The Hazel Knits studio will be closed Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, July 1-3, 2013.

All IN STOCK orders placed between June 30th and July 4th will ship on July 5th or 6th. We will begin dyeing all "dye to order" orders placed during that time the following week.

During our closure I'll be knitting... and we'll begin prepping for our big July clearance sale, starting July 12th. Details to come soon!


What the HK is on Your Needles? Vol 32

Oh boy! It has been way too long since I posted some of my favourite projects knit in Hazel Knits by other knitters. So last week I checked out some recently completed projects and put together a collection of things that caught my eye. 

Judy (Ravname: Camanoah) knit a lovely The Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief in Sassafras in DK Lively. I love how the simplicity of the pattern highlights the texture of Sassafras, with all its greys and browns. 

Next, have a look at Maria's (Ravname: Marialh) Crown of Leaves Hat knit in Serenity in Entice held double. This hat must be so warm and cozy in Entice - doubly warm and cozy even. I'm not sure what cast on this pattern uses but I love the interesting edge it created.

Nicole (Ravname: adipoo) knit this fun Xavier the Observant Owl in Euphorbia and Electrolyte in Artisan Sock. I think Wendee will get a kick out this cutie and I loved seeing how well Euphorbia and Electrolyte played together.

Our friend, designer Melissa Goodale (ravname: StickChick), has another new shawl pattern she recently released. Wild Cherry was designed in Cherry Fizz in DK Lively and looks like it would knit up fairly quickly. Perfect for cool summer evenings!

photo by Mariana Kajlich 

Karen (Ravname: KGS) put together Electolyte and Jam Session in Artisan Sock and knit a gorgeous pair of Prickly Thistle Mittens. I always love Karen's project photos. She has a great eye.

Here's another fun project! Melissa (Ravname: mostlymunchies) knit a sweet mini Voodoo you love me? in Strawberry Lemonade in Artisan Sock. I think I might have to knit one of these. I think he would look cute on my office windowsill watching me work.

If you've been reading here for a while you may have noticed that I have an affinity for mittens. So how could I pass up sharing Susan's (Ravname: mitzicleo) Perianth mittens in Ruby Love and Nekkid in Artisan Sock. I think she did a fantastic job with her colour work and ended up with a pair of mittens to be proud of.

The next project is from another Melissa (it seems a lot of Melissa's knit!). This Melissa (Ravname: TwoKnitWit) knit this stunning Sandness shawl in Splish Splash in Entice. Melissa has some wonderful pictures of her project on a dress form on her project page.

And finally, let's have a look at Cynara's (Ravname: kinara) project for the ongoing Hazel Knits/Andrea Rangel KAL on Ravelry. She knit this beautiful "pair" of Char gloves in Arroyo in Artisan Sock for her husband. Looks like a success!

Thanks again to everyone for letting me share their projects. Beautiful work everyone!


And the winner is....

I found the comments on the last post very interesting. I seem to be in the minority in my preference to knit in private. I've tried in the past to bring my knitting with me in public, but I'm not usually successful. I think I'm too self-conscious.

Even at home, I prefer to knit alone. I can knit with my children around but not my husband or even my mother when she comes to visit (and she is knitting all the time!). Really, it is amazing I get as much knit as I do.

At home, I knit in my office/studio during the day and on my corner of the couch in the family room during the evening. My dream is to have a three season sunroom to knit in facing the woods behind my house. I think snuggling in and listen to the birds would be lovely. And many of you seem to agree.

Now, as promised, I sorted through the duplicates (I should have mentioned the comments were moderated), removed the spam (there was a lot of that - hence the moderation) and counted up the eligible entries. A quick visit to random.org and the results are in:

Congratulations, Dawn! You are the winner of a copy of Free-Spirit Shawls. We'll be in touch to get your snailmail address and get your book on its way to you.

Here's what Dawn had to say about her favourite place to knit:

I'll be back later this week with a round up of HK projects knit by other knitters. I've found some beauties to share so make sure you check it out!


Salter Path and Book Giveaway!

Lucky me, I have another gorgeous pattern to talk about today? And this post comes with a book giveaway too. But you'll have to keep reading to find out more about that.

First, let's have a look at Melissa Goodale's new pattern, Salter Path.

photo by Joe Hancock

Salter Path is a stunning shawl knit in three colours of Hazel Knits Artisan Sock, pictured here in Low Tide, Beachglass and Fudge.

photo by Joe Hancock

The pattern is included in the fantastic new book from Interweave Press, Free-Spirit Shawls, 20 Eclectic Knits for Every Day (Interweave/F+W Media; $24.95).  The book was curated by Lisa Shroyer, editor of Knitscene Magazine, and is presented along 4 themes: colour, lace, simplicity and texture. 

photo by Joe Hancock

You can find more information about all the patterns in Free-Spirit Shawls on Ravelry and you purchase a copy for yourself. Of course, if you keep reading you can find out how you might win your very own copy.

Often, choosing colours that work together can be one of the most difficult parts of a multicolour project. To lend you a hand, Wendee has put together a few colour combinations. 

Kits for these combinations are now available on the Hazel Knits website and include a full skein for both the Main Colour (MC) and Contrast Colour 1 (CC1) and a 200 yard skein for Contrast Colour 2 (CC2). THE PATTERN IS NOT INCLUDED.

I recently had the opportunity to interview Melissa Goodale about knitting, designing and Salter Path. Here's what she had to say:

HK: Let's start with the basics. When did you learn to knit and who taught you?

MG: I learned to knit the fall my husband went to grad school. My career was in California, his grad school was in NY. A very good friend of mine ran a local knitting group and persuaded me to learn since I'd have some time on my hands. My mother-in-law came to visit me, we took a road trip, picked up some yarn and needles at Jimmy Beans in Truckee, and she helped me learn while I read Stitch-N-Bitch. 

HK: Do you take your knitting with you everywhere you go or do you only knit at home?

MG: I have at least one, if not more, knitting projects with me at any given time. I think part of why I fell in love with knitting as a craft (I've been crafting all my life), is the fact that it is so very portable. My patience is much greater when I've got yarn in my hands.

HK: Do you have a favourite spot to knit? What makes it special?

Not really. Like I mentioned, knitting comes everywhere with me. Last month I knit in the dentist's chair while getting my teeth cleaned. I'd say in general, though, anywhere with a comfy seat and a good drink works well for me.

HK: You started out designing mostly socks and now you design mostly shawls. Do you prefer designing shawls?  

I like to joke that I'm a scatter shot designer. I've designed something in pretty much every general category; quite a few of these designs were by request (yarn stores, yarn companies, etc). My first self published design was Violeta, it was a LYS request for an event and how I met Wendee. We hit it off and have been teaming up ever since, which is why so many early designs were socks. I learned, though, that socks are a tough market. One of the biggest problems I hit was duplication. Off the top of my head I can think of 3 times I designed an awesome sock, and then stumbled on its twin on Ravelry. Twice I found them in time, but the third I didn't. If my Drift sock seems familiar that's because several other designers have designed its almost twin; mine alternates the wavy ribs, none of the others I've found do that. If you think about it, it's natural. Feet come in one shape, there are a lot of popular stitch dictionaries out there designers draw from, you're bound to have duplicates. But I got tired of running into the problem right around the time sock yarn shawls were popping on the scene. So I ditched the DPNs and moved onto shawls. I love the freedom I have when designing a shawl. It can be any shape, incorporate any pattern, the only limit is my imagination. I also love being able to show off the beautiful yarns I use in a more visible way. Though I do miss knitting socks, there's a soothing pattern to their creation.

HK: For Salter Path, how did you start the design process?

Salter Path was born from Low Tide. I'd been eyeing it for a while, and was really in love with the layers of color Wendee created. When the call for submissions came out for Free Spirit Shawls I knew I wanted to use Low Tide. So I swatched and fiddled and realized it would make a great transition from Fudge to Beachglass (two classic and beautiful colors). Though I don't usually care for garter stitch (and originally planned to make it in stockinette), the texture of Low Tide really called out for garter stitch, it added depth to the shawl.

HK: Do you knit as you are designing or plan the design out first and then knit?

It varies. Some designs spring to mind almost fully formed, others I have to coax. For books and magazines I'm largely forced to plan and then knit, having the chance to tweak a bit here and there but not really change the design from scratch. For the majority of my self published works I knit as I design. Swatching and frogging work much better for me than sketching and planning. I like to see where the yarn leads me.

HK: Not to downplay ebooks or pdfs for patterns, but are you excited to have a pattern published in a hard copy book that will be on shelves in stores and in homes around the world?

I grew up before the internet (now get off my lawn!), so books have a definite place in my heart. They just seem so timeless, and somehow important. All this means I'm thrilled to see my name in a book, it feels more like I'm leaving a mark in the world. It's really exciting.

HK: Do you focus on one design at a time or do you have many patterns in the works?

It is very, very rare for me to only have one design in the works at any given time. For one, I'm not a focused kind of person, and two, it seems like one thing always leads to another when I'm designing. The last design I did took so many turns and iterations that I've gotten 3 designs out of the process. What didn't work with one yarn worked great with another. I've got a sweater I started designing in 2005 still giving me fits through the yoke.

HK: Besides designing, do you have time to knit for pleasure? Do you knit other designers patterns?

I try to make time to knit for fun. It's hard turning a hobby you love into your day to day business, so I try to time box my knitting. Work day is work knitting, evening is personal knitting. It doesn't always pan out, especially if I'm under a publication deadline, but I try. My personal knitting is a mix of things I've hacked (elements taken from this or that design/FO I've seen mashed together to make what I want), copies of my designs to wear/gift (the originals live in my sample box for shows), and occasionally other designers patterns too. Sometimes it's nice to just sit and knit and let someone else do the work of figuring out the design (though I almost always modify things, I'm terrible at following instructions).

My thanks go out to Melissa, for her time and thoughtful answers. It's a real insight in the process. 

You can find more of Melissa Goodale's patterns on Ravelry.

Okay, you've waited long enough (is this the world's longest post yet?). It's time for the book giveaway. 

If you would like to win a copy of Free-Spirit Shawls, please leave a comment on this post before midnight Pacific Time, Monday, June 17th, 2013 and tell me about your favourite place to knit. Are you are public knitter or a private knitter?  One winner will be selected randomly from all the entries to win a copy of Free-Spirit Shawls. Please be sure to include information so I can contact you if you win - email address or ravname, please. 

Good luck and I can't wait to read your comments!


What the HK is on Viki's Needles?

Our knitalong featuring patterns by Andrea Rangel is continuing on Ravelry until the end of June. So far I have completed one of my Hex Socks. I'm knitting mine in Red Carpet in Artisan Sock.

Anklet socks knit up very quickly...provided you cast on the second one in a timely manner. I'd better cast on soon, or I am going to be late again!

It's not my fault though. I'm easily distracted. Last week, I had to cast on this adorable bonnet, Lilacs for Lila. It knit up in just a few hours in DK Lively and looks so cute in one of my all time favourite colours, Euphorbia.  And just because I don't know a single person with a baby or even expecting a baby didn't mean it wasn't an excellent use of my time.

I also finished my second pair of mittens from my newest pattern, Willowmere. This pair is the large size knit in Indigo in Artisan sock.  I think I will be gifting these later this year.

And of course I had to start a new design. I can't show much yet. It's a work in progress. But I'm really enjoying working in Sassafras and Splish Splash in Artisan sock.

So you see, it's not my fault. There are just too many temptations. But it's time to cast on that second Hex Sock now and get serious. There is still plenty of time for this KAL and I know I can get it done!