Introducing Annalie

Hello Knitters,

Meet Annalie, a fun pattern for a rectangular shawl or classic scarf. Annalie combines the vintage sweetness of eyelet lace ribs with clean, modern style.

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Annalie is a PDF knitting pattern download  containing full written instructions, knitting charts, and schematic available for $6.00 USD.

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See the Ravelry pattern listing or use the buy now button to buy the pattern. You do not need to be a Ravelry member to use the buy now button.

Here’s a little story about Annalie’s origin.

In another lifetime before I was a knitter, I was a corporate executive assistant and went on a week-long business trip to Luxembourg. If you’ve never been to Luxembourg, it is a country that seems to be right out of a fairy tale complete with castles, cobblestones, and a Duke who lives in center city!

While there I drank the best coffee of my life, tasted my first amuse-bouche on a wide-bowled china spoon (fancy), my first sea scallop (mmmmm), and my first cuttlefish (bleeeeeehhhh) at formal business dinners. I pretended to be a cosmopolitan bomb-diggity twenty-two year old abroad. I also became desperately homesick for my then-boyfriend, now-husband back home in Illinois and felt totally out of place among the throng of cool young professionals working in global finance.

It was early November, and all the Luxembourgers (that’s what they are really called) seemed to be wearing scarves mysteriously wrapped around their necks with the ends tucked in. Over their coats, over their clothes, there was always a scarf. They seemed so stylish in that layered, unmistakably European way of wearing an understated outfit finished off with a beautiful scarf. The choice of scarf added personality and varied from sheer floral silk to cozy wool knit to woven plaid cashmere and everything in between. My scarves had only ever been an afterthought, a long, skinny thing tossed around the neck of my winter coat with the ends flapping in the wind like Snoopy.

snoopy-scarfThese scarves were nothing like that.

Back home, my boyfriend asked me to marry him, I decided to leave corporate life behind, and I began to experiment with wearing wider scarves and wraps coiled around my neck in different ways. If you’ve never seen this amazing video about wrapping scarves, check it out, I guarantee you’ll be digging out your scarves to play. I learned that wearing a scarf is practical, it’s so warm and adds polish to a basic outfit. It’s seasonless, you simply change the fabric or texture as the seasons change. It’s expressive of your taste, your mood since you can wear any sort of fabric, color, texture, or print, and it’s just a lot of fun!

That was about 10 years ago, and my love of the husband, scarves, wraps, and shawls has only grown with time. I hope you enjoy making Annalie because you’re sure to look beautiful wearing her.

Happy scarfing!

Meet Celia, a shawl to crochet

Hello Crocheters,

I have something very special to share with you today. Quince & Co. published my Celia Shawl design in their special pattern collection: Crochet Week 2016. Click the link below to see the amazing lookbook of designs for this collection. I was delighted to see that Celia made the cover!

Quince & Co Crochet 2016 Lookbook

Celia is worked sideways with an exquisite edging made at the same time as the shawl for minimal finishing.

The entire Crochet Week 2016 Collection is gorgeous and offers an exciting glimpse into crochet’s possibilities from a special company.

Happy Stitches!

Sara 

Go, Little Book…

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This day has been three years in the making! In keeping with the poetic theme, I offer this blessing courtesy of Lord Byron:

“Go, little book, from this my solitude! I cast thee on the waters, go thy ways! And if, as I believe, thy vein be good, The world will find thee after many days.”

Fall 2012: Struck by an idea for a crochet collection themed around poetry and shawl projects
April 2013: Sent query email to Interweave
December 2013: Submitted book proposal
February 2014: Proposal accepted, contracts issued, jumping up and down and screaming followed by panic
September 2014: Manuscript deadline
January 2015: Manuscript revisions
June 2015: 20,000 copies printed in Hong Kong
October 22, 2015: Poetic Crochet hits shelves!

And don’t forget to claim your ♥ free pattern ♥ with purchase!

♥ MBS: My Beautiful Sweater ♥

Hi Knitters and Crocheters,

Guess what? This is project chit-chat.

I rarely post what’s “on the needles” or “off the hook…”

[was just struck with realization that “off the hook” is one of the best crochet puns I have never used.]

ahem…because I typically design with the end goal of submission or indie release and usually I can’t share them with you early.

Since finishing the book, I’ve been in an exploring phase that turned into an L&D phase. L& D = Learning & Development. YAY!

I decided to make myself a sweater to get more familiar with lace knitting, working from (and creating!) knit lace charts, playing with semi-tailored garment fits, poring over knit garment design books to study and apply the principles (later to crochet as well!), embracing seamed garment-making, and just getting back into the swing of sweater designing.

I can’t tell you how tired I am of looking at that water stain on my graph paper chart.

Yes, I could have recopied it. But was I going to?

No.

mbs process

I decided to approach this undertaking with a very positive attitude, so I named it “MBS” for “My Beautiful Sweater” instead of giving it a fanciful or feminine name as I normally do. I think referring to it that way helped my mindset when progress slowed to a crawl!

I tried it on and it fits, but I’m 9.99 months pregnant (due date is the day after tomorrow), and I just couldn’t bring myself to get in front of the camera.

One problem I’ve had when making fitted garments is not allowing for enough wearing ease. You know that impulse when shopping to really want to buy the smallest size you can get away with? It’s a little like that. Do you do that?

I think it’s that same problem that sometimes attacks me when I face my body measurements and then I’m supposed to add in extra inches for ease. But it’s denial to think you don’t need them, friends.

Pure denial.

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My mannequin is a skinny minny, so there’s lots of extra ease and the fit is oversized on her, but I think it looks pretty and tunic-like.

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We still need a neckline finish and I’m thinking just a very simple, narrow reverse stockinette rolled neckline will fit the bill.

Now I’m casting on for a baby size! Whee! If it pans out, I hope to release the sweater pattern for little ones.

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Thanks for visiting me today.

♥ knit, crochet, love; rep from ♥ forever.

Sara Kay

Ellie Headband

Hi. Thanks for visiting!

Ellie is a low-stress bit of crocheted fun that I’m very excited to share with you.

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I’m going to chat a little about the idea behind the design, but if you want to get straight to the juicy stuff, the pattern download awaits you at the bottom of the post. If your scroll wheel spins wildly out of control while I’m in mid-sentence, you won’t hurt my feelings. ♥ ♥ ♥
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For months, I admired all the cute turban-style headbands I was seeing on Pinterest, in boutique shops like Francesca’s, Anthro online, (which I troll for the pretties but have never visited a brick-and-mortar store) and of course in mass-market discount stores as well. DSCN0238

I found a few sewing tutorials for making them from 2 tubes of fabric crossed over one another and sewn together with a seam at the back. Ever intrigued by the the voodoo magic of twisting rectangles into something interesting and wearable, [Knitters, see Miss Sadie. Crocheters, see Pip & Emma.] I thought, okay I’m in.

I thought that in crochet, there might be an even easier to create the wrap top without having to stitch 2 separate strips.

There is.
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By crocheting a single long strip…

centering it at the nape of your neck…

criss-crossing into a full twist at your forehead….

stitching down the two short ends to the opposite sides of the band…

and turning the headband right side out…

you get the turban twist from a single strip with no visible stitching!

This method is nice because you can size it perfectly to your [daughter’s/sister’s/roommate’s] head and there’s no double-thickness of crochet fabric beneath you fashionably messy bun or pony tail.

The stitch pattern is just alternate rows of half-double crochet with single crochet which gives a surprisingly nice fabric with a honeycomb look. It’s plain enough to show the knot design, textured enough to keep it interesting, and has enough flexibility to allow the crossed strips to squish softly together without flipping over or pinching over in an awkward way.2

Fun to design! And fun for you to make, I hope!

Here’s the PDF pattern download, just for you.

Ellie Headband

♥ knit, crochet, love; rep from ♥ forever.

Sara Kay