Halona is now available for purchase on Ravelry, Craftsy, Patternfish and, of course, here on my blog!
Halona is a semicircular shawl with an elongated wingspan to help with draping (and wrapping!). The finished size is approximately 74 inches x 20 inches, depending on gauge and how severely you block it. Instructions for the body of the shawl are written and the border has both written and charted instructions so you can pick your preference. The pattern is super simple to memorize and knits up fairly quickly so you can have it ready in time for the cooler fall weather (which a lot of you are already experiencing! Jealous!).
The pattern calls for 455 yards of a solid worsted-weight yarn and 245 yards of a long strand variegated worsted-weight yarn (the sample uses Cascade 220 and Noro Kureyon). I think it would also look great using two solid colored yarns! Also, the “wrong side” is gorgeous so I’m declaring this sucker reversible.
When I was designing this shawl I was really wanting something I could use instead of a coat this winter. While it does get cold down here, winters are really not too bad and having to lug around a coat or even a jacket seems like overkill sometimes (and because of that I will sometimes go without and freeze my tookus off). This shawl is perfect to wrap up in when I head outside and I can just leave it draped over my shoulders the rest of the time. A win-win!
A couple of my test knitters expressed an interest in knitting another one in a fingering- or sport-weight yarn which would make it a light and airy shawl perfect for spring and summer. A shawl for every season!
Oh, and I’ve started a Freckles & Purls group on Ravelry for Ravelers to discuss or ask questions about my patterns and just chit-chat in general about knitting, crocheting and life. I’ll also use the group to find future test knitters and maybe have some fun promotions and giveaways! So if you’re on Ravelry, stop by and pull up a chair!
Also, many thanks to my friend Whitney for modeling for me! I definitely owe her a beer.
Posted in design, knitting | 2 Comments »
This is my absolute favorite time of the year. Fall is probably my favorite season and that transition period between summer (my least favorite season! SO HOT!) and fall just puts a permanent smile on my face (and a little spring in my step!). My first hint that fall is coming is the changing light. Have you noticed that? The shadows get longer. The color of the mornings and evenings is different. It’s hard to explain how it’s different but I notice it. And it gets me very very excited! Of course, the Mississippi heat has not relented yet but I know that’s coming soon because the light is changing!
This time of year I start thinking about weekends watching football, chilis and stews simmering on the stove, pumpkin in everything. Concerts in the park, open windows, chilly mornings. And of course knitting. It’s the start of knitting season! My hands start itching for a new, warmer project. Maybe a sweater. Maybe a blanket. It’s like unwrapping a gift! Ahh… fall… I’m glad you’re (almost) here.
This fall will be extra special because I have a new pattern coming out in early October. It’s the perfect shawl for this transition to colder days. Like a warm blanket to wrap yourself up in as you head out the door (but it’s not a blanket, it’s a shawl! So you won’t look like a homeless person!). It’s currently in the hands of my trusty test-knitters and I can’t wait for its debut. And it’s a fairly quick and simple knit. A good project for those evenings spent curled up on the couch watching TV. No concentration required.
I hope you’re as excited about the change in seasons as I am. Look for the changing light!
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While I was working on the yarn bombing of Front Street I realized that I really really really don’t like working on just one thing. It makes me antsy! I kept dreaming of what I’d be able to work on when the yarn bombing was over. And that list of future projects kept growing. The day after the yarn bombing felt like Christmas! What did I want to start first?
The first thing I started working on was a new design! (Whaaa?!?) I know, right! It’s about time! I’m still swatching things. (Recognize that yarn? It’s what I had left over from my Flower Market Shawl! So one design lends a hand in the creation of another.) I’m excited about this one! More details will come!
My next two projects have not been started yet and both are sort of new-to-me crafts. The first being hand embroidery. I’ve done a teensy bit of embroidery but never anything huge or difficult. There are so many beautiful hand embroidered masterpieces out there and I’m ready to try and create one myself with the Daisychain ABCs Crewelwork Sampler from Alicia Paulson, the creative mind behind one of my favorite blogs, Posie Gets Cozy.
You can buy everything – the pattern, crewel wool and pre-printed fabric – in her shop Posie: Rosy Little Things. And there’s a flickr group, too! (Where I’ve been drooling over everyone’s samplers before getting the courage to start my own!) The pattern includes a template if you want to use your own fabric and she also gives similar DMC thread colors if you’d like to do it with embroidery floss instead. And each letter has full instructions on stitch-type and color (and included are instructions on how to do each type of stitch!). I’m excited (and still a little nervous) to start this!
Now there’s one more thing I’m itching to try. Sewing clothes! My mom always made clothes for us growing up. She made our prom dresses and her mother-of-the-bride dresses. And each one was impeccable! She tried to teach me when I was younger but I guess I wasn’t ready. Well, I’m ready now! And it seems like the universe is in full support. Have you noticed the increased interest in sewing these days? Did you watch The Great British Sewing Bee? If not, go now! It’s a competition show to find the best home sewer in England. I won’t spoil it for you. The entire first season is only 4 episodes long and they are all here on YouTube! You could watch it all in one day! I loved it so much! ♥♥♥
Since my mom is 600 miles away, I turned to Craftsy to teach me the ins and outs of apparel sewing. I signed up for Sewing Studio (a great class for beginners that teaches you how to make a pillow and a pencil skirt) and the Sassy Librarian Blouse Class because that blouse is SO CUTE! ♥ I’ve watched both classes from beginning to end and it finally makes sense to me! Christine Haynes (instructor for the Sassy Librarian Blouse) completely demystified button bands, collars, pintucks and set-in sleeves. I’m not afraid of them anymore! This whole thing is definitely doable.
I’m also excited to make the super cute (and super popular) Staple Dress by April Rhodes.
My only problem is picking out which fabric to use! I’m sure I’ll end up doing what I’ve seen others do and make several of these in different prints! So many options! And it’s such a great wear-anywhere dress (and good for beginners, I hear). I’m excited about giving it a try!
Boy, I think all of that should keep me busy for a while. And I’m sure I’ll sneak in some small projects here and there (as I get distracted by other shiny objects – did you see that Heather Bailey is launching a line of embroidery patterns?! Squeeee!). Whatever happens, I can rest assured knowing that I’ll be having a very crafty summer. ✂
What are your craft plans for the summer? Will you be learning something new?
Posted in design, knitting, sewing | 2 Comments »
Back in January, my awesome crafting group (the Hub City Crafters) started tossing around the idea of doing a yarn bombing in downtown Hattiesburg. We thought the perfect time would be the Spring Art Walk in April and the perfect “partners in crime” would be the always-up-for-quirky-fun-stuff duo of Jason and Adam who own CLICK Boutique downtown (they just opened their online store so go buy cute things from them!). They were thrilled to have us yarn bomb their streetscape and even gave us two mannequins to bomb as well! (I decided to “bomb” them with some crocheted dresses and someone bought one of them! Score!)
First we measured everything – trees, parking meters, tables, chairs, door handles, mannequins – and starting handing out assignments. Everyone had about 6-8 weeks to finish their part(s) and we installed everything the morning of the Spring Art Walk (April 13). It was a HUGE success. Everyone loved it! (So much so that we got several requests for other yarn bombings around the city. Unfortunately, deadlines were too tight for us to pull them off. Yarn bombings take a lot of time to plan I discovered!)
Here is the big announcement email that CLICK sent out that morning:
We took it down after 12 days (before it got really icky). It really was a ton of fun and it was great to get such wonderful feedback from the community. It also brought some attention to our group which brought us new crafty people to play with! Yay! I can’t wait to do it again! (Well, yes I can. I am actually enjoying working on my own projects these days, thankyouverymuch! More on those later!)
I hope this has given YOU a little inspiration to plan your own yarn bombing! Go spread some happy! xoxo
Posted in crochet, knitting | 1 Comment »
So I guess the title of this post could have two meanings. The first being Yay! Spring is here! The birds are back! The flowers are blooming! The second being the *chirp-chirp* of crickets as this blog has been very very quiet lately! Well, as for the latter, the past few months have been filled with ups! And downs. One big “up” (and my main timesuck the past couple of months) has been the planning and implementation of a yarn bombing in downtown Hattiesburg that we successfully pulled off this past weekend for the Spring Art Walk. The yarn bombing deserves its own blog post so stay tuned for that! It ate up a lot of yarn and I drank up a lot of coffee!
A big “down” happened in February as an F-4 tornado came through Hattiesburg and destroyed hundreds of homes and buildings (on my 36th birthday, no less!). Thankfully, no one was killed.
Taken Feb. 12, 2013 – two days after the tornado hit. This is at our local Red Cross (just 1/3 of a mile from our house). It was completely destroyed.
These were taken April 11, 2013 – two months after the tornado hit. Still a lot of clean-up and rebuilding left to do.
I think I went into a bit of a funk after the tornado. I didn’t really want to do anything! I didn’t knit. I didn’t crochet. I had gone out the morning of for a”birthday run” but didn’t lace up my shoes again until more than a week later. I wanted to limit my exposure to all of the devastation. It had wiped out most of the old beautiful trees in front of the university. It changed our city. But, life is really starting to move forward here in Hattiesburg. We are busying ourselves with outdoor concerts, art walks, festivals. Yarn bombings! Spring is definitely bringing new life to our city!
And of course, once I started running regularly again, my mood started to lift! Go figure! That, coupled with the warmer temps, made me long for my knitting needles and crochet hooks. It even made me crave a bit of sewing!
So I decided to embrace this newly awakened sewing urge and finish some quilt blocks I had been slacking on for a quilting bee (before really buckling down for all of my yarn bombing projects).
Spring also gifted me with a nice surprise this week! I received Patternfish’s April newsletter and was shocked to see that my Flower Market Shawl pattern made the Prime Minister’s list of favorite patterns for 2012! She narrowed her original three page list down to only 18 patterns! Her kind words about my pattern were the icing on the cake (and a bit of a “pinch me” moment)! It was definitely a great start to my week!
I hope that Spring has brought you a few lovelies as well! And maybe inspired you to pull out your sewing machine, knitting needles, crochet hooks, or that project that’s been languishing. It is definitely my most favorite season of the year. I just wish it lasted longer down here! It’s starting to feel like summer already!
Posted in crochet, design, knitting, life, running, sewing | Leave a Comment »
Scenery on a run at my parents’ house on Lake Murray in SC
I love this time of year. When one year comes to an end and another begins. It’s like getting a clean slate. My energy level increases. My “to-do” list gets longer (and I get excited about it!). I always wish that I could bottle this feeling of excitement, hope and motivation and partake of it whenever I’m feeling uninspired.
This is always my time to make lists. Resolutions. Goals. And I take time to reflect on the lists of last year.
My two main goals for 2012 were to become a runner and run a 5K. I’m happy to say that I did both! I really fell in love with running and I love being able to compete with myself and see improvements every day. And the new friends I’ve made through running have been invaluable!
Another goal I had was to release another pattern. I didn’t do that! I have a few things that I’m working on but never got any of them out there. I guess 2013 will be their year!
My goals for 2013:
- Run 1,000 miles. This one may be tricky since I’m averaging about 3 miles per week right now due to the lingering effects of bronchitis. But hopefully I can quickly make up for lost miles.
- Get completely organized. This is a lofty goal! Some aspects of my life are organized and some are not! It’s only made more difficult by the fact that we are still finishing renovations on our house. Hopefully we will finish those soon and everything will have a place once again.
- Have more time for crafty things. I feel like my craft time was sorely lacking in 2012 and I want that to change. I need that to change!
- Learn something new. I think I’ve already taken about a million Craftsy courses but I’m already scoping out more. Perhaps the Artisan Cheese Making Class or the Jam and Marmalade Class? I want to learn it all! (by the way, if you haven’t signed up for Craftsy, you should! The classes are really amazing and you can take them on your own schedule and your access to them never expires! And you have access to the instructor to ask questions along the way. Want to learn to knit? Maybe learn to crochet? They have everything from quilting to cake decorating to jewelry making and more! Can you tell I love them?)
- Eat healthier. More fruits and vegetables! I’m going to do my best to have a successful garden this summer. I don’t think of myself as having much of a green thumb but I’m hoping that will change. I’m currently taking the Garden Fresh Class and I’m learning a lot. (The instructor’s garden is AMAZING. Very inspiring!)
- Release another pattern. Or two… Or three… I seriously need to get my butt in gear on this one. Perhaps my goal of more craft time will result in more patterns. I sure do hope so!
- Give more handmade gifts at Christmas. I always want to make people gifts for Christmas but my problem is that I think about it in November when there is NO TIME to get it all done. So someone please remind me of this in July so that I can actually make it happen!
- Spiffy up this blog. I’ve been wanting to transfer this thing to a self-hosted WordPress blog so that I can have more “creative control” of the look and feel of things. And I’m hoping that this will be the year I take the plunge and do it. Has anyone out there done this before? Gone from WordPress.com to WordPress.org? Recommendations on hosting? I’ll take any and all advice!
I hope I’m able to meet every one of those goals this year! What are your goals for 2013? I’d love to hear them! I hope that 2013 is your best year yet!
Posted in life | 4 Comments »
I realized the other day that today marks six years since I posted the pattern for my Entrelac Scarf on this blog. It was a pre-Ravelry era, and I posted it here because I thought maybe one or two of you would be interested in it. (And you were! Actually more than one or two of you!) I never imagined I’d ever write knitting patterns, and this one came out of pure frustration at the lack of decent, well-written, easy-to-understand instructions for a simple entrelac scarf. So I did my best to create just that and put it out there for anyone who wanted it.
Then Ravelry happened.
The pattern was added to Ravelry on May 9, 2007, when Ravelry was just shy of one month old, and from there things just soared. I added it to Craftsy in January of this year, and between those two sites, it has been downloaded more than 50,000 times! Since it was added to Ravelry, it has consistently ranked in the Top 50 Scarf Patterns (it’s #36 as I write this) out of over 22,500 scarf patterns (and that number grows every day!). The same is true over at Craftsy where it has consistently stayed in their Top 20 list for ALL Free Knitting Patterns (it’s ranked #1 as I write this!).
It was published in Spool magazine’s Winter 2011 issue and has been used in dozens of yarn shops around the world to teach knitters the art of entrelac knitting (including a few classes taught by yours truly!). It was even used by Staci Perry for her online Entrelac tutorial.
I never imagined in a million years how successful this pattern would be, and I must say that it really planted the design seed in my head. Of course, it took me five years to come out with my next pattern (my Flower Market Shawl), but I promise new patterns are in the pipeline!
I just wanted to take a moment to say Happy Birthday to the little pattern that launched a new path for me. And to the thousands of knitters out there who have downloaded and knit it, I say THANK YOU. ♥
Posted in design, knitting | 9 Comments »