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New Year's Resolution Mad Lib & Giveaway

At the start of every year, people make New Year’s Resolutions to improve their lives: weight loss, improved eating habits, saving money, or learning a new skill often top the list.

Have you ever thought to make resolutions for your crafting life? Do you want to learn how to knit brioche, or how about learning how to do broomstick lace? We've created a fun Mad Lib to help you make yarny resolutions for 2017!

Start by filling out the following spaces below (you can print your own copy here, or do the mad lib online) and then transfer your answers into corresponding blanks of the story below!

Feel free to print the PDF and bring it to your knit night to see what your friends are going to resolve for 2017 - we invite you to share photos of your completed Mad Lib on social media using the #knitterspride and #knitterspridemadlib hashtags, too!



To complete Mad Lib: Fill in the blanks below, then transfer your answers to the following story.

[your name]: ______________
[craft not ending -ing]: _____________
[plural noun]: _____________
[number]: __________
[skill not ending in -ing]: _____________
[verb not ending in -ing]: ___________
[number]: __________
[month]: ___________
[exclamation]: _________
[designer name]: _____________
[color]: ____________
[color]: ____________
[number]: __________
[fiber art tool]: __________




Now it’s time to fill in your answers to discover your Yarny Resolutions for 2017! 


I, [your name] _______________ have the following resolutions for 2017.
  1. This year I will [craft not ending -ing] __________ 10 [plural noun] __________ with size [number] ____ needles.
  2. One lucky person will win
    this Royale DPN Needle Set!
    I will learn how to [skill not ending in -ing] ________.
  3. I will not [verb not ending in -ing] _________ until I finish [number] _______ sweaters before [month] ______.
  4. I am going to make the [exclamation] ______ shawl by [designer name] ___________.
  5. I am going to create a sweater in [color] _____ and use [color] ______ as an accent.
  6. I will keep my yarn stash below [number] ______ skeins, and if I exceed that number, I will sell my [fiber art tool]  ________!


Giveaway
Paste your completed Mad Lib into the comments below to enter yourself into our January Blog Giveaway! One lucky blog reader will win this Royale DPN Needle Set.

Be sure to also include your Ravelry ID or email address so that we can contact you if you win. We'll announce the lucky winner on Friday, January 27. Good luck!

Winner + Designer Spotlight: Wooly Wormhead

Wooly Wormhead Interview
Congratulations to caffeine72, our winner for this month's blog giveaway. We will get in touch with you shortly to arrange delivery of your prize! 

For our final blog post of 2016, we are pleased to share this interview with Woolly Wormhead, whom we've been a fan of for quite some time. We have donated a few prizes to her Muratura KAL that is happening now through December 31 (click here for more info), and last week she shared a technique tutorial with us - click here if you missed it


When did you learn to knit/crochet? - or - How did you get started designing?

My mum taught me to knit when I was 3, and I started making clothes for my dolls. You could say I started designing when I was about 7 or 8 or maybe even younger, as I clearly remember making up patterns by myself for my toys, and finding inventive ways to achieve things. I made my first jumper for myself when I was 9, and from there continued making garments for myself every year.

What is your design process typically like? 

Varied, but always organic! I'm not very good at having everything planned out on paper beforehand, with several trusty swatches. I can do it, but I always need to refine on the needles. And often that means ripping out and adjusting. I will chart out stitch patterns and know how the design will be graded before I cast on, but it's never a done deal; the design is never finished until everything is polished, and that's usually done on the needles. It's not uncommon for me to reknit a Hat 3 times to get the fine details just right.

What is your absolute favorite Knitter's Pride product, the one you would HAVE to have if you were stranded on a desert island?

My Karbonz short tip interchangeables - they're my go-to needles, each and every time. I'm also developing quite a thing for the Zing short tip interchangeables, too!


What tips do you have for knitters who plan on gifting their KAL hat to that knit-worthy person on their list? 

Sizing is really important - one size does not fit all! That said, you can pretty much guarantee that if the Hat you knit doesn't quite fit or suit the person you originally had in mind, it will fit and suit someone ;)

I have a super handy guide on my website to measuring for Hats, and gives you an idea of average head sizes. They are just that though, average. Some Hats and stitch patterns are much more forgiving about size (lacey slouchy Hats for instance) but others are not - cables and other heavily structured patterns need more precision. It's always worth remembering that a knitted fabric will stretch widthways, but what it gains there it loses in length.

There's also a useful guide on my website for choosing the right Hat style to suit difference face shapes and hairstyles - some people might be surprised to hear that there is a Hat to suit everyone!

Muratura hat designed by Woolly Wormhead
What is your favorite cast-on method for hats? Other projects? 

That would depend on the brim with vertical Hats... the alternate cable cast-on where a rib is needed, a cable cast-on if the edge pattern really doesn't matter or needs something giving but strong, and a crochet provisional cast-on as a main cast on as a decorative finish, especially on garter stitch. I've recently been introduced to the Chinese waitress cast-on and am keen to experiment with it more, and see how it works in the round (i.e. can I join it invisibly?)

Other projects? What are 'other projects'?! ;-)


Woolly Wormhead is a Hat Architect. With an instinctive flair for unusual construction and a passion for innovation, Woolly Wormhead is a designer whose patterns are trusted and celebrated by knitters all over the world. As a designer, Woolly is driven by a need to create and develop her understanding of 3D form. Communicating her ideas and sharing her specialised knowledge with her audiences is key to Woolly’s success as a designer. Woolly's high quality pattern writing ensures perfect results, teaches new skills and encourages us all to become Hat architects. Visit www.woollywormhead.com for further details.


Tutorial: How to Knit Brioche Into The Row Below

Today we have a special bonus blog post from Woolly Wormhead, who shares a tutorial for knitting brioche into the row below. It's great for those of you participating in the Muratura KAL, which we are sponsoring. Be sure to check out the Woolly Wormhead blog for details on the KAL (plus a coupon code for your pattern purchase!), and also don't forget to enter our blog giveaway for December, found here.

Knitting into the row below is a variation of Brioche knitting, and creates a wonderfully textured
stitch pattern on what is a garter stitch ground. It is used in my Muratura and Rainbow Warrior
patterns, and it isn't as yarn thirsty as other brioche stitches (knitting into the row below doesn't use as much yarn as creating a yarnover).

The usual abbreviation for knitting into the row below is 'K1b'. This stitch is usually worked on
alternate stitches, and is offset on RS rows to create the pattern.

1. Knit up to the stitch that has the K1b instruction. On a piece of knitting worked flat, the 1st row is usually *K1, K1b; rpt; the 2nd & 4th rows are knit across. The 3rd row would then be *K1b, K1; rpt. When working in the round, the 2nd & 4th rounds would be purl across.
2. Insert your needle into the stitch below the one on the left hand needle, as shown.


3. Bring your yarn around and perform a knit stitch.


4. This is the completed knit stitch, with the worked stitch still on the left hand needle – here you can see clearly how you have knit through both loops together.


5. Then slip the worked stitch off the needle, and done! It's much simpler than it first seems.


Copyright Woolly Wormhead © 2016. Used With Permission; All rights reserved.

Website: http://woollywormhead.com
Ravelry: http://www.ravelry.com/groups/woolly-wormheads-hats

Five Quick Gift Knits, a KAL & a Giveaway!

With Christmas coming up and the hubbub of the holiday season, sometimes all you’re looking for is a short yet satisfying project either for yourself or for a quick gift.

Here are our top 5 free one-skein-or-less patterns to knit that will keep you warm from head to toe.

The Barley Hat by Tin Can Knits is a classic, and fits just about everyone! With infant and adult sizes, you could whip these up for the whole family.
The Handbrake Cowl and Scarf pattern by Dan and Kay Jones, is an easy textured knit that can be easily adjusted for whatever yarn you choose.

The Pedestrian Crossing Cowl by Keegan Lane Designs is a fun buttoned cowl that would look great in a solid color or variegated yarn.

Warmest Mitts by Knitting Pretty would look good on anyone, and they knit up in a flash - they’re also great for knitting through your stash!

Who doesn’t need a pair of house slippers or ankle socks? Footies by Quirky Bird Knits is the ideal pattern to use up some stash yarn while getting a little gift off the needles at the same time.


It's a Woolly Wormhead KAL!

We're pleased to sponsor a KAL for Woolly Wormhead's final hat design of 2016, Muratura! This hat is knit sideways and uses a variation of the brioche stitch. Moreover, it knits up quickly, making it a great last-minute gift project for the holidays.


Click here for details on how to join the Muratura KAL for your chance to win 2 great prizes from Knitter's Pride - there is also a coupon code towards your pattern purchase!

Giveaway
While you’re knitting up these last minute gifts, why not treat yourself to a little luxury with Knitter’s Pride Royale needles?

Our Royale needles have colored wooden shafts (unique to each size) and sharp metal tips, perfect for all types of knitting. Choose from single point, double point and fixed circular needle, as well as Interchangeable and DPN set. Each set comes in a Parisian-themed zipper case, so you can daydream about being on a cafe patio in Paris with a hot cappuccino and your favorite knitting
project.

Comment on this blog post to enter our giveaway for a Knitter’s Pride Royale Single Pointed Needle Set - be sure to also include your Ravelry ID or email address so that we can contact you if you are our lucky winner. Come back to the blog on Friday, December 23 to see who won!



Winner + Free Crochet Mitts Pattern

Congratulations to Raveler mmmgood304, who won this month's giveaway for a Chunky Mesh Wrist Warmers kit! We'll be in touch with you shortly to arrange for the delivery of your prize.

Our previous blog post featured a free pattern to knit a quick pair of mitts using our Jumbo Birch needles and two skeins of Briggs & Little Super Yarn, and we promised a freebie for our fans who crochet in this week's blog post. These simple mitts are very easy to customize for a variety of hand sizes and stitch up ultra-quickly using just 1 skein of Briggs & Little Super Yarn and a Jumbo Birch crochet hook.

Enjoy!

Quick Crochet Wrist Warmers

by Stefanie Goodwin-Ritter

Supplies:
Gauge: 5 sts and 4 rows = 4 inches in single crochet, blocked

Finished Dimensions: 7" circumference, 7" length (allow approx. 1" negative ease; see instructions below for how to customize your fit)

About this pattern: A bulky weight yarn is worked with a larger hook size to product a mesh-like single crochet fabric. What makes this yarn special is the story: Briggs & Little is Canada's oldest woolen mill and produces premium yarns spun from 100% domestic wool, and is milled, carded, dyed, and spun at their factory in York Mills, New Brunswick, Canada.

The finished mitts will be very stretchy, so be sure to knit the size that is approximately an inch smaller than your desired hand circumference. Don't be alarmed by the size and shape of your project while it is being knit - the magic is in the blocking!

Mitts (Make 2):
Ch 9 and work single crochet in 8 sts, beginning with second ch from hook.

Single crochet all rows until piece measures 6 inches from start. For your final row worked once you have achieved your intended length, slip stitch in final stitch, snip your yarn end leaving several inches for seaming, and pull through to secure yarn end.

How to get a custom fit: If you would like to create mitts with a larger or smaller circumference, you can add or subtract rows here - just be sure to take into account the notes above regarding negative ease and gauge when blocked.


With wool needle or tapestry needle, seam five inches of cast on and bound off edge together; leave the next 1.5 inches unseamed for thumb; tack the opposite edge together for top of mitt.


Wash your mitts in your favorite wool wash and lay flat to dry on Knitter's Pride Blocking Mats. To achieve stated dimensions and neat edges, use Knitter's Pride Knit Blockers as directed in our previous blog post, found here.


Wear & enjoy!

Giveaway + Free Pattern: Chunky Mesh Wrist Warmers

The holiday countdown has begun! We don't want to scare you, but if there are still a lot of names on your "knitworthy" list this year, consider this: there are only 6 Fridays until Christmas and Hanukkah. Now is the time for chunky quick knits!

Today, we share a simple pattern to make with our Jumbo Birch needles and two skeins of Briggs & Little Super Yarn. You can whip these up in just one evening of knitting, and the pattern is very easy to customize for a variety of hand sizes. For our friends to crochet, we will be sharing a free crochet pattern later this month right here on our blog.

Enjoy!


Chunky Mesh Wrist Warmers

by Stefanie Goodwin-Ritter

Supplies:
Gauge: 3.5 sts and 8 rows = 4 inches in pattern stitch, blocked

Finished Dimensions: 7" circumference, 7" length
(allow approx. 1" negative ease; see instructions below for how to customize your fit)

About this pattern: Yarn is held doubled throughout. What makes this yarn special is the story: Briggs & Little is Canada's oldest woolen mill and produces premium yarns spun from 100% domestic wool, and is milled, carded, dyed, and spun at their factory in York Mills, New Brunswick, Canada.

The finished mitts will be very stretchy, so be sure to knit the size that is approximately an inch smaller than your desired hand circumference. Don't be alarmed by the size and shape of your project while it is being knit - the magic is in the blocking!

Mitts (Make 2):
With yarn held double, cast on 6 stitches.

Begin knitting flat in seed stitch as follows:

Row 1 (RS): *k1, p1, rep from * to end.
Row 2 (WS): *p1, k1, rep from * to end.

Repeat these two rows of seed stitch til piece measures 7 inches from cast on.

How to get a custom fit: for a smaller hand circumference, work fewer rows here; for a larger hand circumference, work more rows. If you are achieving the stated gauge, each two-row repeat will add or subtract and inch from your intended circumference.

Once you have achieved your intended length, bind off all stitches in pattern.

With wool needle or tapestry needle, seam five inches of cast on and bound off edge together; leave the next 1.5 inches unseamed for thumb; tack the opposite edge together for top of mitt.


Wash your mitts in your favorite wool wash and lay flat to dry on Knitter's Pride Blocking Mats . To achieve stated dimensions (you will need to stretch your mitts lengthwise a bit to get the 7" length) and neat edges, use Knitter's Pride Knit Blockers like so:


Wear & enjoy!

Giveaway

We're giving one lucky reader a chance to win the Chunky Mesh Wrist Warmers Project Kit pictured below! To enter, leave a comment on this post telling us about your holiday gift knitting (or other crafting) plans! Be sure to also mention your Ravelry ID or email address so that we can contact you if you win.

We will announce our lucky winner on our next blog post on Friday, November 25. Good luck!

Winner + Creative Sock Construction Round-Up

First off, we'd like to announce the winner for this month's blog giveaway - congratulations to Kathryn M., you have won this month's prize! We will get in touch with you to coordinate the delivery of your prize. Thanks to everyone who entered this month's contest.

Socktober may almost be over, but of course you can knit socks year-round. We've spotted some really interesting ways of constructing socks over on Ravelry, and wanted to share some of these exciting techniques with our blog readers this month. If you have tried any of them, we'd love to hear what you think of the results in the comments!

#1: Sideways Socks
While socks knit sideways have been around for quite some time, we are seeing some interesting new patterns which use this technique! Variegated and self-striping yarns look especially great with this approach. Here are some interesting patterns to try: Skew by Lana Holden, Verizontal by General Hogbuffer, Vanishing Point by Jeny Staiman, or the Alamogordo Socks by Lisa Jacobs (shown below).



#2: Start-in-the-Middle Socks
This intriguing pattern by Carissa Brown begins at the heel and is worked outward for there - another great option for hand-dyed and variegated yarns.


#3: Fish Lips Kiss Heel
This popular method simplifies short row shaping and can used for both toe-up and top-down socks. We've heard many knitters rave about how easy it is to memorize.



#4:  OMG Heel & OMG Spacious Heel
This clever construction from podcaster Megan Williams includes instructions for using this heel in both toe-up and top-down socks. OMG stands for One-needle Mock Gusset for toe-up and One-needle Mini Guesset for top down!


#5: Pyramid Heel
This paid-for pattern from Interweave combines a Pyramid heel construction in toe-up socks with a striking stranded colorwork design & includes a video tutorial with the pattern.



#6: Toe-Up Tab
This free tutorial by Mary Spanos uses a similar approach to the garter tab cast-on which is used for many shawl patterns.

We're also pleased to give knitters one more option when choosing needles for their next sock project: in addition to DPNs and circular needles for magic looping, we now offer small circumference 9" needles in our Dreamz and Nova Platina lines! 


Is there a new sock knitting technique you use that isn't listed here? Let us know in the comments!