A New Pattern And A Recipe!

Ahlie has been released into the world...

Ahlie socks are quirky and fun!  The socks mirror each other with an easy to memorize 2 round stitch pattern on the front and back of both legs and on the top of the foot.  The sock is worked from the cuff down with an eye of partridge heel flap, french heel, and finishes with a star toe that doesn’t fight with the bias of the fabric.

The pattern is graded for 4 circumferences and foot length is customizable.

The sample is knit with Seawall Fibres Quartz Socks in 'Apatite'.  

I'm also releasing Sock By Numbers today! 

Sock By Numbers isn’t a pattern, it’s a recipe to create a cuff down sock using any yarn, any needles, any gauge.  This pattern starts with a ribbed cuff, features a heel flap and gussets and ends with a wedge toe that is grafted closed using Kitchener stitch.

This is not a beginner recipe.  Some knowledge of sock anatomy is required and spoiler alert: this recipe has a lot of math!

If doing math old school (longhand) isn’t your thing, the pattern includes access to a soooper seeekrit spreadsheet on my website to help you with the math. 

Ahlie and Sock By Numbers are both available with a 20% discount (no coupon code required) OR if you purchase Ahlie and Sock By Numbers together you will receive a 30% discount on both patterns with the coupon code: socks

The Caffeine Collection is now available for pre-order!  This is my first accessory collection, and I'm super excited! If you purchase the collection before March 1st, you’ll get all 4 patterns for $14! The Caffeine sock pattern will be added to your library immediately and then Caffeine Hat, Caffeine Mitts, and Caffeine Cowl will automagically be added to your library as they are released on March 1st, 8th, and 15th. The ebook price will increase as each pattern is released. You can find more information by clicking here. 

If you’ve previously purchased Caffeine socks, the ebook price will be adjusted accordingly.

Happy Knitting! 

To Match Or Not To Match?

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Several weeks ago I posted in my Facebook Group and on Instagram asking sock knitters if they prefer hand knit socks to be identical twins or fraternal twins?

They’re sisters, not twins (or fraternal twins, as some knitters like to call their slightly mismatched socks). This doesn’t bother me at all. Having each sock be slightly different, yet at the same time feel the same makes them interesting to me. Also, I learned a long time ago that striving for perfection in life isn’t great for my mental health. How do you feel about matching socks? Do you prefer them identical or fraternal?

These socks are sisters, not twins (or fraternal twins, as some knitters like to call their slightly mismatched socks). This doesn’t bother me at all. Having each sock be slightly different, yet at the same time feel the same makes them interesting to me, and gives them character. Also, I learned a long time ago that striving for perfection in life isn’t great for my mental health. How do you feel about matching socks? Do you prefer them identical or fraternal?

Say Hello To Pin Up Socks

Pin Up Socks has been released into the world...

Pin Up has been released! This design is inspired by the iconic 1943 pin up photo of Bettie Grable . This sock design looks just as gorgeous viewed from the back as it does from the front.

Pin Up is worked from the cuff down and features a unique yet deceptively simple split heel construction and star toe (read: no Kitchener stitch). Since most of the sock is stockinette, the pattern knits up remarkably quickly! The pattern is graded for 5 circumferences and the foot length is customizable. The pattern is both written and charted and includes a schematic. The yarn is by a local (to me) dyer called WN Yarns and the colourway is 'Deeper Desert Green'.

You can download Pin Up with a 20% discount (no coupon code required!) until Monday February 12th, 2018.  

Happy Knitting! 

Strickplaner 2018 Review

Disclaimer:  All opinions are my own.  I have not received any financial compensation in exchange for this review.  I purchased this product with my own money for my own use. This is not a sponsored post. 

A few weeks ago I posted a photo of my 2018 Strickplaner on social media and suggested that I could do a review of the planner.  The response was overwhelming, so I've filmed a quick video of the planner and how I use it.  Spoiler alert: I love this planner and will definitely be ordering one for 2019!  Enjoy the review! 

It's A 2 Socks Kind Of Day...

Introducing Holey Moley...

Holey Moley is a great beginner sock pattern that uses a simple stitch pattern that looks more
difficult than it actually is! Holey Moley is worked from the toe up and features a rounded toe and star heel.

The yarn is scrumptious!  It's by Sea Turtle Fiber Arts in their Ridley Sock base and the colour is 'Meadow'

Also Introducing...

 

Slipped stitches and dropped stitches play beautifully with variegated yarn! The stitch pattern used in Inside Out socks is easy to memorize and results in a beautifully textured fabric that doesn’t compete with the short colour changes in variegated yarns.


This sock is worked cuff down with a reverse stockinette short row heel, princess sole and reverse stockinette toe. This sock has the added feature of being reversible - 2 pairs of socks in 1!

Again, the yarn is absolutely lovely and is by Sea Turtle Fiber Arts in their Ridley Sock base and the colour is 'Smashed'. 

Both socks are are 20% off (no coupon code required) until Monday January 29th OR if you put both Inside Out and Holey Moley in your cart and use the coupon code: 2socks you'll get 30% off of both patterns! 

Do you celebrate Valentine's Day? If you start now, you can knit up a pair of Heart & Sole socks in time for the big day.  The pattern is 20% off (no coupon code required) until this Friday.  This is a mosaic pattern which means you only use one colour at a time and have no pesky floats to worry about. 

Happy Knitting! 

Are Knitting And Stashing Two Separate Hobbies?

stashing.jpg

A few months ago I posted this meme on my Instagram feed and quickly received many comments from knitters saying they consider knitting and yarn collecting to be 2 separate but related hobbies.  I hadn't considered it until I saw this meme, but I think it's true.  

In addition to skeins that have projects planned for them, I have lots of yarn that (as of right now) I have no plans for at all, other than to admire it, pet it occasionally, and stash it. 

I have souvenir yarn from trips I've taken, one of a kind skeins that were too pretty not to bring home, limited edition and discontinued colourways, unique fibres and fibre blends, and yarns from various fibre festivals I've attended.  This definitely sounds like a collection apart from a stash of yarn to be knit, doesn't it?   (As an aside,  it's amazing how quickly I can develop an emotional attachment to a skein of yarn.  Seriously). 

I'm definitely both a knitter and a yarn collector.  Do you consider your stash to be part of your knitting hobby or a separate hobby altogether?

First Pattern Release Of 2018!

Happy New Year!  

Baker Lake has been released into the world...


This sock was designed as the Ontario stop on the XCC Roadtrip KAL hosted by Hilori's Magical Yarnorium. Baker Lake is the (somewhat disputed) geographic centre of Canada and seemed like the perfect theme for a Cross Canada Knitalong!
 


Baker Lake is worked cuff down with a cable panel down the front and back centre of the sock. The cable panels are connected by smaller lines of twisted and slipped stitches. The pattern uses a heel flap and gussets and ends with a rounded toe.

The pattern is graded for 3 circumferences and the foot length is customizable.

The lovely yarn is by Hilori's Magical Yarnorium in the Done Gal base and the colourway is 'Vicserion'.  

You can download Baker Lake with a 20% discount until Monday January 8th, 2018 - no coupon code required! 
 

 

Happy Knitting! 

2018 Knitting Goals and Resolutions

Do you know that goals and resolutions aren't the same thing?  It never occurred to me that they might be different, but It was recently brought to my attention that they are.  Goals have a measurable finish line (for example, a goal to knit a pair of socks) while a resolution is something with no end, something you want to incorporate into your life going forward (for example, a resolution to start each day with 30 minutes of quiet knitting time).  I'm more of a goal setter than a resolution setter.  I can't help it, I'm results oriented.  I get a big thrill from ticking things off of a to-do list.

I'm happy to report that I met all of my goals for 2017 (yay, me!).  Now I'm in the process of setting some goals for 2018.  There will be socks, of course!  Lots of socks!  Though I'd like to design some non-sock patterns, too.  There will also be a couple of more courses and challenges (fair isle, mosaic, and intarsia in the round are the most requested techniques).  There will be a socks-by-numbers-worksheet so knitters can knit a pair of socks with any yarn at any gauge (I've already started working in this one), hopefully a book, and I'm launching a new business geared to my fellow designers.  2018 will be a fun and exciting year!  

I didn't really set any resolutions for 2017, but for 2018, I'd like to start and end each day with some quiet knitting time.  I'd like to keep my office clean instead of letting it get so out of hand that it takes an entire weekend to sort out (which is how I manage it now).  

Do you set goals or resolutions? What are your knitting goals and resolutions for 2018?

 

New Pattern Alert!

Juniper has been released into the world...

Growing up we had a Juniper bush in front of our house, I loved the way the small bluish-purplish berries looked on a cold winter morning when they had a touch of hoar frost.

When Nicole (the talented dyer at The Spinnacle Fiber Arts) and I were discussing a winter-themed colourway, we talked about winter berries and both 'Night Frost' and Juniper were born.

Juniper is worked from the cuff down with an easy to memorize textured stitch pattern on the front and back of the leg. The textured pattern continues onto the heel flap and the top of the foot. The sock ends with a rounded toe that is grafted closed using Kitchener stitch.

The pattern is graded for 4 circumferences and the foot length is customizable. 

You can download Juniper with a 20% discount (no coupon code required) until Monday December 18th.  

 

Hand Care For Knitters

Grandma's Special Herbs.png

*Disclaimer - I am not a healthcare professional.  This post is not intended to replace medical advice.  This is my own personal experience and experiences that have been shared with me by others.  If you have a knitting related injury/strain/pain you should seek the advice of a qualified medical professional.

This is your annual reminder to take care of your hands this Giftmas knitting season!  For many of us, this is our busy season as we knit as much as possible finish all the gifts as before the clock strikes midnight on the 24th.  

Here are some strategies to help you make sure that you and your hands survive December.  There's also a cool infographic at the bottom of this post that demonstrates some helpful stretching techniques:  

  • Take a break: Knitting is meditative, I get it!  When I’m in the zone I can contentedly knit along for hours on end, which usually results in a sore hand and wrist the next day.  Remember to mindfully take breaks, walk away and find something else to do.  Sometimes I knit by the inch (as in I will knit a certain number of inches then take a break), sometimes I knit with a time limit (as in I will change tasks in one hour, or after this episode or podcast).

  • Stretch:  Stretching helps.  I find stretching to be especially effective when I do it in the evening or at bedtime since everything seems to seize up while I sleep.  

  • Warm water: Having a shower, a bath or even just washing some dishes in warm water seems to to help the pain and stiffness quite a bit.  

  • Wear a Brace: I hate this one, but it helps.  I have a brace for my right hand that restricts the range of motion and essentially forces me to rest.  It's a bitch to knit in, so I don't knit when I wear it, but that's probably the point.

  • Medication: I occasionally take anti-inflammatory medication to help with the discomfort.  Not very often though as I do not want to become dependent on them.  

Here are some things that other knitters have told me work for them:

  • Change your knitting style: I'm not bi-stitchual.  I only knit one way - I call it modified English style - the yarn is in my right hand, but instead of throwing it over the needle, I flick it with my index finger.  I have tried to switch to continental, but it doesn't work for me.  I'm set in my ways.  I envy knitters who can alternate easily between English and Continental.  If you try this, be careful about doing it in the middle of a project as your tension may change and so might your gauge.  

  • Change Crafts:  If you are multi-craftual, you can give your hands and wrists a break by focusing on your other crafts for a while.  Crocheting, sewing, writing, drawing, needlepoint, cross-stitch, spinning, dyeing...the fibre community is full of so many talented, multi-craftual people - we really are an amazing bunch of creative talents!

  • Avoidance: If there is a specific part of knitting that triggers your pain, avoid it.  Certain needles antagonize my pain.  I love to knit socks on 9 inch circular needles, but will have wrist pain for days afterwards.  If you have a trigger, try to avoid it.  

Do you have any tips or tricks for keeping your hands pain-free while you knit?  Let us know! 

A Review Of Addi Flexi Flips (addiCraSyTrio)

Addi Flexi Flips.png

Disclaimer: I purchased this product with my own money.  This product was not given to me for the purposes of review.  All opinions in this article are mine and I have not received any form of payment or compensation.  The links in this article are not affiliate links, I don’t benefit in any way if you click them.  

When I first heard about Addi Flexi Flips (I’m told my European friends know them as Addi CraSyTrio) I wanted to try them.  I have an innate *need* to try all things related to sock knitting.  I immediately (in September) ordered them from a local LYS and waited patiently for them to arrive from Germany.  They arrived last week!

What Are They?

These needles come in a package of 3 with a long test-tube-style hard plastic case.  They are a cross between DPNs and circular needles:  the 3.5 inch/9 centimetre metal tips are connected by a short 1 inch/2.5 centimetre cord between them for a total needle length of 8 inches/20 centimetres, measured tip to tip.  The idea is to cast your stitches onto 2 needles and use the 3rd needle to work the sts.  

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First Impression

Addi needles have a reputation for being high quality, and these needles are priced accordingly.  This set of needles set me back $32CAD (for perspective, I could purchase 6 sets of 2.25mm nickel 32 inch fixed circs from Knitpicks for the same amount of money).   

The tips are reminiscent of my other Addi needles: the cords are flexible, and the joins are smooth to the touch.  The information included with the needles explains that each needle has 2 different tips: one tip is the Addi Turbo tip and the other is the sharper Addi Rocket tip.  To be honest, I have trouble differentiating the tips and I have to poke my finger with both tips to determine which end is the sharper of the two.

Casting On

When knitting small circumference in the round, I use either magic loop or 4 DPNs (depending on which needles are available to me at the time).  I love and use both methods equally.  That being said, using these needles felt like knitting with DPNs, but less fiddly.  The quality is great, and the joins are super smooth.  I was able to adapt to them very quickly and I’m really enjoying knitting with them.  I haven’t turned a heel or worked a toe with them yet, but I don’t anticipate having any needle-related issues with either.

My Addi Flexi Flips in action...

My Addi Flexi Flips in action...

Bottom Line

Pros: high quality, choice of 2 tips with each needle, these would make great cable needles, they are easy to adapt to and would be ideal if you like magic loop but don’t like the cord, or if you like DPNs but wish you could use fewer needles.  

Cons: premium priced, the tips are difficult to distinguish from each other, the needle size is printed on the needle tip in silver which is really difficult to read, knitting socks two-at-a-time would not be possible with these needles.  

I would recommend this needles if:

  • You like to try all the things

  • Like DPNs but wish you could use fewer needles

  • Like Magic loop but dislike the excess cord

  • Like 2 circular needles but dislike the excess cord

I would not recommend these needles if:

  • You want to knit socks two-at-a-time

  • You want a more affordable needle

Have you used Addi Flexi Flips?  What do you think?

Who You Gonna Call?

Don't Cross The Streams has been released into the world...

Do you remember that line from the original Ghostbusters movie? Well that line has inspired 2 yarn colourways and a sock pattern.  

Green and purple are two of my favourite colours! I love them both. In all shades and when they're together, they make my heart sing! When Petra (the talented dyer at Undercover Otter) and I were talking about colours, I sent her some Pinterest photos of green and purple together. As a result of that conversation she made these colourways, 'I've Been Slimed!' and 'There is only Zuul'. Green and purple remind Petra of Ghostbusters (which is very cool), so in keeping with the theme, I've designed 'Don't Cross The Streams'.

Worked from the cuff down, 'Don't Cross The Streams' uses mosaic colourwork (only one colour is used on each row - no floats to deal with!) and slipped sts to create the cabled stitch pattern on the front of the leg and top of the foot. The sock features an afterthought heel (so as not to disturb the rhythm of the stitch pattern) and a rounded toe. The pattern is graded for 4 circumferences and the foot length is customizable. 

You can download 'Don't Cross The Streams' with a 25% discount until Monday November 27th, 2017 - no coupon code required. 


 

Indie Design GAL

The Indie Design Gift Along has started on Ravelry.  Over 200 knit and crochet designers are offering over 5,000 patterns at 25% off until Tuesday.  You can find my bundle of patterns here. 

Guess What Time It Is?

It's time for the Indie Designer Giftalong on Ravelry! I'm proud to be a participating designer for the 4th year in a row! 

The Indie Designer Gift-A-Long is an annual event on Ravelry where a large group (like hundreds) of knit and crochet designers pool their talents and patterns and offer a pre-holiday sales event followed by a huge KAL/CAL with lots of fun and prizes. 

Each designer offers a 'bundle' of their self-published patterns at a 25% discount during the sale period of November 21st - 28th. The coupon code is giftalong2017. You'll be able to find the patterns that I'm offering in the sale by clicking here (It's hidden until tomorrow - the big reveal for everything GAL related is November 21st).

I've had a behind-the-scenes peek and some awesome prizes have been donated this year! You can find the GAL (giftalong) by clicking here.  Will you be taking part in the GAL this year?  I hope to see you around the GAL forums on Ravelry! 

Bloom Where You're Planted

Bloom Where You're Planted has been released into the world...

The first time I saw this yarn I loved the delicate pink colour and the effect of the deeper flecks of pink speckled throughout the skein. My first thought was "this reminds me of cherry blossoms". When I contacted Emjay (the super talented dyer behind JOMA yarn) to tell her how gorgeous this yarn is, she told me that where she lives there isn't very much snow, but when the cherry trees release their blossoms and pink petals cascade through the air and gather in drifts on ground it's known as 'Pink Snow' which was the inspiration for this colourway. She captured it beautifully!

In addition to being good advice for life in general, "Bloom Where You're Planted" is inspired by cherry blossoms and growth so I wanted a pattern that would grow with the sock. 'Bloom Where You're Planted' is worked toe up and features a delicate, easy to memorize cable pattern that grows and 'blooms' as the sock grows and blooms. The sock features a sole flap and gussets and the stitch pattern continues on the front and back of the leg to the cuff. The pattern is graded for 5 circumferences and the foot length is customizable. 

You can download Bloom Where You're Planted with a 20% discount (no coupon code required) until Monday November 13th, 2017.  

 

In Other News...

I'm offering a new 5 day email challenge!  #SockGuru starts on Monday and will introduce you to new toe, heel, and cuff techniques for toe up socks! There will be fun and prizes and you can join the #SockStar Facebook group for fun and support (join the Facebook group anyway, we're an awesome bunch of sock knitters!)  You can sign up for the #SockGuru email challenge by clicking here.   This is my 4th email challenge, and might be my last for a while.  They are tons of fun, and super popular, but they are also lots of work and between design commitments, tech editing, and a book that I have in the works (yup, a book!),  I'll have to take a break from on-line teaching. 

Happy Knitting! 

My Adventures At Rhinebeck!

Welcome to my Rhinebeck photo album! 

Two weeks ago, the Husbeast and I packed up the kids, and made our first pilgrimage to the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival (affectionately referred to by knitters as Rhinebeck).  I've never been to Rhinebeck before and this was a knitting-bucket-list item for me.  

It was AMAZING!  It was HUGE!  It was a bit overwhelming.  I've been told about the amazingness, and hugeness of Rhinebeck by a lot of knitters, but I was still unprepared for how amazing and huge it actually is.  

We had summer like weather, unfortunately for all the knitters who raced to finish beautiful Rhinebeck sweaters only to have to put them in a bag or backpack to prevent heat stroke.  

We went both days.  The Saturday was mostly for shopping (!).  Here are some photos of my haul:

 

On the Sunday, I attended a Q&A panel for my friend Lisa and her knitting students.  It was a designer meet and greet and I got to hang out with a lot of awesome knitters.  I also attended the Ravelry meet up.  Oh, and I MET CLARA PARKES - it was a total fangirl moment for me; thankfully I had the presence of mind to ask for a selfie with her and ask her to sign her book for me.  

I also met Barbara Benson, Corrine Walcher, Emily Lipa, Jen Lucas, Lars Rains, Sloane Rosenthal, Lisa Barnes and Pam Maher.  It was so nice to meet online friends in real life.  Fiber people are seriously the best people!  Here are some photos from Sunday: 

 

It was a long and busy weekend (and a 16 hour round trip in the car), but totally worth it.  Have you ever been to Rhinebeck?  If you go next year, we might see each other.  

A Pattern For Caffeinated Knitters

Caffeine has been  released into the world...

This sock design named itself; watching the stitch pattern form and the ease with which it knits up is totally addictive so it was named for my addiction of choice, caffeine. The name seems especially appropriate when working with this beautiful tonal blend of rich, gorgeous browns (which also reminds me of my morning cup of caffeine) by Mon Sheep Shop.

It also seemed fitting to give this design a name that is pronounced the same in both French and English since the pattern was designed by an English speaking designer (me!) and the yarn was dyed by a French dyer (Cindy!).

I hope you find this pattern as addictive as the test knitters and I do.

Caffeine is worked from the toe up starting with a rounded toe and features a simple to memorize stitch pattern that uses dipped stitches along the top of the foot. The heel flap, gussets, and instep are worked together with no pesky gusset stitches to pick up and the stitch pattern continues on the front and back of the leg to the ribbed cuff.

The pattern is graded for 4 circumferences and the foot length is customizable.  

You can download Caffeine with a 20% discount, no coupon code required, until Monday October 30, 2017.  


It's hard to believe that we're already in the final stretch of 2017!  I'm starting to plan my pattern releases and online course offerings for 2018 and I'd love your opinion.  Your opinion will help me to tailor the content that I provide so that it's relevant and interesting to you!  Would you please fill out my survey?  I promise it won't take very long and it's anonymous.  I want to keep offering designs and courses and content that you like.   You can find my survey here. 

Happy Knitting! 

A Glimpse Into My Childhood With A New Sock Pattern

Phosphenes has been released into the world...

phos·phene
ˈfäsfēn
noun;plural noun: phosphenes
a ring or spot of light produced by pressure on the eyeball or direct stimulation of the visual system other than by light.
— Oxford Online Dictionary

Phosphenes is the grown up name of those cool shapes and colours that happen when you close your eyes tightly and rub them with your hands. When I was a kid, I loved rubbing my eyes, oohing and aahing over the kaleidoscope effect it created and then trying to open my eyes quickly enough to see all the colours, shapes and sparkles before they disappear. (I was really good at entertaining myself with this type of thing - we had no internet back then). 

This gorgeous yarn by Yarn Over New York has a hint of sparkle that reminds me of phosphenes and the stitch pattern was chosen to particularly play up the quick pops of colour that happen as you knit with it. The yarn is called "I❤ NY" and it's on her Broadway base. 

Phosphenes is worked cuff down starting with a tubular cast on (instructions are included and if you tend to cast on tightly, consider using larger needles for the cast on), a patterned heel flap and gussets and ends with a short row toe that is grafted closed with Kitchener stitch.  The pattern is graded for 5 circumferences and the foot length is customizable.

You can download Phosphenes with a 20% discount- no coupon code required - until Monday October 16th, 2017

Happy Knitting! 

Convergence Is Here

Convergence has been released into the world...

Convergence: the act of moving toward union or uniformity

The theory of convergence says that as societies develop they begin to converge and adopt or develop certain traits or characteristics of other developed societies.  I find this theory fascinating.  We live in interesting times; in my lifetime I've watched the world get smaller and smaller in so many ways (the fact that I carry the entire internet around in my purse, on my iPhone blows my mind).  We're able to connect with more people more quickly than ever before, yet in so many ways we've never been more disconnected from each other and in some ways we are more divergent than ever.  This design is inspired by the ebb and flow of convergence and divergence -  hopefully we are moving toward union

This pattern starts with 2 cable panels that are side by side at the top of the back of the leg of the sock.  The cable panels then separate and converge again on the front of the log just before the top of the foot.  Strategically placed increases and decreases help the cable panels to travel from the back to the front of the sock. 

The sample is knit using Simply Ewe Fiberworks River Street Sock in 'Golden Honey' and the name is absolutely perfect for this soft, mellow, golden yellow.  (She's taking names right now to dye up a special batch, so if you'd like a skein, your should head on over) 

Convergence is graded for 5 circumferences and the foot length is customizable. 

You can download Convergence with a 20% discount until Monday October 2nd - with no coupon code required!