Spring Sewing Goodness and Giveaways

It’s spring, and many crafters start yearning for turning seams rather than turning heels. If the sound of birds singing makes you think of your Singer, then today’s giveaway is for you!


We have three fun books to give away, courtesy of Interweave Press, St. Martins and Potter Craft! So three lucky winners will each get a spring sewing boost.


If you’ve been longing to add sewing to your yarn-craft repertoire, you’ll find every useful technique in Nicole Vasbinder’s Super Stitches Sewing. With many illustrated step-by-step tutorials, she shows you 50 machine sewing stitches, 20 hand stitches, and methods to choose the appropriate stitch for the occasion.


Mollie Makes Woodland Friends

Editor Lora Watson has pulled together a storybook collection of projects from the Mollie Makes magazine’s designers. Amy and I reviewed this delightful book on the podcast; the charming voice and graphics lead you thorough a multi-craftual forest with sewing, paper, crochet, applique, cross stitch and felting techniques to create home decor and lovable toys.


Many tiny projects abound in Cat Thomas’ 50 Pincushions to Knit and Crochet! Lots of these designs could do double-duty as ornaments, toys or sachets if you’ve gifted all your sewing friends by the end of the volume. :)

So please leave a comment; let me know if you love to sew, and if so, what project you’re working on. And please tell us which projects look the most fun from the three books here!

The contest runs through this weekend, and we’ll post the three winners on Monday, March 24th. Of course, winners will be chosen by the Random Number Generator.

ETA: We’ve been winding up lots of yarn in the Lair this week, so are doing a big shop update this morning (Friday!) Just wanted to let you know. ;)

cabaret burning bush IMG_1272

Hitch Winner, Ne’er Do Well and Busting at the Seams




Thanks so  much to everyone who entered the Hitch, Patterns Inspired by the Films of Alfred Hitchcock giveaway! And thanks to Stephannie Tallent and Cooperative Press for giving me a copy to give away!

The lucky winner is Liz G, and she’s been notified. Please check out the next stop in the Hitch blog tour tomorrow: indigodragonfly!

ndw-cover-square (1)

It’s the time for giveaways! The amazing Hunter Hammersen has generously offered a print copy of Ne’er Do Well Knits for a lucky podcast listener. Check out the book review on the Knitcircus Podcast and leave a comment here to enter!




Vampire Boyfriend is back!

Vampire Boyfriend is back!

The Lair is full of yarns! You’ll see them all very soon…

Take care, I’m off to teach my Elementary School knitters (all 17 of them) to make pompoms!




Hitch Blog Tour and Giveaway!


Today I’m very excited to be part of the blog tour AND you can win a digital copy!

Hitch includes 29 patterns from different designers; you’ll find sweaters, scarves, hats, gloves, socks. And shawls!

As you may know, Stephannie Tallent, the editor of this volume, worked closely with me as a tech editor for Knitcircus magazine and helped develop our excellent templates and tech-editing workflows. She can edit a pattern like nobody’s business, designs gorgeous, intricate patterns and has a vision for beautifully-designed and executed garments of all kinds.

I was thrilled when Stephannie released her first book, California Revival Knits, and happy to get a chance to be part of this collection honoring the work of one of her favorite directors. If you look at the cover, my design, the Miss Fremont shawl, was lucky enough to get a cameo there!

Untitled-1hitch collage 1

The Hitchcock film I like best is Rear Window, so I looked at Grace Kelly’s costumes, other sketches by costume designer Edith Head and other clothing of the time for inspiration. I was particularly struck by the full New Look skirt with flowers radiating from the waist, so took that as the inspiration for my shawl design.

;hitch collage 2

The Half-Pi shawl is a favorite shape of mine, so within that construction, I chose a lace pattern to echo the feminine floral of the skirt. Here you can see the original sketch, the lace swatch, and final shawl blocked and pinned. Believe it or not, this was designed before I began dyeing gradients, but you can see that the idea was definitely starting to unfold! The shawl is worked in Blue Sky’s Alpaca Sport Weight, 100% baby alpaca, which was a joy to knit, soft, fuzzy and drapey, so perfect for a shawl.

So many wonderful designers are represented in Hitch, which uses red, white and black to highlight the drama and suspense of the theme. Go check out all the Hitch Designs on Ravelry and tell me which one you’d like to knit first! Leave a blog comment, and the Random Number Generator will choose a winner for us Sunday evening, the 17th of November.

Want to participate in a Knit-A-Long or hear about more giveaways? Join the Hitch group on Ravelry.

The Full Blog Tour

9/28/2013: Sunset Cat Designs
10/5/2013: Knitting Kninja
10/05/13: Knit One, Heart Too Podcast
10/7/2013: Herrlichkeiten
10/8/2013: Knit and Travel
10/9/2013: Knit & Knag Designs
10/10/2013: Wooly Wonka Fibers
10/11/2013: Verdant Gryphon
10/15/2013: Impeccable Knits: Shifting Stitches
10/16/2013: Rewolluzza
10/21/2013: Knitwear Designs by Carolyn Noyes
10/22/2013: Peacefully Knitting
10/23/2013: Dark Matter Knits
10/24/2013: Turnknit: Dani Berg Designs
10/25/2013: SweetGeorgia Yarns
10/28/2013: doviejay knits
10/29/2013: Triona Designs
10/30/2013: Tactile Fiber Arts (you’re here!)
11/4/2013: A Knitter’s Life
11/5/2013: Catchloops
11/6/2013: Yarn On The House
11/07/2013: Ramblings
11/12/2013: Hazel Knits
11/13/2013: Knitcircus
11/19/2013: indigodragonfly
11/9/2013: Fyberspates
11/22/2013: A B-ewe-tiful Design
11/25/2013: knittingkirigami

Treasure Hunt Winners!

What a blast! It was so much fun to get to partner with Michelle, Jill and Katie for this lovely giveaway event. Thank you SO MUCH to everyone who tracked down the clues, entered the giveaway and made such nice comments in your entry emails. I wish we could give you all prizes!

All winners have been notified about their prizes, and the winners were chosen by Random Number Generator.

Drum roll, please!


Jen B takes home a generous array of gifts from Knitterella.


A three-skein Spring in Central Park shawl kit fresh off the presses from Michelle Miller of Fickle Knitter goes to: Sarah McF


Gradient-dyed sock set, shawl kit and e-books from Knitcircus Yarns. My winners: Corrina Shawl kit: Kathy C. Matching Socks set: Gretchen F. 7 Hats and Cowls e-books:Natalie K from Ravelry, DANA M, Dawn S, Abigail S, Jessie D, Martha G and Mary S

Image Image

A Sock Yarn Sampler and two Sock Patterns from Yarn Love for Kathlyn R.

Thanks again so much to everyone who was part of this; it was such a good time, we’ll definitely do it again.

Happy Wednesday,


Coming Up: Treasure Hunt Giveaway

Whooo! I’m so excited about this upcoming event; it’s going to be so much fun!

What better time of the year than now to give and get some fantastic knitting swag.You’re going to have the chance to play a game and win some eye-popping prizes from a group of independent knitting businesses, so remember that, a week from today, the Treasure Hunt Giveaway will be on!

I’m not going to reveal it all now, but suffice to say, you could win gorgeous prizes like this new Spring in Central Park kit from Fickleknitter:

Spring in Central Park yummy shawl kit!

Spring in Central Park yummy shawl kit!

Or a huge gift basket with cards, patterns and more from Knitterella:

Gift basket with lots of choices from Knitterella

Gift basket with lots of choices from Knitterella

And of course, Knitcircus Yarns prizes like a Corrina Shawl Kit


and Matching Socks sets of your choice.


So here’s how you play: visit each person’s site and search for little graphics like this:

Ribbon_k2tog (2)

Those are the four destinations on your treasure map! Shoot us an email and tell us where you found them, and you could win some major yarn booty. ;)

We can’t wait to have you play! So mark your yarn calendar for next Tuesday and Wednesday, the 28th-29th, to troll for prizes.

Fresh Designs: Sweaters Review and Giveaway


Thanks to our wonderful friends at Cooperative Press, we have another book review and giveaway for you: Fresh Designs: Sweaters!

The Fresh Designs series is Co-op Press helmswoman Shannon Okey’s brainchild; she wanted to feature up-and-coming designers and independent yarns in specific knitting collections. The series also includes collections for Men, HatsShawls and Scarves, with planned Kids, Bags, Mittens,Toys and Home books.

Ten sweaters are featured in the book, from tank tops to hoodies, with garments including cables, achievable lace and a nice array of constructions techniques.


My favorites from the collection: Pamela Wynne’s Ziggy, with its crisp chevron stripes, and the Everything Nice Hoodie, by Teri Gurbisz.


This modern sweater collection e-book could be yours; just leave a comment about which sweater you would most like to knit! The Random Number Generator will choose a lucky winner on Sunday, March 17th.

Take care,


What Would Madame DeFarge Knit Book Review and Giveaway


 Heather Ordover knows her literature; the teacher and host of Craftlit Podcast has been helping knitters “Stick a Book in [Their] Ear[s]” for 274 episodes!

With her at the helm, this collection brings together designers inspired by literary figures from doomed lover Isolde to brave heroine Little Red Riding Hood to form-shifting Dr. Jekyll. The tone of What Would Madame DeFarge Knit blends a deep love of  the classics with a modern, irreverent spirit. While some designs, like Jane’s Ubiquitous Shawl, play it pretty straight with a historically-influenced lace pattern, others, like Frankenhood, offer a tongue-in-cheek project complete with light-up neck bolts.

With 21 accessory and garment patterns from socks to wraps to reversible cowls, there’s plenty to satisfy almost any knitter. My favorite is Chrissy Gardiner’s Wilhelmina Shawlette, a captivating triangular lace confection inspired by the heroine of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Heather and her contributors don’t confine themselves to knitting, tossing in a crochet pattern or two, a number of recipes, such as for spicy pumpkin soup, and related craft projects, like cutouts for a full shadow-puppet reenactment of Peter Pan’s Mermaid Lagoon, inspired by Victorian family amusements.

The book purposefully remains black-and-white, with woodcut illustrations; it works well to look up the patterns on Ravelry as you go to see the projects in their colorful glory. If you’ve ever been moved by words in a book, had a crush on a literary character or spent time mentally decorating Pemberley, this volume will speak to you.

Thanks to the generosity of the folks at Cooperative Press, we have an electronic version of the book to give away!

Please leave a blog comment about any of the following;

Your favorite project from the book

Which book might inspire you to design a pattern (not necessarily one that’s in this collection)

Another Cooperative Press title you’d like to check out as well as this one

How much you love Craftlit podcast (I know I do!)

The Random Number Generator will pick a pattern Monday morning, March 4th.

And Heather’s inspiration doesn’t stop with one book; watch for the companion volume, What (Else) Would Madame DeFarge Knit to hit shelves next month!


Have a great weekend,


Halloween, Mochimochi and Yarn


Hope everyone had a happy and safe Halloween!

The kids chose polarfleece fabric and I sewed up Jedi and ghoul robes; they had fun running all over with their friends. Unfortunately, they were in such a rush to get out, I didn’t get a photo!They’re getting so big now, they both went to different neighborhoods with their buddies this year. Sniff… But Mike and I had a relaxing evening at home.

We got 35 kids at the door this year, which is about par for the course. When I was a kid, my dad used to always buy a huge Hershey bar and give it to the 50th trick-or-treater with much fanfare, so I always wish it were a bit more… Maybe we could do it for the 25th next year!



Thanks to everyone who entered the Super Scary Mochimochi giveaway!

The winner is CJ, and she’s been notified.

If you’d like another chance to win a great book, hop on over to designer (and my trusty photographer) Elizabeth’s blog for a Sock Yarn Studio giveaway!

Yarn Club(s) in the works

The lovely Amy D is coming over to help me package up yarns and treats tomorrow for the first installment of the All Wrapped Up Yarn Club! Thanks a million to all of the Clubbies for joining in the fun. I’m so excited to give you your goodies. :)

If you missed this one, the Spring Sparkle Club is in the works for February, March and April; glitter bases, guest designers and a special handmade silver pendant for all the participants! Watch for more on that very soon.



Super Scary Mochimochi Book Giveaway

Hi, All,

Hope you had a great weekend!


You all know what a huge fan of Anna Hrachovec‘s designs I am (and my kids are, too), so it’s with great excitement that I bring you this Halloween giveaway.

Thanks to the generosity of the people at Potter Craft, we have a copy of Super Scary Mochimochi for one lucky knitter!


photo courtesy of Anna Hrachovec/Potter Craft

Maybe you never knew that knitting a Teenaged Werewolf, burnt toast or a Zombie Slumber Party was even possible, but once you check out Anna’s designs, you’ll know it was just what you were waiting for this Halloween. Her little monsters are just as cute as every other tiny thing she’s designed (but don’t tell them; they think they’re scary).

To Enter:

Please leave a comment about the book, Anna’s designs, or anything else related to Mochimochiland, and the Random Number Generator will help me pick a winner after the last Trick-or-treater on Halloween night.

Stay Safe

For everyone in Sandy’s path, my thoughts are with you, and I hope that you are able to stay safe this Halloween week. Wish I could make it so that these little cuties were the scariest thing knitters and their families encountered this week.

Take care and keep on knitting,



Giveaway Winners and Fall Colors

Thanks so much to our generous companies, Namaste, Soak, Hiya Hiya and Noni Designs for those wonderful fall prizes!

I also want to thank everyone who commented; your favorite fall colors really got me inspired! I was hopping up from my chair and running down to the Evil Lair to mix up new shades based on your ideas.

In fact, you inspired me so much that I’ve added not one, not two, but 11 extra prizes of my Milwaukee Slouchy Beret pattern to 11 additional winners as a thanks for sharing your ideas! The color of the Rocky Mountain Dyeworks yarn is called Maple Leaves, btw. ;)

 See the bottom of the post for winners.

Your comments proved again what an fascinating bunch we knitters are, and what a wonderful group for the Knitcircus blog! I loved hearing about everyone’s projects and inspiration. So many of you left noteworthy comments and I’ve pulled out a few of my favorites to share with everyone who might not have gotten a chance to read them.

Hunnyb sums up the way many of us feel: Mmmm, I love pumpkin oranges, deep plums, chocolatey browns, and reds.

And Cathy brings up many of your favorites: I am loving the lovely jewel tones for fall: Emerald green, Sapphire blue, deep Garnet red. I love knitting in the fall!

Savannagal says:My favorite fall colors are the earth tones. Burnt orange, golden tuscan yellow, all of the greens, rusty browns and dark earthy browns, and the lovely deep, rich reds. 

Stephanie adds: I love to knit with deep ocean blues (year round) and have really been gravitating toward oranges and deep yellows this fall!

Linda speaks for the quieter tones:I love knitting with creams, browns and greys – natural yarn colours – for Autumn. But then again, a bright splash of red or blue can cheer up a cold, windy day.

Shades of purple-red are many of our top picks: Kristin G:My favorite fall color is burgundy.  But last night I was looking at fabric.  It was my absolute fave shade and the name was ‘Port Wine’.  I love that and now will use it to describe my fave color!!  

And Danica agreed with a huge group of people when she said: My favourite fall yarn colours are of course – ORANGE. All the shades of it!

Some people just wrote beautiful comments!

Tami: My favorite fall colors I’d have to say , a Crisp Apple Red, *My favorite*, a brown the color of pumpkin pie, white or cream,*like a dollap of whipped cream* , and a Light moss green the color of the grass right as fall turns into winter ! For a mixed color, I’d choose the colors of a tree in Vermont that changes it’s leaves in fall, the red, pinky orange,orange,yellow,brown colors. so pretty !

Barb: Lately I’m loving the colors of the Mississippi River horizon at sunset – pale clouds in a blue sky, navy, pearl grays and hunter greens, pinks, peach, orange… impossible to capture or choose only one! Bring on the Autumn hues and add reds, yellows, oranges…

Emvious:My favorite fall colors are rusty oranges, deep browns, and then anything that brings a pop of color into the rather brown and dead looking exterior out here in Colorado. Once the leaves go from the aspens there really isn’t a whole lot left until spring. 

Karamel:I love the warm fall colors of pumpkin, cocoa, and a forest green. Something about these shades put me in the mood for warm apple cider and cool fall days.

Bethe Says:I love this time of year! Nature provides the most beautiful colors, children gather to learn, we start to move indoors, where we cook and bake and Knit!

Many of you inspired  with your notes on nature or delicious autumn foods:

Annika: My favorite fall colors are a rich dark red, bright green and a rich brown. Kind of like a basket of apples:-)

Carol:I love the maroons and pinkish maroons often seen in maple leaves. I love fall!

Heather:I love the bright golden yellow of my neighbor’s sugar maple tree.

Our next-door maple is just starting….

Deb: Just one look at my stash and everyone knows I’m an “Autumn” and a New Englander. All the colors of a majestic sugar maple in Fall are my favorites!

Jean:I lOVE the Rusts, Deep Maroons and Warm rich Browns of the Fall Oaks!

Pharmgirl: My favourite autumn colour is tourquoise… The one that the autumn sky turns just after noon, when it knows that in a few short hours it will be black again.

Morgen: I love the russet, maple sugar, and fading green of Autumn.

Ruth:Rust, the orange of pumpkins, hints of yellow in a field of green: perfect fall colors

Shermie: Yarn colors for fall for me must follow autumn leaves, including many shades of browns, pumpkins, cranberries and even piney greens, so often forgotten. As the season progresses they merge into the deeper reds and holiday greens.

Knitters always want to know that other knitters are knitting! Thanks for sharing some peeks:

Marie:Colors? I seem to have fallen into an unlikely rut. I put the latest shawl to be blocked on my mannequin to keep it out of the cat’s usual exploration range and discovered it’s just about the same rusty orange/brown as the shawl that was already on display. Then my new yarn arrived and I put it on my desk a few feet away – what do you know, same color! Believe me, not on purpose!

Rebecca: So many things to love about fall knitting, but color tops the list! Just started an espresso-colored sweater, am working on a deep green one, and have just finished sweaters in deep purple, taupe, and dark green. Every single one is my favorite! :) Can’t wait for sweater weather to hit the Northwest!

And G.K. Green’s description was so exciting I had to try to create a yarn in these tones!

G.K Green: My favorite fall yarn color is really a color combo … dark chocolate brown paired with a jolt of deepest magenta. It’s surprisingly striking, and a nice alternative to the tangerine/pumpkin spectrum showing up everywhere now.

And Knitzombie said just how i’m feeling as a knitter right now:  Life begins with fall, the colors, smells and gentle sounds of needles tapping with the wind. I am ready.

And now, the winners!

The Namaste Skinny Mini Bag goes to: 


The Ella’s Going Out Noni Designs Kit goes to:

Margaret S.

The Hiya-Hiya needle and Soak Lotion go to:


The 11 Milwaukee Slouchy Beret Patterns go to:

Rose, Lisa, Koreakiwi,Terri Sue, Shannon M.,Judy, Carla, Debi, Candi, 16005Crofton, Lynnknits.

All winners have been notified.

Have a great weekend, everyone!