Archive for the ‘Clothilde’ Category

Relief – win yarn and patterns

April 25, 2011

After the terrible earthquake hit Japan in March, relief efforts were almost instantaneous. The recovery process will be long and hard, though, and money will be needed continually for those relief efforts, long after the earthquake is gone from the news entirely. As always after a disaster, money is what is most needed. Donation of goods is costly and complicated and can hinder relief from going where it is needed, however good the intentions. Some knitwear designers have designed patterns, the income from which will go to charities doing work in Japan, and I may do something of the sort myself in the future, but for now, I’d like to hold a raffle to raise money for recovery efforts.

How to enter:

Donate $10 or more to a charity providing on the ground relief work in Japan. I used Charity Navigator to look up organizations working in the area, and am recommending donations to Direct Relief International, which gets a very high rating on Charity Navigator. If you’d prefer to donate to another organization, such as Médecins Sans Frontières or the Red Cross, that is fine with me.

Forward a copy of your donation receipt to knittingkninja AT

For each $10 you donate, your name will be entered once into a drawing to win one of the four prizes listed below. If you donate $20, that’s two entries. $50 is five entries. I will only give one prize per winner, though, to spread out the chances of winning.

The contest ends Monday, May 9th, when I will draw four winners.


#1: Becoming Art Gaia Fingering and Clothilde (click to see larger)

Becoming Art Gaia Fingering


This package includes a copy of the Clothilde  shawl pattern and a skein of Becoming Art Gaia Fingering in the Drawn colorway. If you already have a copy of Clothilde, you can either select a different pattern or I will be happy to gift Clothilde to the knitter of your choice. You can of course use the yarn for any pattern you so desire, but there is enough in the skein to knit a Clothilde shawl. Gaia Fingering is a 100% merino yarn in a single ply. It is NOT superwash, so care must be taken when washing it to avoid felting. I found this colorway unbelievably beautiful, and I hope you do, too.

#2: madelinetosh Tosh Sport and Beetle Tracks (click to see larger)

Beetle Tracks

madelinetosh Tosh Sport

This package includes a copy of the Beetle Tracks scarf pattern and a skein of madelinetosh Tosh Sport in the Charcoal colorway. The yarn is enough to knit a Beetle Tracks scarf, though of course you can use it for any project you see fit. If you already have a copy of Beetle Tracks, you can either select a different pattern or I will be happy to gift Beetle Tracks to a knitter of your choice. The yarn in this case is rather special, as I purchased it off of the madelinetosh Etsy store, and the full proceeds were already donated to charity work in Japan. This is a great way to pass it forward. Tosh Sport is 100% superwash merino.

#3: Rocky Mountain Dyeworks Bow Falls Fingering and Rosa (click to see larger)


Bow Falls Fingering

This package includes the Rosa shawl pattern and a skein of Rocky Mountain Dyeworks Bow Falls Fingering, which is the yarn used in the original Rosa. I picked a skein in the gorgeous Strawberry Root colorway, a rich red with undertones of maroon and bright pink. If you already have a copy of Rosa, you can either select a different pattern or I will be happy to gift Rosa to a knitter of your choice. You can of course use the yarn for any project, but there is enough here to knit the Rosa shawl. Bow Falls Fingering is a 100% superwash Blue Faced Leicester yarn. I’m very fond of BFL, and I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I do!

#4: Understory ebook

Understory is my new ebook of six accessory patterns knit in Malabrigo yarns. The winner will receive the ebook as well as each individual pattern PDF for Amanita Muscaria, Laetiporus, Lichen Beret, Light and Shade, Verdure, and the Woodpigeon Mitts. I had a lot of fun knitting the samples for this collection and I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Here are some patterns available for sale on Ravelry that benefit charities working in Japan.

Sakaki, by Rosemary Hill

Mitered Crosses Blanket by Kay Gardiner

Comfort Slippers by Reiko Arato

Apologies, etc.

January 8, 2011

My vow of getting better at posting here has gotten off to a rocky start. On my birthday, which was two days ago, I decided it would be fun to give something back, so I set up a few different Knitting Kninja related promotions on Ravelry. Did I then post here to let people know about that? No, I did not.

Basically, I noticed that the beginning of the year marks a spate of knitting resolutions among knitters, and saw many people adding one or another of my patterns to their queues in preparation to meet some goal in the coming year. The majority of these folks were part of a group wanting to knit 11 shawls in 2011. In response, I have two shawl related deals underway for the remainder of the month and one baby knitting deal. All of these deals are automatic when you check out, so no coupon code needed.

Deal 1: Buy Two Ladies, get $1 off Rosa. All three shawls for $15.50.

Deal 2: Purchase Clothilde or Arabella individually, get Beetle Tracks free.

Deal 3: Buy Surtsey, get Paulette free. Again, just add Paulette to your cart and it will be automatically discounted.

NOTE: Deal 2 originally read that you could buy ANY individual shawl and get Beetle Tracks free. However, including Rosa in that promotion was causing the first deal not to work, so I changed the parameters. If you’d like to purchase Rosa individually and get a free copy of Beetle Tracks, please email me or leave a comment here, on Twitter, Facebook, or Ravelry, and I will try to manually get the pattern to you as soon as possible. More apologies for the trouble this entails.

The fiercegrrl fund

April 15, 2010

Hey, all!  I’ll have pictures of a wee sweater to show you shortly, but in the meantime, I wanted to point you over to this very worthy cause: the fiercegrrl fund, a blog put together to help raise money to cover medical costs for Nicole Puzan, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer.  Nicole’s friends in the crafting world have come together to create beautiful handmade items for auction to help defray the expenses of her treatment, and on the block right now is a lovely bright pink silk/merino Clothilde made by This Chickadee.  Check it out, bid if you’re interested, or offer up your own contributions.  It’s amazing what crafters can do when they get together.

Daily photos

April 7, 2010

Finished some things last night. New things start today.

Two Ladies

March 9, 2010

Two Ladies is a bundled package of both Clothilde and Arabella.  Both shawl patterns are sold separately for $6.50 each.  You can purchase them together as Two Ladies for $10, and you will receive both PDFs for download.

Birthday knit, mitts, and Stitches

February 25, 2010

Say that three times fast!

My little sister’s birthday was yesterday.  I had previewed her birthday present on here, but hadn’t dared show a finished picture in case she happened along and I ruined the surprise!  (Which is my wont, anyway.  I get so excited about gifts that I bubble and giggle and give everything away right then and there.)  The present was, of course, a Liesl, and seriously, women in my life, look out, because this is just such a fun, fast pattern that I think it’s going to be my go-to gift for a while.

Erin wears a lot of black, which looks great with her coloring, and I wanted to make her a fun and bright spring cardigan to wear over her black wardrobe.  I knew it had to be bright magenta, but bright magenta turns out not to be that easily come by.  Apparently the world is not clamoring for crazyhappyfuntimes yarn of wackiness.   Happy for me, I stumbled along the Blue Moon website and found the Backstabber colorway.  The photos on the Blue Moon site are a little washed out, but Flickr is a great resource in this respect.  Backstabber it was.

The pattern is fast and easy and awesome, and I’ve already talked about that here, so I want to talk a little about the yarn.  The yarn is Luscious Single Silk (LSS), and it’s a single ply silk/merino blend.  It’s very, very soft, and you get 500 yards to a skein, which makes it a great deal.  I hate to look a gift horse in the mouth, and I think I’ll use it again, but I think it’s worth noting that there are some problems with this yarn. Or rather, not so much problems as potentially problematic characteristics.

The Sundara Aran Silky Merino (ASM) I used for my own Liesl was also a worsted weight silk/merino blend.  Since I used both these yarns for the same pattern in quick succession, it was difficult not to compare them, although the Sundara costs more than twice as much.  It’s like comparing apples to apples that were grown by monks and lovingly sprinkled with the tears of orphans each morning so that they can charge you $5 an apple at the store.  Or something.  But the first difference I noticed was the color.  Although the LSS is bright and beautiful, it is not as saturated as the ASM.  There’s a different dye process, of course, and they’re not meant to look alike, but I had expected the yarn to look more saturated with color than it was.  (This doesn’t show up in the finished photos, really.  Check the side by side comparison shot below to see what I mean.  The colors are very different, but the LSS looks softer.)

Second, the yarn itself is different.  I don’t know how well it shows in the above photos, but the ASM is spun more tightly than the LSS.  I think this is pretty important with a single ply.  When I was knitting with the ASM, it felt pretty strong to me, and I never felt too worried that it was going to break, or that I was mistreating it.  The LSS, on the other hand, untwisted very easily, and as I was sewing in the ends, it actually separated and came apart.  I think the knit item is strong enough that it’s not a worry there, but it does look like it will show wear more quickly.  I think Liesl’s not likely to be worn in any harsh ways, so I’d use it again for another Liesl, but for a pullover or a mitt or anything that will undergo a lot of friction, this is a serious consideration.

I don’t know if this is the yarn or my skills and equipment, but in the winding there was an unusual amount of tangling.  I rewound from the cake, which is my usual solution when the first winding doesn’t go well, but even then it twisted and snaked and knotted and tangled, and there was a lot of rewinding by hand.  I am not sure why this happened, but it may be worth a mention.

With all of that, it’s a nice yarn, and I liked working with it!  I sound like I disliked it, but really, it’s gorgeous, inexpensive, and luxurious, and I’m glad it’s out there.  I do think, though, that it’s helpful to note potential problems for other knitters.  One more shot!

I’m almost done with my Azul mitts.  The pattern’s fast and easy and pretty, and while I thought of it as rather feminine, Mr. Kninja is angling to get the mitts for himself, so it may suit dudes as well as ladies.  (It may just be the color, though.  The Azul Profundo looks a lot like this color we both favor for vintage cars.)  It’s not an especially fleshed out pattern, so I wouldn’t recommend it to a knitter making mitts for the first time, but it’s a free pattern and it’s not going to be difficult to follow for anyone familiar with the process of knitting mitts.

Finally, my schedule for Stitches!  I’ll be there most of the day on Friday, wandering around the market, looking tall and probably bewildered.  If you see me, come over and say hi!  I may be there Saturday morning as well, depending on how my back feels after Friday.  So, so excited!

One last thing.  I’ll do a separate post on this shortly, and add a button to the sidebar, but if you like both Arabella and Clothilde, you can now purchase them together for a more than 20% discount.  Both shawls are available for $10 on Ravelry, under the name Two Ladies.  As I say, I’ll make them available here, too, shortly.

To disregard or slight

December 1, 2009

I’ve been neglecting this blog, and I feel awful for that, as it’s usually a big highlight of my week to sit down and write an entry.  All I can say on that matter is do not get the flu, no matter how nicely you’re asked to.  I named mine Charo and she was an unwelcome guest for nearly a month.  And then we went away for Thanksgiving and that was another week of no writing.

But I’m back, Charo is gone, and things are pretty darn good.  So many items of business to attend to that got lost in the time I was busy lying in bed and hating life!

One, I got to test knit a wonderful new pattern from Pam at Flint Knits.  And I can’t post the picture here right now because it’s a surprise for Mr. Kninja, who doesn’t look at my Flickr stream unprovoked, but who does read this blog.  If you’d like to see the awesomeness of this adorable pattern, though, here’s a link to my Ravelry project page.  If you’re interested in the pattern, Pam should be releasing it very soon and it’s so fast that you still have enough time to whip up a few before the holidays are upon us in earnest.

Two, now that I’m well and upright again, I can get some modeled shots of the new Susan Scarf I made for the sake of creating a PDF version of the pattern that is charted and much clearer than my original messy “here’s what  I did” instructions.  I knit the new version in Rowan Kidsilk Aura, which I really like for this scarf as it is lightweight, warm, and blocks well.  And since I used only two skeins it makes for a luxurious project that doesn’t break the bank.  I’m hoping to get the PDF up in about a week as a holiday gift.  There may be another little freebie depending on how fast I can work.

I’m starting work on my yearly unsolicited gifts for knitters list.  I figure that while no one has ever asked me to do it, two years in a row makes it a tradition, and I enjoy looking up fun stuff to recommend.

There are a couple more finished projects that have gone unmentioned on the blog.  I knew I wanted to knit something for my mother in law for Christmas, and after coercing my husband into interrogating his mother and spending an ungodly amount of time lurking around on The Fiber Fix‘s website, I settled on Becoming Art Cielo Fingering in Luminous Heart, a gorgeous purple and brown combo.   I had intended to make a Milkweed Shawl out of the yarn, but Mr. Kninja told me his mother would like something I’d designed myself, so I whipped up my fifth Clothilde.  Holy cats!  Much to my pleasant surprise, the variegated yarn looked good with the Clothilde pattern.

Luminous Heart really is luminous.  This is some truly gorgeous yarn, and I can’t wait to get ahold of some for myself, perhaps to finally make that Milkweed Shawl!  Small shawls really do make excellent gifts.  They knit up fast, hold interest for the knitter, and can be made using a single skein of sock yarn.  I’ve got a little shawl crazy this year with the gifts, but I can’t resist.


I also whipped up a little bolero for Eleanor on a whim, using slightly less than a skein of Malabrigo Gruesa and some handspun held with RYC Soft Lux for the edging.  It was an excellent stashbuster and looks super cute on Nora.

That’s all for now!  I hope to get a lot more modeled shots in the days to come and will have my Unsolicited List of Gifts for Knitters up shortly.  Take care!

Still kicking

September 12, 2009

Whew.  Surfacing for a moment.  This semester is just crazy for me.  I’m taking Spanish and Statistics, which, if you’re a full time student means you’re sitting there thinking, “And?”  The and for me is that I’m just not that organized.  A mythological SuperMom would be able to parent three children effortless while simultaneously attending school full time and keeping her house spotlessly clean, her mate happy, and herself fulfilled, but I’m unfortunately a terribly human human, and this is just a lot for me.  I can simultaneously attend school part time, keep the kids fed, clean up when the mess becomes especially egregious, have clean clothes ready to wear well over half of the time, and work on my knitting when there’s a spare moment, so I’m going to count myself largely successful.  I’ve become more and more impressed over time with the women I read about who manage somehow to foster marvelously intellectual and brilliant careers at the same time as they are the primary caregivers to small people.  I’m just not made of their stern stuff.

Enough of that, though: I don’t need to feel very sorry for myself, as I’m actually enjoying myself greatly.  Statistics is math that I can really love, so far.  It makes sense, it connects with a tangible, and at the same time, there’s so much of the abstract.  There’s enough room for personal style and decision making to allow for different solutions to the same problem.  Heaven help me, but I’m considering taking more classes in this subject once I’m through with this semester.

The boys are back in school and that’s going very well for them.  While I love spending time with all the kids, the summer becomes pretty stifling after a time when we have all five of us crammed into our small apartment.  Two parents who work from home and three kids in a small space equals the makings of crazytimes.  Having a little space apart is good for the soul, I think.  So the boys are back in school and Eleanor started ballet, which makes her very happy.  Seeing a mess of three to five year olds learning to dance makes me happy.  They’re so babyish still, but also so serious about the dancing.  It’s ridiculously cute.

I’m working on the Entrechat pattern, but with my homework and the boys’ homework, I haven’t yet found as much time as I’d like, so the release date may be moved back a little from early to mid October.  I’m determined to get it out in enough time for people to start knitting before the weather gets very cold, though.

I finished the lovely Herbivore pattern a little while back.  It’s such a fun pattern, and I highly encourage people to give it a shot!  I love how the Trekking looks with the twisted stitch rib.

We’re getting into prime knitting season here, and it’s come upon us all of a sudden.  Today was actually pretty chilly for a long while.  Well, chilly as in Bay Area chilly.  I don’t wish to lay claim to more chill than I have a right to.

There has been such a spate of gorgeous patterns that have been released in the last few months and weeks.  I’m overwhelmed with the desire to knit a whole heckuva lot of them all at once, knowing, of course, that my knitting time is already severely curtailed.  I’ll get to them, though!  In time.

Oh, a last quick thing.  I’ve noticed a jump in interest in Maude Louise in the last couple of days (due, as Ravelry informs me, to a very minor resemblance between Maude and a lovely pattern in the new Knitty) and I wanted to invite people interested in knitting Maude to join the Dangerous With Pointy Sticks group, where there is an ongoing Maude Louise thread for people who want a knitalong.  I’ll be following the thread and jumping in to help out if folks want or need help, and, of course, it’s always nice to knit along with others, since they can offer their own suggestions and modifications.  I’ve started a thread for Clothilde as well, since the Fiber Fix KAL has ended.   If you’re knitting any of my other patterns and want a little help or guidance, or just to share, please go ahead and start a new thread!  I love seeing what people are working on.

To raise and contract the shoulders

August 25, 2009

This isn’t a real picture.  Or rather, it is a real picture, but it’s a placeholder until I can do a detailed photo shoot.  I finished the new version of the Erin Shrug and am now getting to work on writing up a pattern.  Whee!  I’m very, very happy with the Malabrigo Chunky used for this version, as it has just the right gauge and stretch for what I wanted.  I have not blocked the shrug yet, because I’m a little afraid of smushing the cables, but I think I probably will get to that this week.

You can’t see it in this picture, because well, this is what happens when you demand that your husband take a picture as he’s heading out the door in the morning, but the collar has been altered from the previous incarnation and is now, with the help of short rows, tall and sophisticated.  The sleeves are seamed, but the sewing required is fairly simple and minimal.

Now, normally when I write up a pattern, the name is all picked out, but in this case, I’m feeling like the Erin Shrug doesn’t really work, and I need your help.  It’s a minor contest.  Post a suggestion of a name in the comments section of this post, and I’ll pick three people at random (and one at not-so-random) to win a free copy of the Clothilde pattern.  The main feature of this shrug is the cables, of course, and the way they flow from one side to the other.  It makes me think of dancing and of water, but I’ve got nothing so far.  With luck, and your help, the pattern will be pulled together soon, and I can get it out for tech editing and test knitting right quick!

Edited to add: I’ll run this for a week, which I forgot to mention up front.  Also, if your name is picked and you already bought a copy of Clothilde, please let me know and I can send you one of my other patterns, or you can give the Clothilde pattern as a gift.

Clothilde Knitalong

July 30, 2009

I just wanted to let everyone know that the awesome Vanessa of The Fiber Fix is hosting a Ravelry knitalong of Clothilde, starting August 1st.  You don’t have to purchase yarn from The Fiber Fix to participate, but be sure to check out the shop!  The yarns are glorious, and Vanessa is super responsive and helpful.  I am saving up for a sweater’s worth of Tosh Worsted, personally, if I can ever settle on a color.  Yum!  The shop carries Malabrigo Silky Merino, the yarn recommended for the larger Clothilde, and also has a great selection of sock yarns, perfect for the smaller Clothilde.  Clothilde takes less than a skein of Malabrigo Sock and looks fabulous in it.

Anyway, if you’re planning on knitting Clothilde during that time and you’re a Ravelry member, sign on up, and you can have the support of your fellow Ravelers to help you along.  I’ll be checking in on the knitalong regularly and lending a hand where needed.