I'm happy to announce the release of a new pattern, Francine. Worked in Kollage Yarns Happiness, it's a dance in beading fun. The knitting itself is pretty simple; a stockinette cowl bordered in i-cord, and the following of the chart is also pretty easy. Even if you've never worked with beads before, this is a project I'm confident you can handle.
Ready to cast on? I'm offering a 50% discount on this pattern through 5/31/15. Use code BEAD to save $2.00!
$4.00 (.pdf pattern download)
It's time to announce the call for submissions to the 75 Squares fundraiser! This event benefits Project Open Hand; a nonprofit whose mission is to provide "meals with love" to seniors and the critically ill.
In one of their larger programs, a single, healthy, well-balanced, "square" meal costs Project Open Hand about $2.00.
75 Squares is a fundraising sale of handmade scarves, cowls, wraps, and shawls that is planned to launch Saturday, September 26, 2015.
As a donating artist, the "feel good" comes from contributing a piece (and the time it took to make), and watching that item be the reward for another person who makes a contribution to Project Open Hand. Then, the knowing that as the piece is loved and worn, that the wearer carries the story of how through this fundraiser they were able to help provide nutritious "meals with love" to so many.
Please consider donating a scarf, cowl, shawl, or wrap that you've made to the event. Each piece will be listed for sale online for $150.00, and all the proceeds will go to feed the clients of Project Open Hand. Each item sold in this fundraiser will feature a 75 Squares label, reminding the wearer that 75 wonderfully nutritious meals were served to those in need as a direct result of their purchase.
Note your interest by filling out the sign-up form HERE, and send in your work as soon as possible. All items must be received no later than Friday, July 31, 2015.
Questions? Email me HERE.
If you haven't seen my manic Facebook posts lately, you don't know that I've been bit by the sewing bug. Just like I'm obsessed with knitting, recently I have found myself dreaming about bag construction. After many late nights of practicing, I made a bag that I'm very proud of!
Isn't it lovely? I am SO happy. Oh and it has a few details I'm especially happy about. First, I am excited at how well the fabric lined up at the top:
... and inside? Yes! I installed a cute little zippered pocket. It even has a Kyle William label! This bag measures about 8" tall, 12" wide, and 5" deep.
I love this one but I'm ready to give it away as a prize. Here's how to win:
Go here: https://sf.aidswalk.net/kylewilliam
Make a $25.00 donation (yes, only $25.00!) That'll give you 5 entries. (Note: That's the minimum amount that can be donated through the system.)
Do this before Friday night at 11:59pm PST, May 15, 2015.
I will draw the winner on Saturday, May 16, 2015. I'll cover shipping costs (anywhere in the world).
Enter as many times as you want. Any donation in multiples of $25.00 during this time enters you into the drawing. (A $50.00 donation enters you into the drawing 10 times)
The money I raise will go directly to Alliance Health Project to support the wonderful work we do to help those in need.
Have fun! (and thank you in advance for your generosity)
PS. Yes, I put just a tiny touch of purple on the bag to tempt my purple loving friends!
UPDATE: Congratulations to Charles Clark II - the winner of the bag drawing! Thank you to everyone who contributed!!
Hanging out with the girls from Darn Good Yarn at Stitches WEST, I was talking with them about how much I love their sari silk ribbon yarn. It's made using waste from the sari industry (the bits of fabric not used during clothing production) and the strips are sewn or knotted together in skeins.
Imagine my joy when a few weeks later a package with a few skeins of this fun stuff arrived in my mailbox. "Have fun!" said the note from Maggie.
I knew immediately what I wanted to do with this yarn.
Yes, that's right. sew. Now, I'm not a tailor at ALL. In fact, as a kid I remember being known for breaking needle after needle in my mom's sewing machine. I did take a class at the community college that introduced the basics of sewing, and that helped me conquer my fear of the machine. Now, I know a little more about what to do when the machine goes "clunk".
Off to the fabric store I went. Armed with an idea! I found some simple brown cotton fabric (I thought a solid would work best), some basting tape in a color that I thought worked well with the colors I had in my yarns, and coordinating thread.
Once the project moved forward I ended up using a brown thread instead of this one...
I also bought a bit of iron on stabilizer and some spray adhesive as options for temporarily securing the bits of silk until they were sewn.
I then balled up the skeins of silk, and took some from each ball to iron flat. I cut the strips where they were knotted, turned on some fun music, set my iron on the setting for silk, and steam/pressed each piece flat. I then separated each set of colors (hanging them on the end of the ironing board) so that I had an idea of the color palette I was working with.
This was also the time that little magic glittery bits of fabric appeared. Embroidered pieces with gold thread, little flowers... They were scarce but in the end just enough difference to add a bit more interest to the project.
This project only uses some of each skein of ribbon yarn. There's enough left over to make LOTS more pillows!
Then, it was time to cut the fabric. I decided on a 18" x 18" pillow, so I cut a 19" x 19" square, and two rectangles (for the back) 14" x 19", and 13" x 19".
Starting with the back, I sprayed one of the pieces with a light coat of adhesive (meant for fabric) and then pinned it in place on my blocking board. I laid out the strips of silk so that they covered the backing fabric (which means some of the pieces overlapped a bit). Then, I trimmed the ends of silk that were hanging off the ends of the backing.
Time to start sewing!
Truth is, I did a sample swatch first - using some of the silk and backing fabric set up the same was as the pillow pieces, I tried out a bunch of different stitch patterns to determine which one I liked the best. I settled on a big zig-zag stitch for this pillow because it worked well to catch the little rough silk edges and strings, and it made a fun pattern across the strips.
Of course there's more to making a pillow than I am saying here... I used a tutorial from YouTube for general guidance. Here is the link to that tutorial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4LJnPEvjdDo
The only other change I made is using bias tape on the ends of the flaps of my pillow instead of doing turned hems. I like the bulk of the tape and think the contrasting material and color is fun.
And on the back of the pillow, I decided to add a few patch numbers I bought at a antiques show. The numbers don't mean anything; they're just a fun little added surprise.
There you go! Another fun way to use one of the ribbon yarns from Darn Good Yarn! I have another project idea in mind for another of their materials... can't wait to see how it turns out!
I will be teaching two classes at the TNNA Summer trade show in Columbus, OH!
This year they selected:
Stranded Intarsia - Thursday, May 28, 2015, 12:00 - 3:00PM
Knitting with Beads - Thursday, May 28, 2015, 3:30-6:30PM
(Click on the class title to learn more)
Registration is open now, and I encourage you to sign up as soon as you decide you'll be attending so that you are able to get the classes you want.
It's been a very busy weekend in the studio! After finishing up the workshop on Saturday, I spent that afternoon and part of Sunday knitting only to realize that I had made a major mistake in the project and it had to be ripped out. It's frustrating to go back almost 11,000 stitches in colorwork, but it's worth it to get the final product I want.
In good news, thanks to one of my amazing multi-lingual friends, Bonnie, the Wadsworth cowl pattern is now available in Italian! (AND it's free!)
Get it HERE
I had the best time spending the day with this great group of women at Bay Area Cancer Connections in Palo Alto,CA. Each one is either supporting a friend or on her own journey facing cancer.
The learn to knit workshop was a success and they are all well on their way to making a hat of their very own. It sounds like they may begin an informal knitting group at the Center! Many thanks to those who donated materials, including Erin Lane Bags, Kollage, Brittany, Skacel, and HiyaHiya! Thanks also to my friend Darin who helped out all day.
I'm very excited to release this "learn to knit a hat" pattern just in time for my upcoming workshop at Bay Area Cancer Connections in Palo Alto! For those looking for a very basic pattern that works great for a new knitter, please consider purchasing this pattern.
Proceeds from the sale of this pattern are donated to Halos of Hope.
I have a new pattern out in the March, 2015 of UK based Knit Now magazine! It was lots of fun
to come up with this design that uses short row shaping to create the slanted stripe motif.
Like/Favorite on Ravelry:
While I was in Seattle for the Madrona Winter Retreat, I visited the Skacel warehouse and was given the opportunity to experiment with one of their new yarns, CoBaSi DK.
Paired with another yarn they carry, Ambiente, I thought it'd make a really lovely linen stitch cowl... not just because of the color patterning in Ambiente being obscured by the solid main color yarn, but also because of the mixture of the two yarn materials.
Ambiente is merino superwash, while CoBaSi DK is cotton, bamboo, silk, and nylon. The two of them combined create a layer that's warm (but not too warm) for cooler temperatures.
It's a free pattern, available HERE. I hope you enjoy it.