Friday, July 13

The Buzz about Halos of Hope

Who will you SAVE or SHAVE?

I've recently come to learn about an organization called Halos of Hope, started by this amazing gal, Pam Haschke. Her goal, as a stage-3 cancer survivor herself, is to make sure that people going through chemotherapy have a soft sense of comfort, knowing that someone out in this great big world loves and cares for them. She, and other volunteers with the organization, collect thousands of hats to send out to cancer patients who have lost their hair.
Pam Haschke, Founder, Halos of Hope

Many of you know that these efforts to assist cancer patients hold a dear place in my heart - cancer reaches all of us, without question. I've had family members battle cancer, some who have won and a few who have lost, and each notice is like a wound to the heart. My own sister runs the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's marathon every year, raising funds for the treatment of blood cancers. And I've watched a dear friend, perhaps one of the strongest women I will every come to know, shave her own head in a show of solidarity for her 2 year old daughter battling Leukemia (fyi: that sweet girl is now 6 years old and cancer FREE!). In fact, if you want to get down to the knitty gritty, an estimated 1.6 MILLION new cancer cases are expected to be diagnosed THIS YEAR (and that estimate doesn't even include minor, non-invasive cancers). The point, my dear friends, is that someone you know is going to need support, love, encouragement, and strength to fight, even in the smallest of ways. And we can certainly make a step, however simple, in that direction.

How about we start, right now, by shaving the heads of some Fiber-luvin' Rock Stars!

XRX and Halos of Hope are partnering up for a fun, yet increasingly important fundraiser called the 'The Great Halos of Hope Buzz.' (that's a mouthful, I know). Benjamin Levisay of XRX, Mark Moraca of Kollage Yarns, and Drew Emborsky of Crochet Dude are ready to get shaved - for only $10 a vote, will you choose to save them or shave them? {I'm voting to SHAVE Mark! Haha!}

Go vote, share, re-post - you have until Oct 13th! Your help will ensure that many, MANY more hats go out to people who need them. And they will need them. You have my personal thanks for all you do in the cancer battle.

Saturday, July 7

Winners Announced!

We have two winners from the giveaway on Monday!

Congratulations to ....


And to....


I'll be emailing both of you for your mailing address! Yay!

And on a side note, for future giveaways (oh YES, I have MORE to give away in the coming weeks!! Just you wait - you will squeal over the awesomeness!!), I might be utilizing a different route such as Rafflecopter or something - there have been Blogger related issues that prevented some from commenting {sad face}. But, don't let that stop you from commenting and participating on the blog. Wink.

Wednesday, July 4

Designs for Kollage Yarns

I had the great pleasure of designing two pieces for Kollage Yarns' Fall pattern lineup! Buy, knit, and enjoy!

Stunning cables, rich texture, and a pattern written for two yarn weights result in a project that you'll want to knit again and again. I, personally, love this design and hope you do, too. 

Don't be intimidated by the use of fingering-weight yarn in this sweater. It results in a delightfully light piece that is perfect for those warmer early Fall days. Beautiful cables and eyelets panel up the front, while simple shaping and quick sleeves create a sophisticated fit. 

What is even more awesome about Kollage is that their square needle products are now 100% American made! I was given the chance to try out their needles at TNNA and I am super impressed.

Kollage is the inventor of the square knitting needle and are constantly seeking to improve the experience for us crafters. These needles have a beautiful pewter-like finish, fantastic points that are perfect for lace, and a nice smooth join (very smooth, actually) between the needle and cable. They do tend to cause tighter stitches, so you might explore using a needle size larger than you are used to. I encourage you to talk to your yarn store for a demo!

Monday, July 2

June TNNA and Giveaways!

It has taken nearly a week for me to recover from 'The National Needleworks Association" (TNNA) June trade show and for good reason! Parties, fashion shows, meetings, lunches with friends, walking the floor - it sure takes a lot of energy. Here's my own little re-cap of the show (followed by a giveaway, so keep reading!)...

Jill Wright and I always travel to the show together because she's the best travel buddy I know! We arrived Friday, late afternoon, and after a ridiculously long wait for baggage, we hustled over to our hotel, dressed in our fancy clothes and masks (Jill rocked it, by the way), and bustled on to the Yarn Thing's Masquerade Designer Dinner, a fabulous event hosted by the infamous Marly Bird.
Jill showing off her stunning, handmade crochet mask.
 I can't even begin to list the number of people I got to chat with, but it was a fun evening meeting new people (and the food was YUM!). Marly and the sponsors loaded us up with FABULOUS goodie bags and swag! I will be testing and commenting on the goodies, so look for blog posts on those soon.
Speaker Marly Bird
Saturday, the show floor opened with just enough time for me to get to the fashion show! Sweet Georgia Yarns and I collaborated together on three pieces for the Fall lineup, all of which debuted in the show. I think they were quite well received, even with the stunning model being slightly "too" model-ly for the size of the sweater. Haha! Here's a sneak peek...

Shortly after the show, I was lucky to join some wonderful ladies for lunch: Jill, Sarah Wilson (yes, the famous Sexy Knitter!), Laura Lough, Corrina Ferguson, and Lee Meredith. I think we spent half the day chatting and goofing off.

The remainder of the day involved meetings with various companies, discussing designs and projects for the upcoming Spring/Summer 2013 season. Needless to say, my planner is jam-packed with work and I am officially desperate for school to re-start so the kids can be out of the way. Wink.

Saturday evening, I grabbed a cab with the amazing Sandi Rosner, Marly Bird, and Jill to head out for the Craftsy shin-dig over at Mouton. They treated us to cocktails and fancy snacks. Next, it was across the street to a cute little cafe (and I can't think of the name!) for dinner, joined by THE Shannon Okey, as well as Jill, Marly, Laura Lough, and Mikey & Daniel. That crowd SERIOUSLY had me laughing so hard that my throat was raw the next morning.

Sunday = MORE meetings, more work for the calendar, more walking the floor, more petting the amazing yarns for the year. Seriously, my friends, you are going to love the yarnie goodness coming out. Some of my favorite highlights were: Kollage Yarns' American-made square needles, the new Sock Report Magazine (what a stunning collection!), Sweet Georgia's Superwash DK and Cashsilk Lace, Shibui's Cima, Debbie Bliss' Paloma, Juniper Moon Farm Sabine, and ... gosh... there's just too much deliciousness to list!

Jill and I decided we were beat, so we ordered pizza in and spent the night with her teaching me how to crochet. It was lovely, but don't look for any crochet designs from me any time in the near future. Haha!

On Monday, I finished up with a few more appts, gratefully accepted swatching yarn from the amazing companies that I will be collaborating with this year, and then joined Marly, Marly's Mom (whom I affectionately call MM), and Jill for lunch. For dessert, I FINALLY got to enjoy some Jeni's Ice Cream (salted caramel in a cone) - DUDE!!! Where has it been all my life!? I was depressed not to be able to take some home to the hubs.

Then a cab, then a plane, and then home. Whew.


So. You read all of that, I am sure. And now you want your prize. Right? The giveaway is for a TNNA Swag-Bag of your own containing goodies such as HiKoo yarn, Patons yarn, an audio book from Random House Publishing, Knitter's Pride circular needles, Susy Bates, Circular Needles, a Namaste Skinny Mini, Craftsy Stickers. And all packed in to a Namaste re-useable grocery-style bag. WOOT!
TNNA Swag-Bag Giveaway!

So, I'll host two drawings for two winners! Just leave a comment below describing your favorite yarn-related product! And if you share this blog post on Facebook (post a comment to let me know you did) and you will be entered TWICE! Have at it! The giveaway ends at 11:59pm on Friday, July 6th. Winners will be contacted via email for their shipping address.