The Sweatshop of Love Blog

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September, 2014

KAL Sale Ends Tomorrow!

My Knit Along starts Oct 1st, which means my 30% off KAL sale ends at midnight tomorrow! Get all these patterns for 30% off while you still can. Missed the KAL details? Check them out here!

My Holla Knits Published Sweater Patterns

My Holla Knits Published Sweater Patterns

All of my Holla Knits patterns are available in my Etsy shop, which means I’ve got a coupon code for you! Snag any pattern in my Etsy shop, including all of my Holla Knits patterns, for 30% off with coupon code TSOLKAL now until KAL cast on day on Oct 1st.

Patterns include, top left to right: Umbre LovreIn a While CrocodilePut a Belt On It. Middle left to right: New GirlEl MatadorCute Girl Squares Tank. Bottom left to right: Eastwood CardiganHeraldry, Velma.

My Holla Knits Published Accessory Patterns

My Holla Knits Published Accessory Patterns

My Holla Knits accessory patterns are also over there! Patterns include, left to right: Excelsior and Multiplicity.

My Independently Published Sweater Patterns

My Independently Published Sweater Patterns

Independently Published Patterns: All my patterns available from Ravelry are 30% off, too! Use coupon code TSOLKAL to get 30% off all of my patterns in my Ravelry store! These are my independently published patterns, of which the sweater patterns include, top left to right: WORK+SHELTER Lace Striped SweatersTwo Boyfriends CardiganCaitlin’s CardiGranny Bomber Jacket. Bottom left to right: Traverse City Tube TopThe Loop Entrelac TankMelvieBaby Sweater Buffet.

My Independently Published Accessories Patterns

My Independently Published Accessories Patterns

And all my accessories patterns, too! They include (deep breath!) Row 1 (top) left to right: DownWORK+SHELTER Hand WarmersSheep MittensGranny Square Muff. Row 1, left to right: WORK+SHELTER Market BagWORK+SHELTER Cabled ClutchDoor County Wooden Handle BagWORK+SHELTER Cabled Headband. Row 3, left to right: McCarren Park CapTwin Cities HeadbandDetroit Tigers Bow HeadbandMadison Cowl and Handwarmers. Row 4, left to right: Reflection CowlRidgewood Reversible ShawletteWORK+SHELTER Lace Striped ShawlEntrelac Snood. Row 5, left to right: WORK+SHELTER Corner to Corner WrapTwin Cities Ankle SocksHyde Park LegwarmersHot Stripes Dish Towel and Dishcloths. Row 6 (bottom), left to right: Aaahh!!! Real Monsters Krum Toilet Paper Roll CozyHipster Tea CozyGus Gus Kitty Toy, and Down (again).

My magazine patterns aren’t on sale but you can still knit them up to win prizes in the KAL!

Sweaters in Print!

Sweaters in Print!

Patterns Featured in Magazines and Collections: Patterns include, top left to right: Block Island SweaterLiaison TeeFire Opal TeeBristlecone Pullover. Middle left to right: Knickerbocker Tee, Harnett Tank, Trolley Dodger, The Georgia Peach, all from my Vintage Inspired Baseball Knits collection. Bottom left to right: Baby Baby Ruth, also from Vintage Inspired Baseball KnitsThermal PulloverCumulus Tee, and Block Island Sweater (again).

Accessories in Print!

Accessories in Print!

Patterns include, left to right: Tulip SlouchIt’s a Wrap – Knot! HeadbandReservoir Mitts, Stadium Blanket from Vintage Inspired Baseball Knits, and Riga Bonnet.

Free Patterns!

Free Patterns!

And last but not least I’ve got a bunch of fun free patterns you can knit up that qualify, too. If you make two of these patterns you’ll get a free paid pattern of your choice! And each finished free pattern will get you one entry for the grand prize giveaways. Patterns include, row 1 (top) left to right: Welly WarmersMollie Makes Welly WarmersMason Jar Travel CozyKnit Toilet Lid Cover. Row 2 left to right: We’re Just That Awesome Coffee Cup CozyKnit Happy PoosStriped Beanie or Stocking CapEric (Man) Beanie and Stocking Cap. Row 3 left to right: Slouchy BeretEntrelac BeretQuartet of HeadbandsCordia’s Bow Headband. Row 4 left to right: Tinfoil Tiara Brigade Cabled HeadbandHalf Fabric Half Crochet Infinity ScarfThe Only Way to ScarfChunky Cabled Cowl. Row 5 (bottom) left to right: Baby Sweater Buffet SnowsuitHeart PatchLined (and Adorable!) Cabled Change PurseICord Friendship Bracelets.

Cast on day may be October 1st, but you’ve got two full months to knit up your projects, so don’t worry if you’re getting a late start. And be sure to share your plans with us on Ravelry!

Velma Pattern Winner!

Before I went on vacation I launched my new pattern, Velma, and held a pattern giveaway.

Velma!

Velma!

Just wanted to pop up quickly and say congrats to lucky comment #7 – Debbie!

Congrats!

Congrats!

Me too!

Me too!

Debbie was so excited she couldn’t even stop to correct her super common live/love type-o! Love the enthusiasm Debbie!

For those non winners, snag Velma at my Etsy shop for 30% off with coupon code TSOLKAL until tomorrow night! Then knit it up in my KAL starting Wednesday!

The Midwestern Knits Kickstarter is Coming to a Close!

Our Midwestern Knits kickstarter is going strong, but we’re in our last week of the campaign now and need your help to fund the project!

Midwest4Lyfe!

Midwest4Lyfe!

We’ve been adding incentives left and right, so if you grabbed something the first time you can trade up and grab something new! Or if you didn’t see something you liked, check now, because there are a ton more kits, yarn, and patterns to snag.

The best part is that for $25 you can preorder you copy of the print book! With that you’ll also get a digital copy of the book to read on your favorite device, and also you’ll get two exclusive patterns from the book months before it comes out. Carina and I will both have digital copies of our sweater pattern contributions to the book to all who preorder in May of next year. Isn’t that fun? You can have a sweater from the book knit up for yourself before the book even comes out!

Midwestern Inspiration

Midwestern Inspiration

Once the Kickstarter closes all preorders will come with shipping costs, so you’ll still be able to preorder the book, but it will be $25 + shipping, so this is the best way to make sure you get your hands on this book for the cheapest.

So what are you waiting for?! Get over there and donate! If $25 is too much for you, donate $10 and get a free pattern of your choice from any Midwestern Knits designer, including me! If you’ve had your eye on any one of my patterns, donate to the Kickstarter and I’ll email you that pattern right away – just drop me a line!

Thanks so much for your support! I can’t wait to start working on this book!

Graphic Knits by Alexis Winslow

Graphic Knits by Alexis Winslow

Graphic Knits by Alexis Winslow

I’m very happy to be able to share with you a book by one of my favorite knitwear designers Alexis Winslow! I’ve knit quite a few of her patterns, including her Delancey Cardigan and Bergen Street Cardigan, and they never disappoint. When I saw the sneak peek of all of the patterns in the new Graphic Knits, I freaked! There is a ton of amazing sweaters in this book and I can’t wait to get my hands on all of them.

You can preorder Graphic Knits at Interweave now! There are 20 patterns in there sure to make you the most stylish lady around. And scope all of the patterns on ravelry.

Alexis was kind enough to answer a few questions about her inspiration, and a few very pushy questions about her design aesthetic and how she creates such flattering, graphic garments! And enjoy the beautiful pictures of projects from the book I snagged from Interweave.

Screen Shot 2014-09-10 at 2.21.41 PM

Laszlo Cardigan

‘Graphic Knits’ is a very striking book full of modern sweaters with graphic shapes created by colorwork, texture, and yarn overs – what draws you to this aesthetic?

Alexis: I design things that I want to wear, so the silhouettes and color I choose are a reflection of my personal style. I’m also very interested in what makes something fun to knit. I believe there are certain design elements that make knitting more entertaining and satisfying, and I try to incorporate them into my patterns as much as possible. These elements are obvious things like stripes of color or texture and easily memorized patterning, but also less obvious things like rhythmic structure to the written instructions and minimizing finishing by designing out seams.

Another thing I love to do in my design work is explore unique shapes that are really only possible to achieve with hand-knitting. For instance, a lot of my designs have shaping in the middle as opposed to on the edge like a machine knitted garment.

Minnow Top

Minnow Top

Looking through all of your patterns, this graphic element is everywhere, especially colorwork prints. What inspires your prints?

Alexis: I’ve been interested in graphic patterning ever since I can remember. I think my aesthetic looks a little different because my influences come from the Southwest United States instead of a more traditional European knitting influence. I credit my parents for this because when I was growing up we took frequent road trips to New Mexico. They collected Navajo rugs and Pueblo pottery so our family vacations often involved visiting far-flung native art galleries. If you’ve never looked at Pueblo pottery, I suggest you do a quick image search. The intricate, high-contrast patterning is mesmerizing and the silhouettes of the vessels are incredibly light and beautiful. While I’m not exactly looking at pottery everyday to get ideas, the aesthetic is clearly something that has ingrained itself in my design vocabulary.

Rockling Cardigan

Rockling Cardigan

‘Graphic Knits’ focuses a lot on color placement on a large scale. What are some rules you follow to make color placement flattering?

Alexis: In addition to my knitting pattern design business, I am also a professional printed textile designer so I tend to think about color placement from a graphic designer’s perspective. It’s important to remember that color and pattern work together to direct the focus of the eye. I don’t have any hard rules that I follow, but I am always thinking about balance and rhythm. I love using a bold or heavy color paired with a neutral or soft pastel color. This creates visual interest that’s both contrasting and balanced. I also carefully consider which color to use for the edgings of my designs. I like to use a heavier color for the edge of cardigan to draw the eye up toward the face. On the other hand, if I have busy patterning on a garment, I like to use a soft or neutral color for the edging to create a place of calm for the eye to rest.

Rook Pullover

Rook Pullover

What would you say to a knitter nervous about making the jump from texture rich sweater knitting to colorwork sweater knitting?

Alexis: I would tell that nervous knitter that they’ve been missing out on a whole lot of knitting fun, and there’s no time to waste! If you can knit a cable or lace chart, you already have 99% of the skills necessary for Fair Isle knitting. With colorwork knitting, usually you work with only two colors of yarn in a stockinette fabric, so it’s just a matter of juggling the two strands, which is no big deal. Putting colors together is also a really fun way to express yourself. There are few things in knitting that delight me more than watching a rich geometric Fair Isle pattern fall from my needles.

Germander Shrug

Germander Shrug

You’ve put out a TON of patterns over the past two years, between last year’s Winsome Knits and now Graphic Knits, and even a few patterns in between. What’s next for you besides a big fat break?

Alexis: Haha! Yes I’ve been working very hard! Currently, I’m planning a bunch of book signing events and trunk shows for Graphic Knits, so I hope some of the Sweatshop of Love readers will come out and say hi. Beyond busting my butt to promote Graphic Knits, I don’t have any other long term plans. I’m always sketching out new designs, and I probably have enough for a whole other book already. Despite this, I pretty much decided that I would have to quit my day job before I could take on another large scale project like a book. So I guess we’ll see! At the moment, I’m pretty much burned out for deadline knitting, so you can expect to see my designs published mostly independently for while. I do have one new design in Brooklyn Tweed’s Wool People 8 (coming out late fall 2014) that I am unbelievably excited about!

Graphic Knits

By Alexis Winslow

Interweave/F+W; $24.99

bit.ly/1r9yzUJ

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TTFN

This afternoon I’m jumping on a plane for Europe! Shane and I are getting married in Spain on Sunday, and then we’ll be puttering around Europe for a couple weeks. Kinda cool right? I made a page with more information about our trip, if you’d like to read about our plan.

Shane and I right after we got engaged in July

Shane and I right after we got engaged in July

Getting married is pretty nuts, and I thank my lucky stars every day for not having to plan a wedding. Because, you know, it’s not like I’m doing anything else important these days. Like writing a book and running a magazine. Designing embroidery patterns. Designing knitting patterns here at The Sweatshop of Love! I don’t know how people plan weddings. Putting this thing together was enough work!

Headband!

Headband!

We’re getting married on the beach, so it’s super casual. In fact, I pulled my dress off the rack at H&M for $40! Not too shabby. I wanted a little touch of a little headband/fascinator thing kinda. I found this, which I loved, but obviously couldn’t justify $290 for a headband. So I crafted this together with some tule, a cut up silk rose, and some ribbon. Pretty cute right?

Bloomers!

Bloomers!

My $40 H&M dress is very short. VERY short. So I thought it would be a fun touch to stitch up some little tap pants to wear underneath. I vaguely used the Purl Bee City Gym Shorts pattern, added some lace, and there you have it.

I’ll be back at the end of the month with more pictures and stories to share. I’ve got a couple posts that will be popping up here while I’m gone, but otherwise it’s going to be pretty quiet around here until Sept 29th.

Wish me luck! And if you have any Paris or Amsterdam recommendations please let me know!