Spud says (the blog)

Archive for November 2012

November 30, 2012

Holiday Tradition 2012

You may recall that last year we had our curmudgeonly pal Spud on a holiday tag or ornament.

Our gal Chloë pulling Spud for sledding fun.

In the spirit of tradition, we bring you the 2012 holiday tag. Click here to download.

A multifaceted ornament.

Auntie Sarah took several tags to create this whimsical ornament. How will you use the 2012 holiday tag? I’m trying to come up with a project to combine both 2011 and 2012!

Happy holidays from the gang at Spud & Chloë!

November 28, 2012

Introducing Neighbor Jillian

First, there was a truck. Then, there were boxes and a flurry of activity. Next, came a friendly hello. And lastly, I’m pleased to introduce our new neighbor… Neighbor Jillian! The new kid on the block blog is going to be a ton of fun as many new adventures await her. So, without further ado, let’s get to know Neighbor Jillian:

Our new neighbor… Jillian!

What is your creative goal for this year?

My creative goal for this year is to design and publish a crochet pattern. It will come to fruition very soon here on Spud says! (the blog) as a free pattern, so stay tuned!

What do you collect?

Oh, gosh. *laughs* You’ve opened a bit of a floodgate there. The question should be more like “What don’t I collect?” :D Here are just a few of my collections: vintage My Little Ponies, owls, flamingos, pressed pennies, and vintage glassware.

What is your favorite color?

Silver!

What is your favorite store, and why?

Without a doubt, it is Target. I love how open, bright, and colorful it is when you walk in. It is well-organized (which I truly appreciate as an organization buff!), so it’s easy to find what you want… yet you can also wander aimlessly for hours as you take everything in. The best bit is that Target seems to read my mind because I always want everything in the store.

What exciting things do you have coming up in the future?

Growing up I was a city girl, but I recently moved to a more rural area of Minnesota with my husband, Logan, about 30 miles outside of the Twin Cities. As a result, I’m now learning to be a country girl, which has been both rewarding and challenging. Logan and I knew there would be some give and take when we made the decision to buy our first house in the country, so while we’re thrilled with the land we have, we are still adjusting to how far away the conveniences are. That being said, while it might be harder to plan for errand-running, I have opportunities now that I never would have considered before—the most exciting of which is that I will be buying an alpaca, which I will be writing a series about over on Blue’s Blog for Blue Sky Alpacas.

Just wait for updates about Ollie, over on the Blue’s Blog!

So we can look for you both here at Spud says! (the blog) and on Blue’s Blog?

Yes, indeed! I’ll have cameos on both blogs featuring behind-the-scenes looks, free patterns, giveaways, a series on the alpaca I am buying, interviews, and more.

November 21, 2012

Sweater Weather

Porch Swing Cardi by Kirsten Kapur

To be perfectly honest, I’m not much of a sweater maker. I dream big and love many a pullover and cardigan (and love stashing sweater quantities like a fiend), but I remain the queen of accessory knitting and gift knitting. I come from a very crafty family and many of my friends craft too, so something handmade is almost always truly appreciated. I realize I’m very lucky this way. However, there is a special something-something about the Porch Swing Cardi that gives me pause every.single.time! And, if the current weather situation (it was below freezing already in October!) is any indication I will be needing many sweaters this coming winter so it is with great excitement (and a bit of trepidation) that I have decided, and put down in black and white here, my winter 2012/2013 goal: I will make myself a Porch Swing Cardi. I’m definitely thinking Billiard (#7527), as there is something about that blue-y-green that just works for me.

So…who’s with me? Do you have big winter knitting or crocheting goals? I’m planning on starting a thread in our Ravelry group, for camaraderie and goal-meeting support. A place where we can ask for technical advice and cheer each other on while working through challenging projects, both big and small. I hope you will join me (and cheer a bit, too)!


The Details

Pattern: Porch Swing Cardi
Designer: Kirsten Kapur
Size: 31 (35, 39, 43, 47, 51)”
Needles: Size 6 (4mm) 32” circular needle, or 2 sizes smaller than larger needle
Size 8 (5mm) 32” circular needle, or size needed to obtain gauge
Size 8 (5mm) double pointed needles, or size needed to obtain gauge
Yarn: Spud & Chloë Sweater, shown in Firefly #7505
Link: Spud & Chloë Pattern Store

November 16, 2012

Little Pink Riding Hood

This past month, while hanging out at VKLive Chicago, I bumped into Vickie Howell. She reminded me her new book Step It Up Knits has just been published and includes an adorable design in Spud & Chloë Outer.

Photo © Vickie Howell

What was your inspiration for the sweet Cape Dear?

I wanted to include a project that was quick enough to make that any busy mom could make it, while still including some design features (simple lace and mitered shoulders) that kept the pattern interesting. Plus, that little twirly girl in the photo is my daughter, Clover–and even though she’s lately treated knitted garments as if they were made out of brimstone and lava, I’m still constantly inspired by her to design more kid-centric items!

Cape Dear is available in a twelve month size, 2T, and 4T. Knit in Spud & Chloë Outer (shown in Rockett #7211) on size 11 (8mm) needles, this is a quick knit for busy moms.

How did you get from simply learning to knit to hosting a TV show, writing books, and having a your own yarn line?

The getting-the-show thing was a fluke: the producer Googled “young, hip, knitter” and came up with my logo for the Stitch n’ Bitch groups I started in L.A. & Austin. (This was a decade ago when reclaiming the craft from the older generation was big.) She asked if I knew anyone who’d be interested in hosting a knitting show, I pitched myself (I had a background in television production, so I knew how to do that), and showed her what was coincidentally my first ever published knitting design: a guitar strap for Knitty.com. I apparently had the kind of look they were going for, so I went to L.A. and auditioned. Once I landed the show, I felt (still feel) like I owed it to the opportunity to make as much out of it as I could. I immediately pitched a book. Since then, I’ve never stopped pitching!

Photo © Vickie Howell. Our group, in front of my favorite Austin LYS: Hill Country Weavers.

Where is your favorite place to knit?

Hands down, my favorite place to knit is wherever my online knitting group meets up. We recently had our 10th anniversary retreat at my house–most of the group flew to Austin from all over the U.S. to spend the weekend knitting, drinking wine, and just hanging out. Throughout the year, a few members of the group here and there, try to see each other at various events. Being around them always serves as a reminder about what one of my favorite things about knitting is: the community around it.

What are you curious about?

You mean in life, or in knitting? In life, I’m wondering what will top the invention of the internet and is world peace a possibility in a human-based society? In knitting, I’m wondering if I’ll ever have enough time and quiet to work on something really complicated and lacy. ;-)

Vickie, what was your favorite part of writing Step It Up Knits?

I loved the challenge of coming up with designs that were a combination of quick-to-knit and on-trend items that also employed at least one “step it up” skill.

Photo © Vickie Howell

Cape Dear can be found in Vickie Howell’s new book: Step It Up Knits: Take Your Skills to the Next Level with 25 Quick and Stylish Projects

Available at your favorite LYS, book store, or online.

What is your favorite color?

Turquoise is probably my favorite color, but I love chartreuse, magenta, olive, teal, and orange, too!

What is your favorite Spud & Chloë or Blue Sky Alpacas Yarn?

I especially love working with Techno because of the loft, softness, and saturation of color. I noticed you have a new yarn, Metalico, though, that looks right up my alley! I’m definitely going to have to check that one out.

Photo © Vickie Howell

(For all the details on Vickie’s Blue Sky Alpacas Techno design, Hood Winked, also available in Step It Up Knits, click here.)

Be sure to check out Vickie’s blog, Facebook, and Twitter pages.

See more of Vickie’s inspiration from her Pinterest boards.

Thanks to Vickie for a fun interview. I cannot wait to cast on for a few Step It Up Knits myself. Quick projects for holiday knitting with many techniques to learn!

November 14, 2012

A Stitch in Time

Photo © Siren Elise Wilhelmsen

From the artist, Siren Elise Wilhelmsen:  “365 is stitching the time as it passes by. It is knitting 24 hours a day and one year at the time, showing the physical representation of time as a creative and tangible force. After 365 days the clock has turned the passed year into a 2-m long scarf. Now the past can be carried out in the future and the upcoming year is hiding in a new spool of thread, still unknitted.”

Photo © Siren Elise Wilhelmsen

I find this work utterly inspiring!

It makes me want to knit a scarf, one row, every single day for an entire year. The 365 Row/Day Scarf. A knitting diary? A memory scarf? You could even use a color that represented how you felt on that particular day…blue for a sad day, perhaps, happiness would be yellow for me. What color would you use for melancholy or confused or joyful?

I am beyond intrigued.