Monthly Archives: May 2011

Summer KAL

After my last post about a summer KAL we had a vote on my Ravelry group and my new pattern has won by a mile!  I’m going to call the new pattern Gilligan and I should have the pdf finished and ready within a day or two.

If you want to join the KAL come sign up here.  Everyone who signs up will get a 50% coupon for the pattern sent to them.

If you want to get yourself organised the pattern details are:

To fit bust up to size: 31 (35, 38, 42, 44, 47, 51, 53, 56)”/
78.5 (89, 96.5, 106.5, 112, 119.5, 129.5, 134.5, 142) cm
0-1”/0-2.5 cm of negative ease recommended.

Finished bust measurement: 30.25 (34.5, 36.75, 41, 43.25, 45.5, 49.75, 52, 54.25)”/77 (87.5, 93.5, 104, 110, 115.5, 126.5, 132, 138) cm
Size 34.5”/87.5cm modeled with no ease.

Finished length: 21.75 (22.75, 23.5, 24, 24.25, 24.5, 24.75, 25, 25.25)”/ 55 (58, 59.5, 61, 61.5, 62, 63, 63.5, 64) cm

Rowan ‘Milk Cotton dk’ (70% Cotton, 30% Milk protein; 124yds/113m per 50g skein); Color: Water Bomb (098); 6 (7, 7, 8, 9, 9, 10, 11, 11) skeins
Needles & Notions
Size 5 US/3.75 mm circular needle, 32”/80cm length
Size 5 US/3.75 mm straight needles
3.75mm/F-5 Crochet hook
Stitch markers, waste yarn, tapestry needle, 5 shanked buttons approx ½”/12mm diam.
22 sts and 30 rows = 4”/10cm in St st or Ribbing Pattern (relaxed)
Techniques used:
Crochet edging
Short Rows
3-needle Bind-off
Increases in lace

I’ve given details or links for all these techniques within the pattern and even if you haven’t tried some of them before there is lots of support to get you through your first go!

As with all KAL I’ll check in daily if possible and am happy to help out with problems that crop up.  We should have a good size group of knitters working along as well so you call all help each other along to get your top finished!

I’ll be sending out my May newsletter in a couple of days so if you haven’t joined my mailing list just go fill the form out on the left of my website.

Summer KAL anyone?

It seems like ages since I’ve run a KAL (knit along) here, anyone out there interested in doing one over the summer?  I posted this to my Ravelry Stolen Stitches group on Saturday so please go vote!  I’ve listed a few of my patterns that are good for summer, with the first in the list being my new pattern (should be released very shortly!…see below for teaser photo.)

To make it extra easy to get starting in this KAL I’ll send a 50% off coupon for the pattern chosen for anyone signing up to the KAL.

Lets have voting until this Friday 20th of May with the KAL starting on June 1st?

Back to work again

It has taken me the full week to really feel like I’m totally back to work after the holiday.  Part of that is due to to feeling under the weather after coming back; a combination of a blocked ear and severe jet lag was making me feel like I was on another universe!  I got my ear sorted out at the doctor yesterday and had a week of good sleeps and I’m back on this planet at last again.

I must be mad to have planned another trip over in just a month!  In the middle of June I’ll be making my first trip to TNNA at Columbus, Ohio.  I’m really looking forward to this trip and meeting up with people I’ve only known online up to this point.  I’m not really entirely sure how to organize myself for the show so if you’ve been to this show before please let me know!  Plus if you’re going and want to meet up get in contact, I want to make the most of my 5 day transatlantic trip.

As I don’t feel right ending a post without any photos, I’m going to include one of me with the boys that was taken on Sunday.  (Which, in the US at least, inadvertently ended up being a mother’s day photo!)  This was one from a photo shoot that we did for my author photo on the book, it somehow seemed fitting that they should all be there as well.  After all they do wind the yarn, put up with my constant knitting and model for me!

More Knitting in the Sun blog tour

A few years ago Kristi Porter’s book ‘Knitting in the Sun‘ was published with designs specifically for warmer weather.  Following on from the success of this book Kristi has just released her newest book ‘More Knitting in the Sun‘.  This books also features a wide range of knits for warm weather from a collection of designers, but the difference this time is that it’s just for kids.


(c) Wiley Publishing

I’m very happy to be party of the blog tour for this book (being hosted by Wiley’s craft website – full details of complete tour at bottom of post).  My contribution to this book is a pair of boy’s shorts called ‘Milo’ (anyone take a guess on the book character the name comes from?).  I’ve shown them modeled below on my second son last year (so it’s my photo rather than the book photo).  Knit in a linen merino blend (Louet Merlin, lovely yarn!) they’re knit from the top down in the round with big cargo pockets added afterward for optimal size and placement.  You can see a few more details on this project on my Ravelry page here.

For my stop on the blog tour I asked Kristi a few questions.  I wanted to find out from her what inspired her to write a book just for kid’s knits and to find out her own summer knitting favorites for kids.

You have two daughters, do you knit for them?

Yes, I have two daughters, Zoe is 13 and Ella is 10. I knit for them more when they were younger. Maybe because they were smaller. Maybe because they wore whatever I put them in. Right now, Ella wears crocheted beanies a lot. Her current favorite is black and sparkly.

If you do, what do you like to knit?

For my family, I end up making a lot of hats! Ella’s got a crocheted beanie for every day of the week (a request last year), and she likes armwarmers and legwarmers too. My husband wears his felted slippers almost constantly in the house, plus when the weather demands, a hat and sometimes a neckwarmer or scarf. Right now I have a 2×2 ribbed baby alpaca hat on the needles to replace the one I inadvertently toasted trying to dry in the oven!

Caddie - (c) Wiley Publishing

What inspired you to write this  version just for kids?

I loved the idea of bringing knitting into the warmer months too. Especially here in California, and in warmer climates, a lot of the published patterns are just not wearable. Plus knitters don’t want a lapful of mohair all summer long! More to the point, there aren’t a lot of patterns published that are really meant for school-aged kids. There are lots of patterns for babies and toddlers and lots of patterns for adults, but kids from 4-12 are sort of an undeserved population. They don’t want to wear super-sized baby clothes or miniature versions of adult garments. They want something that has some style and flair, but they need to be able to run and jump and play and be comfortable too. I didn’t want things that were too trendy, but still fresh and modern. I think this collection of designs has something to appeal to a broad range of kids, and also to a range of knitters with a variety of skill levels and techniques.

What do you think is important to take into consideration when knitting for children?

There are several things I think about children and knits. First, I think comfort is really important to kids. They just won’t wear something that is scratchy or binding or that they have to keep tugging on to keep in place. So I made sure that the yarns we chose were soft and comfortable to wear. I also paid attention to critical design features like straps and closures and sleeve lengths. These clothes are easy to put on and take off, and I really worked with designers to come up with garments that would stay in place even with active play.  No one wants their child’s shorts sagging or her shoulder straps falling off!   Finally, I think this collection will suit a range of tastes, from the boy who wants to wear a hooded sweatshirt every day to the little girl who will only wear dresses, and all the kids in between who are some days conservative and some days avant-garde as they try to come up with their own individual style.

For knitters who create things for kids, there are additional considerations. Busy kids have busy parents, so the yarns used are easy to care for. I think that’s a critical thing to think about when designing for kids. Also, because kids grow quickly and their wants are, let’s face it, mercurial, I wanted to keep the patterns as straightforward as possible. You simply can’t spend a year knitting a pattern for a kid!  By the time it’s done, they’ve outgrown it and purple is no longer their favorite color and instead everything must be green. There is plenty of interesting knitting to be had in More Knitting in the Sun, but you’ll see a lot of one-piece construction (with a variety of interesting methods!) and simplified finishing techniques. The fun is in the details, of course!  There’s lace, colorwork, interesting stitch patterns and constructions to try. And because these pieces are smaller than adult-sized garments, they can be a great way to try a new technique or hone your skills before embarking on a larger project.

What do you think is the biggest difference knitting for kids instead of adults?

As I said before I think comfort and yarn-content are bigger considerations for kids than they are for adults. Also when I design something for an adult, I imagine that it may see decades of use. I can use more expensive yarns and expect an investment of more knitting time. When I knit for kids, I expect it to get worn a lot and worn out! Those grubby little armwarmers or the sweater whose cuffs are frayed are successfully made kid’s knits, to my mind.  Kids also are willing to be a bit more whimsical in how they dress. That’s great fun to me as a designer. The colors can be less subdued and the details can be bolder.

What would be your favorite warm weather kid-friendly yarn?

I don’t know that I have a hands-down favorite, but I’ve gotten to know much more about some great synthetics and synthetic-blend yarns. If you haven’t touched acrylic yarn since your aunt knit you that blanket in the 1970’s, you’ll be pleasantly surprised by these new yarns!

I want to know where you found all those super cute kids for the book!

All the kids in the book live in my neighborhood!  They’re just regular kids being themselves and having fun. The photographer, Steve Simpson did a wonderful job of capturing those moments.

Thanks so much for answering all my questions Kristi!  For the remainder of the blog tour, just follow the links below.  Plus if you’ve only just joined you can go back and read the previous posts.

Owen - (c) Wiley Publishing

More Knitting in the Sun – Blog Tour 2011
May 2: Carol Sulcoski
May 4: Talitha Kuomi
May 5: Laura Nelkin
May 6: Carol Feller (me!)
May 7: Janine le Cras
May 8: Faina Goberstein
May 9: Katherine Vaughan
May 10: Stefanie Japel
May 12 — Petite Purls (Brandy Fortune and Allegra Wermuth)

Teaching over the next few months

I’m going to be doing a bit of teaching over the next few months; I’ll be returning to Crafty Alley in Killarney a few times (Finishing Touches in May and Top Down Knitting in September) and of course traveling to London for Knit Nation this summer.  See full details of all the classes here.  I’m both excited and amazed to see that two of my Knit Nation classes sold out within 24 hours!  There are still places left in the remaining two classes so if you’re thinking about taking one go on and book!

While we were in Florida I took advantage of the warmer weather to squeeze in a photo shoot on the beach for a new summer top.  We took the photos just before sunset so there was a wonderful orange glow in the sky…just looking at them makes me wish I was back.  Here’s a sneak peek of a corner of the garment, hopefully it’ll be released by the end of the month.

Check back here tomorrow, I’ll the next stop for More Knitting the Sun blog tour…