Nautical Knitting Cruise 2016!

Happy Monday... I've got some good news for you!

Remember last year's Nautical Knitting Cruise? Well we have another one planned for this December! (and oh my, re-reading my re-cap post just made me a little nostalgic!)
Join Melissa Leapman, Patty Lyons and myself for another fabulous adventure at sea!
This time we'll be leaving from Miami and headed to St Thomas, Tortola, and The Bahamas... our boat is newer (like brand-new) and bigger and I've read great things about the food/boat activities. The itinerary is longer leaving us all a bit more time to relax and knit poolside. (IMHO the last cruise was too fast!)
You can read more about the cruise here. There is info for signing up with some excellent new travel agents that Melissa has cultivated a strong relationship with. I'll be teaching 9 classes on the cruise, and one of them will be for a new shawl design, Escapado!
How about we have a little giveaway?
I'd love to hear about what you want to learn in Escapado,  I'll try to incorporate your ideas into it!

Leave a comment below sharing a technique with me you'd love to learn on the cruise, and I'll choose one of you to win an Escapado kit (you'll have to wait until next November to receive it!). .I'll keep comments open through April 29th and announce a winner in my next blog post!

Oh, and the winner of last week's La Jefa yarn giveaway? Congrats go to PrettyPinkZebra Get in touch with your size and address and Spirit Trail Fiberworks get you your yarn! Thankyou so much for the La Jefa love last week... I'm thrilled that y'all love her as much as I do... I can't wait to see her start to come off your needles, she is going to be great for the cruise!


La Jefa: New Pattern!

Oh, you all have been patient! Ready for the last sweater in the Novus Collection
Introducing LA JEFA!
La Jefa (pronounced La He-fa) means Boss Lady in Spanish, and this sweater is certainly the boss!
I've been working on La Jefa ever since I got yarn from Jennifer at Spirit Trail Fiberworks in November. I ripped a few times, revamped things once, and then had a slew of people test her to make sure La Jefa fit more than just my body type!
Oh, I love this sweater! The wait was worth it, I promise!
La Jefa is definitely the most challenging of the 3 sweaters in the Novus Collection, but if you have knit Hot Flash or Las Cruces, or are comfortable with lace, you will be ready for her!
I actually knit two La Jefa's... the second is knit in Anzula Breeze (the same heavy lace silk/linen I knit both Crucero's with) in Shitake.
I think you can see the stitch details a bit more clearly in it! The back and side seam panels use the stitch I developed for Meta Mystery KAL
And the "body" uses the same stitch I used in Clarus! So really, though it looks complicated, this might be a familiar knit for a few of you!
La Jefa uses the exact same construction as the other sweaters in the Novus Collection, if you aren't familiar with it, check out the blog series I did on it!
This blog post would have WAY too many photos if I posted all the great ones from the shoot. Go take a peek on Ravelry, you can see a gazillion more, plus all the testers lovely versions knit in a variety of great yarn choices!

And lucky you! Guess what? Spirit Trail has offered to giveaway a Sweater Quantity (2 or 3 skeins, size dependent) of Nona in Rose Kissed (the color shown above) to one of you lucky blog readers! And Jennifer is so in love with La Jefa that she is offering 20% off Nona through 4/25/16. Just enter the code BOSSLADY at checkout.

Just leave a comment below letting me know who is La Jefa in your life! Don't forget to leave a way to get in touch with you... I'll keep comments open through April 24th and announce a winner in my next blog post!


Crucero Banda with new kit colors!

Remember Crucero Shawl from earlier this winter? Well I came home from the cruise with a bee in my bonnet... I wanted to release the kits in a few more colors AND I wanted to design a version that wasn't quite as fussy, more of a scarf, than a shawl!
So, Crucero Banda (Scarf in Spanish) was conceived! Crucero Banda has all the same stitches as Crucero Shawl, it is just worked entirely flat.
It begins with a rectangular strip of twisted dropped stitches (you Synthesis knitters know how to do that!) and then two strips are worked off of each long edge of that creating a long scarf with a center panel.
It has the same lace stitch and beaded edgings as Crucero Shawl, but the start is was easier and the fit a bit more modern!
This shawl is SO easy to wear! My Mom is getting it for her Mother's Day/Birthday present, but she doesn't read my blog, so I am safe!
And there are 3 new Anzula Breeze kit colors... I've put them in my Etsy shop and made them a little less expensive as I know many of you have the pattern already and I decided to not bundle it with this kit so you weren't paying for it twice! Plus if you already own the pattern for Crucero Shawl, Crucero Banda is only $4 more.

oh, and p.s., those of you waiting for the last sweater in the Novus Collection?
It will be out SUPER soon, just waiting for a spring day to take photos on a "real" model!
Goldie (my model above) is a bit tougher when it comes chilly lake shoots...


Tutorial: Placing a Lifeline

What is a Lifeline?
Lifelines are like insurance policies for your knitting: You won’t necessarily need them, but if you run into trouble you’ll be glad you invested in one! A lifeline is a smooth piece of scrap yarn, typically a lighter gauge than the yarn you are working with, in a contrasting dye-fast color that is threaded through all the live stitches on the needles. If you find a mistake and need to undo multiple rows of knitting, you can rip back to the lifeline and pick up the stitches from the scrap yarn to try again.

I love using lifelines after I work a provisional cast on, as then when you go to rip out the cast on to get your live stitches they are all "caught" by the lifeline a ready to go!

Placing a Lifeline

Thread a smooth piece of scrap yarn (unwaxed dental floss or buttonhole thread work well, too), onto a bent-tip tapestry needle, then thread the needle through each stitch of your knitting. If you are knitting single-sided lace, work the yarn through a plain (WS) row, if possible. Place the lifeline on a row of knitting you know you have worked correctly so that if you need to rip back more than a row or two you’ll know you are on track. Remember to mark which row your lifeline is placed on so you know exactly where you are ripping back to. It’s also best to place a lifeline at the end of a repeat to help you keep track of where you are in the pattern.

Ripping Back to a Lifeline
Remove the needle from your work. (I know, this is scary!) Slowly wind the yarn back onto its ball and stop when you reach the stitches held on the lifeline. Then, with a needle one to two sizes smaller than the needle you are knitting with, put the stitches back onto the needle, making sure that the right leg of the stitch is to the front of your needle and the left leg is to the back. (It is much easier to pick up stitches with a smaller needle.) Then transfer the stitches to the properly sized working needle.

Multiple Lifelines
You may be asking, “Can I remove my lifeline once I have placed a second one?”
That’s up to you. Some knitters prefer the safety of having multiple lifelines in place; others find the dangling ends distracting and like to remove them as soon as possible. To remove a lifeline, gently pull the thread out stitch by stitch.

Any other questions about using lifelines? I'm happy to answer them!