Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I'll Have Mine With a Twist, and a New Toy

We're less than two days away from the kickoff of the Mystery Sock KAL! Over 150 people are currently signed in to participate, and I swear half of them are making Purple Hooters! Should be a blast. I'm just doing some last minute pattern proofing to help ensure the event goes smoothly.

At long last, I have a new sock pattern to add to the site Pattern Library! Announcing: "With a Twist" (you decide of what - hee!) shown here in Bellini. A total departure from my usual structures, this top-down sock has lots of fun twists to keep knitters amused while they create. The cuff features a twisted rib pattern that adds an interesting diamond shape which flows down both sides of the sock. On the front and back of the leg, an interlocking diamond pattern twist stitch is used, which gives a really clean "cable" look, without the use of a supplemental cable needle!

The heel is truly my favorite part of this sock. It's a heel flap structure, but highly modified to allow the back patterning to flow all the way to the ground. Wouldn't these be perfect with clogs or other backless shoes?!!

After we make the heel turn, the interlocking diamond pattern continues to roll down to a natural stopping point based on the wearer's foot length. The toe is finished in reverse stockinette on the top of the foot, to ensure that the pretty design never gets lost.

"With a Twist" will be available in the store pattern library by Friday of this week for you to have free with any yarn purchase.

Check out the new Toy at the Brewery! Our new motorized skein winder is a saver of time, not to mention wear and tear on the neck and shoulders! The photo shows it in action, serving up a Dirty Martini.

On another topic, we added three more states to our Where We Have Shipped map this week! Welcome Kansas, Nevada and West Virginia!

visited 33 states (66%)


Cheers!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Where are the Sock-aholics?

Found a fun new gizmo online today! It's a site where you can track what states or countries you have visited. My first thought, of course, was to track how many states we've shipped yarn to! Currently, we're in 30 states - shown in red on the map. I tried to get it to highlight the states in argyle, but I guess there must be another gizmo for that!


visited 30 states (60%)


It's a hot weekend here, and I'm trying really hard to spend as much of this Sunday knitting as possible. To avoid feelings of guilt, however, I'm sneaking in a few housework breaks here and there.

I have a wonderful new toy (I guess it's really a productivity tool, but it seems like a toy to me) that I need to share in my next post!

Cheers,
Wendy

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Dip in the Frog Pond

Hello! I was hoping by now to be sharing a cool new pattern that I'm working on for the store library, but noooooooooooooo. This little cutie is looking really good, but getting frogged for two reasons.

Reason 1: Fit. As I was working on the leg, it seemed like it was wide enough, but I wasn't completely convinced. After I got around the heel, it became clear that it was too snug. Fortunately, I have a plan as to how to work more stitches into this Twist Stitch design. It's fun to knit, and results in a cabled-look without using a cable needle - yeah!


Reason 2: The Heel. I tried a heel I haven't used before, the recommendation for which came from a seemingly reputable source. This heel, known as the Band Heel, has pros and cons:

Pros:

- It looks kinda cool from the side.
- It has options for creativity - it wouldn't have to be done in stockinette.
-There is no gusset to mess with.

Con:
(Only one and it's a biggie)
It has a bumpy band on the bottom of the heel that I can only imagine is uncomfortable to walk on.

So, this three-quarters-of-the-way-done sock was summarily snipped from its mother ball, and is on it's way to display in the Sock Hall of Shame. It's replacement is in process, and I'm hoping to complete it in the next week. I have so many other ideas brewing in my little head that I want to be working on!

KAL Update: Whew! The Mystery Sock KAL is gaining lots of participants and should be a ton of fun. It's a great group, featuring a few family knitting "teams", an enlisted knitter currently serving in Afghanistan, several veterans of Sock Wars III (who are also participating in Sock Wars IV in May), and a myriad of other crazy Sock-aholics anxious to get started. Is it selfish for me to be having so much fun with this?

Cheers,
Wendy

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Mystery Sock KAL!

Our Mystery Sock KAL will be starting May 1, 2009! Join in on the fun and suspense, and you might even win a cool prize!

The Mystery Sock is a fun new pattern by our award-winning designer. We don’t want to give too much away, but the sock features seasonal beaded motifs and is guaranteed to be a rewarding project that will impress all who see it! The toe-up pattern will be distributed free of charge in a series of 7 “clues”, none of which will provide a picture of the finished product. That’s the mystery that you have to solve by completing the project!

Sign up for the KAL on our Ravelry group discussion board
by clicking here. There is no cost to join. All KAL related chit chat, pattern support, show and tell, and prize awards will be managed through this Ravelry group.

The Mystery Sock will reveal itself over the course of seven “clues.” The KAL will begin with the release of the first clue on May 1, 2009. Links to all Clues will be posted here and on the Ravelry discussion board.

The six subsequent clues will be posted on these dates:
Clue #2: May 5, 2009
Clue #3: May 9, 2009
Clue #4: May 15, 2009
Clue #5: May 20, 2009
Clue #6: May 24, 2009
Clue #7: May 28, 2009

No purchase is necessary to participate in this KAL, however the Grand Prize will be awarded to a knitter who uses Knitters Brewing Company Sock-aholic yarn. Beaded sock kits are available on the website in two colors for those interested. Knitters who use other brands of yarn are eligible for all other prizes. Finished socks must be beaded in order for their knitter to be included in the prize drawing.

On June 10, the names of all participants who have posted a photo on the discussion board of at least one complete, beaded, sock will be entered into the random drawing for prizes.

Runner Up Prizes (4 to be awarded): One skein of Knitters Brewing Company Sock-aholic yarn in the winners choice of color. (Retail Value $20 each)

Grand Prize (1 to be awarded): Two skeins of Knitters Brewing Company Sock-aholic yarn in the winners choice of color, and a Debbie Macomber Quilted Single Project Bag. (Retail Value $58.50)

Name the Sock Prize Additionally, one skein of Knitters Brewing Company Sock-aholic yarn will be awarded to the participant who posts the best name for this pattern - once the design is revealed. This decision will be made by the Moderating Brewmistress based on which name most tickles her fancy.

As this is our first KAL, the Moderating Brewmistress also reserves the right to add any needed guidelines that she may have overlooked. She is blonde, you know.

What You Can Do To Prepare:
1. Decide what yarn you are going to use and check your gauge.
2. Get your beads. You will need 200 size 06/0 beads. (Kits containing the yarn and beads are available
on the website if you are interested).
3. Gauge: 36 sts and 46 rows = 4” in Stockinette Stitch using recommended needle size US 1.
4. Standard knitting tools will be used, plus two stitch markers and a needle for threading the beads onto the yarn.
5. Practice the techniques we will be using that may be new to you. We have made some brief training videos to help you!

Knitting Beads into Your Project Click here to find our brief video of the beading technique used in this project.


SSP and SSSP in the Short Row Heel These stitches sound intuitive but they need to be worked from the back. Click here to find our brief video showing how to do these stitches.

Judy’s Magic Toe Cast On Click here to find a detailed tutorial of this technique on Knitty.com. We’ll post a video tutorial of this cast on soon!

Looking forward to seeing all the sleuths working on this case!

Cheers!