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You Could Win a Craftsy Class!

I’m so pleased to announce another giveaway!

It’s from the fabulous Craftsy.  You could win access to the Knit Lab class for free!

Enter to win a Craftsy class

Knit Lab is the perfect class for:

  • Beginning knitters
  • Knitters who need more confidence
  • Knitters who want to learn more skills, like how to increase, decrease, make a buttonhole, knit lace, block, seam, and read patterns.

Basically, it contains all the essentials to becoming a knitter who can make anything.  And, because it’s a Craftsy class, you’ll be able to watch the videos any time, as many times as you like.  You can pause them and make notes and “bookmarks.”  You can ask the instructor any question, and she’ll answer you.  You’ll have lifetime access to your class, and there are no time limits to learning.

Nice, eh?

All you have to do is click this link to enter.  If you don’t already have a Craftsy account, they’ll ask you to make one.  It’s super easy.

You’ll have until Sunday, March 23rd to enter.  Then, Craftsy will send the lucky winner a link to access the Knit Lab class for free.  (Its regular price is $30.99.)

I’ve already taken a bunch of their classes — Lace Shawl Design with Miriam Felton, Shawlscapes with Stephen West, Sizing Knitwear Patterns with Faina Goberstein, and Knit Lab: Fit Your Knits with Stephanie Japel.  I have thoroughly enjoyed them all.

So, when Craftsy offered me this chance to host a giveaway, I was thrilled to be able to offer you, my fabulous readers, such a nice gift.  Good luck to everyone!  I wish you could all win.

Craftsy class giveaway March 2014 from  Win Knit Lab!  Click to enter.



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Free Preemie Hats, Upcoming Patterns, and Portraits. Oh My!

Hello, lovely people!

My brain is so full right now, of ideas and deadlines, that I barely know what to say when I do have time to write.  Let me begin in the middle.

Christmas is coming (yay!), and that means we have five little people to buy gifts for (yikes!).  They are all super excited, especially since it snowed at our house overnight and they woke up to a wintery wonderland this morning.  I made the mistake of taking my two oldest ones Christmas shopping for their siblings at Chapters last week, and their wish lists instantly grew by about two feet that day.  Pokemon is the big thing in our house right now.  I am secretly horrified, but trying to look interested in all their cards with the weird names and diverse “powers.”

I’ve been knitting up a storm, trying to make samples, figure out new patterns, knit gifts, and fulfill special orders.  (I’ve recently taken up knitting for non-knitters who want hats.  They can be voracious.  Owl hats are a big hit, and I hope to write up a pattern for them soon, if I can ever find the time.)

Owl hat with plaid collageb

I’m also an artist of sorts.  I say “of sorts” because I’ve barely had a chance to draw or paint since my first baby was born nine years ago.  Now that my youngest is three, I’ve realized that maybe I can get back into painting again!  But first, I’m sticking with the simpler art of drawing.  Pencils don’t dry out when you have to leave them to make lunch.  I’ve decided to sell pencil portraits for the next little while.  It’s an experiment of sorts, trying to figure out just how much creativity I can fit into my life before the dirty dishes really do begin to overtake the kitchen counters.

(This is a drawing I made of my husband and our firstborn as a Christmas present to said husband years ago.  It’s actually a compilation of two photos, since neither of them had the proper expressions in one photo, of course.  Husbands and children never do.)

Pencil drawing of father and son.

I also received a surprise in the mail today.  I had sent my sample hats to Knit Picks before they listed my Merrick hat pattern in the IDP section, and today I received them back!  Eva immediately put the blue one on, and aha! — a revelation — it looks adorable on a three year old.  It turns into a cute little elf-like hat.  (She’s wearing the child size.)

Merrick child size

Merrick, child size

I’m in the end stages of getting Merrick‘s close cousin, Merry, ready for publication.  It’s an extended version, shall we say, with cozy earflaps and (optional) hilarious pom poms.  Adding the earflaps forced me to make entirely new charts, so I’m putting Merry out as its own pattern since it took just as much work as Merrick did.  I think, however, that I’ll offer it at a discount to those who want to buy both patterns.

I roped my neighbour and friend into being my model last weekend.  😀  She’s such a good sport.  Here’s a sneak peak:


Last, but not least:  Sunday was World Prematurity Awareness Day, and in honour of the four out of my five kids who were preemies, I’m once again offering all my preemie hat patterns for free.  The coupon code is only good for a limited time (until Friday, November 22nd at midnight), so grab them quickly on Ravelry with the coupon code preemieday.  Whether you know a preemie or not, sending preemie hats to your local NICU is such a nice way to encourage the families in your community.  Having a child born too early can be quite nerve wracking and traumatizing.  Many parents suffer from some form of PTSD afterwards.  The more support those parents have, the better.

My personal favourite of my preemie patterns is the Tulip Preemie Hat. It’s so much fun to knit it up with some self-striping yarn, and it’s so tiny that you can complete one in a couple hours (or less).

Tulip Preemie Hat





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UnBaby Blanket

When I saw the blanket my sister was making, I knew I had to have one. The diagonal stripes, the vibrant colours, the texture — they all conspired to hijack my knitting plans, and I happily let them.

Her simple design has been a hit, and not just with me. I am excited to present the recipe here so you, too, can make your own one-of-a-kind, easy-yet-interesting-to-knit unbaby blanket. I call it “unbaby” because there is no way these colours would ever end up in the baby yarn section, and there is a distinct possibility that you, like me, will want one in your own size, too.

One of the blanket’s best features, besides its bold stripes, is that it is reversible but not identical on both sides. Don’t ask me which side I prefer because I have been trying to decide that very thing since I began knitting it, and I still can’t make up my mind. Is it the clean lines and bumpy softness of the “right” side, or the varied textures and visual extras on the “wrong” side? You know what? Forget right and wrong — I think I should just name them something else that implies how great each side is. How about Ruby and Clementine? (I’ll never be able to use those names for children, anyway, so they might as well go to a good home.)

Here are some things you need to know about the pattern:

You’ll need at least four balls of 5 oz/140g medium worsted weight yarn. (I say “at least” in case you want an adult-sized one. In that case, get two in each colour… at least.) We used Red Heart Soft Touch for ours (which I know is a variation on my usual Knit Picks preference, but it was available, washable, and pretty darn soft to boot). Steph chose the dark brown, navy blue, aqua blue, and bright green as her colours, and I loved them and copied her. If that’s not to your taste, I’d simply recommend two dark colours and two vibrant colours in your mix.

Needle size was 9 US for me and 8 US for Steph, and they both worked well. The point is to have a nice, relaxed stitch for a soft fabric.

The pattern is written for beginners and includes tips on some techniques which you may or may not have already come across. I want your blanket to be beautiful, so I told you everything I did to make mine great.

And now, without further ado, here is the link where you can grab it for FREE:

download now