Vogue Knit Live took place this weekend in NYC. I’m sure it’s a fabulous show, and I would have love to go.
Cooperative Press was there, sharing a booth with Dragonfly fibers. And while I wasn’t there in person, my books were there.
Here’s Shannon Okey of Cooperative Press, with a nice stack of Mystic Shawls. The photo is taken by Simone Kereit of OwlCat Designs who was at the show with her new book.
And if you look closely, you’ll see that Shannon is wearing a gorgeous Mystic Light (knit for her by Christina, in Dragonfly yarn). I’m not sure that I’ve seen a two-colour Mystic Light before, but I really like that golden colour, and the effect it has as edging.
So what, you may ask, was I doing that I couldn’t make it to VKL this weekend? I was actually at a hockey tournament with one of my sons and his team, in the great metropolis of Brighton, ON. It was a lovely weekend spent mostly in an arena, with this view.
The end result was a very happy boy and a silver medal. So, all in all, a great weekend!
The first clue of the Mystic Cuppa KAL was released yesterday. There are definitely some speedy knitters in the KAL this time – we already have seven completed clue 1′s posted in the Knit & Knag Designs group on Ravelry.
Katherine in Nebraska was first to post, and she’s making this beautiful version in purple and green.
There are several others as well. And so far, we don’t have two that look the same – different colour choices all around.
Just the other day, my friend Sarah was talking about a short story that she read that ended with the following sentence: “Women who sit together, knitting and talking should never be underestimated.”
In an online KAL, we’re all part of a global “togetherness”, in which we’re all knitting together, even if we’re in different physical locations. I know that some of you have local groups in which several of you are knitting Mystic Cuppa, and others are following along through the web. Some of you are here for your first Mystic KAL, and others have been around since the very beginning (yes, I’m looking at you, Kirsten and Nicole).
For me, the absolute best part of these knitalongs is getting to know so many other knitters. So, on that note, a warm welcome to all of the new faces, and a giant welcome back to everyone else. I hope you’ll introduce yourselves and join the talking as well as the knitting. I’m really looking forward to hearing from you and sharing in your progress.
If you’re not already in the Knit & Knag Designs group – come join us and say hello!
As one year has ended and another one started, it seems like a good time to look back at all that happened during 2014. It’s been an exciting year.
I released the last 3 spatters in the Fairy Tale Lace e-book; Star of Earth, Gretel’s Shawl and Rapunzel Infinity. It was a really fun collection to work on. As you all surely know by now, I do love fairy tales and using them as inspiration for my lace designs.
My personal favourites from this collection are the Cheshire Cat Shawl and Rapunzel Infinity.
The Cheshire Cat Shawl because I really loved the colour combination – the green was such an amazing green – and it was so much fun to knit stripes and then top it all off with an intricate lace border. It’s also an eminently wearable shawl, and I’ve worn it a LOT since I finished it.
Rapunzel Infinity I loved the combination of reversible cables and a very textured lace pattern. It was a fun knit, since the lace was worked on both right-side and wrong-side rows, and yet it was easy enough to memorize. I knit most of this cowl on a trip to Texas, and had the pattern memorized in no time at all.
I also finally got around to releasing a Fair Isle pattern – my Maple Leaf Touque. As I’m sure you’re all aware, most of my patterns to date have been lace patterns. But way back when I started to knit, my absolute favourite type of knitting was Fair Isle. I’ve been meaning to get back to it (and I actually have a few other patterns planned), but somehow I always get distracted by more lace. Still – I’m thrilled that I got around to making this gorgeous hat. When it’s dark and cold (like this week here in Ottawa, when it’s been down to -38 C with windchill), this colourful hat cheers me up. And keeps me warm too.
In other big news, Mystic Shawls – my third book – was published.
In Mystic Shawls we collected the first 14 Mystic patterns, all of which were originally published as mystery knitalongs. The shawls were re-photographed for the book, and we also included photos of beautiful examples that other knitters created during the knitalongs. The entire book details my journey as a designer. The Mystic KALs is how I got started. From Mystic Waters through an entire array of shawls, shapes and colours.
Without the encouragement of all of you, Mystic Waters could have been a one-off design. But the reception was spectacular, and I’ve really enjoyed hosting the mystery knitalongs and in particular getting to know this fabulous knitting community. Way back when I started, there was no Ravelry, and the KALs were hosted in Yahoo groups. But for the past many years, Ravelry has served as a platform to bring knitters together from all over the world. One of my favourite features is actually that it’s so easy to share pictures, and to access pictures of projects made from any particular pattern. It’s great to see how different a shawl can look depending on the colour choices made by the knitter.
And finally, 2014 also treated me to some excellent teaching opportunities. I’ve taught both locally at LYSs, private events, and even on a Caribbean Cruise. And last, but not least, my very first Craftsy class has launched.
Teaching at Craftsy has been absolutely wonderful so far. I’m thrilled to say that almost 1000 students have already joined me in My First Lace Shawl class. The platform is amazing, and I really enjoy the interactive capabilities of the platform.
Anyhow, looking back at 2014, I’m really pleased with all that’s been accomplished. I’m looking forward to another great year. First up, we have the Mystic Cuppa KAL which starts next week. After that? Well, I wouldn’t want to spoil any surprises. :-) Check back soon, and we’ll see what else is cooking.
All the best and thank you so much for making my 2014 wonderful!
The Mystic Cuppa KAL is about to start next week. And in preparation for the KAL, I have released the swatch. It’s always fun to have something to play with a little bit, and to try out the yarn.
My shawl is knit in two contrasting colours of Outlaw Bohemia Sport. The one I used for the swatch is Earl, and the other one is a beautiful deep red called Carnivale.
There’s still time to sign up for the KAL and get the discounted price. There are 5 weekly clues, published each Thursday. The PDF pattern can be purchased here for $6.00.
The KAL is available at this price until the first clue is posted on Jan 15. At that point, the price will increase to the regular pattern price.
When the world is all at odds
And the mind is all at sea
Then cease the useless tedium
And brew a cup of tea.
There is magic in its’ fragrance,
There is solace in its’ taste;
And the laden moments vanish
Somehow into space.
And the world becomes a lovely thing!
There’s beauty as you’ll see;
All because you briefly stopped
To brew a cup of tea.
Mystic Cuppa is a crescent shaped, two-colour lace shawl, published in mystery KAL format. You will need approx. 360 yards each of two contrasting colour sportweight yarn.
4 skeins Outlaw Yarn Bohemia Sport in two contrasting colours (2 skeins in earl + 2 skeins in carnivale) or similar yarn
KAL START DATE: Jan 15, 2015
Clues posted every Thursday for 5 consecutive weeks.
The PDF pattern can be purchased here for $6.00.
The KAL is available at this price until the first clue is posted on Jan 15. At that point, the price will increase to the regular pattern price.
My Craftsy class is now up and running. So far, so good. Hundreds of people have already joined me on this adventure, in which we’ll be knitting a gorgeous Waterspout Shawl. The shawl can be knit in fingering weight or worsted weight, and we’ll look at the different fabrics created.
We’ll talk about yarn choices and needles. We’ll work our way through a gauge swatch and try out all the lace stitches needed for the shawl. Then we’ll cast-on for our fabulous shawl adventure. You’ll have a choice of casting on with the traditional garter-tab cast-on, or you can use my fuss-free alternative. Either way, we’ll start with just a few stitches at the nape of the neck, and then work down and out towards the edging.
Next, we’ll work through your lace chart, as I give you manageable instruction to easily knit increases, decreases, yarn-overs and more. We’ll talk about how and where to join the next skein, if you run out of yarn from the current skein. And before you know it, we’re ready to bind off. We’ll look at a stretchy lace bind-off, and how to finish the shawl by sewing in the ends.
Finally we’re ready for the magic of blocking. This is where you transform your knitting into a true masterpiece. We’ll look at wet-blocking, and how to alter the look of the edging, at any point in time, simply by re-blocking your shawl.
Please join me on Craftsy, where I’ll be available to answer your questions as they come up. You can watch the class at any time, pause, rewind or even skip ahead. You can watch the class as many times as you’d like. I look forward to seeing you there.
Something very exciting is happening. I’ve been dying to share with you for the past few months, and finally I’m able to reveal……
I went to Denver in the beginning of October to record my very first Craftsy class! That’s right – you’ll be able to learn all about lace from me on Craftsy. I’ll be at your fingertips, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, etc. And we’ll be knitting lace, lace, and lace!
The class is called My First Lace Shawl, and we’ll be working through a brand new design called the Waterspout Shawl. Waterspouts are generally formed by a tornado over water. They are funnel shaped clouds rotating over water, and can sometimes be seen in the Great Lakes. …and along the edge of this beautiful lace shawl. You can knit the shawl in fingering weight yarn, or worsted weight. We’ll talk all about the yarn choices in the class.
The class will be available soon. I really look forward to seeing you there. If you would like a chance to win a free copy of this class, simply follow the link to be entered into the draw. I’ll announce the winner on Nov 25.
When Osiris was killed by his brother, his body was broken into 14 pieces – one for each full moon in a year – and spread over Egypt. When Isis tried to collect all the pieces of her dead husband to reassemble him, she found that one piece (the phallus) had been consumed by a fish. She reassembled him anyway and fashioned a new phallus of gold (as you do), and they spent a passionate night together before Osiris had to return to the valley of death.
Let me present Osiris – a stole with 13 full moons and …. a fish. A fun knit, as well as a great conversation piece.
Osiris is also available in Ancient Egypt in Lace and Color. The book is full of stories from Egyptian mythology, and designs inspired by them. This particular story was one of my favourites. It just makes me giggle. Here’s the complete story, if you want more details to add to the conversation. :-) In addition to the full moons and the fish, I also added the cedar tree to the other half of the stole. And of course it’s green because green was the colour of death in ancient Egypt, and actually Osiris’ skin was often depicted as green after he became the king of the dead. I chose to use a cedar green for obvious reasons.
Osiris was the king of Egypt and Isis his queen. His brother Seth jealously plotted to overthrow him.
Osiris was generous in spirit and enjoyed hosting parties for the entire court. To one such soirée, Seth brought an exquisite wooden chest with gold decor. As the guests admired it, he promised to give it to the man who fit in it exactly. The guests were eager to try, but when they laid down in the chest, some were too short and others too tall. Seth knew that there was only one man who would be the right size for the chest, as he had already secretly acquired Osiris’ measurements from his servant.
When all the guests had tried and failed, Osiris climbed in and was exactly the right size. As the guests laughed at Seth for losing such a valuable piece to his brother, Seth and his supporters suddenly slammed the lid on the chest, nailed it shut, and sealed it with molten lead so that Osiris died. The chest had been transformed into a coffin and Seth’s supporters threw it in the Nile. Seth announced his brother’s untimely death and declared himself King of Egypt.
Osiris’ coffin drifted down the Nile and hit the shore close to a cedar tree. After searching for the coffin for days and nights, Isis found it and brought it home. When Seth saw the coffin, he became very afraid. So one night he opened it, lifted out his brother’s body and ripped it into 14 pieces – one for each full moon during the year. He spread the pieces over Egypt, certain Isis would never be able to find them.
Isis set out again to find Osiris, and wandered Egypt for many years. Finally she had gathered 13 of the 14 pieces, but the last piece – the phallus – had been consumed by a fish. So she fashioned a phallus out of gold, and brought Osiris back to life using all the magic she knew. They spent one passionate night together, so that she could carry his child. After that, Osiris’ body died, but his spirit lived on. Ra-Atum made Osiris the king of the dead.
Today marks the seventh anniversary of my very first mystery KAL – Mystic Waters. Looking back, I just can’t believe the journey the past 7 years have taken me on.
Mystic Waters was not only the very first lace I ever designed – it was also the third lace shawl I ever knit. The first one was a mystery KAL hosted by Pink Lemon Twist called the Swan Lake Stole. That KAL ran during the summer of 2007, and I had a blast. My final shawl looked like this:
I thoroughly enjoyed the process of knitting a shawl in a mystery KAL. Getting a weekly “clue”, that is a piece of the pattern, was fun, and I really enjoyed keeping up with the KAL. I also enjoyed watching the lace grow off my needles, and speculating as to what might be next. When that KAL ended, I looked around for another mystery KAL to join, but I couldn’t find one. So I thought I’d host my own. The blog post announcing Mystic Waters is perserved here. Basically, I designed my own triangular shawl, and then figured I could email the clues to whoever might want to join. I was hoping I might find 20 knitters to join me on my lace adventure. Imagine my shock when 1400+ knitters signed up for my KAL.
I’m so very grateful to all of you for taking a chance on me. I’ve had a blast these past few years. I’ve met knitters from all over the world, and seen my patterns knit up in countless colours, variations and yarns. I’ve hosted over 30 mystery KALs, and published 3 books, 2 ebooks, and some 100+ patterns. My work has appeared in numerous publications, including a cover page on Piecework Magazine. I’ve had a chance to work with lots and lots of amazing people, and I have met amazing knitters and wonderful students everywhere I’ve gone. Thank you all for making the past seven years wonderful.
As a special thank you, you can use the coupon code SEVEN to get Mystic Waters at 50% off. The coupon code is valid until midnight, Oct 31, 2014 (EST) and can be used here to purchase Mystic Waters.
The journey is still continuing. At the moment, we’re working on the Mystic Vortex KAL, and the third clue will be out today. I’m busily plotting and scheming for more knitting fun this winter. Hope you’ll join me for more knitting fun!
The Mystic Vortex KAL is underway, and some lovely projects are being posted on Ravelry. There are both circular and semi-circular shawls being knit. So far, we have had 2 clues (out of 6), and the 3rd will be out tomorrow.
This Mystic Vortex in cream is knit by Pamela in CA. She’s knitting the full circle, and has (as of this picture) worked her way through the first clue. Lots of people are using various paintbox gradience kits from Fiber Optic Yarn, and others are knitting in solid colours.
Diane in Australia is knitting hers in a paintbox with neon green through hot pink. I bet this one is going to be smashing! While you guys are knitting along on your Mystic Vortices, I’ve had a less fun project of my own.
Last week, our hot water tank flooded the basement. Our guest room was sloshing with water. Which I naturally found out because we had guests arriving that day. So, instead of making the bed for our guests, I ended up mopping up water for hours and hours and hours. But in the end the carpets could not be saved.
It’s an ongoing project for now, and it seems it will take a good, long while until we have our guest room back. In the meantime, I guess we’re lucky that we found it quickly. There could definitely have been a lot more damage. Still, it’s been most…. distracting. And believe me, I’d rather be knitting than mopping water for days. But for now, I’ll be living vicariously through your pictures.
Victoria from Ottawa (actually from my LYS) is knitting her Mystic Vortex in a deep red. It also looks amazing. I’ve always loved red, and this red is right up my alley. Beautiful. Far more beautiful than my own water flood project.