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Posts from September 2011

Socks and packing and applying, oh my!

For the past several years I have spent the end of September preparing the TTL Mystery Sock for the release of it's first clue. This year is different. I am madly packing boxes and preparing to move out of the home we have lived in for the past 12 years. I've loved this house with it's beautiful view and acid green front door, but it is time for change. And I've always been one who likes change.

Add to all of the crazy moving nonsense double college applications, essays, teacher recommendations and the usual senior year stress.

Since all of this packing and applying doesn't leave much time for sock design or provide anything in the way of willing foot models, I've had to postpone the Mystery Sock until January. January is always my favorite time of year to snuggle up on the couch wiht a good woolly knit. S&I's college apps will be done and we'll be spending the month celebrating a double 18th birthday. It will be a generally happy, carefree time for the Kapurs.

Since it goes against my nature to leave Socktober unrecognized I've decided to offer a 20% discount on my sock patterns for the month of October. There are also several people in the Through the Loops group on Ravelry who will be having their own TTL Sock KAL. They'd love it if you'd join them. I'll check in on the KAL as much as I can to answer questions and offer encouragement.

Shown below are from top left: Ilsa's Socks, Althea, Jagged and Atlantis.

  Althea Ilsa's Socks


Summer Shawl KAL - Get Those FO's Posted!

Today is the final day of the TTL Summer Shawl KAL over on Ravelry. If you've been knitting along with us, today is the last day to get photos of those finished shawls posted if you want to be included in the prize drawing! I'll keep the thread open until I get up tomorrow morning. That will give our friends on the West Coast a bit of extra time.

Since I hate to write a post without a photo I'll leave you with a few shots of our reaction to our order from Missoni for Target arriving in the mail.




And Speaking of Cowls. . .

When Larissa Brown's first book Knitalong came out I couldn't wait to get my hands on a copy. The book was beautiful and there were quite a few patterns in it that I wanted to knit. So naturally, I was thrilled when Larissa contacted me to be a part of her second book, My Grandmother's Knitting. I was even more excited when she told me her concept; she was writing a book filled with family stories about crafting and knitting. And she wanted to interview me. About my family. And have me contribute a design. Oh, yes please!

My Grandmother's Knitting Cowl

The family I was lucky enough to be raised in had such and enormous impact on my creative life that this book is a treasure to me. When I first got my hands on a copy I savored it. Reading a few chapters each night.

The Redinger Girls
My grandmother Anna and great aunts, Dorothy, Mary & Teresa.

There are stories from all of our favorite designers. Among them are Teva Durham, Meg Swanson, Pam Allen, Kay Gardiner, Anne Hanson, Norah Gaughan, Ysolda Teague, Jared Flood - I am humbled to even be included in this book.

Simple Cowl V 2 Vert

Each designer also contributed a pattern to the book. Larissa asked me to create an easy pattern that a brand new knitter could take on. As anyone who has read my blog for any length of time knows, I love to work with color, so I suggested a simple two color cowl - The Crayon Cowls.

Simple Cowl V 1

I created two variations on the pattern - one very simple stockinette broken up by a purl ridge, and one for a more adventurous beginner with eyelets thrown in. Both have buttons for added interest. The simple stitch patterns lend themselves very well to experimentation with yarns, so even the more experienced knitter will enjoy knitting these patterns.
  Crayon Cowl 5
When I got my copy of the book, it occured to me how well this pattern would work for some of my precious hand-spun yarn stash. I pulled out two skeins of hand-spun, each with a healthy cashmere content, that I'd been hoarding for a special project - and set to work. The knitting on this cowl is very, very quick. It is easily adapted to a longer cowl if you want something you can loop around several times.

Dorothy Knitting

My Aunt Dorothy knitting.

The book contains much more challenging projects too. Among them are a gorgeous cabled pillow from Chrissy Gardiner, the spectacular colorwork sweater seen on the cover by Kristin Spurkland (oh how I wish I could drop everything and knit that sweater) and a pair of Cookie A's intricately patterned socks.

Crayon Cowl & Book

If you want to see all of the gorgeous patterns in this book and find out more about the individual patterns, check out the pattern pages on Ravelry. Then go out and buy yourself a copy of the book, brew a cup of tea, and imerse yourself in the stories of inspiring, creative families.

*All of the photos in this post are my own, or my old family photos. To see the photos in the book follow the link above to the pattern pages on Ravelry.

A Trio of Cowls

If you're looking for a stash busting project, an easy pattern to try cables for the first time, a little something for that luxurious yarn that you only have one or two skeins of, a lovely gift for a friend or just a quick fun knit, my new eBook, A Trio of Cowls has something for you. 

  Trio of Cowls Cover
This eBook includes three cabled cowls, each with it's own personality. Looking for a name for each of the cowls, I asked my daughters for names of things that come in groups of three. Science-minded Izzy immediately offered the three bones of the ear; Incus, Stapes & Malleus.

Green Cowl 1
  The largest of the three, Incus uses a soft yarn and open cable pattern for a very slouchy effect. 

Finished Measurements: 30” circumference x 12” high

Yarn: Rowan RYC Cashsoft DK, 57% Extra Fine Merino/33% Acrylic Microfibre/10%, 142 yds/ 130 m per 50 g skein, Color: Lime #509 3 skeins

Needles: US 8 (5mm) 24” circular needle or size to obtain gauge

Gauge: 26.5 sts & 33 rows=4”/10 cm in Incus Cable Pattern (page 2)

Other Materials: Place Marker (PM), cable needle, tapestry needle

Cashmere Cowl 3

Luxurious Malleus, worked in broad cables and cashmere yarn, knits up quickly on large needles.

Finished Measurements: 27” circumference x 8.5” high

Yarn: Filatura Di Crosa Scozia Cashmere, 100% Cashmere, 88 yds/80 m per 50 g skein, color: #302265, 2 skeins

Needles: US 8 (5mm) 24” circular needle and US 10.5 (6.5mm) 24” circular needle  or size to obtain gauge

Gauge: 13 sts & 26 rows=4”/10cm in Malleus Cable Pattern (page 2) on larger needles

Other Materials: Place Marker (PM), cable needle, tapestry needle

Madtosh Cowl 1

On Stapes, panels of garter stitch separate braids of cables and showcases a single skein of hand dyed yarn beautifully.

Finished Measurements: 23” circumference x 9” high

Yarn: Madelinetosh Tosh Merino, 100% Superwash Merino Wool, 210 yds/192 m per 110g skein, color: Betty Draper’s Blue, 1 skein

Needles: US 6 (5mm) 24” circular needle and US 8 (5mm) 24” circular needle or size to obtain gauge

Gauge: 21 sts & 35 rows=4”/10cm in Stapes Cable Pattern (page 3) on larger needles

Other Materials: Place Marker (PM), cable needle, tapestry needle

Trio of Cowls 5

The three patterns are not sold separately, but are available together in the Trio of Cowls eBook and are priced as if they were one pattern at only $6.00 US.

Thank you to my dear friend, the ever generous Karen of Choo Choo Knits for tech editing!

Summer Shawl KAL - Prize Offerings

We've had a wonderful summer of knitting shawls over on the Through the Loops Summer Shawl KAL on Ravelry. The finished shawl thread is filled with beautiful interpretations of my patterns. It is so much fun to check in each day and see the new shawls that participants are posting.

With thirteen days to go, there's still plenty of time to finish up those WIPs. For some speedy knitters there's even time to start and complete a new shawl by the deadline. To help motivate you it's high time I post more photos of the prize yarn that winners will receive.

On top of the yarn-y prizes, courtesy of Melissa from Sweet Fiber Yarns that I posted about at the beginning of August we have several more:

Jill over at Studio June donated two skeins of her Super Cash Sock in the Deep Tangerine colorway that I used for the Stheno Shawl. One lucky winner will get both of these skeins, enough to make the medium sized Stheno.

Deep Tangerine 006
And from Tempted Yarns we have three gorgeous skeins:

Tempted Yarns Good in Crush

Tempted Yarns Good Girl in Crush

Tempted Yarns Lovely in Mocha

Tempted Yarns Lovely Girl in Mocha

Tempted Yarns

Tempted Yarns Good Girl in Deviant Behavior

Along with all of this gorgeous yarn we have one other very, very special prize. Karen of Choo Choo Knits- talented knitter, designer, tech editor, test knitter (she can do it all), is donating an amazing prize. She will knit the winner a Through the Loops shawl of their choice.

Since this one is so special it will be drawn from the TTL Summer Shawl KAL participants who are making pledges to donate to Alzheimer’s and dementia research (because that’s a pretty amazing thing to do). More about that in Sophie Fair's Raverly post number 674 here.  Several people have already stepped up to say that they will be joining Sophie and making donations for Alzheimer's and Dementia reasearch for each shawl that they make. Sophie is well on her way to completing the 15 shawls that she plans to finish by the end of the KAL! If you do join in and want to be included in the drawing for this particular prize, be sure to put a note in the post when you show off your finished shawl in the Finished Shawl thread on Ravelry. Just as with the other prizes, if you are making multiple shawls we will give you one entry for each finished shawl. If you’ve already posted your finished shawl in the thread you may edit the post to let us know that you have made a donation.

I hope all of these amazing prizes spur you on to finish your shawls, and maybe make a donation to Alzheimer's and Dementia research.

Stheno Shawl

Stheno 2
It seems as if every year, a few days to a week after Labor day, bang, we get a cold snap. I guess it's nature's way of telling us it's time to unpack the wool. As I sit here writing this I'm wearing a pair of hand-knit socks and a hand-spun shawl. My hands are cold, so I'm thinking about digging out a pair of mitts. Craziness. Next week we will, no doubt, have a 90 degree day. For now though it seems like a good time to show you my newest pattern, the Stheno Shawl.

  Stheno Close

Worked in Studio June Yarns Super Cash Sock, this rectangular shawl combines lace and gently curving cables for the body. Both the cables and lace are simple enough to memorize once you get going, while still having enough complexity to hold your interest. The stitch patterns give the long sides a pretty, scalloped edge. Stheno is started with a provisional cast on, once the body has been completed, the borders are knit onto the live stitches at each end.

Stheno Ad 1

See that smiling face there? She and her sister started their senior year in high school this morning. I really have no idea how we've gotten to this point already. It doesn't seem that long ago that my eyes filled with tears as I dropped them off for their first day of kindergarten.

First Day of School

Izzy, Anders (starting 2nd grade), Sofie

Sorry for the reminiscing. Back to Stheno. Details follow.

  Stheno Shawl 2

Stheno Shawl

Size: S, M, L (shown in size M)

Finished Measurements: 13[19, 24.5]” wide by 68” Long

Yarn: Studio June Yarn Super Cash Sock, 80% Superwash Merino / 10% Cashmere /10% Nylon, 435 yards per 100g skein, Color: Deep Tangerine, 2 [2, 3] skeins - note that for size M very little yarn was left. It may be helpful to have an extra skein on hand in case you run out.

Needles: US 7 (4.5mm) 32” circular needle or size to obtain gauge

Gauge: 22 sts & 24 rows in Stheno Lace pattern- blocked, always take the time to check gauge

Other Materials: Scrap Yarn, Place Markers (PM), cable needle, tapestry needle

Price: $6.00    

Both charts and written instructions are included for the stitch patterns.

A big thank you to my test knitters - Karen, Maria, Jill, Vera & Jody