Thursday, January 7, 2016


At this time last winter, while we were hunkering down during a snowstorm, I happened upon this lovely lace stitch.  I started swatching and the more I played with the yarns and needles, the more I envisioned flowers in bloom.  I designed a sweater, and a hat, and finally a baby blanket and named the patterns Fleuris. Fleuris is a French word meaning "flowery."  Knit Picks chose the patterns for their Independent Design Partnership and I've been slowly releasing the patterns as I finished them.

The Fleuris Cardigan is knit in Knit Picks' Comfy Sport in Lilac Mist.  Comfy Sport is a cotton/acrylic sport weight blend, perfect for spring, summer, and fall wear.  The sweater is knit seamlessly from the bottom up, and the button band is knit as you go.  It's a great layering piece over T-shirts or dresses.

The Fleuris Hat is also knit in Comfy Sport in Marlin.  The hat is one size, fitting most older girls, teens, and adults.

Lastly, I saw the lace stitch as a beautiful baby blanket.  Knit in Comfy Worsted, the Fleuris Blanket is sized as a baby blanket but the pattern includes instructions for making it larger. With the lace stitch throughout, and a broken rib border, the blanket is modern and sophisticated.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Gift-A-Long 2015

Despite massive denial on my part, the holidays are quickly approaching.  One of the things I love most about the holidays is giving handmade gifts.  This year, I'm joining in with over 300 designers in the Indie Designer Gift-A-Long.

There are a few really great things about the Gift-A-Long.  Over 5,000 designs on Ravelry are discounted 25% from now through Saturday, November 28th.  Use coupon code giftalong2015 to get the discount on any of these patterns in the Gift-A-Long sale bundle on Ravelry.  To shop my patterns, visit my Ravelry store.

If browsing through 106 pages of patterns is too much for you (and it probably is even for the most die hard of knitters), you can look through the Gift-A-Long Pinterest Boards.  There, you can look at just one category of patterns at a time.

Once you've chosen a pattern, head on over to the Indie Designer Gift-A-Long group and join in.  You can post your works in progress, chat with other knitters, and find lots of beautiful patterns that you maybe hadn't seen before.  And one of the perks:  lots of great prizes including coupon codes for free patterns.  Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Mornings in Paris Knit-a-long (KAL)

The Mornings in Parks KAL starts tomorrow in my Ravelry group.   The KAL is for anyone who wishes to knit the Mornings in Paris shawl, in either size, in any yarn.

Yarn Choice
You may use any yarn of your choice to participate in the KAL. The shawl was designed with Blue Moon Fiber Arts’ Yaksi Fingering, however, so see the note below.
You must use Blue Moon Fiber Arts’ Yaksi Fingering to be eligible to win the grand prize. If you wish to order Yaksi from BMFA, please allow two weeks for delivery from the time that you purchase your yarn from them. BMFA is generously offering 10% off your yarn order of up two 2 skeins of Yaksi Fingering, good from May 26th through June 26th, 2015. This discount is available only to those who have purchased the Mornings in Paris pattern. Please private message me for your coupon code once you have purchased the pattern.

The KAL starts on Wednesday, June 10, 2015, and wraps up on Wednesday, July 8, 2015 (end of day).

::Prize 1:: All works in progress (with photo) within the timeframe of the KAL will receive one free pattern from my Ravelry store.
::Prize 2 (two winners):: The first FO and the FO with the best photography (my choice) will receive three free patterns from my Ravelry store.
::GRAND PRIZE (one winner):: If you use BMFA’s Yaksi Fingering and post a FO photo by the deadline, you will be eligible to win one skein of Yaksi Fingering, in the color of your choice, provided by me. And, you will win three free patterns from my Ravelry store. I will randomly choose one winner from those who meet the criteria.

  • You can cast on at any time before the KAL officially starts and still be eligible for prizes. I’m starting the KAL on June 10th to give participants the time to find the perfect yarn.
  • To be eligible for Prize 1, you must create a project page, linked to the Mornings in Paris pattern, and tag your project morningsinparisKAL. You must post an in progress photo on your project page.
  • To be eligible for Prize 2 and the Grand Prize, you must create a project page with a photo of the finished shawl, linked to the Mornings in Paris pattern, and tag your project morningsinparisKAL. You must also post a photo to the Mornings in Paris FO thread by 7/8. The grand prize is limited to US residents.
Prize winners will be announced by Friday, July 10.

I would love to share your photos on my Facebook page and/or blog. If you do not want your photos shared, please send me a private message. Thank you.

Have fun and I hope you can join us!

new pattern: mornings in paris

This pattern is dedicated to my good friend Liz and our knitting group.  I was lucky to meet Liz 6 years ago.  She was knitting a pair of socks at the playground while our kids were playing.  I asked her what she was working on, we figured out that two of our children would be going to preschool together, and that was it.  She's been a great knitting friend and a great friend. 

Once preschool started, we learned that one of the preschool teachers knit.  And her mom knit.  And Liz's friend knit.  And Liz's friend's friend knit.  Soon we had a group that met on Thursdays, either at someone's house or at a coffee shop.  One of those coffee shops was Mornings in Paris.  Pretty soon, I felt like I had expanded my group of friends, the people to whom I felt most close.

Last year, I found out I was moving away.  Liz stopped by my house with a skein of yarn and a bottle of wine.  I was still so surprised that we were moving that I didn't really know what to say.  But I deeply appreciated the gesture.

This winter, after finally settling into our new house and getting through the holiday, I started knitting again.  I picked up the skein of yarn Liz gave me and tried to come up with something that would remind me of her and our knitting group.  I found a stitch pattern called "Eiffel Tower" by Barbara Walker.  I turned the stitch upside down and played with the spacing and size of the repeats.  The Mornings in Paris Shawl was born.

Pattern Info
The shawl begins with a garter tab and construction is top-down. Increases are worked at the edges and center on the right side. This pattern is charted only.

Blocked measurements Small (Large) :: 42 (55)” / 101.5 (139.75) cm across top by 16 (28)” / 40.75 (71) cm deep

1 (2) skeins Blue Moon Fiber Arts; 390 yds / 356 m per 3.38 oz / 96 g skein; 60% wool / 20% yak / 20% cultivated silk
Smaller sample in Help Us Rhonda. Larger sample in The New Color of Love.

Needles & Notions
Size 5 US / 3.75 mm 40” / 102 cm circular needles
2 stitch markers, tapestry needle, blocking pins

19 sts and 30 rows = 4” / 10 cm in pattern stitch from Charts A and B using Size 5 US / 4.5 mm needles, after blocking
Gauge is not critical for this pattern, but it is important if you want to make the smaller shawl from 1 skein and the larger shawl from 2 skeins.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The New Color of Love

I'm working on a new design with generous yarn support from Blue Moon Fiber Arts.  One of the colors they sent me:  The New Color of Love.  Two weeks ago when I got the yarn, I didn't think much of the name.  (I did fall in love with the yarn and I promise to write more about this gorgeous yarn in another post.)
But it hit me today.  It was a long, cold, snowy winter.  Our snow has finally melted.  There's still snow in some corners of our yard, but most of it's gone.  For months, the landscape was white, then dirty white, then brown.
I have spent the last two days outside, reveling in the sunshine and warm temperatures.  And a quick walk around our yard showed me why green is the new color of love.

I feel like I can breathe again.  This is our first spring in our new house, so there were lots of surprises.  A stream and small waterfall that we can hear from the deck, hyacinths, bulbs coming up where we didn't expect them.
I'll be writing more about the new design soon and hosting a knit a long next month.  I hope you'll join us!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Lotus Shawl

 I'm excited to be finally publishing the Lotus Shawl.  I knit this shawl with very generous yarn support from Knitpicks and it is part of their IDP.  Their Shadow lace weight yarn is 100% wool and has a beautiful drape and halo.

I swatched this lace pattern several times before deciding on the right needles and yarn weight.  The lace stitch isn't particularly difficult, but it is worked on both right and wrong side rows, so it involves  some concentration.  I knew I didn't want to have to concentrate that much during the whole shawl, so I cast on and worked in stockinette stitch and garter stitch for most of it.  The garter stitch picks up nicely on the garter ridges found in the lace.  I finished the shawl with two full tiers of the lace and think it's just enough to satisfy my need for a challenge and provide the detail I wanted.

Agnieszka's Test Knit
Working with this stitch solidified for me how much I love working from charts.  Charts terrified me at first, but I learned to read them by writing them myself.  Anytime I swatched a new lace pattern, I charted it first and, in doing that, I learned how the stitches should align and how to read my knitting.   That process has made knitting lace much less daunting and really enjoyable for me.

Details on the shawl are below.  The pattern is charted but also includes written row by row instructions for those who prefer that.  It's light and airy, warm but not cumbersome.  It's a great transitional piece as we head into spring (or even fall).

Andrea's Test Knit

Blocked measurements :: 68” / 172.5 cm across by 32” / 81.5 cm deep
Preblocked measurements :: 52” / 132 cm across by 24.5” / 62 cm deep

2 skeins Knitpicks Shadow Tonal in Goldrush; 440 yds / 402 m per 1.7 oz / 50 g skein; 100% merino wool
Note about yarn choice: Shadow Tonal has been discontinued, but Knitpicks still carries Shadow. Shadow is a lace/light fingering weight yarn. A fingering yarn may be used also, although you may want to go up a needle size or two. This sample took approximately 800 yards of yarn.

Needles & Notions
Size 7 US / 4.5 mm 40” / 102 cm circular needles
2 stitch markers
tapestry needle
blocking pins

17 sts and 30 rows = 4” / 10 cm in stockinette stitch using Size 7 US / 4.5 mm needles, after blocking
Gauge is not critical for this pattern.

Thank you to my tech editor, Katherine Vaughn, and to my test knitters Andrea, Tina, Agnieszka, and Merrilie.


Monday, March 16, 2015

help (please) and pattern giveaway

I'm releasing my newest pattern, the Lotus Shawl, this Friday.  It's a triangular shawl knit in a lace/light fingering weight yarn, and it drapes beautifully and feels light and airy.  A perfect project for spring.

I need your help choosing a cover photo for the shawl.  Reply to this blog post with your favorite picture and I'll enter you to win a free copy of the pattern.  Winners will be announced on Thursday evening, so get your vote in by 5pm EST Thursday.  For a second chance to win, visit me on Facebook and leave your vote there too.

Thanks for your help and good luck!









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