Dogyarns interview and pattern giveaway.

Today I have the joy of sharing an interview with a lovely person and a double pattern giveaway. 
I came to know Elizabeth through Ravelry and was honered when she had chosen me as the recipient of a random act of kindness, letting me chose a pattern from her large collection
When she agreed to do an interview and a giveaway I was so excited, but this lady is very generous and wanted two of you to be able to benefit from this, but first a chance to get to know her...

Tell us a little about yourself.

Fun and excitement are what I look for in my crafting life. If it were not fun or exciting, why would I do it? That is probably why I have plenty of hand knitted and crocheted puppets around my house. No one can be sad around a puppet. I also do animal rescue and have three dogs and multiple cats around me all the time. I adopt out stray animals to good homes and am always happy to hear they are doing well.

Your ravetar is Dogyarns, please tell us how that came to be.

With my love of dogs and my love of yarn, it just seemed like the best ravetar anyone could have! When I started my group on Ravelry, it seemed just as natural that it should be called A Big Comfy Doghouse! That’s where we talk about our ‘fur kids’ and have test-alongs of my new designs and where everyone gets to hear about my new designs before they are released on Ravelry.

How did you learn to knit, crochet and spin?

Knitting I learned from my grandmother when I was a wee lass. I took to it like a fish to water. I know some people have periods of their life when they stop knitting for a while, but I never have. If there were such a thing as a ‘natural knitter’ then that would be me. To be able to create something with two sticks and some string is simply amazing to me! I learned to crochet by reading a book about it when I was in my 20s. I don’t do as much crocheting as knitting, but have been trying more and more complex crochet patterns the last couple of years to increase my skills. I even have a free crochet pattern in my designs on Ravelry now: In The Doghouse Business Card Case (even in crochet, its all about the dogs! LOL!).

I learned to spin by taking a beginning spinning class at a local guild. It was so much fun and I held a skein of yarn I spun myself after just a few hours, so I was hooked. I love that I can make fiber into different types of yarn just by how I prepare it, spin it and ply it! One of my 2014 goals is to knit and crochet more items with my handspun yarns.

In my mind you are Elizabeth the snowflake lady, how do you come up with your amazing snowflake designs?

There are so many beautiful lace patterns in the world already, but I just can’t resist designing these tiny and delicate flakes. I just get a picture in my mind of the lace-like patterns of frost on a window. Then I sketch out an outline on paper, followed by putting that on graph paper and placing a lot of yarn overs all over, and eventually it will look just like a snowflake. Taking up needles and yarn then lets me work out all the bugs in the pattern. I usually work up at least three samples of a design to be absolutely sure it will work and try to knit them in sparkly threads whenever I can! I love sparkly threads!

You also design beautiful sock patterns, one of which you are giving away on the blog, where do you find inspiration for them?

Inspiration for my sock designs come from wherever my curiosity and/or a challenge takes me. The Southern Belle Socks came about because I was asked to contribute to a book of ethnic socks. My heritage is in the deep South of the U.S., so I wanted to do something that represented that. The silk and wool yarn I chose represented the Steel Magnolia aspect of women in the South – they can get the work done, while maintaining a lovely femininity. Also, being in the South where the heat can get pretty unbearable, I wanted something that would be light and airy! Lace in a laceweight yarn seemed just right! For my Winter Games: Snowboarding the Halfpipe Socks, I was watching the last Winter Olympics snowboarding competition with all the flips and somersaults and sliding into the finish and kept wanting to interpret that in knitting. Cables and cabled cables are the result! I am already working on other Winter Games socks designs for the 2014 Winter Olympics. I want to feature the yarns of indie dyers for these new designs because I want to support all those who give their time and talent to produce such beautiful yarns for us.

Southern Belle Socks

Besides the Southern Belle Socks, I also want to do a giveaway here for my latest pattern, the Braided Gems Reversible Mitts pattern. They have a fun braided pattern that does not require a cable needle and is so easy to do. They can be made with or without beads. The best part is that the stitch pattern is very stretchy so they can fit many different sizes of hands. This means that you can go from the braided side to a ribbed side just by turning them inside out and that they can be shared by both guys and gals.

Braided Gems Reversible Mitts

What would you say the best part of being a knitwear designer is?

Taking a design from my imagination and interpreting it into knitwear. To watch what was in my imagination take form on the needles is simply the best fun and never ceases to amaze me.

If you could be any fibre or skein of yarn, which would you choose and why?

Cotton! I love the way cotton feels against my skin, how smoothly it works up, and how beautifully it knits and crochets into beautiful garments, useful items for the home, and lace. I love wool for all its great properties, but when you live in one of the hottest states in the U.S., a lightweight cotton garment feels luxurious and cotton yarn is much cooler to work with in the summer months.

Thanks so much for having me as a guest on your blog! Have a wonderful time giving away the Southern Belle Socks pattern and the Braided Gems Reversible Mitts pattern! If anyone has any questions about the patterns, please feel free to contact me at dogyarns at gmail dot com!


For your chance to win either the Shouthern Belle Socks or the Braided Gems Reversible Mitts please follow this blog and leave a comment about which of Elizabeth's Snowflakes you like the most. The giveaway will end Sunday 10/11-13. 

50% off Easter Snow

Since winter is just around the corner, I wanted to celebrate by offering you 50% off my Snowy Easter hat and headband pattern. It is usually 30 DKK ($5,5), but for a limited time you can get it for 15 DKK ($2,8) and make it in time for winter.

A trip to the pond

The frog pond that is. On Sunday the 13th I decided to frog the pants I was knitting because they weren't bringing me any joy. I just didn't feel like knitting at all and that is when you know something is wrong.

This was how far I had made it on the right leg. I frogged it all and then I cast on for Still Light and all of a sudden I felt like knitting again and knit I have. So much that I'm already this far on the tunic/dress.

Do you have anything that you need to frog hiding somewhere on your needles?

Making candles.

We all have them, those odd bits that are left over when you burn a candle. I hate throwing them out so this past winter my mum and I have been saving up all those odd bits and today we turned them into new candles.

You will need:
- a bunch of leftover candle bits from 100% stearin candles
- a can
- a pot (for a water bath)
- something to protect your hands (gloves, oven mittens...)
- containers for your finished candles
- whick
- long matches (or something else to tie the wick to)
- coins with holes (or something else to hold the wick down)
- a tray or large plate
- newspaper to cover your work area

Fill the pot with some water and place the can in it. Make sure that the water cannot reach the top of the can. If water gets into the stearin your candle will not burn well.
Put candle bits into the can and let it slowly melt, keeping the water below boiling at all times. You can add more bits as they melt.

Prepare the containers with the whick while the stearin melts and place them on the tray.

Now you are ready to don your gloves and pour the fully melted stearin into the containers, don't worry about the whicks in the can, they will stay at the bottom. 

Make sure the whicks are still centered and bring the candles outside to set. 

Once the candles are cool remove the matches and untie the knots. Cut the wicks 1-2 cm long and enjoy your new candles. 

And the winner is...

First of all I want to thank Malabrigo for enabling me to do this giveaway. It has been so much fun and I have enjoyed every comment you guys have made. We made it all the way to 24 comments (excluding mimi's comment) and the winner is...
Which means that the winning comment is:

Please get in touch with me, Catherine on Ravelry, so that I can send the prize to you. I hope the rest of you will stay around and hopefully I'll be able to do another giveaway again.

Let's Review: Malabrigo Nube and Giveaway!

At the beginning of summer Malabrigo kindly sent me 5 wonderful samples (pictures are borrowed from their site) of their new spinning fibre Nube and lets just say I know why it is called 'cloud' because it was wonderful to spin. But I'm getting ahead of myself here so lets go back to the beginning. 

809 Solis
139 Pocion
48 Glitter
66 Lavanda
43 Plomo
I sat and petted the 5 samples time and again, trying to decide which one to give away and it was really very difficult, but I finally made a decision. 

Next I had to decide which one to spin first. I was torn between Lavanda and Plomo, these two are my kind of colours. Greys and purples are my big loves. There was another issue as well, I have never spun multi-coloured fibre before. In my 3-4 years of spinning I've never spun anything but solid colours. Additionally, I have no clue what I should use 113 grams of yarn for. I would love to get about 400m out of 113 grams, but that isn't a lot to play with when you look at what I normally knit. Oh, the knitting, I don't knit with multi coloured yarn either! But nevertheless I feel so drawn to the Nube. 

After staring at the Lavanda and Plomo for hours I noticed that it was really the same colours. The Lavanda is purples with some greys, the Plomo is greys with some purples. This is when I knew I had to make a swatch. So I grabbed 10 grams of each and spun them, then after a proper rest I plyed them together, one strand of each colour and it turned out beautiful in my opinion.  

The 20 grams total resulted in 90m of 2-ply yarn and if I spin the rest consistently then I'll have 990m when I finish all the yarn. This is enough to make a garment of some sort I should think.

So how was it to spin? Great! The darkest purples were a little harder to draft, but everything else drafted so easily, that it wasn't a concern at all. The colours faded into one another wonderfully and while my skills took a little while to get into gear, it was easy to spin consistently when I got into the right groove. I can't wait to spin the remaining of the Lavanda and Plomo.

But who am I kidding? I bet you have been sitting there going, "yes - fine, now what about that giveaway?"

You have a chance of winning the Glitter, 113 gr. / 4 oz. of 100% merino fibre. You can earn one entry    by following my blog on bloglovin or blogger and leave a comment saying that you do so. You can also earn entries by sharing this giveaway on your blog, facebook, twitter etc. and leave a link for it in the comments. Please only leave one link per comment. You can share the giveaway as many ways as you want, each way will earn you an entry.

A winner will be randomly chosen on Friday 11. October 2013, the giveaway is open to all nationalities.  This giveaway is now closed and the winner has been found.

48 Glitter