Atalanta

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A few months ago, Sundara asked me if I'd be interested in designing something with one of her yarns. I've designed with her yarns before so I didn't need to think about it, and said I'd be glad to once my deadline work was out of the way. She sent me a whole bunch of emerald green Fingering Silky Merino and I was off.

Atalanta features princess seam lines in front and back, which are formed with ribbing and simple cable crosses. The scooped neck is easily modified to be higher or narrower, if desired.

The garment is almost entirely seamless. You cast on at the hem and work up in one piece to the armholes, then divide for fronts and back. The saddles are cast on then worked to the width of the shoulders. Sleeves are picked up from the armhole and worked down in the round. The saddles are sewn into place then the neck and placket ribbing is knit onto the garment.

Last minute work events brought me to LA right around TNNA time and my friend Julia invited me to go with her. While we were there, we each had a pattern ready to release in the coming days and we took the opportunity to get some shots of each other's patterns. Go see her gorgeous new design here.

If you are interested in buying Atalanta, you can check out all the details on my pattern page or the ravelry shop page. And if you are interested in buying a kit with enough yarn to make one of your own, go to Sundara's page, here. She's offering a 10% off discount code for select colors for just a couple of days.

AAaRfP

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Panda is thirteen years old, today, which is, I think, "lady of a certain age" in dog years. We probably shouldn't even be talking about it. Panda had her yearly vet appointment this week, where she got a clean bill of health. Darwin worried about her the whole time she was with the doc.

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Will she ever come back?

Yesterday, we took her to the ocean because, of course we did. She's definitely slowing down but she doesn't enjoy it any less.

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She's the only one who likes wading into the deep end. Some of that may have to do with the fact that Thea sinks in water and Darwin couldn't care less about fetch. His primary role is to body check his sisters. He's a real stinker.

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Thea also enjoys riding her invisible bicycle.

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Some seals watched us playing

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And we watched some anemones do their anemone thing.

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My anemone's anemone is my friend

Then we ended our evening with some fish and chips. The pups may have gotten a little bit of that too. The birthday celebration continues today. The pups are blissfully mellow, leaving the old lady to relax. Tonight, we'll cook up a little fresh salmon and sneak a little into their food, and of course, there are plenty of belly rubs and snuggles to go around.

Here's to my sweet old lady. If you have a pet, pass along a birthday scritch to him or her, on Panda's behalf.

Twist Collective Winter 2013 is Live

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The new Twist Collective launched last night and there's a lot to love. Check it out here. Everything in the edition is probably brand new to you, but I've been looking at these designs for months, and I know it's a strong edition when I'm still really excited about so many of them. I hope you will all like them too. As always, you can expect some great articles as well. I think my personal favorite might be the one on darning, but it's a hard choice. They are each fantastic in their own way.

You'll find my pattern in the Petite Patrie story. Ptolemy is a half circle shawl, featuring true lace (lace worked on right and wrong side rows) and a beaded scalloped border. The pattern is based on Elizabeth Zimermann's Pi Shawl formula in which the number of stitches doubles at a distance twice as far as the last doubling of stitches. The beads, while entirely optional, add just enough weight to the hem to ensure the shawl hangs nicely.

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Photo © Linus Ouellet

I love that Twist styled it in a way that makes it look appropriate for daily wear. I use my shawls all the time and I want knitters to feel like they can work their knits into their daily life, too. Well, presuming your daily life doesn't involve a lot of live stock and/or heavy machinery. There are times when a shawl is a chic liability.

When I snapped my own shots, before sending it off to Twist, I went a little more dressy.

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Since I started sewing again, I've made a fair number of dresses and their sole purpose for existing has been as styling tools for my knitting. My life is not terribly fancy, but this is how I imagined most people would want to use such a shawl.

I hope you'll take a few minutes to flip through the edition and see if there's anything you like. If nothing else, you have to take a look because there's a pattern named, Pixie Farts. If you like Ptolemy, you can check out the magazine page, the shop page and the ravelry page.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the edition, so feel free to leave a comment below.

Gifted

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I know, it's literally the day after halloween and I'm about to mention the gift-giving season. But let's be honest, if you are going to knit or crochet something for someone, especially if you are looking at hitting one of the gift-giving days of Hanukkah, there's not much time to wait.

Originally suggested by Larissa Brown, and organized by some amazing knit and crochet designers, the Gift-A-Long is a "multi-designer promotion to help you kick off your holiday gift-making." And if I might add to that, it's also a chance to score some new patterns for yourself at a great discount. All participating patterns are 25% off. The sale is running now through November 15. 

The group has also organized a bunch of prizes for people who post FOs before the end of the year, so if you do buy any patterns and you knit them, join the group, add your FOs and you'll be entered for a chance to win.

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I've decided to put my entire library of self-published patterns on sale. Just use the coupon code, "giftalong" to receive the discount. But really, make sure you check out all the patterns that are on sale. Of course, I'd love for people to buy my patterns, but there are thousands of other patterns that are also on sale. See all participating designers and designs here.

Three!

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Darwin may have turned three any time in the past few months. We have an arbitrary date on our calendars that we've marked as his birthday and last week was it. Unfortunately, we weren't able to get out to the coast, so we did the next best thing and made an extra special birthday dinner for everyone.


All of Darwin's captions would read, "om nom nom nom nom"

Ok, there's a chance this was considered a huge improvement on going to the beach. The jury is still out.

We did manage to get to the coast yesterday, though. It's been since July which is far too long for this pack of hooligans.

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Chop, chop, humans. Get with the letting us out!

We headed on over to Ecola State Park which is beautiful, but a little too crowded for us, during the summer months. Now that school is back in session, we can take advantage of our free fridays to get the trails mostly for ourselves. For you history buffs, Clatsop Loop Trail is part of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail. You can find out more about it here.

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This trail isn't long but in its 1.5 miles (plus the additional mile or so we went towards Tilamook Head Viewpoint), it rises something like 1000 feet above sea level. On a nice clear and maintained trail, it's a good workout, just ask Darwin, who carried our water in backpack. I can only imagine how much more of a workout it was for those exploring it in its rougher state.

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If you keep your eyes peeled, you'll see a lot in these forests. We've come across elk before and you know there will always be a slug or twenty.

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But what had to be the weirdest/coolest thing we saw were the hydnellum packii.

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Are you looking at that business?

I'm not sure that the birthday boy cared much about the flora and fauna of the pacific northwest sitka forests, but he did sleep the entire trip home. That's a pretty good sign with a three-year old herding dog. He's been a handful of a dog, for the short time we've had him, and I think that's made him all the more endearing. A big happy birthday to my sweet little beast.

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Sleepy puppies headed home

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