Knitalongs: Give Aways & Progress

It is, perhaps, a bit confusing to be participating in one knitalong while planning another.  Confusing, but fun.  So, first things first.  The Sunday night yarn give away winner for the Adventurous April KAL on the Elliebelly Ravelry Group is Jamlknitter.  Lisa, message me on Ravelry and I'll get your yarn on the way to you in time for cast on!

If you aren't Lisa, don't worry.  There is still time to enter and win some Elliebelly yarn before the KAL starts on April 1, by leaving a comment to this post, before next Friday.


In the meantime, any guesses about what color my yarn, in the dye bath above, is going to be?  This photo is a little bit reminiscent of the dress that took the internet by storm a couple of weeks ago.  What color do you all see?


And, for the Malabrigo March KAL, my Monkey's eyes arrived today.  I've got three different options to choose from.  I'm almost done with the first leg, so perhaps we will be to the point where we can have an eye test soon.  The pattern calls for you to do the monkey's muzzle last — right now his face is just the big round blob you all saw last week.  But I'm glad to have the eyes ready.  I'm hoping to finish Monkey up next weekend.



Monkey Back

**if you are looking for the post about the Elliebelly Knit-Along and yarn giveaway, click here.**

I’m back to knitting Monkey. And Monkey now has a back.

Head n body

I’m completely enamored with this knit and am starting to envision an entire zoo, full of knitted animals.

Fortunately, I’m not the only one. We’ve decided to include a group for knit stuffed animals and monsters as part of the Adventurous April KAL. I’m planning a cat or bunny to follow Monkey.

There are an amazing variety of fabulous knit stuffed animal patterns on Ravelry, many of them free.

If you’ve never knit a stuffed toy, you should come join us in the KAL. And if you have made one or more in the past, you should come knit with us and share your ideas and expertise. Toys are not something I ever saw myself knitting, but my best friend and I have a 30-year tradition of exchanging gifts, so when I saw the original Monkey Jacobus pattern, I couldn’t resist. And now, I’m hooked!


Adventurous April KAL & Yarn Giveaway

As may of you know, in April, we have a knitalong on the Elliebelly Ravelry Group.  Adventurous April is a chance to knit with old friends, make new ones, and end up with a fantastic finished knitted object, because with the support of this group, you can get all the help you need with your knitting.

We knit for the fun of it and have very few rules.  Our start date is April 1, but you can and are encouraged to gather your yarn and needles, review your pattern closely, and swatch before then.  You can knit with any yarn you like, and since Elliebelly is no longer sold, there will be a few giveaways to make sure those who would like to try it have that chance (see more below).  We have an Adventurous April Chat thread here if you have any questions about joining, the KAL, the patterns, or, if you just want to introduce yourself.

image from images4-d.ravelrycache.com

This year, the KAL has three categories.  First, there will be a group knitting Antarktis, Janina Kallio's clever one-skein shawl pattern, which works in any weight from fingering up to a light worsted (I'm thinking about you, Plucky Primo Worsted).  The sign up thread is here.

Next up is the stuffed animal/monster thread. We started out talking about my March Monkey, everyone shared their favorite toy pattern, and in the anarchy that always characterizes our KAL, we've decided to have a "knit the stuffed toy of your choice" group.  The sign up thread is here and it includes lots of ideas.  I'm thinking about the Wild Thing, but am equally tempted by C is for Cat.

Our last KAL sign up option is for people who want to try a new technique, but with a friendly, supportive group around them.  I have always sworn I would never attempt steeks, but with Adventurous April, you never know. Any technique of your choice is the order of business here — a new cast on, first attempts at lace, beading, magic loop — challenge yourself and have an adventure.  Sign ups are here.

image from images4.ravelrycache.com

To get you started with KAL yarn, we've got a little giveaway.  First up is yarn for Antarktis.  Sign up for the KAL, and then come post here in the replies.  We'll have one drawing Sunday night and then two more on Friday the 20th.  Winners will get their choice from among the new colorways I've been experimenting with — I can't wait to see some of them knit up! (And yes, the deep blue colorway, which is a new one, Homemade Dress, is dyed on the return of Elliebelly's Angel sock yarn if you're after some luxury.)  In addition to those pictured above, there is a glazed gray colorway called Crake, and an edgy gold called Oryx.  If you need a little encouragement to take the plunge and sign up, I hope this will do it.


In addition to this giveaway, there will be at least one more with yarn for the stuffed animal category. Come along and adventure knit with us!



Yarn. Dyeing. Adventurous April.

It has been a while since I've shared yarn dyeing in progress with y'all.  That's because I haven't had any time to dye lately.  But, over the long holiday weekend I did a little work that I can't wait to share with you.


This is a new, still unnamed, blue.  It's a dusky cousin of one of my favorite colorways, Betsy Blue.  Blues are hard to photograph and this one isn't quite as teal as it appears on my monitor.  It's lovely in person and I can't wait to knit with it (and name it!)


These two colors are not new.  They are long-time Elliebelly base colors that I often mix to use in variegated colorways.  (The golden yellow is one of the colors that makes Marble Angel one of my favorites — I was tickled when I googled for a quick picture and found this 2008 post on the old Diaperswapers forum with photos of it, along with Katie, the colorway that first forced me to think about gray in a serious way and led to the color on the left.)  I thought it would be fun to see them on their own for a change. The gray on the left is actually a two-bath colorway, first dyed a pale gray and then over-dyed the deeper gray.  When I use this color in a mix, I dye it all at once.  I'm really pleased with the glazed approach I used here.

The mustard color — the color of mustard blooms in the garden, not the stuff you slap on a hotdog, is one of my favorite base yellows to dye with.  It has just enough brown to build a hint of character.  I like this color on its own as well, but I'm sure I'll be unable to resist overdyeing and glazing some of the skeins from this batch.  This is one of those colors with so much potential to play with!

I've been making time to dye because, although it's only mid-February, I'm thinking ahead to April and the Adventurous April Knitalong on the Elliebelly Ravelry Group. If you joined us last year, you know it's going to be lots of fun.  And, although you can't buy Elliebelly yarn, in the lead up to the KAL, my co-hostess Shelley and I will come up with fun and clever contests so you can win some in time to swatch and be ready come April 1.

Since the group has settled on at least one pattern for the KAL, Antarktis, I've made a headstart on dyeing some yarns that will work for that pattern.  Like always for our KALs, you'll be welcome to join in with any yarn you want to knit with, Elliebelly or not.  If you haven't joined is in the past or aren't a group member, you're welcome to come join and make some new friends while we start organizing for this year's KAL.  It's going to be a lot of fun!


Changing Things Up At The Elliebelly Knitting Blog

As several of you have noticed, thanks to the lovely Kelly at Seventeen Stone, I have a cool new blog design.  Kelly was incredibly patient and seemed to intuitively understand what I wanted.  She was so easy to work with!  Thank you Kelly.

I hope you all like it as much as I do!

To celebrate, I'm going to do several giveaways between now and the end of July.  Yes, there will be yarn.  Possibly some of the Elliebelly "Melted Crayon" on Naiad Organic Merino I'm in the middle of dyeing for myself.  Certainly some crackle-dyed Elliebelly Playsilks.  I'm also planning to write up my Cabled Afghan pattern, and will offer it for free at some point during this time period.  And any other cool stuff I decide to share with my friends.  Maybe some art.  So click the orange RSS feed bottom on the left side of the blog to add me to your reader, or remember to check back in a couple of times a week.  Because of my crazy schedule, there is no predicting when or for how long I'll do this.  Just a little bit of summer fun for y'all and a great way, in fact, the only way to score some Elliebelly this summer.