Favorite Characters from Literature #2: Katie

 

Hello!

katie

Jaala asked me to say something about myself this week, which is strange for me. My name is Katie, and I love being behind the scenes helping to make things tick.

Every day is something different for me at Knitcircus; today I’m in the office with my puppy curled at my feet but yesterday I was busily dyeing up batches of gorgeous yarn to send to online customers and for us to take to Stitches Midwest.

IMG_7685
Roscoe Likes to Help in the Office

 

What am I doing tomorrow? Who knows?!? When I’m not dyeing yarn or working on the website listings, I am prettifying displays and ordering needles and notions for the Studio Store and at most of our shows working the booth.

At home I am busy raising my son Cole and step-son Jacob with my husband James. We also have two cats, Captain Fitzwilliam von FancyPaws, Fourth Earl of Bigglesworth (Fitz) and Cleo, in addition to our puppy, Roscoe.

I can often be found knitting or crocheting on the couch watching Midsomer Murders or any BBC Masterpiece Classic in the evenings.

Fall Collection Color

235740195bf50b4b0709676155555e4d

For my Fall Collection literary character I decided on Elinor Dashwood from Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility.

b58b85d13f21d2ed044fe657e5a22c9f

It’s not that I directly identify with Elinor but I do feel an affinity for her. Elinor is steady, mature, soft-spoken but well-respected, and the rock of her family during a sad and turbulent time.

kinopoisk.ru

Elinor always makes me think of a lighthouse during a storm; strong and steady and still standing after the storm passes.

Aside from my love of English literature, I have a deep and abiding appreciation for anything funny and awesome. So I will leave you with this thought: Go see Ghostbusters.

Design Inspiration Revealed: Wendy D. Johnson’s Maple Leaves Gradient Cowl

Designer Wendy D. Johnson is a multitalented sock-knitting guru, the author of Wendy Knits Lace, Socks from the Toe Up, Toe Up Socks for Every Body and Wendy Knits.

Fall patternsShe designed the amazing Maple Leaves Gradient Cowl for our Fall Collection, which graced the cover!

1)      How did you choose the kind of project you designed?

Lately I have been all about colorwork cowls. Being a woman of “a certain age” a stranded colorwork sweater is just too warm for me to even consider wearing, but I love knitting stranded colorwork. Cowls are the perfect solution, because they are incredibly handy and versatile in the winter. I like them better than a scarf for outdoor wear because they stay put better, and they are easily popped on indoors if the room is a little chilly.

KnitCircus_July2015_ConnieWardPhotography-92

2)      What was the biggest challenge of designing this project?

My biggest challenge was charting the large leaf motif so that it actually looked like a maple leaf!

3)      What was your favorite part of the process?

I love, love, love knitting colorwork with a gradient and a semi-solid because it makes the finished piece look far more complex than it really is. Watching the pattern emerge as I knit is always my favorite part of knitting colorwork, and it is why I can knit it so quickly: I’m so eager to see the design come to life that I knit faster!

KnitCircus_July2015_ConnieWardPhotography-102

4)      Your favorite thing about the finished piece?

I love how perfectly suited the yarn is to the design. The finished cowl has an almost velvet look to it because of the depth of color in the yarn.

SampleExcelChart

Here’s a snippet of one of the charts that reveals my dark secret: I chart all my colorwork designs using an Excel spreadsheet and a dingbat font! I never sketch with pencil and paper first, I always start with a blank spreadsheet!

–Wendy D. Johnson

Links:

Wendy’s website Wendy Knits

Maple Leaves Gradient Cowl pattern on Ravelry.

Maple Leaves Gradient Cowl Kit on the Knitcircus website.

Design Inspiration Revealed: Susanna IC’s Vernice Shawl

KnitCircus_July2015_ConnieWardPhotography-115 (1)Susanna IC has built her reputation on beautifully-designed shawls, and has had patterns published in many leading knitting magazines, including Twist Collective and Wool People. She designed the stunning Vernice Shawl for our Fall Collection: in the first of a series, she shares her inspiration and design process for us in a mini-interview.

KnitCircus_July2015_ConnieWardPhotography-134

  1. How did you choose the kind of project you designed?

I wanted to create a smaller, one skein shawl with some fun textures throughout; something that would be quick to knit but still interesting to work on, a perfect gift project. Of course, this being a Knitcircus project, the design also had to play well with beautiful gradient yarns.

KnitCircus_July2015_ConnieWardPhotography-112

  1. What was the biggest challenge of designing this project?

The inspiration for Vernice came from the brilliant colors of the skein, which reminded me of the changing seasons, and the design progressed easily from there. I wanted to work with interestingly textured lace stitches that would reflect the colors and textures of autumn foliage. The biggest challenge came while trying to decide which color to start with.

KnitCircus_July2015_ConnieWardPhotography-108

  1. What was your favorite part of the process?

While the more difficult decision had to do with which color to work with first, the red or the blue, the color progression was also my favorite part of the design process. In the end, I decided to start with the blues to reflect the color of clear sunny sky and to finish with the reds that look much like autumn leaves.

KnitCircus_July2015_ConnieWardPhotography-125

  1. Your favorite thing about the finished piece?

I am very happy with the way the textured stitches interact with each other, creating interesting shapes throughout the lace border. I also like how versatile the size of this crescent is: it can be worn around the shoulders as a traditional shawl, yet at the same time the elongated shape makes it possible to wear open like a long scarf.

Here’s where you’ll find the:

Vernice Pattern

Vernice Kit

Knitcircus Fall Collection

You can find all of Susanna’s designs on Ravelry, join her Ravelry Group and check out her website, Artqualia.com!

Biggest News Yet: Knitcircus Studio and Kickstarter Project

TEXT HERE

Knitcircus is making a huge move! Thanks to the support of our customers, we’re getting out of the basement and into a professional space.

Microsoft PowerPoint - Evergreen Office Park - Datasheet

Just a couple of years ago, it was only me in the basement pursuing my dream of long-striping gradients, then one part-time person, then three, now we have the delightful Amy D and a total of six people in the Lair, three full-time. Our new space, the Evergreen Building on Grand Canyon Drive, will allow my workers to expand their hours, improve our workflow and make your yarn faster!

Most exciting, the space has room for a small retail store, classrooms for retreats and a central area for events. We can start giving back, hosting events and bringing more people in to the knitting/craft community!

But the big move doesn’t come so easily, and we’re going to need your help. The space needs improved electric, plumbing, ventilation and some new equipment, as well as covering downtime for the move itself. That’s why we started a Kickstarter project.

The way Kickstarter works is, you “back” the project by pledging funds, and in return, you get a “reward,” so it’s essentially buying special products to help fund the project. We’ve got rewards starting at $3 and up, and we’ve worked hard to make sure that you’re getting a bang for your buck!  We’re making exclusive yarns and patterns available through this project that you’ll never find anywhere else. Plus, you get chances to tour the studio (with homemade baked goods), book special classes with me or Amy, have a techniques video made just for you or even have us knit you a pair of socks!

Most fun for knitters, we’re making exclusive gradient, kettle and speckle, colorways just for Kickstarter!

6885011-grand-canyon

Inspired by our new address on Grand Canyon Drive, I’ve created the Grand Canyon colorway. IMG_2782

It’s already a staff favorite and I hope a lot of people take advantage of the Kickstarter, because we won’t get to make it again!

Every day for the first six days, I’ll be posting photos of the new colorways and after that, we’ll unveil the new Grand Canyon Shawl pattern, again, just for Kickstarter participants.

We’re all really excited, but it’s making me nervous, too. This is a big commitment and I know it’s going to work, out, but your help will make essential improvements happen. A new stove, utility sink and ventilator aren’t glamorous, but they are needed! Please visit Kickstarter and show us that you’re ready to come visit the Knitcircus Studio to shop, take classes, hang out and even get a peek behind the scenes at the dyeing studio! We can’t wait for you to join the fun. 🙂

Jaala

Big Shop Update and Sale Tomorrow at 10:00 CDT

Spring sale

We’re photographing and listing things like crazy for our first annual Spring Sale and huge shop update! Unfortunately, I won’t be able to make it to YarnOver this weekend, so all of the yarn is going up in the shop instead! (But the lovely Amy Detjen will be there, so please say hi if you see her!)

We’ve got sale skeins of kettle dyes, handpaints, Matching Socks Sets, and gradients of all sizes! Watch for the shop update on the Knitcircus webpage tomorrow at 10:00 am!

Happy knitting,

Jaala

Knitcircus Podcast #55

In this episode, Amy and Jaala have created a monster, they have a jingle sing-a-long, and they discuss the thousands of preventable deaths on television. Also, apparently neither of them owns a watch.

Listen on Libsyn or iTunes

Mentioned in this episode:

WRITE IN CONTEST: Come up with a good name for Knitcircus basic patterns and you can win a 50g ball of yarn

(Apologies, everyone, for getting this out after the Knit In. -podcast producer cindy)

WIP Wednesday, Rainbow Cowl and Knit-In

WIP Wednesday!

In the Lair, we love yarn, and sometimes even get a chance to knit. 🙂 Here’s what the Lair denizens are up to now.

DSC_0927 DSC_0929

Jaala is working on a prototype for a simple 50g hat pattern in our Mermaid Lagoon colorway; almost done! Just the crown decreases left…

DSC_1037
Shari is working on arm-length hand warmers

DSC_1041

…and a Ribbed Ruffle Scarf.

DSC_1034
Chris is working on a Pogona by Stephen West, in a ball of Misti Alpaca Tonos.

DSC_1044

She also has a pair of socks in Freia Ombre Fingering (75% wool, 25% nylon) in Moab.

DSC_1046

She’s also working on another pair of socks in KFI Luxury Collection Indulgence Cashmere in 607. She thinks it looks like the Fourth Doctor Who’s scarf.

DSC_1048
Ryan is working on a hat & experimenting with a ball of our gradient stripe sock colorway Brew Crew. We’re very interested to see how the stripes knit up in hat form!

Rainbow Cowl, ho!

bestrainbow

Amy Detjen is just on fire writing patterns for us! I don’t know how we lucked out having her as a friend. We did the photoshoot for her simple brioche rainbow cowl today. Assistant Dyer Erin’s bright, warm personality made the cowl look fantastic and like she was just hanging out on a beautiful day. In reality, it was zero F with a freezing wind sweeping over the landscape and we had a getaway car running with the heat on in the parking lot. DSC_0948

We’ll be officially releasing this one on Friday and the people at the Knit-In will get a chance to see it in person and maybe win a kit!

Knit In

I’m excited, it’s the first time Knitcircus Yarns has been a vendor at the Knit In and they’ve moved to the Alliant Energy Center. The Knitter’s Guild is moving up in the world! Please come see us if you’re local,  check out Amy’s new pattern and just say hi. We’d love to see you. Marketplace hours are Saturday and Sunday 8:30-5:00. It does cost $15 to register for the event same day, $20 if you’re a non-member, so I’d suggest coming early and making sure to catch some of the special events. We’ll have plenty of sale things to make it worth your while, too…