Category Archives: Giveaway

MORE YARN!

We’re ordered, and we’re currently awaiting, MANY more kilos of beautiful undyed ModeSock and ModeLuxe for dyeing and loving!

If all goes well, it should be here mid-next week, and be up and for sale in our store by next weekend! Our first order of business; create the ModeLuxe in the colors of the Slippy Cowl so we can fulfill the wishes of the folks who want to make that same item!

Second order of business; knit a few samples in other colors so folks can easily envision different color combinations!

This downtime is perfect for upgrading the website (now each different yarn will be accessible through drop down menus under “ModeKnit Yarn” – try it!) and soon we’ll have different selectable menus for different colorways.

Right now we only show images of yarns that are immediately available, but we have to think of ways to show all the colors AND whether they’re available in an easy to update way.

I’m using a WordPress plug in called “Catablog” – which has much more power than I’m currently using – so the time is right to figure out how to use all that extra database goodness!

AND it’s a perfect time to get some projects for other books / magazines finished, and to begin sourcing yarn for my boleros & shrugs book! If you know of an indy yarn that you really like, I’m trying to use as many indy dyers in the book, and I’m always on the lookout for great new yarn sources!

IMG_0482I’m hopeful that all of you had a MAGNIFICENT holiday, and will continue on through next week (and BEYOND!) to celebrate the light and warmth that we can create in our own lives when it’s so dark outside!

And in that spirit, I’d love to give you a wonderful Crescent Cookie recipe, gf_crescent_cookies.

I’ve made this gluten free, but it’s incredibly easy to just trade out the GF Baking mix for the flour of your choice!

I’m afraid it’s very nut heavy, but has no eggs! It is rich (buttery) but has little sugar.

This is the cookie that always makes me think it’s Christmas!

Crochet At Play! Book Giveaway!

I have a great book giveaway, just in time to work up some fun items for your favorite Hannukah child (or any kind of holiday child!) Or for any kid for any reason!

The book is crochet_at_playCrochet At Play by Kat Goldin.

Her stated goal in writing the book was to “keep the fun-factor at the forefront of my mind.”

She strives to make the items in the book fun to make, fun to wear and fun to see.

I think for the most part she’s succeeded quite well, there are many items I would have loved to have worked up for my own kids when they were smaller!

Among my favorite pieces in the book are the whimsical ‘useful’ items, the sorts of thing that can be worn every day, but with a cute little twist.

I LOVE the Hedgehog Mittens – so adorable that a child might actually keep an eye on them and not lose one! They’re clever, simple, and absolutely delightful!

hedgehog_mittens

mermaidAnother delicious item is the Mermaid, which is so silly but so fun that I’m afraid I’ll be making them for new babies in my life for years to come!

I especially love the concerned look on the baby’s face in the picture, “Hello… I believe the tide is coming in!”

Kids grow up way too fast. This book will help a parent, aunt or uncle, cousin or friend enjoy many moments of magic in their young lives.

The how-to crochet section is clear, the instructions are well laid out and the models are absolutely adorable.

The projects run from rather easy to slightly challenging, I didn’t see anything that a committed and passionate new crocheter couldn’t tackle (some with a bit more effort than others!)

Another lovely piece is the Leafy Cape.  I can easily see someone working this up for a new baby, it could easily double as a favorite blanket until the child is old enough to run around the house in it!

leafy_capeSo are you enchanted?

Would you like a copy of Crochet At Play?

Simply leave a comment below telling me the MOST FUN ITEM you ever crocheted or knit. It doesn’t have to have been for a child, just something that was a blast to work up, something you thoroughly enjoyed!

Double Vision

I’ve had a lot of press lately with many items showing up in various magazines and books, which is always terrific!

I wanted to mention two sweaters I’ve recently done which have more than a passing resemblance!

2018.Dreamcatcher-Cardigan

Dream Catcher, Interweave Knits Winter 2013

My Dream Catcher Cardigan in the Winter 2013 Interweave Knits is getting a lot of attention – it’s a really fun knit, and it’s worked up in a chunky yarn (Brown Sheep Shepherd Shades) and it looks a lot like my Rose Window cardigan I’m currently tech editing and test knitting for release next year in my Stained Glass Knits collection.

Rose Window

Rose Window

Rose Window was actually the original inspiration for Dreamcatcher, but aside from a similar center back motif, the differences in the garments are greater than their similarities.

The shaping is different (Rose Window uses short row shaping to create an oval body) and the sleeves are worked differently (Dreamcatcher is straight garter, Rose Window sleeves are mitered)

But the largest difference is the yarn choice – Bulky for one sweater, worsted for the other, with all of the associated pattern writing differences.

I don’t really think of these as the same sweater, but as the same shape used in two different sweaters – rather like two Lopi sweaters with similar yokes, but which are entirely different garments.

I wanted to mention this here because I don’t want anyone thinking I’m trying to slip anything by the knitting world! These are similar styles, but very different garments! This is something a lot of designers struggle with, I know I do! We come up with a unique shape that we love, we want to see it worked up in many different ways, but we want to be original, too!

The basis for these designs has become so much a part of my ‘design language’ that I will probably use it again. Maybe not in the near future, though!

Knitting Outside The Swatch

One of the really nice things about being in this biz for [mumble] years is that I get to make a lot of wonderful friends!

The latest from Interweave/F+W Media; $24.95 Click here to order! bit.ly/19CnMTN

The latest from Interweave/F+W Media; $24.95
Click here to order!

Designing hand knits and crochet can be solitary at times, so when we get together at knitting conventions it’s great to see sister (and sometimes brother) designers and share our victories and war stories.

I am SO looking forward to this aspect of my upcoming trip to Interweave Knit Lab in San Mateo Oct 31 – Nov 4

Sadly, I won’t be seeing my friend Kristin Omdahl there, and I love to see her pretty face!

Happily, I can drown my sorrows in the pages of her new book, Knitting Outside The Swatch

Infinity Loop

Infinity Loop

I’m an unusual knitter (aren’t we all, in our own ways?) and I love the approach this books takes in exploring new techniques to create unusual knitted motifs.

One of the cooler motifs was the “Infinity Loop”, which is shown in several incarnations (St st, garter, lace) and uses short rows.

I find myself wondering if it would be possible to join the ‘points’ of the piece as I work, instead of stitching them later – something to ponder on my plane trip out to San Mateo!

Mia Brioche-Stitch Scarf

Mia Brioche-Stitch Scarf

Once you’ve mistressed* the ins and outs of the individual motifs (many of which are worked from the center outward) Kristen provides 10 patterns you can use to show off your new mad skills!

My favorite pattern was the Mia Brioche-Stitch Scarf which utilizes small scallops worked together on a brioche-stitch spine, a lovely effect!

So, Would You Like This Book?

Leave a comment below telling me what your favorite knit technique, or knit fabric, is. It can be as simple as “Garter Stitch” or as complex as, “Triple-drop stitch short row shaping”

I will choose a comment at random, and F&W Media will send the winner their very own shiny copy of Knitting Outside The Swatch!  This contest will run until Saturday, so get your comments in!

*In a craft where 94% of the practitioners are women, I WILL use the term mistressed!

And the winner of the Infinity Scarf is…

SHELLY!

Her comment about the knitting habits of Caribou was chosen AT RANDOM (I didn’t peek!) and she will receive the lovely pink infinity Amy’s Blend scarf!

I’m just back from a whirlwhind 4-college trip, visiting with my Senior HS daughter Andy (Hannah), so today I’m recovering and catching up on work from the end of last week/weekend.  I’ll be back tomorrow with another Caribou Coffee blog post (and a final giveaway – this time TEA!)

In the mean time, please don’t forget to keep using the #CaribouKnits hashtag – it’s snowing today in Minnesota (I’m working in my basement with my space heater on)  Let’s get some scarves knit for Breast Cancer survivors!

#CaribouKnits

It’s Chilly, Who’d Like An Amy’s Blend Scarf?

One of the cooler aspects of the #CaribouKnits adventure this year is the inclusion of some unique Amy’s Blend items for sale at Caribou Coffee houses around the country.

Amy's Blend Infinity Scarf

Amy’s Blend Infinity Scarf

Although centered in the upper Midwest, you’ll find Caribou Coffees all over the countries (I keep running into them in airports — that leaping Caribou is always a welcome sight!)

This year, in addition to coffee, teas, cups and mugs, CC is also offering a lovely Infinity Scarf (what we knitters call a Moebius) and I have a beautiful pink one I’d love to gift to one of you!

This time let’s make it funny! Following in Kay Gardiner’s footsteps (btw, if you don’t follow her on Twitter you’re crazy – FOLLOW THAT WOMAN!) please tell me something that Caribou are known to do while knitting*. Leave a comment with your funny faux observation, and we’ll all enjoy it. After all, Caribou LOVE to laugh at themselves!

*Obviously Caribou don’t really knit, but a girl can dream.

Caribou Make Great Swifts! #CaribouKnits

Caribou Make Great Swifts! (apologies to D. Jones)

So leave your funny #CaribouKnits comment below, and I’ll pull a name at random and will announce the winner next Monday.  I’d announce it sooner, but we’re taking off for a college-visiting trip this weekend to Iowa, Illinois, Indiana and Wisconsin. This is what you do when you have college bound teens and a 4-day weekend!

In case you’re not on Twitter, know that you can use the #CaribouKnits hashtag when you use Facebook, too!  And if you ARE on twitter, just drop the hashtag in a few times a day and you’ll be making a small but lovely change a breast cancer survivor’s life.

Who Wants Coffee?

It’s time for my first giveaway in honor of the #CaribouKnits hashtag!

In case you are wondering, “What IS this #CaribouKnits I’ve been reading so much about?”
I direct you to my previous blog post where I discuss it at length.

So now the FUN part begins!

Amy's Blend 2013 - CoffeeI’m an oddball, I like my coffee like I like my men (pale and smooth). I know it’s fashionable to love coffee that’s VERY strong, and if you’re into that, more power to you! But I like a mellow-er blend of coffee (when I DO drink coffee – the strong, strong brews that have been widely available have made me appreciate a nice cup of tea on a more regular basis!)

And THAT is what’s delicious about Amy’s Blend. It’s rich and firm, but it’s not overpowering. It’s mild, but it has an opinion. I really love it, and I’m not generally a big coffee drinker (love the stuff, but it affects my digestion poorly…)

Just leave a comment below telling me about someone you love who you’d dearly wish to have a cup of coffee with, and I will pick a name at random and you will WIN the pound of Amy’s Blend – VERY delicious!

NOTE: If you’ve used the hashtag #CaribouKnits at least 4 times, you can enter this!  And I have a counter going (see the list to the right?) so I can tell!

And if you HAVEN’T used it 4 times? Well, GO USE IT!  You can click on the birdie button at the top of this post and add the hashtag 4 times and you’re done!

 

Triangular Goodness!

Pumpkin Spice (it’s not just a flavor anymore!)

“My favorite flavor, color and Spice girl is Pumpkin*”

I made this simple comment on Twitter, and a wealth of Namaste goodness wafted my way!

namaste_gifting

Cute! But it’s not pumpkin spice…

So NOW, my favorite flavor, color, Spice Girl AND Namaste bag are PUMPKIN SPICE!

The folks at Namaste do an amazing job with their products! I’ve loved them for years (ever since I used their glass needles in my knitting with wire book, “Twist & Loop”) but their bags are OUT of this world!

I’m not generally a “purse” woman. All the excitement over spending several hundreds (or thousands) of dollars on a bag has totally escaped me.

Perfect for biking, and it's MINE!

Compact, perfect for biking, but NOT pumpkin spice!

But then I’m more practical
than is probably good for me.

For over a year I’ve pretty much just carried my Steven B ‘newsboy’ shoulder tote as a purse & catch all, and I’ve done so proudly.

I only grab a ‘nice’ bag when I’m meeting friends, and my nice bags of choice are always Namaste!

For the record, I’m also a woman who does NOT squeal at shoes – I hardly ever wear a heel, and when I do it’s low and comfortable – I don’t think I’ll ever ‘get’ the thrill of modern ‘foot binding’ which makes it hard to walk, screws up your back and joints, and costs hundreds of dollars for a simple pair of heels – but we’ll leave that for another blog post…

Namaste Bag Travels Well!

My Olive (not pumpkin spice) Namaste Bag Travels Well in ROME!

Aside from their gorgeous style, Namaste bags are usefully and thoughtfully assembled with SO MANY wonderful little pockets (for balls of yarn, of course!)

I love that the bags are made from Vegan Leather — no animals harmed in the making of a Namaste bag!

I travel with them (they’re TERRIFIC for airline trips — there’re always pockets for passport, wallet, boarding pass, etc.) and they hold up like steel.

I stuff these bags full of everything they can hold, I strap them on the back of my bike, I tie them onto my luggage and drag them through every airport, and they continue to look amazing year after year!

Why am I going on about these bags? Well, I have a tiny little change-purse from Namaste and I’d love to gift it to one of you!  It arrived out of the blue along with a small purse for me (that Pumpkin Spice joke on Twitter really paid off!) and I figured it would be good karma to share the Namaste wealth!

Adorable L'il Pumpkin!

Adorable L’il Pumpkin!
The Peter Tork of this blog post.

Just leave a comment below about your most useful bag. 

Not your most expensive, or even most beautiful bag, but the one that you automatically pick up if you’re off for a full and busy day.

What is it that makes your most useful bag your ‘go-to’ carry?

Leave your comment, and I’ll pick one at random and contact you to send you this adorable little change purse!  This will be short, I’ll pick a winner on Saturday (tomorrow), so get your comments in!

While you wait, enjoy this scary movie trailer!

*Actually, my favorite flavor, color, Spice Girl,  Namaste bag
AND movie trailer is Butternut Squash, but for poetic reasons I’ll stick with “Pumpkin”

HEADS UP! TOMORROW WILL BE A SPECIAL BLOG

I’m more excited about it than I can say, but if you are on twitter use the hashtag #CaribouKnits and you’ll be a jump ahead of everyone else in my NEXT giveaway!

And The Winner IS…

Screen Shot 2013-09-20 at 6.39.51 PMMaak!  Congratulations!  I grabbed your comment at random, and here are your words of wisdom for everyone to enjoy!

Thanks to everyone for playing – I love these giveaways, and I’m trying to figure ways to make them more interesting and do them more often!  Stay tuned!

Also, I sent out my first email newsletter in over 6 months this week. If you missed it, you can see it here.

And if you’d like to sign up for my mailing lists, click here!

There was a terrible cyber mishap whereby my email account was deleted, and thus I lost my thousands of recipients. I’m slowly building it back up – one name at a time!