Hold Your Needles 1& 2: Review and Giveaway!!

 I recently heard about Hold Your Needles 1 and Hold Your Needles 2, two remarkable pattern collections
from Finnish designers Mari Muinonen and Suvi Simola. The first collection has 12 patterns and the second collection has 10 patterns, all for very reasonable download prices. Both collections feature lots of texture and many have gorgeous (I mean, really) cable details.

Hold Your Needles 1 has a great mix of patterns, including two for men, two hat/mitts combo patterns, and  some for kids/babies. Most of the patterns call for heavier weights of yarn, which helps them knit up really fast, as well as keeping you and your loved ones nice and toasty warm.

My personal favourites from Hold Your Needles 1:
My creation

 Clockwise from top left: Lumme, Muikkuset, Reha, Muffeli

Hold Your Needles 2  maintains a similar design aesthetic, focusing on the heavier weights of yarn that knit up quickly, as well as lots of rich texture and beautiful cables.You really need to click on over to Mai to check out the amazing details (and it’s grown up version, Juuli)- those pockets are amazing!

My personal favourites from Hold Your Needles 2:
My creation
Clockwise from top left: Paju, Friika, Kiedo, Mai

Both of these collections are filled with thoughtful details and clever designs, and when you look at the FOs from other knitters, you can see they have consistently strong results- which is extremely important! It’s easy to have great pattern photos, but the proof of a great pattern is in it’s ability to deliver consistent results. 

Suvi and Mari have very generously offered to do a giveaway- 3 lucky winners will receive the e-pattern books for both Hold Your Needles 1 and 2! Just leave a comment on this post telling me which is your favourite pattern from 1 AND 2 (so- you’re telling me the names of 2 patterns, one from each collection). The deadline for entering is Thursday, January 19th at midnight (12:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time). I’ll announce the three lucky winners on Friday- good luck everyone!

Modification Monday: Almost Anjeli

Original Pattern: Anjeli

Knitter Extraordinaire: Jen (Ravelry ID, blog

Mods: Jen did a lace repeat on every row (instead of every other row) for a portion of the scarf, which created this new look. Project page with full details can be found here.

What Makes This Awesome: Sometimes you misread a pattern and get a very different result, which can be either disastrous or serendipitous. This is an amazing incarnation of the latter- a happy accident of misreading the lace chart had Jen knitting the lace on both the right and wrong sides, which gave gave a totally different shape and a lacier, airy texture. The result is so different from the original, yet absolutely stunning!

Modification Monday: Cry Me a River Mitts

Original Pattern: Kalajoki Socks

Knitter Extraordinaire: Annabel (Ravelry ID)

Mods: Using the design for the socks as a stepping stone, Annabel created these great-fitting arm warmers. Project page with great details on her mods can be found here.

What Makes This Awesome: I’m always quick to say that a great sock pattern can be modified into an arm warmer pattern, but the truth is it requires a little more math than that to get a good fit through the arm and wrist. Annabel did a superb job with these mitts- they look comfortable, cozy, and great-fitting. I love the placement of the design, and the thumb gusset looks perfect. These are beautiful mitts!!

Pink Grapefruit Cowl and Mitts are now LIVE!!


The Pink Grapefruit Cowl and Mitts pattern is now for sale!! This was the exclusive pattern I developed last spring for the  2011 Tanis Fiber Arts Year in Colour (my month was May).Now that 2011 is over, the pattern is publicly available for $4 (you get both the cowl and mitts patterns together in the download).
Included in the pattern is a video tutorial link on how to ‘unravel’
the dropped stitches portion, so you can see exactly how it works for
the cowl. The mitts include two sizes.

This is my first time adding a not-free pattern to Ravelry, so I wasn’t sure how to link both the Cowl and Mitts. If anyone knows of a better way, please let me know!

Pink Grapefruit Cowl and Mitts

The cowl is more of a necklace style, and is surprisingly warm and wearable. I know it looks more decorative than warm but somehow it just works and is indeed cozy (although I imagine if you use cotton yarn, not so cozy). I knit it again later that summer in blue, using a full skein (220 yards):

Blue Grapefruit Cowl

I really love both the cowl and mitts, and I hope you do too!

Modification Monday: Paris Night Melody

Original Pattern: Melody’s Shawl

Knitter Extraordinaire: Sachiko (Ravelry ID)

Mods: The clever construction of this pattern intends for the item to be worked in the round and then cut open like a scarf- Sachiko decided to keep it ‘uncut’ for a modern and stunning infinity scarf.  Project page can be found here.

What Makes This Awesome: I love how Sachiko transformed this clever scarf into an infinity scarf, it’s a great idea that could be done with lots of other scarves, as well- even if it is knit more conventionally, a provisional cast on could be used and ends could be grafted together. But this one really shines for it’s simplicity, and requires a really beautiful yarn to pull it off- her choice of the Malabrigo Lace in ‘Paris Night’ (a truly amazing colourway) really sets off the knit. I want one just like it!