Ribbon Tool Shawl

The latest Interweave Knits, Spring 2015 has just been released and I’ve got a shawl in it – Ribbon Tool Shawl.

(c) Harper Point

Last spring when I was in Washington DC Dragonfly Fibers gave me a gift of some Pixie yarn. It was in the color, ‘Springtime in Washington’, a delicate pink with darker brown and black tones splashed through it. Pale pink is not a color I’m normally drawn to but there was something about the delicate color with those darker undertones that really appealed to me. When the call for designs for the spring Interweave came out this yarn looked like the perfect match.  This shawl was designed to make the most use of garter stitch using German Short Rows to gently slope the shawl. The shaping is created entirely with short rows and then the lace edge is knitted on sideways.

I’ve got a special treat for all of you -  Dragonfly Fibers have offered a yarn giveaway for my readers of their Pixie yarn that Ribbon Tool Shawl is made in.

What do you have to do?

To be entered in the draw, go to the website to pick the color of Pixie they would use to make the shawl. Then put your pick in the comments below. I will enter all comments into a raffle and the winner will be sent the yarn! Get your comment in before 10 in the morning (GMT) on Wednesday 4th of February. I’ll do a random drawing for the winner later that morning.

Best of luck!

Ribbon Tool Shawl

(c) Harper Point

February Mini-KAL

Well everyone it looks like Talamh won the KAL vote! However as Ravi was so close I’m going to add it as well for a discount.
If you want to get 40% off either pattern before 1st of February just use the coupon code ‘febminikal’. We’ll get started with the KAL on the 1st of February on my ravelry board.

So grab your pattern and yarn and get swatching!

Talamh

I’ve got more news to tell you as well but you’ll have to wait a day or two before I share :-)

Mini-KAL

To start of the new year I’m running a mini-kal on my ravely board. It seems like a perfect way to start the new year :-)

This KAL it will be an existing pattern rather than a new one, I had a few people throw out ideas so I put up a poll here where you can vote on your favourite. If you’d like to join in go and pick what you want to knit and place your vote! I’m going to announce the winner on Wednesday and I’ll give a discount code from the winning pattern. Then we can get started on the knitting in February.

So what pattern are at the top of the vote?

Top of the pile is Talamh:

Talamh

In joint second place there is Penrose Tile:

Penrose tile

And Ravi.

Ravi

New Year, new pattern!

I want to wish you all a very (early!) Happy New Year. I love this time of year so much, in Ireland everything shuts down for a full 2 weeks; there is much food, drinking and of course sleep! I’ve just said goodbye to my sister and her family at the airport and a handful of 17-18 year olds have filled our house. The next few nights will be filled with more games, drinks and late nights :-)
I’ll be traveling for work early on Monday morning, I’m excited and nervous about it so I hope that the anticipation doesn’t impede the holiday too much.

To thank you all for the most amazing year I’m have a New Year sale starting early (like right now) that will run until the end of the 7th of January. With code ‘NEWYEAR’ you can get 30% off your purchase as a big thank you.

This code will also apply to a redesign of an old favorite (Adrift), that has reworked in a fingering weight yarn as Titus Adrift. Titus yarn is really perfect for this, a lofty blend of wool and alpaca that’s happy being blocked more aggressively. In fingering weight it knits up a little bit faster and it’s slightly heavier for extra warmth.

Any observant knitters out there will see that my prices have changed from dollars to euros. This shouldn’t cause you any problems as all payments are processed through paypal. If you want to check the value in your currency you can take a look on my ravelry store where they do a price conversion for comparison. My standard pattern price was $6.00 and at the currency exchange on the day I made the switch this translated to just over €5.00 so there is no change in price.

This change to euro is to help me with the new EU VAT legislation which uses the place of consumption of the service (pdf) as the VAT rate that must be charged. About 30% of my customers are from the EU but I don’t want to increase EU prices so I’m going to absorbing the VAT cost with no price change to you.

Titus Adrift

Knitmas time

Every year the Irish knitters have a Christmas gift exchange (Knitmas). I always feel I’m too busy and should pull out but I just can’t resist! This year I sent a box of goodies to my recipient that included a little bag made by Sara. She does such beautiful work and she was happy to custom make 2 bags for me – one was going to be sent but I kept the other one :-)
IMG_3329
As you can see the bags are very, very cute. They make a really good knitting bag, they’re small enough for a little project, they fold up flat when not used and the bag sits upright when used which is great to keep your project yarn in.
IMG_3330
This year my amazing elf was Evin O’Keeffe. Rather than repeat her I’ll direct you to a post giving details of my goodies :-) If you’ve been following my twitter feed you’ll see the trail of tweets as I opened each gift! (Much to my excitement I was the receiver of a pair of hand knit socks.) What I would like to show you all though is her first book that she included in her gift. I had been just about to buy the book the night before so her gift beat me to it! She set up a publishing company, Anchor and Bee, earlier this year and Bake, Knit, Sew is the first title to be published.
IMG_3333This book is a lovely blend of knitting, sewing and baking projects as the title would suggest! I’ve picked out each of my favourites below to give you a flavour for the book. As well as the lovely projects the photography is a delight to look at, Evin is a very talented photographer with a very keen eye for food photography. Lemon cakes are one of my favourites, and this Lemon Drizzle Cake looks like a winner. I’m try to see if I can convince one of the boys to bake it for me over the holidays!

IMG_3336Next project up is the knitted Honeycomb teacosy. It’s really cute and a perfect match between style and function. Who wouldn’t want a honeycomb on their teapot.IMG_3340Finally I come to the sewn project. Now as I’ve said before I am not a sewer. I’ve bought a machine but I’ve yet to even thread the bobbin (shame on me). However this cute apron may just get me moving!

IMG_3341Go on and check her book out!

Short Row magic

For anyone who has been following my work you probably know that I really, really love short rows. Many of my designs use short rows, I’ve written multiple tutorials on short rows, taught a Craftsy class on short rows as well as many in-person classes.

penrose tile 1

Why do I love them?

I’ve often asked myself this, and I think it’s because they are so versatile. You can take a flat bit of knitting and without changing your stitch count you can create curves, slopes and even three-dimensionality shapes. Short rows are everything that’s good about knitting, you can make your knitting your own custom designed to fit you.

It would appear that my love for short rows doesn’t show any sign of subsiding any time soon. While the basics of short rows are not very complex there is so much to learn beyond the basics. I regularly learn and/or figure out new ways of creating them, new shaping ideas and new designs that can use them.

small back detailIn a few months I’ll be teaching a short row class for the Edinburgh Yarn Festival. While I’ve taught this class before I’ve been learning so many new short row methods and uses that I’m creating a very new class. The basics are still there but I’m adding in lots that is new; creating shapes with different short row steps, German short rows, short row shawl curves and sock heels.

If you can’t make it to Edinburgh this spring I’ll have a few short row surprises coming for you as well. You will however have to wait a few months to find out….I wish I was able to spill the beans on these new projects but I’ll just have to be patient :-)

Blog Post Winner

Thank you all for your support and response in my previous post. It really helps to know that you’ve got my back as I got through these teething pains :-)

The winner from the raffle is Sally, I’ve just sent an email to you letting you know!

In addition to this, believe it or not I’ve finished my purple cardigan. I shortened the sleeves and put in 1×1 ribbing for a snugger fit. I undid the I-cord edging around the front and worked I-cord buttonholes. It even got complimented by my mother this morning, so high praise indeed!

I need your help!

Hi Everyone out there, this post is more relevant to non-euro countries but I need some help. Up to this point I’ve priced my patterns in dollars. A large bulk of my customers are in the US or Canada so it made sense to me to do it that way. However as accounting and finances are become more complex it would simplify my life greatly to price my patterns in euro.

Can you honestly tell me, would this stop you buying? Or maybe even make you hesitate? You can still purchase in exactly the same way and paypal would still charge you in your own currency.

Please let me know your thoughts in the comments. I’ll even throw in a $12 gift voucher for my patterns for one lucky commenter :-)

EDITED TO ADD: Thank you so much everyone, your support and encouragement means so much and makes all of these growing pains feel worth while :-)

Christmas knitting & Price changes

Is everyone out there as busy knitting for Christmas gifts as I am? I’ve got a secret one going for a Knitmas gift exchange I’m on. It’s fun and nerve wrecking doing a secret knit for someone you only know virtually! Obviously I can’t use one of my own patterns, that would be a dead giveaway so it gives me a chance to look around at some other small pattern items I’ve been looking at through the year. As a designer I don’t often get a chance to knit other designers patterns so it’s quite a treat to get a chance to do it. That’s all I’m going to give away for now…

On an unrelated note, I will need to restructure my business by the end of the year. For the most part this won’t have a significant impact on you as the end user except it will involve a slight price increase. From January 1st my pattern prices will increase from $6 to $6.50. It’s not a huge jump but I just wanted to give you all warning! Also, from a few weeks ago I have changed the checkout on the ravelry shopping cart so that it asks you for your address. I won’t use this in any way but it’s now become a legal requirement within the EU as they are changing the way VAT works. Previously the country I ran my business from determined the VAT (value added tax) rate that I charged. From 1st of January, 2015 new regulations will come into effect which changes this to the country of purchase. This means that I’ve got to know where the patterns are going and charge the correct rate of VAT accordingly.

If you want to stock up on some patterns before the price increase comes into effect watch out for a newsletter discount sale I’ll be running very shortly. Make sure you’re on my newsletter list so you’ll hear about it on time!

Modifying an older cardigan

A few years ago I knit a version of Leitmotif cardigan for myself. I used a heavier yarn and I wanted to lengthen the sleeves a bit. While I love the cardigan I find I’m not getting much use from it. I’ve got a couple of problem, the first is that the front doesn’t have closures.

IMG_3300The front edges are knit in st st and edged with I-cord bind off. In the sample I used hooks and eyes for a clean line but I knit the front of mine longer to cross over. I’m thinking about undoing the I-cord bind off and working I-cord buttonholes along the front edge so that I can add buttons.

The second issue I have is that I knit the sleeves too long and wide. The yarn I used is heavier than the yarn in the pattern and I didn’t add extra decreases to compensate. So my sleeves are too long and wide. This means that every time I wear it the sleeves get in the way!

IMG_3304Fortunately these sleeves were knit from the top down. So what I need to do I think is to rip out the extra 1 1/2″ of length I don’t want and then another couple of inches more so that I can work a few more decrease rounds.

While none of these changes will take more than a few hours I’m really, really slow to get around to doing them. The cardigan has been sitting on the back of the sofa for 2 weeks now and I’m managing very successfully to ignore it every night :-) Please give me a great big shove to got finish the job! Maybe I just need the temperature to drop a few degrees so that I am in serious need of an new cardigan…..