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winner, winner, chicken dinner!

I’m pleased to announce that my random picker has chosen Bethany as the lucky recipient of the KW Baby Collection book!

I love doing giveaways here at tanisknits.com, so be sure to keep checking back for more contests, especially as the holidays draw closer and I’ll be doing 12 days of giveaways!

KW Baby Collection & Giveaway!

I love a good baby/toddler knit.

Specifically, I love a good baby/toddler knit that will never go out of style, has a classic and functional shape and can be passed down through the generations. Sometimes when I knit something for my son I think about who may wear what I’m making him years and years from now. Will he have children of his own? Will I be lucky enough to someday hold a grandchild in my arms and lovingly tuck their little bodies into a sweater made long before they were born? Will the particular shade of yarn I chose to knit with now match their eyes in 30 years?

cover

Knitting has such a long and proud history that it’s only natural to think of the history of each stitch and each garment we make. I chose not only to look at the past, but look ahead toward the future. Knitted stitches weave the fabric of our lives and each garment tells a story.

I was delighted when the Kelbourne Woolens gals, Kate Gagnon Osborn and Courtney Kelley released a new collection of 13 baby patterns. Both Kate and Courtney are wonderful designers and are both working and knitting moms. Together they own and run the Fibre Company, a luxury line of yarns with colors and fibers to die for. I’m lucky enough to call both these fabulous ladies friends and I love ALL of their books.

I love this particular book for so many reasons… The designs are classic and adorable, with many able to go from “boy” to “girl” with a simple color change. The color palette that the Fibre Company does so effortlessly give the patterns a vintage vibe while still being chic and wearable. A wide range of sizes is covered and if you don’t feel like knitting an entire garment, there are great accessories as well.

A few of my favorites are Beatrix, Colette, Florence and Harold. See all 13 designs here.

beatrix

colette florence haroldAnd now the good news!

Kate and Courtney were generous enough to send me a copy of their new book, “KW Baby Collection” to give away to one lucky blog reader! Make sure you’re subscribed to my blog, then leave a comment on which of these 13 designs you want to knit! The winner will be chosen at random on Thursday, September 12th and must have a USA shipping address. You’ll get an email from me if you are the winner.

Good luck!

Fleur-de-Lis Wristers

Can you believe it’s September? I wonder where the summer went (and I’m not complaining – I’m no fan of summer). It seems like yesterday that Target put out their school supplies (a week after school let out, much to the chagrin of children everywhere) and now that aisle is empty and they’re making way for a metric ton of Halloween candy.

This time of year is so full of promise… The hot days make way for cooler evenings, people linger longer talking to each other on the street because they know we’ll all be too busy soon to do so, the bright blooms of summer have closed up and the mums are starting to show up at garden centers, school buses appear on the road again and we knitters begin to pull our knits out of drawers in anticipation. We’re on the cusp of something in September – school is starting, the mercury begins to head south on the thermometer and we begin thinking about the little that remains of 2013. I had to buy a 2014 calendar last week!

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It’s already beginning to cool down in the evenings here in northern Virginia. We can take longer walks with the dog and our son because we’re not weighed down by the heat and humidity. I find myself reaching for a shawl or some fingerless mitts some evenings rather than sunblock and a hat. I’ll admit – this makes me giddy. Bring on the snow! Bring on the chill! Bring on the sweater weather! Maybe I’m a little ahead of myself on this, but again, that anticipation is there beneath the surface. Sitting outside with a cool breeze, while knitting and drinking tea? Bring. It. On.

I love the challenge of making a project with 1 hank of yarn. I’ve talked about it before here on the blog and it’s fun to have a certain number of yards and a certain project in mind and watch it come together. I grabbed a hank of Cascade’s Souk from the pile, in a lovely autumnal color way called “root veggies” with purples, oranges and greens. I knew I wanted a pair of fingerless mitts, or “wristers” as I like to call them for walking during colder evenings. I wanted a knitted fabric that would withstand the rubbing of the leash against my hand (garter stitch) and show off the gorgeous color changes of the yarn. I love variegated yarns with gentle color changes and this yarn did not disappoint!

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Starting with a simple garter stitch rectangle, then kitchenered up partially to create a thumb hole, I knew it needed something more to add a bit of feminine flair. I was delighted with how much yarn I had left (220 yards per hank!) after knitting both rectangles, so I knit up 4 lace edgings (2 for each wrister) and attached them to the lower end. The soft blend of silk and wool made this mitts both strong and warm and I love how the colors flow into the next with a gentle change rather than an abrupt stripe. Something I greatly appreciated on the Cascade website was that each color had been swatched up so I could see how the color change would happen, taking the mystery out. Often when I buy variegated yarn, it’s a bit of a crapshoot how the colors will knit up. Sometimes you can picture how it will look, sometimes not. I found that super helpful!

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I got quite a few compliments on these easy-to-knit wristers while walking the dog. There’s a lot of knitters in my neighborhood so they always want yarn and pattern details. I love the look on a knitter’s face when they find out they can knit a project with just one hank of well-priced yarn! With 14 color ways to choose from (and you can omit the lace edgings for a guy) I think I’ll make a few of these for holiday gifts!

Free Fleur-de-Lis Wristers pattern available here.