Wednesday, August 20, 2014

ANTHOLOGY 1 by Carrie Bostick Hoge Giveaway on #knitting

Boy oh boy do I have a lovely and oh so pretty prize to giveaway today for our Summer Sweater Knit Along!

One of my most favorite designers, photographer/stylists is the oh so talented Carrie Bostick Hoge. Her work is constantly inspiring me and I am truly inspired by all of her work. I was super excited to see the release of her new book Anthology 1. Drool factor on high here folks!!! Seriously. You all know how I get obsessed about stitch patterns well this book is a knitter's dream! Carrie has taken 4 unique stitch patterns and incorporated them into a collection of dreamy and gorgeous garments and accessories!


CAMILLA | 6 Patterns including a pullover, shawls, child & baby garments & a blanket
SIBELLA | 4 Patterns including a cardigan, cowl, pullover and scarf
IMOGEN | 6 Patterns including a pullover, tees, a cowl, and a blanket
BEATRICE | 6 Patterns including cardigans, a wrap, cowl, tee and scarf

Each pattern is beautiful in it's own right. But when combined in different forms it creates an addictive collection of patterns just yearning to be cast on! Incorporated into different weights and styles these stitch patterns just beg to be knit up! There are patterns for babies, children and for adults. Also included are shawls, blankets and more. Each pattern is knit up with the equally as addictive Quince and Co. yarns! Seriously....could it get any better? Accompanied by Carrie's signature photography and graphic design Anthology 1 is a must have for any knitter's coveted collection of books.

Would you like to win a copy of Anthology 1? Keep reading to find out how!

ANTHOLOGY 1 by Carrie Bostick Hoge Giveaway on #knitting
ANTHOLOGY 1 by Carrie Bostick Hoge Giveaway on #knittingANTHOLOGY 1 by Carrie Bostick Hoge Giveaway on #knitting


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Beachside |
Beachside |
Beachside |
Beachside |
Beachside |
Glen Lake |
Waterlilies |

This is what we've been up to lately.

Now that we are in the new house it's time to explore! We're so lucky to live in an area now that is accessible to tons of amenities, the city and also gorgeous farm land and ocean beaches with mountain views! Both the hubs and I grew up in very small towns and we love the more relaxed feel of our neighborhood. We also love that we have all new surroundings to explore and tons of accessible outdoor landscapes! So many lovely off the beaten path views.

It's been hard to get the rest of the unpacking/chores done when all we want to do is enjoy the house and the new sights! Beaches, lakes and more are calling our names! So even though I know I "should" be unpacking this time I'm telling myself "it can wait". There's more important things to do. Like skipping rocks at the ocean, laying on the rocky shore with my best friend and love of my life, watching our girls laugh and play in the ocean, soaking up the summer sun, smelling the coastal breeze and breathing in the fresh air. Those darn pesky boxes can wait.

So that means the sewing time has been non-existent at the moment. Until this momma gets her office fully unpacked and her shelves set up the sewing is on hold. But I do promise it will be soon. I've got some new shelves being delivered this week and then I hope to get back into full work mode and say a big hello to my babies! I swear I can feel my serger/sewing machine staring at me with judgement. They don't like to be ignored. I'll make it up to them soon.

Until then, put aside your chores (and any unpacked boxes you may have), and get outside and explore! Bring a notebook, your camera and your loved ones and go be free. If even for 10 minutes. I swear it will come back tenfold in creativity. You'll feel even more inspired and much more happier to get those pesky chores and unpacking done when your soul is full.

What's your favorite way to inspire yourself outdoors? How do you balance your "chores" with your fun time? Do you have a favorite place to go unwind and recharge your creative batteries? I've got a coffee cup with your name on it! Come chat with me! I always love to hear from you. And heck.....chatting with all you lovelies is a heckuva lot more fun than unpacking. So come help me procrastinate ;)


Thursday, August 14, 2014

 Sew a Modern Home Book Review & Giveaway |
Photo Credit || Brent Kane and Martingale
I'm so excited for the release of the new book "Sew a Modern Home" from my lovely friend Melissa Lunden!!!

I love when a new sewing book comes along that gets me really itching to pull an all day sewing marathon.  The kind of book that has me already daydreaming about fabric choices, colors and more. Sew a Modern Home: Quilts and More For Every Room is filled with inspiring projects that easily fit into my home and yours. The book covers most rooms in your home and is broken down as such in the book. I really liked that detail. Here's the rooms broken down....

LIVING ROOM | 1 Quilt and 2 Pillows
DINING ROOM | Placemats, Table Runner and Napkins
MAIN BEDROOM | 1 Quilt and 1 Pillow
GUEST BEDROOM | 1 Quilt and 1 Pillow
GIRL'S ROOM & BOY'S ROOM | Each have 1 Quilt
NURSERY | 1 Quilt, 1 Crib Skirt, 1 Crib Sheet and 1 Crib Bumper
OUT & ABOUT | 1 Quilt and 1 Tote

 Sew a Modern Home Book Review & Giveaway |
Photo Credit || Brent Kane and Martingale
I am particularly in love with a pattern for the Main Bedroom called the Desert Morning Quilt shown above. I need to add that one to my "must sew" list asap!I love it's subtle tones and clean palette. I just adore how it was quilted. It's hard to see in this shot but it's stunning! It would fit into my home just perfectly!


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Brooklyn Tweed Shelter Yarn | #sskal14

There has been so many gorgeous pics shared of Summer Sweater Knit Along projects over the last few weeks and it's been so inspiring! 

I figured it was time to show what I've been knitting away on. I've been working in the background  on a new sweater design! Yay! This time I'm making a cardigan and I can't wait to wear it! It's one of those projects that I can't knit fast enough so I can finally add it to my regular wardrobe. I have sort of adopted a new process that when I design now I try to knit 2 of some things. 1 for me and 1 for a sample because it kills me to not be able to wear them! So right now I'm working on 2 cardigans. One in my size and one in a sample size since I am for sure NOT the sample size...haha. If you look closely at the picture of my basket below with my knitting you will see the color that I'm making my size in. More on that later though.

Brooklyn Tweed Shelter Yarn | #sskal14
Brooklyn Tweed Shelter Yarn | #sskal14
Brooklyn Tweed Shelter Yarn | #sskal14

I really enjoy making the initial design in my own size so I can try it on, use my dress form, and see how it looks on curves instead of just model proportions. Since I also design sewing patterns I find I use techniques from both fields in the design process. It's fun to implement things when I can to aid in the design process. Since math is so heavily used and I'm more of a visual person, I find the sewing skills aid me in designing garments in knitting and then adding in the math to create the pattern.

Since we just moved into our first home my knitting time hasn't been huge but I've been busy swatching and pattern writing and finally have that lovely Brooklyn Tweed Shelter in colorway "Hayloft" turning into a cardigan! I've been rewarding all my cleaning/unpacking with a few good solid hours of knitting work at the end of the day before bed. I find myself staying up late just enjoying our new house and the quiet with this pretty yarn. Isn't this color to die for? I've been in love with it for the longest time and I'm so happy to make a sweater with it. This color is the "sample" size for this pattern. I wish I could show you more but a girls gotta have some secrets...wink wink.

Rain & Leaf |

We just had our first day of rain here in a very long time and let me tell you, the girls shot out of bed this morning, threw on their rain boots and ran into our backyard all full of excitement to be able to go out and play in it. I on the other hand, grabbed my favorite hand knit and ran in the yard with a camera to catch a shot of the matching leaf to my cardi. I couldn't resist the I didn't even have my coffee first and that's saying a lot! I just couldn't get over how much the color matched perfectly! So pretty!

How's your SSKAL project going? Do you need any help? Questions? Don't be shy! Join the conversation! Feel free to leave a comment here or to ask any questions in our Ravelry group! We love seeing your "work in progress" shots and hearing about your projects! Also, if you blog be sure to share a post every Wednesday and share your link in the comments here so we can read it!

P.S. Don't forget to tag your work on Instagram and Twitter with our hashtag #sska14. There's a ton of fun going on there as well as in our Rav group. You can find me on both under "soveryshannon".



Monday, August 11, 2014

Basic Black by Sato Watanabe | Tuttle Publishing
I'm so excited to add Basic Black, another lovely Japanese sewing book by Sato Watanabe, to my collection! 

Some of you may know I used to be a hairdresser. While what you didn't know was that all I used to wear was the color black. The salons I worked for at the time encouraged the stylists to all wear black.  It was considered moody and stylish. All the color I so embrace now was in my nails and hair. I have to admit that after leaving the industry it took me a long time to "break the black" and start adding color to my wardrobe. I'm happy to say that now black has a home in my closet amongst tons of color and prints. I've come a long way :)

Even though I fought to add color to my clothes I still love black. It's slimming, classic, sexy, stylish and just cool. I always feel good when I wear black so I was excited to hear about Basic Black: 26 Edgy Essentials for the Modern Wardrobe. I wasn't disappointed. True to Sato's style there is a pattern in here for everything - 26 in fact! Yep, that's right - 26! Tops, dresses, jackets and more. The fabrics are interesting and the designs are more body flattering than most of the other Japanese sewing books you see on the shelves. Basic Black is another great English edition of a Japanese sewing book.



Thursday, August 7, 2014

Don't miss Craftsy's Dog Days of Summer Sale happening now! 

Enjoy up to 50% off ALL online classes! Take advantage of big savings today. Hurry, offer expires August 11, 2014 at 11:59 PM MT. Shop now and save!

I'm a big fan of Craftsy classes and take them regularly! It's a great way to stop getting stuck wishing you knew how to do something and instead jump in to learn how :)

Above are a few that I think would be awesome for all of our Summer Sweater Knit Along knitters!!! 

Happy making and creating! Have you taken a Craftsy class? Which one would you like to take?

*This post contains affiliate links but all opinions are my own.


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Provisional Cast On Tutorial with Guest Hilary Smith Callis of The Yarniad for Summer Sweater Knit Along 2014 on #sskal14 #knitting

We've got one of my fave knitting pals here on the blog today to kick off our "Tips & Techniques" portion of the Summer Sweater Knit Along!!!  

Hilary Smith Callis of The Yarniad is an incredibly talented knitwear designer as well as a blogger and she's also one of our SSKAL14 sponsors! She's sweet, funny and just all around awesome. I adore her to bits and I think it's safe to say we both love a good cast-on.  I was super excited when she decided to write you all up a great tutorial on the infamous Provisional Cast-On! Don't fear the Provisional anymore! Give it a try! I promise it's not hard! So show Hilary some love - pin it, share it, tweet it and try it!

Here's Hilary..... 

One of my favorite knitting techniques is the Provisional Cast On. A Provisional Cast On is a temporary cast on -- stitches are cast on in such a way that you can pick them up live later on and work them however you'd like. Say you're knitting a sweater from the bottom up, but you don't know how long you want it, or you haven't decided if you want ribbing or garter stitch at the hem, or maybe you really want to make it longer than the pattern calls for but you don't know if you are going to have enough yarn. The Provisional CO allows you to cast on without commitment and make all of those decisions later! As a designer, I love the flexibility this gives me.

There are a few different ways to do a Provisional CO, but today I'm going to show you my preferred method, which involves making a little crochet chain and picking up stitches from it. If you're not experienced with crochet or have never made a chain before, do not fear! I am the world's worst crocheter, and even I can do this.

For this technique you're going to need a long length of scrap yarn close in weight to the yarn you'll ultimately be working with and, ideally, a crochet hook. If you don't have a crochet hook, don't worry about it. You can actually fudge things using a knitting needle, as I have done many times. It's just a little easier with the hook.

To start things off, make a slip knot around your crochet hook (or knitting needle) as you usually would to cast on.


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

First time in sprinkler ||

We're in the new house now and life has been crazy but so amazing at the same time! I keep pinching myself to make sure it's all real!

I'm 37 and I've been dreaming of my first house since...well...forever. It feels surreal to be in the house now and it's finally starting to sink in that it's ours. The hubs and I have worked so hard to save all our pennies and budget to buy our first home and it's so rewarding to finally be out of our condo and have room to breathe and grow.

Even though we are surrounded by boxes, home repairs, lots of chores/cleaning, the moments shown in the picture above are the ones I will treasure forever. Seeing my two girls run through the sprinkler for the first time almost brought me to tears. We got our first little pool for our little yard and we've been loving it. I can't wait to start planning the yard. We've got a blank slate back there and a deck and fence that I can't wait to stain and a veggie garden to plant & more! I'll be asking you all soon enough to share all your secrets on veggies/plants. I'm super excited to grow the ingredients for my green smoothies right in my own yard!

One thing you may all not know about me is I love home improvement and diy. I repaired our torn screen door on the weekend and had a blast! What a rush to fix something. I know it sounds corny but after renting for so long it's liberating to say "this is broken, I'm going to fix it" and do it to my standards. I love going to home depot and other stores and now I can actually buy tools and reno things! And don't even get me started on furniture! I can't wait to be able to thrift more and find some awesome vintage finds to fix up! There are so many projects we've already taken on and started and I'm so proud of my hubby and I for going from condo dwellers to home owners and taking all the bumps so far with strides. It's not been a smooth ride moving in (we've had some unforeseen home repairs that need to be done - not fun!) and so far we've been staying relatively sane...haha.

It's been hectic around here so it's been hard to get on the blog but my office is slowly taking shape! And don't worry - I promise to share pics this time :) I have to pick a ton of paint colors and need help big time. I hope to get my fabric/yarn put away this week and finally get my sewing machine going. It's been too long since I've been able to sew. I've been missing it so and swear I can hear my sewing machine and serger crying for me at night...haha.  It's great to actually have a room to have my office in now instead of our condo being my office. I can't even explain how awesome it is to relax at night or spend time with my family without staring at all the work I need to be doing and a big mess. It's so freeing.

Before I get back to the unpacking though I haven't forgotten that I need to announce the winner of our "Fat Quarter Shop Fabric Giveaway"!!! Thanks again for the great prize Fat Quarter Shop!

The winner of the $50 Gift Certificate to Fat Quarter Shop is......

Commenter #169 - Quilting Momma

Congratulations - we will be in touch soon in regards to your prize!

Thank you for all of your well wishes throughout the last few weeks and for all your support. I'm so beyond grateful that I get to share this new journey in my life with all of you. I hope you all had an amazing weekend!

Do any of you like to do home improvements/diy too when you're not sewing/knitting? I'd love to hear about it! Pour some coffee...I've got a stool here with your name on it. Come chat!


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Brooklyn Tweed Shelter Yarn for #SSKAL14 ||

Get those needles moving! Today is the start day for our Summer Sweater Knit Along 2014!!!

I've been busy the last few days moving our family into our first home. I've been exhausted and more tired than I've ever been but soooooo happy! I've also been beyond thrilled to see the amount of chatter and excitement over this year's SSKAL already and it' hadn't even started yet! Can I just say you guys are the best!!!! Seriously, it makes me feel so happy to see you all enjoy this kal as much as I hoped you all would when I started it years ago.

When it comes to knitting garments it can be a whirlwind of thrilling emotions - excitement, trepidation, anxiety, confusion, happiness, confidence, pleasure and more. But the best part out of the process is the sheer joy of making a beautiful handmade garment that fits! Our SSKAL strives to help cheer you on throughout the entire process. From planning/cast on to binding off/blocking we can't wait to be a part of you making this new addition to your wardrobe!

For some lovely & well constructed garment pattern inspiration we highly recommend one of our all time favorite companies -  Brooklyn Tweed! They are sure to have a pattern to make your heart swoon! Their collections are filled with simple stunners to intricate pretties, and let's not forget about the kids and men in our lives! They have awesome patterns for those too! Brooklyn Tweed designs are sure to have superior craftsmanship and knitterly detail.

I'm so excited to let you all know that Brooklyn Tweed is our Official Summer Sweater Knit Along Sponsor! I'm beyond thrilled to have them on board again this year! Jared Flood is one of my biggest inspirations for design and aesthetic. I have an inspiration board in my office and one of the few things on it is my signed ball bands from Jared from Vogue Knitting Live in 2013! It was highlight to meet him in person and every time I feel the creative blues I look at those ball bands for an extra boost of inspiration. Silly I know, but hey, it

Brooklyn Tweed Shelter Yarn for #SSKAL14 ||
Brooklyn Tweed Shelter Yarn for #SSKAL14 ||

Brooklyn Tweed also offers scrumptious yarns! Shelter (Worsted) and Loft (Fingering) are both yarns I have knit with and love. Brooklyn Tweed produces American yarns that preserve, support and sustain their belief in the tradition of U.S. textile production. Shelter and Loft are both fleece-dyed to achieve light and lofty yarns boasting 32 rich custom-blended heathers. These yarns give even the simplest fabrics depth and sophistication! They are truly a staple workhorse yarn to add to your stash and great for garment knitting. We'll have more info on Brooklyn Tweed throughout the kal so get ready to get inspired!


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Summer Sweater Knit Along 2014 ||
© Jared Flood / Brooklyn Tweed
Our Summer Sweater Knit Along 2014 is almost HERE!!!
You've all been so patiently waiting the dates for this years Summer Sweater Knit Along and I couldn't keep it secret any longer! We've got some AMAZING guest posts planned, dreamy prizes, tutorials and more for this year's KAL! You won't want to miss it! We will have our handy Summer Sweater Knit Along Home Page up on my website next week! You will always be able to find all of the posts and relevant info on that page as well as our BIG reveal on who our Official Sponsor is for the SSKAL!

Never made a garment before? Looking to try a new technique? Don't worry! Our knit alongs are suitable to any level and we're here to cheer you on and help you through the process. We've got a lively, friendly and supportive ravelry group that's filled with moderators and members always willing and able to help answer questions and give support. We're lots of fun and the group is very active and chatty during our kal's. Think of it as sitting each week with hundreds of ladies knitting/crocheting alongside you cheering you on every step of the way!  Trust me - it's fun! We've also got a brand new Tips & Techniques page for you to find all of our curated posts from all of our knit alongs. There's tutorials, how to's, free patterns and more!

What can I make?
For the Summer Sweater Knit Along you can make any sweater, cardigan, pullover you would like! It can also be a child's sweater or you can jump in with a WIP that you've been dying to finish! We also don't mind if you double up on KAL projects - we're easy going and just want you to have fun knitting with us! Just in case you need some extra inspiration you can follow and get inspiration on our Summer Sweater Knit Along Pinterest Board! We're starting to pin now and will also be adding member project choices too!

Make sure to use our hashtag #sskal14 on social media so we can follow along with your projects!! Our last kal was sooooo fun to follow on Instagram! We all had a good time watching each other's WIP's!

What happens at the end of the kal?
If you you haven't done a knit along with us before you don't want to miss the end rewards! When we are all done we celebrate with me showing off some of your finished projects on the blog here with our "Starring You Post" and then I host a giant giveaway with awesome prizes from our KAL sponsors!!!! All you have to do is sign up (link & info below) and have started or complected your project to be eligible. 

Summer Sweater Knit Along 2014 ||
© Jared Flood / Brooklyn Tweed
So what do you say? You ready to join in for our Summer Sweater Knit Along? Yay! You can find all the info and details below!


Monday, July 21, 2014

New Home Fabric Giveaway ||

We're moving into our first home this upcoming weekend and what better way to celebrate than with a fabric giveaway from Fat Quarter Shop!

It's been an exhausting month to say the least. With constant packing, a heatwave, summer vacation, more packing and work all put in there too, we are soooo ready to be in our new home. None of us like living in chaos. I'm eagerly counting down the days that I can be out of our box filled condo and making memories in the new house. So excited!!!!

One of the things (besides the obvious of course like a yard...a yard...pinch me now!) I am looking forward to about living in a house is getting to decorate and do some DIY & sewing home decor projects.  Living in a rental condo I always found myself neglecting my love of DIY & home decor. I can't alter anything in here and without an outdoor space there was no painting/sanding etc for this momma. We've been in our rental for 6+ years so I can't wait to start making, painting and creating some new lovelies for our house.  I'll be sure to pin projects as I find them (you can follow me on Pinterest HERE)!
Cotton + Steel Fabric Collections & Basic Collections #cotton+Steel #fabric
Cotton + Steel Fabrics & Basics
I've also been holding off on ordering new fabrics until we are in the new house since I haven't been able to do much sewing these past few weeks (sob...sob). But I can tell you that as soon as I can lovingly add some new babies to my shelves I will be having a spree of Cotton + Steel prints and basics from Fat Quarter Shop! Oh my, oh my. I've been lusting after these before I even saw them when Cotton + Steel was just forming. So many of these prints and basics would make lovely projects! I can just picture some new duvets for the girls beds in the Mustang Line, new pillow covers for my couch from Moonlit, floor cushions for their playroom from Hatbox, dreamy play tents, and table & kitchen accents etc...the list goes on! I can't even choose a favorite out of all the prints because I'm def crushing big time on the Cotton + Steel basics! I want all of them!

You ready to win some new fabric?

One lucky winner will win a $50 Gift Certificate to Fat Quarter Shop! Thanks Fat Quarter Shop!

- Simply leave me a comment letting me know what fabric line you're currently crushing on!
- Bonus entry: Like Fat Quarter Shop and/or Very Shannon on Facebook and leave additional comments letting me know you did that too.

- You must leave a valid email address in your email or you will be disqualified.
- Giveaway is open till July 28th, 2014, midnight, PST.

Good luck and thanks for your understanding over the last few weeks & the next upcoming few while the blog has been quiet during this special time in our lives :)

And a special thanks to Fat Quarter Shop for the generous giveaway! You can find all things FQS below.



Monday, July 7, 2014

Swift Pattern (by Shannon Cook) from JOURNEY

Both Jane and I have fun road trips planned for our summer vacations this year so we thought it would be most fitting to have a JOURNEY Road Trip Sale!!!

It's summer but that doesn't mean we're not knitting and thinking about knitting! Don't waste all those hours in the car - use that valuable time knitting! Ferry, airplane, train - whip out the needles! Knit up an Antrorse to sport with denim cut offs and a tank beach side by the fire on a summer evening. Or pair your Inland with a pretty floral summer maxi dress out for a cool evening stroll with your flip flops. Making an Onward - you're in luck! This is such a versatile year round shawl. Yes, it's worsted, but it comes in handy in the morning at the farmer's market, camping, lakeside and more. Just because it's summer doesn't mean you can't style and wear your hand knits! It gets cool at night still, especially in the forest. All of the pieces from JOURNEY could easily be incorporated into your summer adventure!

 Save 20% OFF using code "roadtrip"
Sale is valid on the following:
:: individual patterns from JOURNEY (Antrorse, Inland, Onward, Spate, Swift & Climb)
:: eBook version of JOURNEY (which comes with pdf's of the indie patterns too!)
:: purchases can be made for the eBook & indie patterns on Ravelry ONLY for this sale. You can also find the same sale in Jane's shop too! See her blog for details.
:: sale closes on Sunday, July 13th, midnight, PST.
Onward Pattern (by Shannon Cook) from JOURNEY

Happy knitting and road tripping! See you all next week!

What are your summer vacation plans? Are you taking a road trip? Knitting on any JOURNEY patterns right now? We'd love to see and hear about them!
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