24 July 2014

JAK collection from Interweave

Interweave has put together a collection of the three Jane Austen Knits issues on CD or as an instant download. For $29.99 you get 95 patterns including five of mine: An Aran for Anne, An Aran for Frederick, A Vest for Charles, Benwick, and Sotherton. There are also entertaining and informative articles to enjoy. 
An Aran for Anne 

I'm posting from my phone so links can't be formatted. Here is where you can get your JAK collection:

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!
xoxo, Kathleen 

15 July 2014

Trip Report: Berlin, part 2

Views of urban living

Moon rising over the courtyard (loved the windows in the apartment: if you turned the handle horizontally, the window would tilt in with a 6" opening at the top, and if you turned the handle up vertically, the whole window would open on the left and swing into the apartment. No screens, lots of fresh air, and surprisingly few bugs. In our NYC apartment, the windows are bumpered to only open about 12" and that opening is covered with a guard - guess we can't trust anyone not to fall out of a window in this country!

One wall of the courtyard is covered with this creeping, blooming vine. The green wall is delightful!

View into the courtyard from the street entrance. Everyone has a bicycle. Wish this blog had smell-o-vision so you could enjoy the lovely whiff of lilies every time you walk through. Sometimes the lily is too overwhelming inside, but it was just right out in the garden. 

Heading out of the courtyard for the final chemo

Venturing out on my own. Virtually everything is recycled, and the bins behind me were for compost, trash, and all the different recyclables. You can see my sister's bicycle in the left, though I somehow missed capturing her sparkly silver streamers and bell. 

 These "stumble upon" bricks are scattered amongst the cobblestones between the main sidewalks and building all over Berlin in memory of individuals who were taken by the nazis. A small yet strong reminder

Such a wide variety of architectural styles everywhere. Some colorful, some plain, some old, some new. 

Trip Report: Berlin, part 1

Last week I went to Berlin to spend some time with my sister. She was diagnosed with breast cancer this winter and was having her last chemo treatment in Monday. I was so happy I could be with her. Her strength and good spirits through her treatment to date have been amazing. 

If you follow me on social media (links in the sidebar), you may have seen these, but I thought I'd share them here in the blog, too, and relive my German adventure. 

Yarn for travel projects (clockwise from top left): a sweater's worth of  Pashmina in Bloomsbury to be reknit after the cardigan I made didn't work gauge-wise; Silk Lace in Manor for a square lace shawl design; Prairie in Esoteric for a light cardigan design; and Tosh Sock in Ms. Taylor for a lace front pullover that also had a gauge problem. Guess this was a Tosh Trip!

A World Cup quarter final game took place while I was waiting for my flight at JFK. Every place with a tv screen was mobbed. This was the international terminal, after all. 

One of the artistic apples on display in the terminal "In Honor of Helsinki". 

After dropping off my bags, we strolled through the local weekend flea market. Not surprisingly I was drawn to this wee knit lace doily. 

The big excitement was realizing that there was a yarn store across the street from mysisters's apartment

Needles & Pins is a little subterranean shop with a small but nice selection of wool and needles and a nice English-speaking proprietress. Thank goodness most Germans speak some English, so I could manage when I went out without my sister. 

To help with my jet lag (and really just to enjoy the lovely weather), we walked in the park, admired the tumbling stream, and quaffed a stein of beer in the Biergarten 

It was definitely a lovely time of year to visit. Almost everywhere you looked, something was growing and blooming. 

04 July 2014

Happy July! 20% off all accessory patterns

To celebrate July and summer and all things hot in the Northern Hemisphere, you get 20% off all accessory patterns in my Ravelry store - no coupon necessary!

While I may have a pile of wool in my lap, you should definitely choose something smaller :)

Maybe get a head start on holiday gifts? My JOY garland is a great stash buster, as are the Matryoshkas, and I bet there is someone who could use a lovingly handknit tie - Dennis, anyone?

I'm off to Germany on Saturday to visit my dear sister, so there will be a shawl in my future. They really are the perfect travel knitting: one skein laceweight or fingering yarn + one needle (maybe a set of DPNs) + one pattern = one souvenir FO. Hap-py was a vacation knit that has enough going on to keep your interest, but not so much that you need to lock yourself away.

To be the first to hear about such sales, join my newsletter mailing list here. I promise never to sell your information (ew) or pester you too often (it's been once every couple of months, but things are picking up, and I plan to share something with you once or twice a month).

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!
xoxo, Kathleen

03 July 2014

A Vest for Charles + Benwick now available from Interweave as individual downloads

A Vest for Charles and Benwick are now available from Interweave as individual downloads, and it looks like they are on sale at the moment.

A Vest for Charles - download from Interweave

Benwick - download from Interweave

For those of you who are kind enough to worry, please know that I do receive a royalty on all patterns sold by Interweave. However, I will sell my own versions of these patterns once the exclusivity term is up, which will be late Fall 2014, at which point I will make them available on Craftsy, Etsy, and, of course, Ravelry.

20 June 2014

Bloc Party: note on handspun

Just a quick note to give you some more information on approximately how much handspun you will need for the yoke of Bloc Party, since the original pattern information provided skein quantities (and everyone's handspun skein is different):

Approximate CC quantities: 208, 252, 300, 352, 408, 468, 532yds fingering weight yarn or 2.3, 2.8, 3.4, 3.9, 4.6, 5.3, 5.9oz. fiber

Those are, of course, calculated amounts based upon my gauge using Wooly Wonka's lovely handspun, so YMMV.

And in case I forgot to mention it in my last post, in addition to roving + yarn kits (see link above), Anne is also offering all yarn kits for those of us who are not yet spinners. (If I didn't already have two of these cardigans, I would be sorely tempted to pair two more of Anne's amazing colorways and knit another!)

I'll leave you with a shot from the first photo shoot - I was obsessed with doing a jump shot and nearly re-broke my big toe bouncing up and down in those shoes :)

The crazy awesome glitter platform heels!

Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!
xoxo, Kathleen

11 June 2014

Pattern: Bloc Party cardigan, Knitty, First Fall 2014

Today is a frabjuous day, calloo callay: I have a new pattern to share with you in the First Fall 2014 issue of Knitty (or, more accurately, KnittySpin)! Bloc Party cardigan is a fingering-weight button-up with a sideways yoke knit in the most divine handspun (courtesy of my talented friend Anne of Wooly Wonka).

There's some clever short-row action in the yoke to shape it up over the shoulders, but don't worry if you've never done short rows: in this garter stitch yoke you don't even have to wrap the stitches! The body is knit simply (no shaping, but you could add your own; however, the Wooly Wonka Artio Sock with its gleaming silk content drapes so beautifully that you don't really need it), and the sleeves, as written, are 3/4 to add a little femininity (again, you could make the sleeves longer - up to you).

So, you start with the sleeves and body at the lower hems and knit your way up to join them. There's an integrated button band.

Then the yoke is worked sideways, nipping off a body stitch every other row. Your finishing work consists of sleeve seams (if I'm working a cardigan flat, I work the sleeves flat, too, to make sure my gauge is consistent), weaving underarm stitches, and putting on some fabulous buttons.

Can you believe those buttons?! They are a perfect, sparkly, purple match for this sweater. I found them on one of my button hunts early this spring at M&J Trimming. The purple sparklers don't seem to be available online, but lots of other options are (and check out my vintage and handmade button treasuries on Etsy. If you want to go on a button hunt with me sometime, let me know. I'd be happy to put together a little tour of my favorites (check in later this week for my newest discovery).

And then you'll be ready to party!

Anne has created kits if you want to spin and knit your own. She's even been kind enough to offer a kit with commercially spun yarn for the yoke, if you're not a handspinner (and aren't lucky enough to convince your bud to spin some for you :)

I showed a version of Bloc Party to Anne back when it was in commercial yarn (Jaggerspun Maine Line in Pewter and Madeline Tosh Sock in the Rhubarb colorway, which was the impetus for this design - how could I best show off this beautiful and highly variegated yarn?!). As a talented dyer and spinner, her mind immediately jumped to how great this design would work with handspun. I'd submitted it to Knitty in it's colorful iteration, but Amy thought it might have more appeal in a more moderate version. So, Anne, Amy, KnittySpin editor extraordinaire Jillian, and I put our heads together and came up with this. I love my original, but there is something so special about this version with it's beautiful color and luscious silk - party shoes are definitely required!