I recently had the pleasure of teaching a Buff Knitting class at the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery. This was done as a part of their Stitches in Time Series. If you are local to the area and interested in fiber arts, I encourage you to look into this great series. Earlier this summer I took a class on natural dyeing and it was incredible! The teaching space is beautiful, the instructors were a wealth of knowledge, all materials were included, and at $25 per class you simply can't go wrong!
Here you see the materials table for my knitting class. I first became interested in Buff Knitting about three years ago. While visiting family on the east coast, my mother and sister and I started looking through an old issue of Adirondack Life magazine that had an in-depth article on this unique regional technique. After some time of reading, research and swatching, I was asked to write an article for Knitting Traditions magazine about Buff Knitting in the Adirondack High Peaks Country.
The Fort Collins Museum reached out to Interweave this winter to set up a historic knitting class for their stitches series, which is how I was invited to teach. After working with a variety of yarns, needles, and stitches, I developed my interpretation of the Buff Mitten into the sample you see above, called the Timber Mitten. In this pattern, I combine a respect for the traditional natural or "buff" colored wooly mitten, along with a more modern stitching style that requires working with just one strand of yarn at a time. The Timber Mitten pattern is now available for sale in my Ravlery shop in case you are interested in trying your hand at it. The pattern includes written instructions, a colorwork chart and an instructional video on working the loop stitch.
To create a buff mitten, you knit a loopy stitch mitten and then cut the loops. The cut loops are then "shagged" to create a thick and warm carpet like mitten, which was perfect for the loggers and teamsters of the north country to wear while working long hours outdoors in the winter. I am looking forward to wearing my mittens this winter on my long walks around the lake!
Today I am pleased to share a new book review with you, 52 Timeless Toys to Knit by Chris de Longpre. You may be familiar with Chris's design work through her business, Knitting at Knoon. I first met Chris at TNNA several years ago, and was really impressed by her classic patterns for children and families. (Her book, Timeless Knits for Kids, is a "must have" pattern book for boys and girls of all ages.)
Chris's newest book, (which is beautifully self-published, by the way), contains dozens of patterns for beautiful knitted toys. My favorite part of this collection is that the toys are all categorized by their habitat, which makes it also a great learning book for children, too. You can knit a crocodile from Down Under, an armadillo from the Southwest, a zebra from the Serengeti, and a clown fish from the Reef. My children love studying nature and animals, and I can say with certainty that this book has not left out any child's favorite animal! To view all of the patterns in the book, you can visit the Ravelry pattern page here: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/sources/52-timeless-toys-to-knit/patterns
A fun little side note for me is that Chris very graciously asked me to blurb this book for her, which I was honored to do. My first job in the publishing business as working as an intern, helping the marketing manager acquire blurbs for a series of paperbacks. Never would I have imagined at that time that I would one day be writing a blurb of my own!
Onto the GIVEAWAY!
Now, the fun part! Chris has generously offered to give a copy of her newest book to one lucky winner. To enter, simply comment on this post and include the name of your favorite animal along with your website, blog, Ravelry name, or email address so we can contact you.
Comments are now closed, thank you!
The Literary Knits episode is sure to inspire those of you who love knitting and lit like I do! The episode features Green Gables Knits, Jane Austen Knits, Literary Knits, and a book review roundup of more bookish knits! Visit here to learn more about the episode, and here to learn more about the entire season!
This past February I flew from my home studio in Colorado to Ohio to tape a segment for season 13 of Knitting Daily with Vickie Howell. This was a great experience for me- Vickie is an incredible host, and I met a wonderful group of guests.
Here are a few behind the scenes shots from my time at the studio.
live feed in Green room
my workspace backstage
my favorite corner of the set
The new season is starting to air across the country… check your local PBS listings to find the new season. Our local station in Denver hasn't started airing the new season yet, but I will be sure to post when it does this coming fall!!
Earlier this month I received some absolutely gorgeous gradient hand-dyed sock yarn from the very talented Jaala Sprio over at Knitcircus. The photo does not do it justice- it is just stunning. I have been knitting socks for about 10 years, and very avidly of late. I think I knit myself seven pairs of socks this winter alone.
So… I have decided to try my hand at designed a few sock patterns. I have this yarn to work with, plus some beautiful hand dyed yarn from a Colorado indie dyer I recently met, so stay tuned. Socks are coming, hopefully in time for fall knitting!
Yes, it is another handmade gift post. I suppose I am on a roll! I wanted to knit up a little something for our daughter's dance teacher, and thought that a simple pair of yoga socks would be perfect. I confess I had a hard time parting with these sweet socks, they are just like a cozy little hug for your feet.
I used scraps of Paton's Kroy sock yarn, and made a pair of yoga socks from about 110 yards of yarn. You could easily get a pair of these socks from one 50 gram ball.
I simply cast on 48 stitches, worked 3-4 inches in k2 p2 ribbing, then shaped the heel by binding off 24, working 24, casting on 24, working 24, and continuing merrily on my way for another 3-4 inches. I have a feeling I will be making a lot of these in years to come… they were so much fun to make, are super comfy to wear, and will fit pretty much anyone!
Lately I have really enjoyed making handmade gifts again. That is one of the trickiest things about taking up pattern writing as a profession-- sometimes you lose out on the joy of creating handmade gifts just for fun. Not me! People appreciate hand made gifts too much to skip out on it!
I found this adorable crochet pattern from Crochet Me, it is a free pattern which you can find here:
I used some Red Heart yarn from the stash and happily cast on, making a few changes like using white instead of gray for the center of the wheels. My crochet skills are very limited, but I had no issues with this project at all, it went very quickly!
The best part? I think the thank you note I got from our son's teacher was the nicest thank you note I have ever received! What a great way to end the school year.