- Choose a shawl pattern from the ones listed here. You can work from a pattern you already have if it's on the list, from the free pattern available there or get one for 20% off using the coupon code ShawlKAL2016 (it will work during all of the KAL period).
- Go to my Ravelry group and say hi in the KAL thread.
- Until June 13, knit your shawl, post pictures of your progress, cheer and chat in the chat thread.
- When you are done, create a project page on Ravelry and share a final picture in the FO thread.
Spring is the best season for knitting and wearing shawls! Who's up for a knit-along? Let's sum it up:
2015 is now behind us. For me, it's been a year rich in creations, projects, ideas, dreams and realities. Here's my summary! I ended the year with 1 big bronchitis. No cool. I spit my lungs during a month and a half including Christmas and the New Year celebrations, while I've been given all the caring comments (but quite heavy) saying "you're-gonna-die-if-you-don't-take-antibiotics" and so I had to explain again and again (between two coughing attacks) that antibiotics are useless against a degenerated virus. To say the truth, it really was a dirty virus but my antibodies won! Hooray for the white cells and ginger tea! I did 2 trips. The first one was in Seattle where I spend a week with my best friend who's been living there for a few years. The second trip was in Corsica, far far away from home, where I really enjoyed the change of scenery. I survived major heat waves in 3 countries, for a total of 6 consecutive weeks of temperatures between 95 and 115°F... And I'm the kind of people who's confortable only between 72 and 78°! I published 13 new patterns, including one in the magazine Interweave Knits Summer 2015. I started and ended the year by publishing shawl patterns that seem to be quite loved already (Country Song Shawl and Roads of Corsica). I participated in the 100 days project, for which I published a daily photo on Instagram during 100 days... I caught the bug, and I ended up publishing... 295 photos in 2015! I like it soooooo much! And I ended the year with... Over 4000 followers! I am completely amazed! I never thought for a single second that my knittings could be liked by so many people! It gives me an incredible push to keep doing it in 2016. And honestly, I love this idea! To end up this beautiful year, here's a mosaic of my new patterns. And I'm already working on many nice things for 2016! [gallery link="file" ids="1833,1834,1835,1321,1692,1430,1837,1838,1839,1691,1840,1841"] abc
I have a nice active summer. I'm knitting, working, walking and traveling a lot. I'm in love with my husband, my pets, my family and my friends; my knitting, my garden, my walks to the park. This is great. I don't remember being that much happy and I try to taste every sweet bite of my present life. I love my knitting activities. I love the small community growing around my designs, I love every single person who takes part of it in any way. I am so motivated to create more and more designs as I get the feeling I'm not alone in my adventure. I released two new patterns in the last few weeks, and more are coming soon! The first one is a shawl named the Storm Shawl. It's inspired by the weather, starting with rain that becomes small snowflakes and then large snowflakes, and ends up being a snowbank at the bottom of the shawl. The second one is a sweater called Grain of Sand. It's made with worsted weight and oversized needles, so it's very light and easy to carry around on summer nights. I'm offering 20% off these two patterns along with Country Song Shawl and Silky Fairy Shawl until July 27th, just to share my happiness :-) I really hope I'll see some projects popping on Ravelry!abc
April was overwhelming. I had a busy winter, I'm now in the middle of a busy spring and I feel exhausted. I'm still trying to effectivly split my time between work, working on my patterns, my flooded basement and the music school my husband, a few friends and I are going to open. Plus the routine - cleaning, cooking, doing the groceries and trying to have a social life - and my high maintenance dog who asks for an hour and a half of exercice daily. I can't seem to find a minute for myself in all of that. I tried to take a night off last weekend. I just sat on the couch wondering what to do. I couldn't think of anything else so I ended up knitting. It reminded me it's even more enjoyable when it's not part of the routine. I haven't released a pattern in April because I made a reflexion about the seasons and the patterns to release. I released patterns of a hat and of a pair of mittens in late March, I had a very good response in the tests, a few testers even told me it was their favorite hat ever and they were planning to use this pattern for all their go to hats. That's a wonderful compliment! But I sold none. Here in Quebec, in March and April, it's -20°C until it's 20° and no one understand what happened but all of a sudden summer is here. (By the way, summer isn't here yet and I just can't stand winter anymore!) But I should not base my pattern releases on Quebec's temperature because for everyone else in Canada, USA, Europe, etc, spring arrives many weeks before it does here (and I am totally jealous)! So I decided I should work on lighter patterns from now on and to keep my warm patterns ready to release when fall comes back. And because I can't keep a resolution for more than 10 minutes, I made a cardigan and a headband... I think I'll wait until fall to release both patterns if I don't change my mind ten times before then. Meanwhile I'll slowly get them tested. I also finised knitting a stuffed dog based on my pattern Gustave the dog for my friends who are going to have a baby boy very very soon! And I had a one night stand with my sewing machine and did 19 squares for a future quilt (even if I'm not quite done with my cabin log quilt...) I published no patterns in April, but someone did published one of my patterns! Yep yep yep, I have a tiny tiny pattern in the Summer issue of Interweave Knits! It's a light headband called Olympia and it's just perfect for summer! The magazine is available for preorder now, on the Interweave website. [caption id="attachment_1321" align="aligncenter" width="592"] Olympia Headband
Photo credit: Harper Point Photography[/caption] When I feel overwhelmed and exhausted like I do now, I love knitting even more. It's my everyday absolute relaxation.abc
Photo credit: Harper Point Photography[/caption] When I feel overwhelmed and exhausted like I do now, I love knitting even more. It's my everyday absolute relaxation.abc
I'm taking part of a super cool project. It's called #the100dayproject and it takes place on Instagram. The concept is simple - you do something every day during 100 days and you post a picture of your everyday progress with a small blurb of text explaining what you did (or not). You can learn more about the project and how to join here. I've been playing for 23 days now and I have so much fun!!! I used to have a photoblog were I posted a picture of random things everyday and I was loving it. I love it even more now that I don't have to look for a subject everyday! It's a combination of things I love - knitting and photography - and I am always amazed when I can take a global look at the effect of time and work combined together. Take a look at my latest 30 photos for this project! [alpine-phototile-for-instagram id=342 user="gabrielleknits" src="global_tag" tag="100daysofcreatingknittingpatterns" imgl="none" style="cascade" col="6" size="Th" num="30" align="center" max="100"] You can follow me on Instagram if you wish to see my day to day progress! And if you ever post a picture of something you're knitting from one of my pattern, I beg you, use the hashtag #gabrielleknits so I can take a look and be amazed of your work.abc
March is already over? No one told me it ever started! Looking outside, it's not the weather that could have warned me (I made a typo and wrote "warmed"...) If last winter was beating records about the snow accumulations, this year we had one of the coldest winters since a few decades. They showed a map at the news, the whole world is getting warmer because of global warming except for that one little canadian province who likes to be different. I really love my language, my culture my city and my province, but I would like it even more if it was just a few degrees warmer on winter! [caption id="attachment_1265" align="alignnone" width="682"] This is my street, today...[/caption] February and March are always prolifics months of knitting. I have many many ideas, I stay home most of the time and I need more knits to keep me warm. Here's what I did during these months. Back in the first days of February, I published the Country Song Shawl and I had a very positive response to that one. People like my shawls! It's so rewarding! [caption id="attachment_1184" align="alignnone" width="512"] Country Song Shawl[/caption] I also finished knitting my cardigan who is still nameless. I like it a lot but the pattern won't be ready anytime soon. It must be tested first and I think I'll release it only at the end of the summer. [caption id="attachment_1266" align="alignnone" width="388"] Nameless Cardigan[/caption] I made a hat and matching fingerless mittens. Went through all the testing and reviewing process and I just published it. The answer is not as positive as for the shawl, I guess one of the explanation is that winter is long gone for mostly everyone except for my neighbours and me. [caption id="attachment_1267" align="alignnone" width="512"] Cinnamon bun hat & fingerless mittens[/caption] I made an infinity scarf called Wavy Infinity. It's a great scarf made of two beautiful skeins I got through Yarnbox (more on that later). I'm sloppy with that one too and didn't had the time yet to finish the pattern. I just took the pictures yesterday even if I finished knitting almost two weeks ago. [caption id="attachment_1268" align="alignnone" width="401"] Wavy Infinity Scarf[/caption] So what's next in April? I have this shawl made of Julie Asselin Piccolo I talked about last Sunday. I haven't worked a lot on that one since then but I plan to finish it as soon as possible. [caption id="attachment_1239" align="alignnone" width="702"] Storm Shawl[/caption] I also casted on a new cardigan made of Lion Brand Amazing. That yarn is... amazing! I can't stop knitting because I want to see the colors that are coming next! [caption id="attachment_1269" align="alignnone" width="383"] My latest cardigan, in progress[/caption] And also, coming soon, a very small pattern of mine will appear in a magazine! I can't wait!abc
So I took a week off from work, with the firm intention of working on my patterns full time during one week just to give a try at my dream job. It was a delicious idea. Sadly, I have no willpower, not even when the idea pleases me more than anything else. Am I the only one with this problem? People keep telling me that being a freelancer means I should be extra disciplined but I am the worst at it. I tend to contradict every single thing I say (forget what I just said, that's not true). I have no problem with authority in general but I absolutely refuse to obey to myself. So I took a week off from work and did nothing else than cleaning the whole appartment. Yes, it took seven whole days, minus a trip to IKEA, a yoga lesson and one evening with friends. Yes it was THAT messy. But now it's WONDERFUL! We decided we didn't need a guestroom anymore so we found some space to store the bed. Then I cleaned what was in that room, meaning all the things we didn't want in our way during the last few years: a broken vacuum cleaner, a coin sorter, all my paycheck stubs since 2004... Then we moved everything that was in my previous crafting room to the old guest & mess room and finally Robert took my old room to make a neat classroom for his students. (Note that I say "we" but the other half of "we" didn't spent his whole spring break cleaning, he's not crazy like that.) So what was the point in spending all my precious vacation days to move the craft room to what is actually a smaller room? This small room is the sunniest. Maybe it's the neverending winter or maybe it's my immune system who prays for more vitamins. Anyway I feel like I finally got the sunny cocoon I've been looking for for years. Take a look! I feel so lucky :-) [gallery link="file" ids="1209,1208,1207"] abc
Last weekend has been a nice and cozy winter weekend just like the ones I love. I worked not more than 15 minutes, which is a record since November. I've been knitting like crazy, had some good times with friends and with my lovely husband and my lovely pets. When I manage to sit here and enjoy my happiness (it's not happening often enough but I'm really working on it), all the little things that makes me smile seems to become little gifts.
- Friday, I published my finally named Country Song Shawl. People seems to like it! It always boost my self-esteem when I release a pattern and it gets a nice amount of "favorites" and some sales on Ravelry.
- Zora loves yarn as much as I do. I said it before but it turned out to be even more true than what I thought at first: she's a monster (but the cutest kind of monsters). I found my cardigan laying on the floor and the yarn all over the living room twice, just on Friday. I know it doesn't sound like a little pleasure but instead of scolding her I took my camera and got pretty cute pictures.
- Saturday, I went to my favorite buttons store, Rubans Boutons, to get buttons for my cardigan. Not only they have the nicest choice in Montreal, but they also have the best service, friendly and helpful. I found exactly what I had in mind if not better and the store owner recognize me as a regular customer which made me very happy.
- Had dinner with Sophie and Robert, then Sophie and I spent the evening knitting and chatting.
- I finished knitting my cardigan, I was running out of yarn and I planned to skip the last four rows. After complex calculations, I decided to knit one more row, crossing fingers to have enough yarn for the bind off. I finished with one just yard over!
- Sunday, I went to one of my favorite LYS with my friend Karine who's about to start her second project. We didn't knew before we got to the store but there was a big sale going on! I got some nice super soft alpaca for a hat and a decadent skein of Julie Asselin yarn in the exact color I wanted. I've been lurking her yarns for a long while, I'm already planning to turn it into a shawl, I can't wait to cast on!
- There's been a huge snowstorm. I played with my dog Alie in the snow. I don't know who enjoyed it the most.
- I casted on a hat with my new yarn. I love my (ridiculously) big stash but it often deprives me from the pleasure to work with a yarn I just got. I guess I should learn to buy smarter but it will be another year's resolution!
The first month of 2015 is already over! It went fast! I can't say I'm completely satisfied with what I've accomplished on the knitting side. I sure did a few nice things but I'm constantly postponing my own deadlines as work (and life) are taking all my time. I'm quite proud of myself on the work side though. I've been working like crazy since last November, I completed a few very nice websites, started new promising and fullfilling relationships with lovely clients, and I even had to refuse a few offers as I'm fully booked for the next three months. I also started using tools to help me scheduling my time and releasing some stress. I read somewhere a comportement takes three weeks to become a habit so I tend to stick to good ideas for at least three weeks and see how it can take a room in my life. Five weeks later, I can say my scheduling method easily became a habit and I feel like it's a new root to managing both my careers. On the knitting side, I made a stuffed dog for friends of mine who are expecting a baby girl in May. I'll be testing the pattern as soon as I can finalize it. I plan to knit another one with the testers so I'll enjoy the knit-a-long too! That will be fun! Pictures coming soon! [caption id="attachment_1130" align="aligncenter" width="512"] A shawl with no name[/caption] I'm finally quite done with the shawl I started last October! I asked my Facebook fans to help me with different steps of the design - they chose the color and one of the lace stitch. Now that most testers are done and the pattern is very close to be released, I asked them to help me find the name. Great ideas came out! So many great ideas that I find it very hard to chose just one... So I mix and match ideas, and I got this:
The simple elegance of a cowboy wearing blue jeans in his rusty chevy, riding along the shoreline and blowing away the February blues under the blue sunsetSomeone cleverly told me it would mess up search engines so I'm back to the start! I especially like two of the ideas so I'll make my mind and release the pattern as soon as possible. I really liked the experience of brainstorming over the name. I'm not good at finding names and some people out there are. I think I'll do it again, maybe even do a habit out of it! [caption id="attachment_1173" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Now on my needles[/caption] At the moment I'm working on a cardigan. I really like it, it's perfect for the chilly winter days we're having at the moment. I can't wait to finish it. I'm running low on yarn and I'm crossing fingers I won't come to the end of my ball before I'm done with both button bands and collar. Next on my needles? I'm not sure yet... How scary it is!!! I can't stand not having a project ready but I don't like starting a project before finishing what I'm currently working on. I have a good idea for a two color shawl but I like to alternate between big and small projects and I'm still unhappy with my hat collection... [caption id="attachment_1176" align="aligncenter" width="767"] Zora, my new kitten[/caption] On a completely different note, following the death of my good old cat, we thought the house was quite empty with only one cat and one dog. So we went just looking for kittens on the Internet... I don't know how I manage to fool myself again and again with the just looking thing but my yarn stash can swear it barely never works! So what should have happened happened. We really liked a cat foster. We really liked the pictures of the kittens. We went visiting a foster family just to look at the kittens. We fell in love and came back with a lovely girl the very same day. So let me introduce to you Zora, my new knitting helper! Mio really was my best helper, he would bring balls of yarn to me, lay on my knits, play with loose ends. We have Zora here since two weeks now and she's already following his trails very nicely. She climbs on my leg to reach the knit I'm holding, she runs through the house with a ball of yarn in her mouth, she even cutted the live strand of my current project! She's a monster but she's the cutest monster ever! [caption id="attachment_1174" align="aligncenter" width="409"] She's already playing with a ball of yarn (at least it's acrylic!)[/caption] By the way, the cat foster is called Animadoption and I totally recommend it. The ladies are real animal lovers. They get sick kittens that are about to be euthanized. They heal, vaccinate, and neuter them, and keep them in foster families until they find someone to adopt them. They are in Montreal's north shore region but I know the same concept exists in all regions. I think it's a very nice way to get an animal without encouraging an industry that is sometimes very unethic. It's also a nice way to give a chance to an animal that would be dead otherwise.abc
2014 was a nice year. It's been a calm and resourcing year, except for a ridiculously large amount of misadventures with our cars (we had 4 cars over the year, never two at the same time... and we finally ended up with a 1997 Tercel that is working quite fine so far). I haven't done anything spectacular, I worked and knit almost everyday, met with friends a lot, visited New York for the first time, and spent way too much time at the dog park, procrastinating and chatting with nice people (and nice dogs)! Overall, it was simply a nice year in my life. On the crafty side, it's been a wonderful year. I published 11 patterns, 3 of them are published in Interweave magazines. I'm trying to include more designing on my schedule and I plan on reducing my day job time. I don't have the guts nor the will to jump full-time in a design career but if I feel like it could be possible to eat decently I'm not rejecting the idea. Over 1000 persons started following me on Facebook in 2014 and this is incredible! I love how it makes it so easier for me to reach people who likes my work. Many thanks to all of you, you have no idea what it means to me. 2014 have been a great year for my knitting needles too. I made a lot of projects and I had a lot of fun working on all of them. Just for fun, here's what they look like all together! [gallery columns="4" link="file" ids="1030,1122,974,1092,1097,1129,1123,1008,1103,1125,1124,1126,1127,1128,1130,1131"] I wish you a wonderful new year! May it be warm and yarny, colourful and cozy!abc