Tag Archives: KnitKnack

#BlackerGiveAway

The Give Away of DeConstruction

BlackerGiveAway

That’s right, my first GiveAway – sponsored by:

blacker-yarns-logo

Do you want to knit DeConstructed Cowl? Do you want to use the very same colors I had for the original? Well then, ENTER TO WIN!

What you will win:
4 skeins of Blacker Elegance DK: Spice, Nutmeg, Silver, and Pewter
4 skeins of Blacker Swan over-dyed Falklands Merino DK: Summer Sea, Whitegrass, Hawkweed, and Diddle Dee
Free Ravelry Download Code for DeConstructed Cowl.

The Throw Down:
On Thursday, January 15th, 2015 I will be drawing a name out of a hat.
You can enter multiple times and here’s how:

1) I’ve started a Discussion Thread in my Knack of the Knit Ravelry Group. Join the group and comment on the thread.

Please note: You must join group to enter.

2) Magic Link DeConstructed Cowl to another Ravelry thread and mention “#BlackerGiveAway”.

Please note: You must “Magic Link” the pattern to enter.

3) RePost the Instagram Photo announcing this very GiveAway from amandaadavidson on instagram. Tag the photo with #BlackerGiveAway and @amandaadavidson.

Please note: You must have both of these tags to enter.

4) Share my Facebook post which announces the #BlackerGiveAway: KnitKnackAAD Facebook

Please note: You must share the post directly from the KnitKnackAAD page to enter. If you link from this blog post, you MUST tag KnitKnackAAD Facebook page for me to see it! I can’t track who shares this post from WordPress. 

All entries MUST be submit by 12am CST Wednesday, January 14th.

I envision many a message over the next week, so take caution when trying to contact me about technicalities!

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The 2015 Diet

Yes, it’s true. I am being ever so cliché and taking on a diet for my New Year’s Resolution. A YARN diet. You’ve all seen the Yarnerator. I have worked at two incredibly successful and inspiring yarn shops – Purl Soho and Knitche. I’ve also been knitting for over 8 years. The sad truth of it all – my Yarnerator canNOT even hold all the yarn I call my own.

Yarnerator_Open

You think I’m kidding? Ask my mother. The first time she saw my stash was just over a year ago. My mother knows nothing of knitting. She says to me, “Uh … Amanda … do you ever have a project in mind when you buy yarn?” with a look of utter confusion. Those of us in the yarn world know THERE’S NO SUCH THING. The sadder truth, my stash has grown by at least 50% since that encounter – but A LOT of that has already been used … maybe – I don’t know exactly how the math works out.

I have many resolutions this year. One is to get out of my apartment more. Freelancing, knit design, and general knitting are not activities which are great for getting me out of the house and I have decided this is the year I will try harder to meet a man – OKCupid is NOT doing it for me. Another was to not buy yarn until I have finished three projects – two of which had to be from my stash. I decided this was not good enough once I took into account all that I made in 2014:

Rav_FOWhile I am incredibly proud of all that I made in 2014 (and I don’t think this is even the whole of it), maybe 15% came from stash (part of Diamond in the Gradient, the stripe of my Staggered Cowl, two thirds of By the Mayside, half of Sparrow, meet Habu, Geometry Trapezoid, Janna’s Tunic ::Part Deux, and half of Chevron Stripes hat). Two projects were sponsored, but I bought the yarn for everything else! I am SO proud to have supported Local Yarn Shops, but I have to remember I am a broke-ass female! Here in is where I birthed my newest New Year’s … let’s call it a dare.

ONE YEAR WITHOUT BUYING YARN

Continue reading

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Share the Knit [and crochet … and more]

I’ve been working hard and long to bring some fun designs to my favorite group of people – my fellow DIY-ers.

ALL

All of these designs are near and dear to my heart. I’ve got something for knitters, a little something for crocheters, and two of my three GiftTags work for any kind of handmade item! With a checklist of washing instructions on the back, you just can’t go wrong! Make sure to grab them on Etsy in time for the holidays.

TAGS

These designs are modern typographic plays combined with hand illustration. Everything is printed with my good friends at HD Design & Print right here in Chicago. They run old school on a gorgeous offset press, but with a twist of inventive design.

This is just the start. Think big with me – these designs are screaming project bags, notebooks, and surely a coffee mug!

EtsyListing_Lace_Full_ALT

This was a happy accident. I was knitting with one of my favorite groups and I thought my friend put on a parody – I honestly heard “I’m all about that Lace.” I then got looks of confusion followed by looks of amazement.

EtsyListing_SSK_Full

This is definitely a favorite because it combines two of my favorite activities. SSK [Sip, Sip, knit] – increase the fun. This card is perfect to send to a friend who hosted your last boozy knit night. I’m seeing this foil stamped gold for the cover of a grid-lined notebook.

SingleCard_ChainGang_EtsyListing_ALT

Of course, I had to have a little something for my crocheting friends. There are three fun designs for you, including the very cool “It’s not knit, IT’S CROCHET” GiftTags.

Come out and support the shop so we can start making more fun things to promote our pride and love of crafting! Contact me on Etsy for any special quantities, sets, or designs!

 

 

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Stay Classy, Dapper Tie

Another week, another pattern!  ravelry

AADavidson_DapperTie_Title

This is one of my favorite pieces from the vault. I designed this while living in Bushwick Brooklyn, NY.

I’ve always admired a man in a clean button-down and classy tie. I wanted to create a neck piece that was hip, fun, but still reserved and, well, dapper. Using a smaller yarn and gauge helped achieve that goal. To give an interesting texture, I used a series of stitches over a 3 row repeat.

Perfect for the professional in your life. Stay classy, World.

boys

Two of my lovely Brooklyn loftmates entertained my request to photograph them wearing my creations. They chose to channel JCrew for inspiration while we played on our rooftop.

Garden2This is a simple pattern. Even though I learned to crochet in high school, I hardly ever do it! I chose to crochet this design because it gives a slightly thicker fabric and for a tie, you want a sturdy finish so it stays put.

This pattern will be free until 5pm Friday, August 28th to attract a pool of testers.

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Staggered

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So excited to release my first pattern on Ravelry. ravelry

MOMwrappedI originally knit this pattern as a birthday present for Mom. It became a problem when I always wanted to steal it from her.

 

While working a shift at Knitche one day, I witnessed the arrival of Blue Sky Alpaca Extra. My first reaction was to wrap the hank of yarn around my neck and cuddle up. I decided this was the perfect yarn to re-knit my cabled cowl.

 

I’ve been pouring over the chart for this design for quite some time, trying to bring in my graphic knowledge to help make it more user friendly. I’m excited to get feedback on this to make the pattern even better.

modeled

To get help, I’m releasing this temporarily as a free pattern. Please help out!

Update: A hearty THANK YOU to the 1400 Ravelers who downloaded my pattern in the last 24 hours! I’ve been so excited to see such warm response to my first published design. Now that I have a great pool of testers, I will be charging a small fee for downloads. I look forward to your feedback and can’t wait to see the projects start popping up!

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Va Va Voom

Vs_narrowThis last year, I’ve been fortunate enough to be on an intensive knitting binge … and I still just cannot stop. Lately I have been knitting garment after garment. My most recent accomplishment is my Violette Seater.

As soon as I saw the pattern for Sombra in the Summer 2014 issue of PomPom Quarterly, I knew I must knit it. I set out to find a great lace weight yarn to use – it was a whole new world as I hadn’t really knit with such a light weight yarn before.

I decided on The Fibre Company Meadow because I highly admired the color and fiber blends. I love yarns with depth to them!

This was a very fun pattern to knit and goes very quickly. The color is achieved simply by adding in strands of yarn. The lightest section (the background) is just one strand while the darkest section is three strands thick using all colors.

Side_by_Side

This has turned out to be one of my favorite knit items – I love the fit AND I love the color layout. As soon as the temperatures cooperate, I’ll be wearing this quite often!

BOTHFont_ModeledFor more of my notes, check out my Ravelry Project page for Violette. ravelry

 

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Knitting on the Front Porch

It’s my favorite time of knitting season again, Spring.

pattern

The weather [finally] warming up and choosing the right light-weight garment to knit can help to coax the warm temperatures.

This Spring, I was lucky to take on a test knit for a knitwear designer I’ve admired for awhile, Sara Gresbach of Front Porch Knitting (see her  ravelry  profile). In March, Sara posted a call for Portico, a t-shirt she designed.  Sara asked that we use the yarn the pattern called for, Luna Grey‘s Aspen Sport. This 100% superwash merino wool was hand-dyed the day after I ordered it and I received it within the week.

Pic2_amended

I chose to work this t-shirt by working both sides at the same time. Probably doesn’t really speed up the process, but when you’re done, you’re done – no going back to the beginning!

Pic2

I was very happy with the final garment! For more info and notes, see my Portico project page ravelry

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Alpha Ball

Being a Graphic Designer who adores typography, I was drawn to the book Knitted Letters by Catherine Hirst and Erssie Major.

As it was time to do another project for my nieces, The Alphabet Blocks seemed like the perfect choice. Since I had used Spud & Chloe Fine (one of my favorite kid-proof yarns) for their Elephants last year, I decided to keep it in the family. This project is also nice because I could build a set for them over time – one block at a time!

I personally favor typefaces that feature a “thick-thin” quality, so I opted for the Stencil charts in the back of the book. This was my first colorwork project, so bear with me!

1_A  2_D

As I blocked each square (they came out to about 4.5″) and started to assemble the block, I noticed that the regular stuffing wasn’t achieving the block shape. I took pause and consulted my local yarn community at Knitche. While the traditional block look was what I had wanted, the ball quality was fun and oh so cuddly! I chose to stick with the regular fill, but could have switched to a foam that would give it the rigid, cube shape. My Alpha Balls ended up being about 5.5″ in diameter.

6_One  5_Two

For these blocks, I did the girls’ initials, the number of the month each was born, and a picture. Because the book doesn’t include numbers, I referenced a similar typeface and charted the numbers myself. For the pictures, I designed an elephant for one block and an Aspen leaf for my niece’s namesake.

7_Elephant  8_AspenLeaf

For more pictures, see my Ravelry Post.

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a sweater for Mom

Greetings! I am rejoining the world and loving every new breath. I currently left a salaried position in the Big Apple with a Grade A Workaholic boss who, in turn, managed to start morphing me as well.

Luckily, my bright, outgoing personality couldn’t take the plunge! I am most enthusiastic about my new life doing what I love. Have I cut back in the hours I was pulling? No … but it’s such a different experience doing something that makes you happy and working with amazing, lovely people. I need to give a quick thank you to my parents, family, and friends who helped me to accept the decision to move on and make an honest effort to do what I love!

Aside from this, I’ve also been able to enhance my knitting production, a passion nurtured since 2006. Did I learn from my mother? No … but she did teach me everything else in life. For my first post, I want to showcase and thank her.

SanFranMom hails from Western Springs, Illinois. She was the perfect All-American daughter, never stepping too far out of line (to my knowledge …). As an adult, she worked in an elementary school district in a suburb South of Chicago running a Media Center. She met her next-door-neighbor when she went to vote. Their first date was to a Chicago Bears game. One fine day, he announced they were to wed and soon after Mom became step-mom to three young children who lived out of state. Shortly after, I came along and she had summers full caring for four kids within a 10 year range.

Mom moved to the classroom and taught second and third grades throughout the years. During this time, we adopted my little sister from China. Soon after welcoming Kiveran into our life, Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. She was a champ. She even fit treatments into her school schedule so that she could teach half days and be with her students. I remember knowing Mom was sick, but she still seemed so strong and healthy. It wasn’t until recently that I learned we almost lost her. I would not be the same bubbly character that I am today if we had. Everyone always tells me, “You are your mother’s daughter,” and I’ve never found anything to be more true nor more of a compliment.

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In high school, Mom became more of a friend and we were a team. She finished her career as Director of the Title One program for her district. She has spent retirement caring for her mother and being my sibling’s and my biggest fan. She says raising me was like living in a musical … probably not a very good one, but surely entertaining. To show Mom my love and thanks, I made my first sweater for her in 2010. I used Kim Hargreaves’ pattern, Olivia, published in Thrown Together. The sweater is knit with Blue Sky Alpaca’s Sport Weight. We took these pictures outside the house she grew up in – she lit up so brightly! These are some of my favorite pictures of her.

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