Sunday, March 4, 2012

Random Picture Sunday

Today is going to be a fun day at the shop:  Christmas Project KAL, new Dustland KAL, and an amigurumi class!  A full day for me :o)

Because I can't pick just one, here's some cutie pie baby pictures (all stolen from my family's facebook pages):

Thinking hard

I love baby mohawks!!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Groove KAL Prizes

I mentioned it yesterday and then forgot to tell you about the patterns I won from participating in the Groove KAL thread on Ravelry.

First, there were a couple random drawings for a pattern.  I was drawn one of the time, and we were able to pick a pattern from their shop.  It was a hard decision, but I eventually settled on Fargo.

© Kate Gagnon Osborn + Kelbourne Woolens

I decided that I'm going to use the color Atoll, but have to special order it since we don't carry Organik at the shop.  I'm probably going to wait on this one for a bit since it's already warming up for spring here in New York.  To fit me, I need to order 12 skeins, except you have to order in bags of 10 (meaning I'd need to order 2 bags).  Since it's a yarn we don't stock, I'd have to take all of it.  So I'm still deciding if I want to make both Fargo and the Rocky Coast Cardigan out of the same color.  I would need 8 skeins for that and it would work out perfectly.  But do I want them both in the same color.  Decisions, decisions...

At the end of the KAL, there was a Grand Prize winner and also another winner.  They chose from the people who had finished their Groove by the end of the KAL.  No, I didn't win the Grand Prize (enough Road to China Light to make a sweater pattern, jealous!).  I did, though, win a copy of the pattern Schoodic, new from Hannah Fettig

© Carrie Bostick Hoge
It calls for Acadia.  I do so love this yarn now!  My only gripe is I can't choose a color.  Any ideas?  I'm open to suggestions :o)

Friday, March 2, 2012

FO Friday: Groovin'

Last week, I finally finished sewing the buttons on to my Groovin' Shawl and wore it everywhere!  I finished the shawl by the KAL deadline and even won some prizes :o)

I really loved knitting this.  Acadia is a great yarn, and it softens even more after blocking!

The pattern was, as usual, very well written.  And, as usual, I didn't not use as many stitch markers as he calls for.  I swear, Stephen West is obsessed with stitch markers.  I can't claim that to be a bad thing though :o)

My favorite way to wear it- as a poncho!

Pattern:  Groove
Designer:  Stephen West
Ravelry Project:  Groovin'
Yarn:  The Fibre Company Acadia
Needles:  US size 5
Mods:  I worked 1 less repeat of the last section because I ran out of yarn.  Also only used 5 buttons (pattern calls for 7).  I didn't want them to weight down the shawl too much, especially since it was slightly shorter than called for.  I used backing buttons since my buttons had shafts but they have a tendency to pop their way through the yarn overs so I might have to adjust how I sewed them on.

Someone posted on one of the main Ravelry boards why people put their cats on their shawls and take a picture.  The lady obviously has never had a cat before in her life.  Dino had to come investigate during my photoshoot.  He wasn't too into it though and didn't plop down.  He much prefers cardboard :o)

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Book Review: Westknits Book Three

Last Thursday, I found out Westknits:  Book Three by Stephen West had finally come out.  It came into the shop right around that time too and I immediately fell in love with several of the patterns.

Now I'm not the hugest westknits fangirl (that's reserved for Karen) but I love the look of his patterns.  So far, I've knit three of his shawl:  Groove, the Earth and Sky Mystery, and a Boneyard shawlette out of 1 skein of Malabrigo Worsted.  Thursday evening I saw quick glimpses of the patterns in the new book and went to Ravelry over the weekend to add some to my favorites.  Then, on Saturday, a customer suggested using a pattern from the book for our new Sunday KAL.  And I knew I was going to wind up buying it.

But now that means I get to share my thoughts on it with you :o)

© Stephen West

Of course I'm going to recommend you get this book.  I mean, I did buy it for a reason.  There's 10 patterns in the book and at a list price of $22, that's $2.20 per pattern.  Quite the bang for your buck.  The only downside for me is that there is no digital download code if you buy the book in stores.  There is an option to purchase the print and digital versions together through Ravelry, but I like supporting my LYS.  But, that's such a minimal downside for me.  It's just a little more convenient the other way :o).*

Now, onto the patterns...

I really do like everything in the book, but only see myself making half of them anytime in the near future.

(In order of appearance)

Moose River is a very very large/wide cowl.  I must insert here, everything in the book is modeled by a male, but of course we women can take over anything :o).  This one I don't really see many males outside of hipster Williamsburg wearing, but I can see one in my wardrobe's future.  I'd actually really like to make it out of Malabrigo Worsted...oh just the thought of that warmth around my neck!  I think though, that would lose the stitch definition.  Might have to go with some Rios though.

© Stephen West
Sidenote- Model Roy is a very pretty pretty boy!

Seaway looks like a fairly simple beanie with a lot of texture.  I don't know that I could wear it (too tight fitting to go over curly hair) but I really want to make it for someone.  It might be a little too detailed for Kyle's tastes but you never know.  Or else I'll just have to make one for myself in a bit looser gauge to accommodate the hair.

© Stephen West

Thendara is this really awesome geometric shawl.  I thought at first it was the same shape as Pagona with a different stitch pattern and detail until a customer yesterday pointed out that Pagona curves in a little more than Thendara.  I actually started stash diving yesterday trying to find yarns to make this with.  I was unsuccessful, but it's still in my head of projects I want to make.  I love the no frill of this shawl and that it looks to be a mostly mindless knit.  Perfect for Thursday night at knitting group :o)

© Stephen West

Wedgewood is a scarf that utilizes short rows and striping to create a beautiful visual effect.  As a knitter, it's pretty sad that I have virtually no scarves.  I usually suffice with a shawl, but I've been lucky that this was such a mild winter.  I might even have yarn to knit this in my stash, though I think doing it in a DK weight would be a great way to make it even warmer!

© Stephen West

I totally lucked out that my favorite two patterns were also the last two in the book.  So much my favorite, that I've already cast on for one of them!  The Dustland Hat and Mitts stood out to me as soon as I saw them and of course I immediately started shopping (in my head) for yarn for them.  The pairing is a heavily texture match- a slouchy hat and loose fitting fingerless mitts.

© Stephen West

Stephen used quite the decadent yarns for this pair and I wanted to do the same.  So I spoiled myself and eventually settled on Road to China Light in a purple that matches my coat.  I've gotten through the ribbing and Section 1 of the hat, but not sure how great the stitch definition is going to be yet.  I might have to frog, drop down a needle size, and use a larger stitch count.  But I'm going to give it some time first.

Another downside I found while going through the book was the lack of charts.  I would much rather have charted instructions, even though there's no lace, for most patterns.  The round instructions for Seaway are about 4 lines each...very easy to get lost in that.  I think, though, that once the pattern is established, it would be easy to figure out and predict the stitches without relying on the pattern for guidance.  I hope so at least.

One thing I really like about the book is the details given at the beginning of the pattern.  It makes me so happy to see the yarn weight listed as well as the actual yardage required for the pattern.  Stephen also lists the actual yarns used for the samples, but knowing the yardage required for the pattern makes it so much easier to find an alternative yarn choice.  Thanks so much for that, Stephen!

*The book has a code on the back cover!  It blends quite a bit into the background so I didn't even know it was there.  As of today's edit (Sunday, March 4) there seems to be a bit of difficulty for those of us who purchased at our LYS to get the download.  I'll update though when it's working again!  I'm geekily excited to have a PDF copy is already looking a little beat up and it's only been a couple days!!

*The download code redemption has been all fixed!  Today is Sunday, March 11.  I've been checking all week in the Westknits forum to see if anyone else had been able to download it.  A couple people had trouble, but someone mentioned they contacted Stephen directly and he got the download for her.  Then someone else did it so I finally caved and sent him a message.  But he responded that he adjusted the download so that you can just put your code it.  It worked for mine and I also tested straight from the Book Three page a code from a book in the shop (without actually downloading it...just checking that the price would adjust to free after the code is entered) and it worked.  Download away!


Related Posts with Thumbnails