Friday, October 24, 2014

A Eucalan Wash and Giveaway

A couple weekends ago, when the weather was pretty warm, I decided it was a good day to wash the woolens. One of the wonderful things about being a knitter is the amount of sweaters and other wooly goodies. The worst part is wash day. But these days I have a little helper (messer-uper as well?). 

We filled up my brand new soak basin (which was gifted to me by the wonderful Meg) and added some Eucalan. I've been using Eucalan since I first learned to knit. As a new knitter I had tried a few different brands of wool wash at the beginning by Eucalan is now my go-to.

One special wooly that needed a (desperate) wash was the Rainbow Blankie that I made for D. This sock yarn blanket stays in my car most of the time in case we need something cozy or to keep little legs warm. That being said, it had cheerios and other crunchy things stuck to it so a good wash was definitely in order. 

I decided this was a good time to test out a few samples that the lovely people over at Eucalan had sent for me to try. I had already used the lavender scented one a while back. That's generally the kind I buy so I grabbed it to give a sweater a quick wash. This time I tried the grapefruit. I was surprised at how light this scent actually is and how much I really liked it (enough that when I bought a new bottle last week that's what I got!).

If you've never tried Eucalan washes, now is your chance! They are offering to send one lucky blog reader a Eucalan Gift Pack! This is a great prize and a good way to try out some scents you may not have used before. To enter for your chance to win, leave a comment below by November 1st and I'll choose a winner using the Random Number Generator. This is open to US and Canadian residents only, but don't worry my international friends, there will be more giveaways!  Please be sure to leave your Ravelry name (or email if you don't have Ravlery) so I can get in touch with the winner!  Do you have a go-to wash?  Tell me your favorite! 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Holla Knits Fall/Winter 2014 Blog Tour

I'm back today with a giveaway of the Beech Street Vest pattern from the Fall 2014 issue of Holla Knits!

This is the original sample that I knit for Holla Knits. For this amazing piece I had the ultimate pleasure of using Azula's For Better or Worsted. I am not kidding when I say this is my all time favorite worsted weight yarn. All. Time. It's an 80/10/10 (Merino/cashmere/nylon) blend that is lustrous, smooth, and feels amazing to work with. 

I'll admit, there is a lot of yarn involved in this project. For the smallest size (32" bust) I used about 1500 yards of yarn (between two colors). The brioche takes a minute to get going, but it's amazing in the end. 

This is the second sample knit by Allyson using Knit Picks Wool of the Andes. I love the green with the gray!

I am giving away a copy of the pattern to one lucky commenter! Just leave a comment here and I will randomly choose a winner on September 22nd. I'd love it even more if you help spread the word about this pattern. So if you share on Instagram, Facebook, or tweet about this pattern giveaway, come back and leave a comment telling me and you'll earn extra entries into the giveaway. 

Follow the rest of the blog tour:

Sept 8: Launch
Sept 9: The Sweatshop of Love – pattern giveaway, SEG: 6 skeins KP WotA Tweed in Brass Heather
Sept 10: Klever Knits – pattern and skein of Rowan Kid Classic giveaway, SEG: 6 skeins KP City Tweed Aran in Jacquard
Sept 11: Berroco – review and pattern giveaway
Sept 12: Canary Knits – pattern giveaway, SEG: 1 500 yard skein of Mountain Colors 4/8’s Wool in Harmony Ice
Sept 15: Mountain Colors Facebook Page – SEG: Mountain Colors Perspectives Twizzle in Blue/Turq
Sept 16: Life on Laffer – review and pattern giveaway
Sept 17: Knits in Class – SEG: 1 skein of Knit in Class
Sept 18: Makewise Designs – review and pattern giveaway
Sept 19: Anzula – SEG all the Anzula yarn needed for the Beech Street Vest
Sept 22: Ruby Submarine – SEG: 3 skeins KP WofA Tweed in Thirst Heather
Sept 23: BoKnits – SEG: 8 skeins KP Swish DK in Indigo Heather
Sept 24: Under the Red Umbrella – review and pattern giveaway
Sept 25: DoogKnits – review and pattern giveaway
Sept 26: Cosmos and Cashmere – review and pattern giveaway

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Firefly July KAL with Prizes!

I know my Firefly July sweater has been out for a couple weeks but I am turning it into an official knit along.

Dani from Sunshine Yarns (the amazing yarn company that was used for the design) offered a few prizes and who would say no to yarn? So here we go!

The KAL will run from now until October 31st. Everyone who'd like to participate must cast on and share some sort of photo with us in the thread on Ravlery. Let' be real honest, we love the casting on part but sometimes life can get in the way of knitting. You don't have to finish this pattern to participate just get started (at least!).

Barley (Merino Sport), Avocado, and Mandarin

All who participate  (cast on, share photo in thread, and create project page) will be entered to win a skein of either Ultraluxe Light or Merino Sport. Winners will be chosen randomly from those who post in the thread so be sure you don't miss that part.

The first three finishers will still win their choice of one pattern from my Ravelry store and be entered to win one of the skeins as well! 

There are so many ways to win! Come check out the thread for more info or to join in.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Why Toddlers Don't Knit

Besides the fact that most toddlers don't have strong fine motor control, there is one other reason why toddlers don't knit. Now, don't get me wrong, after spending his entire life before he could walk connected to me, and now acting as my shadow, my now 2 year old (how did that happen?!) is a yarn lover.

He's been to yarn shops where he walks around saying "Yarn. Yarn ball. Mama yarn." He picks up skeins and gently rubs them on his face saying, "Awww." If one of my projects is laying on the couch he will very helpfully carry it to me (with the yarn ball trailing behind). Recently he's even been caught knitting.


According to the weekly emails I get from What to Expect, toddlers are controlled by their emotions (duh). This is perhaps their knitting downfall. I recently received back my Beech Street Vest sample from Allyson. When samples come home it's like an old friend returning. Of course I put it on to model for my mother who was visiting. In talking about my vest, I managed to ignore my child for 30 whole seconds. He calmly walked up to me, stuck his finger in the vest and pulled.

Baby brain means when you're overcome you act like a banshee. A quiet, unsuspecting banshee in this case. Can you imagine what an actual knitting toddler would do if they dropped a stitch?

I think it's fixable, but still.

By the way, I'm on Facebook now. So pop over, join up and say hi!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Beech Street

I am so over-the-moon excited to be sharing this new design with you. Today is the official launch date of the Holla Knits Fall 2014 design collection and I have a design in it!

As a newer designer, I still have a lot of moments when I'm in the middle of knitting and design writing and begin to doubt that the finished piece will turn out like I hope. I tend to have a really strong mental image of what I'm aiming for but worry that I can't execute it. This was one of those pieces. At one point, I felt like the big brioche rectangle was going to end up just that. But it didn't! 

This was the sketch that I submitted to Allyson with my submission. And I have to say, I think the finished vest looks pretty much spot on. 

This vest is now available for purchase as a digital download from the Holla Knits site. Today is the beginning of a fantastic blog tour full of pattern and yarn giveaways. I'll be back on the 16th talking more about he design. 

 photo kGaKOo1409445674_zps008b4eec.jpg
Click the button to get the pattern!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Firefly July

I am so excited to be sharing this design with everyone! Firefly July is a mesh pullover that features three quarter sleeves, a scoop neck, and a lot of ease.

I spent a few weeks knitting this while we were on vacation at the beach in Rhode Island. All I could think was how much I wished it were finished as it would be perfect for those chilly summer evening when you need an extra layer. 

This sweater is intended to be worn with a lot of ease (about 4" or so). I knit the size 40" and it gives me a very roomy fit. With the amazing drape of this yarn (Sunshine Yarns UltraLuxe Light), you have a gorgeous sweater you can wear in the summer and into the fall season.

This pattern is now available for sale in my Ravelry store and on Craftsy.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Almost Time for School

Thank you so much to everyone who left a comment on their likes/dislikes when knitting for the guys in your life. I used the random number generator and chose three winners to receive their choice of a free pattern from my collection of self-published patterns on Ravelry.  The winners are 

Congrats! I'll be contacting you all soon but if you see this before I do, send me a message on Ravelry letting me know which pattern you'd like.  And if you still want to leave more comments people, I'm all ears!

In the meantime (before the big project for dudes begins) I'm wrapping up a couple summer designs over here. Hopefully I'll have all the grading for this one done and can ship it off to my tech editor today. I posted a picture of the finished sweater over on my Ravelry projects so you can check it out there.

I go back to school on Friday (do you hear all the teachers groaning) and even though that is still a week away I have a ton of work to do in my classroom. I was moved to a different room this year. One that has no windows. I know! I start to feel claustrophobic just thinking about it. It's also smaller than my classroom last year. It's a weird shape and I'm having a hard time thinking about how I will arrange everything. But enough complaining (I've done plenty already in the last three days). 

The beginning of school just means I will have less time to work on my knitwear design. I'm trying to wrap up the knitting of one more design before the end of next week. It shouldn't be too hard, assuming no critical errors. Unfortunately it also won't see the light of day until around January! 

Thanks to everyone who has joined me recently on Instagram and Twitter