Kung Fu Knits preorders are live!

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So excited to share with you that my knitting pattern collection / comic book Kung Fu Knits just went up for preorders!

The book will be released on September 15, 2014, and is available in two formats:

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The book includes six patterns: a kung fu jacket, pants, and belt, nunchuks, throwing stars, and a backpack to carry cool stuff in. The hilarious comic book storyline will make your kid plead with you to knit ALL THE THINGS!

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Boys’ knitting roundup #4

Time for another roundup of recently published boys’ knitting patterns! This time around, we’re looking for some color to cheer those of you stuck in week bazillion of gray, cold weather. (As I type this, it’s 75 degrees here in Texas. Before you shoot daggers out of your eyes, remember that you can have your own moment of Schadenfreude when we here in TX have had our 40th straight week of 100+ degree temperatures.)

ImageFirst up, a design to keep your eye out for: the Benjamin pullover by Gabrielle Danskknit. The pattern is currently being tested, but will be released next month. Wouldn’t this be a fun use for some leftover bits of colorful worsted yarn? Maybe even some leftover bits of handspun?

ImageThe pattern will come in an impressive range of sizes, from newborn up to 12 years—and the simple, charming quality of the design can easily support that kind of size range. The garment is worked top-down, so there’s very little seaming—just the kind of quick knit you might be looking for as spring hovers around the corner.

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ImageI know that technically this is a knitting roundup, but I couldn’t resist including the great-looking, crocheted Zigzag Spiral hat by A la Sascha. This design also comes in a wide range of sizes, from newborn to adult large, but I can see this appealing particularly to boys aged about 9–18.

This is the kind of hat that just might get your son to pick up the crochet hook himself. I know my three 20-something nephews would all want to make this.

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ImageSome boys are not particularly keen to wear knitted items, but would love to play with something that you knit for them. Polar Pete by Cilla Webb is an absolutely charming (and ridiculously inexpensive) pattern for a knitted bear that has a complete wardrobe of hoodie, overalls, and boots. He even has his own fishing pole and fish to catch! The shaping of the face, body, and clothing have some really nice attention to detail.

This would be an ideal gift for a younger boy (say, around 4–7 years old), but I’m pretty sure my nine-year-old would also covet this hard.

Boys’ knitting roundup #2

What’s new in the world of knitting for school-aged boys? Here are some of my picks from what’s come out in the month since we last did a roundup….

Now that fall is creeping up on the northern hemisphere, a little sweater knitting might be just the ticket. Check out this handsome, easy-to-wear pullover from Julia Stanfield:

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Isn’t that one natty little dude? He is modeling Sullivan Street, available as an individual download for $6 on Ravelry. The sweater is sized to fit anyone from 6 months to 12 years, and also looks great on girls. Knowing how well-written Julia’s patterns are, this would be an excellent first project for someone who is knew to sweater knitting.

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I also adore this new sweater from Terri Kruse called Little Spare Time. Terri is running a knitalong that starts September 16, and in advance of that date is offering an excellent sale on the pattern. Sizing goes from 12 month to 10 years.

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Isn’t that a fabulous neckline? If you’ve got a kid who hates the feel of a tight neck going over their giant melon, then this is the perfect sweater for you. I’m thinking about knitting this for my own son, since this would look great over a collared shirt, which he has to wear to school every day.

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If you’re knitting for a teenaged boy, Kirsten Hipsky’s new Woodstove Pullover might be just the ticket. It’s knit in an inexpensive, super-bulky yarn — you can make the smallest size for less than $50.

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And finally, if your child is a fan of the minions in Despicable Me, you’ll want to check out this free crocheted hat pattern posted on Craftster. Quick, go do it before Universal Studios sends this woman a cease-and-desist letter.

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Rivet the Robot

Remember back in March when I told you about working up a robot sweater design concept with a group of knitters on an online “Knitting for Boys” forum?

Well, the pattern is finally ready! It’s Rivet the Robot sweater, and is designed for kids sized 2T-10.

Now, you may be thinking to yourself, “Elizabeth, that’s a hoodie with Dalek arms,” and you’d be right. That’s it’s subtle, incognito look by day.

But look what happens at night:

… super Tron action! The white areas of the sweater are covertly knit in glow-in-the-dark yarn, and those are light-up LED shoelaces tucked into the front “control panel” pocket.  (The LED lights can easily be removed when the sweater needs washing.)

So, you can knit the hoodie for Halloween, and still get a lot of wear out of it during the rest of the year. Go go gadget hoodie!

A modeling career begins

Look who I found grinning at me when I opened the October KnitPicks catalog:

The cute little guy in yellow is my son, Liam, modeling a sweater that I designed for KnitPicks’ Independent Designer Program. I was thrilled to see that they featured the design in the catalog.

I still need to write to you all about Fiber College, an absolutely gorgeous event in Maine that I attended two weekends ago. Soon, my sweets, soon. Meanwhile, a girl’s gotta grade.

A honey of a sweater

I’m so excited! This Thursday, my latest knitwear design — the sweater you see above — will be posted onto the KnitPicks web site. KnitPicks, one of the major U.S. yarn companies, has a new Independent Designer Program through which independent designers can sell patterns that are made in the company’s yarns.

I approached them with this idea and they liked it. Earlier this week, the completed pattern was officially approved. This is exciting for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is that KnitPicks gets hundreds of thousands of hits. For a novice designer like me, this kind of exposure is invaluable.

KnitPicks also lets designers sell their patterns elsewhere simultaneously, so I’ve already posted the pattern to Ravelry. In the six hours since I posted the pattern, it has already received more love than either of the first two patterns that I posted. I feel like I’ve finally hit it this time.

The design is just what I usually shoot for — something that looks more complicated than it is. The honeycomb stitch pattern is actually just a simple combination of knit, purl, and slipped stitches. The sweater is also worked together in one piece so that little sewing is required at the end.

I’ve named it Langstroth after the man who developed some of the modern techniques used in beekeeping. Get it? Honeycomb? Beekeeping? Yuk yuk yuk.

Going for the gold

In case you have been living under a rock — or in case you have other things to think about — at 7:45 tonight (central time), the Winter Olympics begin. For knitters and crocheters, this is not just a chance to watch other people perform great bodily feats — no, this is also our annual chance to perform great feats of yarn.

Are you ready to geek out? I said, ARE YOU READY? OK!

Ravelry, a website for we yarn crafters, hosts the Ravelympics every year. The goal is to complete a project that is challenging for you — a project that you begin at the start of the opening ceremonies and complete at the end of the closing ceremonies.

What’s that you ask? Are there actual “sporting” events that you can enter? Why yes! There’s Downhill Dyeing, Lace Luge, Sweaterboard Cross, Sock Hockey, and so much more. I personally am competing in the Designer Biathlon, which means that I am attempting to write up a knitting design and complete the sample during the Olympics. I have my speed-enhanced Lycra racing suit all ready to go.

The yarn you see here was comped to me (!!) by KnitPicks because I’m designing a boys’ pullover for them. I’m very excited about this project.

Now, off to stretch my hamstrings….