Needle Set And Pattern Giveaways

If you read my last post, you know why it’s useful to possess a variety of knitting needles made from different materials. With that in mind, the folks at Knitter’s Pride have generously offered a deluxe set of their interchangeable Karbonz Needles for me to give away to one lucky knitter!

KarbonzDeluxeIC copy

But wait, there’s more!
In addition to that, I’m also doing a pattern giveaway for three of my favorite patterns: Delancey Cardigan (regular or plus-size), Brewster Pullover or my Rosendale Slouchy Hat.

Knitdarling-Delancey-Giveaway Knitdarling-Brewster-GiveawayKnitdarling-Rosendale-Giveaway

Here’s how to enter: 
Leave a comment on this post telling me which is your favorite pattern from the list above. Please share this post because the more people that comment, the more patterns I will give away :)

The grand prize will receive the Karbonz needle set, and all three patterns. Runner-ups will receive the pattern mentioned in their comment.

One entry per person, please. I will email winners next weekend (March 23, 2014), so keep an eye on your inbox!

PS
If you’re a fan of free patterns (and who isn’t?!), you’ll love this new thing I’m doing with my email list. For anyone who signs up, I will send you a free copy of my Cabled Dad Hat pattern as a thank you gift (just for a limited time). The sign-up form is in the right column of my website.

Cabled-Dad-Hat3

 

NOTE: COMMENTS HAVE BEEN CLOSED FOR THIS POST

Needle Material Affects Gauge

Recently, I got a new carbon fiber interchangeable needle set (Karbonz from Knitter’s Pride). As you can imagine, I already have an extensive needle collection, so you might ask why I need a yet another set. The short answer? Gauge.

Each of my needle sets are made from a different material, which can affect both stitch and row gauge. I was curious how I would knit with my new needle set, so I designed an experiment.

I began with a ball of 100% wool yarn (Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Worsted) and 4 sets of size 7 needles, all made from different materials:

1. Plastic Resin: Denise Interchangeable Needle Set
2. Wooden: Knit Picks Harmony Needle Set
3. Metal: Addi Turbos
4. Carbon Fiber: my new Karbonz Interchangeable Needles

I knitted up a stockinette swatch (30 sts x 45 rows) with each needle type, then blocked them all very, very carefully to be sure they weren’t stretched.

Knit-Darling-Needles-Gauge-Swatches

After the swatches dried and kind of mellowed out for a while, I took careful gauge measurements. Then I used the results to figure the dimensions for an average sized sweater that is 200 sts wide and 150 rows tall.

I was shocked!

The results really surprised me: if I knitted a sweater with one kind of needle versus another, I would have about a 2″ variation in either width or length. That’s a big difference!

Knit-Darling-Needles-Gauge-01

I was also curious about differences in my “flat vs. circular” gauge because I’ve had trouble with sleeves not matching the sweater they are attached to. So I got to work on a circular swatch with my wooden dpns.

Results? There is a difference, of course. If I knitted my 200 st x 150 row sweater with a circular construction, it would come out 1.5″ narrower than if I knitted it flat with the same wooden needles. Surprisingly, the row gauge was unaffected.

So what’s the take-away from all this?
While your results would certainly vary from mine, I think it’s important to be aware of how your tools can affect your finished objects and to use this knowledge to your advantage:
1. Knit your gauge swatch with the same needles you plan to knit the garment with.
2. Knit circular swatches for circular garments.
3. The more stitches in a row, the more a difference in gauge affects the finished measurements of the garment.
4. If you need to connect a circular-knitted sleeve to a flat-knitted body, make a separate circular gauge swatch. If you knit like I do, you might need to go up a needle size or switch to a needle made from a different material to get the correct gauge.
5. And for goodness sake, make large gauge swatches! (6″+ is a good rule of thumb)

I hope you found this post informative! I know I will probably reference it often in the future. I’d love to hear what you think in the comments section below.

Introducing The Brewster Pullover

Meet Brewster. She’s entirely seamless, knitted from the top-down, striped, fair isle’d–an all around modern beauty (in my humble opinion). The PDF pattern with integrated video content is now available in my shop for sizes 31″-52″. More details here…

Brewster-5-KD

I was inspired to design this immediately after I finished writing the manuscript for my forthcoming book. Why didn’t I want to take a break, you ask? Well, because I’m a little crazy I guess. Actually, I’ve been thinking about this design for almost a year. Brewster has a very unusual seamless-top-down-set-in sleeve/shoulder construction (worked kind of like a yoke) that I developed for one of the patterns in my book. I loved it so much, that I couldn’t wait to try it out again.

Brewster-6-KD

I’ve seen a few similar yoke-esque seamless-top-down-set-in sleeve designs, but they all seemed to have a sort of faux seam on the top of the shoulder that I didn’t like. If you know my design work, you know that I am a big fan of a particular type of shoulder construction where the seam falls slightly over the back of the shoulder. So I took that style of shoulder and figured out how to work it from the top down and also include the sleeve caps–all at the same time. The result is not only a really beautiful silhouette, but also a very entertaining thing to knit. And since there are no seams to sew, the set-in sleeve is pretty much fail proof.

Brewster-3-KD

Another thing I’m excited about is the integrated video content that I have included in the pattern PDF. I’ve been creating tons of new video tutorials so I found a way to link to my videos inside my patterns. The videos cover some of the skills that most patterns gloss over–things like blocking or how to pick up stitches. My goal with this is to make my patterns more accessible to knitters who aren’t confident that they have the necessary skills. I’m really excited to offer this kind of content in my patterns, and I’d love to hear what you think about it.

I’d also love to hear what you think about the overall design in the comments below. What colors would you choose for your Brewster?

Caring Cowl Fundraiser Update

Just a quick note today about my Caring Cowl fundraiser for ARC’s Disaster Relief Fund: With everyone’s help, I was able to raise almost $400 from sales of my Caring Cowl pattern!

Thanks to everyone for helping me get the word out about my little fundraiser. I will keep my Caring Cowl pattern up for sale and continue to donate all profits to The American Red Cross. Donation-Confirmation-pic2

As many of you know, philanthropy is very important to me. As a proud member (and cofounder!) of the charitable giving site CharitySub.org, I am able to help a huge variety of causes with just $5 a month. If you haven’t checked it out yet, please take a minute to see if CharitySub is a good fit for you too.

Alexis with sign

MORE Gift Ideas For The Knitter In Your Life

Are you wondering what to give that special knitter in your life? For the outsider, it can seem impossible to pick the perfect gift for someone who knits, but don’t worry! I’m here to help.

Gift-Guide-Pic1

In my last gift guide, I shared some really great ideas for knitting gifts, and all of those things are still relevant, but this year I want to take my guide to another level. These gifts will inspire, motivate, and excite the knitter who receives them.

EXPERIENCES

If your recipient is like me, they’ve got just about every knitting do-dad they need. So what knitting related gift would I love to get?

1. Workshop at a Local Yarn Shop- Most yarn shops offer classes and workshops for all skill levels. You can call your local yarn shop to see what’s available, or if you’re unsure, you can get a gift certificate that covers the cost of a class. The recipient can also use the gift certificate for yarn, so it’s impossible to go wrong with this one! Click the link to find a yarn shop in your area.

2. A Craftsy.com Class- Craftsy.com is a website that offers online classes and products for all sorts of different crafts. This link will lead you to a page where you can purchase a class for your recipient that they can choose later. It’s great because you can select a date in the future (like Christmas) for your gift to arrive in their inbox.

3. Tickets To a Knitting Event- This is a gift idea that can be simple, or elaborate. There are all kinds of events that knitters love to attend, from local fiber festivals to national sock knitting conferences. There are even knitting cruises that sail to exotic tropical locations! An amazing gift (in my opinion), would be to arrange a trip to a Vogue Knitting Live event. The gift could include a 2-day pass to the event, a plane ticket to the city it’s being held in, and a hotel near the event. I would squeal if I got this gift.

SUPPLIES

The ideas above are very thoughtful, but maybe you’re looking for something more tangible than an emailed gift certificate or a trip itinerary. Knitting is a wonderful hobby because you really need very little equipment to get started. But once initiated, there are endless gadgets and supplies that make it so much more fun.

1. A Pattern Book- There are always new books coming out, and I love filling my library with new sources of inspiration. MY book isn’t coming out until September, so in the meantime here are some of my favorites that have been recently published:
Scarf Style 2 by Ann Budd: This is a great book for gifting because it has projects for every skill level and style. Full disclosure, my design is the one on the cover!
Metropolitan Knits by Melissa Wehrle: This book is full of contemporary, sophisticated knitwear. The author, Melissa Wehrle is also one of my favorite designers.
Knitting Architecture by Tanis Gray: This book has a little bit of everything. The styles are all interesting and wearable.
Also, if your recipient has a favorite knitwear designer, try to find their latest book and arrange to get a signed copy.

2. A Stocking Full of Knitting Supplies- This is a fun idea that I would love to get. You could fill a stocking with all kinds of little things. Here’s some ideas that you can get online or at a local yarn shop:
• A little bottle of Eucalan Wool Wash- I tear through this stuff!
• Some yarn (usually 2 balls is safe for a small project)
• $20 gift certificate to a local yarn shop
• Stitch Markers- I don’t know where they all go (I’m looking at you, vacuum cleaner…)
• A Cute Measuring Tape
• A Yarn Cutter Pendant- This is great for knitters that travel.
• A Netflix subscription- I love to watch movies and knit.
• A Knitting Periodical- They sell knitting magazines at most major bookstores. You can attach a note saying that you also got her a subscription. My favorites are KnitScene and Interweave Knits.

3. Subscription to HollaKnits- I wasn’t sure where to put this in my post, but it’s definitely worth including. HollaKnits is like a knitting magazine subscription, but it’s all in a digital format. The patterns are all created by indie knitwear designers and have a very hip aesthetic. The creator of HollaKnits, Allyson Dykhuizen, is doing some really cool things with this new format.

Do you have some of your own ideas that other readers would find helpful? Please share in the comment section below!

Fundraiser for Philippines Typhoon Relief: The Caring Cowl Pattern

Once again, I’m dedicating all the sales from my Caring Cowl pattern to the Red Cross to benefit victims of the devastating Typhoon in the Philippines. In addition, if you help me spread the word, I will send you a free pattern of your choice (any from my Rav Store). *details at the end.

New_cowl_medium2-KDThe Caring Cowl ($3.00) is a quick fun knit that makes a great holiday gift. The pattern is easy enough for beginners, but still manages to be entertaining, not to mention ultra hip!

Check back here to see updates about the progress of the fundraiser. The last Caring Cowl fundraiser was so successful; I know we can do it again!

** Please help me spread the word about my fundraiser! If you tweet, post on Facebook, or include a link to Caring Cowl or this post on your blog, I would love to send you a free pattern from my Ravelry Store. All you have to do is comment below with a link to your mention and don’t forget to mention your pattern choice. Thanks again!