Tuesday, November 3, 2015


Every single year, I say I'm going to do this. Every single year, it doesn't happen. Except for this year - I'm ready! (sort of)

What am I ready for, you ask? November is National Knit a Sweater Month - also known as NaKniSweMo. In solidarity with writers who are challenging themselves to write a 50,000 word novel in a month (NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month), knitters challenge themselves to knit a 50,000 stitch sweater in one month. I'm told this is totally do-able.

Personally, I'm not so concerned about achieving the actual stitch count as I am about actually finishing a garment in a month. This is something I have never done before - even my On the
Motorway vest KAL is taking place over two months - and it doesn't even have sleeves.

Since I'm not worried about stitch count, I picked a bulky sweater that's been on my to-knit list for a while - Packard by Maura Kirk. In the spirit of the Choose Your Own Adventure nature of the collection, I'm knitting the basic raglan pullover, but borrowing elements of striped sleeves from Luckiest Day and elbow patches from Reality Machine. Plus, elbow patches make really cute gauge swatches!

I'm using Knits in Class Targhee Bulky in Surf for the elbow patches and contrast stripes (and possibly also the collar, hem, and cuffs), and Otter for the main color. I've always loved those two together and can't believe I haven't used them like this before.

Anyone else venturing into NaKniSweMo?

Sunday, November 1, 2015

On the Motorway MWKKAL

I'm well into the Midwestern Knits KAL for the On the Motorway sweater - in fact, just two weeks remain until it wraps up.

This is the first KAL I've ever hosted - and I should probably host more often, as this appears to give me accountability I am incapable of feeling with any other KAL I've participated in, and I'm actually on track to finish by the deadline.

My amiable feelings towards On the Motorway are also increased by proper pre-planning that is resulting in a great looking sweater. I did a proper gauge swatch - one that actually measured 4 inches. I had all the yarn ready before I started knitting, and have been alternating skeins every two rows, to avoid any color breaks that can happen with small dye lot hand dyed yarn (ask me how I know...).

Friday, October 2, 2015

Winner, winner!

Congratulations to rhymeswithcount:
What a cute hat! Thanks for hosting a giveaway. I love the colors, orange flowers are my favorite ones! 

You are the lucky winner of a Knits in Class BFL DK yarn bundle to make your very own All in a Row hat. I'll contact you on Ravelry with the details.

P.S. ~ Orange flowers are my favorite, too!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Holla Knits Accessories: All in a Row

Good morning, knitters! It feels like fall this morning in Minnesota - the perfect time of year to whip up some accessories. Looking for unique, fresh patterns? Look no further than the latest Accessories issue of Holla Knits, where you will find four beautiful patterns for keeping your neck warm, two fab mittens (one of them is plaid!), and Laura Reinbach's hat pattern All in a Row, which just happens to feature Knits in Class' new BFL DK Bundles.

I love a good color work pattern (even if I am personally a novice at getting those float tensions just right), and All in a Row really is a good pattern for beginning fair isle knitters. Even though you get to use three beautiful colors to work up the flowers, you are only ever knitting with two colors at a time.

To get you started knitting your very own All in a Row, I'm giving away a BFL DK Bundle in the Bonfire colors (just like the sample hat) to one lucky reader. Just enter a comment below, and be sure you include some way for me to contact you (Ravelry ID, e-mail).

I'll close the comments at the end of the blog tour on October 1 and contact the winner at that time.

~Comments now closed. The winner will be announced shortly!~

For more Holla Knits fun (and giveaways), visit the rest of the blogs on the tour:
Sept 14: Launch
Sept 15: Klever Knits - Subscriber Exclusive Giveaway
Sept 16: YarnTalk - pattern giveaway
Sept 17: Aroha Knits - Subscriber Exclusive Giveaway
Sept 18: Artesano Yarns

Sept 21: Laura Reinbach
Sept 22: Faithfully Geeky - mag giveaway
Sept 23: Julie Asselin
Sept 24: Knit York City

Sept 28: Knits in Class - hat yarn bundle giveaway
Sept 30: Fiona Clark
Oct 1: The Sweatshop of Love - pattern giveaway

Monday, September 21, 2015

Great Northern Knits: Maddy's Poncho and Bulky Twist Yarn

By Teresa Gregorio

Great Northern is a collection of sweaters, accessories, and houseware all based on the cult tv show Twin Peaks. Designer Leah Coccari-Swift and Teresa Gregorio have partnered up to produce this independently designed and published book.

In order to produce a print version of this collection, Teresa and Leah are raising funds on Kickstarter.

Want to help make Great Northern happen? Support independent dyers and designers by visiting the Great Northern website for details on the collection and to contribute to the Kickstarter. 

Hi everyone!
I’m Teresa Gregorio; knitwear designer of the bold, feminine, and sometimes unusual. I embrace bright colours and exciting textures and compelling combinations.
And I’ve set myself a big challenge for the year ahead: I’m creating a book with fellow designer Leah Coccari-Swift called Great Northern. It’s inspired by the cult tv show Twin Peaks, and that jives really well with our both styles.

One of the first (and most exciting!) things I did for the book was brainstorm patterns and search for yarns to make them a reality. And I know a design mama shouldn’t pick favourites, but the one that’s the apple of my eye is an asymmetrical poncho called The Last Evening.

My search for this design’s yarn was actually not nearly as long as I was afraid it would be. I was looking for a pretty particular set of qualities that I thought would make this yarn a near impossibility to find. I wanted a yarn with interesting texture, a yarn that would look good in a fringe, a yarn that was a bulky weight, and a yarn with a delicate neutral colour.

Knits in Class to the rescue!
I’d encountered Kate’s fantastic work in the past and knew I wanted to see what her shop had to offer. Lo and behold, she had the answer to my yarnny dreams! Twist offered all the qualities I was looking for: interesting texture to make the otherwise simple knit/purl stitch definition pop. A cool twist of cotton wrapped around wool to make the fringe visually compelling. Twist had the lovely, bouncy, bulky weight I was looking for. And above all, it was available in the soothing neutral colorway of Cuppa Tea. I mean, when you’re designing a poncho, you need to make sure your elements are balanced! The soft cream of Cuppa Tea is the perfect pair with the strikingly bold drama of the asymmetry, fringe, and poncho style.

I LOVE wearing my sample, though I really shouldn’t be wearing it. This precious FO has to wait until next Spring for the Great Northern photoshoot.
I’m sort of not afraid of the yarn showing wear. Let me tell you, I knit and frogged and knit this poncho 3.5 times, and the yarn remained as pristine as when I whirred it from my swift into a yarn cake. 
A super big, delicious-looking yarn cake.

Great Northern is going to be made possible in print form only with your help. We’re working with all sorts of independent fiber artists to bring something to the knitting community that’s unique and compelling.

Want to help make Great Northern happen? Please contribute to our Kickstarter (where you’ll find some Knits in Class incentives up for grabs too!)

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Midwestern Knits: On the Motorway

I am so excited to share Midwestern Knits with all of you! I've known about it for ages, and saw the pictures of On the Motorway almost a year ago - so very exciting to see it in printed form! There is so much designer, yarnie, and knitterly talent here in the Midwest.

It can be an odd thing, providing yarn support - sometimes, I see a sketch or swatch, sometimes it's just a description. I always open the finished picture file with great anticipation. When I saw the first pictures for On the Motorway, I was smitten. Designer Adrienne Larsen did an amazing job - she was inspired by the Twin Cities metro freeways, which truly do cross over and around each other like the cables in the vest.

Those cables! The pleats! All knit up beautifully in Knits in Class BFL DK in the Stormy Skies color way. On the Motorway would be lovely in any of the BFL DK semi-solid colors - providing enough variation to keep the color interesting, but not so much that it would overwhelm the cables. (I'm debating between Stormy Skies and Tea, myself.)

Midwestern Knits is a beautifully curated and edited collection - I especially love the stories behind the designs. I am forever in awe of what designers are capable of doing, and getting to read about their inspirations and thought processes makes the designs all that more meaningful. There really is something in it for everyone - beautiful sweaters and accessories. And, if you live in the Midwest, you know you can never have too many hand knits to make it through our winters.

Join the Ravelry group and follow the hashtag #MKBlogTour on social media for more behind-the-scenes looks and upcoming KAL news. I'm hosting an On the Motorway KAL beginning in September - I'd love to have you join me!

Blog Tour:
Aug 17: Launch: MidwesternKnits.com
Aug 19: YarnTalk Show
Aug 21: @FrenchPressKnits on Instagram

Aug 26: DoogKnits
Aug 28: @ChooseBatman on Instagram

Aug 31: Knitspot

Sept 9: @juriface on Instagram
Sept 10: Brown Sheep Blog

Sept 14: Weaver Knits
Sept 16: Subway Knits

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

150 years with Fairbault Woolen Mill

Saturday was a day for celebrations - my 38th birthday and the 150th anniversary celebration at the Faribault Woolen Mill. After a birthday cake breakfast (a birthday tradition) and a morning of my children fighting with each other (another, unfortunate, birthday tradition), we packed up for the short drive down to Faribault.

Unfortunately, we missed the running of the sheep - but, we did get to see some sheep herding, and the kids thought it was pretty cool to see a herding dog in action. The food trucks, music, activities, and fibery animals to pet definitely made up for missing the running. Finn was my chief photographer, snapping shots of the animals with my iPhone:

And, he got to try out my new Instax Mini 8 camera - just as much fun as the old Polaroid camera my grandparents had. The Instax makes these fun, tiny prints that look like they have built-in filters. (Highly recommended - lightweight and fairly durable, too)

The Textile Center had a great set-up with all kinds of fun activities for kids and their grown-ups - weaving, spinning, felting. Finn tried Saori weaving, and was talking the whole way home about how he wants a loom of his own. I think he would have stayed all afternoon if I hadn't made him leave so other kids could get a turn.

Addy tried out some wet felting, and now has an artisan rug for her dollhouse. (And I now know what I'm going to do with all my leftover wool, now that I'm no longer spinning.)

The Textile Center was also hosting a drawing - and, they must have known it was my birthday because I won! Today I picked up my fabulous little gift basket chock full of fibery surprises - including a year's membership to the Textile Center. Happy birthday to me!