Tuesday, November 17, 2015

A Return, a Sale and a Hat

Y'know, sometimes a person just has to take a step back, take a breath, take a nap, and then you return to the world and you're rejuvenated and relaxed and ready to take on all challenges. And boy, am I glad that I did.

Let me catch you up since I last posted seven months ago. Seven months! That's almost enough time for a new child to come along. (Don't worry, I don't have any new children.)

I had a few vacations, worked a lot, knitted even more, read several books, designed some more, published a couple patterns and just got back in touch with myself. I cancelled cable television--small victory because I still have internet and Netflix, so I'm not completely crazy--deactivated Facebook, got back in touch with some old friends. There have been furniture purchases and redecorating and, of course, more yarn. More and more yarn.

There is always more yarn.

But one of the biggest reasons I feel ready to come back to regularly blogging is the community of knitters, crocheters, crafters and designers that I've dipped back into on Ravelry. Being a knitting designer isn't really that exciting; it's a lot of hard work. And it can be lonely (oh boo hoo, Steven, pull up your big boy pants). But every year about this time of year, a group of hardworking indie designers get together on Ravelry for a huge gift-along/knit-along/crochet-along extravaganza. This is the third year for the event and I think I've participated each time. I know for certain I did last year. (Come to think of it, maybe last year was the first year I participated.)

I haven't really been able to participate much in the planning--my full-time day job is just too demanding to be able to devote the time to the group--but I'm helping in any other way I can. Well, frankly, that means a lot of Twitter posts and participating in the GAL (that's the nifty abbreviation) group on Ravelry.

The Indie Design Gift-A-Long is a 6 week long KAL/CAL of holiday gifts made from patterns designed by a rather extensive list of independent designers. From Thursday, November 19th at 8:00 pm US EST - Friday, November 27, 2015 at 11:59 pm US EST tons of indie designers will be discounting between 5 - 20 of their patterns 25% for this event. Use coupon code: giftalong2015.So you should totally come and join, too. Starting Thursday, 11/19, there will be a 25% off sale on over 5,000 patterns! Wow! If you can't find something to knit from 5,000 choices, well.... I don't know what. Join the group and get active in the forums. Everyone is super nice. Tell 'em RodeoKnits sent you. There are sales and contests and prizes, both digital and actual, for-real prizes like yarn! (You need more yarn!)

I have 20 patterns in the sale and each will be 25% off. There are a couple new patterns and several of
my old favorites. One of my newest patterns, Whittaker, is a fairly simple stranded colorwork hat that works up quickly, even though it uses a sport weight or fingering weight yarn and US #3 and #4 needles. Hats just seems to work up so much faster than any other projects, no matter the needle size.

Whittaker
For the sample hat, I used two skeins of Brown Sheep Nature Spun Sport in Enchanted Forest and Cream. If you haven't used Nature Spun before, I highly recommend it. It's definitely a wool-y yarn, but softer than you'd expect. Because of how light the sport weight is, the hat will be comfortable to wear even on warmer winter days. And two colors means this hat would be perfect for your sports fans. Nature Spun comes in 80 colors, so you'll definitely find two that fit your needs. Any other sport weight, light DK or heavy fingering weight yarns would substitute perfectly. One of my test knitters is using Knit Picks Palette and it's turning out very nicely.

Coming soon: several more stranded colorwork hat patterns and variations, perhaps an earwarmer and matching cowl. Of course, for the cowl, I will need to find some very soft and luxurious yarn for close-to-the-skin wear. And get ready for the premiere of some Rodeo Knits sweaters!