Thursday, May 25, 2017

Show Us Your Big Easy Blanket!

Get ready to feast your eyes, because I'm about to show off some Big Easy Blanket FO's!

photo by JulieR
 This beautiful green Big Easy was knit by JulieR on Ravelry. She used Paton's Washed Haze Aran in teal, which is a discontinued yarn. Too bad, because this color has my heart! And the fabric is gorgeous! Thanks to Julie for allowing me to use her picture.

photo by nannyknitter62
 This perky purple Big Easy is from nannyknitter62, who has knit the BE twice. This one is from last year and she knit it with The Fiber Company Cumbria in the Castelrigg colorway. It looks so cozy!

photo by nannyknitter62
 And here's nanyknitter62's earlier FO of the Big Easy, which she made with Blue Moon Fiber Arts Socks that Rock Heavyweight in the Star Sapphire colorway. Such a regal fabric!

photo by silverwoman

This Big Easy Blanket knit by silverwoman on Ravelry shows off the fabric so well and was knit with Cascade Yarns 128 Superwash in the Silver colorway. I'm so glad she allowed me to use her picture! Striking!

Why am I showing off these beautiful blankets? Why, it's all part of the Figheadh Pattern of the Month! Another part of it is the 30% discount you can still receive on the pattern until May 31. Many have already taken advantage and so can you! There's no code needed--just pop the pattern in your shopping cart and the discount is automatically deducted. Nice!

Ravelry tells me there are 41 projects for this pattern and I have requested lots more photo permissions, so I'll update this post as I receive those. If you want your Big Easy FO added, let me know!

Show Us Your Velutina!

This month's Mirth Pattern of the Month (MPOM) is the Velutina Scarf, which I gave the details to here when it was first published. Since we're in the last week of May, it's time to show off some of your Velutinas!

photo by fantomina

This lovely FO is fantomina's Velutina. She was nice enough to allow me to add her photo to the pattern page on Ravelry. This Velutina was made with Blue Moon Fiber Arts Marine Silk Fingering in the Melusine colorway. Gorgeous!

photo by naarden

This Velutina WIP is being worked by naarden on Ravelry and uses Shibui Knits Heichi in the greenspace colorway. That yarn has been discontinued and is a heavier yarn than suggested in the pattern, but it works! Her project page says it was finished a couple of years ago, so maybe she'll upload some FO shots. I can't wait to see, because it looks yummy so far!

photo by theobroma

Here's another Velutina FO from theobroma on Ravelry and she knit it with Shalimar Yarns Breathless in the Tawny colorway. It looks luscious!

Ravelry tells me there are 14 projects for the Velutina Scarf, and I have requested a couple more photos from knitters who've knit it. I can update this post and add those as soon as I've received permission. 

If you are working on a Velutina Scarf and you'd like your added to this post, please let me know! I love to show off your work.

Only one more week to take advantage of the 30% discount on this pattern. Grab one soon!

Friday, May 19, 2017

May KnitCrate!

 I only vaguely knew about KnitCrate before I was contacted by them on Ravelry about possibly including a couple of my patterns in their Main box. Since my business is knitting design, I have never had the chance to try any of the knitting subscriptions and knew not to tempt myself. I'm usually working on my own projects and haven't time for more...unfortunately. Because, what fun!

Once we got the collaboration worked out, I impatiently waited for my month to come to be a part of the fun. It was so exciting to see it finally happen! Then I wanted one for myself, so I could see just how awesome it is. Well, they sent me one! Let's have a look.

What a treat to see this little teal box waiting for me in the mailbox.

As I broke the seal and started to open the box, I saw the appropriate hashtags--always important!

Then I opened the lid and peeled back the tissue inside and feasted my eyes on all the goodies--the main card with this month's inspirational description on front and the contents list and discount codes on back, the pattern card with free download links to my Honeycomb Cap and Sawtooth Shawlette, a cute dpn holder from The Steady Hand,

two skeins of lovely Tanis Fiber Arts Purewash Worsted in Iris,

(let's look closer at that)

and this little card to help donate something to those in need. 
That's so cool!

The box even matches my current design work in progress. I love teal!

And guess what else? Right now you can get 20% off your first month if you want to try KnitCrate for yourself! Just use my code FIG20 when you get to the checkout and go here to try it!

That discount will only work for recurring monthly subscriptions, though, because the three-month prepaid and the yearly are already discounted for you. Isn't that nice?

The KnitCrate folks are just great, and they're really on the ball scouring the world for knitting and crochet treats for you.  Thanks, KnitCrate, for making yarny pursuits even more fun!

Monday, May 08, 2017

The Big Easy Blanket

Our Big Easy Blanket is the Figheadh Pattern of the Month for May!
This prompts me to say a bit more about it. Well, it turned into more than a bit, but Big Easy is the star here, so let's investigate.

The BEB was released in early 2009 and was our second stand-alone blanket pattern, after the Fir Cone Blanket. We also had two baby blanket patterns that were each part of a set, and they have each since been released as stand-alone patterns, too. Why? Because blanket patterns seem to be a favorite. I'll bet I know why. No shaping and hours and hours of easy, fun knitting!

That is certainly true of the Big Easy. Back in 2009 I wanted to add a pattern for beginners, as I stated in this blog post, and what could be easier than a mix of knit/purl patterns in a big rectangle? It is composed of three reversible stitch patterns alternating with garter stitch and also edged with garter stitch. Once you knit through one set of all the stitch patterns, then you're good to go. They are EASY. Thus the name.

Another reason for the name is because I was working on this pattern when Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast and I wanted to use the pattern to throw some love and support to New Orleans especially. As you all know, New Orleans is known as The Big Easy. The first few years after this pattern was released, all the profits from the pattern went to an organization named PNOLA. This organization was especially attractive to me because they hosted groups of young people to help rebuild the Lower Mid-City area, one of the worst hit by the storm. A few years ago, however, the organization changed hands and we changed our charitable focus, but I am still so glad we got a chance to contribute hundreds of dollars to this worthwhile project. So did many of you with the purchase of this pattern from early 2009 until about 2012. 

But who really knows why a pattern becomes such a favorite? It continues to sell very well and I keep seeing gorgeous blankets being knit with the help of this pattern. There are 41 projects on Ravelry for The Big Easy! It's in fourth place for projects and first place for sales of all Figheadh patterns. This makes me so happy!

The Big Easy is knit in worsted weight yarn, here shown in Cascade Greenland, a yarn of theirs that was so lively and springy, but has been discontinued. Greenland was a heavy worsted weight, so an Aran weight yarn works great for this blanket, and makes it a pretty quick knit. Many have also used regular worsted weight yarns. Here's the Ravelry lineup of all the yarns used by members to knit the Big Easy. (I just love this Ravelry feature and have used it myself at times to get ideas for yarn substitutions.) 

The BEB has a gauge of 4 stitches and 5.75 rows to the inch, but this can be fudged a bit because a blanket doesn't need to fit a body. The pattern has specs for making a lap blanket of 36" by 55.5" or a larger blanket of 46" by 60". I have been asked about making the blanket bigger and I usually say that the easiest way is to just add more rows of garter stitch. Each of the non-garter-stitch patterns are 16-row repeats, so if you start doubling those you could be looking at a house-sized blanket. We don't need that, now, do we? 

The stitch patterns change often enough to make the pattern fun and they make a mesmerizing geometric fabric. Each of the three interior stitch patterns is charted and written out, and there is an organizational chart which helps you to easily keep track of the order of the stitch patterns as you go. 

Now is the best time to try this pattern if you haven't already, because it's 30% off all month long! 
Try the Big Easy Blanket, and if you do, please post your project on Ravelry for us all to admire. I will be featuring your blankets later in the month. I can't wait!