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Featured Designer Talitha Kuomi & Free Pattern

Today we're excited to have a guest post from knitwear designer Talitha Kuomi. Learn more about Talitha on her website talithakuomi.com, on Facebook, or find her on Ravelry as Talithakuomi.

I was a painfully shy child who buried herself in bike rides and Nancy Drew books. Both were good ways to avoid the awkwardness of conversation and the pressure of direct eye contact. I found gazing from the sidelines so much less stressful than interacting. Eventually, it got lonely watching life rather than actually living. I began to choose to push myself into social situations and found that in exchange for enduring sweaty palms and knocking knees, I got the warmth of friendship and the rush of small daily adventures.

Leaping ahead, I find it ironic that I wound up as one of the final 12 in the first season of The Fiber Factor. Honestly, I filled out the application because it scared me. It asked me to consider things I had no answers to. That challenged me. To questions like ‘what is your design philosophy?’, my gut reaction was, ‘my what?’. Later, when Josh Bennett asked me who I was as a designer, I tripped and stumbled trying to compose a clear answer. The whole competition felt like that to me, hitting the wall of not knowing how to respond over and over again. Having never seen a reality show of any kind, I was completely unprepared. But, if you ask me now why I design what I do and how that relates to my life, I can tell you. That was the real ‘win’ of the experience for me.

I designed ‘Lind’ as a tribute to all the books that let me walk safely through their adventures before I was brave enough for adventures of my own. The extra wide cables require a little trick to make them work and the slight slouch at the crown keeps them dramatic. A little drama is a good thing.

Lind
by Taltitha Kuomi
Abbreviations
Approx: Approximately
Circ: Circumference
Cn: Cable needle
CO: Cast on
Dec(‘d): Decrease(d)
Dpn(s): Double pointed needle(s)
K: Knit
K2tog: Knit two together—1 sts dec’d
K3tog: Knit three together—2 sts dec’d
LH: Left hand
Meas: Measures
P: Purl
Pc: Piece
Pm: Place Marker
P2tog: Purl two sts together—1 sts dec’d
Rem: Remain
Rep(‘d): Repeat(ed)
RH: Right hand
Rm: Remove marker
Rnd(s): Round(s)
Sm: Slip marker
St(s): Stitch(es)
Yo: Yarn over
Yarn
1 skein Louet Gems Worsted (100% merino; 100 g = approx 175 yd) Color shown is ‘Champagne’.

Needles
16” circular needle size US 4/3.5 mm or size needed to get gauge.
16” circular needle size US 7/4.5 mm or size needed to get gauge.
One set double pointed needles size US 7/4.5 mm or size needed to get gauge.

Gauge
24 sts and 28 rows = 4” in Stockinette stitch worked in the round on larger needles

Size
XS/S (M, L/XL)
Meant to fit head circumference: 18-19.5 (20-21.5, 22-24)”
Actual hat circumference (measured unstretched): 14 (15.5, 17)”
Shown in size XL on my 23.5” head.

Notes
Hat is knit in the round from the brim up.  Extra wide cables are knit with dropped yarn overs to keep them from puckering too much. Cables decrease in size at the crown making for a bit of intentional slouch at the top.

Ribbing
Using smaller needles, CO 110 (120, 130) sts.  Pm and join to knit in the round.
Rib rnd: [P6, knit 3 (2, 3) sts, *p2, k2; rep from * two (three, three) more times, knit 1 (0, 1) st] rep between brackets to end (4 more times), sm.
Rep Rib rnd, until pc meas approx 3”.

Body of Hat
Change to larger circular needles.
Rnd 1: Rm, knit 11 (12, 13) sts, pm, *P6, knit 16 (18, 20) sts; rep from * to last 5 (6, 7) sts, knit to end, sm.
Rnds 2-12: *P6, knit 16 (18, 20) sts; rep from * to end, sm.
Rnd 13: *P6, slip 8 (9, 10) sts to cn, pull to front of work, yo, knit 8 (9, 10) sts, slip these 8 (9, 10) newly knit sts from RH to LH needle, drop the yo, slip these same 8 (9, 10) sts from LH needle to RH needle, yo, knit 8 (9, 10) from cn, slip these 8 (9, 10) newly knit sts from RH to LH needle, drop the yo, slip these same 8 (9, 10) sts from LH to RH needle; rep from * to end, sm. Rnds 14-20: *P6, knit 16 (18, 20) sts; rep from * to end, sm.
Rnd 21: *P6, knit 7 (8, 9), (k2tog) 2x, knit 5 (6, 7); rep from * to end, sm—100 (110, 120) sts rem
Rnds 22-30: *P6, knit 14 (16, 18) sts; rep from * to end, sm.
Rnd 31: *P6, slip 7 (8, 9) sts to cn, pull to front of work, yo, knit 7 (8, 9) sts, slip these 7 (8, 9) newly knit sts from RH to LH needle, drop the yo, slip these same 7 (8, 9) sts from LH needle to RH needle, yo, knit 7 (8, 9) from cn, slip these 7 (8, 9) newly knit sts from RH to LH needle, drop the yo, slip these same 7 (8, 9) sts from LH to RH needle; rep from * to end, sm.
Rnd 32:  *P6, knit 14 (16, 18); rep from * to end, sm.
Crown Decreases
Change to dpns.
Rnd 33: *P2tog, p2, p2tog, knit 5 (6, 7), (k2tog) 2x, knit 5 (6, 7); rep from * to end, sm—80 (90, 100) sts rem.
Rnd 34: *(P2tog) 2x, (k2tog) four (six, eight) times, knit 4 (2, 0) sts; rep from * to end, sm—50 sts rem.
Rnd 35: *P2, (k3tog) 2x, k2tog; rep from * to end, sm—25 sts rem.
Rnd 36: *P2tog, k3tog; rep from * to end, sm—10 sts rem.
Cut yarn leaving a 12” tail.  Thread tail through rem 10 sts.  Pull snug and tie off.

Finishing
Weave in ends.  Wet block the body of the hat to open up the cabling a bit, being careful not to over block the ribbed brim.
'Lind’ is Swedish for ‘winding’.
Pattern and images © talithakuomi 2014 All rights reserved, used with permission. Pattern for personal, non-profit use only.

Giveaway
This month we're giving away a Nova Platina Interchangeable Set! To enter for your chance to win leave a comment on this post telling us which of Talitha's patterns you love best. Don't forget to leave your Ravelry ID so we can contact you if you're the winner. You can see all of Talitha's patterns on her Ravelry page.


Introducing: MarblZ

We're excited to introduce our new line of knitting needles, Knitter's Pride MarblZ! These unique new needles are available in a range of eye catching colors which are hand-crafted and specially developed so that each needle has its own unique marbled design.


MarblZ provide just the right 'grab' which allows for easy handling of slippery yarns and makes picking up stitches faster and easier. They are lightweight, smooth, strong, and flexible, featuring sharp, gradually tapered points that are ideal for all styles of knitting. The rave reviews are already coming in for MarblZ! Faye F. recently shared this photo of her MarblZ needles in action and had this to say about them:
I am in love with your Marblz needles! Knitting with them is wonderful, and when I knit in the sun, the light goes through them - it's almost magical! 


MarblZ are available as double pointed, fixed circular, interchangeable circular, and single pointed needles. We also have a special Limited-Edition MarblZ Gift set for the holiday season that 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 connecters, and a Knitter's Pride needle gauge!


Winner
Congratulations to Ben Beauvais, you're our lucky winner! We'll be in touch to arrange delivery of your Knitter's Pride Nova Platina Starter Set. Thanks to everyone who participated! 

Swatching, Needles, and Yarn

We're sure you've heard, read, and been told many times and from many places the importance of swatching. It also matters which needles you swatch with! In our experiment we knit three swatches all using the soft and silky Fibre Company Canopy Worsted. We used three different needle materials, all size US 6 (4mm). from left to right they are Symfonie Cubics, Nova Platinas, and Trendz.




The center square in stockinette stitch on all three swatches are 20 stitches wide and 27 rows long. All the squares measure 3.75" long after blocking, but the width of the swatches varies slightly. The difference might seem insignificant, but if you're talking about a sweater with 200 stitches, at the first gauge on the Symfonie Cubics that would measure 38.75", with the Nova Platinas the garment would measure 40", and with Trendz it would measure 41.25". So depending on which needles you use, with the same exact number of stitches, you could get anywhere from 38.75" to 41.25", a difference of 2.5"!

When choosing which needle is best it's also important to consider your personal style of knitting, preferences, and the yarn. Canopy Worsted is a soft blend of of 50% baby alpaca, 30% merino wool, and 20% bamboo. Both baby alpaca and bamboo are very soft with lots of drape, making this wool a little bit slicker than a more rustic wool yarn. It's a 3-ply yarn, making it round and durable, and doesn't split, making it easier to knit with blunt needles. Symfonie Cubics, Nova Platinas, and Trendz are all appropriate for working with this yarn. You can learn more about finding your perfect needle with our new series of videos from Staci Perry. 

SocktoberKnit-A-Long
We continue the Conversation Socks Knit-A-Long as part of Socktober! Learn more in this blog post and join the KAL on Ravelry.

Giveaway

This month we're giving away a  Nova Platina Starter Set! To enter, leave a comment on this post telling us whether or not you swatch when starting a new project, and leave us your Ravelry ID or another way to contact you. We'll choose one lucky winner October 31st! 


Winner + Socktober KAL!

Next month, we'll be kicking off a special knit-along in honor of Socktober! Designer Stefanie Goodwin-Ritter of the Handmade by Stefanie blog recently released a collection of patterns called Conversation Socks which are perfect for knitting on-the-go, and she is offering a special discount on ebook purchases for Knitter's Pride fans now through October 31, 2014 - click here for your coupon!

We were able to interview Stefanie for today's blog post; read on to find out more about the inspiration behind Conversation Socks. You'll also get a sneak peek at the final pattern which will be released on Monday, September 29!

How did Conversation Socks come about? 

I dreamed up this project because I find myself with less and less time to devote to holiday gift knitting, but I know that my family members love and cherish the gifts I make them, especially socks! By choosing sport weight yarn and US #3 needles, each sock knits up quickly and produces a mid-weight fabric that is nice and toasty without being bulky.

Each pattern was created with the express purpose of being simple enough for knitting on-the-go, but interesting enough to keep you engaged. These patterns are perfect for your morning commute, knit night, or a trip out of town! They don't require huge, hard-to-follow charts or incredibly complicated techniques. Instead, they take the basic building blocks that the average knitter has at their disposal to create five designs the whole family will love.

What was your first sock design?

My first sock design was for Lorna's Laces Yarns, and they are called the Side Swipe Socks - they are now available as a free Ravelry download, in fact! As you can see, even then I was interested in knitting simple socks with interesting little details.

What do you love about knitting and designing socks? 

I love making something that is really useful; while I do love making other small projects such as shawls, hats, and mitts, I do find there are only so many I can realistically wear in a season. But knitted socks are always in heavy rotation for me - I live in Chicago, so as you can imagine, wool socks are essential for winter. Being able to whip up several pairs of sock patterns quickly is high on my list of priorities, and I found that there weren't as many unisex designs out there which fit the bill - which is how this project came to be!
Aqua Sock Blockers

What are your favorite tools for sock-knitting?

My go-to needles are Dreamz DPNs. The Sock Set was one of the first Knitter's Pride products I ever tried, and it is still my favorite! In fact, all 5 of the Conversation Socks patterns were knit on my trusty US #3 Dreamz DPNs. I am also a huge fan of the sock blockers - they make the finished project look so nice and polished!

The final design for Conversation Socks will be out next week. Tell us more! 

I decided to try something a little different when releasing these patterns: rather than putting them all out at once, I released the first two and offered a "preorder" for the entire ebook at a lower price than it is currently available for. With each pattern that I added, the price went up a little - and everyone who had already purchased the book received automatic updates, so it was really win-win! The final design will be released on Monday, and I was going to increase the price once more, but have since decided to keep it where it currently is ($14 for 5 patterns).


The patterns which are already released are (above, from L-R): Air Quotes, Chittery Chattery, Persuasive and Retort. On Monday, September 29, I'll be releasing the final design in the ebook - here is a sneak peek, just for Knitter's Pride fans!


To participate in the KAL, knit any of the Conversation Socks patterns between now and October 31, 2014. Be sure to tag your Ravelry project with KPConvoSocks to be eligible in our prize drawing for a Dreamz DPN Sock Set, Stefanie's favorite sock-knitting needles! You can also use #KPConvoSocks when you share photos on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!



September Blog Winner
Congratulations to Mikaiyawa, the winner for our September prize drawing! We will contact Mikaiyawa via Ravelry PM to arrange for the delivery of your prize, a Deluxe Trendz Interchangeable set!


Find Your Perfect Needle with Staci Perry and Knitter's Pride!

We're pleased to introduce Find Your Needle, our new three-part video series featuring Staci Perry of VeryPink.com! These short YouTube videos will take you on a journey to find the perfect Knitter's Pride needles to suit your knitting style, project, and yarn.

In Episode 1, you'll get a closer look at the various materials we use to make our needles: Nova Platinas (chrome-plated brass), Karbonz (carbon fiber shaft with metal tips), Dreamz & Basix (densified laminated birchwood), Bamboo (Japanese bamboo), and Trendz (acrylic). We also take a look at the unique cuboid shape of the Cubics lines of needles offered by Knitter's Pride. You'll learn how to match these materials to suit your project, yarn or knitting style along the way, thanks to Staci's extensive knitting know-how.



In Episode 2, Staci gives you a closer look at the various types of knitting needles we make: Interchangeable Circular Needles, Fixed Circular Needles, Double Pointed Needles (DPNs), and Single-Pointed Needles (straight). Staci shows examples of each type and explains how to match your needle type to your project, yarn and knitting style for maximum effectiveness.



Finally, in Episode 3, Staci shares how to use the information from the first two videos in order to choose YOUR perfect needle! She explains the importance of gauge, and why it is a good idea to have a needle set on hand so that you have a full range of needle sizes at your disposal. You'll also get a look at the Comby I & Comby II Sampler sets, which include interchangeable needle tips to try from our most popular lines: Dreamz, Symfonie CubicsNova Platina, Nova Platina CubicsBamboo and Karbonz.


We hope these videos will help you find your perfect Knitter's Pride needle! Should you need help locating your nearest retailer, please visit our website.

Happy Knitting!

Giveaway

This month we'd like to give one of our lucky readers a chance to win a set of our new Trendz needles, so we're giving away a Trendz Deluxe Interchangeable Needle Set! To enter tell us which of the needles from Staci's videos you'd like to try most. Don't forget to leave your Ravelry ID so we can contact you if you're the winner. We'll announce the winner on September 26th. Good luck! 

Free Pattern: Crochet Button Bunny + Winner!

Today we have a free crochet pattern from Handmade by Stefanie, a Chicago-based blogger who knits, spins and crochets compulsively in her free time. She originally designed the Button Bunnies as a knitted toy pattern to celebrate the debut of a friend's hand-dyed yarn company, and has always wanted to convert the pattern to crochet for her fellow amigurumi enthusiasts. For a complete list of abbreviations used in this pattern, click here


Crochet Button Bunny
By Stefanie Goodwin-Ritter


Yarn:

218 yards worsted weight yarn in MC

shown in Manos del Uruguay Maxima in Sweet Potato

10 yards worsted weight yarn in CC1 for pocket

shown in Manos del Uruguay Clasica in Forest Floor

15 yards worsted weight yarn in CC2 for tail

shown in Manos del Uruguay Maxima in Nickel

Less than 5 yards of black worsted weight yarn for embroidered features

Supplies:

G (4mm) Crochet Hook

Safety eyes – 1 pair 12mm

½” Button - 1

Fiber-fil stuffing

Tapestry Needle
Knitter’s Pride Rejoice Pom Pom Maker - 5.5cm

Gauge: 14 sts = 4” in SC; gauge is not critical for this project

Sizes:
One Size: Bunny will stand approx. 7” tall, excluding ears

Notes: The body, head and ears are all worked continuously onto one piece.

Directions

Body:
Starting with magic loop, ch 2. SC 6 sts in second stitch from hook. Click here for a free magic loop tutorial from FreshStitches (if you're a knitter, it's not what you think)!
Rnd 1: *SC twice in 1 st, repeat from * 5 more times - 12 sts.
Rnd 2: *SC twice in 1 st, repeat from * 11 more times - 24 sts.
Rnd 3: *SC twice in 1 st, SC in 1 st, repeat from * 11 more times - 36 sts.
Rnd 4: *SC twice in 1 st, SC in next 2 sts, repeat from * 11 more times - 48 sts.
Rnd 5: SC in all sts - 48 sts.
Rnd 6: *SC twice in 1 st, SC in next 3 sts, repeat from * 11 more times - 60 sts.

SC all rnds for 2½ inches. I recommend placing a removable stitch marker in Rnd 6 to make measuring easier:

Head :
Rnd 1 (decr): *SC2tog, SC in next 2 sts, repeat from * 14 more times - 45 sts.
Rnd 2: SC in all sts - 45 sts.
Rnd 3 (decr): *SC2tog, SC in 1 st, rep from * 14 more times - 30 sts.

SC all rnds for 2 inches. I recommend placing a removable stitch marker in the same manner as before to make measuring easier.

Remove hook, but don’t fasten off. You will be placing removable stitch markers to use as guides for crocheting the ears.

Get your removable stitch markers ready and fold your bunny in half with the beginning of round at right as follows:




Place markers on the following stitches in round: 4, 12, 18 and 28. The top of your bunny should now look like this: 





You will be crocheting both ears onto the top of the head by working the first and last 3 sts of the round for 2 inches in single crochet to make the first ear, then breaking the yarn and reattaching it at Stitch 13 (where you placed a marker) and working these stitches (13-28) in the round for 2 inches as well. Break yarn. Use tail to sew the tops of each ear closed.  


Arms – Make 2:

Starting with magic loop, ch 2. SC 6 sts in second stitch from hook.

Rnd 1: SC twice in each stitch - 12 sts.

SC in all sts for 5 more rnds. Break yarn and fasten off.

Tail:

Make tail using CC1 with the 5.5cm Rejoice Pom Pom Maker - click here for easy instructions on the Knitter's Pride blog.

Pocket - worked flat:

With CC2, ch 11.
First row: beginning in second st from hook, SC 10 sts, ch 1.
Work 6 more rows SC in all sts.
Buttonhole row: SC in first 4 sts, ch 2 and skip the next 2 sts, SC in last 4 sts.
Continue working in SC for 1 more row. Break yarn and fasten off.

Finishing:  
Stuff body. Weave in ends. Install safety eyes, then lightly stuff ears and arms. Sew top of head together.  Pin arms to side of body and sew on when you are satisfied with their placement. If you need help attaching your bunny's arms, click here for a free tutorial on attaching limbs to amigurumi from FreshStitches. 

Pin tail to bottom center of bunny back and sew on when you are satisfied with its placement.  Using black yarn, embroider a nose on the bunny’s face. Pin pocket to front of bunny and sew on; sew on button to close pocket.

Winner


Congratulations to apeeling, you are the lucky winner of a Waves Crochet Set! We'll be in touch via Ravelry to arrange for the delivery of your prize. Thanks to everyone who participated this month!


New at Knitter's Pride!

This fall we're debuting a ton of great new products, and we're thrilled to be introducing our first group of new tools this month! 
Nova Platina & Nova Platina Cubics

These needles are an update on our well loved Nova line of needles. The new and improved needles feature longer, sharper tips and a smoother more durable chrome plating. They are engineered from hollow brass pipes making them lightweight and comfortable in the hand--critical for ensuring hours of stress free and satisfying knitting! Both Nova Platina and Nova Cubics Platina are available as single pointed, double pointed, fixed circular, and interchangeable circular needles. 

The new Nova Platina needles are perfect for all types of knitting projects from lace to sweaters, to bulky hats. If you're a fan of our Nova needles we encourage you to try the new and improved Nova Platinas. These are likely to become your go-to knitting needle! 


Trendz Knitting Needles & Crochet Hooks
Our new line of Trendz acrylic knitting needles and crochet hooks allow for easy handling of slippery yarns--picking up stitches is fast and easy! These smooth and lightweight needles and hooks provide just the right amount of flexibility while maintaining strength and durability. These are ideal for new knitters and crocheters, and the fun palette of colors will allow you to organize your tools in color! 
Trendz Single Ended Hook

The Trendz needles are available as single pointed, double pointed, fixed circular, and interchangeable circular needles. 

The Trendz hooks are available as single ended, Tricot/Afghan, and Tunisian hooks. 




All of these products should be available at your LYS by the end of August. Ask about them at your local yarn shop! 

Giveaway
This month we're giving away a Waves crochet hook set! To enter for your chance to win leave a comment on this post telling us what you've been crocheting this summer. Don't forget to leave your Ravelry name so that we can contact you if you're the lucky winner. We'll choose one random person to win the hooks on Friday, August 29! Good luck!