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May, 2014

Up, Down, All-Around Stitch Dictionary Blog Tour and Giveaway!

I’m so excited to be a part of the blog tour for Wendy Bernard‘s new book Up, Down, All-Around Stitch Dictionary, sponsored by Blue Sky Alpacas!

Up Down All Around Stitch Dictionary by Wendy Bernard

Up Down All Around Stitch Dictionary by Wendy Bernard

I’m a huge sucker for stitch dictionaries even when they don’t really bring anything new to the table, but this one is seriously amazing because not only do you get all these great stitch patterns – and there are a TON of beautiful stitch patterns in the book! – Wendy tells you how you can get the same stitch pattern knitting in different directions. For me this is PERFECT because I do a lot of unusual construction garments, and it’s hard to get the stitch pattern to go the direction of my knitting if my knitting goes up in one part of the sweater, but down in another part. And it’s always a challenge to switch a stitch pattern from straight to in the round.

XOXOXO

XOXOXO

Lobster Claw Cables

Lobster Claw Cables

Wendy’s brilliant book makes all of that easy. So this is not only a great tool for a knitwear designer, but even if you dabble in modifications this is a fantastic book for you. Take, for instance, my favorite pattern in the book, Checkerboard  Mesh Pullover:

SUCH A Cute Sweater! Checkerboard Mesh Pullover

SUCH A Cute Sweater! Checkerboard Mesh Pullover

(and yeah there are knitting patterns in this book as well! 11 super cute ones)

I love this simple pullover because it starts with a fantastic, simple shape. Love the shape but feel like you’d like to switch out that stitch pattern? Dig around in the book to find a stitch pattern you like more to substitute! Easy right?

So let’s take a look at the Cables section of the book.

Let's Talk Cables!

Let’s Talk Cables!

Staghorn Cable

Staghorn Cable

My FAVORITE! Tilted Cable Ladders

My FAVORITE! Tilted Cable Ladders

It’s no secret I’m a huge fan of cables and overall texture, and this book is FULL of killer cables and lace cables and, of course, patterns for all directions. Isn’t that Tilted Cable Ladders SO amazing?! You’ll absolutely be seeing that motif in a design very soon.

Cables not your thing? This book is cut up into different sections of stitch patterns including Knits and Purls, Ribs, Textures Slipped and Fancy, Yarnovers and Eyelets, Cables, Lace, Colorwork, and Hems and Edgings, so there is something for every knitter in here. And, as you can see in the pictures I took of my copy of the book, it’s spiral bound! Perfect for referencing while your hands are full of knitting.

Giveaway!

One AMAZING Prize!

One AMAZING Prize!

Snag all this gorgeous yarn!

Snag all this gorgeous yarn!

This giveaway is now closed. Thanks so much!

Have I sold you on this book?! Then you better leave a comment on this blog because I’ve not only got a copy of Up, Down, All-Around Stitch Dictionary to give away, but Blue Sky Alpaca, who supported every swatch and pattern in the book, have also included three skeins of yarn in the giveaway.

Oh you want that cute project bag, too? Ok you can have it! That is a Pretty Cheep Project Bag. How adorable is that?!

So leave a message on this blog post to enter. For more entries tweet, share on facebook, and pin this post, and come back and leave additional comments for each place you’ve shared.

Tweet: Can’t wait to get my hands on @KnitTonicWendy’s Up Down All-Around Stitch Dictionary! Enter to win at @AllysonKnits: http://wp.me/pt6qy-2wA

Good luck! I’ll be picking a winner one week from today on Friday June 6th. And be sure to check out all the other great posts about this book along the book tour:

May 20: Knit and Tonic – we will also post Tour Info & Schedule on the Blue Sky Alpacas Blog.
May 22: FreshStitches
May 24: Hey Jen Renee
May 26: Very Shannon
May 28: Miso Crafty Knits
May 30: The Sweatshop of Love
June 3: Stockinette Zombies
June 4: Mari Knits
June 6: Lattes and Llamas
June 21: Wendy Bernard on the Ready, Set, Knit! podcast

Up, Down, All-Around Stitch Dictionary
By Wendy Bernard
Published By Abrams | STC Craft
Photos by Thayer Allyson Gowdy
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Call for Submissions: Midwestern Knits

So I’m doing a thing!

Midwestern Beauty

Midwestern Beauty

Carina Spencer and I are putting a pattern collection together taking all of the beautiful aspects of the Midwest. Midwestern inspired designs by Midwestern designers in Midwestern yarn with Midwestern stories.

Midwestern Knits Inspirations

Midwestern Knits Inspirations

Please check out our Call for Submissions, posted below. Look out for a Kickstarter in the near future! And look for a book release fall 2015.

Call for Submissions: Midwestern Knits!

Submission Themes – You think the Midwest is Best, because of course it is. You grew up in (or have strong connections to) Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, or Michigan. You know this diverse landscape is full of history, beauty, and pain. Rust belt cityscapes, abandoned factories, feral farmhouses, lush fields, thriving orchards. Beaches, lighthouses, badlands, farmlands, great lakes. European immigrants, struggling blue collar workers – NICE, quiet, proud people.

For more specific inspiration, check out our Midwest is Best pinterest board.

Gothic architecture and natural beauty.

Gothic architecture and natural beauty.

Be inspired by the beauty in the landscape, the unique architecture, the history of the people, the struggles and pain in the industrial cities – everything from metro Chicago to the Straits of Mackinac, from downtown Cleveland to Mount Rushmore.

Brief Description: This 12 pattern collection will be mostly garments. Each design will be inspired by the Midwest, and knit up in local to them yarn. Essays written by the designer will accompany each design as a tribute to the inspiration, and may include inspiration from the dyer as well. Midwestern Knits will be available as an ebook but also as a print book.

Deadline: The deadline for submitting is Monday July 21st. Each design will be selected and each designer notified by the end of July. We will then start raising funds for the book, and until funds are secured you will not be asked to do anything! Once we’ve got the money, we’ll work with you to create a deadline for your design. We plan on having three deadlines – late fall 2014, late winter 2015, and early summer 2015, in order to photograph each design in the season it was inspired by. Midwestern Knits will be published late summer/early fall 2015.

Compensation/Support: Designers will be paid $400 for a garment design and $250 – 300 for an accessory design. Designers will be provided yarn support. Samples will be returned within 1 month of the collection being published. Patterns will be tech edited, photographed, and put into individual pattern layouts by a graphic designer.

Rights: Midwestern Knits will hold a 1 year exclusivity to each pattern. After that year each designer will get the rights reverted back to them completely and will be able to sell that pattern wherever they wish. Designers will have the right to use all photographs from the original publication.

Submission Requirements:
Submissions should include a sketch and description of your proposed design outlining the main features.  Please include a picture of swatch using the main stitch pattern(s) knit from a comparable yarn (weight and content) to the one you would like to use for the finished sample.

Send To: Send all submission materials in DOC or PDF format to Carina at carina@carinaspencer.com. Swatches can be submitted via a clear JPEG photograph.  If there are multiple submissions of files, please zip all files into one folder when you send them in.

Other Info: We’ve never done this before! Holla Knits, Allyson Dykhuizen’s online magazine, is in it’s 3rd year and has given her the confidence to be able to edit a whole collection, but this will be her first book. Carina Spencer is a prolific designer but also has never put a book together before. As lifelong Midwesterners we believe this collection will be as rich and lively as the Midwest itself, and it’s a story we can’t NOT tell. After getting each pattern selected and yarn paired, we’ll be running a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to pay designers, tech editors, graphic designers, and for the initial printing, but as of this moment we’ve got nothing but our good intentions and a whole lot of heart! You will not be asked to do anything more than submit before we secure the funds to pay you, however, and we’ll stay in touch throughout the process. We believe in this project and hope you do, too!

 

Fire Opal Tee KAL: Check Out The FOs!

My Fire Opal Tee KAL finished on Sunday, and we had 11 finished sweaters! Pretty awesome, right? Check them all out!

akforty7's Fire Opal Tee!

akforty7’s Fire Opal Tee!

Cherry4835's Fire Opal Tee!

Cherry4835’s Fire Opal Tee!

fromraintohope's Fire Opal Tee!

fromraintohope’s Fire Opal Tee!

JanuaryYarns' Fire Opal Tee

JanuaryYarns’ Fire Opal Tee

loisthefeline's Fire Opal Tee

loisthefeline’s Fire Opal Tee

mamatronic's Fire Opal Tee

mamatronic’s Fire Opal Tee

nina90's Fire Opal Tee

nina90’s Fire Opal Tee

serafinapekkala's Fire Opal Tee

serafinapekkala’s Fire Opal Tee

soniamv's first Fire Opal Tee

soniamv’s first Fire Opal Tee

and Soniamv's second Fire Opal Tee

and Soniamv’s second Fire Opal Tee

Mine!

Mine!

AAAnnd I just had to include mamatronic's pic with Nathan Fillion - of course!

AAAnnd I just had to include mamatronic’s pic with Nathan Fillion – of course!

So now let’s give out some prizes! Everyone who finished a sweater gets one of my patterns, so I’m handing those out left and right! But the real fun are the grand prizes! They go to:

A stash yarn prize pack: akforty7!

A $25 Knit Picks giftcard: soniamv!

A Holla Knits Yearly subscription: nina90!

Congrats to everyone who participated! You finished a sweater and your next project is lined up 🙂

Weekend in New Glarus/Madison, WI

To celebrate the weather getting better and get out of the city for a bit, Shane and I decided to zip up to Wisconsin for the weekend!

Shane and I in Madison

Shane and I in Madison

Beers at New Glarus Brewery

Beers at New Glarus Brewery

Clue Playing at Lucky Dog Farm Stay

Clue Playing at Lucky Dog Farm Stay

Shane and I at the Olbrich Botanical Gardens

Shane and I at the Olbrich Botanical Gardens

More Botanical Gardens!

More Botanical Gardens!

From the Dane County Farmer’s Market in downtown Madison, to the Lucky Dog Farm Stay B&B where we played with goats, ate goat’s milk caramel sundaes, played Clue into the wee hours, and had the best breakfast of our lives, then we went back to Madison where we took in a street festival and went to the Olbrich Botanical Gardens. It was pretty damn delightful!

FO: My Fire Opal Tee!

Done and done! My Fire Opal Tee is finished and looking oh so good!

My Fire Opal Tee Pattern!

My Fire Opal Tee Pattern!

Easy Breezy for Summer!

Easy Breezy for Summer!

The color blocking / stash busting turned out super fabulous. I think the placement is really flattering, and I’m SO glad I didn’t risk it because I absolutely would have run out of grey before everything was finished.

Super Flattering and Easy!

Super Flattering and Easy!

I'll Be Wearing It All Summer Long!

I’ll Be Wearing It All Summer Long!

I’m sure you’ve been keeping an eye on the Fire Opal Tee KAL, and there have been some fantastic FOs poping up over there, too! The deadline isn’t until next week and I hope to have 4-6 more sweaters to show off on May 27th. So if you are still on the fence about the sweater, I’m sure they’ll convince you to get it in your queue.

Pattern: Fire Opal Tee by Allyson Dykhuizen

Yarn: Knit Picks Gloss Fingering in Hawk and Velveteen

Needles: Size 4s and 5s circulars

Ravelry Project Page

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