Old Faithful

Today I have a new shawl pattern to share, Old Faithful.  And, it's on sale through the end of February, no code needed.

Old Faithful, in Malabrigo Worsted, Rattan colorway

Grab your favorite worsted weight yarn. 
You know the one….the one you can’t help but squish and snuggle, the one you can’t get enough of knitting with, and the one you adore draped around you.

It’s your go-to. 

A staple in your yarn stash and your wardrobe. 

Your Old Faithful.

This shawl is worked from the bottom-up, working the ribbing, then the circular cables. Next, the body is shaped using simple short rows.

The little circular cables on this are so fun to watch form.....I must admit, I'm addicted to this stitch pattern and am in the process of designing a set of cowls using it.  

I have been wrapped up in this so much since it came off the needles.  Grab Old Faithful while it's on sale and hunt down your favorite, delicious yarn and work one up to drape around your shoulders.  For many of us, warm weather is still far, far away!

FO Love: Rocoto

I wanted to share this beautiful sweater, knit by JennieKate on ravelry.  

Jennie's Rocoto, knit in Luna Grey Fiber Arts Aquila, in the Sugarplum colorway

Jennie worked up Rocoto as part of the Knitter's Apothecary Collection KAL in my ravelry group.  I love her finished object, the fit is perfect on her and the color pairing is just beautiful.  Doesn't it look so sweet in the snow too!?!   Here is her project page if you want to read more about her project: JennieKate's Rocoto

Hopefully some warmer weather will find her soon so she can get some use out of this light-weight, feminine pullover.  I know I'm patiently waiting to wear my Rocoto!

Look....it's my porch, and GREEN grass!  It feels like ages since I sat on my porch to knit.  

2015 Challenge: Beekeeper's Quilt

We are one month into 2015, and I've spent the first several weeks of this new year planning out and thinking about my design goals and projects for the year, as well as some of my own, just-plain-fun knitting plans.  

I know I would be able to publish more designs if I skipped some of the other things, but I've found that as a knitter, I still really need some of those other projects to keep the joy in my hobby alive.  I truly love my design work, but sometimes, the brain just needs a break from it.  

I know many designers rarely knit things other than their own design work, but personally, I need to keep a balance of other projects, or I start to lose myself a little bit.  It sort of brings me back to the basics of this craft I fell in love with, and the community I've found within it.  

This year, one of my very lofty goals is a Beekeeper's Quilt!  I know......I am most likely insane, but I have all these leftover little balls of sock yarn laying around, and leftovers just sit there, staring at me, driving me CRAZY!  So, I guess that sock yarn is destined to drive me crazy, either sitting there staring at me, or luring me to complete this huge project.  

So, in an attempt to keep up with it, I'm telling as many people as I can, in hopes that it helps to hold me accountable.  

Here is what I have for the month of January....35 little hexipuffs.  I believe I need about 380 to complete the large quilt.  Hmmmm....it's a good start, but I've got a LONG way to go.  I hope I can keep the momentum going.  It's become a great little take-along project, and it's a habit to pick it up and work at least one a day.  I'm enjoying the process very much. 

If you want to keep tabs on my project, here is the project page on ravelry: 2015 Challenge-Beekeeper's Quilt

I plan to update the number on my project page monthly, even if I don't get around to posting about it here on the blog.  

I'd also really like to try knitting socks....it's one thing I haven't attempted yet, but think I might be ready.  

What are your knitting plans or goals for 2015?  

A little Fresh Air

This morning I was able to get outside for a run (in a new pair of shoes, nonetheless!) for the first time in about 2 months.  I just have to say, I missed the fresh air against my face and in my lungs more than I thought I did.  

It's no secret to those who know me, I really don't enjoy Winter and cold weather.  About the only redeeming quality I can come up with for the cold Winters here in Wisconsin is the knitting.  Yes, as an avid knitter, that is a big redeeming quality, but still.  Our cold weather season is just too long for me.  There is usually lots of time to hibernate and knit, and months of weather appropriate to wear all your knit lovelies in.....and sometimes, if we're lucky, a stretch of mild weather to refresh the soul.  

After my run (on the streets of my subdivision instead of my favorite, currently snow-covered, trails) I remembered that I had not posted about the Powder Hill Cowl on the blog.  I also was ashamed to realize it's been over a month since my last post, and the first one for 2015.  Yikes, that sort of got away from me!  

Powder Hill in Malabrigo Mecha, Natural (large loop)

Powder Hill in Malabrigo Mecha, Natural (large loop)

 

Nature and fresh air are on my brain today, so I will share my inspiration for Powder Hill with you now.  

From the pattern page on ravelry:

The view from the look-out tower at the top of Powder Hill in the Kettle Moraine State Forrest is worth the climb, especially in the Fall when the vista is awash with abundant color. Once the weather turns cold and I’m forced to take my running indoors, I miss my treks up to the top.

This cowl is my homage to the solitude and peace I feel out on the trails. The cables mimic the alternating flights of stairs leading to the top of the tower, and the waffled-texture represents the ever-changing forrest floor.

The short version is a traditional sized cowl, perfect for tucking into a jacket. The longer loop can be slid down over the shoulders, or the top edge folded in for double warmth around your neck.

Both sizes taper from bottom to top by using decreasing needle sizes combined with decreases for a cozy shape.

Powder Hill in Malabrigo Mecha, Piedras colorway (short loop)

Powder Hill in Malabrigo Mecha, Piedras colorway (short loop)

I'd also like to share a couple great versions from my group of test knitters.  Love both of these bright, bold versions so much! 

Tuckychic's Powder Puff (short loop)

The one thing I love about the long loop version of this one is that it can be pulled down to keep your shoulders and neck toasty!  And all that texture just pops!  

I've finished up some other fun knits lately and have some more things on the way, so I hope to not be away so long this time!  

Happy New Year (a bit late) to everyone and hope the year is off to a good start!  

 

Lodgepole Hat

When I first designed the Lodgepole Cowl this Fall, I had not envisioned the design going beyond that one piece.  However, while the pattern was being tested, I had several testers inquire about a matching hat, and whether or not it was in the plans.  At the time, I had so many other things going on, the thought hadn't even occurred to me.  So, I crunched a few numbers, cast on for a child's size to give it a try, and knew right away, the Lodgepole Cowl was destined to have a companion.  

Lodgepole Hat, child's size, shown in Luna Grey Fiber Arts Calypso, in Honeycomb and Nautical Blue

The kiddo's size worked up super quick and was a great way to use the leftovers from the cowl, with the colors reversed.  I quickly decided I must have one of my own!  

I have a little love affair with the Robin Red Breast colorway from Madelinetosh.  On their Tosh Merino base, it just seems to glow like a gorgeous, red-orange flame.  It just makes me happy.  So, I was able to find some of that colorway, which I believe is now discontinued (sad face), and paired it with the classic Antique Lace, for this fun, timeless little winter hat. 

Lodgepole Hat, size medium, shown in Madelinetosh Tosh Merino, in Robin Red Breast and Antique Lace

As was the case with the Lodgepole Cowl, the hat was just as much fun to watch unfold in the testing phase.  Look at some of these great hats from my wonderful group of test knitters!

Lodgepole Hat's, from top left to bottom right, courtesy of: tuckychic, grammyjoan, beckyswaff, mythik, qtipieknitter, and avasmom2007 (rav id's)

Luna Grey Fiber Arts also plans to offer the Lodgepole Hats as kits after the holidays, so watch for new posts or facebook updates about the kits! 

Now that I am completely hooked on these fun and fast little colorwork trees, I also have a design for next Fall in the works.  Here is a sneak peak....

Hope everyone is having a happy winter and good holiday season!

I will be back before the holidays, I hope, to share my girl's holiday sweater and a few other things!  If not, before the end of the year!

Remember, we still have a KAL going on in the ravelry group, and both the Lodgepole hat and cowl would be perfect little projects for the KAL!  Come visit us:  On the Porch [with Addiesma]

 

Lodgepole Cowl

Today I introduce to you to the Lodgepole Cowl, which is the first piece in a little set that also includes a hat.  

This was a really fun piece to design!  Jackie, of Luna Grey Fiber Arts, and I were able to collaborate on this one, and as always, it was a pleasure.  I had a very specific color in mind for the main color, and Jackie was able to create a new color way for me.  This blue, Nautical Blue, is such a great, classic navy blue, with undertones of very subtle purple.  It pairs so wonderfully with this saturated version of her Honeycomb.  I was in love at first sight!  

And her Calypso base never lets a knitter down!  It's so lovely to knit with and so soft against the skin.  With the stranded colorwork on this cowl, it's so warm and toasty too.  Don't even get me started on all of the possible color combinations.....I could go on and on putting them together for this design.

The other really great part about this cowl was the testing phase.  I had a great group of testers who all created such lovely finished projects!  I honestly could not even choose a favorite from them, they are all fabulous!  

Here is a little gallery to show off what the amazing test knitters created:

I had a really great time getting to know all these ladies too!  

I had a few requests for a matching hat, so if you like the Lodgepole Cowl, the good news is, a Lodgepole hat is on the way.   

Here is a little peek at the 2 samples I worked up:

Jackie is working on putting together listings for kits that will be available from her shop, so stay tuned for that!  Then you can have as much fun as I did putting together all her fabulous colors!

Have a great end of the week.  What is everyone knitting right now.....holiday gifts, sweaters?

I have a couple teacher gifts and another commissioned gift to finish up before the holidays, a sweater finished that needs buttons for my girl, and another on the needles to finish up for my boy before Christmas.  After that, I get to work on a fun sweater for ME (that I'm not designing, so it's all about fun!).  I always need a little break for some purely fun knitting right around the holidays!

 

An interview with Lee Meredith for Gift Along 2014

Today I am happy to share with you a little interview I had the honor of doing with fellow designer, and color guru extraordinaire, Lee Meredith. Lee has a very unique, somewhat eclectic (in a totally brilliant way) style, that is hard to mistake.  Her designs are always original, and filled with color.  

Here is what she had to say about herself, her designs, and this year's Gift Along event.

Front Porch Knitting: Your designs are so creative and always so colorful and fun....where do you usually find inspiration for your designs?

Lee: Anywhere and everywhere, kind of - I'm always coming up with seeds of ideas from watching things people are wearing on tv/movies, shapes and lines out in the world, pictures on the internet, etc, and developing them out into designs in my own head.  There isn't really a place I go to find inspiration, I just get inspiration from everywhere.

Front Porch Knitting: How long have you been designing and what got you started?

Lee: I started knitting in 2002, and was self-taught and improvising since the very beginning; I spent years designing without thinking of it as designing, just making it up as I went, but not writing anything down.  In 2007 I wrote my first pattern, which made it into Knitty, and then I couldn't stop!  I've been designing full-time, more or less (with freelance gigs on the side, that kind of thing), since 2008.

Here is that first design, Entwined, which is a cool combo of fingerless gloves and a scarf, all in one piece.  

 

Front Porch Knitting:What is your absolute favorite thing to knit?

Lee: I don't have one favorite thing - I love knitting all different things!  Because I'm a restless knitter/designer, always thinking about my next project, my least favorite thing is knitting the second in a pair of mitts (or anything else that requires 2 identical items) - the first one is fun, and then the second one just drags on because I already did it once!  My favorite types of things to knit are items with interesting construction or stitch patterning, but not too much to keep track of, so I can knit while watching a good movie and not mess anything up, but also not get bored.

Lee's Orthogonal is a great example of that.  A variety of stitch patterns, and using as many or as few colors as the knitter desires, definitely keeps things interesting. 

Front Porch Knitting: Did you participate in the Gift Along last year, and if so, what was your experience and what brought you back again?

Lee: Yes, I did - it was a great experience!  I sold lots of patterns, had a fun time following along with the KALs and games; the best part was seeing my designs being knit in the KALs.  There wasn't really any downside, so there was no reason not to do it again this year!

 

Front Porch Knitting: Which of your designs do you feel makes the perfect gift, and why?

Lee: I think hats are great gifts - even if someone doesn't usually wear hats, if they live where it gets cold, everyone needs a hat or two.  Barry, Wobble Bass, and Spiraling Stripes Hat are all hats that can be made more simple or more colorful, depending on the giftee's style.  Fingerless mitts are also a great gift item, I think - a lot of people have made my Either/Or mitts as gifts.

All of these are lovely.  Here is one of my favorites of Lee's hats, Wild is the Wind.

 

Front Porch Knitting: Will you be knitting anything in the GAL this year?  If not, what would you choose to make if you had the time?

Lee: I think the only thing I'll be making is a new sample for one of my own patterns, since that's on my work to-do list anyway, so I might as well post it in the KAL.  If I had the time, sigh, I would knit all the things!!  I've had plans to make Star Athena's Mt. Hood Snow Cap, and embroider snow on Mt Hood, ever since she first released the pattern - I would love to find the time to do that this season!  I've also been wanting to make Waneka by Annie Watts since last year.  There are tons of sweaters I'd love to knit; in my queue to make someday are Wainwright by Bristol Ivy, Gaugeless Sweater by Elizabeth Felgate, Easy Cardigan by Meiju K-P… there are SO MANY more I'd love to make, these are just the ones already in my queue.

Check out Lee's designer page here: Lee Meredith

Here's her website: www.leethalknits.com

Hopefully you have found some designs that appeal to you to jump in and join the Gift Along!  The sale continues through Midnight tonight, Friday November 21st, EST, but the Gift Along event itself continues through the end of the year!  Plenty of time to work up something fantastic for a loved one, or for yourself!

Here's the link to all the details on ravelry: Gift Along Forum

 

Bonhomie

A couple months ago my sweet friend and neighbor, Stephanie, handed me a photo of a hat she found in a mailer, for inspiration.  She thought it was cute and it might inspire a new design. This design honestly looks not all that much like the hat in the photo, but it was truly inspired by the shape, as well as our friendship.  In honor of her, I named it 

Bonhomie (n): good natured, easy friendliness.

From the pattern page on ravelry

"Inspired by friendship and neighborliness, the simple lines and shape of this little beret lend a classic and clean look.

For those crisp days when you need a little something to cheer you up the way a smile from a dear friend always seems to."

Here's a few more pics, including a few on my girl.  The hat is written for one size, but I think it looks really adorable slightly oversized on a kiddo's noggin'.  It uses less than one skein of Malabrigo Merino Worsted for the main color and a small little scrap of another color for the contrasting stripe.  

Looking at the Fall colors on the forest floor in these pictures is making me a little sad today as I watch the snow (that shouldn't even be here yet!) fall and blow around.  These were only taken a couple weeks ago, but our weather has definitely turned a corner.....a COLD corner!  

Guess it's a good thing I have lots of wool around to just keep knitting.  Here's a peek at the next design I plan to release, Synergy.  It's a fun colorwork cowl, worked up in Luna Grey Fiber Arts Calypso.  All of the test knits are turning out so great, I'm really happy.  This one should be available in my shop around December 1st. 

Hope everyone is managing to stay warm and getting lots of great knitting time in.  My current addiction is Malabrigo Mecha, around my neck, all the time.  It seems to be the only thing that takes the chill off.  So, I have a big, oversized textured cowl in line for publishing too.  Just as soon as I knit a second sample in a smaller size, because I couldn't decide on just one color for this one!

And if you haven't heard about or checked out the Indie Designer's Gift-Along on ravelry, you NEED to give it a look.  There are almost 300 designers participating and many of their designs are discounted 25% through Friday night, midnight EST, for the event.  

Here is a link to all of the information/participating designers: Gift Along Group

And here is the link to the bundle featuring the patterns I have included in the sale: Addiesma

We are also hosting a Knit-Along in On the Porch [with Addiesma], my ravelry group, so stop by to check out all the details.....there are some fun prizes!  

 

Covington (the pattern and the couple)

As promised, a post about the new design dedicated to my sister and Ryan for their wedding, and of course, some shots of their big day. 

First off, here is Covington, which is written for 3 sizes: Small/baby (medium/throw, large/blanket)

Their sample was knit in Malabrigo Mecha in the Polar Morn colorway. 

Here is a little blurb about the design and inspiration:

An heirloom piece for the home, Covington combines two stitch patterns that compliment each other in their structure – one open and slightly feminine, and the other more structured and masculine. Together they make a statement.

Whether that statement represents two lives uniting in marriage, a family coming together to welcome a new baby, or simply the celebration of a home, the layers represent the way our lives build upon each other’s to combine and form a family.

This sample was knit with lots of love for my sister and her new husband as a wedding gift.

You can flip through the above gallery to see their reactions, along with some playful shenanigans that ensued after they opened it. 

Now, for the really fun part.....the wedding photos!  Here is another gallery with a few shots (well, more like 70, sorry, I had a hard time choosing!) from their super relaxed, yet elegant, affair.  The photos are all courtesy of my amazingly talented husband, which is one reason why we completely forgot to get a shot of our little family all dressed up to commemorate the day. 

Thanks for stopping by to share in my excitement and reminiscing!  

Perhaps you will find someone, big or small, that inspires you to knit your very own Covington for.  If not, you really deserve one of your own, right?!?