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2012 at a glance

All the patterns that I've published this year, in no particular order.

Budding Forest Cowl, from Quince and Co.
Nadi Coat, from Caterpillar Knits.
Ceylon, from Twist Collective
#06 Double Breasted Cardi, from Knit Simple's Winter 2012/2013 issue.
My book, Finish-Free Knits.
Purna, from Caterpillar Knits.
Tundra, from Quince and Co.
Republished in Caterpillar Knits.
Tundra Mitts, from Quince & Co.
Sunyata, from Caterpillar Knits
Homa, from Caterpillar Knits
Rasa, from Caterpillar Knits
Trillium Capelet, from Knitscene.
Friday Slippers, from Knitscene.
Auger, from O-Wool.
Lydia, from Quince & Co.
Bullion Motif Shrug, from Inside Crochet, Issue #30.
Will be republished in Caterpillar Knits soon.
Basketcase Cardi, from the e-book version of Ann Budd's The Knitter's Handy Book of Top-Down Sweaters
Blooming Forest Pullover, from Interweave Knits Fall 2012 issue.
Mockingbird Scarf and Tam, from November Knits, by Kate Osborn and Courtney Kelley
Ninti Tunic, from Issue #1 of Knit Edge Magazine.
 Trellis Vest from Interweave Crochet's Fall 2012 issue.

Finish-Free Knits — Delight Pullover

As the winter weather progresses and snow continues to fall all around the country, I'm focusing on quick-knitting, super-warm woollies. The Delight Pullover from Finish-Free Knits fits that description perfectly. 

Intro from the book:
This cozy pullover is ideal for super-chilly mid-winter days. It's a beautifully warm sweater that begins with the largest needle and progresses through smaller needles to draw in at the waist. The sleeve stitches are provisionally cast on, then the fronts and back are worked separately while the sleeve caps and neck are shaped. For minimal fuss, the sleeves and shoulders are joined with a three-needle bind-off.
The original swatch for this design was knit in a bulky weight 100% alpaca yarn. It was so soft and had a beautiful drape in all its swatchy-goodness.

But, using 100% alpaca yarn for this sweater design probably wouldn't have resulted in such a perfect sweater. 100% alpaca is known to grow, and using it for a complete sweater may result in it ending up much longer than anticipated as time goes on. I'm glad to have an editor who reminded me of this.
As great as the swatched yarn was, I opted to change the yarn for the sweater to a bulky organic cotton / wool blend yarn instead—Spud and Chloe's Outer. I think this yarn is truly perfect for this sweater. It's a heavy yarn, with wool to make it super-duper warm and the cotton to add a little breath-ability—a perfect balance for warmth, but not for over-heating.
Like the Warmth Pullover, that I posted about last week, this project took me a matter of days to knit. It's the perfect sweater project to knit and wear this time of year. 
Read all posts about Finish-Free Knits.

Receiving SALE!

Holiday time is the season for giving—I love that. I love how it feels to share gifts with those I love and the less fortunate whom I'll never have the blessing of knowing in person. I love the process of thinking up what to get, or make, or do for each person. And I love the selflessness that it takes to travel and spend time with each of the families that I'm part of. There's a lot of giving going on.

And there is also a lot of receiving. I feel it's important to remember how to receive for the holiday's too. It's a delicate balance—we're all deep in the giving and receiving flow. To maintain the balance we also receive.

I seem to feel that I'm not allowed to receive until after I've given—it's one of those beliefs that I still seem to be holding onto or some reason or another. Before yesterday there was so much focus on giving—on what to give to others. Throughout the day yesterday it was a challenge to focus on allowing myself to receive as well as give—to shift gears from being so giving-focused into keeping balanced.

To continue that balance, I'll take a little time after Christmas to focus on me, to allow myself to receive the gifts from the universe, and to receive little gifts from myself too. Maybe I'll let myself receive some new yarn, spend those gift cards, or enjoy knitting a new project for myself, or treat myself to something else that I find special. I deserve it.

And so do you! You deserve something special for yourself too! Maybe you've been wanting to splurge on a particular new yarn, or start on a new project for yourself? I say go for it! You deserve to receive something nice from yourself.

In honor of gifting things to ourselves, I'm having a Receiving Sale throughout the rest of 2012. If you purchase any of the patterns from kristentendyke.com or caterpillarknits.com, you can save 33% on your total sale. No coupon code needed. Enjoy!

Come Join me on Ravelry!

Are you on Ravelry? If you are, and if you like the stuff that comes through me (designs, ramblings, etc… ), then come join the Kristen TenDyke Designs group!

It's a great place to discuss the projects you're working on, share pictures and ask questions!

I love to see the works of art you guys create from my patterns. They are always so unique and amazing to me! You're all such great artists!

Also on Ravelry, I'm involved in some KAL (knit-a-long) groups for the Friday Slippers and an older, free pattern—Gaia. They're both on-going, so feel free to join at any time and share whatever you'd like to about your slipper or Gaia patterns there!

I hope to see you there, and get to know you better!

Christmas Mug Cozy

I recently posted a bunch of last-minute holiday gift ideas, and among them was a mug cozy that I'd knit one Valentines Day. It has a heart on it.

Here's a link to the free pattern.

For YEARS I've been wanting to edit the heart chart into a Christmas tree and re-knit this li'l cozy.
I still haven't re-knit it, but I've finally edited the chart into two possible Christmas trees.
If you decide to knit up one of these Christmas tree mug cozies, I'd love to see it! If you post photos on Ravelry, please comment below with a link to your project so we can all see what the finished cozy looks like.

May you all have a blessed holiday!

Finish-Free Knits — Warmth

Warmth reminds again how much I really love ALL the sweaters in Finish-Free Knits. I really would wear each and every one of them! I guess that's why I designed them.

Intro from the book:
Fast and fun, this top can be knitted in a matter of days and leave you longing to start another. It begins at the lower edge with a generous pouch pocket and includes waist shaping for a fitted look. At the armholes, stitches are cast on for the sleeves, then a handful of decrease rounds shape the yoke, and short-rows shape the sleeves. Shown here with a short ribbed collar, this could be made even more inviting with an oversized cowl.
When I sketched and swatched this design, it was my least-favorite design in the book. Seriously. I liked it, but I wasn’t quite sure what was going to happen with it—so, I wanted to be sure to knit it myself, so I could alter it, and tweak things to how I liked them as I knit.

As you can see in the sketch to the left, the original design had A-line shaping. Somewhere in between sketching this design and knitting it, I learned from knitting another sweater in a bulky yarn with an A-line shape, that this combo is very un-flattering. So, I didn’t want to do that with this sweater. I wanted this to be as flattering as possible in its bulky-weight yarn.
When I worked at Classic Elite, I remember working with some of the Twinkle by Wenlan patterns. Wenlan's way of making her bulky weight yarn flattering was to give it negative ease. Negative ease is when the sweater measurements are smaller than the body measurements. So, negative ease, along with some waist shaping was my solution to making this design flattering. I recommend knitting the size 1–2" smaller than your actual body measurements.
I knit this sweater from start to finish in 3 days. I loved making it so much, I was eager to cast on another one! Instead, I designed something similar—which will be available soon from Caterpillar Knits.
Like the Trust Pullover that I posted about a few weeks ago, this sweater has a fun-to-knit seamless pocket! The sweater begins at the lower edge and is worked in the round beginning with the lower ribbing. The pocket is worked next while the body stitches are held, then the body is worked to the same length of the pocket where they are joined. At the underarms stitches are cast on for the armhole openings, a few decrease rounds are worked for the yoke shaping, and there are a few short rows added to add a little more fabric over the shoulders.
Each yoke decrease round is written out in detail, so you won't need to figure out how to decrease X number of stitches evenly around. That's something I do for all the patterns that pass me by… both my own patterns and ones I tech edit. I believe that when a knitter is working on a pattern that ALL the math is figured out for them, and they don't need to pick up a pencil or calculator for any of it.

This sweater could easily be made with long sleeves, if you want the extra warmth. The armhole trim stitches are picked up around the armhole cast-on stitches and worked in ribbing for a few rounds. If you want long sleeves, just keep knitting! Maybe add a few decreases in there, or keep them straight for a loose fit around the cuff. I'd imagine each sleeve may take about a hank of the Montana yarn. So, if you're interested in going that route, be sure to pick up at least 2 extra hanks.

And, if you're looking for a super-quick knitting SWEATER project for a holiday gift, this one would be perfect… just throwing that out there. ;)

Read all posts about Finish-Free Knits

Holiday Gift Ideas

This is about the time I start freaking out and seeking quick-knitting projects for holiday gifts.

If you're like me, perhaps you're searching as well… here are a few ideas:

Mauna Kea, Crochet hat available from Caterpillar Knits.

 Rasa Beret, available from Caterpillar Knits.

 Pika Hat.

 Violet Beret, available from Caterpillar Knits.

 Duchess Cabled Hat.

 Whitman Cap, available from Interweave Store.

 Tweed Beret, available from Interweave Store.

 Autumn Oak Hat and Mitt set.

Once upon a Christmas, 3 days before the holiday I sat in traffic near a mall… I wasn't GOING to the mall, just driving by… but I sat in traffic for long enough to knit three of these mitts. They're quick. I suggest keeping yarn & needles in your car for just this purpose.

 Tundra Mitts, available from Quince & Co.

 Sunyata Shrug, available from Caterpillar Knits.

 Royal Lattice Cowl. Free pattern!

 Wabi-Sabi Mitts. Free pattern!

 Crochet Ruffle Scarf. Free pattern!

 Crochet Lacy Kerchief. Free pattern!

 Mug Cozy. Free pattern!

Every Christmas I see this pattern again, with a Christmas tree in place of the heart… I haven't had the opportunity to knit one yet, but figured I'd throw the idea out there in case any of you are inspired to edit the chart and knit one.

I hope these help you get your holiday knitting done quickly & easily!
Try not to freak out too much about getting it all done in time. This CAN be a fun time of year…