Thanksgiving Weekend Sale!

Happy Turkey Day!

To celebrate the holiday weekend I’m having a sale  in my Etsy shop and my Ravelry pattern store. Use coupon code “THANKSFUL” on both sites & get 15% off knitting patterns and 20% knitted accessories through Monday, Nov. 28th. And, tomorrow only, use coupon code “BLACKFRIDAYFREESHIP” to get free domestic shipping on anything in my Etsy shop.

I posted a few more items to my Etsy  shop, including some mini-sweater ornaments and a few of my pattern samples. I wouldn’t normally sell my samples, but I would really like to go home for Christmas this year and could use the extra funds. I actually haven’t been home for Christmas for almost 10 years, so I’m pretty excited about it. Plus I could really use a vacation 🙂

I call this one Crook. It’s similar in construction to my Bandit neckwarmers, with an asymmetrical slant. A pattern will be published very soon (maybe today or tomorrow) but you can get this one now 🙂

I was actually thinking about keeping this Henley Button Slouch for myself, but in the spirit of giving, I decided to give someone else the chance to enjoy this one. I do have a pattern for it, and it knits up incredibly quickly for all the last minute gift knitters out there. Or, you can grab this one ready made:

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the Crafty Beginnings of Winter

As a knitter, there are a couple of things that you can depend on:
1. The new issue of Knitty will always break the internet.
2. You will always regret not buying the clearance cashmere yarn you saw.
3. Winter is inevitable, but it’s the best time to sell knitted things

Last night I saw the first few flakes of winter falling. It was actually supposed to be a bit more than a few flakes, but at the last minute, the storm decided to show some mercy and pass us by. But it is getting pretty darn cold here now. A week from now it will probably be in the 20’s. So, while outdoor activities will probably dwindle down to supermarket runs and trips into Uptown to avoid going stir crazy, there is much to be said for having a lot of free time, Netflix and an apartment full of yarn.

In the meantime, there are a few exciting things on the MountGigantic front.
First up is the Handmade Christmas Craft Fair on December 3rd in Saint Paul. This is looking to be a great event and I’m really impressed by the amount of planning the ladies organizing it have put into it. It’s also going to be the first St Paul show I’ve done, and I’m eager to see if the sales trends are any different than Minneapolis. I’m going to have tiny sweater ornaments, hand spun yarns, and all kinds of other knitted items. And, bonus!…my table space is right next to my friend Lauren’s, so I won’t get lonely 🙂

Then, my new sanctuary in Uptown, Plan B Coffeehouse, has very kindly let me put a display of my coffee cozies right on the counter. If you happen to be in Uptown and need a great coffee and a kick-ass sandwich, this is the place to go. They will treat you real nice and let you play scrabble 🙂

In non-fiber related news, I interviewed for an awesome solo gallery program a couple of months ago, and I’m thrilled to say that I was invited to be one of the eight artists for 2012!…I’m not sure if I can say more, because they haven’t made an official announcement yet, but I’m pretty darn excited about it. If you want to see some of my art, check out

I’ve already begun planning  for 2012. Hopefully, this will mean more shows in the Twin Cities (and maybe around the region), getting a lot of art made, and getting stuff in order to go back to school next fall. It should be a lot of hard work (especially that last one) but it will all pay off in the end.

Seems like a pretty nice start to the winter if I do say so myself…Keep Warm!

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Gearing up for the Holidays…

I am a very lucky knitter because my family loves getting my hand-knits for Christmas. Since I was living in England last year, I chose to send my eight nieces and nephews cool stuff from London and I only made three pairs of Fetching Mitts for my two sisters and mom. In September, I asked my sister’s what everyone would like for knits this year, and the reply was a list that that included nieces, nephews and brothers-in-law and some wanted more than one thing.

Now don’t get me wrong…I love knitting and my family equally, but four months to knit 25 things?…Plus, knitting  stuff for the holiday craft shows I’m doing this season? I know I brag about being a quick knitter, but it seemed kind of overwhelming…especially since I waited until October to start my holiday knitting. So, I came up with a few ideas for knitting all (or most) my family’s Christmas wishes and staying sane at the same time.

#1-Knit with bulky yarn. This one is a no-brainer. The bigger the yarn, the quicker it knits up! Cables look amazing in chunkier yarns, and it’s easy to make super long scarves without going totally insane from miles of knitting. A few of my favorite patters for bulky/super-bulky yarn include:
An Unoriginal Hat by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
Capucine by Adela Illichmanova

#2- Knit with thick & thin yarns. This one kind of goes hand in hand with #1. When you knit with thick & thin yarns, your needles should be the size that you would use if the whole yarn was like the thick part. This will give your knitting good drape and make for quick finishes. And the best part about thick & thin yarns is that you can get away with doing simple stitch patterns and they still look amazing! Try doing a basic garter stitch or a K1P1 rib scarf or try one of these simple patterns:
Urchin by Ysolda Teague
Wasabi Cowl by Cassandra Dominick

#3- Knit simple patterns and colors…and cheaper yarns. Regardless of how you might feel about about cutting edge design, modern color palettes and luxury wools, a good number of your relatives probably won’t care for a second that you made them a boring ribbed beanie out of grey and blue acrylic yarn. Plus, can’t always trust your family not to throw your gifts into the washing machine on hot, so don’t worry about not “giving them the best”, because odd’s are, they won’t know and they won’t care.

Finally…it’s alright if you can’t knit everything for everyone.  And, facts are not everyone will be as excited by a handmade gift as you or I would be and that’t okay. So, have a backup plan for inexpensive store-bought gifts and don’t feel obligated or you’ll just run yourself and your hands into a frenzy.

p.s…if you are a member of my family and reading this, I made sure not to put any spoilers in this post, so you’ll just have to wait until Christmas 🙂

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New Pattern! Trellis Cloche Hat :)

Winters in the northern Midwest are notoriously cold and seem to last forever. It’s not unheard of to have snowfall in May here. But one way to keep the gloom of winter from being a downer is to daydream of the coming spring, plan your garden, and keep your eyes peeled for the first budding flowers of the season.

Trellis is a cloche-style hat that is sure to keep you stylishly warm through the cold winter.
A pair of vertical cables creates a classic arch shape which frames a panel of seed stitch that flows over the seamless brim. Raised raglan-style decreases add modern structure to a feminine silhouette.

 Trellis Cloche Pattern – $5.00

Pattern, text and photography Copyright © 2011 Kristy Childress,
This pattern is for personal and non-profit use only. Resale of items made from this pattern is not permitted. All Rights Reserved.

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New Pattern! Henley Button Slouch

I’ve been meaning to do a larger size of my Henley Button hat pattern, as the original knits up more like a beanie. So, here it is…the Henley Button Slouch! The only real change from the first pattern is slight difference in the raglan-style decreases. And, the stripe sequence turned out different (only because I’m a ding-a-ling sometimes). Plus, this one is made with delicious Malabrigo worsted in Frank Ochre and Chapel Stone…seriously, this is my new favorite color combo 🙂

You can get the Henley Slouch on it’s own for $4

…Or you can get both versions for $6 in this nifty eBook I made (my first attempt just to see how it works)

Oh, and the August coupon code (redhot2011) is still good until the August 31st and it will get you 15% your purchase 🙂

In other knitting news…I finished my Lewiston Striped vest in record time! I wanted to knit something simple that required seaming so I could practice a bit before I start on my next sweater (I’m still not sure which one I want to knit first…sooo many choices). I haven’t had a chance to get pics of the finished vest, but here’s one with PG Monkey inspecting my first attempt at mattress stitching:

I have two new hat patterns in the works and a few more photo-tutorials I want to do. I also have a shawl pattern that I need to re-knit in a different yarn brand. The pattern is pretty much done, but I learned a few weeks ago that the Noro Cashmere Island I used has been discontinued….devastation and tears for a brief time, but then I remembered I have some amazing Shilasdair Luxury in pretty fall colors that might work as well.


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New Pattern! Parker Ridge Cloche/Slouch

Hello, I’m Parker 🙂

A simple, stylish hat with modern design elements inspired by sweater knitting techniques. Parker features a seamless brim with contrasting inside hem and a tucked ridges on a stockinette body. Choose between a snug, cloche-style beanie or a larger, slouchy hat. By varying the placement of the tucked ridges, this can either be a cleverly shaped winter hat or Art Nouveau inspired accessory.

Pattern includes two versions: small cloche-style (light green) and medium slouch (stone grey)

Pattern, text and photography Copyright © 2011 Kristy Childress,
This pattern is for personal and non-profit use only. Commercial sale of items made from this pattern is not permitted. All Rights Reserved.

In honor of my birth month, use coupon code “redhot2011” to receive 15% off any of my patterns through August 31st!

Parker Cloche/Slouch Hat – $6.00

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everything I know about hats, I learned from sweaters…part 2

The Tucked Ridge Stitch

I first saw this stitch in the Geodesic cardigan, and loved it instantly. I was smitten by the clever and modern way it shapes the sweater but at the time was quite confounded. While it looks quite complicated and fiddly, it’s actually very simple to do once you learn. I have a feeling my knits are going to be covered in tucked ridges pretty soon 🙂

In this example, I’m doing a 4-row tucked ridge. You can do more or less, but it’s easier if you have at least 3 rows to work with. This technique could be done with other stitches, but it’s probably easiest to learn with stockinette. I’m also not  positive if this one has a proper abbreviation, so when I use it in patterns, I call it “KF4U”…as in “knit from 4 [stitches] under”.

First, knit to where you want your ridge to be. Then flip work so that you are looking at the WS. Count 4 purl bumps down from the next stitch on your needle, making sure that you are only counting the ones directly below the stitch and not off to the side. Use a DPN to pick up this stitch knit-wise

Then, going from right to left, pick up the number of purls required making sure that each one is 4 down and oriented knit-wise. Depending on how long your main needles are and how many stitches your ridge is, you might want to do this part 8-10 stitches at a time.

Holding the needles parallel, insert the right hand needle into the first stitch of both needles knit-wise and knit them together. Then continue knitting the stitches from both needles together, like you are doing a 3-needle bind-off, but without binding off.

Once you have completed the ridge stitches, simply knit the rest of the round….and then it looks like this:

So there you go! Not as hard as it looks and actually really quick once you know how to do it.

I’m off to repaint my nails now 🙂




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