Friday, December 14, 2012

Hobbit Knits - A Collection of Hobbit-Inspired Knitting Patterns

I am thrilled to announce the release of "Hobbit Knits - A Collection of Hobbit-Inspired Knitting Patterns".
PicMonkey Collage22
The eBook contains five patterns, each inspired by a different scene from "The Hobbit".
The "Pony Rides in May Sunshine" fingerless mitts are inspired by the beginning of Bilbo's long journey during which he finds adventures to be quite pleasant. When the travelling becomes more difficult later on, he laments that adventures are not all "pony rides in May sunshine". The mitts feature a cabled cuff and are knit from a cheerful, rustic DK-weight yarn, and are designed to protect one's hands during a long day of holding the reins of a pony.
The Elvish Singing Shawlette is inspired by the warm welcome given to Bilbo and his companions one warm June evening as he and his companions approach the Elvish outpost of Rivendell. This delicate lace shawlette is knit from a single ball of sock yarn.
SAM_1755 - Copy

The Pocketses Vest is inspired by a Hobbit's waistcoat, with a double breast to display plenty of nice brass buttons, as well as two small pockets, just large enough for concealing a magical ring. It is knit primarily in stockinette stitch using worsted-weight wool.
Pocketse side view

The Mirkwood Satchel features a sturdy linen-stitch body and a long, cabled strap. It also has a cabled pocket on the side and is closed with a zipper. This bag came to mind when reading about Bilbo and his companions needing to carry weeks worth of food and water on their trek through the gloomy, unwholesome Mirkwood forest.
The Beorn Cardigan had a cabled waistband, from which the upper and lower body are picked up and knit. This heavily cabled cardigan is inspired by the wide fireplaces, large mugs of mead, and toast with butter and honey that welcomed Bilbo and Gandalf on their journey home when the visited their friend, Beorn, at Yuletide.

All patterns are available for sale individually in my Ravelry shop. As well, the entire collection can be purchased at a discounted price - just click the "Buy Now" button below to be taken to Ravelry. You do not have to be a member of Ravelry to buy patterns from their site.

The patterns are also available in my Craftsy pattern store, as well as in my Etsy Shop.

I hope you enjoy browsing and knitting these patterns as much as I enjoyed designing them. After all, "If more of us valued food and cheer and song* above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”

*And knitting, I would add.

The Giveaway!
I have a copy of the Hobbit Knits collection to give away! This contest is open to anyone, in any country, until Dec 30, 2012. Please leave me a comment and include your contact information, such as an email address or Ravelry ID.

UPDATE: Some people have had trouble leaving a comment on this blog. You may also enter the contest by emailing me your contact info at SarcasticStitches AT gmail DOT com, or by sending me a message on Ravelry. Sorry for the inconvenience!

What is your favorite scene from "The Hobbit"? Did you first read the book as a child or as an adult?

UPDATE Dec 30, 2012 - Congratulations to the winner of the eBook, Unwindle! I have gifted you the book on Ravelry. Thanks to everyone who entered the contest!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Imbolc Pullover - Winter 2012 Knitscene!

I am delighted to have my Imbolc pullover included in the Winter 2012 issue of Knitscene!


This pullover features two sunburst-like lace hexagons inset into the sweater so that they wrap around the ribs at the left and right sides of the pullover, creating waist definition. Each hexagon is knit from the center out and bound off. The front and back are each knit flat to the bottom of the hexagon inset, at which point stitches are bound off at each side. The pieces are shaped to accommodate the hexagon inset, after which more stitches are cast on and the front and back pieces are worked to the shoulders. The sweater has a feminine deep U neckline. The cuffs, hem and neckline are trimmed in tidy 1x1 ribbing.


The sample was knit in the gloriously soft yarn from The Fibre Company called Road to China Light (65% alpaca, 15% silk, 10% camel, 10% cashmere; 159 yd [145 m]/50 g). I used 3.5mm needles and got a gauge of 25 sts and 32 rows to 4".

As the circumference of the hexagon inset is 27", an optional co-ordinating tam can easily be made by knitting two inches of stockinette stitch around the outer edge of a third hexagon, followed by decrease rows to reduce the circumference to 22", and ending with two inches of ribbing.

While winter days start to get longer after the Winter Solstice in late December, the sun's strength doesn't noticeably return until early February, which is celebrated as the Irish festival of Imbolc, which derives its name from the ancient Irish i mbolg, meaning "in the belly", referencing the newly-pregnant ewes. The two sunbursts reference the "doubling" of the strength of the sun, as well as the date of Imbolc, which falls on February 2nd: 02/02.