Archives for posts with tag: free

The folks from The Shabby Apple contacted me about doing a giveaway of one of their dresses–they have a lot of adorable vintage-inspired dresses, and I love free stuff, so I figured why not? Perfect timing to give away a girly sundress, too, since around here it recently went from apocalyptic snow-free 50-degree weather to the current 4 degrees below zero that “feels like -12” according to my weather app. It will give you something to look forward to. Or possibly to wear, if you live in a more reasonable climate like the Pacific Northwest uh, Florida?

The dress I picked out for the giveaway was Mariposa Grove, a kelly green cotton A-line dress with layers of raw-edged ruffle or petal detailing around the neck. (Different colors of the same style have different names–I find that a little unintuitive, but I will point out that you can get this same dress in golden orange, as “Cider,” or royal blue, as “Trevi Fountain“.) It reminds me a bit of the Coffee Date Dress.

mariposa grove dress

I think it kind of needs a belt, contrary to how they’ve styled it, and it would look pretty adorable with a neutral-colored cardi fastened below the bust, like Broderie or the Leitmotif Cardigan.

Go check them out! The Up and Away collection is probably my favorite, but I also kind of adore the Bon Voyage dress–flouncy yet tailored–and the Manhattan Collection. Look at those buttony dresses! LOVE.

To enter, go “Like” Shabby Apple on Facebook, then come back here and leave me a comment that you’d like to enter and letting me know what your favorite dress from the website is. It’s not going to change which dress you receive, but I’m curious. Or send me a link to any patterns you think would be cute with this dress. No exchanges, US-only. Since it’s been such a ghost town around here lately, you probably have a very good chance of winning.

Also! Even if you don’t win, you can use this code for 10% off: featherandfan10off. It expires in 30 days, or possibly 30 days from when I received the code, which was a week ago. Commence shamefaced foot-shuffling, apologetic language. I notice there is also currently a code for 20% off, so if they can’t be stacked, you may want to use that one instead. (I am a PRO SHOPPER! When am I going to get invited on that extreme couponing show?) Bloggy disclosure thing: I signed up for their affiliate thingy, so if you buy something, I will get 5% of the purchase total.

I’ll pick a winner on January 29. (Make sure you leave some kind of contact information.) Go forth and window shop!

It’s almost time for the drawing. Come by the Knitcircus giveaway post and comment there today if you want to enter the contest. As it stands now, there’s a 19% chance of winning something when I do the drawing tomorrow. Pretty good odds!

Hey, I have something exciting to share with you, so lurkers, come on out of the woodwork! Jaala Spiro, editor of Knitcircus Magazine and fellow Madison knitter, offered me a number of Knitcircus freebies to give away.

If you’re not familiar with Knitcircus, it’s a Madison-based knitting magazine that recently transitioned from a paper magazine format to online distribution. They now have a model sort of similar to Twist Collective (but a lot cheaper!) where each issue features some free patterns and some patterns that are for-pay only–the current issue is $7.50 for the full collection of 20 patterns. I’m glad to see them move to the online format–although I loved having paper copies of the magazine to hold and leaf through, the potential audience is much larger for the online mag. I’d love to see this locally published knitting magazine become as well-known as Twist or Knitty, so if you like their patterns, spread the word.

If you’re interested, leave a comment telling me which Knitcircus design is your favorite, and next Sunday, April 11, I’ll do a random drawing to determine the winners. I have two full year’s magazine subscriptions (value: $23.50 each) and three individual pattern collections (value: $7.50 each) to give away. Please make sure to give me your email address so I can get in contact with you if you win–if I don’t hear back from you within a few days I’ll need to pick someone else.

To get you started on the pattern browsing, here are a few of the lovelies from the current issue, Issue 9:
The Twilight Shawl–combines Kauni yarn with a really interesting shape, and for once I think the name is actually a reference to a time of day. (You have to look at the modeled photo on Ravelry with this wrapped around the shoulders and neck–the one below shows the shape but doesn’t show how pretty the shawl looks with the layers of Kauni stripes when worn.)

Raveled Wristies–free! And named after Ravelry! Awww.

Seamless Slippers–another free pattern, this looks like a great quick gift!

Four Seasons Cardigan–the cardigan from the cover, meant for layering.
issue 9 coversmaller

Check out the archives, too–some of my favorites from past issues are Kate’s Cardigan from Issue 5 (the photoshoot involves ice cream! More of my pattern photos need to involve ice cream in the future) and And All Things Nice, a girl’s dress from Issue 8.

My stupid internet access at home has been down almost constantly for the past two days, so I’ve been bouncing from cafe to cafe to work, using their wi-fi and praying it won’t be too slow. Today we might get 6 inches of snow–there are lots of windblown flakes out there looking very wintry–and there’s nothing I would like more than the luxury of staying at home and drinking hot chocolate instead of going out to work. On the bright side, without the temptation of aimless internet surfing, it’s much easier to go to bed at a reasonable time.

Anyway, until my internet connection is fixed, I can’t do much blogging. I just wanted to post today to let you all know that I’ve revised the pattern for the Prismatic Scarf to fix some common problems people were having with it: I used knitting symbols on the chart instead of the extremely confusing “k” and “p” I had chosen originally, changed the pattern to start on the RS instead of the WS, and incorporated the i-cord edging into the stitch pattern instructions instead of saying “work edging, work from stitch pattern chart, work edging”–several people on Ravelry had gotten confused because of this and left out the i-cord edging altogether. Anyway, hopefully it will be an improvement, and hopefully I haven’t accidentally introduced other, worse problems while making these revisions. Also, due to the change to the chart symbols, the pattern is now only available as a PDF, instead of as both HTML and PDF.

Sorry about the silence for a while there–I really needed that Thanksgiving break! I was drowning in work, and a week or two spent working into the wee hours of the morning paid off in allowing me to spend the long Thanksgiving weekend relatively work-free and relaxed.

On Thanksgiving day, we drove about 5 hours south to Rahul’s aunt and uncle’s house in rural central Illinois, and his parents drove up from Missouri to meet us there.  It’s deep in America’s flat, corn-filled heartland, the type of area where they show GM seed corn ads on prime time TV and you can listen to radio call-in shows dedicated to farm equipment classifieds (RFD Trading Post)–fascinating for an urban Californian! “Uh, hello, I’m interested in buying some billy goats, but I only want billy goats without horns. No horns. So if you have a billy goat with no horns, please call me at XXX-XXX-XXXX.” “I got some farm fresh eggs for sale. XXX-XXX-XXXX. Thanks.”

We had a traditional Thanksgiving dinner–turkey with all the fixings–but some yummy Indian food the other days, too: tandoori chicken, shrimp curry, biryani, a coconut-rice vermicelli dish called shevia (the last half of the word should be pronounced in a sort of slurry of vowels and approximants, sort of like Ozzy Osborne in that Samsung commercial).

We went shopping in Springfield on Black Friday and the day after. I feel sort of ashamed to admit that I had any part of this celebration of gluttonous American consumerism, but we were fairly practical, buying useful, cold-weather things on sale like chapstick and flannel sheets and a fake-down comforter, instead of silly things like Bacon-Waves and talking football-shaped candy dishes. We did buy a semi-frivolous Roomba at a doorbuster sale but found upon opening it that it didn’t have all the features we wanted: you have to manually start it–it can’t be set up to run automatically, and it doesn’t “go home” to charge afterwards, you just have to stumble over it wherever it happened to stop vacuuming and take it back to recharge. So we returned it, and my dreams of an amazing robot maid will have to be deferred. (An aside: I think iRobot is a terrible name for a robot company, don’t you?)

We did see some good old-fashioned Black Friday douchebaggery: a woman asked Rahul to hold her place in line for a sec when we first lined up, then she came back 45 minutes later, when we were about 5 people from the front of the line, and said “Oh, there you are! Thanks for holding my place” and shamelessly ducked back into line, completely ignoring her mortified husband telling her they had to go to the end of the line. Amazingly, aside from some complaining from us, a manager, and the people directly behind her, there were essentially no consequences for her jerkface behavior: she got to check out pretty much right away. But that was the biggest drama we saw, no fistfights over Wiis or anything like that.

Aside from that, we spent lots of time vegetating and hanging out with Rahul’s family. We watched lots and lots and lots of news about Mumbai, and I saw The Godfather for the first time, and the The Last King of Scotland. Both fantastic, of course.

Plus, at the same time, I did lots and lots of knitting! I cast on for Eastlake just before we left, and knit for a total of 20+ hours over the course of 4 days during car rides and while we watched movies or TV. I was trying desperately to meet my NaKniSweMo goal of finishing Flicca plus making one more sweater during the month of November, but fell short last night, only getting a few inches into the sleeves before calling it quits for the night. Still, I made good progress, and the sweater is going to be cushy and delicious once I’m done–I’m making it in a velvety taupe worsted-weight cashmere from School Products (via Klosekraft’s destash sale), and knitting as much of it as possible in the round. The leaf motif is so addictive I think I might even make an Eastscarf.

Last but not least, I finished the Malabrigo socks that were giving me such fits before, and wrote up the pattern! It’s available as a free download, with the caveat that this is a sock pattern by a sock moron and thus is not at all guaranteed to be any good. Here they are, the Tyro Socks, knit in the lovely Indiecita colorway:

Toe-up socks written for beginners, using the yarn-over short-row toe and heel described by Priscilla Gibson-Roberts in Simple Socks: Plain and Fancy (photo tutorial included in the pattern, for sock morons like me), and a simple, softly curving lace pattern mirrored on the left and right feet. The lace pattern is easy to read and to memorize, and it’s mostly stockinette (every other row is plain knit stitches).

You may notice some visual similarities to other patterns: the Pomatomus socks and Spirogyra mitts in particular. (There may be others, too, but those are the only ones I know of.) However, despite the similarities, which only occurred to me after I’d started, I can assure you that these socks were designed the old-fashioned way, from scratch, futzing around with a stitch dictionary and doing some swatching and math to mirror the stitch pattern and make it work with the stitch count. Namely, the parent stitch pattern is the Overlapping Waves pattern in The Big Book of Knitting Stitch Patterns.

This is a pattern of many knitting milestones for me. First pair of socks, first sock pattern, first short-row toe, and last but not least, first semi-creepy Flickr group request for photos of my feet. Ha! I’d read all kinds of tempest-in-a-teapot discussions on Ravelry about foot fetishists lurking on knitting websites to ogle sock FO photos, but this was the first direct encounter I’d had with them.

I was born on April 18, 1980, the 74th anniversary of the Great San Francisco Earthquake of 1906. This was also the date Paul Revere rode, the date Billy the Kid escaped from a jail in New Mexico, and the date Albert Einstein died.

Despite the fact that I’m far, far from home and major Pacific Rim fault lines, my first present of the day for my 28th birthday was a commemorative earthquake at 5:30 AM! A 5.2 earthquake centered about 100-odd miles southwest of here, in Illinois. I was asleep and registered it only as a huge, loud, scary noise that woke me up. Rahul said the ground was shaking, but I didn’t think there had been shaking, just a noise–I thought it was a tornado, to be honest, and eventually got up to look out the window for funnel clouds or toppled trees. I couldn’t get back to sleep for an hour or so, so I’m super tired now. Ugh.

I had other things to write about before the earthquake came and got in the way!

First: I finished the third variation, took pictures, and published the pattern for my The Water Is Wide scarf! Go take a look–it’s now available for sale through Ravelry! I also put up the non-outtake photos of the main scarf–a mini-tour of scenic spots on the IU Bloomington campus. I hemmed and hawed over the price for a bit on this one, since I think people might find it steep for a scarf pattern, but in the end, I think this is fair considering there are 3 (or 4) different reversible scarf patterns included in the price, and it’s more than just a stitch dictionary pattern applied to a rectangle.

Second: I didn’t enjoy spinning that second bag of buffalo down roving that much, so I would like to give the rest of it away to one lucky reader. I suspect you might enjoy spinning it more if you had some hand cards or a drum carder and could better prep the fiber, or blend it with some wool. I have about 35g left, a bit over half an ounce. If you’d like it, please comment on this post to let me know you’d like to enter in the fiber drawing. I will use a random number generator to pick a winner out of the comments a week from today, Friday, April 25 2008.