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Giveaway Winner!

Congratulation to woodstockcate, our winner for this month's giveaway to win a DVD copy of Knit and Crochet Now Season 4 and a Waves Crochet Set! We have contacted woodstockcate via Ravelry PM to arrange for the delivery of her prize. Thanks to everyone who entered this month's blog giveaway!

As 2013 winds down, we would like to wish our friends and fans a happy and healthy new year. May 2014 be filled with lots of knitting and crocheting! 

Last-Minute Gift Inspiration!

For our friends celebrating the holiday next week, we'd like to share a few of our favorite last-minute gift projects which can be easily completed in just a few days' time or less! 


Bluebird of Happiness by Sara Elizabeth Kellner
This little bird can be knit in just a few hours and is available as a free Ravelry download!
Gl├╝hwein by Laura Aylor
This free pattern can be knit with just a small amount of Bulky weight yarn.
Leafy Washcloth by Megan Goodacre
You need just 30 yards of yarn to knit each leaf, and the pattern can be made in various weights of yarn, too!
Scalloped Boot Cuffs by Jenny Dickens
These boot toppers crochet up in a jiffy in worsted weight yarn, and the pattern is available for free on Ravelry!
Nel the Tiny Owl by Stacey Trock
These wee owls can be crocheted with small amounts of worsted weight yarn!
For more great last-minute gift ideas, check out the 2013 Knitter's Pride Holiday Gift Guide for crafty gift ideas such as our limited edition Karbonz gift set, the Box of Joy!
Be sure to join us next Friday (December 27th) when we announce the winner of the December Blog Giveaway - you can click here to enter

Special Post + Giveaway: Knit and Crochet Now!



On today's post, we have a special interview with Ellen Gormley, renowned crochet designer and resident expert on the Knit and Crochet Now! show. There is also an opportunity for one of our lucky readers to win Season 4 of the Knit and Crochet Now! series on DVD and a set of Knitter's Pride Waves crochet hooks - read on for more information! 

What inspired you to try crochet? Do you do any other crafts? 
Crafting and crochet in particular was part of the culture of my family. My mom dabbled in many crafts but crochet was perhaps most dominant. My Great-Aunt lived next door and was an avid thread crocheter. I have practiced sewing, knitting, embroidery, quilting, latch-hooking but have found to crochet to be the most portable and compelling. I currently have a few knit projects in progress as well as crochet.

What are your 3 essential tools for your preferred craft? 
My three preferred tools (besides hook and scissors) are my digital camera, for taking process photos and visual note-taking, a blunt tip tapestry needle, and locking stitch markers. I wish locking stitch markers were sold by the hundred and included at least 5 colors. 

Have you ever had a project go horribly wrong? When disaster strikes, do you try to make the best of it, or do you prefer to frog and start over again? 
Yes! I have had many projects go horribly wrong!  I learned a real lesson in gauge early on when I crocheted a sweater that was probably 6 sizes too big...why didn't I try it on as I went?  I try to "harvest" the yarn and frog out projects that didn't work to re-use the yarn. Sometimes when I have a horrible project, I put it in the back of the closet until I can get enough time and space to deal with it later.

What is one tip you learned way too late in your crafting career? 
Something I wish I had learned earlier in my crafting life would be that it is ok to break the rules. Generally there are accepted ways of joining yarn, beginning a row, or joining a round, but just because the pattern describes the traditional methods, the crafter can switch to her preferred method. As a designer, I'm allowed to change it as long as I can adequately describe how it was completed.

What do you see as the next big trend in crochet?
The next big trend in crochet might be simple lace paired with DK weight yarns. I think crocheters yearn to make showstopping wearable accessories that are worthy of quality yarn.


Giveaway
One lucky reader will be randomly selected to win a DVD copy of Knit and Crochet Now Season 4 and a Waves Crochet Set! To be eligible, simply leave a comment on this post telling us what Knitter's Pride products are on your wish list this year. Be sure to also include a Ravelry ID or email address so that we can contact you if you win! 

We'll randomly select one lucky winner to announce on our next blog post on December 27. Good luck! 

Many thanks to Ellen Gormley and the folks at Annie's Publishing for making this interview and DVD giveaway possible.

Free Pattern + Giveaway Winner

Today we have a guest post from blogger and knitwear designer Mari Chiba from Mari Knits. You may recognize her from our last blog post or from her recent pattern in The Unofficial Harry Potter Knits, Ginny's Cardigan.

I’ve been intrigued by giant knitting needles in the past, but never got around to trying some out until recently. A good friend of mine asked me for a hand-knit wedding gift a couple of months ago. I knew that I didn’t have a lot of time, and I also knew that I wanted to give a gift that would be practical. I thought about matching hats, but I’m close friends with the groom and don’t know the bride as well - any sort of clothing item would be a big risk!


I scoured Ravelry and Pinterest for days trying to come up with the perfect hand-knit wedding gift. On Pinterest, I kept seeing beautiful big knit blankets, and then Craftsy had a sale on yarn, and it was meant to be! I made this blanket by holding four strands of bulky weight yarn together while using my giant Knitter’s Pride Basix US 50 needles.

The needles are beautiful! You can see the grain of the wood, they are extremely smooth and shiny, the join to the cable is flawless, and if there’s a vampire attack they could double as stakes! Really, what’s not to love?

This simple blanket is worked completely in garter stitch. I didn’t have a good idea of how big the actual blanket would be, so after knitting the entire blanket I went and picked up stitches along either side and worked a few more rows in garter stitch. I actually really like how this looks, but you could also just cast on more stitches!


I would recommend a machine washable yarn for this project, because I don’t know about you, but my sink isn’t big enough for me to block this!

Free Pattern: Chunky Garter Blanket


4 sts x 4 rows = 4” in garter stitch, though gauge is not essential for this pattern


Materials
20 skeins Schachenmayr Silenzio; 50% Acrylic, 25% superwash wool, 25% Alpaca; 50g/60m. Shown in Color 92.
US 50 40” Knitter's Pride Basix Circular Knitting Needles


Note:
I held four strands of yarn together. I used 16 skeins for the body of the blanket, then used the remaining four skeins for the garter edgings.  


Blanket
Cast on 26 stitches
Knit every row until work measures approximately 52”, or you have used nearly all of the 16 skeins of yarn. Bind off all stitches


Edging
Pick up and knit every other stitch along the side of the blanket, working into the garter bump so that holes don’t appear.
Knit 3 rows.
Bind off all stitches.
Repeat edging for the other side of the blanket


Finishing
Weave in ends and trim. Machine wash and either air dry or tumble dry low depending on your yarn. Enjoy!
Giveaway Winner
Thanks to everyone who entered our giveaway this month! Raveler Jenonymous is our lucky winner; we will contact our winner to arrange for the delivery of the prize, a Bamboo DPN Set and a PDF copy of the KaPOM hat by Mari Chiba.

Holla Knits! Accessories Blog Tour

We're so pleased to be a stop on the Holla Knits blog tour this month! Just in time for your holiday gift-knitting, the 2013 Holla Knits! Accessories issue features six fun, fashionable accessories that are perfect to give and get this holiday season.
The KaPOM hat by Mari Chiba is a fresh take on earflap hats, and it's also an easy way to incorporate pom poms, one of this season's hottest trends, into your wardrobe. If you're new to making pom poms, check out our easy-to-follow photo tutorial on the Knitter's Pride blog!
The Pippi Cowl by Emily Greene Blue is a versatile bulky-weight scarf that knits up quick; it would even look great with pom poms instead of tassels!
Keep your hands toasty all winter long with the Hodgepodge Mittens by Annie Watts - they're as fun to knit as they are to wear!
Speaking of colorwork, the Chumash Cowl by Karinknit Designs is simple to knit and completely reversible, too!
Unbroken by Lee Meredith may look like a simple cloche-style hat with textured stitches, but the clever construction allows you to easily customize your project to fit any head - plus, there are no ends to weave in at the end (really!).
No Glove(s) No Love by Claire Sandow are vintage-inspired gloves with a modern twist: a heart cutout created by multidirectional knitting, short rows, and some strategically placed increases and decreases.

Giveaway

Ready to cast on? We're giving away an 8" Knitter's Pride Bamboo DPN Set and a PDF copy of the KaPOM hat to one lucky blog reader! Simply leave a comment on this post telling us which Holla Knits! accessories pattern you'd like to make for your chance to win; be sure to also mention your Ravelry ID or email address so that we can contact you if you win. We'll randomly select one lucky comment to announce on Friday, November 22.

Be sure to stop by the Holla Knits! blog today for a special Subscriber Giveaway featuring our new Rejoice Pom Pom Maker Set, too!

Good luck and happy knitting!

Treat Yourself: The Knitter’s Pride Holiday Gift Guide

What Knitter's Pride set is on your wish list this holiday season? This week's blog post have 5 great gift ideas for festive holiday gifting, whether you treat yourself or surprise a friend!

1. For Karbonz Lovers: Our Holiday 2013 limited-edition interchangeable needle set will be arriving at a store near you this month! The Karbonz Box of Joy is comprised of our carbon fiber needles which have earned rave reviews since their launch last year, and we're pleased to introduce the ultimate set to give and get this year.

This Karbonz interchangeable needle set is packed in an attractive box with a laser-cut "tree of bloom" design, giving you a peek at the Karbonz needle tips contained inside. The set contains nine sizes for your knitting pleasure: US sizes 4, 5, 6, 6, 8, 9, 10, 10.5 and 11 (3.5, 3.75, 4.0, 4.5, 5.0, 5.5, 6.0, 6.5 & 8.0mm) along with 4 cords (one each of 24” & 40” and two of 32”), 1 set of cord connectors and a complimentary Shawl Pin from the new Azure Charm range.

Only 2,500 sets will be made available (click here to find a Knitter's Pride retailer near you); once they're gone, they're gone!

2. For sock knitters: We have plenty of DPN sock sets to suit every knitter! Our newest set is the Nova Cubics DPN Sock Set, which combines the strength of our Nova brass needles with an easy-to grip cuboid shape which provides excellent stitch definition. Each set is available in your choice of three popular needle lengths - 5", 6" or 8" - and contains 9 needle sizes ranging from US 0 to US 6.

3. For warmth & luxury: Our Deluxe Japanese Bamboo Interchangeable Set is great for those who prefer the warmth of wooden needles. Made from the finest Japanese bamboo, these needles are lightweight yet durable. The interchangeable needles feature 24 Karat gold plated ferrules and connectors, giving them a touch of luxury. The Deluxe Set includes 10 needle pairs and accessories in an attractive green zipper case; we also offer a Starter Set, Chunky Set, Single-Ended Crochet Hook set and Tunisian Crochet Hook set in this line!

4. Merry & Bright: Our new Waves Crochet Set features a colorful rainbow of handles that are easy to grip for hours of comfortable crocheting. If you love the smooth finish of our aluminum soft grip crochet hooks, you'll love the color-coded handles in our newest line, Waves. Each set includes 9 frequently-used sizes packaged in an attractive fluorescent pink or green zipper case, making it great for gifting!

5. The Gift of Organization: our new faux leather Thames bags come in five fashionable colors; they're perfect for the on-the-go knitter (or crocheter) on your list! Each handmade bag is designed to accommodate small projects, knitting needles, crochet hooks, and other notions in separate compartments so that your essential tools are always within reach.


Winners + Felted Bags for Fall

Thanks to everyone who entered this month's blog giveaway! Our lucky winners are:

Raveler Globalite, who won the yellow Thames bag, and Raveler knittingdork, who won the red Thames bag! We have contacted the winners to arrange for the delivery of their prizes.



Knitter's Pride Faux Leather Purse Handles, shown here with hook option.

Felted bags and totes are a great project to make this time of year; they are handy, fun, and make great gifts, too! We have a variety of new bag handles that are perfect for accenting your hand crafted bags: Genuine Leather Handles are available in 3 beautiful natural colors shown below, and Faux Leather Handles come in the rainbow of colors pictured above. Both are available with or without hooks so they can be easily attached to your bag.

Knitter's Pride Genuine Leather Purse Handles
If you need a little project inspiration, here are some great patterns from Ravelry which we think would look great with any of our new bag handles.


Clockwise from top left: Winterbloom Bag by Amy Gunderson, Amethyst Organiser by Diane Bertolatti, Molly's Carpetbag by Cricket Toomey, Ripple Tapestry Tote by Ellen Gormley, Red Rose Tote by Debbie O'Leary, and the Cappuccino Felted Bag by Emma Vining.

We look forward to seeing your bags, totes, and other creations in the Knitter's Pride Ravelry Group. Thanks for joining us! 

It's In The Bag + Giveaway

Whether you tend to knit more at home or while on-the-go, it's important to have the right notions at your fingertips! We've added a few new notions to our family of products to ensure that your knitting bag is well-stocked for fall.


First, meet our new Clicky Row Counter! It can be worn around the neck for easy access and keeps you on track with a quick click to increase your row count as you knit or crochet.
It's always a good idea to have a Needle Gauge handy, and our newest gauge is available in your choice of two great colors, Ivy or Envy!

Another handy notion to have on hand is a cable needle or two - you never know when they might come in handy! We have some new Aluminum Cable Needles which are ideal for projects on larger needles to add to our colored Aluminum Cable Needles for smaller-gauge projects.

October Giveaway

Two lucky readers will win a brand-new Thames faux-leather bag, which is a fashionable way to organize your Knitter's Pride needles and notions while on-the-go - and there's even room for your small project!

They're available in 5 great colors: black, red, yellow, blue and purple.

We've got two Thames bags up for grabs this month - one in RED and one in YELLOW.

To be eligible in our prize drawing, simply leave a comment on this blog post telling us what notion is a must-have for YOUR knitting bag! Also be sure to include your Ravelry ID and color preference (red or yellow). We'll randomly select two winners to announce on Friday, October 25. Good luck! 

Getting Over Your Fear Of Knitting Sweaters

This guest post is by Johnny Vasquez, co-creator of The 30 Day Sweater as part of the promotional tour for The 30 Day Sweater Challenge. To learn more about the challenge or to sign up, visit http://30daysweater.com/knitterspride.

My friend Sue has been knitting for more than 50 years. She’s made all kinds of things; hats, scarves, socks, mittens, blankets. But until recently she was always too scared to try knitting a sweater. Like many knitters, even though she had all the skills she needed, there was something keeping her from tackling her first sweater: Fear.

This may not be the kind of crippling fear I have when I see a snake or a tarantula (seriously, don’t ever put me near a tarantula. I’ll scream like a little girl and be halfway down the street in seconds), but there is definitely a mental block for some when it comes to knitting sweaters. They’re time-consuming, expensive, require lots of finishing, and have a lot of opportunity for error. Every knitter’s worst nightmare is to knit for days on end, only to find you’ve made an irreparable mistake and have to start over. But fear not! There is hope. Knitting a sweater does not have to be as hard as you think. Here are a few tips to help you get over your fear of knitting sweaters.

Guess What? You Probably Already Know Everything You Need To Knit A Sweater!
While knitting a sweater isn’t necessarily simple, there are only a few things you need to know:

1. How to cast on.
2. How to knit the knit stitch.
3. How to knit the purl stitch.
4. How to do a basic increase.
5. How to do a basic decrease.
6. How to bind off.

Now, you may be shaking your head, wondering why I didn’t include finishing, seaming, button bands and picking up stitches, etc.The answer is this: for a simple sweater, it’s possible to make one with only the 6 techniques listed above!

Many traditional-style sweaters require you to knit in pieces and sew them together - for many, this is terrifying or unappealing. There are lots of knitters who do not enjoy seaming for one reason or another! Luckily, not all sweaters have seams: my favorite way to knit a sweater is top-down, which has the advantage of being knit in the round, can be tried on as you go, and in most cases, is entirely seamless. There are a few methods for knitting sweater from the top down, but my favorite is the raglan.

Elephant pattern by Sandy Myerson
Eat The Elephant.
There’s a famous saying: “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” Take a look at your sweater pattern and break it down into smaller chunks. Map these little bites onto a calendar and plan out a schedule for knitting your sweater. Even if you don’t stay entirely on schedule, you can rest your mind by knowing you only need to finish a small part each day. These small sections will eventually lead you to a completed sweater and make it easier for you to finish.

Pushing Beyond Your Comfort Zone Helps You Become A Better Knitter.
All of us want to be better at our craft. But you’re only as good as the hardest thing you try. If you want be improve your knitting, you’ll need to make projects that are more advanced than you think you’re capable of. Remember, no matter how complicated a pattern may be, at the end of the day, it’s all knits and purls.

It's Only Knitting!
We’re not solving world hunger or curing cancer. We’re knitting sweaters. The pressure is off. So what if you have to rip out a sleeve? That’s ok! It’s not a race. There is no secret knitting society tracking your project, making sure that you’re worthy of joining their ranks . . . that we know of. Part of the fun of knitting is the journey. Those struggles are memories you’re creating that make that sweater even more meaningful. Every time you wear it, you’ll be reminded of the hard work you put in to create this work of art.


Conclusion:
There are a lot of things that are legitimately scary. Being dragged to the bottom of the ocean by a giant squid is scary. Raising kids is scary. Tarantulas are scary. Knitting? Not scary! Face your fears. Knit a sweater. If you’d like a little bit of help planning your next (or first) sweater project, check out our free sweater planning guide. It walks you through all the questions you’ll need to consider before making a sweater.

Click Here to Download

If you need a little bit of motivation to finish your sweater, take the 30 Day Sweater Challenge! Join thousands of knitters around the world as we knit a whole sweater during the month of October. We’ll have lots tips and tricks, interviews with industry experts, and special giveaways along the way. To learn more and sign up, visit http://30daysweater.com/knitterspride.

Winners + Put a Pom On It

Congratulations to Ravelers goblinqween, bearybearco and indiechixor  - you have all won Rejoice Pom Pom Maker Sets in our giveaway this month! We'll be in touch with you shortly to arrange for the delivery of your prizes. Thanks to everyone who entered our contest - be sure to bookmark us for more great giveaways this fall!

In our last blog post, we shared a step-by-step tutorial for making this season's hottest accoutrement, pom poms, using our new Rejoice Pom Pom Maker Set. In this week's post, we've got plenty of ways for you to use your poms to make fashionable and fun projects to make, wear and give! 

First up, we have the tried-and-true pom pom hat, which is clearly a favorite fall trend - just look at all of these new fall designs from Knit Simple, Dull Roar, Knitscene and the My Mountain Series

L-R: #17 Striped Toque by Christina Behnke, Kotiya by Alexandra Tinsley, Kilimanjaro from the My Mountain Series, and Forester Hat by Ashley Rao.
Pom poms can add a flourish to everyday items such as scarves, handbags and blankets. They're also excellent for making cute little toys: there are plenty of pom pom animal tutorials on Pinterest, or you can sew on a pom pom tail as shown in Rebecca Danger's squirrel toy from her new book or Raveler Mercourier's Button Bunnies
L-R: Pom Pom Happiness Scarf by Mary Jane Mucklestone, Sherbet Dip Blanket by Nicki Trench, Animal Pom Poms, Small Squirrel by Rebecca Danger, and Pea Pod Purse by Anna Tirat-Gefen.
We've also spotted some creative uses for poms such as wall hangings, flowers, and even a chandelier! 
L-R: Pom Pom Chandelier, Ever Blooming Flowers by Gari Lynn, Pom Pom Wall Hanging, and Pom Pom Wreath by Mary Jean Daigneault. 

For more pom pom project ideas, check out our inspiration board on Pinterest. We hope you'll share your pom pom projects with us this fall in the Knitter's Pride Ravelry group

Rejoice Pom Pom Maker Giveaway + Tutorial

Rejoice, our easy-to-use pom pom maker is here! Pom poms are a great finishing touch and are one of the hot trends we've spotted for fall. Our new set includes four sizes, each in a bright color unique to its size. There's no end to what you can make with your pom poms, and we're sharing some of our favorite ideas here on our pinterest board.

Below is our easy photo tutorial to walk you through the steps from start to finish. We're also giving our readers a chance to win 1 of Knitter's Pride Rejoice Pom Pom Maker Sets this month (see contest details below). Thanks for joining us!

Place the two parts, one over the other as show in the image above; the side with the holes should be matched up to the side with the convex depressions. Begin to wrap yarn evenly from left to right on the first side.  TIP: It is helpful to count your wraps to ensure an even pom pom! 
Wrap other side as before. Cut yarn and bring each side together as pictured. You should be able to lock the pieces together with the latch on each side. 
Begin to cut the yarn from the outer circumference and continue all around(your scissors should fit in the space between the pieces, which acts as a guide).
Take a length of yarn to knot through the middle twice, pulling taut to secure the pom pom. Once it is secure, open the latch and remove the pom pom maker. Trim and shape the pompom by cutting extra bits of yarn with scissors.
Voila! You have successfully made your first pom pom! Shown above are pom poms in each of the four sizes available in the set using Manos del Uruguay Maxima yarn in color #2180 Clementine.


Win 1 of 3 Rejoice Pom Pom Maker Sets

3 lucky readers will be randomly-selected to win one of our new Rejoice Pom Pom Maker Sets this month. To enter, simply leave a comment on this blog post sharing your favorite pattern that uses pom poms! Be sure to also leave a way for us to contact you if you win (email address or Ravelry ID). Please, only one entry per person (note: comments are approved daily by our moderator and may not appear immediately upon posting).

We will announce our winners in our next blog post on Friday, September 27. Good luck! 

Winner + Making Waves with Knitter's Pride

Giveaway Winner

Congratulations to chrissym79! Her comment was randomly selected to win this month's giveaway for our new Comby II Sampler Set which contains interchangeable needle pairs from our Karbonz, Bamboo and Nova Cubics lines! We've contacted chrissym79 to arrange for the delivery of their prize. Thanks to everyone who entered this month's giveaway!
Knitter's Pride Comby II Sampler Set

Introducing Waves Crochet Hooks

Make waves with our brand-new line of glamourous crochet hooks this fall!

Our new Waves crochet hooks feature our signature smooth finish aluminum hooks and colorful soft-feel handles. Waves come in 13 vibrant and trendy color options, each of which are unique to its size.

Knitter's Pride Waves crochet hooks are also available in sets! Packaged in a handy faux leather zippered case, each set contains 9 hook sizes ranging from US sizes C-J. Choose from fluorescent green or fluorescent pink to build your crochet hook library.