Let’s Gift-a-Long

ravelry gift a lontTonight is the official start of the 2014 Indie Design Gift-A-Long! It’s a 2 month long event on Ravelry featuring massive pattern sales and fun crochet and knit a longs with prizes.


First, from Thursday, November 13th at 8:00 pm US EST – Friday, November 21, 2014 at 11:59 pm US EST tons of indie designers, including me, will be discounting between 4 – 20 of their patterns 25% for this event. Just use coupon code giftalong2014 when you check out. To see my eligible patterns, check out my bundle here.


Once you’ve got your Gift-A-Long patterns, you can choose to join a relevant KAL/CAL on the Gift-A-Long Ravelry group! KAL/CAL participants are eligible for lots of lovely prizes but you gotta post to win! KAL/CALs will run from Thursday, November 13 at 8pm (US-EST) through the New Years Eve party, Wednesday, December 31 at midnight (US-EST). There are games, tons of prizes, great conversation, and a lot of fun, so pull up a chair and join us!

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Sharing the (link) love

What better way to end the week then with an awesome interview?

Penny from Little Acorn Creations posted today about her test knit of my crochet pattern, Diagonally, and an interview. Enjoy!

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Crochet & Knit News

Interesting stuff going on this week:

I was on a podcast. Check out my interview on Creative Yarn Entrepreneur where I talk about time management.

Krenik is making awesome pen kits. They’re intended for embroidery and needlepoint, but they’ve also worked up some awesome crochet versions.

cool crochet pens. photo courtesy http://www.mrxstitch.com/

Tech editor and crochet designer Charles Voth has a new Craftsy Class.With See It, Crochet It: Reading Diagrams (w/ Charles Voth), you can learn all about crochet symbol diagrams. I love them!

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Giveaway: Felt So Good

Felt So Good: 70+ Felted and Plain Wool Designs for You and Your Home

71pF0C1tDzLAuthor: Tone Rorseth

Publisher: Seller’s Publishing

List Price: $19.95

I’ve got a great giveaway item for this week. If you’re like me, in all your crochet and knitting adventures, you’ve likely built up a store of wool yarn, wool roving, and felt. (Whether the felt was made intentionally or by mistake, you don’t have to tell.) Now you can some find great projects to make with those bits in this new book from Norwegian designer Tone Rorseth.

There are instructions for accessories like mitts and slippers, home decor items, and fun things like the Simply Adorable Owls that are pictured on the cover. With 75 projects you’re sure to find something you’ll enjoy making. Plus, many of these projects would make fantastic holiday gifts.

Thanks to the fine folks at Sellers Publishing, you have a chance to win your own copy of Felt So Good. Just comment on this post with what you love about felt and wool before 11:59pm EDT, Monday, November 3rd. With the help of random.org, I’ll choose one commenter at random to win the book. This giveaway is open internationally.

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I Will Buy Yarn from Her

I’ve done some yarn shopping lately…..ok I’ve purchased a lot of yarn. In trying to get the best bang for my buck, I’ve realized that I kind of have qualifications that must be met in order to buy yarn from a company.

1. They yarn should be well spun. I have had yarn where, midway through a project, you come upon a strand that is more a slub or tuft of wool than actual yarn. Knots I can forgive. Bad spinning, I can’t.

2. Good dye job. If your yarn bleeds, I will not buy from you again. I started on a scarf with new yarn from a new company once. It turned my hands blue. Never again. On the other hand, if your yarn colors are gorgeous and the color stays on the yarn and not me, that’s fantastic. I’ve also seen yarn where one spot in the skein is white because it didn’t go into the dye bath all the way. Really? I love tonal yarns but only where the tonal part is intentional. Otherwise it just looks shoddy.

3. Be nice to me. If I’ve met you at a trade show, and you’ve treated me like dirt or been rude, I’m not going to buy your yarn. If I’ve met  you, and you’ve treated me nicely and been friendly, even if the business deal didn’t work out, then I’m happy to buy your yarn.

I’m probably coming across as snobby here. Let me clarify that I’m always happy to give the benefit of the doubt (especially with number 3; we all have bad days). But if you consistently break these rules, I will not be purchasing your yarn.

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Book Giveaway: Brioche Chic

Book: Brioche Chic: 22 Fresh Knits for Women & Men

Author: Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark

Publisher: Interweave/F+W; $26.99 http://bit.ly/1qzUzog

So the word brioche brings two things to my mind: French pastry and knitting. I had heard of brioche knitting before but I had stored it in the file cabinet of my brain as likely just some fancy stitch pattern. Boy, was I wrong.Brioche Chic - jacket art

When my reviewer’s copy of Merecedes Tarasovich-Clark’s new book, Brioche Chic, arrived, I was blown away. Brioche Chic isn’t just a pattern book. It’s a book that takes you from A to Z in the fascinating technique of brioche knitting. Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark covers basic brioche stitches, preferred cast-on and bind-off methods, increases and decreases in brioche, reading brioche charts, 2 color brioche knitting, and brioche cables. This is a book that can really walk you through a new technique from absolute beginner to advanced-level work.

Brioche Chic - Norwegian-Style Hat close up

Photo courtesy Interweave.

Just like the instructions, the projects range from basic to more advanced. I think I’m going to get my feet wet with the Basic Brioche Cowl. (225 yds of worsted weight yarn? I’ve totally got that!)

Brioche Chic - Basic Brioche Cowl beauty shot

Photo courtesy Interweave.

Brioche Chic - Diamond-Pane Camisole beauty shot

Photo courtesy Interweave.

The garment projects pair brioche with regular knitting to create beautiful, modern pieces.

Brioche Chic - Openwork Triangle Shawl beauty shot

Photo courtesy Interweave.

While the texture of brioche knitted fabrics screams out to be fondled and squished, I’m equally mesmerized by the look of the Openwork Triangle Shawl.

Thanks to the fine folks at Interweave, you have a chance to win your own copy of Brioche Chic. Just comment on this post with what you love about brioche knitting (or brioche pastry!) before 11:59pm EDT, Monday, October 13th. With the help of random.org, I’ll choose one commenter at random to win the book. This giveaway is open internationally.

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Sick Day

Nothing says “welcome to autumn” like the onset of allergies and a sinus infection. For the last few days, I’ve spent every moment that I could curled up in bed. And, yes, I’m one of those people who is whiny when they’re sick. About the only thing more comforting than chicken noodle soup is some easy knitting. I’ve been spending my rest time in bed, watching tv on the laptop, and knitting.


Laptop, knitting, and antibiotic nasal rinse. What more can a girl ask for?


This is a really basic shawlette I’m making for myself with some great Done Roving DK Frolicking Feet yarn that I picked up at New England Yarn and Spindle. It’s a fairly easy pattern with garter stitch inner and a pretty little border. So far I’ve been able to knit through my mental fog, although at some point I did start increasing on wrong side rows instead of right side rows.

Still, I’m happy with it. And I’ll be much happier once I start feeling better.

Here’s hoping everyone has a great weekend!

ETA: Need a sick day project of your own? Try Kate Atherley’s Sick Day Shawl

© Gillian Martin

© Gillian Martin

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Rosh Hashana

Dip the apple in the Claudia Handpaints honey colorway yarn. Happy new year to those who celebrate!

rosh hashana yarn apple

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Book Review & Giveaway: Tunisian Crochet for Baby

indexBook: Tunisian Crochet for Baby
Author: Sharon Silverman
Publisher: Stackpole Books

Recently I had the chance to check out a reviewer’s copy of Tunisian Crochet for Baby by Sharon Silverman.

What’s my favorite thing about this book? Tunisian stitch diagrams! I’m a huge fan of crochet diagrams in general, and I’m psyched that this book takes the time to chart out the Tunisian patterns too!

My favorite project is the Checkerboard Blanket. I can easily envision a larger version of that in my living room.

Photos courtesy of Stackpole Books

Photos courtesy of Stackpole Books

You can learn Tunisian entrelac with the Harlequin Blanket, and make the cutest little Thumbless Mittens. Check out pictures of all the patterns on the online look book.

Photos courtesy of Stackpole Books

Photos courtesy of Stackpole Books

If your Tunisian skills are a little rusty, don’t worry. The book has great, step-by-step photos for the stitches that are used.

Thanks to Stackpole Books, you have a chance to win your own copy of Tunisian Crochet for Baby. Just leave a comment here by Monday, September 22nd (11:59pm EDT) telling me what you like about Tunisian crochet. Open to US residents only.

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New Crochet Video Tutorial: Back Bump Single Crochet

One of my favorite variations on the standard single crochet stitch is the back bump single crochet. Yesterday, I sat down and recorded a video to show you how to do this stitch.

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