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.  


Thursday, November 12, 2015

2015 Indie Gift A Long

I’m so exciting to be participating as a designer in this year’s Indie GAL! What is the Indie GAL? Here is a quote from the front page:
The Indie Design Gift-A-Long is a 6 week long KAL/CAL of holiday gifts made from patterns designed by a rather extensive list of independent designers. From Thursday, November 19th at 8:00 pm US EST - Friday, November 27, 2015 at 11:59 pm US EST tons of indie designers will be discounting between 5 - 20 of their patterns 25% for this event.Use coupon code: giftalong2015.
There are KAL’s and CAL’s in the Indie GAL group that include lot’s of great prizes. I hope that you have a chance to check it out and participate. There are over 300 designers that are in the GAL this year so there are lot’s of fab patterns to choose from.
If you would like to knit one of my patterns for the GAL, here is a list of the one’s that are included in the 25% off sale using coupon code giftalong2015 beginning on November 19 and running through November 27.  If you would prefer to see them all at one time, click on this link to go to the bundle on Ravelry: GAL Patterns
Also included is my latest release Illumination

Illumination pattern by Lara Smoot

Friday, October 2, 2015


Photo credit: Knitscene/Harper Point Photography

It's been a dream of mine to have one of my designs published in a magazine and I am elated that it's become a reality.  In January I submitted my Hotpoint sock design to Knitscene and it was accepted for the Winter 2015 issue.  It's just hit the newsstand and if you haven't already gotten your copy, be sure to check it out.  

Photo credit: Knitscene/Harper Point Photography

Photo credit: Knitscene/Harper Point Photography

There are so many pretty designs in this issue.  Two of my favorites are the Trapunto Vest by Katya Frankel and the Chamei Pullover by Bristol Ivy.  I think I have some yarn in my stash that would be perfect for the vest and the sweater is just screaming for me to do a little retail therapy so I can knit that as well. 

Trapunto Vest

Photo credit: Knitscene/Harper Point Photography

Chamei Pullover

Photo credit: Knitscene/Harper Point Photography

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Heat Lighting and Socktober

I'd like to introduce my latest sock design, Heat Lighting in Unplanned Peacock's Cozy Sock.  This is a super fun and easy to knit sock that is worked from the cuff down and incorporates a modified short row heel.  The lace pattern is simple enough to knit while watching tv or going to a game.  Unplanned Peacock's Cozy sock was a delight to work with.  It's a blend of 20% super soft alpaca, 60% merino and 20% nylon.  It had a luxurious hand and literally just glided over my needles.

In celebration of the release of Heat Lighting and Socktober, ALL of my sock patterns in my Ravelry Pattern Shop are 50% until October 1.  Use coupon code: Socktober when you check out.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Meet Jasper

I mentioned to Andy a few months ago that I was starting to browse PetFinder to see if there were any Pugs available for adoption that would be a good match for Iggy (and for us too, of course).  We had been talking about getting a second Pug once Iggy had turned 2, but something kept nagging me that we should start looking sooner.  Perhaps it was the constant grabbing of my flip flop while still on my foot as I talked on the phone, or the wild cat like sounds that Iggy omitted the moment he didn't have our full attention.  Or maybe it was divine intervention, it's really hard to say but one day about a month ago I saw a 2 year old male pug named Jasper that looked like a good match.  He was young, healthy and had been an owner surrender to a kill shelter of all places.  Luckily the Southside SPCA, a local rescue group, had picked him up and he was in foster care.  The information on their site said that Jasper would be at PetSmart in Richmond that weekend and could be adopted there.  Richmond is a little over 2 hours from where we live and I was still in the process of deciding if we really should get a second dog and what the effects of another dog in the house would be for us and for Iggy.  So I waited.  The next week Jasper was still on Petfinder and I knew that it was meant to be.  I filled out an adoption application online and heard back from Lea Anna within a few hours.  She said that we had been bumped up to the top of the list for Jasper after she spoke with vet and because we were familiar with taking care of Pugs because they have special needs due to their limited breathing abilities and not being able to tolerate too much heat or cold.  I think Lea Anna and I  talked for about an hour and she mentioned several times that Jasper wasn't a calm quiet Pug and that he was kind of hyper.  In the back of my mind I was thinking, oh boy what are we getting into?  Even though Iggy has passed every obedience class known as well as obtaining his AKC Canine Good Citizen certification, he still tends to be known as the "Pugnato" in our house.  There are times when he is literally running circles in our living room and running across the back of the sofa as some sort of doggy proof of his gymnastic ability.  

Lea Anna and I set a time to meet early in the morning at PetSmart in Richmond so that we could all meet Jasper and see how he and Iggy got along.  I don't think I slept more than a couple of hours the night before.  I was so excited to meet Jasper!  Iggy had never been in the car for more than an hour and by the time we arrived he was acting like child that had been cooped up on the car on a family road trip.  We walked up to the front of the store and met Lea Anna and Brenda who was Jaspers foster mom.  Brenda spent about an hour with us patiently answering all our questions and giving us suggestions on training and health care.  She was a huge wealth of information and had obviously done a wonderful job fostering Jasper.  Jasper and Iggy seemed to hit it off really well and we fell in love with him instantly!  Jasper sat in Andy's lap while I signed all the forms to make the adoption official.  I think I must have asked a million questions and probably some of them twice, everyone at the Southside SPCA was so nice and very helpful.  

After everything was signed and official, Lea Anna took this picture of us.  Notice the crazed look on Iggy's face and how calm Jasper looks ;)

In my mind I pictured both boys riding on the back seat on the way home.  We purchased a few toys for them and I thought they would be satisfied with that.  Two and a half hours later with a drive through stop at Wendy's and we rode the whole way home just like this:   

Jasper has been the epitome of the perfect Pug since day one.  He is kind and sweet to us and to Iggy.  We couldn't have asked for a better dog (and yes, that is a cute little snaggle tooth in the picture below).  As far as being hyper, I think Iggy has cornered the market on that!

The Southside SPCA runs on donations to help care for the animals in their charge.  It is a volunteer organization and they have a spay and neuter program as well as offering educational services.  If you would like to make a donation to help the Soutside SPCA care for the animals in their charge please click this link: Donate For every donation of $25 that you make between August 26 and September 30, you can have your choice of any one of my knitting patterns that are located in my Ravelry Pattern Shop (club patterns and patterns that are currently released under yarn company brands/names are excluded).  Just send me an email with your receipt number and your choice of pattern and I will add it to your Ravelry pattern library.

Monday, July 27, 2015

A long, boring, personal post

Sorry I have been absent for the last few weeks.  I've wanted to write a post and there has been so much going on in my personal life, that I just didn't know what to say and I felt like I had a bit of writers block.  Just before we left for our beach vacation, the company that Andy had been working at for the past ten years was abruptly sold.  We were very grateful that Andy would keep his job, but things were still in a state of flux.  After much thought and discussion, he decided to accept an offer from a new company that is coming to our area.  We are both really excited about his new position and I'm very relieved that some of the stress that has been in our lives will hopefully be lessened.

Around the same time of the job upheaval, we found out that a family member has skin cancer.  Since this person didn't want other family members to know, I'm not going to say who they are.  It's been a battle to get them to agree to see the doctor, and then to let the doctor do a full examination. Fortunately, the first biopsy revealed that the area is not melanoma and is a more successfully treatable form of sarcoma.  Please, get your skin checked every year by a dermatologist. Your skin is the largest organ on your body and if anything is found early, it is much more treatable.

I haven't been doing as much designing as I normally do this summer.  I have knitted several pairs of stockinette socks, which are one of my favorite things to knit. These are from a Gales Art stenciled sock black that I picked up at MDSW this year.  The color is "The Big O".  I love how they turned out and they colors are nice and cheerful.

My current stockinette sock project is with yarn from Neely's Knits. The colorway is "Thing 1 and Thing 2". I had to make a bag just for these socks!  I love the Cat in the Hat and the Things.

I also cast on for the Solitude Jacket that is in the Knitscene Fall 2015 issue.  I'm using Malabrigo Worsted in the Apple Green colorway.  It's quite a bit brighter than the picture is showing and looks just like a Granny Smith apple.  I haven't knitted a sweater in over a year, and I'm really enjoying the process.

What do you have on your needles this summer?

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Shark Bite

Use coupon code: Amity for $2.00 off until July 5th. Don’t get caught with your socks in the water and have a Happy 4th of July!
Introducing Shark Bite! I cannot describe how much fun these socks were to design and knit!  JAWS is one of my all time favorite movies.  Just hearing the first note from the theme makes the hair raise up on the back of my neck.  I've been fascinated with sharks, particularly Great Whites, since I was kid.  When Shark Week starts, you are most likely to find me glued to the tv with my knitting.   
The Shark Bite socks were inspired by one of my all time favorite movies, JAWS. It’s a tradition for my husband and I to have a JAWS movie marathon over the 4th of July weekend every year. We hunker down in our den and watch the movies from beginning to end. 2015 is the 40th Anniversary of the original JAWS movie and I thought it was an appropriate time to design a pattern in homage to the movie.
Shark Bite is written from the cuff down. The cuff and leg portion of the socks are worked in the flat, and the joined at the ankle. The heel, foot and toe are worked in the round.
If you aren’t familiar with knitting colorwork, links to tutorials are provided in the pattern. While the colorwork details might look difficult to knit, they are really only over a small portion of the sock and some of them, like the swimmer and sharks teeth can be done in duplicate stitch once you are finished knitting.
The sample was was worked using KnitPicks Stroll unless otherwise noted. This is a perfect project to use mini skeins and left over yarn for the smaller details.
Color A: White 15 yards 
Color B: Blue Yonder 150 yards 
Color C: Black 50 yards 
Color D: Unplanned Peacock Peacock Sock, in Sun 5 yards 
Color E: Cork 10 yards, 
Color F: Thunderhead 345 yards
A very special thank you goes to Margi, whose help with test knitting and finding the links to the tutorials is so much appreciated!

Friday, June 19, 2015

Miss Babs Knitting Tour


I was so honored when Miss Babs asked me to design a shawl pattern for the Miss Babs Knitting Tour last fall.  Babs gave me some ideas of what she wanted and a jumping off point including the them of the pattern which is Atlantis.  I'm a huge fan of mythology and really enjoy reading about it and like to be able to create a design that is related to something that I have either read about or have seen in a movie.  The fact that the destination for this stop on the Tour was Atlantis, was a huge bonus for me as it was right up my alley!

Helen who is one of the fabulous ladies who works for Miss Babs was a huge help with coordinating everything from contact with Sarah who is the test knitter for the Tour, to creating the written directions with Carmen who also works for Miss Babs.  I have to say that this has been one of the most fun projects and working with the wonderful ladies at Miss Babs has been more than a pleasure.
Miss Babs sent me one of the kit's that went out to the Tour Travelers and I was so impressed! It came with a skein of Yowza in the Atlantis colorway, a beautiful glass stitch marker, a booklet that includes the pattern along with a couple of recipes and information about Atlantis, and a little packet of Swedish Fish.  They even included one of the Tour bags, which I think Helen must have had a hand in since she knows that I am a knitting bag lover!

If you didn't sign up for the Tour this year, be sure to join the group on Ravelry so you will know when sign ups for 2016 begin.  There is a lot of value in the kit and the group is a lot of fun!

The Atlantis pattern will be available for individual purchase in December.  It uses one full skein of Yowza and works up really well in the variegated colors that Miss Babs is known for.  The Atlantis colorway is a Babette which means that each skein is unique and this is something that I absolutely love! It's so nice to be able to knit up a pattern like Atlantis, and have what you make be totally unique.  Not just because you made it, but because the yarn you used was created one skein at a time and is a work of art.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Untangling - a Knitting Adventure

Untangling is a kit collaboration between myself,  Michelle of Berry Colorful Yarnings, Vicki of That Clever Clementine and Lisa of Indie Untangled 
I absolutely love kit’s and I think you will really enjoy this one.  It has three fabulous elements: a skein of Michelle’s incredible self-striping sock yarn in one of three available colorways, an infinity scarf pattern that was designed specifically for Michelle’s awesome self striping yarn and a loop-handled Lulu bag handcrafted by Vicki.  

The Untangling infinity scarf is worked in a manner so that there are only the cast on and bind off ends to weave in while still having a fantastic striping effect.  How awesome is that?!

A limited number of dyed- and sewn-to-order kits will go on sale at Indie Untangled on June 15. 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

A New Sock Pattern and Spoiler Alert

One of the things I love about working with variegated yarns is finding a stitch pattern that really shows off the colors in the yarn.  It can be a bit of a challenge sometimes, but it's something that I greatly enjoy.  Miss Babs is continually coming up with amazing hand painted colorways that catch my eye.  One of them was a one of a kind Babette in Yummy 2 Ply that I knew would be perfect for a pair of cabled socks.  I wanted something with a bit more interest then a plain cable and added a bit of lace to it.  It's one of those stitch patterns that is easy to knit and easy to remember.  I normally don't work on cables or lace while riding in the car because I tend to get motion sick if I have to read anything, but because these were so easy to knit these socks were the exception. I'm really excited to bring you Lartha and here is a little bit of background on the pattern and the name:

Several years ago Martha Stewart tweeted about how often her horses needed new shoes and I jokingly tweeted back to her that I didn’t see that as a problem because who doesn’t love new shoes, right? Well, she replied to my tweet and since then I joke that she and I are besties and our celebrity couple name is Lartha.
Maybe someday I will get to meet Martha in person and can give her a pair of Lartha Socks that I knitted just for her.
Lartha is a cuff down sock with an easy to knit lace and cable repeat that is given in both written and charted instructions. A modified modified short row heel adds a bit of interest while being simple to knit. These socks look great in both variegated and solid yarns.
The sample in the photos was knitted using Miss Babs Yummy 2 Ply in a one of a kind Babette. If you would like to use a similar colorwayPerfectly Wreckless or Soul Food would be great choices. Seriously though, any of the colorways that Miss Babs dyes would be fantastic with this pattern!

Lartha is introductory priced on Ravelry at $4.50 until June 15

Spoiler Alert!

Photo is © Miss Babs

If you are in the Miss Babs Knitting Tour and don't want a spoiler, please don't click on the link below.

I'm so, so excited that the Miss Babs Knitting Tour pattern has been added to Ravelry.   This was one of the most fun patterns that I have worked on and the yarn is fantastic!  I'm really trying not to give anything away so I'm not saying much right now.  If you would like to check it out and see what it is along with pictures click on this link:  Miss Babs Knitting Tour

If you weren't in the tour the pattern will be available for purchase sometime in December.  

Friday, May 22, 2015


I think everybody loves getting a little something in the mail every once in a while.  When I was a little girl I lived in Maine and my grandparents lived in NY.  My grandmother would send me cards and letters and an occasional package which started my fascination with sending and receiving mail!  A couple of weeks ago my friend Yvonne sent me a tracking number and said to be on the lookout for a package.  I couldn't imagine what she had sent me and then the day came when the package arrived.  I was so surprised and very honored that she knitted me a shawl!  She used my Tyrion's Gift pattern and added beads to it.  The yarn is Madelinetosh lace and the colorway is Lapis or Tardi's Blue as I call it.  Every time I've worn it, I've gotten a million compliments!  I'm still overwhelmed by her generosity!

Here is a close up that shows the beading:

Speaking of mail, I'm really excited to be able to reveal that Wentletrap was the May 2015 Poststitch Sockstitch club pattern! If you haven't checked out Poststitch, they have a subscription program and you can subscribe month by month which I love.  Be sure to check out their blog too, they have some great knitting tips on there.

Monday, May 11, 2015

MDSW Recap

Andy and I had so much fun at MDSW this year!  We drove up on Friday, had lunch at UNO's, did a little shopping at the outlets in Haggerstown and then headed to our hotel. You know you are staying at the right hotel when the first thing you see when you walk through the lobby doors is a photograph of a sheep.  There was a KFC across the street and we grabbed a quick dinner and brought it back to our room and hung out watching movies and enjoying some much needed down time.

I wore my sheep pajama pants which just happened to match the cover of this years show program.  I did a bit of knitting on the plain vanilla sock in the Harry Potter yarn from Truly Hooked.  I had a hard time deciding what to bring to knit on and wound up with this sock and a new cowl that I'm working on.  They are both simple knits and perfect to work on in the car and carry around with me.  

We headed out to the festival fairly early and didn't have any trouble getting into the parking lot.  We wandered over to Miss Babs and did a bit of shopping there.  While I was shopping I met Wythlovy.  We started chatting and she was so nice, I really think I could have talked to her all day!  While Andy and I were waiting in line we got to meet ladyfernaco and franciscangypsy who have a podcast called Pen, Hook and Needles.  It was nice to get to spend some time with them and chat.  Did I mention that he line at Miss Babs was pretty long? 

 Babs yarn is definitely worth waiting for. I picked up a few skeins, but was trying to behave myself.  From left to right: 2015 MDSW color on Yummy, Forever on Sojourn, Coral on Sojourn, and Mad Hatter on Yowza.  They are all a little more brilliant looking in person, all these pictures were taken with my cell phone.  

I was so proud to see a Mother of Dragons in Miss Babs Yummy hanging up in the booth right next to her sign!

My next stop was Going Gnome.  The shop is run by two sisters who are just as nice as can be.  Their felt creations are amazing.  This owl and gnome were my favorite and are on my list to make.  There is a corner in our living room that would be perfect to have something like this.

We then headed over to Maple Creek Yarns where I found out that my favorite yarn that they dye, Norfolk 30% silk, 10% cashmere 60% wool is being discontinued.  This yarn is so soft and decadent that you kind of want to just roll around in it!  I had only planned on picking up one skein, but wound up with five since this will be the last time it would be available to me.  The yarn is really that shimmery in real life.  I think it's the silk that does that.  In any case, I love it!

I behaved myself at The Fold and only brought home one skein of Socks That Rock in Lightweight the color is KawKaw.

It was after lunch by the time I got done picking up the Kawkaw, and time to head down to the Indie Untangled meet up.  I was a few minutes early and the podcasters meet up was still in full swing. They made me feel welcome and the Indie Untangled meet up wound up overlapping and getting combined.  It was so much fun to get to talk to so many knitters and podcasters all in one place!  I handed out quite a few of my buttons and got some in return from: SheepishCarolinaFiberGirlsJulia Allen, Two Tangled Skeins, a cute stitch marker from FibreTown that was made by my friend Knit Cubby, and a flashlight from Twinset Designs.

I've been working on a secret project with Lisa from Indie Untangled, Vicki from That Clever Clementine and Michelle from Berry Colorful Yarnings.  It was wonderful to meet Lisa and Vicki in person (Michelle had to stay at home in NM, but someday I hope we can meet!!!).  Lisa was wearing her Night's Watch.  It's so exciting to see my designs being worn out in the wild!

Speaking of designs out in the wild, the very nice lady who was working at Jentz Prints was working on her Mother of Dragons when I was in her booth!  I think her name was Jen, and I apologize that I didn't write it down.  She was kind enough to let me take her picture and I've been trying to read the name on her tag, but it just looks like it's the name of the booth.

There were some great antique prints in her booth.  Lot's of sheep and other cool things.  I brought home this one of two pugs and I'm planning on having it matted and framed.  

Terri Rosenthal and I became friends on Facebook earlier this year and made plans to meet up Sunday morning.  She is one of those people that you just immediately like and we chatted like we had been friends forever.  I could have talked to her all day, we really hit it off!  She brought me some wonderful yarn that is made of mink hair.  It's harvested when the little critters are in their natural shedding time so it's animal friendly.  The minks are brushed to remove the shedding hair and then it's spun into yarn.  I keep wondering who is brave enough to brush the minks?  Kiwi our bunny, will give me an occasional nip when I'm brushing him and I think the mink teeth are sharper since they are carnivores.  The yarn is really decadent and feels like it's softer than cashmere, kind of along the lines of qiviut.  I plan on working this up into a lace shawl, it's absolutely fantastic yarn!

Here is the lovely Terri and I.  She's wearing her latest design and even made the buttons for it!

Andy and I decided to head home soon after meeting Terri.  I had gotten a lot of sun on Saturday and was really wiped out.  We passed these two black sheep on our way out and I thought it would be a cute end to this post.