New Pattern: We Are But Stardust

Back in June I announced that I would be hosting a mystery Knit-a-long for a shawl pattern.  Not too many people participated, but it sure was fun!  I loved seeing peoples shawls begin to take shape, and hearing their thoughts and predictions about what the next clue would bring.  It really was fantastic.  We wrapped up the KAL last month when the final clue was released, meaning that the pattern in it’s entirety is now available for download on Ravelry.  You can buy it here as an individual pattern, and it’s also available as part of my new e-book, Stargazing: 2014.

What a freakin’ summer…

Where has the time gone?

I feel like I have so much to say and not enough strength or will to say any of it.  I try not to get too personal on the blog anymore- the internet is a big place and if you want to read about people’s personal lives there are plenty of other places to do it.  But man… this summer was a freaking doozie.  It started out great- I was looking forward to my kids being home all summer and loving on them every single day.  Stuffing our faces with ice pops, impromptu trips to the park, reading club at the library; it was going to be awesome.  And then in early May something happened that broke me.  In more ways than one, I was so completely broken.  I couldn’t talk, I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t design.  I was barely able to Mother my babies and everything that I had was focused on that.  If that was the only thing in the world that I could do, damn it I was going to do it well.  I had to go through the motions of my daily life, forcing a smile and cheery demeanor.  My kids knew, but thank God they never asked.  I had designs that were due to editors, samples that needed to be finished- work was piling up all over the place and I couldn’t even face it.  I lost 10 pounds sitting on my butt watching my kids play video games.  I would make them fun lunches and tell them cheesy, horrible jokes to hear their laughter.  It kept me alive.  They kept me alive with their smiles and laughter.  They gave me a purpose which I so desperately needed.

And then I got a late night call from my sister telling me that my mother had suffered a stroke.  She was in the emergency room on the other side of the country and I had no way of getting to her.  I longed to hear her voice.  I ached to be near her and to feel that comfort.  She had no idea what I was going through and I had no intention of telling her, but I needed that comfort.  She survived, thank God, and was left with only mild side effects.

Slowly things got better.  I had to make the choice that I wasn’t going to hurt anymore.  Or at least, I wasn’t going to allow that hurt to rule my life anymore.  I still hurt.  Everyday I feel that sting, and while it doesn’t hurt so badly anymore, it’s still there.  It’s just not killing me anymore.  I had to get back to work- deadlines were blown.  I lost a commission.  I had half-finished projects everywhere and I needed to find the will to finish them.  I still couldn’t design, but I had to finish what was already started.  So I got to work.  Knitting has seen me through some hard times, but none harder than this.  I poured my soul into my craft.  I had no one in my life that I could talk to about my situation, and each stitch was like an affirmation that I had more purpose than just being a Mother.  I am an artist.  I create.  And as I was creating, my soul began to heal.  I found myself being thankful for my gift.  I genuinely smiled for the first time in months, and it felt amazing.

Days melted into weeks as I began to get my babies ready to start school.  School supplies took over the dining room, Grandma sent new backpacks.  New clothes and new shoes were picked out.  Haircuts were done.  My youngest was starting kindergarden this year, and it’s a full day kindergarden meaning that she will ride the bus with her brother and sister to school AND from school.  I wasn’t sure I would manage being home all day by myself very well.  It’s been an interesting transition.  The house stays much cleaner, and laundry is much easier to keep under control.  I find myself designing much more, and charting out new ideas.  I’m currently working on my very first cardigan design.

So yeah.  Summer.  SO glad it’s over.  As I sit here typing I see some leaves on the trees behind our house beginning to turn yellow and red.  It’s a welcome sign.

We Are But Stardust- A Summer KAL!

As if you didn’t already have a metric butt load of mystery knit-a-long’s to choose from this summer, now you have another!

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The We Are But Stardust mystery KAL begins next Tuesday, July 1, and the 4 clues will be spaced out every 2 weeks with the last clue being sent on Tuesday August 12.  The pattern is a shawl and is on sale for $3.50 only until the KAL begins on Tuesday July 1.  Starting July 1, the pattern will be priced at its full retail price of $5.00.  So come join in the fun!

Buy We Are But Stardust on Ravelry

Meet Wicket!

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Introducing the new member of the Family- Wicket!  We’re a family of full-on Star Wars nerds, so the naming process was (fairly) easy.  We adopted this incredibly sweet pooch last weekend from our local county shelter.  He had been picked up as a stray.  The shelter staff said that when he was brought in his hair was so badly matted and dirty that it was impossible to tell what breed of dog he was until they gave him a quick haircut.  Once they had him cleaned up and his hair cut it was pretty obvious that they had the sweetest, most adorable Yorkie on the table.  He is absolutely perfect for our family.  He is sweet with the kids, excited to see us every morning, and already house and crate trained.  How anyone could throw this sweet dog away is beyond me- he is so wonderful.  He’s still very timid towards me, which leads me to believe that he may have been abused by a woman, but he is obsessed with my Husband.  And it’s so funny to see my manly-man Husband loving on this tiny little guy.  It’s adorable!

So now that I have a little doggy, I obviously have to knit for him right?  It’s still fairly chilly here in the DC area, and every time we go out to take care of business he is very sensitive to the cold.  So I’m thinking a doggy sweater is in order.  Even if he won’t wear it much longer for this season, he’s already fully grown so he can definitely wear it next winter.

There’s this one from Coats & Clark:

And this one from Diana Levine:

Both seem pretty easily customizable.  I will have to check out my stash of easy-care yarn.

Have a great weekend everyone!

 

New Pattern: Willowmere

Introducing my newest pattern, Willowmere!

This cowl is without a doubt my new favorite accessory.  Knit using the incredible Cephalopod Yarns Traveller, which provides an amazing depth of color and mind-blowing stitch definition, this cowl drapes perfectly on the neck without being too heavy or bulky.  The cowl is easily made longer by simply adding rows to the main color sections, or by adding additional chevron colors.  Make it your own!

Available now on Ravelry and Craftsy!

Now Available: Spring Wrap!

Available for individual purchase now on Ravelry and Craftsy!  Updated pattern includes instructions for a larger, 2-skein shawl, in addition to the original 1-skein instructions.  This simple shawl is a fantastic one-skein project, perfect for showing up a subtly variegated skein of special yarn.

Guys, it’s COLD.

And I mean it is seriously, ridiculously, bone-chilling COLD.  This polar vortex nonsense can stop right now because this California girl does not do cold weather.  I fully realize that there are places where cold like this is the norm, and yes, it is winter and cold is to be expected.  But this cold is abnormal for this area.

Complaints aside, I’ve been hard at work knitting away at another sample for my Spring Wrap which was published in the May 2013 issue of Knit Now! magazine.  I’ve finished the instructions for a larger, 2 skein version to accompany the instructions for the 1 skein version.  It finished blocking yesterday and all that’s left is the photography before I can self-publish now that the rights have reverted back to me!

This sample is knit using Madelinetosh Pashmina sport and took closer to 1.25 skeins.  I still need to knit a second 1 skein version as the original is gracing the neck of a lucky person somewhere in the U.K.

I’m also in the early stages of developing a new collection.  The theme has been decided upon, sketches have been sketched, and swatches have been started.  This collection will include my very first sweater pattern!  EEEEEKKK!!!  I’ve been planning for a few years now to design my first sweater and the theme that I am working with has genuinely inspired me.  I can’t wait to see it come to fruition!

In other knitting news, check out my new knitting buddy:

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My 7 year old daughter has been begging me for months to teach her to knit.  So I finally worked up the patience to be able to sit down, cast on 20 stitches for her to work from, and teach her what to do.  She’s still not 100% confident in herself yet, but watching her work on it is so indescribably amazing.  She wants to be good at it, and when she’s done with her homework after school she insists that she wants to “sit down and knit a row.”  Of course like any good knitter, one row turns into several.  She comes to me to fix her mistakes and asks if she’s doing it right.  It’s so beautiful to see her enjoy it.  I’ve given her a partial skein of some Patons Classic wool and a set of US 8 needles to work with.  Last night I let her shop from my stash to help her plan her first real project- she chose a ball of yellow cotton to make her sister a washcloth.  My heart melted!

New Pattern: Samarah

My newest hat pattern was just released this morning! Introducing Samarah:

 

Samarah is a loosely knit, dk weight hat that knits up quickly and beautifully. The lace is easily memorized and simple for beginners, yet satisfying enough for advanced lace knitters. Cozy up your noggin with the luxurious Malabrigo Silky Merino, which provides incredible stitch definition and will help you to create a beautiful new hat.

Purchase Samarah on Ravelry or on Craftsy!

Must.Knit.Faster Mailing List!

Well hey there, lovely readers! Have you every opened up your email one random day and thought to yourself “Man, how rad would it be to have an email from Rebecca?” Well wish no more my darlings, because just in time for your New Years stash down promises, you can join in the Must.Knit.Faster newsletter fun! Just click this handy little link here to take you to the Must.Knit.Faster sign up form: http://eepurl.com/LsYvb

I hope that you’ll consider joining the list- you can look forward to monthly newsletters full of new pattern releases, news-worthy info, and maybe even a coupon code or two! Check us out!

Have a lovely new years!
XOXO, Becca