Friday, April 15, 2016

The Great Game

Introducing the first pattern in the second Game of Thrones Collection! The Great Game was designed to work with Miss Babs 7 Color Gradient Set in Caroline or Yummy 2-Ply, and is shown in the Edge of Reality colorway. Be sure to check out the three amazing Great Game Sets that Miss Babs has dyed up in Caroline, her new super luxurious fingering weight cashmere blend.

Edge of Reality, which is even more amazing in person and what I used to design The Great Game.  The beautiful teal transitions to a teal/gray and then to charcoal. It's one of those colors that looks great on everyone!
Edge of Reality - Caroline Gradient Set
This one is Edge of Temptation.  I think I'm going to pick up a set of this and knit another Great Game.  Those reds are really calling to me!
Edge of Temptation - Caroline Gradient Set

And Phoenix Rising.  Beautiful creams, gray and black.  This would go with anything and be a stunning Great Game shawl!
Phoenix Rising - Caroline Gradient Set

I designed The Great Game to be a simple to knit shawl that could be worn throughout the year. It has side to side construction with a delicate lace edging that is worked along with the body of the shawl.  It's one of those knit's that becomes intuitive early on in the pattern and provides a relaxing without being boring knit.  Aside from the lace edging, you won't have to worry about stitch counts which make it a perfect project to bring to knit group.  Ive provided instructions for the lace in both written and charted format for your knitting pleasure.  I hope that you guys enjoy knitting it as much as I did!


Friday, March 11, 2016

What a difference a yarn can make!

I'm constantly being amazed by you guys!  It makes me so happy to see what you are doing with my designs and what you are coming up with.  Last week I was scrolling through my feed on Ravelry and spotted BlissKnitters Windbranch that she knitted up in Noro Silk Garden Light.  Check out her project page for more details.  I hadn't really thought about using a self striping yarn on this hat, and I'm so impressed with how it turned out!  It just goes to show how changing yarn can give a whole new look to a design.

One of the many things that I love about yarn is how similar to painting or coloring it can be.  The hand painted variegated skeins are my absolute favorite because they tend to knit up like a soft abstract painting.  Each skein is a little work of art and always have a bit of a surprise when I knit with them.

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

2015 was a little bit of the year of suck, and when 2016 finally came around, I was ecstatic for a new beginning.  Last year Andy wound up changing jobs twice within a very short period of time.  One is stressful enough (the first one wasn't by choice, the company he worked for was sold), but compounding that with a second change to a brand new company, which has turned out to be a change for the better overall,  added a little bit of a strain to our daily lives for the first few months he was there.  In the midst of the job changes we found out that Andy's dad has cancer and then a short time later that his mom also has cancer.  They have both had surgery and seem to be doing as well as can be expected.  His dad is just finishing up his radiation and we are hoping for the best.

I had talked to my grandmother at Christmas and knew she wasn't doing well.  I tried to prepare myself for what was inevitable, but her death still came as a great shock and I am still recovering from it.  She was such an influential part of my life that it's strange to think of her not being here anymore.  I feel really lucky that I knew her for so long and know that most people don't have their grandparents when they reach midlife. 

The day after my grandma passed away, Jasper our rescue pug, was scheduled for surgery to remove his anal glands.  I considered rescheduling the surgery because of the timing, but his glands had been leaking multiple times a day and really needed to be taken care of.  We had tried every other option that our vet offered before choosing to have them removed.  The surgery seemed to go well, but then there were complications.  Jasper wound up being allergic to the antibiotic the vet gave him which caused projectile dirarreah that was like something from a nightmare.  His stitches blew out on both sides, the diarrhea lasted for two weeks, then suddenly he couldn't go to the bathroom properly.  We rushed him to the on call vet who did an exam and x-rays.  She sent us home with advice to give him probiotics and an anti inflammatory medication.  He condition got worse and I brought him back to see the vet who did the surgery.  She found a stricture from the surgery which is a scarring that gets progressively tighter over time. She said she wasn't going to do surgery on it again because it wouldn't help and to just bring him in once a month and have it stretched and to feed him Metamucil and stool softeners for the next six months. Yes, six freaking months of watching our poor dog try to go to the bathroom with extreme pain.  I decided to take matters into my own hands and started researching rectal strictures, which can be corrected with a procedure called Balloon Dilation.  On the recommendation of our pet sitter who is a vet tech I called another vet in the area who thankfully talked to me on the phone and asked to see Jasper.  While he was in the process of trying to locate a larger dilator than what was available here, Jaspers butt completely closed up.  We wound up going in for emergency surgery last Friday with the possibility of taking Jasper to VA Tech for additional surgery on Monday.  Thankfully the vet was able to remove the strictures and stretch things out a bit which means Jasper is comfortable and so far doesn't have to go to Tech.  Our new vet is very hopeful that this will be a long term fix. 

There is a lot more to the Jasper story and what has been going on in my personal life, but it's really too much to write about publicly.  I wanted to share with you why I haven't been posting as often and haven't been on social media as often as I usually am.  Of course I'm still designing and have a new hat pattern that was released last week: Windbranch.  If you have a chance, please check it out.  It's an easy knit and works up quickly and the pattern is only $2.99!  I have a few releases planned for early spring - just in time for fiber festival season!

I am taking a temporary break from making bags for Michelle's aka Berry Colorful Yarnings, clubs, but she does have a couple of bag makers who are filling in.  Michelle has been really supportive with everything that has been going on, and I really appreciate it :)

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Grandma Olga

I've been expecting the call that came last night for a while.  My Grandma Olga has been ailing for a very long time and my uncle called to let me know that she had passed away peacefully Sunday night.  She was a remarkable woman and I am at a loss knowing that she is gone. She was not most people would consider to be a typical grandma.  She was one of those people that enter a room and everyone else in there comes to attention because of her amazing presence and magnetism.  After she retired from her Directorship at the American Cancer Society, she volunteered for several other organizations and the local hospital until she was in  her mid 90's.  Until the past few months, she was always sharp as a tack and would ask me about Andy and the dogs,  and how my knitting pattern business was doing, and most importantly: "how are you wearing your hair?"  Grandma was always up on the latest fashions and trends.  We would go shopping together and even when I was in my 30's and we would come out of the stores with matching outfits.  I spent a huge amount of time with her when I was growing up and she is the person who taught me to knit, how to dress, and always had advice for me when I needed it most.  I'm going to miss her for the rest of my life, but I'm glad that she is finally at peace.

My uncle read this post yesterday and sent me a picture of Gram with his bike on it's maiden voyage to Maine.  In the back right of the picture is her flower garden. 

Friday, December 18, 2015

Stash Bash with Unplanned Peacock!

Natasha from Unplanned Peacock has a wonderful sense of color and dyes up some pretty amazing yarns.  When she asked if I would be interested in having her create a color palette and kit for Stash Bash, I was ecstatic!!  Natasha has come up with a vibrant rainbow of eight colors with your choice of a coordinating white or black background all in her Peacock Sock.  If you already have Stash Bash in your library, no worries as there is a kit only option.  I can't even begin to describe how excited I am about this kit!  The colors really speak to me and I can't wait to see all of your Stash Bash shawls knit up!  Be sure to tag me on Instagram with your pictures @spinninglara and use the hashtag #UPPStashBash so I can see your shawl!

Here is a link to the kits:  Unplanned Peacock Stash Bash Spectrum Kits 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Journey to Atlantis and the Miss Babs Knitting Tour

One of the things I enjoy most about designing, is being able to create a story to go along with the design.  When Miss Babs asked me to design a shawl with an Atlantis theme, it really got me excited and even more so when I found out that it would be in her Yowza yarn which light worsted and has a generous 560 yards.  I had so much fun creating the shawl design and doing the graphics for the pattern.  It's now available on Ravelry and if you use coupon code: Trident, between now and December 24th you will get $1 off. 

If you missed out on the Knitting Tour in 2015,  sign ups for the 2016 Tour begin today: Miss Babs Knitting Tour  Not only will you receive 4 fun filled packages, but there are KAL's in the Tour Group on Ravelry with lot's of chatter and some fun prizes too.  Here is a little more info directly from the site: 

2016 Knitting Tour

Join other intrepid armchair travelers as our virtual knitting tour visits four exotic and interesting destinations. Our shipments will send you around the world with four themed packages, each containing a new and exclusive colorway on one of our favorite base yarns, a coordinating pattern, souvenirs and treats, and our travel guide that brings each destination to life.
Of course, the travel is all imaginary. But you’ll be able to picture yourself in each destination with the four great accessories we’ll be knitting and wearing together. Our four wonderful designers for 2016 will be Tanis GrayLaura AylorJumperCables, and Lucy Hague. We think you’ll love their creative and interesting projects.
The projects will include 3 shawls and 1 cowl & mitts set.  In general, if you’re a newer knitter, these projects will help build skills and gently stretch your knitting muscles. For experienced knitters, these will be relaxing and fun. We also have a Ravelry group for all your travel anticipation, excitement, knit-alongs, questions, knitting support, and prizes.

Miss Babs

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Holiday Pattern fun with Signature Needle Arts and Miss Babs!


I’ve teamed up with Signature Needle Arts for their annual holiday free with purchase pattern!
Introducing Signature Chevron, an easy to knit and perfect to gift, infinity scarf. It works up perfectly inMiss Babs Yummy 2-ply shown in the Canis Major colorway. The Signature Chevron pattern is free from Signature Needle Arts with any purchase.  Signature offers free shipping with a $50 purchase so it’s a win/win!  If you haven't had a chance to try Signature Needles yet, this is a great opportunity.  I have a full set of their interchangeable needles and they are really the Cadillac of knitting needles.  Smooth, precise, and flexible cords make them a joy to knit with.  I also love their double pointed needles and use them for the majority of my sock knitting.