Shaun the Sheep + Rowan


I just received this lovely superwash Pure Wool DK in black and cream and it's for a pretty fun project. With the release of the new Shaun the Sheep movie, Rowan Yarns is celebrating the adorable woolly character's first adventure on the big screen with this original free pattern so you can knit your very own Shaun!
 

The pattern calls for 25g of black Pure Wool DK and 25g of cream/white Pure Wool DK. Isn't he fun? I haven't started knitting him yet but I know my kids will steal him away in a heartbeat. :)

strands!


I've been feeling like I need to change things up around here. I am so unbelievably ready for spring, adventures, road trips and wardrobe changes. I feel like cleaning out my closet and overhauling my entire house, really. Out with the old and in with the new is the tip of the iceberg. Bright and sparkly things have been catching my eye. And I have a new favorite shop that I'd like to share with you called Strands.


A few months ago, I was having coffee with a couple of friends and one of them told me to check out Strands. And so I did. I immediately found three very cool pieces that I loved and each item was under $20. I'm not even kidding.

 

They carry some really excellent pieces that are extremely affordable. Since then, I've checked back often and love catching a glimpse of their ever-changing line of accessories.


 
Strands carefully selects each product and chooses pieces that are current, but classic. Each item has been studied with their own eyes and touched by their own hands to ensure quality in appearance and construction. (After wearing their Petite Druzy Cuff daily, I too can vouch for the quality of their pieces.)


Do you need a little Strands in your life? I think you do. Let's make this super easy. ;)

Go to Strands. Pick out something you love. Enter the code JEN15 at checkout and receive 15% off your entire order.

Enjoy! Happy (almost) spring and happy accessorizing.

Rowan swatch party (and a giveaway!)


Hey hey! I don't know what the weather is like where you live, but around here we've been seeing a lot of snow. (Like almost 12" in 24 hours.) Which means lots of shoveling, lots of layers, lots of blankets and, of course, it's the perfect time for knitting. I haven't had a chance yet to show off some of my favorite new Rowan yarns from the Autumn/Winter release so I decided to knit up some swatches and let the yarn do the talking. From left to right, we have Brushed Fleece, Rowan Fine Tweed, Rowan Finest, Fazed Tweed and Chenille.


The dark blue swatch on the left is one of my new favorite yarns (of all time.) This is Brushed Fleece – lightweight but extremely warm and not itchy whatsoever. I'm knitting a cardigan (called Stour) with Brushed Fleece right now. The green swatch was made with Rowan Finest, which is luxurious and oh-so-soft. This yarn is a blend of extra fine merino, cashmere and royal alpaca wool. The marled blue and white swatch is a new yarn called Fazed Tweed, and is (in my opinion) the most innovative of the bunch! Fazed Tweed is a mix of wool and fine alpaca with a filled tube-like construction held together with a fine net-like fiber. Finally, on the far right is Chenille, which is absolutely gorgeous in person. Chenille is 100% cotton, very soft and has a great texture that makes it super fun to knit with.


And I didn't get around to making swatches for these guys, but another favorite yarn that I'm loving this season is definitely Rowan Fine Tweed. It comes in a zillion fantastic shades that all work amazingly well together.  This is a beautifully soft, 100% wool, traditionally spun tweed yarn made in one of the few surviving mills in Yorkshire. But again, the colors are what draws me to this yarn ... it's perfect for colorwork and Rowan offers tons of gorgeous patterns that encourage you to let your imagination run wild with color combinations.

GIVEAWAY!


THE PRIZE


One lucky reader will win will get a ball of Chenille, Fazed Tweed and Brushed Fleece. (I might have a few more secret surprises from Rowan to throw in your package as well!)


HOW TO ENTER


  • Comment below telling me what you are knitting right now.
  • Like Rowan Yarns on Facebook.


THE RULES


  • U.S. residents only. (Sorry!)
  • Giveaway is open until February 16th, 2015 at 11:30 PM CST.
  • Comments must include a valid email address or Ravelry ID so I can contact you if you are the winner. :)
  • Winner will be chosen via random number generator and will be contacted within 48 hours after giveaway ends. 

Best of luck and thanks so much for reading!

Knit and Crochet Now! (and a giveaway)


When I'm out and about, I love to knit with friends. And when I'm at home, I knit and watch TV. (Don't we all?) A few years ago, I stumbled upon a show called 'Knit and Crochet Now' on PBS, and quickly realized it was a pretty fantastic knitting companion. Knitting friends on my TV/laptop! Because the only thing better than knitting is knitting while you watch a TV show about knitting.

I started watching a new episode each evening while working on whatever I was knitting at the time, and became totally hooked. I felt like such a multitasker. I learned so many new skills – both knitting and crochet – and looked forward to seeing what projects and guests would be featured each week. New episodes (Season 6!) of Knit and Crochet Now have begun airing on PBS this month.




You know how it's easier to learn a new skill (like, say ... duplicate stitch or entrelac) when someone is sitting there with you, showing you the way? That's exactly what happens when you watch 'Knit and Crochet Now' – you get step-by-step knitting and crochet instruction plus really helpful tips from the pros. I've watched episodes featuring all sorts of techniques: Tunisian crochet, amigarumi, wall art, incorporating fabric, colorwork, seaming, weaving, crochet short rows, knitted short rows, brioche rib, entrelac, felting, loom knitting, life lines, side-to-side dropped stitches, cast-ons, linings, crocheted cables and more. So many things! Here a few of the experts you will see on the show this season.


Brett Bara is the host with the most. She's warm and down-to-earth and I secretly wish she was my real-life crafty friend. When Brett is not in front of the camera on Knit and Crochet Now, she is a designer, author, blogger, and consultant in the craft and DIY community. She is the founder of Brooklyn Craft Company & Brooklyn Craft Camp and is the former Editor in Chief of Crochet Today magazine.


Special guest Drew Emborsky (aka The Crochet Dude) is a designer, teacher, author and most recently launched his own line of hand-dyed yarns. Drew will be hosting special segments featuring party accessories, kiddie toys, fingerless gloves, headbands and shawls. He is awesome.


Robyn Chachula, the author of six books, including Blueprint Crochet, Baby Blueprint Crochet, Blueprint Crochet Sweaters, and Simply Crochet, creates architecturally inspired pieces and has her own crochet design company, Crochet by Faye. Her patterns have been featured in numerous magazines, including Crochet! and Inside Crochet.


Crochet expert Ellen Gormley is the Editor of Crochet! Magazine and is the instructor for two Annie’s online classes, Learn to Crochet and Crocheting with Beads. Ellen is the author of Go Crochet! Afghan Design Workbook, is particularly well-known for her stylish bead crochet and join-as-you-go crochet and motif designs.


Special guest Jenny King is the talented Australian crochet designer behind Jenny King Designs and has written several books that include Annie’s Bavarian Crochet On-the-Go.


Color expert Kristin Nicholas is the author of eight books, including Color by Kristin, Kristin Knits, Colorful Stitchery, Kids Embroidery, Knitting for Baby and more.


Lena Skvagerson is the designer of many of the gorgeous projects for Knit and Crochet Now! She is the in-house exclusive designer for the Annie’s Signature Collection, as well as Creative Knitting Magazine, Crochet! Magazine and Crochet World. Until recently, Lena was a Designer for Drops/Garnstudio. She has been designing knit and crochet patterns for the past 25 years.


Projects featured on 'Knit and Crochet Now' include garments, accessories, toys and jewelry, but the main focus is on education and learning new techniques. I cast on this chunky lace scarf and worked right along with the show, finishing one repeat of the lace pattern as I watched! How fun is that? 




Each episode features knit and crochet projects, exciting new yarns, interesting stitch patterns and a popular segment called 'Knit and Crochet Now Scarf of the Week.' Full instructions for each of the featured projects are available on KnitAndCrochetNow.com.


Have you watched this gem of a show? You can check here to see if it is airing on your local PBS channel.  Or, if you can't catch the show on live TV, you can sign up for a Knit and Crochet Now! All Access Membership to get on-demand videos and free patterns. Sounds pretty awesome, huh? For $24.95 a year, members will have access to all of the episodes from Season 1-6  (65 episodes) and 225 patterns – every episode and every pattern is at your fingertips on your computer, tablet or smartphone. Your All Access Membership also gets you 10% off everything at AnniesCraftStore.com. Yarn, needles, hooks, and even more patterns and videos!

GIVEAWAY TIME!


THE PRIZE


One lucky reader will win a Knit and Crochet Now! All Access Membership for 1 year!


THE ALL-ACCESS MEMBERSHIP INCLUDES:

  • All 78 episodes ON DEMAND
  • Free downloads for all 210 projects
  • Save 10% on everything at Annie's Craft Store



HOW TO ENTER


  • Comment below telling me if you are a knitter or crocheter (or both!)
  • 'Like' Knit and Crochet Now! on Facebook 

 


THE RULES


  • Giveaway is open until February 1st, 2015 at 11:30 PM CST.
  • Comments must include a valid email address or Ravelry ID so I can contact you if you are the winner. :)
  • Winner will be chosen via random number generator and will be contacted within 48 hours after giveaway ends. 

A huge thank you to 'Knit and Crochet Today' for the awesome giveaway. Best of luck and thanks so much for reading!


P.S. Want a shot at another giveaway? Visit Berroco's blog from January 21-28 to enter to win enough yarn to make the two hats featured in Episode 2. The winner will be selected on January 29th.