 11

I can't remember the specifics of this one. it was simple quick mindless knitting. i quite liked the yarn--pity it's discontinued. these socks are very soft and cushy to wear.

Vesper Sock Club

Goofy Groovy Socks: A variation of Groovy Socks with FLK heel, 1x1 ribbing
Yarn: Vesper Sock Yarn Club--I forgot the month and colorway name
Needles: #0 circs
Size: Ladies' 6
Started: October 16 | Finished: October 26

I started these to have an easy pair to bring to Rhinebeck. I made a mental error when working the chevron pattern so my socks aren't exactly like the Groovy pattern. I kept the back of the leg in stockinette with a lace panel going up the center. i really like these socks.

Solid Socks Mystery KAL

Quercus Prinus
Yarn: knottygnome Faun Sock in Real Olive
Needles: #1 circs
Size: Men's 8.5
Started: October 1 | Finished: October 31

This pair took the longest b/c I needed to carve out some time when I could concentrate on the pattern. Honestly I didn't enjoy it all that much but Spicy has another new pair of socks, so there's that.

Mystik Spiral Socks II

Mystik Spiral II
Yarn: Vesper Sock Yarn Club in Frog Pond
Needles: #1 circs
Size: Men's 8.5
Started: September 7 | Finished: September 15

Finally we come to a pair I finished ages ago but never got around to taking pictures. This is the second time I've knit this pattern and I'm sure it won't be the last. Honestly I like it more as an idea than an actual pattern to follow. I changed nearly everything about the pattern but the design concept. I made these socks for spicy thinking that the blue/green/brown was at least relatively manly. He informed that they are not, in fact, manly socks, but he will wear the shit out of them anyway.

I think it may be awhile before I knit another pair of socks.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Puppy Update

It's a work in progress, but Penny is integrating into the family nicely.


Unlike Daisy, Penny gets cold very easily. She loves to burrow under the covers and cuddle.

Everybody's tired #interspecieslove

Cold weather is a great equalizer. The cats don't mind the dogs as much when there's huddling for warmth to be done.

Some puppy's cold #dogs #dogsofinstagram

She does this all by herself without assistance. Penny's a big fan of down comforters.

Captain Wrinkles #dogs #dogsofinstagram

Penny is an all or nothing dog. She's either turned up to 11, jumping and licking and going crazy or she's on 1.5--super tired and just wanting to snuggle. Sometimes she goes from one to the other in about 5 seconds.

Sleepy #dogsofinstagram #dogs

Penny loves to cuddle with Mr. Man. She loves to hug her toys too.

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