Monday, March 26, 2012

Playing With Apps

I got an iPhone! And I'm obsessed. Just like everyone else that gets one. It's addictive, it's fun, and it's damn useful for knitting. After I got over playing games I got down to business and loaded up on knitting and yarn related apps. Knit Hand (by the folks at Interweave Press), Yarn U (by Mary Beth Klatt), and Knit Counter Lite (by Cordless Dog) are my 3 most used. Over the next couple weeks I'll be writing reviews of each of these apps and letting you know how I put them to use.

*iPad users: Yarn U is also compatible with iPads!

A non-knitting specific app that I'm obsessed with is Instagram. If you have an iPhone I highly recommend it! Especially is you love taking pics like I do. Now that I have this it's so easy to snap a photo of my current work in progress, yarn, or anything else that strikes my fancy. Download Instagram (it's free) and sign up to follow my posts (just search for "fiddleknits")!

Hat in progress for the upcoming "Hats by the Dozen" eBook
Photo taken with Instagram

Baby sweater knitting for a friend.
WIP photo taken with Instagram

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Pick Your Poison Yarn Club

Join the Club!
3 shipments ($75) • 6 shipments ($135)

I'm starting another club! Yup. I did it! The Mythos club is so much fun that I just couldn't resist. So far this club is already a good time. I finished the logo this morning (image above) and I'm in love with it. I thought it was so cute that I went and added it to my Cafe Press shop so you can get the Pick Your Poison logo on tees, sweatshirts, bags, glasses, and mugs. My favorite items are the pajamas, pint glass, and messenger bag. One (or more) of those items will be mine!

I had this idea the other night to create a yarn club that was even more customizable than the Mythos club. Something where you could pick your yarn weights and color themes. A different (currently unpublished) pattern would accompany each skein of yarn. It sounded like a good plan to me. I decided to call the club "pick your poison" due to the customizations. When I told Chris about my plan he came up with the idea to name the colorways after mixed drinks and include recipes for the drink with each shipment.

So here's my spiel.....

This is a yarn club designed with you in mind. It’s not just another sock yarn club (unless that’s what you want, of course!) With the “Pick Your Poison” club you’ll be able to choose the weight of yarn you want as well as the color tones.

Just for a little fun all the colorways will be named after mixed drinks. Each shipment will be accompanied by the recipe the colorway was named for. Sip & knit folks!

Registration for the Pick Your Poison Yarn Club will remain open until Monday, April 30, 2012.

Schedule – When you get the goods
Yarn will be shipped on a bimonthly basis.
The first shipment will go out around May 10. Remaining packages will then be mailed around the 10th of July, September (stops here for 3 shipment membership), November, January 2013, and March 2013.

Options – Customize your club
All yarns will be wool or wool blends. Fibers will be all natural with one exception, nylon may creep into the mix on occasion (think fingering weight yarns).

Yarn Weight
You’ll have the option to pick 3 weight ranges or a “tasting plate.” Your choices are:
Light (lace, fingering, sport)
Medium weight (sport, DK)
Heavy (worsted, aran, bulky)
Tasting Combo (I pick what weight yarn to send you. You will be able to specify if there is a weight you would like NOT to receive. For instance, you may pick “combo” and specify “No lace weight”)

Brights – Knit in vivid color!
Earth Tones – Blues, browns, greens… the colors of nature
Neutral – Browns, tans, blacks, grays
Mix – Colorways from Bright, Earth Tone, & Neutral categories

Skill Level: Approx. Intermediate
Designs will be one-skein projects that are appropriate for the color and weight yarn you’re receiving. Patterns will include hats, fingerless mitts, shawls, stoles, and slippers. To get an idea of the Fiddle Knits style take a look at the pattern page of the FKD website.

Patterns will be printed in full color and mailed with your yarn.

3 month subscribers will be given the option to register for the last 3 months for an additional $75 plus shipping costs. By registering for all 6 shipments at once you save $15 on yarn plus the additional shipping.

3 shipments: $75
6 shipments: $135

Shipping cost covers the entirety of your membership.

US – $12.00
Canada – $15.00
Mexico – $18.00
Everywhere Else – $20.00

US – $18.00
Canada – $20.00
Mexico – $25.00
Everywhere Else – $30.00

You can register for the yarn club in the Fiddle Knits Etsy shop.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


"Merriment" Shawl Two from the Mythos Collection
The second shipment for the Mythos Yarn and Shawl Club should be arriving on knitter's doorsteps right about now. The design for this month is titled "Merriment" and named in honor of Dionysus (aka Bacchus), the god of madness, wine, merriment, and a general rowdy raucous good time.

Merriment is knit from the center of the wingspan out and down toward the longest row. The first section boasts clusters of nupps that represent grapes for wine. The majority of the shawlette is worked in a yarn over pattern. I chose to place size 6 seed beads at random along the last 16 rows because I had the beads and they matched the yarn so perfectly that I simply couldn't resist. Using beads is completely optional. Leaving them off won't hurt the design since you can't even see they're there unless you're up close.

I knew I loved this shawl the whole time I was knitting it, but I didn't realize just how much until it was blocked. The yarn over pattern blooms amazingly when it's wet blocked. I was so happy with the results that I left the shawlette draped over the couch for a few days just so I could admire it. The Polka yarn is nice preblocking, it's actually one of my favorite fingering weights, but after blocking it becomes delicate and airy and oh so beautiful! I want to knit another shawl using this yarn, but I can't at the moment. Deadlines are calling!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Yarn Clubs

I'm having a grand old time with the Mythos Yarn & Pattern collection. Dying special colors and designing shawlettes specifically for those colorways and yarns is a dream. Love it! I love it so much I can hardly wait for Mythos to be done so I can organize another one. Maybe I won't wait.... Maybe I will. I'll try and be good. Don't know if I'll succeed or not.

I've been thinking of maybe doing a hat & yarn club next. What do you think? Opinions? Would you be interested in a hat pattern & yarn club option or not so much? Stick to the shawlettes? Hats and shawlettes are my favorite items to design and knit, so doing either would make me happy. If I do hats I was thinking either 3 or 6 month club, yarns ranging from sport to bulky, all would be 1-skein projects. For the colors I thought maybe I'd offer an option to join for neutrals or colors. The neutral option would include browns & tans, greys, navy blue, and maybe muted earthy green. Colors that would match everything and make the menfolk happy. Colors would be, well, colorful. Anything goes for this option. Blues, purples, red, anything is possible. If you had these two color choices what would you pick? Personally I'd probably go neutrals for a hat club. Perhaps Earth Tones and Brights would be a better way to break up the colors? Now that I'm thinking about it that might make more sense.