Stitch Dictionary and Happy Birthday Color Winners!

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Thanks to everyone who entered to win the Knitting All Around Stitch Dictionary, by Wendy Bernard! The winner is Savannahgal!!!!! Please get in touch with us and let us know your mailing address, and we’ll send the info straight to the publisher. (Please send to jaala@knitcircus.com)

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Thanks also to everyone who voted on the Happy Birthday Knitcircus colorway! The winner: Forever Floral. You are a sophisticated crowd. We renamed it Big Top Birthday. 🙂

I love this color and can’t wait to get dyeing! In the meantime, we’ve put up a listing in the store so you can pre-order yours to have in hand on the big party day. Choose Big Top Birthday Panoramic Gradient in many sizes, or Matching Sock sets in small, medium or large.

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Which brings us to this other fun news: it’s our birthday, and we want you to come to the party! We’ll have exclusive yarn, bags, treats, door prizes and free cake. We hope to see you at the Studio June 24th!

 

Knitting All Around Stitch Dictionary: Win Book and Yarn!

Welcome to the Knitcircus stop on the Knitting All Around Stitch Dictionary Blog Tour! I’ve long been a fan of Wendy Bernard’s patterns, blog and books, so getting to talk about her new one is a true pleasure.

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The Knitting All Around Stitch Dictionary is a welcome follow-up to Wendy’s Up, Down, All-Around Stitch Dictionary.

I’ve been a big Wendy Bernard fan for many years; since back in the day when knitting blogs were new, Knit and Tonic has always been a leading voice in the fiber-blog community. Wendy’s California-chic designs captivated me from the start. Her Favorite Cardigan (below) has long been one of the sweaters I most want to knit.

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Wendy has a knack for breaking down large ideas (design your own hat, cowl, sweater) into manageable parts and reconstructing it so that you feel confident tackling your next project. If you haven’t gotten a chance to check out her Custom Knits series, I highly recommend them. The Custom Knits 1 and Custom Knits 2  books show you how to design your own top-down sweater, with lots of tips and patterns by Wendy. The Custom Knits Accessories is my fave, since I’m mostly an accessories knitter. She gives you all the tools you need to create your own sock, hat and other accessories patterns, with clear guidelines so you can succeed.

The All -Around Stitch Dictionaries build on Wendy’s expertise in guiding knitters to technical success. Most stitch dictionaries give you a stitch pattern and written directions for working the pattern flat; the more modern ones often include a chart. Wendy noticed that changing from flat to knitting in-the-round could sometimes be tricky, so she includes charts for both. She also gives the reader insight into which kinds of stitches do well on both sides (when designing a scarf, that’s key), and indicates which patterns are fully reversible, two sided (look good, but are different on each side) or only to be used with one side showing.

The second installment, The Knitting All Around Stitch Dictionary, includes very clear photos and charts for every stitch, but in her usual inimitable way, Wendy includes a whole Designing From Scratch appendix, with basic recipes for Basic Top-Down Socks, Basic Toe-Up Socks, Top-Down Cap, Bottom-Up Cap and Triangular Shawls in Two Directions,  with beautiful photos for each.

IMG_6836                        Here’s a photo I snapped from my copy of the book (notice the user-friendly notebook binding?). This shows the Checkerboard Cables charts and photos. Thanks to the publisher  for letting me share this pattern! You can see they’re awfully nice, clear charts and photos showing both sides of the swatch.

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WIN THE BOOK AND YUMMY YARN

Stewart, Tabori and Chang are so generous, they’re giving away not only a copy of Wendy’s new book, but 2 hanks of yarn from Blue Sky Alpacas. (USA readers only for shipping, please!)

Now, I’m sure you’re all champing at the bit to know how you can win the Knitting All Around Stitch Dictionary and the yarns. Just comment and tell us:

What would you be likely to knit with the Stitch Dictionary? Sweater, Socks, Hat, Cowl, Shawl? Which way would you knit it? Top-down, bottom up, in the round or flat?

Follow the rest of the stops on the blog tour to see more stitch patterns from the book!

 

5/18: AboutKnitting.com

5/23: Craft Gossip

5/11: WEBS

5/28: Blue Sky Alpacas

 

Come What May, by Susan B. Anderson

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Hi, Knitters,

I’m so lucky to have Susan B. Anderson as a friend (and almost a neighbor!). She is one of the most talented designers you’ll ever find, and one of the sweetest people. If you’ve ever gotten to take a class with her or meet at a knitting event, you’ll know that she’s just as lovely and down-to-earth in person as she is on her blog.

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photo: susan b anderson

We’ve been working on a project together for a while, and I’m happy to be able to announce that Susan has written a pattern exclusively for us, using a skein of Knitcircus Opulence fingering in Come What May to create an elegant shawl with a silvery beaded edge.

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photo:ryan berg for knitcircus

Susan tells the story of its inspiration best herself (from her blog):

As I sat with my friend, Jaala Spiro, having tea, pastries and knitting in my living room one morning she surprised me with several cakes of her lovely KnitCircus yarns. One of these cakes was the spectacular gradient called Come What May. There is just something about the rosy shade of pink moving into the sweet kiss of blush and ending with the lightest shade of gray.
The yarn cake was thrilling to hold in my hands and it was inspiring. I quickly cast on and knit the sweetest little lacey shawl that is not only simple and wearable but is a really fun knit to boot. The sections of the shawl keep you entertained while the gradient yarn motivates you to keep going to get to the next color.
The shawl is a semi-circular shape with stockinette, simple lace and eyelet sections that end with a beautiful eyelet ruffle. The shawl is finished with an elegant bind-off with silver-lined beads. The beads are always optional but they add so much to the look and feel of the finished shawl. The entire project is a pleasure to knit.
The yarn colorway is the single inspiration for the shawl so the name of the design has to be Come What May. The colorway, luxury yarn base, shawl design and beads are the perfect match.
Enjoy!
Susan

We’re just thrilled with the way the design came out, and are offering Come What May kits so you can make a shawl just like Susan’s, either with or without beads.

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photo: ryan berg for knitcircus

You can also find Susan’s beautifully-written pattern on Ravelry if you’d like to work from your stash.

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photo: susan b anderson

The shawl shows off the soft color changes of the gradient so nicely;  I created Come What May last February when I was so tired of bare trees and snow and just longed for the colors of spring. And Susan is holding a giveaway on her blog; comment and you could win a Come What May kit of your very own ( just through this afternoon, so hurry!)

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photo: ryan berg for knitcircus

Whether you just got a fresh pile of snow like we did or are already harvesting your rhubarb, I wish you all of the loveliness of spring,

Jaala

Cables and Lace Video, New Colors and Mitts

Hi, Knitters,

It’s getting cold here, tea-drinkin’, stew-makin’, bundle-up cold. I’ve got a hot mug of Chai Spice tea  on my desk as I write. As you know, this is the time when handknits come in handy…

Aran Lace Video

I’ve been a little obsessed with cables and lace lately (for about the last two years). An expert at combining these two techniques is  designer, teacher and tech editor and my friend, Stephannie Tallent. Stephannie has a new video out from Interweave Knits unfolding all kinds of useful tips for combining these two knitterly techniques: Aran Lace Knitting.

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In a step-by-step format, Stephannie explains and demonstrates techniques like using a cable and/or lace chart, picking the right yarns for showing off your lacy cables, using a cable needle, cabling without a cable needle, swatching, blocking, and all kinds of other techniques to keep you on top of beautiful charted patterns like the one below.

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The video also includes a pattern for a gorgeous cables-and-lace cowl. Stephannie really knows her stuff, and this video is definitely a winner!

Aran Lace Giveaway

One lucky reader can receive this video for their very own. Just leave a comment telling us which of Stephannie’s beautiful patterns you would knit first! Giveaway runs through Monday evening.

Gradient Eye Candy

Wow, how exciting! Jess/Frecklegirl on Ravelry put together a Gradient-themed Community Eye Candy page and our yarn is featured!!!!!!! See the adorable pink baby dress? Talented knitter Greenfiber made her Mia’s Dress out of our Wild Rose Corriedale Sock yarn.

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What an honor. Everything on the page looked gorgeous! Thanks so much, Jess!!!!!!

New Gradient Stripe Socks Colors

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Speaking of thanks, a million to the wonderful Susan B Anderson for hosting a Gradient Stripes giveaway on her blog! She sent a lot of new customers our way and we’re very grateful. Check it out, because right now, you have a chance to win some Manos yarns on her blog! Susie was the very first to knit with the Tropical Sunset colorway (above) and it’s officially released now!

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The next new yarn is Blue Skies Ahead, an optimistic mix of cloudless white and saturated blue.

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We’re excited to present the next in the House Colors series: Cunning Folk, representing Slytherin with pure silver-gray to aristocratic emerald green.

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Last, but certainly not least, Brew Crew! The sunny yellow and cheerful blue works for many school colors, but for a Wisconsin baseball fan, they have to represent the Milwaukee Brewers.

If you’ve ordered Gradient Stripes yarn, we’re making many of them every day, so you should get it soon! If you’ve already got your stripes in hand, please do join us in the Knitcircus Ravelry Group for a Gradient Stripes KAL! (Don’t worry, you can use the original Matching Socks sets too).

I had gotten half of a sock done, then I was leafing through a magazine and saw some lustworthy striped armwarmers. My DH, looking over my shoulder, remarked,”You could make some of those.”

He was right! I could make some just as stripy with the new Gradient Stripes yarn! So I have frogged the sock and re-started a pair of Gothy Gauntlets. I can’t wait to see how they turn out, and I’ll post progress pics in the KAL group.

Happy knitting,

Jaala

TNNA, Giveaway and April Showers

Indianapolis, prepare yourself for knitters like you’ve never seen! Chris and I can’t wait to join the fun at this year’s National Needle Arts trade show! We are not exhibiting this year, so not stressing about putting together a gorgeous booth, just looking forward to seeing our wonderful designer and yarnie friends. We’ll have plenty of Knitcircus Yarns gradient and kettle dye samples along, so just say the word if you’d like to try out our yarns!

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We’ll be staying with Stephannie Tallent and Toby Roxane Barna, which should be a hoot. If you’re going and would like to meet up, please shoot me an email (jaala@Knitcircus.com).

We’ll be at Sample It, the Stitchcraft Designer Meetup and as many Yarn Group events as humanly possible. Anybody familiar with Indianapolis who can tell us where to eat or have coffee? I wonder what will be the new Jeni’s?

Hunter Hammersen Yarn Giveaway!

We first met the talented Hunter Hammersen when she submitted a stunning sock design to Knitcircus way back when it was a paper magazine. Since then, she’s gone on to publish five gorgeous themed pattern books, including Silk Road Socks and the Knitter’s Curiosity Cabinet series (Volume Three comes out soon!).  Hunter is giving away two skeins of Knitcircus Yarn on her blog!

New in the Lair

We’ve been busy in the Lair as always, so here’s the news from yarnland!

We’ve added an 150g custom order option to all of our dyed-to-order yarns, which means you can have that beautiful gradient in the perfect amount for your Hitchhiker or other larger project. We’ve also added the Turquoise Pool, Summer Afternoon, Apricot, Toast and Cranberry Relish color options.

After an unplanned hiatus, we have a new supplier and now have an even better Greatest of Ease base; 80% Superwash Merino, 20% nylon for lovely and practical sock knitting. So you can choose that for any custom order and we’ll have more ready-to-go in the shop soon.

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The April special colorway Come What May was a spectacular success and is now joining our regular lineup of custom orders! Anyone who ordered it, we’re dyeing them up right now and expect to have them packaged up and in the mail next week.

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Following one beautiful day, we’ve now enjoyed rain, hail and high winds. But the fruit trees have tiny buds, and the daffodils are in bloom, so we’ll take it!

Sending good thoughts to all of those dealing with dangerous weather. Stay safe!

Jaala

 

 

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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 😉

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Hitch Blog Tour and Giveaway!

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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!

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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.

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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