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?!?

Nothing about knitting!

Wow....where did October go?!?  

It sure was a whirlwind for my family.  Between releasing my Knitter's Apothecary Collection for the Malabrigo Freelance Pattern Project at the beginning of the month, taking the family on a 2600 mile road trip across 11 states in 10 days, celebrating my daughter's 7th birthday along the way, and attending my sister's wedding in Savannah, it was crazy.  

We had the most amazing trip, with so many fun experiences.  The wedding was perfect, just lovely.  I can hardly believe I'm talking about it all in the past tense already.  We are so pleased to welcome Ryan into our family, officially, as he has been an integral part for some time already. Meeting his family was really fantastic too.  It was our first trip to the South, and I have to say, that Southern hospitality you hear about rings completely true.  Such nice people.

Here is one of my favorite pics of the day (courtesy of my talented hubby),  just up the road from where they got married.  The most amazing tree.  Ever.

 

I don't have access to all of the other wedding photos yet to share, but I will share a few from our trip, so you can see why I don't have as much knitting news to share.  

Don't worry though, I've got some things in the works and there's lots going on behind the scenes, so it won't be long!

So, as you can see from the gallery, we had a blast.  Maybe I will share some more wedding photos when I get them too. 

I know I said "nothing about knitting," but if you look closely, there are a few hand knits in the gallery that hint at a future design.  (I may have worked my fingers to the bone furiously to finish one of them up so it could be photographed in Savannah. May have.)

I should be back later this week with the release of Covington, which would be a great time to share a few more wedding pics, wink, wink.  

 

Knitter's Apothecary Collection

It's been a year in the making, including thousands of stitches, a fair amount of ripping, and lot's of dreaming about the outcome.  Alas, the day has arrived, and I can finally share my collection for the Malabrigo Freelance Pattern Project with you all!

 

What started out as this amazing pile of fiber arriving on my doorstep last October.....

the stash of Malabrigo

the stash of Malabrigo

...turned into this:

Here's a little bit of background story about the collection.

My love affair with Malabrigo is no secret, so when I was given the opportunity to design a collection in partnership with them, my mind went a little crazy trying to decide which yarns to work with, and what direction to go with the collection. 

The resulting collection was inspired by the more "earthy" tones in Malabrigo's lineup and grew into an eclectic little collection named for a variety of herbs, spices and natural remedies.  

If you are at all like me, then knitting itself is a remedy.  

Using the same lace pattern in all of these pieces was comforting, and at the same time, a challenge for me as a designer.  Each time I sat down to design a piece, it was a little like the comfort of home, mixed with the excitement of the unknown.  

Each piece uses the geometric, yet feminine, lace pattern in a unique way to create a fresh piece with a classic feel. 

Without any more rambling, let me introduce you to the Knitter's Apothecary Collection:

Comfrey

Comfrey, in Mecha, Arapey colorway

Comfrey is a quick-to-knit cowl in bulky yarn.  Worked in the luxurious Mecha, the fun is in the details, with large-scale geometric lace and optional drawstrings adding a kick.  Tie on some pom poms for even more drama!

Zested

Zested, in Sock, Terracotta colorway

Zested is a softened triangular-shaped shawl, worked in garter stitch with subtle eyelets placed through out the body, finished with a geometric lace edging.  

Simple, yet interesting, its a great piece to showcase kettle or hand dyed yarns.

Valerian

Valerian, in Silky Merino, Lettuce colorway

Valerian is a feminine, open-work hat whose lace design mimics the sprawling roots of the valerian plant. Named from the Latin word "valere," which means "to be well,"  the valerian root produces a calming effect and is often used to treat anxiety.  

So grab yourself some lofty yarn, something to sip on, then sit, knit, and "be well." 

Rocoto

Rocoto, in Sock, Botticelli Red colorway

 Rocoto is a casual, yet feminine pullover featuring lace details at the hem and along the sleeves, soft waist shaping, a unique notched neckline, and drop shoulders.  

Ceylon

Ceylon, in Silky Merino, Tatami colorway

Ceylon is a pair of timelessly elegant fingerless gloves, with just the right amount of detail to keep them feminine, yet also functional.  Using a combination of working flat and in the round, they work up simple and quick with minimal finishing.  

Ginger Root

Ginger Root, in Silky Merino, Tatami colorway

Ginger Root is a pair of classically styled, feminine boot cuffs.  Light-weight and easy to tuck into your boots, they are perfect to finish off your look with a soft, girly skirt, yet also go stylishly with your favorite pair of jeans or leggings.  Pattern includes 2 children and 3 adult sizes. 

I have set up a page on the website featuring the collection here:  Apothecary Collection

You can purchase any of the patterns as individual downloads through my ravelry shop here: Addiesma Designs on ravelry.  

The whole collection is also available as an E-book at a significantly discounted rate of $18, saving $1.50/pattern.  E-book available here: Knitter's Apothecary E-book


Thanks so much to all of you sweet knitters who lend me support on a daily basis.  It means more than you know.

A lot of people helped lend a hand with this project, including some highly skilled test knitters, Eleanor (tech-editor extraordinaire), Alex Tinsley & Malabrigo, and of course my amazing family, including my talented photographer, my hubby.  He was so patient and put in so much time to make these knits come to life the way I imagined them.  

I'm so happy to finally have this one "out there," and I imagine my family is too.  I'm sure they are OVER hearing about it.....this picture of Addison most likely sums up their feelings on the whole ordeal!

I have a very busy middle of the month, but if there is interest, I'd love to host a Knit-along in my ravelry group, On the Porch [with Addiesma], perhaps in November.  Leave a comment here or stop by the group to let me know if you are interested.   

Thanks, and happy knitting!

Peek at a future design...

As promised in an earlier post this week, I would like to share a little peek at the design I will be contributing to the Midwestern Knits book, scheduled to be published in August 2015.  

Inspired by one of my favorite, picturesque sites on the shores of Lake Michigan, Cave Point, is a two color lace weight hat, featuring a sand-like texture along side a lace wave motif.  

I was also given the opportunity to use my own hand dyed yarn from Front Porch Fibers, and thought "Glacier" and "Business Casual"  captured the lakeshore feel perfectly.  

So, if you are excited about this design, and the prospect of this book, but haven't visited the Midwestern Knits Kickstarter page yet to choose one of the great incentive packages, I urge you to do so.......if we don't reach our goal, this book will only be a dream.  

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I contributed several more prizes this week too, including the Brew City Knits, Paper Lanterns, and Happy Trails ebooks, as well as a Tupelo Slouch Kit (a copy of the pattern and a skein of Malabrigo Merino Worsted in the gorgeous Chapel Stone colorway).  

Thanks for peeking at my design and for considering heading over and claiming one of the cool knitting prizes as your own!  There are some great kits left from both Carina Spencer and Allyson Dykhuizen, and lots of other goodies!

 

Oh....and Front Porch Knitting now has a Facebook page, if you'd like to follow us there.  Of course we will share any special deals, projects from fellow knitters and any other knitting news from our friends in the fiber world.

Facebook.com/frontporchknitting

Beurre Shawl & Midwestern Knits Campaign Update

My sister is getting married in Savannah next month, and as the day approaches, the anticipation in our house is growing!  I worked up the lovely Beurre, by Hilary Smith-Callis, and loved every minute of knitting this shawl.  I chose to knit mine in Malabrigo's Silky Merino, in one of my all-time favorite colorways, Tatami.  This yarn just sings in person.  Seriously, it's luminous, and just so elegant.  It will be perfect for the wedding, but is sure to be a staple in my wardrobe for years to come.  

Buerre, by Hilary Smith-Callis, in Malabrigo Silky Merino, Tatami colorway

The construction of this shawl was new to me, and a little intimidating at first sight when I saw I needed to cast on over 660 stitches!  It is worked from the bottom up, and all of those many cast on stitches help form the sweet little ruffle.  

This photo shows the wingspan and long bottom edge with all those stitches!

I would like to share a little trick I have picked up for a super long cast on edge, like this one.  I learned this tip from Alex Tinsley when I worked up her Speedline Shawl a while back, and have used it a TON since then.  

Here is a link to a video that Alex was kind enough to make.  In the video, she is explaining how to cast on with 2 colors....disregard that part if you are just using 2 strands to work a super long Long Tail Cast On in one color.  It's a very simple way to do it, and I have to say, I use it pretty much all the time if I am casting on with 2 skeins with the intention of alternating skeins to avoid pooling of colors.  There is no need to join your second skein later, it's already there, and you avoid the issue of having too long or too short of a tail for your long tail cast on.  Brilliant!  

Here's the link: http://www.dull-roar.com/2011/08/video-tutorial-two-color-long-tail-cast.html

I placed a stitch marker after every 100 stitches to ease in keeping track as I went, and it really went smoothly using these couple little tricks.  The eyelet section was fun to work, and the short rows in garter stitch were absolutely addicting!  

More pictures and details on my project page here:  Icing on the Wedding Cake


Midwestern Knits Update

Also, here's an update on the Midwestern Knits Kickstarter Campaign: The campaign has reached it's half-way point, with less than 15 days to go, and has also raised over 50% of the fundraising goal.  This is fantastic news, and means things are right on schedule, but we need to keep the momentum going if we want to see this project happen.  (Kickstarter campaigns are all-or-nothing, meaning the project won't be funded at all if the goal isn't reached!)

Click the picture to view the campaign and choose an incentive package!

Click the picture to view the campaign and choose an incentive package!

The incentive prizes are being updated regularly with lots of great packages. It's a great chance to get your hands on some good knitting loot, get a pre-order copy of the book, and support some great women pouring their hearts into a really fun project.  I have several prize packages that were just added, including several of my e-books, a copy of a future (mystery) 6 piece collection I will be publishing in October, a Tupelo Slouch Kit, and a skein of yarn from Front Porch Fibers.  There are tons of things from the other talented designers as well, so be sure to check it out!  

Stay tuned, I will post later this week with a peek at my design for the book!  

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.