Archive for the ‘Patterns’ Category

Today I have the honor of introducing you to The Wild West: Patterns Inspired by the Flora, Fauna, Geology & History of Arizona, a new collection of designs by Stephannie Tallent.

This collection truly transports you to the desert southwest.  With designs echoing the gorgeous Arizona desert in beautiful detailed lace stitches and clean lines, along with a color palette of soft peaches, creams, turquoise and browns, Stephannie has captured the very essence and beauty of our desert in each beautifully detailed pattern.

Inside this 52 page eBook, knitters will find five lace designs that are ultra feminine, perfect for spring to summer wear, and also perfect for layering.   The first chapter talks about Stephannie’s inspiration and why she was drawn to the desert southwest, followed by design techniques, themes and more.  The pattern for Bisbee offers line-by-line written instructions but all the other lace patterns offer very detailed chart instructions.  You will also find detailed schematics,  and a wide range of sizes for the garments, a huge plus in my book!

So let’s have a look at what’s inside ….

Bisbee, a lovely cardigan with lace inserts and frilly edges.  This design is worked in pieces, bottom up and then seamed prior to working the sleeves. Sizes range from extra small to size 3X, with finished bust size from 30″ to 54″ (76 to 137 cm).

Courtesy of Stephannie Tallent (Adam Murray)

Cholla Socks is a delightful cuff down cable and lace sock pattern that is customizable to fit your size.   For this design you will need approximately 390 to 485 yards (357 – 443m) of fingering weight yarn and a set of size US 1 (2.25mm) DPNs.  These socks have “cactus” written all over them!

Courtesy of Stephannie Tallent (Adam Murray)

Cactus Wren is my favorite design in this eBook.  This lacy camisole can be worn alone or layered with a favorite blouse.  The crocheted lace trim and the tiny buttons give this design a very vintage feel, as well as the lovely lace panels.  This pattern features sizes that range from extra small to 3x, with finished bust sizes ranging from 32 1/4″ to 58 1/4″ (81.5 – 147.5 cm).

Courtesy of Stephannie Tallent (Adam Murray)

Diamonback is a beautiful lace cowl that features beading and a tiny bit of cabling at each edge. I love how the bottom lace edge mimics the rattles of the Diamonback. This lovely piece would make a great gift and it only requires approximately 320 yards of fingering weight yarn.

Courtesy of Stephannie Tallent (Adam Murray)

Pinyon Jay is another lovely cowl that is offered in three weights, and with or without beads. Even though this feathery lace cowl has suggested yarns of lace, fingering and dk, I would love to make it in handspun!

Courtesy of Stephannie Tallent (Adam Murray)

I have to say the location for photos was perfect to show off these lovely creations as well.   For those of you who are interested, photos were taken at the SOUTH COAST BOTANIC GARDEN( www.southcoastbotanicgarden.org ).  If you visit the southern part of Arizona, be sure to visit the ARIZONA–SONORA DESERT MUSEUM ( www.desertmuseum.org ) and the DURANGO SILVER COMPANY ( www.durangosilver.com ).

This eBook is currently available for pre-order, click here,  with a release date of March 25, 2014.  Be sure to use code LACE1 at check out to receive $3 off during this preorder period.

Did you notice this was Volume 1, Lace 1 ?   Yes, I do believe there is another collection in the works, which I am very excited about!

About the Designer:  Stephannie Tallent is the author of California Revival Knits and Hitch: Patterns Inspired by the Films of Alfred Hitchcock. She lives in Hermosa Beach, California with her husband Dave, dog Rigel, and cats Meggie and Cali.  You can find Stephannie online at SunSet Cats, Ravelry as StephCat and be sure to join her Ravelry Group, Sunset Cat Designs.   Her designs can be found online at RavelryKnit Picks, or on Patternfish.

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Today I’m reviewing a fun eBook designed by Maria of Elegant Economy Knits called Geo-Mitt-Rix.

Photo courtesy of Elegant Economy Knits

If you enjoy knitting mittens, like stranded colorwork and a fun touch of geometric designs, then this mitten collection is for you.

Maria’s collection of mitten designs is a wonderful introduction to stranded colorwork.  Each design uses approximately 220 yards of aran weight yarn in two colors and a size US 6 (4.0 mm) 32″ circular needle for knitting in the round.  Included in this eBook is a wonderful 22 page beautifully photographed step-by-step tutorial for knitting basics, various stitch techniques, knitting with two strands of yarn and blocking.  Maria has also included a page on chart reading, how to fix mistakes and more.  Each pattern offers written instructions but the designs themselves are charted.  For those of you who enjoy visual techniques, Maria has also included photographed and written instructions for joining the flap, this is a plus!

The Chevron Mitts  and the Ven Mittens are perfect for those of you who need the convenience of using a smart phone or other electronic devices.  Both of these designs feature a convenient flap that opens easily at the top, but still keeps your hands toasty warm.

Courtesy of Melissa Joy – Chevron Mitts

From left to right:  Ven MittensInversion Mittens and Gotcha Mittens

Courtesy of Melissa Joy

You can find more of Maria’s designs online at Raverly.  You can find Maria online at her blog, Elegant Economy, FaceBook, Twitter and Pinterest.  You can also stay informed by joining her Ravelry Group.


I am so excited to announce that Maria  is generously offering one free eBook of Geo-Mitt-Rix to one lucky blog reader!!!

To enter this giveaway, simply leave a comment, and do be sure to leave a means of contact if your email does not automatically attach to your comment, for example your Ravelry ID.  This giveaway is open to all ~ meaning, it’s open to international blog readers too !

The  Deadline to enter is Sunday, February 2nd at 4:00pm Arizona Time.  The winner will be selected by a  random number generator and will be announced on Monday, February 3rd .   Please note that the winner will receive their copy directly from Maria as a Ravelry download or by email.

So who wouldn’t want to win a free copy of this wonderful eBook!

This giveaway is now closed!

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It’s often said it’s a woman’s prerogative  to change her mind but in my husband’s words it’s called being fickle.   I don’t think I’m fickle to often, but like any knitter or crocheter, if the project is not working or I’m just not happy with it, why continue.

This past Friday, I was excited to cast on Cheyenne using my lovely Rowan Savannah in the color of Arizona.  I started, I ripped out twice and came to the conclusion, I just did not like the look of the lace stitch pattern.  For some reason my double yarn overs were leaving huge holes and that was simply unacceptable in my book.  So, I ripped it all out and let it sit in my basket the remainder of the day and did not touch it or my copy of  Summer Textures until Sunday morning.

DSCF4022I love the Savannah yarn  and decided to use it for a different project, Cabazon by Sarah Hatton.  Cabazon is a quick and easy crochet project that  uses Rowan All Season’s Cotton.  After doing the math and a swatch, my 9 skeins of Savannah was going to work and I promptly started but only to realize after four inches of work that something wasn’t quite right.  Sigh … yes, I had to rip it back out.

Note to oneself: Before starting a project, be sure to check the terms used for instructions. I did not think to check to see if UK crochet terms were used or US crochet terms. Needless to say, I had to start over after I realized UK terms were used throughout the book.

Yes, the crochet terms are written for UK standards and it didn’t even dawn on me to check this out before starting.  So, I once again started over but have to say it was well worth it!  The crochet pattern looks fantastic in the  Rowan Savannah and I’ve noticed the more I work the yarn, the softer it is becoming.  I do believe this crocheted pullover will be perfect for the summer here in Arizona and I can’t wait to wear it!

Have you ever had a project that was just not working?

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I had the pleasure of reviewing  60 More Quick Knits , 60 Quick Baby Knits and  60 Quick Knits, and today, I’m reviewing the latest addition to the bestselling 60 Quick Knits series, 60 Quick Baby Blankets.

This book features a variety of quick knit projects from 30 up and coming designers using the versatile, colorful, and very affordable, Cascade 220 Superwash  and Cascade 128 Superwash  yarns.

Inside you will find designs that are whimsical, lacy,  traditional, colorful and fun, such as Baby BelugaA New Leaf, Lacy Chevron, Tickled Pink and Building Blocks.  Bottom line, there is a great range  of patterns that knitters are sure to enjoy and perfect to suit every skill level.

This collection offers knitters well written pattern instructions, colorful photos of the finished projects, charts where needed and a wonderful bonus project, a sweet knitted little Lamb designed by Susan B. Anderson.

Courtesy of Sterling Publishing

While this book is dedicated to “baby”, there are also designs that could be used as lap blankets or throws for adults, such as the Zig and Zag, Criss-Cross Coverlet and Good Vibrations.  So to me, this book is very versatile and could be used for all ages!

I give this latest addition two thumbs up!  If you knit baby blankets for gifts or for your own children, this is a book to consider adding to your knitting library.   Be sure to visit Ravelry to view all the patterns included in this newest book!

Until next time, happy knitting, crocheting, spinning and crafting!

Big Blue Divider

Disclaimer: This copy has been sent to me by Sterling Publishers for review. Please note that the above opinions are my own.

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I finished my Schooner shawl in two weeks, a record for me, and I’m so excited to have finally finished a shawl that is a decent size!  I took great pleasure in using yarn from my stash too and had to make a pattern adjustment due to yardage.  So instead of being a solid shawl as the pattern calls for, I ended up making this shawl in two colors.

The Facts:  This is a super quick bottom up shawl design that gives terrific results!  The directions were quite easy to follow, which included not only written instructions but charts for the lace stitch pattern.  Since I only had enough yardage in the Thistle for the body of the shawl, and because I felt I would run out before finishing, I decided to only knit 8 rows of the repeat for the last part of the shawl and ended with a the garter stitch top.

For those of you interested in this pattern, the Schooner by Lori Gayle is available in the  Classic Elite Quick Knits book, which also includes many other fantastic designs including those by Jared Flood.  This really is a great accessory book to have in your library and I will be doing a review over the next few weeks!

I promise to post a better picture soon but I was so excited that I had to share now!

Finished Size:  58″ long and 38 1/2″ wide

Yarn:  4 skeins (a total of 392 yards) of Louisa Harding Thistle in Berry and 2 skeins  (a total of 200 yards) of Blue Moon Ranch Alpaca in Chocolate Brown

Needle:  US Size 9

Currently on the needles is Aidez by Cirilia Rose.  As mentioned in an earlier post, I joined Kelly’s KAL over on her blog, Celtic Cast On.  I haven’t made much progress due to my shawl knitting but I can say I love the yarn I’m using and I love the stitch pattern.  I’m still on the first sleeve but hope have it done soon, as well as its mate. If I’m lucky, I’ll start working on the body this weekend!  For those of you interested, check out what the other ladies have managed to complete so far for this KAL – there’s some beautiful work!

I’ve also taken the plunge and signed up for Carol Feller’s new KAL, featuring her latest and loveliest creation, the  Woodburne Cardigan.  When I received Carol’s newsletter today,  I knew I had to knit this gorgeous cabled cardigan.  I have high hopes of using yarn from my stash but can’t seem to make up my mind.

If you’re interested, this KAL will be starting mid-October, so there’s plenty of time to purchase your pattern and get your yarn ordered!

Courtesy of Carol Feller

Until next time, happy knitting, crocheting, spinning and crafting!

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With the cooler weather hitting many areas across the US, Canada and even Europe, followed by the crispness of the sky, the buzz on Ravelry seems to be fall knitting. 

Items on many knitting lists for fall include hats, mittens, scarves and even a few cardigans. I have to say I’m getting anxious for fall weather here in Phoenix, which typically doesn’t hit until late October but that just means I have time to get prepared with a few accessories and maybe even another cardigan!

This past week on Ravelry, a few new designs have caught my eye that are perfect for a bit of fall knitting.  Here’s what I found and what  instantly went into my forever growing Ravelry queue:

Rocky Road by Heidi Kirrmaier is a highly texture seamlessly top -down cardigan that provides a very cozy fall feel.   This design offers knitters three length options, with the short giving a gentle waist shaping and no pockets,  and the medium and long options giving a slight A-line shape  with pockets.  I love this design and plan to knit it up as soon as I’m finished with my project for my Mom.

Photo courtesy of Heidi Kirrmaier (PiPiBird on Ravelry)

Twisted Flax by Mimi Hill of Eskimimi Makes has just published a lovely cable and lace hat that offers a bit of texture as well.  This design provides knitters  with  fully written and fully charted instructions,  provides details on how to lengthen or shorten the design and is available in two sizes. This project requires under 200 yards of yarn, perfect for stash busting!

Photo courtesy of Mimi Hill of Eskimimi Makes

A fun diagonal knit is the Diagon Alley Mittens designed by Louise Robert, who also created a matching hat.  Both of these projects call for worsted weight yarn and would be another perfect project for stash busting.

Photo courtesy of Louise Robert

The Dolphin Cowl designed by kniTTina is quite a  lovely lace and cable creation.   This pattern is not available in English, but the designer does provide a chart for the lace pattern.

Photo courtesy of kniTTina

A versatile piece that can be used as a scarf or a cowl is Tallin designed by Kate Gagnon Osborn.  This is a quick knit design that calls for bulky weight yarn and a size US 10 1/2 needle.  I love the diamond moss cable design that Kate chose for her latest creation and the i-cord edging gives a nice finished look.

Photo courtesy of Kelbourne Woolens


There are so many more wonderful designs to choose from but maybe these few have inspired you to start a bit of fall knitting!

Until next time, happy knitting, crocheting, spinning and crafting!

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I have noticed lately that Kate Davies pattern, Owls, is a very popular design online at Ravelry.  I seems that everyone, well maybe not everyone,  is knitting one or has knitted one, either with commercial yarns or handspun.   Even Katie over at the Electric Sheep  (a.k.a. Hoxton Handmade) has made one, which has inspired me!

This pattern is popular for many reasons, but the main reason it’s easy to knit, it’s created in bulky weight yarn, which makes it a fast knit, and it’s quite adorable!  I’ve also been told by knitting friends that Kate’s designs are very well written and easy to follow, making this a huge plus in my book!

I think this might be a fun project for my fall knitting and I will be able to use my stash of Cascade Eco Wool in a very soft gray for this project.  But I cannot cast this project on until I finish my Vodka Lemonade , that has been patiently waiting in my knitting basket to be finished.

Courtesy of Kate Davies

This pattern has spurred inspiration for  owl socks, hat, mitts, baby items and more.  One pattern that I thought would be fun to knit, is Owlie Socksby Julie Elswick Suchomel of Rhino DyeWorks.  Julie also designed a fun pair of Owlie Mitts to match!

Courtesy of Julie Elswick Suchomel

So, have you knitted an Owl sweater ?  Do you want to knit one?

Until next time, happy knitting, crocheting, spinning and crafting!

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I opted out of the Tour De Fleece this year on Ravelry simply because I don’t have the time to spin, well, I do have the time, I just decided to sit this year out. Last year I did participate in this fun event and ended up with a few good skeins of workable handspun.

Before the tour began last year, I warmed up my wheel by spinning up a gorgeous braid of fiber in a lovely blend  of 75% Blue Face Leicester and 25% Tussah Silk in the colors of pinks, creams and browns – rather reminded me of a chocolate covered cherry.  This particular braid was part of the Springtree Road Fiber Club last year in the colorway Tumble.

I was so happy that I achieved 260 yards of DK weight, almost light worsted weight yarn.  Now this skein of handspun has been sitting in my stash for a year because I couldn’t find just the right pattern for it until I discovered a very unique and ingenious design by Carina Spencer called Zuzu’s Petals.  When I saw this pattern, I knew I must knit it using my Tumble.

I have to say that Carina’s pattern is a quick knit project with step by step written instructions that includes a chart for the lace pattern.  If you love shawls and cowls, this project is so fun and it is sure to please.

Before the skein was created.

Tumble became a lovely skein of handspun!


Blocking is very important with lace designs.

A Finished Cowl!

I enjoyed knitting my handspun so much, that I’ve decided to knit a fun set by fellow designer, blogger and fiber friend,  Anne Podlesak, a.k.a. Bunnyspinner on Ravelry.  Anne’s Blenheim Roses Cowl and Mitts appeared in the Summer 2012 issue of Spinoff Magazine and I instantly fell in love!

For this project I will be using my own handspun from last years Tour De Fleece, a 100% BFL in the colorway Secret Garden from the Springtree Road Fiber Club,  for the main color and  Springtree Road Philomath Worsted in the colorway Atia, a dusty rose.  I think these two colors will look yummy together!

240 yards of light worsted weight handspun.

Photo courtesy of Springtree Road

Blenheim Roses Cowl – Photo courtesy of BunnySpinner

Blenheim Roses Mitts – Photo courtesy of BunnySpinner

You can follow Anne’s adventures on her blog, How The West Was Spun, you can find more of her designs online at Ravelry and you can purchase her gorgeous yarn and fiber in her online shop Wooly Wonka.  Anne is also the co-editor of one of my all time favorite online magazines, the Ennea Collective.

What fiber do you have on your spindle or wheel?

What projects are you planning with your own handspun?  Please share, I would love to know!


Until next time, happy knitting, spinning, crocheting and crafting!

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I love lace knitting and anything that looks remotely lacy.  Today I wanted to spotlight two new favorites of mine, gorgeous shawls/wraps,  along with yarn I think would be perfect for the design.

I instantly feel in love with a new design by Elizabeth Doherty of the Blue Bee StudioColeridge is a lacy shawl that is created in two pieces and then grafted in the center with a flawless looking seam.  Elizabeth provides instructions for two sizes, a scarf  that will measure approximately 64′ x 10”  and a rectangular shawl that will measure approximately 76″ x 16”.   Please note that charts and written directions are provided for the lace patterns.

Now through June 30, 2012, enter the code SUMMER2012 at checkout, and get this pattern for half price! (Be sure to click the ‘use coupon code’ link in the Ravelry checkout screen) ~ Elizabeth Doherty

I love the color of yarn used in the model below but really think it would look quite pretty in a soft pink, like Cheddar Pinks by Indieway Yarns.

From Wendi of Indieway Yarns:   As many of you know, I am good friends with fellow indie dyer, Dani, of Sunshine Yarns. She’s in the Boulder CO area, very close to where the horrible forest fires are burning. It seems like the whole state of CO is on fire. She is holding a fundraiser to raise money for the firefighters, Red Cross, & those who lost their homes. In my effort to help with her fundraising efforts, I will be donating $5 from every skein sold, PLUS matching with $5 from my own personal funds, from NOW thru July 15th. So that’s essentially $10 donation for every skein sold in my shop, which I will dontate directly to Dani’s charity/charities of choice.  THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! ♥

Photo courtesy of © Blue Bee Studio with permission given by Elizabeth Doherty

Photo courtesy of Indieway Yarns

My second favorite of the month is Isadora designed by Anne Hanson of Knit Spot in a light fingering weight yarn.  I love the lace stitch pattern of this lace scarf, which is almost wide enough to act as a wrap or stole.  For me this piece truly reminds me of times past, and the elegance we once had in our dress.  This beautiful design is created in one piece and will measure approximately 14″ wide by 65″ long after blocking.  While this pattern is currently exclusive for the Woolen Rabbit Yarn Club, it will be available for individual sale in December of this year.  Be sure to check out the Woolen Rabbit’s blog regarding this club, as well as this gorgeous design!

The wide lace scarves of the 1920s were worn long and silky to accent the new slender figure and clothing of the decade, but probably came in handy, too, for those baring shoulders for the first time. This fine, silky rectangle features a shimmery damask pattern that relies on changes in stitch direction for the play of shadows across its surface. Make the most of this feature by using a yarn that has a soft sheen. ~ Anne Hanson

I love the soft sheen of the yarn from the Woolen Rabbit, but I found another lovely yarn that would look quite scrumptious knitted up for this design.   “Summer Sage” fingering silky merino by Sundara Yarn is a lovely blend of 50% silk and 50% merino that would look quite stunning knitted up for this design.

Photo courtesy of Anne Hanson

Photo courtesy of Sundara Yarn

 Until next time, happy knitting, crocheting, spinning and crafting!

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A few of you may have already seen my photos on my FaceBook Page or on Ravelry, but for those of you who have not, here are my photos of my finished Cotton Raglan Cardigan, which I love!

The Front view

The Back View


The Button

The button I choose was perfect and I’m so happy with the way it looks on my cardigan.  I timed it right at Joann’s and got this Dritz Button 1/2 off, which was better than paying $7.95, gulp!

This pattern was lots of fun and I truly have to say it’s quite versatile.  If you have time, I truly suggest that you check out Myra Wood’s Craftsy’ class, The Perfect Fit Seamless Crazy Lace Cardigan.  This is a wonderful online class that will really teach you how to knit the perfect fitting raglan style cardigan and how you can incorporate different elements to make it uniquely yours.  Even though I used the Simple Raglan Cardi pattern  from Lion Brand, I still used things I learned from Myra’s class.

Until next time, happy knitting, crocheting, spinning and crafting!

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