Tuesday, September 30, 2014

End of Month Reminders: KAL, Pattern Sale

Volteado socks

 A quick reminder that our Volteado KAL starts tomorrow, October 1! In honor of Socktober we're getting together and knitting the Volteado socks, available for FREE in Knitty's Deep Fall issue. Grab 2 skeins of sock yarn and come join us! There are prizes! Yarn ones!

Also, today is the LAST day to get my Pumpkin Butter sock pattern for just $3.50! The price goes up to $5 tomorrow, so don't miss out.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Saturday Sampler: 8 FREE Knitting Tutorials

With all the extra time spent indoors, fall is a great time to learn a few new skills. Here are 8 FREE knitting tutorials I've found to help you ramp up your knitting this season:


 Cabling without a cable needle, from the Knitting Daily blog (essential technique IMO).

 Methods for joining new yarn, from STITCH This!

 Knit Picks shows you how to set in sleeves.

 Short row shadow wraps, from Signest

 Anne Hanson offers a free mini class on grafting over at Craftsy.

 Ysolda teaches you the tubular cast on (which is a bit labor intensive, but really does look astonishingly better).

 And my photo tutorial on magic loop.

What new technique are you interested in learning?

Monday, September 22, 2014

KAL-ing, Pattern Preview and more!

Did you hear (erm, read?) the news? I'm hosting a Socktober knit-a-long! Please join us over in the MediaPeruana Designs Ravelry group to knit your own Volteado socks! Remember, the pattern is FREE, so you just need the yarn. The official kickoff is October 1, but we've been doing some pre-cast on chattering about yarn. And did I mentioned there are PRIZES?! So go check it out!

I think I've settled on the colors for my KAL pair--more Tanis Fiber Arts Blue Label, this time in Poppy and Orange Blossom. I'm going for an "autumn leaves" look. But I may have also ordered a skein of Lucky Penny, just in case I change my mind.

This two kids thing is really limiting my knitting time. I still have 2 pullovers nearly finished, but am making almost no progress on them. My focus has primarily been on a new baby/toddler cardigan pattern:

Here's a little sneak peak. It's currently with testers, and I'm knitting up a 2nd sample in the newborn size so I can get pattern photos on both my boys. Then it's off to the tech editor, and hopefully published in late October!

And speaking of patterns, if you like the Abrigado pattern, check out this cute, behind-the-scenes video on the Creature Comforts collection (and don't forget to order your copy of Creature Comforts during Knit Picks' book sale, it's only $8.99!):

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Volteado: In Color

All photos courtesy of Tanis Lavallee / Tanis Fiber Arts

If you're planning to knit Volteado, I bet you're excited to pick your colors--that's half the fun, isn't it? Imagining all the possible combinations and how they'll look together. Deciding and then changing your mind, and then changing it again until you finally settle on the perfect color combo.

Or maybe not. Maybe choosing colors stresses you out. So much room for error. What if your chosen colors don't work well together--there's not enough contrast or one makes the other look washed out? Too much pressure!

The yarn used in my sample socks comes from Tanis Fiber Arts. Tanis has some of the most gorgeous and unique colorways I've seen, and I can't seem to stop myself from placing a couple orders each year--even though I have to pay for shipping from Canada! It's totally worth it.

No one knows these colors better than Tanis herself, so I asked her if she could suggest some color combos for Volteado, for the color-averse among us. Here are a few of her ideas:

Oh, I love this one. I ogle Lucky Penny every time I'm on her site, trying to decide what I would do with it. I already have a skein of Gold. I might have to just go ahead and grab Lucky Penny and make myself a second pair of socks.

So bright! So fruity! Lemongrass looks fresh and clean, and Grape would be a gorgeous complement.

Another one I LOVE! I also have a skein of Iris. I'd love to see how it would work in these socks.

A more muted palette, I love this combo of blues. This might work for a masculine take on the sock, too (the larger size could work for a gentleman whose feet aren't exceptionally big; you might also try playing with the gauge to make a larger size.).

And for fun, here are two combos I considered when planning my socks:

 Very autumnal and cozy looking.

And in contrast, very bright and spring-y!

Tanis also pointed out that Charcoal, Chris Grey, Natural and Sand are neutrals, so they work with pretty much every color--if you're just dipping your toe into color mixing, you might choose one of these for your contrast color, to make the decision a little less intimidating. You just have to narrow down your main color from this beautiful selection:

(That's just the ones I could fit in a screenshot!)

Incidentally, Tanis also said some very sweet things about the Volteado socks. Isn't that nice? I love fiber people.

I hope this look at color jump starts your planning process for Volteado. Be sure to visit Tanis' site to see all the colors she offers (she also has two other fingering weight yarns that would work for these socks: sparkly Cosmic Blue Label and Purple Label with cashmere!).

And if you are planning to knit a pair, would you be interested in a KAL? I'm consider hosting one in the MediaPeruana Designs group--maybe I could even rustle up a few prizes! But I want to gauge interest before I commit, so if you're interested in KALing, leave a comment here, or visit the Volteado pattern thread, and tell me you'd like to do a KAL!

ETA: The KAL is a go! Join us here!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Pattern Debut: Volteado


What did I tell you about autumn, huh? Season of knitting, season of NEW PATTERNS. Yep, another one.  Introducing Volteado!

I'm excited to share that you'll find this one in the Knitty Deep Fall issue! So you know what that means--it's FREE!

These socks used two skeins of Tanis Fiber Arts Blue Label fingering weight. The sample is knit in Plum and Sunset.

Purple is my color, lately. And this is one beautiful purple.

They're knit cuff down, and available in two sizes: 8" and 9" foot circumference. The sample socks are the smaller size--they fit my size 7.5 foot quite nicely!

The color repeats are short, which results in short, stacked floats that are extra thick and warm, particularly on the soles. Cuffs, toes and short row heels are done in a solid color to contrast.

Now that the pattern is live, I can stop protecting my sample pair and start wearing them!

Stay tuned, my previously exclusive Pumpkin Butter sock design goes live Monday--more colorwork socks!--bringing my September pattern release total up to 4!

ETA: Please join us for a Volteado knit-a-long! We'll be starting October 1, but you can join in the pre-cast on chatter here.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Pattern Debut: Abrigado

Autumn is the season for knitting--and for new patterns! I certainly do have a lot of them for you this month. Here's the latest, Abrigado.

Abrigado is a textured throw knit in bulky weight yarn, and it's part of Knit Picks' new Creature Comforts collection. This collection features 8 cozy knits for your home that you'll want to snuggle up with when the weather turns.

I designed this throw with speed in mind--knit with thick yarn and large needles, the blanket features a textured chevron-style pattern that will hold your interest, but isn't as fussy or time consuming as cables or lace. The chevrons mix with slipped stitch columns, and the whole thing is set off by a simple garter stitch border. You'll have it done in no time!

The Creature Comforts collection is currently on sale as part of Knit Picks' book sale, so it's only $8.99--that's a steal! Or buy the individual pattern for just $4.99. If you're not quite ready to buy, show it some love over on Ravelry!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Pattern Debut: Narcisos

Socks are often thought of as the quintessential "any season" knit, but I'm going to put in a vote for fingerless mitts. Wear them as the weather turns cool or when it fails to warm up quickly enough, wear them when your office is over-air conditioned or under-heated, dressy or cozy, bulky or airy--they work in all seasons and situations, and it's essential to have a few pairs in your handknit collection.

Introducing Narcisos--a light, airy pair of fingerless mitts just in time for fall's first chill (or equally lovely for spring, as seen in these photos!). As the air turns cool, keep your hands warm with these delicate mitts. Simple stockinette adorned with lace, top and bottom, for an airy feel, and knit in fingering weight wool for warmth against the early season chill.

Narcisos calls for a single skein of beautiful Forbidden Woolery Fortitude--Leann updated her shop this week and has some absolutely gorgeous skeins of this yarn available right now! It's a soft but sturdy fingering weight yarn, 100% superwash merino wool, with a generous 435 yards per skein. I'd grab a skein of Gillyweed if I were you!

A quick knit to welcome the fall season, and available in my Ravelry shop for just $3.99! And while you're over on Ravelry, check out the new group for Forbidden Woolery!


Size: 1 size, to fit hand circumference approximately 7.5” / 19cm

Gauge: 32 stitches and 36 rows = 4” / 10cm

Yarn: Forbidden Woolery Fortitude (100% superwash merino wool, 435 yards/100g), 1 skein; shown in Heather.

Needles: Set of 4 US sz 2 / 2.75mm double point needles, or size needed to obtain gauge.

Stitch markers
Scrap needle or stitch holder
Yarn needle

Mitts are knit in the round. Lace portions are charted; chart reading required.