Rewards

We all do the best we can. Life brings us all challenges and it’s up to us how we handle them. I find that for me it’s all about setting goals and having reasonable expectations to diminish any disappointments. I try to set realistic goals for myself. My life is hectic and my schedule not always predictable, but many moms know that. Still, it is important for me not to completely lose what makes me me while doing for these growing humans.

In the last few years, I have crossed a bridge from knitter to designer. It has been rewarding and stimulating and I know I want to do more and be better at it. I also know that my day job as Queen of the House and Ruler of the Nest is numero uno. I have settled on doing small and well for now. That is why I take immense pride in my sweater design Intemporelle Pullover, designed for WEBS’ 40th Anniversary Celebration.

The sweater fits my style both in terms of fashion and as a knitter. I am pretty sure that there are others for whom it will work as well too. I was thrilled to see Intemporelle featured in the newest Valley Yarns Catalog from WEBS.

20140617-221517-80117127.jpgI am working to finish the sleeves on mine and can’t wait to wear it!

20140617-221547-80147087.jpg

I may have one more major design in the pipeline and will be happy with  progress on my design goals. …So keep on the lookout for more.

In the meantime, it’s my birthday and I think I will host a pattern sale in honor of the day. Afterall, I can do whatever I want on my birthday! Pop over to Ravelry and grab all patterns at 20% off for the next week. (excludes Intemporelle since it is a WEBS pattern, but you can still get the pattern and yarn here) Use the coupon code BIRTHDAYPARTY.

Eat Cake!!

Slow and Steady

…Wins the race.

Thanks to Dixie, while my knitting time and production have diminished slightly, there is fun stuff to share and report.  The best and newest discovery is that she really really REALLY doesn’t like this stuff…Bitter Apple spray.  Say what you will, but we have been though a whole sprayer of an alternative and have scratched furniture and hands to show for it’s effectiveness.  But today, it has become my miracle!  I see a future for me that doesn’t include watching her every waking moment!

Dixie sitting nicely, waving treats!

What’s this?

Oh No! I’m outa here!

Now on to knitting…here’s my secret test knit for a friend…and it is awesome!  Can’t wait till she shares with you!  All shall be revealed in the fullness of time…

Secret Woobu Knitting

And my Color Affection (or infection as Steph would say) shawl.

Color Infection

And maybe best of all, my patterns will now be sold by WEBS-America’s Yarn Store on their website!  Steppingstone Fiber Creations patterns on WEBS website, beyond excited by this one!!!  In addition to running a successful business, Kathy and Steve are great people.  Thanks for this opportunity to partner with you!!! You guys are awesome!

Patterns on WEBS

Now off to catch a few minutes of knitting.  I wonder if the Bitter Apple will bleach out the yarn colors? Hmmm, may have to try!

Knit on…

Just in TIme for Spring

Well this was really the winter that wasn’t.  Two storms served as bookends for the months of winter and I officially declared this the strangest winter ever to my kids.  It was kind of a blessing though, since we were so busy with all the kids’ activities and driving was never an issue.

As winter’s days were winding down, I finished up a new hat design for the Waterville Hat.  (And I am smitten.  I love color and keep thinking of all different color combinations…)

The hat was inspired by a beautiful colorwork ski hat of a close friend (who spends time on the slopes of Waterville Valley Ski Resort.  I decided to play with some colors and discovered the possibilities are endless; from subdued to crazy, all combos will be fun to wear!

Waterville Valley Ski Resort in a less than snowy winter

This unisex hat is also a great project for leftover sock yarn and stash busting! Who doesn’t have sock yarn leftovers?  To add an extra bit of fun,  use a small amount of a luxury yarn in a contrasting color for the hat’s liner ~ pamper yourself or loved one! A little will go a long way just for the band!

A cashmere band (right) along side a contrast band.

The hat uses stranded knitting techniques and 4 colors. While there are a few one color rounds, most of the rounds are knit with 2 colors and only one will challenge you with 3. Links to new techniques are provided to refresh and teach.

Pattern:  The pattern is available in 3 sizes,  is charted and easily adjusted to accommodate custom sizes. 

Yardage:  50-150 yards of fingering weight yarn such as BMFA Socks That Rock Mediumweight (or lightweight),  Miss Babs Yummy Superwash Sock (2 or 3-ply), Valley Yarns Huntington.

Needle US Size 1.5 (2.50 mm) 16 inch circular needle and US Size 2.5 (3.0 mm) 16 inch circular needles and double pointed needles.

Gauge:  7-8 stitches per inch on larger needle in color work pattern.

Size: Three sizes will fit a range of head sizes from older children to women and men alike.  Medium fits 22 inch noggin.

BONUS: Pattern comes with instructions to turn your swatch into an iDevice or phone case!

Bonus Swatch iDevice case

Get ready for next winter and have some fun putting new color combos together!

Waterville twin hats

See details of these two hats here and here.

Knit on and enjoy the early Spring!

Meet the Brookfield Cowl

Rock House Reservation, West Brookfield MA

Living in New England, Fall is a highlight.  The beauty of the trees softens the blow of the impending chill that follows it.  While the temperatures are definitely cooling, the sun can still warm a day beyond its potential.  

Dressing for fall can be a challenge on days like the one pictured above.  These day call for layers; and often, less is more.  I find that a warm neck more than compensates for a jacket.  This cowl is designed to be that go-to accessory for fall days and it will carry you through to winter.  The wide cable panel is reminiscent of fall days spent meandering through leaf covered trails.  


I am happy to release this unisex pattern featuring Miss Babs Yarns new aran weight BFL, Northumbria Aran, a 3-ply 100% Superwash Blue Faced Leicester wool.  The yarn was wonderful to knit!  The long staples of the BFL make the yarn lustrous and very silky smooth.  The BFL takes the dye so beautifully that I found myself slowed by the number of times I stopped to admire my work, or rather, Miss Babs’ handiwork!  The 3-ply gives the cables just the pop they need!

Brookfield Cowl

Pattern:  The pattern is both written and charted.  While it is one size, the pattern is easily altered to make the circumference smaller or larger.  The cowl uses i-cord cast on and bind off to create nice finished edges.

Yarn:  1 skein of  Miss Babs Yarns “Northumbria” Aran, [3-ply 100% Superwash Blue Faced Leicester Wool, 100 grams 188 yards).  The colorway shown is Luna Granite, a lustrous grey with a hint of lavender to it in some lights; just stunning!

Needle US Size 8 (5.0 mm) 16 inch circular needle or size to obtain gauge. (I used the new Knitters Pride needle and loved the 16″. )

Finished Measurements after blocking:  circumference: 22 inches  [56cm]; height: 7.5 inches [19 cm].

If you are on your way TKGA in Greensboro, NC or Fiber Space in Alexandria VA this weekend or New York Sheep and Wool in Rhinebeck, NY  in October, find Miss Babs and grab a skein of NU Aran.  You won’t be disappointed! 

(P.S. matching mittens are coming too! grab a bonus skein for a matching set!)


I am a Knitter

I am a Knitter, with a capital K.  Because of this, there are certain things that excite me, like new yarn and needles and projects.

I hit the trifecta here!

New yarn, Miss Babs Northumbria Aran in Luna Granite, for a new design, hence the swatch.  I love this new-ish yarn!  It has a great hand and the BFL is so soft!  I really like this one and am sure that this won’t be our only meeting!

And no project is complete without tools.  New needles!  I had to try WEBS’ new needle line, Knitter’s Pride.

While I love the points of the Nova and the cord (I’d put it in between Addi and Signature in terms of flex, just perfect IMHO) and I know I will enjoy knitting with them since I am usually a metal needle gal, the Dreamz dpn’s are blowing me away.  I really LOVE the Dreamz.  They feel awesome!  They could lure me away from metal, they are that nice.

More Dreamz in my future.

Off to actually knit with them now!  Design will be revealed very shortly!

Knit on!

Fall is in the Air

The kids have gone back to school.

The humidity is subsiding.

The morning walks require a little fleece.

And the WEBS  America’s Yarn Store Fall catalog is here!  Isn’t the cover pretty?  I think I need to knit some mittens.

Bring on the knitting!  New yarns, new colors and, oh… look on page 49 on the right…it’s my Marrowstone Shawl!

Excited to share Marrowstone and see it in even more Charlemont and Charlemont Kettle Dye colors!

I really like this yarn and love all the colors.  Try it, I think you’ll like it!

Thanks Kathy for your support!

Blowing Bubbles

I thought I would share a few of the fun photos I took for my new Bubblicious Socks pattern.

My youngest just couldn’t wait to play with all the bubble toys.  We tried them all!


 

 

 

 

My son waited as long as he could restrain himself before joining us to show us how to blow bubbles.  We must have been doing it wrong?

 

 

 

But the best part was probably the Silly String that made it’s way into the bag of fun!

 

 

 

Then the novelty wore off.  I only had to explain why I was blowing bubbles by myself to a few neighbors.  Eventually, they’ll stop asking.  Hehe.

And while not blowing bubbles or sobbing that I am not at Sock Summit 2011 with my BFFs Debbi  and Carrie aka IrishgirlieKnits this week, I am participating in Kollage Yarns Virtual Sock Summit. (it’s here on Ravelry).

I’ll be knitting my Cotuit Sands Infinity Cowl out of Kollage Yarns Riveting in Storm Denim (serious love for this color) and a pair of Sock-a-licious Bubblicious Socks.  (I wish I could capture the true color of this red, it’s a bit orange-y and totally stunning.)  Nartian is joining me on this one!

What are you knitting at Sock Summit or Virtual Sock Summit?

Bubblicious Socks

Life is about fun and what’s more fun than blowing bubbles?  With 4 kids, I’ve blown a lot of bubbles in my days.  Have you ever blown bubbles until you were dizzy?  Well, this pattern reminded me of those tiny bubbles clustered at first and then one always manages to drift away with the wind.  It’s really a simple pattern, easily memorized, to show the beauty of hand-painted yarns and that one little bubble that got away.  

I am happy to release this pattern today in celebration of Sock Summit 2011.  I am doubly excited since this is the first sock I ever designed.  That was over a year ago but I was waiting for just the right time to release it!

Bubblicious Socks are fun and provide just the right amount of detail to keep you interested.  Bubblicious socks are a great match for today’s beautiful handpainted yarns.  I love the beauty of the colors themselves but somehow always feel I should be knitting a really intricate sock.

What I like about Bubblicious is that it gives the colors of the yarn a chance to shine through in the stockinette portions of the sock while allowing the individual colors to pop through in the patterned areas.  In a solid or semi-solid yarn, the texture of the stitch pattern and traveling stitches are so crisp!

Did I mention the heel?  This eye of the partridge heel is subtly stunning.  I love its simplicity and checkerboard look.

Bubblicious Socks

Pattern:  The pattern is available in 3 sizes,  is charted and easily memorizable. The bubble  pattern is clustered at the cuff and then travels down and across the sock to the toe.  The pattern is provided  for 2 socks as they are mirror image. 

Yardage:  350-380 yards of fingering weight yarn such as BMFA Socks That Rock Lightweight, Spirit Trails Frija, Miss Babs Yummy Superwash Sock, Fleur de Fiber Arden, Knitted Wit Superwash Merino Fingering, Valley Yarns Charlemont or Charlemont Kettle Dye, Kollage Yarns Sock-a-licious, Plucky Knitter Merino Cashmere Nylon Fingering, Sanguine Gryphon Skinny Bugga.

Needle US Size 1 (2.25 mm) long circular or double pointed needles or size to obtain gauge.

Finished Measurements:  foot circumference: 7½ (8, 8½) inches  [19 (20.5, 21.5) cm]; leg length: 6 (6, 5 ¼) inches [15 (15, 13) cm].

The socks shown are knit in BMFA Lightweight Peek-a-boo Peony (the pink and yellow) and Spirit Trails Frija Blue-Green.

So if you are on your way to Sock Summit, stop in the Marketplace and pick up a skein of yarn to help you be a kid again…if you can’t be a kid, knit like one!

Cheers to a Happy Sock Summit!


Bicoastal Sock Summit Excitement

I may not be going to Sock Summit 2011 in person but that doesn’t mean I can’t get excited too!

First off, congrats to Tina and Stephanie and Stephen and Debbi and all the others working so hard on the second coming of Sock Summit.   I also know how much the vendors and teachers have been preparing for next week’s festivities.  Good luck to all.

For my part, I decided to release a new pattern just in time for Sock Summit.  You guessed it…a sock pattern…

Here’s a sneak peak…

In the Marketplace, grab a skein of Blue Moon Socks That Rock Lightweight or Spirit Trails Frija, or Miss Babs Yummy,or Valley Yarns (WEBS) Charlemont, or Plucky Knitter, or Kollage Sockalicious, or Knitted Wit Superwash Merino, or Fleur de Fiber Arden, or Sanguine Gryphon Bugga…

You’ll need markers for these socks, so if you are at Sock Summit, go see Laura and she’ll hook you up!  She has some great new markers!

I am also happy to say that Miss Babs (Booths 822 and 824) and Knitted Wit (Booth 725) will have some of my patterns.  Also, check out WEBS’s (Booths 502, 504, 506, 508) great assortment of Valley Yarns Charlemont that I fell in love with knitting my Marrowstone Shawl.

If you are heading to Sock Summit, get packing!

Have a great weekend and

check back Monday to celebrate Sock Summit Week!

Knit on!

The Cotuit Sands Collection

I knew when I came out with the Cotuit Sands Scarf design, knit flat, that I wanted to have a companion pattern to go with it that was knit in the round.  The Cotuit Sands Cowl is just that.  I like to think of these 2 patterns as cousins.


Favorite views from the waters off Cotuit, MA.

I love that these 2 pieces are not only casual and functional but quick knits in either a worsted or sport weight yarn.  (I am all about being to knit on the go these days.)  I picture the Cotuit Sands Cowl as a perfect accessory  for a cool summer evening or a crisp fall tailgate.

Cotuit Sands Cowl  

There are 2 versions: a cowl (knit in worsted weight yarn) and an infinity (knit in sportwieght yarn).  I chose the Kollage Yarns recycled denim yarn for both as the Riveting Worsted and Riveting provide just the right amount of warmth without being too hot.  The recycled denim yarn really adds to the casual feel of the accessories.

Pattern:   The pattern is charted and easily memorizable.   This 9 stitch repeat creates a nice scalloped edge once blocked.

Yardage:  One skein of Riveting Worsted and Riveting will do.  If you are substituting another yarn, you will need 160 yards  of worsted and 300 yards of sportweight.

Needle: Cowl: US size 8 ( 5.0 mm) 16 inch circular needle. Infinity: US size 6 (4.00 mm) 24 inch circular needle.

Finished Measurements:  Width: 8 (6) inches. Circumference: Cowl: 22 inches; Infinity: 48 inches.


Since I believe these cousin patterns go together, I will be offering a discount on the 2 patterns combined as the Cotuit Sands Collection.

Purchase the Cotuit Sands Collection (which includes Cotuit Sands Scarf and the Cotuit Sands Cowl , a 4 pattern collection) for only $10.

Happy Summer!