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6 Bits, giveaways

Boo!

Did I scare you? 😉

I know it has been awhile! HOW ARE YOU?

Stop right now and fill me in!

Seriously. If you do you may be surprised to find a special treat headed your way!

>>Ok, if you did leave a comment catching me up on you, head back and “Reply” to your comment with your Ravelry name and I will happily gift you a pattern from my Ravelry store as a treat–not a trick! Give me the weekend to send you the pattern! Just be sure to comment before 1 November to receive the gift!<<

As for me, many of you know I have been quite busy! Knitting, knitting, and knitting, of course, but also with my new digital publication project: 6 Bits Storybooks.

I have the joy of working alongside the most creative of teams! Each member has a unique gift and a beautiful story to share. The team changes up a bit from issue to issue, which keeps us and readers on our toes!

There is also a fun podcast that focuses on deeper stories of knitters, dyers, friends… and each week the goal is to share a fun podcast AND quality content, something you can download to use! We have already shared some great teaching tools. Have any of you given a listen?

6 Bits

Golden Wood fro Issue 1: UNEARTH

Buckaloo View yarn with marigolds

 

Issue 1: UNEARTH really kept me busy these last weeks and months–and I am already in the winding down of things for our second issue! I am slowly filling adjusting to the new juggling routine.

What about you? What are things, major and minor, that have been part of your last few months that are teaching you new lessons? Do you find yourself enjoying moments of new discoveries? Are you unearthing activities you may have set aside for a season and now are moving forward with gusto? Or perhaps you are intentionally paring down things?

DO SHARE! Remember, the person popping on to the blog after you may just be needing to hear what YOU share!

Hoping this weekend is filled with pleasant surprises and wonderful treats!

My best Aloha is always for you,

M.

Reflections from Brenda

 

(the beautiful images you see in this post are just a few from the 6 Bits Storybooks website and Issue 1: UNEARTH)

 

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Alana & Bob
yarn info

Bougainvillea & Bob

 

When I think of bougainvillea, hibiscus and plumerias I always think of Bob. 

Bob, our African Tortoise. 

That tortoise would cruise our backyard looking for flowers that had fallen from trees and bushes, especially delighting in hibiscus, and claiming the bougainvillea bush as his lair.

Alana and Brother would head out in the afternoon about 4:15 to watch Bob usher in the evening festivities…that is to say Bob would totally crash at 4:30! No matter where in the yard he was or what he was doing, he would make for the bougainvillea bush, push his way through the brilliant green leaves riddled with 2 inch spikes and call it a day. Total pau hana!

One day I will tell you the story of how he managed to let himself into the house from the back lanai and made it all the way in to the family room… It was hysterical!

Bob gave us lots of laughs, many tender moments and memories that make me long to rub his back shell.

That bougainvillea bush taught me a lesson in colour! Greens and pinks are insanely awesome together!

The plumeria gave me the chance to consider pinks, whites and yellows in new ways.

And hibiscus…oh brilliant bright hibiscus showed me that the bigger and brighter you flower, the happier you make those watching you bloom!

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And these flowers have been brilliantly captured on yarn by Cate of Infinite Twist!

When Cate and I started chatting about Hawaiian flora and fauna for her new colour pallet, I immediately revisited all the magnificent hikes where I tripped over flowers, yards I raked plumerias like leaves in the autumn, leis given in love for special occasions (or bought for no other reason than they made you feel beautiful!). Flowers impart so much joy and happiness, it seems only fitting to borrow their perfect hues for yarns to knit!

What are some flowers that you love for colour inspiration? Share below!

My best •Aloha• to you!

Mel

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Aloha Friday: Lei Day!

On the mainland May 1st is May Day. Hurrah for Spring officially introducing herself!

All over Hawaii May 1st is Lei Day, a beautiful celebration of flowers and the lei.

The feeling you experience when given your first lei is akin to what royalty must feel on coronation day. At once you stand taller, smile brighter, and see more acutely the beauty around you. They make any celebration a better celebration with their colours and fragrance, their history and handmade traditions. Leis are given to kids graduating high school or kindergarten, moms and dads on anniversaries, anyone on their birthday or moment of honor. I never greeted anyone at the airport without a lei and a kiss.

Flowers are not just beautiful reminders of the souls and beauty of the Hawaiian Islands. They are treasures when there are grey days or long winters. They are the reward for making it to Spring. Today as you celebrate May Day, or like my family, Lei Day, why not make something bright to save or share?

Leis are certainly one way of brightening your day*. Adding colour to your home or work space can be a boost as well! It can be done with little bits around you right now! I made use of old swatches (Cascade 220 in white and Shepherd’s wool in a peachy colour) by simply doodling on them with yarn**! I liked taking time to play with the yarns in a different way, learning about them apart from knitting them. I know so many of us are busy, but invest in a little bit of playtime for yourself! Experiment and try yarn in a new way, even if only for a few minutes and you may find a surprising result: You are far more creative than you thought—even if you thought you were pretty darn creative!

So re-appoint some things: old swatches, leftover bits of beautiful yarn, your stolen moments. Together this trio can be powerfully inspiring!

On the note of inspiration, I wanted to share the story behind the Hawaiian flora and fauna colours from Cate. I enjoyed reading this short memory of time she spent in Hawaii.

Hoping you make today extra special, no matter what you call it or where you are! But wherever today finds you, i hope the sun is shining on you!

~Mel

*I found a tutorial on a beautiful lei to make either by hand or sewing machine here!

** The gorgeous colour you see here is Anthurium on Helix and Penumbra bases. Anthurium is just one of the Hawaiian flora and fauna colour pallet new this spring from Infinite Twist. I can’t wait to share the Bougainvillea story with you… (you can see teasers of a few of the new colours in this collection here!}

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Some Bunny Special

For Easter I like to make the kiddos something special. This year they each got a little bunny.

They were easy to make. Fun to personalize for each of my Dear Ones. And the finishing work had me giggle with all the joy of creativity I was allowed.

And the response?

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A 17 yr old girl was, in a word, stoked.

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An almost 13 yr old boy spent quite some time marveling at the construction, as well as the unique feel of the Romanian wool used to make his.

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The “I will be 11 in less than a month” daughter {I wish she would stop reminding me how quickly and uncontrollably she is growing}…well that kiddo must’ve said “Awww!” 36 different ways.

 

Each bunny was in bed with their new owner when I tucked them in last night.

It was a good feeling.

{Details}

Pattern I used:

The pattern is a modified version of this awesome free pattern Tumbling Bunnies on the Simply Notable blog which I discovered quite by accident when looking up bunny patterns. It is a lovely blog filled with lots of interesting things and not all are knitting!

Yarns I used:

  • Umbra: a decadent camel yarn from Infinite Twist which is only available at present to the Outlander Clan Members. Hopefully one of them will comment below about how they feel about this incredible yarn!
  • Helix in Dune, a 100% wool yarn available from Infinite Twist and Umbra held together
  • Elena from Moeke yarns. This 100% natural wool felt so good, largely due to the minimal processing it undergoes
  •  peachy colored yarn from Shepherd’s Wool

Other things used:

  • I stuffed them with dried small red kidney beans. They just felt right
  • Eyes from Fresh Stitches. Stacey has a great variety of eyes in her shoppe!
  • Needles: I used a variety of DPNs. The pattern suggests dropping down to a needle size that creates a pretty tight fabric
  • Tapestry needle

Mods:

  • Obviously my bunnies have no feet or legs as the original pattern does.
  • What they lack in foot-gear they make up in the tail category! Each have sweet little pom poms I made from the three main yarns.
  • I went a bit on my own for the ears as well. White bunny has a very thin line of Dune outlining an inner ear. The other bunny you can see how just worked around each inner in that peachy colour. Instead if weaving in ends of that I tied a little bow…the little one this is for is still technically 10 yrs old and I want her to have bows…
  • The bodies are as per directions though. And the pattern was well written, with great photos! A very very quick knit overall. I plan to knit a few of these for little treats this spring with a note to the recipient that says: “You are some bunny special.”  Why keep bunnies just for Easter? They are so darn cute!
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giveaways, KAL, words

Quince & Co. KAL & GIVEAWAYS! {yes, plural}

I know most of you have seen the newest collection Scarves, etc. 4 from Quince & Co. The book curates an interesting range of projects, beautiful and unique, interesting and classic.

Were you aware that Quince was hosting a KAL for the collection in their Ravelry group? It officially begins on  Monday, March 9th, 2015, ends Monday, April 6th (end of day). There are not just lovely things to knit, but a generous prizes! 3 winners will be chosen to receive a $50 gift certificate to quinceandco.com What if I shared you could win some awesome things before it even starts? Interested? Keep reading…

I plan to join in and my yarn is already caked! What about you? Want to make some new friends as you knit something beautiful?

 

Making Pomaika’i was fun, both times I knit it. The original time I used Egret and Kumlien’s Gull. The colour choices were not a stretch for me at all, as readers of this blog well know.

What was a stretch was to come!

Jerusha, Project/Design Support Manager for Quince, emailed me to say:

I hope you love the color combo Pam picked…I think it’s really cool and vintage-y.

When she said “Pam” picked out the colour combo I would be getting I very loudly and shrilly squealed. I am a great admirer of Pam Allen. She is not just a brilliant knitter and business woman, but upon hearing her speak to our group at the Maine Knitting Pipeline retreat, it became obvious she is a thoughtful and wise woman as well. I was so eager to begin my work!

…AND THEN THE PARCEL ARRIVED!

I

LOVED

THE 

 YARN!…

Receiving the Yarn!

 

..but I would be lying if I didn’t say I was way out of my comfort zone.

I can totally do more than one colour in knitting you know.

I knit a striped sweater in several colors of grey once!

I did! I did!

But for the most part I think I am wild and crazy if I use white and grey… or perhaps grey and black.

And then…

 

 

 

BAROLO & LICHEN

I felt I wasn’t up for the task.

Until started knitting…

and fell in love!

And then I realized: 

PAM ALLEN IS WAY SMARTER THAN ME!

And by “realized”, I really mean it was re-confirmed to me. 

I also discovered I can be a much bolder knitter than I once thought!

Even now my cakes of yarn prepped for the Q&Co. KAL are visual reminders of that! No grey in this knit!

So what about you?

Are you more of a {Kumlien’s Gull and Egret} or {Barolo and Lichen} or even something different?

SHOW ME!

Head over to our Ravelry group and join in on the Pomaika’i My Way thread. Read about the giveaway and different ways to enter! 3 Pomaika’i patterns will be given away as well as 1 $10 gift certificate.

There is even some information on how to win the yarn you need to knit the whole shawl in colors YOU love best!

All details are shared on the With∞Mel forum so be sure to have a look! This is a quick one! Winners will be chosen Sunday night March 8th and announced and awarded treats Monday the 9th! Don’t worry! Q&Co ships out their supplies so fast, if you win and want to join in the KAL you will be fine!

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Pomaika'i
giveaways, Uncategorized, yarn info

A Good Sport Yarn

This post was slated for earlier this morning, but in the excitement of the Quince & Co. Scarves, etc. 4 release I waited until this evening! For all of you who have been showing the pattern some love on Ravelry BIG THANKS! (the photo above is Pomaika’i)

Now on to the regularly scheduled post…and a winner….

I love sport weight yarn. It is probably the yarn I have most of in my stash. What makes it appealing to me? There are several reasons:

  1. I enjoy it for its versatility*. —I know what you are thinking: “Can’t all yarn weights be versatile?” Yes, yes, they can, but I love HOW sport shows off its “Put me in Coach! I can play any position!” attitude and it does it at a SPRINT! I can whip up a pair of vanilla socks or fingerless gloves that were meant to be done in fingering weight yarn while boiling water for my tea when using sport. OK, OK, you got me! Not that fast for sure, but it seems so much faster than fingering weight and not quite so tiring on my fingers as a bulky yarn might be.                                                                                                                                                                                   *And by versatility I mean: one minute it is the cutest slouchy hat (see below) and the next minute it is an elegantly draping sweater! (see further below…look for a hot pink sweater!)

Drizzle in extra slouchy

2. With the increased speed I gain, I don’t lose drape! I like certain fingering weight patterns simply because those little stitches created with little yarn on little needles make a BIG IMPACT. That trio creates stunning drape and definition. It makes me long to cast on so many elegant and fluid patterns knit in 2, 3 and 4 ply! But Sport works for me equally well as the drape and gentleness created still gives me fabric that moves and dances lightly in to what I want to create.

 

3. I gain what I want, but I avoid too much bulk. What do I mean? Hand knit socks are so awesome. I love them! I just wish they would fly off the needles as quickly as they flew on! What appeals to me about hand knit socks is the quality of fit, comfort and warmth–and of course beauty! I have found I can make socks in Sport, still enjoying these qualities, AND STILL GET MY FOOT IN THE SHOE. They zip along faster, and for my littlest Knit•Wear-Now demander recipient, she can delight in the joy of her “Made Just For Me!” item all the sooner!

4. And now we have what is probably my strongest point of why sport weight yarn is so appealing to me:

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MY FAVOURITE YARN IN THE WORLD IS IN THIS BASE!

Isn’t that the happiest of coincidences?

I have the biggest crush on Lyra yarn by Space Cadet. I am not sure if it is the playful way the yarn behaves in my hands and on my needles, or if it is the incredible colour pallet I have from which to choose, but I love this yarn! My hat pattern Drizzle is knit in it and actually was created for it. A fun hat knit from fun yarn.

Quite recently I re-created a pattern that was originally an exclusive pattern for SpaceCadet. The striped version still is. But the solid version shown here is available now on Ravelry!  Yes! It is!

Stripeless Mauna Kea

Stripeless Mauna Kea

This sweater knits up fast, can be easily adjusted (lengthen the sleeves, adjust body length and fit, add a stripe or two of your own in a contrasting colour….)

And what was super fun this time around was being able to knit the smallest size sweater and still have leftovers enough to create the Beanie version of Drizzle (shown below).

Drizzle {Beanie Version}

Drizzle {Beanie Version}

If you aren’t a Sport Fan yet, I have some things in the works to hopefully get you in the game! But for now Team we have an exciting announcement!


THE WINNER FOR THE CANOPY PATTERN BY MELODY HOFFMAN…..

Commentor #1: bellasocks !!!  Woohoo and Congrats!

She shared this comment:

Some ig folks that inspire me…
s.lapre
adventuretextiles
botanicalcolors

For those of you who didn’t win the free pattern, here are two wee treats to give you cause to smile:

#1 ∞  You may use the code EveryOneWinsWithAloha on the Mauna Kea Pattern for $1 off {Offer good until 5pm Thurs. Feb 26th}

#2 ∞ And for everyone who could benefit from 1 minute of an island music & a getaway…well really a minute and a half…enjoy the video below!

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Beautiful People, giveaways

Beautiful People: Melody Hoffman

Aloha Friends!

This weekend, those of you who follow me on Instagram had a special treat: a guest! I asked my sweet friend Melody to share her world with us and I am delighted she did!

One of the photos she shared was so incredibly lovely I have used it as our featured image above! In this picture you can feel Melody’s gentle spirit.

We met last year, early in January.

I say “met”…I read her blog and contacted her. The first interaction went something akin to this:

Aloha Melody! I am Mel. I think we should be friends. Can we make that happen?

She was game.

And I have loved her deeply ever since!

She has a great sense of nature, a love we have in common. She captures the forest in her backyard with such joy and wonder you can’t help but feel you are walking in a sacred place, excited and peaceful all at once. It was this same forest that inspired her shawl design Canopy knit in The Fibre Company’s Road to China Light from  Kelbourne Woolens (159 yards/ 50g, 65% Baby Alpaca, 15% Silk, 10% Cashmere, 10% Camel). I love this yarn! I think my LYS The Salty Sheep has all the decadent yarn from Kelbourne Woolens! If you have tried any of their stuff please do tell in the comments below!

But back to Melody…

She taught during Camp Aloha Friends in Summer 2014, showing us how to collect and press flowers. I asked her if she could take the participants on a walk. “Just head out away from your home 20 minutes in one direction. Share with us the sights and sounds!”

She did.

It was my favourite part of last summer. If you look over the images she captures, the beautiful pictures of knitting and nature, you will see why!

So hang on Dear Readers! The warmer weather will return and we will see green sprouts and sun. For now, I am so glad Melody taught me last summer to save my flowers for the long winter months! (I will show them to you on Instagram later!)

May the sun be warming you today,

Mel

Ps. If you made it this far I have a treat for you! Share below a few of the Instagram accounts you love to follow! Not on Instagram? Share one or two blogs! One lucky comment will be chosen from any posted below to receive a treat from me of Mandy’s Canopy pattern! Winner chosen and announced Wednesday Feb 25th, so be sure to comment before 8 a.m. Wednesday EST! (and the Kelbourne Woolen comments count too!)



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