New Year Do Over

The new year did not start out as planned. I took Sunday - New Year's Day - off. Monday the man was off work, but I thought I would get a few things done - think about plans for the future, all that rot. But as Monday continued I realized I was getting sick. 

And I've been sick since then. I actually got antibiotics for a sinus infection and I feel 1000% better, but I still have this crazy cough. Fortunately on the advice of Dana (of the fabulous Unwind Yarn Company) I got myself some high octane cough drops that are actually quelling the monster. Which is good because I'm teaching this weekend and I need to talk. Not cough. 

So I'm printing handouts and getting myself all ready for this weekend. I'm super excited, because it's been way too long since I've gotten away. And even though I'm teaching and vending it will still be so wonderful to be with my people, my knitters!

On the bright side of starting over, I have some very exciting things going on in the next couple of weeks - so today is a very good day to be starting over. Just gotta get caught up and ready to take my first train ride on Wednesday. Yeah, train ride!!! I'm excited. It's cheaper than driving down to Disney and I get to knit the whole time. (Or put stickers on patterns, you know, whatever needs to be done!).

So let's do a smidge of celebrating my new year by casting on a new project. And you can use the code start to get 50% off any PicnicKnits patterns and e-books. Shop the store right here:
PicnicKnits Pattern Store

And if you're in the Orlando area (or a short ride away!) come see me on Saturday at the Swan hotel at Disney. I'll be the crazy one giving away the free PicnicKnits temporary tattoos!

 
 

 

 

Magical Fiber Fantasy Retreat

Knitting. In Orlando. In January. It's a very good plan. There's Disney. And Universal. And Harry Potter. And all sorts of wonderful restaurants and attractions. The weather will almost certainly be lovely. At the very least I can say with 99.9999999% certainty that there won't be a massive snowstorm.

As of today (January 12th) there are still a few spots left for the retreat which runs January 25th-29th. I will be teaching, and Laura Nelkin (!!!!) will be teaching, so there are a lot of fun class options on Thursday and Friday! You should get on that!

And if you're local (or semi local like I am) there is a Vendor Market on Saturday from 11am-5pm, and in addition to teaching at the retreat, I will be there vending! I will be selling books and patterns. And there are a bunch of other awesome fibery folks vending as well!

Rainstorm Studios

Jeri Brock Woodworking

DaizieKnits

AlpacaJoe

Sheepish Creations

FIbernymph Dye Works

Four Purls Yarn (Truck)

Destination Yarn

Seven Sisters Arts

Shirsty Cat Designs

Galiana Creations

Blue Heron Yarns

SewFlo

Apothefaery

Dimensions Buttons

The Ross Farm

Pawley Studios Handmade Ceramics

Gerschubie Fiber Arts

Personally there are a lot of things there that I would love to get my hands on, but I've been wanting a Pawley mug for my tea for-ev-er! So I'm pretty excited about that!  

But right now I have no time for blogging! I have to start getting ready all the stuff I want to bring to Orlando! Hope to see you there!

Chart Star

This year is all about the learning for me. And the teaching. I've decided that I'm putting the picnic back in PicnicKnits. Picnic as in easy. Making knitting easier. I'm going to teach and I'm going to learn.

KNITTING CONFESSION TIME: 
I've never steeked. And I've never knit brioche.

But this year that's going to change. I'm going to tackle both of them. Heck, I'm even planning to design something in brioche. Maybe not steeking though. I'm leaning towards faster, smaller projects and steeking doesn't usually fit into that niche.

What knitting skills are you looking to tackle?

My first 3 releases of this year are the Alrisha Hat, the Becrux Cowl, and the Chara Shawl. ABC. Because I'm making charts as easy as ABC. One of my big plans for this year is to include tutorials and education with every pattern I release. I'm even going back in time to do some teaching on older designs. 

So to start it off with a bang - I'm releasing the Chart Star Course. This course starts with the e-book that includes the 3 patterns. The patterns contain no written instructions for any of the charts. Now if you're proficient chart knitter, enjoy the patterns! But if not, it's time to learn!

The Chart Star Course includes 15 lessons that teach you how to read, understand, and knit with charts. There are complete walk throughs for each patterns, so that you can finish the course as a Chart Star!

So what are you waiting for? Are you ready to conquer charts?
order Chart Star Now!

And if you already know how to work charts, what is the knitting skill you really want to learn? I'm planning out designs and education for the year, and I'd love to make it so I teach you the knitting things you need to know!

This year y'all

I remember back at the end of last year when I had grand plans for 2016. I had no idea. Not only was it a bad year for art, music, and well pretty much the world,  it was also a very bad year for me. I tried going back into the workforce. Bad idea. I had some big ideas for my business that never came to fruition. Totally my own fault, but still not fun. I found out some things about people that made me sad. Honestly I want to just draw a veil over the whole year. I'm cranking through until New Years, and then I'm calling a full on do-over. 

So in the spirit of making things better I started something new. On instagram I started putting up a daily good word. Some of them are quotes about getting it done (like above), but some of them will be silly. The important part is that it's good. It's positive. Or it's fun. I'm done having bad in my world, and I'm working on the little ways I can make the world a better place. This is one little way I can be brighter. One of the ways I can work towards my goal of being a "bright, shiny light". That's how Jen Sincero describes Dolly Parton and I figure that's a pretty good life goal. You can peruse all the good words I'm putting together on Instagram.

So go on. You do you. Be your own version of a bright, shiny light. I hope your holidays are full of love and kindness. And I hope and pray that 2017 brings us all better things. More love. More light.

A Fresh Start!

Things have been crazy around these parts. Even crazier than normal. I live with a certain level of insanity and I embrace it, but lately things have been just too much. 

But that was then, and this is now. Now is my brand new website. What do you think? Still lots of things to come including full galleries of all of my designs, but it's getting there. 

You may not have known, but for the first half of this year I went back into the workforce. The job was fun and not too taxing, and the people were beyond lovely, but it was torture. After spending 12+ years in charge of my own time, I could not stand being required to be somewhere 30 hours a week. And my business suffered terribly. Because when I got home all I wanted to do was veg. And veg I did.

But I veg no more. 

The last month at work I got to plotting. And to planning. And to getting my ducks in a row so I could come back home, revitalize my business, and take care of my family on MY terms. 

So if you're a knitter, I have beautiful designs and helpful tutorials coming your way.

And if you are a designer, I am spending part of my time doing Technical Editing. I've put my years of designing experience to good work editing patterns for designers, publishers, and yarn companies. And my math loving brain could not be happier. 

Also for designers I have a bunch of other helpful, awesome stuff in the pipeline. So watch this space! 

The other thing I learned from the last year is that I must take care of myself. So while I will be rocking and rolling in the business department, I will also be taking care of me. Because if you don't plan in some downtime, the universe will force you down. Ask me how I know. 

Review: Pattern Writing for Knit Designers

Pattern-Writing

Kate Atherley is THE tech editor. Like if she was editing a pattern for me I would be equal parts starstruck and nervous. A "we're not worthy" Wayne's World style tribute comes to mind. So when she asked me to to review her book, immediately I was kind of honored.

But even though I am an unabashed fangirl, I didn't expect what I got. I've been designing for over 8 years, and I have over 200 designs under my belt. What I got was schooled. But in a good way. The book has so much information. So many little details and suggestions that make so much sense.

The book has such concise, complete information on pattern writing that I'm kind of ashamed I've never read it before. It makes me want to rewrite ALL of my patterns. Every knit designer should have it, not just less experienced ones.

The sidebars with input from knitters are invaluable. There are appendixes with just loads of crucial information - including an extensive glossary of abbreviations that I could use all day long. She talks about software. She talks about copyright. She talks about properly tagging your patterns on Ravelry. She talks about working with publications.

Yes, I am a huge fan of Kate Atherley. But this book is that good. I learned so much from reading, and have tips that I will immediately integrate into my pattern writing workflow. And this isn't even the newest edition - although I must say that I don't find any of the information dated at all. She has a brand new edition that is shipping now on Amazon - and I can't wait to get my hands on that one.

YarnCon!

Two weeks from today (!!!) I will be at YarnCon in Chicago. It has been years (decades) since I've been to Chicago and I'm really looking forward to going back. I've never been to YarnCon of course, but I've heard amazing things about it and I can't wait to get there. What is YarnCon? YarnCon is Chicago's Indie Fiber Fair. There are amazing vendors, and classes, and I'm teaching class there myself!

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We are going to work through a variety of bind-off techniques for knitted lace, including: ace bind-offs, extra stretchy bind-offs, picot bind-offs, crochet loop bind-offs, and manipulating the last few rows of knitting to provide extra stretch for dramatic lace edgings. The fancy finish pictured is from my shawl Evanthe, and both the Evanthe pattern AND the Jovia pattern (which uses a picot bind-off shown below) are part of the class materials.

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This class will teach you skills helpful in any lace knitting you do, and also about how to change things up a bit to make a pattern your own! I would love to see you there in class - it's available both Saturday and Sunday mornings at 10am, which leaves you the rest of the day for shopping and schmoozing and knitting! You can register for classes for YarnCon by using their registration page. Hope to see you there!

Blocking is magic!

So as knitters and designers in the yarn world we all know that blocking is the best thing that can happen to an already amazing piece of knit or crocheted goodness. Blocking smooths out stitches, evens up edges, and can open up lace from a fuzzy lump into something breathtaking.

But in order to block it really helps to have the right tools. When I first started blocking I started with tried and true tool - t-pins. Make sure you get the rust-proof ones, but just to give you a warning, sometimes after a long time in circulation even those can rust - so be careful! Pins are perfect for bringing out points, but not quite as useful for straight edges.

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Enter the wires. Wires are amazing for straight edges. They even have special wires that have flexibility so you can pin them into curves. But for a cheaper line option - straight or curved - you can use cotton yarn or string and pins. You can use any yarn for this purpose, but cotton yarn is really helpful in this case because it doesn't break as easily under pressure.

Finally I came across these Knitter's Pride Blockers. I adore these things. For swatches they cannot be beat. They are so fast and you can make straight (or even pointed edges) so easily. For sweater pieces you can swiftly block your pieces to schematic - it's amazing to me how much faster these are than any other method. The set comes with large and small blockers that have rows of pins. They don't always work with complex lace, but I can always go back to pins for those. Now I just need a few more sets of these so I can block an entire sweater at once using only these wonderful tools.

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So the other important tools in my arsenal are blocking mats - I basically can cover my whole studio floor in blocking mats. I also love having my huge quilters ruler to help me quickly block sweaters or pieces to schematic measurements.

What are you go-to blocking tools and tips?

The Robie Tank

Robie-Feature Sometimes you get a call for submissions from a knitting magazine and you actually have just the perfect thing to send in. The Robie Tank was one of those instances. So I swatched it up, and then was sent some perfect yarn - Solemate from Lorna's Laces. I've loved Lorna's Laces pretty much as long as I've been knitting, but the Solemate (and it's sport-weight sister Sportmate) is like the perfect warm weather yarn. I used the Sportmate in my book Warm Days, Cool Knits, so working with the Solemate was a no brainer.

Robie-Back

The magic of the Robie Tank is in the choice of yarns. You pick one crazy yarn and one solid or neutral. And as far as the crazy yarn, the crazier the better. The Hawthorne colorway of Solemate has like all the colors. You could even choose one of those colors that we knitters affectionately refer to as "clown barf". But the natural yarn I used for the solid breaks up any pooling and turns the multi-colored yarn into something that looks actually planned!

Robie-Lace

Robie is worked from the bottom up - starting with a lace border worked sideways. Then you pick up stitches and work a striped slip-stitch pattern in the two colors. The sweet thing about the Robie Tank is that because it's slip-stitch colorwork you are only working with one color at a time. Add in some waist shaping and you've got the making for a shapely, flattering tank.

Robie-Picot

To finish it off, you work some simple picot edgings around the neckline and armholes. It echoes the bottom lace edging and turns the geometric slip stitch patterned top into something downright girly. The strong lines of the slip stitch give it almost a corset kind of feel. So pick yourself a crazy color and a coordinating solid and make yourself something lovely.

The Robie Tank is available in the Spring 2016 issue of Knitscene Magazine. All pictures are copyright Knitscene / Good Folk Photography.

Professional Organizations

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There aren’t a ton of organizations available for knit and crochet designers. A few years back, some of our fellow designers had a group called the Association of Knitwear Designers – AKD for short. I recall that right about the time that I was interested in joining they unfortunately disbanded, but I know they did have mentoring options. I actually considered trying to set up something in the same vein, but I realized that I wasn’t up for managing something of that magnitude. That’s part of the reason that I set up the YDU forums for established designers – so we could help and mentor each other. Because everyone has something they can learn. Right now the main professional organization that you can join as a designer is TNNA – The National Needlework Association. They have membership requirements, and the current membership fee is $60. Depending on when you join, membership allows you to be included in their directory, and grants you admission to their winter and summer shows. They have been working to have more resources and courses available for designers, but the organization’s main focus is still on the wholesaler-retailer relationship. Attending the shows is a very valuable networking experience however, and there are opportunities to showcase your work at the trade shows.

If you can only attend one show per year, I would highly recommend attending the summer TNNA show. The summer show is more focused on the yarn segment versus the needlepoint segment. More of the yarn and fiber vendors attend the summer show, and the attendance overall is generally higher. It is also a great way to cultivate in person relationships with yarn companies, local yarn stores, and other designers. This year the summer show is in Washington DC, and you have plenty of time to join if you want to attend that show.

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CHA – the Craft & Hobby Association also has membership opportunities for designers, but their memberships are a bit pricier at $165 per year. CHA caters more to larger retailers and usually has one show per year in California in January. I have colleagues who swear by the connections they have made at the CHA show, so I am planning on attending that show next year.

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CGOA and TKGA – the Crochet Guild of America and The Knitting Guild Association are really consumer/hobbyist organizations, however there are benefits to joining. For example if you want to teach at TKGA events, it is required to be a member. Both subscriptions include a magazine subscription,and it’s always helpful to keep up with different publications.

Currently I’m a member of TNNA and TKGA, and I will attend the summer shows for both. It will be my first TKGA event, so I’m excited to experience something new. Which organizations do you belong to?

Evanthe

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Evanthe is now available! This past September I taught a short-row crescent class down at Sheep Thrills in Lauderhill, Florida and this was the result - the Evanthe shawlette. evanthe-picnicknits-knitting-pattern

Evanthe is worked up in one skein of The Fiber Seed Sprout - a fingering weight yarn that is pretty much perfect in every way. The colorway is Sanquis - a rich pink red that's all kinds of beautiful. It's worked from the top down in what I call "the fancy cast-on" with short-row shaping and a patterned body.

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The edging is an elaborate lace floral pattern, that is finished with my favorite - a crochet bind-off.

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Evanthe is available for individual purchase for $7.00 USD on Ravelry. But if you buy it before end of the day Monday, January 4th, then you get it for 25% off - no coupon required!

Needles/Hooks: Size 6 needles (4.0 mm) and  Size E hook (3.5 mm)

Yarn: The Fiber Seed Sprout, 90% Merino, 10% Nylon, 480 yards / 140 grams

Gauge: 18 stitches and 24 rows = 4 inches in blocked body pattern

Size: 62″ wide and 16″ deep

Evanthe is available on Ravelry individually for $7.00 USD 

200 Patterns

Yesterday I hit a milestone. With the release of Trieste Hat and the Trieste Mitts patterns, my portfolio now contains 200 designs. Two. Hundred. I've been designing for a bit over 7 years. That comes out to like 27 designs per year. 27. Which coincidentally is my very favorite number. To celebrate 200 designs I'm having a little end of year sale. If you use the code 200 you get 27% off anything in the PicnicKnits Store. Anything. E-Books, patterns, mix and match however you like - and the code is good until the end of the year! I know, I know, it sounds like a long time but we are in the homestretch people. And between you and me, I'm ready for a new year. Bring it on!

So I though I would highlight some of my favorites from my first 200...

From top left: Halaine, Wendell Holmes, Laresca, Biellese, Bayard, Gaenor, Teasdale, Surrey, and Evanthe.

So I have to say, thank you for all the support. Without all the wonderful knitters and customers I would not be where I am today! Here's to 27 more in 2016!

Trieste Hat & Mitts

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I had a goal this year - to release enough designs to hit the 200 mark in my Ravelry portfolio. And with these two patterns, I did it! I'm becoming really fond of bulky yarn, I have to tell you. Each project uses only 1 skein of bulky yarn - Crater Lake by Stitch Sprouts, 110 yards to 100g. Trieste Hat, Trieste Mitts, knitting, bulky yarn

Both projects are worked in the round on size 10 needles. If you don't mind working hats on dpns, that's all you need. But if you prefer to work the main part of the hat on a small circular (like a 16") then you can go that route too.

Trieste Mitts, knitting, bulky yarn

The simple lace patterns are easy to memorize, and the twisted ribbing gives the set a polished look. But that doesn't mean you can't goof off in it!

Trieste Hats, Trieste Mitts, knitting, bulky yarn, picnicknits

The Trieste Hat and the Trieste Mitts are available as individual patterns on Ravelry for $6.00 USD. But you can the entire set for free if you sign up for the PicnicKnits e-mail newsletter. And what is this newsletter nonsense I speak of? Basically it's a weekly digest that will help you keep up with all things PicnicKnits - new pattern releases, special subscriber only discounts, classes I'm teaching around the country, product reviews, video knitting tutorials, and all the best knitting things I find! Head on over to the subscriber page and you can get your free set!

 

McCowan Shawlette

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McCowan is finally ready to go! I finished this shawl ages ago - like over the summer. And the pictures are months old too. But life has just conspired against me. But it's kind of the worth the wait - and it's perfect timing. McCowan uses size 10 needles and only 300 yards of yarn so it's just right for gift knitting. And who wouldn't love a cozy shawl/scarf like this?

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It blocks out to a generous six feet (!!!!) wide. That's 72 inches folks. The depth is a bit shallow at only 15", but it's perfect for a shawl that doubles as a scarf.

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It is worked using yarnover short-rows. These are the easiest short-rows because they require no wraps or other fiddly nonsense. It's a great short-row beginner project. It also uses faux-cables in the eyelet edging - all the nice look of a simple cable with no fuss!

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McCowan is available now on Ravelry and you still have plenty of time to whip one up for yourself or someone who's truly knit worthy. All the instructions are available in written form, so everything is spelled out for you.

Needles: Size 10 needles (6.0 mm)

Yarn: Malabrigo Twist, 100% Merino, 150 yards to 100g, 2 skeins of Indiecita

Gauge: 13 stitches and 18 rows = 4 inches in blocked garter stitch

Size: 72" wide and 15" deep

McCowan is available on Ravelry individually for $7.00 USD

Oh and to celebrate it's release, you can get McCowan for half price - only $3.50 until the end of December 6th.

Giftalong Feets

The 2015 Gift-A-Long is going strong. Today I'm going to showcase my single sock pattern that is on sale and share with you some of my other favorites in the feets category! 9293715488_53da29df2f_z

Ardelis is a swirling sock pattern that comes in a mirrored pair. Worked up in Dragonfly Fibers Dragon Sock in Summer Harvest - it's perfect for hand dyed yarns. And if you use the coupon code "giftalong2015" Ardelis is 25% off!

But the awesome thing about the Giftalong is that it's not just a sale. There is currently a giant foot/leg knitalong/crochetalong going on in the Indie Giftalong group and it's not too late to join. Plus there are fabulous prizes.

You can peruse Pinterest and see all the pretty socks and other leg stuff in one place. And just in case my socks aren't your cup of tea, I thought I would share a few of my other favorites.

© Carolyn Macpherson/tnbtGolden Socks © Carolyn Macpherson/tnbt

candyshopsocks-beverly-sCandy Shop Socks @Beverly S.

lady-una-allison-janochaLady Una @Allison Janocha

lazydaisy-dana-gervaisLazy Daisy @Dana Gervais

drumlanrig-anneh-fletcherDrumlanrig @Anneh Fletcher

 

Modern Lopi

I spent the evening with Modern Lopi: One the other night, drooling over the patterns, and drinking in every word that Lars Rains wrote. You need to know that this is very out of character for me. I'm a skimmer. I focus on what catches my eye - what as a designer makes me stop and pay attention. But I started to read the stories about the names of the patterns - the story of Lars, and his history with Icelandic knitting, and I just kept reading. lopicover

@Gale Zucker/Modern Lopi

This book has 12 patterns, and it has the rare sweaters in it that will be true heirlooms once knit. It makes me want to live somewhere cold so I could rock the Icelandic wool. Well, at least visit somewhere cold. I love living in Florida. The photography is amazing - I means it's Gale Zucker, why wouldn't it be? I'm such a fan of her work. It's like a coffee table knitting book. So it's pretty awesome that this book is being offered in hardcover edition, which is unusual for knitting books nowadays.

Modern Lopi designs by Lars Rains

@Gale Zucker/Modern Lopi

Hildur is my absolute favorite from the book. The grey with the brights is one of my favorite color combinations. Lars describes it as "a silhouette that would be fitting for an elfin queen". Which is pretty much a perfect description for his model, the adorable Toby Roxane. I love that so many fabulous folks that I know were involved with this book. I even read all the credits!

Modern Lopi designs by Lars Rains

@Gale Zucker/Modern Lopi

And then I came to Monsina. I love the crazy colors, I love the funky striped sleeves. I love the sassy model. I just love it. And then Lars made me cry as I read about how he named it for his mother. Thanks Lars.

Modern Lopi designs by Lars Rains

@Gale Zucker/Modern Lopi

But all in all, this book is just full of good stuff. He gives great tips for how to carry the yarns, and all sorts of other helpful instruction for the techniques and constructions used in this book. You too can be an Icelandic colorwork master! And of course now I want to do all the colorwork. You know, in my free time.

Modern Lopi is available in PDF, softcover, and hardcover formats. And you can see all the gorgeous colorwork on Ravelry so you will know that you are getting a book full of wonderful. So head on over to Ravelry and come back and tell me which one of the projects is your favorite -  you will be entered into a drawing for a free PDF version of this beautiful book. The winner will be drawn on November 27th.

 

Gift-A-Long 2015

What is the Gift-A-Long? The Gift-A-Long is like a package of awesomeness wrapped up in yarn and all the good things. The first part starts tonight - it's a 25% sale off of thousands of patterns. Seriously. There are over 300 designers participating and each of them is offering 25% off of 5-20 of their patterns. Knit designers AND crochet designers. All kinds of good stuff. The sale starts now and from Thursday, November 19th at 8:00 pm US EST - Friday, November 27, 2015 at 11:59 you can use the code "giftalong2015" for this fabulous sale. And you can see the 20 patterns I have on sale in my Gift-A-Long bundle: gal-collage_copy_medium

And then there is this massive thread with all of the designers. It's like a shop-a-palooza. So much fun! But then it gets even better. We have a worldwide Gift-A-Long going on - it's a knit-a-long and a crochet-a-long with amazing prizes. And they are good prizes. Very, very good prizes. Tons of folks will win free patterns and then there's yarn and project bags and love and happiness.... Well you catch my drift. You do need to be a member of the Gift-A-Long group to play the games and be eligible for prizes - you can find all the details for that in this thread.

So c'mon! You know you want to! It's time to Gift-A-Long!

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The Ambrelle Shrug

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ambrelle It's new pattern time! This one is the Ambrelle Shrug, one of those lovely knitted things that the muggle would never guess is so simple. How simple is it? It's a rectangle - with ribbing at both ends, and then you seam it up according to instructions to make a perfect comfy, cozy shrug.

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Ambrelle is one of those pieces that goes perfect with just about anything. Here she wears it with a simple blouse and jeans. But it's just as at home over a slip of a dress. And the yarn is this delicious merino/silk/cashmere blend that is like butter in your knitting hands AND against your skin. It's a win-win.

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The cable lace pattern is fun to knit and is provided in written and charted instruction form. Just grab your favorite sport or heavy fingering yarn and you're good to go.

Needles: Size 6 needles (4.5 mm)

Yarn: Baah! Aspen, 330 yards to 100g, 2 skeins for the sm/med, 3 skeins for the lg/xl

Gauge: 22 stitches and 28 rows = 4 inches in blocked cable lace pattern

Size: 31.5" (39)" back width

Ambrelle is available on Ravelry individually for $6.00 USD

 

Knit Companion Shop!

Are you a KnitCompanion fan? If you don't know, KnitCompanion is a nifty app that does all sorts of magic to knitting patterns. It helps you keep track of charts, has all kinds of highlighting features, and it evens helps you track those pesky "at the same time" directions. It's good stuff! They have set up a fabulous new shop where you can buy KnitCompanion versions of a ton of wonderful knit designs, including a couple of mine! These enhanced versions come completely set up with all of the KnitCompanion bells and whistles, and they go right into your Ravelry library. And I know how attached y'all to your Rav libraries!

Hassonite is now available in KnitCompanion version - helps you keep up with your rows and all that fancy lace at the bottom!

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Nathari is also available - and it has a lot of lace going on so you know that KnitCompanion will help with all that!

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And there's more to come - lots more PicnicKnits designs will be going up in the KCDesigns shop. Of course you can always buy my designs and set them up in KnitCompanion yourself, but this lets you get to the knitting right away!

Plus the KnitCompanion Design Shop is chock full of all your favorite designers - check it out!

Review: Unexpected Cables

15KN06_Cover.indd Unexpected Cables is another one of those books that I knew about for a very, very long time. So I had inside information on this beautiful collection of sweaters and accessories. I got to see things before Interweave did even!

The book has 8 accessories and 10 garments. And I will just tell you right now, if you live in the Northeast United States and have a chance to see these pieces in person at a book signing or trunk show, you really should. Because in order to see the true beauty of the collection you need to see these sweaters without the distracting clothing choices in the book.

rheems

Rheems is hands down my favorite thing in the book. But not with a flannel hunting shirt underneath it lol! Heather wore this sweater to Rhinebeck for book signings and it looked so beautiful with the open cowl neck. It doesn't need anything under it! The subtle allover cable on this pattern is perfect with the Lorna's Laces Sportmate.

conoy

Again, just say no to the plaid!  Picture this with a simple camisole underneath. Conoy is  a lovely piece with an easy rectangular construction and drapey fit that goes perfect with skinny jeans. And this tunic calls for Manos Serena, easily one of all time favorite yarns.

This book has an interesting variety of constructions for the garments, and beautiful, intricate details on the accessories. It's a well rounded collection with pieces full of unusual cables that will never bore you. Definitely a must-have for your knitting book collection!