7.02.2015

Oops. More Sock Yarn.

I didn't plan on buying more self-striping sock yarn. I've been knitting through my stash, and I still have plenty to chose from.

And then Knit Picks posted new colors of Felici, my favorite of the inexpensive, self-striping sock yarn. What's a knitter to do?

Oops.

But aren't they so so pretty? Those are going to be some happy socks one day!

7.01.2015

Blog Interview: Corrina Ferguson

Today I want to talk about my friend Corrina and her new book. I've known Corrina for awhile now. We met online and have been able to hang out at the last couple TNNA conventions. She's a wonderful person and a fantastic designer. When she asked me if I would like a review copy of her new book, Warm Days, Cool Knits, I couldn't pass it up!
Corrina was kind enough to answer a few questions about the book and her process:


Jen: What inspired you to write this book? 
Corrina: For this book I was really inspired by being a knitter in Florida. I lived in Ohio for 30+ years and then I decided to move to Florida and become a knitter. So I wanted things that I could wear in the seasons of the south!

J: You designed so many different and interesting pieces for this book. Do you have a favorite? Why do you love it?
C: My favorite is Bayard - a yoked DK pullover. The Sweet Georgia Superwash DK is super delicious and I really adore the way the lace pattern transitions into the rib. It's one of those did I really make that moments! And the color is just so fall to me. I really miss a proper fall.

 J: Do you have a favorite stitch dictionary or where are your favorite places to find stitch patterns? 
C: I have about 40 stitch dictionaries. The Japanese ones are my favorites, but I'm finding that even the obscure stitch dictionaries are being overused in the shawl/lace world. So I'm really into taking a stitch concept and then making it my own by changing elements. I always have graph paper and pencils with me so I can capture ideas as they come.


J: Can you tell me a little bit about your book writing process (timeline, pattern inspiration, etc.)? 
C: My book writing process is kind of a disaster. The ideas come in all sorts of ways and sometimes I do things out of order, and I really, really need to fix that. I like project monogamy though so I really like to do something from start to finish in one fell swoop. Going back and forth between all the steps is sometimes maddening for me!


J: What are your plans for the future? Anything upcoming you can share with us? Any more books? 
Right now I want to take over the knitting world. Is that too much to ask? Actually my upcoming plans include a podcast or videocast and some PicnicKnits products. I have a fabulous dyer who has offered to dye some custom yarn for me for kits so I'm working on ideas for that. And I am pitching my next book - but that's super secret still!

~~~~~~~~~~
Thanks, Corrina! I always love to chatting with other designers and learning about their process!

Warm Days, Cool Knits is split up by season - 5 projects for each. The book has a little of everything - shawls, sweaters, tanks, cowls, socks and more! It was hard for me to pick a couple favorites to feature. There's so many great patterns in this book. I really love Mayella, a slipped-stitch asymmetrical shawl:
 
I'm also really digging the tank on the cover of the book, Leora.
It's written for 5 sizes, and has beautiful lace details. I think I might need one!

One thing I've noticed in Corrina's patterns (whether in this book or the rest of her catalog) is that she has an excellent attention to detail. The way she can come up with awesome stitch patterns and combines them with interesting construction is amazing to me. If you are looking for something fresh and new, then you should check out Corrina's book!


You can find Warm Days, Cool Knits in yarn stores and bookstores now, or you can purchase it online here.

Photos courtesy of Interweave/F+W.

6.29.2015

No Knitting, Just Mud

I'm on a deadline and probably should have been knitting this weekend. Instead, there was mud! I participated in the Dirty Girl 5K (my fourth time) with a few of my friends. Here is Team Mudstache before the race:

 I think my face here pretty much sums up my feelings about the mud:
 At the end, nice and dirty!
Then yesterday, Alex and I went on a 5-mile hike near our house - and saw a bald eagle! We couldn't get a photo, but it was very exciting. We had never seen one in Illinois before. We knew that there were some in the area, but getting to see one was pretty cool.

This week, it's back to the knitting grind. I have some mittens to finish (the joys of a knit designer - you have to knit all the wintery things in summer) and a shawl that needs a few more rows. How was your weekend?

6.24.2015

Fibery Friends!

Last week I wrote about my latest crafty endeavor - cross stitch! It didn't take long for me to start a new project. I've been sneaking in a few stitches here and there over the last few days when I need a break from the knitting.
It's the Fibery Friends Sampler from The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery. I definitely need this framed and in my office ASAP. :)

This pattern is amazing. As a total newbie when it comes to cross stitching, I was so pleased to find loads of information at the start of the pattern. I'm looking forward to having a little more time next month to work on it. I've decided that July is going to be time to relax and recharge. I even bought a kit from Frosted Pumpkin to work on when I finish up this current project.

I have one last thing I'm working on for my fall eBook. That's what I'll be working on today. Perhaps later this week I'll have a sneak peek of that one to show off!

6.23.2015

New Collection WIPs

I've been knitting like crazy! I'm working on a new collection for fall (it will be in eBook format, released in the same way I did the Gradient Collection). Lots of accessories in this one!

I knit on a piece while watching the Blackhawks rally from the comfort of my home last week. I love my hometown hockey team, but I do not love gigantic crowds.
I have a few things finished up already too.
There's a couple more things on the needles. I'm definitely excited for this fall/winter collection. I hope you love it too!

6.17.2015

Second Annual Hat KAL/CAL

If you're in the Ravelry group or you get my email newsletter, you've already heard about this - it's time for the Second Annual Hat KAL/CAL!

Last year, I collected hats for Halos of Hope and donated them at Stitches Midwest.
This year, I'll be donating to a specific cancer center - Cancer Treatment Center of America in Zion, Illinois. This is the center where my dad was treated, and I would really like to do a little something to help them out. Everyone there was so wonderful to my dad and my family. You can read more about my family's experience here

Now through August 15th, I'll be collecting hats (the center also welcomes fingerless mitts and convertible mittens), so that I can donate them at the end of August. There will be prizes involved, including a prize for the person who sends me the most hats! You can knit or crochet any hat you want and I have a thread on Ravelry where you can link to your favorite hat patterns.

My goal is to get 150 hats to donate to the center. So, if you have a little extra time and want to make hats for a great cause, join us for another great hat KAL/CAL!

6.15.2015

A Crafty Weekend

I decided to use this past weekend to work on whatever I wanted. The next couple weeks will be full of work knitting (I'm sending off the samples for my next eBook to the photographer at the end of the month - yay!) so I wanted to get a little "selfish crafting" in over the weekend.

Last week I mentioned that I ordered another DIY pendant from Red Gate Stitchery. It arrived and I immediately started it. It didn't take long to have another beautiful pendant to wear.

Once I finished that up, I decided to break out the cross stitch pattern I bought over a year ago from Nerdy Little Stitcher. It's a beaker in love with a flask. This former lab geek just had to make this one!
It's not perfect (I found the letters to be a little tricky for my mega beginner skills), but I love it just the same. It's so cute. I'll be going to find a frame for it this week and will display it proudly somewhere in the house.
I also got a few stitches in on my sock while out on Saturday. It was World Wide Knit in Public Day, so I did my part and whipped out my sock while at Arlington Park with Alex.
A great weekend of being crafty!

6.12.2015

Back to Basics

Last weekend I attended a friend's bridal shower. I bought her some things off the registry (wine glasses and corkscrew...priorities) but I wanted to put a little something extra in the box. Quick dishcloth knitting and crochet to the rescue!
My friend loves all things pink. So I picked up cotton yarn that I thought she would like and got to work.
She loved them! And I love them too. I'm happy that I picked up a little extra yarn. I might be casting on for some dishcloths of my own soon.

The patterns I used were my go-to patterns for kitchen crafting: Oh So Soft Baby Washcloth (crochet), Grandmother's Favorite (knit), Baby Genius Burp Cloth from Mason Dixon Knitting (knit and with fewer stitches cast on than the pattern says).

Do you have a go-to dishcloth pattern? Or if you have something you always make for bridal showers, let me know. You know me, always looking for more ideas. :)

6.08.2015

A New Hobby?

Wow. The last few weeks have been a little crazy for sure! I went to TNNA (more on that later this week), taught at the lovely String Attached Yarns in Dayton, Ohio, and had my next book due to the publisher.

I'm happy to be home and without a big deadline looming, so I decided to give something new a try - cross stitch!

I visited Red Gate Stitchery's booth while at TNNA. When I got home, I immediately ordered a little DIY necklace kit to try.
The kit comes with everything you need, including the embroidery floss and needle!
Yesterday I took a little time to work on it.
An hour or so later and I was done. I love that it looks like knitting stitches!
I've already ordered another one. I love interesting jewelry and this definitely fits the bill. I'm looking forward to trying more cross stitch!

If you cross stitch, I'd love to hear from you - where do you get your patterns, supplies, etc? I think a new hobby is forming over here. :)

5.06.2015

New Pattern: Maya

Earlier this week, I released a new shawl pattern. This is Maya:

$6.50
I'm obsessed with this shawl (I say that about just about every new design, don't I?). It was so fun to knit! It's worked sideways, increasing in the stockinette triangle while at the same time knitting a border along the edge.
You get to the end of the triangle, work a short "turning section" to get around the corner, and work a knitted-on border along the live stitches that are still on the needle on the short edge of the triangle.
I used Done Roving Frolicking Feet DK. Paula has new 500 yard balls of this yarn in "Monochromatic Gradients." I think the color transition is so cool. Definitely kept my interest while knitting!

$6.50

I hope you enjoy this new pattern and I'd love to hear what you think about this shawl shape. I've been experimenting with different shapes lately. I really like this one and want to know if you do too!


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