Friday, December 18, 2015

The 11th Day of Christmas

On the 11th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me,

Rhymes with Shawl for 50% off!!!

If you'd like a chance to win the pattern for free, head on over to VANGY Knits on Facebook.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

The 9th Day of Christmas

The 9th day of Christmas is a pretty big deal! It's the 9th day of Christmas, and you get 50% off Elwood!!

Head on over to Ravelry, put the pattern in your cart, and you will get the discount!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Sunday, December 13, 2015

The 6th Day of Christmas

Don't get me wrong, I love designing for boys, but every once in a while inspiration strikes, and I just have to knit a dainty little something!  

The most recent of these dainty somethings was Lacy Loo, and today, on the 6th day of VANGY Knits Christmas, you can get it for 50% off! 

Name all 4 patterns in the collection that Lacy Loo is part of, and win a copy of the pattern for FREE!  

Saturday, December 12, 2015

The 5th day of Christmas

Walton is the perfect sweater for a first time sweater knitter, or a more experienced knitter wanting to customize. It's totally seamless, knit with Aran weight yarn, so very quick. Enjoy it today for 50% off!

Friday, December 11, 2015

The 4th day of Christmas

You get 50% off Smocked!!!  Grab it today! Just put it in your Ravelry cart to see the discount.  And, for your chance to win a copy, head over to my Instagram.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

The 3rd day of Christmas....

Today, for the 3rd day of Christmas, you can get Thom with a "TH" for 50% off!  Just throw the pattern in your cart to see the discount.  

And, if you'd like a chance to win the pattern for free, check out my Ravelry group to answer a trivia question about the pattern.  


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

On the Second day of Christmas....

You get 50% off Circe!!!  Just place it in your Ravelry Cart, and the discount will apply.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The First Day of Christmas

It's no partridge in a pear tree, but it is 50% off Grow Old With Me today, and today only!!! Head on over to get the discount, now!

Monday, December 7, 2015

12 Days of Christmas

Christmas is almost here, and I want to have a little party!

Starting tomorrow, VANGY Knits will be hosting a 12 Days of Christmas Celebration. 

Here's how it works:

Each day from December 8th to 19th a different VANGY Knits pattern will be on sale for 50% off!  But here's the catch: I won't be telling you which pattern will be on sale until the day of the sale.  So, you will have to watch my Ravelry Group, Facebook, Instagram and this here blog to find out which pattern to check out.  And, by playing along you could win one pattern a day!

So, come back tomorrow to see which pattern we'll discount on the first day of Christmas!!!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Designing with Children

This morning I have the rare opportunity to be home with only 2 of my 5 littles.  And, I've got the littlest of the littles, to boot!  My husband took the day off to take the oldest three to the opening day at the ski hill, and so I will spend the day "stranded" at home with no car, two kids that are happy to just play all day, and knitting needles in hand.

On every other day I homeschool those oldest three children, which means my days are spent on a schedule to make sure that my kids get all the work done that they need to.  Math worksheets, writing assignments, science experiments and piano practice fill every moment of my life, it seems.

Finding time to design amidst the chaos that is my life is difficult, at the best of times.  I sneak in a row here, a row there, usually while sitting in front of Netflix late at night with my husband.  I see inspiration in all the world around me, and have filled notebooks with rough sketches and ideas that will probably never come to fruition, because I just don't have the time. I've turned down direct offers to collaborate with yarnies, because I know that I can't live up to deadlines.

But, in my crazy days I still do find time for it, because I love it. I love the process of seeing something that inspires me and working out in my mind and on paper just how it would look coming off my needles. I love knitting, and re-knitting until my vision and my project actually work together.  I love seeing my kids wear my sweaters, and brag that their mommy made it. I love hearing from people on Ravelry how much they love my designs.  I really do love what I do!

So, what's the secret?  To be honest, if I want to design more, I have to do less elsewhere.  That's the reality.  I don't read much anymore (Audible is my best friend!)  My floors have not been vacuumed for longer than I care to admit, my bedroom is a disaster, and my laundry is never, ever done.  It's about priorities, and I just value knitting over a tidy house, I guess.  Don't judge. Of course, my house gets a quick once over every time my mom comes to visit!

An and example, let me give you a tiny sneak peak (without the peak) of what I've been working on for a while.  Since September I've been knitting two sweaters for my new design. I've run out of yarn on both sweaters, and had to order more. Then they shipped lace weight instead of worsted.  A million other things came up, and a design I meant to publish on December 1, is still on my needles, with a release date more likely in February.

And such is the life! I promise it's not a complaint, it's just the reality. And, I love it. I love every part of it: the designing, the knitting, the homeschool, the mothering, and even the frantic cleaning when my mom drops by!

So, look forward in a few months for Harvey, my next installment of my Little Old Man Collection. And, if it takes a little longer than that, forgive me!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Gift-A-Long 2015

If you are active on Ravelry, you may have heard about the Gift-A-Long. It's a massive sale and knit-a-long that has happened the last two years in November and December.  It's a fun way to get motivated to knit all those Christmas knits, while participating in all sorts of fun games and winning some awesome prizes.

I've participated in the Gift-A-Long the past two years, and am excited to add 6 new designs to my sale this year!!!
Here's how it works:

Hundreds of independent designers, like me, have joined together to offer an awesome sale on our patterns, as well as a fantastic KAL/CAL to help you get all of your holiday knitting done before Christmas!

From Thursday, November 19th at 8 om (EST) to Friday, November 27 at 11:59 pm (EST) 20 of my patterns will be discounted 25%.  Use the coupon code: giftalong2015 to get the discount.

Once you've got your patterns, you can join in on the KALs/CALs for just about every variety of knit.  The KAL/CALs will run right through to Thursday, December 31 at 11:59 PM.  There are games, tons of prizes, communion with fantastic knitters, and a whole lot of fun.

If you've never been part of a KAL/CAL of this magnitude, it is seriously so fun. It's like being part of a knitting club that includes the entire world!!!

I'm looking forward to knitting along with all of you!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

People are Good

I posted Oh Christmas Tree yesterday, with the disclaimer that all proceeds would go toward providing Christmas to a family in need.  I can't believe the response that I've received.  I've had so many nice comments and messages, and sold many more patterns already than I thought possible.  Thank you, knitters, for being so good.  I tend to worry more about the state of the world than I should, but my faith in humanity is always renewed when I see things like this. I'm excited for Christmas!!!

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Embroidered Star Stitch on a Knit - A Tutorial

Oh Christmas Tree is darling as is, with unique Christmas trees all the way around.  But, to complete the look, I thought it needed something a little more.  A star to top one of the trees!  I love embroidery, but am aware that sometimes the art doesn't look that good on knitwear, as the embroidery stitches tend to pull through the knit stitches.  This embroidered star, though, is perfect for the top of a Christmas tree.

1. Cut a piece of yarn about 1 foot long.  I used Knit Picks Hawthorne in Compass, which is a Fingering weight yarn. I thought the thinner yarn made the star easier to see. 

2. Start from the inside of the hat, and follow the order of the numbers in the diagram.  Go up at the #1 spot, then down at #2, and so forth.  Make the star bigger than you think would look good, because it will pull tighter through the stitches and "shrink."

Up through #1, down through #2.

And, finish off going down through #8.

3. When you are all done, the star will still look pretty messy.  This is inevitable, as you should go in and out of knit stitches, and so it may not be exactly even. To finish it off, go up through the hat at the center of the star, across the star, and back down the same hole into the hat.  Do this once across horizontally, and once up and down vertically.  Once back in the inside of the hat, weave the tails in on the wrong side.  

No Tools Pompoms - A Tutorial

I know you can buy fancy little pompom tools. I even know that you can make similar ones pretty easily with a pair of scissors and a piece of cardboard.  But, to be honest, I'm way too lazy for either of those methods. I can make a perfectly fine pompoms with just my fingers and yarn, so why bother with all the other stuff? Ya, I can't think of a good reason either.

Oh Christmas Tree has one of those perfectly fine pompoms of which I speak right on it's top, and so, for those not versed in the method, let me show you how I make a tools free pompom:

1.  First, cut a piece of yarn about a foot long.  

2. Lay that yarn between your middle and ring finger.  Keep it there for later. 

3. With the yarn you are using for your pompom, start wrapping it around your fingers. I wanted the pompom for Oh Christmas Tree to be nice and full, so I opened my hand a bit, and wrapped generously.  I also wanted to use both the colors I used in the hat, so I held them together and wrapped away!  If you need a much smaller pompom, use less fingers.  Just make sure that the yarn you put between your fingers in the last step is between the fingers you are using to wrap your pompom. 

4. Wrap, wrap, wrap until you have a whole lot of yarn.  Try to spread it out evenly from the tip of you fingers to the base.  You will notice I am only using the pink at the end here. That's because I wanted more pink than white in the pompom, so I stopped wrapping pink after 40 times around my hand, then wrapped pink only for another 40 rounds. 

5. Now, using that length of yarn resting between your fingers from step 2, pull it tight around the center of your pompom and tie it tight!

6. I usually let my littles sacrifice their tiny fingers to the cause of really tight knots.  And, I wrap the yarn around a time or two to make sure it's really secure. 

There it is, tied all tight. 

7. Then, take a pair of sharp scissors and cut the loops all the way around.

 8.  Then you will have a somewhat messy little ball of yarn that may or may not resemble the giant pompom you would want to put on top of a hat.  Now's the time to take those scissors and trim it.  Go all the way around it, straightening the pieces of yarn, and cutting them all so that they are a uniform length.  This is when having wrapped the yarn evenly around your fingers pays off, as the pieces will all be fairly even. 

9. And just like that you'll be done, and you can sew that baby onto the top of your hat.  I usually use the tail from knitting the hat (before I weave in the end). I thread it through the center of the pompom and back down the top of the hat.  Then I weave in the ends, and that pompom is secure as it can be.

Oh Christmas Tree - A Knitting Pattern

Oh Christmas Tree is an ugly Christmas Sweater for the head. But it's not ugly, it's darling. And, once you knit one for yourself, everyone else will want one, too. So, be warned!

You can buy on Ravelry for only $2 for the 2015 Christmas Season!  And, I will be collecting all the proceeds from Oh Christmas Tree to donate to the family that we adopt for Christmas each year!  So, buy away. Help us help another family.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

A New Home

I don't remember when I first learned to knit. It was surely on the lap of one of my grandmas. I can picture my tiny self, wrapped in the arms of a woman who loved me, as she created with her weathered hands a blanket, or mittens, or a sweater that would continue to wrap it's recipient in love long after the hands that had created it were gone. My childhood was filled with handknit dresses, woolen sweaters and dolls made, stitch by stitch and row by row.

It wasn't until I was pregnant with my third son, chasing after a 4 and a 2 year old, that I realized that of all the crafts I loved, knitting was the most conducive to my busy, unpredictable life.  Unlike sewing and scrapbooking, my knitting could be stashed away quickly, easily protected from sticky, curious hands.  And so it happened, that after knitting a small wardrobe for my unborn child, with patterns I found here and there, I was sitting behind a woman in church, admiring her ruffled blouse, that I thought, "Hey, I could totally knit something like that."  

I went home, picked out the yarn, and started knitting what would become my first sweater pattern, Edith.  I never imagined that 3 years later I would have a catalog of patterns for babies, children and adults, with hundreds of projects made from my designs!  

And so, after more than three years, I have decided it is time to sever what was once my personal family blog, Hands Full of Happiness, from what will now be my purely yarny blog, and try to do better at staying on top of this knitting business of mine.  

If you haven't seen my designs, please check them out on Ravelry.  The plan is to make this an actual website, with a shop and everything, but for now, this will have to do.  

Welcome to this little corner of the interwebs.  Come back often to check out my yarny musings and future patterns.  Happy knitting to all!