Wednesday, 22 February 2017

More Knitting Fun To Be Had. . .

Just when you think you have all your current knitting projects sorted, along comes a trio of new and exciting knit-a-longs to make you cast-on with complete abandon and foolishly increase that pile of WIPs with no concept of how long it will take to knit all the things!  I just can't stop casting on.

Tin Can Knits has just released a wonderful new e-book of eight sweater patterns, Heart On My Sleeve with all of the proceeds going to the Against Malaria charity which buys mosquito nets to help reduce this preventable disease.

Each sweater is designed by a different designer, but they are all knit from the bottom up and basically follow the same body instructions (there are choices for different hems and cuffs).  Then you can choose which yoke you prefer.  Thus, if  - like myself - you keep changing your mind, you can just start knitting and worry about the rest later. This can provide a great template for future sweaters and each pattern is sized from baby to adult.  There are also eight mini-patterns to create your own heart on a sleeve in, for example, lace, fair isle, duplicate stitch or crochet.  It's a really wonderful and very useful book. 

There is a KAL going on over in the Tin Can Knits ravelry group with some very lovely prizes. You have until April 18th to finish your sweater.  I've cast on with my WYS Blue-faced Leicester undyed DK. I'm torn at the moment between Crazyheart (featured on the cover), designed by Tanis Lavallee, and Hearthstone, designed by Ysolda Teague which has beautiful cables on either side of the raglan sleeves. 

Starting March 1st, A Year of Techniques will release its first pattern.  This is a great project by Jen Arnall-Culliford  and her husband Jim Arnall-Culliford to help build knitters' confidence and introduce them to new techniques.  Each month a new mystery design will be released that will highlight something new to try (you can see a list of the techniques here - I know I definitely need to improve my intarsia and steeking) and there will be online tutorials and KALs in the ravelry group.  You can purchase just the e-book, or the e-book and print book (which will be released in September). There will also be quarterly kits with the yarn to knit three months of projects. As of writing this, the spring kits have sold out, but you can find out when the summer kits go on sale by signing up to Jen's newsletter at the bottom of her website's home page

Full disclosure - I help moderate Jen's ravelry group, so I've known about this project for a little while and had a sneak peek at what is coming up.  Below are some of the amazing designers lined up, several of whom are real favourites of mine and also helped make The Book of Haps such an enjoyable and challenging book. I can't wait to see some of these designs.  For more on the designers, see this post

And just when I thought it was safe to ignore Stephen West  for a bit until his next mystery KAL in September, darn it all if he didn't go and post about a new spring one!  How can I resist?  It's aimed at using up all sorts of oddment leftovers of yarns; it promises a marled shawl, suggesting several ways to achieve it; and it's going to be another crazy and fun knitting adventure. Sign me up. 

I've already been digging out the stash but he suggests throwing in some mohair for texture, so I will have to find my odd balls of Kidsilk Haze too.  I'm quite excited about this one.  Kick off is March 3rd.  More information here.

It's never dull in the knitting world. . . 

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