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Posts from November 2012

Dishcloth Diva: Review & Contest

I love using handknit dishcloths. If you've never used a handknit dishcloth, take 2 or so hours of your knitting time, a ball of inexpensive cotton yarn and knit up a dishcloth. Then use it. Wash a dish or two. Wipe down the counters. You'll see what I mean.

Dishcloth 1
So, as you can imagine, I didn't hesitate to say "yes, please" when the folks at Cooperative Press recently offered to send a review copy of Deb Buckingham's new book, Dishcloth Diva. This fun little book, available in both print and digital form, has everything you need to get started knitting dishcloths. At the beginning Deb tells us about cotton - the top choice fiber for dishcloths. She goes into detail on the different types of cotton to help knitters choose the yarn that's best for them.

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Cover image copyright Cooperative Press. Used with permission.

From there Deb moves into the patterns, which she groups by type - Knotty or Nice, Lines, Rib It, and Textures. Each chapter has 5 different designs that all work in a range of colors, including a few that are designed specifically for variegated yarns. Beginners as well as more experienced knitters will find something to suit them in Dishcloth Diva.

My sister and I knit a few of the dishcloths from Deb's book when I was in North Carolina last month. They make great travel projects and are simple enough that lively conversation will not make you lose your place.

Dish Cloth 2

The nice people at Cooperative Press have offered a free digital copy of Dishcloth Diva to one lucky knitter. Just leave a comment on this post and I will use a random number generator to select a winner. The contest ends on Thursday, December 6th at midnight EST.

Wooly Wonka Heroines Club

I'm very excited to be working with my friend Anne Podlesak of Wooly Wonka Fibers again. She and I have collaborated many times in the past on  Raleigh, Viola, Unsinkable, and Hecate.

Wooly Wonka Designs
It is always a joy to knit with the gorgeous yarns and colorways that Anne sends. Add to that abundant inspiration from Wooly Wonka's literary club themes. Each time I've worked with Anne's yarns the patterns seem to design themselves. This year I'm contributing to Anne's 2013 Heroines Club. The yarn is in my studio awaiting it's turn on the needles, and I can confirm that this year is no exception. Anne's combination of base and color are exquisite.

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After lively discussions with Anne and wonderful suggestions from my daughters we picked the indomitable Irene Adler from Sherlock Holmes. (A favorite of IJK's.) Each month's heroine, yarn and designer are listed in the text below, taken from Anne's Ravelry group.

March 2013: Irene Adler: Brilliant enough to best Sherlock Holmes, but with a whole lot more fashion sense. Kirsten Kapur is designing a shawl for Miss Adler of a knock-your-socks-off red on an 80/20 merino/silk laceweight yarn.
June 2013: Anne Podlesak is designing a pretty Victorian-inspired lace shawl for Alexis Tarabotti, heroine of the Parasol Protectorate series. Smartly turned out from her toes to her the top of her head (which is not just filled with pretty thoughts) Alexis is just the sort of heroine I’d like to be. This shawl will be in the shades of summer violets, and feature an 80/20 BFL/silk laceweight.
September 2013: Mel Goodale is our fall shawl designer. She wanted a strong heroine too, and picked Chiani from Frank Herbert’s Dune. She picked a knock-out of a colorway “Spice” which is a rich golden brown with lots of interesting lowlights and highlights on fingering-weight 50/50 BFL/silk.
December 2013: Finally, to round out the year, Becky Herrick snagged Eowyn from Lord of the Rings as her shawl-design muse. This shawl features three complementary colorways, representing the multifaceted Eowyn. The yarn is our merino/silk/glitter fingering-weight, for a little sparkle to round out the year at the holiday season.

Fractured Light

Have you seen the newest Knitty Surprise?  I was honored when Amy asked me to be a part of Knitty's 10th Anniversary issue and thrilled when she told me I'd be working with Blue Moon Fiber Arts Marine Silk Sport in a special edition colorway created just for Knitty.

Fractured Hat 6
When the yarn arrived it reminded me of how much I loved that week each year in science class when we got to play with triangular prisms. I swatched and swatched until I found a stitch pattern that bent the colors in a similar way to a prism.

Mitts 1
The Fractured Light Mitts have a buttoned, garter stitch cuff. The stitch pattern is mirrored on the right and left mitt. The hat also starts with a buttoned, garter stitch edge before moving into the fractured stitch pattern for the body of the hat.

Fractured Hat 2
I love the swirly effect that the variegated yarn makes at the crown.

Fractured Hat 3
If variegated yarn isn't your thing, these patterns will work equally well in a solid color, or striped as I did with some bits of scrap yarn I had on hand. I think they'd be really fun alternating skeins of self striping yarn.

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That's Sofie modeling above, as always in need of a new coat of nail polish. Chipped nails seem to be her trademark these days. You can't see it very well in any of the photos from Knitty that I've posted here, but I did make her repaint them before we did the official photoshoot.

Fractured Hat 12
These patterns don't take long to knit and will make excellent holiday gifts. Head on over to Knitty for the patterns or to Ravelry to add the Fractured Light hat and mitts to your queue. Note that I was able to get both the hat and mitts out of a single skein of the BMFA Marine Silk yarn. This will vary from knitter to knitter. Even slight variations in gauge can impact the amount of yarn you use.