Ottawa Knitting Guild – Sept 2011

On September 20, 2011, in Shaping Shawls, by Anna

Now that a new season is almost upon us, everything seems to start anew.  The kids start school, I’m finally getting a chance to sit down and focus on the new book, and the Ottawa Knitting Guild starts up again for the year.  The OKG had asked me to be the speaker this month, and more specifically to talk about Shaping Shawls.  So yesterday evening, I gathered up all the shawl samples from the book and headed to the meeting.

For the presentation I talked mainly about my journey through lace design – and how I spent a long time just exploring and playing with different shapes.  From the basic rectangles, through various triangles, and then combinations of shapes, and modifications of the shapes to create additional canvas space.

Due to some technical difficulties, we could not use the overhead projector, which was unfortunate.  But Jana & Anne helped me out by holding the samples high while I was talking about them, and in the break, we left all the samples out on the table in the front so that people had a chance to get a closer look.

I had also brought a number of books – and signed them for anyone who wanted.

This picture was taken by Francine Herbert of Fancy That, and she was super-fast in blogging about yesterday.  In addition to knitting (and blogging), Francine makes gorgeous shawl pins.  The copper-S one is one of my favourite kinds.  And one of these days, soon, there will be lovely shawl pictures here with her fancy pins.  :-)

All in all, it was a lovely evening, and I had a chance to sit and knit and chat with lots of people, among others Karen, Natalie and Nancy who all were sitting very close to me.  After the crazy week I had last week, it was absolutely amazing to get some time to focus on knitting and pleasant chatting.  Thanks to everyone who came yesterday.


KW Knitter’s Fair

On September 19, 2011, in Chandoba, festival, Shaping Shawls, yarn, by Anna

Last weekend I had a chance to go to the Kitchener-Waterloo Knitter’s Fair.  Roxanne of Zen Yarn Garden had invited me to her booth do do a book signing for Shaping Shawls, so it was a great chance to go to KW.  I’ve heard a lot of wonderful things about the fair, and I’m happy to say that it was a wonderful day.

I drove down to KW on the Friday and met up with Kim of indigodragonfly at Shall We Knit.  I had never been to Shall We Knit before (or even Kitchener-Waterloo) but it was a fabulous yarn store.  I had a chance to chat not only with Kim but also with the lovely ladies who work there, and several customers too.  It turned out that a box of Shaping Shawls had arrived at the store and were in the process of being unpacked, and they asked if I happened to have any of the samples with me.  Since I was headed to the Fair right after, I did have several of the samples handy, and did an impromptu trunk show of shawls in the book, as well as a brand new shawl that I was going to release at the fair.

This is Chandoba – my latest pattern.  It’s knit in amazing CashSilk Fingering from Zen Yarn Garden.  While the yarn is called fingering weight, I would really more think of it as a heavy laceweight at 400 yds per 50 g.  The shawl is knit from the top down and uses basic intarsia.  The resulting fabric is amazingly soft and the shawl feels wonderful around the neck.

I then headed over to the fair and helped Roxanne and Mr. Zen set up the booth.  I got my very own section of the booth with books, patterns and of course shawls.

The shawl on the right is Margarita Leaves from Shaping Shawls.  It’s knit in Zen Yarn Garden Serenity Silk, and Roxanne had dyed a fresh batch of the margarita colour used for my sample.

The next morning the fair opened and there was a steady stream of knitters all day.  I did have a bit of a chance to walk around and visited Kim at the indigodragonfly booth to pick up a skein of Dancing Swedish Twins for my hockey-playing, knitting daughter.

I also had a chance to chat with Anne Hanson when she came to visit Roxanne at the booth.

It’s my fault the pictures are blurry (as I’m the one holding the camera) – I think we were just laughing too hard.  But in any case, Anne is lovely and we had a chance to admire Roxanne’s new colour Frosted Kiwi, which we both really liked.

I also visited the Sheeps Ahoy booth – and here we can see Natalie Servant wearing her new shawl Vineyards Stole.  I also saw Debbie Wilson of Sheeps Ahoy several times during the show (and before and after) but somehow I don’t have any pictures to prove it.

I met a number of lovely people – I always enjoy these shows, because people are friendly, everyone is excited about yarn, and knitting, and patterns and really generally just happy to be there.

So, many thanks for everyone who came out to see me.  And of course a great big thank you to the fabulous Roxanne for having me.  I had a blast.


Book Signing

On September 10, 2011, in book, by Anna

If you’ll be at the Kitchener-Waterloo Knitters’ Fair today, stop by the Zen Yarn Garden booth and say hello.


Shaping Shawls Blogtour

On September 7, 2011, in Shaping Shawls, by Anna

For the next twelve days, Shaping Shawls will be touring your friendly neighbourhood blogs, visiting some of our favourite designers, editors and yarnies.  Each day, I will activate the link to the blog so that you can easily find your way.  It’s like the twelve days of Christmas, only better.  :-)

Sept 7: Annie Modesitt – Modeknit

Sept 8: Jaala Spiro – Knitcircus

Sept 9: Stephen West – Westknits

Sept 10: Sarah Eyre – the Sanguine Gryphon

Sept 11: Woolly – Woolly Wormhead

Sept 12: Anniken Allis – Confessions of a Yarn Addict

Sept 13: Felicia Lo – Sweetgeorgia

Sept 15: Ragga Eiriksdottir – Knitting Iceland

Sept 16: Roxanne Yeun – Zen Yarn Garden

Sept 17: Stefanie Japel

Sept 18: Shannon Okey – Knitgrrl

Hope to see you all around!!


One of the amazing thing as a knitwear designer is to see people knit your designs.  Blogs and Ravelry (and various other websites) makes it easy to share pictures of our finished projects, and I delight in browsing through them.  The other day, Hélène Magnússon of the Icelandic Knitter posted some amazing pictures of the Eyjafjallajökull shawl – taken at the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland.  I asked Hélène if I could share, and she graciously agreed to let me do so.

This is Hélène’s own version of the shawl – knit in two colours to symbolize the lava and the volcano.

And here is Hélène modelling another shawl knit by Leah.  Hélene organizes knitting tours to Iceland which combine hikes through the wilderness with knitting workshops and a healthy dose of Icelandic culture.

It’s amazing to think that my Eyjafjallajökull pattern made it to the volcano.

On a completely different note, we have a winner!!!  The random number generator chose Valerie of Wandering Cat Studios.

I decided that it would be nice to have a second prize, just because….. so I consulted the almighty number generator yet again, and Miranda wins a pattern of her choice from my Ravelry store.  Perhaps Eyjafjallajökull?  Let me know, and it will be on its way.



On September 3, 2011, in cables, Eragon, fingerless mitts, Seven Fingerless Mittens, by Anna

As summer is winding down here in Canada, it’s time to start thinking about fall accessories.  I would like to introduce you to the Eragon fingerless mittens.  They are pair number four in my collection of Seven Fingerless Mittens – so there are three more to come before the year is up.

The Eragon gloves feature mock cables around the cuffs, which combined with the sparkly yarn (Twinkle Cat from Wandering Cat) makes them look like dragon scales.  And on the back of the hand is a stylized dragon wing.

There is a fitted thumb gusset, and the mock cable extends all the way up the thumb.

The palm of the hand is all stockinette for the sake of comfort.

These gloves have proved very popular in my house.  Before they were finished, they had already been claimed by my very own wanna-be dragon rider.  I barely had a chance to photograph them.  But now that they’ve been photographed (and released), the dragon rider has taken possession of her new gloves.  Now, if anyone knows where she can find a dragon egg, let me know.  :-)


Shaping Shawls is now available in print as well, and has shipped to all corners of the world.  I just received my very own box of print copies to distribute to a number of people who preordered.

And today I noticed that Lindsey Stephens of Poetry In Yarn has posted a lovely review of the book, and is even giving away a copy of the book.

To celebrate the arrival of the book, as well as a new month, I though we should kick off a new KAL of one of the shawls in the book – the Chandelier Shawl.

The Chandelier Shawl is a top-down shawl knit in a crescent shape – a variation of the regular top-down triangular shawls.  It is knit with just one skein of Nimbus Cloud from Slackford Studio.  Of course you can use any colour you’d like, but in case you’re wondering, my shawl was knit in True Blood.

The Chandelier Shawl KAL is free to join, and officially starts on Sept 7, 2011 in the Knit & Knag Designs group on Ravelry.  Come say hello.

Finally, just to check if you’re still reading – I am delighted to be able to give away a copy of the Knitcircus fall 2011 pattern collection.  To win, all you have to do is to leave a comment on this post with your favourite design from Anna Dalvi / Knit & Knag Designs.

I will pick a winner randomly from the entries submitted by the end of Monday, Sept 5, and announce the winner on Tuesday, Sept 6.  Make sure you leave me some way to get in touch with you (email, Ravelry ID), if you win.