Thursday, June 28, 2012

150,000 Winner

Thank you all for you very kind words about my books--I'm blushing.
The winner of the drawing is sparkeespud, who wrote: "I have to say I've been lusting over the Handy Book of Top-Down Sweaters...". Well, sparkeespud, you can stop lusting and get ready to knit! Just email me at so I'll know where to send the book when it arrives, which is expected to be in about 4 weeks.

And for the rest of you, you'll get another chance to win this book next month -- I'll hold another raffle when the slow boat arrives from China.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Today's the Day

The little counter at the base of my blog page just hit 149,900 hits. At this rate, it will reach 150,000 by midnight. But in case it doesn't turn the corner until the wee hours of the morning, I'll allow entries until 12 midnight on Wednesday, June 27.

To enter, just respond to this post and tell me which of my books you'd like. You can see a list of all my books by going to my website and clicking on Books and Apps in the upper right-hand corner. All books are fair game, including the yet-to-be released Knitter's Handy Book of Top-Down Sweaters.

Aime Shawl

Remember back in April when I posted a photo of a shawl I was blocking?

Well, check out the Quince & Company website -- the pattern was posted for sale today ($6). Named Aime, after one of the authors of the Estonian lace book the main pattern came from, this shawl takes 5 skeins of Finch (shown in frost #103) and is knitted on size 7 needles for a blocked gauge of 4 stitches/inch. The main pattern repeats over 8 stitches and 16 rows. There is a 5-stitch nupp (rhymes with "soup") in the center of each motif, which makes a lovely low-relief bobble with an interesting texture.
I had a lot of fun knitting this shawl; I hope you will as well!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Closing in on a Milestone

I just noticed that the counter at the bottom of my blog page has passes 149,000. That means that it will clock 150,000 very soon. This is an event worthy of celebration. Because giving away books is so much fun, I'll hold a raffle the day that the counter hits 150,000. On that day, just write in to tell me what book you'd like (the new top-down book will be eligible) and why, and I'll draw a winner.

The only catch is that you have to check my blog counter and post a comment on The Very Day that it hits 150,000. I'll give a hint -- there are usually about 200 hits per day. But I expect that number to go up as people check in more often.

Good luck!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Terpander--Getting Started

I finally got back to Sock Knitting Master Class this weekend and started the Terpander socks by Melissa Morgan-Oakes. These socks are a lesson in working two socks at a time (from the toe up) on two circular needles. You get a pretty great cable pattern, too.

For the socks in the book, Melissa used Dye Dreams Classy Sox, which is a luscious blend of 80% merino, 10% cashmere, and 10% nylon. Sadly, Dye Dreams closed down last year and this particular yarn is no longer available. But, I happen to have some Dye Dreams Luster Sox (100% Blue-Face Leicester) in my stash, so I decided to at least stay with the same company for my version.

Now, I have a confession to make. I detest working with two circular needles and I detest working two socks at a time--too many needles and strands of yarn flopping around and getting tangled. It slows me down, takes the fun out of knitting, and makes me grumpy. So, I decided to follow Melissa's most excellent pattern, but work the socks one at a time on my cherished Signature double-point needles. These needles make quick work of stitch manipulations, such as decreases and cables without a cable needle. To avoid the "second-sock syndrome," I'm going to knit the second sock first ;-).

To make socks that have some chance of fitting my big feet, I'm working at at gauge of 18 sts/inch (rather than 19) on size 2.5 mm (about 1 1/2 in U.S. sizing) needles and I added 8 sts to the pattern--one k1, p1 rib at each side of the instep, and one k1, p1 rib at each side of the back of the leg (for the foot, I just added 4 sts to the stockinette-stitch sole). Consequently, I increased the toe to 80 sts (40 sts each for the instep and sole). So far, it seems to fit. I'll just have to be careful not to make the foot too long.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Sock Diversion

As some of you have noticed, I came to an abrupt halt in knitting my way through Sock Knitting Master Class. I do intend to get back to it--Melissa Morgan-Oakes cabled Terpander socks are calling to me--but I've had a few diversions.
Besides taping a video of cast-ons and bind-offs for Interweave Press, I've been working on some socks for Quince and Company. The More Better Baby Socks were posted last week:
I'm well into the pattern for adult socks, which should be posted later this summer:
As soon as these socks are finished, I'll get back to the four socks remaining in Sock Knitting Master Class. My hope is to have them done by the book's 1-year anniversary in July.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Another Video

I don't know what possessed me, but I agreed to do a video workshop on cast-ons and bind-offs for Interweave. I've spent the last couple of months researching techniques and knitting endless swatches in preparation for the taping last week.

Interweave has a pretty good method to organize the tapings--the materials (in my case, swatches, needles, etc.) are grouped in trays in the order they are to be presented. So that I could keep track of what was what, I did the cast-on swatches in red:

And the bind-off swatches in blue:

We taped more than 30 cast-ons and more than 20 bind-offs, including variations. I don't think I've ever talked so much in a single day!

I believe the video will be available in August, but that probably depends on how much editing needs to be done. Hopefully, there will be something left after all my bloopers have been removed. If you do have cause to watch the video, be kind. I'll never get used to being in front of a camera (or three!).

Friday, June 8, 2012

Discounted Books!

Great news! The "hurt book" sale begins today at Interweave Press.
This is your chance to get slightly damaged (but still perfectly useable) book at discounts up to 70% off the cover price. There are "hurt" copies of almost all of my books.
In addition, there are deep discounts on eBooks for those of you who have made the leap away from paper or just can’t wait to get the print versions in the mail.
Click here to peruse the possibilities now.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

More Better Baby Booties

Check out Quince and Company's website for the five designs that I've added to the Better-Than-Booties Baby Socks, originally published in the Summer 2005 issue of Interweave Knits.
From feminine ruffles and lace to boyish ribs and stripes, there's a pattern that's sure to perfectly adorn the feet of the newest addition to your clan.

Monday, June 4, 2012

A Quintet of Baby Socks

The Better-than-Booties Baby Socks that I designed for Interweave Knits back in the Summer of 2005 continue to be a favorite among Ravelry users. So, just for fun, I decided to play around with the design to come up with five new versions.
The pattern, given in two sizes, uses fingering-weight yarn (Quince and Company Tern is shown) and will be available from the Quince and Company website this month. I believe they will divide it into a couple of posts--I'll let you know when they do.
I'm sure their photos will be much, much better!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

eBook Update

I'm relieved to report that The Knitter's Handy Book of Top-Down Sweaters eBook has been taken off the Interweave Store site to be replaced with the expanded version that includes the modified-drop shoulder chapter and three additional patterns.
Interweave tells me that, due to family emergencies among key people, it will be a week or two before the new version is available. I've not yet received confirmation that those of you who already purchased the eBook will get the update free, but I think if we all pester them it will happen.
Thanks for your patience!

Friday, June 1, 2012

eBook Correction

Yesterday I posted that the electronic version of The Knitter's Handy Book of Top-Down Sweaters is available for download at the Interweave Store (click here to order). But it seems that the exclusive chapter on modified-drop shoulder sweaters and three additional sweater designs that I promised are not included in the download. I am mortified and am trying to convince Interweave to re-issue the download with this information. In the meantime, you should be aware that the eBook contains exactly the same information as in the print copy.
I am so sorry for passing on false information.