Purl’s Giveaway Winners & Winter Fun

November purl
Thanks to everyone who commented and messaged about our little baby kitty. The vet said that she was even younger than we thought, probably seven weeks. She's on meds to get rid of the nasty wormies and is acting more playful every day. She's even tiny next to our small cat, who's seven pounds of pure fluff!

 November purl 2

And the three winners of Purl's giveaway are:



Niki V!

If you haven't already gotten a message from me, please shoot an email to:jaala@knitcircus.com and we'll get your Winter Pattern Collection out for you right away.

Delmont small front 2 crop
Delmont Cap, by Allison Harding

If you'd like another chance to win a Winter Pattern Collection pdf, designer extraordinaire Allison Harding  is holding a giveaway at the Allison Harding Design blog.

In more fun news,  friend-of-the-magazine Heather of Craftlit Podcast is part of the Dickens of a Christmas blog hop , so hop on over and check out her Special Edition podcast and see what the other Dickensian bloggers are dishing up.





Alice Starmore Giveaway Tomorrow!

September AS cover
Here it is, the original Alice Starmore hardcover of Fair Isle Knitting, and it could be yours tomorrow!

Just shoot me an email: jaala@knitcircus, ravmessage me: jaaladay, or post something in the Knitcircus Ravelry Group telling us which Knitcircus pattern you've cast on, gotten halfway done or completed; it can be from any Knitcircus issue, with an included link or photo! You'll receive one point for casting on, two points for getting partway, three more than halfway, and four for a FO. We'll tally up the points and tomorrow night, the Random Number Generator will get out its dancing shoes and pirouette with one of you!

For those of you who don't take Alice home, we've got some other great prizes.

Check this out: Alana of Never Not Knitting podcast and designs has generously given us a complete set of her new printed patterns; a lucky runner-up will receive seven of these, including her famous Cedar Leaf Shawlette!

September nnk patterns

Watch for more Never Not Knitting fun when the podcast we're sponsoring goes live October 1; we'll be giving away the rest of these beauties then!

Two knitters will receive a year's subscription to Knitcircus (five issues),and three will get a Gifts Pattern Collection download!

Giftlet cover There's still time to cast on and  we're looking forward to seeing which knitters win!

ETA: The contest is closed; thanks to everyone who entered! Winners posted tomorrow (Thursday).

Handwerks Yarn Giveaway!

Handwerks yarns1

A special Yarn Crawl today spotlights  independent dyer Laura, creator of Handwerks Textiles.  She shares her yarny history and new ideas and has generously offered not one, but two skeins of gorgeous yarn for our readers.

Handwerks' luxury yarn lines include Classic Sock, Necessary sock, Silky Sock, So-Soft Sock,and Classic Dk. We're going to get to give away a skein each of  the last two, her new lines!

Our designers get to play with the other
two, so watch for her yummy Superwash Merino and luxury blend colorways in featured
patterns for the Fall and Winter issues.

Handwerks 5

Not just for many-hued fibers, the Handwerks site offers information and classes on Circular Sock Machines and a nice array of for-purchase and free patterns, such as the Lacey Scarf shown below as well as a Sock Club (current one's closed, but I'm sure there'll be more in the future).

Lacey Scarf

Now, without further ado, let's settle in and hear from Laura.

Handwerks yarns 3

Tell us a
little about your yarns, especially the ones we get to give away, please!

 So-Soft-Sock is my
repeatable line of sock yarn in a soft-yet-strong blend of superwash merino and
cashmere. It also has a touch of nylon for extra strength. When I first started
carrying this yarn I thought of it as a luxury blend but it is now becoming my
favorite all purpose blend. I’m currently knitting a cardigan for myself out of
it holding two strands of yarn together. It’s wonderful and I love the way
knitting with two strands blends the colors. It is, of course, also perfect for
socks! All of the colorways can be reordered.

Classic DK is a new weight of yarn for Handwerks.  I decided to offer DK yarn for those people
that want a heavier weight yarn for socks as well as mitts, scarves, sweaters,
and baby items. DK is such a versatile weight;  I’m enjoying dyeing this yarn in
small batches and not taking extra time to make notes on my dye process. This
allows me to dye in a more serendipitous manner and I can pass on some savings
to my customers.  I don’t plan to repeat
dyelots of this yarn exactly, so what is on my website is what's available.

Handwerks yarns 2

How'd you
get started with your fiber business?

My Girl Scout leader taught me to knit a headband on a
circular needle when I was nine.  I grew up
in Madison, WI so after the headband I went on to knit mittens and hats.  My grandmother also helped me along the way;
I just never quit knitting.  In college
in Minnesota I started designing my own patterns, combining stitches for
scarves, mittens and sweaters.  Later,
when I lived in Washington DC, I started teaching knitting at a LYS and I started a
small business, Wee Woolens, designing and machine knitting children’s
sweaters.  A few years later when we
moved to California and I started spinning, weaving and dyeing yarns. I’ve
since dabbled with weaving baskets, raising angora rabbits and knitting on
antique circular sock machines.  After my
kids went off to college I decided it was time to start another small business.

Handwerks started in 2007. I chose
the name Handwerks to allow me to pursue all kinds of textiles made by hand.  I also teach out of my home studio and judge
spinning at local fairs. Besides selling hand dyed yarns I sell hand cranked
socks and handwoven textiles.  Handwerks
brings together my past business experience, training in the sciences, teaching
skills and lifelong interest and talents in fiber arts.

Handwerks 7

Tell us
about your approach to color and what inspires your color choices.

My colorways are inspired by my surrounding. I like to mix
and combine colors that I see as well as play on themes.  Handwerks yarns always have several colors in
one yarn. I find layers of color with shades and variations more interesting
than solids. I start with primaries and keep mixing until I am satisfied with
the results. I also try to strive for yarns that have a handcrafted appeal. My
goal always is to dye something beautiful and unique and I try to dye a range
to appeal to a varied audience.  I always
wanted to have the biggest crayon box I could when I was little and I like to
offer that kind of choice to my customers for their knitting pleasure.

Handwerks 6

 What's next
for you and Handwerks?

I always have something new in the works. Lately I’ve been
writing more patterns for my sock yarn club and also working with a local
designer on her patterns. I’m also expanding my yarn lines and playing with new
colorways and dye techniques.  I don’t know
where all this will lead but I’m enjoying the process and looking forward to
the next opportunity and adventure.

Now, because of Laura's generosity, Knitcircus readers will win two of the four skeins you've seen pictured on the post; one each of Classic DK and So-Soft Sock. And here's a bonus; if you're the winner, you get to pick your colorway!

For Classic DK, you'll find Sumac (top) and Riverbank:

Handwerks 5 

And with So-Soft Sock, you can choose Monterey Cypress (top) or Peach Blush.

Handwerks 11 

To enter, just leave a comment telling me either your favorite sock pattern from the current issue or one thing you're planning on knitting as a holiday gift this year.Since this is such a great giveaway, I'll give you plenty of time and will let the Random Number Generator of Yarny Love pick a winner this Friday. Three lucky runners-up will receive a free Knitcircus Summer 2010 Pattern Collection download. Please leave your Ravelry name or email in your comment so I can contact you if you win!

This is a big week; if you'd like more free goodness from Knitcircus, the online newsletter's coming out Wednesday; look for a fun book review and a new recipe! You can sign up for the newsletter mailing list here or at the top right on the blog.

Good luck, and thanks so much to Laura and Handwerks!

ETA: the giveaway is now closed. Thanks to everyone who entered!

Knitting Design Book Giveaway and peek at Japanese Knitting

April flowers

I love spring.

I love my Guild, too–they bring in such exciting speakers (often partnering with the Sow's Ear, a great Madison-area yarn store and social hub).

Gayle Roehm showed us a fascinating array of slides featuring Japanese designers; couture knits from author Hitomi Shida,

Setsuko Torii of Habu, and many more. The unique constructions many of them used, including knitting sweaters clockwise around from the neck, draped and slanted designs and lavish stitch patterns really got my design mind revved up! Needlearts has a pdf they include with Japanese knitting books summarizing how to use them; Ravelry's Japanese Knitting and Crochet group is a place to find out more.

Speaking of design, if spring is getting your creative juices flowing, how about a new design book? Time for a giveaway!

Teach Yourself Visually Knitting Design, Working from a Master Pattern to Design Your Own Knits

by Sharon Turner

Teach yourself visually 

The chapters and basic/master patterns include Scarves and Shawls, including both rectangular and triangular shawls, hats, bags, socks, mitten, gloves, vests and sweaters, altering the basic patterns and designing your own,plus resources and getting started tips.

The Knitcircus Summer issue's coming out soon (May 1!!!) so to make sure you get notified when the new issue goes live, plus our monthly newsletter with recipes and reviews, sign up for our mailing list to enter the giveaway. The signup's right at the bottom of the blog. If you're already on board, please leave a comment telling me your favorite summer or gift knits.

Three more winners will receive a pdf of the Current Pattern Collection (20 patterns, $7.50 value).

The Random Number Generator will kindly pick a winner for us next Monday, April 19th.

Good luck and craft on!