13 March 2015

quick + purly: 5 skirts

Skirts. I love the idea and think they would knit up super-fast. I mean, no sleeve island, right? There is the notion that skirts bag out and are unflattering. These are not those. I think thoughtful yarn choice and careful swatching are critical for success, but I might just be up for that.

Have you knit a skirt? I'd love to hear how it went and if you enjoy wearing yours.
  1. "She's Electric" Aztec Pattern Bodycon Skirt by Lauren Riker $5 USD 
  2. Swirl Skirt by AnneLena Mattison $7 USD 
  3. Bold Move by Lorilee Beltman $6.50 USD 
  4. Flouncy Skirt by Cindy Craig $5 USD 
  5. Take-Two Skirt by Ann Budd $6.50 USD 

All images from the patterns' Ravelry pages. No copyright infringement intended - just want to spread the love!

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

11 March 2015

Add a Jane Austen Knits bundle to your Ravelry library

Jane Austen Knits bundle from Kathleen Dames

As you may know, I will have two new patterns in the next issue of Jane Austen Knits, but I can't share them with you until this Fall (and the way this Winter is going, it feels like that day will never come).

To tide you over, now you can add three of my most popular Jane Austen Knits designs to your Ravelry library for $15 ($21 value).
  • An Aran for Anne - figure-flattering with delicate botanical cables 
  • An Aran for Frederick - a modern take on classic cables for men and women 
  • Sotherton - feminine shape thanks to twisted stitches 
Already purchased one of these patterns on Ravelry? Thank you! You will be credited that amount at checkout. Use coupon code jakbundle at checkout or click the link above to add all three patterns to your cart and apply the code (and any credits).

Would you like to join a KAL for my Jane Austen Knits designs? I need to knit new Benwick and Kellynch Cardigan samples and would love some company. Let me know what you think in the forums.

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

09 March 2015

Bringing new knitters into the world!

Just got back from a fun morning of bringing new knitters into the world. Actually, some of them already knew how to knit. But still! A dozen grade schoolers are spending the week mastering the basics of knitting. How awesome is that?!

My kids' school does something called "Integrated Projects Week" every year before Spring Break. They break everyone out of the usual grade/classroom format and bring them together in interest groups to explore different topics with different teachers (and hopefully to put some of their academic learning into real-world practice). They visit museums, parks, libraries, even the LYS; they make movies and choreograph dances and a few of them even learn how to sail a sloop. It's a really neat idea that ends with everyone exhilarated and exhausted, including the teachers.

Today is the first day of IPW, so the Knitting Bee teachers invited me in to talk about what I do and answer some questions from the kids, like "what's my favorite yarn" and "how long have I been knitting" and "how many stitches did I know". The last was from a lovely crocheter (there are lots of stitches in crochet, right?), and I got to do my little shtick about knitting being binary (knits + purls = 0s + 1s). I've added a new bit to that, though, after working with more beginner knitters:

Most mistakes you make when you first learn to knit are the "fancy" techniques you use when you are an experienced knitter.

Think about it: yarnovers (why isn't the yarn in the back? I'll just wrap it around), short rows (how many times have you picked up your knitting in the middle of a row and accidentally started back before reaching the end of said row?), knitting a stitch in the row below (brioche!).

After talking a little bit about the knitting world, we dove into casting on and knitting away. When I teach a 1-hr class, I usually cast on for beginners and knit one row before class (we learn to cast on with our second swatch; the first we knit and bind off), but since we had the luxury of time (and they will be knitting away all week), we began with casting on long-tail-style. Do you remember when you learned to cast on? I always tell my students that it will take them a while to get it, but when they do it's like a switch was flipped. I love being around when the light goes on.

By lunch everyone was knitting, some with more gusto than others ("It's haaard!" Too true, but only practice will make it easier), and everyone was excited to take a break. But this afternoon they are going to start on actual projects, so they will get to the real fun. I'm going to meet up with them, hopefully, on Wednesday when they visit one of our LYSes. And, of course, I'll visit their Showcase on Friday to see what everyone made over the course of the week.

Have you ever taught someone else how to knit? I hope you found it as rewarding as I do :)

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

Off to talk to my Knitting Bee friends @the_school #tscipw2015

Off to talk to my Knitting Bee friends @the_school #tscipw2015 #iftttkd via Instagram http://bit.ly/1HmQrzw

06 March 2015

quick + purly: 5 stoles

Though snow is still part of the picture here, I want something lighter. Don't you? How about some stoles (rectangular shawls), but not the usual lacy ones. I lovelovelove lacy lace, but I'm not quite ready for it full-on. Plus, if you whip one of these out right away, you can wear it as a cozy scarf now and through the Spring/Summer. Here are five patterns that stand out for me right now.

  1. Mithrandir by Amy van de Laar $5 USD 
  2. Ginkgo Stole by yellowcosmo $4 USD 
  3. Nuvem by Martina Behm €3.80 EUR 
  4. Oblagon by LondonLeo $6 USD 
  5. Ruched Scarf and Wrap by Churchmouse Yarns and Teas $5 USD 
All images from the patterns' Ravelry pages. No copyright infringement intended - just want to spread the love!

Want to do your own browsing? There are five pages of lovely, lace-weight, rectangular shawls. Let me know what caught your eye.

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

04 March 2015

03 March 2015

Back-issue patterns available on Interweave (plus 30% off)!

Have you been waiting for some of my recent patterns to be available as individual downloads? All designs I have published with Interweave are available in the online store. And in honor of National Craft Month (did you know that was a thing?), you can get these patterns for 30% off at Interweave using with the code LUV2CRAFT.

Save 30% at Interweave Store with Offer Code LUV2CRAFT

Quadrille Pullover - flattering and feminine, I might need a cable/bobble fix this Spring (KAL, anyone?

Ozark Wrap - fun to knit and seriously cozy to wear (love mine during NYC's deep freeze) 

Kellynch Cardigan - another flattering sweater, this time with romantic lace detail and integrated buttonbands (this is my other candidate for a KAL - let me know if you would like to join me

Strawberry-Picking Shrug - a perfect, small project to master working lace on both sides 

Back issue patterns include:

Fine print: These are Interweave's reprints of my patterns as they appeared in various magazines, not kathleen dames | knitwear design editions. They will not show up in your Ravelry library, since they have not yet been published on Ravelry. You will receive a PDF direct from Interweave. I receive a small royalty payment for each pattern sold by Interweave, as well as an affiliate micropayment if you use the links in this email. I do plan to publish my own editions of these patterns on Ravelry once Interweave's 1-year exclusivity period is complete and when there is room in my publishing calendar. I will always provide support and love for you when knitting from any version of my patterns.

Until next time: Happy knitting!