Monday, April 6, 2015

I can't believe I'm actually knitting AND reading

I'm knitting and reading, but not at the same time. Still can't manage that unless it's an audio book. And then I'm knitting and listening. But lately I've been reading physical books and I'd forgotten how much faster I can finish a book if I read it rather than listen. I know I can speed up an audio book, but that seems wrong.

But I am still knitting every single day and I'm loving it.  The best part right now is that I made a great choice of yarns for my Ring of Kerry.


This is my first time knitting with cotton and it has taken me a while to get used to the kind of "splittyness" of it. It isn't horrible, I think I've just been spoiled by the super-yummy experience of knitting cashmere, and merino. I know the lightness of it will be perfect in the months ahead. And I'm super excited about the colors. Hard to believe that orange was once one of the colors I didn't care for much. I've been gravitating toward it recently.


I decided that like knits, a little instant gratification was in order on the reading front as well. When I spoke with Jen Lucas about her new book, we also talked about reading. She'd been on a Rainbow Rowell kick and I knew other people who have been singing her praises. I finally snagged a copy of "Eleanor & Park" from my library and have jumped on the fan bandwagon. The beauty and charm of this story is so wonderful.

I also managed to snag a copy of "Girl on the Train," and could not put it down. I read it in every single spare moment (not much knitting or anything got done during those days). What a thriller!

My book club read "The Book of Unknown Americans" by Christina Henriquez and we agreed that it would be a book we would be recommending to everyone we know. It was also chosen as a "Silicon Valley Reads" book about the immigrant experience.

I like to read essays before going to sleep and on my bedside table has been "Bad Feminist" by Roxane Gay. These are smart, witty, and thought provoking essays on American culture.

What have you been reading?

Knit On!
Tricia (@cheekyattitude)

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Blue Skies

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My needles have been busy knitting on a new design for Stitches South, with some lovely Plucky Knitter Primo fingering.

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I was so proud of our Notre Dame Men's Basketball team too! I certainly couldn't knit during that Kentucky game though!

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I have a lovely holiday weekend last weekend and it started with this lovely lavender latte and knitting by the fire. Just perfect.

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I really need to get some knitting done to get to the lace section though. Time to knit like the wind this weekend.

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What's on your needles this week? Hopefully something that is bringing you joy. 

Happy Knitting!
xoxo Irishgirlieknits

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Happy Spring!

With apologies to the parts of the world still covered in snow, I'm happy to call it Spring in hopes that we will get much needed Spring Showers in California. 

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The ladies at knit night know I'm likely to bring a tiny project more often than a big one. I like to knit tiny things (pumpkins are a favorite) while I'm waiting to decide on a new project or even when I'm working on a larger project that I need a break from. 

Tiny thing = instant gratification.

Recently I discovered the "Henry's Bunny" pattern by Sara Elizabeth Kellner and decided to make it even smaller by using size 0 needles on some sock yarn scraps. Doesn't it look adorable in the little Easter basket?

I went back to my pinterest boards and found a slew of little Spring and Easter knits. The most recent is this precious lamb! I simply must get some crochet skills down.



Meanwhile, I've caught Spring fever and have decided to knit "Ring of Kerry" in cotton from my stash. I think it will be perfect for our climate, and I'll get a lot of wear out of it in the upcoming months.


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Happy Knitting!
Tricia

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Alyeska

Need an instant gratification project? I got one for you!

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Grab 220 yards of your favorite bulky weight yarn and cast on my new design.

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Last minute weekend plans for a trip to the snow? With an easy-to-memorize pattern and bulky yarn, this cowl will knit up in no time. It’s hard not to wish you were already wearing this cowl and enjoying the view atop snowy Mt. Alyeska, Alaska.

Pattern Notes: Instructions are written for a cowl that is worked in the round from the bottom up. A chart is provided on the last page.

Suggested Yarns: 220 yards of bulky weight yarn such as The Plucky Knitter Snug, Quince & Co. Puffin, Spud & Chloe Outer, Knitted Wit Cotton Candy, Malabrigo Yarn Chunky, Blue Sky Alpacas Bulky    

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Shown in The Plucky Knitter Snug, colorway Holloway

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On sale for $4.50 until March 31 (because, really, after that, who wants snow?!). And if you buy it today, don't forget to use the BOGO free pattern coupon code: LUCKY (more details here).

Happy Knitting!
xoxo Irishgirlieknits


Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

You guys know I love this day!! I've been listening to my Irish music all week... you ready for some toe-tapping this morning?!


I can't wait for my sister to send me pictures of Magpie this morning. I babysat her a week or two ago and it was clear auntie dressed her!

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Looking for that pot of gold?  Goodness I'm so smitten with this cutie pie!


And let's not forget it's also time for our annual Irish Girlie Knits BOGO free pattern sale!

Here are the details everyone...
March 17-18

BOGO Free! with the coupon code: LUCKY


Buy one pattern, get one free (lesser priced pattern will be free; Merrily and Sleepy Hollow Collections included, but other ebook collections excluded)!

Only includes patterns published by Irish Girlie Knits Designs in my Ravelry shop here (e.g., does not include patterns published by Kollage Yarns, BMFA).

Discount can be used more than once, but patterns must be bought in multiples of 2 (e.g., 2, 4, 6…). Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Feel free to share this info with your friends or any appropriate groups on Ravelry. The more the merrier!


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I'll be wearing my Ring of Kerry today!

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And I can't wait to come home and taste Pa's corned beef and cabbage! How about you? Isn't everyone just a little bit Irish today?



Happy St. Paddy's Day!
xoxo Irishgirlieknits


Thursday, March 12, 2015

Congratulations to our Winner of "Dress to Impress Knitted Scarves"

Thank you so much to everyone who participated in the giveaway.

Interested in more prizes?

In the IGK Designs Ravelry Group there's KALs and more!
Join the special Irish Destinations KAL here.

Barbara, message me (CheekyAttitude) on Ravelry with your address and I'll ship the book out to you.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Stitches Fiber, Fun and Friends

I still can't believe just two weeks ago was Stitches West, and I think it was the best one so far. I had such a fabulous time seeing friends from all over and looking at all the yummy yarn.

I love the Anzula Ladies and Hilary for The Yarniad.

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And the Yarnover Truck is always a hoot and a half. Perfectly photobombed!


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Luckily I was there Thursday night for some early shopping. I started out by heading straight over to Jennie the Potter.

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And I got some of the gorgeous gradients from YOTH. They were certainly one of the most popular booths, and it was their first Stitches! But I also bought some of their fresh palette yarn which is just lovely too. Veronika and her team were so warm and welcoming, it was so exciting to see a new yarn be received with such enthusiasm!


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I also picked up a yummy kit from Verb along with one of Romi's gorgeous pins.

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Canon Hand Dyes had some bags that were to die for. Happy Birthday to me!

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Friday was the big day at the Anzula booth, my Irish Girlie Knits Designer Meet and Greet.

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Thanks so much to everyone who came by.  You guys are awesome! I had so much fun helping pick out yarn for patterns.

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I also got to meet Mari, co-founder of Kitterly. They are an awesome website that kits up patterns and yarn together for you (and you'll see some of my IGK patterns there!).

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Saturday was the relaxing day of the weekend and @snbLeslie booked us a spa day.

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I was rejuvenated for the final day.

This year the Webs booth not only included Debbi, but I also got to see Marcy!

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It's been too long ladies!


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 Miss Babs and I plotted yarns for some new designs

All the while, I was inspired to work on something new. Here's a sneak peek knitted in Plucky's new cashmere, along with a Miss Babs varigated yarn that would be perfect, don't you think?


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And to think, all this fun and I didn't even show you all the yarn!!

Don't forget you still have time to enter to win a copy of Pam Powers' lovely book here!

Happy Knitting!
xoxo Irishgirlieknits

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Interview with Designer Pam Powers. Win a Copy of "Dress-to-Impress Knitted Scarves."


I met Pam Powers at the Needlework Association conference (TNNA) a few years ago and quickly became smitten with her designs. They all have a bit of a surprise element such as a knitted floral embellishment or unusual construction. I recently asked Pam for an inside look into her designer life and her answers to my questions are below.


Her new book "Dress-to-Impress Knitted Scarves: 24 Extraordinary Designs for Cowls, Kerchiefs, Infinity Loops & More" has just been released and Pam has generously donated a copy to give away.  


What was your path from knitter to designer and what made you start selling your designs?

I started altering patterns to look like garments and accessories I had seen in stores.  From there, it wasn’t much of a leap to start designing from scratch.  People started asking me if I would knit and sell accessories I was wearing, but of course you really can’t charge for the amount of hours invested, so I never went down that path.  I then stumbled across Ravelry, and the rest is history.


You've said that you start with a "theme" when designing, can you give us an example?
Well it could be an outfit—like a slip dress with a cardigan, for example.  I think about what type of knitted accessory would work well with it, probably starting with a shape (maybe an ascot with flowy ends), then apply stitch pattern (probably lace) and yarn (sport or fingering weight).  

Can you share with us the day-to-day life of an independent designer? Do you set aside time each day to work on designs? What about other aspects of the business?

I run the schedule of a stay-at-home mom.  Things are a little easier now that my 17-year-old son has his own car.  But I still drive my 15-year-old daughter around—she trains in a pre-professional ballet program, so it requires a lot of time from both of us.  I can usually squeeze in 4-5 hours of work during the day which is usually business stuff—answering emails and the logistics of pattern sales.  I then design and knit at night, starting at about 10 pm until 2-3 am.  I have been trying to get more sleep lately, which makes this schedule a little more palatable.  I also work pretty extensively over the weekend.  


Where does blogging fit in? Would you advise designers to have a blog?
It doesn’t.  I have to put it in my schedule.  A blog post can take up to 8 hours to produce, and it is not necessary to run my day-to-day business, so it tends to get pushed to the bottom of my list.  

I would advise to have a blog, but you need to have some kind of hook whether it be tricks and tips, a funny outlook or compelling photos.  There’s a lot of competition out there, so it’s hard to get people on board and keep them there.


The photographs on your blog are very artistic and professional looking. How long have you been taking photos? How did you learn?

I’ve been doing photography in some respect for probably over 25 years.  I’ve taken A LOT of photography classes over the last 5 years and have picked up tricks along the way.


Where do you go for design inspiration?

The internet is a great resource.  I look at fashion—different brands and stores.  I love Anthropologie and Free People.  I try to steer clear of looking at other knitwear designers though, so I can stay original.


What is something surprising that has come from being a knitwear designer?

When people ask me to sign something—I never in my wildest dreams thought I would be giving autographs.


What's the most common misconception you run into when you tell people what you do?
When people hear “knitting”, they think it’s a hobby because they can’t wrap their head around the fact that someone could actually do what I do for a living.  

What's on the horizon for Pam Powers Knits?
I’m trying to get a pattern or two out for Spring, then I will be starting to put some patterns together for Fall.  I will have a booth at Vogue Knitting Live Pasadena in April where I will be selling patterns and kits.
Thanks for including me in your blog.  Those were great questions!



Big thanks to Pam for taking the time to share with us. If you want to enter for a copy of the book, leave a comment below before the end of the day Wednesday March 11th with your email address or Ravelry ID. 

Happy Knitting!
Tricia (@CheekyAttitude)






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