Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Week One - nothing done

The first week of the Indie Gift Along is officially over and I have not completed any projects!

Of course my choices of projects probably were the cause of that problem!

The first two that I have cast on are :

A Big Orenburg Style Shawl.
I am a bit further than this, but the "tracker of work" in my knows that I am behind the eight ball on this one.  The body pattern has 462 rows, of which I am on row 55, and then there are an additional 233 edging rows to go along the top.

Svetlana  Loginova has a lot of very nice looking designs.  Not for the faint of heart though, some of them are huge! (Just how I like my shawls!)

I am knitting mine in Knit Picks Gloss Lace in the color Sterling.

Second up is a sleeveless top for myself.
 You can't tell from this photo, but it will grow up to look like this photo, just in cream.

 This is Amira, by Arabian Knits Designs
I am knitting mine in some discontinued yarn that has been lounging in my stash a while!  Jenny Watson Pure Merino, DK. (If pro runners pick merino shirts, having one to wear under a jacket or alone with a pair of jeans...maybe a shawl thrown on top, during Spring and Fall sounds good to me!  Not sure it will work for the heights of summer in Ohio...but I will test that theory next summer!)

Although the first week is over, there are still five more weeks of fun and excitement in the Gift Along.  With nearly 10,000 members it is certainly the biggest event I take part in each year.

What are you working on?


Saturday, November 25, 2017

All I Want....

The Indie Gift Along is in full swing, knitters are knitting, crocheters are hooking and the regular chat thread is filling up fast!  (This year there is a Slow Lane Chat Thread as well, for those who would like to attempt to keep up with the talking!)

One of the newer "activities" this year is an Instagram Challenge.  Each prompt lasts for two days and you can post on either of the days, both of the days or none of the days, however much you decide.

Today's prompt is "All I Want Is..."

What I want is more hands!  Because I made the mistake of calculating how many stitches I need to knit each day to finish the massive Orenburg style shawl I cast on, and the top and the socks and the....oooohhhh look more shiny patterns!

Denise Balvanz....Ilena Cowls.

Kirsten McTeer....Armona

Arabian Knits....Mariam 

Artesanitarium Designs...Chesire Shawl 

I should turn off my computer because so far that massive shawl I cast on...looks like this...

Thursday, November 23, 2017


Happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends!

I hope your day is filled with all the things you are thankful for...good food, a cozy home, friends and family that you love!

Along with the food, family and home one of the things that I am very thankful for is the community of knitters and crocheters that I have met through Ravelry and at this time of year no group there demonstrates what a wonderful place that is than the Indie Gift Along.

Thousands of crafters (the group has over 9000 members!) gathered together showing a love of yarn and crafting...the chat thread is incredible as are the patterns that are on sale (for just a few more days! The sale ends November 28th.)  I thought I would scan through the sales bundle and show you a few of my favorites from the Head and Hands categories today.

First up Heads -
Peggy Jean Kaylor's Attack of the Killer Rabbits Hat.

Soft Honeycomb Hat by Kirsten McTeer.
If you need one for a baby...Ostrich Plume Baby Bonnet by Arabian Knits.
And Acropolis by Linette Grayum.

In a fingerless mitts lover...
Teemu - Hooded Mitts by Artesanitarium Designs 
Underwing Mitts by Erica Heusser 
No Your Other Left by Kirsten McTeer

Zaklina by Allison Janocha

I hope you enjoy your day today as much as I will mine!  My crystal ball is broken but I see lots of food and knitting in it!

More from the GAL round up over the next few weeks....hopefully I will get enough knitting in to actually post about what I am working on!


Monday, November 20, 2017

Are You Ready? Part 2

One more day until GAL2017 officially kicks off and along with clearing needles and my evening schedule there are a few other things to do to get ready for the BIGGEST Knit Along in the world...

You have to have snacks!

Last year the chat thread declared that Crumpets were the official food of the GAL...this year...suggestions from home made chex mix to breakfast to eggplant, cheeses and various cookies...
I might have started laying in a supply of snacks already, because there are going to be so many patterns to pick from I know I will not want to cook dinner - or take the time to eat it!

What we know so far about the patterns?...

311 designers, each have between 10 and 20 patterns curated to be "special" for the that as On Sale (and it is the only sale I do, other than the newsletter discount)

Tune in through out the next six weeks to see what patterns and designers I find appealing!


Sunday, November 19, 2017

Are You Ready? - A Not Silent Sunday

Those of us in the United States will be celebrating Thanksgiving this week.  But, worldwide there is another celebration about to start and, to this knitters mind, it is an even bigger party than Thanksgiving will ever be! (And I love Thanksgiving, what isn't there to love about a holiday that revolves around food, spending time with the people you love and being grateful?)

The Fifth Annual Independent Designer Gift-A-Long starts this Tuesday at 8pm Eastern Time.

If you have never heard of the GAL, let me tell you just a little bit about it.

(Lifted from the header of the GAL Group...)
The Indie Design Gift-A-Long is a 6 week long KAL/CAL of holiday gifts made from patterns designed by a rather extensive list of independent designers. From November 21, 2017 at 8:00 pm US EST to December 31, 2017 at midnight US EST there will be fun games, contests, and 8 KAL/CALs that will help you get your holiday knitting and crocheting done with companionship and fun! From November 21, 2017 at 8:00 pm US EST to November 28th at 11:59pm US EST.

Once you’ve got your Gift-A-Long patterns, we encourage you to join a relevant KAL/CAL! (For instance, if it is a cowl, please join the Cowls, Scarves, & Other Neck Things KAL/CAL.) To join, simply write a post in the KAL/CAL thread you want to join, including the pattern name you will be knitting and a link to your project page. KAL/CAL participants are eligible for lots of lovely prizes but you’ve got to post to win Please Note: all prize winners must be group members!
KAL/CALs will run from November 21, 2017 at 8:00 pm US EST to December 31, 2017 at midnight US EST, plenty of time to knock out all your holiday knitting and crocheting. We have tons of prizes, games, and great conversation, plus a lot of other fun, so pull up a chair and join us!

Along with the threads for the individual categories of prizes there is a group chat where you can just "hang out"  That has already started and even though we are still a couple of days away from the official kick-off it is a fast moving, all inclusive thread!  (And the conversation isn't all about knitting or crocheting, there is spinning and weaving, cooking, kids, name it we are talking about it!)

So if you are not already a member of Ravelry, run over and join, it's free and easy!  Then join the group and get ready for the biggest crafting party of the year!

Tomorrow, if I don't get side-tracked trying to clear my needles for Tuesday evening, I'll share some of what I am doing to "get ready to party!"


Friday, November 17, 2017

Finally A Finished Object I Can Share!

The biggest problem with designing is sometimes you really can't talk at all about what you are working on...or you can give cryptic hints and nothing more!

Today I can talk about a project that I finished a little bit ago, that wasn't even one of my designs, but needed to be held aside until today because tomorrow you can get the pattern free on Knotions!

Autumn Cornucopia is a shawl by Yvonne Becker who designs under the brand name, Handarbeitskram.

Written to use two contrasting fingering weight yarns it includes short rows, garter stitch and lace.
The lace is special because it is actually produced from "encoded words" by Gannet Designs 

I knit mine with two colors of Land O Lace Steffi, which sadly is a discontinued yarn!
The shawl looks great in the close tones that I picked and in highly contrasting yarns, like the designer picked..

Go check out the issue of Knotions to see more projects you can make...and stay tuned here for more information about what I am going to be working on for the next six weeks, tomorrow!  It is going to be a ton of fun and I really hope you will join me!


Friday, November 3, 2017

Friday couldn't come soon enough!

No finished objects to share got that yesterday with the pattern release.  :)

Lots of personal things going on this week though...some good...some "meh"...some frustrating.

On the good side...

I sent a fellow Raveler some yarn to "taste" as she wasn't sure if she would find it scratchy and wanted to try it before she bought return she sent me this gorgeous bookmark!

I love when people give me hand made gifts!  I think that too often people think that because I can make things for myself that I won't appreciate them, but that is not at all true!  As a "maker of things" I know that hours of work went into that gift and that means I appreciate it even more than someone who doesn't understand that.

My shawl in the latest issue of Knotions was on the front page of Hot Right Now on Ravelry...

which is always an ego boost, as is when All Free Knitting Patterns sends out their picks for projects emails and includes Twined Vines.

Both of those things happening this week made me smile!  It is nice to be noticed like that.

In the background while all those things were happening I have been getting things ready for a certain big Knit Along that is coming up....more on that later...the behind the scenes planning is going on, but, as it is the Indie Designers Gift to the knitters, I better not spoil any of the surprise!  (Although it hasn't officially started there is some chatter starting in the group thread.)

Well, that's it from me for today.  I have a shawl that needs to be finished before I can even think of the other things that need to come off my needles in anticipation of the Gift Along...and writing and editing and could I please get some nice weather for a photo shoot or two?

What's your plan for the weekend?  Mine involves about a million nupps!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

My Indecisive Heart

When is a triangle not a triangle? When is a crescent not a crescent? When is pi-shawl shaping not part of a pi-shawl? When you combine the three!

 When I could not decide between a triangle, crescent, or half circle shawl, my indecisive heart drew its shaping from all three. Starting with a provisional cast on, with a strong center spine (like a top down triangle shawl), moving through crescent and pi-shaping, this shawl combines my favorite elements of all three shapes! 
Easy to wear and easy to knit. The twisted garter, when heavily blocked, gives the body a mesh like appearance, and the simple lace border flows into a crochet chained bind off.
My version is knit in Unplanned Peacock Pima, a very soft cotton yarn, that blocks like a dream and makes for a perfect "I need a little something but don't want to get too warm" shawl.

You can get this, and all of my patterns in my Ravelry Store!