You spin me right round baby!

I caved! I discovered the drop spindle and found intrigue, which naturally led me to ponder the wheel. Many months later, I caved again. The spinning wheel entered my life and I fell madly in love with yarn all over again...just like I did when I learned to knit. Don't get me wrong, I adore my factory fiber just the same, but have had my eyes opened to a whole other beauty, handspun. This is pure artistry, a magical blend of color and texture that play together in perfect harmony. As you can see, my basket spilleth over! (That's not all of it, but most.) I've been in a fiber coma for some months now spinning myself dizzy! My design efforts have taken a back seat for a little while as I was learning this new craft. I've been at it a few months now and have built myself quite the little stash of handspun! Some are an absolute horror show, while others show my improvement. I've tried my hand with a variety of breeds to get a feel for the properties of each, while practicing my short forward and long draw (which I'm dreadful at btw). I took a few classes on the subject and have been implementing those methods and skills to better my technique. Such a joy! I have no intent of stopping now! What a satisfying craft this is on so many levels. It's a form of meditation that instills a sense of calm as well as being a productive, creative, and purposeful artform. To love a companion craft as much as I love knitting seemed ludicrous...I was very wrong, and never happier to say that. To have one passion that parlays into the other is a dream! My fiber fever is equally divided now between the two crafts, and it's absolutely magnificent. I'm not gonna lie, it's difficult to not knit through all of these immediately, but I'm trying to be patient in hopes of making a few fun projects with what accumulates. I wanted to share this basket of smiles with my fibery friends as I know you appreciate good yarn porn! Bahaha! If the colors made you drool just a little, I'm totally content with that. ;)

Yell Island Cowl

© Interweave / George Boe
I'm delighted and humbled to have contributed a design to this resourceful and loved knitting publication. A new pattern for your neck & needles, the Yell Island Cowl was just released in the Love of Knitting Winter 2017 issue. I truly love the simplicity and wearability of this cowl! It's light and airy, making it suitable for all seasons while demonstrating that colorwork doesn't always need to be complex to produce an attractive result. In addition to color, contrasting fibers were intentionally paired offering a soft touch of luxury while bringing the pattern stitch to center stage. The body stitch is accented with a rhythmic beady rib that encapsulates the slip stitch pattern, solidifying for a balanced finish.  This piece was a true joy to create...may you enjoy it just the same! I hope you'll join me in adding to our beloved accessory stashes! =)

***Added 12-26-17:  Lastly, here is an Interweave article by Deb Gerish discussing her plans to shake up her knitting in the New Year with the Yell Island Cowl. Deb's enthusiasm for the craft is contagious! I enjoy reading her posts as much as I enjoy her bold & exciting approach with her knitting plans. Happy stitching my fellow knitters!               


Celebrating my 2nd!

In celebration of today's release of my newest design, I knit a 2nd sample. Here is the Yell Island Cowl worked in different yarns for fun! This has a very different feel than the magazine sample, but remains equally delightful with wondrous drape and seamless construction. The rich, golden baby alpaca accents the plum-like purple, merino wool/silk blend quite blissfully! My main focus for yarn choice was pairing 2 different fibers to add a luxurious feel without being too weighted or busy, allowing the stitch pattern to shine. The simple 4 row patterning exudes both femininity and masculinity, making for a superb unisex accessory. It's also quite soothing to work once you get in your knitting groove! While this yarn combo isn't nearly as lofty as the Shibui variety shown in the publication, it's not heavy by any means. We'll call this the "full-bodied" a mighty fine cup of coffee. ;) (and whatever else tickles your fancy.) Teehee!

The backside photo below demonstrates how tidy color changes can be, as not to fear working with multiple colors on any project. I'm all about encouraging knitters to fearlessly attempt a new technique or method and broaden their skill set. It unlocks a bunch of new knitting adventures you won't want to miss! Most times things seem much harder to execute than they truly are. I hope you'll give it a go! You can find the individual pattern here Yell Island Cowl, as well as in the pages of Love of Knitting magazine's Winter 2017 issue among some other notable designs. I'm ogling over a few really beautiful pieces in this issue myself! I had an absolute blast putting this one together! Will post about the magazine shortly - stitch happy folks!

Designer Q&A from Interweave

Some shameless self promotion (bashful blush):

Here is a link to Interweave's Designer Q&A with lil' ol' me offering a little insight about me and my design, the Desert Flower Shawl, as seen in the Knitscene Spring 2017 issue. The Desert Flower Shawl pattern is also now available to download exclusively at the Interweave store. I hope you enjoy!

Spring in My Step!

© Harper Point Photography / Interweave

The excitement's been boiling over this past year! I'm so thrilled to finally be able to share and release my glee with you! I'm feeling very fortunate to have my first submission included in the new Knitscene Spring 2017 issue alongside some very talented designers. Hats off to Harper Point Photography / Interweave for the sensational photographs! As a fan of this publication, I'm tickled to be a part of this beautiful issue. I offer my utmost gratitude to all of the folks who bring this magazine to made a newbie's first time around such a pleasant experience. This is my contribution, the Desert Flower Shawl.

© Harper Point Photography / Interweave

Additionally, the lovely Jennyknits and her band of knitters have decided to host a Desert Flower Shawl knit-along every Friday from 3pm - 5pm EST beginning on January 27th during her live knitting show on Twitch creative. Join in the fun! I look forward to meeting you and answering any pattern questions you may have. I'm humbled and very thankful to have such encouragement and support. I welcome you to come join in this fibery fun yarniverse! Big thanks to Jenny and all who are taking part in the yarn party and supporting me in my love of knitting and design! Appreciate it so very much. Most of all, I truly hope you enjoy knitting this new design as much as I enjoyed creating it. Hope to see you there! Happy knitting!

Crackin' the "WIP"

Ok, so if you love knitting or crochet it's expected that you're going to have multiple WIPS going on at the same time...but to stop pretty much at the end? It's very unlike me to do that, but I am guilty of setting this sweater tee aside for a good amount of time and completely forgetting about it. I must have had too many things going at once. Shocker, lol! ;) This was another "inbetweener" design I put together just for me. I don't intend on publishing this at the moment, so I thought I'd share it on the old blog. I'm currently focusing more on accessories as far as pattern ideas go, so forgive my lack of posting. So, it's time to do the final touches and give a gentle wash just in time for the lovely and welcome chill of winter! This is a top down raglan tee worked with 1x1 rib (I know, yikes that's a lot of ribbing), but it form fits the body without any need for midriff shaping, which made for a nice relaxing knit. You may also recognize one of my favorite Aran panels running down the center...I've used it on a tote as well as my Eventide pullover. In case you were wondering, this little number was worked in Tosh DK, colorway Tern.

Fun With Seamless Cables

Since I've recently started submitting designs to publications, I'm unable to post many pics of what's currently on my knitting needles, so I thought I'd post a flashback for fun! Ahhh, this is a very special one to me. While I don't design quite as many garments as I used to mainly due to climate factors, I do still work them on occasion. Upon learning to knit back in the day, I was very comfortable with what I'd learned and didn't want to dilly dally with just the basics very long. It's luckily one of those things that came to me quite easily....I suppose when you find what it is that you truly love to do, that plays a big part in it. So, once I completed a few basic sweater designs I decided to put all my eggs in the "difficult" basket and try and tackle a seamless *gasp* Aran cable pullover. I wasn't expecting such gratifying results the first time around, but I did indeed manage to swing it with some interesting calculations thrown in the mix. I needed to make sure the cable alignment stayed intact while fitting the required body dimensions, grafted the sleeves to the torso section, then began knitting the yoke upward to be completed with decorative crochet trim at the neckline. She posed quite a few challenges for me to fully understand garment design to my best ability. That's what makes the process so enjoyable! It keeps things fresh and adventurous and I love that I'm always learning! Everyone obtains information better in certain ways...I've always done best with the hands on/visuals approach. Try and try until you succeed. It was a welcome challenge I'm so glad that I took on so early.

Seamless varieties alone intimidated me greatly as I'd only tried grafting st st once at the time. Throwing cables in the mix made me want to conquer it even more. Somehow I achieved it with a gratifying result! Grafting anything is always fun for me. I tend to really enjoy any kind of hand manipulation, be it with knitting, crochet, seaming, cross stitch or sewing alike. So for those of you who aren't part of the Ravelry community & are unable to see my projects, I thought I'd share this oldie but proudest achievement in garment design to date.

Speaking of achievements, as I stated earlier, I keep my designs and ideas quiet until I decide how I'd like/if I'd like to move forward with them. (Hey, not everything on the needles is a keeper!) I've always wanted to try my hand at this, but could never find the I pushed myself. This past year I decided to just give it a try and submit a design to a knit publication. You don't know til' you try, right?! Worst case scenario, you get a no thank you. I'm SO very excited and humbled to say I've had one of my designs chosen for an upcoming issue. I'm grateful that my first submission attempt was a success and hope to continue for as long as I remain inspired. I believe it's release will be in a couple months, but I'll be sure to post on that when the issue goes live. My advice to you....dare to dream!

Spreading the "K" Word

I wanted to spread the word of a lovely yarny friend of mine and knitting streamer of which whom I am a loyal viewer and fan. Her name is Jenny and she hosts a live knitting stream that you can access here on Twitch creative titled, JennyKnits. I personally think this platform is a brilliant way to allow yarn crafters to congregate & share in each other's love of knitting. In essence, it's an inter-webby knitting meetup, where you can meet and interact with others who share in your love of the craft, but from all different parts of the world rather than just locally. Pretty cool concept! I encourage you to stop in and say hello, or even lurk in the chatty shadows if that's your preference. (She welcomes viewers of all kinds, no judgments.) As you'll see, it's evident Jenny puts a lot of love and time into her knitting channel. She's super friendly, informative, entertaining, helpful and will leave you laughing out loud, dancing in your chair...most times both. Warning: She's full of ideas for some tasty eats too, so enter hungry at your own risk. Lol ;) She also has a collection of fantastic knit video resources for new and seasoned knitters alike. Tune in for lots of knitting, chit chat with fellow stitchers, crafty banter of all sorts, and most definitely prepare to share some laughs and smiles. Occasionally Jenny will even host some awesome giveaways! You can catch her live broadcasts currently Monday thru Friday from 3pm - 5pm EST. Spread the "K" word, bring your yarn and needles & tune in to JennyKnits on Twitch creative! I'll be sure to see you there with my balls & needles raring to go! Keep needling Jenny! 


Here's my "Eventide" pullover, one of my comfy favorites. In the spirit of fun, this one was made as a roomy, over-sized raglan sweater. Every woman needs at least one, tho I prefer multiples. This number highlights my favorite, the Aran. You'll likely see this panel or it's variations incorporated again, as I've used them in a few of my unreleased designs already. Embracing looser fitting garments lately, this is one of  my go to cozy tops. (Seems I have a lot more of those the older I get, hehe.) I love wearing this with the sleeves rolled up to give the illusion of 3/4 sleeves with bulky cuffs. In hindsight, I could've double stranded the sleeve ends & knit them in reverse stockinette in lieu of long, but this way leaves me with the option to unroll on a chilly eve. The size 10 needles give this good old workhorse Caron SS an airy look that has good drape and wears well in most seasons! I was eager to use what I had a lot of on hand at the time. No waste! I threw in some crochet trim for the neckline & simple eyelets line the bottom edge and wristbands when unrolled. Little additions polish up a piece beautifully! I've said it before - knit & crochet pair well in my opinion. When it comes to making something for me only, (not my published designs), I don't always like sticking to textbook rules of do this/don't do this when it comes to needles size & yarn selection. Adventures in knitting! It's quite educational to look at a finished piece and implement things that I wish I'd done into my new designs. Don't misconstrue what I'm saying...formula is crucial for garment design. I generally don't like inhibiting creativity with suggested needles sizes and such...they're just that, suggestions. Swatching shows how the same stitch worked in different gauges can take on an entirely different feel. If it works, I run with it. Call it "yarnarchy." Hehe. This one was freeplay knitting just for me. 

When designing for others, calculations and standards are there for a reason...and shouldn't be discarded. That said, I love the adventure of the process - playing with contrast & irregularities to see what artsy pizzazz results. Many of my pieces are worked on slightly larger needles than they technically "should be" when I'm enjoy a little "winging it" knitting. More often than not, the end result can be an awesome surprise. Some of my most cherished creations come from ideas that shifted in another be creative, and don't fear trying to work outside the can be quite exciting & equally rewarding when you find you have a brand spankin' new, one of a kind fave top, accessory, etc! Trial & error make for great fun, defy the norm with a small project & see where it takes you, but always check your gauge and always swatch, especially when constructing a garment.  =)


An Off-Topic Goodie:
It's no secret that my dear Pop is not only the greatest blessing a daughter could dream up, but he's also an incredible talent. Paying tribute to the epitome of a loving, selfless soul. May your ears also enjoy some of these great tunes. He recently released the 1st installment of his Anthology series spanning over quite a number of years. While it's difficult for me to pick, (as I'm guilty of having many faves)...there is one that stands out. This is an older tune that never fails to envelop me, titled:  It's So Strange. The conviction in the vocals, the emotion in the instrumentation, lyrics that speak to exudes a presence that builds and builds within the listener, engaging you to the very last note. Further links/info can be found in my sidebar. Music should tap into your spirit in a way that while may be hard to express with words, is always felt in a way that requires absolutely none.

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