Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Yarn and Pattern Giveaway!

Brenda of End of the Row Yarns and I have teamed up for a special year-end yarn + pattern giveaway. On December 31, one post of a finished project in the Ravelry Blue Peninsula FOs thread will be drawn to win one of my patterns and a skein of yarn from End of the Row Yarns (winner's choice).

All you have to do is 1) join the Blue Peninsula group, and 2) post a finished project by December 31. Any of my patterns count, including free patterns and those from yarn companies or in magazines. WIPs count, too—you don't have to cast on a brand-new project. We can all use incentive to finish WIPs, right?

Here are just a few of the lovely colorways Brenda currently has in her shop:

Get all the details about the giveaway here. Good luck!


Since this will probably be my last post until after the Thanksgiving holiday, it's a good time to mention that the Indie Design Gift-A-Long sale ends at midnight this Friday, November 27. Save 25% on Biscuit ( shown above), Birchleaf (below), and other patterns. More info here.

Birchleaf Cowl_Full_2

If you celebrate the day, I hope you have a beautiful and very happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Indie Design Gift-A-Long

Yes, it's that time of year . . . time to cast on holiday gifts—or at least, start planning.

Have I begun mine? Well, ahem . . . no. But, I'm going to start the planning soon—very soon—thanks to the Indie Design Gift-A-Long, which kicks off Thursday.

This big Ravelry event is both a sale and a wild and crazy KAL/CAL for holiday projects. 
 The gift making and fun continue all the way through New Year's Eve, with games, trivia contests, and many, many prizes—yarn, patterns, stitch markers, shawl pins, buttons, and more. 

There's also a sale, with more than 300 designers offering 5–20 of their patterns at 25% off. The sale begins at 8 pm EST this Thursday, November 19 and ends midnight EST November 27. (For those of you in the U.S., that's the day after Thanksgiving.) Use the coupon code giftalong2015 to get the 25% discount (the code can be used as many times as you like).

This year, I have a selection of cowls and mitts in the sale, new designs and a few older favorites:

Indie Gift-A-Long 2015

Ever since the list of designers was posted, I keep going back to browse and ponder possibilities. Last year I was on deadline with Grille and other projects and didn't have time for holiday knitting, but for the first GAL (2013) I made Julia Trice's lovely Chalice Mitts:

Chalice Mitts_1

OK, I confess they weren't a gift—they're all mine and still one of my favorite pairs! I've been looking at Julia's patterns again this time, as well as those by fellow Wool People designer Elizabeth Doherty, the beautiful wraps and sweaters by Carol Sunday, and all those great socks by Hunter Hammersen (how to choose?). 

Are you joining the GAL this year? What kinds of gifts are you planning to make?

Hope to see you! Here are a few links to help you get started:

List of physical prizes (with drool-worthy photos!)

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Something Good about Friday the 13th

A quick reminder: the sale on sweaters, tops, and vests in my Ravelry pattern store ends Friday. Now's the time to cast on a new sweater to keep you warm and cozy this winter!

Garment sale! Take 50% off any Blue Peninsula sweater, vest, or top when you purchase Grainline. Thru 11/13. See Grainline on Ravelry for details. #bluepeninsula  #bonniesennott #knitting #knittersofinstagram #knit #knitstagram
Clockwise from lower left: Grainline, Wichita, Meadow Road, and Pomegranate

Use the coupon code GRAINLINE to get 50% off a second garment pattern when you purchase Grainline. Sale ends at midnight Friday the 13th.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Stitching News

Remember this daily embroidery piece? I am stretching it over a canvas today, along with a couple others, then taking photos - to enter in a show. Wish me luck! #bonniesennott #dailyembroidery #embroidery #stitch

Remember the daily embroidery piece that I started on New Year's Day? Inspired by Rilke's poem "Abend," it took 94 days to stitch. This past weekend I stretched it over a canvas, along with a couple other daily embroidery pieces. I've entered them in a show planned for January. I won't know the juror's decision until next month—wish me luck!

Photography time! #bonniesennott #embroidery #dailyembroidery #stitch #fiberart #fiberartists #art

Studio wall #bonniesennott #embroidery #dailyembroidery #stitch #myhappyplace #art #artists #fiberart

Would you like to try your hand at stitching? If you're in western Massachusetts, you can learn at Knack: The Art of Clever Reuse, located in the Eastworks Building in Easthampton. There are still a few spots left for my Embroidery Basics workshop this Saturday. All supplies are provided. Hope to see you!

It's a sunny, French knot morning. Happy Monday! #bonniesennott #embroidery #dailyembroidery #stitch #frenchknots

Thursday, November 05, 2015

New Pattern: Grainline

At last—the pattern for my Rhinebeck sweater is ready! Grainline, a pullover knit in two colors of worsted weight yarn, is now available in my Ravelry, Etsy, and Craftsy pattern stores.

Pattern: Grainline, by Bonnie Sennott
Yarn: Cascade 220 Heathers in Straw and Light Grey

With its wide boatneck, kimono-inspired sleeves, and contrasting textures, Grainline is a classic yet contemporary design, a sweater you can wear anywhere. It has a comfortable, relaxed fit, with a touch of waist shaping to keep it from being boxy.



The sweater is worked in the round from the top down, beginning at the neck. That means there's no seaming and little finishing (other than weaving in ends). Easy to knit and to wear! The lovely textured patterns on sleeves and hem consist of simple knits and purls and are provided in both written form and charts. The pattern on the hem is actually slightly different than the one on the sleeves—it's two stitches wider, to be more in proportion with the greater circumference of the hip. (Just one of the little details I love about this design—another is the purl ridge below the ribbed neckband.)


The distinctive "grainline" is added after the sweater is finished and blocked, using duplicate stitch. If you've never worked duplicate stitch before, don't worry—the pattern provides instructions (and your swatch will be the perfect place to practice it). Once you get the hang of it, you may find yourself wanting to add duplicate stitch to all sorts of projects. I find duplicate stitch indispensable for finishing; I use it to neaten up uneven stitches and hide gaps at joins.


To celebrate the pattern's release, I'm having a garment pattern sale: When you purchase Grainline from my Ravelry shop, you can take 50% off any other Blue Peninsula sweater, top, or vest with the coupon code GRAINLINE. The sale continues through Friday, November 13.

Thanks go to:
My sister Jenny, for tech editing the pattern (great catches and suggestions, as always)
My sister Jackie, for modeling (the sweater was a size too large for her, but she made it look fantastic nonetheless!)
My sister Betsey, for crocheting the red fox medallion that you see in the background


Thank you very much for reading!

Sunday, November 01, 2015

Embroidery Workshops at Knack

I so appreciate the "extra" hour today. It feels luxurious. I spent mine stitching this morning . . .

Sunday morning stitching (walnut pincushion by @cozymemories ) #bonniesennott #stitch #embroidery #dailyembroidery

This is my current wrinkle embroidery piece. I call them that because I begin by randomly wrinkling linen, then stitching along the wrinkle lines in brown thread. Over and around the wrinkle lines, I'm stitching running stitch and French knots in white and cream.

Abstract stitching

October was so busy. Deadlines to meet and extra hours at the day job and little time for stitching. When I don't have time for daily art practice, I begin to feel low and out of sorts. It's time to get back into my daily embroidery habit, starting today.

This piece will eventually be stretched over a square canvas, like these two:

Sennott_The Fallen Stars_600
Bonnie Sennott, Wrinkle Embroidery VII (The Fallen Stars), 2015, perle cotton on linen

My piece titled Wrinkle Embroidery VI is on view at Gallery A3 in Amherst, MA through 8/2. Perle cotton on linen. #fiberartnow #embroidery
Bonnie Sennott, Wrinkle Embroidery VI, 2014, perle cotton on linen

If you're in the vicinity of western Massachusetts and would like to try your hand at embroidery—or maybe get back into it—I invite you to join me for one of my upcoming classes at Knack: The Art of Clever Reuse at Eastworks in Easthampton. I'm teaching Embroidery Basics on Saturday, November 14, and Fun Stitches (colorful embellished and woven stitches) on Saturday, December 5. All supplies are provided.

Stitching in Progress

I hope you have a beautiful Sunday. What are you doing with your "extra" hour?

P.S. The tiny walnut pincushion? It's by Sonia of Cozy Memories.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Let's Hear It for the Sheep

The New York State Sheep and Wool Festival, aka Rhinebeck, has come and gone for another year. Once again, my sister Betsey and I took the bus from WEBS (so convenient!), and once again, we had a great time.

Since the festival got its start in 1980 as a small sheep sale, I thought I'd let the sheep be the stars of my Rhinebeck post. Already I miss the sweet smell of hay and the constant "baaaas." 

This one gets my vote for "Best 'Do" at Rhinebeck #newyorksheepandwool #rhinebeck #rhinebeck2015

Rhinebeck Sheep

Rhinebeck Sheep

A new feature at the fair this year was a series of Shepherds Talks on particular breeds. We went to the one on Leicester Longwools given by the folks at Maple Frost Farm in Langdon, New Hampshire. This beauty was a joy to see and to pet:

Leicester Longwool

Did you know Leicester Longwools were at one point extinct in this country? Thanks to the efforts of Colonial Williamsburg they have been reestablished, but are considered a conservation breed as there are only 500 or so of them. If you'd like to see more Leicester Longwools, check out the Maple Frost Farm sheep bios.

Rhinebeck Sheep

Sheep shearing at Rhinebeck

Baa! Rhinebeck was a blast! #bluepeninsula #rhinebeck #rhinebeck2015 #bonniesennott

It wouldn't be Rhinebeck without shopping, of course. I was excited to get quite a bit of Cormo from Barbara Parry's Foxfire Fiber ... more of the same beautiful Cormo that I purchased last May at the Massachusetts Sheep and Woolcraft Fair. Here's how my first batch of spindle spun and plied Cormo looks after dyeing with hickory nuts:

15 wraps per inch, so about sportweight ... have 225 yards ... What shall my spindle-spun and hickory-dyed Cormo become? #bluepeninsula #knit #knitting #knittersofinstagram #spindlespinning #spindlersofinstagram

And it wouldn't be Rhinebeck without lots of sweaters—so many to see everywhere you look! I finished mine in time to wear it ... now, fingers crossed I will finish up the pattern writing and have it ready soon.

Fingers crossed my Rhinebeck sweater pattern will be ready soon! #bluepeninsula #rhinebecksweater #bonniesennott #knit #knitting #knittersofinstagram

Monday, October 12, 2015

New Pattern: Sweetdrop Cowl

On this gorgeous New England day—so bright and full of color—I'm excited to announce a new pattern that's just perfect for these crisp fall days. The Sweetdrop Cowl is now available in my Ravelry, Etsy, and Craftsy pattern stores, as well as at LoveKnitting.

Busy editing photos today for the new cowl pattern. Coming soon, in three sizes! #bluepeninsula #knitcowl #knit #knitting #knittersofinstagram #knitstagram
Pattern: Sweetdrop Cowl by Bonnie Sennott

You can make this cowl in one of three sizes—I made the smallest circumference, 24 inches; the other options are 32 and 48 inches. For each, you'll need 200 (275, 400) yards of DK weight yarn. For the sample, I used Zeta, a DK weight, hand-dyed wool/silk blend from Luna Grey Fiber Arts. The colorway is called Harbor, just one of many subtle, beautiful colors available from Luna Grey, where the pattern + yarn are available as a kit. I absolutely loved knitting up the cowl in Zeta. It is fabulously soft and the color—reminiscent of a shimmering lake—kept me entranced.


Sweetdrop is worked in the round on a circular needle—no seaming or grafting required. Featuring a pretty, easy-to-work textured stitch, it knits up quickly. Depending on the color you choose, it could easily be a unisex design—great for holiday gifts!


This is the fifth and final pattern in my All You Need Is One collection, featuring designs that require just one skein of yarn (the others are On the Other Hand, Conklaree, Hulst, and Hop Brook). I had fun putting this collection together throughout 2015 and trying out some new-to-me yarns like Luna Grey Zeta. I hope you've enjoyed it, too!

Credits and thanks go to:
  • Jenny for editing the pattern (superb work, as always!)
  • Jackie at Luna Grey Fiber Arts for offering the pattern as a kit. I hope you'll go take a look at her colorways and give Zeta a try. (Check out all the other kits, too!)

Thank you very much for reading.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Welcome Back, Knotions

I was excited to learn recently that Knotions, a free online knitting magazine founded in 2008, is being relaunched. After taking a hiatus for a few years, editor Jody Richards is completely revamping the site, making it more beautiful and more accessible. It's now tablet and mobile friendly, with other great improvements as well—like printable PDFs for each pattern.

I've had a soft spot in my heart for Knotions ever since the magazine published one of my very first designs, the Rising Fog shawl, in fall 2009.

Rising Fog Shawl_3

Rising Fog Shawl_5

 With 303 beads (placed using the crochet hook method), Rising Fog is not a quick project by any means. But oh so satisfying to make and to wear! Knit with a laceweight alpaca/silk blend (I used Classic Elite's Silky Alpaca Lace), it's warm yet light as air. 


I dug around in my Flickr photos and found my original sketch for the shawl (which takes its name from an 1884 letter by poet Emily Dickinson):


I also found an ink sketch I made in 2011 of fog rising from the Pelham hills to the east of my home in Amherst, Massachusetts:

Rising Fog_Pelham Hills

I still love Rising Fog and remain grateful to Jody for publishing it in Knotions. I can't wait to see what's ahead for the magazine. By the way, she's accepting submissions and welcomes both new and experienced designers; get the info here.

You can also hear her talk about the revamped Knotions on the Ready, Set, Knit! podcast.

Best of luck, Jody! So glad to have Knotions back!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Beautiful Beginnings

The Blue Peninsula Neckwear KAL is off to a a great start—lots of beautiful projects are on the needles. Everyone's making good progress, especially on Hop Brook, which is probably the most popular pattern in the KAL. 

I'm really enjoying seeing the range of colors being used—and the yarns, too. It's always instructive and inspiring to see how a design works with different yarns. Today I thought I'd share just a few of the KAL project photos, with links to the knitters' project pages. 

Jenny's using a tonal sock yarn, Knit Picks Stroll, which is working really well for her Hop Brook (shown against a backdrop of her own beautiful weaving):

Another Missouri knitter, Elisabeth, is also using sock yarn (Classic Elite's Alpaca Sox) for her Hop Brook:

Connie's Hop Brook is knit in Twin Canyon Fingering from Lost City Knits:

And Brennee's Hop Brook is knit in her own hand-dyed yarn (End of the Row Yarns), a blend of alpaca, silk, and linen:

Other patterns are seeing some love, too, among them Streusel, Shallows, and Conklaree.

For her Streusel, Ruth has chosen Handmaiden Fine Yarn Sea Silk in the orchid colorway:

Susan is using the Periwinkle Sheep yarn she won in the Hulst KAL this summer for her Shallows cowl:

(I have a soft spot in my heart for this beautiful Atlantic colorway. It's the same one I used for my Hulst socks.)

And for her Conklaree, Dana is aiming for a bigger, cozier wrap by using a worsted weight yarn—Cascade 220 Heathers in the Crushed Grape colorway:

This "Gallery of Beautiful Beginnings" is just a peek at the KAL projects—see more using the hashtag #bpnk2015 on Instagram or Ravelry.

Friday, October 2 will be "Free Pattern Friday." Throughout the day I'll randomly award free patterns to posts in the KAL discussion thread. All you have to do is post (as often as you wish). 

The Blue Peninsula Neckwear KAL continues through October 15, and you can join anytime. At the end, yarn and other great prizes will be awarded to finished projects in the FO thread. Hope to see you!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

New Pattern: Exit 4

Here comes fall! #summersend #Brookfieldfarm  #amherstma #corn

Here comes fall! And with it the urge to knit, knit, knit. Especially cables—what is it about cables that makes them so right for fall? 


My newest design has plenty of cables—and twisted stitches, and lots of ribbing, too. Exit 4 is now available from Green Mountain Spinnery. It's an oversized, cabled tunic knit with their Mountain Mohair yarn, a luscious blend of wool and mohair. Find the pattern at Green Mountain Spinnery and on Ravelry.

Exit 4_Landscape

Exit 4 is perfect for tossing over a long-sleeve tee and jeans as the days grow cooler. It would look great in the office, too, worn with a slim skirt and tailored shirt. 

The top is worked in two pieces that are joined at the sides with decorative buttons (mine are etched bamboo, from Katrinkles).

Exit 4_Button Detail

I named Exit 4 after the Interstate 91 exit that leads to Green Mountain Spinnery in Putney, Vermont. The wall of color that greets you upon walking in the door will take your breath away. If you've never been there, it's worth a visit! 

Am I in knitter's heaven? What an inspiring wall at Green Mountain Spinnery! #bluepeninsula #greenmountainspinnery #vermont #knit #knitting #knittersofinstagram #knitstagram

P.S. If you're in Wisconsin, you can see Exit 4 and another new pattern from Green Mountain Spinnery—Kristen, a hoodie designed by Kristen TenDyke—at the Wisconsin Sheep and Wool Festival this weekend. Read more on the Green Mountain Spinnery blog.