Monthly Archives: June 2011

Maenad and autumn collection

I’ve had a few patterns that seem to have come to completion (or near completion) at the same time. I was trying to decide the best way to release them and I ended up putting them together as a little collection of 3 – Stolen Stitches Autumn Collection 2011. All 3 have a very autumnal feel, greys, browns and cozy!


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I’ve released the first of the set already (Maenad) and I plan on releasing a cardigan from the collection in July and August.  If you want to get a reduced rate for all 3 pattern you can pre-order the complete set before the end of July  ($12.95), after that date the full price will be $15.   When you buy the collection new pattern pdfs will automatically be uploaded to your ravelry account as soon as they have been released and you’ll get an email to let you know….very convenient!

By the way if you want to get a little sneak peek of the other cardis take a look at flickr here!

Spoked Cardigan

Due to the delightful changing weather here in Ireland our entire household appears to have come down with a cold. I imagine the 20 degree (C) temp difference between Ohio and Ireland may have played a part for me also though!
I did however have a very pleasant surprise this weekend – the new Interweave Weekend issue was out. As well has the excitement of having a pattern in the issue I discovered that my Spoked Cardigan made it to the front cover!

This cardigan brings back lots of memories of last December when I sent it in.  I was working on it before Christmas when DH was away, we had freezing weather and no water due to frozen pipes.  I had the knitting finished before Christmas but had to wait until the post offices opened again to sent it off to Interweave!

As you can probably see from the color striping this cardigan is knit from side to side.  It starts at the front edge, works around one side (with stitches cast on for the sleeve) all the way around to the other front.  The yoke of the cardigan uses a varying garter stitch pattern to create a  yoke that moves in and out as you work it.  This yoke is charted for different sizes so it’s easy to combine the garter stitch pattern with the short row shaping.  The bottom of the sleeve is grafted for a seamless finish and the only seam in the whole garment is across the underarm.

I’m getting really excited now about This Is Knit’s 5 year anniversary party next week, it’s so close.  I’ll be among great company – there will be Debbie Bliss, Kieran Foley (designs amazing lace and colourwork) and Aoibhe Ni (very talented crochet designer).

I’m not certain if there are any tickets left for the event but check with TIK if you want to go, the full €5 cover charge will be donated to the Irish Cancer Society.  Plus you’ll have the added bonus of seeing me embarrass myself by attempting a speech.  I’ll be bringing a good selection of my self-published pattern samples for anyone who wants to try then on as well as a few sneak peeks from my new book ‘Contemporary Irish Knits‘ due out in August.

TNNA 2011 recovery

I’m still pretty groggy from jetlag post-TNNA but I thought it was better to actually write down some of my experiences now before the memories fade.  There is something very surreal about spending a weekend with knitters/designers that you only know virtually, a bit like having a fairy tale book just jump to life!

I flew over from Dublin on Thursday thinking I’d have a nice relaxing trip.  It didn’t quite turn out that way, courtesy of multiple severe thunder storms many flights were cancelled or delayed.  I arrived into Newark, went to look at the departure screens and found my flight cancelled.  In a bit of a panic about losing a day (as well as having to figure out where to stay at Newark) I managed to get slotted into a later flight that evening.  However the storms kept up so flight were being cancelled all over the place – we managed to get on the plane at 8.15…only to be kicked off again!  When we got on for real at 9.30 I was nearly jumping with joy, and the excitement from Woolly Wormhead and Ann Knigstone when I reached to room made the journey worthwhile!

Friday night I went to the designer’s dinner that was organized by the wonderful Marly Bird.  We got the most insanely amazing goody bag…I foolishly didn’t take a photo of the whole bag but below is a little sample of the highlights, which included a hot pink Namaste bag (really just wonderful!), Bijou Basin Ranch ‘Bijou Spun’, Blossom Street yarn, Malabrigo sock yarn, Entree to Entrelac by Gwen Bortner , Knit Kit, boyd yarn snips and rosewood crochet hook, some red heart yarns and tape, JHB buttons, Heel foot soak, Eucalan, and a few more bit that the boys have managed to run away with before I photographed!  A big thank you to all the sponsors.

After the dinner we headed over to the Hyatt bar where there was quite possibly the world’s biggest knitting circle.  I spent my time sitting there seeing who looked most like their avatar, fun guessing game!  I got to talk for a while with Ann Hanson (who I’ll be teaching in London at Knit Nation with) and the lovely Rosemary Hill.  It’s a very unique experience actually getting to talk shop with so many designers all on one night.  Alisha Goes Around was busy putting the finishing touches to her polar bear that I got to see the next day on her stand..it was pretty amazing, she also had a great knitted peacock that I don’t have a photo of :(.  I got some wonderful yarn samples from her that I can’t wait to get knitting with.

First day of the show I was the first up on the Ravelry stand with my trunk show, I’m so glad I brought my ipad with me – I was able to set a full slide show of all my self-published patterns up so that even though I only had a selection of garments with me everything was viewable.  Ravelry is so loved by everyone, I just couldn’t get over the amount of people who just wanted to come up and tell them how much they loved them all.  Mary-Heather and Sarah (with her lovely pregnant bump!) were quite possibly even nicer than I expected…if that is possible!  Just truly wonderful people.  Here is a photo that Mary-Heather took in the stand when I was there.

I spent the rest of Saturday walking around stands getting to know people and fondling yummy yarn.

A few of the other designers who had stands that I got to chat with were Ilga Leja, Bonne from Chic Knits (we also met over breakfast), Shannon Okey from Cooperative Press and Michelle from Fickle knitter and Heather (Army of Knitters) over lunch.  As I was talking about my upcoming book and blog tour I got tons of offers from other designers to host a leg of the tour.  We’re going to end up with a really exciting tour!

Saturday night I went with some fellow Wiley authors (Kristi Porter (Knitting in the Sun), Alison Stuart-Guinee (the very cute Fairy Tale Knits), Melissa Morgan-Oakes (Teach yourself visually Circular Knitting)) for dinner with Wiley sales rep Jack.  As always a good opportunity for a photo!  As my book isn’t quite there yet I’ve just got a extract to hold!

Second night at the Hyatt bar and I spotted Sarah passing by wearing a version of Trousseau, which she kindly stopped to model for me!  Sorry about the poor photo quality, the ipad just doesn’t do indoor lighting well.  You can see Sarah’s much prettier photos on ravelry here.

Next day I had my book signing at the R&M (a book distributor) stand.  It was really a signing of bookmarks with a pattern extract from the book but everyone went away looking happily awaiting the full version.  The camera seemed to want to focus in front of the table so we’re a little out of focus but it’s all I’ve got!

On my final night I got to talk for a while with Anne Kuo Lukito aka Crafty Diversions and Stephanie Japel.  You two, I really enjoyed my evening and Anne I hope we didn’t have too much kid talk (I think most of it was while you were at the bar though!)

Sunday meet up with Emily who has test knit many projects for me.  She drove from quite a distance to come meet up, so thanks Emily!  As she had a car she went and drove us a little downtown to get some tasty food.  Was nice to see a little of Columbus beyond the airport and conference center!

I went back home on Monday, really sad that I hadn’t booked an extra day.  Next year (it’s kind of addictive) I hope I can add one more day to the trip, it felt early going home so soon on Monday.

My flights back home were as smooth as could be, I even managed to get to Dublin a half hour early.  My wonderful DH decided to drive up and collect me rather than me taking the bus home.  He’s just one big sweetie!

TNNA, here I come, plus more!

TNNA

I’m desperately trying not too get too excited before I make my trip from Ireland to TNNA (National Neeedlearts Association) in Columbus, Ohio.  This is going to be a crazy hectic weekend (following 18 hours of travel) but it will be so much fun to get to meet everyone in person.

First thing on Saturday morning I’m lucky enough to have the first hour at Ravelry’s stand (#454) to host the first of my two trunk shows, you can see all the details on Ravelry here.  A few months ago Ravelry began beta testing a new feature that allows yarn shops to sell patterns from ravelry directly to customers.  They’re now ready to move beyond beta and they (and me) are happy to talk to LYS at the show and give a taste of some of the patterns on offer.

Just in case one trunk show wasn’t enough I’ll also be have a second different show for Contemporary Irish Knits.  This show will be a the R&M stand (#155).  As well as having bookmarks to sign, I’ll also have a big range of the books samples and a full slide show of the book pattern photos running on my ipad.

Needless to say due to carrying two trunk shows in a single checked bag I’m not going to have much space for my own clothes…and unfortunately Ohio in June would appear to be too warm to use my wool samples as clothing!  So if you see we wearing the same clothes 2 days running please don’t be offended!

Knit Nation

There have been a couple of changes to my classes at Knit Nation.  Two of my classes (Seamless Knitting: Moving Beyond the Raglan and Short Rows Demystified) sold out in 24 hours.  My second two classes haven’t sold as fast so together with Alice we decided to run the two most popular classes twice.  This is particularly exciting news for anyone who was on a waiting list for these classes…jump in and get yourself signed up!

This seamless knitting class will be a whole lot of fun, we’ll talk about different types of seamless knitting; set-in sleeves, saddle shoulder, raglan, top down and bottom up.  Learn how to measure yourself, swatch and how to translate all those measurements into a perfect fitting garment just for you.  Even if you’re a little nervous of numbers and calculations the class worksheets are laid out to be easy to use.  By the time you leave the class you’ll have your own custom fitting set-in or saddle shoulder sweater designed and on the needles.

Mendel

In my Short Rows class knitters works through several different ways of creating short rows until they find the method that perfectly suits them.  Once the short rows have been perfected students will learn all the wonderful uses for them; short row set-in sleeve shaping, bust shaping and shoulder shaping.  Learn how to use short rows to create the perfect garment for you.

Raspberry Layers

Busy days

The pace of life seems to have picked up in the last few days. Spent 24 hours in hospital with my youngest after a sever reaction to his final set of shots. Luckily he seems fully back to normal now!
Over on ravelry my Gilligan KAL (knit along) got started a few days ago. Several knitters seem to be speeding along, having finished the bottom edging and already moving along up to the waist shaping!  If you want any help along the way with the pattern just jump right in and ask.

Next week I head to Columbus, Ohio for my first TNNA.  As the time gets closer I’m finding myself very busy pulling a display folder together and packing my trunk show.  In the next few days I’ll have some more details to share with you about this so stay tuned.  One of the trunk shows I’ll be doing will be for my new book ‘Contemporary Irish Knits‘.  It will be the first public airing of the garments so I’m looking forward to it!  For anyone in Ireland, I’ll be heading up for This Is Knit’s 5 year anniversary on the 30th of June and I’ll have the full trunk show from the book with me, so come along for a look.

Next week I’ll have some news for you also about Knit Nation in London in July so stay tuned….