Stranded Things & Fracksmom
Congratulations! Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to collect your prizes.
The internet world is so funny! Recently I met a super cool knitter/designer/indie yarn dyer/entrepreneur by the name of Annie - all through the powers of the fabulous site called Pinterest. Let me just say... if you're not pinning, you are NOT living. Anyway, I ran across Annie's sweet online yarn store, annie yarn, via a Ravelry ad link, and I promptly fell in love with her colorway Olivet:
I pinned it, which I actually don't usually do with yarn colors, but this time the pinning mood just struck. A few days later, I received a nice email from Annie telling me that she found me by the traffic my pin had generated to her site and she would love to do a giveaway on the blog. It was truly internet, pinning, blogging destiny! She also offered to send me a skein in a color of my choice along with a copy of her lovely Wheatberry Lace Shawl pattern to try out. How sweet! Check out my beautiful shawl!
Pattern: Wheatberry Lace Shawl
Designer: Annie Riley
Yarn: annie yarn butterfly sock
Colorway: Robin's Egg
My Rav project page here
Modeled by: my fancy fence
The pattern was a treat to knit up and I love the lace design. Those geometric diamond shapes are so in fashion! Not mention how much I like the way the patterning flows down the shawl. It was simple with enough lace to keep my attention. I knit the shawl in less than a week's time even with making mine slightly bigger than the original pattern (note: I had a yarn that contained more yardage). I'm really happy with how this turned out and it's my favorite color too! I would paint every wall in my house this color if my husband wouldn't kick me out because of it!
I had a chance to do a written interview with Annie as well…
1. Please start by telling us a little bit about yourself and what you do?
Hmm. This is a tough one for me. I’m not very comfy with talking about myself (wonderful for an interview, right?) but I am getting better at it! So here goes…
I am a twenty-something Georgia gal who loves Jesus and, when not knitting, loves to write novels, read books, take photos, dye yarn, play violin, spend time on Pinterest, play with my Australian Shepherd named Shalom, do some cooking, and sit in my wingback in the sun (that’s where I’m sitting in the photo of moi). Oh, and I love horses and horticulture and astronomy… Eh, I’m boring you, aren’t I?
For years I’ve been a yarn addict. Especially when I discovered local yarn shops and the hand-dyed yarns they carry. I would look at the shelves of yarn and think, “Could I dye yarn like that?” The little spark of curiosity turned into a small flame that was kind of smothered for a while. I’ve gone through a lot of change in the last couple of years, and yarn-dyeing was one of those maybe-someday-I’ll-dust-off-that-idea things. Then in fall 2012, I felt like God told me it was time. Come to find out, my yarn-dyer friend was at the same time feeling God moving her out of the business. That was a shocker. But we worked through the changes, and she so kindly furthered the little bit of knowledge I had acquired from watching her dye yarn. And then all of a sudden, the pieces fell into place, and I was dyeing my own yarn.
My journey as a knitwear designer began in 2009, months after really getting into knitting, when I wanted to design my mom some special fingerless gloves for Christmas. I enjoyed taking a ball of yarn and an image in my head and turning it into something beautiful that people can enjoy knitting and wearing. I realized God gave me an eye, a talent, for design. So my mom encouraged me to put my pattern on Ravelry, helped me name it, and the rest is history.
2. Your hand dyed yarns are just my style - semi-solid beauties! Can you talk a little bit about what inspires you and how you come up with your colorways?
Thank you! Kettle-dyed semi-solids are what drew me to dyeing yarn in the first place. Hand-painted yarns are gorgeous, too, of course. I love building palettes, but I like to think of them as individual colors that work together. So that’s sort of what I draw from when thinking about colors. I look around me and see colors everywhere. I think of foods and places that hold fond memories for me. I also enjoy pulling colors from God’s beautiful creation. In fact, I’m thinking a few nebula-inspired colorways would be so fun to create!
3. Do you have a favorite colorway or yarn that you offer?
Yes!! My [current] favorite colorway is February Sky. I wanted to emphasize the purplish hues of the clouds on a wintry day. I thought about naming it January Sky, but it just didn’t work. My second fave would be O’Tealy because I’m in a teal kick -- I just painted a bookshelf in my room a bright, happy tealish color!
As for my favorite yarn, I think it’d be Annie Sock. But Madison DK and Worsted tie for second.
4. You also design lovely patterns. Can you talk about your pretty pattern that you are sharing with us, the Wheatberry Lace Shawl?
Definitely. First, I’ll have you know that it was my very first foray into writing a lacy pattern (hooray!). I’d knitted lacy shawls before, but I didn’t have a firm grasp on how lace worked until I sat down with a pencil and graph paper and started drawing what I saw in my head. Somewhere in there a lightbulb came on, and I realized that whenever there’s a yo, a k2tog or ssk is nearby. It was one of those “duh, I should’ve known that” moments. Once that was illuminated, this pattern became one of the funnest designs I’ve ever done. I loved writing it, knitting it, blocking it, everything. I currently have it hanging on the wall of my office area.
5. What will be next for you? Do you have yarns, colorways or patterns in the works that you can share with us?
That is a question I ask myself quite often. I have a vision of what God wants me to work toward, and I can say that part of it includes a brick-and-mortar yarn shop/dye studio of my own. Getting there from where I am right now as a small indie designer/dyer whose office is her bedroom and whose “dye studio” is the kitchen…that’s a bit fuzzy. It’s okay, though, because I know God’s got it all planned out. If I needed to know it all, He’d tell me. I trust Him to lead me where He wants me and that it’ll be an adventure the whole way. Everything is with Him.
And yes, I do have something exciting I can share! We’re already plotting the next Knitting with Jane project slated for this summer. It’s going to be fun, as (just between you and me) we’re returning to the world of the Bennet family. Can’t tell you which colorful character will be the inspiration, but it will be a fun one!
6. I always like to ask, why do you knit?
I don’t think I’ve ever been asked that question before. Hmm. I knit because I love working with my hands. I love the feel of the yarn between my fingers, the clicks of needles, the lovely fabric woven by stitches. It’s a hobby, yes, and a business, but also a gift. I thank God for it all the time.
7. When did you learn to knit and who taught you?
My first step toward learning to knit was in 2007 on one of those little plastic looms. Real knitting, with all those pointy needles and weirdly-named stitches was way overwhelming for me, so I stuck with the loom for a while. Then I got into crochet. But I felt so very limited with crochet that I finally took the plunge. I got a book and some super-cheap needles and got started. My knits and purls -- or do you spell it pearls? ;D -- were horrible, but I was determined. In 2009, when I discovered local yarn shops, I decided that after making garter scarves and misshapen rectangular swatches, I was going to make socks. So I did. That was my first real follow-a-pattern project.
8. If you were to knit and live anywhere in the world, where would you knit and live?
I would find myself a roomy log cabin in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina -- complete with a killer view, of course. It’s snowier there than here in Georgia, but their summers are nice. I love it there, and the mountains are so inspiring to me.
9. What's been your worst knitting or in your case it could be a yarn dyeing disaster?
I’ve never had a real, honest-to-goodness knitting OR yarn-dyeing disaster (thank the Lord), but there have been a few borderline nightmares. Yeah. I think I’ve blocked them out, though, because I’m not recalling specifics. Something about my sister having to completely rip apart a cardigan design I didn’t do right… And then there was the never-ending design that had to be ripped a couple times. Hmph. I prefer to leave those things in the dark world of knitting problems forgotten.
10. And last but not least, if you were enjoying a favorite drink while reading my blog, what would it be?
Tea, tea, tea. Earl Grey, blueberry, pomegranate, and the list goes on. I LOVE tea, and it goes so very well with knitting and blogging.
Annie has sent over THREE stunning skeins of her Annie Sock along with a download code for a PDF copy of her Wheatberry Lace Shawl pattern on Ravelry. Sorry, the yarn was packaged so sweetly, I just didn't have the heart to unwrap it. Notice how beautiful she has the skeins braided too, and yes, there's a chance to win a Olivet colored one!
I would like you to do the following if you would like to be entered into this week's giveaway:
1. Read over the rules if you have not done so already.
2. Leave a comment on this blog post by the end of Sunday, 2/24/13. Annie asks, "Do any of my colorways bring to mind a favorite memory?"
I'll randomly pick the winners in 2 weeks and post the results along with the new giveaway, so be sure to check back. Good luck everyone.