18 December 2014

Interview on Denise's Needleworks

And now my interview with the lovely Denise is up on her blog here! Had such fun answering her questions.

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

15 December 2014

The Wonders of Violently Domestic

Are you a sock knitter? Then you probably already know the talented Hunter of Violently Domestic and Pantsville Press. I had certainly heard of Hunter and seen her Cabinet of Curiosity books, but because I am (embarassingly) not a sock knitter, I didn't really know too much about her. Thanks to the 2014 Indie Designer Gift-A-Long, I got a chance to check out Hunter's lovely work.

She has 159 designs on Ravelry! one. hundred. fifty-nine. And not just socks, but shawls, hats, cowls, and fingerless gloves, too. There is even a fun, free pattern for your very own whack of tentacles!

Gripping from Violently Domestic
Hunter published her first book, Silk Road Socks, with Cooperative Press back in 2011. Fourteen lovely sock patterns inspired by Oriental rugs. I remember hearing about that book, but it was the first of The Knitter's Curiosity Cabinet books that really caught my attention:

The Knitter's Curiosity Cabinet by Hunter Hammersen

Patterns inspired by vintage botanical illustrations?! What a lovely concept (and as an art director, I'm always excited to see work inspired by print publications) to inspire 20 sock and accessory patterns. The cover socks, Chrysanthemum frutescens socks, are my favorite. The photography (and photo direction) is also lovely, and impressive. I mean, how many ways are there to photograph socks (or other small accessories), really? Yet, each one is unique, showing off the details and the yarn.

Of curiosity cabinets in general, Hunter says:

Curiosity cabinets were collections of treasures—fossils and feathers, 
plants and paintings, skeletons and statues—assembled to help their 
owners make sense of the world. Offered here is a knitter’s interpretation 
of a curiosity cabinet. This is a collection, not of rocks and seeds and 
gemstones, but of fancy edgings, delicate lace, and captivating stitches 
all brought together to create charming sock and accessory patterns. 

Doesn't that sound wonderful? Who doesn't love a collection of treasures from the natural world? Hunter followed that up with two more volumes (because it's amazing how many treasures there are to be found once you start exploring):

The Knitter's Curiosity Cabinet, Volume II by Hunter Hammersen

Volume II focused on butterflies. Socks, hats, cuffs, cowls, and a lovely shawl.

The Knitter's Curiosity Cabinet, Volume III by Hunter Hammersen
And Volume III (after my own heart) found fodder in the sea. Again, accessories covering all major appendages, my favorite is a jellyfish-inspired chapeau.

Hunter has also published patterns with Knitty, the Rockin' Sock Club, Sockupied, and other highly-regarded publications. But it's her own books that she publishes through her independent Pantsville Press that grabbed my attention. Not only is she prolific, but the production values she brings to her patterns, books, and website are great. In browsing Violently Domestic, I came across a few posts that share some of the book writing/publishing process that you might enjoy: How to Write a Book and How to Organize a Book. But don't stop there! Hunter's blog is full of socks and yarn and cats and all sorts of adventures worth exploring.

What may be most impressive about Hunter and her knitting is her inauspicious beginning as told on her blog way back in ... wait for it ... 2009 (and that post was two years after she first learned to knit!) - what a great story! You've come a long way, lady :)

So, be sure to check out Hunter's blog and book sites, if you haven't already. And don't forget all the other talented designers who are part of the Indie Designer Gift-A-Long this year.

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

16 November 2014

Livestream recording. A digital age oxymoron.

Final prep for my talk

Talking as captured by Penelope

You can hear my talk in the livestream recording here: 

I'm on from about the 8:30 mark to 15:30. The easiest thing to do is to hold down the fast forward button and advance to my talk (at least that was easiest for me - when I tried to drag the progress bar to the right spot it jumped all over). But don't just click the fast forward thing, as it will just skip to the end that way. Ah, technology. 

They have to slice the livestream recording into all the different presentations before it goes up on YouTube, but I'll be sure to send out that link when I get it. 

It was a great day. All the speakers were so interesting, and I was particularly impressed with how well the students spoke. And the workshop was fun. It's always neat to see what other people come up with. 

Penelope got to spend a little time at AJ Jacobs's workshop on the Global Family Reunion and learned that we are related to Ringo and Paul (she's a Beatles fan), as well as George Washington.  She wants there to be TED talks at school every day :)

This talk was also a good warmup for me for my designer talk in January at Knitty City. More on that as we get closer. 

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

15 November 2014

Livestream of TEDxYouth@TheSchool


You can catch the whole event today from 11-2. My talk will be some time before noon. And the talks will be archived on YouTube afterwards. 

The sweaters that are coming with me to the talk. They look very excited, don't they ;)

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

13 November 2014

Indie Design Gift-A-Long 2014!

It’s that time of year, folks! This year I’ve joined the Indie Design Gift-A-Long, since it sounded like such fun last year. I hope you’ll join me.
What is the Indie Design Gift-A-Long?
It’s prepping for the holidays as only fiber folks can, with special deals from tons of indie designers!
The Indie Design Gift-A-Long is a 2 month long KAL/CAL of holiday gifts made from patterns designed by 293 independent designers. From November 13 at 8pm US EST through - November 21, 2014 at 11:59pm US EST these 293 indie designers will be discounting between 4 - 20 of their patterns 25% for this event. There are eight KAL/CALs to participate in, prizes of all sorts given out, games, and generally a lot of fun! The Gift-A-Long KAL/CALs will run from November 13 at 8pm US EST through - December 31, 2014 at 11:59pm US EST
This year the Gift-A-Long is run on US EST so here is a link to a world clock time converter so you can all keep track of how that related to the time where you are: click here
Which Designers are participating?
We have a list of participating designers with photos here
We have a page just listing all the participating designers here.
Which patterns are discounted?
All the participating designers have posted in this thread including a link to the bundle of patterns they are discounting, and showing a photo so that you can get a sense of their style, if you aren’t already familiar with them. In addition, some of our industrious indie design elves have put together an amazing group of Pinterest boards that will allow you to browse through lots of designs at the same time. You can find all the links to the different boards here.
How do I get the discount?
It’s easy peasy! Just purchase the patterns you want directly from the designers’ Ravelry shops between 8 pm US EST on Thursday, November 13th and 11:59 pm on Friday, November 21st, and enter the coupon code giftalong2014 at checkout and 25% will be automatically taken off the total price.
And here are the patterns I’ve discounted for the Gift-A-Long:

11 November 2014


Very excited to share with you all that I will be speaking at TEDxYouth@TheSchool (be sure to check out the charming video at that link) this Saturday. This year's TEDxYouth theme is Worlds Imagined, so I will talk a bit about knitting and creativity, my design process and such. It's only a five minute talk, so hopefully I won't fall over :) The event will be live-streamed along with other TEDxYouth events all over the world, and I'll be sure to share the YouTube video when it's all said and done.

I'm off to rewrite my speech for the umpteenth time and pull together my slide show. Tomorrow I'll share another newly published design, so be sure to visit again soon.

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

07 November 2014

New pattern: Strawberry-Picking Shrug

Hop on over to Jane Austen Knits for my next design.

Strawberry-Picking Shrug, Jane Austen Knits 2014

Perfect for Emma to wear on a visit to Donwell Abbey, the Strawberry-Picking Shrug is pretty enough for Emma, while warm enough to satisfy Mr. Woodhouse's fears of catching a chill. Knit in Malabrigo's Lace yarn in the Cactus Flower colorway, this project is a manageable introduction to lace knitting on both sides of the work. 

Strawberry-Picking Shrug, Jane Austen Knits 2014

Since the shrug is worked as a rectangle, you won't have to fuss with shaping within this pattern, which will give you the freedom to concentrate on the two-sided lace. Can you see the delicate single strands radiating out from each strawberry? That's thanks to the decreases and yarnovers being worked on both sides. When you create lace with a stockinette stitch base, you usually purl back or knit alternate rounds, which creates two-strand lines in your lace. While that kind of lace is lovely (and the kind I usually play around with because, let's be honest, who doesn't love a soothing purl-back row or alternate round of knit stitches?), there is a delicacy to lace worked on both sides.

Two tiny seams and a few ends to weave in are all you'll have to do to finish this project. If you're ready to take your knitting skills to the next level, this pretty little shrug should be your next project.

Order your own copy of Jane Austen Knits 2014. Or grab one at your LYS - Small Business Saturday is coming up on November 29th!

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