Pages

New Year, New Projects!

With the holiday season behind us it’s that time again where we can refocus our crafting. So, what are your crafting goals for 2015? Did you get new tools and materials to help you reach your goals?

Here at KnitPro we’re always looking forward and inspired by the many talented crafters we meet each day, and we love sharing this with all of you! The knitting and crochet community is magical, warm, and inviting, and we couldn’t be happier to sharing this with all of you!

Here are a few new patterns that have already been published this year by talented designers, we hope they will inspire you to dream and stitch big in 2015!

Quicksilver by Melanie Berg

Victorian Raffia by Kieran Foley & Alasdair Post-Quinn


Bring by Ilaria Caliri (crochet)

Giveaway
This month we're giving away a Nova Platina DPN Set and a PDF copy of the Slive pattern courtesy of Classic Elite. To enter the giveaway visit our previous post.

Review: Artistic Differences & A Giveaway

We're excited to review the new book from our friend and talented designer Talitha Kuomi. You may know Talitha from the Fiber Factor, and we also recently shared a free pattern from Talitha on the Knitter's Pride blog, the Lind hat. Talitha has teamed up with Classic Elite to create this lovely book of ten patterns entitled, Artistic Differences.

Slive is a great versatile pattern for fingerless gloves worked in stockinette stitch. You can choose to add contrast edgings or even stripe the yarn. Today only the pattern is 10% off on Ravelry, just add to your cart and you'll automatically get the discounted price.

The sample is worked in Classic Elite MoutainTop Vail, a soft fingering weight yarn that's made of  baby alpaca and bamboo. This alpaca gives it that lovely halo and the bamboo gives it a silky sheen. This pattern could also be great for striping leftover bits of sock yarns!



Giveaway
This month we're giving away a Nova Platina DPN Set and a PDF copy of the Slive pattern courtesy of Classic Elite. To enter the giveaway leave a comment on this post telling us which of these patterns from Talitha is your favorite in the Artistic Difference book. Don't forget to leave us your Ravelry ID so we can contact you if you're the lucky winner! We'll choose one lucky winner on Friday, January 30th.




All images from Artistic Differences ©Classic Elite Yarns

Designer Spotlight: Karie Westermann

Karie Westermann is a Danish designer based in Glasgow, Scotland. Her work combines two of her greatest
passions; storytelling and craft. As a designer, she believes in a strong, modern aesthetic that draws upon her Nordic roots and sensibilities. Karie's impressive portfolio includes Rowan Yarns, Susan Crawford Vintage, and major UK knitting publications. She teaches regularly at select UK yarn shows and shops, and frequently lends her expertise to museums, art galleries, and other cultural institutions. Karie has just finished work on the "Doggerland" collection - a collection of accessories inspired by archaeology, submerged landscapes, and art. You can learn more about Karie and her work on her website, Ravelry, and Twitter


KP: How long have you been knitting, and how did you get started designing
KW: I was taught to knit by my great-grandmother when I was five or six years old. I grew up in rural Scandinavia – mine was the local arty family. Everybody was creative in one way or another. We never had much money, but there was a steady supply of handmade garments, knitted jumpers and interesting paintings. Of course my family still obsessed over football results and pop music, but there was a definite and pervasive sense of self-expression and creative exploration. I learned to knit, crochet and sew as a very young girl and I have never really stopped wanting to make stuff.
I got into designing when I worked for a yarn company and they needed a quick project to sell some leftover beads. My pattern did really, really well for them. Then  in 2011 an indie dyer friend was launching a new yarn line at a prestigious London event and pressured me into doing my first self-published design. And that pattern did really well too. I began thinking that maybe I should look at doing more design work and now I'm a full-time self-employed knitting designer. It's amazing.

KP: Where do you get inspiration? What your design process? 
KW: Inspiration is all around if you look. It’s possible to find inspiration in the most unlikely places. I really love a specific pedestrian footpath over the motorway here in Glasgow – its combination of colour and form is extraordinary. I also love Pinterest as I can create moodboards on all kinds of topics: colours, textures, themes. I keep notebooks with colour swatches and design ideas – I take a notebook with me wherever I go.
There is a definite Scandinavian aesthetic and it is hugely important to me both as a designer and as a crafter: it involves a controlled palette, it is fairly minimalist, and it is decidedly non-fussy. I’m a big fan of clean lines and I can spend a lot of time thinking about the right shade of off-white!
But there is also the whole Scandinavian love of story-telling and using craft to tell those stories. I looked at an old photo album the other day and I had to laugh when I saw all the amazing jumpers kids were wearing to school when I was young. There is a lot of continuity to Scandinavian knitting: it is traditional but it is a living and breathing tradition. It’s on the high street as much as it’s in a textile museum.

KP: Of all your designs, which is your favorite? 

Vedbaek Shawl by Karie Westermann
KW: I always say that my favourite design is the one I have just finished! But there are designs that have huge Vedbaek Shawl which has resonated with knitters around the world since the moment I released it. I also recently released my first garment designs and I cannot wait for the samples to return so I can wear them myself!
personal significance for me because I remember where I were when I came up with the idea or when I knitted the sample. Right now I'm really proud of the

KP: Do you have any knitting horror stories/mishaps?
KW: Constantly. I rip out so much you wouldn't believe it. Without mistakes I wouldn't learn a thing, so I embrace all my crazy mishaps. The funniest one, though, was one time I was teaching a class on lace blocking and I was urging the students to really block their swatches hard. Then I heard a gasp of horror from my students, I looked down and my own swatch had snapped because I had pulled it too hard. Without missing a beat I went "and there you have a prime example of what not to do!"

Giveaway Winner

Congratulations to Jennifer Jipping, you're our lucky winner of a Karbonz Deluxe Interchangeable Needle Set! We'll be in touch to arrange delivery of your prize. Thank you to everyone who participated, and we wish you a warm and happy holiday season! 

Last-Minute Gift Inspiration


No matter how well you plan your holiday crafting, there is sure to always be some unexpected gifting emergency that pops up at the last minute! Today, we'll share some fun & fast projects which can be made in a jiffy, plus a few of our favorite Knitter's Pride products which are certain to be at the top of YOUR wish list this year! We also have one last giveaway this year for our fabulous blog readers & the winners of our Mother Bear Project Kit giveaway to announce - read on for more details!

Quick Knits
These projects can be whipped up in no time flat and are all available for free via the Ravelry links below!
L-R: Knitted Pocket Gnome by Jenni Propst, Rikke Hat by Sarah Young, and Non-Felted Slippers by Yuko Nakamura.

Speedy Crochet
These popular crochet projects are all quick to make and available for free on Ravelry, too!

L-R: Mug Hug and Rug by Marinke Slump (top left), 15 Min Coffee Sleeve by Jonna Venture (bottom left), GAP-tastic Cowl by Jen Geigley, and Polar Bear Hat by Sarah Zimmerman.

Knitter's Pride Wish List

Our Interchangeable Knitting Needle Sets and Crochet Hook Sets are always the perfect gift for discerning stitchers. This year, we are pleased to offer the  Limited-Edition MarblZ Gift set for the holiday season which includes 9 pairs of needle tips in sizes 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 10.5, 11; 4 cords; 8 end caps; and 4 cord keys. The set also includes a pen made from our special Symfonie Wood, a set of cord connectors, and a Knitter's Pride needle gauge!


Our new Knit Blockers are the "it" item of the season! This time-saving tool will make blocking your next project a breeze; they are especially suited for projects with long, straight edges, allowing you to apply consistent tension throughout.

Knit Blockers in action, courtesy of the Fibre Space Instagram feed
Our fashionable storage solutions will delight knitters and crocheters who are looking to get organized in the new year! Choose from several styles of needle and hook cases in three stylish color options, each with a coordinating tote bag.


Mother Bear Project Kit Winners



Congratulations to littlemomto2 and NanaMamah, you have each won a project kit generously donated by the folks at the Mother Bear Project! Click here to learn more about this wonderful charity on our last blog post. We will contact the winners to arrange for the delivery of their prizes; thanks to everyone who entered this giveaway!

Holiday Giveaway

This month, we're giving away a Deluxe Karbonz Interchangeable Set to one lucky blog reader! To enter, simply leave a comment on this post telling us which Knitter's Pride product is at the top of your wish list this year! Be sure to also include your Ravelry ID or email address so that we can contact you if you win. We'll randomly select a winner to announce on our next blog post on December 30, 2014. Good luck!


Charity Spotlight: Mother Bear Project

Many of our fans knit or crochet for charity year-round, but the holiday season is an especially great time to remember those less fortunate. There are so many wonderful charities which accept handmade items for donation, and we recently donated Bamboo needles & hooks to the Mother Bear Project, a non-profit dedicated to providing comfort and hope to children affected by HIV/AIDS in emerging nations.

Mother Bear Project believes that the simple act of providing comfort to a child in the form of a bear can have a very large outcome; they have been knitting together people of all generations, abilities and faiths for nearly 12 years to provide bears to children unconditionally across Africa whose lives have been affected by HIV/AIDS.  Founder Amy Berman of Minneapolis, MN recently returned from personally distributing over 2,500 bears in Botswana, Lesotho and South Africa - including the 100,000th bear! This very special bear was chosen to be the milestone bear because it was knit by an inspiring woman who just turned 100 years old.

This holiday season, they are selling handmade bear ornaments which make excellent gifts - no assembly required. The proceeds from just one bear ornament will help ship 6 regular Mother Bears to Africa! Click here to find out how you can win a bear ornament of your very own by posting your Mother Bear project photos on Instagram!


To get involved in this project, you can order a complete knitting or crochet kit (includes pattern, yarn for a bear, and crochet hook or needles) or you can simply order the knit or crochet pattern (flat or seamless) from their website, www.motherbearproject.org.

Make a bear.  Make a Difference.

GIVEAWAY
The folks at Mother Bear Project have generously donated two knitting kits to give away on our blog; to be eligible, simply leave a comment on this blog post telling us about your favorite yarn-related charity & why you'd like to knit a bear with one of these kits! Be sure to also include your Ravelry ID or email address so that we can contact you if you win. We'll randomly select two winning comments to announce on this blog on Friday, December 12. Good luck!




WINNER
Last but not least, it's time to announce the winner for our Nova Platina Interchangeable Starter Set Giveaway! Congratulations to Sleekymom; we will contact you via Ravelry to arrange for the delivery of your prize!

Featured Designer Talitha Kuomi & Free Pattern

Today we're excited to have a guest post from knitwear designer Talitha Kuomi. Learn more about Talitha on her website talithakuomi.com, on Facebook, or find her on Ravelry as Talithakuomi.

I was a painfully shy child who buried herself in bike rides and Nancy Drew books. Both were good ways to avoid the awkwardness of conversation and the pressure of direct eye contact. I found gazing from the sidelines so much less stressful than interacting. Eventually, it got lonely watching life rather than actually living. I began to choose to push myself into social situations and found that in exchange for enduring sweaty palms and knocking knees, I got the warmth of friendship and the rush of small daily adventures.

Leaping ahead, I find it ironic that I wound up as one of the final 12 in the first season of The Fiber Factor. Honestly, I filled out the application because it scared me. It asked me to consider things I had no answers to. That challenged me. To questions like ‘what is your design philosophy?’, my gut reaction was, ‘my what?’. Later, when Josh Bennett asked me who I was as a designer, I tripped and stumbled trying to compose a clear answer. The whole competition felt like that to me, hitting the wall of not knowing how to respond over and over again. Having never seen a reality show of any kind, I was completely unprepared. But, if you ask me now why I design what I do and how that relates to my life, I can tell you. That was the real ‘win’ of the experience for me.

I designed ‘Lind’ as a tribute to all the books that let me walk safely through their adventures before I was brave enough for adventures of my own. The extra wide cables require a little trick to make them work and the slight slouch at the crown keeps them dramatic. A little drama is a good thing.

Lind
by Taltitha Kuomi
Abbreviations
Approx: Approximately
Circ: Circumference
Cn: Cable needle
CO: Cast on
Dec(‘d): Decrease(d)
Dpn(s): Double pointed needle(s)
K: Knit
K2tog: Knit two together—1 sts dec’d
K3tog: Knit three together—2 sts dec’d
LH: Left hand
Meas: Measures
P: Purl
Pc: Piece
Pm: Place Marker
P2tog: Purl two sts together—1 sts dec’d
Rem: Remain
Rep(‘d): Repeat(ed)
RH: Right hand
Rm: Remove marker
Rnd(s): Round(s)
Sm: Slip marker
St(s): Stitch(es)
Yo: Yarn over
Yarn
1 skein Louet Gems Worsted (100% merino; 100 g = approx 175 yd) Color shown is ‘Champagne’.

Needles
16” circular needle size US 4/3.5 mm or size needed to get gauge.
16” circular needle size US 7/4.5 mm or size needed to get gauge.
One set double pointed needles size US 7/4.5 mm or size needed to get gauge.

Gauge
24 sts and 28 rows = 4” in Stockinette stitch worked in the round on larger needles

Size
XS/S (M, L/XL)
Meant to fit head circumference: 18-19.5 (20-21.5, 22-24)”
Actual hat circumference (measured unstretched): 14 (15.5, 17)”
Shown in size XL on my 23.5” head.

Notes
Hat is knit in the round from the brim up.  Extra wide cables are knit with dropped yarn overs to keep them from puckering too much. Cables decrease in size at the crown making for a bit of intentional slouch at the top.

Ribbing
Using smaller needles, CO 110 (120, 130) sts.  Pm and join to knit in the round.
Rib rnd: [P6, knit 3 (2, 3) sts, *p2, k2; rep from * two (three, three) more times, knit 1 (0, 1) st] rep between brackets to end (4 more times), sm.
Rep Rib rnd, until pc meas approx 3”.

Body of Hat
Change to larger circular needles.
Rnd 1: Rm, knit 11 (12, 13) sts, pm, *P6, knit 16 (18, 20) sts; rep from * to last 5 (6, 7) sts, knit to end, sm.
Rnds 2-12: *P6, knit 16 (18, 20) sts; rep from * to end, sm.
Rnd 13: *P6, slip 8 (9, 10) sts to cn, pull to front of work, yo, knit 8 (9, 10) sts, slip these 8 (9, 10) newly knit sts from RH to LH needle, drop the yo, slip these same 8 (9, 10) sts from LH needle to RH needle, yo, knit 8 (9, 10) from cn, slip these 8 (9, 10) newly knit sts from RH to LH needle, drop the yo, slip these same 8 (9, 10) sts from LH to RH needle; rep from * to end, sm. Rnds 14-20: *P6, knit 16 (18, 20) sts; rep from * to end, sm.
Rnd 21: *P6, knit 7 (8, 9), (k2tog) 2x, knit 5 (6, 7); rep from * to end, sm—100 (110, 120) sts rem
Rnds 22-30: *P6, knit 14 (16, 18) sts; rep from * to end, sm.
Rnd 31: *P6, slip 7 (8, 9) sts to cn, pull to front of work, yo, knit 7 (8, 9) sts, slip these 7 (8, 9) newly knit sts from RH to LH needle, drop the yo, slip these same 7 (8, 9) sts from LH needle to RH needle, yo, knit 7 (8, 9) from cn, slip these 7 (8, 9) newly knit sts from RH to LH needle, drop the yo, slip these same 7 (8, 9) sts from LH to RH needle; rep from * to end, sm.
Rnd 32:  *P6, knit 14 (16, 18); rep from * to end, sm.
Crown Decreases
Change to dpns.
Rnd 33: *P2tog, p2, p2tog, knit 5 (6, 7), (k2tog) 2x, knit 5 (6, 7); rep from * to end, sm—80 (90, 100) sts rem.
Rnd 34: *(P2tog) 2x, (k2tog) four (six, eight) times, knit 4 (2, 0) sts; rep from * to end, sm—50 sts rem.
Rnd 35: *P2, (k3tog) 2x, k2tog; rep from * to end, sm—25 sts rem.
Rnd 36: *P2tog, k3tog; rep from * to end, sm—10 sts rem.
Cut yarn leaving a 12” tail.  Thread tail through rem 10 sts.  Pull snug and tie off.

Finishing
Weave in ends.  Wet block the body of the hat to open up the cabling a bit, being careful not to over block the ribbed brim.
'Lind’ is Swedish for ‘winding’.
Pattern and images © talithakuomi 2014 All rights reserved, used with permission. Pattern for personal, non-profit use only.

Giveaway
This month we're giving away a Nova Platina Interchangeable Set! To enter for your chance to win leave a comment on this post telling us which of Talitha's patterns you love best. Don't forget to leave your Ravelry ID so we can contact you if you're the winner. You can see all of Talitha's patterns on her Ravelry page.


Introducing: MarblZ

We're excited to introduce our new line of knitting needles, Knitter's Pride MarblZ! These unique new needles are available in a range of eye catching colors which are hand-crafted and specially developed so that each needle has its own unique marbled design.


MarblZ provide just the right 'grab' which allows for easy handling of slippery yarns and makes picking up stitches faster and easier. They are lightweight, smooth, strong, and flexible, featuring sharp, gradually tapered points that are ideal for all styles of knitting. The rave reviews are already coming in for MarblZ! Faye F. recently shared this photo of her MarblZ needles in action and had this to say about them:
I am in love with your Marblz needles! Knitting with them is wonderful, and when I knit in the sun, the light goes through them - it's almost magical! 


MarblZ are available as double pointed, fixed circular, interchangeable circular, and single pointed needles. We also have a special Limited-Edition MarblZ Gift set for the holiday season that includes 9 pairs of needle tips in sizes 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 10.5, 11; 4 cords; 8 end caps; and 4 cord keys. The set also includes a pen made from our special Symfonie Wood, a set of cord connecters, and a Knitter's Pride needle gauge!


Winner
Congratulations to Ben Beauvais, you're our lucky winner! We'll be in touch to arrange delivery of your Knitter's Pride Nova Platina Starter Set. Thanks to everyone who participated!