I am so excited to finally hold in my hands Knits of a Feather (Sellers Publishing, Inc.) by Celeste Young! This first (hopefully of many) book by Celeste honors our feathered friends with a collection of well-conceived, classically-inspired designs. Featuring fibers from Cascade Yarns, this book is beautifully written, and promises to introduce you to a myriad of projects that must be immediately cast on or placed in queue.
Stranded knitting, cables, duplicate stitch, lace, embroidery, beading, steeking... there are many techniques flexing their muscles in this collection, but it's all done in a way that's not threatening. Celeste gently guides the reader through each step, and even explains the why behind the notes (which helps us all become better at our craft!)
My favorite project in the collection? The Bird on a Wire Cowl. It's whimsical, graphic, and allows for a bit of practice at stranded knitting. It's the first piece out of this book that I'll cast on.
The second favorite project is that incredibly beautiful Peacock Tam! WOW what a stunning design.
...and that cute beaded bracelet is a perfect style choice for knitted jewelry. It's a clever concept, and I believe that it'd be a great introduction to beading for those who are curious about that technique.
...and I also love the Cardinal cap. (OK, OK... I should just say the projects are all really cool!)
Knitting books seem to follow the same basic layout. Learn to knit instructions, background information, patterns, then resources (or sometimes the tutorial information is here at the back of the book). Knits of a Feather does something that I don't remember seeing elsewhere: the hints and instructions relevant to a pattern are located right next to the instructions!
I have an autographed copy of Knits of a Feather to give to one of my readers! Post in the comments and tell me which project in Knits of a Feather is your favorite and why. I'll randomly choose a person from the comments on this post. Entries deadline 12:01AM PST on Monday, October 14, 2013.
If you can't wait, or want to buy a few copies for friends, the book is also available through the designers website (where you can get an autographed copy!), your local yarn shop, book stores, and online retailers.
Here's a peek at the projects included in the book. Click on each image to be directed to the corresponding Ravelry page (where you can add it to your favorites or queue!)
CONGRATULATIONS! to Vivian who won the autographed copy of Celeste's book! I have sent out an email and as soon as I get a mailing address, this great book will be on its way!
Thank you, everyone, for taking time to read and comment!
Colton Half-Zip Pullover
Full details about this design are included on the pattern page HERE.
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.
Adding Fiber to the Shop
I've been rethinking how I use my week and weekends. With so much to do, it's difficult (sometimes) to get lines crossed off of the list.
I adopted the Google Calendar and add appointments and reminders on it using my phone or computer and that way when time arrives, it's easier to stay on schedule. For example, I knew this past weekend I wanted to dye alpaca top. In order to do this, I like to have my fibers soak for a good day or two before I dye. A reminder on Thursday morning went off and reminded me to measure out and soak fibers for Saturday!
(and I did!)
That means I have alpaca fiber dyed and ready to sell this week listed in the shop. I've been working on adding more solids to the list (and they seem pretty popular!) - so this week I added brown and orange (which, of course, I named chocolate and pumpkin).
A Dye Lab snuck itself into the mix as well - I had blue left over from yarn dyeing and it was begging to be put on the alpaca with the brown... I think any two of these colors could be combined for a fun result.
I also have some more merino dyed in the Emerald colorway to list in the shop. Doing the dyeing is a fun diversion from the knitting and design work that I have been doing. It all takes time and energy... but being able to step away from the calculator for a while and get messy with dye makes my soul smile.
Here's to an amazing week!
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!