Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Caterpillar Green Yarns Giveaway //

I will admit I have now become an avid sock knitter. An addicted one at that. I have embraced the sock knitting.

I have knit since I was a young girl but only started knitting socks last year. After crossing it off my list of "to learn how to's" I quickly realized what a silly git I'd been. I mean seriously, I feared the sock. I feared the heel. I feared everything about sock knitting. The base fear though was that I detest wearing socks. I only wear them when I really need to. They bug my feet and always have. I used to pay my little sister to put my socks on my feet for I couldn't even stand that out of the dryer sock feel and I'm still the same way.

So when I slipped my feet into a pair of lovely handmade slippers gifted to me from my friend Buffy (thanks again Buffy) I started to realize...hmmmmm...if I can control what the fiber content is going next to my skin maybe I would actually wear socks? And the rest is history.

Caterpillar Green Yarns Giveaway //
Caterpillar Green Yarns Giveaway //

I gave it a shot and let me tell you, there are not a lot of things that compare to that moment when you turn a heel and you want to shout out in glee "it's a sock, a real sock, a real, real, real sock, with a heel and everything"! No matter how many socks I make I still get an adrenaline rush from the toe and the heel. They make me so gosh darn happy. It's pretty hard to explain in words but trust me in that it's fun and I now see 100% why it's so darn addicting! The yarn for socks is a plenty and there are tons of amazing ones to choose from! It doesn't break the bank to knit a pair of socks and the best part - you can bring them with you everywhere. And I mean everywhere. I don't leave home without a pair of socks in my bag anymore. Thus leading me to my love of the "vanilla sock". That lovely plain sock that you can mindlessly knit and make out of any fave yarn you come across.

My current yarn obsession - Caterpillar Green Yarns. Seriously. Obsessed. Self striping. Awesome colors. Soft as butter. Did I say self striping? Yep. 'Nuff said. And the icing on the cake - she lives in my city! Heck yeah people! Can you hear the yarn angels singing! Hehe. The dyer behind Caterpillar Green Yarns is the lovely Catherine who has mad skills. Like serious skills. She makes yarn that makes you scratch your head and go "how the heck did she do this?". It's gorgeous. I love that I can just drive by her place and beg her for more yarn...j/k...sort Don't worry Catherine...I promise not to stalk you :)

I met & fell head over heels for Catherine's yarns last summer at Fibrations here in town. She quickly became the hot commodity and we all left home with some of her pretty sock yarns. I cast on this fall and have become smitten. I now have acquired a few more skeins. You can purchase her MCN Fingering in 2 different sizes - 115g and 170g!! Both are more than enough to make a pair of socks! Plus you can add on yummy accent skeins for your toe and/or heel! Love! I've also been waiting patiently for something new she's been cooking up as well - self striping shawl yarn! Can you hear me squealing with delight? I can't wait to see it when it's ready!

Ready to see some more pictures? What's the fun in having yummy yarn if you can't share it with others who equally love yummy yarn? I've been dying to show you all my current socks on the needles! 

Caterpillar Green Yarns Giveaway //


Friday, April 18, 2014

I have a serious crush on Japanese sewing & knitting books. An "I will pore over every image and diagram a gazillion times" sort of crush. 

The aesthetic, the vibe, the layout - I love it all. I'm heavily influenced by the clean lines and the fresh feel of Japanese books. They just get me all creatively inspired and, of course, dying to make everything in the books!

I was so excited to get my hands on two of the popular Happy Homemade series "Sew Chic" by Yoshiko Tsukiori and "Sew Chic for Kids", by the talented Ruriko Yamadaboth, translated and published in English by Tuttle Publishing.  And yes, you read that right - they are in English! I have to say that when they started releasing this line in English I was over the moon. I'm a visual and a technical learner. I like to read and see the instructions so I love that I can now read the instructions as well as see them. Their diagrams are gorgeous and very well done but I longed to read the words in the book as well.

Keep reading below to see my review & more pics!


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Just popping in today to quickly say a hello and draw a winner!!!

My folks just left this morning and after having them here for 2 weeks I'm already missing them. I'm a blubbering baby who spent last night crying. I only get to see them once or twice a year and we are very close so it's hard to say our goodbyes or "see you soon's" as I like to say. I got to take a much needed mini-break from work and spend some time with them and my family with some amazing weather these past 2 weeks knitting and drinking coffee in the sunshine. The sun has been out and it's been soooooo warm!!! It's been wonderful.

I hope you all have had a great week as well! I'm excited to hear what you have all been up to. I also have some fun new posts to share with you in the upcoming weeks as well!

And now I know you're all waiting to find out who won the awesome Tanis Fiber Arts Giveaway we hosted last week! The yarn, the patterns....ohhhhh...such a lovely prize!

The lucky winner is.....
Commenter #157 - Brittani!!!! 

Congratulations Brittani! We'll be in touch soon about your prize!

A big thank you to all who entered and to Tanis for the generous prize!

What have you been up to this past week or so? Any new projects on the needles? What have you been working on? Making? Fill me in! I've missed ya!

p.s. yes, that yarn in the pic above is Tanis Fiber Arts yarn...isn't it gorgeous? It's Orange Label and I am so smitten with it!


Monday, April 7, 2014

Lucky Penny Baby Collection from Tanis Fiber Arts

Who's in the mood for a fun giveaway? Me, me, me, me! 

I was sooooo excited when my lovely friend Tanis of the amazing Tanis Fiber Arts wrote me to say she had released a new collection all for baby boys entitled the "Lucky Penny Baby"!!!! Seriously....adorable. And even though I have girls I would make every single thing in here. Plus there is definitely not enough go to patterns for boys in the knitting world so it's great to see her filling that void with stylish and cute patterns!

Lucky Penny Baby Collection from Tanis Fiber Arts

In the "Lucky Penny Baby Collection" you get 4 stylish patterns! 

// FROSTED ALPINE HAT (sizes infant to adult!)

The patterns feature Tanis's beautiful and scrumptious yarns and showcase her signature style and use of color! I can't wait to cast on the Frosted Alpine Hat and R&R Hoodie! I've got a few little men in my life who could most definitely use these!

Tanis also offers great size ranges for the collection as well! The Frosted Alpine Hat goes all the way up to adult from infant!!! Love that! I also love all the thoughtful details she's placed into each pattern. Any of these patterns would be a great shower present or something special for that little man (or girl) in your life!
Lucky Penny Baby Collection from Tanis Fiber Arts
Would you like to know what you could win? Click below to keep reading & to see more pics!


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

cherry blossoms on

I love cherry blossoms. 

It means spring is here with it's blue skies to bask in, sunshine to soak in and new projects to dive into. Where I live the streets become lined in cherry blossoms. Tree after tree, row after row, the pink blossoms fill the sky. As islanders we know to soak it in and relish in it for the rain could just be right around the corner. I've always loved cherry blossoms and the experience of watching my little girl laugh and experience joy in what we call the "snow blossoms" as they fly through the afternoon breeze and flutter across our heads, faces, twirling and dancing in the sky, was one of those moments I'll remember for always.

I always say when the blossoms are blowing and line the sidewalks it's like walking on heaven. A heaven of puffy pink petals. It's bliss. I think we stood there for at least 5 minutes today in one spot just laughing in the blowing blossoms. Thankfully I am not the only loony toon who does this. I'm happy to have passed down my weirdness to my children. Poor things.

Aside from cherry blossoms, though I could talk about those purdy things for a few more paragraphs but I digress, I must admit I missed February. Yep. Didn't get my "Creativity" post in. It was a nutso month and I think I may have fallen a bit off track if I do say so myself. I tried my darn hardest to stay true to my January resolution post (read it here) but life does like to put me up for a challenge. It likes to say "hey Shannon, wanna play?" and then take me for a life ride.

cherry blossoms on

I want to try to write this post at the start of each month to keep myself on track for the year. I like that I can write in this post honestly and openly and that you can all see that I'm a normal gal just like the rest of you. I need more sleep, I need to exercise more, balance my time better, remember to slow down and enjoy the little things and so get my drift. I'm not perfect. I work too much. I lose my temper. My house is a mess. I take on more than I can handle - daily. But each night I know my little family and I are getting by and that most hours are spent happy. It's those hours that I feel like things are out of whack that I need to work on. The ones when everyone seems to need me for something and I just don't have it in me to do it all. The ones where you just want to curl up in bed and drown out the "to do list" that keeps you up at night. I hear ya. I'm right there with ya. I know you all can relate.

So this past month I didn't do so hot. I finally got up the courage these past weeks to start eating gluten/wheat again since my doctor gave me the requisition back in May of 2013 to get the tests done for Celiac Disease. Truth be told it scared me so bad to eat it again that it took me going to Seattle the other weekend to do it. We ended up cheating on our eating plans and I figured since I had already cheated I might as well finally get the scary thing done. So I've been eating the enemy and feeling horrible. Like an alien version of myself. It has not been fun. It has been hard. I have cried. I have felt sick every day but today is my first day back on my plan again. Goodbye wheat. See you never. I can't wait to fill my body with green smoothies, salads and whole foods and get back onto my exercise plan.

Besides working on JOURNEY events and travel for that I've been busy behind the scenes on a new sewing pattern - yay! Watch for the call for testers this month (fingers crossed)! I'm so excited to show you all! I can't stop making versions of it because I find it such a fun sew. I've also got a few knitterly things up my sleeves know me - never without my needles and a sketchpad. You can also read a fun interview about me and more funny things here on Nora Meets the Maker! I was so excited to be asked by Kollabora to be interviewed by Nora! It was a great time! I heart Kollabora and if you aren't already a member I strongly urge you to join. It's so fun! You can also purchase some of my patterns on there as well! Come follow me!

So what's next for this month? Family. My folks are in town for 2 weeks. They get here tomorrow which means things may be sporadic and slow around here till they leave. I only get to see them once or twice a year and I love them to bits and pieces and I promised this time that I would not be a nutso working freak when they are here. Normally I am a stress So this year I plan to take the time to enjoy their company without fretting over deadlines and work. I cannot wait to see them! I miss them so! It will be a good test of my January post to see if I can balance everything this month.

We are also in the middle of tax season. And if there are any other "tax widows" out there, and those of you who are know what I mean, you know April is hell. It's my most dreaded month of the year. Except for the 20th. That's my wee ones bday so I can't hate that day ;) And did my first baby get to be turning 7? Wahhhhh! I cry every time I think of it. But yeah, April is not fun at all. I go into survival mode and we all just try to keep our heads above water until it's over and we can breathe again. I love hearing from other gals who live with accountants. We all need to support each other during this crazy time.

Even though April is usually insane for us I'm going to attempt to do my darnedest to make it better. I'm going to slow down a tad and find the wee bit of balance I had for January and February again. I miss it. March kicked my butt and I don't intend April to do the same. I'm going to try my best to stay on track and I hope you'll join me. I love knowing that I have these posts to answer to and that I can share my creative journey with all of you and hear about yours too.

So who's with me? Anyone else a bit off kilter with their balance this last month? Who else is starting a new eating/fitness plan? Anyone else feeling the need to slow down a tad and rejuvenate their creative energy? Please chat. I so love to hear from you my friends :)

// PS - the winner of our Very Shannon Fat Quarter Fabric Bundle from Fabric Spark is.....commenter #193 - Marti Taylor! Congrats! I'll be in touch soon!


Thursday, March 27, 2014

I've been so excited to show you all pics of our recent trip to Seattle for Vogue Knitting Live and our visit to the popular new yarn shop - Tolt Yarn and Wool!

It took me a bit to get back into the groove of things after being away. Having one kiddo home for spring break sure put a damper into my work plans too. But now we're getting back into the routine of things again and I knew if I didn't post these soon I wouldn't get a chance to.

Jane and I had so much fun here I honestly begged the lovely owner Anna to let me be a virtual employee! It's yarn heaven in there and I came home with a nice loot! I cannot say enough about this shop. I was there for a few hours and still didn't get to see everything. It honestly is amazingly curated and filled with treasures! The decor is to die for and Anna has put the most special touches and style into this huge and airy store! I'm not joking when I say it's like walking into yarn heaven. It's that awesome. There is a fireplace to sit around and knit, a lovely back table area with stylish chairs and table lamps to knit and converse with friends plus an upstairs area for classes and more! It's bright, warm, friendly and oh so inviting! My fave purchase from Tolt was the AWESOME Tolt mug!!!! I have been using mine everyday! I got the white one! I also got one of the rockin' baskets you see all over the shop. It's so lovely and my yarn now has a happy home in it!!!


Thank you soooo much to Anna (for everything and for being so kind) and to all her lovely staff for making it such a special event for Jane and I. And thank you to everyone who drove out to attend - it was such a great group of women and we had so much fun the time flew by way too fast. And I can't forget to give a special thank you to Veronika from Yarn on the House for her lovely pressie! She's such a doll! And she has a new line of yarns just out called YOTH Yarns and let me tell you - she is one to watch! This yarn is STUNNING! I highly recommend you guys! I can't wait to wind mine up and start knitting with it! You can see it in the collage below. Her yarns can be purchased at Tolt right now and you can see her trunk show there as well!

So sit back, sip a coffee/tea and step inside Tolt Yarn and Wool with Jane and I! For more pics and to hear about the rest of my trip see below!


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Bonnie Drawstring Project Bag Tutorial //
Bonnie Drawstring Project Bag Tutorial //
Bonnie Drawstring Project Bag Tutorial //
Bonnie Drawstring Project Bag Tutorial //
Bonnie Drawstring Project Bag Tutorial //

If you're like me, you always need as many project bags as possible. One is never enough. There are always more projects and I love it that way!

While I already have tutorials for our fun Reversible Sock Knitting Project Bag, Indie Project Bag, as well as our fun Brigitte Needles & Notions Zippered Pouch, I figured it was about time to whip one up for some of you beginner sewers that's a classic! A lot of my knitting readers are just getting into sewing and I thought that the Bonnie Drawstring Project Bag would make a great intro to sewing project for them that isn't boring, is fun to make but that also makes a great gift too! And more experienced sewers can play with fabric choices, add personal touches and customize to their hearts content!

You all know my personal motto is to get knitters sewing and sewers knitting! I live by that! So why not tempt the knitters to the dark side by getting them to make their own project bags that they all love? I know how much my friends and I adore our project bags and no matter how many I have I always add more. It's fun...what can I say!

When I spotted the new line "Sweet as Honey" from the uber talented Bonnie Christine a few months ago I was instantly in love. The colors, the patterns, the mixtures of designs - they were truly reflective of the style we love from Bonnie on her fab blog "Going Home to Roost"! I loved that she stayed true to her addicting aesthetic! The fabrics are as lovely as all of her work. And to top it off her line is available from Art Gallery Fabrics - one of my fave fabric lines. Their pima cotton is to die for soft and drapes beautifully!

When Bonnie asked me to join in on her Sweet as Honey Blog Tour I was thrilled! The only problem I had was deciding which fat quarters to use!!! I had already gotten my hands on some of the fat quarters so I luckily was able to mix and match for my project today! I highly recommend the prints in this line. They are so cheerful and beautiful and I find myself so drawn to them during the rainy season we are just putting behind us here.

Bonnie Drawstring Project Bag Tutorial // VeryShannon.comBonnie Drawstring Project Bag Tutorial //
Would you like to learn how to make our Bonnie Drawstring Project Bag? Let's get sewing! Read below to find out how!


Monday, March 24, 2014

Journey Trunk Show & Book Signing at Beehive Wool Shop

Jane and I are SO excited to announce that our official Canadian launch of JOURNEY will be hosted at the amazing and iconic Beehive Wool Shop here in lovely Victoria, BC, Canada!!!

This timeless staple on the yarn shop scene is one of Canada's loveliest stores! Filled to the brim with tastefully curated yarns and more - the Beehive is a must see on Vancouver Island. They are also the ONLY Canadian stockist of the coveted Brooklyn Tweed yarns!

Jane and I are beyond thrilled to be able to launch JOURNEY at the Beehive and we're having a party to celebrate! Join us at the Beehive Wool Shop on Saturday, March 29th from 12-4pm! Yay! Bring your copies of JOURNEY for us to sign or pick up a copy in the store! And for those of you looking to buy a copy, the Beehive offers 15% off the book price if you purchase the yarn for one of the projects from the book in the store!!

So mark your calendars! We'll have our trunk show from JOURNEY on display so you can come and try them on and look at them in person too! Hop on the ferry from Vancouver, drive up island, visit from the will love Victoria and we would LOVE to see you!

Beehive Wool Shop

Official Canadian Launch of JOURNEY

Date: March 29th, 2014
Time: 12pm - 4pm
1700 Douglas Street
Victoria, BC, Canada
V8W 2G7

Can you make it out? I'd love to hear if you plan on coming and don't forget to tell your friends! If you do make it this Sat we would love to see your finished and wip JOURNEY projects too! So feel free to bring them with you to show them off!

We hope to see you and your friends there!!!! Happy knitting!


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Very Shannon Fat Quarter Fabric Bundle for Fabric Spark
Very Shannon Fat Quarter Fabric Bundle for Fabric Spark

As a sewing blogger I admit I've dreamed on many an occasion of having a fabric bundle named after me!

I was thrilled when the newest online Canadian (yes, I said Canadian - whoop whoop!) online store Fabric Spark opened! Daryl is one of our newest sponsors and I'm just thrilled to be working with her! She has curated a fresh and lovely fabric shop!

When she asked if I'd like to choose a fat quarter fabric bundle and offer a giveaway I was just over the moon! Can we say fuuuuuuun people!!! I was so giddy it took me a few days to choose! In the end I decided to go with a fun black/white palette! Since I've been doing some decorating around the house I've been on a serious black/white kick lately! All the pics above are of the Very Shannon Fat Quarter Bundle!

Very Shannon Fat Quarter Fabric Bundle for Fabric Spark

I hope you love this modern mix of prints and textures! I can easily see these fabrics going from throw pillows, quilts, accessories all the way to clothing! How fun would a Patricia Cowl be in these prints?

So would you like to win my "Very Shannon Fat Quarter Bundle"? Find out how to enter below!


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Ava Dress by Victory Patterns
Ava Dress by Victory Patterns
Ava Dress by Victory Patterns
I love indie designers and I try to support and sew with indie designer patterns as much as possible.

Especially this year as I try to handmade as much of my wardrobe as possible. It's such a great feeling to support another creative designer! So I was super excited to hear about the new Perfect Pattern Parcel!

What is Perfect Pattern Parcel? A wonderfully curated bundle of 5 independent designer patterns that supports charities with a fun pricing structure that let's YOU decide how much to pay!

Who is Perfect Pattern Parcel? "Put together two entrepreneurial makers driven by their internal voices and one self-taught hacker with an "if you build it, they will come" mentality, and Perfect Pattern Parcel was born. We are passionate about supporting independent designers in their craft and fostering a community of makers to grow. Our mission is to offer high-quality pdf sewing patterns written by indie designers while supporting children's education."

What's in Perfect Pattern Parcel #1? "Pattern Parcel #1 includes sewing patterns for women that are modern classics, featuring both flattering silhouettes and garments that are comfortable to wear. From a new little black dress to weekend play wear, the patterns in Parcel #1 have got you covered."

Summer Concert Tee by Dixie Diy sewn by True Bias
Summer Concert Tee by Dixie DIY sewn by True Bias


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

I'm back from a jam packed weekend in Seattle for our book signings/trunk shows at Vogue Knitting Live and Tolt Yarn & Wool!

We had a great time but I'm happy to be home! I missed my kiddos and the hubs. I've got some pics to come & fun things to share but with spring break in full swing here & my unpacked luggage everywhere I'll be popping in a tad later to say hello! For now I have had to redraw winners for TWO giveaways!!!

// Let's start with the "new" winner of our Eucalan and Knitter's Pride Giveaway! Our new winner is....
Commenter #28 - SoniaMarie

// And our winner for the #1 Prize Package for our JOURNEY Knit Along Giveaway is........

Entry #53 - Andrea Mowry of the blog I'll Knit if I Want To (rav id: dreareneeknits) 

// Our winners for the #2 & #3 Prize Packages are....

Entry #66 - Becky Stewart of West Coast Knitter (rav id: delishknits)

Entry #120 - Kristen Holmes of House of Holmes (rav id: mamaholmes)

Congratulations ladies! I will be in touch asap in regards to your prize! Enjoy!!!! I hope you had a lovely and awesome weekend!


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Tim Horton's and knitting \\
Yarnster Hat in Malabrigo Rastita //
Lotta Jansdotter Syliva //
Sweet as Honey //
My handmade lovelies //
My handmade lovelies //

I love having works in progress. I love the idea of new possibilities, new ideas, new projects & new designs. The whole essence of making just gets me all giddy. 

I realized I hadn't shown any pics of my recent wip's on the blog lately. So I've got a few lovelies to share above of what I've been working on. If you follow me on instagram you have seen the progression of some of these for sure. My fave new socks in progress using the amazing Caterpillar Green yarns! I die. This self striping yarn is so AWESOME. But more on them next month! Stay tuned to win some of your own..hehe.

I'm also using the most gorgeous skein of Malabrigo Rastita to finally make a Yarnster hat for me! I loved this hat when I designed it last year (it's FREE!) but it resides in a local yarn shop and not on my head so my lovely friend Arika so sweetly gifted me this skein to make my own since the pattern is named after her generous self. It's going to be so pretty and I cannot wait to wear it! Aren't those tones just so lovely together?

I also have projects coming up soon with the new Lotta Jansdotter line Sylvia! You guys know how obsessed I am with anything Lotta related. I even have Lotta washi tape thanks to my pal Holly! I am currently planning on covering my house in these prints to match my fave rug. I can't wait to show you them and when I may get some too!!!!! I love being sneaky...hehe.

Then I have been drooling and I mean drooling over the gorgeous new line Sweet As Honey from the oh so insanely talented Bonnie Christine from Going Home to Roost for Art Gallery Fabrics! Seriously, even my package that came with my fabrics from her was drool worthy! I'll be showing you all what I will be making on the 25th as I'm lucky enough to be part of her Sweet As Honey Blog Tour! There have been some lovely projects made already! You can see them all here!

And those last 2 pics above...yep....that lovely stacked pile of goodies? I get so excited just looking at it! I loooove that everything in that pile is made by me (sans the wood buttons)! I hope to wear some of them this weekend! That's right! That is what I'm packing for our trip tomorrow!!!! YAY!!!! It's here! Jane and I leave tomorrow for the US! Don't forget we will be at Tolt Yarn and Wool on Thurs night from 6-8pm (come see us!!!) for a signing/trunk show and then you can find us at Vogue Knitting Live in Seattle all weekend! Our trunk show will be up at the Stash Local Booth #310 and we will be doing a book signing on Saturday from 12-2pm! You will be able to see pics from this weekend on my instagram! We can't wait to see all of you! And just in case you are nosy like me the items in the pile are as follows starting from the top of pile...Antrorse, Josephine, Tova, Sigma and Saiph! YAY!

So what have you been making? Any projects you're dreaming about? Grab a cuppa Tim Horton's and join me! Let's chat!!! See you all next week! Happy creating!

Tim Horton's and knitting \\
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