I Confess: I didn’t steal it, but it kind of feels like I did!

November 15, 2009

I am, of course, talking about the angora I got at the Long Island Knitting and Crochet Guild Auction last Thursday. 10 balls, 100 grams, 12 dollars!

Can you believe it? It also came in these great shades of purple.

I really want to make something out of it, but I have no idea what. So maybe you guys can help. 100 grams, DK weight, angora. 7 balls lavender and 3 ball dark violet. I tried the ravelry search, but I don’t know… I guess I just need some help. I’ve been toying with the idea of using it as an accent for a larger product as well.

So here’s your mission if you choose to accept it: tell me what I should make with the yarn. If you know of a specific pattern, please tell me about it, but if you just have a general idea, I’d love to hear that too!

Come check Monday’s Post

November 14, 2009

Sorry about there being no review today, but there is a review on Monday. I had planned on doing a magazine review to  make up for the missed one on Monday, but I missed my morning coffe (8 hours ago) and still haven’t woken up. It just wouldn’t be fair to whichever magazine I reviewed.  (I’m not a morning eprson ha! person.) I rest my case!

Okay, so Monday- it’s not only the  kick off of the blog tour, and a review of the book It’s in the Bag, but I will also be announcing the winner of the giveaway.

Now I am not giving anymore hints, because it seems I’ve already been beaten by the might of google, but there is still time to enter. The contest ends officially tomorrow night at midnight! Enter a guess, or just say hi and you’ll get an entry. Along with the winner I will also display this months colorway!

Weekend Steals, Deals & Giveaways

November 14, 2009
  • Michael’s is having a “Handmade Holidays” contest, and from 9am to 1pm today get 20% off your entire order! Here’s the page with the coupon, and a whole mess of others.
  • Caron.com is giving away a free skein of yarn!
  • On the newsletter from Designs by Romi came this offer:  Enter KILTISH at checkout on my site and receive 15% off my nickel swirl kilt pin, el_55n! There is also a contest to win a free sock pattern.
  • In a grand opening gesture, PullingatStrings.com is holding a $10 drawing for her first 100 customers.
  • Create a cozy for this detergent bottle, and you could win $300
  • Suggest a free pattern for NeedleGrrl’s stash and maybe win a bit of her yarn stash!
  • Laughing Rat Studio is offering 20% off all in stock items when you put the code “RavNov” in the notes to seller
  • The Crochet Team on etsy is having a 10% off sale this weekend. (I am a part of this team and everything in my store is 10% off, including the clubs!) Everything on sale should be marked with the tag “crochet10percent” to make them easier to find.
  • Remember, the blog tour will have 2 separate giveaways, so don’t forget to stop by on Monday and see the kick off!

btw, thank’s Heather, for the lovely comment on the interview!

Interview: Kara Gott Warner

November 13, 2009

Welcome to my first ever Fiber Artist Friday Interview!!  I hope to continue theis tradition for a long time to come. Today’s fiber artist, as you may know fromt his morning’s post is the Designer/Editor/Etsian Kara Gott Warner! (Kind of a reniassance woman- I applaud!!)

Kara Gott Warner very kindly allowed me to ask her some questions about editing, designing and fiber-life related subjects.

Here they are:
 
How did you get interested in knitting?

I first started knitting when I was about 12. My grandmother taught me, but it didn’t quite stick. I rediscovered knitting in my mid twenties when I was working in a very high-stress design job in New York City. I found knitting as a great escape, and I haven’t stopped since!

 As a mom, how do you keep your home life, creative life and work life balanced?

Wow, that can be quite a challenge at times! I learned that once I became a mom, everything had to be “integrated.” For example, I may find that in between chopping some veggies for dinner I can get a few rows of knitting in, or answer an important email. I also focus on “first things first.” I  don’t want to put out too many fires, so it’s always best to accomplish what is the most important first. You know how life is- there are just some things you can’t cross off that to-do list, and tomorrow’s another day. Just call it “job security.”
 When you create your designs, do you have a particular method? Do they start with a gorgeous yarn, a certain item, a pretty stitch pattern?

There’s no rhyme or reason, but generally I find my inspiration first from an amazing skein of yarn. Of course ideas pop into my head, and I may imagine if a nice worsted, chunky or fine weight yarn is in order, and then seek out the right yarn. I feel that the yarns speak to me– they always dictate the right design.
 

Is there a certain type of pattern you like to design?

Lately, I’m having a lot of fun designing accessories and small items. It’s so much fun to sit down and just knit for a few hours, and then poof- a new scarf! My igottknits collection this season features a few scarf and other accessory designs that are easy and quick to make. With the holidays approaching, I think they make for some great on-the-fly gift giving!

 I love your etsy shop, especially your felted bobble bracelets. How did you get interested in making them?

It’s kind of funny how I started. What got me excited about making these “mala-esque” bracelets was by examining some traditional mala bracelets. I just loved the idea of making the bobbles into a simple ring and topping them off with a luxurious tassel made of silk or some other fine fiber. What a great way to utilize my stash yarns! My bracelets are featured in my etsy store: igottknits.etsy.com.  
 
Do you have other crafts you like to do?

I will admit that I’m pretty obsessed with knitting, but now that I’ve discovered jewelry, I’ve had so much fun integrating knitting and beading. I’m still learning and exploring different stringing methods, and now I’m venturing into designing necklaces as well.
 What is your favorite fiber? (Come on, I know you have one!) 

Merino wool is my fav. If I had to choose one yarn, I would have to say I love working with Malabrigo worsted the best. Oh so soft, and their colors are total eye-candy!
 
I know you work as an editor for knitting books, what exactly does that mean? (Talk to me like I’m four, I have no experience in the publishing field.)

 
The best way to describe the process of putting together It’s In The Bag– I think the number one important thing is to be a really good organizer. Thank goodness for Excel spreadsheets!  I also try to see “the big picture.” When I start a new book, I always think what the end result will look, and work backwards. I think an important aspect to being a book editor is to have a finger on the pulse of what knitters want, and what sells in the industry.  I also think it’s important to add some creative vision to the process too. Sometimes I have a strong instinct about something, even though it may or may not be what the industry dictates. Sometimes you have to go to the beat of your own drum!
 
So once a theme has been decided, I then flesh out the details of the book- the name, the chapters and I also think of the artistic aspects of layout – what kind of photos I want in the book, what kind of type, copy, backgrounds, illustrations, and the book cover.
 
Next-  a submission call goes out to designers with all the details needed to submit a design consideration. I request a swatch, a sketch and a photo of the design concept. Basically, I need to be able imagine what the finished project will look before I’m holding the sample in my hands or reading a pattern.
 
Once the projects are chosen, I then go about choosing new yarns to match the color theme of the book. In many cases the designers pick the perfect yarn, so it’s always nice to be able to go with what the designer thinks is best since it’s their vision. Then once the projects and patterns are complete, I review the patterns and inspect the finished project samples. From this point, all of the patterns and models are sent to the tech editor. When the tech editing process is complete, I proofread the patterns for style, grammar and general language. Then the fun begins….
 
Once the projects and patterns are complete, the layout and photography process begins! I like to think of this phase almost like putting together pieces of a puzzle. Once the patterns and photos are dropped into the layout, I review it again for style, language, make sure the photos are placed correctly. Basically every little inch of the book is reviewed with a fine-toothed comb.
 
This is a bit of a simplified version of the process, but a book of this size takes about a year to complete from concept to final printing.  When my advance copy finally arrives in my mailbox, it’s quite a satisfying feeling!
 
I hear you have a new book coming out, care to tell us about it?

Sure, the book is called The Perfect Finish: A No-Nonsense Guide to Finishing Techniques for Knitters of Every Level. I have to say, this book has taken me out of my comfort zone a bit. Finishing is of course a very technical and precise subject. The book will feature 11 teacher/designers. One of the well-known teachers featured in the book is Leslye Solomon, who is known for her vast knowledge as an expert finisher. I think this book will such a unique addition to any knitter’s library for years and maybe generations to come. 
 

I want to send a huge thank you to Kara Gott Warner for being so nice to answer all my questions. If you want to hear more from her be sure to check out her blog: www.SheKnitsintheLoop.com  and don’t forget that this Monday I am kicking off the blog tour of It’s in the Bag! Follow along and you’ll get to hear all about this great book, and get a chance to win a copy of the book, or one of the DellaQ bags featured in the book!

That’s all for today!

Fiber Artist Friday: Kara Gott Warner

November 13, 2009

Todays Fiber Artist is a wonderful knit-wear designer, an editor of knitting books *and* she has her own etsy store! 

On her blog www.SheKnitsintheLoop.com she talks a little bit about her different activities, and boy does she keep busy. However, as many different activities as she has, she keeps calm throughout it all; which is certainly more that I can manage!

Her etsy shop, i gott knits has some great e-patterns, including her new pattern collection “Au Petit Paris” I love to knit accessories, so I really get into things like this.

cowlclochecowl 2

According to the site www.igottknits.com the pattern was inspired by her time living in Paris. I find this especially exciting, because it makes the collection name truly meaningful, rather than just pretty. I would love to translate all the french names of the different patterns for you, but I took spanish in school! 🙂

I have to say though, despite the wonderful patterns on her etsy store (www.igottknits.etsy.com) my favorite items are her “mala-esque” bracelets. I am not a bracelet person normally, but I totally covet these accessories!

mala 2mala 1mala 3

Don’t they just look intriguing?

Kara was kind enough to answer a few questions for me, and gave me some great behind-the-scenes info on the process of publishing a knitting book, so be sure to check back in 12 hours; same bat-time, same bat-network!!

Thursday Twitter: Two-fer

November 12, 2009

Alright, so I have 2 um… twitter’s? No, that’s not right… tweets? Yeah, tweets! I know a twenty-something should be much more tech-savy and I am trying!
Sorry about that; two tweets for you today:

RenegadeCraft

  Birds are pretty! Buy anything in our online shop today thru Sunday and 10% goes to the Audubon Society! http://tiny.cc/birds805
Anyone who, like me has 4 birds in residence can’t not pass this on! Baby bird, Betty-Bert, Blue Jay and Batman the Robin thank you in advance.
Nairtseuqe

New blog post today in which I over think colorwork just a bit. http://tinyurl.com/ygvdxk3

The colorwork in question is beyond gorgeous. Intricate and gorgeous!

I am part of a blog tour!!

November 12, 2009

I will be part of a blog tour for the book ” It’s In the Bag” edited by Kara Gott Warner.

Kara has also done me the honor of being the first fiber artist, of my Fiber Artist Friday!  On Friday we will get a small glimpse into the world of knitting publishing. I can’t wait!

SAVE THE DATES!
When: 11/16-11/25
Where: 10 Really Cool Blogs

Tour Itinerary:
Day 1- 11/16: Holly Barcelo’s blog- Hook and Needle Girl
Don’t miss Holly’s introduction to many of the exciting designs in the book. Holly will also chat with me about the editing process, and a behind-the-scenes look into how this book was created.

Day 2- 11/17: Kat Coyle’s blog- www.katcoyle.com/blog/. Kat will spend some time with Laura Nelkin discussing her Andrea Beaded Cuffs. Also- Don’t miss Laura’s beading tutorial at Nelkin Designs.

Day 3- 11/18: Susie Gaughan’s blog- Knitting Knoobie Don’t miss Susie’s review of many of the easy and beginner projects as she discusses them from a “newer knitter’s” perspective.

Day 4- 11/19: Kara Gott Warner’s blog- She Knits In The Loop I will talk with Laura Bryant of Prism Yarn about her two designs in It’s In the Bag: Simply Stripes Scarf and Gossamer Capelet. Laura will also discuss how she got her start, and how she became a sensation in the knitwear world. I will also be hold a contest to win this really cool Molly Bag by DellaQ.

Day 5- 11/20: Susan Lawrence’s blog- Knitting As Fast As I Can Susan will be interviewing Colleen Smitherman about her Knit, Then Weave Placemats, and hosting a weaving tutorial. Also- don’t miss out on another contest to win a free copy of It’s In The Bag. Don’t miss this post!
Day 6- 11/21: Laura Nelkin’s blog: Nelkin Designs Laura will discuss some fun and innovative ways for you to make traveling with your knitting a breeze! Leave Laura a comment with your own tips and you’ll be entered in a drawing to win a free copy of It’s In The Bag and a Namaste Needle Case!

Day 7- 11/22: Cindy Moore’s blog- The Fitter Knitter Cindy will chat with Colleen Smitherman about her It’s a Wrap shrug. Colleen will share some of her inspiration behind this fashion-forward design.

Day 8- 11/23: Genna C’s blog- Knitting to Stay Sane Don’t miss Glenna’s post, because she’s be holding a contest for you to win the sweetest DellaQ drawstring bag! Also in store is an interview with Cecily Glowick MacDonald about her Uptown Chic Satchel.

Day 9- 11/24: Lynn Hershberger’s blog- Color Joy. Lynn will chat with Melissa Leapman about her 3 designs in the book: Dual Texture Tunic, Outback Basket Weave Pullover and Saucy Stripes Pullover.

Day 10- 11/25: Faina Goberstein’s blog-Faina’s Knitting Mode Don’t miss Faina’s review: “What’s in the Bag for Kids,” where she emphasizes great projects for kids, and great tips for knitting on short trips! Don’t forget to leave Faina a comment about what kinds of traveling tips you use with your kids. They don’t even need be about knitting…but of course we love that! If you still want another chance to win the book, your tip will be entered in a drawing for another chance to win a free copy!

See you on the 16th!

Web of Yarn Wednesday: Pepperberry Crochet

November 11, 2009

Okay, so after Planet Purl this morning, I wanted to showcase a more crochet-oriented blog, and this site is certainly that!

Pepperberry Crochet is a blog written by a great crochet designer and enthusiast. She is also creating her own list of Crochet blogs at the moment, and this one is there! Yay!

So, if you care to, go help her out and suggest some other lovely crochet blogs for her to list. While you’re there remember to check out her adorable amigurumi projects.

Web of Yarn Wednesday: PlanetPurl.com

November 11, 2009

Okay, so I have to admit, I stumbled across PlanetPurl.com on Facebook.

Regardless of where I came across this site however, you have to say that it’s pretty cool to have one site organize live chats with authors of some of the most popular knitting and crochet books out there. On Nov 14th they have a video chat with Barbara Walker! 

I would check it out, who knows, you might get to video chat with your own personal fiber hero!

Besides, though I definitely consider the meet-and-greet the best part of the site, it has many little goodies to dig up, like travel guides and a searchable yarn store directory.

Tuesday Tip: Great Gift Ideas & Free Patterns

November 10, 2009

Okay, so while racking my brain to come up with some good tips to share today, I decided that, like me, some of you will be planning on good gifts to make for the holidays. Since I have been doing some definite research on that subject recently, please let me show you some of my finds:

I only found this blog on sunday but its great! Rachel Klein of One Pretty Thing creates “roundups” of craft projects that she finds online. She also has a Handmade Gift Guide. There are both knitting and crochet projects, but this site tempted me to try different crafts in a way that hasn’t been done it years.

The Crochet Pattern Directory, not only has its own huge list of free patterns, but it also has a Christmas section with Angels, Snowflakes, Ornaments and even a Miscellaneous Christmas sub-topic.

The Knitting Pattern Directory has its own Christmas section, with some real gems.

Knitting Daily has a beautiful Poinsettia Ornament, a Snowflake, and a Cabled Globe.

I also found this great independent site with a huge list of Crochet Christmas Ornaments.