Kristin Omdahl has written the kind of book I can wrap my imagination around. Knitting Outside the Swatch spends half the book explaining all the different motifs, and then the second half shows examples of motifs in ten different projects!
I love the special bind off Kristin used for the motifs in the Shania medallion hat for the book cover!
Interweave/F+W Media; $24.95
Kristin is known for imagination and talent with mathematics... and it shows through the pages of this latest title. She's created a lot of really interesting patterns for this book, and I believe that this resource is well worth adding to your library. Over 40 motifs are included, and with clear instructions on each piece, it's like having Kristin right there with you, showing you the way!
As a lover of freeform knitting and crochet, I think of this book as an inspiration library. These small motifs use only a little bit of yarn, and they are creatively designed. One of my favorite motifs uses yarn wraps to hide a join, creating a beautiful finish. It's also a great chance to use up leftover yarns or for sample skeins. My plans include using this resource to knit up bits to include in a freeform wrap that I started a while back... These patterns are really a breath of fresh air!
I also believe that motif collections like this help us to come up with new motif variations on our own. Work a few new pieces, and add them to your freeform scrumbles. See how these new bits might inspire new experimentation in your other work.
The book is available in paperback or by digital download. Click the image above or button below to get yours right now, or head to your LYS to pick up a copy.
If you'd like to dive right in, Interweave has a solution for you! Take your choice (digital or paper) and go ahead and order it now:
Want a free copy of Knitting Outside the Swatch? I have one to give away to a very lucky reader.
Here's how to enter -
Post in the comments, and tell me what is your favorite thing to knit? It could be one of her designs from the book, or it could be some other project... as specific as a certain pattern, or as generic as "socks!"
Post your comment by 11:59PM PST Saturday, November 16, 2013 to enter.
Be sure to include your email address when posting your comment so that I can contact you if you're the lucky (random!) winner.
Thank you for sharing this post with your friends on Facebook or other social media sites!
As always, thank you for taking time to read the blog. If you have any questions or comments for me, feel free to send me an email using the comment tab on the website!
CONGRATULATIONS! to Cheryl! She won the copy of Knitting Outside the Swatch, and I hope she has a wonderful time working the new motifs!
Shooting photos for the Good Deeds e-book Photograph © 2013 Jill Wolcott
While so many fiber folks are posting, sharing, and commenting about their fluffy finds at Rhinebeck, I'm here in the studio working on layout and final edits for the upcoming ebook: Good Deeds, Volume One: Hats"! The project is almost ready, so I better get back to work. I just wanted to say "Happy Rhinebeck!" to everyone who is lucky enough to be there.
While you're perusing the fiber, perhaps you'll pick up a couple skeins of yarn to knit a hat for charity?
Full details about this design are included on the pattern page HERE
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With Autumn just around the corner, I'm happy to share my latest design: the Colton half-zip pullover.
The motif is based on houndstooth and uses a few simple repeats to create an engaging pattern. Using Cascade 220 in your choice of colors, it could be knit in traditional black and white, or a more subtle offering of navy blue and brown. What I liked about this concept was the gentle allover pattern. The sleeves and chest are fitted, and the lower part of the body is left with no shaping which helps to keep the wearer comfortable.
This design is offered in 5 sizes, and the pattern can be purchased online as a .pdf through Ravelry.
For the photo shoot, I selected the walls and doors of The Misión San Francisco de Asís. Built in 1791, it's the oldest standing building in the city! With over four feet thick walls and redwood ceiling beams, its sturdy construction helped it to survive the great earthquake and fire of 1906. Interested in learning more about this beautiful building and the neighboring basilica? Visit: www.missiondolores.org.
Exterior of the Old Mission Church, Mission Dolores, Dedicated in 1776
This men’s half-zip pullover uses a gently shifting motif to create a modified houndstooth motif. Carefully tailored with set in sleeves, and solid cuffs and hem, a zipper finishes off the neckline and completes this timeless design.
This pattern is worked flat and requires basic knitting knowledge, including knit/purl, increasing, decreasing, reading charts, stranded knitting, and finishing.
Among the many projects in my queue, the CYC Certified Instructor Program
Level 1 has lived comfortably ignored for much of the past year. This certification is mostly for teaching beginning knitting (or crochet) courses at big box stores. I felt it'd be a good exercise and its lessons guide the student through the steps of creating a lesson plan, and gauging class time. I finished the bulk of the work pretty quickly, but then left it to hibernate in my studio and queue on Ravelry
. After much delay and procrastination, I finally completed the swatches for this level.
There should be some sort of award for completing levels. (Actually, there are many: A feeling of accomplishment, Receiving feedback from the instructor, Growing as a craftsperson and becoming more critical of the work you produce, Turning the tables on yourself and thinking as a new student)...
It will be nice to hear back from my instructor, to complete any updates or re-do that needs doing, and to move to the next level.
Dr. Lace's Badge of Accomplishments
Working on that program, I spent time thinking about what it meant to be recognized for accomplishment. Many of us get awards at work or through our good deeds, but what about our knitting? A friend of mine has considered the same conundrum and created Dr. Lace's Badge of Accomplishments
Beautifully presented on a letterpress card, this badge sings honor for knitting a first scarf (or first project, for that matter!) I think these would be a perfect reward for a "learn to knit" class... and every yarn shop should have them as special treats for those who need that extra encouragement.
Learning a new skill can feel daunting, but I promise. Everything we do gets easier with time and practice and determination.
Sometimes, a little encouragement from our friends or community is all we need to step out of our comfort zone and press on into the unknown!
Want this badge as an award for yourself or a friend who has learned how to knit? Post a comment telling me who taught you to knit and I'll randomly select one entry as the winner of this beautiful pin! Deadline: Saturday, September 28, 2013 at
UPDATE: - Congratulations to Michelle who was the winner of this contest! Visit www.drlace.com if you'd like to purchase a badge of your very own!
I had a great time working with Cascade Casablanca knitting this cowl! It's a new (FREE!) pattern up on their website and it's a fun way to watch the colors interact with each other. The pattern is part of their collection of free designs and is a great project for someone new to stranded knitting!
Worked in the round, this cowl features a geometric pattern that comes alive with Cascade’s Casablanca yarn. Choose two similar colors for a subtle cowl, or go for the dramatic by picking two contrasting colors. Whatever you decide, the result will be a fun, warm cowl full of graphic interest that’ll be well loved when winter arrives.
This pattern requires intermediate knitting knowledge including: cast-on, working in the round, reading charts, and simple stranded color work, on circular needles.
Skill Level | Intermediate
Yarn | Cascade Casablanca
57% wool, 24% silk, 19% mohair
220 yards / 200 meters
100 g / 3.5 oz
Gauge | 21 stitches and 27 rounds = 4″ / 10 cm in pattern To save time, take time to check gauge
US 7 (4.5 mm) 16”
32” diameter x 10″ high (25.4 cm x 81.28 cm)
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It's time to do more to offer support to the brave folks facing breast cancer. After talking with some friends I decided that a charity e-book is a good idea, with 100% of the proceeds benefitting the good works of Breast Cancer Connections. The call is outlined below.
I look forward to seeing the designs and sharing with you the work of others.
Call for Submissions
Submission Deadline : Friday, August 16, 2013, 6pm PST
Finished patterns and completed samples must be received by: September 25, 2013
Project scheduled release: November 1, 2013
Designs benefitting Breast Cancer Connections
will be an e-book of knit and crochet hat patterns created to raise funds for this worthwhile organization. The e-book will be sold through Ravelry, and 100% of the net proceeds will benefit Breast Cancer Connections. www.bcconnections.org
Designers generously donate the pattern and finished hat sample to the project. Each pattern will be formatted to be included in the e-book and designers will receive full credit for their contribution. Previously published patterns will be accepted.
Samples will be made by designers and submitted along with their pattern. Patterns should be tech edited and tested prior to submission. Submission Requirements
Please send your design submission as a .pdf, including an image of the finished hat (or swatch & sketch), and schematic with sizing/dimensions. Projects should follow the CYC Standards
, and can be in one or multiple sizes. Include a short statement about the design, the project yarn requirements (either what you used or what yarn and colors you hope to use), and contact information. If you’ve used handspun in your project, include WPI, TPI, angles, and a commercial yarn equivalent.
This project does not include yarn support. Completed patterns will be submitted in .doc format, and all charts and schematics should be sent as separate .jpg attachments. Photography
| Finished samples will be mailed at designer’s expense to Kyle William and will be photographed for the publication. Designers will be able to use these photos for their website, ravelry page, etc. as long as they keep the copyright information with the photo. Release
| The project is scheduled to be released as an e-book on November 1, 2013. Patterns donated to the project will be available through purchase of the e-book as a collection. Designers can sell the pattern individually on Ravelry or their own website.
After the project is released, sample hats will be sent to the project beneficiary, Living Beyond Breast Cancer. If you would rather keep your sample hat, we will ask you to cover the cost of return shipping. Proceeds
| All money from the sales of the e-book, less fees (Paypal, Ravelry, etc), will be donated to Living Beyond Breast Cancer in an annual payment, and the amounts donated will be updated on the book’s ravelry page and on a dedicated page at www.kylewilliam.com.
Email any questions and all submissions to: email@example.com
with "BCC Collection" in the subject line.
© 2013 Classic Elite Yarns
The Jack cardigan began its life back in October when I talked with Classic Elite about contributing to a collection of men's garments for release Fall 2013. After a few emails, we agreed on design, materials, and colors.This design began as a swatch in different yarn, and different colors... but once I got going on it I was infatuated with the sheer luxury of Classic Elite Yarn's Inca Alpaca.
I LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. this yarn. Seriously. It was glorious to work with (and I want to work with it again VERY soon) and the finished cardigan is so comfy and soft it was really hard to send away. I want to knit another for myself for chilly San Francisco days!
The pattern is part of Classic Elite Yarn's new booklet #9231: Leader of the Pack, available for purchase on Ravelry
, and pattern and yarn both should be waiting for you at your local yarn shop. More information about this and the rest of the collection can be found HERE
© 2013 Classic Elite Yarns
© 2013 Classic Elite Yarns
Back in mid-March, I mailed off a little bundle to Amy Clark Moore and her staff at Interweave. My very own contribution to the Unofficial Harry Potter Knits! Here it is, 4 month later, and I am finally able to share this project with you.
The Order of the Phoenix Winged Vest uses Zitron Lifestyle (100% extrafine superwash Merino) in #54 Nutmeg and #33 Corn. It features a solid front and, when worn with a jacket, others can't know the secrets it holds.
©Harper Point Photography for Interweave
The inspiration comes from the idea of the "hidden identity" of everyday superheroes. People (like policemen, nurses, and counselors) in our communities work hard to protect, educate, and serve. Out of uniform (or out of the office!) they blend into the crowd, unnoticed. We don't recognize they are the ones that do so much good when duty calls.
It is interesting to me how these individuals carry with them such strength and knowledge, and others can so easily be unaware. They walk by us... on the streets or at the mall... but at work; when they're needed, they dive in. Head-first. Selflessly.
While I was designing this vest I had in mind this idea of carrying around that "hidden identity"... it's more than the "secret powers" of heroes like Harry Potter - it's the real power of knowing what to do when a problem arises. It's also important to note that everyone has the ability to make a difference in the lives of others. Listening... Offering emotional support... Teaching "the tricks of the trade" to someone new to your field... Taking time to write a letter... Visiting people in the hospital. The small efforts we make turn us into true heroes in the eyes of others.
I hope the Order of the Phoenix vest will help others appreciate the heroes of their communities, and to find time to recognize the knowledge and talents of those around them.
©Harper Point Photography for Interweave
©Harper Point Photography for Interweave
The Unofficial Harry Potter Knits will be available at your Local Yarn Shop or through the Interweave website. If you can't wait to cast on this (or any of the other AMAZING projects) in the magazine, you can hop on over HERE
and download an electronic copy right now! (Due to copyright restrictions, this magazine is only available for sale in the U.S.)
My ceramics class finished for the year a few weeks ago. I wanted to share some of the finished pieces with you! I had a good time spending the start of 2013 getting up really early and making the trek across the city to say good morning to the Golden Gate Bridge and to get my hands dirty in clay. I love it because it's so different from knitting and the other fiber arts... 11.5"W x 11.5D x 7.25"H
A key lesson in ceramics is when making something, you make 2 or 3 (or 10!) of the same thing, and with each one, you learn more. Working in multiples also allows for the inevitable problems that happen in ceramics... like firing mistakes, glaze issues, and cracks.
During this class, I focused on making footed pedestal bowls with these "torn" edges. This one is my favorite (and was also the last one finished.
There were (I think) 5 or 6 by the time I finished the course. One was a big failure [lesson?] because there was a glaze problem and it stuck to the kiln shelf. Another turned out wonderfully but there was something in the clay that melted and burned a funny drippy hole in the bowl. (In this program students are provided, and required to use, recycled clay. That means there's often foreign objects in the clay and, from time to time, they make their way into a finished piece.)
As you probably know, I'm drawn to text on art. In paintings. On knitwear. And in ceramics. This quote from Daisy Whitney resonated with me and something about it reminded me that I do the things I do (and surround myself with the things I love) because I love them. It's sort of an artsy twist on "you are what you eat."
We are what we love. We are the things, the people, the ideas we spend our days with. They center us, they drive us, they define us to our very core. Without them, we are empty.
-Daisy Whitney, The Rivals
Another goal in the class was to make proper cereal/ice cream bowls. There's nothing like eating out of a handmade bowl. Among my favorites was this one - blue and rust and organic looking glaze over a simple bowl. I am enamored with the wheel, and if I had time and was able to focus, I could spend weeks making hundreds of bowls. This one has yet to be used!
7"W x 7"D x 4"H
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6.25"W x 6.25"D x 4"H
...and then, there's this bowl. I was in a mood experimenting with pouring glazes and leaving the outside of the bowl raw. I wanted to show that clay that was making me so frustrated. The interior is smoothe and glazed but outside it's full of drips. One side dipped in a different color allowed for interesting contrast.
Mixing glaze on glaze like this makes for unique results. Taking notes and trying combinations over and over gives an idea of what might happen but in the end, the final result is up to the "kiln gods"... I think this bowl might end up living in the studio and holding yarn. It's a nice sturdy bowl with a wide brim and I like how it looks on my old wood table.
I talked about this bowl on Facebook. 3 colors of glaze poured and dipped on this bowl. the one green got super duper green! - outside it's raw clay again (and I know now it's a bit more rough to the hand that I prefer) but I like the bowl still. Another candidate for ice cream or cereal.
6"W x 6.25"D x 4"H
6.5"W x 6.5"D x 4.25"H
Going back to the very start of the class, this was one of the first pieces I made. It's also one of my favorites as far as the way the glazing turned out.
I carved spider webs into some pieces during this course, much like I did a few years ago when I was doing ceramics in Los Angeles. Then, I used my little letter stamps to impress another beautiful quote, this time from Tolstoy. After it was bisque fired, I dipped the entire piece in glaze, then, after it dried, wiped most of the glaze off of the exterior. A final "kiss" of clear glaze on the rim finished this piece. It feel organic and free. This one might also live in the studio - but I suppose not everything can live in the studio, right?! - perhaps some of these should become gifts....
The means to gain happiness is to throw out from oneself like a spider in all directions an adhesive web of love, and to catch in it all that comes.
So that's some of the ceramic work I did this year. There's lots more, of course... but these were among my favorites. Class is done, so my tools are all packed away, along with my ceramics notebook; waiting for the next adventure in clay.
Today I listed a few more hand dyed tops - I have grand plans to spend a day or two in the dye lab. Here's hoping for a larger update soon! It's so fun to turn on the music, mix up the dye and spend a day creating color. Perhaps this weekend will bring more time for that!
I've spun up one of these 4oz braids made by Lisa Merian of Spinners Hill
that are from Trumpet Hill
in Albany, NY - I split it in half lengthwise, then spun it and finished by Navajo plying it - making a nice 3-ply yarn. Hank #1 has 102 yards and hank #2 has around 120 yards... I have another braid to spin up and can't decide if I want to do it now or save it for another time....
The knitting I've been working on recently isn't very exciting. yet. I'm busy working on a design that's got me unsure of what it should be. It started as one project (which is complete), then I thought the motif would work better as a different kind of project (which is on the needles)... and now, as I work on that design I think it might need to be something different than THAT... so I'm a bit thrown by that project.
In other knitting news, I've created a few swatches and concepts for proposals and that work takes time away from knitting things I can share. It's work I love to do, though, so it's quite worth it. The only thing I don't like about it is the WAITING to talk about it all!
I'm happy to announce that I'm part of an upcoming book - this time it's a Hanukkah hat designed for Universal Yarn and Sixth&Spring Books. The goal with this project was to create an easy to follow pattern using
as a symbol for the holiday of Hanukkah. Judaism is a religion steeped in history. I was drawn to the dreidel not only for its shape, but also because, in addition to it being the centerpiece for a game that
millions of kids have played for generations, it is a reminder of how, during the rule of
Antiochus, Jews who were reading the Torah would hide their studies and quickly pick up (and play with) the dreidel when armies appeared as a way to avoid persecution. Stories of religions are interesting and full of the unexpected. The little dreidel motif repeated around the hat is a bit camouflaged, but for those that know the symbol, it invites inquiry. And as always, if you ask, you'll learn that there's more to the story. I love the slow striping color change of Universal Yarn Deluxe Worsted Long Print (color #05 Midnight Blues). This yarn was the perfect background for using the solid worsted yarn (color #12270 Natural) as the motif in the design. Also in the book you'll find so many other fun projects, including
a pattern for a market bag, Christmas tree skirt, gloves, socks, and scarves. This is the kind of book that would be fun to buy and work the patterns as each holiday arrives. I have yet to see the final published book but the issuu link (below) will give you a small taste of some of the projects you'll find in this new book.
Hanukkah Hat by Kyle Kunnecke from 50 Knitted Gifts for Year Round Giving, published by
Sixth&Spring Books. Photography by Jack Deutsch and text copyright © 2013 by
Sixth&Spring Books. All images used by permission.
Check with your local yarn shop or bookstore to get your copy of this book - it's scheduled for release in about a month.