Archive for the ‘book reviews/events’ Category

Deals, Deals, Deals!

Monday, November 24th, 2014

Shop_Small_Logo_Aus_CMYKAre you ready for some BIG deals to get your knitting fingers motivated? Were you just wondering what you could tell family members you desired this holiday season? Hold onto your hats. Inspiration is ahead…

Black Friday is THIS Friday and Blanket Statement signups open to the public! This club  was very motivated by Knitspot customers dying for a blanket club. Many of you saw Kim’s blanket in Stone Soup featured on the blog (check out Anne’s post here for a trip down memory lane) and said we need a blanket club! With Bare Naked Wools!

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So Anne put an awesome club together – 12 motifs from favorite Knitspot patterns to knit in your choice of Stone Soup DK

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or Kent DK.

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You can choose a 4-shade small kit, or a 5-shade large kit. And of course there is a “double dip” option for those that would like to knit both a large and baby-sized blanket. The club yarn ships all at once, with a few goodies, and from February to June you will receive pattern updates on the 17th of each month. Anne includes instructions for knitting all of the motifs in strips or blocks. And if you’re unsure about knitting a blanket, Anne includes additional design items along the way. You can see all of the options of the club here. On Black Friday ONLY the club will be offered at a discount. Just a reminder to current clubbies – you have until Thursday night to utilize your deeper discount on the club. Check your email for the code.

Our other deal for Friday is any purchase of $25 or more online and at the boutique, will receive a free gift!

Small Business Saturday will be celebrated both online and at the boutique! We love this special day to thank so many of you for supporting our small business that supports, inspires, and encourages other small businesses. Over the last 8 years, Knitspot has worked with hundreds of small business owners and your support helps us continue this path. Thank you. Any purchases of $25 or more receive a FREE color card; they’re so handy in planning future projects!

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And…drumroll please…on Cyber Monday FREE SHIPPING (with coupon – will appear on banner at top of page and in upcoming Newsletter) site-wide on purchases of $75 or more! This includes international shipping as well! This is the perfect time to get a sweater or blanket quantity of yarn.

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Or to purchase a few kits that you’ve been eyeing, such as Ivar cardi

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High Peaks mittens and hat

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Pyro set

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or Caravan Blanket.

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Or choose your own sweater or blanket pattern, such as Henley with a Twist or Hourglass Throw

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and pick your own fingering weight here and worsted weight here. Throw Anne’s Blocking DVD into your cart and she can guide you through the process to block like a professional!

The adventure is your’s! Start building your wish list now so you’re ready for December 1.

As an added bonus ALL previous KNITTING CLUB EBOOKS will be 50 % off Friday through Monday! NO coupon needed, they’ll be listed at a discounted price on our site and ravelry.

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These make fantastic gifts as they include up to 17 knitting accessory patterns, have beautiful photography on yarn and the design process, plus bios about our unique collaborators.

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The ebooks are great to have printed and bound as coffee table books, as they make a fantastic read on the history of the yarn and fibers.

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They also make fantastic gifts for the knitters in your life. At half off, it could be the perfect gift for the friends in your knitting circle! View each one’s patterns on ravelry through these links: FIFC 2011, FIFC 2012, FIFC 2013, BNK 2012, BNK 2013.

And if you’re looking for more inspiration, check out the Countdown to Christmas KAL for ideas. Or, purchase the Snow Tire pattern for friends and relatives, even the non-knitters, letting them know a donation has been made towards a student’s college education. The KAL for this is one rockin’ thread! Check it out here.

more IS more

Sunday, November 23rd, 2014

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i’m going to be kind of a noodge this month—but for a very good reason; we’ll just have to get used to it.

while i did get the minimum done to stay on schedule (not that i’m being rigid or anything), i didn’t get as far as i’d hoped yesterday. but i have  a long car ride coming up on tuesday so i’m confident i’ll catch up and even beat myself.

want to join me? (PUH-leeez???). click here to purchase this wonderfully reversible scarf pattern and cast on to knit along in december for our red scarf scholarship fundraiser.

ok, so you’re not up for knitting a whole scarf just now? afraid you’ll abandon afar the enthusiasm wanes? while doing my reps this morning, i got thinking about all the stocking stuffers you could make with versions of this pattern.

if you knit three or four repeats in hemp DK yarn form ecobutterfly and called it a day, it would be the most awesome bath or sink scrubby with that gnarly cable down the middle for leverage.

or knit twice that length, fold over and stitch up the sides for a mitt. you could also multiply the whole pattern several times over for the cutest baby or granny blankie ever.

don’t even get me started on what you could do with a garter hem and buttons—i need to get out for a run before it gets dark so i’ll ruminate on those possibilities next time

and thank you all so very much for putting up with me; i’ll be back tomorrow with another update and hopefully, our first tally of scholarship dollars.

saturday: a few reps with morning coffee

Saturday, November 22nd, 2014

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my red scarf progress so far . . . more expected later tonight. two repeats take me no more than a half hour or so; i figure if i can spend at least that much time on it each day, it will be done in two weeks or less. there’ll be time to knit a second one! (sounds like an opportunity treat myself to a sample in better breakfast blend, mmmm)

if you haven’t yet, join the 2014 red scarf KAL in our ravelry mothership and knit the snow tire scarf. and if you’re not a knitter, but want to help our scholarship dollars grow, you are especially welcome as an honorary knitter! just follow the link below to toss your contribution at the cause—THANK YOU!

click here to buy a copy of the pattern in our online yarn and pattern shop or click here to purchase it in ravelry.

scroll down to read more in the previous post about the scholarship fundraiser and its beneficiaries.

gray + red

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

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when i tell friends that is is very gray in our neck of the woods (NE ohio), i am often treated to stories about the grayness in places where THEY’ve lived. then they come here in november or december and suddenly, they get it—they know gray in a whole new way.

above is a photo taken from my kitchen window the other morning.
yes, that’s right, i said morning—as in 10 am or so. this is not unusual; it’s merely november. december, of course is even dimmer.

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which is why we have to create our own moments of cheery color. i’ve been allowing myself thirty to sixty minutes of cozy knitting over coffee before i start my day as incentive to get out of bed on these dark mornings.

snow has come early again this year and with it, the cold. this week, temperatures fell into the teens and then to the single digits, with wind chills in the minus numbers. brrr; it’s no wonder it’s so hard to get up in the morning after a late night of knitting.

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so yeah, i’ve been swatching my idea for the red scarf design and finalizing that. it’s not exactly as pictured above—i wanted it to be truly reversible and this combination of patterns just missed the mark. but the photo serves at least one purpose, to give you an idea of the “before” state of the yarn. a little stringy, the sts not so appealing, right?

well, get a load of this . . .

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nice transformation huh?? after a good long bath, this yarn fairly explodes. i’m so jealous for those of you who get to see its blocking magic for the first time. i’m knitting it all the way up on size 8 (5.0 mm) needles and i think i could go even a little higher. it seems like the looser you go, the better. the more spaced apart the sts are, the more room that fiber has to blow UP. the fabric is so light and soft.

i’m excited; this is exactly what i envisioned for our red scarf design—something simple and quick to knit, but with a bold, fun texture. i got this one on the needles right away after finishing my swatching and evaluation; i’m knitting the infinity version. if the light wasn’t so bad, i’d share a photo, but there’s plenty of time for that later on. it’s a scarf—we want to see it, but there won’t be many surprises at each progress point, haha; we can take our time.

what i’m really wondering about is when to release the pattern. it’s all set to go right now actually, except for final photos, final yardages, and final size. i’ve got educated guesstimates plugged in for all of those. the twins and david have the kits all lined up and ready to go as well. i’m trying to finish my scarf before the thanksgiving weekend so we can launch this thing, but i keep wondering  . . . do i have to? i mean, i’ve never done anything like this before but for the sake of fundraising, should i release it so we can all knit along together?

let me know your thoughts on that.

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last weekend, i put in some longish hours on the pedal pusher pattern and have the cardigan all written up now, charts and schematic included. but then i remembered i promised my friend anne C that i’d work out a pullover placket neck version, so it’s waiting patiently while i clear a few more jobs from my desk.

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i’m almost there and once i’m done, i can send this one off to the tech editor. yay. i just love writing patterns; i wish my time wasn’t committed in so many directions right now.

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but committed i am—just look at all these notes for our company meeting on thursday, where the main topic will be getting the word out about our thanksgiving weekend promotions. we have a LOT planned, starting with general signups for our blanket statement club. there is more in store, too . . . don’t miss it!

you know, we are always looking for great designs to knit up our bare naked wools in and while we were at rhinebeck, anne marie found  wonderful pattern which she immediately cast on for in confection sport.

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this is bogolan by elizabeth davis. it’s a stunning cowl, with bold patterning; we love it. we love it even more because we can play with it.

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turn it inside out and you have another cowl! you can chose from five different stitch patterns to make various combinations, which elizabeth says are inspired by West African bogolanfini (“mud cloth”) textiles. i think she’s brilliant for coming up with this one.

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because the confection sport is so lofty, anne marie knit her bogolan using a size 8 (5.0 mm) needle to reduce the density of the fabric (a change from the original pattern). with the larger needle, she also reduced the depth of the cowl. she used one four ounce skein each of white chocolate and dark chocolate and though we are awaiting our shipment of white chocolate, the nougat (a VERY pale gray) would be a good substitute.

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meanwhile, back at the ranch, in addition to starting the red scare design and working on a schlep of secret projects for upcoming club installments, i’ve begun working on mister knitspot’s new hat, based on my boilermaker cowl design. it’s time—the winds have been fierce already and sadly, where he used to have a stupendous mop of locks, he has little in the way of protection up top any more.

his consolation however, is a terrific wardrobe of capos and hats, we’ve been building over the last few years. nothing pleases me more than knitting my man a new lid.

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haha, the other night i asked him to put the cowl around his head so i could get an idea of the stitch count i’d need and when he did, the cowl size was actually perfect as is. that’s my david.

where the cowl was worked up from confection sport, i decided that a variation in soft, flannelly stone soup dk would be deliciously warm and cozy for him. i scrounged up a small ball of each shade from my knitting basket

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mostly leftovers from recent color work projects. the only full skein i procured was in my main color—a two-ounce skein of marble in this case (we are restocking this shade as you read this).

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i knit the ribbed brim and have started the progression of shades to the center of the deep brim and back—i can’t wait to see more. as soon as my next set of patterns are turned in to anne marie, i will let myself have a half day or so of knitting so i can indulge in this project.

i still haven’t decided what the top part will be yet, but i’m leaning toward the grampa’s wool socks look. i think.

tomorrow i’ve got the bocce hat pattern to release; something to keep our ears warm and not a minute too soon, right?

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over the weekend i plan to cook a couple of pots of soup, one of them to be from this treasure trove of butternut squash i acquired from bret and connie. connie’s dad had such a successful garden this year that connie was using the squash to decorate for halloween. i figured she probably had extras, haha so i asked for some. a pot of squash soup and a pot of vegetable soup will work wonders for improving work days in our chilly house.

alright then, time to go relax and knit—see you tomorrow.