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Posts Tagged ‘hats’

As I try to balance getting ready for Stitches West, like teaching and getting products and samples to vendors, trying to finish the collection for Manos del Uruguay yarns, a recent health scare and other normal life things, I find that my brain won’t stop! It seems like that’s always the case…when I’m super busy, my brain always seem to go into overdrive and come up with lots of creative thoughts and ideas, ideas for which I don’t have time to develop when I’m super busy. One of the many reasons for the inspiration is all the lovely colors, yarns and other products that I find and see at TNNA.

TNNA sample yarns & products. TNNA sample yarns & products.

TNNA sample yarns & products. TNNA sample yarns & products.

Clockwise from top left: (1) amazingly deep rich colors of fingering weight yarn handdyed by Baah Yarn; (2) I love the versatility of Berroco Ultra Alpaca and got a sample of the Ultra Alpaca Fino, along with a couple skeins of Flicker to swatch and experiement with; (3) a fantastic new line of yarns from Erika Knight featuring British wools. I’m super-excited and inspired by Fur and can’t wait to play with all these yarns; (4) I love HiyaHiya sharp stainless needles! I already have a set of their interchangables but I bought a 2 more sets, since a designer can never have too many needles!

TNNA sample yarns & products.

I mentioned earlier and on Twitter that Anzula would be selling kits of my new pattern set, Fantome Hat and Cowl at a retailer-only event at TNNA. If you’re going to Stitches West, Anzula will be selling the kits to the general knitting public, as well as several of my patterns like Haiku and hats from the Liberation collection.

Brave knitting is grafting live stitches off the needles. #knitting Teaching materials.

Above left is a photo of Project 5 for the Manos Collection. I made a mistake in my spreadsheet and ended up cutting out 5-6″ of my knitting, which was faster than ripping out everything. After correcting it, I reattached the border by grafting the edging back to the body of the garment. I guess it was a good refresher for the “Kitchener Like  A Pro” class I’ll be teaching at Stitches West! The right photo is a peek at the handouts for another one of my Stitches classes.

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Woolly Wormhead: Bambeanies

One of the many highlights of attending TNNA is that you get to see lots of yarns and products in person. And as a designer, it’s always nice to see my designer colleagues’ work in person and mutually cheer each other on. This year, I was especially looking forward to seeing and sharing laughs with my friend Woolly, with whom I really got to know at last year’s TNNA. This year, Woolly also had a booth and her booth was diagonally across the aisle from mine, so we visited each other quite a bit. It was delightful seeing this prolific hat designer’s creations and books on full display. If I were to sum up Woolly, I’d say that she a genuine, straight-forward person with a  fun and quirky personality. If you are familiar with her work, all her designs reflects that about her.

One of her books, Bambeanies: 20 quick & quirky Hats to knit for little people in your life, just tickled me into some oohs and awws, which surprised me, because I’m not really a kid person and don’t find myself liking baby and kid things.  I loved the level of cute (not too cutesy, as I find in many kid books) and uniqueness in this book. I don’t really have any little people in my life, but if I do, I’d knit Aurora (left), Nupkin (center),  and Ruskin (right).

It is well named as “quirky” and is among the first words that come to mind if I were to describe the designs in the collection. There’s a definite sense of whimsy from cover to cover. Woolly begins the book with a wonderful foundation with an outline of techniques for any knitterof any skill level. Her references to technique are detailed, easily understood and well rounded. The patterns are colorful, fantastical and original. The simple shape of a child’s head shape becomes animated by the wonderful shapes crafted in each pattern. Each is unique, yet they are not daunting; and while simple in nature, they are not at all boring. All in all I found the book to be informative, engaging and empowering for any knitter wanting to knit out of the box. And, it definitely says Woolly all over it.

Please go check out Woolly’s site, there are lots of cool, fun, smart and quirky designs for just about anyone. She also has an upcoming new project, Classic Woolly Toppers.

Want to wind a copy of Bambeanies? Woolly has graciously offered a complimentary digital version of the book for my readers. Simply leave a comment and I’ll randomly draw someone to win a copy next Friday. Simple, right?

End of Summer

Summer is quickly coming to an end. Kids are already starting school and pretty soon Fall (my favorite season) and Winter will be here. To help you get an early start on your Fall and Winter knitting, I’m having a Get Ready for Fall sale. Enter code “YayForFall” upon checkout from Crafty Diversions or from my Ravelry shop to get 15% off. All products are eligible. Sale ends Sept. 30, 2012.

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Also, check out the official release of Falling for You. It was originally only available as part of a knitalong. The shawl is attractive from both sides and the optional dangling leaves are fully reversible as it flutters with movement.

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FallingForYou PatternExample

**For up to the minute updates and news, follow me @AnneKuoLukito on Twitter or “Like” my Crafty Diversions page on Facebook!**

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Happy Thanksgiving to all my real life, knitting and crafting friends out there! If you are not American and don’t celebrate this holiday, I wish you a wonderful weekend and thank you for your support!  To celebrate this holiday and my gratitude, I’m having a sale on my site and in my Ravelry shop. All PDF patterns and ebooks are 25% off through midnight PST on Monday, Nov. 28, 2011. To get the discount, enter the code “GOBBLEGOBBLE” (not case sensitive) upon checkout. The sale includes all my patterns, including my two most popular patterns (Pfeiffer Falls and Weekend Shawl), all the hats from the Liberation collection (incl. the ebook), and my newest patterns (Friday Harbor & Anacortes and Lakedale). Stock up on accessory patterns for all your holiday knitting!

ThanksgivingSale2011 Ad

This has been a difficult year for me, but I’m a glass half-full kind of gal and have lots to be thankful for. I have wonderful friends, I love being a knitwear designer, I love working from home and have a great family. While my health has not been the best and my body has been through lots of stress, I’m still very thankful that I’m relatively healthy. One thing I’ve been stressed about is that all the health and other personal setbacks have  negatively impacted my productivity and work quite significantly. However, my wonderful friends, knitters and fans out there have been fantastic cheerleaders, and I feel quite lucky to be in an industry made up of such warm and generous people and friends!

Wishing y’all a wonderful, fun, safe and delicious Thanksgiving,

Anne

P.S. Come back and check the blog again soon. Coming up: Book tour, review and giveaway of Woolly Wormhead‘s new book, Bambeanies!

For up to the minute updates and news, follow me @AnneKuoLukito on Twitter or “Like” my Crafty Diversions page on Facebook!

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IMGP4360 - Whatcha doing, ma?

Swatching with BBR yarn with my supervisor checking my process. Swatch shown is a test swatch for Mahika.

In addition to Mera, I designed two other patterns for Bijou Basin Ranch — differently styled color work hats: Mahika and Spectacle.  It just absolutely delightful contributing so many designs to their Fall 2010 collections, which debuted at The National Needlearts Association (TNNA) trade show in Columbus this past June. And of course, I surely can’t complain about having to play with such luscious and delectable yarn. All of BBR’s yarns have yak down in it! I’d like a bed made out of yak down, baby llama, superfine baby alpaca, cashmere and qiviut fibers. A girl can dream, right?

Mahika

The color work pattern in Mahika is based on inspiration I found in some of the traditional hand-painted tile work on ancient and historical buildings I’ve seen in my travels. In selecting a name for this design, I wanted to something that embodies the design and its inspiration. I scoured several sources and finally came across “Mahika,” which means earth in Sanskrit. It’s also a Nepalese name, where yak-herding is a trade. Rather appropriate, I think.

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Photos in the top row used by permission from, and are © Copyright of Bijou Basin Ranch.

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The beanie is worked using the stranded color work technique from the brim to the crown. It uses Lhasa Wilderness, a very quality bamboo and yak blend yarn. The printed pattern is available at your local yarn store. For PDF downloadable patterns, they are currently available through the Bijou Basin Ranch site. If you are on Ravelry and would like to favorite or queue the pattern, click here.

Spectacle

From the more traditional inspiration in Mahika, I moved towards something a little more modern in the patterning for Spectacle. For this beret, I took inspiration from mid-century modern furniture and design. Rather appropriate, I think.

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Photos in the top row used by permission from, and are © Copyright of Bijou Basin Ranch.

The beret is worked using the stranded color work technique from the corrugated rib brim to the crown. It uses Himalayan Trails, a merino and yak blend yarn. The printed pattern is available at your local yarn store. For PDF downloadable patterns, they are currently available through the Bijou Basin Ranch site. If you are on Ravelry and would like to favorite or queue the pattern, click here.

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I Turned 29 Again!

I recently celebrated another birthday. How old you ask? Well, I turned 29 (again)! Actually, my friend Zona, who is the same age as me, suggests that we Benjamin Button it a few more years back and tell people we’re 24 or 25. That’s a little over a decade for me and I really don’t know if people will believe that unless it’s in a dark room and they have beer goggles on.

For my birthday, I got dressed up and a couple of friends and I went on our once a year excursion to a night club, where I made sure to engage in the requisite debauchery and danced the night away. It was quite fun and I got reasonably drunk, but my body (especially my poor feet that suffered in the name of fashion) and stomach was in recovery for nearly 2 days. At least I didn’t get totally wasted nor did I suffer a hangover.

A Few Secrets

Lately I have been busily working on a few secret projects. At last count I have 5. I don’t think that Marly aka YarnThing or the folks at Bijou Basin Ranch will get mad if I give you a little sneaky view of a test swatch of one of the projects. Besides, I want y’all to drool over the luscious pile of yarn that I have here. Extra hint: That swatch is for a hat project called Mahika. Whitey Coyote is trying to be nonchalant there and pretending to be a disinterested observer. What she’s really thinking is “when she turns her head, I’m going to grab and run!”

Another secret project in the works is for a book. This particular project is a small one, but I am excited to be using lots of colorful yarns in the Louet Euroflax.

My last secret project is a coat that I just started working on for a publication that I’ve been trying to get into. After a couple of rejections, I finally got accepted this time. Getting into this publication almost completes my list of magazines that I want to say that I was published in. There’s one more, but I haven’t even tried to submit to that one yet.  🙂  I don’t have any photos or juicy teasers to share with you on this last secret project. So unfortunately, y’all will just have to be patient and wait! I’ll give you a tidbit though: It has reversible cables!

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Have you seen Interweave Knits, Spring 2010 yet?

This photo is copyright by Interweave Press, LLC.

I am proud to say that I have a pattern in this issue: Rose Window Beret. Favorite it or Queue it on Ravelry here.

This is a relatively easy lacy beret that is worked from the top-down. It features a floral lace pattern that expands as the circumference of the beret grows. The pattern for the lace motif is charted and it’s worked in a DK weight yarn. When working the beret, I recommend placing markers between each pattern repeat.

The original sample in the magazine is worked in Reynolds Rise & Shine, a cotton yarn. Because the cotton might be difficult on those of you who may have hand problems or who simply just find it hard to work with cotton, I’ve listed some suggested yarns that might work well as substitutions here. I usually like knitting my own patterns, but I have to be honest in saying that due to the tendonitis in my own hands, it was bit hard and a little frustrating working with a somewhat splitty cotton yarn. Nonetheless, I am still quite happy with the results and I simply loved the color the editors selected.

Submission

A redacted copy of my submission to Interweaves.

When I first pitched the idea to Interweaves, I had no idea what to call the design, so I tentatively titled it “Amsterdam” because the motif I came up with reminded me a little bit of the tulips I saw during a trip to the Netherlands (went to Amsterdam and a couple of smaller towns). I correctly suspected that IK was probably going to rename the pattern ro something that probably fit better with the issues’s theme and probably with a name that would not conjure up images of hash for folks. 😉

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In addition to my pattern (of course I like my own pattern!), I also really like the looks of the Double V Cardigan by Melissa Wehrle and the Lattice and Hollow Cardigan by Kim Hamlin.

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I’ve been a little behind in my blog posts lately. I am so smare that I managed to injure myself in my sleep – I somehow injured my trapezius and perhaps deltoid muscles on my left side. The injury has been rather painful and debilitating to say the least, but I suppose things could be a lot worse. Nonetheless, thus for over 2 weeks now, I have not been able to move much, let alone type or knit.  The only thing that kept my sanity is that prior to the injury, the hubby passed on his 1st generation Kindle to me and I’ve at least been able to read and manage the Kindle with one working arm. If it weren’t for the Kindle, I could not have been able to escape staring at the ceiling and finished those fat books from the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. Visions of the adventures of Jamie and Claire have also saved me hours of infinite frustration and boredom. (Ahem, so okay, I admit to having fantasies of Jamie Fraser, but little good it did me since there was little I could to do enjoy my fantasies since I could barely even move my head, arm or shoulder without excruciating pain.)

Anyway, I finished the last 3 books during this time: The Fiery Cross, Breath of Snow and Ashes and Echo in the Bone. Now that I’ve finished the entire series, which is a departure from my normal reading list repertoire*, I am not quite sure if I want to reread them now or to reward myself later after I’ve caught up with some of the things that got delayed as a result of my injury, which is still a long ways from being 100% recovered. (* I’ve been know to read mostly nonfiction and fiction works by Asian-American and foreign authors and none of those books have ever been categorized as “romance” though I’d say the Outlander books aren’t exactly easily classified as that either.)

New Pattern Release

I have a knitting update. I released Eleanor Roosevelt, the 5th pattern in the Liberation collection. The hat named after the 1st lady, is a slouchy beret-type hat with a visor. It features 2 shirred panels and is worked flat.

More TNNA Updates

I’ve also be remiss in my Winter TNNA updates.  I mentioned before that I was on a Designer’s panel at TNNA. The experience was rather interesting and being that this was the first panel of its kind, I think that it went well. We received quite a lot of interest and positive feedback, as well as a request to continue the panel in June at the Columbus trade show, which is much larger and better attended than the Long Beach one.

My friend Kristie (also my helper and awesome sample knitter), was kind enough to allow me to share a photo she took of the panel:

Panel Members, from L to R: Chris DeLongpre, Anne Kuo Lukito, Kate Gilbert, Clara Parkes, Eunny Jang and Laura Bryant (click on image to enlarge)

One of the many exciting moments of walking the TNNA trade show floor is meeting new and old friends and acquaintances. Another giddy and silly excitement as a designer is when you unexpectedly spot one of your garments in a booth. Granted, I had some samples in booths of which I was aware, such as Alice Paul and Septima Clark at The Fibre Company booth and Orinoco at the Frog Tree booth, which is exciting in itself. However, it’s not the same as an unexpected good surprise – two in fact!

First, something that I had not expected to see was flyers of the Spring 2010 issue of Interweave Knits featuring the Rose Window Beret (Pattern page link for Ravelers here). Unfortunately, I forgot to take and scan a copy of the flyer to show you all. There was also a galley copy of the issue at the Interweave Press booth.

Image Copyright by Interweave Press. See Spring 2010 preview: http://www.interweaveknits.com/ preview/spring-knits-2010.asp

Another unexpected sight was seeing my tunic on display at the Interweave Press booth. This tunic (I don’t know what the official title of the piece will be yet) was originally supposed to appear in the Spring 2010 issue of Interweave Knits as well. However, just last week, I received an email from editor Eunny Jang (and fellow panelist!) that due to space issues in the Spring issue, she’d like to move it to the Summer 2010 issue. So bar any other delays, consider the following a super sneak preview to the Interweave Knits Summer 2010 issue. 🙂

One of the Interweave staff members luckily didn't think I was too wacky in my excitement (thank goodness!) and volunteered to take a photo of me with my garment. Click on image to see Flickr notes.

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