Remembering Cordova

Last week I returned home from the Fiber and Friends knitting retreat in Cordova, Alaska where I was invited to work as an instructor.

To be completely honest, it was probably the most amazing place I have ever been and it was one of the most fun weeks I have ever had. I feel so very privileged to have been invited to be a part of this amazing event.

I wanted to share a few pictures of my time in Cordova but these unfortunately were taken on my cell phone and do not capture the beauty like my Cannon camera would have. I was so worried about traveling with my expensive camera that I did not bring it. Am I kicking myself now? You bet.

Cordova is small and remote with no roads connecting it to any other place. It is considered a rain forest with an expected rain fall of approx 120-180 inches per year. Everywhere you look it is lush and green, with clear calm ocean and snow capped mountains in the background. The ground is littered with wildflowers, berry bushes and moss. It felt so clean and peaceful there.

The turquoise waters are a result of glacier run off.

Although Cordova is a remote fishing village in Alaska, it has a thriving knitting community. Dotty, the owner of The Net Loft, was the organizer of this wonderful knitting retreat and just celebrated her store's 30th anniversary! Never could I have imagined that there would be a yarn store in such a tiny town, never mind the fact that it has been there for 30 years! Not to mention.. this was literally the nicest, most well stocked yarn and craft store I have. ever. seen. 

I could have spent the entire week in that store.
Good thing they offer mail order!

This is just one tiny corner of a two-story shop!

Everyone I met in Cordova was so very hospitable and welcoming. Everywhere we looked there was a display of Cordova wildflowers, homemade baked goods and a pot of tea. 
They really made everyone feel right at home.

The classes themselves went great! I taught 6 classes while I was there. The knitters who attended were wonderful. It was really exciting to meet so many knitters from so many places and who traveled from all different parts of the world to be in Cordova for this event. 

Despite this, I have to say that the highlight of my teaching had to be the kid's "learn to knit" class! 
It is always so fun to help create new knitters!

Look at all of those kids! Thank goodness I had quite a few adult helpers!

My time in Cordova is an experience that I will always remember. I hope to someday bring my family there and share this amazing place with them as well. I highly suggest that everyone try to visit Cordova if they can. It was such a unique and beautiful town.

In an effort to bring home a piece of Cordova, I brought back 2 special skeins that were promptly knit up into two small hats for my daughter.

The first skein is this amazing tonal color from the company Skeins in the Stacks. It is actually hand-dyed with wild berries from Cordova! 

The rose was created the last night we were there at the Net Loft. Dotty showed all of us how to create these pretty roses with ribbon from her shop.

 The next was a gorgeous skein of Snow Capped yarn which was kindly provided to all of the attendees. Snow Capped is also hand-dyed in Cordova. This particular colorway is special because it was inspired by a painting of Cordova wildflowers.

I know that when I see these special knitted hats, I will remember the beauty of Cordova and the time I spent there.

Thank you to Dotty and everyone at The Net Loft for organizing such a wonderful week and for sharing your beautiful town with us all.

I can't wait to go back!


Sprig Cloche Now Available To Purchase

My new cloche design inspired by the Sprig pullover from Botanical Knits 2 is now available for purchase!

The Sprig Cloche is a face-framing hat design with a sprig of foliage gracefully wrapping around the asymmetrical brim. The brim is first knit flat, then stitched together at the ends. Stitches are picked up along one side and knit up in the round to create the body of the hat. It is a fun pattern with interesting construction, and an elegant result! 

This is the second time I have had the privilege of working with The Fibre Co. Acadia yarn. What a wonderful, luxurious yarn to knit with.

Here is the pattern information for those of you who are interested in knitting up a Sprig Cloche of your very own!

Women’s Medium-Large
(fits 20-22” / 50-60 cm head circumference)

Brim Circumference: approx 20” / 50 cm unstretched

The Fibre Company Acadia [60% merino wool, 20% baby alpaca, 20% silk; 145 yd / 133 m per 1.75 oz / 50 g skein]; color Amber; 2 skeins or approx 225 yd / 200 m of a dk weight wool or wool blend. 

Alternate Yarns: Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool, Rowan Felted Tweed DK

1 set of US5 / 3.75 mm straight needles for brim
1 16” / 40 cm US6 / 4 mm circular needle for body of hat
1 set of US6 / 4 mm double pointed needles
Stitch markers in 2 different colors
Cable needle
Tapestry needle

21 sts / 30 rows = 4” / 10 cm in Stockinette stitch worked in the rnd on US6 / 4 mm needles or size needed for accurate gauge.

The pattern offers both charted and written pattern instructions.

 Photography and modeling provided by the lovely Julie Crawford from knittedbliss.com. Thank you Julie and Guy!

Purchase the pdf download for the Sprig Cloche below or look for it in print at your local yarn shop.
I hope that you enjoy the pattern! :)


Last Chance to Pre-order Botanical Knits 2!

The Botanical Knits 2 books have arrived from the printery!

Thank you so much to everyone who has already pre-ordered from our website. We are working hard to get all of the orders shipped out as soon as possible.

We will be closing pre-orders on Friday, June 20th at the end of the day
You have until then to order and receive the complimentary e-book, bookmark and extra pattern!

Thank you for all of your support!


Playful Stripes For Grown Ups

What seems like ages ago now I designed my first little sweater for children, Playful Stripes.

Over the years, I have so enjoyed seeing other knitters make their own versions with all sorts of different color combinations for their little ones. It is definitely a fun knit. The stripes are so addicting! The yoke offers a perfect opportunity to not only play with color but to use up odd little scraps of yarn lying around. 

I have gotten so many requests for an adult version, so in 2011 I began working on one. 
Only... I was pregnant and up to my eyeballs in knitting for my first book, Coastal Knits... so with little time to focus on the design, the resulting sweater did not turn out as expected. In fact it was an epic fail. The proportions were terrible and the colors I chose were kind of... disgusting once put together.

I was so discouraged by this that I didn't feel motivated to try again until now... A whole three years later.
With much more experience under my belt, I feel more confident and am finally happy with the result! I would like to introduce the new improved Playful Stripes sweater for women in Quince and Co. Owl yarn.

Pattern coming this Fall!


From Mama, With Love E-book Review

I am so happy to be part of the blog tour for the adorable new e-book, From Mama, With Love, a collection of 15 sweet little knits designed by Connie Chang Chinchio, Tanis Gray, Margaux Hufnagel, Melissa LaBarre and Kate Gagnon Osborn.

Each of these incredibly talented designers are also mothers of small children and love to create adorable knits for their little ones. They have all come together to produce this e-book, each contributing 3 patterns each with their own children as models. As a knitwear designer and mother of two children myself, I just love this idea of moms getting together to collaborate on a project like this!

You can view all of the projects in the e-book HERE.

I find myself especially taken with the Sid Scrappy Hat designed by Melissa LaBarre. 
Isn't this just so adorable?

Take a look at From Mama, With Love and help support these talented, hard-working moms.
Good job ladies!


Sprig Cloche

I just received the photos of my new hat design, Sprig Cloche, from the beautiful Julie Crawford of knittedbliss.com. This hat pattern will be included for free with pre-orders of Botanical Knits 2 on our website. I will also release the Sprig Cloche pattern for sale in July.

I'm awfully excited about this little hat.

After the popularity of the Oak Trail cloche pattern from Botanical Knits, I wanted to try and create the cloche style hat shape once more. This time I experimented with increasing, decreasing and short rows to create an asymmetrical brim, much like the neckband of the Sprig sweater from Botanical Knits 2.

This hat is stylish and can be worn many ways. Julie is wearing it in more of a slouchy style in this photograph, but it can also be worn very low on the forehead. Additionally the "sprig" of foliage can wrap in the other direction around the opposite ear.

I think that you will find this pattern to be another fun and interesting knit. I look forward to releasing it!


Botanical Knits 2 Printed Book Sneak Peek

I was soooo excited to find what arrived in the mail for me today.... 
Advanced copies of Botanical Knits 2! Fresh from the printery!

It is always such a rewarding experience to see your finished book printed and bound for the first time. 
I have to say however... I was equally excited to see this adorable little bookmark I had made up.

This bookmark is a special giveaway item that will be shipped out with the books to all of you who 
pre-ordered Botanical Knits 2, and it has been designed with a couple special, little, useful features.

It clips perfectly to the page to mark your place in the book.

And even contains a 1" cut out to measure your stitch and row gauge!

 I just love how the little leaves stick up out of the book! Who knew a bookmark could make me this happy? I hope you love it too and find it a useful addition to your book!

Everyone who pre-orders will also receive an extra pattern with their book shipment. I am working on it right now and I love how it is turning out...

Here is a little sneak peek.

Botanical Knits 2 will be shipping next month! But pre-orders are still open on our website HERE
Remember that everyone who pre-orders will receive the e-book right away and the print book, bookmark, and extra pattern next month in the mail!

I can't wait for the big shipment to arrive so that I can start shipping all of these out! :)


Basic Baby Cardigan

When I received this beautiful yarn in the mail, it was love at first sight. I don't normally choose blue, but I am currently so drawn to this dusky gray/blue shade. 

What makes this skein of Snow-Capped Yarns Olde Salt Knight yarn extra special is that it is inspired by the colors of and also hand-dyed in coastal Alaska. I am headed there this summer for a knitting retreat, and I dreamed of my upcoming trip to Cordova while knitting with this yarn.

I made up this simple baby cardigan as a sample for my upcoming sweater finishing workshop that I will be teaching this summer. It was so quick to knit and a great project to practice seaming techniques.

I thought I'd post the pattern for free for anyone who is interested in making one for the little one in their life.
It can be made for a baby boy or baby girl and is just the perfect easy knit for a last minute gift.
Embellish it with pockets, appliques, or colorwork for an original look, or keep it clean and classic just the way it is.

Click HERE to download this pattern for free!
Click HERE to learn more about Snow-Capped Yarns.


The Never Not Knitting Podcast : Episode 80 : "No Like It"

Episode 80


Enter to win a copy of Knit The Alphabet provided by publisher Stitch Craft Create along with this beautiful "Knit Me Somethin" necklace provided by Shirley Campbell by leaving a comment under this post by April 15th. In your comment please tell me how you would like to use the knitted letters from the book. Please also include your contact information. Only one comment per person please!

The winner will be announced here and contacted on April 16th. 

I will be back at the microphone for the beginning of season 9 in July. Thank you for listening!

Drawing now closed! Thank you to everyone who participated! :)
The winner is Karine7 on Ravelry. Congratulations! :)


Knit The Alphabet

I recently discovered the book, Knit The Alphabet, by Claire Garland and couldn't resist knitting up a quick "N-N-K" out of scraps to display on the shelf of my office.

I've been a big fan of Claire's designs for years now. (Proof HERE and HERE.)
I have always loved her whimsical use of knit stitches to create the most adorable toys and now.. letters!

There are so many fun uses for these knitted letters. They would make such a fun decoration for a kid's room. Can you imagine a name strung up over a bed or small letters hanging from a crib mobile? What about a giant first letter of your child's name as a "pillow" on the bed? If I was "super mommy" I would love to knit the whole alphabet to practice making words with my 2 year old.

They are just so fun to make and play with..

and squish.