daily making, june knit and crochet edition

I’m still actively participating in the year of making project (though I’m pretty bad about tagging properly in flickr, so I suggest following my instagram account). Today I thought I’d round up some of the items I knit and crocheted since returning from Indianapolis and TNNA.

Last week I finished a lovely sample knit (colourwork mittens), Iðunn’s Garden by Shannon Okey. The book is available for pre-order as PDF download or hard copy. The yarn is the lovely Kashmir by Fiber Optic Yarns, using both a paintbox and a regular skein (there are leftovers). I look forward to the release of this book, the mittens I’ve seen are beautiful. Here’s a preview with the motif slightly obfuscated until the patterns are released:


After lots of snuggle knitting, I finished a shawl, Brickless by Martina Behm. This was knit in less than one ball of Corrie Sock (75% Superwash Corriedale wool/25% nylon) in new colour Tundra. I bound off on Sunday (while crossing the Bear Mountain Bridge), but have yet to block it! There will be better photos once it’s been completely finished.

brickless-bindoff brickless-snuggles HappyFuzzyYarn-Tundra

A good friend’s daughter was born a bit early this week, so I knitted a quick little beret for her. She and her mum and dad are doing well and I hope to hear she outgrows it soon in health and happiness.

2014-06-12-hat 2014-06-12-hat-WIP

I’m also finally past whatever block was delaying a crochet design. Now I’m trying to find extra moments in the day to work on it. The yarn is the very lovely Milky Way from Anzula Luxury Fibers (received at TNNA in 2013!).


Despite my love of Tom Bihn products, I wasn’t that into my Yarn Stuff Sacks, preferring box bags. Since the arrival of my Little Swift, I’ve been using them more frequently (mostly because the projects residing in my box bags are being ignored). I can say that I now like them for smaller quick projects and storing the extra yarn for larger projects. I see more YSS and possibly a TSS or two in my future. Though one day I hope to finally decide on a new box bag.

afghans for Afghans is specifically collecting wool baby hats and socks for ages newborn to one year during the month of June. Questions? Please visit their site. Note: please do not send preemie hats.

immerse yourself in a beautiful book

Last summer I heard about an amazing novel that a friend of friends wrote. Beautiful Wreck caused readers to stay up all night to finish. I like novels like that! The novel was a magical blend of science fiction, fantasy, time travel, Iceland, and even included Vikings. I knew I wanted to read it.

But before I tell you more, let me send you on a brief diversion. Today while I was finalizing this post, I came across an article on NPR’s website about a Sensory Fiction project out of MIT’s Media Lab. Augmented fiction that would help me to actually feel what characters feel while I’m reading? Wow. That sounds more like far science fiction. I think that would be lots of fun.

After hearing so many good things about the book, I begged the publisher, aka Shannon for an early copy in exchange for a review posted to goodreads and amazon. (disclaimer: CP is a client for other projects and publisher of a book with one of my designs. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)

After much begging on my part and promising to not fall behind in work, I received the ARC on a very good Monday mail day, and fell in love with it that weekend. As I had warning that it was a stay-up-all-night-to-finish book, I (somehow) waited until Friday night to start and then spent much of the next day finishing it. It was good. Very very good. So good I knew if I kept the ARC in the house I’d reread it immediately and that wouldn’t be good for deadlines. I asked if I could send it on to Melanie so I could have another someone to talk to it about before it was released. With a yes, I sent it on and worked while I waited to learn that she loved it too.

That book is now available for sale and there’s a very special promotion for tomorrow, Friday 07 February 2014. There are additional incentives for purchasing and even more if you post a review. You see, the author is not just an amazing writer, she’s also a very talented knitwear designer. Over the course of researching and writing this book, a pattern collection was designed. Please learn more about the promotion, purchase the book and add your review!

My initial thoughts on this book are below, but I really think Melanie’s is the review I wish I could write. I’m excited to buy a copy so I can immerse myself again in this wonderful book while the gulf between fiction and reality blurs.

Beautiful WreckBeautiful Wreck
by Larissa Brown
Published 2014 by Cooperative Trade

Without a doubt, Beautiful Wreck is one of the best novels I’ve read recently. While on the surface it could be categorized under certain genres such as fantasy and romance, it dispenses with the usual clichés associated with these classifications and tosses them away to forge a new path. We are transported from a near-future, which is enthralled by visions of the past, to the imagined past of Iceland in the year 920 which full of beauty and hope for the future.

We watch Ginn discover a reality thought unattainable and beyond her wildest dreams. She has yearned for an immersion of indistinct boundaries where she could actually experience “art, magnificent in its fervent detail”, what happens to her when the impossible arrives?

Brown’s writing describes a world that makes me wish for the tank. Ginn’s experiences draw you in from the very start without any desire to tap out, so plan ahead and clear your schedule (or prepare for a sleepless night).

i love yarn!

12-12-2012-InstagramTomorrow, Friday 11 October, 2013 is I Love Yarn Day.

Yes, I love yarn!

How can you show your appreciation of yarn this Friday and every day? There are many ways. Below, I’ve identified two that I feel help share the greatest amount of yarn love.

Knit or crochet for charity.

Lion Brand Yarn Studio is collecting handmade hats, gloves, scarves, and socks to donate to Hats for the Homeless.

Webs is collecting hats for the Ravelry Podcaster Throwdown to donate to Halos of Hope.

Or you could tweet/post on facebook using hash tag #caribouknits, and for each one, Caribou Coffee will machine-knit an inch of scarf for charity. Still not convinced? Annie Modesitt explains more.

You can also send children’s hats to Pat Pats Hats. Looking for a pattern? There’s always my littlerest preemie hat pattern in a soft sport-weight cotton.

Looking for even more places to donate? Lion Brand has compiled an extensive (and international) database resource, Charity Connection.

Help support a small business.

Many of my friends run small businesses that are in some way related to yarn. I’d love to mention them all. That would be a very long, link heavy post. Here are three, because well, A, B, C

Anzula is looking for contributions to their indiegogo campaign to make their yarn factory even cooler. How do I mean? Dye pots are hot. They’d really love to invest in a proper HVAC system to keep their employees safe and cool.

Disclaimer: Anzula is incredibly supportive of indie designers. They provided even me with yarn support after I met with them this summer at TNNA. I’m finalizing those designs and hope to release them soon, below is a preview of one in their beautiful Haiku. Their yarns are divine and I enjoy working with such wonderful yarns and people.


Baah Yarn also has incredible colourways. I’m working on a commissioned piece in La Jolla and it’s also splendid to work with. You can look for Baah Yarns at a yarn store near you.

Cooperative Press has a growing catalog of titles helpful for all skill levels. It is difficult to chose a few to highlight. Over the past few months, I find myself thumbing most through: Andi Smith‘s Big Foot Knits, Anna Dalvi‘s Shaping Shawls, Kate Atherley‘s Beyond Knit & Purl, and all the issues of Knit Edge Magazine. Disclaimer: Cooperative Press is a client and one of my designs is in a book they published. I’d be recommending their books even without this disclaimer.

What are your I Love Yarn! Day plans?

I plan to work on editing several designs that are close to release, if the weather cooperates I hope to photograph new handknit items for sale, and I’m still working on the sleeves of E’s Sweater — with luck maybe I’ll teach him to knit a stitch or two.

book review: market yourself

Market Yourself: A Marketing System for Smart and Creative Business OwnersMarket Yourself: A Marketing System for Smart and Creative Business
by Tara Swiger
164 pages, 34 worksheets
1 star for book review 1 star for book review 1 star for book review 1 star for book review 1 star for book review

Networking is not easy. For many of us, hearing the words “you just have to market yourself”, make us sprint for the shower and soap. We feel like are screaming “look at all I do” and that makes us feel dirty and icky. In this approachable book, Tara Swiger has developed an amazing resource that will help you learn how to market your small business in a comfortable way.

With over 34 worksheets and other helpful tips (such as hints for writing your bio) she helps you to refine your message and use the right tools (both online and off) to bring it to your Right People.

While she has written this guide with an eye to those with crafts businesses