Wednesday, November 21, 2012

WIP Wednesday: Shawls

Shawls are one of my favorite things to knit. I'm flying to Oregon for Thanksgiving tomorrow, so I'm getting ready for the plane ride by casting on a couple projects that I know I'll enjoy knitting on the plane. 

I decided to knit the Anteros Shawl for the Mari Knits Knit-A-Long, but when I went to wind the skein I discovered that my yarn was super tangled, and the yarn was broken into over 20 pieces! It was a huge tangle, and a disappointment since I really love the color. I've contacted the company, and hopefully I'll get a replacement skein. I was really looking forward to knitting with it!

So I started with some Blue Moon Fiber Arts BFL Sport that I had sitting in my stash. This time I am working increases on both sides of the edge, to make this shawl wider than the original. This little bit has taken just over an hour.   

If you'd like to participate in the KAL, just pick any one of my patterns and post your project page to the KAL thread in the Mari Knits Ravelry Group. I'm going to be offering prizes, and for every 10 participants that join there will be an additional prize added, so no matter how many people join you have a 1 in 10 chance of winning! 

My other WIP is a shawl in lace weight yarn. This shawl is only slightly larger than the other one above, but has taken me a LOT longer. There's a big difference between knitting with sport weight yarn and lace! The Anteros shawl I'm knitting on a size 7, and this shawl on a size 2! It's going to take forever... 

Friday, November 16, 2012


This is the super exciting news that I have been DIEING to share! My first pattern published in Twist Collective: Barnsley! The sample shown in Twist Collective's photo below, is knit with Blue Moon Gaea Sport. It is a lovely yarn! Photography by Carrie Bostick Hoge.

The first sweater, however, was knit with Anzula Cricket. This pattern was really inspired by Sabrina's beautiful colors and yarn. I loved the soft comfort of this yarn, and I thought a sweater knit in a lovely sport weight yarn was the kind of sweater you could wear every single day, so I had to design a classic and beautiful sweater that you would want to wear every single day! To me this is the perfect sweater, it's warm and cozy without being too heavy, the style is classic and easy. To me the beauty is in the details. This sweater is knit seamlessly from the bottom up (because I hate to sew!) and features deep ribbing on the sleeves and body so that it hugs your curves without any waist shaping. There are short rows in the bust that are written out for cup sizes, so no matter your proportions you can have a perfectly fitted sweater. And my favorite part: the saddle shoulders. I love the simple geometry of it, and it's quite fun to knit! A little bit of spice after all the ribbing and stockinette! Below are some photos of Katy Doyle in the original Barnsley, knit in Anzula Cricket. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

New Pattern: Anteros Shawl

I'm super excited about another new pattern: the Anteros Shawl! I've blogged about this shawl a few times, last month, and way back in July. This shawl was the sample for my Design Your Own Shawl Class at Warm 'N Fuzzy, which is going on now! It's an awesome class, and I'm super excited to be teaching it, and I really enjoy talking about and explaining lace charting, shawl construction, and the math involved in shawls.

There were a ton of requests for THIS shawl however, so I decided to finally write up the pattern. I had a lot of help along the way from some amazing test knitters who caught a few very silly errors, and they also knit it in all different weights from lace to DK. One of the things I love most about this shawl is how customizable it is! You can start the lace stripes at any point in the pattern, make them as wide or as narrow as you'd like, make the shawl as big as you'd like, and you get the idea.

The original name for this shawl was Background Lace Shawl, because that's the name of the stitch pattern from Barbara Walker's Second Treasury of Knitting. I thought this was kind of a boring name, so then I thought about what other people like to name knitting patterns. It's hard to try to explain my train of thought because it's so jumbled, but I somehow decided that I was sick of all the unrequited love (not in my personal life, but in books and movies), because who doesn't want to be loved back? So I decided to name this shawl Anteros, for the Greek god of requited love.

Now through November 18 (which is the beginning of my KAL on Ravelry) you can get 50% off on this pattern! Enter the code LOVE12 at checkout or follow this link

A big thanks to Katy and Kevin Doyle for the photography!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Shoot It!

There has been a lot of evidence of my terrible photography on this blog. I usually try to save your eyes from my lack of talent, and prefer to show Katy Doyle's lovely photos of my knit items. However, Katy lives in Boston, and has a very busy life of her own, so I thought maybe I should learn a few things about photography. I do not have a fancy camera. I have a Cannon Powershot, which is a point and shoot camera.

I've been a member of Craftsy for a while, and you can even find my patterns on Craftsy: Mari Knit's Pattern Store. Craftsy also has online video classes, and they have an awesome platform where you can ask questions to the instructor, watch videos at your own pace, and you can even takes notes in the platform, so if you view the video more than once your notes are with the video! It's pretty nifty if you ask me.

Since I clearly need a little help with photography I decided to take Caro Sheridan's Shoot It! Online Product Photography Class. I met Caro at TNNA in Columbus back in June, and you might also recognize her as the model in some of Ravelry's t-shirt photos (that's where I had seen her before).

I really loved Caro's class. I thought she was pleasant and explained things well. I liked listening to her stories about photography and her personal experiences in the field. I really liked the goofy facial expressions she made, because I totally make goofy faces without knowing it too! I always knew that I should read the manual to my camera, but she gave me that extra shove and motivation to actually do it. I don't know where my manual is, but I googled it and found it online in less than 5 minutes.

So here are a few photos of this beautiful lace weight yarn from Rebel Yarns. You can see that I was playing with the setting on my camera and different backgrounds, and the yarn color looks a little bit different in each color... I'm clearly still figuring things out, and I've only gotten through half the videos. The first photo is the most accurate as far as color.

Caro also advises that you clean the few feet of your home that will be in the photo...I obviously have yet to fully embrace this. 

I also really wanted to take photos of Bunny, but Bunny is currently on vacation (AKA I can't find Bunny). Luckily Penelope was available (and she is much better and standing on her own anyways). 

In these photos I was experimenting with the rule of thirds. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

WIP Wednesday: slippers and comics

I knit a pair of these adorable Not-So-Tiny Slippers by Ysolda Teague last week for the shop. They are super quick, and super cute! 

So I decided I needed my own pair. I started them a couple nights ago, and then I did the bulk of it last night, when I was tired...that was NOT a good idea. You'll see in the photo below that the cute little yarn over holes are not centered... I'm a little bit of a perfectionist, so I will be frogging these later. Oy.

My other, non knitting, crafts have been going better. Home made coasters out of tile and modge-podge have been all over Pinterest, so I had to join the fun and I made these comic book coasters over the weekend. I still need to buy felt to put on the bottom so that they don't scratch up the table, but I think they look pretty cool. Brian's a big fan too.

I was in a bit of a modge-podge comic frenzy, and I was irritated by the pile of mail on our kitchen counter, so I modge-podged myself a solution! There's some cardboard under the comics and glue too. The whole thing took about 20 minutes. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

Fall KAL

It's time to do another knit-a-long!

What's a knit-a-long? It's kind of like when you sit and knit with your friends, except you do it online through pictures. Sometimes everyone follows the same pattern, but sometimes not, there's usually a theme to tie everything together. Doesn't it sound like fun?

What Knit-a-long for any Mari Knits pattern
Why Because it’s peak knitting season, and I always enjoy knitting with friends!
When Begins Sunday November 18, ends Sunday December 16
Prizes Yes! They’ll be announced/decided later on
Where In the Mari Knits Ravelry group here

I can't decide what I want to knit, but here are the patterns I'm contemplating:

The cowl version of Mama Miya

Or another pair of Lovely Lady Arms, since mine are living at Warm 'n Fuzzy