The Studio Redo - It Begins

I've been working from home now for almost 18 months. My workspace is ok, but has no personality whatsoever. That's about to change!

Over the last couple months I've been planning out my studio/office redecorating project. I've started a Pinterest board and have been thinking about storage solutions and paint colors and all that fun stuff. We are getting new windows in our house next week and once that's done, I'll start on the great studio transformation. I've put in some work so far. Melissa gave me the idea to frame some vintage knitting ads for the wall. I searched around on eBay and found a couple ads that feature yarn/knitting. I kinda love that the "Why do women knit?" ad is an ad for a car. I picked up the frames at a thrift store and spray painted them. I have one more ad to frame, and I'm on the hunt for another frame.
Then the other week at knit/crochet night, I was talking about how I really wanted a lateral file cabinet but they are super pricey to buy new. Laura had an extra one at work and let me have it for free! I failed to take a 'before' picture, but I can tell you that the file cabinet was well-used/loved. :) I cleaned it up and gave it a few coats of spray paint. Looks almost brand-new! So now I have a lateral file cabinet that cost me about $12 in spray paint and $4 in caps for the bottom of the file cabinet.
That's a file cabinet that is in the redecorating budget!


Baby Hat Cuteness

I don't know about you, but there are only certain people in my life who can send me a message on Facebook saying, "Can you make me this?" that I will answer with "Of course!" My friend Colleen is one of them.

She sent me a photo of a crocheted baby hat and asked if I could make a similar one for her little boy that is due in a couple weeks. I was happy to help and knit one up for her.
I love the long tail with the fluffy pompom at the end. It will definitely make for some cute newborn pics! Can't wait to meet her new baby and see him rocking the new hat.


Knitscene Winter Faves

With my Quetzal Cowl in the new issue of Knitscene I thought it would be fun to talk about my favorites in the new issue. There are lots of things I love, but I've narrowed it down to a few.

I love the Deep Woods Toque by Kiyomi Burgin:
 I guess I must be in a hat-mood, because I'm also really liking the Northern Hat by Teresa Gregorio:
Ooh, and how about the Fire Isle Sweater from Amy Gunderson? It's gorgeous!
And this wrap from Sachiko Burgin is so interesting. It looks so very warm and cozy!
What are your Knitscene Winter faves? I'd love to know!

Photos used with permission. Photo credit: Knitscene/Harper Point Photography


Sock-Yarn Accessories - The Socks

My sock-yarn related book finally has socks in it. Woot! Today it's all about the socks in Sock-Yarn Accessories.

First up, it's Fergus:
Fergus are top-down socks with a heel flap, which is still my favorite construction for socks with a stitch pattern on them. This particular stitch pattern has lace and texture - a fun combination. The sock is written for 3 sizes (40, 60, and 80 sts) so you can make one for both your large and small-footed friends!

The other sock pattern in the book is Koda, which is part of a sock and scarf set. Because why shouldn't your socks match your scarf!? :)
This stitch pattern is a combination of cables and lace. I guess I was into combining things when working on the socks, huh? These socks are also written for 3 sizes (48, 60 and 72 sts).

I've been on such a shawl-designing kick, it was fun to get back to my roots and design some socks. Hopefully there will be more sock designs in my future.

Images from Sock-Yarn Accessories, Martingale, 2015; Photos by Brent Kane.


Quetzal Cowl

 I'm very excited to show off my Quetzal Cowl, which is in the new Winter Issue of Knitscene!
The cowl is worked flat like a scarf. It uses a pretty simple cable and lace pattern. It's a great pattern for trying cabling without a cable needle. Ditching the cable needle made this piece super quick to knit.
After blocking, a small seam is added to turn it into a cowl. You can wear this thing a variety of ways!
I think it would also look cute with the seam along one shoulder and then wrapped around the neck one time. the corners would then fall in the front and back, making it shawl-like.

The sample is knit out of Canopy Fingering from The Fibre Company. The yarn is an alpaca/merino/bamboo blend and is fantastic to work with. I would love to make a whole sweater out of that yarn. Very nice stuff!

Hope you enjoy the new pattern! I'll be back later this week to talk about some of my favorites from the new issue of Knitscene.

Photos used with permission. Photo credit: Knitscene/Harper Point Photography


Computer Time

If you get my newsletter you read earlier this week why the knitting content has been a little lacking on the blog lately. All my time has been spent at the computer, reformatting patterns.

It was definitely time for an update to my patterns. Up to this point I've been using Microsoft Word for my patterns, which was just ok. I think my patterns looked pretty good - for a Word pattern. It's a little plain though.

Over the last few months I'd been thinking a lot about how I needed to get more serious about pattern layout and overall presentation/branding. The time had come for an upgrade. After a few days of lots of Googling and general crankiness over trying to figure out something new, I'm making progress in my pattern updating using Adobe InDesign.
I'm so pleased with the new layout. I think (and I hope you do too) that it makes my patterns look a whole lot better!

I am trying to update 6 patterns a week plus formatting one of my upcoming patterns for the fall. That is taking up a whole lot of time! Hopefully in a few weeks this project will be all done and I will be back to knitting and crocheting more. My poor Briarcliff sweater really wants to get done.


Sock-Yarn Accessories - The Cowls

I love cowls. They are one of my favorite accessories to wear. My favorite part is that they are a loop - making it hard to fall off/lose. Sock-Yarn Accessories has a couple of cowl patterns in it that I think you will love as much as I do.

There's Pleasantville, a lace cowl with some nice texture within the lace.
It's written for two sizes. The small cowl is shown here, but you can also knit the larger infinity scarf version. It's a super easy project too. I think it would make a great first lace project.

Then there's Larkspur, the cowl I've been thinking about forever:
I have been wanting to use this stitch pattern for a long time, and I also wanted a cowl with buttons. The two came together perfectly I think!
This cowl is also written for two sizes, with the larger cowl shown in the photos. What I love about it is that you can wear it so many ways - including as a scarf if you want.

I picked up the buttons from My Garage Art. They are just so pretty! I need to make more things with buttons so I can get more. 

Hooray for cowls!

Images from Sock-Yarn Accessories, Martingale, 2015; Photos by Brent Kane.


WI Sheep & Wool

Over the weekend I finally made it to Wisconsin Sheep & Wool. I've wanted to attend for many years, but something was always on the calendar for the same weekend. Not this year! Alex and I got up early on Saturday and drove to the festival for a few hours of sheep and fun.

We walked around and saw a lot of sheep.
We also spent some time watching the Crook & Whistle trials. I think that was my favorite part of the day. It was so interesting to watch the dogs herding sheep. I didn't get any pictures of that, but here's me and Alex happily watching on the bleachers.
We also really liked the sheep shearing demo. It's amazing how fast this guy can shear a sheep!
There was a little shopping too. The market has lots of great vendors with lots of great stuff. In the end I came home with two skeins of a merino/yak/silk blend yarn from Gale's Art.
It was a great day and I'm so pleased I finally made it to the show. I look forward to going again in the future!


Sock-Yarn Accessories - The Shawls

Sock-Yarn Accessories starts shipping later this week (hooray!) so I thought I would take the next week or two to chat about some of the patterns.

The book contains 20 patterns - the most patterns I've ever had in one book. There's lots of variety too - shawls, scarves, mittens, hats, socks, and more. Finally, a sock yarn book from me with actual socks!

Today I'm starting with the shawls. First up, it's Adorn:
You know how I love a good triangle shawl! The sample shown here in the book uses just one skein of Artisan Sock from Hazel Knits, but the pattern includes notes on how to make it bigger with a second skein.

Then there's Lake Delton, one of my favorite patterns in the book:
Lake Delton is a top-down crescent shawl with a knitted-on border. The body of the shawl uses double yarn overs to make it extra lacy! I named the shawl after Lake Delton, Wisconsin, where my family has been vacationing for decades. We always stay at a resort right on the lake - it's one of my favorite places ever. Here's me with the family in Lake Delton last year. Such a great time!

There is another shawl in the book, but it's part of a matching accessories set. More on those later.

I really hope you enjoy Sock-Yarn Accessories!

Images from Sock-Yarn Accessories, Martingale, 2015; Photos by Brent Kane.

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