Treasure Hunt!

Today’s the day! Some lucky Treasure Hunt winners will take home precious cargo:

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A generous array of gifts from Knitterella. Jill Zielinski, aka Knitterella®, is a graphic designer with a passion to knit. Through the two she launched Knitterella.com and has been having a blast designing stationery and gift items for knitters and crafters ever since. Finding yet another way to combine her passions, Jill also enjoys taking her original graphics and transforming them into colorwork for unique knitting patterns. Along with Knitterella, she is the owner of JillZielinskiDesigns.com where she specializes in offering “Graphic Design Services for a Knitter, by a Knitter.”

In honor of the “Treasure Hunt Giveaway” coupon code “THEHUNT” gets you 20% off your entire Knitterella.com purchase!
Coupon code is good today, the 28th through end of day tomorrow the 29th.

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A three-skein Spring in Central Park shawl kit fresh off the presses from Michelle Miller of Fickle Knitter.

As of March 2013 Michelle, owner of Fickle Knitter Design has written over 153 Knitting Designs, published three books, and at the time of publishing sells her work in over 96 shops across the US in 30 states, and in three countries. Michelle has an educational background in Physics, works as a knitting author, and is a wife and parent to two children. She recently adopted her nephew who is disabled and spends her time knitting, writing, and learning to parent a special needs child after the loss of her sister and brother in law in 2011.

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Gradient-dyed sock set, shawl kit and e-books from Knitcircus Yarns.

Jaala’s obsession with the perfect stripe drives Knitcircus Yarns’ gradient hand-dyes. She uses USA and UK-made luxury fibers for your small (Matching Socks) and large (Sweaters’ Worths) yarn projects and three different Yarn Clubs! When not dyeing yarn in the Evil Lair, Jaala designs patterns and co-hosts the Knitcircus Podcast with the hilarious Amy Detjen.

Just for the Treasure Hunt, get a free Jaala Spiro Designs pattern pdf with any purchase from Knitcircus Yarns. Instructions in the thank-you email.

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A Sock Yarn Sampler and two Sock Patterns from Yarn Love.

Katie works from the Yarn Love studio in rural Iowa, inspired by the beauty of her natural surroundings.  It’s pretty safe to say she spends most of our waking hours working with, or talking about, yarn. When she’s not dyeing yarn and answering your inquiries, she loves to spin, knit, and devise patterns.

HOW TO TREASURE HUNT

Win fabulous prizes just by visiting the participating sites above; each one has  a “clue”: one of these graphics!

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Click around the sites and find the clues! Then tell us where you find them by emailing treasurehunt@knitcircus.com. One entry per person, please. Don’t worry, your email won’t be used for anything but possibly winning the Hunt.

We’ll pick lots of winners and send prizes their way!

But the Treasure Hunt is only on for two days, so track down the clues by Tuesday, October 29th before midnight. Winners will be picked by Random Number Generator and announced the next day.

Good luck and have fun,

Jaala

ETA: Thanks SO MUCH to everyone who played and who entered and left such nice email comments about the contest. The giveaway is officially done, but was so much fun to do that it certainly won’t  be the last one. 🙂

 

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.


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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.


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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.

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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.

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 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:

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

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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!

Cornbread! And giveaways galore.

Friday food fun as Miss T and I continue our cooking collaboration! Miss T and I thought it'd be fun to share our family recipes
and try out each other's; our first team cooking/bogging party was my Challah recipe.
For our second collaboration, Miss T and I baked one of her family's faves. Here's her story:

Cornbread!

Cornbread

Cornbread always gets an
exclamation point at my house.  It’s a beautiful, easy bread, with a comforting
flavor that I never tire of, no matter how often I have it.  My grandmother and
her sisters didn’t get sick of it, either — they made it every day.  Seriously,
every day.  They were from the South, and that’s what you did.  My
great-grandmother even made an extra pan each day to feed her dogs.  (Trust me,
dogs go ape over cornbread.)  Cornbread was so ubiquitous that they called it
simply, “bread.”  The stuff that’s baked in loaves was referred to as “white
bread.”

This is the recipe that
my mom has always made.  It’s a classic Southern not-sweet cornbread, so it’s
great with chili, soups, stews and of course greens or blackeyed peas should you
be so inclined.  (I’m so inclined.)  I like to split leftover wedges of it,
toast them and spread them with jelly for breakfast.  In fact, I feel better if
I know there’s cornbread in the fridge, just in case.  For fun, I’ve tried other
recipes, but this one wins.  At my house, it’s the One True Cornbread!


Conrbread miss t

Yum. You can read more about Miss T's cornbread on the Mystery House blog and find the recipe, too!

So that's the pan Miss T baked for her family. We were eager to try it;  Mike's family also hails form the south and ate lots of cornbread, but the sweet variety, so we were curious to see how this one tasted.

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It turned out yellower; I suspect we used different varieties of cornmeal.

A few people at the table, mostly small ones, weren't sure about a cornbread that wasn't sweet, but the great majority (my parents attended, too) loved its robust, springy texture and mild, salty/tangy flavor. The one holdout put honey on it and agreed that it was mighty tasty that way, too. Many people had seconds, and I ate it again for breakfast this morning:April cornbread butter

Yup. Definitely good the next day, too. I have to admit I didn't follow the recipe exactly; we had buttermilk from making biscuits Monday, so I used that in place of the milk; that may have added a little more tart/tangy tone to the flavor; next time we'll use regular milk and see how it tastes different.

Thanks so much, Miss T; that recipe's definitely going into regular rotation!

Now, for some Friday Giveaway Fun:

Lovely knitblogger Z is giving away two subscriptions to Knitcircus: check out her fun blog!

And, well, last night I dreamt that 986 people looked at the blog and not a single person wanted the book, so let's change it up and give away something 986 people would drool over. 

Remember on my trip to NYC, a certain skein of yarn was purchased at Purl Soho? Well, I've been saving that gorgeous skein for a special occasion–today's giveaway!April yarn giveaway

It's lonly available at a few select places on the East Coast, made by Farmhouse Yarns LLC. This skein features a worsted single akin to Malabrigo, called Andy's Merino II. Kettle-dyed in small batches, this skein boasts 200 yards of Raspberry goodness.

Purl yarn 

Mmm. Delicious. Like cornbread, only maybe this is for dessert.

The same giveaway rules apply:

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 the top thing on the right hand column of the blog. (ETA: sorry it had disappeared temporarily! Should be easy to find now) .

If you're already on board,
please leave a comment telling me your favorite summer or gift knits!

We'll extend the giveaway through next Wednesday, April 21, when the Random Number generator will help us pick a winner. Second place will get to choose the Teach Yourself Design book or a Knitcircus Subscription, and two more winners will receive the current Pattern Collection download.

Yay!





Hand-Dyed Yarn for You

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Friday fun!

This morning, Belle and I got up early and made a skirt for her favorite doll, Natalie, since she didn't have any dress-up outfits. No photos yet to protect Natalie's modesty until we get the matching top finished!

Belle's been on quite a sewing kick lately, helped by the fabulous art teacher at her school.

The young artist's Pillow Series:

Dog applique
Hand-appliqued dog pillow.

Heartpillow
Decorated heart with pompoms; she made these all herself, without any help from me. The cockles of my heart heat up every time she starts working on a new project–yes!!!! Deep in my hindbrain, the deep desire to propagate hunkers down with a grin. The crafting gene made it to the next generation. Whew.

Now, for the Friday Fun and hand-dyed yarn:

Woolly's blog tour's going! Check out the latest post from bingeknitter.

Craftlit–Persuasion's really getting good. We have an almost-touch between them this week!

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And now for the yarn giveaway; a lucky knitter will receive these two skeins of Hand-Painted Bulky yarn from My Small Wonders, 100% wool, 60 m each in the Autumn Fire colorway.

Just visit the Knitcircus Spring Issue and leave a comment telling me your favorite pattern or article to be entered to win; entries will be closed at 10 pm US Central time Sunday/Easter evening.

If you don't win the yarn, never fear, five runners-up will receive a copy of the current Knitcircus Pattern Collection pdf download.

Good luck! Hope you're getting weather as appealing as ours–time to frolic outside.

ETA–thanks to everyone for your delightful comments. The giveaway is closed and I'll post the winner tomorrow morning. Sleep well,

Jaala