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Project Inspiration


Small projects are a great way to take a break between larger more involved projects. We like to think of these as little knit and crochet snacks--small, satisfying, quick and easy. A good small project will cleanse your palette and leave you feeling successful and ready to take on a bigger more challenging project.

Today we have rounded up some of our favorite quick and easy knit and crochet patterns. And better yet, all of these patterns are available for free on Ravelry!

Knit Patterns
A lovely simple shawl recipe perfect for using up stash!
Textured Shawl Recipe by Orlane
Hats for the whole family!
Barley by Tin Can Knits
A perfect gender neutral scarf in linen stitch. This pattern is great for variegated yarns.
Cerus Scarf by Hillary Callis Smith
If you're a spinner or have a skein of thick and thin knit up this quick and easy cowl.
Through Thick and Thin by Mari Chiba
Crochet Patterns
Washcloths are useful and also make great gifts.
Oh So Soft Baby Washcloths by Theresa Grant
While warmer weather is still yet to arrive in most places keep your hands warm with these lovely cabled hand warmers.
Cable Wrist Warmers by Julee Fort

This crochet hat is perfect for transitioning into spring. Get a head start on the warm weather with this hat.
Easy Peasy Women's Winter Hat by Mary Englar

Have you knit or crochet any of these patterns? Or do you have a favorite quick and easy pattern you'd like to share? Leave a comment telling us!

Giveaway
Congratulations to Cheryl G, you're our lucky winner! We'll be in touch to arrange delivery of your Karbonz Midi Interchangeable Needle Set. Thanks to everyone who participated.

Designer Spotlight: Allyson Dykhuizen + Giveaway

Allyson Dykhuizen is an American knitwear designer  and knitting teacher based in Chicago, IL. Her patterns have been published in Interweave Knits, Knitscene, and knit.wear magazines, among others. Her fun, fashion-forward approach informs both the design she self-publishes and blogs on her website The Sweatshop of Love, along with those of Holla Knits, an online knitting magazine which she created and edits.

Knitter's Pride has donated prizes to the Holla Knits KAL which is currently underway; you can follow Allyson on Twitter @AllysonKnits, the Sweatshop of Love on Facebook, and AllysonDykhuizen on Instagram, and email her at allyson@thesweatshopoflove.com.

New Girl, from Holla Knits
Fall/Winter 2012
How long have you been knitting, and how did you get started designing? I learned to knit when I was a senior in high school, so 13 years ago now! I learned and just never wanted to stop knitting. I started teaching in 2006 and quickly discovered I wanted to design patterns to make it easier to teach my students certain techniques and skills, so that's what inspired me to start designing. From there I started designing for magazines and independent publishing. 

Where do you get inspiration? I love looking at fashion-y pieces and trying to figure out how to make that piece with knitting. I also like to take a challenge, like working in drop stitches or horizontal cables, and building a sweater design around that. I rarely go a day without searching for inspiration and other knitwear designs around the internet! Other designers are a great inspiration for me, too. 

How did Holla Knits come about? The knitting industry doesn't think you can be an advanced knitter without having been knitting for 30+ years. I've been knitting for 13 years so I know what I'm doing, but all the 'fashion forward' or more youthful designs are easy patterns. So I started Holla Knits to fill that hole in the industry. It's fashion forward, challenging knitwear design with a focus on building that community. 

Fire Opal Tee, from Knitscene
Spring 2014
How do you balance your own design/teaching/blogging career with curating Holla Knits? Umm I don't really! But I think that's ok. It all kind of goes together and builds and thrives together. I put too much into building Holla Knits, so I was having a hard time just worrying about my own designs and working on my own stuff. 2015 will see me taking a small step back from being so wrapped up in Holla Knits and a small step forward with my independent design, and teaching. 

Speaking of time management...in addition to knitting, you also crochet, embroider, and sew (are we leaving anything else out?). Do you have any helpful hints for ways to maximize crafting time for those who are pressed for time? Hahaha no I think you got everything! I do embroidery, cross stitch, and sewing as hobbies, where knitting and crocheting are my job because they help me make money, and this is an important distinction for me because I'm a workaholic who is constantly working on finding a work/life balance. I know I can't sit and do nothing. I just can't! So when I need to take a break from working I pick up a cross stitch or embroidery project - something I can do just for me. Sewing I LOVE but it's impossible just to pick it up for a little while! I clear a weekend and sew my face off for 48 hours. 

Block Island Sweater, from Knitscene
Fall 2014
A helpful hint about maximizing crafting time would be to just take the pressure off yourself! I feel like a lot of crafters get focused on PRODUCING, when crafting is about the process, and taking time to do something for yourself. It's not your job to produce, it's your job to take the time to do something you enjoy to make yourself happy. Craft make yourself happy, and do it at your own pace.   

What are you most looking forward to in 2015? So much! I'm getting back to teaching and will have not only my own classes but other teachers on board to help create a full class schedule for crafters in Chicago. I've got how to videos coming out with CraftDaily.com. I'll be the featured designer in the Knitscene Summer 2015 issue! 2015 is so young, but there is already so much to be excited about for me. 

Do you have any knitting horror stories/mishaps? Daily! This knitting and designing thing is hard and I'm always screwing up. I mess up a lot with Holla Knits, publishing patterns that aren't popular and choosing the wrong colors and styling. It's great when you are your own boss and when something is successful, it's successful because you made it that way, but the flip-side of that is when someone isn't successful, it's unsuccessful because you made it that way, too. I learn ALL the time. I mess something up, I think about it and try to learn something, and I try again. 

Giveaway

This month, we're giving our blog readers a chance to win a Karbonz Midi Interchangeable Needle Set! To be eligible, make sure you like us on Facebook, then leave a comment telling us what's on your needles or hook right now! Be sure to also include your email address or Ravelry ID so that we can contact you if you win. We will randomly select a winning comment to announce on Friday, February 27. Good luck! 

Free Pattern: Fingerless Mitts

Today we're excited to bring you a free pattern from designer Jessica Anderson for a pair of simple and easy fingerless mitts.

Finished Dimensions: 6.5 inches/16.5 cm

Gauge: 32 sts = 4inch/10 cm

Yarn: Baah! La Jolla, 100% Superwash Merino Wool, 400 yards (365 meters)/100 grams, color: My Sweet Valentine, 1 skein

Needles: Set of size 2 DPNs

Supplies: Tapestry needle, measuring tape, scissors, stitch marker.

Abbreviations
CO cast-on
dpn(s) double-pointed needle(s)
k knit
m marker
p purl
pm place marker
rnd(s) round(s)
St st Stockinette stitch
st(s) stitch(es)

Texture Stitch
Rnd 1: Knit.
Rnd 2: K1, *p1, k5, p1, k1; rep from * once more.
Rnd 3: K1, *p2, k3, p2, k1; rep from * once more
Rnd 4: K2, p2, k1, p2, k3,p2, k1, p2, k2.
Rnd 5: K3, p3, k5, p3, k3.
Rnd 6: K4, p1, k7, p1, k4.

K2, p2 Rib
Rnd 1: *K2, p2; rep from * to end of rnd.

Mitts
CO 52 sts, pm and join to work in the rnd, being careful not to twist your sts.
Work in K2, p2 Rib for 8 rnds.
Inc Round: *Knit 12, Kf/b; repeat from * to end of rnd. (56 sts)
Knit 1 rnd.
K6, pm, k17, pm, k to end of the rnd.
Pattern Round: Knit to m, sm, work in Texture Stitch to m, sm, knit to end of rnd.
Continue to work the Pattern Round until piece measures 3.5”/ 9 cm from CO edge.

Left Mitt
Work in pattern to last 4 sts, knit next 7 sts with waste yarn, place sts back on left needle, and knit these sts again using working yarn. Continue working in pattern until piece measures 5”/12.5 cm from CO edge.

Right Mitt
Work in pattern to 3 sts after second m, knit next 7 sts with waste yarn, place sts back on left needle and knit these sts again using working yarn. Continue working in pattern until piece measures 5”/ 12.5 cm from CO edge.

Both Mitts
Knit 1 rnd.
Dec Round: *K12, k2tog; rep from * to end of the rnd. (52 sts)
Knit 1 rnd.
Work in K2, p2 rib for 8 rnds.
Bind off in pattern.

Thumbs
Carefully remove waste yarn. Pick up 6 sts on top and 7 sts on bottom.
Reattach working yarn, pm, knit across the top 6 sts, pick up and knit 2 sts, knit across bottom 7 sts, pick up and knit 2 sts. (17 sts)
Knit 3 rnds.
K2tog, knit to end of rnd. (16 sts)
Work in K2, p2 rib for 4 rnds.
Bind off in pattern.

Finishing
Weave in ends and trim. Wash and block lightly.

Learn more about Jessica and her designs on her website: http://allinadaysfun.blogspot.com/

Giveaway Winner
Congratulations to Ravelry user Mikaiyawa, you've won a copy of Silve from Artistic Differences and a Nova Platina DPN Set! We'll be in touch to arrange delivery of your prize.


New Year, New Projects!

With the holiday season behind us it’s that time again where we can refocus our crafting. So, what are your crafting goals for 2015? Did you get new tools and materials to help you reach your goals?

Here at Knitter's Pride we’re always looking forward and inspired by the many talented crafters we meet each day, and we love sharing this with all of you! The knitting and crochet community is magical, warm, and inviting, and we couldn’t be happier to sharing this with all of you!

Here are a few new patterns that have already been published this year by talented designers, we hope they will inspire you to dream and stitch big in 2015!

Quicksilver by Melanie Berg

Victorian Raffia by Kieran Foley & Alasdair Post-Quinn


Bring by Ilaria Caliri (crochet)

Giveaway
This month we're giving away a Nova Platina DPN Set and a PDF copy of the Slive pattern courtesy of Classic Elite. To enter the giveaway visit our previous post.

Review: Artistic Differences & A Giveaway

We're excited to review the new book from our friend and talented designer Talitha Kuomi. You may know Talitha from the Fiber Factor, and we also recently shared a free pattern from Talitha on the Knitter's Pride blog, the Lind hat. Talitha has teamed up with Classic Elite to create this lovely book of ten patterns entitled, Artistic Differences.

Slive is a great versatile pattern for fingerless gloves worked in stockinette stitch. You can choose to add contrast edgings or even stripe the yarn. Today only the pattern is 10% off on Ravelry, just add to your cart and you'll automatically get the discounted price.

The sample is worked in Classic Elite MoutainTop Vail, a soft fingering weight yarn that's made of  baby alpaca and bamboo. This alpaca gives it that lovely halo and the bamboo gives it a silky sheen. This pattern could also be great for striping leftover bits of sock yarns!



Giveaway
This month we're giving away a Nova Platina DPN Set and a PDF copy of the Slive pattern courtesy of Classic Elite. To enter the giveaway leave a comment on this post telling us which of these patterns from Talitha is your favorite in the Artistic Difference book. Don't forget to leave us your Ravelry ID so we can contact you if you're the lucky winner! We'll choose one lucky winner on Friday, January 30th.




All images from Artistic Differences ©Classic Elite Yarns

Designer Spotlight: Karie Westermann

Karie Westermann is a Danish designer based in Glasgow, Scotland. Her work combines two of her greatest
passions; storytelling and craft. As a designer, she believes in a strong, modern aesthetic that draws upon her Nordic roots and sensibilities. Karie's impressive portfolio includes Rowan Yarns, Susan Crawford Vintage, and major UK knitting publications. She teaches regularly at select UK yarn shows and shops, and frequently lends her expertise to museums, art galleries, and other cultural institutions. Karie has just finished work on the "Doggerland" collection - a collection of accessories inspired by archaeology, submerged landscapes, and art. You can learn more about Karie and her work on her website, Ravelry, and Twitter


KP: How long have you been knitting, and how did you get started designing
KW: I was taught to knit by my great-grandmother when I was five or six years old. I grew up in rural Scandinavia – mine was the local arty family. Everybody was creative in one way or another. We never had much money, but there was a steady supply of handmade garments, knitted jumpers and interesting paintings. Of course my family still obsessed over football results and pop music, but there was a definite and pervasive sense of self-expression and creative exploration. I learned to knit, crochet and sew as a very young girl and I have never really stopped wanting to make stuff.
I got into designing when I worked for a yarn company and they needed a quick project to sell some leftover beads. My pattern did really, really well for them. Then  in 2011 an indie dyer friend was launching a new yarn line at a prestigious London event and pressured me into doing my first self-published design. And that pattern did really well too. I began thinking that maybe I should look at doing more design work and now I'm a full-time self-employed knitting designer. It's amazing.

KP: Where do you get inspiration? What your design process? 
KW: Inspiration is all around if you look. It’s possible to find inspiration in the most unlikely places. I really love a specific pedestrian footpath over the motorway here in Glasgow – its combination of colour and form is extraordinary. I also love Pinterest as I can create moodboards on all kinds of topics: colours, textures, themes. I keep notebooks with colour swatches and design ideas – I take a notebook with me wherever I go.
There is a definite Scandinavian aesthetic and it is hugely important to me both as a designer and as a crafter: it involves a controlled palette, it is fairly minimalist, and it is decidedly non-fussy. I’m a big fan of clean lines and I can spend a lot of time thinking about the right shade of off-white!
But there is also the whole Scandinavian love of story-telling and using craft to tell those stories. I looked at an old photo album the other day and I had to laugh when I saw all the amazing jumpers kids were wearing to school when I was young. There is a lot of continuity to Scandinavian knitting: it is traditional but it is a living and breathing tradition. It’s on the high street as much as it’s in a textile museum.

KP: Of all your designs, which is your favorite? 

Vedbaek Shawl by Karie Westermann
KW: I always say that my favourite design is the one I have just finished! But there are designs that have huge Vedbaek Shawl which has resonated with knitters around the world since the moment I released it. I also recently released my first garment designs and I cannot wait for the samples to return so I can wear them myself!
personal significance for me because I remember where I were when I came up with the idea or when I knitted the sample. Right now I'm really proud of the

KP: Do you have any knitting horror stories/mishaps?
KW: Constantly. I rip out so much you wouldn't believe it. Without mistakes I wouldn't learn a thing, so I embrace all my crazy mishaps. The funniest one, though, was one time I was teaching a class on lace blocking and I was urging the students to really block their swatches hard. Then I heard a gasp of horror from my students, I looked down and my own swatch had snapped because I had pulled it too hard. Without missing a beat I went "and there you have a prime example of what not to do!"

Giveaway Winner

Congratulations to Jennifer Jipping, you're our lucky winner of a Karbonz Deluxe Interchangeable Needle Set! We'll be in touch to arrange delivery of your prize. Thank you to everyone who participated, and we wish you a warm and happy holiday season! 

Last-Minute Gift Inspiration


No matter how well you plan your holiday crafting, there is sure to always be some unexpected gifting emergency that pops up at the last minute! Today, we'll share some fun & fast projects which can be made in a jiffy, plus a few of our favorite Knitter's Pride products which are certain to be at the top of YOUR wish list this year! We also have one last giveaway this year for our fabulous blog readers & the winners of our Mother Bear Project Kit giveaway to announce - read on for more details!

Quick Knits
These projects can be whipped up in no time flat and are all available for free via the Ravelry links below!
L-R: Knitted Pocket Gnome by Jenni Propst, Rikke Hat by Sarah Young, and Non-Felted Slippers by Yuko Nakamura.

Speedy Crochet
These popular crochet projects are all quick to make and available for free on Ravelry, too!

L-R: Mug Hug and Rug by Marinke Slump (top left), 15 Min Coffee Sleeve by Jonna Venture (bottom left), GAP-tastic Cowl by Jen Geigley, and Polar Bear Hat by Sarah Zimmerman.

Knitter's Pride Wish List

Our Interchangeable Knitting Needle Sets and Crochet Hook Sets are always the perfect gift for discerning stitchers. This year, we are pleased to offer the  Limited-Edition MarblZ Gift set for the holiday season which includes 9 pairs of needle tips in sizes 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 10.5, 11; 4 cords; 8 end caps; and 4 cord keys. The set also includes a pen made from our special Symfonie Wood, a set of cord connectors, and a Knitter's Pride needle gauge!


Our new Knit Blockers are the "it" item of the season! This time-saving tool will make blocking your next project a breeze; they are especially suited for projects with long, straight edges, allowing you to apply consistent tension throughout.

Knit Blockers in action, courtesy of the Fibre Space Instagram feed
Our fashionable storage solutions will delight knitters and crocheters who are looking to get organized in the new year! Choose from several styles of needle and hook cases in three stylish color options, each with a coordinating tote bag.


Mother Bear Project Kit Winners



Congratulations to littlemomto2 and NanaMamah, you have each won a project kit generously donated by the folks at the Mother Bear Project! Click here to learn more about this wonderful charity on our last blog post. We will contact the winners to arrange for the delivery of their prizes; thanks to everyone who entered this giveaway!

Holiday Giveaway

This month, we're giving away a Deluxe Karbonz Interchangeable Set to one lucky blog reader! To enter, simply leave a comment on this post telling us which Knitter's Pride product is at the top of your wish list this year! Be sure to also include your Ravelry ID or email address so that we can contact you if you win. We'll randomly select a winner to announce on our next blog post on December 30, 2014. Good luck!