52 Timeless Toys to Knit, book review and giveaway!

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:

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!


Literary Knits on Knitting Daily with Vickie Howell!

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!!


by Joanna

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!

Yoga socks for the dance teacher!

by Joanna

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!

Teacher Gift- The School Bus Scarf!

by Joanna

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.

Sewing again! A nifty retro apron

by Joanna

I have been in a sewing "desert" for a long while… I haven't stitched a single stitch on my machine in over a year! Last spring I cut out a dress (the Clara dress) for myself and it is still sitting folded up on my desk. I decided it was high time I got sewing again. And what inspires like a birthday for my sweet little niece!

Determined to make this a pure stash project, I found about 5/8 of a yard of this adorable retro zoo-themed fabric in my stash, and decided to use some red or yellow floral as a contrast. I have been organizing, purging, and cataloging my sewing patterns on pinterest, which is working out amazingly well, and quickly found this vintage pinafore pattern. Converting it to an apron was a breeze!

I created the pattern mostly as written… just adding a snap closure at the upper back instead of a zipper, and adding prefinished eyelet trim to the armhole edges. Zing! What a fun little project this was! 

Our niece loves to play kitchen and dress up. I hope she enjoys wearing it as much as I enjoyed making it!


Giveaway and Review ~Tahoe Knits~

Today I am very pleased to bring you a review of a lovely book by Kirsti Johanson entitled Tahoe Knits. I was first introduced to Kirsti and her work while working on Jane Austen Knits and I have always found her pieces both beautiful and inspiring.

Her newest project, a self-published knitting book inspired by nature and hiking, is a unique collaboration with a few of her very talented students. High school junior Jemima Liposcak created some lovely pen & ink illustrations which pepper the pages, high school senior Claire Wisniewski composed a poem for each chapter, and college student Britt Stevens wrote an essay for each chapter as well. Kirsti's students also modeled for the book, making it a true creative collective.

This beautiful collection of knitted accessories is accompanied by thoughtful essays, poems, and even a recipe for Cherry Almond Scones- they look delicious! Knitting instructions are both written and charted, and the photographs are beautiful. You can see all of the patterns from Tahoe Knits here on Ravelry.

The best part? Kirsti is graciously offering to gift one print copy and two digital copies of her new book to three of you lucky knitters.
Comments are now closed for this drawing. Congratulations to Gobzone, TerryLee, and MarianHooks for winning! Thanks!