Midwestern Knits Kickstarter

I  just wanted to take a minute to share something that I am super excited about with you.

I am thrilled to have a design (and be using my own Front Porch Fibers hand dyed yarn) in this amazing and inspiring project that is a collaboration between Carina Spencer and Allyson Dykhuizen, two amazing designers. It is a collection of knits, entirely inspired by the Midwestern region of the US, featuring designers and yarns local to the region.  It will be available as both an e-book and print book.

There are lots of great prizes being offered in exchange for participation in the kickstarter campaign, so please, check out the site, watch the video, and feel free to share it anywhere you can. I can’t wait to see their vision come to life!

Kickstarter page: Midwestern Knits Campaign

Pinterest Mood Board: Midwestern Knits

Thanks for taking the time to check it out!  This is one of those projects that, as soon as I heard about it, I just knew I wanted to be part of it!  

How has Summer treated you all?  As evidenced by my quiet blog, I guess you could say I've been keeping busy in many other ways.  I will try to get back here and post some updates after the kiddos are back at school next week. 

a little shop update with something new

Just a quick drive-by post to let you all know I have a new base in the Front Porch Fibers Etsy shop.  The selection is slim at the moment, but I plan to add some other colorways as I can.  

The new base is a springy, sport weight superwash Merino that takes up dye beautifully. Because of it's lovely bounce and spring, and resulting drape when knit up, I am calling it Front Porch Swing.  

Here it is in "Old Red Barn"

Old Red Barn

I am also super excited to add hand dyed spinning fiber to the shop!  Again, I have JUST added these, so there is more on the way, but I just couldn't wait any longer, the colors are so fun!

Here is some BFL top, ready for spinning!

Sand and Sea Gradient

Berry Patch

Ocean

I also added some new sock, superwash worsted, and DK last week, so be sure to stop by when you have some time.

Have a great day, and happy knitting (and spinning!) everyone!

"Salted" for a gloomy day

I woke up this morning to a cool, gloomy, Late Spring day, so of course, I reached for something cozy to wear.  The perfect sweater for a day like today is my Salted, by Alicia Plummer.  

An extra layer to keep from getting chilly, but something roomy that breathes.  This sweater has been my go-to since it came off the needles this Spring.  

Salted, by Alicia Plummer, in Front Porch Fibers DK MCN, colorway Saphire Blue

My version can be found here on ravelry.com: Addiesma's Salted

This yarn is so incredibly soft and luxurious to wear, which is one of the reasons I can't get enough of this sweater.  It was wonderful on the needles and blocked just beautifully.  The yarn is my own hand dyed from my Etsy shop.  These 4 skeins sat in the shop for quite some time, and they finally called out to me loud enough, so I swiped them up to call my own, and I'm so very glad I did.  

I have enjoyed this one so much, I have already dyed and stashed 4 skeins of Front Porch Fibers DK MCN for another one.  Now, to find the time to knit it!  

Gradients

Thanks everyone for the sweet birthday wishes.....I had a lovely day!  I couldn't have asked for anything better.  I spent the day at Lake Michigan with my family taking a wonderful hike, and the weather was perfect.  And my kiddos were even more perfect!  I love that they are at ages where we can do things like that, they were real troopers!  

They were so funny, they both filled their pockets with rocks they collected along the shore and all of the adults tried to get them to lighten the load so they would make it up the super long flights of stairs through the woods on the way back.  To no avail.  They would not give any up. They proved all of us wrong, they were out in front of all of us trekking up the steps, rocks and all!

Anyways, lets get down to business.  The winner of the "parrot" gradient skein giveaway is "projectstashEL" (ravID).  Congrats!  It will be in the mail to you this week, I hope you enjoy it in all of it's lovely brightness!   Thanks to everyone who commented and played along. 

"parrot" gradient sock yarn-prize winner "projectstashEL"

I finally had the time this morning to add the other gradients and a couple other skeins to the Etsy shop.  I have another batch to get up there from last week too, but just took their photos this morning.  I seem to be having trouble completing this process with "life" going on all around me lately!  Hopefully I will have them all listed in the next day or two.....but alas, I have another batch to dye up, so, I'm still not caught up!  

Here's a little preview of what just went up in the shop at Front Porch Fibers on Etsy:

It appears I was in a "blue" sort of mood when I dyed these guys up!

 

Another update coming soon (hopefully!).  Have a great week!

Criollo, birthday sale, and a giveaway

I promised to be back again this week, so here I am!

First on the agenda, I wanted to share the sweater I finished last month, Criollo, by Justyna Lorkowska.   Everytime Justyna publishes a new pattern, my queue grows.  She is a fabulous designer with a sweet, kind heart.  I just love how this sweater turned out, even though I put my own twist on it.  I choose to work a mock cable with eyelet pattern at the bottom hem, as opposed to the stitch written in the pattern, purely for my love of the mock cable and eyelet stitch.  Here's the link to my Clearwater [mock Criollo].  

Criollo, by Justyna Lorkowska, in Madelinetosh, Tosh Sock, colorway, Bloomsbury

I just love the fit of this sweater....can't wait to wear it with a dress to the wedding both of my kiddos are standing up in next weekend!  

Next up on the agenda....a sale!!!  I'm turning 35 on Saturday, so I thought I would throw a little sale, just to make things a little more festive.  

Use the code birthday35 when checking out in my ravelry store, anytime between Midnight (CST) May 30-the end of day (CST) June 1st to receive 35% off all single patterns.  E-books and patterns that are discounted when purchased together are not included.  

 

Lastly....speaking of cake.....

I have been busy dyeing up some new yarn for the Etsy shop, although I haven't had time to get them listed yet.  I tried my hand at dyeing gradients for the first time, and would like to offer up this fun, bright skein as a giveaway.  Let's just say that dyeing gradients is quite time-consuming and labor intensive.  This skein got the best of me, so it is slightly lighter/less yardage than the other full sock skeins I dyed up, but would still make a lovely shawlette or accessory.  It weighs in at 84 grams and is approximately 370 yards and goes from a tropical red, to orange, to teal, to yellow....all summery and tropical!

To be eligible to win, please be located in the continental US or Canada and just leave a comment below, about anything :)  Just say hello and be sure to leave your ravelry ID or email in your comment so I can contact you about the prize.  

Portico Parade

It's been so much fun to watch all the projects from my Portico and Portico Mini patterns pop up on ravelry this month!  

I thought I would highlight a few of them here to showcase some great knitting and fabulous pairings of yarn!  

I just LOVE this stunning version of Portico from Amanda (ravID-davidsaa) worked up in the gorgeous Sugarplum colorway from Luna Grey Fiber Arts.  


Another version worked up in Luna Grey Aspen Sport, in Pewter, from Michelle (akmmom-ravID), sweetly made for and modeled by her best friend.

This Portico, from Christy (TwistedKnitwits-ravID), owner of Hiwassee Creek Dyeworks, is just stunning in her own Pioneer Sport yarn, in the Canopy colorway.  Seriously, just love how this colorway worked up in this pattern, subtle with just the perfect amount of variegation. 

Another test knit, worked up by my sweet Mama (grammyjoan-ravID)again in Luna Grey Aspen Sport, in a custom dyed "Mustard" colorway.  It's a great color on her, nice and sunny....and a great fit!

And now....for those cuties in their Portico Mini's!  I just love how the tiny version looks on their little frames, so sweet!  

This one was a test knit, from Deidre (deidre12345-ravID), in Malabrigo Arroyo, another favorite yarn, in the Borrajas colorway. So stunning on her girl with that HAIR!!  LOVE!

Love how this pattern looks in all the bold shades, but there's something just so sweet and innocent about this version from Sara (lundenknit-ravID).  She is making both the Mini and adult versions for a Mother-Daughter Knit Along in the Knitting for Girls group on ravelry, how fun!  She worked up her girl's version in Cephalopod Yarns Bugga!, in "other mother" and is currently working on one for herself in Aspen Sport.  Can't wait to see hers finished!

I hope you enjoyed perusing these lovely versions of warm weather tops!  They make me want to knit another for myself and my girl.....but I can't seem to settle on a color!  

I will be back later this week to share another recently finished object that I worked up this Spring, as well as fun little giveaway and sale!  Stay tuned!

Luna Grey/Pattern Giveaway Winners

Thanks so much to everyone who participated in the Luna Grey Fiber Arts yarn and Addiesma Designs pattern giveaway.  

 

Using a random number generator, post #4 was chosen as the grand prize winner so Michelle, akmmom on ravelry, you win a beautiful skein of Aspen in the Radiant Orchid colorway!  Congrats to you!  

The free pattern from Addiesma Designs goes to post #11 from Jessica, microjess on ravelry!  I will be in touch to find out which pattern you would like.  Thanks for playing along!

 

I hope you all enjoyed learning more about Luna Grey!  If you haven't given their beautiful fiber a try yet, you need to!  It's all amazing! 

 


Luna Grey Interview & Giveaway

If you are familiar with my blog or knitting at all, you know I am a huge fan of Luna Grey Fiber Arts and it's fabulous, kind, hard-working owner, Jackie.  Recently, I had the chance to get to know her a little better through a fun little interview, and I'm thrilled to share it with you now!  

Be sure to read it all....Jackie and I are giving away a couple goodies....details below!

An Interview with Jackie-

Jackie Vlcek, hand dyer & owner of Luna Grey Fiber Arts

Me:  Can you tell me a little about your "fiber journey?"  How did you start out and evolve to spinning/knitting/dyeing, etc?  And what made you take your hobby to the next level to run your successful online shop? 

Jackie:  I love "fiber journey".  It sounds so adventurous!  Honestly, I had never really thought much about knitting, as it was not a craft that anyone in my circle of friends or family had ever done.  However, about 8 years ago, I was visiting family in Salt Lake City and wandered into a cute little yarn shop.  I was immediately smitten with all of the amazing colors and textures of the yarn.  They offered a free "Learn to Knit" class with a purchase.  So, I grabbed a skein of (very scratchy) wool yarn and a circular bamboo needle.  I wanted to make a baby hat for my 10-month old baby boy.  The class was huge (20+ people) and taught casting on, the knit stitch, purl stitch, binding off, weaving in ends, etc. all in the span of an hour.  I left the class, convinced that I was officially a "knitter".  Unfortunately, a few hours later, when I picked up my project, I had completely forgotten everything I had learned.  Over the next several weeks, I wrestled with that little hat and ended up very discouraged and incredibly frustrated.  As a mom of a baby boy, scheduling another class was difficult.  Instead, I grabbed a copy of Debbie Stoller's Stitch 'n Bitch book.  I read it from cover to cover several times.  After a few more harried attempts, I finally finished that little hat.  From there, I was hooked!  

Like many knitters, I find the craft therapeutic.  I have always had a lot of nervous energy and find it difficult to sit still or relax.  Knitting forces me to just "be".  As a stay-at-home mom, of two young boys, my days are filled with many tasks that take up much of my time and energy, but do not always have a tangible "result".  Knitting is something I can grab for a few minutes here or there to calm my mind and ease my nerves.  And, at the end of the day, I have something to show for my efforts.  I find this incredibly satisfying.  I need to knit.  It keeps me sane!

On a trip to the Taos Wool Festival in 2010, I picked up a few jars of wool dye and a couple skeins of undyed sock yarn.  I had no intentions of doing anything large scale.  I just wanted to play around with color.  My first attempts at yarn dyeing were admittedly pretty awful.  However, over time my creations improved.  After urging from friends and family, I decided to open my Etsy shop.  My stash of hand dyed yarn had grown quite large and I was unlikely to ever have enough time to knit it all up.  The shop took off and I have been happily dyeing yarn ever since.  It has become a full-time job for me and for that, I am incredibly grateful!

Jackie, of Luna Grey Fiber Arts, arms full of her hand dyed treasures.

 

Me: How does the world around you, where you are and places you have been, inspire your colorways, because I know it must!?!

Jackie: We moved to Western Colorado from the Florida Keys where we had lived for nearly 10 years.  My husband and I were married in the Keys, purchased our first house and had our first child there.  Understandably, the Keys hold a special place in our hearts.  Many of my colorway names are inspired by our time there.  Bahama Village is a Key West neighborhood in which my husband and I lived for many years.  It's a quaint part of the island that was named for its original Bahamian residents.  Many of the homes in the area are painted vibrant island colors such as lime green and aqua.  The Marquesas are a group of uninhabited islands near Key West.  The islands, which make up the Key West National Wildlife Refuge, are home to 250 bird species and are important for sea turtle nesting.          

"Baja" colorway on the Titan base, another colorway with a seaside feel

Me: What is your favorite part of the dyeing process?

Jackie: I love combining dyes to create new colorways.  While dyeing up one of my standard colorways, I noticed that the two particular dyes used, when combined in just the right quantities, looked surprisingly like Pantone's color of the year for 2014, Radiant Orchid.  It was one of those "happy accidents".  I immediately wrote down the formula and proceeded to dye up the new colorway (pictured below-this is one of our giveaway prizes!) on nearly all of my base yarns.  I love this color for Spring as it's so modern and fresh!      

"Viridian" colorway, one of my personal favorites, on the Celeste base

Me: I feel very privileged that you pursued a relationship with me and that we have been able to partner up on so many fun projects so far, as well as get to know each other better!  I know you have partnered with a few designers now.....can you talk a little about that experience, what you love, maybe what you don't, etc?

Jackie: I have really enjoyed creating knitting kits with you, Amy Miller and Hilary Smith Callis.  It's a fun way to connect with fellow fiber artists while promoting both the pattern and the yarn.  And, I love that it removes any guesswork from trying to find the right pattern for a particular Luna Grey yarn.  The kits make great gifts and have been a really popular addition to my shop.  I am working with a few other talented designers and hope to release our new kits soon.       


Just a little side note....You can now purchase Portico and Portico Mini, my recently released patterns, as kits from Luna Grey too!  Both Jackie and I are very excited to offer these fun, warmer-weather knitting kits! They make great gifts, and like she says, they take the guesswork out of choosing a project!


Luna Viridi Cowl, by Hilary Smith Callis, in "Viridian" colorway, kits available from Luna Grey

Me: Any other background information, facts, funny stories, etc you want to share with me and our readers?

Jackie: Luna Grey Fiber Arts was named after my sweet, gentle greyhound, Luna.  My husband and I have been advocates of retired racing greyhound adoption since adopting our first greyhound nearly fifteen years ago.  They are amazing animals who, sadly, are in desperate need of homes following their (often short) racing careers.  They are, in my opinion, the perfect dog - most greyhounds don't bark, shed very little, do not slobber or smell and they are calm and gentle.     

Jackie and her family

I hope you enjoyed this little glimpse into Luna Grey's fiber journey.  I know I sure enjoyed learning more about how Jackie got started, and how her business has bloomed into such a lovely experience.  

From the gorgeous esthetics of her shop, to her amazing colorways, her beyond-excellent customer service, right down to the thoughtfully wrapped packages that brighten your day when they appear in your mailbox, purchasing yarn from Luna Grey truly is a wonderful experience.....and the best part....then you get to knit with it! 

Look at all that beautiful yarn displayed so beautifully! (photo courtesy of Luna Grey)

Look at these amazing projects created by some of Jackie's customers:

Photos used with permission, from top left: Maya's (Rav ID: PetiteThings) Vivian Sweater; Melissa's (Rav ID: MostlyMunchies) Beatrix; Chantelle's (Rav ID: Clayton33) Reixa; Jackie's (Rav ID: Jeex64) Brier Island; Bronwyn's (Rav ID: BronnyMath) Ma-hat-Ma-booties; Jessica's (Rav ID: Twinfiber) Brighton Shawl; Amanda's (Rav ID: davidsaa) Portico; Michelle's (Rav ID: akmmom) Portico. 

 

Now, for the giveaways....

What is your favorite colorway from Luna Grey right now, and what would you knit with it????  Share your comment below for a chance to win one skein of Luna Grey Aspen Sport in the gorgeous Radiant Orchid colorway (pictured below), as well as a pattern of your choice from my shop, Addiesma Designs on ravelry.com.  

The details:  Entries will be accepted through Midnight (CST) Sunday, May 11, 2014.  

Two winners will be chosen randomly, 1st prize-one skein of Aspen Sport; 2nd prize-knitting pattern of winner's choice.  Please include your ravelry ID or email address in your comment so we can contact the winner.  Only US residents are eligible to receive the yarn prize, in order to limit shipping cost for Jackie. International entries are eligible for the pattern prize. 

A big "thank you" to Jackie for taking the time to do this interview, and for donating one of her beauties for a prize!  Good luck, knitters!


Portico

It's finally time for me to say it....Portico and Portico Mini are now available!  

It has been so much fun working on this design!  Between brainstorming about yarn and colorways with Jackie at Luna Grey Fiber Arts to seeing how all the beautiful test knits have turned out, it's been a blast.  

I first approached Jackie about this design in January, I think, and after explaining what I was looking for, she added the amazing Aspen Sport to her shop lineup!  It's been an instant hit and looks radiant in all of her fantastic colorways.  

Portico is an airy, cropped pullover, featuring petite dolman style sleeves, a wide boat neck, and lots of casual charm.  It's available in both adult and child sizes.  

Portico - 

Adult version of Portico, Luna Grey Aspen Sport, Veridian colorway

Portico Mini - 

Portico Mini, Luna Grey Fiber Arts Aspen Sport, Pewter colorway

If you purchase both the child and adult versions on ravelry.com, either together or separately, you will automatically receive a $2.00 discount, no code needed.  

As usual, there are way more photos on the pattern pages, as well as in my project pages.  

Watch for a fun interview with Jackie from Luna Grey Fiber arts later this week, as well as a giveaway of a skein of her fabulous yarn!  

Catch up: a few finished objects

 

Well, April wasn't all that kind to us at our house.  A nasty little respiratory virus found it's way into the house a week or so before Easter and made it's way around the whole family.  My girl missed her Spring concert and Easter brunch party at school, and my poor little guy ended up with pneumonia, which caused him to miss a field trip and his Easter party too.  A sinus infection and bronchitis were my lucky prizes, and my husband faired pretty well, just a mild version of everything.  

In the midst of all of that, our 8 year old yellow lab had surgery to remove a large mass from her back leg, which was her 2nd surgery on that leg in a year's time.  Talk about caregiving, handing out medications, coughing, and not much knitting time....that was our house for a few weeks.  I am so happy to say everyone is feeling much better and the house has gotten back to normal.  

Seeing as I never even got to posting on here at all in April, I thought I should at least share a few things I was able to finish up in the past 6 weeks or so.  

I used a skein of Front Porch Fibers Silky Sockin Holly Berry, to work up Starshower by Hilary Smith Callis.  This was the perfect gift for my Mother-in-Law, who is always admiring whatever I have wrapped around my neck.  She adored it.  It was a lovely little knit, fun to work up, with unique construction.  

Starshower cowl, in Front Porch Fibers Silky Sock, Holly Berry colorway

I used this gorgeous skein of Madelinetosh Tosh Merino in "Robin Red Breast" to work up a quick pair of fingerless gloves, since our weather has still required something to keep the hands warm.  I used the Borough pattern, by Veronica O'Neil, but omitted the convertible flap and closed thumb. 

Borough, in Madelinetosh Tosh Merino, Robin Red Breast colorway

They are a perfect fit and cheer me up every time I pull them on...unless I remind myself that it's May and I shouldn't need them.  

And then I feel like this:

.....or this:

Lastly, one of my all-time favorite knits to-date, this sweet little sweater for my girlie.  The pattern is Ice Cream Sundae from Dani Sunshine, and it's really fabulous.  Brilliant shaping, easy to follow instructions, with the most adorable result, I'm sure it won't be the last one I make.  

Ice Cream Sundae, in Luna Grey Fiber Arts Aspen Sport, Pewter and Primrose colorways

I will be back much sooner this time.....I will be releasing 2 new patterns next week, as well as sharing a recent interview with Jackie, owner of Luna Grey Fiber Arts.  And there will be a yarn giveaway, so be sure to check back!

<a href="http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/4629255/?claim=gtwbp7a59cm">Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>