Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Book Review: You Can Knit That

I don't usually review knit books, but when I do... it's a good one!
Amy Herzog's publisher sent me a free copy of her new book, You Can Knit That and I was intrigued.



I met Amy on the set of Knit and Crochet Now a few years back and she's delightful! She has a great philosophy that any knitter can knit a sweater that fits. As a novice knitter of course I was doubtful but she gave me some great tips. She suggested that since I worry about even tension with flat knit, that I should choose a tweedy looking yarn to "hide" some of my practice inconsistencies. (Great idea!)

Anyway, her new book, as of this writing, is the #1 bestselling book in Knit on Amazon and I can see why. 24 gorgeous but not intimidating sweaters of all types. Vests, pullovers, cardigans, tunics, set-in sleeves, raglan sleeves, yoke necked, v-necked... So many choices!  The front section of the book is so helpful with information on yarn but also how to put pieces together... with photos and methods of seaming. The book is more than a book of patterns, it's a REFERENCE book. I can totally see coming back to this book again and again to understand different sweater shapes and techniques.

Briefly, here are two of Amy's sweaters that were stunning...

The Revive Cardigan is gorgeous! And look at that lovely, curvy model!  So refreshing. (Congratulations to her publisher Abrams for being SMART in choosing models.) The Revive Cardigan is written up to a 60" bust. It's stitched in the Fibre Company's Acadia (wool/alpaca/silk) blend. It has lovely ribbing details down the fronts lapel edgings and at the cuff and hem. I didn't notice any skill levels on the patterns, but most of them look do-able.  Some of them later in the book have great cabling details that I think I'm not ready for but more experienced knitters would totally dig it. Anyway, the Revive Cardigan instructions are only 4 pages long... including a schematic and a side bar article on shaping... so technically the pattern is only 3 pages long. Not scary at all!



The Rigging Sweatshirt is beautiful, looks easy without being boring and is something I think I could knit. Maybe Amy is right, maybe I CAN KNIT THAT!  Eureka!  :)  If you are scared of sleeves, this design (and others in the book) are workable! This sweater has a + shape construction, all in one piece. Again, the pattern is only 4 pages and one of those pages is a schematic and there is a full-page photo. You aren't going to need a decoder ring to make these patterns.



Congratulations on a great book, Amy!


Thursday, September 15, 2016

I'll be LIVE tomorrow on Facebook!


See me on the Annie's page tomorrow at 11:30 CT for a little show and tell about my new class.



Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Crochet Pattern SALE starts NOW!

Our daughter Chickee is in love with languages. She loves French, she loves sign language, she love sight reading music, she is teaching herself Japanese in her free time and is about to audit a college level course in Japanese.

She wants to go on the school trip to France. I'd love to help her get there to immerse herself in the language. Instead of a Go Fund Me page I thought I would put crochet patterns ON SALE!

The sale begins TODAY! All accessories patterns are $2.00 OFF on Ravelry! There is no coupon code. Just add the accessory pattern to your cart and you'll see the discount applied.

If you ever have appreciated this blog or my work, we'd be grateful for your purchase!

Here's the link to Ellen's Ravelry Pattern Store.

This sale includes the digital patterns for: The Driftwood Cap, the Chullo Hat and Mitts, the Tunisian Lace ascot and many other scarves, totes, and hats.





* The patterns are digital downloads.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Do Your Thing, Sister!

I just love Sister Madonna Buder, the Iron Nun. The top video is a short interview that is very inspiring. The bottom video is a 1-minute commercial that is my new life motto.



Do your thing!

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Tuesday Motivation


A little Tuesday motivation because I wasn't motivated on Monday.  :)  Today, I am feeling motivated. I want to tear through my office and separate and bag all my UFO's and put all the potential projects into bags and make a list so that I don't forget all the ideas I have.  But... the office is across from Chickee's room and she's still asleep.  :(  I'm sure by the time she wakes up my motivation will have passed on.  Oh well. Maybe I channel my motivation some other way.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Knit and Crochet Show, Part 3

 The CGOA Design Competition did not disappoint! This year's Grand Prize winner was the incomparable Katherine White with her Irish Crochet Lace Jacket. You'll find a complete photo collage of winners at Lorene's blog. She was the chair of the design competition this year.

 Here is a beautiful Tunisian Crochet entry by Juliette Bezold.
You may recognize Juliette's name from her amazing Miyabita Cardigan in the summer 2016 issue of Crochet!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Knit and Crochet Show 2016, Part 2

At the Knit and Crochet Show, I had the absolute pleasure of meeting Sonya, who was wearing the Catawba Lacy Shrug, one of my contributions to Margaret Hubert's book, Runway Crochet. (See the back of the Catawba shrug below)

Here I am with Chickee (middle), and Mary Beth Temple's daughter, Katie, as we modeled some fashion in a retrospective for Crochet Hall of Fame Inductee, Doris Chan.

Here's a sneak peek of a design I completed on the plane on the way to Charleston. Chickee is wearing the China Doll pattern by Doris Chan.



Thursday, July 21, 2016

Knit and Crochet Show 2016

Another fantastic year at the Knit and Crochet Show! This year the show was in Charleston, SC.

 
This year, I was thrilled to bring Chickee with me! Can you believe she is all grown up? 15 and taller than me! It made me so happy to share my crochet world and friends with her.

Here I am with the lovely Haley Zimmerman, tech editor extraordinaire, and one of the best people I have the honor of calling dear friend.

And Susie Allen! Teacher, crochet and knit designer, she is so smart and fun and beautiful. We haven't known each other long but you could say our friendship is "awesome". :)  (And she's a runner! Go Susie!)

The four of us had an amazing dinner at Husk in historic Charleston. More on the show later!

Monday, July 18, 2016

Crochet in the Wild: Atlanta

I don't even think this lady was a participant at the Knit and Crochet Show in Charleston, but maybe she should have been! 

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Monday, July 11, 2016

Epic Ireland Vacation, Part 4

 It was a little windy on the Cliffs of Moher. :)
 Brooding and misty, and gorgeous. I'm talking about the cliffs... :)

 While I wonder what they would have looked like in bright sunshine, we'll take them as they are most of the time, harsh and temperamental and wild and treacherous.

 A quick run in Galway so that I could say that I ran in Ireland :)

 A windy family selfie.

 Jennifer Ryan teaches crochet! That is, after all, why we are here!

Friday, July 8, 2016

Design Process Rambling

Design process rambling...
1. I want to design something to wear to the Knit and Crochet Show... next week.
2. I want it to have great drape
3. Probably needs to be DK weight or lighter
4. I don't want it to look like other designers' styles.
5. I'd like to work top-down
6. I'd like it to be somewhat lacy (Charleston will be hot...)
7. I need to have the yarn on hand to start immediately.
8. I've already started like 3 times and I'm not feeling any of it.

I should play to my strengths, I'd better go stash diving again.

Epic Ireland Vacation, Part 3

 Before the Cliffs of Moher, we went to Rathbaun Farm for a scone making class and a sheep shearing demonstration. A little tour of an authentic Irish farm.
 We were greeted by this lovely puppy who belongs to the neighbor but likes to hang out here.
 Let the scone making begin! While the scones were baking, we went out to talk to the farmer about sheep.
 This sheep looks so serene doesn't she?  It was her first time ever being shorn and she didn't mind a bit! The sheep are shorn for their comfort and not for the wool. It's not cost effective for them to raise the sheep for the wool.

Chickee and Chief were able to bottle-feed a pair of crazy vocal lambs who attacked the bottles with a frenzy.
video
Here Ted the dog rounds up the sheep. I didn't know sheep could run that fast!

Then the scones were warm out of the oven with apple/citrus jam of some yummy variety.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Knit and Crochet Show 2016

NEXT week! 
Goodness the Knit and Crochet Show is next week already.  I'll be there, will you?

The race is now ON to design and stitch something to wear to the fashion show.... send me good design mojo.




Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Epic Ireland Vacation Part 2

Most of our 40 people were on the same plane. We arrived in Dublin, met the tour guide and driver and slept on the bus on the way to Galway. In Galway we had to stop and take a photo at the famous Gormley's art gallery. We had heard of it before but I had completely forgotten until we came across it.

 This is downtown Galway.
 We found these crocheted beanies in the stores in Galway. I didn't know we would be finding the same beanies in other towns later in the week. They were all single crochet, pretty tightly woven and lined with a stretchy fleece. They were about $32 American dollars.

We stopped in a gorgeous church in Galway. There was a newer (1950's) church and an old 1500's church and I think this was the newer one because the older one had a wedding going on. 

 My official tour badge. It came with a little pocket-sized booklet with our itinerary, one page for each day. We stayed at the Maldron hotel. Interesting, our key card to enter our hotel room also is the card that turns on the electricity for the room! When you walk in there is another key slot and when you put your key in it, it enables all the switches and electricity to work. We did bring adapters with us since European outlets are not the same as American. (Totally worth the $15 for the 5 adapter set on Amazon. I tried to borrow some from friends but couldn't find anyone who had more than one).


Here Chickee and I get ready for the first night's dinner with the group. For the tour, the booking is based on double occupancy, or two people per room. So Chickee and I were in one room and Tom and Chief were in another. Many people brought a husband/sister/daughter/friend with them on the trip and they shared rooms. Some people came solo and either were matched with a roommate to save costs or they paid an additional fee to get a private room.

Tomorrow, the cliffs of Moher.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Epic Ireland Vacation Part 1

Part one of our Epic Ireland Vacation started with... New York City!

Since we had to come to New York to catch our flight to Ireland, we thought we'd catch a Broadway show. Les Miserables! It was, of course, phenomenal.

It took everything I had not to hum along. The music is just so magnificent.

 Thursday night in Times Square. I can't imagine what it's like on New Year's Eve!

 A quick view from the Empire State Building. Oh Sleepless in Seattle, Oh, An Affair to Remember... what iconic movies have included this awesome landmark.



A little respite in Central Park. Part Two coming soon... Ireland!