Category Archives: KAL

Stitch-Alongs: YAL edition

Still dreaming of sweaters. I perused the Fasten Off Yarn-Along sweater offerings, keeping in mind sweaters for me, and for DH. He deserves a sweater, too! Maybe for his birthday in January, though. No gift knitting pressure, right?

photo copyright UkeeKnits

I really like the yoke design on Big Crush by UkeeKnits (Payhip link). It’s simple, meaningful, and sweet. It’s knit top down, Aran weight, so it would be quick. The pattern has 3/4 length sleeves, so there would have to be some “mannifying” adjustments, but overall it looks great.

photo copyright Mona Zillah

This is Snowflake Man by Mona Zillah, aka bunnymuff (Payhip link). It’s knit top down, looks to be about DK weight yarn at 22 sts/4 inches. I’d have to pick some quieter colors for DH, but the math is already done as far as making it DH-shaped.

photo copyright Paola Albergamo

While I was looking through all the YAL offerings, I came across Paola Albergamo’s designs. She has several brioche pieces, and they are fun and inventive! The buttoned poncho is very cool looking, and looks like it would be fun to knit.

You can look at all the patterns from participating designers in the Fasten Off YAL here. It’s searchable by designer name, and by type of project. Use the code FO2020 for 25% off any of these patterns through December 5.

Now I have to make some decisions, and buy some yarn! Hope you’re settling in to a cozy knitting season, too.

Stitch-Alongs: GAL edition

Catching up after Thanksgiving, and dreaming of knitting! So what does a designer look for, when perusing the offerings in the Indie Design Gift-a-Long, and the Fasten Off YAL? Something I wouldn’t design myself! I just ran through the offerings on Ravelry for the GAL. I’m dreaming of a yoke sweater, since apparently I like to knit them. You know I had a Love Note (designed by TinCanKnits) infatuation this year; that one was top down and a dream to knit, three times!

photo copyright Kay Hopkins

This is the Puget Sound Pullover by Kay Hopkins, aka Knit for the Soul (Ravelry link). The colorwork is done with mosaic knitting, which means one color per round. And it’s top down, so all the fun happens at the beginning. DK weight, sounds good.

photo copyright Crissy Jarvis/Amanda Scheuzger

Can a yoked sweater be even more enticing to me? This is Helenium by Amanda Scheuzger, aka HandMaineKnits (Ravelry link). Worsted weight, bottom up, so a little bit heavier, but oh, that brioche yoke! My Stopover sweaters (designed by Mary Jane Mucklestone) were also bottom up, with that exciting joining of 3 tubes to get to the yoke.

I bought both patterns, and they’ll hang out in my library while I dream of knitting. I’m still planning to look at patterns in the Fasten Off YAL, too, but that sale goes on a bit longer. The Ravelry sale ends Monday at midnight EST; use code giftalong2020 for 25% off any of the included designs by 250 participating designers. Nothing like the power of a deadline! Have you taken advantage of the GAL sale?

Next up: I’m going to peruse the YAL offerings. I’m being supervised by Calvin…and Darth Vader.

Fasten Off Yarn-Along

Here’s the scoop on the new Fasten Off Yarn-Along! The event runs from November 25 (9 pm Eastern) to December 31, 2020. The pattern sale period is from November 25 to December 5. I’m quoting from the official website:

“The Fasten Off Yarnalong event (“FO2020” for short) grew out of a need to have an off-Ravelry alternative to the annual Independent Designers Giftalong. Many designers and stitchers would love to participate there, but either can’t or won’t, due to Ravelry’s serious accessibility problems 🔗. But nobody wanted to miss out on the discounts and the sense of community and fun which that event brings; and designers didn’t want to miss out on the end-of-year sales boost, and what is essentially a great awareness campaign for them.”

There are 93 designers participating in the YAL. You can participate on the Fasten Off YAL page on Facebook, follow the Fasten Off YAL Instagram account, follow the Fasten Off YAL Twitter account, and discussions on the FO YAL’s event server on Discord. Holy cats, do I feel old typing that and figuring out what it means…but I’m game for some new fun! FB and Instagram I can handle, so Discord is just one new thing, right?

Here’s my page for the YAL. I have 20 patterns included in the sale; they’re the same 20 patterns that I have in the Indie Gift-a-Long sale on Ravelry. Coupon code is FO2020 through my Payhip shop for the YAL; the sale runs from November 25 to December 5. (Choose whichever way to purchase is more convenient for you. If keeping a Ravelry library copy is important to you, you can purchase my GAL patterns through Ravelry; the code is giftalong2020 over there.)

You can double dip with your projects in both the GAL and the YAL. More opportunities for prizes! Use the hashtags #FastenOff2020 and #FastenOffYAL to participate on FB, Twitter, and Instagram. See the Fasten Off YAL website for a full rundown on details.

Okay, back to what’s cooking! Our Thanksgiving plans are to make a lovely dinner, and leave it packed up on the porch for the kids to pick up and take home. DH and I will dine here, with cats watching. We’ll go back to celebrations next year, I hope. If it’s super nice out, we could dine in the back yard, but I don’t think it will be warm enough. Or dry enough.

Since we’re not having the usual, the traditional, the must-always-be-the-same…I’m going to roast a smaller buttermilk brined turkey. I’ll spatchcock it so it’s a quicker cooking bird, per Samin Nosrat. Check out her video; she makes it look so easy! Then it’s back to our traditional dishes. We’ll have our favorite stuffing (my dad’s recipe, which is basically Chinese sausage and oyster fried rice, with water chestnuts, celery, onion), roasted brussels sprouts, and pumpkin pie. And gravy of course. Cranberry sauce is on its way from Cousin Gwen in NY.

I’m starting to think about classes in real life in the second half of 2021. I hope we have a handle on Covid-19 by then! I’m encouraged by the news of vaccine development; now there are 3 in the pipeline. I love teaching, both in person and via Zoom, but it would be so nice to have a choice of formats! For now, I’m thankful that I can still teach knitters to be the boss of their knitting, either way.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Indie Design Gift-A-Long

It’s the sparkliest time of the year: The Indie Design Gift-A-Long on Ravelry starts tonight! I’m one of 250 participating indie designers this year.

The pattern sale runs from Tuesday, November 24 at 8:00 pm US EST – Monday, November 30, 2020 at 11:59 pm US EST. The coupon code is giftalong2020 and it’s good for 25% off any of the participating patterns from all the designers. My designs are in the GAL bundle on my designer page, here.

The KAL/CALs will run from Tuesday, November 24 at 8pm (US-EST) through New Years Eve December 31 at midnight (US-EST). Check out the Ravelry group for all the details. Your project with any paid pattern by a participating designer is eligible for prizes, not just the patterns in the sale. You do need to be a member of the GAL group to win prizes.

You can see all 250 participating designers in this thread. I’m having a good time looking through the list and picking patterns I want to knit! Eventually. Or at least in my mind…

I don’t really gift knit for the holidays (too much pressure), but this is a great time to stock up on patterns for the knitting year! And participating in the KAL at a relaxed pace sounds good to me. How about you? Are you a deadline gift knitter?

Tomorrow I’ll tell you about an alternative knitalong, in case you’re not able to use Ravelry…or if you want to do it in addition to Ravelry! You can use your same projects in that KAL, too. I’ll have the same patterns available with a different discount code on my Payhip store. I’m not really sure about all the social media channels for sharing that KAL, but I’ll find out and put that in my post, too.

Onward!

Half the Knit Sky KAL: It’s a wrap!

Our Half the Knit Sky KAL ran through the end of August, and I finished mine, just under the wire.

You may recall that I finished knitting at the beach last Wednesday.

I wet blocked it on Saturday, and took pictures yesterday.

I love all three of my shawls, but this one reminds me of the sky with the aurora borealis dancing across the stars. Not that I’ve ever seen the aurora, but it’s on my bucket list!

I have prizes for my last two KAL finishers, so I’ll be getting in touch with Terri and Marilee soon.

I haven’t forgotten Sneaker Wave; I’ll have the patterns out next week, I hope? But I’m also juggling some blog posts and videos for a company I’m working with, so we’ll see how the week goes. Nothing like the power of a deadline! I steam blocked yesterday. The left mitt is blocked; see how relaxed the fabric and the cable are, compared to the right mitt? Don’t worry, I blocked that one, too. Blocking is magic, even steam blocking!

Calvin insisted on helping with the photo shoot, even though the hat is too big for him.

And Biscuit decided to start the holiday weekend early.

Here’s to a safe and happy holiday weekend! Tomorrow’s my birthday, so we’ll be celebrating that, too. Cheers!

Life’s a beach

I was lucky to get away for a bit this past week. Walking on a beach on a cool sunny day is a great way to clear one’s head. And the lack of things to trip on make walking free and easy, unlike walking on sidewalks in town.

One of my favorite beach walks is south of Cannon Beach, beginning at Tolovana and heading south to Jockey Cap and Silver Point. It’s much quieter down that way, away from Haystack Rock.

Further down the coast, north of Rockaway, looking back to see Twin Rocks. (I do love monoliths.)

I spotted this sea lion on Nedonna Beach at the South Nehalem Bay Jetty.

Looks like someone needs a cuppa coffee! He did swim back out to sea after this.

Lots of jellyfish on the beach, some big and some small.

I saw the Big Dipper each night, and managed to catch it with my iPhone. Turn up your screen brightness if you need help to see it.

And I finished knitting Half the Knit Sky for my KAL, just in time. (See how I snuck the knit sky in with the night sky?) Now it’s time to block. If you’re knitting along, post a picture by August 31 for the last round of prizes.

It was a lovely getaway. Back to work!

River and sky #4catbordhi

I’m trying to get excited about my emPower People bandana, but I’m just not. I think it’s even frowning at me! I had hoped to finish it and use it for special election Tuesday next week, but I’m just not feeling the love. I’m going to put it aside for now.

I need to work on my Half the Knit Sky KAL; I’m trying to finish by the end of August. I have a sneaking suspicion that there’s a lot more knitting than I expect, because the yardage on this Huckleberry Knits gradient is so much longer than on my original KnitCircus gradient.

I love how subtle the color shift is.

If you’re knitting along, please post a picture on Instagram or Ravelry so you can be in this week’s prize drawing. I’ll pick a winner over the weekend.

My Rio Calina #4catbordhi is calling my name. I love how quickly this river moves along, big stitches, bold cables. I’m trying to be random with the cables and go with the flow, but those two long lines heading to the left are just begging for an intervention!

What is your knitting telling you to do?

Onward!

WIP it, WIP it good

You know I’m pretty much a monogamous knitter. I like having one, or at most two, projects on the needles. That makes it easier for me to get things done. Right now I have two projects, my Half the Knit Sky KAL and the emPower People Brioche Bandana. Oh, didn’t I tell you about that one?

The emPower People Project is “a craftivism project aimed at uniting crafters of all mediums to engage people across communities to spark conversation, engagement and action in the political process to uphold social justice and human rights.“ Link here. The project is a bandana to knit, crochet, Tunisian crochet, or sew as a catalyst for conversation and change. And now there’s a brioche knit version by Nancy Marchant, so I decided to try it. You can download your pattern at the link, but the version of the brioche pattern on Ravelry is currently much more complete than the one on the website.

OK, two projects on the needles. But now comes word that Cat Bordhi is dying of cancer. She has always been such a bright light in the knitting community with her brilliant inventive mind and warm personality. Her grace-filled post is here. She’s offering the gift of her Rio Calina cowl pattern to everyone. She says, “It teaches you to let go and allow the spatial brilliance and inherent grace of nature create a unique stream of cabled rivulets. I like to imagine that this technique can soothe and heal all manner of troubles…and is so so beautiful to watch emerging. And I would love for thousands of knitters to be knitting this design…it is truly beautiful.“

How can I say no to that appeal?

I met Cat Bordhi at Sock Summit 2009. I had a six hour class on different sock architectures with her. Such a great teacher.

It was in this class that I met Elizabeth DeHority, when she shared her Cat Bordhi Aha yarn with me. Elizabeth was on a Make a Wish-type trip for Sock Summit, and I had the honor of knowing her for a few years. She passed away in 2015.

Sock Summit blog post here, if you want a blast from the past.

In the meantime, I’ll be looking through my stash to see if there are two matching skeins of worsted.

Half the Knit Sky: First prizes

The KAL continues! My magenta is shading into a deep, deep purple. That will be followed by a deep blue; I’m looking forward to seeing that, too.

I did a random drawing for the cast on prize, and marleneknitter on Instagram is the winner! Marlene, please message me your snail mail addy through IG, and I will send you the yarn bras.

But also! Arlene (scrapquilts989 on Ravelry) finished her shawl, and she added beads, too. Definitely a double achievement! So as first finisher (and a spectacular one at that), I’m sending her a Knit Picks circular needle, because you can never have too many shawl appropriate needles. It’s a US3, 32 inch metal needle; I’m using one and I love it. The join transition is perfect for the stars; no catching at the join. Arlene, please message me your address through Ravelry.

OK, that’s a lot of coincidence: Winners are Marlene and Arlene, and both are from Canada. Knit on!

The Half the Knit Sky pattern is now available on the Knit Picks site through their Independent Design Program. I’m glad to make it available through more channels. Here’s the link to purchase the pattern there.

Keep cool, and keep knitting!

Half the Knit Sky KAL: cast on prize drawing

The KAL has been underway for a little while, and so it’s time for a prize! Please post a progress pic by the end of Friday, July 24. Everyone who has posted at least a cast on and several rows will be eligible for the drawing. I’ll be looking on Ravelry and on Instagram for your pictures. Don’t forget to hashtag your Instagram pictures so I can find them! #halftheknitsky

The prize: 2 yarn bras to hold your yarn. I am trying one of these for the first time, and I love it. Usually my center pull cakes go conical as I use them, but this seems to be keeping my yarn in shape. You can see it on the white cake here. I’m using the gradient from the outside, so no bra for that one.

I had a Zoom knit nite last night, so I had time to do some knitting. I’m about to start the second star stitch row. These are a little tricky to do, but so worth it in terms of effect! And of course there’s a video link in the pattern.

Post your pictures, and I’ll draw a winner on Saturday morning!