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Summer Stitching Inspiration & A Giveaway

Summer is here, and for many people that means spending more time outside. We have some smaller projects for the home that are perfect for summer stitching. These instant gratification projects will satisfy your stitching needs, and they are perfect projects to be worked on when you're out and about! As an added bonus, all of these patterns are available for free via Ravelry! Follow Knitter's Pride on Pinterest to see more stitching inspiration! 

Knit

Make these adorable Leafy Washcloths for yourself or as gifts! You can use any weight yarn and they use less than 50 yards of yarn! 
Leafy Washcloth by Megan Goodacre
The Summer Fling bag is perfect for carrying all your essentials around this summer. Worked in linen, it's machine washable--making it a great bag for the beach! 
Summer Fling by Espace Tricot

Crochet

These adorable Owls could be made into keychains as pictured, but they also would make great bunting, mobile, or accessory to a knit or crochet bag. With so many possibilities, who could resist?
Owl Key Chain by Yarn Artists
These bright and cheery coasters are small and quick. Have fun with combining contrast colors or using variegated yarns. You could also make them larger to make hot pads.
Roller Coasters by Kristen from Sheep and Lemons

Giveaway

This month we're giving away a Karbonz Interchangeable Needle Starter Set! Made with a carbon fiber shaft and metal tips, these popular needles are lightweight and have nice sharp points. 

To enter leave a comment on this post telling us what you're stitching this summer. Don't forget to leave your Ravelry ID so we can contact you if you're the winner. We'll be announcing the winner on July 25th. Good luck! 





Designer Spotlight: Bristol Ivy

Today we have another post in our Designer Spotlight series. Bristol Ivy is a knitting designer and fiber artist from
Portland, Maine. Her work focuses on the intersection between classic tailoring and innovative technique, and includes publications with Brooklyn Tweed, Quince & Co., Twist Collective, Knitty, Interweave Knits, Knitscene, and knit.wear. You can follow her adventures at her blog, on Ravelry, Twitter, and Instagram, and in her Ravelry group, Bristol Ivy Designs.


KP: How long have you been knitting, and how did you get started designing?
BI: I've been knitting since I was six, so around 22 years.  I wasn't into fiber arts until I was about 16, despite the fact that I grew up with it; my mom was a quilter, knitter, and threadwork whiz all through my childhood.  But just before I headed off to college, it felt like a little switch flipped, and the obsession became full-blown!
I started designing about five years ago.  I've always been someone who likes trying their hand at the creative side of their obsessions, if that makes sense: if I read, I wrote; if I danced, I choreographed; if I knit, I designed.  I sent in my first submission in 2010 while I was traveling around New Zealand, working on sheep and fiber farms, and published my first pattern a few months after I got back home.  It's been a whirlwind since then!

KP: You work within the knitting industry for your day job and design
Kit Camisole by Bristol Ivy from Quince & Co.
on the side. Do you ever get sick of talking about knitting, fiber, and yarn? 
BI: Haha, never! Knitting and the knitting industry satisfy so many different parts of my brain; creative, analytical, logical, social.  I don't think I'll ever be sick of it--though sometimes I do like not having to think about what I'm knitting so I can just zone out in the evenings!

KP: When you're not knitting (or sleeping) what do you like to do? 
BI: I love cooking and baking, and the impromptu kitchen dance parties that go along with it.  I also love other fiber arts--spinning, weaving, dyeing, felting--and am working on my sewing skills.  I also go running when I can, which is a great way to shake loose any stuck ideas!

KP: Of all your designs, which is your favorite?
Oh, that's a hard one! There are a couple that just came together better than I could have ever envisioned--the perfect combination of yarn, styling, and photography doing more for my original idea than I thought possible! The Kit Camisole with Quince & Co., in their fingering weight linen Sparrow, is one of these, and Winnowing in Wool People 2, in Brooklyn Tweed's Loft, is another.  It's always a good day when you see the pattern proofs and the photos for the first time and you get shivers of excitement!
Winnowing by Bristol Ivy from Wool People 2

KP: Do you have any knitting horror stories or mishaps? 
BI: Oh my gosh, so many.  Most involve fingering weight, late nights, and tight deadlines! My most recent project just wouldn't die: fingering weight, lots of stitches, unusual shaping and construction--I was so ready to be done! I finally got everything seamed at around midnight and went to go take a look in the mirror, and I was SWIMMING in it.  We're talking 16" of positive ease at the hips.  Luckily, with the construction I was able to rip back a few inches and snug things up, but that cascaded into other problems, and then I re-seamed it twisted THREE times... needless to say I wanted to throw it in the corner for a while! But I'm really happy I stuck with it and I know I'll wear it a lot.

Bristol's workspace



Giveaway Winner
Congratulations to Rachel Laughlin, you're our lucky winner! You've won a Karbonz Interchangeable Starter Set





Needle Mischief

You may have noticed we've been posting some silly photos on Instagram and Facebook. Here at Knitter's Pride we've noticed our needles seem to get into some pretty strange situations, and we felt it was time we started capturing these picture perfect moments! We're going to keep sharing our photos of our needle mischief, and we invite you to share yours too! Just use #needlemichief and don't forget to tag us @knitterpride so we can share your photo!

Here are a few more #needlemischief photos!



Giveaway
This month we're giving away a Karbonz Interchangeable Needle Starter Set! To enter leave us a comment telling us where your knitting needles and crochet hooks like to hide. We'll pick one random winner on June 27! 


Designer Spotlight: Ruth Garcia-Alcantud

Today we're kicking off a new series here on the Knitter's Pride blog called the Designer Spotlight. In this series, we'll interview independent knitting and crochet designers, and today we're thrilled to bring you an interview with well-known knitwear designer and technical editor Ruth Garcia-Alcantud  (you may also know her as Rock + Purl). 

Ruth was born in Spain, then lived in the UK for over a decade, and recently moved to sunny California. Her father worked in the fashion industry, and her mother was a computer programmer, so it's no surprise she combined the two to become a hand-knit pattern designer!


KP: How long have you been knitting, and how did you get started designing? 
RGA: I started knitting when I was very young - I believe I was 6 or 7 years old. And, actually, I started crocheting first! I also tried ALL the crafts: clay modelling, figurine painting, cross-stitch, sewing... and made tons of clothes for my dolls. Of course when I was a teenager I didn't even touch the needles, but as I was into my mid-20s I started again and now there's no stopping me.
I always modified all the patterns I was knitting, mostly because I have really long arms but a short torso, so changing those aspects to fit my figure was key. Making the move from there to my own designs was quite easy and natural.

KP: You're also a tech editor, and for those who don't know, can you tell us what a tech editor does? How does it differ from designing?
Echoes of Winter

RGA: A technical editor (TE for short) is hired by designers and publishers to check the accuracy of patterns before they are released. We check charts, mathematics, sizing, wording, grammar, spelling, and, if necessary, we also change the style of the pattern to match the rest of the designer's portfolio, or the style sheet of the publisher. 

All designers should arm themselves with a good TE - for a start, as designers we have "tunnel vision" on our own work and find it hard to find mistakes and errors. A TE is far enough from the piece to be able to pick at it. Also, it provides you with a professional product, which is crucial if you want knitters to pay for your pattern.
Lichen Mists

KP: When you're not knitting (or sleeping) what do you like to do? 
RGA: I've recently relocated from the south of the UK to the East Bay in California - currently all my spare time is spent investigating new areas, new streets, finding new cafes, restaurants... and yarn shops!!!


KP: Of all your designs, which is your favorite? 
RGA: I have a very soft spot for 2 particular ones: Chambourcin, which is a very flattering lace hoodie. And Echoes of Winter: I'm very proud of it, the shaping is beautiful and it flatters women of all sizes.
If we are not talking about garments... Lichen Mists and Libelula are my favorite shawls!


KP: Do you have any knitting horror stories or mishaps? 
RGA: Uh... Yes. A very silly one? When I started knitting again in my 20s I made a garment from this pattern. The pattern said to use "Cotton DK and 4mm needles" and I used "bamboo sportweight and US4 needles". YIKES. It was horribly saggy, the gauge was off, and it died a horrible death: I took it apart and frogged it entirely!

Follow Ruth and get to know her better: 
Twitter: @rockandpurl
Facebook: Rock+Purl
Instagram: @rockandpurl
Flickr: Rock+Purl
Ravelry: Ruth Garcia-Alcantud

Giveaway Winner

Congratulations to Margo Watkins and Gwenn, you will both be receiving a Waves Crochet hook to try! We'll be in touch to arrange delivery of your prize.


Free Pattern: Tadley's Diagonal Blanket

Today we have a free crochet blanket pattern from designer Marie Segares, the Underground Crafter. Marie Segares has been hooked on crochet since she learned from her grandmother when she was 9. She conquered her fear of knitting in 2010. In addition to designing, Marie teaches both crochet and knitting in the New York City metro area and at regional fiber events. She is a Professional member of the Crochet Guild of America and a Designer/Teacher member of The Knitting Guild Association. Marie always appreciates visitors to her blog, Underground Crafter, where she shares her crafty adventures, along with interviews, book reviews, and giveaways.

I love crocheting baby blankets. They work up quickly (in comparison to adult blankets!) and are usually cherished by new parents and babies alike! When one of my dearest friends was expecting her first child, I knew I had to crochet something special.

I decided to use double-ended crochet because it looks great – but different – on both sides. And, to combat the love-hate relationship I develop with all of my crocheted blankets during the last few rows, I decided to crochet this on the bias, increasing towards the center and then decreasing until the end. After you reach the center point, each row is shorter than the one before it!

This blanket is very lush and thick, and works equally well as a playmat in the spring or a stroller blanket in the winter. Gauge isn’t critical, and it can be easily resized (though you may need more or less yarn).

Choose a flexible double-ended crochet hook, like one created from the Knitter’s Pride Dreamz Interchangeable Tunisian/Afghan Crochet Hook Set or the Knitter’s Pride Bamboo Interchangeable Tunisian/Afghan Crochet Hook Set. If you don’t have two Tunisian hooks in the same size, you can always switch the positions of the hook and end cap at the beginning of each row where you slide loops and turn.


Free Pattern: Tadley’s Diagonal Blanket by Marie Segares


Finished Size
Adjustable. Photographed sample is 36” (91.5 cm) square.

Materials
• King Cole Merino Blend Aran (100% superwash wool, 1.75 oz/50 g/88 yd/80 m) – 10 skeins each in Denim 778 (CA) and in Aran 776 (CB), or approximately 840-1,000 yd (770-915 m) in each of 2 colors in any medium/worsted weight yarn.
• I/9 5.5 mm flexible double-ended crochet hook, or size needed to obtain gauge.
• Yarn needle.

Gauge
18 sts x 18 rows in Tss = 4” (10 cm). Exact gauge is not critical for this project.
Abbreviations
CA = color A
CB = color B
ch = chain
ea = each
rep = repeat
Rnd(s) = Round(s)
sc = single crochet
sk = skip
sp = space
st(s) = sts
Tfs = Tunisian full stitch (used to increase 1 st in this pattern) = Insert hook under horizontal bar (between 2 vertical bars), yo and draw up loop onto hook.
Tss = Tunisian single stitch = Insert hook under next vertical bar, yo and draw up loop onto hook.
Tss2tog = Tunisian simple stitch 2 together (used to decrease 1 st in this pattern) = Insert hook under next 2 vertical bars, yo and draw up loop onto hook.

Pattern notes:
• Always sk first vertical bar (below first loop on hook) at beginning of row. 
• Blanket is crocheted in rows on the bias, increasing to the center and then decreasing to end. Border is crocheted in the round.
• Weaving in ends in double-ended crochet projects can be challenging. Change colors at beginning or end of rows when possible.
• For edging, a stitch marker or piece of scrap yarn can be used to indicate corner st.

Pattern Instructions

Blanket

With CA, ch 3.

Set Up Row: Sk 1st ch. (Insert hook in next ch, yo and pull up a loop) twice. (3 loops)

Increase stitch count to center
Row 1: Slide loops to other hook, turn. With CB, ch 1, *yo and draw through 2 loops. 
Rep from * across.

Row 2: Tfs in first sp between vertical bars, Tss in each vertical bar across to last sp, 
Tfs, Tss in last st. (Increase by 2 sts)

Row 3: Slide loops to other hook, turn. With CA, ch 1, *yo and draw through 2 loops. 
Rep from * across.

Row 4: Rep Row 2.

Rep Rows 1-4 until sides measures approximately 34”/86 cm (or desired length), ending after Row 3.

Decrease stitch count to end
Row 5: Tss2tog, Tss in ea vertical bar across to last 3 sts, Tss2tog, Tss in last st. (Decrease by 2 sts)

Row 6: Rep Row 1.

Row 7: Rep Row 5.

Row 8: Rep Row 3.

Rep Rows 5-8 until 3 sts remain on hook, ending after Row 3.

Final Row: With CB, (insert hook in next vertical bar as for Tss, yo, draw through both loops on hook) twice. Fasten off.

Edging

Rnd 1: Facing side where CA is more prominent, join CB with a sc in corner, 2 sc in same st, *sc in edge st of ea row across to next corner,** 3 sc in corner; rep from * around twice, then from * to ** once. Fasten off.

Rnd 2: Turn, facing side where CB is more prominent, join CA with sc in corner st, 2 sc in same st, *sc in each st around to next corner,** 3 sc in corner; rep from * around twice, then from * to ** once. Fasten off.

Rnd 3: Turn, facing side where CA is more prominent, join CB with sc in corner st, 2 sc in same st, *sc in each st around to next corner,** 3 sc in corner; rep from * around twice, then from * to ** once. Fasten off.

Rnd 4: Rep Rnd 2. 

Finishing
With yarn needle, weave in ends.

Giveaway

This month we're giving away Waves Crochet Hooks in size I/9 (5.5 mm) to two lucky winners! To
enter leave a comment on this post telling us about your last crochet project. Don't forget to tell us your Ravelry ID so we can contact you if you're one of the lucky winners! 



KP Photo A Day Challenge & Lots of Winners!

We've really enjoyed seeing everyone's wonderful photos this month for the Knitter's Pride Photo A Day Challenge. There is still time to enter your photos for your chance to win through the end of April through Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram - simply use the hashtag #KPpadc when you post your photo! We'd also like to thank the Geeky Girls Knit Podcast for co-hosting this photo challenge with us!

After the end of this month, we'll be selecting 10 finalists, all of whom will win a Knitter's Pride Comby II Sampler Set! From these finalists, we'll have our wonderful fans vote to pick the three grand prize winners!

Our team has been inspired by all the amazing photos we've seen, so we wanted to share a photo of our own:

Lining everything up like this is known as knolling, and if you also happen to enjoy knolling your Knitter's Pride tools, we hope you'll share a photo with us on your social media channel of choice!

Winner's Circle

We have a lot of winners to announce today!

KPPADC Day 10: Just Needles And Hooks Winner
Congratulations to Instagram user cedwards1183! You've won a Shawl Pin & Clicky Row Counter! Please message us on Ravelry or Facebook to arrange delivery of your prize.

Day 10: just needles and hooks My needles that are not in use at the moment. No hooks :( #ggkcraftypad #kppadc #knitterspride #knitting #knit
KPPADC Day 18: Favorite Tool Winner
Congratulations to Twitter user Aleksandra, @aleksgeniusz, you've won Cable Needles & Removable Stitch Markers! Please message us on Ravelry or Facebook to arrange delivery of your prize.

#KPpadc #GGKCRAFTYPAD
Favorite Tool

Karbonz Fixed Circular Needle Winners
Congratulations to Sara, Jill K., and Jeanne! You've all won a Karbonz Fixed Circular needle! We'll be in touch to arrange delivery of your prize.

Holla Knits Prize Winners
Bamboo Interchangeable Needle Set Winner
Congratulations to Darlene! You are the lucky winner of a set of Deluxe Bamboo Interchangeable Knitting Needles! We will be in touch to arrange delivery of your prize!

Holla Knits Pattern Winner
Congratulations to Zabbers, who won the Cafe Au Lait pattern from Holla Knits Spring 2014! We've arranged delivery of your prize, and you should be receiving it soon! 

Thank you to everyone who has participated! We can't wait for the final round of voting for the Knitter's Pride Photo A Day Challenge, and we hope you'll continue to participate in all of our giveaways and photo contests! 


Holla Knits Blog Tour & A Giveaway

Cafe au Lait by Kristen Singer from Holla Knits
The Holla Knits Spring 2014 collection features five great patterns that are perfect for fashion forward knitters. As always, we're impressed with the creativity of the patterns in this issue of Holla Knits, and we're so pleased to be today's blog tour stop! While it's hard to choose a favorite pattern from this season's collection, we'd like to highlight the  Cafe au Lait cardigan by Kristen Singer today!

This beautiful cable and lace cardigan is knit at a loose gauge to give it airiness and beautiful drape. We think it would be perfect to wear with a dress (as shown here), but it would also look great with jeans and a t-shirt!

This is the perfect comfy cardigan that you can wear with just about anything in your wardrobe, no matter what time of year it is.

Be sure to visit all the stops on the Holla Knits Blog Tour!

April 8: The Sweatshop of Love Blog: SEG: Baah Yarns
April 11: Kirsten Singer: Pattern and Classic Elite Vale giveaway
April 15: Canary Knits: SEG: Skeinny Dipping skein of Cashmerino DK
April 16: Baah Yarns: I skein of Baah Yarns Shasta and a 1 skein cowl pattern
April 17: Knitter’s Pride Blog: Review and pattern giveaway
April 18: DovieJay Knits: SEG: I skein of Artisan Yarns Alpaca Silk
April 22: Mari Knits: Review and pattern giveaway
April 23: Magical Grammar: Review and pattern giveaway
April 24: Knit York City: Review and pattern giveaway
April 25: Under the Red Umbrella: Review and pattern giveaway

Giveaway

Enter our giveaway for a Knitter's Pride Bamboo Deluxe Interchangeable Needle Set. Click here to enter! We'll announce the winner on the blog on Friday, April 25, 2014.

Pattern Giveaway

Leave a comment on this blog post and tell us which of the new patterns from Holla Knits Spring 2014 is your favorite for your chance to win your favorite pattern! Please don't forget to leave your Ravelry ID so that we can contact you if you're the winner. We'll announce one winner on the blog on Friday, April 25, 2014.