November 2nd, 2009

Kristin & Julia

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I think I can officially say that this week is unofficially Kristin Nicholas week at WEBS!  With the clocks turning back this past weekend, what a bright and colorful way to face the shorter days!  We have several exciting things going on that I want to share with all of you!

As I mentioned in my previous post, I had the opportunity to talk with Kristin on this week’s episode of Ready, Set, Knit!  Her latest book, Color By Kristin has just been released and it is a spectacular book.  I spoke with Kristin about several of the projects and wanted to share pictures with you.

The Over-the-Top-Shawl is perfectly named:


Until you read the fine print (or have a conversation with Kristin) you don’t truly understand how this shawl is constructed.  It is knit in the round.   This not only makes the colorwork easier (I use that term very loosely) to do, but it’s also how the fringe is created.  Yes – once you have finished knitting this drop-dead piece in the round, you steek it and then unravel the steek stitches up to the start of the pattern.  It’s brilliant and terrifying all at the same time.  The finished piece measures approximately 25″x72″ long.  It uses 7 different colors of Nashua Handknits Julia.

The On-the-Go-Knitter’s Tote is a beautiful, functional bag which measures approximately 16″w x 14″ high x 4″ deep when finished:


The base is worked back and forth in garter stitch and then the sides are picked up and knit in the round. Eight beautiful colors are used for a total of 14 skeins.

I love the Best Friends Pullovers because the models are true best friends.  Kristin’s daughter Julia on the left and her buddy Bridget is on the right


I also just love this photo.  In both cases, the sweaters are worked in the round to the shoulders with steeks used to create the armholes.  The arms themselves are knit in the round and then stitched into the openings created by the steeks.  Both sweaters use 7 different colors.  Both sweaters also feature simple embroidery stitches that really add that extra bit of WOW!

Kristin and I didn’t get to talk about this pattern on the show, but I wanted to highlight it anyway.  I’m rather smitten with the Lazy Daisy Teapot Cozy:


I know, knit or crocheted “cozies” are somewhat cliche.  I think this teapot cozy has a tone of attitude.  I also like that although it’s colorful, it’s not knit using any sort of charted pattern.  Once again, Kristin takes this project to the next level with not only the colors she chose, but with the embroidery details she adds at the end.  As we always say at WEBS – it’s all in the finishing – be it blocking, seaming or embroidery.  The final steps of any project are usually what make great projects stand out from the rest of the crowd.

I could easily go on about the other 18 projects in the book (that’s a total of 22), but I’ll let you discover them for yourself.  The first three chapters are dedicated to a discussion by Kristin about using color, the fair isle technique and how to design with it.  There is a ton of valuable information packed into the first 32 pages of this book.

Now, I have a question for you.  How many of you actually clicked on the links I provided for each of the projects?  If you didn’t click, scroll back up, pick one and click through, then come back.  I’ll wait.

Well?  Do you like our new Kit function?  I am over-the-moon tickled with this new feature!   Each project in Kristin’s book can now be “purchased” all at once.  You don’t need to zip around and select the quantity for each of the yarns, then go find the book and then navigate around to the needles.  The kit page features the yarn in each colorway, pre-populated with the quantity for the smallest size or in the case of the shawl, the only size.  The book is listed as are suggested needles.  You can easily “un-select” any item you don’t need, you can change your quanities on the fly or if you want different colors, you can click through and do that as well!  The page will show the total FOR ALL ITEMS SELECTED.  If you change quantities or un-select something, the price will change.  NOTE:  The price is the full price BEFORE OUR YARN AND BOOK DISCOUNT IS APPLIED.  This will happen in the shopping cart.  Remember – everything starts out SELECTED.   You have to buy the book once so you have the patterns.  Once you buy it or if you already have purchased it, you can unselect that option.  Same witht the needles if you don’t need them.

To see what other kits we have already put together you can simply click here or if you start on our homepage, click on “Books, Patterns & Kits” on the top navigation, click on “Knitting” on the left navigation and you’ll see a list of Kits right in the center of the page.  We plan to create these kits for all of our best selling patterns and books.  It’s a lot of work so check back frequently to see what is new. 

We also announced on the podcast we are now carrying Kristin’s yarn Julia.  It is distributed by Nashua Handknits, a division of Westminster Fibers (same folks who distribute Rowan and Gedifra and Kertzer).  Julia is a unique blend of 50% wool/25% mohair/25% alpaca.  Each skein has 93 yards and it’s a classic worsted weight yarn at 5 sts= 1″ on #7 needles.  I realize the fiber content doesn’t sound that special, but it is.  The properties of each of the fibers and how they are blended together are what creates the feel, the drape, the look of the finished fabric in Kristin’s garments.  Plus, she has honed her palette over years.  There are lots of yarns out there with large color ranges, several of our own Valley Yarns included.  But the way her palette works together just simply can’t be found in another yarn.  I am thrilled to be carrying Kristin’s Julia yarn.

Now, onto the festivities of the week ahead.

1.  We will be featuring a trunk show all week of several of the projects from her book.  Be sure to stop in an check them out in person.

2. Kristin will be at WEBS this Thursday night, 11/5 from 6:00-7:30pm for an impromptu Book Launch Party!  She’ll be signing copies of her book, talking about her yarn and will be bringing more garments from the book as well.  We’ll have light refreshments as always.

3.  We’re also having a contest!  What fun would it be if we weren’t giving something away?  Starting today, leave a comment here on my blog and on Kristin’s Getting Stitched on the Farm blog.  Tell us what you think of her book, the projects, how has Kristin inspired your knitting, etc.   The contest starts today and ends on Friday.  We’ll select a random winner who will receive a signed copy of Color byKristin, the yarn for a project of their choice in the quantity for their size (if applicable) and the necessary needles, notions, etc.  Pretty cool, huh?

So, let the commenting begin!  I’d also LOVE your feedback on the new kit function.



P.S.  Remember Kristin’s book and Julia yarn are discountable!


205 Responses to “Kristin & Julia”

  1. Megan Says:

    so scared of steeks to begin with and so appreciative of them now. Kristin’s sense of color and design is superb.

  2. Chia Tsao Says:

    I’ve never tried a steek before but I’m looking for just the right pattern to start with. I like that there are some smaller patterns in here I could cut my teeth on.

  3. Pinkit Says:

    My knitting group loves these books. I am so happy to have your book in my hands, sharing with everyone. Half the people have never heard of you. Going to make Best friends sweater for my grand kids for x-mas. But you have the coolest web site to would be so fun to vist. Thanks for the hints there topps. Keeping them coming. I love them. I just started spinning my own wool too. I want to make a sweater for me to. I have steek with cardigan works wonderful. but your site nice Thanks!

  4. SueE Says:

    Kristin has inspired me to try more color. I tend to shy away from it for myself, but love the way it looks. I have a copy of color in knitting and really want to try some of the patterns with some of my hand spun. Should be fun!

  5. Amy Says:

    I am knitting Julia’s sweater, and have been for the past few months (as much as possible while working, etc.) However, it is extremely challenging to the point of wanting to quit.

    I paid for a block of private knitting to help with the neck and it somehow got messed up and we’ve decided to just bind off and fix it later . I will never attempt to do something so difficult. I have knit sweaters using a simple pattern – anyone could do it, but this is way way too hard for me. I have knit ponchos just by making it up, not from a pattern, many many hats, socks, backpacks, and mufflers.

    Cannot understand the directions in the book. One thing I did learn is how to make the design and I could do that again, but the neck and steeks – forget it. This pattern is for VERY advanced knitters.

    What I have found is that I’m either really stupid, learning disabled, or ?? Most people seem to think patterns in books are easy – not me!

    This sweater is amazingly gorgeous though.

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