Wednesday, July 31, 2013

August KAL: Finish Up Summer!

Knitters (and crocheters), we are about to embark on THE best crafting season of the year.

Yes, fall is right around the corner!

(New readers should know that I adamantly define the seasons as follows: Winter--December, January February; Spring--March, April, May; Summer--June, July, August; Fall--September, October, November.)

Why is fall the best crafting time? For starters, it precedes the holiday season, so it's the perfect time to start gift knitting/crocheting. Secondly, the weather is finally starting to cool, so you actually feel like playing with wool again. And third, unlike, say, spring, when you make something lovely and have to wait half a year to wear it, when you knit/crochet something during the fall, you know you'll be wearing it sooner rather than later; however, it's not SO cold that you need to finish whatever is is immediately or risk freezing to death.

The only thing that can make the fall crafting season better is starting with a clean slate.

So, let's use August to Finish Up Summer.

Dig out your WIPs and send them packing; finish them up and get them off your to-do list. Empty out that WIP basket so you can fill it with fresh autumn projects. Weave in those ends, sew on those buttons and get those languishing projects DONE.

What do I have to finish up? Far, far too much to actually finish in August, probably, but here's what's on my plate:

Coolbreeze Cardigan

Coolbreeze Cardigan

Still have half the body and the sleeves to finish. (And then JJ's version to cast on!)

Hourglass Throw


JJ's baby blanket. Yes, he's almost 6 months old. Why do you ask?

Shur'tugal socks

Supposedly for mom's birthday on the 17th. No photo of this one, all I've done is the ribbing on the 1st sock!

Dahlia Cardigan

(Yes, still not done!)

And a design sample--a super secret baby sweater knit in sportweight yarn.(That I, uh, incidentally need test knitters for, if anyone's interested.)

Want to Finish Up Summer with me? Come chat in the NEW MediaPeruana Designs Ravelry group, and tell us what you're finishing up! Or flash some photos of what you plan to knit/crochet this fall. We'll offer support and encouragement, and/or commiseration.

Monday, July 29, 2013

NEWS: A MediaPeruana Designs Ravelry Group!

My creation

I spent a little time yesterday (finally) setting up a Ravelry group for MediaPeruana Designs and the Learner's Per-knit blog!

I hope you'll join us on Ravelry to chat about knitting, yarn, whatever floats your boat. I love my blog, but it's not very interactive, so I'm looking forward to the chance to actually chat with readers.

And I have a few fun ideas planned for our new digs, including an August KAL of sorts!

Check the new group out here.

(If you responded to the readers' survey earlier this year and indicated that you'd be interested in a Rav group, you've already received an invite.)

In other news, I gave away over 500 patterns yesterday! Cielito even made it, however briefly, into the Ravelry top 20! Thanks to everyone for celebrating Peru's independence with me! ;)

Sunday, July 28, 2013

SURPRISE! One day sale!

 Viva Peru!

It's Peruvian Independence Day, and MediaPeruana Designs is celebrating. Today only, get any pattern in my Ravelry store absolutely, 100% FREE! Use coupon code VIVAPERU.

Feliz 28 de julio!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Saturday Sampler: Yarn, Fiber and Knitting Events


Let's face it: summer is not the time for fiber festivals and the like. It's too hot to play with wool. It's too hot to pet sheep under a blazing sun. It's just . . . too hot to have fun.

Fortunately, some great events are coming up in the fall, and I thought you'd like to know about them now so you can start planning!

(These are East Coast events because that's, you know, where I live.)

First up, the Garden State Sheep and Fiber Festival in New Jersey, September 7-8. Might still be a bit warm for this one, but the vendor list looks promising, and they're offering drop spindle lessons every hour!

Then we have the Shenandoah Valley Fiber Festival, September 28-29 in Berryville, VA. I haven't made it to this one in the past, but I hope to check it out this year, if scheduling permits. Lots of great vendors lined up, according to their site, including Wandering Wool!

If you live further north, you can check out the Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival that same weekend, in Tunbridge, VT. It apparently includes a cashmere goat show!

October 4-6 is a big weekend: we have both the Fall Fiber Festival and the Nimblestix Mountain Retreat, both in Virginia. I'm excited to say I'll be at the Nimblestix Retreat, providing I can remember to send in my deposit. (I'm also excited to say the Retreat site is about 30 minutes from Barboursville Vineyards, where CP and I got married, so we might just have to stop by.) The Retreat and the Fiber Festival are only about 25 miles apart, so you could certainly do both, if you're not toting around a crabby 8 month old.

The biggest event, perhaps, is the New York Sheep and Wool Festival, AKA, Rhinebeck, October 19-20 in Rhinebeck, New York.

Rhinbeck Sheep and Wool Festival

It kills me to say we won't be going to Rhinebeck this year, but it's a busy work period for CP, and I'm not prepared to haul baby to upstate New York alone. Sniff. Don't miss this one if you don't have to! Seriously.

New England has its own fiber festival, being held November 2-3 in Springfield, MA.  I don't know much about this one, but if you're in that area, you might want to check it out.

Then we have Stitches East, November 7-10 in Hartford, Connecticut. I haven't been to Stitches East since it left Baltimore, but it's sure to be fun for all.

The popular Knitter's Review retreat, will be held that same weekend, in Canandaigua, NY. It looks amazingly fun, so if you want to go, make sure you register right away on August 2.

Any fiber-y events you're looking forward to?

Monday, July 22, 2013

Enabling: Fall Yarn Club

Ok, so, it's definitely not even close to being fall yet, but as with pretty much everything, it will be here before you know it. And since fall is my favorite season, I love just about anything that will get me in the mood for it.

Enter Forbidden Woolery's brand spanking new Fall Yarn Club! Forbidden Woolery is the yarn and fiber dye shop of Leann Ross, one of the amazing ladies behind Nimblestix, and one of my Internet knitting buddies (I haven't met her in real life, though I hope we'll be remedying that in October--more on that later). She's been on hiatus since having a wee one in December, but it looks like she's back to the dye pots and cooking up lots of goodies for knitters and spinners alike.

Her 3-month fall club will be apple-inspired, and offer 3 options: fingering weight, laceweight, and fiber. Obviously I can't possibly know what kind of colors she'll have available in this club, but just look at all these yummies she's sold in the past.

She'll also be offering up some fun extras, like new products from her upcoming "Forbidden Essentials" line of lotions, wool wash, and more.

Get a jump start on fall, and check out this yarn club ASAP!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Tuesdays with Dory: Beat the Heat Edition


Moooooom. She's looking at me!

Dear Dory,

It's hot. So so so hot. Any tips for staying cool?

Sweltering in Sweetwater

Dear Sweltering,

It doesn't seem so hot here, but maybe that's because these openings in the floor blow out cool air. I like to make it a point to sit near them, or sometimes on them, which Kristen doesn't find amusing.

If you don't have any floor openings, you should get some. But in case that's not an option, here are some other ideas:

Stick your head in that cold box that holds all the food.

Chew on those cube-y things that turn into water.

Turn that spin-y ceiling thing on.

Be naked. 

You might think your kittehs are hot too, but whatever you do, don't embarrass them like this:

Hope that helped. Have a purrrrrfect day.


Saturday, July 13, 2013

Saturday Sampler: Spinning

In honor of the Tour de Fleece, which I am not participating in because I did not learn to use my wheel before JJ was born, and now probably won't until he starts kindergarten, some spinning goodies this week:

Need to learn? Try Abby Franquemont's Respect the Spindle, and watch videos on her YouTube channel!

Or maybe you're like me, and want to learn to use your wheel. Whenever I find time, I plan to try these free videos over at KnitPicks.

SillySalmonDesigns has lots of gorgeous, handcrafted spindles, like this one.

You'll need some fiber. This combed top from Into the Whirled--Sedona Sunset--is gorgeous.

Or try these new punis.

But save some cash by making your own niddy noddy for $5!

What spinning goodies do you love?

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Saturday Sampler: 30 Minute Knits


All the baby sleep books I've read--or skimmed, at least--seem to be under the impression that babies take naps. And by 5 months of age, are napping 2 or 3 times a day, for 1.5-2 hours at a shot.

These people do not have my baby.

My baby sleeps for about 30 minutes at a time, 3-4 times a day--if I force him. No matter how much yawning and eye rubbing he's doing, the minute I try to put him to sleep, he's throwing a fit. So I spend 20 minutes getting him to sleep, only to have him wake up 30 minutes later.

The whole thing is exhausting. For me.

(Don't even get me started on the "sleep begets sleep" thing--some magical forces wrangled a full 2 hour nap out of him yesterday afternoon, only to have him refuse to sleep between 11pm and 1am.)

It's also really cutting into my knitting time.

So I've put together this list of "30 Minute Knits."

Ok, they will probably take you a bit longer than 30 minutes. Maybe a few 30 minute spurts. But the idea is, small projects that will leave you with a sense of accomplishment, despite limited knitting time.

a very braidy cowl
Photo courtesy of maryse

A Very Braidy Cowl. So much cable-y goodness.

75 yard fingerless mitts
Photo courtesy of Jeanne S

75 Yard Malabrigo Fingerless Mitts. With only 75 yards, they must be quick to knit.

Catnip Bunnies
Photo courtesy of Coffee & Cream

Catnip Bunny. Knit 1 or an army.

Photo courtesy of Ziina77

Yoga Socks. No heels, no toes.

Photo courtesy of A la Sascha

Cabled Bracelets. No bangles required.


And I have to plug my own Deep Creek Cowl. In bulky yarn, it's a fast knit.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Bound Off: Oak Trail Hat

Oak Trail hat

Things I can't be bothered to remember when shooting FO photos: lipstick and not having wet hair.

Oh well.

When I got my ebook copy of Botanical Knits, I wanted to cast on pretty much everything immediately, and this hat in particular caught my eye. You can see it's not your typical beanie or beret, and I wanted to see how it was constructed.

Similar to my Hugs and Smooches hat, this one starts with a long strip knit lengthwise, and then stitches are picked up for the hat body. The way Alana constructs the rounded edge and cable is pretty ingenious, and fun to knit.

Oak Trail hat

Pattern: Oak Trail, by Alana Dakos, from Botanical Knits
Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Mo, a single ply, 70/30 wool/mohair blend; approx 150 yds
Needles: Size 7
Mods: zip

I knit this with some leftover Madelinetosh from a sweater project that is currently in limbo--slightly too small, could possibly be salvaged with blocking, needs buttons.Tosh Mo is supposedly a DK weight, but I found it much closer to worsted. While I'm not usually a mohair fan, I love the soft halo it gives this hat, and this silvery green color is amazing.

The hat itself fits perfectly, and, if I do say so myself, is quite flattering. It will be in heavy rotation this fall and winter, I'm sure.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Celebration Sale: 2 Holidays in 1!


In honor of Independence Day, and my favorite bizarre excuse for a sale, "Christmas in July," I'm offering a special deal this month--50% off patterns! Use the code XMASINJULY in my Ravelry shop to get any of my patterns for half price, now through July 25.

And, hey, share the love--tell a friend!