Contest!

Monday Morning Giveaway: Baker Street Scarf Yarn from Blue Moon Fiber Arts

Good Morning Mr Gaimen!

Good Morning Mr Gaiman!

Here’s a grand way to start the week. 1) Look at the photo above. 2) Enter to win the yarn to make the scarf. Sorry, the man and his marvelous brain do not come with it.

Tina, the color goddess of Blue Moon Fiber Arts, was inspired by the man and the Baker Street Scarf to create a a unique colorway called “Say Nevermore”, a sexy melange of midnight plus breaths of color to enhance the darkness.  Knitty and Blue Moon are giving away 2 skeins of “Say Nevermore” on Gaea, an organic merino yarn.

To win follow our usual rules. Leave a comment on this post between now and midnight eastern time, Friday, August 7th, 2015. One comment will be chosen at random to answer a skill testing question. If the commenter answers correctly they will win the Blue Moon Fiber Arts yarn. If you have already won a prize from us in the past year, please do give other knitters a chance. Giveaway value $47.00

Have a great week and pass the coffee!

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Yarn Crush Giveaway!

Yarn Crush - a new knitting subscription box.

Yarn Crush – a new knitting subscription box.

Yarn Crush is a new surprise-yarn-to-your-door subscription service. Joanna at Yarn Crush has given us 3 of her August subscription boxes to give away on the KnittyBlog. The box will contain at least one skein of specially selected yarn and a pattern designed to show off that yarn to it’s fullest. Here’s a sneak peek of the pattern in the August box:

Just a peek at a lovely lacy shawl.

Just a peek at a lovely lacy shawl.

Curious about Yarn Crush? Here are a few facts about the monthly subscription:

  • You’ll get one or two skeins of yarn
  • You’ll get a pattern designed especially for the monthly yarn
  • You’ll frequently get surprise extras
  • The total retail value of the your monthly box will always exceed your subscription price

If you want to try Yarn Crush, Joanna has given KnittyBlog readers a link for a 15% discount off of one month.

 

Here’s your chance for a free Yarn Crush box:

Our usual rules apply.

Leave a comment on this post between now and midnight eastern time, Friday, July 31st. Three comments will be chosen at random to answer a skill testing question. If the commenter answers correctly they will win a Yarn Crush box. If you have already won a prize from us in the past year, please do give other knitters a chance. Giveaway value $50.00

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Jillian’s not Spinning: Rebecca Ringquist Embroidery Book Giveaway

I learned to embroidery from Rebecca Ringquist’s Creativebug class and  I haven’t stopped stitching since. I’ve spent a year stitching her samplers and stitching on just about everything I can get a needle through. She is a creative hero of mine.

I am so excited that she has a new book out!

Creative inspiration!

Creative inspiration!

I reviewed the book in this issue of Knitty:

Rebecca Ringquist’s Embroidery Workshops
by Rebecaa Ringquist
STC /A Melanie Falick Book
$29.95, hardcover
Rebecca Rinquist’s mantra for teaching embroidery is “Don’t worry, just stitch”. This book is like no other how-to embroidery and for that I am very grateful.
I learned to embroider from Rebecca a few years ago through her Creativebug class and it was exactly the revelation I wanted. Embroidery doesn’t have to be a litany of do this, exactly this way and no knots ever; it can be as relaxed a creative pursuit as I wanted it to be.
This book is filled with exceptional teaching and beautiful examples of embroidery, and it opens with a photo of the back of a sampler stitched by Rebecca herself. Guess what it shows? Knots, and threads stretched from one working area to another, not the “back should be as clean as the front” school of embroidery.
Rebecca teaches the basics of embroidery stitches using a sampler (included in the book). In her teaching, she takes the rich tradition and history of embroidery in a new modern, relaxed direction.

This book is divided into four main sections: Stitch, Trace, Draw and Layer. Stitch breaks down the families of stitches how to create basic stitches and how to make many variations. Trace explains a variety of ways to transfer images to embroider, including the best methods for different fabrics. Draw teaches the basics of mark making, creating original images or lines as a supplement to an existing design or as a freehand design on fabric. Layer explores methods of embroidering over already embroidered fabrics.

Each section has several projects designed to instantly try out the lesson taught in the chapter. They range from ones that can be completed in an afternoon to ones that require thought and the possible scouring of flea markets. Highlights for me are the Single-Stitch Patches, Portrait Napkins, Angela’s Stitch Doodle Bracelets and the 3D Embroidered Buckle Brooches.

The main sections are bookended with a beginning chapter on Supplies, including supplies for machine embroidery and an ending chapter on Finishing: how to mount, frame, stretch and hang your work.
All of the how-to is overflowing with step-by-step illustrations and photography. It is abundantly clear what to do and what it should look like when you are finished.
The book is packed with beautiful pictures of embroidery, particular stitches, projects to make, Rebecca’s mixed media art and all the color and texture of embroidery supplies. It is impossible to look through this book and not want to play along.

I have one copy of Rebecca’s beautiful book to giveaway.  Leave a comment before Sunday April 19th 2015 to be entered for a chance to win!

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Make Your Own Magic Ball; Giveaway!

We’re rather fond of Laura Nelkin’s Gusto cowl pattern from our latest issue.

One of the things we love about it is that it’s a fantastic way to use up sock yarn leftovers. (We know you’ve got some lying around. It’s ok, no need to be ashamed. All sock knitters have leftovers.)

Laura’s design uses a homemade Magic Ball composed of sock yarn leftovers to create a fantastic one-of-a-kind stash-reducing knit. If you’re not familiar with these wonderful things, she’s kindly provided a tutorial for us.

Title Card for BlogOnce you’ve discovered the Magic Ball technique, we figure you’ll get totally hooked, and so we’ve arranged a giveaway: a signup for Laura’s Design Your Own Cowl Craftsy class. Take the yarn you’ve just made and indulge your own creative impulses! And because we love you and her, we’re also giving you a copy of her new book, too. One lucky reader will win both prizes.

The usual rules apply. Leave a comment on this post by midnight EST Wednesday October 22nd. One comment will be chosen at random to answer a skill testing question. If the commenter answers correctly they will win the yarn and the book. If you have already won a prize from us in the past year, please do give other knitters a chance.

Thanks to Craftsy for the class, to Potter Craft for the book, and as always, to Laura.


I’ve been a wee bit obsessed with designing for magic ball knitting lately and decided it was time to make a tutorial to show the magic knot I use for joining skeins.

Step 1: Choose Your Yarn!  I decided to play with my LYS’s excellent “stash” of Knitted Witt Gumballs for this tutorial. I choose enough to knit another Gusto as I can’t really get enough of that pattern! You can join together yarns in stash (see note below), or have a base yarn and join bits of color throughout it (like I did for Magmatic Boom).  This is where you get to be CREATIVE! Then begin to wind your yarn.

1skeins 2winding

Step 2: Lay down the two ends you want to join with the tails going in opposite directions.
3ready

Step 3: Take one end and go underneath the other end to the opposite side.

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Step 4: Then bring that end back over and lay it across itself.
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Step 5: Then take that end and go inside the loop you have created to make a overhand knot.
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Step 6: Pull tight.

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Step 7: Repeat with other tail.

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Step 8:  Holding onto the working yarn, start to pull in opposite directions.

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Step 9:  Keep pulling, the two knots will slide together.

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Step 10: Pull all the way tight!

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Step 11: Trim the ends VERY close to the knot, sharp scissors help!
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Step 12: Test your knot by yanking on it HARD! If you do not follow these steps exactly the knot will pop apart and it’s better to find that out now than while you are knitting!

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Jane Richmond has an excellent video that shows this knot, which is how I learned about it.  Thanks Jane!

I want to make a note that this knot is not perfect for every yarn and you should definitely test it with your yarn before you commit to it. I’ve heard that it doesn’t work well with single ply yarn, yarns with high silk content, and cellulose based fibers (like cotton, rayon and tencel).  You can put a bit of Fray Check on the knot, which will make it hold… but just do a test first to be sure, sometimes it can change the color and hand of your fiber.  Your other choice for joining the ends is to use a Russian Join, which will work on wool fibers but not the other fibers listed above.

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Jillian’s Spinning: More Samples and Win My Craftsy Class

Shhh, don’t tell anyone, but I am getting a little sick of spinning samples. Well,  I think I’m getting sick of spinning samples. Here are my latest for my Happy Camper Retreat which is this weekend! I’m teaching spinning variegated tops, it’s one of my favorites!

I always think I’m sick of spinning samples and then another idea or ‘what if’ pops in my head and I’m off sampling again. I am exactly the same way with millspun yarn, I could swatch forever and just occasionally make things. I think that means I’m really a process person – a processing processor. I am getting the itch to finish a little something, a hat, mittens, a scarf. I’ll see if I can fit it in between sampling and thinking about sampling.

Happy Camper samples.

Happy Camper samples.

 

 

My Craftsy class, Ply to Knit: Spin the Yarn You Really Want, doesn’t launch for a week, but the fabu folks at Craftsy want one reader to have it for free on the day it launches. The class is a beginning plying class – tools, tricks, how to, when to and of course how it effects your knitting.

Ply to Knit!

Ply to Knit!

You can enter the giveaway here. You do have to be a Craftsy member to enter, though if you’re not, you can sign up on the spot. You can only enter this giveaway through Craftsy, not by leaving a comment on this post.

The contest runs until Monday September 22, Midnight EST. Only one spinner will win!

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Knockout Knits Giveaway!

Laura Nelkin is a longtime friend and Knitty designer. Her first pattern Abrazo appeared in the Fall 2008 issue of Knitty. Her most most popular Knitty pattern is the ethereal Mythos from First Fall 2010. She’s even in the our current issue with Gusto. But I’m not here to talk about Laura’s work for Knitty. I want to make sure that everyone knows about her newly published book Knockout Knits: New Tricks for Scarves, Hats, Jewelry and Other Accessories.

Get yourself a copy!

Get yourself a copy!

It’s a fun and gorgeous book. Here’s Amy’s review from the current issue of Knitty:

Knockout Knits: New Tricks for Scarves, Hats, Jewelry, and Other Accessories

I love that this book is dedicated to the author’s Ravelry group. It shows her dedication to learning from her students and fans, the hallmark (in my opinion) of a great teacher.This book is more than a book of accessories, not surprisingly, then. It’s a teaching tool in itself. Full of projects, each designed to teach a skill or set of skills, it’s a portable classroom in 144 pages.

She focuses on three techniques: wrapped and elongated stitches, advancing lace skills, and — of course — Nelkin’s signature of late: knitting with beads. Starting with accessory projects as simple as a buttoned cuff, she’ll take you through each technique in a gentle and logical manner until you’re ready for the beaded lace gauntlets on the book’s cover (so beautiful!) or the lacy, Gyrus Tam near the back of the book. The Quadro Convertible Shrug is another stunner.

The section on knitting with beads is enough to make the book a knitter’s library must. Information about what yarn content works best with beads, how to choose beads suitable for knitting, and much more are essential reading for anyone wanting to add sparkle to their fiber. Hard to pick a favorite pattern in this section, but the gradient Halli Shawl is a jaw dropper. Want.

I love the Cha-Ching Mitts on the cover and here are some other patterns that I’m excited to knit.

Halli Shawl (upper Left), Gateway Cuff (upper right), Loco Shawl (lower left) and Folly Cloche (bottom right).

Halli Shawl (upper Left), Gateway Cuff (upper right), Loco Shawl (lower left) and Folly Cloche (bottom right).

Laura, Potter Craft and Craftsy have put together an sensational giveaway for KnittyBlog readers!

A copy of Knockout Knits!

The Book!

The Book!

A kit for the Cha-Ching Mitts!

The Kit!

The Kit!

Laura’s Knitting with Beads Craftsy class!

nelkin knitbeads

The Class!

One lucky KnittyBlog readers will win all three prizes.

Our regular rules apply: Leave a comment on this post between now and midnight eastern time, Friday,  September 18th. One comment will be chosen at random to answer a skill testing question. If the commenter answers correctly they will win the book, kit and class. If you have already won a prize from us in the past year, please do give other knitters a chance. Giveaway value $96.98

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Jillian’s Spinning: The Spinner’s Book of Fleece Giveaway!

Woo-hoo a spinning giveaway! Not just any spinning giveaway either – friend, breed enthusiast and expert spinner, Beth Smith has been working on this book for years and it’s finally here!

This book picks up right where Deb Robson’s Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook left off. It answers the question, sheep breed by sheep breed, “how do I work with it?” This book covers choosing, washing, prepping and spinning fleece. It’s thorough and pretty amazing, just look:

It's gorgeous!

It’s gorgeous! Also sheep!

Storey Publishing has donated a copy of this beautiful book for a giveaway.

Want to explore some of the breeds Beth Smith discusses in The Spinner’s Book of Fleece? Enter Alison from The Spinning Loft. She built a raw fleece sampler around Beth and her book, The Beth Smith Sampler.

Here’s her description:  This sampler pack is a fantastic companion. Containing 2 oz. each of 15 breeds that Beth identifies and/or discusses in the book, this is a great way to get a taste for some of Beth’s favorite fibers.  Contents of the sampler vary based on stock, but each sample is found in the book.

How many people are so fiber obsessive they have a fleece sampler named after them? Alison has donated one sampler for our giveaway.

Ready to spin? Ready to win?

Our regular rules apply:

Leave a comment on this post between now and midnight eastern time, Saturday,  August 23. One comment will be chosen at random to answer a skill testing question. If the commenter answers correctly they will win a copy of The Spinner’s Book of Fleece from Storey Publishing and a Beth Smith Sampler from The Spinning Loft . If you have already won a prize from us in the past year, please do give other spinners a chance. Giveaway value $97.95
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Mrs. Crosby’s Grantangle Giveaway!

Bon vivant, woman of the world and yarn maven Mrs. Crosby  has donated a yarn pack to crochet your very own Grantangle.

Three skeins of Carpet Bag (80% SW Merino/ 20% Silk) in your choice of color are up for grabs in this giveaway.

Our regular rules apply:

Leave a comment on this post between now and midnight eastern time, Sunday,  August 10. One comment will be chosen at random to answer a skill testing question. If the commenter answers correctly they will win the  yarn from Mrs. Crosby. If you have already won a prize from us in the past year, please do give other knitters a chance. Giveaway value $75.00

 

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The Knitter’s Curiosity Cabinet: Volume 3 – A Giveaway

The talented and prolific Hunter Hammersen has just released the third in her series of Knitter’s Curiosity Cabinet pattern books. The gorgeous sock, Planorbis Corneus, in this issue of Knitty is from that collection.

To celebrate the release we are giving away a copy of her new book (paper+digital) and the wonderful dyers at String Theory Hand Dyed Yarns have donated a skein of Bluestocking yarn (the yarn used for Planorbis Corneus) in your choice of color.

Here are a few projects from Hunter’s new 18 project collection:

Some of my favorite projects.

Some of my favorite projects.

Unfamiliar with String Theory’s Bluestocking yarn? It’s 80% Bluefaced Leciester and 20% nylon and dyed up in gorgeous saturated colors like these:

Bluestocking yarn, just a few of the colors.

Bluestocking yarn, just a few of the colors.

We have one copy of the The Knitter’s Curiosity Cabinet: Volume III and one skein of Bluestocking yarn for one lucky readers.

 

Our regular rules apply:

Leave a comment on this post between now and midnight eastern time, Tuesday,  July 8th. One comment will be chosen at random to answer a skill testing question. If the commenter answers correctly they will win the book and yarn. If you have already won a prize from us in the past year, please do give other knitters a chance. Giveaway value $52.95
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Stories in Stitches

Knitty designer and columnist Donna Druchunas has always been interested in knitting history and stories, and she and her friend Ava Coleman have recently launched a project that’s about just that.

Stories In Stitches is a book series featuring stories about knitters and their lives, traditions, history, and travel, all tied together with knitting patterns and projects. Each volume includes projects from a far-away time or place. In the words of Donna and Ava: “It is our desire to inspire and empower knitters of all skill levels to move beyond the line-by-line pattern into the realm of creating their own modern folk-art designs.”

The third volume is launching this week, and the focus in on knitting around the world during World Wars I and II. You can order it online.

The first was all about the knitted counterpane – bringing to life stitch delicate and decorative stitch patterns, including some originally used in a bedspread knitted by US First Lady Grace Coolidge. The second was all about knitted samplers, and featured an interview with Meg Swansen. The projects included some truly stunning lace designs.

Full disclosure: I’ve been working on the project as a technical editor, and it’s wonderful and fascinating stuff. I love that Donna and Ava aren’t just focused on North America and Western Europe – they have a truly global perspective. The articles provide a lovely intimate view into the lives of knitters in other times and other countries. The projects are sometimes charmingly retro, and sometimes perfectly modern – but always beautiful and interesting.


Because we love this project so much, we want to share it with you! Leave a comment on the post to be entered to win a set of all three volumes.

The usual contest rules apply: leave a comment on this post between now and midnight eastern time, Monday May 5th. One comment will be chosen at random to answer a skill testing question. If the commenter answers correctly they will win the books. If you have already won a prize from us in the past year, please do give other knitters a chance. Thanks!

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