Friday, February 27, 2015

Spring Lace

Ravelry has just added a great new feature: a designer can now offer a set of patterns together at a discount without creating a separate ebook.

So, thinking about how a lace scarf is the perfect spring accessory, I thought I'd give this new feature a try with four lace scarf patterns. My Spring Lace promotion starts today and continues through midnight EST on Friday, March 20 (the first day of spring). To get the discount, use the coupon code SPRING.

If you purchase Skipperling, Silver Frost, Anita Caroline, and Streusel, you'll get all four of them for $16, which is a savings of $7.50. If you've already purchased one of these patterns, no worries—the amount you've already paid will be deducted from the total.

This link will take you straight to the Ravelry page where you can apply the coupon code; the four patterns will automatically be placed in your cart. Or, go to any of the individual pattern pages and add them to your cart one at a time.

Skipperling_1

Streusel_Whole_4_72

Anita Caroline_3

Silver Frost_1

Happy knitting—and happy spring!


Thursday, February 19, 2015

Stitched Sheep

Yesterday was an exciting day—the first of my Stitched Sheep project bags and lavender sachets headed off via U.S. mail to their new owners.

How can you not be happy when you are stitching sheep smiles? #sheep #embroidery #knit #knitting #knittersofinstagram #knitstagram #bluepeninsula #bonniesennott

For the first breed in the series, I chose merino—not only because knitters love merino wool for its softness, but because they are exceedingly fun to stitch. After making a few, I've settled on embroidering the faces first, so that I can enjoy the sheep "smile" while stitching the rest.

Breed no. 1: Merino! Coming to my Etsy shop tonight. (Link in profile)

Sheep_Bags_Merino_2

These hand-embroidered linen project bags and lavender sachets (a natural moth repellant!) are available in my Etsy shop. Each one is individually stitched—no two are exactly alike. The bags measure about 10.5 inches wide and 11.5 inches tall—perfect for small- and medium-size projects like hats, scarves, cowls, mitts, socks, or baby items.

Sheep_Sachet_2nd

In the months ahead, I'll be adding more breeds—and maybe even a llama or alpaca, or a plant fiber for those with allergies. The best way to stay abreast of shop updates is to follow me on InstagramFacebook, or Twitter.

Have you got a favorite breed you'd like to see stitched? Leave a comment and let me know!

The sheep are in the shop! Link in profile �� #bluepeninsula #knit #knitting #knittersofinstagram #knitstagram #bonniesennott #sachet #sheep

P.S. If you're anywhere near Easthampton in western Massachusetts and you'd like to try your hand at embroidery, join me this Saturday for my Embroidery I class at Knack, a very cool creative reuse center located in the Eastworks building. You'll learn basic embroidery stitches and techniques, and you'll also get instructions for sewing a sachet, plus some lavender/chamomile filling to take home with you! All supplies are provided; sign-ups end today.

Friday, February 13, 2015

New Pattern: Silver Frost

On this below-zero morning, I'm so glad to be a knitter. Despite the chill, I'm warm and snug thanks to Silver Frost, my new texture-and-lace scarf/stole. Through Monday the 16th it's on sale for $1 off on Ravelry. Use the coupon code FROSTY at checkout.

Silver Frost_1

Pattern: Silver Frost, by Bonnie Sennott
Yarns: Shibui Cima and Silk Cloud in Ash
Needles: US 5/3.75mm and US 4/3.50mm

Silver Frost_4
 
Knit with two strands of laceweight yarn held together (one each of Shibui Cima and Silk Cloud), the design features easy-to-work lace and texture patterns (provided in both charts and written line-by-line instructions). It's worked flat, from one end to the other, with no grafting required. Knit at a fairly loose gauge, the resulting fabric is light and airy, yet deliciously cozy and warm.

The pattern includes instructions for two sizes—a wide scarf/stole (14.5 inches/37 cm wide, shown in the photos) and a narrower scarf (8 inches/20 cm wide). The narrow version requires one skein of each yarn; the larger, two skeins of each.

Silver Frost_5

The Silk Cloud's mohair content gives the scarf a pleasing halo and makes it incredibly soft. If you prefer smoother yarns, by all means give them a try—a single strand of a fingering weight yarn can definitely be substituted for the two laceweight yarns. I think a fingering weight merino/silk blend, like Shibui's Staccato, would lend the design a beautiful sheen and drape.

Silver Frost_6

I wouldn't call it reversible, as it's not exactly the same on both sides—but the wrong sides of the mesh and textures sections (above) are attractive in their own right. However you wear it, it's a dream to have around your neck on a cold winter day.

Silver Frost_3

The pattern is available now in my Ravelry, Etsy, and Craftsy pattern stores.

Thank you very much for reading!


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Prize Day

Eight prizes have been awarded to knitters who finished projects during the Blue Peninsula Selfish Knitting KAL, which ended Sunday. The idea was to make something special for yourself after the busyness of the holiday season. Many lovely cowls, sweaters, mitts, and scarves came off the needles during the KAL—see them all here.

Instead of using a Random Number Generator, I chose the winners using an old-fashioned but fun method:


The prizes—patterns, yarns, and bags—will be heading to the winners soon. 



To get news about future KALs, sign up for the Blue Peninsula newsletter and/or join our Ravelry group.

Congrats to the winners and to everyone who knit up beautiful projects during the KAL!


Sunday, February 08, 2015

Off the Needles

Off my needles today, and onto the blocking wires—a midwinter confection of mohair, silk, merino, and alpaca.



The yarns are Shibui's Cima (alpaca and merino) and Silk Cloud (kid mohair and silk), held together. Such a dream they were to work with! 




The pattern will be ready pretty soon. There will be two options—one wide (like the sample) and one narrow. I can't wait to share it with you!




Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sheepy Work

Recently, I spent some time drawing sheep ...


and stitching sheep ...



I didn't want to create a "generic sheep," but instead stitch particular breeds. So far, I'm pretty happy with my merino, and with the project bag prototype I sewed today ...


It's 100% linen, my favorite fabric. On the inside, there are no raw edges—just nice, neat French seams.



I hope to offer these bags in my Etsy shop soon, as well as lavender sachets (perfect for keeping moths away from your stash and woolens). I'll let you know when they're available.

Meanwhile, I continue to work on the daily embroidery piece I began New Year's Day. Today is Day 25. At this point I can see there will be many more days to go before it's done ...



Thanks for stopping by. I hope you've had a beautiful weekend!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Winners!

I enjoyed reading everyone's thoughts on what you like about January. It may not be the warmest or most colorful month of the year, but as so many of you noted, it does have its charms ... a more relaxed pace after frantic December, snow days (perfect for staying in and knitting), citrus fruit, bright sun sparkling on fresh snow ... and (best of all, to me), longer days. Lately the light, especially in the early mornings, has been exquisite. 


Thanks to all who left a comment and/or joined the Blue Peninsula group. The winner of the Shields of Garnet Periwinkle Sheep sock yarn is prairiepoet, and the winner of the project bag is joyceetta. Congrats! I'll be in touch with you both on Ravelry.


Many of you commented about having the chance during January to knit for yourself, now that the holiday gift knitting is done. If you'd like, come join the Blue Peninsula Selfish Knitting KAL. There's still plenty of time to make something—it ends February 8 and there are some lovely prizes. 

Hope you have a beautiful weekend that includes plenty of relaxed knitting time!


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Birthday Giveaway and Sale


It's my birthday! And since birthdays call for celebration, I'm having a little giveaway—and a sale, too.

First, the sale: Today only in my Ravelry store, use the coupon code BIRTHDAY to get 30% off individual patterns (ebooks excluded). This will be my last sale in a while, so it's a great opportunity to stock up. You can use the code as often as you like. The sale ends at midnight EST tonight. (Unfortunately, due to new EU VAT regulations, this promotion is not available to EU customers.)


Second, the giveaway: Since garnet is the birthstone for January, I'm giving away this beautiful skein of Periwinkle Sheep Watercolors II yarn—400 yards of fingering weight merino—in the Shields of Garnet colorway.


I'm also giving away a project bag that I made using natural linen and cotton fabrics. It's the perfect size for small to medium projects like shawls, scarves, hats, or socks. (The needles are not part of the giveaway—they're just props.)



There are two ways to enter: 1) Leave a comment on this post telling one thing you like about January. To me, January is one of the dreariest months of the year, so it helps to be reminded of the positive things about it. 2) If you haven't already, join the Blue Peninsula group on Ravelry. Do both to increase your chances of winning!

On Friday, I'll use a random number generator to draw one name from among the blog comments for one of the prizes, and one name from among the Blue Peninsula group members (everybody, new and old) for the other prize. If you're leaving a comment, please mention your Ravelry username or another way to contact you.

Good luck—and thank you for stopping by!


Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Stitching News

I started a new daily embroidery piece on New Year's Day. Inspired by Rilke's  poem "Abend," it's starting out with deep blue cross stitches surrounding the silhouettes of trees:





I'm astonished that today is already Day 7! Slow down, time! I usually stitch first thing in the morning, but I haven't yet today. A little thing called work got in the way. Soon, though.

I'm still stitching a wrinkle embroidery piece that I began last summer. The daily work on that faltered during December, what with traveling to my mom's, the holidays, and getting sick. I'm glad to be back at it.



If you'd like to see one of my embroidery pieces in person, please come to the Open Call: NNE (North-Northeast) exhibition at the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center in Brattleboro, Vermont. It opens this Saturday, January 10, with a reception at 11 am, and continues through February 7. I am honored to be one of 38 New England artists chosen from among 475 applicants for this show.

The juror, Richard Klein of the Aldrich Contemporary Art Center, chose my piece titled 55 Days (Begin Again), which features the words "begin again" stitched in seven different yellow hues worked in succession, one color each day for 55 days.


My daily embroidery pieces are first and foremost a way to make my creative work a priority in my daily life. By committing to doing at least some stitching each day, I make time for my artwork no matter what other tasks and responsibilities the day holds.


To me Begin Again also has a bit of a Zen meaning, something like the saying, "Before enlightenment, carry water, chop wood; after enlightenment, carry water, chop wood." Humble, mundane daily tasks can be meditative if we let them, a way to stay present and be fully aware in each moment.

I chose yellow because it is the color of the sun (not to mention Van Gogh's glorious sunflowers), which each day brings new opportunities to begin again. No matter how wobbly or uneven our stitches of the previous day, it is a good spiritual practice to accept these imperfections and each morning begin again with renewed hope and optimism. 


If you're in the area and can attend the opening, I'd love to see you! I'm not sure what time it ends, but I expect I'll be there until at least 1 pm or so.

P.S. For the curious, here are a couple of posts showing sources for the fonts used in the piece: September 7, 2012 and September 30, 2012.

Sunday, January 04, 2015

52 Weeks of Swatches

When my sister Betsey told me she's planning to make a swatch every week during 2015, I thought, what a fabulous idea. Swatches are a great way to try out unfamiliar stitch patterns and/or new yarns. They definitely get the creative juices flowing. So I asked if I could join in, and she said sure.

Here's Betsey's first two, one in Woolen Rabbit Emma (left) and one in Paton's Grace (right):


Lovely, aren't they?

Over the weekend, I got started by swatching the lace pattern from the Windsor Cardi by Amy Christoffers. I've got a sweater's worth of Woolen Rabbit Grace in this chocolate-y Godiva colorway and think maybe this pattern is what it should become. I got gauge and like the fabric—that's a good start.


My sister Jenny has decided to get on the bandwagon, too. Her first swatch was knit with some blue Knit Picks Wool of the Andes. I love the all-over texture and strong diagonals:


Another one I made this weekend was knit with Shibui Cima and Silk Cloud held together:


I was so pleased with this swatch, I immediately made another to tweak a few things. After that I did some measuring and some math ... and a new design is under way!

If you're up for swatching this year—whether just for fun or to make gauge swatches for patterns—feel free to post your swatches on Instagram with the hashtag #52weeksofswatches. Knitting, crochet, weaving—anything you like. As Betsey said, "the more the merrier and inspiring."

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Silverleaf Update and Year-end Sale


Last June, I was excited to share that my Silverleaf shawl was part of the Woolen Rabbit's 2014 yarn club. For the past six months, the pattern has been available only to club subscribers, but now it's available for anyone to purchase. 

To celebrate, I'm having a flash sale on Ravelry—purchase any two of my patterns, get a third free! To get the discount, put three individual patterns or sets in your cart and apply the coupon code BYE2014 at checkout. The sale ends January 1 at midnight EST.

Pattern: Silverleaf, by Bonnie Sennott
Yarn: Woolen Rabbit Lucent in Oak Moss


With its wide center panel, Silverleaf is similar to Faroese shawls. But unlike traditional Faroese shawls, which involve casting on hundreds of stitches and working from the bottom up, it's worked top down, beginning with just a few stitches.


I've expanded the pattern to include a new fingering weight version with a picot bind-off. The fingering weight version—shown here in the gorgeous Oak Moss colorway of Woolen Rabbit's Lucent yarn—takes just 385 yards. So it's ideal for those special skeins of sock yarn we all have in our stashes.


Lucent is a blend of merino, cashmere, and nylon—a soft, luscious yarn that's perfectly suited to shawls, cowls, and scarves. With its tawny golds, mossy greens, and warm browns, the Oak Moss colorway made me happy every time I sat down to knit. I just might have to get my hands on more of it, maybe in another base ... a sweater, maybe? We'll see! In any case, I'm excited to start the new year wearing a warm new accessory.


Just a reminder—the Selfish Knitting KAL starts January 1. After all the busyness of the holidays, it's a chance to relax and knit something special just for yourself. At the end of the KAL on February 8, yarn, patterns, and other goodies will be randomly awarded to finished projects. Any of my designs, including free patterns, are eligible. I hope you'll come join us!




Sunday, December 28, 2014

Four Years in the Making

I guess we all have "back burner" projects—things we pick up and set down, working on them here and there, in no hurry to finish.


For four years, one of mine has been the Seersucker afghan, from Berroco's book Comfort Knitting and Crochet: Afghans


Pattern: Seersucker, by Margery Winter
Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash in Summer Sky Heather
Needles: US 5


Designed by Margery Winter, Seersucker is a big, cozy, bedspread-size blanket. On the plus side, it's a great take-along knitting project because each ruched square is knit individually. On the down side, you have to seam together 48 squares. I finished the knitting ages ago; it's the seaming that dragged on, unfinished, for most of this year.

In my defense, I've definitely been busy with many other projects, and design work always takes precedence over personal knitting. Even so, I really didn't want this project to drag on into 2015. 


What a wonderful afghan! The book has lots of beautiful patterns, but Seersucker remains my favorite. I love wrapping myself up in it on these cold mornings. So glad I finally finished it.



Snickers is glad, too. 

Friday, December 19, 2014

Last-Minute Gifts

Less than a week to Christmas! If you are immersed in gift knitting, I wish you all the best in finishing up your gifts on time. And if you can't finish on time, it's always fun to wrap up a project still on the needles with a sweet promise that it will soon be finished. After all, it's the thought that counts.

At this point, it's probably too late to cast on a gift sweater, but if you're looking for ideas for projects you can make in under a week, here are a few ...

Shallows Mitts: 120–135 yards of fingering weight yarn (beads are optional)

Bluet Cowl: approx. 300 yards DK or sportweight yarn

Sawmill River Hat: 215–285 yards of fingering weight yarn

Buttermilk Sky Cowl: approx. 150 yards of DK weight yarn or 200–220 yards worsted weight

Rowhouse Hat: 185-225 yards of DK weight yarn

Fee-bee Mitts: 130 yards of sport weight yarn

In the midst of all the holiday busyness, I hope you are able to find some quiet moments—especially when knitting. May each stitch bring you happiness and joy!

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

New Pattern: Fee-bee Mitts


I'm pleased to share a new pattern today, named after a song of the chickadee: Fee-bee Mitts. It's now available in my Ravelry, Etsy, and Craftsy pattern stores. 

Pattern: Fee-bee Mitts, by Bonnie Sennott
Yarn: Plucky Knitter Traveler Sport in the Wooden Shoe colorway
Needles: US5/3.75mm and US4/3.50mm


They're easy and quick to knit up—an ideal holiday gift project. And they don't requite a lot of yarn either (about 130 yards). With the Plucky Knitter Traveler Sport that I used for the sample pair, you could easily get two pairs out of a skein. How I loved this yarn! With its merino/silk/yak fiber content, it is heavenly—cushy and soft, a dream to knit with.



They're knit flat, back and forth, then seamed, leaving a small opening for the thumb. A bit of shaping provides for a comfortable fit across the palm. The pattern gives instructions for a women's medium; the mitts are quite stretchy and should fit a wide range of hand sizes. The stitch patterns are provided in both written form and charts.


The pretty lace stitch on the cuffs reminded me of bird tracks, so I wanted to name the pattern after a bird. I settled on the lovely "fee-bee" song of the black-capped chickadee, the state bird of Massachusetts, where I live. They flock to my feeders all winter long, making the cold days so much cheerier. 


The pattern is on sale at a discounted price in my RavelryEtsy, and Craftsy pattern stores through New Year's Day. No coupon code required!

Heartfelt thanks go to my sisters Jenny (for editing the pattern) and Betsey (for taking time out of her Thanksgiving weekend to model the mitts). 

Thank you very much for reading!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Finished!

Looks like setting an intention works—I've finished the Couplets for my sister Jackie in time for Thanksgiving. The toe shaping and grafting went smoothly with the help of some chai ...



Untitled
Pattern: Couplet, by Bonnie Sennott
Yarn: Periwinkle Sheep Watercolors sock yarn in the Chai colorway
Needles: US 1/2.25mm dpns

The Chai colorway is one of my favorites from Periwinkle Sheep. I also used it for Streusel, and I wouldn't be surprised if I end up designing with it again—it's that beautiful.


Fat snowflakes are falling as I write this—we're in for a big Nor-easter—and the morning of our June Couplet photo shoot at the Brookfield Farm seems far away. The season had just begun, everything was fresh and new and green. Yesterday, when I pulled into the farm's parking lot for my last pickup of the 2014 season, brown dominated the landscape.


This Thanksgiving, I'm grateful that I had the good fortune of enjoying another season at the farm—my 18th. The strawberries this year were the best ever! I'm grateful for my family, especially my three sisters, whose modeling and editing and feedback on pattern names make this whole knitwear design endeavor so much fun. And I'm grateful for the support of all of you who knit my designs and share them on your blogs and Instagram and Facebook and Ravelry ... you have no idea how much it means to me.

Tomorrow I'll show up at Jackie's with not only finished socks in hand but also these:


Heavenly Chocolates!—my favorite local chocolatier. It is hard to have these in the house and refrain from opening the box, but I shall persevere.

If you are celebrating Thanksgiving, I hope you have a beautiful holiday. Safe travels!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

New Pattern: Sawmill River Hat

I'm excited to finally be able to share a project I spent a good bit of time on last summer—my Sawmill River Hat. It's part of the latest Brooklyn Tweed guest designer collection, Wool People 8

 © Brooklyn Tweed/Jared Flood

© Brooklyn Tweed/Jared Flood

This cables-and-texture hat is knit in LOFT, Brooklyn Tweed's fingering weight wool. It's worked in the round, seamlessly, from the garter stitch brim to the crown, which ends with a whimsical I-cord knob. 

 © Brooklyn Tweed/Jared Flood

The pattern provides instructions for two versions—a close-fitting cap and a longer, slouchy beanie. For each version, there are two sizes. And the hat knits up quickly, making it a nice choice for holiday gift knitting. 

 © Brooklyn Tweed/Jared Flood

It's such an honor to be included in Wool People 8! The lookbook is truly a work of art—in addition to sweaters and accessories by designers from seven different countries, there's the gorgeous photography we have come to expect from Jared Flood and thoughtful writing, including an essay about the Brooklyn Tweed yarns, which are entirely American made.

My Sawmill River Hat, at the Sawmill River in Montague, MA. I'm so excited and honored to be a part of @brooklyntweed Wool People 8!

I named the hat after the Sawmill River, which I see whenever I spend time at the Lady Killigrew Cafe and the Bookmill—both housed in a picturesque former mill in Montague, Massachusetts. In fact, I worked there yesterday in celebration of Wool People 8's release. With great WiFi, good food and coffee, and lots of light, it's my favorite "studio/office away from home." (Read more about the spot here.)

—links—

Thank you very much for reading!