Friday, June 29, 2012

Knitspot FIFC Blog Tour

I'm so excited to be the first stop of Anne Hanson's Knitspot Fall in Full Color Blog Tour! I was a member last year and signed up again this year, but before I gush over how much I love the club, I want to share a bit of background.

I've been fortunate to take a number of classes from Anne thanks to Sock Camp and over the past year or two she has been so helpful in answering my questions about designing, teaching, and how the industry works.  But I still remember the first class I took from her about sock design at camp.  I had even already designed a few patterns at that point.  But when she pulled out all of her swatches, I knew I was in way over my head.  I might have said something to the effect that I rarely swatched (but I did, just not quite like that).  Her look of slight shock (ok, horror probably!) had me worried she would forever remember me as that sock designer who never swatched.  Or one of the crazy sock campers who talked about Twilight all the time.  Both bad...haha!



But now, when I do swatch, I smile and think, "Anne would be so proud."  See, I swatched for Kate's wedding shawl.  And ideally, I would have liked to swatch more for that but I was on a time crunch.

Swatch 1: Liked the gauge, not a fan of the transition and the edging

Swatch 2: Didn't like the fabric at this gauge, but figured out the transition and edging. Almost win!

Which brings me to one of the major reasons why I signed up for Fall in Full Color again this year, especially when I've scaled back on most clubs.  That reason is Anne's designs in the club aren't just patterns.  They are like chapters of a book, with each chapter being about her design process, yarn selection, tips and tricks for the pattern, information about the dyers (which are all pretty awesome!), and all paired with her lovely photography.  As a designer, I'm learning so much from the insight Anne shares.  Erica described it so perfectly when she wrote, "Page after page, I felt like I was sitting outside Anne's studio peering into the window watching a master work."

Some of my favorite designs from last year's club ....

Hazeline in Shalimar Yarns Breathless

 Longshadows in Spirit Trail Fiberworks Nona

Squall in New Hue Handspuns Lace BamHuey

All just lovely, right?  And those are only 3 of the 8 designs.  Such gorgeous yarns too!  Yes,  Anne selects these unique fibers from a number of independent dyers and there is even an option to sign up for extra skeins.  Oh, if only my stash didn't overflow, I'd sign up for the whole club, and not just the ebook version.  Tricia signed up for the entire club last year, and everyone drooled each month when she brought the yarn to knit nite.  The colors, fibers, were exquisite and of course, paired with a perfect design by Anne.

 Mink and cashmere? Yes please.  (a selection from last year's club)

Membership in the Fall in Full Color Club includes a gorgeous luxury yarn selection for each month, a beautiful pattern eBook which is delivered in monthly chapters, as well as the opportunity to meet, chat, and work on projects with other members through the very active ravelry clubhouse.  Projects are accessories of all types that are appropriate for gifting or keeping to treat yourself.  

Sign-ups are still open, but I wouldn't wait too long.  Both of Anne's previous clubs (Fall in Full Color 2011 and Barenaked Knitspot) sold out, although the ebook versions for both are still available.  My goal for this year is to actually knit one of the patterns now!  

Oh, one more thing. Knitspot has applied for a grant from mission: small business and she needs your help!  I think she just qualified for the first round literally minutes ago, but keep an eye out for the next round of voting!

Thank you Anne for letting me gush a bit about your Fall in Full Color Club! I'm thrilled to be in it again :)

Happy Friday!
xoxo Irishgirlieknits

p.s. Kate's wedding shawl is blocked and I heart it so!
p.p.s. I swatched for mine last night and though I doubt I'll finish it, I'm going to try.  I do have a long car ride tomorrow to go with my sister to pick up her wedding dress!!!!
p.p.p.s.  Honey Bunches is still on sale until the end of this weekend!  And I hope to have Lilianna to  you tomorrow or Sunday, or even tonight if I can finish studying for my final and take it tonight!  Pattern is all set, just need a bit of time :)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Call Me Crazy

I'm at the edging of the shawl for my sister's wedding!


I'm feeling quite ahead of schedule with 6 days to go, although I had hoped I would have it done tonight.  Hopefully tomorrow night.

The crazy thing is that now I'm trying to figure out if I'll have time to design and knit another shawl for me.  I know....crazy talk.  But I think I just might try.

Happy Knitting!
xoxo Irishgirlieknits

p.s. I think I may be in love with this laceweight yarn from A Verb for Keeping Warm.   Who would have thought, me knitting with laceweight yarn?  Of course, the 100% silk may have something to do with it.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

I May Not Be At TNNA....

... but my designs are!  The knitting industry is buzzing this weekend at TNNA in Columbus, OH, and though I wish I was there, I'm at least glad to know that my designs are being showcased in the Deep South Fibers booth. 


Yarn store owners travel to this event to see what is new and upcoming and to place their orders for the fall.  I'm hoping this exposure will bring me to more stores this year!  I had Jill design some promotional material for me and I was so excited to see how she pulled everything together.  Want a peek?


Now if you happen to know anyone who attends TNNA, then I'm sure you've heard of Jeni's ice cream in the North Market.  I've drooled over the pictures and flavors the past few Junes, so I planned ahead and bought some from my local fancy grocery store!




One of my new designs that will be debuting is Honey Bunches.  

Honey Bunches 1a

Honey Bunches 6

Garter stitch and an easy-to-memorize 4-stitch lace repeat make this shawlette the perfect relaxing, summer knit.  Plus, the crescent shape is versatile to wear as a shawl, wrap, or bunched up as a scarf on a chilly evening.  The combination makes this shawlette just sweet as honey.

Honey Bunches 2

Honey Bunches 4

Doesn't my sister look fabulous?!  She wasn't eager to model, but I'm so glad decided to indulge me!  Just think how pretty she is going to be on her wedding day, modeling a hopefully new shawl (eek! 9 days left to knit.. I'll update you guys on that tomorrow!).  My mom even did a few takes for me too.  A family of models! Thanks mom!

Honey Bunches13

Honey Bunches 12

The pattern features two different sizes. The pictures above show the larger size featuring The Plucky Knitter Plucky Feet, a really nice fingering weight sock yarn.  Oh, by the way, she is having an update on Sunday if you want to get your hands on some.  But the pictures below, from my lovely test knitters, show the one skein version, which really makes this a quick knit!



Emily's version is knit with one skein of Three Irish Girls Adorn Sock, and looks just lovely on her! Thank you again Emily!



Jo's version is knit with a skein of Rase Hall Studios Yarn.  That blue is perfect on you Jo!  Thank you so much!!

Honey Bunches 10

And since many of us aren't at TNNA, I thought I would offer a special introductory price on Honey Bunches!  It is on sale for $4.50 until June 30, 2012.

Pattern:  Honey Bunches      

Finished measurements:  62 (68)” wide and 13 1/4 (14 ½)” long at center point, after blocking

Suggested Yarns: ~425 (575) yards fingering weight yarn, such as The Plucky Knitter Feet, Hazel Knits Artisan Sock, Zen Yarn Garden Serenity Silk Single, Studio June Yarns Super Cash Sock, Madelinetosh Tosh Sock

·         Size US 5 (3.75mm) or size to obtain gauge, knitting needles
·         Tapestry needle
·         Blocking pins and/or blocking wire

Gauge:  24 sts and 38 rows= 4” over st st after blocking

Notes: Instructions are written for a top-down shawl.  Both charted and written instructions are provided for the lace pattern.  

One last update.  We are voting for our next KAL in the Irish Girlie Knits group on Ravelry.  If you haven't already voted, please stop by to join us! 

And if you are at TNNA, please stop by Deep South Fibers booth to see my designs!

Happy Weekend!
xoxo Irishgirlieknits

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Weekend!

It has been a whirlwind few days filled with lots of fun here!  Lil' Guy was down for a visit this weekend and we went to the County Fair!

We saw lots of animals....



We opted to not hold the scorpion, but um....we could have..gross!



There were pony rides...



And the cutest circus show ever!






Goodness, these two are too cute together!



Then there was swimming and a sleepover!


Right before bed, Lil' Guy smiles and says, "Auntie we did fun stuff ALL day today!"  That kid just melts my heart.

And of course, the farmer's market on Saturday morning!


Yep, by Saturday afternoon I felt the same way too doggies.


And today is all about celebrating the wonderful Dads I know!

Best Dad!

Big and Lil Snowboarders


Happy Father's Day!  Hope you are having a wonderful weekend too!
xoxo Irishgirlieknits

Thursday, June 14, 2012

On your mark.

Get set.



18 days to knit my little sister a shawl for her wedding.  I can do it, right?  Technically I wanted a new shawl for me too, but I think I need to get this one done first.

Oh, and this will be my first ever knit with actual lace weight yarn.  I'm up for the challenge, I think. Afterall, it is 100% silk. The only other time I knit with lace I doubled it for this cowl. After reading that old blog entry, now I want to make that cake too :)  Back to the shawl....

Happy Knitting!
xoxo Irishgirlieknits

Monday, June 11, 2012

Coming Soon!

My sister did a wonderful job modeling my newest design at the wedding last weekend.  Here's a sneak peek at Honey Bunches, a new shawlette that is off to test knitters and hopefully ready for you in the next few weeks.

Honey Bunches 1a

Happy Monday!
xoxo Irishgirlieknits

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Coming Up for Air

Finally....a free weekend to breathe!  I finally feel like summer is here now that most of my students are out of school and we switch to our summer schedules.  Still work, but definitely not as stressful!

And it really felt like summer when I signed up for two Craftsy online classes this weekend, this one and this one.  I've already started Miriam's shawl class and I highly recommend it!  And I can't wait to have time this summer to try making jam!!  While you're at Craftsy, be sure to check out my pattern store too.

Last weekend, my mom, sister and I flew down to LA for a quick weekend for a family wedding.  Since my mom hasn't been to California Adventure at Disneyland, we spent Saturday there. 


 Hi Mickey

It was perfect and I don't think my knee would have been able to survive Disneyland...I barely survived all the walking we did!  The best part was being able to meet-up with Holly aka knitterotica and hang out with her a bit!  Spontaneous plans made through twitter rock!


There was some time for knitting, of course...


The hat I'm working on in this picture was just about done, give or take 10 rows of decreases, when we landed home on Monday.  Of course, given the crazy work week, it is still not finished.  Hope to finish it tonight while I'm watching The Killing and Mad Men finales! 

World of COlor

Fortunately I was able to sit through World of Color!  It was awesome!

Then Sunday we went to the wedding...a few highlight pictures...


Mom and Mike

Mom and Emily

And Monday we had time for a quick trip to Seal Beach to have lunch with my sister's friend from college whom I love, but not just because she is a knitter!

Check out Kim's gorgeous blanket in progress she's knitting for her little guy.  So sweet!

Kim's gorgeous blanket

Somehow we forgot to take pictures with Kim and her adorable boys, but she'll be at my sister's wedding in just a few week! 


We also squeezed in time before the wedding and at the beach for a quick photo shoot for my new shawl design that I'll be releasing in the next few weeks!  I can't wait to show you those sister did a great job modeling!

This weekend has been all about catching up and relaxing.....I even downloaded a new book to read, Gone Girl.  Just a chapter or two in, but I'll keep you posted.

How was your guy's weekend?  Fun? Relaxing?  Does it feel like summer to you?

Happy Weekend!
xoxo Irishgirlieknits