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. hutchart Says:

    I want that tote!
    Seriously, I’m always blown away by Kristen’s designs and the yarns she’s made for Nashua are terrific.

  2. jane Says:

    wow what gorgeous colors….

  3. Kristen Says:

    Wow! Very cheerful projects!

  4. kwonset Says:

    I am a painter; in contrast to my old-fashioned brown-tone paintings, Kristin’s designs are so colorful, with crisp edges and a contemporary palette— love them!

  5. LDupuis696 Says:

    The designs are really really nice and the colors are so vibrant, can’t wait to take a look at the whole book.

  6. joank Says:

    What beautiful projects! I love the way you combine colors. I have never done steeks. They scare me. I’m afraid of wreaking a large project. I’ve never embroidered my knitting either, unless you count duplicate stitch which I suppose is embroidery.

  7. Lin Maggard Says:

    I love Kristin’s blog and was very inspired with her first book. Have not had a chance to knit anything from the second book, but have plans to do the pillows and experiment with all the different colors.

  8. Lin Maggard Says:

    I love Kristins blog and both of her books. Have knit a few projects from the first book and look forward to knitting several from the new one. Love the yarn and all the colors.

  9. Dianna Phillips Says:

    I love Kristin’s patterns; colorful and practical at the same time! I’ve made two pair of the socks from her last book – everyone wants a pair.

  10. Dianna Phillips Says:

    Forgot to say – I have never tried a steek – cutting into my knitting is scary! I’ve been tempted – and I have patterns that call for it – maybe someday!

  11. Pippin67 Says:

    (Colleen here) Color by Kristen is at the TOP of my wish list of knitting books right now (no small list ~ to be sure!) I so enjoy Kristin’s design and color conceptions! I want her dining room walls! (And her sheep!) She inspires me to reach beyond the “safe” color combinations and traditional choices. Right now I am knitting a baby blanket in purples, greens, olives, teals, burnt orange and fuchsia! I would love to have a room full of all her Julia yarns to combine and choose from for my projects… though my family might really miss me when I never came out! I LUV the kits function! AND you have needles along with it too!!! Awesome!

  12. Debbie W. Says:

    I bought Kristin’s previous book and love to look through it because of the beautiful colors. I have been following her blog, she is very inspiring, I am looking forward to trying some of the projects in Color by Kristin. Thank you for the new kit feature!

  13. LisaS Says:

    I love the Julia sweater and am already tryin to figure out the resizing required so that I could wear it. I had the opportunity to knit a swatch with the Julia yarn recently and really liked how it showed stitch definition while still being very soft to the hand.

  14. Dianne MacDonald Says:

    I love the Julia yarn and am so glad you are going to be stocking it now. The kit idea is great and it’s pretty ingenious the way you have set it up. Can’t wait to order some!

  15. Dianne MacDonald Says:

    The kit idea is ingenious! I’m so glad you all are going to be carrying “Julia” now. It’s a wonderful yarn and the color range is fabulous (and it’s so Kristin!)

  16. Dianne MacDonald Says:

    Sorry for the double post (now three). I thought the first one didn’t go through.

  17. One Sheep Says:

    I love the way colorful is coming back with a vengance. Seems like drab was ruling the roost for quite a while. These are great fashions and I love the homedec items. Thanks for the giveaway!

  18. One Sheep Says:

    I hope this is not a duplicate or triplicate, but Disqus just hangs without letting my comment thru. Not behaving as it usually does. Anyway, I love that colorful is coming back with a vengance. It seems like drab ruled the roost for quite a while. These are great fashions and I love the homedec items. Thanks for having the giveaway.

  19. quinn Says:

    I am so impressed by people who can make magic with color. Kristin is a master 🙂

  20. caralynr Says:

    I LOVE ( I can’t even make the word big enough to express how much I love it) the new kit feature! How cool is that? Thanks for a beautiful preview of this book on this cold autumn day. I love the bright colors and the color combinations that she uses, as well as the straight-forward construction of the garments.

  21. tmoran Says:

    Love Kristin’s work. Just popped over from her blog to enter the contest, but must admit that your kit function is great! I’m off to browse your site in depth.

  22. Gerri Says:

    I have the previous book Kristin published. It looks like this one might have the bonus of the fair isle technique discussion. Love the colors but haven’t knit a project yet.

    I like you kit function. The first time I looked at it, I didn’t quite get that the total would adjust if I took off things I didn’t need, like needles.

  23. Pat Carpenter Says:

    I love the colors and the fun of it all. I wish I had known about the trunk show sooner. I would have driven down from Vermont. I have a project to finish, but once I have, I’d like to try Julia yarn. I learned to steek years ago. It is so much easier than I used to think and once you get past the first cutting, you’re home free. It’s just so painful to contemplate cutting a beautifully knit piece. So don’t contemplate, just cut. Hears the part I wish I were more adventurous about: I’ve never added stitching to a surface. Sounds silly doesn’t it? But that intimidates me.

  24. sharonlm Says:

    I’m just getting back to knitting after a several break, and have been catching up on everything new. I’m also looking at knitting from a different viewpoint than I did before. When looking at various pattern books, the patterns I am drawn to have often been Kristin’s. I especially like her unusual ribbings and borders. I love Julia’s sweater and wouldn’t mind having one in an adult size. The embroidery really sets off the designs.

  25. Terri P. Says:

    Wow. As a beginning knitter, I’m speechless at the beautiful patterns and color. I have a lot to look forward to!

  26. carmen8608 Says:

    I only discovered Kristin after I moved away from Greenfield for college, how sad not to have been aware of such a knitting genious was in my neck of the woods?! I have to admit, I don’t own any of her books yet nor have I tackled any projects—- I’m still new to faire isle, though I think I could tackle some of the smaller projects (mittens/ gloves/ socks maybe?). All the colors, so cheerful and inspiring. They are perfect for combating the dark and dreary of winter.

  27. Chrissy Says:

    What awesome patterns. I really like the ability to order an entire kit because sometimes it’s hard to find specific yarns and colors. I’m motivated by the beauty of the Over-The-Top Shawl to try steeking.

  28. Robin Says:

    I love the best friends sweaters! Talk about color — WOW.

  29. Jody Says:

    What gorgeous photos–I would love to win this book. Steeks only looks scary! I can’t think that I’ve ever embroidered any of my knitting, but I’ve thought about doing a bag with some embroidery. I used to do embroidery and a lot of other needlework years ago before the knitting bug took over.

  30. janlashua Says:

    Kristin’s book just looks fabulous. I only wish I could be there tonight to see all the wonderful samples of her projects.
    I have never steeked and the idea sends shivers down my spine. I certainly want to put it on my list of new knitting skills after Christmas rush is over.
    I have never added embroidery stitches either, but that certainly seems less scary to me.

  31. cthulhulovesme Says:

    I really love the bold color statements that Kristin makes, and I especially love the household items– the pillows and the ottoman in particular. I’ve never steeked, though, so that would be something of an adventure.

  32. Sally Howard Says:

    I love Kristin’s use of color, and her yarns are beautiful too. The kit function at Webs is a great idea!

  33. laursink Says:

    Wow! Webs has become my new fav oniline spot! Anyways, I cannot get over how awesome the color work is in this election! Can’t wait to give it a try! The lit function will save so much stress What a great idea! Thanks Kathy!

  34. Pamslu Says:

    Love love the colors!!! Another book for the wish list. I’ve been wanting to try steeks.I have two daughters and love the pic of the two little girls. I was thinking the tea cozy would make a super hat. Fun stuff! Good luck on the book launch!

  35. Pamslu Says:

    Love love love the colors! Another one for the wish list! I want to make them all. I think the tea cozy would be cute as a hat. Good luck with this book and thanks for the heads up on these designs.

  36. Sharilyn Says:

    The colors in the patterns are so cheerful without being overly busy. Nice balance!

  37. debknits2 Says:

    I love Kristen’s book. She has helped me become a more creative knitter.

  38. Debi Says:

    I am a newbie to the world of colorwork, but by the looks of Kristin’s beautiful patterns, I dare say I am inspired to dive in! Thank you Kristin & thank you Webs! 🙂

  39. Mary Alice Says:

    Kristin’s colors and projects are just so Happy!!

  40. mollita Says:

    Book looks wonderful. Esp love Julia and Bridget’s sweaters. Darling.

  41. sharonrose Says:

    WoW!! I love the embroidery details – the little flowers are so cute!

  42. beccafreed Says:

    For the Child’s Zip-Up Cardigan I would learn to steek. I have a couple of collections of Classic Elite patterns in book form, and my favorites are Kristin’s ethnically inspired ones.

  43. Diane S. Says:

    HI, I have never tried any color work in my knitting like this so the pictures of Kristin’s book have me very excited. Can’t wait to see it in person & give it a try!

    And I love the kit function, will be so much easier to see exactly what some patterns call for & then I can decided if I want the kit or look for another yarn that you carry with the same “specs”!!

  44. Susie Says:

    Toooo pretty! I just love the colorwork. I’ve yet to attempt any but this may be just the motivation that I need!! Please sign me up for the contest!!

  45. Jessica M Says:

    Hi, I have enjoyed watching Kristin on TV and found her helpful. Now Kathy is on TV too, very cool. Kathy, I know you asked for feedback on the kit feature and I don’t have any, sorry, I always drive the two miles down the road to buy my stuff in person!

  46. Bonnie Buckingham Says:

    Almost 200 comments. Oh my. That makes the statistics
    against this one BUT I will say I haven’t done either of the questions
    and hope to one day. I adore those sweaters! If I won I would learn
    to and I do knit. Extraordinary, if you’ve seen Larkrise to Candleford!

  47. LynnH Says:

    Several friends are considering a knit-along from this book. The over-the-top Shawl is my first contender, I think.

    Everything Kristin does, I adore. For some, “adore” is not a strong enough word. Such style.

  48. Shell ~ Michelle Kennedy Says:

    Kristin Nicholas is a Classic Renaissance Artiste ~ all matter of art forms benefit from her color use, technique & style, knitting, crocheting, painting, pottery, illustrating & designing. I’ve taught knitting & embroidery to children for nine years & have tremendously appreciated her illustartions in Melanie Falick’s “Kids Knitting” & Kristin’s “Kids Embroidery.” Most definetly, I wish for her three latest books ~ they are beautiful.
    also, I especially enjoy reading her blog & appreciate how often Kristin updates & the fact that you never know when she is going to update. There are only a few blogs I read daily & Kristin is one of them. Its great to check in & find another new post. Kristin writes very conversationally & I like knowing more about the sheep to wool process.
    The best surprise ever was seeing her painted walls in her farmhouse. They are exquisite. Upon painting my kitchen orange, a whole new world of color opened for me. Kristin has always been an inspirational artist for me personally & I loVe sharing her with my students, who often have rather conservative art teachers, *WHY*???? I want to express to children to enjoy their artist-selves.
    Kristin is a Renaissance Artiste & we need people like her to bring creativity and beauty to the world.
    Shell ~

  49. Kim R. Says:

    Love the Wrap and Tote Bag, the book looks fabulous!

  50. Julia Says:

    Looking forward to knit from the book. May be eventually I’ll get to steeking…

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