Throwback Thursday: The First Shawl

It's time for another Throwback Thursday! With the blog turning 10 later this year I'm looking back on some of my favorite projects from the last ten years.

So, if you've been reading this blog for longer than, like, a day, you know that I love shawls. I love knitting shawls. I love designing shawls. There's a lot of shawls on this blog.

And now I've written the word shawls so many times it's starting to look weird.

Anyway, what was the first shawl? I really couldn't remember. I always tell people that Ishbel is the pattern that really started the obsession, but I knew that wasn't the first shawl I'd ever made.

A little research on the blog and Ravelry revealed the answer to my burning question. The first shawl was the Forest Canopy Shoulder Shawl!
I remember now that I really struggled with the pattern. I was just tying to learn to read charts. But I'm glad I stuck with it.

It's the sock yarn shawl that started it all! :)



My enthusiasm for gradient yarn continues. Check out the new Frolicking Feet Gradient Kit from Done Roving Yarns. It's seriously beautiful.
This is the Winter Sky colorway Paula at Done Roving created for the Janesville Area Knit-In this past weekend.  So gorgeous. I had the task of creating a pattern to go with it. I knew I wanted an asymmetrical triangle, so that the color change would happen at an angle. Milton was born:
This shawl is started in one corner and is worked sideways. The lace border is worked along one edge at the same time as the body of the shawl. Once the body of the shawl is complete, a few extra stitches are cast on and a knitted-on border is added to a second edge.
Milton combines cables and lace, which is something I've been exploring more in my designs lately. Now that I can cable without a cable needle quickly I've been more inclined to include cables in my designs. Haha

The pattern calls for 550 yards of fingering weight yarn. The Done Roving Gradient Kits have 6 - 100 yard skeins in them, so they're perfect. I switched to the final skein when I started the lace border.

This was such a fun pattern to design and knit. I look forward to sticking cables on lace shawls again soon!


Starting the Year Off Right

At the start of the year my friend Laura said she would be starting the year off by crocheting a hat for charity. I liked this idea.

Ok, I actually LOVED this idea.

I'll definitely be running another hat KAL/CAL this year (I have plans to run two of them!) to collect hats to be donated to the cancer center where my dad was treated, so starting the year off with that in mind seemed so right. 
Like Laura, I crocheted a hat! It's the Reversible Strands pattern by Nancy Smith. It's a freebie on Ravelry.
It was a super quick hat. And, the texture of the post stitches makes me happy. I'll definitely be making more of these to add to the pile of hats to donate this year.

Want more information about my Hat KAL/CAL? Join my Ravelry group (that's where I run the KAL/CAL) or you can sign up for my newsletter (I send out 2 emails a month and will definitely send out the details of the Hat KAL/CAL as it approaches).



Let's Go On An Adventure

I've been enjoying cross stitch so much lately. It's the perfect break from the knitting and crochet.

I feel like I have an actual hobby again!

When I saw that The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery was doing another year long stitch-a-long, I didn't want to miss it. The first part of the pattern was released on January 15th and I've made some excellent progress so far:
 I love everything about this little trip to London. It's adorable!
I would like to start the top border before the next clue comes out next week. As for the bottom borders, I plan to wait until the clues are released for the part under the words. I know I will end up counting wrong and have to re-do it. I'm pretty good at making epic mistakes on my cross stitch. Haha

Are you stitching along on The Pumpkin Passport? Let me know if you are! I'd love to follow your blog/Instagram/etc. to see your progress!


Jen's Weekly Gems - 22.Jan.2016

Every week (or so) I post links to things I found around the Internet. Enjoy!

Find any online gems this week?


Book Review: 60 Quick Cowls

Recently when I've been in need of a quick gift, I start by searching for cowl patterns on Ravelry. They're great for presents - you don't have to worry about the fit and usually you can find enough yarn in your stash to make one!

Now that I have my review copy of 60 Quick Cowls I have even more patterns to choose from.

Like the other "60 Quick" books, it features projects worked in Cascade yarns.

With so many patterns, you're sure to find something you love. Here are some of my favorites:

This one features both knit and crochet. I love it!

There's some beautiful colorwork patterns that would be fun to try too:

Most of the patterns in the book are just written instructions. As for the patterns that contain charts? It depends. Some of the simpler charts do have written instructions to accompany charts, but not all of them. 
If you love to knit cowls, this book is perfect for you!

60 Quick Cowls is now available. You can find it at your local LYS, bookstore or online. For more information, visit the Sixth & Spring website.

Photo copyright Sixth & Springs Books.


Sock-Yarn Shawls Goes International

About a year and a half ago, I got an email from my publisher with some very exciting news - my book, Sock-Yarn Shawls, was being translated into Russian!
I knew it could take a year or more for the book to be available. I did my best to wait patiently to see it.

Finally getting the copy of the book in the mail was unreal. So very exciting.
I'm having a ton of fun going through the book and trying to figure out the Russian words for knitting things.
I hope that more of my books get translated into other languages someday. I love the idea of knitters all over the world being able to knit my patterns in their language!


A Kit Club Right in My Stash

Remember in 2014 when I went crazy for crocheted toys? There was this flamingo, and also this flamingo, and the three turkeys, and a Christmas owl, and this adorable dog and the mega awesome unicorn.

I could keep going, but I'll stop there.

I signed up for Freshstitches' Kit Club and I enjoyed many months of crochet cuteness. Over the last year though, as my business picked up, I found myself not getting to the kits when they arrived in the mail.

What a terrible job I have that I don't have time to crochet because I have too much knitting to do. ;)

Anyway, last month, I made the decision to cancel my subscription to the club. I love Stacey's patterns and I know I'll continue to make her stuff for years to come, but it just doesn't make sense to get the kits right now. Plus, I've organized the kits I still have - it's like having a kit club right in my stash!
I took each kit and put it in a plastic bag. I included the yarn, pattern, safety eyes, and any extras that were included in the kit that were to be added to the piece.
It's nice to have everything ready to go. When I have a break in between projects all I have to do is grab a hook and one of the kits!


Halloween for Christmas?

After working up some quick cowls for Christmas gifts, I found myself not wanting to pick up the knitting needles or crochet hooks. Between the gifts and some other design deadlines, I just wasn't in a yarn mood. Fortunately in 2015 I picked up a new needle arts hobby - cross stitch!
 Stitching a Halloween sampler by the light of the Christmas tree.

I'd ordered the Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery's Sleepy Hallow Sampler kit a few months ago. It was calling my name. Nothing like starting on your Halloween crafting at Christmas, right?
Obviously, there's no rush to get this done. It'll be a nice distraction from the knitting and crochet when I need one.
What a cute pumpkin!

Speaking of Frosted Pumpkin, I've also purchased the kit for their 2016 club - The Pumpkin Passport. I think it will be fun to have a cross stitch project to work on all year long. I really enjoyed the shorter A Very Merry Christmas Town last year and I look forward to a lot more cross stitch fun this year!

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