It's Gift-A-Long time!

Would you like to join the Indie Design Gift-A-Long? It’s just begun, and the giant pattern sale is go! Over 300 designers are taking part this year, and there are giant searchable Ravelry bundles and Pinterest boards full of patterns for your browsing pleasure.

My own discounted patterns are collected here - they're 25% off with the coupon code giftalong2016, from now until the end of November.

This is the third year I've taken part in the Gift-A-Long, and this year I'm a moderator which is both fun and (so far) really busy. I’m co-hosting the Hand & Arm Things KAL and will also be on Prize Patrol once a week, handing out pattern coupons to people who post project photos at just the right time. ;) Come and join in if you're keen to start a new project!

Here are some of the GAL's stats, in a pretty graphic put together by our stats queen Kimberly Golynskiy:

I have my first project picked out, which is a pair of Grellow Love socks. I've dug out some leftovers and little scraps of Vintage Purls Sock and Knitsch Sock, so I can do crazy-coloured contrasting heels and toes...

Grellow Love by Claire Devine

My main project right now is a secret laceweight wrap, but I think I should have time to at least make some short socks as well. They can be my comparatively-straightforward project to work on in between bouts of lace knitting and GAL chatting. :)

Up for a crafting challenge?

Like any popular website with a big social element, Ravelry has its own traditions and special events. One of my favourites is the Ravellenic Games, held every two years to coincide with the winter or summer Olympics.

Ravellenics participants choose one or more projects that will be a personal challenge, and try to finish before the closing ceremony. The next Games are coming up in a few weeks beginning on the 5th of August, so if this sounds like fun you still have time to pick your projects. Joining a team is optional, but definitely adds to the fun in my opinion!

Last time around I crocheted a great big rainbow blanket:

I'm still super proud of it, and it's fantastic to have a real wool lap blanket in the lounge when it gets cold.

This time, I'm going to go big again and knit a Blank Canvas sweater. It's DK-weight, with 3/4 sleeves, and using a pattern I've knit before, so it shouldn't be impossible to finish in two-and-a-bit weeks (I hope). But it will still be a stretch for me, since I usually take ages to finish a garment. My plan is to halt all design-related knitting during the Games and concentrate on making myself a new comfy jersey. :)

Swatching ahead of time is encouraged (by analogy to 'training' for an event), so I've begun my quest to get my gauge correct. This is my first swatch in Madelinetosh Longrider DK, which I need to undo and knit again on smaller needles:

Wish me luck!

Slow Fashion III

This week's prompt:
Week 3, October 12-18: LOVED
proudest accomplishment / most loved item / most frequently worn item / thing you saved up for / investment pieces / thing you worked a long time on / oldest thing that’s still in rotation

My most frequently worn hand-knit garment is definitely my Blank Canvas jersey. I knit it back in 2013, and in winter I wear it a few times a week.
It's very soft and comforting (the yarn is a DK-weight cashmere from Colourmart), and the three-quarter sleeves are very practical since I'm generally doing stuff with my hands all day. Its simple design and plain dark brown colour make it a perfect wardrobe staple.

Me, my jersey, and my ride (October 2013)

In fact, I'm so happy with this jersey that I'm planning to knit the same pattern again! This time I'll use a 'busier' yarn, since this pattern can take it.

I ordered five skeins of Longrider DK in 'River Water' from Madelinetosh's recent sale, and the parcel arrived this morning (to much excitement). This yarn is a squishy, soft merino with 25% nylon for durability. I want this jersey to last a long time!

Don't you just love the speckles? 

Birthday Sale + Slow Fashion II

I'm having a pattern sale in my Ravelry store! On October 13th, all of my individual self-published patterns will be 20% off. Just use the code BDAYSALE20 at the Ravelry checkout.

I'm not sure yet how we'll be celebrating, but I'm leaning towards fish and chips at the beach. :)


Now on to Slow Fashion October... this week I've been focusing on the 'handmade' part of the prompt:
Week 2, October 5-11: SMALL
handmade / living with less / quality over quantity / capsule wardrobe / indie fashion / small-batch makers / sustainability

I desperately need more lightweight, breezy summer tops, preferably sleeveless or with very short sleeves. Tshirts just don't cut it for an Australian summer! I also want to sew at least one long lightweight skirt with an elastic waist for maximum comfort.

I've been doing lots of research, and even ordering some supplies. I've gotten as far as ordering some fabric, and I've found a few indie patterns for the kinds of tops I want to wear: simple, fuss-free, and beginner-level (especially as I haven't sewn from patterns before). I'm most excited about Sew DIY's Lou Box Top, which includes different options for the neckline and hem. I also ordered a copy of Alabama Studio Sewing Patterns, which looks amazing.

I'm also hoping to replicate my home-made dinosaur top in a lighter fabric. I sewed the original three years ago and I still wear it regularly! It's held up to wear and washing a lot better than my shop-bought tshirts, which usually end up out-of-shape and shabby after a year or two - hooray for handmade. :)

Dino top + crochet-in-progress (Feb 2014)

Pattern sale alert!

Hey knitters and crochet peeps, the Gift-A-Long sale has now begun! 

Eleven of my patterns will be 25% off until the 21st of November, with the coupon code giftalong2014 on Ravelry:
The list of all the participating designers is here, with links to their on-sale patterns (or if you like to browse on Pinterest, all the patterns are here).
Once you have your yarn and patterns, come and join the fun in the Indie Design Gift-A-Long group to share project photos and be in to win prizes.
The Gift-A-Long will run
from now until the end of December.

I'll be joining the sweaters/cardigans/etc knit-a-long, with the Park Slope top by Laura Aylor. It should be a useful top for spring and autumn, and I have some really rich and beautiful Vintage Purls Sock yarn all wound into balls and ready to go. :)

If I have time, I also have my eye on the Fightin' Words mitts, and Findlinge shawl. The Wesley Bobs Christmas tree decorations also caught my eye, and as for the Persian Dreams blanket... just go take a look. Seriously.