Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Delphia Cowl: A New Brownie Knits Design

This is my favorite Brownie Knits design yet and I am incredibly excited to finally share it with all of you! Please meet Delphia!!! This a stranded colorwork cowl that was inspired by last year's cold winter. I hope you like the pattern and enjoy knitting it. You can purchase the pattern for $4.99 via Ravelry.com, Craftsy.com, or the Brownie Knits Etsy store.

Delphia is a plaid cowl knit in a tube to provide a fully finished look to both sides of the garment. The stranding work is knitted in the round and charted instructions are provided in the pattern. Because of the construction of Delphia, it is effectively 4 layers thick to provide extra warmth during those cold months of winter, but it still remains soft and comfortable. The stylish plaid cowl is the perfect accessory to keep you warm, cozy, and looking classy!

(The pattern uses a provisional crochet cast on method, but could be replaced with a normal cast on and bind off and then a normal to attach the beginning and end.)

200 yards (183 meters) of worsted weight yarn in each of the selected 3 colors 
10 yards (9 meters) of worsted weight scrap yarn for cast on 

Model with white color as A knit out of 1 skein each of Berroco Vintage in colors Snow Day (5100), Cast Iron (5145), and Crimson (5154) (217 yards/198 meters; 52% acrylic, 40% wool, 8% nylon)

Model with beige color as A knit out of 1 skein each of Berroco Vintage in colors Mushroom (5104), Cast Iron (5145), and Sour Cherry (5134) (217 yards/198 meters; 52% acrylic, 40% wool, 8% nylon) 

Gauge: 5.25 sts and 5.5 rounds over 1 inch of St st
Needles: US 7 (two pairs of circus) or size needed to get gauge
Hook: US H (for cast on only)

2 stitch markers 
Tape measure 
Tapestry needle 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Summer Catch Up: Part IV It's In the Bag

Picking up where we left off yesterday...shopping! All things considered, we stayed pretty constrained. I was in need of a few project bags and had been on the hunt for the last month. I knew that I wanted the zebra bag from KnowKnits and I was pleasantly surprised to find the Baggu bags.

Zebra bag is the large size from KnowKnits.com. The blue and white polka dot bag is from Baggu and they come folded in these little pouches. I was in great need of large project bags and these two fit the bill. The pricing on the Baggu bags is excellent, too!

When we attended TNNA this spring, we looked at the various Wonderland Yarn kits. I ended up going for a fall colorway pack and Carol went for a purple toned one. Excited to cast this one on...MUST finish up work knitting before letting myself cast on.

I snagged this lovely skein on the right, too. Not sure what it will become just yet. In the meantime, some of my "fun" knitting is a bunting out of Brownie Knits colors. I'm hoping to start a video podcast soon and need a little background. Do you watch knitting podcasts? What do you love about them? What do you not like? I'd love to hear your feedback before I launch the Brownie Knits podcast this fall. You can email me at brownieknits@yahoo.com.

On Monday, I organized all of my various projects into the individual bags and set to work.

I keep all my notions in this little case that my MIL made years back. 
I just love it and it gets LOTS of use!

Pretty bags all in a row...

My journal all divided and in full use...

...and it all lives in this great big Brit-inspired bag!

I can't really show you more than the bunting and this piece. Any guesses on what it will be? Maybe I'll have to run a guess the design contest this winter! Hmmmm....

Carol gifted me this sheep coaster and he was added to the flock!

A few of the said sheep...

She also gifted me this Tosh Sock in Home. 
I'm thinking it will become a Trillian shawl. 
Thanks so much, Carol!!!

So, for those who know me well, a zebra print bag might seem out of character. I don't trend toward animal print often. However, I bought these bag with the intention of getting a zebra button and band to attach to it. The zebra is the cancer awareness "color" for neuroendocrine cancer/tumors. My hope is that one person who has symptoms like I did sees this bag, asks me about it, and gets an answer to their chronic issues. Doctors are taught to think of the common (horses) and not the unusual (zebra). Some of us are zebras!!! To learn more about neuroendocrine cancer/tumors, please visit the Carcinoid Cancer Foundation site.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Summer Catch Up: Part III The Brownie Knits Trunk Show

This past weekend, I got to hang out with my friend Carol and go to Knitwits Yarn shop. I wanted to swing into the shop as they are currently hosting my Brownie Knits trunk show. The boys dropped us off at the shop and we had a great time shopping, talking to other yarn lovers, and chatting with the staff. Knitwits is a great supporter of local and indie designers. We met Elizabeth from Felted Sky Studio. Check out her needle felting kits and designs! They are adorable and make beautiful works of art.

Click here for the Felted Sky Studio Etsy shop.

There was yarn by Nerd Girl Yarns...
This yarn would make GREAT Millie Infinity scarves. Grab a skein, my Millie pattern, and knit up some scarves for fall! It's just around the corner...

I also loved these cards and tags. (Shout out to my MIL...I thought of you when I saw these.) I actually have plans to swap out these buttons for some other ones so that I can still use the card and use those awesome buttons for a knitting project.

Shameless plug time...I tossed in some free pens and they were using them for the raffle entries. Everything in the shop is so well thought out in how each items is displayed.

Carol, Christina (A Knitter's Life), and I chat about all things yarn on a daily basis. There are lots of emails floating about between the three of us, so we felt a little lost without Christina making the trip. We popped around the corner of the shop to see where many of my items were on display and right there in the basket was Christina's smiling face!!!! We were stunned. The Birthday Cake Cowl is a free pattern from Christina's Classic Cable Knits line and the shop owner told us that she just loves it.

My items were in a few different spots...

Tune in next time for the shopping wrap up. You didn't think Carol and I went to a yarn shop and didn't buy yarn!!!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Summer 2014 Catch Up: Part II

Do you watch The Middle? It is a house favorite for us, partly because it is set in Indiana and is so spot on about the funny parts of living in "The Middle." My all-time favorite episodes are the ones where the family goes to the fair and Axl accidentally enters the derby. I still laugh until I cry each time. Well, the Indiana State Fair is a big deal for Hoosiers who live in our area. You can pretty much find something for everybody at the fair.

We stumbled across the llama and alpaca costume contest. What patient animals they are! I was partial to the beach party and the picnic, but one dressed as a scarecrow won. We also visited the sheep barn where I, once again, missed the wool room. Ugh. Next year, I am going to confirm with the knitters before I head out to the fair.

My hubby always lets me slowly walk around the Home Arts building to see all the needlearts displays. He was rewarded this year because the fair started a new beer and wine exhibit. I have to say that just outside this exhibit were families arguing with each other and loads of people clearly uncomfortable from that days heat. Inside the beer and wine exhibit, everybody had a smile on their faces. No arguments in there!!! The above afghan was my favorite knitted item on display. It looked to be out of sock yarn. A great way to use up all those leftover bits!

As much as I love the quilts and admire the effort, it wasn't a craft I did very well. I really liked the colors used in this one. So vibrant and full of movement.

We found some outlaws in the beer and wine hall!

After a day at the fair, we came home and did some major cleaning the next day. This included setting up the front room in a more inviting way for me to work. Riley prefers it when I work on the couch or the bed, but settled into his bed if I put it RIGHT next to my desk.

While not out and about, I've been designing a lot and decided to offer this little look at a new pattern I have coming out this fall. I just love buttons, don't you? I have also finished up 1 1/2 socks in the Regia Fluormania yarn. These socks have been my warm up knitting and my wind down knitting. Do you guys do that? I knit on them first thing in the morning to warm up my hands and wrists for my full work day of knitting and designing. It helps me to keep my gauge accurate in my work knitting because my hands are always the same after my warm up.

Last Friday night we ventured with my friend Tonya to the Traders Point Charity Horse show. It is such a beautiful area in the county over from where we live. It was a gorgeous night out with no humidity and in the low 70s. If you live in the Indy area, this is a great event to attend.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Summer 2014 Catch Up: Part I

Summer has flown by and there have been many days of worry and sadness as I continue to grieve the loss of my mom and go through living with tumors. BUT, there have also been days of joy sprinkled about and interspersed with loads of knitting. I thought I'd use some posts this week to catch up on everything that's been going on.

July watercolor class was this study of a lighthouse. We used masking to create the various white areas, which is one of my favorite techniques. You can paint over the masking and then roll it off later and you have magically created white spots! My birds and flowers came out huge, but I was pretty happy with other portions of the piece. I'm so glad that I started taking this monthly class because it is a way for me to be creative and artsy outside of the fiber arts. Working every day on designing, test knitting, and tech editing knitting and crochet is what I LOVE to do, but the reality is that it is my day job. Having a little side hobby that has zero expectations attached to it is fun and relaxing.

I've been spending every day of the week with Riley attached to my hip. He pretty much only leaves my side to eat or piddle. As I type, he is curled in a ball next to me. He is so old now, he can't really see or hear much, and he even took two tumbles down the stairs before we instituted Babygate! But, he can still smell and loves popcorn, which is how he got in this situation (pictured above). Little stinker flattened himself like a bug and went under the couch for a piece of popcorn. I heard these odd scratchy noises and looked under to find him wedged in the space. I couldn't resist a photo before rescuing his little butt.

One of the things I swore after surgery that I was going to do now that I don't have pain is go out to hear bands play. I LOVE music and over the years we just stopped going out because I would always end up sick. So, earlier this summer I looked over some schedules of bands and plotted a night out for July, August, and September. We twisted a few friends arms to come with us (ha!) and headed out to hear Cousin Roger. I was very excited about this evening because two of the guys in the band were in a band my college buddies and I obsessed over many years ago. We enjoyed the music and the colorful people, had some drinks, and hung out with friends. As the band's set was ending, they brought up the next musical act who was a third member of the same college band and they all sang together! It was like being 21 again.  Can't wait for our the next musical outing.

For several weekends in a row, we packed ourselves up and headed to a local park. It is just down the road from our house and there is a lovely hill between beautiful trees. We used to take Riley for picnics here after we first moved into our home 13 years ago. It's nice to make it back there now for some knitting (for me) and reading (for PK). I snapped this picture of PK and it turned out so well. 

The second weekend that we went to the park, we took along both of the dogs. Riley enjoyed a nice nap on the blanket while Kennedy had to growl at anything that moved. Hopefully, we can sneak in some more knitting in the park before fall. But, I suppose we can still go in the fall and just use the tables and benches. There is something fun about sitting on the ground, though!

So where is all the knitting, right? Well, a lot of it isn't "shareable" knitting. This translates to it being work knitting that I can't show photos of until patterns are released. But, I always have a fun knitting project going where I can just enjoy it. Meet Kiki's Bakery Bear...

One of my favorite new discoveries this year is the Bakery Bears podcast. My friend Christina of A Knitter's Life recommended that I check them out and I'm so glad she did. I have consumed all of their episodes so far and anticipate new podcasts every two weeks. The Bakery Bears are Kay and Dan Jones and they launched their videos with Kay's first pattern release...Mrs. Bakery Bear. I don't have any little ones with two feet, but I do have a four-footed one who LOVES her babies. She carries them around and snuggles with them for naps. I ventured to a local yarn shop and picked up a skein of Classic Elite Liberty Wool. (Side note: I scored the ball for about a buck!!! There was a Christmas in July sale going on and I had earned enough points for a good chunk of a gift card. I ended up getting yarn for the bear, designer yarn for two hat designs, and two other skeins of yarn for $8! Yarn score! I think I had a crafting shopper's high the rest of the day! Although, I escaped telling Patrick how much you have to spend to earn the gift cards...lol! )

The buttons for the eyes and the yarn for the nose and dress were all bits of leftovers in my stash. The dress uses Classic Elite Wool Bamboo. The pattern was very well written and I especially like how Kay provides detailed instructions for the finishing and placement of all the various pieces. Kennedy loves her new toy and when it isn't in use, the bear sits on Riley's bed.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Wylie's Bubble Sweater

We recently had another addition to our extended family. I wanted to knit this little guy a sweater and came across this Bubble pattern from Cascade. I had been wanting to play a bit with a honeycomb pattern and this sweater gave me a good reason! I think it is an adorable little piece and it was pretty fast to knit, too. It was knitted in pieces and then seamed together. Because Wylie is a big boy, I went with the 12 month size and I'm hoping that it won't be too small!!!

Yarn: Cascade Heritage Sock in Steel and Marine

US 3 needles

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Join the 2014 I-75 Yarn Crawl and See the Brownie Knits Trunk Show!!!

Sometimes you are blessed to find a store that feels like your yarn home. For me, that shop is a few hours from my home, but in the area where my dear friend lives (BONUS!). If you live in the Ohio River Valley area and are a knitter or crocheter, you must check out Knitwits Contemporary Yarn Shop. They are located in Crescent Springs, Kentucky in a cute house that makes you want to sit and knit the afternoon away.

So why my shameless plug? Well...Knitwits is participating in the I-75 Yarn Crawl that is running from August 5-9 and they have my Brownie Knits trunk show in the shop! I'm super excited that they were so kind to include me in this event. The trunk show has some of my older items, but it also features all the new designs from 2013 and 2014. There are even two samples of my new Delphia Cowl pattern that will be released later this month (top of photo below). Please swing by the shop and show this LYS some love. You won't be sorry that you did!

Knitwits Contemporary Yarn Shop
620 Buttermilk Pike
Crescent Springs, KY
Website: yarnstars.com

 The green sample of my newest pattern, Anne's Necklace, is also in the trunk show.