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Winner + Vintage Pattern Inspiration

We're excited to sponsor a new contest which is happening now through April 15, 2015: the Revive a Vintage contest hosted on the Roving Crafters website. This challenge is open to knitters, crocheters, tatters, and other crafters across the globe with the ultimate goal of keeping the traditions of crafting alive. Source patterns or images should be from 40 years ago or earlier to qualify for this contest; you can read the full list of requirements here.

We're looking forward to seeing what folks create based on these guidelines; below are a few of our favorite vintage knitting and crochet inspirations which we've spotted over on Pinterest to get you started in the right direction:


For site links and other information for the above images, click here to visit our Vintage Inspirations Pinterest board!

It seems like many of the vintage knitting patterns we've come across are knit flat and then seamed, as you can see in the vintage illustration and advertisement below:


It will be interesting to see if contestants will choose to update such designs for knitting in the the round, favoring circular needles or DPNs, or if they will continue the tradition of knitting with single-pointed needles as many crafters in the past have used.

There are some great prizes up for grabs, and Knitter's Pride has donated two needle sets for to prize pool (pictured below). When selecting needles for this (or any!) project, we recommend watchingour new "Find your Needle" video series which features Staci Perry of Very Pink Knits to ensure that you have selected the perfect Knitter's Pride needle for your next project; crocheters can get a closer look at our many crochet hook options by watching this short YouTube video!



Speaking of prizes, our lucky winner in this month's blog giveaway is Kathy Trunzo! We have contacted Kathy to arrange for the delivery of the prize, a Knitter's Pride Knit Blockers Set. Be sure to check out our tutorial featuring this time-saving project here on the Knitter's Pride blog & share it with a friend!


Tutorial: Block a Cowl in 3 Minutes Or Less!

Today on the blog we'll be using some of our favorite Knitter's Pride blocking tools to block a cowl in  3 minutes or less! Note, this assumes that you've already soaked your cowl in warm water and pressed the water out.

Once your cowl is ready to be blocked you'll need three tools: Knitter's Pride Lace Blocking Mats, Steel Wires, and our new Knit Blockers.



Next, insert through the opening of the cowl, with one at each end. 

Secure the wires into place with two of the smaller Knit Blocker combs in the corners of the cowl. 

 Use the larger combs to pin the top and the bottom of the cowl into straight lines. 

 And voila! Now you just need to wait for your cowl to dry, unpin, and wear! 

 Giveaway

Enter to win your own set of Knitter's Pride Knit Blockers! To enter to win leave a comment telling us why you need Knit Blockers in your life. We'll choose one lucky winner on Friday, March 27th! 










Project Inspiration


Small projects are a great way to take a break between larger more involved projects. We like to think of these as little knit and crochet snacks--small, satisfying, quick and easy. A good small project will cleanse your palette and leave you feeling successful and ready to take on a bigger more challenging project.

Today we have rounded up some of our favorite quick and easy knit and crochet patterns. And better yet, all of these patterns are available for free on Ravelry!

Knit Patterns
A lovely simple shawl recipe perfect for using up stash!
Textured Shawl Recipe by Orlane
Hats for the whole family!
Barley by Tin Can Knits
A perfect gender neutral scarf in linen stitch. This pattern is great for variegated yarns.
Cerus Scarf by Hillary Callis Smith
If you're a spinner or have a skein of thick and thin knit up this quick and easy cowl.
Through Thick and Thin by Mari Chiba
Crochet Patterns
Washcloths are useful and also make great gifts.
Oh So Soft Baby Washcloths by Theresa Grant
While warmer weather is still yet to arrive in most places keep your hands warm with these lovely cabled hand warmers.
Cable Wrist Warmers by Julee Fort

This crochet hat is perfect for transitioning into spring. Get a head start on the warm weather with this hat.
Easy Peasy Women's Winter Hat by Mary Englar

Have you knit or crochet any of these patterns? Or do you have a favorite quick and easy pattern you'd like to share? Leave a comment telling us!

Giveaway
Congratulations to Cheryl G, you're our lucky winner! We'll be in touch to arrange delivery of your Karbonz Midi Interchangeable Needle Set. Thanks to everyone who participated.

Designer Spotlight: Allyson Dykhuizen + Giveaway

Allyson Dykhuizen is an American knitwear designer  and knitting teacher based in Chicago, IL. Her patterns have been published in Interweave Knits, Knitscene, and knit.wear magazines, among others. Her fun, fashion-forward approach informs both the design she self-publishes and blogs on her website The Sweatshop of Love, along with those of Holla Knits, an online knitting magazine which she created and edits.

Knitter's Pride has donated prizes to the Holla Knits KAL which is currently underway; you can follow Allyson on Twitter @AllysonKnits, the Sweatshop of Love on Facebook, and AllysonDykhuizen on Instagram, and email her at allyson@thesweatshopoflove.com.

New Girl, from Holla Knits
Fall/Winter 2012
How long have you been knitting, and how did you get started designing? I learned to knit when I was a senior in high school, so 13 years ago now! I learned and just never wanted to stop knitting. I started teaching in 2006 and quickly discovered I wanted to design patterns to make it easier to teach my students certain techniques and skills, so that's what inspired me to start designing. From there I started designing for magazines and independent publishing. 

Where do you get inspiration? I love looking at fashion-y pieces and trying to figure out how to make that piece with knitting. I also like to take a challenge, like working in drop stitches or horizontal cables, and building a sweater design around that. I rarely go a day without searching for inspiration and other knitwear designs around the internet! Other designers are a great inspiration for me, too. 

How did Holla Knits come about? The knitting industry doesn't think you can be an advanced knitter without having been knitting for 30+ years. I've been knitting for 13 years so I know what I'm doing, but all the 'fashion forward' or more youthful designs are easy patterns. So I started Holla Knits to fill that hole in the industry. It's fashion forward, challenging knitwear design with a focus on building that community. 

Fire Opal Tee, from Knitscene
Spring 2014
How do you balance your own design/teaching/blogging career with curating Holla Knits? Umm I don't really! But I think that's ok. It all kind of goes together and builds and thrives together. I put too much into building Holla Knits, so I was having a hard time just worrying about my own designs and working on my own stuff. 2015 will see me taking a small step back from being so wrapped up in Holla Knits and a small step forward with my independent design, and teaching. 

Speaking of time management...in addition to knitting, you also crochet, embroider, and sew (are we leaving anything else out?). Do you have any helpful hints for ways to maximize crafting time for those who are pressed for time? Hahaha no I think you got everything! I do embroidery, cross stitch, and sewing as hobbies, where knitting and crocheting are my job because they help me make money, and this is an important distinction for me because I'm a workaholic who is constantly working on finding a work/life balance. I know I can't sit and do nothing. I just can't! So when I need to take a break from working I pick up a cross stitch or embroidery project - something I can do just for me. Sewing I LOVE but it's impossible just to pick it up for a little while! I clear a weekend and sew my face off for 48 hours. 

Block Island Sweater, from Knitscene
Fall 2014
A helpful hint about maximizing crafting time would be to just take the pressure off yourself! I feel like a lot of crafters get focused on PRODUCING, when crafting is about the process, and taking time to do something for yourself. It's not your job to produce, it's your job to take the time to do something you enjoy to make yourself happy. Craft make yourself happy, and do it at your own pace.   

What are you most looking forward to in 2015? So much! I'm getting back to teaching and will have not only my own classes but other teachers on board to help create a full class schedule for crafters in Chicago. I've got how to videos coming out with CraftDaily.com. I'll be the featured designer in the Knitscene Summer 2015 issue! 2015 is so young, but there is already so much to be excited about for me. 

Do you have any knitting horror stories/mishaps? Daily! This knitting and designing thing is hard and I'm always screwing up. I mess up a lot with Holla Knits, publishing patterns that aren't popular and choosing the wrong colors and styling. It's great when you are your own boss and when something is successful, it's successful because you made it that way, but the flip-side of that is when someone isn't successful, it's unsuccessful because you made it that way, too. I learn ALL the time. I mess something up, I think about it and try to learn something, and I try again. 

Giveaway

This month, we're giving our blog readers a chance to win a Karbonz Midi Interchangeable Needle Set! To be eligible, make sure you like us on Facebook, then leave a comment telling us what's on your needles or hook right now! Be sure to also include your email address or Ravelry ID so that we can contact you if you win. We will randomly select a winning comment to announce on Friday, February 27. Good luck! 

Free Pattern: Fingerless Mitts

Today we're excited to bring you a free pattern from designer Jessica Anderson for a pair of simple and easy fingerless mitts.

Finished Dimensions: 6.5 inches/16.5 cm

Gauge: 32 sts = 4inch/10 cm

Yarn: Baah! La Jolla, 100% Superwash Merino Wool, 400 yards (365 meters)/100 grams, color: My Sweet Valentine, 1 skein

Needles: Set of size 2 DPNs

Supplies: Tapestry needle, measuring tape, scissors, stitch marker.

Abbreviations
CO cast-on
dpn(s) double-pointed needle(s)
k knit
m marker
p purl
pm place marker
rnd(s) round(s)
St st Stockinette stitch
st(s) stitch(es)

Texture Stitch
Rnd 1: Knit.
Rnd 2: K1, *p1, k5, p1, k1; rep from * once more.
Rnd 3: K1, *p2, k3, p2, k1; rep from * once more
Rnd 4: K2, p2, k1, p2, k3,p2, k1, p2, k2.
Rnd 5: K3, p3, k5, p3, k3.
Rnd 6: K4, p1, k7, p1, k4.

K2, p2 Rib
Rnd 1: *K2, p2; rep from * to end of rnd.

Mitts
CO 52 sts, pm and join to work in the rnd, being careful not to twist your sts.
Work in K2, p2 Rib for 8 rnds.
Inc Round: *Knit 12, Kf/b; repeat from * to end of rnd. (56 sts)
Knit 1 rnd.
K6, pm, k17, pm, k to end of the rnd.
Pattern Round: Knit to m, sm, work in Texture Stitch to m, sm, knit to end of rnd.
Continue to work the Pattern Round until piece measures 3.5”/ 9 cm from CO edge.

Left Mitt
Work in pattern to last 4 sts, knit next 7 sts with waste yarn, place sts back on left needle, and knit these sts again using working yarn. Continue working in pattern until piece measures 5”/12.5 cm from CO edge.

Right Mitt
Work in pattern to 3 sts after second m, knit next 7 sts with waste yarn, place sts back on left needle and knit these sts again using working yarn. Continue working in pattern until piece measures 5”/ 12.5 cm from CO edge.

Both Mitts
Knit 1 rnd.
Dec Round: *K12, k2tog; rep from * to end of the rnd. (52 sts)
Knit 1 rnd.
Work in K2, p2 rib for 8 rnds.
Bind off in pattern.

Thumbs
Carefully remove waste yarn. Pick up 6 sts on top and 7 sts on bottom.
Reattach working yarn, pm, knit across the top 6 sts, pick up and knit 2 sts, knit across bottom 7 sts, pick up and knit 2 sts. (17 sts)
Knit 3 rnds.
K2tog, knit to end of rnd. (16 sts)
Work in K2, p2 rib for 4 rnds.
Bind off in pattern.

Finishing
Weave in ends and trim. Wash and block lightly.

Learn more about Jessica and her designs on her website: http://allinadaysfun.blogspot.com/

Giveaway Winner
Congratulations to Ravelry user Mikaiyawa, you've won a copy of Silve from Artistic Differences and a Nova Platina DPN Set! We'll be in touch to arrange delivery of your prize.


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 Knitter's Pride 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