echo of bells

Posted on 16 CommentsPosted in patterns

when it comes to color for the holidays, i like red and green as much as anyone, but i also crave variety. the colors that turn my head this time of year are ones that feel rich and royal. like this purple for instance—it’s a kingly color if i ever saw one, wouldn’t you say?

this was our yarn for last december’s fall in full color club installment—a rich mink/cashmere blend from great northern yarns in this stunning purple; is it any wonder this was the most coveted color of our FIFC 2011 lineup?

one skein of the mink/cashmere DK yarn has enough yardage to knit the whole set (as long as you stick to the pattern gauge, haha).

together, the reasonably-priced yarn and quick-knitting design produce a last minute gift that looks like a million bucks. you can bring the whole thing in for under $35 and the investment of a couple evenings of knitting time at home with your feet up and a nice movie or audiobook.

sure beats spending that time at the mall, doesn’t  it? better yet, use a nice lofty, fluffy stash yarn for an even bigger win-win.

shown here, scarf in size tall in great northern yarns 70% mink/30% cashmere DK yarn. rhododendron was our club colorway last december and it’s not in stock at the moment, but there are other pretties to choose from (the natural is simply divine). the sport weight yak would also work nicely, as does the DK camel.

check out the echo of bells project page on ravelry to see examples knit by our 2011 club members; many of them are made up in alternate yarns, making it easy to imagine how your own set will look in another colorway or yarn base.

to purchase pattern or view complete pattern information, please click here to visit the knitspot pattern shop. or purchase the pattern in our ravelry pattern shop.

echo of bells is also included in the FIFC 2011 eBook, as part of the 2011 club collection—eight terrific accessory patterns with a total of ten pieces. each pattern is multi-sized and suitable for gifting; many will have universal appeal for women, men, and children alike. purchase the eBook collection from the knitspot club website or in our ravelry pattern shop.

we are heading to las vegas on tuesday to visit our family for christmas; i’ll try to post when we arrive there, but i’m not sure we’ll have internet. i’m trying to set up a couple of posts for you to read while i’m gone, so the blog won’t be completely neglected, but time is growing short;  i better get on with it! and of course, you’ll find plenty of entertainment and holiday cheer in our ravelry group, where erica is running a countdown to christmas KAL (oh look, someone has posted photos of their echo of bells there!) and i hear that energy is building for a post-holiday slöfock KAL with the exciting new DK version of breathless from shalimar yarns, mmm.

squeeze me

Posted on 6 CommentsPosted in patterns

why is our lovely friend helena smiling? because she’s wearing a cozy, luscious infinity scarf that’s a cinch to knit—any beginner can do it, but it’s fun, mindless knitting for experienced knitters too (hey, we all need a break once in a while, right?).

wind it up snug around your neck or let it go to show off its beautiful drape. the easy to work stitch pattern has a rippling texture that’s knit right in, so the scarf naturally falls into lovely folds.

and it’s reversible—who doesn’t love that?

it’s as easy to wear as it is to knit.

shown above, the medium size infinity scarf in spirit trail holda, a smooshy, 12-ply lambswool/cashmere/angora blend in colorway sorbet. it looks like jen is currently out of this color, but she’s got many other great colors and i know she’ll have more holda coming in soon.

shown below, the small size cowl in shalimar yarns haven, a yummy merino/silk worsted weight yarn in colorway silver sage. yummiliscious.

to purchase pattern or view complete pattern information, please click here to visit the knitspot pattern shop. or purchase the pattern in our ravelry pattern shop.

thanks to jen at spirit trail fiberworks, i get to knit with holda frequently—i think it’s become my personal crack. and kristi at shalimar yarns also does a good job of keeping me supplied with delicious yarns that i can’t resist. i so appreciate the generosity of our yarn sponsors; they make my designs look great!

many, many thanks to helen and hattie for test knitting this pattern—where would we be without their enthusiasm? helen knit hers in a special gift skein of holda, shown above in colorway purple haze. i don’t know if helen looks happy enough to be wearing it; what do you think?

and lastly (but not least), a big round of applause for helena, who never hesitates to offer some time for modeling and helping in myriad ways; she’s a delightful friend, thank you helena!

please have a wonderfully merry weekend—full of the fun part of holiday preparations; see you all back here on monday, with another last minute knitting treat.

rockin’ the gift

Posted on 1 CommentPosted in designing, projects

whoa, you guys rock!
thank you, thank you for your generous response to our scholarship building venture—after three days, we are just a little more than two-thirds of the way to our goal, with an even 240 sales of the fall line scarf or cowl pattern. you really do know how to get a project off the ground; you’re awesome!

we need approximately 358 scarf pattern sales reach the finish line, so please tell friends and family about this opportunity. a small purchase goes a long way when we all work together; community effort is a powerful thing.

i don’t know about all of you, but i’ve had my hands full with all manner of secret knitting this week, so i only have a few things i can actually show here on the blog. but the good news is that several patterns have been finalized all at once, so we have several new designs to release over the next week or so, yay. more about those in a bit . . .

on monday, we had our annual monday knitting class holiday party, which always takes place at someone else’s house for a change of pace. this year it was at debby’s and i said i would bring cobbler and cornbread.

for the cobbler, i took out a couple of bags of cherries i’d been hoarding in the freezer, gifted to me by barb over the summer. i thought these would make a festive christmas dessert. my cobbler recipe makes a huge pan, so i divided everything into two smaller ones—that way i’d have one for each class party.

mmm, it tasted even better than it looks.

when i arrived at debby’s, a couple of deer were just crossing the lane that leads through the woods to the house. they did not seem in a hurry, so i stopped the car to take a few photos

i slowly lowered the passenger window and extended my camera towards them and zoomed in; they were actually too curious to be scared and the one on the left even came a bit closer to the car.

but eventually realized i was of no special interested and scampered away.

inside the house, a fifteen foot tree was lit (they have a really tall living room). debby an i knit by ourselves for a little bit while we waited for the others to arrive

soon enough they were piling in with presents and yummy foods—we SO enjoy this get together; even though we see each other every week, we never grow tired of making the holidays special in this way.

our gifts to each other are the highlight of the evening; it’s always so much fun to give and receive within this group. anne C surprised us all with gifts of handmade shawlettes, one for each of us. they are stunning and so personal; we were incredulous.

and of course, there was lots of knitting too. i worked on my creel hat, which i’m designing in new hue handspuns baa baa huey yarn.

here’s a better photo of the hat (top) with the cowl i finished a couple of weeks ago. this is the pine colorway. the cowl kit is a shaded yarn handspun in one color, while the hat and mitt kits are a two-tone shaded colorway; one strand of the yarn is natural and the other is a color.

the two-tone yarn shades much more gradually, so the effect is more subtle, but it still coordinates nicely with the cowl. i do think the single color yarn is a bit more effective in the textured pieces, but i will wait til they are all done before making a final judgment.

knitting with the handspun yarn is always a treat; it’s so incredibly cushy.

i have a pile of finished cowls suddenly, haha. i bound off on the infinity version of the squeeze me cowl on saturday night and we did a photo shoot with helena on sunday, so this pattern is ready for release—look for it tomorrow.

there are three sizes; this is the medium, for which i used about one and a half skeins of spirit trail holda in colorway sorbet (ooops, looks like that’s sold out at the moment, but there are many more luscious choices).

the shorter green one is knit in shalimar haven, but not to the pattern gauge; i went off road with this one, sorry. but feel free to do the same; just make sure you have plenty of yarn to cover any variation in yardage. you’ll likely have to fiddle with needle size as well . . . but that’s all part of the adventure, right? i know you all love to swatch so it won’t be any problem . . .

this pattern has three sizes and it’s reversible—a great gift for non-knitters, who never seem to notice that an accessory is inside out. also a good piece to knit up just cuz you feel like it, then decide later who it will stay go home with.

i’ll be back tomorrow with lovely photos and a pattern—see you then.

fall line

Posted on 22 CommentsPosted in book reviews/events, patterns

i couldn’t be more excited to be releasing this new scarf pattern—everything about it feels like a win, from its super-quick knitting reversible stitch pattern to its completely unisex appeal—sleek and handsome, it’s bound to be right for at least one person on your last minute gift list.

but even  more than all of those, i’m excited because this is our red scarf fundraiser pattern—it’s that time of year when we devote december sales from one pattern to raise money for our knitspot scholarship, which goes to one student who participates in foster care 2 success programs.

foster care 2 success helps students who are aging out of the foster care system to navigate a continuing education and advancement into independent adulthood. they provide guidance and counseling, classes in life skills, scholarships, and other types of support that a family would normally provide.

last year’s knitspot effort began as a way to raise a little money to send in for the postage fund, but when we tallied the proceeds, we realized we had enough to create a $2500 scholarship. we decided right away that we’d make this a yearly event.

many of you are aware of the red scarf drive, for which knitters put together care packages that are distributed to students on valentine’s day (the 2012 drive is coming to a close, but if you act quickly, there is still time to send a scarf or help out with postage). this scarf will be going out in the mail tomorrow, along with a few gift cards.

speaking of last minute, if you do want (or need!) to knit something fun and quick to give or keep this week, this pattern is your candidate—i got my yarn last monday, cast on that night, and even with my VERY limited knitting time, finished it up on saturday.

oh, and if all that isn’t enough, did i mention it’s a cowl, too??

yep, at the last minute i said to myself why not?? everyone loves a cowl, right??

i called on our good friend barb and, angel that she is, said she’d be happy to knit a sample, so we were in business. that barb, she’s always doing something nice for someone, isn’t she great?

just like the scarf, it’s completely reversible; shown above, right side out and below, wrong side out. nice, right?

there are also two sizes for each. personally, i can’t decide which i like better, the scarf or the cowl, hmmm

shown above, the small scarf in skeinny dipping journey worsted, a lush, 4-ply superwash merino in colorway crime scene. christine has sold out of her current stock in this colorway, but is taking preorders on the next batch; convo her on etsy for details.

shown below, the tall size cowl in shalimar honey worsted, another yummy merino worsted in colorway dirty jeans. yummiliscious.

to purchase pattern or view complete pattern information, please click here to visit the knitspot pattern shop. or purchase the pattern in our ravelry pattern shop.

proceeds from all sales between now and january 1, 2013 will be earmarked to fund a knitspot scholarship for foster care 2 success.

much gratitude to to christine at skeinny dipping for her inspirational red colorway and to kristi at shalimar yarns for giving us a completely viewpoint in blue. as always, it is SO wonderful to collaborate with people i like so much!

and of course, many thanks to adorable helena, who let me interrupt her sunday afternoon for a modeling session. i know she enjoys it but i’m sure i enjoy her refreshing presence much more. i hope she know how much we appreciate her delightful attitude.

ok, now let’s get the ball rolling and make a scholarship happen!